August 29th, 2020

#7274: All about the riots

After that stupid delusional letter addressed to President Trump, mayor of Portland spends a difficult night being harassed by Burn-Loot-Murder and antifa. Wonder if he will have a change of heart now, the way Seattle's mayor did?

Probably not. This one's delusional and stupid.

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You organize the protest, you get the bills for it. What, did she think that the local authorities could just let three dozen people gather, unsupervised, in the name of a cause/organization that is known for violence, looting, and vandalism?

If that bothers you, then consider the fact that counterprotest can crop up at any time, in which case you need the police there to keep it from turning into a general melee.

This is not, as the lede attests, "a [possible] severe violation of 1st Amendment rights." This is just reality. No one told the girl she couldn't hold her rally. But the bill for costs incurred by the town because of her rally rightfully landed in her lap.

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Kyle Rittenhouse, American hero, has just gotten himself some super-high-powered legal representation. Heh. Heh.

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CNN has pretty well squandered all its credibility.

Other CNN headlines that could have been:

Space Shuttle Challenger explodes in a firey but mostly successful launch

Hindenberg arrives in New Jersey in a firey but mostly safe landing

[Famous person] dies after mostly successful battle against [disease]

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Well, I need to run the AC kit back over to Og's place. Seems his wife's vehicle needs a recharge.

I'm taking the bike. Whee!

#7275: I wanted to take a nap

Tried to, couldn't, because I was hungry.

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If he was hunting black people, why did he shoot white people?

Because the narrative is, "Everyone who opposes us is a racist," that's why. Nothing as inconvenient as the truth must stand in the way of the narrative!

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This links to a...thing...of unprecedented stupidity. It's an editorial or something published on some commie site:
And the reason that the world is organized that way, obviously, is for the profit of the people who own the stores and the factories. So you get to the heart of that property relation, and demonstrate that without police and without state oppression, we can have things for free.
Sure! Because that iPhone you have, Apple didn't have to pay people to design and build it, and doesn't have to pay for the materials and parts that go into it; no! Tim Cook just wanders into his Magic iPhone Forest (stolen from the Ios indians in 1836) and picks the ripe ones, then has them put into a fancy box and sells them for a thousand dollars each.

Likewise, the car you drive wasn't manufactured by Honda; they went into their car mine and dug it out of the earth, gave it a quick wash, and sold it to you.

The things those stores sell, the people that own those stores don't pay for the merchandise they sell or anything. It just comes down from on high in a truck driven by an archangel!


The text from the commie article that's blockquoted in that post displays such an abject ignorance of economics that it leaves me speechless. I mean, just being a marxist means you already don't understand the first thing about what profit is for, why it's a vital necessity for the proper function of any economic system--but this turkey is well past that, into a delusional weirdland where nobody needs to work for anything but we'll still have the biggest economy in the world.


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The unchecked criminality, the rioting, the looting, all that horseshit, is accelerating flight from the cities. "I'll take 'Tax base collapse' for $600, Alex."

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It's been in development for a decade, it's already hideously expensive, and the price just went up another thirty percent. SLS is a typical government program, in other words.

But they're almost ready to try running a static test on a prototype! It's only been nine years and twenty-odd billion dollars.

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Inconvenient facts about COVID-19.

1) it's not really new, being highly similar to SARS
2) There is pre-existing immunity out there, partly because of SARS, partly because many common cold virii are coronavirii
3) the models are all shit
4) If someone is exposed to the virus and doesn't get sick, he's immune to it DUH

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I think it's time to try to get that nap.

#7276: Sound off!

No, really--Mrs. Fungus complained that the TV's sound bar was off, and she couldn't turn it on.

I'm used to the TV misbehaving. I've got a hunch that the TV's power supply board needs new capacitors, or complete replacement, because it takes a while to power on, and--recently--has taken to occasionally shutting itself off at random.

But the sound bar--we've had no trouble from it the entire time it's been here. Not sure how old either TV or soundbar are, but they're of an age; and today the soundbar just crapped out. No matter what I did it would not power on, and after a few minutes of fiddling with it I noticed that it was no longer displaying the clock, either.

Thing's not less than eight years old, probably ten, and they don't cost a lot--rather than trying to figure out why it stopped working I told her we'd have to go get a new one.

This evening, we went to Best Buy. That was something of an exercise in frustration, because apparently you have to sign in for help, and then wait for it. They had a convenient display of sound bars, so all I really needed was to go to that and fiddle to decide which one--but of course that display was not working so you could not listen to the sound bars and decide which one you liked best.

Went back to the front and signed in for help, then waited and waited; finally Mrs. Fungus asked a passing employee about it, but he didn't know anything. (Yellow shirt--manager of something-or-other.) Waited longer, asked for help from another passing employee, and he got on his radio and asked about the display and it turned out that it actually was broken.

So, if we wanted to buy a soundbar that cost less than, oh, five hundred fucking dollars, we'd have to take a chance that it would sound good.

Something else interesting: apparently, in the sound bar world, actually providing a list of features someplace you can see them on the box is considered passe. Best Buy apparently thinks that the displays don't need to list the features, either. Thanks to the units on the nonfunctional demo display I was able to figure out which ones had the kind of inputs we needed.

Finally picked a Polk Audio sound bar with wireless subwoofer. Got out of the store with it for a smidge under $200. Picked it based on the fact that its sale price was $180, it had a name I recognized that wasn't "Insignia", and the box actually listed some of its features so I could make a reasonably educated decision about whether it suited our needs.

Stopped for dinner, then got home and hooked it up...and was delighted to find that it sounds fantastic--a hell of a lot better than the one it replaces! Oh, I knew that we could reasonably expect it to sound at least as good, but I wasn't expecting a lower-end sound bar to sound this good.

The TV has an optical out and the sound bar has an optical in, and the bar included both optical and HDMI cables. Even if the TV had not had the optical out (it does not have HDMI out) I could have used the AUX output on the TV and connected it to the AUX input on the sound bar, though I would have had to supply my own cable for that. I've got two of those on hand, though.

Little caveat: have to press the TV button on the remote control twice to get the thing to look at the optical input instead of HDMI for the sound.

Next step was to get the cable box remote programmed to adjust volume on the new sound bar. That took a little fiddling, but that's also working correctly now.

Besides HDMI, optical, and AUX, it also does Bluetooth--so I can pair my phone with it and play music through the thing.

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Yesterday, while it was still hot out, we went and got into the pool and spent some time just floating in our tubes and not doing anything. IR thermometer said water was 80 degrees; once in, it felt all right, but getting in was like YEECH! The hot, sticky night felt a great deal cooler with my backside and legs in the water, and I was comfortable, so I remained in the pool just floating and relaxing for at least 20 minutes longer than Mrs. Fungus did.

I'm convinced that a well-designed solar heater would help keep the water temperature high enough that it would be comfortable even on days when it's not scorching hot outside. I keep mulling designs; it'll probably end up being made of plywood and plexiglass and PEX tubing, with garden hose serving to get water from pool to pump to heater and back. Pump will be sourced from Harbor Freight; I won't try to finagle this contraption into the pool's filtration system. Water will enter the heater near the center, spiral outward, and exit near the perimeter, flowing back to the pool, to be discharged at some good distance from the intake. Depending on what we do, pool-wise, I could conceivably use the drain port as the connection point for the heater intake; it's designed to accept a female garden hose fitting. I'll definitely want to draw in the coldest water, and that will be on the bottom of the pool. Otherwise, something to support the intake hose, and to keep it near the bottom of the pool. Getting the heated water back in will be similarly trivial, in fact: just a hose flipped over the side or something.

Anyway, that's for next year.

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I've always wanted my own Jacob's Ladder.

I bought a robot arm kit. It's not even as sophisticated as the Radio Shack robotic arm; this one has five motors but can't rotate at the wrist. Still, $60 shipped, and I get to put it together.

While junking some desktop computers at work I found something weird: some computers have a little dingus which is a speaker and a mono amplifier in one. Runs on 5V, uses a 3W amp. I bet if I got a couple of those assemblies I could build a little stereo amplifier. Plug an MP3 player or a phone into it, control the volume from that, and presto!

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But tomorrow is Sunday and I need to get the Jeep's sway bar end links replaced. Then cut the grass.

Plus side, cool weather!