Turned In My Petition

Went to another informal meeting tonight at Gray Lodge #329. Turned in my petition (after having it signed by a few guys willing to be my “top line signers”), met a few other people who weren’t able to attend last week, and had a generally good evening.

Next week, Amy and I will be attending dinner at the lodge on Wednesday before their monthly Stated Meeting where my petition will be presented, and the formal process begins.

Petitioning a Lodge

After inquires to several local Masonic lodges over the past couple of weeks, I was invited to Gray Lodge #329‘s informal educational meeting last Thursday.

I can say without a doubt that it was one of the most enjoyable couple of hours I’ve had in the recent past. I met a very friendly bunch of guys, saw a really nice lodge building, and had a good hamburger. During dinner, there was no talk of world domination, but there were a few complaints about Windows Vista.

I’ve decided to petition this lodge for the degrees of Freemasonry, and will be turning in my paperwork next Thursday. After that, my petition will get reviewed at their next stated meeting in early August, and then an investigational committee will be assigned to interview me. If that goes favorably, the lodge will then vote on my petition.

Revamped the home network

When Apple’s 802.11n-capable Airport Extreme router came out early last year, I picked one up in anticipation of eventually replacing all my wireless networking gear with 11n-capable stuff. At the time I was running Linksys WRT54GL routers running DD-WRT firmware, and doing WDS in order to bridge networks in two rooms together without running Cat5 down the hallway.

I bought the new Airport Extreme router, and one of the 802.11g Airport Express units, and set up WDS between them. Throughput was just a bit slower than it had been with my highly-tweaked WRT54GLs, but I could live with that because “eventually Apple will come out with 11n Express hardware”.

Back in March, Apple finally came out with the 11n Airport Express units. I rushed out and bought one, only to get it home and discover that Apple does not support using WDS in 802.11n mode; it has to be run in “G-compatible” mode. In other words, having 802.11n hardware on both sides of the connection makes NO difference at all in throughput, and gives no advantage over having 802.11g hardware.

I just finished ripping out all of the Apple wireless gear, and replacing it with three brand new WRT54GLs running DD-WRT v24. I reasoned that if I’m going to be limited to 802.11g speeds between rooms, I might as well have it on the best, most-tweakable hardware available – stuff that I have complete control over via SSH and a web interface, instead of being forced to use a proprietary management GUI.

I sold one 802.11n Airport Extreme (non-GigE version) and two 802.11n Airport Express units to a friend for $175, which was just enough to pay for the WRT54GLs from NewEgg with free shipping.

World’s Most Dangerous Flashlight?

Hurricane season is coming up, so I ordered a few “Super-Bright 9 LED Heavy-Duty Compact Aluminum Flashlight” from Amazon in black, blue, and gunmetal colors. They were only $5.50 each, so I ordered five of them to qualify for free shipping.

The package arrived today, and I proceeded to de-blister-pack all of them.

Click for bigger pictures.

Flashlight Packaging Front

Flashlight Packaging Rear

Then I noticed the disclaimer on the back:

Flashlight Disclaimer

I think these may qualify to be the World’s Most Dangerous Flashlight, and an example of overkill on a warning label. I blame California.

The Watchmen trailer

The teaser trailer for the movie adaptation of Alan Moore’s Watchmen graphic novel is up for viewing.

I first read Watchmen about ten years ago, and am and glad that the director is sticking EXACTLY to the graphic novel. This was long considered as one work that could never properly translate to the big screen, but it appears to have been pulled off.

Separated at birth? Freemasonry and the App Store

Surely I can’t be the only person who noticed the similarity of the App Store icon to the Masonic emblem.

Speaking of Freemasonry, I’m trying to find if anyone I know is a member so that I can inquire about joining. My grandfather was a Master Mason; he wanted me to get involved when I was younger but I never had the time.

One of the things I inherited from him (other than the money that paid for my college education) was this Masonic watch fob. I had been in line to also inherit his Masonic ring, but some unscrupulous “friends” of his talked him into rewriting his will in their favor when he wasn’t of sound mind towards the end.

October 2008 Update: After some inquires and then an application, investigation, and voting process I was elected to receive the degrees of Masonry. On October 9th, 2008, I was initiated as an Entered Apprentice Mason at Gray Lodge #329 here in Houston.

February 2010 Update: On September 29th, 2009, I was Passed to the degree of Fellow Craft. On November 5th, 2009, I was Raised to the Sublime Degree of Master Mason.