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User Journal

Journal: what I want in my next car 1 1

Remember the motorized retracting radio antenna option that some cars had back in the 70's/80's? Well I want something like that, only on the driver's side of the car. And I want it to be a pipe with an elbow that can be raised like a submarine periscope. Only instead of lenses, I want it to be hollow. And instead of being an air intake like those snorkels on Hummers and Jeeps, I want it to be connected to the exhaust system and have a valve that can be actuated from a control in the cabin.

This way when I'm stopped at a traffic light, and next to me on my left is a big-ass truck jacked up off the ground with its "tailpipe" aimed right at my driver side window, smogging me out, I can flip a switch and return the favor and redirect my noxious emissions into one of *his* windows. (Or even better, a rubber hose that can be extended out from the car sideways to slip over the offender's tail^Wsidepipe, and reroute their own exhaust back at them!)

p.s. Speaking of automotive "why is this shit even legal?", how come motorcycles don't have to have mufflers? I have to notice one coming up on me and quick stick a finger in the appropriate ear so that blood doesn't shoot out of it when the guy roars by. I can be just about to fall asleep and one will go by on the main street down the block from me.

So I guess I also could use a 125 dB loudspeaker, which is just the threshold of pain but no real damage, on a turret on the car's roof, that automatically tracks an above-average loud noisemaking object, and when in range delivers a massive sound pulse of this.

It's funny.  Laugh.

Journal: On Spam, Faith, and Bullshit

Last Monday we had a front page article asking about the "effectiveness" of ISP-level spam filters. I eventually responded with a rehash of my central thesis on slashdot, pointing out that spam is an economic problem and filters will never resolve it.

My comment was generally well received (as seen by the moderations applied to it), though clearly some people were confused by it. Note for example two anonymous applications of the standard form, neither of which showed good comprehension of my comment. Overall my comment fielded 13 replies, many of which seemed to struggle with my statement in one way or another.

However the one who really failed most dramatically was this comment claiming - based on nothing at all - that everything I said was completely wrong. I eventually challenged his faith in spam filters, which apparently caused him to take off the gloves and make it personal.

In fact, so personal, that he kept bringing the conversation back to himself. Eventually I got tired of trying to bring the discussion back to being about spam, and he apparently got tired of talking about himself.

Even for this crowd, that was an odd discussion. Something like 18 comments from him in ~5 days and possibly not a single fact across the lot of them.
User Journal

Journal: Thanks, Obama! 33 33

Talking to a Caribbean-based business acquaintance this week reminded me that, no matter my feelings for the Obama administration, I will be eternally grateful that he's taken Cuba off the table. Because in the pantheon of stupid american wedge issues, the Cuban embargo is near-lock for the title IMO.

Bonus conspiracy fun: The lifting of the embargo, and its timing could be seen as a nice little spoiler for the only 2 GOP candidates who have any shot at beating Hillary next year, Bush and Rubio. Most of the other candidates can choose a wide range of answers when presented with questions on the topic, whereas the Floridians actually have serious history and ties on this, making finessing the issue that much harder.

Oh, and before someone thinks they're clever by telling me that President Perry or whoever would just go back to the status quo faster than you can say "fuck you liberals!", good luck with that. The GOP only cared that it reliably delivered Florida's electoral votes, and it stopped doing that a good couple of cycles ago. It's dead, Jim.

User Journal

Journal: Catholics have jumped the shark 16 16

I'm not Catholic, but even if I was:

1) I do not recognize this ball of mud in space as "our Sister, Mother Earth". How long before Catholics, who already come dangerously close to or cross the line into worshipping false idols, refer to it as "the Blessed Holy Mother Earth"? Water is blessed to make "holy water", so when will dirt be? Say three Hail Gaia's and you're absolved of your sins against "her"? I'm envisioning a creepy earth cult a la the movie Avatar. Stop the madness. Stop making little godlets out of other people and mere things.

2) This "sister" is not now crying out to us nor never has, because it doesn't have vocal chords and it's not alive. It's a giant dirtclod that has living things on it, most of them soulless/not made in God's image and therefore as valuable as the rock they live on.

3) I will not say a prayer for "our Earth". I don't pray for inanimate objects. Nor do I deify them.

These are based on an article I read at lunch about it this week on ArsLeftica. I ignored what the author said about the Pope's writing, and refer only to the quotes. Which appalled me enough; I don't care to read the original source on this one. (I don't want to know fully how bad it is.)

p.s. Note that I consider Catholics to be my fellow brothers in Christ. Same with Mormons. I trust that our acceptance of Jesus will enable us to go to the place that's the best. (Where I guess it'll all be straightened out.)

User Journal

Journal: Obviously, this validates the conspiracy 18 18

Islamic State operative suspected in 2012 Benghazi attack killed in US airstrike

Because certainly they must have known that he had all those deleted emails from Hillary Clinton's email server - particularly the ones where she asked him to initiate the strike - on his person when he was killed in Iraq this week. Hence this airstrike was done only to bring about the coronation of Mrs. Clinton.

Am I getting the conspiracy about right this time? I haven't heard anything from the usual gang here to tell me what to think about this yet.

User Journal

Journal: solidarity vs. feeling like you need a shower 32 32

My dad made an interesting point in the car on the way to lunch today. He wondered how my bro-in-law's folks, who are dedicated Liberals, could buy Toyotas, when they don't use union labor.

It's a bit of a conundrum. If you're a Leftie, you have disdain for anything American. Yet the Japanese automakers dodge unions like Wal*mart.

While it's still a capitalist system, how's a socially conscious person supposed to support the labor movement without also indirectly supporting their (private) employers.

User Journal

Journal: you dirty girl 8 8

Driving home from work Thu night I was at a stoplight behind a minivan with a PBS supporter license plate frame. The minivan had a large rear window, and I could see part of the taller SUV in front of it, with a Ron Paul for president sticker! I'll bet the minivan driver was road-raging in there!

The week before I was behind an SUV with a/an "If you're gonna ride my ass, at least pull my hair" license plate frame. I had to pull up next to the driver at the next light to see the person standing behind this statement. It looked like the lady from that pitbull rescue TV series.

That same afternoon another lady had a license plate frame of "Look out, Mary's driving". I wonder if that was self-bought, or if it was a "gift". She seemed to be driving just fine.

User Journal

Journal: Leveling up with python 2 2

$ py
Python 3.4.3 (default, Jun 14 2015, 02:11:57) [MSC v.1800 64 bit (AMD64)] on win32
Type "help", "copyright", "credits" or "license" for more information.
>>> dat="http://docs.aws.amazon.com/IAM/latest/UserGuide/Using_ManagingMFA.html"
>>> print(dat.split("/"))
['http:', '', 'docs.aws.amazon.com', 'IAM', 'latest', 'UserGuide', 'Using_ManagingMFA.html']
>>> print(dat.split("/")[1:])
['', 'docs.aws.amazon.com', 'IAM', 'latest', 'UserGuide', 'Using_ManagingMFA.html']
>>> print(dat.split("/")[2:])
['docs.aws.amazon.com', 'IAM', 'latest', 'UserGuide', 'Using_ManagingMFA.html']
>>> print(dat.split("/")[3:])
['IAM', 'latest', 'UserGuide', 'Using_ManagingMFA.html']
>>> print(dat.split("/")[3:-1])
['IAM', 'latest', 'UserGuide']

I hadn't ever used the python REPL to work on a bit of code, but it sure makes exploring the slicing notation easier.

After an instrument has been assembled, extra components will be found on the bench.

Working...