Ekto gammit

Natural Gas Development in Bucks County

I went to the “Educational Forum – Natural Gas Development in Your Community” last night (April 12, 2012) and decided  to make some notes:Palisade HS at night

It was interesting… According to the ‘panel’ there aren’t any plans for fracking in Bucks County, and that since Bucks doesn’t have any ‘unconventional’ wells it would be very expensive to frack here (compared to communities that already have unconventional wells). Scott Perry (DEP Deputy Secretary – Oil&Gas Management) actually seemed believable ;’) Most of the rest were your standard bullshitters (and I expand that to include self-serving narratives, evading answers).

The only pol there who seemed worth listening to was Sen. McIlhinney, and he seemed to lose his cool pretty quickly when he realized the audience didn’t agree with his perception that ‘they’ had done a wonderful job with this legislation (Act 13). Read more ›

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Posted in People

Regarding Marc Randazza

Marc Randazza is a First Amendment attorney

out of Las Vegas that has spent a lot of time defending Free Speech. Marc’s blog The Legal Satyricon is well worth a visit.

A recent opinion piece he wrote regarding Rush Limbaugh can be found at CNN here. Marc’s been influential in promoting Anti-SLAPP legislation:

SLAPP [Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation] suits are brought by people who know very well that they will never prevail in the case. Bringing the case is their punishment of those who criticize them. You do not really have freedom of expression without an anti-SLAPP law on the books in your state.

SLAPP lawsuits are simply another way to stifle free speech.

And regarding Fair Use (of copyrighted material):

My grievance with Righthavenwas that it really took the concept of copyright, as being a thing to protect creative expression, and simply turned it into a money-generating machine, and more offensively, it did so without regard for fair use. As a First Amendment attorney, the most important part of the Copyright Act, to me, is Section 107 that protects fair use. You must have fair use in order to have free speech. Otherwise, you can simply use copyright to privately stifle that which the government never could. I found it objectionable that Righthaven was suing people for what was clear fair use with no regard for it whatsoever.

In a time when morals take a second (or worse) place in the Justice system, it’s good to know there’s still a few guys like Marc around.

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Posted in People

End of Life Decisions, Planning

Good article describing remarkable differences in how people in the medical field view treatment for life-threatening illness: How Doctors Die « Zócalo Public Square

It turns out they often don’t make the same decisions that are recommended to patients, and appear to place much higher value on quality-of-life factors. 

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Posted in People, Uncategorized

Rogue Anti-Virus Removal

Over the past few years I’ve had a number of clients who have been hit with ‘fake’ Virus alerts/warnings that are intended to alarm the user into scanning their system and eventually paying to have the fake virus removed.

I have found the safest way to deal with these is to get the computer re-booted into Safe Mode as soon as possible and then to do a scan with Malwarebytes AntiMalware. Here’s how you can do that:

Read more ›

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Posted in Computers

How to switch to Microsoft Security Essentials Anti-Virus

Most of my clients and friends want an Anti-Virus solution that’s simple and cheap, and I have found myself installing Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) on more and more Windows systems.  It has a small footprint, doesn’t drain a lot of resources, and automatically updates.  It’s also free ;’)

Please note: MSE will not install unless you have a ‘valid’ copy of Windows (XP, Vista, 7 or 8).
Here’s the procedure I use in most circumstances:
Read more ›

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Posted in Computers

Seagate ST35000620AS Failure

I received a call from someone with a two year-old Hewlett Packard Pavilion Slimline Photo of crappy drivewho told me the system would no longer boot.  I started talking him through some troubleshooting procedures so I could get a better handle on what was going on when he read an error to me that appeared on his screen: “Error- Non-System disk or disk error. Replace and strike any key when ready.”

Wow…  It had been a long time since I had seen that error, one that was more common 10 or 15 years ago, when hard drives had less life span and reliability.  I told him there was nothing we could do over the phone, that I needed to get his computer, and we made arrangements.

As soon as I got it back to my lair, I determined that BIOS was not seeing a drive any longer.  I booted up off a ‘live’ GParted CD-ROM and Gparted reported an error; ATA1: Not responding.

I’ll cut to the chase here: It turns out that his drive is a Seagate ST35000620AS (Part No.: 9BX144-621) and is one of about 21 different Seagate/Maxtor (Seagate owns Maxtor now) models that have faulty firmware that can put the drive into a non-responsive state (read: Brick, Door-stop, etc.).

Read more ›

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Posted in Computers

Feelin’ Irish?



Lyrics | Dropkick Murphys – I’m Shipping Up To Boston lyrics

Posted in People

And now, for an existentialist moment…

What if a demon were to creep after you one night, in your loneliest loneliness, and say, ‘This life which you live must be lived by you once again and innumerable times more; and every pain and joy and thought and sigh must come again to you, all in the same sequence. The eternal hourglass will again and again be turned and you with it, dust of the dust!’ Would you throw yourself down and gnash your teeth and curse that demon? Or would you answer, ‘Never have I heard anything more divine’? -Friedrich Nietzsche

Posted in People

A friend to my Daughter and I

Published in Morning Call on February 6, 2010:
Susan R. Kernechel portrait
Susan R. Kernechel, 49, of Coopersburg died Wednesday, February 3, in her home. She was the wife of Calvin Kernechel to whom she was married for more than 24 years. Born in Philadelphia, she was the daughter of the late William and Willetta Dolly (Schmitt) Pashley. She was a member of Bethel Baptist Church, Sellersville, where she taught Sunday School, was a youth advisor and ministered to shut-ins. Survivors: Surviving with her husband are son, Nicholas Nick Kernechel at home; daughters, Jacqueline Jacquie Kernechel Brennan, Philadelphia, Chrystal Kernechel Blanton, Spartanburg, SC.

Services: 7 p.m. Monday, February 8, in Bethel Baptist Church, Sellersville. Call 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Monday in the church. The Jeffrey A. Naugle Funeral Home, 20 N. Ambler St., Quakertown is in charge of arrangements. Interment in Chestnut Hill Union Cemetery, Coopersburg. Contributions: Bethel Christian Education Trust Fund, Bethel Baptist Church, 754 E. Rockhill Road, Sellersville, PA 18960

Note: I am looking for a more recent photo, will post if I can find one

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Posted in People

Magellan Roadmate Loose Power Plug

Recently I received a call from a friend of mine who said the power plug on his GPS had “fallen off inside….” and he asked if I would be interested in taking a look at it. I thought: “Cool, a chance to take apart someone else’s stuff!” Or something like that…

Once I had it in my hands it became obvious that the power plug ‘receptacle’ had become loose inside the unit, so I took out a hammer and smashed it into little pieces. heh. Kidding. Although I think that was one of Frank’s proposed solutions…

Removing the cover exposed this:
Magellan Sans Cover
In the above image it’s not easy to determine what’s going on with the power plug, so here’s some close-ups:

Magellan Power Plug

And from a different angle, you can see the ‘lift’:

Magellan Power Plug 2

So, I whipped out my soldering iron and melted some solder… Here’s a closer look at what I found after lifting the plug receptacle off the PCB board:

Magellan PCB Sans Power Receptacle

Once the receptacle was removed, I ‘tinned’ the 4 feet that protrude from the receptacle. Then I melted the mating solder points on the PCB board. Then holding the receptacle in place, I proceeded to burn my fingers several times (solder in one hand, iron in the other, I’m lucky it was only my hands getting singed…). Eventually I found a method of leaning a light object against the receptacle so I could use both hands for soldering.

Once finished, I re-assembled and tested. Plugging in the power (male) felt solid and secure, and the unit recognized the external power source, charged batteries, etc.

Then Frank told me he had already bought another GPS… Bastard.

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Posted in GPS