Sunday, May 13, 2018

Family Values

Been trying to get my head wrapped around this for some time now.  From the day I learned of his diagnosis, I knew the eventual outcome.  Still I thought it should not be.  I have been so distant, so remote, I did not know these people anymore.  Still I felt as though I knew my brother, I would see him here and there.  I still do not know what to say to anyone.

At some point I broken away from the family, and I have never reconnected on any level really.  The past I thought was behind me, ghost of a distant self, now haunts me from the prison of my mind.  Shadows stack me from the shadows of those that before read these paths, I am not alone here, but I am without something, something I never thought mattered until yesterday.

Tom is gone, he gave me hope, reminded me of humanity, and I wanted that, though it was out of reach for me.

A new person comes along, and I am still cautious, there is no reason, no rhyme, I should not have seen this, I am way beyond my time.  Am I just the person I am today, or did something spark the ancient self in the loss, that lingers yet within, now close to the boiling point, yet beyond my grasp.

I feel sorry for those that are left without the sun that was the shining example of my brother, while the darkness slowly begins again to consume what was left of my soul.  All that remains is a singular spark of my wife, the love of my life, and I just do not know if she even has enough light to temper the depth of shadows that lies behind me, waiting for the last of my will to relanguish what she has held aloft for so long.


Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Blogging for Bloggers

After nearly two weeks of frustration, I have realized one thing, building a blog on WordPress is not as easy as the YouTubers make it out to be.  It is pretty simple to set up, with one click install and all.  Setting up security, it is a little more difficult, but with a few plugins that is not too bad.  Then a few more plugins and you can have a fairly interesting site in a fairly short amount of time.  Just add content and you are all set.

Add an ecommerce plugin like woocommerce and you have a decent site for your blog I guess.

The truth is to do this, you need more than just a domain name, a web server, a CMS application, and an ecommerce solution.  Maybe I am wrong, most likely I am wrong.

Let me give you a little background.  I started out with technology pretty much when it started.  I built my first computer from a kit.  I had to learn programming because there really wasn't any applications.  Some friends and me built applications, and just for fun we did some hacking.

I was a field service tech for quite some years, providing network service and basically fixing computers all around the Northeast.  This is one of the reasons I just do not buy into the ai thing.  I have seen the network and hardware from the field, and have used applications from the beginning of their existence.  All that aside, and without going into too much detail, I have a fair idea about technology.

I used to build websites, with html, before css even existed.  Then I used css when it first came into being from W3C.  I learned Java, JavaScript, the Dom, and the list goes on.  At one time I could paper my bedroom with the certifications I held.  All that means nothing today.  I remember when Dreamweaver came out, and I still preferred hand coding.  With the plugin and visual composers, I am totally at a loss.

So I have embarked on this journey, and right now I am starting all over again.  Believe when I say, I would rather hand code, but that is not the way these days.  So let me tell you, right now, I do not think much about WordPress, it is not high my list, but it is a priority.  I am struggling with it, but I am learning, albeit I am my own worst problem.  As I try to get out of my way, we will see how it goes.

Here's the point, what the WordPress gurus tell you, what the blog gurus tell you is total bullshit.  They are trying to sell you in their courses, their products, and hoping you will click on their affiliate links.  Does that mean they have nothing to teach you, no you can learn from them, and to be perfectly honest with you, follow them and you are going to build a great site.  You just will not know how or why.  For lots of people that is fine, but for me that just does not work.


Friday, April 06, 2018

Amazon Reviews

I've been buying from Amazon for quite a few years now, and have really increased my number of products I buy from them over the past couple of years.  I think it is time I went back on the site and actually provided some reviews of the products I have used.

Oh wait, maybe what I should do is write the reviews on a blog, and then use a snapshot of the full review, with my blog site link in it, to post on Amazon.  And I could put an Amazon affiliate link in my blog post to the product, so when I publish the blog post and update my Twitter feed, it would have the affiliate link built in.

Now I need to build a Twitter post frame, so that too enhances my brand.  Wait first I have to build the brand identity.

I guess posting a review on Amazon just got a whole lot more complicated.  Well first I need to see if I can actually build a template for the blog.  There is a lot to do, I really need to get busy.


Sunday, April 01, 2018

Oh Really

I read, and watch a lot of stuff on the web about this positivity movement.  It is great, sure, but sometimes you need to have a reality check.  Sometimes you just have to recognize stupid for what it is.

Now about here I could interject a bunch of wit about being a realist, or how life is not this or it is this, but I do not believe that is helpful.

No, I will say if you want to delude yourself, and that works for you, go ahead.  The same can be said for negativity, if you want to hate all day every day be my guest, just do not do it in my house.  You see I am a classical realist, and I will see the truth, and I have no qualms of telling it like it is, with no sugar added.

However I will say I do enjoy the company of a wide-eyed optimist over a white supremacist most any day.

This brings me to a subject that I have not yet broken, but it has finally gotten to me, and I will be talking about it soon.  There is only one race of human, no matter what these pictuary idiots try to say.  That post is coming, just thought I would warn you, in case you want to skip that one.

So for now stay real, and have a fairly okay day.


PS: Buy my t-shirt, it will help me buy coffee, thanks.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Tesla, Still a Buy and Hold, but

One thing I want to make sure everyone is aware of, is that I am not a financial planner, or investment adviser, or any other professional designated person, and I do not provide any type of financial or legal advisement.

That said, I am still suggesting that Tesla is a buy and hold for now, at least while they are still holding the orders for their commercial semi truck platform.  As long as they continue to develop in the areas of commercial transport, and commercial energy, they will continue to be a buy and hold prospect.

One thing I am going to say about Tesla and I am surprised about this (though not completely) is that they did not build on the platform.  Therefore I do not think that Tesla should invest in building a pick-up truck.  Here is why.  If they wanted to build a truck platform, that would be good, but it would have to be a heavy duty platform.  That should be their first goal, build the platform.  Once they have the platform, they could build a heavy duty truck on it, or just build the platform and have other third party companies build the body style.  By having the platform, software, and technology, they would provide a base on which other companies could design and build their own style of trucks.  They could build pick-up trucks, box trucks, ambulances, and the list goes on.

This is the failure of the Tesla system, they did not build platforms.  They should have a platform for the sedan (Model S) that is the same platform on which the Model X is built on, and the Roadster is built on.  The same for the compact platform, the Model 3 should be built on a compact platform that could have a sedan, a roadster, a crossover, even a small truck if they wanted.  Because they were platforms they could put just about any body they want on to the platform, tweak the motors if they wanted, but the platform stays the same.  This way they have a compact platform, a mid sized platform, and a heavy duty platform.

This then would give them all sorts of partnership opportunities with designers and builders to build on the platform, and make new styles of vehicles that suit many more needs, and they would be able to come to market much quicker with their designs as they would be on an established platform.

I know they do not like to build partnerships, and I understand that completely, but it can be done right, and if they do the right thing, they will succeed and they will definitely be upgraded to a buy and acquire.  Right now their long term prospects are based, in my opinion, on their commercial concerns, and that is a lot of top heavy projects sitting on top of a very competitive market.  I do hope they see that they have the opportunity to scrap their current way of doing things, see that a platform would be better for current and future growth.

I am still saying, get some, get in on the hype and buy some Tesla stock, hell, even buy some of their products, they are fairly good, though they could be better.  They are still on my buy list, but they have to change their isolation policy if they expect to grow enough to support more than just the first adopters.  Many other companies will come along, do it better and do it cheaper, and I would hate to see another Edsel.


Thursday, March 22, 2018

Jeff Rose: Make Money Blogging: From 0 to $1,000 per day

I have watched a lot of blogs on financial planning, especially on writing a blog, and this one is one of the best I have seen.  Though it really is a 15 minute commercial for his free email handbook, and a way to include monetization into his video, I still find it valuable.

Though I have not read it, I am going to suggest that you buy and read his book "Soldier of Finance". If it is at least half as good as his videos, it will be full of useful information, irrelevant humor, and worth whatever it cost.

I will likely buy the book and maybe even review it, but get it now, and start to help yourself today.



Saturday, March 17, 2018

THE FOREST #45: with Chay & Gopher - The Cave of Death!

This is the best stream on the web, always entertaining.  Do not forget to like the video, and tell them you found them from the blog, if you want to.



Friday, March 09, 2018

Amazon Merch, Maybe

Well I signed up for my Amazon Merch account, and everything seemed to be going great.  I had to get an online savings account, because apparently Amazon will take PayPal as a form of payment (well only my debit card), but they will not pay out to a PayPal account.  So after about a week of faffing around with the bank, I finally got the account set up.

Now my account is all set up with Amazon, not with PayPal yet, as the deposits haven't hit the bank account so I can make the deposits to PayPal, or some such nonsense.  This is all such BS, so much faffing around when I know there is no such thing as security, and the rest is all red tape crap for the government.  Anyway, the accounts are set up and I thought I was on my way.  Thought I would have a T-shirt to present to my readers, just a basic T-shirt with blog title on it, something to get the ball rolling.

Nope, not yet, now Amazon is holding my T-shirt hostage for some unknown reason.  More delays, more faffing around.  I really do not get it.  They get most of the money for the sale.  Hell I only get less than a dollar for each T-shirt sold, so why are they holding the whole thing up.

So yea, here was the plan, I was going to post the shirt and a coffee cup here, let people buy them and help out the blog and get something in return.  I was going to pull some of the good stuff out of the blog and put that up, and see what would come of it.  It seemed to me to be the best way to do things.  This way the people who help support the blog get something in return, and I get a small amount of money (really small) for putting stuff on a shirt for the readers.

Already a week into this little foray and I have just about had enough.  I am going to give Amazon another day to release my T-shirt, and if they do not, well I am done with that too.  I know it sounds like I am giving up too easily, but really why all the BS over something so simple.  Whatever, I will report back tomorrow one way or the other.


Thursday, March 08, 2018

Swell Thing and New Blog colors

Awesome, I just kind of, sort of made a few minor changes to my blog.  Mostly I changed a few of the sidebar things (took out the redundancy), and changed the colors of the backgrounds and text so it suits me a little more.  It is not perfect yet, I still do not like the colors quite, and now my links are all broken.  I do not know how changing the colors broke all the links, but it did, swell.

So for the next few days I am going through every single blog post and changing the links so that they all work properly again.  I may toy with the colors some more to get it closer to my desired design, but for the most part I am done there.

I do not foresee the link fixing as being all that enjoyable, or for that matter useful, but there is this thing about me, that I want the links to work, even if they will never be used by anyone.

One bonus to this is that now I can go through all my post and insert Amazon affiliate links where appropriate, so maybe that will at least help me some.  Ah, who am I kidding, I have had Amazon affiliate links in my post for years and I have earned nothing from them.  Still it is worth a try.  I will only be using text links though now, so there will not be any graphic links, unless it is necessary to the post.

I know, no one cares, and this is more a post for my own edification, but there it is.


Tuesday, March 06, 2018

Legalize it All

At some point you were all expecting this post, so here it is.

I have been, and remain an advocate for the decriminalization and outright abatement of all laws pertaining to the use of drugs.  That is to say, I have some personal limits, I feel no need to disclose such here, as my use is my own issue, past and present.  However, that said, my stance has not changed on the use of all substances, considered to be illegal.  This really stems to a deeper level of my stance on the legislation of morality, but that is a ball I am not going to unravel at the moment, too much.

In this "great" country of ours, currently there is this wave of debate as to the legality of cannabis use.  I have read extensive articles, treatises, and scholarly documents on both sides of this debate, and for me there is usually too much passion in either side.  This leads me to take either with a very large dose of skepticism.

First let me state right from the beginning that I advocate for all substances, and do not think that any one of them are better or worse, but that like any substance considered dangerous it is in the user, not the substance.  To much of anything that is toxic can cause issues, to little and it has no effect, so it is the dosage that is important.  Morphine was a boon to medicine, just ask those poor bastards that had to have their limbs cut off before such opiates were used to numb the pain.  It goes without saying, but I will say it anyway, like penicillin, too much of a good thing, can be as bad as too little of nothing.  Now some Buddhist is saying, oh no, the body can handle anything if one just gets into the right place.  That would be good, if we could somehow control our baser reactions, and somehow stop running into an open field and seeing if we can eliminate each other for whatever cracked reason some greedy bastard has decided was appropriate.

I say fuck that, as long as we are human, we will be stupid, and we might as well stop trying to protect the ignorant from themselves.  I have heard the arguments about other people that get hurt, how the drunk driver kills some innocent victim, and so on and so forth.  It goes without saying that I am of the mind that most people are too dam dumb to drive a car, and that we need smarter cars because people keep getting dumber with every wave of idiots that get licenses.

Here's my answer, legalize everything, tax the shit out of it, and then funnel the money into research and education, useful education (if that is possible, but that is another story), and at least that way maybe, just maybe, the problems will solve themselves, or at least we will have found a different way to decrease the surplus population that does not involve sending a bunch of kids out to fight for some pig sluts profit.


Monday, March 05, 2018

7 Principles of Highly Effective Conspirators

7 Principles of Highly Effective Conspirators

  1. Plan everything
  2. Commit plan to memory
  3. Destroy all evidence of plan or planning
  4. Speak to no one of plan, not even closest allies
  5. Forget plan completely
  6. Initiate plan accordingly
  7. Claim failure was due to “them” that conspired against you

Thursday, March 01, 2018

The Real Secret, really

Apathy is a circumstance that often seems the choice that makes some sense.  Why should I give a shit about anything at all?  It is not like it will make any difference.

I once thought that I could make a difference.  I once believed that your actions mattered.  That you could effect change through deeds and even to some degree words and pictures.  I now know that it was a false hope that I harbored, and that because I did not have connections to the right groups, to the money chain, that I was just fooling myself.

Sort of how I once thought this blog was an answer to something.  That what I wrote here mattered at least to someone.  I now know that is not the case.  I now realize that nothing matters, except where money is made.  There are no causes, only more subversive means to an end.  If it does not sell something, if there is no money to be made, it is a waste of time.

That is why the gun issue is so hot.  It makes lots of money, no matter what side of the issue you profess you are on, it makes lots of money.  The "anti-gunners" raise millions in donations from well meaning idiots who think that if they can just get all the guns from people violence will somehow go away.  The "pro-gunners" believe that they can protect themselves from radical anti-gunner type liberals by maintaining their right to gear arms.  The whole issue is a money pit and the same people make money on both sides.  Fucking idiots are just too dam dumb to see that.

War on Drugs, works about as well as Prohibition did, only the people who support it, and the people who oppose it are not aware of the flow of cash, so they just go on with their stump speech, ignorant of the money that is being made on them.

Right up there with religion.  Let me tell you about this guy that may or may not have existed some 4000 years ago, and as long as you believe in him, you will be rewarded in death.  Of course we have never had any complaints, because the dead do not complain.  No better scam has ever been created, at least not one that I can think of right at the moment.  Give me time, there are so many.

Politics, another scam, because I need some fat bastard to tell me how to behave.  Because I need to support his lifestyle so he can make laws that make him and his corporate friends more money.  When will the ignorance end?  Now that I know the answer to, but I will just keep that to myself, so sense in giving the "secret" away.

If you really want to know the secret.  I mean if you really, really need to know the answer, I can provide it to you.  Just send $24.95 to my PayPal account and I guarantee that you will get exactly what you seek.


Wednesday, February 14, 2018

What You Need to Know About Alice in Wonderland DOCUMENTARY

This video intrigues me, as all things concerning Lewis Carroll and his Alice stories.  I have said many times before that there is more truth in "Alice's Adventures Through Wonderland" than in most other books written, including the bible.  I have wondered about this, and even with my extensive study of other works, fiction and non-fiction, it has yet to be displaced.  What fortunate accident occurred to project this through his work is yet undiscovered, and even with this film (and others like it) only part of the truth is known.

It is my belief that Lewis Carroll had some connection to the divine, or spirit world, but I do not know how that is.  Perhaps it is only through the eyes of a child.  Perhaps he himself was as a child, as the eastern beliefs profess, as to be a child, as to be without judgement, and full of wonder.

I do not know, but perhaps one day I will.  Though I sometimes believe I am far too cynical now to have the eyes of a child ever again.



Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Now That I Think of It

I am not too certain I will be online much longer.  As I look at the future of online, I see the writing on the wall.  I already pay for too much, and as software as a service starts to really be a thing, it will be the end of software for me.  I mean sure there will still be some open source software out there, but for how long, and will it be able to compete.  One thing it will not do is it will not have access to the world wide web, though I believe that it will have access to the network.  We will be back to using IP addressing like in the days of BBS and 300 baud modems.

We will have to build our own networks, from discarded surplus network switches, and wireless channels that haven't been used in ages, like the old renegade radio operators used to do.  We will also have to use burst, as I am sure they (the FCC or whatever corporate and government watch dog service they have at that time) will be looking for such impromptu networks.  Run a few messages, and then move, go dark, because we don't want to give them any signal to track.

It will be difficult as Amazon and Google will have bots on the networks looking for just such ad hoc networks, and will be able to find them in very short order.  We will have to watch the skies for drones, supposedly delivering packages, but they will be looking for hackers, for any undesirable individual that does not pay for their services.  We will have to grow our food under the limelight of the sun, when we can see it, otherwise we will have to forage the refuse dumps of the elite and mega-cities.

If this sounds like a dystopian fantasy plot, I wish it were.  Perhaps I will write it as such, so to hide the truth that is on the horizon, through what will be seen as fiction.  Maybe some will see the truth behind the lines of pretty prose, and those that do not...


The End of SketchUp for me

I gave it a shot, but the new online version of SketchUp just sucks.  Sure maybe it is my network, but I can not change that.  So I am back to using the 2017 version of SketchUp which still works just fine.  Of course now I can not get updates to my extensions, or the program, but at least it works.  The unfortunate thing is that unless I go to the Professional version of SketchUp, I will not be able to use it after some time, as it will be degraded.

Now I have to look for an alternative to SketchUp, that does not cost over a $1,000.00, which is hard to find.  I liked SketchUp, I liked that it was free to use for personal use, but I guess that was not okay with Google, for they have effectively said either you use this crap version on line that is almost impossible to use (I do more waiting for it to update the model than actual work), or you pay us our $1,000.00 for the Professional version.  A little like extorsion, almost, but not quite.  Certainly not what I would like to see from Google, but nothing I do not expect from a software company.

There will be other programs, but that means new learning curve, and I have invested so much into SketchUp.  For the most part I am just disappointed really.  It has been fun, thank you for the ride.  All I can ask is when will you force us to either pay for GMail or use some neutered online only version.


Sunday, February 11, 2018

OBS to Twitch stream maybe

I was thinking of working on the SketchUp project today, but instead I think I will work on the OBS stream to Twitch thing.

So yea, that is what I am doing, maybe.


Thursday, February 08, 2018

SEA OF THIEVES : What Worries Me?

I just finished watching this video made by Gopher.  Though I have not actually watched him and Chay play this game (well that is not entirely true, I watched a few minutes of their first Twitch stream), and though I do not think I would probably play this game, in this video he talks about issues he is concerned with.  He talks about content, or the lack there of, cross platform issues, and micro transactions.  I feel this is an issue with many games, especially the newer MMO type games.

I have many of the same concerns.  The one I would like to first address is Micro Transactions.  Like Gopher I can see the rationale for them to some degree, though I believe that if you pay for the game, that should pay for the development of the game if it is of sufficient quality to warrant its existence in the first place.  As for cosmetic things, I can see that too, lots of people want special clothes for their character, or in this case, maybe different paint jobs for their ship.  Like Gopher I believe that you should be able to get the same things in game through process of playing the game, and that MT's should be just a short cut.  I can see the potential for additional content to be purchased, like new ship types, or such, more maps, and lots of other items could be sold in the form of packs that one could purchase if one so desired it.  The Sims franchise was very successful with their stuff packs, I do not see why this would not work as well.  If the game were opened to modding, then that too could be used as a revenue source, as long as the mod authors (developers) were also provided with some of the revenue from the sale of their mods.  They would also have to be like MT's in that for a cutlass recolor or some such thing, the cost would be very low, perhaps like $.50 and for an outfit recolor, maybe a dollar, something like that.  The really popular ones could be combined in a stuff pack, and a few new ones in-house made could be thrown in as a bonus, with maybe a new shop or map to make it worth the money you pay for it.  I do not find it all that difficult to figure out, but I am not the developer of the game, and maybe they just do not have the time to figure all this out and still work on the basic parts of the game.  Hopefully they will be successful, and will have the money for further development and to pay a few extra developers to make such considerations.

The content issue is one that I think they will have to address to make the game successful at all.  Of course it could just be a one-off and they are not really concerned with long term franchise success, and so content is not their concern, as they figure if it is successful, some other larger game house will come along and buy the game from the original developers, and they can then move on to a new game.  That is fine, and I think it is short sighted, but be that as it may, I can see how that could be their goal.

As far as cross platform play, one way to do that is to develop in a cross platform language, like Java, however I do not know if that would help to create a cross platform server environment.  I do not pretend to know how that would work, I only have a rudimentary understanding of software languages, I have always been a hardware person myself.  I know I have seen lots of distasterious results when a game is ported either way, though that does not seem to me it should be so, as they are both PC, just one is dedicated and locked to certain hardware, where as the general computer is a more fluid platform.  Game consoles are actually personal computers, that are locked to their purpose (though they have expanded their purpose as of the latest generations to some degree) and general purpose computers are often not locked to a purpose, but often built with a more specific purpose in mind (such as a gaming computer).  I think the difference comes in the devices used to interact with each type of computer.  Game consoles are designed to be used with a controller, while general computers are designed to be used with keyboard and mouse.  I am pretty sure you could do either with either, even if you had to add some software to either to make them work as they should with the chosen devices.  I think VR will level that field some, as that is a device that is basically the same on either a game console, or a general purpose computer.  If you choke the hardware of either platform you have taken the wrong route, and you should reconsider how you are going to make the cross platform server work.  There must be a way, or just accept that those that have a computer that is more powerful than the game console player has the advantage, much like someone with the better network and better general purpose computer will usually win out against any person with a weaker network or less than ideal general purpose computer.

As far as this game is concerned, the Sea of Thieves, if it does not allow for the boarding of other ships, it there is no Navy component, if it is not a sailing simulator, and you can somehow sail the ship by yourself, then I have no interest in it.  I should be able to port in at Nassau or Madagascar or some other such place, and perhaps have some tap room brawls, and the threat of mutiny, and all the other concerns of being a real pirate.  I should also be able to get a commission from the navy to take on the merchant ships of other nations, for bounty's so that I am not necessarily a pirate but a privateer.  If I capture a rival ship, I should get that ship to add to my fleet.  I should be able to call for quarter from the Navy, or Parly from a rival pirate ship, and though I would loose my ship and my crew, I would be let go, and allowed to go back to the nearest port, where I would have to start all over again to build up my wealth until I could get a new ship, if I did not steal one, build up a crew, and then try again.  If the bounty were high enough, obviously I would get no quarter, and would hang from the yardarms or something like that, but I should have the opportunity for a trial, and therefore a period where I may actually make an escape.  Or if found guilty, sent to Botany Bay, or to some desolate island where I would likely die of thirst before I could find a way to get back to some other place.  You see there is a lot that could be done here, I know it would be a lot to do all that, but what is the point of making a game if it is just another FPS but with ships.  Well maybe there is a big point, but you would definitely not find me buying it then.



Friday, February 02, 2018

Video Stream Success... sort of

I was actually able to make a video stream, on Hangout OnAir, and it worked, sort of.  The audio quality is pretty bad, and the video quality is not that great, but I was able to do it.  It is not available on my channel, because it is not ready for primetime yet.

Next I will try to make a video using OBS, and will see how that goes, but not today.  I need to check my Twitch settings, and see what I can do to improve the audio quality.  I do not expect that I will be doing many videos in the near future, but as I work through the process I am learning to do them, and perhaps in a while I will begin broadcasting them both on Twitch (live) and on Youtube (condensed versions).

As I get this down I will be able to set up Arleta's channel and using the Nikon or her phone (most likely the phone) will be able to make videos for her as well.  These will likely be the more popular videos as she is not only doing things that are interesting, but she is also much more social than I am.

Yes I have all the popular social sites, but I really only check on Twitter once in a while, and G+ here and there.  My Twitter repost everything to Facebook for me, otherwise I almost never check Facebook, as it is just too much crap.  Yes I am on Steam as well, but again I do not do the social thing very much, so I would not look for me there either.

I have been playing this game called Minetest, which is an open source voxel sandbox, like Minecraft, but not the same.  I would still like to get Minecraft, and I have made a channel on Youtube just for that.  If someone does gift me Minecraft now that I know how to stream, I will stream the raw video on Twitch and upload the edited versions to Youtube on my Mine Salad Surgery channel.

So there you go, two blog post in one day, what is going on with me, am I getting social like, no not likely.


SketchUp Pipes and Other Frustrations

Making pipes in SketchUp is not all that fun, but necessary if I want to be able to show all the mechanicals.  I thought the creation of a bracket was difficult, how wrong I was.  I know there is probably some pre-made things in the 3D Warehouse, but I have never really had much luck with fitting those models into my model, so I just make everything myself.  Sometimes I want to just buy some of the extensions that do that sort of thing, they look so useful, but I have to have the Professional version of SketchUp first, and that is at least $700.00 out of my range at the moment.  So I make it work, and it does, but it is definitely a process, and an exercise in frustration sometimes.

Yesterday I fought with the program for about an hour with no results, today, I was able to get it to do basically what I wanted in a few minutes.  That happens a lot.

In a related issue, I am fighting with trying to livestream on Youtube using Hangouts on Air.  I was able to do a few seconds of streaming, but my mic was turned off, so there was no audio.  Then try asw I might, I could not get it done after that.  I gave up and said "Hey I have OBS, we will try that".  No deal, even trying to find a video on how to do that ended in me just giving in and ranting for about a half hour on how back when I used to use broadcast cameras and film cameras this was not a problem.  That brings me to the point of my Nikon camera.  While it is a nice camera I guess, or so I am told, it is much more akin to the Kodak Disk camera or the Box Brownie than any Nikon I ever used.  Hell my Yashica had more control than this thing does.  I have managed to make it make some alright snapshot type pictures, but certainly not any type of real photography.  I have read that it is a good video camera, as long as it is hooked up to an external drive or PC as even with a big chip it will only make a few minutes of video in raw format.  My question is how do you shut off the microphone, and there is no place for an external microphone so how do you do passable audio.  Even a fairly cheap video camera has at least the ability to shut off the audio and or input external audio, so you can use a better quality microphone.  For some people it would be fine, it is basically a point and shoot camera, and with its auto settings it will do a decent job of taking a snapshot.  There are no real controls.  I do not pretend to understand how digital photography works, it is still a new process to me, but as far as cameras are concerned they were working, why reinvent the wheel.

I never did like auto-focus lenses, but I did adjust to one or two on my Minolta, for certain situations.  I preferred my Yashica, or my Contax or my Nikon, all of which were standard SLR cameras with standard lenses.  Personally I preferred the Contax over all of them.  I want to have control over the ASA speed of the film (or whatever is equivalent), I want to have control over the f-stop of the lens, I want to have control of the shutter speed.  These three controls were all that was needed to make great photos.  With control of these simple mechanisms you could do all sorts of things.  Yes you still had to consider the lighting, but I could shoot in near darkness without night vision, all I needed was a small amount of light and a tripod.  I could control the film speed, shutter speed and aperture setting, and with that make photos in near darkness.  Once you mastered those settings, all else was just style.

I used to teach photography to little children that came to the Art Guild, and we started without cameras, just learning how to see light and shadow.  Then we made our own pinhole cameras, and learned about how the light effected the paper.  Once they had learned that we moved on to other things like cameras and their parts.  Some of the parents were worried that I could not teach their children how to make good pictures in the short time we had over the summer.  Every single one of them were able to make great photos after the four Saturdays of lessons, and the parents wanted me to teach them.  I could not do the same today, I do not even begin to understand digital photography, and though I get progress, and I know film is dead, I just wonder why the hell they thought they needed to reinvent the camera.  The camera worked, they did not fix it, they broke it.  The digital camera is not a step forward, it is not progress, it is regression.  We are back to Box Brownies, which were great for their time, but when moveable lenses came out, no one said hey we still want our single focal plane cameras.  No one misses the Camera Obscura as cool as it was, Kodak and Polaroid were way cooler.

It is sort of like going back to quill and ink, it is cool for the historical aspect, but really the innovation of movable type made all the difference.  Even though now days most people use a computer to write (I am composing this on the blog on my laptop), the basics are still the same.  I am still typing on a keyboard, and the type is still being produced on the screen in letters that form words and in some cases ideas.  This is thoughtful and organized progression.  Touchscreens are not, touch screen swiping keyboards are not.  These are aberrations, and lead to regression.  Just like net-speak is not a language, and it should not be used by anyone of any amount of intellect.  I am a writer, I use slang, colloquialisms, dialect, and localized speech patterns for character development, but when trying to get a point across, I try (although usually unsuccessful) to be concise, and get to the point in an organized manor using language that is at least mostly proper.  This helps to facilitate communication of ideas without the need to figure out what the hell lol stands for.  The first time I actually heard someone say "lol" after saying something to someone, I wanted to shoot either them or myself, I wasn't sure which one would solve the problem.  Now I realize "New Speak" is on the rise, and soon we will either learn "New Speak" or we will be part of the 5 minutes.  At this point in my life I would rather be outside than in the Party, thank you.

On that note, I am leaving, not forever, but for a time, do not know how long, could be a day, or an hour, or maybe until I find something else to rant about.


Wednesday, January 31, 2018

300ish Cabin Update 013118 Beams are Needed

The 300ish square foot cabin based on the Euclidean Phi ratio so far.  Still a lot to go, and the single deck bracket is just there to illustrate the bracket, I will have to lay out the deck first to place them on the beams properly.

The beams are built up beams from rough cut 2"x10" boards of various lengths so that no seams are beside another seam break.  They have 1/2" CDX plywood (exterior) between each layer of dimensional lumber, and are glued and nailed.  They are nominally 22' long giving the entire deck dimension of 13'5/8" by 22', which maintains the ratio of Phi (mostly).  The deck will sit on top of the beams with double ends, double centers, as the deck will be built in four parts, put on the beams, bolted together, and tied with the beam to deck brackets.  The deck will also have joist hangers for the deck joist.  The beams are also tied to the concrete pylons using brackets.  Each pylon has two J-bolts that are bolted to the brackets to tie the beams to the pylons.  Doing this will mean we will not have to have huricane straps, as the entire structure is tied to the concrete pylons.  The pylons are 8" above the ground surface.  The ground surface will be prepped to provide a level plane, which will include drainage tiles and pipes to ensure that the pad stays dry and level (as best as we can given the knowledge of soil types for a particular area).  The pylons are 48" though this is for areas with cold weather (zone 3) where the frost line is 48".  The pad will be dug down for 24" to provide space for tiles and substrate for drainage pipes.

Since this will also have a Geo-thermal pump installed, it may include a deep hole for the piping, but that is usually best if done outside the actual house, as the pump is not under the house.

That is the update for now, I will post more when I get more done.  Sometimes it is quite frustrating working on this as the software sometimes is a bit wonky, and I need a better mouse.  At some point I want to purchase the Pro version of SketchUp and the SketchUp mouse, which even at about $800.00 (for software and mouse) is still about $1,200.00 cheaper than the comparable offerings from companies like Autodesk.

Eventually this as well as at least three other designs I am working on will be made available in an ebook format, with links to download the designs in a format that can be presented as plans for the construction of any of the houses.  Most of the houses are on the small side, though not tiny per se, the larger colonial is over 1000 square foot, while this one is just under 300 (296.something) square foot.

Just a little disclaimer here; no these links are not affiliate links.  I used to have affiliate links, but Amazon pulled my account for inactivity or some such BS, and I have never actually had any type of Google affiliate account.  The fact is I provide them so that if you wanted you could actually see the stuff I am talking about.  I am done with trying to play that game, it just does not work for me.  I do still have adsense on my blog, mostly because I haven't taken the time to remove it, though I most likely will in the near future.  In the ten or so years that I have been blogging I have earned nothing for all the advertising I had on it, and I am not going to blog stuff just to get advertising.  I do this for me, if others find it interesting that is cool, enjoy it.  Comment if you like, I do not say I will even notice the comments, and I have no notifications set up on this blog anymore, nor do I check my email all that often.  If you really want to contact me, send me a message through Twitter, though I do not even respond all that quickly to that either, so do not expect a fast response.  Hey if you want to be all generous and shit, I have a PayPal, if I get some comments about such things I might consider putting a link in the blog so people can donate to my work through PayPal.  Share this if you want, take the work and do as you wish with it, I don't care, it is for my own reasons I do this.  I would like to get credit for my work, but I do not seek any real recognition, just doing what I do, and fuck the rest.

Some people say I should do a video blog or something like that, but so far I have not done well with the video thing.  I am not interested enough in such things to take the time to make quality videos, and really unless I can make them to my standards, what is the point of making them at all.  I am considering making videos for my Minetest and MineCraft plays, but again that remains to be seen.  Right now, it will not likely happen anytime soon, as I just do not care enough about the whole social scene online to bother.  Yes I have a Twitter account, yes I have a Facebook account, yes I have a Pinterest account, yes I have a Snapchat account (which is weird because I do not have a smart or even dumb phone), and yes I do sometimes even check on these streams, though usually only Twitter and G+, so those are the two to best contact me through.  So, yea that is the disqualifier BS that should help people if they want to contact me.

Thank you,

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Beam to Deck Joist End Bracket

This took me the better part of an hour.

This is the top beam bracket for the end of the beams that sit on the concrete pylons to tie in the deck joist.  It is set up for a double deck end joist.  I will post more later.



Tuesday, January 23, 2018

AR or Not

It's augmented reality ready for work?  My take on it is that not quite.  I liked Google glass, but I see the problems.  I also see the potential, but it is only one part of the augmented reality.  In addition to vision, there needs to be other senses.  In addition the devices need to interact with applications, and with the world around us.

I am thinking it will take a while, but there are some VR offerings that are getting better, but they lack the ability to interact with the world.  It will be a while, but at least things are moving, and that is something.


Sunday, January 21, 2018

Another Tesla X

This article is a decent in-depth look at the Tesla X, the SUV from Tesla.  Like a lot of their offerings, for most people it is too soon, but given another five or ten years and they will be definitely a great choice to make.

Still if you have the money and just have to be that person, then any of the Tesla offerings would be a good choice.  As of right now, their stock is the thing to watch.  I think if they continue to work on the commercial vehicle and powerplant areas, it really could propel the company forward.

Release of the model 3, will help, if they can work out their issues and continue to innovate, they will at least be a good but for quite some time.


New Colonial sort of not

Not even going to attempt to post an updated picture of the design, as I have to start over.  I realized I was doing the post completely wrong.  I tried to make it work, but I want to do it right, so back to the scratch pad.  I am going to try to use the newest version of Sketchup Make, the one that is on the browser, and see if that is any better.  It might be easier as I might have better access to the warehouse, so I won't have to construct all the materials myself.  This will be especially useful when it comes to the post ties, as I am using concrete pylons with 6x6 post above the grade.

I thought I was making good progress, and then the whole thing just dawned on me that it was all impossible to accomplish the way I was doing it.  It is not that big of a deal, but it does set me back some, and I won't be posting any new pictures any time soon as the detail work is definitely far more detail than I like to do, so I do so in small burst.

I will try to post some in the next week or so, but I don't make any promises, as I never know what else is going to come up.

Monday, January 15, 2018

New Colonial sort of update 2

Well I have thought about the colonial, and I am still working on it, but I have considered a little update to the roof line.  So I did a quick sketch edit, and I am not real good with MS draw, so it is a dirty edit, but I think it shows where I am headed.  I will be doing the edit in Google Sketch-up soon, and that will be published to show the updates.

I have some additional updates coming, as I am starting the foundation build in Google Sketch-up.  It is going to be built on a pier foundation, though it could be built on any foundation.  I also will have a lot of window and door details that are not present in the sketch.  Once I start the frame up there is going to be some shifting around of the lines, the stairs are moving over about 2' so even out the upstairs, which will give a bigger bedroom downstairs, and a smaller pantry area, though I may shift a few other details, to give more pantry room.

The mechanicals will be presented in this design, as they have not been in others that I have drawn.  In addition to plumbing and HaVAC, I will be presenting electrical and other details like the low voltage systems, smart home details, and even safety and security details.

I think I am going to look at a geo-pump and radiant floor heating, plus gas heaters, so this will be quite a bit more ambitious design.

At 36' x 24' this is quite a large house for me, much bigger than I usually design.  This is a 1,7282 foot home, which is ginormous for my usual designs.  I would like to cut it down some, but for the sake of the design as I saw it, this is going to work as it is.  It is very simple and the first floor is very open, with a very large staircase, under which is storage for the master bedroom.  In addition to that, the front of the staircase can be opened so that can be used for some mechanicals that need to have a central location, like distributors for the in floor radiant heating.

On the second floor I am using propane or natural gas heaters, though I am not certain what type yet, I am still considering that.  The second floor heaters will be supplemental heaters as between the radiant heat, and the geo-heat I might not need a central heating system as is usual in house such as this.  I am still working out the thermodynamics of the envelope to determine what will work best.  There will not be an air exchanger or forced air, so if anything it will be a boiler on the first floor, as that is where the radiant heat system is, and that will also be used if the Geo-thermal heater does not produce sufficient heat.  This plan should be usable in most areas, even where extreme temperatures are.  In areas of higher heat a heat pump could be used in place of or in addition to the Geo-thermal pump to cool the interior.

Well time to get back to work so I can begin to get the foundation details done, and I will try to publish that as soon as I get it done.


Tuesday, January 09, 2018

New Colonial Sorta

A work in progress, this is the first two story I have attempted.  This is the first draft, now the real work begins as I attempt to figure out all the structure and other details.  I do not like the roof line at all, it looks too much like a hat.  I want it to be simple enough to be a basic build.  I will have so see how it goes with the structure and final designs.