Check Snopes. Please.

Always check Snopes before you post the latest viral chain memetic agent.  Quest.  Thing.

The misinformation du jour relates to having to post something on your Facebook wall [1] to keep the company from appropriating your pictures, posts, etc. and using them for their own nefarious purposes.

Oh noes!

Needless to say, there are a lot of people doing exactly that.  They are also encouraging others to do so, too, despite the fact that... well, it's useless.  And annoying.  So, you know, don't do that.

Besides - Batman disapproves, and you don't want to be on Batman's wrong side, now, do you?

[1] Yes, yes.  I know it is a "timeline" now.  I am officially an old fart.  Now get off my lawn, you dang kids!

He Forgot How To Cat

Me: He's doing it wrong.
She: Well, if he can't fit in it, he'll sit on it.
Me: It's like he graduated last in his cat class. The remedial cat class.
She: He does make a pretty good dog.

On The Perils Of Excessive Caffeine Ingestion

It's national Coffee Day!  Here in PA, we have a convenience store chain called Sheetz, and they decided that in honor of the day, they would launch their new, fresh-ground coffee blend... and give away free coffee all day!  W00t!

Srsly. Planning my route to work now. By the time I get there, I will be on the verge of merging with the Speed force. My name will become a Killing Word. Chuck Noris will make memes about me.

Update: Sheetz #2. Free coffee mug. Score!

Update: Sheetz #3... Man, this is gooood coffee! :-)

Update: Sheetz #4. Don't recall ever seeing this one... Could have sworn it wasn't there yesterday.  Man, they put up new stores FAST!

Update: Sheetz #5. I'm a little lost... Think I took a wrong turn. It's OK, though, plenty of time to make it into the office.  This one is calling their coffee "Mrs. Todd's Wild Blend" :-)

Update: Sheetz #6! Had a nice chat with the cashier about their new color scheme. The purple & gold is nice.

Update: Just realized the guy at the last store was speaking Spanish... I don't speak Spanish...

Update: Sheetz #7? Or #8? Could have sworn I hit another one in there... Maybe I'm seeing double, heh! Gooooood coffee, though!

Update: Sheetz #9. Me and my (current!) coffee!

Yr Gentle Hoste

Except... I was sure I left home wearing a button down gray Oxford this morning...

Update: Sheetz #10. Well, She'TZ.  Are they rebranding to go with the new color scheme?  Huh.  Everyone in the store is all excited about last night's presidential debate. How did I miss that? And when did Virginia Montanez throw her hat into the ring?  Her Pigeon Eradication Plan for improving the economy sounds awesome!

Update: Shétes (neé Sheetz) #11.  An "upsale convenience space", apparently.  Tried to get one of their new Breakfast Stir Fry Fajita Stuffed Sausages, but the cashier said they don't take "Mon'ply paper". What idiot decided to put Simon Cameron on the  on the new bills?  Eh.  The coffee is still good, and still free!

Update: Sha-Tze #12. My caffeine levels cannot be expressed by mundane numbers. I am partially fused with infinity, doomed to wander the multiverse from Sheetz to She'TZ to Sha-Tze to Shétes.  Always hungry, always dependent on the kindness of strangers as I try to find my way home. President Montanez has said that she and Wendell the Manatee are working on a solution because my presence is causing a "potentially catastrophic strain on the fabric of the cosmos", or something.

Well... at least the coffee's still free!

And it's gooooood coffee, man ;-)

Heads Up To iOS 9 Users...

You might want to think about disabling the Wi-Fi Assist feature:
In terms of data usage, Wi-Fi Assist doesn't just help maintain interruption-free connectivity when the user leaves home; it also activates the cellular data connection whenever a user's Wi-Fi signal gets weak, even at home.
While users with larger data caps may not mind, those stuck on more limited data plans probably don't want their cellular data connection kicking in without warning in a scenario in which a Wi-Fi signal, even a poor one, is still available.

"A first impression of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania"

A wonderful article with some great photographs by the friend of a friend.

Particularly tickled in that the initial photographs are from the riverfront nearby my office.

As a bonus, I found a link to the Discover the Burgh blog, where they just happened to have a post up about 30 Pittsburgh Local Resources We Love.  Triple win!


If you are fortunate enough to have children, you quickly realize that your milestones in life are no longer marked by what you do, but by what they accomplish.

First steps.  First words.  First day of school.  First time int he pool.  First overnight away from home.  First crush.  First big game.  First date.  First driving lesson.

First job interview.

Eldest Daughter will be hitting that particular milestone this Friday.  In a complete reversal of anything that I would have expected from her based on her general tom-boyishness, she is excited at the opportunity to work at a shoe store.  (Granted, it is a somewhat upscale shoe store, but still...)

No guarantees, of course.  I've coached her a little bit on dress and demeanor for the interview, and she's doing her research before hand to scope things out.  Plus, she has an older friend (one of my former Sunday School kids, a quite lovely and wonderful young lady) who is going to take her shopping this week and help her pick out something appropriate to wear for the interview.  She's a smart, friendly, outgoing kid.  She'll do fine.

At least, that's what I tell myself.  I think I may be more anxious than she is.  However it goes, though: I'm proud of her.

Harsh, But Fair

The Campaign Commercial I Want To See

[BERNIE SANDERS is hustling down a long hall in Congress, surrounded by aides who are talking animatedly with hm.]

[ELIZABETH WARREN is hustling down a similar hall, also surrounded by aides who are handing her papers and discussing something heatedly.]

[PULL BACK the camera to see that the two of them are approaching the same corner of a hallway from opposite directions... at which point they collide, and papers go flying everywhere.]

[ZOOM IN on aides from both sides scurring to gather up the papers as SANDERS and WARREN pick themselves up.  When they are on their feet, the aides hand each of them a stack of disorganized papers.]

[SANDERS and WARREN begin looking through their papers.]

SANDERS: Hey! You got your stupid populism in my crappy socialism!

WARREN: What? You got your stupid socialism in my crappy populism!

[Both pause for a second, and start to smile... FADE OUT to a political rally where an two indistinct individuals are on stage, and the crowd is cheering.  ZOOM IN on JULIA and PAJAMA BOY at the rear of the crowd.]

JULIA: Like, you know, wow!  She is so, like, you know, wow!  Everybody says she's cool, and I think she's cool, and she's like, you know, going to do cool stuff!  She said so!

PB: Oh, yeah!  Cool stuff like FREE COLLEGE FOREVER!  I can put off becoming a functional adult INDEFINITELY!

JULIA: Thanks, Bernie Warren!

PB: Thanks, Elizabeth Sanders!

[JULIA and PB look at each other and laugh.]

JULIA and PB: [together] We don't even know who's who!

[FADE OUT to logo/voiceover]

ANNOUNCER: Sanders/Warren 2016.  Crappy Ideas For Stupid People.  Or... Stupid Ideas For Crappy People.  Whatevs.

Linked List : rand() % interesting

Just the links, m'am.

Well, with some commentary and snark, obviously.  I mean, we're not barbarians.

  • Han Solo in carbonite Pop-Tarts.  Sadly, not edible.
  • 23 Best Military Science Fiction Books.  I've read 16/23, which means I now have seven new books to add to my reading list. Very pleased to see Dan Abnett on the list, because man, that guy can write. If you have never given him a shot, go grab Eisenhorn and start in on it.  Go ahead, we'll wait for you.
  • The High-Tech Toilet That Sank a Submarine.  'nuf said.
  • Tha Illiad of MC Homer.  Translated from the original Greek by MC Lula.  Seriously - it works. Who could not love a translation that contains phrases like "...Achaeans with greaves that are pimpest"?
  • Moscow's stray dogs are selecting for intelligence, have learned to ride subway trains, and are learning and teaching new behavior patterns for dealing with the humans they share their habitat with.
  • This Is That profiles "Smoke & Flame", a Vancouver artisanal firewood company that is selling bundles of kindling for $1000.  Locally sourced, organic, pesticide free, hand-crafted. Bummed that they didn't mention whether the ginger rub was a basic part of the process or an extra touch.
  • Jim Butcher has a new novel coming out on September 29th.  Already planning for a couple of sleepless nights as I pounce on it and devour his writing, in accordance with The Prophecy.
  • My brother and his business partner are going to be appearing in the upcoming season of Shark Tank.  Which product?  Here's a hint: watch the clip, and pick out the two most incredibly goofy looking pair of guys in it. Yep, that's them. They are, indeed, complete goofballs, but they are smart goofballs.
  • Dashcam footage of instant karma.  Cut someone off, and you just might get sucked up by a mini-tornado as they get to watch.
  • Tone Deaf Choice of the Year: "Xignite Picks Brutal Founder of Firing Squads and Labor Camps as Icon of New API Ecosystem".
  • A Reflection on a Room, Part I and Part II.  Stories and lessons learned from time in the command & control center for Desert Storm, as told by a man who was there.

Words to Live By

Can't Sleep, Ogre Will Eat Me

If you happen to be an old-school type computer RPG player, you could do a lot worse than waste some time with Legend of Grimrock.  It's a Dungeon Master type 3D dungeon crawler with some pretty good gameplay, especially on an iPad.  All the traditional elements are there - real-time movement and combat with environmental factors, party skill tradeoffs, resource management, spell discovery, equipment juggling, and the like.  Plus more puzzles, secrets, and little nooks and crannies to discover than you can shake a stick at.

An Ogre. My current party are Ogre-slaying machines. They've killed hundreds of them. OK, OK... scores. Dozens. Well, at least a dozen, surely. No? How about... three? Yeah. Now that you mention it, it might have been three. Forgive me if my memory is a little fuzzy. It's probably because those HUGE FREAKING OGRES KEPT HITTING ME OVER THE HEAD WITH THOSE STUPID BIG HAMMERS.  Ya think?
I suspect that it also has high replayability, as well.  I am currently a little over halfway through the game's thirteen levels, and already planning how I am going to put together my party for my next run through.

Done Vacating

Looking for the power switch on the ice cream machine.  I seem to remember leaving it in my coffee pot... guess I should look there.  Deathwish Coffee FTW!

While I'm looking, have some pretty beach pictures:

It's All About The Moon

Marian Call, "Good Morning Moon"

Paul Simon, "Song About The Moon"

Moxy Früvous, "You Will Go To The Moon"

Wedding Tech

Until a man is twenty-five, he still thinks, every so often, that under the right circumstances he could be the baddest #%@$#&*^!@%#! in the world. If I moved to a martial-arts monastery in China and studied real hard for ten years. If my family was wiped out by Colombian drug dealers and I swore myself to revenge. If I got a fatal disease, had one year to live, and devoted it to wiping out street crime. If I just dropped out and devoted my life to being bad.
― Neal Stephenson, Cryptonomicon
I suspect this explains the success of the Iron Man movies.  Middle age men admitting to themselves, "OK, yeah, there is no way at this point that I will ever be Batman.  But a flying suit of armor?  I could do that!  I wear a suit all the time!"

I'm not sure what the etiquette for use (or not) of repulsor rays at a wedding would be, though.