The most recent entries are first.
I don't update this page often.
- Toyota Prius and Highlander Programming Tips
- Turn off the reverse beep, and other tips.
- Setting up Windows Vista
- A start at making it usable. Windows 7 is similar and doesn't hassle
you so much with "Did you really want to do that?" every time you
want to do something.
- Ham Radio
- My call sign in KI7KJ.
- Wildlife on Lake Sammamish
- Photographs of
local birds and animals on Lake Sammamish,
taken mostly from my office window with a telephoto lens.
- Have your body frozen
when you die, in hopes that future
technology will be able to revive you.
- Heart's Wacky "Eye Magazine"
- Published in 1968-1969 only, this was the mainstream's effort
to be "hip" and "with it." Funny and nostalgic, too.
- Franklyn MacCormack
- Franklyn MacCormack
was the host of the "All Night Showcase" on WGN radio in Chicago
from 1959 until his death on June 12, 1971.
He interspersed moody, contemplative music with
poetry that he read, including the poetry of
Check out my Franklyn MacCormack page for more details.
- Pedal Steel Guitar
- I now have a Carter S-10, replacing my old Sho-Bud LDG model
that I bought from Red Rhodes in Hollywood back in the 1970s.
My Carter has a single 10 string E9th neck, 3 pedals and 5 knee levers.
I was concerned that it might be hard to change from a double neck body
to a single neck, but no problems.
Back when I lived in LA, I used to take lessons at Valley Arts Guitars.
I haven't taken any lessons up here in the Northwest, although I have
leads on some possible teachers:
Jack Aldrich (New Radio Cowboys)
can teach E9. There's guy in the U district who teachs C6.
Allen Terhune (Amelia White) took some lessons from a guy in Tacoma.
Pedal steels are funky, almost
home-made instruments, very folk when you think about it, despite being all electric.
B0b's Steel Guitar Forum
is a great online BBS for steel players.
Some Seattle and Eastside players:
Dan Tyack (Toast,Buckaroosters,others),
Charles Jones (Shiner),
Tom Palmer (Northwest Stampede),
Don Pawlak (The Souvenirs).
- I bought an high-definition TV, so I'm no longer so interested in the
what-set-do-I-buy stuff on my
- Acoustic Bass Guitar
- Acoustic bass guitars (not to be confused with the
mariachi band guitarron) began to appear in the 1970s.
They are gaining in popularity now.
None of them really have much volume unamplified, but
they can hold their own in a duo with an acoustic guitar.
With a group or with louder instruments, you have to plug in.
I looked at quite a few acoustic basses, including Martin
and other top brands, without finding one I liked.
Finally, I came across a good one: the
which I found at the
Guitar Center in Seattle. It's an acoustic-electric,
with controls nicely located on the top bout.
The body is the size of a slightly shallow dreadnought,
with a cutaway and an unusally curved back.
It has the short scale length of 30" which I like, and it frets
very nicely - so many basses are hard to fret without buzzing.
This one is easy and that's not with trick strings either, just the
usual round wounds. I'm getting a soft case custom made for it from
One of the nice things about the BG29 is the price (under $600), which
is less than most other acoustic basses I've seen.
I got the black one with the maple top, which I preferred to the
natural spruce top. I had
do a little work on it: he replaced the rather odd saddle with a
plain one and evened out the volume of the strings in the pickup.
UPDATE: I tried a
and liked it a lot! It's big but it has a big sound. Ya gotta like that.
- Yogi Yorgesson
- "Yogi Yorgesson" was a stage name of Harry Stewart. Yogi sang comedy songs
in a Swedish dialect. He was enormously popular in parts of the United States
with large Swedish immigrant populations, like Minnesota and Seattle.
This was part of the ethnic humor so popular in the early and middle parts
of the 20th century. Yogi mostly recorded on 78rpm records. There were three
LPs made of his music: "The Great Comedy Hits of Yogi Yorgesson," a
combination disk with Stan Freberg "Have Yourself a Crazy Little Christmas,"
and "Yogi Yorgesson's Family Album," Capitol H 336 (a 10" LP from 1954).
Seattle personality Stan Boreson has
recorded a number of cover versions(!) of Yogi Yorgesson songs on CD and cassette.
- Bringing automation to highways and cars
I've been interested for some time in using computers to make cars and highways
more efficient and safe. This is called "Intelligent Vehicle Highway Systems" or
in more complete form "Automated Highway Systems". I was
on the Jim Lehrer Newshour about this 5/31/99 - check it out!
I was also interviewed by the Washington Times newspaper.
The article (with photo) appeared Sunday 9/5/99.
I won the palmtop computer and free Internet access for a year from
Smart Trek in a drawing. Lucky me!
I've been having fun writing Epinions, which are online
reviews of consumer products. You get a few pennies for each one
you write. So far I've earned more than $200 - yes they really sent checks!
It's free to join, and if you write some epinions, you can
earn the big bucks too. My handle is "rag47".
Epinions.com home page
If you're not an Epinions member yet, please allow me to
Click here to read my epinions
- Picking the right physician
- There's an old saw about choosing a doctor by asking your friends,
neighbors and co-workers which doctor they recommend. This has a big flaw:
your friends are not doctors; they're only in a position to judge as laymen
and then perhaps mostly by "bedside manner." There is another approach.
Start out by choosing a hospital. If you become seriously ill, you'll
be admitted to a hospital. Which one you choose can be a matter of
life or death, because hospitals
vary widely in quality. US News & World report publishes
hospital ratings as a big book (an abridged version is
After choosing the best hospital in your area, find a doctor who has
the right to admit patients to this hospital. The hospital can probably
give you a list. You can check on the credentials of physicians online
at the AMA web site.
A good thing to look for is being board certified.
- My great great aunt, Fannie Moeller, married Frederick W. Matthiessen in
1864 in LaSalle, Illinois.
Around the turn of the century, Matthiessen (by then a wealthy industrialist)
purchased a bankrupt clockmaker in nearby Peru, Illinois and
renamed it the Western Clock Company
(Westclox). The company became the largest clockmaker in the world,
known for their Big Ben and Baby Ben alarm clocks.
Notably, they employed famed industrial designer
F.W. Matthiessen was a progressive thinker who
made Westclox a leader in factory safety and industrial relations.
This happy state of affairs continued past his death in 1918 until the 1940s.
The later years, however, are a sad litany of
labor unrest and poor management. The brand name continues today as a division
of General Time.
The clock factory in Illinois closed in 1980. I collect the older clocks.
My most prized Westclox timepieces are pocket
watches honoring the 1929 round the world flight of the Graf Zeppelin.
- Esalen, Big Sur, CA
- Shelly and I have taken a few workshops at Esalen. Esalen is a hot springs resort
that sponsors workshops to promote "human potential."
This is not the the easist thing to define,
but perhaps some examples will help make sense of it.
We recently took a workshop on creative risk-taking hosted by David
Schiffman. This took the form of an encounter group.
Earlier, I took a workshop on
Integral Transformative Practice (ITP),
a program to help you set and achieve your life goals. It includes
exercise and a psychological approach derived from the Japanese martial
art of aikido.
ITP was invented largely by Esalen's
Michael Murphy and George Leonard.
- The Seven Dirty Words You Can't Say On The Radio
- According to comedian George Carlin, the original seven words were
shit, piss, fuck, cunt, cocksucker, motherfucker and tits.
(KBCS adds the word "ass" to this list.)
Pacifica radio played Carlin's routine on the air and got busted by the FCC.
The Supreme Court decision that enshrined Carlin's seven words into law is
online at the ACLU website.
Decided July 3, 1978 - just in time for Independence Day.
What a world.
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- Even more links here