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

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Monday, February 20th, 2017
1:00 pm
#5460: Seven?
So, apparently yesterday was Ormus' seventh birthday.

I have this thing I do, where I--when I'm trying to avoid doing anything useful--look at "today's Fungus in years past!" and look at what I posted today (or yesterday) in prior years. That led me to Feb 19, 2010, where I talk about the creation of Ormus.

Hard to believe it's been that long.
Sunday, February 19th, 2017
10:25 pm
#5459: Well, no need for that.
So, today I went over to Og's place and worked on the Jeep. Og invited me a few days ago, and I figured it was as good a reason as any, so off I went.

Hit the parts store for an end link, oil change supplies, and rear brake shoes. O'Reilly's didn't have the shoes--inventory system error, no one had bought a set for about six months (!)--so I went across the street to Advance and picked up a set there, then hied on towards Og's.

Stopped at Wendy's for a trio of double stacks--and I think they accidentally made all three with regular-size hamburger patties--then got to Og's in short order thereafter. Started in with the wrenching.

Took a bit to get the driver's side drum off, but once it was off I was incredulous: the brakes were fine, with plenty of material left on the pads. Passenger side was the same story. Og took a look at it and concurred; there was no reason to replace those shoes with that much material left on them.

So while Og went to get some anti-seize compound, I changed the Jeep's oil; and once he was back replaced the sway bar end link. At Og's suggestion I left the Jeep on the ground and just turned the wheels all the way left. Thanks to his help with jouncing/lifting the other side of the truck I was able to get the link on its mount, and then it was a matter of a few minutes' wrenching to torque it down. Easy, in a way it wouldn't have been if I hadn't been in his garage.

Mostly he provided (im)moral support, something I've done for him in the past, so it's all good. The important thing is, I got my truck up to snuff. No more clunking from the front end!

I checked the service log when I got home. The rear brakes have 56,000 miles on them. And their thickness compares favorably with the brand-new shoes. Are the rear brakes even working? The adjusters seem to be okay, so I've no idea why they wouldn't be.

Anyway, so tomorrow or Monday I'll take the superfluous brake shoes back, unused. And if the rear brakes squeak or squeal, at least I know it's not due to being worn out.
1:45 pm
#5458: I take it back. The man is an unparalleled GENIUS.
Here I said that Neil deGrasse Tyson did not belong in a collage of scientific luminaries like Einstein, Newton, Galileo, and Tesla. I was wrong.

Because Tyson's genius eclipses them all. Tyson has drilled right to the core of the cause of all armed conflict ever in human history, reducing that myriad of causes into a simple statement.

I was wrong!

* * *

YES that was sarcasm. The man's an unparalleled DOLT.

* * *

Yes, Mr. Journalist, you go right on ahead telling people that the middle east was islamic when Jesus walked the Earth. Protip: it's better to be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.

* * *

Speaking of "removing all doubt" someone tell Chuck Todd that the First Amendment works both ways. The President is not obligated to talk to you idiots if he doesn't want to. "Freedom of association". Look it up.

* * *

Stop the scaremongering about depeleted uranium. Yes, it's bad for people. No, it's not worse than any other heavy metal. It barely counts as radioactive; it's not like the shells are made of strontium 90 or something. FFS.

* * *

Gyaa ha ha ha ha ha restaurant fires twelve people for not showing up on "day without immigrants". Here's another protip: if you're going to miss work, you might want to call off, particularly if your employer has a strict "no call-no show" policy, which this place appears to have. 12 idiots didn't call off, but stayed home for a stupid reason, and so sowed the seeds of their own destruction. No sympathy here.

* * *

This looks like it's worth reading but I don't have time right now. Sorry about that.

* * *

I got Firefox, Chrome, Safari, and Opera. Couldn't figure out the other ones. What's with the ducks?
Saturday, February 18th, 2017
4:51 pm
#5457: How'd I end up with the graveyard shift, again?
Ever since they started re-running Bloom County strips on Comics.com, I've been waiting for one of my all-time favorites to come around again:

Prince Charles and Princess Diana, on a honeymoon trip to the USA, stop at a Holiday Inn. A friend of mine could do the perfect old man voice, and I loved hearing this strip read in it. Since then I've learned how to do a good old man voice, but couldn't locate the text. Now I have it.

* * *

Speaking of old Bloom County strips, this one's politically incorrect so I never expected to see it again:

It's from when the Major and his wife took a trip to Florida, to go to Disney World, but instead ended up on the space shuttle.

* * *

I can hear a robin singing. Spring is on its way.

* * *

Sure, apply deconstructionism to the Earth's shape. (Almost wrote "poststructuralist", which is a synonym which applies to the exact same philosophy in the late 23rd century in Apocalyptic Visions. *sigh*)

What you call "round" or "spherical" is merely the perpetuation of a partiarchal, phallocentric interpretation of reality. The insistence on conforming Earth to a spherical shape is the result of a canon full of dead white males but lacking diversity. "Roundness" itself is a heteronormative concept, accessible only to the cisgendered and privileged class, and while there is a certain utility to be found in the concept of a spherical world, it is not necessarily correct. Anyone who has never left the surface of the Earth, or its atmosphere, experiences it as a flat surface; it is not until one goes into orbit that the roundness becomes apparent. So to a person from the lower class, who has never traveled offplanet, the Earth is in fact flat, and that person has absolutely no conceptual use for the round-world model.

...wow, that's good; I'll have to use that in the book somewhere.

* * *

"Dumbledore wouldn't have let this happen".

Someone needs to break it to these lunatics that Dumbledore is a fictional character. You might as well carry around a sign that says, "Superman wouldn't let this happen."

It is, of course, part of a larger problem, that being the failure of the educational system to educate people in the 20th century.

* * *

Needless to say, we set another temperature record today. It hit 74 outside. In February.

Weather happens, of course. I'm pleased to be able to ventilate the house a bit, and the cats like being able to sit by the patio door and smell the air.

But owing to a failure on the part of one of her subordinates last night, Mrs. Fungus had to be on call, so our sleep was broken by the occasional oh-shit-thirty call from someone needing detox and/or recovery treatment. I ended up going back to bed after the last post, and I was sleeping so very nicely when a random phone call woke me up. As usual, git didn't leave a message, so I suppose it wasn't even remotely important.

Meanwhile, the insanity here at the bunker continues. Could be worse, I guess.
10:41 am
#5456: Three quick hits
Billboards claiming, among other things, that half the US is "theirs". Mexico, go fuck yourself.

* * *

Europe doesn't want to pay for its own defense.

NATO existed to defend against the USSR, which has been defunct for more than 20 years. The Russian Federation is not expansionist the way the USSR was. Further, the US does not have the money to continue to pay for the defense of Europe.

As Borepatch opines, if Europe doesn't want to pay for their own self-defense, why should the US?

* * *

About five days' worth of mid-sixties weather in the forecast. Maybe I can get a few things done.
Friday, February 17th, 2017
7:14 pm
#5455: The Trumpocalypse
So much for making the price of electricity "necessarily skyrocket". Overturning Obama rules that made mining coal prohibitively expensive. Win.

Bet Trump will sign this one. There was an Obama rule that forced states to fund Planned Parenthood; the House has voted to overturn it. Win.

Limbaugh called Trump's press conference yesterday the best-ever Presidential news conference, and reading the transcript I can see why. Win.

Oh yeah.

* * *

What a spineless, pussy-whipped wimp! He doesn't want to lose her, so instead he lets her sleep around with whoever she wants to...and he doesn't have the same privilege. So he must remain faithful even as she spreads 'em for any guy that suits her fancy?

God bless America, dude, MAN THE FUCK UP. Have some self-respect!

* * *

Wow. Just...wow. Vox Day presents quotations from John Scalzi's latest effort, and what is this I can't even--

Just go have a look at them. Holy crap. I wrote better than that when I was in high school.

* * *

Fred Reed talks about the left. Worth a gander.

* * *

702 miles on a tank of fuel if you get the manual transmission. Otherwise you're saddled with a 9-speed (!) automatic and fuel economy...suffers.

A steal at $27,000! Buy two!


* * *

Gobal warmenation theory!
So the theory predicts that California will become drier and that it will become wetter. Is there nothing this theory cannot predict, at least after the fact?
It's an ecological schmoo! It can do anything!

* * *

Tomorrow is Saturday, and I am going to sleep in tomorrow. No getting up at 6 AM to be at the shithole by 8. I can't help but feel a sense of relief at that.

And today I got a call from one of the resumes I put out Tuesday. If I get that job, I'm looking at a significant raise over what I was making at the shithole. Prayers appreciated.
6:58 pm
#5454: Love it when a plan comes together.
I got everything done today that I wanted to, smoothly and without drama. It was work but I got it all done.

Step one: go to Og's place to pick up trailer hitch for the Jeep's receiver. He said it would be in [location], and I found it pretty quickly.

Step two: rent trailer. No problem, thanks U-haul!

Step three: stop at storage unit to make sure everything's set for next week, which it is. Mrs. Fungus and I are keeping some of the furniture from Dad's house but we have no room for it here. Some of our other belongings will also go to the storage locker, solely to get them out of our way here.

Step four: go to Dad's house, pack up things to be saved and load in Jeep, then load trailer. Literally the hardest part of this was getting the big snowblower started. It's got electric start, the kind you plug an extension cord into, but for some reason none of the outlets in the garage work; I had to run the extension cord into the house. Got the thing fired up and backed it onto the trailer under its own power, saving my back and shoulder from having to heave the thing aboard. Which is good, because it probably weighs more than I do.

Step five: drive home and unload trailer. Pre-rush hour traffic was kind of annoying, but there were no problems. Took about ten minutes to unload the trailer.

Step six: drop off trailer. Again, quick and painless. Got the trailer in an hour before it was due, too.

Step seven: come home and unload truck.

Done and done. Best part: it was 65° today, record-breaking warm.

The snowblower is the antithesis of my one-lung deal. It's two-stage with electric start, and I expect the thing will handle quite a lot more snow than my little one can. I doubt we'll get enough snow this winter even to clear this thing's throat.

Next week is movers; the week after is the cleanout crew. We're hoping to have the place on the market by April, but we won't complain if that happens a bit sooner.

Meanwhile, besides this monster, Dad also had a one-lung Toro snowblower. I'm not sure what kind of shape it's in, but in the worst case I figure I could Craigslist it or use its motor for something else. He has about three or four weed whackers, mostly electric but one gas job. I'm going to wait to see what my brother-in-law wants from that, and may grab the gas one. Dad also had a bunch of pruning implements, including a couple of different kinds of pole saws. I took one, left the other, but might grab that one too assuming B-I-L doesn't want it.

Man, what a day. I'm tired.
Thursday, February 16th, 2017
11:50 am
#5453: Meat loaf sandwiches!
So, for the past while, Mrs. Fungus has been wanting meatloaf. I made it for her on Valentine's Day. Meatloaf, mashed potatos, and carrots.

...but the best part is having meatloaf sandwiches. Two 1/2" slices of meatloaf, on bread, with ketchup. Marvelous. Doesn't even need to be hot.

Recipe for meatloaf: 1.5 lbs of ground beef, finely dice an onion and green pepper, add an egg and a cup of bread crumbs. Salt and pepper to taste. Mix well. Put in pan, spread ketchup on top, bake for an hour at 350. Delicious.

* * *

Yesterday was chores all the way down; today is chores all the way down. So goes tomorrow. I might not have chores on Sunday; we'll see about that--but Saturday, chores.

Among them: I need to rent a small trailer so I can bring home the implements we're keeping from Dad's house, including a fairly robust snowblower. It's big enough that it won't fit in the Jeep, and there's a smaller one-lung blower and a lawn mower besides. Also, a wheelbarrow, and some other things. We hired a cleanout crew to get the junk out of the house, but we want to get the useful stuff out before they come.

Yesterday we went up to the house so Mrs. Fungus could decide what to keep; at the same time I replaced the lockset in the front door so we can, y'know, actually get into the house. We never did find the key(s) that went to the front door, and it's inconvenient to have to carry keys and a garage door opener around.

I'll be going back tomorrow (probably) to pack up things and so forth; seems like a trailer for the big things, in the same trip, is a no-brainer.

Meanwhile, doing some de-cluttering here at the bunker, as well. Took a bag of trash out of the computer room, and took another bag of trash out of my old bedroom. Stuff I kept, couldn't remember why I kept it, got rid of it. Still a lot more to do, but it's a start.

Some stuff I thought I'd already gotten rid of: long ago, I'd bought a couple bottles of Orangina, drank them, cleaned out the bottles, and then filled them with colored water--one red, one blue--because the bottles made me think of potion bottles from D&D. The red and blue colors turned out to match exactly the red and blue used by Blizzard to represent health and mana (respectively) in both Diablo and WoW, which is (I think) why they were still on my bedroom shelves some thirty years after their creation. Well, they're in the trash now.

* * *

"A day without immigrants"? Okay, so let all the illegals take the day off to protest Trump having ICE round up illegal aliens who've committed violent felonies since coming here. It's not going to bring anything to a standstill. Someone's grass doesn't get cut until tomorrow, or service at a restaurant is a little slow, or you can't get a chimichanga from the taqueria down the street--and? These aren't the people keeping the lights on and performing surgery and directing air traffic; they're largely unskilled labor. The ones with skills and training come here legally.

* * *

America's stance towards Russia is all wrong, and has been the entire time Obama was in office. The Trump Administration seems to be different.

Francis Porretto gives a quote I agree with.
When the day comes that the Russians start sticking their nose in on the relationship between the US and Mexico, that will be the day I give two shits about what the Russians do with the Ukraine.
De-bowdlerized for your protection!

But the United States is not responsible for all the misery in the world--it is not even responsible for most of it!--and it's not our job to spend all our money trying to fix everyone else's problems. It's not our job and, 99% of the time, it's none of our business either.

I don't have a problem with the US protecting its vital national interests, and I certainly don't have a problem wtih the US helping when there are disasters--but we should just keep our noses the hell out of everything that doesn't fall into one of those two categories.

"They'll say we're bad if we don't!" They'll still say we're bad even if we do, particularly if we don't do it to their specification. It's not worth it. If you're having problems, call the UN. That's what they're for. They won't do anything about your problems but you can rest assured that the Security Council and General Assembly will deplore the problems you're having and vote on a stiff resolution condemning the cause of your troubles, the United States, and Israel.

I have never thought the US should do anything for anyone but itself, anyway. Notice that even the godfather of American socialism, Woodrow Wilson, stayed the hell out of WWI until the Zimmerman Note forced his hand; and the father of US socialism, FDR, remained out of WW2 until Pearl Harbor happened. Since the end of WW2 it's been nothing but interventionism. Some of it was necessary to stop the spread of communism, but post 1991 even that was no longer necessary. Why was American intervention needed in Serbia? Other than to get Monica Lewinsky off the front pages?

* * *

Democrats have gone once too often to the well, and Trump is the result. But it's not just that people have stopped listening to the Democrats shrieking; it's that Trump himself doesn't dignify their horseshit by responding to it as if he thinks it's valid.

That's why the media is losing its shit over the way he takes questions at press conferences: he's ignoring the outlets who demonize him, because he knows they're going to demonize him regardless of what he does. The equation is both simple and obvious: if you want him to take your question, report fairly; if you don't report fairly, if your outlet routinely compares him to Hitler, you don't get a question.

I like the strawman assertions and his responses:
"He's think-skinned and petty!" shrieks the left. "He takes everything personally!"

Good, I say. I want him to take attacks personally and deal out payback. I know I won't be the target, you will be.

"He's unpresidential! He'll destroy the integrity of the office!"

No, that's already happened. Remember, you elected a shit-talking jackass who takes selfies at state funerals when he's not giving stealth middle fingers to his opponents during debates. There is no dignity of the office, not after Clinton and Obama.

"He's a narcissist! He's got totalitarian impulses!"

Yes, he's basically a mirror version of Obama. Except now, he'll be working for what I want. The end justifies the means. You taught me that.

"A sitting president going after the media. OMG!"

Oh, like Obama trashing Rush Limbaugh and Fox News? How about when he sent his lackeys to berate news reporters for failure to flatter him at all times. Oh, and NSA spying on the press. That was pretty great, too.

"He won't show his taxes!"

Don't care. Where are Obama's college transcripts, by the way?

"He's a bully! Is this what you want? Someone who uses his power to bully other people?!!!"

And this is where everything funnels down to the very nexus of my change in attitude from "Do unto others" to "I will do unto you what you do unto me."
This is the way a lot of people feel; but furthermore, it's what people like me have been urging the GOP to do for seeming centuries. Trump is doing that; and in the process, he is pounding the Democrats and their mouthpieces in the ass. Bypassing them and going straight to the American people.

Because even the New York Times is heavily invested in fake news.
Putting aside for a moment the irony of the Times citing a white nationalist while trying to demonize someone for citing a fascist philosopher. Let’s be honest about the Times' intentions here.

The Times staff are well aware that based on the title alone, most people will just share the article on social media without reading it, much less bother to click the hyperlink to examine the primary material. The article is not really designed be read, just to be shared--it's really is just a glorified Wikipedia entry on Evola. Like most of the clickbait responsible for the decline in the public's trust of journalism, its purpose is to confirm a worldview among those who would share it. It's merely another grasp at any straw in the hopes binding them together into a fascio of accusation thrown Bannon's way.

If, however, this article is not mere smarm and political calumny trying to create guilt by association, and instead it reflects an earnest concern by the Times that Bannon's mere knowledge of Evola is somehow dangerous, it’s revealing. What it reveals is a much more troubling worldview and culture among the Times staff and, by extension, those it considers to be its core readership than it reveals about Bannon. In this light, the article exposes a line of reasoning that can serve to explain so much of the recent anti-free speech hysteria and trigger warning phenomenon seen around the country.

Normally being well read and having knowledge of obscure yet influential philosophy and its impact on foreign policy would be seen as something to put in the plus side of the ledger in a determination of whether an advisor to the president is competent and worthy of his station. In this case, however, according to the Times, having knowledge is a negative. It's not that Bannon is being accused of following or even quoting Evola (although the headline implies it). He's being accused of knowing about Evola. Knowledge itself, in this case, is portrayed as a corrupting force.
So, that's the flipside to the left's one insult and joke. ("So-and-so is stupid!") When they are given an example of an opponent who is obviously well-read, suddenly it's "dangerous".

Well, yeah, I suppose it is. The last thing you want is for your opponent to actually be smart and educated, particularly when that opponent has already demonstrated he's not going to play by your "heads I win, tails you lose" rules.

They do their best to dismiss Trump as a boor and an oaf, but the fact is that Trump is no dummy--idiots can not turn $40 million into $4 billion--and he is smart enough to surround himself with experts who are as smart as he is, or smarter. And to listen to them.

That scares the shit out of the left.

It scares them because they know that an opponent who doesn't give a rip about their pointing and shrieking--who can deflect it with ease--will be able to do things that will hurt their agenda. It scares them more than does the fact that Trump obviously expects his people to perform, and has no trouble about replacing them if they don't. The left has attempted to spin Michael Flynn's departure from the NSA as some kind of major, Watergate-level scandal, but it's not; it is, in fact, an example of Trump finding someone deficient (for wahtever reason) and removing him.

They desperately want it to be, but it isn't. FBI declined prosecution, because there's no criminal act here. And if the FBI is going to decline to prosecute someone for both willingly and negligently posting classified information on a private e-mail server *cough*HILLARY*cough* how can they prosecute someone who committed no crime?

* * *

I, for one, would welcome the end of Palestine. It's a sham, something ginned up by international leftism to try to break down Israel.
The “Palestinian Authority”, a shell company of the PLO which is a shell company of the Fatah terrorists, has no economy worth speaking of. It has foreign aid. Its diplomatic achievements are achieved for it by the transnational network of foreign diplomats, the UN, the media and assorted international NGOs. During the last round of “negotiations”, Secretary of State John Kerry even attempted to do the negotiating on behalf of the Palestinian Authority in the talks with Israel.

Take away the transnational order and the Palestinian Authority will need a new sugar daddy. The Saudis are better at promising money than actually delivering it. Russia may decide to take on the job. But it isn’t about to put in the money and resources that the PA has grown used to receiving from us.
It has no economy because it is not, and never was, a nation.

* * *

Yep, this is exactly so.

* * *

Man, I have so many chores to do. Better get going, I suppose.
Wednesday, February 15th, 2017
8:02 pm
#5452: Out of a job.
That's me: unemployed, as of Monday night. Bastards had me work a full shift on my Friday, then told me I was being shitcanned.

Proximate cause: two weeks ago, on Saturday, I got three "no" surveys. All three of them were fucking lunatics, like the woman who wanted me to block a phone number she couldn't give me--as she didn't know what the number was--but it was collection calls about her student loans, and she was sure that she was getting the calls because Trump is President. She was swearing at me a lot over it.

But let's give the complete rundown, shall we?

In mid-June 2016, the supervisors had a shift bid, and the supervisor I was under--a really great guy, J.H.--got assigned to a different time slot, so of course his current team had to be moved to another sup. This team was moved, in its entirety, under Absentee Sup #1, D.M., who never came to work the entire time she was my sup. On leave, FMLA, doing a special project--no explanation ever given for why she was never there to, y'know, supervise her team. We couldn't be under J.H. because a team's schedule has to align with their sup's schedule, but apparently it's perfectly fine for an entire team to have no supervisor.

And from June through August, the team had no supervisor at all. Occasionally we'd have a bungee sup, someone who was our sup for a day. The weekly coachings--performance feedback--was never done for anyone on my team, for months. We did finally get a supervisor who came to work, in late August--P.G.--but he wasn't there on weekends until mid-September at the earliest, and part of that time was his pre-scheduled two-week vacation (which was closer to 16 days). Even when he was at work, he spent most of his shift diddling his cell phone. And until late September his hours were 8a-5:30p. Team was on 12:30p-10p. Yeah. The schedules must align, right?

Needless to say, P.G. did not get many coachings done, and most of them happened thus: I would be working at my computer, and he would come over to me and say, "When you're done with that call, sign off on this coaching. I'll epop you the number." ("Epop"=instant message.) I was never told anything about my performance, nor given any feedback; me signing off on that coaching was entirely so he could meet his coaching targets.

After the Trumpslide, he seemed disgruntled, and suddenly stopped coming to work about a week or two after the election. I and the handful of remaining members of the team were moved to S.G.'s team. Of course S.G. was leaving the very next day for a special assignment in Jamaica, but because S.G.'s team was actually a team, the combined team was getting a supervisor from the training side, S.B.

So, to summarize the story thus far: from June through Thanksgiving, I had three coachings, and one was a critical for a failed survey. You're supposed to get them once a week, to help you maintain and improve your metrics. I'd received no useful feedback from anyone for five months. So naturally I was a little distressed at the next development.

...which was to be given, on the same day, both a verbal and a written warning for having poor metrics. I was given thirty days to improve my metrics or I would be put on a final warning.

Of course I objected to it, and I explained myself to the operations manager, who basically told me that he'd directed my sup to issue those corrective actions, so that was that, whether I thought it was fair or not. He didn't care that I'd received none of the feedback I was supposed to get.

So started the mad, doomed scramble to improve my core four metrics to save my job. A customer service call has a flow to it, and it takes time to change that flow; you get a certain pattern down and it's not something you change in a day. C.B. actually did coachings, so now I was getting feedback; my scores did improve...but not enough. It was all too little, too late. Given a scant four weeks to fix a problem five months in the making was not enough time, and on 1/5 I was put on the final warning I'd tried to avoid.

I started receiving coaching from the Quality department, too; once a week one of the head Quality guys, J.V., would sit down with me and we'd listen to calls and discuss techniques. My scores improved further.

Then, 1/28--three failed surveys. With the final warning on file, that's all they needed. If I hadn't been sick I probably would have been fired on the 9th rather than Monday.

Mrs. Fungus is of the opinion that they had decided to fire me in November, and were merely building a case. "That's the kind of thing that happened at [$Major_Cable]," she told me. Heck, it happened to her. The bosses bend over backward to make it seem as if they're trying to help you avoid being fired...but (in $Major_Cable's case at least, and probably here too) even if you do everything right and fix what's wrong, they just find another excuse to fire you. That's what they did to her; moved the goalposts every time she fixed a metric.

The real lunacy here is that after 17 months on the job there's no rep in that call center who knows more than I about doing that job. But because I had no effective supervision for five months, I stagnated. No one cared about my metrics, no one cared about my career advancement, no one cared about my development at all...until suddenly, in November, it was critical that I start hitting the goals.

The self-same people who cry and cry about the center not being able to take enough calls to make money (they lost a significant percentage of a megabuck in January) and force everyone to work 9-hour days to compensate for it, those same people are unwilling to give a well-experienced rep enough time to fix an issue caused by their own lack of concern?

A reasonable person, presented with a long-term employee that is almost hitting the mark, would say, "Okay, this rep can do the job just fine, and he's stuck with us much longer than most people do; we just need to figure out why he's having bad days and fix that!" You'd think they'd want to do that when they can't keep people for longer than a few months and have a terrible time with turnover. Especially when said employee had (when working for his first sup, J.H.) been in the top 50 performers in the center.

And the manager in question, H.R., reviewed my metrics with me--before telling me I was fired--and said that I had several weeks this year where they were just fine. But I had these two weeks with bad metrics! I pointed out to him that the feedback from my supervisor had been positive, that my metrics were improving greatly. He just brushed that one off: "Oh. Well."

Practical upshot: they wanted me gone, period, logic and fairness be damned.

* * *

In the aftermath, I feel as if a great weight has been lifted from my shoulders, even though this causes a lot of problems. I hated that job. I mean, I hated it. It's not just the utter banality of the work itself; it's the fact that the call center was a "paper-free" environment, and they have a "clean desk" policy, so you couldn't have anything on your desk. It was the fact that the management there didn't give a wet fart about anything other than making sure their own goals were met, so they could look good to their bosses. Hey, who cares that the floor has been broken in that one spot for seven months? We don't have the time to worry about that.

Hell, remember the thing with my badge? It expired on August 17, 2016, and I asked my supervisor (P.G., it was) and the operations manager three times for a new one, and never got it until I finally sent a text message to the general manager advising him of the inaction of my immediate superior...and I got my new badge four weeks after the original had expired.

Thanks, guys.

And Labor Day! On Labor Day, morning shift was treated to lunch by management--hot dogs right off the grill, chips, and soda. Evening shift got a case tepid water, a partial box of Fritos, and a few cold, dry hot dogs: the leftovers from morning shift's lunch.

Yes, we feel like valued employees. How can any competent manager make such a botch out of giving out hot dogs?

No wonder the place isn't making any money. No wonder $Company_A sold the place to $Company_B, which (by the way) no one explained to anyone at all. I'd wager that $Company_B is likely to close the place if it doesn't turn around soon, and in fact I'd further bet $Company_B only bought $Company_A's call centers because they wanted to get the $Major_Telecom contract. With the losses reported so far this year, I wouldn't be surprised if $Call_Center was closed by May.

That place is a shithole, a modern-day sweatshop. I'd get up and start running at 10:30 AM, and would not be able to slow down until getting home at 11 PM. I'd have to get up at 6:30 AM on Saturday, to get home at 6:30 PM. Twelve-hour days--no wonder I never have any time or energy for anything, for fuck's sake. And for my trouble, I get to be yelled at by half-wit cretins over a fifty cent increase in their three hundred dollar phone bill.

I'm glad I don't work at there any longer, as much trouble as it causes in the short term. I have three apps in already, submitted right after I filed for unemployment. It's not the end of the world, and I'll find another job. It's just inconvenient.

Piss heads.
Tuesday, February 14th, 2017
11:48 am
#5451: Something like that, yeah.
Too many vaccines at once are the problem. I've been saying this for quite a while, ever since the vaccine-autism link arose. It's not the vaccines themselves which are the problem, but the frequency with which they are administered which is the problem.

Right now we tend to give very young children 2-3-4-5 vaccines at once--right away, six months out of the womb, hitting their immune systems with a lot of challenges right out the gate and all at once. Giving them the same vaccinations at a much more sedate pace wouldn't cause the damage that piling them all on at once does.

As Vox concludes, "One shot of tequila won't hurt you either. That doesn't mean 25 in quick succession are harmless."

Most of the vaccinations we give children these days are, in fact, beneficial, and individually they do more good than harm. But I do believe we're much too aggressive about vaccination, and I seriously doubt that there has been any serious testing done on the interaction between vaccines. "A is safe, and B is safe, so of course A+B is safe!" wouldn't pass muster for drugs; why does it for vaccines? (To borrow Vox's example: a margerita is safe, and a dose of barbiturate is safe. But don't have both. Or, as was seen in an episode of The Knick, what's wrong with combining laudanum and ether? Other than the whole "kills you dead" thing?)

It's better to think of a vaccine as a dose of some kind of drug, and space them out. Remember that even though there are no obvious symptoms, you are essentially giving the body an infection, and the body must be given time to adjust. And what's the rush, anyway? Really, how many children will be exposed to measels and chicken pox and smallpox and polio and diptheria and-and-and before they're a year old? Particularly in 21st century America?

The second comment at the link most closely matches my own thinking on the subject.

So no, it's not the thimerosal in the vaccines that cause the problem, and it's not the individual vaccinations either. It's just too many at once, and too soon.

* * *

Those guys are so stupid! It's ironic, considering the near-total ignorance displayed by the Tweeter in question, that she herself doesn't know WTF is going on. "Is this an attempt at swastikas? Do neo nazis not have google?" Translation: "You know those guys who don't agree with us? Aren't they stupid?"

Again, it's the only joke leftists have. "Ha ha ha, neo nazis, so dumb they don't even know what a swastika looks like, ha ha ha!" Yet she herself is the one who doesn't understand that sometimes people make marks for reasons other than political expression, like--for example--pointing out to someone else, coming later with a big earthmoving machine that there is vital infrastructure between these two points, dig carefully here. The ignorance on display is breathtaking.

And typical.

* * *

Speaking of infrastructure:

Oroville Dam is having problems. It's in California, in an area which has seen heavy, heavy rains over the past few weeks. The dam is primarily a hydroelectric structure, built for power generation.

There are a couple of problems. The first is that the spillway was not maintained correctly, so that when the water level began rising behind the dam and they needed to let out more water than the turbines could pass, a hole was rapidly eroded through the spillway, letting water gush out the side and cause further erosion to the hillside, which (among other things) clogged up the turbine outflow channel with debris. The second is that the emergency spillway was not maintained correctly either.

I learned of this whole thing via YouTube; I saw one video which led me to look at another and another. In one video you see--prior to all this--a couple of pickup trucks parked in the spillway while workers examine some damage to the concrete. This damage is where the breach occurred when they had to open the floodgates wide open.

Another video showed workers attempting to grout boulders and riprap with cement, behind the emergency spillway. The emergency spillway is a low spot beside the dam where water can flow over, if the level gets too high, so that it doesn't spill over the top of the dam itself. The idea here was to prevent the boulders from moving, and to prevent erosion of the hillside at that point.

But what we're seeing here is the failure of the California state government to maintain infrastructure leading to a potential catastrophe. That is the problem; money intended for upkeep instead gets diverted to stupid things like high-speed fail and other lefty causes. After all, when was the last time we needed to open the spillway on that dam? Dams are bad for the environment anyway! They kill fish!

...190,000 people ordered out of their homes. Yeah.

* * *

Same vein: D.C.'s Metro system is used by ten percent of commuters and requires massive investment simply to bring it up to specification. It amounts to a $1,000 per capita tax on everyone living in D.C.

Of course:
Yet the real problem...is that rail transit costs far more than anyone who agreed to the compact expected. They were told that the feds would pay most of the construction cost if the locals promised to pay most of the operating costs. But none of the advocates ever mentioned maintenance or capital replacement costs.
No one advocating mass transit ever talks about maintenance and capital replacement costs. They're the biggest costs associated with any kind of infrastructure, because they're costs that recur, and never go away. Stuff is going to break and need repair, stuff is going to need to be maintained so that it doesn't break, it will break faster if you don't maintain it, and even if you do everything right and get really lucky and the stuff doesn't break, eventually it wears out and must be replaced anyway.

It may cost you $10 billion to build a light rail line. It will definitely cost you a lot more than that to maintain it for fifty years. And that's before you start talking about operating costs.

Government's favorite trick is to foist crap on us, then fail to maintain it: and when it goes to shit demand more money from the taxpayers: "Hey, we need to fix this. Pay up." Time for the taxpayer to say, "Uh, no. Just get rid of it."

* * *

Just remember, this person is considered smarter than you by the elite.
[White people] have a higher concentration of enzyme inhibitors that suppress melanin production. They are genetically deficient because melanin is present at the inception of life. Melanin enables black skin to capture light and hold it in its memory mode which reveals that blackness converts light into knowledge. Melanin directly communicates with cosmic energy.
I'll bet you didn't know melanin, a simple pigment, could do all that! Melanin has a memory mode! It converts light into knowledge!

Who knew that black people could photosynthesize knowledge? No wonder Africa is such a bastion of enlightenment and civilization. Hey, they invented the necklace there, after all! And think of all the humanitarians and great philosophers and statesmen that Africa produced.

...yeah, that was probably a little too sarcastic, even for me. I can't help it; that horseshit about melanin converting light into knowledge was so fatuous it doesn't even rise to the level of comic book science. It's like the inane babbling of a program that selects random phrases and sticks them together. Like doing "Mad Libs" when you're at a tween party.

What did I say before, when I was talking about the "swastikas"? The ignorance is breathtaking, yeah. In spades.

* * *

Well, today I have about a thousand chores which need attending. Guess I'd better start moving.
Sunday, February 12th, 2017
3:30 pm
#5450: Omnibus
"In a lawful society...." In a lawful society this politician would not be able to admit to various crimes committed by him and his family members without scrutiny from the law. But of course he's really important so he can get away with it.

* * *

People don't care if the schools stink, as long as the wrong people aren't in charge of the Department of Education.

* * *

Felony rioting carries the possibility of a 10-year prison sentence. There is a difference between "peaceful protest" and "riot". That difference must be made plain to those who hide behind the "protest" banner when in fact they are rioting.

Nothing wrong with protesting. Lots wrong with rioting. You do the math. But the people advocating for violent protest against Trump may find themselves shocked at how little tolerance for that horseshit the rest of the country actually has.

* * *

Woman pilot going through divorce scares people off her plane with her inane preflight rant. "The flight was delayed two hours." Do tell.

* * *

Back when she was "Mona" Monroe, pinup model. Everyone has to start somewhere, I guess.

* * *

15 MB of storage, for a mere $2,500! That was more than 30 years ago. Now we complain that 16 GB--a thousand times as much storage--isn't enough memory in a phone. WTF.

My phone has 1,024x as much storage as that hard drive did. FFS. My phone.

21st century, technological wonders, blah blah blah, where's my Mr. Fusion. Etc.

* * *

Colony is worth watching. Mrs. Fungus and I watched the first season and the extant eps of the second, and now must watch in real time like everyone else. It's pretty good. Except....

Well, I have a couple problems with it, a little one and two big ones. The little one is that--as always--most of the suspense in the series comes from the writers not telling us anything at all but letting us have little looks here and there. Seems like more than half the TV series out there work that way.

The big ones--

Okay, alien invasion, Earth becomes totalitarian shithole everywhere. No one knows anything about other blocs (the story is set primarily in LA, with a 300-foot alien wall separating it from the rest of the world) and we never see the aliens. We do see their robotic drones, which kill people for being out after curfew or violating other laws. People, given this kind of power over other people, would naturally tend towards the totalitarian. (Power corrupts etc.) But the aliens appear to encourage this.

But there just doesn't seem to be much inconvenience for people who wish to buck the authority. A terror cell operates unhindered for most of a year. High school kids find--and use, a lot--a way outside the wall. No one appears to be starving, even though food is rationed. It's kind of inconsistent.

The other problem? The alien worship cult. *sigh* The main characters' youngest daughter is being brainwashed by her government tutor to worship the aliens, and of course they all live in an enlightened house with no religion, so the little girl has absolutely nothing to counter the horseshit with, until her mother brings home books on all religions. Gack.

The whole setting is leftist's fantasy world: the average person can either use public transportation or ride a bicycle. The rich and powerful (living up in "the Green Zone") have whatever luxuries they want while the hoi polloi are living a lot more poorly. And of course anyone who goes against the oh-so-benficial tyrant is either summarily executed, sent to a labor camp, or sent to "the Factory", of which (so far) we've had one glimpse.

Decidedly a dystopia but worth watching, even if it has lots of the usual TV elements to it. I've found it enjoyable and the story is interesting enough to enable suspension of my quibbles.

Even better, though, is that The Expanse is back, and it's nice to see something come back to TV that's a lot more science fiction than science fantasy.

* * *

Man, even though I feel better, I don't feel good. *sigh*
2:16 pm
#5449: Starting to feel better
Mrs. Fungus turned on the TV and wanted sound to come from the sound bar. I'd muted it last night.

Mrs. Fungus: How do I take this off "meat"?
Me: Well, find the button marked "meat" and press it.
Me: Why are you laughing? It's not that hard!

Seems like half the stuff we laugh at comes from me simply repeating what she says. I don't understand it either, but it does indicate that we're feeling better today. Yesterday I got to work, didn't have the power to log in, and when the sup I sit with on Sat and Sun mornings saw that, she suggested that I go home. When I started feeling my gorge rising, I took her advice. I got to the truck before the heaves hit, but all the way home I was struggling to hold back the nausea. Laying down quelled it, mostly.

Yesterday was pretty bad.

Now the cramps and nausea have subsided, and I don't feel like my brain is wrapped in cotton and bubble wrap any longer. This is progress.
Friday, February 10th, 2017
1:32 pm
#5448: Sinister illness
Don't know if it's stress, or what, but Mrs. Fungus and I have been laid low for two days. Argh.

So, minimal post today just to let my handful of readers know we're still alive, though not happily at the moment.

* * *

Tyson and Sagan do not belong in that montage. Everyone else in there has made a significant contribution to science, one way or another; neither Tyson nor Sagan ever did much more than write books and do TV shows.

As far as I know. I'm willing to be corrected, but seems to me that if Sagan had made a significant contribution to his chosen field (astronomy) we'd have heard something about it by now.

Tyson? Don't make me laugh.

In their places I would have put Feynman and Maxwell. Well, maybe Bohr or Fermi instead of Feynman, but definitely Maxwell. His electromagnetic equations are the whole reason we have things like radio, TV, computers, Internets, cell phones....

Maxwell's contribution to science outweighs the combined efforts of Tyson and Sagan by at least ten orders of magnitude.

But the point of the graphic is apt: if you know who the person on the right is (one of the Kardashian extrusions, unless I miss my guess) but none of the people on the left, you are part of the problem.
Wednesday, February 8th, 2017
10:50 pm
#5447: Well, that was about the worst customer service experience we've ever had.
Protip: never buy anything from Sears ever again.

Mrs. Fungus and I have needed a new bed for a couple of years. It wasn't just that we've worn the old one out (heh) but that we wanted a king size, rather than a queen, for the extra room. The discovery that the old mattress was causing hip problems for her and shoulder problems for me was a factor, too.

So, she researched new mattresses, and we found ourselves at Sears last week, laying on various mattresses and trying them out. We made a selection, getting what seemed like a screaming good deal on it, allowing us to buy a mattress which would otherwise have been very, very far out of our price range.

Today was delivery day. In anticipation, I cleaned our bedroom and moved a bunch of stuff out of the way so the delivery guys would be able to bring in and set up the bed without any impediments. Got the call around 12:30 that they'd be here in twenty minutes. Mrs. Fungus was excited; I was phlegmatic as usual.

They get here, and the senior guy says, "We've only got one box spring. Only one was ordered." He added that he'd questioned the order: a brand new king-size bed with foundation for same, but only one twin box spring? But the warehouse folks had brushed it off, that was what was ordered, blah blah blah, etcetera.

King size bed, it takes two twin-sized box springs. Mrs. Fungus--reading the receipt at the time of purchase--thought that "quantity one" meant "one set", not "one box spring". The girl who'd taken our order had screwed up.

The junior member of the delivery team offered to sell us a set of twin box springs he had in his storage unit. Mrs. Fungus called the person who sold us the bed--the number on her business card--and got a call center. Not even the Sears store in question, but a friggin' call center. She handed the phone off to me when the senior delivery guy called his support team and let her talk to them.

Short form: they could take the bed back and deliver it another day, or we could take delivery of the incomplete order. Mrs. Fungus talked to one person, then called the call center again and talked to them, and was assured--in both cases!--that we could go to a Sears store and get the missing box spring set without any trouble, as the "local stores" had "lots" of them. That led us to decide to accept delivery and go get the missing piece, even though it was enormously inconvenient for us.

It was a 40-minute drive to the Sears store. Mrs. Fungus fumed all the way there.

Imagine our delight when we got to the local store and were told that no, they do not stock any mattresses at all, or box springs. Mrs. Fungus demanded to speak to a manager; the hapless guy in the mattress department called for one three times, and then was paged to call an extension. Gist of that conversation: "Why are you calling three times for a manager?" A manager eventually showed up.

What a piece of work he was. He didn't seem very apologetic, and seemed excellent at coming up with reasons why they couldn't possibly do anything today but tomorrow or in a few days or-or-or....

The other day I said I reminded Mrs. Fungus that the woman makes the sandwiches, but then added that I'm not a fool and made her sandwich for her. You do not want her to get mad at you. She's probably the sweetest person on the planet but when that temper gets triggered--

When the smoke cleared, we were getting a floor display box spring gratis. We just needed something to protect it from the elements on the trip home, because it was snowing and crappy outside; of course they didn't have anything to wrap the box spring in, so I said we'd go down the street to Lowe's to get some plastic sheeting and wrap it in that. Agreed on a solution, we went down the street to Lowe's and bought the sheeting...and came back to an utterly empty mattress department. Where we proceeded to wait long after asking someone from another department to summon aid for us.

Mrs. Fungus loudly advised people browsing the beds not to buy a bed there.

Finally, the second floor person whom we'd asked for help in locating the sales guy and/or the manager we'd talked to came back and said gingerly that the manager in question had gone home due to "illness"...and Mrs. Fungus just exploded.

I don't blame her. It was the last straw. Considering how much money we'd spent on the bed, only to have the order screwed up, and then being given blatantly wrong information from two call center reps--and now here we were without a bed to sleep in, because we'd paid them to haul away the old one...and the manager who'd helped us just sneaked out of the store as soon as we left to get supplies the store itself should have had on hand.

It was an epic meltdown. And again, I don't blame her. I was a few steps behind her, ready to blow up myself. Perhaps if I'd been the one who did the sleep test last night--

So, the store's main manager ended up coming down to talk to us. Mrs. Fungus was still melting down so I started explaining what had happened, starting to get wound up myself; Mrs. Fungus is more clear-headed than I am and corrected me on a point, took over the narrative, and laid it all out. The manager straightened it out, such that we left with the box spring in question, free of charge, and there was a refund issued for something-or-other that I didn't pay attention to because I was still pretty angry myself.

Box spring wrapped in plastic, strapped to top of Jeep, home safe, in place. Bed assembled and ready for slumber. Dinner, a little TV, then a few hours' nap.

The thing is, no Sears employee, anywhere along the line, did anything to ensure the order was correct, and when the delivery guy raised an objection--said delivery guy not being a Sears employee, but the employee of a contractor!--another Sears employee told him just to take the delivery.

If the call center people had simply given us correct information, we could have rescheduled the bed delivery, inconvenient as that would have been (as our "weekends" are booked solid until mid-March). But the feckless, "Oh, no problem at all!" led us into taking the alternate decision.

The delivery team--they told us they couldn't take the old foundation (why not?) and left it in our bathroom without letting us know. They seemed like they were in an awful hurry to get out of here, too. I get that they've got a schedule, but for crying out loud-- And when my wife insisted that they bring the mattress insidem out of the snow, "Oh, it's wrapped in plastic!" Rude.

Mrs. Fungus and I had both been convinced that--by going to Sears instead of a mattress hut--we were going to get what we ordered for the price we'd paid in-store, and there wasn't going to be any trouble about it. I mean, this is what Sears does, you know? They built their entire business on people ordering things and having them delivered! We figured it would lead to better quality of service. Boy, were we wrong!

Epic fail, Sears. We hope that you use the money you got from us wisely, because it's the last money you'll get from us.
12:50 pm
#5446: Yakisoba, for the first time in YEARS
The other night, I made yakisoba. I didn't use my regular recipe, and I didn't marinate the meat, but the details are unimportant. I got to have yakisoba!

Mrs. Fungus does not like yakisoba. There's something about the flavor she doesn't like. Hoping she'd like this version, I made it without chinese vegetables, without marinating the meat, and using a completely different sauce.

She didn't like it.

She likes the yaki udon that they make at hibachi places. She likes mai fun, a Chinese fried noodle dish. My yakisoba, no. *sigh*

Anyway, I made a wok full of it, and ate it all in three sittings. Could be worse.

* * *

Mrs. Fungus had a sleep test last night. I took her over to the clinic and dropped her off at 9; I was there at 5:30 AM to pick her up. On my way there, it started to snow. I got there at 5:30 on the dot, waited a few minutes, and then we went home.

No salt, no plows, the roads coming back were slippery. A quarter-inch of snow, maybe. WTF.

Now I sit at the computer writing this and looking out the window at falling snow. We're not supposed to get more than an inch, so I'm not worried about it, and it's nice to see. It's been a gloomy, dank year so far, with only a few days' worth of sun, and mostly it's rained or drizzled. A little snow is a nice change of pace.

* * *

Overheard: apparently the Chicago socialized education system has been "hit with a spending freeze". You know what that means, don't you? It's left-ese for "we're not allowed to increase the budget". (I haven't bothered to research the story at all, but dollars to donuts I'm right.)

Illinois is broke, Chicago is broke, the Chicago socialized education system is broke--none of these entities has any friggin' money so they for damned sure ought to stop finding new ways to spend it. Of course, because Illinois is run by Democrats (Motto: "The taxpayers will just have to pay it!") little inconveniences like having no money whatsoever is never a deterrent or an impediment to budget increases.

But none of the budget discussions in Illinois is about how Illinois can live within its means. The budget discussions are about how the Illinois politicians can sell tax increases without getting their fat asses de-elected. (Or lynched.)

Recently I saw an animated map showing which states in the US had net gains or losses of population over the years. Illinois has been a net loser every year out of the last two decades. Because this state is a shithole.

And, as the newsreader breathlessly intones, "See what it means for students." What it means, in the grand scheme of thing, is "damned little", considering how much of that budget gets spent on administrator salaries and union thugs. Except, of course, the executives and union thugs get their cut of the budget first, before anything else. Favorite government tactic: purposely defund things and spend the money elsewhere, then complain that they don't have enough money for everything. "We know we need new chairs, as some students must sit on the floor, but we just don't have enough money." Maybe you would if you hadn't just redone all the high-level executive offices in mahogany and walnut, shithead. (Or whatever the current excess is.)

* * *

So much for "searing black calm". "Searing" and "calm", yes, but it looks like there's plenty of light on the surface of Venus. (Yes, I know that photograph is decades old.)

I keep thinking that a big sunshade between Venus and the Sun, left for a decade or two, would result in most of Venus' atmosphere ending up raining out, and we'd abruptly end up with a reasonably temperate planet with (admittedly) toxic waste oceans and a reasonable (also toxic) atmosphere. I've written a lot about terraforming Venus before; no need to recount a tale already plainly told.

* * *

New bed being delivered. Got to go.
Tuesday, February 7th, 2017
2:06 pm
#5445: Ah, the useless dreck that clogs my memory.
In the late 1980s, somehow I ended up watching a grainy copy of Deep Inside Vanessa Del Rio.

The one thing I remember from that entire movie comes from a "bored housewife" scene, where a woman in a housecoat and curlers is watching TV. We hear the soap opera but never see it, and the entire vignette plays out before the action starts; this is entirely for setting. The three voices are, I suspect, all done by the same man.

Why I remember it, I know not, but here it is:
Man: Elma, I'm leaving you!
Elma (bad and obvious falsetto): But why? Is there another woman?
Man: Yes! Well...it's Bonkers.
Elma: Bonkers? The dog? That Bonkers?
Man: Bonkers is a beautiful and sensitive dog!
Elma: But Bonkers is a boy.
Man: I'm not going to discuss it any further! Goodbye! C'mon, Bonkers!
Bonkers (bad and obviously fake): Woof!
Elma: I hope you get worms, you bastard.
There are so many things from Western Civilization which are elevating and inspiring, and instead of remembering any of them, I have this.


But, as useless as that particular bit of drama is, it sets the theme for today's post: the substitution of the false, the useless, the inane, for that which is truthful, correct, and useful.

* * *

NOAA faking temperature data, because no one gets paychecks for natural climate variation. They faked the data that demonstrated the long pause in global warming--18 years and counting!--was not actually happening, which is not surprising considering that the only way they can possibly prove their contention that humans cause global warming is by faking the data.

Thus, eventually, cooking their own goose.

The Paris Agreement was based on that horseshit.And I say "horseshit" advisedly:
NOAA's 2015 'Pausebuster' paper was based on two new temperature sets of data--one containing measurements of temperatures at the planet's surface on land, the other at the surface of the seas.

Both datasets were flawed. This newspaper has learnt that NOAA has now decided that the sea dataset will have to be replaced and substantially revised just 18 months after it was issued, because it used unreliable methods which overstated the speed of warming. The revised data will show both lower temperatures and a slower rate in the recent warming trend.

The land temperature dataset used by the study was afflicted by devastating bugs in its software that rendered its findings 'unstable'.

The paper relied on a preliminary, 'alpha' version of the data which was never approved or verified.
Fake data to support a fake premise. What a surprise.

* * *

I, too, could put in a shitton of overtime if I could sleep during half of it. Fake work.

* * *

Chris Christie was pilloried for possibly delaying an ambulance due to politics. But everything--no matter how wretched, vile, or slimy--is perfectly okay when the left does it.

* * *

Last night, upon my arrival home, Mrs. Fungus insisted that I watch a Saturday Night Live sketch featuring a sitcom actress who is probably the one sitcom player who is even occasionally funny. She played Trump's press secretary, Sean Spicer. Unlike 99.997% of all SNL after the original cast left, the opening sketch had a few amusing moments. But of course the leftists had to use the one joke they have: "Look at that person! Isn't she stupid?" The left has one insult and one joke: "So-and-so is stupid! Hey, you know that guy we don't like? Isn't he stupid?" They don't like Betsy DeVos, so of course she's stupid, and the appearance of their version of Betsy DeVos in the sketch played up her being stupid. A laugh riot.

She's confirmed, you dickheads. Suck it.

* * *

Fake news. American leftists complained that Trump won the election because of "fake news", only as soon as that ploy backfired they dropped it like a superheated, radioactive potato. They ended up handing the alt-Right a pretty effective cudgel.

* * *

We're making progress on getting Dad's house cleaned out. Saturday I dragged all the computer hardware home; I'm going to have to sort through it and determine what's worth saving and what isn't. Probably about 80% of it will end up being recycled due to obsolescence. (486, anyone? With an AT keyboard connector?) Anything I save will be completely wiped, because Dad had a thing about malware which led to his systems being...cantankerous. Just wipe 'em clean and start over, that's the best way.

We're hoping to have the place on the market no later than April. We'll see how that goes, of course. The leaking pipes have been fixed, and with the musty carpet out of there the house smells a lot better than it has for quite some time. It needs a bit of drywall (to replace that which was ruined by leaks) and a bit of flooring (to replace the ruined carpet) but it shouldn't take much more work to get it into decent shape for sale.

God knows how long it'll sit on the market before it sells, though.

Well, that's then; right now I need to get on with the relaxing. Today is my Saturday, and I have a lot of stuff to take care of this "weekend".

Onward! C'mon, Bonkers! (Woof!)
Saturday, February 4th, 2017
9:11 pm
#5444: No self-respecting spaceman would accelerate without securing his payload.
NASA says Falcon 9 engines are not ready to be man-rated. Same agency which gave us the Space Shuttle. Why do we listen to them?

NASA's desired "loss of crew" probability is "1 in 270", or 0.37% of the time, and they estimate the Falcon 9 would exceed that probability. Oh, you mean like the Space Launch System (aka "Space Shuttle") which turned out to have an actual "loss of crew" probability of one in fifty?

* * *

Okay, my respect for Matther McConaughey just went up. Why?
...[I]t's time for us to embrace and shake hands with this fact. And be constructive with him over the next four years.


'Cause he's our president for the next four years, at least, the President of the United States.
There you go.

There's nothing wrong with opposing his policies and plans, but what the American left is doing is simple temper tantrums.

* * *

I think it'd be a good idea to lock up rioters for ten years and lock them up with the guys paying them to riot. That way, you'd get a lot less of both.

* * *

Bring back DDT. We banned it based on fake science, and we need it to prevent the spread of disease.

* * *

An entirely black chicken. That's something else.

* * *

As for me, rage managed to get me to work today. I am so sick of having to get up at 6 AM on Saturday and Sunday. I am literally the only person remaining from the team who had that schedule; the rest of them, right down to the supervisor himself, no longer work there.

Current sup is trying to get that changed, but operations manager is passing the buck. I'm about ready to tell them all, "Okay, since no one here has the power to correct my schedule, I'm going to just start coming in at 12:30 PM on weekends, because this is the most fatuous nonsense I've ever had the misfortune to experience." (It's not, but a little hyperbole goes a long way.)

* * *

Damn, I'm tired.
Wednesday, February 1st, 2017
4:30 pm
#5443: Clean your heat sink once in a while!
I got Floristica on May 26, 2014 and in the past two years and eight months I have not once dusted out the thing. It was a display model so I made sure it was clean before putting it under my desk; otherwise, I've done nothing.

Over the past few weeks, the fan noises have been nagging at me. Even when just going into Pale Moon, I'd hear something spooling up inside, and finally I recalled that when I got this machine it was never this loud, even with WoW going full blast. This led me to twig to the realization that something is probably clogged with fuzz.

So today I shut 'er down and pulled 'er out from under the desk, and yanked the cover, and--sure enough--there was a lot of lint clogging the heat sinks. The big vent grille on the side was choked with it. The exhaust fan was clogged. The heat sinks for the processor and on the video card had neat circles of lint around the edges of the fans.

Took a can of compressed hydroflurocarbon, blew all that crap out. Then I got Mrs. Fungus' machine (a scant three months newer) and blew it out, though her machine wasn't as bad off since it's higher off the floor than mine is.

Done with that, I fired up Floristica, went into WoW...and she's utterly silent again. That'll do.
1:02 am
#5442: What is this I don't even--
Last night, winding down, Mrs. Fungus was channel surfing and came across an ep of Bob's Burgers wherein--

No, it's too complicated to explain, except to say that it was a parody of the whole My Little Pony "Brony" phenomenon, and it was seriously disturbing on a great many levels. But then a commercial break began, and was announced with a title card showing one monkey scratching another's butt. For thirty very, very long seconds.

Mrs. Fungus: "Why are we alive?"

Me: "I don't know, darling. I just don't know."
Tuesday, January 31st, 2017
11:53 am
#5441: Proof you can buy your way to bestseller status.
"...[H]ow could Tor Books possibly know, six weeks before the first book in the series is published, that the forthcoming series is 'The New York Times Bestselling Series'?"

And I just don't have anything to add to that.

* * *

Last night I made some edits to Apocalyptic Visions and forged ahead with an additional two pages. Things progress, slowly.

The story begins in January. I have progressed through June. August is when shit starts getting real. Between June and August I must set up two other plot lines; then I can finally get to the fun part and start blowing shit up.

As I said before, this story has two interstellar wars in it. I can't wait.

* * *

Well, that's two blog posts in as many hours. I need to go back to bed for more sleep.
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