Police Activity Below My Window

February 8, 2020

February 6, 2020: Flurry of cops around my building here in the Castro. Don’t know what it was about, but there was a surprising number of skateboarders all dressed in black pants and hoodies, racing down the sidewalk a few minutes earlier, when I was outside. I had to jump away to keep from getting hit. When I returned to my apartment, I heard a continuous stream of skateboarders, then two young ladies screeching in the middle of the street, around the streetcar island. I saw a man filming them with his smartphone, and they kept moving away from him, threatening him all the while, sometimes punching him. Upon one punch, his smartphone was knocked out of his hand, but he quickly retrieved it. As I watched from my window, he called the cops and very quickly, they showed up…then a whole passel of ’em showed up. The two ladies ran down the street, but they got arrested anyway. And that’s all I know.

Google is Insane

January 30, 2020

I doubt any real human could figure out the characters in Google’s anti-bot capcha…so why not just click on the audio and be done with it? The voice or voices you hear are not my own, including when someone interjects: “Once again.” It’s all part of the audio option, believe it or not!

Another Good Reason I Don’t Celebrate Xmas

December 29, 2019

We are supposedly a secular nation, yet we don’t give equal billing to the end-of-year holidays celebrated by other religions: Jewish, Muslim, Wiccan and so forth. It’s always Christmas, Christmas, Christmas till I’m ready to barf up chunks of tinsel and eggnog. In fact, if you step out of line and don’t care to participate in Santa Claus jollity, you are decried as a traitor fighting in a “war on Christmas,” which war is actually nonexistent. Our society is saturated with Christian dogma, even unto our own, Christian-biased laws that treat non-Christians like third-class citizens…and give white supremacy full reign. And here is but one among many sad outcomes:

Anti-Semitic hate crimes up 50% in New York:

Never Biden

December 7, 2019

It should be as plain as the nose at the end of anyone’s face, that Joe Biden is the Democratic Party’s equivalent of Donald Trump. He’s every bit the white elitist and corporate butt licker that Trump is…they travel in the same circles. Those two are friends, and they’re playing a game at the expense of this nation’s sovereignty, ideals (no matter how badly tattered they may be at this juncture), freedoms (including the most important: your right to privacy), and universal respect and opportunities (for all citizens no matter their background, gender, skin color, financial class, bodily or facial appearance, hair color or eye color). By “universal respect” I mean all good things that come out of it, such as (but not limited to) quality education, housing, health care and job offers.

Bernie is the only one who even comes close to these ideals…with Biden a very distant second. But he’s all lip service and no tongue. We need at least a fighting chance, and having Biden as president will most certainly not give us that chance. He will be a weak opponent against Donald Trump, and intentionally so…he will cave in to him, intentionally so…because that’s the plan! And it’s been the plan all along, just as it was for Hillary to lose. And clearly explains why the DNC could not afford to have Mr. Sanders run against Trump…and so they sabotaged him. Think about it; that’s all I ask.

The only reason any democrat would vote for “The Pride of Scranton” is but one: they are white and affluent themselves, and identify with him, and not the common man. Their smugness knows no bounds, even when it comes to selling out their party…even when it comes to the destruction of all life on this planet. (Or, at least, the destruction of all higher life forms, that is: anything above one cell. Certainly, those rooting for Joe Biden have no more than one cell for a brain!)

These used to be called “limousine liberals,” but nowadays they’re called by either one of two interchangeable terms: “neoliberals” or “centrists.” And they are precisely the ones who’ve turned the rural and working class against the Democratic Party…starting with Bill Clinton, who manufactured the concept of “centrist,” though it only be a wolf in another clothing. A stridently pro-corporate wolf, just like the Republicans had already become a decade or so earlier, under Ronald Raygun. However:

Arguing for Bernie Sanders and against Joe Biden is just like arguing with Trumpsters over what a tragic mistake they’ve made: either way, you can’t change a single mind. As cartoon character Pogo once said: “We have met the enemy, and he is us!”

Can R2-D2 Do This?

July 1, 2019

This is my new, portable washing machine that I purchased for $52.88. It washes and rinses all clothes and other fabric except large or heavy items such as winter coats, blankets and sleeping bags. I have used it twice so far, and am very pleased. It takes small loads of course, but is the perfect solution for those living in small spaces and hate going to laundromats, or they’re too far away for frequent use. Use cold water only, which you can either hook up to a faucet with the hose it came with, or just use a bucket. In my case I use a 2 quart saucepan, because the sink is too small for a bucket…besides which a saucepan is much easier to handle. The washing machine holds up to four gallons or a tad more. Liquid detergent is best.

Click here to see it in action during wash mode.

The dial on the left has three settings: wash, spin and off. The dial on the right is the timer, which can be set for up to 15 minutes. The appliance uses only 200 watts, and is not too noisy. I rather enjoy hearing the clothes slosh around in the water, and later the unobtrusive “whir” of the spinner. After the first wash, I run my clothes through two rinses. So that means first draining the appliance, then filling it up with plain water each time, and running them on “wash” (minus detergent) for five minutes or so.

I was able to fit three large T-shirts, three boxer briefs and six crew socks into one load. I had to divvy them into two portions for the spin cycle, which uses a small, soft plastic basket. It only takes five minutes or less to spin each load, whereby they’re still very damp, but not enough to cause any dripping when hanged to dry.

Click here to see it in action during spin mode.

I have yet to wash any longsleeve shirts, dungarees, light jackets or sweaters, but I imagine I should limit myself to one pair of denim pants at a time (for example). Or three shirts, or two jackets or two sweaters, in each load. The entire machine wobbles when in spin mode, but not so much it moves, or falls off the milk crate upon which it’s set (so the water can be fully drained into the bucket).

In the photo above, you can see the drain hose on the other side of the washing machine. There’s a little hook to keep the hose pointing upward, which is necessary for the wash cycle. When the wash is done, lower the hose into the bucket, so the water can drain.

Here’s the inside of the device, with the white disk on the bottom that does the spinning. It has a bump in the middle, with four ridges radiating out, so you can snap the spin basket into place.

After the clothes have been washed and twice-rinsed, I wring them out a bit and place them into a tub. Then I snap the basket onto the spin disk and load it with around half the soggy laundry.

Here’s the basket before I pack in the washed items. Once it’s filled up I then snap the plastic lid in place, to keep items from escaping.

And voila! My clothes are now hung out to dry, on a nylon cord strung from one corner of my room to another. I’ve learned it takes 1-1/2 days for the briefs and T-shirts to dry fully, and 2 days for the socks. I will plan my laundry schedule accordingly.

Gratitude & the Happiness Cult

June 10, 2019

Below is a link to an audio file of a comment I recently posted to a Mendocino community mailing list. As read by one Marco McClean, radio host of “Memo of the Air” on KNYO and KMEC. Followed by a Ted Talk on the same theme. My rant is just under 3 minutes, the rest is the Ted talk…total: 17 minutes. Click on the clown to get going:

My Thinkpad Has A Brain Slug!

April 17, 2019

My refurbished Thinkpad X230 looks perfectly normal from the front. But when you look at the back of the screen, it’s got a whole different thing going on! What the frig is that bright red blob that looks kinda like some sort of alien sucker?

It’s actually an external, 256 GB SSD device connected via USB which arrived in the mail just four days back. And attached to the back with a tiny square of Velcro. Half of it is dedicated to whatever Linux distro I’m playing with at the moment…allowing my system to dual boot without messing with the main drive, which is 128 GB (also SSD) and installed with Windows 10 pro. The other half is formatted as FAT32, which I use for downloading torrents and Youtube videos with either operating system, as well as sharing documents and notes between Windows and Linux.

In case you’re curious about my entire setup, there is a second, 22-inch monitor to the left, connected via the docking station. Also attached to the docking station are: two USB HDDs (one 500 GB, the other 1 TB), USB mini-dongle for a solar powered external keyboard, and another dongle for an infrared mouse. There is a 64 GB SDHC card inserted into my laptop, where all my personal data is stored and secured with Bitlocker. (FYI all my important files and data are backed up to the larger external drive, as well as to the Google cloud.)

For superior sound, I use a pair of sturdy Logitech speakers also connected via the docking port. They are situated below my system, since it rests on a riser atop the desk…so that I can stand up while working, playing, or just browsing the ‘net. Thanks to the larger, second screen, I can also kick back in bed and watch any of my recently downloaded movies, TV shows or Youtube videos. And finally:

While lounging in my penguin PJs, the infrared mouse doubles as a remote. Voila!

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