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Life Intrudes

I’m trying to get an apartment ready for the first of next month or sooner, so my computer time is limited.

I would like to note the passing of Ursula K Le Guin who was a great story teller who also happened to be a novelist and poet. She was on the level of Azimov and Bradbury with multiple Hugos and Nebulae for her trophy case. Her novels are worth rereading every so often as things change as you change.

In other news, the First Lady went to Mar-a-Lago with the President* but was not seen in his company at any time. She has cancelled her trip to Davos with the President, and there was no noticeable celebration of their 13th anniversary. It looks like some turbulence from Stormy weather.

Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Lieutenant Colonel US Army (retired) has announced that she is expecting her second daughter to be born this Spring, the first sitting Senator to give birth.

I will now return to the installation of a sink and doors…

January 24, 2018   7 Comments

Bad Moves

The shutdown is continuing as the Senate won’t vote on anything until Monday. Trump has been claiming that the Democrats are hurting “the troops” by their actions.

Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Lieutenant Colonel US Army (retired) didn’t like Trump’s attitude and comments. She called him a “five-deferment draft dodger” and “Cadet Bone Spurs”. Senator Duckworth lost both her legs when her helicopter was struck by an RPG during her service in Iraq and assumes that she knows a bit more about caring for “the troops” than a real estate developer.

Meanwhile Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) “introduced a resolution that would have secured pay for service members, noting that Trump has been trying to divide the country by invoking the military and putting the blame on Democrats if they were to go unpaid in the event of a shutdown.”

Mitch McConnell objected to the resolution which would have required unanimous consent. So now we know who doesn’t want to pay the troops.

January 21, 2018   2 Comments

What A Class Act

There is karmic significance in a government shut down on the last day of Trump’s first year. The appropriation bills were supposed to have been passed by the 30th of September, but with Republicans in control of both Houses and the Presidency they couldn’t get it done. The only thing that the Constitution requires the Congress to do is pass authorizations for the government to pay its bills, but they keep stalling with continuing resolutions.

This is one of the reasons that the Republicans are unlikely to retain control of of both Houses after this year’s election. Why continue to pay someone who can’t accomplish the minimum requirements for their job?

January 20, 2018   13 Comments

Damage Report

I’ll be repairing a pipe tomorrow. The claim is that it burst from the cold, but the physical evidence indicated someone hit it with a vehicle.

It is supposed to start warming up tomorrow.

January 18, 2018   4 Comments

Just Frost

light frost

At 7:30AM CDT it was 28°F and the car and grass was “sugar-coated”. We only got light rain while it was still above freezing. The sleet and snow was further North.

Hard Freeze tonight with a wind chill warning.

January 17, 2018   2 Comments

Let It SNOW‽

snowflake

Wind Chill Advisory, Winter Weather Advisory

Issued: 2:27 PM CST Jan. 16, 2018 – National Weather Service

… Winter Weather Advisory remains in effect until 6 am CST
Wednesday…
… Wind Chill Advisory in effect from midnight tonight to 11 am
CST Wednesday…

* what… precipitation initially in the form of a wintry mix of
light freezing rain and/or sleet, will gradually turn to all
snow from early evening through overnight. Light accumulations
of freezing rain of less than a tenth of an inch are expected.
Snow accumulations are generally expected to be between around
one-half inch or less and this will be on top of any glaze that
forms before from freezing rain before the transition to snow.
Strong north winds will cause dangerous wind chills as values
fall into the upper single digits to lower teens overnight.
Conditions will very slowly improve through noon tomorrow.

* Where… areas south of the I-10 corridor will experience a
longer period of freezing rain before changing over to sleet
and snow, whereas north of I-10,a shorter period of freezing
rain and sleet before turning to all snow.

* When… the onset of any freezing or frozen precipitation will
occur from the northwest to the southeast and will range from
near sunset over coastal Alabama to the northwest Florida
Panhandle during the mid- to late evening. A Winter Weather
Advisory is in effect until 6 am CST Wednesday. A Wind Chill
Advisory is in effect from midnight tonight to 11 am CST
Wednesday.

* Additional details… be prepared for reduced visibilities at
times. The cold wind chills will cause frostbite in as little
as 30 minutes to exposed skin.
[Read more →]

January 16, 2018   4 Comments

Ockham’s Razor

There is more than enough evidence that Trump and his chief-of-staff are both racists. Denial does no one any good. The Republicans control both Houses of Congress and the White House. If the government shuts down it is on the Republicans. Next year the Democrats may have some responsibility, but not this year.

Trump has some major problems in his immigration stances. Ali Velshi gives Trump a lesson in what ‘Chain Migration’ means by showing how Trump is the result of chain migration. Trump’s mother and two out of three of his wives were immigrants, so the problem for Trump is non-white immigrants, not immigrants. Which is why it doesn’t bother him that Russian ‘Birth Tourists’ become yet another Trump revenue stream.

British politicians can be counted on for a nice turn of phrase: ‘Donald Trump Is An Asteroid Of Awfulness,’ Says UK Labour Party.

January 16, 2018   4 Comments

So, What Happened In Hawaii

The procedure at the Hawaiian Emergency Management Agency is to test their alert system at the shift change on the weekend. They have a “Test” button and a “Real” button. The “Real” button was pushed.

The lessons learned included: despite the fact that the system asked for a confirmation, it issued the warning without a confirmation [The stub was there but the routine to handle the lack of a confirmation wasn’t]. While the alert was cancelled within a few minutes, the cancellation wasn’t effective for over a half hour. Although the state didn’t activate its sirens, the military bases did, and there are enough military bases on Oahu to make the difference negligible. The alert was automated, but the cancellation essentially had to be done manually.

The EMA is already changing to a system requiring two-person alerts, and suspended tests until the system is fixed.

There needs to be an Emily Litella button.

Update: MSNBC interview with Vern Miyagi, Hawaii’s Emergency Management Administrator.

January 14, 2018   7 Comments

Why Big Important Buttons …

Shouldn’t be left on the top of desks. Consider the possibility of someone butt-dialing World War III …

For media people: I know you don’t want to say “Shithole” aloud, but consider what “s-hole” sounds like. It sounds like “asshole” to people who don’t know what you are avoiding saying. A good replacement would be “a vulgar form of outhouse or anus” depending on your definition of “shithole”.

As for his “dream” that Scandinavians would leave their universal health care, well financed school systems, public transportation networks, and cradle-to-grave social services for the American crapshoot, it is delusional and available only in his “alternate universe”.

January 13, 2018   2 Comments

Trump’s Mental State

All of these people want to talk about Trump’s ‘mental state’ and try to diagnose and treat him. I think people need to back up and look at the entire situation.

First you need to find Trump’s mental universe. It obviously isn’t the universe that Einstein and Hawking describe, so we have to locate Trump’s so we can find his mental galaxy. In this personal galaxy we need to pinpoint the relevant star system that includes Trump’s planet. Once you have identified the planet you can drill down through the continent to the country that contains his state.

At this point the state is probably similar to a Mississippi/Kansas hybrid with traces of Idaho. We could just accept that he hasn’t been playing a role for his base, that he really is a whacko. There is never going to be a “pivot” and he is never going actually be “Presidential”, no matter how many talking heads proclaim the metamorphosis has begun.

January 10, 2018   8 Comments

If You’re Obliged To Say You Aren’t…

You are.

NSA Denies Prior Knowledge Of Meltdown, Spectre Exploits; Claims It Would ‘Never’ Harm Companies By Withholding Vulns.

Except, of course, when it it is damn useful for spying on ex-girlfriends or political opponents, or no one has noticed, or it really is too useful to let people shut down a resource like this that will guarantee a high paying job in the private sector, etc ad nauseam.

We use to respect the Fourth Amendment in NSA.

January 9, 2018   8 Comments

A Note Of Caution Part Doh

Spectre flaw

The Reg again It gets worse: Microsoft’s Spectre-fixer bricks some AMD PCs

A lengthy thread on answers.microsoft.com records numerous instances in which Security Update for Windows KB4056892, Redmond’s Meltdown/Spectre patch, leaves some AMD-powered PCs with the Windows startup logo and not much more.

Users report Athlon-powered machines in perfect working order before the patch just don’t work after it. The patch doesn’t create a recovery point, so rollback is little use and the machines emerge from a patch in a state from which rollback is sometimes not accessible. Some say that even re-installing Windows 10 doesn’t help matters. Others have been able to do so, only to have their machines quickly download and install the problematic patch all over again …

Maybe if they actually tested some of these things before releasing them they wouldn’t brick people’s computers. I had to muck about for more than a month with my Toshiba laptop after multiple attempts by Microsoft to make it migrate to Windows 10 from Windows 7.

This is why some people won’t update their systems. If you have been burned by a faulty update, you don’t want to take the chance of another disaster.

January 8, 2018   24 Comments

A Puzzlement

Crooks & Liars noted that on the January 5, 2017 Fox & Friends show David Bossie said: “This president is unbelievably qualified.”

I was about to drop a Vizzini Award, but then I stopped. What do you think – is the fact that a majority of Americans don’t believe that Trump is qualified to be President the same as his being “unbelievably qualified?”

On a related note, Trump tweets he’s ‘a very stable genius’.

Some hard & fast rules: If you have to say “I’m not a racist”, you’re a racist. If you have to say you’re “stable”, you’re a flake. If you say you’re a “genius”, you probably have trouble with Dick, Jane, and Spot.

January 7, 2018   5 Comments

Orthodox Christmas

С Рождеством Христовым to my Orthodox friends who are still waiting to see how the calendar reform works out.

January 7, 2018   Comments Off on Orthodox Christmas