Month: December 2012

Saturday 9 – Happy Holidays

Alas it’s  Saturday . Attibutes: Originally found on Patently Queer who got it from Rejected Reality. And now that I’ve added the latter to my RSS feeds the probability that I’ll actually do this on a Saturday have increased considerably.

Saturday 9: Same Old Lang Syne

  1. This week’s song is the tale of an accidental holiday encounter between former lovers.  They sit in her car and spend hours catching up, then she gives him a chaste kiss and they never see one another again. Is there a past love who still has a special spot in your heart, despite the years or the miles since your relationship?

    I cannot say I’ve ever had this happen to me. But then Keyron and I have been together for nearly 20 years now so the probability of anything like this happening falls off at the inverse.

  2. This week’s song includes a play on the traditional Scottish song, “Auld Lang Syne.” Have you ever visited Scotland?

    Since I don’t play golf, have no interest in Haggis, but there is a high probability that I have a half-brother in Scotland but I’ve not yet been there.

  3. Mother Winters has long told Sam (the author of this meme, and host of Saturday 9) that if she has a glass of water for every glass of champagne she drinks on New Year’s Eve, she’ll feel better on New Year’s Day. Do you have a favorite hangover prevention tip or cure? 

    Yes I do. A hangover is mostly due to dehydration as alcohol is a diuretic. Ever notice you tend to urinate a lot more when drinking alcohol? Yes indeed.

    But the trick is this: Before going to bed a two big glasses of water, and some excedrin. Then in the morning down a high caffeine beverage of choice.

  4. Do you like champagne? 

    Oh give me a nice dry champagne. I love it.

  5. This year at midnight, Crazy Sam will kiss the nose of her puppy, Chico. Will you be kissing anyone when the clock strikes 12?

    Well of course I will. If you see above – twenty years and all.

  6. The Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy was the runaway publishing phenomenon of 2012. It was so successful that the publisher, Random House, was able to give its employees massive bonuses this year. Have you read it? 

    Absolutely no desire to read female soft-porn. Male on the other hand maybe.

  7. Year-end is a time for newspapers, magazines and websites to run lists. According to, Jennifer Lawrence of The Hunger Games is the at the of the year’s “Most Desirable Woman” list. People magazine has declared Channing Tatum “The Sexiest Man Alive — 2012.” Do either of these two set your pulse racing? If not, who is your celebrity crush? 

    Not at all. Channing Tatum isn’t my cup of tea.  My tastes run a lot, well, darker and richer. And in 2012 I didn’t see any real breakouts in that respect.

  8. Pasadena, California, is known for hosting the traditional Rose Parade. It begins at 8:00 AM on January 1, so the people who watch it live must be there very early. Does the thought of getting up and dressed to sit in the California sun, bright and early on New Year’s morning appeal, to you? 

    I’ve seen plenty of sun rises in my life so it wouldn’t be such an issue to be up and there for 08:00 hours. However it does not APPEAL to me at all.

  9. Sometimes aches and pains that aren’t serious can still really hurt. For example, Sam just dropped a can of tomato paste on her foot and the little red mark it left is making her crazy! Are you suffering through a bump or bruise or cut right now?

    Nothing major at the moment. My lower back will every now and then remind me that I’m only human but other than that, nothing major.

Polyester I hardly knew ya

So the other day Keyron brought home this nice fleece robe. I tried it on, nice and comfy. But immediately upon donning the robe I said “It’s polyester!”

You see, my ass has been clothed in nothing but cotton for a very long time. But this robe – dear non-existent deity it’s warm!

So I did some research on Polyester, or as it’s otherwise known PET or Polyethylene Terephthalate, the same thing plastic drink bottles are made from.

Then of course I got a pair of fleece pajama bottoms too. And they’re polyester too!

But the other fascinating thing about polyester/PET is that they recycle plastic bottles into polyester yarn and fabric. That part is so cool!

So it’s not the polyester leisure suit of old anymore. And if you’re interested in the process of how polyester fleece is made I suggest you read this.

The Xmas Holiday

So we spent the holiday with friends. Much better that way. I’m kind of glad most of my family spewed to the four winds. I recall those days as being pretty boring, though the summer visits were cool as I learned how to garden from my grandfather.

But back on subject I’ll start with the food:

We had started buying the ingredients for the antipasto and four dozen ravioli. Two dozen were lobster ravioli, the one each of basil and the crab ravioli. We figured we’d stick with a seafood scheme for the eve.

The antipasto consisted of pepperoni, stuffed cherry peppers, roasted green olives, an assortment of olives with things like blue cheese stuffing, etc. along with artichoke hearts. We also had little crostini with bruschetta sauce and Asiago cheese on them. (And it sucks that Firefox’s dictionary doesn’t include Italian terminology but I have rectified that by adding the words to the dictionary!)

For Christmas day it was pastry we’d gotten from LaSalle Bakery. How do I explain this, the bakery has been around forever. It was there when I was in high school thirty years ago, and it’s still there. I had a blueberry muffin from them that was awesome – the muffin wasn’t dry – nice and moist and delicious. Then I tried the cannoli, the filling wasn’t too dense or gritty at all. Nice, smooth and tasty. If you’re in the Providence, RI area I strongly suggest you pay them a visit, they’re at the corner of Academy Ave and Smith St., diagonally across from my alma mater LaSalle Academy.

For dinner we had picked up a nice stuffed beef roast from Venda. In fact we got most of the ingredients of the antipasto from them too. We roasted the beef with carrots, pearl onions, leeks, and fingerling potatoes.

And the wines – before Christmas dinner we had a couple glasses of a nice Italian sparkling wine, then at dinner we had a bottle from our friends daughter and then one we’d picked up at Trader Joe’s up in Foxborough, MA.

I feel I should put an open note to Rhode Island Legislators, make it so supermarkets and stores can carry beer and wine. Kind of ridiculous that in MA you can get your favorite in a supermarket, but not here in RI.

Anyhow – to the gifts. One of my gifts was sort of a gag but appropriate – it’s a Monty Python’s Flying Circus “It’s Only A Flesh Wound” t-shirt from the Holy Grail movie. Another of my gifts is a ice comfy pair of Acorn slippers – that was driven by a picture of me in my robe on Facebook. Also got a three bottle wine rack with the wine to fill it 2/3’s the way. Now that I know about the Trader Joe’s in Foxborough though – you can get good wines really cheap there so I see a wine cellar in my future. Also got a Ralph Lauren overcoat.

So not a bad holiday in casa Truthspew.

Saturday 9 – Happy Holidays

Granted it’s not Saturday but a few days later. My first chance to answer these as I got it from Patently Queer who got it from Rejected Reality.

So I’ll participate – granted it’s three days late this time around. I will add Rejected Reality to my RSS feeds so I’ll get notices in the future.


Saturday 9 – Happy Holidays

  1. Some children are reluctant to climb into Jolly Old St. Nick’s lap. Did you enjoy the tradition or were you shy? Or did you by pass it altogether — either because you wrote him a letter or because your family didn’t celebrate Christmas?
  2. I have a photo – I’d scan it in but I’m too lazy to do so. In it I’m maybe 2 or 3 years old. And I’m in Santa’s lap bawling. Of course Santa was my grandfather in that photo. Interestingly both my grandfather and grandmother worked for Ann & Hope – the template for believe it or not Wal-Mart. He was director of Security, my grandmother managed the softgoods department in the stores. Even my aunt worked in the back office there. So that Christmas my grandfather decided he’d play Santa.

  3. Are you currently on the Naughty or Nice list? How did you get there? 
  4. Well, mostly nice if thought crimes don’t count. For example, this evening I had a rather brilliant Machiavellian/Mediccian in that it’s a classic Sicilian move and that the ends would in fact justify the means. It was an idea that would have a positive effect on the family while completely neutralizing an opposing force within the family. At first I thought maybe it would be nice if that opposition was dead, but then I further pondered that murder is pretty nasty. Instead I’ll just use existing institutions to do my bidding. It’s pretty easy to do if you’re willing to accept a small amount of risk, not only that it’s great fun and I have used the police and judiciary in the past to do effectively the same thing.

    So based on the above – I’d say strongly naughty!

  5. Did you ship any gifts to friends and family this year? If so, which one traveled the farthest?/li>

    To family – about 700 miles away in North Carolina.

  6. Did you buy yourself a gift this year? /li>

    No I didn’t do so. Oh wait, books on Amazon Kindle – got a few page turners, one on Information Theory, another on Game Theory and a Calculus review. Yeah, I’m masochistic that way.

  7. What’s your favorite holiday-themed movie?
  8. Scrooged – we actually watched it. The two most amusing characters were David Johansen as the Ghost of Christmas Past, and Carol Kane as the Ghost of Christmas Present. Brilliant casting.

  9. Thinking of movies, Christmas is lucrative for Hollywood. Have you ever gone to a movie theater on Christmas Day? <
  10. Nope, can’t say I ever did.

  11. Have you ever suffered an embarrassing moment at the company Christmas party? 
  12. Nah – most of the time I avoid company Christmas parties. It’s bad enough I have to work with those people, doubly worse that I have to party with them. I’m very selective who I party with to be honest.

    But I’ve seen some rather interesting behavior at company parties and I know where the bodies (And skeleton bones) are buried.

  13. What’s your favorite beverage in cold weather? <
  14. Call me crazy – but Egg Nog with a shot of Brandy does the trick, especially if it’s Martha Stewart’s Egg Nog recipe.

  15. What will you remember most about 2012?
  16. I will remember 2012 as the year that incredible progress in gay rights happened.

Seaons’s Greetings

Well – it’s that time of year. Not the subject – this covers many holidays that happen in this time of year.

There’s the obvious in the United States and the UK – It’s Christmas. But then for those of us who’ve walked away from Christianity it’s the Solstice (Happened on the 21st so I’m a bit late for that!), Saturnalia which is a Roman custom where owners and slaves trade places, and finally from the hit TV show Seinfeld, there’s Festivus, for the rest of us.

Hopefully you are having a wonderful time with family and friends.

Some ideas to curtail gun violence

Earlier I had posted a comment on Facebook and I thought it would bear a post to WP too.

So here are three things we should require of gun purchasers:

1) Liability insurance – if it’s required to drive a car, it most certainly should be required to keep guns.

2) Psychological evaluations for at a minimum the purchaser of the gun(s) if not members of the family too.

3) Require proof of purchase of a gun safe. Prices can get steep for a long barrel gun but lock boxes for handguns all hover in the $100 to $150 range. You can see a whole bunch of options here.

I might add, just that last part – requiring a gun safe may well have saved the mothers life in the Newtown tragedy as well as the lives of 26 other people.

In essence what I’m suggesting is requiring a level of responsibility on gun owners that wouldn’t necessarily ban weaponry, but make you think a little harder before you bought one.

Put it this way , a .45 ACP pistol will cost about $1,000. A gun safe about $150, and a psych eval probably in the $500 to $600 range. Insurance will cost $960 per year. So fixed costs are $1,750, with first year being $2,710 and subsequent years being the $960 insurance cost.

Make it not cheap to buy and own a gun.

So it’s the 21st of December, 2012 and we’re still here

Time to start laughing at the idiots who thought the world was going to end, once again, only this time just in the midst of the Holidays.

It’s currently 00:43 Eastern Standard Time (EST)  or 05:43 Universal Time Coordinated (UTC).  And the globe still spins on – nothing happened. The Mayan prophesy in addition to Nostradamus were completely and utterly wrong.

So enjoy your idiocy. The planet isn’t really scheduled to come to and end for billions of years yet. So get used to the fact that you’re going to have to pay your mortgage, car payment, utilities, etc.


Autonomous Vehicles: Why do we keep playing the game

By game, I mean the fact that elements of autonomous vehicles are filtering into production vehicles right now. From parking assist to lane follow, collision avoidance, etc.

I know I’ve written about this before. But I’ve been watching a Misfits marathon on Hulu and the Ford commercials show off all sorts of nifty little adaptations from the full pallet of autonomous elements.

Then I’ve heard the asinine statements of Cadillac’s chief designer saying how Cadillac is pursuing all sorts of features, but that they want to leave control in the hands of the driver.

It’s ludicrous – more autonomous cars on the road would mean:

1) Fewer car accidents if not an absolute elimination of them as we reach 100% penetration of autonomous vehicles

2) Driving while impaired becomes a non-issue since the car itself cant’ get drunk.

3) Higher highway speeds since you can maintain closer follow distances under automated control than a human could ever possibly hope to achieve.

4) Other features of a fully autonomous vehicle. You could whistle up your car to come and get you. This would be useful in mall parking lots, etc.

5) Here’s a far fetched one but you could send the car out on errands. I can see whole new industries springing up around dry cleaning, take out food, etc.

It just makes sense to go whole hog. I know I’ve seen photos of laser scanners etc. integrated into vehicles. So why not just jump right in?

Cox email servers still down

This is unacceptable.  I do note that Cox proxies your web connection because I keep getting the little pop-in in my browser telling me that they’re down.

That’s nice and all but fix your fucking mail servers. I tried to telnet to and used the POP3 commands  – I cannot get past sending the password to the server.

I do know that Cox uses InterMail – a product I have had exposure to and hated from the outset. When it comes to mail servers, you cannot beat Qmail Toaster. Its really simple to set up, scale, and the mailboxes are just text files so it’s easy to snip out offending crap using a text editor.

At this point I have to wonder why Cox even provides email service anymore. Most of my email now comes via Gmail anyhow. But I still have my Cox accounts checking and it’s annoying as hell to have Thunderbird keep complaining that it can’t connect.

That this happened on a weekend is telling though. They probably did a software patch and blew up their mail servers. And on the weekend there’s nobody there.

Let’s hope they get it fixed tomorrow.

Cox incoming email down

So last night I noted Thunderbird kept telling me it couldn’t connect to Cox’s email server. Now I run a spam filter so I telneted to the spam filter and it responded. But then I tried initiating a POP3 session from the command line to Cox’s  That failed spectacularly.

So now I know Cox proxies all web connection because I occasionally get a web pop-up stating they know about the issue and are working to resolve it.

I can give them a hint, ditch InterMail and go with Qmail.