Monday, November 17, 2014

New York State 2014 Elections

New York State Board of Elections is still not showing all districts to have reported in, 15,018 out of 15,056. However, at this point, it's unlikely they'll update the count so the numbers used are the ones listed there currently.

With all the opposition to the SAFE Act and Common Core, why did Cuomo win?

As per NYS Board of Elections, there are currently 10,827,434 registered voters, out of a population of 19,651,127 (2013 estimate by US Census Bureau). In the 2012 presidential election, 6,976,373 people voted, 2,490,496 being Republican. In the 2008 presidential election, 7,557,716 voted, 2,752,771 being Republican. In the 2004 presidential election, 7,276,847 voted, 2,962,567 being Republican. In all presidential elections since 1960, other than 1996 when 1,933,492 people voted Republican, Republican vote has been an average of 2 to 3 million.

Cuomo won with 1,951,247 votes. If in the last 4 presidential elections, the Republican presidential candidate received more votes than that, what happened?

The answer is very simple; nobody voted. In this election, there was a total of only 3,717,366 votes, a little over 50% of the average votes cast in presidential elections. Not only that, but in New York City, the voter turn out this year, 976,467, was even worse than last year's mayoral election where only 1,087,710 people voted out of an average of 2.5 million who vote in presidential election.

While many people online commented that at their poll site upstate there was a massive voter turnout, when all is said and done, only half of the regular voters voted. In a city of 19.6M people, out of 10.8M registered voters, out of an average of 7M active voters, only 3.7M people voted.

Why did Cuomo win? Because, whether because of "My vote doesn't count" or "The Republican candidate is not perfect" or complacency or just plain laziness, people didn't vote.

The saddest part is that NYC Republicans, after last year's elections where less than 50% of regular voters bothered to vote, haven't learned their lesson and even less people showed up to vote this year.

The question you should ask yourself is, if all Republicans would register and vote, is NY really a blue state, or is it a red state after all.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

The Great Kosher Restaurant Magazine Scavenger Hunt is On!

Guest post by Bracha Komarov

Whether you’re a kosher restaurant “foodie” or you just like to go out to eat once in a while, The Great Kosher Restaurant Magazine Scavenger hunt has fun for everyone. The magazine advertises over 200 top kosher restaurants worldwide, their menus and other pertinent information. Elan Kornblum, also known as “The Restaurant Guy,” first published the magazine in 2004. To celebrate its 10th anniversary, a scavenger hunt has been going on which gives teams of family and friends chances to try new dishes while advertising on Facebook about the great restaurants in the magazine. Now in its third and final week of the hunt, each week there are 30-40 “challenges” that teams must try to accomplish. Some of the challenges were as simple as taking a selfie in front of a GKRM restaurant, while others were taking a picture of video trying dishes in certain restaurants. Some challenges took lots of guts – singing menu items in opera voice, singing happy birthday with a store manager, and even asking a non-GKRM restaurant own why he isn’t in the magazine. With 30+ teams competing, there’s a lot of competition going on. You can check out the website to see what it’s all about and you can still join a team or create your own for the last few, fun days. Visit for more about the hunt and for more about the magazine and to order your must-have copy!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Cuomo vs Astorino debate AKA will you please stick to the question asked

Watched the debate. That was entertaining.

McDermott a Libertarian? Since when do Libertarians oppose charter schools? And as a Libertarian, no vocal opposition of unSAFE act? And what's with the "people, people, people"? Let the people, have the people, in people's hands. And how exactly does he envision that? In the beginning, he sounded like he was high and in the end, I thought he was going to cry.

Hawkins seemed to be seeing ghosts everywhere, look at the damn camera. Communism mixed with actual Libertarianism? That was different. The only guy to actual answer questions and not sound high. Still a Green though, so no vote for you.

Astorino, considering his dependence on upstate NY, should've spent more time on unSAFE, while deviating from questions, and less mudslinging about, repeatedly, the same thing. Surprised he didn't even mention, and neither did the panelists, Cuomo's misuse of state resources to promote Cuomo's failed book. Bad move on his answer about drugs too.

Cuomo's gotta go. Lying, lying, and more lying. Commie Core is not his? Other governors ensured that it won't be in their states, he didn't. No Common Core grading for 5 years? How about actually keeping it out of the state. And how about Obama lunches. Charter Schools are the way to go to oppose both. And his comment, he didn't say it, well he said it, but he didn't mean it, and it's all Astorino's fault!

Buffalo News fielding a stupid question about a stadium, and obviously ignoring all the questions about unSAFE? Not cool, not cool at all.

The Libertarian should spend some time learning how to be a Libertarian instead of a right leaning Democrat. Astorino needs to focus more on the issues. Cuomo's gotta go. The Green guy's gotta go to Germany or some other Green European country because he'll be very miserable here. And the panelists, how about focusing on questions relevant to the entire state and not just your county.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Innocent lampshades

"Those of you who wish to practice with the parasol may take one from the cupboard, but work outside, please. A sufficient number of innocent lampshades have already been sacrificed."
Sebold, G. Shanghai Sparrow 103.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Prepper Bug Out Bag

Are you a prepper? Do you have a bug out bag for when SHTF? Natural disasters, government collapse, zombie apocalypse. Here are some ideas of what to have in your bug out bag.

Mylar blankets, water purification system, water treatment tablets, solar / hand crank radio, solar charger, fire starter, pocket stove, fishing kit, pocket saw, and more.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

New York's Gun Grabbers

  • Brian Kavanagh - Manhattan
    Introduced bill which would allow friends, family, doctors, cops or neighbors have a person's gun to be confiscated without due process.
    Introduced bill for mandatory 10 day waiting period. NYC currently already has 90 day waiting period.
    Introduced bill to ban and confiscated .50 rifles.
    Introduced bill to ban more than 1 gun purchase within 30 day period.

Monday, September 15, 2014

A gentle garrote

The two-toned priority buzz of Honor's bedside com yanked her awake with all the gentleness of a garrote.

Weber, D. Flag in Exile 383.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Does the bell toll for Cuomo?

The primaries are over and Cuomo is the winner...or is he?

I see comments about Teachout either winning or gaining over 30% in various counties upstate, Manhattan, and Staten Island. Teachout's win in Albany is surprising. I'm not very surprised by Manhattan leading New York City in opposing the man responsible for their sorrows.

Why do I think that Cuomo's out? The interesting point about the primaries which nobody mentions. In the whole state of New York, less than 550 thousand people voted. That's even worse than last year's mayoral elections in NYC when in a city of 8 million, out of 2.5 million regular voters, only 1 million voted. What this indicates to me is that Democrats may have refused to vote on principle.

Who was there to vote for in the primaries? Cuomo the Corrupter, Teachout the Socialist, and Credico the comedian who has nothing to do with politics and finds guns scary. Even if I'd be registered as a Democrat I'd have no idea who to vote for. And so it seems that a lot of Democrats decided not to vote at all.

After not voting for Cuomo, will the Democrat again not vote in November, or will they vote for Astorino? Teachout promised to fight Cuomo's corruption, but she's also a socialist. Astorino promised to fight corruption, drop taxes and increase jobs, something he already did, as he promised, in Westchester. Not only does Astorino have a proven record of turning things around, but he was actually elected by Democrats, while running as a Republican.

Does New York have a bright, new, future? I hope so.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014


Stereotyping - typing using both hands.

Monday, May 26, 2014

The crack of seven

It was the crack of seven and he was allergic to the concept of two seven o'clocks in one day.
Pratchett, T. Raising Steam 69.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Uncovering Undercover Boss

Recently, I've discovered a wonderful show on Netflix called Undercover Boss. It's a reality show about upper management  going undercover in their own companies and working together with the common people. The show is very heartwarming and inspiring and tries to show that some big corporations do care about their employees. In each episode, the bosses meet and work with several employees and then come clean to them at the end, usually showering them with raises, bonuses and gifts.

From the very beginning, I believed that this is a perfect show for all of the Occupy people to watch. Yes, you can be negative and instead of celebrating with those few employees, you can complain about all the rest who were not as fortunate to be singled out. And you can complain about those employees' initial working environments. Or you can be happy for them. Most importantly, what the show is trying to convey is that people do care and corporate decisions are not necessarily malicious and upper management may not even realize what is happening to the employees at the bottom. Do not assume that there's a Scrooge who's on purpose trying to take away your money.

After finishing watching Undercover Boss, I started watching Undercover Boss UK and that was the real eye opener. People do not appreciate the health care they have in US. People do not appreciate the amount of care the elderly receive in the US. People do not appreciate the job stability and working environment they have in the US. Some of the things I've seen on Undercover Boss UK and the attitudes of some of the bosses would be anathema to the average American. People in US do not appreciate what they have and for comparison, UK is not some poor third world country.

One of the most striking differences between the two shows was the unveiling at the end of each episode. In US, bosses, and even a mayor who did not have direct access to money, showered their employees with money. You're doing a great job so we're giving you a promotion, and here's money for each of your children for college, and we're sending you on a paid vacation, we're paying your mortgages and loans and here's fifteen thousand in spending money and we're sending you to college and paying you while you're in college, we're paying for you wedding, we're giving you your own franchise for free, and more and more and more. In UK, you're doing a good job, continue on, maybe we'll give you a raise. No bonuses, no gifts, nothing. You've just had a baby? Congratulations, go back to work. And you know what, people were happy and appreciative to just get the personal attention.

I believe that it is very important for everyone in US, and especially those with any feelings of entitlement or persecution, to watch both of these shows. And while watching the UK version, have in mind that you're not watching Undercover Boss China or Russia or Mexico, you're watching Undercover Boss UK.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

NFS: Undercover + Logitech GT

Need For Speed: Undercover supports force feedback and maps the wheel by default. Pedals, however, will not work on Logitech Driving Force GT Gaming Wheel and will not map. The game doesn't see the wheel or pedals when you try to map manually.

To get the pedals to work and map wheel buttons, download Logitech Profiler (Logitech Gaming Software). Create a new profile and if you got the game from Steam, you can find the executable under C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\SteamApps\common\Need for Speed Undercover\nfs.exe.
Leave "specific game settings" section alone, "report combined pedals" didn't work for me.
Click on "Accelerator" on bottom left and select Axis Assignment -> New Axis Assignment. Click Edit and record new keystroke "w". Now assign it to Accelerator down and click ok, leaving Accelerator up unassigned.
Do same with "Brake", but instead assign keystroke "s".
Your pedals will now work.

Same way, you can assign other controls to the wheel. Check game controls to see default key assignment, record that keystroke and assign it to wheel buttons.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

ColdFusion: Passing encrypted values in url

If you're using encrypt / decrypt on url variables, urlencodedformat doesn't always work. Instead, use tobase64() after encoding and tostring(tobinary()) before decoding. This will ensure that only alphanumeric characters are passed in the url.