Saturday, April 10, 2021

Face eating monkeys on the loose?

 I would also point out that after extensive search, we still haven't found any monkeys loose in my town, either.

Worrisome, to say the least.

Also, is it racist to call them monkeys?

Saturday, March 13, 2021

Internet speed testing

 I use a VPN.  Recently had some trouble with outgoing email which seems to have been resolved but that got me down a rabbit hole on speed testing.  Did a few comparisons.

Baseline: No VPN, Comcast service, hard wired to laptop.

VPN (which shall not be named, through US server) using Open VPN protocol

Same VPN, same server, using Wireguard, which some sites claim is faster, and some claim is slower.

Interestingly I got different results with Wireguard coming in at about half speed a few minutes ago, before I decided to write this post.  Either way, however, not sure that I am thrilled with these speeds and may do some exploring.

Other issue is that they were verified No Log, but seem to have been bought out by another company which has a bit of a sketchy reputation.

Sunday, March 7, 2021

Oops I did it again!

 But since everybody loves waffles, I bought another one.  Search for "waffle" or "waffle iron" in the blog for history of "The Collection".  Meanwhile, here's a Sunbeam Model B from the late 20s/early 30s.  At least according to what I've been able to track down, which isn't much.  I'm mostly going off of a patent issued in 1929 that is stamped on the unit.

Thursday, March 4, 2021

Well this is awkward

 From the Soviet Union?  Nope.  Cuba?  Nope.  Venezuela?  Nope.  Three strikes.  You're out.

From the United States Air Force materials on Combating Extremism in the Air Force:

Apparently there are things you aren't allowed to watch, things you aren't allowed to read, ideologies you aren't allowed to study, and things you aren't allowed to say or mention.

Seems like branches of the government may be confused about that whole pesky 1st Amendment thing.  Yes, you give up some of your rights when you sign up with the military, but pretty sure you don't give up all of them, possibly including reading books on your off time or talking about "impermissible" ideologies.

On the other hand, if we are going to go this direction, I assume our current overlords will have no issue with the current list of impermissible ideologies being replaced with Marxism, communism,socialism, and progressivism as impermissible.

Read a longer post on the topic over at Dr. Phi's page.

Sunday, February 28, 2021

Ebay gets more complicated

 Selling an electric motorcycle vest on Ebay.  Picked it up from a friend's widow who was getting rid of all her motorcycle stuff after her husband died.  Some stuff I could use myself, some stuff I'm putting on ebay, mostly I was doing her a favor.

However, I listed it on ebay; it didn't sell; and today I went to relist it.

Ebay: You have to enter the "outer shell material".

How the hell would I know?  There is a list of about forty possibilities including leather, polypropelyne, jute, satin, etc.  It's a freaking heated vest for a motorcycle.

Fine, I'll just pick one.  Nylon.  

Ebay: You have to choose a Department.

What the hell?  Why?  It's listed as a women's heated motorcycle vest and it's listed in the correct category for heated gear.

Fine, I'll just pick Women's.

That isn't an option.  The choices are Men, Teens, and Unisex.  WTF.  So now it's listed in the Men's Department.

Ebay: There is a conflict with your title.  Your title says the item is New but your listed says it is used.  Please fix the conflict.

The company that made the vest was called NEW AGE MOTORCYCLE.  Gah!

Add to that the fact that they now want my bank account information because apparently they aren't going to be processing payments through Paypal anymore (which is weird because they own Paypal) and it's getting to the point where it is more effort than it is worth to  sell stuff on Ebay.  I have sold significant amounts of stuff through their service over the past twenty years (100% and over 500 positive feedbacks) so I'm not a newbie to this stuff, but if it's going to be this much trouble, maybe I'll just throw the stuff away.

Have you noticed that everything always gets more complicated?  Basic high speed internet browser then has to add the capability to process email and edit documents.  Boom!  Neither basic nor high speed.  Netscape Navigator did this.

Honda Civic becomes a luxury sedan  as they add a new feature here and there.

Ebay requires all sorts of extraneous information to sell your stuff and won't let you use the payment processor that they own and that they have been using for years.

Apps on your phone suddenly don't work the way they used to and you can't figure out why, because they "upgraded" them and someone thought it would be a good idea to move the search button from the top of the screen to a hidden menu.

Why don't companies leave well enough alone and recognize that making you product more complicated and harder to use sometimes isn't a good tradeoff for more unwanted features?

Update and on-topic: I regularly visit The Aviationist, over at  He has interesting articles on various aviation topics.  I got the Top Gun: Maverick lego video from him and left a comment about how awesome it was yesterday.  I comment there semi-regularly but as far as I can tell I am one of the only commenters.  The most I've seen on any post is two or three so there isn't a lot of comment traffic (no idea how many people look at the site).  That being said, today I could not comment because the process has changed.  Used to be if you clicked "post as a guest" it would let you type in username and email, then he would moderate your comment.  Now clicking "post as a guest" asks you to sign in and verify your email.  I could understand a site that had lots of comments and lots of spam (hey Reason, your BS faux TDS libertarianism isn't the only problem with your site) but given that this doesn't seem to be the case, why on earth make it harder to leave comments.

Saturday, February 27, 2021

Monday, February 22, 2021

Responsibly exercising your freedoms

 I was reading an article over on Dark Brightness this morning about the church in Alberta that is under attack by the government for holding services.  I'll let you read the article if you want more details but it boils down to a) they are being very careful about tracing the Chinese virus, and b) they are insisting on having church services because they feel that it is necessary for the spiritual health of their congregation.

What struck me, however, was a quote by the premiere of Alberta (governor for Americans) who said 

I renew my call for all faith communities to responsibly exercise their freedom of worship

Key word here is "responsibly". What he really means is "do it the way I tell you to" since from what I have read they are, in fact, being very responsible. They aren't, however, complying with government dictats. 

Have you ever noticed that the phrase "responsibly exercise your freedom" ALWAYS means stop doing what you are doing and do what I am telling you to do instead?  That 100% of the time it actually means "don't exercise your freedom".  Do we need examples?  

I'm guessing that you can come up with some on your own but "hate speech" exceptions to free speech come to mind.  If you say things we don't like then you are being irresponsible with your freedom of speech and we will have to regulate you. 

"Common sense" gun laws might fall under this.  It is irresponsible to own semi-automatic, powerful rifles that hold multiple rounds because someone might use them for ill purpose.  If only you would have the guns we approve of we wouldn't have to enact more laws to prevent you from owning the ones we don't like.  

Sure religion is fine, but you should only do it in the privacy of your own home, otherwise we'll have to take action to prevent you from exercising your freedom of religion irresponsibly.

It is hard to argue against being responsible which is why this phrase is used so frequently.  The argument then shifts from whether or not you have freedom to whether or not you are being "responsible" and what exactly that entails.   It is hard to argue from the point of view that if freedom of speech only protects inoffensive speech then it isn't freedom, especially when the definition of inoffensive is then weaponized to marginalize one side of a polity (look at the current kerfuffle over "incitement" by the President and compare what he said to what the left in America said about the BLM riots and looting over the past year).