Wednesday, September 28, 2016


Thinking about how the size of a phone is mandated by the ability to see whats on the screen, and key in stuff, I wonder how long it will be before the physical screen disappears and is replaced by a holographic display with haptic feedback, and the whole phone shrinks to a third of the current average size.


Tuesday, September 27, 2016


Psych Test

I'd love to see psychiatric evaluations of presidential candidates. 

That's assuming you could find candidates willing to be evaluated by unbiased psychiatrists. 

And assuming you could find unbiased psychiatrists.

Yeah, I guess I won't hold my breath.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Friday, September 23, 2016

Call me. No, wait.

I find Verizon's website to be an absolute morass of junk, ads,chirpy popups, and stuff.  So when I wanted to change a data plan, I did a search for VERIZON and DATA PLAN, which gave me this"

Customer Service
As it happened, that WASNT a person (Gethuman exists to give you the phone numbers that you get switched to after having gone through a company's phone tree hell) -- but it worked.  
So I figures what the heck, someone else might want to know. 

Thursday, September 22, 2016


Yeah, I'm nervous.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016


I don't actually think there are a lot of people who read this blog (not that I don't appreciate you!), but I want to say:  I haven't given up on it.  Its just that I've been putting a number of political posts on Facebook lately (something about this election scares the willies out of me).  Every time I see something that sounds worthwhile (as distinct from traditional my opponent is a whale butt!  political discourse), I want to publicize it there.  And so I do.

But I will be back.  I know, strike up the band!

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Runs in the Family

Going through some cookbooks (we don't have a lot, but significantly more than I'd have guessed), I came across a Betty Crocker Baking for Today.  I said to my wife "I really have no use for this, but, hey, my mother gave it to me, so I'll keep it." 

Found a Better Homes and Gardens Junior Cook Book, which my mother had given to my daughter. "Well", she said, "I really have no use for it, but Grandma gave it to me, so I want to keep it."

Saturday, September 17, 2016


I saw an article where a woman said that if Hillary loses, the woman would never forgive her.

If that happens, that woman's forgiveness is going to be the last thing that Hillary worries about.

Though I do think that whomever had the bright idea to call a large swath of people 'basket of deplorables' should be eviscerated, for terminal stupidity. 

Thursday, September 15, 2016


Hillary, please get your ass out there, and kick his.

In terms that his brighter supporters will understand.

Please.  Now.

Him. Again.

I have felt for some time that, intentionally or not, Trump has fostered and benefitted from an atmosphere where we numbly accept his individual actions, which would be seen as shameful in any other politician or normal person, as 'just Trump being Trump'. We are meant to believe that these actions are merely sarcasm, or a joke, or a throw-away, not-really-meant statement. His casual ignorance is supposed to be acceptable because it is frequently about topics that the average American knows nothing about, even though we expect that a presidential candidate should and will know more. His willingness to denigrate people, just the sign of a strong personality. His flip-floping, denying things that he's on record as saying, the sign of an evolving world view. Never something reprehensible. 

And then there's this disingenuous comment: ""If she (Clinton) gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks. Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is, I don't know." No implied threat there. Just Trump being Trump.

This recording, which lists multiple times that Trump has put the lie to the idea that Americans are decent, honorable people, is by Keith Olbermann. I do not like Olbermann because I think that he is an uber-liberal, one who would never see Trump as doing *anything* right or Clinton doing *anything* wrong. What he would regard as awful, were Trump to do it, he would regard as a minor malfeasance by Clinton. So I don't necessarily trust his assessment of things.

His counting skills are another story. What I DO trust is his lengthy summary of the things that Trump has done, the casual nastiness, the suggestions that violence is the answer to opposition, the slurs, the lies, the greed. The list is so damning, I could not listen to all of it in one go - I had to pause it to let the bile settle. I am sure that rabid conservatives won't be able to listen, either. They will say repeatedly Oh, he didn't mean that, Oh, that was out of context, Oh, that’s just hyperbole for the crowds. It will never occur to his true believers that they should not have to make excuses for him so many times, in so many areas. It will not occur to them that they are supporting someone who mocks the handicapped, the parents of deceased soldiers, former prisoners of war. He only likes winners, you see, and if you have given your all, so that you have no more to give -- well, then, you aren't a winner, in his book. His books don't talk about honesty, they talk about scheming, guile, and the like. Taking advantage. Nobility of action? That's a chump's game. And Donald, for all his faults, is not a chump.

Trump is a successful business man because he has learned to game the system, manipulate the rules, take advantage of his wealth and power. And now he is closing in on being in a position where he will be able to do that to this country. If he succeeds, and our country is irreparably harmed, whose fault will it be? Not Donald Trump's.. He'll be long gone, leaving a shattered country with a wrecked economy and a massive debt, no longer respected as we are,even now. Do I KNOW he would have that result? I do not, because he's never held office. Not governor. Not senator. Not mayor. Not councilman. Not dogcatcher. He's like a guy who simply wants to start at the top, and he is convincing people to let him give that a try. 

Of course, he HAS run businesses. Into the ground, more than one. And not just his businesses, either, but those owned by people who trusted him, who could not effectively fight back when he stiffed them, refusing to pay agreed-upon sums. Hey, that's their problem, not his. Trump only cares about one person.

And in your heart, you know whom that one person is. 

Are these the best candidates that our country could bring up? Unquestionably no. Are they the two that we have? Yes. Certainly, you can vote for the candidates from the lesser parties, if you wish. Maybe that will help. Or you can just abstain in righteous fury at a system that lets people like this rise to the fore. But before you decide - look at this list.. They're not all 'shocking'. Many are just irritating, in bad taste, silly, juvenile, or stupid. But not all. Oh, no. Not all. 

Jer. 5:21 (King James version): "Hear now this, O foolish people, and without understanding; which have eyes, and see not; which have ears, and hear not."

Olbermann video

Wednesday, September 14, 2016


The guy in the book of French baking recipes is certainly a lot neater when he makes his croissants than I am when I make mine!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

La Chatte

Just smeared some of the anti-hairball gunk onto the cat's fur so that she will be forced to lick it off and therefore ingest it.  Never seen a cat give a Et tu, Brute? before.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Want to Get Elected? Hire me! (No guarantees implied)

There is a fascinating article in The Atlantic about the political consulting industry.

Bottom lines:
a) no apparent correlation between what the candidate spends and likelihood of election

b) the people who succeed are the ones selling the buttons, mailing lists, guidance, advertising, and insights (valid or not).... but probably not the candidates.

Oh, and: it helps if people want to hear your message.  Just ask Jeb Bush. 

Nix Flick

Just watched the first half of a flick called Now You See Me -- 2.

It's an excellent movie if you like corny acting and over-the-top style.  Kind of like Ocean's 11 meets Mission: Impossible, only less stylish or intellectual.

In other words, I am damn glad we did not see it in the theater. $1.50 at Redbox is about right.

Dress for Success

The Donster likes things with his name on it, right?

Monday, September 05, 2016

Sunday, September 04, 2016


Pre-Labor Day, in case you were wondering.

Years ago, during the brief period when I was in Australia, I bought a book for my wife.  It was about woman and the businesses that they had built.  Most of them were small, while a few were quite large.  At the time, my wife was doing a lot of reading about women and success, and I guess I got it for her as a combination of this is that sort of thing, you might like it and wouldn't it be cool if she started a business?  As it turned out, she did like the book, but never started a business, and this evening she said Hey I found this on the bookshelf, do you still want it, or should we give it away? And me being me, I started leafing through it, and said well let me look at it a bit, and when I am done, we'll put it on the pile to donate to the library. 

[Man, my neighbor is making a lot of noise.  They hardly ever make noise, so even a little is a lot, and now that they have several relatives-or-something over, its noisy here.]

Anyway, the first article that I dipped into was about a woman who started a real estate business as a way of generating some badly-needed cash for her family.  It turned out that she had a knack for the business, and after working for a large real estate firm for a few years, she was able to start what would be called now a boutique firm, specializing in unique properties.  She talks a bit about how she came to do this, and it got me to thinking about that time in my life, when books on business were very popular, and everyone had a book out about Strategic Thinking and Multi-Level Marketing and Enhancing The Bottom Line and Your Inner Zen Manager and all that.  Most of the books were and probably still are crap, but they were hot, and since (like a lot of people) I thought that they had the Secret to Success (maybe they did, but not for me), I read a fair amount of them.

One idea that was particularly popular was that you could find the answer to a lot of your business questions by asking the people who actually delivered the service -- the telephone answerers, the customer service reps, the people who delivered to the stores where the product was sold.  Some books said that if you did this, not only would it become apparent to you what you should do in questionable circumstances, but you would get insights into the market that your competitors, those stodgy bastards, simply didn't have.  The books would have examples of how companies that did this were able to take advantage of changes in the market simply because they knew that the market was changing.  They knew, because they talked to the deliverers, the people with their fingers to the pulse of the market.

Apparently, someone where I worked read that book, and one day he announced to us that whenever we learned something interesting, we should tell him.  The idea was that he would weave these strands of information into a golden tapestry that would show him the future, guaranteeing success to the company, and, of course, to him.  He was pretty vague as to what these strands of information would look like - you mean, like, if the guy changes his phone number, you want to know?  Or if they get a new line of software out that looks like someone elses? Or .... at which point he would wave his hands irritably. Just the important stuff!

That idea didn't go very far.  Much later, it occurred to me (and again while I was glancing at this book), it wasn't a bad idea.  Little indicators do tell you what the market is going to do, if you know what to look for.  But we didn't know - and neither did he.  He thought it was magic, and it could be summoned at will.  It wasn't, but it could have been.  If he had given us a list of the types of things he wanted to know, or if he had backtracked on surprises that we had had in the past, to see if perhaps we could have predicted them based on what we knew at the time, perhaps it would have worked.

Someone - I think it was Robert Heinlein, a science fiction writer, or perhaps it was Arthur C. Clarke, also a science fiction writer - said that Any sufficiently advanced technology looks like magic if you don't understand it.  Thats true too for management. You have to have an idea of what to do to get what you want.  Or like the joke goes, Christ gets out of the boat in the middle of the lake and confidently walks to shore.  He is followed by Peter, his chief disciple,, who also walks confidently on the water.  Gritting his teeth, an acolyte steps out of the boat - and drowns.  Peter turns to Christ and says Think we should have told him where the rocks are? 

Friday, September 02, 2016


I like this.

Truth in Labeling

I came across a blog titled A Southern Gentleman's Journal this morning.  It seems to be a reasonable collection of thoughts.  I particularly like its Home page comment:

Non-objective, poorly researched knowledge based on little more than casual observation.