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Random acts of stupidity

I don't have much to say on the following. It is just a case of what the heck are some people thinking?

If you are going to try and hoover all information everywhere... you shouldn't say this. Although this probably isn't any better.

If you want people to give you their money to keep safe... robbing you shouldn't be this easy.

If you want people to take border control seriously... this, this, this are not going to help. Also, work on avoiding anything that smacks of trust us.

If you are working with radiation... certain things should be donefirst so you can avoid thesethis and this.

Just ask Ford what a little stupidity can do.

Cut and Paste are simple, right?

In another entry in our occasional series, "Cleaning out the bookmarks file", we have an entry on Cut and Paste. Cut and Paste are things that should be ridiculously simple. However, the existence of various clipboard enhancers shows that it is not. Another example of how complicated it can be is this classic. I never thought learning the fine details of clipboard theory would be interesting but the bookmark has been with me for longer than I care to think about.

Another part of it that I enjoy is that it reminds me of my youth when things like Wikipedia and even About.com did not exist. If you had something to say you put it on your own webpage. The times I found fascinating information maintained by someone who cared made the internet a far more interesting place. It seems nowadays it is easier to find what you are looking for if it is popular with the right people but far more difficult in other respects.

At least they'll have a story to tell

There is really no way to say it. We're the worst parents ever. We have officially crossed the line from ordinary failure to the truly terrible. What is it that we could do that was so horrid? We opened Christmas presents in the evening.... of Christmas Day. I weep just thinking about it. How could we reach such a low point?

Well, my wife had to work. I'd like to say there was something more to it but that is really it. She had to work and no one in this family outside of myself was willing to get up at 6am to open presents. I suppose we could have opened them without her but I am not sure we despise mommy enough for that.

My poor daughter suffered most of all. If you hear her tell it the progress of time that day slowed to a crawl that would impress even the torpid of Sloths. (Yes, I managed to work torpid into a sentence. I am going to consider that a victory of some sort or another. ) If she didn't ask every half hour for the entire day than I would be surprised.

My son was a bit more tolerant. I suspect he asked when mommy was going to be home no more than a dozen times or so. A relative trifle compared to the despondent form that was my daughter.

In the end everyone enjoyed opening presents and the related a great deal. Hopefully, that enjoyment will be enough to keep child services at bay.

Getting there

I read a lot of news. I subscribe to the local newspaper, watch television news, tons of stuff off the internet. In general, I have to be honest most of it is pretty depressing. In the end though, a lot of is not the kind of depressing that ruins your day. Violence for better or worse is something we can point to and say fairly clearly that this is bad regardless of the circumstances. Even a just war is something a rational person is not going to be interested in except under duress.

The things that affect me are the ones that fall under the category of "We'd never go that far." A few months ago there was a story that made the rounds about a new patent that was approved. It seems someone found an easier way to do genetic testing on those still inside the womb. They'd never go so far as to use it of course. It was left unasked why they'd bother researching and patenting something they'd never do.

Than there are our schools. The same halls hold some of the great educators we have ever had, some of the most truly worthless and examples of reasonable policies taken to the extreme. Fighting a problem? We just won't let students touch each other. This should fix all of our problems, why did we not think of this sooner? Gun violence is a problem too, so better safe than sorry. Free speech can also be a problem when you realize not everybody agrees with you. The articles are of course just picked at random from a little internet searching. If you worked you might be able to come up with a reasonable defense of the actions. However, you still have to explaining how charging a six year old with sexual harassment is going to do the child any good. In the end we need to remember that schools have children in them, not short adults.

I have spent a while trying to come up with something coherent to say about the federal government. I guess the best I can come up with is that pointing out that the NSA now has its own section at the Electronic Frontier Foundation and much of what they do is illegal to mention. Don't worry. I am sure they are not abusing their power and would never lie to us. After all, they can barely search their own email.

We've heard the phrase "Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely." Hopefully, we'll understand what it means before it is too late.

Art Theory

If you want to get a definition of art that is more useful than the dictionary definition you are going to have a challenge on your hands. In the end you are probably stuck accepting "I'll know it when I see it." and lots of disagreement. I'd like to throw out something as a bit of art, even if it might not be what you normally see.

Another classic from the archives

I have to admit cleaning up the detritus from a computer can be mind-numbingly boring. However, it is a necessary evil and does come with a few perks. The random link is one of my favorites. Here's another that still amuses me after so many years.

Comcast: What one hand gives, another takes away.

Comcast announces their IPv6 rollout has moved them to number three in the world. This is a good thing even if you do not care about IPv6. It at lets you know they are still pushing their network forward and not standing still. Than they threaten a website because it published a public domain court record. First, are Comcast's lawyers really that stupid? It doesn't matter to anyone if it is an outside company, if they represent Comcast than Comcast is responsible for their behavior. Second, did anyone really think a website called "TorrentFreak" wasn't going to publish the letter? All the little bits of good will get blown away in an instant because someone didn't think. Lawyers and threats should be a last resort not standard operating procedure.

I want a PDP-11

I am not sure what I would do with it but it would at least give me an excuse to download the latest updates to BSD 2.11, first released in 1992, from its website, http://www.2bsd.com/.

Frankenmuth

We made an impromptu run to Frankenmuth for cranberry relish. Well, maybe there was other stuff... Once I got the relish I tuned everything else out.

USS Silversides... Etc

We have a membership to the Grand Rapids Children's Museum and that periodically gets us in for free at other places. In this case it was the USS Silversides Submarine Museum. The museum itself is not huge but covers a good deal deal of submarine material in a small amount of space, not just material related to the USS Silversides itself.

The highlight is of course the sub itself. The kids were amazed at how big yet how small it was. The shower schedule was a big hit. Crew 13-15 days. Officers 3-5. Cook-daily. I guess the importance of saving water has its limits. The fact that it still ran was something the kids had a hard time grasping. They seemed to assume that something that old should be broken. I tried to convince them that they should switch to cots at home but they were having none of it.

They also have the USCGC McLane. The Coast Guard cutter made for a nice contrast to the sub. I am not sure the kids noticed but they kept sticking out there arms to see if they could touch both sides of the hallway, etc. The kids were big fans of the four tier bunk beds. The cutter clearly had some restoration work left. The ship had been well used.

If you have never been there than you really should make the trip. It is not far and the cost was reasonable for what you got.

Chloe Élan

We tried another new restaurant tonight. This time around it was Chloe Élan in Ada. The initial experience was not the greatest. The location is in a strip mall near Amway. The first room was a small bar area populated only by staff. We were than led to one of two main floor dining rooms. It threw me a bit that the room was completely empty since the other room appeared to be reasonably busy. The decor was very "modern" for lack of a better term. It was not offensive or anything, it just felt like you could have dropped the room into any of a dozen restaurants and it would have fit in.

We were waiting for another couple to arrive so we tried to order the cheese plate. Unfortunately, had been cleaned out by an Amway party the previous day. This gave me an excuse to order the tuna tartare. Melissa is not a huge fan of seafood so it was a hard sell. However, she gave it a try and enjoyed it as much as I did. It was about this time we realized why the other couple was a half our late. They had been lead to the other, extremely crowded, dining room. The staff never made the connection. The main courses were good if not Earth shattering. The drinks were similar, a good variety but nothing so amazing that I have to go back for the food or the experience.

In the end the only thing memorable about the experience was the weakness of the service. The place was not that big with only two main rooms on the main floor and no one at all downstairs. There was no reason for one room to be extremely crowded and another to be empty. There was also no reason for them not to connect two couples both waiting for another couple who arrived within ten minutes of each other. This is probably a fine place to eat if you're in the area but there is no reason to make a special trip.

Pizza Ranch in Hudsonville

Tonight cooking was not going to happen so we tried a place in Hudsonville called Pizza Ranch. The location is an old strip mall with basic decorations. The focus of the restaurant was clearly on the food and not on selling you "ambiance" or "an experience". The place was also packed with both people and seating. There was a but as well as items off the menu. The buffet was open so that is what we went with.

The buffet itself consisted of three parts; salad, pizza and fried chicken. The salad bar was solid food service style, solid, but nothing to write home about. It was the kind of salad you can get anywhere with the strengths and weaknesses inherit. The pizza, however, was good. They had a wide variety of options and it was busy enough that it was always fresh. The chicken was a mixed bag. The coating was not to my liking. It lacked flavor and almost tasted burnt. However once the coating was removed the chicken underneath was quite good.

If you go than I would recommend focusing on the specialized pizzas and trying the chicken. It really comes down to location, the farther you have to drive to get there the less reason there is to go. There are lots of good pizza places and how many of us have the waistline for a buffet?