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Know therefore that the LORD your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations.... (Deuteronomy 7:9, ESV)

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October 2014
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If You Can’t Hack It. . .

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. . .then it may not be worth having.

I tend to hack most stuff I buy, mostly in very simple ways allowing [whatever] to suit my uses better than OEM standards. (BTW, that’s one reason I dislike Apple products. Less amenable to modification to suit individual users.)

That 46″ LED TV with the WiFi antenna waving in the air off to one side? I have a use for that.

That microwave oven “Ramen bowl” designed to cook a standard rectangular ramen noodle serving? Hole drilled in a corner in order to hang it from my pot rack (which, itself, is hacked–not hanging in the way it was designed to hang but MUCH more securely). Oh, and that package of ramen noodles? Minor hack: bits of meat and veggies added make it a more complete snack. Added spices make i more delish.

New mower? Hacked the handle to make it more comfy for me to use.

Maybe you’ve seen Jerkstoppers™ for notebook computers and other devices. Unnecessary. Hacked my own. Easy-peasy.

Vacuum sweeper? Hacked the wand to allow attaching more, different attachments (from a previous vacuum sweeper).

The trapezoidal box a new bathroom sink came in? It’s now a bathroom clothes hamper (spray paint and 10″-wide band of thick, adhesive-backed aluminum foil added for appearance and strength).

Now, I don’t usually hack extremely simple, well-functioning tools like knives, but I have made knives by hacking old tools, pieces of iron or steel I had laying around, whatever. And sheaths for such things? Why not convert old leather goods to new uses? OK, BTDT.

I even hack books and music to make both better for my uses. Books: my own hardcopies are strewn with notes and corrections that editors should have caught (flyleaf is good for indexing the notes).

Music: I can always write a new arrangement of a piece I find unsatisfying in its original form, or, write new music for old lyrics, as I did when I found CRANHAM unsuitable to the last verse of Rossetti’s “In the Bleak Midwinter” (poor metric* and content match, IMO, as good as the tune is for the other verses). Unfortunately, the tune I wrote that mates well with the last verse is unsuitable for the rest of the verses. But since the last verse is the whole point of the piece, I can live with that for my own uses.

I disliked our plain, double-paned front picture window, just sitting there as a *blah* focal point of a bay window, so. . . hacked it with some pinstriping tape and translucent glass paint, so that now it appears to be a multi-lighted, multi-colored stained glass window.

The sides of our nice new (well, even after a year it still feels new :-) ) aren’t the brushed stainless steel of the front, but a “pebbled” enamel gray. One side shows, so. . . while it’s attractive enough, two neodymium magnets in one corner make a great catch for keys; a nice, brushed aluminum-framed cork board is helpful for current info that should be available to anyone in the house. (the neodymium magnets are the killer hack for that fridge side, though–used ALL the time, and better than the hooks we’d used in a different location before)

(“Kitchen hacks” probably outnumber most of the other hacks put together, music hacks excedpted.)

I suppose I just look at things and wonder, “How could this be better?” There is usually at least one way any product can be improved, usually several.

Feeding the Baby Trolls

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Every now and then, a baby troll will drop in here at this place. Always, always, always, these baby trolls are illiterate, woefully uninformed/misinformed/disinformed (and proud of it!) morons who refuse to use facts and reason, and who litter their verbal vomit with misused words, incomprehensible punctuation and grammar that would gag a maggot (demonstrating again a lack of ability to engage in logical thought, for syntax is the linchpin of logic in language).

In the past, these trolls have been primarily either Loony Left Moonbats or Muslims, but the sheer volume of baby trolls on the interwebs now that any illiterate moron with a credit card can obtain some sort of Internet capable device beggars the imagination, and so even here, at this modest lil place where I can just let “the voices in my head” run around and play, using casual speech, combined with verifiable fact and sensible opinion, baby trolls do occasionally come calling.

And what do I do?

I feed them (and in doing so perform a public service, but more on that later). And how do I feed them? Well, if they are simply illiterate morons who are proud of their ignorance and proud of their woefully uninformed/misinformed/disinformed, I may just tweak them for a while, though I will almost ALWAYS enjoin them to do their homework, somewhere down the line, and I’ll usually even give them hints to aid them in their homework.

But, alas! That will not do for baby trolls. Most are offended when anyone notes the profound stupidity of their comments, and so immediately start the slide to the Godwin Fallacy. No, really! it’s inevitable. [Edit: it is especially hilarious when Leftists and Muslims do this. They never see the irony.]

So, as long as it amuses me, I will continue with these baby trolls, allowing their almost “spamtardish” comments and responding with vicious, cruel, heartless deconstruction of their stupid comments, and even lading invective and vulgarity in response to such things as veiled death threats and the like. (Come to my house and try that, putzes. No, really. We do have a Second Amendment for good reason, you know. Just ask the Supreme Court about Heller. *heh*)

As to “performing a public service,” well, first, it’s like my tactic for dealing with Jehovah’s Witnesses or Mormon “Missionaries”. I usually try to consume as much of their time and resources (I ALWAYS ask for any “literature” they may have), in order to limit their time and resources available to spend elsewhere. I also spend time arguing with them, and supporting my arguments with facts from their own precepts that are easily refuted from sources they (falsely) claim to respect. [Edit: I also used to go visit them at their places of abode and spend time expounding views antithetical to their heresies. Tit for tat, as it were. *heh*]

The differences in tactics between dealing w/JWs and MMs as opposed to baby trolls? JWs and MMs are usually much, much more intelligent and literate than baby trolls on the interwebs, and have yet to resort to ad hominem attacks (such as the Godwin Fallacy) and threats, and those stupid behaviors are reason enough to lade invective on baby trolls. It amuses me, and it calms and soothes my mind to do so, and, from the evidence of their commentary, it reduces them to foaming at the mouth, for all the world appearing to be on the verge of stroking out. Thus, egging baby trolls on and encouraging them to vent their spleen in ever greater degree, gives me hope that they are thereby shortening their own lives.

So there: my modest public service vis-à-vis Internet trolls. It’s a dirty job, but someone has to do it. That it’s also amusing, relaxing and just downright fun is just a bonus.

Not News to Anyone Who’s Been Paying Attention. . .

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. . . and who has more active brain cells than a rotten rutabaga.

Republicans More Informed Than Democrats, According to Pew Research

*duh*

Each year, Pew conducts its “What Do Americans Know” survey, which tests respondents on a series of questions. This year, the topics included the federal minimum wage, the territory occupied by ISIS, the Ukraine, Common Core educational proposals, fracking, where the Ebola virus is centered, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, the U.S. poverty rate, where Shiite Muslims outnumber Sunnis, who chairs the Federal Reserve, where the federal government spends most and the U.S. unemployment rate. Unsurprisingly, older adults demonstrated greater knowledge than their younger counterparts, as did better-educated respondents.

But buried at the bottom of the survey report lies the subject heading “Partisan Differences in Knowledge,” which itemizes each question and the percentage of Republicans, Democrats and Independents who answered each one correctly.

On 10 out of 12 questions, Republican respondents “outperformed” the two other classes of respondents, Dims and Independents. By 2% and 5% respectively, Dims outperformed Reps only on where the ebola outbreak began and the federal poverty rate. That’s it.

The best part of the poll? Pew describes Reps outperforming Dims 10 to 2 as performance that is merely “somewhat better” than Dims. That’s Pew for ya: always willing to carry water for the Left.

Health Benefits of Beer

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[N.B. For sanity's sake, do avoid the mass-produced stuff better poured back into the horse it came out of.]

“Beer, if drank in moderation, softens the temper, cheers the spirit, and promotes health.”–Thomas Jefferson

The Health Benefits (just google the phrases I have bolded for more than just one link to the info):

1.) Light-to-moderate beer drinking may lower stroke risk by as much as 20%.

2.) The polyphenols in red wine that have so much good press about their antioxidant effect reducing free radicals and reducing the risk of heart attacks? Beer has simmilar amounts of polyphenols and 2-3 servings a day can lower risk of coronary artery disease by 30-40%.

3.) Homocysteine has been shown to have strong links to heart disease, and Vitamin B6–great for controlling homocysteine levels–is abundant in beer. Beer drinkers show healthier homocysteine blood levels than wine or liquor drinkers.

4.) Moderate beer drinking has a stress-reducing effect (whereas almost everyone can envision the stress-inducing effects of heavy beer drinking–*heh*).

5. A glass of beer is a great soporific. :-) Beer is not the perfect sleep aid, but is beneficial to some. In moderation.

6.) Beer helps promote blood vessel dilation (many side benefits–especially for us old guys) and urination.

7.) A main ingredient in beer is a prostate cancer antagonist (!). (So, between hops’ xanthohumol and beer’s famous ability to promote urination, a wonderful benefit to guys as we age ;-)).

8.) A Finnish study indicates that beer seems to reduce the risk of developing kidney stones.

9.) Those clever Japanese have discovered that beta-pseudouridine found in beer actually helps reduce chromosonal damage from radiation exposure! (Maybe I can dispense with my lead cup and tinfoil hat, ya think? :-))

10.) Beer contains anti-inflammatory agents (from the hops). Nice for my joints–and maybe yours, too, eh?

The alcohol in beer–generally less than in many other alcoholic beverages–is also beneficial in several ways, including

11.) Lowering HDL levels

12.) In mice at least, alcohol spurs the growth of new brain cells. (I’m not a mouse, but the research indicates that moderate beer drinking may actually help me as much as coffee does! :-))

13.) Moderates insulin levels.

There are more, of course, but it seems the folk wisdom of yore reflected in the Jefferson quote above has much more basis in fact than 99% of Mass Media Podpeople or politicians’ *spit* statements.

Calling All Screenwriters!

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A movie just waiting to be written and produced, based on King Putz’s administration: “Feebs: We’re the government; we’re here to help (ourselves)”

king-putz-the-petulant

A Chillingly Reasonable Conspiracy Theory

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A comment at The Belmont Club post, “Ebola in America,” is chilling in the manner it parses federal “incompetence.” Or maybe federal “incompetence” really is, à la John Ringo’s “The Last Centurion”–genuine institutional and political stupidity. You decide.

Ebola In America

From the comments to the post linked above:

“1) Responding to epidemics/pandemics is NOT something that has never come up before. The very fact that we are here, with our pre-Ebola life expectancies, is based on the ability of medical science to respond to disease outbreaks.

“2) The standard first response, backed by millennia of successful experience, is isolation of the infected community/individuals with quarantine for those who are suspected and at risk.

“3) The deliberate, considered, and premeditated response of Federal agencies across the board has been to bring as many disease vectors into this country as they possibly can, to forcibly prevent them from being medically screened, to scatter them throughout the country, and to actively impede state and local health authorities from responding to any disease outbreaks triggered.

“We now have Ebola being spread by government actions within our borders. We now have previously eradicated TB being spread by government action within our borders, except now drug resistant. We now have an epidemic enterovirus all over the country attacking children, now killing them, and mutating into a form of polio which we had eradicated within our borders. We now have Dengue Fever spreading within this country, which has not been here in any volume for a century.

“And all of it spread in the last couple of years with the help of all agencies of the Federal government.

“This is a level of ‘incompetence’ that cannot be blamed on one or two individuals. It crosses several Cabinet level departments with them working together for a common result. Which we are seeing now. That level of “incompetence” is in fact planning and premeditation. The odds of multiple departments committing reinforcing acts to bring this result by pure chance are beyond credibility. Especially, since not one of them are responding to the breaking reality with changed behavior.

“The proper domestic response to the initial outbreak would have been stopping all direct flights between the US and the affected countries, blocking entry of anyone who has been in those countries until they can prove that they have been outside those countries for 30 days, the cancellation of student and tourist visas for people from those countries, and [oh, yes] securing our borders so that anyone who comes in is screened for health and legal status. Noting that 15% of the illegal invaders who cross our deliberately-erased-by-the-Federal-government are NOT from Mexico, Central, or South America. And that from January-August this year 71 nationals from the Ebola infected countries were caught at the former border. And that we only catch a small percentage of those crossing.

“I would also note that we have done the travel restrictions relatively recently for H1N1 flu. This is not breaking new ground. It is deliberate avoidance of proper epidemiological procedure.

“Prediction: sometime soon, the Federal government will institute movement and quarantine controls inside the country for US citizens only. The national borders will remain wide open. Foreigners, legal or invaders, will be allowed to move as they please. And all anti-discrimination laws will be firmly enforced.

“I have expressed doubts about a real election in November. This reinforces those doubts.

“And it would not be a bad thing for those that can to prepare for a period of self-imposed isolation, and self-defense, during it.”–Subotai Bahadur

It sure seems to be a good fit for King Putz’s consistent implementation of Cloward-Pivens, doesn’t it?

In closing, competing aphorisms:

“Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times is enemy action.”–Ian Flemming

and

“Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.”–attributed to Napoleon

So, which is it? Or, is it essentially both: stupid malice?

Update: While considering the above, add this into your ponderings:

Immigration Expert: Obama Admin Responsible for Letting Ebola Patient into U.S.

Perhaps we should quarantine all US Ebola patients in the WH–along with the “foist” family

Changing Tastes

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It’s been a relatively long journey getting to the point where I enjoy my coffee with a little sweetener of some kind. I think it just brightens it a wee bit and aids some of the high notes, but I could just be fooling myself.

The thing is, I have also come to dislike sucrose. So, what to do.

Honey won’t do. It adds a flavor I find doesn’t agree with my coffee preferences.

“Stevia”? Oh, please-ia, no. It’s sort of OK in cold things, but coffee? Nuh-uh.

Aspartame? Emphatically no! That stuff’s just nasty!

Saccharin? In its calcium and potassium salts formulations, it’s not half bad. Sort of almost OK. Will do in a pinch, though it seems to add a slightly bitter aftertaste, in my mouth.

Sucralose? The recent Italian study that found a “high” incidence of leukemia in cancer-prone mice when they were fed “varying” (read, “varying excessively high”) doses of sucralose from birth doesn’t concern me. IMO, from what I could see from the abstract and what little other material from the study was freely available, the “researchers” should be flogged, tarred, feathered and run out of whatever town they seek to dwell in. JMO, of course. YMMV. But as to its use in coffee (an anti-carcinogenic beverage :-)), it is just about right, IMO. It’s sweet in hot stuff, doesn’t actually do anything to cancel out the lovely acidic nip of coffee, and has a “mouth” that approximates sucrose without the offensive stickiness. High/flowery notes in the coffee seem more pronounced with its use. Sucralose wins the race.

When I want to be really fancy-schmancy, I add some heavy cream (NO “CREAMER” EVER!!! *gagamaggot*), sprinkle a bit of ground cinnamon on top (or use a cinnamon “stick” as a stirer), froth it with a whisk, and drink up.

Lovely.


Sidebar:

A bonus? I like the fact that sucralose was discovered/invented by a guy who was trying to create a new insecticide. He noticed that while the bugs fed sucralose were dying, it was taking a really, really long time. More research. Nope. The insects were not being poisoned. They were dying of starvation, because they ate the super-sweet sucralose preferentially, avoiding other, nutritious, foods.

As a result, I also use sucralose in my own “insect powder” devised of sucralose, a very wee tad of cornstarch and boric acid, whirred together in a food processor. Kills crawling insects effectively and is much, much safer to use than most commercial preparations.

Check Your Creds

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Just thought. It’s been more than a week, so I thought of it late, but still thought to share this, just in case: have you checked your gmail creds yet (assuming you have a gmail account)? Here’s one place to do it quickly.

https://lastpass.com/gmail/

Gripe #3,286,169 (But other than that, life’s juuuuust fine. . . )

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Some of this might be a bit repetitious, but since those who need to read these gripes just AREN’T PAYING ATTENTION*, here ya go:

I’d like to put “cross hair” in my crosshairs, along with “on to” misused in place of “onto,” and, conversely, any number of other misused adjectives and adverbs people use in place of the adjective-noun phrase they are misused in place of: “backseat” and “backyard” instead of “back seat” and “back yard,” and “anyone” and “anything” for “any one” and “any thing,” for but a few examples of misuses common to people whose verbal vocabulary has far outstripped their subliterate written vocabulary.

Thatisall. For now. . .


*Just like such people paid no attention in English classes, and just like their so-called English (or, more likely nowadays, “language arts” *gagamaggot*) teachers likely paid no attention in THEIR classes, from all indications.

And yes, I know the statement immediately above is completely unacceptable syntax in formal, or even business, writing. I DGARA. At least it contains no misused words, the subject of this gripe.

I Wouldn’t Exactly Shout “Crucify Him!”

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. . .though his embrace of the “messiah” title a few years ago might make that seem appropriate, and I suppose *sigh* that drawing and quartering are right out the window (that pesky Eighth Amendment), but. . .

IF the outbreaks of enterovirus sweeping the country can be and are traced back to illegals encouraged to enter and allowed to stay by executive action in violation of immigration law, then wouldn’t it be a Good Thing for suit to be brought by the various states (and individuals; class action, perhaps) affected against the administration seeking relief from damages? And would it not be just and proper to press for the voiding of qualified immunity for individuals whose ILLEGAL actions led to the outbreak (if the above linkage could be demonstrated) in order that they might be held personally responsible and punitive damages sought against them as individuals, all the way to the White House?

These suits could then be followed by prison and terms on chain gangs making little rocks from big ones. For life. In lieu of execution for treason.

Flogging, tarring and feathering would just be icing on the cake.