Memorial Day and a couple of Chaos Manor pictures.

View 726 Sunday, May 27, 2012

Memorial Day Weekend

I found the following at Chaos Manor Views for May 26, 2003.

In Memoriam. RIP

"It was a noble cause."

    Ronald Reagan, on the Viet Nam War.

And indeed, a million people did not flee South Viet Nam until it fell; but for many years, there are those who fled to South Viet Nam from Tonkin.

Freedom is not free. It is bought at a high price. It can be squandered cheaply.

I also found this essay on our Iraqi adventure. When Bush Sr. entered the White House as president he fired every Reagan supporter he could identify, so there were few left to listen to people like me when we went into Iraq the first time, and fewer when Bush II was inaugurated. Even so, I wish someone had listened back then. I suspect the United States would be better off.

We mourn our dead, in Iraq and Afghanistan.





On establishing democracies:

If you establish a democracy, you must in due time reap the fruits of a democracy. You will in due season have great impatience of the public burdens, combined in due season with great increase of the public expenditure. You will in due season have wars entered into from passion and not from reason; and you will in due season submit to peace ignominiously sought and ignominiously obtained, which will diminish your authority and perhaps endanger your independence. You will in due season find your property is less valuable, and your freedom less complete.

Benjamin Disraeli

Government by public opinion poll is about the same as plebiscitary democracy. America was established as a Republic. The States could have democracy if they so chose. The Federal government had not that power and for good reasons, the Framers in 1787 having already known what Disraeli tried to tell Parliament some fifty years later.


On that subject:

U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta on Sunday indirectly confirmed recent remarks by the Ambassador to Israel that the U.S. is “ready from a military perspective’’ to stop Iran from making a nuclear weapon if international pressure fails

It may become a very hot summer.


My 40” Samsung television has developed a strange problem: when you turn it on, it fails to find a valid signal source, and it won’t listen to the controls. Over time, it will suddenly work for a few seconds, then go off again. This continues for about fifteen to twenty minutes after it will suddenly act as if nothing were ever wrong, and operate perfectly after that although it doesn’t always listen to the TV clicker (nor to the cable clicker when it is being told to act as if it were the TV clicker). The cable clicker works, digital recording works, indeed the TV works just fine, and of course the simplest remedy to our problem would be simply not to turn the TV off. For reasons I won’t go into, I’m generally not so comfortable with doing that..

TV’s similar to our four year old Samsung now sell for about $500, and since I doubt that anyone repairs televisions any more I think it is probably time to replace this one. When we went online to look at modern TV we were offered a bewildering variety of High Definition sets at around 40” diagonal (which is plenty big enough for our TV room, some Samsung and some “major brands at prices too low to advertise”, some LED and some Plasma, and I have to say that I now wish I had gone to CES this year.

I thought while we were at it we’d replace the bedroom TV, a very very ancient flatscreen low definition 20” TV with something around 25” HD at whatever low price we can find.

It used to be that the guy I’d ask advice from on this would have been me, but I haven’t paid much attention to that end of the electronics revolution for a while. I’ve never been much use as a judge of audio quality, and as far as I am concerned the 40” Samsung HD we have is at least Good Enough in both size and video quality, so I’, more interested in reliability and price than blacker blacks and other such things. Recommendations appreciated, but please, either know the subject or have personal experience worth sharing; my mailbox is pretty full lately, and every day I have to write yet one more set of rules for my spam filters. Who’d have thought I’d be getting hundreds of emails ostensibly from myself about Rolex watches (or at least they say they are about Rolex watches; whatever they are, they get deleted if they are “from” me and mention Rolex… All the rules slow my mail reception down something awful, but the good part of the computer revolution is that the electronic brainpower keeps getting better and better..

Anyway. If you know much about 20” and 40” TV sets please let me know.

Actually, since I wrote that I sent copies to a few friends and Marty Winston has pretty well brought me up to date on this stuff. LED sets cost about $40 more and last years longer. As I suspected, nobody repairs TV’s now – I can remember going down to the drug store and using the tube tested to find out what was wrong with my old TV and that would take care of its problems as long as the bottle hadn’t died. And I lugged an early color TV to a repair shop. Now it’s just pointless. It costs about the same to repair a TV as to buy new, and new is better. Moore’s Law in action. So we’ll be off to see what looks good and replace the TV with something about the same size but better.

Doesn’t mean I won’t read comments from readers, but there’s no necessity unless you know some reason to challenge Marty on those conclusions.

All this will be in an upcoming column, and yes, that’s overdue. We really like our new Sandy Bridge system built in the stunning Thermaltake box, and we’re set to build an Ivy Bridge system for Windows 8 sometime along the line. I need to write up Alien Artifact (named because of the Thermaltake box, actually). Here are two views of Alien Artifact in action, complete with a solid state USB 3 external drive. The case is well designed for access, convenience, and air flow, and is very quiet. I’ll have a full report presently.




While I was looking for photos I found some shots I took of Sable after she went to a new groomer last week. Her old groomer has lost her lease and closed, and we had to find a new one, which in fact worked out well. Here’s Sable just home telling us about her experience.


The final result was pretty good. Sable likes the place. I used to wash and groom our dogs – Huskies all for the past three decades – myself, but over time that got a bit harder to do, and wasn’t particularly kind to the dog, so we have it done now, not as often as we should probably, but Sable looks pretty good. We sort of judge the quality of the place by her attitude when we take her there – if she doesn’t seem eager to go in after her first experience we look for somewhere else – but this time it was really interesting. As soon as we got to the parking lot, a place she had never been before, she got eager to get out of the car and go in there. We think she must have smelled happy dogs. Whatever it was, she likes the place, and she looks pretty good.



If you were looking for something to worry about, try this:

Backdoor found in Chinese-made US military chip

Eric Smith

I have always wished for my computer to be as easy to use as my telephone; my wish has come true because I can no longer figure out how to use my telephone.

Bjarne Stroustrop, Developer of C++ programming language





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