recalcitranttoy: (Default)
I have a few tidbits of advice for you morons who think that slamming on your brakes 10 car lengths from the car stopped at the light in front of you, then ever so gingerly inching bit by bit until MAYBE you're at a reasonable distance before the light turns. STOP IT! You are not saving gas. You are causing ME to miss the light because I can't get into the left lane because your stinking SUV that gets 8 miles per gallon is 10 car lengths behind the dumbass who is 8 car lengths behind blocking the path to the left lane. You SUCK!

This has been a public service announcement.
recalcitranttoy: (Default)
It's so sad to watch some of the local fish keepers who have put years into the perfect marine aquarium and brilliant displays of corals and critters, lose it all because of power outages. Most of these guys have back up systems to keep at least air flow going, but not everyone can afford a generator that powers the lights the corals need to live, the protein skimmers to keep waste from building, the heaters to keep the temperature constant, kalk stirrers, etc. to keep things healthy. When you are looking at multi day outages, which some of these people went through, the losses begin to mount. But they're not the only ones who suffered.

A cashier at the local Safeway mentioned in passing that they lost 20,000.00 in milk, and 15,000.00 in ice cream alone. I have no idea what they might have lost in other meats and refrigerated products. If you multiply that by all the shops, and all the private homes that have to throw out refrigerators full of food, you have to ask how Dominion Virginia Power can possibly say that burying the lines wouldn't be cost effective.

I either don't understand something critical here, or somebody isn't quite telling the truth. I've lived in many places around the world, and by far, I've had the most issues with power right here in Northern Virginia. When I first moved here 20+ years ago now, I complained to then Virginia Power about the number of outages we were dealing with, and they said that burying the lines wouldn't make any difference. That's rather difficult for me to believe given that it seems that just about every time we have a storm of any kind, our power at least fluctuates to the point where clocks reset, surge protectors trip, etc. Most of the issues in our area from what I could see were due to downed trees taking the lines with them. How could burying the lines NOT help?

Perhaps if electric companies were held responsible for the losses they cause, we'd see buried lines and better service....
recalcitranttoy: (Default)
I had a bottle of ProMotion vitamins for [livejournal.com profile] calvinthedeeple with about 50 tablets in it. Calvin's beautiful wife Luppy decided to steal the whole damn bottle, drag it outside, chew open the child proof (not dog proof) cap and either eat them all, or share them with her little friends.

I just called the vet and all will be ok they think, except there will be some pretty interesting output for the next few days.

Oh joy, oh rapture.
recalcitranttoy: (Default)
My T1 went down very early Saturday morning. Although Verizon is supposed to dispatch within an hour, since they were busy installing FIOS in places OTHER than my house, we weren't back up until about 6pm, which was just enough time for me to say "gee, we're back up" before having to go to Flying Feet's Hangar Dance at Leesburg airport.

The dance was much fun, with a good band, various leads (some good, some amusing), much fun dancing with [livejournal.com profile] exsmof, much talking with [livejournal.com profile] la_penguinita and her mom, and best of all....airplane geeking.

I want a rotary engine when I grow up :-)

Much pilot geeking to be had, everyone having many opinions about the current airspace situation around DC. There was also photography geeking, as one person had a very old and very cool Leica rangefinder. He had snuck a digital into his pocket though to take those instant gratification pictures we all crave :-).

So today I go to more dancing, and also try to do a bit more knitting. Knit knit knit. But first I must wake up.
recalcitranttoy: (Default)
Garden Gnomes Pop Up In Front Of Frederick Businesses - News Story - WRC | Washington:


FREDERICK, Md. -- Those tacky gnome statues often seen in residential gardens have been showing up in front of businesses in downtown Frederick.
Eric Krasner, owner of CineGraphic Studios, said he found one in front of his business, moments after seeing two women posing for pictures with two gnomes on a bridge over Carroll Creek as he was driving to work. The women left the gnomes behind.
Police said they have not received any reports of stolen gnomes, and the Frederick Arts Council is unaware of any art projects involving gnomes.

The Frederick News-Post reports stealing gnomes from gardens and photographing them in other locations has been a popular prank for years.

recalcitranttoy: (Default)
Story of how someone got the FBI to withdraw a national security letter. Apologies for all the crap on this website that takes 2 weeks to load, but the story is good anyway.
recalcitranttoy: (Default)
Full story

The COFEE, which stands for Computer Online Forensic Evidence Extractor, is a USB "thumb drive" that was quietly distributed to a handful of law-enforcement agencies last June. Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith described its use to the 350 law-enforcement experts attending a company conference Monday.

The device contains 150 commands that can dramatically cut the time it takes to gather digital evidence, which is becoming more important in real-world crime, as well as cybercrime. It can decrypt passwords and analyze a computer's Internet activity, as well as data stored in the computer.

It also eliminates the need to seize a computer itself, which typically involves disconnecting from a network, turning off the power and potentially losing data. Instead, the investigator can scan for evidence on site.

More than 2,000 officers in 15 countries, including Poland, the Philippines, Germany, New Zealand and the United States, are using the device, which Microsoft provides free.
recalcitranttoy: (Default)


So I had this plugged into my MacBook Pro. That brown part is where it melted. There I was, no shit, just typing along, when my power indicator showed that the battery was being used rather than the AC. So I checked it and saw this.

I'm really glad I didn't go to sleep and wake up to a room on fire or anything.
recalcitranttoy: (Default)
Brought to you by a country who STILL doesn't inspect all air cargo, but puts passengers through some of the most abusive nonsense known to humankind in order to get from point A to point B

The US administration is pressing the 27 governments of the European Union to sign up for a range of new security measures for transatlantic travel, including allowing armed guards on all flights from Europe to America by US airlines.
recalcitranttoy: (Default)
As if we don't have enough loonies hanging around DC....


WASHINGTON, DC (WUSA)-- 9NEWS NOW's Bruce Leshan has learned from Capitol Police sources that they have arrested an armed man.

The man was walking down 1st St NE with a tactical vest, a loaded shotgun, a tactical bow and arrow and a samurai sword in a hidden case behind his back.

His Chevy with Utah license plates came up positive for explosive traces when the dogs sniffed it. There are more weapons in the car.

The area has been cordoned off during the investigation.
recalcitranttoy: (Default)
Again on Boing Boing

This kid's parents have been trying to get his name off, but no luck. You'd think a name like Samuel Adams would NOT be one on the list, but well here we go again, eh?
recalcitranttoy: (Default)
Things are getting really exciting over here with the crazed cockatoo. The good news is that someone who makes titanium shark suits is willing to try to make something for the evil one. She currently has a hard plastic collar on that comes in 2 pieces and attaches with screws. She has tried unsuccessfully to get it off. It is mostly a staging point for the large plastic disc that actually prevents her from mutilating, but she always gets the large plastic disc off.

Today she tried a new tactic with the hard plastic collar. She stands on the bottom of her cage, head cocked to one side, pretending she has a neck injury, in hopes I will remove the collar. I say pretend because when I pick her up, her head perks right up straight and she starts talking and making cockatoo happy sounds. She acts normally as long as she's out of the cage, then head goes right over and she looks pitiful again.

And so today I tried to measure the monster bird to try to get an idea to the titanium shark suit man. C2 thought that the measuring tape was something evil, and ran squawking around the room. Then she noticed the cat food in the laundry room, ran in there (watching a cockatoo run is a hoot) buried her beak in the cat food bowl, and flung food everywhere. Then she proceeded to eat said cat food. Well alrighty then. After her feast, I again tried to measure her and she again ran around the room. Third time's the charm. I stepped on her tail so she couldn't go anywhere, dodged the angry beak, and measured the evil cockatoo.

Returning her to the cage, she snuck out as I was closing the door, repeating the running around the room routine, complete with loud squawking. Putting cat food in her bowl seemed to make things a bit better, and this time she stayed. *phew*

AIEEEEEE
recalcitranttoy: (Default)
*sigh* Another season of cockatoo insanity. Having a Moluccan Cockatoo as a pet is a dodgy subject. I am rethinking my previous position of how captive bred hand fed cockatoos make the most wonderful pets. I'm afraid that at least for females, it isn't that great an idea.

Every year about this time, C2 starts to go insane. She is a female cockatoo hatched in my garage and hand raised by me. Apparently, she is having the serious hornies and doesn't know what to do about it. Therefore, she gets utterly frustrated and begins "over-preening" which is a euphemism for plucking her feathers out and then ripping her chest open. For the past two years this has resulted in surgery to repair the damage she has caused herself. This year we thought we'd circumvent that and give her anti hormone shots BEFORE the over preening began, in hopes that would short circuit things. Wrong.

So tonight the E collar went back on the bird. I have no idea how long she will be on the bottom of the cage on her back screaming and trying to get the collar off. But if it doesn't stay on, big problems.

So, why don't we just get her a male and let her be done with it? Great idea, but there are serious problems with that approach. The first being that C2 is a very small cockatoo. A normal size male is almost 2x her size. Cockatoos in captivity often undergo a strange phenomenon where the male wishes to breed, and if the female is not receptive, he tries to force her into the nest box, often resulting in ripping the female's beak off. The second problem is the idea of possibly breeding an animal that has this type of psychological problem.

So here we are in our yearly dilemma. What's worse is that we're leaving on Friday. The house sitter will likely be ok, and will have the number for the vet, but it's still an unhappy prospect.

Time to go check the bird screaming on the bottom of the cage again and hope I don't lose a finger.
recalcitranttoy: (Default)
The frustration and helplessness is almost consuming. We can only hope she doesn't decide to try running across Georgetown Pike. *sigh*
recalcitranttoy: (Default)
email me or whatever. willow is missing. Please keep an eye peeled.
recalcitranttoy: (oh shit)
I'm really ok, just a bit pissy/grumpy. I'll get over it. I really do appreciate knowing I have some palses out there in the ether. I haven't been sleeping so great lately (yeah, even worse than normal), so that's likely most of it. I'll perk up later.

Tried napping, gave up, got bored, grabbed a doggie and thought I would groom him. However....the one I grabbed was Hobbs, the Dummy Dog. Dummy is the biggest of the cresteds, which is likely why I grabbed him first. Dummy is a "hairless" which means that he only has an undercoat of hair in places, which looks a lot better if the dog is shaved. Firing up the shaver, I began removing the white wiry hair from the Dummy Dog. Things ended up with the hair being removed from the Dummy Dog and replaced onto the Dummy Human who was covered in white hair that doesn't really brush off easily. Oh looky, another task for me - laundry, cuz I was out of clothes and didn't want to be kicked out of wherever I go for shedding.

Then I found that happy fun AT&T is SO lame that it randomly gets just enough signal to let through an SMS or voicemail notification, but not enough to return said SMS or FETCH the voicemail :-). Gee, thanks AT&T.

Then I tried watching TV...power outage had put the DirecTV DVR into a funky mode stuck on a really horrid channel running a marathon of Stupid People Shoot Stupid Videos of Their Stupid Kids. *EUGH* That was just NOT acceptable. Luckily, a power cycle took care of it and now I can watch my afternoon STTNG while ignoring work related emails and anything that didn't have to do with more thought than it takes to chew gum.

I'm sure things will improve as the day goes on....
recalcitranttoy: (Default)
The appearance of a Hobbit this last weekend brought with it his attempts to spread the word of "hypermiling" or the practice of changing driving in order to squeeze every last drop out of a gallon of gas. While at first glance it seems like a great idea, it's not quite so much fun when you're stuck behind someone whose speed wildly changes on each curve and hill, as one writer quipped "driving like a 90-year-old in a mobile sweat lodge."

As I was stuck behind an idiot on 193 last night, I began thinking about how frustrating it is to be irrevocably trapped behind someone who habitually drives WAY under the speed limit, giving rise to inordinate amounts of road rage like responses when all I wanted to do was to get home. This particular person was obviously not a hypermiler, slamming on brakes going up hills, down hills, on curves, and whenever someone approached from the opposite direction. This was on a windy hilly two lane road where passing is impossible unless you really want to die, with this fool going between 15 and 25 the entire way. This type of frustration causes accidents, as people try to find a way, sometimes ANY way, around the jerk. To think that some people drive this slowly on PURPOSE, and not as the result of having no brain cells to rub together, strikes me as entirely selfish and maddening.

Without even considering some of the obviously dangerous hypermiling "techniques" that include drafting 18 wheelers and taking turns at 50mph because you happen to be going downhill and can coast at the time (to save momentum of course), the idea of coasting to a stop sign from 1/2 a mile out, coasting down a hill and letting inertia carry you to the next hill regardless of the speed you wind up with, and constantly driving below the speed limit, leaving huge gaps between you and the rest of traffic, is to me the same as Mr. Magoo blindly putzing down the road while everyone else gets into an accident trying to get out of his way.

Echoes of Driver's Ed come to mind where the instructor kept telling us that the safest way to travel is to maintain a constant speed according to the posted limits. That way other drivers know what to expect and fewer try to zip around you or dive out of your way, causing accidents. That's impossible to do with speeding down hills to build up speed to coast up the next hill, hopefully keeping the car moving through the apex.

In this world of people having to get places on time or face dire consequences, already stymied by random road construction, vastly overcrowded and poorly planned highways with death merges, idiots who text message while speeding along at 70 while weaving in and out of traffic, etc., adding yet one more obstacle can be downright fatal. While our pal crests the hill at 40 on the interstate in the second to right lane while someone is trying to merge in and someone else is trying to dodge around him to the right, laws of physics take over and someone is likely to get hurt or killed. Does this matter to Mr. Magoo, getting 60 mpg? It certainly matters to the person on Georgetown Pike who is stuck behind the selfish wonder doing 15 at the crest of the hill to save some gas while 15 to 20 cars pile up behind, and the guy doing the speed limit goes around a blind corner only to slam on his breaks to avoid hitting the last one in line causing a 5 car pile up closing the road for 3 hours waiting for the med evac. Magoo drives on, blissfully unaware of the carnage behind, cheerfully announcing that he has raised his mpg average by .1.

Sure, gas savings is a great idea, and there are wonderful ways to do that. From checking tire fills, to keeping the car maintained properly, to making sure you aren't hauling 200 lbs of crap in your trunk you don't need, to driving more smoothly. You can even buy a hybrid. I drive mine the way I normally drive, and I use plenty of AC, and I get a respectable 46 mpg. But when you're going for that gas savings, please try to remember that there is a world full of other people, some of whom actually wish to get where they are going and would rather make their own choices about the speed at which to do it.
recalcitranttoy: (Default)
So you spend 600.00 for a new way cool phone (yeah, don't give me grief about that... I love my toys and must have them...MUST MUST) and you find that the headphone jack is NOT the same as the ipod headphone jack and you need to use special ear buds or whatever the hell you want to call them. Well that's just plain flaming STUPID. So, when I was at the Apple store yesterday picking up my lovely now fixed and not making ungodly fan noises MacBook Pro, I asked the CSA (Confused Sales Associate) for a new cable I could use to plug the iPhone into the aux jack in my Prius. He told me that I needed an adapter, and provided a Belkin adapter thing that I'm sposed to plug into the iPhone in one end and put my aux cable into the other.

First stupid thing.... open the package. Really, folks, there has to be a middle ground between armor coated impenetrable plastic and something that can be opened quickly and the product pocketed. Once you tear open the perforated back open thing, you find that there is ANOTHER layer of impenetrable plastic with NO perforation, making it utterly impossible to open without a chain saw. So much for testing it out on the way home.

So we get home....since I'm not allowed to use power tools or overly sharp objects, the hubby opened the package and out came the HONKING RIDICULOUS adapter, over 1 inch long. Who KNEW you needed a pretentiously over long lever to bust your iPhone's recessed output jack? So I plug the thing in. Guess what? It doesn't WORK RIGHT! Yep, that's correct... The only way it works in the Prius is to put it in part way and wiggle it around. While that might be great for SOME things, audio fidelity is not one of them. Sounds like crap. *ARGH*

So a pox on Belkin for crappy packaging, and a crappy product. Another pox on Apple for not STANDARDIZING their damn output jacks. Pox pox pox!
recalcitranttoy: (Default)
Still no word. This is excruciating. I was hoping to get some kind of information before I leave for rehearsal around 6:45 or so, but not sure if we're going to get anything.

I truly wish that there was a way to keep families constantly updated on the status of their loved ones during surgeries of this type. Even knowing what stage of the surgery they are currently looking at would be helpful.

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