A Daily Diatribe by a Pompous Git

Who is that fat bastard? A Sturm's Eye View, Guaranteed Free of Harmful, or Potentially Harmful Chemicals -- but Watch Out for the Ideas! Some of them are Contagious! 

A journal of sorts to record Jonathan Sturm's (and others') thoughts and observations on things worth thinking about. Feedback welcome, but be aware that unless you prominently say you want your communication kept private, I may publish it.

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Monday 11 June 2001

Bomb Damage Analysis Of Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building July 30, 1995 by Benton K. Partin Brigadier Gen. USAF (Ret.). Apparently Timothy McVeigh's bomb wasn't responsible for much of the damage. Interesting...


From Trevor Dunshea:

Still love visiting your site. You should rate as a new Aristotle in the years to come. Much fluent thought finds its heart in the backbone of hard work and problem solving. Great lot of photos but how about a large one of Tony Dunshea and possibly his family for my Family History research. Let me know when it's coming on line. Thanks. 

Trev Dunshea.

Ah, sweet flattery will get you what you want. I will photograph Tony, Kirith and the children when next we visit.

And from Norman Yarvin:

On your house-building web page, you wrote:

"Hughie helped by drilling large holes through the steel beams where required and cleaning the holes with a home made device. This consists of a piece of 10mm rod with a slit cut in it parallel to the sides of the rod. Into the slit he placed a strip of coarse emery paper that he wound tight around the rod. While in an electric drill, the rod is poked into the hole to be cleaned and the drill turned on. When the hole is deburred, the drill is turned off before removing the rod from the hole. Much quicker than filing off the burrs."

Filing isn't the best alternative. Industrial deburring tools are cheap, quick, and effective. See, here for instance.

This is a hand-operated cutting tool which cuts at a single point; you just put it in the hole, and run the cutter around the rim of the hole. A couple of passes take the burr off, and if you keep going it does a bit of countersinking. No great precision or dexterity is required, since the cutting bit swivels to keep itself at the correct cutting angle. In case the URL above doesn't work, I attach the picture from it:

Deburring tool

Thanks, Norman.


Dr Who is back as an online "radio" broadcast.

Thought for the day:

This is one of the paradoxes of the democratic movement -- that it loves a crowd and fears the individuals who compose it -- that the religion of humanity should have no faith in human beings.

Walter Lippmann


Tuesday 12 June 2001

Shopping for various bits for The House of Steel. More tomorrow, including some pix.

Thought for the day:

Truth, Sir, is a cow which will yield such people no more milk, and so they are gone to milk the bull.

Samuel Johnson


Wednesday 13 June 2001

It's been some months since I read Jon Udell's Byte columns and over the last few days have managed to read a fair few -- including re-reading some. I know most of us read Pournelle's column, but if you have yet to read Udell, I can highly recommend him. He is a man of considerable vision.


Recently I was given a copy of Optimizing Windows by Dave Farquhar. Late last night I finished reading it. If, like me, you have some legacy hardware (I have a P75 laptop with 16 MB RAM) it's essential reading. If your hardware is recent, it's highly recommended. Back in the days of DOS and Win3.x, I was a real maven at optimising my systems, but as they have become more powerful, I have become lazier. Dave's book really woke me up to what is available, right now, with my current machines. While much of it is Win9.x specific, there's plenty that's applicable to NT and Win2k.


More pix are up on The House of Steel page. And here are a few from our walk on Tarn Shelf recently.

Looking down on the lakes on the way to Tarn Shelf. tarnshelf01.jpg (79163 bytes)
This is our Canadian guest, John Biel, looking rather cold. tarnshelf02.jpg (94224 bytes)
This is Tarn Shelf -- there's a great walk along it for another two hours from here. tarnshelf03.jpg (25852 bytes)
Tarn Shelf again. tarnshelf04.jpg (65069 bytes)
This is the first tarn and as far as we went this time. tarnshelf05.jpg (47646 bytes)
Looking across the valley from Tarn Shelf. tarnshelf06.jpg (78612 bytes)
Further around, looking up the valley. tarnshelf07.jpg (81031 bytes)
Another view of Tarn Shelf. tarnshelf08.jpg (51825 bytes)

Thought for the day:

Make three correct guesses consecutively and you will establish a reputation as an expert.

Laurence J Peter


Thursday 14 June 2001

Just for laughs, try The Webpage from Hell

Thought for the day:

Those who promise us paradise on earth never produced anything but a hell.

Karl Popper


Friday 15 June 2001

Apart from brief interruptions to provide guided tours of The House of Steel, most of the day I spent sorting through the floorboards. Many are well below the standard I expected and since I purchased them through a friend, I was disquieted by the fact that some 28% are good only for firewood. When I phoned Michael, he told me he agreed as he had taken a couple of boards first thing this morning to show the supplier. Fortunately, there are just enough boards to complete the flooring. I ordered more than I needed on the grounds that any that failed to pass muster for the floor could be pressed into service for furniture and walling in the office.

Thought for the day:

Consistency requires you to be as ignorant today as you were a year ago.

Bernard Berenson


Saturday 16 June 2001

The Bastard Administrator from Hell has an interesting take on the MS vs Linux controversy.


From a reader:


By chance came across this [Farming for Fertility] when researching Albrecht. What a fabulous document with a wealth of information written in understandable language. Why, oh why, didn't you complete it??? It is what I have spent the last 12 months searching for!!!

Many thanks

Judi Morrison

Lack of time, lack of a publisher and the imminent danger of poverty if I didn't pursue improving my income. Glad you enjoyed what I wrote. It's likely that Tim Marshall and I will collaborate on some future writing, so stay tuned.

Thought for the day:

The free-lance writer is a man who is paid per piece or per word or perhaps.

Robert Benchley


Sunday 17 June 2001

A day spent with friends we hadn't seen for many months and working on The House of Steel.

Thought for the day:

Every generation laughs at the old fashions, but religiously follows the new.

Henry David Thoreau


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Jonathan Sturm 2001

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Jonathan Sturm 2001