Welcome to the Realm™ - Version 5.0...

This should tell you all you need to know about Windoze.

And that’s all I’ve got to say about that.


Denizens, as you may (or may not) know, I’ve pretty much eschewed Halloween for several years now.  Yeah, giving kiddies candy ‘n treats ‘n stuff is all cool ‘n all (when they bother even showing up) – but I’ve been fairly down on the goblins & spooks and general darkness  October Thirty-Oneth has turned into in recent years.

That said…Great Honkin’ Cthulhu, check out this costume:

It’s been a heck of a day for bizarre and captivating Halloween costumes. But the first prize definitely goes to California photographer Royce Hutain who designed a LED Halloween costume for his daughter that created a startling effect in which the toddler appears to be an animated stick figure.

“She is 22 months old and loves wearing the suit,” Hutain writes on his YouTube page. “I’ll be uploading a video of her in different locations running around and doing her usual funny stuff.”

Is that effin’ cool, or what?


Fox News’ Juan Williams said earlier today that it’s Republicans’ fault that the Bambicare websites utterly failed like they did.

Yes, he really said that.

Yes, he really said that.

He also said that two-thirds of Americans want Republicans to ease up on criticizing Bambi & the Demoscum.

Why the hell  did Roger Ailes ever think it was a good idea to bring this asshat aboard?


After many years, we’ve finally found the fatal error in Firefox.

Mack Swaringen @mswaringen

Not sure why, but http://healthcare.gov only works with Firefox for me. On Chrome, IE, & Safari, it’s stuck on the waiting page. #obamacare
3:11 PM – 7 Oct 2013

I anticipate a patch no later than Firefox 26.0 Beta 3.  Which, come to think of it, should be just right around the corner…


The Linux Experiment™ is just about over. 

Apparently, there are never enough client slots available for the maybe  four-to-five apps I want to run at any one time.

Windows, as much as I hate it, never did this.

Stand by…

UPDATE:  Just as a point of clarification, I’ve got a quad AMD A8-5600K 3-point-something CPU with 16 gigs of RAM – and, even though I devote 50% to a Windows virtual machine, I should have enough to run Firefox, plus open an explorer window, command prompt, and the text editor on which I’m writing this, with at least a little bit left over.

And Linux is telling me I don’t have the capacity?!?!?!

Fuck that.


[SCENE:  Deep space.  His Rudeness, Lord Darth Venomous is on his way back from a (ahem) personal errand…]

VENOMOUS:  I don’t think I like the tone of your “voice”, Narrator.

[And just what were you doing out of pocket for so long, (sarc) my liege????? (/sarc) (As if we didn’t…gakkkkk…akkkkk)]

VENOMOUS:  Comprehension & cognizant thinking aren’t your strong suits, are they, dickweed?  (looks offstage, as the Narrator drops to the floor with a very  hollow sound)  Awright, Understudy, your turn.

[…from a personal errand, and is traveling in his personal courier, the Scorpion-class Excelsior.

A blinking console light catches the Admiral’s attention.  He opens a channel.]

VENOMOUSExcelsior, Venomous.

KORRIOTH (over speaker):  Korriorh, Admiral.  Stellar cartography update for you, sir.

VENOMOUS:  Very good, Kor, shoot it through.

[He touches a few more switches and opens a separate channel to receive the download.  After five minutes, the download completes and the software channel closes.

At that very moment, everything goes dark as Excelsior  loses power & drops out of warp.

Lord Venomous sits there, non-plussed.]

VENOMOUS:  No, Narrator, just wondering what to do when I get back.

[Get back, m'lord?]

VENOMOUS:  Whether to Force-choke the p’tahk, or use my lightsaber to cut out one of his hearts.

Ever had an Ubuntu kernel update hose your system, Denizens?

That’s three days I’ll never get back.



I’m getting awfully damned good at re-doing my Linux box. (sigh)


Some guy name of Crager posted this on Facebook Friday afternoon.

So one of our fire stations starts having trouble with the dispatch system (receiving other stations’ calls, etc). In the process of troubleshooting, the station’s own dispatch computer crashes. Hard. The backup unit doesn’t work all that well, either (read: it doesn’t work at all).

So I get a known-good dispatch computer to the station, get it successfully re-configured, re-joined to the network, all that silliness – and no sooner do I get it online than the entire dispatch system citywide…goes toes-up.

Anyone wanna start a pool on how soon I go bald from tearing my hair out? %-P

Well, I hear tell this guy’s gone almost completely gray in the span of two months, so… 


[SCENE:  Still in the F’book NexusLord Darth Venomous is still on a rampage – only now, instead of bodies being dropped via Force-choke, only heads & various limbs are falling, the result of being severed by a whirling dervish of a purple lightsaber.

The blazing blade has come to rest mere inches from the last surviving soul in the vicinity – a Klingon who, ironically, bears a striking resemblence to former shipyardmaster Commander K’tinghe.

A fact that is not lost on His Rudeness.]

VENOMOUS (pointing blade at K’tinghe):  I should’ve known you were involved in this, you vile p’tahk!  How many limbs do you want to lose before I take your head?!?!?!

K’TINGHE (terrified):  M’lord…please…please, m’lord, I—


K’TINGHE (terrified):  (ulp!) Uh, I—

VENOMOUS:  Nexus!!!  Transport me, this Klingon bastard, and the best ship’s computer system you have back to Pegasus!!!  DO IT NOW!!!!!

[A bright light appears and expands to engulf both His Rudeness and K’Tinghe.  As it fills the screen, we cut to…

SCENE:  The bridge of Pegasus  Lieutenant Commander Ozymandias McCool is briefing General Korrioth on repairs to the ship.]

OZY McCOOL:  Not the best news, General. Probably another week or so to bring the main core online. Has anyone notified the Admiral yet?

[At that precise moment, the bridge doors part, and in walks Venomous, with K'Tinghe in tow.]

VENOMOUS:  Ozy, I believe you’ll find the answer to all our difficulties in the main cargo bay.

[Ozy & Korrioth gape wide-eyed at the Klingon, who had previously been thought to have suffered Venomous' purple blade.  Korrioth, as usual, regains his composure first.]

KORRIOTH (nodding):  Very well, Admiral.  Come along, Ozy.  [They proceed out.]

VENOMOUS (grabbing K’Tinghe by his familial sash):  Now, you effin’ coward, we’re gonna go help them – and then  you get to beg for your life again like you did last time…!!! [He drags the frightened Klingon off the bridge towards Engineering.]

Okay, guys, the Big Box™ is back up and running – a 3.6 non-name-brand system board running Ubuntu 10.04.4 64-bit (and the requisite Win7 virtual machine for employing Outlook) with 16 gigs of RAM (and a brand new 2TB drive) out of Mrs. Venomous’ old Acer case.  (The old Big Box™ and its eight gigs have been redeployed as the work machine.)

We’ll see how long this lasts.  It had better (casts a menacing look towards K’Tinghe)…


Denizens, the good news is that both the machines are now back up & stable.

KORRIOTH:  For now.

VENOMOUS:  Oh, thanks, Django Downer.

MERLIN:  Well, y’know, it’s been, what, about three-plus years since the Great Hard Drive Upgrade Extravaganza™?  Remember what you’re always saying about electronic components?

VENOMOUS:  Yeah, yeah, yeah – they can fail at any time, for any reason…

ALL (in unison):  …or for no reason.

And even as I type this, the fan on the work box is very audibly reminding me that it’s in desperate need of replacement.

May be a bit before I get caught up (read:  finally post the long-over PFW recap(s)) – but I found a blurb from this column (dealing with pet peeves) this morning and had to repost.

Below the fold.  Go click it – it’s that damn good.

1. The Over-Sensitivity of Everyone

Allow me to explain. This year was filled with celebrities making comments and then apologizing for them when someone was offended. Not a week goes by now where a mainstream or even pseudo celeb doesn’t make controversial comments. Inevitably there will be someone who didn’t like it and when that happens, the public bands together like never before and demands that the person issue a formal apology.

When did our society become so thin-skinned? Can nobody say anything anymore without us reacting like petulant, whiny children? We have become so over-sensitive that we demand apologies at a moment’s notice and then accept them at face value.

Most of the celebs who apologize are merely doing so to avoid damaging their reputation. But we believe them regardless even though the apologize aren’t genuine in the least. I’m not saying that we should dismiss every controversial comment and I’m not saying that celebs should never apologize, but I do think this pattern happens at an alarming rate these days and it’s more than a little ridiculous.

Every misunderstood exchange now makes headlines. Take…mmm everything Nicki Minaj says for example. Recently Steven Tyler made some comments about the quality of her judging on American Idol and it was actually misconstrued as racist. Tyler of course said he was sorry even though he didn’t do anything wrong.

James Gunn, who is directing Guardians of the Galaxy, made some controversial blog posts in 2011. It offended women and gays, among others. He of course spoke out and apologized for his comments. Here’s the thing, they were about fictional superhero characters. He said himself it was meant to be satirical and funny, but that didn’t stop every organization under the sun from coming forward and yelling about how offensive his BLOG POSTS were. Should he have written what he did? No, it was in bad taste. But did stupid comments about fictional people really warrant such anger and hatred in the media? Certain groups were even calling for him to be removed as director of the aforementioned film.

News stories like this go down all the time now. Where did this trend start? Who knows? It could have been any number of situations in the past. Can we not take a joke anymore? Can we not brush a comment off our shoulder? Apparently not. We need to piss and moan about everything.

The fact is people sometimes say dumb things and make mistakes. That is the way life works. But we also take things to heart too often now. We have become so thin-skinned and delicate that it’s perplexing why we don’t just burst apart at the slightest touch.

Damn straight.  Amen & amen.

Props to Chad Webb.  This needed to be said.

And said again, as oft as it takes to drive it through the fecal matter passing for grey matter in some folks’ putrified noggins.


[SCENE:  Deep space.  Pegasus  is burning.

Cut to interior view, where crew members are hurrying into what passes for escape pods.  Cut to the ship’s cramped excuse-for-a-cargo bay, where His Rudeness’ personal courier, Excelsior…just blew up, narrowly missing Lord Venomous and General Korrioth.]

VENOMOUS:  So help me Cthulhu, Narrator, your union boss best get his ass to running…!

[What, you think this is my  fault?  I didn’t write this crappy screenplay!]

VENOMOUS:  Like I’m supposed to take your word for it?  After what your predecessor pulled?

[You have my word, m’liege – I’m not responsible for this  one, promise.]

VENOMOUS:  Fine, then – into an escape pod with you.

KORRIOTH:  I don’t suppose you’ve got a separating bridge module up your sleeve, do you, m’lord?

VENOMOUS (grinning maniacally):  As luck would have it…mheh.  C’mon.

Denizens, this time both machines blew up at very nearly the same time.  Word to the wise:  if you have an older Core 2 or AMD64, don’t  upgrade to Ubuntu 12.04 64-bit.  It no likee.

The PFW recap will be delayed another day or so while I clean things up around here.


As we fade out from black, we see our intrepid command team huddled around the General’s Command Console intently looking at the screen. Faces are cringed, brows are furled, and a more than a few of the staff gathered are chewing on already nubby fingernails. Obviously it’s been a longgggggggg night.

{whispered conversations can be heard in the periphery}

SG RAYEGUN: I hope to hell that your job isn’t on the line AGAIN, techboy! I hate when I have to find someone with a clue. There are so few of them left these days!!

SSGT BANNER: Sir, would I be wearing this green bodysuit and be doped up on steroids….oh wait, wrong room. Seeya!


LT KIM: General, I assure you there will not be a need for such measures. We have complete confidence in our work and this new system. Mr. Gates and Mr. Ballmer have assured us, repeatedly I might add, that there will not be a repeat performance.

SG RAYEGUN: For your sake, I hope so. Very well lieutenant, flip the switch.

LT KIM: Yessir.

CAPT ROGERS: Defense teams, take your positions, lock and load, safety off, set to maximum power. This is not a drill, I repeat THIS IS NOT A DRILL!

SG RAYEGUN: {looks untoward at the officer} Just a wee bit of overkill there captain???

CAPT ROGERS: Sir, you do remember the last time?

{the assembled mass mumbles and tries to support the captain while backing up as the general gets up from his chair}

SG RAYEGUN: One more snarky comment like that CAPTAIN and you’ll be a no stripe AIRMAN in less than 3 seconds. Do I make myself clear?

CAPT ROGERS:{visibly cringing} Umm yes sir…..

SG RAYEGUN: Get on with it already lieutenant. I’ve got work to do.

{camera pans left to see LT KIM flipping a big yellow switch while his other hand hovers precariously close to the emergency shutdown button}

LT KIM: {visibly relieved as he slowly pulls his hand back from the emergency shutdown} All systems normal, efficiency at 105%. Command ability at your discretion sir.

SG RAYEGUN: {the general punches in his access code and proceeds to get back to work} Thank you lieutenant. Nice job folks. You all get to keep your positions and rank. For now. Dismissed™


{as the camera returns to center stage, flies in over the generals head, and zooms in to the Command Console screen}

Yes folks, the Southern Command has officially commenced its conversion to Windows 8 Pro. My big box is fully functional, minus a few minor utility apps. Things are running better than the clean install of Windows 7 Ultimate but getting used to the new UI will be fun. Luckily I’ve had Win8 running in a virtual session and have had time to play around with the UI in the sandbox. One bonus I did discover, and Darth you’ll find this most interesting. It seems that Microsoft finally got the clue. In IE10 a long-standing oversight has been corrected. As Darth has previously been wantonly rambling on about how this fine blog had its appearance “quirks” under IE (namely it was left-shifted on the page, not centered like with Firefox, Chrome, etc), well I can tell you now that it has been fixed. See below for the proof:

Darth, you’re welcome.

If you can, go check out Win8. If you don’t like the Win8 UI, you can always switch to the desktop view and just run things from there. If you go that route, you’ll notice that there is not a START button anymore. If that just freaks you out to no end, I already have a remedy for that illness. Check out Stardock Software‘s Start8 as it will fix the problem.



[SCENE:  Realm™ command.  Delta Shift is positively bored, and technicians Holland and Craft are so bored, they’re playing two-dimensional chess.]

HOLLAND:  So d’ya think we’ll ever get out of Rayegun’s doghouse?

CRAFT:  Not unless His Rudeness or Cap’n Korrioth give the word.  And given that they’re in the Umagakhali Nebula at the moment, we’re prob’ly stuck here a while…

[Pan past Craft’s shoulder to a monitor showing nothing but deep space…until…

Cut to a direct view of that section of space.  Suddenly, we hear & see a brilliant flash of bright light and an incredibly loud explosion (we’ll pretend, for the moment, that sound doesn’t travel in a vacuum – it worked well enough in ST VI, didn’t it?), and waves of purple, green & white energy bands travel at speed towards Command.

Holland & Craft, of course, took no notice.  Yet.]

HOLLAND:  Well, if you ever get into the Romulan ale like that again, at least save some for me, hm? If I’m going to be on a shit list like this, I’d prefer to have ear—

[It's about this time that both Holland & Craft notice the chess piece start to bounce around, accompanied by...]

CRAFT:  An earthquake?  On a space station?!

HOLLAND:  What in the…

[And in glancing around, Holland finally  notices what’s coming.]

HOLLAND:  Holy shit…!!!!!!!

CRAFT:  Shields!!!  SHIELDS, DAMMIT!!!!!

[Too late.

As Craft dives for the control board, the station is violently rocked by the first wave.  A panel that was  threatening to nail Craft in the solar plexus now rises up and catches him flush on the chin, knocking him unconscious.  Holland, being bounced off the walls like a ping-pong ball, is of no help.

Cut to various shots of Realm™ crewmembers being similarly tossed about bulkheads & decks.

The second wave fortunately knocks Holland towards the controls for the shields.  Using Craft to break his fall (ouch), Holland managed to hit the switch…not that he was aiming for it.

With something resembling shields now online, Holland starts punching buttons in an attempt to stabilize the wildly tumbling station.  With some effort – not to mention continuing protests from the inertial dampening systems – he manages to get Command down to a slow rotation, not unlike the restaurant at the top of Reunion Tower.  That accomplished, the third wave resembles but a mild tremor, easily absorbed.

Stopping to catch his breath – and not really noticing that he’s still on top of Craft – Holland notices the comm board flashing with an outside hail.  He makes his way over and slaps a channel open.]

HOLLAND:  Realm™ Fleet headquarters, Holland.

LT. TURNER:  Mr. Holland, this is the Southern Command, Lt. Turner speaking.  Our instruments have registered a massive explosion in the vicinity of the Umagakhali Nebula.  Do you concur?

[Holland looks around a bridge where nothing not nailed down is not where it was – and even some things that were  have been dislodged.]

HOLLAND:  Uh, you might say that, yes, sir.  What do your sensors show down there?

LT. TURNER:  Our instruments registered a 300-million megaton explosion approximately four minutes ago.

[Holland blanches.  And even over subspace, the lieutenant catches it.]

LT. TURNER:  Mr. Holland?  What’s the problem up there???

HOLLAND:  Lieutenant…is the General down there with you?

[A second voice crackles through the speakers.]

RAYEGUN:  This is Rayegun, Ensign.  Talk fast, son.

HOLLAND:  (ulp) Uh, General…the new engines on Pegasus are rated at 300-million megatons.

RAYEGUN:  Oh, shit.  (more muted, as if over his shoulder)  All hands, red alert!  Turner, call rescue stations, now!  Holland, son, find Mrs. Venomous and…

Down again, guys.  Complete rebuild of the network in progress.

Vicar, General, you guys have it.


[SCENE:  Deep space.  We see the newly-minted ISS Pegasus  floating out amongst the stars.  The senior staff having transferred over, Poseidon  and Apparition  have warped back towards Realm™ territory.

Cut to Pegasus’  bridge, where the staff is gathered around Admiral Darth Venomous in the command chair.]

VENOMOUS:  So once they found out who I was, they actually offered to rebuild Pegasus  for us…

KORRIOTH:  “Us”, m’liege?

VENOMOUS:  Well…they actually knew me from my association with you.  You & Kha have quite the fan club over there, y’know.

K’HADIBAK’H:  Indeed.  One wonders why we’re not the stars of this show, rather than you.

VENOMOUS:  Because it’s my blog, bumpy.

K’HADIBAK’H:  (grunt)

VENOMOUS:  And with that, let’s get underway, shall we?  Stations, please, and set course for the Badlands.

[All take their seats, and K’hadibak’h programs his course.  He turns toward the admiral after a few moments.]

K’HADIBAK’H:  Course laid in, Admiral.

VENOMOUS:  Very well, Mr. K’hadibak’h.  Warp four whenever you’re ready.

[Kha touches a couple of controls, then pushes the drive lever forward to engage the engines.  The ship's great engine rev up...

...then rev back down & quit as the lights go out on the bridge.]

VENOMOUS:  Soon as I find that damned ribbon again, some engineer is gonna lose his head.

No sooner do I pronouce my machine as fit, then it dies on me.

Then again, near as I can tell, it appears to have been of my own doing this time.  Looks like I changed an access permission I wasn’t supposed to.

Oh, well.  That’s how I learned Windoze; it’s how I’ll learn Linux.

I have already learned one thing, though: Whereas it takes about three to six hours to rebuild a Windoze box, it takes all friggin’ weekend to rebuild a Linux distro. (And fully half of that  was spent coaxing the video driver to give me something slightly better than 640×480.)



So I’m getting ready for work, when I get a call from a longtime friend of mine.

Asks me a techie-type question, which – being a techie-type – I dutifully try to answer.

Right in the middle of the answer, he interrupts me – as he has a nasty habit of doing when I’m trying to explain something computer-related to him – and goes off into a tangent about how all of us geek-types are (paraphrasing here) bastards who can be trusted to do everything but what you wanted done to your computer in the first place, and will format your hard drive and put another operating system on the thing whether you wanted it or not, never mind it was an OS you didn’t want in the first place…

…etc, etc, ad infinitum, ad nauseam.

And I’m sitting there thinking “So, old friend, why the fuck did you call me in the first fucking place?”

(UPDATE:  Just so you know, Denizens, this guy, bless his heart – and I mean that in the Bob-from-HMS sense – is the same one who once blamed me for crashing his Windows NT system, years ago.  Right after I found said system’s C: drive at 95% of capacity.  And no – that’s not a typo, either.)

Beware the user who has a little knowledge.  They think they know a helluva lot more than they actually do.

Does that sound arrogant?


It damn well should.

And I say this knowing full-effing-well that there are techs (probably some even living as close as within my complex) who have forgotten twice as much as I’ll ever know.  And I respect that, and them, with all the inherent bowing & scraping that that implies.

But I’ve been honing this craft now for TWENTY FUCKING YEARS, DAMMIT!!!!! – and by that, I mean a minimum  of eight to ten hours a day (many days a lot more than that, more all-nighters, fried hard drives, system boards and video cards than I feel like counting), 24/7/365 – and I’m getting just a little  bit sick & fucking tired of being questioned by fuckfaces who think they can code the next great Micro$oft operating system just from having watched me defragment their hard drive for five @($!!^(!!!! minutes.

Next time you feel the need to question something I’m doing to your computer – such as, say, ripping out the latest malware you’ve downloaded from GayBathHousePorn.com – try & remember that you called me, jack, and there’s a 99 44/100% chance that I might, just might  know more than you.

Otherwise, computer physician, heal thine own fucking self.  I got better things to do.

Like watch my toenail fungus grow. 


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This blog is best viewed with your eyes. 
It helps, though, if you have Microsoft Internet Explorer  set about 1024x768 1280x1024 with your Favorites window activated on the left deactivated.  (At least until I can get a better handle on how WordPress works.)

(KORRIOTH:  Oh, great.  More wormholes.)

Mozilla Firefox doesn't do too badly, either; in fact, it's His Rudeness' browser of choice.
You can  use Nutscrape,  if you so desire - but why in blazes would you want to use a browser from a company that had to hide behind Janet El Reño's skirt to be successful?

And don't even  get me started on Opera or Chrome.  I'm not about  to trust any browser that won't let me change its color scheme.
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