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


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.


Those lil netbooks I fell “heir” to about a week ago? 1/2 of stage 1 parts (new keyboards) in and one as fully repaired as can be, absent the new memory module (coming). Ubuntu Remix (fresh install after wiping the drive) works pretty well. Puppy Linux Lucid 5.(I forget what numbers *heh*) seemed to work better, just off a USB flash drive, but multiple tries installing it to the hard drive borked, so this will be Good Enough (for this lil netbook) for now. *shrugs* It’s sorta like a 10” tablet in landscape mode w/a decent enough keyboard (instead of an onscreen Frustrator *heh*).

Slow as all get-out, though, and the lil thing will only take a max of 2GB (has 1GB installed–completely unusable as the Win7 compy it started life as), but at ~$27 to upgrade to 2GB, that’s a no-brainer.

So, so far I’ve put ~$27 into this lil netbook, what with buying a charger and a new keyboard. Fair enough. Ditto on the other one, but had to get the keyboard from a different (slower) supplier, ‘cos the other is white, and wanted to match it with a white keyboard. The other also has Win7 on it (Ultimate–installed “aftermarket”), so my Wonder Woman says she’ll use it to play Freecell since the version on Win 8.1 is so crappy, and only available via the Metro *cough* Modern tiles. *gag*

Unless we can find folks who don’t need any more than these can do and who also do need a real keyboard, I guess these will just be lil playtoys.

So be it.

“It’s going to be fun!”

Bill Whittle on “President Social Proof’s” new clothes and the fun we can have running the naked socialistas into the river. . .

I’m going to operate this year focusing on saying to every Loony Left Moonbat I can, in effect or in fact *heh*, “Although I disagree with you, I will defend your right to say what you believe. . . and my right to mock you for being an idiot. But when you try to COMPEL me to agree with you, you’re in for a fight, mmmK?”

Yólly Yöker

Sometimes I ponder God’s nature and think his nature as Love includes a lot that some folks don’t normally consider to be “love”–primarily, I think, because of their own poor concept of love. Consider God’s “tough love” as but one example (and yes, examples of really tough love abound in scripture). But his nature as Love is often made manifest, to me at least, in my perception (I certainly hope it’s not a sort of eisegesis) of His sense of humor. I mean, really–look around you at nature, at people. If this is a created order, it could only have been created by the Ultimate Jolly Joker.

Just consider how this might affect science. IF God had desired to do so, He could certainly, since He’s Omnipotent, have created all the evidence geologists, astrophysicists and biologists rely on for their various theories about the age of the Earth and the universe, and the various theories of evolution of life and intelligence.

*meh* It’s an amusing possibility. Oh, it doesn’t make any difference to me in determining my own views of various theories of real science, but I do grin a bit and even sometimes throw this monkey wrench in the works when I run into folks who treat theories of evolution, the age and nature of the universe, etc. as dogma in their Cult of Scientism-y Pseudo-Thinking. And maybe that’s one of God’s best jokes: giving people like me monkey wrenches to throw into the works of neo-paganistic cultic dogma.

Life Hacking

With some modification, noted in [], I’d like to start with a comment from a How to be a Hacker site:

The hacker mind-set is not confined to [a] software-hacker culture. There are people who apply the hacker attitude to other things, like electronics or music — actually, you can find it at the highest levels of any science or art. Software hackers recognize these kindred spirits elsewhere and may call them ‘hackers’ too — and some claim that the hacker nature is really independent of the particular medium the hacker works in.

I’m among those who embrace the universality of hackerdom. 😉 “What would happen if I kludged together X and Y to do Z?” is the kind of question any hacker might ask, in any medium. Basically, it’s just tinkering with stuff to make whatever it is more useful, better in its primary application or applicable to something unintended by its original creator. (And, of course, ALL these things can be done well or poorly, for good or ill.)

So, I “hack” every recipe I come across. I “hack” my car (something that was called “shade tree mechanicking” in days of yore *heh*) and I extend that tinkering to darned near everything I interact with.

Case in point, a simple “hack” performed on a very, very nice knife given to me by my Lovely Daughter and her Redoubtable Husband. A very nice Ka-Bar knife, frankly even better than the WWII version I had on hand from a great uncle who used it for many years skinning deer. This is a seriously nice knife, but. . . it had two very, very small–minuscule even–things I thought could be improved by a very, very simple hack. Lovely blade; the guard was just right; the full tang hand with stacked leather plugs was perfect; but the pommel had two extremely small flaws to my eye: a small gap where the tang and pommel joined and another very small depression where a pin passed through the pommel and tang to secure them together.

Simple, less than 5 minute hack: mixed some JB Weld and filled the very small gap and depression, smoothed the JB Weld level with the surrounding surface and I’m now a happy camper. The JB Weld is even almost exactly the same color as the pommel.

Bonus knife hack:

When you need to tune up the edge on a knife but for some inexplicable reason do not have an appropriate stone, steel or ceramic sharpener available, turn that ceramic coffee mug in your hand over (WHAT?!? You say you don’t have a ceramic coffee mug at hand? Get outa here! I have no further use for you! *heh*). There on the bottom of your ceramic coffee mug you will likely see an unglazed ring of ceramic. Yep. It’s just like a ceramic sharpening rod. Make sure it’s smooth so that you won’t create a problem on your blade and then just use that ring as though it were a ceramic sharpening rod.

There you have it: an easily tuned up edge from a coffee mug. You’re welcome.

Now, go forth and apply simple creativity to whatever little things are bugging you. Hack your life.

Quick Tip from Your Friendly Handy Helper

So, if you’re out and about and need to jot down a note in your handy pocket notebook (which, of course you always have at hand, because electronic notes. . . well, we’ll just not go into that for now *heh*), but–*ack!* Pen’s out of ink! No pencil! *sigh*

Just eject a round from a spare magazine and write with the lead tip. You’re welcome.

(Note to NSA goons: Feel free to share this tip with HS thugs. I know you will anyway, so I’ll not get all torqued off about it. . . *sigh*)