Patrick's Rants


Today was a beautiful day

Filed under: General — site admin @ 9:04 pm

Today, the sun was shining, the temperature in the mid 80s.
Today, you went about your everyday lives, perhaps feeling what we considered the heat of early summer.
Today, stores were open, people shopping.
Today, I posted a rant about Donald Trump and Charleston.
Today, I managed to collect more duck eggs and foiled the ravens.
Today, I spent time with family.
Today, I hugged my kids tight.
Today, I joined an exclusive, but unwanted club; for
Today, my nephew took his own life.

Filed under: Bumper Sticker,Seen on a — site admin @ 10:11 am

I’m going to hell in every religion

Religion and Politics

Filed under: Politics,Religion — site admin @ 10:09 am

This is going to be a short, albeit, controversial post. If you have delicate sensibilities, like Donald Trump or believe in an invisible man in the sky you might want to stop reading now.

On Tuesday Donald Trump, and his hair, announced they were running for president in front of a packed crowd of enthusiastic paid extras supporters. In his speech, he blamed Mexico for “sending people that have lots of problems and they’re bringing those problems. They’re bringing drugs, they’re bringing crime. They’re rapists…”

A day later, a young white man enters a black church in South Carolina during bible study, asks for the pastor and sits for nearly an hour before pulling out his gun and killing nine people only stopping to reload. One witness quoted him a saying “You rape our women and you’re taking over our country — and you have to go.”

Trump has many documented xenophopic attacks against Barack Obama, claiming that he was born in Kenya and that he’s not a legitimate president, asking for a “long form” birth certificate (which Trump apparently had trouble producing for himself). Now he is attacking Mexicans as rapists. Two white men, in two days attacking non-whites and using the same language. Coincidence? Maybe. The rich white man attacks with words and gets his moment in the spotlight. The poor, undereducated high school dropout attacks with bullets.

Now, to poke the religious. The woman who spotted Dylann Roof gives all her credit to god for making her watch the news, to run late to work and to decide to get back on the freeway to try to catch up to him. She is credited with alerting police, she gives all her credit to god. If god is so great how did he not prevent this from happening in the first place? Witnesses say that Roof almost backed out of his deranged act because everyone in the church was so nice and so welcoming. The answer, from believers, will be that god works in mysterious ways. The truth, as I see it, is more proof that there is no god.


McDonald’s Rant

Filed under: General — site admin @ 5:47 pm

I posted the following to McDonald’s Javascript hell comments section. Let’s see if I get a real response.

My wife and I had just dropped my daughter off at the airport and decided to to stop at McDonald’s for breakfast and to use the restroom. As we had traveled from Flagstaff to Phoenix we really needed to stop. The previous exit (headed north on I-17) sign indicated a McDonald’s but when we exited the freeway the sign at the exit showed 2 or 3 miles and we decided we wanted something closer to the freeway. The McDonald’s at I-17 and Thunderbird Rd is the most actively uninviting place I have ever been in. There are signs posted all over the place limiting “paying” customers to 30 minutes, no loitering. And the bathrooms have keypad locks on the doors so one must presumably have to place an order before using the restroom.

This location may have a problem with transients or people trying to get in out of the heat. It lost my business. A quick visit to Yahoo finance pages shows another losing quarter for McDonald’s. This restaurant added to your losses as we went up the road to a much more inviting Taco Bell where we could use the restroom and then place our order. Although this was a personal choice as an individual, this concerns me as a stakeholder via my mutual fund holdings.

Let me add that just getting to this page to offer my feedback was painful. There are no less than 23 scripts included in the page, plus a bunch of JavaScript BS inline. The page took more than a minute to load. Contacting a company should force people through a bottle neck that tries to be all things to all people. Had there been a simple listing of email addresses this would have been a much shorter comment.


Has Hell Frozen Over?

Filed under: Geek News and Stuff — site admin @ 8:32 pm

Microsoft, or more accurately, the Powershell team, has announced they will be incorporating SSH, the Secure Shell, into Powershell for interoperability between Linux/Unix based systems and Windows based systems. I install Cygwin and OpenSSH on every Windows machine I touch – and sometimes I have to install PuTTY and WinSCP as well. This changes everything.


So what’s that about no need for net neutrality and plenty of competition in internet service?

Filed under: Geek News and Stuff — site admin @ 7:35 pm

We aren’t doing too badly here, there is DSL, cable internet and even satellite. However the tax office has to deal with crappy Qwest/Centurylink copper that nobody wants to admit are dog crap bad – when it rains the line hums and the modem resets every 5 minutes, but there is nothing wrong with the copper. But this guy ends up having to move after he can’t work from home.

Here’s a little more on the story.


Rooted an LG Spectrum

Filed under: Geek News and Stuff — site admin @ 9:42 am

So my LG Spectrum – getting quite long in the tooth at over 2 years old – was beginning to really, really annoy me. Yes, I could still text and email, but when I was trying to make phone calls the darned thing would reboot. After it did it three times in a row I decided it was time to update the phone. Verizon doesn’t have any updates available. Add a discussion over on Slashdot about vulnerabilities in webview libraries that Google isn’t going to fix and I was ready for a “fix”, load my own, or someone else’s own, custom ROM. I had already “rooted” my phone using the script I found on the Android Forums. I had tried a few others, but the phone that I have, running Android 4.0.4, or Ice Cream Sandwich, did not get rooted using any of those methods. I had actually used ES File Explorer to uninstall some of the apps that come with the LG Spectrum from Verizon, NFL Scores and other things like that that I won’t ever use, also the Verizon backup app since I moved my phone to another carrier. The only way to uninstall those preinstalled apps is to have the phone rooted.

After the multi reboot scenario, I had totally had it with this phone. I wanted a newer OS so I tried one set of instructions, then another and ended up more or less bricking the phone and ended up at the store to get different one (different model, a bit lighter on software/bloatware, newer – but not newest – OS). I would plug it in and the button lights at the bottom would just flash. I ended up reflashing using the LG_Tools file LG Mobile Update from this thread(Direct link to LG support pages you can actually download software for quite a few different devices). The LG Tools required me to go over to the Windows 7 laptop whereas everything else can be run from my regular Debian box. So the Spectrum was now recovered to the latest OS version that Verizon had available. The OS, of course, now relocked as originally shipped. Now, with a working phone and my now backup phone, the Spectrum, I could tinker at will. Having tried various methods that didn’t work for me, I tried the method in the unlocked bootloader thread. This one worked! I now have a Spectrum running the CyanogenMod bootloader and Android 4.2.2. Due to the licensing of Google Apps, the Play Store and couple of others, I had to install an additional package from the CyanogenMod page to match the version of CyanogenMod running on my phone. And then, because I haven’t been able to get a newer version of CM to install, I had to find and install a newer version of the PlayStore app (mine would open and then close). I sideloaded the PlayStore and now have a very clean, very lightweight install on this phone. Now, what to do with it?

Oh, and my “new” phone? I didn’t take the time to research if I could install custom ROMs beforehand and it seems like I can’t. It’s a Kyocera Hydro C6750 that all my after-the-fact research shows has a really, really locked bootloader so custom ROMs aren’t likely. I will do more research before I purchase a newer phone. It can be rooted, though, so a simple install of App Quarantine keeps the things I don’t want from running. I could uninstall those apps since I have root, but sometimes bad things can happen on a factory installed ROM.

Local files:


What’s your best email address?

Filed under: Geek News and Stuff,It's funny — site admin @ 7:27 pm

I just went to download a pdf report and like so many others it asks for my name and email address. Unlike so many others in the email address box are the words, “Please enter your best email address”. So I entered yourbestemailaddress@ this site… that’s what they asked for, right?


This is What I Meant

Filed under: Politics — site admin @ 7:05 pm

On election night, 2004 I said that a woman’s right to choose, that the balance of the Supreme Court hung on the results of the election. This rabidly conservative Supreme court has voted to give corporations the first amendment right of free speech and opening the door to unlimited “dark” campaign money in the Citizen’s United ruling. Now the court has ruled that small, “closely held” corporations have the right to freedom of religion, again under the first amendment. Except the ruling ignores that fact that – despite what Mitt says – corporations are not people. They are an artifice created to shelter the owners from direct liability. It also ignores the carefully crafted “closely held corporation” has been estimated to apply to 90% of all businesses in the US and affects some 51% of all US citizens – well, 25.5% if you discount the (old white) men. And it ignores the fact that Koch industries, run by two extremely wealthy old white guys might be considered a “small, closely held corporation”. Do we really believe that billion dollar businesses are “small”?

Will we next be hearing that women can be discriminated in these same businesses if women are to be considered chattel according to the religions of these same corporations? After all freedom of religion is the first amendment, well before that pesky one that gives women the right to vote, and the one that requires all peoples to be treated equally.

I wrote in 2004,

The makeup of the Supreme Court hangs in the balance tonight.

The pendulum has swung. We are reaping what Bush has sown. While there are some tides that will likely never again turn, the legalization of same sex marriage and medicinal and even recreational use of marijuana, the relentless onslaught of old white men on reproductive rights marches on.

For a more eloquent take, please read Why The Hobby Lobby Decision Actually Hurts People Of Faith


Supreme Court Takes a Step to Partially Invalidate Patents on “Ideas”

Filed under: Geek News and Stuff — site admin @ 8:10 am

In an interesting, if long, posting over on VOX reviews the recent Supreme Court ruling regarding software patents. Take a trip over to read The supreme court doesn’t understand software and that’s a problem. Should there be a patent on 1+1=2? That’s the most basic form of this question.

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