Growing up in the south bay (the San Francisco Bay Area) we often ate at Mexican restaurants. One of my favorite dishes was, and remains to this day, a hearty green pork chili, called Chili Verde. While there have been many differences in the dish, it is always a green chili pepper of modest heat (Anaheim is milder, and Poblanos make it hotter, but I often use what looks freshest when I shop, even Jalapeños). Continue reading →
Currently in the queue on Netflix is the “Vietnam” by Ken Burns. I just finished it, and, like all the Ken Burns targets, it is outstanding.
It starts well before the common story (with advisors ramping up through the early Kennedy administration,) back when the real drama started with the French trying to maintain its hold on its Indochina colonies after WWII. The French were abysmal stewards of their colonial properties, ruthless, and exploitative to the extreme of the indigenous population. However, their strength sapped, they turned to us, and our paranoia of the spectre of communism leaking out of the USSR and China realm, took the bait. Continue reading →
On Tuesday, out of the blue, I got an email from Comcast that they identified a “problem” with my CPE1 and that because they are so awesome, they were going to just send me a new modem/router. Whoop-de-doo. Continue reading →
Friday July 6th marks a full month without Facebook. As soon as the second week transpired, I got the notifications of all the other “attached” bits being severed. A good sign that I had held out the full two weeks. Apparently once they “delete” (cough cough) your account, it takes about 90 days to tag your data for removal, and for it being removed1 from their servers.
I have removed the hosts file redirection of facebook.com to localhost. The temptation to go back to it has waned. I have refocused some energy on this blog (and my other greytbros head over and see some fun about our new family addition). Continue reading →
About a year ago I got a burr up my butt to learn something about FPGAs. I bought a Mojo board, and some accessories, and did some of the beginner tutorials. Really cool stuff, but I was using this well aged (read: shitty) windows PC that was pretty underpowered, and an AIO (all-in-one like an iMac). Since that computer was camped out on our kitchen table, it was inconvenient as hell. But the toolchain, ISE from Xilinx doesn’t run on the mac (and while I could have setup a virtualbox and ubuntu VM, that was a drag.) Continue reading →
Tossing and turning in a fever induced dream state, I dreamt that the US had become the Libertarian Utopia that I have read about. This is the summary:
Joe Conservative wakes up in the morning and goes to the bathroom. He flushes his toilet and brushes his teeth, mindful that each flush & brush costs him about 43 cents to his privatized water provider. His wacky, liberal neighbor keeps badgering the company to disclose how clean and safe their water is, but no one ever finds out. Just to be safe, Joe Conservative boils his drinking water.
Joe steps outside and coughs–the pollution is especially bad today, but the smokiest cars are the cheapest ones, so everyone buys ‘em. Joe Conservative checks to make sure he has enough toll money for the 3 different private roads he must drive to work. There is no public transportation, so traffic is backed up and his 10 mile commute takes an hour.
On the way, he drops his 12 year old daughter off at the clothing factory she works at. Paying for kids to go to private school until they’re 18 is a luxury, and Joe needs the extra income coming in. Times are hard and there’re no social safety nets.
He gets to work 5 minutes late and misses the call for Christian prayer, and is immediately docked by his employer. He is not feeling well today, but has no health insurance, since neither his employer nor his government provide it, and paying for it himself is really expensive, since he has a precondition. He just hopes for the best.
Joe’s workday is 12 hours long, because there is no regulation over working hours, and Joe will lose his job if he complains or unionizes. Today is an especially bad day. Joe’s manager demands that he work until midnight, a 16 hour day. Joe does, knowing that he’ll lose his job if he does not.
Finally, after midnight, Joe gets to pick up his daughter and go home. His daughter shows him the deep cut she got on the industrial sewing machine today. Joe is outraged and asks why she doesn’t have metal mesh gloves or other protection. She says the company will not provide it and she’ll have to pay for it out of her own pocket. Joe looks at the wound and decides they’ll use an over the counter disinfectant and bandages until it heals. She’ll have a scar, but getting stitches at the emergency room is expensive.
His daughter also complains that the manager made suggestive overtures towards her. Joe counsels her to be a “good girl” and not rock the boat, or she’ll get fired and they’ll be out the income.
His daughter says she can’t wait until she’s 18 so she can vote for change or go to the Iraq War.
They get home and there’s a message from his elderly father who can’t afford to pay his medical or heating bills. Joe can hear him coughing and shivering.
Joe turns on the radio and the top story is a proposal in Congress to raise the voting age to 25. A rare liberal opinionator states that it’s an attempt to keep power out of the hands of working class Americans. The conservative host immediately quashes him, calling him “a utopian idealist,” and agreeing that people aren’t mature enough to make good choices until they’re at least 25.
Joe chuckles at the wine-swilling, cheese eating liberal egghead and thinks, “Thank God I live in America where I have freedom!”
Fortunately, I awoke and the world was normal.
Recent announcements by Google that they would begin to de-emphasize search results to sites that aren’t protected by SSL/TLS encryption (that green lock you see to the left of your browser URL bar) weren’t surprising, but it was a eye opener.
Last Sunday, I returned from a business trip, and on Monday, I went out to the garage to do the bags of dirty laundry. What did I see? Alas, the water heater was doing a steady drip-drip-drip from the bottom. Damn, it was dying. Continue reading →
I have been on a British police procedural show binge lately, with shows like Hinterland, Shetland, DCI Banks, and Wallander, all extremely well produced, and very entertaining.
A couple of weeks ago, Hulu recommended a new show, “Vera” based on characters by Ann Cleeves, and some fantastic acting by the cast. Based on cases, murders, and well developed stories. 4 episodes per season, and 3 seasons on Hulu (out of 8, BOO!) Continue reading →