Go Away. Go Away. Go Away. Go Away. Go Away. Go Away. Go Away. Go Away.

I did a nuke&pave reinstallation of Windows on one of my computers and then let Windows Update have its way with the thing. 230 updates and a DVD worth of downloads later, it was finished.

Internet Explorer was kind enough to let me know it had been updated. The fastest way to make this go away was to click the Remind Me Later button.

This computer uses Internet Explorer for one thing per day and then it is closed. I don’t use Internet Explorer for as long as it took to do the following. The next day, the computer booted and loaded IE8. It asked if I wanted to see how new and fabulous it was. Sure, whatever, let’s click OK and get this nag screen out of my face.

And the next one, where I told it to not take over my computer.
And the next one, where I told it to go away.
And the next one, where I told it to not take over my computer.
And the next one, where I told it to go away.
And the next one, where I told it to not take over my computer.
And the next one, where I told it to go away.
And the next one, where I told it to not take over my computer.
And the next one, where I told it to go away.
And the next one, where I told it to not take over my computer.

It must have been at least a half-dozen dialogs asking whether I wanted to use Internet explorer for everything I don’t use it for, currently. I told it no, go away, and it took longer than the thing I needed to use Internet Explorer for that day.

This stinks, Microsoft. Updating Netscape Firefox at least only got me ONE unwanted web page and they didn’t try to takeover my life.

VFD Communication Policy

If I tell you something to your face and you give a context-appropriate response, you are accountable for what you were told.

If I tell you something and you grunt or do not respond, you did not hear it. We may be escalating this to the above condition if you are a subordinate, a child, or somebody who actually needs to know what was said. Context and circumstances dictate appropriateness of touching you, striking you, putting something in front of your face, or throwing spitballs at you to get your attention.

If I send you an electronic communication and you do not respond somehow, I will not assume you received the communication. If you do respond or show that you have received an electronic communication, you are responsible for having read all of it regardless of whether you actually did.

If you are cursing, the conversation is over when I say it is, including but not limited to the time I stopped listening and started thinking about what I was doing before you interrupted my life – whether or not I continued to keep acting like I was listening.

Cursing back may be acceptable. Start it, deal with it.

If you want me to know something, contact me in a way that gets you a response. I do not and will not be held accountable for not checking my email or smailmail boxes every day. I do not and do not want to know how to check any of my three or four voice mail boxes. Get me to use words related to what you are talking about, directed at you, if you want to be sure I got your message.

Unless I respond, you may assume that I did not get your letter or email, or else I considered it unimportant-enough to neglect to respond.

If I did not look at you and acknowledge you directly, you did not speak. Coincidentally-timed grunts and things you think you heard me say are to be understood as non-responsive to whatever you were talking about.

I have 5 phone numbers that can be used to reach me. If you know one of them, use it and speak to me directly. I have a regular work and church schedule. Show up in person. Otherwise you have less than 100% surety of knowing I hear you.

We do what is important to us, and this includes remembering. If you REALLY want to make sure I got it, make sure I got it twice. Twice is reminding, and may increase the likelihood of correct remembering. Four times is nagging and you start to be ignored past that point.

Nothing. I Got Nothing.

It was a good day. Two minor projects got minor progress after the Zoo went to bed, we all had a great day with some local family members. Now I’m tired and you get bubkis. Re-read the infrared imaging opinion piece from yesterday if you want actual content. You might think differently now that you’ve had a day to think about the idea.

Heart Wrenching, Heart Warming Story

A 5 year-old boy who cannot read is working with his brother, sweeping out train cars. He gets separated from his brother, and then gets on the wrong train and wakes up thousands of miles from home. Is adopted, grows up. Figures out how long he was on the train, then how far he must have traveled, and finds his original home town using Google Earth. His brother died a month after he disappeared, and 25 years later the lost boy walked back into his mother’s life.

Wow. Finally a compelling story from Yahoo! News and it’s so compelling I don’t even care that it’s an obvious plug for a yet-to-be-filmed movie.

We’re Not On The Same Wavelength

~or~ Infrared Inspection of Homes from Helicopters is Not an Invasion of Privacy

We had a discussion about this at work, and it became clear just before I dropped the topic that we were arguing from differing first principles. If you disagree with the following statement, you will also disagree with the rest of this post.

It is good police work and a positive good per se for policemen not on active “hot” calls, to be out on patrol roaming around “looking for trouble.”

Their windows should be down, in case they might hear fights, screaming, or gunshots. They should have their heads on a swivel, in case they might see something bad happening so that they can stop it happening. What a policeman can see, with his unaided senses, from a public place, he has both a duty and a right to observe. He SHOULD be looking AT your windows to see if you are murdering your husband inside your own home.

But some people take offense at the idea that police helicopters with infrared imaging systems can look through your house’s roof from the air and see the one hot room or closet where you have your grow lights, growing your illegal (untaxed) marijuana farm. I respectfully disagree with those people.

A policeman walking down a neighborhood street on a regular beat is good police work. A policeman driving a Ford Police Interceptor down the street on a random patrol is good police work. If the city has enough of a population that they ‘need’ a helicopter, they also need to have FLIR on the plane, so they can find a suspect hiding under a kiddie swimming pool or in a dense thicket of bushes. Assuming the city is busy enough to keep the police helicopter flying, having the infrared camera switched on all the time, scanning your houses below, is good police work.

This is only a matter of degree. You screaming bloody murder emits radiation with a wavelength of a few hundred feet (audible -sound- energy). This energy is radiated from your home, through the walls and windows and roof a little, but through an open door very much. It is readily viewable and recordable from public spaces outside your house once it has been emitted.

You hitting your wife in the face emits radiation with a wavelength of maybe 400 to 800 nanometers, (visible -colors of light- energy). This energy is radiated from your home, through the windows very much but not as easily through the curtains, walls, or ceiling. It is readily viewable and recordable from public spaces outside your house once it has been emitted.

The grow light for your three cannabis sativa plants in the closet emits radiation with a wavelength of about 750 namometers to 1 millimeter (infrared -heat- energy). This energy is radiated from your home, passing fairly easily through walls and ceilings with no insulation, but not as easily through windows, especially windows with low-e glass. It is readily viewable and recordable from public spaces outside your house once it has been emitted.

No, you should not have to worry about perverts with thermal cameras spying on you and your wife making whoopee. No, in an ideal world, police would not ‘need’ helicopters with thermal imaging equipment. But your police have a helicopter with an infrared camera in the bottom of the nose of the aircraft.

If you do not want a foot patrolman hearing you scream, close the doors and windows. If you do not want a car patrol seeing your indoors activities, draw the curtains. If you do not want police to wonder why one room of your house is hotter than all the rest of the house, in a manner typical of a marijuana farm, insulate that room with aluminum foil.

In short: if you don’t want a particular type of energy to be observed outside your house, it is on YOU to take steps to prevent observation. Police not only can but should observe your home from public places, both to check that you are okay and to see if you are breaking the law.

Peace In Our Time

I walked in to the room where my Darling Wife was watching the idiot box. On screen there was a night-time gun battle between deck mounted heavy machine guns on two boats headed toward each other. Tracers flying both directions, men being shot, and then boats colliding, one exploding.

This is the reality of unfortunate people in other places and other times. I thank God when I remember, we are very blessed to have peace here and now.

Imagine driving to the grocery store and the pavement is chewed up in front of your car by a string of warning shots. Imagine responding to a cell-phone robocall and bringing your rifle to a battle in your neighborhood park. Your neighbor from two doors down ends up dead, riding a the swingset on his belly like a little kid but dripping blood out the exploded top of his head. You’re at work and the parking lot blows up. The electricity is cut for hours every day because sappers keep cutting the lines. By jumping on them.

These are some of the possibilities of living in a war zone. Now consider that the worst hassle in your day is that some jerk cut you off and slowed down in front of you on the way to work, and then you had to call IT Buddy when the networked printer told you PC LOAD LETTER.

You people should thank God every day that you don’t hear shots fired in anger. It’s a blessing, and it’s not a guarantee. The USA started in a local war, and there have been several “small” wars here since then. Now, the closest you get to a war is downtown (“gun free”) Chicago on a weekend.

So, thanks Jesus.

FINALLY

I got tired enough of closing a new window in Firefox when I wanted a new tab, I decided to get off my digital duff and do something about it.

This page has a sub-one-minute fix that will get rid of the pesky “Open in New Window” option from your firefox right-click menu. Win.

I showed this to a three guys at work. One was ecstatic. One was interested. One asked if we were really worried about minor stuff like this. Haha.