Friday, February 13, 2009

It's been a while!

Life continues to improve! I'm happy for that. Happy enough that I am considering blogging again!

Gonna start with a minor league post about colors, old computers and such.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Content change

The text of Open Geek will remain for some time yet. Other content files are no longer hosted here, due to some significant life changes happening.

For all of those who enjoyed audio samples, etc... sorry!

Friday, July 06, 2007

Can somebody explain to me how granting a few of us the ability to discriminate traffic creates a free market?


This is a big regression that is gonna impact all of us in serious ways. Goddammit I hate --really just hate this administration!

Since we've had the Resident President, absolutely nothing that matters has been preserved or even improved. Guess the growing people powered politics movement has gotten some attention and needs to be neutered.

With this action, goes my broadband, you can count on it. It won't really be worth it, if I cannot engage in the communication that matters.

DO make your phone calls. It might help.

They are gonna dangle faster movie downloads, video, etc... They will grant business whatever it thinks it needs, regardless of what we actually need or want.

IMHO, what is being done here is not creating a free market, but a market where large, established interests are free to do what they want, the rest of us be dammed.

Very Orwellian --just like the rest of the shit happening right now.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Blogworks! (and some other stuff)

This is kind of a dual post. First, I want to comment about a significant evolution in blogging that's become a factor. I first noticed this with "Blog Against Theoracy". Excellent effort, spearheaded by Blue Gal (and she does appear to rock), this was your usual blogswarm, and was fairly successful. I participated in this and met some very interesting people. Good stuff all around.

Blog Against Theoracy is happening again this holiday weekend, with a topic surrounding the idea that seperation of church and state is patriotic. (it clearly is) I've some stuff to write, so I'll be there with my post along with a lot of others. Again all good.

Doing some digging on blogswarms, I find they are led by a few very active hub blogs. A hub is where significant attention has been cultivated. I've also noted a few that are starting to use mailing lists for notification. Sometimes people don't check back. I strongly suspect these two ideas are either being combined right now, or are about to be, resulting in kind of a subject based topical, recurring network of blogs all posting on topics at regular times.

Call this the Blogwork, and you probably read that here first! If so, please do spread it around. I don't get to coin terms anywhere near as much as I would like! (c'mon people, it's cool! You know it is, and I'm not ashamed.)

The blogwork is going to act like something like a TV network does. From one source, links, supporting information, framing, assets, etc... will be posted on a given subject, with said subject loosely following a more general topical bias. Examples could be, the environment, a political party, theoracy, geek matters, electronic voting, etc...

Instead of just aggragating all the content into a mega portal blog, like Kos, the content will remain distributed with the idea of introducing more people to more blogs, and of course, bloggers to bloggers. I think this is just cool enough to happen.

A blogwork is also significant in that it can resonate with the traditional media news cycle, yet can grab the attention of many people of different ideologies. For example, someone who is not religious could be following the members of a given blogwork that have that same bent, or bias, yet still be engaged in the topic as a whole. Someone who is deeply religious could do the same.

The key here is that the greater message is being heard on a regular basis; therefore, the central source can engage in some general advocacy through framing and focus on the topic at hand. IMHO, this is quite a powerful idea and one that is likely to continue to grow.

One other key thing is that passers by get snagged into the network via the very wide net cast. You here might be reading OpenGeek, and I thank you if you are, and decide to explore the Blog Against Theocracy blogwork more fully, or perhaps just look forward to regular updates.

To maximize this, participants really should preface their posts with an icon, tagline, etc... that differentiates their blogwork content from their ordinary blogging content that would have otherwise have been written for other reasons.

Lastly, this also encourages people to write on a regular basis. I like this too and think it might encourage more blogging that is focused and relevant. At the very least, taking a moment to gather one's thoughts on a regular basis just isn't a bad thing overall.

That's it. Google around a little. I didn't include links this time because I want to you just go look at a forming blogwork that's gonna have some impact. Have others? Do I have it wrong? You know where the comment button is, by all means use it!

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Blog Against Theocracy

I like this idea. So, here I am on a quiet Saturday afternoon. There is rain, and there is rain. What better time, than right now, to put up a few quick thoughts? Have thoughts of your own?

Great, use the comment form below, post on your own blog today, or maybe just to talk to a friend. That's what this little movement is all about. Do visit Freedom First on your way through this exercise as well.

Right out of the gate, I think it's important to note we all take some things on faith. That's everybody! As a race, we do not know our origins, nor do we have enough fundemental known absolute truths to be able to call the shots on beliefs in an authoritative way. In this, we are all equally ignorant. This, for me, is the core justification for our equality under the law, and for our government to be neutral on matters of faith.

If we lack these core truths, we also lack authority, thus placing our various beliefs on par with one another. It's perfectly ok to not share beliefs, advocate for specific ones, and act on our beliefs, provided we do not cause one another harm. This is freedom and it's a very good thing.

The tradeoff for this freedom to believe what we will, make our choices as we will and engage others as we will is tolerance. Without it, we cannot exercise our freedom as we would otherwise. We also then lack the means to have the debates necessary for all of us to benefit from greater truths as they are revealed through frequent and passionate discourse.

I believe this is what the founders wanted. I believe it is the only just and true way to govern because I do not believe living a lie is defensible.

Truth is, our freedom here has made us a very religious people! More Americans believe in a higher power than almost anywhere else! Those without this belief also exist here on par with those that do and all is good right?


Over the years, I've seen a strong movement toward defining what our official belief system should be. Many of the larger religious groups want their beliefs codified into the law --endorsed by government somehow thinking this will validate them, lend them credence, or maybe just suppress competiting ones. All of this is wrong, unless we've got some known truths from which to derive the authority for it --and we just don't right now.

If anything is true, it is that we just don't know where we came from, nor how it all happened.

Again, this demands tolerance, if we are to get along at all, and avoid having to live lives filled with lies.

It does not matter what you believe. When advocating it to others, it should be defensible however. My personal view is that your beliefs should also be consistant with your actions, but that's just me. YMMV.

Take this holiday and consider your beliefs. Better, take some time and consider somebody elses. Find out what drives them, where you might have common ground and let them know you both are able to have the discussion because of the freedom you both have. Think about the difference between conviction and real --absolutely known solid truth! Having more numbers on your side, or a law that favors your beliefs does not make them more true does it?

Why bother then? Why not consider advocacy and live by your beliefs, secure in the freedom to do so? If they are defensible, just and true, others will see this and want to share. If not... no amount of law, advocacy or anything else will change that. These things might make you feel better at the end of the day, but that will come at the cost of somebody else not being able to feel good about themselves too. This cuts both ways, and I see a lot of people not so worried about that, and they really should be, if they have the strength of character to be honest with themselves and others.

Think about your freedom and what it really means, then commit to preserving it for our greater good. Future Americans will thank you for it. Heck, your neighbor might just thank you for it. If nothing else, I thank you for it!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Open Geek Discussion

I've had a request or two for better comment handling. This is it. Nothing special, just a clean and simple free discussion forum service.

Before I do too much with this, let's bang on it a bit. Go ahead, register a user account and post up some stuff so we can check this forum out.

Go to the Discussion Forum

Saturday, January 20, 2007

How to save your cat!

Well, this is how I saved mine at least.

Coupla things about cats, I didn't know:

-if your cat has a plugged nose, it will not swallow. They will breathe through their mouth when this happens. If you see this, your cat is in danger.

-if your cat cannot smell it's food, it won't eat it. The food must be known good food and this happens by smell and taste for a cat. Smell is obvious, but taste can be problematic as the cat must actually try the food in order to taste it. This is a chicken and egg type problem your cat will need your assistance with.

-cats can only go a coupla days without food and water before critical systems begin to shut down, causing other problems.

-Afrin type nose drops work well on cats. One to two small drops per day, one nostril only. Alternate nostrils daily.

Essentially what happened to me was my cat ended up with a very bad cold. Completely plugged it's nose and sinus. Some fever, but all in all, it really was just a stuffed head. I tried vapor, cleaning the nose, etc... Nothing worked until I tried the Afrin. (And I did look up the toxicity before. Just so you know, most human cold remedies contain highly toxic elements for cats. In many cases, the toxicity level is many times that for us humans.)

Life circumstances did not permit a big vet bill. Sometimes you gotta make choices and this was one of those times. So, it was up to me and the cat to see how this was all going to go.

BTW: I should put the standard disclaimer that by reading this, you agree to hold me harmless for anything that should happen. I'm relating a life story only, and I could not see a VET for a lotta reasons. Go see your vet if at all possible.

So I started reading about cats, and their picky nature. That's where I got the info tidbits above. One other thing is that the mechanical problems caused by disease that affects their head usually is what does them in, due to the fact they won't consume the water and food necessary for the other healing processes to work properly. If they can eat and drink, you've a high percentage chance of their body being able to fight off the disease itself. That's where the cat and I were at. Not pretty, but not impossible either. Better than nothing and a certian death for sure.

By the time I reached this understanding, it had been a coupla days. Clearly getting into the danger zone. I started with the Afrin, then had to give the cat water drop by drop, using a small syringe with a pointed nozzle. If you surround the cat, then nudge the nozzle in to the side of their mouth, you can do a small squirt and let the cat struggle through getting it down. I did this a lot, many times per day, for a couple of days. Sometimes I would take some broth and use that for protein. Watch the broth though, it can get sticky and cause other problems. Best alternate with water, then broth, etc... always end with water.

A great check for overall cat hydration is to scrunch up the skin at the back of their neck. When you release it, you learn something about how hydrated your cat really is. If it snaps back quickly, you are in good shape. If it comes back slowly and does not regain it's usual shape, then the cat is not properly hydrated.

After a few days of this, we managed to hold our ground on hydration, but were losing big on protein. I was puzzled after getting her nose clear enough to breathe. Thought I was largely home free, but the cat would not eat! I tried a lot of things, but nothing worked. She would look at it, noze it, lick it, and that's it.

So, time to really annoy the cat. Time to force feed. Another Internet search led me to a great technique that worked very well. The bottom line is the cat wants to eat, but needs to be convinced that it can eat and that the food is something it should eat. Not an easy task.

Surround the cat again. I did this by crouching over the cat, trapping it between my legs. Then put some baby food, on one forefinger. With your other free hand, squeeze where the jaw hinge is and the cat will open it's mouth. Quickly (and I mean quick!) scrape a small amount of the food onto the roof of it's mouth.

Too slow and you get chomped! Too fast and you don't get the food in. Good luck!

What's going to happen is the cat will taste the food. It's gonna be very upset at you putting it there, but it will eventually figure out that either:

-you are gonna keep putting food in and it realizes it is just gonna have to deal,
-it knows the food is good from taste,
-it realizes it can actually eat the food!

Eventually it will try to eat on it's own as that is much better than dealing with you doing the feeding. Sounds brutal, but it works fast! That's something positive at least. Trust me on the feeding, it's largely negative. Took my cat two times through this whole affair and it licked the food off my finger the third time, then tried the food on it's own the fourth time. Each time though I had to go the distance. Crouch 'n trap, get the food ready, squeeze the jaw, etc... The cat has gotta know this is just going to absolutely happen.

Amazing! Just fricking amazing how picky cats really are. Everything else I tried failed totally and completely.

Texture seems to play a big role. Anything gritty won't fly, so don't bother mashing up cat food. After working the baby food for a day or so, I tried various things. The winner ended up being frozen shrimp. Put a few of these on a plate and nuke 'em for long enough to melt the water off and or nicely warm the shrimp. Leave the water on the plate as it's tasty to the cat. Strip the tails, if there are any and chop the meat up into nice little bits. Mine would work though the shrimp slowly, then lap up all the water, then sleep for a long time.

It took a few days of the shrimp diet for the cat to recover enough to start just drinking and eating on it's own, but it did and is just fine today. If you reach this point, just keep offering moist food and watch your cat for signs of improvement. Make sure water is fresh and take it to the bowl often to see if it's ready to do it's own thing.

Ideally, you can see a vet. If you can, do! Of course, that goes without saying, but this is the Internet and you never know...

Hope you don't end up in this situation, but if you do, maybe some of this will prove helpful!