Local Miscellany

Oct. 20th, 2017 08:49 pm
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[personal profile] melydia
Bill bought a dozen fish for Milo. They were gone in three days, which is actually a really long time for her. Usually they last a couple hours, max.

Weekend before last I decided to do a bit of more local tourism and hit the Freedom Museum and Ben Lomond, both in Manassas. The former was pretty meh but Ben Lomond had been a field hospital during the Civil War and is done up like that, complete with sounds and smells. I convinced Bill to go this past weekend, and he really enjoyed it too. I think he's going to join me at the National Museum of Health and Medicine up in Silver Spring later this month, where I'm going for a sketch outing appropriately titled "Skulls!!" We both enjoy history, but I suspect I am a lot more interested in generic old houses than he is.

We saw the new Blade Runner, which Bill loved and I just thought was okay. I know that people who love it will just think that I am a troglodyte that can't handle anything more cerebral than a Michael Bay film, but I found it boring and pretentious. And what was up with animatronic Jared Leto?

I hadn't been wearing my engagement ring for at least a year because one of the posts had sheared off and I worried about the gemstone falling out. I finally took it to a local jeweler to be fixed (where he commented that he was actually kind of surprised I hadn't cracked the stone), and it is gorgeous. Looks like when Bill first gave it to me back in 2005.

We have a digital subscription to the Washington Post at work so coworker Christy and I are on a mission to figure out just what the hell is going on in Mark Trail. We have thus far been unsuccessful but it is an adventure. (Our definition of "adventure" may be a bit different from most people's, but hey, we get a bit entertainment-starved at work.)

This past Saturday we had a project party at Six's house. I gluebooked all day and got completely caught up on GST spreads, including the lighthouse challenge. So I'm pleased about that, even though I still need to scan and post. Sunday I went to a BCinDC meetup in Alexandria. Kaiser and Jenner joined us because I'm reading Jenner's novel draft and Bill suggested it might be better for us to talk in person rather than online. He's a wise one, that man of mine. So that went well. And we had ice cream for dinner.

Tomorrow I'm going to make an appearance at Centreville Day for the first time in six years. I'm hoping to make another couple entries in my hyperlocal tourism sketchbook. Bill and I also plan to carve pumpkins and otherwise take it easy as there are very few unbusy weekends left this year.

Facebook

Oct. 19th, 2017 09:16 pm
moem: A computer drawing that looks like me. (Default)
[personal profile] moem
I don't think people are bad for using Facebook.
I do think using Facebook is bad for people.

Upgraded my OS

Oct. 19th, 2017 11:16 am
moem: A computer drawing that looks like me. (Default)
[personal profile] moem
I moved from Linux Mint 17.3 32-bits to Linux Mint 18.2 64-bits, both in the Cinnamon version. I retained my Home directory, so pretty much all settings and things like email carried over.
Everything is the pretty much same and yet many tiny things are different. Mostly fonts and font sizes. It's like getting all new clothes all at once, and they're very similar to your old clothes, but not exactly the same and they've not been molded to your body the way your old clothes have. It's slightly odd but mostly nice. And everything works again (including some old Windows software through Wine).

All in all, it took about three hours to make a backup, reinstall, get all my software going and settle in again. Try doing that with Windows.

RNC Trump Agenda Survey

Oct. 11th, 2017 08:29 pm
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[personal profile] resqgeek
 Today's mail included an envelope addressed to me from the Republican National Committee, clearly labeled as including a Trump agenda survey. Even though I knew that the questions would be weighted in ways that would make it difficult for me to provide answers that would truly reflect my views, I figured I needed to fill it out and send it back, if only to irritate them. As I expected, I found myself thoroughly annoyed by the questions, but I did answer the questions (and I'm sure my answers will NOT make them happy, since I pretty much opposed everything they proposed). But one of the questions has left me with a feeling of dread. Basically, the question wanted to know if I would support the president issuing an executive order suspending all federal employee unions in order to better implement the president's proposed changes to the bureaucracy. To which my verbal response was "Hell to the NO!" (on paper it was just "No", since the survey was multiple choice: Yes, No, or No Opinion).

The very fact that they are asking Republican supporters if they would support such a measure is more than a little scary. It suggests that the idea is being seriously considered. While I don't always agree with the federal employee unions, I do appreciate that they provide a protective barrier that helps to ensure that the federal workforce is protected from undue political pressure. While the politicians are allowed (within the statutory limits) to set agency policy, they are not allowed to make the career positions subject to political tests or pressure. Without union representation, it will be significantly more difficult to fight such such political pressure.

If, indeed, the administration attempts such a move, the unions would challenge the legality of the order. But court review takes time, and in the meantime, the chilling impact upon the career federal workforce would probably be significant. And in any event, the very notion that they might consider this attack on the federal employees illustrates just how little they care for the safeguards that are built into the system. And that is probably the thought that scares me the most...


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