hardware lust: "Damn Small Machine"

Posted on: Mon, 08/29/2005 - 10:30 By: Tom Swiss

Yummy. The Damn Small Machine is a Nano-ITX system that is 100% silent because it has no moving parts - no fan, no disk drive. Very low power consumption. Runs Damn Small Linux.

If and when the house gets sold and I put part of my share to a audio recording setup, this might end up part of it, if I could plug something like the Tascam US122 in to it. (Need to do more research about the Linux compatibility of that unit.)

Utah paramilitary blitzkrieg raid on dance party

Posted on: Sun, 08/28/2005 - 22:12 By: Tom Swiss

Remember the War on (Some) Drugs? It tends to get lost behind the ones we're fighting over in Iraq and Afghanistan (or as The Daily Show likes to call the region, "Mess O' Potamia"). But the Wo(S)D is going every bit as well as the one in the Middle East, as shown by this recent raid by Utah stormtroopers on a rave: Daily Kos: UTAH RAVERS TREATED LIKE TERRORISTS! (http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2005/8/22/13030/7546)

The helicopter dipped lower and lower and started shining its lights on the crowd. I was kind of in awe and just sat and watched this thing circle us for a minute. As I looked back towards the crowd I saw a guy dressed in camoflauge walking by, toting an assault rifle. At this point, everyone was fully aware of what was going on . A few "troops" rushed the stage and cut the sound off and started yelling that everyone "get the fuck out of here or go to jail". This is where it got really sticky.

Denver Airport's automated baggage system (finally!) shutting down

Posted on: Sat, 08/27/2005 - 16:18 By: Tom Swiss

Ah, Denver Airport. For many years - a decade, really - those of us in the computer field have read of delays and problems with their massive automated baggage handling system. Truly one of the great boondoggles of computer systems. They're finally pulling the plug - and replacing this failed hi-tech system with human baggage handlers.

Household battery recycling

Posted on: Sat, 08/27/2005 - 02:27 By: Tom Swiss
I hate throwing stuff away. Sustainability - i.e., the long term future of the human race - requires that we are able to recycle, reuse, or return to nature (compost or burn in a closed carbon cycle) just about everything we make. Being a techo-geek, the non-recyclable nature of most electronic gear nags at me.

Fortunately, things are getting better. Electronics recycling is starting, slowly, to gather momentum, though it's still something that is woefully underfunded and publicized given the toxic nature of electronics waste.

house for sale again...

Posted on: Fri, 08/26/2005 - 18:17 By: Tom Swiss

Well, the deal with my grandfather's house fell through...again...

My grandfather passed away last year, and the majority of his estate consisted of his house, which he left to my mother, my brother, and me. After much drama and hassle about buying his widow out of her share of the property (did you know that in Maryland, a surviving spouse can go against the will and take 1/3 of the estate? We didn't.), we fixed the place up a little (not much - it was in fantastic shape), and put it on the market back in June. And quickly found a buyer.

Unfortunately, that buyer got screwed over royally by their bank - the day before closing, they told the buyer that the mortgage payment would be several hundred dollars more than originally promised. Severely disappointed (after my father's heart surgery earlier this year, we really need this sale to happen), we put the house back on the market. And quickly found a buyer.

Reuters - Pickled fetus head fuels art furor

Posted on: Fri, 08/26/2005 - 17:17 By: Tom Swiss
ZURICH (Reuters) - A sculpture made with the pickled head of a dead fetus attached to a seagull's body has fueled a furor in Switzerland about the boundaries of art.

Berne's Museum of Fine Arts removed the piece from a Chinese art exhibition earlier this month after a complaint that it was disrespectful to the dead, and following concerns its grisly appearance might traumatize visiting schoolchildren. ...

Full story here.

A Gonzo send-off for HST

Posted on: Thu, 08/25/2005 - 20:41 By: Tom Swiss

Our good friend Mike Gurklis sent me this link to a story about the explosive send-off for Dr. Hunter S. Thompson:


In other Gonzo news: if you've got $2,000 burning a hole in your pocket, you can buy a limited edition Gonzo Monument print. (I'm seriously tempted...) Or, on the lower end of the monetary scale, try some Gonzo Imperial Porter (it's good stuff).

Res ipsa loquitur. Let the good times roll.

Paul Krassner: Life Among the Neo-Pagans

Posted on: Thu, 08/25/2005 - 13:56 By: Tom Swiss

For those of you who've been to Starwood, neither it nor Paul Krassner needs any further introduction - enjoy his take on it.

For those of you who've heard me talk about it, here's a little insight into the Starwood Festival from one of its treasured speakers, Paul Krassner. (I sat next to Paul at the "Shamans and Drugs" workshop he mentions, and briefy talked to him afterwards about this article.)


Life Among the Neo-Pagans
Paul Krassner

As a stand-up commentator, I rarely work the comedy-club circuit, preferring to appear at more offbeat venues. Several years ago, I performed at the Starwood Festival ("a Magickal, psychedelic & multi-cultural event") in Sherman, New York--Amish country on the border near Ohio and Pennsylvania--on private campgrounds, where clothing was optional. Many women were bare-breasted, and several men and women were fully naked, a practice known as "going skyclad."

So Mundane...

Posted on: Thu, 08/25/2005 - 02:33 By: Tom Swiss

Up late tonight, getting the website up and also putting together some wooden pre-fab storage furniture from Target. Some nights are magic, dancing around bonfires until dawn; some are mundane. Chop wood, carry water; administer website, re-arrange bedroom.

Mundane, that is, except for the music. I finally opened up the CD I bought from Chris Chandler a while back, "Convenience Store Troubadours". Wow.

Some of you have heard me rave about this guy. Well, I'm going to do it again now. Check him out. Spoken word + folk music = "folken word," as he puts it. He's living in Maryland now and I'm hoping to turn more friends on to his work.

Hear some of his stuff in RealAudio at http://www.puremusic.com/listenten.html (scroll down a bit to the links for "Chris Chandler & Anne Feeney", "Chris Chandler & Convenience Store Troubadours", and "Chris Chandler". Do it! Do it now!

Subscribe to