Food coma

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Came out perfect...

I love to cook and do most of it for us.  Lulu is a great cook but I have taken over as I like doing it - something different from computers...

She said that in the three+ years I have been cooking for her, this was the best meal she has ever had.

We are both sated and descending into a nice food coma and an early bedtime.

I have to do a quick run into town but neither Hardware Sales nor a particular flooring store are buying in to the Black Friday nonsense and should be pretty well deserted.

That and a feed store for some more bird seed and suet blocks - lil' buggars have been eating me out of house and home...

Out of the oven and a thing of beauty

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Not me - the Wellington...

Got a lot to be Thankful for. Best wishes to everyone!

I waaaant!!!

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Hat tip to The Adaptive Curmudgeon for the link. Got too many other irons in the fire to build one.

Turns out it was made by these people: SuperDroid Robots - interesting website.

The Wellington is resting

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All done. 



It only takes 35 minutes to bake (400°F / rare) so it will go into the oven in three hours - resting in the fridge for now. Prepping some roasted Brussels sprouts with bacon and will figure out a desert between now and then. Maybe a Key Lime pie.

Now to work on the Synthesizer cabinet - prepping the room for assembly...

Turkey day at the farm

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Slept in until 9:00AM and then Lulu and I went out for coffee. It is raining hard and the pineapple express has yet to hit so it was interesting looking at the water levels in the rivers and streams - high and getting higher..

Doing a Beef Wellington instead of turkey this year:


Seasonal change

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Lulu woke at 4:00AM this morning - it's only 8:30PM and I am punking out.

Sleeping in tomorrow - we both need to reset our clocks...

From our local Bellingham Herald:

Scientists may be cracking mystery of big 1872 earthquake
Geologists might be close to cracking one of the biggest seismological mysteries in the Northwest: the origin of a powerful quake that rattled seven states and provinces when Ulysses S. Grant was president and the transcontinental railroad hadn’t yet reached Washington.

Preliminary evidence points to a newly discovered fault near Entiat in Chelan County. The find adds to a growing body of evidence that Central and Eastern Washington are more quake-prone than previously thought, and will help refine seismic risks in an area that’s home to 1.5 million people, more than a dozen hydropower dams and the Hanford nuclear reservation, said Craig Weaver, regional chief of the U.S. Geological Survey’s (USGS) earthquake programs.

“For more than four decades, people have been guessing where the 1872 earthquake was,” Weaver said. “To be able to finally pinpoint this thing on a map would be really important in helping us get the seismic hazard assessment correct in that part of the state.”

Emphasis mine - yikes! A lot of the problems at Hanford are the waste storage tanks holding liquid radioactive waste. Some of these are seeping into the Columbia River.  A big quake would flood the area down to Portland and the Pacific Ocean. We have been vitrifying this waste into a solid glass but since no site for long-term storage has been designated (thanks a lot Harry Reid), we have not progressed as far as we should have.

A photograph

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Amazing story from Drew Gardner:

Meeting the Mona Lisa -The Latest in the Descendants Series
This is a story that starts some 5 years ago.

While I was teaching at the excellent Maine Media Workshops. I gave a lecture at the wonderful Union Hall which was open to the public, as part of my lecture I showed my ‘Descendants’ project, where I recreate portraits of famous or notable historic figures with their direct Descendants.

I was enjoying a drink with some of the crew in Gilbert’s bar in Portland.

A man walked up to me and said that they had recently discovered the identity and direct descendants of the Mona Lisa, and he knew them.

Perhaps it was the Makers Mark on the rocks or perhaps it just sounded a little too unlikely, but I rather unwisely forgot all about it.

Until some 5 months later, when I was staying with my good friend Jonathan Laurence.

I walked into the same bar and there was a small hint of a glimmer of a recollection that someone had told me the unlikely tale of the the descendants of the Mona Lisa.

Five months on and this nugget of a rumour now intrigued me.

A few clicks on google and I found it was all true.

The descendants of the Mona Lisa, the 15 times great granddaughters of the Mona Lisa to be precise, were in fact two Italian princesses, living in Tuscany.

Lisa and Irina Strozzi who run the world renowned Strozzi winery

Drew assembled quite a team of photographers (including strobe wizzard David Hobby whose website is where I first heard about this) and the end result is amazing:


A bit of rain - Pineapple Express

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We are due for a bit of rain over the Thanksgiving holiday. From Cliff Mass:

Heavy Precipitation, Flooding, and a Cascade Meltdown
Yes, a typical Thanksgiving in the Northwest.
During the past week, we were encouraged by the first real snowfall in the Cascades this fall, with some locations getting 20-30 inches.  Steven Pass, hit by some convergence zone precipitation, has 24 inches and is just short of opening.  But like a snow mirage, the Cascade snowpack is about to disappear as warm temperatures and heavy rain hits the mountain barrier.

Say hello to this little formation:


Right between the eyes.

What a great idea - GroupGets

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Many times, there might be a fascinating piece of technology out there but they are only available from the manufacturer and only at minimum purchases of 100 on up. Or a distributor that carries this bit has a $500 minimum order to set up an account.

This is zero problem for a manufacturer but for a hobbyist wanting to tinker, this is a showstopper.

Until now - check out GroupGets:

Crowdfund anything, in any quantity
GroupGets empowers users to securely self-initiate or join existing user-initiated group buys for any existing product. We amplify buying power by linking shared purchasing interests worldwide to get better price breaks and lower minimum order quantities. We not only help you find backers for your campaign, we also securely handle the collection, purchasing, and shipping.

 Brilliant! They do not have many 'campaigns' online at the present but the idea is wonderful and I suspect that these people are going to get very busy, very soon.

Have they no shame - the New York Times

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UPDATE: Slate is just as craven as the New York Times. They published a photo of Officer Wilson's house.
A simple thought; if Officer Wilson and his wife's house is damaged at all, let us find out the addresses of the houses of Julie Bosman and Campbell Robertson (NY Times) and the house of Ben Mathis-Lilley (Slate) and seek some of that wonderful self-righteous Social Justice. What is good for the goose...


From Breitbart:

4:29 pm - New York Times Publishes Name of Street Darren Wilson Lives On 

Breitbart News will not link the story or give out the specific information, but the New York Times had no qualms whatsoever about publishing almost all the information needed for Officer Darren Wilson's enemies to track him and his wife down at home:

Officer Wilson and [his wife] own a home together on XXXXXXX Lane in XXXXXXXXXX, Mo., a St. Louis suburb about a half-hour drive from Ferguson.

This malicious move by the New York Times has not gone unnoticed by Ferguson's protesters:

But printing his street name in the nation’s most influential newspaper on the day the grand jury is expected to hand up a decision on the indictment could reignite interest in -- and awareness of -- the location, and some critics worry that it could result in protesters descending on his home. Slate even went a step further than the Times, publishing an article featuring a photo of the modest, red-brick house on Monday.

A number of Twitter users -- some of whom have identified themselves as planning to protest the grand jury decision -- have tweeted the location of Wilson’s home as they gear up for rallies. The house number was not printed in the Times, but the street in the St. Louis suburb of Crestwood where it sits is only about two blocks long, and the house number can be easily located via online sources using only the street name and Wilson’s name.

The media is evil. 

And of course, if something happens to Officer Wilson, the NY Times will deny culpability.

Scale Model of the US Government

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Presented for your edification:


Hat tip: Small Dead Animals

The poster child for: Hold my beer and watch this! From the Daytona Beach, Florida News-Journal:

Bunnell man accused of damaging bridge under construction
A Bunnell man who has been arrested numerous times in Flagler County has been arrested again, this time accused of damaging a bridge under construction.

Charles “Skeeter” Larkin Cowart Jr., 31, was arrested Monday after he was seen “doing donuts” with a 4-wheeler on a portion of the bridge where concrete had just been poured while screaming at the construction workers, according to a Flagler County Sheriff’s Office arrest report.

The 4-wheeler that Cowart was riding was pulling a small trailer and one of the construction workers reported to deputies that he dropped the tailgate and “backed up, gouging the new pavement.”

“He stated Charles then jumped off the 4-wheeler cursing at them and tossing a bucket of cow feed at the workers,” the report states. “(He) then jumped off the bridge into the woods, running south and swimming through the canal to the other side.”

Deputies saw Cowart running and then fall, “lying there for a minute until getting back up and running south again.”

Cowart’s father arrived and assisted deputies “in taking Charles Jr. under custody.”

Talk about being off your bubble.  The arresting officers took him to the hospital to check him out and he was fine so they hauled him off to jail with a $3,000 bond.

Object of desire - 3.2TB SSD from Samsung

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Ho. Li. Crap. From IT World:

The end of HDD? Samsung debuts a 3.2TB PCIe SSD card
Solid-state drives have been primarily used in desktops as fast boot drives, with large traditional hard disks used for the mass data storage and some apps. Most of the advancements in SSD media has been more around wear leveling and durability rather than raising capacity.

Well, now that they are getting the durability squared away, some are going for capacity. Several have released 1TB drives. Samsung just one-upped them all with a PCIe-based drive that holds 3.2TB.

The drive is based on Samsung's 3D V-NAND, or vertical NAND, flash memory technology, which uses 3D stacking of the cells. In traditional memory architectures, 2D structures were the norm, which meant that the more memory packed into a chip, the denser the memory became, causing interference between cells. So instead of building out, Samsung built up, as it were.

Samsung's choice of PCIe was not an accident or catering to the high end crowd. SATA III, the current top-of-the-line bus for hard drives and SSDs, is maxed out and the drives are faster than the interface. The result has been a plateauing of performance by SATA-based SSD drives. The SM1715 is a four-lane PCIe card, which offers 1.6GB of bandwidth. SATA III has just 600MB of bandwidth.

Samsung claims the SM1715 provides a sequential read speed of 3,000 megabytes per second (MB/s) and writes sequentially at up to 2,200MB/s. By contrast, the best SATA III drives are maxing out at 500MB/s reads and 400MB/s writes. The card also randomly reads at up to 750,000 IOPS (input output operations per second) and writes randomly at up to 130,000 IOPS. A top-level SATA SSD might hit 100k read IOPS and write IOPS of 90k.

No word on price as yet but this is a gamechanger. I recently upgraded my 5-year old music computer with a 512 GB SSD and performance is greatly improved - night and day. The downside is that I have to be really careful where I install applications - I have some sample players and Cakewalk Studio but all the associated media files have to live on D:\

It would be nice to have everything in one place...

Poor Barry - even his staunchest followers are jumping ship.

From Cornel West's twitter account:


From Michigan Live:

Great Lakes ice cover developing; Earliest in over 40 years
Ice is already starting to develop on Michigan's Great Lakes. This is the earliest ice on some of the Great Lakes in at least 40 years.

According to the Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory, on November 20, 2014, three of Michigan's Great Lakes had ice starting to form. Lake Superior and Lake Michigan were one-half percent ice covered, while Lake Huron had one percent ice. Lake Erie was not reporting any ice as of Nov. 20, 2014.

Decent early season ice coverage records date back to 1973. Last Friday was the earliest date that all three Great Lakes already had ice since the better reporting of early season ice began.

Lake Superior actually had ice forming on November 15th of this year. That is the earliest ice on Lake Superior in the good data set.

Lakes Superior, Michigan and Huron had ice 10 days earlier this year than last year.

Lake Superior only had five and a half months without any ice on the lake.

We could use some warming these days...

The rioting in Ferguson, Mo

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There were about 25 buildings burned in Ferguson. An interesting metric from Breitbart:

Most Businesses Destroyed in Ferguson Minority Owned
KMOV-TV reports that the majority of stores that were damaged or completely destroyed during Monday night's violent riots in Ferguson were minority owned. Fire Departments around the St. Louis County Area put out 25 structural fires caused by vandals and looters following the announcement from the grand jury that Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson would not be indicted in the death of Mike Brown.

Most of the damaged businesses were on West Florissant Avenue and included: Walgreens, Little Caesers Pizza,  Autozone, Beauty Town, Title Max, Family Dollar Store, and O'Reilly Auto Parts. Small-business owner Natalie Dubose was in tears when she realized her cake store was attacked by vandals. 

Dubose, a mother of two, previously told CNN, "If I can't open my doors every morning, I can't feed my kids in the evening. Just don't burn my shop down, don't destroy it."

How's that hope and change working out for you. I am betting that the large stores will not rebuild causing the neighborhood to deteriorate even further.

Consequences of your actions? No thought given...

Michael Ramirez sums it up perfectly:


From Reuters:

Ferguson erupts after officer not charged in teen's shooting
A Missouri grand jury's decision not to indict a white police officer on any charges in the fatal August shooting of an unarmed black teenager unleashed a wave of violent protests Monday night similar to what engulfed the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson in August.

Angry crowds took to the streets around the Ferguson, Missouri, police department after the grand jury determined there was no probable cause to charge officer Darren Wilson with any crime for the shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown. The incident highlighted longstanding racial tensions in the predominantly black city, which has a white-dominated power structure.

Brown was a known criminal, he had robbed a convenience store an hour prior. He was struggling with Officer Wilson trying to get the Officer's gun. The tox panel at the autopsy showed that he was high on pot. Six black witnesses stated that Brown was physically charging Officer Wilson when Officer Wilson acted to save himself.

This was back in August - for the last couple months, all kinds of outside agitators have been swarming into Ferguson. And nobody talks about the black on black violence - doesn't fit the narrative...

Yikes - new regulation on drones

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Now that they are coming into the reach of anyone with $2K to spend (and this is for a high-end unit), the Fed.Gov is stepping in to regulate them. There are some idiots out there but most people are really responsible.

From the Wall Street Journal's Marketwatch:

Drone flights face FAA hit
Highly anticipated federal rules on commercial drones are expected to require operators to have a license and limit flights to daylight hours, below 400 feet and within sight of the person at the controls, according to people familiar with the rule-making process.

The drone industry has awaited commercial rules for about six years, hoping the rules would pave the way for widespread drone use in industries such as farming, filmmaking and construction. Current FAA policy allows recreational drone flights in the U.S. but essentially bars drones from commercial use.

While the FAA wants to open the skies to unmanned commercial flights, the expected rules are more restrictive than drone supporters sought and wouldn’t address privacy concerns over the use of drones, people familiar with the matter said.

The agency also plans to group all drones weighing less than 55 pounds under one set of rules. That would dash hopes for looser rules on the smallest drones, such as the 2.8-pound Phantom line of camera-equipped, four-rotor helicopters made by China’s SZ DJI Technology Co. Similar-sized devices are seen as the most commercially viable drones and have surged in popularity in the last two years.

Like I said, there are some idiots out there and there have been fatal accidents with flying drones striking people on the ground. Still, this is a case where the industry should be policing itself and not relying on the Fed.Gov to step in and take over.

Schlieren optics

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Schlieren optics allow us to see minute differences in air density. Here is a video:

More here - fun stuff! Their last example uses sulfur hexafluoride gas - this is the "anti-helium" - it is substantially denser than air and makes anyone into a basso profondo for a few breaths. No odor but a very light taste of bananas.

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