Oct 18


Telling me how many years you’ve worked in IT doesn’t help your argument any when you are doing something absolutely stupid.

Why do people do that? I have never said that once in my life in a work environment.

Great, you’ve worked in IT fifteen years. Then you should know that a GPO in loopback mode means that the computer config settings replace the user config settings, and not argue with me about it for two hours and then break every goddamn thing I set up when you decide to change it even though I tell you it’s going to utterly fail.

Oct 18


This is interesting.

These days, tortillas outsell burger and hot dog buns; sales of tortilla chips trump potato chips; and tacos and burritos have become so ubiquitously “American,” most people don’t even consider them ethnic.

Welcome to the taste of American food in 2013.

To my grandmother – born in the 1930s – any such food was indescribably exotic and not really food. A burrito might as well have been a chocolate-covered grasshopper. Like many Americans of her era if it wasn’t meat and potatoes, it was suspect and probably dangerous.

Good to see that is changing. Cuisine in the US has improved noticeably since I was a kid.

Oct 18


I’ve seen many articles by people claiming that renewable energy is a pipe dream, etc. Some of them seem to be written by actual non-shill scientists, and as I am not an expert in the field I wasn’t sure what to believe.

However, I prefer the evidence of the real world where it is already working.

The studies I’ve seen saying that renewable energy just won’t work are flatly contradicted by it, you know, actually working.

Admittedly, not everywhere is the same as Germany. But consider this: Germany isn’t particularly sunny nor is it particularly windy, and they are able to achieve such a feat.

Imagine what we could do in the US where there is far more sun and wind. But we won’t.

Oct 17


About the below, I should mention that one of the reasons I treat everyone the same that I don’t know really well – like a robot, basically – is that I don’t want to make anyone feel uncomfortable or even feel the possibility that I might be harassing them.

This also leads to making no friends, but such is life. I don’t believe my desire to make friends or to be warm to someone trumps their right not to feel unwelcome attention. And as to me it seems that basically any attention these days is unwelcome, I just avoid the issue altogether.

Because I prefer to be one-on-one with people (whether male or female) and just absolutely hate being in groups – especially loud, noisy, drunken groups – since society is at one of its “cold periods,” basically the only way I want to be with people is seen as default creepy. Especially by women.

Guess I will always be an alien on this planet.

Oct 16


I have mixed feelings about this.

I’ve never been truly sexually harassed by anyone. I know that makes a difference in how I feel. The closest is when I was under some woman’s desk at work fixing an ethernet jack and she sat down in her chair and opened her legs a little and said, “While you’re under there….*”

But I didn’t feel threatened by her. I could’ve thrown her halfway across the room without much effort (I’m stronger than I look as more than a few folks have discovered over the years). Not that I wanted to do that. I was mostly just amused.

At the same time, if it is always wrong to flirt, and is always right to pretend that our fellow human beings are sexless automatons, then what does that mean (for not just men), and how will that work?

Meeting like-minded people for me anyway has always been hard enough as it is. If it is impossible to meet like-minded people at work or even in work-like settings, and it is wrong to show interest in anyone without it possibly being harassment, what do you do?

I don’t have a good answer for that. Does anyone?

And note that I am in most cases abso-fucking-lutely oblivious to when a woman shows interest in me, even if she is frantically pulling my pants down. I’ve been trained to never assume. Though I have gotten more aware as I’ve gotten older. Ok, it’s not quite that bad, but maybe if I am distracted, I might think she is trying to brush dust off my pants.

One woman, I went on three dates with and she finally said, “We’ve been on three dates and you haven’t even touched me. Is something wrong?”

I said, “No, you just didn’t seem to be that interested.”

Turns out she’d been sending out all sorts of signals I’d utterly missed. My default unless I know someone really really well is to treat any women like they are robots, as that is the only way to be sure. (And I treat men like that as well, because I don’t really understand humans, not just women.)

Hmm. Not sure what my point is. I don’t have any good answers.

*She was later fired for completely different reasons.

Oct 15


Call me an old fuddy-duddy if if you will, but what the fuck is up with everyone taking engagement pictures lately?

Can people not live their lives with one undocumented moment? What is this obsession?

Perhaps the NSA conducting surveillance on everyone isn’t as scary to people as I think it should be as they are intent on doing the same to themselves.

When every instance of life becomes a performance piece, does it mean anything? When we all become Tatiana Maslany clones, attempting to slot ourselves into roles with perfect fidelity as we imagine others would perceive them, do we have any substance left at all?

Whatever the answers are, none of that is for me.

Oct 15

Not so super

Back in my day, kids, we didn’t even have a C: drive and that’s the way we liked it!

Ok, no, we didn’t actually like it but we couldn’t afford a C: drive.

My first hard drive was 30MB (yeah, that’s megabytes) and it cost somewhere around $500, or about $900 in today’s dollars.

I thought at the time that I’d never need more storage. Now I have somewhere north of 10TB of storage available to me locally.

Oct 12

Drumming the point

Kevin Drum is completely correct about how the web is getting more difficult to use and more user-hostile all the time.

This is all part of an ongoing evolution of the web that seems to be based on a desire to make the browsing experience as annoying as possible without quite going over the edge where people just give up on your site. A site that’s a micron short of that is ideal. You want your readers tearing their hair out, but not going ballistic enough to quit entirely. As more and more sites go down this road, it makes the web more a blood pressure raising machine than an information source. But it was nice while it lasted.

Tablets are the worst thing that ever happened to the internet. These are bad ideas for all sorts of reasons but putting all of this into practice would improve my life personally, so I am all for it: you cannot use the internet at all unless you can a) find your Start/Windows menu. b) score 110 or more on any standard IQ test c) pass a short test designed to demonstrate basic technological literacy.

I think the internet/web was best around 2000-2002 or so when most companies and smart people in the Western world were on it, but it hadn’t yet been completely overrun by capitalism, utter fucking idiots, their concomitant social networks and lest we forget, the NSA.

It’s all downhill from here, alas.

Oct 12


I had no idea that Rookie was founded by a teenage girl, and intended for teenage girls*. Who cares. Either something is good or it’s not.

And in fact, it’s a great online magazine. I’ve been reading it for about a year now. I highly recommend it. Right now there are a spate of good pieces up there like this one and this one.

And oh yeah, there’s this fact.

At the time of this writing, a week after the Breaking Bad finale, it is the only Web magazine I’m aware of that has not published a single word about Walter White.

Fuck yeah.

*Even though now that I look, it says so in the tag line.