trump absolutely needs to go in 2020

I have tried to keep my mouth shut on this blog with regards to Trump. I tried to write about him back in 2016 (you can go look for yourselves) but gave up when I realized it didn’t do any good. Or at least nothing fabulous like removing him from office.

But this past month goes beyond merely evil and stupid to Supremely Evil and Stupid. He has tried since being elected to show just how much he holds everyone who isn’t like him in utter contempt.

What has gone screaming over the absolute edge for me is his playing golf up at one of his clubs while the rest of the Caribbean suffers under Dorian and the rest of us along the Atlantic seaboard where Dorian is forecast to pass over the next few days. Trump blew off an overseas trip to Poland to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the start of WWII, saying he needed to stay in America and keep an eye on events surrounding Dorian. Then he blew that off and went to play golf down at the Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, Virginia. Yeah, one of his. Legend has it that Nero fiddled while Rome burned. We have the modern day equivalent; Trump plays golf while the rest of the world (including the US) goes to hell.

Trump doesn’t know what a category 5 hurricane is (“But a category 5 is something that, uh, I don’t know that I’ve never even heard the term…”). He repeated twice that Alabama was going to be hit, and both times the Alabama Weather Service had to tell everyone in Alabama that Alabama was in no danger. And while death and destruction reign supreme on the Bahamas, where Dorian is still stalled out, Trump is out playing golf. While the US citizens living on the Florida, Georgia, both Carolinas, and now Virginia coasts are under warnings and watches and just waiting for Dorian to move, Trump plays golf. And while the Bahamas continue to get pounded even now, Trump plays golf.

Today is the day to start working on a candidacy, any candidacy, to vote Trump out of office. To vote in more House and Senate candidates who aren’t craven coward Republicans cowering before Trump. To vote in a President who isn’t a national security disaster, a Russian stooge. You want to make America great again? Let’s start with putting someone in the Whitehouse who doesn’t lie, cheat, and steal from everyone. Who puts country first. Replace Trump in 2020.


ulysses organization and old geek reminiscences

The three views of Ulysses
The three views of Ulysses

A bit of Ulysses cleanup. Ever since I installed the app, long before Ulysses changed to a subscription model, I was using the application, just puttering about.

I would start writing something, anything, and then I would just walk away and quickly forget. I’ve got all sorts of little (and some big) writing pieces in the Library, all of them uncategorized. Tonight I changed that by creating a category (or group in Ulysses parlance) for the blog named arcane science lab.

I’ll be slowly adding more as time goes on, especially one devoted to using the Raspberry Pi and all the little tiny computers you can get for just tens of dollars. As a kid growing up the best I could find would have been tubes (such as the ubiquitous 12AX7A, first manufactured back in the late 1940s before I was born) or individual transistors (too many to mention by individual name). When I was in high school, shops like Lafayette Electronics and old-school Radio Shacks carried all those parts as well as initial RTL (resistor-transistor logic) and DTL (diode-transistor logic) integrated circuits. They were quite primitive by today’s standards, but they worked and opened up a whole new universe of invention beyond just individual components.

By the time I started engineering school in 1972 I’d ‘graduated’ to Texas Instruments TTL (transistor-transistor logic) SSI (small scale integration). I had stacks of Texas Instruments part manuals around my room, as well as Fairchild, National Semiconductor and Sylvania and a startup by the name of Intel. Everything was socketed and wire-wrapped. While in college I started playing with early 8-bit CPUs, such as the Intel 8080, Motorola 6800, and MOS 6502. Especially the 6502.

The 6502 was so cheap compared to everything else, and so easy to hook into other ICs and memory and peripheral chips. I built more than a few small computers, all of them in assembly. I used an Apple 2, and then a Commodore 64, to write 6502 assembly kernels and monitors, and then use a special board to program EPROMs with the code for my circuits. I still have some of those boards (and I may write more detail about those experiennces).

Then I got a Real Job, found my future wife and married her, and moved into that part of my life where I helped raise a family and worked a career. But I never forgot those days of total creative control. I grew tired of watching computers that were once open get locked down. I lamented the loss of control until I read about the Raspberry Pi back in 2012, finally ordering one back in 2013.

Using the Raspberry Pi opened up the floodgates to the ‘maker’ world and Adafruit and Arduino. That’s where I started to really see the power of these computerized peripherals. I became entranced with the ARM architecture that underpinned nearly all the boards, learning to write ARM assembly language. It reminds me philosophically of the 6502.

So here I am using many of these components, as well as other individual components such as stepper motors and complex peripherals. For example, the NeoPixel. You sent it commands to have it light up in a practically infinite number of colors. And there are other peripheral chips with parallel port capabilities I’ve used. It just goes on an on. It’s like I’ve come home, except I would have given one of my kidneys to have any one of these electronic devices back in the 1970s and early 1980s.