Patrick's Rants


Steve Jobs, Dead at 56

Filed under: Geek News and Stuff,General — site admin @ 5:59 pm

Steve Jobs, dead at 56.


Giant Worm

Filed under: Gardening,General — site admin @ 6:27 pm

I saw this worm crawling across my driveway. It’s a little hard to see, but it must extend over 18″.

That’s my shoe in the first photo, my hand in the second.


Soft Launch

Filed under: General — site admin @ 11:33 am

I’m launching a For Sale By Owner FSBO web site. There is no cost* to list your home for sale or rent. Listings will remain active for a full 60 days from posting or any changes made to the listing. If you have a home for sale, primarily in the Northern Arizona area, hop on over to create your free FSBO seller account.

*Pricing, if when or whether is still in the idea stage.


Dead Children the Result of Ineffective Protective Services

Filed under: General — site admin @ 7:28 am

Arizona has some serious problems with our Child Protective Services agency. In the related story you can read about Ame, stuffed into a footlocker and locked in to suffocate to death as punishment for taking a popsicle from the freezer. Her mother had placed her with these family members to care for. Ame’s mother has said she was abused as a child by these family members but never thought they would hurt her child. On top of that, she was never notified of the death of her child, she learned about it on a facebook posting.

You can also read the couple arrested for beating their child to near death – officials expect him to die in the hospital. CPS has “been involved” with this child since near birth, the full circle of his life. Neighbors have reported abuse (although not every time), police have been out, CPS has been out. Yet this child remained in this home. He sported visible black eyes and bumps and he remained in his home.

“Ultimately, the degree to which we call ourselves a civilized society is directly related to how we stand up for the defenseless and innocent among us,” Montgomery said. “I call upon everyone, everyone, to report abuse and neglect when they see it.”

Montgomery is the Maricopa County Attorney and he wants us to report, report, report. But if the results of the reports are that the agency walks away from the home without preventing the death of a child, some might ask themselves, “what’s the point?” What’s the point when a six year old child, CPS being involved since 2005, will nearly certainly die from his beating?

Sheriff Joe is focused on his sweeps, the state legislature has managed to adopt an official firearm and allow guns on campus and in bars, made it illegal to be in the state illegally and now require the police to check your citizenship or other papers if they talk to you, but hasn’t properly funded CPS.

How many more children have to die? How many more does CPS have its hands died on, whether due to budget or lack of adequate foster home services? I don’t know if CPS was inept, incompetent or just broke in this case. Is it lack of training or lack of funding?


What The Heck is an Aluma Wallet?

Filed under: Geek News and Stuff,General — site admin @ 11:00 am

I started to get spam for this Aluma Wallet thing. The same thing happened a few years ago when those miniature helicopters and cars were all the rage for Christmas gifts. So just what is the Aluma Wallet? Well, it’s made of aluminum and the claim is that it will protect you from having your RFID enabled credit card information stolen by someone with a hidden reader. Here’s how to prevent someone from stealing that information – don’t use “speed pass” cards. I mean, you might as well broadcast your credit card information. Of course if you are required to use some kind of ID card at work that utilized RFID technology you might just prefer put it all in this hard sided wallet.


The Apocolypse is Here

Filed under: General,It's funny — site admin @ 7:01 am

The prediction is that the biblical rapture will hit us at 6:00pm local time (because it’s gonna wash over the world starting at 6:00pm local time in New Zealand). Believers will simply vanish off the face of the earth. So in case I’m wrong and it really does happen, can I have your car?


Osama Dead

Filed under: General,Politics — site admin @ 7:01 am

Obama announced to the country last night that US troops killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan. His body has reportedly been buried at sea. The war on terror has taken a new turn. I’m not sure how the rest of Al Qaida will take this news, they’ve been operating without direct leadership from bin Laden for years.

This morning has a different feel for me. On 9/11 I walked my kids to school, knowing that the East coast of the US was erupting. I pondered what kind of life my then unborn youngest child would have, what kind of world she would grow up in. Today I feel more optimism for that future.


Old School

Filed under: General,It's funny — site admin @ 11:44 am

We spent last weekend camping off the grid. Sure there was water, electricity, fire and gas. But the hills blocked the cell phone tower signals. When we camp out on the ranch everyone turns off their cell phones since they will suck the battery dry trying to find a signal. On Saturday afternoon my sister-in-law wanted to know what time it was. We all kind of looked around, everyone uses their phones for time now. I, of course, have a watch. I reached toward my pocket saying, “I have a watch.”

My sister-in-law is confused. “Why do you keep it in your pocket?”

“Because,” I pause for dramatic effect, “it’s a pocket watch.” That explains it. A dozen people chuckle at the matter of fact reasoning.

You know, watches have become scarce, the once ubiquitous pocket watch even more so but I like my pocket watch, it doesn’t need to have a signal from some cell phone tower and I will know what time it is every time we go camping. And once in a while, I get to have a small laugh with it.


Cheaters Never Win

Filed under: Geek News and Stuff,General — site admin @ 8:13 pm

My old rewrite rules have been blown away by WordPress 3.1. The links were so broken I only got blank pages. So, I had to retire the rules from How I Cheated to the right and replace them with:

RewriteEngine On
RewriteBase /
RewriteRule ^index\.php$ – [L]
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
RewriteRule . /index.php [L]

Very simple, but a pain to try to figure out. Nothing else I found on the internet worked.


That’s How I Roll

Filed under: General — site admin @ 5:39 pm

On Sunday I was driving up Hwy 89 to pick up my youngest from an sleepover birthday party. I tend to be a cautious driver so I was upset about the vehicles behind me that rode my bumper pretty closely, before I knew it we were up to 65 mph on a rode signed for 55. The wet rode and cold weather didn’t make me any less nervous. The tractor trailer (big rig, 18 wheeler) to my right completed my jitters. My passive aggressive reaction to speeders on my bumper is to slow down, which I did. The truck pulled forward on my right. Near the church with its “Jesus is at the end of your rope” sign blowing snow had refrozen across the road. I completely let up on the accelerator and my car reduced speed to about 45mph. The honking blue truck kept the hammer down. A mere 30 feet or so ahead of me the truck lost traction and slid straight across my lane headed toward the ditch on the southbound side. I lightly pumped the brakes and checked the knuckle heads on my tail. The truck started the jack knife fold that precedes a rollover. I watched the white pickup truck coming south as it moved into my lane to avoid the carnage heading its way and I steered over to the right to dodge my new lane mate as the big rig slowly recovered and headed back to its original lane.

The truck driver made his way over to the right – presumably to check his shorts. I made my way to my turn off the freeway. The car radio played “God Bless America” in that same bizarre juxtaposition as when “It’s a Wonderful World” played during the napalm scene in “Good Morning Vietnam”.

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