Thoughts My Brain Made Today, 6

Anger is fuel. Mishandled, it will blow up in your face.

— Obey the Mustache (@mustacheofdoom) March 29, 2016


Real Estate, 3

The trees are leaving — er, leafing — and soon we’ll be able to pretend once again that there aren’t other people living close by who can see our lighted windows every bit as easily as we can see theirs. But the pretense is becoming thinner than usual this year.

In the last few days we got another “can I buy your house?” inquiry, from a different would-be buyer. This lends support to our suspicion that a developer wants to consolidate properties hereabouts for a housing subdivision. Under existing rules, a property the size of ours, of which so much is water, could only support four or five building lots, nowhere near enough to be profitable.

We don’t know whether our neighbors with smaller places are also being approached, but it makes sense that a developer tries to get larger properties lined up first. I imagine we’re being contacted because now it’s getting down to the mid-sized pieces.

Wanting to be good neighbors, we should put the word out that we are being approached — and that we expect to move away anyway when Mrs. McG retires — so others can plan accordingly.

Even if we refused to sell for whatever plan this is, it’s likely the population density close by here will go way up before much longer. And then no amount of summer greenery will support the pretense of privacy.

It’s True, I’m a Poseur

When I snuck in the back way and set up a new Twitter account, I called myself (after a couple of attempts that just didn’t work for me) “Obey the Mustache.” And for some reason it seemed that a default slogan of “The mustache abides” would be perfectly appropriate.

I knew of the line from The Big Lebowski that goes, “The Dude abides,” and I know a lot of people on the internet who loved that film. I didn’t know that the line is said in a scene featuring Jeff Bridges and Sam Elliott (whose image from Tombstone I cropped for my Twitter avatar because mustache).

I didn’t know it because I’ve never seen the movie. I don’t really know that it had ever sunk in for me that Elliott was even in it.

I have a knack for pretending familiarity with pop culture crap like that, thanks to who I hang out with, and the combination of the better-than-average memory God gave me and the somewhat more problematical one Google put online. But I guess if I’m going to use a motto that echoes that movie line, maybe I should go ahead and see the damn movie. (Thank God for Netflix.)

I’m thinking once the election mess has gotten less ripe I might change the Twitter handle to “The Mustache Abides,” but right now I’m feeling too bossy to change it.

Executive Decision

I’ll give it until midsummer, when my cell contract will be half done. If my contract phone hasn’t caught up to Android 6 by then, I’m replacing it with a new one from Google.

I’ll wait out the contract, but I won’t do it on a phone that won’t update.

Update (heh): Okay, I might wait until October.

‘Nother update: It now appears, according to at least one site, that AT&T has abandoned this phone they sold me. It hasn’t updated in several months and despite the promise of an Android 6 upgrade there’s currently no positive indication that will ever materialize.

This makes it not only obsolete but vulnerable to cyber attack. So until I hear otherwise, I’m back on my older phone, which already has Android 6 and updates with patches every month.

How to Feel Old

My most intensive exposure to “Star Trek” — the original series, that is — was in syndicated reruns on afternoon TV while I was in elementary school. Considering that the series had been canceled by NBC when I was only seven, that’s a quick turnaround by the standards of the era.

I remember hearing about what a phenomenon the show had become in syndication and how wonderful it would be if it ever resurfaced in some form or other. The animated series was a sop in some ways, but Filmation’s production values simply couldn’t do the stories justice.

Then came the success of 1977’s Star Wars, and we finally got Star Trek: The Motion Picture in 1979. It seemed like a lifetime, but it was released only ten years after the series had ended.

From that first movie until Nemesis spanned 23 years — it’s been 14 years now since the latter was released. And now fans are awaiting the third installment in an alternate-timeline “reboot” movie franchise 50 years after the first episode aired.

That ten-year stretch when “Star Trek” existed only in fan conventions seemed a lot longer when I was in elementary and junior-high school.

(Inspired obliquely by this post at Local Malcontent.)

If You Can Still Support Trump After His Remarks About Brussels…

…you should burn your voter registration card and have yourself committed to a Home for the Neurologically Scrambled. Your logic board is shot, your output is disconnected from your input, and you have sold your soul to a man who will resell it at a huge markup for his own profit.

If it weren’t for you, this blithering moron wouldn’t even be running for president. He’s neither the problem nor the solution. But you are the problem. More than the GOP Establishment that has already failed miserably to nominate Bush, Graham or Rubio, you are the problem.

Grow up and stop pretending that joining a political cult for Trump somehow makes you better than an Obamarrhoid.

Until the Next Time

Far be it from me, after so many past resolutions and reversals, to tell you that I am done with Windows forever, but I’ve got Linux Mint running in dual-boot on my laptop now, and with one of my cloud storage accounts apparently mirroring successfully in the new environment I have some hope that I won’t need to revert to Windows except for rare necessity.

It’s clear that Windows has peaked and begun to decline as a usable operating system. I don’t know that Mint is the path to the future in a time when the desktop environment itself has long since been pronounced doomed, but as long as there are things I can’t do worth a damn in Android, I might as well do ’em in Linux.

If I can’t promise this is the end of it, I can at least resolve to give it the ol’ bunkhouse try.

Update: In fact, now I have both of my active cloud storage accounts synching in Linux, and no obvious reason to switch back over to Windows at all.

The Future of Flight?

Those annoying little drones are about to change the way aircraft are designed and built.

Multi-rotor drones are more stable because the lift footprint (if there’s such a phrase) is wider, and when the rotors are distributed around the edges, the body interferes less with the air’s downward motion, which means the rotors provide more actual thrust.

By not wasting thrust you get more lift with shorter rotors, which require less power to rotate faster, amplifying the benefit of more rotors.

Processing power used in miniature drones allows the thrust on each rotor to be adjusted more responsively to changing conditions.

While I’m not big on the idea of pilotless passenger drones, I can see these innovations making the piloting of small aircraft simpler with computer-assist (as most of us already have to some extent in our cars), which could finally put personal VTOL flight within reach.

Though I find myself picturing the sudden cloud of rotored vehicles every rush hour on L.A.’s 405 freeway, rising like newly-fledged giant mosquitoes, trying to escape the traffic jam — only to lock rotor shrouds with one another and tumble onto the frontage streets, and onto the buildings facing them.

Darwin nods, quietly snickering up his sleeve.