Thur. Dec. 13, 2018 – wrote the whole thing

64F and damp with rain forecast….

In my drowsy pre-waking state, I wrote today’s whole post. It was a good one too. Too bad I can’t even remember the topic now that I’m awake……

I have some gainful employment this afternoon, so hopefully no policy or politician will need to be mocked, no world issues solved, or crisis averted, as I’ll be busy.*



*you guys are free to cover me though

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38 Responses to Thur. Dec. 13, 2018 – wrote the whole thing

  1. Harold Combs says:

    Rain and 45f in the Bluff City. Looks like no white Christmas again. But then, in the 10 years I’ve lived here we’ve never had a White Christmas. Maybe a couple of snows in Jan – Feb but no snow like we had in Virginia.

  2. Nick Flandrey says:

    Oh yeah, and “Friday the 13th falls on a Thursday this month.”


  3. JimL says:

    I was wondering if the Hammer would Fall this month.

    Didn’t run yesterday because it was wet-chilly, and I forgot the windshirt. Today will be warmer, so a long-sleeved shirt should suffice.

    37º and cloudy in the city by the bay. Definite warming trend coming. Of course, rain on Saturday means indoor activities for the kids. I think I’ll take them to the museum and the children’s museum. Good for an afternoon, and it’s already paid for.

    A White Christmas is still possible. The likelihood is clouds & sun, with temps in the mid-30s. We’ll see about 5′ on Christmas Eve this year.

    This is a city that hasn’t had a Republican mayor in 50+ years, and it’s not likely to change anytime soon. But the policies are top-notch. Glad I don’t have to LIVE here. Of course, the rats fleeing the ship are moving into the rural areas and trying to bring their policies with them. Cause, meet effect. They haven’t swung things yet.

  4. Nick Flandrey says:

    Because people have difficulty visualizing large numbers, I found this youtube TED presentation to be pretty cool


  5. Nick Flandrey says:


    I’m seeing long pauses and delays when typing in the comment box here. This is new, and not something I’ve seen before.

    Something to do with the switch to new wp?


  6. JimL says:


    Grammarly? If so, try disabling it & see.

  7. DadCooks says:

    I use Grammarly and have not experienced any hesitations and the site is just as “crisp” as ever this morning. I doubt @Rick would have updated to WP5 without warning us.

    It has been unseasonably warm here in the Southeast corner of WA State, so much so some fruit trees have started to bud, not good. Plenty of rain, for this area, too.

    Off to more tilting at windmills…

  8. JimL says:

    @DadCooks – I should clarify – using Grammarly in the WordPress administrative tools (not the comment box I’m using now) is where I had problems. I actually had a much longer comment, but shortened it because amounted to “it might be Grammarly”.

  9. Rick Hellewell says:

    @nick and all – about comment boxes….and upgrades…

    I doubt @Rick would have updated to WP5 without warning us.

    Actually, I did warn youse guys back on Dec 6th. Just saying…

    I’d delayed doing the upgrade (it came out last week) because of caution with major upgrades – let everyone else find the problems. In fact, there was a 5.01 security upgrade yesterday to fix some problems with the 5.0 version.

    So 5.01 was installed yesterday (automatically). Those that create posts will find the new Gutenberg editor screen. Comments boxes aren’t affected by that, though. Any slowness appears to be local – I don’t see any slowness in entering this comment via the non-admin interface.

    There are reports of the Contact Form 7 plugin, which also got a major upgrade this week to add reCAPTCHA version 3 (previously, version 2 was optional; version 3 seems to be required). There are reports of more spam with version 3 enabled, plus some more tracking because of how the CF7 developers set it up.

    Contact Form 7 is only used here as the ‘Contact Us’ process, not in comments. And there hasn’t been a bunch of spam via the Contact form here – not any more than usual; a few a day.

    Other than that, the sites I manage seem to be working OK with the 5.0x upgrade. Not a big fan of the Gutenberg editor, though. Although there is a “Classic Editor” plugin that is available to disable Gutenberg.

  10. dkreck says:

    I experienced a hesitation on my last comment. Text cursor in box disappeared but my arrow remained and moved. Clicking in the box did not help but the text cursor returned after about 5-8 seconds.

  11. lynn says:

    Breaking Cat News: complimentary gift bag of justice


  12. lynn says:

    Arlo and Janis: bad decorating

    Uh, no. Even I would not get away with that.

  13. JimL says:

    @Rick – I really don’t like the Gutenberg editor. Installed the classic plugin the very day I tried Gutenberg. Dead bunnies come to mind about the Gutenberg editor.

    I installed 5.0 the first day. Figured this is the right time of year to deal with problems as my business is REALLY slow until late January. Thanks for the comment about 5.01. I’ll install it when I get home (if it hasn’t happened automatically). I do like to keep up to date.

    It’s Grammarly and the admin editor where I have a lot of trouble with slowdowns, which is why I mentioned it for Nick.

  14. lynn says:

    We got another 2 or 3 inches of rain last night (the swimming pool in the backyard almost flowed over again). But the Brazos River did not pick up the water even as it is back flowing into all of the bayous in Sugar Land (including the bayou behind the office property which now has 3 or 4 ft of water in it).

  15. brad says:

    As an (ex-)Texan, I have to admit, some Texans can be a bit thick

  16. Greg Norton says:

    As an (ex-)Texan, I have to admit, some Texans can be a bit thick

    I’m not buying the story. And I’m from Florida, where punch card ballots were too much of a challenge for many voters.

  17. lynn says:

    “Virgin Galactic plane skims space in historic human test flight”

    “NASA congratulates Richard Branson and Virgin Galactic for a major milestone in the commercial space tourism race.”

    “Thursday’s test flight gives Virgin Galactic a step up in the private space-tourism race. Elon Musk’s SpaceX has ambitious plans to carry passengers around the moon and Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin is conducting rocket tests, but both rival companies have yet to carry humans into space.”

    Even though the space plane does not appear to be very versatile, we do live in amazing times.

  18. mediumwave says:

    Parents of former Lusher student accused of wanting to ‘shoot up’ school sue district, another parent

    “In the new pleading, the family argues that events relevant to the case began the day before Lusher officials heard about the alleged threats, when Claire Ory, Lusher’s dean of students, called Wyatt’s mother to tell her that a group of students was bullying her son.

    “Three girls and a transgender male had sent him a series of text messages accusing him of being homophobic and of sexual misconduct after he allegedly used an incorrect name and pronoun for the male student, the family said.

    “The lawsuit says the group also confronted Johnston on a staircase and “physically intimidated” him after he reported them for harassment.

    “It was those students who then fabricated a story about Johnston wanting to shoot up the school, the lawsuit alleges.”

    Executive summary: Young Wyatt Johnston and his father are SWATted because he wasn’t properly deferential to a bunch of prepubescent SJWs.

    Vive le diversité!

    (And I’m not even going to comment on the idea of there being a transgender student in what is probably a middle school …)

  19. lynn says:

    (And I’m not even going to comment on the idea of there being a transgender student in what is probably a middle school …)

    I would have sworn recently that I read about a transgender person in elementary school but I cannot find the article now. It is an issue XXXXX disaster.

  20. paul says:

    Well…. a couple of hours down the drain.

    I did the health thing. Dental went down $1.45/month. The rest, well, I might have something better than last year. Not sure, need to dig around in the “to file” stack. But $0 deductible looks better than $1950. Even if I do have to pay $7 instead of $0 for generic drugs I don’t take. And $56/month less.

    Not like I’ve used any of it so far. Might not be great, but it’s something.

    Anyway. About that couple of hours down the drain. They wanted a copy of last year’s tax return or w-2s. So let’s go over to the handy dandy cool Lexmark CX410de sitting in the next room and scan that tax form onto my desktop. Well, let’s not.

    Create another profile, nope. Try to moa. Bingo. Kind of pain to scan to that machine and then drag if to this machine. Doable but what is broken?

    The problem turned out to be that while I thought I had shared my Desktop when I sorta of re-installed Windows a few weeks ago, I hadn’t actually shared it with Everyone. So the Lexmark is un-helpfully telling me to see my network admin.

    All fixed now. Ten years ago, easy. I suspect that in ten years I’ll be wondering where the power switch is.

    Oh, and thanks a lot Firefox for killing Java. And IE 11 or whatever is just crappy….. dialog boxes with lots of buttons and no text. No pictures, even on my own site. Useful.

  21. paul says:

    IE 11 not showing pictures? Crazy.

    Not a setting I’ve touched.

    “It is possible that Internet Explorer doesn’t display pictures because the Show Pictures option has been disabled. If someone else uses your computer, or perhaps you enlisted help getting a slow computer to run faster, this might just be the culprit. On slow systems, particularly those using a dial-up Internet service, users sometimes turn off the Show Pictures option to help the computer run more quickly.

    To verify that Show Pictures is enabled, open Internet Explorer and go to the Tools menu. Click on Internet Options, and go to the Advanced tab of the Internet Options dialog box. In the Settings box, scroll down to the Multimedia section and verify that Show Pictures is selected. If not, click the check box and click Apply to save these changes. Close the dialog and then close Internet Explorer. Open it again and check to see if pictures are now displayed.”

  22. Nick Flandrey says:

    Back home.

    The pauses and delays may have been on my end. windows was hammering my disk at 100% usage, just d/l ing an update as far as I can tell. Desktop doesn’t want to change tasks when the disk is running flat out. F windows.

    Rebooted, with a REALLY long restart time, and it was still monkey hammering my disk. So I went to work. seems fine now.

    @rick, I have a button on the admin page to return to classic edit mode… I guess that isn’t the classic editor I finally got used to?


  23. pcb_duffer says:

    A question for the collective wisdom: My old workhorse HP LJ 5 MP has finally given up the ghost. Rather than one of the standard dirt cheap lasers, I’d prefer to spend a little more coin to get better quality, toner capacity, etc. Linux compatibility is an absolute. My Brother color inkjet hydra machine is Linux compatible, so I sort of assume that any modern Brother would be. Suggestions? I’ll be on the road until Sunday evening, but I will he able to check the site once in a while. Thanks in advance.

  24. JimL says:

    IE 11 not showing pictures? Crazy.

    Not a setting I’ve touched.

    Sort of related – I got a call from one of the co-presidents this morning. Audio from Youtube wouldn’t play. I had him try it in Chrome & it worked. “Why is that?” “I don’t know. I’ll investigate and get back to you.” “Why can’t you fix it now?”

    I fixed it at lunchtime.

    Turns out it was the “play audio in IE” setting under Multimedia. I don’t know how it got turned off, but it makes me feel better that there are others seeing similar things for no apparent reason.

  25. SteveF says:

    After several days of being either too busy to comment, or sometimes to read, or else being wirelessless, here I am to grant you the benefit of my insight and wisdom.

    Liberals are all for freedom of expression

    Liberals were for freedom of expression only when they were out of power in both government and society. They agitated to get the governments out of regulating speech and other expression, which was mostly a good thing though they went too far, and agitated to change society, which was destructive to the stability and productivity of the nation which they parasitize.

    you have won the argument

    Not that they’ll admit it. Have you ever seen a libtard admit that you have won a dispute? Don’t even waste your breath. They aren’t honest with themselves, let alone anyone else.

    Harold: You mentioned losing PTO because you couldn’t take time off because of staffing shortages and such. Talk to HR or your state department of labor. I think it’s standard that if they don’t let you use your PTO they can’t take it away from you no matter what the company handbook says. There are exceptions for various salaried positions and some time off plans, but if you’re fretting that you’re losing your earned PTO the exceptions probably don’t apply here.

    “dissolution of the Union”. Didn’t we have a war in 1860 to prevent that kind of thing? Seems the EU is handling that differently than we did.

    The EU is welcome to deploy their divisions and their aircraft carriers to forcibly stop Britain from leaving.

    There isn’t really going to be anything in those books you can’t figure out, or don’t already know, and reading them is a delaying tactic and COSTS money when you need to MAKE money

    Quoted for truth. It applies to so many areas besides selling on eBay. Don’t read a book on how to stay motivated while writing your Great American Novel, just sit your butt down and write every day. Don’t read a book on how to become a programmer, get a compiler and crank out some code. Oh, sure, books and web articles have lots of good information, but do something before you do all that reading about doing something. About 90% of people will dawdle and delay and “study” and “plan” and never do anything. Recognize that and don’t fall into the trap.

    Common sense, I’m good at that.

    Hmmph. Speak for yourself.

    because of her incredible wit, charisma, social media savvy, and basic political smarts.

    Bah. She looks and dresses like a pricey hooker. That and endless promises of free shit to the Free Shit Army are why she won.

  26. Nick Flandrey says:

    Hmm, that ‘classic’ button is gone. I guess I’ll try tomorrow’s post in the new editor. I don’t do anything fancy, so how hard can one block of text be???


  27. lynn says:

    “dissolution of the Union”. Didn’t we have a war in 1860 to prevent that kind of thing? Seems the EU is handling that differently than we did.

    The EU is welcome to deploy their divisions and their aircraft carriers to forcibly stop Britain from leaving.

    I’ve wondered about that myself. Why doesn’t Britain just tell the EU to pound sand for BrExit ?

  28. Nick Flandrey says:

    So why is there a single white person left in South Africa?

    Do they think that these guys are just kidding?


  29. Nick Flandrey says:

    Two articles, same day. No further comment–

    Ok, a bit of comment, look at that photo, he didn’t slip and get skewered, that robot tried to kill him. And WTF are those pins used for anyway?


    added- after a closer look I’m calling shenanigans. No two of those spikes are identical. No way this was an industrial process gone wrong.

  30. brad says:

    Transgenderism: There are a (very) few people with genuine birth defects, and they deserve the same sympathy as anyone else with a medical problem beyond their control. That would be fine, but transgenderism has turned into a kind of honey trap for all sorts of mental illness. Which, of course, doesn’t solve whatever the underlying problem is, and ultimately winds up making the person’s situation worse. No surprise that suicide rates in this group are sky high.

    Bluntly put, society is now celebrating birth defects and mental illness. Really, this should never have gotten traction. I think it only did gain mindshare because so many people have a prurient interest in other people’s sex lives. If nobody cared what other people do in their bedrooms, none of the LGBT stuff would ever have been an issue.

    As with all trends, this too shall pass.

    – – – – –

    @JimL: Don’t feel bad, after a lifetime of doing IT, I sometimes feel like an idiot trying to get Android to behave. There are so many settings, scattered in so many different places. And the UX designers make decisions that the end user is just magically supposed to discover. Recent example: You get these pull-down notifications, for example, if new email has arrived. You can, of course, turn these on and off – sometimes in the apps, sometimes you have to go to Android to disallow notifications for a particular app.

    Or – here’s the new bit: Swipe the notification sideways in one direction, and it goes away. Swipe it in the other direction, and – voila – a little settings icon shows up! Dunno how often this is the case – it’s a new discovery for me. Anyway, WTF? How are you supposed to discover this except by blind, stupid luck?

    – – – – –

    South Africa: My brother-in-law and his wife live in Capetown. Last time I talked to him, he was convinced that the problems are a lot less severe that the media portrayal. Which isn’t a huge surprise: the media has been known, on rare occasions, to go for sensationalism.

    Just a couple of days ago I read an article where the title said that land confiscations were about to start. The actual substance of the article was that the parliament had passed a law, which would allow a wording change in a regulation, which might be used as a basis for land confiscations.

    That said, the situation in South Africa is definitely not funny, and the current president is certainly not improving things. Haven’t talked to the BIL for a couple of months, but I expect we’ll hear from him over the holidays.

    – – – – –

    Finally, I just read Stephen Hawkings’ post-humously published book Brief Answers to the Big Questions. A collection of essays and such that he was working on, but hadn’t quite finished. While I don’t agree with everything, he was a smart guy, and makes some cogent points.

    Just a trio of examples that stick together in my head:

    He sees no qualitative difference between neurons firing and a neural net firing. Both are doing the same task. Given the continuous improvement in computer hardware and AI technology, it is inevitable that computers will reach human level intelligence, in the next few decades.

    Genetics: we will edit DNA to cure disease, but where do you draw the line? Anyway, wherever you draw it, someone will cross it. He sees it as inevitable that humans will edit DNA to improve the species. It is equally inevitable that this will lead to conflict between improved and non-improved humans.

    AI: combine the previous two points. AI with human-level intelligence, which will (among other things) certainly be used to design hardware and software. The inevitability that a species will improve itself. AI improving AI, and hardware/software changes are easier and faster than DNA changes. He doesn’t come right out and say it, but between the lines he clearly sees an AI singularity as inevitable.

  31. PaultheManc says:


    Why doesn’t Britain just tell the EU to pound sand for BrExit ?

    The key fact that must be understood, is that the British (unwritten) constitution doesn’t cater for referendum. The British people voted to leave the EU in an ‘advisory’ referendum, but our legislature, the House of Commons is comprised of about 75% legislators who wish to remain part of the EU. Therefore, Deep Establishment (parliament, media, big business) have all aligned to fight the will of the people, where they have the driving wheel. The Establishment believe they can frighten off a sufficient proportion of the people with scare stories to avoid proper leaving of the EU – they may be right, but I would not bet on it. A significant proportion of the people would be willing to ‘tell the EU to pound sand’ – but we are not in control, and there are only a few politicians who have anything like the character of Margaret Thatcher.

    Hope that helps.

  32. JimL says:

    Forgive me. I must.

    Genetics: we will edit DNA to cure disease, but where do you draw the line? Anyway, wherever you draw it, someone will cross it. He sees it as inevitable that humans will edit DNA to improve the species. It is equally inevitable that this will lead to conflict between improved and non-improved humans.


  33. brad says:

    @JimL: Shouldn’t that be…KHAAAAAAAAAAN!


  34. brad says:

    @PaulTheManc: Thanks for the info. What I also think is too little understood: If the UK government does not sign the current agreement, what happens in March? I see two options:

    – The UK ceases – from one day to the next – to be an EU member. Border controls go up, international shipments to/from the UK are subject to taxes and duties, etc, etc…

    – The politicians kick the can down the road. One extension after another…next week…next month…next year… De facto the UK remains an EU member, business as usual.

    The first is what people expect, and certainly what Theresa May scares people with. But the second is what the political elite generally want, and therefore seems to be the more likely option.

    What say you?

  35. ~jim says:


    My old workhorse HP LJ 5 MP has finally given up the ghost


    What seems to be the problem? I luvs them old workhorses, and know a few tricks. I’ve kept an HPLJ 1100 alive long enough to have grandchildren. Yours might have great-grandchildren, but is it really time to put it out to pasture?

  36. Nick Flandrey says:

    I’ve probably got one or more of that model in my ‘strategic printer reserve.” I could look… shipping wouldn’t be cheap, but probably less than the cost of a toner.


  37. JimL says:

    Have you SEEN the cost of shipping lately? Something that normally would cost me $20-$30 to have shipped from Oregon is currently $105. I’m waiting until after the first of the year.

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