Wednesday, August 16, 2017

PC Police Off the Rails. And Cancer.

As we know, England has gone a bit silly with their anti 'hate' laws, making it illegal to say bad things to someone else. One enterprising policeman put two stores on notice that their Feminine Care signs are sexist and must be changed, perhaps to something like 'personal hygiene' or 'personal care'. You know - because men can use tampons. Not to be stopped in his relentless mission of stamping out sexism, he insisted other stores change their restroom signs featuring a woman with a baby, because the men's signs didn't have a baby.

The twitter backlash started immediately, with the officer being slammed for wasting tax money.  Although the story is old, it resurfaced. Usually questionable laws come from Australia, but this one from England is Orwellian. Police are being paid to police speech. It's astounding. One wonders if all other crime has been eradicated so the police can bring the full force to bear on the scourge of people saying bad things.

The policeman in question deleted his Twitter account.

  • Condolences to the family and friends of the young lady who lost her life in Charlottesville, when someone drove into a crowd, also injuring many others. The online commentary has very quickly gone nasty and divided itself neatly into predictable camps. Thoughts:
  • We (the US) have a First Amendment that allows free speech, no matter how repugnant. The KKK has every right to assemble, regardless of how we feel about them.. to curtail their right is to curtail everyone else's.
  • The counter protesters have every right to protest also. It should be noted that when there are counter protests lately, violence tends to follow.
  • Free speech does not cover punching or other violent acts, no matter how much any group feels it's ok. Hate speech is a misnomer, used only to shut down opposing views. Speech is speech in the US.
  • It is very interesting to note commentary from other countries which do not have our freedoms. They don't understand free speech and think the KKK should not be allowed to march. Period.
  • The KKK is a small bunch of agitators, who count on news and counter protests. If people stopped showing up, they would more than likely stop marching.
  • At very least, the counter protesters showed up armed for violence.
  • The police were given orders to stand down, allowing the violence to occur and escalate. Find out who gave this order and you have a path to find answers.
  • It is not difficult to predict that this is only the beginning.
  • Ironically, the group calling the KKK nazis wants to shut down speech they don't like.
  • Someone spraypainted Fuck Laws, in red paint, on a column at the Lincoln Memorial.
  • The above thoughts notwithstanding, arguing over this is a perfect example of Divide and Conquer. If we fight among ourselves, we won't be paying attention to other things.
  • Where is this coming from? For one, George Soros, who pours untold millions into creating social unrest.

There is actually a 'sport' called Footgolf. It's advertised as being more exciting than golf. To be absolutely factual, watching grass grow is more exciting than golf, plus you don't have to whisper.

  • Speaking of Charlottesville, Anonymous hacked a website called The Daily Stormer, a neo-Nazi site, which had published an offensive story about Heather Heyer, the lady who was killed by the person who drove his car into the crowd. After the hack, Godaddy, the provider of the page, gave the Nazis twenty four hours to move to a new provider.
  • Anonymous says they have the location of the page's owner, Andrew Anglin, and promised to send allies to visit him in Lagos.
  • We all love to see the neo-Nazis and Bad Guys get it, right? Does this mean Anonymous is good?
  • I don't know about you, but I'd prefer to see the Bad Guys operate in the daylight, so it is easier to see what they are up to.
  • GoDaddy states the page violated its terms of service. They were responding to complaints. The complainer, a blogger with an agenda, was outed, resulting in her phone number and address going online and being bombarded by trolls.
  • The Daily Stormer registered with Google, which terminated the registration due to violation of terms of service. Someone's not reading terms of service.  I don't remember terms of service, but I do remember Google was pretty solidly behind freedom of speech. You're reading this on a Google site. Perhaps they have a term of service prohibiting neo-Nazis - I don't know.

There is a report of an Internet of Things thermostat playing music. How? It has an Amazon Echo built into it. The situation was remedied by the owner.

In related news, 500 folks who felt it was necessary to get 'smart' door locks found themselves in Deep Doo-Doo when the company shipped a software update that rendered the lock electronically inoperable. Owners had to use their keys, if they had them. The responsible party has offered two fixes, which take between five and eighteen days. Are you ready for the Internet of Things? This is a slow motion train wreck of impossibly large proportions.

  • The government has demanded data on visitors to an Anti-Trump site, probably due to an investigation. Regardless of where you sit on the political spectrum, this sort of thing is bad. 
  • On the other hand, perhaps the site should have been located on a server that did not keep this information.
  • Some of the Antifa people are radicalizing. There were weapons and shields in Charlottesville. Does this justify an investigation?  Does this behavior violate anyone's terms of service?

So the aliens were giving a tour of Earth...
"This is Roswell, where we played a little trick on the Army Air Force in 1947."
"They call this the Bible Belt. Just ignore it."
"Dogs? They're ours.  Cats? The reptilians rounded them up and dropped them here."

  • Ok, I'm dying here... in Atlanta, angry people (antifa) protesting violence defaced a peace monument. Then they all ganged up on a single policeman, shouting PIG! 
  • Wait, it gets better... Black Lives Matter put themselves between the policeman and the antifa protesters.
  • I'll admit it - I refer to BLM as a terror group. Kudos to them for this selfless act.
  • Tomorrow morning, be sure to look for grass, which is now in the up direction, while the sky will be below.

Thus ends the game of Naked Monopoly.

  • Given the opportunity, Americans would deep fry furniture

Marshall Update: The biopsy came back positive for malignant melanoma. Sort of. They're 'pretty sure'. There is, of course, another test, but we were told to assume positive. The good news is that they cut out all of it. The bad news is that it still has to be treated, just in case.

So Marshall will now get to see the Doggie Oncologist.
We love him unconditionally, but he's going to need his own GoFundMe page if this continues.

  • It's time for my Yearly Tire Rant. Attempting to keep the car legal and maintained, it went to the mechanic. Bulb replaced, oil changed, and by the way, it will need four new tires. The car is obviously conspiring with the dog.
  • For reasons I absolutely cannot fathom, my Hyundai requires performance tires. Performance tires. It's not like, at any moment, the engine will leap out of the car because the tires aren't performing. We don't race, we don't bumper car (anymore), and we are never in a situation where the car has to perform anything but starting and running.
  • This is the first car I've ever had that has huge wheels and tiny tires. There are no other tires for this car. I'm thinking the car would ride much better with real tires on it but what do I know, aside from the fact that every car I've ever owned had them.
  • To make things even more amusing, the tires are in the neighborhood of $250 each. I realize my cars were older, but that's almost what I paid for all four of them.

Monday, August 14, 2017

The Witch It All Lime Man

RIP Glen Campbell (81) from Alzheimers.
Glen has a long history in music, from early days in the Wrecking Crew, to being one of the Beach Boys, to solo fame (Wichita Lineman, Rhinestone Cowboy, etc). He didn't get credit for being a really good guitar player. When he was diagnosed with Alzheimers, he decided on a final tour. His daughter was in the band and would gently help him along if he stumbled. There is video of a concert in which he introduces a song and his daughter had to let him know they just did it. Check out Glen in the studio with Stone Temple Pilots, doing Wichita Lineman.

  • Marshall returned from his operation a little sleepy and a lot cranky, possibly from pain. Mind you, he's on a lot of pain meds. At 5am he went outside and hid in a far corner of his yard, where he's never gone before. His biopsy results take a week.
  • Speaking of Dog Meds, we continue the struggle to get them into him. The latest was the squishy pill pocket treat, where you put the pill in the center, close both ends, and the dog eats it. Well, other dogs eat it. He fell for this twice, then stopped taking them. We wrapped this treat in turkey, which he went for immediately. This lasted two times also. The third time, he somehow managed to flip the turkey off and eat it only. This happened twice. Who runs the house? The smartest person in the house, who just happens to have four muppety paws. Next up: liverwurst.

The British police are investigating five year olds for calling each other names. I kid you not. After investigation, it was referred to as a non-crime. Orwell continues to spin.

  • Wikileaks has released another CIA doozie: dubbed CouchPotato, this tool will remotely collect video without leaving a trace.  Rest easy - it must be on your pc to work. So unless the CIA has already hacked your pc, you're ok. They haven't already hacked your pc, have they?

Know what would be really cool? If some major artists started talking about depression. To make them feel better about it, they could wear trendy bracelets or ribbons... maybe a ribbon strangling a brain.

  • The other day I put on the Led Zeppelin at Knebworth (1979) video. It's nice to enjoy some live Led for once. Robert Plant is one of my favorite singers but heaven help me, I don't understand most of what he says between songs. It sounds like a bunch of one line inside jokes. Maybe because I'm not a Brit, maybe because I'm not a Zep. They played my favorite song, "Ten Years Gone." Since I always feel better when playing, I played along. There was excitement. It made me happy.
  • She did too. But she's seven years gone.

When I was a child, I wasn't having a good time of it - I wanted to be an adult. Now that I'm (allegedly) an adult, it would have been nice to have a childhood.

  • As a blogger for quite a few years, people ask me questions. The answer to the most asked question is "Yes, I'm like this without drugs or alcohol." 

So how about those self-driving cars?  I'm always amazed that there are any at all that have made it out of testing, as the technology is relatively new. If you think about it, the future is here now.. George Jetson be damned. As someone who's not particularly fond of driving, it seems like a gee-whiz neato cool idea. As a tin foil mad hatter, it's a flipping nightmare: your location, after your phone gives it away, can be narrowed down to a five foot area. Your destinations all logged. Then there's the OH MY GOD, NO ONE'S DRIVING THE CAR fear that rears its ugly head until you get used to it.

It might be a little while longer. Security researchers discovered that you can fool the car's road sign detection algorithms by putting a sticker on the sign or otherwise altering it. Uh-oh. Do you want the stop sign to be read by the car as a 45mph speed limit sign?  When you're done contemplating the horrors of mis-reading, think about what kids are going to do... like throwing things in front of the car to see what happens.  There are benefits to being a tin foil mad hatter.

  • Just when you thought it was safe to have a blood test, security researchers have come up with a way to insert malware into synthetic DNA. When you put the blood into the machine for analysis, it will corrupt and own the machine. Talk about your blood-borne infections....

Speaking of professions, I was thinking about going into serial killing. It turns out you can't start until you have a manifesto.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Internet of Dings

In an extremely rare event, out government seems to have gotten something right. I know, I know, we're all a little dazed. The Senate Cybersecurity Caucus has introduced a bill that would provide patchable products from vendors selling Internet of Things products to the government. In essence the products must be patchable and updateable or replaceable. This is very important with Internet of Things devices.

Now, if they can only do something about their employees... quite a number of breaches are caused by people inside, clicking on stuff they shouldn't.  When in doubt, don't. It will not hurt to ask someone. Your IT department will thank you for asking.

  • I gotcher chip card right here: So these new chip cards that are going to secure our purchases, that have already been hacked, have developed a new wrinkle: vendors who won't accept them. In an absolutely unscientific sampling, a significant number of vendors just plain won't accept them and have no plans to. The chip cards were required to be accepted under law, or a penalty would be assessed. The vendors, balking at the price and extra time it takes consumers to use them, have refused. Instead, they will take the penalty. The first one we discovered was Rite Aid. Can you imagine if you decided not to comply with a law? The Mounties would be at your door so fast it would make dragsters look slow by comparison.

The Amazon Echo has been found to have a number of flaws that would allow a hacker to gain root access. The devices (2015 and 2016 models ending in '01') will allow someone to do whatever they want to the device, without a trace. The flaws were fixed in the 2017 models (ending in '02'). The only solace owners have is that the hacker must have physical access to perform the hack (he must be in your house, at the box). Amazon has no plans to exchange the devices. Don't put this stuff in your house.

  • RIP Jim Marrs. Jim defined tenacious journalism. He found a topic and dug, then printed the facts.  He taught a college course on the JFK assassination. His books were on JFK, Remote Viewing, secret societies, and 9-11. The Oliver Stone JFK movie was based upon Jim's work. I highly urge you to pick up some of his books. 

If there is so much as a one millimeter gap between food and me, that's where it's going to fall. It's lefty physics. Don't forget to feed your shirt.

  • Marshall moves when required. He watched me walk into the kitchen, keeping a loose eye on the proceedings. I took the bag of turkey lunchmeat, shook it within his field of vision, and he came running. There is a company that makes Pill Treats for dogs. They're little squishy treats with a hole in them for medicine, if your dog won't take meds any other way. This is American Genius at work. Unfortunately we're dealing with Dog Genius: he enjoyed this twice, then stopped entirely. We now hide the meds in the treat, then wrap it in turkey. He likes that. For how long is anybody's guess.

I have discovered the best way to rip a paper towel off the roll, while simultaneously shredding it.. pull it at the perforation.

  • My Dementia Page has been updated (you see the button up top). In a move that no one could see coming, defying all logic, the facility is discharging the patient because she's too functional. Incredulously pissed does not even begin to describe how I feel.

Much to my dismay there is an Emoji Movie. The nephews went to see it the other day. Asked to rate the movie with emojis, the little one didn't miss a beat and said, "Poop." Runs in the family.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Holes in My Hose

I was sitting there, minding my own business, as most of these stories begin, and there's a voicemail from the Good neighbor. The one who hasn't called the city because my lawn hasn't been edged 'correctly'. This lady is the neighbor you want to have; the sweet old lady. She is the one Marshall has trained to feed him on command. He goes out by her door and barks once. She appears with a hot dog or something and feeds him.  If she fails to feed him, he will sit there and stare at her door, through sun, rain, and snow. He 'buys' her flowers and assorted goodies, like a Pet by Proxy.

The voicemail said that the hose was leaking and there was a lot of water.


My wife collects many things, among them hoses and hose accessories. Just last week I attached a new hose and nozzle. Why? Because the other one was old. Ok. We started with a generic hose. It's the same kind of hose everyone had. It was a good hose, a sturdy hose. When you needed to water or fill the dog's pool, it was the hose to use. Because the hose sat, I ran it over on one of my dreaded interactions with the mower. Then the flat hose, featured on countless infomercials, with very loud, fast-talking pitchmen. This either sat in its box or spontaneously disappeared - I can't keep track. The next hose either got old or a house fell on it.

The new hose is green, as they tend to be, but has some odd fabric covering on it and tends to shrivel up or something when there's no water flowing. While I'm fine with computer systems and networks, the Hose Parade escapes me. With the overriding motto in my head (Happy Wife, Happy Life), I tightened all the fittings. There, Dear; new hose.

After the neighbor notice I went immediately to the Hose Site. When I say immediately, I mean after a brief stop at the snack table and Snapple dispensary.  My sharp-eyed neighbor was correct: there was lots of water. The nozzle itself was in perfect condition, not allowing one drop of water to flow. The hose, however, had quite a number of pinpricks in it, with little sprays of water gracing the air, causing a misting effect in spots. While this is good on a 95 degree day at Disney, while waiting in a two hour line, it's not so good toward a summer evening by a house.

A new hose.

The faucet was wide open, which verifies Wife used it. Wife seems to think that if it works, it'll work better turned up full. Unfortunately this is her attitude toward too many things in life. I'm surprised the plumbing in the shower hasn't spit pipes or fixtures at us yet. After I applied the software updates and manual intervention (I turned off the faucet), the deluge stopped.

Upon notifying Wife that new hose needed to be returned, she said it was years old. Well if it was years old, why wasn't it hooked up years ago? And why does an old hose automatically develop quite a number of holes? And why am I even blathering on about this? Maybe there will be some Intensive Hose Expeditions in our future. Just so long as I don't have to mow.  Know what keeps me awake at night? The thought that the kid we have mowing the lawn will grow up and move away.

  • There is a very old, very serious vulnerability in Diebold ATMs. Mind you, this is the company that manufactures voting machines. Although serious, the vulnerability requires putting a rod through the speaker, jacking open the top half, then doing some software jiggling, hopefully someone would notice this happening, even if the guy with the crowbar was wearing a coverall that said ATM MAINTENANCE GUY.

The Gun Grabbers are atwitter about 'smart guns', which can't fire without certain factors, like a special bracelet. A hacker recently did a presentation on a number of ways to defeat a specific German system, one involving radio waves and another a few cheap magnets. One also wonders if there will be time and opportunity to put on a bracelet before having to use the gun, but that's a different matter entirely.

  • I wanted to bring you this important bit of information before you hear it somewhere else: not being attracted to trans people is deeply transphobic. 
  • In response, someone ventured: Hey lesbians, refusing to sleep with straight guys is deeply heterophobic. Bring your girlfriend too. Monogamous relationships are a patriarchal western ideal anyway.

An unnamed casino got hacked. How? The Internet of Things fish tank. After they got in through the tank, they went wild on the casino's network. This is a preview of what's coming to your house.

  • After you buy your router, here are some tips to secure the beast. They're all pretty simple and common sense, but help immensely.

If you're a customer of Virgin America, WestJet, or Spirit Air, your data may be in the wild. Check with the airline and change your passwords, at very least.

  • Remember lefty's Law: anything worth doing can be done from the couch

I mentioned that we were testing out Zakk Wylde's Valhalla and Death Wish coffees. Death Wish has much more caffeine than regular coffee. I was told they drink like medium roast and they weren't kidding.  They weren't bad but I'm continuing with Peet's French Roast. I missed the body and roast. The caffeine boost didn't do much for me. I am not panning the brand - I urge you to try it, especially if you like medium roast coffee.

  • It should come as no surprise by now that there are internet-connect car washes. As we, ThermionicEmissions readers know, if there's a system, there's a hack. And this one's a doozy. This particular hack can literally have the car wash attack your car and you! Not really as bad as a feature-length movie about a rogue car wash attacking a small city, this one can potentially strand your car, hit it with some sprayers, and dump some water. Note to first daters: you can be the hero and rescue your date from the Evil Car Wash. That would have to be worth some points...

Speaking of hacks, check out - put in your email address and see if it exists on any number of hack lists. This may be a depressing click.

In strange related Hose News, we experienced a Plumbing Issue. The issue got what looked like a bandaid. The Issue sprouted up in another place. While attempting the Bandaid Maneuver, it popped up in other places. Suffice it to say that it has become a Rather Large Plumbing Issue, which insurance may or may not cover. It's potentially an Expensive Rather Large Plumbing Issue, unlike the Hose Issue.

You will note the timing on this coincides with the upcoming biopsy on Marshall's oral growth.

Notice we have savings: Marshall's biopsy and Plumbing Issue
Notice we don't have enough savings: Marshall's biopsy and Plumbing Issue.
Notice that, as George Harrison said, It's All Too Much: Mrs. lefty has been non-functional for a while.

Marshall, bless him, has to be bribed to take his ridiculous amount of meds. We've been through peanut butter, cheesecake, lunchmeat, leftovers, French Toast Sticks, and now American cheese. He's walking around like Tommy Chong; saying, "Wow, man" and sleeping a lot.

Monday, July 31, 2017

The Conspiracy Against Home Work

Last weekend, I needed to get some work done via the computer.
This was my first mistake.

As I complete tasks, I pile papers on the floor, to collect when I'm done. It's a spot very far from commerce and the dog.

The very smart and creative cocker spaniel decides to seek out this Paper Place and plop down on it.  This wouldn't be more than amusing if he hadn't just come in from out of doors, where he took a leisurely dip in his pool. One soggy pile of papers I need.

Time is getting crunchy so I have to multitask. I have a plate of food to eat while I dial in to a learning opportunity.

People eating triggers interesing reactions in Marshall. Normally he sits there, laser-locked on Wife's food. When I mention he's not allowed to vulture while we're eating, she looks down and is surprised at where he is, as if he teleported to the spot closest to her plate. Realizing that isn't going to work, he waits a minute or two then starts this very weird whining. It gets louder. If you tell him to shut up, he moves further away, waits another minute, then emits one very sharp BARK. Barks, as far as we can tell, mean I need to go outside, I need food, I need water. So it's up to us to guess which thing he means. There's a very clever fourth meaning, when I get up to figure out what he wants, move toward the door, and he sits there staring at me. He just wanted to see if he could get me to stand up and walk somewhere. Amused, he goes off and naps somewhere.

So I have lunch in one hand, the phone in one ear, and the other ear on Marshall, who has just BARKED. I am not good with this much input, so I'm getting frustrated, to be polite.

My dear friend texts me - BING goes the phone.
While listening to it, I have to pick it up and find out what the text is about.
Back to listening.
BING - another text. He's chatty today.

Now it's the wife's turn: "Honey, are you busy on the phone?"
No, Dear, I'm just listening to the seminar, reading constant texts, eating, and listening to the dog make demands. Yes, the phone that's on speaker, speaking now.
"OK, I'll be quiet.... do we have any ketchup?"
I thought you were being quiet.
"I am. I just needed to know if we had any ketchup."
"You don't have to get so mean about it. I was just asking a question."

BING - a fresh text!

What's that noise?
"Ooh - it's the ice cream truck! I want a popsicle, I want a popsicle!"

The extremely loud truck, with the even more extremely loud speaker, has now parked itself right in front of my house, with screaming children all around it. The interesting thing here is that my windows are all closed, the air conditioning is on and loud, yet I can hear and feel the truck as if I were standing in front of it, which I'm clearly thinking of doing at this point.

By now I've gotten roughly enough words out of the seminar to make a sentence. Not a coherent one, mind you, but a sentence nonetheless.

BING - a text!

BEEP - hey, the battery's charge is about to expire... you should charge it..

BARK - another Doggie Demand.
Marshall, what am I depriving you of at this very moment? Tell me how terrible this has been for you.  Unfortunately, spaniels don't get sarcasm (or pretend not to). As he follows me to the door, he has to go outside. This was much easier when he had most of his hearing... we'd say OUTSIDE and he'd go running.

At this point, I'm expecting nothing short of a marching band to come through my living room. Or maybe a motorcycle parade - VROOM VROOM.

What now? He wants to come in. He mentions this by making the most awful, pitiful sounding noise. The neighbors must think we're torturing him. The only reason we haven't received a visit from the animal cruelty people is that most of the neighbors are deaf. One for us.

For some reason I cannot remember, I gave up on the seminar and hung up the phone.

Sometimes Marshall communicates subtly, perhaps when he realizes we will not respond well to his commands. He comes over and puts his adorable face on my lap. I pet him. He puts his face on my lap again. I pet him again. He rubs against my leg. I pet him again... wait a minute.. he's trying to tell me something again. I stand up and he rockets to his food bowl or the door.

...which is why I work in an office.

I don't want you to get the wrong impression about our relationship (Marshall and me). At the end of the night, he jumps up on the bed, sometimes with difficulty, and walks up to me, laying with his head on my shoulder. I pet him for a while, just the two of us, having Together Time. It's the highlight of my day.

BING! I think there's another text. Gotta go.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017


OJ Simpson has been granted parole.
He told the judge that "he'd kill to get out of there." - Gilbert Gottfried
Hide your collectibles.  - twitter

  • Just a short time after the suicide of Chris Cornell, Chester Bennington (singer: Linkin Park, STP) hung himself. The only question remaining is what these rock stars knew about Hillary Clinton.

It's somewhat unlikely that you'll get to visit the International Space Station, but you can do a Google Street View of it. Spoiler: the view is inside only and there are no aliens visible.

  • In a 2015 general election in England, an investigation into allegations of pedophilia against a councillor was stalled to help the Labour Party. After the election, the councillor was convicted of downloading child porn. Do you have any idea how high up this goes?

There are hotels that charge you fifty dollars a day to store personal items in the mini fridge. Guess where... if you guessed Detroit, you'd be wrong. California, yes. Besides - goes to Detroit voluntarily?

  • There is a coffee shop called Bitty and Beau's Coffee, which only employs people with disabilities. That really says something.
  • Of course there's going to be that one ass who gets upset because his order is wrong. He yells, "What are you, retarded?" The entire store comes to a stop and answers, "Why yes, we are."

Bored? Go to - once the shock is over...
Go to to get yourself removed.

  • Zakk Wylde, professional wild man, sometime guitarist for Ozzy Osbourne, solo artist and founder of Black Label Society has put forth his own line of coffee. Yeah, it's a bit more expensive. We picked up Valhalla and Death Wish. Both are medium roast, as opposed to our usual french roast. Death Wish has rather a lot of caffeine in it. I tried both, which were kinda light, as expected, but good-tasting. The Death Wish did not have me banging against the walls, which is most fortunate. The story goes that Zakk used to drink a cup of Death Wish before shows. I suspect that buzz is normal.

One of the greatest inventions of the 2000s, the Roomba, will actually spy on you. The company will be selling 'maps' of your house. But it's ok, you have to opt-in. The cat, meanwhile, will sell the same info for five cents less than the Roomba.

  • An American and a Swedish company have asked some of their employees to voluntarily get chipped, for the purposes of entering the building, logging into their computers, and cashless purchases from the company store. George Orwell and Christians are screaming from the grave and in person. What could possibly go wrong?

In wonderful news, Adobe has announced the death of Flash. No updates will be produced after 2020. This means the web and any other users of Flash will have to decide what they're using next. Then the hacking will start on that. The wicked Flash is dead!

  • The DEFCON Hacking Convention is taking place in Las Vegas. Having learned from past years, many local vendors are shutting down their networks out of sheer terror. UPS Store will not accept anything on USB. The only store that is safe is Starbucks - where do all geeks go all day?

Very few in the country (and outside) have not been paying attention to the press and the travails of President Trump. We all know I'm a libertarian and think that anyone was better than Hillary. The press coverage, plus online commentary, is ridiculously biased, if not outright lies. Yes, Fake News exists.

I suspect if Trump stood on an earthmover and made a short speech about how great America is, we would see the following:

  • Trump stood on a what he called an earthmover. In reality, it's a dump truck.  - NBC News
  • Drumpf is an idiot - twitter
  • The president, today, spoke from a piece of construction equipment, obviously provided by Russia.  - CNN
  • That's not even the real color of an earthmover - here's a link to paint samples from that year of production.  - Reddit
  • We have evidence that the bolt that holds the upper part of the mirror on was made in China. Kim Kardashian told us.  - DailyMail
  • I stole an earthmover, smashed a few cars, and tipped it over. - FB video
  • Obama did it better -  Huffington Post
  • We need Obama more than ever.  - twitter
  • The president bravely stood on a symbol of American engineering. - Fox news
  • Did you see the way his shoes were tied? INPEACH!  -FB
  • Today the president cut off all aid to the poor.  - CNN
  • This proves that the president is an antisemite  - Jewish Defense League
  • He is full of hate.  - Southern Poverty Law Center
  • He's a racist.  - Black Lives Matter
  • Why were there no overweight, non-armpit shaving transgender women of color in the video?  - social justice warriors
  • He is making America great again!  - Sean Hannity
  • HE STOLE THE ELECTION - the Democrats. All of them.

*Inpeach: parody of the people who scream "IMPEACH" whenever Trump does something.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Chester Bennington - RIP - and Suicide

This is my maudlin, whiny plea after someone kills himself.

Just a short time after the suicide of Chris Cornell, we learn that Chester Bennington (singer - Linkin Park, STP) hung himself.  ThermionicEmissions sends condolences to family, friends, and fans... we're sorry for your loss. Chester was 41 and left behind six children, from two different wives.

My friend in the music industry says it's partially the industry's fault. I'm not sure if I subscribe to the theory but hear it out and draw your own conclusions. He says the artists are allowed and encouraged to go their own way, regardless of possible harm... this makes money for everybody.  The handlers and those around the artist should be aware of self-destructive tendencies, as well as signs of depression, and act accordingly. I agree with this part.

We could all benefit from learning signs and symptoms. Depression is a terrible, painful thing, and it affects many more than you think. Much like with alcohol and drugs, you cannot fix the problem - the person has to be willing. This does not mean you can't be there to listen or maybe urge them toward help just a little.

If you're thinking of hurting or killing yourself...

Back it up a second.

Did you know you don't have to feel like this?
A lot of people grow up with this, not knowing it's not normal. They just feel like shit. Eventually they or someone recognizes it and they get some help.

Yeah, help.
If it's an emergency, call the National Suicide Hotline 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Maybe even if it's not. They have people you can talk to who can help you out and direct you to other resources.

If you have family, talk to them. Maybe they can lend a hand - or an ear.
Talk to your friends. One of them might be depressed or know someone who is. There are online support communities. Misery loves company.

Your county/city has a mental health office. If you can't find it, call the county or city main line and ask them. They're there to help you.

It's time to see someone. Someone who sees this all day long, every workday. You are not the only one to feel this way. Through talk and possibly meds, you can feel better.

You may think that everyone's better off without you...

You're wrong.
You're in a lot of pain now and it might be hard to hear but you're wrong.
Do you have family? Friends? A significant other? A pet? Online buddies? Somebody you chat with at the store?

You are going to leave a trail of devastation in your wake.

You might think it's just a little adjustment for them and they'll go on.
You're wrong.
Death isn't one and done: death is forever. It stays with you and you never get over it.

Try something for me, please: pick someone you love. A parent, grandparent, brother, sister, good friend, dog...  they can be living or not. Put just the two of you in a room. Now look them in the eye and tell them you are going to kill yourself. Wait a moment and listen to their answer. You are going to leave a trail of devastation in your wake.  Do you want that?

Yes, Mr. Know-it-All...

My wife suffers from a number of chronic illnesses; among them, bipolar disorder. When she gets depressed, sometimes it doesn't stop there and heads straight for the depths of hell. This resulted in suicide attempts. Through proper medication and therapy, she learned to at least be alert to her feelings. If she starts thinking about hurting herself, she goes to the hospital, where she hangs out until the urge passes and she learns some new coping skills.

Let's talk about devastation.
One day, a long time ago, my wife had to go to the hospital. She awoke in the emergency room, hooked up to all sorts of machines. She was terrified. Then she looked around the room at her best friend and her husband, who didn't know if she was going to make it. They were a wreck. She thought of her family, including a sister who fell and died, and the effects on the family. Right then, she swore there would be no more of this. She was in pain, but never really experienced the effects her actions would have on those around her.

I don't like talking about any of this but maybe it will help someone.
I felt miserable most of my life. It wasn't right. Well into adulthood it finally hit me: I wasn't supposed to feel this way (not very quick on the draw, am I?).  I was diagnosed with depression. It took a while to get the meds right, during which I got pretty low. I could sit in a chair for days, angry or sad or generally miserable, unable to do much of anything that involved getting off the chair. I would never hurt or kill myself.. it's not remotely possible. But at that time, I understood why people killed themselves. Fortunately I don't go there anymore.

Please learn from our experience. Please read it again if you're not convinced. Reach out.. you have absolutely nothing to lose and everything to gain.