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Get A Life!

The latest ‘controversies’ show the pettiness of what passes for a culture in the US.

The Indian prime minister is an observant Hindu and this is the middle of a nine-day fasting period, so he won’t be eating anything at his ‘working dinner’ with Zero. This is a private issue, so why is it even being reported?

Zero said that we under-estimated ISIS, and now intel officials are saying we didn’t. Excuse me, but I was here and reading the news when ISIS attacked Iraq, and everyone was caught by surprise. We knew of the existence of ISIS, but lacked any real intel resources on the ground in Syria to evaluate their capabilities. We definitely didn’t realize how bad the Iraqi army was, or the level of dissatisfaction with the government of Iraqi Sunnis. We obviously didn’t have a good handle on what was going on. How can anyone claim otherwise?

Netanyahu is beating the drum for a war with Iran again, claiming that Iran and Hamas are as big a threat as ISIS. Excuse me, but when was the last time either Hamas or Iran invaded a country?

September 29, 2014   No Comments

In Today’s News

… And I use that term loosely, some actor got married and a politician has a new granddaughter.

There was once a special section of the newspaper for these types of stories so you could ignore them, but now they are showing up on the front page.

September 28, 2014   6 Comments

Sorry About That

If you had problems getting to this place tonight, it was because my host had some problems. It was not related to the Shellshock/Aftershock exploit, but to upgrading their system.

They have improved the efficiency of their load sharing, and this has resulted in servers that did almost nothing now being expected to work for change. A couple of them weren’t up to it and caused problems.

You probably wouldn’t notice the changes they made, but it really has increased speed, and they have reduced some of their charges as a result of the greater efficiency.

September 27, 2014   9 Comments

Say What?

Right after the iPhone 6 went on sale people starting complaining that the device was too easy to bend and acted like this was a defect with the product.

It turns out that these clowns were putting the phones in their back pants pockets and sitting on them. That’s right – they paid hundreds of dollars for a new phone and then sat on it … on purpose.

When I get a new portable device the next thing I purchase is a case to protect it, and the cell phone cases all attach to my belt. Sticking anything hard in your back pocket would be irritating when you sat down, and hard to get to if it rang while you were seated. You could also break the glass screens by sitting on them, although the new screens are more flexible than earlier models.

This isn’t an Apple defect, this is a user defect.

September 26, 2014   No Comments

Friday Cat Blogging

Alert Rabbit

Friday Cat Blogging

Got a blanket?

[Editor: The kit is doing a modified 'rabbit' posture on the concrete. The chilly weather made it a good choice as it had been warmed by the sun.

Friday Ark

September 26, 2014   4 Comments

Annoying Computer News

The BBC has a short piece on the latest threat, Shellshock: ‘Deadly serious’ new vulnerability found.

There is a relatively simple exploit that allows hackers to take control of computers using BASH [Bourne Again Shell for Linux] which includes Apache servers, multiple flavors of Linux, and Mac OSX computers. A patch has been released but there are questions about the totality of the ‘fix’.

BASH has been around since at least 1990, so this problem is buried in some dense C code which explains why it took so long for the exploit to appear, and why it may not be easy to fix.

On a personal note, they have added insult to injury by installing a third fiber bundle across the street from me, and I still have only two choices for broadband Internet services. The name of the contractor was ‘Fibore’, which is too sophisticated for Alabama, so they may be from up North.

September 25, 2014   10 Comments

Florida Ballot Initiatives

This is a light year for ballot initiatives for the general election in November – only three. The first two are citizens’ initiatives placed on the ballot by gathering voters’ signatures. and the the third is an initiative from the legislature that got 60% of the votes in both houses.

Initiatives require a 60% ‘yes’ vote to pass and amend the Florida constitution. The short version is that I’m voting ‘yes’ on Amendments 1 and 2, and a definite ‘no’ on Amendment 3. After the fold I’ll give you links to the text and a brief explanation of the three Amendments.

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September 24, 2014   No Comments

L’shanah Tovah

Happy 5775!

At sunset Rosh Hashanah begins, so get your honey, challah, and apples ready.

September 24, 2014   No Comments

And Then I Woke Up …

When I went to bed last night I had a limited agenda for today: make a deposit for the apartments, buy some groceries, and make some all purpose sauce for pasta. If I had time, the weather was supposed to be cooler, so I could do some yard work around my house.

Then I woke up and the inside temperature was 65°, which was definitely cooler than I like. I got warmth from the first cup of coffee of the day and turned on the computer after digging out a fleece bathrobe.

When I loaded my e-mail there was a notice from the credit union that for the second time in less than 12 months I needed to get a new debit card because one of the retailers I buy from had had its data stolen. I only use the debit card at local brick & mortar stores, but they store the information on the ‘Net and don’t protect it very well.

Shortly afterwards the wonderful person who keeps my Mother’s house clean called to tell me that she had time to clean the house today. I accepted her offer immediately because she is fast and thorough.

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September 23, 2014   4 Comments

Autumnal Equinox

You can watch the arrival of the equinox at Archæoastronomy. It takes place at 9:29PM CDT tonight.

It’s time to man the rakes in northern climes while Spring arrives below the Equator.

September 22, 2014   No Comments

Been Busy

While I’ve been involved in small maintenance jobs [changing door knobs, lamp sockets, etc.] not much has been going on in the US because Congress is running for reelection rather than working. They managed to pass a bill to fund arming Syrian rebels, which will blow back on the US at some point in the future, like arming Afghan rebels [can you say Al Qaeda?].

In addition to Scotland, New Zealand had an election and also voted for the status quo. People really need to be in pain before they will vote for a change, which just perpetuates the problems.

Mars has a couple of new arrivals, NASA’s MAVEN satellite, and India’s first Martian satellite. The MAVEN is designed to study the atmosphere to hopefully provide the answer as to why Mars has so little atmosphere left.

So far only two apps from Apple and one from Amazon have needed to be updated, but it’s early yet. Everything I’ve tried seems to be working as expected.

September 21, 2014   27 Comments


Here’s the link to the winners of the 2014 Ig Nobel Prizes. The areas covered include banana peels, cats, baby crap, staying up late, and a sadistic way of determining if a painting is good.


The Scots voted NO to independence:

Alex Salmond is to step down as Scottish first minister after voters rejected independence.

He will also resign as leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP), which he has led for a total of 20 years.

Scottish voters backed the country staying in the UK by 2,001,926 votes to 1,617,989 in Thursday’s referendum.


So I added two apps that Apple recommended as ‘essential’ for the iPad and iOS8 yesterday … and had to update both today to fix bugs.

September 19, 2014   3 Comments

Post-Tropical Cyclone Edouard – Day 9

Post-Tropical Cyclone EdouardPosition: 39.5N 37.5W [ 4PM CDT 2100 UTC].
Movement: East [090°] near 7 mph [11 kph].
Maximum sustained winds: 40 mph [ 65 kph].
Wind Gusts: 55 mph [ 90 kph].
Tropical Storm Wind Radius: 115 miles [185 km].
Minimum central pressure: 998mb ↑.

Currently about 475 miles [ 765 km] West of Fayal Island in the Azores.

The system has lost its tropical characteristics. This is the final NHC advisory.

Here’s the link for NOAA’s latest satellite images.

[For the latest information click on the storm symbol, or go to the CATEGORIES drop-down box below the CALENDAR and select "Hurricanes" for all of the posts related to storms on this site.]

September 19, 2014   No Comments

Avast Ye Lubbers


It’ll be double rations of grog all around in the galley as ye throw the pasta and pesto down your gullet for the final day of Pasta Week, on Talk Like a Pirate Day.
Belay that! ‘T’would be better done by swilling lambrusco directly from the flask!

September 19, 2014   No Comments