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User Journal

Journal Journal: Dan Dreifort 2

Blogging somewhere else these days. You can find Dan Dreifort goodness on my wordpress blog. I don't think anything I journaled on /. ever got picked up by any search engine. I wonder if that's intentional.
User Journal

Journal Journal: /. Editors Can Eat my Ass (NPR Funding Story) 2

I submitted a concise story to /. yesterday about NPR/PBS actually, really-o truly-o losing govt funding. Lo and behold, it was rejected. What made the front page today instead? A story about Batman's new suit. Thanks for the fluff.

The point of my post was not so much that our backwards-ass government is attempting to stifle public broadcasting, but that a decade of emails crying wolf quashed the efficacy of recent "Save Big Bird from the Chopping Block!" efforts. It doesn't help that NPR is still advertising that "Save NPR" emails are a hoax.


"Save PBS!" campaigners could've sent corrections to all those urban legend sites. Slashdot could've published my story...

Whatever. If I'd ever had faith in humanity, this would've been (somewhere) on the laundry list of events causing me to lose it.

User Journal

Journal Journal: ADD Ritalin Adderall and other speedy goings on

Just a rant. Look elsewhere for something else.

I've never been a huge fan of our increasing emotional health medicating trends. I'm of the school that leans toward a decent diet, exercise and mental stimulation for what seems to ail most of us. Seems doctors and drug companies don't agree though. So many fucked up people on specious pills.

The most alarming scenario on my mind of late is the seemingly inane practice of giving kids with ADD and adults with AADD some form of speed to help focus. Backwards as it may sound, it allegedly works wonders. But we're stuck with the treatment of one symptom as a panacea as speed doesn't address other problems that seem to go hand in hand with both attention deficit disorders.

e.g. if there's a budding performance artist of a kid next door with ADD who just so happens to like tormenting animals, starting fires and painting public (or others' private) property, etc. - the Ritalin will help him focus, sure. But do you think he/she's going to all of a sudden decide to ponder bad poetry and schoolwork? I doubt it. Beast unleashed.

The same thing'll happen with the adult. That quiet tweaky guy next door who used to watch his mountains of German sheise videos in-between OCD bouts of nail-clipping and vacuuming the carpets, will be able to ultra-adderall-focus on the hot 16 year old gal across the street's ass.

Extreme examples, sure, but they're the foundation for the greater slippery slope of the "solution." Me? I kinda liked the South Park solution for ADD/Ritalin - it went somethin' like, "*smack* SETTLE DOWN YOU LITTLE PUNK! *whack* DO YOUR HOMEWORK!"

Better ideas?

User Journal

Journal Journal: Basement Drain Sewage Odor New Invention

The current scenario is ugly, rusty, and requires occasional maintenance to be effective.

When it rains a lot, (and it's rained more here in the past few months than any other few-month period I can recall,) the small hole in the foundation from the old oil tank (used to be used for heating,) sends a little rivulet into my basement.

I came home from work during the first hurricane to find several of inches of water near the basement drain. Fuck. Then I pulled the pipe (diagram) out, and the water drained. Easy.

I knew the second hurricane was coming, so I removed the pipe. Rivulet of water came and went with little incident.

A few days ago, it rained all day and saturated the ground. Then, though there was only a "20% chance of showers" it rained cats and dogs the next night. Rivulet returned, pipe was in the drain. Standing water ensued the next morning.

So I plan to address the oil-tank hole (and a few other seepage points) as best I can in the spring. I need a solution until then, and in case I can't totally fix the problem in the spring.

Solution should:

prevent gases (and water) from coming up through the drain

allow for a similar pipe to accept a few drain-pipes (might add a sink in the basement)

allow for "regular" non-pipe drainage w/out removal of said pipe

not entail excessive digging or removal of the concrete floor

not rust

I can't leave the drain open, because a nasty ass smell can pervade the house - and the GF sometimes forgets to put the pipe in when she does laundry (yes I'm lucky) and the whole-house humidifier drains into the pipe too.

So I posted this to several plumbing forums and to a "guys" list-serve I'm on.

The plumbers and their enthusiast armchair ilk were largely a bunch of sissy naysaying doubting Toms. They said I'd need to do a lot of digging, install underground traps, vents, sump basins, etc. The guys on my list-serve did them one better. That is to say, we took the fucking challenge by the balls and used our heads.

I used to think plumbers were overpaid. Now I think they lack imagination.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Open Edition Web Radio Show

I and two other co-owners of FrogNet do a once a month radio show on the Open Source movement. You can find the last couple of shows on the WOUB Studio B site. We'll soon mirror the streams at, but that's not up as of this posting.

The show is broad enough to entertain and inform both pros and noobs alike. We always touch on hot topics, or 'Open Source in the News' and pick two or three topics for in-depth discussion. This month it was

1. non-software examples of open source, e.g. Wikipedia, dmoz, /., etc. and other embodiments of open philosophy.

2. Open source and democracy/voting, focusing on voting machines and other ways open source can/does aid democracy.

3. GAIM. (I'm no IM fan, so I was largely silent for this portion.)

But anyhow, it's a decent show. If you know any OS newbies in need of the education you're not patient enough to give, or if you just want to hear what some other gearheads have to say, give a listen.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Cactus Pears Tubes Link Smoked Meat

The amazing CactusPears are back from the dead. We practiced for about five hours tonight, and took the goofiest set of promo pictures I've ever seen. Hope to have those on the site (and in papers) soon. The big to-do is Friday October 29th in Athens, OH. Not sure that this'll be an ongoing thing, but it'll be great for sure.

I have to buy a new set of pre-amp tubes for my twin b/c I'm getting a little bit of harmonic feedback. I don't think anybody but me or other gearheads would notice, but, I do. Anybody know a good spot for a cheap set of decent matched tubes?

I added a link to this on, so maybe there'll actually be a little discussion here someday. Maybe not.

Next weekend is the National Smoked Meat Festival. I think I'm going. Can't beleive I've lived here for over a decade without knowing it was right next door. I had to read about it in Maxim.

"What a world. What a world." -Wicked Witch of the West

User Journal

Journal Journal: Radiant Floor Heating under tiles

I'm tiling a small (8'x6') bathroom. On a whim, I looked into radiant heating. It doesn't cause drafts, can use as little as 10% of the energy required for typical heating solutions, raises your floor only 1/8"", makes for a wonderful warm floor and etc.

I looked around at some of the top providers online... they have nifty sites, but their products are overpriced. After getting my education from their sites, I found two sellers on eBay providing comparable systems for a fraction of the price. Check out warm mvd and markb32 I'll let you know how it works in a few weeks.

What'll it cost? I'm heating about 23 sq ft of the room, and the total for parts and shipping will run between $50 and $120. Wow!

User Journal

Journal Journal: Basement room

I bought a great house. But the basement was very basement-like. I wanted to rent out one of the basement rooms. Purchased and installed subflor advance Works great. Highly recommended. Painted the walls with Big Lots waterproofing paint. As far as I can tell, more water gets in now, but maybe that's because we got the ass-end of a couple of hurricanes in SE OH this month. Next spring, I'm digging a ditch around the foundation, putting an imperm membrane around the house, adding drainage, etc. Not fun. Anyhow - is there a product that actually will waterproof cinderblocks from the inside? I want it.
The Internet

Journal Journal: for sale

I lucked upon a few years ago. Got it for a song. Somebody must've been smoking crack and forgot about it.

It's got built-in hits. It's a homonymn for "Dandy!" It'd be a great business name. Etc.

So I'm selling it. Bids start at $5k. Thats five-thousand, not five, and a free "k" thrown in for kicks. I'm even throwing in five years of free hosting with a gig of storage and over 10GB/mo transfer. Wow.

I've set up this great email addy to accept bids.

Do you tink $5k is too much? Too little? Does anybody read this?



Journal Journal: Ask slashdot about *this* explosion

I correspond with a guy named Der Voron. Pretty neat, eh? He's written a couple of books about alien encounters and intervention, etc. Interesting fella. He recently sent me this (below) and asked me to find an "answer" to it. Not sure what that means exactly, but I know that he is willing to subject himself to a, "helmet with electrodes." I'll pay a buck to see that.

Strange occurrence
By Der Voron

I am recalling an unexplainable occurrence that happened to me in my youth, sometime around 1990. I was very curious, and one of my passions was chemistry. I tried to electrolyze a water solution of sodium chloride (plain salt), and received some amount of chlorine.

I decided to move further to conduct an experiment with fluorine, electrolyzing a water solution of sodium fluoride in a glass container. I knew I was not going to get fluorine in that way because of its chemical properties; but I wanted to see how it reacted with water. Indeed, I could see that. Suddenly, the container exploded right before my eyes! I was not injured by the glass fragments, but was unable to find any, though I diligently tried to find them.

There is nothing wondrous that the container exploded. During the electrolysis, hydrogen from the cathode was accumulating in the water and partially in the air, and active oxidants like ozone and oxygen fluorides from the anode were accumulating likewise:

2NaF (sodium fluoride) = (electrolysis) 2Na + F2
2Na + 2H2O = 2NaOH + H2 (hydrogen)
F2 + H2O -> HF + OF2 (oxygen fluoride) + O2F2 (another kind of oxygen fluoride) + O3 (ozone) + O (atomic oxygen) + H2O2 (hydrogen peroxide) [different reaction products]

The explosion was evidently caused by reaction between hydrogen (a part of which was partially dissolved in the water and another part leaving it from water surface) and ozone, oxygen fluorides, hydrogen peroxide, and atomic oxygen also partially dissolved in the water and leaving it from the surface; that is, oxidants solved in the water reacted with the hydrogen solved in the water, and oxidants that left the water from the surface reacted with hydrogen which was also leaving the water from the surface.

Nothing wondrous; the wondrous is that there was no injury, though the explosion happened right before my face, and no fragments of the container were found after that. I swear by God that this is the absolute truth. If someone doubts my words, I don't mind to be checked with lie detectors, such as conventional lie detector or helmet with electrodes.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Moderation, Karma, etc.

After years of /.ing, I finally decided to *use* that account I'd gotten b/c I don't remember why. Meta-moderating - what a blast. I'm like a censor's censor all of sudden. Self-loathing aside, I'm also somehow in posession of "positive" karma. Amazing. Alas, my two comments have generated only one response, and no modding by my peers. My flarging awesome WiMax story was rejected. I wonder if this is one of the places I'm supposed to not bitch about that. Regardless, I think WiMax is going to be the biggest thing since sliced cream corn. Maybe I'll do up my article again, but post it here instead. But as I'm "invisible" to the world (thanks /.) I doubt it matters. Maybe I should post it over on 1,000 visitors a day is no /., but it's better than nothing. Thanks for not looking ;)

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Order and simplification are the first steps toward mastery of a subject -- the actual enemy is the unknown. -- Thomas Mann