Thankful Even So. . .

It’s Thanksgiving season, but I’m trying to keep a grateful mindset as much as I can at more than just this season.

Here’s one: Thankful to live in America’s Third World County™ in spite of the town’s lazy, dishonest, incompetent, nepotism-riddled public “works” department. *heh* The rest of the county balances those dishonest morons out very well. 😉 (Working on 3rd week with almost no water flow–neighbors as well. Took the threat of involving an alderman again, like the last time, when it still took more than a month for them to do a bad job, repair hasn’t lasted any better than the last four before, and they failed to properly backfill their excavation.)

Is Your “Smartphone” Spying On You?

Maybe.

Well, no: probably. If you use it to access social media sites (FarceBook, et al) or any Google service, almost certainly. Heck, there are growing claims that smartphones “listen in” to conversations happening within access of the phone’s mic, like so-called “smart” TVs do.

So?

I’ve worked with computers/networking, etc., for ~30 years and am certainly no Luddite, but my phone stays OFF (and usually in another room) when I am not making calls. I check it now and again for messages from any whitelisted folks, and (very rarely, and only when I’m away from a desktop/notebook/large format tablet–which is very, very rarely, since I almost always have one of the three at hand) I might use it to check something on the web, but only when locked down fairly well and using a strong VPN, while on a local network I trust to be well locked down, as well. I see no reason to let a phone run my life or be connected to any old whomever who might want to contact me.

Other phone “tracking” things?

I don’t need GPS. I’m not helpless or “directionally challenged.” I know how to read a map, can navigate with or without (usually) a compass, and check my routes before heading out anywhere I’ve not been before.

Yes, I got lost once (on an overcast day, on a system of rural gravel roads and two-tracks in rough terrain, off my projected area of travel for that day–no excuse, since I simply left my compass and map for the area behind that day). I stopped and asked directions (because I’m also not completely stupid).

I like the convenience of having computers, tablets, cell phones, etc., but unlike many I know nowadays who would probably be pleased as punch to have their dumb “smart” phone embedded in their body, wired to display in their field of vision, etc., I think I can handle a lil disconnection now and then.

Passwords

I’ve used various techniques to devise memorable passwords and pass phrases over the years that are easy for me to recall but nevertheless fairly strong.

Here’s one (though it’s not currently active for ALL my password use).

Password construction: Take a song that’s at least 400 years old and uses an archaic form of the language in which it was written. Pick the third (or fourth, or whatever “interior) verse. Sing it backwards. Use the words in this backwards order to construct a password using the second (or third, or whatever; choose at semi-random) letter in each word. Use a number representing which letter of the words, when sung as written, you are using as a part of the embedded “key” to the password. Add at least two symbols that remind you of the site or app you assign the password to and “key” them to the site or app visually or audibly–whichever is a stronger memory gift for you.

Frankly, this is a bit difficult to do for folks who have neither an extensive repertoire of Renaissance (or older) music and lack both a good audial memory and the ability to sing/play something backwards, but it’s fun for those who do. . . or at least for me.

*shrugs*

For added complexity, one can take the reversed song and invert the tune, using the letter names of the resultant tune in the password.

Singing a song inverted and backwards, silently as in one’s mind’s ear, in order to extract the password makes me smile, so it’s worth it even if I have to type 60 or more characters.

Don’t do this for a WiFi password for your local network, though. Other folks will probably get lost trying to type it in and give up. Wait. No, DO use this for a WiFi password. It’ll really cut down on traffic. *heh*

OR. . . just use something like Lastpass to generate and “remember” your passwords, if something like this seems like too much work. You lazy bum.

No, It’s “Warm Kitty, Soft Kitty”

My only problem with the shirt is that it’s based on the “Big Bang Theory” corruption of the copyrighted song by Edith Newlin, which is an adaptation of a Polish folk song, “Wlaz kotek na plotek.” Some not-so-smart writer, writing characters supposed to be smarter than he is (or some stupid lawyer thinking to avoid paying royalties?) screwed up the lyrics and mis-taught a generation of the less-than-literate.

And, of course, Newlin’s lyrics ordering the adjectives as first “warm” then “soft” follow the adjective order “rule” that any literate person simply knows from having read a lot of text written by literate writers:

Quantity, Value/opinion, Size, Temperature [warm], Age, Shape, Colour, Origin, Material [soft]

Hence, to any moderately well-read person (or person who is simply fluent in well-spoken English), Newlin’s “Warm kitty, soft kitty does not grate the way the “Big Bang Theory’s” corruption of her lyrics do. . . in a way that makes the characters who use the BBT’s corruption sound “Dumber than the average 5th grader.”

But apart from that I like the shirt. Oh, and Big Bang Theory’s not a bad show, apart from its laughable depiction of “smarter than the writers” characters. In fact, that alone sometimes makes it worth viewing for laughs.

Wondrous Advances in Tools

Finally! After many years of using paper clips to release optical media from powerless optical drives, I’ve acquired a new lil a mini-tool set that has a special tool just for that. WhatEVer did I do before this was available? Oh, right. USED A PAPER CLIP.

Oh, well.When I mislay this special lil tool, I’ll still have paper clips to use (cos I stocked up on those years ago. *heh*)

Grand Theft Under Color of Law

Civil Asset Forfeiture: a procedure by which government thugs can seize the property of citizens who have NOT been convicted of a crime, and especially NOT of any crime in any way associated with the use of that property/asset.

It’s nothing but government-sponsored theft, and those who practice it should

  1. Have their assets seized–all of them
  2. Be horsewhipped through the streets of whatever jurisdiction they committed the theft in
  3. Serve a real life sentence on a chain gang manually making gravel from BIG rocks.

Should, but in our corrupt society, instead they are rewarded with sinecures, jobs protected by a so-called “qualified immunity” that amounts to a functional immunity that is little other than a license to bully, steal, and–if they can get a wink and a nudge–kill.

Anyone have a solution short of bringing such vile, despicable, completely depraved individuals before their Final Judgment? Since the PTB have made self-defense and the defense of one’s property rights unlawful in today’s Amerika *sigh*, I’d very much appreciate someone smarter than me to offer a lawful solution to this kind of rampant brigandage.
____________________________________

N.B. Apart from “thought crimes” (wishing ill of these evil people), I know of no laws I have broken that would open me up to such brigandage, and nor do I own assets that would make seizing such amount to much more than petty theft, but since these corrupt law enFARCEment looters DGARA about any such thing, I have to assume I could be put out on the street any time some petty bureaucrap wants. *sigh*

One term for what these people do is “anarcho-tyranny.”

Educating Medical “Professionals”

Annual “permission slip” Dr. visit last week: ears so plugged up with gunk I almost didn’t mind having the same questions asked again. . . and again. . . by two different forms and three different people. #gagamaggot

At least something educational came of the visit, though. Nurse dropped in to ask the SAME QUESTIONS as on the form in her hand that I had just filled out and noted that she didn’t have to ask if I were depressed, because she assumed that anyone whistling a “happy” tune was in fine spirits.

“That’s a fallacious assumption,” I told her. “I’m simply whistling a tune I am listening to ‘between my ears’ in order to drown out the dreck y’all are playing on your sound system. It doesn’t mean I am ‘happy’ but that I’m listening to something better than that stuff that would gag a maggot.”

“Oh. So do you have feelings of depression?”

“Oh, yeh. That ‘music’ y’all arer playing makes me want to end it all.”

“Oh, OK. I’ll see if we can turn it down then.”

“Thank you. Now THAT makes me happy.”

*heh*

Transitive Property

The old “Prepper” adage that “Two is one and one is none” makes some sort of sense, I suppose, in that if one only has one of a particular thing–tool, equipment, whatever–and that “one” is lost, broken, or stolen, then “none” is what one is left with.

But consider the transitive property of the adage. IF 2 = 1 and 1 = 0, then 2 = 0. Therefore, one could as easily say “n. . . is 2 is one is none,” and so no matter how large a number of [whatever] one has, it is equal to. . . nothing.

This is a principle that escapes hoarders.

🙂

Sloppy Thinking

For many years I have heard Donne dunning my ears, but his catchy lil blank verse really borders on stupidity, though it does have bearing on so many folks’ hyper-engagement in “news” reporting of current events (see above reference to “stupidity”).

‘No Man is an Island’

No man is an island entire of itself; every man
is a piece of the continent, a part of the main;
if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe
is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as
well as any manner of thy friends or of thine
own were; any man’s death diminishes me,
because I am involved in mankind.
And therefore never send to know for whom
the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.

Pardon me while I both gag and throw the bullshit flag. Sure, in some theoretical way, the death of someone I do not know and never would have known “diminishes” me, but in reality? If someone dies and they are not at least a close acquaintance, I have no connection to them, and their death is something for their friends, family, and close acquaintances to be impacted by, not me.

Folks who get all “het up” over events that happen to others they have never even met are just borrowing troubles not their own and filling their lives with fake emotions. It’s the same sort of unhealthy behavior as being devoted to a professional sports team or idolizing some entertainer.

It’s stupid.

BTW, Donne’s death in no way impacted my life. I never knew him (of course) and I really DGARA when or how he died. His life impacted me mainly through my irritation at his stupid verse reproduced here. I would not have been “diminished” one whit had he never written this drivel.