Sadness I Will Remember Forever

The words still ring in my ears and make me want to cry. “My pony!” [deleted] I’m getting all misty just thinking about this.

When our first child was maybe 3 or 4 years old, she was all about her My Little Pony stuff. She must have had a dozen or so little horses, play sets for them, accessories, clothes, the whole works. When she got a little pink pony with purple hair from McDonalds in a happy meal, she was happy about it. She was super happy about it; she loved that pony.

We stopped at the grocery store on the way home and when her door opened, the pony fell out and tumbled aaaaallll the way down into a storm drain next to where we had parked. The grates weigh like 300lbs and there was no way I could have got down there. I tried to play it off but it hurt me, to hear her plaintive cry of

“My pony!”

Sadness I Will Remember Forever

Oh man this is so [deleted] sad it still hurts me. You may think it is stupid.

When I was maybe 8 years old, M.U.S.C.L.E. figurines were the bomb. I had some and I wanted more. I would play with those things by myself and with my friends at school and I love love loved them. Had a little wrestling arena for them and everything.

One day my mom took us to a store on Highway 6 in Houston and I got a bucket of these figures and it had some of the coolest high level ones. My collection was really stepped up by having these. I was stoked.  I dropped the bucket and it spilled out all over the highway as we were crossing the road on foot. Mom had to hold me back from running across the ditch when I realized what had happened, because cars were driving through where we had just been, and running over my precious figurines.

Government: Worse at Everything

I made a note to myself when it was fresh news, to mention this as an example – but here we go since I remembered it again:

Travis Central Health had a nice program: if you need a ride to the hospital, we’ll give you one. It was initially given $19,000 but because of increased demand they put in another $9,000. By the time this made the radio news, it had given rides to 140 residents.

No, I didn’t drop a zero there. 140 people got rides, for $28,000. For the math-impaired, that is $200 per ride. You could literally hire a taxi for every drive and do this cheaper. But not if you want to layer a government bureaucracy on top of it.

And no, this is not ambulance transportation. This is *literally* hiring a cab, or giving people a voucher to get on the city bus which costs single-digits of dollars per ride.  The additional cost to get up to $200/ride is the bureaucracy.

Remember that, the next time someone says they want to put government in charge of another aspect of life.

https://www.centralhealth.net/connecting-patients-to-care-central-health-communitycare-providing-door-to-door-rides-to-medical-appointments/ fx

https://www.numbeo.com/taxi-fare/in/Austin

The Fear of the Lord is the Beginning of Wisdom

~ or, Children Should Be Afraid of Their Fathers ~ 2004.06.14

Fear is fear. Fear is not equal to respect. Fear is not the equivalent of respect. Some folks will tell you that the fear of the Lord is intended to mean respect, reverence, honour for the Lord. I am here to tell you it is not. Fear in this context, means fear.

Now my children (#1 especially, 3 years old at the time of writing) don’t respect me. They don’t know what respect is, much less understand it, much less have it for me. But my children fear me, and this is proper; and let me tell you why.

Because their fear is the beginning of wisdom. Now my kids are too young to understand that they ought not to do something because it is wrong. They don’t care that we will be disappointed in them if they let us down. But my girl knows that if she does something she is not supposed to do, it is going to hurt when daddy hears about it. She is afraid of the consequence, and so she behaves (usually) appropriately. At this point I don’t expect reverence from her – that should come later. Right now what I want is simple obedience, which is brought on by her fear.  This is the beginning of wisdom.

How many of you by show of hands have never used a table saw? Of those of you who have never used one, how many of you do not know that a table saw is  dangerous? So. We know that if we touch that spinning blade it will hurt us. We fear that blade. I have used table saws. I have used bandsaws, routers, drill presses etc. and I have a very healthy respect for them now. I do what I should do now because I respect the danger. Now I am not afraid and I know the proper mitigation techniques. But when I was young I did what I had to do very carefully and minded my thoughts and my fingers with utmost caution; and this was the beginning of my wisdom when it comes to power tools.

But wherein should we fear the Lord? Doesn’t He love us and care for us, and actively seek the good of those that love Him?  Yes. But before you respect Him and live daily as He would have you to do, you need to FEAR the Lord. Why? Because only God can send you to Hell. Displease me and I might not talk to you – might even give it to you right in the kisser. Displease God and He just might condemn you to the lake of fire forever; You will be forever burning but never burned up. Always dying and in torments but never dead. Always suffering. Fear the one who can do all this to you forever. Fear God. This is the beginning of wisdom.

I love AM

I love AM. I feel a warm affection toward her that has only a very small number of equals in the world for me. She is:

  • my friend
  • my sister
  • a young woman about whom I feel as kindly as if she were my own daughter

The number of people with whom I can freely converse without being afraid to say something they will find weird or off-putting, I can count on both hands with some fingers left over. She is odd in a similar way to how I am odd, and we immediately relate to each other in ways that more conventional minds give funny looks when we say the same things. This friendship is very valuable to me. I wish I had an excuse to spend more time with her, because it is so pleasant to get along with somebody this way. The people I can get along with so easily are very few. I would hate to do anything which could jeopardize this relationship.

She is my sister in Christ, obviously. We have the same heavenly Father. I enjoy spending time with her because it is a feature of Christians that we (should) automatically get along with each other. We are also both obliged to obey to the same moral standard, which includes specifically “flee fornication” and eschewing adultery, and sex with her would necessarily be both of those.

I want the opposite of whatever might be something bad to happen to her. I would protect her from everything if I could but then nothing would ever happen to her. Bad things make us better, but I wish she would tell me any bad thing that happens because of Callahan’s Law (shared pain is lessened) and I want her to feel better.

She is the same age as my daughter. She is friends with my daughter. She is the daughter of my friend, the daughter of my other friend, the daughter of my brother, and the sister of my son’s friend as well as the friend of my son. All these people are my family. She is my family.

She is cheerful. She is pleasant. She is clever. She likes some of the things I also like. She has a sense of humor compatible with my own. She has nice hair. She has a pretty face. She has even (yes I admit it but I hope it will be only an admission of what is obvious to everyone) a nice body. But sex with her would be harmful.

For a 15 year-old young woman to have sex is necessarily going to be harmful. She (any teenager) is going to lack the life experience necessary to comprehend the true, deep, tremendously important spiritual and practical nature of sexual relations. Does it feel nice? Would it feel nice? Certainly it would but it would be HURTing her spiritually, mentally, psychologically. Children (and daughters!) are to be protected from sexual activity. Having sex with her would hurt her in ways she is not equipped to understand yet, no matter how mature she may be.

I love her. I don’t want to hurt her . . . so that means no, I do not want to have sex with AM. Note the timestamp on this post; this is for future reference because I can anticipate a number of plausible scenarios where the question would be asked.

Sex is Not Physical

Well it is, of course, but not only.

I got lost wandering around the internet for a while and found this:

Pay attention to whom you share your intimate energy with. Intimacy at this level intertwines your aural energy with the aural energy of the other person. These powerful connections, regardless of how insignificant you think they are, leave spiritual debris, particularly within people who do not practice any type of cleansing, physical, emotional or otherwise.

The more you interact intimately with someone, the deeper the connection and the more of their aura is intertwined with yours.

Imagine the confused aura of someone who sleeps with multiple people and carries around these multiple energies? What they may not realize is that others can feel that energy which can repel positive energy and attract negative energy into your life.

I always say, never sleep with someone you wouldn’t want to be.Lisa Chase Patterson

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This is sadly neglected in western culture.  The Christian take is: the Act of Marriage (as it used to be called) is the marriage itself.  The ceremony is for the family. The paperwork is for the government. The sex is the actual marriage of two people who engage in it.  The bodies join the spirits together, and the souls feel it on a verrrrry deep level.

When you leave a sex partner in your wake, you are leaving a part of yourself you cannot retrieve.  If you were having sex to fill the longing inside* then casual sex is a quick way to make yourself feel ever-worse.  When you have one sex partner for life, that is the proper way.

*the longing is for a relationship with the Jesus, by the way.  Believe it or not, it remains true that you need a relationship with God and the only way to have one is through the Jesus.

A Victory for Human Rights in India!

It has been declared by their highest court that sex with a child, even a child bride, is always rape.  You may not see this on the nightly news but I wanted to celebrate it, so h’yer it is.

https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/content/india-child-marriage-rape-court-outlawed/

This flies in the face of a religion whose founder/”prophet” married a girl whose age could be counted on the fingers of both hands.  Good.

My Ugly New Desktop Headphone Amplifier (Current Buffer)

This (debatably) monstrous-looking thing is now doing duty as my new desktop headphone amplifier at work. And by amplifier, I mean current buffer with slightly negative voltage gain. My computer’s baby little USB audio dongle didn’t have the guts to push serious bass to my headphones. On an oscilloscope, I was getting a booming 3+ volts output, until I put a 32 ohms load on the output. Then it collapses to a level in the millivolts that I didn’t measure because it was ridiculous how badly it collapsed. This is a simple current buffering stage, to provide a low-impedance output for my ‘phones and high impedance for my computer’s output.

The important part: How does it sound? Like nothing. With the volume turned all the way down, there is no hiss/hum/whine or any noise from my headphones. With the volume up, I hear my music. I’m not the kind of person who swears a mains power cable makes his equipment sound better, I just wanted some more power. This gives me that. It doesn’t sound horrible. This was built entirely with parts I had laying around, so I am into it for $0 plus a few hours of time.

How does it look? Here we find the ugly buffer in its native habitat:

I forget it’s even there.  I colored it black and it lives in the shadows between a black monitor, a black drawign tablet and a black monitor.  The plant is pothos, Devil’s Ivy.

The schematic:

The basic design is the output section from Elliott Sound Products’ P113 http://sound.whsites.net/project113.htm, modified to suit what I had on hand. The R5/R6 bias resistors were lowered to (If I recall correctly) about 4.9k ohms, to increase bias current to just over 2mA as Elliott advises.

My first choice of output devices was a set of SK1388A/SK1389A PNP/NPN complementary transistors I had matched, but I broke one of them (in half!) when disassembling the amplifier to fix a humming problem. I had the main board from an old receiver fitted with 7 channels of 2SD2390/2SB1560 complementary darlington pairs. http://www.semicon.sanken-ele.co.jp/sk_content/2sd2390_ds_en.pdf http://www.semicon.sanken-ele.co.jp/sk_content/2sb1560_ds_en.pdf so I matched a couple of the pairs and ran with them. I had to install an additional bias diode (again, matched, natch) but these are inexpensive (free, I have a roll of them). The choice of transistors is almost unimportant, as long as they can slew fast enough for audio. You could use almost anything. For this design you want about 350mA maximum current capacity, so a TO-92 chip is going to be too small, but otherwise you’re gonna be good with almost anything.

The bias diodes are 1N4003, nothing special. The capacitors across them are random electrolytics I had laying about. The input and output capacitors are also electrolytics I had laying about, with very-large values because I’m not worried about a specific low-end rolloff frequency, I just wanted to block DC.

Power supply: I wanted about +/-12VDC but I didn’t want something too complicated. I went with a 7812/7912 three-terminal regulator pair. The maximum expected current from this at full-tilt-boogie is <0.5A per channel, so a single set of 1A regulators should be fine for the two channels. There is a 1000uF/0.01uF pair of capacitors on the input and output of each regulator. The giant 6800uF capacitor on one side was installed to troubleshoot a whine, and left because it doesn’t hurt anything.  The power supply for the power supply is a pair of 16V laptop power adapters that I had laying around.  These hide under my desk.

The design part of this project was pretty straightforward. The hardest part was figuring how to mount it all. Dead-bug style worked. In the end, I got a funky whine noise when one particular wire was too close to another, so I zip-tied them both out of the way (on the giant capacitor because why not). The heatsinks are hot-glued to a piece of very-heavy card stock. Good enough for desktop use, but don’t knock it around too much. It turns out that the way these are glued in place, I am able to stand the whole thing up on one end.  I did that and colored black the bottom of the mounting plate and the sides of a couple of heatsinks.

This was going to be prettier when I started, honestly. Aesthetic inspiration was provided by this “Crystal” CMoy Free Form Headphone Amplifier by koogar on instructables.com: https://www.instructables.com/id/Crystal-cMoy-Free-Form-Headphone-Amplifier/ That one looks better than mine by a lot(!) but the use of bare wire as bus stock in addition to dead-bug style mounting of everything was the thing. This wire was the individual strands from a 6AWG power cable, stripped out and straightened.

I learned a lot when making this, and definitely had fun.

They call him a heavenly *Father*

As I prayed this morning, I felt I was not praying very well due to fatigue, kept falling asleep. I apologized for not doing well & the thought came to mind that God does not require results, he wants our effort.  I thought of my 3 year-old son. If he came out of his room with 2 of his 6 shirt buttons fast and those 2 in the wrong holes . . . if he were apologetic for not doing well, I would not be upset; I would smile and gently help him to do it right. Correction and not chastisement is the joy of a Father.  Carnal, or The Heavenly.

2007 Mar 12

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This was a note I wrote for myself, 12 years ago according to the date on the index card.  It still rings true and I’ve just cleaned off my desk for the first time in 12 years (!) and I’m officially Doing Something with everything that was on the desk.  So here’s what I’m doing with this note.

Complete and total vindication of Donald Trump, and it means nothing to the political opposition

OK so the Mueller report says there was no collusion between any Americans and the Russians trying to mess with the election.  This reinforces the similar conclusion from the Senate’s investigation.  According to people who are willing to listen to investigators on both sides of the political aisle:

There was

never

any evidence that the Trump campaign was conspiring with Russian agents to interfere with the 2016 election.  There was never any evidence of it.

. . . except for the Steele dossier.  The Steele dossier, which was paid for by Clinton dollars and was full of literally false information.  Including known lies and a prank from 4chan idiots involving prostitutes and urine.  It was known by the FBI to be Clinton opposition research FAKE stories, the dossier.  Some people in the FBI tried to warn other people in the FBI that it was fake and they should be careful with it.  What did they do? they lied to the FISC to get their warrant, and lied again to renew it three times.

So we are interested in the truth, yes?  We are willing to spend ten-millions of dollars and employ dozens of people for years to find the truth, yes?  We don’t want criminal activity to go unpunished, n’est-ce pas?  If that is the case then the question should now properly shift to: why was this done?

Some of us have a pretty good idea of why.  But you’ll want me to take off my tinfoil hat before telling you.  It will sound like madness today.  Let the investigation be concluded and then you will find yourself so shocked at the depth and malignity of this scandal that you will hardly believe it could be real.

********

So now the press corps will shift to mention of Obstruction of Justice by Don John Trump.  I will only remind you of the requirements for a case of obstruction of justice:

  1. There must have been a crime under investigation
  2. The investigation/trial process must have been obstructed somehow, or with corrupt intent someone intended to obstruct the process.

Donald Trump did not collluuuuuuuude with muhRussians to mess around in the election.  There was never a crime and everyone in the investigation knew that.  SO there cannot have been obstruction of justice.  Donald Trump actually took no action to impede the investigation (contrariwise, he co-operated (!) as stated by Messrs Mueller and Barr).  SO there cannot have been obstruction of justice.  The President is the absolute boss of the Department of Justice. He could literally have fired everyone and stopped the investigation.  He could have insisted his underlings stop or actually impede the investigation in various ways, and he never did.  The absolute worst you find in the Mueller report is that he was frustrated and wanted the investigation to stop but utterly failed to stop the investigation.  If words mean anything, then there was no obstruction of Justice by D.J.Trump.

Judge the quality of your chosen source of news accordingly.