This week, the Mathilda Monster has been extra hungry and demanding vehicular sacrifices. Sometime around Tuesday, as I was heading out, I passed the aftermath of two, count 'em, two wrecks, on opposite sides of 237 and opposite sides of Mathilda. And how anyone managed to be moving fast enough to do the sort of damage I saw, under the traffic conditions that time of the morning...? Then, next day, I checked traffic as I was inbound from morning walkies, and there'd been another crash (which had been cleaned up by the time I actually got there).
This morning, for no adequately explored reason, traffic was light, the regulars on the trails mostly seemed to be on shifted schedules (either much earlier or much later than I usually see them), and the Dread Guardian of the Farm was behaving oddly. And: the curbside parking around SVR HQ is almost empty today; usually, it's almost full.
Further, spam volume is way down today, suggesting that a lot of company computers are turned off... consistent with the light traffic. Are people taking a long weekend for Change a Pet's Life Day*? There's no Google Doodle for a holiday today. It's not Chinese New Year yet, and it's nowhere near Zoroastrian New Year.
And: on Wednesday afternoon, there seemed to be an awful lot of people driving with their headlights on. Did the Ear Leader call for people to drive with their headlights on for energy conservation or something?
On the way home from walkies this morning, I needed to swing by Trader Joe's, so I exited 85 onto El Camino, stopped at a red light at (consults map) The Americana, across from Shrill Petrol, noticed a gap in the line of cars across all the lanes to my left, and:
Gee, look! We gots a new fountain! I never saw that one before!
Oh, and that fancy pricey small-footprint debug cable that arrived Wednesday? Seems to have undergone a sudden and unexpected total existence failure. Or maybe it looked too much like a cat toy. I expect to see the manufacturer next week; must have a word with him about that.
Should I just go back to bed now, and pull the covers over my head?
Apparently she also "was" a racist. Was. Riiiight.
This is one for the DUH! files.
If you actually know anything about anything that the SJWs get bent out of shape about, look at the claims they make that fall within your area of expertise. Do they have any connection to reality? Are these the statements of a person who is not mentally ill?
Of course not. And it's not just lefty SJWs, of course. From frat-house gang rapes to satanic daycare centers to peasants being turned into newts, there's never been a shortage of madfolk to make outrageous claims. The mad tales that serve the interests of the current rulers are taken seriously (at least for public consumption).
And so we hang the old woman who gave young Nellie the evil eye, and the Church inherits her cottage and lands. And, in these more civilized days, tech companies buy indulgences for not having the approved ethnic and gender balance, and then treat themselves with a course of leeches.
Went with my parents on Sunday to visit relatives in the unfamiliar territory of Sonoma.
Setting off from Palo Alto in my father's Prius - an earlyish (2004 or so) NHW20, with fancy built-in nav system - I was in the navigator's seat, on account of being the one most likely to be able to operate the car's nav system. And, of course, I had my Magic Elf Box to fall back on.
After some poking, I managed to get the address punched in. It promptly told us to head for 101; my father, meanwhile, was making for 280. I got tired of being told to turn around, and found the "suspend navigation" button.
A few blocks later, as we headed west down Oregon Expressway, I noticed that the nav display had us several miles south, in Mountain View, near Rengstorff Avenue.
By the time we reached 280, the nav system was firmly convinced that we were in Boulder Creek, going cross-country through the redwoods in the general vicinity of 9.
I couldn't find any button for "please reassess our location and report back when you have a clue."
Somewhere around Hillsborough it came to its senses. When I noticed that the map display now matched the surroundings, I re-enabled navigation, and it worked OK the rest of the trip.
I finally broke down and ordered one: the 6-pin legless flavor (minimal footprint), with a 0.1" socket on the other end of the cable.
I'd actually designed the 10-pin footprint into a couple of boards over a year ago, but never needed to use them; those MCUs actually get programmed using the serial-port bootloader, and I just included the JTAG option in case it might be needed eventually.
Welll... now I'm designing yet another dense gadget with an AVR, and, while I did have some other options (use an inconvenient high-density header or FFC connector; preprogram the chips using a very expensive QFN socket unique to that footprint; have the chips preprogrammed with the Arduino bootloader by a supplier), it seemed time to go the magic plug route.
Ordering directly from Tag-Connect seems to be the cheapest approach, even though they haven't made any deals for bargain shipping. While I was at it, I ordered a couple of the clips, which I probably will be using at some point.
Anyway: cable ordered; "connector" designed into new gadget. The gadget itself won't be going out to fab for a few days yet, and that'll be a 2-week turn, so figure early February before I'm actually doing anything with it. Probably have a report then.
So there I was, having a much-needed little afternoon nap...
Scurry toward phone.
(Brief burst of music-on-hold.)
(Annoyed now) Hello?!?!
Hello. I am with the Windows Technical Department, calling you about your computer.
You. Are. A. Fraud. (Click!)
The correct response, had I been properly awake, would have been to feign a half-asleep level of awareness, lead the guy on, get some sort of contact information, and pass it along to the FBI.
Not that they'd do anything about it, but, y'know, interstate wire fraud, unauthorized access to computers, conspiracy to commit such offenses...? I could sworn there useta be laws agin that.
Update: Yup, seems the gummint agency that ends up getting these complaints is the FTC. It does nothing, except for once in a while pursuing a civil case that temporarily disrupts one of these operations. Actual law-enforcement agencies don't deal with individual cases of fraud and such, apparently as a matter of policy.
Consider a skunk with little horns. Mephitistopheles?
Did Pepé Le Pew ever meet Ma'am'selle Hepzibah?
Would a big tribble, the color of Admiral Kirk's hairpiece and equipped with ear-warming flaps, be an Ushatner? (And if it leaked a controlled amount of heat from head to ambient via a thermoelectric module, it could squirrel away energy to be emitted as a "coo" whenever enough was stored! Or... hm. External thermoelectric module with one side exposed and the other insulated. Cools down outdoors, then generates coo-power as it warms up indoors!)
Two other random-but-somewhat-serious ideas showed up this morning; one relates to a currently-dormant project for a client and appears to be not immediately useful (but worth filing away), and the other is utterly pointless but might become a product anyway, because fun-fun-silly-willy, and anyway it's sometimes worth putting a few days and a hundred bucks or so into R&D just to see if something will sell.