July the Fourth, 2019 – Independence Day

86F at 9:30 AM and 92%RH. Dang.

Today is the day we celebrate telling a bunch of fat, out of touch, distant and dismissive would be rulers that we had enough and weren’t going to take it any more.

Our founding fathers did it for a tiny percentage of the outrages we suffer daily.

===========================

Bob always took some time on this day to talk about his independence from Windows and MS. I’ve long given up that fight, and I think most people have. There are only a few left who think of using a PC as something other than using an appliance to do a task. The hobbyists, the otaku, have moved on to other things. Software is in the late empire stage, along with the larger world.

==========================

Go have some fun today. Spend time with family and friends. Remember that this day is a thumb in the eye to those who would rule free men.

nick

(do I need to add, be careful around crowds? Keep your situational awareness. Keep your eyes open for unusual activity. Know your exit path. Have the means to defend, or aid others close to hand. Live your life, but don’t be stupid or careless.)

48 thoughts on “July the Fourth, 2019 – Independence Day”

  1. Bob always took some time on this day to talk about his independence from Windows and MS. I’ve long given up that fight, and I think most people have. There are only a few left who think of using a PC as something other than using an appliance to do a task. The hobbyists, the otaku, have moved on to other things. Software is in the late empire stage, along with the larger world.

    Adults run things in Redmond now, Android is the iPhone alternative, and Linux runs servers. Utility is no longer based on how much you are willing to pay but rather how much privacy invasion you are willing to accept.

    Software development has definitely stopped being fun. I answer to way too many Music Ed and English majors who have higher “emotional IQ” but no clue as to how to do the work that generates the cashflow.

    One product manager had no clue how to deal with it yesterday when I told him that awarding the Music Ed major for my work this Winter as a means of encouraging her development was “a big pile of sh*t”. “I didn’t think you would be offended.” Later, my day ruined, another manager’s snide comment about wanting my job received a profane, loud rant describing the insulting comments hurled my way during my hiring as “junior developer”.

    The droids have a limited range of responses. Maybe I’ll be fired after the holiday.

    Nah, I’m not that lucky.

  2. @NickFlandrey – I drive by the State Surplus Store every morning heading to our new office down 183. Assuming I still have a job after next week, drop email the next time you’re heading out and see if I have the car that day (my wife now works at the VA next door).

    Our office is nothing special. The cool toys are in Taylor.

    Lunch options are pretty limited. I’m not a strip club guy, but there is a new P. Terry’s across from The Parking Spot. If you know the taqueria hole-in-the-walls, I’m up for learning about the local dives.

    Strangely, all the Chargers suddenly disappeared from the Surplus Store car lot this week.


  3. independence from Windows and MS

    Still fighting the good fight.
    Not a single Windows box in my house. And I have converted my MIL and Son to UBUNTU as well.
    Now if I could get rid of Google / Android as easily …. Sigh

  4. Having to take a medical for my new insurance policy next week. All my numbers are good but I need to drop another 5 lbs. Once I am retired I will have to provide my own life insurance. One of the many things on my growing list.

  5. Not a single Windows box in my house. And I have converted my MIL and Son to UBUNTU as well.

    My Linux-only laptop used to run Mint, but I keep it booted to Fedora 30 most of the time as of late. Everything got rebuilt with GCC 9 for that release, and the desktop experience is very smooth.

    Now if I could get rid of Google / Android as easily …. Sigh

    I have a phone running pure LineageOS and Firefox as an ongoing experiment. The experience leaves a lot to be desired, but the device proves you can minimize Google in your life.

    Avoiding Android totally is tougher.

  6. All Apple here, except for one MS SP3. I’ve had problems with my drones using a MacBook, so I keep the SP around.

    Ann Coulter has an interesting article on T. Jefferson today. Worth a read.

  7. I have to snicker at LibTurds crying over the hand full of millions tRump is spending in DC for the 4th. Yet, we are sending 4 billion to the border for illegal fukstiks who could walk south to get out of the “concentration camps.”

    I can’t count the number of military displays I participated in during 20 in the Army. All out in the public. I marched in plenty of parades, also. I guess I’m a commie for that. I find it interesting how little Joe Public knows about his own military. Kids love to climb all over tanks, helos, etc.

  8. I don’t feel very “Independent” today. It’s not just the political climate, but my mobility issues continue to degrade as well as problems with my Type 2 Diabetes (both exasperated by the state of Medi-don’t-care). I have a great Primary Care Doctor who has no trouble with all the required paperwork, but it is still not getting me all that he believes I need.

    Like @Nick said, our ancestors rebelled against the tyrant King for far less than we are subjected to today. I see no resolution in my lifetime (even if I live another 40/50 years). My children have become too conditioned to our current Socialist State and the upcoming generations will never know what Freedom really is. I had to pass tests on the U.S. Constitution and Illinois State Constitution in order to graduate from High School; not to mention 4 years of English, Math, Science, Social Studies (not what that means today), a Foreign Language (I took French), Physical Education, and 2 more elective classes/credits each year. The base school day was 9-hours and all extra-curricular activities (team sports, marching band, radio and TV station, yearbook, school paper, Spring Musical, and more) made for a 12-hour day for me.

    So today I shall toast My Ancestors with some Jack Daniel’s Private Reserve and lament that the spirit that once was is no more.

    Sorry for the downer, but be assured I will never give up. As a song by Toby Keith says: “I am not as good as I once was, but I am good once as I ever was.”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ldQrapQ4d0Y

  9. @JimB: Earthquake?

    Felt all over LA area and here in NW Orange County. Said on TV that center may be near Ridgecrest.

  10. @ cali and NV readers, watch for aftershocks while you’re moving around.

    Stay safe, let us know if you have any experiences to share afterward.

    Earthquakes always freaked me out. My first was less than a week after moving to LA. We had just taken down some “earthquake reinforcement” in the old brick warehouse we were working in, and actually said OUT LOUD “when will there ever be an earthquake”…

    It was a small quake but located only a little way from us so we got a good long shaking. No bricks fell at our place, but some did fall at the epicenter.

    I went thru many more after that, none serious (missed Oakland and Northridge), but that feeling of disbelief just before the belief is still with me.

    Funny thing is, the threat map I posted a link to last night had LOTS of quake activity on it, and Japan had recently evac’d a town due to quake threats. A volcano is going off, and Yellowstone has some unusual activity.

    Twice in the last 10 days I drove thru New Madrid, site of the New Madrid Quake…and couldn’t help thinking about it.

    n

  11. Ebola news, almost made it out to South Sudan–

    Fears Ebola will spread to South Sudan grow after 40-year-old mother dies of the killer virus close to the Congo’s border with the ‘vulnerable’ nation

    A woman died in the Congo’s Ariwara, 43miles from the South Sudan border
    South Sudan has been ‘high alert’ since the Congo declared an outbreak
    It’s the closest known case to the ‘vulnerable’ neighbouring country
    They have a weak health system and are in the midst of a five-year civil war

  12. No aftershocks, but my butt was sashaying at the table at iHop during breakfast.

  13. The quake was do to GLOBAL CLIMATE WARMING CHANGE do to President tRump’s border policy.

  14. Today is the day we celebrate telling a bunch of fat, out of touch, distant and dismissive would be rulers that we had enough and weren’t going to take it any more.

    Our founding fathers did it for a tiny percentage of the outrages we suffer daily.

    Yes, we put with crap that George Washington, Sam Houston, and Daniel Boone would have been grabbing their guns and marching on Washington for a long time ago. And it will get worse, way worse when AOC becomes president in 2025. I figure that will be our last presidential election ever as she becomes the wise latina who rules us with a “kind” and “firm” hand. People like us on this board will moved to re-education camps until we are woken to the betterment of all.

  15. Software development has definitely stopped being fun. I answer to way too many Music Ed and English majors who have higher “emotional IQ” but no clue as to how to do the work that generates the cashflow.

    I am sorry to hear this. I love software development still and will love it until the day I die hopefully. I have been fine tuning the 20,000 lines of new Fortran code that I have written over the last two years for the last week and have finally gotten the error down to less than 0.003 percent which is acceptable to me. Getting closer to 1 ppm error is just not going happen, especially with the poor data that is available out there.

  16. And it will get worse, way worse when AOC becomes president in 2025. I figure that will be our last presidential election ever as she becomes the wise latina who rules us with a “kind” and “firm” hand. People like us on this board will moved to re-education camps until we are woken to the betterment of all.

    Just because they desire to have sex with her (for now) doesn’t mean that the upper rank Dems waiting for Plugs and Bernie to retire will put their own ambitions on hold for the cocktail waitress.

    Florida dodged the “inevitable” Andrew Gillum bullet last year. Something similar happeend in Georgia. I trust that the US will muddle through as well.

    (Keep an eye on Florida. As long as Gov. DeSantis stays smart, he’ll be reelected and a serious player in Presidential politics in 2024.)

    I still think redistricting will end the rise of the cocktail waitress, however.

    And a shooting war with Iran will make serious anti-war candidates very viable next year. I remember reading that Trump looked at Tulsi Gabbard for Mustache Boy’s job, and I’ll bet that any conversations they had weighed heavily on his mind when he called off the airstrikes.

  17. One product manager had no clue how to deal with it yesterday when I told him that awarding the Music Ed major for my work this Winter as a means of encouraging her development was “a big pile of sh*t”. “I didn’t think you would be offended.” Later, my day ruined, another manager’s snide comment about wanting my job received a profane, loud rant describing the insulting comments hurled my way during my hiring as “junior developer”.

    The diversity of today’s work environment is crazy. I cannot imagine what working there is like. Oh wait, I did back in the 1990s and the product failed because of the unqualified produce manager and his lack of leadership for the product. I had a woman programmer file charges on me at HR because I told her to catch up with the team (she had not turned in a line of code in over six months whereas I turned in code almost daily, she was complaining to our boss that she had trouble keeping up with my code changes and he lit into me). She was laid off soon after when the client canceled the three year project due to lack of progress.

    I would keep my mouth shut and move on to another job. Talk with the people who left the company in previous years and see what opportunities are out there. Their non competes are probably expired now so they can talk with you.

  18. I love software development still and will love it until the day I die hopefully.

    Likewise. There’s something incredibly satisfying about starting with a blank editor screen and ending with working code.

    Back in my days of coding COBOL I was shocked to see just how awful most of my coworkers’ code actually was. I used to say that if their code accurately reflected their thought processes, then the country was in deep trouble indeed. I shudder to think of what steaming piles J. Average Programmer is creating in C++ or Javascript nowadays.

    Just for the record, I consider myself to be a competent, not great or genius, programmer, so this isn’t snobbery or elitism.

    These days, being retired, I use languages that I like to solve problems that interest me.

    Programming in today’s workplace is akin to being a Morlock.

  19. Always looking for good sources for unusual items.

    Shopping for replacement pads for my AED, I found this place-

    https://www.schoolhealth.com/

    They have LOTS of stuff in stock. Prices on the pads were w/in 1% or less of everyone else, and they had both child and adult. Price checking them on trauma response and bleeding control kits had them EXACTLY the same as buying direct from North American Rescue. This is a bit of a shock as most suppliers to schools have HUGE markups.

    No problems placing my order, we’ll see when it gets here.

    n

  20. I would keep my mouth shut and move on to another job. Talk with the people who left the company in previous years and see what opportunities are out there. Their non competes are probably expired now so they can talk with you.

    I’m looking. I stopped looking for a while after a couple of interviews in November, but things are really clear at this point.

    I like the technical challenge of the position, and I needed out of CGI. However, I don’t think I should have accepted the job in retrospect. If they didn’t want to hire me, they should have said so instead of hiring me and waiting for me to quit in disgust.

    As much as I disliked CGI, there was a lot more respect for an older point of view. My management chain there didn’t last long after I unloaded on the problems in my exit interview.

  21. WTF is wrong with people? Are they so self focused that they think “I just felt an earthquake, I should alert the authorities. No one else has my acute perception abilities…” or are they so stupid and clueless that they think “I felt something weird, I should call 911 and ask what it was.”

    “However, the emergency lines were flooded. “We are very much aware of the significant earthquake that just occurred in Southern California. Please DO NOT call 9-1-1 unless there are injuries or other dangerous conditions. Don’t call for questions please,” the LAPD said in a statement.”

    n

  22. WTF is wrong with people? Are they so self focused that they think “I just felt an earthquake, I should alert the authorities. No one else has my acute perception abilities…” or are they so stupid and clueless that they think “I felt something weird, I should call 911 and ask what it was.”

    People have bad cases of what I call “phone-itis”. They love to use the devices. An earthquake provides a convenient excuse.

    My in-laws have phone-itis. Bad. We used to get calls at the house from my father-in-law while he waited in line at Home Depot. In the 90s, he wanted us to put in a second line just so he would never get a busy signal if I was online with work and he was bored.

  23. I am trying to break my daughter’s NEED to answer the phone. Like many people, she just can’t let it ring. She’s only 10. The phone exists for MY convenience, not for others to inconvenience ME.

    (everyone was home and within sight, so no reason to panic)

    n

  24. Strangely, all the Chargers suddenly disappeared from the Surplus Store car lot this week.

    June 30 sale ! End of the month, end of the quarter. And the 2020s come out in August so they hate having 2019s on the lot.

  25. I still think redistricting will end the rise of the cocktail waitress, however.

    AOC really put her foot in it with the Amazon HQ2 debacle. The local politicians and the governor are very unhappy with her. In fact, I think that they would like to put a live cattle prod up her rectum.

    But, Maxine Waters and Nancy Pelosi are still walking the dung lined hallways of Congress. AOC may figure out how to save her seat or, to take the combined seat away from the new intendent.

  26. We are Ok. Have been a little busy. You probably have more news details than I do. Thanks for the concern.

    6.4 about 11 miles from us. Shook more than I have ever experienced, but not very scary. House seems to have no damage. Power off about four hours, now back on. Water stayed on, no surprise. Have not ventured into town, but apparently minimal damage. I will post some lessons learned later.

    Lucy (Jones?), Cal tech expert, says they need to sift through the data, but said the usual reminder that this one could be a foreshock to a bigger one that could occur in the next week. Time will tell. Meanwhile, more than a hundred aftershocks, and tapering off, which is good. We are getting used to them 🙂

    We are a very active region, with lots of unexplored faults, whose interdependence is not well known.

  27. 6.4 about 11 miles from us. Shook more than I have ever experienced, but not very scary. House seems to have no damage. Power off about four hours, now back on. Water stayed on, no surprise. Have not ventured into town, but apparently minimal damage. I will post some lessons learned later.

    Excellent, good to hear !

  28. “Strangely, all the Chargers suddenly disappeared from the Surplus Store car lot this week.”

    June 30 sale ! End of the month, end of the quarter. And the 2020s come out in August so they hate having 2019s on the lot.

    The Surplus Store stocks old cop cars.


  29. nothing feels as good as home

    Seven different hotels, thus seven different beds. I don’t sleep well in strange beds. The three hour time change did not help.

    I was able to talk Delta into giving me Comfort+, 4th of July, disabled veteran, etc. It worked. Never hurts to ask. That helped on the flight home as there is more leg room. Except for the person next to me that reeked of a strange odor. I attributed that to alcohol which they consumed four small bottles during the three hour flight. I suspect that the person is a lush and smells that way all the time.

  30. “Strangely, all the Chargers suddenly disappeared from the Surplus Store car lot this week.”

    June 30 sale ! End of the month, end of the quarter. And the 2020s come out in August so they hate having 2019s on the lot.

    The Surplus Store stocks old cop cars.

    Huh. Then somebody is making a movie and needs a few wreck-em cars.

  31. Back from fireworks show.

    Did not go to the big show out in Katy as we have in the past. Someone in the neighborhood clued my wife into a “secret” spot to watch a show put on by a local country club. It’s only about 10 minutes away, isn’t a parking lot with thousands of people, and doesn’t take an hour before the cars drain out of the lot…

    It was nice. A half hour show, mostly single airbursts but also a few doubles throughout the show, with a nice finish. Most of the people there were either from the neighborhood, our pool association, or sports teams so the kids knew a bunch of other kids and they ran around and chased each other. It was a grassy area with trees on each side in a utility easement near one of the bayous. Nice cool breeze after dark too.

    Much nicer than being in the big crowd.

    Home and kids in bed before the other show would have even finished letting us out of the parking area.

    @JimB, glad you and yours are all right. I hope it’s not a pre-shock for something bigger… we’re getting a bunch of warmups for testing our preps this year…

    I listened to the scanner earlier and am listening now, to the big downtown event. It’s winding down and they are starting to release officers. Earlier they called out the special response group for a “disturbance” in a parking lot, had several people with medical emergencies, and even an officer who seems to have gone down with a heat injury. Definitely NOT where I’d want to be. Even the local upscale shopping area (2.5 miles from me) is too crowded tonight. We drove past on our way home and there were a lot of people still there. Not my scene at all.

    I took my camp potty for the minivan, my air travel carryon bag, and my truck trauma bag. I remembered to put some burn stuff in it this year. All I needed was some batteries for a lantern for the kids. “Did you check that the lantern worked before you packed it?” “No daddy.” “Next time check.” Wouldn’t have been a tragedy but I was able to reach in and grab the batteries I needed. Almost used the lidocaine burn gel on a little girl who got bitten by ants, but ice and kisses were enough. Nice to have it. And one of the moms had the ‘bite stick’ treatment ready too. I didn’t see which, or I’d follow up with a prepping comment and see if she’s a like minded individual. Always good to know who can be counted on in your circle of acquaintances.

    Soon I’m off to bed. Need to relax a bit first.

    n

  32. And now that I think of it, I didn’t see any of the mess from previous years about not stressing the [near to snapping and disturbed] combat vets with fireworks… so what’s different? Why did those pushing that message before not do it this time? Or did they and I’m so disconnected from popular culture that I didn’t see it?

    n

  33. I got a letter from from the TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY yesterday. They told me that my driver’s license will expire in two years. However, they are asking me to go renew my driver’s license soon (before October 1, 2020) so that my driver’s license will be compliant with the federal REALID act. On Oct 1, 2020 my driver’s license will no longer be accepted by federal authorities.
    http://www.dps.texas.gov/DriverLicense/federalRealIdAct.htm

    I have to bring four items with me:
    1. an application
    2. proof of citizenship
    3. proof of identity
    4. proof of social security number

    They forgot number five, cash to pay for this mess.

    I hope that I can meet all of these requirements.

    I feel a standing in a long line coming in my future. Our local DL office is clogged with illegals trying to get a DL somehow. I have seen 300+ people in line for our super DL office with 75 stations. I am going to wait for the fall and cooler weather since you have to wait outside.

  34. My DL expired last summer, and since I am older than 70 I had to renew in person for my first time. I was getting new corrective lenses, so I wound up waiting, and needed to go only a few days before expiration. CA strongly recommends appointments, but when I checked the soonest was a month in the future, way too late.

    So… I went in at 2PM on a Tuesday, probably the slowest time of the week. The place was full, but no line extending outside. There were two intake lines, one for appointments, and the other for me. That’s right, I walked right up while others waited for their appointed times. The lady very politely checked my papers in seconds, and then issued me a waiting number. Aha, I thought, this is where I wait forever. Nope, less than ten minutes. The rest of the process took over an hour, but I was always busy; no waiting. New everything: thumb print, picture, two written tests (one for motorcycle) etc. Did have to pay, no credit cards accepted.

    All this from a DMV that has a horrible reputation. I really lucked out.

    Since I have a passport, I still can’t figure out why I need this “improved” DL. I was tempted to not get it, but it only took some additional IDs and a few added seconds. Same cost.

    Getting old has disadvantages. I used to be able to renew on line or by mail. Having to go somewhere is far less convenient.

  35. I watched the “Outlander” series with my wife. In the fourth season, the main characters are getting involved (so far only tangentally) in the American Revolution. The British are shown as being corrupt, taxing people into poverty in order to provide the British aristocracy with parties and mansions. I’m honestly not familiar enough with the historical details, but other parts of the series have been pretty faithful to history.

    Programming – I also really, really enjoy it. Especially if I can get into a complex problem that requires some metaprogramming. Self-modifying programs – that’s fun. For example, I detest doing user interfaces – boring, boring. The last time I had to do a complex interface, I wrote classes that produced most of the user-interface automatically, based on the database structure. That was a lot more satisfying, and made the system easily extensible.

    Sadly, teaching programming means that I have very little opportunity to do anything complex.

  36. I feel a standing in a long line coming in my future. Our local DL office is clogged with illegals trying to get a DL somehow. I have seen 300+ people in line for our super DL office with 75 stations. I am going to wait for the fall and cooler weather since you have to wait outside.

    If you have a US Passport Card, that will suffice as ID for boarding flights until your drivers license is REALID compliant.

    The application process for the US Passport Card is less hassle than a drivers license since you can make an appointment. The clerk at the Austin office is real militant about enforcing those appointments, turning walk-ins away unless he has an open slot on his schedule.

    If you already have a passport, getting the card is a nit.

  37. Huh. Then somebody is making a movie and needs a few wreck-em cars.

    Always a possibility. Among other productions, the Tarantino half of “Grindhouse”, “Death Proof”, used roads around Austin for the elaborate car chase scenes.

    “Death Proof” also featured a really cool visual effect of putting the interior of the Texas Chili Parlor into an old roadhouse in a rural area. If you’ve ever been to the Chili Parlor, you know it isn’t in a rural area or even a roadhouse-looking building.

    My father was briefly in the custom car business at the end of the 70s. When “The Dukes of Hazzard” was in production, Warner scoured the country for 69 1/2 Chargers (two doors back then) in any condition since they typically trashed two per show. FL cars were especially popular since the highways never see salt de-icer.

  38. Did not go to the big show out in Katy as we have in the past. Someone in the neighborhood clued my wife into a “secret” spot to watch a show put on by a local country club. It’s only about 10 minutes away, isn’t a parking lot with thousands of people, and doesn’t take an hour before the cars drain out of the lot…

    We went to the show in Cedar Park. Thousands of people and lots of cars, but the cops had things organized so we were home 30 minutes after the last shell exploded.

    Unlike Austin cops, Cedar Park Police don’t spend their days having to look the other way for homeless camps or staring through binoculars trying to hand out $500 tickets for touching cell phones. Everyone on event duty was friendly and smiling, doubly so to the kids.

  39. I have to bring four items with me:
    1. an application
    2. proof of citizenship
    3. proof of identity
    4. proof of social security number

    They forgot number five, cash to pay for this mess.

    Same here a few months ago. I filled the app while waiting. Took my birth cert for #2. Used my driver’s license for #3. Because, duh. I had my SS card with me.

    They guy said he just needed my d/l as the rest was on file from when I was 15 or so, when I got my learner’s permit.

    So…. between the lines… filtering out illegals?

  40. I got a letter from from the TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY yesterday. They told me that my driver’s license will expire in two years. However, they are asking me to go renew my driver’s license soon (before October 1, 2020) so that my driver’s license will be compliant with the federal REALID act.

    Kneevaduh went REALID several years ago and encouraged all the family to do it then. We are all up to date.

    At that time, the DMV also set up an appointment system. You go online and find a date and time. When you go to the DMV, there is an info desk and they give you a ticket. The wait is about 15 minutes.

    I had to renew on my birthday last month. Kneevaduh also switched from 5 year to 8 year renewal. Lifetime would be better.

  41. AOC really put her foot in it with the Amazon HQ2 debacle. The local politicians and the governor are very unhappy with her. In fact, I think that they would like to put a live cattle prod up her rectum.

    Alan Grayson in Florida had a similar problem. While he was popular with the Progs, he failed to bring home the pork, and IIRC, he lost his seat to the Gerrymandering deal cut in the FL Legislature during the last redistricting in 2010.

    Here in Round Rock, MJ Hegar and all her fancy commercials paid for by CA money were no match for this single ad, run by the incumbent, reminding voters about who provides the pork, particularly VA benefits. No Hollywood money or talent involved.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uxf8ZhFmp1k

    What the incumbent was up against.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zi6v4CYNSIQ

    Someone I worked with swears it is Scorsese or a very close imitation.

  42. The DMV in New York is great. No standing in line. They give you a number and you sit and watch TV while you wait. Last time I was the wait was less an a minute. Texas appears to not know how to properly run the DMV. Republicans don’t know how to do shit.

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