2 Shelves of Books Added to the Library

Browse  the Library

Well, actually 1 shelf from my office, and a large pile of books on the floor for which there is no shelf space.

Many of the ones on the floor are pretty recent, acquired from various catch-a-catch can sources in what masquerades as bookstores here in Porterville: the local 99 cent store, the occasional find in a thrift shop, etc.

You can find lots of fun stuff, modern math and algorithms at the heart of the most innovative applications on the internet, technical manuals, hiking books, marketing, psychology, interpretations of current events, and film finance.

If you find any of it interesting (and you will!), simply click on the book and order immediately from Amazon and you will have it in your hands in just a few days!

Browse  the LibraryRead the rest

On The Wall Of Death It’s The Nearest To Being Free

Just played on Pandora – one of my favorite songs ever!

Wall Of Death Lyrics

Richard Thompson

Let me ride on the Wall Of Death one more time
Let me ride on the Wall Of Death one more time
You can waste your time on the other rides
This is the nearest to being alive
Oh let me take my chances on the Wall Of Death

You can go with the crazy people in the Crooked House
You can fly away on the Rocket or spin in the Mouse
The Tunnel Of Love might amuse you
Noah’s Ark might confuse you
But let me take my chances on the Wall Of Death

On the Wall Of Death all the world is far from me
On the Wall Of Death it’s the nearest to being free

Well you’re going nowhere when you ride on the carousel
And maybe you’re strong but what’s the good of ringing a bell
The switchback will make you crazy. Beware of the bearded lady
Oh let me take my chances on the Wall Of Death

Let me ride on the Wall Of Death one more time
Oh let me ride on the Wall Of Death one more time
You can waste your time on the other rides
This is the nearest to being alive
Oh let me take my chances on the Wall Of Death
Let me take my chances on the Wall Of Death
Oh let me take my chances on the Wall Of Death

Read the rest

Sharp Debate At High Court Over Cross On US Land

Debate Mirrors Ongoing Porterville Controversy in Murray Park

“I have been in Jewish cemeteries,” Eliasberg continued. “There is never a cross on a tombstone of a Jew.”

From: Sharp debate at high court over cross on US land – Yahoo! News.

This case mirrors a  current situation in Porterville,  one of many that our City has managed to generate in attempts to skirt the First Amendment’s Establishment clause.

Here in Murray Park, we have a Christian Cross, where Easter Sunrise Services are annually helped on City-owned and run parkland.

If only our City could devote as much energy to innovative thoughts and solutions to real civic issues, such as:

  1. Poor use of information technology (IT) by City Hall
  2. Abysmal education rate
  3. The lack of a strategy for marketing Porterville as part of an economic development plan
  4. The lack of a sense of place and purpose in the new General Plan

Perhaps if we are all lucky, the Supreme Court will rule sensibly in this case and it will serve as a wakeup call to City leaders to find what makes Porterville best and competitive and to nurture that instead of the anti-First Amendment, anti-science, anti-equality hate they focus on so much.… Read the rest

3 More Samurai Swords Swashbuckle Their Way Into The News

I didn’t realize how common this sort of thing is until I set a google news alert and the stories started flowing in

Here are 3 more:

Plant engineer stabbed to death with sword
A textile plant engineer was stabbed dead with a “katana” (samurai sword) by one of his welders inside the company compound in Quezon City Monday night.
See all stories on this topic
Hip-Hop Wired

Major Mackerel Slashed With Sword
Hip-Hop Wired
Jamaican reggae artist, Major Mackerel, is recovering from injuries sustained after being slashed with a samurai sword. The 41-year-old, real name Garfield
See all stories on this topic

Reggae star vs. ‘Samurai
New York Post
By JESSICA SIMEONE A reggae star was slashed by a samuraisword-wielding neighbor in Brooklyn yesterday during a fight over a woman, authorities and
See all stories on this topic
Read the rest

How Many Images are at the Smithsonian?

One of the things people often want to know about photography at the Smithsonian is, “How many photographs do you have?” with the quick follow-up, “Have you counted all of them?” No one knows for certain, but statistical sampling suggests that there are over fifteen million pictures, in the form of prints, negatives, and digital files.

From: Too Many to Count « The Bigger Picture.

Back in the mid-1980s I and a partner developed a product for archiving photographs and images and indexing them via hypertext based on image archiving work I had done earlier at NASA.

Yeah yeah, I know, a product ahead of its time :).

We immediately saw The Smithsonian and other major museums and archives in DC as possible  early adopters. Although we never implemented the system in DC, we did spend considerable time “behind the scenes” discussing the scope of the project.

Of the numbers that stuck in my mind, … Read the rest

Porterville Nerd Updates Congregation Beit Shalom Visalia’s Synagogue Website

Beit Shalom - A Synagogue in Visalia, California_1254843775015For Immediate Release:

Congregation Beit Shalom, a Jewish synagogue in Visalia, CA is Porterville Nerd’s latest happy client.

“I couldn’t be more thrilled with the new site you designed for us” says Para-Rabbinic Cynthia Simonian. “The custom design is beautiful and that you can update the website is terrific. People have been finding us and the website is an great asset to our congregation”

Beit Shalom Visalia engaged the Nerd to update its prior stale web site which had not updated for over a year. The new web site, in addition to the custom design created to meet the needs of the Congregation, is easily updated because it consists of a WordPress backend that handles seamlessly laying out the data and the management functionality.

WordPress is a popular blogging platform, that in the hands of a professional designer and programmer such as Barry Caplan, known professionally as the Porterville Nerd, can become a sophisticated yet easy-to-use system for active web and complex sites.

“I took care of all of the steps for Beit Shalom to have a web site they can be proud of and rely on. Before, all communication with the congregation was only via monthly email letters.  Since the web site was stale with no one available to update the complicated technical pages, all information on the web site, including service calendars, was nearly a year out of date. Now, when I receive the monthly calendar, I am able to update the web site with each of the stories simply by filing in a form for each one, and this takes a matter of an hour or so a month. In addition, if material is available during the month, new material can be added in minutes as needed.” Caplan said.

Caplan continued, “In addition to the new ease of administration and special design, there are many new features that the earlier site did not have at all.… Read the rest


I came across these images yesterday of a building where I used to live in Baltimore for 7 years. I was one of the earliest residents when the one-time factory was renovated into loft apartments. I had long heard that the factory manufactured underwear, never confirmed until yesterday when I found these photos of the erstwhile- BVD Factory.

It is interesting to see that the direction of travel on these main streets in Downtown Baltimore changed several times over the years.

The intersection of West Pratt and Greene Streets is directly across the street from where Camden Yards, the home of the Baltimore Orioles is located. Also of note is that Babe Ruth’s birthplace is one block away, hidden behind some of the buildings in these photos.

Thanks to the Baltimore Museum of Industry for their diligence in keeping the history of Baltimore both available and alive!

Related Images:

Reading is FUN-damental!

OK, working on a new feature for this blog!

I thought y’all might like a look into the types of books that draw my interest. I will elaborate on specific ones from time to time, and use their content as a jumping off point for various blog essays.

To that extent I have added a new “library” section to this blog. It can be found at http://www.portervillenerd.com/library/

To kick it off, I will add some books I grabbed today from the Porterville Library “Friends of the Library” monthly book sale. To be honest, there were far more books available than I expected, and I didn’t expect to find anything except curiosities, if that. I think I did a little better than that, and the money goes to a good cause.

For now, the formatting of the Library page, and the individual book pages may look a little iffy as I have not integrated the default formatting into this blog’s theme. In the interest of sharing information rapidly, I let you know about the data anyway 🙂

And if you see any books that are interesting, you can click on the images or the titles and you will be taken to the book’s page on Amazon.com. If you then buy the book, you will be bringing the internet economy to Porterville, which can really use it, and honoring me with a small contribution that Amazon will provide me for having helped you! I thank you for that honor, I hope you find some books as interesting as I do, and I welcome your feedback on what you think of them or the essays I will provide.

Here are the books I got today, all for a total of less than 10 dollars:… Read the rest

Ghost of Tom Joad


Strathmore, California. Citrus workers in winter quarters 1939 Feb. Strathmore is adjacent to Porterville.

Now Tom said “Mom, wherever there’s a cop beatin’ a guy

Wherever a hungry newborn baby cries

Where there’s a fight ‘gainst the blood and hatred in the air
Look for me Mom I’ll be there

Wherever there’s somebody fightin’ for a place to stand
Or decent job or a helpin’ hand

Wherever somebody’s strugglin’ to be free
Look in their eyes Mom you’ll see me.”
Read the rest

Texas judge clears way for gay divorce

[Texas Attorney General]Abbott has argued that because the state doesn’t recognize gay marriage, its courts can’t dissolve one through divorce.

Texas judge clears way for gay divorce – Yahoo! News.

So it seems that Texas is torn – they are so set against two men or two women having a marriage, yet they won’t lift a finger to help these two men get rid of the one they have and no longer want.

I predict eventually the same sad hypocritical situation will happen here in Porterville or surrounding Tulare County.

Read the rest