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Journal: Chronicle: Apartment: Carpet complaints 1

Journal by Chacham

My apartment has carpet save the kitchen that has tile. When i moved in, i was given a checklist to note what was not perfect. Figuring that's what they would fix, i verbally mentioned the cracks in the kitchen floor and perhaps something else, and moved on. I really had no idea what the checklist was for. Besides, it looked daunting.

A friend mentioned that carpet was not right, but i didn't care until summer when i realized how bad it was. Over the weekends i would lay on the floor to play games with friends and the like, and it felt grimy. That friend reminded me of what he originally noticed.

I spoke to the apartment manager about it, but he replied that the carpet was new. He bade me feel the carpet in the office, but in the end, i asked him to come by to humor me and that then he could call me an idiot. He told me he didn't need to go to the apartment to do that...:). But, come by he did and was surprised.

The apartment clearly had old carpet, which he admitted was grimy, and my friend who was by, showed him holes in the carpet too. He said he would look into it. I told him, i wouldn't mind if he waited until the yearly renewal (which has more likely a chance to get things done with the carpet.) That was a couple months away or so.

This past week, about a month later, i bugged him again. He told me that he misunderstood the note that the apartment has new carpet, which meant that one room's carpet was replaced. So, on lease renewal i would get a new carpet. As to the kitchen floor which has cracks and scuff marks, that would be too much at once, and he didn't want to push the central office. He then explained to me the issue with not having filled out the form when i moved it and thus how "Central" would see it.

Well, i mentioned how bad the kitchen floor is again, but told him i didn't want to cause problems. Nonetheless, i would like him to ask, but not to "push". He then said he would take it up with his supervisor, who was just a few feet away from us talking to his (the person i was talking to) secretary on a walk they would soon take. After that, i left, and i hope to pick it up again when i get the renewal notice.

User Journal

Journal: So this problem isn't new, or owned by either party 23

Journal by smitty_one_each

The arguments by which the Obama administration is countering lawsuits that seek to limit Obamacare subsidies to participants in "exchanges" established by states--a limit that is specified in the Obamacare law itself--have raised the outcome's stakes. Administration officials argue that the plain, unmistakable, uncontested language of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is less important than what they want the law to mean, and that hewing to its words would deprive millions of people of the subsidies that the administration had granted them regardless of those words. Therefore the courts should enforce what the administration wants rather than what the law says.
The Democratic Party, the bulk of its appointees in the judiciary, and the mainstream media echo these arguments.
America has moved away from the rule of law in recent decades, as more and more of the decisions by which we must live are made by administrative agencies in consultation with their favorite constituencies and judges rather than by the people's elected representatives. More and more, statutes passed by Congress are lengthy grants of power to administrative agencies, the content of which is determined by complex interactions between bureaucrats, special interests, and judges aligned with either. Hence House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's famous statement--that the ACA's meaning would be determined only after its passage--was true of it and most other modern legislation as well. This is the rule of men, not of law.

Obama is arguably more audacious about it, but look at the TSA.
Sarah Palin is arguing for impeachment, though that's really all about making damn_registrars foam at the mouth and driving subscriptions. We can impeach our way through the whole federal government, but if we are discussing systemic changes, then we're pissing in the wind, say I.

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Journal: it boggles the mind 19

Journal by Bill Dog

So tonight around 12:30 am, and I'm sitting downstairs watching TV. It's hot right now, so I had the windows closed and the central A/C on. Set to 76, so it hadn't run in a while.

My "living room" (it's an open concept downstairs in my townhome condo, so it's really just one big room) part is right by the front door, and I have my ceiling fan on at its highest speed during the hot months.

So the vertical blinds are flapping away in the window by the front door, and my TV is on this end, facing towards the front door, so at my doorstep you can hear that it's on.

And my recliner is 12-18 inches from the door handle. At about ear level where I'm sitting.

So I'm sitting there, and plain as day, someone tries the door handle. Now the setup here is that the door handle turns freely (although outside there's nothing to turn, you grab the handle and depress the latch with your thumb), but there's a deadbolt above it, keyed on the outside and with a switch on the inside, and that's what locks the door.

So whoever it was, clearly could tell that someone was home, up/awake, and most likely downstairs, given the blinds were flapping and the TV was semi-blaring (I play it a little loud, having lost some hearing or quality of from too much loud heavy metal with headphones, such that sometimes I have a little trouble making out what someone said).

And unless the person's watched me for a while and knew I was single and lived alone, would think potentially there was another person in the house, because I left the light on in my 2nd bedroom upstairs. (It's a CFL, and those I like to not cycle too much, and just leave on if I plan to come back into the room in a little while.)

And yet this person tried to come into my house. Now I've got 3 other doors around me, to my neighbors' places, but I can hear when they come and go from my recliner, because one door is right next to mine and the other two are in the next building just a skinny walkway's width away (we're packed in pretty good here).

Now I've heard reports of prowlers coming into peoples' homes when they're asleep at night, through an open or unlocked window. But this person had evidence to the contrary that the folk(s) who live here had gone to bed.

Which brings to mind the question, what if I hadn't had the top latched. What was this person prepared to say or do upon entry into my house, to the person(s) downstairs they would expect to encounter.

This person did not ring my doorbell nor knock on the door. I can't hear doorbells of my neighbors', but I can hear knocks on their doors, and their weren't any, so it wasn't some lost person in need of some kind of assistance.

The last neighbor who left their light on all the time for our walkway moved out recently, and my outside light on the light-sensitive controller broke a few years ago, so it's been completely dark out there, unfortunately. Apparently I should get that fixed and be the one who leaves that switch on all the time.

And maybe it's time to think about getting my first firearm. (And some lessons some where, having only ever shot a BB gun before.) I live in a nice neighborhood, but maybe that makes us a target.

And since I'm a heavy sleeper, maybe even getting an alarm system. Although I think those only detect a window opening, and not breaking.

Which leads to the other question that had come to mind about this person of the night. S/he was evidently prepared to confront this residence's awake occupants, so why not break a window to get in. The only thing I can think of is that the person wanted the element of surprise, and quietly slipping in through a mistakenly unlocked door would enable that, that a shattering window would not.

And yet occupants could come from other parts of the place, potentially with guns, so even if surprise was had on a downstairs occupant, it still potentially could've gone very badly for the presumably would-be intruder.

Oh, and no one tried the keyhole on the deadbolt, so it wasn't a neighbor who was just coming home drunk or something and walked down the wrong walkway, in this row of buildings.

And so I'll close with the ultimate question that came to mind: Why does really weird shit, happen to me. And no it wasn't a dream/I wasn't asleep, I'm a night owl kind of person, and had slept in until about noon-thirty today. I was watching stupid Friends reruns, after coming downstairs to catch Stossel's "Security and Liberty" special from 10-11. (Who's a whole topic unto himself.)

User Journal

Journal: Rant: Mod point silliness. 2

Journal by Chacham

Mod points again, which i prefer to spend in JEs. Last time i had points, i could not find the moderate button. Now i see that of you have javascript turned on it is automatic.

  • Automatic mod point application is amazingly stupid.
  • What if i make a mistake?
  • What if i see a post later that was unfairly modded down but now i have no points left?
  • The FAQ says, "Do you still have any moderator points left? You only got 5..." I got 15.
  • Why doesn't it mention the auto update somewhere?
  • After moderating it reports how many points you have left. Messages end up conflicting.

Overall, the heralded new age of Slashdot is being designed by morons.

User Journal

Journal: Just how much lying is acceptable in support of "Higher Truth"? 47

Journal by smitty_one_each

On Thursday, footage surfaced of Jonathan Gruber, an MIT economist and chief architect of Obamacare, discussing the issue at the heart of the latest ACA court cases: whether subsidies are only available for state-run insurance exchanges or can also be paid as part of a federal exchange.
During a January 2012 lecture Gruber said, "I think what's important to remember politically about this, is if you're a state and you don't set up an exchange, that means your citizens don't get their tax credits."
Gruber spoke with Jonathan Cohn, a senior editor at The New Republic, about the video on Friday and said the remarks were a "mistake" made while "speaking off-the-cuff."

Since ObamaCare is just a river of lies anyway, this sort of blatant falsehood must be deemed entirely in character.
Just don't forget to salivate when these deceivers are done with the whole ObamaCare falsehood and offer to "fix" the whole situation with Single Prayer.
No matter the magnitude and frequency of the falsehoods spewing from these liars, you have to give them the benefit of the doubt. Because "it's the right thing to do". Also, you've been stupid enough to vote them power thus far, America: why change now?

User Journal

Journal: Practical socialism 26

Journal by smitty_one_each

So, past all of the theorizing, what ends up happening in pretty much any political system you can name is that power gets concentrated, corrupts leaders, and ruin follows.
The act of trying to separate the theory of a system from the ensuing existential wreckage is among the more amusing acts one can watch other human beings undertake. No Christian wants to admit that Adolf himself made Christian utterances, for a bit of auto-Godwinism.
Thus when evaluating the goodness of a system of thought, I submit that not only should the abstract ideas be considered, but also the historical results of the ideas, and the subjective effects.
For my observation, Socialism offers some emotionally pleasing notions, but, like every single bureaucratic solution I've ever seen, winds up loving the problems it purports to "solve", and leads to stagnation.
Restated: you'll always have a statistical distribution of income. What matters not is that there are rich and poor (that's inevitable), but that there is a current flowing inside the distribution, so that people can reap as much/little as their genius and effort supports.
The big fib of Socialism is that, with just a few more pages of legislation, we can make that current flow "fairly".
Socialism, for some, seems a substitute for a proper faith in something that will endure beyond the final heartbeat.

User Journal

Journal: Chronicle Sample Merchandice Sale

Journal by Chacham

So, there was a JDRF sale at the company. Or rather, the sale benefited the JDRF. With company themed items, i was interested, for whatever reason.

The sale was Thursday, the email Wednesday (well, after 5 on Tueday), declaring a company "sample merchandise sale". "Pre-Sale 8:00 am - 9:00 am ($10 donation to get in) Sale 9:10 am - 3:00 pm (No charge to get in)".

I sent an email to the sender:

Please excuse my ignorance.

What is a presale?

Which got her response

Pretty much gets you in before the big rush and you have a better chance getting something you really want. Kind of like getting to meet a movie star and get an autograph before having to stand in line and not getting it.

I sent a thank you, and a little later:

I'm sorry to bother you again. I spoke to a couple people and realized I didn't understand two things.

1) Are things able to be purchased during the pre-sale?
2) What is a Sample Merchandise Sale? Specifically, what is meant by "sample"?

to which i received no response. Oh well.

A friend encouraged me to go and to just spend the $10, so i did. I found out a few things:

  • Samples are samples of branded items from other companies. That is, the other companies want to sell stuff with this company's logo.
  • Almost everything is sold within 2-3 hours.
  • You can purchase items during the pre-sale.
  • Very few people show up to the presale.
  • They have the sale once a year.

The prices were on the board, i wasn't sure what was what. There were a number of tables, a few people, and stuff lying here and there. Model cars of all sorts, Playstation games, shirts, caps, pants, wallets, and more. I found some police trucks on the "dollar table" and grabbed all eight. At first i hesitated from taking them all, but they encouraged me to do so and brought me a box to hold them. I also got a Captain America snap together model truck (Round2 AMT AMT857) and a cap and shirt. I went to pay and they had forgotten to charge me the extra $10, but after i reminded them, my price was $33.

The truck is fun. It's a KiNSMART KT5365, though it is a police truck. The doors open and the spring loaded action lets me pull it back and it rolls forward. It's not a small car, but is about the size of my hand ("Scale 1/46"). It happens to be a F-150, prompting me to ask, "Have you played with a Ford, lately?"

Back to the office, the lady who sits next to me showed no special interest in the truck. That is, until she saw the doors opened and the spring loaded action. All of a sudden she wanted one for her son. Her son is in his twenties and lives out of state. But who's counting? Two other people wanted it for their children. Heh. I find the whole thing amusing.

When my erstwhile boss asked me to meet him downstairs around lunchtime, i came down with the truck to show it to him. It was he that encouraged me to go in the first place and i thought he might want one. No interest. On my way back up, i was toying with it in the elevator. Two people were there of which the woman was eying me strangely. So, i asked with feigned surprise, "What?! You didn't go to the sale this morning?" There might have been a smile or a "what sale?", but it was all over soon. That is kind of out of character for me, but it sure felt good. :) For now at least, one of the trucks is being left at my desk.

At the register, i was asked if an emailed recipt was ok. Sure it was. My email address? I used a plus sign to help identify it. The program wouldn't take it. I hate stupid programmers.

I replied to the email with a thank you and then:

Hope i'm not spamming you. I just have to let it out.

I _really_ should have bought more models.

There aren't any left, are there?

A few minutes later she responded

Not spamming at all. Unfortunately, there aren't. I can follow up and see if any come up in the future though. What kinds are you interested in?

Really? There's a chance? I sent a response starting with:

Thanx for replying. I know i am hoping against hope. :) But it doesn't hurt to ask.

Who knows where that will go?

The Captain America truck is being sold on ebay for around $20. $5 was a pretty deal.

User Journal

Journal: weather.com's Faces of Death 1

Journal by Bill Dog

"Featured Videos" for just the afternoon of today included:

* (Something like "boy dies after stunning collapse", before I saw some of these others and noticed a pattern)

* "Boys Perish Soon After This Selfie"

* "Teen Dies While Attempting World Record"

* "Exchange Student Falls to Death"

<Goes there right now to see if there are any more>

* "Study Abroad Trip Turns Tragic" (the still for the video showing a young guy's face)

* "Cause of Death Released for Teen"

What the heck is it with their fascination for young people dying? I just wanted to see how fucking hot it was today (work on-site in fed. govt. bldg, and they don't give us A/C, in SoCal). I don't want to see death porn or whatever.

p.s. "Incredible Photos of People Laying in a Week's Worth of Trash" WTF?

User Journal

Journal: Holy shitballs, slashdot. Malicious ads being served up.

Journal by Qzukk

Love is over.

I was redirected to http://java-update-us.com/index.html?sid=42&aff_sub=wb-playanma-us&aff_sub2=am1&aff_sub3= which dropped a java_installer.exe into my Downloads folder from some ad playing on http://science.slashdot.org/story/14/07/24/1357256/empathy-for-virtual-characters-studied-with-fmri-brain-imaging around 2:30PM central time 7/24

User Journal

Journal: niwdoG 24

Journal by smitty_one_each
Playing the Godwin card when the topic is really the meaning, ownership, and usage of the symbol "Socialist" (by, for example, the U.S.S.R) is really kinda l4m3.
Yet, strangely, in character.
User Journal

Journal: Chronicle: Bought a rice cooker

Journal by Chacham

I bought an Oster steamer some time ago (looks like this one with the lcd from this one) to steam corn. Eventually, i used it to make rice, after figuring out that the tray holding the rice needs water too; the steam isn't enough. Silly me.

Although i still love the look of the corn, i no longer eat it as often, now that i have satisfied my craving for folate with a supplement. This supplement is not the usual folic acid. That does not seem to do the trick for me. It is Metafolin which "is the pure stable crystalline form of the naturally-occurring predominant form of folate." Whatever it is, it does the trick for me.

But, i still make corn and offer it to others and sometimes eat a bit myself. Regardless, i use it for rice and brown rice, which is probably my favorite food(s). Other than parboiled rice, i find steaming superior to cooking, whether due to the amount of water or agitation hurting the kernels.

Now, years later, the steamer is showing some age. The plastic lid is chipped, the drip tray doesn't get all the drips, and the coating over the heating element is cracking off. Mind you, it still works well. Though, i feel it might hit its end of life some time (not necessarily too) soon.

Concurrent with my steamer observations, i have been hearing about the rice cooker. These have been around for a while but have gained popularity in recent years. The word rice alone was enough to catch my interest. But then i would wonder why i needed a specialized steamer. Well, between wanting rice, gadgets, and having tasted rice from other people (which may have been higher quality rice), i began to covet a rice cooker to call my own.

Of late that got stronger, aided by my ailing steamer, so i searched for (something like) rice steamer reviews. I must have read a few articles but was most impressed by this one, which recomended a cheaper Hamilton Beach model and also a more expensive Zojirushi model, depending on intended use.

After going going back and forth, reading the reviews, and really asking myself what size i needed, i ended up purchasing a Zojirushi NS-LAC05XA on Amazon. I went with the Zojirushi because i want it for brown rice, and have been happy when buying more expensive appliances from companies with known for quality which end up working well and that for a while. You really do get what you pay for.

I taste tested some Della white basmati i purchased at a local Kroger, making a cup in the steamer and another cup in the rice cooker. I had made it in the rice cooker a few times already.

I filled two bowls, some on this side and some on that side, i knew which was which and my friend did not. He chose the steamed rice calling it sweeter and therefore determining it was from the cooker. I also chose the steamed because it was more watery which was better than the drier stuff from the cooker. Well, not dry, but it looks like a little more water might have helped. Though, i went back and forth on whether the steamed rice tasted watery and if i truly liked it or not. In any case, the rice cooker is much easier to clean and dry off.

More tasting with other brands and varieties may follow.

User Journal

Journal: Chronicle: New girl on the block oddity. 13

Journal by Chacham

My apartment's building is one of many around a circle. That is, the circle is surrounded by a square of lots, with apartment buildings on all four sides. As it so happens, i am now in my third apartment there, and on a third side.

Well before my arrival on the scene, the center of the circle was a pool and pool house, The pool has since been filled in and is mostly grass now. The pool house was at first the apartment office, which has moved to one of the apartments, and now is used for storage and also for housing the washing machine and dryer electric card machine refiller. It's a nice area and a few kids play there. The same kids usually, the ones that live in the circle.

Aside from the toddlers, most of the kids are black girls. I don't know if this is due to the population or just those are the ones more likely to play there, but that is irrelevant. It just makes others stand out. Until recently, there were three white girls playing outside, of which i know the two Jewish ones who are, iirc, 9 and 10 years old. I know them mostly because they play with my upstairs neighbor's kids when they (the upstairs kids) come on the weekends. The other girl has said hello to me once or twice in passing, but her family left to some other state. As it so happens, her father is black and her mother, white.

On Thursday i saw a new girl across the circle riding a bike. I thought her new because she was white, making it remarkable even at a distance. By her dress i could tell she was not Jewish (at least not Orthodox) and wondered if someone else had moved into the complex. The fact that it wasn't the beginning of the month didn't seem to bother me. Late afternoon on Friday, as i was going to a program, this girl saw me, and, looking scared, ran in between two parked cars so i could not see her. That was odd. A moment later, the black girl she had been playing with turned to me and said hello, which got my shy response. Since she was around at least one of the Jewish girls (who seem to be popular amongst the circle's kids), i asked them the following day what had happened.

Samantha has a white father and black mother. Her mother's sister lives in the circle and she visits her cousin (the girl that said hello to me on Friday) once in a while. She is Indian (this part makes no sense to me), flatulates when she gets nervous (these were not her exact words), and Xian. I am amazed at a girl's ability to learn so much in such a short time.

When Samantha saw me, she noted i was Jewish and thought i was going to curse her. (Really?!) She also doesn't like me because i don't accept her god. I asked the two girls if she played with them. Apparently, Samantha stipulated that they would have to accept her god, at least for the day, in order for her to play with them. IIUC, the older girl did not play with her, the younger one kind of ignored the topic and played with her. I did not get that last part so clearly. Though, their parents seemed to weigh in on the matter at some point.

And here i thought fundamentalist Xians tended to dress more conservatively. This girl had short shorts and a loose top. That's just plain odd. On a related note, i used to think that couples where one was black and the other white were rare, and ones where the woman was black rarer still. Yet, i see more often now.

User Journal

Journal: Funniest /. article in a while 32

Journal by smitty_one_each
http://science.slashdot.org/story/14/07/22/0236213/experiment-shows-people-exposed-to-east-german-socialism-cheat-more
As my wife is German and my in-laws are visiting, we had a good laugh about it.
Formerly East Germans have a less than stellar reputation.
My wife also wished that the research had included a question of religious affiliation, as Germany is split between Protestant and Catholic regions, and she felt that there might be a similar statistical significance along those lines.
I don't care to offend either group by revealing her suspicion. As a Baptist, I only support the Pope when he's rightly dividing the Word of Truth, but don't recognize him enough to feel there is anything to Protest against.
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Journal: Looking for Galen's De Temperamentis in English (4) 2

Journal by Chacham

Continuing the search for Galen's De Temperamentis in English, i saw that Cambridge University Press published the first book in the Cambridge Galen Translations series, Volume 1, in April, 2014. Indeed, Amazon has it listed as being published on April 7, 2014.

Amazon has it at $134 and free shipping. Cambridge Press has the list price is $140 and $6.50 shipping, but their Academic Alerts offers 20% off the first online purchase. 140 * .8 = 112, which is also the price of the eBook. Add shipping, 112 + 6.5 = 118.5, and it comes in less than Amazon's price. Good thing i checked.

The question is, does this include De Temperamentis? Whereas the listing includes the Table of Contents, De Temperamentis is the Latin title, not the Greek one. So, i emailed the press [Note: only excerpts of the actual email are quotes here.]:

ISBN: 9780521765176
Galen: Psychological Writings

Does this book contain a translation of De Temperamentis?

The reply cam pretty quickly:

Thank you for your enquiry. Unfortunately ISBN: 9780521765176 Galen: Psychological Writings does not include a translation of De Temperamentis (the table of contents is below). I have checked our catalogue and none of our other Galen books include a translation of De Temperamentis so I'm afraid you will need to look elsewhere.

Luckily, i responded (and somehow refrained from referring to the original Klingon):

It seem that "Galen: Psychological Writings" is part of the "Cambridge Galen Translations" series, of which it currently is the only book. Is De Temperamentis (or its source in Greek) scheduled to be translated as part of this series?

To which her reply was the disappointing:

We have another book due to be published in this series but it doesn't contain De Temperamentis either. I'm not aware that De Temperamentis is due to be translated as part of the series.

I thought my search was over, but, in the background, someone else asked a couple others, including Professor Philip van der Eijk

Is this work represented by the Mixtures work included in Vol. 1? If not, is it due to be included in a later volume?

To which the professor responded:

Mixtures will be included in volume 2, "Works on Human Nature", which we hope to finalise for publication this autumn.

It is quite exciting that he responded (though he never responded to my email on Sept 9, 2013) I was sent the message along with the following:

Apologies; it appears that this text will be available in "Works on Human Nature" (as explained below). Please note that when Dr van der Eijk says that they are "due to finalise for publication" the volume this autumn, he means that it will be submitted to the Press this autumn. Actual publication will only take place around 9 months after submission.

So, it looks like it will be done, but i'll have to wait about another year for it.

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