Thursday, December 17, 2015

Verizon, Microsoft, Windows 10

I've been getting notices, more like demands that I upgrade to Windows 10.

I hate to mess with something that is working so I have avoided doing so, but I also know that when computer software manufacturers move on they abandon old platforms which eventually cease to be compatible with newer versions. I also suspect that each successive version of these devices is a more effective surveillance tool so "my government can protect me against terrorists". Yeah, team.

I got a notice from Verizon the 15th saying we had used 75% of our allotted data for the month and that it was due to reset on the 16th. Our phone and internet use all is applied to the same account.

Leah had done the upgrade without any apparent complications, so yesterday I decided to give in.

I started the download. It seemed to be slow loading so I decided to eat some breakfast. When I came back, I noticed that the attempt had failed. I tried again.

My phone alerted me that we had used 90% of our monthly data.

Second attempt failed.

My phone alerted me that we had used 100% of our data, and each additional gig would cost us $15.

By the time I got the goddamned thing shut down we went at least two of these increments over for the month, meaning an additional $30 charge.

I still have not successfully downloaded Windows 10.

Fuck Microsoft. Fuck Verizon. Fuck you very much.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

The thirteenth apostle

I recently bought and am currently reading a book called Christ's Ventriloquists: The Event that Created Christianity, written by Eric Zuesse.

The premise of the book is this: Modern Christianity is based largely on the teachings of the Apostle Paul, (or is it the self-appointed (un)apostle Paul) rather than the teachings of Jesus.

Zuesse suggests that James, Jesus’ brother was left to take the place of Jesus after the demise of Judas Iscariot. He points out that a rift developed between James and the remaining original apostles and Paul, who claimed apostleship after being struck and temporarily blinded by something approximating a bolt of lightning while pursuing his job of killing heretical followers of Jesus the Jewish Rabbi. And that, in the end, Paul won.

Zuesse proffers that Jesus did not intend to start a new religion, that instead he came to fix an ancient but flawed one, that of Abraham. 

Left out of Zuesse’s argument (at least to the point I have read) is the story of Matthias, chosen by Peter and a group of believers to replace Judas as described in the Acts of the Apostles.

Some might ask why any of this matters. Other books, including the book of Revelations describe the New Jerusalem. It is said to have 12 gates, each to be manned by one of the 12 apostles. Not 13, or 26. 12.

So is the 12th apostle Judas? James? Paul? Mathias? Who mans that 12th gate?

Allow me to further muddle the equation.

There could be another, none of the above.

A woman.

Mary of Magdala: Perhaps, Jesus’ closest confidant. Perhaps also his wife.

Her book was excluded from the Bible. Most Christians don’t even know the book exists.

According to her, the remaining Apostles could not accept that Jesus would return first to a woman, and furthermore, to instruct her with teachings that appear to supersede their own understanding.

It was Mary, Jesus’ mother, and Mary of Magdala to which Jesus first appeared, according even to the books accepted into the Bible.

The more I learn, the less I know.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Gluten intolerance

Some 12 years or so ago, I developed acid reflux disease and then a couple of patches of skin rash on my ankles and my hips.
I controlled the acid reflux with acid blockers, but got to the point where I could not afford to go a single day without taking them.
I tried everything I could find for the rash. About the only thing that helped was diaper rash medicine.
Some 7 years ago, my dad was diagnosed with Coeliac (Celiac) disease. Gluten intolerance. Celiac Sprue
Thinking that I might also have inherited the condition, I quit eating foods containing gluten. The acid reflux went away. As did the rash.
I just found a link (pdf)  between the rise of gluten intolerance and the use of glyphosate. Damn it.

Sunday, December 6, 2015


When I was a kid, I'd see carnival games. They looked easy to win. Throw a ball into a basket. Toss a ring over a bottle. Shoot out all the colored portion of a star with a bb gun.
Over time, I learned the game was rigged. I'd ignore the con artists as they tried to wave me in and keep walking.
Politics has become the same for me as an old man.