Love for a dead BLOG

Blogs sometimes die, or are so far abandoned that they are dead for all intents and purposes. 

But there are still visitors as long as it shows up in Google, and some of those will enjoy the content immensely, so much as to write a comment. I don’t subscribe to the idea of nay sayers who assume that those visitors only leave these comments because they hope for a back link to their spammy sight – or worse, that they are evil AI bots!

I just believe that they really like my content – even if that content might be simply “coming soon…”

Here are a few of those cherished comments (unedited, only removed the link to their own website):

  • you’re actually a just right webmaster. The site loading pace is incredible. It sort of feels that you are doing any distinctive trick. Furthermore, The contents are masterwork. you have performed a fantastic job in this subject!
  • I’ve recently started a blog, the information you provide on this website has helped me greatly. Thank you for all of your time & work. “If you would know strength and patience, welcome the company of trees.” by Hal Borland.
  • Unquestionably consider that that you said. Your favorite justification seemed to be on the internet the easiest factor to bear in mind of. I say to you, I certainly get annoyed whilst other people consider worries that they plainly do not recognise about. You managed to hit the nail upon the highest as smartly as defined out the whole thing without having side effect , people could take a signal. Will probably be back to get more. Thanks
  • Great stuff, you helepd me out so much!
  • Hi and thanks for the info, and the web page definitely looks great. Just what wordpress design are you using?
  • you’re truly a excellent webmaster. The site loading pace is incredible. It sort of feels that you’re doing any distinctive trick. Furthermore, The contents are masterwork. you’ve performed a magnificent task on this matter!
  • That’s the smart thinking we could all befeint from.
  • im obseesed with cars i run path the residence suchlike lightning mcqueen and attempt kachow. and i song my somebody sherrif the constabulary car from cars and i enjoin him apolice car. i wiah i? could meet raidator springs
  • Thanks for sharing excellent informations. Your web-site is so cool. I am impressed by the details that you’ve on this web site. It reveals how nicely you perceive this subject. Bookmarked this website page, will come back for more articles. You, my friend, ROCK! I found simply the information I already searched all over the place and simply could not come across. What a great site.
  • I cherished as much as you’ll receive carried out right here. The cartoon is attractive, your authored material stylish. nevertheless, you command get got an nervousness over that you wish be handing over the following. ill unquestionably come further previously again since precisely the similar nearly a lot ceaselessly inside of case you defend this increase.
  • I am extremely inspired together with your writing abilities and also with the format for your blog. Is this a paid subject matter or did you modify it your self? Either way keep up the excellent quality writing, it is rare to look a great weblog like this one nowadays..
  • Wow! This could be 1 certain in the most beneficial blogs We’ve actually arrive across on this issue. Basically Excellent. I am also an expert in this particular topic therefore I can understand your hard do the job.
  • SOH CAH TOA Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your weblog and wanted to say that I’ve truly enjoyed browsing your blog posts. In any case I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you write again very soon!
  • I enjoy you because of all of the labor here. My mommy loves focusing on investigations and it is simple to understand why. Many of us learn most regarding the highly effective means anyone create useful items via the web blog and the cause contribution from another people on this area of interest whilst our own basic princess is certainly learning a whole lot. Take pleasure in the remaining portion of the yr. You are usually performing a fantastic job.

Here you have it – people just love my dead blog!

Kurt Vonnegut’s Commencement Address

(A little gem I found in the couch cushions of my hard drive)…

Ladies and gentlemen of the class of ’98:

Wear sunscreen.

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they’ve faded. But trust me, in 20 years, you’ll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can’t grasp now how much
possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. You are not as fat as you imagine.

Don’t worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blindside you at 4 pm on some idle Tuesday.

Do one thing every day that scares you.

Sing.

Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts. Don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours.

Floss.

Don’t waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind. The race is long and, in the end, it’s only with yourself.

Remember compliments you receive. Forget the insults. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

Keep your old love letters. Throw away your old bank statements.

Stretch.

Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don’t.

Get plenty of calcium. Be kind to your knees. You’ll miss them when they’re gone.

Maybe you’ll marry, maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll have children, maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll divorce at 40, maybe you’ll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do, don’t congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself either. Your choices are half chance. So are everybody else’s.

Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can. Don’t be afraid of it or of what other people think of it. It’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own.

Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your living room.

Read the directions, even if you don’t follow them.

Do not read beauty magazines. They will only make you feel ugly.

Get to know your parents. You never know when they’ll be gone for good.

Be nice to your siblings. They’re your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.

Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, because the older you get, the more you need the people who knew you when you were young.

Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard.

Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft.

Travel.

Accept certain inalienable truths: Prices will rise. Politicians will philander. You, too, will get old. And when you do, you’ll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble, and children respected their elders.

Respect your elders.

Don’t expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund. Maybe you’ll have a wealthy spouse. But you never know when either one might run out.

Don’t mess too much with your hair or by the time you’re 40 it will look 85.

Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts, and recycling it for more than it’s worth.

But trust me on the sunscreen.

Become a Better Blogger

Sometimes you run into bits and pieces of wisdom, you really can’t – or shouldn’t – live without. The ten points below will definitely make a better writer.

HOW TO WRITE GOOD

pen and paper

1. Avoid Alliteration. Always.

2. Prepositions are not words to end sentences with.

3. Avoid cliches like the plague. They’re old hat.

4. Comparisons are as bad as cliches.

5. Be more or less specific.

6. Writers should never generalize.

VII: Be consistent!

8. Don’t be redundant; don’t use more words than necessary; It’s highly superfluous.

9. Who needs rhetorical questions?

10. Exaggeration is a billion times worse than understatement.

Attitude is Everything

The following story was written by Francie Baltazar-Schwartz and I re-discovered it in my ‘nice-stuff’ folder. I thought it might be better out here on the web than in the crevices of my computer. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do…

Jerry was the kind of guy you love to hate. He was always in a good mood and always had something positive to say. When someone would ask him how he was doing, he would reply, “If I were any better, I would be twins!”

He was a unique manager because he had several waiters who had followed him around from restaurant to restaurant. The reason the waiters followed Jerry was because of his attitude. He was a natural motivator. If an employee was having a bad day, Jerry was there telling the employee how to look on the positive side of the situation.

Seeing this style really made me curious, so one day I went up to Jerry and asked him, “I don’t get it! You can’t be a positive person all of the time. How do you do it?” Jerry replied, “Each morning I wake up and say to myself, ‘Jerry, you have two choices today. You can choose to be in a good mood or you can choose to be in a bad mood.’ I choose to be in a good mood. Each time something bad happens, I can choose to be a victim or I can choose to learn from it. I choose to learn from it. Every time someone comes to me complaining, I can choose to accept their complaining, or I can point out the positive side of life. I choose the positive side of life.”

“Yeah, right, it’s not that easy,” I protested.

“Yes, it is,” Jerry said. “Life is all about choices. When you cut away all the junk, every situation is a choice. You choose how you react to situations. You choose how people will affect your mood. You choose to be in a good mood or bad mood. The bottom line:
It’s your choice how you live life.”

I reflected on what Jerry said. Soon thereafter, I left the restaurant industry to start my own business. We lost touch, but I often thought about him when I made a choice about life instead of reacting to it. Several years later, I heard that Jerry did something you are never supposed to do in a restaurant business: he left the back door open one morning and was held up at gunpoint by three armed robbers. While trying to open the safe, his hand, shaking from nervousness, slipped off the combination. The robbers panicked and shot him. Luckily, Jerry was found relatively quickly and rushed to the local trauma center. After 18 hours of surgery and weeks of intensive care, Jerry was released from the hospital with fragments of the bullets still in his body.

I saw Jerry about six months after the accident. When I asked him how he was, he replied, “If I were any better, I’d be twins. Wanna see my scars?”

I declined to see his wounds but did ask him what had gone through his mind as the robbery took place. “The first thing that went through my mind was that I should have locked the back door,” Jerry replied. “Then, as I lay on the floor, I remembered that I had two choices: I could choose to live, or I could choose to die. I chose to live.”

“Weren’t you scared? Did you lose consciousness?” I asked.

Jerry continued, “The paramedics were great. They kept telling me I was going to be fine. But when they wheeled me into the emergency room and I saw the expressions on the faces of the doctors and nurses, I got really scared. In their eyes, I read, ‘He’s a dead man.’ “I knew I needed to take action.”

“What did you do?” I asked.

“Well, there was a big, burly nurse shouting questions at me,” said Jerry. “She asked if I was allergic to anything. ‘Yes,’ I replied. The doctors and nurses stopped working as they waited for my reply. I took a deep breathe and yelled, ‘Bullets!’ Over their laughter, I told them. ‘I am choosing to live. Operate on me as if I am alive, not dead.”

Jerry lived thanks to the skill of his doctors, but also because of his amazing attitude. I learned from him that every day we have the choice to live fully. Attitude, after all, is everything.

You have 2 choices now:

  1. save or delete this mail from your mail box.
  2. forward it to anyone you care about.

Hope you will choose choice 2.

In the beginning, there was NewCiv

There was a time when there were no blogs.

Yes, really!

There were internet providers – the first one for me was, if I remember correctly, Primenet – from which you could get a few MB of space for your own website. That was at a time when you often saw the notice “This site best viewed with Netscape Navigator” on these very web pages. Even though Al Gore had invented the internet he had not yet given us good guidelines on how to consistently access it with predictable results. It was sweet anarchy.

Newciv.org broke into this climate. This was a simple Intel (probably) 386 computer with a modem as a connection to that World Wide Web. Hardly any private person could afford a permanent internet connection, so a dial-up line had to do. With an automatic re-dial when the connection was lost and a repeated access to some page at the provider in order to avoid being hung up due to non-activity.

Flemming had written a whole suite of software that ran the New Civilization Network but I encountered that server initially in Max’s office. It was exciting, there you had this computer to which all of the outside worlds had access, could create accounts, and could communicate.

Part of the software suite was blogging software, and did we blog!

Flemming – obviously – had the very first post. And believe it or not, it is still there:

http://ming.tv/flemming2.php/__show_article/_a000010-000001.htm

Article _a000010-000001.htm – there sure was room for expansion. The reason this blog is still working perfectly is that Flemming kept the domain ming.tv pointing to his blog on the NewCiv server. Some of us had our own domains pointing to our blogs. Max Sandor’s was the Sandorian Grove – sandorian.us. Mine was zensory.com – for whatever reason – I guess it was a cool domain name. Max’s domain was later repurposed and eventually went away when Max went on the greener pastures.

But if you know the internal structure of NewCiv – as Flemming does – that blog is still there, even with many broken links due to the fact that sandorian.us does not exist any longer: http://www4.newciv.org/nl/newslog.php/_v245/__show_log/

My zensory.com first turned into a WordPress blog – on my own server in a data center, obviously connected to some faster backbone. It needs to be said, that at that time, the NewCiv server was co-located in a data center as well, not requiring a dial-up connection to the internet any longer.

Still, my old blog is also still up and running, even though I had to ask Flemming for it’s URL: http://www4.newciv.org/nl/newslog.php/_v286/__show_log/

Flooded with sweet nostalgia, I looked over that old blog and noticed the blog roll (blogs that I followed) in the sidebar. The one that caught my attention was Don To Earth – at that time he was touted as the oldest blogger. His blog was hosted on Blogspot, a free-for-all open blog. The nice thing about those free platforms is, that they don’t go away. Not like a privately hosted blog that goes away when the person paying for it every month himself finds better things to do and leaves this realm (as, inevitably, this blog will go away when I do).

So, yes, I could look up Don!

HP Disabled my Printer

Not only are original ink cartridges expensive, but HP LaserJet toners can also cost about the same as the printer itself. You still would buy the toner cartridges because the ones that come with a new printer have reduced capacity.

So the obvious choice is to use third-party cartridges at often less than half the price. That worked well for my all-in-one HP LaserJet Pro M281 with cartridges from LDProducts.com – until it did not, anymore.

HP had installed a firmware update on my printer that disabled the after-market cartridges, and I now got an error message that there was a “Supply Problem”. I had not immediately noticed that something wasn’t working anymore because I don’t print much and there had been days between the update and the first time I saw the “Supply Problem.”

A bit of googling gave me the hint that this problem might be caused by the latest update which was dated 20201021. The obvious course of action was to go back to the last version of the firmware – but this became a few-day quest.

The printer was out of warranty, so getting direct support from HP was not an option, so I resorted to the community support forum. Answers to my post confirmed that this was not only my problem but that others were hit by this “update bug.”

A bit further googling got me the info that the firmware version 20200612 was a good version and that I just had to find that version for my printer model.

But that was not an easy task, and it nearly appears to be intention of HP to suppress that version. One user who answered my post mentioned that two years ago HP had reached a settlement in a class-action suit when it had disabled its inkjet printers that were using 3rd party ink cartridges, and wondered if it’s time for another class action suit – – and he got banned from the forum for that for a day.

But before he got banned I had seen the post and looked up that lawsuit, and – just for the fun of it – left the firm a message that there might be some more HP shenanigans going on. – I have not heard back from them.

That same user had managed to find the right firmware file for his printer model, HP_Color_LaserJet_Pro_M254_dw_Printer_series_20200612.exe, on HP’s website and had been successful in downgrading his printer software and had his machine working again.

I wasn’t quite as lucky, as that file had been removed from the HP website the very day, but with parts of the file name and good old Google I found the file somewhere in the far reaches of the internet. I tried to run it several times, with cartridges in, without, after unplugging the printer for a few minutes to reset, to no avail, until it dawned on me that his model was not exactly the same as mine and that I probably needed different firmware, specific for my M281 printer.

After more extensive googling I found that the name of the right file should be
HP_LaserJet_Pro_M280_M281_Printer_series_20200612
but no executable with that, or similar, name was to be found. The only thing that came close was exactly that file name but with a .rfu extension which probably stands for ‘remote file updated.’ I actually found that info on an HP page.

I had no idea how to use that file. Windows does not know what to do with a file with that extension and I had no idea how to run it or with what application.

Again Google to the rescue.

I finally found it – and it was simpler than I thought. The reason I write this post, just in case somebody runs into the same problem, is that you might not need to spend so many hours with friendly Google.

First of all, I will leave this update file here so you can download it. I had to obfuscate and zip it so that I can upload it here and possibly hide it from HP. Once you have downloaded the zip file, just extract the file inside it and rename it to M280_M281_firmware_20200612.rfu and follow the following steps:

  1. The printer needs to be accessible as a share. My printer was not shared so I just created a share for it as \\MYCOMPUTER\M281 – in case you need help to do this – Google is your friend “How to share a printer.” Replace MYCOMPTER with the real name of the machine you are sitting at.
  2. Then open a command line window and type
    copy /b M280_M281_firmware_20200612.rfu \\MYCOMPUTER\M281
  3. This command finishes surprisingly fast, but the printer then started a lengthy install of that firmware. It took a while – maybe five minutes, while the printer display showed progress and messages ‘programming’.
  4. When it was all done, the printer restarted and the “Supply Problem” was gone.

That’s it – following this my printer is deserving its name again – it prints!

I am happy – but shame on HP!

PS: I wonder if I ever hear back from that law firm regarding a class action…

PPS: I got a message from Jonathan who followed the instructions and was happy to report that he did not have to discard his HP printer. He suggested that you also disable the update feature in the printer to avoid the problem as much as possible in the future.

For this you

  • go to Setup on your printer’s LCD display (the last one)
  • Scroll down to Service and select it
  • Scroll down to LaserJet Update and select it
  • Select Manage Updates
  • Select Allow Updates
  • Select No
  • Go Back to Home

I don’t know how safe that is because I seem to remember that I set that when I installed my first set of 3rd party cartridges, but I think I was prompted to update by HP maintenance software installed and running on my computer. It was years since I had installed the cartridges and forgotten about the warning and so allowed the update.

Somehow I am more and more tending to follow the adage “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” when computer updates are concerned, especially firmware.

New COVID Rules in California

Read out text below

From reliable sources we received the following rules that will be implemented in California by Governor Gavin Newsom as soon as practicable:

Mandatory use of face mask is implemented for zodiac signs of Virgo and Aquarius, and for all drivers of Volvos, except when they wear green socks. The provision is applicable only from 6pm to 9:30pm, except you drive an Audi with a 17 in your license plate.

If your house is yellow, you are not allowed to leave your dwelling, except it is located on the right side of the street. The exception does not apply for houses with a parking space upfront. The rule is completely inapplicable for multiple parking spaces, except it includes a handicapped space.

Women are not allowed to leave the house or apartment if they are married, but only if they don’t have children, except they are at least two in number and of the same gender with an age difference not more than two years. The rule is not to be applied to children between the ages of four and ten.

This is, as announced by the governor’s office, only the first part of the ruling in order to not confuse the good people of California. After the election further rules and regulations will be published for the subsequent days.

In an updated notice it was announced that you are ordered to be aware that the above rules are valid for citizens between the ages of 18 and 60 as long as they are between 5’3″ and 5’9″, otherwise the opposite has to be adhered to by every Californian except he or she is blond.

This is a free translation from a post with Dr. Ferdinand Wegscheider – look for him on the YouTubes if you speak Austrian and want to know more.
To make this post relevant for a later time period, please be aware that it was written just a few days before the 2020 presidential election. At the time of this writing we do not know who will be elected and if, indeed, the covid scare was ended right after that election.

About Propaganda

Narration of the following article

Did you ever ask yourself how it could have been possible that some 70, 80 years ago a whole people – the Germans – hailed one man who then turned out to be a pretty bad guy?

I am not very surprised since I became someone who yelled “Hail!” myself.

Adolf Hitler Reading

Up to the days I stopped yelling “Hail! – or the equivalent thereof – I, myself, definitely did not understand how a whole people could be so blind and miss what was going on in the 3rd Reich.

It was simple arrogance, through ignorance.

Fortunately, I was able to uproot my arrogance of looking down upon the ‘poor, misled people of Germany’ and gain a more humble understanding.

In order to accomplish this, I first had to stop yelling “Hail!” myself, and then realize that I had indeed been shouting “Hail!”

I’m not old enough to have lived through the Hitler regime – so where the heck did I get a chance to yell “Hail?”

I’m not going to give you any names here because that would take away the fun for you to find out yourself, but I do tell that it was a group that many of you might know. You might have experienced it already, but for all of you who don’t – go out and find it.

It was a group that started out great – several decades ago. This group – not yet religious – offered a lot of information and processes that allowed you to understand life a lot better. I joined thirty years after its inception when this group had already fallen into the trap of considering itself the one and only, becoming dogmatic and eventually considering itself a religion.

I have seen this phenomenon in many areas of life. The very good account of this human behavior was told by Thomas Thouw, who was the assistant at the physics department at the university in charge of me as a graduate student. He had grown up as the heir of his uncle’s karate mastership. Originally from Indonesia, he ended up, after an odyssey, in Heidelberg, Germany. There he started to teach a karate group stressing the real principles of this mainly spiritual art, not the type of karate as seen on TV.

Fortunately, he was strong enough to see that his students had turned from pupils into disciples instead and had started to worship him as a guru. He knew that this violated all the principles of karate he wanted to teach, so he kicked them out, advising them to get a life.

This tendency of a group to find a guru, and make him a god, seems to be very prevalent. I have noticed this in movements from Macrobiotics over Chi Gong to even urine-therapy (yes! Look it up!).

The quality of the technology behind these movements seems to be rather irrelevant. Good technology gives better results for more members but as long as something works really great at least for some professional followers, the danger is there.

The group I had become a disciple of and had learned to yell “Hail!” happened to have really good data and technology, so it was easy for members to ‘believe.’

The next step then was to ‘press the help button’. We all want to help. Especially after we got something really good, something that helped us tremendously, we want to give back. This is the stage of the missionary. Obviously the missionary is ‘better’ than the subjects of his mission, but he definitely wants to lift them all up to his level.

Do you see now where the arrogance is entering the picture?

Unfortunately, there are stubborn people who don’t want to be helped. The situation escalates and so we created the next required element – an external enemy.

That’s all the elements required to form a closed system in which internal propaganda can do whatever it wants. External data to measure the propaganda against are no longer available, so whatever the propaganda says becomes true. Anything that questions the propaganda data is considered infiltration from the enemy and only makes the propaganda data more true.

I was lucky enough to have kept one little anchor out there in the other world. It was not strong enough to directly question the validity of the data that was fed to me and that I asked to be fed. But it was strong enough that I grouched sufficiently to be eventually kicked out of this group. Any tight-knitted group will expel members that are not fully behind the cause as they are a danger to keeping the rest of the group indoctrinated.

This is when I stopped yelling “Hail!”, but it still took me years to face the fact that I had, indeed, yelled “Hail!” During this time I lost my arrogance that expressed itself in a righteous “HOW COULD THEY?”

Now, when I look at my fellow Americans and see what they allow their government to do to them, we can see the reason why I can no longer proclaim… “How could they?”.

All elements are there:

  • the initial good technology – the wealth and way of life in America,
  • the belief in the system
  • the mission
  • the enemy

There is the war on terrorism, the weapons of mass destruction, the Patriot’s Act, and the latest  “Orange Man Bad!”

All pretty hefty subjects to swallow for a reasonable person, but listen… I really believed that it was reasonable that – if I wanted to walk across the bridge to total freedom – I first had to knuckle down to a system that demanded to control every single aspect of my life.

Funny, isn’t it??

Meeting the Enemy

Instead of reading the text below you could just listen to it…

At the time of this writing (July 2020) the US of A experiences mayor racial upheaval. I am convinced that this is mostly politically motivated to discourage the population to reelect Donald Trump, but there must be some fertile grounds for this seed of discourse to flourish.

At this time mostly racial discourse is pushed and the gender questions are put on the back burner. But at one point the man vs woman question was a preferred area to create separation and establish hardened fronts.

I still have faith in the American People that they will not fall for the instigated war of the races, and the presenter of the following TED talk is one of the shining beacons that gives me that hope.

She had been a proponent of solidifying the fronts between genders, which usually is a cherished subject of politicians to create controversy. But she was fortunate to see through her self-created biases and was able to start to break down those walls.

Without further ado, here is Cassie Jaye…