Thursday, June 30, 2011

Computers computers and more computers

I have to admit I was one of the first to get one of those new fangled pocket calculators when they first came out. Math not being my strong point left an easy choice as part of a job back in that era involving crunching numbers. No, I was no bean counter but I did have to submit reports with figures and percentages and all that. Strange thing was that after using the thing for just a short while I began to memorize many of the answers. I believe that's called rote memory or something like that (another story). The calculators caught on and soon what was once something the size of a brick slowly evolved into something the size of a credit card. These were, buy the way, the first computers. And soon everyone had one. The computer that went to the moon on the very first trip was said to have as much computing power as a pocket calculator 128K. And it was probably the first to crash on national TV although no one realized it.
I can't exactly recall where or when computers started making their way into the rest of our daily products. Maybe it was cars, but like cockroaches they started showing up everywhere. In dishwashers in ranges and refrigerators were the latest must have (hey it was high tech it must be better right?). But no it didn't really make these products any better only more costly and gave the appliance one more thing to break down. And if you've ever delved into how things really work you'd realize how simple things used to be made. Sorry but my refrigerator has no need to dial the internet and rack up my phone bill. It's probably going to surf the web for images of those new slim line freezers anyway.
I can't think of anything that they haven't tried to squeeze a computer into. But so many of the things we use in our daily lives don't need a computer and worked just as well without one.

That's my two cents for the day. And you?

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

We have become the disposable world

There was once a time when most of the products we buy were able to be repaired. There was the TV repair man who actually made house calls. Appliance repairmen who'd swing by the house and fix a stove or refrigerator with a simple phone call. I'm beginning to think that that is the case only if your appliance is causing eminent danger to life and limb and you don't have the shekels to buy a new one. Most times however the cost of repair exceeds the replacement cost so unless you have a certain fondness or sentimental attachment to the washer then it's off to recycle. Even then you must pay for the privilege. Seems the only repairs left are relegated to building parts not easily tossed or hard to get at without some major demolition. With a never ending stream of garbage to our landfills is it any wonder we're swimming in garbage. Most people have the decency to dispose of their unwanteds in the proper manner at the curb on garbage day or at a recycling center. Some however must take great joy in dumping. I can almost hear the snickers going through their minds when they think they've saved the $35 to have an appliance hauled away. What they fail to realize is that at some point that trash must be dealt with and the end result lands up costing much more than if they had done it right in the first place.
Maybe it's all come down to a matter of time. Time it's said is money and we never seem to have enough time. A throw away seems simpler than dealing with a cleaning or repair bill. We'll just dump the costs on somebody else so the thinking goes. But much of our trash lands up in rivers and streams and at the bottom of lakes. Out of sight out of mind has always been the mantra but we're starting to reach critical mass much like the hoarder who has nowhere to sleep because of the piles of garbage. And even with recycling much of what could be reprocessed isn't because it takes time to separate and time is money but how much will it cost to clean up in the long run?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Why is it that the last straw is violence?

When protests are ignored and letters to the editor go unanswered and mass gatherings are ignored by MSM things can get violent. Nothing seems to get more attention than overturned flaming cars, bloody heads and tear gas canisters fired by the boys in blue. We know that the fringe groups do it for the mere pleasure of destroying property with no real agenda. Who doesn't like to take a whack at a old wreck with a sledge hammer and pay for the privilege? One amusement attraction involves breaking cheap dishes for the simple pleasure of breaking something with no legal ramifications. Is it something ingrained in our genetic make up? The need to destroy something, anything with a sense of glee. Could explain the ear shattering sounds of Metal music. But I guess we destroy in lesser fashions in our daily lives. Whether it be in the form of making the that pile of paperwork disappear. Ripped through that stack of memos and you did such a great job that here's another stack. Yes we take a near sick pleasure in destruction. I was there when they blew up the Kingdome and was somewhat taken back when the dust settled and the crowd gave a hardy round of applause and high fives to us. But should I be surprised when one of the favorites of Mythbusters is yet ever larger explosions to the point that the boys must be over a mile a way to prevent personal injury?
And now violent video games are protected by free speech laws. There's a bit of perversion in that line of thinking. So now junior can engross himself in all the mayhem his hearts desires but woe be to him should he try and see anything more than partial nudity on screen or video. It would make for an interesting experiment to give junior a choice between firing a 50 cal or watching live sex.

Last straw? It's slowly becoming the first straw.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Never say never

After Fukoshima disaster it's safe to say that, in the vane of Murphy*, anything can happen or in his case go wrong. I think that's what has kept me alive all these years. I've always assumed and planed for the worst. A few times worse hit but I was prepared for it. Once again we may be seeing worse in action with the fires that are now in New Mexico. Let me title this then: Fire a ticket to burn
Once can plan for a bad situation but it's the truly deranged mind that can plan for multiple Armageddon events. And as we continue to let our infrastructure fall apart this thinking just might not be as deranged as one might think. I'm sure the Japanese were not expecting multiple bad happenings when the earthquake and tsunami hit. After all the plant was built to withstand a 7.5. Too bad Murphy gave them a 9.0 and the tidal wave that followed.

Now with the fire in New Mexico headed for Los Alamos there may be little worry about the fire reaching the core of any reactor but it may be another story if it hits the control infrastructures not protected by concrete several feet thick. I've seen films of tests where they flew a 707 into the side of a similar test structure and while the aircraft was totally obliterated it left barely a mark on the concrete. Impressive no? But all the best laid plans are no match for Murphy because when conditions are just right he rears his ugly head and wrecks havoc on our seemingly mundane lives.

* Murphy / Murphys's Law = What ever can go wrong will go wrong.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

What a crock

So much of what the Lame Stream media would have you believe is a crock. Republicans running around like chickens with their heads cut off touting the the end is near unless we nearly eliminate all of government. Interestingly they weren't worried about debt when they occupied the oval office with 2 wars and tax cuts for the wealthy. And those on the other side of the aisle seemingly wringing their hands in a "what will we do attitude?" It's all a crock. The boys on Wall Street have already told both parties there will be no default. This is but Kabuki theater. A mere game to score political points. The teabagger crowd would love nothing better than cut all social programs as long as it's not theirs'. How completely stupid is it to say they want nothing to do with a government run health care plan but 'you better not touch my Medicare' which as we all know is a government run health care plan?

Even our president doesn't have a complete grasp of the economics of the work force. In a recent trip to Pittsburgh Obama was touting the need for manufacturing jobs. All well and good on the face of it but think of the long term ramifications. In touring the robotics department at Carnegie Mellon university he was in awe of the progress of their robotics program. Robots could be created to do every manner of manual labor. But there's a short sightedness about all that. Once built a robot could easily do the work of many and the need for labor diminishes. Then once robots are built to build and repair robots what need is there for humans? This is I believe something of a lemon theory also called the law of diminishing returns. Squeeze a lemon long enough and eventually there's no longer any juice to be had. I have witnessed first hand this theory over the past 20 years. When a task used to require three dozen people now takes six or eight this is a great advance in productivity but not so good for the 30 people left on the sidelines of the work force.

What's truly disheartening in all of this is that we have the laws in place to rectify many of our economic short comings yet there seems to be a disdain to actually enforce these laws. It makes one wonder exactly who is in the background pulling the strings but we only have to look no further than Wall Street and their ilk to know. But Wall Street has become such a generic term with no real faces upon which to put the blame. And with the largest theft in world history there's no question about where much of the blame should fall. Notice how only the low hanging fruit were given so much as a trial and are now serving time. And if memory serves correct that's only one or two individuals.

What a crock indeed.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Darn I left my beaver photo in another computer

Guess I'll have to use a pussy photo instead.

Just too much going on at present to keep up with things but life goes on.

Bank fails later

One bank in GA failed

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Difficult to keep up with things

As the heat get slowly turned up on our green friend here it reminds me that we too are getting slowly boiled. The rights we once had are gradually turning to a vapor cloud like a splash of water on the desert ground. Yet as of late the heat seems to have been cranked up to broil in an effort to squeeze the last drops of monetary value out of the masses. Weren't slaves treated better in days past? At least they got medical treatment when needed. All hail the grand (fill in your own image of the fat and greedy). He has come to steal provide you with more by giving all you own to our wealthy benefactors. Once we have gained all you own then and only then can we start creating the jobs you so desperately need. Jobs like aged removal expert a position in high demand once we rid the land of any low priced medical care. We'll get rid of the pesky and costly old and disabled folk that keep sucking the life blood out of the privileged class. Bring Out Your Dead Inc. will be in need of some strong backs. One to pull the cart and at least two to carry the bodies. And what's left after the last cents have been sucked from a retirement account? Oh right, almost forgot the funeral. Well since he had nothing left the funeral costs will have to be covered by donating the body to the local university for study. Then and only then can the body be processed and not to be a complete waste could be used to provide electricity. So much cheaper than having to transport coal. Now if only we can figure out how to make a profit on the ashes?

Monday, June 20, 2011

Quick monday morning post

Just how does a dictatorial government crack down when there's nothing left to crack? What, kill everybody except a select few then not trust even them? Syria, Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, and not to forget Iran, Yemen, and Bahrain all going through the throws of revolution. Some further along than others but then one has to stop and ask is anything really changing or is the game the same and only the names have been changed to protect the guilty? Perhaps a state could be set up for former dictators with the assistance of their former stooges and cronies. As I see it this is nothing more than replacing one dictator for another. We've seen this in the past. To dig through the grey matter we've had Hitler, Stalin, Batista, Amine, Pinochet, Noriega and so many more it's hard to count. One rises after another falls but the outcome is the same. Those not following the party line are either incarcerated or liquidated. Then at some point even the trusted few of the inner circle come under scrutiny and the regime begins to fall. Or Herr leader becomes so deranged that he defies logic.

So starting today everyone will be required to wear their underwear on the outside. Hope you changed your drawers this morning.

Just a thought

Armchair quater backs have rights too you know.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

It's Saturday morning cartoons

So what was your favorite? With a bowl of your favorite cereal lounging on the rug as close as you could get. Has the TV warmed up yet?
And there is the Looney Toons of my mind. The odd connections one goes through when half awake in the morning. The news shows touting the latest republican non accomplishments. The thought of Sarah Palin and her manner of thinking sneaked into the grey matter. How she tried to rewrite history of Paul Revere. That got me to thinking about how they'd love nothing better to erase Jefferson from the American presidential line. Which got me to thinking of Jefferson. I've been to Monticello a couple of times. The one thing I remember is his cool rooms. No not that they were cool as in hip but cool to preserve fruits and veggies. It could be 95 degrees outside and 50 or 60 inside. A big help in a time sans the latest ice box. How far we've come since the days of underground storage. Only those with lots of loot could afford such an arrangement. Then came the fruit cellar. That was the poor mans' cool room. A small closet in the basement with no windows buried in the earth. We had two such rooms in the last two places I've lived but that was many years ago. Going down there was kind of creepy especially as a kid and definitely scary after seeing the movie Psycho. But this was where Mom stored an abundance of canned goods and potatoes and such when bought on sale. I guess this was practical in an era when refrigerators were barely four feet tall and were lucky to hold more two days worth of food for a large family.
So where are we now? We have refers that are connected to the internet and will tell you when the need repair. I don't think I like that idea. I don't want a machine smarter than me. They are definitely smarter than Sarah Palin.

Okay back to the toons. I think that Road Runner is about to be caught.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Friday beaver time already?

Must say those Canadians are sore losers. No great fan of hockey but I did catch a few news items from the Stanley Cup. One guy checked so hard he won't be playing for a while. Then after the loss Vancouver was set ablaze. I can't say I've been that mad since George Bush won his second term in office.

Today's word then is vituperate. Look that one up in your Funk and Wagnells. Okay okay lazy right click and hit Google search then.

Bank fails later

Two more banks have failed this week one in FL and one in GA

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Nothing for today

Just too lazy to blog today and most of the 'news' pisses me off anyway.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Why I'll never use 'cloud' computing

Cloud computing would be like storing your valuables in a convertible in the bad part of town. You'd wake up the next morning to find a nice slice in the roof and everything gone. What's this cloud thing you may ask? Simply put rather than have a computer program that runs on your own computer (things like spread sheets, word processing and the like) all of these would be stored on a central server including all of your personal info like passwords account numbers etc. The idea is to make very small computers that could run any number of programs or applications without having to take up hard disk space on the device you were using. Sounds great for smart phone users right? Except for several drawbacks like the fact that in order to have a secure system there must be multiple back ups. If the main servers were to be shut down by a power outage or natural disaster then it might take a day or two to recover your data. And although the place where the servers may reside is like Ft. Knox intercepting such info from the outside may be quite easy for a hacker. In fact listening to Kevin Mitnick just yesterday it would be easy for any hacker to breach such security. Kevin (a former hacker) now a computer security expert was asked by a South American country to check their early works on a cloud system that they had developed. He was easily able to break in and access the information.

After seeing what just happened to the IMF computers in the last few days it makes me wonder when they'll be able to hack a regular checking account. Then the thought occurred to me that maybe we are in the beginning of a global cyber war. Or maybe it's already started and we just didn't see it happening. That's open for debate. What better way to destroy a foe than to cut off his access to money. Will we have to return to some former cash and carry society to survive? When you think of it nothing in this society runs without a computer and our tech support is getting weaker and weaker the more complicated the systems get. Then there's Wall Street with their super computers. One glitch there could bring down an entire nation.

So I think I'll leave the clouds where they belong up in the sky.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Beaver was busy this week maybe that's why he's mad

Friday beaver is dragging his tail. With the weather slowly warming it's the start of damming season and to have to look for a mate while time permits is a full time job. No time for wieners or wars for this guy.

No banks failed this week. Only one bank failed last week in SC.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Too busy to blog but...

With a bowl of cereal in front the wall street journal to the side peering at the latest Google non story, Fox News in the background, a blue tooth in the ear and a smart phone taking photos of the nether regions, this has become the epitome of modern life. The voices in your head telling you that it would be a ginger peachy idea to cut off your left arm. Did I mail that electric bill yet? And turn off that Def Leopard I can't hear myself think.
And we wonder why just why our kids are attention defect and hyper. Reminds me I need another cup of coffee. Three sugars please.
So it's off to work I go to try and do the jobs of three people who are either too lazy or too stupid to do the job right the first time.
Life goes on. Eight hours.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Oddities of the English language and other peculiarities

I'm being eaten alive.
(Far better than being eaten dead I must presume)

The word salads of Sarah Palin defy logic.
So Paul Revere was going to warn the British?
Love to see her go up against a fifth grader in any contest of intellect.

News media is all over the Weiner showing his wiener story.
Ooo not of the family values crowd who seek out hookers and cover up trysts in South America? Hey at least he wasn't going after underage male senate pages. What a pecksniffian lot they are. Now look that that one up in your Funk and Wagnells. Come to think of it more than half the families in this country aren't families. Wrap that one around your logic circuits.

And lastly I must say the British have a far better mastery of the language than its' bastard children American offspring. But we do have more fun at butchering meaning and context.

More when I can think of it. Now it's back to what war or conflict around the world to take your mind off the fact that with no job you won't be able to retire? I've lost track.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Once again it's beaver Friday

Careful with the fruit and veggies there guy haven't you heard about the newest e coli outbreak? Makes one wonder why wild animals don't contract such diseases.

In political news the rotund governor of New Jersey would like nothing better than run all the poor people out of the state. How Christian of him to want to cut families off the Medicaid leaving them with no health insurance while he gives yet more cash to companies that don't need it. Your family make $103 a week in N.J.? Then too bad if Christie gets his way. I keep wondering why somebody doesn't put a cap in his fat ass.

The word clown Mrs. Palin continues her Media Whore National tour, but I'm paying no attention to that. Thank god there's a channel change button on the tv and radio remotes. Gad are we getting lazy. A remote for the car radio?

In other animal news the Germans want to use vultures to find corpses. Hey I thought that's what happened when you die in the wild, the vultures circle overhead. A new reality show maybe? Vulture Detective.

Oh well got to run bank fails later.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

I got nothing

The circus clown parade of republicans just keeps marching along. With back stabbers and flip floppers falling over each other to gain media attention it all reminds me of a Monty Python sketch. You know the idiot finals where the last idiot standing after trying to kill himself wins. Even got a call from Mike Huckleberry well automated. I must get one of those caller ids although I'm sure they'd have figured out how to hide their identity.

That all for now. Now to try to think of a clever beaver routine for tomorrow.