Greetings from a local Starbucks…
Shortly after “declairing probable victory” over the Xwindows hang issue, I found that it isn’t Firefox. Firefox “tickles it” far more than other things, but it is a bug in Xwindows itself. Further it shows up in Ubuntu and other Debian derivatives, and it, or something similar, shows on a search of Gentoo pages. Looks like some “improved” X-windows in a way that breaks things… but likely works well with their big new box. Sigh.
Then came the “double tap”. The DSL Router started acting up. Finally, yesterday, it looks to be substantially dead.
So I’m posting this update from Starbucks.
At this point it is unclear if the issue is my router (about 6? years old) or the AT&T service, that has flaked out a couple of times, but usually recovered on its own. Now its not recovering. And, from the “needs clue” depeartment, this AT&T branded internet access home boundary router has a support contact printed on the top. A URL for a web site that you cannot connect to when your router is down. Can you say “unclear on the concept”? I knew you could.
It will likely take a few days to get it working. First to contact AT&T, then wait for them to debug things, then go buy a new router, then find out that wan’t it, then… “Somewhere” in my packed stuff is a wireless hot spot. IFF I can find it and set it up, it will be a workable short term alternative. (it costs about double the AT&T line and has a much slower rate, but is fairly reliable). Comcast has an XFinity hotspot in the neighborhood, but it takes a long time to find the prices ( $2.95 for one hour, or $45ish? for a month) and it can ony be used with one device, so I’d be back in the “make a router” game anyway as I made a NATing boundary router so my other ‘goods’ would work (I’ve done this before, many years back, when other services were similarly stupid. The Laptop has “internet sharing” on it, so it’s a built in now for Windows, if the laptop were stable.
I’m starting to wonder if there’s an excess cosmic rays issue or solar flares… or if California is entering an alternate dimension… oh, too late ;-)
So that his posting isn’t entirely just a rant about tech on my part, a couple of topics du jour:
Some years back I had a bottle of old cheap cloves that had sat way too long in the spice cabinet. Looking them over, a couple looked “odd”. Larger lozenge like things. I had bought a new box and decided to “just pitch” this batch. But, being the experimentall sort, pitched it via scàttering around the garden squares. Now, about 5? years later I’ve got 3 trees growing that have leaves that look like cloves and smell like cloves when crushed.
What makes this interesting is two things. 1) Cloves is a flower, not a seed. Looking into it, the ‘fruit’ pods are those losenge like bits and sometimes are included in the spice (as a cheapening volume increasing agent). For “grow your own”, cheap cloves are better ;-) and then there is 2) Supposedly Cloves is a strongly tropical tree. 50 F lower limit in one write up, 40 F in another. These are growing in San Jose and have been well below 40 F, so something isn’t right… Maybe it’s the urban environment near the house, or more likely the tree is more adaptable than believed.
The usual age for cloves to flower is bout 6 o 7 years, so “any year now” I ought to be getting my first “crop”. That will pretty much prove that I’ve got the identiy right. The leaf shape, growing habit, and leave aroma are all correct. When chewed, the leaves impart the right flavor and do have some numbing qualityies (but the active ingredient, euglenol? is in several plants). At some point I’ll post some pictures ( I’d thought I’d be doing that now, but the Gremlins decided otherwise…)
I found a web page with other folks who claimed to have cloves trees, but they didn’t list where. L.A. or Miami would be more reasonable than here. Still, there are individual variations in any population, so maybe this is just a slightly more cold tollerant sport. We’ll see. Hopefully it will not suddenly get cold killed in a cold freeze. Even at that, I’d had 4 of them and chopped on off at the base 2 years back (as it was in a square that I wanted for other plants and can’t really support 4 trees 10 to 15 meters tall each in my small yard) and that root stock is resprouted. So these are sturdy plants that don’t give up if chopped down. Cloves coppice? That means it looks like my impulsive “Darwins Seed Scatter” let the survivors show themselves moment has resulted in a much longer term experiment. Farming Cloves in California…
Dementia and Weight
On the news was a “OMG” story about fat folks. Seems that the rate of demential is dramatically lower in obese folks. Like 25 or 28% lower. They had to split the story into two parts, since a 50% reduction in risk is ‘way high’. Part two was that skinny folks are about 35% more risk for dementia. That’s over 50% spread from skinny to fat. So when Ms. Obama says your kid is too fat, retort that he’s smarter for it and going to stay that way! ;-) On a related note, I’ve always thought many of those skinny vegetarian Uber Green folks were a bit demented. Now I have evidence to support that bias ;-)
WordPress Beep Bop Boop
Until recently, there was a ‘give me the old editor’ button on WordPress horrible Beep Bop Boop editor. That seems to be gone (and I’m not getting spell check either). Until I find a way to get the old one back, things will likely have “artifacts”. I guess they’ve decided to force use laggards to use their new more annoying and crappy editor…
Watched is announcement speech. First time in years I was driven to joy and tears at the same time. Maybe it’s that MY family had ‘service’ roots (restaurant work – cooks, waitress, me the busboy); but his story of starting from nothing and wanting that for the children of today was a touchstone for me. Mom and Dad and 2 kids arrived in California with an old Chevy and money for about one more tank of gas after WWII, and bootstrapped up from there. All us kids got college and decent jobs. Now I’m torn. So much of that field is attractive.
While the Libertarian leaning of Rand Paul call to me the most ( I’m not really a Republican, but a Libertarian ) I find the Rubio presentation, attitude, goals, and freshness compelling. Sort of a JFK without the money feel. (And, yes, I lived during the real JFK time and remember it, so this isn’t a reaction to the fantasy created since then). Young, idealistic, wanting ot make use BE what we idealize.
I’m also somewhat interested in Cruz and then my Florida Friend says Jeb Bush was a very good Governor. Scott Walker also has shown enough spine to be a candidate for putting The Federal Beast on a diet. Too bad the Republican Party Machine will chew up and spit out the freshest and most interesting of them and leave us with a hum drum tamed neutered lap puppy of the powerful (who want no change to the Fed Gravy Train).
On the Democrat side we’ve had the self announced corronation of Ms. Hillary as the heir apparent. So let here it for another 8 years of the Clinton / Bush alternating Dynasty and another 8 years of Obama lite… Do the Democrats not have anyone who wants this country to be what the original constitution said it ought to be? A free land of opportunty, not a Regulation Nation of Central Authority telling you to mind your limits and stay in place on The Dole. The One sold that dream to the nation and got elected, then turned out to just be a Socialist in radical clothing. That lie won’t sell twice. Maybe the Democrats can figure out that a Real Freedom loving candidate can make things better. As it stands now, they got royally spanked in the last election and folks are chewing their lower lip waiting for Obummer to be out and hoping he doesn’t screw things up too permanently until the next person can undo the damage and fix things. That context does not lend itself to a Legacy Continuance candidate…
Oh Well. Nothing I do will matter. It’s unfortunately in the hands of the heavily moneied who will be buying the politicians that THEY like and not what the Average Joe Citizen wants. Been that way since shortly after Ike was elected, IMHO. (He was a real populist who did what was best for the country, not his cronies). JFK was a good guy, but too embedded in the monied world and didn’t get much done before his demise anyway. Then Johnson was a Machine Man all the way and brought dirty tricks and The Machine to the Democrats. They never recovered. Reagan was a populist in the Republican side, and IMHO it almost got him killed. After that he was less prone to worry about the little guy and more willing to follow the party line. Then Daddy Bush was a Machine Man all the way (having long deep roots in the Party and C.I.A. background). Baby Bush was largely just an order taker for his side Party Machine. Bill and Hillary were bought and paid for as party line good party aparatchicks. Never venturing far from what their 3rd Way Cronies wanted in the way of money flows and policies. Sometimes I dispare that we the people will never get our country back. It’s now owned by too few families.
China and Russia
China is building a wall of sand (and new islands) in the South China Sea. Having defacto told the USA and neighbors to bugger off, this is now South China Lake. Russia is actively pushing the USA and NATO out of border regions. South America soon to follow. Putin knows not a single person will lead any country against any Russian push, so he’s slow walking into new lands.
Well, at least they are doing the dying and not US Soldiers. Once this is all done, we’ll either have a New Caliphate and it will be clear that Islam wants Andelusia and Greece back (maybe they can just buy Greece for the debt:-)… or we will have the House of Saud owning all the arabian peninsula (with Jordan as a possible exception / satripy) and the final Sunni / Shiia war can begin.
I’d not expect anything approaching “peace” anywhere from Algeria to Pakistan until that sorts out… Call it about 2050 A.D.
My Mocha is getting low, and I have a network to debug. Hopefully this is enough to keep folks interested for a while as I do my own Tech Support.
The next few months will be interesting. Both personally and nationally as well as internationally. I’ve also got a bit of work to do with getting that GIStemp station rebuilt on some release with a stable Xwindows. I need more time in each day, I think ;-) Maybe I ought to just get a job somewhere that will pay me to do temperature stuff… and has a stable internet and in house tech support… Nah… then I’d be a “climate scientist” and have to join the dark side, since they are the ones with the jobs and Gov’t grant money.
Oh Well. Back to slaving over a hot computer.