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Archive for the ‘Disasters’ Category

I’m not as prepped for Halloween as I’d like but that’s the way life goes.  I’ll figure it out.

If you are a gun owner you already know about Hornady Zombie Max Ammunition.  Good, good for you.   You just never know and better safe than sorry, I say.

This brings up an important safety announcement.

  1. Get some Zombie Max Ammo
  2. Shoot for the head, always for the head.  Unless other targets of opportunity make for hilarity and you’re in a safe location
  3. Rent Bubba-hotep
  4. Watch it.
  5. Rent and watch:  Ahhh! Zombies!, Night of the LIving Dead, Shaun of the Dead, Resident Evil (it’s like the weird Uncle Carl of zombie movies but it has Milla Jovovich so it gets a pass), 28 Days (no, it’s not a movie about menstruation),  Pet Sematery.  Watch a few episodes of The Rosie Show on Hulu.  (Just seeing if you were awake.)

No, my unpreparedness is because I did not purchase in time the requisite five 500W halogen light bulbs with which to light up my pumpkin, so I will have to use seventeen 150W bulbs, all shoved into one pumpkin.  Yes, I am going to install a 120V fan on the back of the pumpkin to pump air out of it.  Or I will fill the pumpkin with mineral oil to help with the temperature issue.

Pumpkin #2… you’re going to have to wait to see how he gets lit up.  It will be EPIC.  I hope.

Show up around here on Nov. 1 and see if I have the pics posted yet.

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Hey, kids… want to see something even more scary than Evil Baby Clowns?    (see veeshir’s links in the comments section below, please)

Let’s see what has been uttered by German Chancellor Angela Merkel today…

Nobody should take for granted another 50 years of peace and prosperity in Europe. They are not for granted. That’s why I say: If the euro fails, Europe fails,” Merkel said, followed by a long applause from all political groups.

“We have a historical obligation: To protect by all means Europe’s unification process begun by our forefathers after centuries of hatred and blood spill. None of us can foresee what the consequences would be if we were to fail.”

Maybe I’m just paranoid but that didn’t sound as peaceful to my ears as it could.  It sounded sinister, but swaddled in the cloths of compassion.

She was asking for the parliament’s “political” green light on a negotiation mandate for the EU summit, beginning later today in Brussels. The summit is seeking to increase the firepower of the €440 billion-strong European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) to stop the sovereign debt crisis spreading to countries like Italy and ultimately, France.

The Bundestag approved the measure by a large majority, with 503 members in favour, 89 opposing and four abstaining.

Got that?  Huge agreement – that Germany must do whatever must be done.  Whatever must be done.  For the good of all, of course.

While stressing that Germany’s contribution to the EFSF loan guarantees would continue to be capped at €211 billion, she said she could not exclude there may be “risks” for Germany linked to the EFSF increase of firepower. Her own party colleagues had demanded that she clearly excludes German state assets, such as the central bank’s gold reserves, to be put as collateral for the EFSF lending power.

“Nobody can clearly estimate if there will be such risks. What I can say is that we cannot exclude it,” she said, insisting that the current situation is pushing European leaders into “uncharted territories”.

“Not to take these risks would be irresponsible. There is no better and more sensible alternative. Europe and the world are looking at Germany,” the chancellor said.

Looking ahead to the summit, the chancellor repeated her long-standing stance that “there is no silver bullet, no simple solutions. We will still deal with these topics for years from now.”

She repeated her insistence that the EU treaty had to be changed, in the medium term, to be more strict on countries breaching the euro deficit rules.

“Where does it say that any treaty change has to take 10 years or that there should be no more changes after the Lisbon Treaty,” she asked.

More strict.  Again for the good of all, of course.

EU leaders last Sunday agreed to have an evaluation presented to them in December by council chief Herman Van Rompuy about the possibility for a “limited” treaty change.

On the three euro-countries currently propped by EU-IMF loans, Merkel said Ireland was on “the right path”, Portugal showed it could implement the promised reforms, while Greece was still “at the beginning of a long road.”

For the first time, as opposition MPs noted later on in the debate, Merkel had words of praise for the ordinary Greek citizens feeling the brunt of the austerity measures demanded by international lenders. “People in Greece have to stomach a lot of sacrifices. They deserve our respect and also a sustainable growth perspective in the eurozone.”

According to the latest report of the so-called troika, consisting of experts sent from the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund, Greece will need even higher debt restructuring and losses for private lenders compared to what EU leaders had agreed upon on 21 July.

“But debt restructuring alone does not solve the problem. Painful structural reforms have to be made, otherwise even after debt restructuring we’re back to where we are today,” Merkel warned.

Ok, you’ve been softened up.  Here’s that final blow you’ve been unconsciously expecting:

That’s why, she said, Greece would have to be “assisted” for quite some time. “It’s not enough that the troika comes and goes every three months. It would be desirable to have a permanent supervision in Greece,” she said, adding that this issue would be brought up at the summit.

Permanent supervision.   That is one of the more arrogant things you’ll ever hear.  That is saying “Greece is so fundamentally screwed up that they will never be capable of self-policing.”  It is tantamount to making the declaration that an autistic or retarded individual will never be self-sufficient, and for the individual autism sufferer or Down’s Syndrome sufferer, this may indeed be true.  But to place that judgment on a culture speaks of a vast gulf in self-superiority.

Yes, it is true that Greece has some serious freakin’ issues and a total lack of even the basic economic common-sense God gave a gopher.  A lot of Europe isn’t far behind and politicians in the US seem convinced of their brilliance, enough so that they believe we can repeat the actions of the European socialism proponents but without the fatal mis-steps.

The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money.  – Margaret Thatcher

I can say “I don’t believe that Haiti will ever get it’s shit together”, and I’ll probably be right.  I could also say of the Middle East that they’ll never be peaceful because their cultures are fundamentally screwed up, and I could very well be right.  But to say “I think we should stay in Haiti forever and override their poor judgment whenever they lapse, because we know they most certainly will” is beyond arrogant.  It is proof that the German superiority issue is still alive and well even today, nearly seven decades after WWII.

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Charles Krauthammer was on Lou Dobbs this afternoon when I stepped out of work to go buy some more Red Bull ™.

He was quoted:

This is Obama at his most sanctimonious, demagogic, self-righteous and arrogant. And given the baseline, it wasn’t a pretty sight. Look, he started out by summoning the leaders of Congress – summoning them at 11:00. Who does he think he is? In the American system the Executive and Congress are co-equal. The way he demanded their appearance in the Oval Office I thought was disgraceful. . . . The President offered nothing except if you go in the back room my staff will give you tick-tock – a detail of everything I was supposed to have given. He has never once spoken about real cuts. And lastly, what was interesting is even at the late date where he says that the fate of the republic hangs on the debt ceiling extension, he said if given a short extension of say half a year, I won’t accept it. Why? Because he says I want this to go past Election Day. That is self-serving and political and he pretends he is the one who is not interested in politics. – Charles Krauthammer with compelling reasons why it’s fair to say Obama is being a piss-poor individual about now

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Ever have a Monday and it just didn’t stop being one all day long?

I got to work and said “Hmmm, I could have sworn I left my computer on when I left on Friday.”

I hit the power button and heard the familiar Hmwwwoooommm and the dreaded Fwooom as it shut down.

That cycle repeated itself two or three times with the minimal input from me and then I smelled the smell that says “Hi!  Remember me?  I’m the smell of burning transformers and the cinders of dreams!”

I went down to ID10T Killer’s office and said “Dude, I’ve got great news!”   No, I didn’t, actually.  What I said was more like “Wow, this is great, I think my computer is burning up!”

Or something like that.

He remarked that I was a sorry piece of shite or something like that (and hurt my feelings, badly, which is what you look for in a good friend) and told me to bring my computer down.

He smelled the smells to be smelled, immediately tossed out a universal card reader that is a documented POS, and started in on replacing the 653 1/29th Watt power supply.  Partway through this delicate operation he said “How long has the fan been like that?”

“Huh?” I said, looking over his shoulder.   He held up a 5″ fan that only turned freely in the sense that as you pushed it around using ten pounds of force you did it in the US of A.  At least it was a free country as of this morning.  I hung around for a while and watched as he finished the last connection of the new supply and turned the computer on.

Hmwwwwooooom – POP – Zap – (poof).

Showing my amazing grasp of the obvious I said “That’s not good, right?”

“No.”   ID10T Killer has this way of pursing his lips when he says “no” that also shouts out that you are probably one of the dumbest invertebrates he’s ever seen walk the earth.  What is humbling about this is that he’s the father of a 19 year old son – he knows what he’s talking about.

I got closer and looked inside the case while he punched the button again.

HWM-<b>POP</b>!!!11!! (eleventy, even)

There was this big arc/spark/puff right there on the motherboard.

“You are going to need another computer.”

I pursed my lips and said “Really.”

Later ID10T Killer came by to tell me that the boss said I can’t have a new computer but I am going to inherit the computer of an old co-worker – an 8-Core with 48GB of RAM and a smokin’ video card.  This just only barely makes up for the laptop I’ve been using today to do solid models on.   That laptop was at one time highly optimized and cutting edge, designed to squeeze the most out of Windows 3.1.

Update:  It was a 5-1/3 core CPU that runs at 3.3GHz half the time and 300MHz the other half, and 37GB of RAM.  ID10T Killer said so.  He wouldn’t lie to me.

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Oh, by the way, if you haven’t seen the movie “Moon” with Sam Rockwell, you might want to check it out.  I lump it in with “The Quiet Earth” and “Until the End of the World” in texture/taste/feel, but I really enjoyed it.

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Saw this one this weekend.  Boy gets bamboo sword through the neck – turns out just fine.  Fair warning the link has a link itself to a pic of him and his mom prior to having it removed.  They both look so maximum serious, as you should expect.

And to lighten that load, get a load of this.  Russian women encouraged to get nekkid in support of Putin.  Thank you, Fark, for that one.  That was a fun read.

The campaign, being run by a group calling itself the “Putin Army,” posted a promotional video on a Russian social networking website over the weekend calling for women to rip their clothes off in support of Putin.

“I’m just crazy about a man who changed our country,” a voice-over says, as busty “Diana” walks through Moscow.

[snip]

Later in the video, Diana and two friends paint “I’ll tear [clothes off] for Putin” onto T-shirts before ripping them off and calling for other “young, smart and beautiful” girls to “tear off something for Putin” and post a video of it online. The winning entry will take home an iPad.

The implication being that someone should be present to appreciate the gesture, which I’m pretty sure didn’t present a grave difficulty.

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Oh Japan…

Thoughts and prayers for the Japanese people.

Just saw the scale and longevity of the tsunami.  When entire burning buildings are picked up and carried along it doesn’t look good for people caught unawares.

With that kind of wholesale damage, it’s going to be a long while before the toll on lives is known.

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