Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Astronomy is an amazing pseudo-science.

I'm sitting here watching a show with astronomers talking about the Universe. How we can only "see" 13 billion light-years, red-shifting, blue-shifting, expanding Universe, the Universe is only 13 and a half billion years old, etc., etc.

This, of course, depends on the speed of light being a constant, 186,000 miles per second.

Several weeks ago I watched a show about approaching absolute zero temperature. One of the side effects of *this* research was an experiment that demonstrated that light photons could actually be slowed by a tiny tiny blobs of molecules chilled to within a few millionths of a degree above absolute zero.

What any normal person, even a scientist, should be able to deduce from this empirical fact is that the whole concept of the speed of light is NOT a constant, and can, in fact be at least slowed by temperature. It would seem to me, that the corollary could also be true, the speed of light could be increased by some factor.

Other researchers are of the belief that the area between stars systems and galaxies is actually *at* absolute zero, due mostly to the lack of any matter.

Even *other* scientists believe that light can be bent by gravity wells.

That sort of throws out the whole concept of red-shift, blue-shift, and using light to determine much about something that's very far away. If light can be altered it can't be a very effective way to determine anything true about something that's very far away.

Not to mention, if it's taking the light hundreds or thousands of years to get here from other galaxies, we have no idea whatsoever what's going on there now. We only *know* what happened hundreds or thousands of years ago.

So, astronomers are basing most of their observations on historical data, from hundreds or thousands of years ago, using a tool, light, that is proven to be alterable by at least two known, and one deduced, factors.

Yep, pseudo-science.

I really want to get out there and find out the truth.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Dehydrator 0003

Whelp, been going 11 hours now, and the 1/8" slice produces definitive chips. Both banana and apple are dry to the touch, just turned them, & will let them go another hour before bagging into zip-locks.

Lucked out on the zip-locks several years ago. Sam's Club had them on sale so I bought a case of four boxes of quart size, only working on the second box still. 54 per box, so I've done in the range 60 to 75, 1 to 3 ounce bags of dehydrating. That's all I've used these bags for, so far.

I've been thinking about the prep stuff, and I think I need to do this only one or two days a week. That might help keep my interest up. It should also help with the timing. Over-night is OK, but if I have to go to work the next day, that means either the stuff has to sit in the drier, or I need to hustle to get it out, which is problematic. It's quicker than prep, but I don't know if I like the idea of the screens sitting dirty all day.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Dehydrating 0002

What I have...

American Harvest Garden Master with 10 trays.

This has serviced me pretty well for 6 to 8 years. What I've done with it so far is about 200 pounds of meat into jerky. I take it out every winter for a week or two or a month or two, get the Nesco spices, and go nuts. I love the jerky, but get tired of the prep work and clean-up and say the heck with it after a period of time. I have one of the Nesco Jerky guns, so I always use ground meat.

Drying meat this way means that everything is pretty uniform, the spices are in the meat, so no marinating, and it's not as "chewy" or hard to tear off a small piece when eating, to make it last longer. Which is good, because a pound of meat translates into 18-22 6-8" sticks. I can eat that watching a movie. If you add in work time, that's about $6 for me to make 4 to 6 ounces of jerky. No wonder it costs so much in the store...

NEW - Excalibur 2900 9 tray dehydrator.

9 square feet of drying area. Moderately intimidating. Dang. If I didn't like prep work and cleaning up before, am I going to like it any better now? We'll see.

Just got the Excalibur today. Spent about an hour or so setting it up, reading the book (yes, I read instructions), and cleaning it.

At Cubs today, I bought 20 bucks of prep stuff, mostly a sturdy box grater/slicer. Tones spices, Chili, Cinnamon, Hickory smoke salt, Black Pepper, Cayenne Pepper. 6 lbs. of 93 percent ground beef. Red Delicious Apples.

At Hometown, bought 4 almost perfectly ripe bananas, good size.

Played with the slicer on the fruit. Makes about 1/8" slices. It seems the faster you work it, the better the slices turn out.

Probably need to get some ascorbic acid for color, otherwise everything will be brown. The browning doesn't affect the taste that I can tell, but appearance is good in food.

Only one banana had bruising, otherwise all four filled two trays in the Excalibur.

Apples, two apples filled about a tray and a half. Added some cinnimon.

Started it running at 135 at about 8:30 p.m. We'll see what they look like at 10 or so when I turn them.
Dehydration entry 0001

Yes, I dehydrate food. Why? Beef jerky tastes better and costs less when you make it yourself. Beef and Venison, Pork and Venison taste great, and you can make it last forever by drying it. Bored with just eating an apple? Slice it, sprinkle with a little cinnamon, dehydrate it overnight, and you have a whole new taste sensation that is still good for you.

Yes, I'm an enthusiastic dehydrater.

Until now, I haven't kept any real records of how well things worked. I don't recall ever ruining much, but some things could have been done better, and would have been more all around fun, I think, if I had done it better.

So, I think I'm going to start keeping a log of the dehydration activities here. It's free, I can access it from wherever I need to and it's gotten very easy since Google got in the act.

Monday, May 19, 2008

This will be a long one, so, if you actually read this stuff, relax, get your favorite beverage and continue.

All I want is what I'm worth.

Since I can't get that (nobody wants to pay it), what I'll take is what we agree on.

How this comes up...

I am a computer geek. I am not the kid that hacks the pentagon. I am not the game player that will hit the 100th level in the first sitting. I am the guy that will build your computer such that it runs now, will run tomorrow, will run next year, and probably the year after that, with all the stuff you want on it, with very little maintenance or worries about hackers.

I used to think that this was an easy thing to do, and was always surprised when other people seemed to be having so much trouble doing this. It's only in recent years that I've come to realise that this is a fairly unique talent, and most people just don't get it. What I've discovered is that it really isn't a trick, it's just having enough patience in all the right places. AND being smart enough to know that I'm not going to out-guess 5000 Microsoft software writers and engineers.

I discovered this skill in a state job, took a look at it, and figured out the only place it had any actual value was in that job. So here I am.

Why doesn't it have value anywhere else? Well, new computer folks, like Dell and Gateway don't want an OS that doesn't die. They want turn-over. If a poorly installed OS makes people think they need a new computer, that's bread and butter if you're selling new computers. And it's always easy to blame the OS for problems, regardless of what the OS is, i.e. any flavor of Windows, or any variety of Unix.

Business doesn't particularly care for this, because it causes too many problems in the controllers or auditors department. It's sort of like having an on button with no off button, like most cheap calculators. You know the powers going off eventually, but unless you're a total obsessive you have no idea when, so there's no way to plan around it. If computers work too well in a business, there's no incentive to upgrade, no incentive to grow. So if things work too well, the business usually becomes stagnant, and will fall behind in the market. If there's no known obsolesense, how can you plan for the future?

Most computer technicians hate the concept of an OS that doesn't fail, of the idea that a computer could go on working without professional intervention. Why would geek squad need to exist if things didn't break down? Hardware still fails, but that's actual work, and usually too easily diagnosed and fixed. Unless there's some root cause based in the OS, customers feel cheated at having to spend all that money, just to replace the hard drive or the CD reader and usually having it only take 5 or 10 minutes to do it.

Back to my skill.

One of the odd side-affects of building a computer well (i.e. installing the OS and software) is that if people don't have problems, they will make them up. For instance, users will complain their computer is "slowing down". When this complaint started coming in several years ago, I started keeping track of how long things took, and, for the most part, that doesn't change much. From my informal observations, most systems will only slow down 5 or 10 percent over the course of a year or so, but that seems enough to trigger a request for a major over-haul.

The biggest problem in the speed area is user installed software. Folks will install something because their cousine told them it was the best thing since sliced bread, or they'll read some business article and download 8 pieces of shareware to install, and then wonder why the new "good" things don't work for them. I usually end up telling them that 1. They actually need to read the installation instructions, or 2. This actually won't work on your computer since you're not a fifteen year old teeny bopper and this is a place of business, or 3. Take a painful five minutes explaining social engineering, and how they've been duped into hacking their own computer.

We'll get to the point eventually here. More in the next.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

I am now beginning to actively block e-mail with poor embedded URLs.

What that means is that if I get an e-mail from some supposedly "help" organization, like ZDnet, I open an embedded URL, and the resultant web page is more ad than content, or if the freaking thing kills every browser I open it in, the sender gets put in the kill box.

I don't mind bad web pages, as such, it's the ones that won't even take the time to make the blasted thing work right. Or do testing to make sure it works right.

Fine, go ahead and try to sell me something, but if you don't give me a GOOD experience, you will no longer be able to give me ANY experience.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Yeah, well I like MP4's.

Why? I'm lazy. It's a hell of a lot easier to open a folder and click a name, than it is to get up out of my chair, look for an interesting DVD or whatever, pull it out of the box (sometime's a challenge in itself with all the stupid different boxes) put it in the DVD player, wait for the ads, the warnings, the fancy menu's and then maybe get to watch my movie in peace.

I paid for the damn thing. I usually paid too much for the damn thing.

The MPAA better wise up. I pay for what I get, but I dang well better get what I pay for. If the vendor can't provide what I want, I'll be more than happy to make it what I want!

I'll help anyone else make what they want, too.

My point would be that the companies and the middle men have been paid. You don't get to have any more say about HOW I use it, as long as I'm the only one using it. That most CERTAINLY meets the spirit of any restrictions put on the material.

Walmart, for any faults it may or may not have, has the right idea. If you haven't noticed, for a number of things sold at Walmart now, they already include a PC ready version of the material for your computer. It still has the damn drm, but it's a start.

Friday, June 08, 2007

The only way to stop those who would do ill in cyberspace is with a cyber/binary intelligence.

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