the Grog Blog

I'm GregO.
Why do I have a registered, personal web site and blog that apparently seems to serve no real purpose?

Well, it's a hobby to me --- just like raising chickens on weekends is to someone else.

The articles here
are random & assorted ---
things that came to mind and I felt compelled to jot down.

I know this isn't
exactly how a blog usually looks or works but I prefer doing it this way.

To me,
writing is its own reward.

Perhaps I have a unique outlook that makes for interesting reading?

Then again, maybe I don't...



* peace *

  
 




Every man dies, not every man truly lives.  
 
 

 



 



What do you believe in your life?
Are these things true? Are they really true?
Have you ever even thought about it?
 
           

Do you even care if what you believe is actually true?
 
Getting Real
 



As I take some time off from the economic world and find myself experiencing a pseudo-sabatical I can't help but fall prey to my mind as it observes and tries to make sense of life around me within this slower pace.
 
I suppose with a lot of free time, one is afforded the luxury of mulling things over a bit more completely and perhaps slightly deeper than most people care to. Perhaps mulling them a bit TOO much (so I've been told).
 
This is a statement on our free will (the lack thereof) and the false beliefs we may hold if we don't take time to understand and see what is really going on around us.

 
Free Will and the Rat Race

 



Vegans. Vegetarians. Meat eaters. Bug eaters. Weed eaters.
What can morality say and dictate about what we choose to put
into our stomachs or not?
 
Can what I choose to eat make me a bad person? A strange person?
A good person?
 
Morality and Eating Meat
 




                                                                               -George Costanza from Seinfeld-



Here is a little essay I wrote about some Einstein physics.
    E=mc2 on the Mind
I call this one a little E=mc2 on the Mind  
 


Some useless party-chat information for you to interject into the conversation while you're standing there swaying back and forth with a drink in your hand, trying to think of something clever to say...
It is impossible to fold a sheet of paper in half, over and over, more than 7 times.
It doesn't matter what size it is (even a great big sheet of the newspaper). Try it yourself if you don't believe me.
When you're finished folding it 7 times this little bundle is a certain thickness.
Well, how thick do you think it would be if you could theoretically fold it in half 50 times in a row?
4 inches? A foot? 2 feet thick?
Nope. It would actually be about 100,000,000 miles thick (yup, that's one hundred million)!
It would stretch from the top of the table all the way to the Sun and beyond it!
I know this is hard to believe but it's true.
It's simple math, ain't math grand...*burp*

 



I'm a bit of a 'probability' fan. I've written a lot of articles about it in the past.
Some articles I've long since lost and I regret that a bit.
A few of my posted essays were read from time to time and over the years I've gotten the
odd email about them; arguing, agreeing, discussing, disgusted, all kinds...

I was once asked about, and then decided to investigate, the actual odds of playing
and winning at the game of Craps, the Vegas standard. Turns out it's much more involved
than a giddy holiday person would think, as they plunk another 20 buck bill down.
"Momma needs a new pair of shoes!"  
 
Crappy Chances? Crappy Chances?  
 



 


Have you ever been called flighty?
A dreamer.
Unrealistic. Too much of an idealist.
Strange?
Consider them actually as compliments!
I think you're doing something right in your life if people notice these traits about you.

After all, where would any of us be without mankind's dreams?

           Fields and Fields and Fields of Dreams
Fields and fields and fields of Dreams  
 


"Dear Diary,
Day 10: They still haven't discovered that I'm only a chicken...
For now, my mission continues."

 
 


You can't predict what might happen in your day to
cause you to go off on some tangent or other.

Today I think Gravity Sucks!

(I might be a bit hyperbolic here...)



Some of my neighbor’s kids were building a project for school once. While I was visiting their dad one day, they proudly showed me their model of the inner solar system. They had a basketball for the Sun, a golf ball for Mercury, a tennis ball for Venus, a baseball for Earth, and a racketball for Mars. They had them all painted up and mounted on a black 4’ by 4’ piece of plywood with the orbits painted for each one in nice silver circles.

They were so happy with their efforts I hadn't the heart to point out that the scale was all wrong. They didn't have any idea that the Earth would only be the size of an apple seed and be more than 85 or 90 feet away from the basketball if everything was done to scale.

That's the trouble with the cosmos. It's so unimaginably huge it doesn't translate easily to models and I don't think too many people actually envision just how big it really is. We see a nice picture of the solar system in a book and start thinking that's what it's like. But in fact, there is no way to represent our solar system accurately on a page in a book. The planets would be too tiny to see and mostly all of them would be right off the page to begin with.

Perspective.
How do you give people insight into such things? It made me think...
I decided, on a lark, that I wanted to try to build a little model like the kid's but I'd use my computer instead and I'd make it to the exact scale of things out there in our solar system. I also wanted to somehow include the concept of light speed which in turn would introduce a sense of the passage of time to the model. (I think we don't see the significance of distances in models of the cosmos when we stand over them like giants and are able to move and shift our focus and attention across them at speeds that would violate the laws of physics in real life).

It turned out to be a fairly quick undertaking, but I think it kind of helps one get a feel for the vast distances out there.

           From the Sun to the Earth at Light Speed!
From the Sun to the Earth at Light Speed!

 

 

This is a morse code generator.
Type something and it'll convert it into the dots
and dashes of morse code.
 
You can then send it out over the telegraph that
your great or great-great grandpa gave you...

Type in a word or phrase:



...also Ham Radio Codes

Sign Language Letters
 



You should always keep in mind the true nature of the ones you're trying to help...

The Snake and the Woman


There was once a poor farmer who could afford to own just one horse.
He cared well for the animal but one summer night it escaped through a weak fence and ran away.

 

When his neighbors discovered what had happened they visited to offer their condolences.
"What bad luck!" they exclaimed.

 

The farmer looked at them for a bit and then quietly replied, "Maybe. Maybe not."

 

——

A week later the fugitive horse happened to saunter back to the homestead but was now accompanied by six wild horses.
The farmer and his son managed to corral all of them.

 

Again the neighbors descended.
"What great luck!" they exclaimed.

 

"Maybe," the farmer quietly replied as he gazed out at his new animals, "Maybe not."

 

——

Soon the farmer's son began the work of taming the new arrivals.
But while attempting to ride one wild stallion, he was abruptly thrown to the ground and haIf trampled.
His leg was badly broken.

 

The nosey neighbors once again came to investigate.
"What terrible luck!" they exclaimed.

 

The farmer looked at his injured son and replied, "Maybe. Maybe not."

 

——

The next day soldiers visited the farmer's village.
Strife had suddenly broken out between two warlords in the area and one of them had come to conscript all the local young men to fight for him.
Though every other son was commandeered, the farmer's boy was exempted because of his injury.

 

The neighbors gathered again.
"What fantastic luck!" they exclaimed.

 

"Maybe," the farmer said, "Maybe not."

 

——


Perspective is one of most important tools to have.
Hone it well.
It'll keep you sane.


 

           Once when I felt 'bearly' safe...

 



Time, whatever it really is, is a powerful 'force' against our psyches.
The subject, though too huge and complex to do justice to on a tiny web site like this,
still intrigues me enough that I once felt compelled to scrawl some thoughts on it anyway...

                                        It's About Time
                             


This is an old favorite of mine...

Three people go to the front desk of a hotel to get a room. The desk clerk says he has one and it’ll be $30 for the night. Each person takes $10 from their pocket to pay for their share of the room and the clerk takes their 30 bucks and gives them a key.

But a little while later the clerk realizes he made a mistake. The room is actually only $25 a night so he takes 5 one dollar bills from the till and calls the bellhop over.

‘I overcharged those people’, he says to the bellhop, ‘Take these 5 dollars and give it back to them.’

The bellhop takes the money but as he’s walking down the hallway he thinks of something. Those people don’t know they’ve been overcharged so they aren’t expecting any sort of refund. Considering this, he looks around quickly then pockets $2 out of the 5 and continues on to the room with the remaining 3 dollar bills in his hand.

When he gets to the room he knocks on the door and explains they were overcharged and he’s been told to refund each of the people a dollar each. So he divides up the 3 bucks in his hand and gives each person a dollar. They thank him and close the door. He smiles to himself and walks back down the hall with the $2 profit he stole tucked safely in his pocket.

But something’s not right here! Let’s summarize the transactions.

  • 3 people initially paid 10 dollars each for a room for a total of 3 X 10 or 30 bucks.
  • The bellhop later gives each of them 1 dollar back.
  • So what they’ve actually paid is only 9 dollars each for the room or a total of 3 X 9 or 27 bucks.
  • The bellhop also stole 2 bucks and put it in his pocket.
  • Add the bellhop's 2 buck theft to the 27 bucks and you end up with 29 bucks total.
  • That accounts for all the dollars of the story.

Just one problem though.
The desk clerk initially received 30 bucks from the people, not 29.
So where did a missing 1 dollar go?        



The Enigma of Existence



A web surfer doesn't think brewing up your own batch of beer or wine in
the basement is such a great idea.

He told me that he's tried it and it sucks.

I suppose it's a crappy mechanic who blames his tools... this Bud's for you

       Al-Cool-Haul





This is a little christmas project for you if you're so technically inclined.
I put this together a few years ago —— my little pinecone christmas tree with tiny colored LED lights on it. I built the little circuit (powered with a boosted AC adapter instead of a battery) and wired the little lights into all the pinecone 'branches'. It takes a little patience to get done but looks pretty cool at night... especially if you're a gnome, elf or mouse I guess.

Feel free to try it if you want to. I've included my design diagram here.
Just click on the picture!
Ho hO HO!
                                







 

This is a very interesting take on history...

Horizontal History

 


I was once asked,       "What's the most difficult thing to draw...?"

 

It's a good question. I'd never really thought about it before.
I don't think it's complicated scenery or figures, faces or concepts.
...In my opinion, I would say it's a circle —— a plain, perfect circle.

Try it yourself. Take a pen or pencil and try to draw a perfect circle on a piece of paper.
It's a surprisingly tough thing to do.
It really forces you to learn eye-hand coordination and fine control of the tiny muscles in your hand.
Eventually, once you become reasonably good at it, I think most other things in the drawing world seem much easier to carry out...

Even now, everytime I find myself drawing a circle shape in a picture, I always pause and notice the challenge for a second or two.
When you're using pencils you have second chances but when you're using pens or wax or markers, it's a one shot deal.

        for example:    round eyeglasses   or   a chrome ball




In our world, there was knowledge and there were discoveries we will never know about because
they've faded from our modern lives by now. And we've let them go.

We are so busy and consumed with being 'the newest', 'the greater', 'the more advanced', 'the
progressive ones', I fear we've lost sight of so many things that were actually simpler but likely
more sophisticated on levels we can't understand anymore. We sometimes can't accept that something
from the past may actually have more to it than meets the eye and more than anything we hastily
produce now to replace it.

      All Good Things Come to Pass

A simple pen made me wonder about just how much we may have lost, 'out there', in the past somewhere...






What is ‘Limp Mode’?Limp Mode


Years ago, during the time Europeans were out and about in the world 'discovering' new lands, they came upon a group of people on an island. These people had many shrunken heads of their murdered enemies in their possession. In fact, a few of these European explorers fell victims themselves and soon joined the collections

        Do you know how shrunken heads are made?

The headhunters start by cutting off the head of the dead victim (or live victim in some cases). They basically 'gut' everything inside of it.

 
They take out all the skull bones, teeth, jaw, tongue, brains, eyeballs, tissue... everything.
They're left with sort of a 'skin bag'. All the skin of the head and face with all the hair, eyebrows, etc. still attached.
Then they heat many palm sized rocks in the embers of a fire and put them inside the empty head. The heat causes the skin to dry out and start to shrink.

 

If you've ever welded, you have seen this reaction that your leather gloves had to grabbing hot objects. When you grab hot metal, the gloves start to shrink so much from the exposure to heat they eventually distort, become so tight or small they have to be thrown away. Or if you've ever grabbed hot stuff from a camp fire with leather gloves you've seen how they can be quickly ruined by shrinking so much they don't fit well anymore.

 

So these headhunters would slowly and carefully shrink the 'leatherfied' skin methodically and repeatedly with hot stones.
As the skin shrunk smaller and the stones cooled, they'd remove them from the neck hole and replace them with fresh, hot ones. Eventually the stones would be too large to precisely control the shrinkage of the skin, evenly, so they would start to use very hot sand instead so they could continue to shrink every feature in proportion to the others.

 
When the shrunken skin head reached the size of approximately a grapefruit or orange, it couldn't be decreased in size any more.

 
The headhunters would then stuff it with dried grass and straw, restoring the shape of the head, face, nose, etc. and stitch the mouth and neck closed. Sometimes they would fashion little eyeballs out of stone or shells and insert them in the eye holes.

 

So there you go.
Something to do on a long weekend when you're bored and your neighbor's been ticking you off anyway...

 


 
                 


Once on a canoe trip I had an exciting incident.
Click here to watch the little video I made that morning.
(Video quality a little bad - I shot it with a very cheap, tiny camera back in the day)...

...also...an observation of natural coal (so interesting how things like this are just sitting out there)


 


Here's some twisted art for you...
Three guys are out on a battlefield.
Suddenly one gets hit.





A brief summary of the ‘Binary’ system.
(I guess I was bored one evening...)



My Dad and a Plane



Have you ever wondered just where the Internet came from?
Pre-warning: This one might take some 'staying power'.

Internet History in Brief

Internet History in Brief


Here's a list from a bunch of different scribblings from different people (who never
did mention who they were exactly, so I can't give them their due credit) that I
collected from the early 'net many years ago and placed together in one text.
-enjoy-

A List of Collected Random Thoughts

Things to do in an Elevator


                                  

                             
                                   Tunes! TUNES Tunes!



        Inventory Turns

(a quick explanation I once wrote during one of my former, different existences...)

 



Fred is planning a journey into the desert.
Jim hates Fred and puts a fatal dose of poison in Fred's water keg.
Tim also hates Fred but doesn't know Jim poisoned the keg already. Tim dumps out the keg and fills it with worthless sand.
The next day Fred takes the keg with him far into the desert but before he ever tries to have a drink, he runs into a guy named Kim who sees Fred's keg, thinks it's full of water, and steals it from him.
Fred eventually dies of thirst.
Who is actually guilty of killing Fred?





Here's a chart I made for comparison of wrench/measurement sizes.
U.S. Standard fraction sizes -to- metric -to- decimal number sizes (1000th of an inch)

Measurement Comparison

 


                      



Ancestors, family lineage, our relatives. Heck! Our neighbors, acquaintances!
There is a surprisingly weird situation going on here if you think about it a little.
                  

One Big Happy Family

 



          You sometimes hear:
          "1st cousin twice removed, 2nd cousin thrice removed"??? What does it all mean?
 
          Well here... I have a little chart showing all the relationships in a family tree.
 
              Family Tree Chart
 


 


 
 


Does CO2 Stink a Little to You?



Lhamo Thondup, when asked what surprised him most about humanity, answered:

 

"Man.

 

Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money.
Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health.
And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present;
the result being that he does not enjoy the present or the future;
he lives as if he will never die and then dies having never really lived."

 


 

It Don't Compute
The true story about a little computer that bravely lives-on in the middle of the crowded, new, shiny mob of new, powerful technology...  

 



I took a quick little trip to the mountains...
A little break from the rush... Kodak moments and all that...
It's funny that no matter where you go, you always see parallels to your world in other places...

I see a huge Elk standing sure-footed by the side of the road just a couple feet from my open car window up in Jasper National Park and he lets fly a couple dozen nuggets against the ground as I'm watching him —— that's NATURE!

Later, when I get back to the city and it's early in the evening...

I see a huge Man standing swaying by the side of a building just a couple feet from my open car window up in the center of the city and he lets fly a stream of urine against the bricks as I'm watching him —— that's not nature?

(Yeah, I wasn't so sure either, so I snapped a picture anyway, just in case...)



<----- Using web technology you can look at yourself with your webcam!



You can tune a piano but you can't tuna fish.

          Some quick piano stuff

The Keys to Life




Disconcerted... probably.
Discouraged... not necessarily.
 
The Disheartening Truth about Truth
 


 

Pleeease be gentle when you rip a hole through
me after reading this...
 
Living in Our Own Protective Bubbles – Life in 2017

Protective Bubbles


 

This is a scan from a fold-out from an old book I've had for many years. It is a chart/graphical
representation of world history going back approximately 4000 years. But beware... this is a
very big picture and you'll probably have to view it on a computer screen or 'bigger screen'
device in order to be able to expand-it & scroll-around to be able to view all the various text.
 
I think the fussyness of it all is worth it. It is a very interesting and informative presentation.
 
Feel free to spend a while checking it out... I hope you enjoy it as much as I do...
(BTW the book no longer has a cover and a few initial pages are long gone so I don't even know
who wrote the damn thing so I'm unable to give them credit...)

 
The HistoMap (Four Thousand Years of World History)

history of the world



The anatomy of music.

Dissecting a song...



This is a scan from a page in Carl Sagan's book "The Demon-Haunted World'.
What's eerie is that this was written way long before the western world slid this way.
(He actually died before it did).
 
He was truly an astute and observant person to be able to see where trends and conditions
were headed long before they landed and solidified ---
--- and essentially as they are now...
 


 
 
 

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