The Random Comic Strip

The Random Comic Strip

Words to live by...

"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."

[Spanish Proverb]

Ius luxuriae publice datum est

(The right to looseness has been officially given)

"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."

Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Life Goes On

I have no idea why, it just does. I am having great difficulty typing this. What is wrong with me, I have no freaking idea but, whatever it is, it is devastating. I made 5 typos just typing that sentence. Maybe the MRI will reveal something... I hope so anyway... but I won't find out until a week from Tuesday.
Today is Memorial Day.
Thank a vet... better yet, thank the family of a vet who didn't come back.
Meanwhile, life sucks.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Random (and probably stupid) Thoughts

I don't understand as much as I used to. Partly because of what has been happening to me the last few years and maybe that's due to the drugs I took as a young man but whatever the case I sit and watch the world and this country tumble into hard times.

Just today I saw a report of Venezeuela fast deteriorating into chaos. This is what socialism leads to. As Margaret Thatcher supposedly once said: "The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money [to spend]." You cannot tax yourself into prosperity. But some keep trying. Eventually, interest rates must start climbing and that will start the ugly spiral of inflation.

Prices will go up and that will put pressure on wages which will result in higher prices... putting pressure on wages and so on.

My only hope is that it will not affect me before I die but I am no longer hopeful that will be the case. I have many regrets in my life but I mostly feel sorry for those who must go through the difficulties ahead. All I can do is say I'm sorry for what my generation has done to screw up this country and this world.

I do not worry about Climate Change because I think we will destroy the world's economy first. Sorry to be so negative.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016


... is a set of beliefs and practices that aims at improving the genetic quality of the human population.[4] It is a social philosophy advocating the improvement of human genetic traits through the promotion of higher rates of sexual reproduction for people with desired traits (positive eugenics), or reduced rates of sexual reproduction and sterilization of people with less-desired or undesired traits (negative eugenics), or both.[6] Alternatively, gene selection rather than "people selection" has recently been made possible through advances in gene editing. The exact definition of eugenics has been a matter of debate since the term was coined. The definition of it as a "social philosophy"—that is, a philosophy with implications for social order—is not universally accepted, and was taken from Frederick Osborn's 1937 journal article "Development of a Eugenic Philosophy". [taken from Wikipedia, that font of all knowledge]

You know who practices this? Farmers and animal breeders; racehorses, dogs, and just about everyone. Secretly, we all believe in the concept. How else do we explain the successful careers of the children of actors, politicians, and athletes?

Sure, name recognition is a major factor... but it's not that much of a factor to explain those successes. And the failures must mean something. Often we blame the failures on some flaw in the genetic makeup (the mother, the extended family) that slipped in. Maybe we wonder if the parent (the mother) messed around. It is also the basis for aristocracies... enough said?

On another front, I am appalled at government. Especially in its failures. Take, for example, the recent problems with the TSA and the lengthy lines at airports. Consider the DMV.

Only government bureaucracies fail to deliver and then demand more money and more power. To fix those problems... they say.

Before you say "privatization is the answer," I know it also happens in large corporations. I've seen it myself. 

I don't have answers, just questions.

Monday, May 23, 2016

One Wonders

I have a lot of thoughts about politics these days. But I shall not bore you with them... it's enough that Faye is sick of politics right now.

I was thinking about the little things that irk us every day. Why, you ask? Because we are in that period of the year, here in Paradise, when we get thunderstorms each day around 4-5 PM. Personally, I like thunderstorms.

When I was 7 years old and at camp in Massachusetts, we had a big storm roll through and the wind and rain was terrible. I had to help hold the tent flaps together (we were housed in groups of 10 in tents that were on wood platforms) as the storm was whipping things around. At one point, the rain was getting in under the sides and the floor was pretty wet. Anyway, there I was... trying to hold the main flaps together when I was almost knocked off my feet when lightning struck nearby. I learned later that the pine tree about twenty feet away was struck and that a counselor was within 10 feet of it when it happened. He survived (as did I) but was injured (I wasn't injured at all but my feet tingled for some time).

One might think I would be nervous around after that experience but I am not. In fact, I enjoy the buildup to a storm... the smell of ozone in the air, the distant rumbling, the excitement that builds.

Weird, huh?


Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Waddya Know?

I ask you readers that (or something near to it) from time to time but I get few answers... this means you agree with what I wrote or disagree so vehemently that you're afraid to leave a comment.

I obviously don't have much today or I would expound ad nauseum. Tomorrow I get an MRI at some local imaging center and I'll find out if I actually have a brain. I am not having a good time with the medication one of my doctors has put me on. It's an anti-viral medication and it gives me headaches (one of the possible side-effects).

Wish me luck on having a brain!


Friday, May 13, 2016

The Bloom Is Off The Rose

So to speak... Remember when I wrote about some new toys I got? Well, it turns out that that iRULU tablet had no support. I went looking for a manual for it after buying a 64G microSD chip and I couldn't find the slot for it. When I couldn't find that manual, I tried going to support to get the link but that failed and all I got was a stonewall.

Here's a part of the exchange with their support:
I received the tablet but only found a "quick start" guide. I'd like a manual so I can install a MicroSD chip.

Hi,there is a TF card slot on the tablet, you could install a Micro SD card in that slot.Please see the slot in the attached picture.

Here's the problem: I cannot locate that slot. It is possibly behind a covering along that side (the one where you plug in the power adapter). If so, how do I remove that cover? There appears to be a symbol that looks like an SD chip but all my efforts have been for naught.

Hi,could you please tell us if you purchased WalknBook 1 Notebook Tablet? If not, please notice us the s/n number on the back of the tablet firstly?Then, we will help you to check.

I gave them the S/N and studied the picture they attached and then gave up. I chatted with NewEgg (who were very professional about this... as always) and got a return authorization and shipped it back. I should get a credit against my Discover card.

I do not recommend purcasing anything from iRULU!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

I Wish...

Dr. Oz would shut off his spam! No matter what I do, I cannot get that spammer to turn off the spigot.

Every few days, I get some stupid offer for weight loss or some other garbage that likely does not work and I attribute the spam to either the NY Times or Fields Mototors in Lakeland, FL since these are the only two entities I gave that particular email address to.


Monday, May 9, 2016

I Know, I Know...

I promised no more politics. However, I think the events of the last week make the subject important enough to break that promise.

I don't know if you consider yourself a Democrat or a Republican, if you consider yourself a conservative or liberal That is not important to me. What is important is whether you consider yourself an American (those who are residing outside the US can ignore this) and whether you think the US is in trouble.

How you think the US is in trouble matters also. Those on the left think the problems come from the right and those on the right think the troubles come from the left. I personally think the trouble is not a matter of left or right, I think the system no longer works because those who we've put in charge have figured out the system and taken advantage of it to enhance, expand, and use to seek power.

The Founding Fathers put together a system that avoided the corrupting influences of their time. Over the last 200 years, those influences have changed and we are possibly in more trouble than when we sought independence.

I don't much like Trump but I definitely don't like the direction in which this country is headed. I worry about this nation every time we have elections... what seems so clear to me is, apparently, not so clear to my fellow citizens.

Or, maybe, I am just getting old and cranky.


Sunday, May 8, 2016

Mother's Day Post

My mother is slipping away. She's 89 and she hasn't been herself for many years. She was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in her sixties and was put on a wonder drug, of sorts, called Aricept. It held the disease at bay to some extent for decades. Her short term memory went first, of course. But Mom, a clever woman, saw this as a benefit. Every day was a new world, a new life. She always had an optimist's view of life. Now I don't know what she sees or hears or knows. This disease took away the woman who raised me. After my father passed away, I took her into my home. We tried to care for as best we could but the time came when we could no longer see to her needs. She has been in the care of some nice people out at an assisted living facility for several years now.

I go to see her when I can... and when I think I can handle it. It's hard on me. I remember her as a vibrant, cheerful, witty woman who was always there when I needed her. She could always cheer me up when I was down or life seemed bleak. Now she can't. Now I have to do that on my own. And the worst is after I have been to visit her. I look for some sign of recognition in her eyes and never see it. I visit just before lunch because she seems the most animated at that time. I try to think of things she used to say to me to cheer me up and repeat them to her in the hopes they'll somehow break through that fog in her brain. She seems loved by the ladies who tend to her needs. They all speak of her with caring and joy. Some are as sad as I am to see her as she is now.

My mother had a way of getting a point across with humor. She would admonish me to be careful by warning me that "If you break your leg, don't come running to me." Or, "If you drown, I'll never speak to you again." As silly as these were, they stuck in my mind. Nothing seemed serious with her while you still knew how concerned she was. Her humor has failed her now. She doesn't smile much and, when she does, there's no way to know why.

It doesn't seem fair that this woman should finish out her life oblivious to most of the things around her. She read, she painted, she wrote stories, she even invented childrens' games. Oh, none were ever published or developed but that didn't matter. Her paintings were always flawed in some technical way; shadows fell the wrong way, perspective just a little off. They were nothing you'd expect to find in an art show but her family loved them. Her stories were simple and naive. Her games too easy. But you could see her slight off kilter view of the world in them.

Because I didn't get along with my siblings, I spent many of my years far from my parents. I rarely wrote or even called. It was never my way. I took after my father in that regard. In the last couple of decades, I tried to re-connect with my parents. I think I did re-establish some relationship to my father, just a little, in the few years before he passed away. My mother acted as if I was never far away. Now I don't know if she knows I exist, that she had a son, what her universe is like. I think that is what hurts the most... to not be a part of her life anymore.

Mom passed away in July of 2008, I was by her side that evening. Give yours a hug for me if you can.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Accents And Me

It's a funny thing about accents and our biases. I wrote once about the British accent and how we Americans seem to be suckers for it so it's used in a lot of ads on radio and TV.

The southern US accent makes people think the speaker is ignorant (unless its a woman's then she's adorable) while a New York City accent makes us wary.

Southerners are as smart as anyone else but that's not the stereotype, is it?

Frenchmen are smooth and Frenchwomen are coquettish. New Englanders are subtlety wise but Texans all have a drawl... except they don't. So-called Native Americans (they aren't, they just immigrated here first...about 15,000 years before Europeans) don't use contractions (but the ones I've talked to do), a trait shared with robots and space aliens.

I am sure you can think of more but will you?

Monday, May 2, 2016

Weird Food For Thought

Believe in extra-terrestrial life? Well, you are not alone... and someone has even develope a formula that may help predict it. Fascinating stuff.

I believe that extra-terrestrial civilizations exist but just not the "better than us" type.