October 28th, 2011

#3024: It's probably because of inflation.

There's no double-dip! Obama's We're saved!

No...no, we're not. 2.2% increase in consumer spending with a 0.9% increase in consumer income. Know what that means?

1.3% of that increase in spending was put on the old credit card.

2.5% is an "annualized" rate, meaning they took the quarterly rate of about 0.6% and multiplied it by four for the "annual" rate. Because if GDP grows 0.6% four quarters in a row, it totals 2.5%. You see?

But the "annualized" rate for the previous quarter was 1.3%, which is about 0.4% quarterly. So the two quarters together make for 1% of growth or 2% annualized.

There's a bit in that latter link about price increases. We know that the dollar has lost 30% of its value in the last two years, and when a dollar buys less GDP increases. (People bought $100 worth of goods and services last year, and they bought $130 worth this year! GDP is up 30%! You see?) But I haven't seen a good correlation of how much inflation leads to how much of an increase in GDP. I doubt that it's 1:1.

...but I fail to see how GDP can be rising when incomes are virtually stagnant. I'd wager it's because of how GDP is figured. Government is spending more, so GDP rises. If imports decline, GDP rises. If inflation happens, GDP rises. None of these are good things for the economy, but the statistics are rigged to make bad news look good.

* * *

Possible new island emerging from Atlantic in the Canary Islands. And if the underwater volcano blows big enough, it'll mean a tsunami hitting the coast of Florida. Y'all down there have been warned.

* * *

Slow the fuck down. It's a parking lot, not a racetrack. When told to slow down, idiot slammed his truck into reverse "to scare and fight" the guy who told him to slow down...and the dickhead ended up running over a baby carriage with a kid inside.

Idiot has a prior conviction--and did jail time--for "aggravated battery with a deadly weapon", and was arrested and taken to jail for it because of his stupidity. He's f-ing lucky he didn't kill that kid, because if he had he'd be looking at some serious hard time.

This guy needs three things: he needs to go to jail again, and for a longer period this time; he needs to be required to take anger management counseling while there; and he needs not to have a driver's license any more. Period.

* * *

El-Hazard was up for more than a week. I don't even know how much uptime I accumulated with it, to be honest, but it hasn't been shut down since I got it wired into the network.

But over the past few days my network connection has been eating a bucket of dicks. I'd try to surf to this or that site, wait five minutes for it to load, only to get an error message. The OS would report that there was no internet connection. Once I had to use the "repair network connection" pane in "Manage Network Connections" on Cephiro to get it to reconnect to the Internet.


...obviously uTorrent on El-Hazard is hogging all the upload pipe. I've made changes to uTorrent to limit how much of the uplink it can have, but I'm still having troubles with it, obviously, and I can't seem to figure out what's going on.

It's like the packets being uploaded from Cephiro don't actually make it past the router, sometimes, for no apparent reason, so the machine stalls there waiting for a return data stream which will never come. So I need to somehow configure Cephiro and/or the router so that one channel is always reserved for Cephiro regardless of what El-Hazard is doing.

Problem is, I have no idea how to do that. There is certainly nothing like that in the router firmware that I can find. Argh etc.

Anyway, this time I just went down the hall and did a hard reset on both router and modem--I cut the power to both for several seconds--and when everything was working again El-Hazard didn't even try to start seeding torrents again. *sigh*

So, WTF, I shut 'er down. I'll re-seed the torrents when I power it back up, but that doesn't have to be now.

My BakaBt ratio is 0.489, which is pretty fair dinkum considering I had all of seven torrents seeding through a 60kB/s pipe. Uptime, baby, uptime!

...if I can just make it play nice and share it'll be awesome.

* * *

Frost on the grass again! It's a chillier-than-normal October; this probably means we'll have a nice warm winter with little snow.

Still, yesterday I had the idea to make a rack and collect the firewood that's been left in various places around the yard. Something to keep it off the ground and to de-insectify it as much as possible--that would be good. Also, Sailor V has a couple dead trees that need to be cut down, and I'm thinking, "WTF, I could just haul that away for him and stack it...." if I had a proper rack for firewood. It need not be anything fancy and I wager that I've got enough scrap lumber in the garage that I could knock something together in an hour or so. (Most of that time would be spent on extracting the lumber from its resting place.)

I just need to get a proper tool for splitting. My current tool is a hatchet head and a hammer--no, really--and it would probably be better if I could just stand up a chunk of wood and swing an axe at it, if I'm going to do a tree's worth.


I'm looking at it more as an "emergency heating supply" than anything else. When we had that blizzard earlier this year my electricity was off for a grand total of five minutes--nothing compared to what others in the area had to deal with--but I'm not prepared to trust to luck again this year. If this winter is as cold and wet and miserable as some forecasts suggest, there'a a fair dinkum chance that at some point I'll need to use the fireplace for heat, and I don't want to be digging through the snow in the back yard trying to find firewood when it's -4° and snowing like the ass of a small white man after a dinner of bean chimichangas and warm beer. You know?

* * *

I woke up around 3-ish and had a PBJ and watched some anime; but finally I realized I wanted an actual meal.

I finally made my pork chop/asparagus/mashed potato meal that I've been putting off since Wednesday.

While the pork chops were browning I set out to repackage the meat in the fridge for freezing. I got out the nice 2-odd pound hunk of chuck roast and...oh, God, it's all grey.

I looked at it, I unwrapped it, I smelled it, I thought about it; I smelled it again, and it was obviously inedible, so I gathered it up, went down the driveway to the trash can, and threw it away.

$9 worth of meat, wasted. *sigh*

That was pretty aggravating, and I have no one to blame but myself...which makes it even more aggravating. If I'd just put the damn thing in the freezer that wouldn't have happened. Damn it, refrigeration is supposed to prevent this. Shit! Why couldn't they irradiate the meat with gamma rays after packaging it? In a sensible world that's what they'd do!

...but I got the round steak (bought more recently) packed up and put away in the freezer. I'm just going to have to put meat in the freezer immediately, regardless of what I plan to do with it; this happened because I kept putting off repackaging the stuff for long-term storage in the chest freezer.

Like I said, "all my fault". Argh.

...but the asparagus was good, and though I forgot to put salt and pepper on the meat before cooking it, the chops came out nice and tender, if a bit lacking in flavor.

I've got to cut up and freeze the four green peppers I bought last week when they were on sale; they're sitting on the cutting board waiting for me to do that, so that's my next task. After that, I'm going to go back to bed for a while, because the combination of (improving) sinusitis and the antibiotic use is sucking all the energy right the hell out of me.

Though I do have to admit to being tempted to make one of the green peppers into a tiny green jack-o-lantern. Heh.

#3025: I'd be better if YOU WOULD STOP CALLING MY NUMBER

Over the past several days a company that shows up as "New A Co" in the Caller ID window of my phone has been spamming my phone number.

They called four times yesterday alone.

So today I picked up the second time they called. Turns out to be a promotion of some kind of home security system, the old scam of "we'll install it for free and all you have to do is put up a small sign in front of your house!"

I told the guy I didn't want any and to stop calling me.

...so just now, "New A Co" called me again. "Hi, this is Tom with Home Security, how are you this evening?"

"Well, I'm fine, Tom."

"That's great. BLAH BLAH BLAH home security system BLAH BLAH."

"I'm not interested and--"



...because yeah, there are all kinds of companies just dying to give away $800 worth of product in exchange for you putting up a sign in your front yard, right?

Where they get you, of course, is in the monitoring fees. The system and its installation are free (as long as you put up the little sign) but you have to pay a monthly fee for them to call 911 if the alarm is triggered. Get it?

Since I told them once to stop calling me and they were undeterred by it, I am assuming that I'll have to take a third call from these shitheads, probably today, and explain yet again that I do not want their service and I WANT THEM TO STOP CALLING ME.

...and then I'll lodge a complaint with the phone company, too--or whoever they tell me to talk to--because this is horseshit. There are a total of seven frickin' calls listed in my caller ID--see below--five of them from one number at "New A Co". I know that these shitheads have called me more than seven times in the past two days alone, and I'm getting SICK of it.

My phone tends to re-use Caller ID memory slots in a weird way, so it never records the actual number of calls received; it records calls from unique phone numbers but sometimes will overwrite similar numbers approximately at random. So if Joe Blow calls me from 555-1234, and then calls me from 555-9876, sometimes it'll be recorded as two numbers and sometimes it won't, depending on what the name associated with the number is. Also, it records the earliest date that a particular number called rather than the latest one. I think the algorithm is a bit buggy, but I don't really care since all I do is look at the display as the phone is actually ringing.

The point is, these shitheads have now pissed me off.

..."Circulation Dev" seems to have gotten the message when I yelled "FUUUUUUCK YOOOOOU" into the phone on the 14th. I'd prefer not to have to do that with these asshats, but I will if I have to. Fuckers.

* * *

Now I'm all mad. I hate that.