September 15th, 2015

#4907: Still have to cut the grass

Today I woke up at 4:59 AM.

Now, to put that in perspective, the alarm clock was set for 4:00 AM, as always. For whatever reason either it did not go off, or else the volume was turned down too far for me to hear it; regardless, I woke up, looked at the time, and bolted out of bed.

I was a bit unhappy.

I was going to hit the shower, but instead I just slicked back my hair and wiped down some of the more disreputable parts of the body with a damp towel. I hit myself with deoderant, then climbed into clean clothes. I had lunch left over from yesterday--I left work early because Mrs. Fungus stayed home from work sick, and begged me to come home because she was feeling so bad, and I left work in the middle of lunch break--and so I grabbed that, added a couple bottles of liquid and a bag of chips, and lit out for work. It was 5:10 AM.

Quarter tank of gas--but I reasoned that I put $20 in yesterday morning, which was about 7 gallons' worth, and there's no way 7 gallons plus what had previously been in the tank was not enough to make the commute on one day and have enough gas to get me there on the next. Seven gallons alone ought to be about 140 miles, for crying out loud, and it's 45 miles to work. 45+45+45 is only 135, and the tank had not been empty when I filled it yesterday. Right? Right!

And it's good I didn't have to stop for gas, because I got to work precisely on time, with absolutely no room for error. I quite literally sat down and logged into my computer and punched in, and had only just made it on time. If I'd stopped for anything at all, I would have been late.

Leaving work early is a no-no, of course. Xerox runs on the point system and leaving halfway through your shift, even with supervisor permission, is half a point--though it's up to your supervisor whether the point is assessed or not. I told my supervisor the scoop, was granted permission to leave early, and then lit out for home.

I was certain that I'd get another quarter point for being late today. That on top of yesterday's half-point--I really sweated the commute in, but when I got to my turnoff and had six minutes remaining and was first in line at the stoplight, I was pretty sure I had it in the bag. And I did.

So when we were released to go on our first break, I asked my supervisor what the penalty had been for my early departure yesterday...and she excused it, she let me have it without penalizing me.

Had a pretty fair dinkum day at work today, too. This is the last week of classroom; next Monday we start with the 7-3 schedule and we're in nesting, which will include taking real calls from real customers. I'm both dreading it and looking forward to it.

* * *

Karl Denninger scoffs at Elon Musk and his discussion of what we could do with Mars. Denninger is almost right with a lot of this stuff.

Mars' problem is, yes, that it doesn't have a magnetic field. It won't retain an atmosphere if we give it one, but that atmosphere will dissipate over eons, so we could give the red planet an atmosphere by hitting it with a comet or four, then seeding it with lichens and extremophiles that could metabolize the water-ammonia-methane-cyanide witches' brew that comets are made from. Mars would get warm fast and it would take a long time for the solar wind to blow away its atmosphere--hundreds of thousands of years--and we could offset that by simply dropping a comet on it every once in a while. Heck, if we can terraform Mars, we can mine comets for water and ammonia and make big snowballs of frozen water, oxygen, and nitrogen specifically to replenish Mars' atmosphere.

Venus' problem is exactly the opposite: it has too much atmosphere. The pressure on Venus' surface approximates the pressure you'd experience under about a kilometer of water, and it's fucking hot to boot--hot enough to melt lead. But if you could put a sunshade between Venus and the sun for a while, its atmosphere would cool and most of the stuff in it would come out as rain. Sulfuric acid rain, because that's what the clouds in Venus' atmosphere are made from. But once it finished raining, I'd bet Venus would be quite pleasant and have an atmosphere with a much more reasonable temperature and pressure.

There isn't any water in Venus' atmosphere because it's too damned hot. Let it rain sulfuric acid for a few thousand years and there will be water on Venus.

What won't work with Mars is simply evaporating its polar ice caps. That will help, but it's only a minor fraction of what's needed.

* * *

Vox Day announces that Trump is a serious candidate. I do like Trump's stance on immigration. I also like the fact that he scares the everloving shit out of the GOP establishment.

DrewM explains how the GOP could kneecap the Trump candidacy, but the first step is to get rid of McConnel and Boehner, and the GOP will never do that. The second step is to assume Trump's stance on immigration, because it's obviously resonating very powerfully with the American people...but again, that's anathema to the GOP, who want the price of labor to be artificially depressed by an oversupply of unskilled hands who will work for peanuts.

So, yeah. Trump FTW.

...especially since Bernie Sanders, that old socialist, wants to spend some $18,000 billion on social programs. We've already spent ourselves into extreme penury but this dork thinks it's not enough. Earth to Bernie: we've already run out of other peoples' money. We can't spend any more.

* * *

Throw away your TSA locks, because any swinging dick can get a master key now. This is the problem with putting back doors in any security product: you cannot guarantee that only authorized people will use them.

* * *

Write novels, get paid. Larry Correia fisks a stupid article disdaining prolific authors.

* * *

Now I have to go buy gas and get the grass cut. Whee!


By the way, I just wanted to mention that Mrs. Fungus and I watched Birdman last night, and it was a godawful boring piece of shit. Nothing happens in this movie. It's billed as a comedy and I got exactly three slight laughs out of it. I have no idea if Michael Keaton's character is supposed to be delusional or what, and they never really explain it, either.

The soundtrack was nothing but a drum solo. WTF.

It's a perfect example of how award-winning movies always blow ass. Gadzooks, avoid it.