Saturday, July 23, 2011

Motorcycle needs help! Have parts, need sons to help.

I crashed my bike. My muscles don't work sop well, and I suppose I was an idiot to cruise the extra windy part of Muholland Drive.

If either of my boys, Mike Orme or Alex Orme wants to come help me fix it (I have all the parts but am not strong enough to move it), They can take it with them. I have everything but riding pants, which I would hope they would buy. I have the armoured jacket, boots (size 14), Helmet etc.

My legs got all scrapped up when I laid it down, so If it gets fixed I'll be sure to buy armored pants. 

So kiddos, please come help me fix it even if you don't want to ride it. I loved taking it to the beach and would like to ride it again while I still can.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Home Made Precision Stylus Force Gauge

I love my Thorens TD-145 turntable, but it has one glaring idiosyncrasy. The stylus force is set with a dial gauge on the mount that is connected to a spring on the rear of the tonearm via a thin cable. As you turn the dial to change the force, you tighten/loosen the spring attached to the cable.

What this means is that when you raise the tonearm, you pull harder on the cable, stretching the spring, and the force increases. If you lower the arm, the force decreases.

So, checking he force with a scale can only be done with the scale pan at the same height as the record surface.

Originally I just took the platter off and set the scale on something to raise the pan 1.25" from the plinth (turntable base)

Looking at scales online, I saw a $100 scale that was made with a pan with an extension that is a better version of what I made.

I copied the design by using a cut up credit card with wood toothpicks gorilla glued on for stiffness.

When you take the record off the platter, and put the scale on the mat, the weigh point is very close to the same height as the upper surface of a record. Now, measuring the force becomes very easy.

This all started because my tracking force was significantly off when using the dial force gauge. I suppose the spring has weakened over the last 40 years. You can use a screwdriver to change the spring tension. There is a small tube on the back of the tonearm that is threaded on the inside. You can see the counterweight cutout for the tube. When you screw in the plug from the rear, you reduce tension on the spring, and reduce stylus force.

I knew that I wanted 1.75 grams, so I balanced the tonearm to zero by moving the counter weight, with the dial set to zero. Then I set the stylus force to 1.75 grams, and adjusted the spring until the scale read 1.75g. The scale reads to within a couple hundredths of a gram where ever the scale is set. Now I can trust the dial gauge when I change cartridges.

I have several good Phono Cartridges. I have seen them all at $350 (each) on eBay. The designs out of the 70's seems to command a premium. It was the height of demand for vinyl. The 80's saw the introduction of CD's.

I read about shops that stopped setting turntables 30 years ago that are starting to sell lot of them again. Audiophiles are rediscovering the sound of vinyl.

I just bought Allison Krause and Union Stations "Paper Airplane" album. It came with a free digital download card. I then downloaded the album as a wave files (the same as a CD). I look at it as a digital download with free vinyl album.

Goldring G900SE by far my favorite
Shure V15 type 3 (Type 3G body with .3x.7mil elliptical stylus. The "G" indicated a conical stylus.
Goldring G900E grey body, designed for high mass tonearms to track at up to 3 grams. This cartridge with a black SE stylus
Audio Technica AT13Ea
Audio Technica AT15XE and a separate ATN15 stylus with a Shibata stylus from an AT15Sa cart.
Micro Acoustics 2002E (good electret type)
Ortofon M20E Super
Ortofon VMS 20E Mk II

The cartridge is a Satin M-117G high output moving coil cartridge. Worth about $350 ish today. Tracking force is recommended 1-2 grams, but I find heavier tracking force reduces mist-tracking which makes the sound suck, and damages the record.

I really hope one of my kids grabs the hi-fi and record collection. You might not like Miles Davis "Kind of Blue" at 19, but you probably will at 25, and for shure by 29.

There is a wealth of wonderful music available at used record shops. Things you will never find on CD or digital. Listening to a record is a very relaxing thing to do. It becomes an activity like watching a movie, and makes the music much better.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

I miss my boys so much

Give me wings. Let my flight.

Michael is in a lot of pain. He needs my help, but I am helpless to do anything. I don't know anything about Alex. I wish he would just go for it, and come see me. At least they should have bargained for new cars. If their grandfather could spend 1.5 million fighting me in court, he can spend the cost of new cars to bribe them to stay away from me.

Look at what has become of them. Good Job mom.

When I look of photos of them when they were with me and Mia, they were happy. Sailing, hanging out at the beach, trips in a Winnebago, visits to the aquarium and the squirrels, whatever, but they were happy until they were sucked into the nelson world. What a change.

They can be happy again.

One of the most happy times in my life before they were born was when my dad came to live with me in Seattle. I had a 1bd + den apt on the east side of lake union with a view of the Space Needle out the left in the living room, Queen Anne, and all of Lake Union in the center, and the orange Fremont Bridge to the right. It was a wonderful apartment.

My dad lived in West Hills in the same house my mom lives in now, but he was subcontracted to Boeing, so he spent weekends in LA, and workdays in Seattle. Instead of staying in a long term hotel, he came and camped out in my den. I think I was working for Speakerlab at the time, but might have had my own business, Marine Support, working on yachts. I made about $40-50 an hour, which was pretty good in the late 70's 0r early 80's.

Anyway, having an adult relationship with him was great. I am so sorry that I probably won't be here long enough to have the same kind of relationship with my boys.

Call me, come see me, write to me. I need to hear from you while I am still alive.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Home Made Lead Hardness Tester for Casting Bullets

Homemade Lead Hardness Tester (click on images for full sized view)

I bought a Lee Hardness Tester, and it was just too hard for my old eyes and shaky hands to use. So, I used what I had around and made one myself.

I have a 1/2 ton arbor press which is perfect as a starting point. Unfortunately, the mechanical advantage ratio was a PIA to calculate because my postal scale only goes to 5 pounds, and the force of the handle alone was more than that. I ended up using cast iron pipe on the back side to counter balance the weight of the handle and used a hanging pan on the end. I just added bullets until I got to the scale limit, and then weighed the bullets, and did the math. (all science is math).

I just checked the force using some better tools. I went online and bought a digital scale off of ebay. Check this out. The scale was only $3.97 including shipping, so I bought 2. I just checked, and they are now only $3.46. No wonder we buy so much stuff from china.

I needed a flat scale instead of a hanging one to measure the force of the scale, so I tool it apart and placed the load sensor assy under the press ram, and measured the force made by a 1 pound weight after I tared for the force of the arm alone.

It seems that the force mechanical ratio is about 18:1.

I ordered 5/32 and 9/32 chromium steel balls from Small Parts on Amazon (about $2-3 per pack of 25) .

The weight I use is cast from lead contaminated with zinc. It weighs more than my scale can measure, but back calculating produces a result of 128.5 lbs of force at the press (including the weight of the handle)

I use a bit of soft bullet lube to "glue" the ball to the test piece, then wipe it off and measure the indentation diameter with calipers.

I plugged the formula into my G2 cell phone, which has the QuickOffice spreadsheet included, and just plug in the indentation diameter and it gives me the hardness. I double checked with the Lee hardness tester, which I will sell. Since 5/32 is the size of the ball in the lee tester, I could use the spreadsheet to replace the chart Lee provides (which does not go below BH 7, so it can't measure pure lead)

I made the spreadsheet on my PC, then copied it to the MicroSHDC card on the G2.

Here is the actual spreadsheet formula entry

BHN = P / {pi * D * 0.5 * [D - sqrt(D*D - d*d)]}

P = the imposed load in kilograms (63.0 kilograms in our example, and it should be approximately one to five times D*D) (13 to 65 kg)
pi = 3.14159
D = the diameter of the ball in millimeters ( 0.143" or 3.63 mm in our example)
d = the diameter of the indentation in millimeters (0.177" or 2.9718 mm in my example)

Friday, December 10, 2010

I love my boys more than anything

I hope that my boys get this message somehow. I want them to know that I love them very much.

I think it is harder on Alex. This post is mostly for him. We have been dealt a pretty crappy hand these last 3 years. We just have to deal with it. I do not blame either of them for how things are. I know that they love me and, like me, wish things could be different. Michael always preferred his mom, so this is not so hard for him.

Don't be sad. As my dad used to say, "don't let the bastards grind you down". I am doing my best to be able to see you.

PLEASE don't do anything stupid. I have been going through hell trying to stay alive so we can spend some time together. Don't do anything to spoil our reunion.

It is hard to exert power over your own life when you are in the situation that you and I find ourselves in.

Find a girl that you can talk to and tell her how you feel about everything. A girlfriend should be able to keep confidences, and give you comfort.

I love you. Come see me on your birthday. I am waiting for that day to come. Be there when it comes.

The only thing I want is grand-kids. Like my father, I probably won't live to see them, but I really want you to have many children, and to tell them all about me. Our job as parents is to raise you the best we can. You have the bad luck of having parents that can't get along. Don't make the same mistake.

Your job as children is to not make our bringing you into this world in vain. You do this by suffering the crap life has dealt to you, and to try to not make the same mistakes your parents did with your children.

Children are as close to immortality as it gets for parents. Promise me several grand kids, and I will go to my maker as a happy father. Live up to the promise, and make me proud.

GROW OLD!!!!!! That is what I want more than anything in the world. I have a guardian angle that has watched over me, and I pray that my angel watches over you, and keeps you safe.

Life gets better as we get older. When we are young, we have no idea what is going on. We get a little better idea as we get older, but still don't really know.

I cherish life. When things get really bad, I look around and remember how lucky I really am. I marvel at the colors on the HD TV, and think how lucky I am to be able to lie in bed and watch Star Trek reruns. Even with all the crap, I thank God every day for the gift of life. My biggest regret is that I did not know how to be a better man when I was young. I am jealous of my high school sweetheart's being married 30 plus years to the guy she found after me. I pray that you will find someone to share your life with like that.

Your loving father, Matthew

Monday, November 1, 2010

Morons that try to hack my accounts

Apparently those that continuously try to access my email, facebook, and other accounts don't realize that I am notified every time. Randomly generated passwords are a PIA, but I guess it is the price that must be paid.

One good thing is that the extra hits generate more revenue. The ad reports give I.P. Addresses of those making the attempt.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A letter to a liberal friend

11-08-2010. Updated to include some links requested by a reader.

Here is a letter I wrote to a friend. I could have sent it to several of my Liberal friends. I have tried to edit out any personal references. Someone might recognize themselves, but hopefully no one else will know.

What's going on? I have always thought of you as one of my closest friends, yet I seem to bring out a great deal of anger in you. Why do you think?

Life is a wonderful gift. Look at how lucky you are. You are better off than most people on the planet. The world is a better place with you in it. Be happy that you have such a comfortable place on this planet. I love and care for you, and hate to see you in pain. It might help to talk about it. I hope you do me the courtesy of actually reading all of this, warts and all.

My idea of friendship means that when you essentially ridicule and disparage everything I am about, I just let it slide. Think about it, you even slept with, and wreaked my relationship with a certain woman. She cried a lot when she told me what happened. I mean really, what was the point? Everybody lost. But you will have to work a lot harder for me to not welcome you into my life or my home. I would do nearly anything in my power to help you if you needed me, and you are always welcome where ever I am.

When you say that no rational person could be a Republican, what does that say about what you think of me? Or the fact that fewer people believe in man caused global warming shows just how easily the stupid masses are to manipulate, or when you say the cable news network I watch tells nothing but lies, and people are idiots because they watch it, what do all those statements say about me? When I challenge those assumptions, and ask how someone can have a valid opinion about the accuracy of a newscast without watching it, the response is just anger.

Yet, I don't let your routine disparagement of basically everything I believe in get to me on a personal level. I believe that friends should be able to debate issues even when they strongly disagree with each other. It's a better world when people with opposing beliefs can converse about them. Intolerance does not make us happier, just angrier. I recommend less anger and more happiness.

I wanted you to tell the story of our adventures in writing for my kids. I want to tell the boys my story, and part of that includes you. I apparently can not comprehend your desire to erase any knowledge of your existence from the rest of the world when I am trying to preserve my memory for my kids.

It seems that I can't have a rational debate with most liberals on topics where we disagree, so don't feel singled out. Their typical reactions to my beliefs are to say I am either an idiot, or evil, or a mix of the two. Your response to my question that you never discuss topics with folks that disagree with you was telling to me. It's seems to be the universal response lately.

I have literally been told that I want to destroy the world for my kids. No kidding. What I never get is the rational explanation of why I am mistaken. I get the feeling that liberals think that my opinions make me a bad person. If I don't like Obama, it is because of a personal failure as a human on my part, not because I have a legitimate concern for what his policies mean for this country.

Same with my belief that CO2 does not have any measurable affect on global temperatures. Bad man.

I have the audacity to question two key tenets of the "progressive" wisdom about global warming; 1. I am skeptical of the idea that we are facing the apocalypse (I also think warm is better), and I don’t accept that the only solution even if the premise of AGW is true, is to mandate drastic cuts in carbon emissions (I actually believe that more carbon is better).

Even if I assume worst case scenario re: global warming, I believe that mankind's best answer comes through wealth. In other words, deal with the change in temperature through wealth, instead of by trying to control the weather. Air conditioners vs. open windows (=poverty)

The way it is with heresy is that there is no middle ground. Either you believe global warming is the worst problem mankind has ever faced and that cutting carbon is the only solution, or you are an anti-scientific ignoramus who probably thinks the Earth is flat.

Why is that? I am happy to listen to anyone's rationale about anything they want to talk about, from political viewpoints (conservative) to environmentalism (I think oil gave us the ability to advance from a non technological civilization (cook over a fire in the living room fireplace) to the one that allows me to write this blog) .

The problem is, is that most people don’t really have a reasoned opinion about a subject, but a sacred belief in that subject, and when challenged, they just get angry because they don't know how to argue the point except to call the other person an idiot.

Example. A million and a half people die every year of respiratory disease because they burn wood or other things like cow pies indoors to cook and heat. Providing these people with electric power with the heaviest CO2 emitting source there is will save more lives than any CO2 reduction up to and including a reduction to zero emissions.

Same with Vitamin A rice. It will also save a million and a half folks a year from blindness then death, but the irrational (my opinion) worries about "Franken Foods" seem to outweigh the actual benefits. So, in reality it is not about saving lives.

I have a degree in geology, and a near genius level IQ. I am not a moron easily swayed by Fox news or anyone else. I actually research issues I care about before making up my mind.

A close woman friend and her husband are such global warming believers that they bought a house farther from the beach than they wanted because they are concerned with the ocean's rise. (If the sea level was rising, don't you think someone would have noticed by now?)

The husband who is a professor at a northern university told me that he saw the data put together showing the sudden rise in global temperature. Yet, when I mentioned that Phil Jones had just admitted in a BBC interview that the Medieval Warming Period was warmer than today, and that there has not been a statistical rise in temperature in the last decade, had no idea who Phil Jones or the CRU was. Mr. Jones is the head of the Climate Research Unit (CRU), whose data was the basis for the hockey stick graph created by Michael Mann, which we were discussing. (which data was "lost" according to Mr. Jones when it was requested via a 'freedom of information request', which means my brother in law could never have seen it, but I didn’t bring this up).

In other words, both this friend who is also a professor and her husband hold themselves out to be scientists, but have never actually examined the science. He actually told me he worked as a scientist and my opinion was meaningless. I would contend my Geology degree is about as relevant as it gets.

When I mentioned that The Maldives Islands have actually grown since the WWII aerial photographs taken in the 40s, and are not on the brink of being submerged in a rising ocean like has been reported, she told me that she did not want to hear my bullshit. To these folks (and a LOT of other friends of mine), it is a religion that brooks no heresy.

Let me walk you through my Global Warming evolution. If you are actually open to a rational explanation of my viewpoint, and why I believe my position has merit, keep reading. I gladly listen to others viewpoints. I do not want to get stuck in my own group-think, so I need to hear opposing views. If I can rationally counter other arguments to my own satisfaction, I stick with my opinion. But, that requires hearing the other arguments in detail, not just a general "CO2 is bad" kind of way. I even try to go back to the motivation of the person. i.e., just keeping the temperature stable is not enough. What is the reason for that? Not always saving lives as I demonstrated.

When I first heard the AGW theory, it made sense to me.

I didn't start to suspect the “world is going to end claims” until I saw the Hockey Stick graph that was the cover of the 2001 IPCC (the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) report. If you saw Al Gores movie, it played a predominant part.

I have a BS in Geology. Having actually studied anthropology, archeology, paleoclimatology, and paleontology, I wondered why the Medieval Warming Period which lasted from 900-1300 AD ish, and was up to 4 deg C warmer than today, did not show up on the chart. So, I started researching on my own. In short, I found;

1. For Small CO2 changes (100-200 ppm). There actually is an 800 year lag between temperature and minor CO2 changes. In the time period shown in both Antarctic and the Greenland ice cores, (meaning not a local northern hemisphere phenomena), CO2 rises slightly about 800 years after temperature rises. Vikings still farmed in Greenland in 1200 AD, which means we would expect a rise in CO2 today based on ice core history.

2. For Large CO2 changes (300-7000 ppm). There is no relation between large swings in CO2 and temp in the history of the planet. i.e., high levels of CO2 during ice ages, and low levels when really hot, and visa versa. I think there is a chart in an earlier posting. Any graph over geologic time shows no relationship. So I ask myself, what physical process would suddenly make a causal relationship between CO2 and temperature where none previously existed? (where CO2 indicates temperature)

3. The computer programs that predict the changes in temp due to CO2, and are the basis for all the alarm, do not even come close in predicting the past, so their predictions about the future don't make sense. i.e., if we plug in past data, the programs don't even come close in predicting what actually happened. Was this (2010) the hottest summer you can remember? I'll believe the computer predictions when they are able to model what we know actually happened.

Read Kevin Trenberth's emails where he even says that the data has to be wrong because the earth has not warmed like the computer models predicted. He said, writing from Boulder, Colorado, “where we have broken records the past two days for the coldest days on record,” and worried that “we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t.” He pointed out that a set of data from 2008 “shows there should be even more warming.” But he concludes: “The data are surely wrong. Our observing system is inadequate.” Good Link here.

4. The global temp pretty accurately follows sunspot activity combined with cyclical ocean currents. The Chinese recorded sunspot activity thousands of years ago, and the more sunspots, the more heat output of the sun. The temp goes up when the sun gets hotter. Duh! Sunspot activity is way down lately, which is why Phil Jones acknowledged that there has not been any warming since 1998 (more on this later when I talk about how "global" temperature is calculated)

5. Decadal ocean currents make a big difference. The PDO Pacific Decadal Oscillation and the Atlantic's MDO Multi Decadal Oscillation both just switched to their cooling mode btw. Again, how was the summer?

The recent release (by either a hacker or whistle-blower depending on your bent) of emails between Jones and Mann show that the MWP was intentionally suppressed to demonstrate that the recent rise in temp was unprecedented. There would not be a controversy if the headline was that the temp was going to return to Viking era temperatures. It’s all about funding. No funds for studying squirrels, unless you make the study about the squirrels change in behavior due to Global Warming. And, let’s at least acknowledge that it is about warming and not “change”. ALL “solutions” that have anything to do with CO2 are to “prevent” warming, not to combat cooling.

The only accurate temp record of recent years is the satellite data (3 different sets).
The MET (England govt. weather) just said that 2010 was the coolest summer in 17 years in England while NASA said 2010 was the warmest on record. No wonder folks stopped listening. Was it the coldest in 17 years or the hottest ever? How about the Seattle summer of 2010? Here in LA? I didn't have to sleep on any wet towels this summer like a couple years ago. WSU had "snow days" for the first time in decades the last couple winters.

I believe man does better when warmer. So, even if we are making it warmer, it is a good thing based on history.

Extra Cold. The laurentide ice sheet retreats about 8000 years ago. Life sucked. Cavemen in furs type of lifestyle. Google "Japanese pyramids" These structures are 60-100 feet underwater and 8,000-12,000 years old. As a geologist, we know that straight lnes like these are never seen in nature, so the presumption that they were man made is pretty strong. This gives one an idea how much the sea level can change due to natural climate changes. They were above sea-level when the laurentide ice sheet covered Europe.

Warm. The rise of the Roman Empire coincides with a warming period up to 4C warmer than today. (Google “Roman Warming Period” and "bivalves")

Cold again. The Roman Empire and the Roman Warming Period both ended (500AD ish) when it cooled, driving the Mongols south, creating the onset of the dark ages, known for famines due to the cold and severe winters killing crops.

Warm again. The Renaissance came with the Medieval Warming Period (900-1400AD ish) We get such things as the great cathedrals being built all over Europe.

Cold again. Brutal winters, famines, cold makes the Vikings abandon Greenland about the same time Columbus came to America. Starting around 1450 ish the Little Ice Age ended around 1850 when we see a general warming trend with 30 year minor warming/cooling cycles incorporated. (The MWP was seen in both Greenland and Antarctic ice cores which means it was a global climate event in extent and not local to Europe as those that dispute it's existence in order to make today's warm weather a unique event, contend.)

Minor warm/cool fluctuations. The 20 century sees warming in the 40’s, cooling until the 70’s, warming until about 1998, then a slight cooling until today (Google Phil Jones BBC interview) End of mini ice age = warming. Duh! That's why it it is important for those with an agenda to eliminate the MWP. Ice ages either mini or maxi end because the earth warms. Want to see photos of nuclear subs surfaced at the North Pole in winter in the 50's, with no ice in sight?

USS Skate. North Pole, March 17, 1954

On a geologic level, the earth is in an unusually cold period. This has happened for 2 very short periods (geologically) in the past. It occurs when continental drift arranges the land masses so land stretches from pole to pole like we see today. This blocks global ocean currents. Nothing for us to worry about, since the continents move about 6 cm/year.

Roman Warm Period (250 BC-450 AD),
(450-950 AD), the Dark Ages
Medieval Warm Period (950-1400 AD)
the Little Ice Age (1400-1850 AD)
recent warming (1850 AD to the present)

Basically, I believe that life is short and brutal without cheap energy. I am for fracking. If it needs cleaning up, clean it up. There is no controversy to me. According to the New York Times, It has been used in more than 90 percent of 450,000 operating natural gas wells, mostly without incident. There may be issues, but with over 400,000 wells using fracturing, it does not seem to be a big problem. Analogous to Toyota’s sticky gas pedal problem I think. Cars used to be big polluters. We didn't stop using cars to fight pollution, we just made them cleaner. Dollars to doughnuts, a 2011 Ford Explorer SUV is cleaner to drive than your car.

I believe the world is a better place with a strong BP (oil company). They used to contribute a huge proportion (17%) to British pensioners, which is why I believe they will start paying the dividends again soon.

I believe that cheap energy in the form of hydrocarbons is the reason we have the high quality of life we see today, and that is good. Places without abundant cheap energy are bad places to live with high mortality.

I believe in supply side economics. California collects 77 billion a year in sales, use, and income taxes. It collects 10 billion in corporate taxes. I agree with the State Commission that recommended eliminating corporate taxes. I believe the growth in the economy here for all business should more than offset the loss. Roughly an additional $270 per person in additional sales and income taxes is needed to offset the corporate tax loss. Pop 37 mil. Democrats would have nothing to do with it.

But back to us. Why so much hostility? Why can't we act like friends? I think if we act with kindness we will be happier. Why do we need to tiptoe around one another? Who can we discuss controversial subjects with? Limiting ones conversations to those that agree with us is the definition of “group think”. I am on the right side of the political spectrum but I read many left wing publications so I can know what they think, and to understand their viewpoint.

I doubt that I will ever get you to agree with me on global warming, most likely because we never hear the counter arguments in the mainstream media. But, I would like folks like you (progressives and many liberals) to acknowledge that I have a legitimate basis for my beliefs, and am working from a place of knowledge, not ignorance or meanness or evil. Go to sometime to see a list of scientists like Edmund Teller (Atomic Bomb) who agree with me. We are not all idiots.

Take my thoughts on guns as another example. According to the FBI, the higher the concentration of legally carried firearms in a community, the lower the violent crime rate. Folks just don't care. Firearms = bad. We never saw the headlines "Violent crimes rise in DC after handgun ban ruled un-constitutional". Note that ALL gun massacres (in the USA) happen in "gun free zones" including Fort Hood, since Clinton banned the carrying of firearms on military bases by all personnel except the Military Police and at the gun range during training exercises.

I am of the A.E Van Vogt philosophy. “The right to buy weapons is the right to be free”

That’s sort of a high point’s description of my political beliefs. I would just like folks to acknowledge I have valid reasons and am not an idiot. I respect others beliefs whom I disagree with, and would like them to respect mine. And, don't be offended when I defend my beliefs.

AND, I would live to be able to sit down and have a rational conversation about these things.

The explanation of why reported temperature is skewed artificially high is simple. All “cold” weather stations are gone (high altitude and high latitude, etc). Yet, the original temps that took into account mountain top temperature readings have not been corrected to use the same weather stations that they use today. From a peak of 1,850 thermometer stations in 1968, there now exists a paltry 136 surviving American stations as of December 2009. (GISS/NOAA data sets)

There is also a lot of urban island heat affect (thermometer over asphalt at an airport) which required "adjusting", so the temps can be "adjusted" with an outcome in mind.

In the 1970s, nearly 600 Canadian weather stations fed surface temperature readings into a global database assembled by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Today, NOAA / GISS only collects data from 35 stations across . Only one station -- at EurekaArctic Circle, ccording to Environment Canada. All easy to check.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Hang in there, it gets better

I am so worried about Alex. I pray that the Angels watch over him and give him strength to get through the next few years. It gets better. In fact it gets a lot better. Even if I don't live long enough to see him, he should know that I love him and his brother very much, and want him to live a long, happy life. Don't ever give up.

A beautiful woman will find him, and I hope they have many kids. I have a few things from my dad that I hope to end up with my grand kids.

Life is such a wonderful gift, even with all the crap it can bring. Hang in there

Like my dad used to say "Don't let the bastards grind you down".

College and your 20's will rock. Keep plugging away.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Rebirth of the Cool

One of the most fun jobs I ever had was working at Speakerlab in it's glory days. This was the late 70's, which coincided with some of the best music ever recorded.

Since I am pretty restricted in what I do because of the cancer tumor in my spine, I finally got out my old stereo equipment, and unboxed the 600 or so Vinyl LP albums. I have been lugging these around since college. Most are in the garage, but I bring in favorites.

I dug through all the albums, and could not find "Kind of Blue" by Miles Davis, one of my favorites. I went online intending to buy a used record, and I found a new "audiophile" pressing that was released Feb 2010. It turns out that a lot of new releases are released on vinyl at the same time as a CD. In fact, Vinyl sales are increasing about 30% a year, while CD's are decreasing almost as much. (Amazon sold out, but it is still available here)

I can't say how much listening to a LP rocks over CD's or downloads. The mere act of putting a record on the turntable and "listening to music" is entirely different than listening to a crappy itunes download.

People don't "listen" to music much anymore. They put it on as background, or listen to headphones while jogging, etc., but when was the last time you got together with friends and put a piece of music on and just listened to it like you would watch a movie?

Itunes downloads are the sonic equivalent to a transistor AM radio, while the LP retains all the warmth and image of the original recording. (Imaging is when you play the music, and the speakers disappear. If you close your eyes, you can picture the sound-scape of the musicians.

CD's are quieter, but not as pleasant to listen to. I also have a flac digital version of "Kind of Blue", and can hear big differences. Not in the high end as you would expect, but in the bass. The CD/FLAC versions are much tighter. So much so that it sounds artificial. Remember, Miles recordings were all on analog tape. I wouldn't listen to the digital, except that it has an alternate take of "Flamenco Sketches", which I really like.
My minimalistic HiFi.

8 watt per channel tube amplifier kit power amp kit that I build to relieve boredom. It's driven by a phono pre-amp which is needed to raise the output of a phono cartridge high enough to drive an amp. Unfortunately, most stereo receivers don't have a phono input anymore, so you need to use a stand alone phono preamp with most newer stereo's. I am not using a preamp (where tone controls, balance etc would be) since the phono preamp's output is high enough to drive the tube power amp to full output.

I built a Hafler DH-220 power amp somewhere around 1980.

I still use it a lot. It sounded great then, and still does. These can be found for about $200 on ebay. A year ago, they were around $400-$500. Next to the amp is the 6" powered subwoofer I use to pick up the stuff the Rodgers can't reproduce. (50Hz and below)

Thorens TD145 MkII turntable, and Rodgers LS3/5A speakers.

Like most vintage HiFi, this stuff is worth more now than when new. The turntables sell for $300-$400 on ebay when you can find one, and the Speakers go from $1600 to $2000. Just knowing what the Rodgers speakers are gets you into a "secret handshake club". The current Thorens TD350, which is essentially the same is almost $4000! Wow!

Rodgers LS3/5A speaker.

Thorens TD145 Mk II

My favorite phono cartridge. Goldring G900SE.

I have a half dozen cartridges, and always go back to this one. Like all vintage stuff, they sell for a lot more than new. Typically, these go for about $350. I tried to get a new stylus (needle) for my Shure V15 type III, and they are $350 for just the needle alone!

Google Ortofon. They sell cartridges from $35 to $6500! (and they are doing well!) I would like to try the 2M Red. It's "only" $100

The last thing that one needs (and this is a "must have"), is a DAC (Digital to Analog Converter). Computer sound cards just plain suck. No matter the quality of the digital record, playback using a soundcard will be FM quality at best. I currently use a Nuforce uDAC 48kHz, 16-bit DAC. ($100). A 24bit DAC will cost around $500 ish

Anyone with an ipod should try this experiment. Find a track you are familiar with that you own both as a digital file on your ipod, and as a CD. Plug the ipod into the HiFi (stereo) and listen. Now try the CD. I am assuming you have a reasonably good Stereo system. The differences will be huge.

CD's are 44 kHz/16 bit recordings. The best available digital recordings are 96 kHz/24 bit. Several classical labels are re-releasing recordings in this 24bit FLAC format. This is significantly better than CD quality and was available for a while as DVD-A (audio) disks. Stores did not want to stock them, since audiophiles are a small market. You need the equipment, but the quality is the best.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Memorial Services for Rozie

Who ever reads this, please let as many know as you can. Rozie touched so many.
Rosalind Pinney Rambus memorial services

Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Memorial Services @ 12:00 & 8:00pm
'Registered Nurse'- Employee of 33 Years with
Northridge Hospital Medical Center
Northridge, CA

Friday February 18, 2010
The services are currently scheduled for Friday as follows:
Viewing will be at Halley Olsen Murphy Mortuary
44802 North Date Ave
9:00 am - 11:00 am
(661) 942-1139
Services to Follow
Joshua Memorial Cemetary
12:00 or 1:00 pm (to be confirmed)
808 East Lancaster Blvd.
Lancaster, CA 93535
Lancaster Church
4020 E. Lancaster Blvd
Lancaster, CA 93535

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Rosalind Pinney Rambus 11-29-1956 to 2-11-2010

Roz was not supposed to go before me. In my selfishness, I counted on her to be by my side at the end. I hope my boys learn of her death, and her mom does the christian thing, and lets them come to her funeral.

I count myself fortunate to have had her as a part of my life all these years.

I met Roz around 1980, a few days before I went back to Washington State University to make up all the incomplete I took when I dropped out. I had left school nearly 10 years earlier when my sister Margaret was killed in a snow play accident.

We met at a club in the Valley (Balboa and Roscoe). She was dancing, and everyone's eyes were on her. Boy, did she look beautiful on the dance floor, and boy could she dance. It is a real pity that she stopped. It was one of the few ways she could really express herself. She was, by far, the most beautiful woman there. Sometimes you can just look at someone, and just know.

I went up to her and asked her to dance. It did not go over too well with the guy she was with, but she ended up leaving with me. Before she did though, we went to my car, where she basically grilled me about everything. She learned more about me in that time than most people ever learn. later, I took her to a 24 hour restaurant in Reseda, and we talked most of the night.

The next day, I met her at the hospital where she worked, and the first thing she did was ask me for my drivers license. She took it and photocopied it and gave the copy to her head nurse, and said "good,now you can come home with me".

We had a wonderful week or so together, and then I drove to Pullman WA for the semester. We did not really stay in touch while I was at WSU, but as soon as I got back, I called her and we started dating.

We were married on her parents anniversary, 11-26-1983. The marriage lasted about a year. I wish I could have lived up to her expectations. The road not taken always seems to be better in retrospect.

Roz and I differed in life philosophies which is what made living together difficult. She lived in black and white, while I am all about shades of gray. I just could not feel strongly about some of the things she felt strongly about, and she had a difficult time with my lack of concern for some things she believed strongly in.

Our marriage ended, but our feelings for each other never did. We became lifelong friends and confidants. She could talk to me about her life, and I could talk about mine. We each knew that the advice we received from each other was from the heart, and with the others best interest in mind. For me, it was great to have a woman to talk to about other women. A woman's perspective can be enlightening compared guys.

These photos are of how I will always remember her. She aged very little over the years, until the last when the personal drama in her life took a toll.

She always loved the "Wizard of Oz". She was my little scarecrow. I will miss her most of all.

Monday, September 7, 2009

My rant on "anthropomorphic" Global Warming religion

"You can lead a person to knowledge, but can't make them think" My own paraphrasing of an old adage. or, None so blind as those that will not see.

Here is a post that I made on realclimate (a pro AGW website). It was "moderated out". I was told that they stack the deck against skeptics, and now I know that to be true.

Matthew Orme says:
Your comment is awaiting moderation.
19 February 2010 at 9:51 PM

Start with this. CO2 is the building block for life. If we eliminated it, life (carbon based) would cease to exist.

Here is a simple truth. Climate models predicting AGW can/could not predict the past. (ie., plug in all the data, and get a “prediction” that matches what actually happened (warming in the 40’s, cooling in the 70’s, warming in the 80/90’s and nothing in the late 90’s to today (per Phil Jones, argue with him if you disagree).

BTW, the models do not include insolation as a variable. And we do not understand the role of clouds. Do they trap heat, or reflect sunlight? You have an opinion I am sure, but the science is uncertain.

If the models cannot explain what actually occurred, how can we rely on them to predict the future?

What does any credible scientist do when observations do not fit a theory? Throw out the theory. that’s the basis of science. Propose a theory, collect data, see if the data fits the theory, if not scrap the theory and come up with one where the data actually fits the model.

I became a skeptic the moment I saw the hockey stick graph. I have a degree in geology (an actually relevant science). I studied in the early 70’s and later in the 90’s. We studied the MWP, and LIA (remember CO2 is the basis for limestones etc). When those climate changes were “erased”, I knew that something was afoot. Geologists as a whole do not support a causal link between CO2 and Temp. The record actually shows that CO2 follows temp, with a lag of 800-1000 years. In 1000-1200 AD, there were vineyards in Northern England, and farming in Greenland.

It’s all about the money, not the human condition. IPCC predicts 130,000 additional deaths due to warming with a doubling of CO2. (feel free to correct my recollection if incorrect). However, taking the dirtiest/cheapest coal fired power plants, and building enough of them to provide electricity so that people that burn wood/dung indoors could cook with electricity would save 1.5 MILLION lives a year. That’s just from cooking, not all the other life shortening things that are due to lack of cheap energy. A simple cost/benefits analysis says that you do not invest trillions do do essentially nothing.

To quote a scientist, “lack of cheap energy makes for short brutal lives”

Freeman Dyson, physicist and member of the Institute for Advanced Study said, "The climate-studies people who work with models always tend to overestimate their models... They come to believe models are real and forget they are only models."[56] "My objections to the global warming propaganda are not so much over the technical facts, about which I do not know much, but it’s rather against the way those people behave and the kind of intolerance to criticism that a lot of them have."[57]

There is absolutely no evidence that CO2 drives temperature. When you take this assumption out of the picture, everything else falls apart. When you put incorrect assumptions into a computer model, you get false predictions.

Anyone with an open mind should watch the BBC special "The Great Global Warming Swindle" email me and I will be glad to lend you my copy. I watched an inconvenient truth, you should watch the counter argument. Here is a reprint of an article from the San Francisco Examiner (a republican hot bed if ever there was one) that summarizes the documentary

Global temperature has declined since 1998. Meanwhile, atmospheric carbon dioxide has gone in the other direction, increasing 15–20%. (see link below)

Has anyone noticed that the last couple winters have been particularly cold? Of course The Holy Church of Global Warming says that cold winters are evidence of Global warming. Nice isn't it. If it gets warmer, global warming. If it gets colder, global warming.

At no time during our planet's history have increases in CO2 preceded an increase in temp. In fact the following chart shows that compared to former geologic times, our present atmosphere, like the Late Carboniferous atmosphere, is CO2- impoverished! In the last 600 million years of Earth's history only the Carboniferous Period and our present age, the Quaternary Period, have witnessed CO2 levels less than 400 ppm. Click for a clearer image. (Black line = CO2, Blue line = Temp.)

This subject has now become a religion. Religions refuse to listen to anything that does not conform with the persons beliefs. Science differs because it constantly tests a hypothesis. Mann's "hockey stick" graph has now proven to be a fraud btw.

When the prophet Al Gore put up the CO2/Temp graph in his movie, he failed to tell viewers that CO2 lagged temperature by 800 to 1000 years. Paleoclimatologists believe that this is because it takes this long for the oceans to warm up/cool down. When the oceans warm up, they release gasses including CO2, and when the cool, they absorb gasses. This is why there is so much marine life in cold water.

Gore, by the way, owns a cap/trade brokerage house and stands to make a bundle. The Wall Street Journal summed it up by saying that Cap and Trade was a giant revenue generating machine exceeding income taxes, in the guise of saving the planet. No wonder the Dems are salivating over it. Read the article showing that it won't work here

In simple terms, CO2 rises because the temperature warms, not the other way around.

Guess how warm the planet was 1000 years ago. It was in the middle of the Medieval Warming Period. There were vineyards in northern England, and the Vikings were farming in Greenland. This was followed by the Little Ice Age, which caused the vikings to abandon Greenland, and life for Europeans was miserable. Look at the paintings during the period. The Thames river froze, as did the Delaware River (look at the painting of Washington crossing the Delaware). Neither of these rivers freeze today. Depending on who you believe, the Little Ice Age ended around 1900 (some put it as late as 1950). Guess what happens to the planet at the end of an Ice Age. It warms up (duh).

IPCC discounts both these as products of the Northern Hemisphere only, yet they are tracked in the Antarctic Ice cores (where the 1000 to 800 year CO2/temp lag is recorded). this is a perfect example of cognative dissonance. (Don't confuse me with the facts, my mind's made up)

One must also ask why water vapor is ignored by global warming alarmists. Water vapor constitutes 95% of the green house gas in the atmosphere, while CO2 makes up 3.6%.

Role of Atmospheric Greenhouse Gases

(man-made and natural) as a % of Relative
Contribution to the "Greenhouse Effect"
Based on concentrations (ppb) adjusted for heat retention characteristics Percent of Total Percent of Total --adjusted for water vapor
Water vapor ----- 95.000%
Carbon Dioxide (CO2) 72.369% 3.618%
Methane (CH4) 7.100% 0.360%
Nitrous oxide (N2O) 19.000% 0.950%
CFC's (and other misc. gases) 1.432% 0.072%
Total 100.000% 100.000%

Water vapor is the most important greenhouse gas. If you get a fall evening and the sky is clear, heat will escape, the temperature will drop and you get frost. If there's cloud cover, the heat is trapped by water vapour as a greenhouse gas and the temperature stays warm. If you go to In Salah in southern Algeria, they recorded at noon 52°C. By midnight, it's -3.6°C. That’s a 56°C drop in temperature in 12 hours. It's caused because there is very little water vapour in the atmosphere and is a demonstration of water vapour as the most important greenhouse gas (source: Interview with Tim Ball). see this article

"During the 20th century, the earth warmed 0.6 degree Celsius (1 degree Fahrenheit), but that warming has been wiped out in a single year with a drop of 0.63 degree C. (1.13 F.) in 2007. A single year does not constitute a trend reversal, but the magnitude of that temperature drop — equal to 100 years of warming — is noteworthy. Of course, it can also be argued that a mere 0.6 degree warming in a century is so tiny it should never have been considered a cause for alarm in the first place. But then how could the idea of global warming be sold to the public? In any case, global cooling has been evident for more than a single year. Global temperature has declined since 1998. Meanwhile, atmospheric carbon dioxide has gone in the other direction, increasing 15–20%. This divergence casts doubt on the validity of the greenhouse hypothesis, but that hasn't discouraged the global warming advocates. They have long been ignoring far greater evidence that the basic assumption of greenhouse warming from increases in carbon dioxide is false."

Now take a look at insolation. The chart below shows the sun's output over time. Notice how well it tracks historical temperatures, and what the relative output is today. This graph speaks for itself.

People just love catastrophic reasons for change. As a geologist who studied paleontology, I never believed in the asteroid dinosaur killer either. There is just no evidence that all the dinosaurs just dropped dead one Tuesday afternoon. I believe that they died as a result of the planet calming down, which slowly cut atmospheric oxygen by half. During the dinosaurs reign, volcanic activity was extremely high, spewing out lots of CO2. This caused a major growth in plant life, who converted the CO2 into O2. Atmospheric oxygen was double what it is today. Dinosaurs do not have diaphragms like mammals, but breath like birds. It takes a lot of O2 to run an engine the size of a Seismosaurus, and essentially, they suffocated (slowly over time as the fossil record shows) Mammals can survive with much less O2, since they can easily breath in more air.

I'm tired of writing. more later.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

317 W Blaine, Seattle WA, 1976

Here are some photos of the gang at 317. The house is at the top of Queen Anne Hill in Seattle. It's surrounded by everything. After college, I moved in with some college friends. John Streeter, David Baker (deceased unfortunately), Dana Woodward, Brooks Burford, Bill Spaulding, and a few others. It is where I lived for the first year or 2 when I was working at Speakerlab. I finished a room for myself in the basement.

I checked out the street view on Google maps, and it looks exactly the same today as it did then.

We all drank nothing but Olympia beer since John's step father worked at the brewery in Tumwater, and saved up the bottles. We cashed in a years collection in order to buy a keg. We threw an end of the 1976 summer party, just before John Streeter left to go to Loyola Law School in LA.

We measured the success of parties by how many people "slept it off". In the morning, there were 18 people crashed all over the house.

John Streeter, Matthew Orme, Brooks Burford

John Streeter, Matthew Orme

Ray Sundstrom, who took most of the photos

John Streeter, Matthew Orme

John Streeter, William Spaulding

Brooks Burford, Matthew Orme, John Streeter

Brooks Burford, Matthew Orme, John Streeter

The Usual Suspects

My Second 1964 MGB in British Racing Green. You can barely see my first one in the Delta Tau Delta Fraternity parking lot around 1972. There is lots of room even for a tall guy like me. I wish I could buy another one today. Note that these are both MK1 (the first) versions of the MGB. Chrome Bumpers, a 3 main bearing engine, Smith Electrics, 2 x 6V batteries in series with a positive ground, wire wheels, twin SU side draft carbs, generators instead of alternators, etc. A great car, easy to work on and a lot of fun to drive. I could pull the head, get it ground, and replaced with the car running again in a day. Both cars I had were early 1964 models. Today I would look for a 1964 1/2 to 1966 model, the engine was upgraded to 5 main bearings. Anything before 1974 when pollution/safety standards mucked up the car and the chrome bumpers were replaced with ugly rubber ones. Here is a guy restoring a 1973.

More of the crew.

Empties loaded in the pick up to take to the recyclers.