Wednesday, December 5, 2018

the Suggestion Box

We have a suggestion box. It's actually done through the comments section, but never published. Here are some of the more meaningful, well thought out entries (and some off the cuff responses):
  • split the IT news onto its own blog, so people don't have to read the other crap  Consider it penitence.
  • if you write one more cute dog story, I will hunt you down and put you on Faceyspaces. I surrender!
  • didja ever consider black text on a white background? didja ever consider poison?
  • You don't use your real name so you can be nasty and obnoxious. Untrue - my real name is nasty and obnoxious too.
  • why don't you ever write about nice stuff? why don't you ever stop complaining?
  • why do you think you're so funny?  someone has to.
  • why do you always complain about the weather? Because I finished complaining about everything else for the moment.
  • you sound really paranoid. Come live in my house for a few days, then we'll see who's afraid the government is colluding with the ants to stop me from farting really loudly in public.

Dear lefty

  • reader Janice Labia asks what's the point of having a junk drawer when they all become junk drawers?
  • kinky sex.

WARNING: nice dog story

A Delaware family is alive today because of Greta. Greta is a German Shepherd the family rescued, dumped due to behavioral issues. At 3am, Greta went nuts, barking and whining, until Dad got up. He walked into the kitchen and discovered it was full of propane fumes. The entire house could have been lifted hundreds of feet in the air. Greta saved them.

The cause of the propane was one of the pets turning it on, trying to get somewhere. Our dearly departed can, Ren, did this. We had to pull the knobs off the stove so he wouldn't blow up the house.

Sometimes you rescue the dog. More often, the dog rescues you.

More animal news:

145 whales were found dead on the beach in New Zealand.
Dead sea lions are washing up on Puget Sound shores - with bullet holes.

The whales 'musta got lost and mass-stranded themselves.' Yeah, that's it - they mass-stranded themselves. They've been depressed for months.  Every pod has that whale.. we'll call him Bob. Bob thinks he knows the best way to get anywhere, even though his 'shortcuts' add 35 minutes to every trip. Bob screwed up royally and steered the entire pod onto the beach, while trying to get sushi.

As for the sea lions, they discovered something on the Clintons and committed mass suicide. With their flippers tied behind their backs.

  • Elon Musk, of the Idaho Musks, announced he's going to Mars.
  • I'm making a list of all the people I'd like to send with him.

At our southern border, the caravan of illegals is lobbing projectiles at Border Patrol agents. Only in America (or just south) will you see this happen. They don't seem to be in a hurry to settle in any of the other countries they've passed through - just the one with the best Free Stuff<tm>. Only in America would we get called racist for not welcoming the right people with open arms (and wallets). I'm going to guess that Canada will not open all their borders to this entitled group, but keep in mind - we are the racists here.

Nobody lines up at the Russian or Israeli border demanding to be let in and given Free Stuff<tm>. I'm not suggesting we do the things they did to discourage this behavior, but we should probably move a little in their direction.

The other group up in arms is the legal immigrants, who did everything according to the laws of the land. They worked hard to become citizens and demanded nothing. They learned English, which some immigrants feel they don't have to.  Why should entitled illegal aliens dictate the terms of their invasion/citizenship? I had to go through all sorts of paperwork when I immigrated (from Mars). Do you think it's a piece of cake? Have you ever experienced Saucer Lag?

Tijuana has declared a crisis as the illegals are getting attacked by Mexico's gangs. There have been protests against the presence of the caravan, which probably haven't been in the news. There's no gain in calling Mexicans racist.

Like him or not, you have to be impressed at the testicular fortitude shown by Trump. He sent troops and issued orders for lethal force, threatening to shut the border down entirely. I don't imagine too many other presidents would announce these actions: they're not politically correct, among other things. This will, of course, damage America's reputation further, as a Wild West being run by Adolph Hitler. Meanwhile, there have been no reports of other countries putting money into the Illegals Hat to help us vile racists out.  [restating: I did not vote for Trump and I am not a Trumper.]

The libertarians like open borders. I disagree with them on this.

  • about these sex robots and robot brothels... Artificial Intelligence (AI - the latest buzzword) will allow us to be rejected by robots too. We're living in the future, people.... One model is programmed to have a 24/7 headache.

According to some random UK newspaper, HIV cases could explode, due to Tinder users having riskier sex. Because nothing says sensible and safe like seeing someone's picture on your phone and deciding to have sex with them. Tinder should send Morning After Packets, with the morning after pill, penicillin, antivirals, and wet naps. Plus some condoms.. you know... as a joke. 

  • Sure I pick on the French - who doesn't? They are in Full Riot Mode due to a fuel tax. Stop and think about this... they're up in arms over a tax. In the US, we wouldn't notice it... we'd just turn the game up and continue posting cat pictures online.
  • In the 60s, people vigorously protested The War. Now universities vigorously protest misgendering and microaggressions.
  • Four students died in a protest in Ohio. Now, the brave children, hundreds strong, come together as one! (to demand that a speaker with different views not be allowed on campus).
  • In the 60s, students did not want people in other countries to be murdered. In the 2010s, students would murder anyone who doesn't agree with them. 
  • The 60s protesters eventually grew up and got jobs. The 2010s... they are in for a rude awakening...

England has a major crime wave on its hands. In the loud, prostitute-filled vacation town of Skegness, just yesterday, no fewer than five people said fuck. One person was found with a dull steak knife and faces life in prison. His wife was found with scissors and the police are in the middle of a four week investigation as to whether people should be allow to carry scissors without a concealed scissor permit. Every four months, there is an instance of scissor-related crime, which is now at epidemic proportions.

As if things weren't bad enough, a Birmingham man held up a bank. It's difficult to even say this.. with a piece of paper (shrieks!). He threatened to give paper cuts to the teller if she wouldn't give him everything in the till. The cruelty is beyond words. It was a tense, three hour standoff, because the police don't have any weapons available against a man threatening paper cuts. The Ministry of Defence has gotten an additional $4 billion pounds ($1.75 lbs American) to research and develop anti-paper cut strategies).

Police in Manchester are doing a door-to-door search of a block of flats because somebody went on the internet and called someone doodyhead. This is a serious breach of the anti-free-speech laws and just ruins everybody's good time on the internet. An entire construction crew was thrown in the pokey after a police informant observed them 'watching lasciviously as a woman walked by'. The crew is proclaiming their innocence by stating they didn't say a thing or make a noise. Yeah, boys, we know what you were thinking. That sort of thing is illegal in the UK.

Finally, a Lower super Mud woman was arrested for breach of the peace after she waved too loudly at her friend. Someone might be offended at the way she waved. We can't have all sorts of people waving willy nilly around here. The country is going to hell. This is why we have laws.

On a lighter note, taking advantage of understaffed, overworked police departments, someone stole all the Queen's jewels, raided the treasury, burned Parliament's powdered wigs, and stole all the men's bras and panties. Good thing they didn't say fuck.

p.s. why does the spellchecker pass willy, but not nilly?


  • Data transfers from EU to the UK could become complicated post-Brexit
  • So could blowjobs.

Remember when you have to go through a CAPTCHA to get to a web site?
I get all sorts of denials for all sorts of reasons. Users of TOR are CAPTCHA'd or flat out denied access to sites. Linux users can't get in because they're not using Internet Explorer. Today's denial was the best: The owner of this website ( has banned your access based on your browser's signature (47fd97022edac5fa-fie1). My browser's signature is only slightly more legible than mine. What the owner did was to ban use of Pale Moon - a browser based on Firefox. Is he afraid my browser will bring down the entire site? Date his wife? Force a paternity test on Jerry Springer? 

Dear lefty

  • Michael Coffetable, from Peoria, asks if the mass hysteria/hilarity of this blog is masking deeper negative feelings.
  • Dear PeeOria: Fuck you and your entire family.

Sheryl Sandburg, Faceyspaces' High Muckety Muck, is under fire for her management style and ideas. She tried to manage the perception of each issue, as opposed to fixing the problem. I can't imagine why she's in trouble - this is the M.O. of every CEO in the world.

Faceyspaces is appealing its $644,000 fine for failing to protect UK users, when it gave their information out to app developers without permission. Faceyspaces is appealing on the basis that 'it's just not fair' to them:  it sets a very bad precedent, in that they could be sued by anybody who wanted to sue them. Do we want to live in that kind of world?

  • Shop online like a security pro, courtesy of Brian Krebs 

Dolce and Gabbana, the online leader in Teledildonics (remote control sexual gratification devices), is in Deep Doodoo for anti-Chinese slurs around an ad campaign. Shmuel Gabbana, Marketing head, said their account was hacked. In fact every board member's account was hacked. This is the M.O. of corporations - every time you do something stupid, say you got hacked. The truth is that they were hacked - by the Chinese, who were pissed they didn't get the contract.

  • Of course our darling dog has some health issues, as we heard during her first trip to the vet. She was treated as a celebrity for some reason.  Of course she has meds. And of course, the staff told Wife that the meds are tasteless, but they know she will verify this when she tastes it herself.
  • What else the vet staff know that I don't know?

In a fantastic feat of science, Earth landed a ship on Mars, to study the deep interior. 

I can't wait for the results to start trickling in. We Martians are born with a wicked sense of humor, and we're ready to start pranking the hell out of them. The first thing they'll discover is Marvin the Martian's Illudium Q-32 Explosive Space Modulator. As they probe the center of the planet, they will start to hear Led Zeppelin's Stairway to Heaven over and over again (just like classic rock radio).  The unmanned ship will finally leave the planet because it keeps getting blown 100' into the air at random intervals. We blew up the last two Earth probes with the Miley Cyrus Death Ray. With any luck, Earth won't send nuclear missiles to blow Mars up, like they did their own moon. 

  • FOR SALE: Robert Plant's Pictures at Eleven -first solo record, bought the day it came out (6/28/92). Record is in Excellent Condition, cover in Poor Condition (missing most of the upper right corner because Dog just ate it).

  • FREE to a good home:  I'll stop right here.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

URGENT: Pet Food and Beef Recall

Hopefully they don't have anything to do with each other.

Dog food recalled over potentially toxic levels of vitamin D, FDA says

The affected brands include: Nutrisca, Natural Life Pet Products, Sunshine Mills, Inc., ANF, Inc., Lidl (Orlando brand), Kroger, ELM Pet Foods, Inc. and Ahold Delhaize.

(ground) Beef Recall Expanded
it's just salmonella, no worries.

The affected products were produced and packaged at an Arizona facility owned by JBS Tolleson from July 26 through Sept. 7 and shipped to retailers nationwide under many brand names. Those included in the recall are Cedar River Farms Natural Beef, Comnor Perfect Choice, Gourmet Burger, Grass Run Farms Natural Beef, JBS Generic, Showcase and Showcase/Walmart. See a list of the specific products being recalled here.

Act accordingly.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

The Quick Brown Fox Gets Run Over Early

Suffice it to say that the Google "auto-post on this date" feature doesn't.

Two Countries Separated by a Common Language

You say carbuRETtor, I say carbuRAtor.
You say alyouMINium, I say aLUMinum.
You say Mary Land, I say Maryland.
You say DAYbree, I say duhBREE,
You say distriBUted, I say disTRIButed
You say flavour, I say flavor.
You say spelt, I say spelled.
You say chips, I say fries.
You say the lady's, I say the john.
You say have you been, I say you take a dump yet?
You say brown sauce, I say I've already been.
You say half eight, I say seven forty two.
You say bangers and mash, I say that sounds like fun.
You say a bit of a chat, I say hand you your head.
You say toad in the ole, I say frog legs.
You say what's that bloody great thing in the aeroplane, I say comfort elephant.
You say uncivilized, I say snotty teabag.
You say uneducated clods, I say stuck up limeys.
You say left hand drive, I say wrong side of the road.
You say the Queen's English, I say keep Sir Elton out of it.
You say British Empire, I say American culture.
You say stupid colonists, I say we won the war - get over it already.

Note to my British reader: just reverse the columns.

  • After a nice dinner, I told a friend I had to go - I had a child in a crate. He said what about the dog?               ---> (true story)

"Hello, I'm from the government and I'm here to help you."
Words that inspire terror in all humans and several other species.
"Hello, I'm from the government" is usually enough.
Speaking of government, I overheard a conversation at the next table in the ice cream place.....

Man: We have our new schedules and it's f-ing murder. Sigh. These politicians with their budget-cutting, efficiency-improving, bean-counting nonsense are killing me.
Wife (secretary?): Why is that, Dear?
Man: Well, check it out - here's the new schedule:

MONDAY: go into the office, take a look at your desk for a bit, see what happened over the weekend, and don't do too much because it's Monday.

TUESDAY: go into the office, and think about starting to plan your week. Go easy. Only respond to important emails - i.e. sent from people over you.

WEDNESDAY: go in, check email by 11, after lunch make a list of at least 10 new videos on, check email again if there's time.

THURSDAY: go in, mandatory breakfast meeting (eat but don't meet), finish in time for lunch, prepare for Friday.

FRIDAY: go in, it's Friday - celebrate! Email must be checked at most once. Make lists for the weekend. Liquid lunch, end of week celebration, back in time to go over our progress reports and fill out time sheets, including mandatory overtime.

Wife: What's so horrible about this?
Man: before these do-gooders showed up, we didn't have to go in.

Dear lefty
  • Mrs. Phyllis Sandwichwithmeat, of beautiful downtown Detroit, asks what is the meaning of life.
  • Yes.

There is a pile of dog toys in the middle of the floor. I was just informed the dog piles her toys in one spot. This will make her the only one in the house who reliably puts things away. We also found a 'stash' of grapes under the couch. Grapes aren't really good for dogs - apparently no one told her. As I type this, I'm removing a candy bar from her mouth. The same candy bars I moved out of her reach earlier.

  • I have a small heater in my office. I always set it to 69 degrees, because it makes me happy.

England is a different country.
Wait, let me rephrase.
England is a different country than America.
Never mind.

It's the commercials...
You can see George Clooney, Harvey Keitel, Kevin Bacon, and others, shilling for different products; not to mention Jean Luc Picard's voice (for something called frothy coffee).  Does George Clooney need the money? I feel kinda sorry for him.  Probably alimony. They gave Kevin Bacon some Britishisms to say. Harvey Keitel stars in a series of commercials for insurance, appearing out of the blue, in a black suit, like a Vegas gangster. There's another commercial with an annoying squeaky elephant, which I believe to be Rosey Perez in an elephant suit. No word on whether she's in the front or in the rear.

  • Johnny, how many times have I told you not to ejaculate in your sister?

Dear lefty
  • Andrew Emesis, of Compton, CA, asks why is this blog so full of terrible one-liners.
  • Yes.

So how about that darknet?
A web provider for 6500 sites got hacked and the entire lot is down. The host is going to be back up after they figure out exactly what happened. Unfortunately, if you were one of the 6500 sites... you're what's technically known as SOL (shit out of luck). There are no backups, by design. This allows anonymity, should anyone come by with warrants or anything else. The hack also took out a significant amount of operational and hidden services across TOR. This is the network that allows you to be (somewhat) anonymous, by routing your traffic through it. The FBI has been busy trying to de-anonymize it, with some success. It won't hurt to use it, even just to look around. Start here. You download the TOR browser (a customized Firefox, set up for privacy) and you're off. No configuration, no need to have it blessed. Like free speech, we need to support this effort, like it or not. It's the most secure network we have at the moment, which is great for blockaded countries and whistleblowers.

What kind of idiot goes out Thanksgiving eve?
This idiot.
About 8pm, Wife decides the turkey she bought wasn't the right turkey, so could I go to the store and get a different one?

Leave the house? On Thanksgiving eve? To go to a supermarket? For a turkey?
Yes. And some poultry seasoning, please.
Shall I select a wine and dessert?
No, just the turkey, thank you.
Since you already have a headache, what would be my motivation?
Just get a turkey.
Don't they come in sizes - like small, medium, and 2X?
No, just get a bigger one.

There is some incredibly thick irony here. Because Mercury and Mars are in triple secret retrograde, I have to babysit the dog on t-day, while Wife goes visiting and cooking. While we have arranged for the customary Thanksgiving Pizza, we are not amused to be fetching turkeys we'll never eat. And because they're frozen, you can't have sex with eat them. I'm kidding - the dog is babysitting me.

This particular store has been driving us crazy because they like to randomly move items around the building, then not update the signs. The peanut butter was in the 2nd level basement. All of the sudden I noticed a ton of self-checkout scanners and rotating posts with several spokes of plastic bags. I asked the cashier when they became Walmart. If it gets like Walmart, it will be full of hideously under-dressed morons from several planets out, 24 hours a day. And after 2pm, you can only use self-checkouts because there are no employees in the building. This isn't very different from having employees in the building, but it's less frustrating.

Surprisingly they had turkeys. I was told to get a fresh one. I am capable of doing this, but not when there are no fresh ones - only frozen.  I picked the least frozen one and mentally prepared for the whoopin' I was sure to get.  So if you see me with a turkey-shaped dent in my head, you'll know I brought home the wrong one.

After I was checked out, I realized this wasn't Walmart, it was CostCo. A frozen turkey, some poultry spice, and a box of triple chocolate fudge chocolate cookies cost me $57. I looked around, realizing I needed tires too.

  • IoT Strikes Again: people with netatmo thermostats were unable to control their heaters after servers went down.
  • Some wag suggested pressing the + button, which worked.
  • The company apologized (for getting caught) and said the devices revert to manual control without servers. 

One year ago, a hacker discovered a flaw in the USPS website. The USPS rushed into inaction and triple-ignored the discovery. The hacker then sent the flaw to noted Security d00d Brian Krebs, who published it. The flaw allowed any logged in user to query the system for account details belonging to any other users. The USPS claimed it was fixed. With only approximately 60 million accounts potentially affected, it's a wonder they bothered.

  • Have a Christmas of Spectacular Spying: Mozilla's guide to toys that spy.

Do you use linux but hate the command line? Do you use linux and hate the graphical user interface? Do you use linux and hate Microsoft? Do you suck eggs behind Walmart on Sundays, when Chik-Fil-A's are closed? You're in luck - here are 3 gui utilities for traditionally command line tools:

PuTTY - connect, via ssh, to servers. If you don't know this, go to Walmart.
EasySSH - requires flatpak to install, can run more than one tab
terminator - it's in the Debian repositories. Not technically GUI, but allows multiple terminals in one window.

To be honest, I'm ok with the command line, but these allow more flexibility, including saving and multiple sessions.

  • The head of Russia's military intelligence agency died suddenly. Preliminary autopsy findings state he died from Pissoffus Putinitis.

Facebook filed for a patent that would use images & captions posted to FB & device info to predict household members. Remember, tagging others in photos on social media is sharing their personal data. Please do so w/care & w/their permission.  It's every other day with these people.

  • 50 iPhones were bricked at a hospital, due to helium. You won't find this problem in androids (they're allergic to water).

I'm a frequent critic of Hollywood, as there isn't a new idea in their tiny little botoxed heads. All 'new' movies are old movies with a number after them. Just when you thought it couldn't get any worse, we get Mama Mia - a movie inspired by an ABBA song. In addition to botox, they have a lot of helium in their heads, so everything stays lighter than air. Apropos of a movie this vacuous, it stars Cher. BUT WAIT!!!  Prepare yourself... if the (direct to VHS) movie sells well, there will be more...

  • Floss! - an opera inspired by a used bit of dental floss the Best Boy found after a long weekend of coke and X.
  • War and Peace II - a delightfully light and free of sense movie about the Cola Wars: Coke vs Pepsi. With a special appearance by YooHoo. And playing the role of the good-hearted Russian delivery drivers is.... you guessed it - Cher.
  • Waterloo: because an ABBA song worked the first time. They have no choice. Appearing as the guy who plays the piano in ABBA is Cher.
  • I'm not a betting man (because she holds all the money), but this is the one to beat... it will win Tony awards. Rave reviews! Sold out for 5 years on Broadway! It's called simply, Smell. It was a real roller coaster ride from the inspiration, a bit of stuff that was between two of my toes, to writing and filming. The movie version will have an uncredited appearance by Cher, as the bit of stuff between two of my toes. Cher replaces Ernest Borgnine, who will tour with the Broadway production. Ironically, Cher's next round of plastic surgery will have her looking just like Ernest Borgnine.

In advertising wars, people over at Pepsi realized they needed to do something in response to "Diet Coke is for people who like leaving messages on answering machines" campaign.  When the Pepsi People finally got off the floor, tears streaming down their faces, some unable to breathe, they came up with their own Stupid Ad Campaign. The winner won't be revealed til the SuperBowl in June, but I just happen to have a list of slogans that didn't make the cut:

  • Diet Pepsi: Because there's only one thing worse than Diet Coke
  • Diet Pepsi: Because the FDA won't let us call it Sparkling Anthrax
  • Diet Pepsi: now available in hip new flavors: cranberry, tuna, and wallpaper paste
  • Diet Soda: Because not everybody gets cancer from artificial sweeteners

People always ask me what my blog's about. Yes, I always shake my head like Lurch, why do you ask?  The doctors tell me I have to start saying positive things every now and then (I promised them I would, damn near once a year). So let me give you the positive side of ThermionicEmissions:

  • ThermionicEmissions: the result of allowing anybody to post anything on their blog
  • When, in the course of human events, the inmates all occupy C-level positions at the asylum. 
  • Where every reader is intelligent and very good looking.
  • Where the design of the blog frightens away more people than the content.
  • Where the Google stats are randomly generated numbers. The blog gets 1,000 visitors per day - the stats just say 4 to make me borderline suicidal.
  • Where people don't go after they tell me they like my writing.
  • Where I dare not send anybody after people tell me they like my writing.
  • Where 99.234% of this blather is self-generated (almost rarely stolen).
  • Where the content gets more and more outrageous just to see if someone will comment.
  • Simply the self-documentation of one person's slow rapid descent into madness.

Don't forget BLACK FRIDAY.
Because BLACK FRIDAY can start at any time, without notice, and extend for days (weeks).
After BLACK FRIDAY WEEKEND, we now experience CYBER MONDAY. It's very exciting for us, because it has CYBER in it.
CYBER MONDAY will be extended all week, if you haven't taken advantage of the pre-CYBER MONDAY sales (and warnings).
CYBER MONDAY and all sales are closely-guarded secrets, available only to people who use the internet. Even if there's not a FRIDAY MONDAY WEEKEND sale, there will be previews of the sales (and perhaps pre-sales).
If you are one of the privileged few with email, your inbox is stuffed over the top with great offers, generally starting with BLACK, CYBER, or SALE. There is so much useless SALE email that it covers up the Nigerian We Have Money and VIAGRA FOR FREE emails. 

Holiday season wouldn't be complete without a human sacrifice. This would never fly with most countries, so it's called something else: "Walmart." The season wouldn't be complete without a Ceremonial Sacrifice at a huge retail outlet. Have you been to Walmart? People trying to kill each other, and that's just to get in the door. Once in, the tribal hunt instinct takes over. It's all about survival: survival and getting one of two 57.7" (diagonally measured) squarely round TVs. If anyone gets between you and that TV, it's Fight or Flight, and true consumers don't Flight. They'd rather kill you with their sale TV than let you buy it. The stores are complicit because they've been made aware of the sacrifice, so there will be only 1-2 of the big sale items. Plus, as a society, we like watching these idiots beat each other up over diapers and lug nuts (from a locked office on the 2nd floor), as does the news, when ratings skyrocket. Nobody told these poor idiots that they can get better deals on CYBER MONDAY or any other day: they are programmed to think SALE and again, the Sacrifice is necessary. Nobody has ever explained why we need a Sacrifice, but the fact that someone says we need a Sacrifice is good enough for us. Maybe Skull and Bones requires it to please the huge statue of the Cockroach God in their main hall. This is ancient knowledge, people, available only to the likes of George W Bush, heaven help us.

To sum it up:
  • BLACK FRIDAY can run days before and after Friday, violating the laws of Days
  • You cannot do anything in life without the express written permission of The NFL (a monopoly exempted from monopoly legislation). If you try to sell knockoff t-shirts, Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) will bust down your doors and beat you senseless (like George W Bush). 
  • The wireless phone industry is the only organization on the planet where 'unlimited' doesn't mean unlimited.
  • Televisions are the only items where 42" isn't 42" (measured diagonally). Except tablets, where 10" equals 9.7".
  • Penises are the only body parts where 8" doesn't equal 8". Ever see stats on your lower intestine size? "Hey baby - my lower intestine is 5' 4" - wanna get it on?"

Dear lefty
  • Robert Shitsonsidewalk, of Pelosi, California, asks why I masturbate all the time.
  • Dear Shit: are you one of my old girlfriends?

The hidden benefits of yogurt

A lot is made of yogurt, mainly that it's somehow 'healthy' for you. Well, if your normal breakfast consists of cookie dough, garnished with cookie dough ice cream and double chocolate fudge cookies, it's certainly less unhealthy. Some yogurts have those tiny little probiotics. Coffee yogurt has those little espresso beans at the bottom.  But there are other benefits you might have missed:

Stirring it gives you 43% of the Recommended Daily Allowance of exercise.

Fruit on the bottom engages and sharpens your targeting skills, like hitting the air fresheners in a public toilet. Trying to find those minuscule bits of fruitlike substance also helps.

Your cleaning aptitude can only increase by trying to get all the yogurt out of its container.

All of the above is wonderful for your OCD wonderful for your OCD wonderful for your OCD.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

The Meetings Will Continue Until Morale Improves

Dear Coworkers:
After a brief survey of my calendar, it has come to my attention that we, as a group, have two days of the week without meetings. This is not in keeping with the mission of Sid's Widgets, a company founded on the principle of producing absolutely nothing useful through doing absolutely nothing useful.

Our first step on the Road to Nothing is to identify the hard workers and producers. These are the heart of any great organization. Unfortunately we're not a great organization, so we must identify these corporate successes and wear them down to nothing. When we find someone blazing a trail, we assume they're actually accomplishing something, so we do the only thing we can: we put them in meetings. Meetings, especially repeating meetings, can suck the soul out of anything with a heartbeat, which is why we have so many of them.

Let's take the case of Bob. Bob Phlegma was a real up and comer in Accounting. Bob realized if we amortize the deductibles and treble the bottom end, we could save millions and get the job done in half the time. This is the sort of genius with which we're occasionally plagued. Rather than firing Mr. Phlegma and exposing the corporation to a series of lawsuits for discriminating against older balding white males, we put Bob in meetings. Nothing slows down any attempt at progress like meetings. Especially Accounting meetings. You've no doubt met accountants. They're about as exciting as watching blood paint dry, on their best days. Put together an entire room of them, plus veteran meeters who know how to run, prolong, and schedule new meetings, and you have an affair where staff has been known to occasionally die at work. We keep a mortician on staff for just these times. The interesting thing is that the mortician said he can't drain any bodily fluids because the meetings have already sucked the life out of his ex-coworkers. Thus the mortician also produces nothing, in line with company values and goals.

The meeting always starts out with a rehash of the last meeting, which rehashed the previous meeting. If that doesn't take up the entire meeting and fuel the identical animosities, we allow someone to carefully propose a new topic, such as pens. Embossed pens. Exactly how many pens is left for later meetings, should the process get that far.

For the seriously out-there employee, the one who thrives on meetings, making at least the mandatory eight of them per day and still getting actual work done, there is nothing left but the saddest method: no, not firing - promotion!  We call this "Firing UP" because as soon as you promote someone, they get less done because of increased responsibilities (mostly meetings) and because managers never get anything done anyway, aside from annoying their managees. This way there will be the required 8 meetings per day, PLUS team meetings, strategy meetings, lunch meetings, and Congrats Meetings (at Tillie's Topless Tiphouse and Chinese Laundry). With a manager who couldn't get anything done even if they were in the mood to, the staff can get back to doing whatever they were doing before Manglement, only less.

So, dear coworkers, this explains my shock at finding our calendar short of meetings. If I get any further ahead, I risk promotion.

  • Fascinating: someone is restoring the Apollo Guidance Computer. It works, except for the memory that doesn't. It was put together with integrated circuits, some with Write Once capability, like some recordable CDs. 52 years later... remember this when you throw your old, slow computer away. Your phone is magnitudes of order ahead of this computer. Your phone's memory is a physical tiny speck and has an incredible amount of storage, compared to the core memory in the computer. The computer couldn't even access the internet....

States have had mottos as long as they've had license plates (1863). Governors of all 43 states (and New Jersey) got together and decided to update their license plates. Aside from changing the colors, they are soliciting new slogans, perfectly setting up this next item - NEW STATE MOTTOS

PA: Hell with Humidity
PA: Park Here - $50
CA: Come for the Weather, Stay for the Weirdos
CA: Everything East of the San Andreas Fault Will Fall Into the Atlantic
NJ: My Balls Itch
NJ: New York Without the Positive Attitude
MI: One Step from Canada, Eh?
KY: Home of DUI Lawn Tractor Races
VA: We're Not DC - We're a Separate State
MD: We've Got Crabs
MA: Pock Yuh Cah Heeya
FL: Dinner's At Four
FL: We're Just Renting from Disney
FL: We Have Your Parents
FL: Habla Ingles?
AR: We're Sure There's Something Good Here
SC: We Have Tobacco
NC: Just North of South Carolina
DC: Screw You
DC: Not Really A State
NY: You Can't Park Here
NY: Keeping You Safe from Soda
DE: Still Bigger Than Rhode Island
RI: Small but Impotent
NV: Gambling AND Hookers!
AZ: Satan Vacations Here
MT: Cold and Flat, Like Mom
MS: It's Easier to Spell Mesothelioma
SD: Because North Dakota Was Taken
MO: We Have A Kansas City Too
KS: Fuck Toto
OH: Make a Left at PA
MN: The US North Pole
TX: Not Everything's Bigger Here
TX: Open Carry - Think Before You Insult
AK: Sorry About Canada
UT: Take Home a Few Mormons
UT: Sidewalks Close at 5
ID: You Da Ho
PR: Send More Money

Firefox version 62 and up, will soon let you know if a website has been breached. They will check via the online service 'Have I Been Pwned (HIBP)' and will deliver the results in your address bar, via an icon. When you click, you'll get the full information. This is a good thing, provided HIBP is not purchased by Google, Faceyspaces, or other information gatherers.

  • I just read an article on mental health and cybersecurity.  heh heh heh....

In case you were wondering where your tax dollars are going, both the DEA and ICE are putting hidden cameras in streetlights. The better to spy on you, my sweet!

  • Dear lefty:  Mr Shlomo Ick asks why flies make honey.
  • Yes.

It's always great to be in the news, but it's never good. Ten years after passage of the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act, mandating coverage for behavioral health, Pennsylvania is dead last. How did the rest fare? 43 states received either a "D" or an "F".

When the state made seatbelts mandatory, there were fines for ignoring the law. Guess what will happen to health insurers. No, guess.

P.S. Like all laws, this is misnamed. It does not grant parity: it mandates coverage. There is no maximum coverage for broken limbs, but there is for behavioral health.

  • I come to you today on a matter of great urgency.

Japan Airlines pilots failed breathalyzer tests 19 times.

Ok, it's funny on the surface, sorta, but this is horrible. Plane trips are among the safest modes of transportation. Every problem presented an opportunity to make it safer and the airlines/manufacturers have done a great job. In IT, the weakest link is the people: this is not something we need in the air.

Speaking of air disasters, a man sued British Airways for sitting him next to a fat passenger. In response, the fat passenger sued the man for not referring to him as a Person of Size plus Egregious Hurting of Feelings.  The airline will fight this tooth and nail, using every legal resource available to them, because if this guy (5'3") wins, everyone forced into any of their seats can sue.

  • Police: "Stop trying to kill yourself with that knife or we'll shoot you"

Whenever you see a car creating a drive-through in a convenience store, the first thing to say to yourself is "That's an old person, who confused the brake with the accelerator." Because it always is.

  • More suicides are caused by the Better Homes & Gardens Cookbook than financial disasters.

Like everything else, this topic will show up late. It's International Men's Day.
Men (and women) - take this day to stop suffering in silence. Get yourself some help for any mental/emotional issues. The most important thing for you to understand is that you don't have to feel this way. The stigma around mental health is slowly going away. You might be surprised to discover that people are right up front about their issues and diagnosis. They're getting help - why shouldn't you? If you're confused, leave me a comment (which will not be published) and maybe I can point you in a helpful direction.

  • You don't see a lot of girls (or boys) named Penelope lately.

As we all know, Faceyspaces is a large, moving target, especially for this blog. Today it's Instagram (oddly enough, owned by Faceyspaces). Instagram warned people who used the download your data tool that their password was visible in plain old unencrypted English. Of course they "take the privacy of their customers seriously," etc etc. I'd be really tired of hearing this, if I were a user of these systems

  • Because you read ThermionicEmissions, we know you're already brilliant. If you want to take a shot at getting brilliant-er, you can take this Harvard Introduction to computer science course, free, online. This course is very popular, attracting 700 students per class, and is very well known outside Harvard. After the class, you'll not only have valuable knowledge, you will be able to speak with a Harvard accent and tell people you went to Harvard. Not bad for a little effort on your part.

As we get to know our new dog, Penny, we find out all sorts of things. Since she was a stray, we have no history or information. I can say confidently that she was some sort of hunting dog. As we go outside, she drags me down the steps because there's a goddamn bird flying over her yard. The unmitigated audacity of this bird. This is unfortunate because the neighbor's yard is something of a bird hotel and sanctuary.  The dog, who had to go outside rather than pee inside, froze, raised a paw, and monitored the rest of the birds. After I reminded her we were outside, she took care of business. Then it's time to patrol the yard. She vigorously patrols her yard, looking for whatever dogs look for, like the Vatican patrols pews for new altar boys. Yes, the Vatican is in trouble for yet another scandal involving coverups of child molestation. Did you like that segue?

Speaking of segues, I saw that the dog was shredding candy wrappers. This is not surprising, nor alarming. I figured if she couldn't have candy, she could shred the wrappers. Today she brought me an M&M wrapper, which was cute. Unfortunately when I took it, it was full of M&Ms. Yes, she somehow figured out how to provide herself with candy. Chocolate candy, which is fatal to dogs, but only in the right quantity. We had a bit of a chat and it won't happen again (until she figures out how to get it at on top of the fridge).

Some more loveliness from the SJW crowd. This particular warrior wants straight white males to delete their twitter accounts, to make it a safe space for.. ummm.... people who aren't straight white males, I guess.

How is this different from Famous Bigot TV Character, Archie Bunker, wanting Eyetalians and Eyerish out of his neighborhood? Or 'the blacks'? These people have become a parody of themselves.

Let's send her a present:

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Tech 21 - Guitar Content Only

GUITAR STUFF - read at your own peril

Tech21 is the manufacturer of the famous SansAmp no-amp rigs that plug right into an amp or console. The current series is the Fly Rig, available in basic or different artist flavors. Without even touching the tones, the concept is tremendous. An amplifier/effects rig in a small (12" ?) pedal. A lot of my fellow guitar players keep one of these in their bag in case their amp lets out the Magic Smoke and stops working [Magic Smoke makes all electronics run. If you let the Magic Smoke out, the device won't run anymore]. Some people use these as fly rigs (stop it), where they go to small or hastily put together shows without their amp - they just fly out with one of these boxes. Amp moving costs a lot of money too, especially overseas.

Richie Kotzen has a signature model, which he uses in his everyday rig, into an onstage clean amp. You can't get more authentic than that. He spent a lot of time developing it with Tech21, to their credit.

Tech21 has a page of videos on YouTube, as is mandatory these days. It's great because anyone can hear what they sound like before auditioning one for themselves or ordering one. They're reasonably priced too. And here is where I have a few issues (other issues, thank you). I want to reiterate that these are great pedals and incredibly useful. You're getting my opinion only here.

In the Pete Thorn video, he does a good job demoing the pedal. I'm with him right up until he starts saying it's a great sounding pedal. Pete is a phenomenal guitar player, with a ton of unbelievably good sounding vintage and custom amps. I don't see this kind of comparison as valid. It's not that I don't think the pedal sounds good or works well in a track... it's just the comparison.

In some of the videos, additional pedals are used. I didn't watch the videos to hear how the device sounds with other pedals; I want to hear it by itself. Show me what it can do. Putting a DS-1 in line to sound like Joe Satriani is like putting a Fuzz Face in line to sound like Jimi. Want to impress potential customers? Create the sound with the Fly Rig itself. No, you won't nail Van Halen's Unchained without the external flanger, but that's completely forgivable.

Now that I've given my personal opinion, let me give my personal opinion (on the viability of a Fly Rig in my rig) (sorry). I'm not what you'd call a working musician, as most musicians aren't. However I'm a pretty well-equipped non-working musician. Instead of buying Nice Stuff all my life, everything went into gear. My amps run from a real tweed Champ to a 74 Marshall half stack. I have some concept of tone, and it tends to line up nicely with general consensus.

Quite frankly, the boxes don't sound like or as good as amps. Nothing's wrong here, as one cannot reasonably expect a pedal to sound like a Fender tweed Deluxe or tan Bassman. I'm not all that crazy about the sound. However, I agree with many who carry it in their spares case. I also think it's very valuable for recording, in that the tones will sit nicely in the track, as well as not needing to crank up the Plexi at 2am. Further, I would rather hear the amp behind me, blowing sound at me onstage, not through monitors.

Suggestion: you did a great job on packaging the pedals. They're ideal because they're very small, and that's my issue.. I was not born with balance, grace, or the ability to see well on a dark stage. I'd make the pedal wider, so Stage Ballet isn't necessary. As for width, 12" isn't enough (STOP IT!). I'd give it another 6" or so, to comfortably get my huge, flat feet to hit the correct switch. My feet are so flat (HOW FLAT ARE THEY?) they're so flat that NIST uses them as a standard.


The Character Series pedals are designed to sound like a specific amp, available in Blonde (60s Fender blonde amps), British (Marshall), and Liverpool (Vox AC30/15), among others. I'll save us a lot of extra reading and say my opinion of these is the same as the Fly Rig: they don't really sound like their name, but they get you in the ballpark and are great as a utility, spare, or recording pedal.


The future will bring us pedals that sound really close to the original tone. This is happening in software these days, at least in terms of improvements. Software is somewhat (incredibly) difficult to use in a live setting, so it lives in the studio for now. Well.... not entirely... these Tech 21 products are analog (discrete parts, like they used from the first ever pedal). Digital pedals use software to manipulate the bits and bobs to achieve the desired effect (sorry again).

A big problem in any emulator is emulating vacuum tubes (valves in the UK). It's not easy, but if ads are any indication, tubes are important, Most emulators, pedals, and amps use the phrase "Sounds just like tubes". Another bump is emulating 'sag', which is the positive effect of tubes squashing their power supply. One of the best tones ever comes from tubes operating close to their maximum specs.  So TURN IT UP! has a sound basis in electronics, as well as tone.

If you can't get, can't afford, can't tell the difference, or don't want to schlep large, heavy tube amps, buy pedals. This is probably one of the weirdest non-reviews Tech 21 has ever come across.

As one would expect, cheaper clones, made (way) offshore, are available in many flavors, and have their own YouTube videos.

** go ahead - accuse me of being a dinosaur. If using close to the original amplifiers the pedals attempt to emulate is being a dinosaur... if being very picky about tone is being a dinosaur... if Jeff Beck, Jimi Page, and Frank Zappa are still using/used the originals.... I'm a dinosaur. When El Becko and Page hit the stage without their Marshall tube backline and sound seriously good, it will be time for me to give a serious listen to what they're using. When Frank Zappa hits the stage without his impossibly complex tube rig, I will seriously start to question reality. After the show, of course.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Male Pattern Baldness - the Band

I always wanted to call my band Male Pattern Baldness. For some reason, everyone else in the band refused. It wasn't so much a refusal as the physical reaction guys get when you mention getting kicked in the nuts. I had other names too... those merely got ignored.

  • Today was a sign. An omen. The sun was out. As surprising as that was, it was forecast to be out. Something's up. Watch the skies.

Technology Time

Think about the march of technology. The things written in science fiction that are ordinary today. A wireless cell phone that replaces tons of physical utilities. This has created a mountain of useless things that kids born within the last 20 years have never seen, like:

a telephone booth, 45rpm adapter, library, a heavy mechanical phone doubling as a weapon, records, 8 track and cassette tapes, CDs, movies in grubby theaters or from a tape at home for $99, movie rentals, over the air tv with channel numbers, dialup internet, modems, leaded gas, land yacht cars, tuneups with spark plugs and wires, radios operated by a knob attached to a string, round clocks with hands, bigass computers with DOS, Windows 95/98/XP, printer ribbons, parallel cables, floppy discs, 286/386/486 computer chips, round  DIN computer plugs for accessories, adding port and other cards to computers, clean air, the US military in only a few countries, wireless phones, phone lines, busy signals, phones without Caller ID, large speakerphones that clipped off parts of words, answering machines, avocado green/harvest gold, huge wooden console stereos and tvs, black and white tvs with 6" screens, clothesline, washboard, wringer clothes washer, percolator coffeemaker, Lincoln Logs, board games, typewriters, paper notebook, newspapers, heating leftovers on the stove, wired or clicky remote controls, bra stores not carrying lingerie, computers plugged in to routers, written letters with postage stamps, pencils, sex without taking video, 16 year old virgins, verbal only gossip, walking anywhere, sitting quietly, having friends over and talking, smoking on airplanes, only charging things at home, C and D batteries, Radio Shack, only one type of condoms (that you shamefully asked for), cold medicine on open shelves, expensive heroin, soda in gallons, large tires with small wheels, floor-switched high beams, revving the engine to keep the car from stalling, stalling after running over a puddle, bench car seats, station wagons, metal in cars, starting your car with keys, protests against war, square computer monitors, $15 commercial-free cable, ice cube trays, porn magazines, door to door salesmen (non-religious), telling someone off without using the f- word, turn signals, generous employer paid pensions, no copays for anything, bicycles (without helmets), humongous analog reel to reel recording machines, community bulletin boards with 3x5 cards and push pins, Pong, hooking up vcrs and game boxes to the tv, tv antennas, amateur radio/CB, paying cash only for a doctor visit, milk trucks, malls with all kinds of stores and no food court, head shops, malts, drive in movies, handwriting, record stores, guitar solos, music without dancers, full albums played on the radio, radio stations doing whatever they wanted, giggling at gays and transsexuals, humor, walking up steps to get in a plane, liquids/pocketknives/scissors/guns and showing up right before the plane takes off, made in America, jobs for life, college degrees worth more than toilet paper, farms, tollbooth you throw change at, telethons, tv free of feminine products/pharmaceuticals/bladder leakage underwear that's actually pretty, dick jokes that didn't say dick, courtesy, really really stupid phones and tvs, bag and Beam Me Up Scotty phones, pay by minute long distance and cell, fixing electrical things yourself, Tab diet soda, whole milk, paying with cash, police showing up after you call, 2 prong outlets and plastic adapters with a little wire hanging out, Elmer's glue and paste, crayons, never hearing the word 'cunnilingus', waiting for the tv to warm up, unfinished basements, standalone stereos, mono records, head cleaning kits, record brush and fluid, record crates, posters, concert tickets, crystal scanners that could hear phones, soldering irons, neighborhood stores, guitar stores, weather that makes sense, baking cake from scratch, stereos over 1 watt, excitement of hearing the first time anyone said 'ass' on tv, beholding Sipowicz's ass, those little angular car windows in front of the main window, manual windows and door locks, real spare tires, AM/FM radios only, sneaking into Dad's special drawer, 8 or 16mm projectors, waking early on Saturday to watch cartoons, phones without hash or asterisk keys, the joy of sex (the book), record sleeves and foldouts with information, the brown acid, cleaning your pot on record jackets, products designed to last for more than a few months,

It's National Scrapple Day.
Scrapple is a Philly 'delicacy' which is essentially a meatlike substance made from (drum roll, please) scraps. Ponder that for a minute.

I try not to hate stuff before I try it, but the smell of whatever it is cooking is enough to keep mosquitos off your arm in the summer. Wife loves it. This is convenient because she'll never have to worry about me eating hers. In fact, it can sit in the fridge for six years, untouched, with all sorts of new and interesting growths, some speaking languages we've never heard before. I'm kidding - it can sit there for years, undisturbed: you can't distinguish ''fresh' scrapple from six year old scrapple. Philly is better known for soft pretzels and cheesesteaks... you're much safer with either.

  • The FBI issued an alert in September due to the increase of attacks via Remote Desktop Protocol.
  • This should never happen in a professional environment because you don't leave the Remote Desktop Protocol port open. It's like leaving your back door unlocked: burglars have to look for it, but they can walk right in. It's ok inside your network but not toward the internet.
  • Home users are dependent entirely on their cable modems and routers. If they're not set to block by default (they should be), it's up to the user to get in there and close (everything). Anybody recommending this port be used to get to your computer from the internet should be shot, then sent to rudimentary computer school. If you need to remotely operate another computer in your house, it's relatively safe, assuming it's blocked at the router.

Between A.D.D., blurry vision, drugs, and a hyperactive dog, we can never find anything. The running joke is 'staple it to your forehead' so you know where it is and will be reminded. This fails because even the best of us run out of forehead space. This causes a clutter problem, and we're right back where we started.

  • In my house, there's a place for everything. Unfortunately it changes daily.

Hack the Air Force 3.0 is happening soon, wherein 191 countries are invited to hack. Among those countries aren't China, Russia, Iran, or North Korea.  Sure, keep out the guys who have proven they can do it.  When this contest is over, the AF will pay bug bounties. They will also spend 8 months cleaning up the damage from unforeseen hacks:

  • latrine doors won't open
  • planes will confuse Up with Down
  • refrigerators will report directly to China
  • flushing a toilet issues the command to bomb North Korea
  • Mr and Mrs Bob Winglehocker, of Bumfukt, Arkansas, will be awakened by surprise, after the AF computer orders a 1,001 person AF banjo cookoff and crossdressing cabaret held at their house.

Speaking of crossdressers, we're post midterm elections and nothing has burned. Yet.

  • Dear lefty: Phil Poos asks if there are Portuguese Jews.
  • Yes.

Somebody, who shall remain nameless, spilled sugar on the carpet. Someone else, who shall also remain nameless, was asked to vacuum it up. This particular someone forgot. No problem, as Vacuum 2 was activated: the dog found it and cleaned it up beautifully. The only issue was that when she was done, her snout looked like she was a coke addict. No one got a picture and the dog got no more hyper or otherwise dangerous. We just have to be very careful around her with cookies.

  • There are a ton of operating system and app updates available. Please install them immediately: Windows is full of holes and so is anything from Adobe.
  • RELATED: a MS update breaks Calendar and Mail on Windows 10 phones. THERE ARE WINDOWS 10 PHONES? It's the end times.

Since the new way of eating, I've cut way down on my chocolate intake. I've gone from 24/7 to once a day. Not at all coincidentally, I've felt like Advanced Death since around the time I started. Always supportive, my wife bought one of those absolutely humongous bags of mixed candy. This will truly test my will. I will lose spectacularly.

  • I am just like everyone else: I put my pants on three legs at a time.

Much to no one's surprise, Penny is the second dog who would rather nap with his mom than hang out with his dad. Last night his mom heated pizza and put it on the arm of the sofa. Penny promptly pulled a piece onto the floor and started to eat it. This displeased dad loudly.  I am certain that she will not do that again. At least until the next time there's pizza on the couch.

  • Dear lefty: reader Phyllis Moostache asks if dogs have buttocks.
  • Yes.

My coworkers would be disappointed if they didn't hear me say 'I hate Microsoft' at least once a day. They are rarely disappointed. If you're burdened with Office 2016, you know that every meeting invitation automatically gets added to your calendar. Since my company runs on meetings, I have a calendar full of useless meetings (yes, all meetings are useless). I asked Microsoft Help, which isn't. An internet search indicated that it was designed this way on purpose.  One can 'filter' it, which still adds the meeting, but makes it a lighter shade.  I hate Microsoft. MAKE IT OPTIONAL, children of HERR GATES. 

Or, as Ben Stern used to say to little Howard, "I told you not to be stupid, you moron."

  • If you missed it, there was a 'small glitch' in the internet, causing Google traffic to be routed through Russia, China, and Nigeria. I'm not the only one amused by this, but it was attributed to a 'misconfiguration' by a Nigerian internet provider.  Sure... blame the black guys.
  • Does it bother anybody else that a single internet provider in China Nigeria can hijack traffic through a misconfiguration? Let's do Faceyspaces traffic next! But seriously, folks... this is the way it was designed, back when the most hostile people on the net were college students.

While having a blast at Faceyspaces' expense, their employees are surveyed twice a year about their sentiment and happiness. Last month showed 52% were optimistic about Faceyspaces' future, down a hair (32%) from 84% the prior year.  Unrelated: according to the Wall Street Journal, the leading Barbie Doll enthusiast magazine, the stock price was headed in this direction too.

Is this supposed to be a funny story? I'm laughing hysterically.

  • a US panel warned against government purchase of Chinese technology. Gee, really?  How long has ThermionicEmissions been saying this? It's just common sense (which explains why it hasn't been followed).
  • Wild guess: in WWII, the Allies didn't buy German technology.

The happy news is that "The fear and uncertainty generated by surveillance inhibit activity more than any action by the police." No, wait, did I say happy? It's a good read.

One of the hallmarks of good customer service (who cares) is not simply saying no - it's providing a workable alternative. I already have - you're just not reading. How's that for customer service? 

No, wait.. it means you really need to consider doing things as safely as possible. Use duckduckgo for searches, because it doesn't track you. Get rid of anything Google, Yahoo, Faceyspaces, Instagram, etc, including email. Set up at least 2 email accounts: one for important stuff and one for junk. Use a decent, encrypted email service like Protonmail (free for basic). Use https for every web connection (or use an extension like HTTP Everywhere, which will do it automatically for you). This will sound weird, but use cash for all transactions. Not only will it protect privacy, your card won't get skimmed or stolen. In the name of all that's holy, don't use free wifi without a VPN. Or don't use it at all. 

Turn your cell phone's wifi off when you leave your house. If you can't remember, a program called Macrodroid can be set to do it for you.

  • Several Australian universities have BANNED sarcasm because it's a "form of violence." I'd be thrown in jail for several lifetimes.
  • Professor - he hit me with sarcasm and I need a safe room, with puppies.
  • The stupid continues, and it's overwhelming.

Speaking of good customer service, a Cryptopay user was denied a password change, so he did the only thing a responsible adult could: mailed them a bomb. Fortunately no one was hurt. The package sat around for five months before someone got around to almost opening it. The sender had a bit of a criminal history, including sending a bit of the old white powder to lawmakers. It turned out to be coke and the lawmakers dropped all charges. Just because I made that up doesn't mean it didn't happen.

  • You're going to be shocked.... One Million Kids Tracker Watches were deemed unsafe because any old hacker can access them, allowing them access to your child's location and pictures. Not that you don't post that on Faceyspaces anyway....
  • Imagine something called a Tracker Watch becoming a tracker....

So how about the personalized concert lineup the ticket people sent this week?
Jon Bellion's coming! Who the hell is Jon Bellion? Iron Maiden, which is at least close to my wheelhouse. Pink. Pink? I'm starting to think this personalized lineup thing is a lie.  Jeff Lynne's ELO - dammit - they finally got one!  While I know who Lindsey Buckingham is, there's also DAWES. Is this what people from Boston use to get into a house? Seinfeld!!!! God, I hate Seinfeld, although I know who he is. Who are these comedians...  who aren't funny? Kris Kristofferson. The man's multitalented. Trailer Park Boys? I don't know who they are, but I read they're now on the FBI terror list. They must have said something nasty to someone at some time. As a Ron Paul voter, I was on the list too. Let's not leave Sebastian Maniscalco off the list. Remember: you can get free innoculations against Sebastian Maniscalco at your local pharmacy for no copay. It's pretty damn serious, which is why the FBI is encouraging you take the shot. St. Paul and the Broken Bones are also coming. It sounds almost like my previous musical comedy act: we were so bereft of rhythm and grace, that there were inevitably broken bones. Galactic ft. Erica Falls will also grace our area. It would be more efficient to call themselves Galactic Falls, but either way, I'd have no idea who they are and no desire to spend my hard-earned money.  Mumford and Sons. Hmmm.. we know all about them. Banjos. Interbreeding. I can't even type the name without breaking out in laughter. 98 Degrees... sounds like a really HOT act (I apologize profusely for that). Last but perhaps least, The Noise Presents Nothing More. I have no idea, but the idea of Nothing More in the way of Noise sounds wonderful. When I get famous, people will be taking shots at me too.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

It's January Already

I'm getting a new phone at work.
I found this out today, while completing a software update. Because everyone knows that when you update the software, it becomes moot because you're getting new hardware. I found this out from the Software People, because the employees apparently don't have a Need to Know.

The last new phone I got was an iDevice. I begged my poor boss to get me an exemption. He's gotten very good at humoring me, like my wife and parents. He said perhaps if I got a doctor's note. Since I couldn't forge get a note in time, I got stuck with the iDevice. It's a silly little phone with only one button, which inevitably does the opposite of what you're looking to do, that could be accomplished with a second button. Like... ummmm... what's that called.. oh yeah - android.  Credit where it's due: it has a nice display and the charge lasts a long time (especially as it sits there, not being used). The first time it rang, I was so shocked I couldn't figure out how to answer it.

Now I'm getting a new one. Either that or we're changing carriers or the color we bleach our nose hair. No one seems to know. No one also knows what kind of phones they will be, although most Techie-Types are hoping for androids. The people who have personal iDevices get 'that look' in their eyes, signifying they're about to go full Judge Judy on me. Knowing the way my employer works, it will be a Windows 10 phone (sound of people leaping off tall buildings).

  • Speaking of phones, our darling dog is displaying all sorts of new, interesting behaviors. She now whines when her mom leaves, which is turning into screeching. No bath poofy scrubby thing is safe from shredding. This is a little strange because we didn't know we had any poofy scrubby things.
  • Her first vet appointment is this week. Her first day of obedience school is next week. I can't go because obedience school is afraid of me.
  • Recently Penny saw her first snow. She came in, shook herself off, and declared she wanted to go back to her foster mom, where it never snows.

Perhaps because of the weather, the inside of the house has been free of ants.
Perhaps because of the lack of ants, there has been a lack of polar bears and the rare Elephant Squid. 

Further chats with our good neighbor have been enlightening. She talks about the time she used to spend with Marshall, even when she wasn't feeding him. Apparently both have cataracts, although hers are getting fixed (and he doesn't have them anymore). They used to sit outside and keep each other company. I had no idea. She misses him too. She was shocked to meet Penny, who isn't black  like the last three. And she has a longer snout, as English cockers do. She says Penny's really nice, but not 'her Marshall.'  I don't even know what to say.

  • After the Australian universities banned sarcasm, the Special SJW Squad came out, in no uncertain terms, against mince pie. They threatened to take the bones out of their noses if the world continued to sacrifice the lives of those poor minces.

Colleges, Identity Politics, Victim Culture, and Safe Spaces
If you think professors are liberal, try school administrators. Op-ed in the New York Times vs microaggressions, understanding white privilege, and the right not to hear anything that upsets you, Victim. This is some sick stuff, and it's happening on your local college campus.

  • The shopping season is here! Remember these tips before you shop online: Don't.

There is something very tasty about network cables. I have no idea what it is: ask the dog. This also applies to phone charging cords.

Speaking of charging cords, newer phones are coming with USB C jacks, which won't allow you to use your old cables (USB micro). Some clever person came up with adapters that use your existing cables. Even better, they come with little attachment bouzokis so they won't get lost. Sheer brilliance (thanks to the Linux People for the idea).

While you're shopping for adapters on Amazon, remember that you can buy products from Oprah's Favorite Things. Because the horribly wealthy ex-talk show host who gave away cars obviously knows what you'll like. You have so much in common. I kid - you just reflexively buy what she recommends, like her book club. This woman is so rich, every time she farts, it comes out as money. She lights her daily breakfast birthday cake with $100 bills because she has to get rid of the small ones. Oprah had a tiny complex built in California (she called it Los Angeles). There was some controversy over the city paying her $100,000 each time the sun came out, but it was put to rest when she assured them it was ok.

  • Black Friday has either come and gone or will arrive early, depending on which retailer claims when. The trend seems to favor the early, with Black Friday being moved up a week, followed by Puce Weekend, and Chartreuse Monday. Christmas decorations went up the day after Labor Day. Next year, Black Friday will see another minor bump, to the first Friday after Valentines Day.

A British gang member started shooting out of an apartment window, declaring he'd never be taken alive. The police and the UK version of SWAT - PWAG (Police With A Gun) arrived and surrounded the building. The bullhorns bellowed and negotiations broke out - "Come out or we'll ask you to come out again!" By the end of the day, negotiations stopped, while all agreed that it was getting dark and everyone should go home for the night to sleep. This continued for two weeks: the British are a patient people, who avoid bad publicity at all costs. Finally the gang member fired at the police, who became slightly miffed, which is the most dangerous state available in police, and ordered him to stop it, this minute. Eager to make a point, the gunman set the apartment on fire and died of a 'self-inflicted' gunshot. The police congratulated themselves on a peaceful operation. At no time did they mention guns, because whenever you say guns, the entire population of England runs around in mass panic, puts a bucket over its head, and says how much safer they are with no guns.

Meanwhile in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, America, city employees wet their pants with laughter, because they'd remedy the situation by dousing the apartment with gasoline and dropping high explosives from a helicopter. Ah, the good old days.

  • I like to watch UK and Canada tv, to make fun of the accents, yeah? Eh?

It's fun to hang out in special interest groups on the net. I belong to a vacuum tube group full of people who are old enough to have invented tubes. I'm kidding, but they were early adopters. There is a lot to learn and no shortage of genius in the group. Having achieved age, there's a ton of other wisdom. Recently there was a discussion on how to make Bakelite, complete with several methods, cautions, and what happens over time. The current topic is heating the room in which you listen with a tube radio. Yes, it started as a joke, but the full engineering crew was out, working on this Serious Problem. They got out their calculators and punched buttons for all they were worth. Someone asked whether heating the rest of the room kept the temperature steady. Not to be outdone, someone else suggested that for the questioner's area (he looked it up), the temperature was 58 degrees, so geothermal might be the way to go. The plan involved digging down 12 feet, running copper tubing, filling it back up, and running water through it to both heat and cool the room. The only small consideration was the hole had to be larger and deeper than a swimming pool. This was simply out of my depth (Pun Alert), as is most tube information.

  • Bulletin for anybody going to Ireland: leave your countersink drill bits at home or they'll be confiscated. Makes perfect sense: you could get on the plane and put it in the drill you're also not allowed to carry. Remember: if you can bring countersink drill bits on planes, the terrorists win.
  • Also prohibited: clear tape dispensers with plastic cutters, personal lubricant, artificial body parts (leave them at home), round food, and Sinead O'Connor.
  • "Ireland: Even Sillier Than the US"

Speaking of Ireland, a civil war is brewing, after the Irish government passed legislation mandating pronouncing 'th'. For example, 'three' must be pronounced 'three,' not 'tree.' Violence was immediate. The IRA changed its name to the IRS. The US State Department strongly discourages travel to tis area at tis toyme.

(Tis is why I don't have more readers)

  • A judge has asked Amazon to hand over home recordings of their Alexa device in a double murder case. 
The court finds there is probable cause to believe the server(s) and/or records maintained for or by contain recordings made by the Echo smart speaker... 
  • In a previous case, Alexa recordings were handed over. They were not conclusive of a murder.
  • The article is remarkable for what it doesn't say: what Alexa records. It is only supposed to respond to “Alexa,” “Computer” or “Echo”.
  • It is absolutely shocking that a listening device installed in your home listens.

Somewhat of a really long time ago (high school?), I fell in with a good crowd, to the surprise of my parents. I met my best friend, who is with me to this day. He was a songwriter and I came onboard (because all the applications for Rock Star<tm> had been filled out). We practiced at his house, where I met his family. His house was a great place because of the people who lived there, most specifically Mom. We spent a lot of time there, because we needed the practice. Mom became a second mom to me; a truly delightful person. Through the years it's always been great seeing her. 

I just received word she was hospitalized and passed today.

Peace, 2nd mom. 
And thanks for all the cookies.