Intel's Ronler Acres Plant

Silicon Forest
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Friday, July 31, 2020

Tune of the Day

The Dandy Warhols - Ride (1995)

I usually keep the volume down pretty low, loud enough that I can hear, but not loud enough to be annoying, for some value of annoying. However, for this tune I cranked the volume way up. Maybe because it's Friday, maybe because of the mood I'm in. Whatever.

I was listening to 107.1 on the radio on the way home this afternoon and they were playing and talking about the Dandy Warhols and I realized that I hadn't heard anything from them lately, so I dialed them up on YouTube and in short order this tune popped up and I had to crank it up, and since I cranked it up, I decided I better share, and here we are.

Machine Tool Video of the Day

Inventing Tools | Prototype and Test

This isn't really about making things, it's more like using a $100K of machinery to produce some performance art. Very entertaining for a gearhead like me. He does make an aluminum claw, but once you have the machine programmed, you could reproduce the claw in any other material just by adjusting the feed rates. Well, that would work for bronze and steel. You might need super-special bits for cutting titanium, I don't know.

Map of the Day

Aral Sea in 1984
Google Earth Engine has satellite imagery dating back to 1984. They have time lapse shows of a number of locations on Earth, including the desiccation of the Aral Sea, one of my favorite examples of big government run amok.

Via Detroit Steve

Pic of the Day

C-130 Fuerza Aerea de Chile Grupo N°10
Via FlightAware

Highway to Hell

Rockin'1000 // Highway to Hell (ACDC) - Stade de France 2019
Jérémy Luis

This seems to be a fairly common event. I even posted another one a few years ago.

Via The Feral Irishman

Update July 2020 replaced missing video.

Report from Alaska

Iaman forwards a report from my nephew:
The sleepy guy is a deckhand on Nick's boat. The guy in the water with the chain around his neck and a knife is Nick.

Nick called today to say "hi". He was on the boat, sitting in port waiting for the DNR [Alaska Department of Natural Resources]  announcement tomorrow on which fisheries would/or-not be open. Fishing has been spotty, but other than not making money he is happy.
Asking him what he does with his day, "not much". Then he tells me the boat had a "net in the wheel" ??? The boat got its net tangled in a prop. Nick having his NZ wetsuit with him grabs a "vicky" and dives under the boat no mask, no tank, but with a chain thrown over his shoulder as a dive belt. It takes many surfacings for air and a lot of slashing with the Vicky to clear the prop. Salt water doesn't bother his unmasked eyes. Estimates vary but it is said this bold action saved the Captain a couple thousand bucks, motoring, time, fuel, hiring a pro diver.

A Vicky is a cheap knife made by Victornix, they are ubiquitous on the boats, used for everything from clearing props to slicing up ones meal. No more caring your personal blade, "there is typically a vicky in reach"

Speaking of meals and diving, Nick says if he doesn't go be a Gaucho in Argentina, or canoe the Mississippi, he may give a go at diving to harvest Sea cucumber for the Asian seafood trade. A new industry to me, cuke-divers are said to be paid well for their efforts, but google says it is fraught with risk. Nick knows of a local captain who is legend in the area. He runs his boat down the coast all the way to Mexico, fishing for whatever is paying: ablaone, shrimp, sea cukes, salmon, crab. Nick hopes to find out more about the cukes from him.

Thursday, July 30, 2020

The Uses of Impartiality

Stolen entire from The Uses of Impartiality by JMSmith:
Impartiality takes three forms. The first is an accidental impartiality that occurs when it just so happens that I am uninvolved in the contest, dispute or conflict. I call this form accidental because it does not require any special gift of disinterested judgment on my part. If circumstances had been otherwise and I had been involved, I would likely be cheering, aiding and abetting one side. It must be added that accidental impartiality necessarily entails profound ignorance of the contest, dispute or conflict, and thus pronouncements from the position of accidental impartiality are usually beside the point and irrelevant. 
I am, it so happens, accidentally impartial when it comes to contests between figure skaters, disputes between physicists, and conflicts between militant factions in the African jungle. I do not care who wins because I do not understand the competition, the debate, or the conflict. It would not trouble me to see either side win, or both, or neither.  And not only do I not, as we Texans say, have a dog in the fight—I also know nothing whatsoever about dog fights. 
This is why accidental impartiality does not qualify a man to act as an “impartial judge,” and why he should in fact hold his tongue and keep his irrelevant opinions to himself. If I were called upon to act as the impartial judge of a figure skating contest, for instance, my profound ignorance of figure skating would require me to award the trophy on the basis of my irrelevant opinion of the skaters’ costume or choice of musical accompaniment. And the same goes if I were called upon to act as the impartial judge in a dispute between physicists or a conflict between militant African factions. 
* * * * * 
Counterfeit impartiality is the second form, and this obviously occurs when a mask of cool detachment conceals a face that is creased with anxiety and aglow with concern. This is naturally the form of impartiality that is most often advanced as a qualification by men and women who are panting to be selected as an “impartial judge,” and an ability to convincingly counterfeit impartiality is, in truth, a prime qualification for those who wish to join a conspiracy of cronies. There are few skills that serve men and women better than than the ability to appear judicious while handing their friend the biscuit, and kicking their foe out the door.  I advise all ambitious young people to practice it assiduously, before a full-length mirror. 
If young people are looking to model themselves on the great masters of counterfeit impartiality, I advise them to study just about anyone who is promoted (or self-promoted) as an expert. I hasten to add that I am not implying that there are no genuine experts, or that that impartial expertise is on all fours with accidental impartiality, but only that the impartiality of many experts is entirely counterfeit. To revert to that vivid Texas colloquialism, you cannot become an expert and not grow partial to one dog. In fact, it is almost impossible to become an expert without placing a substantial wager on the outcome of the dogfight. 
Expertise means experience, and experience means involvement. If I have sufficient expertise to understand what a figure skater does in a quadruple jump, I will certainly be sufficiently involved in figure skating to have taken on all sorts of biases and partialities.   I will have friends and be part of a faction, and I will have to demonstrate some loyalty if I wish to keep those friends and remain part of that faction. The same is true of the physicists who sit in judgment of disputes between physicists, and of critics who lead public opinion to root for one of the armed factions in a conflict in some faraway African jungle. 
* * * * * 
This leaves us with what I call anguished impartiality, by which I mean an impartiality that causes acute mental suffering in a genuine expert because it requires him to briefly suspend his loyalties and betray his friends. He is not an ignoramus who is accidentally impartial because he can see no difference between the two sides. He has a dog in the fight, and a very large wager riding on that dog. He also has cronies to whom he is indebted for favors, and a fit of impartiality will very possibly oblige him to welsh on this debt. 
He knows what cronies do to welshers, and that is why he feels anguish.
The anguish of true impartiality is well known to practitioners of counterfeit impartiality, and they they are therefore capable of writhing like Hamlet when they cannot maintain the pretense of detachment. So you must not take an appearance of mental anguish as proof that you are in the presence of an impartial judge.
But you should take the presence of mental anguish in yourself as pretty strong evidence that you are in fact acting as an impartial judge.  You feel that mental anguish because you are welshing on the debts you owe to your cronies and risking the large wager you have placed on your dog. 
* * * * * 
What this comes down to is that impartiality is very hard.  It may be too hard for many people, and is certainly too hard for anyone to exercise at all times. Indeed, when we consider that true impartiality must be either stupid or disloyal, a man who claims to be impartial at all times must be either a fool, a fink or a fraud. 
Thus we should aspire to an inconsistent impartiality in the matters that interest us most. We should hold our tongues on questions we do not understand; and we should, more often than not, declare our loyalties and do our duty to our side when this is not the case.
But above all else, we should never forget that no one enjoys being an impartial judge, unless, of course, they are just pretending to be impartial.  In that case they enjoy it more than you can possibly imagine.

Collective Nouns

Stu took his dog to the Parrot Farm and learned some very fine new words. I'm not going to spoil his surprise, you'll have to follow the link.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

3D Table Saw Repair

My old friend James reports on his table saw repair:

Craftsman Job Site Table Saw
So I bought this Craftsman table saw (photo 1) many years ago when I lived in Santa Cruz California. It has served me well, especially since I have always had a small two-car garage with no place to leave a saw set up. So this folding rolling saw works great. When I moved to Washington it continued to work extremely well. But about six month ago, just before we move to Phoenix, the extension table lock stopped working. I would extend the side table and then operate the lock lever, but the extension was not locked. So I've had to resort to various clamps to keep the extension from moving when I'm using the fence on the extension.

Fast forward to the lockdown, and I'm sick of dealing with this bug, so I decide to spend some of my ample spare time to investigate. With Agnes's help, I got the saw onto the operating table. But I don't mean her physical help. She's the genius who realized that my folding work table could be configured as a ramp, with one set of legs folded. Brilliant! One ratchet strap served as a winch and the saw was soon on its back on the table.

Since I am pretty blind, I have to resort to lots of lamps and flashlights and I wear a heavy-duty stereo magnifier headpiece. After a small amount of disassembly (one bolt and a few plastic pieces), I locate the problem: two missing plastic pieces called bushings that go on the ends of the steel locking pins to protect the aluminum slides while exerting an ungodly pressure on them to hold them in place. The only reason I found this problem was that there was a fragment of the previous bushing still in the slide.

So I consult the Goo-Gul and find many companies that sell Craftsman parts. And if you are patient enough to peer at their fuzzy parts diagrams, you can eventually locate this part, along with the inevitable label "part unavailable".

3D Printed Bushing
What to do? Actually, I had already asked Agnes to warm up her 3D printer and I gave her an estimate of the required dimensions. So she whipped up a replacement (photo 2) that worked perfectly in the front lock but was too thick for the back lock. So, she is, as we speak, making a pair of bushing that are only 70-thou thick, instead of 90-thou. It takes about a half-hour to print them, so it's time to eat some pizza. Besides, the garage is too frigging hot to work in right now anyway.

News from Guyana

Liza Destiny oil processing ship
They are drilling for oil in the waters off Guyana, a small country in South America. One of the oil fields and this ship are named for my niece. As if. Iaman notes:
For a country of less than a million people, the find (the Liza oil field) changes everything. Within a decade Guyana could be completely transformed by the find going from unpaved roads and sporadic power to being a developed nation.
Noble Don Tailor drillship
Naturally, they are drilling in water that is a mile deep, and then through another two miles of rock and salt before they get to the oil, all to keep the price of oil low enough that I don't need to check the price each time I fill up my car. The reptilians will see to that.

767 stuck in the mud
Meanwhile, an Eastern Airlines airliner cut the corner a little tight on a taxiway at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport near Georgetown (map) and got stuck in the mud. Note that this isn't the same Eastern Air Lines that went bust back in 1991. Via FlightAware.

Mount Stuart House

Mount Stuart House, East Front, Isle of Bute
Waiting in the doctor's office, leafing through a scrapbook, I came across this picture, thought it was a cool old building. It was built in the 1870's. It was the first home in Scotland to be lit by electricity.

The Isle of Bute lies in the Firth of Clyde, about 30 miles west of Glasgow, Scotland. It is just one of a bunch of islands lying just off the west coast of Scotland.

Tuesday, July 28, 2020


B-29 Superfortress “Umbriago III - Dat’s My Boy" 90 miles NW of Saipan

British Airways Concorde, Boeing 747, and Vickers Super VC-10 at JFK

Short Sunderland Mk.III

General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon, General Dynamics F-111 Aardvark, McDonnell Douglas F-15C Eagle, and Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II (Warthog)
This must be an old picture because there is a bridge just this side of the dam now.

Military Crane

Bombay Victoria Dock, circa 1900
I'm reading Firefall by Peter Watts and it's pretty great. It's actually two of his books combined into one volume. I read both of those books before, and when I was looking for something to read I came across this volume. On one hand, it's kind of a rip-off. I've read these books before so I'm buying a second copy, except not really, because I didn't actually buy a copy of the first book (Blindsight), I read it on-line. Anyway, now I have a real printed copy of the first book and I read it again and it was great, again. Now I'm working my way through the second book (Echopraxia) and I come across a quote at the start of a chapter. I think there is a quote at the start of every chapter, but some of the quotes have dates 50 years into the future, so you know they are made up, but this one has no date, so maybe it's real. The quote is:
War does not teach us to love our enemies, it teaches us to hate our allies - W L George
Which rang a bell with me because of my recent come-to-Jesus realization that war making is an essential human activity, natural even.

Anyway, George was an English writer who lived around a hundred years ago. His first book was A Bed of Roses. You can buy a copy from Amazon, but you can also read it on Project Guttenberg. I get about halfway through the first page and he mentions the military crane at the port in Bombay India, so I go looking for a picture and while I didn't find any more about the military crane, you can see that there are a bunch of cranes at the port a hundred years ago.

The Peacock

Stolen entire from Lazy Evaluation Ranch:
11/2/2015 Today Goofus the Peacock killed a mouse and instead of eating it right away, decided to wander around the pasture carrying it in his beak. The feral cats always appreciate dead-rodent-based performance art, so they followed behind Goofus single file to make a Very Exciting Dead Rodent Parade.
At one point Goofus stopped and put down his rodent and one of the feral cats dared to sniff at it, and Goofus unleashed The Most Terrifying Honk, something along the lines of I WILL END YOU AND EVERYONE YOU LOVE AND YOUR BONES WILL BE FORGOTTEN ON THE FROZEN EARTH WHEN I SNUFF OUT THE SUN AND SING THE STARS TO DARKNESS I AM THE DEVOURER AND DESTROYER OF ALL THINGS
The feral cats, previously unaware that the Death Of The Universe And End Of All Things is currently living as a peacock, ran off at about fifty miles an hour and hid under the barn for the rest of the day. They didn’t even come out at milking time to beg for goat milk, which is a first.
We probably should not have named the Death Of The Universe And The End Of All Things “Goofus,” actually.
I don't remember where I found this, but the original wasn't too hard to find.


Walter Mitty's Deck
The Tuesday lunch bunch ate at Walter Mitty's Restaurant & Bar today. It's in the very northwest tip of Lake Oswego, just on the other side of the border from Portland. Inside is kind of dark and gloomy, but they have a deck and it was glorious. Well, glorious as long as we were in the shade. It got a little toasty toward the end. I always order the special: a fancy grilled cheese sandwich. It's so good I've never even looked at the menu.
Bigs Chicken
Yesterday my wife and I had lunch at Bigs Chicken across the street from Providence Medical Center on the east side on Glisan. The menu says the chicken is spicy which made me a little apprehensive. I don't do well with spicy food. My mouth can't handle it, but this was well within my limits so I thought it was delicious. All you maniacs who like to chow down on Kung Pow peppers would be disappointed. My heart bleeds for you. Not. Bigs' dining room is closed, but they have picnic benches on the sidewalk out in front so we didn't have to carry our food very far. Actually, they brought it out to us.

Looming Disaster?

Death on a Pale Horse - Benjamin West 1796
Supposedly the economy is going to hell, zillions of people are out of work, out of money and out of luck. It hasn't impacted me, living in my suburban paradise like I am, other than I see the homeless encampments in downtown Portland incrementally enlarging on a daily basis.

Like I said, this COVID-19 lockdown is like the third major blow to the lower tier of American society. The first was Nixon opening trade with China. The second was computer automation of American industry. Now you can't even work as a waiter or a busboy because of the COVID-19 panic.

All the protests and riots that claim to be protesting racism and police brutality would have turned to dust if these people had anything better to do, but they don't, so we're going to see protests and riots going on indefinitely.

I was thinking we need a new religion, but given that we don't have anything substantial that everyone believes in (substantial as in a coherent set of beliefs), we invent things, like lining up to buy coffee at Starbucks, and now that we can't do that, we all wear masks.

I am afraid that if we don't come up with something better we might be going to war with China. That would be awful, as wars always are, but it could also put a lot of people to work and eliminate a lot of the petty bullshit that the bureaucrats have saddled us with. Besides, war is traditional. It's like the most traditional of all our traditions. Every society on Earth has a history of fighting wars. Shoot, that's what history is, a record of all the wars we've fought.

There are some things wrong with our society. The protesters have some legitimate complaints, but even if we magically fixed all of those problems, it's still not going to get this society moving. Okay, 'moving' might not be right word here. Do we even know what we want? Some people want peace and prosperity, they want a comfortable life, a house and family. Some people just want to be left alone. You can still take a tent and go set up camp in a National Forest. Kind of a rough life, but that might suit some people very well.

Some people have no idea what they want. Planning ahead is not something they do. That could be due to their personality or their circumstances. With no money, no family and no home, your options are kind of limited. With no plan, it is easy to get swept up in whatever the people around you are doing.

I don't think a war with China is in the offing, nor is a civil war. You need a demagogue to stand up and holler, and since hollering is now done via electronic social media, all hollering for war is going to be censored. But eventually someone is going to say Enough! and then things will get interesting, as in ancient-Chinese-curse interesting.

Update a couple hours later to make some corrections.

Monday, July 27, 2020

Scorpion King

Scorpion King's Car
Spotted this in the Lowe's parking lot a couple of weeks ago. On one hand it's horribly garish, ugly and tacky. On the other hand, it makes me wonder what was going on in the decorator's head that sent him down this path. It's like a vehicle decorated by an alien. At least he got all scorpions to line up.

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Card Trickery

My Favorite Trick (Roadhouse)

I've been watching (I think his first name is Chris) Hannibal do card tricks the last couple of days and he's pretty great. The card tricks are like magic, but it's his patter that makes the show. I would love to be able to do that.

Pic of the Day

Old photo at summit of Mt. Hood
Via Posthip Scott

Vicious Cycle

Honda CB-160 Cafe Racer by Vicious Cycle
"Vicious Cycle is the #1 CB160 Honda retro shop in country says Jesse, sales guy at Beaverton Honda" - Andy
About a zillion years ago I used to have a Honda CB-160. I saved up $400 from my paper route to buy it used. I don't think I had it for more than a couple of years before I managed to destroy the engine. I learned a bit about machines from working on it, like parts for specialty vehicles like motor cycles cost ten times as much as similar products for run-of-the-mill cars, things like ignition coils. And parts that are supposed to be round but aren't can make a mess of things, like when I replaced the rear drive sprocket with one that was a good eighth of an inch off center. If you happen to adjust the chain when the sprocket is in the position that gives you the most slack, when the sprocket rolls around to the other side, the tension on the chain and the drive sprocket will be so great that it will ruin the chain and distort the engine case enough that it will start leaking oil. Criminently, I paid good money for that sprocket, purchased from a Honda dealer. I will give them that it wasn't a genuine Honda part, but a cheap knockoff. Still, you'd think if you were going to make a sprocket you would make sure that all the bits were concentric. Reminds me of the guys at Dana and the frames they built for Toyota. Good going American manufacturing. Yeah, you built a zillion machines that worked perfectly but it's the ones you screw up that people like me remember.

Regardless, I drove that thing all over Licking County and even into Columbus Ohio on occasion, so when Andy ran across this bit about Vicious Cycle, he had to pass it on.

Vicious Cycle shop on SE Division in Portland Oregon

Same shop in Google Street View. How did they get rid of the telephone pole in the previous picture?
Google-Fu: These two pictures of the shop come from Google Maps. The first one comes from the photos attached to the location. The second one comes from Streetview. You cannot download the photos attached to the shop, but you can do a print screen, except the lower left corner of the image is occupied by a mini-map, which detracts from the image. However, in the upper left corner of the image is a little label with 3 vertical dots. Click on the dots and you get a menu. Click on share and then click on copy link. Now you use that link to see that image unobscured.

Saturday, July 25, 2020


Large Custom 3D Printer Using Vention's MachineBuilder

This frame could also be used to make a laser cuter, a pick-and-place machine for building electronic circuits or a bead-sprite-printer. The accuracy of the machine would depend on the quality of the bearings and lead-screws as well as the precision of the drive motors. However it looks like all the parts can be ordered from Vention and then put together with a screwdriver. It might cost a couple of bucks, but unless you are working for free, like I am, it might be worth buying the parts instead of hand crafting everything yourself.

Via Jack & Dennis

Handsome Siblings

Handsome Siblings 2020 Trailer w/Eng Subtitles

We started watching this series a couple of nights ago. At first I wanted to write it off as too silly, too clownish. We have bad guys dressed up as caricatures of villains, flying through the sky and attacking with swords and spears, and we have the heroes defeating the villains with super-duper, mystically enhanced martial arts. But I stuck with it and tonight I realized it's really very well done for what it is, which is a live action version of a comic book. The settings, costumes and personalities are all very extreme, the dialog is stilted, and the fights are fantastically stylized. With all the pomp and ceremony it kind of reminds me of pro-wrestling.

Wikipedia tells us that the story is known as Juedai Shuangjiao: 
It has been consistently popular since its publication in 1966, and as of 2020 has been the subject of eight TV series and four films.
On Netflix, 44 episodes of roughly 45 minutes each, in some kind of furrin' gibberish (presumably Chinese), with subtitles in English.

Stormy Weather

Zoom Earth Storms
About Zoom Earth
Zoom Earth shows live weather satellite images updated in near real-time, and the best high-resolution aerial views of the Earth in a fast, zoomable map. Explore recent images of storms, wildfires, property and more.
Live weather images are updated every 10 minutes via NOAA GOES and JMA Himawari-8 satellites, and every 15 minutes via EUMETSAT Meteosat satellites.
Daily images are provided by services from NASA’s GIBS, part of EOSDIS. NASA-NOAA satellite Suomi-NPP, and MODIS Aqua and Terra provide continuous imagery for “AM” at local 10:30am, and “PM” at local 1:30pm.
Historical images are sourced from Microsoft and Esri.
Storm tracks and forecast maps are created using data from NHC, JTWC and IBTrACS.
Via Detroit Steve

Frozen in Time

HMS Modeste frozen in the icy Columbia River, January 1847

Car driving on the Columbia River, Portland, Oregon, January 1930

The icy Columbia River freezing over in the early 1900’s. Photo courtesy: Washington State Archives

Columbia River provides landing field on frozen water. Clarence S. Murray on the right and Glenn Murray on the left. 1930. (Columbian files)

Breakup, Feb. 11th, 1916
Before the dams were built on the Columbia River, the flow rate was much lower in the winter time which made it easier for the river to freeze.

Posthip Scott sent me the last picture which got me started.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020


Let's Have Ourselves a Good Fight

Pope Urban II Preaching the First Crusade in the Square of Clermont (1835) - Francesco Hayez
On November 17, 1091, Pope Urban II made a speech which include this bit:
At this point Pope Urban raised a second issue to which he and his illustrious predecessor Gregory VII had devoted years of effort – the chronic warfare of medieval times. The popes had been attempting to achieve a “truce of God” among the feudal nobility, many of whom seemed inclined to make war, even on their friends, just for the sake of a good fight. After all, it was what they had trained to do every day since early childhood. Here was their chance! “Christian warriors, who continually and vainly seek pretexts for war, rejoice, for you have today found a true pretext … If you are conquered, you will have the glory of dying in the very same place as Jesus Christ, and God will never forget that he found you in the holy battalions … Soldiers of Hell, become soldiers of the living God!”
Via Brian Micklethwait's New Blog

Great Circle Prayers

Which way to Mecca?
Qibla Finder shows which way devout Muslins should be facing when they pray. It shows you the shortest, i.e. Great Circle route to Mecca.

Via Iaman