atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,
atomic_fungus
atomic_fungus

#7575: I'm actually more surprised that this is not a daily occurrence.

An Illinois state senator is outraged that the man who threatened him got out on $1,500 bail. He sponsored a bill to ban cash bail in Illinois. If democrats were capable of intellectual consistency, he would be outraged that this man had to post a cash bond in order to be released from custody, but of course democrats take pride in not having to be intellectually consistent, because hypocrisy is how they demonstrate how powerful they are.

So this man is instead angry that the criminal who threatened him with a gun was allowed to walk after posting bail. Or--no, let me rephrase that:

This man is angry that the VIOLENT LUNATIC who had the unmitigated gall to threaten HIS EXALTED IMPORTANCE was allowed to skate free of custody even though that means he's now out on the streets and able to threaten other people, and possibly make good on his threat against HIS EXALTED IMPORTANCE. How dare the judge let that violent lunatic go free, when he threatened one of the anointed?

Judge set a $15,000 bail, guy had to come up with $1,500 to get out of jail--I don't see the problem here.

* * *

Given how often we're screwed by politicians, though....

* * *

"Fagradalsfjall" is at least something I can spell unlike Mount WTF. If the article mentions Mount WTF, I'll cut and paste the name one time just so everyone knows what I'm talking about ("Eyjafjallajökull") but hell no I'm not typing all that.

Anyway, the new volcano is a crack in the Earth about 200 meters long and has molten lava pouring out of it, and people had to be warned not to go look at it. *sigh*

Look: new volcano means we don't know how it erupts. Supposing you're standing there, within line-of-sight distance of the crack that has molten rock pouring out of it, and suddenly the whole thing goes up? You'd be cooked to the bone in seconds. Just because lava is quietly (for some value of "quietly", this is a volcano) flowing from the thing at the moment doesn't mean it can't suddenly go boom.

It's different when you're looking at a volcano which has been erupting the same way for decades or centuries. There's still a possibility it can change, but it becomes less likely. Besides, geologists study the things and learn their quirks, and can usually see signs of changes coming. But this one is brand new and no one really knows much about it yet.

It's probably going to be there a while. Don't be in such a rush.

* * *

These are not all of the plagues of history but it puts the Wuhan Flu into perspective.

* * *

That's amazing. Every last computer connected to the university's network had its files wiped. "The aim of the data wipe was to clear inactive users' data by getting rid of profiles of students who no longer studied," says the article.

Okay, I think I understand. If we're talking Windows? If you have a Windows PC you can look in a folder called "Users", and find subfolders for each username that has accessed your computer. If you don't run with login credentials, there will only be a couple folders there, but if you have a Windows PC at work onto which others have logged, you can see all their usernames in the Users folder. These files take up space, and it makes sense to remove the ones which are no longer being used. Especially when you're talking about shared computers.

So, someone deployed a script or set a maintenance server or something to remove old user profiles, but screwed up on the qualifiers, and so the system obligingly wiped out every last user folder on the network. And unless they have a pretty robust backup program, those files are gone.

The article says "user profiles" so I think this is what happened, but there's an alternate possibility.

You see, with Windows PCs, the desktop is just another folder on the hard drive. (Or SSD.) People can save files to the desktop, or drag them there, or do whatever they want. But here's the thing: in an enterprise situation (such as a business or a university) the administrators can set the desktop so that only certain things are allowed to be put there. Let's say you only want two icons on the desktop with the corporate (or university) logo as the background? You can do that. If a user tries to save his recipe file to the desktop, or to drag a program icon there so he can reach it more easily, it doesn't work. The system says it's not allowed and refuses to do it.

Now, let's say you've got eight hundred users who are used to leaving all kinds of stuff on their desktops, and a new rule comes along from Corporate that we want all desktops to be exactly the same (and to hell with what works for their employees) and we want that corporate logo visible (so the employees know who they're working for) and so IT dutifully sets the rules for desktops. BLINK and everything on the desktop but for the approved icons hits the Recycle Bin. And then the Service Desk gets 800 simultaneous user calls.

This is, by the way, why I only put program shortcuts on my desktop, never data files. It's an extremely old habit from my Atari ST days, when the OS ran from floppies and there was no hard drive, but it has served me well.

* * *

When I was a young kid--five?--I was hanging around my friend Jenny's place when we were both introduced to a new kid on the block, a guy named Brent. He was our age, and was spending a summer with his grandparents. He normally lived in Jakarta, as his father worked for this-or-that oil company on the other side of the planet.

Anyway, one fine day we were invited to have lunch, so we all sat at the table in the kitchen and ate sandwiches and potato chips. And I'm not sure what happened, exactly; but as I get older I start to have suspicions I can't shake.

Everyone took a sandwich from a tray, and started eating, but mine was...weird. After a bite or two I looked at my sandwich and saw that there was a layer of white stuff on it. At the time I thought it was peanut butter with butter--which made no sense to my six or seven-year-old self...but now I realize it was mayonnaise. I couldn't eat it: I'd been expecting peanut butter and jelly, I'd never had mayo before, and it just tasted weird. Yet none of the other kids had any issue eating their sandwiches.

Not once--never in my life--did I ever, ever encounter a peanut butter and mayo sandwich, ever again.

Peanut butter and mayo is a weird combination, but a quick googe search shows that it was done during the Depression, and southerners like it, and so forth--so it wasn't that weird, I suppose, unless you were a kid in the early 1970s midwest. But I have trouble believing that I was the only kid at that table who had trouble with it. It was the early 1970s and kids were taught to eat what was put in front of them, but come on: this was a disgusting combination.

Thinking about the incident in the sober light of adulthood, I've started wondering if it was some kind of stupid game that the kid's grandparents were playing. You know, one of the sandwiches is booby-trapped, and if you get the weird one you still have to finish it, or no dessert for you. What some people refer to as "harmless fun".

I remember pointing out the weirdness of the sandwich and being told that I wouldn't get dessert if I didn't eat my sandwich. That seemed like a fair trade to me so I stopped trying to eat it and didn't kick when the other kids got popsicles (or whatever it was; "popsicles" is what I seem to remember).

But I think to myself, if that's really the case--if they were really playing this stupid trick--what an awful thing to do to young children! "Everyone come in and have some lunch...but one of you will be made to suffer!" None of the kids got any amusement from it.

Even worse: what if it was Miracle Whip rather than mayo?

* * *

Who knows, maybe they had one fewer popsicle than there were kids. But if that's the case, what would they have done if the kid who got the booby-trapped sandwich ate it anyway?

* * *

I find, as I get older, that I am remembering things from my childhood, and realizing that there was a lot of fucked-up shit going on in it.

It's not anything like television where I'll suddenly remember an incident, and "Oh! So that's why I have this problem!" or anything. No, it's just the casual cruelty of children, and--in some cases--the indifference of adults to anything approximating fairness. The latter usually came from parents, who were early Boomers, but it came from some teachers as well.

I remember playing with one kid I was friends with, and his mother decided it was time for him to have a nap. Both me and the other kid had those Fisher-Price toys with the round peg-shaped people, and I'd brought some of mine over to his place. Anyway, we were having fun and the kid didn't want to take his nap, so she came out and started dividing toys into mine and his, and when she took my dog and put it with his toys, I protested that it was mine. "Well, I want [kid] to have a dog!" she snapped, and then bundled the kid off inside the house.

I went home and told Mom about the theft, and Mom was angry about it, but nothing ever happened except I was no longer allowed to take toys over there.

Years later, she was working as a personal banker at the local branch of a national bank...and I resolved that this national bank would never, never, ever get any of my business. Yes, based on the fact that they had one employee who had questionable integrity. "I want [kid] to have a dog!" acknowledged my ownership, and indicated she didn't care that it was mine; she was effectively stealing my property and giving it to her kid.

No, I never really told anyone about this silent boycott, at least before now. What's the point? I only bring it up now as an example of childhood injustice. But it still bothers me, because I was a little kid and adults are supposed to know better and I didn't understand that some adults are just assholes and apply the rules however they see fit to gain the most advantage...and that is why I refused to patronize that bank, ever. Maybe she didn't actually comport herself that way in other walks of life, maybe it was just an adult not wanting any lip from a kid, but even the little things that we do matter a great deal. And often, it's the little things that point out how someone will act in the bigger things.

* * *

"How would you have handled it, anus?" Well, I would have asked my kid, "Is this yours, or his?" And then backed up my kid's answer. But as I recall the kid agreed with me, "Yeah," and because human memory is fallible that may actually have happened and I may have added it after the fact. It's irrelevant.

* * *

Anyway, today is Saturday; and the sun is out for the first time in a week and the temperatures are moderate. I didn't get to bed until after midnight, woke up around 6-ish and was up past 7, then back to bed. My wife is still sleeping and I'm not sure why I'm not, except that I got out of bed because I was hungry and thirsty and uncomfortable for other reasons.

But all that's been tended to, and now I feel like laying back down. And after the week I've had, I think I deserve to.
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