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My dad was a lineman. Long, long, ago. There was an area where the locals would get drunk/bored/whatever and shoot at the poles, lines, etc. My dad solved this by bringing a bottle of some alcohol and asking the guy to please not shoot the lines as he has to work overtime and he don't get to see his kids. Then he added that if the locals could at least coordinate their vandalism so that the whole team could go out and do upgrades instead of patch repairs, that would be fine. The stuff in the city would be covered with graffiti, but not damaged, for the most part. The stuff out in the sticks? yea. bad.

He build a rapport with some of the dregs of civilization. I'm talking about "I don't work because I was in the army for 10 years and now I get a pension so fuck you" and "fuck working ever again, I'm on disability." In the area that he was responsible for, vandalism fell some 50%, with, and I am guessing by pure coincidence, most of the problems occuring in November, after the heat of summer had faded, oh and just in time for the overtime checks to clear for Christmas. I'm not sure how he himself did not get shot at. But then again my dad was kinda cool at times.

kleinbl00  ·  34 days ago  ·  link  ·  

The question is, how'd he find the guy?

'round my parts it was "any given redneck" "any given night" "any given reason."

francopoli  ·  34 days ago  ·  link  ·  

My guess is that the guy had the only front porch facing the equipment in question. Some of the SoCal back-country is one guy's house and 10,000 acres of nothing.

kleinbl00  ·  34 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Ahh that makes a lot more sense.

francopoli  ·  95 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: When a DNA Test Reveals Your Daughter Is Not Your Biological Child

Back in the ancient days before DNA testing we had a family friend. On the outside the guy was everything us boys wanted to be. Guy was attractive, married to one of the prettiest moms at the school, had three kids and a job making way over median. Then, one of the girls got sick and had to get blood transfusions. Our guy friend had AB blood, the kid had a blood type that there was ZERO chance he was the father. Guy was never the same after that. Of the three kids, two were not his, both kids had different fathers (she cheated on him at least twice with two different guys). Divorce proceedings went forward and he was forced by the courts to pay child support to all three kids, and due to the, contested, nature of the breakup he was denied the right to keep his biological daughter. She beat the crap out of him once, he reciprocated. There was other breakdowns as the family fell apart; it was ugly. The three girls were treated like pawns on a chessboard.

The day that the court stuff was over and the divorce final, the financial cost of all this hit him; he killed himself. He did it in a messy way, in the house she was going to keep, knowing that the house would be harder to sell and that the family would be forced to move because who wants to live with that sight hanging over their heads. The kids were middle school aged so 12-13 or so by this time; the two oldest kids found him when they got off school and spent the afternoon at my mom's house while the EMS etc did their thing.

France bans DNA and blood type testing Schools are longer teaching blood type matching And I totally get it. I do think that for Welfare, child support, and other financial programs, the kid and parents need DNA testing. Don't want to do DNA testing? Don't apply for government benefits. The whole family court system is a nightmare that grinds families apart and no longer seems to care about the kids who did not ask to be born into a chaotic family, and testing like this is only going to keep fueling that monster.

As DNA and Ancestry.com etc get more and more prevalent, stuff like this will keep popping up.

Odder  ·  95 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    Don't want to do DNA testing? Don't apply for government benefits.

This works well up until the second your dear senator Turtle McFuckFace and Fox News start spreading rumors about DNA testing being the next step in the new world order, or whatever.

francopoli  ·  94 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Turtle McFuckface needs to remember that taking benefits from the government is theft through taxation, and like a good 'conservative' lift himself up by his own bootstraps. Or something.

francopoli  ·  148 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Beto O’Rourke video on NFL player protests goes viral

THe DNC can't find its own ass in the dark. They will let him do his own thing in the hopes the Blue Wave gives him a victory, then the day after the election brag that it was all their doing.

The Texas Democrats are on fire right now. Its almost like the state party said Fuck you, we want to win. and started fielding candidates with a shot at winning and even more talk of more winning

The fight is not over, and a lot can change in 130 days. Beto has a shot as long as he is a decent human being and fights in every city and county. Demographics and culture are still in flux, but it warms my cold dead black heart to see some fight in Texas of all places. Now to work on some of these other red state backwaters.

francopoli  ·  149 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: August 22, 2018

Over the weekend I was part of an astronomy outreach event that had over 1000 people looking through telescopes.

Other than that, the slog continues.

    Hooters is a tacky restaurant with bad food. People who like tacky restaurants with bad food are dying off.

And here is where we all play the world's smallest violin. And also hope they speed up the 'dying off' process.

My favorite wing place in town has some of the best fried chicken I've ever eaten. They also have cornbread that must be bathed in unicorn tears. The place itself is a smallish building that betrays the size of their operation. You walk into the place and the staff is behind bulletproof glass, there are iron bars on the windows, and around town it has the nickname "ghetto wings." Being me, I'd probably not go there after dark. At lunch, however, there are people from cops to beggars, guys in work trucks to guys in suits all in line to get these things. If you don't time the lunch rush just right, the wait for your food can be 35-40 minutes. And I love the place. The rough around the edges of the place and the area of town they are located scares away the people who would be better served at an Applebees or Hooters.

The people in the place are wonderful, lovely, kind, and some of the best people out there. I go to this place roughly once a month when the whole office kicks in and we get 100 wings and a few sides. And they remember me.

francopoli  ·  170 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: August 1,2018

Since you will appreciate this, here is the "stacked" image from above with no processing. Lots of sharpening and denoising later you get the first image. The bar is probably random noise in the CMOS that the sharpening picked up when I toyed with the historgram and did not notice on the screen for whatever reason and need to go back and black out in GIMP when I get a few.

francopoli  ·  193 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: The last propeller plane at a major US airline has been retired.

Man, fuck that plane. Been on exactly two of them. First one the pilot had a 'Nam flashback and nearly slammed us into a mountain making an "out of bounds" landing attempt. The landing was described by the luggage guy as "interesting, wasn't it?" Second one skidded down a gravel run way that may not have been legal but was described as "we do this fucking shit all the time and they ain't gone and fucking stopped us yet." Plane was at stall speed and probably the slowest landing I've ever been a part on.

Probably a nice mid-range plane for rural Banjostan airports. But Alaska Pilots are all off their rockers. Some of the best (and worse) flying experiences you can ever have.

kleinbl00  ·  193 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I've never flown into Alaska. I hear it can be sporty.

francopoli  ·  192 days ago  ·  link  ·  

"Sporty" is a polite way to describe it.

"Do whatever the fuck you want as long as nobody dies" is more apt. If you ever want to see what would happen to commercial aviation with no rules, oversight and regulation, go watch bush pilots operate. I've been on planes held together with tape, overloaded with cargo, with inebriated "walking drunk" pilots.

Good Times.

kleinbl00  ·  191 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Kenmore Air flies the float planes out of Seattle. They hit the islands of Puget Sound and British Columbia.

There's Super-8 footage (that Kenmore Air does a good job of suppressing) from the '70s of that time they decided to see if they could put a float plane down on one of Mount Rainier's glaciers. Every now and then the news gets ahold of it and runs it and then KA basically purges it from the Internet.

    I don't know Kentucky politics. I know the governor and the legislature don't have to be in lock step.

Take all your previous posts about how fucked Rural America is. Throw in your hate of the coal country idiots. Add in a few fanatic religious sects. Then give all those people a coalition and the keys to the state government. The whole platform is fuck poor people and do everything you can to fuck over the two Blue-Voting Cities (The same two cities that are 2/3 the state economy).

Kentucky is everything wrong with what is going on at a national level, only with the crazy cranked up to RONPAUL2008 levels. Only the crazy here wins because everything is shit, everything is terrible and the only option left is to fuck it up for everyone else while you laugh as it all burns down.

kleinbl00  ·  199 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I've been swimming in the matrix for the past eighteen months or so - no, that's not true. I've been swimming in the matrix since November 9, 2016.

When the economy crashed and nobody could quite explain in simple terms what a CDO or tranche was, I set out to understand. I now subscribe to a dozen financial newsletters, three of them paid, and have read maybe 30 books on macroeconomics. I have an opinion on who wrote the best book on the Great Depression.

When the government crashed and nobody could quite explain in simple terms what Rural America wanted, I set out to understand. I'm not quite there yet but I know a few things: the problem is bigger, the problem is more intractable, and the solution is more elusive.

I didn't link to this article because its tone was snarky, apocalyptic and full of bad analogies but I keep coming back to it. Susan McWilliams argues that Rural America is the Hell's Angels - fucked from the get-go and motivated by nihilistic hatred. I think that's an oversimplification, but I think it's one view through the panopticon of modern American poverty.

Fundamentally?

American democracy was not designed for equality. It was designed for the appearance of equality, for the opportunity for equality but at a structural level, advantage goes to the landowners. And big landowners have always had an advantage over small landowners.

The last time we had inequality this bad, you could still lynch black people. You could steal farms from the Japanese by interning them in camps. You could banish Mexicans by the busload for growing hemp. It sucked to be poor and white but not nearly as much as it sucked to be black or hispanic or asian. The liberals, however, have led a 70-year crusade to make it suck less to be black or hispanic or asian. The end result has been poor white people experiencing a net decline in socioeconomic status. Which is not to say things are better for black people - but they are less worse. Meanwhile, things are more worse for poor white people.

And they're not going to get better. The entire weight of politics and economics is against them. From hospital bills to payday loans to crumbling education to rising rents, things are easier now for the rich and harder now for the poor and the rich are richer and the poor are poorer.

And it's better in the cities, but everybody knows it's better in the cities. And you talk about your acre of paradise but you're in Kentucky. I may live (during the summer) in a Mexican ex-pat shithole but I'm 45 minutes by metro to GOOGLE. I could be at Snapchat in an hour. And that's why in my neighborhood a 2br 1ba with bars on the windows is $850k. Why is the homeless rate so high on the west coast? Because that's where the jobs are, duh.

So much of American politics has become angry dead-ender nihilism. The problem is, the only way it's going to get any better is if we can make things better for the poor against their goddamn will like when the Obi-Wan dude gets all "I cast you out!" on the warty white "you have no power here" dude in Lord of the Rings.

And that's not going to happen any time soon.

To get a little Kabbala on it, Strauss and Howe argued that things had to really go to shit between 2004 and 2030 in order for their whole "saeculum" theory of history to play out. Steve Bannon's whole schtick was to accelerate the catastrophe.

I think if you're in a bad place it's going to get extraordinarily worse. And I think if you're rich and Republican you know your margins go up the poorer poor people are. I mean, shit - make abortion illegal and that whole "we've only got two workers per retiree" problem solves itself, right?

This is a FUCKING TERRIBLE idea. Talk to anyone dealing with the Youtube Heroes debacle, or, oh, I dunno, ANY OTHER SITE THAT ALLOWS RANDOMS TO FLAG CONTENT.

Here is what is going to happen. Churches are going to hold parties where "Left-Leaning" libruhl media will be flagged and challenged. Colleges will offer report-a-thons for school credit to frame a specific narrative. Every lobbyist, think tank, whack-job group with an agenda and a following will descend on this idea and fuck it.

Having watched the internet mature, for better or worse, anytime you let the "internet public" report in this manner it turns into a fucking shitshow. The big "influences" and their hangers-on will game the system and make it into an echo chamber.

Terrible fucking idea. Something like this had to be curated with people who will face repercussions for injecting an agenda.

OftenBen  ·  239 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Objective reality, as much as it can be said to exist, is under direct attack.

katakowsj  ·  239 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Oh. I wouldn’t worry. It’s just an Onion article. Elon Musk is a genius at some stuff, so he must be a genius at everything.

Seriously, I agree with you. The idea will fly like a lead balloon.

Or, as my Dad used to say, “That’s as useful as tits on a bull.”

francopoli  ·  257 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Happy Saturday Hubski. Have some chatty coyotes.

Put yourself in the following scenario: You are on top of a hill on a cool, calm, perfectly clear night, with a telescope, a star chart, a red-light flashlight and maybe a snack. The air is still, but comfortable. The views in the telescope are fine, not perfect, but fine, and you go to the list of challenge objects for the evening to focus on some objects in the sky to tick off on a bucket list. It is early morning, and there is no moon in the sky.

The still is shattered by the noise in that video. At this exact moment, your primal instinctive brain screams "YOU ARE A PART OF THE FOOD CHAIN" and starts the heart racing, the fight or flight instincts shut off the rational brain and you start fingering your sidearm. You hear the cries to your left... and a few seconds later to your right. The cries grow in number; there must be dozens of cyotes out there, and the hair on the back of your neck is screaming at you: THEY ARE WATCHING YOU!

For ten minutes, cries from the left, replies from the right, getting closer and closer. You try to count how many different voices you hear, to force that logical frontal cortex to take charge from the lizard/mouse/prey part of your brain. Now you hear a third group. You reach down and unhook the clasps on your holster, find your extra magazine, and hope that your dark adaptation and eyesight are up to the task of spotting the pack so you can look threatening before they sneak up on you. Your brain is going off the fucking rails... you are all alone and that noise is a part of the human programing that says DANGER! RUN! FEAR! Other than the sounds of the baying cyotes, there are no sounds. nothing is moving in the treeline, nothing is moving overhead, the local farm animals are all dead silent. Even the horses that you heard earlier that evening are dead quiet. And the three groups keep calling to one another.

Then, silence. Dead, terrible, silence. The ancient programing is now in full on YOU IS GONNA DIE OUT HERE; the frontal lobe starts scanning, smelling, trying to listen and carefully as possible for any movement, any sign of if you are a target. Fear, real ancient fear, the kind of emotion most of us will never experience in the safety of civilization, is fighting to win out over observation, planning. It feels like a million seconds where the heart is pounding, the legs are ready to bolt, and your shoulders sag from the weight of the quiet. Minutes go by. Hell it may have been a half hour, full on alertness, listening, looking, ready to fight.

Then the silence breaks with more yips and howls. The same animals it sounds like, but they have moved closer together. No longer to the left or right with you in the center, but off closer to the third group. The nights viewing is over, time to pack up the car and head home after calming down. Coyotes are fascinating, lovely animals with a bad rep. But that yipping and howling, man.

user-inactivated  ·  257 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I love the yipping and the howling of them. Where I used to live, I would have a handful of lucky nights throughout the summer where I could on the steps of my apartment and hear them off in the distance. Obviously I was never afraid, cause they were never right near by, and the door to the apartment was literally just a couple of paces away. In fact, after posting this video, I've probably played it at least a dozen times already, because it makes me nostalgic for those nights.

Coyotes get a pretty bad rap. The attacks they have that involve humans are literally just a handful a year (compare that to the seemingly countless number of dog attacks each year). They're a very intelligent and versatile species, so they're pretty much everywhere and even in a lot of cities believe it or not. While they're used to us they're still very much more afraid of us than we are of them. People also think they're big things, like wolfs, but they're actually pretty small. Most are about twenty to forty pounds or so and come about knee high. You still gotta respect them, because they are wild animals capable of defending themselves, but even knowing how small they are in my head I was still surprised when I saw my first one in the wild. Dude was small.

Chances are, the guys were communicating with each other about your presence or something else, but I don't want to speculate because I'm not a biologist. I can definitely see why it'd put the hairs on the back of your neck up on end though. Especially in the dark of night, it was probably pretty damn scary to be in the middle of all that activity. I'm glad you, the barn animals, and your wild neighbors all survived the encounter though. When I heard a fox howl for the first time, I literally thought it was a woman screaming in the woods. It scared the ever loving crap out of me.

You can't blame me. If you heard that, and didn't know what it was, you'd be scared too.

francopoli  ·  275 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: 274th Weekly "Share Some Music You've Been Into Lately" Thread

steve  ·  275 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Love me some Information Society. Thanks for bringing them off the back burner for me.

bfv  ·  275 days ago  ·  link  ·  

francopoli  ·  275 days ago  ·  link  ·  

That showed up in the suggested vids.

francopoli  ·  278 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Global shipping in 'historic' climate deal

Journey of a Thousand Steps and all that. At least we are moving in the right direction.

francopoli  ·  290 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: The United States is Withdrawing from the International Coffee Agreement

SOME LINES SHOULD NOT BE CROSSED, MOTHER FUCKER.

I know some people on the right that if Trump fucks with the coffee, that, and only that, will make them pay attention.

ButterflyEffect  ·  289 days ago  ·  link  ·  

So actually. I'm on the fence now. I've read GAO reports, World Bank reports, and other sources from the past 50 years on the ICA and ICO and it comes across as an OPEC-like organization, with claims that the quotas and other mechanisms in general have caused increased coffee prices, higher than if there were no such agreement, even in the event of droughts (such as 2014 in Brazil).

The problem is I haven't been able to find anything too recent, and certainly little work has been done projecting forward on this agreement.

francopoli  ·  293 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Let's talk about concerts

I've seen Weird Al more than 25 times. Never miss a show. Nor should you. Arguably the best showman out there.

I've seen Anthrax in a venue that held 100 people, 50 showed up. They gave a show worthy of a crowd of 10,000 people, and I've been a fan ever since.

I've been in fights with skinheads at Slayer concerts.

I've been in fights in a mosh pit at a Dorpkick Murphy's show.

I've been in mosh pits at Primus Concerts.

I've seen Nirvana live. And I've seen Metallica right as they were starting to ramp up in popularity, back in 1985. Megadeth I've seen 4-5 times now as well.

Nine Inch Nails had some of the best sound in a venue of all the shows I've attended. Their multimedia presentation is always worth the cost of a ticket.

I've seen Yo-Yo Ma play the Bach Cello Suites live. Not this show, but holy fucking hell is he a master of the instrument. Whole audience was there in silence just absorbing the performance.

I've been to 100+ classical concerts and performances.

My regrets? I've never seen Flogging Molly Live. I missed seeing Baby Metal.. I never got up to Wisconsin to see Little Blue Crunchy Things. I'd love to catch Shotgun Wedding Symphony live.

tacocat  ·  293 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Bruce Springsteen would like to have a word with you about the Weird Al comment

francopoli  ·  293 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Meh. I'm not a Springsteen fan; his concerts look like a normal pop concert. I've asked people in the past what the difference between , say a Katy Perry concert and a Springsteen concert. Michael Jackson was a showman, so was Prince. And I am not a fan of either but I've watched concerts because the spectacle was amazing.

    I've seen Weird Al more than 25 times. Never miss a show. Nor should you. Arguably the best showman out there.

I stand on this statement.

tacocat  ·  293 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I refer you to his Super Bowl performance. And his world record at 60+ years of age

He also always does this.

Usually in the middle of a song. A better song. This was a surprisingly hard part of his act to find video of

francopoli  ·  296 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: What Brings You to Hubski?

Better people and not popular yet so very few trolls. The hub-wheel and follow system tend to segregate the shitposters very quickly.