Monday, January 15, 2018

Immigration issues, a recap

With, I hope, immigration (or the restriction thereof) coming back into play as a topic of discussion in Congress, I thought I'd link back to my post regarding the definition of the word immigrant.

In conclusion, if you aren't here legally, you aren't an immigrant, so let's stop letting the left dictate the discussion by changing the definitions.  There are no undocumented immigrants, there are only illegal aliens, with illegal and alien both meaning "you have no right to be here".

Oh, and if you haven't read this one, perhaps you'd like to know what I think the correct level of immigration is right now.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

The pocket knife

I grew up carrying a pocket knife.  So did everyone else I knew back then (for the record I am on the northern side of 50). 

I bought my first pocket knife when I was twelve, a Camillus folder, back when they were made in New York, .  It has brass end caps and a cherry-wood handle, it is a beautiful piece of work and has spent many days, months, and years either in my pocket or in a small belt sheath that I bought at a show twenty years ago. 

I bought an clip-on folder when I worked at the Harley shop.  Lighter than the Camillus and with the advantage of a clip that lets it hook over the edge of my pocket so  I don't need a belt sheath.

The other day I went to a professional hockey game.  I got to the gate, handed them my ticket and, after walking through the metal detector, was told that I could not bring a knife into the arena.  They were very nice about it and let me check it in to be collected after the game. 

Before I tell you my thoughts about rules banning pocket knives let me tell you about the less than pleasant fellow in the security office when I went to pick it up.

I was first in a line of men all about my own age, all there to collect their pocket knives.  I jokingly said to the fellow behind the desk "things sure have changed.  Everyone used to carry a pocket knife.  Looks like we're all about the same age, too".  He could have responded in kind.  He could have made a comment like "yeah, it's too bad.  What a hassle."  Instead he started lecturing me (and by extension the rest of the men in line) about leaving the knife in the car next time.

No shit!  Like we were too stupid to have already figured that out.

I went off.  As far as I remember, my exact words were "no kidding.  I think we've all figured that out.  How dare you lecture us?  Your job is to give us our knives back."  I didn't get as far as disparaging his abilities or station in life, given that a monkey or a dispensing machine could have done the same job because my friends immediately suggested that it was time to go.

When I turned around, however, there were big smiles on the faces of the others in line.  Apparently I hit a chord.

As far as the stupidity of the rule, what exactly am I (or anyone else) going to do with a perfectly legal folding pocket knife, with a blade under three inches, that I (and the rest of them) have been carrying in our pockets for the past forty years?  Do they really think that we are all suddenly going to pull out our pocket knives, unfold them, and start attacking the fans of the opposing team?  Do they really think that we are going to suddenly commit mass murderous terrorist attacks with our folding pocket knives?  It if had ever happened I could understand the concern, but the reality is that if anyone is going to attack the arena they are going to do it by either smuggling in a bomb when there aren't security checks going on; overwhelming the guards at the door with far more capable weapons (Bataclan Theater comes to mind); or just waiting till every leaves and then using a truck or a car bomb in the street outside.  A bunch of hockey fans in their forties (or any other age for that matter) carrying pocket knives aren't the problem.

The past seventeen years suggest, however, that the urge to be seen as "doing something" is far higher on the list of government priorities than actually doing something to stop terrorists when that something might be perceived as racist or might just be so under the radar that no one realizes they are doing it.  Until they fail, of course.  Then something else has to be done.  Like banning pocket knives at a hockey arena.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Youtubing your podcast

For the record, I hate it.

I listen to podcasts while running.  I listen to podcasts while driving.  Sometimes I listen to podcasts while lifting weights or working out at the gym.

What I don't do (and what I don't want to do) is sit in front of my computer staring at the screen to watch the podcaster talk to me for an hour.

To add insult to injury, some of those who podcast on youtube don't actually video record themselves talking, they just post the audio with some splashscreen for the visual.  What is the point?  Other than to use youtube to get their stuff out there?

Meanwhile youtube does all it can to prevent people from ripping the audio from their website.  They have shut down sites who created workarounds.  Right now peggo still works but I wonder for how long.  Youtube is apparently convinced that everyone wants to stare at a computer while listening.  They even have it set up so that if you start a youtube video in the app it will stop playing if you open another app on top of it or if your phone times out the screen.

I have emailed several who I enjoy listening to and asked them to start posting audio only version on an RSS feed, but so far not one has bothered.

The other day I was listening to a podcast and the host mentioned that he was thinking about switching to youtube because some of his listeners had asked him to.

If you are reading this, please be aware that some of us want less video, not more.

Tired of the same ol same ol

An energy company wants to mine for uranium and they are willing to kill anyone who stands in their way.

An oil company wants to drill for oil and they are willing to kill anyone who ...

A solar company wants to build solar panels on native land and they are willing to ...


It's bullshit, but people seem to think that it makes for a captivating thriller and they keep writing it.

Oh, and today I finished the new Harry Bosch book where, you guessed it, the board of directors of a $6 billion company are trying to kill the lost heir of the company's owner because ...


Saturday, December 23, 2017

SOLVED - E-ink ebook frustration

After spending a whole lotta time looking at ebooks (and blabbing about it on the internet) I came up with an elegant and creative solution.

I'm using my Nook again.

I don't actually have that many Amazon ebooks and I can read them on my tablet.  Everything else, hey ho for the Nook. Now I just have to remember to routinely plug it in so I'm not sitting in the barber shop waiting for my appointment and my book says "Insufficient power to turn on".

The best part?  It was free because I already have it.  Sometimes the simple solutions are the best.

The Missing Oxford Comma

I just picked up a box set by Crosby, Stills & Nash and couldn't help but notice the missing Oxford comma.  If you are wondering what that is take a few moments to think about the two following sentences:
  1. While I was at the mall I ran into two hookers, Washington and Jefferson
  2. While I was at the mall I ran into two hookers, Washington, and Jefferson

See the difference?

Doing a quick internet search on "crosby stills nash", just to see if they did, in fact, have the Oxford comma in their name and it was Gracenote (notorious for having the same album in their database numerous times, presumably because each person who added the album again didn't like the way the previous contributors had added it) that was wrong.

Turns out that not only do Crosby, Stills & Nash eschew use of the Oxford comma, so did Peter, Paul and Mary, and Earth, Wind & Fire, as well as a host of other groups.  The topic is covered thoroughly in this 2013 article in Slate (a magazine which I would not ordinarily direct you towards but this article is non-political and so they don't have an opportunity to spew their biased and nonsensical garbage) so I'll leave you to read further and not be redundant.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Fixed that for you

Original quote:

Although there is less research on illegal immigrant criminals, the general finding is that they are less crime-prone or about as criminally inclined as native-born Americans.

Corrected version:

Although there is less research on illegal immigrant criminals, the general finding is that 100% of them are criminals just by being here.

The CATO Institute, whose work I enjoy, has a blind spot when it comes to enforcing border security.  They routinely argue for essentially open borders without ever recognizing that a truly libertarian society must be formed and run with the consent and approval of an educated populace.  It cannot exist if anyone can come in and collect and/or vote for more social benefits.