pyesetz: (spirograph)
"Fox News offered former anchor Gretchen Carlson 20 million dollars and an apology after she spent years being sexually harassed by Roger Ailes, who looks like they tried to clone Alfred Hitchcock but the DNA was incomplete so they just filled it in with genetic material from a Basset hound, mashed potatoes, and the mumps, which they then stirred around in a Waffle House toilet after the toilet had just looked at the Ark of the Covenant."

---Chris Hardwick, host of @Midnight

pyesetz: (woof)
In this article, Bill Harnsberger states
Number of states with no-texting-while-driving laws: 46
So, in how many states is it a crime to send a text while driving a car?  If you don't notice the hyphen shown in green above (nor the fact that 'laws' is plural), it seems there are 46 states that lack a texting-while-driving law.  With the hyphen, there are only four such states (Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, and [if you're over age 20] Arkansas).

The h-y-p-h-e-n is a very important punctuation mark!

A pun

Jan. 5th, 2015 02:01 pm
pyesetz: (woof)
"Senator Harry Reid is resting in pieces this morning as he recovers from broken ribs and facial bones he suffered while he was using a piece of exercise equipment that broke.  But the good news is he didn't break his lower leg bone, thus avoiding a protracted fibulabuster."

--Bill in Portland, Maine
pyesetz: (woof)
Congratulations to the new, #1 rated bunga of all time! Bárðar beats out Unga-, close Italian relative Bunga-, and previous champion Cowa-, and the eruption hasn't even really begun in earnest!

Of course, Bárðarbunga isn't actually in earnest. It's in Iceland. Hi-yo! That's a Scandinavia joke, folks! You don't get a lot of those on the front page, so enjoy it!

pyesetz: (woof)
"You know how much threat ISIS represents to the United States?  None.  That's how much.  Exactly none.  If there was a value less than none, then it would be that, but there's not, so none is the answer.

"You know what does represent a threat to the the United States, a bona fide danger to our continued existence as the land of the semi-free and occasionally bravish?  Acting as if every person who says they want to turn the United States into dictatorial hell hole, is capable of making the United States their bitch.  ISIS is a ragtag organization on the far side of the world, armed mostly with the discards we either sold to the last set of thugs (note: proper use of the term) who used the gear to cow their relatives, or the stuff we left sitting around because bringing the old stuff back threatened all those contracts for building new stuff.  ISIS could no more threaten the United States than Lindsey Graham could punch God in the nose.  The existential threat level is green. Or at least, it should be."

pyesetz: (woof)
The title of this post is from an article about Scott Fistler, the Arizona Republican who changed his name to "Cesar Chavez" and is now running for office as a "Democrat" (but still using Republican tactics).  I used a wildcard Google search "a few * short of a *" to find other examples of this snowclone.

The first hit is A few sandwiches short of a picnic, which has an entry at Wiktionary.  That entry gives a synonym "one card shy of a full deck".

The next hit is A few X short of a Y at the Snowclones database, which lists these examples
  • a few bananas short of a bushel
  • a few sprinkles short of a sundae
  • a few hosannas short of a miracle
  • a few smarties short of a lollybag
  • a few beers short of a barrel
The snowclone entry links to the Canonical List of Fulldeckisms which is a 1994 list from USENET.  Some of its entries are rather dated now, such as
  • A return with no gosub
  • A VGA card and a Herc monitor
  • An 8080 in a 68000 environment
  • An Apple //e on UUCP
  • An XT clone in a Pentium zone
  • Blew his O-rings
  • Her dialing thumb must be broken
  • In need of a ROM upgrade
  • Mainspring's wound too tight
  • Metronome needs oil
  • Missing a few catalog cards / gears / marbles
  • Nine pence in the shilling
  • Overruns above 110 baud
  • Pins 2 and 3 (RS-232) permanently connected to ground
  • RS232C brain with a DIN connector
  • Running at 300 baud
  • Single-sided, low density
  • Slept too close to his radium-dial watch
  • The fan is working but the freon's leaked out
  • Thinks at 5 baud
  • Thinks cellular phones are carbon-based life forms
  • Thinks E=MC² is a rap star
  • Too many birds on her antenna
  • Using a 1S-2D floppy for brains in a world of hard disks
Google's list then includes some items that duplicate the USENET list ("a few fries short of a happy meal", "a few bricks shy of a load", etc.)

Then there's the Not too bright list, including items such as
  • A few screws short of a hardware store
  • A few peas short of a casserole
  • A few Bradys short of a bunch
Then there's the Euphamisms for Stupid, which is written by a college professor who apparently doesn't know how to spell "euphemism".  Anyway, his list doesn't include anything not previously seen.

And that's the first page of Google results.  Surely no one would look any further?

Okay, so I clicked "next" and got
  • A few eggs short of a dozen
  • a few cattle short of a ranch
  • a few plums short of a fruit pie
Guess I can stop now.  Sorry!
pyesetz: (mr_peabody)
Note: One of my recurring nightmares is realizing that I've forgotten to write a Note for [these blog posts].  Why it always ends with me losing a Jell-O match to the Lorax on Tatooine remains a mystery.

pyesetz: (Default)
Today's DailyKos pootie diary is on the topic of sex.  Most of the macros are amusing, except for the one labelled "exactly what it looks like" which can't really be what it looks like due to limitations of feline anatomy.

While I have not done an intensive analysis, my initial impression is that there are too many cats and not enough dogs.  The pair of turtles "going at it" are okay, but the hippo is sort of "meh".  I like the gibbon(?) but then I tend to like that sort of thing.  The fourth photo in the comments section shows an extremely happy dog, but I don't think the caption goes all that well.
pyesetz: (felix)

The subject above is a surprisingly-popular answer for the poll at the bottom of this diary over at DailyKos.  I had originally sent it to TorFur, but the initial response was rather poor (I had been warned that job postings to furry lists usually don't get much of a response), so I reposted it to DailyKos.

In case you're wondering (and who wouldn't?), the [CENSORED] items are
  • Dogbiscuit crumbs and Nutella
  • Wear a diaper and not bathe
  • Cute foxboi
As of today, I'm still talking to one of the TorFur respondents and one of the dK respondents, but so far no one has actually signed up for the job.  So my unblemished record of "always a programmer, never a manager" continues!  I expect that becoming a manager will cause my headfur to go grey overnight, because management is one of those "life passage" things that causes your body to think that you need to start looking older and more distinguished.


Jan. 3rd, 2010 04:34 pm
pyesetz: (mr_peabody)
Over at SP I wrote a post called God, as perceived by scientists.  It's not very good, but seems reasonably well-received.

Several people wrote comments beginning with "As a scientist..." but only one was frankly negative.  That fellow apparently subscribes to the Popperian school where only the successes count as "doing science".  Popper's philosophy of science is fine as far as it goes (and his political philosophy is also good), but it describes only a small fraction of an actual scientist's daily activity.

A New Age-y person thanked me for writing "good nonsense", while a conservative fundamentalist Christian opined that "the diary was good and maybe the poll choices were nonsense".  It seems that the "scented melon-breasted woman" item in particular was over the top.  I'm giving my "most insightful comment" award to Ms. Shakti, who says
All of us are dealing with our own perceptions, gathered through our uniquely tuned sensory apparatus, processed through individual brains with their own idiosynchrocies, and filtered through our individual life experience and understanding.  It doesn't matter what I think god is, or what my experience of god is, it will only make sense to me and most likely be nonsense to everyone else. Some people perceive God, some perceive no god, the difference is not in absolute reality, the difference is all in our perception.

Overall, 42 comments and 13 poll respondents isn't bad for a stupid little post!  But zero people voted for "God is the reason why so many experiments fail", which was arguably the thesis of my post.  So I guess my thesis is bad and should be discarded.

Maybe next I should do a post on "Is God Hyperdimensional?"  Short answer: we don't know and we can't know, but it's fun to speculate.

* * * * *

After Christmas, Kid #1 told me that there was a Dr. Who marathon coming up on January 2nd and none of the video-recording equipment in our household was up to the task of recording it while we go out for our monthly "lunaversary" celebration.  So I bought a USB TV tuner to convert Kid #1's laptop into a TiVo.  As expected, the included Windows software is crap—just the excuse needed to switch Kid #1's computer over to Linux!  But MythTV is horribly difficult to install (I eventually got it to show a single station with no sound).  I tried a few other PVR packages but they were even worse, e.g. Freevo couldn't seem to figure out what the channel frequencies were.  After spending two days fighting with the thing (instead of working my paying job), I began to wonder what my SP post had to do with this TV tuner thingy.  What was God trying to tell me that I didn't want to hear?

Meanwhile, Wifey is complaining that I'm playing favourites among our children.  Kid #1 gets this new $100 toy while I refuse to kick in $50 for a Wii for Kid #2 (because he didn't want it until after Hanukkah gift-giving season was over).  Wifey is really annoying when she's right.

So I decided that what God was trying to tell me was that homemade PVR technology is not yet ready for prime time and I shouldn't be working on it.  The tuner has been set aside, to be returned to my local brick-and-mortar BestBuy store (on the other side of Kitchener, only 25km away).  We had take-out Chinese food on January 2nd so Kid #1 could watch the Dr. Who marathon without having to record it.  Meanwhile, Kid #2 and his Wii are still up in the air.

Of course, I could be wrong about this.  The only person to write a "customer review" at the BestBuy website says he likes the thing because he can use it to connect a Wii to his computer.  What a remarkable coincidence!  I may regret returning it.  But you know, sometimes you've just gotta pick a path and walk it.  As a professional software engineer, I can keep pushing the rock up the hill with the best of them.  But some hills end up being much much higher than originally predicted and a good engineer will recognize when a project has become a "runaway freight train to Nowhere".  Yadda yadda, insert your own lame excuses here.
pyesetz: (Default)
Today, Senator Ted Kennedy (from my birth state of Massachusetts) voted for a Republican amendment that requires all members of Congress to use the "public option" in the new American healthcare system that is being set up.  Senator Kennedy has terminal brain cancer and is currently a heavy user of medical services.  His spokesman said: "Sen. Kennedy believes strongly in the public option and its ability to provide quality and affordable healthcare while keeping the insurance companies honest. This was a no-brainer."

Via DailyKos.

Meanwhile, Canada's healthcare continues to do a good job, although the "single-tier" rhetoric is another bad joke:  Members of Parliament get "preferential treatment".  Here in Ontario, anytime anyone opens their mouth you can see whether they are a "have" or a "have-not" as far as dental insurance goes.
pyesetz: (felix)
I usually make a fetish out of marching to the beat of a different drummer, using "it's popular" as a reason *not* to do something.  But with DailyKos polls I usually try to guess the most popular answer, in order to show how predictable the DK sheeple are.  And quite often that's actually the answer I would have chosen anyway, which makes me feel good in a "voting for the winner in a national election" sort of way.  (Americans are really big on that—the electoral system is carefully set up so that there is no value whatsoever in voting for the guy who got only 49.5% of the ballots).

Today's SlashDot poll: How to celebrate US Independence Day.  I chose the "Canada Day is over!" answer because (a) I'm living up here; and (b) it includes the traditional SlashDot meme "you insensitive clod", which dovetails nicely with stereotypes about Canucks.

I win!  38% of other SlashDotters also thought this was the correct answer to choose, even though most of them live in the Lower 48.  For comparison, in the previous poll the answer that most people voted for was the self-negating "I refuse to vote", while "The least popular answer" turned out to be, in fact, the least popular answer.  I guess I should refuse to vote in these polls.

Are you at AnthroCon this weekend?  Then why are you reading LJ???
pyesetz: (mr_peabody)
On the original Word Wide Web (Berners-Lee, 1989), text and images were stored in separate files.  This made sense in a time of slow downloads, poor image compression, and bits of text that were edited more often than the accompanying pictures.  By 1998 it had become apparent that a means for directly embedding images within HTML files would be a good idea, so RFC2397 was promulgated.  RAM was expensive then, so the embedded images were limited to 768 bytes (that's 1,024 base₆₄ characters) as a side effect of the memory limit imposed by RFC1866the elePHPant Even today, anyone using Internet Explorer 7 or earlier still can't see the elePHPant shown at right (it's an embedded image).  Meanwhile, all other browsers have moved on and permit embedded images of decent sizes for modern machines.  Every so often there are forum posts like this one where someone rediscovers embedded images and wonders why everyone else isn't using them.  Short answer: Microsoft hegemony!

But there's a new day dawning!  Microsoft *might* raise their limit from 1kb up to 32kb for Internet Explorer 8, if they feel like it.  (I saw it on Wikipedia so it must be true!)  The upgrade may be going out as soon as next month.  Be patient, little embedded images—someday soon your oppression will be lifted!  Then you can begin the long hard slog towards equal rights.  "Separate but equal" is not equal!  "Supported by browsers but not by HTML page-editors" is not supported at all!  LiveJournal accepts them, but dailyKos doesn't; down with discrimination against the embeddeds!  We need a Magna Carta!  We need a new Constitutional Amendment!

What we really need is a new RFC to codify the larger limit on embedded image sizes, but I'm not holding my breath.  Microsoft is still taking baby steps here, not really supporting usefully-large images.  Since they used their OOXML monstrosity primarily to break the cachet of the ISO by proving that its standards committees are bribable, I doubt that Microsofties will be welcome again at ISO meetings any time soon.

Hat tip: I think [ profile] rabitguy wrote on this topic at some time in the distant past.
pyesetz: (Default)

Well, there's the Furry Fandom.  I have received some LJ comments I should answer.  The KW furmeets continue, but I think I'll wait for warmer weather before attending another of those—they meet *outside* at a plaza and then stand around in the cold deciding which restaurant to go into.


My laptop is working reasonably well, but the suspend/resume performance is disappointing: Linux takes 14 seconds to resume, while Windows gets it done in two seconds.  Unfortunately, the Linux-on-TOUGHBOOK community is much smaller than the Linux-on-ThinkPad community I used to be in, so it's much harder to find and copy the fixes that others have discovered.  Linus recently blogged about how soul-crushingly hard it is to figure out the root cause of a suspend/resume failure and how much better life is after you do it.  (And don't miss his post about Christmas toys!)

My laptop has 512 MB of RAM, which is considerably more than any other computer I've ever owned, but still it seems not to be enough.  When I run Emacs, Opera, Kmail, and OpenOffice all at the same time, there's a whole lotta page-swapping goin' on—so I avoid running OpenOffice.  Apparently all those cute 3-D desktop effects that I've enabled eat up a lot of RAM.  Some sources say that the CF-Y5 laptop is picky about specific chips on memory-expansion cards and only certain cards will work (the ones *they* sell, of course), while other sources say that any old 172-pin PC2-4200 microDIMM DDR2-533 card will work.  These days a 1 GB card costs about $80.  I'm so old, I remember paying $1000 for a 5 MB hard drive!

More problems: occasional failures to repaint one of the GNOME panels after resume, and occasional failures in the gnome-system-monitor app which just stops updating until I change something its “Properties” panel.  My guess is that some inter-process signal is getting lost due to timing issues.  I just want to repaint the screen, but I searched all over Google and couldn't find a simple repaint-the-screen app for X11.  The old twm window manager had a "repaint" menu function, but apparently that isn't supposed to be needed anymore.  So today I received an email from the “emacs-devel” list where somebody complained that Emacs was leaking memory and as proof they provided their output from the xrestop command.  I don't have that command installed, but I *do* have one called xrefresh which begins with the same letters.  Duh!  So now I've set up a menu command for repainting the screen (the problems haven't come up since, so I don't know yet whether this command will fix anything).

And why are there no screenshots for gnome-system-monitor, anywhere on the web, that show its "closed" form where it pretends to be perfmeter?  (See perfmeter screenshot halfway down the page.)  It's like some sort of conspiracy or something...


Speaking of conspiracies, did you know that the Bush Administration ended last Friday?  That was the last workday for most Bushies, who turned in their badges and went home for the last time.  The government is running on skeleton staff during this MLK Jr. weekend until Tuesday's inauguration.

So Obama flew from Washington to Philadelphia so he could then take the train back.  One pundit, at a loss to explain why the Commander-in-Chief-elect did this, suggested that “His magic carpet was presumably out of order.”  Obama’s official explanation had something to do with following in the footsteps of Abe Lincoln, who killed 600,000 of his own countrymen in an avoidable war, suspended Habeus Corpus, depropertized the slaves of Southern landowners without eminent-domain compensation, and wrote some really nice speeches.

Look, I'm all in favour of having Hope for Obama to bring some Change that the whole world can Believe In, but the guy is obviously a power-mad lunatic just like anyone else crazy enough to run for the presidency.  His nuclear-weapon policy makes perfect sense for a guy who is eagerly looking forward to being in possession of the nuclear football, that magic talisman of Presidential Power, the One Ring of invincibility, the only reason (that I can think of) why nobody ever dared to arrest Bush despite his national-TV admissions of criminal acts.  And WTF is going on with Obama's TARP policy?  So he doesn't want transparency in government after all?

pyesetz: (Default)
In this week's episode, Obama has dropped "fuel-efficient cars" from his make-work program.  This might have something to do with Bush's insistance that the Big Three bailout must be funded from the "fuel-efficient car research" budget already passed, or it may have been that bloggers such as myself were misinterpreting what he meant in previous speeches.

He repeats here (from his Thanksgiving speech) that the make-work program will "save or create 2½ million jobs".  Previously it was just "create 2½ million jobs" and before that "create 2 million jobs".  This new rhetoric sounds nice, but does Obama really believe that "saved jobs" will contribute a significant fraction to the total?  The two million American jobs already lost during this recession are no longer eligible to be saved.

I like the new details on his "fix up the schools" program.  Current American schooling is designed to churn out factory workers, who are expected to "do as they're told" and "don't make waves".  Americans do not do as well at that kind of work as the Southeast Asians do, so really the US ought to break out of the factory-worker mold and train our kids to develop the next generation of gosh-wow computer software—that's something we're actually good at!  Of course, many school administrators will treat their new computers as tools for indoctrination and as traps for detecting "bad kids" who need to be branded as deviants and ejected.  No word from Obama on how he is going to get rid of the evil "Zero Tolerance" people.

Is it just me, or does Obama's "wire up all the doctor's offices for electronic medical records" sound a whole lot like HillaryCare?  Revenge is a dish best served cold...

So my last Obama-speech post on LJ got zero comments, but I thought it deserved better so I reposted it to DailyKos.  68 comments!  A spot on the most impactful diary of the day list!  I'm not sure what it means that my post was the 112th most important of the day.  It was a weekend so standards were lower.

* * * * *

So, Я did come back to Company 𝔾 for another week, but he never did manage to finish that initial project.  Apparently there was some personality conflict with "Mr. Bear".  So I'm back to looking for another assistant.  Does anyone know anyone who can do PHP applications development in a work-at-home setting?  Even during a recession?
pyesetz: (Default)
I love water.  I have yet to find a way of washing the car without it.  I'd say the same thing about dishes, but we have a dog for that.

--Bill Harnsberger


Mar. 20th, 2008 11:59 pm
pyesetz: (Default)
Ceci n'est pas un test du Système de Diffusion d'Urgence.  Il s'agit d'une entrée dans le journal posté le Jour de "Pas de messages en Journals".  Vous voyez, aujourd'hui est le jour où tous les supporters Clinton sont censés aller sur "grève" à DailyKos. Oui, il ya quelque chose dans l'air ces jours-ci, ce qui conduit à de multiples appels à des grèves inutiles.

(Sorry about the above.  I don't actualy speak French.  Hungarian phrase-book sketch!)

Update got mad at me (dunno if a human was in the loop) and now displays "Visit EATLIVER.COM to view this picture".  I've written some snarky words about image leeches in the past, so I guess I don't have a leg to argue with.  Go here to see the image with Google Ads, etc.
pyesetz: (Default)
After Melody Townsel wrote a generic hit-piece meme for Democrats to use when complaining about one of their own candidates.  I negated the meme's logic to turn it into a pro-Al Gore essay.  My version got five recommends, ten tips, and three comments (she got 83/101/78).  It's also very very funny, due in part to the use of words not usually in my vocabulary.  Hey, I'm just copying a meme—like, it's no big deal, man.

Dear (a) Kossacks, (b) former friends, (c) idiots, and/or (d) enemies of the state:

This isn't my (a) first diary or (b) last diary, but it might be my (c) most meaningful diary yet.

Over the last month, I've watched with (a) bated breath, (b) disgusted fascination, and (c) abject horror as everyone except Al Gore has formed his/her Presidential exploratory committee.

I've been (a) sent screaming into the streets, (b) overcome by the vapors, and (c) washed in wave after wave of full body nausea as I've watched you all (a) declare your undying support, (b) announce your new position as a paid member of someone's campaign staff, and/or (c) begun yet another .07 Kos fundraising effort on behalf of one of those OTHER candidates.

Every night this month, I've laid awake nights wondering how anyone with any (a) self respect, (b) intelligence, and (c) love for the USA and everything it stands for could fail to know what an (a) shockingly bad choice, (b) foe to democracy, and/or (c) goat romancer all the other candidates really are.

warning: meme contains crude language )
pyesetz: (Default)
This is funny: a guy demanding that DailyKos ban certain overused words.  Note that the post is tagged "snark"—the poster would be astonished if his demand were acceded to.  Many of the comments are funnier than the original post, such as
pyesetz: (spirograph)
"Try for a swearing scholarship: if they let Bush into Yale, surely they'll give you a genius grant for being the first person to mix the words fuck, trebuchet, and potato slicer into a really ripping insult."



pyesetz: (Default)

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