Small Pleasures

Took my Wonder Woman along with me on a jaunt to my favorite “fell off the back of a truck store,” in part to help me keep my expenditures down. Well, that worked well. *heh* Oh, don’t get me wrong, the butcher’s bill was not that bad, even for a tightwad like me, but. . .

She found a Tramontina combo ( one of Tramontina’s triple-ply stainless, small Dutch ovens and an induction plate) for half what I paid for a 12” Tramontina pan seven years ago. . . on close-out @33% off the regular price. Yeh, that was still more than my tightwad heart had set as a likely outing cost, but at less than 1/3 of the Amazon price for the set, I am able to at least rationalize the purchase, especially since I know I’ll at least be using the pan for years to come.

Used the combo today to make a fritata–potatoes ion bottom, layered with sauteed onion/garlic, corn, broccoli, red pepper, cheese, and egg/heavy cream. Oh, ver’ yummers.

Law Enfarcement in America’s Third World County™

Just another *cough* typical *cough* interaction with putative “law enforcement” in America’s Third World County™. . .

[Phone rings]

Me: Hello.
Caller: This is [some redneck] with the [Third World County™] Sheriff’s Department. What can I do for you?
Me: You called _me_. What do you want?
Caller: Dispatch gave me your name and number and told me you requested a call.
Me: What name?
Caller: Junior [Redacted].
Me: Junior [Redacted] lives two miles from me. What number did dispatch give you?
Caller: [recites my landline number]
Me: That’s not Junior [Redacted]’s number.
Caller: Sorry.
Me: *click*

I should have asked if dispatched was referring to Junior [Redacted] or Junior [Redacted] Junior, his son, although they live (lived? Is Junior [Redacted] still among the “quick”?) in “manufactured homes” catty-cornered from each other. . . (and Junior [Redacted] Junior now runs the family business).

Just Goofing Around

Virtualbox on a Linux Mint machine running a Win7 VM with a Puppy Linux VM running on that (off a thumb drive) with a sandboxed browser searching with DuckDuckGo loaded from an anonymizer proxy service.

Safe?

Nah. Just maybe a wee tad safer than using a compromised TOR session. . .

*sigh*

(Yeh, yeh, old news. But doing the above was still amusing. 🙂 )

Language Fun

So, I streamed a movie. It’s in German with Romanian (or thereabouts–some Eastern Eurpoean Romance language) subtitles. . . overlaid by English subtitles. The English subtitling cuts out halfway through. *meh* By that time, the dual language “refresher” has made the dialog still intelligible, so. . . enjoyed the rest of the movie.

Reminded me of watching the Swedish version of the Stieg Larsson “Girl With/Who” trilogy. Sure, I have and had read the books beforehand and knew the story line and characters, but by the second movie, I was pretty much following the dialog w/o the subtitles. Fun.

BTW, I later tried to watch the Hollyweird version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and. . . no. Just no. Not even nearly as good as the Swedish version.

It’s the Size of the Fight in the Dog

As Peter Grant quoted when he posted this, “It’s not the size of the dog in the fight; it’s the size of the fight in the dog.” ~ Mark Twain


BTW, I recommend Peter Grant’s sci-fi milfic/space opera books as HIGHLY appropriate for readers whose literacy reaches (legitimate) middle school levels, no matter what their ages. Sometimes a bit saccharine, but that’s better than destructively “gritty” in my book, especially for young readers. Think sci-fi milfic/space opera pretty much as written by Zane Grey. Or maybe less fantastic “Doc” Smith translated though a Zane Grey-ish filtering. *heh* (The more I think on that, the more Grant’s new Western series makes real sense.)

A big bonus is that Grant’s books seem to be very competently edited, so that readers are rarely led astray (and mistaught) by misused words, poor grammar, and punctuation errors. That’s just competent line editing. In addition, the content editing eliminates all (or almost all) of the plot bobbles so common to many books published nowadays, even (sometimes especially!) from big publishing houses. This is important, IMO, since reading engaging stories with good morals and ethics that are WELL-WRITTEN can help readers just pick up all these good things along the way.

Of course, unless a book is exceptionally well-written (and by that I mean of stellar class, worthy of survival to become an enduring classic such as “Pilgrim’s Progress”), didacticism can be a killer. No, just well-written (and competently edited) stories that have moral, ethical characters facing conflicts and choosing wisely, and therefore teach good lessons without having to stop and pound lessons into the reader.

Of course, there are competently-written books whose protagonists are bad examples for readers to emulate. I despise that sort of crap.

Poorly-written books that either have protagonists who are “good” examples or protagonists who bad examples are both to be condemned as simply poorly-written books. I find both to be anathema.

And then there are the kinds of books thatb Holly Lisle has correctly classified as “suckitudinous fiction.” Technically well-written but worthless “lit-ra-chure” such as Fitzgerald is celebrated (by self-made moral morons) for having written. Of them I can only say, “Gagamaggot.”

Peter grant’s fiction is all, as far as I have read in his sci-fi milfic/space opera (I have not yet read his new Western novel), light, entertaining, sometimes saccharine (to the point of nearly Goody Two-shoes saccharine), well-written fluff that is highly appropriate for YA readers and engaging even for folks nostalgic for an earlier ethos in sci-fi, where a more elevated moral/ethical behavior would be expected.

Here’s Peter Grant’s Amazon page.

Have Fun Guessing My Password, Folks!

I want to share my Gmail password with y’all. Well, the circumstances from which I derived it and its nature. It is derived from a brief incident that occurred 47 years ago in the presence of people I have not seen since that time, and is based on a specialty item in a food order placed at a business that no longer exists. It’s a simple lil 60-character phrase that I can easily recall, distorted by upper-lower case letters, symbols and numbers according to a formula I devised for that password.

Have fun breaking into my Gmail account, folks!

Oh, BTW, I did insert one teensy lil contrafactual bit into the password, just to keep cracking the thing fun.


Yes, yes I know that “cracking” (really “guessing”) my password is only one way to break into my account. Try some of the others, mmmK?

BTW, even the strongest of passwords isn’t really much good as a means of securing things on otherwise insecure platforms/environments.

BTW#2: All the obscurity and pseudo-complexity described above? Misleading. THE single most important feature of strong passwords is LENGTH.

Little (Fun) Things

#8,634

Feeding (unsalted, roasted in the shell) peanuts to Son & Heir’s dog, one at a time. No, not many, just a few. He’s just nuts for the things, though, and it amuses me. He’s also such a very polite beggar. Just sits and stares with ears and head cocked, almost daring me to deny him a “PEANUT, PLEASE GIMME A PEANUT!” Waits patiently, sometimes licking his chops, while I shell another peanut and either share with him or not.

Makes me smile.

Puppy Love

Lovely Daughter and Estimable Son-in-Law have us puppy and cat sitting this week. It’s in the low-mid 20s, so both their pup and Son&Heir’s pup are inside much of the time. Watching their ~5 month old Lab/Boxer mix playing with Son&Heir’s ~7 month old Lab/Border Collie mix just makes me tired. *heh* Finally. . . just too much. Sent them to their “rooms” to calm down. (With the olderpup outside, the lil girl calmed down quickly. He’s fine, with his much thicker black coat and the sunlight, for a while. At least he likes it. 😉


After two such separations, the puppies have finally gotten to the point where they can be calmer around each other. This after two whole days of romping. I had to “dog whisper” them a bit, even then, by sitting down with them and physically separating them, then performing “calming massage” (adapted from a equine massage technique–apparently such techniques can be universally adapted😉 ) with them both. Heck, now the cats (all three–our two and the visitor who HATES ALL DOGS. . . and most people) are calm and napping, our two behind me on the back of the loveseat I’m on now and the dog-hater on my Wonder Woman’s lap.

Peace in our time.