Thursday, March 26, 2015

Dear IRS: I Will Not Pay My 2014 Income Tax

Today I sent my first War Tax Resistance letter to the IRS as coordinated by the National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee.  As explained below, this is neither a money-saving scheme nor a get-out-of-jail-free scheme.

Monday, March 9, 2015

D&C 132: A revelation of men, not God

I am re-posting this post in solidarity with Kirk Van Allen who is being threatened with a disciplinary council for authoring it.  This is posted with Kirk’s permission.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Riprap Filter Design Using FHWA Hydraulic Toolbox

To do a Riprap Filter Design with the FHWA Hydraulic Toolbox, you need to understand the underlying criteria the program uses to accept or reject a filter design.  The criteria are taken from National Cooperative Highway Research Program Report 568: Riprap Design Criteria, Recommended Specifications, and Quality Control. Section 3.2.2, pages 62 and 63.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Perform HEC-15 Calculations with the new FHWA Hydraulic Toolbox

In August 2014 FHWA released version 4.2 of their Hydraulic Toolbox, which is a bundle of calculators for the venerable Hydraulic Engineering Circular No. 15 Design of Roadside Channels with Flexible Linings aka HEC-15.  I confess that despite my 20+ years of civil engineering,this software is news to me.  While some of its calculators may be trivial to any given civil engineer, others may be a big help.  And they all are packaged neatly in a Windows program that can output a PDF or RTF report.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Who Earns Mimimum Wage in the United States? Heads of Household?

In his State of the Union Address this week, President Obama said, "And to everyone in this Congress who still refuses to raise the minimum wage, I say this:  If you truly believe you could work full-time and support a family on less than $15,000 a year, try it.  If not, vote to give millions of the hardest-working people in America a raise."  But is the minimum wage really about heads of household?  Who earns minimum wage?

Sunday, January 11, 2015

How to get Geotables Curve labels and tables to come in at the right scale

One of the hardest issues of using AutoCAD for new users is controlling text heights.  And one of the most common issues people have with Geotables curve, line, and point tables is getting the blocks to insert at the scale they want.  I will give first in this post the short fix answers.  Then I will explain what is going on.  If you don't want to do the first quick fix and you don't want to read the long explanation, just skip to the Other Fixes section at the bottom.

GEOTABLES Free Curve, Line, and Point Tables for AutoCAD

I have been in AutoCAD customization mode a bit lately.  Today I worked on a cool Free Libre Open Software program I was paid to write by M2Group of Mesa, Arizona back in 2004 to create automated curve data tables (now also line and point data tables).  It's called Geotables, and it is one of my more well-written programs since it was written from scratch with the intent for it to be open source.  There's a pretty good brochure for it at the Wikia AutoCAD Wiki.  Anyway, I thought I might write a bit about it today partly to publicize that it is still very much viable and supported as well as to discuss a bit more what it does.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

AutoLISP Tutorial for AutoCAD Users: Lesson 3

It's not all that comforting to know how to define a custom command if you can't save it and use it tomorrow or next year. Let's save our work.

AutoLISP Tutorial for AutoCAD Users: Lesson 2

Hello, world is very nice. But what you really wanted to do was write a custom AutoCAD command. So let's do that.

AutoLISP Tutorial for AutoCAD Users: Lesson 1

You are at home in AutoCAD, and you would like to harness the power of AutoLISP. What a perfect fit! Make yourself at home.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

How to Reverse Gum Disease Fast

Little did I realize when I started blogging about my success reversing my gum disease that secret weapon number one would turn out to be my water bottle.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

You Can't Put Snow In a Database Table -- How to Name And Think About Database Tables

I blogged previously about the considerations involved in choosing between singular and plural database table names.  In the course of getting input on the considerations involved, I came across a concession saying that a "news" table would always be plural.  But this post explains why you can't put snow, sunshine, love, mud, furniture, a survey, or news in a database table.

DB Table Name Plural or Singular? How To Choose

A common question for web programmers is whether to give database table names singular or plural names.  Since the intuitive preference for one or the other is largely a religious debate, in this post I help you compare the two across many use cases you might not otherwise consider.  Then I let you decide which works better over the long haul.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Sortition: Solving Political Corruption Through Lottery Selection of Legislators

As boring as the subject is, campaign finance corruption is probably the single core obstacle to good governance in the USA.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

The Near Death Experience and Me

The Near Death Experience changed my life.  I often say now that it is my religion.

Facebook Share