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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in atomic_fungus' LiveJournal:

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Saturday, October 22nd, 2016
12:15 am
#5357: Yet more short shrift.
Today we found out that the convenience of being able to pick when you did your overtime is being taken away, effective Saturday. We had to select: will we work an hour early, or an hour late?

Since working early would mean getting up at 6 AM (instead of 7) on weekends, after getting home at 11 PM, I selected "late"...which still means losing another hour of sleep Friday night into Saturday morning, because now I'll get home an hour later and still have to get up at 7 AM. If I am lucky it means getting six hours of sleep, as opposed to seven hours if I am lucky tonight. Which ain't gonna happen because it's already after midnight.

The only upside to all this--the only positive point!--is that on weekdays I'll be able to get up at 11:30 AM rather than 10:30 AM. It is not worth it.

Ideally, my schedule would return to 1:30-10 PM Thu-Mon, with no stupid overtime or schedule flopping for weekend days, but it's not the way to bet. According to what came down today, this horseshit will continue at least through the end of the year.

I really need to find a new job.

* * *

Who the fuck would want oral sex from Madonna in 2016? Madonna was almost hot in the 1980s, in a "holy shit what a frickin' whore" kind of way, but now she's an old bag. The idea of Madonna--any body part of hers, let alone her mouth--coming in contact with my "big unit" makes me cringe in horror. (It would have in 1986, too, because blech.)

* * *

Military unhappy that Hillary revealed the time from order to missile launch. But Trump said "pussy"!

* * *

Democrats consistently oppose voter ID laws because the Democrat party is the one which benifits from vote fraud.

* * *

Mars lander landed, but rather faster than hoped. Made a divot visible from space, even. *sigh*

* * *

Today, on my way to work, I had some interesting ideas, and then spent the rest of the commute lamenting the fact that I have to go to this stupid job to pay my bills, when I'd really like it if I could write and pay my bills that way. Argh etc.
Friday, October 21st, 2016
12:23 am
#5356: And there are MILLIONS of witnesses.
Hillary breached YET ANOTHER secret.
The bottom line on nuclear weapons is that when the president gives the order, it must be followed. There’s about four minutes between the order being given and the people responsible for launching nuclear weapons to do so.
"What's the big deal?" You may ask. Denninger says it best:
...[S]uch information is extremely sensitive and thus highly classified, almost-certainly at an SAP level (that is, "beyond top secret" as is claimed in the referenced article) because it would give an adversary critical data on our response to a potential attack
Hillary's campaign tried to cover for her. Too little, too late, asshat.

* * *

"You're already enslaved by welfare handouts & piteous victim mindset." Emphasis his.

* * *

Finally, two new chapters of Watamote.
Tuesday, October 18th, 2016
9:18 pm
#5355: Culprit identified.
It's not viral gastroenteritis. It is food poisoning.

Every day, when I go to work, I make a PBJ. I use Smuckers' Natural peanut butter, the kind you have to stir but also has a two-word ingredient list: peanuts, salt. I like it because there's no sugar added to it, just whatever's in the peanuts.

However, it is the culprit. It is the reason for my illness.

It explains why I felt better Saturday morning, then started hurling when I got to work: on my way in, I ate the usual PBJ.

Sunday evening I had some pretzels dipped in that peanut butter, and I felt awful a few hours later. Monday I had none of it, and felt remarkably better by 8 PM, and today I feel even better. Not well (still having gut malf) but the nausea is gone, my appetite has returned, and I feel like I'm on the mend.

So: I'll be switching to another brand, and sending that particular jar back to Smuckers so they can figure out what the hell's wrong with it, with a letter explaining the circumstances to them.

* * *

More on the anti-science idiocy. I especially liked this bit:
For example, how does science explain that a shaman may send a lightning to someone's head by the power of his will?

Someone in the audience kindly gives them the--obvious--answer to the question. The science's explanation of this proposition is that it isn't true. So the guy gets labeled a heretic immediately. If they had stones in the room, they would stone him to death immediately in that "safe space". How could he dare to provide his (correct) answer to a question that was asked? How could he dare to say that you can't send lightnings to other people by the power of will? An absolute blasphemy. It is a great racist insult to all Africans who have been sending lightnings to others for one-two-three-many years since the dawn of the mankind. To provide answers for questions is something that is unacceptable at a (South African) university. They demand that he apologizes.
These people are part and parcel with protestors complaining about the high cost of education, and "Among other things, the protesters have been throwing poo into the law and economics buildings."

I think any movement which includes the denial of the validity of the scientific method and the flinging of feces is one which is perpetrated by monkeys.

Even better:
The South African minister of education has ordered all South African universities to give students bachelor degrees for... witchcraft! The training of witchcraft bachelors-of-science (BSc) will begin in 2018.
It's amazing, isn't it?
You have whole gangs of savages claiming to be "students" who aggressively tell everyone that science must be outlawed and who throw their poo to make the point. How can you do any serious work in this environment?
This is like a blueprint for "how society comes apart at the seams".

* * *

And this, too. Foreskin restoration, because it's not fair that sex isn't as fun as you think it would be if you hadn't been circumcised.
A few years ago, Robbie Boucher (now a 32 year old father of two) noticed the sensitivity of his penis was dropping dramatically.
Robbie felt cheated and left reeling from a deep sense of loss.
Really? He doesn't have any other problems in his life?

Holy shit I sure would love to have a life so free from problems and issues that I have time to worry about this kind of horseshit. Then again, if I had that kind of time, I'd probably use it to do something useful.

* * *

So, Hillary had someone procure tail for her, both male and female. Something else the mainstream media can remain utterly incurious about.

Commentor says: "The enquirer is not exactly a top notch periodical."

Vox Day responds, "Tell that to President John Edwards."


* * *

FBI agents say that James Comey stood in the way of the investigation of Hillary's e-mails.

* * *

Yes, a 4GLTE connection can use 1.3 TB in 10 days. Especially with LTE Advanced, which spreads the data link over two or three radio channels.

You have to work at that, though. That's 130 GB per day, which is rather a lot. Standard procedure is to check the data log from the switch, and if that says the data was used by the device, then it was used.

* * *

$140 for a video card seems perfectly reasonable, and it sounds as if it would be a good upgrade for Floristica. Especially because "That's a theoretical 3x boost over the older GTX 650," which is the exact video card Floristica has right now. It'd probably be closer to 2x as fast, but even so that's a good price/performance trade off. As things stand right now Floristica drops to about 30 FPS in some zones in WoW; having a video card that was 2x faster would probably fix that.

Maybe someday. Not today.

* * *

As for me, I need to get back to sending lighting with the power of my will. Got that Witchcraft 402 final exam next week, don'tcha know, but then I'll have my BS!
Monday, October 17th, 2016
5:15 pm
#5354: Party like it's 1987.
Now we're going to outlaw hydrofluorocarbons because they work too well.

We had to get rid of chlorofluorocarbons because ohnoes the ozones. Now we have to get rid of the replacements for CFCs, the HFCs, because they contribute to global warming.

...of course a refrigerant absorbs heat really well. There isn't any point to using something that can't absorb heat.

But the eco-nazis won't be happy until refrigeration and air conditioning are prohibitively expensive for all but the richest people. Besides, DuPont's patents on HFCs are probably expiring soon.

That's what drove the push to outlaw CFCs.

* * *

"Nazi Republicans, leave town or else".

Denninger points out that this is terrorism.

* * *

More "science is racist" nonsense.
College science classes are hostile to women and minorities because they use the scientific method, which assumes people can find reliable truths about the natural world through careful and sustained experimentation, concludes a recent dissertation by a doctoral candidate at the University of North Dakota.
That's fine. If you don't like the way western civilization does science, kindly divest yourself of all the advances the scientific method has brought to you. Just stop using electricity, birth control, vitamins, computers, mechanized transportation, antibiotics, vaccines, nearly all drugs-- In fact, stop using pretty much everything you can buy or rent in this world today because you owe it all to that so-called "patriarchal" scientific method.

Dumbass girl.

Old and busted: facts and knowledge
New hotness: "knowledge is constructed by the student"

* * *

Went to see doc today. Doc--apprised of my history of diverticulosis and irritable bowel--nonetheless is confident that it's viral gastroenteritis. If I start getting worse, or if I haven't improved by Wednesday night, I'm to go back for another look.

My biggest worry was that there was some kind of obstruction. I'm a hypochondriac and whenever something goes wrong with the mortal frame I start right in with worst case. (I didn't say that, of course.) But after a listen to the gut through a stethoscope, she said, "Everything sounds good, no obstructions." She palped my abdomen and declared that fine, too.

Worst symptom right now is moderate discomfort in my lower-left abdomen, and a headache. I still feel feverish and kind of woozy. At least I'm not nauseated and heaving.

Sunday, October 16th, 2016
8:43 pm
#5353: Sickblog, day 2
Went to work this morning. As I was logging in, began heaving, nearly threw up in my wastebasket. Went home, heaving all the way. Got home, lay down, heaves gradually went away. Had some hard-boiled eggs and slept. Totally wasted day.
Saturday, October 15th, 2016
6:20 pm
#5352: sickblog linkfest
no content, just links, because sick.

* * *

Science is racist.

So are computers:

* * *

" It's time for all honest Americans to take a stand".

The Pig Trap.

Lots of people think we're heading for some kind of armed rebellion or revolution. I am an optimist and believe that's not the case. I sincerely hope not, because as that latter link points out, it would be bad.

* * *

Yesterday morning, okay. Going to work, feeling increasingly crappy. Get to work, severe gut malf, fever, malaise. Last night, bad cramps, to the point that I woke up at 4:30 and spent the rest of the time until the alarm went off writhing and groaning in pain. Explosive gut malf this morning, nausea, cramping, wishing for the sweet release of death.

Happy Sweetest Day. *sigh*
Friday, October 14th, 2016
1:28 am
#5351: So, Thursday was national "No Bra" day.
No Bra. Enjoy.

* * *

Bob Dylan, Nobel Laureate. Perhaps thirty years from now Sir Mix-A-Lot will join him.

* * *

I've been thinking about a soundtrack for the new novel.

When I write a novel, I often come up with a list of songs, music to go with it. This one is a "decline and fall" story, and in general I prefer happier music, so it's been difficult. A few tracks stand out, though.

1) Lacuna Coil, "Stars". Because the main refrain of the song is, "I watch the stars go out."
2) I have no clue, but it's some classical composer. The song sounds positive, but it's just a little off, and works best as the backdrop for a tragic scene. I can't really explain it, but even though it's perfectly euphonious it's just difficult to listen to, because for all the major chords and almost triumphant tone, it still makes my heart feel like it's being crushed in a vice. I got it from the Hana Yori Dango soundtrack. Variations "Hana-Dan", track nine. This page says it's "Adagietto Symphony No. 5, mvmt. 4" (love theme 2) Gustav Mahler". Love theme? I have no idea if it's just me, or what, but it sure doesn't sound like it.
3) Andreas Vollenweider, Book of Roses "The Birds of Tilmun". Always thought this would be good for an ominous scene.
4) Martin Oberschlep, Silhouette, "Oregon Hills". This one came from a compilation album I bought in like 1992 called "Lightdance". I retitled it "Wheels Within Wheels (Stark's Theme)" when I included it in the soundtrack for the RPG campaign set in the SF universe this story is set in. I'm including it here for the same reason.
5) Patrick O'Hearn, Metaphor, "The Women of Lachaise". Retitled "Invisible Corruption" for the RPG soundtrack, also used here for the same reason.
6) Kansas, Vinyl Confessions, "Chasing Shadows". This song neatly defined the theme of the second act of that campaign, and it's long been my favorite from that album.
7) Kansas, Masque, "The Pinnacle". This song is written from the viewpoint of someone who cannot die, but is cursed to go on living approximately forever. I took that concept and made it my own, and--to my surprise--ended up making a very important point about the nature of existence.

I'm not ashamed to admit that the music of Kansas is a pretty huge artistic influence for me, so much that the last major story set in this universe is named after one of their songs. ("Sparks of the Tempest", for the record.)

There will be more. Eventually, as they occur to me.

* * *

I've seen no end of anti-Trump YouTube videos from Cracked!. Finally some sense from them.

* * *

The past is another country. And it sure looks like a nice friggin' country to live in, compared to this one.

* * *

Well, I'd better get the trash out and get to bed. Work in the morning.
Wednesday, October 12th, 2016
4:37 pm
#5350: NBC doctors the video, again
Covering up Hillary's neurological symptoms. The video is pretty self-explanatory.

Well, media, Democrat; what did you expect?

* * *

Democrats oppose verifying voter ID because Democrats profit from vote fraud and want nothing to get in the way of it. If and when Democrats begin clamoring for requiring a photo ID to vote, that's when you'll know that they no longer benefit from vote fraud.

* * *

Wednesday. Back to work tomorrow. *sigh*
Tuesday, October 11th, 2016
4:02 pm
#5349: Samsung throws in the towel
That's it: they've stopped production of the Note 7.

Reuters says they've decided to "scrap" it.

"Permanently stopping production."

Samsung will provide fire-resistant boxes for the recall.

I guess the Galaxy Note 7 will join the storied failures of modern technology.

* * *

The first word says it all: estimate.

First: when reading this kind of article you must define terms correctly. In this context (something bad happening due to "climate change") you need to consider the source. "Climate change", in this context, means "man-made global warming".

I said all that without reading the article. And here's the fourth paragraph:
Previous research has determined that wildfires are already worse because of global warming. In a new study, John Abatzoglou of the University of Idaho and Park Williams of the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory take this analysis one step further by attempting to quantify global warming's influence.
Uh huh. And the sixth paragraph begins thus:
The human-caused trend was calculated using the smoothed average of a large group of climate model simulations,...
And so there we have it: the article claims that man-made global warming is making wildfires worse.


The "estimate" doesn't take any other factors into consideration, such as the fact that--for the last thirty years at least--US forestry policy has been to stop logging, stop clearing deadwood, stop clearing underbrush, with the result that there is more fuel to burn when something catches fire.

"Like all estimates, this one relies on some simplifying assumptions." Do tell! Such as the fact that man-made carbon dioxide is changing the atmosphere, at a time when CO2 concentration has been rising and temperatures have not. For eighteen years.

Here is my estimate: warmista horseshit.

* * *

So, when I wake up in the morning (8- or 9-ish) to hit the can, I've learned that if I go right back to bed and sleep in, I'll wake up in the early afternoon with a splitting headache. But if I have something to eat and then go back to bed, I won't. "With age, at last comes wisdom." I just wish it wasn't such a pain in the ass to get back to sleep after that. *sigh*

* * *

Ran the cleaning cycle on the oven the other night, for the first time in years. I haven't run the cleaning cycle because the door doesn't close completely, and the door needs to lock, and I thought it wouldn't lock right away--well, I realized I could lean a stool against it to keep it tight, so when it locked it wouldn't throw an error and stop.

I started the cleaning cycle, and it locked immediately. It made a lot of smoke--not surprising, considering how long it's been--so I had to run the exhaust fan and open the kitchen window.

See, this is the second self-cleaning oven I have experience with. The first one was entirely analog and it wouldn't lock the door until it had reached a certain temperature, and then wouldn't unlock until it had cooled down. (Bimetal strip, maybe?)

Anyway, not a big deal, and now I know I can do it when it needs doing. Now I need to wipe the ash out of it before I can bake anything, but that's a minor task.

That door--it was already twitchy, but in December of 2010 my niece let it drop open, and it hasn't closed right since then. I tried all kinds of things to correct it and nothing worked, so the oven light was on constantly. Eventually the light bulb burned out and I haven't bothered replacing it. I suppose I could pull the door entirely and try tweaking the hinges, but even after half-disassembling the damned thing it's still not cooperating, so I have my doubts about anything else working. (Yeah, I tried leveling it. I did that first. No go. Even with a slight cant to the back, it still won't close tight.)


* * *

Can't believe it's already mid-October. Wasn't it July a few weeks ago?
Monday, October 10th, 2016
9:35 pm
#5348: Well, this vindicates my decision, I'd say.
FDA reports that 2014's flu vaccine was 14% effective. 2015's was 40% effective.

I don't see the point of it.
Another study claims that the flu shot is actually harmful, causing a 550% increase in respiratory infections over those who don't get the flu shot. I don't know if I believe that the flu shot actually causes illnesses, but it seems pretty clear that the flu shot doesn't prevent people from getting the flu.
I let myself get talked into getting a flu shot once. I got sicker than a dog after I got it, with about the timing you'd expect for a proper incubation period.

I no longer get flu shots. Period.

In 2000 I had a boss who tried to bully me into it, but I managed to get out of it because I was on oral antibiotics for a sinus infection. So, no, I'm not taking the flu shot even if you think I need it.

The risks outweigh the rewards.
12:22 pm
#5347: Not so fixed, after all.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 is still a time bomb. Mind you, this is seven units out of countless millions, but T-Mobile and AT&T have stopped selling them (Verizon says it's backordered) and Samsung has halted production.

No, this thing ain't over yet.

* * *

Borepatch has a brief history of the GOP, 2010 onward.

The media is getting observably desperate to stop Trump. It's actually pretty funny.

Quoth another Borepatch post: "Trump is taking serious flak. That means that he's over the target." Yep! You don't take flak when you're fifty miles from anything valuable.

* * *

I'm a little disappointed, because one of the local PBS stations was running Doctor Who and (as mentioned a few weeks ago) I happened upon "The Ribos Operation", the first of the "Key of Time" episodes. I was looking forward to the next one, "Pirate Planet", because it was written by Douglas Adams and it's a classic. I eagerly set the DVR to record all future eps.

Well, the DVR didn't record anything, and I pretty much forgot all about it, what with Mrs. Fungus' illness and subsequent hospitalizations. Until last night, when I saw that it had recorded "Androids of Tara", which is number four in the sequence.


Plus side, it's still entertaining enough.

Meanwhile, we've been watching Westworld, entirely because Mrs. Fungus set it to record. Two eps in I can say I don't hate it, but I still have most of the reservations I did when I heard what it was going to be like. At least one of the subplots is intriguing, though.

* * *

While waiting for Mrs. Fungus at the doc's office today I was rereading Kimi ni Todoke, and realized that I'd forgotten how good that story is. Gonna have to re-watch the anime, I think.

As for me, up too late last night and then up too early today to get to the doc's office; I'm going to toss dinner into the crock pot and hit the hay for a while.
Saturday, October 8th, 2016
2:52 pm
#5346: +1 for creativity. -10 for not putting the raccoon outside afterwards.
If you'd been squeezed to unconsciousness, I think you'd wake up pretty pissed off, too.

Our roads won't be safe from people who drive while intoxicated until raccoons are regulated. After all, If It Only Saves One Life....

Actually, all they have to do is mandate that the breathalyzer interlock be able to distinguish between human and animal breath. That's so easy to say it should be effortless to do, right? We'll make that the law now, so get to work on that, smart people.

* * *

So, a 10-year-old tape has surfaced, of Trump talking like an alpha male interested in having sex with pretty women. Cue media having the vapors over it, the same media which was incurious about Juanita Brodderick's allegation that Bill Clinton raped her.

If I rolled my eyes every time the media displayed that kind of double standard, I'd end up looking like the love child of Don Knotts and Marty Feldman.

* * *

Looking at past Fungus posts, I see that just a few years ago it was spitting snow about this time. Today it's 65° and sunny. It must be global warming!

* * *

Well, there's not much I can add to this today.
Friday, October 7th, 2016
5:08 pm
#5345: Home again from the hospital
So, Tuesday we went to Mrs. Fungus' doctor, who turned around and said, "Back to the hospital." So, she was admitted Tuesday night, and came home last night.

All we did today was sleep. I've told her, you don't go to the hospital to rest; you do that after you're home.

Plus side, we now have a clear idea of what's causing the extreme foot pain, and a treatment plan is developing. She can walk without her foot hurting like hell, and things are looking up. Turns out it's two things, not just one, and one caused the other, which is why the first time in the hospital didn't fix things entirely.

Another trip to primary care doc on Monday. Hopefully we're near the end of this.

* * *

What a fatuous load of horseshit. TV idiot claimed that the Paris climate deal is "designed to stop" hurricanes and other bad weather.

Myself, I don't understand how we can be having a severe hurricane at all. When Obama won nomination in 2008 we were told that was the moment when the planet would start to heal and the oceans would stop rising. None of that has happened, and in fact everything is worse than it was before. WTF.

Overdosing on the climate Kool-ade.

* * *

Well, it certainly wouldn't be surprising if this were the case. Getting the Democrat fraud votes pre-staged a month in advance certainly makes sense; you can't steal an election at the last minute. It takes careful preparation.

Just remember which party it is which consistently opposes any kind of law requiring that you show a photo ID to vote.

* * *

"...presumably in an effort to live and work illegally in America, Pentagon officials said." 44 Afghani soldiers, here for training, disappeared. Yeah, they decided they wanted to stay here. No, there's no other possible motive.


* * *

Clinton crony James Comey says career FBI agents blew the Hillary investigation. It wasn't because Comey politicized the FBI or anything for the sake of his own back pocket. Why would you think that, just because he took an open-and-shut case and declared there was no reasonable way to indict?

* * *

In a world where government won't even fix bridges that need repair and see heavy use everyday, it's hopeless optimism to think they'd beef up the Kennedy space center. Our government doesn't care about infrastructure. Improving infrastructure doesn't buy them any votes.

* * *

Assholes opposing the eradication of a major disease vector. This one species of mosquito is the way humans get Zika, malaria, and dengue, and anyone who opposes doing something like this is advocating for the suffering and deaths of millions.

You might as well oppose the smallpox and polio vaccines.

* * *

Okay, fucknuts: you may be vegan BUT YOUR CAT IS NOT. You should feed your cat proper cat food, not "vegan" horseshit, because YOUR CAT IS A CARNIVORE.


* * *

You know, I was thinking--on my way to the hospital yesterday--about Mythbusters, and how they screw up whenever they try to investigate any automobile-related myths.

The one in particular I was thinking of--inspired by seeing the leaf spring front suspension on a truck--was the bit about yanking out the rear axle of a car by putting a steel cable around it and then anchoring it to a solid object. As in American Graffiti, where Richard Dreyfuss does it to a police car, and then when the police car gives chase to his new gang buddies, the rear axle comes out with leaf springs still attached. Because in the time period that movie was set, cars had leaf spring rear ends.

So what do the Mythbusters do? They go out and buy a modern police car...with an independent rear suspension and coil springs.


And then they say "myth busted" when it doesn't work like it did in the movie.

*double facepalm*

Here's the thing: in the movie, the rear end was held in with four bolts: two at the front of the leaf springs (one for each side) and two at the rear, where the rear spring hangers attached to the body. All you had to do was to pop those two bolts at the front and presto, the entire rear end swings out and you will not catch bad guys today. A yank at about 20 MPH would probably be enough, especially if you've pre-weakened the mounting points for your stunt.

In the car the Mythbusters used, however, the rear axle was actually two half-shafts, with one end on the differential (hard-mounted to the body) and the other end of each half shaft running through the wheel hub. Conservative estimate is four bolts holding the diff in, with another four or so holding the wheel assembly on, and none of those connections were weakened in advance. If you wrap a cable or chain around that half-shaft and get a running start like in the movie, you'll pull something out of alignment but you won't rip anything loose unless the car is going very fast first.

So, apples and oranges, yet "myth busted".

This is half of the reason I stopped watching the show: when it came to cars, they rarely did it right, when all it would have taken was a couple minutes' discussion with an average gearhead to do so. The telling moment was when Adam was trying to figure out which was the fuel line, and found it by cutting hoses until the car stopped running.


* * *

Okay: yesterday it was sticky all day. Today it's cool. Welcome to October in the midwest.
Wednesday, October 5th, 2016
7:22 pm
#5344: This isn't really surprising
So, did you hear that FBI director James "I let Hillary off" Comey is a Clinton crony? Coulda knocked me over with a feather, I'm telling you!

Just read the first few paragraphs. It looks like a laundry list of corruption and graft. And this is the director of the FBI.
Comey earned $6 million in one year alone from Lockheed Martin. Lockheed Martin became a Clinton Foundation donor that very year.

Comey served as deputy attorney general under John Ashcroft for two years of the Bush administration. When he left the Bush administration, he went directly to Lockheed Martin and became vice president, acting as a general counsel.

How much money did James Comey make from Lockheed Martin in his last year with the company, which he left in 2010? More than $6 million in compensation.
Must be awfully nice.

* * *

"Why can't we just drone this guy?" Hillary Clinton, about Julian Assange. He's done nothing deserving of the death penalty (at least not in the US) but has only inconvenienced and embarassed some politicians. Hillary wanted him dead for that.

Yeah, that's presidential material.

* * *

All the questions asked of a Democrat at any "town hall" are vetted well in advance. No Democrat ever goes to a town hall meeting and takes questions which are actually random. This way the Democrat can have answers carefully formulated beforehand.

Using a child actor is just another step along that trajectory.

* * *

One man with a decent rifle can knock out power over a very large area. He just needs to know what part of the transformer to shoot. Good luck preventing that.

* * *

Last year's budget deficit was $1,423 billion dollars. Biggest ever! It's change we can believe in! It's a fundamental transformation!

Media is strangely silent on this point. Completely incurious about where all that money is going and why the budget deficit is so high. Remember 2008's record deficit of $455 billion? How the press was all over George Bush for that? This deficit is more than three times bigger than that, but Democrat in the White House so they're all, "What deficit? Huh? Well, it's because Trump isn't paying taxes!"

* * *

Someone stole his Trump yard signs, so he got bigger signs. Good luck stealing that fence, fuckheads!

* * *

Only if Boeing buys SpaceX, me bucko. "First person on Mars. I'm convinced that the first person to step foot on Mars will arrive there riding on a Boeing rocket," sez Boeing CEO. Which is not impossible, of course, but it'd be a crying shame.

* * *

Spiffy. Galaxy Note 7--a new one, supposedly non-splody type--blew up. No word yet on whether the phone was damaged prior to its meltdown, but lithium ion batteries are very power-dense and prone to spontaneous combustion if damaged. Whee!

* * *

And, dinnertime.
Monday, October 3rd, 2016
5:28 pm
#5343: That's the end of the meat.
Today I used the last three pieces of meat from the Big Beef Buy of 2012. A t-bone and two ribeyes, they've remained rock-frozen the entire time and today was the day to use them. Because of their age, I didn't want to have them as a main course (ie "tonight we'll have those ribeyes which I found in the downstairs freezer after being there for only three years!") but since they have been frozen the entire time they're still edible. I just wouldn't want to rely on their flavor without doing something else with them.

"Something else" like goulash. With the two ribeyes and the last t-bone from the beef buy, I had enough meat to make a respectable pot of goulash, so when I went shopping last I picked up three green peppers specifically for this reason. The steaks were defrosting for a few days so they were ready today, and I hacked 'em up and tossed 'em in the crock pot with onion, tomatos, minced garlic, and paprika. This has been cooking since 2:30 and will be ready for the green peppers around 6:30, which means I'll start sauteeing them around 6:10 and toss 'em in on the tick, so dinner will be around 7 PM. Good enough.

I just need to keep myself from eating everything else in the meantime, because the aroma of cooking goulash really stimulates my appetite.

* * *

Obamacare was designed to do this. The whole point of the soi disant "Affordable Health Care Act" was to ensure that insurance companies could not continue to provide actual affordable health insurance for very much longer, thus opening the door to government stepping in with single-payer, AKA socialized medicine, AKA "welcome to the Bataan Death March in slow motion, prole!"

* * *

If the federal government had to ask people for permission to do things like resettle Syrian "refugees" in their communities, it wouldn't happen very often. But of course the feds have long been all about control rather than obeying the will of the people because the people are idiots and can't even be trusted with sharp objects.

* * *

I'm only waiting for Brave to be out of beta and then I'll move to it from Pale Moon.

* * *

XKCD is pretty good today:

Every once in a while I find myself contemplating exactly the same thing, and I have to stop myself from going too far down the rabbit hole. Every manufactured thing you touch is the result of the effort of thousands--tens of thousands!--of people, most of it expended before even one unit leaves the factory. It gets exponentially worse when you start considering the things those people use to produce the object in question, because each one of those tools or materials has its own story involving another army of people.

But for #Release_Candidate_One I found myself exploring it, because when you're thinking about how an interstellar colony needs to build its infrastructure (particularly in the case of this particular colony, having had its development thwarted by their planet's odd lack of petroleum) you find yourself thinking about how a civilization "gets there from here".

Example: in the latter case, there is really no availability of tools and equipment for working with radioactivity. They don't have nuclear power; the best they have is steam power, and the steam is largely generated by burning a kind of hydrocarbon (and hydrosilicon) clay they call "moxcoal". Because there's no nuclear power, there are no scintillation counters, no radiation armor (well, they have aprons and smocks for x-ray technicians) and no remote manipulators. And one of the characters has to replace a radioactive part in a shuttle's fusion engine using tools that approximate early 20th century technology.

Understand: they have all the physics that were available through the end of the interstellar civilization, including fusion and hyperdrive, but their industrial base can't support the manufacture of those things.

It's like, what if you put an omnicompetent genius on a deserted planet with no tools but what he has in his pockets? Will he be able to build a ship that allows him to get back to civilization?

Of course not. Just building an airplane would take longer than his natural life, because first he'd have to build the tools he needs to make the tools to make the tools to make the tools to make the tools to make the tools he needs to make one part of the thing. You can't build a piston engine from scratch; you need iron, and to get the iron you need to mine it, and to mine it you need something to break rocks with; once you have the iron ore it needs to be smelted, and then the iron needs to be cast. Even if you cast a simple air-cooled engine block, you then need to machine it, and in order to machine it you need all kinds of tooling. And if you want the machining to take less than years that tooling must be powered by something, which--even if you build a water wheel--means building more stuff that needs tools--

Now, you drop this genuis someplace where there are tools and raw materials waiting and he'll be out of there in a jiffy. But absent some kind of industrial foundation, the genius will build himself a nice place to live from local materials which will strongly resemble something you'd find in Earth's paleolithic era, and live out the rest of his life on that planet. Depending on how smart he is, he might be able to build some kind of primitive transmitter to call for help, but that would be the work of years, even so, and that would require a hell of a lot of work. (Not transistors. Tubes. Or some kind of spark-gap transmitter.)

So, yeah--just think about it sometime, and try not to get too frustrated when you realize that the awkward way that one bolt goes into the engine block, someone did that on purpose, probably because it was the best alternative available to him.

* * *

Rocking chair broke again. Same part: the rear hanger. I love glider rockers and would love to find one more durable than this one; seems like I have to repair it about every six months or so. Worst case I can order a new hanger (I think) but I'd rather not have to do that right now.

Keep wondering what a new pedestal would cost--but if I got a new pedestal, how much time would I get out of it before I had to start making regular repairs to it? Exactly the way I have to with this one?

Sunday, October 2nd, 2016
3:11 pm
#5342: The world is in flux, and I can't even get my grass cut.
I may try to rectify that today, though.

* * *

So, someone leaked a tax return of Trump's that's old enough to buy beer, and somehow it proves that Trump's not paying taxes. As if that disqualified him from being President.

Denninger explains why it's not wrong or evil but anyone with sense doesn't need the complex explanation to understand why Hillary Clinton and the Democrats are full of shit when they claim Trump isn't paying taxes. (Hint: their mouths are open.)

Trump took nearly a billion dollars' worth of actual capital loss in 1995--meaning that his own personal net worth declined by that much--and according to the black-letter tax law he is able to write down future tax liability by about three thousand dollars per year. In effect it's giving him an extra deduction, one that's miniscule for someone with such a large income.

And to Democrats, that deduction equals "not paying any taxes". By that standard, we can say that Hillary also is not paying any taxes, because she makes incestuous "charitable contributions" to her own husband's "foundation" which reduces her tax liability.

Another take on the story.

Where this all falls down, though, is the unavoidable fact that Trump is obeying the law. No one is alleging that he's broken the law, because they can't, because that would be defamation or libel or slander or WTF-ever. The Democrats are having to point this finger of blame at Trump and are desperately trying to paint this minor legal deduction as some kind of immoral act, when most Americans already regard the IRS as an enormous pain in the ass.

I'm going to go out on a limb, here, and figure that people are going to shrug at this and say, "Well, if he's obeying the law, and they don't like it, shouldn't they change the law?" And a certain sector of the voting public (self included) will think the fact that he's smart enough to avoid paying taxes is a mark in his favor, rather than a mark against. It shows that he knows how to hire good advisors.

And the fact that they're harping on the tax issue tells me that the "dangerous racist nazi" nonsense isn't getting enough traction. Except with committed Democrat voters, which is preaching to the choir.

I'll admit that I was uncritical of Hillary's line that Trump doesn't pay any federal taxes. I liked the idea too much--that someone could make money like Trump and be smart enough not to pay federal taxes, legally--to question it. But the reality (as outlined by Denninger, above) is much closer to my expectations of how the tax code works. I'm a little disappointed that Trump is taking a deduction, rather than actually not paying any taxes. It was a nice story while it lasted.


What a big fuckin' surprise THIS is. Hillary has used exactly the same deduction that Trump used. So by the standard she herself has employed thus far, HILLARY CLINTON IS NOT PAYING FEDERAL INCOME TAXES.

I'd make a comment here about the hypocrisy, but Democrats are hypocritical three times before breakfast and that'd be commenting on a "dog bites man" story. Redundant.


* * *

Rich idiots building bunkers, preparing for a disaster with swimming pools, bowling alleys, hydroponic gardens, and garages full of luxury cars.
If the people that are building these bunkers were able to think about what they were doing, they would have known enough to leave the “Sons of Martha” types alone. Their malignant narcissism wouldn’t let them do that. If everything did not revolve around them, they were compelled to destroy it. Since they were incapable of building anything, as far as they were concerned, nobody else should either. In places like California, New York and Connecticut by and large these people have made it impossible for anybody to build or fix the things needed to maintain the society in which we all live. Seemingly just out a petty narrow need to prove their own self importance.
(Ref. The Sons of Martha by Kipling.)

The people who think they'll ride out an extended dislocation, or an interregnum, in pampered luxury are fooling themselves. That shelter is good for a couple of weeks, maybe. Anything longer?

Well, if you read Lucifer's Hammer you'll see what happens when things get really bad. Example: Tim Hamner, millionaire playboy, lights out for his observatory in the hills after the comet hits, only to find that the guy he hired to be his caretaker there has decided the place is his, and has guns (and friends with guns) to back him up, leaving Tim out in the armageddon.

So, you have a bunker like this, and the world ends, so (as planned) you have your above-ground gardener and chef and maid and chauffeur-mechanic come into the bunker with you and your family. How long before the servants become masters? When they realize that your money is no longer any good but the bunker itself is invaluable for survival? Can you be more ruthless than your former servant who is now telling you--at gunpoint, using one of your guns from the gun range--that either you leave or he'll shoot your daughter, then your wife, then you?

So for proper security you have to maintain everything yourself, so it's just you and your family in the bunker. Make sure you get there before your staff does; otherwise, see above.

* * *

British TV is going to get really, really bad. I lost interest in Doctor Who about the time Matt Smith became the Doctor, and Amy Pond showed up. I like Karen Gillan but I couldn't stand the character, and the last scene I watched in that show was the one where Amy Pond was trying to drag the Doctor into bed.

Apparently, judging by the comments at that thread, I stopped watching just in time.

Related: People related to Star Trek sign letter exhorting people to vote for Hillary Clinton. In some cases "related" is an overstatement; for example, what did Leonard Nimoy's kids have to do with ST, other than having their lives elevated to the heights of luxury by their father's fame?

And this made me chuckle:
David Gerrold

Ha! Ha! Ha! (*gasp...gasp*) Holy fuck David, do you have any idea how sad you look for riding on that one script from fifty years ago? You haven't had a real career in decades David. At this point you are little more than a fanzine contributor.
David Gerrold gave us "The Trouble With Tribbles", which is admittedly a well-written, fun ep of TOS, widely regarded as one of the best eps.

It's also one script using a story he borrowed from Heinlein. (The Rolling Stones, the chapters about the martian flat cats.) I have read one novel by Gerrold, The Man Who Folded Himself, about a guy with a magic time-traveling belt which let him have gay orgies with himself until he died. And which was, strangely enough, another Heinlein retread, this time using the premise of Heinlein's short story "By His Bootstraps".

And having seen "Tribbles" recently, I realize that while it's entertaining, I don't need to see it very often. I recorded it to the DVR but I don't think I'll keep it much longer; only until I decide whether or not it's worth dumping to a DVD.

The other characters--I see names I recognize on that list, people whose names I have not seen since their shows went off the air.

Well, anyway, I expect leftism from Hollywood the way I expect bad smells from the cat box. They can't help it. I already don't pay anything specifically to watch Star Trek; we have cable TV here and I may watch it if I have the time. I haven't bought a Trek book or movie or anything in decades, and have no need to. You can't call it a boycott when you already aren't spending any money on it; but what this does is to further my disinterest in all things Trek.

* * *

Anyway, that's today's post. I need to get some chores done.
Saturday, October 1st, 2016
2:40 pm
#5341: Now, wait just a cotton-picking minute.
Thinking about Yotsuba&! I realized that I've seen more of the story than #10. The highlight of #10 is when Daddy takes Yotsuba to the shrine to get the lying bug removed; but I remember a book showing Fuuka and Miss Stake taking Yotsuba trick-or-treating. Unless I am mistaken, the trick-or-treat episode is in volume 12, but even if it's not that would mean I at least have volume 11 around here somewhere, but I'll be switched if I can find it.

There are about two places I generally keep manga books. I've broadened my search, and I still can't find 'em. The place I remember them being for quite a while does not contain them; I've been shelving the volumes as I read them but they're not there, either. I have a feeling that I picked up #11 and #12 when I was trying to find #1 (which was mis-shelved in the middle of the Y&! books on the shelf) but I cannot remember if I actually did, and--more critically--assuming I did pick them up, cannot remember where I set them down. Because I was concentrating on finding #1. *sigh*

Well, I guess I could always read it on-line.

* * *

Over the years I have collected some similes which I seldom use but always have ready.

Like these:
"That's as confusing [or 'crazy'] as a box of ferrets."
"That makes as much sense as a cow in a swing set."
And now I have a new one:

That works as well as a monkey fixing a carburator.

Someone should tell him that you can't adjust the main jet with a combination wrench, especially not by sticking it down the throat.

* * *

So, normally we get Jack's pizzas. When I went shopping yesterday I saw that Gino's East pizzas were on sale, so I bought a couple. Today I decided one would be good for lunch, so I got it out, and noticed something: "NATURALLY HAND CRAFTED," the label says.

What the hell does that mean?

I can only figure someone wanted to say "hand-crafted from natural ingredients" (or at least strongly imply it) but their lawyers wouldn't let them, because this pizza isn't really "hand-crafted" any more than my Jeep's front fenders. I'm afraid to look at the list of ingredients, so I can't comment on the "natural" part, but I'm going to go with the odds here, which suggest that a $2.50 pizza is not exactly going to be laden with organic ingredients. ("Organic" in the sense that Whole Foods uses it.)

I don't expect it to be any worse for me than any other frozen pizza is. I'm just saying that the "NATURALLY HAND CRAFTED" thing doesn't make any damned sense.

About as much sense as a cow in a swing set.
Friday, September 30th, 2016
7:02 pm
#5340: You know what would be nice? A vacation.
Not this.

Since Mrs. Fungus was hospitalized on Sunday evening I have not done anything useful. I have not washed clothes, or cut grass, or worked on novel. All I have done is take care of her and try to calm the hell down in between procedures. Today was the first time I've done anything other than that: I went to the post office for stamps, and faxed some insurance documents that have needed faxing for two weeks.

"Calm the hell down": this imbroglio has done wonders for my anxiety levels. The other night I caught myself "thrashing", which is what I call it when I get stuck in a loop, thinking a thought and then a second thought negating it, over and over again. It can be anything, but one example is if I think, "I need to go to bed. I'm in bed and I need to go to sleep. I need to go to bed...." and repeat. It's a symptom of anxiety I haven't experienced since...heck, years, possibly since we got married. Plus side it's all "background" and I haven't needed any Xanax. There was a short period of panic attack this morning, but I was able to relax without the drug, so that's good.

Before leaving on my errands I took a shower--the first since Wednesday--and got clean clothes from the dryer which had been put in there to dry on Saturday night. Last night I washed dishes for the first time in a similar interval. Between running back and forth to the hospital, caring for my wife, taking her to doctors' appointments, and trying not to freak right the fuck out, I have not had time to do anything else.

Today I realized that it's Friday. WTF, I thought, it was Friday just a few days ago--oh, it's been a week, wasn't it? Holy shit.

It's not life-threatening--it's cellulitis, a deep infection of the tissues--but it's in her foot and it hurts a lot, so much that she can't put weight on her foot without howling in pain. And so far the only thing that's made it any better was being in the hospital on IV antibiotics. And I cannot leave her at home alone when she can't even walk.

Fortunately, I've been in my job more than a year and I should qualify for FMLA, so that should cover me. Assuming I can get anyone to give enough of a crap actually to help me with it. *sigh*

* * *

Did I mention that I finally got my badge, four weeks after I initially requested it? I had to send a text message to the site's general manager to get it. Repeated requests to my boss (and his boss) did nothing. Whee!

* * *

Chicago Tribune endorses the Libertarian candidate. ...because they want the Republican vote split, so Hillary can win. Any major newspaper who endorses Johnson is doing so for that reason.

* * *

You must refer to me as 'his majesty' at all times. Want to let college students define their own pronouns? This will happen. And good job, too, kid.

* * *

Remember that eugenics used to be thought as correct, exactly the same way global warming is now. The only thing that discredited it was Hitler's reliance on it. Absent that, you'd still have progressives talking about weeding out undesirables.

Oh, wait! We do! Like Hillary's "basket of deplorables"!

* * *

Relaxation therapy, and something I can put down and come back to: Yotsuba&! I've been rereading the entire extant series, and am working on volume 8 or 9 right now. I have through 12. Whatever happened to it? Why have I not seen further volumes?

Besides that, I read the entire extant Bakuon! because Steven has been going on about it, and I found it to be most enjoyable. I want to read more, but there is not yet more. But I've downloaded the anime, too, so if I can get some spare time I might watch it. If there isn't something else that needs doing.

* * *

Please do not get the idea I'm complaining about all this. This is what I signed up for ("for better, for worse; in sickness and in health....") and I knew this kind of situation was possible. I am glad to care for my wife when she's unable to do for herself. I just wish I could relax a bit, is all....
Wednesday, September 28th, 2016
4:15 pm
#5339: Progress, but we're not sure how much.
Today we were able to go to the hospital and get Mrs. Fungus' car, and she drove it back herself--at the cost of being in great pain when we finally got home. She still can't sit up for more than a little while without her foot going off.

...with the result that (as previously noted here) I must stay within earshot of her as much as possible, because she must stay off her feet as much as she can. So I've gotten approximately bugger-all done even though I've been home from work every day except Sunday. Argh etc.

Did get some writing done last week, but none since she was hospitalized. Today we saw doc and Mrs. Fungus is now on two different antibiotics. We'll see how we do.

* * *

John C. Wright says that at the debate, Hillary did not accuse Trump often enough of racism, "...and it is the sole argument the Democrat Party has in its arsenal: the party of Jefferson Davis, Nathan Bedford Forrest, Jim Crow, George Wallace, Orval Faubus, Bull Connor, William Fulbright, Exalted Cyclops Al Gore Sr. and Grand Kleagle Robert Byrd."

Hillary must make that charge especially because she does not seem to have the black vote sewn up in its entirety.

* * *

Der Lehman Brudern ist goink to go belly up! Deutsche Bank is in trouble; as Denninger says, "Their total derivative exposure grossly exceeds the entire net value of everything in Germany!" (Emphasis his.)

Germany cannot bail out Deutsche Bank, not even if it confiscated all private property in the country. There simply isn't enough money to do it.

We are probably screwed.

* * *

Hooray for high-speed FAIL!

* * *

Artificial meteorites. The video glosses over what is being tested here--the delivery system for nuclear warheads--but I'll agree that the sight of the reentry vehicles, glowing white hot, streaking through the clouds, is pretty damned cool.

If those were functional nuclear bombs, though, they'd probably go off some distance up--a kilometer or more--as airbursts are more efficient. Standing near the target area you wouldn't see them hit the ground, and you certainly wouldn't live to tell about it.

I did like the video, though.

* * *

Anyway, we were up pretty early this morning for Mrs. Fungus' doctor appointment. I think I'll go take a nap.
Tuesday, September 27th, 2016
1:30 pm
#5338: The debate was typical and I didn't watch it.
As is typical, the Republican nominee had to debate both his opponent and the moderator. I did not watch much of the debate--I know who I'm voting for already and there is absolutely nothing drawing me to it--but Mrs. Fungus reports that Trump got some good salvos off at Hillary.

Reportedly, all Trump had to do was look "not scary" and he managed that.

The little bit that I watched--Hillary blamed the entirety of the federal budget deficit on the fact that Trump hasn't paid any income tax for several years and insisted that he release his tax forms. "What do you have to hide?"

The natural riposte to that would be (should be), "You deleted 33,000 e-mails. What do you have to hide?" At least he got the shot off as an answer to her demand to see his tax records ("I'll do it when you release those e-mails").

As far as I'm concerned, anyone who manages not to pay taxes while making scads of money is a good candidate for President. It shows that he knows how the system operates, or at least is capable of finding people who do. The tax code in this country is set up this way specifically so that the rich and powerful don't have to pay "their fair share"--whatever the hell that means--and at that level if you don't do everything under the law to avoid tax liability you're a blithering idiot who shouldn't be allowed to manage a lemonade stand, let alone the entire country.

Trump isn't calling for higher taxes (as far as I know) so he--unlike people like Warren Buffett--shouldn't be criticized for legally avoiding taxes by following what is written in the tax code. They all do it, Hillary and Bill included.

* * *

More about the HP printer-bricking update. Turns out the update was done in March and only now is it rejecting cartridges.

Remember this the next time you need to buy a printer. HP has been off my short list for a rather long time for a variety of other reasons, but this is icing on the cake.

* * *

This is something people do not understand about computers. A computer is not like a car, which has thousands of parts but can be assembled by one man in a couple days if he really wants to. A computer has billions of parts, and some of those parts are just etherial patterns of electrons. No one person in the world knows--can know--how all those parts interact.

The problem of this complexity is one I often found myself having to explain to people as a Geek Squad agent. Sometimes stuff just happens is not a very satisfying answer, but on occasion it's the only answer there is. People want to feel protected from viruses and malware, and when you tell them that no software can keep them completely safe from malware, they're unhappy: "Why am I paying all this money?"

("Stop surfing porno sites" is usually the actual answer to the problem. People don't want to hear that.)

But no software can do that, because the machine is irredeemably complex, and for every security hole patched, there are probably a thousand more. And some are created by the patch.

* * *

Steven Den Beste has a page up today from Bakuon! which is pretty amusing.
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