LJ has been giving me 500 errors all day; one of their clusters bit the tube steak and while my account is not on that cluster, apparently there's something going on I don't understand that makes it impossible for me to post to my blog, even though I can see it just fine.
To make matters even more entertaining, WoW gave me a "your credit card has expired" error, which reminded me that I hadn't yet changed my billing information to reflect the new regime over that the Fungal Bank. I got my new card late last month, and it went live in the first week of this month, but I never actually told Blizzard that; so I went there and entered the information...
...and still I could not log on. I began to wonder if I'd ceased to exist or something. Finally I geared up and took the bike to the bank, to deposit the check I got from my mother-in-law as a birthday present (thanks, ma!) and checking my balance. No problem there! WTF.
It was too egregiously nice outside not to take a bit of an extended ride around town, and when I got home I tried again and still could not log on either to WoW or to LJ.
Followed the link in the e-mail from Blizz and discovered that they nullified my subscription to WoW. WTFF--the e-mail said they'd baleet my credit card info, not kill my subscription; once I re-subscribed, I was able to get onto WoW again. Unfortunately my D3 subscription--which is dependent on my WoW subscription--must be re-activated by Customer Support, and I'm not sure I really care all that much about it.
As for LJ, looking at their various FAQs and such led me to a page which had a link that would let me get to the "new entry" page, though, and so here we are. And this little summary has consumed half my bloggin' time, which doubtless means I'm going to be posting this after choir practice is over. Argh etc.
* * *
Vox Day posts Tears Of A Clown in which he has embedded Jon Stewart being most unhappy at the scandal-plagued Obama administration. His satirical approach fairly makes note of how thoroughly the IRS and AP phone scandals can gut the liberal agenda.
The thing that makes him the most angry is not stated: these two scandals demonstrate that the people he refers to as wearing tinfoil hats are right about the so-called benevolence of government. I mean, Obama is Stewart's guy; he's the guy who Stewart has supported virtually uncritically since day one. And unlike many on the sinister side of the political spectrum he at least has enough integrity to say, "Yeah, this ain't a good thing for us to be doing."
("Sinister": "left", the same way "dexter" means "right" in the old traditions of heraldry. Simon Bar Sinister's last name, "Bar Sinister"--from Underdog--meant that his herald would have been or contained a bar on the left side of the field. The fact that "sinister" now means "evil" is a convenient and enjoyable coincidence.)
Plenty of leftists are desperately trying to say, "Whaaat? That's not a scandal! There's nothing wrong with this! It's fine! Government is still good!"
That's what makes this Stewart clip so delicious: the issues are in just the right order to make it obvious how all of these things put together demonstrate Obama's contempt for freedom, and it shows why liberals' faith in the government is misplaced.
* * *
Scientists in the 1980s told us that SDI--"Star Wars"--was impossible. The Russians certainly didn't think so; it scared the shit out of them, and they collectively wrecked their economy trying to match it.
Their biggest fear was a United States which could knock their missiles out of the sky; if the US had that kind of technology, then the Soviet Union was going to be contained and uanble to expand as they historically had. If the USA had Star Wars, it had the power to stop the expansion of communism cold.
...not that communism was doing all that well by 1985 anyway; Soviet Russia's attempts to meet SDI merely hastened its demise. Absent Reagan's brilliant strategy I expect the USSR would have collapsed before 2000 in any case, because communism is an economic impossibility in groups larger than a couple dozen people. The USSR managed to mask this by seizing and absorbing free economies but there was a limited amount of wealth for them to seize in postwar Europe and the US was not going to let them have free rein in any event.
Even so, then, by the time Gorbachev was in charge, the USSR was in serious shit--and like all totalitarian states in history they kept on telling everyone that they were on top and everything was peachy keen, which is why it took everyone by surprise when the Berlin Wall fell. (I'd wager about half the Politburo was totally gobsmacked by it, too.)
The simple fact is that SDI was not impossible; it wasn't physically impossible and it certainly wasn't economically impossible. All the objections raised by scientists in the United States were raised for political reasons--the left in the United States loved the USSR with a firey passion and didn't want to see them opposed, and even in the 1980s academia was already highly communist.
(My maternal grandfather referred to the University of Chicago as "the University of Moscow". He died in 1966. You do the math; leftism in academia is not new.)
* * *
So let's look at Karl Denninger's dystopian statistics for the day, shall we? All quotes are without his emphasis.
This one ain't good news.
New orders went from -1 to -7.9, shipments from 9.1 to -8.5 (!!), employees went from -6.8 to -8.7 (bad and getting worse) and employee workweek went from -2.1 to -12.4 (from crummy to catastrophically bad.)Workweek is critical because that's an indication of how well employment figures are doing. They're not doing well; if workweek contracts too much, then employment begins to contract again, and we're boned.
Well, more boned, that is. *sigh*
"Next month's [employment] report should show a strong gain due to seasonal summer hiring, especially among young people. If it doesn't, and it looks like it won't.... oh boy."
The decrease observed in the Consumer Price Index is due entirely to a drop in petroleum prices. Because the US is sitting on more oil than Saudi Arabia. Yeah.
* * *
Okay, let's have some fun with the whole Kitchen Nightmares thing I talked about the other day.
Buzzfeed on "the most epic brand meltdown on Facebook ever."
The shitstorm in that episode wasn't faked, either. This one has embedded a video clip of one of the owners of the place threatening a couple of diners who had waited nearly two hours for a pizza.
(An article about the fakery on Kitchen Nightmares. I expected this; it's entertainment, after all.)
Forbes has some lessons for companies which experience this kind of thing, and how you should not deal with social media in this sort of event.
I mean, by responding to the negative statements in such obvious fashion, they're just proving their critics right.
According to this story, those guys waited for their pizza for nearly three hours. And Amy--the eponymous restaurant's owner--was threatening to call the cops on them because they were leaving without paying for their drinks after her husband had told them "get the fuck out". Yeah.
It's apparently an "astonishing Facebook meltdown".
...then they claimed they were hacked. Heh.
* * *
Turns out that Tarot cards are just another sort of playing card, invented in the 15th century. Oh well.
* * *
So here it is, nearly 10:30, and I still haven't gotten my blog post up.
After choir practice, I went to the store for bread, then took a spin on the bike; I ended up at my aunt and uncle's house and had a visit with them for about an hour. I didn't get home until 9:30.
I still have things that need doing, too. Argh etc.
But first, the completion of the bloggeratin'!
* * *
Redacted: an essay on abusive people I may post another time.
* * *
Sometime last week Mrs. Fungus bought a pork tenderloin, and I put it into the freezer because we weren't going to eat it before the 12th at the earliest. Well, she decided that should be dinner Wednesday night, so when we got up Wed. morning I set the thing to defrosting.
After she got home last night, I cooked it. The recipe I saw on-line said "20 minutes" but it took more like 35 or 40. I rubbed it with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and rosemary; I seared it on all sides, using an old aluminum frying pan from which the handle departed before I was born (my Mom used that pan for making roast beef all the time because it simplified making gravy) and added perhaps 3/4 cup of wine to the pan before putting it in the oven for 20 minutes.
It took longer than 20 minutes; I had to keep adding time--but finally it was done all the way through, just a hint of pinkness to the meat. Mashed potatoes from a box, corn-on-the-cob, and gravy made in the ol' aluminum frying pan completed the meal. To my surprise, the pork came out perfectly.
Not only was it tender and juicy, you could actually taste the rosemary, but it wasn't overpowering. It was spiced just right.
Mrs Fungus commented, "Every time you make gravy it is so good!"
Looks like my mother taught me how to cook. Can you dig it.