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1 trailer 1 block 4 heads 32 studs, springs, valves, and circlips

April 21, 2012

2012 04 21 1 block 4 heads 32 springs valves and circlips 512px 1 trailer 1 block 4 heads 32 studs, springs, valves, and circlips


My Contact Information Cards

2012 12 08 Business Cards 512px My Contact Information Cards


Free CAT Scans

Here are my first two homemade CAT Scans. Impressive?

Cliff Bleszinski used to have a site called catscan.com. His fans would send him cat scanography, and he would post in on the site.

CAT scan Priti1 640x431 Free CAT Scans
CAT scan Boycat 640x464 Free CAT Scans


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The Bitbucket


Yngwie Malmsteen Live, Tokyo, 1985

In 1984 I got to see these guys open for AC/DC.

  • At 4:23 the band starts.
  • The first guitar solo is at 6:07.
  • The keyboards and guitar do a high-speed Baroque-thing simultaneously at 9:55.
  • 35:00 is the beginning of I am a Viking. Watch that.
  • 44:47 begins an almost 10 minute long guitar solo.

Unfortunately the video's audio quality is not best, but you can still get the idea of what this was like.

They Were The Opening Act

Almost everyone came for AC/DC, and AC/DC brought everything they had:

  • Fake cannons? Check. (They sounded real, and fire shot out of them, until the cannons' amp blew a fuse, then it was quiet fire shooting out of them.)
  • Fake bells? Check.
  • Fake TNT? Yes.
  • Angus' school uniform. Yep.
  • Angus plays a solo off-the-stage, and in-the-crowd, on some guy's back? Check.

Yngwie Malmsteen's band's props? They have long hair, and he has a piece of tape on his guitar that says "PLAY LOUD" on it.

After That Concert They Were Off The Tour

Something really weird happened; after each AC/DC song there were fewer people in the stadium. The place was almost empty by the time Angus played his solo.

This was a time when Heavy Metal wasn't played on much of the radio. In my town, major bands played shows at a loss (according to a local union roady). The shows existed to sell records; these days the records exist to sell concert tickets.

There Was Magic At That Concert, And This Video Shows Us How The Magician Does Some Of It

Note: there are some guesses here. If you know more details, then please comment below.

He Played A Solo With His Teeth!

Yeah, but here we can see that he is actually using hammer-ons. There were no teeth harmed in the making of that solo.

His Feedback Moved Through Each Row Of The Crowd!

There appeared to be a standing wave that moved through the crowd from the front of the stage to the back, slowly. In the video, during that sound, the camera focused on the keyboard player. He was slowly twisting a potentiometer. A synthesizer can slowly change the pitch, in a more consistent way, than a guitar player can, but we were all looking at the guitar! (Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!)

This part is a guess. I can't tell the difference between a mode, where a standing wave creates more volume, and someone cranking up the volume when a specific note plays. One would need to make measurements in different places.

Then At One Point He Held The Guitar In A Specific Spot, And The Feedback Made It Sound Like A UFO!

In this video, Malmsteen holds up the guitar, then looks at the audience, then looks at the guitar. While we are all looking that the guitar (see 55:49), he tweaks a potentiometer on a piece of equipment (see 55:53). Maybe he was tweaking a digital delay.


We can see Moog Taurus Bass Pedals at the edge of the stage, but I didn't see him play them during this video, or during the other concert. A Taurus-like analog synthesizer would make an awesome guitar effects device, but they can't do that out-of-the-box, because they don't have a place to plug-in a replacement oscillator.

Since the 1980s, I wondered why guitar synths were designed as (mistakenly) glitchy MIDI controllers, when the guitar itself could replace the oscillator, in an analog synth, or a digital representation of one, and that would have no tracking problems at all. I thought that this was my idea, but Wikipedia now tells me that these existed in the 1070's. They are coming back in style in recent days: the guitar gets digitized, and that gets sent to a digital emulation of an analog-synth.

Filed under: Music No Comments

Places Where I Have Been

States That I Have Lived:
Lived in States Places Where I Have Been

States Where I Have Worked:
Worked in States Places Where I Have Been

States Where I Rode Motorcycles (Florida was a scooter):
Rode in States Places Where I Have Been

States That I Have Traveled-to:
Visited States Places Where I Have Been

Countries? I've only been to the USA, Canada, and Mexico.

Arkansas        [Traveled] [Lived] [Worked] [Rode]
California      [Traveled]         [Worked]
Connecticut     [Traveled]         [Worked]
Delaware        [Traveled]
Florida         [Traveled] [Lived] [Worked] [Rode] (scooter)
Georgia         [Traveled]
Illinois        [Traveled]         [Worked] [Rode]
Indiana         [Traveled]                  [Rode]
Iowa            [Traveled]
Kansas          [Traveled] [Lived] [Worked] [Rode]
Kentucky        [Traveled]
Louisiana       [Traveled]
Maine           [Traveled] [Lived] [Worked]
Maryland        [Traveled]
Massachusetts   [Traveled]         [Worked]
Michigan        [Traveled] [Lived] [Worked]
Minnesota       [Traveled]         [Worked]
Missouri        [Traveled]                  [Rode]
Nebraska        [Traveled]
New Hampshire   [Traveled] [Lived] [Worked]
New Jersey      [Traveled]         [Worked]
New Mexico      [Traveled]
New York        [Traveled] [Lived] [Worked]
North Carolina  [Traveled]
North Dakota
Ohio            [Traveled]         [Worked]
Oklahoma        [Traveled] [Lived] [Worked] [Rode]
Pennsylvania    [Traveled]
Rhode Island    [Traveled]
South Carolina  [Traveled]
South Dakota
Tennessee       [Traveled]         [Worked] [Rode]
Texas           [Traveled] [Lived] [Worked] [Rode]
Vermont         [Traveled]
Virginia        [Traveled]
West Virginia   [Traveled]
Wisconsin       [Traveled]
Washington D.C. [Traveled]

Why Creation Theory and The Theory of Evolution Are Not Remotely Similar

We hear things from fundamentalists like:

  • "Evolution is not a law, it's only a theory."
  • "Evolution is not a fact, it's only a theory."
  • "Evolution is equivalent to creation theory; they are both theories."

When creationists say things like that they are using the words "theory", "law", and "fact" in a completely different way than how scientists use those words.

Here's how Ramon Bautista explains the meaning of the scientific words:


"Laws tell you what's happening... Theory is telling you, or at least trying to tell you, why something happens.


  • law of gravity=what goes up, must come down
  • theory of gravity=graviton


For scientists theories are always theories. They can never become laws, and they never become facts. That said, there has never been a single piece of evidence against the theory of evolution; and there has never been a single piece of evidence for creationism. These are very different uses of the word theory.

Frank Steiger

I discovered Frank Steiger's website only after I wrote my essay. Mr. Steiger covers the same issues— in more depth.

Filed under: 5) Other, Science No Comments

Ballooning with National Champion Pat Cannon

balloon flame Ballooning with National Champion Pat Cannon

I rode with pilot Pat Cannon during the 2001 Highland Village Balloon Festival. Mr. Cannon won the Balloon Federation of America National Championship a number of times, so this was an incredible opportunity to see just how precise balloon piloting can be.

The challenge was to fly a minimum distance, and put a bean bag on a target.

We met at the event's location for the pre-flight pilot meeting. Balloons are best-piloted during early morning or early evening (the Trey Ratcliff hours), so this was very early in the day.

We participated in the First Flight Ceremony. In my case this involved the pilot saying some words, and pouring champagne on my hair, but I observed other folks participating in another secret version. 1%-ers have nothing on balloonists.

We drove to the location, unfolded the balloon, and filled it with hot air (see image above). A number of other pilots followed our chase vehicle, and began their flights from nearby (see image below), but there was nothing special about that location piloting-accuracy-wise. Mr. Cannon chose that location because that's where he wanted to land at the end of the event. The location chosen was a new development under-construction. The roads where there, and were free of debris, but construction had not yet begun on any of the homes. We used one of the roads like a heliport.

balloons Ballooning with National Champion Pat Cannon

Before preparing to take off, the pilot launched a small black helium balloon called a pie-ball. He used a sextant to follow the pie-ball, and estimated the wind's speed and direction at various altitudes. (My Google-fu tells me that "pie-ball" is short for "pilot-balloon".)

The pilot steers the balloon by choosing a direction, and then going to the altitude who's wind is blowing in that direction. The balloon requires a certain amount of time to get to any chosen altitude, so the pilot needs to plan for that, and the intervening wind vectors, at each step.

Before leaving the pilot told me that we were going to:

  1. Fly over Lake Lewisville
  2. Make a 90-degree direction-change over the lake
  3. Fly to the target, which was here, and then
  4. Fly back to our starting place.


That's exactly what he did:

  1. We flew a right-triangle
  2. Mr. Pat Cannon tossed his bean bag within 2-feet of the target's center and then
  3. We then returned to the chase vehicle. No chasing required.


My legs were shaking uncontrollably during the first half of the trip. I have an extreme fear of heights. Motorcycle riding in bad weather has helped me cure much of that since then, but I don't avoid an activity just because it makes me uncomfortable. That's core to who I am.

One amazing thing about ballooning is that you can hear everything on the ground. Your vehicle is travelling at exactly the speed of the wind. Sound is as clear as if their were no wind at all.

People run out of their houses to see the balloon. This is early morning, so they are half-dressed. They notice that the pilot can see them in their night-wear and then run back into their houses.

Boaters were also on the lake to see the balloons. Pat Cannon brought his basket down to visit some boaters. He was able to have the bottom of the basket skim the water, but our feet never got wet, and I never saw any water on the basket floor. Another balloonist attempted to do that too, and his basket immediately laid-down on its side in the water; he, and his passengers did get wet. icon smile Ballooning with National Champion Pat Cannon

Are angry landowners a risk when landing? Yes. Pat Cannon told me about a landowner that started shooting his balloon as he flew over the shooter's property. He was not even trying to land there. Mr. Cannon was well-prepared with the two-way radios that pilot's use, a GPS, and even a mobile phone. The shooter was surprised when the police arrived at the scene. (Robert Munafo told me that people like to shoot trains too.)

Pilot Pat Cannon is an extremely skilled pilot. He has most of the existing pilot endorsements. He flew helicopters for the US Army during the Vietnam War. He is a FAA safety examiner, and he regularly flies Mitsubishi MU-2s for Turbine Aircraft Services, Inc. where he is a Principal.


Paul Danger Kile’s Stories of Wild Animals and Poverty in the North Country NY

Warning: adult language

The Old Homestead

I used to live in the-middle-of-nowhere: no electricity, no running water, no phone, no mobile service, no sewer, etc. The house was built in the 1800s. We lived on the porch, used unleaded-fuel in our Coleman lanterns, flushed the toilet by poring buckets-of-rainwater in, showered on the back porch over a rattlesnake's home. I showered fast.

I actually attempted to order phone service from the phone company. They told me that they would provide it, if I would pay them to install the telephone poles. Riiiight.

Some animals lived in the walls of the main house, we stayed on the porch, The critters in the walls of the main house were mostly mice, birds, and raccoons: although a black bear did hibernate in the basement the previous Winter: Grizzly-trucking-Adams.

Someone shot a raccoon near the house. It managed to climb into a second-story window, and drag its sorry-self all the way down to the first floor hallway with its intestines trailing behind. Where it died. Bastard.

Our friends from college would spend the weekends out there at the house, and there was so-little light polution, that we would lie on the cars and see man-made satellites with the naked eye.

What can I tell you about roughing it? Peanut butter does not need to be refrigerated.

Fun With Fuel

I would put our trash into a 55 gallon drum, and burn it to make it smaller (yeah, yeah, global warming). There was no trash collection service available. One time I was getting aggressive with the trash tamping, and there were some fuel-filled rags down low, and I was tamping some other trash on top and BOOOOOM! The damned-thing shot raining-fire all over the place! Like the Trash Cannon From Hell. Trash falling here: sidestep. Trash falling there: sidestep.

I had one coworker once, that misjudged the fuse-length on a home-made explosive that he and his buddy were shooting out of their cannon. They wanted it to explode in the sky. It blew a hole in the Post Office. The FBI came to visit, and it was a bad-scene all around.

...and the cow jumped over the fence

Heifer: a female bovine too-young to give birth.
Bullock: a male circumcised bovine, AKA, a steer.

We had heifers living on the land. 50% of the dairy farmers that visited said, "if one cow learns to jump the fence, then all the others will follow her", and 50% said, "Cows don't jump fences" I imagined the latter folks wasting a lot of time looking for holes in fences. The heifers at our house would jump, oh yes, and in the morning I would look out at the just-jumped bovines, and say, "Them's some real heifers." The heifer owning people? There last name was... wait for it... let the comic-timing be right... Remember the definitions up above? Bullock.

Petting zoos

One night: SLAM!!! "WHEEEEEE! WHEEEE! WHEEEE!" SLAM!!! "WHEEEEEE! WHEEEE! WHEEEE!" I say to my (now-ex) wife: "You open the door, and wait behind it. I'll hit that thing over the head with this log splitter." SLAM!!! "WHEEEEEE! WHEEEE! WHEEEE!" She opens the door, and there waits a pet racoon. It just kinda stands there for a minute, and then gets cosy in our bed. Great. OK. The racoon can stay for a little while: the alternative is door slamming, and racoon screaming. This did not last long. Raccoons like to rock-and-roll all night, and sleep every day, and you know what? I had a job to go-to.

There was only one solution; wrap "Rascal" in a blanket, and drive him far enough, that he can't find his way back. I drove home imaging the little guy going to the very first door that he could find. SLAM!!! "WHEEEEEE! WHEEEE! WHEEEE!" BOOOM!: he then manages to climb into someone's window, and drag his sorry-self all the way down to the first floor hallway with its intestines trailing behind him.

There goes the neighborhood

Let's take a step back in this story. Our house had no neighbors since the beginning of time. What happens as soon as we move in? An 18-wheeler mother-trucking-flatbed pulls up with a huntin' cabin on back, and drops said huntin' cabin directly across the street, fucking-up my pristine view of our 100% Maple Syrup producing Maple trees. Why? Mr. Bullock got a two-for-one deal on used huntin' cabins, and really only needed the one.

A few weeks later a family of three moves in. My new neighbor wants to provide for his family: in a place with zero jobs. So, he made a deal with Mr. Bullock: "I fix your fences. You let me live in your extra huntin' cabin."

Our neighbors also lacked the comforts-of-home. They did however, have a Honda hooked-up to the TV.

So, the new neighbor tells me how racoon mommas yell bloody murder, but they won't... actually... attack. He tells me how this momma racoon chose the huntin' cabin for birthing her babies. So he removed each of the baby racoons one at a time, and then he removed the momma racoon, but he kept one baby there. This baby grew up to be Rascal. I believe that Rascal had a doggy-door that he, and the dog, could use to go in-and-out. He also had a buddy to play with: the dog.

We went camping for our summer vacation. The woman from across the street came to visit:
"Where did you go last week?"
"Us too."
"Our cabin had running water and electricity!"
"Us too."

Momma neighbor gets sick of pretending that "our life is fun just like camping", and says, "I am going to move in with my parents. You can stay, or you can come", and that's how Rascal ended up with no home.

Filed under: 5) Other, Self No Comments
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