20141105 – Roadrunner At Last

 

Wednesday – warm and sunny.

 

At last.

At last.

Lazy day. iPad has a dose of “computer problems”, got an occasional lock up – bloody software if you ask me – but to be on the safe side we take it back to Apple store. No problem to replace it. Try backing up to iCloud, but Apple store Internet’s too slow – can you believe it. Try Starbuck’s their links too slow. Finally give up we’ll come back another day.

David Attenboroug presents nightclubbing:

As usual I’ll totally brassed off with computer software, so here’s a few loony computer sayings:

Computers, huh? I’ve heard it all boils down to just a bunch of ones and zeroes…. I don’t know how that enables me to see naked women, but however it works, God bless you guys.

After growing wildly for years, the field of computing appears to be reaching its infancy.

Hardware: where the people in your company’s software section will tell you the problem is. Software: where the people in your company’s hardware section will tell you the problem is.

Computers have lots of memory but no imagination.

For the avoidance of any future doubt this is the St Francis church in Sante Fe.

For the avoidance of any future doubt this is the St Francis church in Sante Fe.

I’ve discovered this great app, “Around Me” that can locate all sorts of useful places, but sadly the senseless nerds have omitted perhaps the most obvious place – toilets. Another example of the lack of applied common sense, probably because there’s no money in toilets.

 

Thursday – warm and sunny.

 

Backed up iPad overnight and reset it. Take it back to Apple store for a no quibble exchange. Mind you the techy who dealt with us was slower than a herd of turtles stampedin’ through peanut butter. Unusual for Apple.

Call in at Costco for some excitement.

Back to the bike shop, yet again for yet another new inner tube. This time splash out on a thick, puncture resistant one.

Fit new inner tube, into new tyre. Let’s hope this survives all these little thorns that seem to adorn these fantastic bike paths. Ironic really.

New research into the “make you more alert affects” of coffee shows that for people who don’t drink coffee regularly it does make them more alert. While for regular slurpers and addicts it merely helps keep them “normal”. Wow coffee makes even me normal!

More Sante Fe.

More Sante Fe.

Pots for rags. Who’d believe it? Have they completely lost their marbles? That Cameron geezer has apparently given £650 million in aid to Pakistan for education.

When David Cameron announced £650m in education aid for Pakistan last week, I guess the same thought occurred to many British people as it did to me: why are we doing this?

While we are slashing our social services and making our children pay hefty university fees, why should we be giving all this money to a country that has reduced its education budget to 1.5% of GDP while spending several times as much on defence? A country where only 1.7m of a population of 180m pay tax? A country that is stepping up its production of nuclear weapons so much that its arsenal will soon outnumber Britain’s? A country so corrupt that when its embassy in Washington held an auction to raise money for flood victims, and a phone rang, one Pakistani said loudly: “That’s the president calling for his cut”? A country which has so alienated powerful friends in America that they now want to abandon it?

 

Friday – hot and sunny.

 

Sante Fe street sellers outside the palace of the Governors. Not Albuquerque.

Sante Fe street sellers outside the palace of the Governors. Not Albuquerque.

Electricity in kitchen cuts out. Check trip switches and sure enough the kitchen ones tripped. Try to clear and reset, but switch won’t even clear. Seems stuck in mid point. Disconnect ALL appliances to make sure there’s no a permanent short. Still no joy. Stuart ends up sending his handy man around. He manages to reset to the off position and clear it. I really must learn to use more force on these sort of problems, so often you try to fix something, especially plumbing or mechanical issues, to no avail, and yet the expert uses plenty of brute force and a good helping of “I don’t care if it breaks” and fixes it. Moral – eat plenty of spinach.

Up and out to Sante Fe. No, we’ve not been there before. Yes, we have been to Albuquerque before. How sad is it when you can’t remember.

Getting into this town is traffic light hell. There’s more traffic lights than jihadis in Iraq.

Not all that impressive. Pleasant town square etc., but Old Town Albuquerque is much more pleasant. Call in for a coffee and spot of lunch at a French bakery – yes, you’d think I’d have more sense. Should have voted with our feet when we saw the “No credit cards – cash only signs”. Can you believe that here in the land of the mighty dollar, even worse than a “ban the NRA” sign.

Visitors centre is, as typical with American towns, very well hidden to avoid staff being disturbed. Then we find a small visitors booth in the town square. May be a bit of a wait as they’ve nipped out until May 2015. Unbelievable when you look at the number of obvious tourists here. Of course I don’t suppose anyone cold have used some imagination and initiative and put few maps and leaflets in a rack outside. Imagination, empowerment and initiative seem alien in this country. I blame Henry Ford.

Madrid shop and post boxes.

Madrid shop and post boxes.

On the way back we call in at Madrid. An arty farty shanty ghost town. Seems to be inhabited by hoary hairy hippies, resplendent with their moth eaten, insect infested dreadlocks, with enough remnants from the past weeks meals to keep them fed for a week, or balding Bob Dylan fan’s with long pony tails to make the most of their withering hair. Sat on their balconies enjoying the last of the days sun, and probably some medicinal weed, just waiting for the grim reaper to come and spirit them away to the grand Woodstock concert bash in the sky.

As network administrator I can take down the network with one keystroke. It’s just like being a doctor but without getting gooky stuff on my paws.

If you have any trouble sounding condescending, find a Unix user to show you how it’s done.

Database: the information you lose when your memory crashes.

A computer lets you make more mistakes faster than any invention in human history – with the possible exceptions of handguns and tequila.

Back up my hard drive? How do I put it in reverse?

One of the many rickety places in Madrid.

One of the many rickety places in Madrid.

Interesting watching question time. You can always tell the non-politicians, they talk common sense, no party political broadcasts, no blame and the audience always rates their answer the best. Not a skerrick of common sense amongst any of the politicians. Major cause for concern. Really must stop watching, it’s depressing to think these chuckleheads decide our fate.

 

Saturday – warm and sunny.

 

Up at the crack o sparrows again to make to 08:30 Bird walk down at the Rio Grande.

At last we get to see a Roadrunner. Not just one, but two, and even manage a distant picture. Considering it’s New Mexico’s state bird it certainly seems pretty camera shy.

Best of all is this Youtube video of a Roadrunner seeing off a Rattle snake and then downing it in one, with no condiments or dressings. Roadrunner versus Rattle snake – awesome:

In the afternoon I manage a pleasant bike ride and happen to come across yet another Starbucks. It would be a sin not to pop in and rattle their cage.

Computers make it easier to do a lot of things, but most of the things they make it easier to do don’t need to be done.

Don’t anthropomorphize computers – they hate it.

Hardware: the parts of a computer that can be kicked.

I haven’t lost my mind; I have a tape back-up somewhere.

I just wish my mouth had a backspace key.

Birding geeks meet for their bird walk.

Birding geeks meet for their bird walk.

The technological singularity hypothesis is that accelerating progress in technologies will cause a runaway effect wherein artificial intelligence will exceed human intellectual capacity and control, thus radically changing or even ending civilization in an event called the singularity. The singularity is predicted to be with us by 2045, or in the case of comparison with politicians intelligence was reached back in 1965 with an IBM 360. With computers that can pass the Turing test by 2029.

I’m not alone in my fear. Silicon Valley’s resident futurist, Elon Musk, recently said artificial intelligence is “potentially more dangerous than nukes.” And Stephen Hawking, one of the smartest people on earth, wrote that successful A. I. “would be the biggest event in human history. Unfortunately, it might also be the last.” There is a long list of computer experts and science fiction writers also fearful of a rogue robot-infested future.

Two main problems with artificial intelligence lead people like Mr. Musk and Mr. Hawking to worry. The first, more near-future fear, is

Male Downy Woodpecker. How can you tell when you can't even see his pecker? The red on his heads a dead giveaway. Nerdy.

Male Downy Woodpecker. How can you tell when you can’t even see his pecker? The red on his heads a dead giveaway. Nerdy.

that we are starting to create machines that can make decisions like humans, but these machines don’t have morality and likely never will.

The second, which is a longer way off, is that once we build systems that are as intelligent as humans, these intelligent machines will be able to build smarter machines, often referred to as superintelligence. That, experts say, is when things could really spiral out of control as the rate of growth and expansion of machines would increase exponentially. We can’t build safeguards into something that we haven’t built ourselves.

Artificial-intelligence proponents argue that these things would never happen and that programmers are going to build safeguards. Oh yeh! But let’s be realistic: It took nearly a half-century for programmers to stop computers from crashing every time you wanted to check your email. What makes them think they can manage armies of quasi-intelligent robots? And even today, most software is still more bug infested than a doss house mattress and as well made as a soup sandwich.

 

Sunday – warm and sunny.

 

My favourite exhibit. Has no title or name of artist. I call "Soap opera's delight". Only joking but it was more interesting than some of the tripe on display.

My favourite exhibit. Has no title or name of artist. I call “Soap opera’s delight”. Only joking, but it was more interesting than some of the tripe on display.

Off down to the Albuquerque Museum. It’s free Sunday morning. Free’s always good. Calls it a history museum but it’s an art museum. We were told by the receptionist, with glee, that some of it’s even still for sale. Oh goody, I’m as happy as a baby in a barrel of tits .

Now “they”, the arty farty chattering liberal PC classes, say that arts meant to invoke emotion. Being the philistine that I’m proud to be, I’m glad to report that they’re correct. In me, yet again, it invoked the emotion of absolute incredulity that these lame brains, who must have fell out of the Stupid tree and hit every branch on the way down, could be so dimwitted as to pay anything for some of this tripe. More money than sense. But oh how I so love it when you get the chattering chuckleheaded classes wondering around with that wonderful phrase, “you can just loose yourself in it”.

Best thing about my cultural overdose – thank the Flying Spaghetti Monster, and not forgetting Chione, it was free. The place almost defies the free’s always good theory.

Have a shifty around Old Town once again so that we can buy an “authentic” Indian weaved basket.

Call in at Starbucks for my favourite – a soy dirty Chai with 2 extra shots, it’s awesome, try it. I point out that my Gold membership of the World of Starbuck crazies means I get shots free. They’re confused. Call the manager over, who’s amazed. Anyway to his credit no argy bargy, in fact my $6.8o coffees is on the house and to top it all so is Wendy’s Earl Grey. How’s that for customer service.

Massive life sized sculpture outside the art museum. At least something was impressive.

Massive life sized sculpture outside the art museum. At least something was impressive.

Letter to David Cameron

Dear Mr Cameron

I note from a report in the daily thunderer that the radical cleric geezer, Anjem Choudray, has claimed he would renounce his British citizenship and live under the rule of Isis, if the government would grant him safe passage.

Quick snap his hand off, as the police and security forces don’t seem able to nail him, and even if they did he’d only cost us a fortune in gaol. Not only would you save £25,000 a year, in what he calls Jihadist Seekers allowance, for his family of 4 sprogs, but you’d also free up a £320,000 council house. Pay the fare for him and all his family. Grant him safe passage and when he lands have someone there from the British embassy to have a ceremonial Youtube event, to cut up his British passport and remove British citizenship. A big cheer will go up in this country as we’re sick of the nonsense surrounding him.

If you’re struggling finding the funds then drop me an email and I’ll send you a tenner and have a whip round locally. I’m sure we could easily raise enough to send his whole family back first class.

Regards

Tony

PS

A few words of political advice, if I may be so bold, make the most of your last days in No 10. If you don’t pull your socks up and kick Europe into touch then I’m sure that Farage geezer will be taking residence and having some real ale pumps installed.

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