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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.

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: 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.

User Journal

Journal: How to counteract rm -rf / in a few easy steps.

first off be prepared, have killall rm in innocent looking names on the systems you protect. one for every letter of the alphabet if you can take the time to do that, but failing that having wget will allow you to download killall to any directory your on, assuming you have a network machine with the capabilities of sharing killall, or a comparable program.

User Journal

Journal: Winduhs

I think the whole mobile operating system thing has screwed up GUI design to a certain degree. Microsoft, Ubuntu, and GNOME have both been brave and tried something new, but what they ended up with ended up being highly unpopular on the desktop. And to be honest, I think only Microsoft ended up with something truly good on a touch interface, though I admit to not using Ubuntu or GNOME in those contexts, just being aware that they've not really encouraged an ecosystem for applications to work well in a tablet environment, leaving users with only the main shell being friendly. So the loss of optimization for the desktop lead to no significant gains elsewhere.

The way I'm seeing it, Windows 10 seems to be genuinely exciting, and a decent modern desktop, that also encourages cross interface design. Microsoft has learned from the mistakes it made with Windows 8, kept the good parts, and put together something truly great and modern.

I don't really want to be stuck with Windows though as my primary OS. I'm hoping Ubuntu et al actually learn from it.

This is something you'll never normally hear from me, but perhaps they need a Miguel type figure to take a lead in either GNOME or Ubuntu. At this point, at least to me, it looks like Microsoft is the one with the good ideas about how a UI should work and the relationship of an application to the UI frameworks of the underlying OS. I don't want anyone to clone Windows, but it would be nice to learn from it, at least.

Back in the 1990s, nerds like me put together our own "desktops", running random window managers, app launchers, and file managers (if that) that seemed to go together. I'm feeling like the FOSS "desktop" is heading back to that era, of stuff that doesn't really go together, being shoehorned to fit, with no real philosophy binding the system together.

User Journal

Journal: sacrilegious bumper stickers seen today 11 11

From my afternoon drive home today:

  • Not clever or funny:

    Dog is my co-pilot

  • Clever and funny:

    JESUS IS COMING!
    Look Busy!

p.s. About another bumper sticker I saw recently, being something like:

Don't tailgate me or I'll flick a booger on your windshield

Funny, sure, except it was on a PT Cruiser that was painted with images of food. I.e. it was a delivery vehicle for a food preparation service! Ew!

What will these marketing geniuses think of next? Coming to a pizza box near you:

Driver carries less than $20 in change.
Driver picks his nose.
Enjoy your pizza!

(Fine print: Not responsible for unordered, extra toppings.)

The computer is to the information industry roughly what the central power station is to the electrical industry. -- Peter Drucker

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