Friday, October 30, 2015

More "On Daria"

Two things:

1. Cross-genres:

"We'll be through the criminal justice system and home in time for Buffy." - Quinn Morgendorffer "Speedtrapped"

2. The unspoken:

JAKE [VO]: Maybe I need to stop blaming dad for my problems and concentrate on being the best father I can. Really reach out to my little girl who always looks so lonely and tell her, "I'm here for you. I always will be."

JAKE: You know the peanut really is a second class nut. Now cashews - those are what the big guys eat. The CEOs.

DARIA [VO]: I don't care if he's afraid of heights, but he's afraid to be afraid. That's what's so heartbreaking. He's my father; shouldn't I let down the barricades for once and tell him I think he's my hero?

DARIA: How did a solid gold fish get in here? Weird.

"Of Human Bonding" S04E07.


Captain's Log
[Pause] Supplemental

Also this from BuzzFeed: This Is What The Cast Of “Daria” Looks Like Now

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The Bottle Imp

Listening to an adaptation of "The Bottle Imp" by "Favorite Story" from 28 October 1947 via Basically, there's a wish granting imp in a bottle, if you buy it, you have to sell it on for less than you bought it for and if you sell it for more, the bottle comes back to you - and - here's the catch - if you have it when you die, you're consigned to Hell. The Wikipedia article about the Robert Louis Stevenson story (here) states that there are a number of resolutions to 'The Bottle Paradox' exists, one of which is employed in the ending of the story. But - what if - working in the framework of the story (i.e. believing that imps and Hell and bottles exist) can't you just wish yourself to go to Heaven when you die? Doesn't that break the paradox too?

Also, points to Stevenson for employing foreign currency exchanges as a device.

Sidebar: The Kingdom of Hawaii, The story takes place in the Kingdom of Hawaii, which is what the American State of Hawaii used to be before it's occupation and annexation, as related from The Hawaiian Kingdom website.

"On January 16, 1893, United States diplomatic and military personnel conspired with a small group of individuals to overthrow the constitutional government of the Hawaiian Kingdom and prepared to provide for annexation of the Hawaiian Islands to the United States of America, under a treaty of annexation submitted to the United States Senate, on February 15, 1893. Newly elected U.S. President Grover Cleveland, having received notice that the cause of the so-called revolution derived from illegal intervention by U.S. diplomatic and military personnel, withdrew the treaty of annexation and appointed James H. Blount, as Special Commissioner, to investigate the terms of the so-called revolution and to report his findings. 
"The report concluded that the United States legation assigned to the Hawaiian Kingdom, together with United States Marines and Naval personnel, were directly responsible for the illegal overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom government. The report details the culpability of the United States government in violating international laws and the sovereignty of the Hawaiian Kingdom, but the United States Government fails to follow through in its commitment to assist in reinstating the constitutional government of the Hawaiian Kingdom." 

Tuesday, October 20, 2015


I was watching "Robin Williams Remembered" on Netflix. At one point Pam Dawber corrected herself from "...that's the was he is." to "he was". That's tragedy. Right there. A good working definition of tragedy in that one little verb tense.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Using my Kindle Fire as a drawing tablet

I was wondering how to freehand some drawings and have them end up on my computer without having to sketch and scan. So far what I've come up with is using my Kindle Fire HD 7 with a couple of apps to first draw and then directly transfer the file from one to the other over the wireless connection.

Those two apps are Inkboard by, Inc. for drawing, and ES File Explorer by ES Mobile for the file transfers. Inkboard is a straight forward drawing program that lets you start with either a Blank Canvas, to Select a Photo, or to take an image from the Camera, and a variety of crayons, markers, pencils, pens, and highliters to sketch with and to mark up existing images. However, its very basic - no changing sizes of nib, only a limited zoom. It's a tool for just the basics after all - there are more sophisticated tools - but, hey, this is just proof of concept.

ES File Explorer will let you not only browse the files on the Kindle, but it also lets you connect to Web, and it comes with a list of Favorites to file locations on the Kindle (handy). 

And it also lets you connect with network locations and it provides a simple FTP host that you can connect to from a web browser from your computer. Once you select Remote Manager from the menu and click the Turn On button, you can browse to the ftp site listed on ES'es screen.

Remote Manager

After the Remote Manager is turned on

From there, it's just a couple of clicks to Inkboard's folder...

The root directory of the Kindle.

The Pictures directory with the Inkboard and Screenshots folders visible.

... and a quick right-click and Save As... to get it to my computer.

Here's a quick fingertip drawing:
If I come up with anything better, I'll post it.

Monday, September 28, 2015

iTunes playlists not playing continuously

Also, this:

I had a problem with having iTunes 12 play files continuously. I tried hitting play on the first one and it would play it and stop when it hit the end of the file.

Then I tried with a playlist. Same thing.

After much fruitless Internet searching. I started looking at the options for each file in the iTunes window (a lot of right clicking was involved). Finally I clicked the "Check Selection" on the context menu for all the files in my playlist and Bingo!

Essentially, you can select a bunch of files, right click on one of them, and then create a playlist on the fly with your selection. But once you create a playlist with non-music files, playback stops after each file - unless - you specifically tell it that you want them all to play. I wanna know: who at Apple decided that.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Win10 Mail crashing constantly

Short story: the Windows 10 Mail app kept crashing. After searching and (finding worthless suggestions and) crashing and searching and (finding crap PowerShell commands and) crashing - I finally found this page:

...and it looks like it worked.

For now. 

The Wisdom of Amber Benson

"You never really finish what you start in this world. Life's like some big ass jigsaw puzzle that you don't have the box to, so that every piece you add changes the context of the picture 'til you forget that you were ever looking for a particular thing in the first place." - Chance (Amber Benson), "Chance" (2002 - winner Audience Choice Award, Birmingham Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival (

Amber Benson's "Chance" (on YouTube)

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Of Mice and Windows

Apparently it's official. Everyone knows how to use a computer mouse (actually it really sound anachronistic to say "computer mouse". It's so '80s. Today it sounds like saying "shoe shoelace" or something). If this article from Technorena is true and Microsoft really did include Solitaire and Minesweeper for free to make provide a way for people to learn how to use a mouse in order to facilitate the use of (and thereby increase the adoption and sale of) Windows, then we must all have learned... because in Win10, Solitaire is ad driven now. Pay to play! - play ad free, anyway.

So, meh. The only really annoying part is that the MS Solitaire Collection window doesn't show up separately in the Volume Mixer, so you can turn down the volume on the ads. So when you're listening to music or anything else on your computer, you get a cheesy Twix ad talking over the top of what you want to listen to. That puts Twix and Microsoft's ad delivery right at the same level of annoying "You Have Won!" web pop-ups - the kind that caused the pop-up blocker to be invented. But I still play - for now anyway - with the ads - because I'm too cheap to go ad free (I know, it's my own fault I'm seeing and hearing the ads - but anyway...).And I have to say that Twix is at the bottom of my list of candy to buy again ever (the adverts are really that cheesy) right below Twizzlers (cf. Season 2 of "Warehouse 13") and candy corn (because it's candy corn).

Friday, August 28, 2015


So, not only will they not hire me, they won't even take my email! :)


Well, I thought it was funny. I guess you had to be there.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Jokes in waiting

The other day, I saw a Pinterest post where someone's ex-roommate had hidden...

Well the post went like this (I looked for this post until I fell down a rabbithole of Twin Peaks and finally quit and came back (that's a couple hours of life gone)):

Person Posting: discovered this when I had to open up an access panel to repair something-plumbing


Person Posting: When I called my ex-roommate, he said "I see you finally found my secret 'stache".


Person Posting: He waited literally five years to spring that pun on me!

End Scene.

That reminded me of a similar joke(?) that I fell for in the house we're renting now. In the room that is the office, coming out of one wall there was a length of coax cable. Didn't think anything of it when we moved in - there were a number of inconvenient cable drops coming out of the floors where cable was ran in the past. Only those were drilled through the floor and this one, as I said was in the wall. Coming through a hole. Mind you this wasn't cable sized or coming out of a box. It looked like someone had hit the wall with a hammer, cleaned the edges of the hole, and then painted the wall - with a terminated length of seemingly cable box ready coax sticking out of the hole. 

An artist's representation

But - the wall had been painted - after the hole was there and the cable was just left hanging... out of a ragged hole... in a freshly painted wall. 

This is what it should have looked like - or a blank wall

So. We checked with our landlord to see if it was jake for me to clean out the hole and terminate it properly with an extra data connection, as that room was going to be our office and that's where I was going to put our DSL modem. He was okay with it so off to Lowe's I went.

What I found out after I got back with everything that I needed including a double comm outlet cover with a coax and network keystone. Out comes the drywall saw and I grab hold of the cable to hold it out of the way while I squared off the hole. And I pulled the cable out of the wall. 

I literally pulled the cable out of the wall - because the whole of the cable run was about 3 feet long. Apparently, instead of patching the wall before they'd painted, someone decided to paint the wall and then stick a fake cable in the whole with no one being the wiser. 


Well, I thought it was funny at the time. Maybe you had to be there?

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Priority Gmail

There's a trick that I adopted that lets me see all the Gmail from my professors at once by creating rules to mark incoming emails as Priority. The Priority labeled emails are grouped in the Mail menu in Gmail:

To set this up, go to the Settings Menu (the gear icon on the top right), then go to Settings (yes - that's Settings in Settings).

Then go to the Filters tab to have Gmail (filter and) label for your incoming email. Click on the Create New Filter link and fill in the From box with the email of the person(s) that you want to label (my prof's, in my case - I created a separate label for each one to keep things straight).

If you want to test it, you can hit the magnifying glass button, otherwise just click Create filter with this search >>:

More options will open in a new box. We want to create a new label and apply it to our filtered results. To do this click on the Choose Label... dropdown and chose "New Label".

This will open the New Label box. Enter a new label name - I chose "Test" - and pick a place where in the menu you would like to have the labelled emails appear. I chose to put them under Priority:

Click [Create] to close this box and create the label.

Also - I chose to Star it and Always mark it as important. That way when a message came in about a class, it was collected into one place by the filter, and it is starred and marked important so that I could un-star it when I'd read it, and un-important it if it no longer applied - for example, if an assignment had been turned in or if the email was a class announcement like a upcoming event that the department wanted the instructors to promote. I did both of these because sometimes I could click on an email on my phone and just skim it or otherwise not actually read it and then forget about it by the time I got somewhere that I could do something about it. But that's just me.

What ever else you want to check, make sure you have the Apply the label checkbox ticked.

To finish, just click the [Create filter] button.

Don't wait until the messages start coming in - it will only process incoming email. If you already have email from the person (or persons) that you're creating a filter for, Gmail won't label them if they're already in your Inbox. If you wish to label already received email, you can drag them from your Inbox to your label on the left pane of your window:

A gratuitous drag screenshot

One more thing- If you want to get rid of a label, hover over your label in the left navigation pane in your window, click the dropdown arrow and choose "Remove label". When you do this, it changes the filter that you created - it removes the label option, but doesn't change anything else. For example, if you set up a filter to label, star, and mark as important; then remove the label, it will still star and mark incoming email - it just won't label it because you remove the label it was using. Do do that, you have to go back to the Filters menu and delete it there.