Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Well THIS Mega Bites

Showing considerable predictive skills, poet Robert Burns wrote, in 1785, that "the best laid plans o' mice an' men gang aft agley." And we assume that he was referring to computer mice, because that's the infernal device that has had its way with us like a brute named "Jackhammer" in the prison shower.

Oh, we began the day confidently enough, even making plans to attend a movie - an experience which is somewhat problematic for us as previously outlined in these pages. But we went anyway, reserving the wrong seats online (and dashing around at the theater to get moved to a better row). We then sensed impending trouble when the theater patron about 5 seats away started coughing phlegmatically and, when the pre-show trailers came on, guffawing loudly at the antics of some animated M&M's. Sure enough, he proved to be one of those persons who seems to believe he can affect the outcome of a film by shouting helpful advice to those onscreen.

The movie was Clint Eastwood's "Richard Jewell," a very solid and well-crafted film revolving around the events of the Atlanta Olympic bombing and the poor security guard who discovered the backpack bomb and was then blamed for it.

Eastwood handles the material fairly, and shows how the government and media can destroy an innocent person not because they're being evil, but because they're being assholes. Which, of course, we're still seeing today in a big way.

In any event, the film gets a "thumbs up" from Stilton's Place, especially if you can watch it with no Tourette's sufferers in the immediate proximity. Also, the "scope" of the film is such that it will play fine on your home television if you don't catch it in a theater.

ANYway, we got back home and prepared to write a lovely blog post and...our principle piece of software for the job was screwed beyond belief. Beyond what was even theoretically possible, bending the laws of time, space, and physics to blow a hot raspberry in our face.

We labored for hours to no avail, and decided that our only realistic course of action was to mutter an expletive, drink four (count 'em!) glasses of Clan MacGregor, and then see what we could write for today when our eyes were out of focus.

You're welcome!


zippidee said...

well said, sir

well said

REM1875 said...

Well Doc I am not sure, since your computer is down, what you wrote the movie review on but I am betting it was not stone tablets ???

It's rare but not unthinkable or impossible that someone in Hollyweird makes me proud but it does happen occasionally. That cowboy from Rawhide TV show has gone through a lot of incarnation but I never ever expected this. (and I have been a fan all the way) Thank You Mr Eastwood for giving an American Hero, Richard Jewel, a chance.

Me and Mrs Rem hitch up the mules to go to town only for supplies or to wait our turn to talk to a Dr for 5 mins or to justify their expense of the latest Medical Tech purchase. Movie theaters ain't nowheres on that list. But we will watch it when we can on some new technological thingy when it become widely available (free).
So thank you for the review !!!

M. Mitchell Marmel said...


(snickers, ducks and runs)

I generally keep a couple spare keyboards and mice around the residence for just such occasions. Also for the rare occasion when I go into a fit of rage and smash the keyboard into a bajillion pieces against the desk... ^.^

Fred Ciampi said...

Well, to bring you up to date, so far Iran still isn't radioactive. But it's early so I'll turn on the telly and turn off the sound, open up a bottle, I mean jar, of Clan McMoonshine, sit back and watch myself in the mirror.

Geoff King said...

Today's top story,obviously, is that Iran launched more than 2 dozen missiles at a US air base in Iraq, and evidently not a single person was killed.
Either Iran's missile technology is that poor, or they feared that Trump would swat them like a mosquito had any Americans died, and they just wanted to make good on their threat to retaliate for the killing of Soleimani.
I, for one, hope that the latter is true and that Trump realizes that and shows restraint.
If not, then I hope we go in full force and turn the entire country into radioactive glass within a few hours and be done with it.

REM1875 said...

@ M. Mitchell Marmel said...

Stilton ya know that would be justifiable homicide to take out any who says that. Even if it wasn't, no jury with people old enough to remember Microshaft tech support in day of yore would convict you.......
And ya know I think I hear him saying that with a distinct New Delhi, India, hard to understand, accent no less !!!

Good one Mitchell !!! (wish I had thought of it !!!)

Brie Camembert said...

I bought the latest piece of fruit based computer hardware as my old one was showing its age. I was suckered. More often than not I go back to the old one (which I reformatted and reinstalled once I had the new one).
Long ago I realised that computers are NOT to save time or make life easier, but to make huuuuuuge wads of money for a few people.

Anyhoo, your problem must be bad if it needs FOUR glasses of Clan McPaintstripper. I trust that you will be able rapidly to fix the problem with the software (if not the red eyes!!)

[@M. Mitchell Marmel - I too had the runs after eating Snickers and Ducks ;-) ]

Sortahwitte said...

I, too, have been anxiously awaiting the next act in the seemingly never ending saga of
salami ben buh-by. Since the middle east is still unsuitable for parking cars, back to bed.

When I get a new computer, which is not very often, I reserve the hard drive to use for target practice with a .45. It is very relaxing and soothes my soul. Sioux makes me take it outside before doing the deed, but it still makes me feel good.

Jim Irre said...

Actually, turning it off then back is a good thing to do every so often anyway. It gets all the little bytes back in nice, neat columns and rows so they can mount a concerted attack later on!

Anonymous said...

"Pissed Off Old Guy"~ Excellent movie, and we had a few "desenters ", running Commentary in the .movie as well.., Clan MAcGregor is a good choice, I prefer my Famous Grouse blends..GlennTurret.. and yes, Trump is playing "Texas Holden" with the mullahs.., but strangely enough, (wink) Iran had two earthquakes last night, nearby their reactor..coincidence..?

Snark said...

Technology is great when it works. Unfortunately most of it seems to have an "urgency detector" that insures that it will not function when most needed.

I solved the problem of needing four glasses of booze. I got a larger glass. Also saves trips to the bar.

Emmentaler Limburger said...

Yello! Welcome to app-pool support. Can I have your name, please? Thank you berry much, Mr. . Can you describe to me what you are experiencing? Oh. So your computer has stopped functioning. OK. I can help you with that. Is your computer plugged into the wall?


(Perhaps you *should* have sent the $200 when that Nigerian guy called you and said that your operating system had expired and Microsoft was going to turn it off. Even if Microsoft isn't Apple. I mean: it could have been the principle of the thing....)

TrickyRicky said...

I feel your computer pain Stilton. I have a new Dell desktop en route with Windows 10 installed to replace my older Dell which runs on Windows 7, which Microsoft will quit supporting in one week. Meaning much more risk of hacking and other bad stuff. This transition has been public knowledge since last summer. No, no procrastination in my DNA, none whatsoever. So my next week will be sleeping and waking nightmares of the computer variety.

Regarding Iran, I am firmly in the camp which views last nights fireworks show as an attempt by the Iranian regime to save face without being annihilated. I have a feeling DJT will show restraint. He has no desire to be drawn into another protracted ME war. As for overthrowing the despotic theocrats in Tehran, our sanctions are biting deep, despite the efforts of our Euroweenie "allies" to circumvent them. The rest is up to the population.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@zippidee- Considering that I couldn't remember exactly what I wrote, I'm glad you enjoyed it (grin).

@REM1875- In the interest of brevity, I oversimplified the situation a bit. My whole computer wasn't fubar, but the ComicLife app which I use to make cartoons was completely screwed. This is the sort of thing that tweaks my OCD and makes me a mess until I can get it fixed again. I've reached out to the company, and they routinely provide great service.

As you know at this point, it's rare for me to go to a theater these days - but Clint Eastwood is a dependable director who usually has something worthwhile to say, and we went to the theater so our ticket money would be seen as a vote for his kind of filmmaking. There's a good chance we'll go see "1917" at the theater, too, as it's gotten great reviews and the scope of the story demands a big screen.

@M. Mitchell Marmel- Truth be told, "turning it off and on again" is probably how I screwed myself. Some other things had frozen on my computer and I did an unrecommended "cold boot." That likely corrupted a key bit of code that I've so far been unable to find.

@Fred Ciampi- It's just as well I didn't attempt to write about missile crises last night. Although the output might have been...interesting.

@Geoff King- I agree with your analysis. I'm hoping that Iran made a relatively inconsequential "gesture" to tell the world "we mean business" and simultaneously tell Trump "please don't turn our country into a parking lot." Like you, I'm hoping that Trump will now show restraint.

@REM1875- What's even more annoying than that particular piece of advice is how often it actually works.

@Brie Camembert- Yeah, computers don't so much make life easier - they just make life exponentially more complicated, and simultaneously allow us to make more mistakes in less time.

@Sortahwitte- I'm optimistic that my computer problem can be fixed with a (so far) missing nugget of information, like "delete this support file and then restart the program." If that doesn't work, I may actually be forced to try to write this blog while cold sober.

@Jim Irre- Every time I reboot my Mac, it wants to know which of four users I am...and they're all me. But for some identities I have administrator privileges, while in other identities I am a boot-licking peon with "look only" privileges. I have no frigging idea how or why this has happened, but it's been the case since I upgraded my computer two years ago.

@Anonymous- At least our verbal companion in the movie was on the right side of things, warning Richard Jewell that the FBI "is trying to fool you!" I'll bet it's hilarious to go to a horror movie with that guy in the audience.

@Snark- I know this will sound ridiculous and is utterly unprovable, but there have been times in my life when I am severely stressed and electronics and machinery cease to work in my presence. Oh, not EVERYthing...but enough to be weird. In trying to get to a wedding once, it took me seven cars to do so...every one of them (other than the last) breaking down on the way. I arrived too late for the wedding rehearsal (and I was best man), and the next day when I was offered a ride to the wedding, THAT car wouldn't start...and I was told to get out.

@Emmentaler Limburger- I will say that, as a young boy in Indiana, I never dreamed I would someday speak to so many people in India on the phone.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@TrickyRicky- I am a man who is willing to accept challenge, but Windows has always been completely inaccessible to me. I've tried, but the logic behind the OS (assuming there IS some) utterly escapes me. Good luck on your upgrade. By the way, I thought I could avoid all of the OS stuff by buying a Chromebook laptop (it basically uses the Chrome browser instead of a true OS, and all of your programs are web-based) but it pretty much blows, too. I'm actually a pretty happy Mac user. Other than today. (wry grin)

M. Mitchell Marmel said...

@Stilton: Having been a Mac jockey for thirty-five (!) years now, I can give you a couple hints...

1) Control Panel is your friend. Or, as it's called nowadays, System Preferences. Once you're logged in as admin, go to "Users & Groups". Click the lock to make changes and remove any unwanted accounts.

2) Activity Monitor is also your friend. Make sure it's a) kept in the Dock and b) is set to "Open at Login". Left click on the icon in the dock and set it for Dock Icon > Show CPU History. The vast percentage of Mac troublemakers do so by eating up CPU cycles. Open Activity Monitor and see what's taking up the most % CPU. A surprising culprit is, of all things, Stickies. Don't leave that running in the background. Open it, find the stickie you want, copy the info, close it.

Oh, and if you DO have to do a cold restart for some reason, follow it up with a regular restart from the Apple menu. That'll help the bits and bytes get into some semblance of order. Don't panic if it takes a few minutes to reboot after a crash. However, if it takes four hours or more, call an Apple doctor. ;D

Hope this helps! ;)

M. Mitchell Marmel said...

2) Whups! That should be "right click", or, if you're using a one-button mouse (why?!) "control-click".

Alfonso Bedoya said...

Thanks for the hints, M. Mitchell. Hope you don't mind if I copy your post and share it with my wife who has her own iMac desktop. I shudder whenever I am informed that I have received an "upgrade." Just when I get the current programs learned and love the way things work, an "upgrade" means that I will have to relearn a program that had worked just fine. Purchasing new songs on the "upgraded" iTunes is an example.

John the Econ said...

I hate when I sit down at my desk and my computer does not behave as expected. Really puts a dent in my day, especially considering that people assume that I of all people never have such problems.

Richard Jewell: I remember the event well. I recall commenting at the time on the pretense that the FBI used to arrest Jewell; the discovery of "bomb making materials" found in his home, which included cardboard, various plumbing parts, roofing nails, and ordinary household cleaning chemicals. Or in other words, stuff that pretty much any competent homeowner (outside of today's pajama-beta-soy-boys anyway) would have in their garage for regular maintenance and repair. Pretty much everyone I know could be arrested for being a terrorist by that standard. The media piled on to do the rest of the hit job.

It's a shame that we had to wait nearly a quarter century after the fact for someone to make a film to point out what a perfect real-life example this was as to how easily the government-media complex can utterly destroy an innocent citizen. That the media establishment itself hates it tells you all you need to know about their culpability in the matter.

What I'd like Clint Eastwood to do next: Make a film about how the government-media complex conspired to turn Hispanic George Zimmerman (who's mother was Peruvian) into a white racist and Travon Martin into the kid most likely to cure cancer had his life not been cut short by his own thuggery.

This week, there's been much talk about the threat of "deepfake" videos, where advances in AI technology will soon make it possible to create convincing video of people saying and doing things that never happened. But what's the point when the supposedly respectable mainstream media has already been doing this for decades? Recall NBC altering George Zimmerman's 911 call to make him sound like an incoherent racist, post-attack pictures of him made to look less injured, while publishing pictures of Trayvon that made him look like an angel.

The media is supposed to protect us from the overreach of government. For the most part today, they're the cheerleaders for citizen oppression. Unless you're a thug, anyway. They love the thugs.

Pat Cummings said...

@All: May I extend my appreciation to all here for not freaking out and assuming that DJT would go nuclear when the opportunity arose? How neat that he got a shout out to Iran during his speech this morning with an offer to help them "Make Iran Great Again" (thus philosophically fueling internal Iranian anti-government protests instead of escalating their vengeful urges), as well as pointing out that the bombs sent erringly on their way toward our air base in Iraq were paid for by the funds remanded to Iran by Obama & Biden.

Maybe we should all find out what OS the pilots in Indian Springs are using, because obviously their drone controls are working just fine...

(Creech AFB in Indian Springs, NV, is where the Air Force RPA group is currently based.)

Geoff King said...

Just watched the President's address. Trump will show restraint, but his powerful speech should convince Iran to capitulate, or face the consequences. That is, if Iran had sane leadership, which is doubtful.

John the Econ said...

Trump & Iran: It was interesting to note that the attacks caused far less damage than they could have and avoided killing any Americans. I don't think that was an accident. It was more a temper-tantrum reaction by Iran to placate the domestic audience. Everyone knows that we could decimate Iran if we really wanted to, and could do so without actually putting any boots on the ground.

Internally, Iran has been teetering for quite some time now. Remember, Obama had the opportunity to push them over the edge years ago, but declined to show any support for the opposition to the mullahs. They are an oil-rich country where people have been suffering economically for decades and they are over it. The idea that the Mullahs are spending billions of dollars fermenting discord globally and trying to build a bomb instead of improving the well-being of life at home has been chafing people the wrong way for a very long time, and they're ready for a change. Before the '79 revolution, Iran was one of the most modern countries in the Middle East. I think a "Make Iran Great Again" theme is a good strategy. (Perhaps we should be air-dropping red MIGA hats)

Also, it's time to get the Europeans in gear. They've remained passive letting the US keep the lead in the Middle East for far too long, even though they have far more to lose now than we do. (While we are now energy independent, Europe is still getting most of their oil from the Middle East. Why are WE paying for that???) If the Europeans want a bigger say on how the situation is managed, it's time for them to man-up, figuratively and literally.

Colby Muenster said...

Murphy’s law, addendum 47: “A personal computer will fail at the precise moment you are depending on it to not fail.” But, you have pointed out that it was actually a software glitch, so I guess the machine if off the hook for now. We hope you get full operational status soon!

Mrs. Muenster and I rarely go to the movie theater anymore due to the ridiculous prices, but some movies sort of require the theater experience. Star wars Episode 9 was our latest, and I have to say the Disney mostly redeemed themselves from the absolutely dreadful Episode 8. For a minute or two, I almost forgot that alleged actor, Mark Hamill is a severe Trump hater. I absolutely want to see 1917 in the theater as well, but will wait for Redbox or Netflix for Jewell. As soon as that movie came out, the critics and press were telling us how horrible it was, so I know it must be awesome! Hats off to Mr. Eastwood for giving Hollywood the finger. Same goes for Ricky Gervais. Is there a pattern here? I sure hope so.

@M. Mitchell Marmel,
I’ve been using a PC at work since the late 80’s, and the first words out of EVERY I.S. guy’s mouth when reporting a problem was…. You guessed it. And when the cold boot doesn’t work, they always scratch their heads and say, “I’ll do some research and get back to you.”

@Geoff King,
I suspect you are correct, sir. The Mullahs are ruthless, cold blooded killers, but they aren’t stupid. I also think their quests for “72 virgins” is a bunch of caca del toro. I've noticed it wasn’t pallets of virgins that Obammy delivered.

What is this “glass” device of which you speak?

Anonymous said...

Movie is awesome--go see it.

Kent Neal said...

When I asked Alexa where I could find quesadilla and salami?
She said " I will send takeout to Qasem Suleimani".

Jar Jar Binks said...

Personally, I prefer Star Wars movies from the 1999-2005 era.

Dan said...

@John the Econ--
Not just the "bomb making ingredients" but somehow a revolver, a bolt-action rifle, and two boxes of ammo become an "arsenal."

And then there's strange stuff found on the hard drive or in search history. After working in and around IT for years, and reading things like Sharyl Attkisson's experience with her computer somehow operating itself, the amazing, magic discovery of porn or bomb searches or some such on suspects' computers I find less than convincing.

Pat Cummings said...

@Dan: It isn't just "mysteriously working by itself"—those of us who are writers frequently wonder what a presumptive rummage through our search histories would uncover.

"Honestly, officer/agent/detective, I've been researching a new work of fiction that has a protagonist being poisoned. Had to find out what the symptoms are...

"The bomb plans? Oh, that was for a different novel that I also haven't started writing yet."

That clang you just heard is the cell door slamming behind said writer...

John the Econ said...

"And then there's strange stuff found on the hard drive or in search history. After working in and around IT for years, and reading things like Sharyl Attkisson's experience with her computer somehow operating itself, the amazing, magic discovery of porn or bomb searches or some such on suspects' computers I find less than convincing."

No doubt that will be the reason given for this:

Paul Krugman: My computer was hacked to 'download child pornography'