Monday, December 19, 2022

Home Computer Rebuild...

Been doing a lot of upgrades to the home system.

For a bit of data, comparing my NVMe "boot" drive, SSD "working" drive, and the now software-mirrored HDD "storage" drives.

NVMe: 1.44GB/s
SSD: 540MB/s
HDD: 125MB/s

I had no idea how much faster NVMe is. I don't know yet if the HDD and/or SSD is a bottleneck for my video editing.

I have added at NVIDIA Quadro P4000 video card, but OpenShot doesn't support it so I'm still speed limited by rendering speed.

-- Added new video card; NVDIA Quadro P4000 (bought used off Amazon)
.......GPU Memory 8 GB GDDR5
.......Memory Interface 256-bit
.......Memory Bandwidth Up to 243 GB/s
.......NVIDIA CUDA® Cores 1792
.......System Interface PCI Express 3.0 x16

-- Added new (used) 700w power supply since the new video card needed more power;

-- Added a 2nd HDD spinning drive because it was cheap ($30) and used Windows to mirror it;

-- Added SSD for my "working" drive when doing videos, hoping it would be faster than the spinning disks.

To be continued...

Saturday, October 15, 2022

On Critical Theory

Another Reddit post I thought I did well on:

Most opponents and supporters of CRT couldn't hold an intelligent conversation about it since their understanding of it is mimicking the folks they hang out with. Even mine is lacking since most of my college exposure was history professors making snide remarks about the social "scientists" on the other side of the campus since it really hadn't gained wide spread support in the 1980s.

It is also not an appropriate framework for education below the collegiate level.

Even most college students lack the maturity and intellectual background to put in proper context.

There is, in the critical method (as noted above), no need to understand these concepts or structures; only a need to pick at the ways in which they can be construed to be imperfect. The focus on identity, experiences, and activism, rather than an attempt to find truth, leads to conflict with empirical scholars and undermines public confidence in the worth of scholarship that uses this approach.

Critical theory in turn is a subset of Post Modern Philosophy where there is no objective truth.

The US Constitution is decidedly modernist -- it is based on objective truth and equality, while acknowledging we are still striving to achieve both.

Folks who think Russians have only been successful in harnessing right wing Q-Anons to sow political division are usually missing how much Post Modernism / Critical Theory that have risen rapidly in recent years in public discourse share with a very Russian like view the truth; in that there is no such thing as objective truth and everything is subjective.

Thus you can "defund the police" and those three words can mean totally different things to the same person depending on which audience they are talking to -- one that can be read literally, and another "oh no, that's just a slogan, we don't mean to change anything about the police...we just want to spend money on other stuff too."

You can measure equality -- we may get the formulas wrong, but you can keep trying to get them right.

Critical theorists want to take the blindfold off the Lady Justice statues and take away her scales because in place of objective equality they want subjective equity where you explicitly favor certain people over others. You know, like Russia. Just they promise for good and not evil.

Most folks grew up only aware of modernist philosophy and how modernism developed conventions to encapsulate religious beliefs so that they existed outside of the realm of rational debate; post-modernism shares many of religion's simple acceptance of "this is true because we believe it is true" but wraps it up in words that make you think they are trying to put forth a rational argument in the modernist mold. Which causes a problem when you use traditional modernist methods of debate based on objective truth and find engaging post modernists / critical theorists in a debate is like nailing Jello to a wall.

Tuesday, September 6, 2022

And just like that, the 2022 Drought was over...mostly

West Thompson Dam has come up 2' since 9/1, and 1-1/2' in the last 24 hours.

1988 Presidential Campaign, Republican, Democratic, and Climate Change...

From a Reddit post of mine, for future reference:

The three big environmental issues in the 1980s that could be addressed by cap-and-trade were the ozone hole (done), acid rain (done), and climate change. Reagan's EPA also used cap-and-trade to phase out leaded gasoline faster than originally anticipated by the initial ban.

Many of the most serious environmental problems that will confront us in the years ahead are global in scope. For example, degradation of the stratospheric ozone layer poses a health hazard not only to Americans, but to all peoples around the globe. The Reagan-Bush Administration successfully pioneered an agreement to attack this problem through world-wide action. In addition, we will continue to lead this effort by promoting private sector initiatives to develop new technologies and adopt processes which protect the ozone layer. A similar ability to develop international agreements to solve complex global problems such as tropical forest destruction, ocean dumping, climate change, and earthquakes will be increasingly vital in the years ahead. All of these efforts will require strong and experienced leadership to lead the other nations of the world in a common effort to combat ecological dangers that threaten all peoples. The Republican Party believes that, toward this end, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration should be joined with the Environmental Protection Agency.

That folks was a plank in the 1988 Republican Presidential Campaign Platform.

George W. Bush was CIA Director when, in the 70s, the CIA place climate change on the list of strategic national security threats.

Then to over simplify and make a long story short, Bush's Chief of Staff Sununu got a hair across his ass after getting cap-and-trade on sulfur dioxide passed in 1990 to control acid rain largely caused by coal burning -- left wing environmentalists tended to hate trade-based systems and wanted prescription based controls they could impose plant by plant, so even the environmental victories the Republicans were achieving weren't making any political difference; it was pissing off some donors and not getting credit from swing voters due to criticism from the left. So Sununu basically said fuck it we're not fighting this battle again this time for cap-and-trade on carbon and it all went down hill from there.

Oh, and the Democrats lead by Dukakis wanted to make sure they didn't upset the voters in coal country by talking about it in the '88 elections. Their version of drill baby, drill:

WE BELIEVE that a balanced, coherent energy policy, based on dependable supplies at reasonable prices, is necessary to protect our national security, ensure a clean environment. and promote stable economic growth and prosperity, both nationally and in our energy producing regions; that the inevitable transition from our present, nearly total dependence on increasingly scarce and environmentally damaging non-renewable sources to renewable sources should begin now; that such a policy includes increased cooperation with our hemispheric neighbors, filling the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, promoting the use of natural gas, methanol and ethanol as alternative transportation fuels, encouraging the use of our vast natural gas and coal reserves while aggressively developing clean coal technology to combat acid rain, and providing targeted new incentives for new oil and gas drilling and development, for the development of renewable and alternative sources of energy, and for the promotion of energy conservation. We believe that with these changes the country could reduce its reliance on nuclear power while insisting that all plants are safe, environmentally sound and assured of safe waste disposal.

(The words "climate" and "warming" do not appear in the platform...)

(The Republican platform also encourage "clean coal" technology; however they also endorsed not only continuing but also expanding the use of nuclear.)
Not in my Reddit reply above, but afterwards got to thinking. There are a few many moments in American history where you can look at find one side making the perfect the enemy of the good. Ted Kennedy refusing Nixon's proposal 1974 proposal that was slightly better than Obamacare passed 38 years later (most of the ACA provisions where in Nixon's proposal, plus Nixon would have federalized Medicaid eliminating today's situation of states that refused to accept additional federal funding to expand Medicaid coverage). Likewise, what if the left wasn't so philosophically opposed to market-based rather than prescription-based regulations in 1988, and especially wasn't opposed to the cleanest major energy source (nuclear) that was avaialable at the time; neither solar nor wind where technologically mature enough in 1990 and there is no amount of money that could have been spent to condense the two to three decades they needed to mature to fit within the 1990s.

Saturday, September 3, 2022

Camp Gear Inventory

Trying to make an inventory of my camping kit...

Tonight's additions --

A mouse-proof bag; plan is to put that inside a reusable grocery bag for my food. I've had issues with mice in my Jeep and am trying to make sure food can be safe in there without having to lock it in one of big boxes that might be under other stuff.

And a folding utensil set with a spoon, strainer/cheese grater, and spatula.

Thursday addition:

I think this fills a role I've been trying to figure out -- relatively lightweight for cast iron, handles unscrew so it will pack short (and you have two length options). You can use it as a pie iron, or leave them separated as two small cast iron frying pans.

Not cooking for a family, this should work well for me if I want to use a campfire instead of the propane stove.

Got my eye on a Lodge 2 quart camp dutch oven for the trip next year, but don't really need it for the next test outing.

9/12-13 Additions:

Fire poker and LED lantern joining a few goodies I showed before:

Heading out to the Adirondacks for 3-4 days, so way more food than I actually need. But makes for variety :)

-- Rice, canned tomatoes for making dirty rice (have sausages, peppers, onion to go in cooler)
-- Clam chowder, why not
-- Peanut Butter & Jelly
-- 3 Cans Tuna
-- 2 Emergency Mountain House meals
-- Pint mason jars with pie filling (have Crescent roll dough for cooler; will try to make pies in the irons)
-- Pint mason jar with olive oil; wanted to save space & weight. Same reason I didn't bring whole cans of the pie filling. Will need to make a pie with the rest of the filling when I get home though :D
-- Truvia
-- Plastic container has drink mixes sticks, instant coffee sticks, and mayonaise packets
-- (There is hot cocoa mix in the coffee cup in the kitchen box)
-- Granola Bars
-- Oatmeal
-- Bread
-- English Muffins

For the cooler I have:
-- 6 Eggs
-- Butter
-- Italian Sweet Sausage
-- Peppers
-- Onion
-- Apples
-- 2 Yogurts
-- 2 12oz containers milk (coffee)

Photos later:
Extra Clothing for 3-4 days, fall
-- 1 Pair Jeans -- 1 Pair Sweatpants -- 2 Pocket Tees, short sleeve -- 2 Pocket Tees, long sleeve crew neck -- 2 Pairs wool socks -- 3 Pair Underwear Sweatshirt (need to get from Jeep) Job Shirt?

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Camping New England (and New York...)

Oh my...there actually IS dispersed car camping in New England!

Green Mountain National Forest:

Unexpected...New York is far more generous with dispersed car camping, as long as you use designated sites:

From this excellent Reddit reply:

Yes, it is possible. There's plenty of free, first-come, first-serve roadside campsites across the Adirondack Park. The best place to do this, as recommended by /u/Drizzle11M, is the Moose River Plains complex- there's 100+ free designated roadside campsites spread throughout miles and miles of old logging roads through a remote area.

Some other options include the following. This is a lengthy list but it is far from complete:
Jones Pond, in the northern ADKs, has about a half dozen or so designated tent sites that are either car accessible or a short walk from the road.

Mountain Pond, in the northern ADKs, has a few designated tent sites just off the road.
Slush Pond Road, in the northern ADKs has a number of car accessible designated sites.
The Lake Kushaqua area in the northern ADKs has a couple of roadside/close to roadside designated sites.
Floodwood Road, in the Saranac Lake area, has a number of designated roadside tent sites.
South Meadows Road, just off the road to the Adirondak Loj, has about a dozen or so designated roadside sites (plus a few more than are a short walk off the road). However, fires are prohibited here and bear canisters are required (see more on this below). There's a small number of roadside/close to roadside sites near the junction of Routes 9 and 73 in St. Huberts. Nearby, Chapel Pond also has a couple of roadside/close to roadside sites. (Note that bear canisters will be required at some of these sites in the near future- see more on this below.)
In the Western High Peaks, Coreys Road has a bunch of designated roadside sites.
Dacy Clearing Road, near Lake George, has a number of roadside designated sites.
The Hudson River Recreation Area, near Warrensburg, has a number of roadside designated sites.
There's a bunch of roadside/close to roadside designated sites along Route 8, adjacent to the East Branch Sacandaga River and along the southern boundary of the Siamese Ponds Wilderness.
There are plans to add about 10 or so roadside/close to roadside sites on the road into Boreas Ponds, on the south side of the High Peaks Wilderness.
The road to the Deer Pond access for the Essex Chain from Newcomb has 6 roadside/close to roadside designated sites.
Both Moose Pond Way and Northwoods Club Road in the central ADKs have a number of roadside designated tent sites.
Mason Lake, just south of Lewey Lake in the central ADKs has about a half dozen or so roadside designated sites.
There's a number of roadside designated sites along West River Road in Wells, in the southern ADKs.
Powley-Piseco Road in the southern ADKs also has a bunch of roadside designated sites.
I believe there's a few roadside designate sites at North Lake, on the North Lake Tract Easement in the southwestern ADKs. Moss Lake, near Old Forge, has a bunch of designated tent sites- some are quite close to the parking lot at the trailhead. Horseshoe Lake, near Tupper Lake in the northwest ADKs has a bunch of designated roadside tent sites.
There's a number of roadside designated tent sites along Bear Pond Road and Number 1 Road in the Watson's East Triangle Wild Forest, in the northwest ADKs.
However, a few things to be aware of:
Make sure you know and understand the so called "150 foot rule." In the ADKs, camping is restricted within 150 feet of any roads, trails, or water bodies- within these buffers, you can only camp at officially designated sites. This means that you can't just pull over the side of the road at any and every spot you think looks nice and set up a car camp- it has to be a designated site. Officially designated sites are marked with a yellow plastic disc that says "Camp Here." Adhering to this regulation is super important as it helps to minimize adverse impacts on backcountry resources.
When dispersed camping in the ADKs, you are limited to a maximum group size of 9 people (8 people in some areas). You're also limited to a maximum length of stay at any campsite of 3 consecutive nights. For some areas, you can get a permit from the DEC for a larger group and/or a longer lengthy of stay (you'd want to contact the DEC several weeks in advance of your trip to ask about getting a permit). Some areas of the ADKs- including areas with roadside campsites- don't allow fires, and/or require the use of bear canisters for overnight food storage. Realistically, no ranger is going to hassle you for not having a bear canister provided that your food is stored out of sight in your vehicle, but you do need to be extra careful with food in these areas nonetheless. And the fire bans were implemented due to years of illegal tree cutting by campers and it's really important to abide by the ban- these areas get so much use that there literally is not enough dead and downed wood to sustain campfires by all users. (The Moose River Plains does not have either of these regulations.)
Many of the options for dispersed car camping in the ADKs are on seasonal dirt roads. In a normal season, most of these roads are open by late May- but after a particularly long winter, some may not open until sometime in June. So if you're planning on an early season trip, you'll need to do some careful research on road closures. (Also, be aware that the Moose River Plains has a regulation requiring either 4WD or tire chains for any vehicle entering the area after Columbus Day.) Opportunities for free roadside camping in the ADKs tend to be popular- and many of these areas do fill up every Thursday/Friday during the warmer months as weekend users make their way into the ADKs. It's worth trying to get a jump on the weekend if you want a solid chance at securing a nice site for yourself. Even the Moose River Plains, with it's 100+ sites, filled to capacity a few times last summer. And even with an early arrival, definitely have some backup plans in mind for if/when every site in a specific area is already occupied.
Haven't found a good list like that, but did find that the Catskills follow the same "Yellow Disk" designated camping site system :)

Sunday, August 21, 2022

Jeep Trailer

So...I did a thing.

Picked up a 1967 Stevens M416 trailer.

To be named Going Places (Jeep is waiting for the "Been Places" hood decals).

It is going to be a long term project, and it won't be super fancy.

I want some sort of lockable cover. May end up making it from wood since I can do that myself. Maybe the wood would be a prototype for eventually aluminum diamond plate? Seems like there are a lot of good welders who are bad businessman and/or get overwhelmed when a weekend hobby gets too many orders for commercially produced I can't find one to order :/

Either swap the axle or get hub adapters so I can run the same wheels I do on the Jeep. That simplifies spare tire issues. Probably leave the track as narrow as possible; may require new fenders to cover the wider tires or some sort of mud flaps?

Switch it from the Pintle hitch to a lock-n-roll hitch.

I think that's the major stuff and see how it goes from there.

Not even sure I'd bother using it if I do a trip out west next year. But I need something to dream about, and if I manage to retire and go on a three month trip it'll make a really good base camp.

It was in condition I could've towed it home, but I felt safer to doing a new-to-me trailer on my utility trailer. The M46 is 60-1/2" fender to fender, my trailer is 61-1/8" wide :D so since it would fit might was well use it. Had to haul it home from Middleborough, MA -- back roads would have been an excruiatingly long ride through a lot of small cities like Taunton, Attleboro, and Smithfield all at the height of Saturday morning everyone running errands traffic. The ride home via 495/95/295 was made enough at 90 minutes.

Spec dimensions:


I will probably do this, as I have the skills to work in wood, plus would kind of suck to have something metal fabricated and decide I want to change it.

Instead of the tent like this guys did in the thread, I'd probably just put some tie downs and Thule roof rack in case I want an external load.

I also like a lot his extended tongue.

Wheel Adapters:
(I suspect this will also requiring re-locating the axle to under the springs which probably means new shocks. Fenders should also be wider...)

Stuff to convert from Pintle to Lock-n-Roll, plus tongue extension, available from these guys:

Tongue Jack:

This may be a bit of overkill, but looking for a large wheel to help manuever on dirt, stone driveway:

And finally (?) a roof rack -- can probably re-use the Thule bars from the Volvo & black Fusion :) Why? Eh, why not? Gives options if I need to carry something oddball? I hope I never need to actually add a roof top carrier to the storage already in the trailer...

The tongue tool box would be handy too...

I really like this tongue set up...but it would require extensive fabricating and welding since it replaces the whole original front:

Kind of liking both the Harbor Freight tongue box (though looking on line the Tractor Supply version looks better made...) and the jerry can mounts. Although I don't think I'll need the side mounts, I like the use of square tube. Makes me think even without a welder I could just bolt through the tub using square tube as a spacer if I do need side mount of something.

From Facebook

Possible containers for inside it:

Of course it is discontinued...for roof top tent style I've seen that would work with my bad knees, and give me an annex directly accessbile from the sleeping area so I could use a chair in the rain or setup the portable toilet. Oz Trail (Oztrail?) Outer Ridge 375 Offroad.

From Facebook