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Journal: April 2015 has been a busy month

Journal by msobkow

April 2015 has been a busier month than I'm used to.

I got MSS Code Factory 2.1 Service Pack 1 out the door after over two months of work.

I packed up and moved to a new apartment.

Last but not least, I installed Ubuntu 14.04.2 LTS on my failing Debian box. I still haven't done any more work on the Windows 7 laptop to get it into a development-usable state, but since I did all that performance tuning on MSS Code Factory 2.1, I really don't need to use the Windows laptop. In fact, the poor beast is so I/O bound when running 2.1 that it sounds like the hard drive is about to rupture and spew it's guts out the keyboard when MSS Code Factory is running.

The shift to Ubuntu 14.04.2 from Debian 7 was a last-ditch attempt to resolve an X-Server crash issue (white-out screen in NVidia 8600-series hardware with NVidia drivers.) Although I did see one such crash on Ubuntu 14.04.2 since installing it in the first week of April, I have not seen it in the ten days since Ubuntu released some X-Server input patches.

So it wasn't entirely the NVidia driver's fault that my X-Server was crashing; there seems to have been some bugs in the input stream processing.

I'm still not 100% confident that the X-Server bug has been resolved, but it's looking like it has. Which is a good thing -- I can't afford to buy a new computer at this time (nor in any reasonably near future, as I'm on disability and get less than $17,000/year to live on here in Saskatchewan, Canada.)

User Journal

Journal: "O'Keefe takes his case against John Doe to U.S. Supreme Court" 26

Journal by smitty_one_each

I guess our favorite Pavlovian degenerate will claim this is just a stunt, there's no "there" there, and it doesn't matter until certiorari is granted.
What's the difference between a mallard with bird flu and a Wisconsin Lefty?

Oh, and I guess the WSJ urging SCOTUS to take the case is just an example of conservative media bias, or something.

User Journal

Journal: Rant: Bring your Daughter/Child(ren)/Son To Work Day 2

Journal by Chacham

Okay, first came Take Our Daughters To Work Day, which was implemented as Take a Child to Work Day, now "officially", Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day, but personally i consider it Take Our Cuties To Show Off Day.

Ostensibly, the original reason was to encourage the young ladies about the work place. Or was it to let mothers be known. Regardless, this well intended practice was aimed at women, for women, by women. In a sense, (good) discrimination to fight (bad) discrimination. Adding boys to this messed the whole thing up, right?

If the purpose was for the girls, that would mean the girls should be tweens. Old enough to understand, yet young enough to not have angst. 70 years ago, the participants would have been teenagers, but times have changed. Teens are the real tweens. They're young adults we treat as children, regardless of so much evidence otherwise. But, i digress.

Now, it seems the (average) age group here is 3-5. Parents spend half their time taking care of the children, and the other half attending events for the children. The only benefit seems to be showing off the children. And even that is discriminatory. They only show their children to friends, and seem wary of anyone else.

Just before, i heard one mother ask if child if he went potty already. Seriously? This is the kid you bring to work? Though, i guess it lets us see the more motherly side of these women (few men seem to take the option, and the ones who do, rarely show off) and they probably don't want to bring older children, for fear of what they might say.

Next up, bring your mom to school day. Wait, they already have that useless thing too...

User Journal

Journal: Slashdot's Favorite Governor Rides Again 11

Journal by smitty_one_each
Scooby Snack (no-Chiptle division) for the haters who gotta hate my links. Mother Jones:

Scott Walker Celebrates Earth Day by Proposing To Fire 57 Environmental Agency Employees

Happy Earth Day! Today is a day we can all band together and share our love for this beautiful planetâ"or at least drown our sorrows about climate change with nerdy themed cocktails. Later today, President Barack Obama will mark the occasion with a climate-focused speech in the Florida Everglades. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, a frontrunner for the GOP presidential nomination, had a different idea: Fire a big chunk of the state's environmental staff.

Troll level: Grand Master.

User Journal

Journal: Chronicle: Off to the bookstore for a book! 2

Journal by Chacham

I love books. Well, i love reading them. There are people who do love books, such as an erstwhile coworker that told me she cried when they were lost or damaged, or something like that. She convincingly conveyed to me that she was emotionally attached to her books. She also no longer works here.

I used to work at OLDE, which put me close to John King Books which has over a million books. Though he's just one match away from retirement, i visited a lot during lunch. It was under 10 minutes each way, leaving me over a half hour of perusing each day. Too bad i was only there a few months.

Regular bookstores seem to be going away. Also, there price of a new book at a decent bookstore is high. And, with the advent of online bookstores, the brick & mortars are even less attractive. Well, until i tried looking for a book on Java. There's a bajillion book's on Java, each with its own target audience. Then there's a bunch of versions of Java, how well the target audience is hit, and we have confusion. Even Amazon's reviews were to no avail.

So, off i went to the bookstore. Well, actually, off i went to Home Depot to get new drip pans for my range. I asked someone where to find drip pans, he pointed and gave me the aisle number, asked a second person when there. Minutes late i was checking out. Awesome.

So, i decided to go to Border's, which used to be close by, and found Books-A-Million in its stead. After some initial hesitation i walked in, walked around, didn't seem to be what i want, and left. Eventually, my sister called me back and found a Barnes & Noble not too far away.

Walking in to B&N had some (very) slight nostalgia, and had i had enough time, it'd feel like a candy store. I did have a half hour or so, so i walked around before asking for help. So many books. So many topics. So much variety. And people just sitting and reading. On closer look, they're not holding the books nicely. And look at all the bent covers. Don't you people know how to hold a softcover book? Hold the binding in one hand, possibly pinching a little above it with the thumb and forefinger, then gently push apart the pages. Otherwise, the binding breaks, the cover bends, and you just helped make a book unsalable at normal price. Part of doing business, right? Perhaps, but it still isn't right.

Ooh! What's this, toys? What's a book store without toys? And half price! I came back on my way out and got an Extreme Thumb Wrestling Kit for $5. List price is $9.95 and the big red sticker meant it was half price. There's no ring and only one cape, but who can resist your own mask and mask holder?

But where were the computer books? Ah, ask the man at the information kiosk. I was mildly embarrassed when he pointed to the next bookcase over, and was soon perusing what they had. I settled on Oreilly's Learning Java, 4th Edition, which seemed right, even though it's a version behind. The $50 is more than i would pay online, but i knew that i would be paying more for the pleasure of holding it in my hands before purchase.

I got in line to buy my new candy. In front of me were a couple teenagers. One wearing those pajama pants people call clothes, with a boy with two earrings. It's noting new, but i still find it remarkable. Eventually i was up to bat, and the twenty something asked me if i wanted to join the club. I knew i would hardly ever buy books at the store, so when i found out it is usually $25 a year, it was easy to say no. I told her i usually purchase online. I mentioned Amazon, she mentioned bn.com was comparable, i mentioned they (used to) filter their comments, she said she would look at it or something. It was goodbye at first fright. Well, she asked.

On my way out, i finally found the car which i had parked directly in front of the building. And while looking to back up, my younger brother drove by. I stalked him until he parked in front of the next store, said hello, and left. All in a day's work.

And now the paperweight is on my desk. It's about time i stopped posting and started reading.

User Journal

Journal: So here's a good WI test for you 55

Journal by smitty_one_each
If pockets as deep as Rush Limbaugh are calling you out by name for your perfidy in the Wisconsin John Doe prosecutions, he's pretty confident that even the smartest shark in the tank isn't going to get Ol' Rush To Judgement convicted for libel, no?
A big fat whale like Rush would be sooooo tasty for the Left. They'd probably pour the kind of resources into taking Rush down that they did in trying to unseat Scott Walker, if they didn't know Rush was dealing that thing which to the Left is like sunlight to a vampire: the truth.
The usual suspects may now vaporize the messenger.
User Journal

Journal: "Wisconsin's dirty prosecutors pull a Putin" 15

Journal by smitty_one_each
Instapundit in USA Today:

When Vladimir Putin sends government thugs to raid opposition offices, the world clucks its tongue. But, after all, Putin's a corrupt dictator, so what do you expect?
But in Wisconsin, Democratic prosecutors were raiding political opponents' homes and, in a worse-than-Putin twist, they were making sure the world didn't even find out, by requiring their targets to keep quiet. As David French notes in National Review, "As if the home invasion, the appropriation of private property, and the verbal abuse weren't enough, next came ominous warnings. Don't call your lawyer. Don't tell anyone about this raid. Not even your mother, your father, or your closest friends. ...This was the on-the-ground reality of the so-called John Doe investigations, expansive and secret criminal proceedings that directly targeted Wisconsin residents because of their relationship to Scott Walker, their support for Act 10, and their advocacy of conservative reform."

And the slack-jawed syconphants on here that support these abuses can just fall off the planet. History, I surmise, will show, to Wisconsin's credit, that the American residents of the state effectively and peacefully threw off what was tantamount to a Commie takeover.

User Journal

Journal: How Hillary will win in 2016 10

Journal by RailGunner
Step 1: She'll come out of the closet, admitting one of the worst kept secrets in history is true.
Step 2: The Media will fall all over themselves to say how COURAGEOUS! and HISTORIC!! this is.
Step 3: Paint anyone who opposed Frau Fuhrer as a homophobe. After all, you're a hater is you don't vote for the first lesbian President.

Don't look at me like that. It worked for Obama, you racist.
User Journal

Journal: Verbiage: Some puns 1

Journal by Chacham

Just reviewed tearablepuns.org. I laughed, i cried, they were tear-able.

Here's the ones i liked, some reworded:
  (Yes, i reviewed all of them.)
  (I rejected some because i've heard them before.)

The number 13? Not on my watch!!
The two crows that tried to start their own flock were charged with attempted murder.
If attacking clowns, go for the juggler.
I gave away my dead batteries free of charge.
I'm still working on a construction joke.
You can't explain a pun to a kleptomaniac. They take things, literally.
I tried to make a belt out of watches. It was a waist of time.
What do you call a herd of giggling cows? Laughing stock.
What do you call a sleepwalking nun? A Roaming Catholic.
I know a guy who is addicted to brake fluid. He says he can stop anytime.
Secretary, please tell the invisible man I can't see him today.
She got fired from the hot dog stand for putting her hair in a bun.
A boy swallowed some coins. The doctor checked him out and said, "No change yet."
This book on beating gravity is great; i can't put it down!
After surviving mustard gas and pepper spray, he was considered a seasoned veteran.
My flashlight died. I'm delighted.
C, E Flat, and G walk into a bar. The bartender says, "Sorry, no minors."
It was nice when i let my fingernails grow a little. But now it's getting out of hand!
I _would've_ kept off the grass, but I don't understand sign language.
A guy stayed on a merry-go-round for three days. He set a whirled record.
No one seams to like my jokes about patch work! I've tried sew hard...
When the shoe salesman offered me Velcro shoes, I said, "Sure, why knot?"
Two silkworms had a race. They ended up in a tie.
Male deer have buck teeth.
That was a very emotional wedding. Even the cake was in tiers.
Did you hear about the guy who lost his left arm? He's all right now.
She gets her way by pretending she's sad. She's an expert in sighcology.
She applied at the post office but they wouldn't letter. They said it's all mail there.
The roundest knight at the Round Table was Sir Cumference. He had too much pi.
What do you call a fake noodle? An impasta.
Witches' parking only: All others will be toad.
That theatrical performance about puns was just a play on words.
When cannibals ate a missionary, they got a taste of religion.
Without geometry, life is pointless.
I dyed my hair today. It was the highlight of the week.
About Rosh Hashana: shofar, so good.
My doctor told me to cut down on sodium. I took his advice with a pinch of salt.
The paint catapult won the competition with flying colors.
Never trust atoms. They make up everything.
I can have dinner at a native American restaurant. Who needs reservations?
A pun at maturity is fully groan.
As a couple, oxygen and potassium make are OK.
I used to have a fear of hurdles, but I got over it.
Noone laughed when i fell while skating. But the ice sure cracked up.
Pinning pictures on a bulletin board seems a bit tacky.
A man drowned in a bowl of muesli. A strong currant pulled him in.
The man who fell into an upholstery machine is now fully recovered.
Does the name Pavlov ring a bell?
The calendar's days are numbered.
He drove his expensive car into a tree and found out how his Mercedes bends.
He often broke into song because when couldn't find the right key.
What's the difference between a democratic system and a feudal system? In one your vote counts, in the other, your count votes.
The best way to communicate with fish is to drop them a line.
She was only a whiskey-maker's daughter, but he loved her still.
No matter how much you push the envelope, it will remain stationery.
Bakers trade bread recipes on a knead-to-know basis.
Hungry? A boiled egg is hard to beat.
A gossip is someone with a great sense of rumor.
Corduroy pillows are making headlines.
The egoist took revenge on another, I for I.
I wondered why the baseball kept getting bigger. Then it hit me.
Dreaming in color is a pigment of your imagination.
A pessimist's blood type is B-negative
---
Submitted a couple:

Bobby told Billy he stopped a stampede. That's was the biggest bunch of bull he ever herd.
Useless people online are e-feckless.

User Journal

Journal: Chronicle: New glasses and contacts 3

Journal by Chacham

As i am having a harder time reading things up close, it seemed like a good time to get new glasses. Off to a local optometrist i went, a member of the community, and got my new prescription. I warned him i'd being going to Zenni for the frames, which he seemed to not be enthused about. Though he mentioned the reason being quality, and i do believe he was earnest in his comments, the loss of profit from selling designer frames had to be in the background somewhere.

Zenni isn't as cheap as i thought it would be. I didn't want to get the thick "1.57 Mid-Index Single Vision", base lenses, so i took the recommendation for "1.61 High-Index Single Vision" @ $19.95. As if that wasn't enough, my prescription caused an "extra fee" of $12.00, making the upgrade in lenses a whopping $31.95. That's more than the frames! (The frames were $23.95) Once at it, i splurged for the "Oleophobic (oil and fingerprint resistant) premium anti-reflective coating" @ $14.95, grumbling internally at how (at least some of) this stuff used to be free. The sub-total was $70.85 for that pair, and i took another.

The second frame was the same frame, but absolutely nothing special about the lenses. I figure, it's really the frames that break, not the lenses. And, should i lose my glasses, it's not so bad to wear the thicker lenses whilst waiting for a new pair to arrive. That pair was a (sub-)total of $23.95, lock, stock, and barrel. Over $45 less. Sheesh! and stuff.

The glasses were $94.80 and shipping added $4.95. Luckily, i found a "15% off order over $75" coupon code which removed $14.22, and i got charged $85.53 for the two pair. Not bad, but a whole lot more expensive than i originally thought. (I figured $20-$30 for both!)

The glasses arrived a couple weeks later and work nicely. I showed (shown?) the glasses to my sister, mentioning how the thicker lenses were only noticeably thicker from the side, and even then not that much. She agreed with the former comment, took some issue with the second, and mentioned the reflectivity was different as well. I attribute that to the coating. Later, she mentioned concern that the thicker glasses might weigh more on the nose, meaning comfort could be a concern.

So, the next day, i weighed the glasses. My old glasses weigh in at 27 grams, the thicker lens glasses are 20 grams, and the thinner lens, 19 grams. Holy 1 gram Batman! Is that really real 32 bucks? I think not, and it has been duly noted. (A quick resolve to a weighty decision, you might say.)

I'm still reflecting on the coatings. Well, actually, i'm not. But i kind of think that i might want to think about them at some later time before having to make a decision about a subsequent order. Add a few more words and that might actually represent what i'm feeling. You know what i mean, right?

I called joke-a-day some years ago and remember two. Q: How do you make a cheesepuff? A: Chase it around the block. A cop stopped someone for speeding and asked for his license and registration. Reviewing the license, "Hey, it says here you need glasses." The driver responds, "I have contacts." The cop screams back, "I don't care who you know, you still have to wear your glasses!" Cheesy, punny jokes, who could ask for more?

(Did i just end two paragraphs in a question?)

(Was that three?)

(Stop it already!)

I tried contacts some time ago and didn't like them. Anything trying once is worth trying twice, right? So, i opted for the more expensive exam and a couple weeks later received my Acuvue Oasys lenses. (I picked up the contacts on Monday on the way home from the office, and the new glasses had just arrived in the mail. What luck.) The lady up front showed (shown seems wrong here) me how to put them in and take them out. (No hokey pokey though.) I had a much easier time putting them in, as she put it, i didn't have an issue touching my eye. Taking them out was a pain. She showed me by dragging them down with one finger and then picking them up from the bottom of the eye. I remember pinching them off. And youtube videos show that, and the optometrist confirmed it. Pinching is the way to go. And oh, so much easier.

She told me to wear them 2 hours the first day, and increase by 2 hours every day, for 8 days. This would help me get used to them. (The optometrist told me later the first day could (should?) be 4.) I wore them home for two hours. Things seemed brighter and crisper, but not as clear. The next day at work i realized i could only read by blinking a lot, as things got blurrier immediately after a blink. My right eye has a harder time reading (optometrist suggested it could be due to a bad prescription when i was younger, causing my brain to develop it only so far) but reading on the computer was hard. I could do it when i leaned close(ly?) to it. Large or further away letter were not such a problem. I looked online, i scheduled an appointment, and saw the doctor the next day.

A reading test showed (bah!) what he expected, my right eye was weaker. He was surprised i couldn't read the bottom line. He looked into the eyes and saw nothing wrong with the contacts or my eyes, it was not rotating out of its orientation, and suggested i had a problem that is rare for soft lenses, and very rare for this brand. Apparently, i'm his second case ever. I forget the name for it (it's a simple name) but the lens cups up over the eye leaving a spaces between the eye and the lens. Blinking flattens it which is why it gets better. This is really an issue that crops up with hard lenses. IIRC, he said It can also be sen by the optometrist. However, in soft lenses, the effect would be too small to be seen, and as such, he has to rely on my reports.

So, he got another sample set of contacts. Different brand, though also silicon hydrogel and toric. For the right eye he found an exact match. The left eye is too strong a prescription for him to keep in stock, so he gave me something else and compensated with a lens from his drawer. (Math works?) Reading test with the right eye showed no difference, that is, the same issue existed. The left eye was showing me double vision. (Guess not.) The lens was bad. Off with its head! He got me another. The same issue existed (no, not the double vision, silly), and he had no more brands to try.

After touching upon the difference between silicon hydrogel and hydrogel lenses, he explained that silicon seems to be better (more breathable), and as it has been the product of choice for some years now, advances in anti-rotation have gone to it. Rotation is a problem for toric lenses. So the hydrogel lenses might rotate a little. Nonetheless, that was what i should try, and he said he would order two, no three, sample sets for me to try. He also went into expense, and how it should affect if i want fortnight or monthlies, but i pushed that away as i have not yet decided if i want to wear contacts or even how often. I'm trying to see how it goes, and i have too little information to go on. And now i am not sure if anything will work anyway!

So, it's back to glasses for the next week.

[After posting this, i saw the tagline: Competence, like truth, beauty, and contact lenses, is in the eye of the beholder. -- Dr. Laurence J. Peter Weird,

BTW, the latest changes made slashdot uglier, but i'm seeing faster page load times. Maybe it was worth it.]

User Journal

Journal: step 1, count your money, step 2, send it in

Journal by Bill Dog

From the they-would've-never-made-this-song-later-in-their-career dept:

Let me tell you how it will be
There's one for you, nineteen for me
Should five percent appear too small
Be thankful I don't take it all

If you drive a car, I'll tax the street
If you try to sit, I'll tax your seat
If you get too cold, I'll tax the heat
If you take a walk, I'll tax your feet

Don't ask me what I want it for
Taxman, Mister Moonbeam (CA-540)
If you don't want to pay some more
Taxman, Mister O (1040)

Now my advice for those who die
Declare the pennies on your eyes
'Cause I'm the Taxman
Yeah, I'm the Taxman
And you're working for no-one but me

Happy Tax Day! :)

If a thing's worth having, it's worth cheating for. -- W.C. Fields

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