atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#7674: I'm starting to feel like Chester Arthur

So today I went to work and did some more work on the failed switch.

We lost the security camera feed in the control room yesterday, and today I found out why: we'd plugged it into the wrong place on the spare switch. The PC that drives the display needs to be on the security camera VLAN, not the voice and data VLAN; once it was back in place, video came back and all was well.

Problem: the guys working in the control room had a window open, on a day when it was already 83° with a dewpoint of seventy. No fans. No moving air. Hot and humid. So by the time I was done in there, I was already dripping sweat.

To compound this, then, I had to go out to the rail gate again and check some stuff. That meant the full regalia: hard hat, steel-toed boots, long sleeves. Standing in the sun. No breeze worth speaking of.

...I sweated right through my clothes.

By the time lunchtime came around, my shirt was soaked through with sweat, and I knew my pants weren't doing any better; so I went home for lunch, and the very first thing I did was to strip to my skin.

Got fresh clothes and ate lunch in a shirt and underwear; after lunch I put on socks and pants and so forth. And hied me forth.

...did better in the afternoon, and did not sweat nearly as much. But of course I got home from work, went and bought gasoline for truck and lawn mower, and put on shorts and a different shirt...and proceeded to cut the grass and then use the weed whacker to hack back at some of the undesirable foliage.

And so I came inside, stripped to my skin, took as cool a shower as I could manage from the stinkinous anti-scald valve, and put on another set of clean clothes.

Which means I'm now on my fourth outfit for the day. WTF.

* * *

I think it was yesterday morning that I looked at my forearms and felt a moment of panic, because they were covered in red dots. "Psoriasis" was my first thought, which lasted until I looked up the symtoms; then I tried "prickly heat" and we had a winner.

Heat rash.

...because on Thursday and Friday when I was working on that recalcitrant horseshit, and having to wear that long-sleeved shirt with the snug sleeves? Everything matched to a T--symptoms, likely cause, everything.

The rash has faded a bit now, though I expect it to flare up a bit after today's festivities. WTF.

* * *

Sunday night I looked over at my wife, and Smudge was sleeping on top of her head.

Reportedly he'd been playing, and then suddenly just went face-down. This is the true nature of the kitten; they don't know their own limits and so they frequently play at full speed, right up until they run out of juice.

* * *

$74 to fill the Jeep and a 5 gallon gas can. Thanks, Gangster Party! At least there are no mean tweets or anything, right??

* * *

A whole bunch of big Internet sites go down but it's totally NOT a deliberate attack or anything. Like who? "Amazon, BBC, CNN, Reddit, Twitch, eBay". I've gotten to the point that whatever the news media tell me, I expect that the exact opposite is true.

"Oh, the problem was a content delivery network!" Yeah, right.

Someone once told me the story of one of the first live Super Bowl broadcasts. (I think it was the Super Bowl.) Everything was working fine, until a tube went "poit" and let out the magic smoke. The entire broadcast went down. The engineers located the failure and replaced the tube and had the game back on in about thirty, forty seconds; and everyone relaxed until one of the network bigwigs came in.

"I," he said in a dangerously calm voice, "would like to see the part that just cost us a million dollars."

The engineers showed him the failed tube; he nodded and left. His message was abundantly, painfully clear: if we are not broadcasting, it is costing us a great deal of money. And, "See to it that we do not stop broadcasting." The network was paying a great deal of money for the broadcast rights, was getting paid a great deal for the ads it was selling, and any time the game was not being broadcast because of technical glitches probably hit them with a penalty.

I don't see how sites like Amazon and eBay can afford to have an unscheduled outage. I don't know why their engineers would not have redundancies unless some dumbass bean counter said "No, we don't need that," and if that's what happened those bean counters should be out on their asses about now.

* * *

So, the richest people in the country pay an average of about 3.5% in income taxes. That is considerably lower than the taxes paid by the middle class.

Made $100 million? Your taxes are $3.5 million. Made $100,000? Your taxes are $15,000, which is five times the rate being paid by the ultra-rich guy.

Let's face it: if you're making a hundred grand a year, you'd like it a lot if you only had to pay $3,500 in taxes instead of fifteen thousand, because that extra twelve grand would mean an extra thousand dollars a month in your budget. That's a mortgage payment.

Meanwhile, the guy who cleared a hundred million? He's taking home $96.5 million, and paying that $3.5 million in taxes is not going to materially affect his lifestyle.

So, maybe the asshats who complain that the rich don't pay enough were right after all. We just need to adjust our definition of "the rich", is all, to mean these people who can get away with sending 3.5% of their paycheck to the feds while living lives that are beyond luxury.

Or, I don't know; if we have to have an income tax, then mandate that everyone who earns a paycheck sends 3.5% of it to the feds, period, no exemptions or adjustments or sliding scales. Just a flat rate: for every dollar you earn, send three and a half cents to Uncle Sam.

Of course that would put a lot of lawyers and accountants out of work, and the ultra-rich wouldn't be able to weasel out of paying what they owe.

* * *

Ford's new compact pickup truck? "Maverick", which evokes the image of a mid-sized economy sedan from the 1970s.

...and it's front wheel drive, for fuck's sake!

* * *

Miz Fonda, do you have any idea how much damage this bulldozer would suffer if I were to let it roll straight over you? NONE AT ALL, BITCH!

* * *

I want to comment on two things in this article.

First: "The film studio oligopoly has been severely damaged by Covid." Sarah Hoyt (among others) predicted that the people making the movies were going to suffer from the government overreaction to the thing. Looks like she was right.

It was so easy to defeat Macrovision, I did it by accident. I had a VHS tape player for rentals and a Betamax for TV recording. I was in college and used Beta machines were extremely cheap by then. Anyway, I had set the Beta to record something, and it clicked on without my noticing. I was pissed when I saw that little red little light, because I was convinced that I had an hour of gibberish. Instead, I had a pristine hour of Return of the Jedi.
The thing is, Macrovision was designed to work with VHS only. Betamax used a different method of recording video, one which Macrovision couldn't touch.

Even more interesting, I later found out that Hi8 videotape could make a perfect copy from a VHS source--so perfect that it would play back with absolute fidelity from the camcorder, but when I tried to run a copy to VHS, the Macrovision signal was still there and the luminance was all over the place, exactly as if I was copying from the VHS original.

A certain friend of mine took advantage of this to make copies of pornos. He'd rent one in Beta, borrow my Betamax, then duplicate it to VHS. There was no analog copy-protection scheme I know of that worked across formats.

* * *

Another take on that stupid woman who got pulled over for using her cell phone while driving, and who called the cop a murderer in just about every sentence she spoke to him.

* * *

And so, after working, cutting the grass, washing the dishes, making dinner, and writing this post, it's already close to 10 PM.

"Tomorrow is another one!"


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