Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Great Good News for Your Pocketbook*

(*unless you are a "Real Estate Investor")

For those people more interested in living than investing in houses, good news! The price of a house is falling straight through the levels last seen at the beginning of the most-recent housing bubble! This means your dollar buys more. This is, by the way, a sign of a deflationary economy (in case you missed it).

Hyperinflation! Yuan will be New Reserve Currency! Everybody Panic!!!1!

From a real economic analyst who knows what is happening (and called it before it happened): Not so much.

Uh-Oh, Trump & Palin Rubbing Elbows.

Ugh. Oh, gods I was just kidding! Heaven forbid that these people should get any ideas.

Hint: if you see the Republicans putting forward a Trump/Palin or Palin/Trump ticket in 2012, you will know 100% for sure that the game is rigged and you are the loser. We have a one-party system and the country is essentially lost for the foreseeable future. The ratchet turns.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

No, You Don't Own The Road

Look I know it is unpleasant for you to allow other people to pass you on the highway. I know it bothers you on a deep subconscious level. But you are going well under the speed limit and everyone is passing you for a reason.

So when I am behind you in the slow lane and I move over one lane to your left to pass you, I understand why you accelerate. But you need to understand that when you are in my blind spot and accelerate to match my speed, yes you will have to jam your brakes and honk when I go to merge in front of you. If you weren't an ass, you wouldn't have been where I was about to be, so feel free to blame yourself.

Also, when you are going slow in the middle lane, under the speed limit, and I come up from way behind you in the lane to your right, if you close the gap between your car and the car in front, just barely quickly enough so I can't pass you on the right and go in front of you, I understand. I feel your pain. I hope you don't suffer too much mental anguish as I manipulate you into letting me by. I fall back just long enough that you let the gap open again, then downshift and fly by you before you can close it again.

You jerk.

Surprisingly, my Darling Wife says El Paso drivers are even worse. I told her those are drivers from Mexico and an entirely different class, but she said not just the ones from Mexico. Maybe they have to drive that way in self-defense in all the border towns? Driver's education classes: should be mandatory instruction in high school, everywhere.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Forgetting Is Easy . . . The Work is the Hard Part

My Darling Wife took the Zoo to El Paso for two weeks with an option for a third if the visit went well. It went well and turned into a month. I got used to the peace and quiet and only having to deal with myself and the rat dogs and cat and house and cars and projects. I got a boatload of work done, but it were lonely work.

They're back and ho-lee COW I forgot how much tending four children take.

Friday, May 27, 2011

How To Tell a Bleeding Hemmorhoid From Colon Cancer

  • If you just finished a bowel movement
  • And you passed a hard stool with pointy bits in it
  • And you had to strain
  • And it hurt to pass the stool
  • And your toilet paper has blood on it
  • And you wipe with an antiseptic alcohol prep pad
  • And it feels like somebody stabbed your bunghole with a needle in one or two spots
  • You may have a bleeding hemorrhoid.
  • Do not ask me how I know this.

This is totally different to colon cancer. I know a man who had spots of blood on his toilet tissue for a while but thought it was just a hemmoroid. It didn't stop, so he went to his doctor and got 'scoped. And sliced open and sewed back up less a short section of guts. If you have a couple drops of blood after a stool, drink more water, eat more fiber, and get some sleep. If it doesn't stop, see a doctor.

You could die.

Two Clicks

Two clicks, three text boxes, and you have fought fire with fire. You remember when I pointed out that there is a blatant spam/form letter for submissions in favor of an egregious thing the ATF wants to do?

Now there's a spam/form letter for submissions against it. Please do your nation a favor: click this link, fill in your name and email address, and hit the submit button. It takes less than a minute, and can make a real difference.

Further explanation here

This Thread Delivers!

Today I was given the job of reverse-engineering a machine to see if I could figure out how to make part of it work without the rest of the machine being present.

  • I got it. Now I have working examples of two types of the part we were wondering about, and know in a general way how to get them working, and . . .
  • I also got a way to test another part of the machine that I was not looking for . . . adding value to all those parts that come through
  • One of the guys was looking for a particular type of switch. The machine had one, and he got it.
  • One of the guys was looking for a particular type of door lock. The machine had one and he got it.
  • Plus a couple of nice-to-have little bits and pieces for me.
Win!


The Ultimate Winning Republican Ticket!

This morning, Neal Boortz put out the rumor that Sarah Palin might be running for President. I said to NP (who works in front of my station)
VFD: Aw geez. HEY NP! Wanna hear a winning republican ticket?
NP: Sure.
VFD: Palin/Trump
NP: :retching noise:
VFD: LOL
(fast forward)
CJ (works 2 stations farther up the room): :retching noise:
NP: Did you just read my message?
CJ: Yeah.
NP: LOL
VFD: Did you send him what I just said?
NP: Yeah, LOL
CJ: Well as long as it's a small doghouse . . .
If Donald Trump gets the nomination, it's a guaranteed loss. Women and conservatives paying attention will stay away from the polls in droves. Palin will drive off the hard right wing, and cannot attract the democrat-with-uterus constituency, PLUS she'll drive off the bygod-not-gonna-vote-fer-a-wymyn constituency.
Mrs. Palin, Mr. Trump, please do us all a favor and stay out of it. If you really want to do some good, support Herman Cain.

Cain/Perry. Now you're getting warmer.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Jellystone is Quaking

The analogy is not as clear as I'd like so I'll spell it out for you. Yellowstone Park is a volcano that is . . . well, if it went up it would take you with it. It is sleeping lightly these days; there are earthquakes and the land is rising in places. It is feared by some that it will really erupt and the USA will be basically gone.

The economy of Greece is Yellowstone, and the land is rising and shaking more and more. The bean counters at the IMF are saying they can't abide by their rules and continue bailing out Greek debt at the same time. They are still saying "contagion" as if all the PIIGS nations were not bankrupt and waiting to explode also, but it will take a bit of doing to prevent it happening after the IMF doesn't lend money to Greece next January.

Cliffs: It looks bad for Greece.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Oh HELL No!

~wherein I use bad words~

The idiot box is on for background noise in the house and some fool left it on CSPAN2. They are talking about regulating prescription drugs. I know a lot of it is piss in the wind, but . . . when people are agreeing with each other that maybe we should limit the amount of pain killers to (e.g.) 3 days' worth after a wisdom tooth extraction with an option to refill the prescription, there is a problem. Of course it's D(imwit) Senator Blumenthal nodding his head along with this example as if it makes some kind of sense.

Let's be clear: This is fucking America, and if you think it is okay to not give enough pain killers to kill all my pain after a major surgery, you need to be shot so somebody can deny you all the pain killer you need. When I got all four of my wisdom teeth out, I spent a good solid week bombed out of my mind on whatever they gave me at the dispensary. I have no idea what happened that week but evidently I didn't starve to death. I for damn sure (I think? I dunno, I was high) was in no kind of shape to be driving out to the dispensary again three days later.

I could give a god-damn if you don't like that I should have excess drugs sitting unused in my medicine cabinet. Keep on with the DEA "takeback" days if you like, but limiting patients' necessary medication so as to prevent the maybe possibly hypothetically possibly maybe access of some unauthorized user to those drugs is asinine and anti-American.

Linux: Still Not Ready For Family Hour

This h'yer is my first post from a fresh crispy ubuntu linux installation on my formerly pirated-windows PC. One of the peeps I talk to online disagrees with me when I say that Linux is still not ready for prime time. It may be ready for the Adult Swim hours, but if your 8 year-old has to read instructions to go through the console (read: Command prompt) in order to play a game, IF the game will even run, it's a failure.

A commuter used to a little baby car with an automatic will drive a real-deal sports car off a cliff.

A would-be photographer, confronted with a "real" camera, will be lost without the manual

And a Windows user who tries to do something beside USE the computer, will be lost in Linux. The learning curve is a cliff.

For just using once it is set up, and ALL the needful programs and plugins and whatever is in place, assuming your program will run under the different operating systems, there is no difference between Linux and Windows. It's getting there that's the challenge.

********

I started piddling with Linux and discarded it in favor of DOS and Windows I think in the kernel 2.2 days and it is a LOT easier to set up than it used to be. Still not easy enough for grandma.

Guns on College Campus: Controversial & Then Some!

Chief Acevedo started a shit storm this morning by saying he doesn't like the idea of CHLs carrying guns on campus. He moderated his position when somebody said 'what about grad students and professors' and he could consider that. Then for the next two hours until I got tired of the jackassery I was listening to people talk straight past each other. There are two camps of people, and apparently Reasoned Discourse has no effect on radio callers waiting to speak instead of listening to others speaking.
Camp 1) CHL Guns on campus means people who are less arrest-prone than Police are given the option to protect themselves without the fear of arrest for carrying a gun
Camp 2) CHL Guns on campus means drunk, depressed, hormones raging, barely-not-teenagers whipping out their guns to settle petty disputes
Camp 3) CHL Guns on campus is already an option - for the school. The school gets to say who carries, and most schools say "don't carry." This is arguably unfortunate, but there is a law on the books to defend the right of the school to say what will fly on their land.
The problem with crowd 2 is that Crowd 1 has the law and statistics on their side. But then crowd #2 comprises soft-headed liberruls who are swayed by emotion rather than reason, so there is no use in speaking to them. Act appropriately regardless and things will come out just fine. #3 is the crowd you need to sway, if you just HAVE to have an argument. The goal might be to convince them that a PUBLIC school ought to let people do things on campus they can do in a PUBLIC park. But good luck with that . . . the university policies are set by people who are 100% in crowd #2!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

You have to watch it twice.

If you haven't already, you really ought to watch the video of the President's limo getting high-centered on the way out of the Embassy in Ireland. Sorry about the commercial but it's worth sitting through. Watch it until the car bottoms on the driveway, and then rewind it and watch it again. One of the guys pulled this up on his phone and the people at work did the same thing I did, and you will have to do. The following transcript is a universal constant amongst viewers of this video.

You know those six-foot breaker bars you jam into the ground to break rocks by hand? You know the noise one of them makes when you hit a really hard rock and the bar bounces back? THAT is the sound you insert for CLANK below. This is the sound track that will be in your ears when you watch this video:

:first car comes out, scrapes: "ooh, that's low"
:The Beast comes out, crows cheers:
CLANK
You: "LOL"
:rewind:
:The Beast comes out, crowd cheers:
CLANK
Crowd: "aaaaw"
You: "LOL"

I LOL'd but good. Then I remembered this is the limo of the POTUS. I thought how easy it would be to strand the car and force him to exit from the car in a place where you can know the range and position to within a few meters. This is crucial information for a malevolent marksman, and a CRITICAL FAILURE of the President's security team. His driver is only the final failure in the chain of security breakdowns.

You people FAIL at keeping him alive. It was only good luck that kept him alive that time. See to it this never happens again, or you ALL SUCK.

That's Right, It Is Easy To Say.

I know somebody holding up the personal life of his mother and sister who are trying to get him out of jail. He was on parole and got busted for driving drunk. He was released and then had a court date, and when he got to the court they took him into custody for violating parole. I said they should maybe show him some tough love and let him set a spell in jail. The response:

It's soooo easy to say tough love when it's not your _______(insert relationship here) in trouble with a cop the judge and lawyer even say is acting out of the norm blah blah blah

Yeah, you know what? The only thing easier to do than to day is "breathe" and that's not very much harder to do than to say. EVERYTHING is easier to say than to do. You know what else? Your precious boy was driving drunk and its only the grace of God kept him from plowing into a family out for an evening stroll. F him, let him rot. You need somebody to sign a bond out for you? Sign your own bond and sober up!

And think about that _____(insert sentence here) you just cooled your heels the next time you're out with your pals and feel a little thirsty, you [deleted].

To those who sign out bonds on their repeat-offender family members to get them out of jail: Your soft heart is a sign of a soft head. You are enabling them to continue their dangerous behaviour. Knock it off. Nobody else wants to "help" because everybody else can plainly see IT'S NOT HELPFUL!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Laws are for Little Countries.

We are dropping bombs on another country. The law says Congress has to authorize this sort of activity after a month or two, but Congress hasn't approved the meddling we are doing in Qaddafiland. We are not stopping the bombs, no, no, but we ARE breaking the law. OUR law. We are literally engaging in an illegal war and it's against OUR laws.

So now we are up against the "debt ceiling" We are about to be out of aces up our collective national sleeve and we have not stopped borrowing money like there's no last Saturday tomorrow. Here's a fun scenario for you: What happens if we run up against the harder (no more accounting tricks) debt ceiling and we don't authorize more debt . . . AND we don't stop spending like a drunken Marine?

Will we continue to borrow money from China, once it becomes an illegal appropriation?

Who would stop us? Who would there be to say "Halt"? I mean, beside the people, whose voice obviously can be ignored . . . .

FINALLY Sooper-Seekrit Project Completed

You know, working heavy gauge sheet metal to fine tolerances by hand takes a long, long time. But the project is done and my Darling Wife is sure to be pleased, so all's well that ends well, even if it did eat all my spare time for about four solid man-days.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Hit Or Miss Wildlife Management

In Texas, if you kill a deer on your own land you're supposed to tell the State about it so they can "manage" the statewide deer population better. Ditto if you run one down with your car. The deer population in Texas is apparently under control if you don't count the neighborhoods where the rich people feed, then complain about, then don't want anyone shooting the deer.

Wild hogs, OTOH are totally out of control. The State just said you can shoot them from helicopters, even. And I'm still waiting for someone to invite me on a hog hunt.

Once upon a time, upon one private island off the coast of California, the deer were not managed properly. The soft-headed owner of the island let them breed unchecked and disallowed hunting. There were more and more deer, until one year there were too many. The next year there were none.

And in New Zealand rabbits are hurting the farmers . . . so here is a bar offering half price beer if you bring in four rabbits.

Managing wildlife: not easy, but sometimes hey, half price beer!

This is WHy We Should Read Tam

at least every once in a while. Otherwise you'll miss analysis like this:
"Anyhow, l'affair Ghaddafi drags through its second month, looking less "time-limited" by the moment, and forget that no-fly zone nonsense because this is becoming less and less scope-limited, too. Further, while we're taking sides in an armed revolt in Libya, the Syrians are mowing down unarmed demonstrators with impunity without a peep from NATO, because the Syrians, unlike the comic-opera Libyans, might actually shoot back."

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Great Good News!

A) The world did not end, so

B) Herman Cain announced for the Presidency, and

C) You get two black Presidents in a row! The worst President EVAR, followed by the best!

:D

Getting Ready For The Next Guy

I'm going to be nice to whoever loots/moves into my house after tonight and mow the lawn in a minute. ::sigh:: I am really looking forward to the time when #2 gets old enough to carry the weedwhacker and push the mower. Some of my earliest memories (my memory: not so hot) are wondering why I had to push the lawn mower across the yard when the "lawn" was just dirt and it kicked up clouds of dust. The push bar was about chest-high and I had to really lean into it to get the thing to go. Which reminds me: allergy pills and face mask here I come!

Update 4 hours later: Briggs & Stratton reliable starting system not so much. Cleaned out the carb., gas tank, air filter, changed oil . . . couple of HOURS later, lawn was getting mowed. Then I sprayed poison in the cracks around the house because [deleted] bugs.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Daddy Like: New Work Camera

For many years at work I've been shooting with a* Panasonic DMC-FZ10 which is acceptable for what we do. This week I was pleased to be able to start using a Nikon D100 which is rather a different sort of bird.

Warning: Long, camera-geeky post

Click any picture to see it full-sized and better quality.

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"My" D100 was acquired through the magick of the owner of my company being in the right place at the right time, for the princely sum of $75 with the lens, and he got TWO at this price. The other is now a throwdown camera for his daughter. N.B.: We paid $75 for my old Panasonic maybe a year or two ago. THIS is a steal of a deal. This Nikon was slated for resale, but I was able to get it for "temporary testing" until it came up to the auction block . . . and the company owner saw me shooting with it . . . and blessed my keeping it for production work (score!)

This body has the optically-pretty-nice AF-S Nikkor 18-55mm 1:3.5-5.6 lens, and my initial impressions were that it was not particularly sharp, and nowhere NEAR as zoom-y as the lens I was used to using. The Panasonic has a Leica-branded 1:2.8 6-72mm lens with bigger glass up front. The sharpness of the Panasonic (at "internet friendly" resolution) is, when the D100 is properly used, just slightly less-good than the D100 with a lens renowned for sharpness. This is high praise indeed for the Panasonic. I do kinda miss the ability to focus with the lens almost touching the subject, or filling the screen from across the room, but knocking a camera with changeable lenses because of lens performance would be silly. This D100 has the D50's kit lens, and it is a good one aside from being made of plastic.

  • I had become accustomed to shooting in ISO 50 mode and ISO 400 is straight-up noisy on the Panasonic. The Nikon is quieter at ISO 1600 than the Panasonic at 400. I need to get used to using higher ISO settings!
  • The Nikon focuses WAY faster than the Panasonic. This is aided by the useful autofocus assist lamp which actually works pretty well.
  • The Panasonic is not an SLR so the LCD can give a constant live view during focusing. It has a digital zoom manual focus assist feature that lets you see EXACTLY what is in focus. The viewfinder on the Nikon is tiny by comparison, and somewhat harder to use for manual focus.
  • The Panasonic has a lovely BIG GNARLY METAL focus ring. This Nikkor has a pitiful plastic thing way out on the end of the lens. Everyone who reviews this lens bags on the focus ring with good reason. Still, it works.
  • I'll have to train myself not to twiddle the right-hand knobs by accident. You can screw up a shot just by moving your finger. This is a feature and a user training issue, not a bug.
  • Newer DSLRs put displays on the back panel where I like them, this old Nikon only has the top display and the one in the viewfinder.
  • The power switch on the Nikon is basically a control lock-out. Power consumption is the same on or off after a few seconds without taking a picture. Photos are able to be made immediately at power-on. The power switch on the Panasonic cues up a 5-seconds boot sequence.
  • I LOVE the zoom-on-auto-review function on the Panasonic. I zoom in on almost every shot to see that it is focused how I like, and that requires extra buttonpressingknobtwiddling on the D100.
  • The trigger on the D100 is smooth. The Panasonic has a definite hitch to it when the shutter is actuated, which can jar the camera and throw off some of the long exposures it needed because it is so noisy at higher ISOs.
  • I am finding the D100 somewhat easier to use. This is in no small part because it has DOUBLE (26 vs. 13) the number of knobs and buttons. Many useful things are buried in menus on the DMC-FZ10 that have a straight-up external control on the D100.
  • The color from the D100 is perfect for what I do with the camera, which is good . . . because the color on the LCD is off (too blue).

I think I officially like this Nikon D100 for a production camera. If I don't, I'm pretty sure we can get more than $75 out of it. If I do keep this thing, I may very well make my company an offer on the old Panasonic, I like it that much.

********

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ10

With custom high-visibility yellow surface treatment. I was asked once or twice if it was for use under water. No, it is for use in high clutter work spaces! Look for some hi-viz action on the Nikon in the near future. I used the knurled rubber grip off a thrashed lens to put some hi-tack surfaces on the focus ring and lens hood.

Photobucket

There were many, many times I turned around, stood up, shuffled my feet, or othwerwise moved and pulled the power cord on the camera. I had to use the power cord for benchtop product shots or I'd be changing batteries several times a day which gives me a case of the ass. The blob on top is a magnetic power coupling which releases without pulling the camera. The stock power connector would yank the camera, even to the point that it was slung off the bench onto the floor a few times. Takes a lickin'. The USB cable on the side is a connector preservation measure. That mini USB socket was only designed for 500 insert/removal cycles. This is YEARS for a regular tourist or occasional point/shooter, but months for light professional use. This is the third or fourth USB cable I've used for this purpose. The big-end connectors on the previous cables were totally worn-out beyond all use, but the camera's connector still works just fine, thank you. Look for something like this USB cable on the Nikon in the near future.

The shutter, aperture/speed control, and menu buttons all have self-adhesive buttons on them to make them easier to operate. This is excellent. The zoom and mode controls have knurled edges. I made the knurling deeper with a file after it was worn smooth with much use.

Photobucket

  • Lens: Leica-branded DC Vario-elmarit 1:2.8 6-72mm ("35-420 equivalent 12x Optical Zoom") focuses down to ~2"
  • Sensor: 1/2.5" CCD, 4 Megapixels
  • ISO: 50-400
  • With image stabilization (technically, maybe helps 1 stop!)
  • 2" 130,000 pixel screen
  • Shutter: 1/2000 to 8 seconds
  • Flash range: 4 meters
  • Auto to full manual controls, with the usual modes
  • Storage: SD/MMC (using a 2GB SD)
  • Battery: proprietary, small, lasts half a shift if that :(
  • New retail: $600 in 2003


Nikon D100

Looking at these pictures I can't help but notice the deep knurling on the knobs and very tall buttons for the frequent-use controls. Also the barrel adjustment (zoom) on the lens is hi-tack rubber. This is excellent.

Photobucket

This camera is beautiful. A real cream puff. That will be changing. I don't know how it was treated before, but it's about to start getting a workout.


How many buttons and knobs do you really need? ALL of them? Yes the viewfinder boot is gone already. That went missing pretty quickly, actually. I don't miss it.

Photobucket

  • Frikken DSLR already!
  • Lens: F-mount (universal for Nikon lenses) AF-S (fast autofocus) Nikkor (Nikon) 18-55mm ("28-85mm equivalent") 1:3.5-5.6 ED takes 52mm filters, focuses down to ~11"
  • Sensor: Sony 23.7x15.6mm (APS-C size) CCD, 6 Megapixels
  • ISO: 200-1600 (extends to "6400")
  • Without stabilization (and I don't miss it)
  • WITH autofocus assist lamp (which is nice)
  • 1.8" 118,000 pixel screen
  • Shutter: 1/4000 to 30 seconds
  • Flash range: 11 meters
  • Auto to full manual controls, with the usual modes
  • Storage: CF or Microdrive (using a 1GB "133x speed Professional" grade CF)
  • Battery: proprietary, big, lasts ALL day and then some
  • New retail: $2000 (body only) in 2002, $160 for the lens in 2006

********

*This is the second, or third, depending on how you count, DMC-FZ10 I've used at work. The first got a fried USB port. They got me a replacement and I dropped the camera LCD-first on a metal corner of something. Then I used the LCD from the first camera to replace the one in the second, and while I was in there I flipped the protective screen upside-down. Note the lettering on top of the screen!

*I also went through FOUR ancient Sony Mavica MVC-FD91 cameras which also had nice big (14x optical) zoom lenses. They used 3.5" floppy disks for storage, and were . . . large.

*I may be hard on gear. Do you think? This is the difference between professional grade and consumer grade equipment. I will be astonished if the Nikon doesn't last longer than the average camera I've used before (1/year, approximately, with some VERY short lived cameras in between).

Global Warming: Not Here, Not Your Fault Anyway

From Watt's Up With That? we have two humm-dingers you will 100% fo-sho not see on your televisors tonight:

If you look only at the weather stations not affected by the Urban Heat Island effect (air in cities gets hotter as they get bigger) then you have 80 stations reporting NO temperature trend in the lower 48 United States over the last century. Global warming? Not!

And:

The sun, it warms the planet, yes? Yes but, you say? How about cosmic radiation has a 3.8x stronger influence on global climate than previously estimated. The global warming models must ALL be revised, because they are ALL wrong, by almost a factor of FOUR, when calculating the effect of cosmic radiation. At best. Oopsy.

See You In Church On Sunday!

This is the first Very-Widely-Publicized incident in my living memory where a false prophet has called out the end of the world and I am on the ball enough to call B.S. on it. Everyone else is calling BS also. Many, very many, are making a great deal of fun of it. As they are right and the prediction is false, they are perfectly fine making fun of Camping's Date. But . . .

It feels bad, wrong somehow. It makes the chest hair stand up and the skin to crawl most uncomfortably to see and hear such (what sounds like on the surface) blatant apostasy(?) or religious skepticism, or whatever it is. It makes me uncoooooomfortable. Maybe because I know the end will come, but that it will not come tomorrow.

We are making fun of a man who is about to take a huge fall tomorrow. Fine. But let us remember: you do need to get right with Jesus, because the end is coming, and if you aren't a Christian, you're [deleted] forever.

********

Harold Camping is a false prophet AND a false teacher. When I was in California I would sometimes catch his show and he was promulgating the false doctrine that you can never know for certain you are on the way to Heaven after you die. He is wrong, according to a straight reading of the Bible. Click that link to find out how you can know you are going to Heaven.

Stooge-Slap Appropriately Delivered.

Israel's Prime Minister let the President of the USA know in no uncertain terms what was what and who's who, and the President came out the very next day and dialed back the "definitive language" he was putting out the other day.

A) Good.
B) Way to appear strong, USA
C) Way to engender trust in the rest of the world
4) Does this speak of ignorant incompetence or not-really-dedicated-to-it malice? I lean still toward incompetence, but there is no knowing.

A disagreement between friends. Small, minor details. Nothing, really. I mean, it's only the loss of half their country immediately to the pen and the other half in a short war to the sword.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Joke of the Day

A little bird was flying south for the winter. It was so cold the bird froze and fell to the ground into a large field. While he was lying there, a cow came by and dropped some dung on him. As the frozen bird lay there in the pile of cow dung, he began to realize how warm he was. The dung was actually thawing him out! He lay there all warm and happy, and soon began to sing for joy. A passing cat heard the bird singing and came to investigate. Following the sound, the cat discovered the bird under the pile of cow dung, and promptly dug him out and ate him.

Moral of the story:
1. Not everyone who shits on you is your enemy
2. Not everyone who gets you out of sh*t is your friend
3. And when you’re in deep sh*t, it’s best to keep your mouth shut!

Joke of the Day

A little bird was flying south for the winter. It was so cold the bird froze and fell to the ground into a large field. While he was lying there, a cow came by and dropped some dung on him. As the frozen bird lay there in the pile of cow dung, he began to realize how warm he was. The dung was actually thawing him out! He lay there all warm and happy, and soon began to sing for joy. A passing cat heard the bird singing and came to investigate. Following the sound, the cat discovered the bird under the pile of cow dung, and promptly dug him out and ate him.

Moral of the story:
1. Not everyone who shits on you is your enemy
2. Not everyone who gets you out of sh*t is your friend
3. And when you’re in deep sh*t, it’s best to keep your mouth shut!

And in Related News . . .

President Obama is telling Israel to get bent during an election campaign. The Jews of America voted for him to the tune of 82%. If they do it again, they are self-hating, stupid, or worse.

Stooge-Slap Desperately Needed!

The President wants Israel to give back the land they purchased with blood from the nations that came at Israel in 1967. The second thing out of everyone's mouth when they hear this (after a curse at the President) is "Not gonna happen." I tell you what, Israel will give back all that land after Texas surrenders to Mexico and we give back what WE won in our own war as a fledgling.

Israel, for those who do not know, had no borders in 1967. They had cease-fire lines which were referred to as Auschwitz Boundaries by some because if they were permanent borders it would mean the destruction of Israel. EVERY part of Israel could be shelled from those lines in 1967. The President of the United States has said, in effect, "It is not enough for all of Israel to be in easy range of advanced rocketry weapons. I want all of Israel to be in range of inexpensive artillery fire."

Now let's be clear: God loves Israel. God gets his hackles raised when you mess with Israel. Sure they did wrong and were ejected from the land, but God has a soft spot in his heart for the Jew and for Israel. He even said that Jerusalem is the apple of his eye. In 1967 Israel did not have control of the "Old City" of Jerusalem, where the Temple of God stood for centuries, where God has a special design for the future. The President of the United States has said, in effect, "I want the location of God's once and future temples to be under the control of those who hate and wish to destroy Israel."

Now I don't know about you, but it seems like a very bad idea to poke God in the eye. I fear greatly for our country that the President is coming right out and SAYING he wants to poke God in the eye. This is my official protest: We should never, ever, EVER ask Israel to give back the land she won in the 1967 war.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Bandwidth . . . Crushed . . . Can't . . . Surf . . . or . . . Blog . . . !

Because I don't like Microsoft's prices, I'm downloading Ubuntu to see if we can use it. This had consumed bandwidth on my internet connection at a pretty high priority and even this little form to type a quick "sorry no blogging" note took several tries due to timeouts.

So. I'm cleaning the house for the next couple of hours while the little green download bars slowly stretch across the window.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

May 21 Not The End Of The World

Let us be perfectly clear about this: NOBODY knows when the end of the world will be. In the Bible, Jesus says that not even he, but only God the Father knows the date. So when you see someone saying May 21st, 2011 is going to be the end of the world, you may freely mock, scorn, deride, etc. the person and the prediction.

Fill in the blank, and this conversation is endlessly, reliably accurate.

Sumdood: The end of the world! _________ (insert date) everybody pay attention and buy my self-published book before the end of the world!
You: WTH Ever dude. Go soak your head and come back and give me a free copy of your self-published book on ________ (insert date + 1 day)
Sumdood: (to the next person) The end of the world! ________ (insert date) everybody pay attention . . . .

Stand By. Trend To Resume Shortly.

China to slow dramatically, soon. Global economy will follow suit. This will stink. Wait for it . . .

Schwarznegger Screwed California

When Gray-out Davis we being kicked out of office as Governor of California, I was hopeful that a conservative candidate who was running would win. Then along came Ahnold and he walked away with it on the R(ino) ticket solely on name recognition. The state was plunged into insolvency and he didn't stop it. If the other guy had won, maybe things would have been different. We'll never know, and now they're back to Governor Moonbeam, to my moderate astonishment. Governor Brown is busily doing his darnedest not to fix the problem while giving the impression of Doing Something.

The Governator, while he was still "only" the Terminator, sired a bastard child on his domestic help. Then he was elected. Then he left office and FINALLY revealed that he was a philanderer. If this information had been known before the election, he quite possibly would have lost. California could have had a solid conservative for her Governor instead of the Governator.

So they're even more screwed than they were, because the candidates' dirty laundry was not all out on the line. In some comedies written before color movies came around, all the heroes die and the reader is left thinking "Dang that sucks!"

Welcome to the party, pal.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Not Sure How I Feel On This One

On the one hand, I don't like anyone publishing my name and email address for all the world to see . . .

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The BATFE had a comment period for you to say what you thought of their proposed rules regarding importing non-sporting shotguns (proposed rule: they're all non-sporting and they ought not be imported). The initial comment period came and went and we all missed it. Then the proposed rulemaking got closer and the alarm was raised. ATF opened up another comment submission period. Lots of the People of the Gun pointed out that "sport" is not the same as "things done where there is grass, to animals, to obtain food."

They picked around 500 comments to publish in a .pdf. They published them WITH the submitted full names, e-mail addresses, and in some cases full mailing addresses of the submitters of comments. Because, hey, who needs some email spam? YOU GUN PEOPLE need some email spam! LOL zing that'll teach 'em to speak up!

You know what? We gave them contact information as part of a PUBLIC comment period. If they didn't publish your email address and name, maybe the next conspiracy theory is that they made up your comment. This is a lose/lose for the ATF. Just be glad they didn't publish all the comments they received; lots of people have said their comments weren't in the .pdf.

Sure, they published your name and email. They published mine, too. Should they have done? I don't know but it's rather a moot point now, isn't it? Should we get worked up over the breach of privacy? Would you get worked up if the newspaper published your photo as a participant in a political rally?

Why? Did you do it in public? What expectation of privacy have you when you act in public?

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Edit: hey look, SPAM! They apparently have a fun habit of publishing contact information for submitted comments. For kicks I went here and clicked on this .pdf at the BATFE website. It's comments received for their proposal to require multiple (read: TWO) rifle sales to be reported to the ATF. See if you can count the number of times the perzact same verbiage was copy/pasted and counted as an "in favor" comment. Then look at THIS file. The same exact verbiage, times a zillion. Seminar callers apparently have email addresses? or was it just a spambot? Either way, the other side is messing with the system. If you hear of a public comment period, remember they are bombarding the agency with comments the opposite of what you would say . . . IF you bothered to submit a comment.

It's YOUR government. What are you doing about it?

Two Steps Away From Destruction. Sideways Steps.

Trump and Hucksterbee are both out of the running. Good. Scratch two names from the list of people you might have to hold your breath and vote for so as to vote against President Obama.

Support Herman Cain. Tell all your friends about Hermain Cain. Visit Herman Cain's website. And if you know Herman Cain personally, tell him to hurry up and announce already!

Sumbich. Technical Difficulties Turn Into Legal Difficulties!

Turns out the Windows 7 on newPC is a pirated copy. Arrrr! I'm in an email back-and-forth with Microsizzle on how to get a fresh shiny new license and an OS installation DVD so I can burn off the computer whatever evil thing the former owner of the PC did to get Windows on there against the obvious intention of the people who had to pay programmers to write it. Run-on sentences: I have them.

Software pirates: you suck. You suck a little less if you give me a free computer that will run the latest software, but you still suck.

The humorous part: he'll usually steal whatever for-profit software he wants but he'll donate to shareware authors. Go figure. Yes, he went to government school.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Technical Difficulties. Please Stand By.

Bleeping computer is bleeping not doing right. Fixing. Not blogging. Boo.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Home = Castle, Idiot Judges To the Contrary Notwithstanding

If a COP comes into your house with no reason, you can't resist him. Because shut up. And git on der floor. And show your papers. SRSLY Indiana? Are you people going to tolerate this?

Hat tip: Sipsey Street Irregulars

I of course am no advocate of killing police officers and disappearing their bodies, and a COP with an on-body camera is a dead man who does indeed tell tales . . . but I can't help thinking that knives will go through most body armor with a determined thrust, and nobody wears neck armor on regular city patrols (yet). Hint for all policemen everywhere: if you don't have a damn good reason for being there, or at least a valid warrant, stand by to have your ass handed to you by a homeowner in the right, regardless of what the 4th circus has to say on the matter.

Oh Good. One More Reason To Sleep In The Car.

Because our national immigration policy is de facto broken, we have a national outbreak of bedbugs very quietly making it hazardous to your wallet to spend time in a hotel. Now, perhaps, hazardous to your health as well?

Bedbugs are hard (read: expensive) to get rid of. It is cheaper to leave everything you brought with you on a trip, possibly including your camera and computer, than to have a professional come and clean the bedbugs out of your house after they hitch a ride in your luggage.

And it will be a [deleted] sight less expensive to leave all you brought behind you, if your bedbug stowaways were carrying MRSA. Ouch.

Hat tip Instapundit.

Bondo Makes Yellow Eye-Boogers.

I slept in for a drastic change of a Saturday morning, then went out and looked at the Hot Rod, which has been squealing like a stuck muslim lately. The alternator I just rebuilt and the noise was therefore ONLY possibly coming from the water pump. The year-and-a-half-old "Made in China" water pump. The one that, on closer inspection, you can wiggle the pulley and feel the back bearing slapping loose in there. Great. The dealership of course wants 3x what the remanufactured units with lifetime warranties cost, so I called up the local parts house and ordered a rebuilt pump.

While I waited for it to be delivered, I did some bondo for the super-seekrit squirrel project for my Darling Wife. Build it up, sand it, lather rinse repeat. PILE of pink dust on the floor (LOL queer!) and a little all over me.

As I was leaving the parts house I rubbed my eyes and found both had big nasty crusty yellow boogers in the corners by the nose. Nice. I installed the water pump (a FOUR hour job) and did another round of bondo/block sanding. Now I find in my eyes . . . dirty sweat residue.

Eh. Maybe it was from the sleeping in, that I got the crusty eyes . . . but it was a weird thought for a while there.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Photographers Will Read This:

If you do not know who Ken Rockwell is, clear a few hours of free time for reading and click here. You're welcome.

Who will Blink?

Obamacare imposes HUGE changes on the businesses of people who want to be doctors paid by the government for their medical services. It does NOT pay them for the drastic overhaul of their businesses. And they are planning to pay LESS than the already-too-little the government pays private doctors. Apparently 90% of doctors think this is total B.S. and are refusing to play marbles with Obamacare.

If you are forced to buy health insurance at outlandish cost (or pay a hefty fine) so you can be a patient in the government system . . . AND the doctors basically ALL REFUSE to participate in the system . . . where do you go for medical care?

How is THIS expanding health care availability? Oh that's right, it's not designed to make it easier for you to get health care (or even health care insurance). It's designed to crush private medical practice right out of the United States. Gotcha. You're right on target then, Uncle Sam.

Who's the Higher Animal Now?

One of our dogs has a case of the "you really should have let me out when I asked" wetpoops. Instead of letting them go on the carpet I put a barrier to keep them in the kitchen. They could jump over it, but this is a case of the elephant which is restrained by a small rope . . . unless somebody breaks in and they need to rip out a throat or something, the dogs will stay on the linoleum.

So they pooped on the linoleum. I wasn't too happy about this, until I realized I had finally found a use for junk mail. Pick up the paper and put it where it usually goes, clean the poop off the floor at the same time!

Suicide?

Blogger was down yesterday/this morning for maintenance for HOURS! zOMG Whatever will people DO without their crack social media?! Maybe have to step away from the computer and speak to a fellow human? The HORROR!

Blah.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Political Aftermath of the Murder Killing

The President denied the world the ability to see photographic proof of the death of Osama Bin Laden because "we don't need to spike the football." Well, as one of the men at work said today, he did NOT say we won't engage in a little celebration on the sidelines.

So the President is trying to make re-election political hay with the killing of Bin Laden. He (or at least his willing accomplices) is also trying to gin up domestic policy support with ONE thing he allegedly got right. Charles Krauthammer nailed it and got the Quote of the Day yesterday but I was too busy to post:

"Because the president killed bin Laden, we should follow him into granting amnesty for illegal aliens. I would nominate it as the non-sequitur of the decade."

So keep on your toes and stay in contact with your Elected Heroes and remind them: Illegal aliens are less common than the rest the electorate, and part of the reason "some of you people" got waxed in the last couple of elections was the JOHN McCAIN led effort to grant amnesty to illegals under cover of comprehensive immigration reform

Comprehensive = including amnesty. Secure the border first, then we can talk about the rest of our national immigration policy. Contrary to what the Preisdent's teleprompter says, the border is open and routinely, increasingly violated by narco-terrorists and human traffickers. Don't be buffaloed!

So Many Stories So Little Time

I'm busy finding out how good my instructions were the LAST time I rebuilt an alternator. Later, I have to finish the super-seekrit project for my Darling Wife. There's lots of stuff I want to vent my spleen about but it will have to wait until later . . . if the expected thunder storms don't knock us out.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Union = Communist

It is hard for some people to make two steps of mental logic to make the connection between the communism that killed a hundred million people in the last century, and Uncle Jack who builds airplanes in Seattle.

It's not so hard to tell which side of capitalism the unions are on, though, when they are rallying on May Day and their BFFs are carrying signs like this:



Way to do your job, mainstream media! To find out about this series of photos, it took you looking at my blog, after I saw it on Mike's blog where it was linked from another blog . . . never-showing on your nightly network newscast in 3 . . . 2 . . .

You Stay Classy, Texas.

If it gets all the way through the gauntlet and under the Governor's pen, former legislators, current legislators, and some State lackeys will be able to carry guns where you mere mortals can't legally, even with a CHL. A couple of new types of people become a special class all their own. Because they are better than you. Bow down and vote for them again.

Special, that's what they are. Their security is worth more than yours, you see. The arguments for the bill don't outweigh the one against: if it's good for the goose it's good for the gander. What do I want to see enacted into Texas law? Non-prohibited persons carrying everywhere the owners of the premises say they can, open or concealed as they prefer. Of course some people may be inclined to pack heat where it is a misdemeanor anyway, and the law be damned . . .

Monday, May 9, 2011

I Have Reached A New Personal Low!

I was listening to this weekend to Pink Floyd on 2.5" computer speakers and realized that Something Must Be Done! The bass was not just lacking, it was absent and therefore totally unacceptable. We have a subwoofer, sure. It has been languishing in the garage. The grille broke and that put the cone at risk from little fingers, plus the thing was frankly too big (47 liters internal volume). I needed to come up with something smaller that could be tucked out of the way, that the children couldn't damage by accident. In this case, that means using a type of box called 4th order bandpass, which works by magic and all the sound comes out one little hole in the side of the box with no exposed speaker cone.

I went to the filing cabinet and pulled the specification sheet for the speaker driver and got to modelin' in WinISD. Several hours later, this was the result:

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Yellow is the old box. Blue is the new box. WinISD picked the thin trace for maximum gain, and I tuned it to the thick line for maximum bandwidth with a small box and a port that is possible to keep entirely inside the box. It looks at first glance as if the old box beats the new design for deep low bass extension.

Then you model the SPL output and give the old box 1 Watt and the new box 2 Watts: The old box is not looking so deep compared to the new anymore, and the new has a fat corner where the old is just rolling off to inaudibility.

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The box could have been smaller, but then the ports start getting long (as in multiple meters) and that is tough to fit in a small box! Besides which, group delay in a bandpass box is easy to let it get out of hand by using too small a box volume. In my opinion, this qualifies as "good" modeled group delay out of a BP4 enclosure.

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So I settled on a design and got to buildin' . . .

The new box is almost perzactly half the size of the old. It is also smaller than possible to fit this driver inside. I had to notch the side walls to give clearance for the sides of the woofer's basket!

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As I was final-assembling this speaker, my Darling Wife told me another project has priority. Okay, so this is as done as it gets for now. But for now it is finished enough to have some actual bass in the house, woohoO!

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How does it sound? I played a CD that I sometimes listen to in my car, and I was sorely disappointed. My car has adequate audio equipment and this new sub was just sounding regular! Then I turned off the amplifier (the wooden box to the right) and the bottom octave disappeared! The sub integrates very well with the highs, to the extent that I didn't realize what I was listening to until I switched it off. Very nice. If it sounds like my car's radio, that is plenty good enough.

Now if only I could sneak enough time to get it finish sanded and painted . . . :(

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For the geeks:

The sub driver is a nearly-decade-old obsolete-google-doesn't-remember-it Dayton "Thruster" 8" single voice coil model 295-160
Qts 0.390 . Vas 37.1L . Fs 31.6Hz . Re 3.7 ohms
Le 0.9mH . Xmax 8.72mm . Z 4 ohms . Qms 10.54
Qes .410 . SPL 86.6dB (1W) . Pe 180W . BL: 9
Dia: 203cm . Sd 201.3cm^2

The box worked out to be 15 liters in the rear chamber and 6 liters in the front with a 5cm x 23cm port. Signal entry is via spring terminals with spade connectors on both ends of the wires inside. Cabinet is unbraced 17mm MDF glued with clear silicone and screwed with 1-1/4" Deckmate screws. Max. output should be just over 102dB or so but that is a LOT for our house.

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Update a full year later: Still rockin'. This box was built when my Darling Wife was in another city visiting family. Her mother came back with her, and I demonstrated this box to a very warm reception. The amp has a signal-detection circuit which takes a second to turn on. I put on a song DW likes and turned it up. She was unimpressed, until the amp kicked on. Then it was smiles all round. I am sooooooo happy to have done this.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

You Called Me!

I sometimes get calls from this one person in particular that bug the heck out of me. They call when someone else is talking to them, or they are doing something, or something is happening that diverts their attention from the phone conversation. The conversation they initiated when THEY decided to call. It really gives me a case of the ass when somebody calls ME and they expect me to wait while THEY get their [deleted] together and then they can talk when they are ready. Hello? Stop tearing paper/hammering on the ceiling/spanking your pet dolphin/whatever before you dial the phone! How hard is it, really?

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Me? Why Me?

At the local huge mega chain grocery store, they have plastic cups for sale with fun designs & pictures printed on the sides. The last one I got for myself had Superman on the side. My Darling Wife got a handful of them, princesses for the girl, Toy story and cars for the boys, etc. This one she got me had, of all people, Darth Vader on the side. My response:

Hey! How come I have to be Dick Cheney?

Hyppocratic Oath: First, Do No Riot Policing?

Note carefully the job description of the guy speaking softly in the navy blue jacket.



Note to self: be sure to cover the "Medic" jacket with a "Riot Police Beat You Down" yellow vest before delivering a beating in public. Hat tip: Every Day, No Days Off.

Awesome New Kit Coming Down the Pipe

Anyone who ever needed to tune a bike's shifters, or who missed a critical shift, or who had to hold their shifter against the cable actuated derailleur on their bike, rejoice: Hydraulic derailleurs are invented. Done properly, this could be awesome product.

Anyone who ever needed to take a potshot at a fighting helicopter, despair: Now they can see where you are when you fire by detecting your muzzle flash, track you, and (assuming you didn't kill them right with the first shot) kill you back.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Vote for Herman Cain!

You never heard of him until today. Today he was trending on social media and dominating the most-searched ranking on Google. Herman Cain showed up at the Republican debate last night and walked away with 50% of the total vote, give or take a point depending on whose polling you look at. By being himself and speaking his heart on the spur of the moment, he swayed the voters.

He can win. I wish he would frikken announce already so I can support his campaign.

Verrrrr Busy. Sorry.

My car got jealous at all the time I spent in the garage not working on it and decided to pretend to need a $450 brake job, then it settled on needing a new set of alternator bearings. I've been trying to find a place near my home with bearings, but I think I'm going to be headed into Austin to Texas Alternator Starter Service, where I got the last set 2 years ago. This, believe it or not, is high reliability for alternator bearings on my car. I think this is #8 in 12 years, the first at 6 months.

Boo. Oh well, at least I can DIY this thang. Still, it keeps me from blogging when I'm shoulder-deep in an engine bay.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Say, That's Pretty Good!

I just took a test. Specifically, the XRite Online Color Challenge / FM100 Hue Test. It has seemed to me in the past that I am more picky about color than most people. For instance, in order to select two monitors for use at work, I went through ELEVEN of them before I found two with acceptable color rendering . . . and these were high-end 21" CRT monitors . . . weighing 90lbs. each!

Well this explains it:

(Click the image to see it full size)
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Note: apparently I have perfect color vision. Somebody out there was using a black and white monitor or something to get this worst-score record:

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*******
Now if only I could do something about this near-sightedness . . .

IT'S GO TIME! BRING IT!

My Darling Wife had the Zoo out of the house all evening, and I was working on getting the garage cleaned up. I came in to the empty house and pressed the power button on the idiot box. Our televisor takes several seconds to boot up or whatever it does, and I completely forgot that I had pushed the switch. I went in to the kitchen to get some food.

I was halfway into getting some bacon* unwrapped, and I started hearing noises. Men's voices and strange noises. I was going for the release on my sidearm's holster, wondering WTH was going on but ready** to do violence. Then I heard another half-tick of the noises and realized the frikken television had come on.In related news, there is a show on the Discovery channel about hunting feral hogs in urban settings, and THAT of all things came on and almost got me going.

So. No harm, no foul . . . but WHY are these people relocating hogs? SRSLY you are capturing and relocating feral hogs instead of turning them into bacon? Hey, bacon! . . . now there's* a coincidence! No, they did turn one into bacon because it was blind and deaf from fights and would be even more of a hazard than the average boar.

. . . and I'm still waiting to be invited on a hog hunt . . .

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**Yes, ready. If you are not, you need to change your mind.

Austin is Stupid.

You remember not three weeks ago when Austin approved $4M to buy a few new Police cars because they are going out of style production? Yeah, so Austin is as broke as the rest of the left-leaning municipalities around the nation. Today, they have announced that the Austin Police Department needs to find out where to cut out up to $4M to meet budgetary needs.

Yes, Seriously.

Hold on there.

Do you remember when Austin said they were going to spend $50M on helping non-English speakers in the government schools, then they said the same week that AISD was $92M shy on the budget? Yes, this is the same city. Chief Acevedo says there is nowhere else to cut but the personnel budget. I say to the chief: What about those new hot rods? How about that $180M specifically dedicated to salary and benefits? How much does it save if your TWO cadet classes next year go in with the expectation of a less-generous benefits package? Is it possible to defer payments to the ol' collectively-bargained retirement fund?

Some small cities have entirely disbanded and outsourced their Police departments. I don't suggest that is even close to what the APD needs to do, but cutting low-single-digits of percent out of ANY budget after the last "boom" decade is very likely to be only a matter of not doing the things we like to do. We'll see.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Fish Food Smells Fishy

They get a pass on:
1) Gunfighting OBL turns into unarmed OBL. Fog of war and initial reports confused.
2) Human shield wife turns into somebody else's wife attacking the assault team. Fog of war and initial reports confused.
3) Dumping him in the sea: No shrine to visit, no body to worship*
4) Not releasing the video - it prevents the release of criminal evidence, see point 14

They get a WTF on:
5) There is no video from the time the operators were actually in the building. The most crucial part is missing; we don't know why. SRSLY?
6) They will not release the death photos because the opinion of people at war with us is more important than the opinion of the citizens of our country
7) The body is forever gone, if they did what they claimed. No independent verification of death is possible, ever.

The rumor mills churn on:
8) Leon Panetta allegedly was the one to give the order to go - Obama couldn't make up his mind
9) The DNA test really only says: it is 1000 times more likely to have been a Bin Laden family member than a random person
10) The body was dumped to hide the freezer burn, or the fact that it was not OBL's body

Time will tell on:
11) Who else got photos? Somebody got photos of dead bodies around the compound and sold them to the Associated Press
12) Who will talk? Dozens to hundreds of people handled the body or were near it. Can they ALL resist going on Oprah? Will they be believed? Or silenced?

They look real bad on:
13) No proof has been provided to anyone in the public at-large. All you and I have to go on is their word that he is dead.
14) We sent operators into a foreign country with which we are not at war, to go after a man who was not condemned in a court of law and who was apparently not an imminent threat to anyone, anywhere, kicked his door in and shot him while he was unarmed. In some peoples' lexicons this is murder.

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*Does it make me a bad person that I would like to see video of two menstruating women slinging Bin Laden off the BOW of a ship after a three-count? You take his hands, I'll take his legs, one . . . two . . . and under the keel and chopped into chum by the propellers . . .

********
Quotes of the Day:
"We don't need to spike the football"
"This is not who we are"
"The corpse is not a trophy"
"would endanger national security"

So here is what you are left with (for now): The Dear President says: I know he's dead. I've seen the photos and the DNA evidence. I saw the video. That is enough for you little people. What more could you want beside the word of your ruler President? I am superior to you, and my intellectual curiosity being satisfied is enough to satisfy yours, because shut up. No body for you. No photos for you. The video, it never existed. And no further comments will be forthcoming. Thanks again for voting Democrat.

Movie Review: The Mutant Chronicles

This went straight to cable TV on the Sci-Fi channel for a reason. If you like zombie/monster movies and are into steampunk artwork, and are doing something else while the movie is playing, you might like this movie. If you don't mind very-obvious CGI effects and cheezy cinematography as part of a moderately-predictable plot line, you may like this movie. If you like to holler "WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT?!" at the heroes of your movies, you may like this movie. Otherwise, not so much. I was ripping our CD collection to .mp3 and then polishing brightwork at the house while this one was on. It was basically background noise and steampunk eye candy every once in a while, otherwise it would have been switched off.

One thumb down.

Alternate ending suggestion: the heroes ALL die (spoiler: all but one of a dozen or so heroes do end up dead). The world is overrun.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Economics: The Dismal Science

Nobody likes the guy who says "You're all [deleted]" but that's what they say, who are looking at what is happening around the world. I maintain my position that we are in the middle of a dead cat bounce. It is a long bounce and looks rather convincing, but unless major changes are implemented everywhere around the world, soon, the bounce will have been off an awning high on the building, not the ground. The global economy, she is not looking too good.

Daddy Like This One Also: Wilson Combat 7.62x40mm WT for the AR

I've said before that I want an AR chambered in .30-06 but the same size as its poodle-shooter brethren. Well, at least this one is .30 caliber. It has a slight power edge (theoretically) over 6.8x45 Kramer, but both of them hang their heads in shame at the powder capacity of the .30-06. Power from the new 7.62x40mm WT is just over half what you get out of "God's Own Cartridge" but (like the Kramer round) another third again higher than 5.45 NATO.

The weapons platform is mature and reliable. Still we are shooting needles from it, because it's easier than changing and the .223 is "good enough" for most social work. Meh. If I was kingudawoild . . . oh, well. Fortunately, this Wilson round is likely to have lots of support and a small-but-enthusiastic mainstream following, unlike the Kramer round which remains a wildcat.

Melting Sea Ice _______ The Sea Level

Fill in the blank. It's a one question quiz that the reporters at Yahoo failed totally to pass. Kick them back to middle school science class.

If you have an ice cube in a glass of water and let it sit and melt, does the water level in the glass rise, fall, or remain exactly the same? Those of you who paid attention in school (or at the bar) will know that the level of the water in your glass will stay the same.

If you have a sheet of ice that covers 1/30th of the earth's surface and it is floating on the Arctic ocean, and it melts, what happens to the sea levels around the world? Bubkis. The ANTARCTIC, if it melted, would be a problem - THAT ice is not floating, it is on land. The ARCTIC, if it melts (as it does every year) is NOT a harbinger of doom. It is weather.

Don't worry. Be happy. Yahoo! story not dignified with a link out of sheer disdain for the appalling lack of scientific editorial oversight.

Set Thine Affairs In Order

I just opened our credit card statement for last month. This card is what we use for daily purchases, and we pay it off in full every month. We earn something like 1% cash back. Thanks to new Federal law, they print on the statement a handy table telling us how much we could pay per month to pay off the balance. We could pay the minimum payment and have it paid off in one generation, paying more than double the total balance in interest, or we could pay about 120% of the balance in interest if we pay a paltry sum every month, and pay it off in three years. That, plus the principal.

This balance will be paid off in about an hour or so, at a cost of $0 interest. By not spending more than we can afford, we are saving several thousands of dollars every month.

Explain that to a student about to graduate government high school in America. Moral of the story: Don't spend money you don't have, and you end up not-spending WAY more money in the long run.

Monday, May 2, 2011

If You Do Not Speak Now . . .

Do you think your gun dealer needs to tell the ATF when you buy two rifles? Then comment against it, or they will be required to do so.

Hat tip: Uncle

You know who else liked to keep lists of gun owners?

Used Dehumidifier

Ugh. My Darling Wife said there was something inside that needed to be cleaned before she allowed the second-hand humidifier to be operated a second time in the house.

I cleaned it out tonight. She was right and then some. Let me just tell you: if you don't like the sight of caked-on dust, a second-hand dehumidifier is NOT something you want to clean.

Madness @ Work

It takes a certain sort of person to stay working where I work. Turnover is high enough that it can be a waste of effort to try to get to know someone we just got from the temp. agency. We would like to have a solid crew of permanent staff, but some people just can't cut it.

So we have a new Front Office Girl. A week or so after she came to work here, she said I hadn't introduced myself. I explained the above to her. She thought it was funny, which was a good sign she might stick around for a while. Fast forward a month.

FOG: So I've officially been here 5 weeks and you haven't introduced yourself.
VFD: I totally did! Like weeks ago!
FOG: You totally didn't!
VFD: Okay, "HI', I"m VFD." ::extends hand to shake hands::
FOG: AAH! It's all soapy!
VFD: LOL!
FOG: ::goes back to desk::

She accosted me and wanted an introduction when I was washing my hands. What was I to do, be rude and not introduce myself?

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Herman Cain Can Win. Vote For Him. Support Him.

THIS is who should be the next President of the USA. If you don't know who he is, blame the MSM and do your homework. If you don't think a relative unknown can win the office, consider the 2012 Presidential Forum in Manchester, which voted 62% for Cain and the nearest contender was 17% Pawlenty.

Hat tip: Instapundit

(homework: begin with the links in the theothermccain.com article)

Communism Makes Me Sick

May Day 2011: I got a splitting headache this morning, and made it mostly go away by sleeping through church (in bed, not in church) this evening after dropping four pills. It's coming back; time for more pills and sleep. But that's small potatoes. May Day just took on a new meaning for me, and I hope it will for you also.

To celebrate May 1st Instapundit refers us to Prof. Volokh's idea: Steal their day. So this is my first-annual observance of Victims of Communism Day.

Communism kills: 100,000,000 dead innocents can't be wrong!

Volokh explains:
May Day began as a holiday for socialists and labor union activists, not just communists. But over time, the date was taken over by the Soviet Union and other communist regimes and used as a propaganda tool to prop up their regimes. I suggest that we instead use it as a day to commemorate those regimes’ millions of victims. The authoritative Black Book of Communism estimates the total at 80 to 100 million dead, greater than that caused by all other twentieth century tyrannies combined. We appropriately have a Holocaust Memorial Day. It is equally appropriate to commemorate the victims of the twentieth century’s other great totalitarian tyranny. And May Day is the most fitting day to do so. I suggest that May Day be turned into Victims of Communism Day....

When the Kids Grow Up

Once there are no more curious little fingers poking around, it will be nice to have a few well-placed shotguns in Condition 1 around the house.

Just sayin'.