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Take Two.

 
As Mitchell noted in his post over as Center of the Anomaly, I have been absent.

While I had a norovirus thing a few weeks ago, Cruel Wife saw fit to share with me her answer to the Job Cold.

It started out with a kind of a cough that seemed benign enough and quickly led to three lung-shredding coughing-up-broken glass days. It was excruciating, like no cold I have ever had.

I went to work a half day Wedneday and full days the rest off the week.  That was sheer willpower as I was exhausted from coughing and wheezing through my days and laboring through my breath and all through the night.  By Friday and Saturday/Sunday I was coughing hard enough to barf into wastebaskets.  I hurt all over.

Friday and Saturday I had a 2 degree fever and a vicious heache to go with it.  Not one night in all of this resulted in a decent night’s sleep.  Always sheet-soaked clammy sweat broken sleep-that-is-not-sleep.

Still, I hate docs and avoided them.

Monday morning I was showering for work (pure willpower) when I noticed I was coughing up pink and bloody phlegm.

So after a trip to the doc I seem to have won a lot of antibiotics, a huge string of prednisone, and roughly 1500mls of cherry flavored ultra-tussin, which is the first thing to give me a break in coughing in 11 days.  You can believe me when I say I had tears of gratitude and relief just to have the cough taken away.

So I will either get better or just not give a shite about not getting better.

The Butcher of Lansing, who will deny that he cares if anyone asks, has threatened with collecting on a slap bet if I go in tomorrow.

I wouldn’t pay heed but Melly Cat has glued herself to me as I have gotten worse.  She is my Nurse Cat.  This is endearing and ensures she will be the last critter we eat in the upcoming apocalypse.  She naps with me and turns her belly up because I love scratching her.

It is the fact that she has hung out with me that convinced me that Things Are Not Well.

Nursecat Melody

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I got over my nasty norovirus.  A few workers got it when I did and one went home the day I came back.

All have suffered horribly.

But the bright side is that work in BornToBlock’s world continues on many fronts.  BtB is ID10t Killer and he owns the server.  I joined on at the same time Inscrutable Half-breed did, then Laconic Pup. Then HackerBoy as he promised to be well behaved and polite.  Finally The Dude came out to play and get killed lots, but it has been…. Fun as hell.

We all have our Demesnes which we cultivate -I will show a map sometime.  HackerBoy and I (lemur king) live far to the north, about ten minute’s ride by rail which is an all day trip.

Then at work one day, BtB suggests we do Warehouse 13.  Of course it will really be Warehouse 12.997.

And being engineers, the designs are grand.

Below, we have just gotten up walls to try to protect ourselves from mobs.  The 8192 Auto Smelter looks tiny but it has grown.

The 8192 Auto Smelter

 

 

The Beginning

The sign down there proclaims “Men @ Work”

 

Tonight after finishing the catwalk and two huge lava pillars, I took a screenshot for fun.

The walk between pillars of fire.  I am proud of both.

The warehouse is 100m long by sixty wide and stands 30m tall.  There will be a people mover section.

Another section will be dedicated to auto processing raw materials and sending it down to us as we build the lower levels, all the way down into bedrock.

It will even have a small natural park, with iron golems capering in the trees.

It will be much much much bigger, with five engineers and an eight year old boy pounding on it.

The front doors are already piston actuated to keep mobs out.

 

HackerBoy figured out how to make an on-off water sluice gate just by watching BtB rig the front gate.  He’s only eight.  There are worse games for him to play.  This stimulates his mind.

 

But, we figure to use the space to showcase the many things you can do in Minecraft as exhibits.

 

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three days of the fluxion

I don’t know where I got it or how. But I have run to the bathroom all weekend long, been dehydrated, and barely able to keep foods down.  Clammy sweats, chills, nausea.  One of those norovirus things, I guess.

 

Still feel punky.  Might do a half day tomorrow.

 

Did learn a new Minecraft technique for clearing out a dungeon.  Flood it with lava.

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HackerBoyRulz in the mine.

Id10t Killer at work set up a Minecraft server and several of us workers use it 24/7  enjoy it as well.   Inscrutable Half-breed, Laconic Pup, Lemur_King, we are all on it.  It is huge, taking a full day cycle just for me to go south to ID10T’s city.

HackerBoy has been begging me to let him on.  So we got him an account last night.  Turns out I should not have Ben worried.

Remember, this is a kid who is locked in by speech but can communicate this way and express emotion.  I can’t explain why but this is enough to bring tears to the eyes of a parent of a autistic kid who cannot communicate well.

HackerBoy Classes well

 

He put in the little waterfall. and he has been unfailingly polite.  Lemuria built by father and son is at peace.

Lemuria

And he and i are playing together, and it is mutually enjoyed.

******

How do you know that you have too much money and are throwing away the best part of your grill?

With a robotic grill cleaner, that’s how.  h/t to Black Lab on Amphetamines.

*****

h/t to Crazy Cat Lady

catellite

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We were at the dinner table last night and the kids were talking… Minecraft.

Out of respect for CW I had asked several days ago for the new policy of not discussing it at the dinner table.

HackerBoy said “And if you [insert trivia here] then [something] goes [verb]!!!”

“Ok, guys, I asked that we not talk MC during dinner.  Let’s not use this as a topic for discussion.”

HackerBoy said in this oh-so-annoying way that chaps my nads, “Well, maybe we shouldn’t discuss anything.”

I gave him the baleful stare the men in my family are known for, the dreaded +3 Glare of Withering Scorn.

“You know what?  Perhaps you ought to take the lead on that.  I will probably fail miserably at it.  You can show us how it is done.  OK?”

WHOOOOOSH!  It went right over his head.  I looked up at CW, who was trying so hard not to chuckle that she was turning red.  I have a caustic side to me I am told.  Her look also said “Man, are you ever a creep sometimes.”  

What is so powerful about it is how closely I matched my old man and my brother.  Without even trying.

I was feeling like laughing, which seemed so uncharitable given what he said and how I replied that I got up from the table and laughed in the other room. 

****

New variable-focus glasses today.  My eyes are killing me but they are nice, even if I was running into doorframes.  My depth perception isn’t bad, it is my peripheral vision.  I favor smallish diameter frames (and I like pocket-watches and fountain pens, so sue me).

****

Cracked.com did a nice job of capturing some of firefighting forest fires but what they did not capture is the fact that when you are in a wild land unit and a fire is burning towards you as you put out spot fires the adrenaline does not stop, which probably explains why so many are addicted to adrenaline.  And, I suspect why so many firefighters drink, because sometimes it helps turn that off.

It also doesn’t drive home how exhausted you are after just a half day of running your ass off full-tilt.  With gear.  In 100+ degree weather.  In hilly dry terrain.  There is not enough water to quench that thirst.

****

Saw this a while back but it only came to mind today.

A toy dog that was not let out the night before had to urinate in a very bad way.

 ****

My moral flexibility is twitching.  Anyone who glues razor blades to playground equipment should be garrotted with his own twitching entrails.

****

In the continuing series of questioning the underlying BS of assumptions, I note this one today.

Hospitals plot the demise of insurance companies so… So they can take over the financing of your overpriced health-care!  Yes, rather than everyone know exactly what they pay for themselves and them alone, let’s make it “more affordable” by having everyone continue to play the gambling game!  

And we know that insurance of any kind is about minimizing payouts to maximize income.

WHY would we have reason to believe that it would somehow be better if hospitals run the tables rather than the mob?  It will still cost us the same.  I could rant for hours on this but I am on an iPad and it hurts to type that long.

 

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Go north.

The official line I keep hearing is the Malaysia flight could have gone south or west along the radius of the last satellite ping.

I am sorry but I call bullshit.  A pilot bent on suicide would have sought to do it visibly if he was going to suicide by plane.  Also, suicide by plane would not do the climb, transponder off, and ghost act.  He also would not fly for hours into the great white south AND have his family move out the day before.

No, as commenter Mitchell pointed out, ghosting under another plane has been recognized as a way one could slip out of being tracked in an area where business as usual isn’t rigorously tracked.  It was well-described in Neal Stephenson’s “Reamde” novel.

Let’s go north again.  Wherever it went, it arrived there days ago, and looking for it now will only be looking at areas where unusual activity is occurring, using satellites.

Wherever it is, if we know about it, and have not bombed it into a smoking crater, it means a potential hostage situation has stayed our hand.  Any action would result in a UN demand for forensics, which would turn up what I suspect would be a lot of suddenly now-dead civilians.

If we don’t know about it, while whoever has it traced all transmitters on the plane to remove them, chatter will go silent, and the NSA and CIA will go nuts looking for it and signs of anything moving towards it.  All roads would lead to Rome IF whatever was going to be loaded into it wasn’t already in place, and I think a state sponsored plan will have already done so.

That plane will not be used for some time, is my guess, but the hostages will be kept fresh for it’s final trip.

Yeah, it reads like a damned spy novel, but it already has gone into that territory.

Don’t get me wrong, as I think the best scenario we could hope for at this point is it crashed.  It is a PR disaster waiting to happen for the second best scenario, where passengers die and lots of awful things like nukes (bomb or wastes) get scattered as it is shot down.  

Worst case is they fly it in with transponder off under a white flag requesting sanctuary, and getting an nuclear bomb air burst over Israel.  And if they take out Israel’s infrastructure with an EMP then they can go in using their military forces held in reserve.

Now, my argument for keeping the passengers alive is the tendency of the Islamic fanatics to hide behind the skirts of women and children if it suits their goals.  

Tel Aviv, Israel is the only target that makes sense, unless they want to take out a US aircraft carrier.  And the fanatics want Jerusalem intact.  

Any of those nations from Pakistan westward are completely capable of turning an eye in their airspace.

This is ALL supposition, but the longer this goes without resolution, the worse it will be.

 

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So look at the map of possible landing strips of over 5000ft for a 777 (MH370) to land.

Well, that is real nice and all, but one of the pilots had a freaking flight simulator in his home.

And with all due respect to WYNC, but the Hyderabad airport in Pakistan is just shy of 7000ft and there are more locations.  I wonder why no destinations in Pakistan were flagged.  At some point someone said they were known to be over the Andaman Islands.

Over 5000ft runways only…

Absorb this. The last ping puts it somewhere along those paths.  Maybe.

Range, radar, and warm fuzzies.

For shits and giggles, let’s look at a great circle map from Malaysia to Hyderabad, Pakistan.  I could have picked northern Pak as well.

Final analysis?  It does not add up.  There is info that is wrong or misinformation.

Flying on the south route makes zero sense.  If a pilot wanted to suicide he could have done it long before that.  If he had a grudge he would have picked a target.  No, they went somewhere and it is making someone very nervous.  Northern Pakistan would be one place I would look, if I could fly over it.

And if I were Israel, I would be on high alert.

Great circle map to illustrate range.

 

 

 

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Loose Cannon.

Far be it for me to be suspicious, but state-sponsored terrorism seems at least possible.   

Who would want a plane not directly attached to them?  If you wanted to fill the plane with “stuff” and send it to someone you did not like, and the stuff was bad enough, no one would shoot it down over their own soil.  And for another country to do so, it would almost be an act of war.  

And, if the missing passengers were aboard and unharmed as precious cargo, it would also be messy to take it out.  A plane full of passengers from a country that would lash out if the plane had to be shot down. A bad guy going anywhere he wanted could do so with a plane full of hostages, saying plausibly “oh, we just want safe passage…” 

I find it interesting that the plane could make it to Pakistan.  It looks like one could just about make it to Hyderabad, if one knew what he was doing and had the experience.  I have included a shot from the link there…

Quite a range.

Where from there, one wonders.  Only a few states would want it, and almost any use you could think of (legit) would be easier done by just buying it outright.  So let’s go to the shady uses – by means, motive, and opportunity.

Bad actors would be Pakistan, Iran, Saudi, Syria, and Yemen. All of whom could strike nearby by allowing their airspace to be used.  The state sponsored hijacking would have to go through Pakistan because it is the nearest point.  

The “end customer” could be anyone on that list. And many of those states have access to deep pockets. And the have access to bad substances, weaponizable. Means.

Every one of them have enemies.  Israel and the US but other softer targets are nearby.  Motivation abounds.

Opportunity… It would have to be an area with friendly soil nearby.  It would be radar-sparse.  

 Loose conjecture, I know, but no crazier than stealing a 777 in the first place.

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Filling in the cracks.

I had a visit to the dentist today.

My old dentist (Dr. Dremel) would never give me gas and he kept pushing vanity work on me so after a while I did not want to see him anymore.  And he was a cruel bastard.

Flashback:  I had wisdom teeth ground, carved, chiseled out of my head and jaw when I was 19 or 20.  I picked up insights along the way.

  1. Wisdom teeth can require a general, thank God.
  2. An oral surgeon can have a name like Dr. Slaughter.  I am not making this up.  That IS his real name.
  3. You can go dry socket in two teeth for FIVE DAYS before you are desperate enough to drive 200 miles to see your family dentist to help you when your surgeon is a shite-eating bastard who won’t help you.
  4. The stuff they pack in the dry sockets smells like medical-grade cotton blended with a heavily creosoted telephone pole.
  5. Creosote is apparently much like the water of life for bone exposed to air.
  6. You can try to kiss the dentist’s feet but a good one has the decency to let you kiss his ring instead.
  7. A Taco Bell burrito supreme loses something in translation when you run it through a blender.
Back to my old dentist, Dr. Dremel… If you got zinged by something he did and gurgle-shrieked “Erg!” he would reply “You’re welcome.”  Tell me that isn’t a guy who tortures crippled hamsters with a rusty fork.
 
This “you’re welcome” treatment after having pain dished out was like seeing a dominatrix without a reward at any time – humiliating and yet you are paying top dollar.  The smartass treatment was pretty entertaining the first six or seven (even eight) times but it stopped being chucklacious after that.  No gas and getting popped, being flossed with piano wire, and no sticker or sugar-free sucker, I decided I was done with dentists.  And somewhere along that path I came to fear dentists.  Well, not FEAR fear, I just had horrible unbearable anxiety whenever I thought of a dentist, which is beyond weird if you grow up with a dental hygienist for a mother.
 
Stopped for… Just over six years.  I have a coworker who has not been to a dentist in 23 years, so stop judging me.
 
After six months of mildly severe pain in a lower molar I relented and went for a checkup.  I can be stubborned.  One small cavity and one cracked filling, which explained the pain.  I was more than happy to get that fixed.
 
Experienced more things.
  1. Gas is niiiiiiizzzzze, and I think they broke out the nice dry white wine of nitrous.  Whatever, it was a nice vintage, a good week in nitrous.
  2. They will dial to eleven if you beg, and I can put a skid row wino to shame when it comes to begging.
  3. The Piano Guys are pretty good even in the dentist’s office when gassed and four hands are crammed into your mouth.
  4. When the dentist asks you if you can open a little wider and you comply by popping your jaw out, they sort of get freaked out.
  5. 65% of your face can be numb with enough novocaine.
  6. I never needed it before but the second injection is something like a million cc’s of novocaine cut with sulfuric acid.
  7. Bite splints are amazingly expensive.  They must be made from gold flakes and filler made from the bones of endangered species.
  8. I still don’t know my dentist’s name.  Let’s call him “Niiiiiiizzzzze Dentist”
  9. No, you cannot have a “doggie bottle” of gas to take to work.
The only surprise was when he used a machinist’s roughing cutter to prep the surface for the ceramic stuff.
 
The office gal asked me how it went.  I said, “Well, there was some amount of tears, cursing, and whining.”
 
“That bad, huh?”
 
“Yeah, the doc is such a baby.  I didn’t even bite him that hard.”
 
I stumbled from the office with my fraction of a face and went in to work.  No pain!  Yay, me!  It was heavenly.
 
It was heavenly until the novocaine wore off, that is.  Now my entire left lower jaw throbs.  I had a meatball sandwich for dinner – soft food.
 
Tylenol is a miracle drug, and how.
 
****
I have to ask… What in hell is wrong with society that people don’t get weirded out by suggestions like this?  What is the point of prison?  Punishment?  Punitive action?  Rehab?
 
I am not sure that making time go slower chemically is a direction we should go.  If the crime is that heinous, just torture them to death over a period of a few short months and then erase them horribly.  It is what you should do for peds and child abusers, rapists, and corrupt politicians.
 
 
****
 
Make us proud, Colorado.

Stoned statue.

 

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Raving and Ranting.

Who: Cruel Wife
What: Card left on her car window under wiper, by psycho motorist
When: Yesterday, during snowstorm
Where: Meijer’s Grocery, in a snow-covered parking lot 

Side 1 


Side 2

 

 Isn’t that nice that the person is taking personal responsibility for prompt corrective action in the future?

****

 

An email exchange from last night between myself and a co-worker, and Office Assassin Savior of Kittens was on the distribution list…

Butcher of Lansing:  My firebox is lit up like a kiln furnace. The cast iron humidifier pot on top is about boiling over. CO2 outside to the max, but it sure is comfy in here. The only good thing about the Emerald Ash Borer.
Quit blowing out the drive as soon as I could get the cars out. 8 inches of snow on top of what appeared to be an inch of slushy ice about choked the blower. As Anthony said, very slow moving and fighting the steering. And then the wind blowing it right back in your face. Ugh.

 

Me:  Oh yes, that is far too much effort. That’s why I encouraged Cruel Wife to go out to shovel it by hand.

        <<me nodding energetically and stupidly>>

 

Butcher of Lansing:  And you are not face down in the remaining snow??

 

Me:  If she thought I actually meant it I would be in bags distributed all across lower Michigan.  I’m not a *total* idiot.

 

You are probably wondering, Dear Reader, why that would seem to be something I thought you should know.

Well, Cruel Wife dropped me off at work this morning and talked to Office Assassin Savior of Kittens, who told her about those emails saying only that they were incendiary. 

 ****

 

As I waved her off, thinking of that business card, I said to CW, “Stay away from the assholes!”  To which she yelled “How can I?  I am married to you!”

 

She meant this in the purest of fun, not anger, so don’t be alarmed, Dear Reader.

 

Later, however, she emailed me from our favorite sushi joint with just two pictures. I think she is sending me a message but I do not know what.

Before.


After.

 I am disappointed in her for not finishing her salad.

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physics must not be profaned

We just watched “Outrageous Acts of Science” and I was appalled. Supposedly real physicists allowed a bad diagram to skirt through. Obscene. 

 

Repeat after me… “There is no such thing as centrifugal force”.  

None.  Never existed. Like the cake, it is a lie.

 

 There is no centrifugal force!  Only centripetal, and if you want to draw the reaction force then that seems reasonable, but you draw that vector from center of rotation to the ball.

Cruel Wife shakes her head when I go ballistic over this.  I just get so irritated that engineers and scientists are not rigorous “so the layman can understand it”.

It makes me mad when I go to all the trouble
of having Marta cook up about a hundred drumsticks,
then the guy at Marineland says,
“You can’t throw that chicken to the dolphins. They eat fish.”
Sure they eat fish, if that’s all you give them!

Man, wise up.

                                      – Jack Handey

Go back and look at the early versions of Popular Scientific.  They tell kids and interested adults how to make poisonous gases and lethal electronics for ****s sake.

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Your opinion does not matter.

A number of years ago, before Obama was elected the first time, I was afraid of the cries of racism that would come up whenever someone did so much as oppose Obama.

Yeah..well big surprise.  If anything, I think response to him has been lessened because of his race.

Joseph asked, How much of the opposition is race-based? And how much is policy based?

One commiteewoman said about half of the president’s detractors are against him because of his race, while another said it was over 50%.

The lowest guesstimate we got from a committee person was between 30-40%, which is still a ridiculous figure. And as always, there was some Bush bashing from folks, like calling the 43rd President of the United States illiterate, which is patently false.

 ****

Colorado man sues rescuers for $500,000… Because he was not saved soon enough.  He has a bad shoulder and bad dreams of shivering to death.  Yet he admits he is lucky to be alive.

Oh poor baby.  I swear, some people just need a good ass-kicking.  Lots of people go through worse and have long-lasting effects and they don’t pull this shit.

****

Snowden still is a weasel, but I can agree on this much at least.

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes.

Absolutely true.  Them Latin guys knew their stuff, huh?

Semper vigilo, fortis, paratus, et fidelis.

Still good advice.

 

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picture it night.

 
Not a lot to say tonight.  Well, I am happy that I have been freed from a project that has eaten me alive for about 8-9 months.  Now I can focus on my day job.  That is crazy enough but at least it hasn’t stymied every effort of mine while tying my hands.  So I am relieved.  Relieved in the same way one is relieved after being told to not urinate for an hour after real pain sets in and then finally being allowed to go.

As my friend Steamboat McGoo has said, Science Daily, where publishing never means having to say you are sorry, there does come an interesting tidbit – a drug that may block intensity receptors in the eyes for a time, which might be awesome for migraine sufferers. 

Pictures!  On to pictures!

Kawah Ijen… A sulfur mine.  Wowza.

Kawah Ijen.

if that doesn’t look like Satan’s sinus infection, I don’t know what does.

Cracked.com, you are awesome.  Is that not one of the cutest babies ever?

 Dali’s cats.

Dali’s persistence of crazy.

Pretty enticing description but a letdown after the duck derrière explosions tease.

Dali’s wet… cats.  I did not want to use the word cats.  Family blog.


Flies can be cool. Sorta.


Chocobo racing really exists.

 

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