September 4th, 2019

#6832: Inexplicable?

Dad used the same pillows for years. Down pillows, old ones. One of them had a small hole in it, so every so often a feather would get out. Less often, it would find its way into the general part of the house.

Prior to his death, his room had been cleaned with the expectation that he would be coming home from the hospital. His old mattress and box springs were replaced with new, the room was vacuumed, the pillows sorted and replaced, and so forth.

After he died, we kept finding feathers all over the house. There was one morning that Mom called me into her room, kind of bothered, and pointed to a feather which was inexplicably laying atop the keyboard for her computer.

I'm sure there's a perfectly reasonable explanation for it. Vacuuming Dad's room missed some of them. There were two active cats in the house. Air currents and so forth. That explains the ones elsewhere in the house, but how did one get onto the keyboard? Mom's desk had a keyboard shelf that slid out, and when the computer was not in use it was slid in and under cover. No matter how I slice it, the most bizarre and unlikely set of circumstances had to have taken place just so for that feather to be where it was found.

Since Mom died, the same has been true for bobby pins. I have been finding them, periodically, as we cleaned and renovated the bunker. The supply had finally dried up after we got the computer room and the rest of the main house done, and it had been more than a year since I found one.

Friday afternoon I was working in the basement, trying to get the old stereo moved out of the way, using physical labor (at my wife's direction) to distract myself from my troubles. I was working on a stretch of floor that had been cleaned of stuff, and cleaned again, and then vacuumed. I needed to sit down and use my legs to push a piece of furniture back into place, and I saw a bobby pin sitting on the floor next to me.

I picked it up and it was clearly one of Mom's. It had been used; the lacquer (or whatever the coating is) was obviously aged. It should not have been there; there was no logical way for it to have been. There had been no boxes or bags or anything near there. It could not have dropped from the ceiling. I'd vacuumed the floor after the last time I cleaned the basement so it could not have been left there from before the place was cleaned. I'm sure there's a perfectly reasonable explanation for it.

And maybe--just maybe--it was Mom telling me that everything is going to be okay.

#6833: ...keys?

What's the backup system? There is none. If the authentication server is down, YOU CAN'T EVEN GET INTO THE CAR.

Let alone power it up and drive it.

What happens if the thing is outside a cellular service area? Are you stranded? I guess they don't have the range to do that so it's not as big a problem as it sounds.

This is, however, why it is an extremely bad idea to build any system that has to "phone home" before it will work. I don't care what you're talking about, whether it's a car or a video game or a can opener. If the computer goes down, the one from which you need to get permission to use the product you bought, you can't use it. If the network connection between your product and that computer is interrupted for any reason, you can't use it. If someone steals your phone/tablet/whatever, and you can't run the app?

Is there a backup? Keys? A dongle? Anything?
While Tesla's app helps you unlock the car, you can still use a key card, an option key fob, or the app without needing to connect to the internet. But some people who didn't have the key card or the fob, and were logged out of the app, had to wait at the time of reporting.
All right; that makes sense. It was users who thought they didn't need to keep their backups outside the vehicle.

Here's an idea, then: you keep the keycard in your wallet with your driver's license, and keep your wallet on your person. Or pay a little extra for the key fob and attach it to your keys, and keep them on your person. Don't leave it in the car.

Dumb, all around.

#6834: I have so many things to do today, why am I doing this?

...but lots of it is phone calls. And I've gotten two of them done already.

Going to make a push towards getting the shelves cleaned off in the spare room, everything boxed and stowed. That's today's goal. I got one set of shelves cleared yesterday but the boxes are still in that room, and I'm trying to get a solution for getting rid of my old bed.

It occurred to me that I could call the GOT JUNK folks, though, and get rid of both the bed and the old stereo. So that's another phone call I'll be making, to get an estimate.

They charge by how much space it takes on the truck. A bed and an old stereo should only amount to one "panel" (a section 4' deep across the width of the truck) if that, so that should be okay. We'll see.

...called them and was told they don't service this area. Oh well!

* * *

Take a look at this horseshit. Chicago's mayor blames, of all people, Republicans for the gun violence in the city.

Last GOP mayor of Chicago was in 1931, and they've never had more than one or two Republican aldermen in the same time frame. But she's not blaming anyone in the city government; oh, no! She is blaming Republicans in other states for the gun violence in Chicago.

This is actually a very old argument. The strict laws against personal ownership of firearms in blue cities fail not because they disarm the populace and make them easy targets, but because criminals get guns from outside the jurisdiction. You see, if private gun ownership were banned everywhere then the guns would disappear and the violence would stop. Chicago's strict gun laws can't work, we are told, unless Indiana and Wisconsin and Iowa and--indeed--the entire rest of the country adopts the same laws. And I'll actually agree that--except for two little inconvenient facts--that might actually be true.

The first is that violent thugs will hurt and maim and kill people regardless of what weapons are available. And so in places like England, there are now laws banning "dangerous knives" and there's just as much violent crime as ever, if not more. Anti-rights people say that a gun makes the violence less "personal" and "more accessible" because there's less physical involvement in shooting someone than there is in stabbing him or cutting his throat; but in practice, that is also demonstrably false. Same example.

The second is that the city government does not enforce its own damned gun laws. If it does, it's done haphazardly, inconsistently, and loosely. Several years ago it was discovered that a lot of gun crimes were simply ignored if the suspect had prior offenses. In other words, if Little Janky G had been jailed for a gun crime--say, armed robbery--the next time he was arrested doing something illegal while armed, he wasn't even charged with the attendant gun crime. These days, we see people with multiple felony convictions being charged with gun crimes and getting released on recognizance bonds or infinitesimal bails.

If this attempt to shift the blame wasn't so outrageous, it would almost be amusing.

Meanwhile, Karl Denninger talks about how the media memory-holed this story because the shooter broke a slew of existing laws. 17-year-old shoots up a football game at a high school, injures 10 people, ends up with 9 counts of attempted homicide. Reading between the lines of the story it sounds to me as if this were a gang-related incident to boot.

Black kid, of course. Underage. Yet somehow he had a semiautomatic pistol, even though ownership of firearms by minors is illegal, and posession of a handgun by a minor is illegal, and minors can't get concealed-carry permits. How many laws did he break just by having the gun on him?

This piece also talks about rape, specifically a 15-year-old girl being raped by an illegal alien from Honduras. The seventh alleged rape by an illegal alien since July 25 in that specific Maryland county. This story was also memory-holed. And he asks a salient question: why was the girl's mother not jailed for harboring an illegal alien?
So we have a mother who believes her 15 year old daughter consented to sleeping with her step-father while he was drunk and who has excused multiple instances of her own daughter being raped. This is the sort of human debris that we consider to be "appropriate" people to raise children and shelter, aiding and abetting felons, of which her "husband" was for re-entering the US after being deported. If this isn't felony child sexual abuse and trafficking would you please explain what constitutes it as you would define it? Why isn't she under arrest both as an accessory to the rape and for harboring this illegal invader which, I remind you, is also a crime.
The Democrat-media complex doesn't mind a 15-year-old girl being raped; they'll memory-hole any story that is inconvenient for their narrative. Reporting bad behavior by illegal aliens might make Trump's position look good! Can't have that!

And then, by the way, the shooter in Odessa, Texas, seems to have failed a background check.

Understand this: when you buy a gun, you fill out a form, 4473, which is the form used by the ATF for background checks etc for gun sales. Among other things it asks if you've ever been involuntarily committed to a mental health institution. If you lie on this form, you are committing perjury, and in this case the sentence is about five years in a federal prison.

...except the case wasn't prosecuted. Most of them aren't. People who may not buy a gun fill out these forms all the time, lie on them, and are caught--and yet the cases are only rarely prosecuted. FBI doesn't want to bother with this kind of thing because they're not sexy and you can't build a career on prosecuting perjurors. Ditto for ATF. Despite there being a specific federal law that is being broken, despite it being largely an open-and-shut case with everything on record, despite the fact that a failure in this process can lead to violent crimes being committed later, most of these cases are simply ignored.

What's the point, then, of having the law? What's the point of having any anti-gun law if the government is not willing to enforce it? If people who commit gun crimes are not charged with them and prosecuted?

The point is that the gun laws on the books aren't what the Democrats and the left want. What they want is a completely disarmed populace. The problem is that pesky Second Amendment; that's why they can't just outlaw the things and take them away from people, and shoot anyone who resists. And so they pass a law, and lackadaisically enforce it; then they say that the one law doesn't work and they need another law, and they pass it, and fap around it. And they repeat, and repeat, and repeat, until--gosh!--guns are still technically legal but no private citizen can own one because all the restrictions make it impossible.

Anyone who reads this blog must have read the cake analogy, where the writer states that he has a cake and then government keeps coming and taking pieces, little by little, until the writer is left with crumbs. This is an apt analogy, because it's what the anti-rights people have been doing to the right to keep and bear arms since the 1930s.

* * *

When are vegans not angry?

* * *

We are told that honor killings are not islamic, I guess. Check out the blockquote:
Disclaimer: Honor killings are not Muslim and they are not Arab. This is a universal phenomenon which takes places in nearly all corners of the globe, from the United States to Europe. The US president stands accused of rape. Honor killings were legal in Italy until the 1970s and still happen today. Do not use this narrative to reinforce dangerous stereotypes of Arab culture and Islam. Patriarchy exists every where.
Really? So I'm guessing this person can trot out numerous examples of honor killings committed by white Catholic men? Or Jews? Or the Japanese? How about Christian blacks or hispanics? Show us your statistics that demonstrate how honor killings happeen "in nearly all corners of the globe".

Bonus points for including a completely unrelated sentence in the middle of the paragraph. ("The US president stands accused of rape.") Even if you think that's true--and I have seen absolutely no credible allegations thereof, and if he had been the press would be all over it all the time--it has nothing to do with the topic of your current paragraph and its inclusion ruins the flow of the text.

Anyone who is honestly and seriously pro-Palestine has the reasoning capacity of a rutabaga and is incapable of correctly evaluating the relationship between cause and effect, so I suppose expecting clear writing from one of them is hopeless optimism. The whole piece reads like it was written by a freshman philosophy major upon learning that her daddy had once made a donation to B'nai B'rith.

* * *

This is absolutely so. When you are a man--particularly if you are a powerful man--it is absolutely imperative that you not be alone with a young woman, or indeed any woman, to whom you are not related, either by blood or marriage. (And even then, in some cases!)

No; having a credible chaperone present--preferably several--is the single best way to avoid any questions of misbehavior on your part.

As Kurt Schlichter says, "Enjoy your new rules."

* * *

Today, then, sitting here and working on my blog post, I have taken care of all the phone calls that I needed to make. That leaves only the physical labor left to do.

When I woke up this morning it was to grinding fatigue in my limbs and a desire to do nothing but sleep. Doing the post and taking care of my telephonic business has left me feeling reasonably able, though, and so I'm going to do my best (as stated previously) to get all the shelves cleared.

Then I need to go to the hardware store for plastic sheeting. The garbage company will pick up the mattress and box springs but I need to wrap them in plasic so they don't get wet--they won't take them if they're wet. Figure I might also visit the grocery store and get something to make for dinner tonight; why not?

There was an email from the contract agency in my inbox, with open jobs, so I tossed an application at a couple of them. Why not? I liked them, they were good to me, and that'd make things really easy if I could secure a new job through them quickly.

But I know why I feel so tired today. Let's face it: it was a very stressful weekend. Then, in order to avoid having to listen to the screaming inside my head, I worked my ass off cleaning out the spare bedroom. Yesterday I had to take the equipment back, and took another pile of donations to Salvation Army, and ran several other errands. And sleep was difficult last night, for both me and Mrs. Fungus, so I didn't get as much sleep as I'd hoped for.

It's all worth it. I mean, the room went from approximately "hoarder" to "clear" in less than 48 hours. We've been stacking stuff in it with the intent of dealing with it when we had time, because we're both really busy people--and Mrs. Fungus made a command decision on Friday that I am glad she made, because it seriously needed to be done.

Our home will never grace the cover of Architectural Digest, but we keep it neat and reasonably clean. Not spotless--not an operating room, not with three cats--but if you were to walk into our home right now you'd see an average suburban house with typical everyday clutter. That's what we want; we want a nice, clean, neat home. And we'll have it; we're getting there. We'll redo that room and put up new shelves and make it into a nice den, a relaxing place to read and maybe listen to some music once in a while.

One of the calls I made today was to the building enforcement folks in the Fungal Vale village hall, about what I needed to do to put the fence back up in the front yard. They want $35 and a sketch of where it'll go on the plat, but I don't anticipate them denying my application for a permit. That'll be maybe $150 or so for lumber and paint, and a few days' work.

I have said that I feel optimistic about my situation--it's always possible that I'm engaging in wishful thinking, but yesterday's "potential rainbow" moment filled me with good feelings that I cannot explain.

I'll take it!