Month: March 2015

Let’s see how MBTA does on time of arrival

I’ve decided I should start noting the time the MBTA commuter arrives at Boston South Station.

I wonder what will emerge.

Now Interestingly RIPTA’s E-Fare system – if you get a 15 ride pass it logs the time of each bus arrival at the berth.

For example here is a twelve trip time breakdown on RIPTA:












Those btw are all buses that were supposed to arrive at the berth at 5:30PM.

Governor Pence on ABC News

I note Governor Pence of Indiana practices deflection to any question posed. George Stephanopoulos asks the governor yes/no questions like “Should it be legal to discriminate against LGBT people? Pence then goes into hemming and hawing but never actually gives a yes or no answer.

It makes Governor Pence look like a complete horses ass. And it makes the Governor and the Legislature of Indiana look like asshatted bigots.

I mean if you want to get down to brass tacks this is an endorsement of religion is precisely what this law in Indiana is, a tip to Christians.

But if you read your U.S. First Amendment – there’s that pesky little section “Congress shall make no law establishing religion nor prevent the free exercise of religion.”

And virtually EVERY state in the nation has a constitution that includes similar language. But the phrase is pesky but it’s clear – the STATE cannot make law or endorse any religion, but individuals have free exercise of their religion. It’s just the the free exercise has been fairly appalling as of late.

This is going to end up in the courts at some point in the near future. I can see it coming. And Governor Pence – you’re an asshole.

Ordered an OBD-II scanner

I figure I’m going to start shopping for cars soon. I’ve got a fairly good size tax refund coming and I prefer used to new since I can outright own the car. Plus add to the fact I’m spending a few hundred a month on ZipCar rentals.

Don’t get me wrong I love ZipCar – the ability to drive a whole bunch of different vehicles gave me the chance to see what I like.

The top two vehicles – a BMW X3 and a Volkswagen Golf. The only thing the two have in common is that they’re German but beyond that polar opposites.

However I want a smaller car. So the Volkswagen wins.

Surfing Cragislist I see a ton of Golf’s for pretty short money. A lot of them are 5 speed manuals. I’m good with that as I know how to drive a car with manual transmission. Plus I like the simplicity of a manual transmission as opposed to an automatic transmission.

But you can get an OBD-II scanner for really short money, around $20 these days. And if you look under the dash of every car made since 1996 – you’ll see something that looks like this:

GPS II connector.

They come in other colors too – like black, blue, pink, orange, etc. But just plug your scan tool in, start the carl, give it a drive and then read the codes being thrown. Helps in price negotiations. :)

And the other thing – if I do end up getting a Golf I’ll likely spend the money to get the timing belt and clutch replaced. May as well do it right off the bat. I’d probably also change all hoses and belts too and the oil and filter while I’m at it.

I did see there is one Golf TDI not too far from me in Griswold, CT. Might go look at that since the diesel version gets about 52MPG. And that T means Turbocharged. The only concern I have is that diesel fuel tends to gel up when it gets cold. I do know you can get anti-gel compounds though so it wouldn’t be too bad in the winter.

Almost got pissed at Amazon

So I signed up for Amazon Prime a few weeks ago. So tonight I noticed there were some videos I might want to watch. Clicked on one and got the odious message that I had to install Microsoft Silverlight. No I don’t have to do that.

If you read this blog enough you KNOW I dislike Silverlight. It ranks up there was one of the biggest flaming pieces of excrement that Microsoft has ever produced. It’s a system resource hog for one – you can watch it consume every bit of a quad core system if you just pull up task manager.

Now I had railed against Netflix about this for some time and they finally, if you’re running Google Chrome allowed you to watch videos without having to install Silverlight.

So I called Amazon support. Got right through and asked if there was any way to not have to use Silverlight to view videos. They walked me through setting it to use Flash instead. I mean that’s acceptable but really Amazon, h.264 would be better especially with HTML5 compliant browsers.

But alas it works. That is how I almost got pissed at Amazon.

Maybe a solution to teleportation

So I was thinking today. The way a digital camera works is fascinating. In essence it dumps all 12MP or more row by row.

Well to teleport we need to be able to scan the entire body in very fast fashion. But using a technique like that in CMOS camera sensors might just be adaptable to the storage problem.

So I’ve mastered Eggs Benedict

So I had been trying multiple recipes for Eggs Benedict. If you don’t know it’s a poached egg with Hollandaise sauce over sausage and a bread.

Hollandaise is nothing but egg yolks, clarified butter, lemon juice and seasoning. In a double boiler whisk the egg yolks until they almost triple in volume from the air being incorporated. Then drizzle in the melted clarified butter while still whisking. Then a dash of lemon juice, some salt and pepper and a little warm water if you need to thin the Hollandaise. Now that I’ve got it down this is good – because the next Hollandaise I make is destined for some steaks.

Now the poached eggs. Get about 3 or so inches of water simmering lightly in a pot. Add a splash of white vinegar. Take your utensil and swirl the water around. Now crack in the whole egg. Give if 2 to 5 minutes depending on how solid you want the yolk.

Then onto some lightly toasted bread with a chicken sausage patty you lay the poached egg and then coat liberally int he Hollandaise.  And don’t forget to season your poached egg – a little salt and pepper is all it takes.

I keep meaning to take a photo but always get involved with the cooking process and no time to snap a shot. So you’ll just have to imagine.

And the name of the dish originates from 1894 from  One Lemuel Benedict wanted a hangover cure. And thus Eggs Benedict was born.

I’m at that phase in my career/life

Where what I know is far beyond what the vast amount of folks know.

It’s to the point where if I pontificate on the future I get the standard blank stare. Or even in an interview when I mentioned I had information security experience to the point where I had trepidation about swiping a credit card. Got a really great laugh out of the interviewer. At least he had an understanding of what I was talking about.

But put me in a non technical situation and all bets are off.

For example when I met with my State Representative and City Councilor the State Rep asked what I did for a living. So I said what I tell everyone, I’m a Senior Linux Engineer. In that particular case I got asked “What’s that?” so I brought it down a few levels and said “Computers, I work with computers.”

Some people are a bit more graceful about it though. I recall one instance where I was doing my future pontificating and the other party said to my SO to hold onto that one honey. Funny!

People don’t realize the future is going to be VERY interesting. I’ll start with a fairly simple one, dentistry. They’re experimenting with ways to re-grow the enamel and pulp of a tooth. Which would mean no crowns, bridges, etc. Just re-grow the tooth.

Or Medicine where they’re experimenting with DNA based nano-machines/robots that can deliver a treatment directly to a tumor and nothing else. Or the usage of measles, adenovirus and even attenuated HIV to knock out cancer using the immune system. And as referenced above regarding dentistry, it’s regenerative medicine. Imaging growing new limbs, organs, no more paralysis from spinal injuries, in essence they’re starting to learn how to put the human body back together to make it whole. That’s fascinating.

And then there’s DARPA – they are getting heaving into the regenerative and even AI and all sorts of interesting things.

I know about this stuff – most people don’t.

Want to try an exercise in annoyance – try turning off Talkback on Android

So somehow Talkback got turned on on my Android phone. Touching anything started the phone reading the description of what I’d touched to me. Really annoying. I suppose it’s for the visually impaired but then a touch screen phone is sort of a lost thing on the visually impaired in the first place although at this point in time I doubt you can get a phone that isn’t touch screen these days.

But it wouldn’t let me swipe across screens – then I googled – you have to use TWO fingers to swype.

I disabled the talkback app anyhow. It’s stupid. Bad on you Google for including that in Android. You should have thought that through.

RI Most likely to legalize recreational Marijuana.

This is great news. I say it because I see benefits of both regulating the product, taxing it, and allowing people the freedom to use the product in their own homes.

Here’s the RI House Bill. 

And the author and sponsors of the bill don’t surprise me in the least.

Representative Scott Slater represents Providence District 10.

Representative Brian Newberry represents North Smithfield and Burrilville.

Representative Edith Ajello is former Judiciary committee Chair and represents Providence DIstrict 1.

Representative Chris Blazejewski represents Providence District 2.

Represetnative Anastasi Williams represents Providence District 9.

So of the five – four are Providence based. And I know a lot of us have reached out to all of them regarding this. It’s a win-win for the state. FIrst of all it’s tax revenue that the state could definitely use now that cigarette taxes are declining. But it also means no criminal convictions for the producers, sellers and customers. That’s a big expense wiped off the books. In fact I think the bill should go further and pardon all those convicted of drug trafficking where the drug was marijuana.