December 13th, 2020

#7416: Rainy

Rained pretty much all day today. If it had been a few degrees cooler, though, it all would have been snow, so I'm just as glad it wasn't.

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Heard that on Pandora, instantly loved it, bought the MP3 album from Amazon within 48 hours of first hearing it. (The album I bought was Bossa Nova Christmas, not Christmas in Rio. Anyway, it's really good.) Posted over on fatzboob that I was either old, or a hipster, and that I hoped I was just old. Heh.

I've been listening to Christmas music on the "Holiday Instrumentals Radio" channel on Pandora, which is replete with this kind of music. It occurred to me that there are no "easy listening" stations on the radio any longer...and I kind of miss them. Here in the Chicago area, 93.9 FM was the "elevator music" channel for many years. When I got my first stereo, Christmas of 1981, I'd put that station on, very softly, when I was going to sleep. Its format now is light pop, serenades, love songs, etcetera, and Christmas music between Thanksgiving and Boxing Day. Closest thing to "easy listening" was 95.5 when they were WNUA--mostly jazz fusion--but they went country, then christian, now rock.

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So, borrowed a couple of laptop DVD drives from work. These are drives which--if any normal person was doing my job--would have gone into the electronics recycling bin with the laptops they came from. I've learned that the company pays a fee to have this stuff hauled away, too--as if it were trash--which is the opposite of what I thought the case was. I thought it was something like taking scrap to a recycler, where they pay you some nominal rate per pound and they of course resell the scrap at higher prices. Nope! Company pays a flat fee, per pallet, to have it disposed of in an ecologically responsible fashion. So me taking these drives home to experiment on doesn't cost anything, since none of the new machines has optical drives, and I don't even need them as replacements.

Anyway the interface I ordered works a treat. First thing I tried to do was to burn an audio disk (the bossa nova Christmas thing); I downloaded Ashampoo (free version) which is my go-to app for that, but it failed. Didn't have a lot of time to mess with it, though, so it wasn't until today that I really did anything.

It has no trouble reading disks. Ashampoo wrote a data disk without so much as a hiccough. Then I used the built-in and craptastic Windows tool, and was able to burn an audio disk that way, which makes me even more confused. I've made plenty of audio CDs with Ashampoo, so why is this one not working?

Fiver says the newest version of the damned thing is crippleware. The web site says the free version can only burn CDs (not DVDs or BDs) but it looks to me as if it's limited just to data CDs.

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Or was it Ashampoo that I used? I've got CDBurnerXP on the drive from Floristica, but I can't really remember which one I used more often. So I'm giving CDBurnerXP a try now.

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Anydangway, did not get anything done today other than washing dishes. The bedroom is masked, so I'm hoping I can get the walls sanded and wiped down on Sunday...but I won't hold my breath. I'm expecting we'll probably go get a conifer tomorrow, after all. Christmas is now a bit less than two weeks away.

* * *

I've been, as usual, trying to decide on a Christmas vignette, and so far haven't had any ideas.

I have one pretty simple rule for my Christmas vignettes: it's got to be a happy story, or at least very light on tragedy. So I can't write a story where someone dies, nor can I write a story about someone being utterly screwed (even if it has a happy ending). Christmas Dinner is about the limit for heavy drama.

Long before I started blogging I wrote some Christmas stories, but I can't use them for that reason. One story, the main character meets a girl who lives with her mother in a house with no electricity or gas or anything because they're utterly broke, and the main character (who is a college kid from a moderately affluent family) basically spends his pizza money to fix their lives. Another story, the main character throws a Christmas party for family and friends but no one comes.


No, and that's what makes it such a challenge every year: writing something which is just right takes a lot of careful thought and effort. But I'll do what I can!

#7417: The question is irrelevant.

"Will Democrats be able to win back working class voters?" There is no longer any need to. All they need to do is set the voting machines for their desired margin of victory. Regardless of how the people vote, they will win.

After all, who will stop them?

Certainly not the Supreme Court. So, no good source there, so we don't know if it's real, but it certainly rings true. Vox Day's comment does too: "Roberts isn't afraid of rioting. He's afraid of his secrets and his corruption being exposed by his masters."

The people that run Roberts must have something really damning on him. Or else he's just total scum of the Earth, and knows that if the swamp is drained, his perfidy will come to light, and he'll end up in one of the worst shithole prisons in the nation.

There is no mechanism now that will fix this. Too much of the federal establishment has been co-opted, corrupted, and perverted for us to dig our way out of it using civil or criminal procedures.

Unless I'm mistaken, tomorrow--Dec 14--is the day on which the electoral college meets and the electors cast their votes. The electors from four states--PN, MI, WI, and GA--will cast their fraudulent votes for Biden. The left will celebrate, completely unconcerned for the illegitimacy of their stolen victory, gloating in their triumph over the hated Bad Orange Man, and rubbing their hands in gleeful anticipation of executing their plans to punish him and his supporters.

And yet, I just noticed something. The left-wing sites I look at have quietly stopped saying "president-elect" when referring to Biden. I do not read many of them but the ones I do aren't using the term, at least not in headlines, as they were previously.

The right is...quiet, unexpectedly so, given the circumstances. Unlike other times when Democrats have stolen victory, there are few visible outbursts of indignant anger at the unmitigated gall on display by the left. None of the major right-wingers that I read have reacted the way I expected them to. There's little boiling anger at the outrage, nor is there much quiet resignation, except from the cuckservative crowd, who are more than a little happy that the Democrats stole the election even if they can't say so. But of course the Democrats have not stolen a presidential election before, not with such blatantly obvious, in-your-face, "shut up and take it" fraud.

Regardless, the republic has had its run. America now stands on a jagged ridge: ahead is a precipitous drop into totalitarian socialism, where we'll stand in line for hours to be allowed our rations of toilet paper or whatever. Behind us is a chasm of secession, civil war, internecine violence, and a broken nation. There will be no way out of this that does not include a body count, because the peaceful doors have--one by one--been closed by the left in its attempt to seize total power over the country.

And make no mistake about it: if this election is allowed to stand as it has been called, it means that--sooner or later--the government will start generating the mountain of skulls that socialism requires as tribute. Oh, we will never know about it; the press will dutifully not ask why so many people go into the reeducation camps but so few ever come out. The midnight arrests will not be reported. While lip service will still be given to the various rights enumerated in the bill of rights, any demand that they be respected will be met with derisive laughter and a bastinado to the face.

But if Trump "crosses the Rubicon", and takes the actions which he is constitutionally allowed to take in dire circumstances (and I believe that "Democrats steal an election, wholesale, and the federal government rolls over and lets them do it" counts as a dire circumstance) then we will see this nation sundered.

The very worst part of all of this is that I can easily see China walking in and saying gravely, "We need to stabilize the situation, because the (former) United States has a lot of nuclear weapons, and those need to be secured." There's credible evidence that China bought and paid for this situation; you don't need an amphibious invasion force if you can get permission to fly your troops in on commandeered airliners. If that happens, the American left will find itself utterly superfluous and a lot of them will simply be shot or otherwise disposed of. After all, at that point they've served their purpose and now will only cause trouble if they're not rounded up. Right?


Still: against an entrenched insurgency, China has the same problems that the United States does. With over a billion people in their country they have a big reserve of manpower, but they literally have to put a soldier in every building to prevent rebels from doing their thing. You cannot use nuclear weapons. Reprisals backfire, particularly if the people being executed are from the other side--and the resistance isn't going to care if city people are killed since those are the folks they fought against beforehand.

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Given the circumstances, I am naturally inclined towards pessimism. Given that 90% of history is average, though, I am likely overthinking this. At least, I hope so.

#7418: A nice idea, but it's been done.

They called the movie Planes, Trains, and Automobiles and merely setting it at Christmas instead of Thanksgiving would not be a big enough difference.

Still trying to come up with a vignette.

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Well, Ashampoo can take a flying leap; the application is crippleware and I can't made audio CDs with it. Made one using CDBurnerXP and it works fine.

So, the idea I had, to use a laptop optical drive, as an external one was successful. All it takes is the drive itself and a cable that costs under $10 shipped from Amazon (if you have Amazon Prime). Minus side, there's no fancy case or anything. Other minus, the cable isn't even a foot long. But for the amount of use I get out of optical drives, I don't think it really makes much of a difference.

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It looks like I need to clean my keyboard again. Oh well.

#7419: Let's cut through this nonsense right now

Any theory which starts with the premise that the universe is impossible, and can't exist, is worthless. "The universe as we currently understand it may not be allowed to exist--at least according to the cosmological model of string theorists."

Then there is something wrong with that model.

In the movie Creator, Mellie is talking to some philosophers and she asks them, "Why don't you start with the premise that you don't exist, and see where that gets you?" They all give indulgent chuckles at her ignorance of their field, but of course she's right and they're wrong.

If there is enough of a universe that sentient life evolves in it and starts wondering how the thing is put together, you can safely assume that any theory which says that universe is impossible is a non-starter.

* * *

Ultimate Tuna Salad sandwiches for dinner tonight. Delicious, even though we're still out of lemon juice.

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A pretty nice, low-key evening in the bunker. My desk chair broke again, but since the maker's response to my warranty claim was to send two seats I was able to fix it. I can't lean back at present because I found that the right-side arm has a crack in it. I was going to fill the crack with epoxy, but the hardener got hard and wouldn't come out of the tube, so I need to go get more epoxy. I'll do that tomorrow--I need to hit the grocery store for a couple sundries anyway.

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So I was writing this post and totally forgot I was running some errands on Ormus in WoW.

Maybe it's time for bed. Heh.

#7420: It's called a "plea bargain". Look it up.

Just saw something annoying and stupid over at Imgur. ACLU crowing about how they've sued Orange County, California, into releasing half its prison population.

That sounds lovely, doesn't it? Just letting go half of the criminals who are locked up because they committed crimes? But it gets better.

Some anus commented that "98% are in there without a trial."

I sincerely doubt that statistic, for many reasons, but the main one is that there are plenty of perfectly valid reasons for someone to be in jail "without a trial".

1) When you are first arrested, you're not released from jail until you've been arraigned and a bail set. You are held in jail "without a trial". Because the first steps of your prosecution need to occur first. You're allowed to leave if you make bail, because bail is meant to be a guarantee to the government that you will return for your trial. (Reducing bail to negligible amounts is therefore counterproductive, by the way.)

2) If you do not make bail, then you are held in jail "without a trial" because you are accused of committing a crime and the penal system wants to make sure you will be present at your trial. People who jump bail are fugitives from justice.

3) In the course of your prosecution, it is likely that the district attorney will offer you a deal: plead guilty to a lesser charge. He gets the conviction, you serve less time than you otherwise would have. It skips all the messy trial business, too. You therefore get put in jail "without a trial". This is called a "plea bargain" and they are a staple of our criminal justice system. It's not inaccurate to say that most cases are handled this way, and it saves a great deal of everyone's time and money.

Of course, the writer's intent here is for readers to think that "without a trial" means the inmates are just summarily locked up without any procedure or due process, thus denying them their civil rights--usually because they're not white.

It's very misleading; but then, that's all the left can do. Certainly they cannot tell the truth about the penal statistics of the United States, because doing so would undermine half the stupid and evil shit they do.

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Well, it's going to be a chilly week; but it looks like forties during Christmas week, which means GREEN CHRISTMAS and I'm not entirely certain I mind.

Here's the thing: on Christmas Day, if I'm not going anywhere, I hardly look outside at all, anyway. I'm too busy. Cooking turkey etc, rejoicing with my wife, tending the fireplace, etcetera. So if we don't have a White Christmas, it's really not going to have much of an effect on me.

Nice thing about this holiday season, though? Two four-day weekends in a row. Win.