You would think after 9/11 and the story of Flight 93, we might have learned a little something about how one should react to a terrorist attack. But among the 300+ people at the Pulse Nightclub, while there were a few stories of relative heroism related to opening doors so people could run away, there was not a single gay Todd Beamer among them, there was no "Let's Roll" moment where the victims could have turned the tables on their attacker. Instead, they all ran and hid where they could, including a bathroom, praying that they wouldn't be next to die, until they were.
And if that sounds like blaming the victim, well, yeah, at least for their own reaction in the face of danger. We have taught cowardice and learned helplessness. We've been told not to resist, and to give the criminal what he wants so we don't get hurt. This doesn't work when what the criminal wants is to hurt us. (Oddly though, they no longer suggest that spreading your legs for a rapist will help keep you from getting hurt, but I remember when they did.) Fighting back, or even worse, shooting back, is something we should never even contemplate, they tell us. We'll only make it worse. (Worse than 49 dead and 53 wounded, at least five grievously so?)
When people ask, how could 20 Nazi guards load thousands of Jews onto the trains, knowing what was going to happen to them (even if they were in denial about it) there is your answer: the myth that cooperation will save you, and the myth that fighting back will make no difference. We have lost the will to maintain our human dignity. We will abase ourselves in front of any monster just for a few moments more of our undervalued life.
I have not heard about a single victim who died trying to tackle the killer. If ten could have, who knows how many lives could have been saved. The odds were 300 to 1, but the instinct has been lost. We have lost our sense of heroism (along with our patriotism) and our feelings of duty to our fellow man, even at the expense of our own lives. Nobody thought, "If I do this, I may die, but I will help save my friends." No, everyone stood back or ran if they could to save their own skins, and prayed for the authorities to come save them, which they did, after three hours or so. Plenty of time for the victims to bleed out, plenty of "Golden Hours" lost.
One lefty internet cartoonist bragged that he doesn't need a gun to protect himself, he has a cell phone. Every single person at the club had one too, and they distressingly kept ringing while the authorities tended to the bodies.
Apparently after the less than optimal results of running last year's nominations through EPH, some people are talking up three stage voting again.
Yes, the same proposal I made a hair over a year ago that they pooh-poohed for not being nearly as sophisticated as their SDV-LPE (nee EPH) proposal, and "Too hard" for the Hugo administrators to administer.
Setting the wayback machine to April 16th, 2015:https://drmauser.wordpress.com/2015/04/16/so-you-want-to-fix-the-hugos/
It's been a while since I made any kind of public cooking post. And Facebook has been eating some of the simpler ones (like Thanksgiving's chicken, no big deal, really).
Tomorrow will be the other chicken from the twin pack I got for Thanksgiving. Thank goodness for the chest freezer, even if it's mostly empty.
So, if I'm making a Chicken tomorrow, why am I doing a Pot Roast tonight? So I'll have something else to eat later.
Some time ago I got a larger, 7+ quart crock pot. I liked the idea that the lid had a sort of rubber gasket around the edge to seal it. Unfortunately, it doesn't seal so well. Variations in the ceramic, I guess. Still, it has the room to hold the 2-3/4 lb Sirloin roast, 6 stalks of celery, cut in half, 6 carrots, peeled and cut, 6 potatoes cubed, and 5 or so Onions, halved each way.
Since it's larger, I made more "Juice" than the last post I found about making a Pot Roast. 1 cup water, 1/4 cup flour, and one tablespoon each salt, black pepper, and Italian seasonings. Stirred thoroughly, and poured over the top while still stirring. Hopefully it runs all the way down, because the way I cut things up and added them to the pot, it's distinctly layered.
I'm going to run it on high for 4 hours, then run it on low for probably too long....
I think instead of "Pulling" it as I usually do, I'll let it firm back up and slice it. I don't think this cut of meat will lend it self to pulling the way the eye of round does.
And if that isn't enough to hold me through the vacation break, I have all the ingredients for a pot of Veggie Stew too.
My diet resolution is totally blown.
I was thinking about this lately. I almost helped create the predecessor to the iPhone.
That's what I was doing at Palm, in 2000-2001. We were working on a Palm PDA (codenamed Jabba) that would have a built-in telephone network. (GSM, GPRS, something like that, I didn't work on the RF section). So yeah, back then, except for the camera, you could have done it all, have Apps (in an open development environment) all the usual PDA functions, voice calls and Text messaging, eBook reading.... Not sure about Music playing, but who knows what the future would have brought had the industry not crashed and taken out Palm.
I was working on a thing for "Remote Provisioning" that would allow one's service Provider to send you a specially formatted SMS message that would direct you to an update file and install it (In my documentation I strongly discouraged the use of the silent, automatic feature). But that would allow service providers to supply updates and new features wherever you were.
Unfortunately, in the process I discovered that Palm's TCP/IP stack was incomplete. While they had created and documented all the calls, they had only actually IMPLEMENTED the ones for the features they had needed in previous versions of the OS. And considering the Device/OS divide at Palm, there was little I could do about that.
Anyway, after they laid us all off, and split the company (between Devices and the OS, who'da thunk?) the thing actually came out as the Palm Tungsten M. And it was NOTHING like what we were working on. They added a frigging hard keyboard, fer cryin' out loud! But back then, Blackberry was the thing to beat.
Ah well, just another tale of woe in how I got boned in the Tech Industry. But the mightabeens are the real torture. (Price the market value of 1000 shares of Apple sometime and ask me why I hate Steve Jobs.)
A very telling comment:
If those marching in the streets of Paris were serious every sign would be a cartoon of Mohammed. - Joan of Snark
Only a week after I uploaded it, Kiwi
finally has a new cover – although to be honest, they say each time you go through the submit process fixing other things, it restarts the queue on cover updates....
I had to have a new cover. The original "Eyes in space" cover, supposedly meant to signal SF (the space) and Telepathy (the glowing eyes) really didn't tell you crap about the story.
My friend Sebastian worked with a simple idea I had and then after a few rounds totally blew me away, exceeding my original imagination. I wanted to show the alien character, and I wanted to show the prison situation with her. And yeah, it's meant to be a little sexy, if you're into that kind of thing. Which of course is a signal about the contents to those who are into that kind of thing, and a warning to those who are not.
Sarah didn't like it, she said it made it look like Furry Bondage Porn. But I have to be honest with myself, even with the subtle horror of telepathic manipulation going on in the story, on the physical level, that's what it is. And in the world of Bondage Erotica, constant sex is not required (Consider, how can a bondage story involving a chastity belt be sexy? To the kinky, it is by its very essence, locking up sex.).
Even the reviewers picked up on that. And of course, everyone's least favorite internet troll insulted it as "Fifty Shades of Blue" because he can't tell the brown Al-Natiri from the Na'vi. I wonder if I should try to use that as an editorial review entry....
Now if people would spend a buck to read it, I'd really be happy.
At this point, with my sales rank so low, Amazon's algorithms are burying me, so I have to depend on outside referrers to get any hits.
Since I don't use one of those auto-relay things that proves that I don't actually read LJ any more (since I do):
The PROPER Presidential response to the #TortureReport is to say "And there's more where that came from if you don't quit this shit."
You say Torture doesn't work. I say Mr. Drill here can get me your ATM PIN. How many holes in your kneecap do you think you can take?
Fine, I didn't want to go out today anyway. Four inches of very soggy white stuff isn't a factor.
Unrelated. My toilets are now DISTURBINGLY clean. When you've been in one place long enough, the little defects become part of the scenery, the cut in the linoleum where you dropped the knife, that screw hole from the towel rack you forgot to paint after you patched it....
The toilets had a ring of mineral build up that nothing would budge, and in the very bottom of the drain, where the scrub brush wouldn't reach, another bit of dark impenetrable build up. I have been known to use things like drain-o in the toilets to clean them, and it does normally work very well, except for those aforementioned "Permanent" features. But a few weeks ago at WalMart, I spotted a different product.
Now most drain cleaners are lye-based, and that works very well on grease, and fairly well on hair. But this stuff... "Liquid Lightning" was pretty much undiluted sulfuric acid, the kind Muslims like to throw in the faces of women they don't like. I put it to better use. Pouring an ounce or two into the toilets and letting it sit did unbelievable things.
Make no mistake, this is some scary shit. I used to soak the nozzle of my spot lifter in a little tub of drain cleaner to get the cat hair that wedged itself unremovably in the crevices of it. I tried it with this stuff and we're talking no soaking required. Unfortunately it was so strong it completely clouded the clear plastic and ruined the built-in brush. Highly diluted next time, for sure.
So one of the toilets actually took two treatments, but the results were astounding. The drain isn't a dark cave any more, it's now as pristine white as the toilets were twenty years ago when they were installed. For a couple of days flakes of something from further down the trap were settling to the bottom.
It's disturbing because it looks so unfamiliar. It's all just pure white porcelain.
Now if there were a way to make it foam so it would stick under the rim....
Some time ago Maggie linked to a random (to me) Wordpress blog with a recipe that I finally had an opportunity to try out three years later (yeah, it's been sitting in my bookmarks that long). All you need is some leftover rice (as long as it's not dried out and crunchy), about a cup and a half, and a couple of eggs.
Scramble the eggs, add your preferred seasonings, stir in the rice, and plop it in an oiled frying pan. Presto, rice egg fritters.
Looks Nummy, eh?
Now in my case, I first made them according to her loose recipe. Nice, but a little bland. The second time around I added a lot more salt and pepper than I would to eggs, considering that the rice will bring up the volume by about 4 times. A little garlic powder, and then, the key change, some shredded cheese.
I have one of those infrared thermometers, which I find indispensable in the kitchen. I mean, what the heck temperature is "4"? So I can tell when my cast iron frying pan is at say, 350°, which is a perfect egg cooking heat. I doled out the mixture into three roughly equal masses, and pressed them with a spatula to be maybe 5/8" thick. It took about 5 minutes per side, giving it a nice, slightly crispy exterior.
I suppose you could add just about anything to these, maybe some veggies, or finely diced ham. Bacon, naturally. I've even read comments on the blog entry about someone using brown rice and peanut butter.
In any case, I will definitely be making more of these in the future.
(The fact that I have a little rice cooker makes this much more convenient. But if you order out Chinese, and they give you white rice that you don't eat, it would make a perfect breakfast treat.)
Net Neutrality is about BANDWIDTH not CONTENT! For fuck's sake! Stop talking about the fucking "Fairness Doctrine for the Internet". ISPS are already fucking with people's connections on the basis of content. All Net Neutrality means is that if you pay for X Megabits/sec, you GET X Megabits/sec, regardless of who you are connecting to.
I will never forgive Glenn Beck for confusing the two and making so many people stupidly misinformed on the issue.
And don't get me started on "NetFlix uses so much, they should pay for it." No, the CUSTOMERS have already paid for that bandwidth.
This weekend, I got a dashcam.
Frankly, I'm amazed by the technology, it's so frigging small, but shoots 1080p, and with a 32 gig MicroSD card (it comes with an 8, but I bought one so that I could get the adapters for it.) I think the smallest mode can go around 8 hours. It has a still picture feature, but since it's so hard to hold steady, that's not too useful. It has a built in battery, but that's just to tide it over in the event of power interruptions (like an accident). It records in a loop, producing files between 1 and 10 minutes long (user selectable) and if you push a button, or if the internal G-sensor detects an sudden jolt, it will automatically protect the current file from being overwritten. It also has motion detection, so I'm curious about what it would do with an external power supply. (Connected to a computer, it acts like a USB drive, or it can act like a USB webcam, but I haven't tried that yet). It also auto-starts recording when it detects power from the cigarette lighter cord.
The only thing it doesn't come with is a mini HDMI to HDMI cable, but yes, it can talk to a TV in 1080p or 720p modes, but other than that lack, it comes ready to use out of the box.
I don't really have any amazing videos to share, just my commute to and from work. And hopefully I never will. But considering all the crazy dashcam videos you get coming out of Russia, you can see the logic behind my title.
Here's a link Cobra CDR820 Dashcam.
Update: I bought a MiniHDMI/HDMI cable for too much at WalMart (but the cost of gas for a trip to Fry's and the opportunity cost of waiting made it worth it) and hooked up the Dashcam to my TV. Although they don't say much in the manual to document it, this feature works VERY well if you don't have a computer to play the files from.
I also bought a little portable power source/USB charger thingy, and that also makes the dashcam happy. The thing can charge from USB or plug directly into a lighter socket, has 1450 mAh of capacity, and can function as a car USB power supply without involving its battery. Plus it has a built-in flashlight. I want to try hooking the cam up to the battery, put the cam in motion detect mode, and see if the cats can set it off.
I have a box fan I rather like. It's quiet, without rattling or humming.
Recently I noticed it was a lot quieter, running very slowly, until it finally wouldn't start.
But, I'm a Man, and I have tools, and this fan isn't new enough to have been made tamper-proof!
So I removed all the plastic bits (the fan blade was really dirty, so I cleaned that up too) and took it down into the shop, where I hit it with some engine cleaning spray, and then washed it out. Then I blew it dry with compressed air. It was still very hard to rotate, but it turned out to be easy to disassemble the motor - a mere two bolts held the covers on.
With the front cover off, it was easy to remove the rotor. The obvious problem was that the lubrication was gone from the bushings. I buffed out the shaft of the rotor where it goes into the bushings, lubed them up, and reassembled the motor. It ran much better, although it took a little nudging to get the floating bushings to really self-align.
After I reassembled it, I set it up, and it worked great. I was quite proud of myself.
Then a few minutes later, it suddenly slowed way down and I smelled a smell that reminded me of my BattleBots days. The lacquer on motor magnet wire has a very distinctive smell when it overheats. The motor had a short in it. I might not have noticed it before, because it was running slower then the speed it slowed down to before, or maybe the cleaner attacked the windings (oops.) but in any case, it's now an ex-fan.
A shame, I liked it.
I pulled another fan out of the basement. This one rattles. It should know better, I still have a screwdriver, and I've killed before....
Warning, contains language guaranteed to cause knotted panties.
Saw this on Twitter, and was just blown away by the deployment of yet another Hiroshima Cluehammer. Anyone who made the original argument and sticks to it after seeing this is an imbecile.
So just to test out the KDP Select promotional tools, I've set it up so that one can get Kiwi for free on August 1st and 2nd.
Remember, you don't need a Kindle to read eBooks, you can do it on phones, tablets, PC's, whatever. Amazon has free reader programs for them all.
So mark your calendar and go to Kiwi
(Long-ass link because I'm getting into the Amazon Affiliate program now too).
Or you could go now and spend a buck, I won't mind.
Self-serve Kiosk at Home Depot. $21 with tax. A bit more than refilling at the Co-op store, but they aren't open at 2AM.
Also, stuck with an out-of-date cylinder? Trade it in at the self-service station. They get to re-certify or junk it. Probably why it's not as cheap. Although somehow I got an expired cylinder this trip. I also got one made in 2012. That one I'll keep.