From Pine View Farm

April, 2013 archive

Make TWUUG Your LUG 0

Learn about the wonderful world of free and open source.

Tidewater Unix Users Group

What: Monthly TWUUG Meeting.

Who: Everyone in TideWater/Hampton Roads with interest in any/all flavors of Unix/Linux. There are no dues or signup requirements. All are welcome.

Where: Lake Taylor Transitional Care Hospital in Norfolk Training Room. See directions below. (Wireless and wired internet connection available.) Turn right upon entering, then left at the last corridor and look for the open meeting room.

When: 7:30 PM till whenever (usually 9:30ish) on Thursday, May 2.

Lake Taylor Hospital
1309 Kempsville Road
Norfolk, Va. 23502 (Map)

Pre-Meeting Dinner at 6:00 PM (separate checks)
Uno Chicago Grill
Virginia Beach Blvd. & Military Highway (Janaf Shopping Center). (Map)


Today, I set up my girlfriend’s Android phone to communicate with her Windows 7 computer.

I just plug my phone into the USB cable, swipe the notification panel, and select “Disc Drive.”

What an ordeal!

I had to download drivers and software and wait and wait and wait while Windows did its thing. It took the better part of half an hour.

I had forgotten what a unmitigated kludge Windows is.


Republican Outreach 0

Republican elephant looking at farm worker:  We need immigrants for cheap labor, to undercut unions, and help out our big donors.  See?  We're party of the working man!

Via Bartcop.


Yelp Help 0


The IRA Scam 0

I remember when IRA’s were new. They were touted as a financial boon. It was in the time of high interest rates during the Arab fuel embargo. Million-dollar balances when I and my fellow 20-somethings reached retirement age were projected.

If you put aside umpty-ump dollars today, with company matching, you will have umpty-umpty-umpty-umpty-ump dollars when it’s time to retire.

It hasn’t quite turned out that way, has it?

Kavips explains why. A nugget:

You think? This is Wall $treet we’re talking about……

Read the rest, in which compound interest meets commissions, and commissions win.


Carolina Cropped 1


The Friendly Skies 0

I am so glad that I am no longer a “road warrior,” getting on an airplane twice a month to go to some wonderful place like Bismarck, North Dakota, or Monroe, Louisiana, to spend a week in a classroom.

The people were always nice, wherever I went, but getting there by air was miserable.

But not this miserable.


It wasn’t so bad when I worked for the railroad.

Train travel, unlike air travel, is fun; a business pass meant a sleeper; and I spent many weeks in Chicago, Boston, Los Angeles, and New York.

Two of them are among my favorite cities, along with Philadelphia, the city with the biggest inferiority complex in the world. The third one is on the Hudson. The fourth one is no city at all, but a formless, shapeless, centerless sprawl, the Blob in urban guise.


Witch’s Brew 0

PoliticalProf explains how to gin up a crisis.

Just read it.


Kick(back)ing Drugs 0



John Maynard Keynes:

Capitalism is the astonishing belief that the nastiest motives of the nastiest men somehow or other work for the best results in the best of all possible worlds.


Gardens by the Sea 0

As soon as we left the house, the sun disappeared. Nevertheless, I am going to inflict some of my pictures from yesterday’s outing to the Norfolk Botanical Garden on the inner webs.

bush reflecting in pool

Craig Mitchell Smith sets up one of his glass sculptures for this summer’s exhibit.

Sculptor Craig Michael Smith assembles glass sculpture from rowboat in middle of pond

Read more »


Endless Warriors 0

It’s always the same crowd beating the drums.


Stray Question 0

Is there now or has there ever been a toll-free number where the menu options haven’t recently changed?


All the News that Fits 0

Like me, Chris Satullo has given up on television news.

I find it annoying, as it rachets between fiction and foolishness.

He is fed up:

In one way, and probably in no other, it occurs to me that I’m like the Millenial generation to which my kids belong: I get my main sense of what the news networks are up to by watching Jon Stewart eviscerate them every weeknight on “The Daily Show.”

Stewart and his staff are brilliant media critics, but I assumed they were giving me a satirically skewed view of how inane cable news has become.

Now, after Boston and West, Texas, and other recent horrors, I regret to report that things on cable have become almost as bad as Stewart says they are.

Read the rest.


Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes 0

Seen in a nice restaurant during yesterday’s spring fever.

Restaurant "Baby Changing Station" with the "C" missing.


Facebook Frolics: AOLville Dept. 2

On the way to the Myspace space?

You know that it will happen.


College Daze 0

Ruth Ann Daily is confused.

She seems to think that there was a time when college fraternities and sororities weren’t all about snobbery, drinking pretentiousness, and partying.


Otherness 0

John Cole reports on attending a presentation by Bill Maher:

One of the funniest things Maher said last night was a riff on how a certain element of the GOP just can’t deal with Obama as President-

    “There is something different about him that I just can’t put my finger on! What makes him so different from the previous Presidents that would drive them insane? There’s a word they want to use, but just can’t, so they start screaming things like SOCIALIST. Ask them what a socialist is, and they tell you ‘I dunno, but I think they like fried chicken.’”



H. G. Wells:

Advertising is legalized lying.


Clerical Charlatans 0

This is not only dangerous; it’s also nuts.

If God didn’t believe in medicine, he wouldn’t have given us doctors.


Sleazy Card Tricks, Reprise 0

If you or someone you know is considering “prepaid” shopping cards, beware the strings:

Prepaid cards are being marketed to the unbanked, the underbanked and quite simply those who don’t like dealing with banks. Wal-Mart stores, for example, recently advertised its Walmart MoneyCard in circulars as a way to “Save on your overdraft fees.” That card has a $3 issuance fee and other fees apply, too.

Some prepaid cards have upfront fees that range from $2.99 to $14.95 to activate the card. But many cards won’t charge such fees if you get the card online. In some cases, you may have to load a minimum of $20 or so to activate the card.

Much more at the link.