Antenna Guru

RF is not 'black magic' – It's Synthesis, Optimization, Analysis and Realization.

Category Archives: props

EW!

Engineer’s Week, that is.

Look with me at ‘our’ celebratory poster for a moment… The e– earth’s blossoming western hemisphere beneath some random stars shuffled together with rising monarch-ish butterflies and framed by tropical flora… shadowy stylized translucent distant skyscrapers hovering beyond the blue horizon like an outsider’s fanciful view of a distant city…

(Would your manager have approved that drawing for release, I wonder?)

Uh, like… awesome, dude…

Celebrate!

IIABDFI

dishwasher disassembly for repair/replacement ...

dishwasher disassembly for repair/replacement of chopper (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!

About eight years ago I bought a KitchenAid dishwasher. I had had good experience with them over the past quarter century or so, and I didn’t even think about a different brand. Today, I am very impressed with this latest model, but it did not start out that way, the way I had expected.

From the time I first brought it home, it never cleaned the dishes like I thought it was supposed to. It would leave soap in the dispenser if I didn’t arrange the dishes just right. Coffee grounds would stay in the bottoms of the tall cups I like to use if I left the dirty cup on the counter all day before rinsing it out like I like to do. So even though they were just little nagging issues, I was not happy with the appliance.

Right after I bought the thing I had called a repair guy and asked him to check it out. He came out, ran it through a cycle, made some perfunctory tests, and said, “Well, your water’s not hot enough, and you’re not using the recommended detergent. That’ll be eighty-nine bucks.”

I figured they’d sold out, cheapened the product; I figured the new ones weren’t as good anymore. But it still worked. So, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right?

About a month ago we had a thunder storm come through that knocked out the power in such a way that the lights went off and on several times and dimmed and so on. The dishwasher had been running at the time, and the storm fried it — The blue LED’s would sort of dimly light on the control panel, but the buttons didn’t work. So, I ordered a control board. That didn’t fix it, so I sent it back and ordered a control panel. The new control panel let me turn the dishwasher on and cycle it, but it didn’t clean the dishes at all.

“Time for a new dishwasher,” I thought. “At least I can send back the panel, too.”

But being a little short of cash right now, my wife talked me into trying some more to fix the (eight year old) one we had. So I puzzled and I thought. I probed and I Googled. I went through that entire dishwasher, cleaning all the strainers and inspecting all the wash arms. Reluctantly, I ordered a circulation pump assembly. I wasn’t hopeful that this would fix it, because when the dishwasher cycled water sprayed… sort of. But I had looked at everything else.

The circulation pump arrived and I replaced it with the help of an online video and Debi’s thoughtful suggestions. (Her suggestions really helped: She studied the video, too, and saw important details that I had missed. Plus, she had encouraged me to press on instead of giving up in the first place.) When we started it up Debi said, “It seems louder to me,” and that was because…

The dishwasher now cleans better than it ever has in the last eight years!

There’s a metaphor in there somewhere, certainly.

Machine Wireless Interface

logo01

Machine

Wireless

Interface

LLC

I have been hard, hard at work these last weeks… working on the link between a really cool gizmo and the rest of the world.

After drilling down deep into the physics of microwave devices for a quarter century, it appears that I will be spreading out what I have learned.

Tonight my beloved Nurse Debi gave a name to this thing new born – Machine Wireless Interface©

Thank you, beloved…

Getting Un-hacked

It turns out that AVG Free is happy to coexist on my hard drive with trojans and exploits. How did I find out? Well, there was the malicious blog post … and then I downloaded Microsoft Security Essentials and ran it. So, way to go, MSFT, I feel like you finally are starting to care about the job instead of the bank account.

Then there was the problem of how this happened in the first place. I decided it had to do with my silly-simple password ‘system’. I Googled +password +management and did some reading. I decided on LastPass. Sure ‘nough, it’s a hassle, but so’s the lock on my front door.

Stay safe out there, cyber fam…

 

Red/blue, Black/red

[Some …uh… human being hacked into my pitiful little blog and posted a gratuitous advertisement this morning. Feeling violated I deleted it and changed my password. “Feeling violated” got me thinking about what we do with our tax money.]

Net revenue flow to (from) federal government

I read about how some people (but only 100,00 in Texas, wow!) in some of the ‘red’ states signed petitions for secession from the union. Then I got to wondering, “Where does all the federal money go? Do some states make money off the federal government, and if so, which ones?”

On average, the “Blue States” are supporting the “Red States.”

I found an answer for the interval, 1990 – 2009 here.

So, if you live in New York, Illinois, New Jersey, Minnesota, Texas, California, and so on, I can see why you might want to secede. But if you live in Virginia, Maryland, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Kentucky, Arizona, Louisiana  and so on, I would be very quiet if I were you — House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan might come down there and garnishee your whole state and local budgets.

Just sayin’…

Related articles

The Choice 2012 | FRONTLINE

I  urge you to watch this special Frontline episode. They do it every four years in October, and it is excellent.

Nuggets from the World of Ideas

Once upon a time

There was a place where you could walk into a flowing stream, and if you knew what to look for, you could reach right down and pick up a piece of gold. I can imagine that copper, tin and iron once laid around in lumps.

In ancient Babylon and Sumer (and elsewhere) crude oil and tar flowed like springs up out of the ground.

Diamonds, rubies, emeralds, opals, turquoise, were all just pretty rocks…

…once upon a time.

Those days are pretty much all gone now, unless you count finding buried or sunken treasure.

…or are they?

The World of Ideas

Often in conversation, new friends will get around to asking me what I do. Or, knowing what I do, they will ask me how I do it. I have learned to pause for a second –or two– and look as if through an invisible door. In my imagination a metaphorical doorway from ‘our’ world to the world of ideas opens before me. Stepping through the doorway in my mind, I describe to them what I see.

Imagine a world where ideas lay around on the surface of the ground like rocks in a stream. You don’t even have to dig for them; you just have to meander around and notice.

“And I am not the only human being in that world,” I tell them, “Other people are there too, picking up ideas.

“Sometimes, I see people fighting over ‘big ideas’. I try to avoid those places. When somebody comes over and gets interested in taking over what I’m doing, I just give it to them and move on. I don’t want to get involved in a fight over one idea when so many of them are out there.”

Source: DC Animated Universe Wiki

Why Aren’t You Rich?

This is a natural question, I suppose, but one I didn’t think about before someone asked it the first time. It comes up a lot, though, apparently…

(Nygma discovers his office is locked and his nameplate is missing)
Edward Nygma: What’s going on here? Where’s my office? My door was right here.
Janitor: “Was” is right.
(Holds Nygma’s nameplate up and dumps it in the bin)
Edward Nygma: What’s the meaning of this?
Daniel Mockridge: What does it look like, Eddie? You’re out of here. You’re history. You’re fired. Comprende?
Edward Nygma: Have you lost what passes for your mind!? You can’t afford to do without me, Mockridge!
Daniel Mockridge: I can if you’re going to sue me for royalties.
Edward Nygma: I created the “Riddle of the Minotaur” game! This company’s making millions for my genius!
Daniel Mockridge: Competitron Software’s success didn’t come from the product, Nygma. Competitron has a corporate attitude. It’s strength is in the boardroom. The deal. The contract. Specifically the “Work for Hire” contract you signed.
(Shows Nygma a contract he tricked him into signing long ago)
Edward Nygma: You are a fool, Mockridge, if you think you can get away with this. Your amoral greed is no match for an intellect like mine!
Daniel Mockridge: Oh, yeah? Then tell me something, Eddie: if you’re so smart, why aren’t you rich?

DC Animated Universe Wiki

… so people ‘get’ the idea that cash follows creativity, but not necessarily in the same person. I feel like this– If I had to choose between pursuing ‘success’ or being able to go to that place, which would I choose? I guess the answer is obvious by now.

I’ve found myself feeling Edward Nygma’s pain a time or two, I won’t lie. But I learned there is more joy in going into that world than in fighting over who gets to bring an idea back from there.

Moderate Mitt Makes his Move

I keep asking myself, “How did Mr. Romney get to be a Republican governor of Massachusetts?”

Just to make sure I was working with the right numbers, I went to the web page of William F. Galvin, Secretary of State of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. This is the home state of the Kennedy Clan, Tip O’Neill, Michael Dukakis, Paul Tsongas and John Kerry. Sure enough, Registered Democrats outnumber Republicans by about a 3:1 margin. They have in the Commonwealth ever since we’ve had Democrats and Republicans.

So how did those four years as governor go for Mr. Romney? He issued 844 vetoes.

That might mean he didn’t abandon his convictions, but it also definitely means he didn’t exactly persuade the legislative branch to see things his way, either. By the way, Mr. Romney appears to have devoted much thought to the hot-button issue of abortion…

In 2005, Romney revealed a change of view regarding abortion, moving from the “unequivocal” pro-choice position expressed during his 2002 campaign to a pro-life one in opposition to Roe v. Wade. Romney attributed his conversion to an interaction with Harvard University biologist Douglas Melton, an expert on embryonic stem cell biology, although Melton vehemently disputes Romney’s recollection of their conversation. Romney subsequently vetoed a bill on pro-life grounds that expanded access to emergency contraception in hospitals and pharmacies (the legislature overrode the veto).

Wikipedia

Edit: So, Mitt got elected Governor of Massachusetts by convincing the voters he was a moderate Republican.

Politicians who change their views to match their constituents’ do not worry me– it is politicians who ignore their constituents’ views that worry me.

Fact Check

Dubious Denver Debate Declarations

I caught only the last half of the first presidential debate last night. What I found was that, except for their presentations, both presidential hopefuls pretty much delivered the same message. What was the message?

“As a matter of fact, ‘Facts don’t matter.'”

That’s too bad.

In terms of presentation, Willard, who isn’t (yet) president, looked more presidential than Barack, who is.

My takeaway? The course of the federal government will not be even slightly changed by our choice of president. These two candidates just aren’t different enough.

Christ for Prez

This one makes me laugh on the outside and cry on the inside…

celtic straits

Who would Jesus align with in the political America of 2010?


“I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires.” – Susan B. Anthony (1820-1906), U.S. reformer, suffragist

“Every man thinks God is on his side. The rich and powerful know he is.”
– Jean Anouilh, French dramatist, playwright

“You can safely assume you’ve created God in your own image when it turns out he hates all the same people you do.” -Anne Lamott, Author

Someone forwarded me a recent blog on readersupportednews.org, an overtly liberal political site. In the blog, an unknown author writes a “humorous” piece in the form of a news article about Jesus being selected as a Supreme Court nominee. In the article, the GOP is rallying in the press to reject the nominee (or should I capitalize it, “Nominee”?)…

View original post 2,139 more words

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