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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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Saturday, July 15th, 2017
1:20 am
#5734: Well, Pandora works again
Turns out that in Pale Moon you can individually clear any cache data that sites are allowed to store on the machine. Cleared the stored data for Pandora, logged in again, and now it's playing via Pale Moon for the first time in months.

I don't know if it's working 100%, but it's better than it was. Sometimes it'll hang when I try to skip a track, and keep playing the track I want to skip.

I was trying to find a way to fix the problem with the comics web site coughing up dicks and saying "the connection has been reset" for 20+ minutes. That's probably still forthcoming.

* * *

Friday was pretty much a bust. I didn't get anything done, not really, but I did get the lamp built and put in the family room, and I hung the new picture over the fireplace. The rest of my day was consumed with trying to get chemicals and filters for the pool.

Mrs. Fungus got a poster print from Rick and Morty and had it framed. It looks fantastic over the fireplace. It replaces an autumn river scene, an old painting that used to hang in the front hall, and that painting was in fact moved over the fireplace when my sister took the seascape that had been painted by my grandfather.

So, Saturday I want to try to accomplish the things I couldn't do Friday and get the grass cut. And if I'm going to have the energy for that nonsense I'd better get to bed.

It's a full life if you don't weaken, I suppose.
Friday, July 14th, 2017
8:24 pm
#5733: Why do I have to buy them FIVE POUNDS AT A TIME?
I need 1" chlorine tablets for the pool. I went to three stores to find them. Stores 1 and 2 had them in buckets for $25. You use one or two of these things at a time, and I don't foresee needing more than a couple pounds' worth of chlorine tablets for the rest of the summer, not for a 1,000 gallon pool.

I've already bought a quart of algacide and a quart of pH reducer. These chemicals are concentrated enough that for my little pool, I use them by the teaspoon. I probably have a 5-year supply of them, now.

Finally found a small container of 1" tablets for $20 with tax. I might as well have bought the friggin' bucket, at that price, but by then I was so tired I just wanted to go home. Shit.

Still can't find filters. It's an Intex type H filter, and it looks like the going rate on-line is $19 in 6-packs. Probably go that way since the filter in the pool is getting gummed up already, after a mere 11 days. I take it out, I rinse it in the sink, I put it back in, and everything works fine for another day, but a new filter would probably be best now that most of the rust has precipitated out.

But! It's so nice to have the option of taking a dip, why worry? We just need to have some weather which is actually hot in which to use it.

And believe me, it's coming. If the forecast holds we might have swimming weather next week. Perhaps by then I'll have the pool chemistry adjustered and fiddleated into something approximating correct.

* * *

Well, it's evening now. The sky did finally cloud over, but it's cool and dry and I can't complain about that.

* * *

None of the lamps in the house, save the ones Mrs. Fungus brought with when she moved in, have decent shades on them. Reason? Mom smoked two packs a day, that's why.

The walls haven't been painted since 1982. The carpeting in the family room was new in 1988. The entire place is dingy with smoke residue. I took down a mirror in the computer room and was shocked at just how bad the problem actually is: the walls were originally yellow, and look beige:

Left side uncovered, right side covered--and I didn't realize just how bad it was until I saw that. (The light is not very good. Trust me, it's yellow.)

So imagine a nice, white lampshade being placed in an environment where that is happening to the walls. What do you think happens to that lampshade?

Oh yeah, it gets dingy. And then when you put a 100W equivalent LED bulb behind that lampshade, it just sucks up the light.

Today I assembled a new lamp bought yesterday, and placed it in the same place one of the old lamps had stood. Same LED bulb, twice the friggin' light makes it out into the room. The difference is amazing.

The bunker will never grace the cover of Architectural Digest but we keep it reasonably clean. I vacuum at least once a week, clean the bathroom about every other week, clean the kitchen at least twice a week, and in general keep the place as tidy as I can considering how busy we are. But no matter how much you clean, with that kind of crap on the walls, the place is going to look pretty dirty. It's gonna take painting to fix that.

Well, we'll get there, I suppose.
2:17 pm
#5732: Feelin' like a million bucks, and the sun's shining on both sides of the street!
Weather report says "overcast". The science is settled!

...but it's cool out, and the air is dry, and it's lovely, and even though yesterday was errand day I have more errands to run today. Whee!

* * *

Oh dick we're all DEAD!!!

You know what? I'm skeptical of all this. It's not just the fact that scaremongering is how lefty groups gain power over people; it's that it's friggin' wrong half the time anyway.

My eye tripped over one phrase: "...exceed the maximum federal safety levels...," the thing says, talking about arsenic in particular. What the hell does that mean, "maximum federal safety level"?

There's a couple ways one can interpret that phrase. One is, "the maximum allowed level in federal safety standards". That's what the writer intends you to read. But the other is, "the highest federal safety standard", meaning the lowest-ever allowed concentration.

You may recall, from the Bush years, a brouhaha wherein Bush decided that proposed EPA standards for arsenic were too strict, and too expensive, for the benefit gained. They were going to cut the maximum allowable arsenic concentration in drinking water to some stupefyingly low level, something that could only be managed at great expense. I forget the exact figure; I do recall writing a blog post about how much fruit juice you'd need to drink in a day to have a 50% chance of dying from arsenic poisoning, and it turned out to be approximately a railroad tank car's worth. The old standard was similar, some number of parts per million, only the EPA wanted to make it an order of magnitude smaller.

So, here's the bottom line: I am betting this study means that the arsenic levels in some water is three times higher than the proposed limit which was never actually law because it was stupidly and unnecessarily low.

I am not worried about arsenic in my drinking water, any more than I am worried about poison gas in the air I breathe. There isn't enough of it to be a problem.

The problem with government oversight is that it always gets broader and more strict, because otherwise the army of bureaucrats doesn't have a reason to exist. The standards set twenty-forty-sixty years ago are frequently perfectly safe; while I don't have a problem with those standards being reviewed, I do have a problem with them being tightened solely because the regulating agency has to justify its budget. And there is no agency in the federal government which is more guilty of that horseshit than the EPA is.

And other than noting that the arsenic levels "at some San Joaquin Valley schools" are "three times higher than the maximum federal safety level", no specifics are given whatsoever. They don't tell us how much of the various contaminants are found. How many parts-per-million, or -billion, of perchlorate and atrazine and drugs and-and-and have been found in these places where they're detected?

Answer: not enough to be dangerous to anyone. The fact that substances are detectable in drinking water does not make them dangerous.

* * *

The Illinois pension time bomb is ticking. The recent budget crap--which resulted in whopping big tax increases with nothing else done--is mere can-kicking, as I suspected. The pensions are still paying out more than they're taking in.

The article likens the pension funds to Ponzi schemes, and that's not wrong. The money won't last, and eventually the funds will be bankrupt--and when they are, guess where they'll turn? Why, they'll turn to the taxpayer, of course, and demand that the taxpayers pay for it. "These retirees were promised they'd have pensions," the politicians will say gravely.

Well, I sure as hell didn't promise anyone they'd get to retire at their highest-ever salary starting at age 50. You pricks in the state house let the union goons write their own tickets, so you douchebags can find a way to pay for it that doesn't make my taxes skyrocket.

* * *

The climate data has been tampered with, intentionally, to show warming where there is none.

* * *

Fred talks about slavery. Slavery exists as long as it's economically necessary. The instant it isn't, it goes away.

It wasn't just the South. It was the entire country. It was brutal and bad, and there were (in fact) more white slaves than black ones.

Windows threatens restart. Back in a few.

After Windows-mandated restart!

The dirty secret of the Civil War is that the North didn't care about ending slavery. The Emancipation Proclamation freed slaves only in the South, not the North. And as Fred mentions, Lincoln didn't mind slavery, and I'd bet that he wouldn't have issued the EP if the South had not been attempting to secede.

In antebellum America, the South was an economic serf to the North--much poorer, and less industrailized and urbanized. The South was largely agrarian, having less heavy industry than the North, and its cities were less populous than those in the North. Fewer people meant fewer Congressmen, and less of a voice in the federal government. That was why the South wished to secede, and also why the North refused to allow it under any circumstances: the last thing the North wanted was to have to deal with the South on an equal footing.

Making the whole thing about freeing slaves reflects better on the victors, the North, which is why the history books have all been written to say that; but it was really about consolidating power at the federal level and making sure states could not leave the union if they so desired.

And when you look at it that way, suddenly--instead of being an icon of freedom--Lincoln becomes a despicable tyrant.

* * *

Francis Porretto links to Sarah Hoyt, talking about what's happened in traditional publishing. The theme of the post is that current writers and editors are trying their damnedest to de-legitimize the old masters of SF, and Porretto sums it thus:
The leftists' sotto voce complaint, of course, is that despite their dominance of the heavily politicized Hugo and Nebula Awards, their books don't sell. But why don't they sell? They're award winners, aren't they? The "critics" praise them, while simultaneously casting aspersions on the "primitive forebears" of their genres. All the "best people" approve and applaud them. So why are their sales weak?
And of course we all know what the answer is to that question.

The answer is their books aren't entertaining.

The old masters could make a point without turning the story into a boring communist propaganda piece, regardless of how insane their actual points were. Modern writers cannot do the same, at least in part because the points they're trying to make are absolutely antithetical to entertaining stories.

Antithetical, and shoehorned in so badly they interrupt the flow of the story to boot.
Alex Davis was the best there was when it came to sky polo AND IT WAS ALL DUE TO HER BACKGROUND AS A POOR LESBIAN OF COLOR-- [cut: 300 pages of boring SJW horseshit.]

When Daynyl Parker was young, he always dreamed of being a woman, but he had to wait to his eighteenth birthday before he could get a new body that conformed to his inner self-image. [cut: 300 pages of boring SJW horseshit.]

Ndembi Ngumi had never seen a hovercar, but when one came to her village with the UN logo on the side, and the official said she was Earth's best hope for making peace with the S'SS'S'SS'S'SS'SSSS'S'S""S"'S""ASDFKS:DLFK, she knew her destiny had come calling. [cut: 300 pages of boring SJW horseshit.]

Sometimes it's written better than that. (Only "sometimes"!)

...and that's why it doesn't sell. The critics, SJWs themselves, love it to pieces, but the average person wanting an escape from 21st century Earth doesn't want to pay $10 for a paperback which is nothing but 21st century Earth with a thin veneer of otherness atop it. You know, 400 years from now, it's not likely anyone's going to give a rat's ass about slavery in the 19th century. And in 2417, people are going to look at America in the 21st century and think, "Holy crap, those people were so delusional they thought a person's sex was a choice! I mean, they actually thought a man became a woman simply by deciding he was one! And their elites took it seriously!" And they'll point to all the fawning coverage of Bruce Jenner's sex change.

The old masters still sell well because they wrote entertaining stories. First and foremost. And the modern crop does not. So of course the answer is not to cut the SJW horseshit and write entertaining stories, oh, no! The answer is to destroy the old masters.

* * *

Retired NASA engineer had a mainframe in his basement. This is some seriously old hardware, vintage 1962. NASA was uninterested in having it back. I especially like the panel marked "Buffer No 4" which has a couple dozen Nixie tubes for displaying numbers. The writer derides it as "lots of blinky lights" and add, "does it go 'bing!' too?" What a cockmonkey. That's how computation was done before you were born, you ignorant little piss-head, and it was a necessary stage in computer evolution to get them to where they are now. Or did you think your MacBook was just brought down from on high by an archangel?

* * *

Car wreck turns power lines into an impromptu Jacob's Ladder. That's marvelous, and that's also why they tell you never to mess around with downed power lines, or power lines in general.

I'm surprised that there weren't fuses blowing for miles around, but I suppose the arc was crossing enough resistance to prevent an overload. At the end, of course, when the power lines to the right droop and contact each other, then there's an overload and the whole thing shuts down.

That really is a pretty show, though.
Thursday, July 13th, 2017
3:28 pm
#5731: Well, that was wasted effort
I had two different essays crop up, on the seven deadly sins, and neither one went anywhere useful. Either they need more thought, or else they're redundant compared to other, similar discussions. Either way, what I wrote on the topic was bland and useless, so after I axed it the second time I gave up trying to write, and did something useful.

That was yesterday.

So let's move on to the usual linky-commenty stuff, and try to have a little fun doing it.

* * *

Connecticut does something good and outlaws civil asset forefeiture. Civil asset forfeiture is a very bad thing, because it criminalizes things which are not criminal, like having a large sum of cash money laying around. It gives the government license to take whatever it wants from people without a trial, essentially fining (or taxing) them based solely on the fact that they have a lot of cash. My favorite quote comes from a judge's decision in a civil assed forefeiture case in Illinois, where he ordered the money be given back to the citizen: "The mere presence of money, even a lot of it, does not constitute a crime."

But of course being able to seize money, under the dubious legal theory that anyone with a large sum of cash is involved in criminal activity, is good for police departments, who get to keep a portion of the money they seize.

But Connecticut is still boned, financially. I haven't heard what Moody's has done with regard to Illinois' status, but if Connecticut is "junk", well--Connecticut is, per capita, America's richest state; if they're boned, Illinois must be as well.

* * *

As fatuous as the day is long. "A baby is not involved in an abortion", you say? Really? Why are you having the abortion, then? I mean, if it's not about preventing a pregnancy (which, not to put too fine a point on it, involves a baby) then what's the point?

I suppose by that standard we could say that an execution doesn't involve a criminal. Right? Oh! And a rape doesn't involve a victim! Yeah! I'm fascinated by this new science of yours, Sir Bedevere!

* * *

The elites have no idea what is coming. Presented here only because I found it a compelling read.

Civilization is a painfully thin veneer, and it can be ripped away in seconds. My abortive essays yesterday touched on this point, so I'm not going to delve into it now, but there are many signs that there is a mad scramble among the elites to prevent some kind of seminal event, something that will strip their power and privilege from them.

I don't want to call it a "collapse", though it may well be. The elites certainly don't want to lose their control of society, which is why they take every step they can think of to a) stay on top and b) maintain a society to stay on top of.

In that order.

We'll know that things are very serious when some of them start doing things that will simply maintain society at all, irrespective of whether or not they maintain control. There will be a few of them who will recognize the danger and attempt to mitigate it--not selfless by any means, but who have enough perspective to realize that keeping society sound is better for them than the alternative, because if the whole thing comes down they'll be the first ones torn to bloody shreds by the mobs, but if they're just out of power, they'll still live a long time, and better than the average person will.

I do not, however, believe that maintaining their power is still on the table. That's why I linked the piece.

* * *

John C. Wright discusses why anthropogenic global warming is bunkum.

* * *

The weather continues to annoy, being warm and sticky outside without being particularly hot--say, "swimming weather" hot, you know?

* * *

So, I'm led to understand that SNL got as many Emmy nominations as Westworld. This is why I ignore industry awards. SNL got its nominations not for being funny--which it hasn't managed for decades--but for making anti-Trump jabs. (I tried to, and cannot, describe what they emit as "jokes", because jokes are funny, and SNL is not funny.)

I suspect someone who spent his entire show flashing "TRUMP IS AN IDIOT" on the screen would get an Emmy nomination for it.

* * *

I have no smart words left for today. Sorry about that.
Wednesday, July 12th, 2017
5:59 pm
#5730: Fatigue
I am so tired of the bullshit.

So now there's yet another angle to the "Trump colluded with Russians to steal the election!" horseshit, and like every other possible angle to this nonsense, it's absolutely nothing whatsoever. Some crazy-ass Democrat congressman (but I repeat myself) has submitted articles of impeachment based on...something, the Comey firing I think, claiming that regardless of the evidence it's obstruction of justice for a President to fire an FBI chief.

Meanwhile yet another crazy-ass Democrat (but I repeat myself AGAIN) has threatened the life of the President. He said, "Trump is a half term president, at most, especially if I get within 10 feet of that pussy."

The threat has since been deleted, of course, but I would like to see this Maine state congressman try to make good on his threat. I've got a fiver on Trump decking the asshat.

But all this nonsense is just tiresome, you know, like the little kid in the grocery store throwing a twenty-minute tantrum because his mother won't buy him candy, just screaming and screaming and screaming. That is all this is. The Democrats lost an election in which their candidate got three million fraudulent votes and still lost, and these whiny crybabies can't take it, so they've been throwing a temper tantrum for seven fucking months.

I mean fuck, get over it already!

And one thing I've learned is that if I feel that way, there are plenty of other people who feel exactly the same way.

...and the American people are not as stupid as the elites think they are. A good majority of the American people know who is the bad guy, here (hint: it is not Trump) and are getting just as fed up with this stupid crap as I am. The question becomes, who has the greatest patience and forebearance? Who is willing to put up with this much longer?

When you look at the viewer statistics for news programs, you can see how well the continuous leftist temper tantrum is selling to the public. Their continuous push to bring down Trump is both obvious and tedious, it's getting more tedious by the day, and no one is buying it. The only people who are convinced by the continuous stream of horseshit are the ones who already don't like Trump; and as for the people who voted for Trump, the only thing your tide of sewage manages to convince them of is that they made the right choice. Anything that pisses you dickheads off as much as Trump does must be the right choice.

And the longer you do all this, the more likely it is that you're just going to end up with more Trump at all levels of government. Nobody likes watching a whiny bitch throw a tantrum, and they like it even less when it's someone who lives the high life on the taxpayer's dime.

I mean, shit like this is why Trump is President now: crazy-ass motherfuckers telling us that we mustn't "misgender" our children by assigning them a sex that may not conform to their feelings.
By shoehorning a newborn into either a "male" or "female" box--and worse, still, associating them with the hetero-normative colors "blue" and "pink"--expectant parents are, quite literally, Hitler.
Only an intellectual could come up with something so blitheringly stupid, so insensate, as to insist that for you to refer to that baby as a "boy" because it was born with penis and testicles makes you the equivalent of a genocidal dictator. "What if that child identifies as female someday?" I'll do you one better: what if that child identifies as a friggin' avocado someday? Does that mean we can make guacamole from him if we get tired of changing his diapers?

Here's a hint: out of some 300,000,000 people in the United States, some 30,000 of them identify as transgendered, one way or another. It is more likely that your baby boy will grow up to be a meth addict than it is that he'll decide that he's actually a girl. Personally, with any kid of mine, I'd be a hell of a lot more worried about drugs, violence, and liberalism (but I repeat myself) than I would about him being transgendered.

And these fools think this, believe it so completely, that they are angry that there are men who think they're women who can't get dates with men because the NORMAL man doesn't want to have sex with another man, even if that man thinks and dresses like a woman. That normal man is a bigot! How dare he refuse to have sex with someone who identifies as a woman?

It's this kind of inane blather that leaves me sputtering helplessly, unable even to get a handle on a coherent response to it. These people are simply divorced from reality, and they insist that unless we divorce ourselves from reality we are bigots. No, we are not bigots; YOU PEOPLE ARE BUGFUCK CRAZY.

Teach teenagers how to have anal sex, while you're at it! Because of course if you're not having the best possible orgasms, you're wasting your meat-robot existence!

On that last, from this post, as written:
All You Need Is Not Love
MORE AND BIGGER BEDROOMS WILL DO NICELY, THANK YOU. At some point, probably before it was written, the inner meaning of the rock anthem "All You Need is Love" was more properly understood as "All Your Need Is Orgasm." The problem is that orgasms by their very nature fade quickly leaving one needing yet another orgasm to fill "all you need". Failing to find that in your current love--for a month or so--you are compelled by "all you need" to wander off in the endless search for this most fleeting of all love's effects . To wander off in search of something always "better;" a better orgasm or, at the least, a better house with a better bedroom so that friends and family can assume better orgasms are happing right on schedule, and all the time.
So hell yeah, teach kids about anal sex as soon as you can so they can have all kinds of orgasms, because anyone who's bright knows that's the do-all-be-all of human existence!

Our culture's focus on sex and sexuality is extremely unhealthy.
2:21 pm
#5729: Do they realize 2020 is in three years?
Company wants to bring Moon rocks back to Earth in 2020. They're talking about doing everything robotically, with an engine which has not been flight-qualified yet, and of which two have been manufactured.

I'm not going to say they can't do it, but I'm going to say that I'm skeptical they will. More power to 'em if they make it.

* * *

Related: there is commercial space business going on in New Zealand. And their engine is fascinating, using electric pumps to deliver fuel and oxidizer rather than turbopumps.

With conventional rocket engines, you usually have two things going on at once. You have a reaction of some kind to drive the fuel pumps for the engine, and then you have the engine itself. Like the turbocharger on a car, a turbopump is driven by escaping gas under pressure.

There's a myriad of ways to do it. Some systems use high-pressure helium or nitrogen. Some use a combustion process. Regardless, until now, all liquid-fueled rockets that used pumps to deliver fuel to the engines used turbopumps, which is why there was always so much plumbing involved, and liquid-fueled engines are a rat's nest of pipes that all operate at different temperatures and have to be insulated from each other and-and-and.

This seems simpler. Simpler means cheaper and lighter, too, by the way--and if they can make that work, and it really does turn out to be simpler, within a few years everyone will be doing it that way.

* * *

Just watched a YouTube video about people refurbishing tires, and how dangerous and "illegal" it is.

The thing is, 90% of the actual video shows tires being factory retreaded, something which is both legal and safe. When you retread a tire, the carcass is inspected to make sure it's in good shape before the outer layer is ground off, and a new outer layer is bonded to the tire. Basically it's replacing all the outside rubber and vulcanizing it onto the old carcass; the result is not as durable as an all-new tire but it's reasonably safe and economical to do it.

But while that's what the video is showing that is not what the video is talking about. The video is talking about the shady practice of shaving the tread on a used tire to make it look like new, when no part of it is. The person doing this cuts new tread into the worn surface and treats the tire to make it look new. This frequently brings the wear surface perilously close to the belts or plies in the tire, which is extremely dangerous.

...and I've never heard of anyone doing this. What I have heard of is people selling retreads as new tires, and I've heard of people taking blemished tires (ones that can't be balanced, or have other issues), grinding off the "BLEM" embossed in it, and selling them as good tires. (Esp. in heavy trucking, you might use a blemished tire for a trailer or low-speed applications such as a yard mule that never gets out of 2nd gear.)

* * *

Public transportation officials are refusing to inform the public of the dangers of using public transportation. Last thing they want to have to do is to put police on the trains, because it'll cost them money they'd rather use for plush offices.

* * *

The rich do love to remind the middle class that they're not rich, don't they?
American upper-middle-class culture (where the opportunities are) is now laced with cultural signifiers that are completely illegible unless you happen to have grown up in this class. They play on the normal human fear of humiliation and exclusion. Their chief message is, "You are not welcome here."
It was ever thus. Whenever you hear someone complain about the riffraff, for example.

* * *

Some time this morning the weather alert radio went off, but I simply rolled over and went back to sleep. After getting up, I saw that the warning indicator was flashing, and what's the alert? Flash flood warning.

We did have thunderstorms roll through this morning--a couple rumbles woke me up--but I didn't see what kind of rain we got, nor did I really care. It's about time we had a rainy day, though; the grass is starting to turn brown.

Anyway it's not hot out, but it's uncomfortably humid. Just as well I don't have anything pressing to do outside.
12:42 am
#5728: I don't think I've mentioned recently how much I hate my metabolism.
Dragged myself around all day, feeling like complete crap. Managed to do some of the work before me, but not much, and finally gave up and laid down perhaps twenty minutes before my wife got home from work. Dragged myself around more, made and ate dinner, etc.

Finally we go to bed around 11:30. I did not quite doze off, but then snapped awake, feeling like I'd slept all night.


I know the feeling won't last, but it has me sitting up when I could be in bed, sleeping. Argh etc.

Anyway, best thing to do for insomnia is to get out of bed, have a snack, do something relaxing; soon enough you'll start feeling sleepy again.

* * *

It's damned muggy outside. I last poked my nose outside around 10, to check on the pool, and it was hot and humid out there. Weather site claims temp is about 75, but the dewpoint is also 75. It's damned unpleasant weather.

No breeze worth speaking of, either. Yuck.
Tuesday, July 11th, 2017
2:49 pm
#5727: My ribs is sore!
I know what did it, too: using the weed whacker last week. I had some pretty tough stalks to chew through, and the best way to do it is to firewall the throttle, then swing it. The twisting motion got me. They've been sore for a few days now; well, with the work I've been doing around the house, my ribcage hasn't gotten any rest at all. So I move and twist and bend while doing my chores, and--yeah.

* * *

So, let's start with the story of a reporter who broke a politically incorrect story.

The thing is, the hard left has always been highly anti-semitic. Socialism hates semitism because it represents competition for loyalty to the State, and there can never be anything other than the State.

So when you have a hard left group such as the "Dyke March Collective", for damned sure it's going to be chock-full of anti-semitism. That's why--at any and every leftist protest ever--there are always people shilling for Palestine. The left supports Palestine because it's actively fighting Israel.

But no one outside the left is supposed to talk about it.

The fact that the left is anti-semitic is supposed to be an open secret, something no one talks about at all, because the general populace is too stupid to understand the nuance of the issue. You see, the left isn't anti-Jew, as long as the Jews in question are like American urban Jews who reliably vote Democrat and aren't actually observant. They're just anti-jewish, in that they think Israel should be destroyed so that the Jews don't have a place to hide and be Jewish all the time. Leftists think nothing good can come of the jews having their own nation, especially considering how prosperous it is in a region where leftist politics have failed so spectacularly.

So, when you show up at a leftist protest of any kind, being pro-Israel is going to get you invited to leave, as a couple of jewish lesbians found when they tried to march with rainbow flags featuring the Star of David.

But if you're a reporter and you cover a story like that? Expect to be invited to leave your job.

* * *

In the middle of an article I decided not worth commenting upon, I saw an ad for a book called Trump: Anatomy of a Monstrosity. And here's the blurb:
An in-depth investigation into who he is, what his election means, and what happens next. Part biography, part critical analysis, and part hopeful blueprint for a post-Trump era.
Well, with a title like that, it's certain to be a sober and even-handed discussion, isn't it? Let me whip out that credit card!


* * *

Sears is on the skids. It's sad, but there's a reason for it; their customer service is appalling. (I mean, bad.)

* * *

Well, that stuff won't get itself done. Much as I wish it would.
3:54 am
#5726: Well, no wonder
My strategy for not using all the electricity in summertime is pretty simple. During the day, thermostat at 76-77. At bedtime, thermostat at 74-75. Alarm goes off, thermostat goes up. (More or less.)

I don't have a problem with 77° during the day as long as I can have a fan moving some air past me. Sometimes it feels a little too warm and I'll set it to 76°. But I have trouble sleeping when I'm too warm, Mrs. Fungus is the same, and it's easier to cool the house off at night, so we drop it that couple of degrees and the master bedroom cools down pretty quickly.

Woke up about 3:20 feeling far too warm, and found the thermostat still at 76°. It was pleasant enough in here when we went to bed, which is why it didn't get adjusted. Oh well. But the damage was done, and here I am.

...after a peanut butter and honey sandwich, though, and a little diet Pepsi, I'm finally beginning to feel sleepy again. Back to bed.
Monday, July 10th, 2017
2:46 pm
#5725: IOTTMCO, that is, the bleeding obious
"IOTTMCO" is old-time hacker speak. It's shorthand for "Intuitively Obvious To The Most Casual Observer". Yes, it has that '70s flavor to it because that's how old it is, and the acronym is of course overly complex, having far too many letters to flow off the tongue. (Feature, not bug, to the '70s hacker subculture.)

"Bleeding obvious" is, on the other hand, much easier to say, and also gentler on the ear. I suppose it depends on whether you're speaking or typing, but I'd rather type "bleeding obvious" than IOTTMCO as well, so it doesn't really matter all that much.

But that's the theme for today's post: people stating, or avoiding, the bleeding obvious.

* * *

Borepatch advises us not to use biometric data as a password. Here's the thing: because your biometric data must be stored somewhere, to compare against, hackers can obtain it and use it.

Now, here's the thing I don't get.

Here's how UNIX handles passwords: when you create a password, that password is processed through something called a "trap-door algorithm", which basically takes a pig (your password) and makes sausage out of it (a password hash). (Incidentally, that's why they call it a hash in the first place.) Unlike making sausage, you can unscramble the hash into the password...if you have a really powerful computer and a couple of centuries of compute time. (WTF, you could extract DNA from the uncooked sausage and clone the pig, too.)

The point is, the computer never stores the plain-text password; it stores the hash. When you enter your password to log in, the computer takes that password and runs it through the trap-door algorithm, and compares the result to the hash stored in its password file. No match, no access.

A hacker might be able to extract the password file from the system, but he gets a list of names and their associated hashes rather than passwords. If you type the hash in at the password prompt, the computer rejects it as incorrect (of course) because the hash isn't the password, but a mathematically-scrambled version of the password. The hash of the hash won't match the hash of the password.

It is possible to undo the hash--the program has been part of UNIX forever--but no one bothers. It's easier to compare the hash of the password to hashes of arbitrary passwords. This is why computer security people tell you not to use real words as passwords, but require combinations of letters and numbers as well. It's trivial to feed a dictionary into a computer program to hash the words and compare them to password hashes if you already have the password hashes. Any match gets you into the system at the user level, which is usually all you need if you want to steal information from the database.

I explain all this as a long-winded preamble to what seems like a relatively simple point: why isn't all this stuff being stored as a hash? Why is it being stored unencrypted? The trap-door algorithm is not compute-intensive--UNIX was developed in the 1970s--and neither is it a secret. The biometric data should be stored as a hash, and the computer should compare any password input against the stored hash rather than anything stored unencrypted, so if I put my finger on the scanner, my biometric data exists unencrypted in that computer only long enough for the computer to hash it and compare that hash to the stored one.

The credit card information pretty much has to be stored clear, as it's transmitted to the issuer, but everything else could be hashed, and that would make stealing personal information a lot harder.

Naturally this does not prevent hackers from capturing the unencrypted fingerprint data as it's being scanned, and then hashing it and comparing that hash against the database to find the other information. But it makes it harder to steal the information.

Seems bleeding obvious to me: hash everything you can. Then again, security is usually an afterthought.

* * *

The problem is that Oculus Rift costs too damned much. That's why the world "refuses" to adopt VR; the hardware is $600 on top of the fairly robust computer required to run the damned thing. I don't think you can get into a VR system for under $1,500, not if you want a frame rate faster than "flipbook" and a screen resolution higher than "bank sign".

* * *

The oil is still not being used. I don't understand how oil prices can be where they are given that nothing has changed in the oil market. We still have an oversupply of the stuff. No one's stopped producing; at most there's been a limit set on increasing production. Yet gas hovers around $2.45 a gallon in the Fungal Vale.

No one seems to be noticing that it's simply being moved from place to place, and not being used.

* * *

Comey leaked classified information to the media. Considering that he just came off a year where he was investigating a prominent public figure for her complicity in poor security of classified information, he ought to have known that he was breaking the law.


The Comey confidant who actually gave the info to the press says the memos were "not marked classified". If I sit at my desk and write out classified information I saw while working for the government, and I don't mark it as such, but give it to a friend of mine, well, guess what? I'm still guilty of leaking classified information to uncleared personnel.

Commentor RAT005 gets it right:
We've been through this with [Hillary]. The exact marking on a piece of paper or document is not what defines "Classified". Classified is content that the "authorized" person is trained to know is Classified. I'm a nobody. If I find a piece of paper that isn't marked Classified, I'm not responsible for realizing the content is Classified. If Comey or [Hillary] are passing info around they are responsible for knowing what is likely classified. If either idiot puts the most Classified info on a piece of paper and hands it out on the street corner to everyone, they aren't off the hook because they didn't mark Classified at the top.
This is why the confidant's statement is nonsense. Unless he himself has a security clearance, and even then he should be able to recognize classified information and realize he must not leak it to the press.

I doubt he has a security clearance.


* * *

For many, many years, I heard about how much better Roman cement was than Portland cement. The solution always seemed obvious to me: analyze a sample. Someone did.

The basic recipe is volcanic ash (in the place of sand), calcium oxide, seawater to start the chemistry going, and rocks for volume and strength. Left immersed in seawater, the concrete's chemical reactions continue and make the stuff stronger as time goes by.

They're saying that Roman concrete requires less CO2 emissions to make. Considering that the main ingredient is still calcium oxide--and the best way to make calcium oxide is to heat limestone in a furnace--I don't think that's 100% correct.

* * *

Heavy industry used to be heavy industry. Today, no one would expect a car manufacturer to have an aerospace division, much less make a heavy-lift rocket booster. I don't know if that's good or bad, but looking at that ad makes me feel as if we've lost something important.

* * *

James Woods nails it here. The statistics on how often the transgendered (charitably using their term) commit suicide, and how prevalent drug and alcohol abuse are among that very tiny demographic, convince me that by humoring your son's nonsense you are doing him the biggest possible disservice.

* * *

There are no spoilers in this review of Spider-Man: Homecoming. Czar of Muscovy wrote it; that should be obvious.

* * *

Today it's cloudy and kind of muggy outside. It's not hot, but it's not cool. Last night, with cooler air outside than now and all windows open and fans running, it got to 83° in the computer room before I gave up and turned the AC on. By bedtime the dew point had risen to 69° and it was sticky, so I did the right thing.

Well, it's almost mid-July. What do you expect?
Sunday, July 9th, 2017
4:00 pm
#5724: That was entertaining!
We went out to the movies last night after Mrs. Fungus got home from work. Spider-Man: Homecoming was vastly entertaining, and I personally think it was the best of the Spider-Man movies. I really, really liked it.

We went to the last showing of the night, so we didn't get home until after 1 AM and we slept in today. Not at all sorry.

* * *

Mrs. Fungus suggested that I use the LED strips to put lights under our patio umbrella. That's a great idea, and I'll get back to everyone on that as soon as I figure out how to do it.

* * *

Thanks to the holiday (and also, I bet, thanks to State of Illinois being broke) my unemployment was almost two days late in getting to me. But I got it, and I paid the bills I needed to pay, so it's all good now.

* * *

Saw another trailer for Dunkirk and it's still looking like it'll be a good one to see. Also, next Miyazaki movie in the theater will be Kiki's Delivery Service on Jul 23-24. (We missed My Neighbor Totoro--completely forgot about it--so I marked Kiki on my calendar.)

* * *

Last week I was coming home from something-or-other and there was a big brown beetle on the porch. I realized it was a pre-moult cicada, and it looked like he only got so far and died. Clucking, I left it alone, resolving to sweep it off the porch if it was still there later; but the next day, the bug was gone, and when I moved the trash barrel to get at the door, I found an empty husk. Not dead; just resting--good enough.

Cicadas are huge and ugly as sin but I like their singing.

* * *

Watching a fail vid on YouTube, and about the four-minute mark a woman cracks a really large egg into a pan. Out comes regular egg contents and another egg. After expressing astonishment she cracks that egg and inside it is regular egg contents but--sadly--no further eggs.

I know what happened: the chicken produced an egg but failed to lay it, and then produced another egg around that one which was then successfully ejected. Considering the environment in which the eggs are produced (the chicken's egg-maker-thingy, whatever it's called) is fairly sterile, I'd think they'd be fine for eating. I'd probably throughly cook both eggs to be sure (scrambled, not over easy).


* * *

In the "a little worried" department: one of the youtubers to whom I've subscribed hasn't put a video up in nearly a week. Now, this guy prides himself on doing a video every day; it's not common for him to miss a day, and if he does, usually it's because he ran out of time, and he always explains what's going on. Past couple of weeks, though, the character of his videos changed--he started acting really hyper in some of them, and the editing style became more chaotic--and after he and his brother salvaged a trampoline, and a did a couple videos about it, nothing. Went to the channel's discussion tab, saw something about a bike accident; then realized all the comments were from four months ago. After changing to "newest first"...nothing but some people who are also wondering WTF is going on.

Part of me wonders if the guy has bipolar disorder or something. It's not unheard of for it to manifest around the time of life this kid is in (he's 22-ish) and without medication that can get bad really fast. So if something happened and he ended up in a psych ward, that would explain it. Depending on the severity I'd think that would be preferable to getting jacked up in a bike accident. They have pills to control BPD; they don't have a pill to fix being paralyzed.

Well, here's hoping the kid is fine and he's just having internet problems or something.

* * *

Well, it's a warm, sunny day--not so warm that we need the AC on--and my wife asked if it's warm enough to use the pool. I guess I'll have to go find out.
Saturday, July 8th, 2017
5:01 pm
#5723: The worst thing about a day like today
It's a pleasant day, with dry, reasonably cool air...and that makes you think you're Superman.

Hint: you are not Superman.

Okay, I'm exaggerating; I didn't take on any herculean tasks, but a simple one: after cutting the grass, whack back the sumac trees YET AGAIN and put the fence board back up.

I'm hoping that sometime in the next couple of months I can actually replace the fence, but that depends on a bunch of factors beyond my control, so in the meantime I put the board up whenever it falls down. This time, to do it, I had to get the [much swearing redacted] sumac trees out of the way, the same [much more swearing redacted] sumac trees I hacked down this past spring.

They really are friggin' weeds, damn it.

This time, however, I hosed the stumps down with RoundUp. We'll see how those bastards like that.

So I once again can sit at my desk, look out the window, and see the street (esp. after Monday's weed-whacking session). And I need to, because I am sweating my ass off. Guzzle back half a quart of Gatorade and cool off before I start in on the rest of today's chores.

But none of the rest of them are outdoor chores, so that's okay, and they won't take a lot of time or effort to accomplish. Once those are done, I have one other task to do which is pretty easy; and then the rest of the day will be mine.

Well, one outdoor chore: skim the grass clippings off the pool. *sigh*
2:36 pm
#5722: Stupid
Put the trash out last night, and when I did, found that it was very cool and dry outside--dewpoint below 60, closer to 55--so I opened a couple of windows and inserted a couple of fans. Result: 74° in here when we woke up today. A lot cheaper than using AC to do it, which is what would have happened if garbage night hadn't been a day later due to the holiday.


Got some chores to do today, mainly of the cleaning variety. I need to cut the grass, too, though. Nice weather for it.

* * *

The other day I was looking over the manuscript for AV, just to see how the continuity flows past the 6-week hiatus. It works fine; there are still a few rough patches in the manuscript overall but the hiatus is indetectable.

I'm worried this is going to turn into two books. I don't want it to. Well, I'll bang the whole thing out first, then worry about that. WTF.

* * *

This morning I went to the bank, then tightened the serpentine belt in my wife's car. As with the Jeep, the process for adjusting the serpentine belt tension is as follows:
1) loosen bolt
2) turn adjuster clockwise to tighten
3) tighten bolt
As is the case with the Jeep, the bolt and the tension adjuster have the same size head. This is the single concession to convenience made by the whole tangled mess.

Anyway, added some tension to her car's belt. We'll see if it still squeaks. The Jeep's? It's squeaking a bit, but I think I'm close to having the right tension on it (and it's finished with its post-installation stretching) and it'll be a 5-minute job to touch that up.

But not having an automatic tensioner is stupid. It's just a spring-loaded pulley, with a place to stick the drive head of a breaker bar so you can release the tension and change the belt once in a while. Further, there's usually a scale cast into the metal which shows you if the belt is within spec or not: if you're past the scale, it needs replacing.

Why is that so hard? Ford's been doing it since the 1980s. Is it a patent thing, or what?

* * *

Every time I think the world can't get any dumber, it goes and surprises me. Which is better, Star Trek or Star Wars? That's debatable, but if you get into a fight over the question that involves weapons, you need a life.

So much more that could be said about this one.

* * *

Chicago continues its stupidity. That's like saying that water is wet, but this particular instance is the mayor's idiotic plan to make kids show their post-graduation plans before they get their diplomas. They have to have jobs, or enlist in the military, or show college acceptance, first.

And you know what? The ones that cause all the trouble in the first place, they won't care that they don't have their diplomas. "Hey, I don't have to go to school no more! No one can hassle me for not going to school!" And they'll go to the government offices and line up for welfare and collect their government cheese every month, just like the last two or three generations have.

* * *

Why are people surprised that there was a thriving economy in the neolithic era? So the copper in Otzi's axe came from a long way away:
The fact that copper was being traded between central Italy and the remote Alps was "surprising", said the experts, who are from Padua University and the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology, where the mummified body of the Iceman is on permanent display.
Why be surprised by it? In 3300 BC human civilzation stretched across the entire planet. It wasn't a unified civilization, and there were significant pockets of barbarism, but why wouldn't there be trade--even long-distance trade--in that time?

People--even experts--act as if the modern era is the only time people are capable of doing things. It's not true; people have been the same people for a very long time, and if there is anything we can do in the 21st century AD it's a fair bet that we just found the most convenient way to do it.

Sure, you can ship a copper ingot (or axe head, they're not sure) via FedEx these days. 5300 years ago, someone would have had to carry it, but that doesn't make it impossible for it to get somewhere else, even a very long way away.

Not "stupid" so much as "blinkered", but still.

* * *

As for me, if I don't get going on those chores, it'll be pretty stupid of me.
Friday, July 7th, 2017
12:48 pm
#5721: I honestly don't know which to start with.
We've got more on the #CNNBlackmail thing, but there's also delicious news in the anthropogenic global warming arena.

Global warming it is!

Michael Mann is an idiot. He brought suit against some people who claimed his "hockey stick" was fraudulent (which it was!).
Mann shot himself in the foot with that last. For several years, Mann had refused to produce his data for the court (in support of his own case), claiming that it was "proprietary." After missing a February 20th deadline, he now finds himself in contempt. Under Canadian law, the court is now required to dismiss the suit.
The natural thing that will happen in a a case where you claim that calling you a fraud is libel is, the court will require you to produce your data demonstrating that you're not--and if you're unable to anticipate that, you're pretty stupid.

Mann is refusing to produce his data because it will demonstrate beyond a shadow of a doubt that he is lying and that his hockey stick graph is a fraud.

And we go to this article for this lovely bit of information:
Mann's now proven contempt of court means Ball is entitled to have the court serve upon Mann the fullest punishment. Contempt sanctions could reasonably include the judge ruling that Dr. Ball's statement that Mann 'belongs in the state pen, not Penn. State' is a precise and true statement of fact. This is because under Canada's unique 'Truth Defense', Mann is now proven to have wilfully hidden his data, so the court may rule he hid it because it is fake. As such, the court must then dismiss Mann's entire libel suit with costs awarded to Ball and his team.
Understand this: when you go to sue someone, and the court orders you to do something in order to receive a settlement, you have to do it whether you want to or not. By suing others for libel, Mann put himself in an untenable position: he has to demonstrate that the "hockey stick" was not fraudulent, one way or another, and failing to do so eviscerates his case. Once the court ruled that Mann had to produce his data and algorithms, he was sunk.

The fact that you are smart does not mean everyone else is stupid.

So Mann has been caught out, and it's been demonstrated by a court of law that he was making shit up and not doing actual science.

Borepatch has this, on the validity of data sets and adjustments made to them. Climatologists are so desperate to be right, they make shit up out of whole cloth. Like Mann.

And As usual, the doomsayers are wrong.

* * *

Taking a page from Michael Mann, The Democrat National committee refuses to produce evidence which would prove them correct. Common sense, isn't it? If you have something that will prove you right, why are you refusing to produce it and be vindicated? The logical conclusion is that you must be unwilling to produce it because it proves you wrong, or it contains something that is actively criminal.

* * *

GM stuffs dealer lots with cars such that dealers have 3.5 months' worth of inventory. The same company that was planning to ramp up production of the Volt to 60,000 units per year when they weren't selling 6,000 is now claiming that their cars are selling like hotcakes.

And no, it's not a good sign for the economy.

* * *

An example of science being done correctly. There's a chance that the gravity wave detector may not have detected gravity waves. The people operating the instrument are confident in their conclusions and released all their data and algorithms when they published. Others are analyzing the data using other methods, and they may have found some issues with it. Or may not. It falls to other scientists to check and recheck both the initial results and the results that challenge them; eventually one or the other will be demonstrated correct. And none of the parties are suing over it.

* * *

Chicago cops cannot write any more tickets, because they don't have ticket books.


* * *

Oh, wow. One woman spits on another woman's car. A fight ensues, several-on-one, and then it turns into a demolition derby. It's a hoot; watch it all. 3:30 is when I really started laughing. The action is pretty much over after that.

But someone should tell 'em, that when you're doing that kind of thing, hit with the rear instead of the front. The front is where your radiator is.

* * *

And now, #CNNBlackmail!

Kurt Schlichter talks about CNN's "ritual suicide".
The media babbles about "principles," but as soon as they become inconvenient then out the window go those precious "principles." A silly wrestling gif supporting the president "promotes violence against the media," but a week before that funding a play where President Trump is stabbed to death was artful political commentary? That's my objection to all this recent "principles" talk. They are never actually promoting "principles." It is always a scam and a pose designed to stop other people from acting in, or defending, their own interests. These "principles" never, ever require the people allegedly holding them to not act in, or defend, their interests.

CNN has all sorts of "principles" it uses to bludgeon its opponents, none of which ever seem to limit CNN's own actions. How convenient.
Well, it's been said again and again: hypocrisy is the hallmark of the left, and they do it because it makes them feel powerful.

Even as they lose viewers.

They keep digging the hole deeper.

A convenient digest of the timeline to date in the whole "Wrestling-Video-gate" controversy.

It really makes me smile, the way the media has so generously and obviously demonstrated their leftist bias in the past few years. I mean, it was already obvious, but not "IN YOUR FACE, HITLER!" obvious like it is now.

And their ratings are beginning to reflect it, such that they must now lie and obfuscate to hide how serious the situation has become.

* * *

Now, I already knew that I liked Mike Pence. I knew it from the moment I saw the yard signs in Indiana saying, "PENCE MUST GO!" When you get the left's panties in a wad like that, you're doing something right, and when Trump picked him for VP I was ecstatic. I literally know nothing about Pence other than that the left hates him, and that he signed a religious freedom bill (which is why the left hates him) while governor of Indiana.

That's why this is just icing on the cake. "We will put American boots on the face of Mars," he said.

I love it. I love that someone in our government is saying this in such a positive way, particularly because I know that Trump himself recognizes the importance of industrializing space.

* * *

Someone designed some sailor suit bikinis, so manga artists have gone nuts drawing girls in sailor suit bikinis. If you have to ask "why?", you don't understand the otaku subculture very well.

* * *

So I'm sitting here and typing away when the weather alert radio begins blaring an alarm. Severe thunderstorm warning for the town six miles south, but we got caught with a little bit of it.

I've got things to do, so I suppose I should get after them. Whee!
Thursday, July 6th, 2017
11:58 pm
#5720: Another happy day
Can't beat a day when you can go swimming with your wife in your own back yard. I rescued a firefly from the water, too.

I don't know what it is, exactly, but while running my errands today I was cheerful as could be. Just glad to be alive on a bright summer day, doing necessary chores and--for once--not even a trace of anxiety. Doesn't happen real often, but when it does, I enjoy it, and I sure enjoyed it today.

* * *

CNN enjoyed a ratings collapse tonight. They came in #13, behind Investigation Discovery Channel (#12), Nick at Nite (#11), and TLC (#10).

Fox News was #1.

In the last month, their 7-day average has dropped by nearly half. So, how's the "Trump catastrophe 24-7" thing working for you, #CNNBlackmail?

* * *

All I know is this: we've had the pool since Sunday evening, and it's been set up for three days, and I think we've already gotten its $75 price tag in enjoyment from it. I still have to get the pH and everything else adjusted right, and there's still too much chlorine in it, and once those things are correct it'll be even better, but dang do I like being able to lay down in the water and relax and cool off.

Tomorrow I have more chores to do, and I'll probably have to go get some pool chemicals to see what I can do to get the thing leveled out, but I know that at the end of the day my wife will come home, and after dinner we'll go outside and lay in the pool and talk about our day, and that will be wonderful.

I really wish we'd done this sooner.
6:52 pm
#5719: Why do they keep turning up??
So, in the process of cleaning out my old bedroom, I took the bed apart and leaned it against the wall, then got after the boxes of videotapes under the bed.

There were six. Now there are two.

Most of the videotapes in those boxes have been rendered redundant by DVD and BluRay technology. I do not need the entire run of B5 recorded from broadcast television with commercials when I have the entire series plus movies on DVD.

I thought I'd already gotten rid of all the Voyager tapes, considering it's the worst Star Trek series ever made. (And the producers of Star Trek: Dominion said, "Challenge accepted! Here, hold my beer.") There were a few in there. No more!

I last watched the anime series Miracle Girls in 2000...? I don't remember when exactly. It was one of the years that Anime Iowa was held at Collins Plaza (which is where a lot of the movie Cedar Rapids was filmed) but the very last AI I went to was AI03, and I'm pretty sure it wasn't 2003 that I watched MG. 2002 maybe. 2001.

Whenever it was, IT WAS MORE THAN ELEVEN YEARS AGO AND I HAVEN'T WANTED TO WATCH IT SINCE so I tossed all the fansubs into the trash. I kept Akazukin Chacha and Kamikaze Kaitou Jeanne, and those two series (along with a few other tapes) filled one box. The other box is miscellanious stuff I decided to keep. So, again, I tossed a CRAPTON of VHS tapes and only kept what I knew I didn't have elsewhere, or would not be able to find anywhere else. And even some of that is probably trash-worthy, but since I threw out about 80% of the tapes I had under that bed, that'll do fine.

Vacuumed and cleaned a bit, but the room doesn't see much use so all I really needed was to vacuum where I couldn't vacuum before, and mostly that was under the bed.

Eventually we hope to use that room as a library, but that's a ways off.

Still, it sure feels good to get rid of old junk no one wants, and which is just getting in the way. I'll tell you: the last couple of months, with all the work I've done on getting rid of crap, it's started to get under my skin. The past week or so I've been itching to get rid of more of the nonsense around here, which is probably why I was so cheerful about starting in today.

A few more things moved around and I think I'll call it a day...but dang, I can't believe I once thought I needed to keep all those videotapes.
4:34 pm
#5718: Now Illinois can't even raise taxes right
Judge has issued an order preventing the tax from going into effect. "Unconstitutional and too vague" is how the argument of the plaintiff in the case is characterized.

One of the most important aspects of rule of law is equality under it. No matter who you are, rich or poor, weak or strong, the law is supposed to apply equally. I'd argue that the character of the soda tax--which prevents it from being applied to people buying soda with food stamps--fails that test.

Besides all the other horseshit, I mean, keeping it from being anything like a good idea.

But the idea that a body which has the authority to raise taxes doing it so incompetently that a judge agrees to stay the tax until it undergoes judicial review--that is what makes me roll my eyes. The Democrat machine has become so ossified it can't even raise taxes right.

* * *

Man, it's hot today. Mid 90s, humid--and now that all my errands are done (it took me three hours to get them run!) the rest of my task list for the day is mercifully indoors.

Stopped at Subway for lunch, brought it home to eat. One of the two subs I usually get from Subway: footlong meatball sub, with pepperoni, provolone, green and banana peppers, onions, and just a splash of vinegar. Today was BMT day (where you can get a footlong for $6) and I thought about it, but I wanted the meatball sub more. Not really the day for a hot sub, but WTF, there's air conditioning. Heh.

Before leaving, I needed to air up the Jeep's rear tires; and while I was waiting for the compressor to fill I checked the pool. No pumpy; shut it off, pulled the filter--yep, gummed up again. Rinsed out again, reinstalled, working fine. Somewhere in that process it brushed against my dark blue shirt, and now my dark blue shirt has a patch of parallel light blue lines on it due to the bleaching action of chlorine. Whee.

Hit the road. One of my stops was the nearby Jewel, to get an RX for Mrs. Fungus; and while wandering the aisles to pick up TP and napkins I looked at the soda aisle for yucks--and learned that the tax had been suspended, and Pepsi was on sale. Confirmed the tax thing at the customer service desk, then happily bought TP and napkins and Pepsi. At the price it was--$1.99 a 6-pack if you bought 5--even with the tax it'd be a reasonable price, about $3.01 for a 6-pack. $0.50 per bottle is what I find reasonable for fizzy aspartame water.

Anyway, did that, then hit Walmart, got my own pills refilled, and returned one pair of shorts and picked up two others. I almost bought a couple of shirts; they had some nice-looking polo shirts for $8. But payday isn't until tomorrow (assuming Illinois has the money to pay my unemployment) so I didn't bother.

Back to Jewel for Mrs. Fungus' pills (they needed time to do the refill--union shop) and then Subway and then home.

And now that my sandwich is eaten, I need to get going on those chores. And I'm glad!
10:42 am
#5717: GUESS which state this happened in.
Democrat mayor, under indictment for vote fraud, of "the most corrupt village in America", wants town to buy her a new car at taxpayers' expense.

100% Democrat owned and operated town, and its last mayor--oh, hell, just read the article. The town is a corrupt, festering shithole of drugs and crime.

And, yep, Illinois.

* * *

It does indeed look as if CNN got the wrong guy.


* * *

"Democrats 2018: I mean, have you seen the other guys?"

I sit here, trying to come up with anything that can sum up how lame that is, and words fail me. I used to describe complex electronic circuits in 8th-grade English, and have you ever tried explaining the functioning of a GPS receiver IC like that?

The best I can do: they cannot be serious. This has to be some kind of jape or satire or something. I don't see how it can be otherwise, except that the left has one insult ("So and so is stupid!") and one joke ("Hey, you know that guy? Isn't he stupid?") and this is approximately both of those rolled into one: "Democrats 2018: Have you seen how stupid the other guys are?"

That's what keeps me from passing it off. It's the same thing.

* * *

Over the past few days I've received a ton of calls from the same organization. If I let it go to VM, they don't leave a message. If I answer, there is a pause, and then the person on the other end asks to speak to "Ronald".

Every time I've answered one of these calls, I've told them that there is no Ronald at this number, and told them also to stop calling me. They called four times on Monday alone, but I was busy on Monday so I only fielded one of them.

Some of this asshattery is related to my job-hunting. You click on a job link, it takes you to a web site where you enter information and--to any reasonable inspection--it looks like you're applying for a job. But you're not; you're actually giving information to a telemarketer, who then calls you and tries to sell you on "training" and other useless horseshit that you don't need and can't afford, by definition, since you're not working.

Why the hell these pricks are asking for "Ronald" is beyond me. Someone entered the wrong phone number, or gave them a fake one, I suppose. I've had this phone number for a long time--if not ten years, then close to it!--so it's not a holdover from someone else having had that number.

Well, what can you do about it, anyway? The number is never exactly the same, so I can't block it. Well, if it keeps up, file a complaint, I suppose.

* * *

Man, it promises to be a pretty hot day today. Plus side, I have errands to run but the chores that need doing are all indoors.

I do have to get after the grass pretty soon, but I think I'll wait until tomorrow for that one.
Wednesday, July 5th, 2017
9:19 pm
#5716: Learning about pools
This evening around 7:30 we decided to take a dip in the pool.

As we enjoyed it, I realized that the filter wasn't moving much water. I puzzled over it, looking at the hoses and feeling for pressure, and checked for air in the hoses--nothing worked.

Then I thought, "Filter? But it's only been running for two days! You're supposed to get at least a month out of it!"

Still--shut off the pump, pulled the filter, and it was clogged with mucky brown sludge, and immediately I knew what had happened.

Last night, before retiring for the evening, I dumped about 9 ounces of Clorox pool shock into the thing. It seems that you can go one day, maybe two without chemicals, after filling a small temporary pool like this one, but really you should start with the chemistry set right away.

The shock did two things: it killed anything that had entered the water, and it caused non-organic solids to precipitate out...and the Fungal Vale has a LOT of iron and calcium in its water. The water here is very, very hard, and frequently tinged with rust. The filter clogged up with all that non-organic precipitate.

So I took it inside, and sprayed it off with the sink sprayer, and washed all the brown sludge out of it; and once I'd reinstalled it in the pump, the thing merrily pumped away like it had before.

Did a test of it, and the water now shows as having too much chlorine in it (opposite end of the scale from pre-shock, when there was far too little) and it's still as hard as can be. Tomorrow I'm going to check it again and use the app--it's a Chlorox kit that you can use the old-fashioned way, or you can download an app that scans the test strip and analyzes the result, and makes suggestions on how to proceed. I'll try that and we'll see what happens, since so far I haven't found any information on how one treats the water in his pool for an optimal swimming experience.

Once the filter pump was corrected, though, we had a marvelous relaxing time in our little pool. It's amazing how a dip in a swimming pool can just wash away all your stress and make you feel relaxed and happy.

It was probably, in fact, the company I had. Mrs. Fungus likes swimming pools as much as I do, and in fact getting a pool was her idea in the first place.

I have no idea now why I ever resisted it.
5:02 pm
#5715: I take a day off from politics and look what happens!
A bunch of links about the short video showing a Trump look-alike taking down a guy with the CNN logo over his face.

CNN is being targeted by the on-line community after it forced the creator of the video to apologize.

There's some question about the chain of events regarding that apology, according to someone from CNN, claiming that CNN didn't coerce the apology from the creator of the clip.

But if you look at CNN's own report on the event, they say this:
CNN is not publishing "HanA**holeSolo's" name because he is a private citizen who has issued an extensive statement of apology, showed his remorse by saying he has taken down all his offending posts, and because he said he is not going to repeat this ugly behavior on social media again. In addition, he said his statement could serve as an example to others not to do the same.
CNN reserves the right to publish his identity should any of that change.
Basically, CNN doxxed the guy, and is blackmailing him.

CNN twitter feeds have gone mysteriously silent.

And--oh, dear God--it looks as if CNN doxxed and blackmailed the wrong person who--even worse!--may be a minor. One person, further on in the comments, adds that CNN may have broken some laws.

Finally, other organizations are saying that the blackmail is "extremely unethical".

Think about it: if it's actually newsworthy, a news organization should publish information. If that information is not newsworthy, there should be no question that it's not published. But to hold publication of the information over someone's head as a way of silencing him? I find it ironic that an organization which depends on freedom of expression is acting to silence expression it doesn't like. Ironic, hypocritical, unethical...and 100% typical of leftists.

And here's another digest of the story. This paragraph is apt:
Well, Gentlemen, how do you like a news organization going out and hunting down the individual private citizen responsible for creating a joke at their expense, forcing him to delete his online comments and opinions, and extracting a promise from him never in future to express sentiments or opinions that CNN doesn't like, under penalty of public targeting and exposure?
And here we have "The Most Busted Name in News". "That this whole disgusting matter can be construed as extortion doesn't seem to have occurred to CNN, although it certainly has to just about everyone else."

And so today, the anti-CNN memes are flowing like a river at flood stage.

No matter how you look at all this, it looks bad for CNN.

* * *

Looks like Secret Service grilled Kathy Griffin for an hour over her "Trump's severed head" tweet gaffe. That's what happens; the SS reviews every case where a President's life is threatened, no matter how innocuous it may appear, because they take presidential security very seriously.

I recall hearing a story about a kid who wrote a President a letter. The kid was young (probably under 7 or 8 years old) and ended the letter with "Love, Billy" (probably not his real name) but in the letter said he wished the President would die. That kid was investigated. That's how seriously they take the security of the President.

So, no, not surprised at all.

* * *

Volvo to commit suicide in two years. They say they're going all-electric in 2019. Bye, Volvo.

* * *

Last night, while my wife and I were having fun lighting fireworks, the local Blockwart came by and yelled at us that he would take it "real personal" if anything landed on his roof. He said that last year, stuff from our yard ended up on his roof--we didn't set any off last year, we were at her mother's house--and "Fireworks are illegal! You know that!" And if we kept going, he'd call the cops.

...all this while WWIII was taking place all around us. Yeah. What a dick.

The neighbors across the street were doing their own thing. I don't think he went over there and talked to them the way he talked to my wife and I, though, because the folks across the street are black and there were about fifteen of them out there.

Anyway, we lit off our big finale cakes, and then retired, only to have the people across the street light some big stuff--so I grabbed a few things, went out front, and lit 'em there, "sharing the wealth" as it were. What a grand fun evening my wife and I had! Despite the nazi prick! The cops did eventually come, but we were done by then, and all the cops did was to say, "Okay, we've had a complaint...." And meanwhile, *bang* *pow* *crackle* all around.

I mention this because fireworks are illegal in Los Angeles and that's pretty much how things are around here, too.

In fact, there is a great solution to Illinois' budget crisis: legalize fireworks. Do you know how much income tax Indiana collects on fireworks from people living in Illinois on fireworks? Do you have any idea how much that is? Not to mention New Year's and whatever holidays might prompt people to set off fireworks. I mean, come on. They legalized gambling solely so they could tax it. Why not do the same with fireworks? (And think of all the people who would be employed at fireworks stores.)

And it's not like Illinois couldn't use the money. Because the big tax increase passed in the 13th hour isn't stopping their bond rating downgrade. At least, Moody's is reviewing Illinois to see if a downgrade is warranted. And I wouldn't be surprised if they concluded that it was, because the budget that was passed doesn't fix anything. All it does is raise taxes and kicks the can further down the road.

* * *

Well, "comics.com" is no longer working at all well. Whatever they did, when I try to read a comic (and it doesn't matter which one it is) there's a random chance that it'll bomb my browser and it'll refuse to connect for some time afterward. It also screws up my access to Dilbert. Way to go, guys.

* * *

And it's Wednesday!
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