Now I’m really frustrated

Three weeks ago my Ethernet connection quit, due to some kind of problem with the network adapter. After a false start or two I ordered a card with an Ethernet plug which I thought I could just drop in as a replacement for the failing one. After two weeks of Best Buy mishandling the order it finally arrived today and I hastened to open the case and make the fix.

Dammit. The old plug is part of an adapter attached to the motherboard, not a separate card. There are no slots available in which to put the new card and I’m not sure how I could get the OS to override the existing adapter on the motherboard and find the new card even if there were.

Now what? I think the Geek Squad charges a minimum of $160 just to open a PC case and probably another $100 to diagnose. A new HP machine would cost only $40-$50 more than that after taxes. ‘Course, then I’d have to transfer all the data from the old machine to the new one, but it might not be all that hard.

Whaddya think?

Bah, ESPN, again?

Every year ESPN believes and adds to the hype coming from the Dallas Cowboys about their status as one of the elite teams in the league. Every year that is an exaggeration.

Lookit. Since the turn of the century (15 seasons!) they have made it to the playoffs five times. They were bounced out in the wild card game in 2003 and 2006, they were bounced out in the divisional game in 2007, they won the wild card game but lost the divisional game in 2009, then they had a five-year stretch where they didn’t make the playoffs at all, and in 2014 they made it through the wild card but lost in the divisional game again.

In the same 15 seasons the New England Patriots made the playoffs 13 times. They won the Super Bowl four times and lost it three times. Similarly, the Green Bay Packers have made it to the playoffs 12 times in 15 years and won the Super Bowl once. The Pittsburgh Steelers have been to the playoffs 10 times and won two Super Bowls while losing one.

I think ESPN is in love with money and with flamboyance, and Jerry Jones, the owner of the Cowboys, has lots of both. Look at that pleasure palace of a stadium he built (with $325 million of taxpayer money; to be fair, he did foot the balance of the $1.5 billion cost himself).

Anyway, I wish the network would hype some more deserving team. Rome’s broken vertebra is a calamity for the Cowboys and for the quarterback himself, but were they really going to be a playoff team? The Magic 8-Ball says “Outlook not so good.”

Explain why Ben-Hur needed to be remade?

I know Hollywood likes ideas that have worked before. It costs a fortune to make a big blockbuster movie, so you need to believe the one you’re pitching has a ready-made audience.

Some movies wouldn’t seem to need a remake, though. I’m sure with today’s CGI techniques the gladiator fights and the chariot race will look great, but they looked pretty good in the one that first appeared in 1959 too. (Did you know that was a remake of a 1925 version? It’s true.)

Maybe I’m just a stick-in-the-mud, but I don’t see a need for this movie.

The Apocalypse is Nigh

I saw this headline and thought to myself “Nah. Not even Trump could be that stupid.”

I was wrong.

“This Is Not A Drill: Trump Turns To Bachmann For Foreign Policy Advice” screams the headline at Talking Points Memo.

Good grief. The Bachmann cited is Michelle Bachmann, former US House Rep. from Minnesota. Her sole acquaintance with foreign policy is that the President doesn’t call Muslims Radical Islamic Terrorists and she will, by golly.

Trump might get smarter advice from another Bachman — Randy, of Bachman-Turner Overdrive.


I guess the Tempur-Pedic Mattress company wasn’t kidding when it advertised limited-time-only 3-year financing deals for its products. My goodness. I just looked at the firm’s website and the mattress prices range from $1,699 to $3,699.

It’s a damned good thing mine is in good shape.

Bicycle helmets

I just saw a Back to School ad showing a kid strapping on a helmet before he hopped on his bike to ride to school. I began riding a bike in New London, Connecticut, in 1957 or thereabouts and I rode one to school from fourth grade through my senior year of high school. Never once did I put on a helmet. When I briefly had my little 50cc motorbike I wore an open-face helmet with a shield and D-ring strap.

I rode two-lane roads to high school in Alexandria, Va., busy six-lane boulevards in Los Angeles, roads through the woods in Monterey, Ca. (and then straight down the hill to my driveway when school was out). I rode residential streets to fifth grade in San Pedro, Ca. and to seventh and eighth grades in Annandale, Va.

I suspect I’d have rebelled if told I should wear one, unless I was told it was the law.

Were helmets mandatory by the time you started riding a bike?


The repeat medalists at these Games are the ones that amaze me the most. Michael Phelps in his fifth (!) Olympics and still winning gold medals. Usain Bolt in his third Olympics winning the same races in each appearance. Phillip Dutton in his sixth (!!) Olympics and getting a bronze medal in Eventing. Kim Rhode, who has now won medals for shooting in six straight Olympics. Uzbekistan’s 41-year-old Oksana Chusovitin, who competed against the girls of the Final Five in gymnastics last week.

All honor to them.

“Let Trump be Trump!”

The trouble is, when his fans said “Let Manny be Manny!” about Manny Ramirez, their guy often produced in home runs, excitement and good results for the Red Sox. Letting Trump be Trump, which seems to be the message the millionaire’s campaign is trying to send with its new hires overnight, is likely to show him in an ever-more unhinged light. Hiring Steve Bannon in particular is a indicator that rage and fury will be at the front of Trump’s new message; those have been Bannon’s stock-in-trade while he’s led Breitbart News after the death of its founder a few years ago. He’s also turned the right-wing website into an all-Trump-all-the-time outlet, which may explain why another Trump campaign staffer says this anonymously:

“He hasn’t had Trump’s ear forever, but Trump respects him,” said a campaign source, speaking on the condition of anonymity. “If you counted all the lipstick on Trump’s backside, most of it would be Breitbart red. So he’s earned his way to where he is.”