Saturday, December 24, 2016


One of the tools that I use in my quest to get a basic grasp of Italian is a Berlitz text called Italian in 30 Days.  It's a decent book, and though nothing is as good - or as scary - as actually talking to someone in a new language, it helps.  Though anyone who says that you can get basic competency in 30 days is either lying, very, very good with languages, or has a much more minimal defintion of 'basic compentency' than I do.

One of the things that I like is that the book supplies a series of vocabulary words with each chapter.  There's about forty or so.  When I encounter them - or I come across words in other situations - I type them into Anki, a freeware flash-card application that lets me review them, with the frequency of show-up related to how difficult it was for me to remember the word, the last time.  When I was first learning French (and I think I will always be learning that language), I used it for a month to see what it could do for my vocabulary - and was astonished at how quickly I learned the words.  I wasn't perfect -- never am, never will be -- but I learned a whole bunch of words much faster than I'd been learning them prior to that. So Berlitz is good, and getting their vocabulary into Anki is good.

But typing those words into Anki is tedious, and, the tireder that I am, the more tedious and error-prone.

When we had bought our latest printer - it really is true; you buy a printer without the expectation that it will last a long time - it said that it came with ReadIRIS, an optical character recognition software tool.  Well, it didn't.  But the idea of being able to simply scan a page, and tell the software to change it into a digital format that I could then modify to Anki's liking - that was attractive.  Consequently, I bought ReadIRIS.  It's not cheap, but I thought hey, Christmas present.  Or something.  I installed it, and pointed it to a JPG I had which included text.  It worked.  Not perfectly, but at about 80% accuracy.  For the others, I had to correct the 'word' that it came up with, and in a few cases, change its hieroglyphics to letters -  pretty sure that &4((({ doesn't spell anything.  So not bad.

Reading the documentation, I noticed that the software said it could work directly from a scan - rather than having to create the JPG and read it, I could simply scan the original and take the output directly into ReadIRIS. This sounded good, so I decided to try it. Didn't work. Long story short, I learned that I would have to deinstall and reinstall the software that drives the printer.  Which was,, at last count, about 15 different pieces.  With no guarantee that ReadIRIS would work at the end -- and possibly not the printer, either.  (There seems to be an inverse relationship between how new a piece of technology is and how willing it is to work after being removed and reinstalled.)

Maybe its a sign of age, but I think I'll just stick with making JPGs.


Every time I think that I have finally accepted this disaster that's occurring to my country, he does something else so incredibly stupid as to beggar belief.

Friday, December 16, 2016


Most studies, I think, do not show what their publicists confidently proclaim.  They suggest, they allow one to infer, but they don't say, black and white.  And when they do, they aren't always right.  In fact, they usually are not right....

None of which stops us from glomming onto the ones that support our position.


I have not lost any friends over voting for Trump, because I don't actually have all that many friends.  I do know that some relatives voted for him, and I just don't discuss it with them, because doing so would not change their minds - and even if they did, en masse, change their minds, it would affect nothing. 

But it does occur to me: finding out that someone whom you valued as a friend did, in fact vote for Trump must be like finding out that your clean-cut, friendly neighbor --- is a child molester.  It must be incomprehensible, and completely out of the scheme of normal thought.

Fortunately, normal thought is not a problem for Trump supporters.  A daily feeding of pseudo-news and hyped garbage, and they're good to go. .

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Wednesday, December 07, 2016


Had an odd experience today.  I received an email, with this content:

You’re a strong Democrat, right?

That’s why I’m emailing you. I need your help.

Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress are pledging to undo decades of American progress. They want to:

-Repeal Obamacare
-Overturn Roe v. Wade
-Dismantle Medicare
-Ban Muslims from entering the US
As a Democrat, I refuse to sit by and let Republicans get away with it. We need to hold them accountable.

And today, I need your help to fight against their backwards priorities:
TAKE A STAND: Stand with me against the dangerous policies pushed by Donald Trump and his Republicans.

As a member of our team, we’ll keep you informed about news that’s important to Democrats.

Thanks for standing with us.

And I thought well, sure, anything I can do to stop, block, or deny that guyI would be glad to do.   So sure, I'll give money to --  and then I noticed the signature block.

Kelly Ward
Executive Director, DCCC

and I thought The DCCC?  Isn't that what that Wasserman-Shultz woman ran?  The one who cheated so that Hillary would win the nomination?

No, as it turns out. That group was the Democratic National Committee.  This group is the "Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) ... the official campaign arm of the Democrats in the House"

But still, I hesitate.  Because right now any major political organization leaves a bad taste in my mouth.  

Monday, December 05, 2016

Sunday, December 04, 2016

Found Ya!

Please Let It Be Real

Viral? Lethal, I should think....

People tend to refer to things as 'viral' that have elicited a small amount of attention.  This series of comments on Twitter, extracted on the admittedly-biased Occupy Democrats site, which basically plays a flamethrower on Trump's butt, is somewhat more than that.

Here's the very first one:

Thursday, December 01, 2016

Post THAT, Orange Boy

 I found this picture, which said that it was of a little girl posting a note on a wall display created after the election of The Orange One.

Gee, I thought, I wonder what those notes say?  So I copied the picture into MS Paint and zoomed in at random.