Friday, December 31, 2010

New Years Jacked!

I hope it was my *ahem* new trash company, but somebody took my bigass blue trash can today. I went to pull it up from the curb and put a trash bag in it, and it was gone! Well, at least they took the trash that was inside also.

I guess I'll call the City next year and see WTH is up. I'm off to celebrate by falling asleep under my roof that is I hope thick enough to stop any stray bullets coming through.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Police Shoot Another Dog. Good.

A fuss is being made. A family says it is like losing their child. Here's VFD's off-the-cuff take on the latest COP-shoots-dog story being reported on the radio news:

  • Family has labrador retriever off-leash in the front yard, with an electric fence to restrain the dog.
  • No signs announce the presence of the fence.
  • Said dog has the habit of barking and charging when anyone comes around
  • A warrant needed to be served. This is a duty of the Police and a requirement for a stable society.
  • The person to be served no longer lived there, but the COP didn't know that.
  • COP approaches, and is charged by a bigass barking dog.
  • BANG
  • Family is on charges for having the dog off-leash
  • Family is all upset that their like-a-child-who-has-an-electronic-restraint dog is now dead

    Officer Dave says: if your bigass barking dog is charging at me, and I don't see any restraint on it (leash, chain, etc) then your dog is about to be a bigass dead dog. Sorry. Oh, and here's a warrant for your arrest, which is why I came around in the first place.

    If it's a little yip-dog, I might consider OC spray instead, but a big dog is a mindless killing machine until proved otherwise. It's up to responsible dog owners to restrain their dogs out of the house.

    Come on VFD, a mindless killing machine? A frikken LAB?!

    If you have a strong stomach, click this here. Much like a person with a knife, a dog can inflict up to and including deadly wounds on as little as zero notice. As in the case of a person with a knife, an officer is under no obligation to suffer bodily harm himself before eliminating an imminent threat to his own or someone else's well-being. Nobody told him the dog was going to stop short, roll over on his back, and wag his tail. If you've got over 40lbs of this coming at you, it's a deadly threat, regardless of how the dog's master or the local residents feel about the matter after the fact. Based on what I know at the moment, this was a Good Shoot.


    I'm a certified dog lover. I don't recall a time when my family didn't have at least one dog, from six to a hundred and six pounds. I have dogs. LB has and loves dogs also, but when I told him about this story, he said that sometimes a COP has to send 'em back to Hell. NP is convinced he could fight off a dog. He admitted to never having play-rassled (let alone actually fought) with a dog, but that was obvious when he started talking about fighting one off. You can't fight off a full grown dog, and you shouldn't be expected to try, if one appears to be attacking and you've got a little friend handy.
  • Application for Waste Services Round 2 Fight!

    In contrast to the much saltier version from last night, today I present the letter I actually did send to the Davesville public works people. This was printed off the computer, and then I ran it through the copy machine with my driver's licence on it, so they got their copy of my photo ID along with the following note to stick in their sunless place. In red marker, I wrote UNHAPPY CAMPER and put an arrow pointing to the image of my DL under the text of the letter.


    To whom it may concern,

    Enclosed please find my "application" for a solid waste account with the City of Davesville. This letter is to register a complaint at this extremely-offensive process. I have been using the same solid waste company for eight years, have never missed a payment that I can recall, and am quite happy with their bi-weekly pickup service. If I have to change to the company selected by the City of Davesville I will. I refuse, however, to pay a deposit for the privilege of being forced to use a different company, on the chance that I will turn out to be a deadbeat. Please recall that anything the City does has a policeman's gun behind it. Demanding money from me at gunpoint to force me to receive a lower level of service is morally wrong and sinful behavior by the City of Davesville.

    Your letter says you can waive the deposit requirement for persons using automatic bank drafts to pay their trash bill. If you can waive it for them, you'll have to waive it for me, because I'm ready to raise a stink over this.



    As a bonus, they have a requested start date for the new service. I put a start date during the weekend, before they will have received the application. And I didn't give a phone number or email address. Haha.

    Wednesday, December 29, 2010

    Application for Waste Services! Film at 11:00!

    Bad language alert. Turn back now lest thy delicate sensibilities be offended!

    Nice. We just got a letter in the mails from the city (my the city) saying we have to use their trash service.

    Hold on there.

    We bought our house in 2003. It was in an unincorporated part of the county. When we got the house, we entered into individual private contracts with various companies to provide us with what we needed (electricity, water, etc) and asked nobody permission to do so. In Texas, you can even pick your electricity provider. But in Davesville, you get to use the company the city decides is best, when it comes to your trash. This was not an issue for us, as we were not a part of Davesville. Then in 2008, against our will and over the objections of a minority of the property owners around us, we were annexed into Davesville. We had, to date, used exactly zero city services at our house. Thanks very much citizen! You may continue to use zero city services, but we will now be charging you an additional $600+ per year in taxes for the privilege of living within the expanded boundaries of Davesville!

    Thanks, asshole.

    Anyways, back to the pain-in-my-ass at hand. Three years ago, my street had two flavors of trash cans on the street: bigass blue and bigass green. These were provided by two private companies that sent bigass trash trucks lumbering down the street twice a week to pick up the bigass trash cans the people would roll out to the curb. Then the city of Davesville came along and annexed us. Now once a week there are TWO BIGASS TRASH CANS at the curb in front of every house. There's a green one for trash and a blue one for recycling. The other six days of the week, there are two bigass trash cans cluttering up the front or side of every house. Well, not every house. OUR house and one across the street are the only two that still feature only the one bigass blue trash can. These are hauled to the curb as often as TWICE a week. Sometimes I even SKIP a trash day, because I get service twice a week BOOYAH!

    Well, now we have this letter. It says (to paraphrase): "Our records indicate that you people have chosen to use a private company of your own choosing to collect your trash. This is unacceptable comerades! You vill use zee State-approved garbage company only!"

    We now have the privilege of filling out an application for a Waste Utility Account with the City. We have the distinct honor of filing a $25 deposit with Davesville in case we (who have not missed a trash payment in going on eight years) turn out to be deadbeats. We also get to use this joyous occasion to provide Davesville officials with a "Copy of Valid Identification" along with our application for a solid waste account, to prove that we are not a bunch of godless heathen illegal aliens from France or whatnot.

    So here I am venting my spleen at you (as usual) before I write up a nastygram to Davesville about what they can do with their bigass blue and green trash cans. Follows the letter I would like to send. It will be toned-down somewhat in the final draft.


    Dear faceless City of Davesville bureaucrat,

    I am in receipt of an undated form letter from the City of Davesville informing me that I must desist using the company I have used for the last eight years for solid waste disposal, and begin using a company chosen by the City. This is a sack of horseshit and I'll tell you why:

    Requiring me to pay my money to use the services of a company you choose is FASCISM. Google "sic semper tyrannis" to see what red-blooded freemen think of this sort of thing.

    You can take your application for a waste utility account and shove it. If you to have your people send their bigass trash cans to my house and have their trucks pick up my trash, bring it. I'm not applying for shit. I live here. Send them here. I will pay them.

    While you're shoving things, take your recycling bin and shove that, too. Like hell I'm going to presort my recyclables from my trash. It all goes into the same bin inside the house and it will all be going in the same bin outside the house.

    If you want photo identification, you can call and set up an appointment and I'll show it to you. You're on the wrong track if you think I'm sending a copy of my drivers license to an unknown place with unknown ID security protocols to be shoved in an unlocked drawer in some office. Of course, this is a bullshit requirement anyway. I am a citizen both of Texas and of the United States and have been since birth. I have lived here for eight years and never missed paying a trash company bill. Send the bills and they will be paid.

    The bill that won't be paid is the $25 deposit. See the foregoing paragraph and take my fucking word for it that I'm not going to welsh on my trash bills. I refuse to pay extra, up front, for the privilege of being forced to change my trash company. You want to change companies, fine I don't give a flying fuck but you can keep out of my wallet. Send bills, and send trash trucks. What is $25 going to get you? Nothing is what, because I'll still be here, paying trash bills, a year from now and you'll eventually refund my deposit to me if I pay it. Will I have interest coming to me? Are you going to give me $5 for the honor of holding my cash for a year? No? Then fuck off. Oh wait, you'll waive the deposit if I set up an automatic bank draft to pay the bill? How generous of you! How about you'll waive it anyway.

    P.S. like hell am I giving you a work or cell phone number, and you'll have to start guessing if you want my email address. I'll be putting my trash bin out twice a week like I do currently, even though it will only be picked up once, just to piss everybody off. The recycle bin you will find beside the house with a potato plant growing in it. Please don't mess with it until the plant dies.

    Here's hoping your office burns down.




    It's actually cheaper than the current service we use, but that's not the point. It's the principal of the thing.

    No Blogging. Busy.

    All evening I've been online, doing research. It's time to make a decision: stockpile incandescent lamps, or start using something else. My Darling Wife gets headaches and I get cranky from fluorescents and I'm not dishing out for a premium high-frequency-switched CFL to avoid the flickering. Plus the color rendering sucks. Like hell I'm spending $30 on ONE LED lamp. That leaves halogen or incandescent. Halogens are supposed to last 4x as long, and cost 4x as much if you shop around. Incandescents are the comfy, familiar, soon-to-be-illegal status quo.

    So it looks like I'm off to the local Mega-Lo-Mart to buy either a GE Edison or a Philips Halogena, just to see what it's like for us in our house under a halogen bulb. Or else I'll just buy rough-duty bulbs for all the fixtures after we run out of our hoarded incandescents. Because it's not bad for the environment if a bulb is rated for harsher environments.

    Wait, what?

    That's right kiddies. My favorite exception to the law which was passed to please lobbyists for the expensive light bulb manufacturers: if it's a specialty bulb, you can still sell it after the ban. Need a 100W incandescent in 2012? Buy a ceiling fan vibration-resistant type and slap it in the stationary ceiling fixture. It still burns the same 100W for the same 1700 lumens, but because it is "Special" it does not kill Mother Earth as badly. So saith the United States Congress. What a load of [deleted].

    I guess there was a little time to rant blog after all.

    Tuesday, December 28, 2010

    If Only Someone, Anyone Could Authorize The Release of These Papers!

    The incoming Governor of Hawaii would like to show you birther morons just how citizen-y the Dear President really is. He's going to ask the State's lawyers if there is anything they can do to reveal the truth. Somebody tell the Governor-elect to shut up before he gets caught up in a sex scandal or somehow otherwise under the bus.

    The Obama denied permission to release his records, and then spent millions of dollars fighting scores of lawsuits to prevent you knowing just what the Department of Vital Records in Hawaii has on file when it comes to his birth documents. Also his school transcripts -and basically anything resembling a paper trail dealing with his life before being elected to public office- have been denied to everyone who asks, including in court. No reasonable citizen goes to these lengths, but The Obama does.

    The question is: why?

    He refuses to answer.

    Monday, December 27, 2010

    California's Government Is Racist Against Illegal Aliens!!1!@!

    Moonbattery reports on the latest in institutionalized racism in America: DUI checkpoints. Yes, DUI checkpoints are clearly racist. Click the link, if you don't believe me. Surely the incoming hero Governor Moonbeam will put a stop to this injustice!

    Ex-ATF = Obama's Private Army?

    The BATFE is looking increasingly like it may collapse under its own weight. Then all those field agents have to go somewhere because after all, we can't just have fewer .fed employees . . .

    . . . hmmm . . . what to do with a few thousand trained men-at-arms . . . ?

    Is America FoMoCo?

    Boy, talk about a mixed blessing.

    Ford Motor Co. had the 'good luck' to go bankrupt when they could still get loans for low interest rates, and kept right on trucking, still saddled by onerous union contracts and UAW-mandated inefficiencies. GM and Chrysler failed, were made to appear to not be bankrupt, and shed zillions of dollars of their union obligations on the taxpayer. GM and Chrysler are free to operate slightly less-impaired by UAW hamstringing than Ford. But they went down hard and now a patriot would never buy a Patriot or Cobalt or whatever, and Ford is doing relatively well. This lasts until Uncle gets out of GM's pocket; then watch out, Ford.

    The USA's economy crashed first and we may have shoveled enough Socialism at the problem to make it look close enough to a recession that is ending, to deny we are still in the deepest recession since we started keeping track. Having learned little-to-nothing as a nation about fiscal responsibility, it looks to some people like we might be "in recovery" which in real life means "not getting worse as quickly as before." So the republicrats and demicans may be content to continue to extend-and-pretend for another election cycle.

    Meanwhile China, Australia, Canada, U.K., Spain, Portugal, Greece, Italy arguably Japan, and now India are circling the drain. If the Ford analogy holds, the rest of the world goes into a deep, deep depression for a while, a few more trillions of dollars are lost, and they start up again as leaner, more efficient economies . . . and we continue lumbering along with the highest corporate tax rate in the world, clapping ourselves on the back about a stagnant economy until it becomes obvious that the other guys are running past us on the way up . . .

    Tesla Stock Falls Off Cliff

    Tesla, would-be mass-producers of a coal-powered sports car, has seen a pretty nasty downward run of its stock price. That would be the company you bailed out to the tune of $350M circling toward the drain.

    Wait, but their car is cool!

    Sure. Can you afford a $100k sports car? Neither can anyone else. Savvy investors might want to look elsewhere for long-term potential.

    Unintended Consequences, Travel Edition

    Half a brazillion people were stranded by all the global warming that socked in the New England region in the last few days. Lots of them were traveling light so they could get through security quickly. So they had no food with them, and they were stuck either going hungry or paying airport prices for food. Because Uncle says you can't take deadly dangerous things like a bag lunch on the plane. Way to go TSA.

    Sunday, December 26, 2010

    Pretty Good, On The Whole

    I lost my wedding ring a few weeks ago. I was at work and just suddenly realized it was gone. I thought it was at home, but my Darling Wife cleaned the whole house and declared it to be not there. I posted a sign at work but it didn't turn up. I was afraid to clean my car because that was the last place it could be. I abandoned hope that it would be found, but she was praying it would turn up for Christmas.

    On the way to Dad's house
    Listening to the introductory overture to Handel's Messiah
    As the car's engine roared
    And the CD is brand new, a fresh Christmas Present
    . . . made for a very good way to start the day out of the house.

    A few surprises at Dad's house were good, but the one that was bad was when I ran completely out of steam and slept basically all afternoon.

    As I went to put a load of laundry in the dryer just before midnight (like 23:58) I opened the washer and saw . . .
    WTH is that yellow circle with huge menisci* on the sides?
    No wai!!!1! It my ring!
    . . . ! and it's been through two cycles in the washer and it's still dirty?!

    So. I go from missing my ring when something rubs the naked finger to having to always be careful not to lose it. I'll take that, and thanks Jesus for it!


    *It is convex on both sides, with a deep pattern around the outside. The water, it sticks. Inside and out, the meniscus was wider than the thickness of the gold.

    Wish List pWns This Christmas!

    For the uninitiated, if you ever want to know what to buy me as a present, all you have to do is search this blog for "Wish list" and you'll come up with this list. Now if you'll excuse me I'm off to cross off a half dozen books from my wish list . . . .

    Saturday, December 25, 2010

    What Does Isaiah 40:4 Mean?

    Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain Isaiah 40:4
    I always wondered about this, but just today I came up with an answer that works for me. It may be full of holes, but here it is:

    Those of us who believe the Bible means what it says and is true, understand that the world is only a few thousands of years old, and that there was a cataclysmic world-wide flood. It makes sense to me that if the fountains of the great deep were opened, and the sky let down more water than it ever had done, the roofs of what used to be water reservoirs (with fountains on top) would collapse under the pressure from all the water overwhelming the world. The surrounding geography would be uplifted. There we have mountains. Receding flood water cut the valleys. The mountains and valleys, crooked and rough places of the world are mute testimony to the flood. The flood caused by the abject sinfulness of mankind.

    When He comes back and sets things to rights again, these witnesses and reminders will be leveled and smoothed out. I shudder to think how great an earthquake would be required to do it, but that's how I read it.

    Happy Christmas

    Last night my brother the EMT came by the Christmas party. For 10 minutes; then he and his partner went back to their station. If you know someone who is a Policeman Fireman, or rides with an ambulance crew, thank them.

    Whether you know such a person or not, today of all days you ought to be thanking Jesus for putting off his place at the right hand of the Father to be born as a lowly little man. Now THAT is a public service!

    Friday, December 24, 2010

    Note To Self:

    When you're going to go pick up the 10" deep layer of leaves that have been sitting on the front yard for three months, take your mold allergy medicine FIRST.

    Thursday, December 23, 2010

    No Voting Rights for the Moocher Class

    ~or~ It's Not The Government's Money

    In re: this story: Maybe they shouldn't even be allowed to keep that flat screen and x-box.

    VFD now that's just outrageous!

    What is more outrageous? Demanding that people sell their possessisons to pay their own heating bills, or pointing a gun in a rich man's face and demanding that HE pay their bills? That is the choice.

    But it's the government's money!

    No, it's a rich man's money.

    Well it's not fair that he has all that money!

    It's not fair? It's not fair that he works 14 hour days and hasn't spent a weekend with his soon-to-be-EX-wife and children in two and a half years? It's not fair that he has an ulcer from worrying over his small business? It's his choice to bust his hump and get rich. It's not his choice to pay this family's heating bills. That choice is made for him by people who are elected by people who "need government help" to pay their bills. THAT is "not fair" my friend, not the income disparity between a rich man and a poor man!

    In America today we have the case (repeated fifty million times over) where a person who takes from others via the government is voting for elected officials who make tax and income redistribution laws. This is the "bread and circuses" that destroyed the Roman empire. That is why I say people who get money or other subsidies "from the government" should have no voting privilege in the same year they receive benefits. Otherwise, we get . . . what we have.

    Herman Cain for President

    I endorse Herman Cain as a candidate for President of the United States of America. No, he has not said whether or not he will run. He should, though. The conservative bench of solid Presidential candidates is awfully thin since . . . well, since after Reagan, honestly. Here is a* man I can vote for without reservation. I hope that he does run, because we need more like him running the show. If he does, I will donate to his campaign and encourage everyone to do likewise.

    And I'm both broke and cheap, so that's saying something.


    *He happens to be "black." This makes no difference to me, but if it was Cain vs. Soetero Obama, that could do interesting things with the 92% of black voters who went with Obama the last time. . . .


    It is tiresome sometimes, hearing the MSM try to blow enough smoke to reinflate an economy obviously still very deep in a deflationary cycle. Today on at least three occasions (and that's just when I was listening) I heard the radio news on two different channels say how "new home sales were up in November" like it was all kinds of good news. Sure enough, the devil is in the details. Guess what, folks? That's the "we fudged the numbers" number. You want the real number?

    A record low of 21,000. They are trumpeting "seasonally-adjusted" numbers being up 5% and the actual sales number is DOWN TO A NEW RECORD LOW. Plus, prices were down!

    Now, for those who have been through a decent (read: not in government school) economics class, what do you know when you have low sales and falling prices?

    New home prices are not done falling. The housing bubble is still in the process of bursting.

    Thanks to Calculated risk for telling the truth. This is only one of several graphs that help illustrate why this was actually a BAD new home sales report. Click the image to see it full size:


    Wednesday, December 22, 2010

    Double-Dip Prevented?

    Amongst other things he sees in 2011, Mish predicts that we avoid a double-dip in the USA. He doesn't say we avoid it for 2012 (yet). We'll see.

    6 Georgia Firefighters Reprimanded, 1 Fired For Jackassery. Good.

    NP's reaction when I told him about this story was "I would sue. I'm not normally one to go straight for the lawsuit but . . . " and then some profanity ensued.

  • There was a car crash in Georgia. No big deal, it happens all the time, right?
  • It was a big deal for one lady, who suffered massive injuries in the wreck. She later died from her injuries.
  • One of the responding firefighters took a video of the suffering woman as she lay broken and dying.
  • That right there is where Officer Dave would step in and make the fireman delete the video.
  • Things being as they are, the video was saved and circulated within, then without the fire department; then it got out into the wild.
  • Eventually the video made its way onto the computer screen of the parents of the deceased.

    Read that last sentence again.

    A half-dozen firefighters who probably all should have done what Officer Dave would have done are being officially reprimanded. This one is going on their permanent record. This is a bare minimum of the acceptable response from Spalding County. That they intend to fire the [deleted] who filmed the video is proper, but it takes a little while sometimes to fire firemen, and he has already retained a lawyer to fight to keep his job. This fireman should be left out in the cold by his union (if any) and I hope he pays lawyer fees through the nose and loses his job anyway.

    The jerk.
  • DADT Repeal Didn't Happen

    The old way was: If you're queer, you're too crazy to serve. Kicked out. Along came CinC "Slick Willie" Clinton, and the rule changed to "Don't ask, don't tell." The press and queer lovers everywhere are crowing today about the "REPEAL OF DON'T ASK DON'T TELL." The problem is, it didn't happen; that only goes to show how *ahem* intelligent these people are.

    If it were repealed, DADT would revert to Queer = Discharge. Instead, the reporting seems to imply that now "gay is okay" and that's hardly the same thing.

    Words mean things. How about we insist on proper use of them.


    This is off the cuff. The queer lovers could be in for a nasty surprise and it could be a straight repeal. I don't know. I care so much about the subject I haven't done the first bit of research into it.

    In case you missed it, my Official Take on DADT can be found here.

    Tuesday, December 21, 2010

    Conway Crash: $14M Gone In Seconds . . . Wow.

    From the driver's perspective, this went as well as it could have. From the team's perspective, they just lost a race and a car. The car owner watched about $14,000,000 turn to trash all over the roadway. Conway himself broke a few important bones but was alive to race another day. This is dramatic evidence of the amazing safety technology built into modern-day race cars.

    I missed this year's Indy 500 . . . so I missed an epic crash.

    SRSLY Salad Bars?

    Again?! The Department of Homeland Security is warning you about poisoned salad bars? As if they hadn't been cesspools of thank-god-for-sneeze-shields this whole time!

    You See Officer, What Had Happened Was That, Uh . . .

    Maybe I need to be a policeman. It could potentially save me having to explain unlikely things like this here.

    On the way home from work today as I approached a 4-way stop sign intersection, sumdood coming from the street on the right straight-up rolled the stop and took off to his right (the same direction I was going). I don't mean "I thought I had stopped, officer" I mean "how fast can I take this turn on 4 wheels." Like the stop sign wasn't even there.

    I was a hundred yards or so from my own stop and slowing to stop (for three full seconds, honestly!) and saw this shenanigan pulled right in front of me. For a couple of seconds I was fantasizing about hitting my blue lights and blasting through the intersection to write a righteous moving violation citation . . .

    . . . and almost forgot to stop for my real-life-non-COP-self's own stop sign! DOH!

    What's So Bad About Net Neutrality?

    Nothing, really. I mean, nothing until government cocks up the internet so bad they start rationing bandwidth . . . and some websites will then be more "neutral" than others . . . .

    Obamacare Is/Is Not Constitutional. Depending.

    There will be a circuit split or I'm a monkey's nephew. This is going to the supreme Court of the United States. The judges will look back to Wickard v. Filburn where the guy tried to grow wheat for his own private use and the Nine Black Robes said it did affect interstate commerce for him to not engage in interstate commerce. Judge Norman Moon's decision will stand.

    It is up to YOU to elect Congressmen and Senators in the 2012 election that will repeal this law. Then they must also pass a law that says "we hereby declare that our power over interstate commerce does not extend to non-commerce." This may even have to be a Constitutional amendment. Otherwise the precedents will stand, and the government For, By, and Of the People can force you (at gunpoint) to buy literally anything for any reason they deem worthy. Individual liberty is dead. Long live Amerika.

    Or am I wrong? I'll know within the next 23 months.

    Monday, December 20, 2010

    Quote of The Day 10/09/2007

    "I have a special place in my heart for drunk drivers. It's called jail." -Officer "Smith"

    This quote and the associated post sum up my feelings about drunk drivers quite nicely. Having read ALL of the Officer "Smith" stuff right back to his first post, I now quietly add him to my blogroll under the "When I have extra time" category. Recommended.

    Welfare Agents

    We need them. Specifically, we need them to apply "means testing" prior to handing out 'government benefits' to the moocher class.

    Click here, look at the photo, and come back for my commentary.

    I have a TV half that size. I got it third-hand and the $6 universal remote put the total outlay for the set up to $16. This woman probably bought it new, and is probably not watching VHS tapes on it, either. If you have a $50/month phone bill, a $90/month cable package, smoke a $5 pack of cigarrettes every two days, and are whinging about how hard it is to get the State to pay to heat the home in which you OBVIOUSLY CAN live with only one heated room, tough cookies. Get over yourself, and out of my pocketbook, freeloader.

    Means testing: a good idea until we can get both that AND a law prohibiting voting in the same 12 month period as the receipt of any government aid.

    How Well Do Temporary Fillings Work?

    Like magic.

    I have two holes in my teeth on opposite sides of my mouth. There were large amalgam fillings installed but they broke, and now there are gaps where food can get in and poke holes in the sensitive gingiva between the teeth. One side is worse than the other, and so I eat on the less-bad side. I ate some tortilla chips last week. This left me in pain for 3 of the last 4 days, from eating normal food. When you can't eat without hurting, it's time to Do Something. I was almost ready to set up an appointment with a local Dentist.

    My Darling Wife kicked me out of the house yesterday and told me to get a D.I.Y. temporary filling. I picked up some Dentemp O.S., which I had used a few years ago with good results. The results this time were no less good.

    I went to bed with some ibuprofen working its way through my guts and woke up this morning with a dull ache in my jaw. This was a drastic improvement from the day before when I was ready to set myself up for thousands of dollars of dental bills. My gums are healing from the insult they got a few days ago and tonight it feels less bad than it did today. In a week or two if the pattern holds, I'll be feeling well enough to be annoyed at having to use the temporary filling.


    Bear in mind: inside the holes, my teeth have dentin in them, however thin it may be. I don't have an exposed root or an infected pulp or something horrible like that. If I did, I'd be writing about my visit to the Dentist today. If you have a dental emergency, but can't get to your Dentist, Dentemp O.S. is a stop-gap measure. If you have cavities that stopped getting worse since you read Cure Tooth Decay by Ramiel Nigel but you need "something" to fill the gap between your current budget while you pay off credit cards and the time you can afford a real repair, you might give Dentemp O.S. a try. While you wait for the pain to stop, take ibuprofen (NOT acetaminophen) and use eugenol (clove oil) until the ibuprofen kicks in.


    No I don't get anything from Majestic Drug Co. for this. I paid retail for this stuff and likely will again. When something works this well to alleviate pain, I like to share the knowledge.

    Sunday, December 19, 2010

    Movie Review: Tron: Legacy

    No, I didn't fall and hit my head and decide to go see a film in theater. I read about this one at the Huffington Post and decided:

    Holy WOW that's a scathing film review. That is one of the worst reviews of a film I've seen in a while. I mean, ouch.

    No Crisis Here!

    When you have hundreds of thousands of new housing units sitting unsold for years, and it was anticipated they would be snapped right up (by people building them?) you have a problem. Half the total value of your national real estate value being at risk of default is also a problem. If you refuse to acknowledge it, it only means more people are caught by surprise when the bubble is acknowledged to have burst.

    There's going to be a lot of surprised people in Spain in the next year or two.

    Hugo Chavez Wants To Be A Dictator?

    I'm just shocked. Shocked, I say!

    . . . Just nobody tell the Dear President, he may get some ideas . . .

    Saturday, December 18, 2010

    When Things Go Crash In The Night

    Here I was minding my own business at the computer just now, with my Darling Wife reading on the couch nearby when CRASH goes something in our bedroom on the other side of the wall. Then CRASH goes something again.

    This room has a glass wall facing the back yard. And it contains the crib holding #4 who was asleep.

    I snatched up Big Brother and put a Hydrashock in the chamber, switched on the light, pushed my Darling Wife gently away from the door (what were you planning to do empty-handed, dear?) and opened it*. Slice the pie, and it looks like . . . our bedroom. Window blinds in place, no Goblins present. Baby still sleeping. I shut the door and slowed my pulse down a little, then fetched my Darling Wife, put Big Brother down, and grabbed a less-bright light not attached to a firearm to show her the baby was fine.

    All's well that ends well, but I'm going to have to talk to her husband about setting the box that holds the baby's diapers on an unreliable supporting structure, directly over the baby's car seat. Whew!


    *the fatal funnel: not tonight thanks God!

    Friday, December 17, 2010

    Quote of The Day 12/17/2010

    When I was a wee lad, the '60s radicals used mockery to withering effect. Now, all those radicals have become the Establishment, and find to their dismay that The Man is still a ripe target. -Borepatch

    Click here for the actual mockery.

    V-ger Still Producing wOw Moments

    If you thought the Mars rovers were long-lived, check this out. Voyager 1, launched before I was born, has reported data this year which forced scientists back to the drawing board. Again. Plus, it's really, really, VERY far away, still hauling ass at 38,000MPH, and still working. It's reported that 10.8 billion miles is juuuuust about where the solar wind runs out of steam. It's estimated to be only a couple of years away from flying right out into genuine interstellar space. It was made by men using slide rules. Just wow.


    I'm not sure I need my tax dollars paying for it, but still wow.

    Watts Up With My Blogroll

    You mean . . . cities are warmer than the ocean? Really?

    This post reminded me that Watts Up With That? is another long-overdue addition to my blogroll. Welcome.

    My Three Readers Welcome You!

    Every once in a while I go read Borepatch when I have the time. Today I saw he has a shout out to a new addition to his blogroll and to let him know if anyone else had him on their blogrolls. I didn't. Then I realized I have a "When I have extra time" category on mine, and stuck him on it. Oversight corrected.

    Oh Well, Nevermind Then

    A third of a billion dollars paid out of the pockets of the customers of Pacific Gas and Electric . . . and the town turns out to have not been turned into a big cancer cell after all. Oh well, no biggie I guess.

    When Erin Brockovich came out a decade ago I was one of those who avoided it because the whole thing smelled of bad acting and even worse science. It turns out I was right.

    Hat tip to Les.

    Thursday, December 16, 2010

    One Up, Two Down, One Wash, One Down

    The 2000-page spending bill which should have been worked on all this year but which the Democrats wanted to pork up and cram through in the last couple of weeks of the year to avoid dealing with it during an election year is withdrawn due to bipartisan lack of support

    Pandering continues and the unpaid-for unemployment extension, plus an unpaid-for tax cut, plus a bit of pork, is on the way to the President for his signature.

    People who know what will be happening in their companies soon are selling their stock big time. Mish calls it one of the biggest warning bells in history.

    And finally to the land of fruits and nuts, where even Governor (round 2) Moonbeam can't deny that the budget is borked and must be cut. His initial reaction is cut by 1/4 everywhere. The unions will piss and moan, but the budget might actually end up being cut in a meaningful way, now that the executive and legislative branches out there are both under the same (D) party. Oh, and they'll be needing to do some big-time cutting going forward as well, since they passed their own little see how much business we can chase out of state bill.

    Minor Victories In The (Losing?) War

    I heard on the radio news a couple of days ago that there is now a federal BAN in place on the buying, selling, and reselling of drop-side cribs. A couple dozen children over a few decades were killed and I'm willing to bet a dollar almost all of them were from cribs which were not properly assembled or maintained. But, because you people are all dumb masses, you must be protected from something which has made life easier for millions of people for many, many years. The following is an edited transcript of an IM conversation I had with the guy who works in front of me, when the radio announced this farce:

    VFD: Stupid people making life harder for everyone again
    VFD: drop-side cribs now banned.
    VFD: the kind that have a side that slides up/down? Yeah, you can't buy, sell, or resell one.
    VFD: X-(
    VFD: Good thing I gots mine
    VFD: I outran the safety nazis great success
    NP: so what happens if you're a "little person"
    VFD: My Darling Wife is 5'2.5" and she sure likes her a drop-side crib
    VFD: we've had TWO and nobody died
    VFD: Not safe, not legal
    VFD: like cars
    VFD: and guns
    VFD: and booze
    VFD: and electricity
    VFD: and fire
    VFD: and rocks
    VFD: and pencils
    VFD: and water
    VFD: you know how many babies died from dihydrogen monoxide ingestion?
    VFD: ban that shit!
    (NP asks out loud if this is water)
    VFD: H2
    VFD: O
    VFD: let me go somewhere for a minute before I really get spun up

    We're not as far down the road as England is, but we're headed that way.

    Looking For Work?

    RA got a txt msg on his phone from someone who was trying to find out if they could fill in for someone at work tonight. They intended the txt to go to their employer. RA is not their employer, and hilarity ensued. Warning: gutter-mindedness-ness alert!

    TXT: can I work for someone tonight?
    RA: Pam had 3 BJs and a midget lined up but she has strep throat. Do you want her shift?
    TXT: What? Who is this?
    RA: Do you want the shift or not?

    Many, many LOLs ensued as RA went around relating this story. Many.

    Wednesday, December 15, 2010

    No Blogging. Busy.

    We have a camera with a 6GB memory card and a battery that lasts over 200 shots. I'll be up late tonight processing photos. To help you feel better about the lack of content I'll share one of the images I'm working on.

    This was a lifetime-first for me. I dropped a brand-new gallon of milk the other day and it burst the top off and split the side. The dents in the sides of the jug became protuberances. A few cabinets were rinsed with milk. Only about a pint was lost, but it spreads out pretty well on the kitchen floor. Fortunately an alternate gallon-sized container was freshly washed and standing by on the counter . . .


    Tuesday, December 14, 2010

    Sure Fire Way To Boost Productivity!

    I know, let's have the guy who gives everyone their work assignments go draw cartoons for three days, and let a pothead hand out the work instead! That'll be ++ good for the numbers!


    Monday, December 13, 2010

    Madness @ Work!

    I shot two men in the dick today.

    A company with which ours does business spontaneously sent us a pneumatic gun that shoots glow-in-the-dark 1" diameter hollow soft plastic balls. The trajectory is, as airgunners say, "bloopy." 775 came around with it, unloaded in the middle of the room, and handed the gun to me as we were finding and reloading the balls in the tube. From 10 feet away, I went to shoot him in the chest, and accidentally cockshot him. Twice. It looked like it hurt. Then LB came up and wanted to see how it felt to be shot with this Weapon of Mass Destruction. He volunteered by telling me to shoot him, and covering his eyes to protect them. I aimed for his face, hoping to hit his chest . . . and hit him in the jimmy as well. He is fast enough to have flinched out of the way, but his eyes were covered . . . . That gun is either a homo, or evil, or a bad design.


    Quotes of The Day 12/13/2010

    My Darling Wife had a girlfriend come to our home and a low-key hen party was in progress when I said "Give her your phone number" as a general comment directed at both of them, as my family is now burdened with cell phones. Twenty minutes later, they were still fiddling with phones and I gathered it had something to do with my Darling Wife not having her voicemail set up. This, apparently, is a Problem for females. When I hear your voice mail robot start talking, I hang up 99.93% of the time, but they . . . well, anyway. . . .

    It turns out the friend was calling the wrong number, thinking she was calling the cell phone of my Darling Wife.

    Friend: So who was I calling?
    VFD: I don't know, but apparently they don't have their voice mail set up.
    Friend, DW, VFD: LOL


    Later, my Darling Wife said she felt like she was missing something from her diet . . .

    VFD: Do you feel like you want to crunch on some pine needles?
    DW: (thinking)
    DW: (surprised) Yeah, that actually sounds good!

    (I recommended orange juice instead, as a source of vitamin C)

    Hyperparathyroidism (Parathyroid Disease)

    If you have parathyroid disease, skip my blog and go straight to the webpage of one of the best (and most informative) surgeons in the nation specializing in curing hyperparathyroidism: Dr. Norman.

    If you don't, it's still pretty interesting reading, so read this, donate to the New Shooter's Fund and then go read the pages put out by the Norman Parathyroid Center.


    Calcium is what allows your body to transmit electricity. Your body runs on electricity, so a proper calcium level in your blood is very very important! Normal is in the 9.x range on a serum calcium blood test. In the 10s, you need to be reading Dr. Norman's web pages on hyperparathyroidism, because you very well may have it. In the 11+ range, if you haven't had a stroke, don't wait until you do . . . you have at least one bad parathyroid gland.

    The thyroid gland is and does something different to the parathyroid glands. The parathyroid glands "only" regulate the level of parathyroid hormone (PTH) in your blood. The parathyroid glands are the only organ you have FOUR of because God knows they are important. When your blood calcium varies by 0.1 or 0.2 your PTH level is altered so that the calcium level corrects within a few minutes. If you have highly variable calcium levels, you need to get another doctor after reading Dr. Norman's writing. It is important for your well-being to have a steady blood calcium level in the right range . . . and regulating this is the job of the parathyroid glands.

    The only disease a parathyroid gland gets is hyperparathyroidism. In English, that's when you have too much PTH. This leads to high blood calcium. High calcium leads to:

  • Loss of energy. Don't feel like doing much. Tired all the time. Chronic fatigue.
  • Just don't feel well; don't quite feel normal. Hard to explain but just feel kind of bad.
  • Feel old. Don't have the interest in things that you used to.
  • Can't concentrate, or can't keep your concentration like in the past.
  • Depression.
  • Osteoporosis and Osteopenia.
  • Bones hurt; typically it's bones in the legs and arms but can be most bones.
  • Don't sleep like you used to. Wake up in middle of night. Trouble getting to sleep.
  • Tired during the day and frequently feel like you want a nap.
  • Spouse claims you are more irritable and harder to get along with (cranky, bitchy).
  • Forget simple things that you used to remember very easily (worsening memory).
  • Gastric acid reflux; heartburn; GERD.
  • Decrease in sex drive.
  • Thinning hair (predominately in middle aged females on the front part of the scalp).
  • Kidney Stones.
  • High Blood Pressure (sometimes mild, sometimes quite severe; up and down a lot).
  • Recurrent Headaches (usually patients under the age of 40).
  • Heart Palpitations (arrhythmias). Typically atrial arrhythmias.

    And when you treat a few thousand patients per year, you learn the rules:

    1. There are no drugs that will make parathyroid disease better. None.
    2. Nearly all parathyroid patients have symptoms.
    3. Symptoms of parathyroid disease do NOT correlate with the level of calcium in the blood.
    4. All patients with parathyroid disease have fluctuating calcium levels and PTH levels.
    5. All patients with hyperparathyroidism will develop osteoporosis.
    6. Taking osteoporosis drugs will NOT help bones that are being attacked by a bad parathyroid.
    7. Parathyroid disease will get worse with time in all patients. It will not stay the same, nor will it get better on its own.
    8. There is only one treatment for parathyroid disease (hyperparathyroidism): Surgery
    9. Nearly all parathyroid patients can be cured with a minimal (<20 minutes, 2" incision)operation.
    10. The success rate and complication rate for parathyroid surgery is VERY dependent upon the surgeon’s experience.

    The Rules and Symptoms lists above, as well as the general knowledge, come from the excellent web page. Used without permission, but I seriously doubt Dr. Norman will object.
  • Sunday, December 12, 2010

    Life Imitates Art ~or~ Sci-Fi Becomes Real

    So it turns out that a face shield on a helmet can prevent some injuries. A genuine scientist has studied this, and found it to be so.

    Gee, where have I ever heard about an army whose troops wear face-shielding helmets . . . . I wonder . . .

    If You Drive Like This, You STINK!

    There I was, minding my own business in the far-right lane at 50MPH (the speed limit) when a car pulled out of a driveway to my right and started traveling in the same direction and in the same lane, as mine. And the driver did NOT stand on the gas. This forced me to choose between ramming the back of their car with a delta-V of about 20MPH, or change lanes to pass. Just another day in paradise, right? How about just another day in ThesePeopleStinkAtDrivingland Austin:

  • There was no traffic in the left lane. They could have pulled out across the right lane and gone as slow as they liked in the left lane, and not risked anyone's life.
  • Traffic in front of my car was thin. A huge gap existed, but they chose to wait until half of it was gone. Acceleration-time-in-traffic wasted for them meant danger for us all.
  • If they had jumped on the gas, there would have been no problem at all. They didn't.
  • The icing on the cake: there was NOBODY BEHIND ME! If they had waited just a few more seconds, this goes from a dangerous example of one of my pet peeves, to perfect driving behavior.


    Yes, it was a female driver.
  • Smoking Cessation Made Simple!

    You want to know how to stop smoking? Do what I did:

    Stop smoking. Then -here's the trick- don't start again. Simple, right? I didn't say easy, did I? You hate life for two weeks, then you go on to live for two years or two decades longer than you would have if you continued to smoke. Would you rather live a longer life, or a stinkier one?

    Because yes, you stink.

    This public service announcement has been inspired by Gizmag and their summary of a new article that finds electronic cigarrettes are also hazardous.

    Saturday, December 11, 2010

    Next Step, Victory?

    "First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win."

    The banksters who swept a trillion dollars of junk onto their books and then tried to foreclose on houses they didn't necessarily own are increasingly turning to the tactic of intimidating and suing people shining a light on the house of cards. Unfortunately for the little guys, the big guys aleeeeegedly in the wrong have deep pockets. Still, as they say, the truth will out eventually.

    Meantime, who's got popcorn?

    If I'm A Crank, I'm Not The Only One.

    In the face of cold hard reality, even scientists (who normally spend their days in caves labs well away from the public eye) are speaking out against the sham. a thousand of them have come out and said the UN IPCC report's published conclusions are bunk.

    But hey, Rosie o'Donnel and Barry Obama believe in global warming, so who you gonna trust?

    Friday, December 10, 2010

    So . . . Government Meddling Makes Things . . . Worse?

    On Human Rights Day, Yahoo! News is reporting that a well-intentioned law directed at protecting families has backfired so that most (68%) of the time, its effect is exactly opposite of the intent of the legislation. In this case, that puts women who take their children from abusive husbands right back where from where they had tried to flee.

    The Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (Hague Convention): FAIL.

    Gee, who ever could have thought to do a study before passing a law?

    No Conflict of Interest At ALL!

    President Clinton has paid President Obama a visit for council on this tax policy mess. That would be the tax policy mess Obama got himself into by being an intransigent ivory tower leftist in the face of both public opinion and political reality. If the Dear President weren't such a babe in the woods, he would know to beware.

    President Clinton is married to Secretary of State Clinton, who (as we know because she ran last time) has serious ambitions to be President, and is not getting any younger. If President Obama can be publicly made out to all and sundry as not the one who should be President next term, he may face a primary challenge from Mrs. Clinton. History lesson: incumbent Presidents in living memory do not survive primary challenges.

    If Clinton can give bad enough advice that Obama can screw the country worse than he was already going to, Hillary will be the front-runner for the Democrat nomination for PotUS in 2012. Barry is a FOOL to listen to anything Bill Clinton has to say.


    But then, he's also doing a pretty convincing imitation of a fool in most other respects, so . . . .

    Thursday, December 9, 2010

    On The Importance of Careful Selection of News Sources

    You might hear tomorrow that the contraction of credit (read: a basic cause of The Great Recession) is over. The stock market will rise n points on this news, even though it is patently false.

    Depending on what you included in your counting -government meddling in student loans or not- there was either more credit issued in the last couple of months, or less. If you count student loans which now (thanks to a healthcare insurance law) only come from the government along with typical bottomless demand for subsidized government benefits, there has been an increase in the amount of credit, and therefore the economy is expanding. If you understand that this is a novel way to count credit and exclude student loans, credit is contracting falling off a cliff.

    If you want to know what is truly happening in the American and world economies, read Michael Shedlock.

    Unfortunately, being an informed citizen takes time. A guy at work was very surprised when I told him incandescent light bulbs have been banned by Congress starting in 2012. He said he got sick of the news and stopped paying attention. Then this huge stupid thing caught him by surprise. Don't be caught by surprise by the nightly news. Seek out high quality news and information sources, and promote them as best you can. Note: this excludes the entirety of what comes across your television set. Being an informed citizen takes time and effort.

    Meh. Who's getting voted off American Idol tonight?

    Now That's My Kind of Nanny State!

    A proper nanny instills good discipline in her charges. In this case, good trigger discipline. The Firearm Blog has a picture of a device that spanked a soldier when he jerked the trigger on a training rifle.

    "Now, Private Johnny, please don't jerk the trigger. It makes Sergeant Hardass sad when you don't squeeze the trigger. Private Johnny, I'm not going to tell you again. Please, Private Johnny . . ."

    All I Want For Christmas Is A Deadly Weapon

    For the last decade or so I've been carrying a Buck model 186c folding pocket knife. It is a very good knife and I use the heck out of it - and it shows. The blade is both shorter and narrower than it used to be, due to hard use and many, many sharpings. Every once in a while I hit up eBay to see if there is one for sale.

    I looked today. Currently, there are TWO for sale, brand-spanking-NEW. So my Darling Wife, knowing me as well as anyone, told me to send my knife in to Buck, who will replace the blade for $10. . . but to actually do it, unlike last year, when I just called Buck about it. It'll be a Christmas present from the children. Alrighty then.

    Wednesday, December 8, 2010

    If You Drive Like This, You STINK!

    I had the misfortune to be behind a nasty sort of driver in traffic today. A male with a female passenger in a little pickup truck. This guy stopped at a light in front of me and he was obviously engaging the passengeress in conversation. Then the light turned green and the conversation continued.

    The problem? He was spending at least 1/2 the time looking toward his passenger instead of looking at the road, including when he was driving.

    WTH are you looking at, and why isnt' it the road? Do you really need to see your sub. nodding agreement so badly you'll risk a crash? Are you a control freak or something? Or do you have some insecurity that forces you to keep checking she's still listening? Do you have OCD and you have to keep checking to make sure she's still there? Dude, she's not going anywhere so how about you just stop turning your head already.

    At least I was safely behind him. I shudder to think what might happen to the people in front of and beside this joker.

    Two Bits Of Actual GOOD Government News?

    Wisconsin Governor-elect talking about abolishing or gutting parasitic government unions. Ron Paul announcing he will chair the congressional subcommittee on monetary policy.

    Elections have consequences. Sometimes, two years later the consequence is properly called "backlash" and the ratchet actually backs off a notch. Time will tell, but this news is very promising. More like this, please.

    Take An Ocean Cruise, It'll Be Lovely!

    Sure. Ask these people how much they liked it.

    A Good First Step

    No, not killing all the lawyers. Texas has released the 380+ page report of a study we paid nearly a million bucks to conduct, analyzing spending on government schools vs. the results as evaluated by student scores on standard tests. This study is apparently "hard" so we're the first ones to do it.

    Now let's have the second step which if not done renders the first meaningless: Identify what the five-star schools are doing right, and what the inferior schools do wrong, and FIX IT. I'll give them even odds of pointing the finger at a cultural breakdown in the black and hispanic communities, but that's an area that MUST be addressed if you really want your children educated well. Also, you have to get some sort of student accountability for learning, but that would be a paradigm shift and I don't look for it any time soon.

    We'll see. Meanwhile, as long as it's legal, chez VFD will be doing double-duty as a school house where at least our own children will be properly educated.

    Stupid Lights

    After replacing a dozen or so that were bad and verifying ALL the ones that are not lit, our robo-string of lights with 16 settings is officially 1/3 dead. And tomorrow will be interesting, as it's a birthday AND #1 and #2 were up until mere moments ago "helping" to trim the tree.

    In related news, we definitely should have got this tree taken care of on the weekend instead of waiting for the week days. Lesson frikken LEARNED.

    Tuesday, December 7, 2010

    Leaving So Soon?

    Since it was re-created a State by UN mandate, everyone has been trying to get Israel to roll over for the Arabs a negotiated peace deal between Israel and the surrounding nations. The latest "I'm sure we'll make this happen now that I'm on the job" effort was undertaken by none other than President Obama. It now appears that someone gave Barry a reality sandwich, and he has begun the process of abandoning it as a bad job.

    Quelle surprise!


    I didn't write about it, but I didn't forget Pearl Harbor Day. Neither should you.

    Remind Me Why We Do This, Again?

    The Christmas Tree stand broke. I guess 8 years is good service for a painted stamped sheet steel part that was stored outside in the rain, but this is the last year for this tree stand. I took it as a personal challenge to make it work (which also kept me from having to step out to buy another stand at 22:00) and, three hours later, the tree is steady in that stand. Please nobody bump it though, just in case. As I was upside-down under the tree with a c-clamp trying to make it work, my Darling Wife asked me

    DW: What are you doing right now?
    VFD: Trying not to cuss out loud.

    P.S. spray-on cooking pan nonstick stuff (read: Pam) dissolves pine sap without stinking you up like something more solvent-ish can.

    What Happens In The Break Room

    Stays in the break room. For the potential legal liability, if nothing else. But WOW.

    Quote of The Day 12/07/2010

    "This isn't the politics of the moment, this has to do with what we can do right now" -President Obama

    ...who now extols the value of a temporary deal to buy the time necessary to have a "political battle." Where was the importance of time for political battles when bailout and obamacare discussions were underway? Oh, that wasn't his ox being gored, was it?

    Another money quote from the President's press conference today: "When these expire in two years, I will fight to end them" . . . translation: when I have gone through my NEXT election with the uncertainty of the largest tax increases in US history hanging over businessmen's heads, THEN we'll see what I want to do about these pesky tax hikes. Democrats in Congress understand that another election season with tax uncertainties looming large will take away more of their jobs. As job retention is priority #1, they are pushing back against the 'compromise' of only giving away free unemployment pennies from Heaven without also soaking the filthy disgusting Rich People for more tax money.

    Idiot punditry highlights of today include a lefty blogger who expressed surprise that President Bush is still in office, and a real winner at the game of Life, who said extending the Bush tax cuts would make a $4T hole in the budget.

    This is a mess, caused largely by a lack of political courage on the part of your Elected Heroes. The ONLY solution we should have is an extension of tax law for everyone, followed by drastic austerity measures at all levels of government AND a continuation of the discussion of what to do with tax law *cough*fairtax*cough*. Unemployment benefits need to be cut off. After two years of "can't find a job" it is a pretty safe bet that "can't" means "won't" and you need some tough love.

    Monday, December 6, 2010

    Marijuana Does Not Affect Your Driving!

    Just ask these people.

    I Want A Refund

    We paid $120M to print just under $1T in new-style $100 bills. The bills came back from the printer, printed wrong. If this happened to you at the UPS store, you'd get pissed and refuse delivery, and demand a refund. Three guesses who pays for those waste printings at the Federal Reserve.

    Break The Law? We'll Burn Your HOUSE Down!

    Excuse me for noticing, but the government is about to burn a man's house down -presumably with his and his wife's entire collection of earthly possessions- and he has been convicted of no crime. They want to burn it because somebody might get a widdle boo-boo if they disposed of the bombs, grenades, etc. in the house the slow and difficult one-at-a-time way. Plus it would be, like, really hard n' junk. So let's just burn this mother down and hope that takes care of the problem!

    Sure, maybe it needs to be burned down for public safety. Can we at least have the guy in prison (vs. indicted) first, or maybe say SOMETHING in the article about the house being condemned? Yahoo! news might be falling on its face here, but for the libertarianish reader, the local .gov really comes off ham-fisted in this story. I did a bit of looking around and NOBODY is saying anything about condemned. Contaminated, yes.

    Would-be armorers, take note: be sure not to have a gardener, or at least don't leave your powdered explosives out where he'll step on them and get you arrested.

    Sunday, December 5, 2010

    Don't Go Investing In Chinese Skyscrapers Just Yet

    Those who are unaware that China is headed for a depression will be surprised I guess. Those paying attention ought not to be. Apparently China is the only place there is currently any action in the ridiculously-tall skyscraper industry. That's swell for the people getting paid to work on the towers, but not so great for anyone after they're done.

    In case you missed it, not only does China have a surplus of see-through buildings, there was an entire city built where nobody lives. China is only not in a real-estate crash right now because they are extend-and-pretending like everybody else did whose markets have already crashed. Once these new skyscrapers are complete, the developers will be bankrupted because nobody will use the buildings. The towers will remain largely tenant-free for the foreseeable future, like the other new buildings in China.

    China is going down, hard, soon. If you have your money over there building record-setting skyscrapers, there is no time like the present to pull it out. If someone tries to sell you Chinese skyscraper company stock, walk away.

    Saturday, December 4, 2010

    Please Pray for Yolanda

    Sailor Curt's sister was t-boned and life-flighted. She and the family could use help, so Christians please pray.

    Dumb News Roundup 12/04/2010

    People with not only no right to vote for Congressmen, but no right even to be in our country, are protesting that they should be allowed to be citizens because . . . well, it sounds like a good idea or something. You know, because, like, I totally want to be a citizen! You should just give in because, like, I'm sort of an American too, you know!

    A trade deal has been reached with a country that produces higher-quality cars for less money than the USA does, and this is somehow supposed to boost sales of American cars there. Ahem. I can get why people here buy Korean cars. I fail to see why anyone in Korea would buy an American car.

    Spanish air traffic controllers go on strike because they are told they will only be making 10x the national average salary vs. 20x, will have to make up for times they miss their regular working shifts, and may have to go see a doctor when they call in "sick" to get out of work. The military was called in and most of the ATCs are back to work. I'm going to go out on a limb and guess this industry is nationalized, and they are whinging about submitting to something more like national-normal conditions while they suck down pay from the pockets of the citizenry. They should be glad for what they do get, but that's now how government unions roll.

    Friday, December 3, 2010

    You're Welcome, Jerk.

    You couldn't walk an extra thirty steps to put your grocery cart in the "please return carts here" area. You left it in the middle of a parking space. You knew it wasn't well-placed, which is why you looked back at it once, and then did a double-take to be sure. Well, it turns out you suck as bad as you thought you might.

    Fortunately for your car and the profitability of your car insurance company, I was pushing my cart a few steps behind you on the way to my car. As your lady friend backed your car out of the parking spot directly down hill from where you negligently left your empty shopping cart, I held your cart with mine to prevent it rolling directly into your car. Then I took an extra four steps and at least hooked the wheels of your cart on a curb so it wouldn't roll off into somebody else's car in the lot . . . unlike you.

    Such thoughtless, negligent, disrespectful behavior is why you are still driving a hoopty when you are old enough to have two kids. Good luck getting ahead in life; you will probably need it.

    Thursday, December 2, 2010

    Spambots Are Getting Smarter

    If I get an e-mail with no subject, or if the subject has to do with a greeting card, it goes straight to /dev/null. Do not pass Go, do not collect $200. Even if it's from someone I know. Even if it's from my email address (the nerve!) Today I got an e-mail "from" myself with an actual sentence in the title, like a real e-mail might have. It had grammatical errors and was obviously not from me, but they're getting closer. Sooner or later I'm going to be genuinely fooled and click on a spam e-mail and get a nasty surprise.

    Stupid spammers. Leave us alone.

    Madness @ Work

    Sometimes, customers come into our shop and look around to see what else they want to impulse-buy. Sometimes, they are straight arrows. Sometimes, they give every appearance of being just a couple of steps shy of looney toons. Today we had a pair of real humm-dingers come in that set off LB's and my spidey senses for 'harmless nutter proximity.' They went out for a tour of the stuff out back and . . .

    LB: Now the next time when them people come through, I will be donning (puts on an extremely strange looking head-mounted scientific instrument) this hat.
    VFD: Now you are making fun of the crazy people.
    LB: Naw, I just want to see what they would say.
    VFD: No, you are manipulating them for your amusement. That's making fun.

    In his defense, the funny hat was off when they came through.

    Wednesday, December 1, 2010

    The Dismal Science

    Economics: a way to get all of your friends to make ugly faces and go talk to someone pleasant, when you start discussing reality vs. what the stock market is doing. If you're not into it, this post is a yawner. If you are, it's huge ugly scary news.

    Trust me, it's huge ugly scary news, and also not a surprise to those of us who are paying attention

    . . . and still waiting for the double-dip.

    Counter Suit: Your Religion Offends My Yodeling!

    A dude in Austria (which is famous for people who yodel for kicks) yodels while mowing his lawn. His asshole muslim neighbors are praying (again) and they get all bent sideways (vs. forwards toward mecca) because his "what a lovely day to be mowing" yodeling sounded like their call to prayer. To them. To him, it sounded like the Casey Kasem's Top 40 Hit Parade.

    But you see, he could have meant to offend them, so he's now under an €800 ($1200-ish) fine from the court.

    Let me tell you, I would have a very, very, very hard time not making those neighbors' life unpleasant in 800 ways, if this befell me. What a travesty of justice.

    I Wasn't Asking.

    A word of advice to those who think that the road is for their exclusive use: Not. If you see my car has a blinking light on the side near you, and it is well in front of your car, this is not a sign for you to speed up. It is also not a reason you should honk when I put my car in front of yours. It is, in fact, not a request for you to pretty please let me in; I am serving notice. The blinking light says "here I come."

    In a city where the drivers are both low-skilled and rude, sometimes you have to "git in wher' ya fit in" . . . the turn signal is a legal nicety.

    P.S. it's not that everyone is always cutting you off, it's that you never leave a safe following distance between your car and the one in front of you, into which your fellow users of the road can merge. Fix yourself or deal.

    Tuesday, November 30, 2010


    I have twice taken driving personality tests that say I am a aggressive but safe driver. Most of the people at work who have ridden with me or followed me, are of the opinion that I drive like a nut. The least unfavorable comment from a co-worker about my driving is that you have to be an ex-cop to ride with me - and that guy used to be the Police.

    I maintain that I do what I have to do to maintain my right of way and the structural integrity and uprightness of my car. A couple of days ago, my Darling Wife was riding shotgun with me and (as usual) people did stupid things with their cars in rapid succession and in near proximity to our car. She put on her surprised face and used her surprised voice and declared that I must be "a magnet" for stupid drivers.

    I told you so!!!

    Parenting Pro Tip

    Do not let a two-and-a-half year-old boy watch Kung Fu Panda. Trust me on this.

    Your Music Really Stinks.

    My drive home is usually accompanied by the rice crispies sound of AM talk radio. My preferred station is turned down after sundown . . . and as it is winter, this coincides with "right before end of business" for me these days. So I went to the other station I sometimes listen to. . . inanity. Then another station. Vanity. Okay fine, I'll take a chance at some music.

    I had known but blocked from my memory how crappy is most of the music on the radio these days. Start with a song that is musically inept with meaningless lyrics, overproduce it to cover the lack of artistic talent, and then compress it so it gets the bass and treble through a cheap car speaker. This ends up sounding like so much jangling noise on a decent audio setup such as the one in my hot rod. Next station. Next station. Next. Next. Finally I ended up on one of the local black music stations where they were playing "My Chick Bad" by Ludacris. I cranked the loudness, volume, and bass controls. It is still a mediocre (at best) piece of music, but it wasn't over-produced, and it was also not over-compressed for broadcast. Plus, it has a decent bass line and it made me think happy thoughts about my special lady-friend.

    I usually don't turn up the music in my car to the point that it shakes its mirrors in disapproval because by then the interior is also rattling. This time the rattles matched the music so I toin'd it up to 11. I've got to get the CDs out. How can you people listen to the junk coming down the FM dial? Is this what happens when we cut music out of the government school curricula?

    Monday, November 29, 2010

    All Hail The Victor Triumphant!

    I just burned my finger. I burned it on a transistor. The transistor is being used as a switch. The switch is part of a heater control that looks like a pile of junk. I designed it. And it controls to a set temperature. And apparently this transistor needs a heat sink.

    I designed a solid-state thermostatic controller for a heater. It is part of a larger project I have been working on between family/work/school/etc. for the last seven years.

    Finally I have a working protoype of something new on this project. I had previously constructed a precision voltage source, but now it is dead and needs to be repaired. The main event was at one time partially-working, but I managed to blow it up also. It still needs to be fixed and have the design finalized and constructed, but I think I have all the proper parts for it.

    It WORKS. I designed and made this thing and it frikken works!!! w00t!

    Armed Response Saves The Day In Wisconsin

    When the Police showed up, the "suspect" shot himself. If there had been an armed teacher or school security guard, this could have taken n fewer minutes to happen. Time and again experience shows that the best way to get a gun-wielding Bad Person to stop wielding their guns in a "gun-free zone" is for someone else to show up with a gun.

    Tell me why, again, we disarm the Good People in schools in America?

    That school will be out and mental health councilors will be in tomorrow is a sign of mental frailty on a tragic scale - and I'm not talking about the students.

    And I've Got A Bridge For Sale.

    Further proof that you don't have to be smart to be the owner of important stuff: a Spanish woman has claimed ownership of the Sun. Yes, that the Sun. She wants to raise money for her bankrupt nation by charging royalties.

  • Good luck collecting on that
  • Good luck proving ownership in court if you try collecting on that
  • I'll be joining the class-action lawsuit for damages from sun burns, but I expect the people dying of melanoma will probably beat me to the payments.
  • You, Senora, are an idiot.
  • No Smoke, Just Mirrors.

    President Obama hiked the baseline federal budget to a couple trillion MORE dollars in the red, then started making insignificant mentions of cutting spending and being fiscally responsible. Part of that newfound "fiscal responsibility" is cutting out future increases in federal employee pay . . . after federal employees are reported as already being paid way more on average than private employees. The MSM is reporting this as being tough on spending.

    Okay, then. Way to go there chief. I've cut back on spending to pre-recession levels and then some. When the .gov starts doing the same, talk to me again about fiscal responsibility.

    Sunday, November 28, 2010

    Nothing, That's What.

    "I've prayed for my family and friends, because obviously if someone was deliberate to do this, what's to stop them from coming to our homes and our schools?" said Mohamed Alyagouri, who worships at the same mosque as a dude who tried to wage Jihad in Portland.

    The entire article -which includes quotes from multiple people who worship at this mosque- fails to mention any public statement of condemnation of the anti-human activities of Mohamed Mohamud, who was recently arrested when his atempt to be a good muslim landed him in jail.

    They are upset that someone set their islamic center on fire. That is proper. What would also be proper is for their imam to be all over the news saying he's against blowing up innocent Americans over religious differences. Here's a hint: if you don't want to be associated with a terrorist, make a very big public effort to come out and say you're against him. Otherwise (note I am not advocating, only mentioning) don't be surprised when you are lumped in with your co-religionist and your mosque is set on fire.

    But VFD, they HAVE condemned the bombing plot! lookit here! (.doc file warning) they're part of the religion of peace! There's no reason to try to burn down this Islamic Center!

    Uh-huh. I'll allow for the sake of the current discussion that the general falsehoods in that condemnation don't make the whole thing a farce. Then we are left with (at least) three other obvious possible explanations:

  • shades of reichstagbrand
  • random act of violence, or
  • shot across the muslim world's collective bow

    A lot of nominal moslims who were not participating in Jihad were killed in the crusades. The crusades were not started because there was nothing else to do that Tuesday.

    I'm just sayin'.
  • Saturday, November 27, 2010

    Technical Difficulties

    Busy with computer troubles. Spent two days trying to get up to date and 100% backed-up. I hate dealing with computer security junk. I wish people wouldn't be jerks and write malicious code so I could just USE my PC.

    Thursday, November 25, 2010

    Update: Temporary (?) Good News!

    You may recall that we were losing a lovely little section of woods behind our house. I noted that the workmen didn't come back after the weekend to finish the job. There was a note on our door that they were not going to continue the clearing until further notice. One of the neighbors said something about destroying wildlife habitat and that was enough to kill the project, for now.

    I'm happier to have coons, 'possums, pigeons, cardinals, and mosquitos than I am to have a view of the neighbors, so whatever. I guess my tax dollars are going to be used for an environmental impact study here shortly, if the City wants to keep clearing out the ditch. I hope not - I hope they decide to just leave it. It's not hurting anybody and not clearing it saves the city probably a few thousand bucks. We'll see.

    Gun Porn: The Original Marlin Goose Gun

    It's not every day that you see a detachable box magazine-fed bolt-action 12 gauge shotgun with a 3-foot barrel. I have been around guns since before it was a good idea for a child so young to be handling them unsupervised, and I had never until this day been exposed to such a thing.

    As always, click any image to see a somewhat better version.

    It's in good cosmetic condition overall


    The stock really looks nice when it's rubbed with oil, from a few feet away. Figured, even.


    This was a field gun. It shows honest wear from use, and has the "bonus feature" of either unscrewed or ripped-out sling swivel stud holes.



    The action operates pretty smoothly, as one would expect of a working piece. The cocking indicator is a nice touch. Bolt action. Huh! A FAT bolt action.


    With a detachable box. A FAT detachable box. Ooookay. Remember the scale: 3-plus inches long by over an inch wide. Three rounds of 2-3/4" 12 gauge.


    Well, at least the business end is in good condition.


    The one, the only, the ORIGINAL . . .


    Wednesday, November 24, 2010

    What Happens When An Education Bubble Bursts?

    I think they made a movie about it, called "Idiocracy."

    The poor, poor, pitiful poor people who happened to be dark-skinded couldn't get a home mortgage. Not because they couldn't afford it and 100% for-sure would default on the note, but just because those rotten ol' banks were racist and greedy! So the Democrats in Congress passed laws to make it easy for race hustlers like Al Sharpy-sharp to pressure banks into making loans to poor people who would never be able to repay them, in the name of racial equality. Those people and a few others were not economically literate enough to realize they were being screwed and they went out and got houses they couldn't afford. Now they are in foreclosure and the economy is in the tank.

    Why bring up old stuff, VFD?

    Because this story just reminded me of it. Here we have the poor, poor, pitiful poor stupid children whose parents won't force them to study and get good grades, and who are non-white, not getting into advanced courses in high school. The obvious solution: take away the courses because it's not fair for the white kids to be educated. Spread the mediocrity around.

    How is it not obvious that this only makes Evanston, Illinois a city with less well-educated citizens? What good is it to deny intelligent students an exceptional education? Oh wait, I forgot . . . it's for equality.

    Not everyone can excel, but everyone is capable of sitting on their ass and failing at life. If you insist on making everyone the same, you have to enforce the lowest possible standard. Then when everyone is declared to be special, nobody is special. To a Socialist/Communist, that is the stated goal . . .

    Economy To Fall Along With Unemployment

    Either they will get off their asses and find jobs after two years of drawing unemployment checks, or they will draw savings down further, or they will stop contributing to the economy almost entirely when two Million people get their last unemployment checks in the next two months. That's in addition to the last 1.5M from the month just past.

    Millions. Unemployed for two years, and soon to have no income at all. All hail the great recovery from the Great Recession! Soon they will no longer be counted as unemployed, and all will be well with the economy!

    Tuesday, November 23, 2010

    Gun Porn: New England Firearms SB2 Handi Rifle .22 Hornet

    Those who are into this sort of thing will really enjoy this one. This rifle is in at least Good, possibly Very Good cosmetic condition. The overall view is Very Good from just a few feet away.

    As always, click any image to see it without blogger messing up the image quality



    Look a bit closer and you see it is definitely, but lightly, used. The muzzle end has some slight wear in the bluing, and the stocks have rub marks on the high parts of the deeply contoured (almost sculpted) wood.



    The breech face looks great, the breech end of the barrel less so. Ho do you ding the chamber end of the barrel without damaging the other parts of a rifle? It's a good thing the barrel has a stepped crown. The false crown has scratches and faded finish . . . the true crown, as is the case with the rifling, is in great shape.


    The scope was, apparently, installed by a poorly-trained gorilla. If I saw this rifle in a private sale, I would likely pass on it for this reason if I otherwise wanted it: If you can't use a frikken turnscrew to mount a scope without chewing up the rings, you can't do anything good with the rest of the gun, either. This is an extremely bad sign when you are evaluating a used firearm! The rear lens of the scope is in great shape, but the front lens is scratched. NEVER use anything but the proper cleaning cloths on a coated lens. This is another red flag.

    AETEC - marketing hype or merely an excuse for a pretty logo?


    How "Handi" that all the roll marks and stampings on this rifle are in the same spot . . . one shot and you've got it all! Photographic efficiency WIN!


    Neither single-shot rifles nor the .22 Hornet caliber really float my boat, but -aside from the scope issues I mentioned- this is a pretty nice used example of the type.

    We Say Bad Things About Each Other . . .

    When it is about to be time for a new national leader in the USA, half the country starts saying nasty things about the other half. It is hoped that, in this case, the North Koreans start killing just a few South Koreans to show that the new dictator leader of North Korea isn't afraid of the USA.

    It is hoped they are not trying to egg South Korea into a war. Especially because we are BFFs with South Korea and we're not big fans of letting the NorKs take over without a fight.

    It is regrettable that we have Secretary of State Clinton and President Obama when this is taking place, but I give even this lot better than even odds of managing to not get us into a nuclear war with North Korea. Conventional war, even odds or better also.

    Perhaps we should be praying about this . . . .

    FN Makes Creating My Dream Home That Much Easier.

    FN Herstal, makers of fine arms for worldwide military and civilian use, have made it that much easier to fabricate my fantasy home. You know, the one with a hundred fifty yards' clear space around the house, then woods for a few miles before we start to run into other peoples' property? That one. Part of the planned security system has always been sentry guns that pop up out of the roof when somebody approaches without authorization. Make that, a pair of M2s on each end of the house. Trespassers VERY not welcome.

    Well, FN has come up with a handy ready-made part for me. I'm afraid it's not M2s and only a single piece, but really how many heavy machine gun rounds can one . . . er, one deer or racoon take?

    Click here for a video of the FN deFNder remote operated machine gun. Very nice. Do want, x2, when my house is being built. That will be shortly after the credit card is paid off, which will be just after my flying pig farm gets off the ground. But still, do want.

    Hat tip: Uncle

    Monday, November 22, 2010

    Really? Yahoo?

    I can't write about the big news today, so instead I'll nip at the small stuff from Yahoo! News:

    The head of the Theatre Securite Americain TSA prays to vishnu that you please oh for the love of god please don't [deleted] up his life by refusing a full-body scan when you go home for Thanksgiving. I found high comedy in this bit:
    Ricky D. McCoy, a TSA screener and president of a union local in Illinois and Wisconsin, said the atmosphere has changed in the past two weeks for officers in his region. Since word of the pat-downs hit the headlines, officers have been punched, pushed or shoved six times after they explained what would be happening, McCoy said. "We have major problems because basically TSA never educated the public on what was going on," he said. "Our agency pretty much just threw the new search techniques out there."

    The problem is not that you don't want your little children strip-searched, it's that you didn't know it was coming. The aftermath of this Thanksgiving flying season will be . . . interesting. I hope we at least get a couple of TSA firings, a few lawsuits, and a good Congressional Oversight Hearing out of it.

    Apparently the only person who wants to see the law carried out in Alaska is the guy who (barely, maybe) lost an election. Everyone else is apparently happy to ignore misspelled and fraudulent write-in ballots for the apparent winner. At least they did manage to find a judge who would stay the contested results, unlike what happened with the clown from Illinois a while back.

    The next bugbear you can't do anything about but we'll be happy to take your money to try and affect: methane from the permafrost! It's going to kill us all! Surrender your national sovereignty and your luxurious lifestyle before it's too late!