Saturday, January 29, 2022

Things that make dogs angry: the smell of chicken cooking.

Things that make dogs happy: the taste of fresh chicken.

Trick is somewhere in between, not getting Rube Goldberged off a cliff like a cartoon character while the dogs abscond with the whole supply of chicken.

Friday, January 28, 2022

"Wait, isn't that downloading too fast?"

"Alexa, what's 45 times 8"

"Well, yeah, I guess that is a lot of bits"

Let's just say I don't miss the days when downloading a game's patch could make me glad that no one called for 3 to 4 consecutive hours. Although with file sizes of modern games being measured by the Blu-ray scale, I still prefer it when the phone doesn't ring :^o.

Saturday, January 22, 2022

Operation New Coat

Ordinarily, I wear the same black light all year jacket that I've worn for so many years... I was already wearing it in photos 17 years ago. After so many years, it's gotten a bit thinner and worn in places that I've worried someday it'll fall apart. But it's fit that sweet spot of a coat that is light enough to wear when it's chilly outside and warm enough that when it's insufficient: switching to thermal shirts or multiple layers is both a solution and recommended anyway, lol. Like my hat, it handles wind and rain well enough that I rarely need an umbrella. Actually, I've rarely used an umbrella or a dedicated raincoat for at least a decade now because my jacket is close enough for 70% of my rainy weather needs not just keeping warm. I love my jacket because it made a pretty effective wind breaker in its youth and remains an all year 'round coat.

When it gets really cold and windy during the winter it's layer duty. Typically, I will add a heavy-duty fleece and a scarf that I'm pretty sure is a few decades older than I am. The over the head fleece is bothersome and ineffective against water, but as a second layer over my regular jacket it works damn well until the wind warrants thermal underwear.

The other day, Amazon's prime deal of the day just happened to be Wantdo Men's Waterproof 3 in 1 Ski Jacket Warm Winter Coat Windproof Snowboarding Jackets with Detachable Puffer Coat for about 20% off its current pricing. It aligns well enough with what I've been thinking of in a new coat for several years, and priced as "Yeah, let's give it a shot" while the sale lasts.

So far, this is looking to be a success!

Material wise it seems like it should handle water slightly better than my old jacket; certainly, no worse. Especially given that by wearing it since circa high school: my normal jacket isn't getting any thicker or more water resistant with age. The removable "Puffer" liner looks like on its own and zipped into the main jacket, should replace use cases where I either switch to heavy-duty fleece or wear it over my old jacket. The change from a mesh lining to warm and cozy might make it less all-year wear than my old coat, but we'll see.

Kind of happy to see that the zippers are far from the weakest point. My old jacket, shall we say fits in that gap between decent zippers either last almost forever or make you wonder about the value of replacing them. Not sure if the various draw string pieces will hold up any better than my old jacket, but I can live with that.

A sweet boon is that the cuffs are fitted with Velcro tabs that can be used to batten down the cuffs. I've been stuck for years having to make do with gloves and mittens as the only pseudo-work-around when it gets windy as **** out. That the hood zips to the back of the neck and Veclros under the collar bands is nice. Typically, I'll prefer my Boonie hat to wearing my old jacket's hood because of superior range of head movement. Except when it is brutally cold in which case I'm putting the hood up, hat on, and wrapping a scarf around the hood, lol. So mostly, it just serves as something to snag on or tell which end of the jacket is which, or an aide for the rare days when I forget my hat and it starts to rain.

Something that remains to be seen is whether or not the pockets will be kickass or useless. My old jacket's pockets are good enough for storing gloves or snot rags but aren't safe for things like my phone that don't take kindly to bouncing off concrete nor reliable for holding things that you can't have fallen out unnoticed. The zip shut pockets are both deeper than my old jackets, ideal for keeping the free hand warm while walking the dogs. Plus, the zipped breast pocket would be a good way to store my phone for such occasions because my BDU trousers aren't very convenient for that.

All in all, not the worst ~$66 bucks I've ever spent.

Monday, January 17, 2022

Rock & Roll Founders

Whole lotta' good music here, but I have to admit when you open with Bill Haley & The Comets singing (We're Gonna) Rock Around the Clock Tonight: it's impossible for my mind not to flash back to Happy Days!

For better or worse growing up as a couch potato has led me to associate certain audios and visuals together. Given the next tune on the playlist is Chuck Berry poppin' Johnny B. Good, you can guess where my mind flashes to next....

Thursday, January 13, 2022

Sand in My Boots, Morgan Wallen

 She asked me where I was from

I said "Somewhere you never been to"

Little town outside of Knoxville

Hidden by some dogwood trees

She tried talkin' with my accent

We held hands and waded into

That blue water

She left her flip-flops by my Red Wings on the beach

Yeah, but now I'm dodging potholes in my sunburnt Silverado

Like a heart-broke Desperado, headed right back to my roots

Somethin' bout the way she kissed me tells me she'd love Eastern Tennessee

Yeah, but all I brought back with me was some sand in my boots

I said "Let's go shoot tequila"

So we walked back to that beach bar

She said "Don't cowboy's drink whiskey?" huh

So we drank bottom shelf

She said "Damn, that sky looks perfect"

I said, "Girl you've never seen stars like the ones back home"

And she said "Maybe I should see them for myself"

Yeah but, now I'm dodging potholes in my sunburnt Silverado

Like a heart-broke Desperado, headed right back to my roots

Somethin' bout the way she kissed me tells me she'd love Eastern Tennessee

Yeah, but all I brought back with me was some sand in my boots

I said "Meet me in the mornin'"

And she told me I was crazy

Yeah, but I still thought that maybe she'd show up

Ah, but now I'm dodging potholes in my sunburnt Silverado

Like a heart-broke Desperado, headed right back to my roots

Somethin' bout the way she kissed me tells me she'd love Eastern Tennessee

Yeah, but all I brought back with me was some sand in my boots

Yeah, but all I brought back with me was some sand in my boots

-- Sand in My Boots, Morgan Wallen

Sunday, January 9, 2022

Here are the most interesting USB-C accessories at CES 2022

Now that’s a trend I’d like to see more of: USB-C hubs that have more USB-C downstream ports than USB-A all over.

While Tech News Outlets (tm) have been groaning and moaning about the need for dongles, I’ve been more interested in when more USB-C centric hubs would get some lime light. Most that I’ve seen in recent years have been a tad pricey.

Passing thought: Bestheda’s release manager used to ship new games. Then he took an arrow to the knee. 

When I was younger, my friends loved Oblivion and in retrospect it’s one of my favorite Elder Scrolls games. But Skyrim was actually the first game in the series that I played, and by then it was long enough for it to have a decent sale price. Even though it had yet to be re-released in every edition known to mer kind.

Actually now that I think of it, between PCs and consoles: I’m not sure I want to fathom how many hours I’ve spent playing Skyrim over the years. Probably more than most ES games with Oblivion coming in as a second. Hmmm… damn it now I’m tempted to play Skyrim again.

Getting with the 21st century

Thanks to a bit of Christmas goodness and Microcenter having them 50% off, I finally got myself a NVMe style portable drive. A while ago, I had tried to find one that would have a slot for my lanyard and only could find expensive SanDisks that would meet that criterion. Thus, fire sale equal fire win.

Which gives me a superb replacement for my ruggedized USB-A hard drive. My old drive has served well, but it's a spinning platter that I bought back in 2014. Making it about 8 years old. Getting USB-C and fancy speed is just a win. Since it includes a suitable C-to-C and a C-to-A adapter even my old development beast, Stark, can utilize it. I had figured the old drive would remain for his backups but probably not.

Rimuru's 10 Gbit/s ports give me in the neighborhood of 860 MByte/s reads and writes. Rimuru and Stark's 5 Gbit/s ports basically max out around 460 MByte/s.

Sorting through my usual backpack, I've decided while I'm retiring the ruggedized hard drive from my standard work and travel kit, my null modem cable is going with. As much use as I've gotten out of a serial cable in the past decade, I've also found it somewhat sad that I still carry a null modem cable.... lol.

Friday, January 7, 2022

Why iMac G4 is still the greatest Mac ever made 20 years later

While I can’t say that I ever thought much of the iMacs until I saw the modern style flats on people’s desks, I have to admit that the G4 certainly had a unique design. The original CRT design, I think would be deserving whether you wanted to give it an award for excellence or failure in style. But the lamp style G4s, at least were unique.

But I’m pretty sure most people don’t want to experience 20 year old processors and the modern Internet :P.

Monday, January 3, 2022

Turns Out the Nintendo Game Boy Is the Worst Possible Way to Watch Movies

Real not sure if this is utterly horrifying, or tempts me to grab my Game Boy Color and a soldering iron. Maybe both?

Saturday, January 1, 2022

Scary Stores to Tell in the Dark (2019) is probably the best scary movie that I’ve seen in a while. Not quite Drag Me to Hell kind of scary but rather close.

Fairly quickly the film comes off as a period piece. The home made Halloween costumes, Night of the Living Dead at a drive through, and racial slurs that you shouldn’t hear out of a sheriff, all quickly begin to paint the scene. Thorough the film if you pay attention: you’ll notice the 1968 setting. I really liked the opening: while I grew up in the era of commercial Halloween costumes and shopping malls, my mother grew up in an era when kinds made their own costumes and went around the neighborhood. My mom and dad would have been in their early 20s at the time the film is set, making it more apparent to me. some of my mom’s stories of course had to do with her Halloween experiences as a kid.

The various stories are superb twists of horror. Often grisly, yet classic. But it’s painted over with a modern varnish. Sarah’s story is the kind that would often be skipped over or down played. Her chilling tales of terror on the other hand are ones you’d sell in the horror isle of a bookstore (remember when those were a thing?). Stella and her dad, and friends serve a stark contrast. In many ways, I’d say Stella is rather modern despite the film pelting us with ‘60s vibes.

In some ways, I have mixed feelings about the ending. I kind of agree with the way it plays out android The more positive tone. It’s not the kind of “Oh, shit!” Twist at the end that horror stories often train us to expect. Instead it’s rather hopeful and determined. Most of all it sets the stage for a sequel :).