Duke Country

I grew up in Louisiana and much of my views on American politics is colored (ahem) by the David Duke campaign when I was a boy.  About half of the state voted for a Klansman for governor, in the 1980s.  I remember my grandfather, who I (perhaps incorrectly) took  to be somewhat conservative said “you would have to be crazy to vote for that man”.  Of course he was himself an immigrant and had probably been on the receiving end of American style racism at some point.

In November 2017 the Atlantic published an article that is worth reposting for the Walker Percy quote. Walker Percy was a National Book award winner,a south Louisiana resident and a keen observer of humanity.  His quote and the article:

“Don’t make the mistake of thinking David Duke is a unique phenomenon confined to Louisiana rednecks and yahoos. He’s not,” Percy said. “He’s not just appealing to the old Klan constituency, he’s appealing to the white middle class. And don’t think that he or somebody like him won’t appeal to the white middle class of Chicago or Queens.”

The article:

The Nationalist’s Delusion

Trump’s supporters backed a time-honored American political tradition, disavowing racism while promising to enact a broad agenda of discrimination.


We finally upgraded our  oldSamsung Galaxy 5 phones to some Google Pixel 3a.  Much faster, lots of room for data and stuff like WiFi and Bluetooth work reliably.  Nice to join the 21st century.  I have an old boat amp and waterproof speakers out in the shed to provide music to the yard.  Until now I plugged in with a wire.  Figured with the new phone I could use Bluetooth.  So I upgraded to the Bluetooth version of the amp.

Not too hard to swap out, but the audio had a terrible buzz with the new amp.  Figured it was the power supply but didn’t have a way to test it.  Realized I had a nice 12VDC source in my nearby mower battery.  Ran some jumper cables and it was clear as a bell.  Ordered a new power supply.  Hope it does the job.  I guess I could get a battery and stick with the cables.

In Loving Memory of Sudhakar Yalamanchili

My old friend and teacher Sudha Yalamanchili passed away earlier this year.  We met when I was in my mid-20s,  where we worked in in the same group at Honeywell in Minneapolis.  I was also working on my master’s at UMinn and Sudha was teaching some courses in what was called Parallel Processing in those days.  I took all three of his classes and they were the best classes I have ever taken. Until that time I was studying solid state electronics, but wasn’t doing very well and wasn’t enjoying it at all.  After Sudha’s class I had a new direction.

We became friends and exchanged emails every few months and got together, usually at technical conferences where we would introduce each other to like minded colleagues.  Sudha was also the guy I went to when I thought I might have a good idea.  I would run things past him and he would (always politely) tell me if it had already been done, or if it just wasn’t such a good idea.   Other times he would pause and maybe send me after some related work.  Those times I knew I might be on to something.

I’m going to miss the conversations.  I can’t say this about too many people, but he inspired me to do better things in my career and also taught me to be generous with the people around me.  What else could you ask for from another person?

In Loving Memory of Sudhakar Yalamanchili