Harry Slaughter's blog

Killer or Coder?

It's uncanny how similar looking software developers and serial killers are. Take this test and see if you can tell the difference.

My Favorite Album

This has been my favorite album for about 20 years. If I could only listen to one album the rest of my life, this would be the one.

I think the primary reasons this album holds this prestigious spot is the bass and the guitar work. Adrian Belew is indescribable in his work on this album. I swear every note he plays is one I've never heard before. His style on this album has never been reproduced.

The bass on this album is everything bass is supposed to be. It's not buried in the mix as in most albums. It stands right up. It thumps and gets into your gut.

There's the strange sounds mixed into various tracks that make the album more than 4 musicians. There is the famous singer and his amazing song writing.

But the more I think about it, this album is really all about guitar that did not exist before this album and has not been heard since.

David Bowie's Scary Monsters

And I don't want to begin to go in to the "Ashes to Ashes" track. It is the conclusion to one of the most incredible songs ever released, back in '69. You have to listen to both tracks in sequence, and pay attention to lyrics to appreciate this one. Ok, I'll tell you: the original track I'm talking about is "Space Oddity" off David Bowie's very first album and present on all of his "collective" albums.

History of Linux

History of Linux - This is a nice overview of the Linux movement. It doesn't seem to have been proofread, but the info in it is valuable and interesting still. Enjoy.

My Harley Experience

This is a post I made to a the Harley Sportster maillist. I'm putting it here for reference and possibly to help others who are about to make the same mistake I did in purchasing a Harley Davidson. This post does not constitute the full extent of the trouble I've had since being talked into buying a Harley Davidson back in 2000. 3 of the 5 dealers I've dealt with were incompetent. You can make that 4 of 5 if I determine that recent service resulted in my blown bottom end.

In any case, most folks will want to ignore this post. But if you are considering buying a Harley for the first time, please read on...


Was riding home on the freeway last week. Hit the accelerator on my hopped up Sportster and the bike suddenly slowed down. There was a crunching metal sound from the engine. I felt a moment of gratitude that my rear wheel hadn't locked up and grabbed the clutch, coasting to the side of the freeway, where my bike drained the contents of the transmission onto the side of the road.

So here's my $11,000 Sportster with $6000 worth of engine work sitting useless, pathetic. There's a small hole in the top of the crankcase and a large gash at the bottom of the crankcase. For those of you who don't know anything about motors, it's totalled. It's got maybe a couple hundred bucks worth of salvagable parts on the useless motor.

And so continues my story of the "Money Pit Bike".

Call me nuts, but I'm likely not done with this bike yet. I'm considering putting another $7,000+ into it for a new, better motor. I'm convinced I can make something of this weakling Harley motorcycle yet. The trick is taking the Harley out of it.

Yes, I admit, I made a big mistake in buying a Harley. My friends all convinced me that they made nice reliable bikes now. They were wrong on the reliability part. I've had nothing but problems with this thing since I got it. Most Harley service shops are incompetent (at least the 3 of the 5 I've taken my bike to). Harley cuts corners where they shouldn't. A lot of that shiny chrome hides very cheap metal. Bolts and clips and cotter pins are obviously chosen for price rather than quality.

If you buy a Harley, just know this: if you pay $15,000 for a new harley, about $10,000 of that is for the little emblem on the side of the tank. If that's cool by you, then go for it. Otherwise, I'd certainly look at any of the alternatives (except Indian, which is the only worse decision you could make).

For me it's too late. I'm going to pick up the pieces and make the best of it. And just to spite those union fucks in Milwaukee, I'm going to make this thing work. And it's going to blow the leather off most other Harley's it meets, and it's going to be looked on with awe and envy by other Harley victims.

Please stay tuned for the rest of this story...

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