Monthly Archives: September 2013

Friday Foolishness – Jeopardized Edition

Today’s Music: J. Roddy Walston and the Business – Heavy Bells

But you could probably tell that last part. So if there were only two concerts, how did I spend the rest of the time I should have been sleeping? Why, reading blogs of course! Here’s some of what I saw.
Scarp went shopping. Live Clay opened the Tooth Fairy’s luggage, and Quirky had a baby!!!
Wow! Thanks to them and all of you for the great eye candy this week.
(Yes, some of these are from a couple of weeks ago, but still, I still wanted to mention them.)

No, it's a smile. Just take the damn picture already.

No, it’s a smile. Just take the damn picture already.

Besides concerts, one of the things that kept me up this week was last weeks poll. We asked what the next technology should be. And boy, were you all forward thinking. Here’s what you said. (As always, my comments beep and whirr in italics.)

Sharp Little Pencil says microchips hotwiring our brains – zombie behavior.
(ERROR 404—SNarkY RespONSe nOt fouND)
Nokia!!!! (Kanerva, rooting for the home team here)
(Then your new home-team is Microsoft (google it), and they don’t give any discounts for being nice….)
Zombie Robots?? John Phillips
the dumb phone (Stacy)
(It’s not the phone. It’s the users.)
A truly clever toaster that never burns your toast MyBeautifulThings
(Trying to figure out what military technology that will be adapted from.)
Dog mute app. Scarp.
Amish Space Program – Hotspur
(To humbly go where none before thee hath gone. And mind the horse poop.)
Female Sex Robots – Hotspur
(Does it matter what gende- Oh, sure…sure, female…)
Fake Laugh Implants — Linda Vernon
(As long as they feel real!)
Rosie from the Jetsons! Benzeknees
(Whew! Thought you were going to say Rosie from “Roseanne”!)
Wall-E (Add-E)
Something nobody over 30 will be able to figure out without assistance Elyse 54
(Bring back the VCR! No one under 30 will understand it…)
.5 (It cut me off. Obviously a new fangled poll.)
(We’re still trying to fix the *bug )

Please says clones! I am tired of doing everything. just want sleep. –UndercoverL
(What makes you think your clones won’t be as lazy?)
PMAO… we will all be driving bumper cars…
(I always knew we were a bunch of clowns.)
A vibrator which recharges itself. ~Red.
Teleportation! I would be better able to get off this island! Kayjai
(Can’t you just be voted off?)
Friday Follishness – Phone Edition – all the foolishness all the time. thematticuskingdom
(This is the most serious thing I do all week.)
a bug free version of windows. thematticuskingdom
(Woah – we’re looking for possible futures here, not flat out fantasy!)
TV antennas for your retinas. thematticuskingdom
(Had to look in an old Farmers Almanac to find out what “tv antennae” were…)
insta-polygraphs: letting you identify the liars around you. thematticuskingdom
(I think those are called “ears”.)
followed swiftly by the insta-polygraph beater. thematticuskingdom
(I think those are called “politicians”.)
Twigs upgraded to some sort of brush for the teeth (Rutabaga)
(Will it scrape off the genetically modified food I eat?)
Google glass right in the eyeball. Embrace the Google overlord. (rollergiraffe)
(Can I also see everyone in my Goolge Talk- I mean Google+- I mean…maybe Google should just focus on searching…)
brickhousechick: an app that does your job at the office AND in bed! 🙂
(What I do in bed isn’t a job. It’s an adventure.)
(*snaps on harness and lowers goggles*)

angry birds
(I’d be angry too if that was the pinnacle of technology.)

Congratulations to Red for this weeks winning answer! And from the offered choices, the most popular was Whatever it is, it will mostly be used for porn.. So it looks like the future will bring confusion. And sex.
Funny how those two often travel together…

I'll take "Who Has Burt Reynolds Envy" for $2.50, Alex.

I’ll take “Who Has Burt Reynolds Envy” for $2.50, Alex.

Well, you know what comes next. This is the part where I ask an incredibly stupid question. But this time, that’s not going to happen. This time I’m just going to write the answers. You get to write the question!
Pick as many answers as you like. But “Other” answers should be the question that these are in some vague way related to. And if you leave a write-in, leave some ID too so I can link back to you next week. Oh, and do all that by 2359 EDT on 2 October, because that’s when this one ends.

And to send you on your way while I catch a much needed nap at my desk…
Yes, it’s a car commercial. But it’s still funny.

And since I seem to be all technology-future this week, let’s finish off here.

Thanks for coming around, and I’ll see you…well, some time next week, I guess…
Have a great weekend!

The Double Edge of Technology

Today’s Music: John Fogerty – Deja Vu All Over Again

I went to the Maker Faire in NYC this past weekend. It’s a gathering of high tech do-it-yourself-ers. There were some impressive displays, including the makers of a space camera, about 5 kg, and small enough to sit in the palm of your hand.
It has a 3 mega-pixel camera, and is maneuvered with low power ion engines. It has multiple redundant computer chips to verify and error check every piece of data the device generates. By using the images from multiple low resolution (thus cheaper) devices, it can generate a composite 3D image.
It was actually brilliant in its simplicity.

Seriously, this was cool!

Seriously, this was cool!

On the other end, there was a series of power tools. All of these were computer controlled, and the interface was a WYSWIG What You See Is What You Get.
There is a computer loaded with CAD type software. Either 2 or 3 dimensional images can be created or imported. The software takes the image and sends it to the router.
In the example I saw, a maze was carved into a dowel, about the thickness of a broom handle.
And yet…

Here’s the thing that bothered me: it was too easy.
The image was drawn on a sheet, like MS paint. The software converted it, wrapping it around to match the topology of the dowel. The user entered a depth measurement for how deep the router bit would would carve, and hit enter.
The software guided the bit to make the grooves. It went back and forth and side to side, making the channel as wide, long and deep as the user had entered.

Look what I made! No, I have no idea how.

Look what I made!
No, I have no idea how.

There were also makerbots. These machines are 3D printers. Enter a 3D image into the software (it can be one you’ve made, or one that was downloaded) and the printer will squirt out bits of plastic to build, layer by layer, whatever the image is.

Crafting like that used to be the bailiwick of skilled trained craftsmen. The precision and detail, the development to strict tolerances were all done by people who had studied, trained, tried and tried again to do that work, and do it conscientiously and carefully.
As such, their work was expensive, but justifiably valuable.

Now, with the linking of tools and computers anyone can do it. I applaud the availability of cheap accessible methods for manufacturing whatever you need at home. Gone is the need for a full machine shop, for long apprenticeships and years of labor.
Everyone can design and build almost anything to their hearts content, and the technology and versatility will only get better.

But there’s a darker side.

I used to have a 1967 Thunderbird. The thing was a beast. But open the head, and there was an engine, an alternator and a compressor. Lift the hood, climb on in and go to work.
Now I drive a 99 Explorer. I went to change a spark plug and it turned out I needed three specialized tools.
But it runs on computers! It’s better!
As long as I have $500 to drop whenever I need to do some work.

You can tell it's a car because of the four wheels and engine. And nothing else.

You can tell it’s a car because of the four wheels and engine.
And nothing else.

You drive an x-wing fighter? You're so low tech.

X-Wing fighter? You’re so low tech.

So here’s my point – making something easier and more accessible is a good thing. It brings prices down. It makes it easier for people to pursue their individual visions.
Here’s the down side is, no one knows how it works. Give me a semi logical Graphical User Interface and I can sort out CAD. I can reconfigure and optimize a Windows computer without too much trouble, and sort out a basic setup on Linux.
But no one knows how it works. Send a dump file to Microsoft and they’ll say “We have no idea what it means”. There’s too much going on and too few people understand it.
So if you have a Makerbot but the platform driver is off 4 millimeters, it won’t print cleanly because the surface isn’t where it should be. And you’ll need high level technical support to sort it.
You can engrave your dowel and do beautifully complex work, but you don’t have the math to sort out what it’s doing or how it should work.

Yes, technology brings a lot of ease and efficiency to our lives. No, no one gets their TVs repaired anymore.
And it seems fewer people know how things work under the hood, and more people rely on them to just do whatever it is they’re supposed to do.

I’m not sure that’s a good thing.

Ok...maybe some technology is a good idea...

Ok…maybe some technology is a good idea…

(And for anyone interested in a great tale of what technology might be able to do, check out Daemon by Daniel Suarez. Its a great thriller.)

Friday Foolishness – Advanced Edition

Today’s Music: Chantel Claret – Bite Your Tongue

Sun rises, sun sets, calendar turns, and it’s Friday once again! And while I’m all about the foolishness here on Fridays (well, all the time, really, but due to the terms of my release, I can only express it on Fridays), there was some great stuff out on the blogs this week…
Sage Doyle gave great strength to a poem on being destitute. Lizzie Cracked felt that love is love, and Behind The Mask Of Abuse hosted DJ Matticus sharing thoughts for his son.

Another great week of reads, from them and everyone else out there!

He's dressed for making ALL the babies!

He’s dressed for making ALL the babies!

But the Foolishness cannot be restrained for long! And it was running through the whole week, starting from last weeks poll when we asked for the best method of contraception. And wow, if you guys didn’t…come through! Here’s what you said. (As always, my comments are indiscreet in italics)

watching 19 Kids and Counting
(Wow! That’s like two Octomoms and a Brady!)
I’m dating another woman – zero chance of procreation – Steph from She Said What
Easy. Just have kids! The Bumble Files
(What’s easy about that?!?)
Unicorns pissing rainbows
(Will the magical properties of unicorn pee never cease to amaze?)
Marriage! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA – Hotspur (just kidding)
(Sorry, I couldn’t hear you over the crying…)
There’s no time for sex when you’re watching TV marathons. – Lily In Canada
(But I’ve already seen every episode of Law & Order. 73 times.)
watching a Miley Cyrus video (words&otherthings)
(I wish Billy Ray had read this poll first…)
Keep your legs crossed 🙂 No Hers I Meant… Andro
(Sex can be such a religious experience.)
Keep it zipped 🙂 lmao Andro
(Do women like men who are that fast?)
Babysitting my flesh eaters. She Has Snaapped!
(Then I’ll want to breed an army for protection.)
the word “moist” during foreplay. Liveclay
(You have no idea how turned on I am right now.)
two words: sparkly vampire. thematticuskingdom
(Is that more effective than “cheekboned werewolf”?)
become a Zombie, brains can’t reproduce. thematticuskingdom
(These polls make my brain split in two weekly.)
what’s her name? something Bobbitt? thematticuskingdom
(Isn’t she the spokesperson for Staples now?)
re: my previous answer, that’s probably the worst. thematticuskingdom
(If there was an award for worst, you’d be a Congressman!)
a brand new, spoiled puppy – calahan
(Soft…fluffy…enthusiastic…wet and slobbery…Crap! Not working!)
Wearing a onesy with no flaps…anywhere.
(Not near as good a deterrent as my leisure suit.)
One tequila, two tequlia, three tequila, FLOOR (polysyllabicprofundities)
(Dorothy Parker would disagree…)
have sex with post menopausal women. sandylikeabeach
(Menopausal, Awkwardpausal…I’m not picky.)
pmao… six condoms… one right on top of the other…
(Stacked like pancakes! Covered in syrup. Warm…hot…gooey…Sorry, what was the question?)
Imagining what the kids does to the vajayjay on its way out. Twindaddy
(I think just using the word “vajayjay” is quite enough.)
separate bedrooms
(And separate kitchens, and separate cars, and separate-every-place-else-we-can…)

Congratulations to Steph from She Said What for this week’s winning answer! And from the offered choices, the most popular was a three way tie between David Brinkley singing the Yugoslavian love songs of his youth, along with wearing lederhosen. In public. and romantic accordion music
You know, when you combine all of those, it sort of has the opposite of the intended effect.
Or is that just me?
Wow, good week! Fortunately, there’s still more foolishness! This week, it asks about next week. Or maybe the weeks after that. Since the new iPhone is gracing us with it’s presence, we couldn’t help but wonder what would come next. And that’s this weeks poll. (Wow, what a foolish way to introduce it!)
So answer for the future – but don’t answer too far in the future, because this one closes Wednesday, 25 Sept, at 2359 EDT. (And if you leave an “Other” answer, leave a way to identify you, and I’ll link back next week.)

And before I step into the future (travelling at a rate of 1 sec/sec), I leave you with these.
First, I have no idea what’s going on here. But I’m sure the subtext is fascinating.
Unless you live in Minneapolis…

Faith and Fear…And Adventure. Part 1

Today’s Music: Blind Faith – Can’t Find My Way Home


What do you see at the edge?

There’s a moment, right at the very beginning, where anything is possible. -high and low, win and lose, yes and no.
On any adventure, that time is fascinating to me.
It’s a metaphysical moment where, for me, time stretches. My whole life doesn’t flash before my eyes. The moment isn’t long, but it is deep, and it’s there that I gain a better understanding of who I am. And it’s where I simultaneously find my fears and my faith in myself. I also see how those things have changed.

Here’s an early example –
– A young Guapo standing at the edge of the high diving board. He looks over, takes a deep breath. Another boy is already starting up the ladder for his turn. He looks back over the edge and steels himself. He ignores his burning red face and climbs back down the ladder.
– An older Guap (late teens?) stands at the edge of a different diving board. It’s high, but the water is deep, he tells himself. Don’t panic and you’ll be fine, he tells himself.
He looks out over that edge, remembers how younger him wished he’d stepped off that board all those years ago. He sees his younger self at that moment, remembers the exhilaration of being up so high, the danger of that narrow plank with so much empty space below it, and the terror of what could go wrong outweighing the thrill of what could go right.
He looks at the present again, every detail burning into his memory. He squeezes his eyes as tight as possible. He feels his face turn red.
And he turns and





He goes off the high diving board another 8 times that day. Most of them with his eyes open. All of them with a big grin on his face.

I know I can.

I know I can.

So what changed?
Plenty of people dive from the high board/jump from the plane/hang from the cliff/(you get the idea).
Some of them have hurt themselves, some have even died. But as with a great many things, the vast majority have been careful, taken precautions and lived to do it again and again.

And the thought of being red faced and angry that I didn’t try something makes me feel worse than any of the damage I’ve accumulated thanks to gravity over the years.

So stop thinking that jumping will lead to crashing. Go on, have a little faith.

Friday Foolishness – Immaculate Edition

Today’s Music: Amy Lynn and the Gunshow – Can’t Put My Finger On It
(Or listen on Soundcloud. It’s a cleaner copy, and there are several songs there.)
Note on Today’s Music: I heard of them a few days ago. I am eagerly awaiting their CDs in them mail. Hope you like them too.
Note on Today’s Guap: I’m exhausted. Got home last night at 0130. Went to see Violent Femmes in Central Park. They did 4 Songs – not sure of the first, then Nightmare, Blister In The Sun, then Add It Up. And then the heavens opened,and once the lightning flashed,they cleared the stage. 15 min later they called the show. So that’s 20+ min standing in the driving rain. (Sorry, RoS, no Gone Gone Gone. Just wet, wet, wet.)
But Today’s Music was playing at the Cutting Room at 2200. They didn’t come on until 2230. I sat in soaked clothes for the whole show. And after the first song, I didn’t notice at all. They were that good.
So I hope you all check them out. I’ll be adding them to the Music That Turns Me On page above once I get some sleep, or coffee. Pop in there, and let me know what you’re listening to too.
One last note – each week I put up a few links to stuff that caught my eye over the week. The first one goes beyond the passion for music to the physical mechanics of it. I hope you check that out too, while listening to Amy Lynn belt out her lyrics.
And thanks for coming by!

Once more, unto the weekend! We made it, and around we go again. And what else was going around? Blogs!
Here’s some of what I read…
Nicole Warner wrote fascinatingly about child opera prodigies, an excellent window to a world I knew nothing about. (And if that’s not your thing, she’s also teaching German!) We Poets Show It posted a great poem for someone in need, and Empowered Grace wrote a moving story of magical alchemy.

As always, I feel a little more rounded as a person from all the great stuff I read this week.
But there was also something last week that was best read without thinking too hard. Yes, it was last week’s poll, where we asked how you would cure insomnia. And some of your answers kept me up all week. Here’s what you said. (As always, my answers are snoring in italics, with just a bit of drool rolling down their punctuation.)

watching soccer….. or golf – Revis
(I only watch real sports.)
Searching for an honest Member of Congress. (Addie)
(GAH! Thinking about Congress, I may never sleep again!)
get up and do something! (Stacy)
(I don’t think you understood the question…)
Sleeping – Hotspur
(I know you didn’t understand the question. )
Listening to Tom odell’s album ‘long way down’ is rather soothing.
(Didn’t he open for MegaDeath?)
Just have kids. The Bumble Files
(I thought that would leave me awake but exhausted?)
If you get a good answer will you pass it on? Insomniac Benzeknees
(I will share it in a dream.)
Open social media. It is all the same thing claiming to be individual. Red.
(I don’t think being an Internet Zombie quite counts as sleeping…)
More insomnia. –The Waiting
(Because more of a bad thing is never enou- waitaminute…)
wait a minute! there is a cure??!! must be Moby Dick. (UndercoverL)
(Call me Insomniael…)
Counting Sheep . . .onety-one . . .
PMAO… suicide
(Whoa – I just want to sleep for one night!)
Cure? Sleep is for the weak. thematticuskingdom
(*Backs away slowly in case that assertion woke your wife*)
eating a nice lamb sandwich, wondering where all the sheep went. thematticuskingdom
(I can’t sleep on a full stomach. It’s too lumpy.)
Vodka. Lots of vodka. thematticuskingdom
(We’re asking about nighttime sleep. Not daytime breakfast.)
reading the adventures of Brig. thematticuskingdom
(It’s almost as riveting as Sherlock Holmes.)
Talking to friends on the other side of the planet who are in daytime MyBeautifulThings
(Trying to place the accents keeps me up.)
Sleep. Duh – Twindaddy
(I can’t believe you stole Elyse’s answer!)
brickhousechick says: I heard the Yoga Corpse Pose does the trick 🙂
(Yes, but then I’d have to do yoga.)
Sleeping. Duh. Elyse Elyse 54.5
(I can’t believe you stole TwinDaddy’s answer!)
Charlie Rose
(Doesn’t he host Girls Gone Wild?)
Reading back issues of The Economist while drinking Sleepy Time tea.Susie Lindau
(The Economist goes better with Tequila.)
Sky diving without a parachute 😦 Andro
(Leading to a dirt nap…)
A smack in the chops 🙂 Andro
(Why are you hitting my dinner?)
Don’t go to sleep, ever… Andro
(Isn’t that the problem we’re trying to solve?)
Sleeping through it. Kayjai
(It keeps waking me at the good parts.)
Sleep? Who needs it? Hey, where’s the Red Bull? WHERE IS IT? Not A Punk Rocker
(Words I never thought I’d say: You may have had enough…)
Reading Guapola poll archives (Frank)
(CAREFUL!!! For sleep, use a very low dosage. A smidge too much causes insanity.)

Congratulations to Anonymous for this week’s winning answers. And from the offered choices, the most popular was My bottle of vodka and I don’t know what you’re talking about., so for all of you with wicked hangovers, CONGRATULATIONS!!!.

Don't have kids. They may dress like this.

Don’t have kids. They may dress like this.

But it isn’t all just tossing and turning alone in bed. Sometimes it’s tossing and turning with someone else! And that leads to rumpled sheets and sweat. And occasionally, babies.
So what if, like me, you’re not a little-people person? Then how do you enjoy fun without consequences? Well, that’s this weeks poll. Answer often, answer with someone you love, and answer (possibly) consequence free. But answer by 2359 EDT, Wednesday 18 September, because that’s when this one ends. (And if you leave an “Other” answer, leave a way to identify you, and I’ll link back next week.)

And until next week, since we’re on the subject of kids, enjoy these

And if you want to know what kids are really like, here’s one more.

Have a great week, everyone. See you…out there…