Wednesday, January 25, 2017


Not much has been happening since the last post (other than work, of course). My dad is still doing good while the doctors continue to try to terrify him. He's basically in a holding pattern while the medical industry tries to figure out how to profit off a perfectly healthy 83-year-old man. I'm sure they will find a way eventually.

There has been no progress with Debbie's arm, either. Routine chiropractic adjusting is keeping her (barely) working, but is not doing a damn thing about finding whatever is wrong. Not that "traditional" medicine has done anything either; after we spent major bucks giving them a crack at it last year, they just collectively shrugged and declared that there was nothing wrong. At least the chiropractor admits there is a problem and provides some relief. Tomorrow, we try something else: dry needling. It's supposed to help with myofascial pain syndrome, which Debbie may or may not have. Some of the symptoms seem to fit, but not entirely. In fact, in some ways, the symptoms seem closer to her restless legs syndrome, so maybe getting poked will have an unexpected side benefit.

Another part of all this is looking at Debbie's work area to make sure it isn't contributing to and/or causing the problem. I headed out to the internet to see what alternatives existed to the "temporary" setup she has been using for the last 4+ years. What a load of horse flop. I realize we are all supposed to be working on tablets while sitting in a Starbucks, but there are still some of us that do real work on real computers. Unless you want to stand for 8 hours a day (which FYI can do as much damage to hips/knees/ankles/back as sitting for 8 hours a day), there isn't crap out there for computer desks. The last time I needed a desk, I ended up building one. I guess we may have to resort to that again.

We are still battling with computer issues. The Drobo I've been using since around 2009 appears to be dead. It lost a drive shortly after Alien Bob joined our household. I replaced the drive, it went through its whole rebuild routine and all seemed right with the world. But it kept acting weird; disappearing and reappearing, taking forever to respond, Win10 throwing nonsense error messages, etc. Once all the data had been moved to the NAS, I gave up on it and unplugged it. So right now, I have the NAS as our main data store with a 2TB drive in an Antec MX-1 that I backup to via manually-run xcopy batch file jobs. I have another MX-1 that I may load with another 2TB drive I have laying around and experiment with the backup utility that comes with Windows. (What? Doesn't everyone have 2TB drives lying around the house? Why not?) This wouldn't replace my current backup, but would be a supplement to it. And yes, I know all the cool kids are backing up their data to The Cloud (tm), but I just don't trust them. Sorry Carbonite; I'm just not that into you.

Speaking of computer issues, Amazon seems absolutely bent on making me hate my Kindle. The latest "update" is to the music app. I know people think I'm joking or being hyperbolic when I make cracks about music apps that can't play music, but Amazon has come damn close to realizing that, at least if you don't pay Amazon to store all your music in The Cloud. The old version had very obvious selector buttons that said if you were playing music on the device or the cloud. The "improved" version buries that inside a menu. Worse, it switches back to the cloud every time you go to a different app even when you are playing music. It also cannot remember what song it was playing within a few hours of hitting the pause button. Every day when I get home from work and try to play some music to relax, I'm staring at Bruce Springsteen's 57 Channels (And Nothin' On), and have to endlessly finger-scroll down while trying to remember the last song I listened to. In the blessed name of Elvis indeed....

(Side Note: I listen to music on the Kindle in alphabetical order by song title. That gives a surprisingly good mix of music. The shuffle play on the Kindle is total crap. It puts way too high of a priority on songs that have already been played, which means that starting with a clean Kindle, it will play ten or fifteen songs, then begin replaying them endlessly while completely ignoring the other 300 songs on the device. I seriously think Amazon hires chimpanzees on meth as programmers. Randomly selecting items from a list is something I learned how to do in my first programming class. In COBOL, no less.)

Amazon also "updated" their Silk browser. It no longer crashes to hard reset of the Kindle seventeen times an hour, but now I'm plagued with the option to Undo everything I do, and while it's waiting for me to decided if I really would like to Undo what I just did, I can't do anything else until the Undo message goes away.

I know, I know: first-world problems. It's just a shame that Kids These Days will never know what it's like to use software that doesn't start out being a steaming pile of shite, then is constantly "improved" into complete inutility. There isn't a day that I don't mourn the demise of Brown Bag Software.

The mainstream media is in an uproar about Trump because he is doing exactly what he promised to do in his campaign. Yes, precious snowflakes; Trump is not a politician and will not be doing things the way politicians have done things for the last 40 years. Get over it.

Takimag had a good one a few days ago that reminds us deplorables why all the Hollywood types are so angry and hurt:

Can’t you bastards see what you’ve done? You’ve hurt the feelings of those noble souls who seek nothing more in life than to entertain us as they push for progressive tax increases and free health care even though they belong to a union in which dues don’t increase for high earners and medical benefits are a privilege withheld from low earners. These are America’s finest, and you’ve made them feel impotent and unloved. As they cry themselves to sleep on pillows filled with money and oxycodone, just know, Trump voters, that the next OD is on you.

Then John Michael Greer cuts through all the BS as only JMG can do, to reveal what is really going on:

I’d also like to offer the rest of my readers another bit of advice that, again, I hope will prove helpful. As Donald Trump becomes the forty-fifth president of the United States and begins to push the agenda that got him into the White House, it may be useful to have a convenient way to sort through the mix of signals and noise from the opposition. When you hear people raising reasoned objections to Trump’s policies and appointments, odds are that you’re listening to the sort of thoughtful dissent that’s essential to any semblance of democracy, and it may be worth taking seriously. When you hear people criticizing Trump and his appointees for doing the same thing his rivals would have done, or his predecessors did, odds are that you’re getting the normal hypocrisy of partisan politics, and you can roll your eyes and stroll on.

But when you hear people shrieking that Donald Trump is the illegitimate result of a one-night stand between Ming the Merciless and Cruella de Vil, that he cackles in Russian while barbecuing babies on a bonfire, that everyone who voted for him must be a card-carrying Nazi who hates the human race, or whatever other bit of over-the-top hate speech happens to be fashionable among the chattering classes at the moment—why, then, dear reader, you’re hearing a phenomenon as omnipresent and unmentionable in today’s America as sex was in Victorian England. You’re hearing the voice of class bigotry: the hate that dare not speak its name.

And on that note, I'm going to cut this off. Some of my family from Michigan just rolled in.

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