It does, you know. You just have to get it hot enough.

Sunday, March 6, 2005

Random and Pleasing

Been sick or catching up since getting back from my interview, so no time to write anything useful. Here are some random and pleasing things until I get back on schedule:

If you’re going to use nixie tubes in this day and age, at least tie them into GPS.

The Namiki Vanishing Point in fine is my favorite fountain pen; the hefty, grippy Rotring 600 Lava in fine (no link because their corporate masters don’t believe in putting information about their products on their web site) is a close second. I recently discovered Noodler’s Ink, which is mostly waterproof and self-lubricating. (It’s not very water resistant in my Moleskine, but I suspect that’s the coating on the paper preventing the Noodler’s from doing the chemistry nasty with the weak-willed cellulose.)

Can’t make sense of today’s electronic music? Check out Ishkur’s Guide for some serious musical ontology.

I like Chris Ware and Poison Elves; Achewood and Lenore.

Blatant plug for Who Would Buy That?, a guide to online auctions that, well, I mean, who buys this stuff?

Do you know Seth Green? If so, could you please explain to him that “Robot Chicken” is a great idea, but that most of us can’t afford the quality and quantity of weed needed to find it funny. (I’m allergic to grass, but thanks for offering.) Same goes if you know anyone responsible for “Aqua Teen Hunger Force”, which was funny once, but is now just that dumb-ass Spacecataz frat-boy stoner joke thing. “Venture Bros.” continues to amaze me and proves that the Adult Swim crowd have good days as well as bad. (“Venture Bros.” also gives a venue for the musical genius of J. G. Thirwell, the man personally responsible for my giving up on composing music. I had this great idea in my head for how an industrial swing band would sound, I told a friend, and he said, “Oh, like this?” and played me a Foetus track. GAH! Yeah, only that’s better than what I had in my head.)

Officially licensed Harley Davidson wedding and engagement rings. Nothing says, “I love you, you’re the most special person in the world, will you marry me?” more than a ring with a corporate logo plastered all over it. Of course I discovered this in the free magazine someone sends me simply because I bought a Harley…

Speaking of craptastic motorcycles, you want how much for a used reverse flow flayrod accumulation oiler for my ’31 Spagthorpe Rottweiler rebuild? No way! My buddy can make one for half that. Ok, maybe she can’t, but eMachineShop can if I can draw it for them. They could also make the reversable right-left-hand thread adaptor you need for the ’32, but you’ll need them to make the alternating right-left ratchet driver while they’re at it.

My bike isn’t craptastic, actually. Sure, it threw the shifter peg into the gutter with 70 miles on the odometer, a screw out of the gas cap mount at 120 miles, and the rubber foot pegs seem to have a hatred of their mounts that lead them to spin round in circles on a daily basis, but it’s hard for me to express just how much fun it is to ride a modern, stripped down Harley big twin. I’ve been a BMW boxer fan for over a decade, and will probably restore a few ancient R bikes in my retirement, but in the meanwhile I’m enjoying the hell out of my Harley. I’m sure the other Harley riders despise me, what with my stock exhaust, Aerostitch riding suit and full-faced helmet, but screw ’em. I’m riding in the rain on days they’re protecting the couch from being rolled up by the Prince of Space.

Finally, the title of this entry, “Random and Pleasing”, comes from one of the LED control settings on the Thinking Machines CM-5. The CM-5 was the coolest looking MIMD computer ever made, even if it’s the reason that Thinking Machines tanked. Other LED settings on the CM-5 included “Random” and a couple of patterns based on what was actually happening on the CPUs along with the ubiquitous “Off” and “Unused”. Thing is, the “show me what’s happening” settings were not only really boring to look at but also revealed how often a multi-million dollar supercomputer was idle or busted. “Random” was only marginally better than “Off”, so they came up with “Random and Pleasing” which made the CM-5 look like Important Things Were Happening on the Computer no matter what it was actually doing. Hell, “Random and Pleasing” looked good when the CM-5 was crashed or shut down and waiting on spare parts so we could reboot it. Guess which setting we were instructed to use by the higher-level folks at the lab…

nixie | supercomputer | eletronica | comics | auctions | Harley Davidson | fountain pens | Katamari Damacy | video games | making up Technorati Tags | flu-induced incoherent postings

posted by jet at 02:23  

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