Coping: Friday at the Dart Board

Hand me a dart, would you?

(A bad throw, I’m afraid.)

The first dart lands on the new Costco ad for computers which just landed in the inbox.

$849.99 for a touchscreen laptop with 16GB of ram, a terabyte of drive on an i7 platform.  Yes, computer prices are coming down.  Granted it’s only 15.6” and the 17” is easier on aging eyes, but one of the nice things about computers is that the price/performance number continues to get better.

Real computers are getting cheap while phones are going up.

Another dart?

(Yikes!  That throw just missed the cat…)

Second computing note is to visit www.securitytango.com

They have a fine assortment of “How to” pages on how to really clean a computer.  And it’s all listed as different styles of dance.  So  it’s the Windows Waltz, and the Macarena, and the iPhone Pavane…with more for Linuxers and Androiders.

It may seem like a lot of work, but I went through all the Windows steps and found one (fortunately benign) rootkit on my traveling machine, so it’s definitely worth doing even if you think your computer is clear.

And I don’t want to hear the Macinpreach types telling me Mac’s don’t get viruses.  Of course they do.

Dart?

(Maybe Elaine won’t notice the hole in the white leather sofa or I can blame the cat…)

Weird dream recall:

Many months back, I had a dream and there was something in it about a large bomb going off – generally in the north/northwest direction from us – at about the time the MH-370 wreckage was being fished out of the ocean.

Not that I put any stock in it…probably a bunch of leftover thought stubs and having read about OKC follow-up and how there was likely a government perp/insider who was never brought to justice.

Nevertheless, it was strange and no, I have no idea why.

It was some months ago, but it (in this weird dream) sets off some kind of sequence…so who knows.

Hand me another dart, quick.

(Lamp shade this time…coffee must be kicking in.)

Only five weeks to go until we set sail on the Peoplenomics Cruise.  Panama, the brother-in-laq who lives with us on the property can hardly wait for us to go.

Zeus the Cat is anxious, too. He’d put on a pound, or so, during our last adventure.  Since we came back, we’ve both lost about the same amount of weight which says a lot about him, but not much about me.

Dart…

(One of these days I will put up a dartboard instead of throwing them randomly around the room, but that seems like too much work.)

Summer Housekeeping:  Tidying and Bloatware America

New reading material:  The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing which is pretty good.

The book looks at hoarding (if you’re young and don’t have much, the problem of being overrun in your life by too many things seems absurd, but trust me – it happens.).

What’s different is this book really starts with the view that before you start organizing, you need to go through the process of throwing a bunch of stuff out.  eBay it, take it to Good Will…the more stuff you get rid of in life, the less work to organize and so on.

I can see how that would work for people who are single-dimensional.  You know:  Have a one bedroom apartment, work most all the time and have one hobby.  Like my son – skydiving.

His “org problem” is really small:  A couple of computers (iPhone and iPad and a work laptop) and a jump suit and chutes in the closet.  Simple.

The problem for me is still too many interests.  I’ve got a computer dedicated to futuring which is off running missions most of the time.  There’s a music computer.  A writing computer.  Media computer.

Then there are the books.  Elaine likes art, interior design, Trompe-l’œil, oplus books on health, exercise, anti-aging, politics, and….

And there’s my collection which ranges from hands on machine shop practice to engineering to psychology, investing and business, accounting, and off into spiritual realms.  I mean we have one hell of a fine collection of books we are constantly readings and referencing,. and many of them …no most of them and not available in electronic form.

Take the airplane for example:  It has paperwork, computer gear, charts, parts, oxygen system, flight simulator station and more.  Regulations, shop manuals, yada, yada.

Then there’s the ham radio department.  This is one where I am going to really focus this weekend on weeding down through things. But each radio has a purpose.  One set up sounds great for chewing the fat (aka rag chewing) late at night on 80-meters.  Another has hot DSP for crowded parts of 20-meters.  One set is really best at 40-meter Morse code…  I am going to get down to no more than 4-HF stations.

Out in  the shop, I could get rid of the jointer, but that would simply mean buying more planes and they rust and…

What about tractor add-ons?  Barrels of diesel, transmission fluid, filters, OMG another list.

Sooner, or later, health and age begin to confine us all…limit what we can really do.

But, until it does, being active keeps us young.

And try as I may, I haven’t found a meaningful study yet on the relationship between hoarding tendencies and aging.

What I suspect is that the more things you do, the more engaged with life you are, and the more active you will be.

I could probably have a pin-neat life if I moved back onto a boat again, but the joy of living board has been pretty well trashed by the floating Gestapo and marinas that are being forced by bureaucrats to kick out liveaboards, even though it’s the best lifestyle we’ve ever lived.

True, a few days under sail won’t get you part way across the country like flying will – and airplanes are cheaper than boats for sure – but the reality is we’re living in a world of declining lifestyles and squished dreams.

And I suppose that’s why I am reading the book on “tidying:”   Sort of trying to get a bead on which hobbies, pursuits, and interests will be shut down and in what order.

Government doesn’t have enough to do, anymore.  Which is why, after 250+ years, we all of a sudden have to regulate gay marriage and teach first graders about sex

There’s some inbuilt sense in government that if enough sport fishermen get stopped on the high seas, or Puget Sound, or off Annapolis, we’re somehow going to be safer and better off as a country.

The more intrusive freeway checkpoints, the fewer illegals….which is a joke because that’s a border problem, not a once-they-get-on-a-freeway problem.

Reflecting on the task of tidying around the ranch, I gotta wonder if government shouldn’t do a whole bunch of tidying, too.

If a program wasn’t needed up until 1945, why do we need them now?

Answer:  Because we don’t have big enough problems to solve.  All for the Civil Rights Act, don’t get me wrong.  But it’s the bureaucrats who came up with the idea of kicking male heads of households out in order for a mom and kids to qualify for welfare…

Laws in America have gone the way of computer software written by amateur/idiots.

We call this Spaghetti Code because it wanders all over the place.

Eventually, computer code gets so bad that it becomes obvious “Bloatware.”

What do you think Win10 is about?  An  attempt to clean code, standardize and build on strengths. 

When computer software is written, it has source code which then gets compiled into an executable.

In the current administration, the source code from Congress is there.  It’s just there’s been a habit made of throwing out good lines of source and not bothering to compile them.

When was the last time you heard of Congress reducing the word count on anything?  These clown s are mostly lawyers who seem to be under the mistaken impression that they get paid byt the word.

The Compiler in Chief just throws out source and won’t compile it.  And so as a result, we now have Immigration and Customs Enforcement in heartland America which means we need a zillion of them, instead of fixing the problems at the borders.

There. 

I have talked myself out of tidying up this weekend. 

When congressoids and the Compiler in Chief start working like good tight code that runs well, isn’t spaghetti, and is compact and reliable, maybe I will clean up a bit more and throw out some things.

Used to be elections were the ultimate tidy.  But since corporations seized power through the lobbyist army and campaign pressure, my collection of too many hobbies is really quite modest.

Compared to the mess we’ve made of things elsewhere.

Hand me another dart, would you?

Write when you break-even

George   george@ure.net

Comments

Coping: Friday at the Dart Board — 8 Comments

  1. One notices…that 55 plus years on from the great society and war on poverty, that enough data ‘broken family’ points would have been accumulated to make even the most ignorant leader realize that removing a Father and Dad from a home is a destructive element…however, we have not seen ONE law passed to keep the American Citizen family together…but we have seen many Executive ORDERS created and LAWS BROKEN to keep the illegal immigrant family together…well fed, funded, and cared for. So, now that up is down, and right is wrong…we can look forward to a darker future…

  2. This is Zeus,

    Ure dangerous man! Either you get rid of those darts, or I’m off to the mountains of New Mexico. I understand that they’ve got great mice this year, and I know this really friendly girl cat. She’s black too.

    Think about it. Just imagine MORE critters.

  3. Interesting that you compared the stock market to a casino. I was raised at a time when people talked about the stock market like it was “investing” in American industry, not just another Vegas casino. My dad bought Chrysler and held. My mom preferred the roller coaster buying on margin. She was the one with ulcer symptoms. My dad preferred the golf course to margin calls.

    When did the stock market become a casino and honest investment in our country’s business and economic future become old hat? When you can bet for and against a company several times a second, that’s not even casino play, that’s controlling the casino.

    Now if the US wants to run their businesses under that formula, fine. Our choice. But if China wants to run their stock market in a way that stimulates local investment and stay in charge of their economy rather than let others around the world play games with their future, I’m all in.

    If you don’t want to invest in the economic future and fiscal stability of China, put your bets on the American stock exchange and put us at risk here at home as our jobs continue to depart and our social security dwindles away so that a few can financially trounce the many. And when you need a break from helping destroy my kids financial future, you can play the odds in Macao where the rules make a little more sense and thievery is openly discouraged.

  4. George,
    This time I can’t resist. You’re spot on about organizing and I have a suggestion. Why not buy a second place for you guys to live? That way instead of getting rid of all that stuff you can clone it off to set up your second location. I suggest a peek around Seeley Lake, Montana. Good luck and thanks for the read.

    Jesse

  5. UrbanSurvival: always a good way to start any day, especially a Friday. Glad to see that your local road problem source has at least decided to respond somewhat positively. From my experience in land entitlements and zoning issue mitigation, the typical response is to apply some grease (in this case, water or oil) to the squeaky wheel and the problem will go away. at least temporarily. I hope that you obtain a total solution to the problem over the life of the mine. On another note, I enjoyed your comments about government not having enough to do. I have had a theory for some time now, especially after raising the poster boy for ADHD, that for many of us, our genetic makeup includes specific aptitudes for problem solving that has highly contributed to mankind’s success in exploration and development of the planet’s resources. My ADHD son would have become a mountain man, built his own log cabin, married, and have been living off the land at the age of 15 if he had lived 150 years ago. And today, when the perception of the average Joe is that there are no more mountains to climb, fewer dragons to slay, and fewer world wars to win, the average Joe will find something to challenge those aptitudes (resulting in a vast array of hobbies, both to challenge our intelligence, but also to fulfill our innate desire to solve problems.) Simply put, if there are no interesting problems within our perceived, relative world to solve them, then man will go forth looking for some problem to solve. Or, we ignore many solvable problems that aren’t interesting to us to create some that are (global warming). Now, don’t get me wrong…I know that there are constant great cyclic changes in our world environment (sunspot activity related?) that can provide great fodder for media types looking for a great story but they are easily misled about sources. For example, it would be a less exciting story if blame were not placed on man (who can be taxed to solve the problem) than it would be if most of the global changes could be traced to changes in the oceans brought about by increased volcanic activity on the ocean floors due to tectonic plate movement brought about by changes in sunspot activity ,etc. In the words of a great sage of our time, EVERTHING IS A BUSINESS MODEL. I am reminded of the response of the NASA Director to the complaints from the Mercury astronauts that they were becoming “spam in a can” in a capsule with no flight controls, when he said: “Space Flight? This program is not about space flight…it’s about funding…pure and simple…it’s about funding and jobs.”
    Just my two cents for today.
    Keep up the great writing, Ure!

  6. Thought it serendipitous that you used the word pavane today when I had to use it in a crossword puzzle yesterday. lol

    • Also, had a thought about an electronic dartboard for you, if that’s not in fact what you are using. Should be fairly easy code, random generator selecting various objects about the room each time you hit a key. lol