Ronin of the Spirit

Because reality is beautiful.

Tru dat

As my young warrior princess says: “Weeeel1” for you crazy non Pinyin readers the 1 on the end indicates first tone, a ringing harmonic holding tone used in Chinese.  Well, indeed.  I got my newest asignment today.  Sounds vaugely interesting.  I go in to tell the Air Force where I would like to be when I do the thing that they want me to do.   Its a little tradition in the Armed Services.  You give them a list of bases that you would really like to go to.  The problem, of course, is that if YOU wish to go there so do a vast many other people.  So you go to Guam instead.  With a mop.  A mop the whole island.  Twice.  But you’ve got to go down a’ swinging, so I will go fill out the list.
(When the official DOD name of a document is “The Dream Sheet” its best not to get to hopeful.)
Work continues on my engine with no moving parts, the E-Jet.  I’ve been reading all the papers that are publically available on Google on previous engines and have had all of my basic concepts vindicated.  I still need to build some models. 
    I am also writting story about my own Utopia.   Its about a society that uses laws to channel the free market in such a way that market forces themselves ARE social engineering programs rather than TAXES ON the markey creating the funding for social engineering. 
And I watched the Truman show again.  Man that is a incredible movie.

November 29, 2006 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

A nightmere, but well edited

I actually saw this…uh, this isn’t for the faint of heart, so consider yourself warned.

A vast horizon of pure space.  Silent.  Ancient.  Stars shine far away and cold.   In the center of the screen is  a tiny white ship, totally dwarfed by the magnitude of space.   Closer and closer till I can see the individual windows on the hull.    A family lives here.  A father, wife, eldest and youngest daughters, are the only life in this huge emptiness.  It seems as if they have always been here silently floating through the cold.  The youngest daughter handles the stress by becoming ever more manipulitive and cruel.  The oldest duaghter always headstrong, but pure hearted, remains pure hearted, but under the stress of the claustraphobic ship, alone in the vastness, she has occasional bursts of violence, it is not these bursts of violence which turns the family against her however, but her insistance on looking at the terror of their situation (ie, totally and completely alone and without help)  honestly.   She won’t play the social games of the family that everything is just fine.  She’s not hysterical, far from it.  She just sees thre real horror of it all.   The youngest daughter begins to play the parents sickness and her own back and forth.  The begin to gradually twist the mind of the oldest daughter.  Using the DNA machines in the ships infirmery they steal the oldest daughters DNA and begin to make a grotesque thing which is neither really human, nor really anything else, but is alive.    The family (all but the oldest daughter) begin to constantly experiment on the pitiful creature, partly for the pleasure of the cruelty to it, partly for the pleasure of the cruelty to the eldest daughter, who knows that it is part of her.  As the creature is artificially evolved into tortured but obedient pet, the family begins to ignore the eldest daughter more and more, and when not ignoring they grow increasing hostile, finally sedating her in her quarters to more conviently play games with her flesh puppet.  The camera angles used get increasingly bizarre and chaotic as the family spirals into madness.  The colors begin to blur, and the photography style starts to slip into video intercut with hand drawn cells (like the really old animations).  Finally, the oldest daughter realizes what is happening to her, and to them all.  She pulls her last bit of clarity and will power together.   She grabs the only weapon she can get in her weakend drugged state, a fork,   At this point the frames of the movie are total chaos and the sound track is nothing but noise.  She kills the flesh puppet first, then wounds her sister and her mother.  The father is trying to dash away to somewhere.  The noise, the chaos, the screaming, all goes up to a creshedo then goes white.  The whole time the camera is just barely out of the way of the fists.
    Next scene:  same opening shot, only as the camera closes in on the ship, its not there.  Just a tumbling mass scorched metal.  Only the small conic section of the front remains intacked, and its very damaged.  Aperarently, after she killed her whole family she couldn’t go on and self destructed the ship, but the last frame sort of indicated that there was tussle for the destruct, the dad rushing to protect “the button” . 
     The whole thing was filmed in 1st person.  But whoever you (the camera) is isn’t ever spoken to, just always there watching.  The camera watching the litter of the ship slowly tumble through space, with the same sense of timelessness of before.  This is the first time since the start of the movie that the camera is not this claustaphobic 1st person view in that tiny cage of ship anymore, its back to the godlike 3rd person.
    And then the voice over starts.  Its the eldest daughter talking, but you know she’s dead. The whole movie her voice got crazier and crazier the whole time.   But now she sounds totally serene.  She’s talking.  TO YOU (the camera)
    The camera draws onto that conic section.  It matches spin with it so it is if it is sitting still and all the stars and other debris are.  Preserved in this section is a tiny but servicable stateroom.
 And she says “Where are you, my love, I’ve searched your quarters, but you are not there…    The camera goes by some writing left on a bulkhead.  Captain’s Quarters.

I’ve looked in the chapel of the God you claim to love…
The camera turns around to another bit of debris.  Its just a section of floor and wall, with a Cross shaped window over a kneeling board. 

I’ve searched the whole length of the ship for you, but where are you? The camera starts to move out to get the full scope of the wreckage

Are you hiding?  Are you afraid of me, now…” The camera is starting to return to the same camera shot that began the movie only with ship in pieces.

Or have I made our love something less than beautiful?
Original shot (only ship destroyed) Screen goes black.

It was YOU.  You were the person that watched all of this.  The first person camera shots were you.  You watched all the pain and suffering.  You didn’t protect her.  You loved her, and that kept her sane, but in the end keeping her sane made her a target.  In the end the only sane act was to self destruct the ship.  She probably need your help for that, because you were the FRIGGIN CAPTAIN.  I mean through out the movie you get the idea that this person who’s eyes its filmed from is helping her, but you never know for sure.  Now every disturbing image in the film you remember as the man who loved her instead of just the camera man.  The opening shot where the ship is alone in the vastness of space, YOU piloted it there because you were the captain.  This whole thing sort of bears on YOU.  And now somehow, some part of her spirit is still there confused hurt by the final betrayl of you not somehow being with her.  Before she was alone in this ship with her family.  Then alone in this ship against her family.  Now, just alone.  Forever.

If that doesn’t freak you the heck out of you, I don’t know what does.  As I read over this I don’t think words really do it justice.  It was the freakiest thing I’ve ever dreamed.


November 25, 2006 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Design 101

Well since I talk so much about design, I thought I’d give ya’ll a little primer.  The following is sort of continuing forshadowment for my up comng blog

DESIGN

1. What is design?
    A lump of clay and a vase are the same by quantifiable measures.  They are same temperature, the same material, the same weight.  They are the same in every way save one.  One has had design added, the other has not.  Design exists in 3 ways. One or more of which can be at work in any design.
    A.  Designs of objects.  This type of design shapes a real tangible object or verity     of objects.  It can shape the components of an object (micro design) which     ultimately shapes the whole (macro design).
    B.  Designs of orders.  This type of design shapes how to perceive a verity of     objects or ideas.   Management, government, feng sui, and apha numeric order all     fit here.
    C.  Designs of ideas.  This shapes morals, and ideals, like Freedom, democracy,     oneness.
2. When does design happen?
    A.  A person observes something
    B.  They perceive a design around this observation
    C.  They conceive a way to realize that design.
    D.  They realize that design
3. Where does a person design.
    Design takes place first in the mind.  Then the designer communicates the design     into reality or in the case of an idea, merely into other peoples’ minds.
4. How does a person design?
    1.  Begin with the belief that you can design.  You cannot do what you cannot     think of.
    2.  Observe the world around you
    3.  Perceive something which could be improved
    4.  Conceive an improvement
    5.  Try existing designs to achieve the improvement
    6.  Perceive the functions that a new design would require
    7. Apply 1-6 to the individual functions one at time.
    8. If nothing is available conceive a new design.   
    9. Apply 1-8 till all functions are fulfilled.
    10.  Realize the design.
What is Good Design?

Any good design will meet the following four inter-related criteria in a balanced way.  No mater how excellent a design is on one quality or group of sub qualities, if it is so at the expense of another, a more balanced design will shortly supersede it.
1. Producability
    A. Made of cheapest material
    B.  Made by cheapest process
    C.  Made by cheapest labor
2. Usability
    A.  Has maximum utility
    B.  Has minimum training to use
    C.  Has minimum operating cost   
    D. Has minimum maintenance cost
        1. Self maintaining
            I. Automatic overuse/load/speed shutdown            
            II.  Automatic harmful environment shutdown
            III. Automatic harmful condition shutdown
        2. Self healing
        3. Logical modularity   
        4. Accessible components
        5.  Minimal training to maintain
        6.  Minimal tool needs
        7.  Alignment critical components must be self aligning when                 assembled/disassembled
        8.  Automatic need of maintenance signaling
        9.  Self cleaning/Easy Cleaning
    E. Minimum part count.
    F.  Self propagating
    G.  Maximum safety
    H. Maximum appeal to all 5 senses
3. Transportability
    A. minimal size
    B. minimum weight
    C. Packs into existing packing infrastructure
    D. Disassembles into logical components which also follow 3. A, B C.
    E. Self protecting
        1.  Fragile components are protected by more resilient components
    F. Self transporting
4. Recyclabilty
    A.  Minimal different materials
    B.  Maximum recyclabilty for each material
    C.  Minimum cost for the action of recycling
    D.  Minimum cost to transport for recycling
E.  Minimum of work to sort out recyclable components   

I wonder who sat through that and read this far.  Funny because thats the intro and without the following (which is the important part)  has no meaning.

 If anyone reading this has ever heard me say that something they own, (Say your car, Nana.) is a really terrrible design thats because it doesn’t meet the above criteria.  The criteria, with a little bit of creativity can be applied to anything at all.
 
   Now to get weirder.  All human endevor breaks down into 2 basic components: Art and science.  Making a good painting is a science, (mathmatical perportions are very important to the human concept of beauty) but its also an art (having enough empathy with your fellow human beings to know how to best apply the science.  Design, the most intrinsically godlike of all human actions, is both art and science.   Science can tel you the complicated stuff I said above, but it can’t tell you how to apply it.  Only your mind can do that.  A computer program can design the worlds most effiecient injecter but only after a human mind has concieved it.   So why did I give you all a list of the machines without moving parts? ??
   Because that list, to my mind, is gallery of some of the most beautiful things ever concieved.  And I really feel sorry for any person who can’t see it.   If you learn to love design, you will live in a constant state of wonder.  You will lift the hood of your car and find Rembahnt.  Listen to a dishwasher run and hear Bach.    When your hands touch a fuel pump you’ll feel satin.  When you smell the 15 main components and 100+ minor components that that make gasoline, you don’t smell gas, you smell perfume. 
    But theres is always a downside.  You will hear an engine (poorly maintained) running. It crys ans screams in pain.  You will look at a peice of furniture that used far to much wood because the designer couldn’t be bothered to use the material correctly, and you will see an old growth oak that was sacrificed to pad a designers ego and manufacturers stock option.    You  watch the heat waves rising over the hood of a car.  Its gone!  You scream to yourself.  God made a whole world and filled it with oil.  We burn it to make heat and make the heat turn our motors, move our machines.  And for every 3 BTUs made, only one is used.  The rest just radiate away.  Gone forever, like dinsours and dodo birds.  When its gone, its just gone.  And you feel the loss, sometimes deeply.   Be like God.  Design.  Create.  Make your will into something.  It changes you, but its worth it.

November 23, 2006 Posted by | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

machines?

Ok, what I really wanted to talk about the other day was not vortex tubes but actually something bigger that they are part of:  Machinese that have no moving parts.  There is a whole world out there of machines that do complicated jobs with out moving.  
-Letter U-
There’s the Hiller Pulsejet.  The Hiller Pulsejet generates thrust with out moving parts.  Its a peice of pipe that has bent into U and has a slightly differnt shape of cone on each leg.  If you spray fuel into it and light it is sucks air in the back, and throws it out again with more power.  So it makes thrust.  You can power a jet with it if you want.  It uses a lot of gas, its really noisy (its sort of a cross between an organ pipe and blow torch) and it is limited to about 300 mph before its own resonance chokes it out.
-Vortex Tubes-
Ok, I went over this pretty exhuastively yesterday, so I’ll just say it seperates the hot and cold component out of warm air.  With no parts.
-Einstien’s Fridges-
Einstien and his good friend, Leo Szilard (nuclear physicist) were moved by the story of Berlin family died when their fridge developed a coolent leak (Before the 1930 invention of Freon refridgerants were made of some nasty chemicals.)  So they desighned 3 reefers units  that use no moving parts.  One ran of off heat of a flame, one off of  electriciy, and one of of the water pressure from tap water.  All had no moving parts.  (And all were made to run off of a common utilities.  Beautiful)
-Injectors-
These are so old that despite a couple of people who provided huge amounts of work on the subject and even started companies to produce their products, you can’t really say anyone invented them.  Injectors are used to inject water under pressure into a boiler.  That sounds really easy, but actually if you think about it its really odd.   See if a boiler is at 300psi, then the steam leaving it is at 300psi.  How would use that same pressure to pump into itself?  Its sort of like trying to sail a ship by bolting  a big fan on the boat behind the sail.  But they do it (I could explain why, but hey its more fun to think its magic anyway.)
-Ejectors-
These use a little bit of high pressure air to move a ALOT of low pressure air.  (About 25X more).  Oddly enough they can also if, configured a bit differntly be used to pump all the air out of a tank.  So they use pressurized air to make a vacuum.  Odd.
-Deleval Nozzle-
This is the key to rockets, injectors ejectors, etc.  It turns pressurized gas that isn’t moving into low pressure gas that is really really moving (1500+ mph for a start).     You can make a rocket by just filling a pressure tank and fitting it with a well designed nozzle.   Even if the tank is just filled with water. Not steam. Not special water.  Just water.  A recent team got 2000 feet of altitude with just such a device.
-Vortex Tubes 2.0-
This is basically like 1.0 but instead of being made to make hot and cold air, its made to separate heavy and light things that are mixed together.   You might see one in a nice vacuum cleaner.  Or an uranium enricher, in case you aren’t to impressed with vacuum cleaners.
-Vortex Tube 3.0-
This one looks a lot like 2.0.  But no one really knows how it works .  You put concrete, excrement, leftovers,  small dogs, whatever in it and the vortex in it reduces absolutey what ever is put into it into  dry .000 004 sized bits.   
-Tesla’s Transformer-
Alright all the above work by having very specialized geometry that alows them to use the air that flows through them as a moving part.  The Tesla Transformer, is one of the weirdest.  The transformer, unlike everything above doesn’t actually do any work.   See electrical power has about 4 componants.  Wattage, ampage, voltage, and frequency.    Wattage is universal.  It refers electircal power.   If you have 100W of electricity it could be 10V and 10A or it could be 100V and 1A or 50V and 2A, ect.  Frequency can go up or down and doesn’t really effect the others. (Actually there is a lot more on that, but for simplicity we’re letting it go.)   A transformer lets you dial in whatever kinda of electricity you what you want.  At 99.98% efficiency.   Its the one of the most effiecient machines ever made.  With no moving parts.  Nothing else even comes close.
-Microchips-
Think about it.  They add.  They sort.  They  count.  They can build cars or anything else you can think of.  I am using around 300 just to write this.  In the form or solar panels they make power from light.  In the form of thermo couplings they make power from heat.  In another type of thermocoupling they can refrigerate or heat.  They turn electrical power into any kind of radiowave you want. 
-Lights-
-Vacuum tubes-
Ok, so these can’t really don’t do anything that microchips can’t do better, and often cheaper.  But among machines that don’t move these have kind of cool advantage you can make them on your kitchen table with flash paper, old light bulbs, a blow torch, and some bell wire from radioshack.
-Lighter than air crafts-
Flying through bouyancy.  Move by jet streams.  How cool is that?
-Heating elements-
-Airbearings-
Put these under a a 40 Ton peice of equipment.  Move around factory with fingertip.  Really.
-Wings-
Push threw air.  Fly.  Its easy to forget how amazing that is.

I’m sure there are hundreds I’m missing.  They are the bread and butter of are mechanized age.    So NEXT Blog, I am goint to answer the burning question on all my readers minds.  WHO CARES?  We shall see.

November 21, 2006 Posted by | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Entry for November 20, 2006

Today I want to take about the weirdness that is out there if you just look for it.
First the  VORTEX.   When you say vortex the first thing that comes to mind is the comman bathtub whirlpool, and rightly so.  Thats a classical example of a what eggheads call a “free vortex”.   A free vortex is shocking complicated for something you see in your sink everytime you pull the plug.   See, (1) gravity pulls the water down. (2) The drain gives the vortex a exit size (3) the property of the water (called viscosity) works with gravity to decide what the angle of the cone that the whirlpool makes in the water is (4)  the viscosity and the gravity also decide how fast the water turns  (5) weather you are in the Northern or Southern half of the planet decides if the water spins to the left or the right. (NO I AM NOT MAKING THAT UP.  Its called the coriolis effect click  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coriolis_effect if you don’t believe me.
  So as weird as that as is it gets much wierder.   Weirder here is a “forced vortex”.  In a forced vortex all the above forces are in effect, PLUS a reverse mirror image that goes down the center.  A Tornado is a  forced vortex.  It’s the addition of ENERGY that makes the forced vortex so differnt.  In the case of a tornado its the temperature difference between the hot ground air and the cold air over head.  Hot air wants to go up (Thats why flame and and smoke go up instead of creaping along the ground.)  So basically the energy forms this… well hang on it gets weirder:  It makes a donut.  Air goes up through the “hole”, turns and goes down again.  It pulls everything to the center and sucks it up.    But inside the suction part you know what you have .  NOTHING.  ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!.  The so called eye-of-the-storm. 
 But wait it gets wierder still.  So if something is doing that what would that look like…
-TUBESOX-
Think of a tube sock.  Now this is a special tube sock.  It is kitted with a spiral patern of red and white, like a candy cane.  Now, cut of the toe of the sock.  Ok?  Now put the sock on your friends wrist.  Fold one end of the sock over it self, like rolling up a flannel shirt, until it gets to the middle.  Now do the same thing to the other side.  Sew them together.
-VOILA, a forced vortex-
  See the spiral goes left to right down the out side, gets turned over at the bottem and now goes right to left up the center.  So is that the weird part?  NO!  The weird part is that the process is reversable…
Imagine a T-shaped tube.  Air goes in at the center.  And if it is spun right, and one leg of the T sort of cones out like a tornado,  Hot air pours out the cone and cold out the short leg.  Its called a Vortex Tube ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Tube_de_Ranque-Hilsch.png )
It has no moving parts and creates hot and cold, but is that the weird part! NO
-THE REALLY WEIRD PART-
Ok, to be frank,  scientist don’t have the foggiest  IDEA how the thing works, but they do know WHY it works, and the reason is so unbelievable odd that I think if I told it to a grade schooler they would laugh at me…
-Hand Rubbing-
When you rub your hands together they get warmer, right?  Well thats because when molecules moving around is heat.   The reason that ice is ice and not just really cold water is that the molucules move slower and slower.    The reason that a car runs is because the burning gas makes the air in the engine hot, which makes the molecules bounce around ALOT.  and they push things around in engine and move the car.   So if something is say 70 degrees, that means that all the molecules are bouncing around like its 70 degrees.
-nope-
Half the molecules are hotter and half are cooler making an average temp of 70 degrees.  Logically, if we have 200 molecules then 1 out of every 100 molecule is about 7000 degrees (70 X 100) and another 1 out of 100 is .7 degrees.   When you spin a bunch of air around REALLY REALLY fast the hot molecules sling to the edges and the cold ones stick toward the middle.  The middle pumps one way, the outside the other and the pipe blows hot and cold air out of the 2 ends respectively.
-DEMONS- (really)
   Ready for the final weirdness?  This was discoverd in the 1890’s and completely forgoten about, until a scientist working on something else made a coment about demons.   The year was 1945.  The scientist was reading about the temperature theory above.  He said that it was very silly, because it gives you something for nothing.  Recalling a chinese myth that said if you could keep a demon busy that he would do your bidding, the scientist (Who’s name was Maxwell.)  said if you could just tell a demon to open a valve to a pressure flask only when a fast (and therefore HOT molecule) was coming, but keep it closed when a cold one hit, you would end the averaging out that creates normal temperature, and have all the free heat you could ever need.  He wrote this into a paper and it was called “Maxwell’s demon”.   Some one read the paper remembered thet Vortex Tubes.  With modern math applied to them they worked better and become a comercial success, still used to this day to create blast of cold air in machines and machine shops world over. 
  But as I said, scientists, still don’t really understand HOW this works.  So they say, its powered by Maxwell’s demon.
My head hurts…

November 20, 2006 Posted by | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

19NOV2006

Today is the celebration of the most important day of my life.  Today is the day on bitterly cold day in 1980 that a screaming me emerged from the safety of my mothers womb.  Lets take a moment to memorialize that great day.  
  Its been 26 years and I am still alive.  I am not dying of AIDs.  I’m not in jail, and it doesn’t look like I will be anytime soon.   I’m not it a wheelchair, and no one has put out a contract on me yet.
All Good.  Thanks Mom and Dad for 18+ years of food, advice, love and, of course, money.
Thanks Big Bro for Casey’s pizza, a Chevette, untold walks, and dogmatic arguments.
Thanks Big Sis for a  second chance.
Thanks Big Little Sis for MAN’S  SHISHKABOBS!  This Old House, DP and Tombstone, Fridaynight Dead, and 1000 other ways we survived C.L.A.S.S. with most of our sanity.
Thanks All above for not killing in my sleep as (occasionaly) richly desearved.

 However, as I noted no shadowy conspircy group has targeted me yet.  Despite my many noteworthy inventions and ideas, I still have so far to go.  On the to do list before I get capped (or, more likely, choke on a donut laughing at my own jokes) and die are…
1.  Patent my Otto/lenior cycle wave engine
2. Form my absurd utopian vision into a cohesive plan and find some dupe to publish it
3.  Build a car from the ground up that gets 100mg and 100 mph and seats 4 (not all the same time)
4.  Build a yacht
5. Cruise around the world
6. Eat that one kind of puffer fish
7. Find out if dog really taste like lamb
8. Watch the sun rise  AND  set on the pacific.
9. participate in tea cereimony
10.  Learn to spell
11.  Write a screen play
12.  Write a novel
13.  Jump out of perfectly good airplane.
14.  Live in a treehouse
15.  Participate in a civil protest
16. Participate in a LARP
17. Build G-scale model train set
18.  Drag Race
19. Cycle coast to coast
20.  Ride shootgun with a combat photographer

The list could go on, but hey, I’ve got to have stuff to write next year

November 19, 2006 Posted by | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

17NOV2006

Well.   Everynight I seek to learn something new, not only from the highly informative books I read but also about peer to peer social networks.  I never really spent much time age stratified peer groups becuase of my, shall we say, unique education.  So  its all very new to me.  Last night was sort of a hit and a miss.  I learned one very important thing.  No mater how founded in total garbage it is, don’t challenge a persons concept of self. 
  So for instance, if a women thinks that its a man world and all trouble that befall females go back to their basic status as victims awash on a uncontrollable sea of bigotry and sexism.   No amount of logic, reason, etc is going to make her see it any differnently because it entails not a worldview, but ultimately a selfview.  I have always know that I perfered the company of my wife to all other women, and that my wife while her behaviour has , on occasion caused me diress, has never purposely hurt me.  Which was a refreshing change from some of the real winners I went out with.
   Now I understand why.  Its because my adorable wife doesn’t think she is a victim.   From the victim mind set you can treat a man as badly as you want when you’re hurt, because no matter how much of a bitch you are, your temporary cruelity is only fair payment for years of culturally inflicted “abuse”
  Now for the miss:   So one of the females I work with said, “Oh and I suppose your one of those guys who thinks that men and women can never be friends because sex always gets in the way!”
To which I said “No, thats silly.  I have the self discipline not to sleep with my friends”  Both girls in the office were shocked and appaled.  Now this is what confuses me.  What appaled them?  In this *ahem* elightened age, our their really women out there who are surprised that men are biologically wired to consider all eligible females as potential partners?  Being attracted to all women between 18 – 40 doesn’t make you swine.  Attempting to sleep with them does, but the intial attraction doesn’t even take place at a cognitive level. 
ITS NOT OUR DRIVES THAT DEFINE US.  ITS WHAT WE  DO WITH THEM.
  Oh, and I read most of the way through The Gas Turbine Engine.  Good book, if your into that sort of thing.

November 17, 2006 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

16NOV2006

Well, tonight I unlocked a door, and checked to see if three sick people were, infact, in their rooms.   I read The Rise of the Luftwaffe, which was sort of boring.   History, well written, is like a rare steak: recently alive, chewy, scorched, and bloody.   History, badly written, is more like Sunday-after-church-toast.  By that I mean the toast that you didn’t have time to eat before you went to church, so you eat it as you are making lunch hours latter.  Bland.  Dry.   Neither crunchy, nor chewy.  Just there.  Yup, that was, in fact, toast kind of toast.  TROTL was more in the toast verity.  Stats and figures with no reference point of human drama to make it worth sitting through.   I also read On the Inteligence of Dogs which was pretty decent if, honestly,  pretty darn cursory for as many tables had to be endured, but did provide some fascinating historical perspective.
  (For instance [hey, can I begin a paragraph with a parenthesis???] the Christian tradition was not particularly antidog-with-a-mind until Decartes, who believed that animal thought was simply stimulus/response. And that if animals had minds then they had the full metaphysical software packaget and thus free will and Salvation gets sort of weird.  So in the Western Anglo (Further forth in this blog to be know as “Wanglo”) tradition there is considerable disagreement on whether or not dogs have souls.  In Japan, which has a Shinto and Buddist tradition most vets say dogs DO have souls.  (They also have no compulsion about eating dogs in the east, but won’t eat them in the Enlighted West.  Odd that.))
  Oh and the reason saint Margret is always depicted as having a dog at her feet is because she was shacked up with a noblemen and his dog.  The rich dude disapeared and she returned home in disgrace, but the dog followed her.  Later the dog took her to her man’s corpse.  His death got her thinking about capital L life and capital D death.  She had a radical conversion, and lived the rest of her life in pious suffering.  (Which had to have Jesus scratching his head.  “Suffering for suffering sake?  I never said that.  Dad, can I call them home yet?”  )
  Oh, and we talked about spiritual manifestations, did three cross word puzzles, and talked about ugly people having sex.  Great night.    Lastly, and added only because if amuses my sox off, did you know that in the 1900’s the curator of the London muesum threw out the last remaining (stuffed) dodo bird.   Years latter when asked if he had any recollection of it he said… “ratty looking bird, that”
 

November 16, 2006 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

15NOV2006

Its weird.   I work nights right now.  It gives me more time than is probable really healthy to read.  I read about War.  Not the war on terror.  Capital W War.  War the human enterprize.  I read about Religion.  I’ve been studing the ways of Islam lately.  A facinateing religion, which just isn’t maligned enough.  (But I have begun to think that about most religions that way.)  I feel like I am slipping away from something, but I can’t quite put a finger to it.   One grows up ones whole life being told: “You are special, you are going to do really amazing things!”  About 7 years after you graduate higschool or so, one realizes that one is not so special after all.  
  I lost a good friend recently.  “Irrecensilable differences” I guess.  He thought I should spend the rest of my life being a toady for priesthood which God said in the New Testament doesn’t exist anymore.  I thought differently.  He demanded my immediate apology.  I refused.  Freindship ended.  Makes me sad.
  Have you ever lived out of a suitcase before?  Right now, my soul is living out of several religions, numerous historical texts, and childhood memories.   I need to unload the suitcase into a dresser or something, but I just can’t.  So, I guess I will just hang out here in my head, fight the Huns, the Nazis, the Tartars, and the Zulu, fight the Crusades and the Crusaders, suffer the endless Groundhogian loop of romantic rejection that happend not only in my past, but the past of all the friends who I knew.  I guess I have a profound ability to empathize..   Oh well.
Beats cleaning the kitchen, anyway.

November 15, 2006 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

13NOV2006

So I read a think and scholarly work on improving sales of a product by simplifying its place in the “brands cape”.  Now, I want to note here that the mere existence of the word brandscape suggests horrible, horrible things.   I just see these fat white guys with sweat stained armpits and pocket protectors beating their heads on a conference room table, saying “One pun, one play on words in the whole report we just have to!”  And then finally this one guy stands up and starts laughing hysterically, “I’ve got it, I’ve got it!” He yells between choking laughter.   “Replace the phrase “all available marketplace brands in the target market with  ha ha HE HE HAAAA HAA… BRANDSCAPE!  Its clever because it sounds like landscape, but its not, it’s Brandscape.  Get it?  Do ya get it???”  And they all fall off of their armless office chairs and roll on the hard coffee stained carpet, laughing like maniacs…
  Regardless, the book addressed what an other author he regularly  quoted called “overchoice”  (If fact the entire book is just a highly applicational  rewrite of Future Shock)   It basically says that in an attempt to meet every possible customer desire products have been niche-ified to the point that the customer reaction is one generally of panic.   For instance there are, currently 57 verities of Crest toothpaste, including tubes, pumps, gel, paste, tartar control, baking soda, glitter, mint, etc.   Thats just Crest mind you.
  The book is full of these stats.  So are you ready to answer the million dollar question, the answer to which took 270 pages get across? 
Q:  How do I sell my brand in a cluttered and competitive brandscape?
A:  Sell the best product you can, for the best price with the best marketing you can afford.
 
Yup.  270 pages. A college professor and marketing consultant and that is their official advice.  Sell good stuff cheap with slick marketing.  I’m glad that we have these sort of people around.  I can’t imagine what our economy (and brandscape) would look like with out them.

November 13, 2006 Posted by | Uncategorized | 2 Comments