Month: November 2011

In Preparation for Thanksgiving

So we did our annual Thanksgiving grocery run today.

Two of the dishes I’m making for this year are Butternut Marscarpone Gnocchi from Foodwishes. The other is a Maple Custard dessert.

The latter requires, or at least calls for Grade B Maple Syrup. Tried Wally World, nope, Trader Joe’s, nope. So on a lark I thought, lets hit Whole Foods.

A quart of Grade B Maple Syrup is $17.99 but let me tell you, it’s WELL worth it.

What we all know as Maple Syrup is mostly Grade A. It’s less viscous and more mild than Grade B.

But Grade B – if you’ve ever had maple sugar candy, you know what Grade B tastes like. Good stuff! I cannot wait to make those custards.

A way that RIPTA could improve the riders experience

One of the things that regularly irks me about the bus is that when disembarking in Kennedy Plaza, there’s a crush of people that you have to navigate though.

I propose that they put up partitions at the stops that can accommodate them. Picture this:

A bus is approximately 40 feet long. So along the left hand side, lengthwise picture a bus. Now draw a partition that hooks from the left side of the rear door, out a few feet then makes a 90 degree turn and runs the remaining length of the bus with a turnstyle or some such at the end.

That way people exiting from the rear have a relatively unimpeded exit. It would also make it easier for people to get onboard via the front door.

And what good would this be without a crude MS Paint drawing:

Defendant intervenors have standing in Prop 8 case???!???

Ok, I had a feeling the state courts would allow standing for the proponents Prop 8 in California.

And here’s how I see this playing out. They’re going to lose at the appellate level. In fact I predict the intervenors will get their asses thoroughly handed to them.

I also suspect they have the financial wherewithal to bring this up to the point of asking for a Writ of Certorari, in other words an acceptance by the United States Supreme Court to hear en banc the arguments of both sides.

Where I suspect they’ll more likely than not lose again.

The reason I believe this? If you read the transcripts of the Prop 8 trial in California, the defenders of Prop 8 had arguments that were not only nonsensical but laughable.

Seriously, the bigots paid for ‘experts’ who pretty much admitted under cross examination that they really had no idea if the date they presented was true or false? They got a pretty raw deal. And I suspect they’ll continue to do so since those ‘experts’ are the only tangible thing they have.

As to when this might hit the U.S. Supreme Court, a year or three. In that time a couple of well placed deaths that would allow Obama to add a couple more justices of his choosing, and we’re home free. If I had to bet money, I’d lay odds on Scalia and Thomas buying the farm sooner than later.

Microsoft uses patents to add t the cost of Android devices

This is unbelievable. Microsoft by buying up patents, is getting anywhere from $5 to $15 from every Android device sold. They are putting the squeeze on them, so to speak.

So now we know why Google bought Motorola Mobility. It’s a great big form of not just defense for Google but offense as well. For example, I wonder how many patents Motorola Mobility had that can be used to put a big dent in Nokia’s Windows phone plans. That should be VERY interesting to watch as it plays out.

With any luck, Google can extract a little payback from Microsoft!

I’ve been resisting upgrading my computer since XP is stable, I don’t like what they did with Windows 7, and now hearing this, I like the company even less. I may just wipe XP on this machine, throw Ubuntu and Libre Office on it and be done with Microsoft for good.

RI DMV improves but is still slower

So today I had to renew my drivers license. I had heard horror stories about the wait at the new DMV facility in Cranston, RI.

I get there at just before 9AM. I go to the info desk to get my ticket, I got number 4052. I noticed, they run several queues and some move faster than others.

The 4 series seemed to be all renewals, while the 5 series seems to be new license exams and so on.

In total it took an hour to renew my license until 2016. Compared to my last renewal five years ago, it took forty more minutes under the new system.

The new system is comprised of two LED boards that indicate the ticket number and what lane is serving them. As each number is updated a voice announcement is made. For example “Now serving number four zero five two at counter 15.” And the called counter lights up a bright flashing light to guide you to it.

Quite nice.

In other notes, I see they’re still on the old Data General Clarion system and all the desktops are Windows XP. I believe they were using PacerTerm. And all the desks still have those Okidata 184 dot matrix printers.

Big old security flaws in those systems.

And they’ve finally integrated voter registration with licenses. About damned time.

But they don’t accept credit/debit cards yet. The clerk did tell me that they were working on that. So I told her we’ll see in five years when I have to renew again.

In which Robert Reich lays it down

You have to watch this. Reich does a very good job of taking down the most common lies of the Repugs and the corporate plutocracy.

Reich is an interesting guy. He’s served three U.S. Presidents, most recently as President Clinton’s Secretary of Labor.

But every point he makes is on the money. What we have seen over the last few years is the largest looting of the middle class to have every occured.

Bachmann thinks we should be more like China

The obstinacy and idiocy of this woman never ceases to amaze me. I know she’s trying to play to a constituency but seriously Mrs. Bachmann, could you be any more of a stuck up, ignorant clod?

If you watch any of the Republican candidates, they all have serious flaws. Some of those flaws stray into extreme idiocy, such as Rick Perry not being able to name the third thing he’d cut, or Herman Cain now saying God told him to run.

I hate tell Cain that wasn’t God, it was more likely your own demented mind/advisors/Koch Brothers.

And that Cain allegedly collected more money from his donors AFTER the allegations of sexual harassment became public? Either you’ve got a segment of the population that thinks sexual harassment is acceptable, or Cain is fibbing. I’ll go with the latter.

But we’ve heard very little from Mitt Romney. I wonder why? Could it be that his waffling in the past is catching up to him? After all he did support health care reform in Massachusetts that was the basis of the Obama health care plan. And if I’m not mistaken, didn’t MA get marriage equality while Romney was governor?

Ever since the Tea Baggers have won a FEW seats you see the Republicans becoming even more of a laughing stock when they spout their drivel. I think a lot of it is an act, because politics has become about acting more than substance as of late.

Meanwhile if you look at President Obama’s campaign promises, I’ll be damned if he hasn’t delivered on a majority of them.

And he’s painting the Republicans and Tea Baggers into a corner with the jobs bill. It’s going to be an interesting election season for all of about a month. Because I already know how I’m voting in 2012.