Month: December 2015

A Very Wet Holiday

So today the brother and sister in law tried to get out. Stuck in mud had to call Triple A.

Then I roll out no problem but have to get turned around – except I roll my front wheels in a front wheel drive car into mud too. Luckily we could push my vehicle out.

This part of North Carolina – if these wet winters continue will be underwater and swamp with a decade or so. Give me hard pavement and concrete thank you very much.

The Holiday Trip Part um 2

Ok, here it is Part II/2/00000010 (Roman, Decimal, Binary)

The Chrysler 200 performs admirably but I have to say it, it’s got lots of widgets that over a short period are going to need replacement. So a big old no on Chrysler/Dodge products. Plus the big old security hole in those vehicles.

So we’ve dined our way through – one Seafood restaurant in Manteo, NC where in the process of getting there we got stopped by the police aka 5-0 aka pigs. He clocked us at 76MPH in 55MPH zone.Oops. The brother-in-law thinks he picked up the cop where the speed transitioned from 55MPH to 35MPH and then back to 55MPH. Yeah, speed trap.

The restaurant whose name I’ll post when I check the bank web site – the food was pretty good. I had the crab cakes dinner with mashed potatoes and brown gravy and pickled beets. Excellent.

But this evening we took the 70+ mile trek into Elizabeth City and had dinner there.

The other part – the nephew loves his uncle Tony. Even introduced him to Gogol Bordello. He’s only 7 years old but really digs that group, and is especially fond of this:

Yup – Ukrainian punk.

And the mother-in-law is going to live with the brother-in-law and his wife in Houston, TX – or just outside Houston.


The Annual Trip South

Starts at 3AM tomorrow. That gets me across the Cross Bronx Expressway very early in the morning so I miss 99% of the shit there.

The car this time around is a Chrysler 200. Let me give my opinion on U.S. made cars like Chryslers – in a word they suck. I’ve been driving Honda, Toyota and Volkswagen vehicles the past few years. Found I very much like Japanese and German cars. And I now know why Daimler released Chrysler. The car – it drives like a marshmallow and the engine feels like it’s lagging. When I step on the pedal I expect acceleration – not transmission hunting and revving.

Another way to look at it is to compare it with maybe a Volkswagen Golf TSi. The Volkswagen glides, the Chrysler is plods. It’s that simple.

But back to the trip – also found out the card I used to rent said Chrysler does a $15K LDW coverage. That was nice – and the liability insurance only cost me $4 per day because of a glitch that happened when I booked the car. Apparently the cookie on my system from my old business account got used and they included it at the reduced rate. Nice.

Also made sure my EZ-Pass is topped off.
Now we’re leaving at 3AM because I want to get there at 3PM or 4PM. It’s a 12 hour trip – but only 640 miles or so. It’s the traffic. But leaving so early means I miss most of the northeast corridor traffic. So it’s the shit around Baltimore, D.C. and into Virginia that fucks it up.

And of course this evening it’s raining here in Rhode Island. Hopefully it’ll clear up by 3AM. Because I hate driving in rain. I’d almost prefer the trip in 6+ inches of snow.

Some video from work today

So we in I.T. were asked to provide some holiday ambiance. Yes it was the marketing division that asked for this. It just figures – the same marketing division who wants a $500 LCD monitor for a computer because the one we gave them was blurry, or at least how it appeared to them. In fact in a month of expenditures more than half of what we spent was for the Marketing department.

And then the carolers on the 1st floor of the building. They went at it for some time and could be heard throughout the building.

Hey RIPTA – if you’re gonna rip a stop out

You might want to remove it off Google Maps which does your Tripe Planners.


Had a driver tell me the stop no longer existed. Well – according to gmaps it does.

I’m sorry but if RIPTA wants to be taken seriously they have to pay attention to shit like this. And I’ve punked out my share of drivers. When I get put out the mouth starts and it’s never pretty.

It’s usually a variant of “Yo, think you missed a stop back there you jackass!” to “What the fuck – Stop this bus now or I’ll stop it for you.” Yes, I’m very rough on bus drivers. Can’t help it because when I get inconsistent information from RIPTA’s own web site and bus drivers I get really, really angry.

But my scorn and derisiveness is purely aimed at RIPTA and it’s management. As I’ve said in the past I think we should just invite the MBTA to take over operations of RIPTA and be done with it. That way I could use the $330 a month pass I buy from the MBTA on buses here in RI. It only makes sense as RIPTA is forever crying poverty. Plus it would make for one super-regional transit system. And the way MBTA funds is the communities it runs through pay for the privilege. RIPTA runs off a percentage of the gas tax and you can see where that’ll get you when cars are getting more fuel efficient.

Making the world a less safe place

Person by person. So at work today a representative for a company called Sherpaa was in. Nice guy – answered what questions I had. Stuff like is it secure, is there an Android app yet etc.

But I gave he and one of the HR people from the parent company some good advice. Told them I was waiting to be recruited by a three letter agency what with my computer, network, telecom, database and lock picking skills.

Well – the guy from Sherpaa was all over that. Went straight on Amazon and ordered a Goso 24 piece lock picking kit and practice lock.

It’s always nice to spread the ability to circumvent security.

A lesson in lock picking

So Keyron tried picking the padlock – failed. And I realize what I have versus him -he was trying to brute force it, I know how to finesse it.

Next up is the lock on my front door. Hell – all I need to keep on me is a torsion wrench and a rake and I can break into my own home.

Of course that also by extension means I could should I wish pick locks on other places.

You know when I think about it, with the radio skills, electronics skills and computer/info sec skills I have, and then add the lock picking. Fairly formidable and you really don’t want to piss me off.

Hell if I’m not careful I could end up being recruited by the FBI, NSA or any other three letter agency.

People Really Are That Stupid

So over on Facebook I’d shared the news that 200 nations approved the new climate agreement in Paris.

I’d commented when I shared the video:
“I’m shocked – I would love to see the vote tally and if the United States plans to adhere to this agreement. One thing I can see immediately disappearing by the half century mark is the internal combustion engine. The future is going to be both electric and autonomous.”

So a Facebook friend commented:
“I do not think eliminating all internal combustion engines is a smart idea. just make them run on hydrogen and they will emit only water.”

My reply was:
“The problem is it’ll be orders of magnitude more difficult to build for a hydrogen economy than for an electric economy. Besides the point – the best way to use hydrogen isn’t to burn it but react it in a fuel cell with oxygen. And the end result is electricity anyhow.”

And the friend replied:

“true. but rethink having battery powered electric cars:
the “carbon footprint” is NOT significantly better than gas burners. you have to realize where the power to charge those batteries comes from: huge power plants that burn fossil fuels.
so “electric cars” just shift the point of combustion AND are inherently LESS efficient because fossil fuels have to be combusted first, converted to electricity, then that electricity is used to charge batteries which is a low efficiency process generating waste heat, then when the batteries discharge they again generate waste heat.
and eventually those batteries wear out and become toxic waste.
this is NOT an “environmental” solution.”

My final reply and I think I may have ended the discussion with:
“Well – it will require shuttering coal, oil and gas power plants and replacing them with nuclear fission or fusion. Plus solar, wind, tidal etc.

And there are certain economies of scale since even if you are running dirty coal, oil or gas power plants it’s taking millions of dirty internal combustion engines off the road.”

The thing is the friend isn’t a stupid guy. He’s got more than a few brain cells to rub together.

And what he offers about the batteries wearing out and the “environmental” thing – that’s just plain obstinate if not stupid. Think about it for a moment. Current estimates of the number of cars on the road, and vast majority are run on internal combustion engines. Pollution from cars I’d posit is WORSE than all the power plants and environmental concern over lithium batteries than what we’re currently living with right now with internal combustion engines.

Now in the U.S. we use 136.78 Billion gallons of gasoline per years. Multiply that times 9,533.5 grams of CO2 per gallon on average split between gasoline and diesel fuel for auto usage along and you’re looking at 1,303,992,130,000,000 grams of CO2 emission per year from motor vehicles in the United States ALONE. That is an astounding amount of pollution coming from predominantly cars and trucks in the U.S.

Now even dirty coal, oil and gas only contributes 2000 Million Metric tons of CO2 per  year.

But if you removed the internal combustion engine from the equation our CO2 emissions would drop precipitously.

But people just don’t get it.


Lock Picking Has Begun

So after doing the shopping today I had a small package waiting for me at the house. I opened it up and it was my Brockhage CLP10 clear practice padlock.


So I unpacked it, broke out the picking tools and picked the lock several times. Just used the small torsion wrench and the rake to do it. A light pressure and rake back and forth like so and POP! The lock opens. Wasn’t even really looking at the pin action – just focused on popping the lock and it opened.

So I’ll keep practicing until I can consistently pop the lock open without the keys. Next I want to dry a door lock as in those used on a house. I’ll attack one of the back door locks. Always good to know how to pick a lock. Never know when one might leave the keys in the house.

Then I’ll have to try car door locks. The big security issue in all locks of the most common type used on padlocks, lockers, houses, cars etc. is that there’s just enough slop on the lock mechanism so that you can exploit it and have the lock open in no time.