Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Worrying About Nuclear Global And Warming War

... or something like that.

The Pope, who I as a rabid papist am inclined to support, said in a recent interview that he's worried about global warming climate change* and nuclear war. Whatever. I guess he's opposed to Mr. Mobutu wanting reliable electricity in his African hospital when his wife needs a c-section. Global Warming, you see, it caused by third-world people wanting to do away with filth, starvation and disease, the elimination of which will require the use of energy which spews CO2 into the air.

Oh well. Where Papa Frankie came up with nuclear war, I'm sure I don't know. I think his talking points from the progressives are a bit out of date.

Meanwhile, birthrates in Japan, Europe and America are below replacement, which means Muslims are an ever-increasing percentage of global population. Traditional families, the source of civilization, have been decimated in Europe and America as we pursue pleasure. Porn is completely destabilizing sexual relationships all over the world. I guess those aren't a big deal as they don't involve "global" issues, only the problems of normal people.

I have a dream. Someday, our elite will have something in common with regular, everyday Joes and Janes.

Ha! What a hopeless romantic.

I'd also like a unicorn.
* - Poor Pope Francis is behind the times. He doesn't realize that we've moved on to Climate Change.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

It's Over When You Surrender

... like the Brits have done to the Muslims.
A Pakistani Christian woman’s appeal to Britain for asylum has been denied because her arrival in the country may stir civil unrest, HuffPost UK has been told.

Asia Bibi, a Christian farm labourer, was released from prison in Pakistan on Wednesday after being acquitted of blasphemy. She had spent eight years on death row after an argument with a group of Muslim women in June 2009.

The Supreme Court of Pakistan overturned Bibi’s 2010 conviction for “insulting the prophet Mohammed” last week, saying the case against her was based on flimsy evidence.

But her acquittal sparked violent protests led by Islamic religious hardliners, and the government has now agreed to try to stop her leaving the country.
That sounds a lot like the numerous American universities that have surrendered to the mob veto of ANTIFA and social justice warriors in all manner of things.

How hard is it to grow a new spine once yours has eroded away?

Monday, November 12, 2018

The Malibu Fire

... is dropping ash in San Diego, ~150 miles away. Check out the film on the top of our birdbath.

Meanwhile, wife kitteh was absolutely murdered by her allergies yesterday. We suspected smoke from the fires and this confirmed it.

If it's throwing ash down here, it's huge up there. God bless the firefighters and the victims of the blaze. Here in San Diego, we managed to escape 2018 without a major fire, but that will come in time. They always do.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

The Manual Doesn't Lie


I spent a little time today trying to figure out why I hadn't been able to set the shutter speed when I took my night sky photos a few days ago. The manual said to turn the front dial to adjust the speed. I didn't see a front dial, so I kept turning the back one and nothing happened.

It turns out there's a small front dial on the, err, well, front of the camera. Duhhh. I spun the dial and the shutter speed changed.

No worries, I discovered the other morning that the night sky where I live is not too bad and I might even start with some moon photos just to get the hang of it.

That is, now that I know the front dial is in the front.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

You Don't Know What It's Like To Be ... (Blank)

I can't stand that argument. It drives me crazy. It's illogical and marks deep ingratitude. It's ugly and divisive. Until this morning, I couldn't think of the logical fallacy in it. It seemed impervious to debate as whatever you said could be countered with yet more characteristics the left associates with oppression.

I know a blind fellow at work. He's a scientist. I've worked with him on making our web applications more accessible to screen readers. If you've never used a screen reader, it's amazing what it does and what it requires on the part of the consumer. The thing starts at the topmost element in the Document Object Model (DOM) of the web page and reads it to you. Hitting the tab key moves you to the next element. I think ctrl-tab takes you back to the previous one.

Pictures and input elements like forms must have alt text associated with them so the screen reader can tell the blind person what it is. Without it, they can't fill out forms and don't know what the picture is showing to the rest of us.

To use a screen reader, you have to keep a mental map of the web page in your head. Imagine memorizing the map of the DC subway system. And the NY subway system. And the Chicago El and the LA bus system and on and on and on. Each website has a different map and the blind person is picturing the DOM in their heads as they walk through it with the tab key.

Meanwhile, the rest of us just zip around with the mouse and click on funny lolcat memes.

Whenever I hear arguments like, "You don't know what it's like to be black!" or "You don't know what it's like to be a woman!" I want to reply, "You don't know what it's like to be blind!" The obvious reply would be, "Yeah, well, you don't know what it's like to be a blind, black woman!"

That's not the way the thing works, though, is it? The blind dude doesn't live in a world of blind people where he might have some advantages because of his skin color or sex. He lives in the whole world and has to compete with all of us for jobs, respect, social status and mates. It doesn't matter to the blind guy that he doesn't know what it's like to be a black, blind guy because his disadvantage is orders of magnitude worse than skin color or sex, if those even carry with them disadvantages at all, which is debatable.

In fact, if he met a black, blind woman, they'd immediately have a close kinship born of having to learn how to live in the world of the sighted. They'd be able to have deep conversations about screen readers, crosswalk voices and how to set up a bedroom so you don't fall over everything. Heck, they might even fall in love because they finally met someone who understood them.

Meanwhile, in the world of the grievance culture, most of us are sighted, healthy, reasonably attractive and enjoy the fruits of our ancestors' hard work and ingenuity. Life's pretty easy, all things considered. Certainly too easy to walk around telling each other that we don't know what it's like to be an Eskimo lesbian.

Oh yeah? Well, you don't know what it's like to be a short, one-eyed, one-handed, transgendered, lactose-intolerant, vegan pirate!

Friday, November 09, 2018

A First Try At Night Sky Photography

Was both rewarding and frustrating at the same time.

Wife kitteh, who was being a good sport, and I went out to dinner last night and then drove out to Sunrise Highway in the Laguna Mountains so I could play with my Fujifilm X-T10 camera and try to get some night sky photos. The night was moonless and clear and the place has very little light pollution, so everything was set for some good photos.

I spent some time in the afternoon trying to set up the camera properly. I put it in manual mode, set the ISO at 4000 and tried to learn how to manually set the shutter speed. I was able to figure out everything but that last part. No matter what I did, the thing stayed at 1.5 seconds instead of the recommended 15-30 seconds.

Lesson: Don't try reading the manual in the car at night. If you're doing that, you're doing things wrong. However, wife kitteh came home very hungry, so setup time with the camera was cut a bit short as noms were required sooner than expected.

Lesson: Set up all your gear ahead of time and take some shots, even if it's in the middle of the day. I had planned to look through the manual during my lunch break and work through the settings, but, as usual, the workday had other plans and I never got to it. Hence, I was working out the settings at the last minute before we left.

Lesson: If you're in the mindset that the first two or three times you try something new you're going to make a total hash of it, it's all good. I had no expectations other than figuring out what I had done wrong the next day, which is today. When you learn new things, you asymptotically approach competence as you keep trying.

In the end, I was actually happy with a couple of the shots, however they managed to sneak their way into my camera in spite of my best efforts at ignorance. In the end, it was very cold up there and I was a bit unhappy with my inability to set the shutter speed, so I took some shots in random directions to use as teaching aids today. I came away with some nice full sky shots and one or two horizon ones. They're not professional grade, but they look like I meant to do them.

I left these quite large, so I think they're worth a click. In fact, you'll need to click on them to see them properly. In thumbnail mode on the blog, they look like black rectangles. Enlarged, they look like black rectangles with tiny, white dots, which, I'm sure you'll agree, is much better. Enjoy.

Thursday, November 08, 2018

On Assignment

Tonight, I'm heading up to the Mount Laguna area to try to take some Milky Way photos. More on that tomorrow.