#6945: Let me see if I'm understanding this.

Kamala Harris quit the race for President and now the Democrats are trying to spin this as the result of racism.

Think, for a moment, about what her constituency was. Whose vote was it that she was trying to get?

Democrats' votes!

...because she was trying to win the Democrat primaries. There were not going to be any Republicans--at least, not people who are registered Republicans--voting in the primaries. The primary elections don't even start until January, so she's withdrawing from the race based entirely on what the polls say...and the result of polls of likely Democrat voters showed that she was not a popular choice.

And right on schedule out come the accusations of "racist!" but those accusations are aimed at Democrat voters.

Don't hold your breath waiting for CNN or somebody to ask Democrat voters, "What do you think of Kamala Harris' accusations of Democrat voters being racist?"

* * *

It's always a shock, isn't it? A kid of moderate intelligence can breeze right through high school with straight A's...and then, when he gets into college, hits a brick wall.

The socialized educational system has been dumbed down so that the below-average can graduate from high school, and it's "unfair" to have advanced courses for smarter kids or even to recognize that some kids are smarter than others. No, all kids have to be treated exactly the same so that no one gets his feelings hurt (or feels "discriminated against") and you especially may not allow the kids who want to learn to be segregated from the ones who don't.

Used to be that colleges had admission exams. If you could pass the test, they'd let you attend. But of course that's "discrimination" now.

* * *

Today was a pain in the ass and I'm glad it's over. I am going to go kill monsters in WoW now.

#6944: I had to come home to take my coat off

So, on my way home from work, I stopped at Ace and bought a light bulb for the stove, and a freaking space heater. The heater will go under my desk at work and be plugged in when I'm in the office. It will make a very inefficient kotatsu, but at least I won't be freezing my ass off.

Last night the remains of the Thanksgiving turkey went into the stock pot. Turned the heat off at 11:30 and went to bed; it was still hot to the touch at 5 AM. Before I left for work today I put it in the garage; when I got home I brought it back inside. Strained it; now the broth is boiling down to stock and a serving bowl full of shreds sits in the fridge, waiting for me to make turkey salad out of it.

For future reference, even if we are having guests, we do not need a 20 lb bird. I think 12 lbs would be fine; and when we're not having guests, a breast section would be perfectly acceptable.

Anyway, could be worse.

* * *

It is a matter of biological fact.

Of course it is "transphobic" to insist that biology is a scientific fact:

...apparently "advanced biology" supports the idea that a man can menstruate and a woman can have a penis. And "every major medical institution"?

Nero appointed a horse to the Senate. With that fact in mind, the 21st century left said, "Hold my beer."

* * *

Forcing electric cars on an unwilling world.

* * *

There is a hell of a lot of money in environmentalism in general, and global warming in particular. Do not be fooled by the people who claim there is not.

* * *

Yep, all those people will be missed after they commit suicide, sometime over the next week or so. Too bad they know something about the Clintons. I guess the weight of that knowledge will be too much for them to bear and they'll kill themselves.

They'll be missed, all right.

* * *

Today was a very frustrating day. People complaining at me over things I literally cannot fix--one problem is with SAP (which I have no access to) running in a data center which doesn't even belong to the company. The ticket for the issue is in the correct hands, yet people are bitching because I haven't fixed it. Then someone from the service desk calls me, I explain what's going on with it, and he asks, "Well, do you want the ticket assigned to you?"

I didn't say what I wanted to say, which was, "Not when the team it's assigned to is the one that can fix the problem, no, you fucking ass goblin." What I told him was pretty much that, though, without the editorializing. Everything before the first comma, I said.

This was after I had explained to him that the ticket is currently in the hands of the team that is actually able to fix the issue, by the way. And after I had sent a courteous email to the complainant explaining that the issue that is occurring is in a system I have no access to--and which the guy that called me had seen.

Another guy complained that his problem with a certain well-known piece of software hadn't been fixed yet. Basically, someone screwed up, and a whole bunch of people are having trouble with this software. Before today, the only known fix was to scrub the hard drive down to bare metal and reinstall the operating system. Now there's an actual fix for it, something that involves considerably less work than that. So-and-so was unhappy that he'd have to wait a few more hours.

And all of this came on the tail of me spending almost five hours butting my head against a weird problem: suddenly, multifunction printers all over the place stopped allowing people to scan to a shared network folder. I had two tickets from two of my sites, and it pretty quickly turned into three, and my own investigations revealed that a third printer was doing the same thing. Then one of the people who put in a ticket for that issue put in another one.

So I spent hours banging my head against this problem, trying to figure out what the fuck went wrong here, and finally I thought I'd figured it out (with the help of a coworker) when I found that the username that the printer was trying to use to access the network share was missing from Active Directory.

Well, no, said the network guys, after I sent them an email; the username works and the password works and these usernames are local to your sites and won't appear in AD and guess what you have no access to them so you can't fix this problem.

At least the network guys took over from there. Shit. But that was after I spent hours talking with coworkers and combing through printer setup menus and going down blind alley after blind alley. All the while freezing my ass off in an office that never got above 64 degrees and was actually much colder for most of the day. I was wearing my parka and had the hood up.

My original plan for today had been to go to one of my offsites and get some stuff done over there, but of course that plan was totally fisted in the ass by this printer problem.

By 5, though, things had calmed down, and I was in the process of getting that one guy's computer problem fixed. He had to leave so I told him I'd call him tomorrow morning and finish the repair then. *sigh*

I did get seriously discouraged today, but at least I recovered from it.

#6943: This is getting irritating

Went to Menards after work, needing a new light bulb for over the stove.

I don't recall when it was, exactly, but I took a 15w equivalent LED bulb out and replaced it with a 40w equivalent LED bulb. The 15w bulb had lasted for quite a long time, but was dim, and I wanted more light.

The 40w bulb died. It's turned into a strobe light. And it's a GE bulb! Name-brand! WTF.

I kept the 15w bulb but of course I can't find it, so I went to Menards to buy another one. They had one style of LED bulb that was (I thought) the right size. 15w equivalent. Finally I gave up and grabbed it, then spent some time meandering through the store and looking at things.

Depending on how I decide to go with the master bath, I might replace the shower stall with a smaller one--36" square instead of the oblong one that's in there now, and similar in construction to the original shower stall. That would give me room to put the cat boxes in the niche thus created, and return the shower to function, letting us shower in there instead of the main bathroom. And that would save a lot of trouble in other areas.

I will probably have to re-plumb the bathtub drain, because it was installed by a jerkwad; in the 25 years since it was installed that bathtub has never drained very quickly. ...but I was also looking at a whirlpool tub, which ran about $600-ish, and which would drop right into that space without much alteration. It's taller than the existing tub; that would mean trimming the existing surround (the expensive one from Bath Planet). But it'd be nice to be able to run a tub of hot water and then turn on the pump and let it massage away your aches and pains.

Of course, when you do that, you need to run power to the thing, and I'd bet money there's a special thingamajig you need to install just right in order to keep the electricity out of the bath water. But it's not rocket science.

Just imagine: re-plumbing the tub drain because, after all, I was putting in the whirlpool tub my wife dreams of. (Heck, I dream of it myself.)

...and getting that shower working would be a nice plus in itself. Well, it's all on the list, anyway.

* * *

The Toji beach camera is still up and yesterday it looked as if it was snowing there. I'd love to be able to look at that view on Christmas day.

* * *

I know what he means, actually. Today as I was leaving work to get lunch, I happened to look at three SUVs in a row in the parking lot there. All grey, three different brands, and they looked virtually identical. One was a Honda, one was an Audi, and one was a Nissan. (And on the other side of the lot, a grey Ford of approximately the same configuration.)

And yes, cars cost a bundle--a big bundle--because there hasn't been any negative pressure on their prices. Let's face it: the days when you could buy a good used car on an entry-level salary are well over. These days anything under five years old is better than $15,000.

The federal government has so many rules for how cars must be designed that it's stifling the ability of car companies to design attractive vehicles. Further, these rules make them more expensive, because they still have to meet some seriously unrealistic fuel economy targets.

Who can blame the young 'uns for not caring about cars?

* * *

Karl Denninger doesn't pull any punches and says exactly what I was saying about Colin Kaepernick: "You're unemployable due to your own actions and you haven't learned a damn thing since you left the NFL."

* * *

Less guns equals more crime. Because criminals break the law. By definition.

* * *

Looks like Andrew is in deep doo-doo. That would be "Prince Andrew" except that he's not really a prince now that the royal family has removed him from "royal duties". The Duke of York.

* * *

So, Bloomberg's paper has announced that in order to be "fair", its reporters won't investigate and report on Democrat candidates.

Republican candidates will be, of course, but not Democrat ones. Because that's apparently being "fair", since Bloomberg is running for President as a Democrat.

This is naturally a definition of "fair" which only a Democrat could come up with.

The Trump campaign, meanwhile, has announced that no Bloomberg reporter will be given press credentials to campaign events, citing the fact that the publication has blatantly announced its pro-Democrat bias.

I think the White House ought to take the same step, in fact.

* * *

This is a really, really huge fucking surprise, now isn't it? Nuclear power doesn't "dismantle systems of oppression", which is why it can't be used to generate electricity instead of windmills and solar power.

The environmentalist movement is nothing but a watermelon: green on the outside, red on the inside. I guess that since a lot of leftward-leaning institutions (like Bloomberg) are dropping the facade, these asshats are doing the same.

* * *

Well, that was a nice weekend, but it was back to work today. Not too bad, even so.

#6942: Well, that was relaxing

Did not get so much as one single solitary chore done, but I did find the last three days to be very relaxing!

I know that the Protestant work ethic states that we must use our time profitably, idle hands, the devil, blah blah blah, etcetera. "Hey, it's a five-day weekend! Think of everything you can get done!"

Horseshit. People aren't machines. They need time to rest and relax.

The one chore that I did this weekend was to move our bed from the master bedroom into the spare room. The master bedroom is next on the repaint list, and it's the last major room to be painted in the house. (The master bathroom is an L-shaped space and fairly small.) So we got the bed out of it preparatory to doing that.

The dressers are the only other furniture in there; I can move them to the center of the room and cover them with drop cloths. No problem there. And we'll follow the same formula we have been; I'll prep the surfaces and paint the ceiling Ultra White and the walls will be some color. At some point subsequent to that we'll have carpet put in both the spare and master bedrooms.

Moving that bed was a ball-buster, though. The mattress is huge and ungainly, and for some stupid reason only has handles on the sides, not the ends--and it absolutely would not slide on the carpeting. No mattress I have ever had in my life was that f-ing difficult to move.

But we did it. Got it into the spare room, oriented correctly, on the foundation and box springs.

So I, around other things, will start pecking away at surface prep. I do not expect to paint that room before January, but you never know. December's not a good month to start working on a home improvement project, not when you have 40,000 other things on your plate, but we'll do what we can.

* * *

At some point I've got to get the Jeep's exhaust situated. I'm sick of it being loud and clunking against stuff when I hit bumps. There hasn't been one weekend since the end of August where I had decent weather and I was hale and hearty enough to do physical labor.

Moving the bed did not, to my surprise, cause me any undue difficulty, and I feel fine--I'd expected to be in a lot of pain today--which means I'm in pretty good shape after all the horseshit of October.

At some point I must either get some good weather, or get the Jeep into the garage, so I can fix that f-ing exhaust system. I've only had the parts since early 2018!

...starting to think about finding a place with indoor storage that I could stash the Mustang over the winter. Be nice to be able to get the truck into the garage and fix it.

Other thought, longer term, is to get a building permit and put up a proper shed in the back yard, and store all the power implements in it: lawn mowers, snow blowers, weed trimmers, fertilizer spreaders, pool stuff, dirt bike, lawn chairs and patio furniture, hoses, shovels and rakes, ladders, etcetera. Simply getting all that stuff out of the garage would make a ton of room in there, probably enough that even with the Mustang in it I could fit another car in, with a reasonable amount of room to work around it.

Insulate the outer walls of the garage and put up drywall. Maybe pay someone to come in and mud it for me--and then a nice coat of paint, something inexpensive and light-colored. Then, lighting--proper lighting, LED, and enough of it so it's no longer dingy in there.

Following the theme of the rest of the house, the garage was originally lit by a single screw-in fixture. One bulb to light the whole thing. When a garage door opener was retrofit in the mid-1970s that gave us a second bulb to light it. Where the ceiling fixture could handle a 100 watt bulb, the opener could handle 75, so we had a grand total of two light bulbs to light a space some twenty feet on a side.

I've got a single fluorescent fixture hung from the garage door opener, so when I turn on the light now it's much brighter in there--but it's still not what I'd call "well lit".

What I want is to have at least four LED fixtures, strip-style, hung from the ceiling. Six would be better. That ought to light every corner of the place, and then if I needed to fix something I could see well enough to do it. You know?


And as long as I'm dreaming, maybe a lift...?

#6941: Cranberry salsa

Okay, here's what you do.

12 oz frozen cranberries, thawed
1/2 cup chopped green onion
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
2 jalapeno peppers, chopped with or without seeds, to taste (more seeds=more heat)
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp lime or lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt

Put it all in a food processor and run it until everything is mixed and chopped up together. You know what consistency salsa ought to have. Once you've done that, let it sit in the refrigerator for at least an hour; overnight is better.

Cranberry salsa, 2- 8 oz packages of cream cheese, softened

Spread a layer of cream cheese on a shallow serving plate. Spread a layer of salsa on top of cream cheese. Serve with Wheat Thins.

Your mouth will love you for the rest of your life. I don't like sweet salsas and I love this stuff.

#6940: A couple of quick bits

Don't feel like pounding out 1,500 words on anything right now. Sorry.

* * *

Part of President Trump's trade deal has the US selling rice to China. Which has never happened before.

* * *

As usual the reboot is SJW-ified and incoherent. Party of Five has been rebooted to be "woke" with the usual level of stupidity.
So...mom and dad have been in the country illegally for 18-24 years and have been financially successful enough to achieve middle-class status, but never went about the process of becoming legal immigrants?

And I'm supposed to have sympathy for them?
No. Not just no, but HELL NO.

* * *

I've seen this a couple of places but it was always in a video format and I didn't have time to figure out how it works. With the photos there, now I know.

The string in the center is the one that actually supports the upper half of the structure. The three strings around the periphery are merely there to stabilize it and keep it aligned so the center string can do its job. (Well, I say "merely" but without any one of them, the thing would collapse.)

* * *

I woke up this morning about 5 AM (after getting to bed around 2:30) and realized that garbage pickup was today, so I put on coat and shoes and hauled the can down to the foot of the driveway. That'll do.

* * *

I bought one of those fat-separating measuring cups. That made it a heck of a lot easier to make the gravy and to keep nearly all the grease out of it. I still didn't make as much gravy as Mom used to make, but I made plenty and I am zeroing in on the formula.

With the drippings in the pan and heated to a near-boil I started making the roux, and kept adding Wondra to it and stirring with a whisk until it had turned gelatinous, at which point my courage ran out and I started adding chicken broth to get the right consistency.

One issue with making gravy from a brined bird is that it comes out salty. Need to start using low-sodium chicken broth.

...but nonetheless it came out fine. This time, the kind of starchy taste that former attempts had was missing, which means the roux cooked correctly, and the gravy simmered long enough after I was done making it.

And of course, last night's dinner was open-faced turkey sandwiches with gravy, a perennial favorite of mine.

* * *

We're at day four of my five-day weekend. How relaxing. The new week will soon begin, and with it, the holiday season and a couple weeks' worth of hectic times at work while I try to get everything done before Christmas comes.

Shopping, work stuff, getting a tree, preparing for the festivities...it's going to be a bit of effort, all right, but that's not really a problem.

Looks like the plant shuts down entirely for Christmas eve and Christmas day, too. Going to need to request my anniversary off, of course.


#6939: Genius

Apparently Bonnie and Clyde are a "myth" now.

Layers and layers of fact checking! Editorial oversight! Yet no one could be bothered even to look at Wikipedia?


What else will our self-styled intellectual betters claim as myth? Al Capone? Prohibition?

I expect that the person writing this story used "myth" not because he thought Bonnie and Clyde weren't actual historical figures, but because he was trying to write smart words about how they became legendary. The problem is, "myth" doesn't mean what he thinks it means. "Legend" would have been a less-risible choice, though still problematic, because that word generally describes something that actually happened but so long ago that no one's really sure, and sifting the tall tales from the facts of the event is difficult.

* * *

Managed to turn out a decent meal yesterday. Turkey came out nicely. All I did with the mashed potatoes was to boil them; Mrs. Fungus handled peeling, cutting, and then mashing them.

My mother-in-law offered to help, so I had her do the crescent rolls.

The meal was great, dessert was great, the company was great; we had a lovely holiday.

And, counting today, there are still three days left in my weekend.

#6938: The last politics post until Friday

Because Thanksgiving is not a day for politics.

Shut the fuck up, you leftist asshats, and let us enjoy the holiday. Of course they can't stand American traditions, and nothing makes them feel more powerful and superior than fucking up a nice holiday for everyone by splattering their leftist diarrhea all over the dinner table.

They don't realize how childish, churlish, and asinine they come off as, and I suspect they don't really care, either.

* * *

"Today progressives tell us that we must not offend new arrivals with our Christmas traditions."

To which I say, "Fuck off." America is predominantly Christian. If you don't like it, do not come here.

* * *

Anti-American asshat Colin Kaepernick is radioactive. Kaepernick has two problems. First off, he's just not all that damned good at playing football. He's a pro-level player, but there is a hierarchy even in that rareified territory, and he's nowhere near the top of it. I'm not going to say anything negative about his skills, but simply assume he's a median-level professional football player, because his actual prowess at the game has nothing whatsoever to do with why teams won't hire him. There's nothing wrong with being an average professional football player; as I said that's pretty rareified territory. A very exclusive club.

If Kaepernick were the best damned quarterback the sport had ever seen, he could might get away with being an anti-American piss-head. But he's not; he's a mediocre player, at least among professionals. The fact that he could clean up against even decent college players is true of everyone who wears an NFL football uniform...and many people who do not, who don't make the cut simply because there are better players out there than they.

The second problem is that the adulation given to him by the left has given him a big head, making him think he is a lot better and more important than he actually is, and more prone to thinking that his unemployment is due to his race rather than any other factor. He thinks it's because of discrimination--racism--that he's not playing pro football. As if NFL teams ever failed to employ black players who could, you know, play the game at the pro level.

But it comes down to simple economics. His antics cost the NFL as a whole a lot of money, many times his annual salary. And because there are many more pro-level athletes than there are NFL slots to fill, teams can afford to bypass him for unknowns who play just as well as he does (if not better) and who don't come with the enormous political baggage he does.

Being signed by Nike for his endorsement was the worst thing that could have happened to him, because it validated his political stance and further allowed him to think of himself as a victim of racism rather than someone who made some very, very poor choices about when, where, and how to voice his political opinions.

All the leftists just loved the shit out of him for doing it, but leftists don't own football teams and don't go to football games and don't buy football paraphernalia. He's grandstanding to their cheers, and enjoying their adulation, but that doesn't pay the rent.

I don't think anyone's surprised that no pro team is interested in hiring him. What team wants to take the hit in ticket and merchandise sales that hiring him all but guarantees? When hiring him is otherwise like hiring any other median-pro player? He's not going to ensure you win any games, but he sure as hell will ensure you don't fill stadium seats.

As I said, he's radioactive. And it's all his own damned fault.

* * *

The only thing congress is doing is investigating and trying to impeach President Trump. They're not getting anything else done.

* * *

The left will now be saying that there's something suspicious here and it must be investigated so President Trump can be impeached for it. Obviously, they will say, Trump had the guy killed and it was made to look like a suicide.

The same people will say this with a straight face even as they deny that the Clintons had anything to do with the death of Vince Foster. Or Jeffrey Epstein. Or....

[insert "Arkancide" list here]

* * *

Sarah Hoyt is confident that the pendulum is swinging the other way.

Heck, I could have told her that. It swung left for decades; now it's time for it to go the other way.

The interesting part for me is the bit about how the USSR financed communist revolutions. Remember that asshat from the other day, things we had the USSR to thank for? Remember that bit about "home-grown" revolutions? Yeah.

* * *

The fact that this happens does not make me feel good. And it's not just one party, either.

For a long time, I've had the feeling that the GOP and the Democrats worked out a deal where they trade places in the executive branch every so often. GOP for two terms, Democrat for two, and so on, subject only to the vagaries of a still largely-uncontrolled voting process, one in which one party can tamper but not too obviously or on too large a scale.

I went to a Republican caucus in Iowa in 2000, and I was surprised when the vote went for Bush. I honestly wonder what it was like in 2016 when Trump got the nod? Were the precinct captains (or whatever they're called) surprised and annoyed by it then?

Trump didn't go through the process, starting at the bottom and working his way up; he just declared for President and won it. And I think much of the never-Trump GOP is unhappy because they can't control him the way they can control those that were captured early on, as is the case here.

Vox Day's last paragraph is the telling point of all this:

Keep this in mind if you're tempted to accuse people of being jealous of those who are wealthier, more famous, or more successful. I can only speak for myself, of course, but I'm not jealous of anyone who has taken the ticket. I know the price they are paying and it isn't one that I was willing to pay.
What does it cost you to be rich and successful in this world? I don't mean "upper middle class"; I mean, to have millions in the bank and hobnob with the elites? There is a certain level of wealth that you cannot attain through mere hard work; it takes connections and clout and "luck" to be super-rich.

One of my brother's in-laws is a lobbyist. After he married my brother's sister-in-law, he had a 40-room mansion built. Not too many years ago I heard through the grapevine that he'd built a condo in Florida. The guy is loaded with money--probably the richest person I know--but I cannot stand to be in the same room with that man, at least not for long. The aura that surrounds him is not a good one. He's friendly and likable but there's just this vibe that I can never shake.

That sounds like a cop-out...but I suspect it sounds like one only to those who took the ticket and rode it to their lives of earthly success.

I know that I've never been presented with that choice. Prior to about 2009-ish I would have taken the ticket immediately, thinking I was in control of my destiny...and I would have been tragically mistaken. These days I suspect that I'd hesitate long enough actually to consider the ramifications of taking it.

* * *

Well, I've got brine to make and pans to clean and a whole slew of other chores that must be done before bedtime tonight, and that means I'd better get my ass in gear.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

#6937: They really did that

The older they were, the more likely they were to do it, too.

My childhood was spread across the 1970s and 1980s. We had tube-based televisions in our house for a good long time, and it wasn't until 1988 that we got a console TV. By then, of course, tubes were no longer in use for anything other than the display screen itself. But I still remember sitting in a quiet house, late at night, and the TV suddenly emitting that *crack*.

Televisions used to get awfully warm inside. That's why cats would sleep on them: they were warm. Especially with tube circuitry. Things would expand as they warmed up, and kind of like with earthquakes things would stick together until some threshold was reached and then there'd be an adjustment. *Crack*. But you wouldn't hear it over the noise coming from its speaker.

Much later, after the thing had been off a while and had cooled down, you'd get the same *crack* out of it as pieces contracted.

Even after they made the switch to solid-state circuitry they still got warm inside--you still had that big glass bulb--but not as much. The same thing went for computer monitors: many was the time I'd go to move one and it'd make all sorts of creaks and pops as I did.

Flat panels don't do that. The electronics are vanishingly small compared to the surface area of the LCD, and the LCD itself has that entire area to help dissipate heat. Give your blab slab a wiggle and you might get a couple of little noises from it, but nothing like what you'd get from nudging a 27" color TV, vintage 1973 or so.

* * *

Netflix has K-On!

...they also have the movie, which I didn't know existed. Their subtitles are still hit-and-miss, randomly dropping, but I watched half of it last night while waiting for Mrs. Fungus to get home. At my stopping point, it was the same old charming stuff from the TV series.

* * *

Had an epic episode of acid reflux last night. One of those occasions where dinner wasn't sitting quite right; about 2 AM I burped in my sleep, and...stuff...came up with it, which took me from peaceful slumber to EMERGENCY! immediately.

Dinner was late, because after Mrs. Fungus got home we went out to get the rest of what we need for Thursday's festivities, and we needed to make two stops. Dinner ended up being Burger King, about 11 PM; and then we were in bed around 1 AM. That's probably what prompted that bit of reflux; I should know better, but I was tired and hungry and wasn't really thinking about it.

It's that liquid smoke stuff they use that does that to me. Burger King's food is pretty far down the scale for me because of that. Whoppers are really the only thing they make that I like. Given my druthers I would have gone to Culver's (but they were close to being closed by then) or Wendy's (none in the vicinity).


* * *

The third to the last sentence is the point of this post on the atomic bombing of Japan in 1945.

* * *

Not impressed with Hunter S. Thompson. I never really understood the mystique, either.

In fact, there are quite a lot of people who were idolized by Baby Boomers like that. "Oh, so-and-so is so great!" but I never understood what was so great about him. The older I get--and as I better come to understand the attitudes of my actual age cohort--the more I come to realize that there's actually nothing to them. At least, nothing that really makes them deserving of the adulation given to them.

Hunter S. Thompson is one of them. As far as I can tell, he was considered cool by Baby Boomers because he took a lot of drugs and acted like they did. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas made for an entertaining movie but as far as I can tell it was basically about him getting stoned fifty thousand different ways on someone else's dime.

Frank Zappa--this is going to ruffle some feathers--Frank Zappa seemed like an okay musician and the songs that I heard were quirky but harmless.

There were two of them that could be played on the radio when I was in my teens. "Baby Snakes" and "Valley Girl" were the only two songs of his that I'd ever heard prior to the late 1980s when a friend brought over Sheik Yerbouti.

...and every song on that album, just about, was a raunch-fest. He was a competent musician but I just could not hear anything that demonstrated that he was as great a musician as people said he was. It just wasn't that good.

But his music was "satirical" (and these days we might refer to it as "woke") and he agreed with the millions of hippies out there, and so they idolized him. I suspect that a Frank Zappa who was just as talented as the one we got but whose songs didn't gore "establishment" oxen would have disappeared into history without a trace.

And every time I look at one of these Boomer idols, it's the same thing. It's not that he's specially talented; it's that he said things that Boomers liked--or pushed against some societal norm they wanted to see destroyed, mainly because it kept them from having a good time.

* * *

The best they could do ended up proving the opposite point. The last paragraph sums up the entire article:
So how did the video do refuting Scott Adams' cartoon? He joked that scientists warning of catastrophe invoke the authority of observational data when they are really making claims based on models. Check. He joked that they ignore on a post hoc basis the models that don't look right to them. Check. He joked that their views presuppose the validity of models that reasonable people could doubt. Check. And he joked that to question any of this will lead to derision and the accusation of being a science denier. Check. In other words, the Yale video sought to rebut Adams' cartoon and ended up being a documentary version of it.
The bulk of the article explains each of these points in detail so it's worthwhile to read it all, but that really does end up being the point.

* * *

What kind of stress test? Boeing was stress-testing a 777 fuselage and it went "bang". It sounds like they were doing a cabin pressurization test, bringing it up to 1.5x the normal load, and it failed at 99% of that value. I can't tell from the article at ZeroHedge, and the Seattle Times refuses to allow me to run a secure system while viewing their article. (They want me to turn off my ad blocker, which I won't do for reasons explained previously.)

In any event the failure was close enough to the threshold that the FAA will let Boeing self-certify their fix for it. At this point I don't think the FAA should let them get away with anything of the sort, but I don't run it, so WTF.

* * *

A Hard Rock Cafe, under construction or renovation or something, collapsed in New Orleans some time ago but I didn't care enough about it to discuss it.

The construction company employed illegal aliens. This guy was ordered deported in 2016--three years ago--and was not legally able to work in the US.... "But Hard Rock's construction company hired him anyway and nobody has been indicted for doing so."

As Karl Denninger notes, American companies will continue to hire illegal aliens as long as they are allowed to get away with doing so. If you want to stem the tide of illegal aliens, drying up the job market for illegal labor would be a good place to start.

I'd say, if your company is caught employing illegal aliens, you're subject to a fine of $1,000,000 per head. That would go a long way towards ending this shit. But of course there are already laws on the books, and penalties for hiring illegals. So really the only thing we need to do is to start enforcing those laws and penalizing the companies that break them.

* * *

It's high winds in the Fungal Vale. Snows, rains, winds, storms, dogs and cats living together--mass hysteria!

Bad weather in November. Who coulda seen that one coming.

* * *

Pixy Misa has something about HP SSDs:
Speaking of HP: Some HP SSDs will fail after 32,768 hours online. (Bleeping Computer)

And they didn't find out until it started happening to people. (Reddit)
Links redacted; if you want to read them go there and make clicky.

In summary, though, these are serial-attached SCSI drives, which are typically used in file server drive arrays. Network hardware, in other words. Expensive.

...and failing at exactly 32,768 hours of service--about 3.75 years--means someone screwed up when writing the firmware. Of course--these articles discuss the firmware update released by HP--but long before I read anything other than what Pixy wrote, I knew it was a software problem. Why?

32,768 is 2 to the 15th power. Exactly. And so what happened is, some register or counter or something hit 32,767, and when it tried to go to 32,768, BLAMMO.

If you look at it in binary it becomes more obvious what happened:

32,767 is 0111 1111 1111 1111. (Hex: 7F FF)
32,768 is 1000 0000 0000 0000. (Hex: 80 00)

The drive bricks when bit number 15--the most significant digit--goes from a 0 to a 1. I've got a fiver that says that someone used a signed variable when he should have used an unsigned one. Because when you're talking about signed binary numbers?

0111 1111 1111 1111= 32,767
1000 0000 0000 0000=-32,768

...and the software reads out those bits and says "Negative hours! Nope!" and crashes.

I've run afoul of that myself; signed binary numbers are a pain--but I'm not, and never was, a professional programmer in any capacity, let alone writing firmware for mission-critical hardware.

* * *

This article about exorcism films leads me to an interesting point: when you're talking about excorcism, you necessarily have to stipulate the existence of a beneficial, loving God, and in fact you also have to stipulate the divinity of Christ.

Exorcism does not make sense in a godless universe. Demons are fallen angels, and angels were created by God. Even if you ignore that, some guy standing in front of a human being who has been possessed by a supernatural creature yelling "The power of Christ compels you!" is just doing a standup routine for the entity...if there is no God.

(And, in fact, any movie or story about angels and/or demons must also make that stipulation. Neither exist in a godless universe.)

What about the notion that the faith of the exorcist alone is sufficient to expel the entity? If that were true, then there would be a significant number of stories about healers who use the power of their faith to heal people, decisively and completely, that would have about the same amount of credence as these "based on a true story" exorcism stories, but there are none in my experience. Further, "faith healer" generally has a mildly negative connotation that "exorcist" does not. I do think the existence of maleficient entities implies the existence of beneficient ones (as well as neutral ones) and those beneficient entities would probably take a hand in helping exorcists do their thing.

* * *

Contract workers can't unionize.

* * *

Another opinion to the effect that the impeachment scam is a bad idea. I've known from the very beginning that attempting to impeach Trump was a losing proposition for Democrats.

Earth to Democrats: You lost the election. Get over it. Or you'll lose the next one, too.

* * *

...woke up this morning at 7:50, which is about an hour later than normal. I'm going to go to the store for some Pepsi and bread, and otherwise? Staying home. Making food, and cleaning, and maybe having some fun too.


#6936: Location: FEAST

Put up the "out of office" notification on my door. From 11/27/19 until 12/2/19 I will be out of the office.

Location: FEAST

* * *

Realize that the first Thanksgiving only occurred after the Pilgrims had given up socialism. They didn't call it that; Karl Marx was two, three hundred years in their future. But the society they tried to build in the New World was founded on that disastrous wishful thinking, "From each according to his ability, to each according to his need."

They had this system where everyone would pool the fruits of their labor, and then everyone would get an equal share of it. A 100% tax rate accompanied by government redistribution of their economic output.

And they almost starved to death.

The next year, everyone was allowed to keep the fruits of his labor...and there was plenty.

* * *

Just try to shout down police sirens, you antifa asshats.

* * *

If you do beat the shit out of an antifa dickhead, yank off his mask and take pictures of him and then plaster them all over social media.

They wear masks because they do illegal things. Expose them.

* * *

I have heard before that Death of Stalin is a good movie.

* * *

Democrats want you to be poor. Dirt poor. They want that because the middle class doesn't need government to give them food and housing and health care. The middle class works and earns that stuff for itself. The poor need all that stuff given to them.

On the other end of the scale, the rich need government, too, but for a different reason: they want to remain rich, and the only way they can do that is to make sure that they collectively own enough government officials that the government won't tax them to death. Or, worse, make it so that the middle-class can become rich. That would be horrible. Who wants a bunch of nouveau riche hicks from flyover country intruding on places reserved for those with old money?

* * *

There will be a massive property tax increase in Chicago and Cook County. It will not be this year and it probably will not be next year; I'm thinking 2021 is when a massive increase is going to be pushed through.

But it will happen. Because no one can do anything about fixing the root cause, which is that the Democrat machine overpromised and under-invested for decades and the bill is now coming due.

* * *

Science talk!

I would need to see a much more in-depth discussion of this including force diagrams before it made sense to me.

You don't need dark matter to keep galaxies together if you use General Relativity instead of Newtonian mechanics but the latter is easy and the former is hard.

Stop talking about gravity as a force. It's an emergent property of curved four-dimensional space-time. But this new particle they think they might have found will lead to interesting developments, even so.

Greenland has been cooling since 2001 which makes perfect sense. Why do we put ice in our drinks? To make or keep them cold. How does the ice do this? By melting. So if a glacier melts, it requires that there be a reservoir of heat from which it can absorbs energy.

* * *

Tried to listen to the Moody Blues' Long Distance Voyager. Put the disk in, WinAmp auto-started...but there was no user interface showing. Managed to make it show up but then this popped up on the screen:

"Guru meditation"? WTF is this, an Amiga emulator?

* * *

Because I took Wednesday off this week, I have a five-day weekend. I am being paid for four days this week but I worked two and I'm just as happy.