Follow Along

That’s kinda what I’m up to this weekend.

  1. Paying a little attention to some of the internal LP things happening with what went on in New Hampshire. Obviously, I’m not a party member, but what happened is fascinating. And wrong. It was resolved last night, I think, but I’m having trouble following the proceedings. I didn’t watch the livestream of the meeting; I was watching the HR Geeks weekly Jitsi get-together.
  2. Speaking of that, I upgraded the software on the VM where all of this runs. I broke the mailing lists. Again. So on my to-do list for the next few days is figuring out how to restore the lists. The list I’d set up for ^H (Sup, dawg?) really didn’t have any subscribers, but there were more on the HR Geeks list. GNU Mailman 2 is gone in the latest Linux distro I’m using, so I need to figure out what’s up in version 3. It appears that they’ve moved past the weird Python database. What I don’t know is whether it stores all of the messages inside the DB backend. If so, that’d actually probably not be a bad thing. When I was younger, I was very opposed to having anything stored in a database. I guess I didn’t really understand the benefits then. Maybe too much reading DJB‘s evangelism about the technical correctness of UFS
  3. I’m headed back to Tidewater sometime soon. Primarily to do family stuff with my Mom. But it’s largely to get away from work for awhile. I’m not taking my work laptop. I’m going to be off. I’ve really not done that at all since probably 2012. So, spend some time with my mom and her mean little dog, maybe go to Waffle House.
  4. Seeing some of the stuff out of the NFL minicamps last couple of weeks has been interesting. I’m wondering if with some of the connections I’ve made over the past few years I can actually fill it with people who actually want to play. I do need to tweak some of the settings again, but I am still committed to points-per-reception, and points-per-completion. Last year I was running something like four teams in the league to make sure we had enough people playing to sorta make the league work. Maybe I won’t need to do that this year.
  5. Summer writing. I’m kind of inclined to do it this year, though it is feeding one of my obsessions. Maybe it’d be better to just do it in July instead of doing the strange month-landing-to-my-birthday thing. Dunno. Writing is an obsession for me, part of OCD, so I’m supposed to try to avoid it. But…
  6. The telemedicine stuff that’s really given me a lot of flexibility over the pandemic isn’t working properly. I can do telemedicine to the doctors I see in DC, but I can’t do the same for my psychologist in Maryland. What the actual fuck? I could ride the WMATA short bus around the Beltway to see her, but that’d be very inconvenient while I’m still working. I hope that, despite that, the days of what I saw going on years ago. Maybe the idea is that you’ll have to join a union, and your health insurance will come through the union pre-tax. We’ll see.

But that’s enough for the day. My mug filled with Lorenzotti Coffee is empty, the podcast I’m listening to is about finished, so I should stop.

Theme Of The Week

Theme of the Week 89 – Where is the most inspiring place you have ever been? Why was it inspiring?

I’ve been mulling this one for a while today as I burn PTO to deal with the new Federal Juneteenth holiday.

I think the only place that’s ever really inspired me lately is inspiration to leave.

I think my wayfaring childhood plays a big role in that. Maybe there’s certain keys that remind me of unpleasant places I’ve landed, but I’m trying to think of somewhere

I really don’t think anything would give me positive inspiration now due to my limited eyesight. Inspiration triggered by something aside from visual stimuli seems tough. The auditory stimulations, maybe, is a route, maybe.

But the visual things I saw before I could really appreciate them might have desensitized me to things I really should appreciate.now.

Similarly, I remember as a kid marveling at the USS Alabama on a car trip over Mobile Bay. After living for several years near the USS Wisconsin, when I saw it again, the awe was missing.

Now with my vision basically gone, I don’t know that there’s anything that’s really taken me in more than a decade.

So I don’t know.

Part of the reason I’m under professional psychological care is that I think about doing risky things, knowing that there won’t be anything enthralling that comes out of it.

Most of what I think about doing is generally harmless. The things that I think about doing could be dangerous. But I don’t do any of them.

Normal people don’t have those sorts of thoughts.

Dunno.

Make The Magic Smoke Come Out

As a fledgling programmer, there was a bit of sick satisfaction when some of my shitty code would actually destroy a piece of hardware by something it did.

Obviously, I was not trying to destroy that video controller worth a few hundred bucks, but what I was trying to do shouldn’t have caused it to almost catch fire. Or not. It’s all DC, so the caps did exactly what they’re there to do when fed too much juice. (I looked to see if I could find this now-obsolete item, but couldn’t. I can’t even remember the name of the vendor. I bet if I dug back through my archives, I could find it, but…..I shouldn’t have been doing RS-232 programming. Yes, I have a science degree, but it’s in a non-technical science. The same thing would have probably wouldn’t have happened had I sort of gotten commands to come out of the port using the hot-language-du-jour, and not the correct language for the job, C.)

Seriously, I just sent too many commands to this thing too quickly, and it started smoking. If I’d been connected with a RS-232 cable, and could type about fifteen times faster than I do, the same thing would have happened.

Writing about this was inspired by some of the topics I’ve been tracking. Probably there was some discussion of things that happened with cyber attacks against the Colonial Pipeline, and Iran in this episode of The Fifth Column. There was also something that Amélie linked on Twitter, and led me down a rabbit hole.

I was in the midst of the ^H VM migration (a bit of recursion, likely, if you click that link), and playing with the various mess that is the IPTables replacement on Linux.

As I’ve gotten constant probes from certain bad areas, I’ve sort of taken the approach of temporary DROP operations with Fail2Ban. Repeated abuses come, and I start restricting entire countries.

rule family="ipv4" source address="222.160.0.0/11" drop
rule family="ipv4" source address="180.96.0.0/19" drop

I can remember when you’d use things like reject –reject-with-tcp-reset to try to really overload attackers’ network gear. I don’t do it anymore, because it’s just easier to let attackers’ attempts fall into the ether.

You’d be justified, even, in affirmative responses. No NAP violation, because you’d first been attached.

Probably.

And that I can’t be sure is part of why I’m just dropping shit.

But if I did know, for sure, that the attacks were actually originating from where it appears they are, immediate defensive response is justified.

There’s a reason nobody dares attack the Norks (see #4 there). They’ve got lots of big fucking guns. Even if half of them cook off on the first fire, they’ve killed millions of people in South Korea before those guns could all be taken out. No nukes needed.

Would covert action to eliminate some of those assets early be immoral?

The Colonial Pipeline and JBS attacks happened. Would retaliation for those attacks be justifiable? I think so. What about retaliatory attacks against other things in the area from whence the attacks came? I don’t know.

I can’t remember where I saw a discussion of this, and the question of transition from cyberwar to kinetic war.

The sorts of things that float around my scarred brain.

Do What You Do

Background music for this morning.

(And, just now I’m worried that I should write out what this was a link to so it’ll persist after the didn’t-used-to-do-evil company’s vide site goes away… Wake Up by XTC)

Good chat last night with the PF folks last night. Discussion of one of the things that really bothers me, “intellectual property,” I learned that I’m a Fed (how’d I miss that??!?), catfish (my experience is that they’re the fish eating whatever you toss over at the marina as you’re cleaning your deep sea catch…ick, but there’s people who have a eaten it) . We also talked a bit about my dilemma lately about what to do with the Virginia election.

I have no idea who the LP is going to run. I’ve been not terribly impressed with some of the answers about most things, but I will use my chance-of-winning threshold. If an election is within roughly ten percent, based on RCP polling, I’ll vote for the Republican. The Democrats are having a primary; I’ll vote in it, because there are incredibly bad candidates running there, just to vote against those terrible candidates.

One of the candidates is running TV ads talking about women in the workforce; how that they’re not re-entering the workforce, and there’s disparities when they do.

Because of that, Virginia needs to implement policies to ensure that there’s pay equity. Umm, okay.

So you can leave. Companies are doing that.

And with the surge in the use of telework, some companies are just refusing to hire people in states that have the sorts of regulations this guy is campaigning on.

People do just leave to get away from bad government policy. So that has to be stopped globally.

Old and busted: think globally, act locally. New hotness: ignore locally, dominate globally.

So, again, I find myself in the situation where the response, is “what can I do?” Sort of circles back to where I was when I wrote last fall about How I Fount Freedom In An Unfree World.

What’s on tap for this week? Hmm. This is when I’d planned to not care about health stuff/exercise, diet, but I’m just so in to the mode of paying attention to it that I’m finding it difficult to not do the things that have become habit.

I want to be slovenly. I want to eat bad food. I want to drink. But doing those things doesn’t bring me a lot of pleasure at this point.

What to do…?

Other than stop writing for the day. There’s not a lot of direction here, and there’s not a lot of inspiration.

There Can Only Be One

I started listening to this during a discussion of awards shows on one of the podcasts I was listening to. I reject that. There can be many places where there’s no ultimate winner. Obligatory UDict. (My mother used to watch that all the time….wasn’t my thing)

But more of it was listening to a discussion among these folks. Bryan and Thad were talking about things that happened in the South during the Jim Crow era, where people would just do things to provide for/sell to each other in spite of whatever ways an authoritarian government, or other racist denizens wanted.

No. They just did their own thing. Because of that, they were attacked either by the thugs with badges, or hoods.

Is there really that big a difference?

So there was a big push to be number one in the approved economy. That led to the awards shows, and the like. Bubuhbut Oscars So White!!1! That problem’s been solved, and the audiences continues to shrink.

The Intertubes have given people a way to narrowcast, and people aren’t consuming things the same way they used to. So your product ends up as “number one,” but does that really matter when your cumulative audience is smaller than the number ones from the past when there were less people around to consume?

There is an older segment of the population who really still care about that stuff; it was the thing not terribly long ago.

The people worried about those things are the ones driving the news cycle. They’ll continue crowing about it until their audience shrinks to the point when there isn’t anybody left watching/listening.

I can’t bring myself to be upset about this…and that’s part of why I’m a bad person.

But the same thing applies to the political parties. Narrow down options, hope that people are okay with just one choice to make.

Nope.

People will stop paying attention.

That they’ve got the guns might dissuade people, but I’m wondering, really, if it does. Even under the threat of death, I’d probably just choose to not participate. Oh well.

Asexual Assault

Obligatory when you’re talking about The Smiths.

I’m listening to the discussion between Dave Smith and Joshua Smith on Part Of The Problem.

This is sort of on the heels of Dave’s debate with Eric Brakey a few weeks ago.

What Eric is doing is within the Republican Party. Eric is trying to work within the duopoly.

But will it even matter if HR 1 is passed by Senate trickery? The Clearly Canadian Texas Senator, Ted Cruz, calls it the “Corrupt Politicians Act.” (Maybe he took that from Heritage….but that’s what turned up in my first DDG search…)

In the state where I reside, the Democrats have turned the Commonwealth blue, just as the Byrd Organization intended.

So, for many people in many places, will a takeover of a small portion of a party legally-prohibited from winning even matter?

Do I agree with many of the things the folks in the Mieses caucus are saying? Certainly. Should I spend any significant time on it? If I’m living in a place where a Democrat is always going to be elected with a plurality, does it matter?

So, what can I do?

Exercise my Generation X indoctrination, and Just Say No.

Virginia has “open” primaries. Much of my adult life, I’ve lived in a locality where there is zero chance where my party affiliation would actually affect who gets elected.

In Norfolk, essentially whoever won the Democratic Primary in May was going to win the general election in November. It was pretty much a foregone conclusion.

So. I find myself in a situation where I vote in one of the duopoly’s primaries just to prevent a certain candidate from winning.

In the Presidential elections in 2000, 2004, 2016, and 2020, I voted intentionally against one of the duopoly’s eventual nominees.

I can’t think of a single duopoly candidate I voted for during the primary who got my vote in November.

Just Say No.

So does it even matter what happens?

Hmm.

Other reax from the episode, and a lot of what’s been going on….

I do like most of the organizations specifically on the unwritten enemies list from the folks in the Mieses Caucus.

Maybe someone there disagrees with part of the messaging, but they generally do agree with you. I agree with taking on the woke brigade who aren’t at all concerned with any principles.

If that means I have to vote in the Party of the Klan/Jim Crow/The Tuskegee Experiments/School Segregation/implementation of a South Asian caste system in the name of equity, so be it.

To terrible candidates, I will Just Say No.

As for the LP, no, Dr. J, the party doesn’t need to be anti-racist. No, I don’t agree with a private company exercising the same sorts of tyrannical decision-making as a government might.

But they’re not the government. I can get a chuckle out of The Hoteps. I can buy their wares if they’re of interest to me.

If someone is using government to enforce whatever standards they’ve adopted that I might find to be misguided, I can just not spend any of my money with them.

I’m not going to evangelize to you about it. I’m just going to choose something different.

It’s not that difficult. It’s kind of what Harry Browne was writing about before I was born.

Workin’ For The Weekend

Kinda like Loveboy.

Long week behind me, but I made it through.

Today I hit my two weeks since getting my second COVID-19 shot. I shared a meme, presumably made with this, with the two options being “wear a mask to show my virtue,” and “remove my mask to show I’m vaccinated.”

I have some ideas about what to do with that. Maybe I’ve been listening to/reading too much John McWhorter lately. There is something there, and I’m not sure exactly how, yet, to consolidate it, but there’s a Hyper-Calvinist thing that’s been going on for several years now. Prove you’re not a part of the portion of the population who saw to it that Donald Trump was elected. Prove that you’re on the right side of All The Things.

My wife and I got into a disagreement the other night after seeing the stuff out of Loudoun County, Virginia, in reaction to the instruction of Critical Race Theory.

In spite of the Byrd Organization, the Loudoun County Public Schools weren’t of an explicitly-racist formulation. Watch a movie from nearly forty years ago, and you’ll see that there was basically nothing out there.

Where was the innate racism? Behind which cornstalk, exactly?

Most of what’s out there has been erected in the past twenty years. Everything is modern. You’d have to go a long way to support the contention that the whole thing is based on racism. But the late-thirties women teaching in these schools who can’t afford any of the houses in the neighborhoods, aren’t at all interested in hearing any of it.

But I think the bigger lesson of it is that you have a group of people who believe they have The Answertm to just about everything under the sun.

If it takes flexing your small political plurality to force people to think exactly the way that you think today is disturbing.

There is more than a little of the Hyper-Calvinist spirit in that.

Leave people alone. Don’t worry about how others live their lives. Live your own life the best way that you can, and, maybe someone will want to use you as an example. If they have something you want, trade with them peacefully.

I’m listening this afternoon to an episode of Unregistered with Thaddeus Russell. For whatever reason, searching for the ep isn’t working very well, but searching with the episode number works. 153.

So. Other stuff. Realization last night, with all of the states removing their mask requirements, was that this is something of a head fake after their gas shortage, on top of the really bad job numbers.

Let’s get people out of their houses, let the small businesses that haven’t failed reopen, and hope things look better when the June numbers come out.

I would be happy to go enjoy a day without a mask next week, perhaps support a local business, but about the only place I’m supposed to go is the hospital on Friday to get my next infusion.

Oh well.

I need to take vacation.

Another Saturday

Spent much of the day yesterday getting passed in and out of an MRI tube. Naturally, I went and looked at the results this morning, and, with my novice reading of the results, there’s nothing going on in my head. Unfortunately, there may be an active lesion in my back.

I’m not completely surprised by this. What it means, I don’t know. It’ll be something to discuss with my neurologist the next time we have an appointment.

I guess I had a phone conversation with my mom after the procedure, but I actually don’t remember it. I guess the sedatives did exactly what they’re supposed to do. She’s off dealing with a death in the family.

(She may have been COVID, but I’m not sure there’d be a lot of sense in looking thoroughly at it. This particular person I’d “met” several times, but I’m not sure she was even really aware of who I am. Not going to add a lot more beyond that, but she’d been in a care facility pretty much my whole life…)

I also got my second Phizer COVID-19 vaccine does on Saturday. Aside from the expected sore arm day of the shot, nothing notable the first day. That night, however, the side-effects hit me pretty hard.

Though I didn’t have a fever, I was shivering pretty heavily that night. I emailed my boss, and said I was going to take Monday off.

By the end of Sunday, after finally eating something sort of substantial, I was feeling better. I still decided to take Monday “off,” which meant I’d only end up working part of the day. Sign on at my normal time, check that everything is up, nap, catch the weekly staff meeting, nap/chill out for the rest of the day, then do a routine nighttime operation.

Three pretty intensive days of work in the middle of the week, and then “off” for Friday to do my MRIs.

So that was the week that was. This evening, I’m supposed to go have dinner with my oldest friend, where we’ll eat more Muffalettas. Something I’m actually a bit looking forward to.

We’ll see how it goes.

My sleep schedule is completely out-of-whack between the shot, and the MRI yesterday.

Maybe I can get things squared away.

So what I’m listening to this morning. Right now, Peddling Fiction. Before that, The Fifth Column. Interspersed/interrupted by random Tory Amos earworm.

Don’t ask me; I’m the one with the scarred brain.

Other tings…

The list of reasons of to live where I do keeps dwindling.

*gets distracted running numbers*

We’ll see what happens.

Girding

That was the word that came to mind for what I’m doing to myself for the next week.

I’ve been doing a horrible job adhering to this. (Interestingly enough, the DDG search turned up something from the Army, not the Air War College, which is what I used to get with the totes-didn’t-used-to-do-evil engine…) Would that word be too complex?

Somehow I got on a word-of-the-day email list. I have no idea what happened to cause that, and I’ve been hesitant to unsubscribe. Finding the precise word to describe something is completely correct for whatever I’m trying to convey.

In the background is this….

I made it through this week. It was actually somewhat uneventful, actually. I get my next COVID-preventer next Saturday. What I’m doing actually has some things running incredibly smoothly.

Just move forward, and understand that everything gets deleted, eventually. What I’m doing now will eventually be replaced.

And I’m okay with this.


And I got distracted there for about an hour. It happens. Responsibilities.

News. Obviously, the conviction of the cop in Minneapolis was the big story of the week. I’m surprised that there wasn’t rioting, there, despite the guilty verdicts. There was something I watched, which had a very disjointed flow chart where

I’m confused about Minnesota law, where he was convicted of the lesser-included charges.

I do wonder if at least some of the convictions will be overturned by the judge not sequestering the jury; if they don’t convict, everything will burn. *shrug* But things are still on fire in Oregon, where you might have to wear a mask forever.

If they existed, a permanent mask mandate might be a good thing for Antifa.

Other stuff. Permanent expanded unemployment benefits. Sit, UBI, Sit! Good Dog!

If you’re younger, didn’t watch TV in the 80s, you probably don’t understand that. Whatever. /GenX

It’s noon, so I’m going to stop. I’ll look for something in the themes of the week later on.

Look For The Union Label

And take your money elsewhere.

I meant to write a bit about this earlier, but I forgot. Instead of editing the previous post, I’ll give this its own.

You might have heard or seen a brief mention that the effort to unionize a plant in Alabamastan failed.

A couple of stories about how Amazon “won,” but very little good analysis, in my opinion.

I also marvel at the deafening silence from Vice News. Not sure if that’s as embarrassing as Katie Hill, but it’s close.

You don’t like how Amazon treats its workers?

Don’t buy from them. I try to avoid that, myself. Sometimes I’ll even go out of my way to avoid giving them money.

It’s really not that difficult.