Thursday, September 30, 2010

This an attempt to learn html.

That shows that the font defaults to Arial small. Now I will try large.

Next I will try both large and Times typeface.

Which doesn't work because the html editor puts in lots of repetitive stuff, enters stuff then cancels it, toward no end. And enters nothing for Times. I will try it with a different typeface, say Arial.

Still nothing possibly because Arial is the default typeface so there was nothing to enter? Now for courier, the typewriter typeface.

Again but forcing it this time by typing in ' font="courier" ' in one of the apparently defective formatting commands.

What the hell does it want?

Ah that is what it wantedApparently it is backward compatible to an earlier version of HTML that I found in a tutorial which uses the expression and then ends with

It uses numbers from 1 to 7 for sizes rather than "large" or "small". Now I should also be able to set both size and typeface in a single font statement.

It should even be possible to set color as well in the same font statment. Are there other attributes than typeface, size, and color?

The fact that the more modern CSS (cascading style sheet) coding no longer works suggests strongly that in its last update Google introduced a bug they have not yet got rid of.

Which means that I am reduced to learning and applying CSS html code myself. What a revolting development this is...

Which means that I am reduced to learning and applying CSS html code myself. What a revolting development this is...Which means that I am reduced to learning and applying CSS html code myself. What a revolting development this is...Which means that I am reduced to learning and applying CSS html code myself. What a revolting development this is...Which means that I am reduced to learning and applying CSS html code myself. What a revolting development this is...Which means that I am reduced to learning and applying CSS html code myself. What a revolting development this is...Which means that I am reduced to learning and applying CSS html code myself. What a revolting development this is...Which means that I am reduced to learning and applying CSS html code myself. What a revolting development this is...Which means that I am reduced to learning and applying CSS html code myself. What a revolting development this is...

Apparently 'text-align' is just another setting like font-size and is entered the same way.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

What's Going On Here?

[Ahmadinejad at the UN]

from today's New York Times -

UNITED NATIONS — President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran made a series of incendiary remarks in his speech to the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday, notably the claim that the United States orchestrated the Sept. 11 attacks to rescue its declining economy, to reassert its weakening grip on the Middle East and to save Israel.

Those comments prompted at least 33 delegations to walk out, including the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Costa Rica, all 27 members of the European Union and the union’s representative, diplomats said.
This kind of childish antics, and I am sorry to use such a tired image, is reminiscent of Hitler. It makes a show of defying and offending the West to no purpose but for the show itself. Had there been any remaining doubt that Iran cannot be permitted to have nuclear weapons that doubt was removed today.

That the United States, the European Union, and the Commonwealth countries were able to act in concert is a considerable accomplishment of both the Obama Administration and of the European Union leadership.

The Times' reporting is ambiguous in that it said "at least" 33 delegation walked out in protest. The EU delegation plus its 27 members makes 28. The US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Costa Rica are 5 more, making 33. How many more walked out? Any? The reporter doesn't say.

Also today, according to to Washington Post the President gave a lengthy interview to BBC Iran in which he said,
He added that the Islamic republic has "a right to peaceful nuclear programs and peaceful nuclear power."
It is not clear how these positions are reconcilable. If Ahmadinejad is someone so irresponsible that all the responsible adult countries of the world walk out on him, how does his government have a right to nuclear programs even with the fig leaf of pretending they are peacefully intended?

The only explanation I can think of is that the BBC Iran interview was an attempt to negotiate directly with the Iranian people without the intermediation of the Iranian government. Or that there is a split within the Administration. With one side taking a hard line and organizing mass walkouts on Ahmadinejad, and another wanting to, as the President said, "to engage" with Iran.

Or perhaps there is no split, but rather two different approaches - tough with Ahmadinejad and his buffoon regime and accommodating with the Iranian people collectively. Actually that makes more sense. Real splits in the cabinet take place only with personally feeble or detached Presidents like Reagan in his second term. Obama is young, vigorous, and apparently fully in charge. When the president is in charge of his cabinet, splits are resolved by the losing parties suddenly being seized by a tremendous desire to spend more time with their families back in Massachusetts, as just happened to departing Secretary of the Treasury Larry Summers.

Strangely the Times does not mention the interview with BBC Iran and the Post does not mention the UN walkout. Very confusing.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Now If the Sonofabitch Would Only Shape Up on Israel...

The fact that this is blatant Administration propaganda aimed at the November elections doesn't make it not true.


Thursday, September 23, 2010

A Bit At A Time

It is one of the delights of primitive living that even small improvements loom large.

After a week on the road I got the refrigerator working. It is amazing how many things there are to eat besides packaged udon bowls when one has a refrigerator. I even have milk and meat now. And fruit and crudites.

And I have discovered that the microwave will work when the generator is on. Much as I despise the racket the generator makes, I am willing to endure it, and to inflict it on the world, in the increments of five minutes it takes to ruin a steak.

I have even been following Chaim's advice about meat being better when it is rarer. My inclination, learned at my mother's table, is to have meat well-done. I have been trying to eat rarer meat in hopes it will taste better and be more haute cuisine. I remain skeptical but am trying to ramp down the microwave times. Tonight I ran generator and microwave for four minutes. The meat was flavorless. But it would have been flavorless anyway because round steak is fatless and therefore juiceless. Baruch Hashem for ketchup.

Last night I re-wired the radio as a jury-rig to see if it would work without going through the ignition switch. It did. By crawling around under the dash, I was able to trace the iPod cord to its plug. I plugged it in and it worked too. It was wonderful. I had Yo-yo Ma and a full moon on the banks of the Malheur River in southeastern Oregon. And a decent single malt scotch.

The quality of the music is actually pretty good because I took the precaution of recording everything in Apple Lossless format. I have recorded a large number of books-on-CD on the iPod and more still on the pc, ready to be transferred to the iPod. The books are great to listen to while I drive.

I have been listening to a history of ancient Israel, from Abraham to Simon Bar Kochba. While it is conventional to doubt or even deny the historicity of the Bible, in every case where extra-biblical material (usually archaeological finds and inscriptions) become available they confirm the biblical text. In the face of repeated confirmations, one cannot help but wonder about the apparently partisan animosity of the nay-sayers.

The Biblical Minimalists, as they are called, all just happen to be violently anti-Israel. And denying the historicity of the Bible just happens to match the Palestinian denials that the Jews ever lived in Israel before the coming of the Zionist immigration beginning in the 1870's.

Fortunately the author is a solid academic who holds to the evidence available and to reasonable interpretations.

My strategy of smiling disdainfully at crowded RV parks as I drive past them, in favor of solitude in wide truck pullouts in remote scenic locations continues to be its own reward. The canyon of the Malheur will not make you forget Grand Canyon, but it is fine all the same. And I had it all to myself. The last car passed about midnight, then silence.

One wonders about the naming of names there. After the Malheur River came the bridge over the Malade River. One assumes the area was first explored by a French-Canadian trapper with a toothache.

I have gotten over my initial discomfort about driving the bus on freeways. Indeed, I discovered in driving across southern Idaho today that the four divided lanes of I-84 and I-86 are a lot less stressful than the busy two lanes of US20 with its constant fears of drifting into oncoming traffic and vice-versa. I am almost to Pocatello.

The theory is that I will meet my friend Larry at the Montana-Idaho border for the annual trumpet swan migration. I have heard about trumpet swans but not seen them. They are supposed to be the largest and heaviest flying birds and quite elegant in flight.


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Don't Try This At Home - Nor Anywhere Else

[Click on four outward-pointing arrows for fullscreen. Esc to exit.]


Sunday, September 05, 2010

Getting the Beast on the Road

My attempt to leave town in the bus was aborted when the bastard broke down electrically in Calistoga. AAA was able to get it started but with considerable difficulty. I hot-footed it back to the storage yard in American Canyon.

Having just parted with over a grand to a large RV repair shop in Vacaville and gotten stranded anyway, I decided to try to figure this out on my own.

I had heard of multi-meters and even seen them. I decided to get one. It turns out they are relatively cheap and are available in auto parts stores. And one can do a surprising amount of testing of various things with them. There are a number of helpful tutorials online showing how to do automotive diagnostics with a multi-meter.

One can measure the condition of a battery by checking its voltage. The voltage will show whether the battery is charged or discharged and also whether it is rechargeable at all. Voltage across the battery with the engine running will show whether the alternator is working satisfactorily or not to keep the battery charged.

One can test for electrical leaks, called "draws" or "parasitic draws" by measuring the current flow between the positive post of the battery and its battery connector which one has disconnected from the post.

One can also check whether the battery trickle charger is working correctly. If the battery starts out with a modest voltage and then rises to a higher one after trickle charging, the charger is working.

These are all valuable things to know that one cannot learn without a multi-meter. Without one, one is just inferring, a fancy expression for guessing.

I have spent the past week testing out various wrong theories. I am much more confident of my current wrong theory than of its predecessors. Today I am going to try a longish drive around the industrial section of American Canyon and back to the storage yard. If it starts after that, which it did not do in Calistoga, then I will conclude that my current wrong theory is less wrong than the ones before it. The proof, as the French say, is in the creme brulee.