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Archive for February, 2009

The doom of the world is spelled out in quilted sheets.

The always-unbiased Guardian (dot-co-dot-uk) has given us a very important public safety announcement.  Americans are destroying all life on earth one ply at a time.  How typically American.  The pigs.  This is worse than driving Hummers, sez Allen Hershkowitz, a senior scientist at the Natural Resources Defence Council.  Wow, that’s pretty damning evidence.

I really do think it is overwhelmingly an American phenomenom,” said Hershkowitz. “People just don’t understand that softness equals ecological destruction.

Note:  I and my tender bum are consumed with black wracking soul-quenching guilt.  Thought I’d throw a British term in there to stay in character – as long as we’re bashing the Yanks we ought to talk like us even if we are them.  Ok, I’m confused, but still guilty as hell.

Welp, there is help on the way.

badgers_arse

click to embiggen

So, how’s that for your great big steaming helping of Friday Horsesh*t?

I wish I’d done that graphic…  well done.  Actually the way that article espouses the “holier-than-thou because our-shite-don’t-stinketh” recycling and smug ecological wisdom, coupled with a combination of acidic disdain and irritability… it makes me wonder if Europe and the UK haven’t been using Badger’s Arse™ for some time.

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Glenn Beck did a great piece on the TV tonight.  Here’s the link but I want to paste part of the op-ed here for emphasis.

… let me go through some recent stories that didn’t make headlines, but I’m going to make just one teeny-weeny little change. You tell me if the media would’ve reacted the same way or if The New York Times would’ve been cranking out special editions to cover this stuff:

“Today, President George W. Bush nominated another tax cheat for his Cabinet”

In an unprecedented move, President Bush has asked to move control over the census to the White House; it will now be run by Karl Rove

“President Bush quietly OKs a massive troop surge in Afghanistan, sending 17,000 additional troops; refusing to hold a news conference or answer any questions”

President Bush has said he will leave up to 50,000 troops in Iraq, after months of promising drawdown.

The night after George W. Bush proclaimed we all have to make economic sacrifices, he introduced an unprecedented $3.6 trillion budget.

“Bush raises taxes by a trillion dollars to cover out-of-control spending.”

Bush takes first big step toward bank nationalization, buying a 36 percent share in Citigroup.

Now, substitute “Obama” for “Bush” and those stories go from the front page to page E-12.

– Glenn Beck

There would have been a media circus.  Calls for crucifixion would have gone up.  Congress would have demanded answers and subpoenaed Bush, Rove, Cheney, and Bush’s dog.  Liberals everywhere would have squirted poop in their hemp underwear.

Nary a whistle now.  You can’t prosecute a God.

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Thanks to Conservative Belle posting this over at Double-Plus Undead I think we now have a spiffy new acronym:   HTOVWOFY?

Since I can’t link the blog entry itself, I’ll paste it because it reads better than I could convey it:

Great Name for a Blog

I was over at Mark Finkelstein’s new blog, checking out his latest posts and I saw this blog from one of his commenters.

Ha! I wish I had thought of that one. So how long before we have the acronym – HTOVWOFY? This should now become a regular part of our vocabulary on this moron blog. All in favor?

I’m in favor of it being regular vocabulary on all the MoronBlogs.  Thanks again, Conservative Belle.

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ECM in that same post over at DPUD linked to this important tool.  How to tell what a nuclear blast radius looks like at your location.

Egads. Almost but not quite as disturbing as the quest in Fallout 3 where you can (if you are the harbinger of ultimate evil) nuke a town.  I did the quest just to see how it played out and I was so creeped out I loaded an old save and vowed to never do that again.  Brrrr.

The mapplet… enter where, enter the yield of the weapon, and hit “nuke it”.  It will tell you just how unfortunate certain things would be.  You really want to creep yourself out, select “asteroid strike”.

mapplet****

Neato.   A new fish in Indonesia.

If I’m going to slam the Guardian in my post I ought to give them kudos for this article which has far more information about this than I care to pass on.  Go read up on it.

A funky, psychedelic fish that bounces on the ocean floor like a rubber ball has been classified as a new species, a scientific journal reported.  (Copeia, the journal of the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists)

histiophryne-psychedelica

Of course, it is massively sad that it was published in an American society magazine.  Pigs.  How typically American to steal news of a fish.

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I dated this creature once. thanks Sean M.

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Culinary Update:

Run right out and get one of these

mmmm-brains

And so it goes:

Pork Brains In Milk Gravy. Could it be the worst food product ever? It does have 1170% of your daily cholesterol per serving. Mmmm.

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Move over, Cheryl Crow.  Reusable toilet wipes. Not just for children, but for you, too.

toiletwipesReally, haven’t they always been “reusable” for those who really wished to blaze a trail and live what they preach?

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I could not put it any better

int-diarrheaYep, it takes an ocean to flummox all meaningful potential dissent.  And an ocean of diarrhea has indeed been floated our way.

I want to weep.  This is scarier than the economic downturn, frankly.

dc

As I’ve said, it has to come from somewhere… you can’t just say “make it so” and then not have a day of reckoning.

Obama’s Budget: Almost $1 Trillion in New Taxes Over Next 10 yrs, Starting 2011

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From The Founder’s Quote Daily of The Patriot Post.

“Who are the militia? Are they not ourselves? It is feared, then, that we shall turn our arms each man against his own bosom. Congress have no power to disarm the militia. Their swords, and every other terrible implement of the soldier, are the birthright of an American. …[T]he unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state governments, but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people.

–A Pennsylvanian, The Pennsylvania Gazette, 20 February 1788

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Takes the New England Journal of Medicine to point out what I noticed back in the late 70’s when as a kid I incurred the wrath of my mother and sister by proclaiming that they didn’t have to eat salads, goat glands, pickled skunk butt, and non-fat cottage cheese if they just cut down how much they ate and exercised.

Great observation NEJM!

Hell, if a bonehead like me at age 10 could figure it out, why would it take another 20 years to re-state the painfully obvious?

Some previous studies have found that low carbohydrate diets like Atkins work better than a traditional low-fat diet. But the new research found that the key to losing weight boiled down to a basic rule — calories in, calories out.

“The hidden secret is it doesn’t matter if you focus on low-fat or low-carb,” said Dr. Elizabeth Nabel, director of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, which funded the research.

Limiting the calories you consume and burning off more calories with exercise is key, she said.

You don’t even have to eat less!  Just get off yer butt and exercise.

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If Holder thinks that it is so easy to control drug gangs’ access to guns, one way to show it is by proving that he can stop drug gangs’ access to drugs.  – John R. Lott, Jr.

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Coulter is, as usual, capable of gouging to the bone with her nails and her wit.

As Obama prepared to deliver his address to Congress yesterday, Republican House Minority Leader John Boehner, Fox News’ Bret Baier and Charles Krauthammer all gushed that history was being made as the first African-American president appeared before Congress.

Even Gov. Bobby Jindal, whom I suppose I should note was the first Indian-American to give the Republican response to a president’s speech, began with an encomium to the first black president. (Wasn’t Bobby great in “Slumdog Millionaire”?)

Are we going to have to hear about this for the next four years? Obama is becoming the Cal Ripken Jr. of presidents, making history every time he suits up for a game. Recently, Obama also became the first African-American president to order a ham sandwich late at night from the White House kitchen! That’s going to get old pretty quick.

It’s already old.

Just as old as the term “shovel-ready” which is going to cause me to bust a gasket before very long.

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more later

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Obama Promises…

Update:

A bit of a positive piece of information…  not only is this almost too cool, it IS too cool.

As an ex-swimmer and water-polo player, I absolutely am thrilled for her.

mermaidSwim like a mermaid.

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Tonight’s Obama speech… he promised (per Drudge):

Obama Says USA will rebuild and emerge stronger...
Obama vows to increase number of soldiers...
Obama vows to seek cure for cancer 'in our time'...
Obama says bank bailout may cost more than expected...
Obama promises universal EDUCATION THROUGH COLLEGE...
Obama promises universal health care...

I read this off to Cruel Wife.

“Oh,” she said. (long pause) “So why not the sun, moon, and the stars while we’re at it?” (brief pause) … “And a pony. I want a pony.”

Well, hell, why not?

The waves can’t get much worse…

waves-dangerous****

Archbishop warns against deification of Obama Robbin’ Hood.

Sorry, adulation.

What would be the consequences?  Oh, I don’t know… election of a socialist president, passage of obscene spending bills, and a perceived mandate on the part of the moonbats/democrats?

His warning came too late.

In a reference to the messianic treatment the Barack Obama received from some Americans during the presidential primaries, Archbishop Chaput delivered his second point: “in democracies, we elect public servants, not messiahs.”

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$648B (that’s billion) dollars towards Universal Health Care.

Aides Call Money a ‘Down Payment’ Toward Universal-Coverage Efforts

A down payment is all it will be and it won’t amount to a pee-hole in the snow in terms of what a Universal Health Care system will actually cost.  If you thought SS and Medicare were frightening shadows in the wings, then this ought to make your bowels turn watery.  Mine already deliquesced a few days ago.
Our president is something of a naive joke, and I’m afraid a lot of people are going to listen to him until too late.

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Dentist says groping chest massage part of the treatment.

Unless he can present three men who were also “massaged” he needs to go to jail as a sex offender.

Apparently Dr. Manny tends to agree with me that this is no therapy.

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Being a card-carrying redneck, I was (rightly) concerned by the precedent which may be set by my once-home state.

Oregon is embroiled in a controversy over guns. Now, this is odd for a state that has always been pro-gun, was founded with guns, and has fed so many families and sportsmen alike.

Recent weeks have witnessed a fair amount of thrash in the Oregon Concealed Carry community. It started with a group seeking the release of the names of CCW holders statewide. Many Sheriff’s departments have declined to provide this information, including the Rob Gordon, Sheriff of Washington County

Rob Gordon, sheriff of Washington Country (a good man by the way)  said in a letter to his county’s CCW holders:

As your sheriff, I refused to disclose that information because I believe many people obtain a concealed handgun license for personal security and would not want that information made public. I also resist disclosing personal information because of the continuing identity theft risks.

Despite my belief (shared by sheriffs across Oregon), an Oregon court recently decided that there is no evidence that people obtain concealed handgun licenses for security measures. The court ordered the Jackson County Sheriff to disclose a list of all the concealed handgun license holders in his county to the local newspaper. The case is now before the Oregon Court of Appeals.

This issue should concern anyone with a CCW (and actually even if you just own weapons because this will be a slippery slope – it’s not just about CCW), because as soon as this newspaper sued to get the list, and was granted the ok by an activist judge, other newspapers in Oregon began to do the same.   It is not going to happen without a fight, but you ought to be outraged.

The issue as of Monday (yesterday).

Here’s one liberal bedwetter’s excuse for trampling on people’s rights:

However, an open records advocate said supporters of the bill have made no compelling case for further chipping away at Oregon’s public records law by closing off the gun permit records from public disclosure.

“What is the privacy interest in this case? What abuse has occurred as a result of these records being open?” said Tim Gleason, dean of the University of Oregon’s School of Journalism.

Those records should remain open as a practical safety matter, Gleason added.

What if you’re an abuse victim, and you want to know if the person who’s abusing you is carrying a concealed weapon?” he said. “That seems like a legitimate question to ask.”

Oh yes, the argument that pretends to be innocent and legitimate concern…  Answer:  Then you go to the police, tell them you’re being abused, have that person checked out by the police, and if there is any proof at all, they’ll take care of it.  In the meantime, take a gun safety course and get your own damn CCW.

More on this so you don’t have to go looking…

MEDFORD, Ore. (AP) – The Medford Mail Tribune has sued the sheriff for a list of concealed handgun licenses in Jackson County, hoping to determine how many are held by teachers.

The newspaper said it wants to determine the impact of a ruling in another suit, brought by English teacher Shirley Katz. She has a permit and wants to be able to carry a gun to class.

Sheriff Mike Winters said he would oppose the newspaper’s lawsuit, filed last week.

For both privacy and safety reasons, Winters said, “I don’t believe it’s anyone’s business who possesses a concealed handgun license.”

The newspaper does not plan to publish the names of license holders, said Mail Tribune Editor Bob Hunter. It wants the information for research about how far-reaching a ruling on the Katz lawsuit could be.

There are about 6,500 license holders in Jackson County, according to the sheriff’s office.

“We feel Sheriff Winters is allowing his personal feelings to interfere with his duty to enforce the law,” Hunter said. “This is information bought and paid for by the public, and the public has a right to it.”

He said the Multnomah County sheriff’s office released a similar list to newspapers.

The director of the gun rights group that has financed Katz’s lawsuit against the Medford School District, which bans employees from bringing guns on campus, said that as a matter of law, handgun licenses are a public record.

“Obviously, I’d like to see those people’s privacy protected, but I doubt (Sheriff Winters) has any legal justification for withholding what is a public record,” said Kevin Starrett, director of the Oregon Firearms Education Foundation.

Jackson County Circuit Court Judge Philip Arnold heard oral arguments Thursday on Katz’s challenge, but had not issued a ruling.

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I’m starting to worry at the number of people that are going to be increasingly angry about their rights being eroded, their money being taken and given to those who can’t be responsible, the loss of their home values, the loss of their retirement funds, the (potential) loss of their jobs, and the fact that we’re essentially being taxed with representation, as lame and criminal as it is.

I mean… me, I’m just pissed.   I blow steam, and I’m good and so are many many other people.  But there are folks out there that are just not so inclined and frankly, some of them scare the poop out of me.  A handful of nutjobs could end up hurting a lot of nice people if we aren’t careful.  Scary.

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UPDATE:

GODDAMNIT, THIS IS WHAT GOT US INTO TROUBLE IN THE FIRST ****ING PLACE!!  If you don’t have or can’t afford a house the odds are astronomically high that THERE IS A GOOD REASON.  Stop giving people stuff they cannot handle!

Houston taxpayers could start footing the bill to help first-time homebuyers pay off debts and improve their credit scores, under a proposal before City Council this week.

The “Credit Score Enhancement Program” will give up to $3,000 in grants to individuals who are trying to qualify for mortgages through the city’s homebuyers assistance program. City officials say some applicants fall short of eligibility by only 10 or 20 points on their credit scores, and paying off some debt balances can quickly improve their numbers.

Oh, and STOP DOING IT ON MY DIME!  I know I don’t live in Texas.  But if Texas takes even one penny because it can’t afford something and the State of Texas gives Houston even one penny, then it means essentially I’m helping to foot the bill for these people.

Can’t afford a home?  Tough shit.

Gloves off, let’s not pussyfoot around the issue.  Tough shit.

Life isn’t fair.  You’ll survive w/o buying a home.  Rent.  Stop expecting the world to solve your problems.  I don’t care if you think the credit score requirement is arbitrary or you’re off by even 1%, a line has to be drawn somewhere.

If I want to give money to someone or a charity, let me do it and let me decide who it goes to – DON’T expect the gov’t to take it from me so they can give it to you.

“A government that robs Peter to pay Paul
can always depend on the support of Paul.”

– George Bernard Shaw

Pssst.  Don’t look now, but you’re helping terrorists with your taxes, too.  To the tune of $900 million.

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This kind of a career-shredder.  Deserting, that is.  The rest is just kinky.  Not that there is anything wrong with that.

He was ticketed for allegedly resisting arrest, a misdemeanor, and taken to Boulder County Jail. Jail staff found three pairs of panties in Mauger’s shirt pocket and said he was wearing a woman’s thong underneath his boxers. He refused to tell jail staff where the undergarments had come from and why he had them, police said.

I will say this… it’s none of the police’s business what he wears under his boxers – as far as I know, it is completely legal to be creepy and they overstepped their bounds.

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Because principles have consequences the president needs to better explain why his various bailouts punish the prudent, reward the reckless, and flagrantly violate the principle that people must live with the consequences of their personal decisions.  –Jon Kraushar

He also adds…

In the bailouts so far, the thrifty have been tapped to bail out the thriftless. This is not only financial engineering; it is social engineering. It suggests turning America into “old Europe” where the welfare state reigns, there is widespread nationalization—from health care to major industries—taxes are high, growth is almost non-existent and innovation, creativity, enterprise and anyone with brains and guts is emigrating. Does America really want to catch “Eurosclerosis”?

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Say what you will about disgraced-Senator Craig, but at least he was embarrassing in semi-privacy.  This guy is embarrassing all-around.  Sen. Bunning in a stunning display of no class.  So, thinking about democrat congress-critters got me thinking about the garden-variety flavor of the species, the liberal.

Steamboat McGoo posted a pic that he obtained through some means and I’m displaying it here until such time as somebody says “Hey, please don’t” and then I will gladly remove it.  It says it all.

clapOk sue me.  Pot.  Kettle.  Black.  I never claimed to have class, either.  I make no excuse for myself for I have embraced my strengths…

assholeAnd now I can proudly say…

asshole-essenceThank you, McGoo, thank you.  I owe you for letting me brazenly borrow these words images of wisdom.

Note:  While I don’t apologize for being an asshole (actually being one) I have to say that I am sorry if you were offended.  Not sorry I posted, just sorry you chose to be offended.

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update – Microsoft caved, thinking that the $100K or so wasn’t so big next to their $40B income…

Ah, Microsoft has decided that the people it laid off got too much severance pay. So it wants it back.

Microsoft says some of the 1,400 employees it laid off last month accidentally got too much in their severance packages — and now it wants the money back.

“This letter is to inform you that an inadvertent administrative error occurred that resulted in an overpayment in severance pay by Microsoft,” reads a letter sent to an unnamed employee and posted on the TechCrunch blog. “We ask that you repay the overpayment and sincerely apologize for any overpayment to you.”

Blacked out are the employee’s name and address and how much Microsoft says he owes. The letter bears a Microsoft letterhead and a date of Feb. 18.

Later in the article an unnamed Microsoft spokesperson hinted that some people were underpaid.

Oh yeah, right.  Well, we should cut some slack to the company from whom so much milk-of-human-kindness has flowed in the past, shouldn’t we?

C’mon, you sever ties with them, give them an envelope and a pat on the ass as they go out the door and you expect to keep calling the shots?  Tough stuff, MS.

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Sadly, this doesn’t even begin to make up for what part the pigs played in victimizing her.

Child Pornographer Must Pay $200G to Woman Photographed as Molested Child

Not even close, and nothing ever will, but it is a start to hurting him and his ilk right back (if we don’t get the option to use a wood-chipper).

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Update:  The Dude sent me the link to this.  If I posted it before, deal with it.  The Redneck Life board game.  Go buy six or seven just because it’s a great idea.  No, the seller/inventor is no one in my family either by blood or marriage.  We don’t have the same style of mullet.  Don’t even know the person.  Don’t own stock.  My dog doesn’t even go to the same pet salon.

redlife

(sigh) I miss Redneck Rampage™.

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For now, a thing about the US postal service… and later, a commentary on this travesty of an institution.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/feb/23/congress-will-investigate-postmasters-pay/

Congress will hold a hearing next month into why Postmaster General John E. Potter has gotten a nearly 40 percent pay raise since 2006 and was awarded a six-figure incentive bonus last year, even as the U.S. Postal Service faces a multibillion-dollar shortfall that threatens a day of mail delivery.

Got that?  The man gets a six-figure incentive bonus.  BONUS.  Not bad for a gov’t enforced monopoly.  Their mission statement is about customer service.  Oh, someone got serviced all right.

Now, I have no reason to believe (this time) that the Wikipedia entry for USPS is wrong:

The United States Postal Service is currently the third-largest[8] employer in the United States, after the United States Department of Defense[9] and Wal-Mart.[10] The USPS operates the largest civilian vehicle fleet in the world, with an estimated 260,000 vehicles, the majority of which are the easily identified Chevrolet/Grumman LLV (Long-Life Vehicle), and the newer Ford/Utilimaster FFV (Flex-Fuel Vehicle), originally also referred to as the “CRV” (Carrier Route Vehicle), as shown in the pictures below. In an interview on NPR, a USPS official stated that for every penny increase in the national average price of gasoline, the USPS spends an extra $8 million to fuel its fleet.[citation needed] This implies that the fleet requires some 800 million gallons (3.03 billion liters) of fuel per year, and consumes an estimated fuel budget of $3.2 billion, were the national gasoline price to average $4.00. Some rural mail carriers use personal vehicles. Standard postal-owned vehicles do not have license plates. These vehicles are identified by a seven digit number displayed on the front and rear.

And I can’t prove it yet, but a huge huge huge percentage of that volume is utter crap – junk/bulk mail.

I’m looking to see which subsidizes which – bulk subs first class or first class subs bulk.  Weigh in if you have an opinion.

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The Truth Should Be Out.

Fox had a headline and I’ve waited a while to get to it:

Beheading of Wife Poses Another Test for U.S. Muslims

Uh.

Yeaaaaah.

About that…

It should be a test of all of ’em!  No, not all Muslims chop their wives heads off.  I know that.  But I’ll be damned if I can see where there are any Muslims with the guts enough to stand up and say “This crap has to be stamped out, burned out root and branch, and and end put to it once and for all.”

You might see one imam say “We don’t condone this.”  Or a woman scholar in the middle east with more cojones than any of the men who says “Perhaps the Koran wasn’t translated quite correctly in the way it says to treat wives”.  But on the whole…

Big whup-de-doo.

I want to see a huge mass of people with the furor of the Allah-Cartoon-Incident get up and riot over this kind of behavior.  Where’s the passionate outcry?

I’ll tell you where it is…  nowhere that can be seen.

This argument is rather pathetic…

“Muslims don’t want to talk about this for good reason,” said Saleemah Abdul-Ghafur, a Muslim author and activist. “There is so much negativity about Muslims, and it sort of perpetuates it. The right wing is going to run with it and misuse it. But we’ve got to shine a light on this issue so we can transform it.”

Uh… why is there so much negativity about Muslims?  As a right-winger, how can I possibly misuse it other than to say “this is wrong”?  Forgive me for my right-wing ‘tude, but there is not one single thing about chopping off your wife’s head or abusing her that is right.

Stop and ask yourself:  Why is there not such negativity about the Danes or the Swedes?  Oh we’re agreed that light must be shone here, but it has to be on the topic of why should there be so much negativity?

Let us forgive, for the moment, the vile injustice perpetrated upon the world by the Norwegians and Swedes commonly called “Lutefisk”.

Lutefisk is cod that has been dried in a lye solution. It looks like the desiccated cadavers of squirrels run over by trucks, but after it is soaked and reconstituted and the lye is washed out and it’s cooked, it looks more fish-related, though with lutefisk, the window of success is small. It can be tasty, but the statistics aren’t on your side. It is the hereditary delicacy of Swedes and Norwegians who serve it around the holidays, in memory of their ancestors, who ate it because they were poor. Most lutefisk is not edible by normal people. It is reminiscent of the afterbirth of a dog or the world’s largest chunk of phlegm.  – Garrison Keillor

Ok, continuing on, let me put it another way.  If one person comes up to me and says “Jack is a creep”  I can generally think that this person has a bone to pick with Jack and it being kind of a creep themselves.   If two people have come up to me, and they aren’t closely associated, and they both say “Jack is a creep”… I start to wonder if Jack had a bad day.  If three, five, or ten folks come up to me and say “Jack is a creep”… well, I have to begin to think that maybe, just maybe… Jack is a creep.

Another snippet:

“What you have is a cultural problem our communities have been silent about too long,” said Wajahat Ali, a journalist and playwright who helped drive the effort. “What people with an agenda are trying to do is say this is an example of a barbaric religion. This is an example of barbaric misogyny and domestic violence.”

Uh… most domestic violence doesn’t involve beheading.  That seems to be a really favorite thing with certain cultures.  I don’t even have to say it out loud, folks know what I mean.  It is not just misogyny and domestic violence of the garden variety.

As an outsider I can only draw the conclusion that women just don’t rank very high in the Muslim culture unless they are defiled in such a way that it impacts family honor.  I know, no one is shocked by that statement.  But neither is it aired out.

Please, someone tell me different.  I would like to believe that the idea that Muslims at large just don’t care a great deal about it  just not true.  But I see little evidence to the contrary.

Here’s another litmus test:  When you wonder if you should blog on this topic.

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Call me a chickensh*t, but I think I’ll let thousands upon thousands of others inject this first, and if it works I’ll be protect by herd immunity and then when there appears to be no effects ten years down the road… then I’ll get innoculated.

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Damn right you should have to pay for rescue efforts when you get in trouble in a remote area.  Pike’s Peak included.   Your feet hurt?  Aww, poor baby.  Tough it out.

I knew this gal (mooned after her, I did) in high school.  She was a friend’s girlfriend and the nicest kindest sweetest gal you could ever hope to meet.  My friend was an ass.  Anyway, we go on this group hike down a river (50 miles) in Southern Oregon.  Three days into it she pulls off her sneakers and socks and she’s missing a silver-dollar sized patch on her heel and the other was almost as bad.  It had rubbed off the first day.  She said nothing.  She said “Why complain?  Nothing could be done about it. ”

Ever since then I’ve taken her attitude to heart about just dealing with it when it is something you asked for – running, biking, hiking, weightlifting.  The pain is temporary and you might as well suck it up.

Amazing gal.

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… but dammit, we’re going to go hell bent for leather and pretend it will!

Taxed by the mile, you will see a convoluted algorithm as complex as the tax code and as vague as Keno.

The system would require all cars and trucks be equipped with global satellite positioning technology, a transponder, a clock and other equipment to record how many miles a vehicle was driven, whether it was driven on highways or secondary roads, and even whether it was driven during peak traffic periods or off-peak hours.

The device would tally how much tax motorists owed depending upon their road use. Motorists would pay the amount owed when it was downloaded, probably at gas stations at first, but an alternative eventually would be needed.
Privacy concerns are based more on perception than any actual risk, Atkinson said. The satellite information would be beamed one way to the car and driving information would be contained within the device on the car, with the amount of the tax due the only information that’s downloaded, he said.

Naturally, in order to prove that the taxes were calculated correctly (in order to cover our ass in case the sheeple do complain), we’ll also download all that time/place/who stuff  and keep it safe.  You can trust us.

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Chicago Tea Party… the poll may not be scientific but it is telling.

chicago-tea-party****

Funniest “most embarassing” correction statement ever…

huffpo-gibson

Idiocy courtesy of Huffington Post

At least the had the balls to correct it.  *smirk*

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Another little historical reality check…

djia-history-1970-feb202009click to embiggen

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Thank God the stimulus bill is really going to help those who need it most.  Per the Silicon Valley Insider…

Billionaire Paul Allen is a Microsoft cofounder, the owner of the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks and the owner of the NBA’s Portland Trailblazers.

paulallen-poor-little-rich-boy

And, thanks to the stimulus bill President Obama signed this week, he’s also about to be as much as a billion dollars richer.

  • Allen owns a majority stake in cable provider Charter Communications.
  • Charter Communications this month said it would reduce its debt load by $8 billion and enter Chapter 11.
  • Normally, partners at a firm like Charter Communications would have to pay taxes on the amount of debt forgiven in this process, which is, in a sense a one-time income windfall. Tax law calls it a “deemed distribution.”
  • But under the new bill, companies like Charter Communications will be able to avoid paying taxes on forgiven debt until 2014. Even then, Paul will have until 2018 to pay it completely off.
  • Paul owns about half of Charter, so his share of the Charter Commuincations’  $8 billion debt forgiveness is around $4 billion. At a tax rate of 25%, Allen could avoid paying as much as $1 billion in taxes until 2014, tax expert Robert Willens told the WSJ.

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Attack of the Blue Hares

Update 1: Steampunk can be carried a tad too far.  It is a computer case.   Not sure how to call this one.  This will whet your appetite, so now go look at the rest of the pictures (link above).

steampunk-computer

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Update 2: On the civil liberties front…

Man has a bumper sticker that says “Abort Obama, not babies”… guess what?  He gets pulled over, they take his sticker, give him a notice that he’s under investigation, and the Secret Service shows up at his house to walk through it “to make sure he’s not part of any hate group”.

I’m very anti-KKK and very anti-terrorist (virulently so) but he has a right to belong to any group he so chooses, doesn’t he?

Normally I’d hesitate to say “gestapo” but let me ask you this:

If he was part of a hate group and planned on doing something that endangered others… do you really think he’d put a damned sticker in his car?

Simple logic says “get a grip, people.”

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Update 3: I’m pretty sure I need a dozen of these and I need them right now.  USB Chicken Feet.

chickenfootThanks to SlashGear for giving my life meaning again.

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Drove home tonight at a relatively early hour, 5:30pm.   Completion of that task would not occur until another hour later, which is unusual for a 40 minute trip.

There is a gas station, which I will not name but will give it a nom de guerre, say “Runoco”, and this was my port of call along the route I commonly use to travel to and from work.  It was this gas station where the event which I call The Attack of the Blue Hares transpired.

I got out and quickly filled the tank on my truck and then briskly strode into the store to give the owner of that fine establishment my hard-earned cash – in the form of a credit card.

Inside were two little old ladies who were noticeably shorter than Cruel Wife (who is 5’1″, when wearing thick socks) standing at the counter.   One of the ladies either had no teeth or her face had imploded – it wasn’t immediately obvious.  The other lady was bundled up in at least 7 layers of clothing and a headscarf.  She smelled faintly of cheese.

These were the Blue Hares.

mountain_hare_lgeA Blue Hare

I took up my station behind the ladies, and having been raised a polite boy kept a respectful distance, a courteous demeanor, and casually scanned the ingredients on select bags of smoked meat by-products.  Mmmm-mmm.

The conversation between Blue Hare #1  (Toothless), Blue Hare #2 (Cheesy), and Frustrated Clerk (Frustrated Clerk) went something like this:

Toothless:  Don’t forget these bags of potato chips.

Cheesy:  Now, I want to make sure we got everything rung up and nothing twice.

Frustrated Clerk:  Ok, we got [blah, blah, blah, and blah] coming to a total of [blah].

Cheesy:  Ok.

Toothless:  Don’t forget the Lotto.

Cheesy: Oh yes, we want the Lotto.

Frustrated Clerk:   Powerball or Mega Millions?

[argument between the Blue Hares regarding which they wanted]

Cheesy:  Mega Millions.  That’s tonight.

Frustrated Clerk:  Quick pick?

Cheesy & Toothless, simultaneously:  No!  Get a card.

Frustrated Clerk:  Ok, here you go, you can fill it out and…

Cheesy and Toothless, together:  No, could you fill in the numbers for us?  It’s hard to fill those little spots…

Briefly, I wondered if I had made a wrong turn and was indeed in Hell.

Frustrated Clerk:  Okayyyy.  Which ones do you want?

[a long conversation ensues where they read off numbers one after another after much debate over each one]

Frustrated Clerk:  Ok, one more number, which one do you want?

I break here to remind you that Quick Pick was NOT good enough, that they had to select their numbers based on a time honored ritual passed on down through the centuries as far back in the mists of time as when Moses’ grandfather got his first retainer.

Blue Hares in chorus to young teen nearby:   What number do you want?

Young Teen:  Huh?

Blue Hares in creepy tandem:  What number do you want…?  Pick a number!

Young Teen:  Twenty-three?

Blue Hares:  Twenty-three!  Print it!

Frustrated Clerk, relieved:  Ok, the total is blah blah and the change is $28.37.

Toothless:  Don’t forget my bags of chips!

Cheesy:  Be careful with that, don’t you break my bottles of wine!

Lemur King again… by now I was frustrated, thinking to myself that one could feel justifiably annoyed and I’d be within my rights to be since the small stuff filling the gaps of this narrative helped stretch the event out to 15 minutes, but… hopping up and down while screaming wasn’t really going to elicit results that would be considered an improvement.  See my dilemma?

The Blue Hares then paid Frustrated Clerk and received their change, resulting in them moving… not at all.  They stood there, counting money twice, and stashing different denominations in various creases, pouches, pockets, carriers, and orifices.

It was time to make my move… In a voice only slightly strained I sobbed “Pump #5, please.”

Frustrated Clerk looked up in a daze but shook it off quickly as she realized that she was not trapped forever in whatever fresh hell the Blue Hares had just drug her into.

I had paid for my fuel, signed my slip, and was on my way out the door when I stopped.   I waited and held the door for these two highly annoying, slow moving, gambling, wine-drinking, Blue Hare ladies as they steadily made their way out of the station towards their car, the owner of said wine putting her walker in front of her one step at a time and showing remarkable dexterity as she shook her car keys out of her pocket.  The lady of no-teeth making fantastic claims regarding the safety of the groceries in her capable hands.

And I sat there momentarily holding the door after they passed and thought to myself, better to be patient and kind to them because someday I may need someone to cut me some slack. And then I thought, better get on the road before them, or wait until I see which way they go so I can go the other way.

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Disclaimer:  I am railing at our collective victimhood, not the very real pain-response that comes from being out of a job, losing your home, or hardships from the current recession.

Americans used to be known for toughness, stick-toit-edness, strength of character… what are we now?

I’m not saying it isn’t devastating to have lost your job – because it is.  Very much so.  You get by and eventually you will find a job.  It is understandable and quite normal to be dealt a blow by it.  I was.

What is NOT understandable is how everybody else, the media foremost, who is acting like they have lost their jobs and the country is on the skids headed for a cliff, never to return.

As Americans we have historically ridden stuff out and we’ll do so again.  We have been tough ****ers and pulled together.

flagraise

What is irritating the hell out of me is this tendency for everything in the media to be presented having gone through a gauntlet for the most depressing, demoralizing, negative bunch of bullshit ever spewed.   And for people to lap it up without a trace of discernment, without a trace of desire to verify the facts, and without a single bit of backbone that says “Panic won’t fix it, hand-wringing won’t fix it, and we just go one day at a time.  Together.”

People deserve to see how some people are rolling with the punches.  They need to see inspirational people around them.  They deserve to hear someone who has an opposing viewpoint, who just might be able to say “I think things will turn around and here’s why.”  They deserve leaders who by God, act like leaders instead of trying to scare people into accepting spending bills that no one in their right mind would countenance any other time.

The media doesn’t seem to realize or care – and no one calls them on it – that if you say something enough times… it starts to stick.  And they have been doing such a good job of crying doom that they are helping to create a self-fulfilling prophecy.

I’ve been thinking this for a while now and Bill O’Reilly, who I do not agree with even half the time (because he’s pushy and at times abusive to his guests), had something to say that rang loud and clear.  Note that it starts on a bad note, but then take notice of the point that he leaves on after having made it well:

And many of us are victims of the brutal recession in America. Again, we did nothing to deserve this. Most Americans are hard-working honest people who pay their mortgages and don’t steal money in rigged business deals.

But the government let us down and allowed business gangsters to run wild. And there’s absolutely nothing we can do about it.

That’s frustrating, and it makes people angry. Why should we suffer when we did nothing wrong and the government we hire by our votes to represent us was too lazy or dumb to protect us? Both parties are to blame.

But if we dwell on stuff like this, we become cynical and unhappy. So the best thing to do is to ride it out.

Thursday on “The Radio Factor,” I got a call from a young guy in Utah. He lost his job, he has three small children and no money. So what did he do? Well, he joined the National Guard. Now the government will pay for much of his college, and he’ll be able to feed his kids.

That’s an example of an American rolling with it, making the best out of a bad situation and even contributing to society after fate whacked him. That’s how we all have to think. We can turn a bad situation into something positive.

Life is tough. It isn’t fair. Bad things happen to good people. All of those cliches. But if we survive fate, it tends to make us stronger if we are smart about it.

Bill O’Reilly – http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,493765,00.html

(emphasis mine)

What happened to us?

I fear all we have done is awakened a sleeping giant and filled him with a terrible resolve. – Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto after the attack on Pearl Harbor

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Update:  Ok, yeah, so I want a full set… Each one fits on a single finger.  Nice.  Makes fighting for the halloween candy that much easier.

iron_reaver_claw

click to embiggen

Ok these too…  don’t ask me why I like them.  They look like you’d look like a total idiot wearing them, but they’re still neat.

skull_bones_hand_claw_540

click to embiggen

Update #2 – Enas has been trying to get me addicted to WoW, the EverCrack for the 00’s.  May I present to you a picture that I ran across a day or so ago?  I cannot recall where and it is not mine and I don’t claim it is mine – but it kind of illustrates one little fear I have regarding this type of game:

futurewowplayerlarge

Now, on to our regularly scheduled load of tripe…

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Found a web/blog that showcases great long-exposure photography.  Check out this one:

John A Ryan Photography

Source: Insight Imaging: John A Ryan Photography

Isn’t that just beautiful?  More long-exposure stuff can be found here at the Digital Photography School website.

Update… I keep going back to look at their pics.  I wish I was half as talented – go check them out.

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Other fun stuff with digital photography is to be found as well.  I got very interested in Paul Debevec and Greg Ward’s work in HDR (High Dynamic Range) imagery a few years ago and really haven’t had the right tools to do the job but gave it a shot anyway.

hdr-july4-noon_20080704_smallThing to note with HDR photography is that you will be able to capture orders of magnitude greater range of exposure beyond what the sensor of your camera can supply.  Viewing an HDR (range compression) must be lossy because your monitor can only display a very small range of intensities (and is limited in terms of the CIE color spectrum as well, but that’s another topic).

What the preceeding paragraph is hinting at is that in one picture you can capture all the brightest points and darkest points in detail.  It looks… odd… but is fascinating to look at anyway.  If you want to really read up on it, including Ward and Debevec’s papers, fire me a note and I’ll dig them up for you.  Otherwise PopSci has a good overview here.

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Technology is so… chaotic… in terms of cool or not cool.  Let’s look at the example of a USB Sheep Lamp.

usb-sheep-lampYou tell me… cool or not?  I have my own opinions but it’d be interesting to hear yours.

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So if you are drunk and stupid, it’s still better to try to drive home than to ask a cop.  That’s the lesson I’m seeing here.

An allegedly intoxicated couple stopped at a police station to try to catch a lift home. La Marque Police Chief Richard Price said the woman collapsed in the lobby. Her 22-year-old boyfriend was arrested after marijuana was found in his shoes.

Source: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,493015,00.html

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Time for another look at movie posters.  This one is The Pumpkin Karver.  You just know that with the “K” standing in for a “C” that it has to be of the same kaliber as Killer Klowns from Outer Space, right?  It got 3.3 out of 10 stars at IMDB.com, which is usually pretty generous compared to RottenTomatoes.com.  PK wasn’t even rated on RottenTomatoes (no surprise) and Killer Klowns got a 73% on the Tomatometer, yay! (5.5 out of 10 on IMDB )   When RT doesn’t even deign to rip off your cinematic head and defecate down what is left of said cinematic throat, you’re doing pretty bad.

A Face Only a Mother Could Love

A Face Only a Mother Could Love

Love the poster though.  Nothing says “I wuv ‘oo” quite like a diseased klown.

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Wow, the transgender godfather.  Yikes.  Go read the article.  I think this will help convince you to see it.  If the picture looks odd, wait till you see the real mobster.

I can be a bit critical of them doing this pic though… making fun of Brando… Mmmmm… I don’t know.

more later…

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Give me a “P”…!

Rumor could be that Mountain Dew will license this new formulation and sell it as “Code Yellow”.

I don’t care how you dress it up, I’m not about to go drink cow piss anytime soon.

code-yellowAbove is my derivative adulteration of a Code Red Logo to match the whole “Code Yellow” idea.

The hypothetical rumor is probably baseless, so I didn’t spend a lot of time on it.

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Art should be part of the free market system, not funds forcibly spent on crap.

Statues of fornicating k-9’s.  Nice.

If the art is worth a damn, it’ll get funded, but the only way this sort of BS gets money is by liberal fart-sniffers sneaking laws in that require percentages of project total dollar amounts to be spent on “art”.

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FT.com Headline:

Why Obama’s new Tarp will fail to rescue the banks

and then, first sentence:

Has Barack Obama’s presidency already failed? In normal times, this would be a ludicrous question. But these are not normal times.

Given the neverending steamy stream of urine miracles promised by the Obamamessiah and anticipated by his mindless drone worshippers, anything he does will come under the heading of “FAIL” because reality cannot hope to measure up to those promises.

Y’all made your bed, now sleep in it.  I wish I didn’t have to as well.

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Only in Michigan.  I knew things were bad, but this bad?

Zoo charges folks $ to watch animals in coitus.

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John Lott had interesting things to say regarding what Obama promised and what he actually believes and will do.

Quite the jarring discrepancy.

It’s like Obama is a magician.  If you were stupid enough to vote for him, what you think you were getting was not reality.  Too late now, eh?

copperfield

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Does it just not interest anyone at all that California will cut schools, roads, parks, etc. – all things for citizens to partake of yet they will not move on the drain of illegal aliens leeching them dry?

The Wall Street Journal article (linked above) says:

As Sacramento squabbles over the state’s $42 billion deficit…

Lets look at some of that deficit, shall we?  The estimation in the next paragraph says:

A study by the Federation for American Immigration Reform estimated that in 2004 the annual uncompensated cost of medical care for illegal immigrants in California was $1.4 billion. Total uncompensated educational, health care and incarceration costs were estimated to be 10.5 billion.  (source:  NewsMax)

If we take it at face value, 25% of California’s burden is due to illegals.  Like I want federal money (my tax dollars) to go to support their low wage laborers who siphon off the system?

more later…

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The Fear of Hope and Change

Update:  If only Bush had this years ago.  I think he would have been able to synergistically leverage the infrastructure’s paradigm and succeed where so many (other) evil ones have failed.

Evil Plan Generator.

He just wasn’t wired for successful follow-through with his evil-ness.

Mine read like this:

Congratulations on being the creator of a new Evil Plan ™!

Your objective is simple: World Domination.
Your motive is a little bit more complex: To show them all

Stage One

To begin your plan, you must first incinerate a town mascot. This will cause the world to wipe the sleep from their eyes, stunned by your arrival. Who is this evil genius? Where did they come from? And why do they look so good in classic black?

Stage Two

Next, you must desecrate the eiffel tower. This will all be done from a abandoned church, a mysterious place of unrivaled dark glory. Upon seeing this, the world will die in a way you just don’t want to think about, as countless hordes of evil clowns hasten to do your every bidding.

Stage Three

Finally, you must demonstrate your needlessly big weather machine, bringing about pain, suffering, the usual. Your name shall become synonymous with dear god no and no man will ever again dare call you names. Everyone will bow before your cunning intelligence, and the world will have no choice but to erect a gigantic statue of you.

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Yes, let’s do choose hope over fear.

While President Bush was accused shortly after taking office in 2001 of “talking down the economy” – and for saying the economy was “slowing down” – Mr. Obama is using ever-heightening hyperbole to hammer home his message. But the strategy brings great risk for the “Yes, We Can” man, who just three weeks ago told America in his inaugural address that despite “a sapping of confidence across our land,” his election meant Americans had “chosen hope over fear.”

Source:  Times Online

One person’s hope is another person’s fear, and this is especially true from the standpoint of the conservatives out there.

“The danger for him is using the Jimmy Carter malaise rhetoric, particularly for Mr. Obama, who was elected because people thought he was the solution. There’s only so much negativity they will tolerate from him before they will feel betrayed,” Mr. Luntz said.

Ah, the media and their double-standard.  Let’s hope they start bashing on a more equal-opportunity footing.

Every president must walk a rhetorical tightrope when talking about the economy, a lesson Mr. Bush learned quickly, being bashed just after taking office for delivering somber news. The United States was just entering a mild recession – it had been in one, it turns out, for about nine months – and the new president said so.

Liberals went berserk.

“Every time we turn around, this guy is bad-mouthing the economy. Is that lifting our spirit or dumping on it in order to sell his tax cut?” liberal comentator Bill Press said on CNN. Newsweek’s Jonathan Alter, in an article headlined “Thanks Ever So Much, President Poor-Mouth,” said, “Even if Bush turns out to be right in his predictions of gloom, that doesn’t mean he was right to make them.”

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Yes, we need to punish him so that means we need to get to the truth.

http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=D96885BO0&show_article=1

At what point exactly did Congress grant itself the powers to enforce the law and judiciate  (preside over) the law as well as just craft it?  Honest question.

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One of the stupider things I’ve heard of in a long time.  A jet pack powered by a big hose connected to a boat on the water.  Woo-hoo.

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Messenger news:

MESSENGER reaches its orbital perihelion today and passes within 0.31 astronomical units (AU) of the Sun (one AU is nearly 150 million kilometers or 93 million miles). The mission’s imaging team is taking advantage of the probe’s proximity to the fiery sphere to continue their search for vulcanoids – small, rocky asteroids that have been postulated to circle the Sun in stable orbits inside the orbit of Mercury.

Messenger goes to a hot place… Mercury has about ten times the amount of solar radiation incident upon it as we do here at Earth.  It gets hot.  It’s nothing short of amazing to try to make an spacecraft that can survive a year in orbit around Mercury.  Our instrument design constraints were well within Earth norms, which speaks highly of the thermal shield and the ability to radiate heat away from the sunside.

MESSENGER Thermal Engineer Maintains Cool in Extreme Environs

The Mercury-bound MESSENGER spacecraft will be assaulted by temperatures as high as 700°F as it orbits the planet closest to the Sun, and the only thing that will stand between its room-temperature science instruments and the blistering heat is a handmade ceramic-cloth quilt just one-quarter of an inch thick. Carl Jack Ercol, the man largely responsible for making sure that MESSENGER will be able to stand up to such harsh heat once imagined he’d make his living in a darker, much cooler environment: the coal mining industry. Read more about Ercol at http://messenger.jhuapl.edu/who_we_are/member_focus.html.

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I need a cigarette and a shower.  And I don’t even smoke cigarettes.

A vacuum-tube CD player.  Go check them out.

vac-tube-cd-player-navison

I don’t know why but I suddenly started jonesin’ for all things SteamPunk.  No, wait, I do know why… because I’m working on making that home-made game and decided to do the board in SteamPunk – wood, brass, leather, rivets, gearing, piping… but only elements that harmonize and not overdone.  You gotta know when to leave off.

Here’s another great one.  SteamPunk goggles, which I generally feel are way over-rated but even so these come out leaps ahead.

Trust me, all of us put together can’t afford them.  But notice the irises… it makes my optical blood sing.  Suh-weet and scha-wing!

lvnax-l-1

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Went to (Short) Circuit City today.  Loved that store.  Best Buy survived.  Can’t figure it out, but anyway…

They had 40% off all movies in a “Going Out of Business” sale.  It felt like picking over the dead with a mob of 300 in there but I walked away with six movies for $38.

  • Saving Pvt. Ryan – every teenager should see it hell, everybody
  • Big Trouble in Little China – one of my top ten favorites
  • Chronicles of Riddick – dark, brooding, and a total Vin Diesel kickass flick
  • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix – Hey, it’s Harry Potter, c’mon
  • The Professional (aka Léon) – a VERY under-appreciated movie with two actors I like a lot – Jean Reno and Gary Oldman.  A young Natalie Portman did a good job in it, too
  • Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow – awesome movie

One that I wanted but was too expensive (listed at $21 and 40% off still was more than my limit) was Trailer Park of Terror:

trailer-park-of-terror-dvd

… if Trailer Park of Terror isn’t haute culture, I don’t know what is.  It carries the bouquet of velvet elvis wall hangings, Mojo Nixon or The Reverend Horton Heat, coors beer mirrors, and beer can hats.  Actually I hear the movie has all the benefits of an old fashioned can pull-tab under the thumbnail.

I couldn’t remember which Grindhouse movie was the good one and which was the bad, so I opted out.  The wife didn’t like I am Legend so that was out.  Hancock was good (I’m an extremely loyal Will Smith fan – he’s just good – his scene in I, Robot where he describes how a human would have known better than a robot to save the little ten-year-old girl’s life rather than his because “that was somebody’s baby”… that was good) but the wife wasn’t interested in that.

Anyway, cell-phoned Cruel Wife and asked her if I should look for anything in particular.  She said “Over the Hedge”.  So I looked.  Lots of scuffling with one other shopper whacking me with a bag repeatedly.  I finally said “Look Grandma, you old hag, you need to back off, I have a right to be here too.”

“Get… off… my… foot!”

Oh.  Sorry lady.

The gal at the counter was helpful at first but then she got all bipolar on my ass and she copped an attitude.  All I said was “I can’t find Over the Hedge… could you special order that for me?”

Geez, no need to curse and spit at me, woman.

Would like to have found Ronin as well, but no joy.  The store was emptying fast and the back half of the store was occupied by nothing more than a few jittery patrons, cockroaches, and the occasional tumbleweed.

The lines were jammed full of unwashed masses.  It took 45 minutes to get to the checkout guy, and he looked like someone had grabbed his colon and dragged him ass-first through a knot-hole in a board fence.

Have a better one, buddy.

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Working on the board game design still.  Not going to put gears in it, I think.  Will be putting wood, brass, leather, rivets, and even real stone tiles together in one case.

I think it’ll be nice.  Heavy as hell but this day and age of everything being light and plastic… meh.  That’s a problem I have with this generation – cheap plastic and lots of it.  No hard durable made-to-last stuff.  I want to make a game that will last a long time.

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Update: Time to play “Where’s My Porkulus Money?

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While the Porkulus Package being shoved by Obama and congress-critters is predicated on fear, loathing, and hysteria, let’s try to get some perspective.

No one is denying that the financial situation is not bad or that the job situation is not a rather harsh toke.

But to go and do everything, even anything, based on emotional assumptions not rooted in fact is kind of dangerous.

Look at the Unemployment Rate:

unemployment-vs-year-1948-2008

click to embiggen

It is safe to say that 4% unemployment is always there.  These are people who are laid off through normal influences, fired, had to leave for reasons out of their control, and those who just couldn’t be employed if you threw jobs at them.

Unemployment is now at 7.6%.  In the 70’s and 80’s it was at 9% and almost 11% respectively.  It’s been over 7% six times since 1948.  Go to the source on the graph and look at the key historical events they’ve noted and look at the relationships.

Inflation rates:

click to embiggen

click to embiggen

We’re actually seeing it go down.  Which (1) has it’s own problems, and (2) means that our gov’t just might be stupid enough to print vast scads of money to offset it and to get more money “out there”.  This would be bad.  Very very bad.

Far better to treat this as a market adjustment and stop trying to fix everything by using methods that might make it worse by driving inflation up very rapidly.

Just trying to put this all in perspective.  Just like antivirus companies have it in their best interest to make you concerned about the horrible dangers around every corner, so too do economists and reporters have a built-in bias to add to any assessment of the economy.  Here’s a great example of fearmongering that actually acts as a sh*t-multiplier:

Bill Gross, co-chief investment officer of Pacific Investment Management Co., said the U.S. may slump into a “mini depression” unless policy makers spend trillions of dollars to spur growth.  – Bloomberg.com

Yeah, that’s real helpful guys, and you could do it all in the name of “public service” and feel good about yourselves.  I’m not saying suppress the news, just make sure people realize that this is a guy’s opinion not fact.  The key word there was “may“, and you also need to understand why he said that, what his motivation is – of course he wants more money freed up… for him and his ilk.  But by scaring people you will cause them to be even more cautious and thus locking up more money.  We’ve already seen how “helping the credit markets” has done precious damn little down here on earth – it has allowed the companies themselves to pad themselves, not really free up money to be loaned.

Here’s another example of why I believe panic is… bad.

CBO, the official scorekeepers for legislation, said the House and Senate bills will help in the short term but result in so much government debt that within a few years they would crowd out private investment, actually leading to a lower Gross Domestic Product over the next 10 years than if the government had done nothing. – WA Times

For more fun, find Dick Morris and read his piece on why throwing money out there just isn’t going to work – it’s too simplistic.  Keynsian  Fallacy.

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Poor Obama.  He’s found out that when you’re not being worshipped continually doing work worthy of being commended for is… work… and it ain’t easy.  Notice how the media isn’t throwing softballs nearly as much?

Obama bemoans: Everyone’s an economist
Feb 6 12:22 PM US/Eastern

Comments (23)
WASHINGTON (AP) – President Barack Obama says in Washington these days, everyone’s an economist—or thinks they are.

Obama introduced a team of outside economic advisers Friday at a White House ceremony in which he also renewed his demand that Congress act quickly on his economic recovery package.

As the country struggles with the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, Obama said there has been no shortage of advice on how to solve the nation’s woes.

“You’ve got some economists and some folks who think they’re economists. By the way, these days everybody thinks they’re economists,” he joked.

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For a bit of comic relief, go check out a blog devoted to… Cake Wrecks.

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