Irreversible Hotel States

Dihydrogen oxide alert! Falling from the sky. Tell the religionists to put their mystic lobes in gear.

On which note, I heard on the electromagnetic audio-visual receiver that the Huntsville hotel apparat is trying to broaden its base from business travelers to tourists. Not a good move I fear. Speaking as one who took too many “business” trips, I can say with considerable confidence that business travelers do NOT like staying at tourist hotels. Tourists tend to be noisy, obnoxious, and have children along. Spectator sports tourists may be the worst of all.

If I stay at a hotel and it demonstrated to be a hotel with considerable tourist presence, the only way I would ever stay at that hotel again would be out of necessity. (Such as being the only decent hotel in town.) So if a hotel becomes known as a tourist place, it effectively shuts itself out of the business market.

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OS Angst

Not bad so far. The weight bouncers were a bit overbearing and menacing this morning but otherwise gym was passable. The weather is no too bad and the podcast, an episode of the CBC’s “Best of Ideas” was about the arguments over the history of the Vietnam conflict and was amusing in its political maneuverings if nothing else. But I still feel a bit like I was beaten with a cudgel.

This is the time – evidently – of OS angst. I ran across an article [Link] in the Register about how MegaHard is going to divorce itself from the disaster that is W8 by ceasing to support the first version of the OS, the one without the START button. They just cut the cord on WXP – except for those who are willing to pay large sums for continued support, like the Yankee government’s Internal Revenue “Service” – and now they are cutting the cord on a year (?) old OS, their supposedly best and newest? Do they intend to just get out of the OS business and leave that to Fruit, Gooey, and the League of Free Software? Nah!, they;re too greedy and venial for that.

On which azimuth, I came across a rather strange article [Link] entitled “Are Windows Users Disappointed When They First Try a Linux OS?” The title is evidently motivated by the question:

“why aren’t the disgruntled or bored Windows users fleeing by the millions to Linux?”

which is presumably motivated by the perception that not enough disgruntled WXP (redundant?) users aren’t embracing some distro of Linux as avidly as meat lovers the Atkins diet? I suspect the author assumes a higher demographic fraction of rationals among WXP users than realists do. Or that some article was needed as filler and come-on. It is after all, short and a bit sensationalist, even for modern journalists.

First of all, I rather gave up on evangelizing Winders users to Linux a long time ago. Like most evangelism it is more likely to fail resoundingly than to be successful, and that the success are usually due to rational rather than nutjob arguments. Which few evangelists can manifest. The rational that is. Evangelism, be it OS or religion, is mostly about fanaticism and the evangelist and not the product nor the recipient. So I wait for someone to ask. And convince me that they are going to give the OS a real try. Bimbos, of either gender, need not apply.

Having said that, and installed – usually – one of the WXP look alikes, I can report that new users all express disappointment. Most of that expression has to do ultimately with learning something new. It is in the nature of MegaHard and Winders to condition users not to learn. That’s one of the reasons that W8 was such a resounding failure. MegaHard did a foot shoot, with a recoilless rifle! That’s one of the reasons it’s nice that WXP is so tolerant of parallel installs of Linux.

Some of those who get this far regress but most progress and adapt and LEARN, stumbling mostly with the difference in update and install philosophies/procedures to a new stage of disappointment, disappointment that Winders could have be so much better. So those who do adopt, not just try, Linux are usually satisfied and much better users than they were with Winders. And that is good. Quality is often better than quantity and this is one of those cases. Leave the slime mold users to winders, or even fruit or gooey. We should be happy with a “band of brothers”.  And sisters. Which raises the question of why more female users are rationals than male users?

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Reich’s Store

Gad! Nasty day yesterday. Had to motor to Nawth Alibam’s Shining City of the Hill for observance of grandbairn’s birthday anniversary. Made appearance, suffered the crowds and such for too long, and then saw the Kriegsbunny. And then promptly ran into the battle lines of Huntsville Constabulary doing a Crimea on some guy living next a fireworks emporium. So I ended up going around three sides of a square to get home just so the Nawth Alibam Gestapo could have a hobnail party to enliven what must have been a dull Saturn’s day.

Then I learned [Link] that MalWart is the nation’s worst – as in least liked – grocery store. Seems that the fraction of survey respondants unfriending MalWart was 0.8! That’s 4/5 for those who have problems with decimals. The compliments were summarized as

“Shoppers who frequented Walmart, the nation’s largest grocer and the chain with the most shoppers in our survey, were most likely to be miffed about the lack of open checkouts, out-of-stock regular items, indifferent employees, spotty pricing, and confusing store layout.”

Can’t agree too strongly with this. MalWart is notorious for making you spend more time waiting in queue than in buggy stuffing. And they seem to go out of their way to discontinue both the stuff you need – like no salt added foodstuffs – and stuff you have come to like. I can’t complain too much about employee indifference. If anything I sympathize given how MalWart treats its employees worse than slaves.

I’m not sure what spotty pricing is and the article doesn’t explain but I do know that the supposed savings at MalWart aren’t really worth the lost time standing in queue. That’s why I am trying to reduce my MalWart purchases to local uniques with the goal of zeroing. And confusing store layout? Chaotic and random is more like it. I think the strategy is to change things so you have to hunt and get snookered into buying unwanted stuff.

Wonder why the Huntsville Constabulary can’t do a Crimea on some of the MalWarts in Huntsville? Seems like it would be much more entertaining than a fireworks shop. And much more appreciated by the citizenry.

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Sears Sag

Not too bad. Nice walk in park. Gotta find a better podcast to divert though. Pony to poo ratio TOO low.

Speaking of said ratio, I noted this week an article [Link] about the rotting of Sears, Roebuck and Company. I am saddened. Sears was a part, positive and negative, of my maturation. Back when I was a bairn, the highlight of November was the appearance of the Sears Solstice Book. They called it a Christmas book but there was nothing not secular about it. I don’t ever recall seeing holy water or wafers or even a bible offered for sale in the catalog. The Solstice one, at least. I think they listed bibles – but not torah nor quran – in the big catalog.

Huntsville was Nawth Alibam’s Toy Desert in those days, except that everywhere, except the big cities, were toy deserts in those days. Still are, I suppose. I recall trips to department stores in Birmingham, Alibam’s stinky version of a ~big~ city where they had a few square feet devoted to toys, mostly collectible dolls and metal soldiers. Stuff one couldn’t play with. So the Sears solstice book was epiphanal.

When I was a teenager, Sears opened a real store, not just a pick-up-big-things-ordered-from-catalog storefront, that was a great way to improve a date that had degenerated into silence. I am still amazed today how seeing that stuff could bond otherwise mismatched people. The roots of understanding sedentaryism were there.

I never got a slide rule from sears. They sold Pickett slide rules, which were made of aluminium, I believe. Somehow that seems a fitting match up given the solidity of what Sears offered. Nothing flighty or fashionable. I am surprised Garrison Keilor (sp?) hasn’t Worbegoned on Sears. So selling metal slide rules fits. Not very good but solid and enduring.

When I went off to graduate schule, Sears was where I went to acclimatize. They didn’t advertise it, but what they sold – storefront and catalog – was regional in those days. So I could get a good Plains Democrat Winter Coat in Sears and not worry about looking ferdish. Grad students wear whatever and people from Alibam were considered sophisticated in those days if they wore a shirt and shoes.

Even now, Sears is helpful. FD SCP bought clothes cleaning machines from them last year. And the question of why the transition from mail-order to storefront retailer is irreversible seems all too important in this day when mail order is once again the mode. It worked for my grandparents and now it works for me. Except there are times I would like to buy one of those Sears prefabricated cottages and go plop down on some VERY out of the way ground.

I shall miss them. I can only hope they survive long enough that I don’t have to sit Kaddish for them.

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Recessing Time

OK, survived the expedition to Nawth Alibam’s Shining City on the Hill. Actually, the traffic was quite clement and few Kamikaze commuters, and all of the latter had Madison County motorcar tags. So not a bad expedition. And the trip to gym this morning was fair. Only a couple of weight bouncers ad they the well behaved ones. And the podcast, an episode of “The Linux Action Show” was diverting if not informative or entertaining. Too many incompetent commercials taking time and thought away from actual useful information.

After the debacle of Two day morning trying to see the eclipse and only getting somewhat soaked I was somewhat ameliorated to see fair photography.[Link]

I don’t know what it is but somehow this photography just isn’t up to the usual excitement level.

Maybe now I can get back to doing stuff instead of playing Red Queen games. Ha! Bad pun!

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Bog Rot

A dark and stormy night. Well, not that stormy. But precipitous. I arose about 0230 to observe the eclipse and all I could see was overcast and the refraction of street light in the droplets on my glasses. So I returned to bed and almost failed to arise. Gym was blissfully sparse, the present weight bouncers were civil, and the podcast episodes, especially the SCIENCE one, were up to expectations: SCIENCE was deep and exacting; NPR was boisterous and slippery; and the Guardian was romantic.

But in and around that I got to spend some attention span on morning – early morning – television and the rather higher density of advertisements. Or am I just jaded later and don’t notice the nasty things.

Anyway, I have been reading several articles lately about how modern life, i.e., the internet, is causing us to become more stupid as a society. I have been ready to credit this somewhat since it is now almost impossible to have intelligent discourse with a GEN Y old enough to have a “smart” cellular telephone. They are ignorant, defining smart in terms of what they can find with their phone, quite ignoring the fundamental untrustability of the the internet.

It may be argued that this is not surprising. With the rise of social networks, bogs have become boggier, if such a plague is possible, and even geeks have become less avid collectors. I have even been accused of paranoia for not accepting as canonical that the internet is eternal and eternally available. Living in the hinterland reassures me daily that neither is accurate.

But having observed early morning commercials with even more egregious prevarication and inaccuracy than later commercials, it occurred that this is less a matter of fooling somnolent individuals than preying on the ignorance of the GEN Ys. I intend to do an informal survey but my testing hypothesis is that they are orthogonal to these flaws and errors. And there is likely nothing we can do but resolve ourselves for the collapse.

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One Day Start

Back to week in. Good session at gym. I missed the rain, which occurred after I arrived and ceased – temporarily – before I exited. There were not too many weight bounders although a couple of rather bullyishness and the podcast episode, one of the CBC’s “Best   of Ideas” dealing with the battle of York, was adequate if a bit thin. The context, as is usual with this podcast, is more than a bit sob sister and shy of historical depth and breadth. More was made of the eccentricities than the dynamics. But it was a diverting almost-hour away from the tedium of exercise.

I am still not back up to speed and have not had time to acquaint myself with external events, which based on the viewing with FD SCP of the weekend news programs, are somewhere between nonexistent and banal. The similarity to the period preceding the War to Make the World Safe for Democracy continues. As does the grrr brrr that has been expected about the climate change exterminating humanity. But the denialists still persist in Amerikan governance. So if we are doomed, why blather?

The weather beavers are mongering a last (??????) cold snap and freeze this week. Amazing how humans can ignore science and bend observation to their own purposes.

Film at Eleven.

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End of Days – Sorta

Today is the end of support by MegaHard for Winders XP. It may also be the day marking the beginning of the end for MegaHard but that is not only uncertain, but likely improbable. Nastiness tends to stay around. I noticed an article earlier – lost when my other deskbox imploded – that some storage barrels of stercus several centuries old had been found and still had the odorus sterci – the olfactory punch of poo. MegaHard may not be several centuries old. nor all that nasty as corporations go today, but they still have magnum odorus.

The onslaught on XP will not be immediate, but it likely will come. Low hanging fruit and all that sort of rot – language rot, that is. I was marveling this morning after listening to science podcasts how abused the American English language is, and how facile Americans are at abusing such. I find it very disturbing when scientists, who should be speaking with care and precision, utter misuses and catch phrases like illiterate valley waifs. So there will be no shortage of low habgubgf fruit for the evildoers to rob and plunder.
I mentioned yesterday the issue of money instiututions. I feel moved to reiterate. If your money institution is not forthcoming that they are using a trustworthy OS, and tell you which one, then they almost certainly are using XP and should not be trusted. Sadly, since the vast majority of money inistitutions are still using XP – I have heard numbers as high as 0.8 of all ATMs are still XP driven – there is no easy answer on how to find a trustworthy money institution. And unfortunately, the use of a mattress safe is neither wise nor practical. Too many organizations, the Yankee government included, do direct deposit. Add to this the arrogance and cupidity of the bankers who manage these organizations and the risk becomes a necessity to assume. But you can reduce your exposure by not using ATMs. Unless they have a Penguin sticker. The new ones are Linux driven, but  they are few. The money organizations with technical savvy will advertise that in short order. 
The same goes for other organizations, including chain stores. If a store or business establishment won’t tell you what OS their money hardware is using, caveat emptor.
As for me, I am going to continue to use XP for the clients I still need to use. But I disabled wifi on all those machines and limit their interaction with the external world to printers and USB sticks. And I am doing more with money these days – pictures of dead politicians. Stores may not like it but if they complain I’ll spend it elsewhere. Be an offensive consumer!