Monday, 23 March 2015

08:10 – We finished watching Saving Grace last night. I was kind of expecting her to end up with set of big, honking archangel wings like Earl. Her dog, Gus, would also have looked nice with a set of those wings, Alas, that was not to be. We started watching the Canadian series Orphan Black, which stars Tatiana Maslawny, who formerly played Kit Bailey on several episodes of Heartland.

Speaking of Heartland, I just grabbed S08E17, which ran last night. The final episode of series eight runs next Sunday. Amy and Ty will start series nine as a married couple, and I suspect that a little Ty or Amy won’t be far behind. My guess is that Amber Marshall forced their hand. She loves all small mammals and she’ll have been married two years this summer, so it wouldn’t surprise me if she’s expecting a small mammal of her own.

After reading my page yesterday, Barbara commented that she didn’t want to give up on the idea of relocating somewhere to our northwest just because there were chicken farms. I told her that I wasn’t giving up on the idea, but I want to find a place far from any large chicken farms. Over the coming months, we’ll be taking a few day trips to check out various areas. In the interim, I’m reasonably comfortable where we are.

Barbara watched some of the basketball tournament yesterday. I commented that I didn’t understand why anyone would watch that. It’s basically a bunch of underclass thugs, complete with gang colors and tats. I told Barbara that these guys are not ones she’d want to meet in a dark alley, or a well-lit one come to that.


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27 Responses to Monday, 23 March 2015

  1. rick says:

    Barbara watched some of the basketball tournament yesterday. I commented that I didn’t understand why anyone would watch that. It’s basically a bunch of underclass thugs, complete with gang colors and tats. I told Barbara that these guys are not ones she’d want to meet in a dark alley, or a well-lit one come to that.

    I find spectator sports boring. If I were going to watch, I’d rather watch the women. Some of them are attractive. I think of spectator sports like I do pornography. I’d rather play a game of softball than watch professional baseball.

    Rick in Portland

  2. pcb_duffer says:

    An old one, but still funny:

    Cornell Hoops Team Under Investigation

    Cornell’s run in the Sweet 16 may be tarnished after reports surfaced today that all 13 players on the roster have been given elite educations that all but guarantee high-paying jobs after they leave the school. “It’s important to remember that right now these are only allegations — allegations that we are looking into,” said NCAA president James Isch. “But, obviously, if true, this would be very disappointing. The NCAA has certain expectations and standards. It’s not fair for players at one school to be given expensive educations while athletes at other member schools receive basic, remedial instruction that is worth essentially nothing.” According to documents seized from the school’s registrar’s office, Big Red players have received an education worth $39,450 per year — or $52,316 including room and board — totaling more than $200,000 over a four-year career.

    Compare that to player at a school like Kentucky, where tuition is set at $4,051 — but with an actual value far below that. “I don’t want to say too much until these reports are confirmed,” said Head Coach John Calipari. “But we’re talking about more than a $150,000 difference in education per player — and that’s even if my players stayed four years or graduated, which many of them do not. Then these Cornell players are reportedly stepping into six-figure jobs after graduation while my kids, if they don’t make the NBA, have absolutely no job prospects or life skills. It’s far from a balanced playing field. They are buying the best players by giving them a high-priced education.”

    In addition to the allegations that they were given an expensive education, many Cornell players have been spotted around campus holding books, studying and engaging in interesting conversations. Others have been seen with people who are known to not be tutors. Cornell point guard Louis Dale, who is reportedly enrolled in the College of Human Ecology, denied allegations that the Big Red program is cheating. “The discourse on this matter is fatuous and inane,” he said, only implicating his program further….

    The first tipoff that they were more intelligent is the fact that none of them were found with tattoos.

  3. OFD says:

    ” It’s basically a bunch of underclass thugs, complete with gang colors and tats.”

    Increasingly true also of the NFL and baseball, and our armed forces. I’m teetering on the edge with watching football games each season now; it’s been half a century, after all. And I played the game back in high skool. Other than that, I like to go to occasional minor-league baseball games up here and did when I still lived down in MA.

    11 degrees today with sun and blue skies, not much wind. Gonna rocket up into the low 40s for the rest of the week with some rain showers. Mud Season, here we come.

  4. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Yes. As I said to Barbara, I don’t mind televised golf or tennis because the players are people pretty much like us. But college and pro basketball and football and pro baseball players are mostly underclass thugs that I have nothing in common with and no desire to watch. I do not understand why decent people watch so-called sporting events that feature them.

    I’m sure that there are some decent young men on college and pro teams, but they are a very small minority. Most of them are inner-city thugs. Why not arm them and let them fight it out to the death on TV? It’d make for a better event. Imperial Rome got rid of their equivalent by making them gladiators. We should do the same.

  5. OFD says:

    “Imperial Rome got rid of their equivalent by making them gladiators. We should do the same.”

    Well, we partially solve that problem in every generation with our endless stupid wars. There’s gotta be a better way to keep young men at home and living decent productive lives than expending them like that.

  6. rick says:

    College football: I do not see the relationship of those highly industrialized affairs on Saturday afternoons to higher learning in America.
    ― Robert Maynard Hutchins

    Hutchins was president of The University of Chicago (where my grandfather, my father and I went to Law School) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Maynard_Hutchins

    He eliminated varsity football and fraternities. He got it right.

    Another of his famous quotes: When I feel like exercising I just lie down until the feeling goes away.

    Rick, the recovering lawyer, in Portland

  7. Ray Thompson says:

    I enjoy college football as many of the players are student athletes and are actually very good students. The thugs are a small percentage of the players, mostly the ones with scholarships as they have been groomed since elementary school to get by on their athletic skills with their brains basically non-functioning beyond the level of a six year old. Generally applies to the star players with a few exceptions (Payton Manning, I have met and talked with him and his father, nice folks).

    College basketball is another story entirely, especially from the men. Interviews with the players are a joke as most can barely speak English that you can understand, struggle to put two one syllable words in proper order between the “uh” and “you know”, and are generally uneducated illiterate idiots.

  8. Lynn McGuire says:

    So Bob, how long do we have before the jobless hordes start scrounging through the countryside?
    http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/technology/sci-tech/robots-to-replace-almost-half-of-jobs-over-next-20-years-expert-20150323-1m5oei.html

    “University of Oxford Associate Professor in machine learning Michael Osborne has examined the characteristics of 702 occupations in the US, predicting 47 per cent will be overtaken by computers in the next decade or two.”

    “Those most at-risk jobs are in accommodation and food services (87 per cent of workers at high risk of being replaced), transportation and warehousing (75 per cent) and real estate (67 per cent).”

    “By contrast, only about 10 per cent of workers in the information sector, software developers and higher level management were at risk of automation.”

    This is grim. One does wonder what the maintenance on all this automation will require? I find it always to be more than specified. Especially when a replaced worker uses a crowbar on it.

  9. MrAtoz says:

    Those most at-risk jobs are in accommodation and food services

    I better get crackin’ on my electronics hobby. Start my own robo-maid service for the casinos. I’ll have the ‘bots talk in Spanish so it’ll be like nothing changed. Going through a fast food place in Vegas is like talking to a ‘bot with a vocabulary of five words. Including “wut” and “duh”. Good thing there are pictures of food to point at.

  10. OFD says:

    “One does wonder what the maintenance on all this automation will require? I find it always to be more than specified.”

    They’ll go ahead with it all anyway, regardless, and try having other robots do the maintenance and repairs. I’m staying in the “information sector” as a “software developer.” Also a firearms specialist for the discerning connoisseurs out there.

    “Going through a fast food place in Vegas..”

    I really dunno how you do it. That place would drive me batshit in no time. Even 2,000 miles away I just wanna use it for an air gunnery range. But of course I want the same thing for most large cities, esp. Mordor and Babylon-on-the-Hudson. Also Hollyweird.

  11. MrAtoz says:

    Well, there is the Nevada Test Range, so a small extension towards Vegas would work.

    Now that Ted Cruz is going to save us, he’ll probably bring back nuke testing. I better haul ass to Kansas.

  12. Sam Olson says:

    Back about 20 YEARS ago, Jeremy Rifkin wrote a book titled “The End of Work” —
    which you can download here for FREE …

    http://monoskop.org/images/1/1f/Rifkin_Jeremy_The_End_of_Work.pdf

    In it he predicts many of the things that are already beginning to happen in our society and the world. More recently he has come out with a brand new book: “The Zero Marginal Cost Society”, which outlines some possible solutions to many of the problems portrayed in his earlier book. There are many videos up on YouTube.com with Jeremy Rifkin giving fascinating talks about his many books, including the afore-mentioned, and also “The Third Industrial Revolution”, “The Empathic Civilization”, and various others. Earlier “dkreck” mentioned that certain videos made his head hurt, but this is a good thing. We are going to have to re-think our entire civilization and society and come up with a whole new paradigm if we are going to survive as a species. If we can all work together and start with the necessary visions, then maybe there is a chance. For those unwilling to do this, and all they can do is complain — then they are just part of the problem. Which are you ? Even Jeremy admits that he doesn’t have all the answers. But at least he is trying.

  13. OFD says:

    “Now that Ted Cruz is going to save us…”

    Haha.

    Ah yes, the regular-as-rain March of the Saviors is commencing…Ted Cruz today…maybe Marco Rubio next week….Scott Walker…Carly Fiorina…and of course, Rand Paul! This is gonna be cool! Nineteen months of watching this circus with my pretzels and Moxie!

    Speaking of military installations, though, Mrs. OFD is staying this week at an air-b&b site near Fort Indiantown Gap, PA, quite the area for mil-spec training of all kinds, evidently. Most of her class is either active mil-spec or vets, and they indicated there is a crying critical need for guys like me to do the peer support specialist stuff, esp. from the ‘Nam capers. So I’ll be speaking with my own cute little PSS down at the VA up here on Wednesday accordingly.

  14. OFD says:

    “…start with the necessary visions…”

    And what might those be, pray tell?

    “…come up with a whole new paradigm…”

    I’ve got one for CONUS already; the rest of the world will have to get along without my theories, though. Bust CONUS up into the Nine Nations of North America, and my ideal gummint is town meetings and the original Articles of Confederation. Dump Alexander Hamilton and Father Abraham from the Murkan pantheon of heroes and replace them with Jefferson, Patrick Henry, Daniel Shays and Francis Marion.

  15. Sam Olson says:

    @OFD:
    Actually I misspoke — before the necessary visions, first you have to ask the difficult questions — like what’s more valuable, cheap energy (fracking), or pure clean water to drink and water your crops and animals? Frequently there are no “right” answers, but from asking the difficult questions can come the necessary visions along with some partial answers.

    You’re much more widely read than I am. NNoNA sounds good, but I actually was very impressed with Ernest Callenbach’s “Ecotopia”. Also B.F. Skinner’s “Walden Two”.
    I hope that you’ll watch some of Jeremy Rifkin’s lectures on YouTube.com. I’d start with
    “Jeremy Rifkin: The Empathic Civilization / Ross Institute Summer Academy 2010”
    (The Race to Global Consciousness in a World in Crisis)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3EZv9H62xm0

    If you watch that you’ll get a good idea of how his mind works. I think he’s one of our most original and creative thinkers. I’ve watched most of his video presentations up on YouTube.com.

  16. Rolf Grunsky says:

    In the ’70s I worked for a geophysical instrumentation / exploration company here in Toronto. I was originally hired as a photographer but in the six years I worked for them I also worked as a geophysical draughtsman (mostly magnetic and EM contour maps), flight path recovery technician, graphic artist producing slides for scientific presentations as well as advertising layouts. I also learned to do printed circuit board layouts and to make the boards as well.

    Drawing the maps required drawing the actual stations of the exploration grid and then plotting the values from the field notes. From this we either drew profiles or contours. Most were ground surveys although we also did airborne surveys as well.

    The maps are now drawn by computer, GPS has replaced the slit cameras that were used for flight path recovery, slides have been replaced by PowerPoint and the layouts are done with PageMaker. And of course the photography is all digital.

    Depending on the workload and season this could keep 5 to 8 of us busy. Most of the ground work was done in the winter.

    All those jobs have disappeared. The maps and flight path recovery are done entirely done by computer from data recorded digitally. The skill level required for the slides and layouts has been significantly reduced.

    Without those jobs, I doubt I would have found my way into computer programming.

  17. Sam Olson says:

    We are all dinosaurs of sorts. But when the CME hits the earth, all of those antiquated skills may be necessary once again. Time will tell.

  18. Lynn McGuire says:

    “10 Charts Which Show We Are Much Worse Off Than Just Before The Last Economic Crisis”
    http://www.thesurvivalistblog.net/10-charts-show-worse-economic-crisis/

    Wow, I know that he is picking his stats but those are some mighty nasty stats. This is some real gloom and doom stuff.

  19. Miles_Teg says:

    “Rome got rid of their equivalent by making them gladiators. We should do the same.”

    They also had female gladiators, fighting in loincloths and no tops (including the wayward wife of a Roman senator). Now THAT would grab my attention.

  20. Ray Thompson says:

    We are all dinosaurs of sorts.

    I also qualify on a high level. There is a lot of new technology and ways of doing what I do. But I am retiring on June 30 2016, (changed from February 29, 2016) and there is little benefit for my organization to spend money on training me. I told them so. Hopefully my replacement will know some of the new stuff and make my work look like 2nd grade sketches.

    female gladiators, fighting in loincloths and no tops

    If they were qualified to fight as gladiators I suspect they had been beaten severely with the ugly stick. Probably hard to distinguish from the male combatants. Would you really want to watch that?

  21. Dave B. says:

    They’ll go ahead with it all anyway, regardless, and try having other robots do the maintenance and repairs. I’m staying in the “information sector” as a “software developer.” Also a firearms specialist for the discerning connoisseurs out there.

    OFD, with your education and background, I think you should start you own business editing e-books. The biggest problem with all the self published authors out there is that almost all of them need a decent editor. Our distinguished host being the expert who proves the rule of course. The only things I haven’t figured out for you are how to convince the aspiring authors that they need your services and how to get them to pay you.

  22. Miles_Teg says:

    Unproven assumption Ray. They might have been Roman versions of Nancy Pelosi, but OTOH they may have been Kirsten Gillibrand lookalikes.

  23. SteveF says:

    OFD, with your education and background, I think you should start you own business editing e-books. The biggest problem with all the self published authors out there is that almost all of them need a decent editor. … The only things I haven’t figured out for you are how to convince the aspiring authors that they need your services and how to get them to pay you.

    I’m in the copy editing biz semi-pro. Yes, almost all self-pub authors are desperately in need of editors. Most of them realize it.* None of them, in my experience can pay for it. Generally the best they can offer is a (small) fraction of the royalties, and that works out to be very little; the amateur-would-be-pro authors don’t generally have any concrete plans for marketing. The couple who have had previously published novels, either self-pub or through very small houses, said that they made under US$500 in the first year of sales. Generously assuming you’d get 20% of the royalties, that’s at least 20 hours of work for $100. Not a good deal if you’re subject to US taxes and cost of living. Non-fiction writers in my experience usually don’t realize they need editors, too.

    Our distinguished host being the expert who proves the rule of course.

    Very true. The chapter he sent out of his preps book was the cleanest copy I’ve ever looked at. One typo in 20-odd pages. One.

    * Some claim to realize it, but in fact don’t want anyone touching their timeless prose. They want someone to look it over and tell them how perfect it is. They are very difficult to work with and one of us fires the other within a week or so. One old guy shrieked at me that he’d been using some word that way for fifty years and no one ever told him it was wrong. Well all right then. I guess his cabal of friends and relatives trumps three dictionaries.

  24. OFD says:

    I’d also find it difficult to edit other peoples’ stuff; design, however, is another possibility, so I’ll be tinkering a bit with Adobe’s In-Design and GIMP when I have some free study time. Design of other peoples’ ebooks or whatever. Meanwhile I’m concentrating right now on HTML, CSS, PHP, MySQL and WordPress stuff. The PHP is proving a little annoying but I’ll get it.

    I also noticed Dr. Bob’s clean writing in DRAFT status, which is freaking rare. My experience with Other Peoples’ Writing over thirty years hasn’t seen that very often. My stuff, of course, but not anyone else’s. And I even find typos in my stuff. Why is that, you might ask, brilliant hyper-literate ass-hat that I am? ‘Cause I type too fast, with big fat fingers and what’s left of my brain races ahead a couple of seconds for each word. 52 words per minute, with very few mistakes, if any, usually.

  25. medium wave says:

    For those of you who have or are contemplating a career in IT: The Daily WTF

  26. OFD says:

    Bookmarked, thanks, Mr. medium.

    I’m not a web dev yet but like to keep tabs on things, and of course I was a sys admin drone off and on since…let’s see…technically, 1984, selling and supporting DEC Rainbows for the university bookstore. Full-time on and off since 1986, with DEC PDP-11, VAX, microVAX, VMS, etc. What a long, strange trip it’s been.

  27. Roy Harvey says:

    Visit one or more of those chicken facilities with Barbara as part of your scouting.

    Besides not setting up next to one, the trick will be to figure out what they look for when siting a new chicken plant so that you can choose someplace that doesn’t fit their needs.

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