Category Archives: technology

Technology-related posts

Let’s just give everyone a gun…

and go out in the street to shoot at each other.

I am so fucking angry about the way our country has treated the firearm issue.  NOBODY in a free and peaceful nation needs an AR-15 or AK-47 rifle.  NOBODY.

NOBODY in a free and peaceful nation needs a large-magazine handgun.  NOBODY.

Our second amendment is valid.  We need our ability to quickly raise a popular militia.  But we do NOT need citizens keeping multiples of military-style weapons.

Paddock was NOT to blame for the Las Vegas massacre.  Paddock was sick.  A seriously sick individual who was able, easily, to acquire an arsenal of dangerous weapons.  Did Paddock need these weapons?  No.  Did anyone suspect that Paddock had such an arsenal?  No.

I don’t care if you’re Jesus Christ himself.  You have no right, no reason, no cause to possess such weapons.  I’m sorry, but I’m a Christian first.  I’m an American but I’m a Christian first.  Love & tolerance is our code.  We lay down before our enemies.  We rely on God.  We are strong because we have faith.  Period.

I will stand up against ANY person who owns a firearm and claims to be a Christian.  Own a gun or be a Christian.  You decide.  Fuck you.  You can shoot me while I bear witness to the power of Peace.

I’m not armed and I don’t want to be armed.  I don’t need a primitive weapon to know I’m strong.  Bring it.  My faith is a LOT stronger than whatever you think you get from a fucking gun.

If you’re male, this is especially addressed to you.  We don’t need guns to be good sons, fathers, husbands or grandfathers.  In fact, those of us who really care have no guns at all.  I would much rather be the grandfather who never had a gun and taught his grandchildren to never give in to this insane gun culture.



Strong Storm for Florida

From what I can see in the forecasts, Hurricane Irma will resume her Cat 5 status as she crosses the warm water of the Gulf Stream and the Florida Straits.  If she steers West up the western coast of Florida, then all the more reason she will reach some high windspeed records.

But I don’t think the storm will cross the really susceptible parts of Florida.  Miami, Ft Lauderdale, the SE coast.  This is an intense, well-developed hurricane with extremely dangerous wind.  When she strikes the Florida peninsula, I predict there will be wind gusts above 200 mph.  If you think the theme parks at Orlando are such a big deal, please go now and write a check to the American Red Cross.

Irma’s a nearly picture-perfect repeat of Hurricane Andrew; but with some important differences.  Andrew came ashore as a force 5 storm in South Dade County and caused such significant loss of property and life over Homestead Air Base, the reports and post-storm imagery were simply devastating.  Unfortunately, FEMA was barely an agency confronted by a huge loss of life.  There are many, some maybe credible, accounts of US Govt responders (FEMA) burying the dead in mass graves.  Estimates of life lost in Hurricane Andrew range from about 1,000 to well over 10,000.

But FEMA is a fully legitimate (and accountable) federal agency now, and we have many more ways to insure credible response from FEMA and other important disaster relief agencies.  Our gross response to Irma is phenomenal and very well coordinated.  Federal response is exceptional and appropriate.  FEMA, Red Cross, and state agencies in Florida are wayy ahead of the tragedy this storm COULD inflict.

We gotta remember the people of Florida confront at least one big storm every year.  Many years 3-4 big tropical storms.  Public preparedness and planning, unlike in SE Texas, is taken very seriously and it’s much more effective than the government planning in Texas.

Still.  I do think Irma will make landfall, as a category 5 cyclone, on the SW tip of the Florida, and will remain a dangerous Category 4 storm as her center moves up the western half of Florida.  Onshore flows (storm surges) may not be as strong as those predicted for the eastern side of the peninsula; but winds surrounding Irma’s eyewall will be ferocious.  Remember, this storm was making windspeeds of 225mph as she traversed Puerto Rico – and she still has the Florida Strait (with very warm water temps) before we see her come ashore.

If I were in Miami, Ft Lauderdale, or Tampa, I’d be inclined to hunker down.  Run from water, stay for wind.

Ft Myers, though, or the barrier islands to the West, I’d already be gone.  Sanibel Island, for example, might be completely scraped.  I’m all for that, so long as life isn’t lost.

Y’all folks at Ft Myers and Sanibel Island, get your feet down deep in the sand!  If you’re gonna stay, then stay strong.  When the building disintegrates, find the lowest place you can and stay low.  It’s gonna blow.  Keep your love, tolerance and faith FIRST-most in your minds.  Gather up water, hunker down in safe places TOGETHER, be kind and care for each other no matter what, and be safe.  Remember our story of Noah and his Raven.  This too shall pass.


Prayers from a prayerful church of God,

Steven Milstead

Hurricane Irma

Right now, she’s a spectacular storm and still over warm water without any real deterrences to additional development.  Sustained winds are above 150mph with windspeeds recorded earlier today at +175mph near the surface below the eye wall.

This storm will likely enter the Eastern Gulf of Mexico by the weekend; but the current tracking models show the storm crossing the heart of the Caribbean with plenty of likelihood for weakening as the storm crosses many many islands.  My “armchair” analysis says this will be a Florida storm – that Irma will come into the Gulf and curl eastward across the Florida peninsula early Saturday.

Will this be another Andrew for the people of Florida?  I kinda don’t think so.  Crossing all the dry land as she traverses the Caribbean, is going to impact both the strength and steerage of Irma.  I look for landfall, and significant damage, along the SW coast of Florida; particularly the Ft Myers and Sanibel Island coast.  Tampa will feel some strong winds and rain.  If Irma doesn’t hook eastward pretty quickly, then Tampa and Orlando will feel a strong hit.

It’s been a while since they had a really severe storm come ashore South of Tampa.  They experience strong tropical storms there nearly every year; but Irma is starting to look like a superstorm.  Not unlike Andrew.  If she remains above cat4 crossing the Caribbean, she’s going to cause immeasurable damage to the Leewards, Haiti, Dominican Republic, and likely Cuba.  If she does endure that trip across the Caribbean as a cat4 storm, then the warm water of the SE Gulf of Mexico will easily push her back to cat5 before she slams ashore around Ft Myers.

She’s a beautiful storm, though.  The sat images are stunning and the sonde reports/doppler images are incredible.  The weather buoys in that vicinity are reporting 60ft wave heights and gusts to nearly 180mph.




883 Sportster

I’ve paid off my 2016 Buick, along with lots of credit-card debt from the time I was with my 2nd wife (a big spender); and guess what!  I’m approved for zero-interest financing of a new Harley Davidson Sportster!  It includes safety training and everything I need for a New Mexico motorcycle license.  I’m really jazzed.

Here’s the 883 I saw today at the dealership:

This is a 2017.  The one I am looking at is a 2018 and it’s completely blacked out.  Really a great close-range bike.  I want it!




Harvey brings it to Texas

It appears Gulf Hurricane Harvey may make landfall tomorrow, as a Cat 3 or Cat 4 hurricane, along the South Texas coast between Port Mansfield and Port Lavaca.

I grew up spending “hurricane seasons” on the Texas coast.  I have clear memories of Hurricane Beulah, which brought a high storm surge and rainfall/flooding in San Antonio and South Texas.  I remember the fam gathered up in the back of our San Antonio home, watching the storm progress on our old GE black & white TV, as severe thunderstorms and lightning persisted through the night.

It was Hurricane Celia, though, when I was ten years old, that I best remember.  Our family had a wonderful old beach house at Rockport TX, and we barely got inland before Celia struck.  That hurricane, which made landfall across Port Aransas and St. Jo’s Island then crossed inland at Aransas Pass, dealt a severe blow to the communities on the North end of Padre Island.  More significantly, Celia spawned dozens of tornadoes across the Corpus Christi area.  Winds clocked at Corpus Christi exceeded 200 mph, arguably the highest wind speeds of any hurricane in history; though it’s since been argued those were tornadoes and not recordings of actual hurricane winds.

You say tomato and I say tomAto.  Celia shut down the city of Corpus Christi for over a week.  Overhead photos of the city were evidence enough the storm had virtually erased large swaths of Corpus Christi and surrounding communities.

Famous story I remember of a woman in a volkswagen on the CC causeway.  She claimed the car had been spun overhead and lengthwise for nearly 2 minutes before she was set down in the oil & gas terminal 3-4 miles away.  Plenty of those weird photos of sticks driven through large trees, glass shards that cut cement columns in half.  Celia was the last really bad hurricane we’ve had on the South Texas coast.


Little Trucks

Finally.  It looks like Hyundai will be the first automaker in years to produce a real 4-cylinder mini pickup.  Slated for production in 2018, the Santa Cruz will be available in an extended-cab version; but the model is targeted at the – currently empty – sector of the market that wants a regular-cab mini truck.
Given the popularity of older mini trucks for project and show trucks (and the numbers of ten-yr-old mini trucks being well maintained by owners), I’ve been a little amazed, over the years, by major automakers’ failure to fill this niche.  I think you can still buy a regular-cab 4-cylinder Toyota Tacoma, but you’ll find none in the local Toyota dealership because they’re now a special-order item on the Toyota menu.

The Hyundai Santa Cruz will be a much welcome option for all us baby boomers who simply need a fuel-efficient small pickup.  I predict a huge success of this little truck.

Speaking of mini trucks, here’s a project truck based on the Mini Cooper.  A truck, and a true Mini!

Mini Truck by Mini Cooper

Why can’t Cooper figure out that hordes of us would buy these if they were in production!

Past blogs and posts

I’ve been posting on my other blog,, since early in the Summer; but I’ve come back to post here as it’s the blog where most of my family & friends look for updates.  I’ve had this blog running for nearly ten years.  I know there are some broken links and problems with images over the last two years so I will work to get those corrected.

“Love & Tolerance” is our code.


The Long Wait is Over

Digitech 2112

Goodness. I have wanted a Digitech 2112 for twenty years, and now I finally have one! I am totally jazzed!

Rack mount Digitech processors were a must-have for the blues rock and metal music I grew up on, though I think the 2112 was actually introduced in the 90s. I like the way the model number could be a reference to the great Rush album!

Now that I’m taking lessons and becoming more serious about learning and practicing, I’m relying less on multiple effects pedals to “play for me” – and focusing solely on playing better and developing tone. I’ve got the 2112 running against my all-tube Vox Night Train, and mainly using the drive and tube path of the 2112 to build fat tone. It sounds fantastic! Pretty good clean jazz tone, too.

I was really lucky to find a 2112 this late in the game. They’re anything but expensive, especially if you’re willing to buy one with some cosmetic issues; but they’ve gotten really hard to find in any condition!  Only 2-3 have turned up in the GC system for the last 5 years (or longer), and they’ve all but vanished from Ebay.

I know a lot of hardcore blues and rock fanatics are predicting these things will skyrocket in value so, given the scarcity I’ve encountered and the sheer number of famous artists who’ve used them, this one will likely be worth more than I paid very shortly.

I’ll keep playing with it for awhile, and comparing it to different pedals I’ve been using; but I’m betting I’ll be selling most of my effects gear and relying entirely on the 2112. I’ve already decided the compression characteristics are better than my 4-knob Keeley; and drive through the pair of 12ax7s is wayyyy better than my Ibanez Tubescreamer or the EHX Soul Food. The replication of SRV’s basic tone is very good. So far I’ve not felt the delay effects were quite as good as my Echorec, but I haven’t yet done a real apples-to-apples comparison.

I haven’t opened the cover yet but it sounds like the 12ax7s are GTs or worse; so replacing with some good russian tubes is going to make this thing sound even better!

Needless to say, practicing has moved up to a whole new level of fun!! I probably won’t be able to copy Johnny Ramone’s tone precisely, but I bet I can get close enough! Oh wait. I’m supposed to be improving and getting past the spot where punk was all I could play!