Electronics 101

I think I’ve used this title before. Sad.

Anyway, I’ve been struggling with understanding how transistors really work for… basically my entire life. It’s just one of those things I was never able to “get”. Today, I finally get it. This page was finally able to make it clear to me.

I really wish I had gone to college for EE. It’s like programming, which I love, except sometimes things explode, which I also love!

Un-American Idol

I was reading this article about American Idol and it made me realize how fucked up that show is.

My inability to watch others get cut down is well documented. It’s one of the main reasons I don’t watch TV. (For new readers, I have not watched TV in about 10 years or so.) I get embarrassed for the person being torn apart and it makes me really uncomfortable. Anyway, a few years ago when I was dieting and going to the gym regularly I caught parts of a few American Idol episodes while trudging along on the treadmill. I was usually able to handle about 1 minute of one audition before I ended back on infomercials.

I don’t want to come off as some weepy idealist, but why is America watching this show? I’m guessing a lot of people will say for the music or whatever, but how many of you own an American Idol winner’s CD? People watch it cause they get a kick out of seeing people getting hurt. It’s kind of fucked up. How is it different from watching someone get flogged and laughing about it when they scream, or break into tears? Aside from physical wounds not lasting nearly as long as emotional ones, I mean.

Whatever though, that’s not really what bothers me. The thing that bothers me is that the judges, instead of being useful and using the chance to maybe help someone, have become the entertainment. They are expected to tear someone down completely, instead of correcting them or helping them on their way.

“You look like one of those creatures that live in the woods with those massive eyes,” infamous judge Simon Cowell told one “Idol” hopeful.

Comon, is that really necessary? Now, I am all about not coddling people. The world is a rough place and you have to grow a few millimeters of skin to manage it but I don’t feel like that gives people a license to be cruel for entertainment’s sake.

What if the American Idol judges told the people they didn’t like what was wrong with their act and gave them some ideas on how to fix it without resorting to personal insults? Would you still watch it?

For fuck’s sake, can’t we just be a little nicer to each other?

Getting Started

This is an excerpt from a post on vonnieda.org regarding my trip. I’ll let it serve as an introduction to what this site is all about.

You, the faithful reader, have known for some time how restless I am. I talk about wanderlust and my love of travel and how much I enjoyed my trip in Europe and so on. Well, something happened.

Courtney was telling me about this book she picked up over lunch called “Vagabonding” that describes the art of leaving your life behind and hitting the road for long periods of time. I’ve wanted to do this for a long, long time and it turned out that Courtney accidentally left that book at my place one night. Friday, I believe.

I should probably mention here that Courtney and I have been dating for a while, and that’s really cool. You already knew anyway, probably.

Anyway, I read it on Saturday and by Saturday evening I had decided it was time to go. I’ve had some money saved up, and some more coming in from some side work and it all just seemed right. So, I’ve decided to take off for at least 6 months. I’m giving up my house, and my dog, and a lot of my things, and my job and I’m going to pack a small bag and see how much of the world I can see before I run out of money.

Don’t worry, I promise I’ll write.

My plans so far are pretty nebulous. I’m thinking I’ll start in Australia and then fly to Asia. My stated goal is that I want to set foot on all seven continents. Everyone keeps telling me I won’t be able to hit Antarctica which of course makes me want to do it even more.

So yea, keep your eyes peeled for a going out of business sale at Jason’s house.

Busy, Busy!


So, back in mid-December Courtney and I cruised down to Tahlequah, OK to hang out with Megan on her birthday. Ryan was in town too, and we hooked up with her, him, Emily, the other Ryan, Dana and that other girl and partied our asses off after having some yummy Thai food. Courtney also spent some time with her Mom and Dad, and I got to lose myself on teeny tiny roads through areas with names like “Punkin’ Holler”.

Tahlequah is the town Courtney is from, and don’t you dare call it a reservation. It’s Native American alright, but not a reservation, damnit. Jokes aside, it’s a beautiful place and I want to see it in Spring.

Then… it was Christmas. That was pretty cool.

Then… it was New Years! Almost! Before New Years it was A Turning Point.

You, the faithful reader, have known for some time how restless I am. I talk about wanderlust and my love of travel and how much I enjoyed my trip in Europe and so on. Well, something happened.

Courtney was telling me about this book she picked up over lunch called “Vagabonding” that describes the art of leaving your life behind and hitting the road for long periods of time. I’ve wanted to do this for a long, long time and it turned out that Courtney accidentally left that book at my place one night. Friday, I believe.

I should probably mention here that Courtney and I have been dating for a while, and that’s really cool. You already knew anyway, probably.

Anyway, I read it on Saturday and by Saturday evening I had decided it was time to go. I’ve had some money saved up, and some more coming in from some side work and it all just seemed right. So, I’ve decided to take off for at least 6 months. I’m giving up my house, and my dog, and a lot of my things, and my job and I’m going to pack a small bag and see how much of the world I can see before I run out of money.

Don’t worry, I promise I’ll write.

My plans so far are pretty nebulous. I’m thinking I’ll start in Australia and then fly to Asia. My stated goal is that I want to set foot on all seven continents. Everyone keeps telling me I won’t be able to hit Antarctica which of course makes me want to do it even more.

So yea, keep your eyes peeled for a going out of business sale at Jason’s house.

AND THEN it was New Years! I threw a giant New Years Eve party at my house, as usual, and it was a great, great time. The theme was “Thrift Store Formal” which meant that you had to dress nice (suits, dresses and such) but only in what you could get at your local Salvation Army. My suit, for instance, ran me right around $6. Ryan and Megan came up from Oklahoma and an incredible time was had by all. Or, at least, me.

And… let’s see, at some point in there I saw Amon Amarth, and Namelessnumberheadman, and The Faint!, and The White Ghost Shivers and probably some other bands too.

And I revived the balloon project! Did I already mention that? It’s coming along nicely. I have a renewed interest in electronics and I made my first ever PCB tonight.

Other stuff? Probably.