Monday, January 1, 2018

Hello, 2018!

Indeed.  We celebrated the New Year with family and friends last night.  It was a nice get-together although my cousin did very well at low-stakes poker.  Oh, well.  By low-stakes, I mean I did badly, and lost a total of five dollars.  Not enough to make me rich, and not enough to make me poor, either.

I have been taking a little time to reflect back on 2017.  It has been an eventful year, all right.  2018 looks like it is going to start well.  Several things in my life are falling into place, so that is good.  I would like to address a few people in my life.  If it were possible to talk to them, this is what I would say.

The first person is a sibling, who has behaved in a very mean, nasty way for decades.  He hates Mrs. Dellroy - but only because she got into his face when he was being stupid.   The things I would say to him are:
1.  We do not hate you, only the awful things you have said and done to us.
2.  We do not sit around, talking about you all of the time.
3.  I was not being mean, when earlier this year, in a court proceeding you were present for, I said that my life goes better without you. It is just the truth.
4.  I hope someday you change.

The next person is a sister-in-law, who did something really bad almost three years ago.  I would tell her:
1.  Yes, you DID do something wrong.  You lied to your mother, for starters.  Shame on you!
2.  You do owe your sister an apology.  You hurt her very much.  She was only trying to do right by your parents.  You did not.

The next person I would like to speak to is a daughter.  I reached out to her recently.  The response I got was quite angry and negative.  I would say to her:
1.  You were wrong to exclude us from your wedding.
2.  You were wrong to exclude us from the birth of our first grandchild.
3.  You are wrong to make demands.  If you do not make an effort to change, I shall be forced to deny your existence.  I would be forced to disown you.  I do not want to do that, but if you continue being mean, I shall do it. 
4.  Your behaviour marks you as a sociopath.  One wonders what kind of parent a sociopath will make.

The last person is another daughter.  She, too, has stopped speaking with us.  I believe she is confused, and needs to find her own direction.  I would say:
1.  The phrase "coming out"  applies to everyone you know.   Your mother was right; you weren't really "out".  Actually, you still aren't.
 2.  I am much less concerned about your sexual orientation than I am about what you are doing with your life.  Where are you going?  What do you want to do?  A person in their late 20s should have some idea, by now.
3.  You and I were able to talk about stuff before.  Sometimes we did not agree, but we agreed to disagree.  What happened to that?  Why are you so snide, and judgmental?  I would like to talk with you, in person, one to one, just once.
4.  Both you and your sister could learn a lot from your oldest sister.  She is kind, and loving, and tolerant.  She does not hate.   In spite of the fact she is lower-functioning than many people, she, at least, is a joy to be around.

I have heard it said you should wear your heart on your sleeve.  So, there, I have told you the things that are most troubling in my life.  One solution is to put these people aside, for my own mental health.  Right now, that is all I have for a plan.  These folks need to decide, on their own, to change, and rejoin the human race.  I hope they do.

Now that the "etc." is out of the way, we have the SPOCS part.  I am still working on the totalizer module.  I hope to have the basic version done soon.  In the meanwhile, I hope you have a happy new year - whenever you observe it - and your life goes along easily.

Good Night, Ma and Pa Wolfe,  wherever you are.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Now it is Nearly Christmas

My place of work had a pot-luck luncheon today.  It was very nice.  After lunch, the boss told everyone to go home, and have a Merry Christmas.  This was after the company dinner last week, which was held at a very nice restaurant.
This has been a very eventful year.  It started off with me getting downsized from a great job of four years.  Then a family friend and I started separate businesses, with the idea of supporting each other.  The friends' work situation changed, but it turned out OK, since I had a client that liked my work, and wanted to bring me on board.  It's official - I will be an actual employee on January 1, 2018.  More on this later.  Sprang Automation will shut down shortly thereafter.  I won't have to pay my own taxes any more - which is a pain, I'll tell you.
I have already worked on a number of projects through the year, and more are coming in 2018.  I am looking forward to the new year.

In the SPOCS world, I am adding a new feature.  Since our septic system was redone last year, there is a new pump that feeds the leach field.  This pump, in theory, could be used to track household water consumption.  So, I am adding a totalizer module, in place of the event trend module.  We will see how this turns out.  I am in the process of defining how the module will work.  Are there any functions you would like to see SPOCS have that it doesn't now?  leave a comment, and let me know.

To all who observe it, a Merry Christmas, and a Happy New year.  If you observe something different, may it be great.

Good Night, Ma and Pa Wolfe, wherever you are.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

We Celebrate THANKSGIVING!

That's right, Thanksgiving, as in, giving thanks for the things we have in our lives.  Not so much stuff, as the love of our children, the fact we live in a free country, and have enough to eat.
Some folks want to vandalize the holiday, by changing the name to something silly, or glossing over the idea of being thankful.  That's called being grateful, folks, and appreciative for what you have, and what others may have done for you  (ARE YOU LISTENING, DAUGHTERS #2 & #3?).
So we celebrated  three times last weekend...once, with our little, faithful family.  Once with my maternal family.  One final time with Mrs. Dellroy's family.   A good time, in each case.

And now November is nearly done.

In the meantime, SPARCL14 is running SPOCS version 2.60.  I am looking at final changes to various modules.  The communication modules have better diagnostics, so you can tell what went wrong sooner.  There are a number of bug fixes, and general improvements.  I am having L14 exercise SPOCS pretty thoroughly, before we go for a release.

Good Night, Ma and Pa Wolfe, wherever you are.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Now We Are Drying Out!

Whew!
After the last few days, it is good to see dry ground again.  The rains came, and they only let up briefly, before resuming their deluge.  Now the weather is cooling off, and things are wet - probably nature getting ready to go into deep-freeze mode for the winter.

Haven't heard back from Dr. Black yet, on Flite.  In the meantime, I had a breakthrough on my own, so I am using Flite on my development machines.  Its voice quality is not quite as good as Festival, but it is better then my EMICS2 hardware speech module.

So - we are back on the road to the next SPOCS release.  This year has been so eventful, I haven't had too much time for SPOCS.  Faithful  old SPARCL12 has been chugging along all these months, running SPOCS 2.51, and watching over things around here.  SPARCL15 is up with SPOCS and Flite, and so far, so good.  I need to review my feature list.  Do any of you have any features you would like to see in SPOCS?

Good Night, Ma and Pa Wolfe, wherever you are.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

We Need "Truck Control"!

Today the news media reports on another horrific terrorist act, that killed a number of people, and injured many more.  Before I proceed, I want to make it very clear that I am not belittling those people, or trivializing their pain and suffering.
It seems that a man in New York took a truck, and drove it down a bicycle trail.  He caused a lot of death and injury before the police stopped him.

If you recall, when the shootings happened in Las Vegas recently, the anti-gun folks came crawling out from under their rocks to once again demand more gun laws.  I would ask these people, "how would more gun laws have prevented the disaster in New York?  Do we need 'truck control' ?"
And, once again, those morons would fail to understand that the weapon is not the cause.  We need 'truck control' as much as we need 'gun control'.  Every so often some anti-gun person reminds us that there are more guns in our country than people.  And I say "Right!  And if you look at all the gun incidents, nation-wide, for a whole year, and put that against the number of guns owned, you would find that, literally, 99.9% of all the guns in this country are NOT being used to commit a crime or hurt someone."

Some years ago, a local newspaper published an editorial I wrote on gun control.  I told of a man who walks up to a crowded school yard, and opens fire with a gun.  Many kids are killed, many are hurt.  So we outlaw guns. Then this guy gets out of prison, goes back to that school, lights a Molotov cocktail, and throws it into the playground.  Many kids die, many are hurt.  So, we pass a law, one cannot possess gasoline, except for what is in your car.  And once again, this guy gets out of prison (he shouldn't, but you know, we civilized folk do not execute murderers any more), takes his car, and drives it through the wall, into the school yard.
At what point do you finally say, hey, this person might be the problem?? 

Time to end this rant.  I have not yet heard back from Dr. Black on the Flite question.  I am working on it myself.  Hopefully I will have a solution soon.  Thus ends the 150th SPOCS post.

Good Night, Ma and Pa Wolfe, wherever you are.