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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in MGNelson's LiveJournal:

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    Friday, February 11th, 2011
    4:59 pm
    Yup
    Yes, I'm still posting to DailyChronicles. But I'm not doing so daily. Sadly I'm just to erratic with my schedule these days. So at least for now its required the occasional story dump.

    Just an FYI.

    Matt
    Thursday, January 20th, 2011
    1:17 pm
    Not back, not really
    Yeah, I'm still not that interested in LiveJournal. It's not what I need out of a forum for discussion or keeping notes.

    That said, I'm still dragging my feet on making a new website just for my stuff as I've not done so before and am stumbling along.

    Still, I've been writing flash fiction akin to the Daily Chronicles of years past, and I need some place to put them until I get the site up.

    So I guess it's time to put them back on that part of LiveJournal.

    M
    Wednesday, March 31st, 2010
    2:44 pm
    Gosh... been awhile...
    Yes, like many, I've succumb to the ease of Twitter dark morass that prohibits me the time to actually write anything long and informative when instead I can blast out a few characters and believe that I'm being "pithy."

    Still, I don't mean to avoid Livejournal... and in fact know that I should utilize it more often now than ever. Just in a new way I would like to think.

    So, we'll see.

    What have I missed over here in LJ land? The Russians still mucking things up? Dextradawn still plunking away on her pots? Anything?

    M
    Thursday, December 10th, 2009
    9:59 pm
    Sigh
    Not again.
    Thursday, November 5th, 2009
    12:01 pm
    Sony Service Sucks!
    It's now clear to me that the only way I'm going to get my computer back from Sony Repair is to go down to San Diego, smash down the damn door and demand my computer be handed over immediately.
    Supposedly it was finished on Monday, and should have been FedEx-ed to me on Tuesday, but here it is Thursday and it's still not here.
    This is after being without the damn thing for over 21 days. So what happened? A serious lack of communication on Sony's part and terrible customer service.
    I've called everyday for the past week to check on the status, and I've been told something different each time. Today it was that the computer is still undergoing its last "diagnostics" and should be shipped this afternoon or tomorrow. Ha, that's a new one. Before I'd been told it was completed on Monday and just waiting in their shipping department. Then I was told they couldn't deliver to my address. Then I had to give them a shipping address twice in a row. Oh, and they had my incorrect email address, despite my updating it with them several times. Now this…
    It's just stupid.
    And did I mention this is all due to faulty materials being used in their laptop? That the repair is to fix a "known problem" with the cooling system?
    So the moral of the story gang… Sony Repair Service sucks.
    Sunday, October 11th, 2009
    2:12 pm
    Recommendation for Appliance Repair?
    Can anyone recommend someone for appliance repair in SF? Even to get an assessment of the work that needs to be done?
    Tuesday, September 15th, 2009
    7:45 pm
    Monday, August 24th, 2009
    2:49 pm
    There and Back Again Burning Man Style
    Okay, I admit it... it's a bit weird to have this on and be sitting at my desk.
    Four days and counting.

    10:26 am
    Burning Man Rocket Run Report!
    And now, the Rocket Run Report!

    I just got back from the Playa.
    Yup, due to a strange set of circumstances Marian and I drove to Playa on Saturday, had a great time at the Early Man Burn, set up some camp stuff and then drove back on Sunday… Rocket Run indeed.

    But that means I can report to you regarding the conditions there and things to look out for.

    First of all, the Playa is in great condition. Very firm with only a few random patches of soft berm dust.
    The site of the Man itself is actually damn overwhelming. The center of the City currently has a nest of trees stretching 20 feet high, and the Man's not even on top of them yet. Very cool.

    It was not overly warm there over the weekend, as it remained fairly overcast. But we did get RAIN… not a lot, but be prepared to deal with wet conditions.

    The real issue is traffic. There are major road closures going over 80 in the Sierras. We just missed those going up. But coming down, we were screwed and I had to sit in bumper to bumper traffic for an extra hour around Vacaville. Plan accordingly and try to travel during the day as much as possible, as the roadcrews are working at night and shutting down the roads completely in some cases. There is even a website in place to plan your trip over the Sierras at http://getacross80.com/ Be advised that past Truckee and before the Nevada border the road shrinks down to a single lane of traffic with concrete dividers on either side of the road. It's a bit like slot car racing and very nerve-racking. What this really means though is don't pack your vehicle so that it extends much on either side AND if you make it through there without being stuck behind some jackass in a Art Bus that's scraping the dividers, count yourself lucky.

    Just remember to plan accordingly, leave early and expect delays.

    Good luck!

    Matt


    PS- Some of you noticed that I was sending Text messages and posting to Twitter from my phone while actually out on the Playa. The rumors are true, THERE IS CELL PHONE SERVICE on the Playa. But… and here's the funny part… I wouldn't plan on using it. Apparently a fella rented out some land from the farmer that owns the land at the nearby Frog Pond and he installed a temporary tower to provide service. But, as it's only one tower it only has the capacity to handle about 3,000 users at a time, and with limited connectivity at that. So when 50,000 people all try texting at once… you get the picture. The farmer didn't know that the Burning Man Org really isn't too keen on the idea, and so he probably won't make that deal again next year, but for this year the tower is in place.
    I can also tell you that texting is frowned upon on the Playa. I got chewed out for texting by several folks. The funniest thing, they all told me to go text in the Porta Pottie if I really had to. So beware, if you're waiting in line at the Porta Pottie's the person in front of you might have been doing something really dirty, like posting a Tweet.
    Friday, August 14th, 2009
    11:33 am
    10-year-old student reporter interviews President Obama
    While this interview is clearly as much a PR stunt as a real voicing of issues... I'm truly heartened to see our President take the time to be interviewed by a 10-year-old boy and actually talk to him directly and without "dumbing things down" per se.
    And can you imagine our last president doing this? Taking on the hard issues of school bullies and then moving on smoothly to school lunches and funding for low-income schools?
    It's 10 minutes long, but worth the time to watch.
    I'm also reminded of the old pictures of President Kennedy shaking hands with a young Bill Clinton.

    Tuesday, August 11th, 2009
    12:06 pm
    Monday, August 10th, 2009
    12:38 pm
    The Evolution of Tobacco Marches On!
    I'm a reformed smoker. I admit it. And as I haven't had a cigarette in over 10 years, I get to claim a bit of that smug-self-satisfaction that can be so damn annoying to people that still step outside for that quick cig after dinner or sex or a nice beer or…

    Damn, ya know… sometimes I still miss them.

    I also have to admit that I'm an addict for another product. Whenever I leave the house, I always make sure I have a package of Listerine PocketPaks on me. After a cup of coffee or a spicy dinner, I just "don't feel right" unless I have a nice mint strip to cleanse the pallet.
    (Okay, maybe that's not an addiction per se, but you get the point.)

    Well guess what? Through the magic of modern science we now have both these products in one!

    Check out R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company's latest attempt to keep their business alive by providing tobacco to the masses!




    I'm not sure what stuns me more about this attempt at a new product launch, the utter brilliance of it, or the utter desperation and confusion it obviously denotes in the management of R.J. Reynolds.

    It's brilliant, because as more and more states make it illegal to light up a cigarette anyplace other than alone in a hardscrabble pasture 100 feet from any other living thing, this skirts those laws by removing the actual smoking. Now you can have the taste and nicotine fix of a Camel cigarette anywhere! All you need to do is slip one of these under your tongue or chew a piece of gum.

    But of course, this is also assumes that cigarette smokers "just" want the taste and nicotine of a cigarette! Is there really a market for a product that gives you that taste of cigarette feeling in your mouth while upping your Nic-Fix satisfaction?
    Actually there is, and it's called Nicorette… which is actually a stop-smoking product. So is R.J. Reynolds now in the stop smoking business? Certainly not. They're really just trying to find a new route to keep their business alive, but I digress.
    The humor of this is whether or not R.J. Reynolds is seriously backing this product line. Would anybody really be interested in chewing Camel cigarette gum? Or using a cigarette strip to get the flavor of things and ease their nerves?
    I really doubt it. The draw of cigarette smoking for new users has always been a combination of the "cool" image of lighting up and the social aspect of sharing it with friends. It's only later that the addiction of nicotine keeps people involved, along with the taste that they've grown to actually enjoy. With these things, you're going to be able to chew happily on your cigarette flavored nicotine strip. Where's the "fun" in that?
    When the availability of using a dissolving strip first came on the scene many years ago, for allergy medicine if memory serves, I predicted that that method of delivery would be used for a lot of drugs in the future. Analgesics, decongestants… heck, someday you might just put a dissolving strip under your tongue instead of a morphine drip after surgery… but creating dissolvable cigarettes… you gotta be kidding.

    (Oh, and oddly enough, warren_ellis - the Twitter-blocking Monkeyshagger and admitted nicotine addict – is the one that shared this… go figure.)
    Thursday, August 6th, 2009
    10:34 am
    LEAVE MY SOCIAL MEDIA ALONE!
    Twitter, LiveJournal and even Facebook... all under Denial of Service attacks? Is Iran to blame...? (or is it just Myspace... ;-)

    Sure, it's a joke... but it seems that DoS attacks are going to be more and more of a burden not only for commerce sites, but for social media as well. Why should we care? Will the world end if I can't post cute pictures of swimming tigers for an afternoon? Of course not!

    But then again, Twitter is ingratiating itself more every day with the media and with mass-communications. This kind of DoS attack happening during the height of the Iran riots would have crippled a global movement of support.

    So is this just a practice run on Social Media sites for the next large scale social outrage event? Or is it a "wake-up call" by hackers about the importance of such systems and that they be hardened to protect against real attacks at some other time? I've written many a news story about viruses or online attacks that the perpetrator then told me that they had started it to "show the vulnerabilities of the system!" as a call to fix glaring security gaps.

    In some respects, they're right to claim it! I'm sure some "to-remain-nameless" software companies would be happy to put out software system after software system with lots of flashy new features and very little security... but frankly that's naive. We do need efficient and secure (as we can make them) communication systems, especially in this day and age of being accustomed to global information flow.

    On the other hand, if this turns out to be yet another standard DoS attack of a well known type just to be a pain in the ass and allow some yucklehead his giggles from his basement somewhere.. then what's the point?

    Right now I have friends of mine with their feet on the ground in Twitter HQ working their asses off. I'm sure it's the same in LJ land and elsewhere. I wish them luck, and speed in their work.

    But this should stand as a reminder if nothing else... Social Media is taking a more important role in our daily lives. Sure, the start of it was all "I'm eating a burrito" and pictures of tigers, but now it's also letting the world know of dangers, outrages, and important issues.
    In other words, news.
    And do you want your news denied to you?

    And now, here's another picture of a tiger swimming:


    Friday, July 31st, 2009
    4:44 pm
    Thursday, July 30th, 2009
    1:45 pm
    Victorian Outfit?
    Dear Lazy Web SF-Style: Anybody got advice on where to buy/rent a Victorian Suit etc? I have a wedding to attend next month of that style... And while I'm sure I can find some steampunky stuff at Brass Topic (oh wait... that store doesn't exist yet, right?) I'm hoping to get a lead on something affordable to wear.

    Help?
    Friday, July 17th, 2009
    9:23 am
    Chainsaw Vs. Mountain Lion
    Okay, I admit it. These days I'm more likely to just share a link and a headline via Twitter than LJ... but this one was just so out there that I had to share it wider than usual.

    Man uses chain saw in Wyo. mountain lion attack

    Wednesday, July 8th, 2009
    11:10 am
    Never to See this Image Again?
    Back in 2005 I vacationed in Australia with my brother, and we flew to Uluru (formerly Ayer's Rock) to check it out. as part of our trip, we had the option of climbing the rock if the weather was just right.
    It was, in fact, quite dangerous at parts, and I was told that the local Aborigines men had considered the climb a right of passage. I found the whole climb and experience quite moving actually and remember it well. The icon to the left was actually taken onto of Uluru in fact.
    It was only when we'd already gone up the rock that I found out the local tribes frown on foreigners climbing the rock, as they consider it part of their religious tradition.
    I have to admit that if I had known ahead of time, I still probably would have done the climb. Even not knowing, I did the whole climb with a... well... a respect for the site and the thousands of years of tradition associated with it. And I do see where the Aborigines are coming from with their complaints.
    Well, seems the climb may be officially banned soon:
    Australia's plan to ban Uluru climb sparks debate

    This is a tough debate in my opinion. Thoughts?
    Wednesday, July 1st, 2009
    4:40 pm
    Cleaning Advice?
    Hey Gang,

    So while you guys are all running around the Playa and basking in the sunshine, I'll probably be sticking around the new place, moving boxes and unpacking. However, all this cleaning/organizing is getting me in the mood to take care of another problem I've noticed.

    My bike, although lovely, is dirty.

    Yup, I know my Triumph is 10 years old and has seen some love, but ever since SOMEONE WHO WILL REMAIN NAMELESS went and bought a BRAND NEW TRIUMPH, I've been thinking my bike really should get some TLC to bring out the shine.

    So any advice on good products to not only get road grit out, but to buff up the pipes to their former glory? Something to get the road dings outta the forks? The pine tar off the fender?

    Anybody?

    Matt
    4:19 pm
    4:08 pm
    Beer Consumption by State
    Fascinating Infographic on the average consumption of beer by state.


    Note that Nevada has the one of the highest consumption of beer rates in the Nation, and Reno is considered to have the highest rates of alcoholism.
    I'm pondering, however, what effect our little jaunts into the Black Rock Desert have on such numbers? After all, for a week in August the supposedly third largest Nevada city is on a near constant drunk while attempting to Piss Clear.
    And where do we buy our booze?
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