Saturday, November 15, 2008

2116 Msg to Granny, re alerts

Saturday, November 15, 2008

[Later - 6:30 pm -- wouldn't you know it? Bloglines is down again. I'm getting no updates today, and trying to do some operations gets a "loading" loop. They're really starting to bug me.]

This is a reply to PDX Granny, regarding how to get blog post alerts. There are several ways to get alerts and feeds. Some people prefer Google, I like Bloglines.

If you'd like to try it, go to, and set up a free account. Unfortunately, it recognizes me when I go there, so I can't go through the steps to describe them for you, but it's not difficult. Once you have an account, you'll get a split screen. The left side is where you'll see your list of subscriptions, and on the right side you get the text.

On the left, at the top, you'll see "Add". Click on it. Then on the right you'll be able to type in the URL of a blog (or news feed or just about anything) you want to follow. Click "Subscribe".

You'll then be given a list of feeds for that URL. I always just pick the one that already has the most subscribers. Down a little further, choose the "full feed" option. Some blogs feed only the first few lines, some feed the full post. The full post is most convenient if they provide it.

Once you have subscribed, you'll see new posts in the list on the left. If you click on that, Bloglines will give you the text, on the right. If the blog owner has chosen to provide full feeds, you can read the entire post right there. (Sometimes embedded videos don't show, though. That's why I always include the URL of the video.)

If you click on the post title on the right, you'll go directly to the post, including comments. If you click on the blog title, you'll go to the blog. At the bottom of the post you'll see a little "Keep new" square. If you click on that, it'll hang around until you uncheck it. That way, you can keep things you might want to look at again.

If the text of the post is too wide for the right side of the screen, press "m", and you'll get full screen. Press "m" again to go back.

Have fun. Warning - this makes it so easy to follow a blog, that you can end up with 50 or 60 or more in your list.

2115 B1, B2, and B3 Explained!

Saturday, November 14, 2008

B1, B2, and B3 are of course the Banes-of-my-life from Post #2113. I figured out what the problem is. I just have to stop speaking German to them! Apparently, German is very open to misinterpretation.

I accidentally discovered a plethora of parodies/satires on YouTube. Folks have put subtitles on a clip from a Hitler movie - many versions of what's being said, all on the same clip. Some of them are very funny. If you double click on any of these, it'll take you to YouTube, and you'll find more similar clips listed on the right.

If you understand German and it distracts you from the subtitles, mute the sound. Warning - some blue language in the subtitles, but what do you expect from Hitler?

Hitler gets caught in the housing bubble. I cracked up when he asked about his 401K.


Hitler gets banned from Wikipedia.


Hitler's ride is stolen.


Friday, November 14, 2008

2114 My Head Hurts

Friday, November 14, 2008

This post was a comparison of 1957 to 2007. It got posted (by someone else) to a national Mensa discussion group, where, among other things, political topics are banned.

The post was deleted as having violated the ban on politics.

This kicked off some objections. Some people saw it as not so much political, but simply social commentary. That's my opinion, too.

What got my head hurting (probably due to all the eye-rolling) was that about half considered it a commentary on the sad state of society in 2007. The other half saw it as a commentary on the sad state of society in 1957.


Decision made, by the way. I was with The Man last night, Karaoke (he did a terrific job on Prince's "Purple Rain") and dinner, so I missed Survivor. I've decided to watch it on YouTube this evening instead of going out. Maybe all I was looking for was an excuse to stay home. Cold drizzle out there.

2113 More Blah

Friday, November 14, 2008

I'm debating whether to go to an event this evening. I'd like to go, but I guess I need to figure out how much I want to go. The biggest problem is that I can't decide on the criteria for the decision. I feel like I'm just dangling here. If I dangle long enough, time will make the decision for me.


I had mentioned a very unsettled feeling Tuesday night, that disturbed my sleep. I think I figured it out. It was foreboding.

There are three people locally that I don't get along with, no matter how hard I try. From my viewpoint, each of them seems to take everything I say or do the wrong, most negative, most insulting, way. A few people have said that these people seem to be afraid of me or something. Like they think I judge them constantly and find them wanting, and they're looking for proof of this in every contact.

They hear what they want to hear, not what I say.

I don't understand.

Anyway, one of these people was at the dinner Tuesday evening, let's call that person B1 (for "Bane-of-my-life 1"), and in the course of talking about a particular topic B1 mentioned that B2 had done something that B1 thought was very nice. I commented that yes, it needed doing, and it's nice that B2 is willing to step in when things need doing, but that B2 should not have done it, that because of B2's position in the group the rules bar B2's participation in that process, that B2's having done it could invalidate the local group elections if anyone chose to oppose them.

I realize now that the foreboding started at that instant.

Sure enough, Thursday morning there's a fiery email, two of them actually, from B2, saying that I may have a legitimate gripe, but it's not with B2, and blah blah blah explanations and defenses. B2 is freaking apoplectic. All B2's reasons and explanations don't change the fact that B2 shouldn't have done what B2 did, and B2 knows that! I don't know how to respond to B2, or even whether I should.

I suspect that what B2 heard was delivered in words and tones other than the ones I actually used. To be true to myself, perhaps I should respond by clarifying exactly what I said. If B2 still objects to that, well, so be it.

It's not finished. I have a feeling I'll hear from B3, as soon as the (distorted further) report gets circulated. Because, horror of all horrors, B3 did the same prohibited thing. And as soon as B2 and B3 tell the person who SHOULD have done the thing but didn't, necessitating their doing it, I'll probably acquire a B4.

I just gotta learn to keep my mouth shut. Or find a more adult bunch of people to associate with.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

2112 Bloglines Kerflooey?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

What's the deal with Bloglines today? I'm getting 200 updates on every blog I've subscribed to. It looks like they're considering everything posted in 2006 and 2007 as a new post. It's not anything the bloggers did, like change templates, because mine is one of them and I didn't do anything different.

That's not the worst - after I mark them "read", the next time the screen refreshes, all 200 are back on the list. Right now I'm showing like 3000+ posts "to be read".

It's two hours later, and it's up to 5100 posts to be read. I'm beginning to wonder if Bloglines has picked up all the programmers AOL laid off. Looks like the same fingerprints....

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

2111 1957-2007 - 50 years of progress

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Garbage is out. Bed is delayed because I found this:

Scenario 1:

Jack goes quail hunting before school and then pulls into the school parking lot with his shotgun in his truck's gun rack.

1957 - Vice Principal comes over, looks at Jack's shotgun, goes to his car and gets his shotgun to show Jack.

2007 - School goes into lock down, FBI called, Jack hauled off to jail and never sees his truck or gun again. Counselors called in for traumatized students and teachers.

Scenario 2:

Johnny and Mark get into a fist fight after school.

1957 - Crowd gathers. Mark wins. Johnny and Mark shake hands and end up buddies.

2007 - Police called and SWAT team arrives -- they arrest both Johnny and Mark. They are both charged with assault and both expelled even though Johnny started it.

Scenario 3:

Jeffrey will not be still in class, he disrupts other students.

1957 - Jeffrey sent to the Principal's office and given a good paddling by the Principal. He then returns to class, sits still and does not disrupt class again.

2007 - Jeffrey is given huge doses of Ritalin. He becomes a zombie. He is then tested for ADD. The school gets extra money from the state because Jeffrey has a disability.

Scenario 4:

Billy breaks a window in his neighbor's car and his Dad gives him a whipping with his belt.

1957 - Billy is more careful next time, grows up normal, goes to college and becomes a successful businessman.

2007 - Billy's dad is arrested for child abuse. Billy is removed to foster care and joins a gang. The state psychologist is told by Billy's sister that she remembers being abused herself and their dad goes to prison. Billy's mom has an affair with the psychologist.

Scenario 5:

Mark gets a headache and takes some aspirin to school.

1957 - Mark shares his aspirin with the Principal out on the smoking dock.

2007 - The police are called and Mark is expelled from school for drug violations. His car is then searched for drugs and weapons.

Scenario 6:

Pedro fails high school English.

1957 - Pedro goes to summer school, passes English and goes to college.

2007 - Pedro's cause is taken up by ACLU. Newspaper articles appear nationally explaining that learning English as a requirement for graduation is racist. ACLU files class action lawsuit against the state school system and Pedro's English teacher. English is then banned from core curriculum. Pedro is given his diploma anyway but ends up mowing lawns for a living because he cannot speak English.

Scenario 7:

Johnny takes apart leftover firecrackers from the Fourth of July, puts them in a model airplane paint bottle and blows up a red ant bed.

1957 - Ants die.

2007- ATF, Homeland Security and the FBI are all called. Johnny is charged with domestic terrorism. The FBI investigates his parents -- and all siblings are removed from their home and all computers are confiscated. Johnny's dad is placed on a terror watch list and is never allowed to fly again.

Scenario 8:

Johnny falls while running during recess and scrapes his knee. He is found crying by his teacher, Mary. Mary hugs him to comfort him.

1957 - In a short time, Johnny feels better and goes on playing.

2007 - Mary is accused of being a sexual predator and loses her job. She faces 3 years in State Prison. Johnny undergoes 5 years of therapy.


Of course it's supposed to be funny. But it's too close to the truth to be funny.

2110 Sigh

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

I'm feeling blah today. Don't know why. I just don't have any enthusiasm for or about anything. Even LOLCats left me cold today. I had a vague feeling of dissatisfaction, of something being wrong, all night last night. Didn't sleep well. My body feels all achy, too. That's a chicken-or-egg thing. Achy because I'm blah, or blah because I'm achy?

I think I'll take the garbage to the end of the driveway and go to bed early.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

2109 Northern Spies

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Mensa dinner tonight, seven of us at the Northern Spy Cafe in High Falls. An intriguing name until you realize that the restaurant is next to apple orchards, and "Northern Spy" is a variety of apple.

As of 5 pm there were supposed to be 10 at table, but as usual, several people canceled at the last moment. That does annoy me.

Here's the crew, without names. None of them have names....


Sunday, November 09, 2008

2108 Ok, I'm a Conspiracy Nut

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Dear Abby,
I have a man I can't trust. He cheats so much I'm not even sure the baby I'm carrying is his. ... has a photo of Pres. Bush on the phone. The caption has him asking, "Is there any quick way for me to revoke all those powers I gave my office?"

In case you missed Craig Ferguson's show last Friday, Ferguson chatted with "President Bush", who was bubble-wrapping items in the oval office. He asked Bush if he had voted, and for whom. Bush said yes, and that he had voted for Obama. Paraphrased: "If I voted for that other guy, we'd have four more years of Cheney's mess. "

Then Bush told Ferguson to tell Obama that he'd be packed up and out of the Oval Office by Monday. Ferguson pointed out that he didn't have to be out until January 20th, "You're still President until then. Check the Constitution." Bush said he couldn't, he didn't have a copy, "Cheney burned them all."

I cracked up.

My opinion is that Cheney wanted to be President all along, but knew he'd never win an election, so G.W. was chosen as an electable, gullible, and easily controlled front man.

I've never felt great animosity toward G.W. Bush. He was simply stupid, and can be forgiven because he didn't do things out of bad intent, and had no understanding of the consequences of his actions. I think Cheney was downright flatout evil. He knew damn well what he was doing, and his intent was not honorable. Evil in every sense. VICE-President. The title fit.

I also think Cheney had something to do with the selection of Palin (although it was Henry Kissinger who convinced McCain to choose her). It would not be a good idea for Cheney to try for Vice-President again, because he's too tied to the failures of the past eight years. Palin would be malleable, "trust me, Little Lady...". McCain would not be so easily controlled, but nobody would expect him to last further than the first four years anyway, and he wasn't likely to change much of anything Cheney had set up, unlike many of the others who had entered the primaries. This ticket was Cheney's dream, if only it could win.

The pundits are all blathering about the "split" in the Republican party. I think there's another split they've missed. I think The Powers of the Republican party didn't really want to win this election. It helps to explain some of the stupidities of the Republican campaign.

The next President is inheriting a royal mess. There are things that will have to be done that will be very unpopular. Many of those actions will look very socialistic, which will strongly alienate the Republican voting base, who will not understand the absolute necessity for those actions. Many problems will require more than four years to show improvement.

So if the next President and Congress does a good job, and gets things turned around and headed onto the right track, it probably won't pay off during the first term, and it could be at the cost of popularity. So why not let the Democrats take that heat, instead of the Republicans? 2012 is the right time to waltz in and reap the benefits.

Conspiracy theories. Oh, my. But I can easily believe them, or some version thereof.

By the way, how and when did intelligence, education, and understanding become a character fault?

I wonder what would happen if we gave an election, and nobody came.

There's a underground movie floating around out there, "Zeitgeist". The "Addendum" clip linked from that site is over two hours long and I haven't watched it yet, but I will. The original is in three parts. The first deals with religion (which will immediately alienate most viewers - an attempt to separate the susceptible from the skeptics, perhaps? - but is worth the time anyway, I think), the second is about 9/11, and the third is about the financial interests that influence, perhaps even rule, the world. Perhaps the new addendum is a fourth part? I don't know yet.

It reminds me a lot of Rosicrucians. I met and was friendly with a group of Rosicrucians when I lived in St. Louis. They gave me pamphlets and books and urged me to join. It smacked of elitism to me - they seemed so smug in their "secret knowledge", their select status. Sorta like Saved Christians. Or Freemasons. I just don't feel I need for that. Anyway, back to the topic ....

As with all films of that type, it's a bit sensationalist, throws in everything including half a dozen styles of kitchen sink, and ignores the possibility of simpler explanations and motives. But among all the dross and leaps of speculation, there's a solid core of fact and explanation. It's up to the viewer to sort it out, and when you do, you're left with a handful of very scary ideas.

One of the chief criticisms of the theories presented, particularly those of the third part on financial interests, is that this conspiracy theory has been around in one form or another for hundreds of years, and has been repeatedly discredited and disproved, and therefore ought to be given up as a myth that's dragged out every so often by disgruntled people for their own purposes. Like when the Nazis used it, for example.

Um, misapplication doesn't make it untrue. The conspiracy may not be as organized and/or hierarchical as the movie implies, but I do believe that the motives certainly exist, in cells and individuals.

Like Cheney. A movement and conspiracy of his own.

In reference to nothing, just in case you aren't aware, the wealth of the top 1% in the US has tripled in the last 35 years, while the bottom 50% haven't advanced at all. Where did the top 1% get it? From the bottom 50%. The rich have their own version of redistributing the wealth. They object to it only when it works in the biblical way - see 2 Corinthians 8:9-15 :

For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich. …

For I do not mean that others should be eased and you burdened, but that as a matter of fairness your abundance at the present time should supply their need, so that their abundance may supply your need, that there may be fairness. As it is written, “Whoever gathered much had nothing left over, and whoever gathered little had no lack.” [here quoting from the Hebrew scriptures, Exodus 16:18]

Where is the line drawn between Christian action and socialism? I suspect it's "when it inconveniences me".

2107 Thud

"Firefighter's Instructions" sign seen recently in a NJ hotel elevator:

When flashing, exit elevator.