Sadist

Whoever wrote the Couch to 5K training app and thought twenty minutes of alternating sixty seconds of running and ninety seconds of walking would be a good idea for a couch potato’s first workout is indisputably a fucking sadist. 

The dumbass couch potato who decided to do it at the edge of dark on a well-sloped yard in rainy, forty degree weather may have displayed somewhat masochistic tendencies by doing so, too. Or maybe he’s just an Olympic level idiot. 

 Yes, boys and girls, Grumpy has lost his mind. After hitting a hundred pounds above the weight he was while on active duty in the United States Air Force, he decided to grab the bull by the balls with one hand and shove a cattle prod up his ass with the other. 

Translation: I entered a 5K scheduled for mid-March, and today was the first workout in preparation for it. I knew if I allowed the weather to be an excuse not to do the first workout, I would never do a single one. That isn’t an option. 

I hit morbid obesity almost twenty pounds ago. It is, quite literally, do or die time for me. I choose do. 

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Fitness Trackers

FaucetCompany offers a $10 monthly credit towards the employee’s share of the medical insurance premium if the employee owns and uses a fitness tracker. So, I bought a cheap-ish one. 

Contrary to the hype, they are little more than glorified pedometers.  Granted, I’ve had mine less than twenty-four hours, but the way these devices work is no secret. They sense movement. That’s it. How each one measures and interprets said movement is the only functional difference between them. 

Some, like mine, have reminders that will prompt you if you’ve been inactive for quite some time. It also has a sleep mode that turns off all prompts and notifications, and monitors movement differently to interpret how deeply you’re sleeping. Okay, so I may find it mildly intriguing. 

One side note. A quick beat-off session is interpreted as something between five and six hundred steps. 

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Pain

I’ve been having a significant amount of pain in my feet for several months. I chalked it up to it being the cumulative effect of working long hours on my feet on either cement floors or metal grating plus my ever increasing weight. 

Despite the money I’ve spent for higher quality boots, premium insoles, padded socks, et cetera, the problem has continued to worsen. My symptoms match those that Ex Roomie had years ago when she was diagnosed with plantar fascitis. Most of the pain is in my heels, and the first few steps make me want to scream and cry at the same time. 

Hell, getting shot hurt way less. Eventually, it tapers off to the point where I can walk with only moderate discomfort. Until I stop moving for a few minutes, then it’s lather, rinse, repeat. 

Recently, I started taking the prescription NSAID Voltaren. I finally understand the meaning of the expression take the edge off. In the past, pain meds either took away all the pain, or didn’t touch it at all. This time, the Voltaren definitely turns the pain level way down, to the point that I can walk instead of hobble. But it doesn’t make it all go away. 

This probably isn’t news to anyone but me, but I found it quite the enlightening discovery. Sad, huh? 

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Passwords

I’ve whined often about the password requirements of different sites over the years. Must be at least X characters in length, but cannot exceed Y characters. Must have at least three of A, B, C and D types of characters. All of J, K and L characters are prohibited. Cannot contain more than two repeating characters. Cannot contain your user name, birthdate, or social security number. Cannot contain any dictionary words. Must differ from any previous passwords by at least three characters. Must be changed every three nanoseconds. Cannot be any of the last 6.022×1023 passwords that you’ve used. Okay, maybe I made up the last two.

I still think it is stupid as hell. Especially when some of the most restrictive are sites that don’t really use or require any really sensitive data. But, if we’re going to participate online, we must play by whatever rules are in place.

Did I mention that online scams and identity theft should be capital crimes? If companies would invest the money they are happy to write off as fraud losses into putting bounties on these fuckers, that shit would stop in a hurry. Nigerian Prince Shithead defrauds someone to the tune of a million dollars. Put a million dollars on his head. Even my fat, old ass will hunt him down, mount his head on a pike, and bring the rest of his body in for that kind of coin. Mount a few heads, and dumbasses will find alternative ways to make money. But I digress.

Recently, I signed up for a password manager. I won’t name it, since I’m still getting used to it. I’m not sure whether I love it or hate it yet, and I want to give it some time before I express any sort of opinion.The idea is great. Have a program remember your passwords for you and have it pre-fill them as needed, like browsers try to do for forms, locally stored passwords, etc., but make it work on individual apps and across platforms, not just on one browser on one machine. Use one strong password to protect the lot of them. I have almost a hundred sites saved already, and I know that there are probably twice that many more that I haven’t entered yet for forums or sites that I seldom visit but where I still have an active account.

But…

Anything can be hacked. Password managers would seem to be prime targets for hacking, since breaking a client’s master password or otherwise accessing their vault would give you all their sites and logins. The fucking mother lode. I’m sure that these companies take security seriously, but how many resources can they really afford to throw at ad-supported or trial versions with limited features? And let’s face it, that is what most people will use. Because money.

I’m beginning to think that a local, encrypted file and a paper notebook physically in my possession would be a better choice. Sure, Mr. TooFuckingLazyToGetARealJob can hack me with relative impunity. But what does he do if what he wants isn’t accessible online? Sure, he can easily find me. But does he have the intestinal fortitude to break into my home and take my computer, where he will still have to break the encryption to access my list? What about taking my notebook from my person? That carries the real possibility of physical violence. He will likely move on to an easier mark, and I will have won.

We live in an online world. Most of the time, it’s great living in the future. But nothing is completely safe. It’s all about managing risk. Risk versus convenience, in most cases. Is it worth having to thumb through my notebook before being able to check my bank balance? I think it might be.

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Generator Update

I installed the new voltage regulator for the generator upon arrival over a month ago, and ran it briefly to verify the repair. Since then, it has lived next to the house, undisturbed and protected from the elements by my old lawn mower cover.

According to the manual, it should have gotten an oil change after the first five hours. I missed that. Being in the middle of an extended power outage with a barely functional generator can be distracting. Today, I finally got around to that oil change. The drain plug is only a couple inches forward of the rear wheel, so I had to remove the wheel in order to get a pan in place. Aside from that, it was painless. I refilled it with the recommended 5W30 fully synthetic option that can be used all year.

After the oil change, I hooked it up and ran it for about an hour. I left all circuits active, just to see what would happen. Early in the the run, something bogged it down a fair amount, presumably the hot water heater. Near the end of the hour, the heat pump kicked on and ran for several minutes. I fully expected that to pop the breaker, since it alone uses a good percentage of the rated output, but there was no effect except for the obvious additional load on the engine.

On the down side, the higher the load, the dirtier the power seems to be. The new voltage regulator seems to be working well, since both legs were very close to 120VAC and 60Hz according to my multi-meter. However, the battery backups that I have on my PCs, which insist on a clean input, switched to battery while the water heater and furnace were on. Aside from that, and having to reset the time on the stove because I didn’t switch the breakers quickly enough, the test was successful.

Now to get the rest of my preps and backups in place.

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Politics

At work yesterday and last night, I was subjected to the usual Communist News Network blather that is our only choice in the FaucetCompany break room. I haven’t had much to say this political season, but now that it is over (barring a death or some Electoral College fuckery), I think some comments are in order.

First, full disclosure. The only presidential candidate for which I would have been willing to vote, the Constitution Party’s Darrell Castle, wasn’t on the ballot in my home state. He wasn’t even an approved write-in candidate. Yes, here, hopefuls who don’t qualify as regular candidates must still jump through certain hoops in order to get on a list before any write-in votes cast for them will be counted. Consequently, I did not cast a vote for any presidential candidate in the 2016 general election.

Most of my friends and acquaintences were (or eventually ended up in) the Trump camp. To be completely honest, if forced to choose between the hildebeest and cheeto jesus, I would pick the latter. But I don’t buy his recent conversion to the supposedly conservative side of the table. There’s lots more, but that’s the core of it. 

He promised lots of things while campaigning. Repeal Zer0Care, which would mean that the government would give back something that they had taken control of, and when was the last time that happened? And something about building a wall. Which he can’t do without funding, which would require congressional support. But there is one thing that he promised that is mostly within his ability. Lock Hillary’s ass up. 

The president picks who will be in charge of the (in)justice department, and has lots of influence as to who gets a microscope shoved up their ass and who gets a pass. Guess who is getting a pass from president-elect toupee “to allow her to heal”. Yep. Exactly two weeks after the election, he’s backpedaling at full speed. 

When I shared the article on the book of faces, a friend shared a theory that he’d heard on the subject. Long story short, the left eats their own and if Trump goes after her she becomes a martyr. Except I don’t buy it. 

First of all, the left eats their own? Since when? Occasionally, the repubs will censure a member of their ranks if they get caught fucking up really spectacularly. But the left? Hil could assassinate a thousand  $MINORITIES on live TV, and the media would spin it into something heroic, her supporters wouldn’t blink, and the party would turn a blind eye. 

And about the martyr thing. If holding someone accountable for their actions under established, reasonable law is a bad idea because some would see the criminal as a martyr, then the country is beyond hope. The only choice that remains is, in the words of Ellen Ripley, “…take off and nuke the entire site from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure.”

Time will tell how many of his other promises were blatant lies. I’m betting that the final tally will be most of them

When does the next ship leave for Grainne? 

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Just When I Thought It Was Safe

The bitch returns. 

One of the temp agencies that provides workers to FaucetCompany has rehired B. For the third time.

They better keep that cunt away from me. 

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