Modular Synth Blog Catch-Up

I think that the last module I built was a CGS Wave Multiplier. This module creates interesting timbres by folding triangle waves over on themselves. It’s hard to describe what it actually does (particularly since I’m not sure that I really understand what it actually does) but the net effect is that it creates timbral changes that can sound like filter sweeps, pulse-width modulation, or ring modulation. It adds a lot of character to a simple triangle or pulse wave, so you can get fairly interesting signals from just a single oscillator. If you feed several audio-frequency signals into its various inputs, you can get some really wild noises. read more

Travelogues and Modular Synth Blog Restored

I’ve finished restoring most of the content from this site which I lost after it was hacked and used as a spam relay. The blogs from our travels in France and Italy, and of my modular synthesizer construction project, are now available here. You can reach them by clicking the appropriate item at the top of the page.

Woo Hoo! Go Illinois!

Thanks to my partner Chris for mentioning this on his SMG blog. If you’re thinking “can they do that?” the answer is an unequivocal yes. It’s covered in the House Rules and Manual, the document which covers procedures used in the House of Representatives. You can read the whole thing here, but here’s an excerpt containing the relevant passage [emphasis mine]:

In the House of Representatives there are various methods of setting an impeachment in motion: by charges made on the floor on the responsibility of a Member or Delegate (II, 1303; III, 2342, 2400, 2469; VI, 525, 526, 528, 535, 536); by charges preferred by a memorial, which is usually referred to a committee for examination (III, 2364, 2491, 2494, 2496, 2499, 2515; VI, 543); or by a resolution dropped in the hopper by a Member and referred to a committee (Apr. 15, 1970, p. 11941- 42; Oct. 23, 1973, p. 34873); by a message from the President (III, 2294, 2319; VI, 498); by charges transmitted from the legislature of a State (III, 2469)... read more

Joys of Home Ownership #437

Grass–as in lawns, not as in prarie grass or controlled substances–is one of the banes of the modern homeowner’s existence. Now that we no longer keep sheep (most of us, anyway) the stuff has no useful purpose. I suppose it’s handy if you have kids, but I don’t. It consumes vast amounts of water and people dump tons of polluting chemicals, herbicides, and pesticides on their lawns every year in an attempt to perpetuate the anachronism. It’s a particularly stupid thing to have here in arid Colorado. Hence Tracie and I are converting chunks of the lawn into flower beds which require less water and maintenance. read more

Being a Kid in the Old Days

The following email essay, reproduced with bad punctuation and formatting intact, is sort of cutesy but also sort of thought-provoking. The points about risk-taking, innovation, and dealing with disappointment are particularly relevant from the point of view of considering the ongoing evolution of the species.

TO ALL THE KIDS WHO WERE BORN IN THE 1930’s 40’s, 50’s, 60’s and 70’s !!

First, we survived being born to mothers who
smoked and/or drank while they carried us.

They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing,
tuna from a can, and didn’t get tested for diabetes.

Then after that trauma, our baby cribs were
covered with bright colored lead-based paints. read more

Picture Test

I’m fiddling with a plug-in for WordPress called WPG2 which lets one integrate a Gallery-based photo gallery into WordPress posts. This is a test. Here’s a photo:


Hah. It seems to work.

Hmm. Doesn’t look so good if you click the image. I’ll have to figure that out.

Blog Open Again, Sort Of

While there is no evidence here, I’ve been spending some time on this website again. I downloaded the 30-day trial of Dreamweaver and started building a new site with it. It’s a very nice program, but I came to a few conclusions. First, it’s way more than I need in terms of site design. It does all sorts of neat stuff, much of which I’ll never use and can’t be bothered to learn. Second, I now find site design and construction to be deadly dull work. I mean, it’s so screamingly dull that I can’t stand it. If I wanted to build web sites, I’d still be working as a web engineer for Rational Software. Third, given what I have in mind for my web site, I really need some sort of active-content thing. I need to be able to add articles, news items, and random little things (like this). I don’t want to have to fire up Dreamweaver just to post something about how the honeysuckle we planted last year has lots of leaf buds on it now (which it does), particularly since Dreamweaver’s license won’t let me put it on every computer in the house. Fourth, I can’t quite see spending $400 on Dreamweaver, given the previous points. read more