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dPHender son
The rabbit hole begins at the next profile over. This one doesn't go anywhere.
The rabbit hole begins at the next profile over. This one doesn't go anywhere.


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Got a new phone.
My old phone has cancer. Seriously, dunno what's wrong with it but there's black spots (tumors?) on the screen that are slowly growing.

Still technically usable but it's getting worse, so best to get it upgraded before it goes completely off...

Anyway, a secondary issue, that's been going on for a while, is memory. Old phone (OF) has 8gb of internal mem and a 16G SDcard. But ignore the SDcard, it's the RAM that matters. What with installed programs and updates and all, it's basically full. I keep flushing the extra data and stuff so it fluctuates between 86-93% full. Which isn't leaving enough for the system to really do it's thing. So I found me a new phone with double the memory. Figure that'll last me another couple years until the updates get out of hand again.
Which they will, of course. Because developers today simply do not prioritize memory efficiency. Personal pet peeve, but I'll not go ballistic on that right yet. This post is actually about something else...

Anyway... To finally get to the point... So I got a new phone with DOUBLE the memory. Comes with a few bloatware apps, but it's the same carrier and same brand so I figured to minimize that as much as possible. (Upgraded from Moto E to Moto E4)

But here's the shock. After reinstalling all my old apps, games, etc. I expected that to take up maybe 6 of the 16 gigs since some were already there and some I skipped... But now, memory usage is at 83% already! I mean.. WTF?

All I wanted was a phone that won't run out of memory. I know I'll end up filling it up on my own with videos and music and other useless stuff, but at least that would be on me, not just starting right away with a fully crapped out storage area.

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Hey. Are you interested in the kindle oasis? How about two chances to get your dirty paws on one?

One is a solo giveaway on behalf of my alter ego, Susan Copperfield. The other is with a bunch of badass sci-fi, fant, and horror authors.

So, what are you waiting for?

Get involved and get a chance to score this badass ereader! (I have one, I love mine, and I'm trying very hard to become a mermaid.)

Giveaway #1 (all the cool authors!)

Giveaway #2 (My alter ego)

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Donald Trump’s unwitting surrender to China

Sixty years ago Russia shocked the world with the launch of the Sputnik satellite. Donald Trump was 11 years old. That display of superiority jolted America to outspend the USSR in a drive that produced the internet and the global positioning system. Today’s Sputnik moment, by contrast, appears to have bypassed America’s 71-year-old president. China openly plans to dominate artificial intelligence by 2030. Mr Trump appears too busy tweeting to have noticed.

Yet China’s AI ambitions pose a greater long-term threat to US security than North Korea’s nuclear reach. Pyongyang can probably be contained by the guarantee of annihilation. There is no obvious barrier to China’s aim of leapfrogging the US. “Whoever becomes the leader in [AI] will become the ruler of the world,” Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, said recently. His observation followed China’s announcement that it intends to draw even with the US by 2020, overtake it by 2025 and dominate global AI five years after that. America’s leading technologists believe China’s ambitions are plausible. “Just stop for a sec,” said Eric Schmidt, Google’s chief executive, last week. “The Chinese government said that.”

Unlike Sputnik, there is no single Chinese action that is likely to drive the threat home. But the trend lines are stark for those who care to look. President Xi Jinping has broadcast China’s AI superiority as a strategic goal. Mr Trump has said nothing about America’s ambitions. But his budget proposal speaks volumes. He wants to cut US public funding of “intelligent systems” by 11 per cent and overall federal research and development spending by almost a fifth. Nasa’s budget would also shrink.

Likewise, Mr Trump wants to halve the inflow of legal immigrants, which would hit America’s ability to recruit the brightest researchers. It would make far more sense to offer them a green card. Chinese students often win Google’s coding competitions. “If you have any kind of prejudice . . . that somehow their educational system is not going to produce the kind of people that I’m talking about, you’re wrong,” said Mr Schmidt.

Can America prevail in spite of Mr Trump’s myopia? That is quite possible. The big US tech companies remain world leaders. But the gap is narrowing. China has two key advantages. The first is that more of its economy is online than America’s. Forty per cent of global ecommerce takes place inside China, mostly via Alibaba, Tencent and Baidu, the big three Chinese tech companies. Their ability to manipulate vast troves of data faces few legal limits. Likewise, their scale is daunting. Last week, Tencent overtook Facebook to exceed a market capitalisation of $500bn. In some areas, such as online payments, visual recognition and voice software, China is already ahead of its Silicon Valley counterparts. It is fast catching up on autonomous driving. Almost all such technologies have military application. Think of swarm drone warfare.

Second, China’s private sector is hand in glove with government. That might seem like a handicap to libertarians. But people have short memories. Just as Dwight Eisenhower underwrote the rise of Silicon Valley, so Beijing is subsidising China’s mastery of deep learning machine technology. Moreover, its digital sector is increasingly self-sufficient. With the exception of microprocessors, which remains US-led, most of China’s capacities are produced at home. It is decreasingly vulnerable to disruptions in the global supply chain. Should a global trade war break out, China could press on largely unhindered with its AI development. There is the reason China has locked out Google, Facebook, Twitter and others.

The same applies to China’s space technology. Last weekend, John Hyten, the general in charge of US nuclear weapons, caused a stir when he said he would resist an “illegal” order by the president. But he was simply reiterating the rule book. More ominous were his comments on China’s big leaps in 21st-century warfare technology. When someone suggested China’s space threat was as hyped as the infamous “missile gap” with the Soviets, Gen Hyten said: “What I see is very aggressive [Chinese and Russian] actions to build a force structure that would counter our entire space capabilities.”

If you want to read a nation’s priorities, look at its budget. Mr Trump’s main ambition is to cut the US corporate tax rate to 20 per cent. During Eisenhower’s time, the marginal income tax rate was above 90 per cent. That did not stop US public and private ingenuity from racing ahead of the Soviets. Today America is the world’s technological leader. With Mr Trump in the cockpit, tomorrow may look very different.

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Been trying out this stuff I've only just discovered called "Mormon Tea". Still not sure about it, but worth a try.

Back about five or six years ago when they made Ephedrine illegal I was massively pissed off. Yes, some people had died abusing it. But they were combining it with aspirin and caffeine. I didn't see anyone trying make aspirin illegal. And I feel like I have a legitimate need for it. And I only needed smaller doses and not in combinations like that.

This stuff is a different species of the same family of plants. Not sure if it'll actually help, but it's something.

Tastes awful though.

Jell-O instant pudding made using eggnog instead of milk...
Why have I never tried this before??!?

Bowl full of awesome.

Now I want to use it as a pie filling. But I'm too lazy to actually make a pie.

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November 19

There's a funny thing that happens when there's a song that you've always liked but it wasn't particularly about anything relevant to you, and then somehow your life turns in a way so that it starts to feel relevant after all. Suddenly, the song can seem so much better. It's not better, but it just seems to mean more.

And that's where I am now.

Today is Sunshine's birthday. The "ex". I won't use her real name out of respect. She was my Sunshine and I was her Teddy Bear. I can stick with just that.
It's been more than half a year since she quit me but it still feels like yesterday. I didn't mark the date (though I could go look through the texts if I wanted to find it) so I'm not sure exactly when, but it's at least that long. I know because today is also my half-birthday, thus cementing that I can never, ever forget when her birthday is.

She won't see this (she has me blocked), and she'd only be angry if she did (she's very private and dislikes having Personal stuff out here). But she won't talk to me anyway so here's my way of getting something said. Besides, people wanted more personal stuff so here it is.

I sent her a birthday card. Dithered for a while on whether I should. It'll probably make her mad to see it. Even though I didn't write anything crazy on it (tempting as that is). Still not sure if I should have sent it at all. But I did.

The song isn't for everyone. I've always liked it but many people won't. The singer has a kind of whiny voice that could bother some. The music isn't especially unique or skillful, and is a little bit too hard for most but not hard enough for the metal fans. But again (then again), I've always liked it. It's just a nice song that sticks in my head. Which is a good thing normally, but since the song is about a breakup I guess that becomes problematic when heartbreak is what's on your mind. For the last month (ish) I've kept coming back to it. It gets in my head every day, and even when another song crowds it out it eventually comes back.

The band is called Aphasia. The song is 'Then Again'

Lyric breakdown (with comments)

* *Then again
* *I could never take my time for granted and waste it like you do
* *think that's something that you always knew

Honestly, not particularly applicable. You never wasted your time. It would be phenomenally unfair for me to accuse you of that. So not every line of the song applies I guess.
If anything, It would be me who wastes time. I'm good at that. Good at procrastinating. Good at not doing the one thing that needs done. And I have energy issues as well. I get home from work and sit in my car, sometimes for hours, because it just takes too much energy to move the forty-five feet to the nice comfy chair inside the house.
Yeah, I'm the one with time wasting issues.

* *in the end I just want to know
* *how you could do this to me

This is true. Mostly. The "to me" part makes it sound a bit off. You didn't do it 'to me', you just reacted to things in your own way. But really, I don't get it. How do you go from love to hate that fast? Somehow you seem to have convinced yourself that everything bad that any other guy ever did was from me instead. I don't understand. I don't even understand what I actually did wrong to trigger all that. I remember the scene, sure. And I'm sure I remember it differently than you. And I realize now I should never have brought it up. It was hubris. I thought I could brag about how good I was when almost any other guy wouldn't have been. But you didn't see it that way. You couldn't even see that I might see it that way. And I really don't understand how you did see it. Sure I should've just shut up, but even so, was it really that bad? I don't get it.

* *You owe me a reason for why you are so cold

Well, no. You don't owe me anything. I'd like to know though. You went from hot to cold so fast the flames froze in mid air. I'm sure the reason for it is deeper than anything else I ever knew about you. I'd like to know why. But in the end, you're your own person and you have the right to walk away if you think it's best. I don't think that's best for you but I'm not in charge of you and never was. Even now I do still want what's best for you. But I also want what we used to have. That was good for me. This isn't.

* *You didn't have to walk away
* *It didn't have to end this way

You didn't. And it didn't. I wouldn't have gone anywhere. I think we could have worked it out, and I wasn't harming you, although you seem to think I was.
I understand that for many women, being able to get away from a bad situation is the hard thing that they can't seem to do. So the fact that you can slam that door so easily should be commendable. But there's a point where maybe it's too easy. No situation is perfect, you'll always have to put up with some strife. Being able to recognize how much is too much is an important skill. This wasn't that. This was just a miscommunication but you thought it was the end of the world.

* *'cause you had it all and you just
* *gave it away, gave it away, gave it away
* *You didn't have to walk away

What can I say? You had all my love. Maybe that wasn't enough. Money issues kept me from moving nearer to you. So we didn't "have it all" exactly, but as with everything else, it's a process. That was part of your problem the first time too. Impatience. If it's not happening right now then it's not real to you. Or no more real than the doubts in your head, at least.

* *A vivid memory burned in my mind
* *I tried to put out the fire
I think the lyric site has it wrong here. Think he says:
"A vivid memory burns in my mind as I try to put out the fire"
Thing is, I actually always heard it as
"A vivid memory burns in my mind's eye,
Try to put out the fire"
Which probably isn't correct either, but just feels better to me because of the implied pun where "mind's eye" bleeds into "I try". I just like things like that.
Minor point really, doesn't change the meaning much any way you choose.

Memory has never been terribly strong with me. I don't get "vivid memories", at least not visual ones. The memories I have I surely don't want to lose, although they do burn. Painful memories, but I'd rather hurt than feel nothing, which, honestly, is what I do most of the time. But I remember being in love. Real love. Crazy love. I remember that time when I could actually feel something. That was nice. Too bad it didn't last.

* *You broke the bond and now our time has expired

Well that's just too true.
Gone for good, too. Don't expect a third round. Didn't expect the second, but now it's just too much betrayal involved to even walk into that pit again.

* *And I was unaware you did not care
* *My trust is broken and beyond repair

It's probably not fair to say you didn't care. But it sure seems as though you gave up far too easily. At this point, I can't say if I would take you back even if you wanted me to. I might, but I don't know. It wouldn't be the same, I know that. You've left me twice now. I could never really trust you again.

It's interesting that whenever I try to sing along with this, I keep wanting to sing "beyond compare" instead of the correct lyric. Don't know if that's some kind of Freudian slip or just poetic intolerance.

* *You didn't have to walk away
* *It didn't have to end this way
* *'cause you had it all and you just
* *gave it away, gave it away, gave it away
* *You didn't have to walk away

You threw it away when you didn't have to. I would say I hope you regret it but really I wish you never have to. I wonder if you do though. I can't imagine how you feel about it or if you think about it at all. Have you deleted all my pictures? Or just sealed them away somewhere you don't have to look at them? I still have yours, though I don't look at them often.

* *then again
* *Our differences
* *we could never mend

Yeah... Maybe it would've happened eventually anyway. I don't know. Your jealousy was more than I could ever put up with. I'm not a social person. I don't talk to hardly anybody. I barely interact at all. And the few, little things that I am able to do — those sparse and inadequate tidbits that I've managed to figure out how to connect at least a little bit over the years — I'm simply not willing to give that up. I just don't know any other way to act. I can barely get along in society as it is, so what little normalcy I have is precious.

And more than just that. The conspiracy theories I find amusing, you take far too seriously. Eventually that might lead to conflict. There was a good number of things that I was perfectly happy to ignore. But there's likely a limit to that. I just don't know.

* *I'm losing you
* *Losing you
* *refusing to hide my pain

'Lost you' might be more accurate. And partly because of just that. You let me stay in your circles at first after the breakup, and I tried to be at least respectful on your posts. Didn't mention anything personal. But I did cry on my own posts and that was too much for you to take. And even the innocently supportive comments I'd leave on your posts were possibly too much. I'm not sure I understand that but it is what it is.

So you blocked me then. I lost you again, because I didn't hide my pain.

I did try to acknowledge your own pain. But to be honest, I didn't understand it. And you weren't interested in explaining it, only in making accusations. Unfair and irrational ones, but pointing that out only would have made it worse.

And soon the memories will fade. Don't want them to but they always do. They say it's for the best but I know it's not. So in that way I'm losing you all over again.

* *I knew you were too good to be true

Still feel that way. We both wanted the same things. Or so I thought. But now I question that. Things you said afterward revealed that you may have been lying all along. Do women do that? Just pretend to like or want things just because they think it's what men want? Did you do that? Because that seems to me like a recipe for disaster. But the mannerisms of mine that you said you loved were the same ones you later said were annoying. So now I wonder how much of it was a lie. This should be up there under "trust is broken and beyond repair", shouldn't it. But here too, because now I see that it was only so perfect because it wasn't true.
But... I still want it to have been true. I'm conflicted. In my mind it will always be true love. Even if it isn't in anyone else's.

* *Do you feel the same
* *as I do now, for you
* *Do you feel the same?

I doubt you do, but I often wonder how you do feel. I truly do wish I could understand how you are handling this now. How you are feeling about it. Do you feel anything at all? I hope you are not suffering. Although I have a hard time imagining that you wouldn't be. But if you were regretting it I expect I'd have heard from you by now. Or that you'd at least have unblocked me.


* *You didn't have to walk away
* *It didn't have to end this way
* *'cause you had it all and you just
* *gave it away, gave it away, gave it away
* *You didn't have to walk away
* *You didn't have to walk away
* *No, You didn't have to walk away

Well... Happy birthday anyway. Hope my card gets there and doesn't cause you any stress.

With love,
From Pete

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A little piece of poetic prose that I wrote and wanted to share.

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Have you signed up yet?

Secret Santa is up and running for another year!
My coder elf has done some serious magic and the website looks fantastic! We are already at 50 registrations....and gifts have begun to arrive already!

If you have problems my elves are:
+Kyla Myers
+LaDonna Pride
they will do their best to help, and if needed they will escalate the problem to my coder elf.

When you sign in, there is a wonderful button called "tutorials" go there for step by step instructions. My elves are currently working on putting together an FAQ as be on the look out for that!

Something to remember....when you sign up you will not see your name on the list. We promise it is there for everyone else. Instead you will see a fancy "registered" button once your registration is complete. Don't forget my elves have to verify your registration, we look to make sure your wishlist link works and there is a shipping address as well. (keep an eye out for an e-mail from an elf, if we find a problem that is how we will contact you)

Remember that you can have more than one Amazon wish list so feel free to make one just for Secret Santa and you can have individual lists for your children and pets, too. Make sure they are public if you want the Elves to be able to see them. While you're at it, be sure your list has an address. You may not realize it but just because you have an address on Amazon, doesn't mean it's attached to your wishlist. Wishlist's can have different addresses. So, if your college age child is not living with you his or her address can be attached to that list.

Our new site has a great search feature. You can look up specific names, specific words like, kids, vets etc. You can also sort by country and add a specified random number of people to your recipient list.

Also new this year.... you can edit the reason Secret Santa is important to you. Go to the "My account" button and when you change the reason, a little update button will appear.

One last thing....When you receive a gift, go to the "My Account" button and there is a counter at the very bottom on the left. Just use that to indicate you have received your gift.

....and don't forget to share a photo of your gift and tag it with #santagift
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