Can R2-D2 Do This?

July 1, 2019

This is my new, portable washing machine that I purchased for $52.88. It washes and rinses all clothes and other fabric except large or heavy items such as winter coats, blankets and sleeping bags. I have used it twice so far, and am very pleased. It takes small loads of course, but is the perfect solution for those living in small spaces and hate going to laundromats, or they’re too far away for frequent use. Use cold water only, which you can either hook up to a faucet with the hose it came with, or just use a bucket. In my case I use a 2 quart saucepan, because the sink is too small for a bucket…besides which a saucepan is much easier to handle. The washing machine holds up to four gallons or a tad more. Liquid detergent is best.

Click here to see it in action during wash mode.

The dial on the left has three settings: wash, spin and off. The dial on the right is the timer, which can be set for up to 15 minutes. The appliance uses only 200 watts, and is not too noisy. I rather enjoy hearing the clothes slosh around in the water, and later the unobtrusive “whir” of the spinner. After the first wash, I run my clothes through two rinses. So that means first draining the appliance, then filling it up with plain water each time, and running them on “wash” (minus detergent) for five minutes or so.

I was able to fit three large T-shirts, three boxer briefs and six crew socks into one load. I had to divvy them into two portions for the spin cycle, which uses a small, soft plastic basket. It only takes five minutes or less to spin each load, whereby they’re still very damp, but not enough to cause any dripping when hanged to dry.

Click here to see it in action during spin mode.

I have yet to wash any longsleeve shirts, dungarees, light jackets or sweaters, but I imagine I should limit myself to one pair of denim pants at a time (for example). Or three shirts, or two jackets or two sweaters, in each load. The entire machine wobbles when in spin mode, but not so much it moves, or falls off the milk crate upon which it’s set (so the water can be fully drained into the bucket).

In the photo above, you can see the drain hose on the other side of the washing machine. There’s a little hook to keep the hose pointing upward, which is necessary for the wash cycle. When the wash is done, lower the hose into the bucket, so the water can drain.

Here’s the inside of the device, with the white disk on the bottom that does the spinning. It has a bump in the middle, with four ridges radiating out, so you can snap the spin basket into place.

After the clothes have been washed and twice-rinsed, I wring them out a bit and place them into a tub. Then I snap the basket onto the spin disk and load it with around half the soggy laundry.

Here’s the basket before I pack in the washed items. Once it’s filled up I then snap the plastic lid in place, to keep items from escaping.

And voila! My clothes are now hung out to dry, on a nylon cord strung from one corner of my room to another. I’ve learned it takes 1-1/2 days for the briefs and T-shirts to dry fully, and 2 days for the socks. I will plan my laundry schedule accordingly.

Gratitude & the Happiness Cult

June 10, 2019

Below is a link to an audio file of a comment I recently posted to a Mendocino community mailing list. As read by one Marco McClean, radio host of “Memo of the Air” on KNYO and KMEC. Followed by a Ted Talk on the same theme. My rant is just under 3 minutes, the rest is the Ted talk…total: 17 minutes. Click on the clown to get going:

My Thinkpad Has A Brain Slug!

April 17, 2019

My refurbished Thinkpad X230 looks perfectly normal from the front. But when you look at the back of the screen, it’s got a whole different thing going on! What the frig is that bright red blob that looks kinda like some sort of alien sucker?

It’s actually an external, 256 GB SSD device connected via USB which arrived in the mail just four days back. And attached to the back with a tiny square of Velcro. Half of it is dedicated to whatever Linux distro I’m playing with at the moment…allowing my system to dual boot without messing with the main drive, which is 128 GB (also SSD) and installed with Windows 10 pro. The other half is formatted as FAT32, which I use for downloading torrents and Youtube videos with either operating system, as well as sharing documents and notes between Windows and Linux.

In case you’re curious about my entire setup, there is a second, 22-inch monitor to the left, connected via the docking station. Also attached to the docking station are: two USB HDDs (one 500 GB, the other 1 TB), USB mini-dongle for a solar powered external keyboard, and another dongle for an infrared mouse. There is a 64 GB SDHC card inserted into my laptop, where all my personal data is stored and secured with Bitlocker. (FYI all my important files and data are backed up to the larger external drive, as well as to the Google cloud.)

For superior sound, I use a pair of sturdy Logitech speakers also connected via the docking port. They are situated below my system, since it rests on a riser atop the desk…so that I can stand up while working, playing, or just browsing the ‘net. Thanks to the larger, second screen, I can also kick back in bed and watch any of my recently downloaded movies, TV shows or Youtube videos. And finally:

While lounging in my penguin PJs, the infrared mouse doubles as a remote. Voila!

The MCN Anti-Zeke Cabal

February 19, 2019

Some will guffaw, some will swoon, and some will foam at the mouth!

The MCN Anti-Zeke Cabal as Explained by Marco McClean, esquire:

Marco “I’m-not-your-butt-monkey” McClean’s analysis of the anti-Zeke phenomenon coming out of two MCN lists, in response to Bruce Anderson’s email query. A nine minute slice of sheer profundity from last Friday’s “Memo of the Air” on KNYO and KMEC. Click on the image below to get rollin’.


You explained to him very well, my particular situation there. I really didn’t expect the hostility I wound up receiving, when I first joined. However, hostility is often the result in the long run, on any list or other online venue I’ve posted to, almost always because of my gay activist contributions. But now, in this horrid era of Donald Trump, more nasty people feel extremely emboldened to attack anyone who speaks a progressive mindset. So I’m a frequent target. There are more right-wingers than ever online, and they’ve overrun many formerly liberal hangouts.

Though hostility has been a constant companion since the day I was born. I think that is the result of growing up in the lower middle class…there is a lot more dysfunctionality in the lower classes. Especially for the intellectual, geeky type such as myself. It is no great boon to see such a twisted ideology spread across this sorry nation to become more and more of the norm…our LGBT community no exception, though of course not quite as harsh. America bet on the wrong horse!

Now, I’d like to make a couple of corrections on your description about yours truly, followed by an explanation of my no longer calling in:

1) My health isn’t poor, it’s excellent…in spite of my bad teeth and lack of health care access. Though I did suffer a nasty attack of sciatica three months ago…for two days it was so bad, I almost had to crawl around my room instead of walk. But I’ve well in fact, it’s like it never happened. It might have arisen from a possible B12 deficiency…and since I’ve started taking B12 supplements, it has entirely disappeared. Coincidence or cure, I don’t really know. But as a vegetarian, I am susceptible to such a deficiency, because I eat very little in the way of any animal product, which in my case is cheese. So I’m gonna keep the B12 in my diet from now on, just to play it safe.

2) I’m not from New Jersey, but close enough. I’m from Long Island.

3) Finally, the reason I don’t call in any more, is that I’m totally weirded out by the situation of phoning a distant locale, while I sit in my SRO w/o any social circle here. IOW: doing so accentuates my loner situation in the middle of the night, in what has become a very spooky neighborhood in a bad way. I also don’t eat out for the same reason: it accentuates my being a loner, when surrounded by happily chatting couples and families. Be that as it may, I’ve never felt comfortable calling in to radio shows. I rarely do, but when I started our over-the-air badinage, I thought it would be great for me. Instead, it brought out a more heightened awareness of my solitude…too much for my taste. I also think I have a bit of a phobia, similar to stage fright.

The moment we disconnect here I am, once again, alone in my room, late at night among the ghouls and other freaks that wander the Castro…the only thing separating me from them is my residency, though my two windows look over the bleak landscape 24/7, so it’s almost like living among the zombies. A lot of crazy stuff goes on below my window, and along the sidewalks and across the street…the horror of our dysfunctional society presses in on me with scant relief.

Oh, and they’re not all “libs” who attack me, as Mr. Anderson would like to believe. It started with right wingers such as John Retching. These pro-Trump types are the ones behind all this nonsense. They stir up the gossipy types, some of whom consider themselves “progressive,” thus they join the bullying, not realizing how they’re being manipulated by devious types. I find Bruce’s coloring the picture as a “liberal” problem both disingenuous and outright disgusting. Simply because right wingers always find ways to scapegoat lefties, and they work overtime doing this. And is why I will not renew my subscription to the Anderson Valley Advertiser…I do not care to donate my money in that direction. These creeps are empowered enough as it is. I am presently dealing with a brother who is a raving Trump advocate, and sees me as pathetic. I have made it clear to him that I want nothing more to do with him, now that all his inheritance duties as executor for our parents is complete. I have no idea whether or not he’ll respect that…these kind can be dangerous. So far so good, though, he hasn’t responded to my final “good riddance” email, nor phoned me. If he does, I’ll ignore.

So for me, this is personal. My discovery of my brother’s RW bent is rather recent…I had hoped for some real communication after decades of none going on. Instead, it’s only gotten worse, thanks to Trump’s absurd victory. Mr. Anderson can go eff himself. That’s it for now, and thanks again for setting Mr. Anderson straight on the “Zeke Matter.” For the most part.

The /real/ Zeke (Marco-is-not-my-butt-monkey) Krahlin

The Gray Box Anomaly

May 21, 2018

{{ Diaphanous Reader: I just emailed this frivolous post to the Mendocino Coummunity Network discussion and announcement lists, for mischief’s sake. }}

Date: Mon, 21 May 2018 17:01:21
The Gray Box Anomaly (urgent)
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: MCN discuss, MCN announce

Has anyone else noticed a strange message that’s been posted to our list several times in the past two weeks, entitled “Promises Kept” (or maybe “Premises Expected,” “Prozac Effect,” “Prose Intercept,” “Proof Intact,” “Prune Intruder” or something else along those lines)…which vanishes shortly after first viewing, to make us think we either imagined or dreamt it? I just saw the message again this morning, while sipping on my first cup of ganja laced java for the day. I think I’ve viewed it three times so far, maybe four, though didn’t pay it much mind until this most recent arrival. I will now attempt to describe the contents:

Even though it is entirely composed in text, a small, floating gray box appears hovering just inches above my laptop screen. I gaze upon it, stunned into a hypnotic trance while attempting to read the actual post. Which is blurred in parts (including the subject title which seems to shift and wobble as my eyelids flicker), though perhaps that is an aftereffect, like vanishing ink. The words go something like this:

“We are wondering if you’d be interested in trying out our newest discovery [blurry text follows, then:] No obligation on your part, though we do request that [more blurry text]. If for some reason you don’t care to engage further, just [more blurry text], and we will not bother you again. Though we do request that you share this amazing breakthrough of superior promise with at least five other [more blurry text].”

At the very bottom it ends with the word “NAMASTE” in all caps, in a large, bold trebuchet font, followed by one short line of yet more blurred text just underneath. By the time I get to the end, the slowly rotating gray quadrate vanishes, along with the entire message a few seconds later. I can not find it anywhere in any of my gmail folders, including Trash and Spam.

Now I want to make it very clear that what I remember of the contents of this unusual email, may not be the least bit accurate, for they come to mind like a fading dream slipping through my fingers. In fact, the most solid recall I have is that levitating, gray cube hovering before me like a seductive sphinx…and those golden letters that spell “namaste.” For they remain seared onto my retinae like a faerie’s cattle brand.

Of course I still wonder if this /is/ my imagination, or a nocturnal specter; but at this third or fourth occurrence, I have become suspicious of subliminal intrusion of my email service. I checked my Amazon account, to see if I’ve made any purchases I’m not aware of. Likewise my bank account, to spot any possible withdrawals that look suspicious. In addition, I’ve pored over all my social media pages to see if I could identify any strange posts (either on my part or from others). So far, so good, nothing out of the ordinary. IMPORTANT:

My concern goes beyond the threat of subliminal spam that may coerce me to purchase some item or service unbeknownst to me until too late, and my bank account is wiped out (or the NSA knocks down my door). For maybe this is the intrigue of the shadow government, military psi-ops, dark science, religious cult, or some other devious group such as black hat hackers, intergalactic overlords, underworld demons or crazed heterosexuals overexposed to the rising tide of multi-sexual liberation (for examples).

But this is just Day One of my vigilance regarding this “gray box” message that may or may not be a will-o’-the-wisp summoned by my own subconscious. Yet because it does possess an element of subterfuge by the nature of its appearance and context, I am asking anyone else on this list to keep an eye out for a diminutive square box that drifts above a partially incoherent and blurred MCN message…but which you brushed off, thinking it just some brief hallucination conjured up by an undigested bit of beef, a blot of mustard, a crumb of cheese, or a fragment of underdone potato late at night during a restless slumber.

Thank you for your kind attention. I await feedback on any subscriber’s part with bated, purple-hazed breath.

Fi-Di Sunshine & Transit

April 12, 2018

A happy, free-spirited denizen soaking up the sun in San Franicisco’s gorgeous Financial District, shimmering with glass and metal to the clouds and beyond!

Riding one of San Francisco’s signature streetcars, on my way downtown. Spectacularly drab: an eyesore to tourists, residents and working drones alike! The 3rd world never had it so good.

Fi-Di Poppins

March 21, 2018

Mary Poppins is homeless, too? Well, maybe not homeless, but certainly desperate…she can’t even carry a tune any more. Hard times for everyone, I guess. Or maybe that’s Julie Andrews…or a cross between the two. Whatever, it’s still another Fi-Di treat to delight tourists and rush-hour drones, alike. I am so stoked…let it go, let it go, let it go!

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