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Member since: Sat Mar 29, 2008, 09:11 PM
Number of posts: 45,851

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John Scalzi: Being Poor


Being poor is picking the 10 cent ramen instead of the 12 cent ramen because thatís two extra packages for every dollar.

Being poor is a $200 paycheck advance from a company that takes $250 when the paycheck comes in.

Being poor is having to live with choices you didnít know you made when you were 14 years old.

Being poor is people who have never been poor wondering why you choose to be so.

Random observation: Firefox plays Youtube videos better than Chrome

The system I'm using at the moment is marginal for video, integrated graphics aren't that good, Chrome plays Youtube videos like in jerky slow motion at full screen (1080P monitor), the same videos look smooth and good in Firefox.

I tried Opera too, it's better than Chrome but not as smooth as Firefox at full screen video.

That just saved me hunting down another computer or some more parts, I like to watch videos full screen and now my computer does it.

DU is not a comfortable place for quite a few of us and hasn't been for a long time

I'm not going to go into specifics but I read plenty of "bashing" on DU that seems directly aimed at me, my race, my gender, my age, my sexual orientation, my birth cohort, my "too left" politics (I still haven't got my pony) and even (particularly?) where I live is subject for prejudiced comment on DU on a remarkably regular basis. Bear in mind that only two of the things I mentioned are under my control to any extent, my politics and where I live, the rest of the things I list are innate characteristics about which I can do nothing.

So I say to DU Catholics, welcome to the club, everyone gets made uncomfortable on DU from time to time and for some of us it would be a more than daily occurrence if our skin were so thin that we let the often ignorant opinions of others get under it.

From a more innocent time: State Department To Hold Enemy Tryouts Next Week


Oct 21, 1998

WASHINGTON, DCĖTaking steps to fill the void that has plagued the American military-industrial complex since the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright announced Tuesday that the U.S. will hold enemy tryouts next week.

Slated to begin Oct. 26, the tryouts will take place at the Pentagon. More than 40 nations are expected to vie for the role of U.S. adversary, including India, Afghanistan, China, North Korea and Sudan.

"Over the past seven years, the State Department, working closely with the CIA, Congress and the president, has made efforts to establish a longterm state of hostility with a foreign power of consequence," Albright said. "Unfortunately, these efforts have proven unfruitful. If we are to find a new Evil Empire, we must start taking a more proactive approach."

Though tryouts are not until next week, Albright said the State Department has already received a number of impressive preliminary proposals.

My new(ish) electric grocery getter

About three months ago I got this electric assisted folding bicycle off Craigslist for a very nice price, it had been painted flat black in an effort I think to make it less likely to be stolen since I got it from a rather bohemian area.

The seller told me it was "a couple" of years old but I found a 2008 date on it when I was checking out some of the parts after I got it home.

The 36V 10Ah lithium battery being that old is missing some of the original zip but still works to a decent extent, particularly when fresh off the charger. I've found that the bike will run about 12 mph on the no wind dead level without pedaling, I can pedal it to maybe 14 mph on the level but even in the highest of the six gears that's about as fast as I can comfortably spin. Pedaling really is necessary up anything other than a very slight incline but the bike makes you feel at least twice as strong as you are as long as you keep it moving at a decent clip, hills that are real leg burners to get up without assistance I can top without even breathing hard. Range under my conditions, biggish guy with trailer full of groceries pedaling moderately on everything but downhill seems to be about 12 miles, enough for me to get to the store and back and have a little reserve.

Handling is a bit twitchy, I wouldn't want to go much faster than it already will, rear brake is pathetic but the front brake is pretty decent.

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