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>Overheard Instigated In The Home Office

15 Jun

>RX (Reading aloud): “Says here the new ‘Duke Nukem’ game is a ‘a festering irrelevance…that could only endear itself to the sociopathic and mentally maladjusted.'”

Tam: “I’m there!

Me, I am not so much a gamer, having been Baskin-Robbinsed right out of it back when I was a wee tiny critter and spent most of a weekend playing “Star Trek” on some horrible primitive mainframe machine. (That was the version with the torus-shaped universe, thanks to some programmer’s glitch, not that any of us knew at the time, this being before there were graphics or even color). But even I know reviews as negative as the ones linked above constitute a kind of seal of approval for many gamers.

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>Hello? Is The Caller There?

17 May

>Ever have one of those mornings? Can’t pull any of the threads together?

This one’s mine. So, hey, life gives you lint, make dust bunnies, right?

“Dust bunnies” is the word of the day: Turk Turon is rumored to be arriving tonight and Roseholme Cottage is in its usual state, looking something like a post-apocalyptic library. I’m tellin’ ya, if Civilization does go “Thud” all of a sudden? Tam and I will have plenty to read between fighting off the hordes and/or trying to contact other survivors via radio. And we’ll be able to knit warm, comfy sweaters from dust bunnies for the winter. Simulating any degree of organization is…a struggle.

Steven Hawking’s latest pronouncement on The Afterlife has riled some folks. I’m not sure why — it’s right up there with the Pope’s opinions about particle physics: interesting but not Expert Opinion. (This is Fame Syndrome: just ‘cos someone is well-known for something, even if it is major cleverness, they’re still only qualified to make sweeping statements in a few areas — if even that many; anything else they comment on, it’s just another unwashed opinion. But their public tends to forget. In many cases, so does the Famous Person).

Scooter repair parts have begun to arrive. Two of the best sources have proven to be Pride of Cleveland and Javacycles; with Bajaj out of the motor scooter business, these (and other) former dealers, along with the former importer, still provide parts support. (Java is still selling Bajaj Scooters, even!) Highly recommended. I doubt I’ll have time to fix my scooter this week — planning on it for next week.

Y’know that “image enhancement” trick in crime shows, where grainy, low-rez security footage is “enhanced” into readability via Cheap Storytelling Shortcut Tricks? It’s mostly nonsense; video doesn’t work that way. You can only read things a little past the smallest-original-pixel level and doing that takes the human eye and human guesswork. –Except astronomers now have a version of this kind of enhancement that really works! “Lucky imaging” lets them back out atmospheric scattering and “stack the deck” to extract information buried below the noise. There are still pixel-size limits but it’s an interesting technique and has probably already come home to roost in ways we won’t soon be hearing about (other than in heavily-redacted responses to FOIA requests).

Those are only the loose ends I had time for. Y’all be good, now. No pogroms against the infidel without you followin’ WWE rules, okay? And no foreign objects; if it’s not U.S.-made, you can’t hit one another with it.

>Comments Are Back

5 May

>…But moderated. Sorry, still just a few ants at the picnic.

>Lawful Carrying Of Guns = Edge Of Anarchy

23 Apr

>…And that notion’s from a man who seems dreadfully worried young African-Americans might openly carry unloaded guns in the (California) approved manner. The man happens to be an NAACP official:

Joe Brown, president of the Pasadena-branch NAACP demonstrated alongside the gun opponents.

With frequent incidents of gun violence ravaging Northwest Pasadena, Brown criticized the message being sent by the protesters.

“Could you imagine if many of the young people carried a unloaded weapon in their car and every time they got stopped they said they had a right to carry a weapon and pointed to the guys in Old Pasadena as an example,” Brown asked. “That’s almost on the edge of anarchy.”

Since that is a right those young people do have — assuming they’re not too young or felons or otherwise barred by law from handling firearms — I can only assume he’s voicing some sort of racist concern over members of minorities realizing they have the same right to own and carry guns as any other citizen of California.

That’s not anarchy, Mr. Brown, it’s called liberty. And it’s not dependant on your skin color or what side of town you live on. Perhaps you’ve read of the historic efforts along those lines, or are somewhat familiar with at least one the organizations that have worked to promote and retain such equality of freedom in the United States?

(H/T to Joe, who found another quote of amusing interest in the article).

>And What Happens To Those Who Will Not Remember The Past?

5 Apr

>Foreign Policy has the situation in Lybia all sussed out and they have a new and innovative strategery to ensure ol’ Moamar el-throat-clearing-sound is run outta town once and for all: Training! Don’t arm ’em, the headline reads.

Yeah, let’s send in military advisors! We’ll train them boys up an’ have them do the fighting! What could possibly go wrong? It’s daring! It’s innovative! It’s — dammit, haven’t I seen this movie before?

(Bonus FAIL, from Wikipedia’s Military Advisor article: “These soldiers live with their Afghan and Iraq counterparts, often in very austere and stoic conditions….” No! Wrong! “Stoic” is a human behavior, not a bedanged description of physical surroundings! The soldier are probably stoic — not to mention brave and dedicated — the conditions are prolly harsh, difficult, etc.)

Drop ’em some more Liberator pistols. Or let France give it a go (um, should we?). Stop replaying the past hoping what didn’t work once will work this time.

>N.B.

1 Apr

>Look, I don’t care who you are or how hard times are or how tough your neighborhood is; there’s just no excuse for having a bathyscape sphere heeled partially over in your front yard, the cables trailing over the shrubbery and raggedly hacked short, the hatch open and a trail of footsteps (or something) leading up onto your porch. It’s just not right.

(I should have taken a photograph. Maybe it’s not a bathysphere; maybe it’s an old Soviet re-entry capsule. But it hadn’t ought to be in the front yard, in front of a doghouse and next to an old truck up on blocks).

Update:They had moved it by Friday evening, and cleared away the cables. I was just able to snap an image as I sped by. Whatever arrived it in is in the house now.

>Paradox UK

27 Mar

>Maybe it’s built into the British political psyche. After all, the “mother of parliaments” flourishes in a theocratic monarchy without a written constitution; still, it bothers me when British anarchists join and intensify violent riots over government cutbacks. Duuuude, the State is shrinking!

–Oh, but it’s shrinking on your patch first, is that the problem? Do it to Julia instead, you say?

(Bonus protip: “Police were pelted with…what they said were light bulbs filled with ammonia….” So that’s why they’re outlawing incandescent bulbs over here!)