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Look, I don't honestly give a flying fuck about states being ordered to let LGBT people "marry".  Because I don't think the state ought to be involved in marriage, in any case.

The problem I have with non-traditional marriage -- by which I mean anything other than one man one woman -- is that there are people out there who hold traditional religious beliefs who should not be required by the state to change their attitude regarding same.  There is that little thing called the First Amendment, after all, and it means that the government has no say over your religious beliefs.  If you want to worship Satan, that's your kink, just don't wave it in my face.*

The counter-argument is made, of course, to the effect that the majority wave their sexuality and religious beliefs in the minority's face all day every day 24/7/365 world without end amen.  And yeah, that's true; before about 10 years ago, most folks producing popular culture understood that the 97% of us who are straight have little or no interest in major characters in every TV comedy and drama being gay and out of the closet.  Lately, though, you'd think gays were at least 50% of the population, because every show has a flamer or two who get a lot of attention.  (Modern Family, I'm looking at you.  Just as a 'f'r'instance.)

The counter-argument goes on to point out that there are straight couples out there who 1) don't have children and 2) even if they do, they can't manage to stay together and end up divorced.  I don't really consider #1 a problem, not just because my marriage fits that description, but also because the fairy-tale shit about finding your soulmate when you're in your 20s and young enough to consider settling down and starting a family doesn't always come true.  I did not find my wife until I was 40 and she was 42.**  We were not about to start a family at that age.  (Good thing, too, because we'd have teenagers now and be looking at putting them through college when we'd really rather be thinking about retiring.)

#2, divorce, is a real problem, but I think it exists primarily because the previous generation was quick to pull the trigger on ending marriages that ended up being "inconvenient" (mostly because the woman decided she didn't need the husband, just his money) and the courts were far too amenable to agreeing to let the divorces proceed.  I know a couple of women who had children and then divorced their husbands because their husbands, quite reasonably, expected them to take care of the children to the detriment of what they considered to be their career path.  Abuse was claimed (mental in all cases) but I suspect that what was considered to be abuse was simply an old-fashioned expectation of motherhood being more important than a career.***

Anyway, gays point at these two problems of heterosexuality in the modern age and clamor for the same right to marry (and I assume, to divorce) as straights.  If marriage doesn't require that the female have children, and if marriage can be dissolved at just about any time for just about any reason, then gays may have a point, even if it's ill-made.

What is truly sad about the whole situation, though, is that being married without children is a pretty big burden.  There is that little thing known as the "marriage penalty", and it's meant that my wife and I have had to pay the government thousands of dollars in taxes over the past decade and a half that we would never have paid had we remained single.  I keep joking, in fact, that we really need to get divorced for tax purposes.  My wife doesn't laugh but it really isn't funny, the moreso because it's true.

Because the actual benefits of what we call marriage today are primarily civil and not religious in nature, I would argue (as I have done at the beginning of this article and as I have done before, fairly consistently) that it is time for the state to get out of the business of sanctioning marriage.  Let all "marriage" simply be a contract between two people, sex-neutral, wherein responsibilities (including those of child-raising) of each party are defined, merging of assets is delineated, and provision is made to redistribute those assets should the contract be terminated (divorce).  This could be reduced to a standard form, similar to the Jewish ketubah (which does in fact include provisions for divorce).

Once the relationship between two people is reduced to a contract, which can be handled by lawyers and recorded with the county recorder for a modest fee, any ceremony of solemnization becomes optional (one assumes that the lawyers for both parties, as officers of the court, could be empowered to handle that) and the religious community is then off the hook and may perform whatever ceremonies that it sees fit upon couples who fit its requirements for same.  No longer would a priest, minister, or rabbi**** feel cornered or coerced into performing ceremonies that their scriptural constitutions forbid, and their congregations could rest easy in the expectation that the two gay boys (or girls) who wanted to be married in their place of worship had no case whereby to sue them into compliance with some politically-correct statute.

Mark me well -- If your particular denomination smiles on gay marriage, party on.  That's your cross to bear, and you can defend it when you're called to account at the end of time.  The important thing to me is that you stop trying to tell MY particular congregation or creed that it MUST accept marriage between anything other than one man and one woman.  And the way to start putting an end to that is to remove marriage from the realm of government sanction and make it simply a legal contract between two people -- not between two people and the government.


* Don't start with me about peyote buds and ritual sacrifice and that kind of shite.  Civil code covers most of that.  Murder is still murder, whether or not it was done to satisfy some elder god or suchlike.

** Yes, for me, the answer to the question of life, the universe and everything was 42.

*** We could go into the whole idea of women seemingly dominating the workforce in a day and age when an awful lot of breadwinner-type men are out of work, but I know too many strong and independent career-minded women who would probably kick my ass if I bitched about that. So never mind.  But as has been said many times, the future belongs to those who show up for it, and choosing not to have children -- particularly if you could have done when you were young enough to build a family -- does potentially have consequences.

**** I've left "imam" off of this list because I can't think of anyone of LGBT status, even some of the more liberal nutbag gays, who would have the balls to walk into a mosque and ask an imam to marry them.  Which is another problem for another day.

The equivalent, today, being "He ain't smart enough to install a license file with the installation instructions written in the file."


I hate customers.

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I was wondering if there was a way to remove the [Sender: header] address from the reply field. I have a [sic] updated the "Reply To" setting but the [Sender: header] address still shows up when you select reply all.

WTF does this guy think "reply all" means?  Yeah, there's a way to remove it in that case.  Get in and remove it manually from the To: line before you click "Send".  You always double-check your To: line before you send, correct?


The thing that makes this doubly-annoying is that the Reply-To setting in the software is, as documented, more of a suggestion than a setting.  That's because Reply-To is generally client dependent, that is to say, what your mail client does when you click "Reply All" is generally dependent on what the software thinks is the optimal way to handle that.  If the software thinks that the Sender: address on the original email should be included, then it includes it.  If not, it doesn't.  And sometimes (not so much anymore, though) that's user-configurable to boot.

Bottom line, don't blame our software for what your mail client does with the mail it receives.

I has a sad.

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It's just awful when a lovely young friend of yours who is about to be married to a stand-up guy receives from him (as a pre-wedding surprise gift) tickets to see a lecture by Neil deGrasse-Tyson -- because he knows she wants to go.

I know she's a flaming liberal but my God, has she not paid any attention to deGrasse-Tyson's flaming lies and misrepresentations lately?  Exhibit 1 Exhibit 2 Exhibit 3  Exhibit 4 ... and that's just Twitchy.  The man just makes shit up and people believe him because...why?  Because he's Neil deGrasse-Tyson?  Who?  (I'd never heard of the guy before a couple of weeks ago, and I like to think I'm up on shite like that.)

Well, yeah, ok, she's a flaming liberal, so progressive lies are like candy to her.  But still...

Ah nuts.  Never mind.

KidsSysAdmins today.

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Customer writes in about using our utility that takes one of our encoded system files and translates it to plain text so you can view it.

When I try to look at them using [utility], they scroll by so fast I can’t read them. Is there a switch or something I can use to view one page at a time?

Apparently nobody knows how to use the DOS command line anymore.  There are at least two methods of handling this without needing a switch.  Either redirect the output to a file, or pipe it to MORE.

Jeez.  We are doomed.  It's like in the Foundation series, where the soi-disant technicians and engineers who ran the atomic power plants no longer knew anything about the technology behind them, and couldn't so much as replace a part if it failed.

They were back in the office and Mallow said, thoughfully, "And all those generators are in your hands?"

"Every one," said the tech-man, with more than a touch of complacency.

"And you keep them running and in order?"


"And if they break down?"

The tech-man shook his head indignantly, "They don't break down.  They never break down.  They were built for eternity."

"Eternity is a long time.  Just suppose—"

"It is unscientific to suppose meaningless cases."

"All right.  Suppose I were to blast a vital part into nothingness?  I suppose the machines aren't immune to atomic forces?  Suppose I fuse a vital connection, or smash a quartz D-tube?"

"Well, then," shouted the tech-man, furiously, "you would be killed."

"Yes, I know that," Mallow was shouting, too, "but what about the generator?  Could you repair it?"

"Sir," the tech-man howled his words, "you have had a fair return.  You've had what you asked for.  Now get out!  I owe you nothing more!"

Mallow bowed with a satiric respect and left.

Two days later he was back at the base where the Far Star waited to return with him to the planet, Terminus.

And two days later, the tech-man's shield went dead, and for all his puzzling and cursing never glowed again.

—Isaac Asimov, Foundation, p. 176

Old-time ham radio operators who still remember homebrewing their own equipment snarkily dismiss this kind of thing as "appliance operating".  While I think that may be a little harsh and overblown, when it comes down to someone who only knows how to manipulate Windows through the GUI, I do sort of get their point.

There was a funny

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yesterday at breakfast, but because my brain was still having little forgetful moments from the anesthesia on Friday, all I can remember about it was that the punch line was "Common Core strikes again!"

I think it had something to do with a math problem where it didn't matter what the answer was as long as you showed that you tried, I think, but I can't remember the rest of the context.  Something we saw on the goddamnidiotbox, maybe.

Demerol and I do not get along well.

All is well

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The butt-reaming went well.  Prep was much easier with the prescription stuff.  I came out of the anesthesia a lot faster this time, but still don't remember much until after I came home and had breakfast and a three-hour nap.

There were three polyps, two normal and one "suspicious-looking if it had been in there longer".  Biopsy reports will come late this week but nobody thinks there will be any issue.

Turns out I have a nasty case of sleep apnea.  Apparently I stopped breathing a couple of times but they cranked up the oxy and I came right back.  So now I have to get a sleep study.  Damn it.


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Between the "no blood-thinning painkillers" edict and the "no solid food starting at breakfast" edict, followed by the purge that starts at around 2PM, I am NOT going to be Mr. Model Patient tomorrow when I present for my semi-decadal ass-rogering.

I warned 'em about the painkillers.  They didn't listen, they just suggested Tylenol®.  Which does exactly dick for me, me being one of the lucky folks whose body chemistry seems to just laugh at acetaminophen.

Pray for me.  It's going to be a tough ~30 hours.  My beef bouillion breakfast is, however, surprisingly good.

Quite possibly the most annoying spammers on the planet.

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I have all of these domains (see below) blocked at work.  They insist on sending me notices that their bespoke tailors are going to be in the DC area.  And they KEEP ADDING NEW DOMAINS.

Since first of all the very thought of me wearing a bespoke suit (or any suit, for that matter) to work is laughable, and secondly I DO NOT LIVE IN THE FUCKING DC AREA AND HAVEN'T FOR NEARLY NINETEEN YEARS, you'd think that my totally reasonable requests to get off their mailing list might be honored.  Nah.  Spammers.

So I can only hope that these people die horribly in a fire.  Anyway, feel free to add the following to your email client's block list.

OK, I drank the Kool-Aid.




We made a stop in Hammond this morning on the way back from an event in Bloomingdale, Illinois.1  I actually wasn't planning to buy today, I just wanted to see and hold one after reading about it at Tam's and Og's.  But the deal was too good to pass up, and the lady wife, while not pleased that it was, after all, a gun, did allow as it was nearly our anniversary, and birthdays were coming up, and yes, I was going to get a camera stuffed up my bum2 this coming Friday and wasn't even going to get kissed.

In return I think I will be paying for her new iPad Mini, if we can find one reasonably priced.

I can't wait to take the Preciousssss to the range.  But I guess it won't be this coming weekend, as I don't bounce back quickly from intravenous Demerol.  (I do get a fabulous nap out of it, though.)

1 The first question the guy at the gun counter asked me was, "Illinois or Indiana?"  I said, "Oh, Indiana.  We were just over in Illinois and we're going home to Indianapolis."  He said, "Welcome back to the land of the free."

2 Getting old is not for the pussyfied.  But nobody told me it involved having your ass violated with a camera after a damn-near day-long purge, then lather rinse repeat once every five years because of diverticulitis.  Ah well.

It is just as powerful as it was the day it happened.

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But I keep wondering when we're going to absolutely pound the shit out of the corner of the world it came from, for good and all.

Not under this worthless President and Congress.

It's truly sad

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that for weeks I was running my browser at 105% magnification...and didn't even know it.

I had been wondering why things were so much easier to read.  And when I discovered it, I left it as the default...

Musings while considering who I work for

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and whether or not I ought to continue to do so:

I hate Europeans.  I really kind of wish they'd let the ragheads outbreed them and take over.  Then we could nuke Europe and feel good about it.

Yeah, I really said that to a co-worker today.  Guess I'm unqualified to be an NBA or NFL owner.

Gentlemen, we must protect our phoney-baloney jobs.

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At least that is the takeaway I get from my wife's recent brush with the law in $COUNTY, which shall remain nameless for the protection of the innocent.  It is, in any case, NOT the county we live in...nor has my wife ever lived in $COUNTY, although she did work there briefly a long time ago.

Last week, my wife received an, make that "official"-looking letter from the $COUNTY Prosecutor, informing her that she was a deadbeat check-passer and that the $COUNTY Prosecutor was requesting that the state refile a warrant for her arrest for same.

Now, my wife used to be one of those folks who thinks that if they have checks left in the checkbook, they must have money left in the bank.  This has not been the case since we married and she was introduced to modern methods of accountancy.1  She also had a somewhat laissez-faire attitude toward bills that she found herself unable to pay.  So this has meant, over the years, that we have occasionally received officious, er, sorry, "official" notices of back taxes not paid, or old utility bills not paid and sold to bill collectors for pennies on the dollar, etc.  One back tax notice was for failure to file in $STATE, where she lived for about three years, and where she would never have failed to file because she would have gotten a full refund...but I digress (and I think I may have opined about this particular idiocy before anyway).

But this is the first time she's been served with a warrant for passing a bad check.

Upon reading the particulars, we found that the alleged bad check was written CLEAR BACK IN 1998.  That is, well over a year before I met her.  Then, early the next year, the case was refiled and a warrant for her arrest issued, one assumes because they added "failure to appear".  In neither case did my wife receive service of the complaint, probably because she lived in $OTHERCOUNTY at the time (again, not the one we live in now) and it was probably served by mail...and who knows what address they sent it to.  If they sent it to her work address, the idiots she worked for at the time probably threw it away.  In any case, that's where matters sat for over 14 years.

Note that $BIGBOX, the retailer who accepted the check in the first place, also appears never to have tried to contact her directly.  I have heard in the past that $BIGBOX doesn't generally bother with that, they simply go to court immediately because it's not worth their trouble to collect on their own.  Again, I don't know if that's true, it's just what I've heard.

Comes now $COUNTY Prosecutor, who is apparently running for re-election according to $ATTORNEY, and has decided to clean out the courthouse attic so he can claim to his constituents to be Mr. Law and Order.  So my wife, who wrote a check for $MISDEMEANORAMOUNT, has sat here chewing her nails for the past few days whilst her lawyers contacted the court and found out what she had to do to avoid being perp-walked in $COUNTY2 (and probably losing her job in the process).  This all concluded satisfactorily this morning when she went to court and paid for the check, the court costs, and the lawyer's fee, and promised the judge that she would be a good girl henceforward.

My question, though, kind of goes like this.

If a prosecutor timely issues a subpoena or a warrant for an infraction that has a statute of limitations, and then timely executes the subpoena or warrant, I have no problem.  But I do have a problem when 14 years elapses between the paperwork being filed and anyone in the prosecutor's office arsing themselves to do anything about it.  It seems to me that if you have a 10 year statute of limitations on the crime, then a like statute of limitations should apply to any subpoenas or warrants that are related to it that are not executed within that time (I mean, the statute would run for x number of years after the filings, not concurrently with the statute for the crime itself).  And it doesn't seem to me that service by mail is appropriate, either, because mail can become lost or misdelivered through no fault of the court or the defendant.  At some level the state needs to be prodded to do its job, not leave things hanging for years and then be able to, for little more than political reasons, revive them.  Perhaps I need to bring this to the attention of my state representative and senator.

And by the way, you may be wondering how she managed to never got picked up on an outstanding warrant.  She's been stopped a couple of times for things like her taillight being out.  (Not for speeding, she doesn't speed.)  She had an accident a couple of years ago when some idiot kid hit her in the ass at a red light.  She's had background checks run for her job.  Nothing ever came up about an outstanding warrant.  The prosecutor had to ask the state to refile the warrant because the copy they had was unreadable.  That's how fucked up this whole thing is.

The fact is that $BIGBOX is not getting their money, because they were paid what the original court filing demanded 14 years ago.  So inflation alone has destroyed any value inherent in the amount they will receive from the Clerk of $COUNTY.  Pretty stupid all around, and they upset my wife for no particularly good reason, since all they would have had to do was CALL US and we would have made it right.  This was never a case of they "couldn't" find her, either -- she has always had a current drivers license, and has filed taxes, and had bank accounts where the bank knew where she lived.  They could have found her at any time.  They just never tried.

But I did get to call her "my little Miss Demeanor" all week.  :)

1 I have always paid the monthly household bills, because I want the bills to be, like, paid.  I like having a roof over my head and heat and light and water and all those decadent modern comforts.  Sue me.  Well, don't.  I can't afford it right now.

2 They did, in fact, threaten this when her lawyer contacted them.

Maybe it wouldn't be so bad.

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I mean, if ISIS took things over...


Could be worse, I suppose.  Ragheads?  Where?  Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzap!


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