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No wonder the Christians are getting so strident October 25, 2014

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It’s because they know they’re losing the game. I mean we all know atheist like myself number about 1 out of 5 people, or a full 20% of the population.

But a new article says that if you include the un-churched, never churched and skeptics it’s more like 38% of the population. That’s why Christians in the U.S. are getting so strident. They realize we’re nearly at the tipping point for religious belief to go into the dustbin of history.

I think as a society we’re finally figuring out that we’ve essentially been sold a bill of goods that wasn’t true. And I think one of the best ways to break ones belief is to read the entirety of the texts within the Bible. You have a lot that openly contradict other texts, some that is plain fantasy, and some pure psychedelic stuff in there. It’s fiction, all of it.

A sort of day off October 23, 2014

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So I went into work as normal. Get there and it’s dark inside. Plus the emergency lighting and exit signs were dark. That’s because I believe their batteries wore out a long time ago.

As of 9:30AM I was told I could go home as the power wasn’t on yet and the battery on my laptop was about to blink out.

So I was home by 12:30PM. Yeah I know – it included an hour wait in South Station.

Now here’s something I noticed. I may ding National Grid here in Rhode Island on a frequent basis, but at the very least National Grid maps their outages and updates status on them. NStar in Cambridge just shows a list. It’s sort of stupid.

The servers were up though – they’re powered by a huge UPS and backed up by a generator. But the power had been out since 10:30PM the night before and most diesel systems of a small size get about twelve hours of power.

I did make the forethought to dismount all the drives on the systems I’m responsible for, that way they won’t get damaged if power is abruptly cut.

Some of my favorite EWF songs October 20, 2014

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First up – Serpentine Fire – a nice funky tune.

Next up – Jupiter another of the more funky EWF tunes.

And then there’s Fantasy

And something off one of their more modern efforts – LovelyPeople. Classic EWF sound to it.

Truthspew’s Rules for Human Behavior Part I October 19, 2014

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So this evening a thought occurred to me. It was watching what I plainly consider the idiotic behavior of shoppers in a suburban Trader Joe’s that it came to me.

Rule #1: While in a market of any type where there are lots of people it’s good to check your six, and your three and your nine while you’re at it. If this doesn’t make sense to you imagine a clock face where twelve is directly ahead, six is directly behind you, nine to your left, three to your right. In other words be aware of your surroundings.

Rule#2: If you’re going to pay cash, learn how to count out the bills quickly. Standing behind you while you have to s-l-o-w-l-y count out $174.25 in cash and coin gets pretty annoying. I will say my skill with cash comes from years ago, working in a CVS store that took utility payments. I’d handle up to $100,000 in cash daily. So it had to be counted quickly and accurately.

A corollary 1 to rule 2 is that if you’re using a credit or debit card, be at least familiar with how to orient the card so the terminal can read it, and nimble enough to punch out your PIN.

Now for corollary 2 to rule 2 – this is on the manufacturers of said credit/debit terminals. Standardize your interfaces.

Rule #3: Driving – apply the concepts in rule 1

A corollary to rule 3 is that you need to look around you. Seriously walking around in a funk or being oblivious is no way to go through life.

Check back for more – I’m sure I’ll observe some other silly human behaviors and produce new rules for those situations too.

The Kindle Fire HD6 October 18, 2014

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So I bought a Kindle FIre HD6. There were two reasons for this. First I wanted something easier to read than the small cell phone screen. Second is that it allowed me to delete the Kindle app from my phone thereby freeing up space to say use the gallery to upload pictures. So it was my cell phone that drove the purchase.

So far I like it, Has all the apps, is Android based and I have yet to jack it into the computer to poke around. It’s the ad supported model – so when you turn on the screen it’ll have say an ad for HBO, or some stupid vendor. I can tolerate that as when you unlock it the ads disappear.

The one gripe – on the phone when reading if you went horizontal there was a way to keep the text in landscape format. No such feature that I can find on the Fire HD6 does that. So I have to ding Amazon for that one.

For the most part October 16, 2014

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People are stupid. I mean really stupid.

For example on my commute home part of my route takes me through Providence Place Mall, then across the sky-bridge to the Westin and then out from there to the Convention Center which is currently a bus hub.

It never fails, invariably I tend to keep right. It must be the driver in me. But when you get to the doors at the Westin end of the sky-bridge – there are always dolts coming in on the RIGHT side.

And today I was in a hurry to get to a certain destination. So when the door clotted up on the right I loudly said “Are people that fucking stupid?”

As I’ve said before when I get inconvenienced the mouth starts. But it’s little things like this that pull back the curtain on humanity and it isn’t a pretty picture. A vast majority are simply dolts plain and simple. And many of them are dolts that vote. You see where I’m going here don’t you?

Another Sunday Stealing – on a Sunday even October 12, 2014

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Who were you with yesterday?

That would be Keyron. 

What woke you up this morning?

Nothing – I just pop awake at 5AM every day. This is what happens when you commute.

Where are you?

In my home office at home.

Is tomorrow going to be a good day?

Yep – I got the day off for Columbus Day.
What’s on your mind RIGHT NOW?

That I don’t have to go to work tomorrow. If old Columbus is good for anything it’s the time off.
Do you listen to music every day?

Yes in fact I do. It’s a survival tactic on public transit. In fact were it not so I’d be one unhappy camper.

Are you a fast typer?

Very fast. Everywhere I’ve worked someone has said to me that I fly on the keyboard. And I do, last time I checked I was up at about 90WPM.

Whats your favorite type of soda?

Black Cherry!

Have you ever won an award?

Not that I’m aware of but I did win a book once.

Are you listening to music right now?

Yep, got Pandora streaming in the background.

How long ’till your birthday?

42 days. Hey, that’s the answer to Life, the Universe and Everything.

Do you use ebay to buy or sell?

Not so much anymore. I was both buying and selling on there.

 Who makes you mad?

Stupid people.

 What do you do when you’re mad?

I curse a lot – and I get pretty loud.

Do certain songs make you cry?


 Are you usually a happy person?

Yes I am.
 What makes you the happiest?

Time away from work.
 Do you believe in yourself?

Of course I do.

Yet another week where the MBTA Commuter has lead in it’s ass October 11, 2014

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So this past week  was interesting. The train coming into Providence has been consistently late by a few minutes. Ok that I can almost accept.

But then it’s equipment problems – for two days in a row. Same problem, same train. This time I got off the train at Back Bay, hopped on the Orange Line toward Oak Grove, got off at Downtown Crossing and then hopped on the Red Line toward Central Square, my stop. It’s good to know that the both the Orange and Green lines intercept the Red Line, one at Downtown Crossing, the other at Park Street. So in essence from Back Bay you either come up, then down again to the Orange line, or you exit the building, walk down to Copley and get on the Green Line.

Still it’s annoying. I’m almost ready to spend $378 for an Amtrak pass and just buy the $70 subway pass from MBTA. At least the Red Line for all it’s faults, namely the 015 and 016 series cars that are rickety buckets, it runs ON TIME.

But the MBTA has to maintain it’s commuter trains a little better. In fact if they really want to serve the Providence Line it’s time to consider electric power cars versus the diesel hybrid engines they use. Of course it will require buying whole new train sets too. But the last time the MBTA bought new passenger cars for the Providence Line was in 2005. You can tell – if you head toward the front of the car and look up and to your left the manufacture plate is RIGHT THERE. It lists the locations the car was manufactured, the year and the serial number of the car. There are still some cars from the late 1980’s on the line.

PBS The Roosevelts October 11, 2014

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PBS is re-running it’s documentary on the Roosevelt family today. They’re mostly on the Teddy Roosevelt era. And it hit me – this is circa 1904.

The U.S. then was a VASTLY different place 110 years ago than it is now.

Think for a moment – the automobile or at least a major mass production of such didn’t exist yet. That would be another four years.

Electrification throughout the U.S. wasn’t even a glimmer at that point. And in fact our electric infrastructure of today still dates back to that time.

Telephony was still connected by an operator and not in all areas or as ubiquitous as it is today. In fact all the communication technology we have today owes its existence to the conquering of noise. Recall too that Lee De Forest‘s  “audion” didn’t happen until two years later. And the first transcontinental telephone call didn’t happen until 1915. Now of course we can call around the globe from the palm of our hand with no wires.

And commercial radio didn’t yet exist in 1904. It was the newspapers and telegraphs that ruled the day. That and oil lamps, coal heating, etc.

But let’s go further – no hot water heaters in the homes. Cold showers! Which btw aren’t too bad. But still warm water is comfortable. So is central heating.

Better for the more tropical areas of the U.S. home air conditioning didn’t yet exist.

Food must have been interesting, we’d have had no exposure to mangoes, kiwis, or the fare plethora of fruits we take for granted today.

And the average life span in the early part of the 20th century was 46.2 for men, 49.1 for women. In that parlance I should be dead by now. But I’m not – advances in medicine, dental care and improvements in food safety are to thank. Even Penicillin – the overused antibiotic didn’t exist in 1904!  And vaccinations were pretty uncommon then too. You’d die from diphtheria, measles, scarlet fever aka strep throat.

So the fact that life spans are now into the 70’s and 80’s is quite the achievement for public health.

That’s just a century worth of progress. And now we’re in the early part of the 21st century. Where will it go from here?

Sorry I haven’t been visiting October 6, 2014

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Blogs that is. My machine had a hard disk crash and so I lost all my RSS feeds etc. The machine is up and running again but I’ve not had a chance to restore all the data to it. I did manage to snap an SSD in place of the electro-mechanical drive that had failed. Much faster! And I did get a network crossover cable to be able to move files off the old computer to the recent restored one.

Just not enough time – my schedule has been full!


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