The Spechtacle

A site for sharing information, dropping dimes and plotting overthrows...

Category: Fun (page 2 of 4)

Must I explain?

Old IBM Thinkpad resurrected

So my friend is throwing out an old IBM Celeron powered Laptop. I intercepted it before it became trash. Not much to talk about, a couple usb ports, really small harddrive, small everything, battery dead, etc.

It did have a PCMCIA network card. First I loaded Damn Small Linux, and it all worked fine. I connected to the internet, did a little research on Newegg, and ordered a linux compatible Edimax PCMCIA wireless card for $19 bucks. DSL however, wouldn’t recognize the card. I found myself in NDISWrapper hell. I did have linux drivers, but they wouldn’t compile, and this is documented in multiple discussion forums.

I decided to try loading several distros, to see if any of them would recognize the card. I loaded PCLINUX, which looked great, but no see card. I tried SLITAZ, same result. I tried Ubuntu, etc etc. No luck. Then I tried Freespire. Finally, success. Freespire took about 30 minutes to install, and it was painless. It immediately recognized the PCMCIA Card. I setup wireless networking, with WEP (WPA is still flaky in this distro) and then installed the network printer. I now have the laptop downstairs in the “man cave” for access to the internet, etc. If I wasn’t so cheap, I’d buy a battery of Ebay for $50 bucks. Or I may hack it myself. It’s a Nickel Metal hydride battery, pretty easy to replace. Maybe Someday…

Bill

The Liberator Files.. Concealed Carry

I’ve chosen a new carry gun. The requirements were a) Something small and concealable, b) Large caliber preferable 45 caliber c.) Simple and not prone to jams or breakdowns. I’ve almost found the perfect gun.

The Liberator.
liberatorpistol

This gun fulfills all the requirements. It was a gun made by the US during WW2 to be dropped to the partisans in France. It was made cheap, with few moving parts, 10 rounds in the butt of non-marked brass (I guess we didn’t want anybody to know we made it. Like anybody else used 45 Auto..) a stick to poke the used rounds out and a cartoon to show the Frenchies how to use it. I guess we didn’t have anybody around at the time that could write French.

I got a little holster and it carries quite well.
liberator

But a few problems did crop up. If I carry it loaded and cocked, there is a small issue of accidental discharge. So far it’s been pretty good. You hardly know it’s there. The other problem is the second shot. I like 45’s because you don’t usually need the second shot.. but what if 2 guys jump me. Now reloading quick is a problem.

But I’ve been working on that. With a little work I’ve managed to change the mechanism to full auto, and worked a 30 round mag into the butt. Now it is fierce!
semi-auto-lib2-copy

Now there are new problems. Once you light it up it just empties the magazine. Also reloading the magazine is tedious. I shouldn’t have welded it on. But I think all these problems are fixabe. I really should rifle the bore for a little more range. The bullets keyhole immediately after leaving the muzzle, but that’s not really a bad thing.

Next I’m working on a Liberator sniper rifle!

greg

Posting for Ms. Natalie Green

And you thought you knew about Vampires…

Just saw Twilight. What a movie.. Everything I thought I knew about vampires just went belly up. You thought a stake through the heart would kill them? Not so. You have to rip them to shreds and burn the peices. You thought sunlight would burn them up? Not so. It just makes their skin shiny, giving them away. It seems that the rules change, unlike the physical laws of nature, so it’s hard to get a handle on dealing with vampires.

And these are great guys! They like baseball, classical music, and high end Euro cars…. how can you hate people like that. They are also vegetarians… not that these vampires eat at all, but just that these particular vampires won’t feast on human blood, but Bambi is another thing. This bunch looks like a Norman Rockwell family, but with a slightly haunted look.

There has been a lot of vampire movies and shows lately… They all seem to deal with romance and the ultimate bad boy… But for me personally, I think I’ll stick with a normal warm blooded human. Vampires around would make me a nervous wreck…

greg

A mere vulgar craftsman….

chinesepainting2a

I was listening to a podcast this morning out of Australia on ancient Chinese history, on my way to work in southern Ohio, on my Japanese MP3 player in my Swedish car. (kinda global, isn’t it…) The speaker was talking about acient Chinese landscape painters, and how they thought it below their dignity to be paid for their work. In fact, they thought it would make them mere vulgar craftsmen, something to be despised.

Also lately I’d been reading The History of the Ancient World, and the discussion of Ancient Greece, about 500 B.C. Chester Starr was relating the fact that none of the ancient Greeks would work for anybody. Even the lowest Greek on the totem pole scratching around on his plot of dirt was too proud to work for wages. His activity was aimed at getting together a couple of bucks so that he could buy some slaves to do all the work for him.

So what’s up with that?

Seems to me, if it wasn’t for all these vulgar craftsmen who did all the work, there wouldn’t be any classical civilization, and all these guys would have starved to death before they got anything accomplished.

Maybe there is something wrong with me, but I like being a craftsman. I fix machines that have come to grief is some way or other and make them right again. And I get a check every week for doing it. And once you start fixing one kind of machine, you never stop there. You start fixing everything, cars, computers, cell phones… whatever gets in your way that’s broken. It becomes a way of life. I can’t stand not knowing how something works, and that does become problematic in this day and age, as even the engineers that think this stuff up don’t understand it.

However, here’s to the Chinese guy, I hope some vulgar guy makes him some paint!

greg

Recession proof hobbies… The .22 Long Rifle

I like to shoot. I primarily have old guns, which satify my need to experience history, and also have some fun shooting them. I reload shells for these guns for 2 reasons. Some are hard to come by, (you just can’t buy bullets for M1895 Steyr rifles) and it’s also cheaper. Well, I thought it was going to be cheaper. It’s not, you just shoot more.

But there are some guns you can have fun shooting all day and not ruin your credit. The bullet for these guns is the ubiquitous American .22 long rifle. The .22 comes in many forms, .22 short, .22 bb cap, .22 high velocity and on and on, but the plain jane .22 long rifle is cheap, abundant, and accurate!

There are a huge variety of guns for the .22 long rifle, everything from tiny pistols to huge tack driving custom made rigs. For a coupla hundred bucks, or less, you can have a pistol or rifle that comes close to shooting with the best of them. You can’t reload them, mainly because of the primers, but at 8 bucks a brick at Walmart (500 shots), who cares? And if you need something more accurate, then you can pay a little more for match grade ammo.

My arthritis gets in the way of my 30-06 shooting, but not with 22’s. You can blast away all day and not feel a thing. This low recoil feature is also the secret to it’s accuracy. You can’t hit something if you can’t hold on to the gun… Even wives like to shoot them!

So you should try it. For a coupla hundred bucks, you can get a hobby that will last you a lifetime. And if you should join a local gun club, you’ll make new friends, and you won’t meet a nicer bunch of guys (or girls!). The .22 hobby won’t break the bank!

greg

David at Giger Museum, Switzerland

David in Switzerland

Check this video, David seems to get around…

Joe Homeowner, Lagash, Early Sumeria


Looks like it’s going to be another hot one today! Boy, I’ll be glad when they figure some way to cool the air.. It’s not bad in here, though, these mud bricks make for good insulation.

The kid’s going to be 16 next month. He wants a chariot, for Gods sake…(and I do mean Gods…Whats Moses and those pesky Israelites thinking?). Does he think shekels grow on trees? And we don’t even have any trees… Maybe I’ll just ship him off to my cousin in Assyria, they’ve got plenty of chariots!

Everything is bugging me today.. What’s with my ancestors buried under the floor? Kinda creepy if you ask me… we should put them all in a plot of ground outside town!

And tonight we have to go the Temple AGAIN! for another sacrifice…at least they don’t use people anymore…

Well, off to work.. those oxen aren’t going to drive themselves…

Greg

Time for a new TV…


The old 27 inch JVC is hitting the skids… when you turn it on it gets a bright thin line across a dark screen. After you beat on it for 5 minutes, the picture will fire up, and last for the night. I didn’t think I would have to deal with this till February of 2009 (when the analog signal bites the dust).. but realized that I have cable and would be able to put off buying a new tv for ever.

Apparently, the time has come, and it brings with it nothing but problems…

First, I have this neat cherry cabinet the old tv sits in, with shelves for nick nacks and a shelf for vcr tapes (they’re still in there..). There doesn’t seem to be a tv for sale that fits in this hole.. unless you get something smaller than your computer monitor..

Then, down at best buy, they have setup fees (around 200 bucks), because you just can’t take them home and turn them on (like the old one). You have to do all this arcane setting of things so that the image will be viewable!

Then you have to upgrade your cable to get HD.. that ain’t cheap! (But obviously I am…)

Then you gotta upconvert your dvd player…

Then HDMI, what is that all about?

Maybe I can take this thing in to get fixed…?

A Long Way…..


One of the recent Space Shuttle Discovery’s missions was delivering a new toilet pump to the International Space Station, to fix its troublesome toilet. Watching the docking on Nasa TV http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/ was breathtaking!
It seems space stations have come a long way since the old Salyut and Spacelab days… For instance, the Salyut 6 had 90 sq meters of habital area, ran on 4kw of power, and could barely cram 3 guys inside it.

The present International Space Station, by contrast, has about 700 sq meters of area so far, with another 300 on the way, runs on 110 kw of power, and the new Japanese labs interior can strand an astranaut if he loses a handhold and drifts out into the middle of the room!

These space stations still have their problems tho. Recycling issues, radiation from space, and a lack of gravity still cause health woes…

And they still only have one toilet!

greg

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