Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Famous actress gets more treatment for bipolar...

USA Today makes it seem like maybe bipolar isn't the famous Hollywood ailment that it appears to be.  This article makes it seem admirable to get treatment and the bare-assed truth is that all too many of us don't have any option, if we want any kind of meaningful or profitable or steady career. Too many of us get dragged into the joint kicking and scratching, and maybe even biting the nearest exposed attendant, until suitably tranquillized and cooled off.

Roughly ten percent of the population suffers from some form of this problem, whether bipolar, unipolar, or only depressed or only manic episodes, and it isn't easy to deal with it, because there's a hell of a lot of prejudice out there that doesn't do a damned thing for us while we're trying to straighten up and fly right. I think it's commendable that Catherine Zeta Jones is voluntarily seeking treatment - a treatment that's a lot easier to take these days than back when - but she shouldn't be portrayed as any kind of heroine when there's thousands of us out there fighting a generally uphill battle to control this genetic deficiency we have inherited from some ancestor. It's a genetic thing, and we have it because our genes aren't able to do what they should to instruct our system to accept a full range of chemicals, usually trace elements, that are required to keep everything balanced. It's all a matter of science and chemistry, and personal choices have very little to do with it - except to get our asses into a treatment center when we feel that we're obviously losing it. The medications do work, but there's no cure, because we can't re-engineer our genetic codes to fix what's damaged or missing from the DNA. And that's the bird's-eye view of manic depression or bipolar as it's now called. Been there, done that, got the T-shirt.

(Continued later...)
The mood-swings associated with bipolar are a response to the changes in the properties of the body's electro-chemistry, notably the blood plasma electrolytes, which react much like the electrolyte of a wet-cell battery with respect to conditions of low, normal, and high voltage. The low voltage condition is associated with depression, and lack of energy, and also usually associated with an accumulation of excess fluid (water) in the system. The high voltage condition is associated with the manic phase, during which reactions are faster,
speech is often accelerated, energy is high, and we usually don't want to "come down" from it. Think of a wet-cell battery like the battery in your car when it is undercharged and low on voltage, or when it is overcharged, and has more than its normal voltage, and perhaps less than its normal amounts of fluid. It's a quite similar situation. To maintain a so-called normal level of voltage of the system, it requires that everything be maintained in a balanced condition. But with damaged or missing genes in our DNA, the system is not being given a complete set of directions from these genes and therefore is not accepting all of the elements necessary for maintaining that balanced normal condition - so it goes up and down or from low to high, because the "voltage regulator" isn't doing its job.

That regulation can be accomplished by medication ( and it is) but the medication has to be taken in significant quantities on a careful schedule, because the body's system, not realizing it needs those elements, is doing everything it can to eliminate them as fast as those arrive, and the 'remedy' consists of force-feeding the system its missing elements in such quantity that not all of those can be discarded before some of it takes effect to impose more regulation on the previously unregulated aspects of the variables involved. And you won't learn that from your expensive 'shrink' who will only say  "Take your meds - you don't need to know how it works." Ah, but I do! It's my ass, Baby, and I want to know what's wrong and how to fix it. And that's the story.....

Beautiful B.C.'s Election 2013 - Is that all there is?

First, a mug shot of the usual suspects, warts and all.....

Da Preem is second from the left, right beside the leftist next Preem, second from the right, or perhaps close to right but not exactly. And along with this in today's Globe and Mail, an article highlighting the ho-hum nature of the lacklustre campaign.

There's really nothing new in provincial politics here in B.C. in the past fifty years or so. We keep swinging back and forth between the Daddy Bigbucks of the Big Business community and the Unionist Proletariat, their arch enemies, who have sometimes been known to jump into bed with the monied mobsters whose own interests also run counter to the established business community.
We haven't learned a goddamned thing in fifty years about running the province and we are thus condemned to keep on repeating our old mistakes. Color us stupid. And remember, fellow peasants, if voting changed anything, they'd make it illegal. Personally, I wouldn't vote for any of these bastards even if they kissed my ass until I barked like a fox. But that's not going to help us much.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Meanwhile, down south.....

And your computer support is coming from....???

Would you buy something like this?

Who has ever heard of this contraption? And who could fix it? And Why? Grandpa's Hupmobile sure didn't look like this, and it had more room in it than just enough for your ass and a gallon of gas.... the very last of which will be in the tank of a Rolls Royce in Kuwait one day.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Yes, you can have gadgets with Windows 8....

Because - Windows 8 is basically Windows 7 with a fancy front-end and more steps to go through to do something..... but here's the gadgets on Desktop.

And here's Windows 7, showing the added HUD Weather Gadget for this.... you
pick your location and enter a location code number to get the right data for it.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Today's 'Question Everything'

Only in Saskatchewan, you say?

You know it's a slow news day when an article appears on the merits or not of picking your nose for fun & profit.

Have we now seen everything? Probably not....

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Mail of various kinds....

My friend Peter sends this about our various mails and how we use all that.

Why are all the snail mail delivery services in trouble???
This is why. A bit surprising is the record of spam & viruses.
Question: How Many Emails Are Sent Every Day?
Answer: Statistics, extrapolations and counting by Radicati Group from April 2010 estimate the number of emails sent per day (in 2010) to be around 294 billion. 294 billion messages per day means more than 2.8 million emails are sent every second and some 90 trillion emails are sent per year. Around 90% of these millions and trillions of message are but spam and viruses.
The genuine emails are sent by around 1.9 billion email users.

Here is a site with statistics on internet users worldwide.

I'm so old, I can remember when a computer was someone who used one of these adding machines in the bookkeeping department, doing the accounting.

The daily paper - what's that?

In a tactic that's understandable under the circumstances, our two biggest local newspapers, The Vancouver Sun and The Province aren't prominently displaying this fateful story being trumpeted by another news source.

The story did appear earlier on one of the local websites, but was rather quickly shuffled off the main pages here, probably with some reason. But not before its
writer asked for comments, to which I couldn't resist replying.

I said that in an age when we can all get our news from worldwide sources with ease over the internet, having our traditional local sources offering a rehash of other people's headlines, or relaying stories done better elsewhere, or passing off gossip-type stories about the rich & famous as news just doesn't make it. We expect more from our professional news providers, and if anyone ought to know how to do that, it ought to be them. So 'sympathy' is in the dictionary, somewhere between 'shit' and 'syphilis'.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

What's happening in the computer world lately?

First, the cyberspace pundits, myself included, wondered if Microsoft might be in trouble over its Windows 8 coming in too little, too late to really compete with Apple's several many iPhones, iPads, iMacs, MiniMacs, and MacBooks, and now as the world and the stomach turns, the gurus of glopitta-glopitta and the backroom brainiacs from here to BungaBunga are saying that Apple's profits are maxing out due to market saturation or lack of interest or an overabundance of bullshit coupled with a shortage of disposable cash among its customers.

We've been alternately told tablets are the wave of the future, and will rapidly replace desktops as the computers of choice among the zillions of us who have to have our daily visits to the wild, wild web, in spite of the fact that big business can't really afford to throw out masses of desktops to replace them with tablets or laptops that don't hold half the guts or storage. And it's still true that the vast majority of the world's computers are the kind that we call desktops, and most of them aren't running the latest products from Redmond or wherever because it costs too much to play the engineered obsolescence game on the scale they are on, and still turn a profit for their own shareholders. So the whole thing seems to be slowly becoming overripe on the vine, if not just downright withering because its customers are just too pooped to puff. And the wheel can only be reinvented to a certain degree before it isn't a wheel any longer but just another Italian Snow Tire - ' Dey go tru mud, dey go tru snow and slop, an wen dey go flat, dey go wop-wop-wop!' Would I lie to you?

Monday, April 22, 2013

Reese Witherspoon: here come de judge....

The headlines say "Reese Witherspoon Busted in Atlanta" or words to that effect.

Personally, I think Reese has been magnificently busted for years already.... 

                                      I rest my case, Yer Honor.....

Der Google fined in das fodderland...

Und you can read all about it, jawohl..... Crying towels optional at extra cost.

Earth Day and climate change... illustrated.

In olden days, BCC, (before climate change) when men were men, and the gals all were naturally double-breasted, the banana trees would be sprouting about an inch an hour this time of the year, but now instead, it's colder than a mother-in-law's heart outside - and not a hell of a lot better indoors! How's that for a bang-up start to your day?  Yours was already started? Shame on you for trying to jump the line..... Remember: time wounds all heels. Pogo said so. And now we will all join in singing 'Santa Claus Is Coming To Town' while we look for our snuggies and fur-lined shoe-laces. Ain't Climate Change wonderful?

Sunday, April 21, 2013

The Snow Report

Apps now replace brains...

Do I need antivirus on a Linux system?

According to the How To Geek, the answer to that is 'No' but with a couple of qualifications, like if you're interacting with a lot of Windows stuff, which can be and is being infected as we speak... But as the man explains, guys like me grab programs for our Windows everywhere we can find them, whereas in Linux, the added programs come from a central Linux distribution point where those have been checked and approved as being free of the bad stuff. There aren't a whole bunch of loose Linux programs out there in cyberspace waiting to be taken, unlike some of those risky ones for Windows. They used to say, "Nobody bothers making malware for a Mac system, because it isn't popular enough." The same goes for Linux but even moreso.  Linux users are even fewer in number than those Mac types, and there's security in that.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Windows 8 looks different today...

It had to happen sooner or later, I guess. I got tired of playing with something that managed to keep on annoying me, so I've switched to something different.
This is a bit like a cross between Windows and OS-X but not quite like either.
And I can absolutely guarantee you won't find a better price than free. Try it.

There are other differences in this system, too. Installation, for example, is one continuous operation uninterrupted by reboots until it is finished, and you're ready to complete your user information, and choose passwords. And there's no registering it with headquarters using any 20-digit codes, because nobody's afraid you'll steal it - it's a free program, like Open Office and other open-source programs out there. And just because it's a freebie, it doesn't mean it hasn't got a lot of sophisticated bits & pieces. It has a choice of four desktop interfaces for example, and these are completely themed with icons and all the rest.

Like the Apple operating systems, this comes with an assortment of its own various programs, each designed for this operating system, but unlike Apple's system, this one will also run other popular programs like Firefox and Thunderbird. In Firefox, of course, you can also use Google with its Gmail, but if you opt not to, there's a native web browser and email service made for this. So the short version of all this is that it's a complete system, right out of the box, ready to use, and you can fluff it up with over a thousand other programs that can be added into it. It's got many choices, for many kinds of users, and it has all the popular features we're all accustomed to using.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Just a reminder, Folks.....

Windows 8 - The Start Button is back !

Yes, you can have your beloved Windows Vista/Windows 7 Start Button and its menu back if you so desire. Download it from this website and follow the directions. You can then enjoy the familiar Start menus and these can even be installed into Windows XP or Vista in case you're still using either of those. And if you are thinking this makes Windows 8 look a lot like Windows 7, you're right!
But it's newer, and it runs even more of the stuff you know and love already. All you have to know is where to find it..... like those sidebar gadgets - if you want to restore those,  you can get that on this website. Have fun!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

One more time: Windows 8

The time-consuming part of re-installing the operating system isn't the actual re-install, which goes fairly quickly - it's fluffing it up with all its other programs you normally use to actually do your thing. That's what takes the time.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Counter for your blog or website page

I've tried various ones, including Sitemeter, but one of the easiest to get and to install is this one from Hit Counts.

They don't ask a lot of questions or collect a lot of personal info, and there's a variety of styles and colors to choose from. You can also choose the number of the beginning of the count, in case you're replacing some other one.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Flowerbed in the next block

This one used all the regular 42X zoom plus some of the digital zoom to bring it up close enough for some detail. If you look closely, it's a bit blurred in between the major details, but at a quick glance, it looks OK, especially if you don't know it was taken with a decent camera but from half a block away.

Signs of Spring

Ford and GM share development of 10-speed transmissions

Fiat and Chrysler's multi-speed transmissions have apparently got the other two of the Big Three co-operating to develop their own gas-saving multi-shifters, says this article in USA Today.

My 2008 Dodge has an automatic transmission, but one that is unlike any of the past automatics I've had. This one is made like a transmission in a snowmobile,
with a set of cones and a belt which provides a continuously variable set of ratios, depending on the speed. It's hard to explain, because I've never seen the workings of one yet, but I'm told that it's easier and cheaper to fix than the older style automatics, provides a smoother power range, and better gas mileage. This is the kind of ingenuity that's got Ford and GM nervous, and rightly so. They could have had stuff like this fifty years ago if they'd wanted it.
During the second world war, a guy in England put a truck transmission into his car, and got much better use of his rationed petrol - and if they could do it then,
they can certainly do it now that the world is running out of oil. They don't do these things until they can see themselves losing business unless they do.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Porridge isn't what Granny used to make

Hot cereal in less than two minutes in the microwave. Modern science.  No cast iron cook-stove, no woodpile, no parboiling, no pots & pans - just a microwave-safe bowl, 2/3 cup cold water, stir in dry ingredients, nuke for about a minute or a minute and a half, and it's ready. It even comes with fake fruit, and imitation cream, in case you don't have the real McCoy. And it's edible too.

Old golfers never die....

They just forget the rules of the game. This is the guy who couldn't remember the rules for marriage, remember? Playing with the wrong balls?

Saturday, April 13, 2013

It goes better with cheese...

Tonight's sunset....

I had a problem with Canon's Zoombrowser crashing, but that's fixed now by cleaning out the folder in Username\AppData\Local\Temp and downloading a fresh update for Zoombrowser. The latest version works fine. You can get it from Canon's Asian website...

Winter: getting closer instead of further away

Friday, April 12, 2013

Seen & heard everything? Not until you see this...

Some say, 'Good Old Google' - others tell the truth. Everywhere we go on line, there is Google, finding things for us, finding us for others, and just generally managing our adventures in cyberspace from the cradle to the grave. But wait! The grave isn't the end of it. Not at all - because now, Google has a way to manage your web world after you've gone to the ultimate update, or wherever you go after you aren't here any longer. And no, I'm not kidding - read this! 

And today's 'Question Everything' is: "What if I don't own a cell phone to call?"

Is this yet another of Google's 'phishing' expeditions, to collect even more of your personal data, just in case they've missed any with their ongoing snooping into everything you do for, by, and with Google on line?  They already keep records on everything you search for, and the time and date you did it, and how long you took doing it. What's left? Your slot in the wall at the crematorium?
"Ashes to ashes, and dust to dust - if the Good Lord don't get you, then Google must!" 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

New version of Malwarebytes - it works!

Its first scan found one of those sneaky toolbars we all love to hate, and got rid of it for me. That's something that's been missed by two other security programs for quite a long time. And Patch Tuesday this time had 7 updates for Windows 7 and 8 for Windows 8. Coincidence? 

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Really different: The Urine Powered Generator...

First we had a hamster-powered night light, and now, four girls in Africa have come up with a really smart invention: a generator that can produce up to six hours of electricity from one liter of urine, by using the hydrogen in it.  Talk about ingenuity in action, this is a great example. Good on them!

Physics 101: The Ping Pong Cannon

Seems like a lot of trouble just to smash a ping pong ball. But it sure works!

What's with Mighty Microsoft ?

Windows Vista (Ugh!!) is still more popular than Wonderful Windows 8, and Good Old XP is still almost as popular as Simply Super Windows 7.... so today's 'Question Everything' has to be: "What's with Mighty Microsoft ?"

Have they lost that certain something? Are they withering on the vine? Have the wheels of progress driven right on past them? Did they bet the farm on catching Apple at its own game in the mobile market but waited too many years to get started at it? Does being Number One mean there's nowhere to go but down and the only question is 'When?' not 'How Far?' Or, is Mighty Microsoft's demise grossly exaggerated? Got an opinion? Leave us a comment.....(Mouse over the 'comments' link, and when it changes color, click on the colored wording to be taken to the comment page.)

Monday, April 8, 2013

You've gotta love America.....

America, sixteen trillions in debt and up to its collective ass in alligators hasn't yet learned that you catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar. So a couple of Congressional semi-professional shit-disturbers are asking  Adam Szubin, Director of the Office of Foreign Assets Control, who has probably never been anywhere near Cuba, what kind of license this famous pair of entertainers have, permitting them to visit Cuba. Why not send their request to Rosario Lafita Fernandez,  Head of the Correspondence Department at Radio Havana Cuba? Rosario probably knows more about it than some bureaucrat in Washington anyway..... and the address is P.O. Box 6240, Havana, Cuba.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Second Amendment: Not the eleventh Commandment

Apparently, shooting one another is OK as long as it is sufficiently taxed. And those who live by the sword are still dying by the sword, even though that sword is now a semi-automatic assault rifle or a well-oiled pistol. The Second Amendment isn't the problem; the problem is the psychology behind packing,
and why a gun is required to prove you've got balls.

Education, and lack thereof....

Mark Twain said, "I have never let my schooling interfere with my education." You might be forgiven for thinking he lived in Atlanta recently.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

For those of us who still love our vinyl records....

Let Alice explain this new portable record player.

I had one very much like this but with much better sound back in the sixties, and it was a big hit when I was assigned to a job in the Arctic for a while....

I have to wonder, though, what you get for "around a hundred dollars". The needle cartridge on my present turntable was $75.00 plus tax, and a good turntable these days can easily run to a couple of thousand. However, experts tell us that the sound quality from vinyl records is superior to that of CDs or DVDs because there's more space for the grooves in a vinyl record, and it's all in those grooves, or it should be.

A waterproof tablet

It had to come, and here's the story.

I'm still looking for a washable keyboard. There is one - I just don't have it yet.

Friday, April 5, 2013

The future is now....

Laid down for a little after-supper nap, and woke up to discover it's tomorrow already. Time sure flies when you're having fun!

I made my semi-annual pilgrimage to the Cancer Clinic downtown yesterday, and the results of my latest test are so good, I don't need to go back for two more years, said the oncologist. The short version seems to be "You're cured!"
I owe it all to a very skillful radiation oncologist and some radioactive pellets she injected directly into the prostate 3 years ago this month to kill the cancer.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Everything old is new again....

And here's another one, sung by the man himself, Cole Porter....

It's a little scratchy, but 1934 was a long time ago, and I was only two that year. But you don't often get to hear the guys who wrote some of our famous music from back in the days before television, when you had to have some real talent to get yourself noticed.

My previous item's comment writer....

I see where my previous posting earlier today has attracted a comment from someone whom I can only characterize as a 'Bible-puncher'..... and now it's my turn to comment.

I'm in my eightieth year on this planet, and I've seen a lot, heard a lot, and done a lot, including becoming involved with the various aspects of religion, some of which I found helpful, and some of which not so much. 

One of the main problems of religion is that there's simply too damned much of it - over 4,000 different flavors or brands at the most recent count, and not even Google with its marvelous searching abilities can accurately tell us exactly how many different religions there are, because any damned fool can start his or her own whenever they like, as often as they like, with as many others as they can get to follow them. I hasten to add that none of these 4,000+ religions agree completely with one another, because if they did, there would be no need for so many of them - especially if we accept the fact that there's only one true God - and we aren't going to get into the name game here - call God whatever you choose, but be reverent and humble about it, or you may wish you had been.

What I'm taking too long to say is this: religion, and those who feel empowered to push it at others, too often starts arguments and becomes confrontational because all too often these well-meaning 'Bible-punchers' just automatically assume that those to whom they are directing their evangelism have no prior knowledge or experience of God or the experience of worship, and therefore they tend to treat others as idiots. This is both presumptive and insulting and will immediately prompt resistance in most of us who have an I.Q. greater than our belt size. So I don't play that game, and please don't ask why. I've just explained that, if you've been paying attention here. Worship as you choose, but let me do likewise without annoyance. God does not like strife. That's the devil's playground. (See 4,000+ religions, above.)

NBC News says.....

Kermit's Mom passes on....

Monday, April 1, 2013

Windows 8 runs older stuff - want proof?

It's running my old flatbed scanner from back in the days when men were men and the gals were all naturally double-breasted - and here's the proof! This image was scanned and recorded using the PhotoStudio 5 software shown here on the CD label, which also works fine in Windows 8.

I should add that it helps if you have the latest dot Net and C++ and Silverlight and Microsoft's patch for reading older Help files not usually readable with our modern operating systems. When it all comes together, it works like a charm.

Changing the default operating system of dual-boot

First, a little picture of where to look for the spot to do all this....

Go to Control Panel > System, and in the left margin, click Advanced System Settings, and on its Advanced tab, look down for Startup and Recovery. In it,
go to and click on Settings. The default operating system is shown in the little
box, and there is a small black arrowhead at its right-hand end. Click that to open the drop-down showing other choices. Click on the one you want to use,
and it becomes the default. You can also change the time allowed for displaying the list of operating systems during a startup, by changing the number of seconds shown in the little box under the default setting line.

And here's what it looks like in a boot manager program when you're done.