The Positive Vision of America We Need

If there is a common lesson of American life it is that you should never have to hold back from your desires. You want it? Buy it or take it. Borrow the money, hire a lawyer, talk to the manager. Democrats are asking themselves, and America as a whole, to adopt sober plans and do things that benefit more people for a longer period of time. Stay home and wear masks to prevent the spread of disease and death. Use less and pollute less to make the planet habitable for the next generation and to prevent poverty and collapse around the world. Uplift people of all types to create a world where everyone is safe from fear and abuse, even if that comes at the cost of slower personal opportunity and more complicated communities, work conditions, and interpersonal expectations. Create economic opportunity and voice for anyone who wants it, even if that comes at the cost of higher commodity prices, less free shit handed out, and reduced income on retirement investment accounts.

It’s such an easy sell to take the other side of all of those issues. Don’t worry! It’s other people’s problem. Work hard. Get paid. Screw the rest of those losers. You don’t need a more just society, because when you’re rich you’ll be taken care of. Climate change only hurts poor people in other places. You’re straight and white and deserve what you’ve worked for. If you’re not white, just work hard and you’ll be brought in anyway. These arguments almost sell themselves.

Even in the face of an easy argument, Americans are better than this. The commentariat paid for by the corporate marketing machine will tell you that the country is evenly divided. This is not what the numbers show. Democratic presidential candidates have won the most American votes in seven of the last eight national elections. We are a liberal country with a violent, immoral, entrenched right-wing power structure.

The corporate media likes to perpetuate the myths of division. They get ratings and revenue from stress and drama.

Huge infusions of money from divisive races. Jeff Zucker at CNN was reviled by Trump, but also was responsible for promoting him and profiting from him. There was a landslide this year of small donor contribution to political change which is phenomenal and inspiring, but also serves to pad the bottom lines of the television networks that at best refuse to report on the truth of our positions, and at worst, like Sinclair Media, actively propagandize against us.

These outlets cover “both sides” by “fairly” airing entire Trump rallies without edits, while complaining that Joe Biden hasn’t clearly articulated his agenda. They define our issues by emphasis on the conflict rather than the consensus. Discussion of fairness, health, opportunity, and safety are covered instead as protest, racism, identity politics. The consensus on universal access to health care is covered as a fight over how federalized the proposed solution should be. When 60 minutes interviews the presidential candidates, Lesley Stahl spends her time with Donald Trump asking him hard questions about whether the obviously false things he says are true, but then spends her time with Joe Biden asking him if the obviously false things Donald Trump says about him are true. When the most Americans ever vote for Joe Biden for President, it is covered as a 50-50 split which perpetuates the false legitimacy of the American electoral (and congressional and judicial) system of minority rule.

We need to stop allowing our agreements to be defined as division by profit seeking, algorithmically-managed media outlets and understand that there is much that we agree upon. We need to ruthlessly use our opportunities when we are in power to balance the field, knowing that the profits and incentives of promoting division will evaporate when it is no longer possible to buy power by duping the poor and misinformed.

Finally, we need to articulate a vision of prosperity and opportunity that can be achieved through lifting up our whole community. The measure of our efforts cannot only be defined by our willingness to sacrifice for the betterment of all, since it is always too easy to convince to vote for their own selfishness rather than ask them to be generous when their own horizons are shrinking. If we only serve as the party of super-ego, the corrupt will elevate the collective id as the birthright of every American. I do think, however that sobriety can lead to happiness and that recovery is not incarceration. 

It’s hard work, but 75 million of our neighbors just voted for that future, so let’s do the work.


Past Self, Present Self, Future Self

What would you do if a stranger interrupted you while you enjoying a few minutes of free time and demanded that you stop everything and go clean their bathroom? It happens to me all the time. It completely drives me crazy. No sooner do I get done with what I’m doing, and some guy shows up demanding that I pay his bills, make a bunch of phone calls he didn’t feel like making, and clean up some messes that he left lying about. Not only that, but I’m constantly anxious while I’m watching a show on Netflix, or playing a game…I know he’s coming back to berate me for the tasks he gave me that I didn’t get done and to nag me about more stuff that he forgot to even mention. It’s like I can’t ever focus on what I’m doing, or enjoy my time because of this jerk.

We live entirely in the present. In many ways, how we feel right now is all that matters. A happy past and a happy future may be wonderful, but I have had too many days where a miserable, depressed, meaningless present has made me unable to appreciate either the things I am thankful for, or the things I hope to look forward to. Feeling ok now is key.

Amazingly, I find that I spend so much of my present moment demanding future misery of myself. My task list has hundreds of items in it, even a category called “Someday, Maybe” that encapsulates my many regretted wishes, things I would like myself to do, but I have resigned myself to never getting done. I also spend much of my present moment wallowing in self-loathing for the many things I had been absolutely resolved to complete today, yet found that I failed to complete. Or start.

My house is full of toys and projects and promises. So many books unread, tools unused, projects unfinished, games unplaced. Even in my relaxation, recreation, and self-gratification I am a failure.

Failure. That is the dark prospection, the lamentation, and the error. Now is never done. It is always now, and now again now. You can only fail something that is over, and the present is never done (barring death, or some sort of Groundhog Day situation).

I say let go of the failure, the expectation, the laments. What gets done is what needed to get done. The other options, the other tasks, the missed opportunities, they are are worth noticing, but they can be left behind without guilt or judgement. Why not give yourself a pass?

One of my gurus goes even farther than this. He notes that one of the most common flaws in our thinking is the Sunk Cost Fallacy. We become invested in the things we’ve worked on, or spent money on, or desired, before. We have trouble letting go of that previous investment, even if it provides us no joy. However, all that work or interest we invested in the past is a gift! We have options and choices, places to start, ideas to evolve. If those gifts from our past selves enhance our happiness today, then we should take advantage of them…but if they turn out to be ugly sweaters or overripe bananas, we should have no guilt about tossing them out.

Doing something because your past self thought it would be good for you, when clearly your past self didn’t think it was necessary for them is just as silly as doing chores for a stranger that knocks on your door. But we can feel gratitude to our past self for giving us the option.

“Everything you own, all the clothing in your closet, your academic achievements and beyond is simply a gift. It is a gift that your past self is giving to your present self, and it’s up to you to decide whether you want that gift today.

It is as simple as that–you owe your past self nothing, other than the consideration of whether these gifts are helpful in the here and now.”

– Seth Godin

There are many more ways that we can interact with our past and future selves with generosity and gratitude. Taking a clean plate out of the dishwasher rather than one from the shelf is a gift your future self will thank you for. Walking a empty can to the recycling bin, rather than leaving it on the end-table makes cleaning up tomorrow that much easier. We can always do good for ourselves—past, present, and future—here in this moment, right now. But we don’t owe our yesterdays anything, and we should not live in fear that our tomorrows will judge us lazy or stupid. Live right now. It’s nice here.


Inform Yourself

The news is wrong. Call it fake, call it lies, call it what you want, but you will find falsehoods in front-page articles on every mainstream media site today. Sorry. It’s true. Trump’s right.

Or is he?

News Pollution

The mainstream news media knows a lot about their shortcomings. They rush to print because being first is thought to be important. They amplify stories by reporting on reporting from other news outlets. Each of their reporters has a personal slant that is less than rigorous. Collectively, their reporters are probably wrong about almost everything…for every reporter in the ‘news media’ who knows the truth, there’s probably another who believes the opposite.

If you’re expecting rigor and science and fact and truth from the press, you’ve gone to the wrong institution. If you expect a bunch of ambitious, self-serving libel on everyone they can legally put in their paper, that’s the press!

Isn’t that beautiful?

You know it’s working because they attack each other, every side of the political spectrum, and every part of American life constantly in great barrages of scandal and discontent. Everything is the end of the world. It’s the Year of -Gate-Gate every day.

It is so constant and consistent that a flock of poorly-written quasi-satire of the news has passed itself off to millions of people as real (the stuff we were calling ‘fake news’ before Trump ran away with the term).

You can’t get the truth by watching a news segment. Or reading an article. But if you read and watch enough, for enough days, you will find the media is not just willing, but excited, to disprove the false things it says. If you bring together several sources, over a bit of time, you can discover facts. Not necessarily truth, but facts.

It’s not perfect, but never in the history of human civilization have we had it so good.

An Opinion On Sources

A lot of people have seen the chart defining the “good” and “bad” media sources out there (or criticism of it). In truth, the “mainstream” media has a lot of biases in operation, and while the reporting of facts is usually acceptable, the coverage in the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, and other centrist outlets contain a lot of slanted adjectives and stretched narratives.

It is important to differentiate slant, spin, and color from lies, but if you intend to have a robust conversation with someone who doesn’t already agree with you, it is also important to have a number of resources for establishing which statements are facts, and which are interpretations of the facts that are used to create a journalistic narrative out of the facts.

For currency, I use Memeorandum as my primary news feed. It provides aggregation of the current big stories, as well as a river of breaking stories that will keep you current.

One resource I use for getting out of the echo chamber of copied narratives and clickbait newsroom headlines is Ben Domenech’s The Transom, which is a daily newsletter with aggregation of the day’s news, reader’s digests of conservative thought, and editorial comments from Domenech. At times, The Transom will contain incredibly insightful and honest contradictions of the narratives found in the mainstream press which can provide you empathy with the way other people feel. At other times, Domenech will distill and amplify the dishonest and slanted talking points of the right wing, and anger the hell out of you. These arguments are often the ones most in need of thoughtful counters by more mainstream or liberal thinkers, and knowing what the talking points are, and where they come from can help you be a better poitical conversationalist.

For more mainstream context and analysis, I appreciate the good reporting at FiveThirtyEight, the articles at Politico, and the newsletters from CNN Reliable Sources and Axios, and the editorial content on RealClear Politics.

Tailor What You Read

For years, my only news source was Jon Stewart’s Daily Show. Not because it was actually comprehensive, but because I knew that if Canada fell into the Pacific Ocean, I’d hear about it from Jon within a few days, and that was all the news I needed or wanted.

You don’t have to be an info-junkie news freak. Just follow what’s on the New York Times or listen to NPR’s All Things Considered once a day and you should do ok. Your news will be biased, but you can probably handicap for that in your head.

If you want a broader spectrum of news, you will need to accumulate a small stable of sources and make a habit of challenging what you read with contrary sources. It’s also good to read everything with a modicum of doubt. Until you’ve read it from many sources, over several days, consider most of the things you read in the paper as gossip or rumor. You can get feel more sure of your information as time moves on, but don’t believe everything on first read.

Finally, it can be very useful to read the information on the fringes. Some of the stuff you read on the fringe will help you develop a picture of where the mainstream media bubble isn’t telling the ground truth. A lot of what you read on the fringe will confuse and pollute your mind, making you unstable and boorish at parties. When drinking tequila, I make sure to have a glass of water per shot. If you’re going to read Adam Khan or Infowars, or listen to President Trump speak, make sure to get some info electrolytes afterward.

The problem with the fringes is that they tell the truth. There’s a lot of truth in Trump’s words and in Bannon’s words as well as in the various other corners of the spectrum. They tell the truth until you’re ready to hear their big emotional idea. If you can take that idea critically, you can learn a lot. If it catches you unawares, you lose a whole lot of power to over your mind and thoughts. Practice helps. Keeping in human contact with honorable people of many viewpoints can bring you back when you drift. Don’t let anybody make you feel alone, because you’re not.

Other references

A few additional resources I used in writing this, but that are not core to the content of this article.


Stop Booking Trump Surrogates

After Kellyanne Conway’s disasterous reference to the Bowling Green massacre and Press Secretary’s insistance on huge numbers at the inaguration and fabricated casus belli, it seems clear that the communications mouthpieces of the Trump Administration are committed to avoiding the truth, and instead adding to search costs for anyone attempting to measure the facts and results of their actions. Listening to them talk just makes you less informed.


It has been proposed that the way to cope with this is to simply stop inviting the Trump official voices, and the surrogates to the news shows.

The downside to doing this is that these official and semi-official voices would no longer be available on Trump-critical outlets for answering hard questions. Also, any boycott of Trump voices would hardly be unanimous. Fox will certainly keep them on-air as will other outlets interested in pandering to the executive.

On the other hand, simply having fewer lies broadcast on the news is a good thing. We used to be able to corner these speakers into revealing some of the truth, at least by discovering which things they wouldn’t say out loud for fear of being caught in lies, but the Trump surrogates seem completely comfortable with the idea of voicing verifiable falsehoods, knowing that if they include the occasional true statement, such as “the sky is blue”, many listeners will not check the rest. Eliminating these lies increases the sum information value on our news programs.

Ultimately, I think this is for the best, and I urge our news outlets to treat Trump sources as false until proven true. Leaving the surrogates and spokespeople off-air provides space for more accurate information to be provided. The truly excellent news sources will be able to find intellectually honest Trump supporters, or at least apologists, to be featured instead. If such do not exist, maybe we can train some?


National Popular Vote

I’ve been hearing people say we should abolish the Electoral College, since it allows us to elect a president who did not win the most votes. I agree with the thought, since I think that the contest for the electoral map means that most states don’t attention from the candidates (Oregon had zero public campaign events from either candidate in 2016), their votes silenced by either their small size or their consistent voting record. There is also no advantage for having high voter involvement: hitting 51% in a state is the same as hitting 91% in that state.

Amazingly, eliminating the electoral college is not only possible, but relatively easy. The trick is that we don’t eliminate it, instead we use it’s rules to enforce the national vote. Each state is allowed by the U.S. Constitution to form it’s rules on how electors are selected and instructed. What if we had a law saying that our state’s electors were required to vote for the winner of the national popular vote? What if states holding 270 electoral votes or more all had that law? The popular vote would win, every time.

The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact is the enactment of this idea, and it’s more than half-way done!


Eleven states with 165 Electoral Votes have already passed legislation to support the National Popular Vote. When 270 votes are accounted for, those laws go into action. You can read all about it at the National Popular Vote Site.

Oregon has a state legislature that only has a full session every two years. If they met annually, we might already have joined the Compact. Legislation to pledge Oregon’s seven Electoral Votes to the popular result passed the Oregon House of Representatives and is currently waiting in the Oregon Senate Rules Committee. This bill has significant support and Oregon’s Democratic legislature is an easy bet to get it passed. They just didn’t think there was any hurry…

What can you do? Make a phone call right now to your state Representative and Senator to express your support for this change. You can send emails and letters too if you want, but congressional staffers have consistently told us that office phone calls get more attention than anything else (local office is rumored to get more attention than capitol office as well). For me that means calling:

For my Washington County friends, it means:

You can find your US and State Representatives using the Common Cause Find Your Elected Officials page.

Make a phone call now, and let your Representative and Senator know that getting this law passed is important to you. We need to have a true national election in 2020, not just a swing state contest.

Put an appointment in your calendar for early February. February 1st, 2017, the Oregon Legislature goes back into session. More phone calls once they are in session should keep them focused on getting this bill passed in 2017.

If you aren’t in Oregon, check out the status in your state, and find your representatives and ask them to participate. Historic support for this bill has been high, and we really could have this wrapped up in 2017.


Emperor Cartagia from Redit

Saving this here for posterity:

Emperor_Cartagia’s Comments on Justice Ginsburg’s Ominous Warning About Creeping Corporate Power

There is a (wink wink nudge nudge) long term conspiracy between the upper echelons of the Political Right and a cadre of rich billionaires (and very possibly a few of the richer multimillionaires) to gradually make the US Government so dysfunctional, to degrade or discontinue so many Government services, that the citizenry will be intensely skeptical of any solution requiring Government, and openly hostile to the idea of being involved with the Government for any purpose.

This of course, is the means. I’ll give an example. During the Bush Jr. years (2006, specifically), Congress pushed through a bill requiring the Post Office to fully pre-fund their Retiree Health Benefits out to a ridiculous date, some 75 years. Not incrementally from that point on as employees joined, or any other reasonable way of doing it, but, 100 Billion dollar payments a year kind of unreasonable.

The major proponents of that bill were Republican Politicians whose major funding sources came from billionaires with major interests in FedEx, UPS, & DHL.

The purpose being, obviously, to degrade the quality of USPS services, force them to raise prices.. And thus make it more likely that the public will more often choose a private company over a public utility. They’re pushing on all fronts for private for-profit companies to usurp the role of Government, even to the point of sabotaging Government to make it possible.

They do this for three reasons:

  1. It’s enormously profitable. Government currently holds monopolies on certain products and services, and basically charges almost nothing for them. Seriously, if you look at everything the government actually accomplishes vs how much it takes in in tax revenues and compare it to how much it would cost us to pay private companies for the same level of services, Government comes out ridiculously cheap. The benefits of economies of scale and not having to profit stockholders. Even the Governments debt leads to the creation of private wealth elsewhere. The people colluding to stop this are looking forward to stepping in and taking the governments place. We’ve already seen it happen in many states with prisons. They’ll come in, say they’ll run the prison the exact same way but for less money, then they run the prisons profoundly worse by cutting every corner they can and they’ll pocket the extra. They’re going to run the same racket with any other Government function you can think of.
  2. They have a profound philosophical opposition to the very nature of government. Everybody pooling resources to accomplish tasks that benefit everyone is antithetical to their nature, they feel that everyone should be left to fend for themselves and if they can’t manage, that they should just do without. From water to healthcare to retirement or food safety, they do not feel it is ever justified that they should be asked to kick in their earnings to help anyone else, regardless of the wider consequences to society or whether through a domino effect it actually hurts them in the wider perspective. They’re not thinking of the wider perspective, all they see is someone else profiting from their labor (which is intensely ironic considering they also virtually rely on wage slavery, that is, profiting off of underpaying others for their labor).
  3. The Power. Once they’ve shrunk Government to the point they can “drown it in a bathtub”. They’ll have the power. So much of daily life today already rests in the hands of a handful of global conglomerates.. Imagine one day waking up in a world where every product and service you use comes from companies controlled by a group of like minded men.. And they’ve drowned the only method of recourse if they wrong you. You have no way of voting with your wallet because everything you buy benefits one or more of them. You cannot sue because they’ve engineered trade deals and laws leaving you no legal recourse, only “arbitration”, only, they get to choose the date, place, time, and arbiter, meaning they could force you to fly cross country, on your own dime, at the drop off a hat, with no time to arrange a leave or a sitter or anything, to be met with an arbiter who happens to be on their payroll. They will have eliminated any rights you have simply by making it contractually unfeasible to insist upon them. They will have effectively brought round the Aristocratic System in all but name, with themselves as the nobility, immune to any criticisms or recourse of the serfs but violence, but having preserved only a militarized police force trained and psychologically manipulated to think of any civilian as a criminal by default, simply lacking evidence as of yet, even *violent revolution will be an extremely unlikely event. Peasants with rifles and Molotov cocktails have not, historically, stood up well to APCs and fully automatic .50 machine guns.

For more information on the beginnings of this conspiracy, look up the history of the Business Plot (and/or the Wall Street Putsch) from the 1930’s, not Wikipedia, that article is very bare bones because Wikipedia generally needs sources and most of the records of the investigations and hearings on the Business Plot were intentionally destroyedafterwards so as to not undermine the public trust of prominent businessmen and politicians. Here’s a bit about it from NPR.

* People tend to misinterpret this part.

I know full well that an open civil war or revolution won’t happen, in such a case the military would divide and the tyrannical government thrown down. But there won’t be a civil war or revolution.

What’ll happen is that anytime things in one place get too bad, anytime one part of the population flares up and tries to force the private enterprises that will have taken over the roles of government to capitulate, they’ll be stomped on by a highly militarized police force.

Injustice by private enterprise will simply be the way things work. You can’t revolt against a private business, you can only vote with your wallet, but in the case I’ve outlined, that won’t matter, because the “competitor” you flock to will be owned by the same people, they won’t care and won’t change how they do business.

If you sue, they’ll cite the contract or waiver you signed when you came to them.

If you do a sit-in, you’re trespassing.

If you march, you’re disturbing the peace.

If you get a permit to march, they’ll put you in a Free Speech Zone where nobody will see your protest.

If you get violent, they call the one service of government they’ve preserved and supported, the police, who will promptly arrest you for it. A police force which already had a confrontational relationship with the public, who are already conditioned by every safety briefing to believe that every civilian is a threat.

Then, if it was big enough to make the news, everyone will be told a bunch of lawless looters and rioters, made up of lazy unemployed takers got their just desserts from the police.

The suppression of rebellion won’t happen on a large scale because any spark of revolution will be snuffed out before anyone else can hear about, agree with it, and join in. Revolutions don’t spring up spontaneously nationwide, they are ignited, an incident happens which the population gets so enraged at that they rise up.

In the corporate plutocratic aristocracy, the spark will be snuffed, and you’ll only ever hear what they want you to hear.


Soft Drinks


I occasionally suffer from advice on the consumption of diet cola drinks, warning me of negative health effects. This is intended to provide me with a summary of information to point others to when I get in these arguments. Most of this is quickly cribbed statements from reliable sources. I didn’t include source citations, but if you want to copy and paste a sentence into google, you’ll find a source.

<tldr>Almost everything bad you’ve heard about diet soda is from attention-seeking journalists. When they have scientific evidence, it is generally based on epidemiological studies which cannot measure other factors (i.e. fat people gain weight, fat people drink diet soda…doesn’t mean diet soda causes weight gain). The rest of the time, it’s mostly hand-waving about toxicity. Yes things are toxic. But remember, 3,000 mg/kg of table salt will kill 50% of the people you feed it to.</tldr>

Diet Coke

Carbonated Water

Carbonated water erodes tooth enamel, though the effect is negligible. Intake of carbonated beverages has not been associated with increased bone fracture risk in observational studies. A 2004 article in the Journal of Nutrition found that fizzy waters with higher sodium levels reduced cholesterol levels and the risk of cardiovascular problems in postmenopausal women.

Caramel Color

Barring food alergy, no negative effects noted.


FDA has set its acceptable daily intake for aspartame at 50 mg/kg. For a 75 kg (165 lb) adult, it takes approximately 21 cans of diet soda daily to consume the 3,750 milligrams (0.132 oz) of aspartame that would surpass the FDA’s 50 milligrams per kilogram of body weight ADI of aspartame from diet soda alone. Even with ingestion of very high doses of aspartame (over 200 mg/kg), no aspartame is found in the blood due to the rapid breakdown. Clinical studies have shown no signs of neurotoxic effects, and studies of metabolism suggest it is not possible to ingest enough aspartic acid and glutamate through food and drink to levels that would be expected to be toxic. Reviews have found no association between aspartame and cancer. Review of the biochemistry of aspartame has found no evidence that the doses consumed would plausibly lead to neurotoxic effects. Claims that aspartame contributes to weight gain and obesity are not supported by the medical literature. Although there have also been claims that aspartame contributes to hunger or increased appetite, there have been few studies directly addressing the effect of aspartame on appetite. The data show no increased appetite with aspartame use, and this is an area of possible future research. Studies looking at caloric intake found that aspartame consumers consumed as many calories as or fewer calories than non-aspartame consumers, but not more. (See also:,,, A double blind study subjected 55 overweight youth to 13 weeks of a 1,000 Kcal diet accompanied by daily capsules of aspartame or lactose placebo. Both groups lost weight, and the difference was not significant. Of the 4 studies from the meta-analysis that used beverages alone, the compensation was just 15% for the subsequent 24 hours; that is, the data suggest there is less compensation in beverages than foods, resulting in a more effective net reduction in calories when replacing sweetened beverages with Nonnutritive Sweeteners beverages.

Phosphoric Acid

The authors of this study conclude that the skeletal effects of carbonated beverage consumption are likely due primarily to milk displacement (another possible confounding factor may be an association between high soft drink consumption and sedentary lifestyle)

Potasium Benzoate

Potassium benzoate was recently described by the Food Commission, who campaign for ‘safer, healthier food in the UK’, as “mildly irritant to the skin, eyes and mucous membranes”.

Natural Flavors

Unknown, but likely a synthetic vanilla oil.

Citric Acid

Generally classified as healthful.


See for well known positive and negative effects.

Diet Rite

Carbonated Water

See above.

Caramel Color

See above.

Phosphoric Acid

See above.


Results from over 100 animal and clinical studies in the FDA approval process unanimously indicated a lack of risk associated with sucralose intake.  In a small scale study of 17 obese test subjects, sucralose was found to affect glycemic and insulin responses to an oral glucose load in obese people who do not normally consume NNS.

Citric Acid

See above.

Potasium Benzoate

See above.

Acesulfame Potasium

At 10x ADI, injected Acesulfame K may produce insulin secretion analogous to a similar amount of injected glucose.

Natural Flavors

See above.

Acacia Gum

Used to change the surface tension of the water used in the soda. Makes it more fizzy. Mostly organically inert.

Potasium Citrate

Buffering agent. Reduces ph impact of other acids in the drink. Used in some health treatments. No studied negative side effects.


Copy your house key with a photo

Copy your house key with a photo

A while ago, my brother was locking something up and wanted to make sure that he didn’t lose the key. I had the bright idea of taking a photo of the key, since in the very worse case you could get a key blank and a hand file and carve out a copy of that key…and my photo archive is much better organized and backed up than my garage will ever be.

Now there’s a service online that will make you a copy of a key from a photo of it. No fuss. No muss. $5.


ADX Portland

ADX Portland

A Portland shared workspace with all the tools you could want, and membership discounts for CNC Routing and 3D Printing.


Surface Mount Soldering for the Hobbyist

Once again, a hack-a-day post has me all excited.


Can you solder something this small? Yes you can! There’s a new, very detailed, instruction set available. Get nearly professional results on your hobby bench!

Also good: The whole Instructables site, and hack-a-day’s soldering station tutorial.