Dinkytown Random

Went to the Dinkytown Stupormarket today to get taco fixin’s. My relationship with the market is now about the same as that with the refrigerator at midnight. Nah… nah… nothing looks good… wonder how long that shit’s been there… nah… nah… hope someone throws that away before some fool eats it… nah… nah… fuck it, I’m hungry enough now to eat anything so this will do.

They did, though, have some purty lookin’ Anaheim chiles, so I grabbed up four of them. The checker held ’em up and asked, “So, you guys roast these and put them in your food?”

Uh, no. The cat’s a pervert and she fucks herself with them. Of course we roast them and put them in our food, fool!

She rang them up as Pasillas. I’ll not complain. She’s new. Only been there about a dozen years now.

My ex-wife was working the next counter over. We haven’t seen that in years and years. She’s usually holed up in the office where she can’t piss off customers. I didn’t recognize her. Wouldn’t know her if she were standing on our porch. Wouldn’t want to, but still. I didn’t think I’d smoked that much pot.

Next stop: the poor store. The “dollar store.” There’s no sense paying more at the market for the same brand of crap, anyway. We’re not so thrilled about the way they treat their employees, but it’s 2019 so if we voted with our dollars we’d starve to death. At the checkout, some guy had about a dozen bottles of Crystal Geyser water. I’ve peed into the headwaters of it, Iceberg Lake, a glacial remnant at about 13,200′ on the eastern face of Mt. Whitney. I think of that every time I see Arrowhead or Crystal Geyser. Consumer Reports just recently identified Crystal Geyser as being overly full of arsenic. I mentioned it to the manager/checker chick after the guy left. She said, in her fucking ignorant oil field trash accent, “The way ah figger it, somethin’s gonna kill ya anyway, so ah just don’t worry about it.”

It just shouldn’t be so easy to feel like the smartest guy in town.


Beware Demonic Dildoes

In case you’re one who cares about the tech sector’s gladness to play the part of demonic dildo in our culture, an article: Tracking Phones, Google Is a Dragnet for the Police.

The wrongly accused guy highlighted in the article got lucky: the system worked for him. For many, it doesn’t. The United States incarcerates a number of political prisoners. Pigs routinely gun down innocents and misdemeanor offenders — not to mention beating shit out of people with the always-acceptable excuse of “subject resisted arrest.” Prosecutors routinely suppress clearly exculpatory evidence. Judges can be bought or blackmailed. Jailhouse rats testify falsely, often with coaching from pigs and prosecutors, in order to sweeten their own predicaments, and juries are routinely denied knowledge of the rat fuckers’ motives. In short, the more innocent you are, the more you have to fear — you’re leaving digital footprints everywhere you go, while the smart(er) criminal leaves few or no footprints at all. Google will narc you off, but not the criminal (or sufficiently aware innocent) who knows better than to give Google incriminating information.

I’m very seriously considering fucking Google (scAmazon, Facefuck, et al.) off right at my gateway router so that no clients on my LAN can reach out to them. I’m stuck using a few of Google’s services because I’ve clients who foolishly rely upon them for email, and (G-Suite) office software that I write software for, but that’s just the shit that happens when you live in a society ruled by monopolists and oligarchs.

If my puddle here should disappear, it’s not an indication that I’m disabled or dead. It will be instead, should it happen, just an indication that I’ve reached the limit of my tolerance of the abusive gods of “social media.”

Be well, friends and neighbors. I’m off to craft up some firewall rules now.

[UPDATE:] It turns out that filtering at the router is a no-go and I really should have seen it coming. It worked fine with the unencrypted HTTP, but the filter cannot peer into TLS-encrypted HTTPS. So it’s still just browser plugins and DNS-based rejection after all, which means that any client that doesn’t use my DNS server can still reach right on out to the shit domains. Guess who’s going to eventually deploy a Linux box as a router/firewall/transparent proxy. Hint: it’s me. 😀

A View From The Playhouse 2019-03-28

Springtime in the Rockies. We opened our windows today for the first time this year. It was about 65°F out both yesterday and today, though there’s still snow and ice about in the shaded spots. The weather gods tell us to expect above average precipitation for the next couple of months. It matters not at all to us; we’ve no reason to fear flooding, mudslides, sub-foundation erosion, et cetera. I’ll just have to break down and replace my feedlot boots so that I can take the brush cutter to the grass without ruining my jeans. No problem.

I think I’ve mentioned before that the Orange Loser’s tariffs beat the shit out my business last year. Of course: that pathetic loser’s posing is costing We The Consumers $1.4B/month and somebody’s losing it. This is the shit that happens when you put a guy who’s famous for losing other people’s money into the Offal Orifice. But then, it’s only seventy bucks per person…

… I got hit for about four hundred times that, personally. Double-plus ungood. But, somehow, the major client who was also stomped by poser-boy recently decided that it was time to buy some cool new custom software rather than allow the deferred upgrades list to grow interminably.

I deployed a new piece of my bitchin-ass software system this evening and fired off a message to my contact at the client company to let him know that it’s out there and has so far left neither craters nor corpses. I wasn’t expecting a response, as it was around nine o’clock in his home timezone, but he responded with an upgrade request that adds substantial features to the last seven modules I’ve deployed and the next handful in the queue. Then he told me that the stuff I’ve been adding is “gaining admirers” and that I’m a hero who was until now unaware of it. That felt good. I like knowing that my work is appreciated.

I suppose it means more to me now than it used to because (a) the last year was unsavory, and (b) I’m feelin’ alright without the former chronic back pain, without the free disease I got from the ER, and with my whiplash healing nicely — it’s mostly not waking me any more, and my usual abnormal sleep cycle seems to have resumed, at last. Arrhythmic sleep is such a pain in the ass. The whiplash pain threw me into a non-24 (hour) cycle, which sucked all by itself and caused me to fear another month-long insomnia. But the insomnia didn’t come, so phew and stuff.

We finally found our way into the boutique shop of a friendly acquaintance who’s retailing mostly boho (boho as we older folks know it) clothing in an out of the way place on the edge of downtown. She and her husband have been whacked by all manner of misfortune since I’ve known them and, we just found out, they’ve taken much the same humble tack that we have to cope with the collapsing economy. A little different, but much the same. They’re both self-employed and nervous, but living lower is a comfort these days to folks who’ve tasted reality. As she put it, “I’ve been way, way up, a couple of times, but lost it all. Furniture, everything.”

It ain’t you, sister. It never matters that it’s not your fault when it’s your turn.

Amethyst has decided that she’s going to do her part to keep the woman’s little boutique alive. Dinkytown has never had a place that sold “Amethyst clothes” (what she calls “hippie/gypsy/boho” when asked to describe her taste), and she’s been deferring necessary clothing replacement since the loser’s tariffs kicked my ass, so the happy turn in my business is timed nicely. One who is about as close to a friend as we’re going to get in Dinkytown can use (and as far as I’m concerned, deserves) the income and we’ve got a smidgen to contribute so, as they say, fuckin’ A.

Also, Amethyst’s jewelry may be placed in our nearly-a-friend’s boutique now that the other boutique no longer requires an exclusive territory. It’s a better location for us. The proprietor of the new place understands the local market better — she’s not trying to educate anyone’s taste, and offers only what she can that’s of good quality and within her market’s price range. Amethyst’s jewelry is a better fit to the store’s line, too. It’d be nice to see her stuff moving a bit more briskly. She, too, likes the feeling of her work being appreciated. And ya know, if you do productive work that you enjoy and people actually appreciate it, these days, you’re in a small but happy minority.

I know few any more whose direct work produces tangible, durable products. Living in Dinkytown probably has a lot to do with that — the only durable thing produced around here is leather that the meat is still using. But most of the folks I used to know who made stuff aren’t in the making stuff business any more. A lot of them are doing things that are about to be automated away; the software I’m going to write tomorrow would have been a managerial job.

The stuff I’ve recently written would have been a department with a staff of clerical and data entry people, a manager, and supervisor, once upon a time. No company can afford to hire those folks these days, and if we had a system that worked properly that would be preferable. My work doesn’t automate people out of jobs but, in a system that works properly, doing so would be a good thing. “Properly” being one that recognizes that humanity has a moral obligation to feed, clothe, house, et cetera, people. All of ’em, ‘cuz we is us. The human population keeps on increasing while the need of human labor keeps on decreasing, and we’re well past the crossover point beyond which tying the necessaries of life to expenditure of labor is immoral: we are causing suffering and death by it.

The availability of actual resources here in the US is not a problem — there are more vacant homes than homeless people, food is so abundant that something like forty percent of it is discarded, massive quantities of finished clothing are recycled without ever even being distributed, and so on. The stuff exists, but we pride ourselves on knowing how to decide who doesn’t get any. And who’s entitled to too much.

Looks to me like the orange loser poser-boy Trump doesn’t want to get re-elected any more than he wanted to be elected the first time. More and more folks are noticing that they’re not in line to get $130,000 to keep quiet about being fucked by that fat monkey. I wonder which hand the Democrats are going to use to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory this time. With very sound majorities of the electorate so clearly in favor of progressive action, the only way to lose is to not listen to them. But it says something about those putzes that it’s long been a truism that low voter turnout favors the Republicans: the Democrats would rather lose than represent their constituency. So I’ve no idea what to think about the growing brouhaha, except that if the Democrats fail to listen to their constituency (the vast majority who support progressive action) this time around, things may get ugly fast. Unsurprisingly, if so: mass movements are a pretty well understood phenomenon. And we don’t seem capable of producing (the mythical versions of) Abraham Lincolns at the rate we need them.

There never seems to be that caliber of hero around when you need one. Oh well.

But we know a chick with a boutique, and the precipitation outlook is generally good for those who drink our bathwater, so that’s cool.


Ben Cort: Propagandist Loon

Silly me. I read “tags” here in the Voidpress and “marijuana” is one of ’em.

People are tagging the propaganda of a loon by the name of Ben Cort who makes money being an anti-pot crusader. A guy who says goofy shit (about vaporizers) like “You need to understand that we are not talking about the plant, the drug that people consumed in years past. It has fundamentally changed and that genie can’t go back in the bottle.” Uh, yeah, Benny, it is the plant — the oil of it. The psychoactive part of it that we use the plant for. And, “We have changed from a plant with two-to-three percent THC in it, to something that is 90-plus percent THC, put into sodas, water, gummy bears…”

Ya know what? If you’d sold someone shit weed of two percent THC forty years ago, you’d still remember the beating you got for it. And the argument makes as much sense as saying that vodka is more dangerous than beer because drinking a twelve ounce glass will drop you like a stone. X milligrams of THC is X milligrams of THC, whether you smoke the flower or the concentrate, or eat an edible of some kind. People ingest the quantity required to achieve the desired effect, whether it’s pain relief, seizure suppression or a nice mellow buzz that they’re after, and no matter the form in which it is consumed. And, unlike ethanol which completely scrogs your perception and judgment, making it easy to exceed whatever limit you’d set for yourself, cannabis leaves you in control and reminds you with an immediate unpleasant experience that you will not wish to repeat should you overconsume.

Another nimrod statement: “I spent five years at the University of Colorado hospital when we legalised and we went from seeing paranoia associated with it every now and again to multiple times in a day.” Uh, no shit. People using illegal drugs (or smoking weed where it’s illegal) don’t take complaints of their adverse effects to hospitals unless they’re fucking dying. And, Newsflash: Pot paranoia is (the unpleasant experience I mentioned and) an annoyance, not a health crisis. By the third time it happens to you (if you’re a slow learner), you’ve learned the hard way to consciously turn your attention away from “I think my heart’s beating way too fast!”, and toward whatever pleasant thing you’d planned to enjoy while high.

Unless you’re a lone tourist holed up in a hotel room snarfing edibles. Then you dial 911 and say “Help. I think I’m about to become the first person in history to die of a marijuana overdose.” Then the nice dispatcher will gladly set you on a course to meet your annual health insurance deductible even though there’s not a damn thing wrong with you that time won’t cure. If you’re coming to Colorado for the pot, either bring or make a friend before you partake. Ask anyone: Colorado is, hands-down, the friendliest state in the nation.

Also the least obese, longest-lived, and consistently among the five most sane states, too. We’re less schizophrenic than most and somehow the munchies aren’t larding us up. And, well, living longer just makes sense. When you live in Colorado, you want to live longer. It’s pretty great here. Mountains and stuff. Snow. Legal weed. Mule deer in the front yard, elk in the back — well, at my house, anyway. Rivers to raft, trails to hike, tasty animals to kill and eat. Chronic Wasting Disease, too, but what’s a little spongiform encephalopathy? “They say you only use ten percent of your brain.” (Which is true of anti-pot crusaders.)

The way I figure it, if it were at all possible to get from “we don’t know what the stuff is going to do to you” to “this shit gonna fuck up yo life, bro” then we would know it already because we’ve been using this plant for thousands of years. And, lo and behold, we’ve got a lot of geriatric stoners now because The Sixties were a long time ago, and they’re not dying of the weed they’ve smoked. Some statistician would have noticed. Some numbnuts with a profitable message would be getting rich talking to plastic fantastic morning show robots about it. [Cue laugh track.]

When people make money peddling fear, a rational person knows better than to take heed of their propaganda. Irrational people? They apply duct tape over the joints around their doors and windows. (Yesteryear’s border walls.)

Lotsa Snow

I read somewhere a few minutes ago that they’re calling it a “Bomb Cyclone.” I dunno… it just looks like Winter to me. Maybe because my back is fixed and shoveling doesn’t suck any more. I even found my truck! And even more upside to celebrate:


If that fat black line stays in those upper reaches, we may be allowed to stop flushing the toilets twice to make sure Las Vegas gets enough water!

Four big rigs went off-roading up the road a piece, one of ’em rolled. That road was closed to northbound traffic already, but the trucks coming south were already committed. And probably driving too fast, because that’s how those guys are — they talk each other past courage into foolhardiness.