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The Raven


[07/10/2012 10:32 dst]

Ok, so I need a Dos emulator for Windows 7 which will allow an older game to interface with a SoundBlaster AWE32. The card once fit the ancient ISA slot on the motherboard and no other card will properly read and sim the midi files from this game. Fortunately, I have been able to install and run the game with full texture support through Dosbox. Unfortunately, Dosbox will only recreate a few SoundBlaster cards through the Pro3. The SB16 will support the game but the music sounds as if it was composed on a 20-year old Casio keyboard. Very cheesy.


[07/10/2012 15:54 dst]

Another day in front of the editor and web. Wow... it has been awhile since I sat myself down to work like this. The feelings are strong, deep, and some are even unwanted. Across the landscape of my little cocoon flows "A Celebration for the Death of Man" by Agalloch. I have not allowed that song (or any part of the album, for that matter) into my ears for some time. True, I did post a YouTube link to this very composition on my FB page a while back, but that was purely because my mind wandered into death for a short period. That was just a day.

This is just a day.

If things were only so simple.


Hmm... on to the next track. Very good. I don't need to hear that preamble to last year any longer. At the first tympani strike I see my apartment... paintings, camera set up on its tripod, tools, drawings, toys, furniture, all of the things which once brought me comfort and security. They are gone, just as much of my own mind. Jesus fucking Christ. Thanks for stopping by, Mr. Mind... it's been a while. And... fuck you. And since I'm in a mood, would you like to see my little home while it was still full of possibility? I was not, but the apartment was.

We go...





Yeah, the bed is messed up a bit and there is much clutter, but that was it... the place I loved and now miss at every second. Perhaps if I had done things differently (no shit, right? How many times have I spouted those worthless words?), I would still be there. Oh well, we do what we do and things change. For quite a time this little space was very private. But now, however, it matters not. I am not there and someone else is. These days my space is much smaller and no longer mine. I am stuck due to pushing myself into a financial hole so deep I am beginning to hear Cantonese. Who knows... perhaps I can learn a new language and embrace noodles at every meal.

Yes, I lived up high and spent frivolously. I did. I did what I wanted with nary a thought to the future. I became complacent about where I was and where I might be going and this is the result. Stripped of everything and typing incessantly for no one to see. Lovely. At least I still have loud music, whiskey, and this markup. As much time as I have spent here during the past several years, the familiarity is all but gone. Just today my nephew visited and returned the truck and associated materials which I entrusted to him back in December. This is both good and bad. I cannot continue the project with any vigor because of my current entrenched status, but at least I can gaze as I did while in the cocoon. That has got to be worth something. I did it, despite where I am now. I fucking did it. I built it. A pile of metal of which to be proud. Just metal.

I am rambling without direction. Let me try to find cohesion.

The music is killing me without compassion.

You'll notice the timers below still counting. They are important. They provide me with limits. Limits to days, weeks, months, years, life. When I first attempted that type of script, the only timer was for Superheat. I will not go into that project in detail, but suffice to say I was attempting to create a puzzle for others to follow. In recent years, however, my desire to continue that quest burned out. It was to be a gathering at a location which had to be ascertained from clues derived from my writings. They were called 'Timelogs' and came across as quite cryptic despite being available to anyone. In the beginning, I was excited about the idea and worked feverishly toward something I believed others would enjoy. Throughout the following months, I lost the desire to continue due to a lack of interest. I am certain that when the date came to fruition I would have been standing there alone. Whatever. It was just an idea for fun. So the timer remains, and occasionally I update the goal so it continues to count. Call me whatever you wish... it was a good idea. Too bad almost no one sees this shit.

The music is fucking loud and directly in front of me. Of all the money I spent last year in search of joy and distraction, I should have acquired a pair of VMPS SuperTowers and an enormous Class-A amplifier. I don't need my ears, and that is a quality method of destroying them. Again... what-the-fuck-ever. Another joy I tossed away like so many precious moments.


Yes, VMPS Audio actually made those monsters. 84 inches tall and 175lbs per channel. This is how you alienate your neighbors (no matter how distant they may be).


Agalloch is still flowing from the speakers. Jesus, I remember so many days and nights with the headphones providing me with enough drive to move forward with my life. Now... ugh. I hear that majestic composition but the feelings are down. I used to mill around my apartment and attempt to decorate and get things organized and for the most part I did ok. I seem to remember much of this music guiding the assembly of my drafting table, patio furniture, and workbench. The thought is entertaining on at least that level. I also remember trying to diagnose crash-sensor issues within my Corvette in the middle of the night while listening to headphones.

Yeah, I had a car. Now I have a 29" long truck and a glass of whiskey. Yay.

"Stop sulking, Rick. Not everything needs to be retreaded such as you do."

"Fuck you. Leave me to my devices and holes."

"Wow, you certainly have a knack for reasoning your way through the tough times. You must be very proud."

"Fuck you."

"Quite the wordsmith, eh?"

"I'm something."

"You're many things."

"Yes, piles of things. Must you attempt to lift me? Do I do that to you?"

"Point your weapons elsewhere. You know from where I try. Retract that blade."

"Yeah. I know. So leave it already."



Where are we going? Who is to know.

The music keeps flowing and the keyboard still has battery. Let's go everywhere.

Another song of note: "Fire Above, Ice Below". Fucking awesome ending to this 10-minute epic. That's one good thing about not being in my apartment anymore... I can listen as it should be and no one complains. Something good from every change, right? Big change, small good. Yeah... we know.

This is no sort of life. At least the ending of the song moves me a bit.

I went outside to have a cigarette and saw the fog. It remains to the north and south, but not here. Ugh. I miss the fog hanging on my balcony. Now I don't have a balcony. Just another joy I took for granted which is now becoming distant.

1733. What does it matter? At least I have my truck. Perhaps it will help me in some small way. Facets illuminated, facets disregarded, facets I wish to remember and feel, facets gone. First, 1140 feet. Then 800 feet. Now 80 feet. Could this be representative of me? I do not know, but what I do know is that the outlook has diminished. 7.01% of what it was not long ago. But also... very long ago. Numbers help me to shove life into perspective. 7.01%. That is a loss. I am at a loss now, too. Typing, thinking, typing, thinking. Where does this bring me? Where do I land after such a flight through narrowing walls and confining thought? Who knows. Destination is but a word.

More, soon.


[07/10/2012 18:56 pdt]

Reading over this (despite the power and awe flowing from the drivers on my desk) I am realizing that I can't write worth a shit anymore.

Just a thought. Carry on.

[07/11/2012 22:05 pdt]

I have added some autosound articles (why? I know not.), and the link to that index is above. The section is not yet complete due to my going blind editing and formatting. Tedious work, that crap.

Anyway, the information there is expansive so perhaps it will prove helpful to someone... somewhere. Plus, I can access it from my phone and that can come in handy.

Also, the Clodmaster title has changed yet again. I think the original name is best. That section has seen some backend work to make way for future updates to the project. Now that I have the vehicle in my hands once again I can hopefully get somewhere. The steering control experiments from last year bore little fruit and that is hard to take. I worked on that programming and design for many years (albeit slowly) and to see my work shoved aside as a result of oversights is quite defeating. On the upside, I do have a couple of new ideas to explore so we'll see what develops. I can tell you that as I sit in this chair, I will not resort to a linear servo. I want my original plan to work and I know there is a way. It's out there... I just need to find it. No giving up.

old steering

The photo above shows the AC-powered test system I used to develop the steering control and communication via a microcomputer. To the right of the computer and stepper control is a small power supply I made in order to power everything. The regulated supply worked well, so that section is on track. Once I develop a method for communicating with a much faster processor, I can finalize the design and layout of the power supply and have the board manufactured. Until then, however, the system is going to look a bit haggard. Oh well... development is not always attractive. I'll get there.

Other sections of the site have also been updated to reflect the look and feel of the index. Keeping things aligned and formatted is very important to me. Even if I only have a handful of visitors per year, shit must look acceptable. I won't go into the fact that I am using a 9-year old editor. Heh.

More later, I would surmise.

[07/12/2012 10:43 pdt]

The autosound section is complete.

[07/17/2012 17:57 pdt]

The LaserDisc Legacy pages have seen some dramatic improvement during the past week. Several sections are complete and more are in the works. The amount of editing required is tremendous, but so far... so good. The LaserDisc "L" in the upper right of this index will take you to the new section, and subsequent pages within also carry the same link for ease of navigation.

In other news, more of the backend for the Nine homage and forum structure has also been completed and the preview pages are in place once again. Both are still a ways off, however, like a year or more. Everything takes so much time and I can only work so long on this stuff before needing a long break.

We'll get there.

The Clodmaster pages have been extended slightly to make room for steering and driveline details. Once again (after a year?) I've picked up pencil and paper to continue work on the steering. For the third time in as many years I have located equipment and technical information enough to head in the direction of yet another solution. My last work, which was displayed in video and photos on FB, was still in search of a method for using a stepper. Throughout the past week I have read extensively on the relationship between RC servos and actual servo motor controllers. From what I have learned, the conclusion is to use a closed-loop system just like an actual servo. The difference is speed... my goofball steering design needs multiple turns on the motor in order to swing the steering from lock to lock. This must be accomplished with the servo motor controller and its programming. The radio's wheel only turns roughly 170 degrees, so the controller's software needs to multiply the information from the receiver and spin the motor much further than a standard RC servo (and much more quickly). So far, everything I have researched is pointing me toward the use of a motor with encoder thus enabling the system to know position, speed and direction, and react accordingly. We'll see!

As for the driveline, the shafts I painstakingly designed and machined are mild steel... they are not protected from corrosion. After sitting for nearly 3 years since completion, they are crap. I did not keep up with cleaning the poor truck. As a result, I am opting to purchase some pre-made telescoping shafts with universals that can be mounted and forgotten. They are machined from two types of stainless steel so no worries about the effects of time. Unfortunately, I need to make bushings to mate the new shafts with the existing center and axle differentials. This is not going to be easy or cheap. Back in the day, I would grab some 6061 rod and spin a set off on the lathe in about an hour. Now, however, I need to be creative. Without spending excessive cash, they may end up ABS. That sucks, but the bushings will not be seen anyway. Also, the new shafts are very heavy - more than 3/4" in diameter. Yikes! As the truck sits right now... no motors, electronics, solar panels, or batteries... 19lbs. Oh, and no drive shafts either.

Oh well, I knew this vehicle would be heavy. I just need to avoid driving over my own feet ;-)

Hopefully soon I'll have some photos and more information regarding the steering project. Tune in... next time.

[07/21/2012 09:55 pdt]

My ear hurts.

Working day in and day out on this new stuff is fun, boring, exciting, tiring, frustrating, and wonderful. We shall get there. 

[Slight update regarding my use of the word 'we' in the context of these writings. In the past, I felt as a small group of people instead of one person. The way in which I see it, I am a designer, developer, engineer, and administrator of this site (as well as the past three others). In some of the past updates I referred to myself as 'we' and that included all of my hats. A few people were confused by this and back then I really didn't care. Now, however, I felt like explaining. The whole thing is quite simple, so 'we' shall get back to the flow.]

Small item... I removed the 'bold' from the index because the silver font coupled with bold seems to be making me dizzy. Too bright can be as bad as too dim. Also, redesign of the forum is proving difficult so I am going to put that on hold for the time being. The new ASP.NET work is taking nearly all of my computer time. No one can see the forum without a link, so no worries. I may send a link to a couple of individuals for the purpose of feedback once a few things are streamlined.


[Supplemental, 11:37 pdt]

For shits and grins, I made the Superheat section live once again. The concept has gone by the wayside in recent years but I do like the look and feel of the Timelogs. I created some cool images back then, too. Perhaps this will motivate me to continue the puzzle. We shall see.

[07/25/2012 12:04 pdt]

The new site is coming along nicely. All of the sections here are being migrated into .aspx form in order to work with the new master page. To align the master page with the type of index with which I am accustomed, the index here has been widened to 900 pixels. The rest of this site will remain as it is, however, because I have no wish to go through dozens of pages and realign. Producing this layout took time. Also, I may change the title image above to test run the new domain name and logo. The whole thing is much simpler and less distracting to the remaining content. Along the lines of the new site, all of the photos and gibberish to the left of this text have been removed. They were unnecessary and distracting. I have also recolored the left table cell to provide separation from this text cell. The counters have been removed and may show up on the new site.

This index has rarely looked anything near professional so every bit helps. Even the domain is questionable and will be changed to something more independently 'bloggish'.

Once I have much work completed on the site, I will begin the uphill battle of customizing the forum so it matches the look of the remainder of the site. I may even be able to place the entire forum within a master page. That would be lovely.

Working with Visual Studio is really easy. Of course, the program will do a million things I don't understand, but I'll get there. The fact that the application is free for those of us who are not in the industry just gives me a warm feeling from Microsoft. Thanks, people.

Later, gators.

[Supplemental, 14:01 pdt]

In addition to the changes outlined below, there is now a 'current time' script running next to the 'updated' section of the lower table. The time is not necessary, but I like it.

I have applied to AdSense via Google and should hear back from them within a week. If my application is approved, the ads will be displayed in a vertical orientation in the cell top to the left. There will be one ad space per selected pages. The new site enjoys a master page, making ad implementation MUCH simpler and very controllable. That will be nice.

Carry on...

[Supplemental, 16:42 pdt]

New title image, more reflective of the upcoming site migration and redesign. Also, I see that ads periodically appear to the left and bottom. My application has been partially approved pending the results of robot activity. This is happening much more quickly than I had anticipated and that makes me happy. Fortunately, this site is small when held against the grand scheme of things, and I believe that assists the robots in crawling the content.

More soon.

[07/26/2012 10:05 pdt]

Since working on the new site, I have decided to cease updating the Clodmaster content here. There are many months (I believe) between now and when I can publish the site, but it makes little sense to double my work. Plus, since the index here has been slightly redesigned, I would need to go back and align that section to match. I want to do this, but the work is tedious. Every single page has all of the elements which I changed here, and I need to modify all of them (17 pages, as of now). Perhaps if I become bored or need a distraction from the ASP.NET work I will dive in. The changes are easy, though, and that's a good thing (easy, but boring).

After working into the early morning, the Clod section of the new site is complete. I am still adding tidbits here and there for a uniform look, but the bulk of the work is done. Very cool.

Now I am on to the archives. They are all included in the new site, but I don't like some of the years being split up. I will combine some of the pages so that each year has its own space. This will leave a few of the archives with lengthy pages and I plan to add many 'top' bookmark links to ease in navigation.

[Supplemental, 15:15 pdt]

Ok, I am nuts. Yes, that is correct.

I am attempting my first 'copy to web' operation within MS Visual Web Developer. I don't know why, but I recently became compelled to transfer all files and materials to the web. Everything will be within this domain for the time being and there will be no links. I need to ensure that I understand the .NET Framework before publishing the site content to the new domain, and this seems like a good idea. Worst case, nothing operates or displays properly. That's not so bad, really. A file transfer is no big deal and there will be no ill effects to this site.

Soon... I will learn what I am doing right (and wrong).

Again... fingers crossed.

[Supplemental, 16:04 pdt]

Well, that is the end of that. For the time being, there will be no new site. I have learned that my hosting company does not support .NET 4.0, and this is why the ASP forms are not displaying correctly. Lovely.

I do not wish to pay for more than the space I am already using, and I have no wish whatsoever to switch hosts. For now, this site is it. I will continue to develop the new site and soon will purchase the domain, but as far as deploying... can't do it.

Wind gone from my development sails.


[07/30/2012 14:19 pdt]

I am now using Microsoft VWD for editing this site. Inspired by the ease of building the new site, I decided to open the entire development of this project within VWD to see how much the program might ease my writing woes. So far, I am finding many things easier and less time consuming to complete. Perhaps this will enable me to further align everything without pulling out more hair.

Also, I have chosen another domain and will be registering it shortly. The new name will not be revealed until deployment of the new framework. I will provide links here when the time comes.

[08/01/2012 22:50 pdt]

So, the old site is renewed. I have been working feverishly toward easing navigation and aligning all of the site content with the new index. This is tedious work but this endeavor has never looked better. In fact, using MS VWD to edit and update everything has helped me to realize that the new framework need not be deployed until the end of the year. This is because of the wondrous 'master' active server page. Allow me to explain...

The 'framed' look of this content is merely a complex set of tables. Much tweaking and head-scratching went into getting this two-column layout just the way I wanted it. The downside to this is updating at the end of the year or changing the look of the tables, title, title image, menu, or footer. These items are on every single page. Once we head into 2013, for example, I must edit the copyright date on each. Any change to the items mentioned previously must be carried throughout the entire site by hand.

vwd splash

With an ASP master page, all of that information is in one place, and each web form called to the browser accesses the master page. Thus, the aforementioned changeable content (constrained to a content placeholder) can be updated on one page and is subsequently carried to every other page. Plus, there can be as many master pages as necessary. Each discrete segment of the site can enjoy its own layout and design.

For some, this may be old news, but to me it is new and fantastic.

As of this writing, most of the site has been updated to reflect the pleasant layout you see here. I have changed the width of the frames, the dividing colors, and added that lovely 'accordion' menu located in the left cell, top. Thanks to Visual Studio, this has been much less time consuming than anything I attempted within FrontPage. Considering the hundreds of hours spent working on these details in the past, I am actually pleased.

That is no small task.

I wanted to wait until everything was finished, but I just had to put this down.

To be continued.

[08/03/2012 00:08 pdt]

My goddamned internet connection has been down since 0947 this morning (I guess that would be yesterday morning... whatever) and my mood has also been inaccessible to align with the state of the tech. Considering the amount of time I spend focused upon this medium, an inability to work within the production environment pretty much squashes my day. Fortunately, I have plenty of cigarettes and the iPhone solitaire is still operating.

What does this mean?

Well, I've been waiting all day to roll out the new FB comment box you see at the tail of this blog-a-rific page. Has the suspense been killing you too? I suppose not, but for me this is important - not the freakin comment box, but the freedom to deploy as I feel the need. Had I built the servers and ATM line back in the day, I likely would not be experiencing these issues now. Of course, without a self-supporting framework I could be even further into the poor house than my current standing. Oh well... one up, one down.

Anyway, the Clodmaster pages have seen further progress and the LaserDisc section is moving along nicely. That LD material is extensive (if out of date) and requires a ton of editing in order to align with the site design. I am getting there.

Did I mention how nice the new menu is? I love it. I still need to add a bit of navigation to the tail of each Clodmaster page, but for the most part the menu is operating and looking tidy.

More tomorrow.

[08/03/2012 17:36 pdt]

I just ousted the Facebook comment box for fear of this site becoming like all others. I cannot have that. Instead of FB, I have registered and displayed the Disqus comment/discussion interface. Their software is friendly, dynamic, fast, and attractive. Plus, it is easy to moderate which is important to someone like me. I do not need dipshits and spammers posting crap all over my well-thought-out journal entries. Besides, this little corner of the WWW is not terribly visible anyway. I believe this was a positive change. And, if I may employ a pun... the software works so well it is disqusting. Heh.

In other site-related news, the Clodmaster pages have the longest entry into the accordion menu. Because of this, I am going to eliminate the 20+ page links on the menu and leave them only in that section. From any other location on the site there will simply be a link to the first page. That menu is dynamic, and when it expands it can stretch the page considerably. This is only apparent on the shorter pages, but still it can be annoying. I certainly don't like it, and I am the freakin webmaster. The change in menu items will take some time, so please be patient. The new links to upper page numbers in that section are live now.

'Top' anchors have been added to the 2012 archive as it has become quite lengthy over the past month or so. I don't like to spin the mouse's scroll wheel incessantly while visiting a site and I am certainly not the only one. Those anchors make navigation much quicker.

For giggles (and plenty of them!) I have added a page full of nearly 500 images of Mozilla himself -- with every context possible. Back in the early days of this site, I was a huge fan of Netscape and their endeavors to ease the pain of crawling or browsing the world wide web. In order to show my appreciation for that company as well as the Mozilla foundation, I decided to build a section paying tribute. There was even an image of the lovely fountain in front of 501 Old Middlefield in Mountain View. Of course all of that is gone now, but I still have tons of information in the site folders with Mozilla in mind. If you'd like to see all the fun they had with his likeness, go find it.


In the past this site was the sorry receptacle for my thought processes, as the archives will attest. The journal here even predated my very expansive MySpace account. That blog was exceedingly long-winded, but did garner some very positive comments from many of my acquaintances there. I bring this up because on many an occasion most others could see that my writing was sharpest while my mood was down. I cannot disagree. The '03 and '04 archives display much of my ranting and only recently have I again headed in that direction. I am debating over whether or not to continue bitching in this fashion. I do understand that this site enjoys far fewer page views and a hideous bounce rate, but still... my opinion about matters other than the internet may need to remain elsewhere. I have been pondering this for some time now and I still have no conclusion as to whether or not I should continue. Although, the updates currently finding their way to this index are nearly all site-related. This must be boring as hell to visitors (visitors? where?). I am honestly on the fence about the whole subject.

I will keep thinking.

[08/04/2012 13:58 pdt]

I have decided that the individual Clodmaster page links will remain on the index and its own section, but I will remove them from all other pages. There is no need to navigate to a specific page from any other location.

Also, I have removed the old ICRA label, content, and link from the index. Apparently, in searching for an updated connection to that organization I have learned that it is now defunct. FOSI has replaced the original content rating system but I cannot afford to be a member. This is unfortunate because the ICRA is something I have always believed in. Oh well.

I have a slight headache.

Within yesterday's update, I mentioned using this space as a journal for things outside the scope of the site and related activities. I have decided that I will continue this practice for the time being. Separation of the site update and journal will be apparent. The font color will change and, as was displayed years ago, the text will be italicized. See below.

deep blue

"My mechanical watch is losing ~17 seconds per day. Not bad, considering the movement has not been regulated. Funny, the B-1 I used to enjoy on my wrist was accurate to roughly 5 seconds per month. That movement was not the 'SuperQuartz' as in the newer models, but still it was sharp for not being temperature compensated. For a mechanical movement, ~15 seconds per day is the norm. I do not know if this means that I fail to have quite the handle upon time as I once did, but somehow I feel connected to the clock. This seemingly endless progression of events fascinates me at times. Other times, not so much. One version: 'Time is the fire in which we burn'. Another: 'Time is a companion on our journey which reminds us to cherish every moment'. I know not which is true. Perhaps a combination of the two, or some other sort of horseshit. My degree in philosophy is in my other pants. There are a billion colloquialisms and cliches which apply to or otherwise involve time, but I do not like them. They seem quite simplistic and when employed can sound overly patronizing or resigning. Just... ugh to the nth.

This afternoon I have rearranged my little space so it more closely resembles my past apartment. This has been a thought for some weeks now but moving my big desk is not something to which I looked forward. In fact, it is still in the garage. Everything in here is ready but I have yet to summon any ambition to move that monster. Once finished, however, all will be worth it. In spades, actually. My (physical) comfort level in that living room was on high for quite some time. Here, it has been mostly absent. I can only sit in that wooden chair for so long. Plus, lately I have spent hundreds of hours in front of this editor and my ass is beginning to resemble a block of wood. Ouch."

[08/06/2012 11:23 pdt]

The site is unchanged...

"...and I am unthrilled.

I play solitaire on the iPhone incessantly, and for days. After working within this editor I need an occasional break from the display, so I periodically go to the garage to have a cigarette. While sitting out there I play solitaire. I play and play. Usually the game is configured for Vegas scoring, draw 1 card, and the scoring is cumulative. After many games I have begun to notice a trend... a few dollars up and many dollars down. Right now my score is roughly $2600 in the red. Winning the game awards just over $200, but that happens rarely enough to keep my score down. This trend seems to match my life for the past 2 years or so. a tiny bit up, and then very far down. It does not stop. I keep playing solitaire, I keep living life, but the pattern for either does not change. And I am not referring solely to finances. I am referring to everything.

broken window

My decision making and coping skills are not what I would like them to be. I try, but fail. I wish things were different. Sitting here... I see where I was and cannot believe where I am. I know not why, but I am here. I do not wish to be here, either. Of course, I am not stupid... I realize my actions at the time that they occur, I know that this causes this and that may cause that and when I went in that direction I was turning my back on this direction and when I threw that key into the sewer and closed the door behind me there was no going through it again. Convoluted? No... just many things in one sentence. Many things in my head, so they pile up sometimes. They pile up quickly.They pile like air molecules amassing in front of a fast-moving object. The light bends and things look odd. Ablation begins to occur. The cap of gases obscures things on the far side of the event. Material becomes superheated and burns away. At the tail end, recombination leaves a trail of light, which fades as quickly as the once productive thoughts which began the piling in the first place. Then... impact. The material is liquefied, heated, destroyed.

Gone.                 Blackness.                Done.

I suppose at times my thoughts are capable of racing at 1138ft/S. The temperature must be in the neighborhood of 20C. Whatever. Why all the numbers? I don't know. And they don't matter. And no one gives a shit whether they are included or not. And the day will not change because of them. And they don't help illustrate whatever my point was. I just keep babbling. I guess sometimes the numbers help me because they are referencing something I am certain about. Call it scientific, call it paranoid, call it what you may. They are familiar and there is comfort within the familiar. The arcane nature of the knowledge that I retain helps me at times.

'If you always see the road ahead of you, it's not worth the trip.'
-- Durante degli Alighieri

Just as sitting in front of this infernal (yet wonderful) editor, those numbers that fly through my head from one millisecond to the next bring me the feeling of security. And believe me... I need it. Those feelings are helpful... I think. I hope. Perhaps. Maybe they are a defense mechanism against fear. That seems simple enough and I suppose many people go through a similar process. Television, 'comfort' food, the inside of the car, the warmth of the bed, a cup of coffee in the morning. Just things. Simple everyday things. Apparently, the only things I have anymore. Everything else has been pushed away by none other. Pushed, forced, graded, bulldozed, scraped, heaped and dumped like so much dirt. But they weren't dirt... they were 'things'. Important things? Oh, hell yes. The most important, they were. Yes, were. Shit crap damn fuck. Ok... I will refrain from sliding down the muddy hill and attempt to remain lucid and analytical. Or, at least fairly coherent. Like a laser. Coherent. And a laser manufacturer. Coherent. Collimated. Focused? No... just collimated. Perhaps a 900mJ pulse right in the iris. Yikes. Maybe even that lovely green wavelength. I don't remember the number... was it 670nm? Doesn't matter. Let's just say green. They told us to avoid looking at the green if there were light leaks in the curtain. Very dangerous to the eyes, that power. The problem is, the color and luminance are really beautiful. One cannot help but glance. I was a smarty pants about it, however. Wearing the safety goggles which block the wavelength of the laser makes it nearly invisible to the eye. All that remains is a bit discolored glow. Realizing this, I opted to use my camera to shoot still images and video as the laser activities progressed. That way I could be in there... right in the work area beyond the alarms and barriers... and seeing the laser via the display on the back of the camera. That was cool. Dangerous, but cool.

Um... how did I get into laser safety? I'm all over the place this morning. This happens all too often while writing a journal when I should be working on the site itself. I get involved with something and my mind begins to wander and then the freaking font changes and I babble. Sometimes quite a lot. Tons. Reams. Piles. Truckloads. Maybe I should order a pizza? I don't know. Comfort food again? Whatever. I'll be sitting here anyway -- might as well eat. Maybe some rice to go with my tea. Hmm.

Perhaps I can shed some light on the subject with these lovely fluorescents:


And my thoughts are fragmenting a bit. Bear with me. Maybe the subtitle on the top image should read 'a personal tragedy'. Heh. Not that funny, really. That word can be harsh sometimes. Perhaps 'journey' is better. I suppose.

This display is too small. I need a 46-inch in order to accomplish what I wish. Once I get the big desk in here it might look better. I don't know. I used to work on an 18-inch display and it was plenty. Now, I sit here and write code, edit images, watch streaming HD content, and interface with the production environment... simultaneously. What a change. Just the editor takes up a crapload of space on the display. Onward and upward with the computer, I guess.

system failure2

This afternoon the sun is shining again. I wish the fog would return. Sunshine is something which I have had in abundance for many, many years. I do not need any more of it. The tourists and worshipers may keep it to themselves (and carry it with them when they leave this area). I am sick of the sun. It does nothing for me (nor does anything else, for that matter). I need snow. Lots of it. The type of cold which I prefer tends to simplify everything related to life. It bites and hurts, and that causes people to lose focus with whatever else is going on. All they can conceive of is finding warmth and comfort. People cannot bite back and end up at the mercy of weather. Not monsters, not other people, not war, but just the weather. Winter can do that, and easily.

None. Of. That. Here. However.


I am detached from comfort, completely. The desk will help, the editor helps, the Star Trek helps, but in the end they are but distraction. Inside? Very bad.

Nothing good whatsoever."

[08/06/2012 17:42 pdt]

The site is still unchanged, aside from moving the bumped blog to the archive. Keeping the index short helps with access times for visitors (if there are any). The 12-second rule from 2002 has become the 6-second rule as of 2011. Since there is little useful information here, I cannot honestly expect many page views, and the bounce rate is still over 71%. That is to be expected for a small, personal site with no pushing. Hopefully, once I do have things in order for the discussion community the site promotion will change the above numbers. We shall see where the future takes us.

"The perpetual thought that I have ruined too many wonderful things and negatively affected too many souls has spawned a brief conversation with a voice from the internet industry. This has helped me to realize that this type of outlet is a good thing most of the time. Description, exposition, perspicuousness, and protraction of my thoughts are all important. I will continue this until either the domain cannot be renewed or the computer dies, whichever comes first. In the past I enjoyed the expansive and very friendly blog interface of MySpace as well as the broadcast-dependent status and note aspects of Facebook. The MS blog was a wonderful thing because no one who read my material actually knew me IRL. As for FB, that is another story. I will refrain from commenting on the pitfalls of that outlet. The positive is apparent: those who knew me in person could speak to me in person, and there were a few kind souls that truly cared enough to comment and/or contact me about my writing. Unfortunately, from here forward this is it (also... fortunately). Since I own this space, I do not have worry over content, restrictions... anything. My drivel shall continue without limit. This is mine.

Fuck, I am nearly out of cigarettes and no access to a car. I guess I'll have to walk for my vice.

On the miniscule upside, I finally dragged my desk from the garage so now my physical comfort is up a notch. Seeing as everything else in my life slid into the city sewer, I need this."

[Continued, 08/07/2012 15:52 pdt]

"This morning I took the bus to Bart in Daly City, then the train down to SSF to visit a friend in the hospital. That was ok until I wished to leave. I realized I only brought two bus tokens with me and my Bart ticket was $1.00 short of the minimum to enter the station. So, off to the ATM in the hospital lobby only to learn that my card has $2.13 available. Lovely. Of course, I still had the one bus token in my pocket which meant a walk to Colma Bart from SSF. One hour later, I caught the bus and nearly one hour after that I arrived home feeling like an idiot. Whatever. I don't expect much anymore so I am never disappointed."

[08/20/2012 03:31 pdt]

There has not been much going on here aside from the occasional backend scripting and debugging. This is hardly exciting. I did notice that the link to the site terms of use was leading visitors to the nonexistent forum, so that is now repaired. Hopefully the menu on other pages does not reflect the error. Right now I am too lazy to look through them.

I have been working almost constantly on the electronics for the truck. The schematic and board which have been displayed in the Clodmaster section are now obsolete as a result of extensive rework. The system is now a tad more complex but should work well. Both the controller and receiver will be mounted to the PC board and that will keep the chassis wiring to a minimum. Plus, the motor's header can plug directly into the board. That is something I have planned from the beginning, but this new motor went one step further thanks to the encoder and power wiring sharing the same connector. Very nice. I was also able to oust the two large regulators and open up space for a better power supply. None of the channels needs to supply more than about 3 amps so those huge transistors are unnecessary. Thanks to the gained real estate on the power end of the board, each regulator now enjoys a more solid design. In addition to these changes, I added a voltage display selector with its own readout, and an overall voltage monitor for the incoming battery level. All of the bells and whistles do eat up power, so I tossed in a keyswitch which kills everything except the motor controller and one relay. Once all of the supplies are calibrated, I can flip that key and operate the truck without an excess of drain.

As for ordering the boards themselves (minimum of 2, which is probably a good thing), I hesitate more and more these days. The importance of everything operating properly cannot be overstated. With wiring, changes are easy and straightforward. With a PC board, on the other hand, changes are all but impossible. Once those traces are in place, every bet is null. The idea of using a board for the electronics keeps everything neat and organized, but the downsides are cost and mistakes. If anything is mistraced, missing, or amiss, the system will not function and the board may as well be a decoration. The cost is high and everything must be perfect. This is the main reason why I have so much time invested in rework and crosschecking. The schematic does not lie.

"My arm has been aching for many days. In the beginning I calculated that a nerve was pinched or otherwise harmed and affecting the feeling in my upper back and arm. I am no doctor, but that seems the case. Some days just typing on this keyboard can drive me to tears. The only things which seem to bring any relief are either lying nearly flat with my arm at the side, or standing with my arm slung over my head. This sounds ridiculous, I realize, but right now it is the way of things. I can wait it out. I am a master of waiting (not by choice).

My right eye is watering... for days now. I know not why.

Last night I created a huge composite image of the PC board. It looks really nice because of the flexibility of the software. I took a screen capture of each layer -- and one of all layers together -- and placed them side-by-side on a white background. The whole thing looks sharp and colorful. Once I order the board the plan is to have the image printed so I can hang it on the wall. I may add a cap of the schematic, too. After all of the work over many years, I don't think displaying the beauty of the design is out of order. When I see the work, I feel pride... lots of pride. As fucked up as I can be in this life, some good things are still evident. Like my technical and detail-oriented nature and the way I can create beautiful and fascinating things.



Is that not lovely? Yes, I put a bit of copyright information below the logo, but I think that's a good idea considering how much effort went into this thing. I have been told that placing my name on the board is vain, but I disagree. It's mine... from the ideas to the execution. All mine.

These days are not easy... none of them. Many moments find my mind wandering to matters of the heart and those moments are crippling. Reminders are everywhere and cannot be avoided. They look at me, follow me, call to me, hurt me. Once in a great while they make me smile. I am aslant. Between the pain in my arm and the pain in my heart, I have no idea how I am able to keep this markup flowing without falling. I just don't know. In the past when things went downhill I would go on a tirade here, ranting, raving, bitching, swearing, and exhibiting all manner of crap-itude. For the most part I have avoided this type of behavior since the remodel. Yes, there are a few updates that are questionable, but they are the exception. Hopefully I won't go off the deep end anytime soon (or at all). Time will tell.

For now, I will keep to the technical activities. They are all I have anymore."

[08/21/2012 20:53 pdt]

Site? Unchanged. Me? Unmotivated. The markup? Peachy.

I am actually considering tossing this web space to the curb and going full-tilt toward the ASP.NET configuration. I mean, geez... the site is mostly built and just sitting there, and the domain is waiting to be reserved by anyone. I should take advantage of its availability while the going is smooth and my info is very 'whois'. Heh.

I must admit that I have been hoping to see the new title up there but so far it's only on my computer. The development server allows me to fully operate the site while remaining outside the production environment and I must say it does look and work well. Those active server pages are the shiznit. Maybe soon I will find the ambition to move my work into the public eye. Right now, I just don't know if I can get it out there.

One other site-related tidbit... I have been looking over the old 'trailer design' section which once graced, and I am actually considering returning that content to the web. There is a ton of work there and to see it just fall by the wayside is sad. All those drawings...

There is one other smidgen: I am trying to develop some semblance of a mobile-friendly site. When I access this mess from my iPhone it is difficult to read and navigate. Ultimately, the main content of this endeavor will be discussion, and if visitors can access all features via a mobile platform, perhaps they will stay a while. Right now, there are only the infantile beginnings, but I'll get there.

"Step through.

After witnessing the spectacle that is 'Inception' for the second time in as many days, I am floored. The closing sequence absolutely kills me to no end. It is beautiful, haunting, moving, cathartic, and sad. I watch and listen over and over and I am in awe of Nolan's narrative skill. He pulled me in two years ago and I am being poured ever deeper into that world. It is alien to me, completely. I love it and desire it, but can never be there. Not me... perhaps others, but not me at all. That door is closed (fucking slammed).

So... why do I continue to immerse myself into the score? I do not know. Best guess... I need it on some level which I will likely never understand. The return which Cobb enjoys is something beyond this earth for yours truly. I can only dream of reentering the space which for a time provided me so much comfort. That was where I belonged. Now I am on the outside, and there can be no return. Cobb's return (for whatever reason... maybe coupled with the music it just struck) is really beautiful. Of course, the film is not about that whole storyline. It is merely a subplot device but one which quickly aligned with my recent thought processes. Truly. The whole situation is one of those fantastic cosmic lines which is not to be broken, but ends up crossed by some errant meteor whose path was altered by other-than-cosmic forces... all the while an unintelligible dialog can be heard emanating from somewhere beyond. Cosmic lines are beyond repair.

I need a larger computer display. The one in front of me should be secondary. I do have the room for more, so perhaps in the next few months I can expand. The freakin printer is enormous and imposing on the desk, but the connection is wireless so it can move elsewhere (like the damned closet). Or, just duplicating the display I now use might do the trick. Side-by-side windows are nice.

Is this font too dark? I don't care. The font is as light as my mood.

I wish the damned fog would stop teasing and just envelope this area. Sunshine is not on the menu for our author. Sunshine makes things grow and provides warmth and vitamins, but I am fairly certain that my decades in the flame have excessed my body's solar account in the extreme. Plus, I just don't like it at all anymore. If I were a person with some decent resources, the northern coast of Ireland would at this moment be viewable out my window. Or perhaps Nome. Although, I do not believe a temperature above 10C has ever been recorded in Nome. Costly heating, I would imagine. Funny, I mentioned 'decent' resources bringing me to the foggy Ire. More resources would find me on the ass end of a sailing yacht in the Mediterranean. Funny? Yeah... Backwards? Oh yes...

Yachts have air conditioning.


All day long I have been sitting... thinking... dreaming... of... something. This situation reminds me of Michigan, one summer in the mid '90s. I remember watching the Championships at Wimbledon on television while sitting and drawing floorplans and boats. I would dream of being aboard a large (read: enormous) blue-water sailing yacht far from the dull humidity and dreary outlook I held then. The dreaming was vivid. I could feel the breeze, hear the rigging and mainsail, and taste the cool cocktails flowing from the galley. Of course, those yachts are imposing, and resting oneself upon the aft lounge can leave quite the distance from the surface of the sea. Very detached, that feeling. Even the freaking tender is well over forty feet in length at the water line. Despite being so far from the water, there are always methods for connecting to it. On a motoryacht, for example, one can extend a hydraulic platform to facilitate an afternoon swim...


Yes, that is a sliding glass door leading out of the yacht. To give you an idea of scale, see the platform on the starboard side of the yacht below:


Days and days I would picture myself within the vast spaces of a vessel such as either of those above. They were dreams of escape, isolation, comfort, and security. I suppose that type of feeling can be related to owning a home in the locale of one's choice. For myself, a home up high on a mountain or within an enormous patch of tundra would be similar. Everyone has their own idea of where they would be if resources permitted, and the yacht is my idea. At my place of work (while living in Michigan), there were conversations between myself and a coworker regarding those giant boats. The consensus was that we both wished for it. Just to get the hell out of a slow, tedious, and confining lifestyle. That was the draw... it is the draw. It is also part of the reason for my being crippled due to leaving my apartment behind. The home I created there had much more than I can put into words -- more of a feeling than I can describe. The image in my mind of the yacht is similar, even though I have not been there or experienced such a space. I know... I just KNOW of the parallels. I know them all the way through my being. There is a cliche here, but I will refrain from typing it. Probably more than one.

I am sitting here, keyboard across my lap, DS9 speaking to me from the upper right of the (too small) display, beer to my right on the (way oversized) desk, two cats at my feet, truck looking at me from the table, and tower humming in the corner. I am sitting... feeling those feelings, desiring those locales, remembering those moments of the past. I sit.

I just sit.

Where will I be tomorrow? What is to be next? Um... the same. Much of it.

Step through."

[08/22/2012 14:59 pdt]

I don't know how long this mobile platform crap is going to require for development, so in the meantime I removed the stupid redirect. The main issue with mobile access was the accordion menu in the left cell. On my phone, it did not function properly. After perusing information on javascript, I noticed that the language identifier in the opening tag was incorrect. I repaired the tag and now everything works as it should. So, the wait for a mobile-friendly site need not be a pain.

Is anyone reading this? The site average bounce rate is over 51%, which is better than the past couple of months, but still hideous. I suppose this tiny virtual space is akin to...

"...this tiny physical space in which I now rest. Some part of me continues to wait for something to happen, but the wait seems to be for naught. (And, don't give me any shit about 'waiting' for things to happen as opposed to 'making' them happen. I will not listen to that anymore. While some aspects of life are the results of actions, others seem to be arguably in the cosmos.) I continue to wait. I excel at such. My preoccupation with any type of return keeps me down and forces inward sight like never before, and to dream of the return or the step-through becomes arduous quite often. Daily? No... hourly. Minutely? Is that a word? Who cares. The word fits.

Fits. Fit. Maybe I should throw a fit. Will it help? Again... who cares. If I am truly losing my mind, will anyone notice the distinction between the now me and the then me? Has the now me already experienced some flavor of breakdown? Am I nuts? Maybe that is too technical. Cuckoo? Looney? No... looney relates to lunatic which stems from luna which means something like 'one who becomes unhinged during full or near-full moon nights. Perhaps the word should just be unhinged. Whatever. For the third time now... who cares? I don't. Plus, out of 114 visitors to this site I am roughly 109, so any answer is not forthcoming. None of this matters, least of all my blathering about it. At least I recognize that. Some do not. Of course, I can be reckless too. Often I have blathered my crap on FB and should not have done that. My words should remain here, and from now forward they will do just that. The occasional inspiring photos and links will wind up on the broadcast, but the text stays here.

Just step through.

Step the fuck through already.

system failure

I think my truck schematic and board design are done for the time being. I worked much on those and the next step is to breadboard the circuits one at a time and ensure there are no issues. After that, I will order the boards and plunge into soldering hell. That will be a lot of effort but I am looking forward to the whole thing. Just another step in the evolution of my Zen project. The lack of work on the site lately coincides with electronics work and since I have reached a big step with that... here I am back on the site. The old site, but it's better than nothing.

Working within VWD makes me feel important on some level, and that is something which seldom happens. In the past I have grated against the idea of being a nobody (in my mind) and written extensively on the subject. The exploration was often a catharsis of sorts, so I just kept writing, both on paper and virtually. I also love this keyboard. At least part of the reason for so much blogging is the comfort of the keys and the subdued soft clicks I hear as I type. I love to type and this K750 is the best. The keyboard is thin enough to be completely comfortable either on the desk or on my lap, and despite the thin construction, the keys still have a very solid feel. So I sit here and type on and on about whatever is going through my head. There are times when I hold back a bit, but for the most part my thoughts are here. I just keep typing the day away. My incessant babbling nature can come to an end, however... if people would just click the donate button I could shake the dust off my shoes, shut the fuck up, and haul ass. Such a plan will take quite a crapload of cash so it is going to take time. I estimate roughly 770 years. By then I will be able to sit where I wish and speak to a larger audience. And the web editor might need an upgrade before then. Heh.

Step through."

To 2013

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