Saturday, February 18, 2017
“The wealth of our middle class has been ripped from their homes and then redistributed across the entire world.”
Between 1965 and 2011, the official poverty rate was essentially flat, while the government spending per person on poverty programs rose by more than 900% after inflation.
Amnesty International Boss Endorses “Jihad in self-defence”
Liberalism is a philosophy of consolation for the West as it commits suicide.
If a foreign government had imposed this system of education on the United States, we would rightfully consider it an act of war.
Glenn T. Seaborg, National Commission on Education, 1983
Illegitimi non carborundum
Feb. 17, 2017, 10:57 p.m.
Sinkhole swallows two cars in Studio City
Two cars dropped into a 20-foot sinkhole off Laurel Canyon Boulevard in Studio City on Friday night, authorities said.
According to an account on the LAFD website , firefighters arrived at the sinkhole and found one car upside down in rushing water. The occupant, a 48-year-old woman, was standing on the car about 10 feet below street level.
Firefighters lowered a 20-foot ladder to her, allowing her to climb out, and took her to a hospital in fair condition. En route, she said that while she was driving, she felt the car pitch to the left, then it tumbled into the sinkhole. The airbags deployed, water started coming in, and she tried to raise the windows. She was able to open the door and climb on top of the car, where she screamed for help. [snip]
The storm is over, and all’s well. Some water built up faster than the drains could handle on one of the balconies, so we thought we had a roof leak, but there don’t seem to be any. Chaos Manor, which is just about my age, seems to be holding up well. The dramatic sink hole was in the part of Studio City on the other side of the well-concreted “river” from where we live. The rivers are flowing again, and dangerous, but they are well fenced and concreted – the 1938 flood plus the need for jobs caused the Corps of Engineers to uglify the entire LA river system in preparation for a thousand year flood; maybe a million. The Freeways got flooded, many of the locally built streets were impassible, but there’s no real problem for those who don’t go out into the storm. This is California, after all.
So all’s reasonably well at Chaos Manor and with the neighbors. About twenty years ago a tall Lodgepole Pine decided to fall across Laurel Terrace, but it was three feet short of doing any damage to the house across the street from it. I don’t think there are any trees in danger of falling and doing us any damage. A very long time ago when the kids were young I was persuaded to buy live Christmas trees and plant them after Christmas; but after a few years it became obvious that I was planting a rather dangerous forest that grew at an astounding rate, and twenty years ago I cleared the whole mess out while I could still afford to do it. This storm makes me glad I did that. Actually the winds did nothing in Studio City. Even the big outdoor umbrellas (furled of course) stayed in place; in a really high wind at least one ends up in the street if no one went out to lay it on the ground.
Thanks for your concern.
One of the problems of stroke recovery is difficulties typing. I used to be a fast touch typist, but now I am confined to two finger, and as the lettering wears off the keys – it does, as hard as I pound them, and fairly fast – I get even sloppier. Also it is extremely easy to hit two keys at once; particularly the space bar and something else. If the something else is a c or a v – those are common – I get a string of words with extra letters at the beginning or the end, but if it’s the alt key I hit with the space bar, then the next key I hit is critical: alt-space sets up for an amazing variety of functions, none of which I ever want; they include close window, which loses all your work since last saved, and various other window changes. Instant; or at least I never see any warning because of course I am staring at the keyboard.
A partial remedy to this is the ASUS Zen portables, which have a good keyboard: big keys, well separated. It doesn’t hurt that the screen is sort of visible while two finger typing, too. Alas I am not set up to use an ASUS portable as the main machine, although I do use one upstairs in the Monk’s Cell where I write fiction. I also have a big screen for editing. It works well.
For down here I use a Logitech 360 wireless keyboard, which sometimes does things that surprise me; and almost always I have to correct about half the words in each sentence I type because I have hit multiple keys without noticing. I have a big ASUS screen which I can see well, but of course I am not looking at it when I type. Recently I activated a feature in my video software: it’s called screen split, and I wasn’t aware that it existed. It does the most infuriating things to any program you run at anything other than Full Screen. How it got activated I do not know. The icon for it is not obvious; in my case it is hidden in the ^ thing in the tray or whatever they call that icon bar at the bottom of the screen. Eric finally figured out what must be happening when my screen started changing the shapes of any windows I tried to move around. Clicking on the nondescript icon for “Screen Split” showed me a menu of incomprehensible tiny icons (I needed a magnifying glass) and even tinier labels, but one, I could see, was “OFF”. There was no indication of which configuration was “ON”; anyway I clicked the “OFF” icon in the menu I got when I pressed the icon that gave me the label “screen split” when I hovered over it; I found that by clicking the ^ icon in the tray and hovering over the dozen or so tiny and unlabeled icons that click produced. The OFF solved the problem; I have no idea what was “ON” or how I turned it on.
I find that sort of thing a lot lately: new features I didn’t ask for, didn’t decide to install, and probably don’t want; only now I’ve got them and they do things I definitely don’t want when I’m doing something else. Maybe I do want them but it sure would be nice to have some warning, and make it easier to turn them off.
I use Word’s spell checking – with my typing I really need it – but recently Microsoft “improved” the spell checker, and there’s no way to turn the “improvement” off. It used to be that the spell checker put a wavy red line under words it didn’t like, and right clicking the underlined word produced a simple list of words that it might be, plus the option of ignoring it or adding to the dictionary. Not any more. Now there are two menus, and it thinks it knows grammar better than I do. It also tries to present a sort of dictionary or maybe it’s a thesaurus. Mostly it gets in the way and is useless.
For example, Word helpfully wavy redlines “definitely don’t” in the sentence above, suggesting “consider using concise language”; that sort of advice I definitely don’t want. I expect we’d better start getting used to robot helpers giving us advice we don’t need.
It’s lunch time, and I have enough mail concerned about how I’m doing in the storm that I’ll get this up now. Back later. Thanks
Freedom is not free. Free men are not equal. Equal men are not free.