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Montecristo Captain Quixote

montecristo

The World Line of the Horizon Star

Some would say I was a lost man in a lost world


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Montecristo Captain Quixote
montecristo

I got some groceries, some peant butter, to last a couple of days

I hardly ever know where to pick this writing, after a long absence. Things have been so busy for me since about October of last year. Work has picked up for me. I've got a new project going on, upgrading the capacitor bank control software. Today I blew up a neutral current input simulator that I put together by getting the leads on the wrong terminals and putting a 120 VAC signal across it. Oops. Did you know that the magic smoke inside of electronic components smells awful when you let it out? Who knew?

In other news, my dear ex-wife's water broke at 5:00 this evening. I spoke to Shannon and Jackie around 6:30, on the way home from work today, and Crystal hadn't progressed to active labor yet. She's having another boy...and she's forty. Now she's got our two girls and two boys with her second husband. She should share more often! I don't see my children nearly enough. It was a big change to go to living by myself from having daughters and a wife at home. I've been thinking about that kind of stuff a bit more lately. I think Shannon is going to come down for a visit this weekend.

My mom has sent me another sampler from P.B.Loco Gourmet Flavored Peanut butters. This is a peanut butter manufacturer that mixes weird flavors into the peanut butter. Mom sent me a box last month with "Raspberry White Chocolate", "Sumatra Cinnamon and Raisin", and "Dark Chocolate Duo." Another box of the same three flavors was waiting on my porch when I got home this evening. They have more flavors than that — some that I am actually leery of trying and others that look intriguing. I've been dying to share them with my children and some of my friends but the jars just haven't lasted! I have a habit of pulling out a scoop and eating it without even putting it on anything. This stuff is addictive! My favorite is the raspberry and white chocolate.

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far, away, Mr. prolixfootle played that "Interview Me" meme and I joined in the fun as well and asked for five questions.



Everybody knows the rules for this one:

  1. Leave me a comment saying, "Interview me."

  2. I will respond by asking you five questions.

  3. Update your LJ with the answers to the questions.

  4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the post.

  5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.



I can't say how soon I will come up with intriguing questions, but I will give it my best shot. If you can read this post that means I probably have read you long enough to come up with at least a couple of interesting questions from the depths of my curiosity.


  1. Have you ever thought about relocating back to the Buckeye State? What might entice you to do that?

    Now that's an interesting question, Mr. Footle. I was born in Ohio, in some pretty picturesque country, if I do say so myself, and I grew up there. I have family all over the country, but most of them are still in Southern Ohio. I've thought about going back to Ohio every once in awhile. It's mostly a flight of fancy though. My family keeps telling me that ought to "come home" to Ohio so I can be with them. That would be the biggest enticement to go. If my family have not been able to entice me to move back there in all this time then I don't think that there is anything that ever will. I'm not a big fan of winter at all and I have been fascinated by California since I was a youngster and fell in love with this state when I moved here in 1996. I knew that it was the home of my soul since I got off the plane for the first time. It's my home now.

  2. What’s the status of the McGuffin project? Are you ever cong to confess that it’s really a revolutionary new way to deliver porn to the home market?

    Oh Mr. Footle, that is such a large question. The problem of telling people what this project is, after all this time especially, is that I will either be regarded as a complete crack-pot or a ridiculous boaster if I do. LiveJournal would not have been my first choice for telling anyone exactly what McGuffin is, but now that the patent has published and there is no real reason for not finally answering this question.

    McGuffin is a project in what is commonly called "Cold Fusion." The reason I put the term cold fusion in quotation marks is because almost everyone else who has been working on this idea has a bit different set of ideas about what is going on in the phenomenon they have termed cold fusion. Most researchers believe that these reactions involve some mechanism for overcoming the Coulombic barrier and forcing two deuterons together to give helium and release energy. My friend Robert G.'s novel idea is that what is happening is not a collision of protons but rather a process similar to electron capture, whereby one of the quarks making up the proton that is the hydrogen nucleus undergoes a flavor change, resulting in a low-momentum neutron with a high cross-section for hydrogen isotopes. This flavor change can occur, we believe, when hydrogen nuclei (protons) are "loaded" into the crystal lattice of a metal like paladium or nickel and then that lattice is stimulated with phonons induced by an exremely short, sharp, high-current pulse. The neutrons produced combine with the hydrogen isotopes in the following proposed manner: a neutron combines with the protium nucleus, giving deuterium and releasing energy. The deuterium collides with a another low-momentum neutron giving tritium and releasing energy. Finally, the tritium collides with yet another neutron giving a hydrogen isotope with three neutrons and releasing energy. Finally, the hydrogen four isotope is inherently unstable and spontaneously beta-decays into a helium 4 nucleus, which also releases energy. He's dubbed this idea the Quantum Fusion Hypothesis and has developed a control system to drive the inputs to an electrolysis cell with a paladium or nickel core. The reactor consists of a beaker full of water and sodium hydroxide and two paladium or nickel electrodes.

    He and I and two of our other friends, Don and Tom, formed a company we named Profusion Energy to try and exploit the technology. So far, we are pursuing a patent on an experimental reactor. We've done some experiments which have produced unusual thermal behaviors. Analysis of the water in the reaction vessel has found traces of tritium.

    Right now, the company is attempting to scrounge up two million dollars in operating capital to establish an electronics lab where work with the reactor in a calorimeter can definitively establish the production of energy beyond what is input to drive the reaction. Sounds completely crackpot, doesn't it. Surely the idea is too big for four guys essentially operating out of a garage. The porn idea would be less incredible, wouldn't it. If it works, it will change almost everything in our civilization and of course if it doesn't then we are yet another group of eccentric inventors. Now we know why I have not talked about it before now. Of course, there has always been the problem of giving away the principle and secrets involved in building the reactor, but that is not an issue now so much as the patent office has published the patent.

  3. Anything happening on the romantic front?

    As you said, Mr. Footle: "She could be a dream but — oh boy — is she real." This is such a complicated question. Truth be told, as much as I have been out and dating for the past couple of years now, I'm still pretty much a hermit. I have what I call "a talent for solitude." Most of the time I have been pretty content to be by myself. I've been out and met some really great people and had lots of fun but nobody has really "resonated" with me beyond small infatuation...until around October. I finally got to meet someone I had known online and been wanting to meet for about four years now. I've had a crush on her. You know how that is. You often imagine that people are more than what they are when you know them online. It's easy to do in dealing online with someone of the opposite sex, especially if they have a tendency to say things that intrigue and amuse you. I would say that more often than not, if someone develops a crush on someone in an online venue they find that upon meeting in person they've misread the person on the other end of the Internet. What do you call it if the other person turns out to be better than you've imagined them?

    At any rate, once again you've asked one of those questions that is hard to answer. The answer to this one is that I honestly don't know. There are always complications. I've spent some time with someone in whom I've been interested for some time now and I felt something go off in me, like a flare in a grain elevator. Whoosh! The lady has expressed a certain amount of feelings for me as well. There's always a catch though. Things are not as straightforward as they would seem from what I've written here but I am not feeling like elaborating further right now. I don't mean to sound coy, and if I would have read these words written by someone else I would presume that coy is exactly what the writer was being. The thing is, I truly don't know. I feel that I am in the position where something truly wonderful could happen but I am not at all sure if it is anywhere near likely. I'd say that the romantic front is "confused" right now and I am kind of waiting to see what happens there.

  4. How’s the family doing?

    The family are doing pretty good. My parents are in pretty decent shape. The daughters are in high school. Jackie has already started taking a couple of college credit courses before even graduating high school. She graduates either at the end of this calendar year or else in the spring. Shannon has been doing pretty well in an interesting program. I'm headed to Sacramento on Monday to see another exhibition of her projects. Crystal the ex-wife is, as mentioned above, popping out another child this very evening. I'd say that the family's doing quite a lot.

  5. What’re your current recommendations for our listening pleasure?

    This is another interesting question. Understandably, with all of the work and scrambling I've been doing lately, I haven't paid as close attention to what's coming out around here as I usually do. I've heard some interesting stuff on my radio though. I don't know how new some of the tunes I've listed are, but this is what I would consider new that I have been playing lately:

    • Sara Bareilles: "Love Song"

    • Rilo Kiley: "Silver Lining"

    • Robert Plant and Alison Krauss: "Gone, Gone, Gone (Done Moved On)"

    • Mike Doughty: "27 Jennifers"

    • The B-52's: "Funplex"

    • U2: "Wave of Sorrow"

    • R.E.M.: "Supernatural, Super Serious"






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And here I've been thinking, like, "really clever new startup." Cold fusion?! Jesus. :P Good luck with that! (Not sarcastically.)

Also, speaking of cute internet friends you've been meaning to meet for ages, we STILL need to get together for lunch some time. ; )

It would be fun to finally meet you.

It's good to read you again! And the project sounds fascinating to this old chemistry major.

I'm glad the family is doing well.

seriously, kitten -

you need to listen to some OTHER than KFOG...

i'm just sayin'

Yeah, KFOG does play the Marley, don't they, and all the new stuff I could come up with is played on KFOG right now. The thing is, I listen to KITS, KKSF, and KKIQ as well...

i now listen to NPR on the weekends....well, for only a few of the programs...

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