Vintage computing, old video games

“We do not play out the catastrophe”


Some commentary:


February 27th, 2018 at 4:13 pm | Comments & Trackbacks (0) | Permalink

Something has changed with respect to phone technology, where my incoming text messages are getting truncated.

For example

From: <person>
Time: Thu Oct 19, 10:21am

Hey! Hope you have a safe jou

From: <other person>
Time: Sat Oct 14, 1:00pm

Also I just woke up and proba

The culprit appears to be “smart” punctuation and other non-standard-ASCII markers. For example, “ instead of “. Or, ’ instead of ‘. “Smart” punctuation can look a bit nicer– and for quotes, more clearly enclose something. But they rely on character support beyond standard ASCII.

It is not all smart phones that do it, since I’ve received lots of SMS from smart phones which don’t have the problem. It’s some matter of hardware or messaging program that will insert smart punctuation by default when text messaging.

See I thought the thing forcing me to upgrade would be the death of CDMA and ubiquity of GSM (this phone is CDMA), not something like this…

I’ve gotten away with it so far by trying to guess what everyone is saying when it happens… based on the first 4 or 5 words of the text. This has been going on for about 2 years. At first it was only maybe 5% of conversations, but now it has crept up to about 25%. It has worked out okay since no one is going to wax poetic over text message.

My easy idea is to try updating the firmware on my phone to see if that fixes it, however the hell you do that. In the longer term, new phone hardware will be the only option. The best phones are made by Casio and Nokia… Samsung Convoy looks okay I guess. Ugh.

October 19th, 2017 at 4:50 pm | Comments & Trackbacks (0) | Permalink

I feel like there are a lot of ads in day to day life.

Every web site
At the cinema, before the movie
On movie discs, before the movie
Operating system
Software installation menus
Voip software now
News sources
Streaming videos, television
FM radio stations or streaming services that have ads

The targeted ads are especially obnoxious. Kudos to Netflix and Duck Duck Go (random examples) for trying to go against this trend.

There’s the saying, “If the product is free, you are the product”.

Question: What are your techniques you use for reducing the presence of ads in your day-to-day?
Do you bother?

September 11th, 2017 at 10:22 pm | Comments & Trackbacks (0) | Permalink

I picked it up to see if it was alive or if it was just a shell.

But when I picked it up, not only was it alive, it laid an egg in my hand


June 21st, 2017 at 11:16 pm | Comments & Trackbacks (0) | Permalink

Planted this early last year as an experiment. Although tea roses are beautiful they are fussy and I’ve had bad luck with them. This specific variety is a climber- not as strong as ivy, but it should latch on to nearby things. It grew a decent amount, and started creeping upward, but would not bloom at all-

Until just this week. Four of them.

Tried to guide it to grab a hold of the lattice, but it doesn’t seem to want to do that just yet. It appears to have two goals.

First, it tried to “hold hands” with another plant. So I separated them.
Second, it seems to be growing the opposite direction as intended, toward my hose faucet. I think that might mean it wants to be watered more… (I’m really cautious about this because I’ve accidentally killed roses by over-watering). I’m going to leave it for now. But, if my water bill spikes suddenly due to something when I’m not home…

June 7th, 2017 at 10:04 pm | Comments & Trackbacks (0) | Permalink

The robo-dialers have gotten really sophisticated.

Ring ring.

Answer phone

Them: Hi!

Me: Hello?


Them: Oh-! (slightly flustered, like a real person who dials a wrong number, or a person calling on behalf of a business they’re working for but they’re having sort of an off-day) I was just having a problem with my husband. Um- (Couple seconds goes by while the ‘person’ ‘collects themselves’) We noticed you staying at one of our resorts recently, and we wanted to let you know about-

Me: I’m sorry this is a bad time.

Them: (Totally unfazed, clearly a robot) -a limited-time promotion where-

Just hung up.

Shouldn’t this be illegal?

March 4th, 2017 at 11:44 am | Comments & Trackbacks (0) | Permalink

Sometimes I’m fearful of the future because I’m alive now. Not in the past, but now.

Nowadays there are more human beings than there have ever been in all of history, over 7 billion… So it’s statistically more likely I would exist now, rather than in the past. That’s fine.

But why was I not born later in the future? Since the world population seems to be ever increasing, wouldn’t being born in the future be even more likely still? Maybe, the world population does not grow, and the trend stops. Maybe, something catastrophic happens.If something catastrophic happens, then if any human being were to be alive, it’d be very likely to be now, but very unlikely thereafter.

The problem feels reconciled if I remember how unlikely things can happen. If you pick a random human in all of history, you’d be much more likely to pick a random person from modern times than a person from the Middle Ages. But humans existed in the Middle Ages.

So if I’m to be a random person from the history of human civilization, it might be an unlikely choice for me to be alive now (rather than at a later date, when were are more populous) but that’s still an entirely possible, valid outcome.

I just don’t want to know what the actual likelihoods are.

January 21st, 2017 at 11:43 am | Comments & Trackbacks (0) | Permalink

I came up with this puzzle but found few people who could solve it.

Today being a federal holiday, Anne and Mary are neighbors that both have the day off. Being close-by neighbors with long-ago-established phone numbers, they have the same area code. It was Anne’s birthday the month before last.
They run into each other outside.

Mary says to Anne, “Why don’t you call me sometime? With a birthday like yours, it should be easy to remember my number.” Although it then occurred to Mary, that she doesn’t know the exact day of Anne’s birthday.

Which holiday is today?

December 19th, 2016 at 11:00 pm | Comments & Trackbacks (0) | Permalink

Leopard slug. On the pathway by the house

Kind of gross but I don’t have it in me to try and kill them. Slugs are very hard to exterminate, anyhow. This species of slug is native to Europe but was introduced during colonization times and became prolific here.

Like the other species, they have one behavior where if you touch them, the horns retract. Almost cute, in a way. almost.

July 11th, 2016 at 9:31 pm | Comments & Trackbacks (0) | Permalink

Slug from my ditch out front

July 10th, 2016 at 8:13 pm | Comments & Trackbacks (0) | Permalink