Intel's Ronler Acres Plant


Silicon Forest

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Fiat 124 Returns

2016 Fiat 124
The 124 Spider has returned! The original 124 was one of the coolest sports cars available, but that was 50 years (!?!) ago. It's been resurrected. This time it's using a Mazda Miata chassis and it's being built in Japan, but the engine is Italian. This car was introduced a year ago. Market forces have been conspiring to keep me, and every other right-thinking person, from hearing about it.

Police Violence

I get tired of hearing about police shootings, whether it's the police being accused of shooting someone or vice versa. The news reports all seem to be designed to produce outrage in the reader. I'm tired of hearing about it because all of the reports seem to be slanted one way or the other, no one seems to be interested in determining the facts, and even when they are, it's so wrapped up in a snarl of legal wrangling that it's virtually impossible to tell what actually happened, so don't tell me about it. If you are talking about a police shooting, I will immediately suspect of you pushing your agenda and I don't have time for that.

There are roughly:
So cops, on average stop someone once a week. How many outrage-fueling violent interactions with the police happen every year? Is there one a week? One every day? Say there's one every day, call it 400 a year, that means roughly one of every 100,000 stops becomes fodder for the media. I suspect that is well below the average for a random explosion of anger.
    The world is a frustrating place. A large part of that frustration is caused by being hemmed in by rules and laws, rules and laws created by people who are skilled in the use of words. Not everyone is skilled in the use of words, and for those people, the world can be infuriating. It's a miracle we don't have a new mass murder on the news every five minutes.

Friday, July 22, 2016


Smart Water Bottle
Which is more ridiculous, buying water in disposable bottles, or buying a reusable bottle that you have to keep track of and care for? And when did it become necessary to carry a bottle of water around with you? Back in the good old days we used to drink beer. Nobody drank water. What has happened to us? This country is going to hell in a handbasket, I tell you. And get off of my lawn.
    There are drinking fountains in airports, but they are at the end of the mile long concourse, next to the restrooms. And you can get a drink on the airplane, if you are awake when they are passing out drinks. And you can usually get a cup of water at a fast food joint when you buy your hamburger, but it's one of those really flimsy cups that you have to hold oh-so-delicately so that it doesn't collapse and spill your precious life-giving fluid all over the table where is soaks your french fries and ruins your life. So you can get by without a water bottle, but sometimes it's just easier to buy one.

How Many DJ's Does It Take to Open A Bottle of Smart Water?

    I first got a bottle of smartwater at the international concourse in Atlanta. I couldn't figure out how to open it, I had to ask. This particular bottle has a pop top that covers the nozzle. The pop top is hinged on one side and there is partial ring that covers the rest of the space between the base cap and the pop top. At one end of the partial ring there is a little tiny tab that you can pop out with your fingernail. Then you can grab the end and pull the rest of the ring off, which releases the pop top, which you can now pop open and get your drink.
    So the pop top is nice, you can open it with one hand, and it stays attached to the bottle so you aren't in danger of losing it. And it's disposable, no cleaning involved, and if you misplace it, no big loss.
    I've been buying them ever since whenever I am traveling by air or on the road. On the road it gives you something to buy when you stop at a truck stop to use the restroom. It's only fair.

   At home we've taken to drinking lemon flavored sparkling water. It's cold, it's wet, it's fizzy, and there's no calories or weird artificial sweeteners. We buy it by the case for $3.60 which includes the nickel bottle deposit. That works out to 30 cents a can, which in this day, when a dollar is like the smallest denomination worth bothering with, is like free.

Nice! Sparkling Water
I picked up a bottle of Nice! sparkling water the other day. No calories, which is good for someone trying to avoid sugar, and no warnings, but it's sweet! What the heck? I examine the bottle when I get home and I find sucralose in the ingredients list. Sucralose is an artificial sweetner, but there's no label warning about artificial sweetners. Bah, double bah and humbug. All kinds of warning labels out there but not the one I wanted.

I Object

Lutherans Armor Up to Defend Women - Story in the WSJ

Lutherans come in two main flavors: the Evangelical Lutheran Church and the Missouri  Synod. The Evangelicals, of which I am one, like to make fun of the Missouri Synod on account of the rigid structure of their services. Or so I'm told. I've never been to a Missouri Synod service.

When we lived in Phoenix we were attending a Bible study group and the pastor was telling was a story about a theological argument that had been at the crux of a conflict between two divisions. It was something about how the sacramental wafer became the body of Jesus Christ when it was put on your tongue. I can't remember the issue exactly, but the important part of the lesson was that some of the participants in this debate, or at least our pastor, realized that it was a "distinction without a difference". The two sides were describing the same event using different words, and because they were using different words, they declared that the event was different, even though no one could tell us what the difference was, other than the two groups were using different words to described it. That pretty much satisfied my desire to learn how many angels could dance on the head of a pin.

Not too long ago, maybe ten years or so, the Lutheran Church and the Anglican church (otherwise known as the Episcopalians) were working on an agreement to join forces. They had recognized that all the essential tenets of their faith were the same, so why shouldn't they all be part one great glorious religion? Well, there was this one minor issue of who appointed the leaders of the church. The Lutherans used some sort of democratic method, whereas the Anglicans had a rigid, top down hierarchy. This minor point was enough to torpedo the whole deal.

Anyway, that's what I know about theology. The WSJ story is about how the Missouri Synod has been arguing about women's role in the military and the latest pronouncement from the DoD that opens combat positions to women puts them on a collision course. Korey Mass makes some good points.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch I'm looking for a US Army recruiting commercial for women in combat roles and I'm finding bupkis. I could have sworn I've been seeing it non-stop on TV recently, but on the internet? Nothing. I would think with so many people watching what everyone else is doing someone would have noticed it had glommed onto it. I mean the NSA couldn't have scrubbed the entire internet, could they? Or maybe they just co-opted the big search engines so nobody could find it. Something is rotten in Denmark.

Trials and Tribulations

I have a GIGABYTE motherboard that is giving me problems. After using it for several months with one screen, I finally added a second display. It was great, for a bit. And then a couple of months ago the video output died.
I sent the board back to GIGABYTE and they replaced a cap. Got the board back, reinstalled it and it worked fine a couple of weeks. Then the video died, again.
    Put in a request for another RMA. When I get the RMA I think I should probably make sure the board is still dead, so I turn it on, and boom! Everything is working just fine. Great, forget about getting it repaired.
    This morning it flaked out again. It start with numerous bars of static distributed semi-regularly over the screen. Cycle the power and now we have no video at all. Let it sit for a few minutes and try again and still no video.
    I'm thinking it's a heat problem. If I let it sit long enough, it cools down and starts working normally. Sometimes. But how long does it have to sit? And if heat is the problem, why does it take so long fail?
    If heat is the problem, then one more fan blowing on the video processor should fix it. Meanwhile I'm wondering if the power supply fan and the CPU fan are working together or in opposition. They are within an inch or so of each other. Maybe I just need some duct work.
    Anybody have a temperature probe that can reach in small places?

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Quote of the Day

Chaitman and Rickards don't seem to have explained why the investment bank keeps getting away with this stuff, but GATA maintains it's because the bank often acts as the agent of the U.S. government in rigging markets -- that JPMorganChase is essentially a U.S. government agency. (Or maybe the U.S. government is a JPMorganChase agency.) - Gold Seek dot com

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Donald the Flamboyant

Candice Bergen
 [Donald Trump spent] two years at the University of Pennsylvania. The actress Candice Bergen, a contemporary, said in a 1992 address at Penn: “He was pretty hard to miss — he wore a two-piece burgundy suit with matching burgundy patent leather boots and, a particularly nice touch, a matching burgundy limousine.” - The Telegraph
Via Bayou Renaissance Man