Wednesday, August 31, 2011

One More For The Incompetence Column

I have noted before that it is often hard to discern the motivation behind some of the actions of the administration of President Obama. Is it a bungling but well-intentioned set of goofballs or a malicious set of predators trying to destroy our nation and establish the classless society?

Well, chalk this one up in the column marked "plain incompetence."

  • The Republicans have had a candidate's debate scheduled for wednesday for quite a while now.
  • The President's handlers saw he was falling in the polls while on vacation and panicked.
  • A Major Speech was pre-announced. Content and timing to be determined but it was going to be a jobs plan presentation. Just like last year, this is so important it had to be put off until after the President's vacation ended.
  • The usual methods of setting a date were totally disregarded, apparently, and the TelePrompTer was reserved for Wednesday, when the debate was scheduled. The President wants a joint session of congress in 3,2,1,GO!
  • The White House Press Secretary was lambasted for presenting an inexcusably arrogant attitude: the debate is only one of many on one of many channels, so preempting it is no big deal. Besides, we won't be upset if they decide to reschedule their debate to work around our arbitrarily chosen date that conflicts with their long-established schedule!
  • Rush Limbaugh and others told Boehner not to give an inch.
  • The President's people must have taken another poll and realized how asinine they looked, because they decided to move the speech a day later.

The left stream media are saying the White House decided not to overshadow the debate. The skeptic in me thinks if the debate was on, the President would be the one getting lower ratings but we'll never know, now. They decided to have 500+ very important rich people come out (both houses of Congress) the day the NFL season opens. I will be richly amused if this date also proves unpossible. You see, both houses have to agree to a joint session, and they are not scheduled to be back in town until Thursday. In ONE day you have to get a resolution through both houses which prevents them seeing the football season opening game? Good luck with that. And even if they did get a joint session together, the only people watching would be Congressional and White House staff . . . in rooms with 2 televisions . . . and the other TV will have the game playing!

Everyone but the kool-aid drinkers knows already that this prespeech hubbub is a lot of fuss over nothing. I bet you a penny there will be no brave new plan, just different shades of the same old failed leftist ideas and stuff so outrageous and/or expensive they know the Republicans could never go along with it.

By the way, the joint session of congress is an unnecessary expense - they could always just do an internet Press Release or a YouTube video, but then the Congress isn't there for a prop *cough*styrofoam columns*cough* so . . . .

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

It's SO Hot . . .

Sunday on the way to Church in the afternoon, my car said it was 116º outside. The local radio news said that it was officially an all-time record for the day at 112º at the Official Reporting Weather Station.

I keep a box of fuses in the Hot Rod. It's got a half-dozen little compartments with different values of fuses inside a bubble-packed clear plastic retail package. It was a pretty slick little affair actually. Was. Today I noticed that the bubbles are all half as tall as they were and cloudy (vice clear) and the whole package is warped. The box of fuses was in the sun on the seat of the car. It melted.

Deals: They're Everywhere!

A guy I know is trying to get a new camera lens for me. They sell in shops all the way up to $300+. You can get them all day long for $200-$250 if you know where to look. When I mentioned it to him, he was determined to pay no more than $100. . . . and he may have found one at $120.

I was tripping out a little over that, until I remembered not too long ago I snagged a similar piece of gear for a friend, from someone who didn't want it, absolutely free.

If you want nice stuff, you can buy it or you can hunt down a bargain. SOMEWHERE out there someone is trying to unload exactly what you want.

Monday, August 29, 2011

That's One Law-Abidin' Family, Right There.

Auntie Zetuni is officially not going to be prosecuted for being an illegal immigrant, since her nephew is the President. That would be, AFTER she was ordered deported.

Do we really need to revisit the way bankruptcy LAW was turned on its head in the GM bailout?

And now Obama is arrested. No, not President Barry O, his Uncle. His uncle was arrested. Onyango Obama nearly got in a wreck with (of all things) a Police cruiser . . . because he was driving drunk. AFTER he was ordered deported for being an illegal immigrant.

Illegal immigration: maybe you can guess where the President gets the idea it's okay?

No, no, I won't mention that he STILL hasn't produced a non-fakies birth certificate (or school transcripts, or immigration paperwork or ANYTHING) showing that he's actually from here, that would just be racist!

Stupid Dogs

VFDDawg #2 is the male, bigger-boneded, and the Alpha of the two Chihauhas. Tonight at dinnertime their food dish (with 2 bowls both full of food) was along a wall by their bed. VFDDawg #1 was patiently waiting her turn like a good little bitch and it got on my nerves. A couple of times my Darling Wife had told him to let her eat, but he wasn't being very generous. As I walked by, there VFDDawg #2 was standing SIDEWAYS and blocking access to both bowls, turning his head to get a bite. I pushed his bottom and it startled him - he yelped and jumped into bed. I moved their bowl away from the wall so they could have access from both sides.

I guess it bothered my Darling Wife also, because in a minute she had moved the bowl halfway across the room, under #3's school desk, with nothing around it to block access from any direction.

These small dogs, they are stupid. They are now (half an hour later) wandering forlornly around their bed wishing they could get some food. I'd explain it to 'em but they don't speak English.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Who Needs Grass, Anyway?

We're in the worst drought in centuries down here and it looks to continue into next year according to some meteorologists. I heard a guy saying every minute the City allows him to water, he has his irrigation system going to keep his GRASS alive. He said "just look at it" and suggested I consider what it will look like when they go to Stage 2 water restrictions and he can only water half as much next month.

I looked at it. It was green. I look at my formerly-green lawn, and it is dirt with dead grass here and there. My next door neighbor is xeriscaping his front yard and I have been thinking it looks pretty nice.

Grass, I can do without. Oh, but there is one part of the yard where the grass is thick as anything: right by the spigot where the soaker hoses (for the house foundation) are connected.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Do Want: A Fast Prime Lens

Today I went and visited my parents and played with my Dad's new toy: a 50mm F1:1.8 prime lens on his "little" Canon DSLR. That thing is amaaaaazing. It is stupid fast. I shoot pictures (almost) in the dark at work, and I would really like to have one of these for my work camera. Sure you have to "zoom with your feet" a bit, but pick the right focal length when you select your prime and you're halfway there.

I didn't know what I was missing. No wonder these sold out immediately.

Friday, August 26, 2011

You will click this link. You will laugh. Try not to wake your baby, like I just did.

At least he went back to sleep on his own.

Note: Retirement Savings Should Be Invested Elsewhere

It is probably not a good idea to put your long-term money in an investment where it will shrink, and they tell you it will be a losing proposition before you put your money there. Even if that investment is US treasury bonds. The short term note has a negative rate of interest again.

This is not a sign of health in the world's economies. But not to worry, they all say Q3 may be showing us some big numbers in US GDP growth! Please disregard that we revised downward the GDP numbers for Q2 by almost 25%.

Might Have to Change Banks Over This One.

I may actually have to change where I do my banking. We started out with Washington Mutual which was swallowed up by Chase. Chase, as you may have heard, is evil. Oh, you didn't hear that? Then read all about it my friends. And consider what it means that your money is making this business' profits.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

What's the Worst That Could Happen?

I mean after all, they are one of our Most Favored trading partners!

General Electric makes electronics. General electric makes avionics. Avionics are required in airplanes. A company in China is making a new airliner. They need avionics. General electric is going to give the technology to their Chinese partners to put in the new airliner.

Problem: China is a communist nation. A Chinese company is the Chinese government is the Chinese military. Concern: China is on the way to becoming a world military super-power. A COMMUNIST world super-power.

And: Avionics for airliners transfer nicely to military fighter, bomber, and command & control aircraft.
"The last capitalist we hang shall be the one who sold us the rope." -Karl Marx


P.S. if you think I'm paranoid about not flying on Airbus aircraft, just wait until a Chinese company starts making planes! Hint: You will NOT catch me in the air in a Chinese-built airliner. Oh wait, I forgot: I'm repeating myself!

P.P.S. In China, they are highly original thinkers. For example, they never would steal someone else's well-proven idea. I mean, this airplane has NO resemblance at ALL to any existing airplanes!

Two Doozies In One Post

Naked Capitalism rang my bell twice tonight.

1) They had robosigners, sure. They also had people hired to forge signatures because ONE robosigner on your foreclosure team is just too slow!

2) They didn't just break the rules a little bit. They broke the rules a LOT when it comes to who holds a bunch of mortgages, and some lawyer may be getting rich soon on damages at least 3x the value of the properties treated this way

The post is a bit esoteric, but the main thrust is that the less-ethical banks in the mortgage business were in some cases REALLY unethical.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Reinforcing The Idea

The price of a house in America is on its way back to 1990s levels. This is a good thing, unless you "invest" in houses. I have said this before. My hunch is (arguably) backed up by the news that homes are selling at about the same volume as in 1996.

Review: Self-Adhesive Laminating Sheets STINK!

I asked my Darling Wife to pick up some laminating sheets so we could protect some of our homeschoolin' stuff. We have probably run a thousand sheets through hot laminating presses. She came home with some self-adhesive laminating sheets by mistake, but what the heck. It's something new, paid for, and solves a need Right Here Right Now, so I tried them out.

These things stink. The concept is bad, and I don't see any way to make the execution good.

You will get them crooked (fortunately these peeled off without damage)
You will get them crooked repeatedly for every sheet you protect
You will get air bubbles that are hard to press out
You may damage your papers trying to remove the laminating sheet
You may get creases and wrinkles, just trying to lay down the sheet
This stinks.
By the way, you get a chance to mess up every page TWICE because it takes two sheets to cover one page.

By way of contrast, consider a well-functioning hot press: You put a sheet into a laminating slip, and put them both into a paper folder. You load the folder into the press and the press makes it hot and smashes the sheet into a plastic-protected wonderful thing. You almost cannot mess up the hot laminating process.

If you have a couple of sheets to protect and don't have a hot laminating machine ($20 on eBay) then maybe try self-adhesive laminating sheets. Otherwise, avoid these like the plague and use a good hot laminating machine instead.

New York: Doing It Right

Islam has declared war on our civilization. Islam destroyed the World Trade Center towers and several thousand New Yorkers on 9/11/11. For some reason, we allow radical islam to continue to be preached in America.

New York is spying on the islamists in New York.


People Who Should Be Shot: One More

This time, for serious - the Goblin was killed DRT in the parking lot of the WalMart. Good. There is no controversy in this case as far as I am concerned. If I'm the COP this guy walks. If I'm the D.A. this guy walks. If I'm on the Grand Jury, this guy walks.

This is a justified homicide. I covered this topic (I thought rather well) in 2009 in a post titled It's More Than What It Is".

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

I Don't Understand It

. . . but then, I am finite, so . . .


I love my children. I am good to them. I treat them in ways that engender affection toward me in return. They love me back, because I loved them first and they know it.

We love him, because he first loved us. 1 John 4:19
You and I, compared to God, are less than the least. His goodness and wisdom are so far superior to ours that a comparison would be pointless. There is no reason we deserve to be loved by God - and yet He does love us. "...he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust." Matt. 5:45

God is better to us than we deserve, far better than a parent to his children. We ought to love Him back . . .

do you?

Galatians 6:2 - Not For Governments

Somebody started an internet discussion about socialized medicine and brought up this verse to try to support their cause. I had to remind them that the instruction is for individuals voluntarily acting out their own charity. It is not telling society at large that they should take money from some people at gunpoint and redistribute the wealth. Top-down socialism: NOT in the Bible, sorry.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Case of the Mondays

Everybody at work was tired today. No, there was no company drinking party after church last night. Just everybody was tired. I thought NP was mad at me for a minute, till I heard him yawning.


Sunday, August 21, 2011

Math Teachers Teach Math

For Day 37, they prepare Lesson 37 and teach it a few times. Maybe they teach Lesson 37 to the smart kids' class and rehash lesson 19 again for the dummy class, but it's all math (or breaks). Two, maybe three lessons, taught at* a few dozen children.

Home school teachers prepare math, language, history, science, Bible, and whatever else they teach, for each grade level, every day. This is day zero. A dozen lessons have to be prepared-for, for only two children. Tomorrow is the first day of school, and we'll be getting ready for it until the wee hours of tomorrow.

While you are waking up at 05:00 we will be asleep. Your children will be in school when ours wake up, and you will have done zero lesson/class preparation, just like every other school day. And they will be in school all day doing three hours of work.

Your kids' teacher will have done a bit of prep work too, for one subject. My kids' teacher does not get a pay check for her work, but yours does. Don't talk to me about how underpaid government school teachers are.

*yes, at, not to. Government schools in America do not require the students to learn material presented in their classrooms, only that they pass standardized tests.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

The Zoo Goes To the Circus

#4 must have his nap or the next day is . . . not good. I stayed behind. My Darling Wife took the Zoo and a girlfriend with her two children to the circus. #4 is awake now, roaring in to a plastic tube for the noises it makes, while #1, #2, and #3 are all out having their minds blown. Good times

Friday, August 19, 2011

Man With Gun At Local Park

Today, from 19:10hrs. to 20:30hrs., a man with a gun was seen riding a bicycle on local neighborhood streets, standing around at a city park, and then riding the bicycle again. The man was seen in close company with a woman and small children. No injuries were reported. No reports of shots fired were issued.

In related news, if it is legal to carry a concealed, loaded handgun in your car in Texas on the way to work, and you commute by bicycle, should you be able to carry on a bike? What about if you are going to the park with your children?

You might guess my answer.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Quote of the Day April, 2006

On seven cylinders with a rod sawing the block in half, it loses about 50 hp.

Click the link for an amusing (to gearheads) engine-death story. With lots of photos.

Can't We All Just Get Paid Along?

What the heck people. I was describing some of the stuff I overhear at the office, and a chick who works in state government said it sounded like her office.

SOME of us just want to go to work and work, and some people apparently thrive on political intrigues. Like I said before I don't do politics. I like to TALK politics (scroll down a few pages on this blog) but at work how about we all just put our noses to the grindstone and make money? How hard was that?

Here, I'll make a deal with the world: You do what is right for the business we are doing together and I'm on your side. Do drugs, steal, lie, and/or set the building on fire, and we have a problem. Otherwise leave me out of it.

Dumb Users Slow Good Users Down

I just wasted half an hour trying to look up how to change a setting in Windows. It is buried deep, very deep indeed. I found it in a Microsoft Knowledge Base article, which I found through another KB article. Half an hour after I started, I told the computer to turn off an idiot-proofing setting and then the setting I was going for magically appeared.

Windows 95/98 was too free: everyone could do anything
Windows 2000/Me failed and nobody used it
Windows XP was a huge step up but some stuff was put behind layers of precaution in non-obvious ways.
Windows Vista: see note for Windows 2000/Me
Windows 7: If all you want to do is use your programs it is beautiful. If you want to change an important setting, prepare to be digging for a while.

There isn't much useful they have done for me in the UI over the years, but systems settings have gotten more and more difficult to manage. This is because, if you put a little gray button labeled "Advanced" in a program, people who have no business clicking it will break their machines. To prevent the IT staffers being tied up solid, Microsoft has tried to protect the lowly user from himself . . . and made life more difficult for the rest of us!


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Not Today Boys

Not feeling it. Not even going to look at the headlines. Try again next time.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Racist Jokes are Good for Society

Tonight we were at a little boy's birthday party. They had Ritz crackers and chicken salad to spread on the crackers, pretzels, and a two-cookies-thick cookie cake. Rather light on sustenance for a Mexican get together but this is a white-as-rice family and the lack of enough food to get full off of is not unusual. Still, people gotta eat.

I was at the bar loading down a Ritz with some chicken salad, with my arm extended about shoulder-high manipulating the salad serving spoon. A lady (who like me was at the party mostly as a child delivery mechanism) came to get some food. This is a black lady who is a friend of my family's. The room was loud and she quietly said something about getting some crackers as she reached under my arm to the cracker plate.

Lady: (mumble mumble) crackers...
VFD: What did you call me?
Lady: LOL No yew di'int!

And right there I reminded both of us that we are "fed with the same food" and "if you prick us, do we not bleed?"

When you get a chance to make people laugh at the obvious non-differences between the "races" of men, you further the cause of world peace. For the sake of humanity, make (well-meaning) racist jokes!


But carefully choose your audience. I almost got stomped flat for calling BBM "boy" before he got to know me.

What is it like Getting a Dental Crown? A First-Hand Perspective

I need two crowns, and this is what it's been like to get them. I just had two root canals. It was surprisingly not that bad. Now there is a requirement to make sure I don't need two more, and two more after that. After a root canal filling, you pretty much need a crown.

"As soon as possible" after getting the root canals filled, you set up an appointment with your regular dentist to get started on your crowns. The temporary filling is good for a few weeks, maybe a couple of months if you are gentle on it. Eventually that filling will degrade and your tooth will be break and you might get infected again, but this time your insurance will already be maxed-out, and you will only want to pay for an extraction. Then you're down a tooth until you want to fork out WAY more money for an implant or a bridge. Yes, implants cost more than crowns, by a heckuva lot.

So I called my dentist's office and set up an appointment. I showed up early and was seen very late. The start of the appointment was the start of a(nother) conversation between my dentist and my endodontist. They worked together behind the scenes, developing a plan of treatment . . . while I was cooling my jets in the waiting room. Eventually I was led to a first for me: a dental operating room with an actual full set of walls and a door! Security win!

I had been worried that the root canal fillings could fail, and that I would have a $5,000 pair of teeth I could show you in my desk drawer. They said the main concern is structural: you have a hollow shell of what used to be a strong tooth. To chew on it is to risk breaking the tooth, and that means more $$$ out of pocket. The part I was worried about is re-infecting the tooth. They said the x-rays looked great and the teeth were sealed, pretty much infection-proof. If an infection were to flare up, it would just be in the soft tissue which is less of a problem in my mind. This set me greatly at ease about the money I was about to spend on my shiny new crowns.

I had a talk with the doctor about what was preferred, what is practical, and what would be done that day. We agreed on a game plan and she called up the billing lady to show me just how deep I would be going "out of pocket" for this round. The dental assistant gave me some topical anaesthetic between my tooth (#3) and my cheek, and put a gauze pad in on top of the (minty!) gel to keep me from rinsing the stuff away while I got numb. The doctor came in and gave me one shot with a much smaller, less-painful (but still slightly ouchy) needle than the endodontist used. After a few minutes, she gave me another one because I am hard to make numb in my mouth. I got some sunglasses to keep flying bits of nasty out of my eyes.

They went to put in a rubber dental dam and the clamp wouldn't hold. The doctor went to start working and I stopped her because I could feel it slip. She put a different clamp ("more of a 3 than a 7") and it worked better. Out came The Drill. I could feel the drill when it was hitting tooth, distinct from the feeling of the drill working on the temporary filling.She ground out all the temporary filling material and realized that there isn't much tooth left. She called out for a "red" sized post and the drill to go with it. She started drilling and it was weird. The tooth was numb, but it still transmitted vibration to the jaw, which was not. As she was removing the filling and drilling for the post's anchor, it was shaky. The drill for the post was out of round or something and seemed to be vibrating a lot (shaking my head) more than usual. The doctor thought so also, and she threw the bit in the trash and got a different drill bit. She said later she had to drill down a centimeter, into the roots, to place the post properly. She jammed the post in my tooth.

The assistant whipped up some sort of adhesive, and they spooged it into my tooth around the post. I was left with the barrier dam in my mouth waiting for the stuff to cure for a few minutes. They packed some more filling buildup stuff into the tooth.

My x-ray showed the tooth next door was decayed from being in contact with a decaying tooth. There will never be a better time to work on a tooth than when the next door neighbor teeth are gone, so we did a little side job. They explained to me that, if left to get worse, I would need another root canal filling on #2 eventually, but there is a problem: #2 has a curved root. Cut the | off a capital letter D and that is the shape of the root right by this decayed part. It would be impossible to clean out all the way, so that's an extraction with an implant, or a missing tooth where I would like to be chewing. Not good. Filling time: just a few minutes. The shots I had were actually for this. #3 is dead as a doornail and wouldn't feel the drilling anyhow, but #2 would be killing me as she drilled it out. So she pre-numbed it, drilled it out, filled it, and moved on with the crown procedure.

They pulled out the dam, and then I bit into a blob of silly putty. At least, that is what it felt like. They make a mold of your tooth, so they can make a mold in which to cast your crown. The mold they make of your tooth starts out as a thick gel, about like soft silly putty, on a little plastic tray/sheet with a handle that sticks out of your mouth. You bite down and wait a few minutes while it sets up, then they pry your mouth open off the mold, and take it out.

There was so little tooth left to work with, they had to make some room around it. In the old days, this involved a knife. They broke out a LASER and gave me some pink LASER safety goggles instead of the sunglasses, and went to town. The doctor ended up removing what seemed like a lot of gingiva, but she was okay with it so I was okay with it. In actual use the LASER sounded like a TASER going off in my mouth. Tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick, and the doctor was moving the wand (the size of a fat pen, with a cord attached) all around the tooth. The ticking, I think, was my flesh turning to vapor (a normal part of LASER ablation surgery). It didn't smell, and it was cauterizing as it went, so it didn't bleed. That's pretty nice, considering what was going on at the time. When there was enough exposed dental margin, she cleaned it up to receive the temporary crown.

They took one more mold, to send off to the lab which will make the permanent, porcelain crown. It was, once again, like biting into soft silly putty, but this time I had to hold tight and not move my mouth. Getting this wrong is an expensive step, because they'd have to make a whole new crown if you mess up this mold. They pried the stuff out of my moustaches, pried my lips apart, and then the doctor helped me open my mouth. She trimmed the excess plastic off the sides of the mold and sent the mold off to the crown makers' lab.

Then it seemed like she was doing a magic show, they were moving so fast. All of a sudden, POP out of a mold comes a blob of yellow/white plastic. That was the temporary crown. The doctor trimmed it with hand tools, explained what was going to happen, and slapped the crown in place with some temporary cement. I said it felt big. She said wait while it cures. We went through a few rounds of bite-down-and-grind-on-the-marking-paper, trim the crown, and repeat. In a few minutes I had what felt like a workable occlusion and we called it a job.

The doctor said the gums would feel like they had a coffee scald, and she was right. Ibuprofen took the edge right off that, and a couple days later it is once again the case that I have to remind myself to take ibuprofen to help it heal faster, because it doesn't hurt. She said to give it a day, then stop chewing on the other side (#20) to avoid breaking the tooth (the temporary filling, she said, would likely be okay for a few more weeks). Set up an appointment to come back and have the permanent crown fitted. Pay the lady many many dollars. Go home.

Annoying: I spent a long time waiting for stuff to start, cure, set, or be done. This was a two hour office visit with about half the time spent in the chair. They did at least keep sucking the pooled spit out of the back of my mouth from behind the dam.

Cost: $1400+ Update! $1500 split into two lowlow payments. Insurance is maxed-out, so this is pretty much straight off the top of my checking account. If I had only one root canal to cover with a crown, this would not be a problem, but I had to have two to change my mind about something.

Scary parts: None, really, after having two root canals. The laser was new to me but it didn't hurt OR stink, so no big deal. The needle was smaller this time. Yes, they still used the zeeeeeeeee drill but honestly I'm getting used to it after hearing it so much lately.

Pain: Yes, this time. They burned off a good bit of gums, and it stung when the shots wore off. Chewing is uncomfortable when ibuprofen wears off, even several days later. It STILL feels better than before I went in to be seen the first time, by quite a lot.

I am a little worried about occlusion with the permanent filling, but I'll be sure to be a pest until they get it right.

Update September 12: The peramanent crown is temporarily fitted. This visit was VERY brief. There were a few minutes in the waiting room, a few minutes of talking, and a few minutes of work. I spent more time in the driver's seat of the Hot Rod getting there and back, than in the dentist's chair.

The dental assistant was new and worried she was going to induce some discomfort. She says she has to squeeze the temporary crown a bit to break the seal, and twist to get it off. Then there will be some scraping to get the temporary adhesive all off the tooth. I told her it was root canal-filled already and not to sweat it but just go ahead. She did. Removing the acrylic temporary crown took about 3 seconds. I didn't feel anything, but the tooth is insensate due to the root canal work. She scraped off a little adhesive. She showed me the permanent crown (looks like the top of a regular tooth) and at my request compared the temporary and the permanent side by side as we waited for the doctor.

The doctor came in and there was some more chit-chat about my teeth and my (lack of) insurance. She had a look in my mouth and made several "mm-hmm." noises to herself. A little more scraping on a tooth with no feeling, then she popped the crown in. This was the part I had been more worried about. I mean, it's PORCELAIN - if they get it wrong, how are you going to fix the shape for proper occlusion? Well, this ain't your grandma's statuary porcelain. It's got quartz and some aluminum alloy whatnot in there and you can shape it and polish it with no trouble at all.

The thing didn't fit. HORRIBLE occlusion. Marking paper, bite/grind. Then (and this surprised me) she popped the crown out again and drilled it while she held my (new, fake) tooth in her hand! Press it back on the tooth and tap/tap/bite more marking paper. Still no good, remove tooth, adjust with a hand drill, replace tooth. I was ready to accept this occlusion but she didn't like the expression on my face. She pulled it again, talking about this one tiny little spot she had in mind ("one little bull's eye right in the center") and gave it a touch with the drill. Crown back in. Bite-bite. It felt like there was nothing unusual there. Like teeth. Like it fits as it should. The assistant whipped up some temporary glue and the tooth was glued together. Done. Time for more talking.

We had a discussion about the shape of the tooth vs. the shape of the gums by this tooth. There is a little gap where the gums were shot away with her LASER, and she mentioned for the first time that she had to remove some BONE with the light! Holy wow and I didn't feel a thing, with only two shots of pain killer! Well, the gums will grow back v.e.r.y. s.l.o.w.l.y. and they won't take the natural shape they used to have. Food might want to get stuck beside the tooth. She decided to let me test-drive the new tooth and see if I can tolerate the way it interacts with food. If necessary they can ADD to the crown to make it stop collecting stuff in the space between the crown and the tooth next door.

Pay the lady many many money up at the front desk. Same after-care instructions as before. Set up an appointment to get started on the next crown (#20) in a week from now and possibly a permanent seating of the permanent porcelain for #3, or a re-seating of the temporary (plastic) crown while #3 is sent off for adjustment.

Pain: none. Seriously, it didn't hurt and it doesn't hurt. They were wiggling heck out of my tooth, so the gum is a little less pain-free than before they went in there today, but it doesn't hurt by any stretch of the imagination. 1000% better than before, when I had an infected tooth. There is a little gap around the margin of the new crown. I'm not sure what to think about that but I'll talk to the dentist about it next time.

Cost: the second of two payments of $750. Straight out of pocket. Ouch.

Scary bits: none, unless you're dentist-phobic.

Bonus: another operating suite with four walls and a door. I really really don't like the idea of being laid out with people working on my head and no walls around us. Sure it's a low-risk environment, but so what?

The plan: Try the tooth for a week. Maybe have it seated permanently, then on to drill/post/fill/temporary crown for tooth #3.

Update September 20th: The second crown was prepared-for today (build-up & post, acrylic cap on #20). I went in for a 2-hour appointment and spent almost exactly 2 hours in the chair.

The first order of business was more minty gel to numb the gums by #20. There was some discussion about what would happen and we looked at my x-rays on the computer which remains an amazing thing to be able to do. Once again I remembered too late that I forgot to take ibuprofen before going to the dentist but they dispensed some as I was checking out so that worked out. The doctor came in and had a look, ordered an x-ray, and answered a question. The temporarily-attached permanent crown has a dark line visible inside the mouth and there's a little seam around the edge of the crown. The line is the metal margin and the seam is acceptable, normal transition between crown and tooth. She called it good after feeling with a fingertip and scratching with a probe. Then she started giving shots. The stuff they injected in my jaw squirted out a little around the needle and it tastes BAD . . . but after the shots were administered, they rinsed out my whole mouth and sucked it all out so it only tasted funky for a minute.

This tooth (lower left bicuspid, #20) is almost touching its mate on the top jaw. The crown can be pretty thin. A porcelain crown made this thin will break sooner rather than later, but a gold crown will cost more. A porcelain crown also needs about 3mm of margin to be exposed but gold only needs maybe half of that and the root canal doc cut the tooth down pretty short. Gold is the material of choice for this tooth. I asked about getting zapped from one tooth to another (galvanic potential) and she said with the other nearby fillings as they are I probably will not have a problem with the 'chewing on tin foil' effect. The bigger problem is that gold is not tooth-colored. She decided to use a "noble" white gold alloy because it is (in her professional opinion, in her words) "less bling-y".

An impression was made to help make the temporary crown. This was, once again, rather like biting into soft silly putty. Again, I had to laugh as I was sitting there with a mouth full of silly putty. It tastes like Tums.

They went to place a dental dam and the doctor had the good idea of asking if the clamp on my tooth was bothersome. It was, a little, then it was a little more and I figured it would only get worse, so I spoke up. She gave me a couple more shots in the gum which gave a little pinch each, so it is a good thing I got them. If it hadn't hurt to get the shots I would have felt a little silly, but it was obvious that (as usual) I was going to take more drugs to get numbed-up. So, more shots and then they positioned the dam the way the doc wanted it to be.

The preferred practice is to remove about half the root canal filling, to make room for the post that will be holding the crown in place. This removal was done with a regular dental drill with water spray and suction. At one point my lip was sucked into the suction tube because the assistant was distracted watching what was going on. I made a face and she apologized for it . . . but I had made the face because of the noise it made! I thought she had grabbed the dam or something, but as I was currently under the knife I couldn't clear up the confusion. Oh well, no harm done. They cleared out the temporary filling and went to do something on the instrument tray. The drill bit hit the floor.

Anything below the height of the work surface in an American operating room is "dirty" so a new drill bit was produced and work continued. They drilled the hole for the core with their second-smallest (yellow?) drill bit, and put a titanium pin ("post") in the tooth. The glue wanted to push the post out of its hole, so the doctor grabbed my jaw on one side and the post in my tooth on the other side and squeezed my jaw. I could feel the bounce/give as the post pushed on the rubbery root canal filling material. It was wierd but didn't hurt and the jaw-grab only lasted a moment while the glue set up. Then she went to take out a little bit of temporary filling stuff she didn't like seeing in there, using a pick. When she realized how deep the tooth was carved away, she broke out the drill again. The post she placed was apparently a little long, so the doctor said not to worry if I saw any SPARKS coming out of my mouth; it's just that titanium does that when you grind on it . . .

The tooth was filled in stages (like #3 was), with brief use of an ultraviolet curing light between layers of filling stuff. The LASER came out again. It was a different light this time - no safety goggles were used by the professionals but I had some UV shielding goggles on already. Good thing I did because I got a mini-shower from the cooling water when they were zapping my gums into me-smoke with the LASER. It didn't stink or hurt. A few bits of cotton packing were placed around my mouth and they took a final impression to send to the lab to fabricate the permanent crown. There is a concern that the gingiva was seeping too much for a good impression to be taken, but that's not a big deal because another one can be made when I go back (AGAIN) in a week and a half.

They brought out the temporary crown and the doctor shaped it a little with the drill while she held it in her hand. She got it pretty close by guesswork; it required one adjustment once it was placed but then it was good. She started using a probe to clean out the excess adhesive, and I started wincing. The anaesthesia were wearing off and I could feel her poking me a little. It felt about as zingy as getting shots with a very fine needle, not too terrible. She noticed my discomfort and started working noticeably faster, which was nice.

A bit of Vitamin E gel was spread on my gums. There was a bit of after-care instruction lecture, a bit of pulling impression-making rubber off my lips, a bit of $1400 on the credit card, and I was off back to work. I was officially excused from brushing or flossing behind #20 for a day because of all the gums they zapped off, and I had to get another $8 bottle of medicated antiseptic mouth rinse to use for a week.

Pain: not so much, but I've got some ibuprofen because I am pretty sure my gums would be hurting if I let it wear off

Scary parts: it's all pretty mundane by this point. It was a little freaky feeling the pokes from her cleaning probe right at the end there.

Cost: another $1400 gone, but with a hundred bucks off because I paid all at once. They also gave me a break on the price difference between gold and porcelain because they know I'm strapped for cash and the doctor is interested in getting the best result vs. highest profits.

Last visit, they wanted me to take home a special little brush to clean out the holes around my new "teeth." I forgot it at their office. Once again this visit, I forgot to take my little bitty hole-in-your-gums toothbrush home with me.

The plan: Go in another week and a half and see what's up. Possibly seat the permanent gold crown on #20 or possibly take another impression. Possibly permanently seat the permanent crown on #3 or maybe have it sent back to the lab for adjustment. We're waiting to see what the gums do to close up the gaps. It does collect food but it cleans out easily.

Yet another visit: I went in and I wasn't sure what was up. Nothing much, but they broke my tooth.

The gums were seeping too much, and the final impression for the crown for #20 was not acceptable. The idea was to pop off the temporary acrylic crown, take an impression, and pop the temporary back on. In actual practice, this meant the dental assistant was cranking REALLY hard with a forceps on my temporary crown. She was pulling so much she was hurting my gums; it felt like she was pulling the tooth out. She called the Dentist. The Dentist called for drugs.

I was relieved when she said they had never yet pulled a tooth while trying to pull a crown. Your gums would have to be in VERY bad shape for that to happen, apparently. Okay, but it still felt like she was pulling my tooth . . . but . . . As it turns out, they had used a little bit of permanent crown adhesive around the edge, just in case. That lead directly to this thing being VERY stuck in my mouth.

Minty numb gel. A couple of shots. Can you feel this? she says. Nope, go for it. Cool points for use of the billiards term "english" to describe the removal of a dental crown. Somewhere in there, the removal forces were too great and the plastic crown was chipped. When she finally got the thing off, the Dentist called the tooth "highly retentive." No kidding. They rinsed, dried, and took the impression. Strictly temporary glue this time, the temporary crown went back on. It had a little hole on one side, but no big deal. After the shots wore off, my mouth didn't hurt much, and the next day it was pretty much normal-feeling.

Update October 17: Permanent crown on, Temporary crown back on.

I went in first thing in the morning and signed in 15 minutes early. I had barely sat down when the lady called me back (THEY were early for the appointment!). I sat in the chair and had a chat with the dental assistant about what was in store. #20 to get the permanent (gold) crown permanently seated. #3 permanent crown to be checked, possibly sent out for adjustment while I wear the temporary again.

The dental assistant pried, poked, pulled, poked, and pried, and in a minute my "highly retentive" temporary crown on #20 was off. The gold replacement looks an awful lot like silver, but they tell me it's a white gold alloy. Okay fine, in it goes for a test-fit. Too big. Neighbor teeth too close together. It only went on half-way. She put a roll of cotton in to hold my mouth open without smashing the crown, and the doctor came in. The Dentist looked at the tooth, popped the crown out, shaved and polished the oversized gold, and test-fit it again. Better. Once more, and it fits good enough for her liking. Pop the crown out for a final polish.

Then it was time for #3. I said there was minimal food pack between the teeth, no big deal. The Doctor doesn't think there should be ANY food packing in between the teeth, so she wanted her lab to add material to the porcelain crown. The assistant went in and took about 5 seconds of prying and the crown popped right off.

Gluing the gold filling in place was quick. Pack some cotton by the gums to keep my cheek away, and blow the stub of my tooth totally dry with compressed air. "Stay open." Put a dab of glue, jam the crown on the tooth stub, insert a thick wad of cotton, and "Bite down hard and I'll be right back." My jaws got tired but I pretended to be a wolverine and held on. There was some concern that the bite wasn't quite right, so there was a double-checking on the crown on #20 but she didn't want to adjust it (remove material from the top) too much. It's easier to remove gold than to add it, especially in the mouth. Welding joke: what do you use to weld new material onto a gold filling? Goldenrod! (rimshot) More marking compound tap-tap/grind, and a minor polish of metal off the top of the replacement tooth. Rinse and suction out the gold dust (!).

The temporary crown was re-installed on #3 while the permanent is off to the shop for an adjustment. Apparently they can add material to ceramic crowns. Magic stuff, that. A dab of glue, push the crown in place, bite on more cotton for a minute, and we're done. The only part of this process that was painful was the finish-up. The assistant used picks and scrapers to nick off the excess adhesive from around the edges of the crowns. These crown margins are very near the gumline, so there was a moderate amount of stabbing my gums involved. Only slightly painful. They also used dental floss to get the chips of glue out from between the teeth, and this meant REALLY getting in there under the gumline. The adhesive they use to permanently install a crown is pretty irritating to the gums, so this is an important step. Note: when somebody else flosses your teeth, that is not a great experience 100% of the time.

A digital x-ray image was taken of #20 to verify the crown was on right. Followup care instructions were given and I was off. Just over an hour to seat both crowns. The cost was already paid before this visit so no bills were involved.

The gut feeling: When I was in the chair, I was a little apprehensive about the funky feeling I was getting from the gold filling. Something was hitting something, but it was hard to tell with my gums having been poked-at so recently. Now that the glue is setting up for real, it is moving less. I think the gold was flexing on the tooth or something, but that should stop or else I'll be back to ask what's up.

The plan: Nothing very hot or cold and no hard chewing for a day. There is one more visit to get the permanent porcelain crown on #3, and that SHOULD be it.

Pain: Not so much, but then again these teeth are root canal-filled so this is to be expected. If they were not filled, this part of the process would probably SUCK. When they removed the crowns, there was a sensation from the gums like someone was trying to pull my teeth out. If the tooth could feel it also . . . :(

Cost: No additional charges, I already paid the full fee for the crowning service.

Update October 18: I was right. The crown stopped moving when the glue fully cured. I went easy on it yesterday to give it a chance to set up without moving around too much. When the dentist was adjusting the bite, I think she thought I was saying I felt contact between the teeth, but it was the squashing-around of the margins of the crown, pushing against the nearby teeth. I had her shave it down until there was minimal contact but it still held the marking paper between the crown and the opposite tooth when she gave the paper a little tug. My uneducated guess says that if it doesn't get enough stress from a normal bite to flex the crown with wet glue, it will have minimal chewing stresses for the life of the appliance. That's good because I don't want to do this again any time soon!

When I open my mouth, you can see this shiny thing inside. When I smile, you can't see it. #20 is far enough back unless you are super self-conscious about your smile you can get gold on it.

Keep Your Friends Close

. . . and your potential liabilities closer. It is easier to keep an eye (and tight leash) on your potential whistleblowers when you promote them and move them back to the home base.

So it makes sense that three of the higher-level BATFE agents in charge of operation Fast & Furious in Mexico (who committed acts of war against Mexico on orders from higher in DOJ) would be promoted and sent to D.C. You see, they are not being insensitive to the feelings of the dead peoples' families, they are just in CYA mode. Nothing to be upset about at all

Monday, August 15, 2011

Actual Science, By Independents

At Watts Up With That we have an interesting thing: someone looking at data and drawing conclusions. No university tenure or grants seem to be involved.

One could only wish this sort of thing were more commonplace.

In this case, we find a hypothesis coming out of the data that clouds and storms regulate the temperature of the world's oceans. If you are not a believer in AGW as preached by the radical leftists of the world, this might make sense.

Skin Is Amazing

. . . and shows how smart God is.

Today at work I was moving something around and slid my hand over a sharp spot. It stung and I was sure I would look down and see at least a scratch if not blood.

Nothing. Not even a pink line. Tell me, if you were creating a new organism from scratch and nothing like it had been made before, you would have done this. Cover the entire exterior with a tough, flexible, self-healing membrane that lets waste out and keeps the good juices in. Just wow, God. Good work; you nailed it first try.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

No Severability Clause In Obamacare? Wow.

Talk about a rookie mistake. But then, what do you expect from this lot? Maybe if they had let us see the bill -like they had promised to do- before passing it someone could have pointed this out.

I just read that Obamacare doesn't have a severability clause. Most laws with lots of different things in them have a part where it says "if one part of this is found to be an outrageous overstepping of our legal authority, the rubes in flyover country are still stuck with the rest, LOL!" Okay so that is a paraphrase but you get the idea. The 11th circuit said the individual mandate is unconstitutional.

With no severability clause in the law, that means the entire thing is unconstitutional. But the judges said the rest of it could still be enforced! What a mess. This is SO headed for the supreme Court. Be sure to pray for Obamacare to be struck down altogether, because it is altoghther bad.

World Trade Center Memorial Pools Plan SUCKS

Communitsts breaking our culture, that's who's to blame. A red-blooded Capitalist wants to send missiles to wherever the bastards were from, and then we build BIGGER towers where the first ones were, designed to withstand the same type of damage that brought down the first WTC.

Do you know what a sucking chest wound is? It's when you are shot in the chest and you try to breathe, but instead of drawing air through your throat you draw air through the sides of your body, but not in a way that means you are breathing. It means unless a doctor sees you and fast, you are dead right there.

In the ground in New York City, on a super-premium piece of real estate, there are a pair of sucking chest wounds on our nation. The intention apparently is to leave them untreated. Unless we do something between now and next November the patient will die.

Instead of letting the place be a monument to the triumph of the West over Islam, they are leaving it empty. In fact, it is a perpetual pool of crying-in-my-beer because boo-hoo poor me I got poked in the eye. You know what would have been fitting? Bigass twin towers rebuilt, and in a courtyard between them an iron fist smashing down on a broken crescent. THAT would be appropriate. This is not. And it's not even art, it is just meaningless form.


Now as for the design of the memorial itself, I can understand it. It is actually not horrible to look at, and looks moderately-easy (if expensive) to maintain. Unlike the one in Pennsylvania which is literally* designed as a mosque, with special glory given to the hijackers on the plane forced down by passengers who refused to be dominated by islam.

*.pdf file

T-Paw Gives Up.

In the photos in this article the Wife looks happy. Gov. Pawlenty himself looks like John Kerry minus forty years. Really Tim, Botox at your age?

Anyway, he's out. Good news for the country, because now you Pawlenty supporters can throw your efforts to the Cain Campaign!

Or something. Anyway, one less less-great candidate gone, so good.

If you do click through, the Yahoo! people stink at headline writing, so please excuse the article titles you will find, including one about two people "flocking" somewhere.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Celtrixa Stretch Mark Cream: Scam!

Wow. My Darling Wife said to look this stuff up and this page was the first one I found. Go read a few of those reviews. If you love having your credit card fraudulently billed and horrible customer service, go ahead and order the "free" trial . . . if you have $180 to spare. Otherwise, you might want to skip it.

VFD, Environmental Criminal

My neighbor on one side (house built on top of a spring) had to have their new kitchen floor torn up a bit so the foundation people could prevent the kitchen from collapsing into the ground. My neighbor on the other side says his foundation guy said his house will just keep sinking as long as the weather is bone-dry for years on end.

The gaps in the ground around our home are no-kidding big enough you can reach under the foundation in places. All the way round there is 2-4" of clearance between the ground and the sides of the slab. That's what happens when you build on clay in a normal year and then have record droughts for a few years. The other day I noticed that our gas meter is at a crazy angle, and that was the final straw.

Bless me algore for I have acted in my own self-interest. Today we bought a couple hundred feet of soaker hose and made a loop around the house. The hose bib was turned on and left on. We'll see what the water bill looks like, but I took some before photos and we'll also see what the clay looks like after a while.

VFD, You're in an extreme DROUGHT! WTH don't you want to conserve water?!

Blah, blah, blah. Our grass is brown where it's not missing, that's how often we water the lawn. You go tell my neighbor across the street with a green carpet-lawn about water conservation, and then tell the ones down the road to stop taking 150-gallon baths, then we'll talk. This soaker hose is possibly saving me a $30,000 repair bill. That, and it's recharging the aquifer, government style! (take a little off the top and send the resource right back where it came from)


Update: my Darling Wife just locked the back door. This morning #1 couldn't work the mechanism to let the dawgs outside. Tonight, she says the deadbolt throws without any effort. I take this as a sign of progress.

Friday, August 12, 2011

IT. PundIT.

The word is pundit. The word is not pundint. If you mean pundit but you say pundint, you sound like a dumb [delted] that is not qualified to be talking about politics OR pundints. No, it is not an acceptable regional colloquialism, it is WRONG. There is only one "N" in "pundit."

Get it right. Please.

Scientists Cure The Common Cold. Still no Cure for Common Co . . . oh, wait.

Bacteria are easy to kill with broad-spectrum drugs. Virii, not so much. Not until the super-geniuses at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology came up with a drug that programs your body to destroy cells that have been infected with a virus.

ANY virus.

Frikken amazing. Infinity-spectrum antiviral drug. You don't need any viral infections, pretty much ever. This could deal with them all. Thanks Jesus, Wow, and Faster, please tags apply all at once!

Rick Perry Sucks

...all the air out of the room. The other Republicrat candidates had a "debate" last night, and everyone is talking about Perry running for president.
Sorry, did the title fool you? You wanted to know what I think of Governor Perry? I strongly prefer Citizen Herman Cain to King Perry, but I would prefer Perry over the incumbent President Obama any day.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Rough Men Stand Ready

. . . to be rounded up by Federal law enforcement agents on account of being generally suspicious?

FBI wants surplus dealers to take ID from people who buy surplus. Bonus maybe-terrorist points for customers who pay cash.

Okay, So Maybe I CAN Take A Hint.

I want to be a COP. I've put in probably at least a man-week or two on paperwork, hours and hours and hours of physical training, and I hate both paperwork and PT. But I want the job, so . . . .

Two years ago I started getting a funny feeling. Less than a yearanahalf ago I went for a ride-along. Last fall I filled out the paperwork for applying to the local Metropolis' police academy. 50+ pages to fill out, with lots of chasing down obscure details about my own life. I went to turn in the application and they didn't want it at first. They had stopped allowing people to download the application a DAY after I downloaded mine. If I had not been really hot on the case they would have turned me away immediately; but I had filled it out in something like record time (2 weeks) and that showed motivation. They had 40% more applicants than they wanted so what would one more hurt? I was barely going to squeak in under the wire.

Then at work I did something I have done lots and lots of times. I jumped off a shelf to the floor. Not even from head height. All my little piggies but one got the message to pull up out of the dive, and I broke a toe. It's tough to take a physical readiness test with a broken toe. So I left my transcripts with the recruiters and waited.

This year came and a new academy class started without me. Then I caught wind that they were going to take applications again. I downloaded the new form and filled out 50+ pages again. The radio news said there was a line around the building on the first day of accepting applications. The recruiters said on the phone they were still taking applications, but to hurry. Instead of months like last year, they held the application period open for 14 days, and I got there on the last day. They barely took the application - but they did take it.

I make little enough money for someone with four children, but it (barely) pays the bills. The Police Academy is eight months long and it does NOT pay as much as my current job. My Darling Wife was supportive as we went through the books. It would cost us $3,000 for me to be a Cadet, and then an automatic raise would kick in and we would be okay again. That $3,000 was in the bank, and I could only be a Cadet because we had it to lose.

Then the garage door broke. And my car needed repairs. Okay, so we tighten the belt a little. Then the water softener went out. Tighter still on cash, but still on track for being okay to survive police academy's cadet pay. Then I turned up needing two root canal fillings and two crowns placed. Where's your $3,000 now, smart guy?

Last night at Church I was talking to a guy about what I might do "if the police thing doesn't work out."

That night, 59 days out from the admissions testing date, I got an e-mail from the recruiter saying if I didn't have a certain form already submitted, it needed to be submitted A.S.A.P. . . . and by the way, it usually takes 60 days to get this form back from Uncle. Somebody was supposed to let me know this form was necessary but it was the back-up email blast that let me know, and that was literally a day late. I began to think about the possibility of not making it into the police force. Up till then, I was thinking only of 1) getting in and starting a new career, or 2) getting in and not making it through to being hired on as a COP, and maybe going back to my current job.
False Dichotomy: (also called false dilemma, the either-or fallacy, fallacy of false choice, black and white thinking or the fallacy of exhaustive hypotheses) a type of logical fallacy that involves a situation in which only two alternatives are considered, when in fact there are additional options.
Sometimes the owners of my company buy things I would not have bought. When confronted about these purchases, they will reply with "well you have to take what you can get, man!" but there has been a small sanity injection lately. After years of argument, it seems they are starting to realize that you don't have to take what you can get. You can also leave it where you found it and wait for a better deal.

I was on the way to work this morning and thinking about not necessarily having to take what you can get, and about the idea of this possibly not being the right timing for me to be a Metropolis Police Academy Cadet. I was also thinking about how our nice little money cushion was drying up pretty convincingly, and how if I REALLY pushed for it, I could still probably get in to the Academy. We could come up with the cash somehow.

I was merging from the surface streets onto the highway, and I went to roll up my driver's side window as I was thinking of all this . . . and the window would not roll up. I said a bad word, but it did not help the window go up. I got to work and opened up my door instead of clocking-in. Little pieces of drive belt fell out. I was thinking, "Hey, we have a drawer inside labeled 'BELTS BELTS BELTS' I wonder if . . . " and not one but TWO brand-new, never-used belts also fell out of the door panel.

I have been inside this door before. I do not recall seeing spare belts inside.

God doesn't send my phone TXT MSGS but it seems like this might be an awfully-close next best thing. I can NOT afford $300 or whatever to fix my window, but I can change a belt if I have a spare. I can NOT afford to lose $3,000 while I go through training anymore, either . . . and I think maybe I ought not to try. First a broken toe, then a broken wallet, and maybe I can stop at 2 hints before my house catches fire or something.

I see more ride-outs with the local PD in my future, but otherwise I'm not sure what to expect.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Scientists Cure Cancer. Still No Cure For . . . Oh, Wait . . .

Yahoo reports initially promising results for leukemia treatment. Promising as in, using a patient's own immune system to kill all the cancer cells with "only" a solid year of total remission so far for 2/3 of the patients and one doing much better. One might say it looks promising.

Madness at Work!

Private Insano has progressed beyond barely speaking to me and occasionally acknowledging my presence to ignoring me altogether, to the extent of looking at the other side of the room while we walk toward each other passing in opposite directions. This is because his interpersonal skills are . . . well I won't say retarded, but I'm thinking it.
Anyhow, Listing Buddy was talking work related stuff with me as I squatted on the floor taking apart a robot this morning. PI came in and held open a small bag toward LB. The bag said "TACOS" on the side. I said "Fishy tacos?" and PI ignored me. LB looked in the bag and said "Hey, I'll take one!" I said "I'll take two! Oh wait, you didn't offer me any." PI ignored me.
The breakfast burritos were PI's awkward way of trying to apologize for being insane in an especially bothersome way yesterday. He had bothered two people in particular (leaving me altogether out of his mess, fortunately). An hour later, the other guy who had been brought a burrito turned down the food out of spite.

I ate it for him. It was yummy.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Things You Miss

Do you ever miss a sound?

Back when I was in training on Whidbey Island, There was a sound that made me feel right at home. Welcome, even, all warm and fuzzy inside. The sound of a an EA-6B Prowler bringing its engines up to speed. whooOOOOT! It lasts maybe a half-second, and I never hear it anywhere else, but somehow I miss it. I guess it is more likely than not that I will never hear it again, except maybe at airshows.

I love that sound. Oh well.

WTH Young People?

Now in Philidelphia, they are taking a hint from Londonners Wisconsonites and just beating random people?

Now hear this: if a flash mob develops around and tries to beat me, depending on what I am carrying, there will be at least six, to as many as several dozens of perforated people beaters DRT before I go out.

Carry your guns, people.

Or you could just leave Phildelphia, which has a bit of a crime problem anyway, unrelated to guns. Oh, if only someone could have predicted rioting and looting in the streets of Philidelphia . . . oh, wait.

Philly: one more place not to go.

Monday, August 8, 2011

You Know It's Bad When

You know it's bad when you know your way around the maze-like endodontist's office without asking directions, and they know you by name there.

You know it's bad when you have multiple days of major stock market indices at -5% in a week. Maybe my prediction from two years ago comes true?

Oh, Those Pesky Young People!

One TV station wouldn't report on the colors involved in yet another day of roaming bands of black people beating random white people leaving a State Fair in America. It would be racist, to report the actual news!

And from London I note a distinct lack of identity in the reported young people rioting in such numbers as to overwhelm local police . . . but they are sometimes reported as "ethnic minority" or even (gasp!) black.

WTH black people? Where are Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton? I wouldn't expect the President to decry such behaviour because his TelePrompTer hasn't told him about it yet, but at least prominent race baiters "black leadership" should stand up and say knock it off. Then again, one would have expected moderate muslim leadership to decry 9/11 and 7/7 but look how that went.

Poor. Just poor.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Ugly Tomorrow?

Asian stock markets are currently taking a(nother) pounding. Tomorrow morning will be interesting. I wonder if any dog-wagging news will come out to prevent US markets falling off a cliff?

Whose Idiot Idea Was That

My neighbor is going to take his citizenship test so he can become one of us. He has to go to San Antonio because there isn't a test in the Capitol of the second-largest state in the Union.

Good job, Uncle.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Arctic Sea Ice Melt Dramatically Accelerating!


Just now, there is a fun thing happening: the sea ice is melting less quickly, so much it shows on the graphs. The same thing happened in 2002 . . . shortly afterward, the ice began melting more quickly by quite a lot, and then reverted to the trend. Expect this year's ice to measure approximately as much as all other recent years in the final analysis.

Good science reporting: makes for lousy headlines. "Now I'm No Expert But . . . " don't be surprised, if the melting speeds up, to see headlines about that, but not about this - and no mention that it's "all in the noise" anyway.

Pretty graphs at Watts Up With That

Quote of the Day 08/06/2011

" spite of all the misguided huffing and puffing of numerous analysts, it is China who fears not buying US debt. Otherwise, they would not buy it!" -Michael Shedlock

If you are concerned that the US Dollar will lose its position as the prominent world reserve currency, you are either a) a dummkopf, or b) not reading Michael Shedlock's Global Economic Analysis blog.

The Chinese buy US government bonds because they (practically) have to. This is a natural function of international trade the way Americans like to trade these days. Do not sweat this problem.

Forgot About the Mold :(

I felt tired all day and toward the evening I wanted to just lie down and lie down. And that was AFTER taking a nap. I had a hunch and: sure 'nuff, medium levels of mold. +1 pseudoephedrine and I'm back up to 100%. I just wish I had thought of it in time to be more fun with the Zoo today.

If they ever ban sudafed, I'm going to have to get professional treatment or relocate to El Paso or something.

Stupid Old Foam!

I had JUST washed my microfiber cloth, and I cleaned up some lenses with it. Perfect. Then I had a visit from the Good Idea fairy and decided to take a swipe inside an ancient Canon A-1 body. You know, the one where the foam gets old and disintegrates over time? And you know how that old nasty foam is sticky and goopy and hard to get off your fingers?

THAT stuff came off into my microfiber. Then I tried to clean my glasses with the cloth.


Friday, August 5, 2011

Okay, You Convinced Me

Stray coyote: no need
Small pack of dogs: no need
Large pack of racist Goblins: need

Prior to reading this I could only give mental assent to the fact that there are possibly circumstances where you might really really really be glad to have oh, say, 50 or so bullets handy. Now I'm on board and if I had the money to spare, I'd be sparing it for (more) magazines.

Yes, Virginia, there really is a need for regular citizens to carry multiple, high-capacity magazines for their firearms.

S&P Downgrades US, Administration Blames Wrong Thing

S&P says: USA down to AA+ from AAA. Hardly earth-shattering. Hardly a surprise. They warned it would happen if we didn't set a plan in order to get deficit spending under control. We set a plan in order to spend almost exactly as much borrowed money as we were already on track to do, and they downgraded us.

The tools in D.C. said that S&P got the deficit numbers wrong by $2T, and aren't they all just a bunch of doody-heads anyway?

Well at least the economy is in recover and we'll be able to grow our way out of this pretty quickly

...oh, wait.

I Did It!

I actually conserved electricity on purpose today.

Yesterday the radio news said the local electrical generation stations were cranked up to 100% of capacity and they barely avoided rolling brownouts. Today they thought we might not avoid brownouts, so would everyone please conserve energy between 15:00 and 19:00? And I did.

Because rolling brownouts when you want A/C STINKS.

Self-interest: more powerful motivation than economics or the greater good.

If the Obama administration had their way, we'd have been in rolling BLACKouts for days already, and next year we just might be, thanks to EPA regulations coming soon to Texas

. . . because Texas hates Obama and the feeling is mutual.

hat tip: Instapundit

Thursday, August 4, 2011

No, It's Not So Hot

Borepatch reminds us there are worse things than walking from your air-conditioned car to your air-conditioned home in shorts and a t-shirt in 106º heat . . . for instance, wearing a pair of tall boots, a pair of long pants, an undershirt, a long-sleeve shirt, a 40lbs vest, 60lbs of gear and humping 10lbs of rifle, while running at full-speed in the middle of a firefight, in 122º heat.

Next time you see somebody in uniform, thank them for their service. They earned it.

Cash. I Want Cash.

I am considering talking to my investment firm and asking if they will just park my money in cash. Invest in NOTHING. Because I think today could be a sign of things to come. I've invested in bond funds though, and high quality ones at that (according to me, not according to the "unexpectedly" economist crowd).

If you have any money invested in stock market index funds, two days ago (before the debt deal/business as usual plan passed) was the time to pull out. Do not pass go, do not lose another $200. If I were invested in stocks I would be getting out in approximately right now or sooner.

Tomorrow may see a rise especially early on, or it may slide sideways. It would also not surprise me to see it fall off a cliff again, after an initial bump. So . . . good luck with that.

Radiant Barrier: Helps.

This weekend I went up with a brother from church and put a couple hundred additional square feet of radiant barrier in my attic. The easy bits were done already. All that remains to cover are the Very Hard Parts. This Saturday was the Hard Part. I have



felt claustrophobia. EVER. This weekend I had to chill myself out when I was trying to insulate a particularly awkward spot. I couldn't really move well, without falling through my ceiling. I was supporting myself on the 2x4 rafters, in a space barely higher than my shoulders are wide, and rebreathing my own stale air. This was Very Bad, and if I didn't have the presence of mind (thanks God I did have) to realize nobody would be able to come rescue me, I would have just freaked right the heck out and panicked.

The next day, my Darling Wife said the house was cooler than it would normally be. EVERY little bit helps. This afternoon, the air conditioner was only able to hold 77º when the thermostat said it was 105º outside. For those who don't know, that is something like a theoretical maximum effectiveness for regular air conditioners. And we have single-pane windows, 4" of attic insulation at best, and the walls are not well insulated.

After we were done, my helping buddy asked where to get the stuff he had been working with, as he was thinking of doing his own attic (something tells me a favor might be called in...). I showed him how the price at is less than half what I could find at the big box home improvement stores. The quality of the product from atticfoil speaks for itself.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch Airport

There are thousands of FAA employees sitting at home, jobless, because their agency has not had its funding reauthorized.

There are hundreds of construction projects now on hold, and those workers are ALSO not getting paid and contributing to the economy

Congress is off for 5 weeks' vacation.

Congresscritters say they are for job creation, but when they could, with ONE bill, literally get thousands of people back to work - they go on vacation?

The 2012 elections will tell us quite a lot about our national character.

Too Hot To Think

Humidity High
Temperatures in 107F territory (in the shade)
Even inside in the A/C the effect lingers

Not good. Praying for cooler temps.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Quote of the Day 08/02/2011

"Coming from an administration of proven international gunrunners, should we take that as a professional opinion?" -Mike Vanderboegh

We're all terrorists now, eh.

Yes, this is "just" foot-in-mouth Joe Biden. Unfortunately, he got sewed into President Obama's coat tails as assassination insurance, and the guy calling YOU a terrorist is also the Vice President of the United States.

Sorry 'Bout That

My infected-disgusting-tooth antibiotics give me gas sometimes. If you are the new employee where I work who was surprised by the volume of my wind-breaking, welcome to the company.

Filters Up!

It is good to have a mental filter to prevent you saying things you ought not to say. Tonight I wanted the older children hurried up because it was pushing 22:00, I was tired, and they were still doing Bedtime Business. I was giving #4 his bottle and said to my Darling Wife:

"Go put a boot up th-" and stopped, then continued "Go tell the kids to hurry up, please."

If you never served in the military, you will have missed it, but those who served will be chuckling.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Next On The Hit Parade:

France setting itself up for default. Do remember to look surprised.

Don't Be Buffaloed

The double-dip in the current Depression is coming. The press will try to pin the tail on the elephant just in time for the 2012 election, but remember: the economy was tanking already in 2011. The deficit "crisis" was a circus sideshow and all the long-term players knew we would never default or fail to boost the debt ceiling in SOME kind of a deal, even if it's not the current no-cuts* 'compromise' under consideration.

Q1 2011 was revised downward to GDP +0.4% growth. Q2 was initially called at GDP +1.3% but this is certain to be revised down also. China is widely claimed to need 8% growth in order to stave off an effective recession. How much growth does the USA need?

More than this.

*No, no cuts. They are [deleted]ing and moaning about cuts to projected increases. See, you thought cut meant spend less but you are a rube in flyover country. Cuts in D.C. mean spend less than you wanted to, but more than last year by a lot. This compromise has THAT kind of spending cuts. Note that just holding to current spending levels balances the budget in seven years - but this is not a topic for polite conversation, so you did not hear it from me!

Wow, That's Dirty

I use an optical trackball at work, and I work in a dusty, dusty place. It is an optical trackball, so dust is usually not a problem. Today, the cursor was not responding properly. I pulled the ball out of its cradle and there was a dust bunny BLOCKING the optical sensor. Knocked it out and kept on truckin'.