As you enter the conference room you se Lethal pacing back and forth on the dais tablet in hand, several lap tops open on a table with Impish hovering nearby but carefully avoiding getting in Lethal’s somewhat erratic unpredictable path. Lethal seems to be cussing someone named “Bill” out rather creatively by signing together impolite invectives from not less than 7 languages (3 of them dead) and judging by the bemused expression on Impish’s face (to say nothing of his hurried attempt to take notes) quite creatively.
As you get close enough to listen in you heard Lethal winding up, “That is the most insane thing I have ever heard in my life Bill! Why in the hell would you create a product, develop it and push it until it command an estimated 80% of an ever expanding market then just walk away from it an d refuse to support it? That is insane and one hell of a way to draw disapproval and ire down upon your company and their entire product line! If you’ll do it for one product whose to say your company won’t suddenly do it for another? Personally I’d rather run with the #2 product in a market and know its going to be supported until it’s no longer a viable product for the function than a #1 product that’s just going to stop dead.
OH KISS MY LARGE BLOODY IRISH WHITE ARSE BILL! Let’s not forget where you got your seed money to start Microflacid shall we? Up yours! You’ll have to excuse me I’ve an axe to sharpen to do a hatchet job on someone’s products and corporate reputation!”
Lethal whips his Bluetooth ear piece out of his earth and proceeds to do his best imitation of River Dancing on it until its its an unrecognizable electronic pancake. Impish carefully places a claw on Lethal’s shoulder in a friendly attempt to calm is obviously up Irish temper. Lethal stops mid mutter looks at the claw on his shoulder, then shoots Impish a glare that makes the dragon momentarily blanch baby blue and hurriedly remove it asking “ Judging by your side of the situation is exactly what you thought and they know about it but don’t care?”
“Aye. It seems they’re wising up ta the way o’ us customers. I thought something was up the way they’ve been pushing Windows 10 ta say nothing o’ that new Edge Browser. They’re cutting off the argument for supporting things they consider ‘legacy software’ but seeing that Windows 10 doesn’t support it. Apparently it’s a bloody miracle that Win10 support Live Mail at a fully functioning level. I don’t understand the intricacies fully but apparently it has something to do with the loss of Internet Explorer and the inclusion of Edge instead. I gather that under the conditions we were setting up by using Live Writer to display the videos Live Write was borrowing something to do with showing/playing videos from Internet Explorer. Since IE was tied part and parcel into previous versions of windows they were safe doing that since there were no worries about it being present. Now when Live writer tries to do that it gets that bloody process stop.”
“And Redmond knows about it, doesn’t care and isn’t fixing it on purpose?!” queries and incredulous Impish.
Tapping his nose for emphasis Lethal retorts, “Spot on mate. On the bright side, if you can even call it that with a straight face, your ancient lap top apparently isn’t quite the basket case it first appeared to be since we’ve learned that the problem isn’t on our side but Microflacid’s. That should give you a wee bit o breathing room when it comes to getting a new one.
Now, if yer of a mind to be helpful ,why not fly off and strangle a few bloody programmers in Redmond and leave their gutted bodies prominently on display ta show them the displeasure o the masses? Or go start scouring the web for a reasonable, preferably free alternative replacement. We can nae afford to allow this curve ball to bollox up the works, we’ve stall a blog to publish twice a week. Now get yer arse off me stage I’ve a bloody issue ta present already!”
Impish take his not so subtle cue and exits stage left pushing the rolling table with the lap top after an approving nod from Lethal as he gestured at it. Diaman, wise as she is beautiful walks up to the edge of the dais with a fresh pot of coffee to refill Lethal’s cup and to give her the opportunity for a kind word in his ear.. and was that a bit of tongue too?
Lethal whispers a few words in her ear that cause her to blush like she’s gotten a sudden sunburn, pulls back, winks at her then stands before turning his back momentarily on you and ‘sweetening’ his coffee from his ever present flask before climbing to the podium and addressing you.
Good morning folks.
You’ll notice a change in the blogs style starting today. Before I get into specifics regarding the change let me just say that it (hopefully) is not a permanent one, was not a choice we were given to make, not our faults and beyond our control.
In the last 2 weeks both Impish and I were basically forced by Microsoft (a.k.a Microflacid) to switch over to the new Windows 10 operating system. Switching to the latest Windows OS is generally something I avoid doing and advise my clients not to do until the advent of the first service pack. This is a pretty common place practice, because by then the bugs and kinks have either been largely updated out of existence, or have well documented easily searchable for corrections/workarounds. What this has meant for Microsoft is that any serious migration the the new OS usually doesn’t take place until nearly a full year after the OS’s initial roll out to the public. Those using it that first year are generally the media the computer experts and those unfortunates that receive it on a new computer. As a result of this Microsoft changed how they rolled it out, blocked further updates to your old OS once you downloaded the reserve your free Win 10 update and would at a time of their choose pretty much force you to install the OS.
While there were no problems with installation of the OS for either of us that’s basically where the good news stops. There are a lot of programs that ran fine on Windows 7, 8 & 8.1 that do not run at all on Windows 10. Windows doesn’t tell you what they were, just removes them from your desktop, start up list and program list, but doesn’t uninstall them.
That however is a different issue entirely, Impish stumbled across our current dilemma while attempting to get last Saturday’s issue finished. He was attempting to plug a few videos into the issue as his final step and discovered the attempt crashed the compiler/editor program we use to put the blog issues together, something called a WYSIWYG editor (short for What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get), namely Liver Writer, one of the Windows Live Essentials they pushed so hard a few years back after they messed with Hotmail and killed off Outlook Express when they rolled out Windows 7. The last major update was in 2012. Microsoft no longer cares about Live Writer (Personally, I suspect too many bloggers have used it to author blogs critical of Microsoft). On December 9th 2015 Microsoft announced the forking of Microsoft’s Windows Live Writer as an open source project called Open Live Writer.
What this means basically is that for a while we will not be able to plug videos directly into the blog as we have been doing in the past for you. We will only be able to place than as links you will have to click and follow. We are currently in the process (now that I/we finally fully understand it problem) of looking for an alternative freeware replacement program which will retain the ease of use and functionality of Live Writer while allowing us to keep the style and format of the blog as much as possible as it has been in the past.
This process could take 4 to 6 weeks as week locate, download and test various programs and compare notes. It’s critical that we both agree on using the same program as this allows for ease collaboration and backstopping each other when one of us has to step in for the other. We can pass partially completed issues back and forth and know that the other will be able to access them no sweat.
We ask your patience and indulgence while we research our options so that we may return to bringing the blog to you in it’s previous format.
Thank You for your kind attention and now, on with the issue. I decided that seeing as this is my first post of the New Year it was only fitting and proper that the issue be a commentary on expectations for 2016, a review of sorts of 2015 and about the handing over of the world from one year to another. I think you’ll find it entertaining.
If you’re still conscious after that come repeat until the urge to come bother me goes away. Diamen this doesn’t apply to you. When you’re ready come bother me and we’ll see if you’re up to your end of that risqué notion I whispered in your ear before.
The do’s and don’ts to treating that New Year’s hangover
I know it’s been almost a week, but I’ve got to be honest, some of you are still looking a little rough after the four day party. Especially you Jersey folk.
A toddler tries bacon for the first time and perfectly expresses the feeling
Bacon is one of the most delicious foods on the planet, and this little guy is about to discover that for himself for the first time. Maybe you don’t know how to express how much you love bacon, but this young toddler sure does! You have to see his reaction.
14 Behind-the-Scenes Secrets of TSA Agents
Last year, more than 848 million people boarded airplanes departing or arriving within the United States. Barring any special security clearance, virtually all of them were filtered through the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), a federally-operated branch charged with screening passengers to ensure they’re complying with the rules of safe air travel.
Some travelers believe the TSA’s policies are burdensome and ineffectual; others acknowledge that individual employees are doing their best to conform to a frequently confusing, ever-changing set of procedures. We asked some former TSA officers about their experiences, and here’s what they had to say about life in blue gloves.
1. CATS ARE THE REAL TERRORISTS.
According to Jason Harrington, who spent six years at O’Hare Airport as a Transportation Security Officer (TSO), rogue felines have created more havoc and confusion than any suspected criminal. “Cats are a nightmare,” he says. “They don’t want to come out of their carriers, they scratch and claw, and they don’t come when you call them.” A cat that’s made a break for it and who hasn’t been patted down to check for weapons is technically a security breach, which a TSA supervisor could use as justifiable cause to shut down an entire terminal.
Dogs, however, are no problem. “A pat down on a dog amounts to going over and petting them,” Harrington says. “That’s actually pleasant.”
2. THEY HAVE CODE WORDS FOR ATTRACTIVE (AND ANNOYING) PASSENGERS.
Because TSOs are usually in close proximity to passengers, some checkpoints develop a vocabulary of code words that allows them to speak freely without offending anyone. “Code talk for attractive females was the most common,” Harrington says. An employee might say “hotel papa” to alert others to an appealing traveler heading their way—the “h” is for “hot.” Others might assign a code number, like 39, and call it out. Harrington was also informed by a supervisor that he could signal for a prolonged screening for an annoying passenger if Harrington told him that the traveler was “very nice.”
3. FANCY HAIRDOS ARE A SECURITY RISK.
Any passenger coming through with an elaborate hairdo—either carefully braided hair or the kind of up-do found on women headed for a wedding—means additional inspection will be required, because piled-up hair can conceivably conceal a weapon.
“Just about anything can set off an anomaly in the head area, from braids to a scrunchie to a barrette to a bad hair day,” Harrington says. “And those body scanners are especially fussy when it comes to the head, giving false positives there more than any other area.”
4. THEY LIKE YOU BETTER WHEN YOU’RE EXHAUSTED.
“Tina”—a former TSO in the northeast who prefers not to use her real name—says that travelers taking evening flights are typically more cooperative than morning passengers. “People are actually much nastier when they’re flying out in the morning,” she says. “The really late-night travelers are the best ones to be around.” (Also on Tina’s naughty list: business travelers. “They’re generally meaner.”)
5. THEY SOMETIMES LIE ABOUT WHERE THEY WORK.
Because public criticism of the TSA is so pervasive, Harrington has found that many employees stretch the truth about where they work when asked. “If I had to admit it, I’d say I was working for the Department of Homeland Security,” he says. “When I made mention of that on Facebook, I got a ton of officers who said they did the same thing.”
6. CHEESE CAN LOOK JUST LIKE A BOMB.
That giant wheel of cheese you’re bringing back from the holidays? It’s going to cause a lot of agitation among employees monitoring the x-ray machine. “A block of cheese is indistinguishable from C4,” Harrington says. “There is no difference on the screen. Meats, too. All organic products look orange on the display and similar to explosives.”
7. YOUR GENDER CAN CONFUSE THEM.
When a passenger enters a full-body scanner, the device operator hits a button to tell the unit whether it’s a he or she. It makes a difference, since a female passenger’s anatomy would raise a red flag when the machine expects to see male-only parts, and vice versa. If a person’s gender isn’t easily ascertained on sight and a TSO guesses, a pair of breasts could initiate a delay. “The machines detect things under clothes, and if it doesn’t match what’s been pressed, it means a pat down,” Harrington says.
8. THEY DON’T DO THE SAME THING ALL DAY.
TSOs typically get assigned to different stations (ticket taker, x-ray operator, shouting-at-you-to-take-your-shoes-off officer) at the security checkpoint, and never for very long: 30 minutes is typically the limit before a new officer is brought in. According to Tina, the revolving schedule is to avoid employee error. “After 30 minutes, you may begin to miss things,” she says.
9. OPTING OUT GETS THEM ANNOYED.
Harrington’s security checkpoint had a code word for passengers who “opted out,” or refused to submit to the full-body scanners—they were “tulips,” and they proved to be an annoyance.
“It slows down the whole operation and a lot of guys would hate it,” he says. “Now that it’s millimeter [radio] waves and people still opt out, they get annoyed, thinking the passenger doesn’t even know what they’re opting out of.”
10. THEY’RE WRITING ON YOUR TICKET FOR TWO REASONS.
Policies can vary by airport, but generally, security officers sitting up front and checking tickets are looking for irregularities in your identification: If something causes them to be suspicious, they’ll write something on your ticket that would prompt a more thorough inspection. “They’ll also write their badge number and initials,” Tina says, “so the airline knows they’ve been through security when they board.”
11. “CREDIBLE THREATS” STRESS THEM OUT.
According to Tina, turnover rates for TSOs can be high, and that’s due in large part to the perpetual stress of preparing for a hazardous situation. “In 10 months’ time, we went through active shooter training three times,” she says. “Another time, we were told there was a credible threat against the airport and not to wear our uniforms to or from work.”
12. THEY HATE WHEN YOU ASK THEM TO CHANGE GLOVES.
“The most common complaint [from TSOs] is when passengers ask them to change their gloves before a pat down,” Harrington says,” because we change them all the time. We might have changed them just before getting to someone and passengers will still insist they use new ones in front of their face.”
13. IT’S REALLY HARD TO GET FIRED.
TSOs undergo regular training and performance reviews where they’re expected to simulate a screening in a private room for supervisors. After two years, the probationary period is over, and employees are generally set. “They’d call it being a ‘made’ man or woman,” Harrington says, referring to the mafia term for acceptance. “It’s really hard to get fired at that point. The only way to lose your job would be to commit a crime.”
14. THEY DON’T GET AIRPORT PERKS.
As federal employees, TSOs don’t enjoy any perks from airlines: Accepting a gift could be cause for termination, according to Tina. “But there’s a loophole,” she says. “If you’re friends with a pilot or have a personal relationship with an airline employee, you can accept it.”
And if that hasn’t bent you enough regarding the guardians of our skyways…..
TSA could reject certain drivers’ licenses beginning in 2016
Due to a standards issue with the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security, a simple state driver’s license might not be enough to get travelers through airport security.
A New York Times report this week warns that the DHS and the TSA could begin enforcing a decade-old law that calls for states to change their IDs to conform to certain federal standards.
Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arizona, Arkansas, and Oregon among others are states with IDs that will not be in compliance with federal standards once an extension runs out October 2016. A second form of government ID will be needed after this date runs out if a change is not made to the IDs.
According to the NYT some states have even passed laws which bar states from letting their DMVs make the changes to IDs to be compliant.
The REAL ID Act was passed by Congress in 2005 and it was part of the 9/11 Commission’s recommendation that the feds “set standards for the issuance of sources of identification, such as driver’s licenses.”
The feds would like state IDs to be more counterfeit and tamper-proof. Failure to do so could make them easier to be compromised by those with terrorism in mind.
Privacy experts and advocates worry that having more data stored on the cards could lead to it being more shareable, something that they don’t want.
Making it harder for the residents of states who do not comply with the federal ID standards to participate in commercial air travel is seen by some as a way for the feds to hit states where it hurts, forcing compliance.
Some privacy experts think that the ID standards are a blow to personal privacy, while others say that the law is a way for the government to bully states into changes that they do not approve of.
The worry is that this is the first step to a national ID card which for some is concerning. The DHS has said on its own website that this is not the case, saying that they are not implementing a national ID system.
FINALLY! Someone else who understands my philosophy in life for dealing with others!
Feds will pay for disabled veterans now residing in assisted-living facilities
The federal government will pay for disabled veterans now residing in assisted-living facilities, under a bill passed by Congress in December.
But the measure doesn’t cover veterans who may move to such places in the future.
Disabled veterans living at retirement homes, were told in 2013 by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs that coverage of their housing was a mistake and would end. The coverage began in 2010.
U.S. Rep. Rosa L. DeLauro obtained extensions for the Connecticut veterans who sought her help and she proposed the language in the bill approved that ensured their coverage would continue. Residential care facilities affected by the legislation serve veterans who can’t live independently, but don’t need the skilled nursing care of nursing homes. The facilities generally provide services such as, housing, food, housekeeping and supervision of medicines.
The bill approved states that “ending equitable relief for veterans who were deemed eligible for benefits in error would place an unfair burden on veterans and their families.” It also notes that the “VA is working to implement new systems and protocols to eliminate instances of administrative error.”
“After serving our nation, no veteran should ever have to worry about not receiving care, especially in retirement when additional health issues may arise,” DeLauro said.
“Forcing these veterans to lose their benefits because of an error that was not their fault would have been wrong, and in some cases, may not have been in the best interest of their mental or physical well-being,” she said.
DeLauro has introduced the Veterans Residential Care Choice Act that would allow the VA to pay for eligible veterans who move to assisted-living facilities. She said she would continue to push for its passage. The measure is co-sponsored by Connecticut’s four other House members: Reps. Joseph Courtney, Elizabeth Esty, James Himes, and John Larson.
Let me be clear as to my position on this, as well a pointedly brief.
The number of homeless veterans in America was estimated at 49,933 in January 2014, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness.
Fifty Thousand of our men and women who have fought and served this country are homeless. Our liberal government cannot or is not willing to provide these men and women with the same basic things our Towel Headed Muslim in the Closet President wants to hand just over to Ten Thousand Syrian refugees, the vast majority of whom are males and potential terrorist threats. Let’s not forget all the illegal aliens already greedily taking our tax dollars while our Vets go homeless and aid less.
THIS IS BLOODY WELL UNACCEPTABLE!
NO US ARMED SERVICES VETERAN SHOULD EVER BE HOMELESS , HAVE TO FIGHT THE VA FOR THEIR RIGHTFULLY DUE BENEFITS OR WORRY ABOUT THEIR CARE WHEN UNABLE TO CARE FOR THEMSELVES!! NOT FREAKING EVER!
They consider this 2% of the 2.5 million deployed to date to be ‘acceptable post war causalities’. WELL ITS NOT ACCEPTABLE TO ME, TO THEM, TO THEIR FAMILIES AND SHOULD BE ACCEPTABLE TO YOU EITHER! Some of that 2.5 million troops are National Guard who have been deployed up to five times! You wanna bet the odds of rolling craps with your sanity increases significantly with each deployment? I don’t have to bet I KNOW it bloody well does! That means some of those 50 Thousand homeless vets our there risked their necks more than once for our country before coming back so damaged that they cannot function in normal society. And how does our society and government repay this? BY kicking them out and ignoring them!
SCREW THE SYRIANS! They are already proving themselves demanding uncooperative opportunistic pains in the arse in Europe. DON’T BRING THEM HERE! For Christ sake these are the same bloody arseholes we see on the news protesting against the US, burning our flag and supporting ISIS and AL Qaida. THEY DUG THEIR GRAVES, LET THEM SHELTER IN THEM!
Charity begins at home! Yes some of these homeless people have mental health issues and or substance abuse problems (generally brought on by their mental health issues by and large). You know what? It’s no different than Cops or Firefighters having cardiac stress issues after being on the job. IN FACT IT’s EXACTLY THE SAME THING! Their conditions are a direct result of the horrendous job we sent them to do. That blank check they wrote got cashed for their health (physical &/or mental) and they are trying to cope with it the best way they can because our government ABANDONED THEM!
You know what? That’s it we’re done here, I’ve gotten myself so worked up over this I cannot continue this in a professional tone. If I try I’m likely to (likely hell I’m bloody well going to) wax profane to an extent never before seen here in the blog. I don’t want that and more importantly you couldn’t handle it.
Good Job my Green Man,, especially considering all the confusion you had to put up with from the Microwinier I will resist his expansion for as long as possible. I applaude your work and sentiment on behalf of our VETS, they deserve it. I think the Politicians should be made to change places with the VETS so they can see the damage they the pols pose to them the VETS.
I hope you and your family and the Impish gang have a wonderful new year
Love ya all
Great issue, and I especially liked you parting shot. I wholeheartedly agree with you on that one!! Charity DOES begin at home. I believe we should care for our own before we try to help others. Don’t get me wrong, I do believe in helping others whenever feasibly possible. But that should mean making sure we have the ability, without putting ourselves in hoc, and starting at home. Our Vets should always come before any outsiders. If the government can afford to spend millions of dollars for foreign refugees, where’s the money for our Veterans who offered themselves up for our Country?
Anyway, good issue and Happy New Years! May this year give you everything you need and some of the things you want!
Howard, Leah and of course, Lethal,
Our Vets have long been not cared for by not only our government but by our populace as well. They are so used to doing whatever is necessary to survive, both in war and back home, that veterans have easily hidden away their homelessness, their PTSD, and their complaints. They suffer in silence. It is up to us, to be the “squeaky wheel that gets the grease” and shout their situation from the rooftops.
Lethal, my dear brother, you have done and continue to be a huge proponent for our Vets. Thank you. Thank you for your heart and your ire. It is because of men like you that this problem may be fixed some day.
Take care of our own before we try to take care of others. We shouldn’t welcome a single alien, a single refugee until everyone of those 50,000 homeless vets are taking care of.
Amen to your comments about our Vets and assisted living.
They let illegals in, pay them with all kinds of welfare, and won’t take care of our Vets?
They send money to who in the hell knows how many countries, and won’t support our Vets?
They decide the wars, and often make them, then send our troops, but won’t support the Vets?
Nice job Lethal…..I enjoyed it….