Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy As A Clam at High Altitude . . .

I have two helicopters. A Syma S109G and an S108G. They are -by far- the most-fun thing I can imagine at this price point. What is more, they absorb ridiculous amounts of crashing without apparent damage. But they will take damage and wear down eventually. The S109G was not able to lift itself, even after I straightened out the shafts and cleaned and lubricated the gearing. I thought the battery might be going downhill. The S108G was flying okay, but it wanted to turn left more than it used to do, and it sounded like it had a little gas motor inside, after it hit the refrigerator. Today I had some slack time* and decided to take a peek inside both planes.

The S109G was flying again, maybe a minute per charge. A kind soul at work donated a full set of replacement blades from his dog-eaten helicopter. The first set of blades was thoroughly chewed-up from repeated crashes. The lower main rotors lost lots of chunks (about 1/4 total length x 2mm) and it would still fly, but the upper rotors losing chunks was the end of the fun. New blades let it fly again, which was not entirely unexpected. But it wasn't flying amazingly well, or for long. I opened it up and measured the power going to the motors. These aircraft have two little motors and two little transistor switching circuits to drive the motors. I thought in all my tinkering I might have killed one of the FET switches. 4.2V DC at the motor terminals looked about right. But one motor wasn't turning strongly, if it turned at all which it did about 1/3 the time when I hit the collective. Dead motor. Boo. I left it in pieces and moved on to the S108G.

The S108G had lost a tooth on the gears when the rotors suddenly stopped under the fridge. That was the noise. I went to swap in a gear from the S109G and found the gears in the S108G are captive, held on by a pressed-in pin. Bummer. But the motors are the same, and it looks like each bird has the same two motors, a black top and a white top. They have the same motor output gears, spaced the same on the same-colored motors. I pulled the defunct white top motor from the S109G and traded it into the S108G. This involved fine-wire soldering and a delicate touch but it was done.

Sharky rides again!** I had forgotten how high-performing the S109G is. That fresh motor made it a whole new airplane, thank God. And now that I'm a better pilot I think this set of blades should last a bit longer. Now I just need to scratch together a couple of dollars for a set of gears, rob a motor from that other dog-eaten helo, and I should be back in the fun times-two!

Thanks God for making me clever enough to figure this stuff out.


*nap time for the babies. #4 ended up n0t-sleeping and I had #1 and #2 entertain him. This worked only marginally well but at least no 3mm long screws ended up in the carpet.

**The S109G has shark teeth on the front, and the children dubbed it "Sharky" as it chased them around the living room. The S108G Laser Mouth, with a very bright white LED under the nose.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Geeks Stay Up Later

This camera I'm thinking of buying seems to have a back focus problem. I ran one google search, and came up with a half-dozen links that add up to a small book. It's a good thing I read fast because this is a lot of stuff to absorb.

Like what?

Like this. This is pretty deep into the weeds for non-camera people, so don't feel like you're missing something if you get bored immediately.


I adjusted the focus on this camera body and committed to the purchase. Now I just have to come up with another couple hundred bucks to get a fast prime lens . . .

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Nothing. I Got Nothing.

I haven't been to bed before the next day at any time this week, I think, but my memory is fuzzy due to fatigue. Last night I went to bed just before two and #3 woke up 3 times between then and three thirty. I don't know what his problem was, but it might have involved Christmas lights in front of the window shining in through the double curtains and making the room bright as the dawn.

So once again nothing is as interesting as my own navel . . . I'm off to Mish's Global Economic Analysis blog and then Instapundit to check the news. Join me or not, I'm so tired I don't really mind either way . . . .

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Flesh Indeed Is Willing . . .

. . . but the budget is weak!

I have a chance to get a screaming deal on a camera outfit, something I have been wanting for quite a while. This is a decent used kit, for sale around 1/2 the street value. I took a couple of photos for my Darling Wife, and it was "camera ho-hum" time, but then I broke out a special filter that makes crossed highlights on all spots of brightness. I took one photo of our ceiling fan and she was sold right there.

Now I need to get off my duff and finally sell all the junk sitting around not being useful. Sometimes I wonder why I hold off on doing some things . . . not-selling this stuff is one of those things. It's money sitting there gathering dust in the garage, why not . . . oooooh I was waiting for this camera deal to come along. Alrighty then. The seller is a guy who "knows where I work" and he trusts me with a camera worth more than this on an occasional basis. I'm trying this one out. Oops!

I just realized I have broken a cardinal rule: never test-drive a nicer car than you can afford! Oh well. We'll make room in the budget for this one, I think. Score!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

You Are What You Do.

It does not matter what you think you are.
It does not matter what other persons think you are.
It does not matter what you say.
What matters is what happens. You are not what you say you are, what you think you are, or what others think of you.

You are what you do.

A random rich person with $8500 worth of camera and lens who cannot make a decent exposure is a novice. Ansel Adams with a 110 film disposable is a photographer.

A he/she hermaphrodite genetic freak of nature that goes to work in an accounting firm all day long and stays home at night, is an accountant. A standard-equipment male who crawls around the street fair in San Francisco with a whip handle stuck where the sun don't shine, sucking penii of random strangers without prophylaxis, is a queer.

A woman who pops out a child and then abuses/abandons it, is a Bad Person. A woman who takes said child in to her home without the obligation to do it, then feeds, shelters, nurses, and generally cares for it, is a Mother.


This couples hand-and-glove with the fact that you will do what is important to you. IF you do things which seem irrational, the seeming is false. You might not be acting on the basis of a healthy motivation, but when examined in the twisted illogic of your subconscious mind your actions will make sense.

You want things to be okay so you spend yourself deep into debt. You want to feel better about your body so you eat too much. You want to save energy so you install solar panels that take more energy to produce than they will ever make. The logic may be twisted so it takes a trained mind to follow, but it will have been there when the therapy bills are all paid and you are sane.


[deleted] no, I don't go to a therapist! I thought this up all by my lonesome and here it is spilled onto my computer screen so I don't have to burden my Darling Wife with such thoughts at an inconvenient moment. A therapist is not required: I'm a macho. When there is a problem I confront it to the face, deal with it, and leave it behind me. I have been accused of arrogance, rudeness, and a lack of political tact . . . I am also not one to be found stressing over old stuff or letting problems fester.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

The Good/The Bad/The Ugly

Good: 12lbs chunk of Sirloin for Christmas dinner
Bad: Teeth that sometimes bleed
Good: The meat is so thick you have well-done and still-bleeding, all on one piece in the same oven, when it's done cooking.
Bad: The first bite of beef is bloody and it tastes like teeth that are bleeding
Good: The second bite is well-done and tastes and feels much better
Bad: The slice you grab for dinner looks well done but is just barely brown and not really cooked
Good: It tastes like cooked beef on the way down, and mixes well with the other stuff on the plate
Bad: Feeling like puking because it really wasn't cooked and it was a big ol' slice
Good: Darling Wife drives home and a nap is taken

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Total Pillow Total Victory

The point of advertisement is to get you to want what they have to sell you. Total Pillow just ran a commercial on my idiot box. Near the end of it, my Darling Wife and I were agreeing that it looked like a nice thing to have, and #3 (lying on the floor in front of the TV) said "Can I have one of those?"

It looks like a good product, but my had is off to the people at Total Pillow for making a commercial that had everyone watching in my living room wanting one. I'm WAY to cheap to buy one (well, two for the price of one, plus two hot/cold packs that fit in the pillow, just pay separate shipping/handling fees) but I'll give them a free plug for doing such a good job on the television spot!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Madness at Work

Overheard at the smallish company where I work, at various times:

LB: Hey, where'd Chris go?
VFD: He got fired!

NP: Hey at least I didnt get here late, guido
VFD (not part of the conversation): Yeah, guido!
CJ (also not part of the conversation): Yeah, guido!
Guido: Hey, f**k you, f**k you, f**k you
CJ & VFD (at about same time): . . ."not you, you're cool."
(if you missed the reference, you missed a funny movie as well)

TS: (sounding tired at 09:20): Okay (pause) - I want to go home.
VFD: Nobody's keeping you here at gunpoint, buddy!
TS: Oh yeah, sure, gimme your keys and . . .
VFD: You try taking my keys, there might be somebody keeping you here at gunpoint!
Guido, TS, VFD: LOL

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Idiots. We're All Going To Fall Into A Pit

One of the biggest payroll companies in the country said most of the smaller companies will be totally unable to do something to payroll tax withholding that only lasts two months, beginning readysetNOW. It is, literally, impossible - in addition to being the dumb thing to do. Going for a 2-month tax holiday extension instead of holding out for the one-year extension and taking their case to the People shows that the Republican party is in desperate need for a change of leadership. I never was a great fan of Boehner and this just further proves how right I was about that opinion.

So you would be getting two more months without paying "your fair share" into the Social Security system. It is effectively a pay raise, at the expense of your retirement account. Sounds good in soundbytes but is stupid long-term. So of course Obama was for it and the Republicrats let themselves be dragged along for the ride. Public imaging AND logic fail.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Nothing to See Here

The world economies swirl around the toilet bowl, the nation is on track to elect any of a series of horrible candidates, and my christmas lights blew a circuit breaker . . . but . . . so what. I've been on antihistamines for days now and my givadamn is broken. Haven't had a good night's sleep since Sunday. Last night the air handler kept sounding like a crying baby, plus lots of crazy full-color dreams thanks to a dose of B12. I'm tired and even huge news sounds dull just now. Hungary's sovereign debt downgraded to junk? Ho-hum! SOPA means the end of the free Internet in America? And?

Geez, I think I'll get some sleep instead of being jaded out in the open where everyone can see it.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Boy Hit In Head By Helicoptor Rotor Blades

. . . miraculously survives!

In related news, I was flying a Syma S109G and chasing the Zoo therewith. The thing was running low on battery so the rate of climb was not as high as it should have been. I saw that #4 was too close so I called out a warning and grabbed as much collective as I could, but it was too late. He responded to my warning by toddling his yearanahalfold head straight into the prop arc. Two of the main rotor blade tips caught him on the forehead and the chopper crashed, hard.

I laid the controller aside and checked the baby. He almost had two little pink lines on his head. For a few minutes he was calling the plane "hot!" as it flew around the room. By the end of the flight he was chasing after the thing again.

Good times.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Bring on the Rain Drizzle!

Normally, 7" of rain in a couple of weeks would fill The Lake (the wide part of the Colorado River we call Lake Travis) up about 10' higher but that hasn't happened. 7" of rain in a day on bone-dry ground would cause huge flash floods, but that also hasn't happened. We have had something like 6-7" of rain in the last couple of weeks and The Lake is up about a foot. And it has been drizzling pretty much all day most days it was raining. Very, very gentle rains.

There was so little rain this year, the ground is soaking all this drizzle up like a proverbial sponge.

This is great good news. We are getting exactly the sort of rains we needed to prepare the land for heavier rain. It means the mold spores go crazy making me allergic, but the land will be ready to absorb the heavier rains I hope we will be getting soon. I hope we get some heavy rains soon, because going into a dry year with all the major local reservoirs at 1/3 capacity is . . . not great.

So? So join me in thanking God for the annoying constant dripping and stifling high humidity we've been having - the alternatives, all of them, are worse.

Hey Whydoncha Talkabout . . .

You have noticed that I don't cover the major news of the day. It occurred to me again the reason for this is simple: you can get that anyplace and (if you are like me) you hear it all day. You don't need another blatherer-on about the headlines. If I've got a different take on something, or something to say, then I might talk about the news. Failing something creative, I'll just let you go to Instapundit

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Things To Know About

Don't use a neti pot. They are disgusting. If you do use a neti pot, do yourself a favor and don't use non-sterile water from any source in the southern United States. Specifically don't use tap water - or you could die. Most fresh warm water 'round here has these amoebae in there somewhere. Your water heater makes them happy. Boil, distill, or buy sterile the water you pour in your nose.

Good night, can you imagine holding your child down to rinse them with a neti pot against their will, and then this happens? Wow.

The techology-ignorant want to pass a bill to help out their BFFs in the recording industry, but they would rather you don't notice. Too bad there is the internet now, and news spreads at the speed of bloggers crosslinking each other light. With this series of tubes, we can put out word of bills written when Congress is supposed to be out of session, without the aid of subject matter experts, that make daily online activity (potentially even making a link like this) a crime. Keep praying - our contry is in deep trouble while THESE people are at the helm.

Well, That Was Fast

The doorknob hasn't even hit us on the way out and already we're seeing sectarian shenanigans in Iraq. This totally unexpected turn of events is sure to be met with zero effectual response from the Obama White House.


hat tip: Instapundit

The Vicious Cycle

Begin on a day with bad allergies. Take enough medicine to feel okay inside the house. Go walk around looking at christmas lights for two hours to begin the cycle
  • Head hurts.
  • Frown.
  • Hurts worse.
  • Frown more.
  • Get cramps in frown muscles on forehead, hurts worse.
  • Frown more.
  • Hurts worse.
  • Repeat.
Go home and lie down, massage forehead and relax. It will start to be less worse. A tylenol and a sleep later, it will feel better.

Friday, December 16, 2011

I Mull

It won't work, but it could get ugly if the Obama "Justice" Department wanted to go farther. If there were really a case against Sheriff Arpaio, there would be charges. What there appears to be is a bunch of aggreived brown people bitching to investigators, but no actual violations, and a Federal attempt to intimidate Joe Arpaio into not trying to see the law gets enforced.

The feds did such a great job taking care of a huge problem of illegal immigrants causing trouble in Phoenix that it isn't the number one city for kidnappings. NO, Phoenix (Maricopa County) Arizona is only the SECOND worst city in the world for kidnappings and the worst for car thefts in the country. So what's the problem? Why do those yokels in Arizona think they have to take the law in their own hands and start enforcing NATIONAL immigration law at the STATE level? Why, they must be a bunch of RAAAAACISTS!

The feds say the good people in Maricopa County no longer have permission to detain people on immigration charges instead of letting the feds to it . . . and no, the feds won't do it, either. Will the people of Phoenix tolerate a sanctuary city created by the dictates of some leftist bureaucrat in the District of Columbia?

The feds won't enforce the border, and they will gin up a bunch of hassle for you if you do. Borders. Language. Culture. The three elements that define a nation are hated by the top levels of the government in the nation. What, then, do we have left?

No, I don't believe the allegations rise to the level you hear trumped up on the news broadcasts. Maybe Sheriff Arpaio is hard on criminals. And?

Thursday, December 15, 2011

What's The Worst That Could Happen?

It is about to be legal for the Feds to come and get you, impound you, not charge, and interrogate you Guantanamo style. The President, big chiefy man-pants manly man that he is, has totally folded on his veto threat bluff.
"What then shall we do? A predatory regime of both parties has provided the citizenry with another reason to shoot first and ask questions later when a raid party comes to your home. . . . These unprincipled idiots are playing with matches in a powder magazine. And the first match of this new box just got struck." Sipsey Street Irregulars

We'll see. I can't help but think some good solid Federal agents are going to be leaving wives and children with the cold comfort of life insurance payouts because of this. I am reminded of a law that kills people in Houston. On certain highways at certain times of day, your car will be gone within six minutes. Tow trucks patrol the areas to keep the roads clear. Traffic moves. And a few years ago I heard of the first guy who was killed playing Frogger on a busy highway trying to get gasoline for his empty fuel tank, instead of catching a tow bill.

Sure and you're not an innocent man if you don a mask to disappear your fellow Americans . . . but eventually one of those matches is going to find a fuse, mark the words.

The War Is Over Begins?

We are leaving. They are not ready to stand up and defend the Iraq we are leaving. They have powerful political and religious conflicts that have been kept down by our presence. Stand by for any/all of the following:
  • Religious/ethnic cleansing dramatically increases. Being anything but the right kind of muslim is about to become very hazardous for the health of anyone in Iraq
  • International aggression. Iran will have basically no impediment to taking a large swath of Iraq and making it into the "greater persia" Savage tried to warn us about
  • Domestic pressure, rising even to the level of a civil war. The Kurds still are there, you know. The partitioning some of us tried to lobby for may happen without us, after we tried so hard to prevent it.

^ The beginning of something horrible?

And why are we leaving before the local government is ready to defend itself? Duh! It's an election year! There was no defined goal, so there was no victory. In Vietnam at least we had a definite victory before we left the locals to defend themselves twist in the wind.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Ron Paul Wins Iowa Caucus?

The caucusgoers in Iowa are settling in, reviewing their choices, and finding them distasteful. Ron Paul benefits by being merely an old crank, vs. a philanderer or a Mormon. The press, of course, can't bring themselves to mention it in a story on the subject until 6 paragraphs in.


Of course, it could be that they are also reading Vote For David.


May God help our republic

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

"This is a difficult recommendation, but it’s the right recommendation and it’s time" -Deborah Hersman, NTSB Chairwoman


There is just shy of NOTHING as important as driving when you are driving. To make a call that just can't wait, pull over. To receive a call that just can't wait, use the hands-free and tell them to wait, then pull over. If it can't wait and you can't pull over, that's an emergency and there is an exception for that in the recommendation.

Note: what you are getting from the grocery is not an emergency. Facebook is not an emergency. You suck that it has to come down to the law to get you off the phone while you are driving.

How [deleted] Hard Is It?

We went to the grocery store tonight. I went to the Cart Return area and saw that not one but TWO carts were there beside the return chute. That would be, facing the wrong way in the parking spot beside the chute, three and five steps respectively from being properly inserted into the rest of the carts 100% sure not to roll off and smash somebody else's car.

Then we went to the gas station to fill up Bad Robot. Parked smack in the middle of the driveway, directly in front of what would be a lane of traffic next to two pumps, was a car. Standing, lights on. Female driver texting. Waiting for the special man-friend to come out of the shop-n-rob with his purchases.

Because, as I have said before, you are furniture. You are exactly dog-poo to the people of Austin. F U and DIAF if you get in their way, but consideration for you? Looking out for you? Meh.


Yes, I put the two stray carts in the return chute.

Mighty Fine Detective Work, Lou

Thug beats life sentence when his lawyer notices he was locked up when the crime was committed. Alibi: check!

Why's he gotta be a thug?

He's in and out of jail so much, he didn't remember he was in when he was accused of being out committing the crime. Also he's up against five more, unrelated charges currently.

Monday, December 12, 2011

We Depend on These People for Our National Energy Needs

A woman in Saudi Arabia made a living committing fraud. Then she was tried, convicted, and executed for . . .

I'm Tired. And I Smell Nice

We got our christmas tree tonight. It takes a surprisingly long time to pick needles out of the carpet. The house smells like pine sap again and that includes those of us who were tree-hugging to get the thing upright in its stand.

Good times.

#2 decorated his bedroom with the tree lights, so we need to get more lights. Raise your hand if you decorated your room with christmas lights when you were a child!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

You Will

You will click here.

You will watch.

That is all.

(2 minutes of fun if you think first person shooting videos are fun)

Celtic Thunder Indeed!

The televisor somehow was turned on tonight to a fund raiser for PBS that included a "concert" called


Apparently, Celtic Thunder translates directly to "whiteasricewhiteboys lipsync mid-1950s holiday carols to snappy lounge/easy-listening jazz muzac." So now you know.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Trying Their Luck?

The climate conference in Durban has apparently come to a deal. They have agreed to agree to something over the next five years, and in another five years it would go into effect.

They agreed to:
Global taxation/wealth redistribution for poor countries' benefit
Third world countries have to use the same expensive clean technology as everybody else
You have to participate, it will be legally binding

All of this, of course, will be pretty hard to cram down the throats of the people of the civilized world. Look for backing from watermelon/closet socialists, rich people who make money either way making the transactions, manufacturers of "green" technology, and especially the leaders of crooked 3rd world "developing" nations who will be happy to steal whatever money they can that is supposed to go toward making their environment cleaner.

The loser, if the deal can be brought to life?


Copilot Saves Family's Life, Film at 11:00

Driving home from my parents' house, I was tired but thought I was ok to drive. Then I woke up crossing the lane markers and my Darling Wife asked me if I were okay. I asked her right back and she said she was. She sounded like she meant it.

Chinese Fire Drill . . . Go!

I was asleep a minute later and woke up when we got into our part of the world again. I could have made myself stay awake the whole drive home. Maybe. And maybe I'd have put us over the side of an overpass.

There's a joke that is slightly less funny tonight but I'm still smiling:

Friday, December 9, 2011

As Close To Official As It Gets . . . . Before The Man Says So

When the US Government announces a recession, they do it in retrospect. It is usually hard to call the beginning of a recession as the nation falls into one. But there are various indicators one can call on to give an idea of whether or not we are in a recession. Big news: the indicators are pointing to an ongoing recession.

With charts.

Man With Gun at Birthday Party!

Two guns, actually. No goblins showed up, so they were never drawn. Well, almost never. #4 saw Big Brother on my hip before the party and said, "No-no. No-no." I drew it and showed it to him and said "That's right, no-no for baby." Then I pulled off the holster and let him play with that instead until he got bored (10 seconds). THEN nobody even noticed.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Cynical? Us?

My Darling Wife has been hanging out with me too long, perhaps. Every time she sees President Obama speaking on the Televisor, she changes the channel as she says something like "There he goes, lying again."

Ancient joke: how can you tell (insert politician's name here) is lying? Because their lips are moving! But seriously, she may be on to something. Hint to President Obama: your campaign trail lies are supposed to be HARD to spot.

Hat tip: Instapundit

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

"Absolute Victory"

It's okay Japan, you don't have to offer annual apologies for getting us into World War II. We kicked your face in, and we DID see Absolute Victory, just like Roosevelt said we would.

Quote of the Day: "China apparently is preparing for war. What are we preparing for?" -Laura Ingraham, 07 Dec 2011, the day they told their Navy to prepare for combat.

Humility and Honesty: Most Musicians Could Use Some Improvement

I spent a few minutes with a pianiste tonight, recording her playing first her part, then my part. Now this lady is the best piano player I know personally and that is saying something. Not only can she play as-written music, she can play what she thinks you wanted to hear, and she can pick up like nothing happened when a partner or even the Conductor stumbles. She's no slouch at the keyboard. She doesn't like to be recorded because her playing is, as she says, "bad."

Little known fact: a good musician thinks they are not as good as you think they are. You can't tell when they wince and give themselves facepalms during every performance. THEY know what they have got wrong; YOU have no idea. I know this from personal experience. Yes I am talented thanks God. I'm humble also, and also frankly honest. I know I'm good at singing, but I also don't like performing or being recorded, because I know how it ought to sound. I was recently (literally) applauded for a performance when I was not altogether pleased how it came out. The Conductor said afterward that I had done well. I told him I had done well for a first sight-reading, but that I knew he heard the little bits here and there that I also didn't like. With tact, he didn't answer but only smiled. He's good, too.


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Buy Me This

You will buy me a helicopter. My psychic powers force you to donate $25 to the cause. It does not matter how many of you do this, because there is no practical limit to the amount of fun to be had with this item. The more the merrier, literally, as proved by recent experience at my workplace.

Seriously. If you don't have one of these, you should.

No Exceptions

It is a violation of Federal law to have any dealings with foreign drug cartels.

Yet we have sent them money and guns, possibly also grenades.

This is illegal for our government to do, and there are no "we wanted to see where the stuff ended up" investigation exceptions. SOMEBODY better be going to prison for a long time, or America was lost altogether a long time ago.

They used to say "ignorance of the law is no excuse" but these days the ones violating the laws are government agents. Then what?

Monday, December 5, 2011

Shopping for a Wookie Suit, Maybe?

Astonishing even to myself, I find myself on the brink of casting a primary vote for . . . Ron Paul. Gingrich is slimy, Romney is crazed, Perry is . . . Perry, and all the rest are irrelevant. So. Does that leave Paul as the least worst or the last, best?

Christians, please pray for our nation as we enter this election year. We need some serious help.

Sunday, December 4, 2011


My reaction: "F*cking kidding me." I turned the computer, saying "Brought to you by the same people that brought you the Fast and the Furious/Project Gunwalker," and let my Darling Wife read the story, and she said, "You've GOT to be kidding me."

The story: Under the same super-genius leadership that sent guns to the Mexican drug cartels to see where they would go, now our tax dollars hard at work have sent straight-up CASH to the drug cartels, to see how their money laundering schemes work. Let's send money and guns to the cartels in Mexico, what's the worst could happen?

But, hey, at least we have the consolation that " . . . agents weren’t laundering money for the sake of laundering money." so it's all right then.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Cain Quits?

The quitter.

DIY/SOLVED! Mr. Coffee Maker Stops Making Coffee, Only Gives Steam

A few months ago we got a Mr. Coffee coffee maker to replace the old coffee maker that had died of old age. it was attractive enough and cost just over $10 so we picked it up. Right from the start this Mr. Coffee CG12 would spit and hiss more than we liked, and as time went by you would have to hit it on the side to make it spit out hot water instead of steam. Otherwise it would just make an annoying gurgling/hissing noise and take for-e-ver to brew a pot. This sucks, especially when three months later you have to smack the coffeemaker every 5 seconds just so your coffee is done inside of 20 minutes. Yesterday, frustrated at having to babysit the percolator, I determined to send it back to the store for an exchange.

Today, I brewed my coffee in a pot on the stove and broke out the screwdrivers. One #1 Philips and a somewhat esoteric security Torx bit are all that are required to completely disassemble the machine. I took the water inlet hose off and blew/sucked. Sure enough, there is a check valve in there and sure enough it was not sealing against pressure from the boiler side. Squeezing gently on the tube is enough to pop the check valve out. The little ball inside the check valve was covered in what looked like sand. Hard water deposits, very likely. I cleaned it off and noticed that the ball is two hemispheres glued together with a little lip around the edges where it was not glued perfectly-round at the factory. I shaved off the casting flash and polished the rough edges with a knife VERY carefully as any gouges would render it useless. I cleaned the seat inside the valve with a Q-tip.

Then I gave the whole machine a good overall cleaning, put it back together, and was back to making coffee. I ran several pots of water and a half-pot of vinegar to get out the loose chunks of chalk, brewed a pot of coffee, and learned a minor lesson:

Don't let it heat up the water, spitting water back into the reservoir while you add the filter and coffee- this will only speed the otherwise slow death-by-calcium deposits of the check valve.


Review: this was a decent maker, as long as we kept the check valve clean. About a year after we got it, it has been replaced with a new (different) model. The heater failed (open circuit) and the maker wouldn't heat. Boo.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Problems With Newt Gingrich Are Not His Problems

That is to say, they are his problems, but they are not unique to him. And they are huge, and if you were honest you would consider them disqualifiers for the Presidency of the United States.

He is a lying, cheating, hypocritical philanderer. While Bill Clinton was stuck on Gingrich's pitchfork for cheating with Lewinsky, Gingrich was carrying on an affair of his own. He has twice married women with whom he was having extramarital affairs, less than a year after divorcing his previous wives. Both his wives, by the way, lost him right after they came down with horrible, possibly nasty death-causing diseases. The sequence is: marry Newt, get sick, and be dumped for somebody younger with whom he was already cheating.

He is fat. As has been said previously: "Being fat is a pretty strong indicator that you are lazy, stupid, or morally suspect. It is not definitive, but it's pretty close."

Combine those two, and you have a certainty approaching 100% that Newt Gingrich is morally broken somehow. This started very early in his life. He was schtupping a high school teacher while still in high school. That is not the first sign of a broken moral compass, it is rather a late symptom. This is evidence of a faulty family life from a young age. It is hardly Newt's fault that his father and mother couldn't keep their marriage together. His mother's second marriage was much more durable, but something was bad-wrong in that home. How else do you hope to explain it that the family produced not only this guy but also a half-sister of his that is a thoroughly messed-up-in-the-head "LGBT" queer activist?

With other members of Congress and Common Cause, he brought an ethics charge against a member of Congress who . . . did the same stuff he was doing. Hypocrite. He converted from Protestant to Catholic; if that means anything to you, 'nuff said. He made a public service announcement with Nancy Pelosi to get you to take action to prevent catastrophic climate change . . . which he regrets now that he wants your vote, but would have done it again, before he was a candidate.

I could go on, but you get the point. This guy is NOT who you want to vote for in the PRIMARY. In the Primary vote for the one you want to see nominated from your party. Not who you think can win, but who you want to see running.

Do you really want this guy running?

Quote of the Day 12/02/2011

"The political story of the year is how many directions Republicans are willing to go, to avoid going in Romney's direction" -George Will, today on Laura Ingraham's show

They were talking about how each of the Republican candidates has had a huge runup in the polls until something came along to sink them. Each except Mitt Romney, who is laying low hoping to pick up the nomination by default.


Runner-up for QOTD is from Michael Savage, by way of a caller who said it back to him. She said he changed her life a while back by saying that . . .
"The general state is Morose. The rest is just a bonus"

That is to say, if you are not walking around with a stupid grin on your face all day every day, you are normal. Most people are at least a little bit "down" most of the time. You don't need a pill or a head shrinker to fix you, because you are not broke.


Then there is the second runner-up and I didn't hear if it was said by Newt or Mitt. If it was from Newt that makes it the winner; from Romney it's just true. They were talking about how "smart" Gingrich is, and somebody says . . .
"What you really want is somebody wise enough to avoid the BIG mistakes"

And I thought, oh really? Big mistakes like THREE failed marriages? Or is that somehow not an indication that you suck at life and fail as a human being?

I looked it up. Apparently he's still only on three marriages. Given his track record, however, it is only a matter of time until he's on four marraiges and three divorces. Just wait until a year after his third wife is diagnosed with some horrible illness, then check again.


What? That's his pattern!

Four Monitors Is A Luxury

Did you ever see a house where a family of four lived in 8,500 square feet? Or a car where the person in the back seat can read a full-sized newspaper AND have their laptop open on the seatback tray?

Four monitors is like that. I've had four monitors on my work computer before, and I found it was excessive. They were lined up in a row horizontally, and it was such a long row of displays I had to turn sideways to see them all. I went back down to three 22" monitors. Today I added another. A lowly 20" but it's high resolution. All the stuff I use normally during the day, is now totally uncovered. The stuff I use every once in a while that was only partially covered is now totally uncovered in a fourth monitor OVER the primary monitor in the middle.

That would be my CRT monitor, which is calibrated for color because I do my Photoshop work there. It is a thing of beauty, to those with a proper appreciation of a high quality display.

  • One monitor is required to use a computer. Make it a 22" wide screen and we're talking.
  • Two monitors increases productivity by a THIRD according to the study They did.
  • Three monitors just makes life easier. Everyone I've been able to upgrade to three monitors has loved the extra room to have stuff visible.
  • Four is like eating a gallon of iced cream in one sitting. There is ridiculously much space. Smoke 'em if you got 'em!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Madness @ Work

I smell fun!

LB and NP and a couple of other guys are going to have little baby RC helicopters at work tomorrow. IF you have never flown a little baby helicopter around your workplace, you have missed out on some serious fun. Small company, big fun: CompanyOwner1 just laughed and shook his head as I was walking around (on lunch, off the clock) flying a little baby RC helicopter all over the place.

It is unreasonably large amounts of fun to fly little baby RC helicopters, especially when they only cost $20 so it doesn't matter if they are destroyed, but they apparently can't take damage from crashing.