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Journal Journal: Ask Slashdot (sort of): Anyone know anything about boats? 2

I have the chance to buy a boat. I don't know anything about boats. This boat is a big boat. It is 70' long, it has masts and stuff - it also has a couple of engines (one of which is a generator) and has stuff like onboard desalination (I guess?) and stuff. It has two masts. I'd show a picture but I've been asked not to - the reason given is that this market is considered competitive and they don't want people to know that it's for sale or an indicator of price or some gibberish like that.

I should mention the seller, while not a friend, is an associate whom I've known for a while and calling them eccentric would be fairly generous.

Now, this boat is in Barbados. It has taken some external damage and has 'severe' engine damage as well as needing a 'near total reconditioning.' I did find a company in Florida that will go get it for me and their price isn't too bad (I think?) so that's not a problem.

The person selling this boat let the insurance lapse and now the boat is damaged. They don't have the money to do the repairs. They've offered this to me at a price that is pretty damned high. (People pay that much for boats? Their asking price is in the 9 digit range but they paid much, much more for it not that long ago - like 15 years ago.)

Now they have estimates and statements of value. So the estimated return on my investment would be well over 200% though I'd need to "park" my money for up to a "few years" or more.

I mention, again, that they're kind of eccentric so details are pretty sparse. I've bought a lot of expensive things in my time but I don't even own a boat with a motor. I also don't know a damned thing about boats except that port is left and stern is the front. I also haven't ever piloted nor do I want to pilot anything of this size. Hell, I don't even like boats.

But it does seem like an awfully tempting investment. I tried to find a professional to deal with this but it would appear that I don't know the first thing about boats. All my searching has found me nothing. My research also indicates that the current market for boats is pretty slow.

I've also been told that owning a boat is akin to owning a hole in the water in which to deposit money. However, I don't want to really OWN a boat - I want to not even see the boat. This boat had a skipper but the skipper has run away. The exact phrase was, indeed, "run away."

They want me to call them back tonight. I've already sent an email indicating that it will take me longer than that to do some research. They indicate they have interested parties (why contact me?) and that it's a potentially quick sale (again, why contact me?) but I do know them personally and they do indeed have a boat - I have personally seen his boat before.

I suspect it's my ready access to capital and that they've no buyers "lined up" at all but are hoping to pressure me into making a quick choice. Fortunately (maybe) I'm a cautious critter and don't really want a boat.

Anyhow, I'd have to have this boat refloated, tugged out, put on the back of another boat, brought to Florida (or Maine - probably Maine), and have the damned thing fixed. It also appears the people who do these things are pretty busy so this won't be quick. I guess I can "afford" it (for a limited definition of afford) and all and I'm not one to shy away from taking risks but I honestly don't know a damned thing about boats and I've been researching and calling for a couple of days now.

I mean, if Slashdot can help me find my favorite Linux distro (and send me on a personal quest of wanderlust and insight) then how can they not help me when it comes to boats? You guys know everything. I'm actually willing to pay a boat expert (do they have a specific name?) to make this choice for me. I don't think that it helps that I'm not home and won't be home for the foreseeable future (subject to another journal post, perhaps).

Finally, boats have butt-loads of geeky stuff on them. At least this boat does. It has radar, GPS, radio, engines and a couple of masts for sailing I guess, and other assorted stuff. I suppose if the damned thing doesn't sell I can either learn to love a boat or just suck up my losses, learn to never buy a boat again, and give it to the University of Maine's oceanographic biology department. I can, at least, write it off and offset some tax liability but that's a whole other long and detailed subject.

By the way, I don't have a huge attachment to buying a boat. I do kind of like the idea of reselling the boat at a decent profit - that is what is attractive. (Don't worry, various charities - including EFF - will get some of the profit.) Sorry if my writing is unclear, I'm not an author and my grasp of the English language is not so very good. Sad, really, I've been attempting to speak it for the vast majority of my life.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Strange revelations - hacker manifesto, set to music? 2

So, it's a very long story but I'm still in Buffalo, I have my reasons. In fact, my reason is in her hotel room (again, a very long story) and nearly forty years my junior. However, one of the many discussions we've been having... And no, it's not that type of relationship, perverts. I may opine on this later but I'm due to go to the movies in a little while.

Where was I? Oh, yes... One of the things we've had discussions about has been hacker culture, code, mathematics, computer history, technology, etc... See, I met her when she was beating up her poor laptop and I opined that that was no way to treat a computer. She told me it was an "old piece of junk." Being who I am, well, I offered to take a look at her poorly behaving PC and it actually gets stranger from there. It's a very long story.

Where was I again? Oh yes. So, I got her computer running and got her convinced to give Linux a try and we backed up her required documents and were on our way. Then we were hungry and, well, I've been a gentleman ever since. That was some days ago but, I digress and am in a bit of a rush tonight.

Anyhow, I tell you that to tell you this. While we were having dinner (and I am skipping a lot of the story for the sake of brevity) tonight, I happened to be expanding on the history of ethical hacking - after a long conversation that hacking didn't mean doing nefarious things and that coders were, indeed, hackers. So, the conversation went a bit like this:

Me, "Yeah, it's neat. Lots of them have their credos." Talking about ethical hacking at this point. "You could say it's their hacker manifesto."

Her, "You mean like that old song?"

Me, "You'll have to narrow that down."

Her, "You know, some German band. My mom likes her. 99 Red Balloons."

Me, "WTF?"

Her, "Umm... Maybe I am not getting you?"

Me, "No, you probably are. I suspect I'm not getting you. Lemme Google this." (Goes on to Google lyrics and is quite surprised at revelations.)

So, her gift to me and now mine to you is this, the lyrics to 99 Red Balloons revisited with today's hindsight.

You and I in a little toy shop
Buy a bag of balloons
With the money we've got
Set them free at the break of dawn
'Till one by one, they were gone
Back at base, bugs in the software
Flash the message
"Something's out there"

Floating in the summer sky
99 red balloons go by

99 red balloons
Floating in the summer sky
Panic bells, it's red alert
There's something here
From somewhere else
The war machine springs to life
Opens up one eager eye
Focusing it on the sky
99 red balloons go by

99 Decision Street
99 ministers meet
To worry, worry, super-scurry
Call the troops out in a hurry
This is what we've waited for
This is it boys, this is war

The president is on the line
As 99 red balloons go by

[Instrumental Interlude]

99 Knights of the air
Ride super-high-tech jet fighters
Everyone's a Superhero
Everyone's a Captain Kirk
With orders to identify
To clarify and classify

Scramble in the summer sky
As 99 red balloons go by

As 99 red balloons go by

99 dreams I have had
In every one a red balloon
It's all over and I'm standin' pretty
In this dust that was a city
If I could find a souvenier
Just to prove the world was here

And here is a red balloon
I think of you and let it go

I really wanted to add comments to it and whatnot but I'll leave that to you as I'm lacking time. I've got to leave at about 7:15. I bolded what was most interesting but there's so much more to bold and pontificate about... So much... How very odd.

If you want to watch it then, by all means, here's a link:

Anyhow, I... I... I had no idea? I'd never interpreted it that way (or even really paid attention to it). That song actually is deep and meant something? Or is it just deep and meaningful in retrospection? By the way, it could be construed as unethical hacking but that's not really the important part. The important part is her sharing this and my ensuing excitement.

Also, yes, yes she is a cutie... However, it's a long story. If you think THIS is a long post then, well, if I decide to type the rest it will make this seem like Cliff's Notes.

I'll try to peek in and see if there's a reply and then, of course, I'll be here later. After all, there are some things you ask your friend and family about. Then there are other things you just don't want to ask them because their opinions are all biased so you're stuck asking /b/ or Slashdot. I don't really want to post pics (or it didn't happen) so I may actually ask Slashdot just to see the replies.

Why not? I mean, you have given me great advice before. I'd have never tried Linux Mint without you guys recommending it, I'd have stuck with CentOS or something. Hell, I'm even on my journey because a Slashdotter sort of recommended it. You're a surprisingly wise bunch as a group. (And no, no I'm not drinking, drunk, or otherwise overly intoxicated - I might be a little high.)

Anyhow, I'm off to see a movie shortly. The theater is just down the road a spell and I'll obviously have my phone (on silent) with me. Me? Go somewhere without a computer? I don't see that happening. Also, she's smart and a budding geek. Life is too confusing. *sighs* I hate popcorn.

Social Networks

Journal Journal: $fans++

Relationship Change
sent by Slashdot Message System on Thursday October 01, 2015 @12:05AM

Phil Urich (841393) has made you their friend.

I'll admit this hasn't happened in a while, I was really expecting that this was going to be someone instead either foe'ing me or dropping me as a friend. Welcome to the mess, Phil.


Journal Journal: Least Shocking News of the Week 13

become a Republican after "the Democratic Party left me."

Who said it? None other than the thrice-divorced symbol of traditional marriage inequality Kim Davis, that's who

Same article also mentions:

the Family Research Council honored her with the "Cost of Discipleship Award"

That sounds important, for sure.

User Journal

Journal Journal: The Shortest/Longest Kampaign Ever

Officially, The Kevlar Kandidate sought the oval office for only 70 days (by comparison his friend The Teflon Candidate hung in there for all of 83 official days back in 2012).

That said, we knew The Kevlar Kandidate started his actual Kampaign over a year ago now but usually only the days after the "official" announcement count. It is also worth noting that Teflon Tim started his campaign over three years before election day .
User Journal

Journal Journal: Conservative Logic For the 2015 Cycle

If a video exists, and it supports your worldview, then whatever you want to be in it is certainly it.

Example; Carly Fiorina making stuff up about the Planned Parenthood videos.

The corollary to this is that videos you don't like automatically contain whatever you think they have. Examples include watching most of the GOP shit themselves over The Day After Tomorrow or all the people who incorrectly stated that Bowling for Columbine was intended to drive the government to take everyones' guns away.
User Journal

Journal Journal: Can This Save The Kevlar Kandidate?

While his poll numbers are in free-fall, the Kevlar Kandidate may need a miracle to save himself from complete irrelevance. He recently mentioned that he might support completely and utterly destroying our nation for no good reason, which might or might not help him. However, he might look just ever-so-slightly-less-stupid with that now that the border patrol recently caught a Canadian swimming in to the US.

If that doesn't work, he is soon planning to give a speech attacking working people across the country.

Journal Journal: Where do conservatives think fetal tissue goes? 11

When the latest cleverly-edited video on planned parenthood came out - attempting to push a belief that planned parenthood was getting rich off of abortion - I expected that even the people who bought into its distorted narrative were smart enough to realize that the tissue being "sold" was going for research. It appears, however, that I was likely overestimating the ability of such people to view this matter logically (one great example of this is in Real Time with Bill Maher, where California representative Dana Rohrabacher exactly claims otherwise).

This leaves the question - where do conservatives think fetal tissue is going?

Journal Journal: Kevlar Kandidate Goes A Little More Krazy 62

Since he can't get traction on any existing issue right now, The Kevlar Kandidate has opted to propose a new wall. This one, however, isn't on the US-Mexico border. This one, would be on the US-Canada border. It is unclear what he thinks this would accomplish - beyond bankrupting our country in construction costs.

If I could post pictures directly to slashdot, I would post a picture I took a while back of the US-Canada border at a point where there are just posts every mile or so, with American and Canadian farm fields butting up next to each other the same as anywhere within the country.

Journal Journal: Who Screwed Up Rendering This Week? 3

My browser didn't change (firefox 38.0). My OS didn't change (ubuntu 14.04.1 LTS). My internet connection didn't change (nope, not telling you who). I was travelling this week and thought maybe the craptacular rendering of slashdot was the result of it detecting me to be coming from some place else. Now I am back home and the page is still rendering poorly.

In particular:
  • When I view a comment there is no right banner, and the "the fine print" message is printed twice
  • When I click on messages (from the front page) it renders a mess as well; the right banner renders above the rest of the text and there is a nonsensical grey bar going across the screen left-to-right near the middle

I just love the arbitrary changes that they launch here all the time. It's like bug hunting, but without bugs ever being resolved or any bounties for the people who find them.

Be careful when a loop exits to the same place from side and bottom.