June 1st, 2017

#5632: Every time it happens, I'm surprised, and I shouldn't be

Saw an ad today (Tiger Direct) offering Seagate Barracuda hard drives. A terabyte for $50, two for $65. 4 TB, $110. Hard drives are cheap.

Shouldn't be surprised by this, yet I am.

* * *

Quoth AoSHQ today:
The other major story that is being completely ignored by the Left and their stooges in the Democrat Party is the descent of Venezuela into societal collapse. Surprisingly, we have yet to hear from Bernie Sanders, Sean Penn or Danny Glover. Well at least Venezuelans can enjoy their free health insurance. Ain't socialism the bomb?
Strange, isn't it, how the late Hugo Chavez's useful idiots are strangely silent about how well the socialist paradise of Venezuela is functioning these days?

Look at all the mostly-peaceful anti-government protests in Venezuela! To borrow a phrase. Two months, 59 casualties so far, homemade munitions--well, there are always people who are against fairness, aren't there?

Naturally currency will become worthless as the workers' paradise is realized! Currency is a tool of the capitalist oppressor, so devaluing its currency by 64% is a natural move to return power to the worker.

The fact that the Venezuelan proletariat is currently starving is merely an unfortunate side effect of the natural progression of socialism, and will pass. Courage, comrades! And in the meantime, don't say anything to the American people about it, because it will just confuse them. They're not capable of understanding the necessity of strife in the eternal workers' struggle.


Okay, yeah, I'm not actually surprised that the American media and useful idiots are not talking at all about how much of a shitshow communist Venezuela has become.

* * *

Another brilliant plan from Illinois Democrats who don't understand that people and businesses do not have to stay in Illinois.
The Illinois bill would put a 20% levy on fees earned by investment advisers. It passed the state Senate in a 32-24 vote Tuesday, and backers are hoping to get it through the House before the legislative session ends May 31.
Is it costly and inconvenient to move a business to another state? Hell yes. Does that mean a business cannot move? Hell no.

* * *

ACLU is for religious freedom when it's muslims cutting their daughters' genitals. Not so much Christians praying in school or having Christmas pageants, but mutilation is okay as long as it's islamic mutilation. Because "fellow travelers", don't you know.

* * *

Black woman unhappy that her 16-year-old son was tried as an adult for committing a violent felony, and went to jail. He's been arrested three times for other crimes since being paroled.

Look: it's not a "youthful indiscretion" to stick a gun in someone's face and demand all his money. That's armed robbery and it should carry a harsh penalty. Not to mention that a lot of places consider concealed carry of handguns off-limits for minors.

Most people know this without having to be told. I guess the concept is too complex for some people.

* * *

More fallout from Kathy Griffin's unfunny tweet.

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If you are always late it shows you are an inconsiderate, rude person.
As far as I'm concerned, by arriving late you're telling the other person that his or her time isn't important, or at least isn't as important as your time, and that attitude is unbearably rude and inconsiderate. Don't even ask me how I feel about "Mediterranean-" or "African Time", where an appointed time is not even a "guideline" but wishful thinking.
Want to be an asshole? Be late every time. That's how to win friends and influence people.

* * *

Every time I see a picture of a Saturn V repurposed as a lawn ornament, I want to cry.

Especially with these kinds of captions:
The Saturn V model photographed with one of the three remaining real Moon rockets.
Hey, our [LEGO model] rocket has been in space just as much as this one has!
It's not funny. It's tragic.

The other day I came across a video showing abandoned nuclear reactors, sites where construction was started but never completed thanks to the Luddite scaremongering of communists and idiots, and felt much the same sort of sadness.

"The perilous stupidity of humanity" is a phrase I find myself thinking more and more.

* * *

Well! Today is another gorgeous early summer day. We had originally intended to go to the Museum of Science and Industry, but Mrs. Fungus and I overslept, so we didn't. Then we were going to take her father's stamp collection to get it appraised, but after we emailed pictures of it to the guy, he advised us that 99% of it is worth more as postage or charitable donation. I'm going to recommend a second opinion, but I don't really expect much of a different answer.

No idea what we'll do now, but I'm actually just as happy we're not going anywhere today.

* * *

My wife has a Lava glitter lamp. I bought it for her as a Christmas present in 2012. Only now does the truth emerge:

Well, shut my mouth.

...anyway, a side effect of never turning it off is that some of the LEDs no longer work. One of the blue ones died completely; the remaining blue and the green ones will flicker spastically at random, but remain off 99% of the time.

What I'm going to try doing is to replace the dead blue one and see if that helps, because a quick check with the DMM shows it's getting voltage. It might be the IC driving the whole works is expecting to see something from there that it's not seeing; if it's open, current won't flow through it, and that might be enough to result in the odd behavior.

Nice thing is, I have a string of 20 LEDs, multicolored, battery powered--I got it from Target for about $2 when I still worked there--and can take a blue one out without causing much trouble, so spares aren't an issue. I can replace all the LEDs on this thing for no money out of pocket. I just need to make with the soldering iron.

I just hope we don't get in trouble for using a "horsehold use only" lamp in a house for people. Who knows what the feds would do to us?

#5633: How long were y'all gonna keep me in the dark?

Kansas' new album, The Prelude Implicit, according to this released September 23, 2016. None of you told me.

The only reason I know it's out is coincidence: went to Barnes & Noble to return a superflous book of manga purchased on the last trip there. They didn't have anything I wanted in manga, so I looked at their smallish music and movies section. Having picked out something, I browsed the selection of vinyl recordings for Parsons and Kansas, just for old times' sake...and saw the Kansas logo on a cover I didn't recognize. "The first KANSAS studio album in 16 years!" said the sticker on it.

Apparently I started making "eep eep" noises.

Anyway, came home with the deluxe CD version, and I'm listening to it now. So far, it sounds a lot like Freaks of Nature mainly because Livgren didn't write any of the songs and David Ragsdale is present, playing violin.

Missing: Steve Walsh, Robby Steinhart, Kerry Livgren, Dave Hope. But it sounds like Kansas. Whoever is doing lead vocals sounds enough like Steve Walsh that I'm highly surprised not to see his name in the credits.

I don't care. Haven't got new music from any of my old favorites in a long enough time that I'll take it. Hell, I bought four Parsons albums which had no tracks written by Eric Woolfson, so f it.

#5634: Well, how's that, then?

So, the glitter lamp--

Had to use both the desoldering and the soldering iron to do this repair correctly, but it's done.

Scoped out the board layout the other day when I checked for voltage at the LEDs. Red LEDs are RD1 and RD2. Green are GD1 and GD2. Blue are BD1 and BD2. See the pattern?

First I replaced BD2, which had definitely died. With it in there, both blue LEDs lit normally, but now GD2 had died. I knew I'd have to replace one of them; I replaced GD2, then tested, and wouldn't you know it but when I powered on again, GD1 was dark. (How much you want to bet that replacing GD1 would have fixed everything? But I had no way of knowing it was the problem.) So I replaced GD1.

Lo and behold, everything works again.

BD1 may require replacing; we'll see how it goes. The green LEDs I put in are a little weak. But it's lighting up red, blue, green, the way it was designed to. Because I am good at fixing things.

Stick that in your pipe and smoke it, Pepsi! You and your stupid three-phase motor test!