Monday, April 30, 2012

It's the Little Things that Mean a Lot

I just realized I could tune my radio with 3 keystrokes. Or 1 for that matter.

Most mornings start with me listening to WSB 750 AM out of Atlanta because that's where Boortz is. Then eventually either Clark Howard's or Sean Hannity's voice will get on my nerves and I'll change to either 590 KLBJ or 1370 KJCE out of Austin.

Yesterday I had to go to Bookmarks, Online Radio, Highlight, Click and the radio stream would come up. Now all I have to do is type 750, 590 or 1370 in the address bar.

If you have something bookmarked in Firefox, the Properties dialog for the link has a field titled Keyword. The keyword is what you will type in the address bar in your browser to call that bookmark. Neat.

How Many Innocent Brown Babies Must Die Before . . .

. . . before you decide it's a bad neighborhood in which to raise some birdies?

The answer, apparently, is two. The new rat-dog is part Terrier, which means anything small and flopping gets pounced on and eaten. To include two of the three cardinal chicks that fell out of the nest in the rose bush.

My Darling Wife, as sad as could be about such a random wild thing happening, took one of the dead birds right out of the dog's mouth and set it on the picnic table. The birds came and took it, and the remaining chick in the nest, and beat feet for less-hostile territory.

Oh well.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Oh, Sure! Do Exactly That!

#3 has been coughing for a couple of days, runny nose, etc., classic symptoms of a cold. Today he didn't want to eat a dried cherry and it came out of his mouth and went on the table by his plate. Later, the cherry was still on the table when #4 came clambering down from the arm of the couch. I was making sandwiches on the other side of the table and here comes #4. Faster than you can say furious, pop! into his mouth goes the cherry from the mouth of the sick brother.

Great.

Great Good Economic News!!!

What a fine mess our Elected Heroes have gotten us into. I repeat (again) that those who want the true picture of what is happening in world's economic news should read Michael Shedlock's Global Economic Trend Analysis. But when you look at the real news and the news is bad, it can be depressing to read.

The F-35 stealth fighter airplane . . . ONLY to cost $1.5 Trillion for a few thousand airplanes that are less capable at everything than the several types of war planes they are intended to replace.

USA Gross Domestic Product last quarter: the government is reporting a 2.2% growth rate. Depending on how you look at the numbers, try a true GDP of 0% for Q1 2012.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

The Original Legend of Zelda for PC

If you loved Zelda but your NES disappeared sometime between your 10th birthday and today, you will appreciate the fact that some people loved Zelda enough to copy it and make it run on Windows XP. Vista and 7 users may have "issues." There is a DOS version and you can run a DOS virtual machine on your newer OS if you have to I guess.

You will go install it and I'll see you in a week when you've finished it.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Al Sharpton Goes Home in 3..2..

It was okay for George Zimmerman's dad to say Zimmerman is Hispanic. You can still rile up the useful idiots at a racist rally against a white hispanic. But now Zimmerman's mother has said her grandfather was black. This, of course, makes white-hispanic George a BLACK-white-hispanic. Now we have come full circle and this is "only" a black man killing a black man, and THAT my friends is nothing to get excited over.

********

Because, after all, almost every black man that is killed in America, is killed by another black man . . . and nobody seems to care that inner-city-black culture is broken so badly that this is a non-story. At least, they don't care enough to take meaningful steps to fix it. Lots of same-old not-working government program money being thrown around, sure, but I don't remember the last Al Sharpton/Jesse Jackson conference on The Importance Real Fatherhood Instead of Being a Babymakin Hood Rat. But then I'm a white hispanic too, so what do I know about being Black In America? I mean, just looking at what doesn't work for white folk and seeing it not working for black folk is faulty logic, right?

Or are we all just people after all? Maybe, just maybe, George Zimmerman is an American, and Trayvon Martin was an American, and it doesn't matter what color you are when your skull is being bounced off the pavement . . . and it doesn't matter what color you are when your babydaddy is gone with the wind.

********

We don't need to have a new American conversation on Race. We need to tell the race pimps to sit down and shut the hell up and everybody else just IGNORE whatever color your neighbor might happen to be. If you want the black-on-black violence epidemic to end, you need the black FAMILY to be fixed. The way to have a culture full of young men who are respectful, peaceable, and generally not out killing each other over bad drug deals is to have a MAN (not just a male, a full MAN) and a woman -a family- rearing children, teaching them the right thing to do. With something like 3/4 of the black babies in America born out of wedlock, this is not happening nearly enough. We have had several generations of American black children lacking the proper guidance and leadership to become good citizens living the peaceful, prosperous (read with a sneer, "white") lifestyle.

There is no way to fix this - but that should not stop anyone from trying. If an attempt is to be made, we need a few more Bill Cosby types to show the way, and we need them at the highest levels of government, in the schools, and on the street. Big Brothers/Big Sisters is a great thing, but one-at-a-time is too slow to overcome a 3/4 illegitimacy rate and 50% dropout rate. Black culture is very badly broken and I am afraid there are not enough MEN who happen to be both black AND natural leaders who will bear the standard to the youth.

Don't get too high on your horse there white (and other color) people. Your statistics aren't looking so great either. You wouldn't be so happy about your demographics if you didn't have the absolutely-terrible numbers from the black culture to feel relatively good about.

********

YAWN not controversial enough, VFD!

I'll do you one better'n that: the reason American culture is going downhill is that Americans need to have a personal relationship with Jesus. You people need to get to reading, believing, and LIVING what it says in your Bibles. If you don't, not only will the country continue down the road to calamity, you will have done your part to destroy us. ONLY Christians, living like non-Christians know they should, will help America to become great and good again.

But hey, you only have a couple of small pet sins, so you couldn't possibly be the reason America is wasted.

Right?

DOG. MEAT.

One of the guys at work tells a joke that goes like this:

Kung Fu is in Chinese people's blood. You know what else is in Chinese people's blood?

DOG. MEAT.

My Darling Wife acquired a couple of Subway sandwiches for us for supper. The children (eating spaghetti) were curious and asked what was in the sandwiches. I replied

DOG. MEAT.

and then I thought of my friend from work, and sent him a TXT MSG on the phone:

Socialism is in the President's blood. You know what else is in the President's blood?

DOG. MEAT. !

You People Are No Fun At ALL

Somebody submits a story summary to slashdot
Slashdot runs it
People read it

this is where most mass media stops. People enjoy the story and go on blissfully ignorant if the proposed idea is stupid. But sometimes you get some wicked smaht people commenting on slashdot.

People think about it
Then you read comments
and realize the "why didn't I think of that" idea might be stupid

So if you like a story summary on slashdot . . . don't read the comments!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Well, I Can Tell You Where I AIN'T!

I was trying to find out for whom to vote in the upcoming primary election, so I hit up the local "we register voters and cars" agency website, and searched for myself. We just re-gerrymandered redrew the district maps in Texas, so I'm in a "new" precinct. I clicked the handy link to find out where is my polling place.

I think there is still a glitch or two in the matrix. Usually our polling place is a nearby elementary school, but the map came up centered on a Chamber of Commerce location. I zoomed out and I didn't recognize any of the street names. I zoomed out a bit more and realized that my Travis County, Texas polling place is probably not going to be on the outskirts Coffeyville, Kansas.

Yeah, so . . . I'm going to be calling the *local* office tomorrow to figure out WTH is going on here. I'm guessing they didn't quite get the map code right. Do you think?

Madness at Work

NJ was chewing on a pen (he stopped smoking a while back) and it asploded real good-like. Blue ink all over the mouth like he had blue rabies. He wiped most of the ink off and then Guido started giving him a hard time about the blue that still remained. My ears perked up at the sound of something fun happening and I went to go see what was going on. JM had the same idea as I walked past his work station.

NJ saw me coming and went to hide around the other side of a partition wall. JM was a Marine and he followed orders splendidlywhen I told him to go round the other way and cut NJ off. At this point Guido started laughing even harder and mentioned that NJ now had a golf club in his hand.

Surrounded, NJ came out toward me and I started laughing. I was laughing at the presence of the golf club and he thought I was laughing at the bluerabiesmouth he still had. He probably had cleaned it all off by the time I got off my chair but he didn't know that. He said . . .

NJ: Is it still there?
VFD: What, the herpes or the blue stuff?
NJ: LOL

Small company, big fun. NJ went to the bathroom to check himself and came back momentarily, commenting that he was still spitting blue.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

And Now It's Time For A Break Down

Today had kindof a lot of minor failures. The Hot Rod, she was not so happy.

I went to pull out of my neighborhood this morning in front of traffic. First, Second, and instead of third I grabbed fifth gear, with the regular amount of gas I would give third to keep taking off like a batouttahell. Engage the clutch . . . the car did NOT leap forward and the engine speed barely dropped at ALL. For a second or two until I got it out of fifth and into third. A few moments later, the smell of burning clutch came through the A/C vents. Well, it kept driving so . . .

Going down the highway, I had a bass-heavy piece of "music" on the ray-dee-oh. And by bass-heavy, I mean something broke on the rear decklid and it started buzzing like a legit rattle-trap.

After work, I unlocked my door like always. UNlike always, the follow-me door locks on the rest of the doors didn't unlock. I figured I might have just left her unlocked all day. No big deal, sit down, press clutch, insert key, turn key . . . nothing. Not even so much as a click. Turn off running lights. Obtain jump from another guy in the parking lot.

Thank God the car runs, but I guess you have to treat em right.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

News Is No News

In the center of the screen: a house of cards. It looks quite sturdy, and your video has been playing for quite a while now. But it is a video from a high-speed camera. The left side of the screen shows a fan spinning. Coming slowly toward the house of cards, we see a dust cloud. We can know well in advance that the house of cards is doomed beyond any hope of saving. But the house of cards is still standing. Nevermind we have a communist in the white house and from the chief dog walker to the chief executive the leadership of the entire WORLD is broken. The whole shebang is going to fall down, but . . .

we can see it all coming but the house still stands, so why bother reporting anything? Sometimes the bad news here-comes-the-freight-train headline roll is so great that it blunts the senses. Sure, go to the NORML rally next week downtown, but what will it change?

I dunno. Maybe I need more coffee. Oh well, at least Company Owner #1 is happy because I fixed his radio. The kids are healthy, so what else do you want as we wait for the cards to blow down?

Monday, April 23, 2012

Go Away. Go Away. Go Away. Go Away. Go Away. Go Away. Go Away. Go Away.

I did a nuke&pave reinstallation of Windows on one of my computers and then let Windows Update have its way with the thing. 230 updates and a DVD worth of downloads later, it was finished.

Internet Explorer was kind enough to let me know it had been updated. The fastest way to make this go away was to click the Remind Me Later button.

This computer uses Internet Explorer for one thing per day and then it is closed. I don't use Internet Explorer for as long as it took to do the following. The next day, the computer booted and loaded IE8. It asked if I wanted to see how new and fabulous it was. Sure, whatever, let's click OK and get this nag screen out of my face.

And the next one, where I told it to not take over my computer.
And the next one, where I told it to go away.
And the next one, where I told it to not take over my computer.
And the next one, where I told it to go away.
And the next one, where I told it to not take over my computer.
And the next one, where I told it to go away.
And the next one, where I told it to not take over my computer.
And the next one, where I told it to go away.
And the next one, where I told it to not take over my computer.

It must have been at least a half-dozen dialogs asking whether I wanted to use Internet explorer for everything I don't use it for, currently. I told it no, go away, and it took longer than the thing I needed to use Internet Explorer for that day.

This stinks, Microsoft. Updating Netscape Firefox at least only got me ONE unwanted web page and they didn't try to takeover my life.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Seriously, Facebook?

I guess when you get away from Facebook for a few months, it is normal for them to add more crap. Now there are a half-dozen different little windowpanes full of nothing, instead of just a couple. Great. That totally makes me want to be on there even more, now.

*ahem*

VFD Communication Policy

If I tell you something to your face and you give a context-appropriate response, you are accountable for what you were told.

If I tell you something and you grunt or do not respond, you did not hear it. We may be escalating this to the above condition if you are a subordinate, a child, or somebody who actually needs to know what was said. Context and circumstances dictate appropriateness of touching you, striking you, putting something in front of your face, or throwing spitballs at you to get your attention.

If I send you an electronic communication and you do not respond somehow, I will not assume you received the communication. If you do respond or show that you have received an electronic communication, you are responsible for having read all of it regardless of whether you actually did.

If you are cursing, the conversation is over when I say it is, including but not limited to the time I stopped listening and started thinking about what I was doing before you interrupted my life - whether or not I continued to keep acting like I was listening.

Cursing back may be acceptable. Start it, deal with it.

If you want me to know something, contact me in a way that gets you a response. I do not and will not be held accountable for not checking my email or smailmail boxes every day. I do not and do not want to know how to check any of my three or four voice mail boxes. Get me to use words related to what you are talking about, directed at you, if you want to be sure I got your message.

Unless I respond, you may assume that I did not get your letter or email, or else I considered it unimportant-enough to neglect to respond.

If I did not look at you and acknowledge you directly, you did not speak. Coincidentally-timed grunts and things you think you heard me say are to be understood as non-responsive to whatever you were talking about.

I have 5 phone numbers that can be used to reach me. If you know one of them, use it and speak to me directly. I have a regular work and church schedule. Show up in person. Otherwise you have less than 100% surety of knowing I hear you.

We do what is important to us, and this includes remembering. If you REALLY want to make sure I got it, make sure I got it twice. Twice is reminding, and may increase the likelihood of correct remembering. Four times is nagging and you start to be ignored past that point.

Earth Day 2012

For earth day, I laid down a strip of rubber pulling away from a stop light and left some lights on with nobody in the room. You're welcome.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Nothing. I Got Nothing.

It was a good day. Two minor projects got minor progress after the Zoo went to bed, we all had a great day with some local family members. Now I'm tired and you get bubkis. Re-read the infrared imaging opinion piece from yesterday if you want actual content. You might think differently now that you've had a day to think about the idea.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Heart Wrenching, Heart Warming Story

A 5 year-old boy who cannot read is working with his brother, sweeping out train cars. He gets separated from his brother, and then gets on the wrong train and wakes up thousands of miles from home. Is adopted, grows up. Figures out how long he was on the train, then how far he must have traveled, and finds his original home town using Google Earth. His brother died a month after he disappeared, and 25 years later the lost boy walked back into his mother's life.

Wow. Finally a compelling story from Yahoo! News and it's so compelling I don't even care that it's an obvious plug for a yet-to-be-filmed movie.

We're Not On The Same Wavelength

~or~ Infrared Inspection of Homes from Helicopters is Not an Invasion of Privacy

We had a discussion about this at work, and it became clear just before I dropped the topic that we were arguing from differing first principles. If you disagree with the following statement, you will also disagree with the rest of this post.

It is good police work and a positive good per se for policemen not on active "hot" calls, to be out on patrol roaming around "looking for trouble."

Their windows should be down, in case they might hear fights, screaming, or gunshots. They should have their heads on a swivel, in case they might see something bad happening so that they can stop it happening. What a policeman can see, with his unaided senses, from a public place, he has both a duty and a right to observe. He SHOULD be looking AT your windows to see if you are murdering your husband inside your own home.

But some people take offense at the idea that police helicopters with infrared imaging systems can look through your house's roof from the air and see the one hot room or closet where you have your grow lights, growing your illegal (untaxed) marijuana farm. I respectfully disagree with those people.

A policeman walking down a neighborhood street on a regular beat is good police work. A policeman driving a Ford Police Interceptor down the street on a random patrol is good police work. If the city has enough of a population that they 'need' a helicopter, they also need to have FLIR on the plane, so they can find a suspect hiding under a kiddie swimming pool or in a dense thicket of bushes. Assuming the city is busy enough to keep the police helicopter flying, having the infrared camera switched on all the time, scanning your houses below, is good police work.

This is only a matter of degree. You screaming bloody murder emits radiation with a wavelength of a few hundred feet (audible -sound- energy). This energy is radiated from your home, through the walls and windows and roof a little, but through an open door very much. It is readily viewable and recordable from public spaces outside your house once it has been emitted.

You hitting your wife in the face emits radiation with a wavelength of maybe 400 to 800 nanometers, (visible -colors of light- energy). This energy is radiated from your home, through the windows very much but not as easily through the curtains, walls, or ceiling. It is readily viewable and recordable from public spaces outside your house once it has been emitted.

The grow light for your three cannabis sativa plants in the closet emits radiation with a wavelength of about 750 namometers to 1 millimeter (infrared -heat- energy). This energy is radiated from your home, passing fairly easily through walls and ceilings with no insulation, but not as easily through windows, especially windows with low-e glass. It is readily viewable and recordable from public spaces outside your house once it has been emitted.

No, you should not have to worry about perverts with thermal cameras spying on you and your wife making whoopee. No, in an ideal world, police would not 'need' helicopters with thermal imaging equipment. But your police have a helicopter with an infrared camera in the bottom of the nose of the aircraft.

If you do not want a foot patrolman hearing you scream, close the doors and windows. If you do not want a car patrol seeing your indoors activities, draw the curtains. If you do not want police to wonder why one room of your house is hotter than all the rest of the house, in a manner typical of a marijuana farm, insulate that room with aluminum foil.

In short: if you don't want a particular type of energy to be observed outside your house, it is on YOU to take steps to prevent observation. Police not only can but should observe your home from public places, both to check that you are okay and to see if you are breaking the law.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Peace In Our Time

I walked in to the room where my Darling Wife was watching the idiot box. On screen there was a night-time gun battle between deck mounted heavy machine guns on two boats headed toward each other. Tracers flying both directions, men being shot, and then boats colliding, one exploding.

This is the reality of unfortunate people in other places and other times. I thank God when I remember, we are very blessed to have peace here and now.

Imagine driving to the grocery store and the pavement is chewed up in front of your car by a string of warning shots. Imagine responding to a cell-phone robocall and bringing your rifle to a battle in your neighborhood park. Your neighbor from two doors down ends up dead, riding a the swingset on his belly like a little kid but dripping blood out the exploded top of his head. You're at work and the parking lot blows up. The electricity is cut for hours every day because sappers keep cutting the lines. By jumping on them.

These are some of the possibilities of living in a war zone. Now consider that the worst hassle in your day is that some jerk cut you off and slowed down in front of you on the way to work, and then you had to call IT Buddy when the networked printer told you PC LOAD LETTER.

You people should thank God every day that you don't hear shots fired in anger. It's a blessing, and it's not a guarantee. The USA started in a local war, and there have been several "small" wars here since then. Now, the closest you get to a war is downtown ("gun free") Chicago on a weekend.

So, thanks Jesus.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

I'm Right

Seen in somebody's signature line on the Internet today:

I'm right 97% of the time. Who cares about the other 4%?

Rimshot

FINALLY

I got tired enough of closing a new window in Firefox when I wanted a new tab, I decided to get off my digital duff and do something about it.

This page has a sub-one-minute fix that will get rid of the pesky "Open in New Window" option from your firefox right-click menu. Win.

I showed this to a three guys at work. One was ecstatic. One was interested. One asked if we were really worried about minor stuff like this. Haha.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

I'll Take TWO!

One convertible in black for the Mrs, one coupe in white for me.

The new BMW M6 looks, probably will perform, amazing. You will click.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Another Example of Why Prime Lenses Are Better

Prime lenses are terrible . . . IF you don't know what you are going to be shooting. If you have a reasonable idea of what is going to be in front of your camera, a fast prime lens is better to a degree many people would never notice.

Click any picture to see it larger/at higher resolution. Especially click on the crops because these 400 pixels wide thumbnails Blogger requires do NOT do these pictures justice.

Here we have a shot from a couple of days ago with my general purpose zoom lens. This lens is decently sharp for snapshots but none too fast. I had to focus manually because of the foliage confusing the autofocus robot, and manual focus is an afterthought on this lens. It's not all that smooth-turning and the stop-to-stop focus ring movement is pretty short. Still, for a snapshot it is okay. This was as wide as the aperture gets, f/4.5 at 70mm, ISO 400 1/160 second exposure.

Say hello to Mrs. Cardinal:

Photobucket

Here she is at just over 100% magnification. You can tell what you are looking at, but the sharpness is not what I want. You can see she is in focus because there is some stuff behind her head also in focus, as well as some of the nesting material in front of her. It's focused, but the sharpness . . . well . . . .

Photobucket

Here she is a few days later. This is through a 100mm f/2.8 prime lens wide open. It's at maximum aperture so the contrast is a little low. The photo from the other day was around 14:00 and bright sunshine. This is just before sunset around 19:00. It was getting dark out and the ISO was cranked to 800 so there is some digital noise. This is the same 1/160 exposure time. She let me get a foot or two closer, which combined with the focal length to get a whole lot more bird and less plant in the shot.

Photobucket

But the kick in the teeth is the sharpness. This is a best-guess manual focus with a manual lens.

Photobucket

The focus action on this lens, by the way, is sexy. Like turning a metal cylinder in thick grease . . . oh wait, that's what is happening.

You can get a lens with a 15x zoom range and replace a whole bag full of prime lenses for everyday shooting. You can take award-winning photos with a kit lens even, given enough light. But when you really want sharp, sharp, sharpness in your focus, it will fall behind a good prime.

Tha RINT is Too Dam HI!

I hates me some paying bills. Why does stuff keep getting more expensive for the same service? I mean I understand why but WHY?!!1!

Don't bother me I'm thinking about money. At least the second lens project is coming out well but that's a story for another posting.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Walking in the Rain

It is not uncommon anywhere to see people running from the rain. Sprinters, fleeing even the slightest drizzle, are one of those things on which I have an opinion.

Not YOU, VFD! An opinion?

I know, shocking, right?

Anyhow, I walk in the rain. If I have some electronic or printed material that will be spoiled by the water I'll cover it, but I walk. I may not be perfect but I'm not the Wicked Witch of the West. News flash: this ain't you:

you ain't this sweet, sweety

I figure, if our men can spend months at a time in monsoon rains, sleeping in it, fighting in it, dying in it, I can avoid some undignified, undue speed in my travel through the parking lot.

Also not you:

tom hanks didn't melt

If you are wearing a brimmed hat (as you should but that's another thing) then even your glasses won't get wet. Your clothes will dry in minutes to an hour or so. It's only a bit of water. A little water (on the outside) never killed anybody, so take your time and don't look like a child or a jerk - walk in the rain.

Well I Thought It Was Clever

Nobody complimented me on it, as everyone was too caught up in not being caught out in the rain, but I pat myself quite firmly on the back for this one. Today during church, it started raining enough to make a river in the middle of the parking lot. When we finally got everyone organized enough to be ready to hit the car after services ended, there was a caravan of minivans waiting to go pick people up under the porte-cochère . . . but only in one direction. Most folks wanted to pick up their people with the passenger side of their vans near to the curb so the families could just hop straight in. That's fine and all, but it was a wait.

So I walked out to the car and considered the circumstances. My initial thought was to back out in the same direction as everyone else, but there were two problems with that idea. 1) Everyone else was already in that line, and there was no place in line into which to back the car and 2) I'd be jumping the line if I did get in there, or else I'd be a half-dozen minivans back and we'd probably still be on line in ten minutes. Nobody was coming down the driveway from the other direction.

So I backed out the other direction. Then I continued to back up, reversing straight into the porte-cochère, and the only wait involved was me waiting for my children to alert their mother that the coach was waiting. They forded the river in the driveway but stayed out of the rain, and we drove off past the caravan of vans still waiting on line.

Winning.
I win

Saturday, April 14, 2012

You Know What I Hate?

WHAT?

I hate cutting dogs' toenails. But I gotta. I hate to hurt their little cuticles, but their feet hurt if the nails are too long.

Stupid dogs. Oh well.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Old Cars Let You Drive

New cars will prevent you driving.

Wait, what?

Your car has a brake and a throttle pedal. Pushing each of them does something different. Pushing both of them at the same time is advanced kung-fu and helps you win races on the track. The NHTSA also thinks that you suck at driving so much that you would never intentionally use the brake and throttle together, and they want to change your new cars. In the future, the idea is that using both controls together will prevent one of them from working.

Thinking like this leads to padded phone poles in London so you can TXT MSG on your phone without looking up and you don't get hurt by walking headlong into a steel post. Seriously, they do this.

Call me an angry white-hispanic male if you want, but I repeat: throttle should be a cable or a linkage, and brakes should be straight hydraulics. These systems should not be related in any way.

Hat tip: Instapundit

Anybody Got a Lens To Donate?

My dad's Canon 18-55mm kit lens was half-dead and he started shopping. I found him the repair part he needed and he fixed his lens. Now he's stuck on not "needing" to upgrade his lens from working-and-half-decent to working-and-great. I almost feel bad for him sticking with the merely-okay glass he has, except that finding him a $10 part let him not have to buy a $400 replacement lens.

Still, I wish I could hook him up. I don't suppose any of you have one of these laying around, do you? Want to give it up for The Cause?

No? Oh well, it didn't hurt to ask!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Republicans' War On Women for Dummies

That is, if you think there IS one, you ARE one.

Republicans, as a general rule, share this in common with Democrats, Greens, and Libertarians and everybody else in the country:
  • They don't want women to have fewer rights or lower pay.
  • Ditto for queers, disgusting fatbodies, or gimps.
  • They don't want dirty air and water
  • They don't want starving children
  • They don't want to steal your retirement
  • They don't want to steal your healthcare
  • They don't want old people to eat dog food and freeze to death
  • They are not racist
  • etc.
These things are straw men with nobody in the leftist/mainstream press bothering to knock them down. The Democrats like to allege these things against their enemies, but the claimants are usually either lying or too stupid to realize how false the allegations are. IF the leftists had any shame they wouldn't resort to these not-even-an-argument arguments. They don't and neither do the "news" organizations so you'll see this claptrap over and over again on the Teewee.

Customer Management 101

small business edition

~or~ why VFD is not the Customer Relations Manager

We got a customer question through the e-mail and my response suggestion followed the general rule I use in such situations. NP and Guido both agreed in principle:

If somebody asks a question about a low-dollar item and they obviously don't know what they are talking about, tell them the opposite of what they want to hear and add them to the Blocked Bidders List. This automatically prevents future stress and negative feedback scores.

You Guys Are SO Fired.

Again for the second time in a week, our phone is useless due to static.

If I'm paying $75 a month for a frikken phone and slowashell DSL and the phone is useless, I might as well have the fastasallgetout cable plan and no phone. I gotta cell phone.

Bye, AT&T. Too bad y'all suck so much.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

In Which I Alienate My Crazy Readers

No, you don't need antidepressants.

You need to cheer up.

First, get some sleep. If you're not tired, exercise and then get some sleep. Exercise enough and you'll be tired enough for a solid night's sleep. Get a good solid night's sleep for three weeks in a row before you see a doctor for your emotional whatevers. EVERYTHING is worse when you're tired.

Get a better diet. Specifically go outside during daylight hours. Make sure you have plenty of magnesium so you can uptake the vitamin D you produce, and enough calcium to deal with the D once you absorb it. Stop eating out of boxes, and stop eating stuff that costs more dollars than it takes minutes to produce. Simple meals, lots of fresh foods, not the same cardboard you've been eating. Get tested for gluten and MSG sensitivity. Drink at least a half-gallon of straight-up WATER every day.

Face reality. Your mom is dying. Your cousin is gay (but not for you). Your dog is also gay. You should have a different job, house and car. You don't have enough money to support your lifestyle. Your spouse thinks you are a jerk for good reason. Your life sucks. Acknowledge it and take positive steps to change it.

If all that won't get your sorry ass un-depressed, get your calcium and parathyroid hormone levels checked. Get scanned for various autoimmune diseases and cancers. If you can't get your emotions in line when you are well fed, rested, and don't have any circumstantial problems, you are physically ill somehow.

But what you 99.993% certainly Do Not Need is a chemical straight jacket. Numbing your emotions (at the risk of increased suicidal tendencies) is not the same thing as being well. Merely Functional is no way to go through life. Fix yourself!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Monday, April 9, 2012

Internet . Slow . Can't . Function

This is what I get for still not having fired AT&T yet. Holy cow. You would think it was 1995 again it's so slow tonight. Skip it man I'm going to bed.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Saturday, April 7, 2012

A Personal First for My Darling Wife

VFD: Honey, do you know where my orange notebook is?
DW: No, I do not know where your orange notebook is.
(half-tick pause for consideration)
DW: Wow
VFD: Now how hard was that?
DW: LOL
VFD: and it only took 13 years.

She is now only 99.99935% likely to offer suggestions as to where she thinks something is . . . for once she actually just said "I don't know" like I ALWAYS tell her to say after I figure out she doesn't know.

Already. Well, it was fun while it lasted. Next time, I'm pretty sure I'll hear "well, I think it's . . . " as usual. There are, all things considered, worse foibles one could have in a spouse! I sure do love my Wife.

My Neck! My Back! My Neck and my Back!

I hope it's just delayed-onset muscle soreness from some serious rasslin' with the sewer snake the other day but I've got a sore back.

and?

I NEVER get a sore back. I pick up stuff heavier than myself at work and shrug it off. But the other day I woke up on the wrong side of my side and today I went to pick up #4 from his bed and (as my Darling Wife says) I got a twitch on my back.

So (boo, hoo, hoo) instead of going to a baby birthday party I'm on the couch today all day. Probably go and get some aleve later, and take a long hot bath. I've got a hot pack on the hot spot just now and it helps. But we'll see.

Thank God I'm not a commercial crab fisherman. That show Deadliest Catch is keeping me from going mad sitting down and those guys are frikken nails.

********
For those who didn't catch the reference in the Title, you have obviously not watched Friday. These few seconds are a cultural icon on which you have missed out! This video clip has some language, so watch the volume control.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Tough Morning, Chief?

I said a prayer, and I hope you will as well. Austin Police Chief Acevedo must have been having a rough morning early this morning.

First there was an officer-involved shooting. One of his men had to* chase down a fleeing suspect and ended up shooting the dude DRT when he went for the officer's gun. Nelson Lender and his racist-hate-mongering finger pointing act swung into action immediately because the decedent was dark brown.

Then there was an officer-involved shooting. One of his men responded to drunk guy wandering around WalMart and the dude shot the cop in the neck, fatally wounding him. The murderer was caught on film and then caught, tackled, and disarmed by some heroic soon-to-be-ex WalMart employees. Nelson Lender probably just can't find a microphone to talk about this incident. Or something.

And all this before the first pot of coffee. Yikes.

********

*Yes, he did too have to chase the sweet innocent choir boy down. We still don't know why the traffic stop was initiated, but we do know that somebody in the car bolted. The sworn duty of a policeman is to enforce the law, right? That's his job - somebody is breaking the law and an officer MUST go after him. Yes, that is the way. No, you can't just let them run off. That's how you have dead hostages, guns tossed into drainage culverts, drugs ditched, and stolen cars turning into more stolen cars. A cop HAS TO give chase. That's his JOB. The report is that the cop tackled the fleeing suspect and his taser failed to deploy so there was another chase and another fight. Reaching for the gun of a uniformed policeman during a fight you initiated is the same thing as shooting your own silly brains out, as far as the cop being right or wrong goes.

You wouldn't know it from the kneejerk reaction in public defense of the dead by Nelson Lender, but the APD actually has a record of shooting people to death much less than other cities the size of Austin.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

The New Dog

Looks like a wirehair chihuahua, but appears to be a Norwalk terrier. Well, we could do worse for a free rat dog. I mean, we could have ended up with a pair of chihuahuas.

Oh, wait.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Obama is Hitler!!!!1!

Boortz made an interesting point today. You will recall with what liberty the Democratic-leaning press repeated the charge that George W. Bush was like Hitler - and nevermind the pesky near-total lack of similarities! Well, Boortz said, during the Year of Speaking Dangerously we draw a different comparison with a different circumstance:

President Obama is very like Adolf Hitler in many ways, according to a personality profile of Herr Hitler made for the United States' Office of Strategic Services. The informed consumer of news will have little difficulty with this. The Obama voter will hardly notice as it bounces well off of his thick head.

I skimmed the profile. Most of what I read was at least close to The Obama enough to be disturbing, but I did notice one difference: Hitler didn't do much entertaining. The Obamas have made themselves a spectacle with frequent parties. Another difference: Hitler was a genuine warrior, whereas Obama might wet himself during a battle.

You people really should start listening to Boortz. Yes, he is abrasive. Deal with it, or miss bleeding-edge stuff like this.

How Some People Get To Be As Old As They Are, I SWEAR!

I like to think, for the sake of humanity, that I am not so very outstanding. But then stuff happens. Somebody is looking FOR something while looking AT what they are looking FOR, and they miss it. They read something and fail to comprehend, when the answer is laid out in plain American*. They walk in front of traffic, they bypass safety measures in dangerous ways and then use equipment and lose parts of themselves. Every once in a while, I ask myself (and sometimes I ask an eavesdropping co-worker) how these people managed to survive to adulthood.

Case in point (the thing that set me off just a little, just now): I told you something was dangerous, and then told you how to work around the danger to an effective (i.e., known-effective) solution. Then sumdood mentioned that a counterpoint to my article is another article pointing out that the government recommends not working around the dangers, because nobody ever did a taxpayer funded study to prove what millions of Americans already found out first-hand.

People, look, I know some of you mean well, but PLEASE either read more critically or chose your examples better.

********

American. Not English. Deal with it.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Kicking And Screaming

I was browsing slashdot earlier and read a story, then I found a link to a question that made me waste the next hour and a half (check the time stamp on this post). Life After Firefox 3.6.x?

I hate firefox for its memory holes but it's better for my use for everything else. The progress from version 3.6 to (weeks away from) version 14 in the space of a year and change has left me unimpressed and with a bad taste in my mouth about the whole affair. I used it for two major releases and it must say somewhere in the US Constitution that Firefox only gets updated big-time so they change the version number every few years, but now we're on Firefox 11? I've got 3.6.x running how I like, thank you very much and I'll keep it! Except that it's about to be as unsupported as Windows 3.11 (for workgroups) is, and you really ought to keep something like up to date with security patches. So I started digging. For at least the next year or so I will likely be using Firefox 10 ESR and thumbing a rhetorical nose at the rapidreleasecyclefrenzymania until Firefox 17ESR becomes the next least-new thing out there.

Along the way I found that I will probably be able to keep using the same theme and user interface that I know and don't-hate. I also found out that some people actually think so much of security updates that they would consider forcing your software to break than to allow you to use it without installing security patches. What a mess.

Whatever happened to the good old days when you could buy a computer and run it for a decade with no security worries? Oh, wait, that never really happened, did it? I look forward to the time when Jesus comes to show us how to really run a planet. I betcha there's no computer virii then, eh!

Done, Son

+1 hour labor and maybe another cleanup hour. Thanks God, the sink she drains again. I shoved that snake in there till it got to a funky kink in the cable and pulled it back out. Dozens of feet of gunky snake. I put some warm water in the sink and went to look in the drain line in the yard. I got there just in time to see a wave of mud, followed by muddy water that eventually ran clear with chunks. Thank'ee Jesus!


Always rinse the funk off the snake because the next time you'll be all EEEEEEEEeeeeeEEEEEEWWWWWwwww! Then let it lay out to dry. The funky kink in the cable was a misfeed. I fought it until it payed out right, then fed it all back in.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Two More Stories To Shuttle Directly To The Memory Hole

The Obama campaign website allows unverified donations from foreign entities and identity thieves. Enabling massive violation of Federal laws, just like in 2008. But what do you want from a campaign associated with such high-quality individuals?

From Instapundit, because God knows you won't hear about these stories anywhere else. Unless one of the newbies at an alphabet network forgets to report only the narrative, and then FOX picks up on it. But to pick it up first? Hah!

Stupid Drain

The drain in the kitchen sink is slow. Slow enough the dishwasher backs up into the sink. My baby 1/4" x 10 foot snake found nothing interesting. Boiling water has succeeded so far only in melting the thin Chinese PVC attached to a P trap. Drain-O, it does nothing.

I guess I should be glad it's been three years since the last time I had a snake down this drain, and two years since I replaced smashed-broken pipes. The last time I was in there, I said I would make a more-conveniently located clean-out fitting if I ever had to open the wall again so I wouldn't have to open the wall again. Guess what time it is. Must. Resist. Urge. To. Use. Compressed. Air!

********

Always buy new PVC glue. You don't want to do this twice because you went with old glue from two years ago.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Dat YO Dawg!

It is still a matter of debate, who wanted VFDDawgs #1 and #2 but this one is pretty incontrovertible. My Darling Wife showed up WAY late tonight, with another rat-dog looking dog. Some sort of a terrier puppy.

Great. Just what we needed, another mouth to feed.

Sure he's cute but he's NOT going to be called my dog!

You Know You Need More Sudafed When

When you're nauseous from all the phlegm draining into your stomach. Welcome to Central Texas.