August 23rd, 2013

#3942: The last cool day for a little while

High today forecast to be 82. For the four days following, 88+. *sigh*

It rained a lot yesterday, and I'm thinking today would be a good day to cut the grass. The front yard has not been cut since July 18th because--quite simply--it has not needed cutting. I did the back yard on the 8th of this month, and was intending to do the front the next day...but then realized it didn't need it.

Now, perhaps, it does.

Also, because, I did not get outside and chop up the scrap wood, so I'll doubtless have a larger pile of it to deal with next week. Well, that's what I get. On the plus side, all the rest of the trash generated by the week's garage-cleaning activities has gone away, and the scrap wood is out of the way. It's fine being there for another week.

But I must not rest on my laurels; there's more to do out there, and the sooner I do it, the better off we'll all be here at Casa Fungus.

* * *

Avoid Windows 8. Just don't use it. Apparently Win8 has a backdoor that allows Microsoft to take control of your system. And if MS can do it, they can hand the password for that thing to the NSA; and if a password exists, someone else can find out what it is and exploit it for their own nefarious purposes.

Short form: DO NOT USE WINDOWS 8.


* * *

So this past summer they came out with a big reboot for the Superman franchise a la the "Dark Knight" reboot of Batman--the latter which fixed all the problems foisted on us by the Adam West era and the Tim Burton/Joel Schumacher era of nippled bat-suits.

There was nothing seriously wrong with the Christopher Reeve Superman but for a few stylistic issues (Gene Hackman--totally unconvincing as Lex Luthor. Fun, but wrong) and typical late 1970s' movie lameness. But Hollywood is out of ideas--has been out of ideas for years--and so we get endless remakes and reboots of things that made money before.

Man of Steel is supposed to be the sequel to the first reboot movie. They tried making a Superman movie before this but it was angsty crap and no one liked it; this iteration appears to be doing better and now they're working on a sequel.

...with Ben Affleck as Batman. *whimper*

Daredevil. That's all I have to say. Daredevil.

In their defense--I do have to say this much--Batman is not the focus of Man of Steel, after all, so they don't need someone who can, as JayG ably puts it, "convey the tortured soul that is the Dark Knight...." They just need someone who can pretend to be Batman opposite whoever it is they've got playing Superman.

Still--that "someone" ought not to be Ben Affleck.

* * *

None of that stuff I have to do outside is going to get done unless I get off my duff and go do it, so here I go.

#3943: Stupid anus

So there I was, on the motorcycle, running an errand. I was behind a guy in a Cadillac SUV of recent manufacture, and he was behind a grey Saturn. We were all heading east out of the Fungal Vale, and pehaps 300 feet after we had passed the spot where the Milwaukee Road used to cross Exchange street, going downhill, Captain SUV decides that the Saturn is slowing him down! so he passes him.

In a no-passing zone, perhaps 500 feet from a mostly-blind curve and an intersection. I mean, that area is a no-passing zone for a reason, unlike--say--Richton Road, which is mostly flat and unobstructed but is also a no-passing zone for nearly its entire length.

Get east of the big S-curve and it's wide open; you can pass with impunity--but Mr. Very Important Man was not willing to wait because that guy in the beater was slowing him down.

The guy in the Saturn slowed down to 35 for the S-curve--look, people, I can take that S-curve at 50 MPH in my old Jeep, which needs new tires and a 4-wheel alignment, has solid axles both front and rear, and steering gear that was state-of-the-art in 1930; you can surely manage 40 or even 45 in your car with a modern, fully independent suspension. (Can't you? Because if you can't, if the car is that messed up, it doesn't belong on the road.)

Anyway, once past the S-curve the guy was still going under the limit, so I passed him when I had room to do so--safely and in a passing zone because I'm not a complete retard. The guy turned off the road shortly thereafter, so I needn't have bothered, but I didn't know how long he'd be on the road. Once past him and back in my lane, I slowed to the speed limit and rode on happily.

Sure as shitting I caught up with Doctor Asshat at the light on 394. He was sitting there in his Cadillac, behind several other cars, looking at something on his passenger seat and fapping around with things, a radar detector stuck to the windshield with a suction cup.

So what we have here is someone who risked his life, and the lives of other people, so that he could wait longer at a red light. He didn't save himself any time by passing that Saturn illegally; he didn't even save himself any time relative to me since I caught up with him driving at the speed limit.

This is why I support state bans on radar detectors. I didn't used to do so; I used to be all libertarian about it. But then I realized that radar detectors make people think they can drive like assholes, and decided that the public good would be better served by not allowing people to own devices meant to help them avoid the consequences of breaking the law.

Note that I do not support bans on radar detectors at the federal level. The federal government regulates too much as it is. (Note please that the feds set a "national" 55 MPH speed limit by telling states, "You can set whatever speed limits you like, but if you set a speed limit over 55 you don't get any federal highway funds." This amounts to a de facto national 55 MPH speed limit even though it is not a de jure violation of the 10th Amendment.)

My solution? Well, Mattel sells a perfectly usable toy radar gun that happens to use exactly the same federally-mandated speed sensing radar frequencies as police radars do, thus guaranteeing that one will set off the typical asshat's radar detector.

I have one. It would not take much for me to repackage its guts to a) plug into a cigarette lighter/power point and b) always be in scanning mode, or at least be instantly triggerable.

"Honest, officer, this is just so I can check the calibration of my speedometer."

Wish I'd had that on the bike this afternoon.

#3944: I filled another trash barrel!

I can't f-ing believe it, either. I didn't even DO anything and I filled another trash barrel! WTF!

This time, I threw out an entire box of computer and flying magazines vintage 1992 or thereabouts, all mine. I was about to keep the flying magazines in order to have a gander at them, but then I realized I DON'T CARE ABOUT THIS and tossed the entire stack atop the long-obsolete computer magazines.

Really. The damned things have been out in the garage since 1997 at least, so why keep them?

I even tossed about half the textbooks out there. I kept the hardcover ones, but nearly all the softcover textbooks just went into the trash can. Same reason: not a-one newer than 1995, I'm not going to need them again, and there's no way I could get any real money for them since they've doubtless been superseded by new editions sometime in the LAST EIGHTEEN YEARS. I did keep the circuit analysis and math books--and my first semester psych book--but otherwise I trashed a lot of paper today, which is why that barrel filled up so quickly.

It's not just that, of course. The big bag of baby clothes that Mom was unable to throw out when I last dug into that corner of the garage--I tossed them, especially when I was trying to figure out how to sort them and found the mouse nest right in the f-ing middle. No thank you. I have a lot less sentimentality attached to those things than Mom did, and even at the time she was a bit annoyed with herself that she couldn't just throw them away: "No one's going to want them," she said.

It looks as if I hardly did anything out there, but getting rid of an entire other trash barrel of crap will help in the long term. That corner of the garage does look inexplicably cleaner, though.

Og came by to pick up a fly casting set I had no use for and no one was going to want. I also ended up fobbing off a few reels and a couple of bamboo rods on him, all of which have not been touched since...uh. Trying to think of the last time Dad went out on one of his boats (which were donated in 2007) and I am coming up blank, but the last time Dad went fishing was on a chartered boat with me, my brother, and my uncle--in 2005. So, yeah, it's been sitting there rather a long time.

Naturally I did not give away Dad's big box of fishing tackle, assuming it's even here, which is a big "if" as I think my brother got that (and he's welcome to it; he's more interested in fishing than I am). These were just some cheap reels which got left in a box of junk for the powerboat, and which were the only thing in the box that I kept, specifically because I was going to give them to Og with the fly casting set. No one--no one--in the family will suddenly say, "Hey, those reels Dad left in a random box of junk in the garage--where are they now?" (It would be a different story with the tackle box.)

So on Monday I'm going to contact the company that does the trash hauling in the Fungal Vale and ask them what (or if) it costs for me to get another trash barrel. I don't know how long the cleanout of the garage will take, but once it's done I have the attic over the garage to work on.

The other thing I want to do is to see what it'll cost me to get a whole bunch of papers shredded. There's all kinds of old paperwork which needs to be shredded, and it'd be a lot easier on me if I could just sort through the papers and drop them into a box, then tape up the box and hand it off to a guy who would add it to the boxes in his truck which would all be going, unopened, into an industrial paper shredder. It's just for identity protection, so that I don't unexpectedly get a bill for my Dad's wild week in Vegas that took place SIX YEARS AFTER HIS DEATH. (Or, even better, a bill for my own wild week in Vegas which took place while I was job-hunting and playing WoW in the Fungal Vale. Yeah.)

There's just a lot of junk and trash that needs to go, and guess who gets to do it? But I don't mind, really.

I just can't believe that in a couple of hours' work I filled a trash barrel. Holy crap.