January 6th, 2017

#5421: Well, it's just too early to tell....

Black savages kidnap and torture a white man while saying things like "fuck whites!" but it's "too early to tell" if it's a hate crime.

If white racists kidnapped a black man and tortured him while saying, "fuck blacks!" it would have been labeled a hate crime before they'd even finished, but when it's black racists, well, we just don't really know yet.

Sanity prevailed, though, and it's been labeled a hate crime. Good.

There's a bunch of links to this horseshit all over the place, but they all say about the same thing, so I'm not going to beat a dead horse.

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And here we go! Republicans working on repealing Obamacare, and the Democrats fire up their hyperbole generators: "MAKE AMERICA SICK AGAIN", blares the sign next to the podium, as if Obamacare had actually fixed anything rather than make the cost of health care "necessarily skyrocket" in its wake.

But, Democrats, please go on, and continue to use the same tired tactics which led you to lose big this past November.

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This is really cool. It's a computer which would fit in your wallet.

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Not yet, but someday it will be. Promise.

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So tonight it's extra-friggin'-cold outside. I'm home and warm.

Tuesday was the memorial service for my father-in-law. It was quite nice. My wife had a lot to do, and needed help, so I spent my three bereavement days helping her; today was the first day this year that I went to work, and the first time since Christmas Eve that I worked a full shift.

It was an exhausting weekend. Wednesday, we slept in; I had to run a couple errands but that was done pretty quickly.

Really miss the guy, we do.

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Not a lot else going on. Further bulletins as events warrant.

#5422: Now, that's a first.

Today I became the owner of a new cell phone. When I say "new" I don't just mean that it's never been used before; I mean that it has not been on the market for more than a year.

There is only one reason I got it, though: it's cheap enough to appeal to my parsimonious nature.

See, Verizon (my wife's carrier) had this deal running through the 4th: certain smartphones, if bought for a new line of service, are approximately free on device payment (DPP). The phone I selected--the LG Stylo 2 V--is nominally $10 per month on DPP, but through the promo I got, Verizon gives a credit of $10/mo, so the phone cost about $25 all told--the sales tax and the activation fee for the new line of service. Of course we still have to pay the line access charge, but that pays for service regardless and that represents about an $8 more per month charge over what I have been paying Tracfone for crummy not-even-3G service on my old phone.

This promotion obviated the only sticking point I had with moving to Verizon: how to get a device? I'd been thinking about using my 3G Tracfone (I ran the IMEI through the device management database at work; the phone is compatible with the network) but hadn't really made any effort. This deal was too good to pass up.

And this thing is huge. It's got a 5.7 inch screen--same size as an iPhone 7 plus--and it comes with a stylus. I haven't started playing with it yet, but it's so thin I'm afraid of breaking it, and I think the first thing I'm going to have to do is to go get some kind of case for it.

But, wow.

My first phone was a Motorola DynaTAC, given to me by a friend who had bought a newer, less brick-like phone for himself. I used it until 1997, when I canceled service, and didn't have another cell phone until November 2002, when I bought my first Tracfone. That was a Nokia something-or-other, with switchable faces, which got wet and needed replacing. And I replaced it with a Motorola phone (next post from that last link). The phone I had after that one was also a Motorola, which lasted until late 2013--at which point I got an LG basic phone with a touchscreen which seemed like black magic next to the Motorola phone it replaced. Then, 2015, the Android phone I've been using, also an LG.


The new phone is very close to the PDA characters in my SF universe use. I've talked about this before, though I can't find the specific post; in 2008 or 2009 or sometime around then Pixy talked about Samsung's new smartphone, and I thought, "That's it!" Only it really isn't, since the typical smartphone in the 21st century lacks some of the basic features of a PDA from my SF world:
* Radiation dosimiter
* Satellite communications
* Indefinite battery life
* Complete interoperability with computers
* 3D display when warranted
* extremely durable
...all for about $20 a month, more or less. It's more if you want to communicate offworld or outsystem, of course. Even so, this phone is perhaps 85% of what I expect a PDA to resemble. The form factor is certainly correct.

So, I'm still a little up in the air about the phone number. I got this phone intending to port my number from the Tracfone to it; but the big problem with this is, I get spam calls on it all the time. So part of me wants just to distribute the new number to family and friends and let the Tracfone number wither on the vine. But of course I've used that number for about a million and a half things--like shopping rewards cards and so on--and I'll forget it if I don't keep using it. I'm leaning towards "port in" but we'll see how we do.

Meanwhile, going to let its battery fully charge before I do any serious fiddling.

* * *

Wednesday night I left a 6-pack of Mountain Dew in the truck overnight, and remembered it only when I left to go to work. Half the bottles were frozen. I put the 6-pack into the fridge. This morning, they're still partly frozen, kind of slushy. Win.