atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#5183: That certainly was refreshing.

Last night I took a shower using hot water which did not smell of rotten eggs. It kind of smelled like water from a hotel hot tub (that was due to the half-cup of bleach) but that's nonetheless a massive improvement over the reek of hydrogen sulfide. As expected four ounces of bleach in a twenty-gallon tank did not result in my skin or hair being whitened (any more than it already has due to age) and it does seem to have at least temporarily fixed the immediate problem. We'll see how things are going forward, but hopefully we're done with this nonsense for a little while.

It took the impact gun ten seconds to hammer that thing loose. And I've still got it. Future replacements, should any be needed, won't take six weeks while I scrounge together the cash for the tool. My skunky impulse was to use the thing long enough to get the job done and take it back, but I don't operate that way; when I buy a tool I do so with the intent of keeping it for good. Most of my tools were bought with the intent of solving some immediate problem or another, but of course as time goes on I find them useful for other tasks. Money spent on tools is never wasted.

* * *

A lot of the conservative punditry is upset that Trump won. That's not terribly surprising; Trump's platform is going to upset a lot of rice bowls.

These two paragraphs sum the situation up nicely:
All of the wailing and gnashing of teeth over Trump disguises the fact that the American Left is collapsing. One place you see it is with their candidates. Hillary Clinton is a world class screw up planning to run as an old hen clucking about the men, with a mild whiff of lesbianism to spice it up. No wonder the 2000 year old man is giving her a run for her stolen money. The Left has nothing to offer so it coughed up these geriatric hairballs from the 1970's.

In theory this should be good news for the Buckleyites, but that's not been the result. Decades of trading away everything to the Left for a chance to guide foreign policy has left the Buckleyites incapable of winning fights over cultural and economic issues. They have been surrendering for so long, it is now their default response. Worse yet, they have been trained to scold the rest of us about the need for compromise whenever the Left assaults a part of the culture.
Which is why I (after Vox Day) now differentiate between conservative, traditionalist, and nationalist: conservatives are conserving a pseudo-American libertine culture that was handed down to us by the Baby Boomers in 1970, rather than the unique American culture that existed prior to 1965.

Yes, it's Trump, and:
Staying home, voting for a third party, or writing someone in are all honorable alternatives.
Which they assuredly weren’t back when you guys were ramming McCain, Romney, and a host of other go-along-get-along Compromise Republicans down everybody’s throat. Oh no, we were all expected to swallow our bile and wholeheartedly support that season’s next-in-line winning loser; we didn’t have to fall in love, we had to fall in line, remember?
This is what Trump's candidacy has done for us: it has reopened debate over what the party's core principles should be.

In 2008 I cast my primary vote for Mitt Romney because my choice (Fred Thompson) had already dropped out of the race and he seemed like a better choice than McCain. McCain won nomination and I held my nose and voted for him, primarily because Sarah Palin. In 2012, after the GOP had spent four years doing nothing--not even saying "Boo!" to Obama, not even trying to, particularly not even after the midterm elections gave them enough pull--I cast my primary vote for Santorum and flat-out refused to vote for Romney, who had since been demonstrated to be nothing more than Obama without the tan.

Since 2008 at least (and actually longer, since Bush presided over the largest expansion in federal power over education since Carter created the Department of Education) the GOP has been the party of "Democrat Lite" and I did my best to hold my nose and fall in line and vote with the party. Well, 2008 was the last time I did that, because the GOPe has demonstrated time and again that they don't care what I think and have apparently decided they eith don't need my vote, or think I'm so stupid that I'll fall for the same line of bullshit time and time again.

Well, I may be stupid, but I'm not as stupid as they think I am. And as that last post blockquotes:
It’s never been about Trump, what he says or what he promises to do. That’s just the glitter on the stripper. The Trumpening is about the people in charge and their callous disregard for their duties and the country they allegedly serve. It’s as if the voting public went out and found the one guy who most offends the ruling class. Trump is a more polished version of Chuck Tingle and the voters are the Rabid Puppies. It’s not about voting for something as much as it is voting against something.
It's not really a great, burgeoning affection for Trump so much as a massive, continuing disaffection for the GOP leadership and its callous disregard for the values of its core voters.

Predictably China is warning us not to elect Trump. Trump has campaigned on ending the outsourcing of jobs; China is reliant on free trade and any kind of resctriction thereof will cost them a lot of money.

Contrary to the poster of that article, I think China's response is due to a great amount of fear that Trump will both win the election and get his way. It's not just a wall on the Mexico border that his paltform implies; it's a lot of other, more virtual walls, walls that keep jobs and income inside the US rather than sending them overseas.

And it's about time, too.

I have gone back and forth, over the years, between protectionism and free trade; in all liklihood the actual best course here is somewhere down the middle--but NAFTA has been an obvious failure for everyone who is not a coastal elite, or a member of the aristocracy, and similar agreements in the works now do not promise to make things better. It's obvious that some amount of protectionism is a necessity; perhaps not as much as some (particularly unions) want, but certainly more than we are offered by our government. Trump's ideas are a good start.

* * *

Government spends $800,000 per "refugee" because their land might go away someday if a lot of things go wrong. Government refuses to spend any money helping people they screwed over. Both are ecological cases. The dichotomy demonstrates how capricious and arbitrary government is.

NYT is sensationalizing the story but I'm linking it here primarily for the other vignettes in the post. Esp. the latter one about Venezuela vying for "most environmentally sensitive regime" by having rolling blackouts. Keep it up, Venezuela, and soon you'll be as eco-friendly as North Korea!

* * *

So, the other day I was doing a little desultory work in the basement, and I came across a box full of 3.5" floppies. I mean full of them, all vintage 1992 and later. The hell of it is, this box is one of several.

How the hell did I end up with so many frickin' DOS-format floppies? I used floppies as my primary storage medium from the summer of 1983 onward, of course, having started my computer career with a C-64 at a time when a 10 megabyte hard drive cost as much as a good used car--but for PC/DOS format disks, that only started in 1990, and ended by 1998 at the latest, when I finally got a CD-R drive. In eight years I amassed an insane amount of floppy disks, and how the hell did I manage that?

So I started with one little box, and immediately threw away about a quarter of the disks in it--drivers for hardware I no longer owned, AOL disks, some other junk--and began looking at the actual contents. In this box, there's a bunch of old WAV files, which I'm archiving to the hard drive of this machine; once I've got that archive burned to a DVD I can dump the floppies entirely.

Being nearly twenty years old, some of them are no longer reliable, anyway. I've had several disks cough up read errors, and from a few of them my USB floppy drive can't even read the directory much less any usable data. None of the data on these disks is particularly vital--hence its being in offline storage for most of two decades--but the cost of archiving it to CD is practically nil, except for some time, so why not?

On the plus side, I came across a complete set of system 6.2.1 disks for Macintosh. I still have my old Mac SE, and I might resurrect it once I have finished cleaning up down there. It's kind of neat to fiddle with even though there's not much available for it now.

Besides that, I started working on the shelves. The basement used to have an entire wall of built-in shelves, but those were torn out in 1982 when the basement was finished; only the shelves that separate the laundry/utility room from the rest of the basement remain, and they're full of stuff. I'm paring it down to the bare minimum, sorting out the trash and the donatable stuff and keeping the stuff that's worth keeping. Dad had a collection of beer steins which are not particularly valuable (most were premiums/corporate swag from suppliers) but have some sentimental value and might look good on a high display shelf, assuming there ever is one.

I brought upstairs a bit of kitsch to get a laugh out of Mrs. Fungus, who wanted to keep it:

Her: "What is it?"
Me: "It's a 38 foot yacht."
Her: "Why are there feet on the bottom?"
Me: "Because it's a 38 foot yacht."
Her: "... Oh, that's funny!"

It's harmless enough. They're apparently getting $25 apiece now for pristine examples, which this is not; the box was ruined by three decades' worth of dust and humidity and cigarette smoke, anyway.


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