Sunday December 31, 2017

By on December 31st, 2017 in personal

It was 10 degrees, partly cloudy, and calm when Colin went out at 7:45.
I was down to see Bob yesterday. Things are about the same. Speech therapy will work with him next week to check on swallowing and teach him to use the valve on the trach. The nurse showed me yesterday how it works by placing her finger on the valve and having him answer some questions.

43 Comments and discussion on "Sunday December 31, 2017"

  1. Nick Flandrey says:

    Baby steps, but steps in the right direction!

    Today we give 2017 the boot, and in many ways it will be good riddance.

    Tomorrow we start fresh with a New Year. Unfortunately, we will really be dragging all of last year into this one too.

    Some good things in 2017 though. Hillarity is NOT president. The financial system didn’t collapse. We had very few riots in major cities. Gun prices are low, ammo is available, and we have time to stack more preps!

    Now, time to cook the breakfast 🙂


  2. Nick Flandrey says:

    The persistence of the web is a point of failure.

    I’m trying to do some cleanup of my phone. I’d like to put apps in folders. CAN’T.

    WTF is wrong with designers? This is basic functionality and shouldn’t change from release to release. FOUR different youtube vids, FOUR wrong answers based on other OS versions.

    And here’s where the fail is. . . NO indication that the search results are wildly out of date.

    Google sometimes gets this right, with sort by date, and dates prominent in the displayed results.

    Youtube, not so much.

    And I still haven’t figured out how to make a folder. The old technique doesn’t work, nor do any of the newer ones I’ve found.

    WTF doesn’t tap and hold on an icon open a menu? This was standard behavior from back in the NEWTON fer pete’s sake.


    wow- for the record- you seemingly can’t do it from the apps folder. You have to move an app to your “desktop” (on the phone) then move another app on top of it. This will give you the option to create a folder and name it. THEN you get an ADD button, that lets you go thru your installed apps (in the app folder) and select which ones to put into the newly created folder.

    What a mess.

    Android 7 on a samsung s7

  3. Nick Flandrey says:

    This is just breaking:

    “Police arrest man found with an arsenal of weapons on the top floor of a Houston hotel on New Year’s Eve – in chilling echo of the Vegas massacre – just hours before a huge ‘ball drop’ party was set to take place below

    Security officers called the police after they confronted the unruly man early Sunday at the bar at Houston’s Hyatt Regency Hotel, Texas
    When officers arrived, they searched his room, on the top floor of the hotel, and found a rifle, shotgun and handgun in his room, plus ammunition
    They also found other weapons in his pickup truck which has been towed away
    The man has been arrested for unlawfully carrying a weapon and trespassing
    Police, who are not yet releasing his name, are waiting for him to sober up before they interview him
    The discovery has sparked fears that is could have been an attempt to replicate the deadly mass shooting at a Las Vegas hotel in October

    Read more:

  4. DadCooks says:

    @Nick, I am sad to predict that the Houston almost-shooter is probably just the beginning of the chaos today and tonight, around the world.
    2018 is going to be a significant year with the 2018 elections being the dirtiest and most violent ever seen. It will be a tough year for white heterosexual men.
    And that is my optimistic prediction.
    What hill do you plan to die on. Think carefully.

  5. RickH says:

    WRT Android apps. Apps live on the home screen; most Android devices have other ‘sub-home’ screens. You can put an app on a screen by dragging it from the apps list to one of the screens. Think of that as making a ‘shortcut’ on your desktop.

    If you want to ‘group’ apps into a folder, then the process is as you describe: drag an app to an existing app on the home (or sub) screens, which will cause a folder to appear, and the two apps are now in that folder.

    You open a folder by tapping the folder icon, which should show you the apps in that folder. My phone came with a Google folder with various Google apps in that folder. I can add/delete apps from that or other folders.

    Works pretty intuitively for me.

  6. Nick Flandrey says:

    Every other touch based GUI I’ve ever used has a pop up context menu when you tap and hold. Do it on a blank spot and get choices, do it on an icon and get choices.

    Having to first create the shortcut on the home screen, and then do something we’ve been trained NOT to do, ie. drop apps on apps, is WAY counter-intuitive.

    Finally found the ‘drop app on app’ instructions by narrowing my search to android 7, which I had to find by searching my phone, then looking at the phone info entry in settings. PITA for something that used to be routine- grouping and organizing stuff in a folders and sub-folders metaphor.


  7. Nick Flandrey says:

    And yeah, I sincerely hope this was the first and only, but don’t really expect that.

    Some of the comments from ‘authorities’ in NYC are just plain stupid and are going to be world famous as the dumbest words ever uttered if there is an incident.

    Every single year since 2001 I’ve watched the NYC ball drop, and every year I’m amazed and grateful that no one walked a bunch of mortars thru the crowd. I could go the rest of my life without seeing that.


  8. Nick Flandrey says:

    RE: selco’s post about ‘grey’.

    I’ve been trying to figure how to write a post about this, based on a bunch of news lately.

    Basically it comes down to “don’t come to their attention.” NO ONE can stand up to the scrutiny of the muck rakers, who will just use baseless statements against you if they can’t find anything to attack.

    they’ll use interviews with your first grade teacher and classmates. they’ll accuse you of things you did 30-40 years ago, that were perfectly normal then, but now are major thought crimes. There is a reason we have the idea of a ‘statute of limitations’ as it acknowledges both that we are not the same people we were 30 years ago, and that mores and acceptable behaviour changes over time.

    They’ll use whatever they can to attack you, to drag you down, to destroy whatever good you did.

    Don’t come to their attention.


    (see all the recent ‘hero’ stories turned expose’ of their “horrible” badthink lives. and all the recent ‘lets help these poor people’ stories that turned into witch hunts.)

  9. CowboySlim says:

    YUUUP, and killing again in
    Las Vegas. Two Arizona Charlie’s security guards shot dead.

    Used to be where I would stay at in Vegas.

  10. MrAtoz says:

    It will be a tough year for white heterosexual men.

    I’m glad I now identify as a Black, female lesbian. I can do that, right?

  11. jim~ says:

    Just about to do the New Year’s backup, so I thought I’d send the compilation, so far, along. Feel free to add to it!

    Scabies — _I’ve Got You Under My Skin_
    Leprosy — _I Fall to Pieces_
    Ringworm — _Go little Gloworm, Shimmer, Shimmer_ (under UV)
    M.I. — _Your Cheatin’ Heart_
    G.I. Bleed — _Old Black Water_
    Arthritis — _Dem Bones, Dem Bones, Dem DRY Bones_
    Stroke — _Yankee Doodle_
    Diarrhea — _Blowing in the Wind_
    Dandruff — _Dust In The Wind_
    Diabetes — hah, that’s a good one. _Sugar, Sugar_, or _Lollipop, Lollipop_?
    Kidneystones — _Mr Sandman_
    HIV — _Another Prick in the Wall_
    Erectile Dysfunction — _(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction_

  12. lynn says:

    Just about to do the New Year’s backup

    I started the semiannual LAN archive at the office Thursday using my last 4 TB external drive. I will be replacing that drive with an 8 TB external drive. So, my seven external backups drives will be all 6 Tb and 8 TB.

    Without constant reformatting of the backup drive, our main internal LAN backup is now using 4.5 TB. Since we do not delete deleted files from the daily backups, temporary files cause our backups to grow rapidly. Such is the life of a backup but, this is a decision to avoid deleting files that have been accidentally deleted.

  13. DadCooks says:

    @Nick, my life has been an open book to the Feds since my Navy days.
    Clearances don’t stop at Top Secret, as most believe, there are many above it and that in itself is “Top Secret Crypto Need To Know”. I had to get one of those “special” ones and the detail was incredible, it took them 18 months to interview everyone who I had ever had any repeat contact with in my life, an example is everyone who was a classmate in junior and high school.
    When I got out of the Navy and went to work for DOE Contractors I was once again in a position that required a very special clearance. My Navy clearance was not good enough, they did it all again. Even though I have not had a clearance for more than 20-years I know that “my file” is still open and I am being watched. My separation briefing made it clear that things I know must never be revealed.
    So while I try to maintain a “grey” persona I do so knowing that I am really being watched.

  14. lynn says:

    So while I try to maintain a “grey” persona I do so knowing that I am really being watched.

  15. paul says:

    Today’s high was forecast to be 37F. Sure…. that’s what it was at 1:30AM. 32F at 7AM. 28F just before 4AM. It has misted on and off all day. Not enough to rain but enough to wet the patio furniture and feel on your face. “They” say 20F in the morning. OMG, we’s all gonna die!

    I’m so not looking forward to the season and listening to the fussing. February is usually the worse for cold.

    I’m not feeling the panic. My critter water tubs leak enough to keep the water trickling. I’ll have to bust ice tomorrow. Might wear shoes instead of flip-flops. Might.

    I’m trying to think of more diseased song titles.

    Happy New Year to you!

  16. Nick Flandrey says:

    I spent a certain part of my last career working “under supervision” because the clearance process was so onerous and lengthy. Beyond that, in most of the areas I was working, I had no ‘need to know’ anyway. It sure would have helped when setting up video and data systems to be able to have a frank discussion with the security guys about “the red and the black”. Would have saved a lot of re-work…

    One such facility was in the process of building out a new SCIF. Pretty cool to see the wall construction and treatment go in…

    I imagine I got a couple of quick looks from some of those programs, and one even asked me if I was “clearable” w/ an eye toward hiring me. There were a couple of incidents involving my previously mentioned skytel pager that in retrospect may have been quick tests to see if I could keep my mouth shut.

    I watched and discussed with a good friend an apparent recruiting pass… we were in a bar in San Diego, and someone just chatting with him asked a couple of questions. Just swapping hints to see if you had any background in common (friend was former airborne ranger with an NBC qualification, and Masters in Biology.) A bit of chit chat and my friend laughingly asserts that he wouldn’t get back in under any circumstance or for all the money in the world. Not to long and the stranger was gone. Realized quickly that it could have been a very gentle first pass at recruitment for something.

    In a Navy bar in SD, that was a much more likely scenario than some random dive bar in LA….


  17. SteveF says:

    Clearances don’t stop at Top Secret, as most believe, there are many above it and that in itself is “Top Secret Crypto Need To Know”. I had to get one of those “special” ones and the detail was incredible


    he wouldn’t get back in under any circumstance or for all the money in the world


  18. Nick Flandrey says:

    Hey all, as long as I’m doing minor computer tweaking, anyone know how to keep File Explorer from closing when the folder you happen to be focused on goes away?

    My phone (connected by usb) goes to sleep and because File Explorer is open to the phone DCIM folder, when the phone goes away, the program closes. I don’t remember this problem from any win prior to 8…


  19. Nick Flandrey says:

    Well, with the fading of the light comes the random gunfire into the sky…

    I’m betting it sounds like kabul later tonight, if Christmas Eve was an indicator. WTF is wrong with people?


  20. MrAtoz says:

    The Atoz’s are attending the NYE bingo at the Red Rock casino. Bingo will stop at midnight and show all the peeps on the Strip. Usually 300-500,000. That’s where I’d do my terror thing. Plenty of extra cops and armored vehicles seen flitting around today.

    WRT clearances, I was recruited at my sooper secret job in San Antone for a NSA post. No thank you. I’m not taking several polygraphs and numerous interviews.

  21. SteveF says:

    I have never consented to taking a polygraph test and never expect to do so. Might as well disembowel a chicken and examine its entrails.

  22. Greg Norton says:

    In a Navy bar in SD, that was a much more likely scenario than some random dive bar in LA….

    Kansas City BBQ?

    Too many repeat screenings of “Top Gun” in Russia? 🙂

  23. jim~ says:

    My Auntie, into her eighties, sent these a few hours ago:
    Quadriplegic: “Don’t get Around Much Anymore.”
    Alzheimer’s: “I Left My Heart in San Francisco.”

    It’s just you guys and my cousins and auntie. Cracks me up.

    My online persona is fairly well concealed; or to put it another way, was never revealed to any great extent even from the beginning. I use a phonetic pseudonym on Facebook, thank God, and don’t let my “smart” phone (which I barely know how to use) share my Contacts — though I wish I knew how to work the damn thing better.

    The FBI came knocking on my door once, at 7:00 AM — two guys in black coats, I kid you not, and I had to testify at a trial. So the Feds know about me, but that’s all.

    As to “File Explorer”, do you mean Explorer.exe? Someone here or back on turned me onto XYplorer
    long time back and I haven’t looked back.

  24. jim~ says:

    Hemiplegia — _Come on Aileen_ 🙂

  25. Ray Thompson says:

    One of my uncles was a nuclear sub commander. He cannot leave the US without permission. If he is given permission to leave his route must be approved. The pilot is notified of my uncle’s presence so that in case of diverting the flight only approved locations will be used unless not using an approved location would result in death. He also has to report in to some agency every month so they know where he is located. Some fairly significant restrictions for the rest of his life.

    I had a top secret clearance and did some programming on stuff that was highly classified. But the part I did was not as sensitive as some other parts of the coding. Only a couple people knew the entire project, the rest of us were just given chunks that fit into the puzzle. I have no idea if the project even worked as that was above my pay grade.

    I have no restrictions on what I can do or travel. I suspect that after 40 years that code I worked on is worthless. I doubt I am being watched or there is even a file on me that is still. May not even exist anymore.

    Rumor around where I grew up was I was in trouble because of the FBI (so the neighbors stated) interviewing all the neighbors and the school officials. My not have been the FBI but some other three letter agency. Took about a year for the clearance.

  26. CowboySlim says:

    Some of our tennis club friends were really excited when the were interviewed by those in cheap suits WRT to me.

    OTOH, I had not other career options and did succumb to the electronic testing. But then, I was just a typical rocket scientist with mortgage payments and kids in college.

  27. Nick Flandrey says:

    I was dumb enough to think it would have been cool to have and to have a head full of secrets. I know better now.


  28. Ray Thompson says:

    I was dumb enough to think it would have been cool to have and to have a head full of secrets

    As did I. Now I wish I had never known some of the stuff I knew. Most of it I have forgotten or is not in a usable form in my memory. And as I said, it being 40+ years ago I doubt the code even exists in a usable form. It was assembly language on a Honeywell machine, some on IBM, such machines no longer existing. Code may still be on some 9 track 600 DPI tape store in some highly secure vault, guarded 24 hours a day. Even if they could find a tape drive to read the tapes, a machine to interface the tape drive, the tape is probably so brittle it would crumble or the oxide would flake off. Or maybe the stuff was finally destroyed.

    I saw some strange stuff regarding security when I was involved. Impact ribbons with thousand of impressions, now classified because we printed out some code using that ribbon. The chances of getting meaningful data off that ribbon were zero but it had to be secured.

    All paper was shredded, then burned, then the ashes combined with ashes from non-classified burns and thoroughly mixed before being disposed. All notes and internal scribbling were classified, coding sheets classified. Never asked about the mechanical pencils but I still have mine so I guess it was not classified and it is OK that I kept it. It was mine as I purchased the pencil on my own dime.

    Security to get in to, and out of, the building was pretty intense with two doors requiring a keypad code to enter. Once you were in the building you could not enter again. You had to log out of the building. More than once someone would forget to log out by following someone else out and when attempting to get back in were denied. Required a supervisor, and an ass chewing, to get back into the building. You generally did not do that twice.

    Entire computer facility was wrapped in copper mesh between the inner and outer walls. RF Emissions from the building were checked once a month to ascertain the shield was intact and nothing was getting out.

    Techs that brought parts into the building to replace failed components were not allowed to remove the failed components from the building. What happened to the non-working parts I have no clue. All the techs tools also remained in the building including the oscilloscopes they used.

    I never knew what the entire project was about. I was just given the task to produce some code that given some data would spit out some results. Never knew the source of the data or where the results went. Someone did but it certainly was not me.

    I was glad to get out of that stuff and into the mundane world of the USAF personnel system. But even some of that was classified, on a much lower level, because you were dealing with people numbers, ranks and locations. Probably somewhere in those years I lost my top secret clearance and dropped down to “can keep a secret”.

  29. Greg Norton says:

    Android 7 on a samsung s7

    Even more fun than stock Android, Samsung has their own ideas about how to build an effective user interface.

  30. RickH says:

    When I tap/hold on an empty area of the screen on my new LG, the screen splits into a top area of the screen (with the ‘placement’ grid), and the apps list in the bottom half. I can then move any app from the bottom to the top, thereby putting the app on that screen.

    Phone is LG Stylo 3 Plus, with Android 7.0.

  31. Ed says:

    My best wishes to Robert and Barbara (and everyone here) for a happy and healthy New Year!

    It’s been rough but, as my father used to say at about 11:59 on this eve:”Could have been worse…”.

    Then he’d go out and empty his 1911 at the sky.

  32. Nick Flandrey says:

    That’s the truth, it could always be worse….


  33. Nick Flandrey says:

    Well, the strangest requirement I ran into was that once a higher level of classification passed thru the wire, no lower level could ever pass. And we’re talking about analog video and not digital data…

    So someone thinks wire has a memory.


    Of course our projectors had frame buffers, and under certain conditions the DMD could retain the last image it held. They WANTED our projectors though, so they were willing to ‘over look’ those little details. Same with plasma screens. They wanted them, so they ignored that they were huge RF radiators and it was trivially easy to recover images at a distance…


  34. Ray Thompson says:

    once a higher level of classification passed thru the wire, no lower level could ever pass

    Never heard of that. I will have to check that 5 foot piece of coax I just tossed for any residual electrons.

    Some of the security was reasonable, some was totally stupid, some just missed the mark. Where I worked I saw people bring in film cameras and no one batted an eye. I guess it never occurred to someone that stuff could be photographed. I did not know who the people were and maybe there was a valid reason they needed a camera. Again, I was not that high on the food chain.

  35. lynn says:

    Then he’d go out and empty his 1911 at the sky.

    What goes up, must come down. Unless, it achieves orbital velocity.

  36. MrAtoz says:

    What goes up, must come down. Unless, it achieves orbital velocity.

    Mr. CowboySlim will be the judge of that!

  37. Mr.K says:

    Oh dear.. Mr.Atoz left out “transgender”.. The re-education bus will be pulling up to your home shortly.
    Pretty quite NYE in the land of sand.. Except for a concert at the local entertainment centre for the head-bangers. How anyone could call this a concert or music is beyond me. But what would I know, being old, white, out of touch, etc.. etc..

    Best wishes to everyone and especially Barbara, RBT and Mr.OFD for 2018..

  38. Nick Flandrey says:

    quite an astonishing volume of fireworks going off here in the hood.

    Less gunfire than Xmas, lots of big bangs tho…


  39. Nick Flandrey says:

    Welcome to 2018 CT, sincere thanks we’re not watching anything other than inane chatter on the tv, sincere hopes that this year will be better than the last.


  40. Nick Flandrey says:

    .gov and .mil aren’t the only ones with silly rules.

    I had to get some imagery for large format printing for a trade show for a major car company. It was arranged that I’d visit their corporate archives and capture some of the design sketches and early design work for a new vehicle launch. Very high security facility. Escort, pin pads, very tasteful mantrap disguised as an entry. Absolutely NO CAMERAS ALLOWED.

    So I walk in with two zero halliburton cases, and as soon as I’m left alone with the original design sketches, a big pile o material, I pull out my laptop, flatbed scanner, and external hard drive and start selecting material to scan. I filled the external drive (back in win3.11 days) and took everything up to LA where our graphics guy started stitching stuff back together and deciding which imagery to blow up to large format graphics.

    But no cameras were used…


  41. Nick Flandrey says:

    scanner just lit up. local cops taking fire, shots fired, back window of car shot out…..


    report of someone shooting with AR15s, and that’s it. Nature of scanner listening.

  42. CowboySlim says:

    “What goes up, must come down. Unless, it achieves orbital velocity.

    Mr. CowboySlim will be the judge of that!”

    But then, sooner or later, it will de-orbit when the station keeping propellant is depleted.

  43. Roger Ritter says:

    I was peripherally involved once with a computer diagnostic/repair at a secure facility. We were told that the 5MB diagnostic disk platter (back when these were 14 inches in diameter and looked like something you’d carry a warm pizza in) that the tech needed to figure out the problem would not be allowed to leave the facility once it was inside.

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