When Will I Learn?


I shoulda taken Rosemary’s advice in comment Monday and had a long hot shower and a nap. Summer cold. Laryngitis. Can’t even speak in “head voice” (as my aeon’s-ago fav voice prof was wont to say, “If you can’t speak/sing in your head voice, just shut up,” or something like that. *heh*)

So, losing another day. Monday to my stupidity in leaving a car window open so rain could short out my horn switch; Tuesday (and at least some of today; we’ll see) to a lack of ability to communicate apart from computer keyboard.

Oh. Well.

Random observations:

To all you ignorant (or stupid; I’m betting many are both) drivers out there trying to save money at the pump: driving slowly does not always equal better gas mileage. Driving slowly in low gears is a real gas waster. Get through the lower gears quickly w/o “jackrabbiting” and up to speed, then drive more conservatively if you wish. Taking 1/2 mile to get from zero to 30mph is just stupid. Especially when you’ve turned on in front of me to drive slowly. Just quit it!

Oh, and unecessarily braking to way, way under the speed limit going DOWN a hill is stupid on more than three accounts. If you can’t figure that one out, return your driver’s license to the Wackers1 where you bought it.


(BTW, I average 40mpg combined local-highway driving–in an eleven-year-old car, no less–even when I get behind too many dumbasses forcing me to drive to their stupid criteria. Just think what I’d get if the 80%+ folks who don’t know how to drive at all were taken off the roads. *heh*)

1 Wacker’s Five and Dime was a step down from the old, OLD TG&Y or Woolworth’s dime stores. Think “Dollar Store” only cheap. *heh* I swear they must still be in business given the numbers of drivers who MUST have gotten their driver’s licenses there…

Is it just me or do most politicians (including but not limited to presidential candidates) show a complete and utter disconnect from the real world of their constituents? Is it time for a Constitutional amendment providing that NO congresscritter, president or their bureaucratic alter egos have income during their tenure and for 10 years following that in any way (in any combination of incomes, benefits, tetirement, etc.) exceeds the average income of their constituents? (As determined at each official U.S. Census–with no penalties to citizens for low-balling their incomes. *heh*)

I think it’s time for such an amendment.

62 degrees fahrenheit in my lil twc central office this a.m. No A/C, just an open window. (Yes, it rained in, but the mini-blinds I had strategically positioned kept in draining OUT, not in or even onto the sill :-)) According to an outside thermometer reading, it’s about 58 degrees fahrenheit outside this a.m. at 8:30 a.m. on a June day in America’s Third World County in the Missouri Ozarks.

Must be that d#$%&* “global warming” eh? As to that…

NOAA reports on our cooler than normal spring

I thought all the “excessive” CO2 humans were emitting/causing to be released had “caused” a disasterous 0.6 degree celsius rise in temperature over the last century, no? Isn’t that one of the tenets of The CHurch of Anthropogenic Global Warming?


(Just CLICK on the image to see the full size graphic)

That’s right folks, from January 07 to May 08, the much touted if even true) 0.6C increase over a century was not only wiped out over a 15-month period, the it’s even .175C cooler than the cherry-picked starting point of the global warmists.

Of course, that coincides with low sunspot activity, something The Church of Anthropogenic Global Warming refuses to believe has any significant effect on Earth’s climate.


Coffee or a nap? Hmmm… that’s a tough one. How about both? Yeh, that’s the ticket!

I still haven’t made a good coffee beer. Need to get to work on that one Real Soon Now.

Having fun building a “hardened” XP machine for my dad. No, he doesn’t want a Linux machine. Wants one that’ll run some software he’s found that requires XP. Hmmm… must call him (when I get my voice back). Maybe I can get hold of the software he wants to run and test it out under WINE or in a virtual machine running XP under Linux. Or find a Linux-based substitute that’ll do the same. Of course, that’d take me all the way back to the drawing board. Oh! My! Please don’t throw me into that briar patch! *LOL*

Data point: I usually see a large number of terrapins crossing the road (or remains of terrapins who were–as all their kind–too slow to avoid drivers of cars who were too “slow” to avoid a turtle on the road) in April and early May. This year, they didn’t start their activity–such as it is, “activity” being their slow migrations across the highways *heh*–until June. Cooler than normal temps?

Hmmm, another data point. I have some daffodils that have in the past bloomed in time for St David’s Day (March 1) but which didn’t even emerge from slumber until the middle of March or bloom until April this year.

Well, just about used all my words up. Oh, I have more, but I think this is my “finger quota” for today. Must have another nap, soon.


Bob Doles Out a Slap Upside the Head to Scott

Bob Dole v. Scott MCClellan: Junkyard Dog v. “Step-on-it” Chihuahua.


β€œIf all these awful things were happening, and perhaps some may have been, you should have spoken up publicly like a man, or quit your cushy, high profile job.

“That would have taken integrity and courage, but then you would have had credibility and your complaints could have been aired objectively. You’re a hot ticket now but don’t you, deep down, feel like a total ingrate?”

Of course, McClellan will have the full force of the Mass Media Podpeople’s Hivemind behind him when he responds with, “Waaaaah!”

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Skeptical Thought for the Weekend

Some might consider the following quote to be an example not of skepticism but of cynicism, but the differences between the two outlooks cannot be more profoundly illustrated. The cynic will habitually believe ill of whatever object or subject he regards. The skeptic will withold judgement until the weight of evidence is convincing one way or another.

I submit that the author of the following had enough evidence by the time he said such a thing to have arrived at a thoughtful assessment. I’m about the same age as he was when he said it, I believe, and I have, after much kicking and screaming and weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth, been dragged forcefully by facts to believe the same:

“As Democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.”–H.L. Mencken, 1880-1956

I submit for your consideration the current crop of presidential candidates. “Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right… ”

Who’d-a thunk it? Steeler Wheel as the prophets of doom?

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Whatta day…

Today started out wonderfully. First up: dragging my allergy-aching joints outa a finally-attained REM sleep cycle.

Oh, well. Another chance for real sleep tonight.

Things to do, things to do… must I really do them?
(“Yes,” comes the answer, loudly and clearly. *heh*)

Thankfully (or not, depending on the viewpoint–I voted mostly “Not” :-)), the winds of fortune blew cold on my internet connection today. Ongoing repairs to the repairs on damage from recent heavy storms took out our cable connection (and TV, too–on my Wonder Woman’s first day officially out of school–“officially” I say, because she has piles and piles of work to prepare for next year’s onslaught of piles and piles–and even more piles and piles–of bureucrappic jiggling required to keep her libraries “certified”. ‘S’OK, the cable was out cos she really does need to keep cranking for a while before decompressing ).

Meanwhile, with my broadband out (and our backup dialup dead, defunct, iced, whacked, gone baby gone), I had no option but to actually, well, get some things done that I’d been deferring. (Yeh, finally back online in late afternoon.)

In the mess of things (still managing to avoid a buncha things, of course–practice doesn’t make perfect, but it does afford interesting ways to make mistakes) was a teensy lil project for my Wonder Woman–transferring the main elements of her primary office’s “brag wall” to the wall by her desk here at home. Nothing much, just some diplomas and her Phi Kappa Phi membership cert. Looks nice. My own “brag wall” is bare by comparison; I have managed to lose some diplomas (yeh, yeh, I know they’re probably in boxes somewhere) sometime in the last few moves. No sweat. Probably in a box marked “dung” somewhere. *heh* (That’s what the file Dad-Dad kept all his diplomas and “honors” in was labeled as, and I seem to recall having affected such a convention at one time.)

No, I am NOT mowing the lawn this evening. Maybe tomorrow evening, sometime before my Wonder Woman and I watch a video she’s been waiting for. I’m sure I’ll enjoy the garlic popcorn and the company, and that’s enough reason to “watch” a video with her. (Heck, I watched Ratatouille with her, didn’t I? And yes, the garlic popcorn and the company were great. :-))

Monday, Monday… Every other day…..

…every other day,
Every other day of the week is fine, yeah…


Meanwhile, gratefully taking a break from Monday (and a break from Dhimmicraps, Repugnican’ts and other evils) to jot a post.

A cardinal principle to remember when purchasing anything: price is not cost. Sometimes (often, in fact), a lower price will mean a higher cost down the road. Sometimes, not all that far down the road.

Example: I haven’t mentioned before how much I despise a certain vintage* of eMachine “computers” have I?

Just a mild warning: if you happen to have allowed yourself to be sucked into buying one of the eMachine cheapo pieces of crap

1. Never trust ANY important data to one
2. Replace the power supply FIRST THING, as soon as you get it out of the box, before turning the *&%^#* thing on. Just sayin’
3. Get some real surge suppression between the thing and any electricity, cos the MOBOS aren’t much better than the power supplies.

Today, I had to tell another person who brought their eMachine to me that it’d cost about what it originally cost him simply to repair the thing… cos the cheapo power supply failed and tooik the motherboard out with it.

If you already have one of the things (shame on you for buying strictly on price!), back up your data and start putting money back to buy a new computer. Or build one from parts.**

*“certain vintage” to mean… darned near ALL of the *&%^#* things. *heh* Of course, this is only one guy’s opinion, but… based on at least some experience over the years.

**June micro-mini-project for America’s Third World County Central: build my first completely new computer in several years from parts. I’ve tended in recent years to take discards and upgrade them to make them useful for my personal use. Nice computers, but I need to do some consolidating, streamlining of my office: just too many boxes and monitors jamming things up. So, my next computer is just awaiting assembly time.

AM2 motherboard (choice is now down to one of two).
Athlon 64X2 (dual core) 5600+ (nice sweet spot)
4GB Crucial memory (my preferred brand)
500GB Seagate HDD
Plextor DVDRW
512MB PCIex vidcard
Nice steel case and good (but not best, which would be PC Power and Cooling) 500W power supply

And a few other goodies, including an external Seagate to match my onboard storage.

To run the thing: testing out several flavors of Linux this month to see which I prefer. So far, even with stiff competition from Linux Mint and PCLOS, Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron is still looking pretty good to me. Run the 64-bit version on the 64-bit Athlon based comp; VirtualBox (or VMWare–still testing these) to allow running Win98 (for my music transcription software), WinXP and maybe even PCBSD 1.5 in virtual machines inside the Linux OS.

That’d give me most of the computers I really need to run right there in one box, without the need to use the clumsy KVM switch I now use for several boxes.

Heck, maybe I’ll even switch out my 61-key MIDI keyboard for a smaller controller so I can save even more desktop space to spread my other mess out on. *heh* I like this one (even though I have this one sitting in a box somewhere *heh*)

Well, back to the salt mines.

Riiiiiight… (Cue Moody Blues: “Lazy day… “)

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Quote for the Day

Heck, this could be one of those comments that becomes a twc staple.

Reading in another pice of light reading for the past hour or so, a book from the Eric Flint-created Assiti Shards Series. That and the Belisarius Saga series are two of the most interesting “time travel/alternate reality” sets of books written in the past twenty of so years, IMO.

(All of them require some serious suspension-of-disbelief for the simple vast amount of distance in space required for any kind of time travel–especially the Assiti Shards books, as the Belisarius books feature an apparently different type of time travel–but the stories are generally interesting, especially if one is a history addict *heh*)

At any rate, Time Spike (Eric Flint with Marilyn Kosmatka) features a conversation in chapter 17 between a number of scientists and two odd men out (one’s a cop) that contains THE quote for today:

“We’re Ph.D.’s, don’t forget. Probably a bigger concentration of fruitcakes in academia than anywhere else.”

Preach on, brother!


Oh, and another, from later in the book, is worth thinking on as well:

The ‘guv’mint’ is just something way over there, powerful and immense and unyielding to any personal leverage you might have. Sure, once every two or four years you get to vote, but that’s just so you can pick which big shot sits on top of the pile. You still don’t have any leverage yourself.

Sadly, all too true.

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Internet Withdrawal

*whew!* Glad that’s over!

The last 30 hours or so have been… notsomuch interesting. But did have time to get a few more chores done around the house and such like.

A tornado and high winds thee counties north of America’s Third World County took a pretty big bite out of our cable provider’s infra. No TV (no big loss there), but also no internet service and no VOIP (until yesterday, our ONLY long distance service).

Oh, we still had local phone service, but… our backup dialup internet service bit the dust about three months ago, so no help there.

And Mothers Day. Had to call my mom. *heh* Had picked up a “throwaway” $20 cell phone (pay-as-you-go: came with two months/300 minutes, far, far more than I’ll use it in that time) juuuuust before our service outage, so Mother got her call from me. Was short. Just, “Hi Mom. My LD phone is out of service so all I have to say is, “I love you, bye-bye.” *VBG* (Couldn’t reach her until after 1:00, cos my dad had her out celebrating, I suppose.

Oh, well. I’ll call again in a minute or so and get the whole scoop.

Anywho, good ISP/cable company. Despite extensive damage, it’s back in service. Been very, very pleased with these folks.



Why do I do it to myself? Every year I buy TurboTax again, so I can import my previous years’ data. No longer. Next year, I swear to break the chains of this bondage.

What’s that? I’ve grown to hate TurboTax. Once, in the deep dark ages of tax software, I used Parson’s Taxedge and the the software was a dream to use. Easy, accurate, simple.

Then Bob Parsons sold out to Intuit. I bought TurboTax because it swore it could import my previous yea’s data seamlessly.

Almost did.

First gripe.

The next few years were slightly better, but every year for the past five years or so, TurboTax has gotten progressively worse.

Last year, it stumbled on importing data from its own format from the previous year.

This year?

How do I hate thee? Let me count the ways…

First thing out of the chute, it refused to install un;ess I installed Microsoft’s abortion of a browser, Internet Exploder, the World’s Crappiest Browser.

Strike one.

Then, TurboTax wanted to update itself. Fine. Except… unlike ALL other internet-aware applications I have installed on the computer I installed TT on, it alone could not find an internet connection.

Quit TT. Opened it again. NOW it finds a connection! Stupid Intuit piece of crapware.

So, started importing/inputting data. Came to my Wonder Woman’s W-2. “Import!’ said I. Nope. TT can’t find an internet connection. WTF?!?!? It found it for updates, so what’s the deal? Called Intuit. Oh, had to

1. register to obtain an incident number.
2. get an email with a link to my incident number/telephone support number.

Kinda lame, but OK.

Called. 35 minutes on hold, switched to a support person and… CLICK… dropped!

Meanwhile, I’d finished my return. Hmmm… something funny. Several hundred $$$ more than I expected in a refund (I aim for having just the right amounts witheld, if possible).

Save return.


Reopen TT. Wants to update again. Let it. Can’t find a connection.

Close TT.

Open TT (By now I’ve learned). Wants to update. Let it. It updates.

Open return. WTF?!?!? MANY hundreds of $$$ OWED, now (OK, within $7 of $1,000. You do the subtraction.)

From more tha expected in REFUND to nearly $1,000 OWED after a second update of the software.

Saved return. Closed TT.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

Started a NEW return. Input same data. Now owe $115. Not bad. In fact, more in line with what I was expecting to begin with (a little, wee, tiny boost in income from non-witholding sources over and above what I’d allowed for leading into 2007).

OK, move on to State.

WTF?!?!? $1,100+ OWED? This can NOT be right!

Downloaded the interactive pdf from the state. Figured taxes in 10 minutes using data from my federal return. Nice REFUND (hadn’t figured some changes in state law into witholding plan in 2007, so we get some non-interest-paying money back from the brigands at the state capitol *heh*).

Never really figured what was going on w/TT, but after closing/reopening/(no internet connection for updates)/closing/reopening/updating/back in state return, finally TT agreed with the interactive state return.


If you’re doing your taxes with TurboTax 2008 and have more than one or two sources of income, you had better recheck your results with several different tools, several different ways, IMO.

Just saying.

Yet another reason to get behind The Fair Tax. Imagine: no more TurboTax! *heh* Almost as wonderful a phrase as “No more IRS!”


(Update & Aside: my state has done something right. If income taxes must be levied, at least make compliance easy. Just so: well-designed, fill-in-the-blank, auto-calculating pdf files that can be saved with the data one inputs, printed, mailed. Sure, I could have used one of the IRS-approved (or so it seems to imply) “free” tax sites to do my state taxes (my fed is too complex for any I looked into), but why, when I can get the material straight from the horse’s mouth? Good stuff. Well, about as good as income taxes *spit* get.)

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Third World County Weather Note

I’m keeping a weather eye on the creek out back (yeh, yeh, pun intended), because, with the steady rain, it’s now closer to the house than at any time in memory–now “wetlands” about 125′ from our basement door. So, if twc goes offline in the next couple of days and your trackbacks/comments aren’t being approved, just bear with me, OK?

Let’s see… burlap bags filled with absorbant kitty liter around the base of the back (basement) door? Maybe…


At least the cable and power lines aren’t being rained out. So far.

Update: Well, we were more fortunate than some of the folks downstream of us, and th waters pretty much passed us by. Although the flood warnings continue for our area (indeed, our town) and the low-water bridge a quarter mile away is still under water and the flood plains (where most of the new housing in town has been built in the last decade–*sheesh!*) is swamp land, the creek that’s about 200 feet to our west that had approached as closely as 60 feet from our basement door has abated. The river–about 1.5 miles to the south–is still cresting though, and the folks who “built their houses on sand” in the flood plains there are in for more fun with shovels, wet vacs, new carpeting, etc., in the next few weeks. It’s what flood insurance is for. Makes me not mind the annual premium so much. *heh*

Losing Civilization

In all the meaningless babble from Obama and tear-jerking from those jerks, the Klintoons, one thing stands out: facts, reason and indeed rationality itself have no place in the methods of leftist statists. (For that matter, they have almost as small a place in the methods of right wing statists, but that’s another problem that, though similar, needs to be addressed separately.)

All this emotional manipulation recalls to mind a brief passage from Wolf Time by Lars Walker

Get them to make small compromises, one at a time. Never use reason. Use feelings, for feelings are the only truth of the soul. There are just two kinds of people, you know β€” idea people and feeling people. It’s the idea people who’ve gotten the world into the mess it’s in. So if they try to pin you down with logic, don’t be ashamed to resort to the weapons of the heart. Like tears. Most people… would rather surrender any principle than cause a scene.

That’s the “logic” that dominates those who want to rule by blinding the electorate… or by simply using the already existing willful blindness of the sheeple who predominate in the electorate. *sigh*

It doesn’t help to point out that the emperor has no clothes on if all the emperor has to do to “win” the encounter is to call down the wrath of the people for making so hurtful an accusation (with appropriate tears and whinings about being victimized by so rude an observation).

Or better yet, have others point out how rude it is to note the emperor’s nudity, as in the case of Barry Hussein Obama-Winfrey supporters claiming racism whenever anyone asks probing questions of fact of Barry Hussein Obama-Winfrey or “shock!* happens to mention his middle name. (Why? Isn’t it his name? Oh, that’s right. Reality doesn’t matter, just reality-based fantasy.)

The end result of abandoning reason to emotional blackmail is barbarism… or worse. At least barbarians have to learn to deal with cold harsh realities.

I suppose now I should address the same kinds of behavior in Repugnican’t politicians *spit*, but my mind’s feeling dirty right now just thinking about the obscenity of the Left.

Another brief passage from Wolf Time before twc fades to black for today…

Some time back the courts, understanding the nature of the times we live in, accepted the establishment of a new class of law β€” the Hate Crime. This was their first official recognition that there are some ideas that simply cannot be tolerated in a free society; that it is our right and duty to root out certain kinds of thought.

Ah, yes. When thoughts become criminal, only criminals will think…