635 thoughts on “Thumb War

  1. Morning Pan
    My American friends, I’m trying to wrap my head around how your voting system works, so I’m hoping you can answer me. These are genuine questions so, if I come across as being snarky, it’s not intentional.
    Why do you have to register to vote? And, if I understand right, when you register, you have to state what political party you have a preference for? I assumed, like Canada, who you liked was nobody’s business but your own but now I feel this is slightly off.
    Also, why does it feel like your party leaders are campaigning for two years? (not counting your current president who has been campaigning from day one). I’m assuming you don’t have regulations that state a campaign can only go on for so long?

    For Context: Canada does a census every five years. The municipalities every other year. Tax returns are filed every year. They combine all three of those to get a voter list. If you move, you can bring id to the voting station closest to your current address and records will be updated at the time you vote. While we can choose to support a particular party, this is done any time through the party itself and has nothing to do with the actual election process.
    Our federal election only has about two months of campaigning time before the election.

    Again, just curious on how it works as I find, by watching what’s going on on tv, it’s a little confusing. I’m sure you would find ours confusing if you were watching it from your prospective.

    • I can’t blame you for being confused as our system is truely a mess.
      To answer your questions –
      – I don’t actually know why we have to register to vote. I highly suspect that is a hold over from ancient times and was intended to make sure a segment of the population did NOT actually get to vote.

      – When I first registered to vote (waaay back in the 80’s) I DID indeed have to pick a political party … and they only gave you two choices. I am not sure that is still a requirement.
      This is easily something that can be abused. You register by filling out paper work and some public employee then enters you in the database. If the spell your name wrong or misplace a hyphen, then you’re ID will not match your name in the register. This is apparently what has happened with a HIGH percentage of the 30,000+ voters in Georgia who suddenly had their right to vote put on hold a few weeks ago. 70% of those votes were apparently minorities.
      – If it feels like they campaign for 2 years (or even more) it is because they do. There are no laws to prevent that because the laws are written by those already in power and they wish to keep that power.

      It is a totally screwed up system whose original design never accounted for the a world where a citizen could become a lifetime Politian. Basically a Monarch.

      • So, when you register, can you lie and say you support one party and then vote for another?
        If so, a) how do they know (assuming voting itself is private), and b) if they don’t know, how is it accurate?

        • Generally, when you register with a political party, you get to vote in the primary elections for that party. In other words, you get to vote for which candidate the Republicans or Democrats put forward. Regardless of party affiliation, during the general election, you can vote for any person you want. I won’t get into the Electoral College, as it is another layer of obfuscation of the popular vote we had to agree to for the States to become the United States.

        • In short, yes it’s a mess, and yes, it’s designed this way to protect the power of the elected officials.

          As a registered Independent, this was the first year I was able to show up to the polls and select the party primaries I wanted to vote in. In the past – – even 2016 – – I was shut out of the primaries.

          Some folks have suggested that everyone declare themselves Republican, regardless of their true affiliation, to prevent gerrymandering of districts from being so effectively unfair – – but I think it’s too late.

          • I registered as a Republican.
            I figured that party needed my help the most. In primaries I try to support the candidates that lean the most centrist.
            In national elections I have yet to vote for a Republican candidate.

    • I enjoyed it. I’m not sure if you follow their podcast/video It’s basically the first few episodes of season one in comic form. If you don’t follow the podcast, they are a group of voice actors that get together once a week to play d&d

  2. Crap joke for the day:

    **THE TATTOO** ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
    A guy was getting married and decided to tattoo his wife’s name, Wendy, on his penis. When it was erect, her name was on it, but when it wasn’t, it only said “wy”So they get married and go on their honeymoon to Jamaica. On the last day, the newlyweds go to a nude beach. The guy goes to the bar there and sees the bartender – nude as well – with a tattoo on his flaccid dick that also says “WY.” He says to the bartender, “is your wife’s name also Wendy? I see your dick is tattooed.” Bartender says “no mon, my dick says ‘Welcome to Jamaica and have a nice day,’ mon.”

  3. >Soapbox <

    At a rally last night, trump boldly declared that he is in fact a nationalist. He went on to say “And I say really, we’re not supposed to use that word. You know what I am? I am a nationalist. Use that word.”

    By midday Republicans will undoubtedly be trying to spin nationalism is a good thing. So if you have any coworkers who say “Really, what’s wrong with being a nationalist”? Remind them of the following –

    “Nationalism” is not the same as “Patriotism”.

    Nationalism is jingoism, that distorts patriotism into aggression and anger.
    Nationalism is xenophobia, that says it is okay to deny rights to the other, whether that other is defined by race, religion, or gender identity. Nationalism says it is okay to kidnap and cage children. Or imprison people without trial. Or even round up those you don’t like and march them by the hundreds of thousands into gas chambers “for the good of the country”.

    Nationalism is NOT Patriotism. It is a poisonous philosophy of self-satisfied hatred that 418,000 US solders died fighting in WWll.

    Remind them that if you support nationalism you are spitting on those soldiers graves.

    To paraphrase Charles DeGaulle –
    Patriotism is based on love of country. Nationalism is based on Hate of others.

    • He – – and the scumbags around him – – keep testing the waters, to see how far they can go. When do his supporters say, “whoa, that’s too far” ?

    • I love that the Rolling Stone interviewer really doesn’t seem to get how Rush works. For example, asking if they were tempted to come out with a radio-appropriate single while working on Hemispheres with Geddy’s reply of “that’s really not how Rush has ever done things”.

  4. I bought a game on Steam today.

    It reminded me that playing mouse controlled games with a track pad sucks balls.

    It’s supposed to be PS4 controller compatible, but it’s still impossible to control with the controller

    Sigh

    • It is… and yet this left me kind of haunted –
      “She was working in a test kitchen for Campbell’s”

      Some where there is a concrete bunker, surrounded by razor wire and under 24 hour surveillance – where all of the tests that went horribly wrong are kept. Stored away for some horrific future where they will be called upon to do Campbell’s unholy bidding.

  5. Every once in a while, I have to send an email to my mom to let her know I’m still alive (apparently I don’t show up in her FB feed, go figure). The problem is, my life is pretty boring so I have nothing to say to her. Today’s email could be boiled down into two words, “I exist”

    • What do you mean? It is a list of ten things that has ten things on it. Ipso facto, it is complete.

      Actually, number ten is a list of other things, so I tell you it is MORE than complete.

      Now I shall set this dumpster on fire for good measure…

  6. So, went to a farewell happy hour for a departing co-worker. There was some kind of comedy festival going on downtown, which is probably why the bar had a live band playing.

    The band kept letting people come up to sing songs, which led to a terrible live karaoke. Where it got really strange, though, was when the Sklar Brothers went up to do a (n intentionally?) terrible version of “Hunger Strike.”

    I kept saying, “Hey, that’s the Sklar Brothers,” to which all but one person said, “Who?”

    • Reminds me of when I went to see Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit in the theaters and found myself the only person in a crowded room laughing hysterically when Gromit turns on the radio in the truck and Bright Eyes (the Art Garfunkel song used when Hazel dies in Watership Down) is playing. Of course, the fact that no one else got it just made me laugh harder.

      • I saw that film with almost empty cinema But I think I was the oldest there.

        I was the only one who laughed at the thunderbird homage as Wallace and Gromit left for work,

  7. People in the bar knew who the Sklar Brothers are, just no one I saw with – – except the one guy who said “weren’t they in Better Call Saul?”

  8. I’ve been told the cgi spiders on this weeks Dr Who are a bit too well done.

    I’ll be watching from behind the sofa through my fingers.

  9. It appears that it will rain on my parade 🙁

    Currently calling for rain storms Halloween night. Sadness. Hedging towards not setting up my outdoor audio. Wind will render my fog setups useless.
    Some of my lighting is not rain resistant so I’ll have to come up with something else.

    meh

  10. Last year, we had maybe a dozen kids come to our door on Halloween. The year before, about the same. Hubby decided to buy 200 candies for this year, just in case. *sigh*

  11. Watched Dr Who yesterday as well as the first episode of Sabrina on Netflix. I think I e filled my spider quotient for the rest of my life

  12. Has anybody watched Sabrina on Netflix yet? We watched the first episode last night and can’t decide if it was trying to be serious or deliberately mocking the whole witch thing

    • We’ve watched the first 3 episodes, not sure if we are going to continue with it or not as we really aren’t the target demographic. I think it is very jokey, with some amusing elements. But it is very formula, in the CW way of things.

      • What’s with this ‘target demographic ‘ bullshit?

        I would never watch a Pixar film if that was the case.

        Also if George Lucas is to be believed you watch Star Wars as an adult..you are doing it wrong…

      • Sabrina … not watching. Didn’t give it a chance.
        I find that things with “teen” in the title tend to have too much silly angsty drama in them for my tastes.

        From your descriptions of it being jokey, I wonder if it is trying to channel “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”.

  13. Happy Halloween, everyone! I think this is the first year that I,ve thrown a costume in the dog. It’s a fun one, too.

    Acouple weeks ago, we had to take Pandora to the vet for a wound on her paw. They put an e-collar on her and due to the length of her neck and snout, the e-collar is disproportionately long on her (poor Pan), and I came up with the idea to dress her up for Halloween!

    She’s going to be a Handmaid, even though she is spayed. Pics on FB later.

  14. Author Dave Duncan passed away. He was a regular at Calgary conventions and I knew him. I actually had some scotch with him (and Guy Kaye) just this past August 🙁

  15. I am rather disappointed Netflix doesn’t have the original Halloween. They have the 2007 remake, but that’s not the same thing.
    So, in a half hour, I’m going to take this in an entirely different direction
    Be prepared to be amazed and amused

  16. I hope Hallowe’en was good to everyone! We had a debacle with Chik Fil A*, which cost us precious time and put a huge downer on the evening, but we salvaged and had a good night of it anyway.

    *The whole reason we were there was for a school fundraiser – – but I strongly doubt they even got that right. Yes, I am aware of their repulsive money donations to repulsive anti-gay organizations. Never again.

  17. The weather was kind to us.
    We had more trick or treaters then the past few years. Still, less than a dozen.
    Mostly younger kids with adults. It was fun to hear the adults enjoying the experience.

    • Another day of packing up Halloween.
      Yesterday was slowed by rain, having to go help a friend hang their art instillation and then spending the evening at a fundraiser.

      Fundraiser is for a good cause. Local group of business folks and medical professionals who have worked with the school system to let them set up free clinics (medical, dental and optometrist) at some of our less affluent, elementary and middle schools.
      Since I have always had the opportunity to take my kids to medical appointments it had never occurred to me … what do you do if you CAN’T take off from work to do so. Turns out that this is the case for quite a few people. Either their employers don’t give them the time off or if they do … it is without pay and that isn’t an option. So the answer is … their kids don’t get routine stuff taken care of.
      Apparently, kids who are suffering pain from untreated maladies, or who can’t see the words on the page … don’t do as well in school.

      • I’m ok with this, as long as it doesn’t affect the taxes or daily income increases – even fractionally – of the wealthiest people in the history of the planet.

        • *sigh*
          Yeh.
          I had that talk with a retiree the other day. He basically wanted to know why he should even care now that he had no kids in the school system.
          I summed it up “Would you feel safer if your neighborhood/community was filled with kids who were going to be able to get the sort of jobs that would allow them to move away and start their own families … or would you rather they be full of under employed, high school drop outs, with a lot of spare time, living off of their parents. Kids with no compelling reason NOT to get drunk or do drugs in the middle of the day ?”
          You can pay some now to educate … or you can pay a lot more later when they need public assistance just to eat or are housed in a tax payer funded prison.

          • “Charity is a cold grey loveless thing. If a rich man wants to help the poor, he should pay his taxes gladly, not dole out money at a whim.”

            Clement Attlee

  18. So at Detroit, I was waved past the kiosks and a big queue and went straight to passport check.

    I was through security in less than 10 minutes.

    I’m still in shock at the speed compared to past visits.

  19. I just want y’all to know how cool it is to see Jack’s influence shining through the eldest daughter. Here are some of the things she is currently interested in/obssessed with— thanks to her Pops.
    -creative writing. A (cyber punk)novel
    – The Beatles and Led Zepplin
    – SCIENCE!

    She is really embracing her interests lately.

  20. We’re headed home now from a fun busy San Diego weekend. Baby’s first road trip and first time seeing the ocean. Also, first visit to a zoo.

    Now we drive through a bunch of nothing.

  21. This morning is fuelled by a bacon and egg bagel and a caramel cappuccino from Tim Hortons.

    This one has an ice cream section, which is something I wasn’t expecting to see in a coffee shop.

  22. In a topic unrelated to dark, brooding, urban crime fighters, we’ve finally gotten around to Daredevil S3. Two episodes in – – and holy crap, is the pace crawling. But I’m digging it. I like the hints as to what’s coming up.

    • In Curtice Ohio they still used the paper ballots and did not have voting machines.

      Had a nice chat with some of the staff and talked about the differences with how we vote in the UK.

  23. I’m going to say it here, where disagreement will be reasonable and noncombative:

    Today, we find out just how deeply our election process has been hacked and compromised.

    And if you disagree, then get bent!

    • Today’s interesting election twist around here.
      Last night we had a lot of severe weather that hit in the middle of the night. Kept the prudent person up from midnight til 3am.
      In preparing for this … All schools and many businesses had announced a 2hr delay to the start of their day today.

      I just went to vote and the election minder told me they had VERY heavy turnout this morning. He said he had at least 10 people tell him it was their first time to vote including several “young people”.

      Now maybe it is just our current situation that has prompted people to vote. One does have to wonder though … was something as simple as a two hour delay to the start of their day, allow more people to vote?

    • So this song, is one of those that just doesn’t (or hasn’t yet) benefit from covers.
      One of the things that makes it so perfect is it’s production. The stuff they did in studio and then post production. The original just sounds so darn thick and rich. Not something I would want to hear all the time but when I stumble across it in my playlist after a long time of not listening, it has my full toe tapping, singing along attention.

      The only caveat I would add to this (my opinion) is that I REALLY enjoy the mash-up version that Straight- No Chaser did of this and the 12 Days of Christmas. #1) Clevor and B) I’m a sucker for really well done acapella arrangements.

  24. The cast:
    YOUNG MAN
    Eric Idle
    POLICEMAN
    Graham Chapman
    FEMALE VOICE OVER
    Carol Cleveland
    MALE VOICE OVER
    John Cleese
    PEPPERPOT
    Eric Idle
    FEMALE JOURNALIST
    Terry Jones
    BOXER
    Eric Idle
    SCOTSMAN
    Michael Palin
    STOCKBROKER
    John Cleese
    BOY
    Michael Palin
    The sketch:
    (We a young man playing chess with another young man. They are in an ordinary flat. Them is a tremendous battering, banging, hammering and clattering at the door.)

    Young Man: Door’s open.

    Policeman: Oh. Yes. (he enters) All right. All right, all fight, all right. My name’s Police Constable Henry Thatcher, and this is a raid. I have reason to believe that there are certain substances on the premises.

    Young Man: Well what sort of substances, officer?

    Policeman: Er… certain substances.

    Young Man: Well, what sort of certain substances?

    Policeman: Er, certain substances of an illicit nature.

    Young Man: Er, could you be more specific?

    Policeman: I beg your pardon?

    Young Man: Could you be ‘clearer’.

    Policeman: Oh, oh … yes, er … certain substances on the premises. To be removed for clinical tests.

    Young Man: Have you got anything particular in mind?

    Policeman: Well what have you got?

    Young Man: Nothing, officer.

    Policeman: You are Sandy Camp the actor?

    Young Man: Yes.

    Policeman: I must warn you, sir, that outside I have police dog Josephine, who is not only armed, and trained to sniff out certain substances, but is also a junkie.

    Young Man: What are you after … ?

    Policeman: (pulling a brown paper package from out of his pocket, very badly and obviously) Oo! Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh! Here is a brown paper bag I have found on the premises. I must confiscate this, sir, and take it with me for clinical examination.

    Young Man: Wait a minute. You just got that out of your pocket.

    Policeman: What?

    Young Man: (takes it) Well what’s in it anyway? (opens it) Sandwiches.

    Policeman: Sandwiches? Blimey. Whatever did I give the wife?

    (Cut to viewer’s letter in handwriting, read in voice over.)

    Female VO: Dear BBC, East Grinstead, Friday. I feel I really must write and protest about that sketch. My husband, in common with a lot of people of his age, is fifty. For how long are we to put up with these things. Yours sincerely, E. B. Debenham (Mrs.).

    (Cut to another letter.)

    Male VO: Dear Freddy Grisewood, Bagshot, Surrey. As a prolific letter-writer, I feel I must protest about the previous letter. I am nearly sixty and am quite mad, but I do enjoy listening to the BBC Home Service. If this continues to go on unabated …Dunkirk… dark days of the war… backs to the wall… Alvar Liddell … Berlin air lift … moral upheaval of Profumo case … young hippies roaming the streets, raping, looting and killing. Yours etc., Brigadier Arthur Gormanstrop (Mrs.).

    (Cut to vox pops film.)

    Pepperpot: Well I think they should attack things, like that – with satire. I mean Ned Sherrin. Fair’s fair. I think people should be able to make up their own minds for me.

    Female Journalist: Well I think they should attack the fuddy-duddy attitudes of the lower middle classes which permit the establishment to survive and keep the mores of the whole country back where they were in the nineteenth century and the ghastly days of the pre-sexual revolution.

    (A boxer runs up and knocks her out.)

    Scotsman: Well that’s, er, very interesting, because, er, I am, in fact, made entirely of wood.

    Stockbroker: Well I think they should attack the lower classes, er, first with bombs, and rockets destroying their homes, and then when they run helpless into the streets, er, mowing them down with machine guns. Er, and then of course releasing the vultures. I know these views aren’t popular, but I have never courted popularity.

    (A boy scout on his knees. Next to him is a scout master, seen only from the knees down.)

    Boy: I think there should be more race prejudice.

    (He is nudged.)

    Voice: Less.

    Boy: Less race prejudice.

  25. Actually, here’s a thought experiment:
    What would happen if the citizens of a country did not vote for their own leaders (house, senate, etc), but the rest of the world did? It would be interesting to see what the results would be.

          • Eh, if Donnie Darko qualifies for the list, then I think they’re talking Spec Fic – – more than straight up 2001-style hard Sci-Fi. And maybe they covered it already; I skipped the write-up and went straight to the list. (shaaaammme)

            Also: Fuck Starship Troopers. Also: Under the Skin is pretentious bullshit.

        • Great List!
          I have seen 24 of the 35 and of the ones I hadn’t seen I am intrigued and want to see them. Well, except maybe the “kids killing each other” one.

          The one I would add is “Serenity”. Normally I would categorize that film as “Action Adventure in space” instead of Sci-Fi but IF you are going to include Star Ship Trooper as Sci-Fi then you really need to include “Serenity”.

    • egads, the deep dive there. . .
      This has that “Three Body Problem” book listed on it.
      Quote: “former US president Barack Obama said that it was “fun to read, partly because my day-to-day problems with Congress seem fairly petty.””

      Wait, did we have a President in this Century who knew how to read? I can’t even remember. . .

    • Reading through a bit further, was pleased to see a couple of excellent China Mieville books on this list. . . and also Annihilation. More from me on that book later. . .

  26. FWIW

    I haven’t added the numbers up myself but I have now seen this figure printed in two separate places. It is total number of votes each party got for senatorial candidates. Once again, the party that has gained control – lost the popular vote. … by a LOT.

    Senate Vote Totals

    Democratic Party: 44.9 million votes
    Republican Party: 32.9 million votes

    • Those numbers surprise even cynical me. I’d like to see them Snopesed, but I’d bet they prove to be true.

      So even with voter suppression, voter intimidation, potential hacking, and disinformation, and fear-mongering, the population overwhelmingly came out against the Rep party, but couldn’t overcome the rigged system. It must be unfair gerrymandering.

      This is not democracy.

        • Yep.
          … and I read an article some months back that showed the same thing had happened in the previous mid-term election. By a margin of MILLIONS, US voters showed that, at least, that they did NOT want the Republican candidates. Yet the Republicans maintained control over the Senate.
          So this is not some “one-off” fluke.

          Maybe our kids will fix this in their lifetime.

  27. Just remember folks, the semi-automatic machine guns allowed to run wild on the streets don’t kill people… people…um… kill people.

  28. FWIW (data from govtrackus.com)-

    Conservatives enjoy a five-justice majority on the Supreme Court, with the help of four justices appointed by presidents who initially entered office after losing the popular vote. The senators who approved Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination represented 38 million fewer constituents than those who opposed, according to Congress-tracking site GovTrack.us.

  29. Morning Pan

    I lost a part for my cat’s water dish this morning. I’m going to have to sneak out, once the stores open, and get her a new one

    • On top of Jon Favreau’s The Mandalorian, there will be a second live-action Star Wars series starring Diego Luna’s rebel, Cassian Andor from Rogue One.

      Sign me up. Now.

  30. As I have probably mentioned before, I got an Arduino last Christmas. I spent the last year teaching myself electronics and coding. Made a bunch of little projects which culminated in the one I built for Halloween.
    A device that sensed people coming down my driveway and turned on a fog machine and a trail of lights, one by one, coming towards them.
    Might sound simple (I thought so when I started) but there are all sorts of conditions. The fogger can only stay on so long or it over heats. It also needs a rest period in between or it will over heat … but I don’t want the lights to stay off while the fog machine rests. I also want the lights to turn off and ready themselves for the next bunch … but what if the next bunch started down the drive 20 seconds after the first bunch … can’t have the lights turning off on them!
    This is why I needed a computer to achieve this. I needed a device that could take all this into consideration and respond appropriately.

    Anyway … two days before Halloween I got it all to work. Yea me.
    Seems you CAN teach an old dog new tricks.

      • Wow, I’ve seen the as shown ending to the series a couple of times, but never that bit showing what it took to make it the memorable ending that it is. Incredible.

    • That was such a sucker punch. And I hadn’t heard about it before watching.

      I’d love to do a full start-to-finish Blackadder run again, someday.

      • Series 2 and 4 are still tops but it’s a great ride.

        Been doing a full start to finish Monty Python and there’s so much I had forgotten. SO much cultural and entertainment inspiration in such a short series

        • I do recall a Family Guy bit about the “other unfunny hours of Monty Python,” which annoyed me – – but that was partially because it rang true. There’s so, so much brilliant material there that literally changed my life. But there’s also a lot of material in the episodes that is either dated or that falls flat.

          But the great stuff is worth it 100x over.

  31. Still kinda hot out, but we still had a nice day at the Botanical Gardens. They have their own Butterlfy walk thru, which was fascinating to all babies.

  32. Finished Hill House. Much less scary than I expected but also much better character story/mystery than expected. Overall Lo Pan recommended.

  33. My stupid ISP has been down for 13 hours.
    The claim that someone caused a 3 state outage by cutting a fiber optic cable while installing a sprinkler system in their yard.

    Really? No backup plan to having a cable cut? Heaven help us if Al Quada finds out it is that easy to take out communications in 3 states.

  34. So I’m watching the first episode of Titans. It amuses me that DP said nobody goes to Detroit yet in the series everybody is heading to Detroit..

      • I’ve been a fan since his first tapes hit the Dr. Demento radio show … but never seen him in concert.
        I’m told it SHOULD be on everyone’s bucket list.

        • Oh yes. I had never been before myself. But my daughter and I have seen him three times in the last three years.

          Sadly, while he’s coming to Houston, the date does not work well with other commitments we have. He really should have cleared his schedule with me first, but I guess he’s let that fame go to his head.

      • Their regular Candy Bar Milk Stout (basically a Snickers stout – – except good) has become their premiere brew.

        It’s pretty gosh darned delicious – – so when I saw a coconut version, I had to try it. Not coconutty at all, but less peanutty than the main one, so I like it even better. Two pretzels up!

        • Agree completely. I’ve been hanging out a lot at Kings Convenience in Phoenix and they have an outstanding selection of beers. 70+ on tap at any one time. That’s where I had the Candy Bar Milk Stout and I was going to get a crowler of it, but wound up with something else.

          It’s kind of weird just how much beer I drink these days… tbh

    • One of the many complaints I have personally heard people say of NASA space efforts, is that they are so expensive because of the many tests and redundant systems that the government requires of them. As the argument goes, NASA being a “government” run company, can’t afford to loose an astronaut because a political appointee might be held responsible. (Sadly, we now know this isn’t the case.)

      I am always dumbfounded by that line of argument for “privately built space craft”. The complainer doesn’t claim that private industry can build a safer or even “as safe” craft for less money. Just that, with out all of that extra mandated testing, they can make it cheeper and quicker.

      • “Privatize everything!” translates to “funnel more money away from publicly-maintained organizations and into the pockets of bzillionaire business owners!”

  35. So after trying a latte with the pod machine that used ground coffee rather than instant I find I really can distinguish between that and instant.

    Unlike beer I can at least add sugar.

    • Step 1: give him the most ridiculous, implausible stage name possible. Is “Rip Torn” taken? Damn! It will have to be Armie Hammer then.

      Ok, I’ll read the article.

  36. Van, if you suddenly felt a ripple in the force it is because I am currently having a cup of tea made with a pod machine. While it is better than not having a cuppa … there are no real winners here.

    • I’ve been considering a purchase of a 3D printer myself. While I have made plenty of 3d models, I haven’t printed any. Basically you want to be sure that the modeling software you want is capable of creating the file format your 3d printer uses, usually STL format. As for what 3d modeling program, it depends on what you want to model. For technical things, I like Rhino 3d, but it has a bit of a learning curve. A more user friendly program would be Moi http://moi3d.com/ and it is cheaper to boot. On the free side is Blender, which is amazing, but takes a while to learn, but can do practically anything.

      • Thanks!
        I played with Blender a bit today and it’s lack of real world dimensions could be a deal breaker for me. I want to make parts with specific dimensions and Blender doesn’t seem to do that. I’ll give a look at Moi.

        As for printers … I am currently looking at the Creality CR-10S. Seems like a good unit at a price point I can live with. I REALLY want a PRUSA I3 MK3 but that is a price point I can’t live with. 🙁
        It does seem like they all have their issues. They might have great print quality … but even the ones with the best reviews seem finicky.

        As for Jacks question – 1980’s Kelly LeBrock, of course (“What are you little maniacs up to now?”)

        • Cool, I’m looking at the Wanhao Duplicator 7. It uses resin, so it is better for fine detailed small objects, like gaming miniatures. 🙂

      • So… I’ve been on a kick for some time that there should be such a thing as a glaive fidget spinner. Glaive as in the weapon from Krull, not an the actual weapon. If anyone with 3D modeling skills feels like they need an idea for something to make, have at it. I do know someone with a 3D printer in my local area. Just no one with the skills to model the thing.

        http://krull.wikia.com/wiki/Glaive

        PS. I have looked and found one or two already existing 3D models for a glaive fidget spinner. I just don’t like them. They are too clunky and lack detail.

        • The 3d modeling of such a thing would be fairly easy. The hard part would be planning for the ball bearing mechanism and I would assume some kind of weighting for the arms to give it inertia.

          • I know my 3D printing guy has made spinners before. I’ll see if he knows of any easy ways to incorporate the ball bearing mechanism.

  37. In today’s dinosaur moment: a co-worker pointed at my iPod on the desk and said, “What is that?? Does it even still work?”

    I was so distraught, I turned the crank on my Model T and sped away at 20 mph.

  38. Good morning, Pan.

    It’s 48°f in Phoenix this morning.

    Natives like me are becoming basic with thigh high socks, knee high boots, scarves, and complaints about the freezing weather.

    Me to me: Ya Basic!
    Me to me in reply: I’m basically freezing.

    • Holy crap that’s a great find. Bakshi’s films are not all masterpieces and some I can’t even re-watch. But the man was one of the most innovative animators ever and brought an artistic integrity I’ve rarely seen anywhere else.

  39. And oh yeah, I was going to complain about something!

    So, I read Jeff Vandermeer’s book, “Annihilation,” earlier this year, and found it fascinatingly odd. I loved the setting and what it seemed to be setting up, so I picked up “Authority,” the 2nd book in the trilogy.
    WTF.
    I usually just stop with terrible books, but I kept reading because I really liked book 1, and I wanted to see him do right by the premise. And the reviews were so enthusiastic, I thought it just had to get better. (Critics are not to be trusted)
    It did improve eventually, but not nearly enough. . . I’m still inclined to try finishing the series, but holy crap am I leery now.

    • I got my tickets for mid-June! Can’t wait. I haven’t seen him live before. I hear it’s something everyone should experience.

  40. Crap joke for the day:

    A guy was meeting a friend in a bar and as he went in, he noticed two pretty girls looking at him.
    “Nine,” he heard one whisper as he passed.
    Feeling pleased with his self , he swaggered over to his buddy and told him a girl had just rated him a nine out of ten.
    “I don’t want to ruin it for you,” he said, “but when I walked in, they were speaking German.”
    “So what does ‘nine’ mean in German?”
    “It means ‘No’.”

  41. My mom really doesn’t know anything about either John and I.
    John’s birthday is coming up in December. Mom asked me if John would like a gift card to a “store for jocks”. She found out about it from her neighbour who is outdoorsy, and big into sports. Everything we are not.
    I suggested she get him a Steam gift card instead.

      • It strikes me like the sort of purposely inflammatory rhetoric we occasionally see from fading, formally relavent pundits like Rush Limbaugh. Embracing the idea that even negative public attention and headlines are better than no attention at all.
        He is stepping into a bright spotlight made for someone else and giving a sort of sad, “Hey look at me! Look at ME!”.

      • I also enjoyed this one – about the same, maybe better than the first.
        I really enjoy the supporting characters and Newt. Johnny Depp is bleh. This story was a mess for the first 15-20 min, imo but then the story settled in and got good. I felt like it referenced some deep cuts in the HP World, too.

        I’m in for the trilogy.

  42. The new Sabrina show is on here. Michelle Gomez (Missy from Doctor Who) plays a vicious psycho on this show too. I guess she’s not concerned about typecasting.

    • History is littered with people who got the credit for what others deserved. I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for people to do the right thing.

    • I know there a few at Marvel, including Jack Kirby, I think, who felt that Stan took credit sometimes for others’ work. It hardly seems like an Edison vs Tesla thing, though.

      I find it hard to believe that Stan will not be fondly remembered, though.

      • No Stan will always be fondly remembered.

        Let’s not forget it took nearly 70 years, but Bill Finger DID finally shed the Bob Kane curse and has been remembered and recognized as the true co-creator of Batman. All comes out in time.

    • Logical up to a point. He’s okay with Ghost having its message because America has freedom of religion or “irreligion” as he says. Fine. But he’s not okay with a Performing Arts venue signing the band to play? That seems a bit counterintuitive to his first argument. I’m sure he’d be just fine if it was Jars of Clay performing.

    • I would tend to be less generous with the pastor than you are.
      I philosophized on this topic back when Ozzy was biting the head of bats and Black Sabbath was … well, Black Sabbath.

      The threat to Christianity has NEVER been from a direct frontal attack. These sort of, very public, displays of satanic stuff is almost always stage show but even when it isn’t – it actually provides a great teaching/discussion point for Christian teachers.
      No, the REAL threat to Christianity and any Christian community is public figures such as donald trump, who make a grand showing of being “very moral” and Christian with their words … while their deeds are in fact evil and lack any compassion or humanity.

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