Wrong Universe

A look inside the head of a bitter, lonely guy.

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Quick TV Show Review – The Last Ship

tlsThe Last Ship is a new series on TNT centering around a U.S. Navy battleship having been off on a mission to the Arctic while a global virus pandemic similar to Ebola is wiping out the world’s population.  The show is based on the book, The Last Ship, by William Brinkley.

This situation is highly plausible.  It is only a matter of time until a mutated virus or a intentionally weaponized strain begins spreading around the planet.  There is currently an Ebola pandemic in Africa.  If it gets on a plane somehow then we could be in the same boat.  Pun intended.

Aboard the ship is a scientist who may be able to synthesize a cure to the disease.  The ship, unable to return to the U.S. Mainland must stay safely at sea until the cure can be found while being pursued by the Russians.

I like the way, so far, that there is little to no romantic involvement among the crew.  There is nothing worse than personal interaction to ruin a good story.  Keep it professional guys.

I’ve only seen three episodes and am enjoying it so far.  I love the premise and I hope the story can be true to it’s promise.


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Memory – Two True Computer Stories

mac2ciStory 1:  Eating Floppy Disks

About 18 years ago, I worked computer support at Brooks Air Force Base in San Antonio.

One day we received a help ticket saying that the computer was not ejecting floppy disks.   Hoping to save a trip I called the user and asked about it.  She said she kept putting disks in but they never worked or came out.  That sounded pretty weird since you can’t put in more than one disk at a time.  I mentioned this to my co-workers.  They were also intrigued.  We decided to all go see.

Macintosh IIci computers had a single slot for floppy disks and a place for a second drive to be installed.  The cover for the hole for the second drive had come off and looked identical to the slot for the real drive.  The user had been putting disks into the empty slot.  I opened up the case to see a stack of floppy disks lying on the motherboard.  We all had a good laugh on that one.

Story 2: The Autoexec Bat

Another help ticket indicated that the computer was acting funny.  Sometimes resetting itself.  It was another interesting call so a few of us went to check it out.  We confirmed that something was wrong but couldn’t find any software issues.  Eventually we pulled the machine out from under the desk and found that a bat had tried to crawl into the power supply probably attracted to the warm air.  He had gotten his wing jammed into the fan keeping it from spinning and overheating the power supply.

I quickly reported that it was his autoexec bat.

Bwa ha haaaaa!  You would have to be a classic computer guy to laugh at that one.



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Memory – I almost died!

sldplWhen I was in elementary school we had a tall slide on the playground that had a fireman’s pole to slide down.

One day I thought it would be fun to go across the top then down the pole head first figuring I could control my descent with my hands.

It did not go well.  I went down quickly and landed on my head.  It was a miracle that I walked away from that.  I could have been paralyzed or killed.

Fortunately for me kids of my time were much more durable than today’s’ children.

On second thought:  Maybe I DID die.  I’ve had a theory that I am living in hell right now.  I might be dead and not know it.


Memory – The Essay

ogodI was in elementary school and the end of the year was approaching.  I must have been in 4th or 5th grade at the time around 1978.  The teacher assigned us a short essay on what we had planned for the summer.

I had absolutely nothing planned and no idea what to write so I decided to write a little fiction.

I wrote about burning the school down and using the firemen as wood.  I quoted the children’s song:

Glory, Glory Hallelujah.
Teacher hit me with a ruler.
I met her at the bank with a loaded army tank and she ain’t my teacher no more.

Yesterday I went to her grave.
Instead of putting flowers, I put a hand grenade.
Yea, yea, yea, she couldn’t get away and she ain’t my teacher no more.

(I can’t believe I remember the words.)

I got in serious trouble.  Not as much as if it had happened today.  Back then we still had free speech and there was no such thing as a threat on a school.  School shootings would not have been invented for another 5 years.  I just got a stern talking to by my mother.  I had no idea what I had done.  It seemed like a good story at the time.

In retrospect, Wow!  It may have been the year after my father died and I may have been a seriously damage child.  Nobody cared about a child’s mental state back then.  There was no grief counseling or school psychologist.  It is likely the reason I am so messed up today.

If I had done that in today’s world it is quite possible that I would have been sent to a high security mental hospital and a special school.

I’m not sure what unrepressed that memory.  Sometimes they just reappear when you least expect it.


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Are your government officials qualified to be in their positions?

Mayor Julian Castro of San Antonio was just confirmed as the new Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).   Nice for him but I find this another example of appointing an unqualified person into a position of power in the government.

Who is he?  Just some guy who was mayor of a lame town in Texas.  He has a degree in law from Stanford where he self-admittedly boasted that he got in because of Affirmative Action.  How sad.

According to President Obama:

“Julian’s been focused on revitalizing one of our most wonderful cities, planting thousands of housing units downtown, attracting hundreds of millions of dollars of investment. He’s built relationships with mayors all across the country.”

That’s a bit of a stretch.  Any mayor can try to do that.  Downtown San Antonio still sucks. Nobody goes there and never will.  The real development is on the north side.

The point here is that he is only slightly more qualified to be Secretary of HUD than anyone off the street.  This is NOT the way to run a government.  The proper person to fill this position is someone with a Doctorate in Housing and Urban Development.   Not Law.

We don’t need people in high positions who are going be learning on the Job.  We need professionals and the United States citizens should demand it.

Another example is Hillary Clinton being appointed as Secretary of State.  She was a senator having no real experience  or education on matters of foreign affairs.  How did that help the country?  Not very much, obviously.

A regular person can’t become director of a large company if he doesn’t have an appropriate degree and experience.  How can this happen in something as important as our government?

How can the United States expect to run a professional government if any random person without proper preparation can take a high office?  Something is wrong here.  Doesn’t anybody care?


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Solar heated hot tub

hshtrI don’t often use my hot tub in the summertime.  I much prefer sitting in a nice hot tub in the middle of winter as steam rises around me.  It’s awesome!

It has come to my attention that most people prefer to use their hot tub in the summer.  They say it is too cold in the winter.  I don’t get it but people are people.

I decided to try summer tubbing.   One of the nice things about summer is free heat if you need it.  I already have an enchanted water heater for the house.  It works for free in the summer.  I think there should be a free way to heat my hot tub in the summer as well.

At first reading, the tub’s temperature is 79.3.   A comfortable temperature for summer swimming.  A little cold at night though during the time I would most be likely to use it.  I happened to have a submersible pump and a lot of garden hose so I dropped the pump into the tub and connected all the hose together and laid it out in the sun.  After turning on the pump and purging the preheated water from the hose, the stable reading at the output was 7 degrees higher than the input.  That’s not bad!  I wouldn’t want it to be too hot in the summer anyway.  Just comfortable would be great.

The submersible pump uses 30 watts of power.  Easily covered by my solar panel array.   Now I’ll just wait and see what the tub temperature looks like at the end of the day.  It has already gone up .5 degrees as I write this.


The temperature got up to 93°.  Almost too hot for summer use.  Free energy is awesome.





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