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Member since: Sat Mar 29, 2008, 10:11 PM
Number of posts: 45,851

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I have a friend who's kind of hard to characterize politically, I'm starting to get through to him

The guy follows several financial type news websites quite closely, definitely not a teabagger, loathes the cable news including Fox and socially pretty liberal (at least for this area), doesn't care about gay marriage one way or the other, vehemently pro choice on abortion and so on but he thinks the government is spending too much money and he's also a bit of a gold bug and prepper/survivalist but not full blown nutso over it.

A while back I caught him in front of his computer and he was on a mild rant about George Soros "interfering" with politics, I said something about the Koch Bros and he gave me a blank look, never heard of them. So I gave him the Cliff's Notes version on the Bros Koch and he started reading up on them and realizes how much they are screwing with politics. He read up on them and now loathes them as much as I do.

A few days ago I was talking to him and he started the "government is spending too much" nonsense again so I mentioned that he was sounding like Pete Peterson.. Long pause, "Who's that?" was the almost inevitable reply. Hauled out the Cliff's Notes version on good old Pete and gave him a couple of chapters worth.

Today I saw him again and it was evident he's done a little reading on Pete Peterson and did not like what he had found at all.

We've talked over the years about politics and finance and world events but today was different, I got more respect for my opinions than he has given me in the past. My friend thought he was well informed about this stuff but I have now dropped two major bombshells on him about which he didn't have a clue and he's starting to take my opinions much more seriously.

If it weren't for DU I probably wouldn't know about the Bros Koch or Mr Peterson so I just want to let all of you wonderful posters who keep me informed about this stuff know that it's working on at least one person who would definitely be considered a swing voter.

Thoroughly ticked off a couple of rednecks in a pickup a little while ago

In addition to my shopping trips I ride my bike about 15 miles a day on the average for conditioning and fun. I was out this afternoon riding down the access road to the local interstate because it's one of the flatter, straighter roads around here and doesn't have a tremendous amount of traffic. I heard a vehicle coming from behind me and glanced at my mirror, saw they weren't moving over very far and they were slowing down considerably, there wasn't any traffic coming from in front of us so there was no reason for them to stay close to me when they passed, it came as no surprise at all that the passenger shouted and banged the side of the truck through the open window trying to scare me.

Rather than getting mad and giving them the finger/shouting I blew them a kiss, smiled and waved, I knew they would be watching me in the mirrors. The truck slowed and stopped right in the middle of the lane (still no other traffic) about a hundred yards up and the doors started to open, I just kept on coming like nothing was happening. I got about fifty feet away still not slowing down and the doors slammed shut and the truck squealed out of there.

I had to pull over and park for a minute, I was laughing so hard I was afraid I was gonna crash.. Made my whole day.

This kind of thing happens to me a couple or three times a year, most people are really considerate and give me lots of room but there is the occasional jerkoff.

"Our opponent is an alien starship loaded with atomic bombs."

"We have a protractor."

The funniest line in Neal Stephenson's Anathem, I'm rereading it four years later and there's a bunch of little things I missed the first time.

That quote sums up how I feel about fighting the GOP sometimes...

What are your favorite funniest lines in SF?

Performance, by MC SpandX

Performance, that's the name of the game
I pump up my tires and I oil my chain.


James Blackshaw: Love Is The Plan, The Plan Is Death

FWIW, the name of the song comes from this..


1685 MPG

Yep, that's the EPA equivalent mileage I'm getting on my electric recumbent bike I posted about here a few weeks ago.


The EPA says a gallon of gas is equal to 33,700 watt hours of electricity and I've now had an opportunity to measure how much juice my bike uses, 20 watt hours per mile. Divide it out and you get 1685 mpg.

Even a moped has a really hard time breaking 150 mpg, so my ebike is roughly ten times as efficient in energy use per mile as a moped.

135 mph downhill pedal bike


Eric “The Red Baron” Barone, a high-speed mountain bike specialist from France, shot like a rocket down a steep slope at the Les Arcs ski resort in France on Monday, setting a world record for speed on a serial production mountain bike on snow at 135 mph.


When was your first actual job and how much did you make?

And how much would it be in today's dollars?

You can find out what your pay would have been here.


For me it was 1969 and I made $4.00 an hour which would be $25.37 today.

You ever notice when you're driving that everyone going faster than you is criminally irresponsible?

And that everyone going slower than you is a moran?

The only people who really, really know how to drive are those who go exactly the same speed as you and you're not always sure about them really, particularly the ones who evidently are addicted to the odor of your exhaust fumes.


Well, politics is kind of like that, or at least DU and every other political forum I've been on since 300 baud modems were the latest tech.

Everyone to the left of you is a cretin and everyone to the right of you a sociopath.

Carry on, I'll be out in the shop doing the spring tuneup on my flamethrower.

Off the wall programming problem

So, I have one of these..


And I want to talk to it over USB with my PC in order to access the A/D converter and digital outputs but all their examples, SDKs and code are in languages that might as well be Carthaginian as far as I'm concerned, my last programming experience was with Visual Basic for DOS although I do speak FORTH and several varieties of assembly language and even some machine code. I find modern high level languages very confusing to use and have avoided them for a long time now.

I've found the language QB64 that's free and I think I can handle and I've actually managed to send a byte or two to the board through the USB but it triggers an error code every time and I can't figure out what to do to fix it.


I used this code to open the (virtual) COM port to the USB.


Then I used GET and PUT to send and receive bytes from the device but as I say, I get an error (red light on the board) every time. I've been scratching my head over this for a couple of weeks now and if someone has an understanding of it I'd sure appreciate a hand. The manufacturer's help forum isn't much good to me because none of them seem to be really familiar even with VB6 and something like QB64 is well beyond their ken.

Here's a link to the relevant section of the docs on the board but I'm so out of practice with this stuff I'm having a hard time understanding it.


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