6/16/2024

Thoughts On A Sunday - Part 2

The roar of motorcycles started a little earlier than I expected this morning, hearing the first batch of bikes heading towards Weirs Beach at 6 this morning. I figure the peak was sometime around noon and then many of the bikers who made their way to New Hampshire for the 101st Annual Laconia Motorcycle Rally headed home. The beer and vendor tents saw the number of customers fade away and by late this afternoon most of the motorcyclists were gone. Yes, there will be some who will wait until tomorrow before heading home, avoiding most of the homebound traffic. That pretty much happens every year.

While we both look forward to and dread Motorcycle Week every year, we understand that it brings a lot of people and their money to New Hampshire. We like it when people come up this way to enjoy themselves and to take in the beauty of this place. For the first time in a number of years it also looks like there have been no fatal motorcycle accidents. I know there were some accidents, something that is unavoidable - including one non-motorcycle related accident in my town at an intersection well known for accidents – but we never really like hearing about anyone having been involved in a traffic accident, particularly if it involves folks visiting from away.

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Speaking of traffic accidents, I think I have mentions one a couple of occasions that one of my guilty pleasures is watching dash-cam videos on YouTube. It never ceases to amaze me how many drivers make poor decisions when they’re out on the highways and byways. The same is true for incidents of road rage, with people getting angry at other motorists and doing dumb stuff that endangers everyone. It’s even worse when a road-rager is angry at another motorist for no apparent reason.

The most common accident I’ve seen on these videos is caused when a driver blows through a red light or stop sign and t-bones another vehicle. Sometimes its someone trying to beat a red light. At other times someone misreads a green light for a left or right turn as a ‘regular’ green light and go through the intersection and cause an accident. (I have personally experienced a close call when I was returning home with some friends and the driver of the car I was in blew right through a red light at the top of an off-ramp, mistaking the left turn green arrow as a regular green light. We were fortunate there was no traffic making a left from the opposite side at the time.) Other red-light runners were apparently paying more attention to something else...like their smart phones, rather than to the road.

In any case, seeing all of the hundreds dash-cam videos convinced me to purchase one and install it in the trusty RAM 1500. I also bought three front/rear dash cams for family members last Christmas. In my case I have caught a number of close calls – people doing dumb stuff and almost causing an accident – one such close call taking place in one of the local supermarket’s parking lot when a woman got out of her car after parking it and walked right into the path of the RAM, her attention on her smart phone and not the traffic in the lot. She started yelling at me and as she did so I pointed to my dash-cam ...and she stopped yelling and went on her way. (Yes, I saved the video just in case. I reviewed it later and it clearly showed her paying more attention to her phone than to what was around her and that if I hadn’t been paying attention I would have hit her.)

If you don’t have a dash-cam I strongly suggest you get one. There are a lot of them available and they run from the basic and inexpensive ones to full function voice-controlled multi-camera ones. They’re cheap insurance and they can eliminate the he-said/she-said accounts about accidents.

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We are still months away from the November elections but controversies about voting, or more specifically, voting machines as well as mail-in voting has returned to the forefront, and with good reason.

Puerto Rico’s primary elections just experienced hundreds of voting irregularities related to electronic voting machines, according to the Associated Press.

Luckily, there was a paper trail so the problem was identified and vote tallies corrected.

The comments address this in more detail as well as the election fraud pulled off in the past. Many believe the 2024 election will see this again, but on a larger scale. Like Glenn Reynolds, many of us are calling for a return to paper ballots. There also needs to be a complete ban on mail-in voting because it lends itself to massive fraud, one reason so many other countries have banned it outright.

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If the UK thinks 79ºF is a heatwave, then I wonder what they would think of temps close to 100ºF and high humidity here in New England? That’s what we’ll be seeing later this week, with the temp on Tuesday expected to be 94º, 98º+ on Wednesday and Thursday, and 92º on Friday. In other words, summer.

Temps are expected to be back in the 70’s and 80’s next week.

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It looks like the Democrats are learning an old lesson. Again. That lesson?

Be careful what you wish for...because you just might get it.

...the suburban traditional liberal continues to vote Democrat because of abortion. Or some nonsense about the rich paying their "fair share." Or climate change. Or any number of manufactured grievances designed not so much to solve a tangible problem than to make a certain class of educated voters feel righteous about themselves.

They cast their votes on the Machiavellian calculation that the mob was useful as a lever from which to derive unconditional surrenders from congressional Republicans (never a difficult feat to begin with). They calculated that such antics would never be allowed to fester uncontrolled so long as the victims were conservatives who deserved it. They calculated that, once the mob had served its usefulness, it would disperse, much as the German elitists and corporate leaders once thought they could do with their own street thugs.

Well, my friends. You miscalculated.

--snip--

- You supported the LBGTQ agenda without question when it was being shoved in the noses of uppity Christians.

- You supported Obamacare because it felt virtuous, and all the democrat socialists of Scandinavia were doing it, and you didn't want to side with Paul Ryan pushing a wheelchaired grandmother off a cliff (in reality, it's more likely a wheelchaired grandmother pushing Paul Ryan off a cliff).

- You supported open borders and sanctuary cities to entrench a permanent Democrat voting base.

You supported drug legalization on the farce that you cared about boosting tax revenues when in reality you just wanted to enjoy your daily edible because apparently your life in the first world, middle-upper class, most privileged society in recorded history is just too unbearable without cannabis to ease your omnipotent suffering.

- You supported "green energy," not because you really believed the end-is-nigh sidewalk prophets outside the Davos fleshpots but because it was trendy and hip and got you accolades at your neighborhood's fair trade coffee shop.

- You supported the draconian COVID mask mandates and travel restrictions because Science Is Real©, and the only opposition came from flyover state knuckledraggers who think the earth is flat.

- You supported the movement to defund the police, not because of any evidence whatsoever of systemic racism in policing, but because your life is a spiritual sewer and, to fill the void, you need a cause to cling to.

- You supported every act of violence, censorship, social coercion, government repression, and outright insurrection so long as it was seen as beneficial to advancing your agenda and, more importantly, as long as it never affected you personally.

--snip--

You are who Lenin accurately referred to as "useful idiots." But I'm not so sure that you still support what democracy "looks like," now that it "looks like" it has reached your front yard.

All those things they’ve supported have come back to haunt them, like “Frankenstein's monster always comes home to his castle” to destroy its creator. They are being plagued by the very things they supported as a means of “saving Democracy”. Some are coming to realize the very things they supported are now coming for them...and will destroy them, too. Others are still clueless...and will be destroyed by the monster they helped create, too.

Read The Whole Thing.

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OK, I have to wonder why people think that Republicans backing the Republican nominee is such a big thing?

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This is yet another reason we have to stop illegal immigration, to undo the damage Biden has done to this country with his “open borders” policy.

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And that’s the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the roar of motorcycles is fading away, tillers are full of bikers’ cash, and where for once we’re glad Monday is coming around.

Thoughts On A Sunday - Part 1

Yes, there was no post yesterday. It wasn’t that I forgot or didn’t want to. Instead, it was a combination of two things, one that could not be ignored and the other being a family gathering for a celebration.

The first, and unavoidable thing – Motorcycle Week.

This weekend was the closing weekend of Motorcycle Week which meant up to 350,000 bikers were in New Hampshire, with most of them focused on the Lakes Region, particularly Weirs Beach in Laconia. That has meant very heavy traffic all around Lake Winnipesaukee. It had a personal effect as on more than one occasion it took quite a bit of time to leave my neighborhood, with the longest delay having me sitting at the end of my road for 15 minutes waiting for a break in the traffic. The only time I didn’t have to wait was early yesterday morning when I headed out to do my weekend Walmart run – this was at 7am – though there was a considerable wait when the WP Mom were heading out to attend the second thing.

The second thing, the aforementioned family gathering, was to celebrate BeezleBub’s birthday, his 30th! He was hosting a cookout for friends and family which started mid-afternoon and lasted until evening. Frankly, it was a long day between Saturday chores and the birthday celebration. By the time we got back to The Gulch we were tired, hence calling it a night earlier than usual. While I did think I should stay up to quickly write my usual Saturday post, I realized it would likely be lame and not well thought out, so I headed off to bed instead.

And so it goes.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering, there will be a Part 2 to TOAS later today as about the only other thing I will be attending to today is laundry and little housekeeping.

6/09/2024

Thoughts On A Sunday

It is the first weekend of Motorcycle Week, the 101st gathering of motorcycle enthusiasts, with many of the activities centered in Laconia. Bikers started arriving on Friday and the numbers being seen on the roads and highways is increasing by the hour. It looks like the weather will be cooperating for the most part, though we did experience occasional showers interrupting the otherwise plentiful sunshine yesterday, and heavy rain this morning. It then started clearing up in the early afternoon.

There might be some thundershowers this coming Friday, but they certainly won’t affect the festivities for the most part...I think.

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Yesterday was the first day of ‘full’ use of my new Linux miniPC which replaced my ancient HP Pavilion which ran Windows. The HP Pavilion has been decommissioned and is undergoing a thorough cleaning and adding the upgrades I mentioned in a previous post – more RAM and a new 2TB hard drive – and once done I will load Ubuntu Linux 24.04. Then the only computer I will be using at home that uses Windows will be my work laptop.

So far I am really liking a Windows-free existence at home, at least when I am not working.

I haven’t had any issues installing or using some of the Windows programs like LViewPro, an image editor that I’ve used for years that is easy to use for light picture editing jobs and has a number of neat features some others don’t have. (No, this is not a plug for program. In fact, it is now available for free from their website.) I have also installed PowerChute from APC, used to monitor and control the APC UPS I have for the miniPC, monitor, router, and a few other small peripherals and closes programs and shuts down the computer when the UPS has only a few minutes of power left before it shuts down. The other computers and the cable modem in the Official Weekend Pundit Office all have their own UPS’s running the same program. I’ve also loaded a couple of SPICE programs, used to simulate electronic circuit designs, and found they work better and faster on the new miniPC despite running Linux. There are a few more I’ll be trying out to see how well they work, but so far I have not been disappointed.

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It seems SloJoe can screw up things in other countries, too. In this case his speech in Normandy on the 80th anniversary of the D-Day invasion, some of which was plagiarized from Ronald Reagan’s speech 40 years ago and some of which he managed to politicize.

Other than being increasingly demented, he’s just as much of a scumbag as he’s always been.

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I don’t know about you, but I know even the thought of buying a new vehicle, be it a car, SUV, or truck fills me with dread rather than excitement. I know I’m not the only one that feels that way. Even ignoring the costs of new vehicles, a lot of people just don’t like the changes that have taken place, particularly when it comes to how they work...or don’t work.

Many buyers are now surfing on waves of vehicle depreciation, picking up used and off-lease cars and trucks still under warranty for thousands less than new. That’s smart. Your Dutch uncle approves. But lately another, stranger element is showing up in the numbers: a motivated belief among consumers that automakers’ latest and greatest offerings—whether powered by gasoline, batteries or a hybrid system—are inferior to the products they are replacing.

--snip--

In fact, new-car deniers form a broad coalition of the unpersuaded. Some fear that new, digitally connected vehicles could expose their personal information to the Chinese—or worse, to their insurance agencies. Other modern marvels people seem eager to avoid include stop/start cycling systems, which shut off engines to save fuel when vehicles are stationary, now all but mandatory in new vehicles; continuously variable transmissions (CVTs), commonly found in compact vehicles with small-displacement engines; and diesel exhaust fluid (DEF), a post-combustion exhaust treatment that modern turbo diesel engines can’t live without.

Others are just trying to hang on to the good things they’ve got, like three-pedal stick-shifted manual transmissions, virtually extinct in new cars. Or built-in CD players. What unites them is the conviction that older cars are not just cheaper, but better—and that touch screens suck.

Touch screens do suck, particularly if you have to use them to control functions that used to be handled by switches, knobs, dials, and levers. If memory serves, a couple of GM pickups required use of the touch screen to turn on the headlights. That’s stupid...and dangerous. The same is true of a number of other functions that used to be controlled by the aforementioned switches, knobs, dials, and levers. It is something that requires a driver to take their attention from the road for something that in the past could be handled by muscle memory. Nobody I’ve talked to about this likes the shift to the touch screens for basic functions.

For full disclosure, my 2014 RAM 1500 has a 7” LCD touch screen, but it has limited control functions with most of them aimed at the radio/entertainment system. It controls the tuning of preset radio stations on AM, FM, and SiriusXM. It can link to and interface with my phone via Bluetooth so I can use my phone hands-free, something required in my state. It also allows use of a USB thumb drive to play music files. Oh, and you can set the clock! However, that’s as far as it goes. There’s no navigation function. No engine monitoring/diagnostics. And, if need be, I can actually shut off the screen.

==++++==


Watts Up With That delves into an L.A. Times editorial about how to deal with California’s high energy prices.

I suppose I could delve into the various means suggested by the L.A. Times, but I can solve the problem with ‘one weird trick’: Leave California. So many others already have and found their energy costs have dropped considerably.

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I have to admit that I am already getting tired of all the political rhetoric and it’s only June. I usually have more tolerance of the political B.S. that goes along with political campaigns, particularly of they are presidential political campaigns. That we’re also seeing show trials at the behest of the Democrat Powers That Be is making me even less tolerant than usual.

On the other hand, it pleases me to no end that those same Democrat Powers That Be are panicked because their puppet – SloJoe – is unraveling faster than the campaign calendar and they have no real replacement for him. Cacklin’ Kamala isn’t a viable candidate because even the Democrats can’t stand her. (SloJoe is a demented idiot while Kamala is just an idiot...and makes about just the same amount of sense as SloJoe.)

For the moment that level of insanity hasn’t infected our state politics, but I figure it’s only a matter of time before we start seeing that, particularly in the race for governor. But I’ll wait to become intolerant of that race until later.

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And that’s the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the roar of motorcycle engines increases every day, the vendor and beer tents are in place at Weirs Beach, and where it looks like the weather is going to cooperate this week...for a change.

6/08/2024

Government Sanctioned Racism

I admit I’ve spent a couple of weeks thinking on the post linked below, pondering the Constitutional implications and kept coming up with the same conclusion: If it came to be it would be headed to the Supreme Court immediately. What is “it”?

A race-based tax plan.

Do you like scary stories? How about this recent report from the United States Treasury, “Advancing Equity through Tax Reform: Effects of the Administration’s Fiscal Year 2025 Revenue Proposals on Racial Wealth Inequality.”

That sleep-inducing mouthful of grade-A bureaucratese may seem anodyne, the sort of thing that requires a surgeon general’s warning. But even a cursory trip through this twelve pages of reader-proof gobbledegook will be enough to give any sentient being nightmares. For what this malodorous blueprint aims at is nothing less than the confiscation of your wealth and property.

Beginning with its title, this report bristles with loaded buzzwords —“equity,” “racial wealth inequality.” Behind those abstractions, however, is a malevolent plan to destroy middle-class prosperity by brandishing the chief shibboleth of the age: race.

One thing I dislike intensely is how the word “equity” is being misused to make people think it has something to do with equality. Here’s a hint – It doesn’t. As a reminder, equality has to do with equal opportunities while equity has to do with equal outcomes, something no one (except our woke ‘betters) really wants for us. Keep this in mind: Equity = Lowest Common Denominator. That’s something we shouldn’t wish on anyone as it would create a hell world like the one described in Kurt Vonnegut’s Harrison Bergeron.

Thanks, but no thanks.

Why the Biden administration thinks this would pass both Congressional and Judicial muster escapes me as it is blatantly racist. You know that if this tax plan were aimed at People Of Color we’d be hearing screams of outrage from Left, and particularly the delusional ‘woke’ drones infesting our nation.

If those pushing the idea of it think it’s aimed at just the wealthy whites and Asians, they’re right...but that will only be at the beginning. Eventually it will make its way down into every tax bracket. It always does.

The first sentence gives the show away. “For generations, entrenched disparities in our society and economy, at times facilitated by the federal government, have made it harder for Americans of color to have access to opportunity.”

“Americans of color,” forsooth. I am an American of color — a pleasing pink, if you must know — and so, even if you are an albino, are you. To distinguish among citizens on the basis of skin color — preferring some hues to others — is not only invidious, it is un-American. It should also be illegal.

But here we have the Department of the Treasury telling us about how the Biden administration has plans to tax Americans differently depending on their race. It is disgusting.

If they pull this off, what will be next? Race-based pricing for food, clothing, housing, vehicles, and other goods and services? How many other ways will they shred the Constitution, all in the name of equity? I shudder to think what the ever ubiquitous “They” have in store for us.

6/02/2024

Thoughts On A Sunday

It’s been busy around Lake Winnipesaukee this weekend with an increasing number of boats being launched, seasonal summer businesses now open, as are town and state beaches. The school year will be ending shortly which means summer activities that are at present limited to weekends will be taking place all week. Ice cream stands are open. Lakeside restaurants are open. The food trucks are making their rounds to the various public beaches. The summer concerts have started at our local outdoor venue. It also means there’s a lot more traffic on our roads, the supermarkets are busy as are the nearby factory outlets.

I spent some time yesterday getting the Official Weekend Pundit Lake Winnipesaukee Runabout squared away. Some of that was just stowing gear on the boat – PFDs, a new fire extinguisher (to replace the old one), a couple of additional mooring lines and fenders – something neither I or BeezleBub had done before launching the boat. It wasn’t because we forgot to do so, but because we realized we had too much stuff we usually put in there. We didn’t need a dozen life jackets. We didn’t need six extra sets of mooring lines. We didn’t need four tow ropes. We didn’t need two electric air pumps to inflate towables. We didn’t need eight seat cushions/throwable PFDs. Instead we launched with just the bare minimum of gear and without all that extra stuff and figured out what we really needed to have onboard. Too much stuff is just as bad as not enough stuff. It’s easy to get into the “We’ll put this one the boat, too, just in case we need it” mindset and the next thing you know every bit of storage is full of stuff we’re not going to use.

We aren’t the only ones guilty of this having this mindset as a friend whose boat is docked on the other side of the pier where mine docks has had the same problem. He bought a new boat over the winter, one bigger than his old boat. When I told him what I was doing he laughed and said “Yeah, that’s why I had to buy a new boat – I ran out of space for stuff!”

And so it goes.

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If only this could also happen here in New Hampshire, too. We have to deal with New York folks like that...and from Connecticut and Massachusetts, too.

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I have to wonder when New York City is going to institute a “Blade-Free Zone” after this.

Brutal Machete Attack in Times Square ‘Gun-Free’ Disarmament Zone.

Is NYC going to learn the same lesson as the British when they had to start instituting knife control when criminals couldn’t easily obtain guns and had to resort to using knives to commit violent crimes, that lesson being that it doesn’t work.

If civilians hadn’t been disarmed in Times Square when the attack took place it is likely the offender would have been stopped.

The brutal stabbing of a man in New York City’s Times Square on Thursday underscores the futility of public disarmament, which affects only law-abiding citizens, and proves the proponents of so-called “sensitive zones” are clueless, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms said.

Several news agencies reported the incident, indicating three men were involved and they apparently used a machete to wound the victim in both legs. Police have detained three suspects, but CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb said the attack never should have happened in a place where honest citizens cannot legally carry firearms for personal protection.

“New York officials have declared Times Square and other public venues to be ‘sensitive places,’ leaving people vulnerable to attack by criminals who don’t follow the rules,” Gottlieb observed. “It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that disarming good citizens creates risk-free environments for dangerous thugs and crazy people to engage in savagery. The people responsible for disarming law-abiding citizens in Times Square are clueless when it comes to dealing with violent crime.

“Somewhere in city hall, or maybe up in Albany, somebody in government is probably working up a way to spin this tragedy so the mayor or governor can argue that at least a gun wasn’t involved,” he added. “Armed private citizens defend themselves or others upwards of a million times each year, often without firing a shot, but apparently in New York, government is on the side of the criminal element.”

So-called “Gun Free Zones” give the clueless a false sense of security. To criminal miscreants “Gun Free Zones” equate to “Free Fire Zones” because they know no one will be armed and it gives them free rein to commit violent crimes with impunity. Yet that doesn’t stop The Powers That be in New York City from declaring such zones...and then act surprised when violent and property crime goes up.

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I find it interesting to see the paradox of ABC News/Ipsos poll showing half of respondents think Trump should drop out of the presidential race because of his conviction after the kangaroo court trial, yet he also raised over $53 million in campaign contributions after the verdict.

The one thing I have learned is to take any ABC News/Ipsos poll with a huge grain of salt as I have seen polls from other polling organizations covering the same topic have entirely different results. Make of it what you will.

Seeing the huge boost in fundraising indicates to me that the ABC News poll isn’t to be trusted.

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To anyone paying attention over the past few decades, this isn’t exactly news:

Oops…Cleaner Fuels Mean Less Clouds, More Warming!

I seem to recall a similar ‘discovery’ was made a decade or so ago when sulphur-based atmospheric particulates were reduced when low-sulphur coal and smokestack scrubbers were employed on coal-fueled power plants – clearer skies made for temporarily warmer temperatures and fewer clouds, which also made for lower precipitation in some areas. So the ‘new’ revelation is nothing new, except this time it’s the cleaner fuel for ships that’s causing this problem. But is it a problem or is it an inconvenient fact that sometimes ‘clean’ isn’t always as much of a good thing as the Climate Change cultists keep try to convince us?

I have to wonder what they’ll want next. Maybe ‘scrubbers’ on active volcanoes?

==++++==


I have to admit that I am looking forward to seeing how the appeal process will go for Trump in both the alleged fraud civil case and the ‘bookkeeping’ criminal case.

That the alleged ‘victim’ in the fraud case has stated again and again that no fraud took place, that overstating the value of property to be used as collateral on the ‘first’ round is common practice and the borrower and lender go back and forth until they agree on a value of the collateral. Only then is a loan issued. That is not fraud, no matter what the prosecution or the presiding judge say.

One of the side effects of this trial is investors shying away from investing money in New York City property because they don’t want to be tried under the same conditions as Trump even though New York Governor Hochul ‘promised’ they wouldn’t go after them for the same fraud, that they were only interested in Trump. But investors like Kevin Leary don’t believe they won’t be targeted if they are seen as “enemies of the state” and will be railroaded like Trump.

In the Hush Money case no one seemed to know what crime Trump was being charged with until after the defense rested its case. It didn’t help that the presiding judge’s jury instructions basically told them they had to convict Trump even if they believed he wasn’t guilty. Talk about jury tampering! It’s no wonder that even the usual liberal media legal analysts have been saying this case never should have seen the light of day. Even those who wanted Trump convicted admitted that if the defendant had been anyone but Trump no trial would have taken place.

Do we need any more proof that these prosecutions have been purely political?

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And that’s the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where summer camps and cottages are open, the boat slips and marinas are full, and the restaurants are busy.

6/01/2024

New Computers And Moving Away From Microsoft

We’re now into the third full week of post-Dell/HP computers and Windows 7 & 10 here at The Gulch. In an earlier post I mentioned how it came time to replace our ancient computers – one 10 years old and the other 12 – and after pricing their 2024 equivalents – expensive - decided to take a different approach, that being miniPCs.

The WP Mom’s computer has been up and running for a couple of weeks and it does everything she needs it to do. While I originally had plans load Linux Mint on her computer, a locked BIOS made that impossible as I could not change the boot sequence after I gained access to the BIOS. So it is using Windows 11, an operating system that many see as quite intrusive and has little if any regard for privacy, despite Microsoft’s claims to the contrary. That the WP Mom doesn’t use her computer for much more than e-mail, Facebook, and a few computer games like Solitaire and Mahjong, I am not as concerned as I might otherwise be.

I, on the other hand, was able to access the BIOS on the miniPC I acquired for myself and load the aforementioned Linux Mint and have spent time configuring the OS (basic settings and so on) and transferring all of the data on the old Official Weekend Pundit HP Pavilion tower to the new machine. It takes time to copy 400+GB of data from one machine to another as well as about 4GB of e-mail related data and settings. There was also additional software to load and configure. There are still tweaks I need to make and a couple of new peripherals to obtain, one of the most important being a powered USB 3.0 hub to expand the number of USB ports as well as making sure there is sufficient power to run whichever USB peripherals I connect to the new machine, such as an external CD-R/DVD-R drive, a microSD card reader, and so on. (USB ports on PCs can provide power, but only a limited amount, but the powered hubs can provide a lot more.)

My old HP Pavilion is going to be cleaned up, some more RAM installed (which I already have), a new 2 TB hard drive installed, and then have Ubuntu Linux installed. It will become a media server to store all of the music and videos I have which will then be accessible by our Smart TVs, tablets, PCs, laptops, and smart phones. Most of my music CDs and DVDs have already been ripped and copied onto an external drive. Between the new miniPCs, the new 2TB hard drive, and powered USB 3.0 hub, I spent about $600, a fraction of what the 2024 versions of our old Dell and HP would cost.

So far everything seems to be working well. The shift from Windows to Linux hasn’t been difficult, but then I have been using a Lenovo ThinkPad running Ubuntu Linux for a couple of years now, so other than a different look to the desktop and a few other quirks, it works very much like Windows. What’s neat is that if the proper software – called WINE – is installed, Linux can run Windows programs. (I have one I like for light photo editing that is easier to use than some of the ‘heavier’ programs like GIMP, Photoshop, and a few of others out there.)

Now we’ll get a chance to see just how well the new hardware and software work!

5/26/2024

Thoughts On A Sunday

It was quite evident Memorial Day weekend had arrived, signified by one specific thing – heavy traffic. There was a lot of heavy traffic starting yesterday morning around 8am. It kept getting heavier all day, shopping center parking lots were full as people stocked up with weekend victuals, and there was a line of vehicles at our town docks waiting to launch their boats. The local farm stand was busy as was a recently rebuilt gas station/convenience store/deli/Dunkin’ Donuts which just reopened on Thursday.

We’ve already seen a little drama in our town when it was found that one of the piers at our town docks needed repairs, its condition requiring closing off one end of the affected pier before folks started showing up to launch their boats yesterday morning. Not a good way to start the boating season!

And then there’s this:

The concert at our local outdoor venue this evening is being headlined by the Beach Boys.

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I never liked tattoos, and particularly on women. These days it seems so many women are getting tattooed, and not with just ankle tats or so-called ‘tramp stamps’. Some have even gone so far as to get their faces adorned with ink, usually the last place they have room for ink.

Now, other than for aesthetic reasons, they and tattooed men may have another reason to regret getting inked:

A possible link between tattoos and lymphoma.

Our knowledge regarding the long-term health effects of tattoos is currently poor, and there is not a lot of research within this area. Now a research group at Lund University has investigated the association between tattoos and lymphoma.

The new study, published in eClinicalMedicine, suggests that tattoos could be a risk factor for cancer in the lymphatic system, or lymphoma. However, the researchers underline the need for more research on the topic.

"We have identified people diagnosed with lymphoma via population registers. These individuals were then matched with a control group of the same sex and age, but without lymphoma. The study participants answered a questionnaire about lifestyle factors to determine whether they were tattooed or not," says Christel Nielsen, the researcher at Lund University who led the study.

In total, the entire study included 11,905 people. Of these, 2,938 people had lymphoma when they were between 20 and 60 years old. Among them, 1,398 people answered the questionnaire, while the number of participants in the control group was 4,193. In the group with lymphoma, 21% were tattooed (289 individuals), while 18% were tattooed in the control group without a lymphoma diagnosis (735 individuals).

"After taking into account other relevant factors, such as smoking and age, we found that the risk of developing lymphoma was 21% higher among those who were tattooed. It is important to remember that lymphoma is a rare disease and that our results apply at the group level. The results now need to be verified and investigated further in other studies and such research is ongoing," says Nielsen.

Yet another reason to avoid getting tattooed. But then there are a lot of substances that people expose themselves to that are detrimental to their health. That they might get sick and die sometime down the road due to such exposure doesn’t stop them.

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As bad as the electrical grid is becoming, it appears California is well ahead of the rest of the country when it comes to its shrinking capacity and stability.

While PG&E certainly bears culpability for its deferred maintenance and negligence in improving transmission lines, the lion’s share of the blame rests squarely on the shoulders of the state itself, which has crafted a regulatory framework that prioritizes renewables at the expense of reliability. By neglecting nuclear, hydroelectric, and gas-powered plants, California has effectively sacrificed its energy stability on the altar of green energy ideology.

It is time for California’s leaders to wake up from their green energy fantasy and refocus their efforts on restoring reliable sources like dams, nuclear facilities, and gas plants. This reckless green energy experiment has only served to drive prices skyward, squander taxpayer dollars, and leave consumers in the dark —literally and figuratively. It is time to put pragmatism ahead of ideology and prioritize affordability and reliability in our energy policy for the betterment of all Californians.

That so many of the Climate Change Cultists would like to see this applied across the country is disturbing on many levels. Of course the faithful think they won’t be expected to suffer the inconveniences of an unreliable electrical grid show us just how delusional they are.

Better that we start deploying nuclear and rebuild the electrical distribution system to increase its capacity and to make it more robust and less vulnerable to coronal mass ejections, EMP, and particularly hackers. (One thing I don’t understand is why any part of our electrical grid is connected to the Internet in any way, shape or form. It should be an isolated standalone system.)

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Uh oh, this doesn’t sound good.

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From the “Just When I Thought They Couldn’t Get Stupider” Department comes this latest bit of nonsense.

It appears that biscuits and gravy are now “rayciss” and offensive.

It appears that in the days of ‘woke’ and DEI everything is racist and offensive. These idiots need to grow the eff up and realize that the people claiming all this crap are delusional, hate you, and are the actual racists in the room.

It is time to devoutly ignore them, or better yet, ridicule them as they so richly deserve. Sometimes it’s the only way to get their attention.

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And that’s the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the summerfolk have arrived in droves, there are a lot of boats on the lake, and the day to remember our honored dead arrives tomorrow.

5/25/2024

Not Enough Power

Even the Brits, who have been dismantling their reliable electrical grid for some time now, understand that AI is going to require a lot more electricity than is presently available. Now add in the government mandated change over to EVs which will add even more electrical demand...but that assumes that EV mandates won’t be removed once it becomes apparent that no one wants EVs with the exception of the Climate Change Cult faithful.

While the linked article doesn’t focus on just British energy supplies, it does bring up one thing that too many people who think AI will be “The Next Big Thing” ignore: AI requires a lot of power.

It’s not your personal computer that uses all this energy, though. Or your smartphone. The computations we increasingly rely on happen in giant data [centers] that are, for most people, out of sight and out of mind.

“The cloud,” says Dr Luccioni. “You don’t think about these huge boxes of metal that heat up and use so much energy.”

The world’s data [centers] are using ever more electricity. In 2022, they gobbled up 460 terawatt hours of electricity, and the International Energy Agency (IEA) expects this to double in just four years. Data [centers] could be using a total of 1,000 terawatts hours annually by 2026. “This demand is roughly equivalent to the electricity consumption of Japan,” says the IEA. Japan has a population of 125 million people.

The problem is that electrical grids – both generation and distribution systems – are not being upgraded to the level needed to support AI.

The push for ‘green’ energy has had the opposite effect as reliable generating systems – coal, natural gas, hydro, and nuclear – are being replaced with solar and wind, variable and unreliable systems that are too easily affected by weather and are not dispatchable as needed. Another thing no one mentions is that these system do require backup generation systems - fueled by coal or natural gas – when the sun isn’t shining or the wind isn’t blowing. If demand is going to grow as fast as some have been predicting due to the increasing number of data centers, our electrical grids will not be able to provide the power they need.

Quite a few of the comments on this related post at Instapundit bring up a number of the problems regarding this issue. One comment brings up something no one has thought about:

So we need more electricity for the AI datacenters. But we also need more electricity for EVs.

Hmm. I have to wonder if the AI's will shut off power to the EV chargers in order to make sure that they have enough electricity to continue to operate? Has anyone, including SloJoe, WRBA, the Climate Change Cultists, or the Greens even thought about this?

Oh, silly question. Of course they haven't.

And so it goes.