January 19th, 2012

#3170: Maybe I'll work on that game tomorrow.

The music of Katawa Shoujo is still stuck in my head. I fear that if I start playing it, I won't get anything else done today.

By not playing it yesterday I managed to get my laundry and grocery shopping done. I have a therapy appointment this afternoon and haven't showered since Tuesday; since I haven't really done much of anything that's not really a big deal, but every other day is the bare minimum of bathing for me solely because I feel unendurably crummy if I don't.

Come to think of it, I didn't shower on Tuesday. O Jesus. Monday was the last time I had a shower. I need to bathe, damn it.

* * *

Speaking of mud-slinging, let's get on to GOP primary 2012 stuff:

Perry drops out and endorses Newt.

Santorum won in Iowa, not Romney. Iowa royally stuffed the caucus, though, since there are 8 precints whose votes are lost and "cannot be recovered". The entire result of the caucus is thus tainted. Thanks, Iowa! WTF.

* * *

Michelle Malkin on Obama's rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline project.

Telling quote: "I’m disappointed that Republicans in Congress forced this decision, but it does not change my Administration’s commitment to American-made energy that creates jobs and reduces our dependence on oil."

Your administration has no commitment to "American-made energy". No administration since Reagan's has. (Check my math: that's 24 years, right?) In fact, every administration since Reagan's has done NOTHING to increase our domestic supply of energy. None has tried to rein in the EPA or to make it easier to produce, sell, or distribute energy.

But Boss Tweek said, "...reduces our dependence on oil." What word is commonly in that phrase? Oh, "foreign", right! Without that word it sounds as if MC Sleepy wants to choke the shit out of our economy, because without oil our entire infrastructure grinds to a halt. If our government takes steps that "reduces our dependence on oil" it means our economy will be running slower. It means higher unemployment and higher prices.

("Oh, he just misspoke!" I thought a person who misspeaks isn't fit to be President. That's what we were told when Bush was in the White House. "That's different!" Sure it is. Shut the fuck up, you communist hypocrite.)

I'm tired of gasoline costing $3.70 a gallon when it doesn't have to. I'm tired of electricity and heating gas being so expensive. Especially when there is absolutely NO FREAKING REASON it has to be.

Except, of course, the meddling of politicians.

* * *

Vox Day on another teenage gay documentarian killing himself.
...[I]t is entirely possible that the endless propaganda is actually more to blame for what Ellen Degeneres has described as a "gay teen suicide epidemic" than the anti-gay bullying itself. If the propaganda is encouraging more borderline young men to experiment with a deviant lifestyle that has long been known to correspond with various health-related disorders, including mental health, then it is contributing to an increasing suicide rate rather than decreasing it.
Sorry, but the statistics back him up on this.

Actually, I'm not sorry. I get so f-ing tired of people saying that if you notice the truth it makes you a bigot. You're supposed to ignore the disease and mental illness and-and-and because it's not all pie-in-the-sky, unicorn flatus, and rainbows; it doesn't fit the image of what they want it to be like, so when you notice and discuss the facts and reality it makes you a bigot.

Yeah.

Vox says it best:
While I'm sure it must feel very satisfying to blame everything on "homophobes" and insufficient societal admiration, the weight of observable evidence doesn't presently tend to indicate that they have much, if anything, to do with the actual problem.
But it doesn't support the narrative if you point out that there is a higher incidence of disease, of mental health issues, of pedophilia, and a host of other really bad things.

Since I refuse to live in a fantasy world, though, these hard facts raise issues that I need answers for before I can uncritically support the agenda of these people. So far these answers have been nonexistent, and as long as they continually try to sweep the problems under the rug and demand unconditional love we're going to be at loggerheads.

* * *

DOOM!

Investors in Greek bonds don't want to take a huge haircut. That 70% figure being bandied about last week--that's not a haircut; that's a trip to the guillotine.

But the market rallied yesterday! Yeah:



...it'll fall again soon enough.

This article gives us a hard date after which the inevitable collapse cannot be further postponed:
Even members of the committee concede the process is unlikely to succeed in time for the crunch date: a €14.5bn bond repayment falling due on March 20.
There you are: March 20. If Greece cannot find some wiggle room before 3/20/12, then the shit will hit the fan.

At mach 9.
...Greece was considering passing legislation to force all private bondholders to take losses, while exempting the European Central Bank, which is the largest institutional holder of Greek bonds with 50 billion euros or so.

Legal experts suggest that the investors may have a case because if Greece changes the terms of its bonds so that investors receive less than they are owed, that could be viewed as a property rights violation — and in Europe, property rights are human rights.
One rule for the bank, another for the individual--I don't believe the government of Greece has quite the foundation in "rule of law" as our own Constitution does, but it doesn't matter; that's a raw deal for the private investors and if that goes ahead there will be riots.

*

And remember: even in the unlikely event that Europe manages to avoid the shitstorm that Greece represents--even if--there are still Italy and Spain to worry about.
Greece is going to default and Portugal will soon follow. The ECB is attempting to fence off Italy and Spain, but the only way it can do so is by buying massive quantities of Italian and Spanish debt (and doing so puts Germany and France at risk when the setup blows up).

How long the ECB can get away with this policy before the bond market focuses on France and Germany remains to be seen, but it sure will not be forever.
And when that happens? "Look out! Here comes the ceiling!"

That says "the only way it can do so" but I would insert the phrase "in a perfect world" after "can do so". Europe is shooting its wad with Greece, because everyone there knows they cannot afford to let even one EU member nation default. When the Greek default happens anyway it's going to take whatever capacity the EU has for bailing out Spain and Italy with it. (IMHO. I am more pessimistic about this than the learned economists are.)

And what do you think that means? It means ol' Barry H. 'Bammer is going to bail out his Euro-pals, that's what! That's how the US will get sucked into this bullshit, over and above the exposure that comes naturally from a globalized world economy. It's all connected and we can't avoid some fallout; but BH'B is going to go all in to help his Euro-butt-buddies.

*flush*

...and I'm hard-pressed to explain why "President Romney" would do anything different than I expect the Obamarator to do. There's no perceptible policy differences between Romney and Obama, after all. So in the unlikely event that Europe somehow staves off the collapse of European socialism until a bit more than a year from now, the US will still be boned by the actions of its President.

Unless it's Ron Paul. And as Tam observed, when Ron Paul looks good, you know you're in deep shit.

*sigh*

What Denninger suggests here is more pie-in-the-sky. Denninger has his head screwed on straight but the problem is, the Greek people won't stand for it.

They won't stand for it when the whole ball of wax goes to the crapper and plugs it so bad both Mario and Luigi couldn't possibly unstop it, even if they get Wario and that big-ass gorilla to help. Of course not: it means an end to the bread and circuses of socialism. People don't care if there's no money. "It's not fair you promised YOU PROMISED YOU PROMISED!"

Denninger's solution would provide for an orderly default, sure; but the people would still riot. Besides, the politicians running Greece don't want to lose control over all that money; spending money is power. So anything that keeps Greece from borrowing money after the current crisis is solved is a non-starter even though they will have no one from whom to borrow even if they get out of this relatively unscathed.

Look: Greece cannot repay the money they owe. That's why there's all this talk of "haircuts"; the "haircuts" are meant to avoid full default, allowing them to reduce their debt load while avoiding a credit default swap, which would be bad for other reasons.

But even if Greece can avoid catatstrophe right now it is not going to fix the basic problem: the government of Greece simply spends too much money, much more than it has. If everything goes perfectly right and Greece avoids defualt and the investors accept their "haircut" ("ass-reaming" is the phrase I would use--how fitting, considering it's Greece) then we will simply end up right back where we are now in a handful of years. (Maybe a decade, under ideal circumstances.)

But I doubt that the catastrophe can be postponed. If it could, the Europeans would not be scrambling the way they are.

...and again: even if Greece avoids catastrophe, what can be done about Portugal, Spain, and Italy? (Ireland seems to have dropped off the "disaster map"; is it really fixed?)

The ideal outcome for Greece doesn't fix Italy, Portugal, or Spain. It may, in fact, make those crises even more dire than they already are, since solving Greece means depleting the resources Europe has for dealing with crises. Again, if everything goes exactly right I could see them holding off Italy or Portugal or Spain...but not all three and probably not more than one of them.

In the best of all possible worlds, then, the collapse still takes place. It merely takes longer to happen.

Yeah: we're boned.

* * *

Talking with Sailor V last night I was reminded that I haven't linked to many of the manga series that I read. Here are the titles in my regular checklist:
Hayate the Combat Butler
Kiss X Sis
Fujimura-kun Mates
Sketchbook
Yandere Kanojo
Umi no Misaki
K-ON
Kodomo no Jikan
Working
Minami-ke
Switch Girl
Yankee-kun to Megane-chan
These update more-or-less monthly. (I just put Family Compo in the "stagnant" bin last night; it hasn't updated since October.)

Here's where you go to find those titles: Mangareader.net.

...I am not going to make individual links to all those titles. If you're too lazy to peruse an index of titles to find a specific one, that's your problem, not mine.

* * *

ETA on the Kindle is still tomorrow. No idea when my book order from B&N will get here, but that doesn't really matter; I've waited this long to read 'em, so I can wait another week or so.

Just getting the Kindle set up will take me some time, anyway, because I've got to transfer a bunch of stuff from the Aluratek anyway.

I had been thinking about going to CompUSA today to get a new heat sink and fan combo for Cephiro. I'm getting tired of the loud-ass case fan. But it snowed this morning and it's supposed to snow more tonight and tomorrow, so I don't really think I'm going to make the trip before the weekend.

*sigh*

I can play Katawa Shoujo on El-Hazard, though, and that system is nice and quiet.

* * *

In any case, it's been three f-ing days since I had a shower. WTF!!! I'm going to remedy that RIGHT THE HELL NOW.

#3171: Well, that was a bust.

After saying I wasn't going to go anywhere, I went to CompUSA to pick up this heat sink and fan combo for Cephiro.

See: Cephiro is a Gateway DX420B desktop and has an Intel DP965LVG2 motherboard in it. It's a Socket 775 motherboard; it's got a Pentium D CPU which is Socket 775, so it should be a no-brainer: I just need a heat sink that'll fit a Socket 775 motherboard!

Emphasis on "should".

The problem is, this motherboard is not a standard DP965 motherboard. The mounting holes for the heat sink are about 1/4" too close together to accommodate a standard heat sink.

*sigh*

...so now I think I'm going to go find a potentiometer in my electronics box downstairs and see if I can bodge together some kind of speed control for the f-ing thing. I'm tired of listening to this damn machine roaring away whenever I'm doing anything.

The design of the front panel doesn't help. The front fan is a 5" fan, but only about 1/3 of the actual area is open to ambient. The rest is closed off because of how the front panel is designed. And of course I can't modify the front panel without making my computer look like total ass. *sigh*

I also bought a $10 fan that sticks in an empty expansion slot and plugs into the power supply. That'll help keep the internal temperatures down but that's not really the big concern; the machine ran just fine with the intake fan not running.

But since it's the main fan for cooling the processor, I can't just unplug it.

Man, what a pain.

* * *

I saw, while I was there, a nice Gateway with an i5 processor. $550 for a Core i5 processor, 6 GB of RAM, a 1.5 TB hard drive--that thing will scream like a banshee.

It'd still need a video card upgrade if you wanted to play WoW, but still--it'd be a heck of a machine.

*sigh*

#3172: Computer fans

So: after the last post, I went down to the basement and dug through my electronics toolbox, and came upstairs with some 4-conductor wire, an 8-pin DIP wire-wrap socket, and a 20k potentiometer.

I split the DIP into two 4-pin SIPs, soldered wire to one, and then tried running the fan with a 9v battery. It wouldn't.

Idea: over.

I did, however, have another, closer look at the motherboard. Lo and behold, mirabile visu, what did I see but another fan connector on the opposite side of the motherboard from the one I've been using?

In the past year I have been having an increasing amount of trouble with seeing things up close. I need bifocals, so it took me a few moments and a flashlight to figure out that the plug was labeled "FRONT FAN".

...the fan does not even turn when plugged in there. *whimper*

The rear case fan, when I turned the power on, began ramping up its speed until it was fain to howling. On the other hand, that noise is at least muffled by being under the desk, in back.

But it was getting on towards therapy time, so I had to table the matter and put the computer in sleep mode.

Mail came just as I was getting ready to go out the door, and what was in the mail but my Kindle? Chuckling, I took it with me so I could open the box and fondle it with minimal delay.

...therapy...

Now the computer's been running for a good 10 minutes while I started this blog post and ate the burrito I picked up for dinner from Super Burrito!, and the computer has thus far remained nice and quiet.

We'll see if this continues.

In any event, the heat sink/fan combo has to go back to CompUSA relatively soon, so I get to make that drive again. They're predicting 4-8 inches of snow, so it will probably not be tomorrow.

The auxiliary fan I put in the expansion slot has blue LEDs that light up when it's on. This is completely invisible from outside the case. Maybe I ought to put a window in the side panel so one can see the blinkenlights...if he's under the desk.

As for the Kindle, it's cold-soaked pretty thoroughly. I need to let it warm up for at least 4 hours (8 would be better) before I even try turning it on.

Neat thing: the e-ink screen is displaying an instruction to plug the thing into a computer's USB port to charge it. Nice: no sticker needed, because e-ink only uses power when the image is being changed.

I'll write more about it when I've had a chance to fiddle with it.

* * *

Oh: while at CompUSA I saw a really awesome computer case. It had a SATA drive dock built into the top of the case, so you could just hot-swap in an SATA drive if, for example, you wanted to back something up.

If I ever win the lottery, I'm going to build a bitch of a machine...and it'll have to be in a different room because it'll require so much f-ing cooling. *sigh*