Saturday, July 12, 2008

Not that I'm a hardware geek, or anything...

A couple of weeks ago, I ran across a reference to a hardware tinkerer's board called Arduino. It looked pretty dang cool to me, so I went ahead and ordered one -- which arrived a few days ago.

So far this weekend, I've been having a blast playing with the thing: trying different things just to see what it's capable of, experimenting with a few ideas I've had, and generally just amusing the hell out of myself with it.

Being a computer AND hardware/electronics type, one of the things that I simply had to do was have a try at building a little robot with it, using some of the myriad of loose parts I hoard: battery power, a couple of dinky little DC motors to drive/steer it, and a few rudimentary sensors so I could change the programming in it different ways -- bump-n-run, hide from (or seek) light, mill around aimlessly, and so on.

I've enjoyed myself immensely; Elf, however, hasn't been quite as pleased: having the little 'bot wandering around has thrown a serious monkey wrench in her world. At first, she was curious about it, and followed it around my apartment -- at least, up until it 'attacked' her (changed direction toward her, and wouldn't be dissuaded by the multitude of slaps she gave it). Apparently convinced that it was a feline-oriented Terminator, she then spent a couple of hours watching it from afar so that she'd be ready to defend herself when it ran amok. When she finally decided that it wasn't really trying to kill her, she settled down considerably -- except for the fact that the 'bot kept annoying her. I honestly didn't program the thing to seek her out (it isn't that 'powerful' of a platform); she simply kept laying down in places where it would eventually turn up. About the umpteenth time it disturbed her nap (which she voiced complaints about), she finally decided to take refuge on her cat tree. Now all she does is grumble at it whenever it wanders too close.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Me vs. U.S. Census

In yesterdays mail, I got a personal letter from the dipshit that has been trying to get me to answer his goofy-ass Census Bureau questions -- this despite the fact that every time the twit turned up at my door, I was rude to him, and refused to respond to any of his other messages. You'd think that a reasonable person would get the hint; but this gonzo has apparently taken dedication to his job FAR beyond what any rational person would.

So, this afternoon, I contacted the people that are supposed to be supervising him (the Denver Regional Office!!), and let them know -- in no uncertain terms -- that I didn't want to hear from him ever again. I also informed them that if I WAS contacted by him in any size, way, shape, or form, I would file a stalking complaint with the police.

Naturally enough, the dingbats in Denver wanted to know all my particulars; I advised them that if I wanted to pass that information out, I would have answered his questions in the first place -- and, further, that I already had more Government than I needed (or wanted!). As the coup de grace, I suggested that if they REALLY wanted to know anything about me, what I was doing, and so on, that they see if they could get it from one of the government agencies that
's involved in monitoring U.S. citizens communications.

Bear does *what* in the woods?

Hat tip to the Presurfer

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Boo farookin' Hoo

Bush: Olympic boycott would insult Chinese
Cry me a farookin' river, willya?

Dubya is going to go witness the farce that will be the opening ceremonies of the Summer Olympics in China.

Yo! Dubya! This is the same China that f*cked up one of our airplanes in International airspace, manipulates its currency to keep its products cheap in the rest of the world, masterminded Tiananmen Square, implemented a draconian one-child policy that includes forced abortions, uses slave labor in factories, doesn't even enforce its own government policies (unless, of course, someone publicly gets caught at it), and has a host of other 'issues'.

And you don't want to insult them? Here's a thought: how about showing them that the U.S. has some principles that we're ready to actually stand for? And that they need our money a WHOLE lot more than we need their fucking doggie chew toys and other cheap-ass crap?