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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, November 12th, 2016
11:07 pm
#5377: It sure was the wrong time to try THAT strategy.
Hillary's campaign apparently thought we'd be disgusted by Trump and not vote for him. Coming on the heels of eight years of Obama and typical leftist politics? Ha!

That strategy might have worked if the economy was screaming along at full employment and the fed had to raise interest rates 20% to keep inflation under control, people could buy gas for $1 a gallon and their health insurance wasn't costing them half their paychecks; but after eight years of elitist disdain for "flyover country", 50% annual price increases for "health care", massive increases in regulation, and continuous hammering with "racist!", people are kind of fed up with progressives and want someone "deplorable" for a change.

Besides: when someone runs as an actual right-winger, they win elections. Republicans who run left reliably lose elections.
The Clinton strategy was all about manipulating the Republicans to nominate the worst candidate Clinton called for forcing "all Republican candidates to lock themselves into extreme conservative positions that will hurt them in a general election."
What this did was, in fact, make it easy for a true alpha male like Trump to stand up and say, "Vote for me, because I'm not a complete pussy." It would do that any time; but in the ninth year of the Greater Depression, making it easier for a right-wing candidate to get ahead of the pack of moderate squishies is a dumb idea if you're a Democrat.

Meanwhile, Karl Denninger makes the point that--eight years go, when Obama won--the streets did not fill up with riots made up of people who refuse to accept the outcome of an election. What the Democrats invariably accuse the right wing of doing, they themselves do, which is a perfect example of the fact that progressives always project their worst selves onto others.
Most of the land mass of this nation is owned and resided upon by people who are in "red" (that is, the winner this time) areas of the country. With the exception of certain urban centers and right along the Mexican/Texas border there are very few "solid" blue areas.

Those urban centers consume roughly 90% of the energy and food in this country yet they comprise 5-10% of the land mass. The "red" areas produce 95% of the food and energy this nation consumes and occupies 90-95% of the land mass.

Do you really think that doing something like eliminating the last pieces of the structure our founding fathers put in place to prevent tyranny of the majority from being able to take hold is a good idea?
If the urban elites want to go to war with the folks in "flyover country" they might be able to have their armies shoot everyone who resists, but who will supply the food and energy to the cities?

* * *

I need to go back to bed. After getting five hours of sleep last night, and dragging myself through nine hours of work today, I barely managed to get home before collapsing. Slept until Mrs. Fungus got home, then got up and did a little cleaning. Frozen pizza for dinner, all I have energy to cook; and in a little bit I must go back to bed. *sigh*
Friday, November 11th, 2016
12:10 am
#5376: The left is totally losing its {feces] over Trump's victory.
So: we are told that Trump won because of "uneducated white males". Do you know what that demographic is called when it votes Democrat?

"Blue collar workers," that's what. They're "blue collar workers"--respectable!--when they vote Democrat; but as soon as they vote Republican, they're "uneducated", meaning "no college degrees", which is lefty code for dumbasses.

Again, the left has one insult and one joke. Insult: "That guy is stupid!" Joke: "Hey, you know that one guy? Isn't he stupid?" It's all they have.

Word from California is that the Trump election has intensified that state's interest in secession. Good luck, assholes. Even if you seceded successfully, without US federal government funding your economy would crash and burn like the Hindenberg.

Reportedly, Hillary Clinton couldn't stop crying when she realized she wasn't going to win.

You know what? I just remember listening to WLUP with a friend of mine one day, when some other prominent female politician decided she was going to drop out of whatever race she was in. The announcement was all blubbery and teary, and I was waiting until the tape ended to mock it. As soon as the tape ended, the two guys on the show began mocking it exactly how I was going to, and my friend and I shared a belly laugh over the fact that we had both been about to do exactly that.

If you can't take losing an election, don't get into politics. What the fuck.

Ace weighs in on the phenomenon.
It's bad enough that progressives put this kind of irrational fear into their children, worse how they then wave their kid's wholly unnecessary trauma around like some sort of badge of honor.

"See? My kid is SCARED! Are you HAPPY, Trump voters?"

Eat shit and go fuck yourself simultaneously. Your child freaking out over a completely valid election result has nothing to do with me, with "hate", or with America being an awful place. No, it has everything to do with your own emotionally instability and terrible parenting.

This behavior you're describing is abnormally neurotic and wholly inflicted by YOU as a result of your spiritual emptiness, your need for a bit of drama to spice up this soft, meaningless life you're living, and your complete inability to control your shrieking hysterics in the face of even the most minor of setbacks.
Exactly. Exactly.

CEO of Grubhub tells any employee who doesn't agree with him to resign. Then he walks it back when the backlash becomes obvious.

As usual, the Democrats are freaking out over the electoral college, because--as usual--their candidate got a bare majority of votes, because their strongholds have high populations.

Black people, like celebrities, will never actually leave the US. But if they want to go, who are we to stop them? "For us, our promised land may be the land we were stolen from. Africa is on the rise and just may be the 'Trump' card in our deck. Let us be wise with these new cards we’ve been dealt." Don't let the door hit you where the good Lord split you. Go, and take this kind of horseshit with you.

"The land we were stolen from"? How old are you? Because slavery ended in the US in 1865, that would mean you'd have to be at least 151 years old to have been "stolen" from Africa. But sure, go back to Africa.


* * *

When Obama won in 2008, I don't recall the right losing its shit like this. It's always fun to watch when the GOP wins.
Wednesday, November 9th, 2016
2:33 pm
Dr. Strange is most assuredly worth seeing. I would have preferred to see it without the commentary from the black guy off to our left, though the post title (in reference to Strange's signature crimson cape, seen hovering in a glass display case) elicited much giggling from Mrs. Fungus, both during and well after the movie.

* * *

Speaking of comics, the three manga series that I'm trying to follow are KissxSis, Watamote, and Bakuon!. The first two hadn't updated for months, and finally did, but the latter has now been sitting at 29 chapters for quite a while.

Lately I've begun to have a hankering to watch some anime, though--old favorites like El Hazard and Tenchi Muyo! I don't have the time, but since I pretty much know them by heart isn't not actually a problem.

* * *

And speaking of which, I have things I have to do.
2:18 pm
#5374: I stopped listening to Limbaugh years ago.
I should have listened today, though. I bet it was epic.

Arse Technica sez "science-based policy" is "threatened" because apparently Donald Trump is too stupid to even science, bro. Lol.

It'd be lovely if these celebutards actually made good on their promises and left the US. They never do.

Hollywood is full of drama queens, so this is no surprise but they won't go, either.

Advice Goddess is horrified and I snicker.

A word of caution to leftist "protestors". Threatening the President's life is a felony. How typical for leftists: not getting their way, they then turn to violence.

The same people crying here would have been gloating insufferably had Hillary won so I do not feel at all guilty over expressing some semi-quiet satisfaction at Trump's victory. The pro-gloat comments there sum up my attitude perfectly: these people consider me a dull-witted, useless, evil neanderthal.

Democrats do not care about my rights as an American, they do not care about my opinion, they do not care about my ability to earn a living. They want to control my life, to control what I may say, think, eat, and do. They hate me, they hate my skin color, they hate my opinions, they hate my ideas.

It has nothing to do with respectful disagreement. It has nothing to do with the free exchange of ideas. It has nothing to do with public debate. It has nothing to do with freedom.

It has everything to do with Democrats taking and retaining power.

They dismiss me as stupid, evil, fascist, and crazy. They routinely attempt to defranchise me by swamping my vote in a sea of fake ones, and resist any and all attempts to bring honesty to elections. Every law they pass either seizes more of my money or my rights and makes it harder to make a living and survive, and they do it all solely to enrich and empower themselves.

Every time they win an election they lord it over us, telling us we have to follow them because "the people have spoken." Every time we win an election these hypocrites tell us we must now "reach out" to them because "we must be united".

So, yeah--not feeling guilty about gloating, at least a little. I'm tired of this horseshit. I'm sick of Democrats, and I'm sick of their Republican enablers.

And I am not alone, which is why Trump won.

* * *

Still, let's not get too full of ourselves. Sure, Trump won, but it doesn't mean Obamacare is over. Obamacare won't be repealed. Trump may try, but it won't happen, because too much of the D.C. apparatus likes it. (See above, "control".)

* * *

The usual squishy folks are saying, "Okay, now we have to be conciliatory," and I think Trump should be about as conciliatory as Barack "I won" Obama was.
2:12 am
#5373: Well, what do you know?
So, this thing happened....

Mrs. Fungus insisted on watching the election returns. I played WoW for a little while, but then she pulled me into the family room and I watched the coverage as long as I could.

She had CNN on, then switched to CBS, and CBS kept saying, "Well, it's too close to call...." But the talking heads kept going on and on as if Trump was winning the thing, and sounding dejected, and then correcting themselves. Finally--when it was obvious that Hillary wasn't going to run away with it but it might be a few more hours before a result came in--Hillary's campaign manager, Podesta, went out and told her supporters to go home for the night. Mrs. Fungus was outraged that Hillary herself didn't say anything to her supporters at her campaign headquarters.

It got to be too much for me, so I went back to WoW, until Mrs. Fungus came in and told me Trump was going to speak.

But then something interesting happened: while they were covering Trump's campaign headquarters with the crowd waiting for Trump--with six states still "too close to call"--a cheer went up. "We're hearing that Hillary Clinton has called Donald Trump to concede," the talking head said.

Me: "WHAT?"

With the networks all saying that six states were still in play, with neither candidate at the magic 270--"It just doesn't make sense," I complained.

What happened is that the campaigns found out first, and the newsies second, that the remaining six states had gone Trumpward and put him over the top, leaving Hillary without the requisite number of electoral votes.

And Donald Trump is apparently our President-elect. Wow.

I had had hopes for the election, wanting to see a Trump victory--but when I saw the returns coming in so neck-and-neck, I figured "Inside the margin of cheat" and resigned myself to a Hillary Clinton presidency.

As usual, the American people are "angry". I've got to go watch the newsies wet themselves. Heh.
Tuesday, November 8th, 2016
10:06 pm
#5372: Dr. Strange is worth seeing.
Mrs. Fungus and I really enjoyed it. I'm not a big fan of Benedict Cumberbatch but he was the right choice for the eponymous character. Seeing it in IMAX 3D is worth the extra ducats, too, as I'm not sure that some of the scenes in that movie could be comprehended without it.

Very enthusiastic thumbs up for this one.

* * *

Linked because of quote: "The mere fact that Clinton is on the ballot says we’re doomed. The question is not *if* we drive into the abyss. The question is our launch velocity." Probably. Probably. But I'm not prepared to write America off yet.

* * *

The trailer for Rogue One leads me to think that the movie may be worth seeing. That's what it's meant to do, of course, but seeing the construction of the original Death Star might be worthwhile.

* * *

Picked up a couple new pairs of jeans last week. I haven't bought pants since November 2014 (when I got the job at Best Buy, and those were khakis) so I was long, long overdue. Did you know you can buy a perfectly acceptable pair of blue jeans at Walmart for ten bucks?

...bought one pair of Walmart house brand ("Faded Glory") and one pair of Wranglers ($20). The FG pair is too big (46 inch waist) but the Wranglers are 44, and fit well. (Yes, the days of the Fungus having a 32 inch waist are long gone. I eat too many carbs and don't get enough exercise.) The Wranglers are so comfortable I can't believe it. I feel like I'm wearing sweatpants instead of jeans. I wore them all day, and once home from the movie, I didn't immediately have to go change into sweat pants.

Well, I've had a couple of years of too-small jeans, which is why jeans that fit feel so good. I had a pair of Wranglers which had been Dad's, but those wore out not long ago, because I wore them to work a lot in the last year. They could still be patched for work around the house, and probably will be.

The FG pair with the 46" waist will also get pressed into home duty--I've already worn them a week and they're so cheap they're not worth the bother of returning anyway (!)--and I'll go get another pair of Wranglers in the next few weeks with a 44" waist.

We're still working on digging out our financial situation, but at least now I can get some clothing to replace what's wearing out. It just feels so decadent to be buying new clothes. Even though I need them.

* * *

Work on the new novel has, predictably, stalled. We've been too busy, so busy we've played WoW for only a few hours this week. With all the running around we did today (and the movie) and all the running around we need to do tomorrow, I expect that I won't be writing much of anything on the novel. But I know what comes next, so when I do have some time, off I'll go.
4:45 pm
#5371: I wonder how many of us voted Democrat.
Critter did!

No ID needed because raciss! of course.

The Democrat opposition to voter ID just goes to show how racist they actually are. Because of course black people can't get IDs or access the Internet or anything.

The attitudes displayed by the white people in that video are incredibly patronizing and racist.

* * *

File this one under "the war on (some) drugs is an abject failure". It really is.

* * *

As for voting: my entire ballot was one big "no" vote to the political establishment. I voted Libertarian in as many races as I could (save President). I will never again vote for Mark Kirk or Adam Kinzinger, Democrats Lite, but do not wish to vote for actual Democrats, hence my votes for their Libertarian opponents. I also voted against retaining any judges, and voted against the two Fungal Vale tax increase referenda, as well as the Illinois constitutional amendment referendum wanting to limit road taxes to being used on fixing roads.

Why? Because here's what will happen: deprived of the money from the highway slush fund, Illinois' government will simply raise taxes elsewhere. We are taxed enough already, for crying out loud, and anyway denying the legislature unlimited access to the highway tax fund won't mean our highways get fixed.

Risible: the billboard I saw advising voters that if they vote for the amendment, the potholes in I-294 will get fixed. Sure. That's why we had to double tolls on all Illinois tollways a few years ago, because there simply wasn't enough money to fix the roads; and now there still isn't enough so we have to amend the constitution.

Well, there is never enough money for government. They can go eat a bucket of dicks.

* * *

As for the Fungus family, we're about to treat ourselves to Dr. Strange, because we haven't seen a movie for months and we're worth it.
1:00 am
#5370: No matter what, it's the man's fault.
So, after a hard day at work, and a relaxing ep of Gotham, I come into the computer room to sit at the computer and bloggerate a bit. On my desk is some kind of receipt or packing slip.

"[Mrs. Fungus]: Personalized compass," it said.

Me: Honey, what's this?

Her: Nothing! It's nothing!

My wife is not very good at dissembling.

Me: Well, it has to be something--


...okay, that last is a bit of an exaggeration. But she did blame me for finding the packing slip she left on my desk after she opened the box containing a little something she'd intended to be a Christmas present, only now I knew about it and she had to give it to me.

"Why do you read things that don't belong to you?"

"It was on my desk!"

Anyway, she insisted the surprise was ruined, so she gave it to me. It's a compass, personalized with the text, "[Fungus], I'd be lost without you. Love, [Mrs. Fungus]."

Well, if I weren't a grizzled old crotchpot I probably would have been moved to tears. Came close anyway. Heh.

I love it.

* * *

Anyway, the only way to ruin Christmas is to put the cow in the hayloft of the creche. That's a tradition in the Fungus household!

* * *

This just goes to show that humans are the same throughout history.

* * *

"It's broken," I told her, about the compass. "It just points north. It should point to you."
Sunday, November 6th, 2016
9:27 pm
#5369: Math is hard.
So, today I had a caller who was surprised that buying two new iPhone 7s on device payment--which totals $55 per month--would actually add $55 per month to his bill. "The saleswoman told me it would only add $7!"

Oh well.

* * *

In 100 years, apparently all English speakers will sound like they come from sub-Saharan Africa.


* * *

I liked how Trump just stood there, surveying the crowd, and his Secret Service detail had to go onstage and get him.

* * *

This story depressed the hell out of me. Particularly this bit:
With enormous gratitude to Advance Man Extraordinaire Haber, I am popping up again to share our excitement about the Reprise of Our Gang’s visit to the farm in Lovettsville. And I thought I’d share a couple more notes: We plan to heat the pool, so a swim is a possibility. Bonnie will be Uber Service to transport Ruby, Emerson, and Maeve Luzzatto (11, 9, and almost 7) so you’ll have some further entertainment, and they will be in that pool for sure.
I drove to work after reading that Friday morning, wondering (again) why God hasn't wiped us out and replaced us with something that makes sense.

* * *

Uh, your kid didn't get shot coming home from choir practice. He was trying to hold up a restaurant. For fuck's sake, this isn't rocket science.

* * *

Apparently there's a lot of energy tucked into metallic hydrogen if it is only metastable. Like, fifty times as much energy as TNT. Neat.

Also, there may have been another distant relative for homo sapiens. I was noodling around with this very idea in one of my stories.

* * *

We've been extremely busy.

So busy, in fact, that we haven't played any WoW for days and days. Friday and Saturday nights I was too busy even to blog. It's not going to get any better, either.

Well, I'd better get after me chores.
Friday, November 4th, 2016
12:53 am
#5368: Because SHUT UP, that's why!
Today I learned that we're to have Thanksgiving Day off.

I also learned that we're to work 11.25 hour days that week. Because we have to take 200 calls per week and they want to make sure we can get that number.

Me: Why don't we just work on Thanksgiving Day, then? Well, because then the managers would have to work the holiday, and it's easier just to make the peons put in 11.25 hour days. This place is a sweatshop.

In fact, the real reason they want to make us work a 45-hour week in four days is the same answer it always is: money. They'll end up paying us for having T-day off, so of course they'll force us to sweat blood to make up for it.


* * *

Hillary is far more corrupt than Nixon ever was. Nixon would have had to be cloned about a dozen times, and all of them President, for him to have as much corruption in his past as Hillary has in hers.

If a Republican--even a squishy moderate Republican like Mitt Romney--had done one-tenth of what Hillary has done, they'd crucify him exactly the way they crucified Nixon. Holy shit.

* * *

Well, I've got to start getting ready for bed. *sigh*
Thursday, November 3rd, 2016
12:49 am
#5367: Well, what do you think of that?
So, Mrs. Fungus lured me into the bedroom, and as things were going on I started hearing "pop pop pop" and "crackle pop pop". Who the hell, I wondered, is setting off fireworks at 11:30 PM, and why?

I was...occupied. That's my defense.

But then I had a moment to think, and realized, "Hey, I think the Cubs won the series," I said.

Just got up and checked on-line, and yeah, they did. So the fireworks make sense.

Not that I really care one way or another.

But the last time a Chicago team with a long losing streak won the final game--the Bears in the Super Bowl in 1986--a few days later that was erased from the headlines by a bigger story (Challenger disaster). Hope nothing happens this time.

* * *

Seeing ads from Tiger Direct, and they're advertising no-name brand SSDs, 500 MB for around $110. 500 MB is big enough to be useful. Name brands are about 2x as expensive, but I expect all prices to continue to drop as long as we can avoid WW3.

* * *

It's early on Thursday morning and I need to get up early for work tomorrow because I need to stop somewhere on the way in to fax more paperwork to the insurance company. This is for FMLA, because the person who started the claim did the wrong kind and I need to re-fax the paperwork from the doctor so they can enter it correctly. *sigh*

Well, we'll get it sorted out, and then maybe I'll actually get some bills paid around here.
Wednesday, November 2nd, 2016
5:18 pm
#5366: Well, what do you expect will happen, doofus?
Two weeks or so ago this idiot said he was going to ally with China instead of America, and now he's surprised that the US is halting arms shipments?

If he really wants to go with China, he can do that, but even now it means losing a lot of income for his country if the US has to pull out of its military bases and leave the Philippines entirely. And five will get you ten, down the road the Philippines become Chinese territory.

* * *

We are often told, by the anti-gun crowd, that only police officers and other government agents should be allowed to carry guns, because they're the "only ones" who have the training for it.

Stories like this give the lie to that.

Here's the thing: a modern firearm will not fire unless you depress the trigger. There's no such thing as an "accidental discharge"; only negligent discharges are possible.

It's perfectly permissible to show your gun to someone. Here's what you do: keeping your finger off the trigger at all times, remove the gun from its holster or other storage place. Eject the magazine. Work the slide to clear the loaded cartridge. With the slide locked open, visually inspect the firing chamber to ensure the gun is clear.

Now you may safely hand the gun to the other party, whose first action should be to look in the chamber to verify that the firearm is unloaded and out of battery.

(The instructions are similar for revolvers, but of course there's no magazine; as long as the cylinder is open and out of battery and unloaded it's safe to pass around.)

Guns are not toys. You'd expect a sheriff's deputy to understand that.

* * *

So, originally I was going to go to Walmart today and see about some new glasses. We stopped in there yesterday while running errands and I found a decent pair of frames for $9, with lenses costing either $120 or $180 depending on how thick they end up being. I need new glasses (recall these have been broken for months and I've been holding them together with glue) but with Mrs. Fungus' recent medical travails there isn't a lot of wiggle room in the budget.

Anyway, long story short, I didn't go--because when I woke up today the bed was that perfect temperature and I was comfortable, the kind of comfortable that I only ever seem to experience about 30 seconds before the alarm clock goes off, signaling the start of a tediously long work say. "This," I said, "is for all the times I couldn't," and rolled over and went back to sleep.

Mrs. Fungus thoughtfully rescheduled my appointment.

...but one of the things I had to get done today was to review my benefits elections, and I discovered that I somehow have vision coverage--I don't recall opting for it--so now I have to work out what it would cost me to get a pair of glasses through one of the in-network providers. Looks like it would cost less, anyway.

Oh well.
Tuesday, November 1st, 2016
11:14 pm
#5365: What the hell is a hoe cake??
My wife's been singing "Snake Baked a Hoe Cake" almost incessantly for 24 hours, and I have no idea WTF that is. If only I had access to some kind of highly advanced computer network which I could search with a few keywords.

Well, until that utopian ideal comes to pass, I'll just have to wonder....

* * *

Today was "indian summer" with a vengeance. I wore shorts today.

* * *

Denninger knows Internet and his comments about the inadvertent archive of Hillary's e-mails on Weiner's laptop are worth reading.

And at Borepatch, Hillary's call for the FBI to release the e-mails is a posture, because all she needs is to get Huma's permission to release them.

And all this demonstrates, rather nicely, that "...Hillary should not rule [because] she is dangerously incompetent and she surrounds herself with outlandishly stupid people."


* * *

That pipeline in the southeast which sprung a leak two months ago now is the focus of another "accident" which somehow is causing gas prices to necessarily skyrocket again. Twice in three months? It beggars credulity.

* * *

I can't believe it's November. Where did October go? It was September, like, last week....
Sunday, October 30th, 2016
8:31 pm
#5364: I've been a customer for 20 years, so give me a new phone
That was today's genius. A guy who claimed to be a manager for an electronics store, telling me that because he's been a customer of $Major_Telecom for 20 years and this is the first time he's ever damaged his (uninsured) phone, he should get a new phone without having to pay off his half-paid-for phone, first.


He's a manager for a store and if one of his customers has a problem, he fixes it!

What I didn't ask: If someone came into his store and said, "Look, I know I've only made half the payments on this $700 phone, but I broke it and I've been buying stuff from you for twenty years, so I deserve a new phone without paying this one off," he'd gladly accommodate him? What business would remain solvent for more than a year doing that? If he's really a manager of an electronics store, he'd know how razor thin the margin is on consumer electronics, and would understand how quickly a business would go broke if it let every Tom, Dick, and Harry have free $700 smartphones.

Of course he didn't have any equipment protection.

I gave the guy his options: 1) pay off the phone and buy a new one (already given to him by a prior rep). 2) buy an entry-level smartphone. 3) Buy a certified pre-owned device. Do you see the common theme here? Buddy snowflake didn't like any of them and wanted to talk to a supervisor, who would have told him the same things I told him if he'd stayed on hold long enough to talk to one.

You don't get a free phone. You just don't. It doesn't matter how long you've been a customer and it doesn't matter how much you threaten to go to another carrier. $Major_Telecom isn't going to stay in business very long if they hand out $700 phones like candy on Halloween, so they don't, and your piddling $200 per month phone bill isn't enough to change their mind about it.

* * *

Of late I have found myself contemplating the similarities between the early 21st century and the fall of Rome. One theory about Rome was that it fell because they used lead to make plumbing (hence the relationship between plumbum, the Latin name for lead, and "plumbing", the English word for piping) and the people gradually went fucking insane due to lead poisoning. Well, we dumped literal tons of lead into the atmosphere, in the form of burned tetraethyl lead (used as a valve lubricant and anti-knock additive in gasoline) for decades, coming to a peak in the late 1960s; sometimes I think the decline we are currently experiencing is not coincidental.

* * *

Maybe the e-mails thing is getting serious. Chicago Tribune sez, "If ruling Democrats hold themselves to the high moral standards they impose on the people they govern, they would follow a simple process: They would demand that Mrs. Clinton step down, immediately, and let her vice presidential nominee, Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia, stand in her place."

Ha! Ha! Ha. What Democrat would ever do that if he didn't have to? Especially a Clinton?

But if a lefty rag like the Tribune is calling for Hillary to step down, you can bet a lot of other lefties are at least thinking it.

Problem: there is no process for a nominee to step aside at this late date. The election is in nine days, for crying out loud. Even if Hillary were to decide to do it--which she never would, and the entire country and Democrat machine be damned--there's no way to do it that wouldn't result in an endless legal snarl of suit and counter-suit.


* * *

Started watching Baukon! not long ago. Kind of a tribute to Steven Den Beste. Last series I'll watch due to his posts. *sigh*

* * *

Other than idiocy, today went about as well as one could hope. Tomorrow's my Friday, and I'm glad of it.
Saturday, October 29th, 2016
8:03 pm
#5363: I had such a good post title
And I forgot it. Sorry.

Got home at the usual time last night and got up at 6 this morning. The sun had not yet risen but it was twilight. Left work, the sun had not yet set, but it was twilight. It only gets worse from here, and this trend continues (at least for my weekends) until December 21st. Argh etc.

* * *

Today I was thinking about what a call center would look like in a world with robots like those in Singularity. And I realized something important.

Okay, let's say we have a computer which can support AI software which will pass a Turing test. There's no actual reason to put that computer into a robot body if all it will be doing is answering phones; you could put it in something the size of a shoebox and have racks of thousands of them, in a space the size of a two-car garage, and have 24/7 customer service which would be virtually indistinguishable from human.

What you would not have is a vast room of cubicles, each with a humanoid robot, sitting at a computer wearing a headset. You wouldn't need it. Maybe you'd have it at first, until the economic machinery ground far enough, and some bright boy realized he could build an AI customer service call center in a shed and rent it out for $50,000 per day. (Mind you, the shed would require industrial power, air conditioning, and a fat fiber data pipe. But it wouldn't have to be large.)

That would lead, in turn, to a whole bunch of warehousing space coming on the market, because call centers are buildings with large open areas frequently built in light industrial spaces. The cost for such buildings would plummet.

Sure would put me out of a job.

* * *

So, Democrats mourn the death of the "honest politician". As you well know, an honest politician is one who stays bought. James Comey has not "stayed bought" but instead has turned around and reopened the investigation into Hillary Clinton's wanton disregard for secrecy laws after new evidence came to light.

And the Democrats are screaming bloody murder over it.

Because Anthony Weiner, pervert extraordinaire, had copies of his wife Huma's e-mails on his computer, including classified information he was not cleared for. And:
Hillary had her server professionally scrubbed of everything incriminating before giving it over to the FBI, but the sent emails still resided on Weiner's computer. Now the FBI has a situation. Because the emails received on Wiener's computer don't match up with the supposedly complete set of government emails that Hillary says (under oath) that she turned in.
Lying under oath is why her husband was impeached.

* * *

Federal government gives us two numbers for the deficit this year. So, the feds say the 2016 deficit was $590 billion--worse than the Worst Deficit Ever, $455 billion, in George W. Bush's last year--but the debt grew by $1,400 billion. So if the deficit was $590 billion but the debt is $1,400 billion larger--where did the other $810 billion come from?

The fact is that the deficit for 2016 was $1,400 billion, not $590 billion.

* * *

If you watch carefully, you can see the trainer give the sea lion the signal to slap the girl's butt. Totally trained behavior, but totally hilarious.
Friday, October 28th, 2016
12:41 am
#5362: Do you people even read what you send?
Communication at work, sent multiple times, explains what this week's "spirit week" events consist of.

"Wednesday: where you pink to support!"
"Thursday: wear your sports team's colors!"
Wednesday being "breast cancer awareness day", so if you support breast cancer, wear pink! (This is why I never wear pink. One reason.)

Monday was--entirely without warning--a "customer appreciation day" (as my employer is actually outsource for $Major_Telecom) so there were tables with vendor reps and free swag and such...and of course I got in at 1:30 PM as scheduled and promptly got chained to the phone until the vendors all left. Because fuck evening shift. (Today I was given a little folding cooler and Yet Another Water bottle with $Major_Telecom's logo on it.)

* * *

So, HIV came to the US from Haiti because of unrestricted immigration. Hurray!

* * *

Today I finally realized why polishing metal makes it reflective. Took me long enough.

You see, an unpolished surface is all /\/\/\/\/\/\ like--though not that regular--and photons striking the surface go off in random directions. The probability of a photon going in a particular direction (ie, "the angle of incidence equals the angle of reflection") is very low with a rough surface.

But when the surface is all ____________ like, a photon coming from a particular direction is much more likely to reflect in a predictable direction, and "the angle of incidence equals the angle of reflection" because of this predictability.

Like much of quantum mechanics, it's all about probability.

* * *

Speaking of Monday, I lasted one day working late, and switched to working early instead. I hated it. Of course, I'm going to really hate Saturday morning, but them's the breaks. Maybe this will finally motivate me to start looking seriously for another job.
Wednesday, October 26th, 2016
3:15 pm
#5361: This has been true for a long time.
Leftists have always been bullies. The entire point of leftism is to be in charge of everyone, to be able to tell them what to do and how to live--in other words, the point of leftism is power over others.

So it's not really surprising that Democrats are stealing Trump yard signs, and doing other things to property belonging to avowed Trump supporters. It's part and parcel of how they operate: stifle all opposing viewpoints by any means necessary. Make it look like other viewpoints are unpopular and weird. Use violence and terror to enforce the approved viewpoint and to minimize others.

This country can survive a Hillary Clinton presidency, but it sure won't look like the US I grew up in.

* * *

In the same vein....

"Lieutenant Uhura, did Abraham Lincoln call you a nigger?"

Watched the ep of Star Trek last night "Savage Curtain", where Abraham Lincoln and the Vulcan who started the whole "logic" thing helped Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock defeat a band of miscreants from history, including Kahless, the founder of the Klingon way of life. When Lincoln is first beamed aboard the ship and is talking to Kirk on the bridge, Uhura comes in, and Lincoln says, "A charming negress!" And we're treated to the whole "Oh, it's just a word, and we're all proud to be who we are!" horseshit.

Notice that--in truth--the progressive movement (which, in part, Star Trek was meant to propagandize) has instead begun to harp on nothing but words. As Orwell predicted, the attempt is to control language and thus control the proletariat. If Star Trek had predicted correctly, instead of being gently corrected for his verbal faux pas, Abraham Lincoln would have been phasered and spaced. And the black people in the crew of the Enterprise wouldn't have stopped rioting over it until they'd looted and burned half the ship.

Though it is hard to imagine Kirk shrugging and saying, "Well, Lincoln did call her the n-word, after all."

* * *

My first thought, upon seeing this article, was that "Someone is watching too much damned Star Wars and thinks moisture vaporators are possible."

The author of said post came to exactly the same conclusion.

And I loved his conclusion:
Maybe we need to get rid of science, decolonize out minds, and use local magicians to call down lightningbolts. Sure, what the hell.
It's going to a hell of a lot of trouble to harvest a few teaspoons of water, and no, it wouldn't work for shit.

At least in the SW universe they have compact and approximately limitless power sources, so something like this--but with active refrigeration--could sit out in the middle of a silt flat and be left to operate for a year or so, allowing the condensation to be collect to an economically useful level before someone comes along and harvests it. But as is pointed out in the post, soil is an insulator, so with this version what you'll end up with is a warm, empty, underground space.

*sigh* indeed.

* * *

Here is how busy we have been: for the first time in more than a week, we have milk in the house. We have not had time to go get any.

Here is how much I've ridden my motorcycle this year: last night I was tidying my desk and came across the registration card for it, and realized that the plates expired four weeks ago. I haven't had time to ride my bike at all.

Well: twelve hours out of the house every workday, and two days in the week where I must do everything else. Not much time for recreation; in fact yesterday marked the first time in a week that I spent some time playing WoW.

Writing's been getting the shortest shrift; I haven't added so much as a single word to $New_Story since the 11th. Argh etc.

I was originally planning to cut the grass today, but it rained, and I'm just as happy. Half the reason I was getting so friggin' burned out at work was because I'm constantly doing things, and have no downtime whatsoever.

Could be worse--could be lots worse--but it could be lots better, too. I shouldn't complain, but no one wants to struggle constantly just to break even. And the worst part of it is, I need to write if I want things to get better...and even that is work, even if it's tons easier than manning the phones or digging ditches.

Still, we have things to do today, and I've got to get after them.
Tuesday, October 25th, 2016
11:39 am
#5360: Anos: "It's spelled A-N-U-S!"
In Ultima II there are moongates (inspired by the portals in Time Bandits) and there's a kind of nexus where there are four of them near each other, in several different time zones. To help the player know when he is, there's a helpful sign, and when you look at it, the text reads:
The sign reads:
Anos: 9,000,000 B.C.
Anos: 1423 B.C.
Anos: 1990 A.D.
Anos: 2112 A.D.
Anos: Legends!
Never understood what "anos" meant. Probably it's spanish, "años", meaning "years", only the 8-bit computers that U2 was made for didn't have Unicode fonts and used only some variant of US ASCII, and therefore lacked the ñ.

Regardless of why, it amused me to think of the title.

* * *

No more Chick tracts. The hyperbolic horseshit that man spread about D&D--

But I understand what he was trying to accomplish, and can't fault him too much.

* * *

Sun screens are coming! Heinlein's "Future History" was built, in part, on this sort of concept. The sun screens weren't solar panels; they were basically optical antennas, devices which would work much the way these do. Heinlein's assumption was that if you could get a crystal to oscillate at the frequencies of visible light, all you had to do to convert light into electricity was to build an array of such crystals, and the conversion from light to electricity would be pretty efficient.

It's what we do with radio waves; it's why a crystal radio can work at all: they measure the power of a transmitter in watts because you're actually throwing power into the air. (This same principle was what Tesla was getting at with his Wardenclyffe experiments.)

But of course the technical details are a little more complicated, and until now the best way we could convert light to electricity was the photovoltaic cell, which is staggeringly inefficient.

Well, we'll get there, I suppose.

* * *

Six species of vegetable from one plant, because humans have been genetically modifying food for thousands of years.

One plant is the progenitor of cabbage, brussels sprouts, kale, kohlrabi, broccoli, and cauliflower.

* * *

Well, it's my weekend, finally. Maybe I'll get to relax, a little.
2:15 am
#5359: I just can't figure out what to say.
"...[I]t's possible I'll be out of contact for some period over the weekend."

Steven Den Beste has died, and that was the last sentence he wrote in his blog.

I find myself surprised at how broken up I am over it. I never met the man; I traded a couple of e-mails with him which left me with the impression he thought I was an idiot. I didn't mind; he was a very smart man and I can be really stupid.

USS Clueless--and Chizumatic after it--was one of the reasons I started blogging, myself, and my second-ever post here at the Fungus borrowed one of his schticks: "Too Many Words", referring to the scene in Amadeus where the king told Mozart he used too many notes.

Chizumatic is first on my blogroll, and has been for a long time. But no more updates will be forthcoming.

And so, to honor his memory, a little anime cheesecake:

We'll miss you, Steven.
Sunday, October 23rd, 2016
9:04 pm
#5358: STFU
Customers are idiots, and I hate them.

Look: wait times have been high because queues are big, because Samsung laid a huge frickin' egg (they called it "Note 7") right about the same time Apple released the iPhone 7. Thursday we actually had zero calls in queue for about half an hour, which was the first time I'd seen that since Labor Day.

Yesterday, this anus--a miggim--calls in, and spends five minutes berating me: "Why did I have to wait twenty-three minutes? This is terrible customer service. Do you think it's right that I had to wait that long?" That's what miggims do: they expect you to answer their questions and get yourself into trouble. What they want is to make sure you understand they can shit all over you and you must take it.

I don't play the game. I simply told him, "I do understand that there's a significant wait time; we are experiencing higher than normal call volumes. I apologize for the inconvenience."

I can't say, to these idiots, what I want to say; so I'll say it here.

Look: you are not the only person waiting in line to talk to someone. Currently we have two calls waiting in queue for every single agent logged in, and every one of those callers--just like you--expects to be helped immediately and thoroughly, with the rep taking as much time as necessary to resolve your issue. When you spend five minutes berating me over your wait time, you're not just holding up your own resolution but those of everyone in line behind you. You are part of the problem. Everyone has to wait his turn, so, yeah, I think it's right that you had to wait your turn.

So, you say $Major_Telecom should do something about it. Let me tell you something: everyone in this call center is on mandatory overtime. Some of us are required to work eleven hour shifts. Myself, I am out my house for twelve hours on every workday. We have several metrics to which we must adhere, and a few of them are mutually exclusive, yet we face disciplinary action if we fail to meet them all. We do a very stressful job--listening to people like you yell at us over issues we have absolutely no power to correct--for less than industry average pay. The burnout and turnover rates are horrendous.

Meanwhile, you also complain that your cellular service costs too much and you threaten to go to another carrier. Think about that the next time you look at your phone bill.



The other real winner yesterday was the woman who insisted that I should give her something like a $300 credit for a data overage she incurred. I look in the outbound communication log and see text message after text message--starting sixteen days ago--telling her every time she incurred another data overage charge.

Customer: Well, yes, I got them, but every time I called I was put on hold, and I was at work and didn't have time to wait!

Me: The first message was sent on the second. You haven't had a day off since then?

Customer: Well, I did, but then I got put on hold!

Look: if you can't be fucked to call us and find out why you're getting so many overage charges, don't be surprised when the rep you talk to is completely unsympathetic to your plight. Before the bill generates, we can find ways to mitigate the charges and to help you get your data use under control. It gets a lot harder afterwards, and no matter how much you threaten to leave, you're not entitled to a credit for your data use. You knew you were using all that data, and you chose to do nothing. Congratulations; you earned that bill.

What I wanted to say to her: Look, lady, if I take this case to my boss and ask him to issue a $300 credit, he's going to laugh his ass off and say "no".

Then, in relatively rapid succession, I had some unlimited data babies, people whose accounts were hit by the latest price increases for unlimited data packages. And that left me with more shit I can't say to customers.

Look here: when you are paying $130 a month for unlimited data, when a 100 GB plan costs $450, STFU.

Threaten to call your lawyer; it doesn't scare me. And it doesn't because any competent lawyer is going to say to you, "You can file a lawsuit over this, but I'll tell you what will happen: their lawyers will point to their terms and conditions, where it says 'pricing subject to change without notice', and then move to dismiss...and the judge will agree. You don't have a case, so either pay the freight or find another carrier."

"I have a contract!" or "I'm grandfathered!" You don't have a contract which guarantees you will never see a price increase. No corporation would ever agree to provide a service at a price fixed for eternity, unless some very specific circumstances apply. When it comes to cellular service your contract usually specifies two things: how long you will retain service, and what happens if you cancel early. There may be a notification in there about plan pricing not changing, but even if there is, these price increases take place after the contract has expired. Which means you're free to terminate service without penalty if you don't like the price increase, but it also means the price on your plan can be increased.

And that "grandfathered" nonsense--you being grandfathered extends only to you getting to keep the unlimited data plan. It does not mean you get to pay the same price on it forever.

...all this horseshit over a twenty dollar per month increase. For something that costs a hell of a lot more to provide. Like I said before, 100 GB of data costs $450 a month.

And most of these asshats don't use anything like that much. Mr. "Grandfathered" uses an average of 20 GB per month, and for that, he's only paying enough to cover a 16 GB plan for a new customer who brings his own phone.

These people get really angry that their free ride is coming to an end; of course, that's what happens when someone gets something for a ridiculously low price and then the price realigns with reality.

* * *

If there is not a Trumpslide on November 8th, there is a very good chance that the USA will find itself at war with a Russo-Chinese alliance. And that is a war that a USA saddled with the incompetent and unwell Hillary Clinton as Commander-in-Chief will almost certainly lose.
Exactly. Whereas if we get Trump, we at least have a chance of avoiding a total war.

* * *

"Probably more Christians are radicalized" than muslims. Well, perhaps, in 21st century America this is so; but what does that mean in practical terms?

Radical muslims: bombings, shootings, mass violence, subjugation of women, executions of non-muslims, executions of gays, terrorism on both small and large scale, constant internecine war

Radical Christians: Jehova's Witnesses, proselytizing, speaking in tongues, protests outside abortion clinics

I'd rather spend a year in the company of radical Christians than five minutes in the company of radical muslims.

* * *

Read Strawberry Marshmallow manga, volumes 1-5, apparently the entire series. I enjoy it a lot, but last night we came to the story where Noby is applying for a job at 7-11, and when she calls the place to schedule a time to come in and apply, at the end of the call Miu yells, "FUNGAH!" into the phone:

I laughed my ass off.
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