Sunday, December 7, 2014

My Facebook Tirade. :)

  • Michael DeVore I hold no such animosity towards tirades.  The reality, of course, is that the Bush recession caused terrible disruptions in the marketplace and these disruptions have hit particularly the middle class. I see the number of underemployed every day trying to maneuver back into the level of job they had before the recession. So anyone unemployed has to compete with those that are underemployed because they took ANY job when they were out of work. This really was a depression that was moderated into a recession by social programs and doing what we did not know to do in 1929, pump money into the economy. This was done with extremely low interest rates by the FED which benefited the extremely wealthy. But in general economic theory it added money to that of social programs like unemployment insurance. Remember that all other attempts at job creation, tax breaks for the middle class, or any other way of putting money into the economy, were blocked by the GOP with their ability to veto all legislation with the dramatic use of filibuster powers in the Senate. Add to this their inability to form a coalition with the tea party and all legislation stopped for going on 5 years now (not counting the honeymoon period used to do the beginning of the jobs bills needed and health care reform at the beginning of Obama's presidency). What this ended up with was the very wealthy increasing their share of the pie and not even paying the same tax rate as the middle and lower upper-classes. The necessary money was pumped into the economy by the FED which was the only place true power could be used during the blockage of all legislation -- legislation, for instance, that would have taken away those insane tax breaks for the ultra wealthy and attempted to pour money into the economy by other methods than giving the banks almost a zero percent interest rate. All is not bad though from the Capitalist perspective because the old maxim of "he who governs least, governs best" has had its unusual benefits. This IS the longest sustained period in jobs growth by all kinds of metrics. The trend has been so solid that we are unlikely (knocking on wood) to encounter the double dip recession other counties including China appear to be now beginning. The jobs we have built have been forged by the private sector. We are truly participating in the laisez faire Capitalist dream where labor is just a factor of production and is not considered in policy making (which is blocked.) We are more purely Darwinistic. We have become more like the animals of nature and not human beings with a higher purpose. We are competing head on with slave labor and are are actually doing fairly well (if we do not consider humanitarian or religious goals as important). End tirade. 
    1 min · Edited · Like

  • Michael DeVore To sum my earlier tirade, we are still waiting for the trickle down. Come on, trickle down, its as if we hardly knew ye. 
    17 mins · Edited · Like

Friday, December 5, 2014

The Pellet Gun

Kids are being shot for having toy guns and confusing police. The St. Louis police department put out a long message about how dangerous these can be if kids, say, run when the SWAT team shows up.

I am sure I have related this before. I have only held a gun one time in my hands and that was to see what it felt like to hold a gun in one's  hands. You never know, knowledge of something that intrinsically dangerous might come in handy.

Then there was the time I found a gun in my yard while mowing. It was fairly deep in the grass but I ascertained it was some kind of gun. I quickly called the police knowing not to handle evidence, of course. The police officer arrived alone and proceeded to pick up the gun with his bare hands and say "This is a pellet gun." in a manner which was that of heavy ridicule. Well, yeah I am ignorant of guns. Guilty.

As he was handling the gun I realized that it was way realistic. Well, I am certainly glad that the officer knew everything about every crime that could have possibly gone down with a fake gun used as a real one in the weeks or months preceding... because I was unsure why the gun had been dumped in my yard which was on an intersection where people often threw out full beer cans and complete six packs to hide evidence from their car before returning home.

I did not feel any resentment. I just wished my city had hired policemen with some sense of community. And I still think I did the right thing despite the ridicule.

The police officer then looked at me and said "These are expensive, can I have it?"

yeah. whatever.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Ensuing Chaos

Observation of the day: often there is no difference between hilarity and chaos.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Tuesday, October 14, 2014


Seemingly the world has taken multiple simultaneous steps toward chaos. Things seem chaotic beyond any period of time which I have experienced in my relatively short life of 56 years. I've thought long and hard about the reason why. Perhaps this perception is caused by my insistence of not watching corporate television's rating driven "news" shows. That is a relatively new thing in my life. Two years have gone by. But I fear that making this commitment has actually improved my sense of reality, the reality of wackiness that people seem immune to seeing. Reading the news and watching select clips makes me feel more connected than ever. And given the two year absence and what I have learned, it appears impossible to go back.

Madness is honestly a better descriptive term for what appears to be all around me. And I am not referring to just generalized society but my actual personal daily experiences. I cannot go into details though I would love to prove my point by doing so. However, speaking about generalities, just look at Ebola, global warming, and the war my nation started without provocation that has left an unfixable power vacuum. Ebola has been around quite some time yet we cut funding in the past due to sequestration, a seemingly mad mutually assured destruction that was to force our representatives to act which instead became a policy. The policy was to cut spending everywhere regardless of importance to our nation or goals or sanity.  The defence department, seemingly the only influential part of our government (other than the cable industry) actually listed global warming as a big threat to our national security. It is, of course but is it the Defense Department that has to tell us before we believe it? But still we won't believe it. By the time we actually start doing something to help the situation, it will likely be so advanced as to be unstoppable. Seriously, we just accept these things? More war? Utter madness.

I have so little time to write lately as I am busier than I have ever been, but it is hard to shake this feeling of madness all around me. I am more vigilant,  working more effectively and harder than ever. My heart is squarely in the right place but, my heavens, the world is throwing curve balls at a rate hitherto unknown. Previously in my life I think I blamed many of my problems upon my inability to handle the oddities of life. The difference now is that I see a distinct pattern:  I am not throwing the curve balls at myself, they are part of my surroundings. And they come at increasing frequency. Blaming myself? That would be akin to the madness of those throwing the curve balls.

For my own mental health, I decided that with my advancing age I should withdraw somewhat from worrying about the world we were leaving for the next generation. That was a start but I really must say the bad consequences for the next generation appeared to ramp up at about the same time... negating any peace of mind I might get from rosy glasses. Even rose colored glasses have limitations.

The world honestly seems to be infected with sheer madness. Perhaps it's the cell phones....

Thursday, October 2, 2014

The Sweet Lady from Iraq

A lady visiting from Iraq had been coming into the library for a while. She was so kind and caring. I helped her with printouts and counting change (our coinage does not even have denominations on it, how strange is that?). She was always thankful and went out of her way to say that we had the nicest people here. She probably meant in America but we do have a nice little town here.

The last time I would see her was when she came in to print out her tickets to fly home. Again, she just told me how wonderful everyone had been to her and was saying goodbye to me. A few minutes later, some gadget in her purse went off with the audio of a Muslim prayer. I was not around her but I went to tell her she needed to turn it off (which was what I do with every cellphone that rings for a while). She apologized sincerely, was as sweet as she could be, and I thought that was that. I skipped happily back to my desk and gave a wink and a nod to my colleague.

However another woman in the room called me over to tell me that this disturbed her. She said "After the beheading some people were sensitive." I do not really understand what she wanted me to do but she was not happy. I said that I really did not associate a prayer with violence, in general. I told her I had not been keeping up with the news about the American beheading. "Well, you should read about it and then comment," she countered. I just left it there.

So, later I read an article about the beheading in America and came away with the idea that it was basically a disgruntled worker. But in all honesty, any reason a person comes up with to justify killing another person intentionally is not particularly good. One reason is no more frightening than another.

And more importantly, the weapon used can dramatically increase the number of people killed by some disgruntled person. One would have to be Conan the Barbarian to behead a bunch of folks at a time. Now an assault rifle with unlimited ammunition in a public place... that is kind of scary and it seems to be happening everywhere... without prayer audio.

So I just won't be commenting to the second lady after reading about the beheading. Someone who has an unreasonable fear needs to deal with that themselves.

As for the sweet lady from Iraq, I would like to thank her for enriching my life with her thoughtful and kind remarks. I hope she takes back a bit of love from America.

“Hatred does not cease by hatred, but only by love; this is the eternal rule.” - attributed to Buddha

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Unvarying Truth

The Truth is Out There

Carter sought to make the title sequence an "impactful opening" with "supernatural images". These scenes notably include a split-screen image of a seed germinating as well as a "terror-filled, warped face". The latter was created when Carter found a video operator who was able to create the effect. The sequence was extremely popular and won the show its first Emmy Award, which was for Outstanding Graphic Design and Title Sequences. Rabwin was particularly pleased with the sequence and felt that it was something that had "never [been] seen on television before."
The premiere episode of season eight, "Within", revealed the first major change to the opening credits. Along with Patrick, the sequence used new images and updated photos for Duchovny and Anderson, although Duchovny only appears in the opening credits when he appears in an episode. Carter and the production staff saw Duchovny's departure as a chance to change things. The replacement shows various pictures of Scully's pregnancy. According to executive producer Frank Spotnitz, the sequence also features an "abstract" way of showing Mulder's absence in the eighth season: he falls into an eye. Season nine featured an entirely new sequence. Since Anderson wanted to move on, the sequence featured Reyes and Skinner. Duchovny's return to the show for the two-part series finale, "The Truth" marked the largest number of cast members to be featured in the opening credits, with five.
The sequence ends with the tagline "The Truth Is Out There", which is used for the majority of the episodes. The tagline changes in specific episodes to slogans that are relevant to that episode. The first of these was "Trust No One" in "The Erlenmeyer Flask". Other examples include: "Deny Everything" in "Ascension", "Éí 'Aaníígóó 'Áhoot'é" in "Anasazi", "Everything Dies" in "Herrenvolk",  "Believe to Understand" in "Closure", and "They're Watching" in "Trust No 1".

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Microsoft, tsk, tsk, tsk.

I was not too busy at work one day and just decided to organize my computer desktop background because I do a lot of work from my desktop. I came up with this:

This took a few minutes using Photoshop, although I did it more than once to iron out the categories that fit my current work load. As far as I know other folders could have "backgrounds" that would suit the same function. How about those document folders? How nice would it be to have a visual folder there?

I help people with computer skills all day. It is just part of my job. So far, I have never seen an organized desktop on a laptop or anyone's personal computer. I have just never seen it. I know people are out there with something akin to this but not the average user.

This led me through a little thought process that made me shake my head. My idea is an editable desktop. There simply needs to be a program that makes blocks, arrows, fonts, adds clip art, or whatever. After creating, a simple command could replace the desktop with the created organizational background How much would this cost a company like Microsoft with its talented staff? Users could personalize their desktops.

Remember the first appearance of the scheme to put gadgets and even live web sites on the desktop, on top of the background? It went over like a lead balloon. The idea was right and the implementation was terrible.

Remember when Windows 8 came out and it was mostly panned? It was primarily because Microsoft was using it's monopoly power to force yet another change... the adoption of a desktop more suited to Microsoft's marketing goals in the hardware direction.

Personally, I had had enough of the ch-ch-ch-changes, viruses, adware, etc. I bought a Chromebook laptop. I was investing in the future. I have not looked back though I still use my old desktop computer to run programs remotely from my Chromebook.

For those who just wanted improvements in the old GUI and operating system in Windows 8, there appeared to be no news. Worse, Microsoft started withdrawing support from old operating systems. And by withdrawal of support, I mean there was talk of leaving old operating systems open to viruses (viri? viruli?) but they had done nothing new except Windows 8 which looked less suited to desktops than anything that went before.

Enforced learning curves appears to be Microsoft's strategy. If everyone uses Windows as the standard then Microsoft can change the standard to sell hardware or other software. They did this when they broke into the business market (everyone was familiar with Windows, make it an office operating system) and now they were going to do it for laptops.

Yet... I can't help but ponder why Microsoft just did not give a little, for publicity, to desktop users. It took... (what was it?) a year? to offer a bootup to the old GUI.

So, let's say Microsoft had done a few improvements to the desktop, I guess like the one I propose but I am no genius programmer. There are probably even better ways of implementing an organization of the desktop that goes beyond folders with pictures of the contents on the folder. That is the best they can do?

Would the situation where the press went south on Windows 8 have been the same?  I think not.

Had Microsoft spent $500,000, or some piddling amount, doing improvements to the organization of the desktop, THAT would have been a story all its own. All they probably needed to do was to create an easy user customizable desktop to get a  line or two of good PR for the "improvements" of the old GUI, rather than the endless blare of negative PR that drove people to buy expensive Macs. Tell me: are they just not this smart? Or is there a hidden agenda or something?

Do I dare think that this is an idea they have already used exclusively for the purpose of slowing down older computers and getting people to buy newer ones? Not for organization but for something else. The drive of the Microsoft appears to be less in the direction of helping people, doing good, and more in the direction of maneuvering the monopoly environment.  This, despite Bill Gates doing a huge amount of good with his foundation.

I exchanged emails with a guy from Microsoft about the bridge they were building partially using Obama's stimulus money for the Great Bush Recession. They could give convincing reasons why they should use government money to make their business better, but I just couldn't help but wonder why Microsoft was not a standup guy about the thing, and use its own money to get that bridge built. Stimulus money could have been used for a more worthy project. There was just no thought beyond legalities and money. During this discussion, I suggested that if the company would shift and choose the correct path of putting people first, a la Bill Gates and his charity, that the synergy would in the long run be a winning strategy.

I don't know. The problem with Microsoft is that I never know. How could such a big company be so blind?

Friday, September 26, 2014

McDonald's Iced Coffee

Hazlenut Iced Coffee from McD's is the best colon cleanse currently on the market. I am pretty positive that I have a statistically significant result through correlational research which I have personally conducted over, admittedly, a relatively short trial period. Why McDonald's does not market their product's miraculous health benefits is beyond me.

However, it will no doubt  come to pass that McDonald's will be forced to also put a warning on this cold version of their coffee:

"For your safety, please do not take a sleeping pill after drinking our iced coffee."

Tuesday, September 23, 2014


Our two week vacation was just about the best vacation I have ever had. I will have to review it here when I get a chance.

But for now the problems of the world seem a bit more bearable. Very sad to leave vacation and and yet so happy to be home. Ordinary things seem far more enjoyable now. What more can you ask from a vacation? 

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

A thought

Anxiety about having just run out of anxiety medication may be one of the worse forms of anxiety today.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Reading - Literature: Crash Courses