Thursday, September 30, 2010

My Friends/His Friends

My friends go to church and the shooting range, and are against higher taxes.

President Obama's friends don't and aren't, but they do commit felonious vote fraud.

Of course, this is no reflection on him. . . unless you find video or fingerprints, nothing bad could possibly be Obama's fault!

Ecuador In Turmoil . . . Over Government Employee Benefits!

In Greece, the truckers shut the place down by not working.
In Equador, the Police are becoming the anti-police.

Why? Because of modest proposals to limit future increases in their benefits packages. This is a sure sign of reforms long past due finally being implemented on the cusp of "too-late." It's not a coup d'etat (yet) and the President is still running the show. The military supports him, and it looks like maybe just a couple of percent of the Policemen in Ecuador need to be fired/jailed . . . but it's funny how much trouble a few hundred policemen can cause if they really want to.

For once, Yahoo!/AP seem to have got a fairly even-handed treatment and broad scope into an article. Go read the whole thing to see what it could look like here, unless we stop spending too much money on government servants while we still peacefully can.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Is It Monday Again? I Didn't Get The Memo

I like to get ten items worked on per day. I can figure out the real odd balls, so they give me the odd balls, which then slow me down because they take time to figure out, then test and clean. Today they took too long, and I got FOUR items worked on.

Then I got something on my hands BEFORE I put a pair of gloves on, and when the gloves came off after I finished doing what I was doing, my hands were red and itchy. I noticed this AFTER I rubbed my neck and my neck was red and itchy too. I had 30mg Benadryl tablets so I took one. If you thought I was working slow before . . .

Then it was time for the first-in-years-because-we-finally-got-a-manager-who-cares "semi-annual" performance review. Between some stuff that has improved and some stuff that has since changed, and some stuff you'd have to be me to disagree with, it was strictly a mediocre review.

I got home and my Darling Wife pointed out I was so slow from the Benadryl I shouldn't be driving, and she was too tired to drive, so we missed church.

I went to take a shower, to get whatever was on me off, before it got on the rest of the family. As I was relaxing in the shower, the [deleted] SHOWERHEAD broke off and left me a 1/4" tube spitting out a stream of water.

Then #2 wanted to play with my Life-Like HO scale slot cars. Sure, knock yourself out. Turns out today was the day we find out five of my six cars have stripped out ring gears. #3 wanted to play, and #2 wanted to play, and there was only one car, resulting in screaming fights.

Then I called somebody to give them a birthday well-wish, and the [deleted] cat laid into one of the [deleted] dogs while I was on the phone.

It's been a day for minor irritants. It's nothing major and I know I've got it better than I deserve, but it seems like I've been piled-on a little more than usual today. Next thing you know my computer is going to d

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Obama: Political Poison This November

President Obama says it's "Inexcusable" for Democrats to stand on the sidelines on election day. You know what else is inexcusable? Voting for a one-word slogan and getting a marxist into the White House. Democrats feel free to stand on the sidelines. Better yet, sit on your chairs at home and curse your party's and President's electoral ambitions.

Rush Limbaugh reports Obama can't even fill a room in Madison WI. Biden drew 25 OLD people in a line. . . no college students wanted to see him. Russ Feingold won't be caught dead in the same room when PBO goes to help raise funds for Feingold . . . but this is reported as "not" a sleight against the President.

That's rough.

"DEY SHOO'IN!" Shots Fired at University of Texas

This has been a huge local story all day. The following are the notes I took from news and call-in shows:

News flash! an incident occurring approximately 08:10-ish In a gun-free zone . . .

  • 08:25: There is word over the radio of a shooting on the University of Texas (Austin) campus. Shooter has a black suit & tie, black rifle, face covered, reports of 5 to at least 10 shots fired. A cabbie called in to the radio news show and said the guy was shooting right in front of his car. I was thinking VRRRRRRMMM-CRASH! Shooter run over, okay, done! Or in the alternative, draw your gun from its concealed hide in the car, and PEW! PEW! PEW! okay, done! Not everyone thinks like me, though, and this driver followed the example of brave, brave Sir Robin. One can hardly blame him.
    They'll be sending 100% of all the DPS and APD and probably the Sherrif's department down there. Traffic will be a nightmare. For those unaware, the UT campus is in the heart of downtown Austin. This will be a mess. My prediction: either a yabba dabba jihad, or a disgruntled liberal.

  • 08:50 Reports of more shots fired. Police swarming the area, shooter possibly holed up on 5th floor of the (PCL) library. Roll swat, break out the tactical rifle, PEW! okay, done!
  • 08:52 Shooter on 6th floor, reportedly has killed himself
  • 09:01 Caller wonders why someone would go shooting downtown, seeing as other peoples' lives are at stake. I LOL'd at the dummy caller: duh, if you are shooting you probably want to take lives, dumbass!
  • 09:08 Austin Police Chief Acevedo says there are no known injuries. There was one active shooter, they are looking for a second suspect. First suspect apparently committed suicide
  • 09:11 John Lott was scheduled to speak on campus tonight according to a caller
  • 09:44 police dogs searching the Calhoun building across the street from the library for a possible second gunman
    They are looking for a second shooter because the Police have conflicting reports of the shooter's description. If you are not sure what you saw, please shut up about what you think you saw. This is a busy area at 08:20 in the morning. Somebody will give a good report. If you called in with a half-remembered thing you heard from somebody who was looking the other way at the time, congratulations. You just cost a day of productivity at the University and several tens of thousands of dollars from the Police budget. They will be sweeping every nearby building, going door-to-door, for HOURS looking for a phantom.
    Gun is called an AK-47. Almost certainly an AK variant, not a true AK. Genuine (machine gun) AKs are hard and expensive to buy in the US because of the first setting on the rifle's fire controls. "Clip" often used in description . . . AKs don't use clips, they use magazines.

  • CG says to me with an amused tone of voice: Dave . . . I didn't expect you to come in today. Funny guy.
  • TT says (when he heard it was an AK) "Stop drop and roll!" I told him, "No, that's for when you're on fire, not when you're fired on.

    Shooter reportedly tall, skinny, light skinned (white/hispanic?) male
    Walked around, firing left-handed from the hip. Not shouldered, not aimed.
    Police chased him into library ~5 minutes after started shooting. When seconds count . . .
    John Lott WAS actually scheduled to speak on the UT campus on the topic of concealed carry on campus. Everything scheduled for today on campus was cancelled, so the event has been moved. Timing.
    Shooter was a 19 y.o. math major, sophomore at UT, from Austin, lived with family. Updated prediction: drugs or PTSD or ADHD-drugged as a kid.
    Possibly copying a similar scene from a video game
  • Monday, September 27, 2010

    This is My Surprised Face

    After the end of a moratorium on building, building begins again on disputed land in palestine (note the lack of a capital "P" there). Because zero percent is better than 92% when your goal is to be a political football, this new building means the Palestinian delegation to peace talks is not feeling so very peaceable anymore.

    But . . . but . . . The Obama said they should have peace! I thought certainly the sheer power of his awesomeness would make both sides lay down their centuries-old hatred and sing 'kum ba yah!' What happened?!

    I know, it's crazy. I mean the man has his own hand salute and a poster with his face on it and everything! Don't those backwards jews and pawns palestinians know Obama's legacy is at stake!? Don't they want some hopeychange?

    ahem.

    We Need A New War

    We need a war on lack of education in America's schools. So let's spend more money on education and warehouse the children for more of the calendar year in failed institutions of "education!" That ought to do it!

    Oh, and lip service to getting rid of the bad teachers. Good job, President Obama, it only took you two years of Presidentin' to come up with that!

    So what would YOU do, smartypants?

    Disband the Department of Education and work to dissolve the teachers' unions. Restore control over education to the states (10th Amendment anyone?) and encourage the States to give control to the local municipalities. Abolish national standards. Place emphasis on the responsibility of the student to learn, instead of continuing to throw more money into a school that doesn't care what the students do. Try generally to not act like the pointy heads in D.C. that don't know the first thing about your child, know best how to educate your child.

    Just because something must be done, doesn't mean the federal Government is the one who needs to be doing it. Education of the children of the nation is one thing the .gov does badly - so stop trying!

    Taliban Calls For Reconciliation Meetings

    Terry has decided to act like he wants to play nice, now that it is clear even his muslim brother Obama wants to kick his ass. This is a tactic of a losing combatant. If our goal is defeating the Taliban, we need to crush them into submission.* If we don't, they will come back and bite us again.

    How do you know, warmonger?!

    In Japan and Germany, we beat the enemy down until they waved a white flag from the mud under our boot heels. Those nations are now both prosperous allies of ours, with NO militant ambitions. In Vietnam, we stopped at a treaty and the North took over the South. Israel settled for treaties with her neighbors and they are still fighting - and those neighbors are co-religionists with the Taliban!

    You don't stop fighting until the other side is defeated militarily. Peace through victory is the only sort that lasts. If the proposed talks with the Taliban result in a cessation of fighting so Obama can declare "Mission Accomplished" then he is as big a fool as he seems to be - and though we save face we will have lost the long war in Afghanistan.

    ********
    *Islam is Arabic for 'submission' - it's an islamic joke!

    Sunday, September 26, 2010

    Ancient Instincts Still Lurking

    I spent two years working around EP-3E and P-3C aircraft, which have four big propellers each. I was told from day one to the day I left, by instructors, co-workers, and the voices in my head, as well as the safety posters on the walls and the incident reports that came across the wires and in the safety magazines that you do.not.ever. walk through the propeller arc, even if there is a negative 100% chance of the propeller turning. If the engine is MISSING, you don't go through a prop arc.

    Yesterday at the air show, I showed #2 the red line on the side of a B-25 signifying the location of the propeller arc. I told him always to go around the side, because you can't see a spinning propeller, but if you walk into it, it will be like walking into a blender (which is bad for your health). To demonstrate that it could be done, as the plane was on static display with engines still, I

    walked
    straight
    through
    a
    prop
    arc
    (!)

    Ho-
    Lee
    SHIT
    I am NEVER doing that again. I had never done it before, that I can recall, and that was the last time.

    A goose walked over my grave. I got the creeping willies all up and down from the hair on top of my head to the hair between my toes. I have NEVER been as creeped-out as when I walked between the blades of that propeller.

    For those who don't know about propeller-driven airplanes, this is a common way for a man to die a nasty death. You never touch a propeller unless you have made it safe by doing the appropriate things you were trained to do - if you were not trained to work on that aircraft, you don't touch the propeller. You never, never, ever, but NEVER should even come close to walking through the space through which a propeller would spin, if it were spinning. EVAR. I did it and I am sorry I did.

    Sure it was "safe" to do. So is playing russian roulette with an unloaded revolver. Maybe you'd have to have been an "airedale" to understand.

    ********

    On a related note, it was a bit surreal to look at that plane from a distance. It has a bomb bay for raining death from above, and something like a dozen machine guns from front to back, and there was a stroller parking lot under the starboard wing and a bunch of people milling around just gawking at it.

    New Technology: Wait For It . . .

    What I've been waiting for: OLED light source plugs into mains without auxiliary circuitry.

    What we're still waiting for: Car gets 119MPG on diesel . . . that is, a car produced in 1984, and got 100MPG 26 years ago. Current fleet on the road in America averages something like 24MPG for all the new cars.

    Of course, if the new drugs turn out to help you live an extra hundred years or so, you'll be able to see a 100MPG production car hit the street . . .

    But by then, it just might be powered by poop.

    We're Doomed, Doomed I Tell You!

    People who never watched the "Terminator" films continue to develop the technology that will ultimately kill them. Cases in point: Using a mammalian-style of processing for real-time analysis of visual input, and a camera system that sees unusual motion like an eyeball does. Sure, it's great fun having self-driving cars, until skynet wakes up.

    Saturday, September 25, 2010

    Slow Shutter Speed Camera Hold Holding Techniques

    A few techniques for photographers to use shutter speeds up to 1/4 second with a little practice.

    Where I work, from a photographer's perspective, it is dark. This would be fine by me, except that I am required to take photographs of product all day. Mine is a decent enough camera, but it has its limitations. Due to graininess at higher settings, I almost always shoot at ISO 200. I would love to use 100 or 50, but because it is so dark in the shop, there is just too much motion-induced blur, even when the below techniques are used. The solution to a dim area is usually the use of a flash, but this one does bad things with glare and white balance.

    So I have to use a slow shutter and a wide aperture. This lens gets to f2.8, which is better than some point-and-shoots, but sometimes I wish I could break into the low f1 range with the lighting I have to deal with. By "slow shutter," I mean I regularly take 1/13sec. exposures. Sometimes I have to go to 1/8sec or slower . . . at f2.8! This my friends is a recipie for disaster blurry photographs.

    We had a rifle in the shop one day and MM (a former Marine) and I were fondling examining it. I adopted my standard offhand, stance similar to this, which is appropriate for a rifle with no sling, which is long and front-heavy:

    Photobucket

    MM said there was a better way to shoot offhand, as he was taught by Uncle Sam's Misguided Children - and as he used against Bad Guys in the jungle. This one can be better used with a rifle with better balance:

    Photobucket
    (image from pyramidair.com)

    Note the supporting arm elbow is cranked way over in front of the torso, and the weight of the rifle is borne on the ribs. If a gun is not so muzzle-heavy as to tip down when held so, and the recoil won't tear it off the support hand, this can be a good method to practice with, for a shot that can't wait for a supported firing position. Note that the girl is leaning backward for more stable support, and the man is leaning forward. She has a light-recoiling rifle and spare time, but he is in a hurry with his .30-06. If you will be needing rapid follow-up shots and/or have some recoil to deal with, you might want to lean forward a little to absorb recoil down through your back leg.

    Cameras VFD, we're here for cameras!

    Right, right, cameras. Without really thinking about it, I have found that rifle firing skills cross over to camera shooting fairly well. The problems with these holding techniques are familiar to rifle shooters: your pulse makes your hands jump, and your breath is pushing your hands all over the place. Plus your arms don't weigh nothing and (especially with a heavy camera) they can get tired holding your camera up in front of you. Shutter/pulse timing and breath control are CRITICAL when using these camera holding techniques with a slow camera shutter. Below, you can see how to minimize camera shake as much as I have found possible without so much as a $0 monopod.

    ********

    Note:

    Photobucket

    You have a huge source of jitter in your brachial artery. If you jam your upper arm sideways against your torso for support, it will make your sights and viewfinder jump big-time. You do not want to put ribs against arteries. You want ribs against the soft artery-free flesh of your arm. Your goal with these first two techniques is to put your supporting arm against your ribs in a way that the ribs are not pushed against by the arteries in your arm. Note how the raidal and ulnar arteries are smaller and spaced away from the middle of the forearm.

    For shooting an object below eye-level at a significant downward angle, I tend to go with something like this:

    Photobucket

    My right (firing/shutter button) arm is not touching my body. If you were shooting at your feet, I suppose it would be alright to put both arms at your side. To get the camera up and still be able to use the LCD viewfinder*, one arm has to be off the body. The forearm of the supporting arm is pushing gently on the side of the chest so that the arteries in the forearm are not pushing on a rib.

    Photobucket
    Photobucket

    That hold is for shooting down. Unless you lean 'way over backwards, the hold for shooting horizontally or up has to change a bit. Do not be tempted to just raise the arm and push sideways against your ribcage with the upper arm. The brachial artery will fight you, and you will get motion blur. DO NOT DO THIS:
    Photobucket

    Scroll up and look at that girl's supporting arm again. See how she's all twisted-up looking? That brachial artery is pushing against open air. Put your elbow in front of your chest so the back of the arm (with no major arteries in it) is against the chest. Some people will find that they can rest their elbows on their hip bones. If there is some padding (clothing) between them, this may be alright. If there is insufficient padding, you may find that bone-on-bone resting is a good way to induce wobble. If so, reposition yourself! Others will find that they have slightly more-rounded front sides, and that a belly is as good as a rib cage for supporting the back of the supporting arm. Translated to holding a camera, it looks something like this:

    Photobucket

    The arm is completely in front of the body.

    Photobucket
    Photobucket

    You will find both these postures somewhat awkward to use. They are not intended for the photographer's comfort, they are intended to reduce the potential for motion-induced blur when the shutter is open for a significant fraction of a second. It shouldn't hurt to shoot this way unless you have bad joints in your carcass, but don't be surprised that it takes some getting used to.

    That's what I do for standing photographs. It's fast and easy once you get your body used to holding itself just-so. Those are variations of off-hand rifle shooting technique. Here are a couple of variations of the 'rice paddy prone' position. For those who do not know, Prone is the most stable unsupported rifle firing position. Very few things are more rock-steady than the ground itself!

    Photobucket
    (image from Hobby Bunker)

    But if the ground is a few inches underwater, as in a rice paddy:

    Photobucket
    (image from Global Education)

    Then the next-most stable position from which to shoot rifles (without getting soaked/muddy and/or drowning) is the "rice paddy prone"

    Photobucket
    (image from Tire Iron at unidestatesmilitia.com)

    Again, this translates well to use with a camera. If you can assume this position it is fairly stable. Some people can't bend their legs this far. Some can't get their heels flat on the floor. It is critical to do both. You want your heels firmly on the floor, and you want to SIT on the backs of your feet. With a smaller-than-a-rifle camera, you can keep your hands close in to your body. It is important to remember, however, hands-near or hands-far, with a rice paddy prone camera (or rifle) hold, NEVER put the bones of your elbows on the bones of your knees. They will turn your camera into a weeble. You CAN NOT hold a camera still with your elbow on the knee!

    Photobucket

    You want your elbow to rest on your thigh, or in the alternative rest your triceps on your knee. Soft-on-hard or hard-on-soft, never hard-on-hard!

    Photobucket

    If you are so inclined, or if the terrain or high winds at your photo shoot demand it, you can stick a leg out in front, but be absolutely certain that your heels are planted!

    Photobucket
    Photobucket
    No, my toes are not curled up off the floor in the above images - the toes are flat, but my grubby $8 work shoes are too big. Think curly-toed elf shoes here.

    Notes:
    These photos show my hands in various positions on the camera. Reach around the far side for more stability if your camera allows you to. Play with this for a few minutes and you'll probably see what I mean. If you must, for control manipulation or personal preference, you can of course keep your support hand on the same side as the supporting arm. Remember that even your fingers have camera-moving arteries in them. You might support the camera on a fist, even. Whatever works for you.

    There is no set-in-stone best practice. Terrain, weather, equipment type, and phase of the moon all may dictate slight variations on these holding techniques. The point is holding your camera still, not perfect form. Like any photographic technique, you will have to experiment a bit before realizing optimal results.

    *If you don't have a real-time LCD viewfinder (looking at you, SLR/DSLR users) you will have to adapt these techniques to that fact. It shouldn't be too hard.

    This article started at Les Jones' Blog, where I told him I'd get back with him about what I do for slow shooting. For the next couple of days at work I paid attention to what I was doing, and made some photographs of it. I mentioned at his site that my camera has some sort of anti-shake stuff ostensibly going on inside. I turned it off and found that, using these holds, the anti-shake only gives me either a few fewer exposures or one timing setting gain (say 3 vs 8 shots for a decent picture, or 1/6 vs. 1/8 sec.) and the benefit was surprisingly small. I can't really blame the camera though. This is really tripod-range timing. Good luck.

    Inattention Bites Us In The Ass

    We went out to the First "Annual" Airfest air show at the Goergetown (Texas) Municipal Airport today. The trip was winding down for us and the Zoo was playing in a dry retention pond. Time came to go, and we went to exfiltrate the pond area to go where Mommy was waiting in a nearby hangar. In the time it took to walk 40 feet, #3 -who is two years old- disappeared. I told #1 and #2 to wait with Sister3 (holding #4) and my dad, my Darling Wife, and I started spreading the word to BOLO for a little boy with a red/white striped t-shirt. I had a picture in my camera of him in front of a plane, and showed it to the local military prep. organization cadets and their supervising officer spread them out looking. Nobody remembered seeing him*. If worst came to worst, there was a helicopter giving rides and another on static display that could have been used to search from above, and a couple of thousand people to scatter and look on foot.

    Worst didn't come to worst, thank God. 30 seconds into the search I remembered to say a prayer with my Darling Wife, and we split up. An event staffer caught wind of the action and got me to the PA stand. He got as far as "May I have your attention" when a golf cart came up and the passenger cried "We've got him!"

    Our best guess is some strangers or somebody in similar-looking clothes got between #3 and us, and he got a little scared and started trying to find us. It turns out 2 is not too young to begin "STAY when you are lost" training, but that came later in the day. So he laid a course in the presumed direction of his family and started sprinting. He headed off to where we had spent the most time: the big blue airplane . . . on the other end of the tarmac. By the time we realized he was missing (we're talking seconds here), he was 100% GONE from visual range. The staff at the end of the tarmac said he was running full-speed, and would have kept on going if they handn't picked him up and put him in a golf cart on a 180ยบ heading from his previous direction of travel. They were headed to the PA stand, and that's where I was. *He had run a total of around 830 feet on legs about a foot and a half long, right past the concessions area including the cadets' station.

    Parentage was confirmed when he obeyed "Touch daddy on the head" by feeling my beard. I set him on my shoulders and retraced my steps with him up where everyone who was concerned could see he was found. My Darling Wife grabbed him, hugged him, and made a beeline for the stroller where he was immediately secured in a 5-point harness. She was leaving. They could have been giving out a million dollars in the next five minutes, and it wouldn't have mattered - she was going home. #2 and I stayed with Dad and Sister3, saw some flying demonstrations, looked inside a Georgetown P.D. cruiser, ogled Georgetown F.D.'s brand-new fire truck, got sno-cones, looked at the big blue plane (a B-25) a little more, the P-51 next to it, and called it a day.

    All's well that ends well, but oy thank God #3 was caught!

    Friday, September 24, 2010

    Madness @ Work

    We have a signal generator for sale. Note the complete lack of connectors on the front panel:



    Note the connectors on the rear panel:



    This unit is marked and advertised as being fitted with Option 002, which moves the connectors from the front to the rear of the device. We got an email asking if this were a plain unit with the output connector on the front. The dummy potential customer noted in their e-mail that they saw that it is an Option 002 unit.

    This is a thousand-dollar transaction, and the person who sent the email deals in test equipment.

    a) what do you say to someone with this level of intelligence?
    b) it's too bad I can't tell you their eBay username, because I would really like to warn the world to NEVER deal with them.

    Joseph Anderson Gets No-Bill. Good.

    The man who shot and killed Daquan Wilson has been given a No bill by the Grand Jury. He will face no criminal charges for providing some much-needed gene pool bleach, but his family of fellow angels may still bring a civil suit. If they do, I hope he counter-sues them for legal fees.

    Regular readers will recall that I said when it happened, that this looked like a Bad Shoot, but that he would likely not be charged if I were on the Grand Jury. I may be crazy but if so, so were the Jurors in this case. Good.

    Colbert Jokes Congress, Hard.

    Google up a video if you haven't already heard it, because some of it was pure funny. They invited Stephen Colbert up to D.C. to testify about "migrant" farm workers, and he reminded them that they invited a satirist to talk about something serious by making a farce of the whole affair. Congressin' is serious business, but as I have said before, we need to remind the clowns some of you elected that they are clowns, not a benefit to humanity from Gawdamighty.

    The take-away message from his testimony? You people are a joke, and I anticipate you will do nothing, or at least nothing good, about this matter. USA #1.

    ********
    For the record, I am not a huge Colbert fan. I find his 'news' show too left-leaning to suit my tastes. If CNN were funny, I still wouldn't watch it just like I don't watch The Colbert Report.

    Thursday, September 23, 2010

    It's Not A Tumor!

    Once upon a time I was struck on the pate and the bridge of my nose by a falling-from-3-feet-up 8" long section of 2" diameter "black iron" pipe. It delivered a small cut to the skin in both places. That night, before she knew about the impact to the top of my head:

    Darling Wife: Your nose is swollen!
    VFD: It's not swollen, it's Roman.
    DW: (not amused) It's swollen.
    VFD: Is my head swollen too? (grins, looks down, points to cut)
    DW: Oh, honey!

    I LOL'd.

    You Say Nativist As If It Were A Bad Thing.

    America is exceptional. Being an American patriot is a good thing to be, whether you like it or not. The fact that you are offended at displays of patriotism is deeply offensive to me, personally. You are offended, I am offended. We are all offended, but my being offensive to you is an exercise of my right to speak. You wanting me to not speak shows you want to infringe on my rights. My rights trump your hurt feelings. Sit down and shut up.

    "The fact that you disagree with me does not make me think that I am wrong."

    Chinese Trade War: Didn't Have To Affect Us!

    We used to make things in America. We used to make things out of materials mined in American soil. Specifically, we used to make high energy-density motors and magnets here, with rare earth metals mined here. Most people would be astonished a all the products they use which contain rare earth elements.

    Then the safety nazis got ahold of the mine and shut it down. Now our rare earths come from china. China ships it to Japan. Japan processes it. We buy it. Japan and China have been kicking sand at one another and calling ugly names recently, and Japan took a Chinese fisherman for fishing in disputed waters. China responded by cutting off the supply of unrefined rare earths to Japan. To say that this has potential to disrupt the world's economy is an understatement.

    We'll see what happens, but it looks like China holds the cards here. They may be getting some relatively high-tech jobs in China, and we may be getting even more-dependent on that communist Most Favored Trading Partner of ours for materials we use in our warfighting and life-living activities.

    Q: What happens when you don't make your own bullets and you end up in a war with the people who do?
    A: Hint: it rhymes with "shoe ruse"

    Now people are coming to their senses in America and trying to re-open the rare earths mining industry, but this time with subsidies from the Taxpayer because it's not profitable (otherwise it would still be in operation). Free trade got us into a mess here. We'll see how bad it ends up, and if we are able to get out of it.

    ********
    P.S. remember: everything you buy from China is funding their military. If you buy a $1.00 toy then you bought a handful of bullets for the Red Army. Of course, we are all very best good friends now, and we would never get in a war with China, so that is probably okay . . . right?

    Wednesday, September 22, 2010

    The Toe: You Broke It!

    Okay, maybe I did it. You're off the hook this time, but I'm watching you . . .

    Symptoms checklist:
  • Trauma: check
  • Sudden pain, decreasing in a few hours: check.
  • Stiffness: check.
  • Swelling: check.
  • Discoloration the next day: check.
  • Pinpoint pain during walking: check.
  • Little clicking noise when manually articualted: check.
  • Blue/gray skin: negative
  • Numb/tingling: negative
  • Open wound: negative
  • Protruding bones: negative
  • Crooked toe: negative
  • Drainage: negative
  • Toe bed injury: negative

    There we have all the classic symptoms of an uncomplicated minor toe bone fracture, with no signs of an emergency condition. Thank God, it could be very much worse. So I could go to the hospital and pay a hundred bucks and get my toe taped, or I can go to the Pharmacy aisle in HEB and spend $2 on tape. I wouldn't even do that, but we ran out of tape. I can walk, but it looks like I'll have to lay off my marathon training.

    So, note to self: don't put all your weight, at high velocity, onto one toe. Got it.

    ********

    Is it wrong of me to be mad at the Dear President for this? Wasn't he supposed to give me free health for life or something?
  • Insurance Rate Increases: Too Early To Tell

    The radio news, in typical leftist fashion, quoted without comment some idiot who said it is too early to tell if the changes being forced on your private health insurance plan will cause your rates to rise.

    It was too early to tell before they started the debate about the law. Now, we are assured of a certainty that you will very likely drop your health insurance because the rates will go up so much. This, by the way, is intentional.

    Let's see . . . effective tomorrow, you get:
  • No lifetime limits. You might cost a hundred million dollars, and it will be covered. No, that couldn't cost your insurer more.
  • No co-pay for preventive care. You might actually GO to the doctor twice a year like "they" say you should now, instead of your (my) habit of seeing a doctor once in a decade or so. No, that won't cost more, either.
  • Specialists may be designated as primary care providers. No, seeing a doctor with a $340 office visit fee vs. an $85 fee won't cost more either, especially if you go to see them more often because it's "free."

    Your health care payment insurance plan is about to get A LOT more expensive. Then you will drop the plan. The insurance company will have less revenue. Then the guy in the next cubicle will get sick (because after all, disease only happens to "other" people) and come up with a fat medical bill. He dropped his insurance at the same time you did, but now his "pre-existing condition" won't prevent him from getting insurance. So he'll sign up for insurance at the hospital, juice the insurance company for a few thousand dollars, and drop his plan again. This is what the people who wrote Obamacare WANT to have happen.

    Wait, what? Why would they want that?

    Because this is a simple recipe for financial ruin for private health insurance companies. Your only resort when the last private plan goes under: The Government Option. They WANT to control your access to health care, so you will side with them at election time. "Those mean-ol' Republicrats want to take your health care away!!!" and then you will vote for the Demicans, who will care for you as a proper Nanny State should.
  • Madness @ Work

    DC and I were talking about something and PI walked by. This was the sort of thing he really likes to work on, and I was telling DC that I don't have the resources to work on it.

    PI: (in a commanding tone) Why don't you guys come over here. (indicating his work area)
    VFD: Why don't you stay right here, 'cause we're talking right here!
    DC: snicker (grins)

    THAT guy is an [deleted].

    More News From the Place Where England Used to Be

    If you watch a video of people burning the koran in the UK, and somebody invades your privacy by looking over your shoulder? That's an arrest for suspicion of inciting racial hatred. Not burning the book, which would be possibly inciting religious hatred, but merely watching the video: ARRESTED.

    Oh, and because Communism is really the superior system, a modest proposal: seeing we already take most of "your" money anyhow, and seeing that (to quote Barbie) "Math is hard," how about we just take all your money and give you what's left when we're done with it. Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs thinks they could juice her subjects for more revenue, if all the revenue went through them first. This idea has not been laughed off the planet, because the English are thoroughly conditioned to being taken care of by their government. Unlike us. oh, wait.

    I Wouldn't Pay, Either.

    The joker who called off his stunt to burn some paper is going to get a $150,000 bill from his local authorities for protecting him while he didn't burn it. He has said he will refuse to pay, and would have refused the security if he had known they intended to provide it.

    Overreacting: It's what government does best.

    200 police officers, including the SWAT team, showed up 'just in case' at the church where 50 people regularly attend. This, despite the public calling-off of the koran burning. What a bunch of maroons they have in Florida!

    Hat tip: Moonbattery

    Tuesday, September 21, 2010

    Larry Summers Leaves.

    Lawrence Summers has announced he is leaving the President's economic advisory team.

    ::Yawn::

    Look for him to be replaced with someone else who also does not know what is wrong with the economy, or what to do to fix it, but who is willing to take lots of your hard-earned dollars to give to his cronies and call it stimulation.

    US Longterm Economic Options: a) Default b) ???

    Apologies in advance for some very round numbers

    ********

    Depending on whom you ask and how you count, the United States owes more money to various creditors than there is money in the world. Alternatively , we have unfunded liabilities of something like four times our Gross Domestic Product. Almost everyone will at agree that we have in the neighborhood of a $14T National debt, with annual deficits running well into the $Trillions. That is something like $45k/person including every man, woman, and child in the country. Put another way, with our current $14T GDP we owe a full year's worth of (everyone in the country's) income. This is the same as a guy making $50k/year owing $50k on his credit card which he continues to charge up.

    So let's go on with a nice round number of $50T worth of unfunded liability, because if nothing changes before we write those checks, that's where we're headed. Divide by 300M people, and we see that you, personally, are on the hook for basically an entire house note, and make that a NICE house in Southern California.
    Maybe I'm missing something, but how the [deleted] are we going to get out from under this pile of debt without defaulting on it?

    it's not debt VFD it's mandates. You're counting wrong!

    Okay so for the sake of argument, assume we're going to abolish the Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid systems next week. We ONLY are on the hook for $14,000,000,000,000. My family is STILL on the hook for $270,000 between the six of us. My mortgage note was less than half that when it was written, and that puts me on the hook for THIRTY years. That's 1/3 of my take-home pay, missing, for a third of a century.

    Raise your hand if you think the spineless politicians in Washington D.C. that YOU elected are going to put 1/3 of our GDP towards debt service for 30 years. What is the alternative to paying off what we owe? Extend and Pretend, or default. Am I missing something? We will NEVER pay off our national debt! If the alternatives are a hard recession along with Greece-style riots in a few years after we can't Extend and Pretend anymore, or default with a hard recession now, why are we still paying?

    Oh, that's right: there are still votes to be bought! This November, be sure to vote for the politician who can get the most tax dollars sent to your own district!

    ********
    President Obama's teleprompter says we need to not dig our hole deeper by extending tax cuts. The rest of the country says not to dig the hole deeper by ending tax cuts. I shake my head and pray for our national economy.
    ********
    The NBER says the Great Recession ended in June of 2009. Break out your party hats!

    Democrats Lose Pissing Amendment Contest

    "Don't Ask, Don't Tell*" was to be repealed by an amendment to the Defense Appropriations bill. It has gone down flaming in flames.

    The nightmare "DREAM" Act** was to be crammed down our throats by a similar amendment. Anti-Americans and illegal immigrants (and their children) can keep dreaming.

    The MSM reporting on this is of course pure demagoguery. They are not, strangely, blaming the Democrats, whose fault it is. The ______ Party (fill in the blank) has a majority of the seats in the US Senate. (hint: the answer begins with "D")

    Democrat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid refused to allow any Republican-endorsed amendments to the appropriations measure. This is partisan politics at its worst. In retaliation, the election-year-stalwart Republicans in the Senate stood together and refused to allow the bill to go forward. Democrats overplayed their hand, and it is to be hoped they have missed their last, best chance for a generation to get these two measures passed. May they all go home, campaign, and lose their election bids in peace.

    ********
    *I have made my own position on the DADT policy quite clear.

    **As for the DREAM Act, if it were such a great bill, why would they have to amend it like a sore thumb to the normally must-pass Defense Appropriations bill? Hmmmmm? The Dream act is another Nanny State Communist policy. If you can get the means to come here, you can arrange a trip back. If you can't arrange a trip back to wherever you came from, you have intentionally stranded yourself with a newborn child in a foreign country where you have no job, no relatives, no home, and do not speak the language. This is a sign of an unfit parent but good luck getting THAT legislated. So you have just foisted off on the US American taxpayer a $10,000 hospital bill and given us +1 citizen. Fine. Now go home. And take your child with you. When they achieve majority, or when you can get from the back of the line to the front of the line, we will welcome them, or them and you, to our country the legal way. If you bring your illegal immigrant self with your illegal immigrant children here, and they come across all sorts of hardship because you broke the law, they should blame YOU, not me, for their hardships. In other words, don't come into my house through the window in the middle of the night uninvited and then complain about what we serve for breakfast.

    ********
    P.S. if you DO come into my house uninvited in the middle of the night, I may be giving you a lead pill instead of (e.g.) scrambled eggs with toast and orange juice.

    I Protest!

    Those who say we are making too big a deal of it, would say so if it were mentioned in passing, so let us feel free to ignore them and make a big deal of it.

    I vehemently disagree with the President when he says (by way of omission) that we do not derive our rights from God. We were made by God and our rights come from him. Rights are not a social construct. Rights are not a logical nicety. Significantly, rights do not come from any sort of governmental activity. Rights are against government. One would not expect Obama, a die-hard Statist, to agree with our nation's founders in this. Please ignore the whirring sound as they spin in their graves, and note the proper quotation:
    "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

    One could wish they had included "Property" in there, but apparently they gave us too much credit.

    Monday, September 20, 2010

    Because You Care

    I stubbed my toe and it really hurts. Owie owie ow sorry no blogging today, I'm busy looking up what to do if it's a broken piggie.

    Oh, and P.S. Dear President Obama, you'll probably find out some specific ideas from the T Partyers if you don't surround yourself with fellow travelers who tell you the T Party has nothing specific to offer. . .

    Sunday, September 19, 2010

    Thank God for Richard J. Kinch

    Richard Kinch wrote this page at a time when the Internet was just becoming a common-use item. He had the same problem I have: a broken garage door torsion spring.

    Used without permission, copyright Richard Kinch

    I read his write-up a few years ago and was able to adjust the springs on my door, which was the required work at the time. With the information there, I made my own winding bars and was successful in adjusting my door's springs. A few years later (this morning) my children went to see if their Bibles were in the car, and #1 shut the garage access door as she went out. Immediately, all three were traumatized for life by the very loud snapping of the right-side torsion spring over the garage door. I am planning to sue the manufacturer. startled to hear the noise of a breaking torsion spring.

    I thought they must have dumped something over and spilled a pile of my precious junk stuff, but when I went out to see what the ruckus was, they directed my attention to the freshly broken spring. Great. I hefted the door open manually (welcome to the GUN SHOW!!!) and re-latched the door shut after we drove the car out. Now I need a spring.

    This was a teachable moment for #1 and #2. I repeated our house rule that YOU NEVER GO UNDER THE DOOR WHILE IT IS OPENING OR CLOSING or it will SQUASH YOU if the spring breaks. When the door is closed, the spring is at maximum tension. My spring was probably failing for quite a while, and the vibration from #1 closing the door was enough to finally make it snap.

    P.S. there is a LOT of information on the web about doing this work these days. It was harder to find when I first looked it up and nearly impossible to find just eight short years ago. Many thanks to Mr. Kinch for making his web page. Dan Musick of DDM Garage Doors has a page with similar instructions, a few extra pointers, and way more photographs, for the less technically-inclined. Reat at LEAST both of these pages before you start thinking about changing your own garage door springs.

    Saturday, September 18, 2010

    DO NOT USE GPAL!!!1!

    Here's a huge story that flew in under my RADAR because I've dropped off the gun forums lately, out of disappointment at not having any "new gun" money. Sailor Curt said DO NOT USE GPAL . . . EVER and I thought

    Hold on there.

    I thought GunPal/GPal was our anti-PayPal, and on the level! What happened? So I did some digging. Turns out Gpal is taking money and not transferring it to its intended recipients unless the recipient is famous or in a position to unleash the lawyers. So I'll go with Curt: until they pay every one of their customers every dime they have coming, and lay off the threats of legal action in response to legitimate inquiries,

    DO NOT USE GPAL . . . EVER!

    Further reading:
    Thread at Cast Boolits forum, with participation from someone calling themselves GPalVP
    A few dozen first-hand accounts of non-service from GPal
    Oleg Volk takes his name off their board

    Hey Look The Goodyear Blimp!

    BP is testing to see if the blown-out nightmare well is dead. I bet you a penny they will say it is. I bet you another penny the announcement declaring the well dead will have no mention of fractured seabed geology or mysterious new plumes of oil and fish kills.

    This well will never be killed until they suck ALL the pressure out of it through production wells. Until then, it's leaking, but not through the pipe the Deepwater Horizon laid. It's leaking around the pipe, and it's leaking MILES across fractured seabed geological structure, to pop up as a bunch of big "natural" leaks on the sea floor.

    So, the logical thing to do is to sink as many oil wells into this very large known source of crude oil as possible, and start sucking it all out. This has the side benefit of making your car run.

    Until we get a few dozen more nuclear plants on line (Thanks President Carter!), or get the oil shale around Utah deemed no-longer a national "don't produce here" zone (thanks President Clinton!), what else are you going to do for energy?

    Skinheads On The Rise in America?

    It seems lately like I am seeing an increasing number of men with clean-shaven heads, as well as a slower-increasing number of men with facial hair. I don't know if it's a random timing, or if it has something to do with men coming back by their hundreds of thousands from the sandbox with helmet-heat-control hair cuts setting a trend, but I like it. Or maybe we're all just going bald and concealing it. Regardless. I would MUCH rather see a man with a chrome dome than a man looking like a dang' hippy.

    Me? I keep my hair close-cropped because it's no trouble (dry & go) and low-cost ($25 for a Wahl setup in 1999). If I spent much time out of doors, I might shave it again. Yes, again. My Darling Wife first met me when my hair was off, so I might be able to convince her to let it go again.

    Resources: Headblade.com, Wahl Home Haircutting

    Friday, September 17, 2010

    It's Called "Trespassing"

    . . . and in a sane world, you arrest people for it. Muslims in Russia threaten to start praying to their rock in churches because there are too few mosques.

    I am reminded of the family in UK that lost their house when they went on vacation. They came back and gypsies had moved in and changed the locks. The police called the family who wanted their own house back a bunch of racists.

    If a moslem comes into your church and starts praying to his idol, should you forcibly escort him to the door for trespassing? Should the preacher order it first? Should the membership take an impromptu vote first? Or should you just have a slice of bacon handy, wrapped around a page from the koran, ready to drop it on the floor where his forehead is supposed to touch?

    Three Guesses and the First Two Don't Count

    The pope visited England. For those who are Catholic or Anglican, this is big news. The bobbies broke up a terrorism plot and arrested six men who were possibly planning to do something pope-related.

    Men.
    From Algeria.

    Religion of said men was not stated. . . . maybe they were IRA or something.

    Definition of Abortofascist (Aborto-Fascist)

    A term for a person who holds the intellectual position that no abortion of human fetuses should be allowed, ever, for any reason. Usually applied in a derogatory manner, to a man. Sometimes used when two people have different standards regarding the appropriateness of the reasons for an abortion.

    You don't support partial-birth abortion because you're an abortofascist! Only an abortofascist would want rape babies to be born against the mother's wishes!

    ^Urbandictionary refused to publish that. So here it is.

    Thursday, September 16, 2010

    $111 Million = 55 Jobs = Economic Stimulus!

    National security has been given as a reason you won't see an audit of where your grandchildrens' stimulus money went. Also a reason: good luck getting the dog catcher re-elected, much less the Mayor, Senator, or whatever, when people of Los Angeles find out they spent $111M to save 55 people's jobs. And $832,000 to teach men in africa how to wash their dicks. Seriously.

    Global War On With Terrorism

    For those who said that America is a terrorist nation: it would appear you were correct.

    GOA Gets a Huge Plug

    Disgusted for a moment with the usual drivetime radio fare, I tuned in to National Public Radio on the way to work this morning. They were having a discussion between an almost-fair host and a couple of people from the Waco, Texas area. One was a male stereotype of the kind referred to by Neal Boortz as "abortofascist," and the other was a woman apparently heavily involved with the local Tea Party goings-on.

    The host was trying to get the Tea Party lady to take a stand on social issues (vs. the economics-only the Tea Partiers are all about). She kept deflecting. The other guy was about 1.5 steps shy of actually thumping a Bible and generally managing to sound unreasonably stubborn. Speaking of unreasonably . . .

    The woman got tired of this topic of discussion and started going on about what the Tea Party stands for (stop spending our money) and what it doesn't (everything else) and she said (as part of a list of places they send people interested in other causes) that, if someone asks about firearms issues, they send them to the NRA or Gun Owners of America. I was unreasonably pleased by this national publicity on left-leaning NPR for GOA. If you're not broke as a joke, please do yourself and your countrymen a favor and donate to the Gun Owners of America right now. They are quietly doing very much of the heavy lifting required to maintain your liberty.

    Wednesday, September 15, 2010

    Harry Reid, Communist?

    There are reportedly some Democrats seeing the election-year light and talking about extending all the Bush tax cuts. President Obama wants to only extend some of the tax cuts, and stick it to the filthy, disgusting Rich People. The main priority right now according Senate Majority Leader ("Democrat") Harry Reid, is to "hold the line" on tax cuts for Millionaires and Billionaires who "don't need the extra cash." Boortz rightly draws a conclusion from Reid's speech: This is Communism.

    "From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs." is a trademark from the earliest days of the Communist movement. You don't NEED that money, according to the State, so we will take it from you, and give to some one who does need it, according to us, because we know better than you how to spend your money. Furthermore, you don't deserve the money. Never mind that you missed an anniversary dinner with your wife to make that billion-dollar deal for your company. You don't deserve to keep it.

    So, because you are able to provide and others need, we will take from you. At gunpoint. And kill, jail, or fine you if you don't give the first time we tell you to give.

    Also nevermind that your money is your life and the State has no right to take it from you merely for the personal enjoyment of others. Does the government own you? Do they own the product of your labor? Or are you a free American? If you said "no, no, and yes" to those question, and you vote Democrat this November, please remember: Democrat voters are to cast their ballots on November 15th.

    Madness @ Work!

    At work we have a fellow who comes in and cleans the place for half a day, every day. we'll call him Cleaning Buddy. One morning, he came in and called out to LB, who was nearby. CB had found what looked for all the world to be a spray of poo on the seat of a toilet. CB was in the bathroom, and said,

    CB: LB, come here, you're not going to believe this.
    LB: (comes in to the bathroom, sees CB looking at a crapper)
    LB: (takes a closer look)
    LB: (Reaches out and takes a pinch of poo off the seat)
    CB: (Turns pale)
    LB: (Smells said poo, wrinkles nose)
    CB: (Turns ghostly white)
    LB: (Tastes the poo, makes disgusted face)
    LB: Man, that's nasty.
    CB: (This is his surprised face) . . .
    CB: You mother[deleted]. LOL!
    LB: LOL!

    One day, LB had some extra refried beans from lunch. He stayed late and made a strategic deposit of perfectly-edible beans in disgusting-looking quantity on the toilet seat in one of the restrooms. The next day, LB made a point of hanging out near the restrooms when CB came in to clean them. . . .

    Small company, big fun.

    Oh Good. I Was Just Thinking We Needed A Trade War.

    You know, just the other day I was thinking to myself that what we really need is to start a trade war with our largest trading partner. Nothing like higher prices and international animosity to gin up some good ol' economic recovery, eh?

    Tuesday, September 14, 2010

    When Should You Cash Out Your 401(k)?

    November 3rd, 2010, if Democrats retain control of the House, or if they can patch together a 2/3 majority. Boortz predicted today that they will have seized your private retirement accounts (for your own good) within a year. Union pension plans will come later. Something tells me you won't be able to cash out after they rob you.

    Yes, this is old news; I only mention it because the hearings were set for today and tomorrow, and that's got 'em buzzing again.

    France Actually Fighting An Enemy?

    Well, it's legislation, not bullets, so sure why not? France is one step away from banning the burkha. No full veils, in the whole country. Good.

    But VFD it's a religion's tradition! It's protected speech!

    It is not required by islam. It is not in the koran. It is not a religious symbol, but an ownership symbol. The burqa is a public sign of the total enslavement of a woman. To a woman brainwashed into islam it is a religious expression. If a woman makes it a part of her religion to be shot in the face with a shotgun, should the State sanction her being shot?

    ********

    Hours after this French Senate vote, the Eiffel Tower was evacuated due to a bomb threat. The official word was basically immediate, that these two stories were not related.

    *ahem*

    President Obama Speaks In Code to The Children

    I was working and missed most of the speech. With this Dear Leader speechifying, you don't have to listen very long to find the Socialism, anyhow. I caught one sentence and it would have been a jaw-dropper if I didn't already know this is how the man thinks.

    He read said: "what makes us who we are . . . is we help others [reach for their own dreams]" Translation: government, seizing your wealth for the benefit of other people's dreams being fulfilled, makes us (America) who we are.

    Here's a throwaway sentence while you think about the last one.

    If you understand what makes America America, or even if you just understand ^ THAT is NOT what makes us who we are, congratulations. Government schooling didn't grind it out of you entirely. President Obama thinks taking from the productive and giving to the moocher class is what makes us who we are. By that one sentence he told you a) he doesn't understand America or b) he wishes it were not how it truly is.

    Either a) or b) it doesn't matter. If you don't do your part to tie his legislative hands this November, we're all screwed.

    In Texas it was controversial that he was going to be addressing the kiddies, and they sent permission slips home to see if you wanted your children to hear it. Opt-in to listen to the POTUS speak. That would be astonishing if not for the fact that this POTUS just can't leave the abject Statism in him at home, even for one speech.

    Neal Boortz: Hard Comedy Done Right

    Some days I listen to Neal Boortz's show live on the WSB 750AM internet stream out of Atlanta. Today was one of those days, and a I got to hear a caller get 100% pwnt just after 09:00.

    Boortz took a call from a listener who wanted to allege Boortz is against the working class (hint: he's adamantly FOR the worker AND the boss). Boortz told him to define "working class." The caller said he wasn't going to respond to a demand and Boortz reminded him whose show it is. The caller says " . . . you can hang up."

    Boortz said "Okay" and did just that. I LOL'd.

    Self-Writing Polish Joke

    I know some people who needed a few shirts printed up. They shopped the graphics to a company in Poland. That company converted a drawing to a .pdf file for prepress approval.

    The .pdf came back, and it was wrong. One element was deleted altogether, and two of three elements in a set were replaced with duplicates from the third.

    The artist who made the shirt design was not amused.

    Monday, September 13, 2010

    Nothing. I Got Nothing.

    No content tonight. Blame #4 and his "why isn't my bottle ready every 2 hours" mentality (or something). Two nights' sleep in three days, and I'm off to improve the ratio.

    Blargh.

    Sunday, September 12, 2010

    Gizmodo Disappoints :(

    For grins I decided to see what's shaking at Gizmodo. They linked up the following stories but missed big-time in at least one way on them all . . .

    You Don't Own your software. Duh? Okay, so not being able to transfer it would suck but I'm with the 9th circus for once: you want to use what someone else spends millions to develop and charges hundreds to use? You comply with their EULA or do without!

    Consumers less interested in buying a 3D TV after actually using a 3D TV. Bulky ugly glasses are said to be one detracting feature. The other detracting feature is that the test was a sporting event. 3D TV is for PORN viewing. Do this same survey but with middle-aged single males and show porn instead of soccer, and tell me the results won't be different.

    US Navy loses control of a robot helicopter, which heads straight for the capitol ocean. The commenters had to pick this up where the "reporter" left off: The BASE, not the plane, malfunctioned, then the UAV headed straight for the ocean, as designed. It's not the robot's fault that sends it straight at the Dear President.

    Top 10 things to do with a new windows 7 PC list fails to include: strip out all the crap that makes it different from XP, or just install XP on it if you can. Seriously: a) Top 10 lists are universally lame and b) so is Windows 7. You remember the "Windows 7 was my idea" commercials on the idiot box? I made fun of ALL of them. Windows 7 was your idea, and it sucks because you're lame, as is the gee-whiz Windows feature they spent a million dollars making a commercial to advertise.

    Oh well. I can't proofread everything before it hits the intarwebz.

    Saturday, September 11, 2010

    Where's The Fire?

    I was a the birthday party for JA's 2 year-old son, and a fire truck pulled up outside and the EMT/Firemen piled out. The mother had called them. She said, "Look, I know this isn't Party City, it's a fire station, but . . . " and they weren't busy just then. . . .

    It was a fire truck party, you see. Graham cracker fire trucks with oreo wheels, fireman hats for everybody under 10 years old, cake shaped like a fire truck, etc. So, the mother took a long shot and came up a winner. They sent out an older truck, but it was still huge, red-and-chrome, and it came with o-fishul firemen inside. It was a big hit with the kids, and the parents didn't mind either.

    :D

    9/11: Testimony Against "Gun-Free" Zones

    I have heard from old men who said they took their military service rifles on the plane with them as they transferred around the country. In uniform. With rifles. Zero hijackings.

    Massad Ayoob occasionally caught hassle when he went to board planes with his sidearm in the 1970s. A civilian. Zero hijackings.

    A few handsful of faithful muslims obeyed the rules like everyone else and left their guns at home on 9/11. They used *knives* and the anti-resistance conditioned behavior of their victims, and killed in the vicinity of 3,000 USAmericans with four hijacked planes.

    Here's what should have happened:
    Mooj: Thissa Hijackin!
    Passenger1: Not if my gun can help it!
    Passenger2: Or mine!
    Passenger3: Or mine!
    Mooj: . . . (sits back down)

    Instead, you can't take toothpaste or nail clippers on the plane, and your wife is being ogled by a stranger in a closed room. Congratulations, the Statist and the Islamist have won.

    A day of service, my tailfeathers.

    Friday, September 10, 2010

    What, ME?

    The (socialist) Center for American Progress has an interactive quiz up. How Progressive Are You? It's only 40 short questions, so I took it. Surprising no-one, I scored 68 of a possible 400 progressiveness points, and they label me as being Very Conservative.

    Hat tip: Uncle

    FL Pastor Falls For Rope-A-Dope

    Imam F.A.R.: LOL you called off the book burning
    Pastor: UR not moving mosque?
    Imam: LOL Dont burn boox then well talk 2 U
    Pastor : :(

    As Pam Gellar says, this is a possible example of kitman in action.

    Never forget: You can't believe what a muslim tells you. His religion tells him he can lie to the infidel (read: you) when it suits the Cause.

    ********

    P.S. That's not koran smoke you smell, it's hypocrisy smoldering under a thick layer of double standards.

    I Sure Love My Darling Wife

    VFD: I sure must love you
    DW: Why?
    VFD: Because that's the first time I ever scrubbed a bathroom floor that I wasn't under orders to do it
    DW: No.
    VFD: When did I ever scrub a bathroom floor?
    DW: When I threw up
    VFD: I sure must love you . . .

    So we had a little incident with the john in one of our bathrooms. I got a call at work telling me I would have a toilet mess to clean up. #1 only, thankfully, and she had at least put a towel down and shut the supply valve at the wall. So, for an hour after the Zoo went to bed, I was cleaning floor and unclogging toilet. Did I mention she loves the smell of Pine-Sol, and I hate it?

    Eeeeeeeewwwwww

    Thursday, September 9, 2010

    It Doesn't Work Because It Can't.

    The Cuban Model never worked, but "stimulus spending" from fellow-traveling countries and a general lack of a global economic depression helped them pretend to the outside world like things were all peachy-keen. Well, it didn't work because Communism never works and now even Castro admits it.

    I'm too tired to be snarky about this. Go ask the people he killed and imprisoned for speaking out against Communism what they think.

    Terminators Getting Better All The Time

    Sure it sounds like a good idea now. It's going to be a great idea until the time when Skynet becomes self-aware. I really wish someone would show the Terminator movies to the people who just . . .

    . . . figured out how to have self-healing solar panels and

    . . . taught robots to be deceptive.

    Wednesday, September 8, 2010

    GZM Developer Sees Light Of Money Day

    The gozillionaire who bought a couple of buildings to make a site for a mosque at Ground Zero in New York City is possibly in personal jeopardy. It was previously reported that talks were underway to buy the site out from under the planned mosque/islamic center project. Then it was very adamantly reported that NO SUCH TALKS were taking place and they would never ever but never nuh-uh-no-how sell out the property so that the mosque would have to be built somewhere else.

    Hold on there.

    The people who convinced Hisham Elzanaty to cough up $4.8M of his own money for the property have (to understate the matter) quite a ways to go before they will the have $100M needed to build the new islamic center. So this guy is sitting here listening to how offensive the deal is to his fellow USAmericans, and hearing rumours about the possibility of tripling his money, and looking at the project going nowhere fast, and he's weighing his options. I mean, who WOULDN'T like to suddenly become non-controversial and make a $15M profit in one deal? I sure wouldn't mind it!

    The problem is, there are some rabid islamic extremists out there who probably would put a hit out on Mr. Elzanaty if he did sell out the property. Because islam is a religion of peace, tolerance, and murdering those who make you look silly.

    Push Back. You Will Win.

    The Crusades taught us that if Good People push back against islam, islam stops advancing. That lesson has been re-taught (again) in the non-murder of a woman who was to be stoned to death for adultery in Iran.

    The world heard about it and cried foul, and the islamists backed off. For now. She still might "oops" fall a few stories off a balcony or disappear into a prison with no "exit" door, but for now, Iran has caved.

    Keep Up The Promise Breaking, Obama!

    I thought Obama was supposed to make us all nice-nice with everyone in the world! Isn't this sort of thing under his control? I mean, one would almost think that he WANTS to be able to torture our enemies, if they are keeping up the defense in a Bush-era lawsuit to be able to do it in foreign prisons!

    Note: Obama isn't a King, thank God. If he were, you would never hear that he tortures people who need interrogatin' in nasty [deleted]hole prisons in crapistan, instead of sending them here for tea and crumpets while we polish their shoes and ask them pretty please to roll over on their co-religionists.

    If you thought the hopeychange was going to mean the end of torturing Bad People in foreign prisons to keep Good People alive, you were badly mistaken. Then again, you did vote for Obama, so I guess that's a redundant conclusion.

    Tuesday, September 7, 2010

    No Novels Tonight

    My work computer can zap itself at zero direct cost to me. My home computer I have to pay to replace, so I really don't like having it switched on when there is lightning out. I'm going to have to refrain from copying out War and Peace for you tonight, and just hope the PC doesn't catch a stray lightning bolt when I am catching up on the ne

    Austin Drivers Not Tailgating?

    It was pouring buckets on the way home from work . . . and the traffic was light! Well, at least it was relatively widely-spaced. They were keeping safe following distances for dry conditions. In the rain. This is still tailgating, but at least I didn't have that "you're about to die on the road" feeling when visibility was less than 1/4 mile.

    These people STINK at safe following distances!

    Monday, September 6, 2010

    Prayer Request for Chris & Mel

    Mel picked herself a winner on the second go. First round draft pick: not so great, but good with the paying for lawyers. Custody of her children is (hopefully temporarily) removed from her and Chris. The (legal) battle rages.

    They could use your prayers.

    Make That MISTER Paranoid Lunatic!

    Robb Allen links up an unfortunate story about a birthday party for an 8 year-old child in Cleveland.

    If BH didn't know it and finds out about it, I hope he isn't offended that I had a half-dozen little presents for uninvited guests at his daughter's recent 12th birthday party. Best-case: nobody knows. Worst case (this case) for Edward Manz: dead from a gun battle that also killed your ex's psycho boyfriend at a frikken BIRTHDAY PARTY.

    For crying out loud. Carry your guns, people. Everywhere.

    Labor Day 2010

    Bah, humbug! A fine excuse for picking a man's pocket every September.

    Stupid pinko commie holiday. Get to work, you bums, or I'll hire a bunch of scabs instead!

    Oh well.

    P.S.: Wow what a surprise! The Dear President uses a Socialist holiday to announce a plan to redistribute $50,000,000,000 of the working man's money to his union croneys in the road building business. Somebody should really tell Obama that FIVE is the traditional planning term for communist national economies.

    Sunday, September 5, 2010

    Pilots Are Fun . . .

    Sailor Curt and I have at least one point in common: we worked on US Navy P-3 aircraft during our times on active duty. He had his funny bone tickled by a list of amusing maintenance write-ups of the type all aviation peeps know and love. Then instead of repeating it for the 1034th time, he instead posted an amusing anecdote of his own. If you have ever been around aircraft maintenance, especially military aircraft maintenance, you might just LOL. Go. Read.

    Still Here.



    It feels like I'm not hitting on all eight cylinders, but I'm still here.

    I think I went to bed before midnight, but I am pretty sure I was awake from 03:00 to 06:00 to tend to #4. Then the Zoo woke up at 08:15 (late, for them) and I duct taped their mouths shut and their tails to their bedsteads shushed them well enough to let me catnap for almost another hour, punctuated by a few trips to the playroom tell them to play quietly (stop screaming at each other) because mommy is sleeping. Daddy's sleep apparently is not too terribly important. So, sure, I got my usual 5 to 7 hours of sleep. In about 10 pieces, widely spread, and none longer than two hours.

    Again. Ugh.

    I know it gets easier to sleep through the night in a month or two, but man!

    ********

    In unrelated news, Garfield Minus Garfield is funny when you are really tired.

    Stay or Move, I Win!

    My Darling Wife was hogging the bed this morning, and disinclined to move over. I had approximately enough room for 1x my body width to lie down. What could I do? I held on to her. Win!

    Saturday, September 4, 2010

    Texas Gubernatorial Race Shenanigans

    King Perry is loath to debate Candidate White. He has challenged White to produce his income tax returns from the time when White worked for the Clinton administration. White says his financial disclosures are more-complete than Perry's, and he's following the example of our Dear President and not gonna give up the documents. Perry says if White won't produce his tax records, he won't debate White. White says he'll show at the debates, whether Perry does or not.

    Both sides are trying to make cheap political points and both are terribly transparent as NOT caring what the People deserve (full disclosure and vigorous debates).

    I'm voting for Medina. Oh, wait.

    Friday, September 3, 2010

    Heckuva Job, Brownie.

    One the past year, the 'official' unemployment rate is up 0.1% to 9.7%, and the 'underemployment' rate is up 0.1% to 16.7%. This after the Dear President promised lower-than-8% unemployment. He PROMISED!

    So, how's that stimulus working out for us? Isn't it about time for spending another trillion of our grandchildrens' money? This sure is one humm-dinger of a recovery, huh?

    Mish brings the data.

    Wow.

    That's correct, "Wow." Quoth my Darling Wife, upon seeing what I've been up to today instead of blogging. A moderate pile of of lumber that was on its way to the trash bin is now a moderately-impressive set of shelves in my garage. I think the Wow was actually for the white primer on everything, but at least it was said. My hands are sore.

    For those who are keeping track, that would be reclaimed lumber, vice newly felled, milled, and sold. $0 to me (well, I had to buy some screws) and zero trees lost to your precious Mother. I'm frikken savin' da plannit ovah heeah!

    Thursday, September 2, 2010

    Mind The Trip Wire

    For those that are not paying attention, let me alert you: a war is brewing. The two sides are "the People" and "the government" of the United States. This is not good, and not inevitable.

    We must do our part this November, and until (and after) then, we must all carefully mind the trip wires.

    It's long. If you don't understand why nobody has off'd (insert your hated leftist politician's name(s) here) yet, read the whole thing.

    Quote Of The Day, Photo Edition



    I LOL'd. Sure it could be the prelude to a good-natured smile. It could also be the beginnings of a grimace right before an armbar gets thrown.

    Priceless imagery from Moonbattery.

    "Unexpectedly" Medical Surprises Edition

    My Darling Wife and I, having decided the Zoo was as large as we want it since #4 is here, decided to not have any more children. She went in today to have a 12-minute surgical procedure to ensure that the Zoo gets no larger. Three hours, a CT and EKG scan and several miscellaneous drugs, as well as a stirring up of the prayer circle later, she is waiting for discharge papers. Thank God for our next door neighbor, who is a family friend as well as a girlfriend of my Darling Wife's. She stayed with her and advocated for her when it looked an awful lot like an unresponsive post-operative patient was having seizures.

    She appears to have been given too much anesthesia, despite a medical history and oral warnings this morning to the medical professionals that she needs LOW doses of pain killers. So. Thank God she is apparently ok, and thanks everyone else who prayed.

    Wednesday, September 1, 2010

    This Is Called "Getting Away With It"

    The Chief of the Bastrop, Texas police department was caught driving drunk (as a skunk 0.27 BAC) in Austin. That would be DWI arrest #2 for the good Chief, and his punishment is not quite as severe as some of us would wish.

    He is losing his job. He is losing his job effective four months from now. He is voluntarily resigning as the chief of police effective the day after the 25th anniversary of his joining the police force, with full pension benefits based on that last, highest-paid year of service.

    My punishment for him, had I my druthers, would be a little different: fired, with jail and fines to the fullest provision of the law. No pension benefits. The chief of police should be the most law-abidinest person in the whole city, and this one has recklessly put the lives of the public in danger, voluntarily.