Thursday, 18 September 2014

07:39 – Barbara leaves at oh-dark-thirty Sunday morning. She and her friend Marcy are taking a bus tour to visit The Hamptons, on the eastern tip of Lon Gisland. Colin and I are planning an entire week of wild women/bitches and parties.

Kit sales continue at a decent rate, ahead of last September’s. It seems that every time I get a new batch of one type of kit built, I’m running short of another type and need to start a new batch of them. At this point, we’re in good shape on chemistry kits, but down to less than a dozen biology kits and only five forensic kits in stock. So I’ll get started today and tomorrow on building more of those.


12:59 – After discussing it with Colin, we’ve decided to skip the wild-women thing while Barbara is gone. As Colin pointed out, we’re only three episodes short of finishing Heartland S7 (again). That means we can jump back to Heartland S1E1 and start all over (again). We should be able to get through the 31 episodes in S1 and S2 (again) by the time Barbara returns, and possibly get started on S3 (again).

Colin doesn’t enjoy Heartland as much as I do, but he’ll watch it some of the time. (He particularly likes it when Amy croons, “Good boy!”) But he spends most of the time while I’m trying to watch by sending thought waves at me. “Throw the ball. Throw the ball.” Those are surprisingly effective. Sometimes I pick up the ball and throw it without realizing that I’m doing it. Many Border Collie owners will tell you that Border Collies are easy to train. Most Border Collies will tell you that their owners are easy to train, which is nearer the truth.

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79 Responses to Thursday, 18 September 2014

  1. Ray Thompson says:

    Lon Gisland

    ?

  2. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Sorry. New Yorkers tend to pronounce Long Island by attaching the “g” in “long” to the beginning of “island”.

  3. Miles_Teg says:

    I hope you consulted Colin about the party invitations. He might not be inclined towards bitches… 🙂

  4. MrAtoz says:

    Wow, Obummer is going to personally approve each airstrike in Syria. That’s exactly what a dope would do. As Newt said, stick to golf. Talk about ineffective policy.

  5. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    So, the president is taking on the role of an O-4 or O-5? From what I’ve seen, he’s under-qualified.

  6. Chuck W says:

    Baffling what he hopes to accomplish. Seems to me from a PR standpoint, it makes him ever more the responsible and accountable person for failures. Would he not want to avoid that and let someone else make the decisions?

    This guy is truly breaking down in the rationality department. Or his minions are just 110% incompetent.

  7. pcb_duffer says:

    I’ve always heard it closer to ‘Lawn Guylan’ with the first word stretched a bit. But at least it’s not as bad as the aberrant English in Boston / New England.

  8. Chuck W says:

    Hey! Me ‘n’ OFD resemble that remahk. Get in the cah. We’s takin’ ya fah, fah away to Whitey Buljuh in Cuber.

    Oh, look. Ya drappt ya qwahtuh. Fer shoe-ah.

  9. Lynn McGuire says:

    “Microsoft Believes It is Going to Die”
    http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2468651,00.asp

    I thought PC magazine was dead.

  10. Ray Thompson says:

    AB day today. Took a little walk around campus for lunch. Took this panorama with my iPhone.

    http://www.raymondthompsonphotography.com/IMG_0576.JPG

  11. Chuck W says:

    Where are all the students?

  12. medium wave says:

    Wow, Obummer is going to personally approve each airstrike in Syria.

    Apparently BHO has never studied how well micro-managing military campaigns worked out for he-who-shall-not be-named (for fear of invoking Godwin’s law) during WWII.

    Or should I just shorten that to “BHO has never studied”?

  13. Ray Thompson says:

    Where are all the students?

    I timed it so that the students were in class. Left the office about 12:30 which is the end of many classes with the next classes starting at 1:00. Notice the clock is slightly before 1:00. Did not want a cluster students in the picture.

  14. Lynn McGuire says:

    I just want to know how Obummer is going to identify the moderate rebels in Syria. The stories that I am hearing say that all the Syrian rebels are Islamic fanatics and killing Christians, pulling down Christian churches, etc.

  15. Dave B. says:

    I just want to know how Obummer is going to identify the moderate rebels in Syria. The stories that I am hearing say that all the Syrian rebels are Islamic fanatics and killing Christians, pulling down Christian churches, etc.

    Don’t be silly, he isn’t even going to try. There is only one way to identify the moderate rebels, and it’s too politically incorrect. The moderate rebels are the ones being killed and having their churches demolished.

  16. Dave B. says:

    Apparently BHO has never studied how well micro-managing military campaigns worked out for he-who-shall-not be-named (for fear of invoking Godwin’s law) during WWII.

    I was thinking of LBJ and Vietnam. But what do I know, I was 4 when he left office.

  17. medium wave says:

    I considered mentioning LBJ and Vietnam.

    According to what I’ve read, LBJ was so militarily incompetent that he couldn’t even read a map, and had to have strategy and tactics explained to him via tabletop sandbox models. Wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if this described BHO as well.

  18. MrAtoz says:

    I just had a ridiculous and sickening thought. Obummer putting himself in for the Congressional MoH. I wouldn’t put it past him since he is now our “warrior” President. A perfect last act for a dem Congress to honor our “hero.” Excuse me while I vomit my guts out.

  19. medium wave says:

    A CMOH would look good on the mantelpiece, right next to his Nobel Peace Prize–and would be equally deserved.

  20. Lynn McGuire says:

    To update on the cell phone tower, Verizon offered $850/month plus a ten percent increase every five years. I countered at $950/month and a four percent increase each year. They countered at $950/month and a two percent increase each year. The wife and I are considering this. The lease will start with construction.

    The cell phone tower is going to be 165 feet tall. There will be a propane backup generator. There will be fiber pull to it via the AT&T fiber from the front of my property.

    My property insurance will require a new cell phone tower rider of $550/year.

    I am sure that my neighbors will just love it. Especially the red blinky light at the top during the night.

  21. pcb_duffer says:

    Okay, I’ll bite. What campus?

  22. Ray Thompson says:

    University of Tennessee Knoxville Tennessee.

  23. Chuck W says:

    That is probably as good as you are going to get on the tower. These towers have become a cut-throat business. As my friend in that business says: the phone companies have enough alternatives these days that they do not need anybody in particular — they have other options in nearly every case. The moving ahead of technology has allowed them to get out from under a lot of early contracts that really enriched those who got them. Cell phone companies have learned their lessons along the way, and realize they do not have to pay anybody thousands per month, as they once did, in order to get what they need.

    You didn’t mention the contract length (that I recall). Five years is standard. That would give you the option to renegotiate for more yearly increase, should insurance go up more than the 2% they offer — and I am sure it will. Ours went up 8% at the past renewal, but we are not exactly insuring for the same thing. That is liability for the entire station, including somebody suing us for something inflammatory that might be said on-air.

    I doubt you are tall enough to require any lighting at all. Under 200 feet normally is iffy. There are a lot of cell towers around me with no painting or lighting at all. Light is more likely to be a white strobe. The FCC determines whether lighting and painting are necessary, but they first consult with the FAA. If the phone company has not already started that process, then it may take longer to get going than you think. The FCC is not fast about anything.

    All of these tower approvals and licensing are a matter of public record. You can check the FCC and FAA sites to find out how things are progressing. Both of them have messed with their formerly well-organized sites, and they are now a nightmare to navigate. I would post some links, but they are pretty useless nowadays. You just have to spend time poking around until you find what you are looking for. Start with new applications at the FCC. Not sure whether you can search by coordinates anymore. That used to be possible, but I have not had occasion to try it since the FCC’s massive reorganization of their website.

  24. OFD says:

    ” But at least it’s not as bad as the aberrant English in Boston / New England.”

    What??!! Heresy!! But dat’s OK, Mr. Chuck already got ya. Take dat! For comic relief, there are any numbuh of vids on the Toob featuring Boston English. Including Papi Ortiz teaching us how to speak it.

    “I thought PC magazine was dead.”

    Dvorak amirite? I just read that same piece yesterday online; also the one about Linux never having the killer app and thus, dead as a doornail. Which is pretty much true on the desktop and probably in radio, although one of my kid predecessors at work and now away at college in New Hampshuh got on their radio station staff right away and is building many TB of databases for them in Linux and trying out different file systems, too. And of course enterprise-level server farms and data centers, and web servers. For desktops and laptops, Windoze; I’m stuck dealing with both from now on, looks like.

    El Jefe, El Presidente, the Emperor, Barry Soetero, or whatever his damn name is; yeah, he’s a real pissah. Gonna sign off on each air strike; that’s pretty much, by the way, what Mad Dog LBJ did, you know, the murderer of Saint Jack. Yeah, he probably signed off on that, too, if not actually ordered it. I just read several autobiographies of USAF jet jockeys, and man, just like the rest of us, they were sent in with both hands tied behind their backs and blindfolded, most of the time. Critical intel on enemy sites kept from them, repeatedly and consistently. Left to rot as POW’s in Hanoi and thereafter. Etc. Speaking of making my boil again…

    WSJ nooz squirt just now: “U.S. Senate passes government funding bill, authorizes arming of Syrian rebels.”

    Didn’t we just see that movie? Wherein the ISIS crackpot butchers already have a bunch of our weapons? And I don’t recall that I was consulted on this latest ripoff of my damn tax money….Ima gon call my senators tomorrow and check their vote on it accordingly. Make sure I’m on the right list.

    “Home Depot says data breach put 56 million cards at risk and malware has been eliminated.” Yeah, OK. Pretty funny how all these big-box chains keep getting hit.

    “Larry Ellison is stepping down as CEO of Oracle, turning over the firm to Mark Hurd and Safra Catz.” Yet another billionaire megalomaniac and a real dickhead, too. As if he’ll actually give up any control. I have to work with the MySQL stuff periodically and first chance I get I’m migrating it to MariaDB.

    Gotta work late tomorrow and reboot the Windows Server 2003, LOL, and Exchange 2007. Then I gotta work Saturday morning, too, and go through the whole place’s PC’s and laptops with a fine-tooth scanning comb, looking for malware, viruses, and the crap they put on them; most of them using IE and completely unaware that other browsers exist. Mrs. OFD will either be home late tomorrow night or on Saturday and sticking around for a week before leaving again. But watch one of the other fems put a monkey wrench into that with some demand or other.

    Frost warning for tonight in northern Vermont, except for the Champlain Islands, which we are real close to, so it’s a toss-up; I brought some plants inside just in case. Also mowed the lawn.

  25. Jim B says:

    I used to think soldiers waged war, but ever since Vietnam the lawyers have been in charge:
    http://online.wsj.com/articles/danhenninger-g-i-joe-in-lilliput-1410996526
    In an interview on a business show, Henninger said all is not lost. A future president could countermand most of this if he had the will. Right now, no will, no way.

  26. Chuck W says:

    Wow. You have only 14,000 fewer students than my alma mater, Indiana University. But you cannot get a picture like that during any daylight hour, anywhere on campus, as dozens of students are everywhere moving all day long. The only time you see a shot like that is between spring and summer session when the winter students go home. Enough people stay between sessions in winter that the campus is always busy between sessions, and orientation between summer and fall keeps a lot of students on campus. IU has a total enrollment of about 42,000. Of that, 8,500 students are foreigners — mostly Asian. LOTS of good Asian food in that town these days!

  27. Lynn McGuire says:

    You didn’t mention the contract length (that I recall). Five years is standard. That would give you the option to renegotiate for more yearly increase, should insurance go up more than the 2% they offer — and I am sure it will.

    Five years per time period with up to four extensions at the lessee’s option. I assume that they will re-up every time with the cost to erect that tower, I figure around a million dollars. The monthly rent is:

    Year $ / month
    1 $950
    2 $969
    3 $988
    4 $1,008
    5 $1,028
    6 $1,049
    7 $1,070
    8 $1,091
    9 $1,113
    10 $1,135
    11 $1,158
    12 $1,181
    13 $1,205
    14 $1,229
    15 $1,254
    16 $1,279
    17 $1,304
    18 $1,330
    19 $1,357
    20 $1,384
    21 $1,412
    22 $1,440
    23 $1,469
    24 $1,498
    25 $1,528

    The first thing that they have to do is an environmental inspection. I had that done when I bought the place back in 2011 and paid $4,000 for it.

  28. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    I used to shoot static scenes and remove people, moving vehicles, etc. by using very long time exposures, sometimes 12 hours or more, with a stack of ND filters. Of course, that played Hob with shadows, etc. and differential reciprocity departure issues gave weird results on color print or slide film. As a result, I sometimes shot with what amounted to Technicolor technology–beam splitters and color separation filters, which meant I had to do the final prints by dye transfer. Those were the good old days.

  29. Chuck W says:

    Wow! You were photoshopping before Photoshop.

  30. SteveF says:

    The truth finally comes out! RBT worked for the USSR’s Ministry of Truth, removing unpersons from photographs with pre-Photoshop Photoshop techniques.

  31. Jim B says:

    Wow. Manipulation of real life, RBT! I did some of that, too. Promised myself I would keep my hands dry, so now mostly use digiKam. The ease is addictive. The results are better than in the old days. The time spent is sooo much less, that I do more, which overcompensates. Still fun. These conpooter thingies are addictive! Sure wish the software could keep up with the hardware. If so, maybe the wetware (brain) would be challenged more.

  32. Chuck W says:

    Early results point to a substantial No vote on Scottish independence. One pollster said the size of the No victory could be shattering to the Yes side.

    I’ll hear the final outcome in the shower tomorrow morning.

  33. OFD says:

    For those who just can’t get enough of that great Masshole accent:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ao3lqNqXZrg

  34. OFD says:

    I have a wee bit o’ Scots blood and DNA but dinna give a blind rat’s ass which side comes out on top over there. Either way the place is a fookin’ wasteland.

  35. SteveF says:

    If the Scottish people on average had some gumption and some self-respect, they’d be better off independent. Use the oil money to improve their schools, cut the taxes way back, cut the entitlements way back. They could pull it off in a country of 5 million, where a country of 50 million would have too much inertia.

    But that’s not what the Scot-on-the-street wanted. She wanted an increase in entitlement payments, and wanted the English to stop stealing their oil money, and wanted those filthy nuke subs out of their ports.

    Considering the welfare parasite mentality that seems prevalent in Scotland, sad to say the best they can do is to continue sucking at the English teat.

  36. OFD says:

    Agreed.

    And a lot of the pageantry and mythology bullshit bandied about for the last couple of hundred years concerning how wonderful and picturesque the place and its people are, can be dismissed after reading some of the actual history between, say, 1200 and 1745. I seriously doubt there has been more backstabbing, treachery, murder, betrayal and kneeling before the English lords they love to hate, than in that place.

    We have not much room to wax superior, though; half our population is the same way; dependent on what the lords in Mordor decree for them, almost totally. And we don’t have all them tartan plaids and bagpipes and drums and bonnie lassies; no, our orcs dress like fat cub scouts everywhere they go; 4XLT tee shirts hanging down to their knees; baggy shorts sagging to mid-calves, which are of course nicely tattooed, and topped off by the ubiquitous baseball hat, maybe with a little ear or nose stud. Their wimmenz are real hotties, too; twice as fat, with greasy hair pulled back in tight buns, and usually wearing spandex tights so as to show off their gorgeous bods, also with plenty of tattoo ink.

    As Mr. Chuck sez sometimes, what a country!

  37. SteveF says:

    Well, OFD, there’s one good thing to look forward to: if the economic collapse comes, the parasites will die. We can then grind their lardy carcases up and use them as fertilizer and get excellent crop yields, which will be helpful in the new world of global warmening, or encroaching ice age, or comet landing with live viruses, or whatever man-made disaster is being bandied about these days.

    Hey, speaking of, you know how to annoy a fanatical warmenist who has a grade school understanding of science? Ask where the warming has been, these last ten or fifteen years. That’s not the annoyance. What’ll happen after you ask your question is, the warmenist will start screaming at you about you being a denialist and a racist and in the pay of the corporations. Then you kick him in the crotch. That’s how you annoy a fanatical warmenist.

  38. OFD says:

    After I kick him or her in the crotch, I’ll drag them to the woodstove here and hold them down over it so they can at least get a little taste of REAL warming. Then, out to the snowbanks for a bit of fun feeling what the new Ice Age will bring.

    Actually I am slowly but surely weaning myself from even paying any attention to these cretins and their ilk, whether on the net or radio or in print. I just don’t have the luxury of time anymore for that nonsense; it’s either peeps I generally agree with, or those I can’t stand a minute of, so why even bother. I go to work, do my chores around here, and from now on I’m just gonna read and listen to stuff I wanna read and listen to for my remaining years on the planet.

    Although it is fun laughing at them here on this board.

  39. Chuck W says:

    What’s that guy talkin’ blinkers for? We don’t need no damn directionals!

  40. medium wave says:

    Scotland, Again . . . For Scotland Vote No, For England Vote Yes.:

    “A Scotland-free UK might have a golden opportunity to reverse the lunatic economic and social agenda–including immigration policy–of the Labourites. England, arguably the most consequential country that ever has existed, would be free, potentially, to be England once more.”

    Looks like it’s not gonna happen, though. 🙁

  41. medium wave says:

    Actually I am slowly but surely weaning myself from even paying any attention to these cretins and their ilk, whether on the net or radio or in print. I just don’t have the luxury of time anymore for that nonsense; it’s either peeps I generally agree with, or those I can’t stand a minute of, so why even bother. I go to work, do my chores around here, and from now on I’m just gonna read and listen to stuff I wanna read and listen to for my remaining years on the planet.

    Hear, hear!

  42. ech says:

    Either way the place is a fookin’ wasteland.

    I was there a few months ago (Edinburgh, Glasgow, and the Orkneys). Beautiful country, nice people, great beer, great whisky. But very expensive.

  43. Lynn McGuire says:

    Blinky, not blinker! A blinky is a small flashing LED that attaches below your bicycle seat and you hope that the motorists passing you at 50 mph in a 30 mph see you and do not run you over at night:
    http://www.amazon.com/Planet-Bike-Blinky-Safety-Bicycle/dp/B000QSXMME

  44. Lynn McGuire says:

    Just wait until the welfare kings and queens get a hold of the 2,000 calorie soy MREs that will replace the debit cards. They may drop some weight on those. Especially when the government starts shorting them down to 1800, 1600, and then 1500 calories per day.

  45. Lynn McGuire says:

    What’ll happen after you ask your question is, the warmenist will start screaming at you about you being a denialist and a racist and in the pay of the corporations

    I actually had someone ask me that on a scifi board last week. The moron traced my email address (as if that was so hard) after I asked him where the global warming was. He then replied that the oceans are warming down deep and we could not see it or measure it. And then he said the global warming is going to start again real soon now and that the oceans are going to rise.

    Then he asked me if my oil company customers forced me to be a denier. I made the horrible mistake of replying and we got into a discussion of first principle thermodynamics versus statistical methodology for AGW modeling. I’ve guess that I do not know anything about simulation software even though I have been doing this for almost forty years now.

    I traced him down to some department at the University of Ohio. I figure that he is a ten term post doc working on their “statistical” AGW software from all the terms that he was throwing at me. Statistics work great! Until you fall off the cliff.

  46. Don Armstrong says:

    If you want to excite Colin to a frenzy of anticipation, and Barbara to a frenzy of apprehension, then tell her that Colin is going to enjoy a weekend of whine, strange women, and wrong. If you want to add the capper, tell her you’ll enjoy cigarettes, self-distilled white lightning using her pressure cooker, and wild wild bitches.

  47. Don Armstrong says:

    Lynn, I don’t want to advise you to do anything that would cruel the deal, but there are a couple of contingencies I personally would want covered. That could be done by discounting your monthly income $45, and by mandating that they re-imburse you within three months for the insurance they require to be taken out by you (currently $550 p.a.); and having the lease commence at the commencement of construction activity (which could be stockpiling anything on site, or clearing a track), OR a moderately near-future date (say New Year’s Day 2015), whichever is earlier. That covers you for any ridiculous rise in insurance, and for delaying action on their part.

    Of course, you gotta use your judgement on how hard you press for what.

  48. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Wow! You were photoshopping before Photoshop.

    I never thought about it that way. I got the idea from looking at photographs from the 1840’s, which typically required exposure times of several seconds to a minute or so, and accordingly often had blurring where someone had moved. I realized that using a very long exposure would eliminate anything that moved through the frame.

    I was about 15, and the photographer for our high school yearbook. They provided me with a Nikon F camera. I shot a few very long exposures on Panatomic X (very slow, fine-grain black-and-white film) at f/22 with a stack of ND filters, which worked great. Then I had a Cunning Plan. I knew that there was no way that color slide or negative film would work because there were three separate emulsion layers with (I suspected) very different reciprocity departure characteristics. So I set up the Nikon F on a heavy tripod with a 50-pound bucket of rocks hung from the central column to stabilize it and shot three very long exposures of the same scene through the stack of ND filters, but with a different color filter–red, blue, or green–added for each of the three exposures. I then enlarged each of those frames, masked and registered, to sheet film, which I processed by reversal to provide large separation negatives. I then used those enlarged negatives to do a dye-transfer print. It worked perfectly except for one thing my Cunning Plan had failed to consider. I shot on a sunny day, which meant not only that the shadows moved over the hours of the exposures, but that those shadows were in different places on the different color-sep negatives. So I ended up with a very nice color print with all of the static objects rendered in accurate colors. You already know what’s coming…. Yes, the shadows were also rendered in nice bright colors, so I ended up with magenta, cyan, and yellow shadows. Shooting on an overcast day mostly solved that problem, other than specular highlights from stuff like chrome bumpers, which were rendered in similarly varying colors. The only real solution was the beam splitter/filter thing to allow shooting the three color-sep negatives simultaneously.

  49. Ray Thompson says:

    Well, OFD, there’s one good thing to look forward to: if the economic collapse comes, the parasites will die.

    No they won’t, we will. The parasites know how to game the system, to cheat. Those of us that use the economic system are not so well versed in the welfare system.

  50. Chuck W says:

    There is no way Scotland’s exit from the UK would lead to anything but disaster. What few seem to understand is that the world of both business and government has spent decades developing and fine-tuning BIG. That is impossible to reverse. Absolutely, positively impossible — without the regression to the poor, failing, troubled, jobless, and chaotic society everyone here fears most.

    Scotland’s economy is a tiny part of the UK’s. To imagine that Scotland can sustain both its economy and the socialist welfare state it has, without being part of a greater whole that covers Scotland’s deficiencies, is lunacy. It cannot be done. The EU’s lack of governmental integration would be worse for Scotland than remaining a part of the UK.

    Krugman describes exactly why Scotland would fail. Scroll down to “Florida vs. Spain”.

    http://www.sunherald.com/2014/09/16/5803335_paul-krugman-the-scots-should.html

    And I repeat: the socialism Europe has, is exactly where the US is headed — inexorably, — like it or not. That system serves both business and government perfectly in their pursuit of BIG. There is no way to stop it now. The US has the toughest time coping with socialism, because people here truly do not mind seeing their fellow humans suffering and dying in the streets. Socialism, however, like no system before it, is keeping the greatest number of people alive — even though not (in the US) keeping isolationist, do-it-yourself-or-die conservatives satisfied.

  51. OFD says:

    If there’s a major collapse, there won’t be any system to game or cheat. They’ll die off in vast numbers. People who know how to use tools, fix and repair things, defend themselves, etc., will survive.

    Looks like Scotland made their own bed again and will now have to lie in it for the Duration. They’re gonna kick themselves silly if they find major discoveries in the North Sea now.

    Now picture Texas having such a vote, and what would happen if the vote turned out for secession.

  52. Chuck W says:

    Texas would die. Smaller will die. It cannot survive in the face of BIG.

    But we will not need to test that. Just like Scotland, no state in our union will secede. What is inevitable is that Canada and Mexico will ultimately join.

  53. Chuck W says:

    Blinky, not blinker!

    No, he clearly says “blinker”. You gotta know the language and the accent. There is no such word as “turn signal” in Boston. It is either “directional” or “blinker”. Older people use “directional”; younger use “blinker”. Why would you need a blinky in broad daylight, anyway? They don’t need no damn blinkies in Boston, either.

    I worked for an attorney in Chicago who grew up in Boston. Well, Wooster, actually. She has not got a hint of a Boston accent, but said it took her a decade of dedicated work to shake it, as she grew up with a heavy Boston accent. She went to school in Chicago, married there, and stayed.

  54. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Actually, the problem is the converse. Big cannot survive. The EU is doomed to fragment. Scotland voting to remain part of the UK may keep things together a bit longer, but it’s inevitable. So, too, is the EU’s social-welfare state destined to collapse, as well as the euro. We’re watching it happening now. Things are much, much worse now than they were at the so-called “height of the crisis”. The EU digs itself deeper into a hole with every passing month.

    I do agree that Canada will eventually merge with the US or, more accurately, some provinces of Canada will merge with some US states. Not Mexico, though. I think we’ll eventually see the US Southwest from Texas to southern California split from the rest of the US and form a new nation, closely allied with Mexico and probably dominating it. That’s why I didn’t even consider relocating to Texas or the other states in that area. Well, that and the lack of water.

  55. Chuck W says:

    We’ll see. So far, no one has left the EU, which was predicted here by many to happen years ago. Status quo is sustainable, as GDP’s everywhere in the Western world are far, far exceeding debts and expenses. This stuff about everybody being in debt is like me saying I am in debt if I set $200/mo as my spending limit, while I make $2,000/mo, but I spend $500/mo.

    The major effect of BIG is that it has killed risk-taking in just about every business.

  56. Jim B says:

    “Shooting on an overcast day…”
    What’s that?

  57. Chuck W says:

    Taking pictures when it’s cloudy.

    One of the banes of outdoor location shooting in TV and movies, is matching the weather in scenes that cannot be shot in one day. That is principally why the movie industry ended up in California — sunny every day without fail, except in January.

  58. Mike G. says:

    OFD,

    I had not heard of MariaDB, but if you’re looking for an open source database alternative to MySQL, you should look first at PostgreSQL. Instead of LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP), you’d be using LAPP.

    .mg

  59. Ray Thompson says:

    One of the banes of outdoor location shooting in TV and movies, is matching the weather in scenes that cannot be shot in one day.

    When they filmed the movie October Sky in downtown Oliver Springs (where I live), almost all the shooting involving town scenes that did not involve the sky was done at night with massive lights.

    Lot of local people appeared in the movie and it is fun to watch the movie and actually recognize some of the faces.

  60. Ray Thompson says:

    I had not heard of MariaDB, but if you’re looking for an open source database alternative to MySQL

    Another alternative is SQL Server Express. It is free from Microsoft. As long as your DB does not exceed 10GB you are OK. Missing are some of the enterprise features such as replication. But other than that it works just like the expensive version.

  61. Lynn McGuire says:

    Texas would do just fine on its own. We can defend ourselves against Mexico nowadays with a population of thirty million. Back in the middle 1800s, Texas had a population less than a hundred thousand and had supply (guns and ammo) problems. With about ten active military bases (including the largest army base in the USA, Fort Hood), Texas is well prepared to go it alone.

    Texas is already used to a lesser welfare system than just about any other state. And could adjust to welfare almost going away. It would be tough and some major decisions would have to be made, such as the little old ladies and old men in the nursing homes on Medicaid. Tough decisions!

    Texas would immediately become the largest exporter of crude and natural gas in the world. And possibly the largest exporter of food in the world with all the farms.

    Water, we don’t have no stinking water problems. We have gotten ten inches of rain in this week. My swimming is running over today for the third time this week. I just wish some of this rain had showed up back in July.

  62. Mike G. says:

    But of course reading a little further shows MariaDB as a fork of MySQL by the original authors and that RHEL has dumped MySQL for MariaDB in v7, so carry on!

    .mg

  63. Lynn McGuire says:

    Lynn, I don’t want to advise you to do anything that would cruel the deal, but there are a couple of contingencies I personally would want covered.

    Thanks! I already have a million dollar liability policy on this place. The cell phone tower insurance would just be a add-on. My insurance cost has been jumping at $1,000 per year and was $8.900 last year. I can hardly wait until December.

    Verizon offered me a $2,000 signing bonus this morning to close the deal. I am probably going to take it. I do not think that they are going to convert from two percent increase per year to four percent. I suspect like Chuck said, they are carefully watching their numbers nowadays.

    And yes, the lease will start when the construction activity starts. Maybe a year from now with all the permits they have to get.

  64. Lynn McGuire says:

    BTW, the cost of my liability and property insurance has been jumping because I have a two story, 3,750 ft2 warehouse and a two story, 5,344 ft2 office building on my property. The insurance folks are going nuts with the potential costs to rebuild the place if damaged severely by a cat5 hurricane. Hurricane Ike in 2008 had cat2 winds with a cat4 storm surge. We had 90+ mph winds here in Fort Bend County for about five or six hours. The insurance people are wondering what will happen with 135 mph winds from a cat5. It will be grim is all I know.

    My warehouse will be here since it has twelve inch I beams bolted to a twelve inch foundation. The office is stick and brick which is worrisome. I am 40 miles inland and 80 feet above sea level, we will not get storm surge here at least.

  65. Jim B says:

    I meant, what’s an overcast day? I think we had one last year. There were mass suicides 😉

  66. Chuck W says:

    Good luck. It is not a fortune in income, but it will be regular. Glad they chose you, instead of a neighbor.

    We are going to get a generator for the radio project at the transmitter. Studio seldom goes down, but transmitter has been out extensively this year. It will run on LP gas, same as most cell phone towers use. In fact, it will be exactly the same generator our head tech guy uses in his job at the cell phone company. We are hoping to have that installed before snow flies. We are going to power everything there for everyone. It just became too complex and costly to separate us from the main power feed. That also means the tower lights will not go off during an outage. The other users are low-power transmitters, so at about 3,200 watts, we and the tower lights are the electron eaters.

  67. Lynn McGuire says:

    It will add 10% more gross income for the property to me so it is very interesting.

    The neighbors do not have the insurance that they require and they cannot afford it. Commercial liability insurance is expensive and difficult to get.

    My property is located between two subdivisions so it is a good location for the cell phone tower. One subdivision is 300 homes and the other one is 4,000 homes.

  68. OFD says:

    “…MariaDB as a fork of MySQL by the original authors and that RHEL has dumped MySQL for MariaDB in v7, so carry on!”

    Yes. My guess is that it may be because Oracle Linux is a direct competitor to RH. The MariaDB guys bailed when Oracle bought MySQL. I’ll have to see, of course, if we can import the existing MySQL data accordingly without too much hassle; also looking at CentOS 7 at some point, or maybe moving to TUV, and getting the bug reports, fixes, support, updates, etc. on a regular basis.

    Meanwhile, I get mss on my phone this AM that the poor dears aren’t getting their Outlook email on their phones today; they just gotta be totally connected 7×24. I had a med appointment in the morning so took my time getting in; they knew this, and still panicked and rushed about and emailed the previous IT drone and he was drumming out various scenarios and causes and fixes to them but recommending a simple reboot, which I had scheduled to do this evening at 6:30 anyway. He also said that it typically took fifteen minutes to shutdown the Exchange server and another five for it to come back up; I went with that and the whole deal took eight minutes and every precious body got their precious email instantly then on their iPhones. Checked the event logs for when this had stopped, around 4, apparently, with an Error code indicating a “master browser” issue and that service may have somehow got stopped; on reboot it was running again. Evidently it searches for all possible devices to connect to, so i guess that would include iPhones, eh?

    Prior to that we discussed the “moral injury” concept at this morning’s med appointment, which sounded kinda interesting. This is related to me saying to other vets that we gotta quit signing up and getting dead silence. Also related to how everyone seems to easily enough forget the carnage and the endless suffering and pain when the parades march by with flags waving and drums pounding. I also mentioned the Catholic Church’s definition of what constitutes a just war, and running that against every war this country has fought so far and the latter comes up short every time.

    And after the huge email phone crisis all was relatively quiet the rest of the day; apparently Friday afternoons the manglers fade away and other office peeps follow; well, right there, half your Windows desktop and laptop issues also fade away. Funny how that happens.

    Back to it in the early AM tomorrow to scan all their machines for problems, then maybe Mrs. OFD and me can have a half-decent weekend together.

  69. Chuck W says:

    There are many out there who actually LOVE the military with all its avenues, and see their life work as being there. The problem is when you get people like Madeleine Albright, whose motto is ‘why have a military if you don’t use it?’ My family has quite a few hardcore career military types in it. Would have more, if they did not separate spouses for so long. That did it for a couple of them.

    But the real purpose of any empire is to suck money from every source possible. You see that with the old British Empire, and we are seeing it now with ourselves. Why be in all these far flung places? So the hit men like Halliburton, Main, and others can go in and safely get the contracts to keep other countries wealth flowing to us. And it works.

  70. OFD says:

    Except when you say “us” it ain’t really US, per se, but those hitmen and their bosses.

  71. Chuck W says:

    Well, our elected representatives don’t stop it. They get lots of money from the hit men. So is it us if the politicians we elect let it go on?

  72. ech says:

    The US has the toughest time coping with socialism, because people here truly do not mind seeing their fellow humans suffering and dying in the streets.

    We don’t have people suffering and dying in the streets in the US due to lack of a safety net. Having worked with the homeless as a volunteer, I’d estimate that 95%+ of the ones that live on the streets are either substance abusers or flat out crazy. The crazy ones would be in an asylum if it hadn’t been for Ken Kesey and his stupid novel.

  73. Chuck W says:

    Neither does Europe, but people there care about their fellow human beings and embrace helping them as a responsibility of life. Americans universally condemn efforts to help others — specifically socialism — as a religious devil, just as they did communism when I was a kid, and — as expressed here as only one place, many, many, many times — just don’t give a shit if others die — for whatever reason, — just don’t take ANYTHING of mine to save them or make their lives better.

    Having lived in Europe for 10 years, I can tell you without a doubt that daily life is better there than here. There are FAR fewer signs of poverty there, and far fewer concentrations of it. And things that count — time off for family, daycare for kids, medical outcomes, length of life, food, drink, usefully directed education, — are all better there than here. And, if you believe our government statistics, there are more homeless and hungry in the US percentage-wise than there, with the poverty of children worse here than there.

    No matter, though. You can see socialism spreading throughout the US; it is inevitable, and no political party or group is stopping it. Even the Koch brothers and their Tea Party have failed to stop it. Before I am history, it will be a way of life here, as in Europe, whether everyone likes it or not. And, as I have long maintained here, governments around the world are experiments in which is best-suited to take care of their charges. We will all be able to see which comes out on top.

  74. brad says:

    Socialism in Europe…

    Like democracy, it works great as long as most of the society is middle class. As soon as the number of people who actually receive socialistic benefits rises too high, the system becomes unsustainable. In northern and central Europe, this is not a problem. Look to the UK, look to Greece, Spain and Portugal – and it doesn’t work anymore.

    The US is rapidly losing its middle-class, with 1/6 of the people already receiving direct government benefits (higher in the cities), a lot more receiving indirect benefits through EIC or other programs, and nearlyhalf paying no net taxes. Put more socialist-oriented programs in place, and they are doomed right from the start – simply because the money does not exist to fund them.

  75. SteveF says:

    Socialism also works better if you can get someone outside the system to fund you. Ref the US share of the NATO defense budget. Ref the development of new drugs. Ref the GPS satellite constellation and weather satellites.

    Now think about what happens when the primary funder of worldwide socialism goes socialist yourself.

  76. Lynn McGuire says:

    “The trouble with Socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money” — Margaret Thatcher

  77. OFD says:

    There it is.

    But they’ll bleed us white in taxes to make it all work anyway, until they finally, and irrevocably kill off the goose that lays the golden eggs.

  78. Lynn McGuire says:

    “If it Moves, Tax it. If it Keeps Moving, Regulate it. And if it Stops Moving, Subsidize it.”

    I have no idea who came up with that jewel.

  79. OFD says:

    Gotta cue up:

    George Harrison’s and Stevie Ray Vaughn’s versions of “Taxman.” Both men are deceased. Coincidence???

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