Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Chivalry Is Better Than Regulations. Husbands Are Even Better Than That.

So in order to stop the epidemic of rape on college campuses that may or may not be happening, states like California and many universities across the country have instituted "affirmative consent" rules. That is, everyone involved has to agree to any and all escalations of sexual activity. That's going to stop rape.


Because if it doesn't, you could be expelled from school. Presumably, there are still laws on the books prohibiting rape and threatening all kinds of legal ramifications like jail time, but those laws don't seem to apply on college campuses.

Rape is hand-to-hand combat. Men are larger, stronger, quicker and more aggressive than women, all by significantly large margins. I used to watch my daughter's U17 girls club soccer team get regularly thrashed by a boys U11 team in practice matches. (If I had entertained even the slightest doubts about male physical superiority, watching those games cured me very quickly.) When it comes to hand-to-hand combat, my money is on the bigger, stronger, quicker, more aggressive person every time.

Laws and regulations are all well and good, but they only come into effect after the event. That is, for the boy to expelled or jailed, he needs to have committed the rape first. That seems a little late in the whole process to me. I'd hate to think that was my daughter's best line of defense.

Back in the day, when women actually acknowledged that they were different than men, they focused on landing and managing a husband. In lieu of that, the goal was to have a boyfriend or at least an escort. The husband / boyfriend / escort was expected to provide protection among other gentlemanly services.

These days, when we all seem to think the sexes* are equal, we're left with creating rules to deal with the absence of protective men in the lives of women. These rules, as I said before, that do nothing to prevent horrible things from happening in the first place.

Oh well. I guess that's just the price we pay for being so enlightened.

Here, a college girl shows her appreciation for the head of her university's Sexual Consent Integrated Product Team for having come up with a charter, mission statement and POA&M for the group.

*  - Maybe I should say "genders" to include all 8,712 of them recognized by Facebook, California, UC Berkeley or what-have-you.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The Movie "Interstellar," Your Endocrine System And Nazis

How's that for a weird linkage?

So we went to see Interstellar on Christmas Day. It was a good, modern Hollywood movie, which means it had high production values and was thoroughly infused with secular humanist religious claptrap. I'm not going to do a full movie review (it was worth seeing), but instead will focus on one particular scene.

The two lead characters, both big Science types who were all about Logic and Knowledge and Sciencey Science, had a chat about Love. Love, the girl explained to the guy, was the great mystery of the Universe, the thing that drives everything else and gives it meaning. The guy swallowed the lecture with a little bit of effort, objecting only to the practical ramifications of the girl's love, not the idiocy of her speech.

Science in Hollywood movies is a wondrous thing. Scientists are practically priests and science-based reasoning is Right and Good. Well, only so long as the science isn't biology. Then we don't talk about it at all. The Philosopher-Priestess giving the lecture on Love apparently didn't know much about her endocrine system.
The endocrine system contains many different physical components that help to regulate everything from sexual function to our mood each day. The health and well-being of the endocrine system is essential to maintaining healthy body weight, growth and physical or emotions development. The endocrine system will greatly affect children and teenagers who are experiencing a high level of development, but different parts of this system will also play a role as we age as well as our function day to day.
So if she'd been an honest Science-type, she'd never have given that speech. She'd have known that Love is just the manifestation of glandular secretions and sexual love in particular is her DNA striving to propagate itself across time. While logical and scientific, that kind of speech wouldn't have been much fun for the movie as it would have unmasked the underlying philosophy of the film for what it was, a modified version of Hitler's Darwinian, atheistic Volk theories, where the survival of the race was paramount.

Nahh. Better to lie about the end results of their foundational assumptions and sell tickets.

To infinity, and beyond!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Save Those Pie Tins!

Whenever we get pies from the store, we foolishly throw out the tins* when the pie is gone. Now dig this.
Add flour (all-purpose or self rising can be used) to a pie plate or other deep-sided dish; set aside. Season pork chops liberally with salt and pepper then dredge in flour. Shake all excess flour off of each chop. Set flour aside.
Gaaaahhhh! All this time, I've been struggling to find something just right for a dredging dish. It as in front of me all the time! Pie tins!

As Paul Prudhomme is my witness, I shall never throw away another pie tin until I have an arsenal of the things for dredging and whatever else I need them to do.

* - To be accurate, we put them in the recycling as they're aluminum. Still, the end result is the same. They're gone.

Update: I just found this great site giving suggestions about how to make awesome pork chops and gravy.

A Styled Version Of The Rain Table For Modesto

I've been kind of embarrassed by the rough nature of the rainfall tables I've posted here as a part of my rainfall database project, so I spent a little time making the thing more attractive.

MODESTO Percent of Normal Rainfall


Speaking of rain, I checked out the forecast for California for the upcoming week, and it doesn't look so good. Dry weather as far as the eye can see for most of the state. That 2014 percent of normal number is going to keep falling.

A recap of how this project works

  • Ubuntu server running as a virtual machine under Win7 using the free VMWare Player.
  • PHP script running as a root cron job at 1230 every day, harvesting data by scraping this page using the simple_html_dom PHP library.
  • MySQL database with two tables, city name and percent of normal, data injected from the aforementioned PHP scraper script.
  • PHP scripting on a local Dreamweaver site running on the aforementioned Ubuntu virtual server to extract the data from the database and format it as a table.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Now All We Need Is Some Rain

My rainfall database project is working like a charm lately. It harvests the data from the web every day and stores it in a database. So far, I've got a week's worth of percent-of-normal data. Here's Modesto's.

Modesto 2014, percent of normal rainfall

It looks like what you'd expect when there's been no rain, a steady, monotonic decrease. Not very exciting. If we could only get some rain ...

Friday, December 26, 2014

Understanding Freedom

Warning: Spoilers for the movie, Wild are below.

I just went to see the movie, Wild. It's the true story of a woman who goes through all kinds of traumas and engages in a ton of self-destructive behaviors including shooting up heroin and sleeping with anything on two legs. The movie is about her 90-day journey hiking the Pacific Coast Trail, trying to recover from the death of her mother. As the movie follows her sojourn, it relives parts of her life. In the end, she "finds herself" or something like that.

As an aside, "finding herself" amounts to little more than deciding she's just fine and all the horrible things she did, like putting a loving husband through hell as she runs off to live with a pack of heroin addicts, forcing him to come and rescue her, were just fine. So I guess she didn't find herself so much as encase her sins in amber and declare them Good. And that took her 90 days. On the plus side, it seemed to be cathartic.

There's a lot to be said about the movie, but near the end, as she's narrating what she's learned, the recurring theme of freedom in Christian music made complete sense to me. Here was this woman who took 90 days wandering off in the wilderness trying to find meaning while I have found meaning without having to endure a zillion-mile hike. That's a ton of freedom in my book. I am free to do all kinds of things while those trapped inside their self-worship need to burn precious chunks of their lives looking for things I already have.

The song below in particular leaped into my head as we left the theater and I probably won't hear it again without thinking of this poor woman and the hundreds of thousands out there just like her.

Through You the darkness flees...
Through You I'm not afraid
Through You the price is paid...

I am free
Yes, I am free

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas!

... with a Caribbean flair. Here's Lord Nelson's A Party for Santa Claus, one of my all-time favorite Christmas tunes. Enjoy.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

How To Tell The Difference Between Global Warming And Climate Change

With all this talk about Global Warming and Climate Change, some people are wondering if they are one and the same, if they're different, if they're related or if it's all a big hoax by Peronist fascists. My answer is, "No!" Here's how to tell them apart.

When it's hot and/or dry, like it was in Modesto last year (40% of normal rainfall), that's Global Warming. When it's cold and/or wet, like it is in Modesto this year (209% of normal rainfall), that's Climate Change.

What about when things are nearly perfectly average, like it is in Crescent City this year (101% of normal rainfall)? Well, that shows that the oceans are storing heat in their deepest depths. Since heat can't move, it stays there, making it look like things are normal. Don't be fooled. Soon the heat will move and increase either Global Warming or Climate Change and we'll all either fry or drown.

What can we do about this? Well, it all depends on what is happening. Here's a thumbnail sketch of the steps we need to take to prevent things from getting hotter or colder or staying the same.
Global Warming - Increase funding for climate studies and give more regulatory power to the EPA.

Climate Change - Increase funding for climate studies and give more regulatory power to the EPA.

Things Staying The Same - Increase funding for climate studies and give more regulatory power to the EPA.
I hope this little tutorial helped. We all need to do our part to prevent things from happening, whatever they are.

This shows the worst of all outcomes. In the foreground where it's parched and dry, that's Global Warming. In the distance where it's lush and green, that's Climate Change.

Monday, December 22, 2014

I Guess I'm Not Very Permissive

I spent the better part of the day trying to figure out why a PHP connection to a database wouldn't work while it worked yesterday. I got so frustrated that I uninstalled MySQL to reinstall it. As I did so, I realized I was wiping out the database I had created.


One of the things I've learned from this is that finding answers on the Internet is a real hit-or-miss affair. This problem, not being able to create a mysqli object in a PHP script, is a well-known problem. Lots of posts out there on the bulletin boards about it. The common theme is a link to the manual for the php.ini file which is supposed to explain just how to allow the connections, but doesn't.

Argh. File and access permissions and directory includes are the bane of my existence.

Update: I fixed the problem by reinstalling the php5-mysql package. Why did I have to do that? Where did it go? I shut down the server and restarted it in between yesterday and today. Why did that make it go away? Is it going to happen every time I do this?

Argh indeed.

Update 2: My old rainfall database was not destroyed! For some reason, uninstalling mysql didn't kill it. Hoorah! My command line rainfall harvester worked, too. I now have 2 days of data in my database! Now to set up a cron job to get it to run on daily basis!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Oh Sure, It Doesn't Look Like Much

... but it took a little effort to parse the text on the California rainfall page into a table with the names of the cities and their percent of normal rainfall totals to date from this year and last. I used PHP Simple DOM Parser to scrape the page and then dealt with the results as a string. It turns out that NOAA didn't make a table of results, the lazy dogs, and instead just used the "pre" HTML tag to create what looks like a table on their page.


Next up - creating a MySQL table and inserting these values into it. Then we'll create a chron job to do it on a daily basis and after that, it's time to look into graphing them.

Friday, December 19, 2014

What Invention Has Made Us More Money Than Any Other?

The printing press because it allows us to print more and more and more money!

Japan is in recession. Europe is in recession. The Ruble has collapsed because oil prices have cratered so Russia will soon be mired in a depression. Does this spook the markets? Only temporarily. As soon as the Fed revs up those glorious machines and shows a willingness to make sure lots and lots of dollars are available to everyone, we can all get back to the business at hand - making money in the stock market.

Oh, sure, in the old days, a share of stock represented partial ownership of a company that made things. If the company did well, you did well. If the company did poorly, then you lost money. That's not so true any more. Now it represents ownership of a piece of paper whose value can go up and up and up because there are so many dollars floating around looking for something to buy to make more dollars which will make people richer, giving them more dollars to buy pieces of paper that will be worth more dollars because there are more dollars trying to buy them. See how it works? It's all about having lots and lots of dollars, thanks to the printing press at the Fed.
Stocks in Japan and Australia led Asia higher for a second day on Friday, as investor confidence continued to be bolstered by expectations the U.S. is in no rush to raise interest rates.

Buying returned to the region despite lingering worries over lower oil prices. The Nikkei Stock Average jumped 2.4% to 17621.40, while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 closed up 2.5% to 5338.60.

Materials and utilities stocks led in Australia, as the latest indications from the U.S. Fed appeared to overshadow concerns that lower commodities prices would pressure the nations’ producers.
Emphasis mine. Commodities are real things. Chunks of metal, whole cows, containers full of oil and other fluids. Even they cannot stand in front of the power of the printing press. Just when it looks like things will be valued according to their worth, the Fed steps in, shows off its printing press like Vanna White unveiling a new puzzle on Wheel of Fortune and all is right with the world again.

Hooray for the printing press!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Best Online Quiz Yet

New blogging friend leucanthemum b from Composite Drawlings, has this quiz displayed on her sidebar. She came out as a daisy. My snapdragon has this description:
"Mischief is your middle name, but your first is friend. You are quite the prankster that loves to make other people laugh."
The best part of this quiz is how well it hides the answer. The questions don't tip off which way the results are going to go. I loved it. 5 minutes of clicking for a smile? That sounds like a good trade to me.

I am a

What Flower
Are You?

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Dreamweaver Templates And A Family Home Page

To recap where we are with my project to learn web server creation and maintenance as well as web content creation:
  • There's an Ubuntu server running as a virtual machine on a Windows 7 box
  • Said server runs a LAMP stack (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP)
  • We've got Adobe Creative Cloud
  • We've got both the FTP and SFTP connections to the server working in Dreamweaver
The goal is to master creating content with Creative Cloud apps and post them to a web server. Adobe makes this very easy.

Dreamweaver now has site templates that give you a sample site which you can edit as you see fit. It's not the same as creating one from scratch, but as I have no design training, they're great for me. I can lean on their proportions and artwork while I play with creating the content that lives inside.

My current idea is to create a home page on the server, only accessible from within the house, that has various sub-sites which do interesting things. Here are some of my ideas:
  1. Daily scrape the California rainfall totals and plot Percent-of-Normal charts for a couple of California cities
  2. Blend Google Music and our family photos so we can play music while a slideshow runs
  3. Blend Pandora and our family photos to do the same thing
I picked out a template that gives me some basic navigation and have created a site on the server using it. I've stored my files on Creative Cloud so I have access to them everywhere and can edit them from any machine on the Internet. There are so many things to do now that as soon as I uploaded the site and had Dreamweaver working with the server, I sat paralyzed momentarily as to what to do next.

I think the first thing I'm going to tackle is the California rainfall totals chart. I've scraped web pages before with a PHP DOM parser, so I've got a start on that. The project will require me to learn MySQL databases to store the data and some kind of javascript graphing library. Here's the way forward now:
  1. Scrape the rainfall page and create an HTML table with the results for a single day
  2. Design and create the database table for the daily data
  3. Create a chron (regularly scheduled) job on the sever to scrape the rainfalls page and insert the data onto the table
  4. Find a javascript graphing library and plot the data
  5. Profit!
How Step 5 will be achieved is still a bit murky, but I'm sure we'll get there somehow.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Manchester United Is The Best Team In The EPL Right Now

By the time I tuned in yesterday, it was already 1-0 ManU over Liverpool. It ended 3-0 and while there were some freak saves and near misses that kept Liverpool from picking up a goal or three, the scoreline did tell the tale. ManU, after repeated zombie performances earlier this season, is having fun even against top flight sides like Liverpool. Check out the scoring.

Topic change. This morning, I mastered the vsftpd.conf settings that allow Dreamweaver to upload web-readable files to my new Ubuntu server. For security, the default umask setting prevents anyone but the owner from reading uploaded files and a quick change has my sever ready to go for full Dreamweaver experimentation.

Topic change. Yesterday, I pulled the last of my late season tomato plants. They never produced. Instead of throwing the plant away, I dug a shallow trench, stripped off the unripened fruit and buried the rest of the plant so it could rot underground. I'd heard this was a great way to recapture some of the nutrients the plant had ingested from the soil.

Topic change. Meanwhile, over at Trigger Warnings, there's a post about microaggressions. Some socially nearsighted researcher is asking for people to find times in their lives when they've experienced ... oh, what the heck. Just go read it yourself. The study (not Trigger's post) is a complete waste of time. That's probably the saddest part of our obsession with hurt feelings. While I spent the weekend thoroughly enjoying sports and gardening and learning about Linux, these people spent it talking that time when someone asked where they were from.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Watching MSNBC Is Worth 20 Melanin Points

Last night, I went to a BMW-related party where a guy was sneering at how "white" you were if you watched Fox News. The guy's skin looked like a clean sheet of printer paper and he spent his time crewing on racing yachts around the country when he wasn't jawing about the latest Beemers.


... but since he votes for liberals, he's not considered "white."

Saturday, December 13, 2014

San Diego After The Rain

... gives you cloud panoramas like this one. I left it large so it might be worth a click. Enjoy!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Replacing God

... with yourself is a common theme with the atheists I've met. One particular fellow I engaged on Twitter summed up his arguments with this exemplar tweet.
His stated positions included the following:
  • The Universe is benevolent
  • Man is more than the sum of his parts
  • Religion attacks self-esteem
He seemed unfamiliar with basic science outside of the common, public-school understanding of evolution. Chemistry and physics arguments went right over his head. For example, the concept that biological organisms are made up of chemical components and therefore inherit their rules and limitations was unacceptable to him. In his rebuttal, the usual hand-waving ensued, something on the order of this:

In the process of chatting with him, the thought struck me that atheists believe in more miracles on a daily basis than the most mystical evangelicals I've ever met.

Getting back to the original concept of the post, the mechanics of his philosophy were quite simple. He had replaced God with himself. He needed someone to play some of God's roles - giver of meaning, arbiter of morality, source of self-worth and so forth, but he didn't want anyone to impose rules on him. When he became God in his own mind, he found meaning and value while maintaining the illusion that no matter what he did, he was a "good" person.

That he had become God to himself (is there a term for this?) was evident in that tweet above. "The Universe is benevolent because it created me." I came back with how grateful the rest of us should be as we owed our benevolent Universe to the fact that he was not born and raised in the slums of Rio. Not being much of a philosopher, he missed that one, too. The exchange put me in mind of a modification of one of the Eucharistic prayers,
and all creation rightly gives @MaximumTrent praise.
In the end, he learned nothing. His devotion to rational thought and evidence were superficial, cloaks for his real belief system - worship of himself. It's not easy to convince a god that he is not divine.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Ubuntu Makes Me Late

... actually, that's true for any absorbing hobby, isn't it?

I set up an Ubuntu server as a VMWare virtual machine on my Win7 beast desktop. Using bridge networking, I gave it a unique IP address and now I can play with it from my laptop while I drink my morning coffee. I've learned a ton already and want to learn so much more, but there's always somewhere I need to be in the morning. Consequently, every day, I look up at the clock, wince, then race upstairs to shower, dress and dash out the door.

Every day. Every single day.

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

You're All Rancid Pigs And I Hate You, But Don't Take It Personally

Michael Tomasky shows us why bloggers can't have nice things. Without editors to help us write, we make a hash of everything.
I don’t remember a much sadder sight in domestic politics in my lifetime than that of Mary Landrieu schlumpfing around these last few weeks trying to save a Senate seat that was obviously lost. It was like witnessing the last two weeks of the life of a blind and toothless dog you knew the vet was just itching to destroy. I know that sounds mean about her, but I don’t intend it that way.
He compares Mary Lanrieu to a blind, toothless dog, but he doesn't intend for that to sound mean.

Umm, maybe you could have taken a little time to rewrite it. Assuming he put some thought into his prose, it makes one wonder what similes were left out.
  • She was like an Ebola victim whose body would be burned by flamethrowers after she died
  • It was like seeing an overflowing porta-potty wheeled away after Coachella
  • The voters removed her like someone hosing dog vomit off their sidewalk
Next, he describes the whole of the South.
Practically the whole region has rejected nearly everything that’s good about this country and has become just one big nuclear waste site of choleric, and extremely racialized, resentment. A fact made even sadder because on the whole they’re such nice people! (I truly mean that.)
Yes, yes, I see it now. The place is populated by nice people who reject everything that's good. Nice people who are radioactive with racism. Mike would invite you over for dinner, you know, but he hasn't finished Scotch-Guarding the carpet and hiding the silverware. And do you know how hard it is to find plastic covers for ultra-modern furniture? Who sells that pig food those people eat? He can't seem to find it at his local organic food co-op.

Yep, Mikey, that column was a real winner. I'll just bet the people in the South will be reading it over and over. Like every time there's an election.

Now with an introduction by Michael Tomasky!

Monday, December 08, 2014

Politics And The Catican Guard

My wife and I like to keep our bedroom cool when we sleep, so we leave the door onto our balcony open at night. Our house abuts a canyon wherein coyotes, rabbits and owls live. The Catican Guards sleep with us while our Maximum Leader sleeps in whatever place takes her fancy at the moment. Recently, she has been selecting one of our sons' bedrooms.

Last night, the Guards were on High Alert. Something was afoot in the canyon and every half an hour, they'd hear a noise, vault off the bed and rush onto the balcony like RAF pilots hearing an air raid siren in 1940 racing for their Spitfires. Physics being what it is, when 35-pound and 12-pound dogs leap, an equal and opposite force is produced on the bed and whoever might be underneath their feet. In the panic of the moment, they didn't pay much attention to who or what was under them.

Once on the balcony, they could do nothing but watch, fret and discuss. Events were happening too far away for them to engage and in any case, there's not much two dogs can do in the middle of the night in a canyon that big. This did not prevent them from becoming uselessly alarmed when something happened and annoying everyone else in the room.

And that's why you shouldn't discuss politics at dinner parties.

Saturday, December 06, 2014

Anyone Who's Afraid Of The Guys In The Chess Club Needs Professional Help

MSNBC is a comedy station. It must be. Dig this.
CHLOE ANGYAL, FEMINISTING.COM: ...It is hard to read an article like this and avoid the conclusion that we live in a culture that hates women, just hates us. ... (I)t would be at our peril to pretend that this (rape) is just a frat problem. Yes, it (sic) at frats and football teams, but it also happens on the chess team and in dance companies.
So the boys on the chess club at your local high school hate women and want to rape them. Incomprehensible.

Or maybe they just hate people like Chloe Angyal. That, I could understand.

Friday, December 05, 2014

It's Not Like He's A Tame Lion

... is a recurring quote from the Chronicles of Narnia wherein Aslan, the divine Lion, is described as both "animal" ("human") and wild. In Aslan, you find unimaginable power, deep love and complete humanity, all of it totally out of your control.

Continuing on with lessons from this excellent book,

there was a passage in particular that hit me with a thought I'd never had before. The author, wrangling with a friend over her concept of God and questioning her commitment to atheism, has a prayer experiment suggested to her. Before she starts her experiment, a thought occurs to her, triggered by that line, "It's not like he's a tame lion."
Josh’s allusion to Aslan was an abrupt reminder that the subject of my planned ‘experiment’ was a Person. . . and a Person of infinite power, dangerous, unconstrained by what I would prefer ‘God’ to be like.
I was reading the book in bed the other night, my wife beside me reading one of her own, when that passage struck me like an enormous fish wielded by John Cleese.

The impact was so great that I wondered if some of the fishy-smelling, salty water had splashed onto my bride. God as a Person, a real Person, that was something I'd never absorbed through all my studies and Mass attendance and Confessions. It's one thing to say that God has a plan for your life or that God shows you opportunities to do His will, but it's another thing entirely to realize that the Person who opens those doors for you is a real person.

In the old days, when my kids would do something stupid or wrong, I'd get mad. In person and in my own way, I would get mad. with yelling and everything. However, when I sin, I never thought of my sin being against a Someone. It was always breaking some impersonal rule, putting up a tally on some score sheet somewhere.

As the miracle I experienced a few years back was extraordinarily personal, one meant solely for me by Someone who knew me and loved me deeply, you'd think I'd have learned. Nope. Blockhead that I was, I needed a converted atheist to show me the light.

It's not like He's a tame lion.

Thursday, December 04, 2014

I Wanted To Learn, But Not That Much

I've got a fairly new Dell desktop machine that's pretty sweet. i7 processor, 12 GB RAM, the only thing it's missing is a solid state hard drive. The thing runs Win7 (just a life support system for Adobe Creative Cloud as far as I'm concerned), but I wanted to learn the ins and outs of managing a Linux server.

I bought a second hard drive for this box (1 TB for $70 at Office Depot), unhooked the existing hard drive because I'm a sissy, afraid of possibly overwriting my Win 7 disk and put the new one in. I've got a pair of books on managing Ubuntu servers and both come with 12.04 installation disks.


I installed Ubuntu server version 12.04 and ... couldn't get the thing to pick up a DHCP address from my router. In fact, I couldn't get it to do anything at all on the network. It knew it had an ethernet adapter and could set it up, but beyond that, it was lost.

It turns out that this is a known bug with version 12.04. There were fixes posted on the web, many of which I tried, but to no avail. I learned things about the command line and requesting status from running services, but in the end I gave up. Too much learnings!

12.04 being a bit old, I went online, got the latest version - 14.10, made an installation CD and installed that. It worked right out of the box.


Now, off to learn how Creative Cloud apps work with a server.

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Cleaning Up After Your Own Funeral Has To Be The Worst

My wife had a dream last night that she not only had to host her own funeral, but she had to clean up afterwards. When she woke up, the thing that made her most unhappy was not that she was dead in her dream, but that some of the guests had brought children who had left their toys everywhere. How rude!

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Whatever CNN Is Paying Donna Brazile, It's Not Enough

... not when she comes up with gems like this.
Today, we need a national commission on justice. One that is more than a fact-finding commission. One whose purpose is reconciliation. This one should be modeled after South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission, chaired by Bishop Desmond Tutu.

There was an emphasis in that commission on reconciliation. There was a marked effort to forgive...But the process of forgiveness also requires acknowledgment on the part of the perpetrator that they have committed an offense.
Awesome! A bunch of overpaid, elite snobs sitting in meeting rooms in Washington DC deciding just how much some of us need to apologize. Can't you feel the reconciliation? Imagine that glorious day when the Commission publishes a report. All across America, families will gather to hear what they have to say.


Won't that be great? Once they've reported out, we unlettered, filth-encrusted swine can read the single-syllable version (or have it read to us, more likely) and begin the reconciliation process of begging for forgiveness.


Actually this might not be such a bad idea after all. If it means that the next time some weed-soaked thug attacks a cop and gets shot for his trouble I'm not expected to sit with my hands folded and eyes downcast in a pose of great contrition mumbling just how very, very sorry I am for whatever it was I did, I'm all for it.

Monday, December 01, 2014

There Are Mornings When Coffee Isn't Enough

... and those are the mornings you need to run CAT-5e cable to your daughter's bedroom.

Now there's something that will really wake you up!
I'm really proud of myself. After many decades of being a dufus, I am now slightly less of a dufus. I'm a morning person with lots of projects under way. I can never seem to get anything done in the morning because stores are closed and/or I don't want to wake the rest of the family. I finally figured out that if I staged my parts and equipment during the day, I could polish off projects in the morning.

Staging the gear doesn't take long and it allows you to spend plenty of time with the family. That's what had tripped me up before. I didn't see the point in working on a project unless I could finish it in one swoop. By breaking it up into two parts, I could get it done and give my wife and kids the attention they deserve.

In this project, I'm giving my daughter a Ubuntu computer for her room and, not being a big fan of WiFi*, I decided to run wire to it. Yesterday, I drilled holes for the cable and fed it through, leaving it dangling out of the wall. This morning, while she was elsewhere, I wired up the sockets. I'll finish this project off tonight when I install the wall plates and move the computer into the bedroom. After about 3 months of wishing I could get to it, it's done. Yay!

Next up: A dual boot desktop machine - Win7 and Ubuntu server. Eventually this will include a virtual machine manager so both systems can run at the same time. More on that as it develops.

* - We have a wireless network in the house, but whenever possible, I prefer to run CAT5e into a room. WiFi is great, but when the Interweb Tubes don't seem to be working or have slowed to a crawl, WiFi is just one more unknown you need to diagnose. If troubles happen to a computer hooked up by wire, there are only a couple of causes.