07 October 2015

Two for our gummint to think upon...

...oh, and one more for a person who can do no wrong... in their own eyes, anyhow... you do actually have a possible future, one which centres on choosing to no longer be totally self-righteous, and sticking to that choice:

18 August 2015

Making good Canon LP-E6 battery-pack contacts

battery-pack contacts
Canon LP-E6 battery packs (such as those using in my 70D camera) have two fine connector wires used for charging them.  These seem to be a weak point, as (if left to themselves) they eventually fail to connect well, which means that they do not charge adequately, or (in the field) do not run the equipment at all.

One experimenter discovered that scrubbing them with the edge of a stiff business card helped to make
with (nonCanon this time) charger contacts
them good.  So I considered something more extensive.

Parts: squeeze-bottle of cleaner (I use a citrus-based cleaner from PlanetArk, which seems to be able to clean almost anything off without being excessively invasive); spray-can
equipment required
of WD-40; cheap tooth-brush, paper towels (or tissues, or bum-fodder).

Method: lightly
brush head
spray cleaner onto contacts. Gently but vigorously rub along the contacts with toothbrush. Paper-dry the contacts.

Lightly spray WD-40 onto contacts. Gently but vigorously rub along the contacts with toothbrush. Paper-dry the contacts.

wider view of brush on contacts

(optional) When thoroughly dry, add a touch of light machine oil. This wards off moisture.

This appears to be just as effective with 3rd-party battery packs.

15 August 2015

In this case, it was similar to having the garbage dispose of itself... except for the kidnappees also taken and reprogrammed into psychopathy, as was done to the kidnapper when they were an infant.

14 April 2015

Imagine a roadblock which is a wall of perfectly transparent AeroGel.

Here you are, barrelling down a highway at the speed limit, when suddenly you realise that you have come to a halt, so gently that you weren’t aware of as much as having slowed down.

Viola! You now have some idea of what is like to have been Gaslighted for over 5000 days by a person who is an emotional vampire: their goal is not to kill you, it’s to keep sucking away your self in order to present a façade of having a self themselves.

If you have been “told,” tens of thousands of times in indirect ways (never directly: you only become aware of an increasing number of knives accumulating in your back over a span of time), that you cannot succeed, that establishes just such an emotional roadblock.

Right now, teaching a Raspberry Pi to sing is not happening. I know what needs to be done. The resources to discover exactly how to do it are freely available. It simply does not happen. Welcome to the AeroGel roadblock.

The self-righteous Psychopath who spent so much time installing this roadblock in my mind can do no wrong in their own eyes. To actually imply that their integrity is less than complete inspires a rage attack (which is not the same as anger: there is no control at all). Deprogramming each of these blocks will not take place instantly.

13 April 2015

Would a book entitled “I married a Psychopath” or the like sell well?

One of the risks here for even a strong Empath is that there are no “red flags” in the differences between feelings and expression of them (body-language etc), for the very simple reason that there are no feelings, so there are no differences to sense.

It must be a lonely, empty life for someone who consists only of an empty bubble of Ego. Yet they are the only person who could change that. It begins with genuine humility (which has nothing to do with acting humble). They need to think nothing of themselves.

This may not sound so difficult until you understand that they think everything of themselves, full time. Religion (including Atheism) is not possible for them, as the only person they worship is themselves.

06 August 2014

Well, that was both nauseating and educational

Today, as I walked into a grocery store, I spotted a person whom I know (call them ‘Pan’ as a suitable acronym/handle) at the other end of an aisle.

They were dressed in a “power” colour and black, were (as always) so wrapped up in themselves that they were oblivious to everything outside their circle of interest, and were dominating a conversation with an older couple.

The husband was significantly taller than Pan, the wife significantly shorter. Pan hadn’t needed to assume an overbearing posture or anything like that, however the couple were reacting to Pan’s controlling actions as if they were puppets. The only important thing in the Universe to them at that that instant was obviously Pan.

This fits the character: to Pan, other people are only important in their appointed rôle (always, of which rôle they are completely unaware) of making Pan look good. That is all.

One of the (many) contradictions in Pan’s life is that they literally don’t care about others at all, other than that they appear to look good to said others. <shrug> I don’t know how this can be, and I very much wish that their actions had no effect on me or on those I care about.

Contra that, feelings like fear, love, anger or joy have no meaning at all for Pan beyond their use as methods for controlling others. Consequently, they have no conscience at all, and absolutely no sense of empathy.

Nausea? I remember having reacted like a puppet, in very much the same fashion.

Education? That massive disconnection from reality explains some of the apparently idiotic actions Pan has taken (legal documents applying only to premises outside their area of jurisdiction, false accusations of others having done the very things that Pan had already (and/or has since) done, painstakingly hammering false memories into the minds of innocents, that manner of thing).

As long as Pan can claim that they have taken certain actions, aspects of the situation like truth or integrity have no meaning; they are irrelevant to Pan, and so (by regal definition) irrelevant to all others. Pan can effectively get what they want, and hang the consequences, if any. The one-word term for this is bullying.’

Since angerhas no meaning for them, actions which are immediately potentially lethal (including to themselves) were not taken by Pan out of anger (although they willingly feign anger when it suits their purposes), they were taken in defence’ of a grandiose (and false) self-image.

Pan thinks that without said grandiose (and false) self-image, they have nothing and are nothing.

News Bulletin: as this self-image is a mirage (not real, not genuine at all) Pan has nothing and is nothing.

How someone who is (in emotional terms) completely heartless deals with this, I dont know. I strongly suspect that the answer is “not at all.”

01 November 2013

Equipment or Intelligence

A cowboy named Billy was overseeing his herd in a pasture in remote countryside one day, when suddenly a brand-new BMW drove towards him out of a cloud of dust.

The driver, a young man in a Brioni® suit, Gucci® shoes, RayBan® sunglasses and YSL® tie, leaned out of the window and asked the cowboy, “If I tell you exactly how many cows and calves you have in your herd, will you give me a calf?”

Billy looks at the man, who obviously is a yuppie, then looks at his peacefully grazing herd and calmly answers, “Sure, why not?”

The yuppie switches his car off, whips out his Dell® notebook computer, connects it to his Cingular RAZR V3® phone, calls up a GPS satellite to get an exact fix on his location, surfs to a NASA web page, where he feeds the location to another satellite that scans the area in an ultra-high-resolution photo.

The young man then opens the digital photo in Adobe Photoshop® and exports it to an image processing facility in Hamburg, Germany … within seconds, he received an email on his Palm Pilot® announcing that the image has been processed and the data stored.

He then accesses an MS-SQL® database through an ODBC-connected Excel® spreadsheet with email on his Blackberry® and, after a few minutes, receives a response.

Finally, he prints out a full-colour, 150-page report on his hi-tech, miniaturised hp LaserJet® printer, turns to the cowboy and says, “You have exactly 1,586 cows and calves.”

“That’s right. Well, I guess you can take one of my calves,” says Billy.

He watches the young man select one of the animals and looks on with amusement as the young man stuffs it into the trunk of his car.

Then Billy says to the young man, “Hey, if I can tell you exactly what your business is, will you give me back my calf?”

The young man thinks about it for a second then says, “Okay, why not?”

"You’re a Federal politician," says Billy.

“Wow! That’s correct,” says the yuppie, “but how did you guess that?”

“No guessing’s required.” answered the cowboy, “You showed up here even though nobody called you; you want to get paid for an answer I already knew, to a question I never asked. You used millions of dollars worth of equipment trying to show me how much smarter than me you are; and you don’t know a thing about how working people make a living – or about cows, for that matter.”

“This is a herd of sheep.”

“Now give me back my dog.”

High voltage rock and roll?

When you have a use for 4kV at up to 300mA, some of the microwave ovens so often discarded in solid-waste collection runs include these.

Driving the primary of a Tesla coil through a spark-gap (or maybe an IGBT-based switch) with one of these would lead to a really fancy-looking electric fence (modulate the pulses to make the fence play Orpheus In The Underworld, or perhaps add a MIDI interface?) which would be absolute death to any near-by electronic devices (iPhone becomes iFried or maybe even iPhirework?) however would also make a clearly visible security boundary...

Ignorance is...? Life-long shame

If you happen to be totally self-righteous and inwardly terrified that others might realise this and scorn you to oblivion, there is a very simple step you can take: realise that you’re not even fooling yourself, that we all make mistakes, that the huge mega-dose of shame you’re accumulating for yourself will be unbearable when it hits, and begin apologising.


Yes, you really are a legend in your own mind. Only.

Apologise to yourself for never having had the integrity to confront this and begin dealing with it. Then pick out, identify, and apologise to yourself for each and every failing in your life. On each such occasion, forgive yourself for that flaw. This may take some time.

With that well underway, apologise to others. It can be a minor thing, to someone you barely know: it’s important to start somewhere.

Eventually, your life can be worth something. By building up your integrity, you’re approaching a time when the world is not so terrifying. Your ultimate goal may right now seem unapproachable, however genuine humility is achievable.

21 February 2013

This morning, I saw that old truism in action: “Avarice is the root of all kinds of evil.”

As I drove by the ANZAC park, just before the new(ish) Entertainment Centre here, I drove past a pigeon
(one of several) who had been unfortunate enough to fail in a space dispute with two tonnes of moving metal... and a Silver Gull which had been so intent on eating its part (as much as possible) of the unfortunate pigeon (a gull will eat anything which gives the appearance of having once been organic in nature, so this must have given it the appearance of a banquet) that it had also failed to notice a few tonnes of moving metal, and had actually become a new layer atop the pigeon. Feathers and all.

So... be sure that your immediate goal is worth the risk before withdrawing your focus from the surrounding issues...

11 February 2013

Backup often, starting now

“Backup regularly” has just had a new win.

Behold, a letter informing a creditor that there was no reason to believe that any of half a million dollars could be collected from a debtor who had gone through a mental breakdown etc.

Behold, another letter thanking a mother-in-law for providing the final payments on a house initially bought with half a million dollars “mistakenly” paid into their own accounts by said debtor, as they had so directed.


Yes, some of the paperwork has “mysteriously” disappeared from separately kept, ordered files. The banks are obliged to keep records for long enough that said disappearance will not be permanent. If you find yourself in a hole, the obvious next step is to stop digging. Evidently, they didn’t.

Your sysadmin backing up often means that there are times when documents you have forged and forgotten to/been too careless or lazy to delete or overwrite by the time a backup happens may (have, in many cases) come back to haunt you.

I am becoming increasingly glad that honesty is my only policy. I have no pressing need to remember exactly what I said to anybody at any particular instant.

06 December 2012

Ingredients: avconv, ImageMagick, some images, a LibreOffice Writer doc, tiMIDIty, some shell scripting, DeVeDe.

Result: A video slideshow with neat fades from image to image & background music... zero ©opyright material involved anywhere.

ImageMagick scales images to 720x480 (saved as PNG for losslessness).

convert -gravity center -font "Sansation-Bold" -pointsize $PS \
        -draw "fill white text 0,0 \"$(cat 1.txt)\"" \
        transparent.png temporary-image-name.png

Make lettering,

convert -gravity center -font "Sansation-Bold" -pointsize $PS \
        -strokewidth 5 -draw "fill black text 0,0 \"$(cat 1.txt)\"" \

        -channel RGBA -blur 9x9 \
        transparent.png temporary-image-name.png

Make shadows behind lettering (for contrast). Blend all onto background image using composite ImageMagick command.

avconv -loop 1 -i image.png -target ntsc-dvd \
        -r 30 -b 2048k -crf 30 -t 10 video-chunk.mpeg

Show fixed image for ten seconds.

for i in $(seq 0 4 200); do
        j=$(printf %03d $i)

        convert -compose dissolve -define compose:args=${j} \
          background-image.png lettered-image.png \

          -composite temp-image${k}.png
        k=$(($k + 1))

Make a set of images fading from background to lettering.

avconv -i temp-image%d.png -target ntsc-dvd \
        -r 30 -b 2048k -crf 30 video-chunk.mpeg

Build a video clip fading from background image to lettering.

Use timidity to turn MIDI into WAVe files. Use sox to fade WAVe files in/out, concatenate to make a sound-track.

Now concatenate all video clips in order, feed the concatenated (MPEG2) clip to avconv with an audio track, feed the result to DeVeDe, burn video DVD.

Tomorrow’s micro-project will be to bolt the whole lot together into a single script. Save Writer doc as HTML, run script, do other stuff while the whole lot is auto-assembled. Being a Lego® kid seems to have no end.

20 November 2012

This will probably make it more difficult for Micro$oft to shamelessly swipe Android features fast enough to give the appearance of keeping up, as they evidently did prior to releasing Windows 8.

Hmmm... that would be really worth my exploring in particular for one child for whom I could most definitely adjust software in order to simplify their reconciliation of an unconventional approach with the unreasonable demands of specific others who regard that approach as defective (& would write that false assumption into all of their interaction)... except that those same others would suspect me of altering the software to report location information on the device & all manner of other delusional rubbish which I have never had the will nor intention of ever doing.

If I could deal with the others frankly, the message would be “The whole world does not think like you do. Your self-image may be staggeringly grandiose yet highly fragile, leading you to regard any lack of instant compliance with your tiniest whim to be a form of attack (so ‘justifying’ you attacking back), however ours typically is not warped that way.

“If you ever realise that essentially all of your problems are the result of your own choices & own actions, then take genuine responsibility for your actions, your life may no longer suck; you may no longer ‘need’ to cry yourself to sleep over ‘irreconcilable’ sadness about those imagined attacks, you will be able to stop hurting others (& yourself), & so get on with your life.

“Start now. Why continue to live in a self-imposed Hell? Why go to the trouble of wrecking the lives of others in order to protect yourself from ‘attacks’ which exist in your imagination only? Instead: change. The choice is yours.”

If I did deal with them so frankly, that honesty would be once again used as a weapon with which to damage other people in a futile effort to use tall-poppy syndrome as a twisted kind of self-improvement method.

Happily, I can contribute some changes anyway as they will be useful to others who face the same kinds of obstacles in their search for a better life for themselves & for others.

That matches the Golden Rule, which amounts to combating destructive sourness with goodwill & constructivism rather than with more futile sourness.

It also matches the FOSS philosophy of making useful improvements available to all, with no control/avarice booby-traps in the terms at all (a good recent example of that lives here).

So much to do, yet only 86,400 seconds in each day to do it all!

22 October 2012

OK, so I was a Lego® kid...

Problem: a LibreOffice Writer document (pasted in from from a web page a while ago) has the original URL in every footnote link... which doesn’t make for such an enjoyable off-line reading experience after has been PDFed.

If this was an MS-Word document? 
“Raise hands in air, exit stage left, screaming...”
However, we are dealing with Free/OpenSource Software here, so... fire up Konsole...

cd Documents
mkdir XYZZY
unzip ../original_document.odt
vi content.xml
zip ../new_document.odt $(find .)
rm -rf XYZZY


The document new_document now has the URLs sans host & path (http://www.frednurk.ufo/in/this/dir/filename.htm#65535 becomes #65535).

06 October 2012

So... a DVD needed a prequel video by way of brief introduction... what to do? The basic problem solving process is to break a problem down & solve each smaller piece separately, so...

Using GIMP, annotate a brief set of explicatory slides.

Using Imagination, turn those slides into a silent video clip.

Using Audacity, record a narration while the slideshow video clip is playing. Select a no-speaking part of that recording, axe all of the noise.

Using tiMIDIty, fabricate some gentle classic background music.

Using SoX, fade the music in, blend it with the narration, fade it out at the end.

Using avconv (part of libav), tack the resulting sound-stream onto the silent video clip.

Using DeVeDe, morph that & the main video clips into a standard video DVD.

Every single byte of that is FOSS. Total cost of entire production: $0. Some selfish sucker will find a way to botch this system. It works too well for the Pagan god Murphy to avoid interfering with.

06 September 2012

A rut is a grave with the ends kicked out

If this is you, now is the time to realise that all of your problems are the result of your own choices & own actions, admit that you cannot make it any better, & turn to others for real help.

The number of people recorded as entering remission without first acknowledging this essential hopelessness is zero.




The single most difficult part of any task is to begin. People who procrastinate never seem to quite get around to doing anything about ending their procrastination. So pick up a pen now, & write a list like this one (continue listing, don’t end at four):
  • Counsellor
  • Psychologist
  • Support group
  • HeadSpace
Now grab the Yellow Pages & look up at least three of each, writing the numbers down. When trading hours next happen, call to find out what constructive things can be done to end the embarrassment & futility.