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Full Instagram Previews are Back on Twitter



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This is great news:  Instagram posts are now going to show up on Twitter feeds as real pictures again.  As it is/was, sharability from Instagram to Twitter was limited to a link reference.  Post a picture of your pie, and a boring old hyperlink to that picture would show up in Twitter -- assuming you opted to share at all.

But, the Verge account of why the one-time behavior was ever changed in the first place, and the somewhat random meandering way it came back, exemplifies the disturbing capriciousness resulting from all these private enterprises bonking no-brainer easy solutions back and forth like gods, while we the digital consumers exist as mere pawns.

I for sure as a 55-year-old guy with zero social capital, or "synergy" if you will, should not be caring about this as much as I do,  but I believe in the digital revolution and really hate when we have examples of getting less usability, or a gain, by power broker whims.


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The Email Advantage is Gone



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Image capture of email from Amazon announcing end of email support through Alexa.

Ouch!  For the longest time it was only Alexa that could access my Workgroup (GSUITE) email and calendar info when Google Home itself still couldn't. 

For real:  For the longest time GSUITE account holders could not use a Google device, like a Google Mini, to play back their email or calendar information. 

But, if you had an Alexa, you could.  It really made no sense. 

Eventually Google caught up with its own product line, and finally you could ask questions like "What's on my calendar today" or "What's in my inbox".

That the news now is that that Alexa will no longer access email or calendars for Google or Microsoft is ironic.


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Deli Firebombed, Hero Most Certainly Saves the Day


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Welp, here's a firebomb attack on a deli.

The first lob was devastating enough, but the second would have surely been fatal.  Fortunately an apparent hero emerges to prevent that. Let's hope they find and credit that guy.

The bomber, Joel Mangal, was arrested.  Of course one can't be sure it's the same "Joel Mangal", but there's a name and locale match on LinkedIn where a one Joel Mangal professes "experience in heating and air conditioning".  If it's the same guy, he sure did heat things up, and, he's surely now cooling down in jail.


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Voting for the Extremely Moderate



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Picture of Buffalo voting ballot.

In a few minutes I'll be headed over a few blocks to participate in early voting for some of the local offices. 

After a very conflicted contemplation, I have settled on:

Byron Brown for Mayor - (D) - All the evidence I've seen is that he's done good work and is very astute as a person, politician, and moderate.  I'm balking at extremism for the next few elections, and while I sympathize with India Walton's ideals, and could tolerate a possible Walton win, I feel it's more important to restore sanity to politics and public policy, and reward effective moderates like Byron Brown.  So, I'm "writing down Byron Brown".  I wouldn't vote for Trump if I were Republican either.

I would vote for Indian Walton under a different configuration.  If the mayorship of the past years had been horrible, demonstrably corrupt, were against a Trump conservative, etc., I would totally contribute to the on-ramping of a socialist mayor in this country.  But as I will say below, hopefully if she does somehow lose, she will nonetheless become a major seat in the table of the direction of this city and of its social policies. 

As it is, I see her primary win as merely the result of inaction by Mayor Brown at the time, and a flooding of a niche social segment into the voting, in the first place.

John Garcia for Sheriff - (R) - In general I am a strong supporter of law enforcement and social civil control.  While I think more needs to be done at the human level to prevent crime and civil decay, that should little involve police or law enforcement arms who I admit would stand to benefit from a gain in broader socialist agendas.  It would mean they could actually focus on criminal intercept and investigation, much to the dismay of robbers and scofflaws. 

Garcia is a Republican candidate who supports a more technically advanced and strong modern police force without going Trump in the process.   

Kimberly Beaty would be fine for many political offices and should probably try for another one not so vertically involving the logistics of a working law enforcement agency, fully acknowledging that that is her skillset and profession.  Her compassion and ideals need to be in the fabric of said logistics, and to be sure, she would not be the worst candidate to win if she does. 

Speaking of the worst candidate though, the less said about Trump-aligner Karen L. Healy-Case, the better.  The Trump win of 5 years ago is going to spell many election cycles of this kind of vermin showing up as legitimate candidates.

The other offices cited on the ballot are not elections that I have been focused on, nor do I even necessarily understand the very offices they pertain to.  So I'll probably do a quick cursory sweep of Trump-supporting names and make sure to vote for anyone not, or, just skip them outright. 


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Accident at Delaware Avenue and North St.


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Rollover vehicle accident, Delaware Avenue & North Street, Buffalo.  Occurred @ approximately 8:33 PM. Scanner traffic hints at a female driver rescued, though there is no information on condition. Media contains 2 images and initial dispatch audio.

This incident occurred within "response range" of my studio. It gave me an opportunity to test out my empathy documentation protocol using a stealthy camera device I recently purchased for this specific type of incident .

For the moment I am not posting video from that device as part of the presentation here, nor would I anyway if it contained clear human trauma  (the fact that such a protocol exists should not be taken to mean that respect for humanity in content collection and ground journalism are somehow "dropped").  The run was simply a test.

Fortunately there is nothing to suggest that anyone was seriously injured, though as I mention above, there is no word one way or another on that. It just strikes me as survivable.

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No, The Sun Sign Is Not Why You Serial Kill


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Just surfing the web this morning and happened upon this.  A vapid pop-astrology attempt to correlate Sun sign positions with serial killing.

I first encountered a mention of this article by a mayonnaise news spread article in the New York Daily News, and just assumed that they had deliberately over-simplified the connection between Sun signs and serial killers because of course people think of astrology in no more complex terms than the Sun's position at birth.  They were keeping it simple to keep it readable.  Surely the actual astrology of the study took into account other elements of birth charts, right?

That gracious assumption was dashed when I clicked through to the study and determined that, horrifically, the authors were in fact talking only about Sun sign positions.  Facepalm.

Running into this article invoked a reaction from me for three reasons.  First, as an advocate of real astrology, vapid references to merely the Sun's position for any substantial analysis is wrenching. 

Second, as a holder of a Bachelor's Degree in Criminology I'm 'apposed to know something or at least be keen on the basic factors involved with criminality.  Which, since I am to at least that very basic level, I better understand facets of criminal behavior and am more qualified to map them to appropriate planetary influences if I'm also going to be an astrologer.

Finally, as a (cough) "practicing astrologer" -- to the degree that I actually am -- I have a specific interest in reverse engineering common outcomes to their astrological basis.  

For example, marital infidelity is far from uncommon, but this does not mean that the millions if not billions of untold cheaters in civilization's entire history all have some clear marker in their respective birth charts.  They don't, they couldn't.  But looking at the birth chart of a cheater you can decipher the very unique motivations to the very non-unique act.

While serial killing is clearly not "common", it happens relatively frequent enough to assure that the actual birth charts between individual perpetrators are likely vastly different. 

There are a lot of pop buzzwords that make up the continent of most people's understanding of serial killers, most of which are accented by the media culture eager to feed people's appetite for real crime drama. 

If you want to even attempt pairing these buzzwords to the planets you'd be looking at things like a chart's integration of personal planets to Mars (violence and lust, or, perhaps more Pluto for sexual sadism), Virgo for compartmentalizers and highly intelligent systematizers, of which many serial killers are reputed as. 

If you believe the trope that serial killers are always somehow more charming than the average bear (the Ted Bundy ethos), you'd be looking at Venus or the Sun itself, with expected emphasis in Libra or any of the communicator signs. 

But above all, you'd be looking for strong personal touches such as the Moon to Neptune or Pisces, since most serial killers, despite their attempts to intellectually explain their behavior, a thing they do for interviewers and jail guards, are likely most motivated by a general compulsion that they themselves do not understand. 

Compulsions and addictions and the ability to self-deny and be "dark" are all Neptune/Pisces things.  Throw in a little Mars, a little of that Virgo, a little Sun, and a conflicted Moon, well, if among these types of configurations you found any sort of a pattern, I'd believe it far more than the mere degree of one's Sun on the wheel.

I completely get that the study's authors aren't making a declaration about such deep astrological factors -- they speak in the tongue of "Entertainment Astrology" of which to that degree there's really no harm, no foul.  Anybody talking about just Sun signs, that website's apparent audience, probably isn't interested in the rest of it.

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Ported Earl Pin Astrology


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I seem to recall about a year ago I was on track to become a highly regarded astrologer under the persona of Earl Pin Astrology.

I wonder whatever happened to that.

Well, in any event, as with my the other WWW properties that I am consolidating into this one, I just ported and merged all content from Earl Pin Astrology to this blog. 

You can now continue to enjoy my apparently yearly astrologically-themed postings under the category tag of EarlPinAstrology.

As well, I have a dedicated "page" at this website which links out to the other channels and kind of sort of replaces the WWW dedicated website once associated with Earl Pin.

The consolidation project continues as I will now focus on Tampa Rail and Wilkes-Barre Rail.

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The Cusp Question



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In general, there are two schools of thought when it comes to luminaries as they may exist on the "cusp".  For purposes of this entry I'll go along with the pedestrian flow and use the Sun sign in discussing them, along with my revelation about which seems to hold more true in practice.

I assume everyone landing on this article gets the concept of a cusp.  It's not an astrological term after all but a bona-fide open entity in the world of linguistics and literature.  If I Google the definition of "cusp", which I just did, the top result explains it as the period of transition between two states.

It's just so associated with astrology because, well, damn -- in astrology there are so many changes between "states".  Planets cross the borders of houses and signs, and even aspects can have cusps.

People who talk and learn casually about astrology who are cusp-born typically know it.  They are honed to learn this over time when, using their birth date, they come to realize that every astrological profile they set down to absorb differs on whether they are "in" one sign or the next. 

It would certainly breed a sort of skepticism about astrology if nobody could tell you which g--damned sign you actually were.   Though perhaps you should be tortured if you're taking anything from knowing your "Sun sign" anyway -- though I digress.

Then, such a person meets a schlub like me in a bar, someone trying in the most unimaginative and outdated of ways to procreate through drinking among random strangers with "What's your sign" pickup lines to anyone dumb enough to seat themselves partnerless in my proximity (we'll have to assume the person is a woman, but then, have I ever really disclosed my sexuality?  This is 2020 people, get with it!), which then leads to a discussion of astrology way beyond what that person may have been expecting -- or wanted.  

Assuming I don't get the turn-and-shoulder block at this point, or my prospect doesn't manage to send the secret "bartender I gotta creepo here'" signal, I can get down to the nitty gritty.  In a rare moon, a fellow bar patron in this context is genuinely interested.

In most cases, I explain, you don't have to tell people you are born on the cusp of anything.  You actually are one sign or the other, if we even agree the Sun sign means jack-widdly anyway.  But yes, you have to determine what that "one thing or another" actually is by having a bona-fide birth chart done, based on the best birth time you have available.  

The Two Schools

As I mentioned, there are two schools of thought among astrologers once the question is sorted out by a real chart calculation.

The first school says to you something like, as the Sun moves toward one sign and wanes from the other, it transfers the energy gradually, so you in fact could be factored by both signs while this occurs.

I like that idea the most because when you step back from the entirety of the zodiac,  consider that a "sign" or a "house" is actually just a collection of degrees.

Any degree of a point on the chart should be defined by its distinction from the 359 other degrees around it.  So, Aries is only Aries because it subtracts and adds the influence of the 11 other signs such that, in that circle, it has its own expressive energy.   In short, Aries is Aries because it is Taurus, but since Taurus lacks some attribute of Aries while adding others, it can't really be Aries.  Moving on,  Aries is Gemini, except Gemini can't really be Aries because Gemini lacks, or adds, some attribute of Aries.  And so on.

If the energy of a degree on the zodiac wheel exists because it is the sum of all energy it couldn't be among the other 359 degrees, which themselves exist in influence for the same reason, it only makes sense that the weight of a sign's influence evenly and poetically passes off in these incremental changes as it moves through the wheel.  Hence, an Aries born on the cusp of Taurus might well appreciate that they have the weakest Aries qualities along with the strengthening Taurus ones, because that makes the most sense.

But, then there is the other school of thought -- and keep in mind that I have not yet revealed my own experience or preference in this question.

The other school looks at the beginning of each sign as a "reset" of the former influence.  You simply cannot be an Aries if your Sun is at 1 degree Taurus.  Or even zero dot half a degree.  Once the Sun leaves the previous sign, the influences of that sign evaporate.  You are left a weak child of the new sign's influences which in a way have not yet coalesced into the attributes and personality traits so commonly associated with it.

I hate that vision of how it works because it tosses out the symmetrical uniform beauty of zodiac degrees all existing as the total sum of what all the other degrees have and don't have.  And, dammit, I am a systems person.  Signs that mysteriously drop their influence at fixed points on the zodiac wheel then "magically" acquire a new one, is just too much a process to wrap my head around. 

But (sigh) as much as I cringe to say it, over time, I've come to find more in truth with the latter school of thinking than the former.

The Reality is a Scream

Of course I have my usual twist on the why, which is that while I don't so much find a weak influence of the sign being transitioned into, I do consistently find that a planetary or astrological sign is a sign no more certainly that sign than when it is in the final degrees of it

Absolutely, hands down, no foolin'.

A Leo personality is no greater a Leo personality than when the Sun (or, let's get real, Moon) is in the final degrees of Leo.  A Sagittarian is no more expressive as a Sagittarian than when it is in the final degrees of Sagittarius. 

I suppose if you wanted to look at this way, the early degrees of a sign seem to be tepid expressions of it.  Then, as the degrees gain strength in that 30-mark window, they mature and take on more visible and absolute traits long associated with that sign, until finally they reach the end -- the 28/29 degree mark -- where they are fully developed and, morbidly facing their demise as they prepare to transition into the next sign, begin to scream loudest.  When you think about it, ain't that how people behave?

If we wanted to "prove" astrology and needed a dynamic to rely on, we could start with this concept, because in my experience, it is that reliable.  But assuming my experience is correct, why do cusp people believe they are blended personalities?

We're all just speculating here but I'll offer up that at the most fundamental level, for the very reasons I banged out above, it's just easier to believe that blending is a real thing.  I sure as hell wanted to believe that's how things work. 

As well, there is confirmation bias at an astrological level.  You see, the location of the Sun at birth effectively places the location of Mercury and Venus.  These planets will either exist in the sign just before, in the same, or just after, whatever the Sun is in.  These two planets are relatively speaking very personal (though, nowhere near as much as the Moon or rising sign), and go a long way to developing a certain personality.  A good body of people, let's just say half, will have their Mercury or Venus in the preceding sign (Aries if it is someone born on the Aries/Taurus cusp, but on fine analysis of the chart shows they are Taurus), so will have very key Aries qualities to their personalities.  Someone with the Sun at 29 degrees of Aries but with a Taurus Mercury could be forgiven for thinking themselves genuinely blended with Taurus stuff due to the cusp.

And then of course, there is the rest of the chart.  Most births occur in the morning, just after sunrise in fact.  This means people of a given Sun sign will have rising signs that are next in line of it.  So, yes, for sure, a Cancer Sun sign person is very likely to have a Leo rising sign (statistically speaking only) which would lead anyone born on the end cusp of Cancer to logically conclude they are simply blending their Cancer farts with Leo farts.  And as well of course, there are other more random placements such as the Moon or other aspects, that could similarly fuel the belief.

Leave your questions as comments for a response here or on the YouTube channel (which I'll beg you to subscribe to).


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Uranus Was On Display This Weekend



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Uranus was visible to the naked eye this weekend, and might still be depending on where you are.  I try to avoid mixing astronomy and astrology topics when talking about the latter; I've noticed over the years it just irks the scientific community -- astronomers, physicists (in particular Brian Greene who once snarked against it on Twitter).  However there is a notable reason to bring it up nonetheless. 

In most of the reporting for this event you'll notice that articles mention it being in Aries.  That's true from an astronomical perspective where the observable sky is mapped in part by taking advantage of the placement of constellations.  "Uranus is in Aries" because looking at the sky it's currently located in the constellation of Aries.

But astrologically, it's in Taurus.  

Again it's the whole Sidereal versus Tropical thing.  You can read the Wiki for the details on how they differ as systems, but it's a good time to clarify for sake of the astrology discussed at this blog and indeed most of Westernized astrological practice, that it's Tropical that counts.  

The positioning of planets in the constellations used to match up while the earliest astrological concepts were being sorted out.  But due to centuries of drift -- the movement of constellations from our Earthly perspective -- they don't now.  For purposes of influence, this backdrop of the literal stars is unimportant.  While the stars have moved on, the working dynamics have not. 

To use an analogy, say that a person learns to become a plumber in a building called "The Plumber Building".  So everyone agrees to call the guy a "plumber" -- and we of course need to pretend that the title did not previously exist. 

Later, the "Plumber Building" burns down or is razed (or magically drifts 20-some-odd degrees to the empty lot next door) and a new building goes up in its place called the "Florist Building". 

The plumber does not magically become a florist in the process.  The plumber learned the tradecraft necessary to be a plumber so that's what he does and that's what he is.  The building he happened to learn and apprentice in just happened to be an address at the place and time that he did.

You'll see this topic come up from time to time.  Especially during the approximate two-or-so-year pop news cycle where the headlines like "You Have Your Birth Sign Wrong" crop up.

Uranus in Taurus

I didn't mean to bleed into an analytical point in raising this issue, but as long as we're discussing the placement of Uranus, I thought it worth mentioning how said placement fits in today's world of polarized cultures and politics.

Uranus is the up-ender, sometimes criminal (in the name of freedom and independence -- not like in the name of impulsive murder like Mars or maybe Pluto). 

In Taurus, where it's been lingering now for quite some time, and which it squares as ruler of Aquarius by rights, suggests one reason we as an international species are feeling the extremes between conservatism and liberal ideals. 

Uranus is a slow-mover so it is near generational in its scope.  People all over the world are feeling the vibe of ideological upset.  People with a Moon or rising sign in aspect to this conjunction might even become notable personalities in the struggle.  

It's as if the "revolution" moved into the house of long standing values to turn that house as much on its side as Uranus itself rotates (yeah, Uranus physically rotates side to side).  

The combination of this planet with that sign, in this astrologer's view, does not force a take of sides.  It's not about "liberals" owning the virtue to knock out the evil status quo, or about the "conservatives" virtuously exterminating the radicalism that undercuts their comfortable patch.  It isn't hippies versus gun nuts although these are perhaps the most convenient expressory conduits (at least among us Americans) people may find to argue through.

Rather, this era is forcing an examination of something far more fundamental, which would be the spiritual prioritization of the indidvidual over longstanding material values that have been comfortably adopted for a period just shy of a century or so. 

In my view, two of the most underrated extremes in astrology come from the accented relationship between Aquarius and Taurus because one insists on its shaking of the Earth (Aquarius/Uranus), while the other is Earth (Taurus/Venus).  Between them, dogma doth tend to find a perverse home.


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It's Time to Give Up On Birth Times



Posted by Dave

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Image of neoclassical clock face.

Like Sun Sign Astrology, Birth Times are Too Convenient.

Any astrologer worth their salt will try to wrangle a birth time out of you.  Rightfully from a motivational standpoint, too.  Whatever I am about to poo-poo against regarding the role of birth times in astrological calculations, using them as a centerpoint has never resulted in anything ever totally sucking when it comes to building someone's astrological profile.

Something at scale works when a chart is calculated around the time of birth, which is lucky considering birth is for all human material purposes, a symbolic start to life.  Let's agree that it's what probably attracted astrologers to it in the first place.  The physical birth is convenient, dramatic, and, well, you certainly don't have a person to analyze until one can be held in another person's hands.  It kind of works at multiple levels.

Birth times give classical psychologically-centerd astrological practices a solid handle, but establishing one is frought with the potential for error, as is, as you may be forgiven to wonder, any agreement on the very definition for the start of life -- the thing that a birth chart is supposed to well reflect in said analysis. 

Over the decades I have come to care less and less for a concrete declaration of the birth time.  Taking my very own self as an example, I am all too aware of how easy it is for bad birth times to circulate as quickly as fake news by the supposed authorities.  Doctors and nurses might as well be the CNN and FOX News of political commentary.

It's Like Day and Night

I am the perfect example.

I was "born" at 8:30 AM June 5, 1966.  This time is the clear recounting of my mother who gave the blow by blow of the event on that glorious (cough) morning.  But, if you had listened to the stupid-head doctors and nurses who stamped the head of my incubator with a birth card, I was born at 8:30 PM.  

Here's the very card, complete with a pitch for me to purchase Pet Milk, (welcome to your new earthly capitalist culture you lucky bastard!).  

Picture of cardboard signage showing off wrong birth time.

Mom said day, docs wrote night.  It's a contradiction.  Now go buy some Pet Milk!

You can click on the picture to really see the contradiction I've highlighted. 

Let's hope they at least noted which meds I required accurately between themselves, although it might explain a lot of things about myself if not.

Thus the implication for my own astrology chart is a whopping 180 degrees depending on who I believe.  I am either the eccentric non-affiliating crank which I conclude myself to be (11th House Sun), or the football-loving hedonistic lover of followers and tribal inclusion the PM version of chart renders (5th House Sun).

I will say that while it was the lifetime corroboration by other relatives who remember, the personality outcome alone rather settles it.  The person who drew up that Pet Milk card was either up too late or just plain hoped that a change of record might amount to a last-ditch effort to avoid me turning into the Uranian 11th house weirdo I would go on to be. 

But let's say that it's the attending medical staff who were right and my mother and everyone else who were somehow wrong.  In interpreting my own chart, which could be the chart of any subject for any astrologer, the amount of contorting it would take to make the noted energies fit my very learned understanding of the adjectives, would be astronomical.  Astrologically speaking my red and blues would look different than any other astrologer's red and blues.

Which unfortunately is an outcome that our obsession with birth times as astrologers rather leaves us with.

Isn't Everyone's Birth Time the Time of the Big Bang Anyway?

Human error not withstanding, maybe it doesn't even matter.  And again, I throw myself out as the perfect example.

I was a premature birth by approximately 2 months.  I was a serious medical case.  My very survival was so questionable that the traditional birth announcement in any of the local newspapers was skipped out of what I assume was sensitivity (I looked for it once and after scouring all the editions of the day using one of those microfilm machines at the local library, nada - not on the day, week, or month after).

And in lore, yes, I in fact did die before the next day.  Twice.  Granted we are talking about the same docs who believed I was born at night who reported this grim news to my mother the next morning ("Janet, we managed to save him!" was mom's remembered quote), or, the word of my mother, who on her own tended to be a sort of exaggerationist throughout her life, what with her Sagittarius Moon and all.  But even with that accounted for, then, I probably at least died once.  And okay, if not at all physically, look, there's a birth card stuck to my cradle imploring me to buy Pet Milk, so if nothing else, I probably died at least a little on the inside.

The question begged by the apparent battle I waged against the universe on whether to exist or not, and which I clearly lost -- fucking universe -- is what actually counts as "birth" anyway?  Was I born the first time that I was born, or was it one of the two other times that I found life? 

And I suppose to avoid driving my readers crazy, no, you don't even need the weird story of my particular birth to have long established this question in your own noggin'.  If you're a thinker of any sort at all, this question of what constitutes a birth should have bothered you at the outset.

Astrologers you will find upon the Googling or Quora of it generally take astrological birth to begin at the time of the first breath.  But you don't have to roam far to find those who figure it's the time that the head crowns, or, believe it or not in a strange application of horary astrology, whatever time everyone first agrees on (so my errant doctor really could have called the shot if I bought into that).

But whatever basis an astrologer chooses to settle on, it's all really just folly anyway right?  Remember, we don't undertand the mechanics of astrology so we can't say for sure what correlates the position of the planets to the creation of a unique personality.  As I said at the beginning of this entry, we only know that the given birth time works well enough

The truth is that there may not even be a uniform application of astrological traits confined to any single event at all.  Rather, they may soft-sink over a period of a few minutes or hours or maybe even days (though in a second I'll tell you why I personally dismiss days). 

And some astrologers feel we are looking at it wrong to being with:  It's the astrology that sparks the push from the womb in the first place, jarring mommy's inner guts to act, so the influences aren't there to "bind to".  The birth itself is the byproduct that they have kicked in already.  Let that one sink in for a minute.  It's a neat idea until you consider Cesareans.

One thing that I personally can say for sure, the human/astrology merge occurs at a pace no faster than the motion of the Moon through its degrees.  I say this because I believe the Moon sign to be so potent -- the most important unique personality indicator for anyone -- that any contradiction of the observed personality between the position of the Moon and that which would be established by a recorded birth time, would be too obvious in cases where a cusp is crossed or in consideration of aspects to other planets. 

Very roughly speaking the Moon crosses a single sign (30 degrees) every 2 days or 48 hours.  About a half a degree a minute but not quite, and not quite always 2 days.  There is some serious variance here buddy.

Astrologers themselves wouldn't believe in astrology if that gap were very wide over the observable history of the craft since patterns in the personalities most of us have come to agree on wouldn't be visible.  So, as I see it, we can pretty much bet that however the mechanics work, the "influences of the stars" occur readily within 1 or 2 hours of whichever marker you choose.  And this means that the "birth time", which encompasses that complex series of events, fits, most of the time.  

Let's Just Deal With It

But finally, let's just say that the whole question introduces too much speculation for anyone to be comfortable with.  In your possible individual case, maybe you're even one of those people born through events and circumstances too traumatic for anecdotal or formal birth time recording.  You don't get served your plate of astrology.  Or, if you think it's all bunk, this hazy foundation should be the nail in the advocate's coffin.

Not quite.  As I said early on, being one of those astrologers bothered so much by the ambiguity, I've weaned off insisting knowledge of the birth time for meaningful analysis.  How do I and so many other astrologers who have come to feel the same way get away with it?  It's easy, we rely on astrology.  Duuuuh.

In my variant case, I center the Moon as the most important influence.  Knowledge of its precise location can be off at least far more liberally for general personality analysis, though if it's off too much, I'm going to take a hand to rectification and suggest a different time to my subject.  Others might try the same or use the same trick using the rising sign (which moves through entire signs in only two hours), but in my world the Moon is even more important than the rising sign and far more tangible.  If someone put a gun to your head and demanded the astrology from you, you'll be able to spew enough of it out to save your life.

And then there is the ever finer solution of incorporating synastry.  Normally you want birth times when comparing the charts between people every bit as much as you might want them for the individual.  But the interaction of individual birth charts creates such unique patterns of influences you don't need that precision.  What might be lost in clarity by not having a birth time is well made up for by the careful consideration of how one's general planets (and most crucially that Moon!) mesh with those of their parents, teachers, colleagues, supervisors, lovers, children, and so on and so on. 

As an example, a dominant father whose Mars conjoins the soft-spoken Virgo Moon of his daughter is going to create a daughter over the period of developmental relevance who is far more energized and aggressive (in a Virgo Moon sort of way to be sure) than the same woman who lacks that persistent influence in her life.  To have spotted this dynamic, you don't need anyone's precise time.

Astrologers can, and perhaps should, I can see many argue, rely on those sorts of analytical inputs over one's birth time and hence birth chart anyway

None of this is to say that by dismissing the importance of an accurate birth time or tossing out the birth chart altogether, something huge and signficant isn't being lost in the process.  Indeed, the richest astrological interpretations actually are.  What I'm telling you is that an accurate birth time is mostly inaccurately believed of anyone, kind of irrelevant (to within 2 hours anyway) until we know why astrology works; and, perhaps eclipsed by the forces of other astrological perspectives such as those existing in our day to day relationships with others.

You can still have great if not greater astrology without it.


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Let's Talk Astrology



Posted by Dave

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Two of my biggest passions in life are blogging and astrology. At long, long, long last I am able to marry these interests into a single presentation and bring the online world to my perspective and footnotes on real astrology.

I'm in the process of setting things up and pulling off that neat plastic skin you find on things like new smartphone screens and other gizmos. But you are free to create an account which is tantamount to "subscribing", or actually subscribing at the Earl Pin Astrology N' Such YouTube Channel.


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The War Between Mainstream and Social Media


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Posted by Dave

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I was a little incensed by the topic of a 60 Minutes episode which featured a "Facebook whistleblower" who breathlessly reports that Facebook promotes divisive policies to make money. 

It's not that I think Facebook is being falsely accused of dividing people or harming the psyche of low self-esteem people; it's that CBS and all the other networks and profit-media organizations do exactly the same thing.

It's so damn hypocritical.

It's not only hypocritical, it's telling.  I have this belief in a war of sorts between classical "mainstream" media and social media platforms, with the former engaged in a life-and-death attack on the latter for control.  

Social media as a general concept demonstrates that we don't need a few concentrated outlets feeding us news with a few "authoritative faces and voices".  In terrifying realization of this, that's why the mainstream media is eager to underscore the lack of integrity in, and overstate the danger of, social media - even to said hypocritical levels. 

The CBSs of the world won't be happy until nobody trusts social media (or by another perspective, people freely talking to each other), and, in fact, come to fear it.  The old media must retain its power.

The kicker here as that I personally don't respect either institution's platforms because they are both fighting for dominant control over our minds. 

I say this of mainstream media for the reason I just outlined above, but in the case of social media platforms I say this because they maliciously eclipse the power of the core web, the original and pure form of "social media",  where people can really post anything they want.  Social media platforms draw people away from this power and wind up resetting "digital freedom" in their monetizing operational  image. 

This should be a world by now of a million independent blogs on the world wide web, but instead, we have a few big tech social media platforms with "feeds".

Set up a blog?  You'd be lucky today to find anyone born after 1995 who even knows the difference between the web and Facebook, let alone knows how to use Microsoft Notepad and an FTP client to post an image to the world.

I have no love lost for Trump supporters, but at least they got kicked in the teeth by social media enough that they became "woke" to this danger.  At long last, a large and meaningful (if not deranged) segment of the population was reminded of the social media company dominance that has way too much control over their expressions.

People:  Learn to host a blog on the actual World Wide Web (like the blog you're looking at now).  It's vulnerable to de-platforming, yes, but you retain that "last mile" freedom such that a stronger case is required as is a more complex initiation.

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That Shooting Involving an NFTA Bus


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Posted by Dave

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Here's a linear collection of video clips I recorded on the evening of September 20, 2021 while in commute home from work and a trip to the laundromat (and, KFC).

While heading south on Main Street I overheard a call on the scanner that a shooting had just occurred only blocks ahead of me, and that it somehow involved an NFTA (Buffalo City) bus.

I do not generally "respond" to active crime scenes that are still as hot as this one was at the time, but I realized that the police presence was already strong and getting stronger, so I rationalized it was safe enough to park and document the events as much as might-could be.  I mean, I was driving straight into it in any event.

Although the shooting event itself and scene were dramatic, the closure on this event was actually fairly tame.  According to the police radio traffic sampled later, a victim was shot in the leg and the wound considered non-life-threatening.  

That being said, it's never been cleared up in the open media how the bus actually figured into any of this outside police radio traffic, which suggests that the shooter had direct contact with the bus in such a way that its passengers were terrified and fled off it. 

Part of the  confusion is because the victim themself was treated at the separate location nearly over a block away.  Nonetheless WGRZ TV, at least, did report a bus window that appeared shot out, suggesting the shooting did in fact occur on the bus.

Whatever the case, the bus driver apparently tripped the "Call 911" message on his public-facing displays.

The video collection starts with me driving up to the scene, having just heard it come through on the scanner; then paramedics treating the victim in a parking lot just beside "Dr. Bob's Dentistry";  then me walking approximately a block away to the bus which somehow factored into all of this;  then me, having walked back to my car, marveling over a spent bullet shell casing just behind my car. 

Turns out I had parked in a space adjacent to the area where the shooter actually fired from.

Video 1 of 4 - Hearing the Call, Approaching the Scene

Video 2 of 4 - Apparent Victim Being Treated

Video 3 of 4 - Walk to the NFTA Bus

Video 4 of 4 - Bullet Shell Casing Next to My Car

For what it's worth this is not the first time someone opened up with gunfire on a city bus.  While Googling for the details of this event, I came across a separate 2019 instance.


Understandably it is bad press for the NFTA or any transit agency (note that the NFTA press release site does not explicitly provide a notice of this event), not to mention the city itself, to have something like this sort of thing lathered all over the nightly news.  Police, the media, and the general public are accustomed to shootings occurring in a contained area of high crime neighborhoods, and we all cope day to day believing that "we" are safe in our structured more economically secure lives.  Any city politician or private developer is going to cringe at any hint of incident-leakage into the mainstream public, which is of course, an eventuality.

That is precisely why documenting these events at a chaotic level outside the control of the status quo stakeholders is ever important.  If you are there, you are the reporter.


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Porting Posts


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Posted by Dave

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So here I go again!

Once again I am juggling my hosting arrangements so that I can web publish more affordably but also more efficiently.  

That means for a bit, you're going to see some fresh posts here that are actually old posts from blogs that I previously ran under individual presentations.  I am porting over key entries and then deleting those presentations, redirecting any domains to equivalent pages and entry categories at this blog.

I could go into the database and meticiously change the data so that the posts rendered in a more proper flow, but I did that once for a similar dance years ago, and man, it just wasn't worth it.  Once the migration is over all those posts just wind up stateless in the archive anyway.

I have just completed the port of BuffScan, which means there is now a BuffScan page within this blog's presentation.  Look for the same approach for Earl Pin Astrology, Wilkes-Barre Rail, and Tampa Rail.

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Dead Body in Allentown Parking Lot


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Posted by Dave

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[ Note this event occurred earlier than the entry date stamp.  It is a blog post ported from another hosting arrangement. ]

I want to say up front that there is nothing particularly newsworthy about a dead body turning up in a city parking lot.  Sadly with the drug situation being what it is, I don't guess this is as uncommon or shocking as it probably should be.

However, I am posting this to BuffScan because this dead body turned up in my neighborhood and I just happened to drive through the incident scene, granting me the "content".  This is a BuffScan posting of principle whereby if you are there, you are the reporter.

Make no mistake  though, this is not to trivialize the death of what the MSM channels have so far been calling a male victim.  A victim of what, the police are not yet saying.  It could be natural causes as much as anything nefarious.  

Otherwise the facts are simple.  Police were contacted about a man down at approximately 7:20 AM in a Franklin Street parking lot.  Over the course of the next few hours, according to recorded radio traffic, they called for evidence and photos as part of their addressment.

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Two Shot in Allentown


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Posted by Dave

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[ Note this event occurred earlier than the entry date stamp.  It is a blog post ported from another hosting arrangement. ]

Again in my own neighborhood there has been a dramatic incident, this time a shooting that apparently sent two people to the hospital.

I swear it isn't me, but I'm starting to wonder.  

I was prepping for a gym and laundry run when I noticed the sound of multiple sirens swelling up outside.  Although I'm a born firetruck-chaser, as you might guess, living on Delaware Avenue has actually sort of conditioned me from reacting every time I hear them.  But in this case, there were a lot, and in the next room the scanner chatter, which I wasn't paying particular attention to either, had suddenly gotten dense and excited.  Something big was going on and it was nearby.

Mentions of the actual address were long past by the time I got to actually absorbing the content of radio transmissions, so after a few minutes hoping to learn exactly what was going on, and where, I decided to simply investigate on foot.  Turns out it was all just down the street.


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Dramatic BPD Police Pursuit Audio


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Posted by Dave

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[ Note this event occurred earlier than the entry date stamp.  It is a blog post ported from another hosting arrangement. ]

[ Important Note:  This audio is NOT of the police chase I happened to catch Sunday 6/20 (the video of that is here).  This audio is from a separate incident approximately 2 weeks prior to that.]

And yet MORE drama involving my fine Allentown neighborhood.  I came across this chase as numerous BPD police units were chasing someone or at least on way to chasing someone the wrong way on Franklin Street.  Occurred at 7:55-ish PM -- only about 30 minutes or so prior to this posting.

It's probably worth noting that this chase was not related to another chase earlier this morning (just after midnight) which also involved a crash -- although hearing the story it generally involved the same neighborhood.

From what I interpret in my time listening to the scanner, Buffalo Police has a fairly restrictive chase practice -- frequently breaking off in favor of catching up with suspects later whenever possible.  So, the so-far mysterious chase through Allentown was likely based on something serious.  We'll have to continue monitoring MSM for answers unless you know and tell.


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Buffalo Wild Police Chase


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Posted by Dave

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[ Note this event occurred earlier than the entry date stamp.  It is a blog post ported from another hosting arrangement. ]

And, here we go yet again! 

This video is from last June 20 but is being migrated to this blog from its previous host.

I was standing at the corner of Allen Street and Delaware Avenue trying to snipe video of the Blue Angels which were occasionally flying over the neighborhood, when this happened.

I was a little tipped off when I spotted a Lackawanna Police vehicle pull up to the intersection with its overheads lit up -- no chase yet, just this out-of-jurisdiction vehicle making a presence.  But, I know from being a scanner junkie that when you spot a foreign police car lit up like that, it might mean a cross-jurisdiction police chase is in progress.

The Lackawanna cruiser turned up Delaware Avenue and I was not disappointed.  It met up with the oncoming chase head-on, which is where my video begins.

Frame capture of running vehicle in police pursuit.

Frame Capture of the runner.  Looks like it could be a girl or woman.

There are no MSM stories or indicators of this event.  Sans my lucky shot with the camera and this blog, this would be a never-happened.  

What is evident is that the chase originated in Lackawanna as all the units pictured are Lackawanna.  And, it probably involved someone doing something serious enough to merit the chase (though oddly, not much media attention).  It's unclear how Lackawanna Police's chase policy differs from Buffalo.

I also know that the chase involved or culminated in a crash involving at least one of the Lackawanna police units, as I was able to reach the scanner in time to hear that much.  My recording system was "down" it turned out, so I couldn't replay to hear more details about what led up to it.

I have sent Lackawanna Police a Facebook message via their page asking if they plan to issue a release.  However, given that police chases are more dramatic to us lay people and a bit more routine to them, it's not likely we'll hear back from them.  And, in any event, said Facebook page looks pretty neglected.

That is the importance of being vigilant with your cameras and your blogs.  Remember, if you are there, you are the reporter! 

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Video of Buffalo Police Cruiser Crash, Arrest TikTokked


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Posted by Dave

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[ Note this event occurred earlier than the entry date stamp.  It is a blog post ported from another hosting arrangement. ]

I guess TikTok is increasingly gaining credibility as a citizen journalism tool, or tool of serendipitous witness as may really be the case here.

TikToker SarahMarie716 captured this takedown of an apparent police suspect, which also includes a Buffalo police cruiser inadvertently ramming the back of another, while arriving to help.  All in all, "I got this on video gold!" type of situation.

The picture below links to the video, but if you prefer now, here's the link too.

Scene of Buffalo Police takedown

It's not clear exactly what the suspect in this video was wanted for, but he knew he was in trouble, since, as police caught up to him he immediately got on the ground and assumed an arrest position.   

He is subsequently cuffed and the arrest is complete.

There is a lot of "inert" negative commentary on the TikTok's thread for this video about how many police had to run over to the already complying suspect, but the arrest itself looks clean and routine.  

But that crash?  It was probably minor in police terms, but it sure sounded hard!  I am sure the actual ouch to BPD ego will be on the Dukes of Hazzardness flavor this whoopsie endears.

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