Geeking out today

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Back one month ago, I spent an hour or so looking for an electronics store I had not been to in almost 20 years. It was on the same street that I remembered but I must have driven right by it.

Heading out there this morning with the address written down. (Coffee at The Allegro first though - got my priorities) Will be then spending a few hours at a nearby off-leash park. My pups are used to having free run of a 30 acre farm and city life makes them a little "busy". I'll run them rotten later this afternoon.

More posting later today.

The downside to smartphones

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Readers will know that I recently upgraded from a cheap Walmart burner cellphone to a Motorola Z. Quite the leap in technology and I love it. Where I live, there is no cell service so I have had little need for a phone (hence the cheap one) but now that I am spending more time on the road, a better phone was called for.

Here is a cautionairy tale though - from Bloomberg:

Smartphones Are Killing Americans, But Nobody’s Counting
Jennifer Smith doesn’t like the term “accident.” It implies too much chance and too little culpability.

A “crash” killed her mother in 2008, she insists, when her car was broadsided by another vehicle while on her way to pick up cat food. The other driver, a 20-year-old college student, ran a red light while talking on his mobile phone, a distraction that he immediately admitted and cited as the catalyst of the fatal event.

“He was remorseful,” Smith, now 43, said. “He never changed his story.”

Yet in federal records, the death isn’t attributed to distraction or mobile-phone use. It’s just another line item on the grim annual toll taken by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration [NHTSA]—one of 37,262 that year. Three months later, Smith quit her job as a realtor and formed Stopdistractions.org, a nonprofit lobbying and support group. Her intent was to make the tragic loss of her mother an anomaly.

And some numbers:

Over the past two years, after decades of declining deaths on the road, U.S. traffic fatalities surged by 14.4 percent. In 2016 alone, more than 100 people died every day in or near vehicles in America, the first time the country has passed that grim toll in a decade. Regulators, meanwhile, still have no good idea why crash-related deaths are spiking: People are driving longer distances but not tremendously so; total miles were up just 2.2 percent last year. Collectively, we seemed to be speeding and drinking a little more, but not much more than usual. Together, experts say these upticks don’t explain the surge in road deaths.

And this one:

Finally, the increase in fatalities has been largely among bicyclists, motorcyclists, and pedestrians—all of whom are easier to miss from the driver’s seat than, say, a 4,000-pound SUV—especially if you’re glancing up from your phone rather than concentrating on the road. Last year, 5,987 pedestrians were killed by cars in the U.S., almost 1,100 more than in 2014—that’s a 22 percent increase in just two years.

More at the site - my truck allows for hands-free calling and I would never browse while driving. I am not stupid. I see it all the time though when out on the road.

One other cause for the increase in fatalities that was not mentioned was the CAFE Standards - the easiest way for a manufacturer to make a vehicle more fuel efficient is to cut its weight. This makes the car or truck lighter and less strong. For more on that story: Here, here and here - a lot more at Google if you look.

Some evening clouds

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Trish and I went for a nice long walk along the shores of Mud Bay off Lake Washington - here is one photo:

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Fall is definitely moving in...

Generalissimo Francisco Franco 2.0

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Nice democracy you have there - it would be a shame if something happened to it... From The New York Times:

Spain Will Remove Catalonia Leader, Escalating Secession Crisis
The escalating confrontation over Catalonia’s independence drive took its most serious turn on Saturday as Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy of Spain announced he would remove the leadership of the restive region and initiate a process of direct rule by the central government in Madrid.

It was the first time that Spain’s government had moved to strip the autonomy of one of its 17 regions, and the first time that a leader had invoked Article 155 of the Spanish Constitution — a broad tool intended to protect the “general interests” of the nation.

The unexpectedly forceful moves by Mr. Rajoy, made after an emergency cabinet meeting, thrust Spain into uncharted waters. The prime minister is trying to put down one of the gravest constitutional crises his country has faced since embracing democracy after the death of its dictator Gen. Francisco Franco in 1975.

A lot more at the article - Spain is sliding towards tyranny. Catalonia is prosperous, has it's own language and customs. Spain bought into the whole socialist scam and is now running out of money - they want Catalonia to stay under their umbrella to fund the excesses of their state.

It is interesting to see this return of local autonomy and nationaism breaking out. First, we had the Brexit, now Catalonia and now in Italy:

European Parliament chief Antonio Tajani said Europe should "fear" the spread of small nations as Spain struggled Sunday with the Catalonia crisis and the Italian regions of Lombardy and Veneto voted in referendums on greater autonomy.

Interesting times indeed!

Trish and I decided to get married about a month ago. We first met 30 years ago so we actually know each other quite well. Our lives had taken us in different paths until we reconnected in July.

Went shopping for wedding rings yesterday. We both want to avoid the "wedding industry" - small service or even eloping and a party a few months later. Definitely not buying rings from Zales, The Galleria, Jared, Kay (a lot of these businesses are all owned by the same corporate identity). Wanted to find a local jeweler who made the rings in-house and who didn't have them shipped in in bulk from China or Pakistan.

Found a place that looked interesting but when we walked in the door, we were greeted by someone who exclaimed that they were a locally owned business and that they wanted to develop a relationship with us and how well they would treat us. Excuse me - this marriage will last so we will only need their services once. I do not need to build a relationship with them. All through walking around the store, we were mobbed by one person after another extolling the virtues of their store. We left - never even tried anything.

We are seriously thinking of visiting Costco to see what they have... Amazon? Arrrgggghhhhh...

Pineapple express due on Saturday

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Get ready - from Seattle's Cliff Mass:

5000 Mile Atmospheric River Will Hit the Northwest on Saturday: Heavy Rain in the Offering
The atmosphere is kind of funny when it comes to moisture. Rather than move water vapor out of the tropics in wide currents, the moisture tend to move in relatively narrow atmospheric rivers.

For us in the Pacific Northwest, the atmospheric rivers that reach our shores often come from the southwest, starting somewhere near Hawaii (see graphic of water vapor content summed up in the vertical). Thus, they are often called a pineapple express.

But sometimes, a very different configuration occurs, with moisture extending northward in the western Pacific, then heading nearly due east into our region.  Traversing an amazing distance of over 5000 miles.  Let's call this the Midway Express.  And one of them will reach us on Saturday.

Forecast is for up to ten inches with high winds - here we go again. More power failures and potential for earth movement.

From The New York Times:

Trump Says He Will Release Final Set of Documents on Kennedy Assassination
President Trump has decided to release a final batch of thousands of classified government documents related to the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy, Mr. Trump announced in a tweet on Saturday morning.

“Subject to the receipt of further information, I will be allowing, as President, the long blocked and classified JFK FILES to be opened,” Mr. Trump said on Twitter.

Cue the conspiracy theories in 3... 2... 1...

The Clinton Russia deal - uranium

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More and more information is coming out about how Bill and Hillary made a lot of money by signing off 20% of our Uranium production to Russian companies. From The Hill:

Bill Clinton sought State’s permission to meet with Russian nuclear official during Obama uranium decision
As he prepared to collect a $500,000 payday in Moscow in 2010, Bill Clinton sought clearance from the State Department to meet with a key board director of the Russian nuclear energy firm Rosatom — which at the time needed the Obama administration’s approval for a controversial uranium deal, government records show.

Arkady Dvorkovich, a top aide to then-Russian President Dmitri Medvedev and one of the highest-ranking government officials to serve on Rosatom’s board of supervisors, was listed on a May 14, 2010, email as one of 15 Russians the former president wanted to meet during a late June 2010 trip, the documents show.

“In the context of a possible trip to Russia at the end of June, WJC is being asked to see the business/government folks below. Would State have concerns about WJC seeing any of these folks,” Clinton Foundation foreign policy adviser Amitabh Desai wrote the State Department on May 14, 2010, using the former president’s initials and forwarding the list of names to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s team.

The email went to two of Hillary Clinton’s most senior advisers, Jake Sullivan and Cheryl Mills.

If these were Republican people, the press would be trumpeting this story 24/7.  That it is the Clinton's?

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crickets...

The use of food to make a problematic "renewable" gasoline substitute is a testimony to the power of a few lobbyists. The use of Ethanol drives up the price of corn as food, it does significant damage to small engines and it raises the cost of gasoline. It is not a renewable fuel as it takes more energy to distill a gallon of Ethanol than you can ever recover from it by combustion or other chemical means. It is an energy rat-hole.

Looks like President Trump is starting to stand up to this stupidity - from The Daily Caller:

Trump’s Struggle With The Ethanol Lobby Is Just Beginning
The ethanol lobby may have won this week’s political battle with President Donald Trump’s administration, but the war over the federal biofuel mandate is far from over.

The White House on Wednesday reportedly told Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) officials to stand down on making small changes to the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) after political backlash from corn states.

Midwestern GOP Senators held up Trump’s nominees for EPA positions until they were reassured no changes would be made to the RFS, that mandates refiners purchase ever-increasing amounts of ethanol.

This policy has always been a scam and it is time for it to be put to rest once and for all.

New toy - Moto Z Play

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Been having a lot of fun syncing my new phone to my other computers and learning the ins and outs of its operation. An amazingly powerful computer which can send and receive telephone calls. Want to get everything set up before I try rooting it. Need to see if there are any useful apps for emergency management or amateur radio.

Trish had a big event at her school last week so she is rummaging around cleaning up and stowing the boxes of supplies and papers from the event.

T and Me

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Here is a photo of Trish and me in front of the notorious Seattle Gum wall:

20171020-trish-me.jpg

A few days ago - wind storm

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Here is a photo I took of SR-542 about an hour after the power went out. This is the main highway leading in to Maple Falls and a large tree took the main feeder into the area - you can just make out some of the lines to the right.

20171020-powerline.jpg

It was indeed a dark and stormy night...

Great little eye-opener from Conservative Tribune:

Socialism at Work: British Feds Ban Surgery for Smokers and the Obese
Socialized medicine is a wonderful, compassionate system that brings important care to everyone… at least, that’s what leftists in the United States and Europe keep insisting.

As the United Kingdom is finding out, however, everyone is not actually equal under health care socialism. As soon as the system starts running out of other people’s money, people are quickly pushed out… and you’d better hope that you’re not one of the unlucky ones who gets thrown aside!

That’s exactly what happened this week in Britain, as the socialized National Health System announced that patients are being banned from important surgeries if they happen to be a bit overweight or smoke tobacco.

More at the site - tip of the hat to Wirecutter at Knuckledraggin My Life Away for the link.

Power blogging

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Joys of country living - lost power for the last 24 hours. Wind storm took out a couple of large trees which toppled over the main highway leading out to here.

Down in Seattle for a while visiting with T and her kids. More later..

Back home again - finished

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Got the clearcoat on the coffee service cabinet. Looks pretty good if I say so myself :)

Working on some stuff around the home. Trash pickup tomorrow. Raining cats and dogs with high winds forecast - Lopez Island is recording winds in the 50MPH range.

At work at the store

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Putting the final finish on the new coffee service and will be mounting the railings for the shopping cart nest later this afternoon. Pics will follow...

Sloth - day two

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Really sleeping a lot for some reason. Second day of 10+ hours of sleep. Feel fine, just not waking up at my usual time.

Raining heavily - a bit over 0.5 inches in the last 12 hours.

A shift in Hollywood

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A very good observation of the whole Harvey Weinstein kerfuffle from The Z man

Shot:

End of the Gatekeepers
The manufactured outrage over Harvey Weinstein has been entertaining, mostly because a lot of gaseous Hollywood blowhards have taken it in the shorts over it. Watching guys like Ben Affleck and Jimmy Kimmel suffer is enjoyable because they are horrible people fond of self-righteously lecturing the rest of us. The schadenfreude is all good fun, but it misses a bigger story. The reason Hollywood is imploding in scandals, over what has been the norm for generations, is that the smart money has left the business.

As Steve Sailer noted, degenerates like Harvey Weinstein have always been a fixture in the movie business. Smart Jewish men were drawn to the business, because success meant they got to be gatekeepers in a high demand business. That meant they could charge very large tolls for the right to pass through the gates. Anyone who wanted to be in movies had to make it in Hollywood. Actresses and actors that wanted to be stars had to do what was required to make it past the gatekeeper. Everyone paid the toll.

Chaser:

An axiom of modern, life is that the arrival of social justice warriors is a sign that a business or industry has entered a death spiral. It may not be dead, but its days of making big money have come to a close. The smart-money men, interested only in making money, have left the scene, leaving the people with other agendas to take over and impose those agendas. That’s when the gals start running off the guys for being male and cook up schemes to help under-represented minorities realize their potential.

That’s what is happening with Hollywood. The girls are taking over, which means they will be producing content that no one watches, as they burn through the assets of the movies business infrastructure. Soon, the oppressed people of color will be accusing the remaining studio men of being insufficiently remorseful about their ancestors owning slaves. Unlike colleges and corporations that go through this, the film business has an ample supply of degenerates like Harvey Weinstein. This is just getting started.

A lot more at the site - good writing!
A good definition of the term of art: Social Justice Warriors

A change of wording

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A very large change in meaning - from Dr. Susan Berry writing at Breitbart:

Trump Administration Defines Life ‘Beginning at Conception’
The Trump administration has released a strategic plan for the years 2018-2022 that asserts clearly at several points that life begins at conception.

The document is located on the website of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

“HHS accomplishes its mission through programs and initiatives that cover a wide spectrum of activities, serving and protecting Americans at every stage of life, beginning at conception,” the document states initially.

In contrast, the Obama administration’s document read, “HHS accomplishes its mission through programs and initiatives that cover a wide spectrum of activities, serving Americans at every stage of life.”

In explaining its “Strategic Goal 1: Reform, Strengthen, and Modernize the Nation’s Health Care,” the Trump administration document continues, “While we may refer to the people we serve as beneficiaries, enrollees, patients, or consumers, our ultimate goal is to improve healthcare outcomes for all people, including the unborn, across healthcare settings.”

That is going to get a lot of Planned Parenthood supports in a twist. Those people need to read their history a bit more - the founder was a real piece of work. Read the previous link if you do not know - you can also Google. These stories are told by so many different sources that it is the unvarnished truth, not some conspiracy to tarnish her work. There is even audio and video of her talking about this.

Or considering it was under Obama's watch, maybe not. From The Hill:

FBI uncovered Russian bribery plot before Obama administration approved controversial nuclear deal with Moscow
Before the Obama administration approved a controversial deal in 2010 giving Moscow control of a large swath of American uranium, the FBI had gathered substantial evidence that Russian nuclear industry officials were engaged in bribery, kickbacks, extortion and money laundering designed to grow Vladimir Putin’s atomic energy business inside the United States, according to government documents and interviews.

Federal agents used a confidential U.S. witness working inside the Russian nuclear industry to gather extensive financial records, make secret recordings and intercept emails as early as 2009 that showed Moscow had compromised an American uranium trucking firm with bribes and kickbacks in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, FBI and court documents show.

They also obtained an eyewitness account — backed by documents — indicating Russian nuclear officials had routed millions of dollars to the U.S. designed to benefit former President Bill Clinton’s charitable foundation during the time Secretary of State Hillary Clinton served on a government body that provided a favorable decision to Moscow, sources told The Hill.

There is a lot more at the site and President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton are right there in the thick of it. President Trump did a good job with firing Comey - now he nees to put Eric Holder, Hillary Clinton and Barak Obama in jail for about 30 years each.

Back home again

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Decided to bag tonight's meeting - working on stuff here.

More in an hour or two - want to do some things outside while there is still daylight.

Sloth

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Slept in again this morning.  Heavy rainfall on a tin roof is very conducive to such activities - wake up, roll over and go back to sleep for another hour. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Heading out for coffee and in to Bellingham for some banking, store stuff, shopping.

Posting in a couple of hours.

And that is it for the night

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Working on organizing the music room tonight. Did a bit more sorting in the garage this afternoon. Finished with a nice dinner and time to start work on labeling and gathering stuff into bins. Already looking a lot better and it will be fun to actually be able to find stuff when I am done.

Having the repositionable adhesive on the labels is really nice - a couple times I have looked at a label, said "Naaaa", peeled it off and printed another one. Good to not have all sorts of adhesive residue on the plastic. Looks like crap.

Probably watch a little YouTube somewhere in there too...

The link between childhood vaccinations and autism is simply not there. It first reared its pointy little head in a 1998 paper in the British journal Lancet based on research by Dr. Andrew Wakefield. Slight problem - Wakefield's research was funded by an insurance company which hoped to profit off future lawsuits against vaccine makers. The paper was retracted and Dr. Wakefield now goes by Andy - his license to practice medicine was stripped from him.

Still, like a chicken, the head was chopped off but the body still twitches. From Canada's CBC News:

UBC researchers pull paper linking vaccine component to autism after data alleged to be manipulated
Researchers from the University of British Columbia are retracting their scientific paper linking aluminum in vaccines to autism in mice, because one of the co-authors claims figures published in the study were deliberately altered before publication — an issue he says he realized after allegations of data manipulation surfaced online.

The professor also told CBC News there's no way to know "why" or "how" the figures were allegedly contorted, as he claims original data cited in the study is inaccessible, which would be a contravention of the university's policy around scientific research.

The paper looked at the effects of aluminum components in vaccines on immune response in a mouse's brain. It was published in the Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry on Sept. 5.

Talk about a two-fer - not only the vaccine/autism fraud but they were looking at aluminum which has been featured highly in the do not use aluminum cookware as it can give you Alzheimers bullshit. A bit more:

However, subsequent scrutiny has raised questions about the validity of the data, with one doctor calling the paper "anti-vaccine pseudoscience."

The allegations were published last week on Retraction Watch, a site that reports on withdrawn papers as "a window into the scientific process."

By the middle of September, commenters on PubPeer — a database where users can examine and comment on published scientific papers — pointed out that figures in the study appeared to have been altered, and in one case lifted directly from a 2014 study also authored by Shaw and Tomljenovic.

Soo busted. A lot more at the site. One of the researchers had a previous paper retracted for dodgy data in 2016. Who is funding these idiots and why do they still have tenure at UBC?

Now this looks like fun

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For someone else but still - the development of drones brought out some new technologies and they are being scaled up to bigger machines:

Having those propellers right at kneecap level would give me a case of the willies. Gust of wind? The inertial moment on those propellers has got to be large so it will take time to respond to a perturbation. What happens if it starts to tip over?

SQL Ledger

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I have been using GnuCash for a while and really like it. True double-entry bookeeping and none of the bloat the QuickBooks has. Getting checks to print correctly was a byzantine few days but this is something you only need to do once so hey...

On an email list, there was mention of SQL Ledger as being more of a large ERP application. Looks interesting - been in development for more than ten years and it's last release was in April of 2017 so it is under active development. It is written entirely in PERL and runs using a SQL Server as its backend. No mention of speed (running an interpreted language) but still, the feature list is quite comprehensive. Here is the feature list from their website

Accounts Receivable, Accounts Payable, Vouchers, General Ledger, Inventory Control, Billing / Invoicing, Payroll, Time Cards, Recurring Invoices, POS, Check Printing, Purchase / Sales Orders, Customizable Taxes, Multi-user, Multi-company, CMS, Audit Control, Foreign Currency, Internationalization, Access Control, SQL server backend, Customizable Templates, Customers, Vendors, Assemblies (BOM, kits), Chart of Accounts, Customizable Reports, Memorize Report Layout, Financial Statements, Export Payments File, Administration Module, Application Interface, Backup to file/email, Import transactions, Use on Handheld, Document Control

Have to download it and give it a try when I have nothing else to do and feel like dinking around with a new application.

A lot of times, the EPA did not have any legal ground for pushing their policies but they had a lot of lawyers at their beck and call so they engaged in a practice known as Sue and Settle. They would overwhelm some poor farmer or land developer with a huge lawsuit and then proceed to settle out of court for a smaller sum of money - still huge but a lot smaller than their original lawsuit. The settlement was enough to cripple any development plans. Again, the EPA had no legal backing to dictate the terms of the development so they utalized this back-door to do it. This practice is evil and it has been stopped. From The Washington Times:

EPA to end Obama-era ‘sue and settle’ practice
The Trump administration on Monday took steps to end the highly controversial “sue and settle” practice that led directly to a host of environmental regulations throughout former President Obama’s tenure.

In an agency-wide directive, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt said the process has “harmed the American public” and kept citizens in the dark about exactly how rules and regulations are made.

The days of regulation through litigation are over,” Mr. Pruitt said in a statement. “We will no longer go behind closed doors and use consent decrees and settlement agreements to resolve lawsuits filed against the agency by special interest groups where doing so would circumvent the regulatory process set forth by Congress. Additionally, gone are the days of routinely paying tens of thousands of dollars in attorney’s fees to these groups with which we swiftly settle.”

Sue and settle, which became commonplace during Mr. Obama’s tenure as his EPA developed tight-knit relationships with top environmental groups, essentially is a way to circumvent the formal rulemaking procedures. Under the practice, sometimes called “friendly lawsuits,” an outside group would sue a department or agency — in this case, the EPA — and ask that certain regulatory steps be taken, or that entirely new regulations be put in place.

Emphases mine. Step by step, President Trump is undoing President Obama's "legacy"

Good - the sooner those harms are removed from our nation the better.

A curious case of Arkancide

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Not related to the Clintons but definitley connected to big money. From the UK Daily Mirror:

Car bomb kills journalist behind Panama Papers offshore tax evasion investigation 'days after she received threats to her safety'
A journalist who led the Panama Papers offshore tax evasion expose was killed today when a bomb blew up her car.

Investigative reporter Daphne Caruana Galizia - dubbed a "one-woman WikiLeaks" - was killed as she was driving near the village of Bidnija in northern Malta.

She had filed a complaint to police a fortnight ago after receiving personal threats to her safety, local media said.

Caruana Galizia ran a hugely popular blog relentlessly highlighting cases of alleged corruption, often involving politicians from the Mediterranean island nation.

In Malta, she had led the coverage of the Panama Papers, a leak of millions of legal documents last year detailing financial details of offshore entities used by the rich and powerful to avoid tax.

She blogged in English here: Running Commentary - Daphne Caruana Galizia' Notebook

Arkancide? From this website:

Arkancide is the unfortunate habit of potential witnesses to the Clintons' dirty dealings in Arkansas suddenly deciding to shoot themselves twice in the back of the head. Police and Coroners in Arkansas, notably Fahmy Malak who answered to Governor Bill Clinton, automatically described these shootings as "suicides."

After Bill Clinton became President the phenomenon spilled over to Washington D.C. when Hillary Clinton's ex-lover Vincent Foster was "Arkancided."

And these mokes will never ever be brought to justice.

Plan B

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Was planning to work at home today but was out of storage boxes so ran into Costco and picked up a bunch. The cashier asked what I was doing. Also did a Plan B on a project at the store.

Still heading into town tomorrow afternoon - meeting in the evening Mt. Baker Amaeur Radio Club - Digital Group

Left over spaghetti for dinner tonight - this time with the low-carb noodles and a big salad.

Got some serious rainfall - almost one inch in 24 hours with much more on the way.

Public WiFi - be careful for now

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Someone just broke the encryption used in public WiFi - from ZDNet:

WPA2 security flaw puts almost every Wi-Fi device at risk of hijack, eavesdropping
A security protocol at the heart of most modern Wi-Fi devices, including computers, phones, and routers, has been broken, putting almost every wireless-enabled device at risk of attack.

The bug, known as "KRACK" for Key Reinstallation Attack, exposes a fundamental flaw in WPA2, a common protocol used in securing most modern wireless networks. Mathy Vanhoef, a computer security academic, who found the flaw, said the weakness lies in the protocol's four-way handshake, which securely allows new devices with a pre-shared password to join the network.

That weakness can, at its worst, allow an attacker to decrypt network traffic from a WPA2-enabled device, hijack connections, and inject content into the traffic stream.

In other words: this flaw, if exploited, gives an attacker a skeleton key to access any WPA2 network without a password. Once they're in, they can eavesdrop on your network traffic.

The bug represents a complete breakdown of the WPA2 protocol, for both personal and enterprise devices -- putting every supported device at risk.

What to do? Use basic comon sense. Do not do any online shopping or send crucial data over a public network. That simple. This has already been patched for Windows 10 and iOS - Android is still vulnerable but they are working on it.

Very cool announcement - science

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We were told that a major announcement was coming today and they did not dissapoint - from National Geographic:

In a First, Gravitational Waves Linked to Neutron Star Crash
Around 130 million years ago, two dead stars violently collided and set off a sequence of events that, over the last two months, have whipped astronomers on Earth into an absolute frenzy.

At press conferences held across continents, scientists today announced the first detection of gravitational waves created by two neutron stars smashing into each other.

First theorized by Albert Einstein in 1916, gravitational waves are kinks or distortions in the fabric of spacetime caused by extremely violent cosmic events. Until now, all confirmed detections involved a deadly dance between two black holes, which leave no visible signature on the sky.

But with this latest event, teams using about a hundred instruments at roughly 70 observatories were able to track down and watch the cataclysm in multiple wavelengths of light, allowing astronomers to scrutinize the source of these cosmic ripples for the first time.

“We saw a totally new phenomenon that has never before been seen by humans,” says Andy Howell of the University of California, Santa Barbara. “It’s an amazing thing that may not be duplicated in our lifetimes.”

Incredibly cool - they were able to see the source of the waves in physical light. So 299,792,458 meters per second is not just a good idea, it's the law! No wonder that three of the primary researchers got the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics for their work.

Lethargy is a good thing - right?

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Was up way past my bedtime so slept in - woke up at a bit before 10:00AM - delicious! Working on organizing the music room, the garage and building the computer for a friend. Fun and productive stuff so just kept working. Heading out for coffee, the store and back home to do it all again!

A busy bee tonight

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Gathering parts to build a computer for a friend and also moved from clearing out the garage to clearing out the music room. Bought some plastic bins for storage and have some nice adhesive labels in my laser printer so every time I get 10 categories of bins, I print off a sheet. The adhesive is reusable so if my needs change, I can peel off the old label with no residue.

Took an off day from my low-carb diet and made a big pot of spaghetti sauce. Was all set to be virtuous and use the low-carb noodles but at the last moment, I said screw this and boiled up some thin spaghetti. The low-carb noodles are OK but there is a different mouth-feel and for some reason today, I craved some carbs. I can be virtuous tomorrow...

Back to work so probably no more posting tonight - when I am done with this project, I'll be watching YouTube. Nothing caught my eye on the internet anyway.

Great news from the Philippines

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From ABC News/Associated Press:

Philippines: Last leaders of IS-tied siege killed in Marawi
The two final surviving leaders of a deadly siege in the southern Philippines, including a top Asian terror suspect, were killed Monday in one of the final battles by thousands of troops to retake the last area in Marawi city held by pro-Islamic State group militants, security officials said.

Four military and police officials told The Associated Press that Isnilon Hapilon, who is listed among the FBI's most-wanted terror suspects, and Omarkhayam Maute were killed in a gunbattle and their bodies were found Monday in Marawi.

The Philippines have had a long-standing problem with millitant islamists - they call themselves Moro - dating back to General John Joseph "Black Jack" Pershing in 1899. In overall percentages, the islamists represent about 11% of the total population and yet they feel they have the right to 'rebel' against the Roman Catholic majority (82%) and murder them. Not very smart - nothing like living in a culture that chooses to remain in the 9th century.

Making a very good example of what happens when they murder someone is an excellent way to go about it. Live in peace? Fine. Try to overthrow our government and murder non-islamic citizens? You will be killed. End of problem.

Taking a break

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Such a gorgeous day today - been cleaning out the garage. A lot of crap that needs to be put on Craigslist or just plain gotten rid of. Starting to make visible headway. Spending this evening working on projects inside the house - building a computer for a friend and organizing a bit.

T's dog is spending a few days here getting more acquainted with my critters. She has some boundary issues but we are getting those resolved very nicely and she is now becoming the best of friends with my younger dog Bear.

Done here - heading home

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Heading back home to work on some stuff there. Gorgeous day but rain is forecast for Monday so want to get a couple things done outside.

The usual

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Woke up about an hour ago - took care of the critters and now heading out for coffee and working at the store for a few hours.

A freak of nature

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I can not imagine anyone who loves horses breeding for this trait on purpose:

20171014-grotesque.jpg

There is a video on the breeders website showing this poor foal prancing around - its nostrils are fully dilated while doing very minimal exertion. The sinuses are so restricted that the poor guy is starving for air - panting for his life. The position of the ears and the wrinkled upper eyebrow indicates fear or panic. Horses cannot breathe through their mouth (PDF) so it is important that their head be properly formed for good respiration. Lower jaw looks thin and underdeveloped too.

The breeder's website seems to be very proud of this poor creature. They should be ashamed to say that they caused (and are promoting) this deformity.

How fast they fall - Harvey Weinstein

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From the Los Angeles Times:

Harvey Weinstein expelled from motion picture academy
Embattled film mogul Harvey Weinstein — a once-dominant force in the Academy Awards who rewrote the rules of Oscar campaigning — has been expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in response to mounting allegations of sexual harassment and assault against him.

The film academy’s 54-member board of governors, which includes such industry luminaries as Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks, Kathleen Kennedy and Whoopi Goldberg, voted in an emergency meeting on Saturday morning to remove Weinstein from the organization’s ranks in an unprecedented public rebuke of a prominent industry figure. The move marked the latest blow in Weinstein’s stunning downfall and, in symbolic terms, amounts to a virtual expulsion from Hollywood itself.

The guy made great movies - pity about all the other stuff. This brings to mind two other pieces

First - from Laurie Stark on Twitter:

Remember: The Weinstein Company didn't fire Harvey because they found out he was a sexual predator. They fired him because WE found out.

Second - this wonderful rant:

Dear Hollywood celebrities: It’s time to wake up now. Get this! The only reason you exist is for my entertainment. Some of you are beautiful. Some of you can deliver a line with such conviction that you bring tears to my eyes. Some of you are so convincing that you scare the stuffing out of me. And others are so funny you can make me laugh uncontrollably. But you all have one thing in common. You only exist and have a place in my world to entertain me. That’s it. Nothing else!

You make your living pretending to be someone else. You play dress-up like a 5-year-old. Your world is a make-believe world—it is not real; it doesn't exist. You live for the camera while the rest of us live in the real world. Your entire existence depends on my patronage. I crank the organ grinder, and you dance.

Therefore, I don't care where you stand on issues. Honestly, your opinion means nothing to me. Just because you had a lead role in a movie about prostitution doesn't mean you know what it’s like to be a prostitute. Your view matters far less to me than that of a someone living in Timbuktu. Believe me or not, the hard truth is that you aren't real. I turn off my TV or shut down my computer, and you cease to exist. Once I am done with you, I go back to the real world until I want you to entertain me again.

I don't care that you think BP executives deserve the death penalty. I don't care what you think about the environment. I don't care if you believe fracking is bad. I don't care if you call for more gun control. I don't care if you believe in catastrophic, human-induced global warming. And I couldn't care less that you supported Hillary for President. By the way, she lost!!

Get back into your bubble. I'll let you know when I'm in the mood for something pretty or scary or funny. And one other thing. What was all that “I'll leave the country if Donald Trump wins”? Don't you know how stupid that made you sound? What did you think my reaction was going to be? Oooh! I better not vote for Trump or we'll lose Whoopi Goldberg? Al Sharpton? Amy Schemer? Rosie O’Donnell? Leave. Good riddance. I don't care! And don't let the door hit you in the keister on your way out. Make me laugh. Make me cry. Even scare me. But realize this: the only words of yours that matter are scripted — just like your pathetic, little lives. I may agree with some of you from time to time, but in the final analysis, it doesn't matter. In my world, you exist solely for my entertainment.

So, shut your mouth and dance, monkey, DANCE!

Speaking truth to power monkeys. If President Trump is setting out to drain the swamp, remember that its tributaries and rivers are fed by the constant drip drip drip of the media. Without their collusion, the swamp will dry up and blow away under the hard light of day.

Back home again - a fun day!

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Had a wonderful day with T and her daughter and friend (the two of them have been playmates since childhood).
We went out for coffee and then visited at the store for about two hours. One of my managers had not met T before (yes, she really does exist - Dave has not gone around the bend... yet...) so we had a wonderful time talking about all sorts of things.

We then drove in to Bellingham and rendezvoused with her daughter and friend. Went out for a light lunch and daughter took this photo of us - a cute couple:

20171014-us.jpg

T has to work Monday and went home today so she can have Sunday to correct some papers (she teaches) - heading down there in a few days for a visit.

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