Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Let's talk about Bipolar for a minute....

Carrie Fisher was bipolar, and once said that she did drugs because "drugs made me feel normal". Speaking as a bipolar myself, I'd like to argue that a bipolar has no accurate conception of what constitutes "normal". The peculiarities of our apparently defective genome that result in us having this bipolar disorder also render our judgement unreliable, especially during severe episodes of the characteristic mood-swings.

"Normal" is therefore not only a very subjective condition, but also completely dependent upon one's past experience, which, in our case, according to all recognized medical authorities, is NOT "normal". What's "normal" for a manic depressive is generally considered to be "abnormal" for the general populace, otherwise it wouldn't be identified as a "problem". So my "normal" is not yours. Yours is familiar to me from observation & interactions with you so-called "normals", and I'm aware of what's expected in a "normal's" conduct. (Not all of you are as "normal" as you think!) But your "normal" feels weird to me. When I'm properly medicated to make me behave like a "normal", I feel like a zombie. People I have worked with have also said so. In fact, they are the ones that brought it to my attention.

My lady friend of 39 years, also a bipolar, asked "Would you rather be normal?" I replied, "Darling, for you and I, the way we are is normal." And it's all very subjective. While psychiatry picks us out of the crowd and says "Aha! There goes one now!", they really can't cure whatever is wrong, because they can't repair our damaged or missing genes that cause this problem. All they can do is provide chemical controls to limit its effects. Chemical restraints are still restraints, and cause their own trauma. But society accepts this as necessary for "the common good". They aren't worried about how I feel. They just want to achieve control, so I won't be a problem to them. They don't mind at all being a problem to me. But I understand that, and I'm compensated for it in other ways. I have skills and talents and abilities in degrees not experienced by those "normals". And I consider that more than a fair trade. I'm glad I'm not "normal". Normal is for sissies.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Today's Top Ten Countries ....

У меня нет много новостей. Я трачу слишком много времени на Facebook и президентских выборов. Президент Путин очень хорошо помнит свое обучение из КГБ. Как вы относитесь к этой новой дружбе с Соединенными Штатами?

I do not have a lot of news. I spend too much time on Facebook and presidential elections. President Putin remembers very well his training from the KGB. How do you feel about this new friendship with the United States?

Trump isn't even inaugurated yet and already.....

....Already, they're like two dogs, sniffing each other's butts in the parking lot.

Friday, December 16, 2016

This just in from China....

A picture really is worth a thousand words. Really. 

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Universe? What Universe?

 Suppose this: Suppose there really was a "Big Bang" and that "Big Bang" was actually a Hydrogen Bomb in some alternate reality we can't access or see. Suppose that our expanding "Universe" is really that expanding cloud of radioactive materials and debris from that original blast. Suppose that our stars/suns/nuclei are now therefore in a state of radioactive decay, emitting various radiations including light & heat & other kinds of rays into space. Suppose that the mysterious "dark matter" everyone theorizes about is really made up of those materials from that blast which have already finished their radioactive decay and become stable materials, such as Uranium's decay to Lead-207. And suppose that our "Universe's" life-span of billions of years is only a matter of nanoseconds, or minutes, or perhaps hours in the time-frame of that alternate reality where this all began with that original "Big Bang"...... Just suppose..... Because.... The truth is often stranger than fiction.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Today's "Top Ten" and a few thoughts of the day...

Мне любопытно, о том, несколько сотен из вас посетили мой блог. Я рада, что вы изучают английский язык, и я надеюсь, что вы также не узнать плохие привычки у нас есть. Вы должны стараться, чтобы оставить комментарий, нажав на это слово ниже каждой проводки. Я хотел бы знать, что вы думаете. То есть цель этого блога.

I'm curious about a few hundred of you for visiting my blog. I am glad that you are learning English, and I hope that you also do not learn bad habits we have. You should try to leave a comment by clicking on the word below each posting. I would like to know what you think. That is the purpose of this blog.

Moving along here, I have a Chinese neighbor whom I admire very much. She is a very smart and very hard-working "Tiger Mom" with two daughters now at or recently graduated from university. We were talking the other day about politics, and I very much wanted her opinion, because she was raised around Beijing. As the subject got to this recent American election, and its insanity, I asked her, "What do you think of all that?" She replied, "Even under a president like Trump, America has no problems like we do in China."

I am not so sure about that. If you read Trump's biography in Wikipedia, there are suggestions of connections with the mob while he was building those casinos which later went broke around Atlantic City, New Jersey.  And to digress for a moment, "Who has ever heard of a casino going bust? The mob and its casinos are what first established the famous city of Las Vegas. You'd have to be an idiot to go broke running a casino, unless the people who were backing you wanted to get you out of the picture!" ..... So we don't know for sure if Trump still has any connections to that mob or not. But the possibility is enough to cause worry.

Also, there's been reports that Trump's favorite bedside reading ( in case he reads a lot with a hot young wife like his ) consists of a book or books written by or about Adolf Hitler, and his famous speeches. This may be true, judging by a few of Trump's "Hitler salutes" at his rallies during the campaign. Also along that line, he has recently announced as his choices for at least three important positions as heads of civilian government departments, three former generals from the military. As Rachel Maddow points out in her news show on MSNBC, it is usually only dictators of banana republics that do things like that. In a system calling itself a democracy, they usually try very hard to keep the military out of civilian affairs, because they don't want it taking over the government like it recently did in Egypt.

And all of that, as a lady in the check-out line of my favorite supermarket said yesterday afternoon, while we talked about this as we waited our turns, "Scares the hell out of me, because it's too much like Hitler's beginnings in 1933 and later in the Dirty Thirties." I completely agree. And the frightening thing about all this is that very few of us who lived through those times are still alive to tell about it. The vast majority of today's know-it-all unwashed masses have no idea what "hell on earth" really looks like, smells like, or tastes like. And that's a shame, because it looks like ignorance is permitting history to repeat itself.

I had an unpleasant argument with a psychiatrist one time, because his diploma on the wall said that he had graduated from the University of Munich, perhaps better known as the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, and he had made a remark that he was just a small child during the Second World War, and he can remember crawling on his hands and knees through the gutter of the street while it was running red with blood from the results of a bombing raid that had just happened. (Horrible!) He also remarked that as a result of all that and other similar experiences, he had spent three years himself in a mental institution. 

At that moment, I was confronting him about addictive pills he had prescribed which were interfering with my abilities to operate the hydro-electric power station where I worked. I wasn't looking to be compassionate, but rather for an excuse to get away from that bastard's treatments. So rather harshly, I said, "Nobody who has spent three years in a Funny Farm is going to tinker with my brain, so you and your goddamned pills are history as of this moment!" That turned out to be a hasty and premature judgement, but that's another story.

My point, now that we get to it, is that civilization doesn't seem to have learned a damned thing from all those endless war films we see on TV or the Net, because we can't associate those with real life events. We don't imagine those Storm Troopers kicking in our door, pointing their guns at us, and perhaps shooting Grandpa in his rocker across the room. We don't imagine that famous "Primo Uomo" General Patton, and his tank corps roaring into the neighborhood and smashing or blowing up half the buildings in the neighborhood. We have never crawled to safety along a gutter running with blood, wondering how or if we would ever get out of Hell alive, like that long-ago shrink of mine. We have no idea what nameless Hell could be created by a reincarnated Adolf Hitler. And we do not want to find out. Why not?

Let me answer that with a quote from Will Rogers, one of my favorite people:- "You can't say civilizations don't advance. In every war, they kill you in a new way."

Please Copy....

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Today's Top Ten...

Я продолжаю задаваться вопросом, почему так много русских посещают мой блог. Я бы очень хотел бы знать. Будет ли один из вас, пожалуйста, скажите мне? Вы также можете найти меня на Facebook.

A short history lesson....

This is a simulation of an ordinary Egyptian's personal household shrine from Ancient Egypt about 5,000 years ago. The Ankh in the center is the hieroglyph meaning "Life", and in those days, it was often shown in combination with the hieroglyphs for "Strength" ( a candle flame ) and "Health" ( a shepherd's crook ) in the common phrase "Life, Strength, Health" which was roughly equivalent to Commander Spock's famous Star Trek saying "Live Long and Prosper". 

And that's your "Egyptology 101" for this morning, Kiddies. Enjoy your day!

Short 'PS' ....
There are approximately 600 different hieroglyphs or 'pictographs' or 'ideograms' in the language of the Ancient Egyptians. Chinese is a similarly hieroglyphic or pictographically expressed language, but there are over 3,000 symbols, taking many years to fully learn. Amazingly, our English does it on less than three dozen, including punctuation. But - and this is a big 'but' - English doesn't have the means for the inflections and modifiers included in those others. So those others can be much more specific if done well by experts.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Top Ten

Сообщения о моей смерти сильно преувеличены.

My Season's Greetings.....

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Today's Wallpaper

These are human neural rosette primordial brain cells shown with microphotography in a Nikon competition. I mirrored the original image, then spliced the original and mirror to get the above. It almost looks like a face or head with weird 'eyes', doesn't it?

Monday, October 24, 2016

Fun with "wallpaper"....

I still enjoy making my own backgrounds for the old PC. I haven't made any of the "slideshow" type lately, but here are some others...


Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Tonight's Sunset

More 'This & That' .....

Last night's sunset, with some treetops blocking the view. This time of year, as the sunset retreats further south along the western horizon, it won't be long now until another part of this building blocks my view of it for a few months. So I'm grabbing all the good sunsets I can, while they are still visible.

That wild and crazy US Election

I've probably been spending too much time on Facebook lately, but that's partly because of the US election. This one is really different. I mean really!

When the most powerful Republican in the Senate says to his troops that he can't support Trump as a Republican nominee, after the party previously picked him, then you know something's really off the rails. And what's off the rails is Trump himself. He won't take advice, he won't play nice with his team, he has no previous political experience in any elected position, and he's like an immature, disobedient, know-it-all adolescent. He would rather talk about sex than what's good for the country, because he has no real idea what really would be good for the country.

Trump brags about not paying federal taxes for years, as if tax evasion is some kind of desirable habit in a country that runs its government on taxes. He makes insulting, derogatory remarks about women, using lewd descriptions. He has at one time or another insulted half the population and many foreign dignitaries, like the Pope and foreign leaders. He's 70 years old, and hasn't yet acquired any of the social graces usually used by the vast majority of people, or if he has, he is being very careful not to use any of them. Not your average candidate for the presidency of a country like the USA, or even a third-world banana republic.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Last of the summer flowers

These are over in the next block, as seen through my 'superzoom' camera. And these are probably the last of the season's flowers. I'm surprised there are so many still looking this good. But I'm not complaining. They look just fine from here.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

The answer to that faulty weekend update for Win-10 is a roll-back to Win-8.1

Works for me!

This failing to finish the update problem surfaced last week among some of us Windows Insiders (testers) and we reported it to Microsoft using our direct link for feedback. We described what was happening and not happening. An update like that usually ends with a short process of "Working on updates....%%%" during which it goes from 0-30%, reboots, then completes the 30-100%. This one wouldn't go past 21% before rebooting. Then it repeated the same 0-21% after the reboot, then rebooted again, and announced "We couldn't complete the update. Restoring your previous...." - like I couldn't tell it had already failed.

After I tried 30 or more times over two days, while trying various attempted cures each time, and nothing succeeding, I gave up. I installed my former Windows 8.1 Pro instead, ending 1 year, 10 months, and 16 days of testing Windows 10. Overall, for me, it was more of an aggravation than a pleasure. It has features I didn't want, but couldn't remove without crippling the system. Windows 8.1 isn't as bad, and it will be supported for several years yet. Maybe by then, Microsoft will have the bugs out of Windows 10. 

Some time ago, Satya Nadella, Microsoft's CEO, said he wants us to "love our Windows". I do. I just don't love the same version he does. Probably because I'm not being paid to love any. And possibly because I'd rather be using my Windows rather than trying to fix it. That's not my job!


Sunday, October 2, 2016

That cumulative update for Win-10 (KB3194496)

Windows Updates says there's a problem. Error code 0x80246010, which means my files are corrupted or my Registry is corrupted, or I'm infected. It just isn't their fault.....

But my three security programs all scan and find nothing, and Win-10's own tools also say this system is just fine....

So who do I believe? My own investigations? Or someone who is catching a lot of flak for shipping out a faulty update? I could be wrong, but I think the fault's at the other end.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

More this and that.....

This morning's sunrise, about 7:00 a.m. or a little before.

And this is why I don't really miss the satellite TV that was shut down here recently. The Internet provides the same programming, if you go to your favorite station.

That satellite service was operated by the same company which provides the cable TV here, and they expected us to sign up for cable after they cut off the satellite feed. But I discovered that a UHF antenna I built years ago for my stereo can also receive digital TV signals, so I get 7 channels of digital TV for free from it. Anything else, I can usually find on the Internet. So the cable company didn't get me back.  

Thursday, September 15, 2016

It's half-past September....

The hanging baskets on our bridge are still looking good...

The path along the river to Park Royal Mall still looks summery...

And the river itself is nearly dry, waiting for the rainy season.

And south of our border, the American election campaign is still in full swing, and the bullshit is flying thick and fast. Because of all that, we're getting a look at the unwashed underbelly of America, where racism and low I.Q.s are a much bigger problem than we previously suspected. And billionaires like the Koch brothers are buying politicians, and trying to influence public opinion with lobbyists and a lot of deviously distributed 'think tanks' including some outside the USA, like the Fraser Institute here in town. 

The American political system is rotten to the core, and this election is revealing that more than ever before. A lot of the participants arguing over their Second Amendment about guns don't even know the context within which that amendment was written. And the NRA is taking advantage of the unwashed masses of pistol-packing pinheads to scare them into buying even more weapons. Yet America has a large and well-equipped military quite capable of defending the country or maintaining order. It doesn't need a civilian militia of untrained nitwits with semi-automatic weapons, guzzling Jack Daniel's or Old Snootful, and taking the law in their own hands.

And who the hell in their right mind would choose a candidate for President who has never held any elected office, has no talent for diplomacy, and appears to want to become a dictator? What gang of nitwits would allow that to happen? I think we know the answer to that one, don't we? I can hardly wait for all that to be over. It's ridiculous.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Here and there....

This was last evening's sunset. A Facebook friend in the U.K. thinks it's one of my best, but I'm not so sure. I've done others I like better, such as this one...

...but it's all a matter of taste, I suppose. Different things for different people.

And today being the fifteenth anniversary of 9/11, I felt that I had to add something to all the things on Facebook about it. So I said that I'd like to remind everyone that there are ten times as many people dying every year from firearms 'accidents' and shootings. So if they are going to hold memorial services for the 3,000 killed in 9/11, shouldn't they also do something about that 30,000 dying every year from gunshots? Nobody rushed to comment on that one. The NRA and its gun-lovers are not saying anything yet. Maybe later....

But isn't it remarkable that a whole country can mourn 3,000 deaths, and the President can make a moving address about it, and patriots throughout the land can puff up and posture, but not a damned one of them pays any attention to ten times as many dying every year because of unregulated firearms sales? That's because it's a whole other thing - business. And God Forbid anything should interfere with business, even if the business is about killing one another or suicide.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

More this and that....

Just to maintain my membership in this club, I should add something here, just to prove that I'm alive and still able to do this.

Summer has come and gone. We're into September, and the rainy season is just around the corner once again. I don't like to see the end of summer, because at my age it might have been my last, who knows? But there's nothing to be done about that.

I'm spending a lot of time on Facebook lately. It's amazing what we're learning about the USA during this election campaign. And they seem to be totally oblivious to the fact that the whole world is watching and listening to all that asinine mud-slinging and lack of intelligence. I'm sure we will all be delighted when it is all over. We don't need another 'Dubya' who would like to be another Hitler. Money might buy a college degree but it doesn't buy the smarts that should go with it, and Donald Trump is living proof.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

More Computer Stuff....

If your computer clock starts showing wrong times when you start the computer, that's usually a sign that your CMOS Battery on the motherboard is dying. This is a 3-volt lithium battery about the size of a nickel, but thicker. Usually, it's located near your CPU or between it and your RAM sockets. These usually last about five years, give or take, and you can change it yourself if you are careful. Turn off the power (unplug it from the wall), open the box, and look for a round watch-style battery in a shallow socket on the motherboard. It will probably have a number on it that shows CR2032. It will look like this.....

 Looking at that socket in the picture, there's a little spring-loaded tab at 3 o'clock. Push that outward, away from the battery, to release the battery. When it pops up, replace it, and press the new one down until the latch engages to hold it in place.

While you're in there, use your can of Ultra Duster to blow the dust and dirt out of the fins on the heat-sink on top of your Processor, below its fan. Don't take the fan off, just use the extension pipe on the duster can to reach between the blades, and blow out the dust. Then you can put the cover back on the box, and turn on the power. When first starting up, you'll see some info about your Bios, and it will likely say "Loading defaults.......Press F1 to continue...." So you press F1 and it finishes that, and then shows you your usual login screen. You're back in business again.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Today's top ten

Found - The config files for Wacom Pen Tablet for Linux Mint

I've only been looking for this for about three days. If you have a Wacom pen tablet such as an Intuos Art or etc., and you can't find out what its present settings are, you can open your Terminal and type: xsetwacom list devices and press Enter. That shows you which devices are listed for it in your kernel driver.

You may find that your tablet pen and its touch will work, but you couldn't find out how they are configured. This shows you, if you type in the following command:
xsetwacom list parameters and then press Enter. You'll get something like the above. For its User Manual, type: man xsetwacom. There are three kinds of commands you can use: list, get, and set. The manual explains. 

I should add here that all this applies equally to either Linux Mint 18 or to the latest Ubuntu 16.04. The Linux Mint 18 uses the core features of Ubuntu 16.04. So they're pretty-much the same, except for the graphical user interfaces. And I should also mention here that if you're dual-booting either of these with Windows these will now give you the option of mounting the partition on which the Windows system is located, so you can now access your Windows files directly from within Linux Mint or Ubuntu. That's something I've been wanting for quite a while, and finally, someone did it. And I thank them profusely. Now, if I want to use an image from my pictures folder in Windows 10, I can access that directly,  instead of rebooting into Windows, emailing it to myself, and then booting back into Linux to open the mail. Much better! Isn't progress wonderful?