Saturday, March 20, 2010

fuh-reaking PETA text messages

Dunno how I got onto the PETA text message spam machine, but they seemed to remove me after I texted back "STOP". We'll see if it sticks.

Yeah, there's a rescue dog sleeping in the other room and I like sprouts and tofu, but I'm still an omnivore. I'm pretty sure I'd eat a vegetarian if we crashed in the Andes.

Now, if I could just keep Ron Paul's Campaign for Liberty to quit calling me 3x/week. I actually wrote them a Real, Live, snailmail letter about two weeks ago asking that they quit. The calls have slowed but not stopped.

Friday, March 19, 2010

scary: targeted Nigerian scam

Everyone knows the Nigerian scam. Easy to spot.

This one is a little scary; it mentioned my first and last name and an old address I used to actually live at. I suspect the info leaked out of Yahoo somehow, as that is the account info I had on file there and was delivered to the Yahoo email address. Nice.

Other than that it's the normal "we'll put money in your account" scam.

[myLastName redacted] [myFirstName redacted]
[myLastName redacted], [myFirstName redacted]

[myStreetAddress and myApartmentNumber redacted]

[myZip, nearbyCity (incorrect), myState redacted] USA

Dear sir/madame

My name is Wang Huang , i am the vice president sales and business development of Huang Steels Group. We are looking for Account officers in Europe and North America who can help us collect our funds from our customers . Your function is to accept our payments from our customers who because of language bareers or japanese laws could not remitt or trranferring our monneey .

We loose millions fof dollars every year from customers and coporate clients who site such reasons as why they can not pay . Japanese laws is very rigid and sometimes we neeed you to help pay other partners to avoid japanese tax man , if you know what i mean.

For your services , we will pay 10% of any payment you receiving on our behalf .

Upon your interest, we will like you to contact our recruitment lawyer in the UK , who will verify your details further . You will have to sign an MOU with him before we can proceed and he will verify your ID and your addresses.

His contact details is as follows:

Perry Nott(esq)
Principal partner
Fulbright & Shepherd UK
Tel: +(44)203-239-[redacted]
Mobile: +(44)-703940[redacted].

The job refrence number is 349877. Contact him if you are interested. Because of our anti-spam policy, if you are not interested in this job offer, reply to this email in capital letter STOP .


Wang Huang

VP sales and business development

Company address:
1-8, 2-chome, Bingo-machi, Chuo-ku
Osaka 541-0-051 , Japan
Tel: +81-6-6537-[redacted]
Mail: wang.huang@huangsteelsgroup.[redacted]

deconstructing the piles

Spent the morning tearing down the compost piles I started in late January and restacking them. The advantages of wire bins are clear over my older techniques; there were no terminally wet areas, so they stacks smelled like clean dirt.

By the time I got to the third one, I realized it was faster to "pick" off the outsides with a hoe and let it fall into a bucket placed against the pile. That way I could remix/layer that drier material in as desired later while working less and not have to rescoop it. For the first two piles I broke it all down flat and shoveled/scooped it back into the wire bins. Breaking down into buckets took about 1/2 the time and effort.

The leaf-only piles were making slow progress, but the leaf+scraps pile (the four-footer) had significant areas that looked nicely broken down. Since my piles are new, I saved the stuff that looked almost finished in another bucket and layered it near the top of my restacked piles. Hopefully that will disperse the microcritters to the other piles.

Exposed worms and doodlebugs were rationed among the piles. I wonder when those wonderful little Black Soldier Flies (with pics, see 2nd reply) will return? Apparently people pay to get them into their compost but I got some for free last year. They are not a nuisance, do not bite, don't like houses, and have the most ravenous wormy babies. Yay!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

realtor pics

I've always wondered why realtors are so in love with pics of themselves.

This Onion article nails the vibe.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Dear SUV-driving douchebag

Dear Douchebag:

I think we had a moment there; did you feel the same?

rolling up to the red light on a motorcycle.
You: swerving over into my lane at the last possible moment without looking or blinking, talking on the cellphone, your Escalade with Texas Tech plates ending up at a 45deg angle across two lanes.

Good thing I changed the brake pads on the bike this weekend; I chirped the front tire getting stopped before you drove over me. Good thing that 20 yrs on two wheels has trained me to automatically assume all drivers are idiots; I cover my controls, practice emergency stops and wear ATGATT. I understand my bike may be hard to see: it's neon yellow, tall as a horse, had the high beam on, was in a lane position where I could see your face in your own side mirror, etc.

Oh, and...

You: making a U-turn as soon as the light turned green again. You didn't have right-of-way, causing cars in the oncoming lane to brake so they didn't t-bone your inconsiderate, non-driving, self-absorbed, clueless ass. I hope the sounds of their howling, braking tires didn't disturb your phone call too much. You didn't seem to notice.

Someday you'll pull that crap with a train or semi and you will lose. I hope the semi driver doesn't spill his coffee as he drives over you.


seedling progress

Tomatoes and lettuce sprouting.

No signs of life from the scrounged yellow, red, and green bell pepper seeds so far.

Saturday, March 13, 2010


Not as exciting as a bobcat (or coyote, or chupacabra) but this little raptor was sitting on my fence yesterday.

For a second I thought someone had put one of those plastic owl things up there to be funny.

Productive morning

  1. cooked breakfast
  2. cleaned kitchen
  3. raked random leaves from off front porch and street; put into compost
  4. replaced brake pads on motorcycle
  5. went to library; dropped off old media and picked up two holds.
  6. planted onions
  7. repaired greenhouse door handle
  8. scooped dog bombs
Felt like I made some progress. Needed that after a tough week in the trenches.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Geek humor: BBT v. BET

Big Bang theory is a horrific car wreck of unfunny. The laughtrack is excruciating. It is Mama's House with dorks. Taht's an actual screenshot over there, btw.

If you want science/geek stuff that's funny, cast your eyes on Better Off Ted instead. It's well-written, well-acted, and funny. There is more humor in any random 10 seconds of BET than entire episodes of BBT.

Gardening, LF-4

At last frost - 4 weeks, I've just planted pole beans in the "vertical" section of my microgarden.

Still no signs of life from my planted lettuce, tomato and pepper seedlings.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Adblock, ars technica

Web ads are not terrible, and Ars Technica wants you to stop blocking them.

Flash ads, noisy ads, blinky ads and popup ads are terrible. I will block them like the plague.

As was pointed out on slashdot:

"...figure out another way to make money. If you business model is based upon annoying the shit out everybody, ripping through cycles, and just peddling bullshit on your website, then just have the guts to fail instead of begging people to play along with your stupid business plan."

I have used AdBlock before but do not always run it. I find that NoScript browsing much more bearable on older machines while retaining perfect control over which scripts to run. Highly recommended.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Bing is not horrible

I've been playing with Bing for the past two months or so; I made it the default search in Firefox for research purposes.

After 60 days in the saddle I will say that Bing is ok for my casual searching, which is about 80% of my search time. I do find myself loading Google several times a week to get better results. Here are the places Bing appears to fall short in that 20% of the time where I switch to google

  • Google filetype: and site: search keywords are genius and irreplaceable.
  • Bing seems more focused on shopping-related results rather than pure research
  • Bing's interface is pretty rather than clean; I prefer clean.

LinkI'm going back to Google full time as it meets all my needs. I wanted to make sure I gave Bing a fair shake.

Oh, you wacky homophobes

From this article on TPM:

It's no good for a family values Republican to get picked up on a DUI. But substantially worse to get picked up for a DUI after leaving a gay nightclub with an unidentified man in a state vehicle.
That's a hypocrisy trifecta, I think.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

eco-friendly lawn = lawsuit

Master Composter Rob and I were talking about the uselessness and wastefulness of lawns the other day. Here's a family that did something about it and got their @sses sued.
Orange officials sue couple who removed their lawn
City codes require that live landscaping cover 40% of the yard. Quan and Angelina Ha say their water use has dropped 80% since they replaced the grass with wood chips and drought-tolerant plants.
Meanwhile, the couple said they had reduced their water usage from 299,221 gallons in 2007 to 58,348 gallons in 2009.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

seedlings for my street

I'm working on an idea here. Dunno how/if it will work.

I'm setting up a couple flats of peat seed starters in the greenhouse that will be ready for xplanting around last frost. The idea is to set up a card table in the driveway and give away seedlings to people that live on my street.

Right now I've got Brandywine tomatoes and lettuce in the 'house.

I can't use anywhere near the number of seeds that come in a package (due to SFG techniques) so this is a way to put them to use for minimal cost. Might meet more of my neighbors, too.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Kinda late for that

Dark out, and you appear on my doorstep.

You: "I noticed your No Solicitors sign and {blah, blah, blah, I'm not listening} auto shop up the road {blah blah blah}."

Me: "Not interested."

You leave.

I find it odd that you started out your hustle with your admission you read my No Solicitors sign. Note to street hustlers: If it's dark outside in Texas and a homeowner answers the door with his strongside hand behind his back, he's not holding Jiffy Pop in the hand you cannot see.