Friday, September 30, 2005


Ugh... Feeling crappy today...

Caught up on some sleep through most of the day today...
And now I'm feeling crappy. Probably the home cooked hamburgers. :s

Ah well... I also offered to chip in a bit more with the internship tomorrow. Hopefully I'll feel a bit better by then.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005


Why the concept of the flying car is a dumb idea

This is a pretty simple point to make and it goes like this:
Do you want the same people who can't drive worth a squat with the current technology operating vehicles that fly?

That pretty much sums it up. As much as I'd like to have a flying car myself, the last thing I want is some jackass crashing into my dwelling with one. :p

Monday, September 26, 2005


No Optio 33LF hacks yet... (I'm still waiting)

Ahh... But the quest to find one continues... Someday, somebody with enough spare time will have the answer...

It's a good little camera, but it just lacks a few things...

Things I'd like to see in a firmware hack for the Optio:

That's all a hack for an Optio would have to do. Now if only there was someone willing to figure out the firmware for the thing and spruce it up a bit...

I guess I'll google every now and then and keep my fingers crossed.

Sunday, September 25, 2005


My freebies are still up...

Anyone who's been on the web long enough may have seen my name in other places before. One of the places is at a site that contains a lot of useful info on 3D rendering with Bryce and Wings3d. The guy who runs the place made a boo-boo when housecleaning, but all my stuff made it through alright. So it's all good.

Also testing to see if this banner of mine works here...

If it pulls too much bandwith, I'll just take it down.

Word Verication Now Enabled
The other thing is that I'm enabling word verification on my comments here, so only legit comments by people and not bots can post. Sorry if the extra step is a pain, but considering the current amount of interest in my blog and comments - I doubt this is really a problem. I just don't like spammers gumming up the works of my blog's feedback system.

Thursday, September 22, 2005


People probably think I've lost my marbles...

...Well provided that someone actually reads this. :)

Anyhow I'm a creative sort, and I think I can get away with that at times. So no big deal there.
Finished the Flash MX class at school, Typography, and Design III... Oh yeah and some literature class... Ooops. There was a literature class? D'oh!

Anyhow the classes which I did focus on I pwned (as the l33t would say.) Especially flash, considering that the subject wasn't the teacher's main area of expertise and I learned what I did via studying from forums such as, Albino Black Sheep, and Not to mention a handy book published by Peachpit Press in addition to the book required for the class.

Also I posted a lengthy comment in regards to time travel a few days back on another blog. (Which I found via an interesting show on Coast to Coast AM. Yep, I'm a night owl.) I wonder if that'll bring anyone here. :) Yeah, I think warping space just might be feasable. Probably for a lot less expense and energy than what most people assume is necessary. It seems few people give the human tenacity for creative solutions enough credit sometimes...

Something else to ponder... Wouldn't it be great if in an alternate dimension Nicola Tesla and Granville Woods managed to team up. I could picture them chasing Edison around a laboratory while carrying hand crank powered tasers. LOL!

On another point... What's up with people who decide to take a shortcut over train tracks if they're too damn scared to drive over train tracks? (Seems like an opportune time to quote Carlos Mencia - "Re-Taaaard-Ded!") My car can make it over the same crossing just fine at speed, and it rides lower to the ground than this other person's car. Wtf is their reason for crawling to a near stop? Anyhow I suppose they're lucky my vehicle doesn't have Canadian Pacific painted on the side. :P

Saturday, September 17, 2005


Something seems odd...

Seems odd to see a lone F-18 Hornet flying out of Waukegan airport when there's no airshow going on. Dunno if it's doing flybys for pass and review at Great Lakes or not. Hmm... Just something to note at the moment. Maybe I'll go get some pics tomorrow if it's still around.

What else could it be doing here?

Usually around here it's the coast guard choppers that make a regular appearance, but that's understandable because of Lake Michigan being nearby.

Friday, September 16, 2005


Does anyone actually read this crap?

I figure nobody reads this stuff, so I'll go ahead and post something slightly controversial. It might be fun material for those who do RPG such as "car wars" or whatever...

The scenario: A big rock comes and smashes the planet to hell. Chaos ensues. Factions form and all that jazz. There's the ongoing thuggery (anarchists, militants, etc.), and then there's the authoritarians (bureaucrats, theocrats, dictators, etc.), and then there's everyone else (those who care less about power and just want to get by). Then of course in some situations it's hard to tell who's the thug and who's the gestapo, not that it matters if you're not in favor of either (or if they don't like you.) So then what?

Obviously there's going to be some hybrid relationship between what seems like medieval and modern technology. After a large cataclyzm, most resources are going to hell. (obviously) Sorta "Mad Max" style, but fuel will even be more scarce (well at least the petroleum kind). The human ability to adapt to such a crisis will probably yield something far more interesting than what could be thought of in fiction. In some parts of the world, the impact of a cataclsymic natural disaster on humanity might even be negligable. (If not directly hit, people in more "primitive" cultures are likely to go on as usual - provided food stays reliable.)

To survive in such a world there's going to be a need for technology regardless. The more you can scavenge and put to use the better.

Tools for hunting (or ranged weapons):
Firearms: Obviously the thugs and the "police" are going to go for these things early on after all hell breaks loose. If you happen to have them, conserve them. Use them only as needed and as survival would dictate. Don't go starting anything that will come back to get you.
The alternative to firearms: mechanical projectile weapons. Slings, bows and arrows, etc. Simple, crude, and more effective than not. Unlike firearms, ammo can be reused. Or in the form of material easily found lying around. There was a reason the natives still used arrows, even when they had guns. Stealth is an advantage to the old technology.
Skills to learn: bowery, fletching, and archery. Primitive, yet effective.
Recomended items to learn to use/craft: the simple sling - it's a freakin' piece of cloth.
Better item to craft: composite bow - made of three pieces held together by glue and wrappings, generally more powerful for given size and possibly less skill needed for manufacture than a single piece bow.

Transport: if you've got gas after everything falls apart, that's great. Use it, but don't waste it. It's a limited commodity. Alternative fuels will be a necessity rather than a novelty. Those who wish to be mobile will have to look towards alcohol and biofuels. For some larger scale vehicles, don't overlook the comeback of steam or wind power. It wouldn't be too suprising if horses make a comeback, and perhaps bicycles - not cars are king. Aircraft will be seen less often. Turbines should be easily adaptable to some bio fuels, but their overall rate of consumption will be the main factor when it comes to flying. Airships and gliders may see more usage than powered craft, but in a tecnically depreciated world it's questionable as to how practical they may be.

Useful skills: being a lawyer or an accountant won't count for much if people are on the verge of starving or otherwise not being able to get by. You could shyster somebody out of their money, but when it comes to food and whatnot, don't be suprised if such methods get you whacked. (Although if society stabilizes somewhat, arbitration might be a useful secondary skill. At least until what we know as modern civilization makes a comeback.) Useful skills in a post apocalyptic world will be those related to being able to produce food, produce tools, and produce shelter. Service related skills may still exist as well, but in a more limited fashion. Also don't underestimate artistry, as it also documents the ongoing culture and often outlasts the civilization that produces it. The medical practices will still be vital, but low-tech paramedic type skills will be more applicable than technology-heavy specializations. (So if you brake a leg you're likely to get through it, but if you have a heart attack you're probably screwed.)

Shelter: build whatever suits the environment. It could be a tent. A lean-to with mosquito netting. An underground bunker... Who knows what the situation will be if all known order and infrastructure is lost. The typical suburbian "victorian" house probably won't be the best adaptation if supporting infrastructure such as electricity and fuel are gone. (Think no A/C and no heat.) Designs using natural heat control and ventilation will work the best.

Food: hunting and fishing are good to know. Probably necessary if you're to survive on a mobile basis. Gardening and similar related agrarian skills are better if you're settled down. Being able to produce specialties will provide bartering benefits. (Although such items might not be considered much on a short term survival basis.)

Water: rain is potable in most instances, keeping it clean after collection is the trick. Being near a body of fresh water is also good. Learning how to distill and filter water will be a valued skill set. In a low energy environment with scarce fresh water, knowing how to build a crude yet relaible vacuum distiller might not be a bad idea. Think solar.

Energy: There's always batteries. It's probably unlikely that this technology will be lost at this point. (unless science really goes to crap.) Internal combustion will take a less predominant role in the long term. Solar-electric will probably go to the wayside, because of the intensive nature of its production. Solar will be used for heating, and probably heat driven energy systems. The real winner in this case are sites with available wind and hydro energy. It wins because of its crudeness. All you need is some coated wire, some magnets, and a means to get something to spin. If you have that, electricity is yours.

Fighting... Provided you don't get along with someone, or worse yet they try to kill you - knowing ways to fight will be good. Especially when it comes to ultimate survival.
First of all: know when to choose your fight. Getting killed for some stupid cause is pointless when day to day survival is an issue. Then there's the asymetric fighting that military planners talk about these days. Haves vs. havenots... Remember, those who rush to the guns first when all hell breaks loose are probably not always the nicest bunch. Knowing how to keep your ground without such weapons is the trick to dealing with those who have them. So what are some things to know?
Chemistry: yep, the science derived from the ancient art of alchemy has explosive potential. Catalyst/oxygenator + fuel usually goes boom. Odds are good that plenty of pre-cataclsymatic leftovers will be around for those who know their stuff. Such chemicals found in kitchens, laundry rooms, and garages everywhere.
Metallurgy: if you can weld, forge, or hammer something useful - that's always good in a Mad-max type scenario.
Even without full metallurgy knowhow - some common sense is useful... On quick notice, most people will go to kitchen knives. Good for food, but as weapons go - they're likely to fail when it gets down and dirty. Garden tool are better. Best will probably be the blade scavenged from a lawn mower. If cut right - it could produce two crude short-swords or machetes. Think about it - the damn thing can hit a rock and not break while spinning around 2500 RPM... Try that kind of force with your kitchen knife - you should get the idea. Other oddball things for skirmishing against potentially better equipped opponents: the buried scorpion. Now you're thinking what friggin' good is that, or what the hell is it? Well, the Romans had some ol' ballista-type siege weapon called the scorpion. Now if you're hassled or being raided with somebody with heavy vehicles - this might be handy provided you're able to build it. Weight triggers it, a metal bolt shoots upward. If you have heavy lumber or metal structures to scavenge from it might not be a bad idea if chemistry isn't your forte. Clock-rockets: a nasty twist on a relatively simple weapon. Simple unguided explosive projectiles fired by a timer device. If your enemy is fairly predictable, this could work. Not only that, but you could use this to effectively direct return fire. (Preferably after you're long gone from the area.) If you have two adversaries that also don't like each other - clock rockets could start them doing your dirty work for you. Rope with claws: simply a really heavy piece of rope with metal claws on each end. Used against vehicles, probably against those which you'd want to capture mostly intact. Even opponents with run-flat technology can be caught with this crude device. The claws get stuck in the wheels/tires and then the rope starts winding up. Eventually the middle of the rope draws tight on some driveline component - stopping or breaking the vehicle.
Martial arts are always good for defense in a world bent on survival. Knowing some form is always good, and many good technices have been developed all over the world. However techniques from past asia probably rank higher due to being able to improvise use of common implements rather than more specialized weapons.

Heh... But fighting is generally more of a pain in the ass than it's worth in most cases. Hopefully survivors should figure that getting along is better. Don't use that as an excuse for being pushed around haplessly, but do consider the advantages. Communication technology should be scavanged from whatever possible. (A typical geek will probably be capable of making some form of wind generator if it'll keep the computer going when other power starts running thin.) Trade is always good when possible and will lead to a faster resumption of technical development and stable civilization. Then there's also some opportunity to start from scratch in such cases and develop beyond the current archetype to a free-energy civilization (less fighting over resources, thus less of the typical related stupidity.)

Remember this is just an overview, and it doesn't tell everything or what exactly to expect if somehow people survive a giant space rock or similar catastrophe. (Hell, who knows? Maybe little space men could show up or something stupid like that.) But in case the "big one" ever does show up, you can get a general idea of what to do... Other than that, try not to be too paranoid or whatever. Keep things in mind, do your own research, don't be afraid to consider "What if?" 'Tis better to be prepared than be caught with your pants down.

Yeah, I guess I'm bored again.

Now if this gets a comment or something, I'll be suprised.

Thursday, September 15, 2005


Actionscript AAAAARRRRG!

Yikes! Actionscript is perplexing, even if it looks alot like javascript.

Anyhow I wrote some code for an animation I was doing. Basically when an animated movieclip posing as a button goes through a mouseover, it's supposed to play a sound. Then when the mouse moves out it's supposed to stop that specific sound. The thing is that it just doesn't want to cooperate. So yeah, I go a bit crazy. Then I just go "screw it. I've got other things to worry about."

Well this is what it looks like (provided my memory is good 'nuf):

on (dragOver, moveOver) {
some_sound = new Sound ();
some_sound.attachsound ("whatever");
some_sound.start ();
on (dragOut, moveOut) {

So specifially it's supposed to kill the sound being played by some_sound. But what it's doing is the action that seems to be what StopAllSounds is supposed to do. Arrrgh!
I don't want the ambient music or whatever to stop, just the noise that the button makes.
Yep, I'm confused.

Friday, September 09, 2005


Blue Bunny Twist O' Fate RoxX0Rz!

If anyone hasn't had a chance to try that particular chocolate and peanut butter ice cream combo, they really should. That stuff is mmmmmmmmmmmm... Shall we say good? :)

Well you should try it unless you're allergic to peanuts, in which case you'll break out in hives and fall to the floor writhing in agony. But for those who aren't allergic - it's something to look for.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005


(How's my driving?) Your driving sucks!

Anyone who knows who was just driving the comcast truck with the sticker #CC0740 that says "How's my driving?" Well, tell 'im it sucks. 4 turns, two of which were for a left. No signal at all for any. How about that for your driving. Heh... I'm gonna let 'em know too. Hahaha!

Saturday, September 03, 2005


Is there intelligent life out there? (in space that is)

If there is, people could use your help right now. (Provided you have the means to get here.) It's not exactly good to leave a planet to the whims of some asinine rich people who don't care much about others and the planet they live on. Even if this place is some kind of quarantine or whatever, it's not right to let a few rotten apples spoil the whole thing. Meh...

If you're smart enough to get here, reading the net should be easy enough. You should know what's going on. I'm calling you out.

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