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Atomic Fungus
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Below are 20 journal entries, after skipping by the 20 most recent ones recorded in atomic_fungus' LiveJournal:

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Wednesday, September 7th, 2016
12:32 pm
#5318: Horse[dung]
Chicago's chief of police says that the violence in Chicago is because "people are desperate".

That is horseshit.

The violence in Chicago is occurring because people are in gangs and the gangs are the source of most of the violence. The people who are not in gangs are not the ones doing the shooting; for the most part the non-gang populace of Chicago--regardless of color or socio-economic status--do not go around shooting at people.

The violence in Chicago is perpetrated by a very, very tiny fraction of its population. I recall the statistic being something like 100,000 people--or some number around that order of magnitude, at any rate.

The problem is gangs and drugs. Still.

* * *

Leprosy in southern California. Why are all these third-world diseases suddenly cropping up? Does it have anything to do with unlimited immigration?

The good thing is, leprosy is generally not very communicable. Most people are immune to it, and it's treatable with antibiotics.

* * *

Pilot transposes position figures while getting airplane ready for takeoff, and a fiasco ensues.

When I read the description of what happened, I want to recoil in horror at the stupidity on display. Does the airplane not have any mechanical backup instruments at all? Does it have an entirely glass cockpit? Why are there not separate instruments showing heading and attitude?

...so the airplane was left with altitude, airspeed, and vertical speed, and no other instruments. A modern jet airliner was reduced to a couple more working flight instruments than a WWI Sopwith Camel, but was no more instrument capable. All of this was done through human error and the system was not robust enough that recovery was possible while still flying. How the hell is that possible?


* * *

I agree with Denninger. There's no excuse for ransomware that encrypts your hard drive being able to do so. Whenever any program tries to put something malicious into your disk I/O subsystem it should raise all kinds of Cain.

* * *

Well, it's Wednesday, and tomorrow is "back to work day". *sigh* I still have to get the grass cut, and "miles to go" before I can do it. Guess I'd better get moving.
Tuesday, September 6th, 2016
11:42 am
#5317: Parkinson's Disease?
Apparently Parkinson's Disease (PD) fits the bill for all the bizzare symptoms Hillary has been showing.

Look, there's absolutely nothing shameful about contracting something like PD. It's no reflection on her character (her actions are enough to demonstrate that) but it does mean that she's not fit for office. The stress of being President would keep her from functioning.

Besides, the next step in the progression is dementia, and the last thing any country needs is a leader whose grip on reality has begun to slip.

She can't control her coughing. The mainstream media is uncritically parroting the Clinton party line that it's "allergies" but allergies do not make you cough your lungs out. They make you sneeze; they may cause enough postnasal drip that you'll have to clear your throat a lot (ask me how I know) but they don't make you cough.

She needs bed rest more than she needs to be President.

* * *

This salt is 280 million years old, but if it's not used in three years it's no longer fit for consumption. Government in action! It must be regulated, or else PEOPLE WILL DIE!

* * *

Because sex is not a social construct, boys and girls prefer different colors and toys. Your attempt at getting them to use sex-neutral ("gender-neutral") toys will fail because boys and girls like different things. This is entirely natural and normal, and you're an idiot.

* * *

So, had this going through my head for the past few days:

Absolutely no interest in watching the show; the few eps I saw when living in Cedar Rapids convinced me that it wasn't my thing. But I did like the theme song.
1:05 am
#5316: What the hell--?
Mrs. Fungus got pulled over this evening and ticketed for having an expired license plate.

Now, it's been six months since her plates were due for renewal. I remember her making the call to renew her plates. I remember her asking me to put the sticker on the car. I remember doing it.

...there is no sticker on the plates. Well, there is, but it's last year's. And the corners of that sticker have curled up, almost as if someone had been trying to peel a sticker off. Those stickers are supposed to self-destruct if you try to remove them, but I'm sure there's a way to get around that problem.

Here's the thing: I could see getting away with an expired plate for a month, maybe two--but six? This isn't the south side of Chicago; this is the Fungal Vale, where driving past a closed business after dark gets you accosted by a squad of cops. Where I got pulled over because my license plate light was out and it was "obscured" by a line of rust. Where I got pulled over for having a headlight out.

The story she told me sounded fishy, too. The cop was telling her that she was lucky, as he was going to save her "a trip to Markham" (the nearest county jail). Who the hell is taken to jail for an expired license plate? And the cop gave her her license back--since when do you get your license back when you're being cited?

So we'll go to the DMV on Wednesday and get a new sticker for the plate--and I'll pull all the old stickers off, and put the new sticker on again--and pay the fine, and chalk it up to experience. What the fuck.

* * *

Today, at my job, we had a reduced schedule. I only had to work eight hours today. I got there at 12:30 and was there until 9 PM, and it felt marvelous to be working an eight hour (rather than a nine hour) day.

We were told, a few days ago, that our employer would provide lunch today, since we had to work. How nice, right? Well, in inimitable fashion, my employer managed to make a hash of it.

I get there at 12:30 and am doing my job, and after I'd been there about an hour and a half, multiple broadcast messages kept popping up on my screen: "Bring your ticket to the lunchroom when it's time for your lunch break, and [General Manager] will serve you!"

My lunch break was at 4:30, so the fact that I had not yet been given a ticket did not really bother me. But the day wore on, and still no ticket--well, since my supervisor wasn't there, I'd just go bug one from another team, is all.

About 2:30 so I hit the can, and saw that the leftovers from the morning shift's lunch were sitting on a table in the middle of the call center. I snagged a (cold) hot dog and ate it in four bites.

Along about 3:30-ish or so I went to the restroom again, and had a look in the lunchroom to see if they were setting up for evening shift's lunch--and the place was deserted.

This, I thought, does not look good.

Let me make a long story short: there was no lunch for evening shift. Evening shift got morning shift's leftovers, which consisted of a couple cases of tepid bottled water and a box of snack-size Fritos packages. Evening shift was not given tickets because there was no lunch for evening shift.

I should complain about this.

Thursday I should seek out the general manager and complain about this, and about the fact that it has now been over two weeks since I first requested a replacement badge from my supervisor, and I am still waiting for one even though it's now been a week since I asked my supervisor's boss, the operations manager, for a new badge. I should complain about being stuck at work on August 28th because the security guard was nowhere to be found for forty-five frickin' minutes and because no one could be arsed to get me a new badge. I should also complain about not having a supervisor whose schedule aligns with mine, and therefore having to go begging for help and being moved all over the call center and not being able to sit at my desk. About feeling marginalized, about feeling like no one cares about my career development or anything other than me sitting in that desk and being on the phone. About the fact that the "10 commitments" they have plastered on every wall in the joint simply do not apply to me.


What a pisser. How hard is it to fuck up something as simple as, "Hey, we'll give the crew hot dogs!"

* * *

But it's now my weekend, and I'm going to enjoy it. Even though I have to cut the grass and go to the DMV. *sigh*
Sunday, September 4th, 2016
9:07 pm
#5315: No. Just no.
It's always easy to know when a book is going to be really, really crappy. Arse Technica features it. Their book reviews are relatively new but not a-one of them has sounded like a good story; so far they're 100% in the "crap" category, and Underground Airlines continues the trend.

This book is an alternate history where the Civil War never happened, and so we have airlines and the Internet alongside...slavery.


Here's the thing: slavery is always an economic decision. The antebellum south needed slaves to pick cotton because no one had invented a machine which could do it. The cotton gin had been invented (mechanizing the process of removing seeds from cotton bolls) but picking the bolls still required human hands. But these days, one machine can pick an entire field of cotton in less time than an army of slaves could.

By the time the US fought the Civil War--which was an economic war, not solely about slavery--slavery was already a dying institution. It hung on in the south mainly because the south had become an economic colony of the north, and its industrialization was lagging behind. Absent the Civil War, slavery was still doomed, because machines don't need food and water and clothing and shelter--and they don't usually escape, either, and they're much cheaper over their operational lifetime than the slaves required to do the work a machine can. The only advantage a slave has over a machine is that they self-replicate.

So--in a modern industrialized society where things like cars and tape players are mass-produced, slavery is not only economically impossible but stupid. Paying someone minimum wage is cheaper than owning him, for crying out loud, because that way you don't have to provide food-shelter-clothing-etc, and someone who used slave labor to do anything would be out-competed by someone with paid laborers, because "slaves" does not mean "free labor" but "complex meat robots you have to take care of. And guard. And feed. And house. And clothe. And--"

If you have cell phones, you have robots--believe me, you have robots, because a modern cell phone cannot be assembled by hand, not if you want it to cost less than fifteen thousand dollars. Every component on a cell phone circuit board must be placed there, and a pick-and-place machine can do a circuit board in a minute or two, perfectly, all day long--while human labor would require an hour or more per board, could only work a few hours at a time, and would make mistakes to boot.

Just reading the review I can see that this is a story written to make a point; it's not meant to be entertaining. And that opinion was confirmed by this: "Underground Airlines is really another way of talking about how the real-life legacy of slavery continues to affect all of us."

Look, dude: I've never owned any slaves. All the black people I have ever met have never picked any cotton. There is no legacy of slavery. The institution of slavery in the United States ended in 1865, which was a hundred and fifty frickin' years ago. No one alive today has been victimized by it, nor has any living person profited from it. It's time to get over it.

And look at this horseshit:
The most fascinating stuff in Underground Airlines is in the details—Winters has clearly thought a lot about what the 150+ years since Lincoln’s assassination would have looked like. The result is a United States that is much more isolated from the global community. Under something called the European Consensus, most countries refuse to do business with a nation that still has slaves.
Oh--so how much of Europe is being ground under the heel of the USSR? Because if the US was actually "isolated from the global community" that would imply that we didn't wade into WW1 and WW2, but had instead let Europe stand or fall on its own--and absent US involvement in European politics after WW2, the USSR would have been all over that shit.

My point is, the writer clearly has not really thought a lot about what it would look like if Lincoln had been assassinated before the war, rather than after. Because if he'd looked at economics instead of SOCIAL JUSTICE!!!111one-one, he would have realized a couple of important things. 1) that slavery doesn't exist without the economic need for it; and 2) if the US was still an economic powerhouse the other nations would fall all over themselves to do business here. "Most countries refuse to do business with a nation that still has slaves"? Does this guy live in a world without OPEC?

This is a bunch of fatuous crap.
Saturday, September 3rd, 2016
9:12 pm
#5314: Time for a new career in testing the cranio-ductility of masonry.
I think it would be less of a headache than my current job.

* * *

Illinois' state budget is crooked and evil. Which should not surprise anyone.

* * *

Chicago's gang problem continues to spiral out of control.

* * *

I was thinking about something the other day.

I was thinking about how--in my primary SF universe--a tyrant seizes control of the government and his reign lasts about six months, which is about as long as it takes for a force of ships to arrive from a colony which recently declared, fought for, and won its independence.

The first thing that came to mind was the realization that if you fire a 50 megawatt beam laser in atmosphere, anyone within a few miles of it would be lucky if he were only struck blind. Remember that video I linked to a couple months ago, where the guy built a 200 watt blue laser gun and had to wear a modified welding helmet to protect his vision from the light of the Rayleigh scattering? (Which is to say, laser light scattering off the air molecules?) Now multiply that by a factor of 250,000 and that's how seriously bad for you it would be to be in the same county as that laser cannon when it was firing.

Short form: 50 megawatt beam cannon=NO.


But it was a nice image while it lasted. I can still do the massive laser cannons in New York City; they just have to be less...potent. Probably pulsed instead of beam, too, but that's also not really a problem. Beam cannons that big are fine for operations in outer space, but not in atmosphere.

The other thing: it occurred to me this evening that the tyrant in question--having, so far, no real meat to his character other than a name and a few actions--could easily be a transvestite or something, and it would fit perfectly with the mileiu and look at J. Edgar Hoover, for cripes' sake. (Allegedly.)

In general I've been trying to figure out how to write something other than blog posts, and failing. The other day I looked over the first chunk of a story I wrote about the first man to visit Alpha Centauri, and realized there were at least three things which I had unconsciously done which are stock-standard modern SF horseshit:

1) The ship's astrogator is a black African woman who developed the techniques used on the ship for astrogation. (Heinlein could get away with this. Not me.)

2) The ship's security officer is a woman. (Granted, 90% of the crew is pasty scientists and she could probably beat half of them up even if they all rushed her, but if even one of them has any knowledge of fighting or martial arts whatsoever she'd be toast.)

3) I made sure to check off all kinds of racial boxes, and the antagonist is a white man.

There was something that bothered me about the story, and I couldn't quite put my finger on it, until now. It's going to have to be edited severely. I'm going to de-PC the damned thing, and then I'll have something worthwhile to build on.

Plus side, though, is that even though I can't figure out where to start my "decline and fall of..." story, I am getting some work done on it. Here and there.
Wednesday, August 31st, 2016
4:24 pm
#5313: A gorgeous last day of August
Temps in the low 70s, dewpoint 60, windows open and fans off. Yahoo.

* * *

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say (again) that they can't find dark matter because there is no dark matter to be found. Like the luminiferous ether, it's a theory based on an incorrect assumption about the nature of the universe.
Most jarringly, dark matter could be largely illusory, indicative of a flaw in our understanding of gravity via Einstein's theory of general relativity. Various theories of "modified gravity" that suggest the force weakens under certain circumstances can explain some dark matter observations--particularly the dynamics of galaxies--but struggle to account for dark matter–attributed details astronomers see in galaxy clusters and in the big bang's afterglow.
At this point, I'd say this is the most likely scenario.

* * *

Speaking of the most likely scenario, the SETI signal is man-made and did not come from that star some 91 light-years distant. It was ever thus.

* * *

The federal government plays a role in ensuring that medical care remains expensive. Because the government has set itself up as gatekeeper, EpiPen has a monopoly on automatic adrenaline injectors, and can charge whatever it likes for one. So about $0.10 worth of generic epinephrine costs $500 with the fancy packaging.
When Mylan decided to sell EpiPens for $300, in any normal system somebody would have made their own EpiPens and sold them for less. It wouldn't have been hard. Its active ingredient, epinephrine, is off-patent, was being synthesized as early as 1906, and costs about ten cents per EpiPen-load.

Why don't they? They keep trying, and the FDA keeps refusing to approve them for human use. For example, in 2009, a group called Teva Pharmaceuticals announced a plan to sell their own EpiPens in the US. The makers of the original EpiPen sued them, saying that they had patented the idea epinephrine-injecting devices. Teva successfully fended off the challenge and brought its product to the FDA, which rejected it because of "certain major deficiencies". As far as I know, nobody has ever publicly said what the problem was--we can only hope they at least told Teva.
I'll tell you what those "certain major deficiencies" are: Teva didn't bribe enough congressmen or FDA officials. ("EpiPen manufacturer Mylan Inc spends about a million dollars on lobbying per year.")

Turns out there is an alternative, called "Adrenaclick", but FDA regulations require that if the doctor writes an RX for "EpiPen", that's what the pharmacist must fill; he can't substitute a generic:
If you know anything at all about doctors, you know that they have way too much institutional inertia to change from writing one word on a prescription pad to writing a totally different word on a prescription pad, especially if the second word is almost twice as long, and especially especially if it’s just to do something silly like save a patient money. I have an attending who, whenever we are dealing with anything other than a life-or-death matter, just dismisses it with "Nobody ever died from X", and I can totally hear him saying "Nobody ever died from paying extra for an adrenaline injector". So Adrenaclick continues to languish in obscurity.
Emphasis mine. As with an RX I once picked up for Mrs. Fungus: why prescribe the $10 drug when you can prescribe one that costs $93?

The last four paragraphs are a must-read. And this is why pharmaceuticals cost so much in the United States.

* * *

The mainstream media is finishing a task it started in 2008.

* * *

Anti-fracking ballot initiatives fail to get enough signatures in Colorado. Because most people like having good jobs.

* * *

This is because climatology is not science. Climatology is a religion--a cult--which is why it cannot tolerate skeptics and naysayers.

* * *

If you want to know how bad the global economy is doing I suggest looking no further than here, where we are told the 7th biggest global shipper is in bankruptcy. Hanjin. How many times do you drive down the highway and see a semi hauling a Hanjin container?

This is bad, bad, bad news.

* * *

Chicago does not have a gun problem. Chicago has a gang problem. It's had a gang problem for a long time.

* * *

Today's XKCD:

I got a laugh out of that one.
Tuesday, August 30th, 2016
11:01 pm
#5312: The advantage of business over government
Took the Jeep to the usual place to get smogged. Doing this on the penultimate day of the month is not the best time, and if I'd had a choice I wouldn't have. First time in a very long one that I had to wait. There was a long line of vehicles, so long that it trailed out into the street. I drove past at first, not understanding; then turned around and took my place in line, in the street.

I had intended--hoped--to get this over with quickly enough that I could make it to the DMV to get the plates renewed today. Knowing that I had slept in on purpose and with malice aforethought, I had nonetheless hoped to get it all done in one swell foop. But with that kind of line, I realized ruefully, it wasn't going to happen.

As I waited, I noticed vehicles pulling into and out of the little parking lot adjoining the test facility, but I didn't really think much of it. Twenty minutes after I finally got into the driveway, I pulled into a test bay. That part took two minutes, roughly...and in the little room they have you wait in during the test, there was advertising. It was pretty obvious that the emissions testing had been contracted out to a private company, because for one thing there was a flyer there advising that they were looking for part-time workers to run emissions tests. ($8 an hour!) But the one which was most important to me was a little standing box of handbills which gave important news.

They renew plates right there. It costs an extra $7.50 to do it.

$7.50--my time is worth a hell of a lot more than that to me. If I were to go to the DMV to get my plates renewed, even assuming I could have done it today? Fight asshole traffic to get there, stand in line at the door to get permission from one bureaucrat to go deeper into the building (even though I know where to go) and then stand in line there to get my plates renewed. What would it take, an hour from the time I left the testing facility? Probably ninety minutes, assuming I got there in time, and I couldn't remember if the DMV closed at 5 or 6. In all liklihood I could have done it--I was in a testing bay by 4:30--but it would be a pain.

Test passed, I went around the building and parked, and after that I waited five minutes to get my renewal sticker; and instead of having to fight my way through Chicago Heights to the DMV, I was able to go right home. That was a well-spent $7.50.

That's the difference between private business and government. Someone was smart enough to realize that if they were to use part of the little office space tacked onto the testing bays as a place where people could renew their license plates--because that's the only reason people come there, is to get their vehicles tested so they can renew their plates!--if they did that, they could make money charging a convenience fee. And people will pay it to avoid waiting in line for half an hour at the DMV.

...so tomorrow, now, I don't have to futz with it.

* * *

Before all that, of course, I replaced the O2 sensor. The replacement has been sitting on my desk since last Thursday. That was just a matter of remove and replace; I didn't even have to jack up the truck.

Here's the oddity: I remember that the Jeep did not, at first, complain about the O2 sensor, that the "check engine" light stayed out for a few days after my repair job. Well, apparently the light came on because the sensor was unplugged. The wrench I picked wasn't quite fitting the O2 sensor well enough to pop it loose, so I wanted to put the box end over it, but I needed to pull the cable through it--and that's when I realized the harness end was missing. Where--? Oh, great, it's by the friggin' transfer case.

I'm lucky it didn't wrap around the drive shaft. Replacing that f-ing connector would have sucked.

Anyway, got it in and buttoned up and safely fastened up out of the way, and pulled the battery cable, and everything worked fine.

I'm thinking that the broken wire on the old sensor was the ground wire. Having a broken ground shouldn't matter in a vehicle, where everything is grounded to the chassis; that's probably why it worked and I could probably have gotten away with just hooking the plug back up and letting it go, had I known. But I'd run the chance of getting all the way over to the testing station only to fail, because maybe the O2 sensor would work well enough to keep the light off but still throw codes, you know?

And the sensor cost about $37 with shipping. F it.

So for the first time in months I drove my truck without the "check engine" light on, and I'm now having to get used to it being off. Well, this is progress.

I hope the thing continues to get 20 MPG and doesn't go back to 18.

* * *

Other little bit: had to get gas, as the "low fuel" light went on while I was driving home yesterday. As I was driving up to the gas station, I saw the price changing; it went from $2.389 to $2.349 as I watched. Kind of neat, something I've not seen before. I've seen the guy out there changing numbers by hand, but not a digital display changing. And it was even in the right direction. With my Shell Rewards card I saved an extra $0.03, too.

* * *

Oh! Sunday--

Sunday I got off work at 6:35. That's when I punched out.

See, my anniversary was the 17th, and my ID badge stopped working at the scanners, so I now have to get a temporary badge at the security desk. I have to surrender my driver's license to get one. On Sunday the 21st I told my supervisor that I needed a new ID badge; that request disappeared into the ether and my sup went on vacation on Monday. So a week later, still no badge, and I was still tendering my DL to get a temp ID every day. Yeah. Including Sunday.

So I punch out at 6:35, delighted that I was able to leave after a pretty positive call, and I went to the desk to claim my DL and go home.

No guard.

Okay, people gotta hit the can once in a while, and I know the guard also has to walk around the place every so often. That shouldn't take very long, I figured. There's a little office behind the desk which is security-related, so after waiting ten minutes I knocked on the door, to no avail.

So after waiting at the desk for twenty minutes, I sought out the operations manager on duty. "How does one find the security guard when he's not at his desk?"

"Oh...well, he's probably doing rounds. You'll have to look for him. Try looking in the lunchroom or down by the classrooms."

Thanks a ton, you useless shithead.

I wander around, I wait at the front desk some more, I wander around some more--finally stopping at my desk and putting in a change request for my punch-out time to reflect the fact that it is now 7:16 PM, forty-five minutes after I punched out, and I'm held prisoner because my ID is being held hostage for a stupid ID and the goddamned security guard is nowhere to be found--and then I head out to the security desk to wait some more. Mirabile visu the guard is there, and I am shortly on my way.

Low fuel light is on; on my way to the highway I miss the turn to the gas station, and I decide to hit a gas station somewhere on the way home. I am too angry at the security guard stupidity at work to think coherently, so it's not until I'm some miles down the road that I realize how low the gas gauge is. Realizing that I need fuel soonest, I activate the GPS and have it locate a gas station for me.

Does it give directions, such as "Bob's Gas and Stuff, NE 1.4 mi"? Hell no! It gives an arrow, and no indication of what that arrow means. I figure it's map orientation, meaning that when it's pointing up that means north, so when I select the one that I'm taking to be 1.8 miles south of me--as I am heading south anyway--the fucking thing tells me to turn around and get back on the highway going north! I cancel that one, find a place to pull off the local road, select the next nearest one, and head out.

It takes me to a vacant lot. Okay, the next nearest one is a couple more miles away, let's go there...it takes me to a vacant storefront. Look, I know the GPS is out of date, but come on! This place isn't even a gas station, and it never was! What the fuck.

Seething mad now, and worried about the fuel state, I pick another gas station, which is three miles away in the opposite direction I was just traveling. Of course I get behind a fucking shithead who can only go about 42 in a 45 zone. By the time I near my destination I am fit to be tied.

But it's a gas station. An open, operating gas station. It's not the one the GPS said was there, but I don't even care about that. I pull in and it's 7:40 PM, which is 10 minutes after I usually get home.

$20 later, I'm heading back to the highway. In the meantime I've taken a call from Mrs. Fungus, who had been apprised of my plight and who was suggesting we go to that good mexican place with the huge chimichangas. Deciding that food and a margerita would help my mood immensely, I agreed.

They did.
2:05 pm
#5311: Wait, what?
When demand for large aircraft declines, Boeing raises its prices. Perhaps I don't understand the economics of the sales of heavy equipment such as commercial aircraft, but that seems counterintuitive to me. Then again, when you are one of the two manufacturers for such equipment in the world, I guess it's not really a problem. Especially when
The Boeing slowdown, however, pales in comparison to the plunge in global demand for Airbus poroducts: sales at the European conglomerate have slowed to a net 323 through July this year. That compares with 1,080 in all of 2015. Airbus prices range from about $88.6 million for an A319 up to $428 million for the double-decker A380.
In other news, Bill Gates could buy an A380 for about half of a percent of his net worth. How's that for "rich"?

* * *

There is still a welfare cliff. It's just higher up than it used to be. And it ensures that people who live on the dole will stay there, just the same way it did forty years ago.

* * *

For volcanoes, earthquakes usually presage an eruption. And it's been about six years since Mount WTF ("Eyjafjallajökull") erupted, and at the time people were talking about Katla.

A computer animation of the last day in Pompeii.

* * *

This friggin' idiot was almost President. I'm so glad John F'in Kerry didn't get elected. He can do so much less damage as Secretary of State. "Oh, you know, if the press didn't report terrorist attacks, people wouldn't know about it, and we'd all be better off!"

An utterly fatuous man, this ridiculous gigolo John Kerry.

* * *

The fortunate thing about executive orders? If Trump wins in November, he can negate this horseshit. The President only has the power to sign treaties; he does not have the power to ratify them. Clinton and the Democrats used that to good effect; Clinton signed Kyoto knowing that the Senate would never ratify that stupid, utterly useless crap. Clinton got props from all the lefties for doing it, but never placed the United States in danger of having to live up to it. Win-win.

Obama, however, is much more of a true believer than Clinton was. Clinton was primarily in it for Clinton; if that meant throwing a few bones to the hoople-heads he didn't really mind so long as it didn't interrupt the flow of willing interns. Leftism was a tool for Clinton, something he probably believed in but mainly it was to get money, power, and chicks. Obama, on the other hand, was raised on a steady diet of leftism; he's a red diaper baby. Which is why Obama doesn't mind doing everything he did, leaving us much, much worse off after eight years.

* * *

This is correct. I have not written much about the idiot mulatto muslim NFL quarterback, who refused to stand for the national anthem because the US oppresses black people while employed at his job which is earning him about twenty million dollars a year.

I have not written much about it because I honestly don't give a fuck what a spoiled, entitled, rich brat says or does. Particularly not one employed in the entertainment industry. I do, in fact, expect this kind of horseshit from that class of person. I expect it because people who live in that mode are constantly told they are the best and it's all "Yes, sir! You're brilliant, sir! Absolutely at once, sir!" all the time, so they get to thinking that they're special, and because there are absolutely no checks and balances against their idiocy whatsoever--"no" men get fired immediately--eventually they come to think that their politics are the ultimate of ideology, and they act accordingly.

If this idiot were instead an average mixed-race man, sitting in the stands instead of on the field, no one would give a fuck about what he did OR his reasons for doing it. And that's how I feel about it.

Does he have a right not to stand for the national anthem? Absolutely. "Freedom of expression," as Borepatch remarks. The day everyone has to stand for the national anthem or end up in jail, we're fucked.

But the thing I find fatuous and annoying about this is how an extremely rich man who is never going to want for anything is doing this because "black people are oppressed". He's going to reap big rewards for doing this--it's not going to ruin his career, not the way praying and thanking Jesus for his success would--and he'll go on shows and talk about racial oppression blah blah blah etcetera.

And that will be the sum of his sacrifice for his cause.

He's not going to eschew his $100 million paycheck, nor will he take a "living wage" from it but donate the rest to the cause he so bravely remained seated to uphold. He's going to continue to play football and get paid wheelbarrows full of money to do it, all the while denigrating the very country that enabled him to do so.

I've never cared about football. I still don't. So by not watching football I'm not hurting the fortunes of this dicklick or the NFL one iota. But I'm not the only person who thinks that this sort of "protest" is nothing but the rankest ingratitude, and many of the people who feel the same do (or, at least, did) watch pro football. And maybe they won't. Maybe people who used to buy 49'ers tickets will think twice about it.

Pro football is entertainment and it does not do for an entertainer to piss off half his customers. And if the fortunes of the 49'ers suffer because of this, well, "freedom of expression" cuts both ways.

And someone should tell the idiot the old aphorism about opening your mouth and removing all doubt.

* * *

This article is from 2009 but no less true. And today I comment on this:
Aside from the police officers constantly on patrol, a sure sign that you are in a black school is the coke cage: the chain-link fence that many majority-black schools use to protect vending machines. The cage surrounds the machine and even covers its top. Delivery employees have to unlock a gate on the front of the cage to service the machines. Companies would prefer not to build cages around vending machines. They are expensive, ugly, and a bother, but black students smashed the machines so many times it was cheaper to build a cage than repair the damage. Rumor had it that before the cages went up blacks would turn the machines upside down in the hope that the money would fall out.
The proper solution to that conundrum is no more vending machines. But of course it's raciss to take out the vending machines because the special snowflakes keep destroying them.

* * *

Using a USB device as a software-defined radio for infecting air-gapped computers. This is why, when watching a movie that contains a machine intelligence doing seemingly impossible things, like controlling an otherwise unconnected device, I do not get annoyed.

* * *

Well, Legion went live last night. Mrs. Fungus and I were on when it happened.

The original Ormus, on Aggramar, was who I chose to start with. He's the closest thing I have to a main character, so off we went. I was wandering around Stormwind trying to get the Fel Spreader toy by looking for the demon infiltrator Doomsayer, and when one finally appeared I hung at the periphery of the conflict and popped spells at him as quick as I could. When the demon died, I got the Fel Spreader...and as I headed towards the portal to Dalaran I noticed that the text box said I'd earned 158 XP...and then saw the experience bar. Ormus has not had one since he hit 100th level, a few months or so after Warlords of Draenor came out. When you hit the level cap, it goes away--and now it was back.

"Hey, honey!" I yelled to my wife, who was in the family room. "Ormus has an experience bar!"

"What? Is it starting?"

"I think so!"

It was 1:40 AM, and a few moments later the lead-in quest for the expansion popped up on my screen. It had indeed begun. We played until 3, enough time to get started with the new expansion and get a feel for how it would be, but fatigue and necessity forced us to go to bed--we have errands to run and tasks to accomplish on our weekend. We'd ordinarily go to bed around 1 or 2 on a regular work night, so it wasn't that much outside of routine, and we were able to sleep until noon today, which is good enough.

The fights I faced on the class quests (the ones leading to your class hall and legendary weapon) were tough, but only tough enough--challenging without being impossible for anyone who doesn't subsist on a diet of Mountain Dew and Skittles. Ormus died once, and that only happened because the monster I was fighting did that annoying thing where it evades and resets back to full health, still attacking me who is at 40% health with half my abilities on cooldown. It was a glitch; I could have beaten him if the fight had been fair.

Looking forward to seeing more of it. But not now; first I need to replace the Jeep's O2 sensor, then get her smogged, and if I have time I'll go to the DMV today to get the plate renewed. We'll see.
1:07 am
#5310: "Strong signal"?
It's 91 light years away. SETI may or may not have found something very interesting (check out the Wikipedia entry) but SETI does not often see a radio signal like this.

Guess we'll find out late next month.

* * *

Red Cross is a racket. Not donating to them, then.

* * *

People need sleep. Our society places an emphasis on denying yourself sleep--you're bad if you sleep "too much". But people need sleep. Not sleeping is bad for you.

* * *

Case in point: I'm tired.
Saturday, August 27th, 2016
8:27 pm
#5309: Saturday, and holy crap
Man, what a pisser that weekend change-up is. Get home at 11 PM, maybe get in bed by 12:30, and then up at 7. Today I didn't make it; I turned off the alarm on the phone, intending to get up, and then...didn't.

Ended up being two hours late, because I got up two hours late.

How hard is it to remember? No matter how awake you feel, DON'T TURN THE ALARM OFF UNTIL YOU ARE OUT OF BED. *sigh*

The rest of the day was pretty good, though. I didn't have to deal with any shitheads and I did not need a supervisor's assistance even once today. I call that a good day.

* * *

Old Mugabe is still doing his thing as tyrant of Zimbabwe. He wants to arrest the Zimbabwe Olympic team because they didn't win any medals. He probably wants to recycle the medals to boost the economy of his country.

* * *

"NASA nows says that the 0.1 PPM rise in atmospheric CO2 during 1830 caused the climate to start collapsing." That's right; the atmosphere is so sensitive to man-made climate change that a change of one-tenth of one millionth of the atmosphere is enough to cause catastrophic, runaway global warming.

Here's a hint: if the atmospheric temperature were actually that unstable, we would already be living on Venus.

* * *

"Farmers & scientists race to keep you alive".

* * *

So, had to buy another light bulb for the microwave. The one inside the box is good, but the one that lights the stove under the microwave blows out about 2-3 times a year, depending on how often it's turned on and off. Power failure while we were out swimming nuked it most recently.

Replacement cost: $4.19 at the nearest store, plus tax. I bought this. Even with shipping, it cost less than two incandescent bulbs from the store; if it lasts just one year I'll have gotten my money's worth. And it'll use less electricity to boot.

The three-pack of LED bulbs I bought a couple of months ago has been very nice. One went into the desk lamp; one went into the bedside lamp; and the third went into my reading lamp in the family room. They give nice, bright, cool light--I no longer have to worry about burning myself when adjusting the reading lamp, as I did with the incandescent and even the CFL.

Incidentally, butter costs as much per pound as that light bulb. It was only a couple of years ago that $4.19 would buy you two pounds of butter with tax.

But there's no inflation.

* * *

I had thought I might put the O2 sensor into the Jeep either today or tomorrow. It won't be today. We'll see how we do, I guess. As long as I can get the Jeep smogged on Tuesday and the plates renewed on Wednesday, no one cares.

It's a party! Whee!
Friday, August 26th, 2016
12:36 am
#5308: It's a depression. What do you expect?
It's so bad, dollar stores are hurting.
If there was any confusion about how the lower half of the US consumer class is doing these days, it was quickly lifted following today's distressing earnings calls of dollar store titans, Dollar General and Dollar Tree.

Discount retailer Dollar General said it was cutting prices on its most popular items such as bread, eggs and milk, intensifying a price war among already commoditized products with retail giant Wal-Mart Stores to win back falling market share. It shares fell the most on record, plunging by 18% after the company missed on revenue, blaming aggressive competition, lower food prices and reduction in SNAP, or food stamp, coverage in 20 key states.
Well, no one said it would be easy.

* * *

Oregon is outlawing coal power which means that electricity will cost more and be less plentiful there. Whee!

* * *

As a curmudgeon, Fred is granted license to say things like this:
For the moment, let us assume that all of the complaints of blacks and their allies are correct. All right. We have done that. Now what?

There seems to be no solution. The underlying problem that will not go away is that blacks as a race have not shown themselves able to function in a modern society. Degrees and exceptions yes, but the central fact remains. One is not supposed to say this, and would that it were not true, but it is.
But of course that's raciss, you know....

* * *

More about the planet Proxima b. I've already started thinking about a story I was previously working on which would fit that (possible) world well. If it's got an atmosphere, it could be about 30°C on the dayside. Make it 50°--why not?--and it'll fit my ideas for that story pretty well.

I'm going to have some fun.

* * *

Because warriors are now fun to play again, I dusted off Calandraxyzz, the second--or third?--toon I ever made in WoW. And it's been fun to go kill demons in the pre-expac invasion events.

* * *

The O2 sensor I ordered for the Jeep on Tuesday arrived today, a day earlier than expected. I could have paid $56 for the thing from O'Reilly's, but Rockauto had it for $37 delivered with expedited shipping--kind of hard to pass on saving $20 on the exact same part and have it in hand in two days. I need this to get the Jeep smogged--it won't pass with the "check engine light" illuminated--so I can then get the plates renewed this coming Wednesday.

My only worry is that the Jeep will go back to getting 18 MPG. Well, I can always unplug it, I suppose....
Wednesday, August 24th, 2016
3:26 pm
#5307: Tired of this, too.
"Remember when this health stuff mattered?" The hypocrisy of the Democrat-media complex is nothing new.

2000: Al Gore, having served as VP for 8 years, has "gravitas" that George Bush, Governor of Texas, does not have.
2008: Barack Hussein Obama doesn't need to have executive experience to be a good President. Besides, he's in charge of his campaign!

2008: John McCain is old and even though he looks good now, his age means his health is questionable. We have to worry about this! We should elect Obama because he's young!
2016: Hillary Clinton has a whole slew of reported health problems, including an inability to climb stairs, but we have to elect her President because First Woman President and LOOK HALLEY'S COMET!

Whatever is wrong with Hillary's health--and there are some serious questions about it which our media is entirely uninterested in asking--it's obvious that she's less fit to be President now than McCain was in 2008.

File this under "left-wing bias in the press". On which, not to put too fine a point on it, I am tired of commenting.

* * *

Nobody is worried that Hillary is talking about silencing someone critical of her? Does this not concern anyone in the media that Hillary is talking about quashing people who speak against her?

I suppose the media thinks that Hillary would be satisfied with crushing Breitbart out of existence. I also guess they think that's where it would end. But of course this kind of thing doesn't end; feeding it makes it worse. Eventually there wouldn't be a single reporter in the country who would dare say anything about Hillary which was even slightly negative...and they'd all wonder "How did it come to this?"

Well, it came to that because you didn't immediately stand up and blast the airwaves with this story about how Hillary wants to crush freedom of expression, but instead kept it quiet and helped her get elected.

Reading Red Storm Rising reminded me of an unpleasant historical fact: in the Soviet Union, people could not express themselves. The story reminded me that under communism the USSR was a place where people couldn't speak their minds, and saying anything critical of the Party or government was a good way to land yourself in the gulag.

That's what Hillary wants: she wants to be able to punish anyone who says anything negative about her. If you think she'd stop feeling that way after crushing Breitbart, you're delusional.

* * *

Is there any way we could get Milwaukee to keep him? Jesse Jackson is going to give a eulogy for the criminal who got himself shot by police.

Being an ordinarily honest man, I can't really wrap my head around what Jackson could possibly say about the death of the thug in question. Seems to me it'd be a great chance for a black leader to stand up and say, "Look, dickheads, if you break the law and carry illegal guns and all that other shit, you're much more likely to be shot dead by police than if you obey the law and go to school and get a job. The remedy here is not to riot and loot and pillage whenever a criminal gets shot dead, but for all of y'all to stop acting like savages and start being productive citizens."

But that's hard. And anyway, as a prominent Democrat and race huckster, the very last thing Jesse Jackson wants is for urban blacks to become even remotely self-sufficient. The longer blacks remain poor and uneducated and view it as a virtue to do so the longer the Democrat party can count on their votes.

So Jesse Jackson will get up at that funeral and wax eloquent about how it's a tragedy and it's terrible and racism and cops and blah blah blah, all the while not laying blame for the situation squarely at the feet of every last person over the past fifty years who has excused and enabled the criminal tendencies of young black men. Including himself.

* * *

High speed fail, still. The high speed rail line that California is building has, so far, not progressed at all, and the cost of the thing continues to climb.

The most interesting thing is how the cost has now begun to approximate the figure bandied about by opponents of the ballot measure (when it was still optional for California voters, I mean).
In just 3 years, from the original passage of Proposition 1A authorizing about $10 billion in High Speed Rail bonds, the estimated cost for high-speed rail had gone from $40 billion to $98 billion, the amount that independent expert analysis had predicted prior to the bond’s being approved.
All this for something which is economically unnecessary. Of course.

* * *

It's there! It's there! Proxima Centauri b is a real planet! If it's got an atmosphere, it's either habitable or could be made so. The temperatures with an atmosphere are livable for humans, and liquid water could exist on much of the surface, which also means there might be life there--assuming, as I said, an atmosphere, which no one knows yet. Only real show-stopper here is that the planet is tidally locked, which means its day is as long as its year. (Which is 11.2 Earth days long.)

The star is close enough to Alpha Centauri that the separation of the binary stars would be visible in the night sky, to the naked eye.

This is an Earth-sized world close enough to us that we could send probes there and get useful information back in a reasonable amount of time. The Starwisp idea promulgated by Robert Forward should be able to do it in about twenty years, which is not too bad for an interstellar mission that doesn't have faster-than-light capability.

We just need to decide to do it.
Tuesday, August 23rd, 2016
3:03 pm
#5306: I'm tired of it.
By now it ought to be friggin' obvious and we don't need any more examples, but we keep getting them. Yes, the press treats Obama with kid gloves and he is not held to the same standard Bush was. We get it.

It's always been like this, for decades. Longer. The press loves Democrats. If a Republican and a Democrat do exactly the same thing, the Republican is a skunk and the Democrat is a statesman.

...and I'm tired of writing about it every time it happens.

This is good commentary on it, though.

I guess I really can't blame the media too much, though. There's no story when a black President ignores the plight of white people caught in a disaster. For one thing, there wasn't any looting or violence as there was in New Orleans in 2005.

Speaking of race riots:

Sure, CNN! We believe that your edit was "unintentional".

What CNN showed: "Don’t bring the violence here!"

Text of whole clip:
Don’t bring the violence here! Burnin down shit ain’t going to help nothin! Y’all burnin’ down shit we need in our community. Take that shit to the suburbs. Burn that shit down! We need our shit! We need our weaves. I don’t wear it. But we need it.
The press continues to push the narrative that "Black Lives Matter" is a peaceful protest when it obviously is not, but is actually violent anti-white racism.

Black cop shoots black felon who was armed with an illegal gun, but "Black Lives Matter", so riot and burn and loot. It's all for social justice, whatever the hell that is.

Eventually this kind of behavior will become a self-fulfilling prophesy. Two black teenagers rob and murder a man who stops to help them get their car unstuck from a ditch.
Ironically, avoiding blacks because of their tendency for violence is not just a sane policy for whites (and Asians, mestizos, Indians or anyone else), it is also a prudent policy for blacks themselves when dealing with other blacks they do not personally know and trust. You see, the good Samaritan in the above case was HIMSELF black. This was no instance of racial animus. It was purely the natural behavior of barely-human animals against one of their own co-ethnics. 90% of black murder victims are killed by other blacks.
The article concludes, "There is a reason race relations are deteriorating rapidly and it isn’t being caused by whitey."

* * *

1,690 pages which make buying a tractor-trailer about $15,000 more expensive. With an extra helping of, "It'll save money in the long run!" government sanctimony.

It never saves anyone money in the long run. All it does is make everything more expensive. Government couldn't care less, since taxes are usually calculated by percentage.

The thing is, the auto industry has been regulated to such a fine point that it's near impossible to get any more gains out of eco-regulating automobiles. Compare the emissions of a 2016 Mustang to those of a 1966 Mustang. As mentioned in a prior post, the EPA is now looking to regulate the emissions of other engines, and they are not even remotely concerned with how cost-effective their regulations are; if it means that the price of a lawn mower engine must double to reduce its hydrocarbon emissions by 0.4%, they'll do it.

When I think about the Nixon administration, Watergate does not bother me. EPA does.

* * *

FBI is now the largest distributor of child porn. In order to catch child pornographers, they seized, upgraded, and improved a darkweb CP site. They ran it for two weeks.

Well, obviously none of the users there was a Clinton. Right?

* * *

How to get burned by the Inquisition, by Giordano Bruno. A thumb in the eye of Neil deGrasse Tyson and his idiotic remake of Cosmos.

* * *

Also in SCIENCE!:

Someday, physicists will look back at this period and laugh. Or else they'll look perplexed and say, "How could they have thought that was right?"

Dark matter is apparently condensed into black holes, and because it's such weakly-interacting stuff these black holes pass through Earth every so often and we never, never, ever notice. But of course it has mass and gravity and it's 90% of the universe.


Epicycles. That's all it is. By now I've lost track of what dark matter was supposed to accomplish; it's just a way for physics to keep afloat some theory or other which has been found to be deficient when compared to reality. Like epicycles, which were part of the Ptolemaic model of the cosmos--there to explain the retrograde motion of the planets. Also like epicycles, it's been bent out of all recognizable shape in order to conform to a reality which does not actually include it.

...actually, the comparison I usually prefer is to the luminiferous ether. Ether was part of the standard model until early in the 20th century. Then we discovered that light was made of photons.

Something will come along, sooner or later, which will relegate dark matter to the dustbin.

* * *

Looks as if I was misinformed about the start date for Elio manufacturing. This December they're planning to do a pre-production run of 100 cars, which means no Elio this year. Somewhere I heard "fourth quarter 2016" for production to begin, but the last time I really looked into it I heard something about the pre-production run and how those cars would be used for crash tests and all the other things a manufacturer must do to get it all right and ready for full production, and I thought, "How can they start building cars in bulk if they're...?"


Little disappointed, but it's not like I'll be in a position to buy one this year anyway. Next year, then.

I'm just hoping that when the time comes, I don't take one for a test drive and find that I'm just too big for the thing. They're supposed to be fairly roomy, but in 1995 when I started shopping for a new vehicle to replace the green Thunderbird I tried a Ranger pickup and found it to be too small with the regular cab and too expensive with the extended cab. I fit in the regular cab, but it was a snug fit, no extra headroom or anything. With the seat all the way back, even, I fit in the thing like an astronaut in a Mercury capsule. It was immediately obvious that I'd find that too confining, especially since I was an on-site service technician and was in my car for about half my workday. The Elio should be better than that (it has, after all, a back seat) but I won't be able to make a real decision about it until I can sit in one and see how it fits. I expect it to, but the proof of the pudding blah blah blah etcetera.

* * *

Finally, errands to run today. Whee!
12:03 am
#5305: Thanks, Chicago, for turning the gravel pit into a CESS pit.
The big quarry over in Thornton. I-80 passes right through it. I've never had a good look at I-80 from the other side of the quarry, because I don't like getting close to precipitous drops, but when I-80 was run through there they had to blast a channel into the limestone to keep the road reasonably level.

Anyway: Deep Tunnel. The quarry is meant as "temporary" storage while a reservoir is completed.

So whenever it rains, it stinks over there. Thanks, Chicago.

I was under the impression that actual sewage would be stored in the deep tunnels, and rainwater runoff would be shunted to open reservoirs. I guess I was wrong.

* * *

I have one problem with this: power plants don't use truckloads of coal; they use trainloads of the stuff. Any coal-fired power plant is likely to have its own sidings where the coal is brought in by train.

Otherwise, yes.

* * *

This is a side effect of global warming. As the world gets hotter you can expect the north Atlantic to cool down, because reasons and LOOK! HALLEY'S COMET!

* * *

Well, it's Monday evening. Huzzah.
Monday, August 22nd, 2016
12:25 am
#5304: NO, you dildo!
Mrs. Fungus and I have been watching old game shows. It's mindless entertainment, it's fairly inoffensive, it doesn't take a lot of time, and we get a lot of laughs out of it.

Yesterday it was Match Game 78. The setup went something like, "So-and-so was so dumb when a politician asked him for support, he sent him a [blank]." When the contestant was first asked for his answer, the man answered, "A duck!" Most of the celebrities on the show answered "jock strap" or "athletic supporter" which--it must be said--was not exactly a match for "a duck".

Tonight we first saw a couple eps of Card Sharks, hosted by a very, very young Alex Trebek. Then came Sale of the Century. One of the questions was, "At ninety degrees north latitude, you will find..." and the guy answers, "The Equator!"

Me: No, you dildo!


The all-time best one, however, comes out of the mists of time. I was eating dinner at a friend's house and they habitually had the TV in their dining room tuned to Wheel of Fortune so they could root for "Bankrupt", and this one woefully confused woman attempted to solve "YO_R _OOSE IS COO_E_".

My friend: "She'll probably say something like, 'Your moose is cooked!'"

Everyone in the dining room: ... HAAAAA HA HA HA HA HA HAHAHAHAHA

I like how Al seemed almost embarassed to continue playing.

* * *

Nothing else to report at this time, other than "tired"...as usual.
Saturday, August 20th, 2016
9:32 pm
#5303: We leave you to your feast of insects!
Mrs. Fungus and I went swimming the other night. It was late; the pool was going to close in about twenty minutes or so. We were in the pool, and there was another couple, perhaps in their fifties. Otherwise, there was no one but the pool attendant in evidence.

Mrs. Fungus and I had noticed that nighttime insects--something approximately the size and shape of a mosquito, but white and not bloodsuckers--had attempted to navigate towards the underwater lights and ended up drowning, so the water was polka-dotted with thousands of dead bugs.

As we left the pool (to head for an indoor one which would remain open longer) I said, to Mrs. Fungus, "You have outlasted us! We leave you to your feast of insects!"

She wanted me to tell the tale.

* * *

The first CNC machines were programmed with punched tape. Not surprising. As I have only general knowledge about the capabilities of CNC machines, I found myself gaping in amazement that they were able to do that kind of stuff in the 1950s. All the while knowing that CNC machines have become more compact, more powerful, more capable. Four-five-six axis, and so on.

Case in point, Bluesun's new tooth being carved on a desktop CNC machine.

* * *

"Bush isn't President; no one cares" seems to be the meme for the massive flooding in Louisiana.

* * *

Earthlike world orbiting Proxima Centauri! Maybe.

Proxima Centauri is a red dwarf star, closer to us than the binary star Alpha Centauri. It may actually be part of a trinary (in which case Proxima would be Alpha Centauri C) but regardless, there may be evidence that an earthlike world is orbiting that star.

If so, it means we have someplace to go visit ASAP.

* * *

So, been reading Red Storm Rising, first time in more than a decade. Surprising how much of it I forgot. But it's a good story, and the copy I ordered on the 7th finally arrived yesterday...and turned out to be hardcover. So I switched from the paperback to the hardcover (larger print, easier to read with my aging eyes) and kept on forging ahead.

Now it's time for some WoW.
Thursday, August 18th, 2016
8:44 pm
#5302: Only $370!
Intel is making an "embedded solution" which is essentially a fairly powerful computer the size of a pack of gum. The developer's kit is $370.

The specs are sufficiently powerful for running most business apps, but it only has about 16 GB of nonvolatile storage. If you could find a way to give it more storage, running Windows and Office wouldn't be out of the question. And it's tiny.

It'd be fun to build a desktop computer around it, but who has $400 for something like that?

* * *

It's all utter BS. Can't agree more.

Short form: the guy who got up and insulted Trump, and then everyone wet their pants when Trump insulted him back because the guy lost a son to the various wars in the middle east--the guy who then gave a speech at the Democrat convention--his speech was written by Hillary campaign staffers. And get this:
Khan’s immigration law firm is in debt $1.7M and owes back taxes of upward $850,000 plus penalties.

CNN paid Khan over $100,000 to tell his “story” and repeated interviews across networks. Khan was given a bonus of $175k by the DNC for his effort in the media. The IRS has since put Khan’s tax file on a “hold” status.
Yep. You do a favor for la Dona Hillary and she does a favor for you.

* * *

This raises a good point. Someone who's high on pot is very likely to eat all your Twinkies, and not at all likely to try to literally chew your face off.

* * *

Another call for massive nuclear-powered desalinization plants. Whee!

* * *

Having virtually eliminated pollution from cars, the EPA turned its attention to all other gasoline engines. How long will it be before we have to have catalytic convertors on our lawn mowers?

* * *

So, I can't think of a way to end this post. Tried about a half-dozen things, nothing clicked. Then again, I'm tired.

Well, it could be worse.
Tuesday, August 16th, 2016
1:29 am
#5301: Ahh, my weekend at last
So, we decided to try Smash Burger. It's one of those trendy burger shops where they have a very simple menu, and try to be "cool" and "hip" while doing one thing well.

Problem is, they don't do it well.

Let's start with the food. A #1 combo consisting of a burger, fries, and drink cost almost eight dollars. The hamburger had about 130% of the meat of a typical McDonald's hamburger (which sells for about $1.29) and had barely any condiments on it. Mrs. Fungus asked, "Is there anything on your burger?" Of course! Ketchup, mustard, pickle, and a thin slice of onion. On an "egg roll", whatever the hell that is. It was a good bun for a hamburger. The fries were the extra-skinny kind (like you get from Steak & Shake). It was a respectable wad of fries but nothing to write home about.

I don't know--for what that burger cost I expected more food. I left that place hungry; when I get a Deluxe Double combo from Culver's I pay about $8 for it and it fills me up. And it's a better-tasting burger to boot.

Mrs. Fungus' sandwich was chicken, costing about $8 by itself, and it didn't even have as much chicken on it as a $1.30 McChicken sandwich.

So, we're never going there again.

* * *

The story I've been noodling around with--I tried starting it this evening and found I could not, so it must not be ready yet. I need to figure out where to start the thing. Nothing appeals.

* * *

Today, while trying to find something else, I finally found my copy of Red Storm Rising. I was looking for the copy of Coonts' Saucer that I have floating around here somewhere, and instead found this. After, of course, I ordered a used copy from Amazon. Argh etc.

Ordered the book on Sunday the 7th, expected delivery is tomorrow the 16th. How does it take nine days for an Amazon seller to put a book in a box and ship it? What horseshit. And it's coming via DHL. WTF.

* * *

One of the nice things about the WoW revamp is that warriors are fun to play again. Unfortunately monks are now less fun to play. So Microaggro (short for Microaggression, my female gnome warrior) has been getting a workout and is now heading for Outland.

Meanwhile Mrs. Fungus and I created demon hunters to try out the new character class, and they're pretty nice, too. You start out at level 98 (the same way death knights start at level 55) and you rapidly advance to 100 as you play through the starting quests. It's pretty entertaining stuff.

No indication, one way or another, if the new content is going to be better than Pandaria or Draenor were. But the pre-patch activities are fun.

* * *

Well, that'll do for now. I was supposed to be on hiatus, but then I had the thing about Smash Burger. Oh well.
Sunday, August 14th, 2016
9:25 pm
#5300: After this, a few days' hiatus.
Today I had a customer insist that it was "communistic" and "unconstitutional" for $Major_Telecom to require him to establish a four-digit pin that didn't use part of his social security number. "Communistic" is debatable, I suppose, but "unconstitutional"? Where is it written in the Constitution that you won't have to use a certain kind of password when dealing with a private company?

The ignorance displayed by this guy was breathtaking. And his vote counts the same as yours.

* * *

Blacks attacking whites because rich people aren't handing out enough money?
"It's sad because you know, this is what happens because they're not helping the black community, like you know, the rich people, they got all this money, and they not, like you know, trying to give us none."
The solution for blacks being uneducated and lawless (and apparently illiterate) is for rich people to give them money. Well, I guess that guy went to government school.

Meanwhile Chicago sets another record for violent crime because--strangely enough!--criminals don't care about laws.

* * *

Having a grand old time department:

I was originally intending to fill the Jeep's tank on my way to work this morning. That was yesterday; I forgot all about it once I got home from work. This morning I woke up feeling so beat I didn't even think about gasoline until I was almost all the way to work and noticed how low the gas gauge was getting. Three miles further on the "check gauges" light came on to the accompaniment of the usual beep, reminding me to look at the gauges, because the gas gauge was so low.


Near work, gas is $2.76 a gallon for the cheap stuff. On my way home I put in three gallons--enough to get me home and thence to the gas station tomorrow--and called it "good enough".

Well, it's Sunday evening, and I can relax a bit. So I'll do that.
Saturday, August 13th, 2016
9:15 pm
Another night when the windows by the front door were covered in condensation. Holy crap.

It rained half the day, so the dewpoint is only 70 now. "Only". It's still like a sauna outside.

* * *

Since I can't find my copy, last week I ordered a used copy of Clancy's Red Storm Rising. I was hoping it'd get here today, but it didn't. *sigh*

* * *

Could have slept better last night. Could have slept worse. I don't know.

I really don't have much to say. I'm thinking about taking a bit of a break from bloggeratin'. A few days. We'll see.
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