New Year

Tomorrow starts a brand new year. I am hopeful that it will bring better things.

When I originally started my blog, I had wished to discuss my thoughts on a variety of subjects as well as just kind of journal my day to day life. After making quite a few entries I came to the conclusion that it was just too disjointed, jumping from one topic to another, usually without an apparent relationship between them.

I have now created a number of separate blogs covering different subjects so that each could concentrate on that subject and be more organized and contiguous. This also makes it easier for readers to follow only those subjects of particular interest.

I will probably create a few more in time as there are other subjects of interest that I have not addressed as of yet. But at the present, the following exist:

  • General Blog. This is what you are presently reading, it will remain mostly random, mostly personal, maybe a bit of commentary on various news items occasionally.
  • Dreams and Visions. I have had a number of prophetic dreams, lucid dreams, prophetic waking visions, and waking out of body experiences, through which I have received information about the future. I’ve had other dreams which are just plain weird or which keep repeating, the meaning of which I do not fully understand. This blog documents them and speculates upon their meaning.
  • Extraterrestrial Life. This blog deals with the subject of extraterrestrial life forms and the possibility they may be visiting us, their possible agendas, and related topics.
  • Future Sustainable Living. Obviously, the way we are living now is consuming resources faster than nature can replenish them and is not sustainable. If we do not make changes we are doomed to a large population crash at some point with lots of misery and suffering. This is something I’d personally rather avoid and so this blog is dedicated to discussing methods of living in a sustainable manner, particularly with respect to energy and food production, but also to reducing, eliminating, or recycling wastes.
  • God. This blog deals with the subject of spirituality, God’s existence, the nature of God and our relationship with God. If you have strong religious beliefs or you are atheistic, then you probably want to avoid this blog as you are likely to find it threatening or offensive. On the other hand, if you are interested in openly exploring check it out.
  • Radio. This was one of my earliest interests and originally what I had hoped to make a career in. My initial attempts were unsuccessful so I moved into other fields to make a living. Now I am beginning to think perhaps that was a mistake.
  • Science. There are few scientific fields that I am not interested in. I follow many fields and like to talk about new discoveries and I have quite a few theories of my own, some of which have proven to be valid, others very controversial or the subject of wild speculation.

These are what I have created so far but I have a number of other interests that I might wish to get into later including politics, internet, photography, music, computers, Linux, anime, Chinese films, China in general, the roots of civilization, mythology, and probably other things I am not thinking about right now, for now this is enough to keep me busy. I hope that you enjoy and encourage your comments.

If you care to e-mail, my address is:

Christmas Disaster / Chinese

Oh, I am SO not ready for Christmas. What a disaster but between servers that won’t quit dying, tree limbs coming through the roof, etc, this one’s more of a disaster than usual.

One nice thing, I finally got the ability to compose and display 中文 on this computer. I’m curious if it will display alright on the web when blogged.

It didn’t initially but changing the character encoding setting to from ISO9660 or whatever it was to Unicode fixed that, probably at the expense of making the English text take more space.

However, 中文 doesn’t work at all in the Unix shell. I know they’ve got a Chinese distribution of Linux out called Red Flag Linux. I am curious how they addressed this issue.

Links WRT54G

I have to tell you I am not a happy camper when it comes to Cisco / Linksys products. Linksys equipment that I bought prior to Cisco’s acquisition of Linksys worked extremely well for me.

Recently, we added a Linksys WRT54G wireless router to our home network here to provide wireless access. It would run a number of hours then lock up. Power cycling got it running again but it got real old having to go power cycle the router every few hours.

I went through the various suggestions on the Linksys website including upgrading the firmware. It came with version 1.0.9, I upgraded it to 1.1.1, and it only made things worse. The crashes came much more frequently after the upgrade.

Then I called customer support. I had to go through four layers of phone tree menus just to get to a human being, and when I finally did get a human being online he had such a strong accent that I could just barely understand him. I asked him where he was located, India.

It rapidly became obvious that he was just a script reader. He wanted me to do a bunch of things I had already done. Upgrade the firmware, did that. Hard reset the router, did that. Finally he said he would get a technician on the line. The phone started ringing and rang for about five minutes then cut me off and went back to dial tone.

I started over. The person that answered was still in India but his English was decent enough to be understood easily. We went through the same script even though I had explained that I had already done it all on a previous call. But after getting through the script this person actually had some suggestions to try. We tweaked a number of settings and it seemed to run while he was on the phone. He said that if it still locked up it was probably just defective and they’d replace it. I hung up, the router locked up.

I wanted to exhaust all possibilities before having to exchange the unit because I thought it more likely to be a software issue than hardware. I did some digging around the net and found a forum discussing problems with this particular router. Seems that up to version 4 they were stable, but version 5 and version 6 were not. It seems more than coincidental that versions 4 and below were Linux based, but version 5 and above switched to VxWorks. One message stated, nothing that Linksys did helped, but flashing the unit to DD-WRT fixed the problem and it’s been entirely stable sense.

So I chased down DD-WRT on the net, I was fortunate to find this very excellent step by step guide to installing dd-wrt on WRT54G version 5 and 6.

Everything went exactly as described in the guide. The only “gotcha” I ran into is that this firmware does not work with Firefox. You can view things fine but you can’t make any changes with Firefox. Internet Exploder worked fine so I guess it is actually useful for something after all.

The menu and configuration layout of DD-WRT is exactly the same as Linksys software except for added tabs and added options in some of the menus. Some of the new functionality is really cool. It is a superset of the original though and all the original functionality is laid out exactly the same as it is in the Linksys software which made setup a breeze.

Once I had it up and running, the improvement in performance for the machines accessing the network wirelessly was enormous. Websites which used to take quite a while to load popped up instantly.

Previously, parts of the house had a weak signal, but the tweakable transmit power allowed us to fix that and get the transmit errors way down. That probably accounted for much of the speed improvement by eliminating a lot of re-sends.

But there are other fun things, for example, a hotspot gateway, if you want, you can set it up and redirect non-subscribers to your pay me website.

And then there is a function called Site Survey that tells you about all the other routers you can talk to and allows you to join their network if you want. So if your own network is down and your neighbors isn’t and they didn’t bother so setup their security (and so far I’m seeing about 30% of the wireless connections in this area are unencrypted), you can scarf away.

The wireless tab on the Status menu allows you to see who all is connected to your router so you’ll know if your neighbors are leaching. It also tells you the signal strength, signal to noise ratio, etc.

All in all I’m very happy with the effects of excising Cisco / Linksys firmware from the unit. The hardware seems capable enough with DD-WRT, and it seems fitting that a Linux-Friendly ISP can run Linux even on their routers.

One bit of irony, Broadcom, the makers of the chip set used in these routers, and Cisco / Linksys have run afoul of the copyright protections for open source software related to Linux, which required if they used the open source code they must make source code for derivative works available. Broadcom and Cisco have been reluctant to do so because they fear it will give away their competitive advantage. I suspect this was the motivator for switching to the VxWorks software in version 5 and up.

I’d never buy a Linksys product again if the way it ran under their proprietary software was what I was stuck with. DD-WRT firmware addresses those issues and adds functionality which turns a very inexpensive router into a very functional piece of equipment.


I’ve been trying to figure out what to put online that might be useful enough or interesting enough to draw traffic without being porn. So I put into Google, “popular search terms”, and got a number of links to various resources that would show popular terms in various search engines.

The first non-sponsored link was to a page on On that page there was a link to the Lycos 50, the top 50 search terms entered into Lycos. The very first thing on the list of terms for the week ending December 16th was Britney Spears.

An article entitled, “They Shoot Pheasants Don’t They?”, kind of an odd title for an article, reminds me somehow of the phrase, “How do they hang horses?”, it explains her popularity being based upon reports of recent partying and being photographed without underwear.

I guess that explains it, I mean there aren’t too many pop star celebrities that party and get photographed without their underwear so I guess that makes her pretty special. Must be something else, inquiring minds want to know.

Further research turned up this website with Britney Spears images which really started to get down to the crux of the matter, a video of Britney Spears burping is the most viewed video on the Internet (I’m skeptical but that’s just me). I tried to find this video so that I too could experience the sheer joy of watching Britney burp on video but alas it was not to be. I did stumble across some of her pantiless photographs however, (really you see nothing but a flabby bum). I wonder if she had still been skinny if it would have raised such a heckle.

The second most popular term related to My Space, a social networking site where you can post a profile and a home page where basically anything that might be interesting is disallowed, and their deal with Cingular. Yep, that’s another one of cosmic importance. You know I dislike censorship and My Space started out pretty uncensored but it is no longer today. Also, I dislike sites where you can have a web presence but you aren’t permitted to hyperlink. That’s kind of the whole point of the web.

The third most popular term is Christmas. Well duh, we’re a week away, and I’m hardly ready, barely got any shopping done, mostly for lack of money, don’t have a tree yet, we need to go out and kill a tree for Christ. Assigned Raymond, the eldest of my two children that remain with us, the task of trying to piece together a few working strings from last years burn-outs.

Next on the list was RuneScape, described as a massive online 3D adventure game. Finally, fourth down the list and there is something I could get into. Signed up but got stuck with “Thenanook” because “Nanook”, “Nanookie”, and “Nookster” were all taken. Damn, got a hate that. After I put that in I realized instead of “The Nanook” that could also be read as “Then a Nook”, well not so bad, I like the ambiguity.

I’ve gone through the RuneScape tutorial, battled a ram, a goblin, finally another player killed me and I lost almost all my inventory. I can tell this is going to be an addiction. I’ll guess I’ll stop at #4.

Social Endorsement of Violence

Recently, a clerk at a 7-11 nearby, across from the Crest theater on 165th and 5th NE, was shot in the back of the head in the early morning hours. The store wasn’t robbed, the motive is unknown. This particular clerk was the nicest most pleasant person you could want to know.

That same weekend four people were shot in this area, all separate shooters, all unrelated incidents. One involved a love triangle, another involves a bar altercation that got out of hand, and the last was a cab driver found shot dead in his cab.

In Canada, people in the bars get drunk and get into fights, but generally a black eye or a few bruises, occasionally a broken nose or jaw results, shootings and stabbings are rare contrasted to the United States. That’s not to say things never get out of hand there and become fatal, but in Canada it’s the rare exception, in the United States it’s the norm.

I understand the reason for the violence in the United States. I am frustrated with the inability of other people here to get it. It’s really very simple. We, as a society, endorse violence. We have the largest military in the world and we are not hesitant to use it to achieve economic or political ends. We are one of the few industrialized countries in the world to still use the death penalty.

You might make an intellectual distinction between killing citizens of your own country and another (I do have a problem making this distinction, to my way of thinking humans are humans, I had no choice over what country I was born into, neither does anyone else). You might be able to make a distinction between state sponsored revenge (calling capital punishment “punishment” is absurd, punishment is something you administer in order to alter the behavior of the punished, capital punishment is state sponsored revenge, nothing less). But on the emotional level, people do not make this distinction.

If you become emotionally comfortable with killing criminals and people in other countries, you become emotionally comfortable with killing anyone if you feel sufficiently motivated, which in a state of anger and rage many people do.

If we take revenge by taking someone’s life that is convicted of killing, then we are no better than them. Even killers and people who commit the most heinous crimes have mothers and fathers and sisters and brothers and possibly even children, who in spite of what they have done, love them and are hurt tremendously when the criminal is put to death even though they had no part in the crime.

When DNA testing became widespread, approximately a third of the people on death row subsequently had their convictions overturned when DNA evidence proved them innocent. How many innocents are still being put to death?

Florida and California have temporarily suspended killing people because “improper” administration of lethal injections might be causing them “too much pain”. How much pain are their relatives going through? People that didn’t even have a part in the crimes? It’s alright to cause totally innocent people the worst pain they could possibly suffer but we worry about the injection causing the person being put to death too much pain?

And then military adventurism, we have killed around 100,000 Iraqi’s, maimed maybe three times that many. We’ve lost over 2,000 of our own troops, but that number is highly manipulated, for example, when a soldier is critically wounded, flown to a hospital in Germany, and subsequently dies there, they don’t become part of that body count. In previous wars, our military was responsible for supply lines and security, but in this war we’ve contracted it out to private mercenaries. Over 10,000 of them have died but they aren’t counted either.

And why are we doing this? Originally President Bush tried to tie Iraq to the destruction of the twin towers in New York. The CIA found no evidence of any such tie. Then we accused Iraq of having weapons of mass destruction (and we don’t?) and that was the excuse for invasion, but no weapons of mass destruction were ever found.

Oil was the thing a lot of people opposed to the war suspected was our reason for invading Iraq. I believe they are partially correct, but not in the way they think. Here in the United States, we have no shortage of oil. We in fact have more oil than all of the middle east combined. However, the oil that we have is expensive to extract and expensive to refine.

The Iraqi oil is largely what is known as sweet light crude. Sweet means it has a low sulfur content which means that sulfur doesn’t have to be removed from the final product in order to meet air quality regulations, thus saving refining expenses. And light crude means it has a larger portion of smaller chain hydrocarbons that are most useful.

The crude that exists in the United States tends to be heavy, meaning it contains mostly long chain hydrocarbons that need to be “cracked” into shorter molecules in order to be useful. The crude that exists in the United States tends to be sour, meaning that it has a high sulfur content that has to be removed in the refining process further increasing the expense of refining it.

There is a large pool of light sweet crude remaining in the United States, but it is difficult to get at because it is below granite bedrock and thus requires very deep drilling and drilling through rock. This is the oil that abiotic theory says should exist there, hydrocarbons that have come from the depths of the earths mantel, primordial carbon and hydrogen combining in the absence of significant oxygen under great temperature and pressures to become the mix hydrocarbons we call oil.

As difficult as it is to drill this type of oil, it is this abiotic oil that has allowed the Russians to become the worlds second largest oil producer, and for a short while before the government clamped down on Yukos, the worlds largest producer. The Russians have been able to extract this deep abiotic oil sufficiently economically to be competitive on the world market.

Then we have tar sands and oil shale. In these two resources we have about five times as much oil as all of the middle east combined. Both of these have been difficult to extract, however, there are now small companies extracting oil from both resources. They have been able to do so for under $15 a barrel. Canadians have been able to extract oil from their tar sands (they also have huge reserves in Alberta), crack it into smaller molecules, remove a large portion of the sulfur content, and sell it as light sweet crude, and they’ve been able to do the entire process for under $15/barrel Canadian (about $12 US).

Like Venezuela, we also have huge deposits of heavy crude in California. Venezuela has become a large oil producer extracting this heavy crude, cracking it to form lighter crude, and then selling it on the world market. Our oil companies will not build the necessary refinery capacity to process this heavy crude.

So when we are awash with oil, what are we doing in Iraq and the middle east in general? The answer is more complex than one might think. Extracting oil in Iraq costs only about $4/barrel, not including of coarse the military expenses but those are paid for by the tax payers here. It’s light sweet crude which means the thirty to fifty year old refineries here are able to process it without modifications.

But that’s not the real concern. The real concern is that Iraq and other middle eastern countries who have nationalized their oil industry can undercut US and UK based oil companies on the world market and they would no longer be able to command the ridiculous $70/barrel price they are getting for oil. Preventing this from happening means keeping the middle east destabilized.

This is all human life is worth, maintaining the profits of US and UK oil companies. Given that is it really a surprise that United States citizens are willing to take life so indiscriminately?


It’s been an exciting night.

We had a tree limb come through the roof last night, and then lost power shortly thereafter. We just got power back about twenty minutes ago.

Winds were forecast to gust 60-70 MPH, winds were clocked at over 100 MPH here in Shoreline, 137 MPH at one of the locations on the coast.

I have been here for 23 years and never seen a storm quite this severe before. I’ve seen some that gusted up there very briefly, but this was sustained for many hours.

The streets are green with tree limbs, traffic lights are dark all over as are neighborhoods.

I have to get back to taking care of business things, just wanted to let people know what was going on here.

Gender Confused Spam

I received this spam this morning and felt it was rather funny. Please note the persons name this is “From”.

From Thu Dec 14 00:34:25 2006From: ” Nancy” To:
Subject: Thank you for changing my life.
Date: Mon, 11 Dec 2006 10:29:16 -0400


Thank you for changing my life.

I don’t know how I could have possibly changed her life. I am quite sure I do not know this person.

Since I was in High School I knew I had an extremely small penis.

If your name is “Nancy”, having any penis, small or otherwise is probably not a good thing.

I could never keep a girlfriend, and I lacked the confidence to talk with girls. In fact sometimes I would simply need to be satisfied with porn.

If my name were Nancy and I were male, I’d probably have some problems being confident talking to girls even if my penis hung down to my knees.

I followed your advice and now I feel like a man.

I am happy to hear that. I don’t remember giving you any advice, but if you have a penis, then it’s probably good that you feel like a man. You might want to change your name.

I get these stupid spams all the time but you’d think if you’re trying to hock a penis enlargement product you’d at least pick a fictitious name that is a male name.>>>


I don’t mind people moving here from California if they don’t try to make this place into California.

We’ve lived here for 22+ years. We moved into this place because we liked the wooded atmosphere. Since we’ve moved in here, our neighbors to the west of us cut down most of their trees in the front, our neighbors south of us across 198th cut down most of their trees. Rita to our east was the one hold out.

She died, her x-husband stayed in the house for a long time and kept care of pets, but eventually they sold the house and moved out.

New neighbors came from California. They came with a boat and three vehicles. Their friends frequently visit and parking overflows onto the street.

Last night a couple of Ashlund trunks came and started trimming the trees in front of their house. I thought they were just trimming them away from the power lines.

Today, it became apparent they were removing them altogether, you can see they’ve got them down to just the lower portion of the trunks here.

Concerned that they were going to start chomping on our trees next I went out to talk to them. They were only going to remove those two trees growing up into the power lines. They said our neighbors requested that they be removed.

While it is true, they did grow up into the power lines and cause problems, I suspect the real motivation was to provide yet more parking for our neighbors fleet and their friends vehicles. Rita would be rolling in her grave if she knew.

I don’t mind Californians and others moving here as long as they don’t try to turn this area into the paved over desert with palm trees they came from. We here in the Pacific Northwest need something to hide under when the rain comes down.

Eddie School Concert

Eddie, my youngest son, performed in a school concert today. He’s the one in the middle of the image behind the kid with darker hair.

Motion blur exists because we didn’t want to be rude and annoy others enjoying the performance so an 1/8th second exposure was necessary.

He looks just thrilled to be there doesn’t he? Actually, this seems to be his state since Christie left.

I’m hoping he will get better in time. Eddie I think was a lot closer to Christie than the other kids, in part I think because she actually appreciated his unreserved criticisms. Eddie is highly intelligent in an intellectual sense but has a way to go in terms of social intelligence and maturity. Christie would not only tolerate his stark insensitive honesty but actually seemed to appreciate it. I think he related to her especially well because of this although he often sounded cruel to her. Aside from Christie leaving, he is also almost thirteen which is a difficult time for most children.

He is in honor roll classes this year because of his exceptional academic performance, and early this year these were not sufficiently challenging. Now we’re having trouble getting him to do his home work and he seems basically uninterested in anything. I fear that if this continues for too long he’ll be dropped out of the honor roll classes and then really be bored with the curriculum.