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132 F'n Saint

About valis

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    Super Anarchist

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    Friday Harbor, WA

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  1. valis

    LED bulb replacement - bow light - suggestions?

    Marinebeam is also very good when it comes to not generating radio interference. This probably isn't a big issue for a bow light, but it sure is for a masthead tricolor located right next to the VHF antenna. Marinebeam has good specs, and I've done radio spectrum analyzer tests on a couple of their products and they are *much* less radio-noisy than some of their competitors. I did this a few years ago, so some of the other guys may have cleaned up their act by now.
  2. valis

    Oct 14 earthquake Bay Area

    Felt it near Bodega Bay. Heard a noise, the house gave a quick shake and creaked once, and a hanging light fixture was swaying a bit. Really quite minor where we were.
  3. valis

    Residential Wiring: transfer switch with Solar

    I should know this stuff -- I used to work quite closely with the two guys that later started Enphase (a microinverter company). In fact, I hired the guy who is their "Chief Products Officer", to do board-level electro-optical interface design for us. But I never dug very deeply into the microinverter specs, I was too busy sailing.
  4. valis

    Residential Wiring: transfer switch with Solar

    Yes, but in my system the generator doesn't start until after the transfer switch has flipped. With a solar grid-tie backfeed system, since it is running whenever the sun is shining couldn't this potentially back-feed the utility lines during the brief interval between loss of utility power and transfer switch activation? I do suspect that the solar grid-tie inverter is designed to prevent this from happening, but I don't know for sure -- thus the recommendation to call an expert.
  5. valis

    Residential Wiring: transfer switch with Solar

    We've got a big generator, but a bigger house. We have an automatic mains transfer switch / generator controller that feeds one of our two main breaker panels at the house. The critical stuff; wells, pressure pumps, septic tank pump, refrigerator, some lights and outlets, TV, computers and network gear -- about half the house -- are on the transfer-switch-fed breaker panel. We don't have solar, but you could connect the solar inverter to the house-side of the transfer switch. I would want someone who knows what they are doing to make sure that the inverter and/or transfer switch timing ensured that you wouldn't momentarily back-feed the mains during a power outage. Our power goes out for a few seconds while the transfer switch flips and the generator starts up, so perhaps a regular grid-tie inverter would already have that safety stuff built in. I suppose the power-back-on sequence introduces some nasty phase discontinuities, but it hasn't damaged our equipment, and this is something that a regular grid-tie inverter should be able to handle. Again, getting expert advice would be prudent.
  6. valis

    Musical Anarchists Thread?

    Mayer does those pull-offs really well.
  7. Watch out for that double-negative, but we know what you mean.
  8. Yes, exactly the point I was attempting to make. I suppose the assigning a relative likelihood to currently unknowable things may be a bit problematic, but that's way above my pay grade. So I just call 'em as I see 'em.
  9. Suppose you're thinking about a plate of shrimp... Love that movie!
  10. There are many smart and sincere people who believe that they have encountered aliens. Regardless, I still consider human testimony to be among the least reliable means of arriving at the truth, especially under emotionally-charged circumstances. Our brains are designed to find patterns, even when none exist. We reach incorrect conclusions all the time. There can be a thin veil separating reality from dreams from hallucination (as any sleep-deprived sailor who has had to hand-steer a boat for hours in the fog can testify.) Now if *I* see an alien spaceship then I will believe. I will have become one of those people whose testimony I now so casually discount. Such is the fun of being a human.
  11. I think it's extremely unlikely. But it's one of those theories that we can't disprove. And yet I do think it likely that there is extraterrestrial life, and we can't disprove that either. As we say in the SETI field, "Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence." and that certainly applies to God as well. I just find "God" to be an unsatisfying solution to all the questions we have no answers for. It's the all-purpose, all-powerful, all-unknowable nature of God that I don't like. You can substitute anything you like for "God" and still "answer" all your questions. Flying Spaghetti Monster? Just as extremely unlikely. I know, I'm going to hell. I do think that "do unto others as you would have them do unto you" is a pretty good rule, and I do try to live my live according to it, so if there *is* a God (and I'm not saying there couldn't be), I hope he cuts me some slack.
  12. I have no idea. I just know that it's more likely that these things are man-made or some strange mirage / reflection / whatever. I consider the "alien technology" explanation to be about as probable as the "God is creating these things to teach us a lesson" theory. Why not "God" rather than aliens? Equally provable and equally unlikely; the least likely explanations in my opinion. If the aliens could violate the laws of physics as we know them and wanted to visit, they wouldn't bother hiding. I do think it *extremely* likely that there are ET's out there in the universe. I used to hang out with Frank Drake and the SETI crowd, and got to see the early results from the Kepler imaging probe. The number of likely earthlike exoplanets greatly exceeds our previous assumptions. And it's a huge universe. with no reason the believe that life has to be limited to human-friendly habitats. But the distances are so vast that without wormholes or alien physics there's no reason to think that they would buzz our planet just to mutilate some cows(*). So until we see an alien Identified Flying Object, I'm going to assume that these videos show something else. (*) Yes, I know that we shouldn't lump together all the crackpot UFO lore and then use that crazy mess to invalidate the whole field. My point still stands though.
  13. Probably not. That's a mighty long leap from "we admit that those are legitimate videos of unidentified phenomena" to "the little green men are here" that you just made there.
  14. valis

    The Falling Man

    I'm not saying we're perfect. The GWOT was a huge and horrible mistake. But fuck off anyway.
  15. valis

    The Falling Man

    I'm not claiming that this introspection was widely appreciated here in the USA. To many of us it felt like "blaming the victim". But some of it did sink in to the national psyche.