_____        _____ _____ ___   _____                           
     |___  |      |___  |___  |_  | |  _  |                          
       __| |__  __  __| |   | | | | | |_| |  _____ _____ __  __      
      |__  |  \/  ||__  |   | | | | |  _  | |  ___|  _  |  \/  |     
      ___| | |\/| |___| |   | |_| |_| |_| |_| |___| |_| | |\/| |     
     |_____|_|  |_|_____|   |_|_____|_____|_|_____|_____|_|  |_|     


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
  Disappointing people, one at a time, since 1967.
                                                 Now only $0.54^H^H33 a day.
                                            Continuous improvement ... free!
  Now with Style!                          A puzzle wrapped up in an enigma.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

2015-01-04  I'm back.  For now.  With capitalisation.  A $99 computer from 
            Staples and a new $65 hard disk drive from a local computer    
store made it so.  And some family-free time.                              
                                                                           
I was surprised to see that the LCS still existed.  I figured with all the 
social media, pay-it-forward, YOLO, bucket list, selfie, mash-up bullshit that 
has ruined computers for the truly deserving, the ones who have put their time 
in, with emotional scars to prove, LCSes surely would have disappeared.        
                                                                               
I enjoy blaming social media for everything that is wrong with this world.     
The only thing that can save us now is for Yellowstone to erupt with all her   
fury.  It's selfish of me to think this way, especially for my children,       
but honestly, let 'er rip.  #nerd #yellowstone                              
                                                                               
2015-01-05  I promise you, this will not be a daily thing.  The main reasons   
            for resurrecting this page are b-fold:  a) I'm paying for the web  
space; and b) I need a "go to" page for seldom referenced, but always "needed" 
information.  I will do my best not to bore with diatribes.  Were I younger,   
I'd likely do so.  With age comes wisdom and wisdom shows that no one likes    
a windbag.  #shutupalready                                                  
                                                                               
2015-01-10  I have reached a new popcorn paradigm.  Don't just use salt,       
            use sea salt.  Seriously, popcorn with sea salt is a gajillion     
times tastier.  Read on for instructions on making the best popcorn ever. 
#popcorn
                                                                               
2015-01-14  I use a bicycle for year-round transportation.  Even in winter.    
            I have temperature thresholds and road condition limits, but,      
most days I persevere and make the 7 kilometre twice.  Truth be told,          
cycling in winter is my favorite.                                              
                                                                               
In the winter, even when outfitted with properly underinflated studded tires,  
there's a good chance that at any given moment, the physics of soft rubber     
with tungsten carbide studs adhering to the ground will fail and I'll go down. 
Please remember that when you are passing me way too close and way too fast in 
your four-wheel killing machine.  #bicycle #winter                             
                                                                               
2015-01-28  Randomness:  Setting number of rings to voicemail on Virgin        
            Mobile:                                                            
                                                                               
*94 and press "send".  Then when it answers, press 2-9 for the number of       
rings desired before the call goes to voicemail.                               
                                                                               
                                                                               
Some sort of note about what looks to be setting up a sound card and           
odds-n-ends:                                                                   
                                                                               
sudo vi /etc/modprobe.d/alsa-base.conf                                         
options snd-hda-intel model=generic                                            
                                                                               
press "esc"                                                                    
on 24-23-generic                                                               
"e"                                                                            
cursor down to kernel
"c"
add "acpi=off"
"b"

/boot/grub/menu.lst
acpi=off

make clean
make
sudo make install

  
Two years ago, or so, I experienced some severe upper back pain.  It was 
pain unlike I had ever experienced in my back.  Passing a kidney stone 
was worse, but this back pain was worse than the pain attributed to my 
vasectomy healing.  The chiropractor diagnosed it as a "cervical facet
joint sprain".  He did one manipulation and the pain disappeared.
#health #nerd #phone

2015-03-04  Japan was delicious.  #japan

2015-04-06  After a week of hand-wringing, I renewed this domain and web
            hosting for another three years (15% discount).  I really should
let it go, but like my gambling addiction, it's hard (heheheheh, hard).
Maybe next time. #nerd

2015-04-08  Permissions:  -rw-r--r--  #nerd

2015-05-21  Regardless of how it's marketed, bottle water is an
            inconvenience.  Maybe it's how I was using it, but not drinking
bottled water has made my life better.

I hated going out and getting the bottles refilled.  I hated having to think 
about securing the filled bottles to stop them from tipping over in the trunk 
on the return trip.  I hated driving even slower than I usually do when the 
bottles were "resting upright" unsecured in the trunk.  I hated carting the 
bottles in the house.  I hated having to transfer water from the 19 litre 
bottles to smaller 4 litre bottles because we were too cheap to purchase a 
water cooler that would waste space in the kitchen because of poorly 
laid-out plugins.

I hated the fact I was paying $2 for 19 litres of water when I get 2 litres 
of water out of the tap for a penny.  I hated the fact I wasted time and 
energy doing "water runs".  I appreciated the "family-free" time this often 
granted me, but using family-free time on a task that irritates me is 
wasted time. 

I really hated the fact that the bottled water I so religiously attended to 
only had limited use in our home.   A good deal of our overall water 
consumption was "Brita-filtered" fridge-cooled tap water anyhow, filtered 
to remove the chlorine the finished water has and the algal blooms that 
plague the source water; anything boiled was straight from the tap. 

But, mostly, I hated that I bought into the rhetoric of what bottled water 
is.  Sure, bottled water is "pure water", but it's also tasteless, dead, 
corrosive water.  I remember from university learning what reverse osmosis 
water was.  Yes, it has it's uses.  One of them is not drinking.  

If our tap water was questionable, I might reconsider bottled water, but, 
regardless of what others will say, our tap water is not.  I fault the City
for many things; delivering clean, healthy, inexpensive drinking water, try 
as I might, I can not.  #budget #water

2016-02-18  Japan:  delicious as always.  #japan

2016-07-21  These pages are now powered by the power of a Raspberry Pi 3 
            Model B.  I take a great deal of nerdy pleasure in using low-end,
low-power computers for uncountable reasons that I will not flush out now.
The RPi3B fits the bill and more.  Plus, it's the perfect outlet for me to 
use the IBM SK-8835 keyboard I picked up in Japan this year.  The trackpoint
keyboard is, by far, my favorite.  Trackpoints will even surpass standard
IBM Model Ms (heresy!) for desirability.  #nerd

2016-08-08  I've had ample time to perfect the popcorn recipe below.  I will
            keep the original text intact as an artifact.  Here's the low 
down of my studies.
            
I've reduced the amount of popcorn to maybe two and a half tablespoons.  Oil 
is added mainly to make the salt stick.  It is not required for popping.  An
oil-free product can be made with no other changes in cooking time.
Coconut oil makes for a superior product.

 1.  Open bag.
 2.  Add popcorn.
 3.  Add oil (a tablespoon is all that is required).
 4.  Add seasoning.
 5.  Shake to mix well.
 6.  Allow mixture to settle along a long side of bottom of bag.
 7.  Fold top as described below.
 8.  Lay bag ON ITS SIDE, wide side down, with popcorn still gathered at 
     bottom fold.
 9.  Pop as described below.
10.  Enjoy.
#popcorn

2016-08-14  I seriously hate buying headphones in this country.  #nerd

2016-08-15  I now have the new Perfume album.  Anticipation has killed what 
            likely might have been a less critical first listen.  I appear 
to be underwhelmed.  From what I have heard, the album has none of the charm
of the previous albums.

I am sad.  #music

2016-08-16  Hooray!?!  My $17 feature phone has arrived!  It's a million 
            times larger than the phone my mobile provider is forcing me 
to give up because of decommissioning of the CDMA network.  OK, not a million
times larger, but it goes from 108mm x 45mm x 16mm to 120mm x 50mm x 15mm 
(that's 77mL to a whopping 90mL!).

I'm mostly upset that I'm being forced to buy a new phone when I have a 
phone that still works.  Honestly.  I "love" my Samsung.  It's tiny and 
perfect in every way.  

The new "BLU" has an micro SD slot, a camera, a music player, a flash light 
and a larger keypad.  However, it does not does not have predictive text entry
or a hand strap holder.  I can't decide if that's going to be a deal killer. 

The hand strap.  Not predictive text.  #phone

2016-08-22  Disappointment:  the default setting.  #life

2016-08-25  New Text Msg
            FROM :
            433381
            Attn Member! An       16
            older network will    19
            shut down in your     18
            area so your phone,   20
            incl 911, may not     18
            work as soon as       16
            1/31/17. Deets at     18
            vm.ca/updates         13
            CB# :                   \
            No Number                \
            2:50P Thu Aug 25          total characters:  138
            
Deets?  Seriously?  As much as I don't hate Virgin Mobile, their marketing 
campaign makes me want to step in front of a moving bus.  #phone  

2016-08-28  "Kareishu" raises it's smelly head once again and again I am 
            reminded that I am less than a year away from AM radio nirvana.
#life

2016-08-31  Each day I take solace in the fact that I have one less day that
            can be ruined by difficult people.  #life
            
2016-09-02  Don't do me any fucking favors.  #life

2016-09-09  Entry removed.  #life

2016-09-11  I have secured two future jobs, at least in my nuclear family's
            eyes:  bicycle repairman and custom blind installer.

Want a fog-free mirror in your bathroom?  Take a smaller-than-pea-size "dot"
of shampoo, lather it up in your hands and wipe down the surface of the 
mirror.  This seems to work better if the mirror has fogged over already, as 
the fog on the mirror helps spread the lathered shampoo.  I'd hazard a guess
that having your hands slightly wet would work the same on a dry mirror 
before the humidity builds.  Wipe until the surface is fog- and streak-free.
Lasts for days.  It really is a thing of beauty.  #life

2016-09-16  The new Perfume album is still underwhelming, but it's getting
            better.  The autotuned harmonies are always pleasing and a few
of the songs rise above the mediocrity that is most of the album.   Yasutaka 
Nakata really has run out of ideas.  #music

2016-09-19  I got my first straight edge razor today.  And there was a good
            cut above my upper lip, very reminiscent of my first days with
a safety razor.  But worse, because the cut is easily half the length of the
blade.  I finished with a safety razor.  I got my sideburns nice and clean 
with the straight edge, but to hell if I can figure out the technique for the 
rest of my face.  I suppose the technique will come in time, but that 
bloodletting was a major disappointment.  The dependent replied with "Enough 
already!  Just shave with what you know!"

I'll give it a rest for now.  #shave

2016-10-05  I have become what I have mocked.  Not so smrt anymore are you,
            sir?  #phone

2016-11-22  Skated for the first time in easily 35 years.  I love it. 
            I totally suck and the antique sakes I'm using kill my feet,
but I love it.  Regret #34562:  not skating for 35 years.  #regret #skate

2016-11-26  The dire warnings that winter is coming prompted me to replace
            the shitty German winter tires on my winter bike, tires that
17 steps past being completely useless, with the good Finnish winter tires
that I bought last year after suffering through a winter previous with
shitty German winter tires that I bought because the local bike shop made
bullshit excuses that they couldn't bring in the Finnish tires even though
after I ordered them from a shop in the United States a seller on Amazon.ca
sold them for less than what I paid for them from the American bike shop.

The Finnish tires had better live up to the false expectations created by
my memory of cycling on them for the past twenty years.  #bicycle 
#shittygermantires #winter

2016-11-27  I bought skates today.  New skates.  $60 skates.  They have to
            be better than the antique skates I was killing my ankles with
from my youth.  I guess I'll find out on Tuesday.  #skate

2016-11-28  For over a week now, when I went to dial out on my mobile phone*,
            the screen went black and became completely unresponsive.  
There's nothing I could do to get the screen back and I was forced to hold 
the power down and restart the phone.  What on Earth was happening?

I restarted the phone with the volume button down a couple of times and it 
brought the phone into this wonky Taiwanese Acer world, full of menus and 
buttons in Chinese only that don't ask for confirmation before they go 
ahead and do things that I don't understand.  Maybe they were root menus, 
but a good deal of them were for testing features on the phone, like 
cycling through the notification LED light colors, checking that the 
cameras work and what not.

I restarted the phone and let the OS do a bunch of "updating" of 
applications.  Once the home screen was up, I tried to make a call out with
the same response:  dead black screen, forced to restart.

Restarted again, I went into Settings/Backup & reset and did a factory data 
reset.  Note:  this particular Acer phone would not let me do this reset 
with less than 20% battery, even with the phone plugged in.

Upon restarting, I had a new phone.  It was my understanding that contacts 
saved on the SIM card are supposed to stay there.  They didn't.  My phone 
is now contact-free.  I really thought this new "smrt" world was supposed 
to be helpful.

Before I tried calling out again, I did a search for "android phone screen 
blank when make phone call".  Didn't get any real answers, but for a laugh, 
I removed the small piece of "Post-It" note that I had covering up the front
facing camera.  Can you guess what happened when I tried calling out?

D'oh!

Why was I covering up the front-facing camera?  Because the Chinese are 
using it to spy on me, don't you know.  And the rear-facing camera.  And 
the microphone.  Maybe I will now use a piece of translucent tape over the 
camera, so that light will still pass through (note:  this only sometimes
works).

One good thing came out of this exercise in madness.  I now have over 2GB** 
of free space on the phone's main storage; I was running with less than 
800MB prior.  I turfed a few more applications, mostly the Acer cloud shit, 
but I hardly think that four applications would free up 1.5GB of storage.  
It also appears to boot faster.  

I'm still pissed about losing the contacts that were supposedly on the SIM 
card.  I really thought that was the point of the SIM card was that contacts 
on the SIM card would stay on the SIM card.  I wrote down most of the 
contacts out of my old CDMA phone last night into a paper day planner that 
I sometimes carry around.  There's something comforting about writing stuff 
down.  I used a fountain pen to do so.

* The cheap-ass $17 mobile phone purchased in August would only work on the
  Rogers network and had prickboy at the Rogers kiosk not been such a pushy
  bastard, I might have switched networks.  He seemed convinced that I could
  save money by going to a $25 talk-and-text plan (it might have been $15; I
  suppose I could look it up, but I won't bother) instead of staying with
  my existing pay-as-you-go plan of $0.35 a minute phone calls and 100 texts
  a month for $5.  I've got convincing data from the last six years that
  pay-as-you-go would be in my best interest, but prickboy would have none
  of that.  Instead, I bought an unlocked Acer SMRT phone for $100 and 
  connected it to my current mobile provider.  I quietly mock prickboy when
  I pass him in the mall:  "Ah you need $25 talk-and-text plan.  It save you
  money.  Very famous."  The cheap-ass $17 mobile phone makes a great FM 
  radio that doesn't require a pair of shitty headphones to work.  

** After allowing allowing updates to run amok, 2GB was reduced to 1GB (a 
   second culling and deactivating of applications brought free space close 
   to 1.2GB), but 1GB is better than 800MB.  Maybe now the four Acer apps
   that I turfed accounted for the difference.  #phone #stupid

2016-11-29  New skates provided much support, but still killed my feet.  I
            lasted about 40 minutes before calling it quits.  But, it was
awesome.  I have no memory of skating on freshly sharpened blades so 
tonight's outing was pure bliss.  With pain.  Pain and bliss.  Why did I 
stop skating?  #skate

2016-11-30  Moved to separate section below.  #beinglefthandedisafuckingjoke

2016-12-08  Another day of -20C and nasty, soul-sucking winds on my way to 
            work.  I am thankful that "we" escaped the mountains of snow
that fell elsewhere, but the wind, seriously, enough.  For the second day
in a row, by the time I got to [an important intersection on my ride, I was 
ready to pull over, lie down in the ditch and die.  I carried on because 
dying was the selfish way out, but I had made peace with myself waiting for 
the lights to change.

I dislike wind very much.  #winter

2016-12-15  With the purchase of a Panasonic "Sure Time" RC-76 clock radio, 
            I have unofficially begun my decent into partaking in CLASSIC
ROCK RADIO while at work.  I saw it coming, but it wasn't to happen until
my 50th year on this planet.  

I was exchanging some email messages with a friend regarding the mostly 
complete lack of variety of songs played during the no-repeat work day.  
I commented that I didn't "get" the Beatles.  Replied was an exchange he 
had with a cow orker regarding the Beatles.  It was noted that people 
generally fall into one of two camps:  Beatles or Rolling Stones and 
likened the fanaticism to the Coke versus Pepsi debate.  

We also agreed that we didn't get Jimmy Buffett and his lackluster song
"Margaritaville".  This song's mysterious effect on white people is beyond
explanation.  I'm often brought to embarrassment when I hear this song, 
similar to having left my fly down or walking out of a public restroom with
toilet paper clinging to my shoe.  And yet most white people whip themselves 
into a steamy orgasmic frenzy upon hearing the opening bars.

I don't get it.  #50+ #music #whitepeoplearestupid

2016-12-17  It took me about 40 minutes to drag out the Hi-Fi last night, 
            with a good ten minutes spent looking through countless* 
identically sized, unlabelled, white boxes to find the interconnects.  
Was it worth the effort this time?  All signs point to yes.  New music that
appeared to shine with portable audio was beyond shiny on the Hi-Fi.  That
wasn't my experience three years ago.  Three years ago was lacklustre after
lacklustre; I can't explain why.  While the Hi-Fi made lots of stuff 
brilliant, it also spotlighted obvious production and recording issues that
portable audio glazes over.  I'd like to have a better sound stage, but 
interconnect and cable lengths are not as generous as I remember them being.  
And I'd really like the backlight on the CD player** to work.   

 * There were seven of them.
** Yes, CDs.  I can do vinyl; I choose not to.  #music

2016-12-22  "No name" ginger ale is rather disgusting.  #drink    

2016-12-23  Until the United Nations declares internet access as a basic 
            human right, the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications 
Commission can stick it.  No need to elaborate.  #life

2016-12-24  For the last six years, I've been doing calendars of the boys to
            give as gifts to the grandparents.  I dislike this task because
I procrastinate until I'm dealing with inflexible* end-of-year timelines; 
truth be told, procrastination is, irritatingly, the default setting.  

This year was doubly irritating as I was left on my own to make the photo
selections.  I am not found of leading or being in charge of anything; to be
the sole decision maker of this year's calendar project caused no end of
consternation.  However, using non-old-as-fuck hardware diminished the final
assembly's pain to a level of gentle uneasiness.

* Self-imposed.  #life

2016-12-30  Apparently, I am to only use one space after any sort of 
            punctuation, not two.  And this is not just a recent style point,
it's been around for ages.  The typing classes I took many decades ago, that
I held as gospel and would talk with an air of superiority to young'uns, 
taught me so.  I held this belief with religious fanaticism.  Don't believe 
me?  Search "one or two spaces after period" and either nod your head 
knowingly or shake your head off your neck with disbelief.  

It should have dawned on me when I learned HTML two and a half decades ago.  
I was mystified when coding pages that the only way I could have two spaces 
after a period ending a sentence was to hard code the space or create my 
documents, much like I am doing with this one, with <pre> </pre> tags.  
I honestly thought that the creators of hypertext markup language were 
idiots.  Seriously, how could anyone writing a text formatting language not 
know that two spaces after periods at the ends of sentences was not correct.  
Come on! 

I never bothered to do any research on the topic.  What I was taught was
right!  I still have the typing manuals that tell me so.

Nothing is as it was.  

With quiet resolve, unless someone brings up the topic in conversation, I'll 
continue to use two spaces after periods at the end of sentences, colons, 
exclamation marks and question marks, but not be preachy about it.  A 
multi-decade habit will be hard to break; I have no intention of changing now.

Do they even teach typing anymore?  #50+ #life #nerd

2017-01-01  Generations:  1883-1900  Lost Generation
                          1901-1924  G.I. (Greatest) Generation
                          1925-1945  Silent Generation
                          1946-1964  Baby Boomers*
                          1965-1980  Generation X 
                          1980-2000  Millennials** 
                          2001-      Generation Z**
                          
* The Baby Boomers can be  1946-1953  Me Generation
  broken into two groups:  1954-1964  Generation Jones

** No consensus on transition date.  Sometime between 1995 and 2000 is 
   generally considered the break point.  #life
   
2017-01-03  My side burns are driving me crazy.  Not as crazy as when I fall
            on my head and decide to try to grow out a beard, but similar.  
Two months has netted not at all what I wanted.  I keep wanting my side
burns to fill in.  All that is happened is the two dozen hairs on each side 
have grown out erratic, curly and grey.  Lame.  #shave

2017-01-04  I forgot how addictively yummers the enteric coating on Advil(R) 
            products is.  #pharmabuse

2017-01-11  I spent my afternoon and early evening with my parents and their 
            new Windows 10 laptop.  I was able to confirm what I had 
suspected:  10 is more ridiculous than 7, but umpteen times better than 8.  
And I confirmed why I remain a Linux user:  there is absofuckinglutely 
nothing cool about using Windows.  It's useful to know, like remembering to 
breathe is useful to staying alive, but no nerd points are gained from doing 
anything in it.  And I can still not pin windows on top of others.

The democratization of computers has ruined them.  I am saddened by this.  I
still staunchly believe that computers require operating licenses, regardless
of how impossible that would be to enforce.  There are very basic things
that should be known.  System memory and storage, while using the same
unit of measure, are entirely different things.  You can use the TAB key to
navigate between fields.  The ESC key does things.  So do function keys. 
So does the "Windows" key.  Mouse pads do help the mouse track properly.
Touch screens make your screen dirty.  File type associations should not be
assumed.  And as technology has evolved, the idea of an installed office 
suite for home users to type up recipes or ranting letters to the editor 
that will be printed once and never saved is more than ludicrous.  #nerd 
          
2017-01-30  Babymetal's song "Syncopation" just might be the most expensive 
            song I've ever bought.*  I dislike version differences between
domestic and import releases of music, mostly because they will force me to
buy both.  Both versions of "Metal Resistance"** have twelve songs.  For the 
domestic version "From Dusk Till Dawn" holds track seven's place, a song 
that I exclude from playlists because it's ballady and uninteresting.***  
The import version includes "Syncopation" in this place.  "Syncopation" is a
far more interesting song.  It might even rock.

I did little to no research about "Syncopation" other than I knew I didn't 
have it.  I found the import versrion of "Metal Resistance" at Book-Off.  I
put off buying it for a couple of days, and this brought me no end of
internal worrying that I might not be able to get back to Book-Off to find 
it not there.  When visiting the Land of the Rising Sun, the lesson learned
time and time again is to not put off buying stuff because I'll waste more
time and money getting stuff at a later date. 

The biggest worry after buying the album was that "Syncopation" might turn
out to be another "From Dusk Till Dawn".  I waited until the boys were 
asleep to find out.  It wasn't.  I could have my Go ass handed to me 
handily without anymore "Syncopation" worries.  
            
* Truth be told, at 1750 yen, the two Hamasaki Ayumi singles I bought 
  during my obsessive period with her, "Kanariya" and for the sake of this
  entry, "Fly High", likely fetched more per song due to the nature of their
  releases.  These singles have an interesting history, but one I will not
  expand on in this entry.  I've written about them before.  I'll try to find
  the original text and repost it at a later time.     
** There's also a song on both albums, the last track, that differs between
   domestic and import versions.  The domestic version is the song "One" sung
   entirely in English, which is uninteresting for countless reasons.  The 
   import version sports a track titled "The One", which differs because,
   while it's the same song, it is not not entirely sung in English and thus,
   moderately more interesting, but not interesting enough to make it on a 
   playlist.
*** Never having listened to this song in its entirety until now, I will
    retract most of this statement, except I doubt it will ever make it to a
    playlist.  #music
                        
2017-02-06  I sleep at night.  I sleep at night, but I never wake up rested.  
            I can't remember the last time I woke up feeling, not exhausted, 
but never ever refreshed.  I've been at a loss as to why this is.  Today, I 
have some insight.  

"Maybe Kevin is keeping you awake, dad."

Kevin is a troll that lives in my belly button.  I don't remember the 
origins of Kevin, but he's been around for a while.  Kevin sleeps during the 
day and forages for food at night.  When I'm sleeping.  It all makes sense 
now.

"It's his "back and forth, back and forth, back and forth" that's keeping 
you awake".

On the plus side, my belly button has never been so clean.  I won't be 
getting rid of Kevin any time soon.  #kevinthetroll

2017-02-08  Kevin's last name is Martrich.  Apparently he has a tricycle 
            that he rides around at night.  It's the tires that make me feel
itchy.

Each visit, with not real intention, I focus on one particular musical group 
and filling holes in their catalog.  A couple of years ago, it was Hotei 
Tomoyasu.  Last year it was Perfume.  I filled a small gap in Babymetal this 
year, but the big one has been Ken Yokoyama and some of the bands he's been 
involved in:  his solo work, BBQ Chickens and Hi-Standard.

Dollar stores have been disappointing this visit.  I've been able to find a
few treasures, but specific things I planned on Y2King I've been unable to.
The shaving stuff that was in abundance last year is rarer than spotting a 
public telephone or a Korean car this time around.  The same goes for small 
pencil cases.  #japan #kevinthetroll #music

2017-02-16  Japan was delicious.  #japan

2017-02-27  While looking for some office supplies I knew I had packratted
            away at work, I found a Hughes Owens 1768C slide rule I had
forgotten about.  I am always torn as to where I should keep treasures like
this.  Do I keep it at work and risk thievery (low risk) or water damage
(high risk), to have it thrown out when I die (inevitable risk) or keep it 
at home and risk child vandalism (high risk) or water damage (high risk), 
to have it thrown out when I die (inevitable risk)?  Either way, the slide
rule will do me no good when the world economies collapse, but at least
I will be able to calculate the interest I will not get on money I no longer
have. 

I can only hope for Yellowstone to erupt first (and you'd thought I'd
forgotten about Yellowstone.  Tsk tsk).  #life #yellowstone

2017-04-29  I've been dealing with a painful sinus infection for two weeks 
            now.  Along with constant pain in my sinuses and a burning sore 
throat from my sinuses forever draining, the gums around the back lower left 
teeth were full of hurt.  I mostly sucked it up by taking excessive amounts
of ibuprofen, acetaminophen and pseudoephedrine.  The pseudoephedrine kept
me buzzed just enough to mostly forget about the pain that the other two 
drugs were doing nothing for.  

I've been doing my best to *not* sinus rinse, but I sneak in a rinse every 
once in a while to relieve the pressure.  During my rinse this morning, 
long, black filamentous strings of something were washed out.  No word of 
a lie, it was like a demonic extraction.  I have never seen anything like
that rinsed out before.  Within an hour, the pain in my lower jaw had almost
completely disappeared, my sinuses no longer ached and the burning in my
throat was reduced to residual pain from weeks of hurt. 

Bizarre.  #health

2017-05-01  A couple of weeks ago, I dug out the "old" "expensive" JVC buds,
            HA-FXD80, I had bought about four years ago in Japan, mostly 
because I've not been completely happy with the "new" "less expensive" JVC 
buds, HA-FXH20, I bought last last year.  The 20s were bought because I 
thought the 80s were being to "rattle".

At Yodobashi Camera, I can spend all day listening to headphones, but the 
store is noisy, with the endless audio loop of advertising in a minimum of 
eight different languages, informing me that I can buy things "duty free"
and that there's helpful staff always waiting to assist me in the language
of my choosing.* **  The only thing I've been able to compare in store is 
the volume and the amount of ear-rattling bass the buds have or whether 
there's no high end.  The 20s delivered about the same amount of volume and 
the same clarity of the 80s, in store, so the 20s were bought.  It's sitting
at home, in the living room, in the early peaceful hours of the morning, 
in Canada, far away from the store, that the difference came out.  The 
sound stage of the 20s is very two-dimensional, while the 80s are full and 
deep and detailed.  

What a pompous, pretentious ass thing to type.

I had waffled this year when looking at headphones.  There were 
"replacements" of the 80s at Yodobashi Camera that were well over 10000 yen.
If I now look back at how much I paid for the 80s and remember that I 
bought them on sale, the replacements weren't really all that out of line.

Inflation is a bitch.  So is memory loss.

* Not true.
** At least in the dozen Yodobashi's I've visited.  #japan #music #nerd

2017-05-28  I will go on record as saying Bottlecaps suck.  In the sense of
            sucking.  Bottlecaps did not used to suck.  They were one of my
favorite compressed sugar candies, with the root beer and cola flavored 
disks being sort and and left for last because they were so go.  This candy 
is, like many other candies of my childhood, different and sucky, in the 
sense of sucking, and I am irritated by this.  Bottlecaps are now thicker 
and softer than they used to be.  All the flavors are not the same.  They 
are no longer good.  I actually don't want to introduce them to my children
because I don't want them to think dad has no taste.*

Other candies that used to be awesome and now suck:
- Rockets
- Love Hearts

* They already know this, I just don't need them being reminded by my sucky
  taste in candies.  #candy

2017-06-05  I have disabled the functionality of my mobile phone as best I can
            without rooting it.  Why?  Numerous reasons.  I might elaborate
later.  The main reason is that I don't want to use it as designed, so 
crippling it stops the temptation.  I can text on it, place and receive calls
and take pictures with the toy camera in it.  That's it.  I need to charge
every five to seven days.  #nerd #phone

2017-07-18  I have spent the last five evenings re-reading favorite haunts
            regarding cascading style sheets.  I enjoy coding webpages, 
regardless of how shitty I am at doing so.  Tonight, I had gotten through 
recoding this windbag bit and had started venturing into the "information" 
bit.  I gave up after coding around the second ASCII title.  Oh, I probably 
could have made it through the rest of the page, swapping out hard formatting 
for css, but being hard turned out to be better than having style.  I kept 
some style bits that worked, but the hard coding is lends itself to the 
agenda that I am pushing.*

* No clue.  #nerd

2017-07-27  404 page = broked.  ! idea why.  I = sad.  Make email web
            provider.  Answer = use web hosting software, make configure.
Look at web hosting software.  Soul ache:  on-line page maker thinger.  
Wish for halcyon days when .htaccess controlled functioning.  Figure out 
default 404 page name.  Aha moment.  Make fix.  Look at log metrics for 
pages.  People hot-linking graphics.  Rename directories and images.  
I = happy when people ! steal content.  Consider irony.  Still post entry.
#nerd

2017-08-09  With reference to 2015-01-10, popcorn with butter is damn good,
            too.  #popcorn
            
2017-08-10  With reference to 2016-04-06, some time near the beginning of
            this year, I let my lottery habit go.  I had been playing the
same numbers for the past way too long, since I was able to legally buy
lottery tickets likely.  Every once in a while, I'd win a bit of money, but 
never enough to stop going into work.  I wrestled with this decision, but
ultimately I decided to walk away and never look at the numbers again, 
because if when my numbers do come up, and I found out about it, I'd have
to kill myself.  #budget #life

2017-08-12  With reference to 2017-05-28, I will go on record that 
            Flintstone's multivitamins suck.  They didn't used to suck.  
They are fatter, softer and far less yummy than before.  Bayer, you, along 
with  Willy Wonka, suck.  I was able to buy some generic children's 
multivitamins at the dollar store from a company called Vita Health that 
were far closer to what Flintstone's multivitamins used to be at a fraction 
of the cost, but the supply dried up.  If I were to hazard a guess, I'd cite
dollar store for not having a license or permit or whatever to sell vitamins
and supplements.  I haven't searched elsewhere for these generics yet, but 
given the terribleness of the state of Flintstone's multivitamins, I will
start.  #health

2017-08-14  The Beach Boys album "Pet Sounds" is as weird and uninteresting
            now as it was 40 years ago when I first pulled it out of my 
father's record collection and gave it a spin.  I mean, I suppose I get it*,
but it meanders all over the place and is far from listenable.  Sort of like
jazz, jazz music, which I also do not get.  I haven't given jazz a chance,
but neither have I given suicide a chance.

* No, I don't.  #music

2017-08-15  My desire to be sociable is tempered by my contempt for others.
#life

2017-08-31  Two things:  First, I sent my first 100th text message within 
            a payment cycle of my text message addon of 100 messages for five
bucks.  In the seven years that I've been keeping track of the text messages 
sent per month, I've never sent more than my allotment.  Until today.  I have 
four days left in the payment cycle.  Messages past the 100 are twenty cents 
a piece.  The next text messaging "bracket" is 500 messages for seven bucks.  
I've got a buffer of ten messages before I "break the bank".  I can do less 
than ten messages in four days, especially with the weekend coming up.  I 
only sent one today.

Second, when you think it's a stupid idea to throw away all those itty bitty
screws that you collect when you rip apart, well, pretty much anything, don't
throw them away.  You'll be able to put back together your son's pull-back
Morris Mini because you disassembled it over top of your computers in poor
lighting conditions.  I never heard it hit the floor, so it's got to be
hanging in the tangle of cables.  #life #nerd #phone

2017-09-05  With reference to 2017-08-31, first thing:  I made it.  #nerd 
            #phone

2917-09-19  For the month of September, so far, I've switched from hot shaving
            to cold shaving, that is to say, shaving with cold water instead
of hot.  Water, regardless of being hot or cold, is softened.  Observations:  

1)  Less water is wasted, especially the initial minute or so to get hot water 
    out of the tap.
2)  A side-effect of the less water used is that I spend less time shaving or
    have more time to shave.
3)  The soap brush still hydrates properly.
4)  The soap still foams.
5)  Marginal, if any, irritation.
6)  Weepers weep less and happen less often.
7)  Whiskers are cut as close, if not closer, as hot shaving.

It's literally win-win on every point.  #shave

2017-09-26  Listening to music takes time.  I've figured out ways to compress
            the activity, but the results are never satisfying.  It really is
worth the effort, I can't find the time lately.  #music

2017-10-04  That little voice that tells you not go ahead and do the plumbing 
            that your ego says you can do because your knowledge reminds you
that water will go everywhere you don't want it to go?  Listen to it.  Sure,
you were pretty clever with the rotary tool, making the holes larger for the 
tap fixture to fit proper.  Wood is easy.  Wood doesn't flow down holes and 
into cracks, swell things, warp things, rot things, and in general make a 
giant mess of things.  Wood also doesn't make you gunshy about a simple repair
that you know can easily render your home without water for a long weekend.    
#life

2017-10-05  One year with a space phone.  Even after a year, I still feel 
            ridiculous using it with other people around.  No paid-for data 
yet.  To be honest, I've done as much as I can to neuter the phone without 
actually rooting it.  I can text, make and receive calls, use the toy camera.  
I allow contacts to sync manually; no other Google products are enabled*.  
I turn it off when I get home after work, turn it back on when I get to work. 
It stays off on the weekends, unless I leave the house.

* Except for GBoard.  I quite like GBoard, especially "glide typing".  Glide 
  typing might be the only real reason I've not pitched the space phone and 
  bought a feature phone**.
** Not true.  I bought a "candy bar" feature phone that I liked before the 
   space phone, but the feature phone only worked on Rogers and I wasn't 
   going to compromise my moral code*** by dealing with Rogers.  The only 
   other options for a feature phone appeared to be a pittance of flip 
   phones and despite their retro appear, I never liked that form factor 
   in the past.  Acquiring a flip phone would compromise my moral code**** 
   again.
*** How is it possible to compromise something that is already severely 
    compromised?  Becoming a Rogers customer is a good place to start.
**** I have hated the flip phone form factor from the beginning and swore 
     that I would go to my grave without owning one.  Flip phones never felt 
     "right" and being left-handed, I could never open the phone properly.
#phone

2017-10-22  I have absolutely no one to talk music with and it saddens me to 
            no end.  #music

2017-10-26  Tetanus and shingles vaccinations done.  #health

2017-10-28  The secret to karaoke is to come prepared.  I was prepared with
            the Carpenter's "Top Of The World" (practiced ala a cover by
Me First and the Gimme Gimmes).  Once I aced* this, the rest of the evening 
opened up to Tom Cochrane's "Life Is A Highway", followed by Katy Perry's 
"Hot 'n' Cold" and "Roar", followed by Survivor's "Eye Of The Tiger", followed 
by Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody", followed by ... until we were shut down 
because some of the wee ones needed to go to sleep.  Good times. 

* "Aced" is used in the loosest of terms, meaning I was able to recite the
  majority of the lyrics without error.  Extra points were earned for 
  "passion".  Points were lost for not being able to carry the tune, but I
  feel empowered by getting over a major hurdle when it came to karaoke.  
  "I don't know what to sing".  I knew it would happen, it was only a matter
  of time, so, as I began, I came prepared.  Good times indeed.  #music 
  #karaoke

2017-11-21  Animal Crossing* Pocket Camp (ACPC) is a slippery slope** I've 
            slid down fast and hard.  Broken my neck along the way.  I miss 
being able to clearcut and replant trees in neat and tidy rows or fun 
geometric patterns, but the rest of the grind factor is there.  Certainly the 
game is dumbed down for the dirty unwashed masses:  (fruit in the same place, 
fish in the same place, no digging, no turnip market (that I've seen), no 
wacking animals with the bug net to irritate them enough to move away, no 
writing of vitriolic mail.  The grind is there, though, and it's at your pace.  
I wonder if they have incorporated calendar-specific events.  That honestly 
was the best part of the original.  Collecting stuff that was only available 
for limited times.  That, and repeatedly hitting animals on the head with 
the bug net to get them to move away.

I've gone from charging my space phone once a week to twice a day.  Yeah me!

Thank goodness the game requires a live data connection to the Internet of 
Things.  I'd be royally screwed if I could play ACPC off-line.
  
* To be fair to the series, I've only ground through the original Game Cube 
  version of the game.  Maybe other versions have been entertaining.  The
  first one certainly was. 
  
** Installing applications on the space phone that turn me into "one of them".
   #animalcrossing #grind #phone #hypocrite

2017-11-25  To be perfectly honest, I never really knew who Lita Ford was, 
            or what The Runaways were.  I knew Joan Jett:  I appreciate her
contributions, but I don't have any of Joan Jett's music; classic rock radio 
has always given me enough.  Certainly there's been lots of opportunities 
for me stumble on Lita, but it wasn't until I re-read a review of The Donnas 
"Spend The Night" that I dug through the words written about The Runaways and 
Lita Ford.

Let it be known that I bought "Stiletto" purely for the cover art*.  Her 
tussled hair framing her face totally gets me.  Big rock hair will do that 
every time.  

After listening to the album non-stop after setting up the hi-fi**, I also 
appreciate her 90s rock sensibilities.  She's no Lee Aaron, but there's only
one Lee Aaron and she rocks.  Seriously.  Please move past Lee's fur bikini
phase.  "Stiletto" is a surprising and gratifying*** find.
        
* There has only been one album cover that has haunted me the way "Stiletto"
  does:  Hamasaki Ayumi's album "Duty".
  
** It took dragging the hi-fi out (again) to really appreciate the 90s rock 
    that "Stiletto" is.  The lo-fi in the family room was gave it no justice.

*** Mind, gutter, crowding, stop.  #music #litaford #hamasakiayumi #hair
    
2018-01-25  Japan was delicious. 

I want to write about my trip, as it really was quite excellent, but I can't 
seem to find the time to gather my thoughts, what with all the Animal 
Crossing grinding to be done.  Later, it is my hope.  #japan #animalcrossing

2018-03-02  Web page and domain renewed for another five years (25% discount
            hosting and domain).  I couldn't let it go.  Almost 17 years on
the web under this domain, 26 if I count the time with a local provider.  
#nerd

2018-03-11  Man, I can't get enough of the marshmallow (panned) eggs sold
            around Easter.  #candy

2018-04-05  For the first time in seven years, I went over my allotment of
            of monthly text messages.  By maybe 15.  That's an extra $3 this
month.  However, in the grand scheme of things, I need to use 840 extra text
messages (and growing at 10 texts a month) to make going to the next pay
interval of $7 for 500 text messages worth while.  #nerd #phone

Show my work:                    7 years x 12 months/year x $2/month = $168

                             $168 / $0.20/text message =  840 text messages

2018-04-12  An friend has convinced me to commit Facebook suicide.  We are to
            log into our accounts at or around 23:59 2018 April 14 local, 
click on the "Quick Help" question mark, type "delete account", click on the 
"how do I permanently delete my facebook account" link, click on "let us 
know", and follow the remaining instructions.  Fuck off, Mark, you dick.  
I hope they nail you to a cross.  #fbsuicide

2018-05-21  A reinstall of Raspbian was necessitated this weekend when the
            OS failed to come up to the desktop.  I suppose I could farted
around with it, attempting to fix the error that I don't remember what it
was now.  It was far easier to format a new SD card, reinstall, and copy 
over the working files.  I'm sadly still relying on a Windoze 7 boxen to
format the SD card and copy the install files over.  I have yet to get this
done in Linux, which embarasses me quite a bit.  #raspberrypi #sadnerdb

2018-06-11  After a week of unsuccessful nerding, trying to get a SupraModem 
            2400 to dial out from a Linux box via a serial 9-25 cable, 
success!  I was able to open up the serial port (ttyS0, serial port 1, I/O
port 03F8, IRQ 4) by going into the BIOS at boot and manually setting the
serial port, and then accessing the serial port through /dev/ttyS0 via the
console (a sudo chmod 666 /dev/ttyS0 needed to be done each boot; I think
that if I configured myself to be part of the "dailout" group, I would not
have to do the above chmod), but any command I echoed out to the terminal
(sudo echo atdt5551212 > /dev/ttyS0) resulted in nothing more than brief
flashes from a few of the modem lights.  I then installed a serial
communications program, minicom.  After configuring minicom first, 
sudo minicom -s, by setting the serial port and some modem parameters (at
this point, the modem parameters are not important), I was able to dial out!  
I wasn't actually able to connect to anything, but that, too, was not the 
point at this juncture.

Points to remember:

Boot computer with modem turned on.
After sudo minicom, type:  atx1   <--extended response set, blind dialing
Type: atdt 5551212  <--the space between the dial command and the number
                       does not seem to matter in the terminal program

Hilarity will ensue!  #modem #nerd

2018-06-12   It turns out, at least on a Raspberry pi with Raspbian 
             installed*, a SupraModem 2400 plugged in with a USB to RS232 
cable shows up in the devices at /dev/ttyUSB0.  All I had to do was configure
minicom to use that "serial port".  Success!    

* I imagine all Linux OSes will behave similarly.  #modem #nerd

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