Archive for September, 2011

Nuclear energy and shotguns

Posted on Friday, September 30th, 2011 at 9:12 am

Using nuclear energy to generate electricity is like using a shotgun to swat flies. Both will get the job done, but you’re never happy with the final outcome.


(Quoting myself.)

Eight days and counting

Posted on Thursday, September 29th, 2011 at 12:56 pm

Eight days to go before the party.  Concrete to be poured, plumbing to get done, and generally spruce things up around the property.


Temps should be down about ten degrees tomorrow, and the triple digits go away.


Guitar amp replacement in Dallas, due here tomorrow.  PA tested out well.  Table to be built for it and laptop (recording the party music).


Not very energetic the last couple of days.  I slept like 13 hours in three sessions yesterday.  Ugh!

Audio plus

Posted on Monday, September 26th, 2011 at 12:21 pm

The rest of the audio equipment arrived today.  PA speakers, microphones, mike stands, goosenecks, booms, cables, music stands, guitar racks, drink holders, etc.  400+ pounds of stuff.  Time to start testing to make sure it all works.


Crew is also here to set the concrete forms for around the greenhouse.


Garage door guy came and took measurements for the two doors to go in the barn.


Very busy day, and my back is already complaining before noon.  Oy.


The rope lights turned out very nicely, very inviting.  All it cost me was a bunch of scratches on my legs and torso from working through the holly plant.


Posted on Thursday, September 22nd, 2011 at 5:51 am

Well, the borrowed extension ladder is here, and today I get to climb it and install hook screws for a second string of ropelights on the side of the house, adding it to the photo-electric plug with the  front lights.  It should be nice for Fais Do-do, attracting people to that side of the house.


The amps (bass and guitar) and the wireless mikes arrive today.  The PA and the rest of the stuff arrive Monday (ETA on tracking).  I guess I’ll be playing music tonight to check out the amps.  The wireless mikes won’t be of much use until the cables for the base unit arrive Monday.

Black walnut and photoelectric rope lights

Posted on Tuesday, September 20th, 2011 at 7:51 pm

It was a day of working with wood carving tools and wire nuts.  The front of the house now has daylight switching LED ropelights to illuminate the front of the house at night.  It’s no longer a black hole in the front yard at night.  The side of the house awaits an extension ladder.


And it was a day of working with black walnut, peach, almond, and other woods from local trees.  Getting a chance to use new tools for making custom carved items.


It was also the day the stage equipment was ordered.  A 12 channel PA system with 4 mikes and 4 speakers (/monitors), 8 wireless mikes, 12 mike stands, 6 music stands, 4 guitar stands, cables, drink holders, an acoustic amp, and a bass amp.  Pretty penny, but the barn has its sound system coming within the next week or so.  Fais Do-do will have quite a kick.


The boat party was fun, an interesting venue.

Aquatic party

Posted on Friday, September 16th, 2011 at 7:27 am

Going to a party on Lake Travis tonight.  This is literally a party afloat on Lake Travis, not one on the shoreline.  This will be aboard The Ark, a two story barge designed specifically for parties, and we will have four bands playing during the four hours (6-10 PM) afloat.


I’ll know most everyone on the boat, including the bands, as this is an event that is within my circle of friends.  I think we have about 60 people so far.  It should be fun.  I will not be playing any music, my instruments will stay home, but I’m fine with that.


The only drawback is that Lake Travis is quite low during this drought year (it’s the primary adjustment lake on the Colorado River), so it will be a loooong walk from the marina down to the barge.  I’m  packing light, just a small cooler.



Posted on Monday, September 12th, 2011 at 10:22 am

A securitron in modo.


New Iodine-131 in Japan

Posted on Saturday, September 10th, 2011 at 10:02 am

Seems that there has been a new criticality in Japan, as fresh and intense appearances of Iodine-131 are being monitored.  Since I-131 has a short half life, it tends not to linger.  But large amounts were detected in mid-August in places wide spread throughout Japan.  This can only be attributed to a large release, larger than what has been seen before.


And this comes on the heels of the analysis that shows that the radioactive release into the ocean was three times what was admitted before.


Between these two issues, one can only logically surmise, if it hadn’t been surmised already, that the Fukushima Daiichi event is worse than Chernobyl, and that it’s not over yet by a long shot.

The Bastrop Fire

Posted on Wednesday, September 7th, 2011 at 7:04 am

Bastrop is a town I visit often, as I do a lot of grocery and household shopping there.  I also have friends there, some very talented musicians.  Some of those friends lost their houses to the fire, the largest wildfire in Texas history.  My door is open to them if they need help.  I also will miss the green of the Lost Pines, which is a drive I take every time I go to Bryan.


I could see the smoke from the fire from 30 miles away, as it covered the eastern horizon.  It was an eerie sight to see the sun rising through the smoke.  So much damage, it’s dismaying to think about it.


Governor Rick Perry quietly and drastically slashed funds from the state firefighting services this year, during the worst drought in Texas history, then complains righteously for all to hear that it is so hard to get federal help from the military to help fight the fire.  It makes me deeply ashamed to admit that he was a classmate of mine in college.  The thought of him possibly becoming president leaves me with a very disturbed feeling.

Pool Party

Posted on Saturday, September 3rd, 2011 at 10:27 am

There’s a pool party this weekend in Elgin, perhaps the last of the year, considering the forecasted drop in temperatures in the coming week.  The winds are already blowing out of the north, thanks to the low pressure center that came ashore in Louisianna.  But it will take a couple if days for the hot air over Texas to skedaddle south.  We’ll go from highs in triple digits to highs in the 80’s and lows in the 50’s.  Doesn’t look like any rain, but I rather doubted the possibility, considering how dry it is.


Doug and Ellen will be there, as will Alicia and plenty other pickers and singers, and we have talked about playing music.  So I’ll be packing the Meenie.   It should be fun.

modo render

Posted on Thursday, September 1st, 2011 at 9:39 am

Same scene, imported into modo.