Monday, April 15, 2013

You May All Go To Hell, and I Will Go To Wordpress.

(to paraphrase a dead white male)

Blogger has yanked my chain one time too many.  I hate to change . . . well, anything, really, but this may have been the last straw. 

For the indeterminate future, all activity you would normally find here, will be going on at  I regret going to a host that gives you ads, but this site isn't for you anyway and I don't want to fight with robots when I should be venting my spleen about the goings-on in the world around me.  So long, Blogger.  Too bad you turned out to be a pain in the ass.

I See What You Did There, Google

So all of a sudden, all the controls for this blog that you don't ever see, changed.  Half of them disappeared.  I clicked around and didn't find what I wanted so I clicked on the Blogger+ link on one page.  It took me through creating a Google+ profile* and then SHAZAM all my settings and controls were accessible again.

*for which I have absolutely no use, and which I largely skipped.  Google+ can go straight to hell as far as I care.  The more they change stuff here, the more I start thinking about jumping to a self-hosted blog site.  Sure traffic would take a hit, but I don't blog for you anyway so

...oh, and it's so nice that they decided to change the way it works when I search through my old posts.  What a pain in the [deleted] Blogger is being just now.

edit: nevermind, it's MORE useless crap.  Still looking for the control that used to be where it used to be. :(

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Three Years Ago, I Told You So


Leftists hate the idea of a 401k retirement account.  Only the filty disgusting rich get to really benefit from them, and they discriminate against the poor, poor, pitiful poor people not smart or willing enough to build up nest eggs for themselves.  So it should hardly be a surprise (especially to long-time readers of VFD) that the President's budget proposal comes right out and TAKES from your 401k savings.  The anticipated revenues to the government are supposed to be 9 BILLION dollars, but consider where that money comes from:

The retirement savings you strove a lifetime to set aside, and which you counted on to provide you with a comfortable lifestyle after you retire. 

Hold on there. 

No, wait, it's not your money anyway.  You are an exploiter, treading on the backs of the poor to get that money saved in your richevil taxhaven retirement account.  Having more than three million dollars in a retirement account, well, that's just about as bad as MURDER!

Don't hold your breath waiting for this story to make the nightly news.  Also do not be surprised when the idea somehow becomes law.  Also do not be surprised when the safe-from-confiscation limits change from "tax the really rich" through "tax the pretty well-off" and right down to "who really needs retirement savings anyway" and they start taking everyone's savings.

If you want to secure your wealth, you need to do it with actual property.  Real estate is a traditionally good bed, but it is in a price bubble just now and is easy enough for government to steal (ask the farmers in Rhodesia!) Guns tend to hold their value pretty well over time, but with the current scare-buying still underway, you probably don't want to buy those for investments now either.  Gold is tricky to time but probably going to head north again soon.  The best thing to save your money in these days increasingly looks like a safe in your mattress.  But perhaps our fortunes will change and you will wish you had bought MREs and ammunition instead of making to-be-confiscated 401(k) account contributions.

If you depend on the legal constructs of wicked men to help you save money, don't be surprised when they take it from you, legally.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Round 2...FIGHT!

So the Stupidest Thing Ever got a little stupid-er.  I noticed that I was still showing up as David VoteFor instead of VoteForDavid.  A well-phrased Google search brought me to How to Change Your Display Name on Blogger which is exactly what I wanted to do in the first place...and I couldn't!  As I went to follow the instructions, I noticed they were wrong, and that I had an option to change to a different profile.  Google in their typical not-evil-but-awfully-control-freak-ish way switched me to a Google+ profile instead of a plain jane Blogger profile because they know better.  The instructions were wrong for the Google+ profile, but as soon as I changed back to the profile I WANTED to use in the first place, they gave me an option to pick my display name.  BAM.  How hard was that?

So I went to update the Stupidest Thing Ever post and...couldn't.  Of all my postings, that's the one that I can't edit.  Whiskey Tango Hotel, over.  So now you get a whole new post on the subject, whoopeedee!

Different Strokes for Different Folks

I saw an online discussion where someone asked what to do to get a brighter dome light in their car.  Various people chimed in with 'use new LED lights' type answers.

I don't get it.  I was surprised this morning as #2 was getting in my car, when the dome light came on for the first time in maybe a few years.  I switch it to OFF and leave it that way.  I also disabled the switch on my driver's door, so eve if the light is set to AUTO it still doesn't light unless another door is opened. 

If I need a little light to read a map, there are map lights by the windshield.  If I REALLY need light in the car, a dome light is typically not going to cut it and a flashlight is brought in to use the right tool for the job. I know where everything in the car is, without looking.  A light on in a car is a serious operational security risk.  God only knows who is watching you and is very interested to see (for example) where you stash your wallet, phone or gun.  Nobody needs a bright flash of light telling them I've got in or out of my car, and nobody needs to see who or what-all exactly is in my car.  So.  Off. 

I recognize my status as a member of a small minority that cares about this kind of thing.  Not a protected minority, you understand, but a slightly safer minority nonetheless.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

That Was The Stupidest Thing Ever.

...or at least, the stupidest thing this week so far.

I lost access to an email account I used to log in to this h'yer blog.  I made a fancy new gmail account for the purpose.  It made a new Google Account for me with the same username, for which I have exactly no use. I put my desired username in but I put a typo in there somehow.  It showed up onscreen the way I didn't want it to show up.

So I just spent the last two and a half hours running in circles trying to get blogger to accept a new author with the name I wanted to use in the first place.  It involves yet another new non-gmail address AND another new Google account.

The process goes: log in as user A, then send an invitation to user B to be an author.  User B accepts and it works like magic.  Except it didn't. Blogger would not show the new author in the dashboard for the old author after I accepted the invitation. Two hours later and ready to quit, I logged in to my new gmail account as a last-ditch desperation move to see if anything showed up there.  It had a bunch of emails saying I had accepted invitations with different email addresses..  THAT gmail account is THE account for this blog.  I was logging out of blogger but not out of gmail somehow even though they are the same account, and the OLD Google account was still logged in.  So when I used my new email account to accept an invitation to contribute to VFD, the OLD Google account as accepting it.

What a cluster[deleted].  Way to be, Google.  Finally I figured out to log out of my google stuff in THREE different locations, log in to the new google account, and THEN accept the invitation.  Worked.  Finally.  [deleted].  It sure would have been nice to be getting some productive work done, but somehow this knowledge is nowhere to be found on the internet:

LOG OUT of Google, Gmail, and Blogger, and log in to the Google account of the NEW author you want to invite, BEFORE accepting the invitation. 

The gray-headed guy tried to do this last year and he died trying.  What a needless hassle. 

Google, I don't want, need, or care about EITHER of these Google Accounts.  I'll NEVER use Google+ and I don't want personalized ANYTHING.  I use you for Blogger and web searching.  Leave me alone with this jive already!

Monday, April 8, 2013

You Stay Classy, President Obama

So, for the record:

  • Illinois Senator Obama voted against a bill that would require infants born alive to be given life-saving medical treatment.  And he later said he would have voted for it if it ever came up for a vote.

  • President Obama is using Air Force One to bring family members of dead children to Washington D.C. to dance in the blood of the children, attempting to advance a legislative agenda.


Good job, America.  Way to pick a great guy for President.  Again.

For CJ, Who Will Appreciate It

Part of the three-phase power distribution at a PEC substation.  It's a little noisy because the ISO was cranked on the camera . . . it was still dark out on my way to work when I stopped in exactly the right spot to see this.

Justifiably Proud

If you earn a Distinguished Flying Cross in an AC-130A, you are officially awesome.  The person driving this van makes it cooler to live here, because they also live here.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Free Cat, Maybe

Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness: an album name that came to mind today. 

Our super-duper sweet kitty cat, the only non-meowing cat I ever met and, according to my daughter "the best friend ever, ever ever!" may have to go.  She keeps putting her nasty cat-stank PEE in non-litterbox locations in the house.  This makes my Darling Wife go into homicidal rages.  I've barely kept the cat around a couple of times already by getting #1 to keep the litter cleaner and going to a different litter.  Changing the litterbox to a place that doesn't smell like potty-training-in-progress-boy pee, and using the old litter she used to have, is the final test.  Next time she pees elsewhere, she's out for good. 

#1 said "Thanks for the bail money" and meant it, but I told her to get used to the idea that the cat is going to have to go.

If you can train a cat better than a 10 year-old girl,  do like a quiet, gentle animal, and don't mind the razor-sharp claws, well...

What in the World?

First I thought, "what are you?" ...then I grabbed my camera with the sharp lens on it.

This was hanging out on the deck behind our house earlier today.  Some well-chosen Google keywords told me it was a Hypercompe scribonia, the Great Leopard Moth.  Pretty, for a bug.  I didn't notice it was iridescent until I hit it with the camera's flash.  Click to enlarge.

This has been an interesting couple of weeks when it comes to seeing huge moths I've never seen before.   Please excuse the muddy long-end of my telephoto lens:
Hyles Lineata, a White-Lined Sphynx moth, which tricked us into thinking we had a tiny hummingbird on the Jasmine for a moment.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

I'll Just Be . . . RUNNING IN TERROR

"You came to the wrong neighborhood [deleted]"

Click to enlarge
or, to quote the ship's Cat, "I'll make myself look big, and scary!"

Will a Chevrolet Uplander/Buick Terazza/Pontiac Montana/Saturn Soltice Hold a 4x8 Sheet of Plywood?

Yes. 100% for-sure! If you are wondering whether your Chevy Uplander-based minivan will hold full sheets of flat stock, here is your proof. Fresh from the Mega-lo-Mart, here is our 2005 with THREE full sheets of plywood in the back.

Keep the drive home short, though, because the driving position is . . . uncomfortable and unsafe. The rear chairs do not need to be removed, they can be folded (they are folded in these pictures). The front chairs need to be all the way forward and all the way upright, and the back hatch will close when the plywood is pushing against your chair. The sides will scratch on the trim by the back seats, and the seatbelts will get splinters or at least be rubbed pretty hard. The power outlet (if your car has one) may take a beating if you are not careful.
This is all the room you get. But it fits. . . . barely

I Think It's Blown

What do you think, is this fuse any good?

The lights dimmed when I plugged in the device where this lived. Just for a moment.

Click to embiggen. The lines where the molten metal spun around the inside of the glass are kinda crazy.

8 Amps.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

I Didn't Check My E-Mail?

I must not have got the memo or something.  Was it just me, or was everyone going 70% of the posted speed limit the last two days, whether it was raining or not?

Please, for the love of my sanity, people get out of the *passing* lane when you are going 35 in a 50 or 60 in a 70 or whatever.

Monday, April 1, 2013

So It Begins

So this is how I take over the world.  Appointment by bureaucrats in closed-door session.  Well, you don't have to do any fund-raisers this way so that's good, at least.

I have spared you the gory details, but I had a controversy with my Homeowners Association.  They decided that the place we've kept our trash can for a decade is so good they would fine us $100 if we kept using it.  I went to the next meeting to complain and ended up with a pinky-swear from the lady who drives around "inspecting" that she'll ignore my trash can going forward, and the President says he's willing to make case-by-case deals with other complainants.

Oh, and I was elected to be a member of the HOA board, I think.  Somebody was retiring and that would mean they didn't have enough to conduct business sometimes.  If I'd been on there a year earlier, and the ex-board member who also showed up to complain hadn't left, the rule would have been voted down.  Well, next time, the insanity will have at least one voice of reason against it. 

First the HOA board, then on to the White House?