Thursday, March 31, 2011

What's The Worst That Could Happen?

So we're giving weapons to Libyan resistance fighters. We did this in Afghanistan and it is currently biting us in the [deleted] now that we are fighting the mooj's we gave AKs when they were the enemy of our enemy.

Of course, it will never be the case that weapons we give to Libyans will be used against us. After all, if you don't count CIA spooks and military advisors, we pinky-swear we will not have boots on the ground in Libya. Also Libyan fighters almost-never go outside Libya to fight our men, so . . .

Yeah, this is as bad an idea as the no-fly zone. No US tax dollars should be borrowed from China to send guns to Libya!

Crib Bumpers are Perfectly Safe.

Time, a magazine I usually avoid, grabbed my attention with a headline: "Why Parents Should Stop Using Crib Bumpers Now." So I read it. They want you (duh) to stop using crib bumpers. They quote Marion Burton, from the American Academy of Pediatrics*: "I can't think of any reason to have them.**"

Well we have had them in the crib with each of our children because:
  • they are pretty
  • they prevent a baby waking up when they spin in the crib and smash head or feet or hands into hard crib wall
  • they are pretty (it's a woman thing, talk to your mother)

    Let me tell you the reason crib bumpers are described as dangerous: 52 babies in were strangled by their crib bumpers. In the last twenty years. 52 in 20 years is (statistically) nothing. That is an average of fewer than three per year. Three per year, when (at a time of record low birth rates) we have well over 4,000,000 babies born per year; 0.000007%. Three babies die from being struck by lighting inside their prams on cloudless days. Three babies die from drowning in 1/2' of water in a bathtub. Three DOZENS of babies die every year in America from being left alone strapped in car seats by murderous neglectful parents or day (don't) care workers. Do we have the American Academy of Pediatrics urge us to stop using car seats, or stop transporting children in automobiles altogether? Three dead children a year is no reason to stop using crib bumpers. Use them. Enjoy them.

    Take note: Currently, the crib in which #4 sleeps has BOTH bumpers AND a drop side! GASP! And we leave the drop side down because #4 is too small to hoist himself up and it's easier for us to grab him with the side down! Horrors! And when we're done with it, we are going to sell this death trap crib to another unsuspecting victim family set of new parents!

    Relax. When the Consumer Product Safety Commission, ostensibly the people telling you not to use bumpers, says “We have not been to the point of being able to attribute crib bumpers to a cause of death but we are going back into old cases to see if that determination has changed.” you can relax already. Relax.

    The babies killed "by" crib bumpers die because they get tangled up in all the other frilly crap women put in cribs. Don't stack them deep with entangling blankets and blocking-up pillows. Wrap them in a pajama that lets teh baby roll. Done.


    *yes, the same AAP that says NEVER to give a baby water to drink, and which (temporarily) approved a mild form of female genital mutilation for American baby girls. Not necessarily on a level with the Voice of God when it comes to deciding whose advice to follow. By the way, this is probably O. Marion Burton, a dude, President of the AAP.

    **My Y chromosome has to agree with Dr. Burton: crib bumpers are female nonsense. My [deleted] common sense disagrees. Use crib bumpers if your babymomma likes them. That she wants it is reason enough to cave on such a harmless, relatively inexpensive thing. Do I agree with him or not? Yes.
  • Wednesday, March 30, 2011

    You Will Read This:

    The departed Bane told a story he claimed was true. I believe it. You may not. Set aside a few minutes and read it for yourself. You might try not to read these where it is dark and cold.

    Part One
    Part Two
    Part Three
    Part Four
    Part Five
    Part Six
    Part Seven

    The links are to Google's cache of the pages, in case you are behind a server that blocks Blogger. Plus, if you click through his archives be warned that some of Bane Rants is/was VERY not safe for work.

    Unintended Consequences, And How!

    AARP supported Obamacare

    Obamacare makes AARP profitable

    AARP loses tax-exempt status?


    Your Music May Suck If . . .

    If you can't sing well at all, and you and everyone around you know it . . .
    And you can sing just like the singer in the band you listen to . . .
    Your music sucks. FYI.

    Also: if you can't play guitar, but you are as good as the lead in the band, your music sucks.

    Tuesday, March 29, 2011

    Our Dog Is Being Wagged

    President Obama sounded(as Ingraham said) Commander-in-Chiefy at times during his speechifying about Libya last night. Some people might say that he boldly, boldly! did bubkis until Hillary had NATO start interfering in Libya's civil war. Any right-thinking person will notice that the excuses reasons they say we are in Libya would apply equally-well to various other nations, but we continue not to go blast heck out of those nations. The question is: Why?

  • Are we involved because Italy et. al. have a vested interest in Libyan oil? (I thought wars for oil was bad?)
  • Did Jacques Chirac lose a big poker game to Qaddafi?
  • Did Qaddafi insult Mr. Soetero and Obama is getting payback for his daddy's sake?
  • Is Hillary setting Obama up for a fall in 2012?
  • WTF WHY are we in Libya?

    And don't say humanitarian anything, and don't say we're doing violence to prevent violence. Don't say we're not in it for regime change because we have definitely taken sides and made position statements indicating we are AGAINST the incumbent dictator. Whose side are we on? The Libyan people? Then why are we fostering war in their nation? Who is their leader if not Qaddafi? SRSLY Clinton is meeting with the rebels? And she thinks they're going to tell her the truth?

    *sigh* Babes in the woods, that's what they are. And the woods are dark and deep (but not lovely).
  • Quote of the Day 03/28/2011

    " . . . change cannot be turned back" -President Barry Soetero, 3/28/2011

    Change has come to Libya. May God help the people of Libya. Obama, through his turning over our military might to NATO is nurturing a Libyan civil war. He is destroying their country with open warfare. He is destroying our country through the introduction of Socialist policies . . .


    Your Music May Suck If . . .

    If you go the entire day nodding your head at the same rate because your "music" all has the same number of beats per minute, your music sucks. FYI.

    Monday, March 28, 2011

    Excuse Me I Have To Breathe That Air!

    You can tell it's Easter time because . . . my car is pastel green! (rimshot)

    The sweat I wiped off my head when I was jogging, I kid you not, was green. My white car, when viewed at a narrow angle, is green. The corners of all the streets by the curb are full of oak pollen thingies. It's bad enough I have to jog, but SRSLY I have to jog in THIS!?:


    Come on trees! Can't you all get a room or something?

    Dreams Is Crazy.

    I had a dream last night that I was visiting my Grandparents. My Grandmother is dead now but it's a dream, we're rolling with it. As I was leaving, she asked if there were anything I wanted, and I mentioned a pistol my Grandfather had. She snuck in the house and got it, and gave it to me as an under-the-table inheritance. Also she gave me a sniper rifle.

    The pistol was a 1911, a genuine war horse, and rusted and corroded to worse-than-uselessness. The rifle was an awful lot like an M24/M40, with an olive-drab stock, telescope, suppressor, really long barrel. I'm pretty sure my Grandfather doesn't have anything like either one of those arms.

    Then, of course, as I was noticing the rifle on the next-door neighbor's driveway, a firefight broke out. With giant robots hundreds of feet tall.

    Crazy dream.

    Pretty Much Permanently

    I was listening to Boortz making fun of people who are whipped into a frenzy by, and deriding the MSM media outlets whipping people into a frenzy reporting about, the nuclear disaster in Japan. Then a news break comes on and the reporter leads in and announces the "expert" and they play a soundbyte from an interview. Said "expert" says the radiation in the ocean, once it gets into the seabed, is there ". . . pretty much permanently."

    Hey, genius: what's the half-life of that radioactive material? Good job with the responsible reporting there, MSM! Hint: a half-life of a month or three is much less worrisome than a half-life of a few hundred-thousand years. How about a comparison of relative radiation levels vs. a day's exposure to the sunshine? No? Just hysterics? Okay, then.

    Asymmetries in Hip Mineralization in Mobile Cellular Phone Users

    The news break came on the radio and they said "zOMG CELL PHONE USING MEN LOSE BONE DENSITY IN THEIR HIP WHERE THEY CARRY THEIR CELL PHONE IN A HOLSTER EVERYBODY PANIC!!!!!!!!!1!!" (to paraphrase)

    After a little searching online, I found the article they referred to in the current issue of the Journal of Craniofacial Surgery. I skimmed it and immediately homed in on a spot that made me toss the rest of the study over to /dev/null: Average age samples.

    The summaries I found online reported that there was a "lack of natural variation" in the bone density of cell phone users vs. nonusers. The supposed natural left/right variation in hip bone density is present in non-users of cell phones. Men who wore cell phones on their right hip in a holster for a year (i.e., during the study) were supposed to lack this natural variation in bone density.

    Table 1 in this study report kills the whole thing and should cause you to stop worrying about it altogether. The table is "Age and Anthropometric Data of Participants," and it lists a few interesting factoids about the study participants. The participants were within an inch of each other in height. "Nonusers" were a mean 47 years old with body masses of 85kg and Body Mass Indices of 28. "Users" were 33 years old, with masses of 77kg and BMIs of a mean 25.7! You are comparing men who have had a full decade and a half to lose bone on their non-dominant side, to young men with lower body mass indices! Statistical FAIL! They even said as much in the article, but then they concluded to the contrary!

    I shake my head at the hysteria this will cause in the next few days/weeks and the [deleted] public policy recommendations that may be forthcoming because of this study. It is GARBAGE in my opinion. If somebody tries to warn you, raise your nose and say "Pish-tosh" like you know what you're talking about; now you do.

    Did You Miss Me?

    I was thinking about writing, really . . . but uh . . .

    Well here's what I was going to write, but forgot (repeatedly) to type out:

    We were driving to church and some cat behind us in a green Civic saw that he would be stuck at a light behind four other cars, so he cut through the parking lot at a shopping strip. This, in Texas, is known as "Cutting Through Private Property to Avoid an Intersection" and the fine is hundreds of dollars. We got through that light and pulled up at the next intersection (also red) . . . beside the joker who had just cut through the parking lot and gas station. Then, to my amusement, they were SLOW off the line at the light. Reaction time: double what the guy with a gray beard in a minvan had. Time saved by committing a misdimeanor: zero!

    How would you know what the fine is, VFD?

    Because this is an offense near and dear to my family. When we first came back to Texas, my Darling Wife wanted to cut through a gas station to go around a red light. I told her it was not only lame but against the law, and when the officer caught her, he wouldn't want to hear her story. Many years later, I knew a place a half-mile south of where I worked had a low price on gas. I needed fuel in the Hot Rod, so I went down that way even though I lived up North. When I got to the gas station, as I pulled up to the pumps I looked at the big sign and saw the price was higher than I wanted to pay. Without stopping (I did slow considerably for caution's sake) at the pumps I went through the station parking lot and out the other side, onto the street. I went to make a U-turn on a side street and caught the lights from a COP who, unsurprisingly, did not want to hear my story. Fun factoids: The intersection I was supposed to be avoiding was one where I could have made a U-turn and there was nobody stopped in the left lane. It had nobody in the right lane, from which I could have turned down the side street instead of cutting through the gas station. The maneuver I was supposed to be pulling was both out of my way AND involved a higher number of turns than just turning around. When I got to court, the judge said "VFD, thank you for coming. Your case is dismissed." and the COP was right there in the courthouse.

    Anyway, that intersection was across the street from the one where greencivicboy pulled his genuine execution of the offending maneuver. *sigh* small world, ain't it?

    Saturday, March 26, 2011

    Meet The Old Boss . . .

    Wait a minute! We're "not intervening" in Libya in such a way as to cause the government to fall. I thought nationbuilding was only supposed to be done by bad ol' Republicrat Presidents of the United States . . . .

    Friday, March 25, 2011

    Well, Well, Well!

    VERY good job keeping this one under wraps! The higher-ups at the BATFE may finally have to answer for their crimes. Don't hold your breath waiting for justice for Brian Terry or Jaime Zapata, but at least it just got much harder to ignore the Project Gunwalker scandal. Good.

    So I Says To My Banker, I Says:

    Housing prices are looking to retrace all the way back to 1994, and then after that, Historical Average here we come! This was part of a conversation about how, though money is tight around chez VFD, we already have our affairs well-enough in order that a refinance with cash-out at today's interest rates doesn't make sense for us.

    Wait, what? 1994? The Economy is recovering VFD!

    Right, sure. Go ahead and have a look at this house price trend analysis at Of Two Minds. Then consider the implications of the Obama administrations' real estate negotiations falling apart. Also not helping: how strong is the world's economy, when Portugal and Spain are starting to look bailout-y?

    Yes, I am still waiting for the double-dip. I am secretly hoping it turns into a return to historical averages, but don't tell anybody; they'll think I'm a pessimist.

    Don't Hate The Player, Player, Hate The Game!

    I note in advance hat he Fair Tax, if implemented as proposed, would put all this by the wayside.

    Very much to-do is being made over the fact that General Electric managed to get rid of most of its federal tax burden. It is somehow upsetting that they did not Pay Their Fair Share. Well here's a clue: what GE does is probably 100% legal. They comply with the law and get out of paying a few billion dollars in taxes? Bravo Zulu to the 900+ accountants on staff at GE, from the bottom of my heart.

    Never forget that the Democrats have had the pen which wrote the tax code for 6/8 years under Bush and 2/2 years under Obama. The tax avoidance at GE is in accordance with Democrat-written tax law. . . but that is beside the point.

    . . . because corporations don't pay taxes. Their taxes are built right in to the prices they charge for goods and services, and paid by the end consumer. GE has you pay their corporate income taxes. It's a shell game, and you are the sucker! You don't like it? Then support Herman Cain for President in 2012!

    Oh Hai! . . . Uh, Everybody!

    I dislike jogging but I gotta do it. If I'm gonna, I might as well go for it, so at the end of the course I sprint for maybe 1/10 mile until I'm done making any forward progress. Today, that meant taking a two-minute breather on my back, on the sidewalk. I got up, and on my way home I remember thinking it must have been shift-change time at Davesville P.D. The place was lousy with COPs. Then one of them cut around and called me over.

    Some "concerned" citizen was so concerned they stopped on their way to where they were going and asked if I was okay called 911. The patrol officers were out looking for me, and I wasn't there. By the time I got through explaining the situation to the chickcop who stopped me, there were two burlydudecops hanging out as well. Three of 'em, for little ol' me! I guess it's better than letting me die on the side of the road.

    Here's a Public Service Announcement: If you see somebody you think might have had a heart attack and seconds count, remember: Paramedics/Police/Firemen etc. are only minutes away. For crying out loud, ask if they are in need of assistance, and then render aid if required. So sorry to interrupt your busy commute home so you can see Sports Center or whatever!

    It probably cost the city a hundred bucks of man-time between all the Policemen involved responding, searching, and filling out reports. Silly goose, just ask!


    Jogging and me are not friends. When I was getting ready for Basic Training for the Navy as a 17 year-old, my dad marked off a mile-and-a-half course in our neighborhood that ended at sumdood's front yard. It was my habit to finish the jog and flop down and pant for a while; that's how I roll. I told the chickcop she shoulda seen me the first time I went out during this training cycle: I must have been down for 5 or 10 minutes LOL . . . they didn't (or didn't want to show they did) think it was as funny as I did, but oh well. All's well that ends well, and (to paraphrase) any run you can walk away from is a good one.

    Thursday, March 24, 2011

    So . . . Now What?

    Having boldly dragged his feet until NATO (inspired by Hillary) told him what to do, President Obama finally started talking tough on Libya. Now we are ostensibly handing over control of the operations over Libya to NATO. We spent a billion or so dollars* and mostly-set up a No-Fly Zone. NATO is not sure what their military goals are, but they got a no-fly zone in place. Great.

    Now what?

    No-fly zones don't help anyone on the ground. The rebels aren't talking to us and we don't even know who they are** except that they are not-Qaddafis. The fighting continues. We are committed to not committing ground troops in Libya, so what do you do about a ground war? We DO remember it's in their country, not ours, right? Well, are we the world's policeman or not? Does the Vice President move to impeach the President or not? Are we really going to let somebody else do the main body of the work maintaining the no-fly zone? and, more importantly: How is this any of our business, anyway?

    If Qaddafi stays in power, is that a problem, according to whom, and what are we going to do about it? Hmm? Anyone? Bueller?

    *an ordinanceman corrected me. I had said ten-thousand dollars smart bombs. He says they are more like $220,000 (each) bombs. No wonder we racked up a billion dollar tab in a week. It's nice to know President Obama is confident we can fit that into the national debt budget.

    **the only person mentioning this is Michael Savage: 1/5 of the fighters who came out against our men in Iraq were from Libya. The opposition/rebels/anti Qaddafi fighters are Al Qaeda and we know it. Good luck finding THAT on the nightly news. We're officially hopeful of setting up a leadership vacuum for them to fill. Great.

    I'm pretty sure Biden was talking out his [deleted] and will not be moving to impeach now. Hat tip to Uncle for the link to Les Jones who linked up the video with the audio everyone was playing on the conservative talk shows today.

    By Opening This Package, You Agree To The Terms Contained Herein . . .

    The keen-eyed regular reader will note that I have a Disclaimer page linked at the very top of the ol' blog. I take the Three years (and a month or so) anniversary of my beginning to write here as a perfect opportunity to remind you that it exists.

    You Will Use IrfanView.

    Do you ever look at pictures on your computer? Then you are using the wrong image viewing program.

    How would you know, VFD?

    Because you never heard of IrfanView. This program is installed on every computer I ever owned* and to say it is fast is like saying Team Red Bull is fast around a Formula 1 track. Yes, it is fast. Blindingly fast, and it does every type of image file and then some.

    Click the link. Don't bother to read about it, just go straight to the DOWNLOAD page. Trust me. The file (the whole program with installer) is 1.41 Megabytes which will mean less to modern computer users than it used to. Install it. Tell it to associate with all image files. Click the Plugins page and download/install the plugins as well.

    Now go to a folder with image files in it. Double-click an image. Hit the space bar on your keyboard.

    You're welcome.


    The subject came up because I just realized that the new computer at home didn't have IrfanView installed . . . which has been corrected.

    Madness @ Work

    The following two conversations occurred today in quick succession:

    VFD: Anything you can list I can list better.
    NP: No you can't.

    VFD: I can do anything better than you.
    CJ: No you can't.
    VFD: Yes I can.
    LB: No you caaaaaant!

    Thanks, Jerk.

    I'm sure a dispute of some sort will be filed, but this sort of thing chaps my hide. It doesn't surprise me, but it does make me angry a very little bit. My company got a negative feedback on ebay. This has huge potential financial consequences for us. The comment with the negative was that we had charged for shipping AFTER we said the item came with free shipping. So I clicked through to see the item.

    That's the only place it shows or says anything about free shipping. Being a rather more inquisitive sort than the individual who left us the feedback, I looked around for some more information about shipping terms. In the center of the ad, under and in line with the ad text, in 1/4" high bold, high-contrast letters, we see: "Shipping" and scroll down farther. First item: We ship Monday-Friday. Okay, keep looking . . . ah, here it is: Free Shipping is to the contiguous 48 states only.

    And for this, they give us a negative. FROM PUERTO RICO! You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him not be a fool.

    DIY Bed: Dimensional Lumber Edition

    This thing is too impressively large to capture on film without a wide-angle lens in this room. Behold, the bane of my existence for the first half of the week!

    Well, it's a bed anyway. Image posted by popular demand (on threat of a lynching*). It is sturdy enough to put up with a generation of boys pounding on it, I think.

    The legs, ladders, and main rails are 2x6. The stringers on top are 2x4. There are 2x2 furring strips along the rails holding 1x6 slats for mattress platforms. Total cost: about $140 including screws and sandpaper (mattresses are $100 each, plus bed clothes). I used 1/4"x5" lag bolts for the rails, 3" Deckmate screws everywhere else except 1.5" Deckmate for the slats. I made it a personal goal and managed to get the whole thing assembled by my lonesome self, but a helper would have made it a bit quicker.

    This bed is nice in that it conforms to the voluntary industry safety recommendations and then some. No gaps between 3.5" and 10", except on the bottom, where there are no gaps between 2.5" and 11". Someone would have to TRY to get entrapped in this unit. This beats the one I used for inspiration that cost an extra $100 at a local furniture store, with 7" "catch my neck here" gaps all over the place.


    *or not

    Wednesday, March 23, 2011

    Before Midnight?

    "Nothing good ever happens after midnight" are words to live by, but I've been living after midnight. I spent probably two full man-days (in the last four days) after I got home from work and in between family time, turning a pile of lumber into a bunk bed. This morning I got to bed at 02:30 and the morning before that 01:30. The previous days are a bit of a blur but my Darling Wife says I stayed up late all weekend also.

    The bed is done, and all three boys are sleeping soundly in their new accommodations in the same room . . . and we finally have the Master Suite to ourselves again and for a change I'm off to bed before midnight.


    P.S. the bed is awesome and I can totally see how equally awesome beds would sell for $600-700 because that's what I would need to make another one for sale. That's before you start talking about finish options, mattresses and bedding, by the way.

    Obamacare T+1 Year

    A year ago today the law was passed "for our own good" over possibly the most vociferous public outcry in living memory. It is looking like the case for/against the constitutionality of it will be heard by the Supreme Court within another year. This is, relatively speaking, lightning-speed and it can't be struck down soon enough. May God help us all if it is upheld.

    The current crop of Elected Heroes in D.C. doesn't have enough antis to repeal Obamacare over the President's veto. What are you going to do about that?

    If I Worked For A Company . . .

    If I worked for a company with somewhat deeper pockets and significantly less regard for what they do with capital dollars, I would order something like this:

    They have smaller ones of course, and ideally my cyc would be at least 3 feet tall, but this is a pretty good start. If I decided to start my own "sell junk on eBay" business, I like to think among the first things I would do is set up a BIG cyclorama. I'm cheap enough I would probably not spend $12,000 on it. I'd much more likely cut some forms out of styrofoam expanded polystyrene and then fiberglass it all up, but still . . .

    If you have a well-equipped studio, you have a cyclorama. Me? I have lots and lots of white paper. It works.


    Warning: disgusting mental imagery ahead!

    #3 is well and truly potty-trained and only wears diapers to bed. BUT he doesn't have the coordination to wipe his [deleted] without falling off the toilet. So last night I was getting him off the toilet and noticed a hair on his booty. A long (mommy-length) hair. I went to pull it off his cheek and got a bad feeling . . . sure 'nuff! It came out with little resistance, fortunately, but disgustingly had about a 1" x 1/4" TURD stuck to the end of the hair. HMPH! HRLCH!

    Tuesday, March 22, 2011

    Where Did I Put That Tiny Little Violin?

    Mexican drug kingpin in a Mexican jail receives poor treatment. Boo-hoo-hoo. Bless his poor little murderin', society-destroyin' heart! His wife & kids should be happy . . . in Singapore his sorry [deleted] would have been executed already.

    Parent of the Year Award Nominees: Two More

    A child in an Atlanta-area park was sitting alone in a swing by herself. TWO years old. Crying. For so long that other mothers at the park called the Police. When the "parents" gene donors showed up, they smelled of booze (according to the police, who arrested them). The gene donors are charged (justly) with child cruelty, and the child is in State custody. They should never see that child again.

    Solved: a Pain in my Tuchus

    I wanted to install an HP P2015dn printer on a computer running windows XP. This should be a matter of plugging in two cables . . . and it isn't. Judging from the complaints I found online, it is instead an exercise in frustration involving downloading, installing, and deleting various driver packages and the occasional defenstration of a printer. The stupid thing just WILL NOT install, no matter what. Fortunately for the world's IT departments, the solution has been posted at Brett and Cherish Jones' webpage. It takes less than a minute and totally fixes what should have been well and truly taken care of by an HP or Windows programmer many years ago, but they didn't do it right.

    So thanks, Jones. You're a printersaver.

    Monday, March 21, 2011

    Coming Soon To A Waiting Room Near You:

    Needless waits and apathetic bureaucracy.

    In the UK, you can't go in the emergency room ambulance doors unless an ambulance brings you. Bleeding to death? Sorry, can't help you.

    What? WHY?

    Because of an institutional apathy toward efficiency and customer service. This is a common theme in socialistic governments, in case you missed it. By the way, the NHS in the UK was one of the model systems when they were cramming Obamacare through pitching health care reform. Oh, and the transition to heartless, faceless, ineffectual government-run medicine is well under way in the USA, but you don't necessarily see it (yet). Read what it's like to try to become an authorized government health care provider when you know all the ropes, are well-qualified, and really want in on the system.

    It would be funny if it were a Monty Python sketch, but this is your nation. Elections are in a year and a half. What are you going to do about it?

    Madness @ Work

    Discussion turned to politics, and one of the men started talking about the President. Private Insano (who is, by the way, old enough to be my father) retreated to his cubicle and turned up his music loud enough everyone else had to raise their voices to be heard.

    Well argued, PI. Well argued.

    You're Making it WORSE!

    President Obama said this weekend the goal in Libya is to stop the violence. In case anyone missed it, we are engaging in violence and blowing [deleted] up over there. Then, when the current holder of power has his power to quell violence reduced, the rebel fighters are encouraged to continue fighting, and even fight harder! We, through our direct action, not only are doing the opposite of what he says we want to do, we are encouraging others to do what we say we don't want to have happen.

    Okay, so Secretary Clinton said we have a secondary goal of getting Qaddafi out of power. Others (with actual military experience) disagree, but there's a goal we actually will trend toward with the current action. No comment on the similarities between her husband's attacking Kosovo and Obama attacking Libya, or the company we keep and the parties we support . . . here is something we can DO! Sic semper tyrannis! Throw the bum out!

    Oh, and by the way, Mister President: way to play your hand close to the chest. He sent a letter to Congress (from his vacation in Chile) saying he wouldn't send US ground troops to Libya. So not only Qaddafi but his domestic enemies know they need only fear the Great Satan's air power. Further encouragement to continue fighting.

    You may guess how surprised and pleased I am with this, but I'll give you a hint: it rhymes with and has the same number of letters as "rot fleased."


    Update (the idea for this post came to me during the morning commute) later in the day: somebody told the teleprompter writers the President was off-topic and now it is "the Policy of the United States" that we want Qaddafi out of power. To be replaced by _______?

    This is so none of ours, or even NATO's business.

    Sunday, March 20, 2011

    Early and Too Late

    Busy busy worker bee that's me. It's not even bedtime and I know I won't have time for blogging tonight. Thanks for checking in and don't forget to hit up the blogroll.

    Saturday, March 19, 2011

    Self Defense is a Human Right

    For those who may not know (or have forgotten) you will find dozens (hundreds?) of high-quality thought-provoking images at A Human Right.

    . . . Me, Or Your Lyin' Eyes?

    They gave every appearance of having officially rolled over and it looked for about two hours like Qaddafi was going to start playing nice with the people trying to take his job . . . then the reports of ongoing fighting came in. Still attackin' (or defendin', dependin' on your perspective). So, we have begun to turn his country to sand, one ten-thousand dollar smart bomb at a time. President Obama says we will not be sending ground forces into Libya. Let's hope he doesn't get any cute ideas . . . some of us still remember Mogadishu.

    Meanwhile, in Egypt, they are having "real" elections. If the elections don't go our way, then what? Does the commmunity organizer in chief send the CIA to stir up another insurrection? Do we put troops in Libya AND Egypt in the next two years? It is unlikely, but I don't put very much past the incompetents at the top of America these days.

    Friday, March 18, 2011

    Low, Low Monthly Payments!

    Les points out a small problem we have in the USA: we have written more checks than our asses can cash. Mandatory spending has caught up with revenues at the federal level. Even before discretionary spending begins, we are already into deficit spending.

    This is the same as a family buying a house full of furniture and appliances "on time" and eventually finding that their TV payment, couch payment, table payment, oven payment, microwave payment, bed payment, etc. all add up to the entire paycheck . . . and they still need to buy groceries.

    What do you do? YOU use your credit card because you don't understand that it is better to give up your junk than to go hungry. WE borrow money from China (at interest) so that our children can pay for the things on which we just have to spend money.

    Meanwhile, federal spending went up 24% in the last few years, and Congress can't find anywhere to cut more than a single day's worth of deficit spending out of a two week budget bill. In 2012, we need to kick the Democrats the rest of the way out of the Senate and toss some more out of the House, and NOT replace them with big-government Republicans.

    So, good luck with that.

    Oh, and: Herman Cain for President!

    Gun Porn: New England Firearms Handi Rifle SB2

    Click any picture to see it full sized.

    Those who are into this sort of thing will like this one: A genuine small-to-medium game caliber (.270 Winchester) single-shot break action rfile, with a padded sling and a variable power scope.


    Surprisingly for such a compact piece, it is over 8-1/2lbs. I guess that's why the sling is padded. This one is obviously a fielded piece. There is "normal" wear from use, and it was not kept heavily oiled. The wood is worn, and the metal is both worn and freckled - a little.


    The working and business ends have minor wear, but I'd shoot it without hesitation. The bore is good. The scope is half a step above generic, but it does the job and the glass is in good condition.


    It's a NEF, but you could be forgiven for mistaking it for a Harrington & Richardson ;)


    Thursday, March 17, 2011

    Austin Police Are Racist

    Austin cops are racist against black people and use excessive force and police brutality more on the East side. Austin police are corrupt straight up to Chief Acevedo. Furthermore, El Paso P.D. is racist against mexicans & latinos.


    The above sentiments have been expressed to me in all seriousness by multiple people in regular conversations. These people tend not to be police or have regular dealings with the law. This post was inspired by my Darling Wife, who was one of them!


    She had a relative arrested recently, and passed on the sentiments of her family in El Paso that the Police probably leaned harder on this guy because he's brown. I tried to be gentle when I reminded her that she, her mother, her sister, her brothers, etc., were not present at the time of arrest. That her relative was drunk, driving on a suspended license, and has a history of a bad attitude to boot.

    Here is my experience: people like to take the part of people in their group. (insert your minority class here) of a certain stripe get all upset when one of "their own" gets less than 5-star hotel service from the Police. They conveniently overlook the criminal behavior of their fellow (insert your minority class here) and exaggerate the actions of the police.


    As above:
    Family perspective: A man was arrested and his family "HAD TO" pay to get his car out of impound and him out on bond. This is because the cops are racist and they would have let a white man go free. They could have got the car going eventually.
    Police perspective: A man was discovered in a car stopped on the side of the road. The man has a history of DUI and appeared to be intoxicated (arrestable offense #1). He was the sole occupant of the car, and must have been driving. His license is suspended (arrestable offense #2). The car was disabled. He was taken into custody and the disabled car was towed from the scene. He was released on bond to his own recognizance.
    Reality interjects: The man has no jobby-job and would lose nothing financially to stay in jail until his hearing. His car would have been towed anyway, and it was a traffic hazard. He was drunk and didn't have a license or insurance.

    Another, locally:
    East Side Perspective: A woman was shot by the police just because she was black, and fighting with somebody else. They wouldn't have shot a white lady!
    Police perspective: Officers arrived at the scene of a fight between two females. One female was on her back on the ground, the other was kneeling over her. The woman on top had a knife and appeared ready to murder the unarmed woman on the ground. Police warned the knife-wielding woman to drop the weapon. When she moved to stab the woman on the ground, they fired several shots and she was hit. She died of her injuries.
    Reality interjects: Being stabbed with a knife is FIVE TIMES as deadly as being shot. A knife is more effective than a gun within its operating range, and the officers knew that. There was no time to disarm the woman; the only choice was to prevent her committing murder by disrupting her central nervous system. This disruption is unfortunately permanent.

    As to the charge of corruption, I have only heard it expressed by people who are, shall I say, not exactly aware of all the reasons and methods behind police doing some of the things they do. Perhaps there is a tendency to believe Alex Jones more than Sergeant Jones? I have had limited contact with police during my sojourn here. Every officer I have met (a dozen or so) was the essence of calm professionalism, with a [deleted] good reason for doing and saying what he did. A very few cases of individual bad cops have been reported, and those were dealt with appropriately. Absent some pretty amazing proof, I am going to have to relegate people who charge APD with being a corrupt institution to the "loony" side of the spectrum.

    And finally, from a black man, here is a handy set of tips on how not to get your ass kicked by the Police.

    In Which I Waste Your Bandwidth

    I protest the no-fly zone over Libya as a gross violation of the "mind your own damn business" rule of international relations. We should let Libyans fight their own civil war.

    . . . especially as we have no idea who would come out on top after the dust settled on Qaddafi's grave . . .

    Quote of the Day 03/17/2011

    "I bet this is gonna be a lot worse than Chernobyl, at least Chernobyl blew up and that was it." -Private Insano

    This displays a shameful lack of historical knowledge and awareness of current events. I heard it as I walked by the A.O. of one of my younger co-workers. I waited for that conversation to end (because PI is one of those people who has to be right AND have the last word), and went over to reassure my noobie he would be ok.

    I got back to my desk and sent him to this Forbes article (with ads that take forever to finish loading before the article loads) and then mentioned that the emitted radiation, while higher than the legal exposure limits are still relatively low. Then I found a money quote from someone who does know what they're talking about:
    "There is no way the Japanese plant will even closely compare to what happened in Chernobyl," -Alexander Sich, Assoc. Professor, Physics, Univ. of Steubenville

    Relax already.

    Wednesday, March 16, 2011

    Reactor Schmeactor.

    On the first day I heard an unconfirmed report of up to 80,000+ Japanese people unaccounted-for. Then the reporting got swallowed up in a serious but not zOMG EVERYBODY PANIC-serious set of problems at a nuclear electric station.

    Well, those people are still missing. The only thing between the 4500 dead of today and 10,000 dead or 20,000 on the official body count is the official finding of the bodies. The finding, by the way, may never happen. Entire villages are gone, wiped off the map and the bodies lost. Hundreds of thousands are dependent on charity and government assistance for their daily bread, and the supplies are running low.

    Click here for before/after shots of some of the destruction, including the power plant in question. Slide your mouse over the images to reveal the after shots. These people need help. Fortunately for them, the Japanese government is as on top of disaster preparedness as any, but still . . . it sucks to die of dehydration stuck in the ruin of what used to be your house because rescuers ran out of gas before they could get to your town.

    Hat tip: Uncle (I think)

    "Oops." Doesn't Cut It.

    Civil lawsuit time. Time for the Framingham P.D. to make this family very rich: Failure to follow Rule 3 results in innocent man DEAD at the hands of a policeman who should have been better-trained.

    Hat tip: Uncle


    And in Long Island, a Nassau County special operations COP with a rifle slung over his back and a BADGE hanging around his neck, is spotted by a butt-insky retired New York COP who calls out "GUN!" and the frikken TRANSIT AUTHORITY COPs on the scene shoot the Nassau County man dead, dead, dead.

    Hat tip: Sipsey Street Irregulars


    I believe expecting better than the above is not asking too much.

    Gun Porn: Ruger Mini-14 Ranch Rifle

    Click any picture to see it full size

    The Ranch Rifle is an ideal rifle for its target market: people with coyote/fox/misc. varmint problems around the farm or ranch. It is small, takes a varmint cartridge, and can mount a decent optic. This particular rifle is clean, clean, clean, and has a nearly-generic Tasco variable power scope. If I had a farmhouse, this would 100% for-sure find its way to the lintel of the back door.


    I'm not a big fan of fighting wars with the .223 Remington/5.54x45mm NATO round, but for a fox in the henhouse, it is ideal . . . and this delivery platform is just as cute as a button! I could do with a regular-capacity magazine (vs. the factory 5-rounder it has) but if I need more than 5 shots on varmints I have worse problems than a small magazine!


    Clean. Clean. Clean.


    It has obviously been shot, but only a little. The bluing is only starting to scuff in the friction spots of the action, and the crown is barely worn. The glass on the scope is in good shape, and the bore, well . . . . The bore really has to be seen in person to be appreciated. Clean, bright, sharp rifling. Almost a perfect bore.


    With the funky Mini-14 scope mounts and a scope good enough to get your $50 bounty from the State of Texas.


    Ranch Rifle. Not tactical, ranch-y. I dig it.

    Tuesday, March 15, 2011

    Gun Porn: Grendel P-12 .380 Auto Pistol

    Click any picture to embiggen

    This is an interesting piece. It is the trendy new combination of polymer lower and steel upper, and fully bulky enough to be a .40 or .45 . . . but it's a .380. The ergonomics are good aside from the casting flash that cuts your hand, and the lack of a finger hold for your pinky. Other than those minor issues, I'ts a pretty neat little gun.


    This is a clean example, with almost-no wear from handling or firing. The blue on the high points is still dark. The casting flash is still pronounced. The only real blemish on this example is in the checkering on the sides of the grip, and that is pretty minor


    Euro-style heel release for the magazine, which is wide enough to be a double-stack but holds only 6 rounds


    Wear? Where! The chamber is factory-textured, as finely-finished as the casting of the lower half (i.e., pretty rough), not worn from use. The breech has some brass on it, but the ejector looks new. The Barrel has a lack of streaking/rubbing as well. This was fired, but maybe a box or two only.


    Grendel. I'd only heard of it as a cartridge (6.5 Grendel, which I like) or as a medieval monster (which I don't). Apparently it's a brand of guns, also. I'm a big fan of cheap guns (which this is), because poor people need the means of self-defense arguably more than rich folk.


    FINALLY the New Computer is Done!

    For a couple of weeks now off-and-on I've been working on el computador nuevo, getting it ready to be the computer at the house. I was -->.<-- this close to getting new case fans for it, because the fan noise was giving my Darling Wife a headache and keeping her up. I even went so far as to swap in the superquiet fan from the back of el viejo. Then I came to a wonderful realization: this motherboard isn't a Dell, it has options! The processor fan was the noisy [deleted] really mucking up the quietness of the living room . . . and I found the setting in the BIOS to turn on the processor fan gradually, starting at higher-than-ambient temperatures. Now the computer is acceptably quiet.

    Success. Finally. I've built them from scratch and programmed for them, but I really don't like fooling with computers. Let it work and I'm happy.

    ETA: Doh! I Forgot to migrate bookmarks! Oh well that can wait.

    Monday, March 14, 2011

    Stop The Wild Hype

    Listening to some MSM news outlets one might be worried enough to go out and get some iodine pills. Listening to doctors in nuclear technology on the other hand makes me think "Oh, alright then" and go about my business.

    There is no "totally exposed" and no catastrophic meltdown. This is not Chernobyl times three. It isn't as bad as you may believe, though the situation in Japan is quite serious. Yes some fuel melted. There is a difference between "some" and "a whole core" melting. Yes some radiation leaked. They probably released some radioactive stuff on purpose, as part of a controlled dealing with pressure in a vessel that is boiling hot and cooled by water (making high pressure steam). Yes there was cesium found outside . . . see the last sentence. Yes there were explosions, but not nuclear ones. They came from hydrogen releases, most likely.

    And for the love of apple pie would you people please stop saying nookyewluhr!

    We've had hundreds of nuclear powered ships all over and under the oceans and hundreds of nuclear reactors supplying civilian and military electricity on land, as well as cutting-edge research facilities. NONE of them is anything like as dangerous as conventional "carbon based" energy generation stations, and none of them puts out anything worse than water into the air as a by-product of normal operation. Consider: When was the last time you heard about a refinery explosion? When was the last time you heard about any sort of a problem at all at a nuclear generation station?

    It took an earthquake in the top five for magnitude ever recorded, PLUS at least one tsunami, and they STILL have the situation somewhat under control over there. Best-case scenario is a bit more radiation released, not enough to hurt anyone, and the three bad reactors cool over the next several days to levels where they can be dismantled safely.


    Not Afeard O The Laws!

    Yet another person said to me that they or someone they know are interested in doing gunsmithish things which are plainly and intentionally illegal. Why are people so willing to tell other people they are down for Federal felonies? If I wanted to make my hunting rifle into a machine gun with a suppressor, I wouldn't ask advice on how to do it. Silly people! Yes, I am discreet. No, I don't recall the contents of that specific conversation . . . but what about the next guy you blab to?

    Sunday, March 13, 2011

    Qaddafi Still In Power . . . USA Has Eggy Face . . . Now What?

    Some of us questioned the wisdom of all the big talk the officials in the Obama administration were putting out, about how Qaddafi "has to go" (not to mention how it's not even our business if he goes or stays). So now it is looking like he is going to retain power. And we still hafta buy oil from this joker. Gee, I wonder if he will be less or more kindly intentioned toward us, after all the smack we were talking about his job prospects.

    Congress Killin Me Over Here

    Silly time-change. I barely kicked everyone out of bed in time for church, but nobody including me is up for much else. Tired. Tired. Did I mention tired? Arizona and Hawaii have it right. There's no call for Daylight Savings Time anymore, and I vote we knock it off.

    Saturday, March 12, 2011

    What's Old Is New . . .To My Children

    For his birthday, #3 is getting a Hot Wheels Fold N Go City playset, and one of the favorite cartoons of the Zoo is the Yogi Bear Show. These were things I enjoyed when I was a lad.

    Friday, March 11, 2011

    Solved: Nvidia Control Panel Will Not Save Color Changes

    No matter how many times I adjusted my monitor settings with it, I couldn't get the NVidia control panel to save the settings I wanted. Every time the computer rebooted (daily, shut down every night) the colors would be jacked up again. I read many threads describing various flavors of "reinstall the drivers properly" and "use x program instead" but it boiled down to this:

    hold shift when you right-click the Nvidia control panel applet and "run as . . ." a user with administrator privileges. The settings won't save unless you do this.

    How hard was that? NVidia is to blame for not letting users know this in a dramatic way when a non-administrator goes to change settings.

    Is The Tsunami Seminal?

    Japanese tsunami wreaks havoc. This has caused extensive damage which will be expensive to fix. Japan's economy was already in trouble, nearing the breaking point. Excuse me for noticing, but this could be the first domino on the way down to the double-dip. One might hope not, but only time will tell.

    In related news, Christians: remember to pray for the Japanese people.

    Thursday, March 10, 2011

    Unions: Hope Springs Eternal

    It is said that the recent passage of a bill restricting to less-outrageous terms the privilege of government unions to engage in collective bargaining will be a spark to ignite the flame of worker unity which will burn away the ickyness of the Republicans and their hatred of the working man.* That is, the unions are going to energize their members and other fellow travelers, and they will finally show the mean-ol' conservatives who's who and on which side the bread ought to be buttered.

    They are going to follow up acting like spoiled children and doing millions of dollars of damage to government buildings, by doing it harder. I hope this will indeed be a spark: to ignite the outrage of the general (almost entirely NON-union) public, who will finally wake up to, and resent, the double-average salary-plus-generous benefits packages the government union worker receives.

    Unions: keep up protesting. You may be your own undoing if the People really catch on to the sweet bargain you already have . . . and take it away!

    *Yes, this is a contender for Longest Sentence of the Year Award. It probably won't win though, as the award is handed out by the leadership of the International Brotherhood of Literary Workers and Farm Tractor Mechanics local 137, and I let my dues lapse last year . . .

    Liberty Schoolin' Is Hard

    We homeschool our children. By "we" I mean "My Darling Wife." She has the head-breakingly difficult task of keeping the children from killing each other and burning down the house, while keeping said house in order and teaching the children with the aid of prepared curricula. This, by the way, in a sea of mediocrity: neighbors who send their precious children to relatively poor schools and come home to a house no-one has cleaned while both parents were working. It is expected that a child shall not be educated while at school/day (don't) care, and then it is usual that outrage is expressed that the child's education is failing.

    We want our children to have the best education possible within our means. That means no sending them to $12k/year (each) private schools, and government schools are right out. Homeschool.

    But it is hard work, lonely work, and hard to know when one is on the right track in isolation in this land of government-schoolers. It is even difficult to know what to teach, and even HOW to teach. Mommy-teacher or videos? Traditional (modern American) or Classical (trivium) style? With materiel purchased from whom? I really should pray more about this than I do.

    We have been using A Beka Book materials with what seems like good success so far, but still you have to pick what to teach the children, then do it. And there is no gauge but one's own wisdom and faith in the people at PCC that you are even on the right track. We heard of Classical Conversations and that led me to read about classical education in greater depth. The "Well Trained Mind" system and very many others also exist. I am coming to the realization that A Beka combines some traditional, and some classical methods, and instead of revolving it around Latin, History, or whatever other subject, A Beka makes the Bible (God's word) the basis for learning. Of this I heartily approve. I just wish I could find a way to know what is the exactly-right way to train our children.

    . . . if only some beneficent government agency existed which would quietly take my money without me knowing, and my children with my consent, and assure me that -somehow- they would come out alright in the end. Gee, that sure would be nice and easy.

    Wednesday, March 9, 2011

    Not Just A Little Wrong

    Possibly (likely) totally, completely bass-ackwards. Current models of antarctic ice behavior assume it builds and thins from the top. Turns out, it happens from the bottom also. Oh, and in the comments we find a second-hand report that the models were bodged to fit the data we think we know, not necessarily reflective of reality.

    yeah, so . . .

    Kerfluffle Kudos

    Congratulations to Mike Vanderboegh who has apparently succeeded in "facilitating a diplomatic kerfluffle."

    If CBS, Fox News, and the NRA, as well as a few well-placed Senators are all asking questions which echo into the legislature of Mexico, I think it is fair to say the hornets' nest has been stirred-up to the point of being Kind-of A Big Deal. Good on Vanderboegh and Codrea for not letting this criminal behavior stay hidden. Here's hoping for some good long prison sentences for some untouchables in the Concrete Asshole of the Universe.

    Just Where Do We Get Off?

    So the current thug running Libya is a dictator, no problem - right? Well, you see, he's not our dictator, so we don't like him. President Obama and Shrillary are talking no-fly zones over Libya, which are advocated by the devil we don't know. Those devils are fighting our pal Qaddafi though, so (enemy of my enemy) they are somehow our friend and we want to blow up Libyan planes because . . . it's our business . . . somehow . . . .

    There is obviously a civil war underway in Libya. The only interest we have in that place is oil (humanitarian shoomanitarian), and therefore the civil war in Libya is NONE OF OUR BUSINESS! What then are they thinking (assuming they are thinking) talking about risking millions of dollars and a few American lives, while definitely spending hundreds of millions of dollars, defending a no-fly zone over a part of the world where we have NO IDEA who would end up running the show if the current regime were to fall?

    Supporting the rebels is a risky, risky move. I'm for not.


    Yes, the run-on sentence count of this post is high. Deal with it.

    Someone Buy Me This Shirt!

    Inspired imagery once again from Moonbattery.

    Tuesday, March 8, 2011

    Unintended Consequences, Egypt Edition

    Who would have guessed that the peaceful adherents to the Religion of Peace would be burning churches and fighting with Christians because they are Christians, in the wake of a successful popular overthrow of the government in a majority-muslim nation?

    Christians, pray for our brothers in Egypt. This sort of thing is likely to get worse before it gets better.

    NPR Executive is Biased? No!

    Surprising no-one who is right-thinking but occasionally listens to National Public Radio, a high muckety-muck at NPR was caught no tape being an anti-conservative and generally deriding those on the opposite side of the political aisle. Of course the other morally-upright reporters etc. at NPR were shocked, shocked I say, to know that one of them is less than perfectly unbiased. This is nothing like an organization-wide set of beliefs! One bad apple and look! he's already gone! Please continue to fund us!

    ::shakes head::

    National Public Radio: Presenting news with an objective tone but a leftist flavor for (checks watch) far too long.

    What is Wrong With You People?

    I continue to fail to see the appeal of jogging as a sporting activity. It sucks in every way but one: free cardiovascular exercise. It seems to me that every positive aspect of jogging can be got in better quality and/or quantity with another exercise, for example bicycling which has the added benefit of going fast, Ricky Bobby!

    So I have started jogging and I intend to keep it up. When you can't go across the warehouse at a sprint without getting winded, there's a problem. My Darling Wife is 103% on board with the idea as she loves jogging and wishes I were in better trim. She met me outside the house today with the Zoo ready to ride along with us on a jog. Lactic acid, here I come.


    On the other hand, a fighter doesn't get to be a good one if he doesn't get a few nasty knocks about the head and neck, and as soon as the budget gets to be a little looser, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is in my future. That's going to suck too. Eventually jogging will hurt less, and I will be in better shape.

    Monday, March 7, 2011

    England Retreats Nearer to Third World Nation Status

    Electricity: maybe.

    In the name of "da envirument" they are upgrading their electric grid in UK to one with occasional outages, but which is much hipper with the environmentally-correct jetsetting crowd. I'm sure it will be totally worth it.

    England used to be the height of western power. Now they won't even have electric power all the time. *sigh*

    Sanity Score: +1, -1

    I'm sure the dailykos people will be pulling their hair over what should be good news to everyone else: Military trials resume for terrorist suspects on Gitmo.

    But the society is showing very deep flaws when we are paying people to study (instead of why we are not winning wars) why we have too many haoles in the top levels of our military.

    Solved: Vizio Widescreen LCD TV VW26L No Power On

    Also solved: Shuts off/turns on by itself
    Also solved: Buttons do not work

    So this television is turning out to be a winner, for a free unit. Thank God for the ability to fix things!

    The Vizio model VW26L was designed to fail. The materials and components and physical case design all contribute. This unit failed within 3 years of manufacture, and the list price was in the $500-600+ range. Totally unacceptable life span in my opinion.

    The first problem was that the power supply would not start up and the television would not turn on. The power supply had three failed capacitors. They were obviously bad, with bulged tops. I replaced them with good caps and the screen would then turn on. Encouraged and a little ahead of myself, I slapped it in the entertainment center. Turns out it liked to switch itself off and back on whenever it felt like it. And the menus were unusable and the volume unadjustable because the volume "up" button (also the menu "right" selector) didn't work.

    I pulled it out and opened it back up again, and tested the switches on the control panel. They all switched, but one (the input switch) was missing its top half but still worked. The short version of this story is that the most-used switches got a little "soft" with age, and they don't have the springiness they used to have. That combined with a button that is a little bent from pressing too-hard, and the buttons didn't stay out properly. I ended up replacing the power, volume up, and input selection switches from spares. These are super-duper TINY switches, and I was glad indeed to have one (only one!) circuit board laying about with the same-size switch. They are also surface-mount. If you can't solder surface mounted components, you may be out of luck. I have a hunch if you have the remote you may be able to just leave the switch board unplugged, but I'm not sure.

    So, but the thing still turned itself off. This was a function of heat. There was (emphasis on the past tense) a flat indented section on the back panel, directly over the hottest part of the power supply, the low voltage switching section's heat sinks. I noted that the TV would be very warm on this spot on the back case when it shut off. The rest of the case is full of holes, but not on this one hot spot! I dug through my fans and found a small, super-quiet one and cut out the flat part of the back panel over the hot spot. The fan now blows cool air directly on these heat sinks. I used a 12V fan that will run off 5VDC and tied into the 5V lines coming off the power supply board. It turned out to be a constant-on power source, but the fan is so quiet I don't mind it always running.

    Be careful of the screws for the rear panel. The ones on the raised back are all machine screws (fine threads) except the ones that screw into the clear speaker housing plastic. Those, like the ones all around the outside are coarse threaded. Too much torque or too-long a screw, and you will strip the threads right out of the plastic. Also be careful when fitting the back cover - it is a little floppy, and it really is much easier to put on when the TV is standing upright (not lying on its face).

    My Darling Wife was pleased to find that the digital tuner picked up music channels off the cable that our $10 27" CRT Sony couldn't see. She "tested" those all day. So now all I have to do is get used to the poor vertical viewing angle of an LCD TV and we're set . . .

    Question of The Day 03/07/2011

    Is it amusing or sad that people who don't understand economics because they went to government school are upset because the government is going to have to close schools because of economics?

    NP says sad, I say I both.

    Sunday, March 6, 2011

    Some Fools Never Learn

    One of these decades, I will cease to stay up until after midnight when I have to wake up early the next morning. Or I may just keep on making myself tired until I am old enough not to need a full night's sleep anymore. On the other hand, Jules Verne's Journey to the Center of the Earth with Pat Boone et. al. from 1959 is a pretty good film

    . . . and the new TV stayed on for the duration . . . with its back panel removed. The heat sinks in the low voltage section as well as on the video processor were pretty warm. I found a nearly-silent fan for the TV, and it's being installed. We'll see how that goes. There's something hinky with it still, because it was turning itself on and off, sitting unmolested with its back off, while I was fitting the fan to the removed rear panel. I may just have to alter the buttons to get the power switch operator to stop operating the power switch all by itself. We'll see. Oh, and our Universal remote does seem to work with the TV so that's all the better.

    Saturday, March 5, 2011

    Free Television Causes Hair Pulling

    I was gifted a Vizio VW26L, a 26" class LCD television. It was broken, and the dozens of screws to hold the back panel to the chassis were missing. It had a classic case of bad power supply filter capacitors (read: capacitor plague) and these were replaced with components pulled from junked equipment. That got the television powered on. Then there was the small matter of the buttons not working. I replaced a switch with one from junked equipment. Then the buttons didn't all work, when the switches were installed in the television. I'm still scratching my head over that one. The bigger problem is that the set shuts itself off when the guts are warmed up with the cover on.

    So I can leave a few hundred volts DC exposed for the children and VFDKitty to get into, or drill a few dozen more holes in the chassis and hope it will work with better ventilation! By the way, jeers to Vizio on this. The failed caps died from excessive heat, and are under a piece of sheet metal with no vents. Coincidence?

    Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go test this TV for about a movie's length of time with the cover off ;)

    Friday, March 4, 2011

    "Modern African-American Slavery"

    JM and NP both missed half of the explanation because I was talking about work while Boortz was talking, so they requested I explain what they had half-heard. The following is a (somewhat controversial) opinion held by Neal Boortz and other like-minded individuals. It is a good analogy, as far as it goes.


    Blacks are enslaved in modern America . . . by the Democrats.

    Back when slavery was the way to turn a profit on a plantation, blacks were given free housing, food, and clothing. In exchange they were expected to reproduce, and to do their work on the field. Today, there is such a dependency and entitlement mindset that many black families have generations of people who have never held a "real" job. The government gives them free housing, food, and clothing. In exchange, they are expected to reproduce, and to vote Democrat every four years.


    Thus I summarized, and JM and NP could not disagree. Work and non-work discussions comcluded, JM walked off, thinking, and then he turned and said:

    JM: Like I've said, many times before: Get my own islands.
    VFD: I'll be your Chief of Security . . .
    JM: OK
    VFD: but I gotta get a free house, food, and clothing.
    All: LOL

    I'M RICH!!!1!

    In my email inbox just now I have three emails telling me I had received a monetary benefit.

    One from Yahoo Lottery Organization, subject line: CONGRATULATIONS!!!

    and one I think is actually legitimate. It came from Thomas, and was marked as a donation. Coincidental timing, I just had someone ask about a gun class a couple of days ago.

    Thanks, Thomas.

    The Rent Gas Is Too D--n High!

    . . . remembering all the while that the current price of gasoline and the slow increase to it were the desire of President Obama all the time . . .

    The following was sent with slight variation to all three of my Elected Heroes in the District of Columbia:

    Dear Personrichenoughtobuyanelection,

    What else are we to think, but that this is intentional?

    The price of gasoline is eating my budget. I suppose it sounds like small change to someone whose gas and airfare are paid by the electorate instead of his own pocketbook, but $3.50/gallon for regular unleaded hurts.

    Alaskan oil if properly tapped could make Alaska the 8th largest oil producer in the world, but we do not drill for it. Then there are the oil sands in the interior and very well-proven reserves in the shallows of the Gulf of Mexico. We have more than all the oil we need to meet demand while other, cleaner technology is being brought online. The only thing between me a reasonable cost of oil (and therefore gasoline) . . . is the American government!

    The American government, in the name of the environment, is intentionally supporting artificially high gas prices. The effect is that people with little enough money are losing more and more disposable (and sometimes not so disposable) income to their gas tanks to go to work and back. And the taxes continue to crush us as well.

    What else are we to think, but that this is intentional?

    Thursday, March 3, 2011

    A Dead Man Kept Me Awake Last Night

    King Solomon's Mines is such a page-turner I went to bed at 02:00 this morning. I'm not even going to check the headlines before going to bed tonight. Blaaaaaaaaaah

    Wednesday, March 2, 2011

    Sustainability: We Don't Has It

    At the rate we're going, in 15 years the USA will spend ALL its tax revenues on welfare and debt service. This leaves nothing for basic ("real") government activities. There are not enough tax dollars to fund everything even after you tax the filthy disgusting rich people to death. Mish brings the analysis. With graphs.

    Something must be cut. The mainsomethings which must be cut rhyme with bledicaid and bledicare. Or else we default on our debts at some point. There are no other options.

    No Time Left for Yooooouuuuu

    We didn't even get the children to bed until 22:00 and then my Darling Wife was busy looking up stuff for school online. I gotta getta router or something, because I had about zero time to wow you with all my fabulous wisdom tonight.

    But you get a bonus anecdote for checking in anyhow: When we got to church 20 minutes early so she could go to her teachers/workers meeting, she discovered #3 had wet himself in his sleep on the way to church. So I put him in a diaper we had in the car, sat him on some plastic sheeting over his piss, and started the 20-minute drive back home to get him some clean pants, then 20 minutes back (1 hour total), to catch the last 40 minutes of the services. All this after driving 35 minutes to get home from work. In related news, it takes 20 minutes to go either way between my house and the church, at Maximum Warp (Speed Limit +3) when the locals insist on driving at Speed Limit -15% in front of me for 1/2 the trip, both ways.

    Tuesday, March 1, 2011

    Regulations (and Crows) be D----ed

    In Cirencester, UK, a crow is costing hundreds of pounds, ripping the wiper blades off cars. It is reported that if a car is left with its wipers uncovered for half an hour, the crow or crows will come along and strip the rubber off the blades.

    In a slightly freer country, this means that, at the half-hour of a man's choosing, the crow will be perforated and dead, dead, dead. In the UK where guns are essentially banned, they will continue to lose wiper blades by the dozen until the crows get tired of the game. I would be surprised if someone didn't get into big trouble trying to trap the stupid birds, too. Health & Safety regulations being what they are (stupid), it would probably be cheaper just to continue replacing the wiper blades, even if jail for the bird trapper is avoided.

    What a stupid country UK is turning out to be. Note that this used to be a nation where men were required to maintain proficiency with the long bow, the "assault rifle" of the day. Now look at you.

    Wisconsin Unions and Democrat Elected Heroes

    Surprising no-one, the Senators in Wisconsin who refuse to show up to work, are campaign-funded by unions

    And perhaps surprising some, the reduced benefits on which those Senators refuse to vote are more generous than the benefits granted to unionized federal employees under President Obama

    ETA: hat tip: Instapundit