Friday, January 30, 2009

Tam's Traction Control Is Better Than Mine.

She can drive off in the snow like nothing happened. Of course, her car is from krautland and mine is from Detroit. My Darling Wife's Buick Terraza has traction control also. It works by cutting engine power also, by what feels like about 66%, for what feels like 2 seconds at a time.

There is a bump in the street on the way to my house. In my hot rod Elantra, I actually got onto 2 wheels going over it sideways once. It's a bit of a large bump in the street, where two ways meet and the more-travelled one is elevated like a yard higher than the other. Driving straight across it makes the Elantra's engine go rrrrRRRRrrr and then it's back to normal before you realize that gravity is still the boss. In my wife's van, the engine goes rrrRruuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuh and you're almost to the end of the first block (at 30MPH) before it figures out to give you full power back. Annoying, but usable.

The other day, leaving the HEB parking lot, there was only a small gap in traffic. I gunned it and the car hit the street and, instead of taking off like a shot (like a car with some dam' SENSE in its robot head) it cut power way, WAY back. So here I am, expecting to gi-gi-GO! and the car is bogging out. WTF?!

Traction control button: off. Park the car and then start the engine again and it's back on. BOOOO!

I don't call her "Bad Robot" for nothing.

My Elantra has one computer to run the fuel and spark timing for the engine, and that's all. It had a computer to run the transmission, but I converted it to a manual transmission. I had to. Between Bad Robot telling me when I could open the door (only in park, you human monkey!) and my own Elantra telling me what gear it wanted to be in, I was going a little kookoo.

Oh well. Tam has a better gun collection armory than I do, too. Who am I to begrudge someone a better car? Hooray Capitalism!

Madness @ Work!

Warehouse Manager just spent a couple of days in our working area, straightening up and adding "incoming junk goes here" and "outgoing junk goes here" stripes on the floor. The idea is that it will be easier for the people who supply us with stuff to work on to be able to see at a glance when we have have plenty of work to do. WM is also partially responsible for filling our incoming stuff shelves so we won't end up idle, sucking down company dollars time without doing anything worthwhile.

Cubicle Buddy had nothing to do for a few minutes at a stretch, despite the clearly empty incoming cart in his newly-designated incoming area. He likes to bust WM's balls, so when he saw WM Talking to Company Owner #1, he hatched and executed a brilliant "small company only" plan. Backstory: WM and CO1 go way back, and CB is in the same boat with them. Nobody really gets in trouble when they give each other a ration of sh!t that would get you fired from a larger company right on the spot.

While CO1 was standing on his little car he sometimes drives around the warehouse, WM was literally sitting on his @ss just shooting the breeze with him. CB walked over to where they were burning our company's $100 bills to light cigars with and they stopped talking. CB said he hated to interrupt while WM was sitting on his @ss and talking, but he didn't have anything to work on.

CO1 looked at WM

All of a sudden WM remembered something he could have CB work on.

haha.

Now You Want to Spend $4T of My Money? Sure, What The Hay!

First it was $500B, then $850B, then $2B, and now it looks like your Elected Heroes are going to end up spending at least $4,000,000,000,000 more of your dollars to screw up the economy for the long term in a soon-to-be-failed attempt to stabilize the economy.

No, Really.

There Will Be A Time For Profits

. . . but that time is not now.

Your (Marxist) President said it. Now is not the time for a private individual to have more money than he absolutely needs, so he can spend it stimulating the economy.

No, stimulating the economy is a function of the State.

So, BHO, we are waiting for the first 5-year plan, comrade.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Blagojevich Convicted, Removed From Office.

Good.

Rod "But I Never Did Anything Illegal" Blagojevich has been convicted at his impeachment trial and removed from office. Make that one less crooked rod to blow up the engine of Chicago politics. Obama of course had nothing to do with the whole crooked sell-my-senate-seat affair. Never even heard of it. Right.

Tired. No Blogging. Leave Me Alone.

No wait, give me some coffee, brownies, and iced cream, and then leave me alone.

#3 is still working on pushing those teeth out, and still has a cold. Except now, it's no longer the weekend and there is no more opportunity for a nap in the middle of the day. wow.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Colonel Cooper Never Stirred A Pot, Once, Ever.

Including in 2001, when he said:

"In proper hands, the Glock serves just as well as the 1911 - at conversational distances. And such distances are the rule in defensive combat."

No one could ever have a problem with that, especially not fanboys. I dunno, it just made me laugh to think about the prospect of some n00b telling the Colonel he didn't know his handguns because of that statement.

First Principles: Life is God's and Self Defense Is A Human Right, Suicide is Not

You did not make yourself. You are not your own. You are, by the right of a manufacturer, God's. He made you, he owns you (but you have disowned him)*.

Your life is not your own. Your life is also not property of the State.

NOBODY has a right to take your life without a darn good reason. You do not have a right to take a life without a darn good reason. If someone's life is taken without a good reason, the murderer is answerable to God for her actions. She will be judged eventually, and her punishment will last for.ev.er*.

You are entrusted with the care of your own life. You are expected to do the things that tend toward continuation of your life. The State has no obligation to protect your life in particular, only to sort of keep the society from going all caddywompus. If anyone is going to defend you, it will be you. If the state sticks up for you, it is only dumb luck falling out in your favor. If you stand up for your own life, it is your duty. There are other reasons (love of family, love of self, love of country, etc.), but one really strong argument in favor of self-defense is that you are sticking up for the life God has entrusted to your care.

If someone is coming at you with a knife, he is trying to stand in the place of God and take your life. It is not his, he has no right to it, and what's more, he is being disrespectful and presumptuous beyond the pale to try to take your life. You have a duty to God (and your family, society, etc.) to prevent that person taking your life. That's where your little friend comes in.

To prevent the unjustified taking of your own (or another's) life, you are justified in the use of deadly force.

Self Defense Is a Human Right.

Taking your own life is not. You are old, feeble, and in constant pain. Perhaps it is your fault and perhaps it is not, but your life is still not your own. Your little friend is not the answer. As a created thing, you have no right to question the motives of your maker. If you have a problem with the place God has let you get to, take that up with Him. If, on the other hand, you scratch and claw at life, and a dozen machines are working overtime to keep grandpa in a coma instead of a coffin, you are also not doing well. Sometimes life is hard, and sometimes life is very hard indeed, but taking your own is not your job. God has his own reasons and his own ways. Presuming that your little rat-brain (compared to His mind) can understand why you are where you are, is arrogant in the extreme. You take what God gives and praise him for it, because he is trying to help, whether it looks like it or not.

********

*A little boy made a model boat and was very pleased with it. He owned it because he had made it. Then he set it on a stream and watched it drifting, until he realized that it had drifted too far. He chased it but could not catch it. A couple of days later, he saw his own boat, for sale for $2 in a storefront window. He went in and purchased it. He owned it by virtue of the purchase, as well as having made it.

You are the boat.

God has a just claim on your love and obedience, quite aside from his own goodness. You are his, but you reject his lordship over you. For your disobedience, you will receive a just reward of separation from your maker. As he is infinite, so is your punishment. As all good things come from God, you will be removed from every good thing. Good things like not being on fire, dying of dehydration and sickness, hunger and loneliness. Yes it is eternal torment for rejecting the eternal God. You will forever be tortured and it will be your own disobedience that brought it on yourself.

According to the Bible, the soul in Hell is (among other things) tormented in flames, bound, in the dark, desperately thirsty, sad, and alone. Moreover, according to the Bible, there is no escape from Hell. You cannot ever leave, and no-one can ever go and get you. You can never send a message of warning to your family, and you will never see them again. But perhaps the worst part of it all is that, according to the Bible, there will come a time when they forget you. Every sadness will be removed from the memory of the souls in Paradise, including the sad memory of YOU in Hell forever. They will forget you, and you will know they have forgotten you. You will be tortured forever, and nobody will know, or care.

But you don't have to end up there. If you will allow God to forgive your disobedience, he will. You can be given a new life that will be with Him forever and the highest of good experiences will be yours, forever. You will never grow old and sick again. It is easy. Believe on the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved.

News From The Place Where Scotland Used To Be?

In UK, you see, knives are dangerous. If you post a picture of yourself with one online, the police will hunt you down and tell you so. Seriously.

Man, I guess they would have to hire a whole new brigade of policemen to deal with The People of The Gun.

Whoever came up with the idea that folks should be prohibited from having sharp and/or pointy objects in the United Kingdom should be given a few pop knots and kicked out of government. What a crock of [deleted] this is.

Here is a proper response to a potentially dangerous scenario, in case anyone in UK is reading this:

Bloke #1: "Look out, he has a baseball bat!"
Free Man #1: "Oh, really, I've got a .45, let's see him bring it!"

Stupid Congress. You Can't Work Some Loans Out.

And another thing: My elected heroine was also talking about trying to get more loan work-outs done.

Hold on there.

Somebody please explain something to me:

If someone bought a property to flip for a profit in 2 months, and they were forced by a crashing market to hold it instead of flipping, and they are in default because they don't want the property itself, much less the loan on it . . .

How are you going to get them to do a work-out instead of a straight-up default?

Hmm? Anyone?

I didn't think so.

How about someone who got a liar loan sub-prime adjustable, who couldn't really afford the interest-only first two years' payments (nevermind the after-adjustment interest-and-principle payment) on their ballin' new house even though the mortgage broker (spit) said they would be able to? Their credit card is just about maxed out from buying groceries because their mortgage is too high. A 40% reduction on their payment would maybe allow them to start treading water (instead of sinking). How are you going to work out that loan?

Hmm? Anyone? Bueller?

I didn't think so.

Stupid Congress. ALL The Money Is Stimulating!

I was listening to one of my elected heroines on the radio this morning and she was talking about how they didn't like all those bad Demican earmarks in the bill, and the Republicrats didn't want all those earmarks. They said something about how a frisbee golf course in Austin won't stimulate the economy.

Yes it will. Building ANYTHING stimulates the economy. In order to have a disc golf course that will have nobody will use, you have to build it. That requires all sorts of construction workers working, and then they take their pay and spend it . . . in the economy. The economy is YOU and ME. If anyone spends money it stimulates the economy. The Democrats are correct as far as that line of thinking goes.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not really wanting to buy another frisbee course either, but . . .

I got sick of listening to the us good/them bad so I switched the station and Sgt. Sam Cox pinned the whole steaming pile of poo that is our federal congress and senate (not to mention the white house) to the wall. He pointed out in very simple fashion that they are not interested in stimulating the economy, they are interested in pork-barrel spending and legislating their agendas. He pointed out that the fastest way to get money into the economy (the hands of the people) is to

NOT TAKE IT AWAY FROM THEM IN THE FIRST [deleted] PLACE!

(that's a paraphrase).

If you want the people to have money to spend, how about not ROBBING them of it at gunpoint? Hmm? No? Oh, that's right you are all a bunch of Socialists, and more interested in redistribution of wealth than distribution of wealth.

ugh.

Vote for ME.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Iran: Enough Uranium To Make A Bomb This Year?

Iran is interested in nuclear technology only so that they may have clean, affordable electricity generation.

Also they don't mind that they will have enough low-enriched uranium to make a nuclear bomb this year.

Sky News story found at The Savage Nation

Jimmy Carter: Stupid or Evil?

Video at This Ain't Hell. . .

Of course we can trust hamas, because they are self-interested.

Except that a faithful mulsim has a different interest than you there Jimmuh.

Failure to recognize this critical reality is a large part of the reason we are in the mess we are in (Da War). It is evidence of either an evil, disingenuous personality or, as I believe, a mental disorder. Dr. Michael Savage calls this disorder "Liberalism."

surpRISE surpRISE surpRISE Palestine Breaks Cease-Fire

The joooos stopped fighting before eradicating every member of hamas, thereby showing their arab enemies that Israel is weak.

Hamas agreed to stop fighting . . . for now.

Well, that was last week. Now the action is rejoined. Hamas, typically, blames Israel when they (hamas) conduct a roadside bombing during a truce. Israel has responded. I hope they don't stop this time, until they have OBVIOUSLY DEFEATED their enemy, or this will continue to happen, and rockets will eventually start coming into Israel's cities again.

Good News From The Pediatrician: I Win The Bet.

Rhinovirus + teething, probably, just like I thought.

See? I could have been a doctor, I just didn't want to go to school that long. Yeah, that's it.

Anyhow, I made a bet with my wife, and I won. Never you mind what the stakes were, but let's just say the details are unsuitable for publication.

Now I Am A Homer-Sekshuwul?

Uncle gives a link to a new twist on being queer (at Irons in the Fire). I might be one even. Maybe.

(but I am pretty sure, not so much.)
(my wife I think, is also pretty sure not so much)

Monday, January 26, 2009

Potty Training Infants & Small Children

(our 2 most recent anecdotes)

Potty training infants is potty training mommies, for the most part. She must catch the baby in the act, and then stop what she is doing and rush off to the john. It is a trade-off between "inconvenient" and "nasty," and every mommy can choose which she would prefer. You can tell when a baby is about to 'make' and it is plain right from the start that he doesn't want to do it in his diaper. Think about it, and you'll realize that you wouldn't want to, either. When #3 was born, we figured out in a hurry that we didn't want to be changing diapers soiled by a baby eating anything but breast milk. Breast milk diapers aren't so terrible (when it's your own child). Solid food-poo is nasty. We took a hint from the good people at No Greater Joy and decided to go ahead and try potty training an infant. It's just this side of impossible to tell "I have to pee" crying from "I want that" or "I'm hungry" or "I'm tired" crying, but it is pretty obvious from the sounds and body language, when #3 is about to go #2. Instead of waiting for a stinky mess to be smeared all over the parts nearby, my Darling Wife decided to go the hard road: pay attention to the baby.

We have a little toilet seat that fits on top of the regular seat, about the size of a toddler's tooshie. When my Darling Wife or I see the charicteristic stiffening of the body, red face, frustrated look and hear the "hmmph" sounds, we snatch him up and put him on the seat. I think I've cleaned out maybe 3 diapers in the months we've been doing this (5 months? 6 months?) and I am pretty happy about that. Today I didn't get him there in time, but I still wiped him off, sat him down, and gave the ritual encouragement speech: "Push poopies! HMMPH!" and he sat there a minute until he figured out he was done. I plopped the majority of the diaper's contents into the potty and we gave the ritual finishing speech: "Bye-bye poopies!" (complete with opening/closing baby fist waving bye to the poo as it goes down the drain). Shortly afterward, we laid him down for a nap and he woke up and cried. He was wet. Fresh diaper, some Orajel (miracle drug) and he fell back asleep.

Potty training an infant has one HUGE advantage/side benefit: you don't have to UN-train them when you think they are ready for potty training at 2 or 3 years of age. You also won't have to convince a child fully capable of both fear and logic, that this big white thing full of water in a cavernous hole, which makes a tremendous noise, and used to be off-limits, is not only "not terrifying" but actually "okay" to sit on. By the time a baby can walk and talk, he will be ready to go plonk his little booty on a little potty and do his own business. You still have to clean it up, but do you really want to be cleaning nasty poop diapers for the next 3 years, until "potty training time" arrives?

Now #2 is 5 years old and a Big Boy. He was sleeping through the night without wetting his bed for several months, pushing a year I guess, with only the occasional accident when he had too much to drink before going to bed. Then he started wetting the bed almost every night, and we decided to Do Something. My Darling Wife and I had a hunch his bet wetting was out of laziness or fear or some other controllable emotion, and that he could break himself of it. We gave him a few warning/try nights, and then broke out an old swimming diaper. He did not want to be wearing a diaper. I sat him down and had a long talk about The Way Things Are, and he eventually agreed that Big Boys who wet the bed should be wearing night-time diapers until they stop wetting the bed. He understood that when he no longer wet his night-time diaper, he would stop wearing them. He still didn't like the idea of wearing a diaper though because, after all, he is 5 already. We went to Costco and got some other large packages of stuff, and came to the Baby Stuff aisle and got a box of boy training diapers. He did not like the idea of wearing diapers, especially a whole big box full of them. We explained that we would get only one box, and if they were all kept dry we would not get another box. He grudgingly acquiesced to the necessity. We got home and opened the box and they had Lightning McQueen on them. (!)

Well now! That is something different altogether! He was perfectly willing to wear some Lightning McQueen chonis and it was a cool-stuff bonus that the trophies on them disappear if they get wet. These here are some Big Boy night-time diapers!

He has kept them all dry since the first one we put on him, and the box is almost empty.

The AR Platform: Needs More Cowbell!

This post at the Firearm Blog has a post about the AT-14 that got me off on a tangent, so I decided to post about it here instead of stirring up a hornet's nest over there. This is an AR platform that fires the .410 shotgun round. Someone said something about the .410 being as powerful as a .357 magnum. Excuse me? You need a full-size rifle-platform-shotgun thingy firing .410 slugs to equal great-grampappy's wheelgun for stopping power? Duh?

Hold on there.

Why do you want all that fuss? Col. Cooper would ask "What's it for?" (the answer, or course, is "To sell, dummy!") but I guess we don't ask questions like that anymore since he went to his reward.

The real question is, why are we still fascinated with the poodle-shooter and the guns made for it? Dont' get me wrong, with the proper mechanical changes and cleaning, an AR can be almost as reliable as an AK, but then you are still shooting a hot magnum .22 caliber. ;)

Sure you can carry more 5.56 than 7.62 but that's a lot more important if you have a spray and pray switch. Back when the slogan "every Marine a rifleman" meant more than it does now and our rifles only went BANG instead of tink tink tink tink tink tink when you pulled the trigger once, the 7.62 was plenty. Then the Air Force wanted something lighter to carry when they were patrolling watches around stuff that wouldn't be attacked. They got a cool gun and so everybody else had to have one? Boo.

.30-06 was perfect. We rained death from 800 yards on the Germans with .30-06 way back when. Of course, we had a different caliber of men back then, too (quelle double entendre!)

Now our battle rifle is like our national press's ideal of manhood: light in the ass and can't hardly do the man's work it is supposed to do. Doesn't hit hard if it even reaches the goal and won't bruise your poor widdle shoulder. BAH. Let's have a return to a battle rifle with a caliber that will do more than the run-of-the-mill icepick. mid-6mm range is a good start. mid-7mm was better.

Sick Baby, No Blogging

#3 is apparently trying to push at least a half-dozen teeth out all at once, while he has a head cold. Sounds fun, right? Yeah. My Darling Wife stayed up all night with him and now they are both finally asleep, just about in time for me to call in sick to work.

Don't look for too much output from me on the blog or on the job today. Boo.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Charles Schumer

From September 2001's Cooper's Commentaries:

Probably the most depressing man in public life at this time is Chuck Schumer of New York. This fellow has come out publicly to say that the Constitution of the United States is valid only for people who believe the earth is flat. Schumer has sworn to support and defend that constitution! Even the electorate of New York should be able to detect some sort of contradiction here.


ahem.

Peak Oil: Not So Much.

Exxon finds 80 billion more barrels off the coast of Brazil.

Gee, we'll be running that empty in what, a couple of days?

If oil were a finite resource I would be all for getting us off it. But it's not. Peak oil is another scare tactic the socialist-environmentalist movement uses to get you to submit to government control.

People Who Should Be Shot. 2 More.

David Coronado Sr. and Ruthy Chabolla. The "parents" of an infant beat and tortured him, leaving him brain-dead. The baby has 42 skeletal injuries and is 6 months old. The state should let this baby die of his injuries (preferably while high as a kite on morphine) and then prosecute these dirtbags for murder.

I think they would have a waiting list if they asked for volunteers to throw the switch on ol' sparky when these two get their turns to have a seat.

Texas Children No Longer To Be Taught Evolution

at least, they won't be taught the theory has flaws anymore.

Yes people, the theory of evolution is full of holes you could drive a truck carrying a tyrannosaurus rex through, but the children don't need to know that. Because, theoretically, eventually, that could lead to talking about some other theory of how nothing turned into everything, possibly even (gasp) creationism! The children might even look around and start thinking there is a God that made them! This MUST NOT be permitted.

No johnny carbon dating is absolutely perfect. No, human and dinosaur footprints have never been found in the same piece of rock. No, Darwin did not say if something irreducibly complex were found his theory would be invalid. No there is no God, you were not made you just happened.

The "scientists" in the teach/don't teach evolution flaws debate are about as fervid as the "rights advocates" in the give/don't give pre-abortion counseling debate. For the same reason: they are humanists. Google up what the supreme Court has said about humanism and you will understand why they can't give even a millimeter of ground to the intellectual enemy.

Yet Another Kennedy Replaced By Pro-Gun Democrat?



Uncle reports the good news: Caroline Kennedy is out, Kristen Gillibrand looks like she might be in. Replace Clinton with someone who comes right out and says she grew up safely handling guns and hunting, and says the 2A means what it says? She may be a woman (no offense) and a Democrat (BOO!), but I'd say that's a pretty big improvement right there. I'm pretty sure she and I would disagree on a lot of other things, chiefly on how/whether she wants to spend my money, but every pro-gun pro-2A Senator in the Senate is a potential ally in the fight to preserve the right that preserves all the others for the People.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Vote for David on AOL: Not Me!

Aside from a month and a half of free internet service followed by an unusually-easy cancellation of the service, I have never had anything to do with AOL or AIM. "Never have, never will" is my motto for dealing with America Online and the websites hosted on their servers. I think they're actually blocked out in my Hosts file (but I digress). If you google it up a little I am sure you will be able to find some AOL horror stories that will explain my position to you. I have also never bothered with American Idle Idol, and I was a little dismayed to learn that Vote for David was apparently a rallying cry for fans of one of the contestants on that show.

Out of curiosity I searched for my blog name in the search box on AlphaInventions.com . . . and came up with Vote for David on AOL as part of a plea for votes for whoever this David character was (is?) on American Idol, at Archuleta Avenue Malaysia, An avenue for fans of David Archuleta. Make that two Davids I've never heard of before, but there are quite a few of us.

Not-too-funny David joke: There are about a half-dozen or so Davids at my church. When someone comments on how many of us there are, I tell them that, to save time with greetings, we all stand around in a circle and say "Hi Brother David" all at the same time. I told you it wasn't too funny. But it's corny enough to get a chuckle or at least a grin/groan combination, so I keep using it.

http://www.alphainventions.com/

We'll see what comes of it, but an attempt has been made to get more bloggers' eyes on more bloggers' blogs. Alphainventions updates when a blogger who is on their list makes a post, or something like that. You get a broader sampling of blog content than you normally would, by visiting the site, and bloggers get wider exposure. Sounds like a win/win to me, and I have a new bookmark to file in the Blogs category.

March For Life 2009

In 1974, 20,000 people marched in D.C. to protest the Roe vs. Wade decision. Last counts were 10 times that many people.

Protesting MURDER SANCTIONED BY THE STATE.

These protesters share the motivation of President Wilson: "I would rather fail in a cause that will ultimately succeed than succeed in a cause that will ultimately fail."

There will be no abortions when God's kingdom comes. Then, if not before then, these people will be on record as doing what they could in a just cause against overwhelming opposition from their government.

The last year with published numbers (2000 IIRC) black people in america accounted for 17% of all live births. They also made up nearly double that (36%?) percentage of abortions. Twice as many black babies were killed as were allowed to live. Those who have been paying attention will know that this is just fine with the founder (Margaret Sanger, spit) as well as the current operators of the murder-for-profit organization Planned Parenthood. They started out with the aim of reducing the number of people in the lower races, and they have succeeded. I heard today that there would be twice as many black people alive today if they were not killed by their parents before being carried to term.

Those people would, some of them, have been old enough to vote for Barry.

That same Barry who is planning to reverse the Mexico City policy preventing your taxpayer dollars being used in other countries to murder unborn children for their parents' convenience.

Happy Thursday.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Good News: Caroline Kennedy NOT Going Into The Senate

John was the last Kennedy in office that was worth the effort to put him there. Don't get me started on Ted. That Caroline was even on the short list for Senatrix from New York was about enough to have me start pulling (what's left of) my hair out. Not that New Yorkers have a habit of electing high quality people to represent them coughbloombergcoughhillarycough but you know what? Even for New York, Caroline Kennedy would have been pretty low.

Fortunately for our Republic, she found out there was another name in consideration for the seat, so she quit trying to get the appointment.

Good.

I don't know anything about any of the other people the Governor Paterson is considering, but they almost can't be less qualified than C.K.

UK Poised to Send World Economy Into Great Depression

The Pound Sterling is poised to tank. UK has about 2x GDP in debts, and it is looking increasingly likely that they will default on it. If the UK does default on all those debts, that might just be the initiator the world's deflationary "death spiral".

Somebody asked me if parity between the dollar and pound were a good time to buy sterling. I said, if they default, parity will be a tickmark on the way down, and they will smash right through it. At that point, it would make more sense to buy MREs and water tanks than Pounds Sterling

"The Baby Boomers have had their moment in power. The most spoilt generation in history has handled affairs with its characteristic hedonism. The results are coming in.

The blithering idiots."

I Hope You Didn't Plan On Flipping That House Anytime Soon

At least, not flipping it for a profit. Because next year, its value might be around 45% of what it was a year ago. From Naked Capitalism

Little wonder then, that 1/2 the homes sold in California right now are being sold through bankruptcy proceedings.

If Employing People Becomes More Expensive, Do You . . .

a) Eat the loss for the good of the working man's pocketbook and hire the same number of people

or

b) Not hire as many low-wage employees?

Gee, it's too bad nobody could possibly have foreseen this outcome!

Fortunately, President Obama is dead-set against doing things he knows will hurt the economy!

Oh, wait.

Global Warming Causes First-Ever Ice Formation in UK!

Before everyone settled on "CO2 is going to make it hotter" there was debate on whether it would make the Earth warmer by trapping heat or cooler by reflecting heat. Then again, before Global Warming became the 'consensus' theory, the consensus was Global Cooling and a new Ice Age.

Most recently, Global warming having apparently stopped, the current name for this bogeyman used to keep the people in line and paying more taxes is "Climate Change." Climate change used to be known as "weather" and genuine scientists knew that the climate was changing all the time. Anyhow, for the first time this person and their friend have ever heard of, an ice circle has been spotted on a river in UK. Because of Global Warming Climate Change the fact that it is WINTER in UK.

Duh?

From the Daily Mail Online:

How Much Money Is There In England? What An Unpatriotic Question Comrade!

There is a bill wending its way through the halls of parliament which would remove a pretty important requirement from the Bank of England (BOE). Parliament are looking to stop requiring BoE to fully disclose its balance sheet for the first time in a couple of hundred years.

So?

So they would be able to print money and not tell.

How [deleted] up do your banking system and the moral infrastructure of your government have to be, when you are paving the way to increase the money supply without telling the people about it? It is impossible in the current environment to generate inflation due to the destruction of wealth, but the depression won't last forever.

Contact your MP before this goes through. Yelling into the wind may be futile, but at least you can say you tried.

7% + 10% = Depression Level Unemployment.

We are climbing through 7% "official" unemployment. Depending on whom you count as unemployed, the actual number is almost double that percentage. And the layoffs continue. Of course there are a few companies like Circuit City that are closing down completely, but they are far outnumbered by the number of companies that are cutting back on their payrolls by cutting loose more employees.

I don't know if you are paying attention, but I have lost count of the number of companies that are cutting (roughly) 10% of their workforce due to the economic slowdown around the world. Those are the big companies. Small companies make up the majority of employers and don't get reported on by the nightly news when they cut 10% loose. If 10% of everybody that has a job, loses a job, that's 10% of the workforce that probably wants a job, without one. Add that right to the top of the unemployment figures reported by the government.

Some people peg the threshold for calling a Depression (as distinct from merely a recession) at 10% official unemployment.

7% + 10% = ?


A depression.

Great.

President #44 Inaugurated. Peaceful Power Transfer #44 A Success.

America has changed leaders. The old administration did not declare the results of the election invalid and cling to power (rather quite the exact opposite took place). There was no rioting in the streets to protest the loss by the losing voters. The military did not have to be called out. UN observers have not raised "serious concerns" about our election process. I didn't see any reports of beatings at the ballot box, and only a couple of reports of voter intimidation. None of actual disenfranchisement. Nobody's family was dragged out into the night and raped and murdered because of how they voted. Jobs were not lost because of how employees voted. The candidate himself may have received a few threats but nobody actually sent one downrange from 300 yards at him.

And?

And those things all happen in other countries. Routinely enough that there are international organizations in place to deal with the hassles at election times. In the United States of America, for the most part, we follow the rules and respect each other, even if our opinions are polar opposites. We started on a Christian value set which includes "follow the rules" and "don't be a bad sport when you lose" and look what we get. Peace. By following the guidelines you find in the Bible. We are going farther away from the standard and the country is in decline because of that, but still America remains the greatest country on the planet. Let God's people return to him and we may be able to keep it.

Congratulations to Barack Hussein Obama for proving that he could fool most of the people some of the time, at the very least, and that money can overcome a pretty serious set of serious moral and philosophical shortcomings in a candidate.

You have the office. Do try not to screw up my country too much.

He's already hot on the case trying though. Look for executive orders to stop the prosecutions of our enemies in military tribunals, as well as opening up the availability of prosecution-free murder of unborn people for the convenience of their gene-donors.

Already he has appointed communists, socialists, america and baby haters to his cabinet and positions of great importance.

If you did not hold your nose and vote for McCain, this is your fault.

Congratulations USA, you still suck less than the rest of the world when it comes to your government. Hooray. :P

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Meteor Craters: Fountains of the Deep?

I was considering the Barringer Meteor Crater the other day, when a thought came to mind that I had never had before. It has pretty obviously occurred to other people because there is some interesting debate on the topic online. You can google up your own information as well as I can, and most of the people with forums dedicated to the discussion are very anti- everything I believe in so I won't drive traffic to them on purpose. Suffice it to say, there is a LOT of thought that has been put into a LOT of words in some pretty interesting conversations out there.

Anywho, here's the thought I had, based on one of my first principles (the Bible is true, which has a corollary principle: the Earth is young): Are the huge meteor craters out there actually mislabeled? The Bible says

In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened.


To me, that says there was some water somewhere underground, and it came out via multiple fountains. There would have to be a lot of water to cover the face of the whole earth, and the fountains would have to be pretty big. Could this have been one of them?

image from thelivingmoon.com

There would have been water flowing out in every direction, so one would not find evidence of rivers originating from the fountains. There seems to be a general lack of meteorites found in the craters which would make sense if they were fountains.

There are plenty of people who won't (will not, on purpose) believe in the flood. The changes on the face of the planet that could be from the events described in the Bible as happening at that time won't fit into their worldview. They may be expected to expend great amounts of time, energy, and money to prove the Bible false. They have failed so far, but may be expected to keep trying.

One thing you will find true regardless of what you think made the craters: there are some astonishing photographs of them available online.

Do You Want A New Car?

Wait. When the 2010 models roll out, the 2009 models will still be sitting, unsold, all over the world. The deals will make you do a double-take, just you wait and see. We're already seeing 1/4 to 1/3 off MSRP. I think you'll be seeing cars selling at 1/2MSRP but I don't have anything to back that up except my instincts. That, plus there are a few cars the manufacturers will want to get rid of.


Like at Nissan. They are laying people off who used to make cars, and storing cars on the test track.


Toyota is storing 150 acres of this:


Other examples from around the world:

In Newark


In Northamptonshire


This is what you may have heard called "oversupply" or "excess capacity." People are not buying cars anymore, because they can't get 125% financing on the new house they were getting a 3-year ARM on, and they can hardly make payments on the freshly-adjusted ARM they have now. When you make a series of bad financial decisions, you end up broke. That's what happened to a lot of people. Broke is a lifestyle, and when you depend for your livelihood on people who would be broke save for foolish lenders, you are sitting on a bubble.

The bubble has burst.

If you have the credit or cash to get a new car, wait a few more months. The deals will be eye-popping.

Hold on there.

Why?

Because every year, every car seller must pay taxes on unsold inventory. They would rather take a loss that can be written off, than to pay taxes on the inventory. That means you will be buying cars from EVERYBODY for less than it cost to make them. This is going to be a once-in-a-lifetime buying opportunity.

By the way, here's another prediction: The small increase in the number of cars sold in the second half of the year will do nothing for the worsening economy in (insert your country's name here) but in America the mass media outlets will give Obama credit for "turning the economy around" when the numbers of cars sold takes a slight uptick. Remember you heard it here first, and don't be surprised that unicorns don't start giving out rainbows after a few more cars sell this year.

(sources and more information for you: Mish and The Guardian.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Students' Sense Of Security Shattered By Gunman On Campus


image from worshippingchristian.org


image from rmgo.org

Uncle points out a headline witha pretty powerful unintended meaning: Students' Sense Of Security Shattered By Gunman On Campus

The story says that some of the students don't feel safe anymore on their college campus because a gunman came around and robbed an entire classroom at gunpoint. Nothing prevented him from killing the class full of people aside from the lack of a homicidal tendency. Apparently, some of them felt safe because nothing like this had never happened to them before.

I went to the maul mall this weekend with my family. I intentionally left mi pistola in the car, trying to be a good citizen (as opposed to a felon) and not carry where doing so is prohibited. I felt as exposed to danger as I ever have, and that includes when I spent a couple of years in a place with a big target painted on it. I thought back to all the stories I've read of mall shootings and my beltline felt sorely inadequate without a holster on it. I guess that makes me different.



If I ever start a business of my own, it will have a sign something like this:

image from lonelymachines.org

Top 100 Speeches in American History

Go listen to them and read the transcripts here

Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Birthday, 2009

Consider with me the sad irony as darker-brown-than-most hyphenated Americans celebrate a brave man's birthday.

Today, we celebrate the birth of a man who was assassinated in the course of demonstrating his bravery before the world. He said
. . . "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today!: . . .


Tomorrow, we will witness the coronation inauguration of a man whose followers love him because of his skin color, and a sizable majority of them are completely unaware of the content of his character.

This is a happy day for America. Tomorrow, January 20th, 2009, will be a sad day for America, and truly the beginning of a new (set of) error(s)

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Congress Hates Children?

or do they just love big agri-business more?

A gallon of milk doubled in price from around $2.50 to just over $4, at the same time all the otehr commodities doubled, after the Fed started blowing a prosperity bubble in 2002. Now all the other commodities have crashed but milk is still around $4 a gallon, and the dairy farmers sent their lobbyists to Congress (or something) because Congress is trying to get around a requirement they put on themselves not to put earmarks in the bailout money.

They want to pay farmers to get dairy cows off the production line, in an attempt to shore up dairy prices. The price of dairy goods needs to crash just like everything else has done or is doing. To quote Mish:

Here's what needs to be done. Eliminate all price supports. The weak farmers will go out of business and the rest will thrive. Dairy farmers deserve no more support than do sign manufacturers, banks, or the auto industry. Sadly, the government is playing favorites and severely distorting the economy to do so.

Why? Because it doesn't work


Taking milk cows out of production as a way to control milk prices is a controversial approach. The federal government tried that in the 1980s through the whole herd buyout program, and while the policy worked for a time, milk production eventually bounced back and farmers were once again grappling with low milk prices.

The buyout also sent beef prices crashing, as slaughtered cows entered the meat supply.


Gee, you mean Congress can make things worse by accident? Duh?

Who is supposed to drink milk? Children. It is supposed to build strong bones & whatnot. Propping up the price of milk is good for (select one)

a) dairy farmers
b) children
c) Congressmen seeking reelction

If you picked c) give yourself a pat on the back. As it stands, Ron Paul is about the only argument left against term limits on Congressmen.

Boo.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Israel Copies Bush "Mission Accomplished" Cease-Fire?

Israel has declared a unilateral cease-fire. They will keep their men in the Gaza strip, but the objectives of the military actions against hamas have been met.

Job done, no more fighting, let's hang out the Mission Accomplished banner on an aircraft carrier?

Hold on there.

Hamas says, as long as the jooooos are in Gaza, it's still on. Israel knows this, and so the plan, apparently, based on 1 second of analysis on my part, is to continue fighting, but on a smaller scale, and probably to pound a few more faithful muslims into bloody mud when they continue launching rockets into Israel.

Friday, January 16, 2009

UAW Big 3 Bailout Explained in Pictures




From Maximum Advantage In Pictures (go look, they've got a million of 'em)


Unfortunately, they seem to be based on headlines which don't necessarily reflect reality (as usual with political cartoons). For example: Regulation of the real estate market which forced banks to make bad loans was the root of the problem. So what gets published on the alphabet networks? This:

People Who Should Be Shot. 2 More.

A woman is traveling in a truck with her 4 children and probably her shack-up stud boyfriend. He is fighting with her and throws sulfuric acid at her and manages to get it on all 4 of the kids instead. Riiiight. Then, being a good mother and a mistress of logic and reason as well as a qualified doctor, she drops off the infant with a neighbor and the older three children get left at a restaurant.

Blam! Scratch one bad parent. Blam! Scratch one [deleted] male. Children in hospital with paperwork in process so they can be adopted by someone who cares. Finished.

We Won't Prosecute You If We Humiliate You First?

Sustained isolation, sleep deprivation, nudity and prolonged exposure to cold, leaving prisoners in a "life-threatening condition," this is supposedly torture now. Unpleasant, certainly. Torture, certainly not.

Torture: crushing body parts or removing them without anesthesia. Bamboo under the fingernails. Impaling. Stretching on the rack. Burning. These are torture. Panties on the head is not torture. Humiliation and torture are not synonyms.

Soooo. . . we are not going to prosecute somebody who should probably be dead already, because we made him uncoooomfortable. Great. No offense ladies, but there are some jobs that a woman shouldn't have, and this woman has one of them.

Texas Is In A Drought, Still.

You may remember that a large part of the problem during the first great depression in America was the "dust bowl" phenomenon caused by drought.

Well . . .

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Airbus Jet Ditched Into Hudson River, NO Lives Lost!

Chesley B. "Sully" Sullenberger, III: A man who never has to buy another drink in his life. "Sully" was the pilot of the US Airways Airbus A320 jetliner flying flight 1549 today. They were in the air for all of six minutes at the beginning of a routine flight between Point A and Point B when they made an uscheduled landing. . .

. . . in the Hudson River.

By all accounts, the pilot made a masterful landing of his aircraft, as smooth as if it were on a runway. Then, as it sank into water so cold it would kill a swimmer in minutes, he walked up and down the aisles to make sure nobody was left inside.

.

.

Twice.

If you ever see this man, shake his hand if you can. If you cannot, at least salute him. You will probably never see another pilot who has done this, especially who has done this as well as he did.


Image from The Smoking Gun)

You will of course not be surprised when you learn that this man was a military aviator before he flew commercial planes. Those 155 were not the first lives he saved, either. The total number will never be known this side of Glory; he has been working to improve everyone's safety for years.

BZ.

Separation of Church and State? ( ! )

And now we hear of a Chaplain who has been bounced from the naval service of the United States for refusing not to pray in Jesus' name! Thus far have we come, in the name of tolerance!

In related news, this fellow is a minor class of Hero. His fight cost him a million-dollar pension but his fellow chaplains are freed by Congress from the onerous regulation he was court-martialed for breaking. After the Secretary of Defense said no-one would be prosecuted for breaking it. And the President, a Nominal christian, failed to pardon him. That the regulation was legislated away is a great sign, but that it existed at all is a terrible one.

I Got A Present!

One of the fellows at my church walked in to the building last night and he was especially rattly. He reached into his pocket and I thought he was going to turn off his cell phone or something . . .

He came up with this and said "Merry Christmas."

That makes exactly one person who got me the only thing I wanted. You'll see why getting me that type of present is important in the next day or two when I come up with the main Schustenfest post.

You Are A Substitute For My Darling Wife

Did you know that?

It came up in conversation at our house that my Darling Wife would have known something if only she read my blog. She said, a bit timidly for fear of hurting my feelings I think, that she doesn't like to read it. I told her what I have previously posted here: I blog so I don't have to tell her everything I just gotta tell somebody**.

She gave me a hug and put her head on my chest* and said "Thank you."

Great Success!

********

*I'm head-and-shoulders taller than my Darling Wife.

**She's interested in knowing in a general sense what is going on out there, but she doesn't like to be 100% up to date on the ugly truth if it's not going to directly affect us within the next week or two, and she is only just past not liking guns. I'm working on her (and she's working on me) but we are both works in progress.

Herring v. U.S., 07-513: Death Knell For Liberty?

I know, not too many people are concerned with the next man's liberty. But we do well to remember that, to the next man, each of us is the next man.

This time, Dean Herring was the next man. He was arrested on an outstanding warrant, and they found meth on him and a gun in his car. Do not pass go, do not collect $200.

The only problem in this mess? Dean Herring's outstanding warrant had been canceled but the computer records were not updated to reflect that fact. The police should not have arrested him. Most Americans would tell you, based on the sense of Justice that God built into us each, that, since he was arrested on a bogus warrant, the evidence the police found is inadmissible in court.

The supreme Court has said, in effect, that most people would be wrong. As Uncle points out, this is a further erosion of your right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures.

You see, it was just negligence that resulted in this man going to prison for probably several years. No hard feelings, right Dean? Dean? Hello? Oh, that's right, Dean is in PRISON with NO [deleted] CHANCE of getting out. Good. Another junkie off the streets, right?

First they came for the junkies, and because I was a junkie, I did not speak up.

?

How hard is it for a crooked policeman to "make an honest mistake?"

Chief Justice John Roberts, writing for the court, said the evidence may be used "when police mistakes are the result of negligence such as that described here, rather than systemic error or reckless disregard of constitutional requirements."

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Am I A Curmudgeon At 30, Or Merely Quaint?

I don't know, but Col. Cooper was a fully-fledged Old Fashioned Old Man and he said

"How did we get fouled up in this first name bit? As I sometimes feel called upon to point out: My first name is not "John," it is "Sir." People who know me well enough to call me by my first name use "Jeff." Those who use "John" are ill-mannered. I note that I share this feeling with no less than Bill Buckley, so I am in good company on the subject."


Mister David is incorrect. Brother David is correct but only applicable for teenagers who know me well, and persons older with whom I am closely acquainted. If you will call me by my given name only, you had better be a good friend to me, or share genetic sequencing with me, or I am irritated. Graciousness forbids that I make a big deal of it (except to children, for whom there is still some hope) but, even if you don't know it, you are irritating me. If you call me by my family name, you had better be a shipmate or friendly co-worker with me.

You may feel free to address me as:
Mr. (redacted)
Sir
Mr. (redacted), Sir

Anything else is presumptuous on your part. As your great-grandfather would have told you, if he were still alive to teach you good manners (which your parents and grandparents apparently failed to do).

Congressman Rush: Enemy of Liberty.

Anyone who introduces a bill like this should be run out of town on a rail. Tar and feathers. Maybe worse. This is not how an American thinks. Commentary and links to HR45 can be found at Snoflakes In Hell.

Weapon Readiness Conditions

From Wikipedia

Colonel Cooper favored the Colt M1911 and its variants. There are several conditions of readiness in which such a weapon can be carried. Cooper promulgated most of the following terms:

Condition Zero: A round chambered, full magazine in place, hammer cocked, safety off.
Condition One: A round chambered, full magazine in place, hammer cocked, safety on.
Condition Two: A round chambered, full magazine in place, hammer down.
Condition Three: Chamber empty, full magazine in place, hammer down.
Condition Four: Chamber empty, no magazine, hammer down.

Some of these configurations are safer than others (for instance, a single action pistol without a firing pin safety should never be carried in Condition 2), while others are quicker to fire the gun (Condition 1).

This firearm condition system can also be used to refer to other firearm actions, particularly when illustrating the differences between carry modes considered to be safe for various actions. For example, DA/SA weapons are designed to be carried in Condition 2, which is not safe for 1911s. The Glock and actions like it, with no cocking or external safety mechanisms, do not have a state like Condition 2 or 1. They are 4, 3, or 0. We should go over that fact in detail when we have our safety briefings.

The Four Rules.

Strict observance of these four rules is all that is required to ensure 100% safety in the handling of small arms. They are presented here as written by Colonel Jeff Cooper, who first promulgated them. I have added links to Xavier's blog for you to follow for additional explanation, as well as my own [commentary].

RULE 1: ALL GUNS ARE ALWAYS LOADED
The only exception to this occurs when one has a weapon in his hands and he has personally unloaded it for checking. As soon as he puts it down, Rule 1 applies again.

[This can be done to the point it would appear to be an absurd ritual, but you should never, ever, EVER feel embarrassed to check a weapon. A group of men passing a pistol around in a circle to ooooh and aaaah, for example, should all perform a press-check to ensure the condition of the weapon. Even if you saw the empty chamber when the next man checked it, check it yourself. Get your pinky in there if you can't see it well. Nobody was ever shot by an empty gun. "I thought it wasn't loaded" doesn't bring your brother back from beyond the grave.] More Information

RULE 2: NEVER LET THE MUZZLE COVER ANYTHING YOU ARE NOT PREPARED TO DESTROY.
You may not wish to destroy it, but you must be clear in your mind that you are quite ready to if you let that muzzle cover the target. To allow a firearm to point at another human being is a deadly threat, and should always be treated as such.

[If you have a malfunction on my shooting range. If you have finished shooting. If there are no cartridges, there is no magazine, and there is no bolt, and there is a big STICK poking through the empty receiver. UNDER. NO. CIRCUMSTANCE. should you allow the muzzle of a weapon in your hands to point at another person. Never, never, not once, ever. The only instance in which a shooting *may* be called accidental is when a weapon will actually fire by itself. That is not an accidental shooting, it is a criminally negligent gun owner who did not fix his piece. Keeping even an unsafe weapon pointed in a safe direction means it will not shoot anyone.] More Information

RULE 3 KEEP YOUR FINGER OFF THE TRIGGER TIL YOUR SIGHTS ARE ON THE TARGET
This we call the Golden Rule because its violation is responsible for about 80 percent of the firearms disasters we read about.

[This will be especially important in class due to the large number of weapons with which you will not be familiar. Some will have triggers so hard to pull they will barely fire when you want them to. Some will have triggers so light and crisp, you will be surprised when the weapon fires. You do not know which will be which, so keep your booger-hook off the bang switch until you are ready to make it go BOOM! I was at a shooting range with a new shooter once, and they were not familiar with a handgun they were holding. It had a light trigger, and was loaded. They turned to speak to me and fortunately Rule 2 was being observed. Without even being aware they did it, this person pulled the trigger and put a round of hot screaming death down range. DO NOT learn this lesson the hard way. Rule 2 and 3 apply simultaneously. Part of the fun of shooting guns is not catching a bad case of dead, or a $20,000 hospital bill. Let's all have fun, shall we?] More Information (with video)

RULE 4 BE SURE OF YOUR TARGET
You never shoot at anything until you have positively identified it. You never fire at a shadow, or a sound, or a suspected presence. You shoot only when you know absolutely what you are shooting at and what is beyond it.

[Our class may be on land where there are neighbors, however distant they will be. We will be shooting weapons with capability to be lethal well over a mile away, out of sight, over the horizon. We will also, it is hoped, be shooting at something safe to shoot, with nothing terribly important behind it. Still, you are expected to know that you never shoot water (it will ricochet at a narrow angle) or ANYTHING with even the slightest possibility of having a person or valuable property behind it.] More Information

Failure to observe these rules will get you evicted from the party. If a Range Officer sees any person breaking the rules once, they will be warned and lectured. Depending on the violation, the lecture may seem like an up-close and personal bawling out from a Drill Instructor to a recruit. It is not to hurt your feelings, it is for the safety of your fellow shooters. Second violations will result in a time-out and a lecture. Third violations will get you asked to leave the firing line immediately, not to return for the duration of the day. Go inside and eat, go home and sulk, or fall behind and watch, but you will not be shooting after your third violation.

These rules are easy to violate unintentionally unless you are mentally prepared not to do so. So think about them whenever you see or think about a gun.

THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS AN ACCIDENTAL SHOOTING. IT WAS ONLY CRIMINAL NEGLIGENCE.

********

This post is was originally created to limit the length of the main Schutzenfest 2009 post. The Schutzenfest came and went, and nobody got killed, and great fun was had by all. I edited this page afterwards, to leave it as a reference for new shooters who may be attending my classes. If you wish to attend class under my instruction, you are required to read these rules and understand them. Ask me or any other competent gun owner if you have any questions about them, BEFORE the class.

MAGLITE 3Watt LED Upgrade Module: Nice

My dad got me a gift cert. from The Home Depot for Christmas. When I got home yesterday, I was so tired I gave my Darling Wife the choice of having me go to sleep immediately (rest makes me feel better when I'm tired) or stepping out (walking/exercise moves my blood, makes me feel better when I'm tired).

#2 and #3 were bundled up and sent out with me. We hit up Home Depot and walked a couple of miles of aisles. I ended up picking up a MAGLITE brand MAG-LED Technology LED Upgrade Module 3 Watt LED for 3 Cell mag-lites (SH33DCW6J), and some fresh D cells. When we got home, I showed #2 the difference. First, a set of old batteries on the old (MAGLITE Krypton brighter-than-stock upgrade bulb) lamp. Dim yellowish-bordering-on-orange circle. With the fresh batteries (#3 was narrowly prevented from trying to eat one of the old ones) the circle got closer to white, sort of a pale yellow, and much brighter. That used to be quite satisfactory for a flashlight. It has served me well for several years. Then I installed the LED module. The circle went bright white, no trace of yellow, and there was a halo around it from the focusing ring in the flashlight that had been absent with the incandescent bulb. Additionally, the odd shape of the circle was replaced with a more-uniform glow (there are no offset filaments creating strange shapes in the illumination with an LED).

I was pretty happy about the brightness of the light. I was pleasantly surprised, however, to see that either a) I had lucked out or b) MAG-LITE has been charging a premium for their LED modules because they are picking the higher-quality bins. The light is free of any trace of coloration like some other LED lights. It is not blue, green, pink, or yellow. It is white. Excellent. Then I gave an inner sigh and prepared myself mentally to face the loss of one of the best thing about my MAG flashlight: focusing of the light beam. It has been a tremendous help over the years to be able to spread a broad field of illumination or else have a bright SPOT, or anything in between. Most of the LED flashlights out there have the sort of LED that just shines straight out and you get what you get with the focus of the light. I gave the focusing ring a turn.

The beam spread out into an exaggeratedly white, brighter example of the same beam patterns I was used to! Hooray!

Flashlight junkies will not be surprised by this, but I was.

********

History of my Mag-Lite:

I bought this torch in the late 1990s when I was with VQ-2 in Rota, Spain. I spent most of my time there on the nights and mids shifts, and a flashlight of some sort was almost a necessity when stepping outside the hangar. The flashlights in the tool kits had 2 disadvantages. 1) they were dim 2) they required checking-out with a tool tag and 3) they were dim. Anyhow, I bought myself a black-anodized finished 3-D cell flashlight at the NEX for whatever it was they were asking for it. MAG had a reputation for building a good, tough light, and that's what I needed. I bummed some white reflective tape from the PR shop and put a half-dozen 1/4" wide strips around the battery housing so if it ever was lost in the dark, it would shine under ambient light or (ironically) someone else's flashlight beam. This light has been rained on. It has been stepped on. It has been dropped from waist and shoulder height. It has been dropped out of an airplane (13 feet from the top of the ladder). The only problem is that the anodizing has a few nicks in it, and there is one spot in the rotation of the focusing ring that the light switches off. Otherwise, it has never failed me except when I failed it (batteries) and the spare bulb storage compartment in the end cap has come in handy more than once. I fully expect that this light will live at least as long as me, and that is after a decade or so of use.

Color me a happy camper.

Citigroup Ready to Shrink Itself by a Third

Good.

There are a lot of words out there about this but it boils down to:

The man at the top wants to keep Citibank intact and the rest can go to hell someone else.

I never liked Citigroup and I'm glad it's going away. They were generally one of the more customer-abusive international monster mega corp's and any reduction in the number of those won't hurt my feelings much.

If You Are On A Pension, You Might Be Worried Right Now.

. . . or else you should be. Why?

Oh, call it a hunch.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Why You Should Go About Armed

The Shootist relates a story of one of the "only ones" who got in a scrape, to be resuced by a passer-by with a .45. If you do not read this you will have missed out on a story well told, and your life will be the poorer for it.

This is also one to consider for those of us who carry .380s and .38s. Some is better than none, but holy mackerel when you meet THAT guy!

This is also one to consider for those who believe that only the Police should be allowed to have guns. Such persons would do well to consider what would have happened in these cases as well, if 'civilians' were not allowed to have weapons.

Madness @ Work!

They just went at it again, K.E. and WM. They were hooting and hollering for a good 10 minutes and then WM left. I think they enjoy it, both of them. It's like saying "good morning" and "how do you do?" for civilized people.

Then WM just came back through and said "Why is it so quiet in here? Are you guys still in here?" to which someone replied (hollering from his desk) "Because YOU shut up!"

Just wow.

Reality Is Catching Up To My Gut Instincts

If you read Michael Shedlock, you are seeing a continual tide of companies that operated on credit sieze up and sink, since credit issuers are returning to sanity in their standards for who gets money and who doesn't.

For a long time, it has seemed strange to me that a company can expand and call itself profitable, while taking on huge piles of debt. If you can't expand your company based on capital, how are you not losing money by expanding? Do you really think it is a positive good to expand, regardless of a net increase in your liabilities vs. your assets? Some companies did, apparently. I always thought it was fiscal insanity.

Well it turns out I was right. The economy of the world is tanking because of huge companies that expanded with a continual stream of more borrowing. The stream is drying up and the expansion will reverse.

Go figure. I guess being a gen-u-wine accountant doesn't help if you are crazy.

New Texas Legislature Seated Today.

Remember to call or write them, and advocate for unlicensed open carry, or open carry with CCW permits, as you prefer. Also advocate for adoption of something like the Fair Tax.

In happy news, they are set to consider putting driver's education back into mandatory high school class schedules. Cheers all around if you live in Central Texas or Houston. Also they are looking at a reduced budget intake of $9B. Fortunately we have the money in our "rainy day" slush fund. Cut spending? What's that? One wonders why we had to build toll roads instead of using that money for slush funds, but oh well.

Meh. Coffee is weak this morning. Snark levels running low.

Madness @ Work!

The General Manager is out of town for family medical reasons, and he said if we had any problems to ask the Warehouse Manager (NOT our boss in the front of the building) for help.

So here it is, day 2, and 2 memos from WM have been posted. One of the workers (K.E.) in my area made a fort around his desk, ostensibly to line up the work he has (server cabinets & big computer stuff) in order of first-in, first-out. Last night WM had K.E.'s area rearranged to suit his preference.

Friction. Sparks.

WM and K.E. were going at each other about 1/2 step below yelling. WM is big on thinly veiled threats of firing people to get them to line up, which works well if you are a warehouse man on parole on your second chance first job after being locked up. If you are a freeman and non-felon, not on parole, it doesn't work so well. WM says to K.E. maybe K.E. should take a month off and we'll see if numbers go up or down. K.E. says he will if WM pays him which WM says he won't. So K.E. says to WM that the numbers have gone down since he joined the company (which WM admitted) and K.E. said why don't YOU take a month off and we'll see if the numbers go up or down!?

I was hollering laughing from across the room. Laughing hard is not good for taking good photos, by the way.

Man, it's great to work for a small company sometimes.

********

For those people who are stuck in Borg hives for a living, here is some perspective. We started as 2 guys going to garage sales, and our current location is the 4th building the company has been in, not counting the owner's houses, since we grew out of the previous 3. WM is the same person who comes around and says "I've got something for ya" and passes gas next to your desk. I told him if he ever did that to me I would punch him, and I was serious, and he knew it. He hasn't. Yet.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Carrand Omnidirectional Snow Scraper

If you have ever had to wait for your car to warm up and then hope the water doesn't freeze your tires in place after ice thaws from your windshield, this is an interesting gadget. If, on the other hand, you have anything from a light frost to almost-ice on your windscreen every morning, you will see the utility of this right away. Click this link to get more information.

Troy Hurtubise's Fire Paste . . . Or Something Like It?

Troy Hurtubise is an inventor who makes things that are impossible. Like a lightweight armor that will withstand tank-killing impacts and explosions, a deadly ray gun that lets you see through walls and kill what's behind them, and (amazingly but slightly more mundane) a light suit of armor that will stand up to a bear attack. He also made up something he calls fire paste. Spray it on whatever you don't want to burn, and rinse it off with water when the danger is past.

Now there's a company selling something approaching fire paste, but apparently with more chemists involved so they know how it works, and somewhat less protection time. Still 6 to 36 hours may just be enough to keep your jumbo loan-required house in the "don't you dare clear the undergrowth" forested hillsides of California intact while the worst of the fire rages around it. They call it Barricade Fire Blocking Gel. It also sprays on and rinses off.

If you live in wildfire country, you might want to look into it.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Socialized Medicine = They Run Your Life

We pay your healthcare bills so we get to tell you how to live.

"Universal Healthcare" (truly, universal gummint-pays "free" healthcare, we already HAVE universal healthcare in America! ): coming soon to a country near you.

They used to call it "oppression". Now, it is for your own good, as well as the good of the State. The American experiment in Liberty is a unique thing, an abberation in the history of the world. I kind of like it. How about not voting for Socialists to screw it up for me hey?

Israel: Still Fighting, Headline Roundup.

From a pro-israel point of view: Hamas rocket chief killed when his cowardly rocket-launching muslims won't go out and fight

Hamas says: "The enemy has failed – it has not achieved its goals." well not quite. The enemy is not finished pounding you yet. Apparently hamas and Israel are the only nations in Europe that understand this is a conflict with goals that must be met or not by the fighters, not the politicians. That's why hamas rejected the Egyptian truce plan and said they would treat peacekeepers and international inspectors as an occupying force (targets)

Unsurprisingly, the US house has voted for a resolution supporting Israel.

Not so pro-Israel point of view: Israel is being criticized for using white phosphorous ("incendiary") munitions. They are using them to mark targets after warning civilians to get out of the way. "If they wanted to kill or maim civilians high explosive rounds are exponentially more effective. They don't which is why the place hasn't been carpet-bombed. (beware ignorant reporters with a bias!)

Friday, January 9, 2009

I Have A Co-Worker Named Steve

I said to him:

"So my interesting question for you is, if someone named Steve does something good, and gets public praise for it, is that gloria estefan?"

his response was "Take your meds."

United Nations Further Proves its Irrelevance

14 to 0, completely unanimous. The UN Security Council RESOLVED that Israel and Hamas should stop fighting. This is the equivalent of a small girly-man crossing guard telling two high-school Juniors that they should really stop fighting . . . from 2 rows back in the crowd that has gathered around the fight.

In dutifully Macho fasion "Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's office said Israel "has never agreed to let an external body decide its right to protect the security of its citizens.""

The US, further showing how big and brassy Condoleeza Rice's balls are, abstained from voting. Way to show bold leadership, working on the wording of a resolution and not even voting on it, eh? The resolution, by the way, called for unimpeded access for humanitarian aid.

Hold on there.

Hamas has been known to use UN-marked ambulances to transport arms in violation of all civilized nations' traditions for conventional war. We are going to give unfettered access to our enemies, to use the cover of humanitarian aid to rearm and resupply, while they continue to launch rockets at our women and children?

In this case, UN is short for "uh, no."

Obama: Delay What We Planned For Years

Apparently, announcing it constantly starting a couple of years ago and having commercials all over the television wasn't enough to let people know that the switch to HDTV was coming, like it or not. No wait, that's not it. We know that's not it because the demand for "free" (YOU pay for it) antenna converters from the gummint is so far above supply that there is a waiting list. So instead of telling people they have no right to television and they can wait or else get their own converter boxes, Obama has a different idea: don't switch when we said we would. Of course, coming from a liar, a desire to have the entire US government lie to its citizens for a few years should be no surprise. Of course, the people they are worried about are probably the same ones using low-power stations that won't have to switch to digital anyhow, but the State must care for her children, n'est-ce pas?

Thursday, January 8, 2009

New Photography Bookmark

I just added another bookmark to my list, Crumahara Shop. On two separate occasions I was wandering around the Internet and found something helpful to me (as a photographer) on this website. First it was the $0 tripod camera mod, and now it's the Free Color Balance Card(s) sampler pack from Wislonart Contract. In all fairness, it was really a link to knick knack but still, I found it at Crumahara Shop so they're officially on t3h list. It seems more heavily video-game oriented than photography, but there it is.

I've ordered the black/white/grey samples. We'll see what happens.

A Blast From The Past

~or~

Remember when airline safety regulations were realistic and you could carry a pocketknife on an airplane?

(and before that when there was actually Freedom, and you could wear a sidearm on a civilian airliner?)

Straight out of the August 1999 Cooper's Commentaries:

Family member Bill O'Connor reports that he was hassled recently at the Philadelphia Airport because his pocketknife had a serrated edge. Apparently carrying a knife with a serrated edge is politically incorrect in the City of Brotherly Love. The aparatchik at the gate promised to mail the knife to him at a later date, but as you might suppose it has not showed up yet. Somehow it appears quaint to attempt to hijack an airliner with a pocketknife, but then a lot of things appear quaint in the Age of the Wimp.


I cannot tell you the regret I had, that the 9/11/01 hijackers used a legal-sized blade to hijack the planes, because I just knew that they would get all stupid with restrictions on what you can take on a plane. And of course, they did.

Support The Troops!

Buy a calendar. From Pin-ups for Vets. Oh, and don't try clicking on their gallery page for the next couple of days. Fox linked to it and overwhelmed their servers LOL.

If You Are In Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, Punch This Woman In The Mouth.

Little wonder that an anti-Israel protest got a little violent when you have anti-semites saying that the Jews should go back to the ovens.

If you see this woman on the street, punch her in the mouth. Twice, once for you and once for me.

The really ugly part: her vote cancels out your vote, and if you don't vote, she votes for you twice.

Yeah yeah, blah blah, freedom of speech. You can say whatever you want, sure. If you shout "fire" in a theater be prepared to go to jail. And if you say the Jews should go back into the ovens, be prepared for a beat-down from everyone you meet. Actions have consequences, [deleted]es.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Blackwater 5 Arraigned Today

This is just a mess. Go to Blackfive.net to read about it (with video! )

Gazprom Attempts To Expand Russian Sphere of Influence

...by cutting off gas to a half-dozen countries, including one they are in a pretty tense situation with already (Ukraine). They bought a controlling interest in Serbia's energy industry at a time when Serbia was about to see Kosovo declared independent and Serbia in the EU. Russia is looking to put a pipeline through Serbia to work around the European pipeline which makes Russian activity largely beside-the-point.

No no, it is all legitimate business and the countries are cut off because they don't want to pay the going rate (+60%) for their natural gas! It is not the spirit of the Soviets running the country, trying to strong-arm their neighbors! Not at all!

Right, and I have a bridge to sell you.

Civilianz R Dying In Gaza zOMG!!!!1!

"International pressure" is mounting on Israel to stop killing non-combatants by stopping killing anyone. The "we surrender" French and "we don't like you much" Egyptians don't seem to notice the great pains Israel has taken to avoid non-combatant casualties, even to the extent that 80% of the air force's missions are called off because of civilian presence in the target zone. Nevermind that 80% of the dead are hamas fighters even though they persist in hiding amidst non-combatants.

Israel is fighting with cowards who hide amongst non-combatants for protection. They have been given official notice that this is no longer a valid strategy for protection, but the hamas jerk-offs still won't 'stand and deliver' or even get out of the UN schools, because that would deprive them of propaganda. My message to Israel:

Do not lose your nerve! May God bless your operation and aid your men as they expand the ground operations!

The idiots at NPR (unfortunately one of them a professor at the War College) said that wars are resolved by political means. False. War is ended prematurely by political means. War is WON through VICTORY over your enemies.

To Israelis: Remember how we Americans won WWII. We carpet-bombed German cities. The Germans surrendered. We fire-bombed pretty much every city in Japan (where the homes are made of wood)! The Japanese surrendered.

Germany and Japan were hiding war equipment manufacturies in their cities, so we destroyed their cities. Your enemy also lurks in the city.

Certainly it is good and noble to continue making noise about cease-fires with Palestine. Do not be fooled into thinking it is NOT good and noble to continue the ground war with hamas for as long as hamas refuses to speak of a truce and continues lobbing rockets into Israel.

Israel can have peace with Palestine on terms dictated entirely by Israel. If Israel has the stomach for it (this time).

S&W is Smoking Crack.

Are you serious? A thousand, fifteen hundred bux for a pistol? Seriously?

Hmm. Uh, no.

US Wins Global Race to ZIRP! We Lose!

Keynesian economics: still failing and still believed-in for all these years, in spite of reality. The Fed Funds target rate is now 0 to 1/4%. You (the taxpayer, via intermeddlers in the private company called the Federal Reserve) are aiming to give away money in a desperate bid to improve the economic conditions.

It will not work. Which you would know if you were reading Michael Shedlock. Of course, you would also have seen the announcement coming a mile away, too.

Note: if you are truly creditworthy, now is possibly the time to try to get a loan. They will give you the money and all you have to do is pay back? Sure, why not. I know, I know, there is a point or two in the middle for your bank; but at a small bank where they only makes good loans, where you know your banker by name, this is a good time for the customers who are in good financial shape.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

They Are Seated Today. Now Is The Day To Oppose Holder's Nomination.

The government assigned seats today to all but a couple of new members (ahem) and in honor of the day, I hope you are joining me in flooding Senators' inboxes in opposition to the nomination of Eric Holder to the post of Attorney General of the United States. I'm afraid I bit off the example letter found at the Sipsey Street Irregulars blog, but here is what I sent to my Senators:

Dear Senator your name here,

I am writing you to oppose the confirmation of Eric Holder as Attorney General. Please do everything in your power to block Holder's confirmation, and urge your fellow lawmakers to do the same.

His only qualification for the office seems to be "well, you've been in the government before." Eric Holder has proven that he does not have the understanding, judgment, or personal integrity to responsibly manage the extensive authority of the Attorney General's office. Members of the Senate are tasked with overseeing the appointment of senior executives and ensuring that the positions are filled with the very best qualified candidates available. Mr. Holder does not meet this standard and should not be confirmed.

Past AG nominees have been blocked for inadvertently using undocumented workers as domestic workers in their homes.

Mr. Holder's failings far exceed such errors.

Sincerely,

Insert my name here

Holy Cow, I'ts Already 2009! What?!

A month or three ago (I've slept since then) I was doing some accounting at the church and I almost wrote 1998 on a check slip. 1998. That was in late 2008. Now that it's 2009, I don't know what I'll do. Does anybody else trip out a little bit that it's after 2000 already, or am I the only one?

Like the song says: "I know I'm not crazy, Doctor. At least not all the time!"

Gun Range Tomfoolery Stories

Xavier relates a story about some people doing things approximately as stupid and dangerous as driving drunk when he went to a gun range recently. It reminded me of an event that happened when I was a boy in Houston.

I suppose I was 12 or younger at the time. We had gone out as a family (at least Dad, Mom, and me, I don't recall if Sister #2 was there) to a local outdoor range to kill some paper people. The firing line at this range had a row of separate benches with a small table or counter at each station attached to the 4x4s holding up the corrugated roof. There was a space between every couple of benches to let you out onto the range. The floor was a long strip of concrete maybe 3 meters wide. The short pistol range targets were upright 4x4s with oriented strand board walls to which targets would be stapled. There was an elevated platform behind the firing line with the Range Master on overwatch, and roving Range Officers as well. It was a firing session, with guns a'blazin' and lead flying downrange. A family that must either have been populated with stupid, unthinking people, or else they were from a very bad part of town, showed up. There were at least 3-4 of them, maybe more but I was focused on what a specific few of them were doing.

What they were doing was walking downrange, and then posting targets on the backstop. During a live firing session. As in, the stall next to them has somebody with a gun very obviously going BANG BANG BANG, and they bebopped out onto the grass and started stapling targets up. Firing nearby stopped immediately as the shooters with some [deleted] sense saw what was going on. The Range Master got on the 1MC and called a cease-fire and proceeded to bawl them out over the PA. I think we left not too long after that but I'm not sure if it were because of them or if we were done anyway.

********

Thinking of that shooting range reminds me of a few other times we went there. Once, it sounded like someone was shooting a cap gun as we got out of the car, and then again as we were walking from the shop to the range. It was a woman shooting a little tiny Beretta or Taurus .22 pistola.

Another time, we got a bench next to an old man (like 75+) with a BIG gun. It was a Desert Eagle in .50AE and he was shooting it slowly. Slowly as in, he would pick the hand-cannon up and take aim and fire once BOOOOOOOM and then rest the pistol on the table again for a few seconds. It must have been a fun way to get tired in a hurry.

Yet another session was with Mom trying out her new Glock 17. Limp-wristing it a little. She managed to limp-wrist bad enough to get it to stovepipe pretty reliably, but only with Blazer aluminum-cased ammunition. The funny part, though, was that she was also limp-wristing badly enough to have it eject the shells straight up and slightly to the rear, and they were coming down on her head. She had a poofy big-curls hairdo that day, and the shells were getting caught in the curls and she did a hot-shells-in-my-hair dance that was moderately amusing.