Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Rack, I should have named you Alexa or Your Dog Always Is Listening


 Knowing what I do about Computer Security, I won't have any smart speakers like Alexa or the rest in the house.

They work by listening to you, every second of the day, every room they are in.

Since nobody outside of the manufacturer knows what they are doing with the information, I'll pass.

It seems to me that it is beyond creepy, like having a horror movie take place in your house and you invited it in.

We're Heeeere!


However I realized I did exactly that with Rack, the Mc Nab SuperDog (TM).

It is amazing how many little things that our little black and white tape recorder has picked up over the years.

He learned a while ago that he gets an ice cube in the morning from me only when I have my first mug of coffee.  Not the second one, just the first.  I don't like taking the chance that he may chip a tooth having that treat, so I do limit them.

But it is more than that.  After all, he only comes out now for that first cube, past that he has learned not to ask.


He sleeps on a pad that is wrapped in a blanket next to my chair in the living room during the day.  At night he's on a dog bed that he ignores and sticks his head in the closet to limit the amount of noises he has to contend with.  It was a very windy night last night and lately and I have found him curled into a dogball sleeping next to my inline skates and the gear box that I keep there.  Quiet and secure I guess, dogs like smelling things, I just hope I'm not going to be judged by a wet nose by some sporting gear I have used to propel myself 22,207 miles, to date.

The stuff has to be treated with care and being next to you for all that time... well you get the picture.


The other night he was laying there as we had on the TV.  That's normal after dinner, we sit back and watch crusty old Re-Runs.  That particular night was Petticoat Junction.  Kate was telling "Dog" "Good BOY!".  I heard a thump.   He was quite happily asleep and wagging his tail against the floor boards.

We call that "Command Shrapnel" when a comment "explodes" and he does what he's told.  In this case he got hit by Kate's praise.

And it happens frequently.

Mr Dog was doing a "Perimeter Search" of the house and walked by the TV.   As he glanced up at it on his way to the door, another "Good Dog" came out of the speakers.  He smiled, wagged his tail and walked to snoop the door.

"Resource Guarding" so I don't escape I think.  He can't have that.

But there is a lot of that Command Shrapnel.


At 7:30 AM, the irrigation systems fire up.  The orchids have to be misted every morning and I go out to inspect them.  Yard Inspection time.  I put my keyboard on the table, rinse out the coffee mug french press and then walk out to do a lap of the yard.

It used to be just putting the keyboard would get him up.  He's learned the Art of Subtlety.

The Keyboard was apparently not a 100% sure fire lock that I'd be getting up.  I may just be doing Me Things and had to get that old IBM Model M clicky monster from 1992 off my lap.  

Rack has learned to wait for the irrigation pump to turn on.  Not every day.  He knows that Thursday and Sunday we have three zones that turn on.  Every other day it is only the 7:30 AM watering.  Zone Three is the only one he gets up for.

I'm amused and amazed.

The third thing is that apparently my brushing my teeth on an evening shortly after dinner is a signal that I am going somewhere.  Specifically.  

Mind you, I do it a couple times a day.  I'm home, if I am in there and want to freshen up, it is not a big deal, but usually, apparently, in the evening, I wait until I leave.

If it is just after dinner, there's the possibility of a Ride.   As in "RIDE!  IN THE CAR!!!!!".

We've been going down to Dairy Belle for some of the good soft serve ice cream about twice a month.  Dania Beach is a bit of a haul, so he gets that RIDE! and gets to experience the world.  But it is not every week, it is typically on random days, and he has not quite worked out the pattern. 

So I get the campaign.  The Twin Brown Laser Beam Eyes, the erect ears, the pacing, and perhaps the whining.

If we are not going anywhere, I piece it together and say "Nope, Rack, Stay Home And Watch The House."  Repeatedly.  Until I grab Mask, Sanitizer, Keys... you get the picture.

But since sometimes, it's a haul for that Vanilla Soft Serve With Caramel Sauce on top, he Campaigns.

If it is a yes, I tell him "Go get your leash".  The stupid ensues at that point.  He loses his mind in excitement.   He isn't calm enough to go to the back room on top of his crate that he refuses to use, nor does he think he is allowed to do so.  So we get 45 pounds of black and white dog running full speed to the heavy glass door in front, then back to the crate, repeatedly.  

All the while he is speaking in tongues and trying to calm down enough to follow orders.

"Rack, you'd never make a good police dog" I tell him and let him off the hook by grabbing his harness and leash.

All this from my using a toothbrush at a strange hour.

Yes, I should have named you Alexa.


Now, if you will excuse me, it may be one of his better days, but he is still a dog.  He got it wrong.  They're working on the duplex across the street and a truck arrived.  It wasn't the white panel "Free Candy" van that shows, it was a pickup truck delivering two stackable washers for the units.

The places may have everything but he's still going to ask $500 a month too much for them.

Sunday, November 22, 2020

I like my cheese to be like my clothes and my scissors. Sharp.


I never was a religious man, but for some reason this fits well on a Sunday Morning.  Even down to being able to tell it to all audiences.

 

 

 
Noah's Ark

"How does my new toupee look?" Noah asks his family. "Honest opinions only."

His son says, "It looks great, Dad!"

His wife says, "It looks totally realistic!"

His uncle says, "It looks like something crawled up and died there."

Lo and behold, Noah throws his uncle over the side of the ark, never to be seen again. Coming to his senses, he apologizes, then turns to the animals. "And how does my outfit look? Honest opinions only."

The horse says, "Great! The colors really go together."

The parrot says, "I couldn't have said it better myself."

The unicorn says, "Bozo called, he wants his tie back."

Saturday, November 21, 2020

People who make awful jokes get sent to the punitentiary.

It's a two-fer of shorter jokes.  I have to say though that that first one is a little catty story that had me laughing out loud.

 

 A man goes on trial for calling the Duchess a pig. 

The judge finds him guilty of slander and explains that if he ever calls the Duchess a pig again he’ll be severely punished. 

The man then says to the judge, “If I can’t call the Duchess a pig, would I still get punished for calling a pig Duchess?”

The judge publicly rules that he can indeed call a pig Duchess.

On his way out of the courtroom, the man walks by the royal plaintiff, tips his hat, and says “Good day, Duchess.”

 

Our booking office had three phones. 
One day during lunch, I was responsible for answering all of them. 
It was a constant repeat of “May I help you?” or “Will you hold?” 
I guess I got confused because I surprised one man on the other end of the line when I answered his call with, “May I hold you?”  
 

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

The Ginger Flower That Jumped Out To Have It's Picture Taken

I have quite a lot of this ornamental Ginger.  I don't believe that it is edible, even if I don't spray pesticides on it.

I have a small bit of the ginger from the market growing slowly in the front garden.  Actually the slowly is the most important part of that phrase since it is not doing enough to be worth keeping in the spot.

This stuff was given to me by the neighbor when he had to pull it out of its planter box.  It has a nasty habit of being a bit vigorous in a garden.  

For now it's out by the shed, growing under the orchids in semi shade.  I have to trim it regularly since it's grown eye level through the orchid pots.

This particular piece had sprouted that bloom and I meant to get a picture of it.  First the wind moved it, then not enough light, then ... well you get the idea.  

I tried One Last Time for a photo and even that one wasn't good.  Too bad because right after I took that picture I had cut the stem from the plant and meant to throw it away.

Weirdly it was out in the yard where I left it earlier, red-pink bloom saying "Picture Please!" so I stuck it in a pot and fired off this one.

Funny how that can happen, right?

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Did you know that protons have mass? I didn't even know they were Catholic!

 Having just finished up my Spanish tests for the day, I wonder just how well I could get through a day if I were in some small town in Latin America and all I had at my disposal was that language.  Regular is also a Spanish Word, but while it means regular as in English, it may also mean mediocre or merely average, and not in a good way.



A Priest was about to finish his tour of duty, and was leaving his Mission in the jungle after spending years teaching the natives. Suddenly he realized that the one thing he never taught them was how to speak English.

So he takes the chief for a walk in the forest. He points to a tree and says to the chief, "This is a tree." The chief looks at the tree and grunts, "Tree." The Priest is pleased with the response.

They walk a little further and he points to a rock and says, "This is a rock." Hearing this, the chief looks and grunts, "Rock." The Priest was really getting enthusiastic about the results when he hears a rustling in the bushes. As they peek over the top, he sees a couple of natives in the midst of heavy sexual activity.

The Priest is really flustered and quickly responds, "Man riding a bike." The chief looks at the couple briefly, pulls out his blowgun and kills them.

The Priest goes ballistic and yells at the chief that he has spent years teaching them how to be civilized and be kind to each other, so how could he kill these people in cold blood that way? The chief replied, "My bike."

Saturday, November 14, 2020

Why does a chicken coop have two doors? If it had four doors it would be a chicken sedan.

Having just witnessed the joy of an internet troll using the ultimate weapon of a gif, this wee little story is perfectly describing the experience.


A retired gentleman went to the social security office to apply for Social Security.

The woman behind the counter asked him for his driver’s license to verify his age.

He looked in his pockets and realized he had left his wallet at home. He told the woman that he was very sorry but he seemed to have left his wallet at home. “I will have to go home and come back later.”

The woman says, “Unbutton your shirt.” So he opens his shirt revealing curly silver hair. She says, “That silver hair on your chest is proof enough for me” and she processed his Social Security application.

When he gets home, the man excitedly tells his wife about his experience at the social security office.

She says, “You should have dropped your pants. You might have gotten disability too.”

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Diagnosing Hardware Problems with Samsung Galaxy S4 and Similar with SIM, USB, WIFI, and Proximity Sensor Daughter Cards

With electronics that are "User Serviceable" sometimes things come loose.  That is what happened with my phone.  The result of my own following this process is that it's working fairly normally for an 8 year old phone that goes through some serious abuse.

 

I was given a Samsung Galaxy S4 about 7 years ago.  This cellphone was amazing, flexible
and still reasonably fast to this day.  Thanks, Craig!

 

The original Operating System stopped being supported by Samsung almost immediately, and about 3 years or so, apps were not supporting the version of the OS that came with it.  The solution was to unlock, root, and install LineageOS on it.

The short story here is that I have a 8 year old (2013) era cellphone with an operating system that is being actively supported and is a week old as of this day's writing.

That is important because Google is no longer going to support the certificates that are necessary to use the phone on the web.  

Lineage, with a rooted and unlocked phone will fix that.

It began developing problems when it hit the pavement on an inline skating accident.

It lost the ability to sense where my face was (Proximity Sensor), the USB port was disconnecting from my computer, and later the S4 was reporting that there was no SIM in the phone.

There is a simple test, and since the hardware is easy to diagnose, I have replaced all three pieces with new.

This phone is built like a desktop computer with cards that plug into sockets. 

That test is to open the case of the phone, and re-seat each connector for the daughter cards onto the motherboard and see if that helps.

It may not, or it may completely solve the problem.

The connectors are easy to spot on the S4, and even on the S5 and earlier you may have luck following this procedure.


Your Mileage May Vary and the Standard Internet Warranty Applies:  

Ramblingmoose.com takes no responsibility for any repairs that you may attempt or fail to complete.  While I make my best effort to make sure that the information presented here is complete and accurate, it is at your own risk.


You can find the parts, if they are in stock, on Amazon and other locations.  The phone itself is available on Ebay running about $20-50 a piece if you catch the right auction.

I personally may grab one, while it is an 8 year old phone, this thing purrs like a kitten.


The basic procedure is simple:

Power off the phone, perform a full shutdown.

Remove your phone from the case you put it in.

Pry the back off the phone and set it aside.

Remove the battery.

Remove the SIM.

Remove your Memory Chip.

(Remember when you could do all that and not have to have some so-called genius do that for you?)

Remove all nine screws from the back of the phone.


Separate the grey plastic speaker assembly and larger "mid frame" from the phone by separating them with a Spudger or a Guitar Pick.  Do not use metal or a screwdriver, you will have a bad time as it can be too aggressive and may break some components.


Locate the grey rectangular connectors highlighted on the picture below and push GENTLY to reseat them in the sockets on the motherboard.   (Remember, at your own risk?  This is where you have to be careful.)

The numbers are as follows:
1 and 2 are the Proximity Sensor and Earspeaker not sure of order since it is a small board with the two components.

3 Honestly... not certain.  Check to make sure it's seated.

4 SIM and Memory Chip 

5 USB Connector

6 One end of the Antenna Wire

At this point if you test the phone and find that it is behaving well, reassemble the phone and go on your way.  

If the camera is dead, that can be accessed by removing the two screws that hold down the motherboard and re-seating it from behind.  

A Full Disassembly of that order is beyond the scope of this article.

 

To Remove the SIM and Memory Chip daughter board, use that Guitar Pick.  Disconnect the SIM and Chip Reader board from the motherboard.  Pry from the memory chip side, gently but firmly.  Continue working your way toward your right where the SIM is.  The usual procedure is to use a Heat Gun or Hairdryer to loosen the adhesive to make the socket assembly peel off the board easier, however mine was old enough that I could get the board off with some insistent pressure.


Once removed, connect the SIM and Chip daughter board at the socket on the motherboard, peel the blue tab off the back to expose the black sticky adhesive and carefully align the assembly on the board where the old one was.   Press down to join the adhesive and board to the motherboard - remember that the adhesive is intended to go one way and if it is not set in the right place, you may have problems.

Sunday, November 8, 2020

Cosmetic surgery used to be such a taboo subject.. now everyone talks about botox and no one raises an eyebrow

 Ok so yesterday I blamed the joke on CNN.

Today, I found a joke that is attributed to CNN.

You be the judge!



One of the first cosmetic surgery patients died today.


He was 95. CNN interviewed Dr. Phil Raymond, the grandson of the surgeon who had performed the operation, and who had followed the patient throughout his long life.

Dr. Raymond: Mr. Johnson was born without eyelids.. Back in the day, the situation was serious. Everyone expected that the baby would go blind.

Anderson Cooper: But your grandfather found a solution?

Dr. R: Yes. Necessity is the mother of invention. He circumcised the little boy, and used his foreskin to build two eyelids. It was the first plastic microsurgery ever performed on an infant.

AC: And it worked.

Dr. R.: Yes, but not immediately. It took a year or so for the vestigial muscles of the ocular orbits to learn how to move the eyelids, but eventually everything worked fine.

AC: Until the end of his long life.

Dr. R.: Yes, he lived a long, normal, sighted life. Although everyone always said that he looked a bit cockeyed.

Saturday, November 7, 2020

Sergeant: I didn’t see you at camouflage practice this morning Private! Private: Yes Sir! Thank you sir!

I don't know about you but refreshing CNN on the browser every hour or three for the last week has me thinking that there are too many lawyers in the world, among other things.

 


A dying wish

A man spoke to each of his three sons when he sent them to college.

"I feel it's my duty to provide you with the best possible education, and you do not owe me anything for that.
However, I want you to appreciate it.
As a gesture of appreciation, please each put $1,000 into my coffin when I die".

And so it happened.

His sons became a doctor, a financial planner, and a lawyer, each successful financially.

When their father died and they saw him in the coffin, they remembered his wish.

First, the doctor stacked 10 crisp $100 bills onto the chest of the deceased.

Next, the financial planner placed $1,000 there in 20 crisp $50 bills.

Finally, it was the heartbroken lawyer's turn.

He slowly reached into his pocket, removed his chequebook, wrote a check for $3,000, put it into his father's coffin, and took the $2,000 cash.

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Be Prepared and Wrap Your Wallet In Plastic


Boy Scouts say Be Prepared.  I usually am.  I'm the guy who keeps an eye out for things and  stores them until I need them   I've put things aside for later use, neatly, until I need them all my life.  

I end up with "projects".   Some of them are even finished!

Having had an entire day shot because the winds were up, too high to skate, followed by the same thing the next day, I've been chewing through projects.

Since we are all burned out on what the election will bring, that's a project I personally finished back in October.  Less said about all that the better, however I didn't want to get too far from the house that day.  

Can't skate today either, and with "base winds over 20, and gusts over 30" for the second day in a row, I'll wait.

But that skating thing.  See, when I was in Philadelphia, I called myself an elite skater.  100 miles a week (162 KM) from April to October.  It changed the way you look at things.

I was constantly either skating or preparing for it.  Weightlifting five days a week in a University Gym.  Nice thing about skating a 33 mile workout was that that piece of chocolate cake you eyed on the neighbor's table walking into the restaurant would be a necessity and not a maybe or a cheat.  

When I explained that to a dear friend who was a Restaurateur, she smiled and brought my big slab of cake that one night with extra whipped cream on top!

Here I'm purposely holding my distance down until covid is over and life gets back to normal, whatever that may be.

Two times ago I went out for a workout and it was strange.

We had high winds the night before, and I was able to get out to the park.  Any times we have winds in South Florida, it can be anything over 20 MPH (Call it 30 KPH).  Expect tree limbs and seeds and general "mulch" blown onto an asphalt sidewalk about three times wider than my shoulders are at average.  Not much room to move to avoid an emergency.

Emergencies happen when your wheels are almost rock hard and you hit a stick, trust me!

I had decided to go out and enjoy it anyway.  But I wanted to inspect the skates.  If you are out and about, you have to prepare and bring with you two bottles of water (one liter) and more in the car since if you are at a park and there is a water fountain, understand that at night when you are snug in your bed, the water is still there.

It becomes a shower for the homeless.  You decide.  I'll carry my own, thanks.

I bent down and put each skate on my opposite leg, checked that the bolts were tight, and went on my way.

No problems, I hold my bolts in place with a small snip of duct tape so I can pull them apart easily.

Going on my way I noticed that I was wet.  Granted, at my level, about 25-30 calories burned in a minute on average, I expect to be wet, sweat is normal.

This wasn't warm, though.  I was getting cold water draining out of the fanny pack that I wear backwards so I can reach it easily. 

What happened is that I hadn't tightened the bottles enough and water leaked out and soaked everything.  The tools were not a problem, they've gotten wet before.

While moving, I unzipped the pack and looked at the bottles.   I lost about a quarter of the water in both bottles, so call it about a half of a soda can of ice water got sprayed.  

Into my wallet it soaked.  Fabric wallet.  Where the money and the car insurance and registration was.

Yep.  All 7 feet of me with gear was dripping water onto my cotton shorts where it looked like I had An Accident.

Shrug.  No accident, just not prepared quite right.

So the solution is this time the wallet, the tools, and the surgical tape I carry will be wrapped up.

Yes, Surgical Tape.  Long workouts cause hot spots and blisters.

On top of it all, I had to hide under a big mango tree at Kevin's Bench near the Goodyear Blimp Base when another gullywasher of a thunderstorm fired up.  Sit it out, it's two miles to home, and you have work to do later to dry everything out!

But.  On the way out to the park the last time I got a curious look when I pulled a wallet out of a plastic bag that was shoved in my pack.  Looming over the counter, I got out the cash and said "40 on pump 6 please!", got on my way.

Repeat the whole thing when I went to get the 10 back in change in a few.

So be prepared, but remember, if you are on a workout, you still have to interact with people.  Make sure your money stays dry, nobody wants wet twenties even if it is only ice water.

It had dried!  Trust me, I swear it was dry!