Friday, August 7, 2020

Sounds of Summer

When I was growing up there was an older guy who lived across the way who'd sit out on his back porch during nice weather. Sometimes I'd sit with him and play Yahtzee while an Indians game was playing on a transistor radio.

I think that's where and when I learned how to listen to a radio 'out of one ear', to listen for a change in the announcer's pitch, rhythm and emphasis and focus on the game when something happened. Later in life I also realized that television sports announcers, no matter how good, just don't do the same job as the radio guys. Television demands your full attention. Radio frees you to wander during lulls. And baseball has a lot of lulls. 

Lately Major League Baseball has been playing to an empty house with fan noise piped into the broadcast audio. I haven't seen a streaming broadcast yet but the audio's pretty convincing, to me at least.

Now I'm the older guy. I play fetch with my cats and putter around while an Indians game is on in the background. Somehow I find comfort in it.

Sunday, August 2, 2020

A Real Flying Tiger Paint Job

I don't know much about this photo other than it was taken at Dushanbe International Airport in Tajikistan.



When I was about 5 we moved into a 2-story building. My bedroom windows faced traffic incoming to Hopkins Airport in Cleveland. The planes appeared to be flying directly at me. They were, but a few hundred feet off the ground. The first plane I watched was a jet with a black ball on the nose. I ran downstairs screaming and in tears. When I realized I was still alive I sat for hours watching the planes. Thus began a fascination with aviation. (Hey, that rhymes.)

I can't imagine what my reaction would have been if this guy was the one that came over back then. That is one bad-assed paint job.

Update: This is Kazakhstan’s Air Astana's new (in 2018) Embraer 190-E2.

According to Aerotime Hub, 'The aircraft arrived in a very peculiar livery, portraying a snow leopard. "With this unusual livery, the airline intends to draw universal community attention to the problem of snow leopard extinction and raise environmental protection issues," the airline representatives told ATO. With only around 100 snow leopards left in Kazakhstan, the species is Red-book listed and always under extinction threat.'

If you do an image search for 'Profit Hunter' or 'planes with animal faces' you'll find some other remarkable works of art on airliners.

Meow!

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Forget Selling Refrigerators At The North Pole

Makes as much sense.

I just saw an ad for a self-tanning mousse product. Nothing remarkable except the channel I saw it on: Arise TV, a Nigeria TV Live channel.


How do you know when your boss hates you? When they tell you to sell self-tanning mousse in Nigeria. I'll have to find someone in Lagos to tell me what they think of the ads.

Sunday, July 5, 2020

Cat and Door Riddle

Here's a riddle. Cat owners will get it.

Question: Imagine two identical rooms connected by a door. Place a cat in one of the rooms and close the door. Occasionally open the door. Which room does the cat want to be in?

Answer: The other room. 

What is that? I have the A/C on in the bedroom and keep the door shut. If I let Dora into the bedroom she starts to dig at the carpet near the door to get out so she's banned. Alfred just camps out at the door and if I let him into the bedroom he camps out at the door on the other side. Only if I go into the bedroom Alfred will trot in and crash out next to me.

I've lived with cats most of my life and still wonder what goes on between those furry ears.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

I love word play and I love me some SpaceX so I get a kick out of some of the names they give to various recovery ships

Ms. Tree, formerly known as Mr. Steven, and its sister ship, Ms. Chief are marine vessels chartered by SpaceX as platforms for recovery of rocket payload fairings. 

Then it dawned on me who must be coming up with the names.

Mr.Hugh Morris, of course!

Monday, June 29, 2020

'New Cases' Propaganda Example

I just heard this on the No Agenda Show: Open a browser and search for any 3-digit number plus the words 'new cases'.


Use any search engine. Rinse and repeat with a different 3-digit number. Ponder the results and ask yourself why anyone trusts the mainstream press. For an analysis of what's going on here listen the the podcast linked to above.

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Deleting History Only To Repeat It

Must have used the 'N' word.

What a novel and modern idea to tear down statues and delete people from history.

Well, maybe not so novel. And maybe not so ironic is the fact that today's Vandals seem to have no idea of the history they wish to alter. Given the reputation of western 'higher education' for the past 30 years I suppose that ignorance is to be expected. 

President Woodrow Wilson has become the latest SJW non-person. What's funny (as in giggle-worthy) is that President Wilson was one of the biggest liberal/democrat/progressives of the 20th Century. I always thought the guy was a douchebag but I never wanted him erased!

But whatever.

In ancient history, stretching back to the dim morning twilight of the 2000's, the Taliban (remember them?) blew up some Buddha statues because Buddha was such a flaming infidel and the whole world lost its collective shit. I remember the breathless coverage, every newsreader sounding like proponents of genocide against the Taliban.

But that was so long ago, way back before #MeToo and MAGA hats.

If you want to really go back in history, the ancient Egyptians defaced statues of the previous rulers as a way of altering history. 'Pharaoh who? Never heard of the bum.' And probably a lot of average Egyptians got their knickers in a twist and debated whether the  obsolete statues should be destroyed or go into a museum. 

But, whoa - that was back before Twitter itself!

I'm an old man and I want the old ways back. I want 'my' country back. I'm not just uncomfortable, I am quite frankly terrified. But these cultural revolutions don't happen often. So I'm strapped in on this roller coaster and hangin' on for dear life. I'll just scream like a 12-year-old girl and try to enjoy the ride! lol

The picture at the top has long been a favorite of mine. Don't like someone? Delete him

I've read an embarrassing number of books about Stalin, Mao, Hitler and the origins of the Cold War and a few things stand out. First, it didn't end well for a lot of people. Historians still debate the number of millions of people were killed by this unholy trinity. 

Secondly, all three wanted to drastically alter their respective societies to make those societies better. They believed nothing short of revolution would root out the entrenched evils that were leading their countries to ultimate cultural rot. Considered in isolation, not such an ignoble aspiration.

But what stands out more than anything in the context of today's trendy deletion of people who may have retroactively offended us is how traditional this really all is. Sometimes I feel like we're watching someone drill a hole in a disk and yell in glee 'Look! I've invented the wheel!'

Maybe it'll be moar rounderer this time. Or maybe not.

King Solomon (or whoever wrote Ecclesiastes) was right when he said there was nothing new under the sun. 

I just haven't made up my mind whether that's a good thing or a bad thing.

Thursday, June 4, 2020

Of Rioters and Rats

A buddy of mine blogged about the current racial arson fad and I left a comment that went a wee bit long. God bless him for accepting it. You should be following My Humble But Accurate Opinion because even when he's wrong (that happened once last year) he's interesting.

Since I spent a few minutes writing it I figured I'd recycle it here:

These are adults and should be dealt with as adults. Looters should be shot on sight. Violence should be immediately met with overwhelming force.

We need to get to the root of the problem, which has nothing to do with police brutality, racism or any of the other bloody rags we keep getting waved in our faces.

In the mid 1970's the US developed a type of nuclear warhead called the Enhanced Radiation Warhead, or ERW, commonly referred to as the Neutron Bomb. The idea was to knock out Soviet tanks in case of attack. Warsaw Pact tanks far outnumbered NATO tanks. The principle of operation is very interesting and easy to understand.

The ERW scared the crap out of the Soviets since their advantage in tanks would be mooted overnight if we deployed the ERW in Western Europe.

Well, wouldn't you know it, Europeans (mainly West Germans as I recall) turned out in droves to protest the Neutron Bomb. I remember one line of agitprop: 'The Neutron Bomb will kill everyone in a city without destroying it so the greedy rich Americans will be able to move in and take everyone's stuff.'

I knew at the time that and other similar lines of reasoning were rubbish but what I didn't know until years later was that the whole protest movement was not a 'grassroots' movement at all. The Soviets were behind the entire protest movement.

And it worked.

I don't know who's behind our current 'unrest'. The Chinese, the Russians, George Soros...but this isn't just another spontaneous uprising, not when you have the BBC interviewing British protesters, all with similarly smelling verbal flatulence.

The vast majority of the protesters don't even realize they're being used as cannon fodder in the culture war and our incurious press is more than happy to go along with anything could even possibly make President Trump look bad.

I hope the plan backfires right in their SJW faces.


There's an article that explains the story of the Soviet anti-ERW propaganda program in more depth here. I missed a few details but got the substance correct. If you want the lowdown on the ERW or neutron bomb, start with this Wikipedia article. These evil, wicked devices are actually simpler, smaller and lighter than our cuddly old friends, traditional thermonuclear warheads.

I go on about it because I distinctly recall the whole thing. For a long time I've struggled with huge blank spots in my memory. But I remember reading about the ERW and actually understanding (basically) how it worked. And I remember reading about the protests and the feeling I had there something was wrong with the picture. 

When I read about the real source of the protests I had one of those life-changing 'aha' moments. The scales, or some of them at least, fell away. 

I have that feeling now, the smell of a rat in my snout. Rats all smell the same to me so I can't say who the rat is but there is most certainly a rat in our midst. And it's having a good laugh at our expense.

Let me be clear, the murder of George Floyd while three cops watched the live snuff porn show enrages me. The immediate response - firing the four officers but not arresting them - was just salt in the wound. It's beyond race. It's beyond hate crime or civil rights violations. It's plain old-fashioned cold-blooded murder. 

But all the virtue signalling and everyone falling over themselves to demonstrate how unracisit they are is getting really old really quick. It's irrational. It reminds me of the 'gay' fad a few years back when everyone was posting signs saying they were 'gay friendly'. Or the green weenie thing with companies and celebrities trumpeting how 'green' they are. 

It's all eyewash. They think that by putting the blood of the sacrificial rhetoric lamb on their doors the plague of the social justice warriors will pass their houses over. But the SJW's demands will only grow until everyone gets bored with the whole thing and we all move on the the next fad.

I hope George Floyd's murderers spend the rest of their lives in prison. 

And I hope I live long enough to find out who that damned rat is.

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Every Kitty Must Get Stoned

I'm growing catnip again, even got a little lighted plant stand (pictures later). Dora and Alfred are, of course, delighted. Alfred chows down on the stuff like a hyperactive grazing cow. I think it helps his digestion.

But Dora gets absolutely baked. She'd pretty scary to begin with and after a few munches she's whack, wild-eyed, running back and forth and then suddenly crashing out. Then back to the nip for a nip. And away we go again. She's too stoned to play fetch and she actually gets a little paranoid.

If I can master the skill of catnip growing year round, I may never buy catnip again.

Sunday, May 24, 2020

In Case Of Emergency, Press NETFLIX

I had to buy a DVD player recently. No, really, I had to. Three forest fairies in lingerie and Rona masks snuck in and held a gun to my head until I ordered it. They were actually kind of hot so I went along with it.

I got a Sony BDP-S6700, released around 2016. Nothing particularly special, plays DVDs and Blu-ray disks. Being a Sony fanboy, of course I like it.

But one thing stands out like a sore, throbbing, bleeding thumb:

Emergency Netflix button. How thoughtful!

There's a large button in the middle of the remote labeled 'NETFLIX' in all uppercase. And not just an ordinary remote button. It's one of three of the largest buttons and uniquely, it's white with red text. 

My first reaction was to wonder if people had episodes of sudden, uncontrollable, life-threatening  need for Netflix. I can see someone with chronic pain having a similar button labeled 'MORPHINE' right on their TV/DVD player remote.

But really, Netflix? Now my only question is how much did Netflix pay Sony to put this button on their remotes? It had to be a fortune. 

The only mistake they made was to use red text. Red symbolizes danger and is used in warnings. Black on white, not used on the other buttons, would have been a better choice.

Whatever, it's obnoxious.  

A Salty Tale

I'm unusually sensitive to salt. If I'm in a car and someone opens a bag of chips I can taste the salt in it. Driving down the road I can taste yesterday's road salt. I've asked other people and they say they don't notice it.

I nearly gagged on the salt in some instant mashed potatoes. Only later did I notice that according to the ingredient list, salt was the #2 ingredient. In instant mashed potatoes. As if I couldn't add my own salt. But I can't take it out. Thanks.

Then there's peanut butter.I started eating Smucker's Natural peanut butter a few years ago. If you like pb try a jar. You'll be shocked. Regular peanut butter tastes like cake frosting to me now.

But Smucker's, of course, adds a wee bit of salt (110mg/serving) to their otherwise natural peanut butter.

So I decided to make my own.

I've been considering the purchase of a food processor for a couple of years and now I had the excuse I needed. The recipe is simple enough for even me to get right. Put the contents of a 16 oz jar of unsalted peanuts in the food processor and turn it on until it turns into peanut butter.

Nom, nom. And no salt.

This is one of those things where I'm sure everybody knew about this all along but I'm feeling like I discovered the tenth planet.

But it's still a yay!

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Barometric Cats

Cats have superpowers, we all know that. Of course, most of these superpowers are pretty useless as far as I can tell, at least to human being people-types like me. But after watching a YouTube video about Ship's Cats I did some serious journalistic research by scanning a Wikipedia entry on the subject and found this:

'Cats naturally react to barometric pressure changes, through which a keen observer can detect unusual behavior and predict an incoming storm.'

Ship's Cat Trim

Who knew? I've always been interested in barometers and weather so this caught my attention. Now I want to keep track of pressure trends and the behaviour of my own Ship's Cats. 

There's probably an app for that.

Saturday, May 16, 2020

Getting To Know Me

Just me and me on a Saturday night, time to dim the lights, put on some soft music and watch something to spark that special mood:

Mooving Cinema
And before the movie's even over, I'm lusting for a Baconator.

Sunday, May 3, 2020

Lockdowns vs. Liberty

"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."

Notorious rebel, flew kites while not wearing a mask.
We're going to end up with exactly what we deserve.

Thursday, April 30, 2020

Captain Obvious Strikes Again

What's the first thing you think of when you read the title of this YouTube Video?


If you said 'The length of my fingers', welcome aboard.

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Making Pretty Noises

It's been a while but I'm finally getting back in the groove. This is two minutes of relaxing, slow drone music I whipped it up tonight to put myself through the paces of creating and publishing music. 




For anyone who's interested, I used an Electron Digitone FM synth/sequencer to control a Waldorf Blofeld. The sounds are from both synths.

I hope you like it. I had a blast making it.


Saturday, April 25, 2020

My Ears of Gold

I've been doing ear training 30 minutes or an hour every night for two months on a site called SoundGym and reached two milestones recently. One is this fancy award.


I'm also in the top 10% of all users. I'm not sure I can actually hear any better but I sure am better at listening for details which comes in handy when producing electronic music..

All this isn't too bad for a 61-year-old guy who punished his ears with too-loud music for a lot of years and who blew an eardrum out in sub school in the Navy (and never told anyone because I didn't want to wash out) which left me partially deaf in one ear.

Yay, me!

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Of Masks and Muslims

Recognize this woman?


Of course you don't, which is the whole point. That's Sultaana Freeman who, according to Wikipedia: '...garnered media attention and notoriety when she sued the state of Florida over the right to wear a face veil for her driver's license picture' back in 2002.

If you wear a face veil do you need a mask? Who's going to check? How long before someone makes a big deal out of the question? 

Do I need to remove my mask when getting a government ID photo? Doesn't that present a health hazard to me and the office staff? 

It used to be that if you wore any kind of face covering in public you were suspect. Now if you're not covered people yell at you and call 911

I wonder what Ms. Freeman thinks of all this. 

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Pre-Coffee Woodworking

I haven't played around with wood stain since I was in junior high school. I have a small desktop synthesizer for which I bought a set of oak 'cheeks', end pieces that form a stand like in the picture below (my Blofeld is black, but you get the point):


My oak seemed pale so I got some Minwax stain and some gloss. This morning - before my first cup of coffee, I should point out - I get a rag and a piece of cardboard and get to work.

The stain is in a plastic tube and is about the consistency of catsup. The directions on the tube say a little goes a long way so I gently squeeze and nothing comes out. I squeeze a bit harder, still no joy. Finally I give it a good squeeze and of course it gushes out all over the place.

Thankfully the stain is water soluble so I was able to clean it up without too much trouble. Cleanup didn't include a shower and change of clothes so there's that.

I need to let it dry before applying the gloss. What can go wrong? The stuff's clear so even if I get it all over you shouldn't be able to see it. (I jest.)

I should have finished my coffee by then.

Cats Don't Care

Dora and Alfred don't care about the Wuhan Flu.

Corona? What corona?

USPS ESL Coders

I ordered my mask and it's on it's way. From China, of course. The shipper sent a tracking number and I tried to look it up on the USPS website to see what month it might get here.

Whosa whatsa?

'Now in the enter send date form section' ? Words fail me, but not as much as they failed whoever wrote that line of gibberish. This is the Post Office, a quasi-governmental operation. To quote Wikipedia (which does get some things right): 'Article I, Section 8, Clause 7 of the United States Constitution, known as the Postal Clause or the Postal Power, empowers Congress "To establish Post Offices and Post Roads."'

We need to add a clause saying online documents need to be written in plain, understandable language (dare I say English?) and gibberish is strictly verboten

The icing on the cake? After entering send date form section they still couldn't send me a guess as to when my mask will be here. 

Bravo, USPS.

Saturday, April 11, 2020

New Blogger, Meh

Ugh, Google changed Blogger.
I published this with the old, decrepit Blogger.

Notice I didn't say Google 'Improved Blogger'. 1st, they took away the ability to align a picture left or right without getting into the HTML. I want to blather, not code.

They widened the edit page which makes it harder to visualize the final product on a narrow page layout like mine.

Ok, Blogger's free. All google wants in exchange is all the personal data they can extract from me so they can resell it. And the New and Improved blogger still works. 

But sometimes it's better just to leave what works alone. It's like people who rearrange the furniture when they're depressed. Sheesh.

</rant>

What, No Easter Kitty?

Dora is a big cat. She has sharp teeth and sharp claws and she can bench press a case of canned cat food.

I'm sitting here quietly reading a manual when she lights off with a hair-raising howl. She's in the cats' window and apparently a cat wandered by. The window is closed and whatever it was left before I looked outside. I petted her and offered her the only explanation I could think of.


It was the Easter Kitty, getting ready to deliver candy cat treats to the homes of all good kitties!

Dora is also scary smart. She didn't buy it. <sigh> They're growing up.

Yay for Curtain Hooks!

Ever browse a shopping site and see a description that makes absolutely no sense?  You know, like this:

Curtain Hooks! YAY!

I'm vaguely curious how this happens. I always start with the assumption that people are reasonably intelligent, reasonably attentive to detail, that they care about their work and their job and so on. Most people are, after all, about average.

Was this a 'glitch'? Sure, but what kind of 'glitch'? An 'I hate Amazon and I hate Murphy Oil soap because the smell reminds my of my ex's house' glitch? Or was the product just before this one curtain hooks and the worker bee copied/pasted without realizing that the copy buffer still had the curtain hooks text? If I had time I'd search for curtain hooks on Amazon and see if any of the descriptions say 'Wood Cleaner for Wood Tables, Cabinets, Doors, and More' and 'Contains 98 percent Naturally Derived Ingredients'.

Or maybe the description for  curtain hooks says 'Murphy Oil Soap, Murphy Oil Soap, Murphy Oil Soap'.

It could even be a coded message to a one-legged Norwegian smuggler on his way to New York City with a haul of contraband cod liver oil saying the coast is clear because the police are all busy chasing hookers off the streets who aren't wearing fashionable masks! 

What is the world coming to? Must be the Covids!

Asbestos Streets, Kooky?

Back in the day we did some pretty kooky things. One of the kookiest in my lifetime was paving the roads with asbestos.

Yay For Asbestos!

Yeah, that was really a thing in the 1950's and 60's. Here's the video.

Keep in mind that when bound up with other stuff - like asphalt - asbestos is harmless. Getting the asbestos mixed in with the asphalt in the first place is a little more problematic because of the dust.

While I'm rambling on about random nonsense allow me to share another piece of asbestos trivia. There's a town in Russia with (I think) the world's largest asbestos mine. If not big the hole in the ground is really big. The name of the place is Asbest and the people there have been complaining log and loudly about the hazards. They've also been moving away. 

If you want a glimpse of ghosts from the old Soviet days take a look around in Google street view and prepare to be depressed. 

5G is the currently trending tech rage but some people think it's going to cook our gray cells in vivo. Maybe, maybe not, but imagine people 50 or 60 years from now looking at YouTube videos about 5G and shaking their heads. 

Kooky.

Almost forgot to mention a small detail. The people who made this informative video? None other than Johns Manville, the folks selling the asbestos..

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Odds and Ends

Whenever there's a big news story I always wonder what else is going on. As if the world stopped spinning because of COVID-19. There could be wars going on and we'd never know.

Wither Gerta Terdberger? Or are polar bears immune to the Wuhan Flu? Are all the lockdowns good for the environment? With so many fewer (that's an awkward phrase but I can't think of a better way of saying it) cars on the roads you'd think so. I'm surprised Gerta hasn't come out in favor of a permanent state of emergency.


Bi-Polar Bear


I have bars and restaurants around me here in the Cultural Center of the Universe, Highland Square. All are closed. It's a ghost town around here and even the ghosts are scurrying around in masks. At least they have plenty of parking available. I don't have a mask. I want a bra cup mask to wear around but I don't want to order a bra on Amazon. Padded would probably offer better filtration. I suppose I've given the matter too much thought.

How are you dealing with The Crisis? Is your neck of the woods (woods have necks, huh) in lockdown or are you in a more liberally-minded area? No martial law here - yet. The stores, from what I hear, are still open and have food. Did you stockpile? I did, but not much. More for the cats than me, actually. I figured it would be harder to get emergency rations for them than me if something went really haywire.

Traffic looks really light. Should make drunks easier to spot. 

Are you alone or locked up with family? Are you getting on each other's nerves yet? I heard a brief mention on the news of domestic violence rates spiking. 

I also heard that Major League Baseball is thinking of playing their games in Arizona in empty AAA/training parks. Good for our morale? I guess. Or are they trying not to lose their shirts? (Let's buy the MLB owners some shirts. Not.) After all, they still have to pay the players, might as well try to get some television revenue. And with everyone hunkered down they'd probably get bigger than usual audiences. And hey, they could even wear masks with their team logos stitched on. Damn, they could even sell the things!

Yay!

Saturday, April 4, 2020

Alice White, Wowzers

Speaking of old films (I was speaking about old films, wasn't I?) I was reading about a Cold War communications system called White Alice, a part of the Dew Line system. One theory about the name White Alice is that they originally wanted to call it Alice White but there was an actress with that name. So naturally I looked up Alice White.

Ho Lee Toe Lee Do.


There are some tribute reels on YouTube, each a few minutes long. Alice White was in films from the late 1930's to the late 1940's. Now, this is going to sound stupid but I had no idea girls were so smokin' hot back in the day. 

Oh, the White Alice system was interesting, too.

Lack Of Interesting, Guaranteed

I like to watch documentary, propaganda and training films from the 1920's, 30's and 40's to get a better sense of what life was like before and during the 2nd World War. If you have the time to sort through the crap you'll be rewarded with some reel (see what I did there?) gems.

This post, alas, is about one of the pieces of crap, some kind of propaganda film about China in the late 1930's and how the Japanese were ruining the party.


What caught my attention was the name of the production company. What, exactly, were they guaranteeing? And then there's this frame.


I didn't bother looking up the 'National Board of Review'. I think their job was to make sure nothing of interest was in the films. 

You can find it on YouTube if you're feeling masochistic. 

1937. Hitler had recently risen to power and would invade Poland in two years. Japan was raging around the Pacific in search of resources unavailable in the tiny island nation. The US was still isolationist but increasingly swinging towards a war footing - something the Japanese were acutely aware of. 

An introduction to Japan's war with China can be found here. This movie was apparently an attempt to persuade Americans to support intervention in China against the Japanese invasion.

If you find yourself with a spare hour or two, read a little about the Second Sino-Japanese War keeping in mind the chip on the Chinese's shoulder against the US. Also look at how much China has advanced since the late 1930's. Amazing. 

Will you stay awake for the entire 26 minute film?, Well...no guarantees. 

Smartphone Light Table

This is probably old news for experienced collectors but I feel like I discovered something.

One of the features of many banknotes is the watermark in the paper. Hold the bill up to the light and a latent image can be seen.

Watermark on a €50 banknote.
Many collectors use a light table to view the watermark but if you have a smartphone, guess what? You finally have a use for those flashlight apps. Bonus points if you have a tablet. It also makes viewing security threads and registration marks a lot easier.

Yay!

Friday, April 3, 2020

T's Cooking Tips

Here are a couple of things I've learned about not making myself sick by eating my own cooking.

Don't have the olive oil and cod liver oil out at the same time. Yech.


Also, Fels Naptha soap and cheddar cheese kinda look the same. Just sayin.

Monday, March 23, 2020

Sanity-Saving Window On The World

Starting to feel cooped up yet? Despair not. Actually, nevermind that, go ahead and despair. It only gets worse and the Kung-Flu-demic doesn't look like it's going to end any time real soon.

When the weather's really nasty with blowing snow and bitter cold, being stuck inside isn't so bad. You get a sense of shelter. Kinda cozy, really. But when it's nice? 'Suck' comes to mind. 


I've been stuck inside for unreasonably long periods. It's like living on a submarine only the food's worse. Here's one thing that that's made self-quarantining more tolerable.

Find a webcam and a spare computer and screen. The particulars of each don't matter as long as it all works together.

Put the webcam in a window and point it outside. Now, put the monitor somewhere you'll always be able to see it, fire up the computer and display the webcam output on the monitor.

I've had something similar set up at my desk for maybe 15 years. It makes my world a little bit bigger. I don't feel so isolated. 

Bonus tip: If you get really bored, swap the positions of the camera and monitor. You might  even be able to sell tickets.

Marketing to Mark Made Simple

Mark looks for online piano lessons.
Mark sees video of cute little blonde with big boobs suggesting flowkey.
Mark immediately checks out flowkey.

Would this face lie?

Mark really needs to get out more often.

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Providing Comfortable Torture

Below is a photo of a torture device used by Russian occupiers of Port Arthur (now Lushun) on Japanese and Korean (and maybe the odd Chinese for good measure) prisoners in the early 1900's.



What struck me was the head cushion. How thoughtful! 

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Coronavirus Go Away

Sunday night and I've heard way more than enough about Coronavirus/COVID-19, so I decide to get a little piano keyboard practice in and what do I get?


The 'CDC' refers to notes, not the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

And as an aside, how can they have more than one center?

Friday, March 13, 2020

The Nose Knows

Here she is!

Her Window On The World

Dora is very self-conscious of her nose. I keep telling her it makes her look distinctive.

I'm torn whether to get her help for her self-esteem or for me talking to my cats - and imagining they talk back.

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Bureaucratic Humor

I just heard an interesting term. According to unnamed sources, Spread Pay... 

'...is a payroll option that takes the projected fiscal year salary or payroll and divides it by the number of projected pay periods (normally 26 pay periods per year).'

Which is exactly the first thing I thought of.

Thursday, March 5, 2020

The Thermometer Makes The Man. Or Not.

Oh, happy day. I got an electronic oven thermometer. A few years back I was dating a young lady and during her inspection of my kitchen she asked if I had an oven thermometer. I could probably draw in great detail the look of utter disappointment on her face when I rather blithely admitted to not having an oven thermometer. What a Neandertal. I miss her still. But that's not why I finally got one.

I used to have an oven thermometer, an analog type. It got greasy and I ended up tossing it. One of the few cooking tips my mother passed on was when in doubt, cook at 350°. Farenheit, of course. So 350 it was. The number was on the oven dial. Who needed a thermometer?


Recently I decided to clean my kitchen range. If that sounds like it hadn't been cleaned in a while, you're right. First thing I did was pop off the knobs and went to work with some CLR.

You probably guessed that all the numbers on the oven knob came off. And darned if I can find a replacement that fits.  So I broke down and got the thermometer. It even has Bluetooth so now I can check the temperature of my oven from anywhere in Der Bunker. (Why does the app want access to my location? No.) 

If She ever comes back I think She'll approve. Yes, I'm kidding myself, she left because I'm a jackass.  But now I'm a jackass with a really spiffy oven thermometer.