Frustrating.

The RFRA recently passed by Indiana is a bad law, but it’s a bad law the same way as the RFRAs passed by 19 other states and the Federal Government are bad laws.  There is no need for the RFRA if the courts recognize pre-existing religious freedoms and freedom of association.  There is no need for the RFRA if people simply let free markets work.  If you’re gay and your baker of choice won’t bake you decorated cookies with gay power slogans on them because he is a devout Christian who doesn’t support your lifestyle choice, that’s his right — as it is your right to go out to your community and tell people that he isn’t friendly to your cause and that maybe his business should be avoided because of that.  See?  Free market at work instead of a tiny minority of hyphenated Americans wagging the full force of the law dog to force someone to do something that goes against his or her religious belief.  In other words, the way things have been done in this country for years, at least until the Perennially Indignant came up with the idea that you could litigate someone out of business for the most ridiculous of reasons.

The sheer amount of lying on the left regarding what this law does is just about enough to make me tear out the rest of my remaining hair, and then start in on the beard.  And it’s just plain lies.  It’s not just misconstructions or insinuations or little white lies, it’s great big fucking whopper lies.  My own wife told me the other night that our RFRA is the only one that specifically targets gays.  Problem with that is that I actually read the statute, and it does nothing of the sort.  In point of fact, the law in Indiana has never identified the LGBT community as one accorded special protection, so the Indiana RFRA doesn’t even infringe on some supposed pre-existing accommodation.

The governor of Connecticut is banning state-paid travel to Indiana because of our RFRA.  Except that his state has one that is just as bad.

The GOP mayor of Indianapolis, who isn’t running for re-election, could have kept his piehole shut, but he had to speak out on the issue and declare himself opposed to the RFRA.  Well, Mr. Ballard, if you were running again, you wouldn’t be getting my vote anyway, but this just would have put the icing on.

All of this is a distraction.  It’s being done to knock Pence out of consideration for 2016 (although as much as I like Pence, I have never really considered him as presidential timber, at least not till after he completes a couple of terms as governor — and I am very disappointed that he signed rather than vetoed the RFRA) and to distract from the unConstitutional and extra-Constitutional actions of our traitor President.  It’s being done to suppress voter turnout among whites, who are more and more turning against Obama.  And it’s being done because it does not fit the narrative of where the progressive left wants this country to go.

Libprogs would prefer this country to Balkanize itself and become a fractured nation of ethnic and national communities that can’t agree on a damn thing.  They hate the idea of the melting pot.  They hate the idea of American Exceptionalism, they hate the idea of the Pax Americana, and they hate everything that this country stands for with regard to individual liberty.  They hate guns, they hate the military, they hate the rich (even though some of them are among the richest), and they want everyone but themselves to live beholden to the State.

Fuck them.  I am not a slave, I am a free man.  The State can go hang.

My ancestors, right up to my father, and a number of my own cousins and other relatives, did not fight and sometimes die in the service of their country in expectation that it would turn into a Communist/Statist/Nanny-State “paradise”.  They may have voted Democrat back when the Democrats were a party worth voting for.  But like Ronald Reagan, most of my formerly-Democrat relatives have found that the Democratic Party has left them for one reason or another.

I know people who say that Pence is going to be one-and-done.  I wonder.  Indiana is a very conservative state, deep down.  If you rile up the base sufficiently, they will rise up from their electoral slumber and vote for the man who signed the bill that at least purports to protect their religious freedoms.

Was this a bad bill at the wrong time?  Yes, it was.  Someone I was talking to the other day stated their opinion that the GOP should have waited a year, and taken that year to write a better bill and build support for it in the community.  Maybe.  Maybe they would have figured out in that year that they didn’t need the RFRA at all and that common sense ought to rule in the state and in its courts.  (Common sense, unfortunately, is becoming a very rare commodity — again, because that’s what the libprogs want.)

If there was ever a time that conservatives — or as I prefer to call them, “classical liberals” — need to turn Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals back on their progressive proponents, it would seem to be now.  Whether you like the RFRA or not, libprogs are telling stories about it that simply aren’t true.  It’s time to punch back twice as hard.  Punch back, in fact, hard enough that Alinsky’s grandmother feels it.

And make sure that your so-called conservative Indiana reps and senators know that you think they are damn fools for putting the RFRA forward and that it needs to be repealed tout de suite.

If this stance on my part angers you, fine.  Go away.  Unfriend me on Facebook.  And don’t come back.  I don’t need friends who believe in and propagate lies.

I…just…kill…arghh. Words fail.

I am now two emails into a “discussion” with one of our sales drones (who ought to know better) who keeps asking me “The customer doesn’t understand why this SLA only covers the hours of 9AM to 6PM, and only on weekdays.  What about the rest of the hours and days?  How do they get 24×7 support out of this SLA?”

And of course the answer which I keep trying to keep myself from POUNDING INTO HER FUCKING HEAD WITH A GORRAM SLEDGEHAMMER is that this particular SLA doesn’t COVER 24×7 service.  It says right in black in white, “Higher levels of service availability may be contracted separately.  Please contact your sales representative for a quote.”

“Can we rename ‘Service Hours’ to ‘Technical Support Hours’?”

No, because “Service Hours” refers to the hours that we guarantee that the service will have whatever percentage uptime they’ve contracted for.  That includes technical support but also includes other things like the ops guy, equipment maintenance, etc etc ad nauseum.

“Why don’t we notify the customer when we have scheduled outages?”

Because as it says RIGHT IN THE FUCKING SLA, we’re talking about Microsoft Updates, which come down when Redmond decides to push them to us, and the machine is scheduled to install them when they become available.  And that doesn’t always happen right on Patch Tuesday. I’ve seen it happen as late as Friday morning.

The customer in question is a very large and venerable East Coast university, a long-time customer.  You would think their IT people could read a simple SLA.  You would think our sales drone could read it, for that matter.  This thing is only two pages long, for cripes sake.

Yeah, he’s home.

They took him off the IV yesterday and tested him again this morning. No change from yesterday. So he’s home and we’ll take him back for a check next week.

But yeah. He’s definitely home.

Right back where we started from, eh, Tiggr?

Right back where we started from, eh, Tiggr?

 

Better.

Tiggr has been at the vet all week for observation and general rehydration.  We went over last night to see him and he was in pretty good shape…eyes weren’t sunken anymore, fur was good (although it never really got bad like Snoopy’s did), and he seemed to be putting on some weight and his skin tone was good.  He was eating like a piglet, too, which was refreshing to see.  And boy, does he hate that tube in his paw :)

The vet wanted to run another test this morning to see how much he has improved.  As it turns out, his creatinine levels were over 6 when he was admitted, and they were around 4 today, indicating some improvement.  Normal levels are 0.6 to 2.4.  He’s never going to regain full kidney function, of course, so we’ll still have to take him for kitty dialysis once a week for the foreseeable future.  But he’ll be able to come home tomorrow and stay home all weekend and into next week before we have to take him in again.

Prayers are still welcome.  Tiggr, Frankie, and the lady wife and I appreciate them.

Well hell.

We took Tiggr in to the vet on Saturday for his annual checkup, and also because he’s been losing a lot of weight lately.  He weighed 8 pounds on the vet’s scale (this is a cat that once weighed 22 pounds and we had to put him on reduced fat prescription kibble).  The vet took one look at him and said, “This cat is dehydrated.”  Which surprised us because he’s been drinking water and eating canned food (though he hasn’t been eating much kibble lately and that is probably why).  Otherwise he’s been fairly regular in his activities of daily catitude, jumping on beds, purring, scarfing kitty treats and so forth.  So the vet kept him for the weekend to put some IV fluids in and to do some blood work.

Yesterday morning she called and said that Tiggr was a very happy cat, eating kibble, playing with toys, very bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.

This morning she called again and said the blood work was back.

His kidneys are compromised.

That means that we are going to have to take him in weekly for a flush and fill.

When this happened years ago with Snoopy, it went on for about two months I think.

Tiggr is almost 15 years old (he’ll be 15 Memorial Day weekend) and he’s been with us longer than we’ve been married.  He’s the one who ate a half a bobbin of thread when he was 3 and cost us a potload of money to get him fixed up.  Never grudged the money.  It’s what you do when you’re a cat’s parent.

I hope those who come here will be moved to take a moment to have a word with whatever $DEITY they choose on Tiggr’s behalf.  We’ll certainly try to keep him happy and pain-free until the time comes to let him cross the Rainbow Bridge.  We’ve got his lilac all picked out in the back yard, too.

2015-03-01 17.22.37-1024

Tiggr at the bottom; Frankie at the top. A lazy crazy sunshiny day, March 1, 2015.

Tiggr, February 15, 2015.

Tiggr, February 15, 2015.

Seriously?

Fuck the FAA.

And no,

No, I don’t know why this site is running like a pig in molasses.  It’s been going on for months.

Hosting Matters and whoever they have sharing this server with me are really beginning to irritate me.

RIP Terry Pratchett

Apparently the Dean of the Discworld has assumed horizontal ambient.

RIP, Sir Terry.  You had a good run.

Why is this a surprise?

Knock-off Apple Watches go on sale in China

(Annoying one-question survey required to read if you are not a subscriber to the FT — or go to Chaos Manor and read it.)

I can’t believe this is a surprise to anyone.  When you outsource your manufacturing — meaning that you have turned over all of the relevant intellectual property to the outsource supplier so they can build your product for you — what stops the outsource supplier from making a few for themselves on the side?  Or, in the case of the Apple Watch, simply counterfeiting the damn thing lock, stock, and barrel and selling it for an “Apple can’t beat this” price via a Chinese online market?

I’ll give you another example:  The HYS TC-9900 quad band FM mobile amateur radio transceiver which is selling on Amazon right now.  HYS wants to sell you what appears to be an exact knockoff, down to the box it comes in, of the Yaesu FT-8900 quad band FM mobile amateur radio transceiver — for less than half list price (although you can buy the FT-8900 for a street price of about $500, and right now with rebates it’s just over 4 bills, so the HYS is a bargain but not that much of one).  Yaesu’s proprietary ARTS™ and WIRES™ features are included, according to the HYS feature list, so you can’t tell me that this is just a simple look-alike piece of crap knockoff — HYS probably build the FT-8900 for Yaesu and have decided to get in on some of that sweet retail money themselves.

The only way to solve this problem is to bring manufacturing back in-house, where you can control it.

Frickin’ idiots.

I have a vanity email address that I first set up way back in 2001.  The domain [mylastname].com was already taken, unfortunately by a company named NetIdentity that was set up with the business plan of nailing down domains that corresponded to common American surnames, and then basically renting out forwarding addresses.*  (I think they also did domains like engineer.com and the like.)  This worked fine for many years.  I didn’t want a mailbox, I just wanted the mail forwarded to my existing mailbox, which at the time I think was on Yahoo (because I had an SBCGlobal DSL account and the corresponding email address).

In 2007, NetIdentity apparently abandoned that model and went for the full ISP model, where you had a 2GB mailbox and could also set the account to forward somewhere else.  Either I missed that email or ignored it (I do have a copy of it in my archives), but flash forward to last week and suddenly people started telling me that email being sent to me was bouncing.

I checked this out with my work account and sure enough, bouncety bounce bounce bounce — even though I was still getting the forwarded copy through GMail!

So I wrote a bitch email to Hover.Com support, who bought out NetIdentity sometime back in the oughts, and said, WTF, over?

They told me that my mailbox was indeed full.  I said, what mailbox?  This is a FORWARDING account.  They said, we don’t do forwarding accounts like that.  Anyway they said log into the webmail and you’ll be able to clean out the mailbox.

Sure enough, I get in there and there are over 11,000 emails going back to 12/1/2007.  (Interestingly enough, I now know that I receive just under 1/3 GB/year of mail.  Most of it junk, of course.)  So I deleted all of that (after forwarding myself some mail I found in the junk folder that had been junked without forwarding, and turning off the “keep a copy” option in the forwarding tab).

The bottom line in all of this is that I’m trying to decide whether or not to keep my forwarding address after the next renewal comes up.  I don’t like the fact that I’ve probably lost a ton of legitimate mail to the Hover.Com anti-spam system over the last 7 years because I didn’t know about this mailbox.  I’m actually thinking that if I can’t get them to turn off the spam filter entirely for me then I will probably let it lapse.

_________________

* I should have bought the domain in 1995, but back then domains were EXPENSIVE because Network Solutions had a monopoly on the domain name system.  By the time I thought about it again, these assholes had already bought it up.

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