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Dillon Levenque

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Posts posted by Dillon Levenque

  1. On ‎1‎/‎16‎/‎2018 at 12:54 PM, Rhonda Huntress said:

    Won't you give to the "Nerds Who Debate Anachronisms Prevention Fund?"  Just 10 linden a day can be totally wasted if you act now.

    [sad puppy meme goes here]


    Meant to do this when I first saw it, somehow forgot, got reminded from another direction and am now back in the middle of my night and the wee hours or later for a lot of others. We can team up, Rhonda. Combine teams and support both efforts. And never mind sad puppy: I brought B.B. King.


    • Like 1
  2. 9 hours ago, Alyona Su said:

    I've read the entire thread up to here and now.


    I mean, really, so tame.

    I'd probably be not only convicted but immediately tossed into solitary confinement strapped into a Hannibal Lecter rack and gagged just for uttering the words to describe it.

    /me nods affirmatively with wide eyes and an 'uh-huh, uh-huh'.

    We lied, Alyona.

    We just talked about the things we didn't mind sharing. Below all that is a level of iniquity to stagger the imagination. We didn't talk about that because until you got here nobody was willing to call the bluff.

    More fava beans?

    • Haha 1
  3. I don't know if it's wanting to be bigger than the next guy, Coby. I think it is just seeing those sliders for the first time,  maxxing them out because, well, because. And then saying "Whoa! Am I a big boy or what?". It's like they can all become Jack Reacher, or at least the book Jack Reacher. In the novels he is a very large man (who is also smart as hell, honorable almost to a fault, and skilled in all types of fighting). Funny thing is, his character is quite convincingly played in the movies by an actor who may be shorter than either of us in RL: Tom Cruise. Since he obviously couldn't play it on size, he concentrated on just inhabiting the persona. I had read all the novels up to the point the movie came out and frankly I had my doubts, but he nailed it as far as I'm concerned.

    Why new people don't at some point in their slives back off on the height button a little I have no idea, but at least I have a theory for why they start that way.


    ETA: Thanks for stopping by! Now that you've posted it's surely only a matter of time before the Battling Brit shows up :-). There still won't be any way to get him to admit he's lost an argument—the title of Phil's biography will be "Undaunted Stubbornness", I  think—but at least we can derail him!

    • Like 2
  4. 5 hours ago, Rhonda Huntress said:

    Speaking of non sequitur tangents ...

    Ha! Allow me to demonstrate how to remove that 'non' by application of the Technique Levenque: simply using but a single oh-so-slightly unusual word from one post to spin up a complete maelstrom of nonsense. Behold.

    The use of the word "Velvet" in a recent post about "Velvet Goldmine" spun me right out.

    I own a record by 'The Velvet Underground'. These days they're quite well known but back when they were first around they were unheard of in regular rock n' roll on AM Radio, my only real source for new music. This was in my late teens or early twenties. Was no internet (Arpanet was either just about to start or had just started) and decades would pass before public access and the World Wide Web.

    How I got the record way out in the boonies of North Central California I don't know. Saw it in a shop? One of the more outré girls I sometimes dated suggested it? Dunno. I do know my friends and I played it often. It isn't great rock and roll, but it was so DIFFERENT we didn't care. We played this song a lot. Yes we knew it was about a heroin addict. I don't think anyone I knew ever got into heroin, but still. Ugly. We still liked it.

    and then.....

    I worked while I was in Silicon Valley for several years with a really good mechanical engineer. He was quite a character and we hit it off right from the start. When new builds were under way he'd spend half his time on my production floor assembling, going back and red-lining his drawings, and then trying again. He built personally about half the new stuff (and we were constantly doing new stuff: customs were us). I once told the CEO in a Production Meeting that I had my two best guys working on a project, then named my lead assembler and the engineer.

    One time he and his wife went to Prague (city of her family's ancestors) on vacation. As it happened I had recently read a history of what (coincidentally enough) is called 'The Velvet Revolution'(so-called because it was virtually bloodless; there was no fighting), Czechoslovakia's first attempt to get out from behind the Iron Curtain. While reading this history I came across a passage explaining how one of the motivating factors behind the creation of the original anti-Warsaw Pact/Soviet resistance was official government suppression of a musical group. The group in question played decadent American rock n' roll, and were accused of being degenerates and possibly drug users.

    I was stoked! American rock n' roll helped fuel the end of the Iron Curtain? Hot Damn! So when I learned of my friend's planned vacation I asked him to see if he could find anything at all by this group even though it was about thirty years after their heyday. When he came back he had a CD (not an old record as I'd expected). He said, somewhat resignedly, "They were having a Reunion Tour". He told me he'd listened to the CD and they were horrible, even though he was much too old to judge that ;-). He may have been right, though. The group was 'The Plastic People of the Universe'.

    There were two recognizable American songs on the CD, sung in accented but mostly correct English. A long, long cover of "Light My Fire" contains the colorful malaprop "...no time to wallow in your mire...", always good for a chuckle.

    The big hit, inevitably (and you knew it would be): covering The Velvet Underground and Nico. "I'm Waiting For My Man".

    You have not lived until you hear them sing "Hey white boy, whachoo dooink uptown?"

    Regrettably (or perhaps lucky for you) I could not find that song on YouTube. Short of becoming a YouTube channel and (violating copyright by) posting the contents of my CD, I don't know another way to deliver it to multiple anonymous users.


    ps: Yes, we did eventually peel the skin off the banana. Tragically, my possibly valuable old album has been violated. Woe is me.

    • Like 5
  5. 12 minutes ago, Love Zhaoying said:

    “..some scholars say..”

    Well, no, you can't use that. ALL scholars say. One who doesn't know that is not a scholar on the subject. I am not a scholar,  I assure you. They're my sources.

    Actually, that's incorrect.  Historians are MY sources; scholars are sources for the historians. The historians crawl through the scholar's painfully acquired data to find the detail they need to assemble the narrative. I actually obtained a regular library copy of a scholar's work. As I recall he was someone who was frequently footnoted in Gibbon; I thought I'd mine a deeper strata.

    As I read along, I had this feeling I was slowly turning into the Picture of Dorian Gray. I never went there again.

    • Like 1
    • Haha 1
  6. 5 minutes ago, Rhonda Huntress said:

    Well, there is The Roman Forum and then there are other, smaller fora in Rome. 

    You have demonstrated the reason I preceded my comment with "...most of us are familiar...", making it possible for the casual reader to assume (possibly inaccurately) that I was among those cognoscenti aware of the multitude of others once present in Rome. ;-)

  7. 5 hours ago, Rhonda Huntress said:

    Actually, fora is the plural for the specific case of forum as it relates to roman political venues.  Even in English.  However, with any other sense of forum, the plural is forums.

    Well, okay then. Venues. That would make it a very little-used variant in today's world, where most of us are familiar only with one in Rome. Thanks.

    See what I mean? Learn something everyday around here. :-)

  8. Cool. What a bunch of interesting responses to a question that was "sort of" implied in a post.

    I guess from Rhonda's explanation that LL promoting the Forums wouldn't really help; people either like this sort of conversation or they don't, and that's always going to be true. As a member of both of the two big SL forums (I know the correct Latin plural but to me it seems an affectation to use it in English) I have to say her observations on the numbers sound pretty accurate.

    Something Pamela said REALLY resonated: ".... no effort to research on their own before asking others to do it for them...". Seriously. There's SO much information already in print, by no means all of it in archived forum articles. Get online and look. All it took me was one (slightly out of frustration over unproductive research) out of left field research try, when I opened Google and typed, "How do I change (can't remember an exact example) in Second Life?". Bam. A page full of responses, most of which were relevant. After that a flat-out question on Google would be my first step whenever I had an SL question. That way when I finally gave up and asked in the Forum I could at least say what I'd read so far, so people would know they didn't have to start at rock-bottom to answer me. I learned how to do Outfits from a Google article, long before we had the folder. Revolutionized my Second Life—I could finally start trying on anything I fancied without being in deathly fear that I'd lose a part of my existing avatar. Prior to that I'd spent hours trying to put the 'self' I'd been back together after carelessly wearing something that chomped. Now I could just store me.

    I used to spend a whole lot of time with my father; we had a family business. After school I'd walk the few blocks to the business and when it closed for the day an hour or two later I would do all the facility/janitorial work while the old man did the books, then I'd ride home with him. Whole lotta stories and philosophy in those rides. I've always remembered one thing he told me; not sure what the conversation was or why I remember it so much (although it's possible I remember ALL of those conversations). He told me there was possibly no greater pleasure in life than talking with an intelligent person or better yet, several of them at once. It was even better if the person was a little more intelligent than you are.

    This and the one other forum I frequent have proved that to me so long ago I don't even think about it. That got mentioned in the responses above, too. "It helps that there are also a lot of smart people here, with a really quirky sense of humor."  Rolig Loon


    • Like 4
  9. 3 hours ago, LittleMe Jewell said:

    I seem to have started a sh!t storm though.

    I got here later than usual so I had no idea what you all were talking about. Had to do some looking. I'd thought I recalled something about Ace and I saw a bunch of thread activity from him right around the time frame of Clover's first Nancy Drew post here; checked it out and BINGO!

    He's right about a couple of Forum things, though. Nobody comes  here anymore. Of course, relatively nobody ever has come here! It's too bad, really. I'd been in SL almost a year before I finally took a peek, and I've been lurking or contributing ever since. I've learned volumes of things and had a whole lot of fun. I wish LL would promote it a little.

    The other thing is that yes, we are all terribly mean and cruel and all we do all day is pick on people. Terrible. lmfao. imma flounce.

    • Like 1
  10. 10 hours ago, Love Zhaoying said:

    Had to google it.

    What? These kids today! Don't they teach 'em the classics?

    Sing along with me, all you Jets (or Sharks): Officer Krupke, we're down on our knees, 'Cause no-one likes a fella with a social disease. Officer Krupke, what are we to do?

    (big finish, now) Gee, Officer Krupke, KRUP YOU!



    • Like 5
  11. 33 minutes ago, Madelaine McMasters said:

    adding half a cup of water to pre-baked gypsum or limestone and getting something literally as hard as a rock.

    From a geologist's perspective (or in this case that of an avid student of geology) it literally IS a rock; adding the water just restores what was extracted from the rock in the baking process.

    • Like 1
  12. 32 minutes ago, Rolig Loon said:

    I do not know why Burl Ives did not see fit to mention any of this instead of railing on about porpoises and porgies.

    When I finally stop laughing about that line, I may have to go back and edit in the word "some" into that sentence concerning the "Wave to Saturn" deal, about scientists having a sense of whimsy. :-)

    • Like 1
  13. 5 minutes ago, Clover Jinx said:

    Good grief I can't even derail a derail thread. *mumbles to herself as she goes to look for catnip*

    But Clover, that's kinda the point. Derails don't derail this thread, they ARE this thread. Besides, you derail a thread just by appearing in it, much as they used to say Bogart would dominate a scene just by entering it.

    • Like 2
  14. 2 hours ago, Rhonda Huntress said:

    I have always wanted to watch a night launch.

    I've seen lots. Solid fuel launches are great at night because the flame is constant all the way up; liquid fuel multi-stages like the Atlas have less visible fire, but there you get the added bonus of seeing the second stage ignite way-y-y up there.

    I grew up a tic over twenty miles inland from Vandenburg Air Force Base and have seen or heard lots of launches; you could hear the rumble quite clearly even from our distance. Best launch I ever saw was from a beach party in the cliffs up near Pismo; was a cave up there just above the beach where we could all sit around, build a campfire, and hang out. One night they launched a Minuteman (SFR). Because of the curve of the coastline we had a view across open water all the way to the launch pad. Spectacular.


    I've seen the effect shown in the SpaceX launch before as well, more than once but not often. It is a combination of things. The primary condition is that launch happens close enough after sundown from the observer's position, so the observer is in Earth's shadow but the rocket's in sunlight. As the rocket reaches higher in the atmosphere it displaces ice crystals and the sunlight makes those seem to glow. If the light is just right, you see the rainbow colors (I've seen that when the launch was just after sundown from our perspective; the sky was still light). Because the rockets were going pretty much straight away from us going downrange over the Pacific, It was a pretty spooky effect.. The ice cocoon just expands around the rocket and it looks just like something has gone horribly wrong: the rocket has reversed course and is coming right back atcha! First time I saw one I was thinking, "Uh, fellas? Isn't it about time to punch the old Self-Destruct Button?". I knew those worked; I'd seen enough times when that got used.

    • Like 3
  15. Love it,  and thanks! I've never seen a shuttle launch but I did see a landing once, at Edwards Air Force Base here in California: STS-6. It was the tragically ill-fated Challenger. This was long before the disaster; I think it was Challenger's first mission. I could go in the next room and look at the mission patch image on the big parking pass we'd gotten (useless; nobody ever even glanced at it) that's still on the door of the youngest's former bedroom. He didn't actually watch the landing, but his presence was felt: we'd just learned of the pregnancy a couple weeks before. STS-6 landed early in April of 1983; the youngest was born, an estimated six weeks premature, in late October. We went with our friends in two cars. Got there late afternoon. They just directed us all into long double rows right out there on the desert with about a driveway's worth of room between each set of double rows. After sundown that Mojave Wind got going, and of course cars kept arriving long into the night, adding even more dust to the mix. By the time we finally left the next morning I think I was dirtier than I've ever been in my life. But it was so worth it.

    They had us out near the upwind end of the runway; the approach end. We had about a quarter mile gap between us and the fence that closed off the runways. As soon as it got light people started drifting down to the 'viewing fence'. Our bunch got there early enough to get some space right up against the fence; once that all was taken people just filled in behind. We heard the two sonic booms and we were all looking at the sky trying to spot her. Suddenly someone nearby yelled, "THERE SHE IS!", and sure enough, there she was: coming right at us and starting her big turn to come around for landing. She flew right over our heads and then on past us before finishing the turn and flying back over our heads once more, much lower now. It was almost dead quiet; I think we were all too tense and excited to speak. Then the main gear touched down and started to smoke, and not too long after the nose came down as she continued straight as a stick down that runway. I think we all lost it when the nose settled and we knew she was all right. The place just exploded. Yelling, laughing, crying, back slapping, hugging....it was something. You'd have thought we were Mission Control.

    This clip of STS-1 (the equally ill-fated Columbia) gives a really good idea of what it all looked like except that STS-6 landed on the paved runway. The late John Young was the pilot for this one.


    • Like 2
  16. About V'ger  (I started a small thread once about her in this Forum, a few years back): as a manufacturing person it pleases me beyond measure that both Voyager craft are still functional as they venture into interstellar space, and still sending data back to Earth even from beyond the boundaries of our Solar System. Voyager 1 launched in late August of 1977, Voyager 2 a couple weeks later. This Summer they will have been functioning in the frigid vacuum of Space for forty years. Imagine the pride anyone still among the living who worked on that build must feel, to have been involved in making a machine that still works WITHOUT MAINTENANCE after all this time. I personally consider it the greatest manufacturing achievement of the Twentieth Century.

    • Like 6
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