Archive for the ‘General’ Category.

How To Download Most Online Videos

If you need to download a video on Youtube or Vimeo or wherever, this process will often do it for you, fer free and without downloading some likely-spammy-scammy software.

The key is: most video online is HTML5. VLC can play any HTML5 video… and get you the link to download it. (via)

Ensoniq KT-88 Manual (KT-76 too)

The KT-88 is an electronic keyboard made by Ensoniq. I found the manual graciously left on Hurray!

Good COVID Reading

Here is This is a very good article about how not to get the ‘rona, The Risks – Know Them – Avoid Them. He talks about many actual cases as examples. All of the posts by Erin Bromage are good Covid reading.

Some Bread

Bread baking friends, celebrate with me the videos made by the Proof Bread company in Phoenix! I’m linking to the video that got me hooked but the whole channel is a wonderment.

I took some hints from the videos and came up with this:

Cuts on the top were supposed to look like wheat, but they were pretty nonetheless.

I put a cookie sheet on the shelf under the pan to shield the bottom from heat. It worked well, making the bottom only a tiny bit crisper than the top instead of burnt.

1 1/2 cups of white flour, 1/8 cup whole wheat, 475 for 30 minutes covered, 12 minutes uncovered. Made a nice sandwich bread with a crackling crust :-)

Replacing the Battery on an Ensoniq KT-88 Electronic Keyboard

I replaced the battery on my Ensoniq KT-88 electronic keyboard today. It wasn’t hard. Took about 45 minutes of unscrewing, fiddling with connectors, and soldering. (actually, the keyboard is on long-term loan from a good friend :-) )

I bought the battery from Syntaur. Maybe I could have found it for a few dollars cheaper but it wasn’t expensive and I wanted to make sure it was a good battery and had the right tabs on it! These guys rock.

Here she is, ready to go
Take all the screws off of the flat back plate. I counted… umm, a lot. I counted 3 types of screws so keep them separate for reassembly.
Unhook all the connectors, plastic pins, and screws from the motherboard carefully. A flathead screwdriver helped with leverage
Bjonk, it’s on my workbench!
There’s the culprit. Multimeter said 0.0 volts.
I just snipped it off and…
… soldered the new battery in place!
3 volts, yay!
It powers up without any trouble :-)

After I was done replacing the battery, none of the controls worked! Argh! The internet (local archive) told me that to reset the Ensoniq KT-88 “PRESS EDIT/SEQUENCES (PRESETS). PRESS AND HOLD THE UPPER 9 BUTTON AND THEN PRESS THE LOWER 9.RELEASE BOTH AND PRESS YES AT THE PROMPT.”. Thanks to

Escape the City: a How-To Homesteading Guide

One of my oldest friends is writing a homesteading book. He’s literally an award-winning author which is pretty awesome. I ordered a copy :-)

“Seven years ago I moved from the city to a farm where I taught myself to garden, raise animals & cook “farm to table”. I show you how”

Find out more about the book and pre-order it.

Useful Psychological Theories and David Rock’s SCARF Model

Summary: If you want to win friends and influence people, treat them with Status, Certainty, Autonomy, Relatedness, and Fairness.

I use a lot of psychological models and theories to conceptualize my world. The ones I refer to most often are Erikson’s Theory of Psychosocial Development, Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences, and Kohlberg’s Theory of Moral Development. Look them up, memorize them, use them. They are useful!

I just heard about the SCARF Model and I’m pretty excited about it (a model isn’t as generalized as a theory but can be useful nonetheless!)

The SCARF Model was developed in 2008 by David Rock, in his paper “SCARF: A Brain-Based Model for Collaborating With and Influencing Others.” SCARF stands for the five key “domains” that influence our behavior in social situations. These are:

  • Status – our relative importance to others.
  • Certainty – our ability to predict the future.
  • Autonomy – our sense of control over events.
  • Relatedness – how safe we feel with others.
  • Fairness – how fair we perceive the exchanges between people to be.

The model is based on neuroscience research that implies that these five social domains activate the same threat and reward responses in our brain that we rely on for physical survival. So, in brief, look at each of the domains above and think. For example, if a person places you in a lower status than you, that stress can easily trigger your fight-or-flight response (imagine a boss talking down to you). If they put you in a higher status, that can trigger your reward system (imagine getting an award). This works in more situations than you’d initially consider. And there’s lots to consider. If you want to win friends and influence people, treat them with status, certainty, autonomy, relatedness, and fairness.

Here is the original paper about the SCARF Model by David Rock

There’s many sites that talk about the SCARF Model in more depth, here’s a pretty good one.

update 7-29-20, I came across a random “How to influence people” post on Imgur and about 3/4 of the items are applied versions of the SCARF model, nice. (though admittedly, some of the tactics in this image are ethically questionable!)

Podmatch: Matching School Families During the Pandemic

I just heard about this service. It’s totally brand spanking new so don’t fret if there’s not many people on it yet. This could be helpful for building your “pod” for the school year! We’re trying it.


Resetting Email Notifications

If you’d still like to get email notifications from me, please sign up again in the upper right corner of my site at I had gotten so many fake email subscribers that I’m going to wipe the whole list and start over.

I just turned email notifications on today after some 7 months. You can go back to the site or the archives to catch up. It took me a while to get around to fixing it.

TV Watching Parties

I love and hate how new TV shows come out a full season at a time now. It’s nice that it’s all “just there” to watch. But there’s a lack of excitement and discussion about what’s going to happen next. Would you like to watch some shows together… SLOWLY?

This was brought to a head for me when I saw episode 4 of The Witcher the other night. I thought “Wow, that was awesome! I want to talk to somebody ab…. wait. Most likely any of my friends have either seen the whole season already or they haven’t seen the show at all.”