Monday, 11 August 2014

12:00 – Things are a bit hectic here. I’ve already shipped half a dozen kits this morning, and I’m trying desperately to get more built. I just shipped our last forensic science kit, we’re almost out of the CK01B chemistry kits, and we’re running low on biology kits. Oh, yeah, and I just got a custom order for 25 sets of chemicals, none of which we currently have in stock.


46 thoughts on “Monday, 11 August 2014”

  1. Things are also getting hectic in Iraq. I saw in the paper this morning that the Pope decried the violence there. Isn’t the Pope praying for peace? If so, why is the killing increasing?

    One of my Christian friends told me many years ago that God answers all prayers; however he usually says “no.”

    OTOH, maybe the Papal prayers are working in Gaza with another cease fire underway.

  2. This is just another example of why I want to move Barbara and me to a small town in the mountains. This kind of thing happens in urban areas, where too many people are crammed into too small a space.

  3. And when people are not busy with jobs to work at.

    BTW, the next Mad Max will not include Mel Gibson, and will have very little dialogue. All action, and all shot in real time. As the director said, “Every car you see smashed is a real car. Every stuntman you see is a real person….” The film is described as a chase taking place over 3 days.

    Will not be out until next May.

  4. Yeah, I don’t get it. I mean, the shopkeepers whose shops are looted had zilch to do with the shooting. Given that the town is apparently 70% black, probably lots of the shop owners are too. Bored idiots looking for an excuse…

  5. Drew Carey’s apparent replacement here.

    http://gawker.com/5-year-old-hijacks-local-newscast-and-its-apparently-a-1616365476

    Apparently, he enjoys practicing adverbs. The Gregory brothers did not wait to auto-tune him into another of their news songs.

    http://gawker.com/apparently-the-gregory-brothers-auto-tuned-that-appar-1619456193

    This is an instructional post, as you get to see how to pronounce Wilkes Barre directly from a station located there. Now, when you drive through it, you will no longer wonder how to say it.

  6. I’ll skip it. I was incredibly disappointed with Beyond Thunderdome. We characterized it as “maxploitation.”

  7. I watched a few minutes of the first one. It reminded me of my morning commute.

  8. Those billions come from us, as previous billions sent to Egypt, Israel and other messed-up countries around the world have come from us taxpayers. Never to be seen again, and all of it sent without our say-so, of course. How much “foreign aid” has been utterly worthless over the decades?

    Closer to home, how many hundreds of billions have we spent on various “projects,” “programs,” and other innovations and novelties ostensibly designed to help the poor? And are still spending? Head Start was a real success, wasn’t it? How about food stamps; seen what those get spent on at yer local sooper-dooper market lately?

    Then we have the War on Some Drugs; a really astonishing success, one for the ages, in the history of State triumphs, eh?

    But our national infrastructure is crumbling, particularly roads, bridges and dams; the wars never stop; our education “system” from kindergarten to graduate skool is a bubbling cesspool of utter failure; we have a de facto police state in most of the country now; our banksters and financial wizards continue to do their damndest to tank the economy worldwide; and our Leviathan state grows in leaps and bounds by the hour. We are many trillions in debt and slide ever closer to an unprecedented historical event of default for a nation this size and we all pretend our days of Happy Motoring and buying processed crap at the sooper market and clothes from slave-labor factories in Vietnam will never end.

    It matters not a whit whether Barry Obummer is in the WH, or Bishop Mittens, or Ron Paul or Rick Perry or Marco Rubio or Sarah Palin…they, the Congress, and the SCOTUS are simply rubber stamps for the cabal that really runs the show and has for a very long time now. When things get dicey, a rep from that cabal will stop by the back door of the WH as many times as necessary to get the message across to the dumbo holding office there who still hasn’t got the word. One did it several years ago a couple of dozen times in the space of a month or so. Another paid a visit to the Chief Justice not too long after that, too. And I’m guessing still another call was made on HILLARY! at one point, probably when she was having her fainting spells and falling down a lot and having a black eye, stuff like that. And now we have the haht-warming pic of her and that big lovable lug of a hubby, Bill, hanging out at the beach together; this tells us what, exactly? While they pay zillions for three weeks at some mansion and the other clown is down on some island off the Vineyard playing his ten-thousandth round of golf while in office, which he might as well do, until he’s told differently.

    We are so screwed it beggars belief and no one is paying the slightest attention other than the Fox Nooz Network fanz and some Tea Party buffoons worried about their SS and Medicare and 401k’s.

  9. Whoa, what a news day! Indianapolis station I worked at starting as a teenager and continuing for 14 years, just lost its CBS affiliation after 58 years, and will be forced into becoming an independent TV station. They have a big news presence, and hardly any independent station can afford that.

    Then this just in: Robin Williams apparently commits suicide by suffocating himself

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/11/robin-williams-dead-dies_n_5670050.html

  10. Bummer about Williams; he was pretty funny a lot of the time; depression, alcohol, rage, etc., can all turn into a perfect mental storm, as some of us have ample cause to know all too well. I dunno; if only they thought for a minute about the impact on loved ones, but maybe they do.

    I’ll summon up more respect, in fact, ANY respect, for Holder when he shows the same enthusiasm for the nationwide rash of violent black-on-white assaults, rapes and murders. Some of them so grisly that they’d give Idi Amin and the Mau-Mau serious pause. But that stuff never shows up in the MSM, and yet we all know about it. Isn’t that funny?

  11. ANY respect, for Holder when he shows the same enthusiasm

    Holder is a racist, Obama is a racist, Al Sharpton is a racist, Jesse Jackson is racist. They have built their careers on the color of their skin. To eliminate racism would eliminate their careers so they have a vested interest in keeping racism alive.

  12. “Probably not the target population our rulers originally envisioned!”

    But good practice nevertheless!

  13. Now that Hildebeest has thrown ObuttWad under the bus, I am stocking up on the munchies for election cycles. Who will Hildy support, who will ButtWad support? The libturds just might tear themselves apart. I can’t imaging ButtWad backing Plugs Biden in 2016. I think he despises him. The Klintons despise ButtWad. Fauxhontas? Yikes, the Redumblicans better start grooming fast!

  14. Hmm. From my reading, people in Ferguson are saying this whole riot thing is being executed by people from out-of-town, taking advantage of the situation. Police reports seem to support that.

    Very sad about Williams, but why does Williams, of all people who have died, deserve a Presidential statement?

    And the death is all the more mysterious after you read this interview from not long ago by the Guardian:

    http://www.theguardian.com/film/2010/sep/20/robin-williams-worlds-greatest-dad-alcohol-drugs

    Obviously, I know nothing about Williams’ personal circumstances, but you have to wonder when contrasting Williams’ sad sack attitude in the face of a spectacularly successful career with somebody like Stephen Hawking, who really HAS had a very tough life, but excelled in spite of those obstacles that Williams never had to contend with.

  15. On Williams: there is some speculation, and I only call it that, in some quarters, and they have previous events stacked to support it a bit, that a celeb like Williams ends up dead under questionable circumstances so it hogs the nooz cycle for a while, and serves as a diversion. They say to keep an eye on other national and world events while the nooz media is seemingly whipping this up; the Prez statement lends more support, why indeed would the most powerful (allegedly) human in the solar system waste a breath on some movie celeb’s death?

    And while we’re waxing conspiratorial, why not stage riots, too, and if necessary, bus in outsiders to stoke the flames?

    So while we’re all yakking about Williams and the riots around the nay-shun’s wottuh coolers tomorrow morning, some other shit is going down somewhere that is a lot more serious if people paid attention to it, goes the theory…

    On the coming elections: I’ll also be stocking up on munchies and beverages as I intend to laugh myself silly when not crying; a lot of people still act and talk like they mean something and that it matters which pos is in the WH next term. They take it very seriously and will be exhorting and hollering and whooping it up on FaceCrack and other sites and the cadres that run the show must also laugh themselves to tears; only lately they’ve been doing it more openly. They have naked contempt and loathing for most of us out here, make no mistake.

  16. My mom did some Shakespeare in the very early 50s for WTTV, the station picking up the CBS network. She was a drama major at IU’s main campus and they broadcast a production of As You Like It. It was one of the earliest broadcasts of Shakespeare in the US.

  17. I last saw “As You Like It” played by Shakespeare & Company at the Mount in Lenox, MA, in the mid-80’s; the actor playing Touchstone had us in tears, doubled up laughing on the grass there that day. IIRC it was Dan Moran, who’s been in a bunch of other stuff since then and I can’t find a mention of any earlier Shakespeare work by him so far.

    We’ve got the complete BBC Shakespeare here in DVDs, plus a bunch of other related DVDs, and twenty-four years ago I was a TA for a college Shakespeare course. My favorites of his are the history plays, naturally, and a bunch of the sonnets. If anyone has any interest at all in the guy’s work, I highly recommend Sir Ian McKellen’s one-man show DVD “Acting Shakespeare,” which I saw live in Boston at the Schubert Theater all those years ago, long before the “LOR” empire; Al Pacino’s “Looking for Shakespeare,” and of course “Anonymous,” which gives us the Oxfordian side of things in regard to authorship, to which I subscribe.

    Mrs. OFD is in Fairfax, VA this week and reports dark smoggy weather and general mugginess, etc., plus the skull-shaped clouds hovering above Mordor to the north amidst sulfuras flames, screams, and the Eye of Sauron. Other reports are of a peculiar-looking older gentleman ferrying transparent entities across the Potomac and a three-headed dog or sumthin….

  18. Williams really was a stunningly gifted actor – and I say this as someone who normally doesn’t recognize celebs, or even their names. This in addition to his comedian skills, which were also pretty darned good. So I do understand the press attention. Why he gets any Presidential attention is another matter.

    As for what’s going down, isn’t the Middle East enough? The US is bombing on behalf of the Kurds, and sending them US weapons to counter the US weapons being used by ISIS – partially looted from Iraq, but many of which were deliberately provided in the idiotic belief that ISIS was going to confine itself to US-approved targets. It’s almost impossible to overstate the incompetence with which the US has carried out its recent Middle East adventures.

    Libya probably isn’t making the news cycle over there, but it’s no better off. People living there are wishing they had Qadafi back, because at least life was not total chaos under his rule. Egypt is falling apart, as is Syria – the entire region is sinking into barbarism. While the overall situation has always been unpleasant, the blame for the current destabilization can be laid squarely at the White House door.

  19. I agree with Slim: Mad Max II was the pinnacle. Mad Max III was entertaining but “II” was the classic.

  20. Obviously, I know nothing about Williams’ personal circumstances, but you have to wonder when contrasting Williams’ sad sack attitude in the face of a spectacularly successful career with somebody like Stephen Hawking, who really HAS had a very tough life, but excelled in spite of those obstacles that Williams never had to contend with.

    Presidential statement stuff is bizarre. But it’s IMO unfair to say he had a sad sack attitude. He managed to fight off depression for >50 years. A lot of people don’t manage nearly as long. There are obvious difficulties in trying to live through a disease that takes away your desire to live, and I would never presume to judge anyone for how they respond to it.

  21. And then sometimes it works…

    I started up my main desktop machine today, and it offered to update from Xubuntu 12.04 LTS to 14.04 LTS. I hadn’t had enough coffee yet, so I clicked “yes”. Stupid, but once the process was underway I didn’t really dare interrupt it.

    It’s now a couple of hours later. Aside from having to re-add a single line in a single configuration file, everything seems to be working. Scary…

  22. I hate those reflexive things that happen. With Mint that will never happen because you cannot upgrade versions by merely accepting updates; you have to install from scratch. I am still having problems with Mint 17 that I did not have with 15, and I can’t like that. Not sure what the ultimate solution will be, but overall, I like the Cinnamon desktop best of any distro I have tried.

  23. Whoa, what a news day! Indianapolis station I worked at starting as a teenager and continuing for 14 years, just lost its CBS affiliation after 58 years, and will be forced into becoming an independent TV station. They have a big news presence, and hardly any independent station can afford that.

    I hadn’t heard that yet. Thanks for letting me know. That’s the biggest change in local TV since the WTHR and WRTV traded networks years ago. Sounds like major coup for the station that picks it up. I have been trying to persuade my better half to ditch cable, and get a powered off air antenna. Ironically, due to a tuner problem one of our TV’s wont get the current CBS affiliate with an antenna. It just so happens that it will be switching to a station we do get and at the moment, CBS is our favorite off air network.

  24. eristicist wrote:

    “Presidential statement stuff is bizarre. But it’s IMO unfair to say he had a sad sack attitude. He managed to fight off depression for >50 years. A lot of people don’t manage nearly as long. There are obvious difficulties in trying to live through a disease that takes away your desire to live, and I would never presume to judge anyone for how they respond to it.”

    Having known some people who committed suicide or at least thought seriously about it I would largely agree, but I don’t have much time for those who do it by, for example, stepping in front of a train or who take others with them.

  25. But it’s IMO unfair to say he had a sad sack attitude. He managed to fight off depression for >50 years.

    Well, of course that interview I linked to demonstrates with uncertain clarity that he did have a sad sack attitude, constantly switching the conversation to himself and his problems, when the whole purpose of the interview was to be publicizing a recent movie release. You might accuse me of being cruel, but definitely not unfair. It is right there for all to see.

    I have been a fan of Williams and kept up with him since the beginning, but his death is the first time I have heard any mention of what his publicist is now saying — that he “has been battling severe depression.” Drug and alcohol abuse Williams made known to all, but depression for 50 years? Never met the man personally, but I have known well, some who were close to him (we were once trying to get him to do a performance for PBS), and never a hint that he suffered from depression — only substance abuse, which is positively rife among rich performers who can get as much of the best stuff as they want from people who clearly do not care if the users end up in a grave.

    If the guy had a diagnosed problem, then I’ll give him some slack; but I am not at all convinced from what I have read in the last 24 hours, that he suffered from virtually lifelong depression. And knowing publicists as I do, I would not trust a statement from them as anything more than fantasy to keep circumstances of the death from harming Williams’ several yet-to-be-released movies.

  26. I agree with Mr. Chuck’s summary of the Williams case; yet another ostensibly gifted actor/comedian/musician/artist suffers (mainly self-inflicted), dies and is buried. The media splash it all over the airwaves and now the internet and everyone is glued to it for days or weeks. Next month he’ll be forgotten; some new celeb nonsense, another riot somewhere, hadjis beheading and crucifying children when they’re not marrying them; and Obummer plays golf while the Mooch tells us women are smarter than men, etc., etc.

    Meanwhile the State and the banksters are doing far more nefarious stuff but no one is paying the slightest attention.

  27. What I mean is that I don’t understand why anyone outside his family, friends, and enemies cares about any of the details. It seems to me that the vast majority of people should just shrug and move on without wasting time thinking about it. Sure, a lot of people who’ve seen him in one thing or another may think, “That’s a shame”, and I’m sure a few will think, “Good riddance”, but why would anyone spend time reading articles or posting blog entries about it?

  28. It is all over FaceCrack and a bunch of other sites, plus the MSM today. And a host of blogs, with countless posts. Murka is enraptured by celebrity, as any inspection of mag and nooz covers at the sooper-market and drugstore and big box sites will attest. It goes back a long ways but is in our faces constantly now.

    Meanwhile we have ongoing riots and looting in that other shooting caper and massacres galore in the Sandbox.

    We’ve discussed this several times recently in the vets group I’m in; some of the other guys are just as enraptured and can’t let it go; they’re camped in front of the tee-vee night after night and they get all fired up and enraged by various outrages, and it feeds into their existing anger and depression constantly. It’s serious shit, and it not only affects us mentally it makes biochemical changes in our brains and further exacerbates tension and really bad feelz. The psych moderating the discussions sez we need to get off that stick and let it go; find other stuff to do, get outta the house, turn off the frigging tee-vees before we get strokes or haht attacks, and I agree with her.

    Yet week after week two or three guys will start off their talk with whatever the latest bloody mess is in the country that they’re all pissed off about. And you can see the veins pounding in their heads, faces turning red, voices rising. This is not good.

    They’re sorta doing the same thing that the rioters do when they hear about the latest bad cop shooting of a kid or their b-ball team loses (or wins, for that matter) a series championship.

    The Williams case has the added frisson of a probable suicide and the consternation over why a multi-millionaire would off himself. So the nooz cycle will be all over this until the uproar dies down and some other celeb or massacre or riot comes up.

    We’re suckers for paying any attention at all.

    Kill. Your. Television.

  29. I’m very interested in the trivial details of some people’s lives, and completely uninterested in others.

    Mostly I’m repelled by the magazines that trade on the intimate details of people’s private lives, especially when anonymous “friends” reveal private stuff about how upset someone is about some minor loss or mishap.

  30. Someone I know on Facebook says she watched Mrs Doubtfire and cried all the way through. I liked Williams, and made sympathetic noises to one or two upset friends, but mainly I’ve ignored it.

  31. Kill. Your. Television.

    NO!!!!!! Gotta watch my “Buying Alaska”, “Buying the Bayou” and “Buying Hawaii” shows.

  32. “Gotta watch my…”

    Meanwhile, in the great Lone Star State, someone is buying Texas.

    We haven’t had cable/broadcast teevee here in years but I have been sucked into watching streamed stuff off Netflix occasionally and other series that somehow wound up on a hard drive or two; now on the sixth season of “Sons of Anarchy,” starring the evil twin of Peggy Bundy, who still dresses the same, only darker. They shoulda got Ed O’Neill to do a bit part somewhere in the series.

    I’ve also watched “Justified,” “Longmire,” “Breaking Bad,” “Salem’s” first season, and one of these days I’ll get around to “Boardwalk Empire.” All too dark and violent for Mrs. OFD so I watch during the third of the year she’s gone, after all the other stuff is done around here. During the day I’m usually listening to classical or the local “album station,” and shortwave. If I ever work away from home again, I’ll be listening to the former plus maybe Sirius XM and the scanner in the new truck I’ll be getting. Plus maybe something from our collection of CDs, at least the surviving CDs, minus the hundred or so that got ruined over the years by the fembats here. Including most recently an early Beatles record. I get peeved and they just blow it off.

    Overcast all day today; got a bunch of outside yard work done; gonna have a pile of junk hauled away tomorrow; heard from the garage that they may have our cah ready by the end of day today, but we can’t get it anyway until Friday, when wife gets back from Mordor. And I wonder if they did everything they were supposed to do. Meanwhile the chimney cleaner techs were supposed to be here yesterday early but they called to postpone and said they’d call again later yesterday but nothing so fah.

    VA appointments rest of week, dawg to vet Thursday for rabies shot, maybe picking up our Saab Friday; wife may be heading up to northern NB again next week to get stuff outta the cottage which is evidently gonna be condemned by the Province, due to the north Atlantic chewing away the land that it’s on. And/or traveling to MA by end of month to deal with DIL, grandkids, and new grandson.

    I’m just hanging on until Princess gets married, has a daughter, and the daughter hits the teen years.

  33. Quickie note:

    Of the 20 top headlines for today’s Salon, the Maoist online whine-fest, 7 were on the Robin Williams story; on FaceCrack, roughly every four or five posts, one about Williams.

    Watch the same space next week and see how it goes. By then some other celeb will have done something or whatever; anything to suck our attention away from the real stories going on.

  34. Why he gets any Presidential attention is another matter.

    Where does the President go all the time to raise money?

  35. What I mean is that I don’t understand why anyone outside his family, friends, and enemies cares about any of the details.

    Oh, this is one of the most important factors in the success of media! Truly. As the woman head of research at the company who did our focus testing in Boston put it: “people have an overwhelming and insatiable desire to know how other people live and work in their everyday lives.”

    There is a lot in that. For instance, people do not much care about what others do on their holiday trips. But they are intensely interested in what they do on the way to work, at work, and on the way home. Back in the days of the Sandinistas in El Salvador, we once had a 5 minute profile of a woman who had 5 sons. Four were killed in the war Reagan was spearheading down there, and now her last remaining and youngest son was about to be conscripted into the army to fight the Contras. The mother was appealing the conscription, and we followed her through the day of the appeal. The piece was about 5 minutes long, and the producer of that show thought it was the weakest piece of work he had ever done (and he had worked in Lebanon for ABC during the early part of the civil war that broke out there in 1976). I told him that he was wrong and put that show to a focus test. That 5 minute segment shot through the roof in tracking interest level. Not only did it exceed the interest level of every other part of that show, it was way above the average interest level of other weeks of the program. (The El Salvadoran woman’s son was not conscripted BTW.)

    Another factor is that TV and movies expose actors and TV hosts to audiences in such a way that people truly believe they know those celebrities as well as their best friends. I have witnessed this many times over during my TV career. And that is the main reason I believe a large degree of anonymity is important for safety. Were I advising anyone entering the business today, I would urge them not to use anything close to their real name on air, and to be careful how they exposed themselves in public forums. Those looking for maximum public exposure (outside the TV and movie studios) are at greatest risk. When we lived in Chicago, my name was not in the phone book (we were under my wife’s maiden name). I got enough ominous calls at work, I did not need them (or perhaps a live visit) at home.

    As Greg points out, this is human nature.

  36. That’s the biggest change in local TV since the WTHR and WRTV traded networks years ago.

    That was a swap of ABC and NBC. At the time, ABC was king of the hill, but WTHR was a distant third in news ratings (this was before NBC rose to the top with The Cosby Show, Cheers, Wings, Seinfeld, Miami Vice, The Golden Girls, Hill Street Blues, L.A. Law, Law & Order, Family Ties, Knight Rider, The A-Team, St. Elsewhere, Matlock, and Remington Steele among even more). The NBC affiliate in Indy, WRTV, had #1 news for eons, and ABC wanted that when they were #1 in the days of Ted Koppel and Jimmy Carter.

    The irony is that immediately after the switch, NBC became the solid #1 with all those above shows Brandon Tartikoff brought to that network, WTHR, now #1 with the new NBC, made a serious commitment to news, and the station ABC moved to is now #3 and WTHR has been #1 news since shortly after that switch.

    Second issue is technical coverage. Everyone tells me they have lots of trouble receiving the WISH signal, but no problem at all with WTTV. So CBS gets a boost in signal power when they switch to WTTV.

    I cannot really feel sorry for my old station. This is EXACTLY what you get when you put salesmen in charge of a station. Nobody who is serious about the business does that. If you take bigger markets (or networks) and look at the successes, it’s not salesmen running the place. All they know is how to fill out an order form, and let’s be quite frank: for TV sales during the last 40 years, all you need to be successful in that job is a telephone to take calls, a sharp pencil, and an order form. The last 20 years at WISH has been dominated by salesmen in charge. Last guy was fired just a couple months ago for losing so many on-air people in the newsroom, including the weather woman, who switched to WTHR and made their already #1 ratings spike even higher. A salesman in that job does not even know what he is up against. Quite obvious now that WISH lost their #1 rated network affiliation. I can tell you that WTTV parent company, Tribune, puts real programmers in charge. With salesmen busy minding order forms, WISH never even saw the train that hit them coming.

  37. Second issue is technical coverage. Everyone tells me they have lots of trouble receiving the WISH signal, but no problem at all with WTTV. So CBS gets a boost in signal power when they switch to WTTV.

    For us the Channel 8 signal is fine in our area. It’s just one of our televisions. My father in law told me how to fix the TV, but there is not much point as we have cable.

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