Tuesday, January 31, 2012

My Son Went to A Shau!

Background: when I hear the phrase A Shau, I think of the book Death in the A Shau Valley by Larry Chambers (recommended, by the way). So it was a little surreal hearing my son hollering how he wanted to go to A Shau.

#2, #3, and #4 were running around the living room throwing balls at to each other, and then it was supper time. Then #2 was told to go start the shower. #3 finished eating next and was told likewise to go have a shower. Then #4 got the idea that it is shower time and wanted

to do with eating the rest of his meal. I got a few more bites in him but he was pretty much done anyway. When he understood that it was going to be his turn in the tub, he started a forte with A SHAU! A SHAU! and when he was set down, he started running for the bathroom. My darling wife encouraged him to run and laughed at him, which made him A SHAU all the louder.

Good times.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Madness at Work

During a recent conversation about our inventory software:

Guido: Hey VFD, do you find it hard to believe that we don't have LeCroy in our database?
VFD: Well it's been a while since I listed anything LeCroy, so . . .
NP: I find it hard to believe Linksys isn't in our database.
VFD: when's the last time you listed anything Linksys . . . ?
JM: I find it hard to believe it's not butter!

(I can't believe people think this stuff is food)

Are We Going to Start Another Space Race - with China, Now?

The question came up on the Boortz show this morning: SOMEbody is apparently going to build a base on the moon. Do you want it to be China, or do you want it to be us? The question is almost rhetorical. Of COURSE you want it to be us. Then the reaction I had: Neither! We shouldn't be building [deleted] on the moon! Not our moon!

Of all the things where weights and balances are critical, the MOON is high on the list. Seriously? You make it too heavy and 'here she comes!' and if you make it too light (mining) 'there she goes!' WHO thinks it's a good idea to mine the moon or add tons and tons of mass all in one spot on the surface? This is foolish talk!

Oh sure, we will make sure it's done right. Sure, sure. International treaties to ensure mass distribution stays nominally the same. Right. Except OOPS oh well we'll make it up next year. Then next year comes and OOPS oh well we'll make it up next year. Then next year comes and HEY has anybody seen the Moon lately?

Leave the Moon ALONE. I like the tides. I like the night sky illumination. The female hormonal cycle we could do without, but . . . .

oh, wait a minute. Nevermind, mine the [deleted] out of the moon and make it go away!

(that was a joke. I'll take tides and global winds with PMS over the alternative, thanks)

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Why Doesn't WalMart Do Housing?

Presented for your consideration:

Why doesn't a store with 500 employees have a 200-unit apartment building on top of it? Some employees would never leave, and happily never spend their money anywhere but their own store! Why would they NOT choose to do this? Ditto for Home Depot, or any other mega-lo-mart chain store.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Shaping The Destiny of Your Own Children

My Darling Wife is stepping out this morning. I wanted her to stay a few minutes more because I enjoy her company. She wanted to go because she would end up leaving late if she didn't leave early. #1 heard Mommy was leaving and set out to go with her.

DW: Well I'll be here a few minutes longer, she wants to go with me. I'm going to make her a turkey sandwich
VFD: You can't make your children a turkey sandwich
DW: I am going to make a turkey sandwich . . .
VFD: They can only be a turkey sandwich if they want to be.
DW: . . . for her


DW: You're so silly
VFD: :-D

Friday, January 27, 2012

Santorum Quits GOP 2012 Presidential Race

Facing a primary next week in a key State, you go home for the weekend to do your taxes? SRSLY? This dude is dropping out, and soon, leaving us with the only 'real' candidates we've had since Herman Cain quit. The quitter.

Santorum supporters: vote for Paul in your caucuses. Everything else is a waste of time at this point.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

You are Supporting a Cult

IRS publication 502 (medical and dental expenses) says "You can include in medical expenses fees you pay to Christian Science practitioners for medical care"

That is to say, when they tell you they have done something to bring you closer to "clear" you can claim that as a tax deduction . . . regardless of if anything was actually done. This is in addition to any "charitable contribution" you might deduct as well.

Oh well, when's the next foosball game on the teevee?

THIS Guy, You Want Over Ron Paul?

Newt Gingrich wants to establish a colony on the MOON and call it a US State. Ron Paul would probably prefer to save those trillions of dollars. I'm pretty sure Mitt Romney would be all for the idea if polling showed it were popular.

Is this REALLY the best the Republicrats can come up with for a Presidential candidate? Really? I'm pretty sure I can't vote for Romney, but I'm leaning toward not being able to vote for Gingrich, either. If the Losertarian party comes up with more than a percent or two of the popular vote, this kind of B.S. is why.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Thank God for the Rain!

It drizzled for a week a while back and the ground sucked it up like a sponge. Then two days ago it drizzled all afternoon to prep the ground for absorbing instead of running-off and flooding, and then the window of heaven opened. The airport reports something like 5-1/2" of rain overnight last night. This is good for two reasons (one absolute, one subjective depending on you)

1) The lakes will refill a bit. The drought is a bit less with all this water.
2) The sky was rockin' and rollin' last night, with a continual sound of thunder and flashes of lightning every few seconds - for hours. This means the expensiver electronics at chez VFD were unplugged, so no blogging for me . . . so depending on whether you like what you read here, maybe a plus or a minus on the night!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Madness at Work

NP was flying his S107G around on break time and Guido was trying to shoot it out of the air with an AirZooka. Guido is not exactly the world's greatest sportsman and his hit ratio was pretty low. I got a little frustrated at all the misses I was hearing, and set out to see if I could down the airplane with the air cannon myself. First shot was a miss but a close one. Second shot was a hit, but not too impressive because it was about 1 meter away. Then (after recovering from yet another disastrous crash) NP started flying again and he was going about as fast as his modded S107 could go. I had a wide-missed shot, then realized I needed to lead the bird to hit it in flight. I led it and hit it and the helicoper smashed into a doorjamb and went down, hard. Satisfied, I put the AirZooka on a shelf and went back to work. On my way back to my desk, I said quietly, in a squeaky voice, said "How can you shoot women and children!?" to nobody in particular.

JM asked if I had said what he thought I had said. After I responded in the affirmative, he LOL'd pretty good.

Bell Stole The Telephone

Radio frequency energy is magic. Black magic. It is a little-known fact* that Alexander Bell STOLE the invention of the telephone. The first guy didn't protest, however, because he had been BURNED AS A WITCH!!!
I had a piece of test equipment fail on me today. It was reading anywhere from -30dB to -70dB down from the levels it should have. I figured out that the cable between one part and another was broken. There was no physical contact at all, and the signal was still passing - though it was greatly attenuated at lower frequencies. There was NO physical connection and the signal was still going through at a useful level! Witchcraft I tell you. Repairing the cable made it work all better again.
*little-known because I just made it up.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Name of God vs. The Word of God

"...for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name."

"...faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God"

"In the beginning was the Word ... and the Word was God"

"And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us..."

"The words of the LORD ... O LORD, thou shalt preserve them ... for ever."

God's word will not change. It cannot change, because it is Him. You can hear it and believe in Him. This post started out as a quick jotting-down on a square inch of paper as an idea about it not being all that important what you call God but I'm not sure that's where it would end up if I were preaching on the topic.

God has many names, and not all of them are listed in the Bible or even anywhere in the historical record. At least one name of God, we don't even know how it is pronounced because it was so holy to the Scribes who transcribed our Bible refused to write it out the way it sounds. Besides which, the Bible was written in different languages from the one you speak. Therefore:

It is 100% certain you are mispronouncing the NAME of God. This is not the same as taking the name of the Lord in vain. It is the difference between day-vihd in English and dah-veed in Spanish. Heck these days I sometimes even answer to "Dave" and "Meester dehv" - and I am not as wise as God. My wife calls Him her "tati." Don't sweat this.

God knows your thoughts. He knows when you are thinking about, talking about, or praying to Him. He also knows if you are intending to be sacrilegious or disrespectful, honoring or worshipful. And He knows that you do not know hot to pronounce His name. But He also knows that you have in your King James Bible the entirety of His word, preserved for you to use. Sweat that. You are not held responsible for what you don't know, but for what you do know.

The Word of God is the important part. The Name of God is less important than the Word of God. "But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves"

Sweat the big stuff.

Communication is the Key

I realized tonight that I had recently got into an argument with somebody at work because of poor communication. We were actually in agreement as to what needed to be done, and some disagreement existed about the details. Because the intention was not communicated at all, and the details were expected to be a certain way by all parties, it degenerated VERY quickly from "hey watchoo doin" to "*(*&&$*(^&&*%#@$@)@(^&!*^@(%*))&@$@()*(*^" and it was totally unnecessary.

May we all remember to make sure people know what's going on before we go off the chain because they're not on board!

(employers and parents both . . . this means you!)

Romney Gives Gingrich The Nomination?

Mitt Romney is going to give up his tax records, thinking their secrecy had something to do with his not winning the last caucus. This is a huge mistake. The only thing that can come of his tax records being made public is that his competition will have more class warfare stories to tell about him. The Anybody But Romney crowd that picked Newt at the caucus isn't his problem, HE is his own problem. The people who were on the fence but could fall off to the Newt or Paul or Santorum side with one more verifiable true negative story, will be falling off Romney's band wagon once his tax records have been

spun in the most-damning way possible

Good job, loser. Not that I could have voted for him anyway.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

It's That Time Again . . .

I spent the morning reminding myself how much of a hassle it is to change my car's fuel filter and nearly dropping the Hot Rod off its jackstands, then we went out to my dad's house and dragged "cedar" clippings down to the burn pile. Later in the evening, I was helping get his boxes of Christmas decorations into the attic and I was blowing and puffing like I'd been running. I thought it was a long time since I felt this way, and sure 'nuff I guess it's that time of year again:

The trees are pretty, but oy! A head-asploding amount of pseudoephedrine later, and I'm feeling much better. Thanks God for modern chemistry.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Here's A Better Idea

The Legislature in Texas gerrymandered a new redistricting map that would likely give Republicans an advantage. Then a lefty court said that was raaaaaaacist and gerrymandered an entirely new map that would give Democrats an advantage. Then the lawsuit.

The supreme Court just slapped the San Antonio map drawing court on the pee-pee and said they have to START with the map made by our Elected Heroes in Austin, and then make it more legal-ish. All this, of course, because Texas might be raaaaaaaacist. After all, according to the leftists who prefer Democrats to be elected bureaucrats in the federal Department of "Justice" Texas has been raaaaacist before and might still be raaaacist by making maps that don't fairly give BROWN PEOPLE adequate representation.

Well guess what: It's 2012. The only people still worried about whether or not BROWN PEOPLE get adequate representation are STUPID OR CROOKED OR BOTH. There is no more institutional racism in the day in which we live. Get over yourselves and your stupid race hustling race pimps.

My preference: on every official form that currently has a spot for race/ethnicity, we delete that spot on the form. The datum is irrelevant to anything except getting Democrats in office and/or keeping them in power. For Congressional district maps, we make them make sense when you look at a map, with pretty close to equal population in each district. That means probably a couple of guys from Houston, Austin, and Dallas get elected as Democrats and most of the rest of the State is Republican because the rest of the state is flyover country hicks who vote republican. What does this mean in picture form?

Source: familypedia

Where there is a great big fat red spot, there is a Democrat representing leftists in big cities. Everywhere else, you add up the green and yellow in the same general area until you count enough noses to make up another seat in Congress, very likely a Republican. There. Done. How hard was that?

Yeah, No, I Still Wanna Be A Cop.

My Darling Wife is watching some movei where four police went to catch two Goblins. Involved were a crack ho walking out of an open door where two suspects were known to be hiding (problem) an attic search (nightmare) and a foot chase complete with the rookie getting lost because of not knowing the streets.

She said she's glad I decided not to do it. I told her I hadn't decided not to do it (but I did take the hint). But I still want in. Dangit. Well, I guess we'll see what happens.

One thing is for sure: the Police have few supporters as fast as me. If I had spare money and time, I'd spend it making their lives easier and/or safer if I could . . . but I don't.

There's an Assassin on the Loose!

This makes the third story I've seen recently about prominent people from Iran doing pro-humanity/anti-iran-government stuff being targeted or killed on US soil.

The government or military (or both) of Iran has an agent or a team here, killing people Iran finds inconvenient, and not only do we know about it, we probably have our suspicions who it is, but the timing is wrong to tip our hand.

International espionage: not confined to the 1960s US/USSR cold war.

Hat tip: Instapundit

HyundaiAftermarket > GenCoupe

HyundaiAftermarket.org is better than GenCoupe.com

I frequent HA and have heard horror stories from "former" members of GC about how the site staff make it an unenjoyable experience, treating members like they are expendable and supporting disreputable vendors. If anyone is looking for a Hyundai-related message board, HyundaiAftermarket is where you want to be. Trust me on this. None of the others have the same combination of helpful staff, family-like camaraderie of the members, and a very deep treasure of accumulated wisdom. If you are currently on HyundaiPerformance and think it's too commercial and the staff are too close to the "nazi mod" attitude, go to HyundaiAftermarket instead of Gencoupe. If you miss the in-depth knowledge of the 97-01 Elantra/Tiburon (and similar year Accent) platforms since RDTiburon.com (and FXtreme) closed, know that the forum databases and knowledgeable members were both folded in to the forum at HyundaiAftermarket. All the other boards are smaller, more model-specific, and generally less hip than HA.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Scientists Discover Earth Has A Self-Cleaning Cycle

Preamble: It is laughable how people who wish to not believe God invented the world will twist their minds around facts. There is a greatly inflated sense of self importance in certain "scientific" circles these days, thinking we could destroy our ecosystem by merely living in it.
God is both infinitely smarter than the average bear AND not really giving us verbal messages much these days. So imagine the pleasure of one who believes that the Earth is a self-correcting system designed to sustain mankind . . . when a particle theorized before the global warmening craze existed turns out to be real. And it comes from plants and scrubs pollutants out of the air.

Good job, God. Way to be smarter.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

. . . nothing else matters

#4 is sick and not sleeping. This sucks. This is also part of normal parenting. Have a nice day!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Going to Apply to Change My Name

When I walk in the door, #4 says "TETITOPTURRR!" before anyone else can even say "DADDEEEEE!"

Seriously child, my name is not "helicopter." Could you at least say "hi" before demanding I fly the remote controlled helicopter? I mean I know you're one year old and all, but still . . .

Monday, January 16, 2012

This Should End Well

Japan, with debt-to-GDP of about 230%, borrows money (mostly from its own people) at 1% interest. They are staring down the barrel of an imminent credit rating downgrade and talking about doubling their sales tax to avoid the downgrade. If their credit sours even just a smidge, they could go from 1% to 3% interest . . . and be totally unable to continue to carry their national debt. All their government revenue would be debt service and then some.

  • If you earn $50k/year
  • and owe $120k on your credit cards
  • and suddenly they say you have to pay $53k/year on your credit cards

that's a problem. The alternative is printing more money, which leads to printing more money, and then you end up with wheelbarrows full of cash and expiration dates on your trillion-dollar bills. Japan is, to understate things, in a problem.

But mock quietly, because they paved the way down which we are driving at breakneck speeds.

Scenes From My Life

My Darling Wife was doing dishes in the kitchen and called me in to help her open a bottle. I walked in, opened the bottle in two shakes, set it down and walked back out. She told the backside of me that I needn't make it look so easy.

I turned around, with my right hand I rolled up my left sleeve, made an exaggeratedly-slow "gun-show" and planted a kiss right on my own studly left biceps muscle. Then I picked up the bottle again and (as it was now opened) opened the bottle with zero effort. Then I set it down and she laughed right out loud and called me a name.

Good life.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Voter Photo ID Laws Are NOT Racist

If anyone says they think it is raaaaaaacist to require people to show photographic proof that they are eligible to vote, that person is one of two things:
  1. An idiot
  2. A liar
  3. or Both
In these days when ANYONE who is entitled to vote can go to the local government office and get a State-issued photo ID, NOBODY is less-able to present photographic identification than anyone else. If you do not understand this fact, you are intellectually disqualified, if not legally disqualified, from voting.

The ONLY people who have substantial* reasons to dislike positive voter identification are people who are trying to have unqualified/disqualified voters cat ballots. This is to say, Democrats and big-city machine political parties want your dead relatives and illegal alien neighbors to cast ballots to keep them in power. There are no exceptions.


* no exceptions except this one: a tiny number of religious people who have genuine concerns that we are marching toward the Mark of the Beast. Privacy concerns are null - this is a public ballot! Intrusive measures like retina scanning and blood draws are both overly expensive to implement AND unnecessary AND probably impossible to get into law! Yes, voter photo identification requirements are leading us down the road to the Mark of the Beast. But, by the time that rolls around, voting will be among the least of the concerns of those who don't want to take the Mark. According to my Bible, the Mark WILL come, like it or not. Do yourself a favor and don't be here when it comes into effect!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Things You Don't Want To Know . . .

For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow -Ecclesiastes 1:18

You don't go on vacation expecting to kill the guy who suddenly decides to throw your girlfriend off a bridge . . . but you should at least be aware of what you might have to do with your knife*, should it come to that.

Speaking the truth in love, the Dark Arts for Good Guys series continues with The Right To Knife. You owe it to the ones you love to read the whole thing.

Rule #2: Always have a knife.

THIS Is What Soft Tyranny Looks Like

  • You move into a house
  • The land nearby is covered with weeds and trash
  • You can't even see around the corners when you drive
  • Residents waiting at the bus stop are crowded by blackberry bushes
  • So you clean it up
  • And the local council says you are "Cultivating" and
  • orders you to pay $100 for a retroactive license
  • or you have to put the car suspension parts back on the land
  • and plant weeds again.

In England, where the Nanny State is approaching its zenith, this is The Way Things Are. The slope from "no cell phones in school zones" to "no removing weeds without a license" is very steep and very slippery. Where do you draw the line? After all, all the regulations sound perfectly reeeeeeeasonable, don't they? You are not against people enjoying the land, are you? What kind of a person would object to licenses for cultivating public land?

The Good People did nothing in England and the Evil has prospered.

Don't be too amused - we are hard on their heels down this road. I know an arborist who had to pay $20,000 to have trees planted, after he cleared someone's private property of . . . unwanted trees.

But, surely, someone else will run for office where you live. Not because they want control, do they spend their time getting control. No, surely they are dedicated public seeeeervants writing the rules! Surely! I mean, otherwise you would have to GET OFF YOUR DUFF and look into your local government and maybe even (gasp) give up Friday night happy hour and attend City Council meetings!

I Has A Monkey (Like Yours!)

#4 is short. Everything and everybody is higher than he is, always. So, he wants to go up. Turn around for 30 seconds and he's climbed something. Chair? Sure. Table? Why not? Stand on it or sit - well, the one that gets him higher. Is the chair stable? It matters not a bit to him. Tipsy barstool? He'll climb it. Narrow bench over hard floor? Up he goes. Across the gap between couches? If he wants to cross it, he'll try. Standing on the arm of a couch to reach the chalkboard? Of course! Did I mention he's 18 months old and none too steady on his feet?

He mostly stopped standing up at full speed CLUNK into the bottom of the table. He even stopped stripping stuff off the sides of tables. Now, he'll be found on a chair, reaching for the middle of the table. The boy is a climbing machine. Just like his other two brothers and their daddy and their grandpappy. It's a boy thing. It's no use asking "WHY!? Do you INSIST on CLIMBING EVERYTHING?@!"

That's why they called it the "Y" chromosome, don't you know.

Friday, January 13, 2012

208V 3phase, 230V Single Phase, With 120V?

You can get 120V AC to give you 240V, or 208V, depending on how it is generated, transformed, and delivered. Sometimes, losing a wire in the circuit does not affect the voltage at your appliance. This is a black art to the uninitiated.

Set aside a couple of hours for reading and pondering, and go educate yourself. Read this for a discussion more directed at the layperson, and then read this slightly more technical discussion which is heavier on theory and several pages long.

Politics: Strange, Strange Things 'Round The World

From North Korea: So you didn't mourn well enough when the Dear Reader died? The world laughed at you? JAIL!

So you didn't get enough signatures to get on a primary ballot in the United State of Virginia? Well that just goes to show Virginia is bustin' the law with their primary system and we should put you on the ballot, because . . . LAWSUIT! Judge says: Not so much. Primary ballots: An example of the way our system of government is the worst one except for all the others. In related news, I find it veeeEEEEeeery interesting that the two people I consider most-likely to be the Nominee will be the only two choices for Virginia's primary voter.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

It Sucks Big-Time That We Have Come To This.

It should have been a no-brainer and the case tossed right out for being frivolous, but it made it all the way up to the supreme Court: you can't force a church to have ministers against its religion.

Before today:
Preacher: I changed to satanism, guys
Deacons: Gotta be a Christian mang, sorry. Fired.
Preacher: Lawsuit!

After today:
. . . Deacon: Not so much, foo!
Preacher: <--- (sad clown)

A very faint glimmer of hope in a dark world, that's what this decision is.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Camera Porn: Kodak "Easyshare" Z712IS Image Stabilized Digital Camera w/ K8500 Charger, KLIC-8000 Battery

This was my "shop" camera for documenting my projects. The manual controls and electronic viewfinder were highlights for me.

Please click on any image to see it at 4x higher resolution.

The long-lasting battery and charger are a worthy addition.

Buy this camera!

There is a little light wear from normal use, but you have to look for it pretty hard to see anything.

Buy this camera!

Buy this camera!

Buy this camera!

There are four defects worth mentioning, none of which ever bothered me or interfered with using the camera.

The date memory battery is dead - when you change batteries you have to reset the date, or ignore the message and just start shooting and it will remember the wrong date for when the picture was taken. No big deal, and apparently common with this model.

The lens retracts all the way into a plastic barrel, which protects the sides of the lens when the camera is off. If you look carefully you will see that this protective shield is slightly out-of-round.

And the display has a tiny scratch on the back. It took clever lighting to get the scratch to show up for the photo. As you can see, it really does not interfere with the image onscreen. Also, the display is offset upward a few pixels onscreen. The image is cut off by a few pixels at the top and there is a very narrow black band at the bottom. The stuff shown at the top is still legible, and the more-important stuff (including full-manual controls settings) shown on the bottom shows up perfectly. This is only a problem with the rear panel LCD, the viewfinder display shows up normally.

Buy this camera!

The displays are bright and clear, and the controls are easy to use. The Automatic and Program modes all work fine - but if you want to, you can use Aperture, Shutter, or even full Manual control! It has a pretty fast f/2.8 lens AND image stabilization, which helps you make better pictures in lower light.

When you don't want to use the LCD display, when you want to save power, or when you want to see what it is showing on top of the display, push the button to use the electronic viewfinder.

Look back up at the LCD screen at the top/right there is a "remaining capacity" indication - The memory card coming with the camera to you is not the biggest - 26 shots at maximum resolution, many more at lower resolution settings. There is also a small onboard memory in case you accidentally leave the card in your reader. It takes SD memory cards, which are available in high capacities for cheap, so no worries there.

The battery and charger didn't come with the camera. At Amazon they are a $69 separate purchase. It is amazing how much longer this battery lasts than AA batteries. Yes it can take AAs but they go pretty quick. This battery will let you fill the memory card many times over, then you recharge it instead of throwing it away. Kodak should be ashamed they did not include this charger and battery with the camera, but I am including it for you.

The User Guide and Easyshare software are available online -free- from Kodak.

The data plate is on the bottom

Buy this camera!

Lens Porn: Canon 70-210mm Telephoto Zoom/Macro SLR Camera Lens FD Mount

Click any picture to see it 4x larger

This is a clean, dust-free sample with very minor wear from light use. It was used with a prophylactic filter, which was donated to my dad's photography kit. This would be a nice LONG telephoto/macro lens for somebody with a 4/3 or micro 4/3 camera, so long as they don't mind full-manual-everything lens control (some of us would call that "a feature")

The full text on the front ring says "CANON ZOOM LENS FD 70-210mm 1:4 CANON LENS MADE IN JAPAN"

You will buy this lens

Go ahead, spin it around, it looks good from any angle. The "skinny end" has more opportunity for wear, and there is almost none. The "fat end" by the front element has even less. The control surfaces are in great condition.

You will buy this lens

Blah blah blah show us the GLASS, man!

You will buy this lens

You will buy this lens

As is only right for a manual lens, this has a full set of scales and labels, in color, right where they should be.

You will buy this lens

The iris has no oil and no wear marks

You will buy this lens

A cut-out lens cap was used to stop-down the aperture for these photos . . .

You will buy this lens

. . . and to open the aperture for these. Looking through the lens from the camera end

You will buy this lens

and from the front

You will buy this lens

It is a used lens, so there are a few light scratched spots on the paint. Here is the absolute worst cosmetic blemish that I didn't even see until I started looking this lens over closely before shooting photos for this writeup:

You will buy this lens

It takes careful lighting to make it look that bad. The 2nd worst spot:

You will buy this lens

The 3rd worst . . . it's all pretty well smooth sailing from here on . . .

Don't forget to buy this lens!

The original Canon rear lens cap was included. Note the lack of wear on the metal mounting surface.

Please go bid, now!

The zoom ring stays put, even when this lens is stood on its end at 210mm and its mount at 70mm . . . No zoom creep. In the MACRO mode, it is physically impossible for the zoom to creep. There is a "right" amount of resistance to zoom and focus changes, and nothing feels odd when shifting into the Macro range, it just slips in smoothly.

Maybe It's The Drugs

There must be something in the air in Central Texas. WM went on a cleaning spree this weekend and got the whole shop cleaned out. Then today I came home from my work with the spotless floor and ALL the boys' toys were scattered in the living room. My Darling Wife decided that RIGHT NOW would be the time to get rid of the toys they don't use, clean out their room to the carpet on all four walls, and rearrange furniture.

Cedar pollen leads to drugs, and the drugs, they lead to . . .

. . .


Monday, January 9, 2012

It's Specifically NOT an Election Year Popularity-Boosting Ploy

US SECDEF says we don't think Iran is trying to make nuclear weapons.

But Iran controls the straits until their fleet is blown up
at which point China jumps in
and oil skyrockets
and the globe sinks deeper into depression.

The timing of this will let you know just how it works. If Iran is looking mighty next war-ish and Obama takes a bump in the polls because of being the Commander in Chief when it happens, this is an election year wag the dog ploy. Then if he loses and it blows up, the Republicrat in the White House will get the blame for the war we would be dragged into.

What's the worst that could happen?

Coming Up Roses

Two positive developments appear as I gaze into my navel again:

My 10lbs chihuahua bitch is doing better. She was outside when I got home and acted all "oh poor me I need you to come get me off the ground" when I called her in. My Darling Wife (being a Mexican Female and not one to like ANY non-daughter female getting TLC from me) said she was walking around all day and not to buy the dog's act. I went out and shoo'd the little gimp inside and she was about as quick as ever, but with a big limp.

I thought I had lost $50 and was running out of places to look for it when I found it again! Whew. Good thing I like to sit on accusations of theft without proof vs. just throw them out there.

VFD: haha, yeah, so about those charges?
Officer: mm-hmm?
VFD: well, uh, nevermind we found it after all. Right where we'd put it for safe keeping.
Officer: we gotta fun thing we do here, where we trade charges: their Theft for your False Reporting
VFD: (ghost)

See? Better to be careful when thinking what happened to your stuff eh.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Poor Little Thing!

I'm pretty sure #3 closed the back door on one of our chihuahua dogs. She cried then and she cries when she is picked up. The first time I went to pick her up after it happened she was so crazy with pain she was nipping at me as I picked her up the wrong way - she NEVER bites, ever. She cried a couple of times in her sleep when she rolled over last night.

We looked her over and poked and prodded and she doesn't have any obviously broken bones. We're thinking maybe her first ribs or something in the shoulders is either bruised or cracked. She is tender around the front quarters when she moves though, and doesn't track straight when she walks - which is seldom as it hurts to do.

Tonight when we got in, I dragged her pillow out of their little room until I could lift the pillow with her on it, and carried her into the back yard and turned her out of the pillow. I told her "go potty!" a few times, gently, and she walked a yard, pissed, walked another yard and lay down on the ground. I picked her back up and placed her on the pillow, then it into their room.

We give her 1/2 a baby aspirin and it seems to help a lot but when it wears off she just lays around. No we probably won't taker her to the vet, but that is our way. Recall that I didn't take myself to the vet when I recently broke my finger (which still hurts a little) or my toe (which is all better thanks for asking). She'll be alright, I've been sure. Still, for such a little doggy to be hurting is pitiful indeed to behold.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Camera Porn: Kodak "Easyshare" Z8612IS Image Stabilized Digital Camera w/ K8500 Charger, KLIC-8000 Battery


This camera works perfectly. We have got a new camera and no longer shoot with this one.

Click on any image to see it at 4x higher resolution.

You will bid on this camera

It looks great, front and back.

You will bid on this camera

You will bid on this camera

The display is bright and clear, and the controls are easy to use. The Automatic and Program modes all work fine - but if you want to, you can use Aperture, Shutter, or even full Manual control! It has a pretty fast f/2.8 lens AND image stabilization, which helps you make better pictures in lower light.

You will bid on this camera

I forgot to take out the memory card for the next photo. Look back up at the LCD screen at the top/right there is a "remaining capacity" indication - you will be getting a 4GB card which is plenty big enough for a whole vacation unless you REALLY take a lot of pictures. There is also a small onboard memory in case you accidentally leave the card in your reader.

In addition to the memory card, you will receive:

You will bid on this camera
  • Kodak KLIC-8000 rechargeable battery
  • Kodak K8500 Rapid Battery Charger
  • Original Kodak lens cap with retention strap
  • Canon EOS carry strap
The battery and charger didn't come with the camera. At Amazon they are a $69 separate purchase. It is amazing how much longer this battery lasts than AA batteries. Yes it can take AAs but they go pretty quick. This battery survives a whole birthday party with my Darling Wife taking pictures (hundreds of shots) then you recharge it instead of throwing it away. Kodak should be ashamed they did not include this battery with the camera, but I am including it for you.

The carry strap is (obviously) not the original Kodak strap. The original strap was a 1/2" strip of hard nylon with a chintzy plastic slider. This strap is more than 3x as wide as the one Kodak sent with the camera, and the fabric is soft. Sling this around your neck/shoulder and forget it's there until you want to take a picture. This is better.

The lens cap snaps into the front of the lens and automagically removes itself when you turn on the camera. It does not get lost because it has the retention strap. This is brilliant.

The User Guide and Easyshare software are available online -free- from Kodak.

The data plate is on the bottom

You will bid on this camera

Friday, January 6, 2012

My Next Camera Is Here!

Nikon has announced the D4. This has been anticipated for quite a while thanks to Nikons' 4 year flagship camera announcement cycle. Unless they screw something up it will very likely be a spectacularly good camera . . . like they all have been, and like the D5 will be in four years from now.

I'd like two, please.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Phone Porn: Samsung Instinct S30 SPH-M810


This phone was in daily use by a lady friend of mine until she was given a new phone on an upgrade/contract deal. It works perfectly well, but she has no use for it and I'm on a different network.

Click on any picture to see it at 4x higher resolution.

Buy this phone!

Don't let any of the following images fool you: the screen has vivid color and good contrast, but the lights on my bench are WAY bright and throw glare off the screen.

Buy this phone!

With the case on it looks like any other phone. With the case off it is actually rather handsome and slender-looking.

Buy this phone!

Buy this phone!

Buy this phone!

Buy this phone!

Those light spots on the back won't clean off with a gentle cleaning solution. Fortunately that is the easiest part of the body skins to change, it just slips off and a new one clicks in place.

Buy this phone!

The few scratches on the screen are small, shallow, and don't distract from normal use of the device.

Buy this phone!

This is the worst cosmetic blemish on the whole phone, and it's on the colored skins (not the phone body itself): Fingernail marks by the power port. This is hidden when the black cover is installed, by the way.

Buy this phone!

Buy this phone!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Canon Lens FD 50mm f/1.8 (fast, prime) Lens Porn

Click any picture to see it 4x larger, which is ridiculous. The first picture is already larger than life-size on your computer screen!

The front says CANON LENS FD 50mm 1:1.8 / CANON LENS MADE IN JAPAN and the worst cosmetic blemish I can see is a ~3mm scuff on the "steps" leading down to the front element

You will buy this beautiful lens.

Very little mechanical wear is evident.

You will buy this beautiful lens.

The blades on the iris are free of oil. No drag when operated manually.

You will buy this beautiful lens.

I used a cut-down rear lens cap to let me operate the lever for the aperture.

You will buy this beautiful lens.

This is an old lens from when 50mm was normal on film SLR cameras. Is there dust inside? Yes but it won't show in your pictures. This is focused on the rear element through the cut-out lens cap. Read that linked article and come back and tell me you see a problem here.

You will buy this beautiful lens.

More pictures because - well, why not?
You will buy this beautiful lens.

You will buy this beautiful lens.

You will buy this beautiful lens.

You will buy this beautiful lens.

You will buy this beautiful lens.

If you have read this far, was it worth 10,000 words?

Well, Isn't This Cozy?

Disclaimer: it just smells funny is all. The timing of the events that look suspicious may be off and it's legit when you time it all out properly; and he might have legitmately got the job anyway without being on the Austin City Council, I don't know . . .

But isn't it iiiinteresting how Brewster McCracken is now the bighigh mucketymuck at the Pecan Street Solar Project after they got a choice spot in Austin and a bunch of grant dollars to develop their Next Big Ideas?

. . . I'm just sayin . . .

Docking Your Own Pay

~or, Missing Out on God's Best~

I stayed up late Saturday and woke up an hour late on Sunday. If I'd really hustled the Zoo we could have got to church on time for the sunday school lessons, but I didn't. On the way to the subsequent church service (an hour late for an hourlong class) I realized I had hurt myself.

If I wake up an hour late during the week, I call in and tell them I'll be late. No problem, they'll just dock my pay. But then, if you miss a church service, you are also losing out. The loss is spiritual. I am pretty sure between the children and the adults, SOMEbody missed out on a really good Sunday School Lesson that day.


Do you value your money? Get up!

Do you value your spiritual progress as a Christian? Get up!


There's a sermon in there, I'm pretty sure.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Negotiations: a Sign of Weakness

You can console yourself all you like by saying that Western Civilization is more advanced. When you are dealing with a group which understands only the language of force, negotiations are a potential mistake. There are talks about talks between the Taliban and various national and regional governments in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and this is possibly not-good.

There are political realities on the ground which must be taken into account, I grant you. But when you start negotiating you acknowledge the superiority of your enemy in a war. The possibility exists that the Tangoes will take it as a sign of impending victory and start getting uppity. Then Afghanistan and Pakistan start to degenerate again and let's all raise our hands if we think the USA will be willing to send another couple hundred thousands of troops over there and sink another trillion dollars into the graveyard of empires.

So: make that TWO costly wars suddenly winding down for political reasons during an election year, with huge potential to undo everything we've worked to achieve on the ground in the war zones. But hey, there's an election to win and those pacifists and bringemhomenow types just won't pander to themselves!

Madness @ Work

Cosmetic condition varies. At work we have for sale a heaping pile or two of Akro storage bins. These things sell fairly well, even used with minor cosmetic blemishes. Most of the time, used is just fine and very few are really used-up and useless. This little guy, however, was a little bit past its prime. Cosmetic condition varies in lots like this. Some may be like-new and some are marked-up with old stickers and paint & whatnot . . .

but . . .

you have to draw the line somewhere, and that line is pretty well and thoroughly crossed when you unload a 500lbs pallet of goods and realize that it was sitting funny because the weight was all smashing down on an Akro bin.


like so:

Height: 1/4" to 3", varies. Available at a significant discount!