May 2016 Archives

Just wonderful - Zika in the USA

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From FOX News:

First baby born with Zika-linked microcephaly in New York tri-state area
Doctors at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey confirmed Tuesday the birth of a child suffering from Zika-linked microcephaly, a condition wherein the child's brain and head are partially developed.

The mother, who is 31 but whose name was not disclosed, contracted the Zika virus while in Honduras and was admitted to the emergency room at Hackensack on Friday while vacationing in the United States. Tuesday, doctors delivered her baby girl, who was born also with intestinal and visual issues. Reports indicate she is the first child born with Zika-linked complications in the New York tri-state area.

The child’s mother, who developed a rash for two days in Honduras but had no other symptoms until arriving in the U.S., was under the care of a surgical team led by Dr. Abdulla Al-Khan and Dr. Manny Alvarez, senior managing health editor at FoxNews.com and chief of obstetrics and gynecology at Hackensack. A neonatologist and pediatric infectious disease specialist, as well as nursing personnel, were on hand for the birth.

There are a lot of bugs nosing around our immune systems and it is only a matter of a few things going wrong that will foster another epidemic. Stay healthy and eat right.

Some good news regarding Harambe

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From Breitbart:

Police Investigating Boys’ Parents in Case of Harambe the Gorilla
Police said Tuesday they are investigating the parents of the 3-year-old boy who fell into a gorilla enclosure at the Cincinnati Zoo and had to be rescued by a team that shot the 400-pound animal to death.

Authorities said the investigation will look at the parents’ actions leading up to the incident – not the operation of the zoo, which is overseen by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Police will then confer with prosecutors over whether charges should be filed, Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters said.

More at the site - who would loose track of their own three-year-old child? As much of an abject tragedy that it was, the zookeepers acted perfectly killing Harambe. Tranquilizers can induce mental aberations and no telling what he was going to do as he passed out. Simply falling on the infant could have been fatal.

This is something that will play out over the next couple of weeks as videos are examined.

Beach Blogging

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Got to Seaside right around 8:00PM as I had planned - 350 miles of driving. The traffic around Seattle is getting worse and worse - last year, it was bad at 3:00PM from Northgate through SeaTac - today it was bad at 3:00PM from Everett through Seattle, and ten miles past Tacoma.

I think next year (or any time I need to get to Seattle,) I will leave Maple Falls at 9:30AM to hit the traffic just before noon.  I'll have to do a seat-of-the-pants observation of traffic cameras to see if this would work out.

Stopped for McDonalds around 6:00PM and then had some fish and chips (a local dive called The Bridge Tender - good food!) after I checked into the hotel. Liking this hotel a lot more than the first place I stayed at - a little farther from the convention center but 40% cheaper and really nice amenities.

Spending tomorrow hitting some of the Lewis and Clark sites - there are a lot of them here. Batteries charging on my desk as I type.

Blog for a bit and then to bed...

On the road in an hour

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Leaving here at noon - this will get me through Seattle traffic around 2:00PM - the least congested that it gets. Looking at arriving in Seaside around 8:00PM or so - be stopping for dinner along the way.

Should be a fun week!

Hillary's email problems

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Not only was her server poorly secured, she had a wide-open printer on the internet. From Brian Krebs:

Did the Clinton Email Server Have an Internet-Based Printer?
The Associated Press today points to a remarkable footnote in a recent State Department inspector general report on the Hillary Clinton email scandal: The mail was managed from the vanity domain “clintonemail.com.” But here’s a potentially more explosive finding: A review of the historic domain registration records for that domain indicates that whoever built the private email server for the Clintons also had the not-so-bright idea of connecting it to an Internet-based printer.

According to historic Internet address maps stored by San Mateo, Calif. based Farsight Security, among the handful of Internet addresses historically assigned to the domain “clintonemail.com” was the numeric address 24.187.234.188. The subdomain attached to that Internet address was….wait for it…. “printer.clintonemail.com“.

And it gets better - a lot better:

Shot:
Ronald Guilmette, a private security researcher in California who prompted me to look up this information, said printing things to an Internet-based printer set up this way might have made the printer data vulnerable to eavesdropping.

Chaser:
“People are getting all upset saying hackers could have broken into her server, but what I’m saying is that people could have gotten confidential documents easily without breaking into anything,” Guilmette said. “So Mrs. Clinton is sitting there, tap-tap-tapping on her computer and decides to print something out. A clever Chinese hacker could have figured out, ‘Hey, I should get my own Internet address on the same block as the Clinton’s server and just sniff the local network traffic for printer files.'”

Yeah, all you need to do is download any of the internet packet sniffers out there, point it to the IP Address and you can capture a copy of anything Hillary printed out on that machine.

There seems to be a lot of Dunning–Kruger happening out there with people who should know better...

In February 2016, Bloomberg News noticed that Google (now Alphabet Inc.) was able to avoid payment of $2.4 Billion dollars on owed taxes by using some European subsidies.

Just as a reality check, if you had One Billion Dollars and had One Hundred Years in which to spend it, you would have to spend $27,397 each and every day to do this - we are talking a very large sum of money.

The French want in on some that money. From Bloomberg:

‘Operation Tulip’ Takes Prosecutors Offline for Google Tax Raid
French investigators avoided the Internet, stuck to word processors and renamed Google ‘Tulip’ to prevent leaks as they prepared a secret tax raid at the company’s Paris offices last week.

“We decided to never utter the word ‘Google,’ to give the firm another name” and “we worked on this case fully offline for nearly a year,” Eliane Houlette, the financial prosecutor, said in a Sunday interview on French radio Europe1.

French police and prosecutors swooped on Google’s Paris offices last Tuesday, intensifying a tax-fraud probe amid accusations across Europe that the Alphabet Inc. unit fails to pay its fair share. France has called on the company to pay back taxes of about 1.6 billion euros ($1.8 billion).

“We worked with computers, but pretty much only with word processing.” Total confidentiality was key “given the activities of the company,” Houlette said. “The name ‘Tulip’ came up because the mother ship was registered in the Netherlands.”

I love it - honest to God detective work. Well done France!!!

Insane nations - a two-fer

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Agence France Presse has two articles on the more insane nations out there - North Korea and Venezuela

First - North Korea:

North Korea attempted to fire a missile from its east coast early on Tuesday morning but the launch appears to have failed, South Korean military officials told Reuters.
The launch attempt took place at around 5:20 a.m. Seoul time (2020 GMT), said the officials, who asked not to be identified, without elaborating.

And a bit more:

South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency said it appeared North Korea had attempted to launch an intermediate-range Musudan missile.

North Korea attempted three test launches of the Musudan in April, all of which failed, U.S. and South Korean officials have said.

North Korea has never had a successful launch of the Musudan, which theoretically has the range to reach any part of Japan and the U.S. territory of Guam.

Good - let them stay grounded for a long long time.

Next up - Venezuela:

Latin America’s largest airline, Chile-based LATAM Airlines, said on Monday it would suspend its flights to Venezuela due to the “economic scenario”, following a similar decision by Lufthansa over the weekend.
“Owing to the current complex macroeconomic scenario in the region, LATAM Airlines has announced adjustments to its destination network... it will suspend temporarily and for an undefined time its operations to Caracas airport,” the company said in a statement.

Probably their checks keep bouncing... A bit more:

On Saturday, German airline Deutsche Lufthansa AG also said it was halting Caracas-bound operations. It is owed more than $100 million in ticket revenue, it said.

International airlines have for years struggled to repatriate billions of dollars in revenue held in Venezuela’s local bolivar currency, as the cash-strapped government failed to convert it to hard currency amid tight exchange controls.

This has prompted many airlines to limit service to Venezuela and require that passengers pay fares in hard currency.

Yep - the checks keep bouncing - Venezuela is not going to stop this socialist stupidity until it hits rock bottom. The real problem is that Maduro and his cronies are feeling zero pain - they already have their billions and they give zero fucks about their countrymen. They probably have their new mansions built in some nation that has no extradition agreements with Venezuela - party while running their nation and their people into the ground and when the ride is over, bail and live the rest of your life someone else.

Dinner and to bed

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Dinner was ono - brok da mout as they say (both here)...

Unpacking my radio stuff - coming back to the Cascadia Rising event so want to be able to hit the ground running. Field day last weekend in June as well as logging show on the 11th and 12th.

Got a lot on my plate and loving it!

Packing

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Heading out tomorrow for the Sea-Pac conference. Looking forward to it - there are some seminars I want to attend and there is an event at the beach that should be a lot of fun. Seaside, OR is known for kite flying and this is the first year that they will use a kite to hoist an antenna. The higher an antenna is, the better the reception so it will be interesting to see who they can contact.

The conference actually runs Thursday through Sunday - I am going down three days earlier to spend some time on the coast - spending Monday there as well and back home sometime on Tuesday depending if I feel like stopping another night on the road somewhere (I love Port Townsend). Bringing the laptop so some beach-blogging will be in order.

Eating Hawaiian tonight - got some chicken breasts marinating in shoyu, ginger, rice vinegar, salt and sugar - grill these and serve with rice and stir-fried bok choy.

My 2016 political endorsement

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Finally found the bumper sticker for my truck:

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The stream of refugees

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Coming into the US is unchecked. We have zero idea who these people are, what their medical history is, etc... We have seen cases of drug-resistent Tuberculosis and now this - from the UK Independent:

Cutaneous leishmaniasis: Disfiguring tropical disease sweeps across Middle East
A disfiguring tropical disease is sweeping across the Middle East as a combination of heavy conflict and a breakdown of health care facilities in Isis-occupied areas leaves swathes of people vulnerable to the illness.

Cutaneous leishmaniasis is caused by a parasite in the blood stream transmitted through sand fly bites. The disease can result in horrible open sores as well as disfiguring skin lesions, nodules or papules.

The incubation time is interesting:

“When people are bitten by sand flies - which are tiny and smaller than a mosquito - it can take anything between two to six months to have the infection.

“Someone might have picked it up in Syria but then they may have fled into Lebanon or Turkey, or even into Europe as they seek refuge.

“Prior to the outbreak of war there was good control of diseases, parasites and sand flies but when the conflict started no one cared, conditions worsened and the health system broke down, which has created an ideal environment for disease outbreaks.”

So they get to Europe or the USA and then fall sick. I feel sad for these people but nothing is being done about the parent cause - the outbreak of fighting by corrupt groups of people jockying for positions of power.

A new low

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Gallup is a world-wide polling company and they recently did a poll in Russia:

Russians' Approval of U.S. Leadership Drops to Record 1%
Just 1% of Russians approved of U.S. leadership in 2015 -- the worst rating in the world last year and the lowest approval Gallup has measured for the U.S. in the past decade. Remarkably, this is even worse than their previous record-low 4% approval in 2014.

In other news, Jimmy Carter is now the second worst president in recent times.

Bellying up to the trough

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Some smart people at Exelon - the carbon tax is supposed to be used to subsidize non-petrolium energy development. These are some of our tax dollars that subsidize windmills and solar power.

From City Lab (part of Atlantic Magazine):

Nuclear Power Fights for a Spot in Illinois' Clean Energy Future
With hard times setting in for some nuclear power plants, Illinois state legislators are trying to decide whether they should put nuclear facilities on life support, or lay them to rest early.

A combination of market forces and policy choices has made the nuclear business tougher in recent years, and that’s the case at two facilities in Illinois operated by Exelon. The company is telling lawmakers that the money-losing reactors will have to be brought offline prematurely unless the state lends support. That would result in lost jobs and a big dip in the state’s capacity to produce electricity—one that could have dirty, carbon-burning power plants stepping up to close the gap. With jobs, tax dollars, and environmental quality at stake, it’s turned into a dramatic battle in the final days of the state’s legislative session.

Exelon is searching for a way to subsidize the struggling plants, arguing that the steady, zero-carbon energy source is a public good worthy of public support. One idea in particular is dividing environmental groups: Should nuclear plants, by virtue of being carbon-free, be grouped in with solar, wind, and other renewable energy sources in state initiatives to clean up the grid? It’s a dilemma that could soon spill over into other states as the business and policy landscapes change around clean energy.

Excelon is asking for a very clever change to the subsidization:

Exelon proposed a change: switching from a renewable energy standard to a clean—or zero-emissions—standard. That would give nuclear a new role in the state’s non-carbon energy regulations and, proponents argue, give the struggling plants just enough of a boost to keep them open.

Right now, the state of Illinois requires 25 percent of the energy sold by utilities in the state to come from renewable sources, mostly wind and solar. This will be a nice game-changer...

Our Earth is a big ball

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A big ball of wibbly wobbly, timey wimey stuff (here). From The Register:

Earth's core is younger than its crust
Back in the early 1960s, physicist Richard Feynman remarked that the centre of the Earth had to be a little younger than the crust, since it would experience gravitational time dilation.

Now, boffins from two Danish universities have put a value to that difference, and while they agree with his hypothesis, they've corrected his estimate of the difference: while Feynman thought it would be “a couple of days”, a full calculation suggests it's two-and-a-half years.

The paper is here at Arxiv and has been accepted by the European Journal of Physics.

Very cool. To see an example of gravitational time dialation, check out local (Redmond, WA) time-nut Tom Van Baak's expedition to Mt Lemmon, Arizona for the television show Genius hosted by Steven Hawking. (first link is a short description, second is the photo album)

Common sense

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From Samuel L Jackson by way of The Silicon Graybeard:

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Another quote:

Parents and role models who emphasize that value, he said, will accomplish more than legislators reducing the number of firearms.

From the Los Angeles Times.

The initial reaction for most businesses, when hit with a $15/hour minimum wage, has been to let go employees and implement robots or ordering kiosks.

Alternative food giant Whole Foods is jumping onto the bandwagon - from Breitbart:

Whole Foods’ 365: Where Kiosks Replace Workers
Whole Foods may still be seen by shoppers as an alternative to corporate grocery chains, but the highly-profitable corporation just opened its first “365 by Whole Foods” in Los Angeles in an effort to use kiosks and robots to cut 60 percent of staffing costs and maximize profitability.

Promoted as a “chain for millennials,” the new “365” stores use about one-third less square footage than the company’s traditional 41,000-square-foot Whole Foods stores, but they also slash almost two-thirds of workers with robots and computerized kiosks.

It should not be surprising that the first “automated” WF store is being located in Los Angeles, where state and local governments have passed minimum wage laws that will push wages up by 50 percent in a series of steps to $15 an hour in 2022.

Feeling the Bern

An interesting metric - flags

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We all know this one: President Obama has been the Nation's best gun salesman: NY Times, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, CNN 

Now this - from USA Today:

American flag sales bask in new glory
In the flag business, summertime is like Christmas. After Memorial Day weekend, there’s Flag Day (June 14) and the Fourth of July, which all give sales a healthy boost.

Eder Flag Manufacturing Co. in Oak Creek says it’s having a banner year. Sales are up 15% from a year ago, partly from 2016 being a national election year and political events needing flags.

A bit more:

“Most importantly, we feel there’s a rise in patriotism,” said Jodi Goglio, chief operating officer at Eder, a company that has been making flags for more than a century and dates to 1887 when the Eder family started a business making pillows, felt pennants, rag dolls and hunting jackets.

Eder Flag's website can be found here: Eder Flag

An interesting Volte-face from this person noticed by Don Surber:

PolitiFact, if you like your Pulitzer, you can keep it. Period.
Research led me far afield and I uncovered this gem from PolitiFact in its Pulitzer Prize-winning year of 2008. It rated as TRUE Obama's statement at the October 7, 2008, "If you've got a health care plan that you like, you can keep it."

Five years later, only after Obama was safely elected and re-elected did PolitiFact name that claim the Lie of the Year of 2013 -- even though it dated back to 2008.

It is time for PolitiFact to do the honorable thing and return the Pulitzer it won for its coverage of the 208 presidential campaign. The lie the fact-checkers called true was to crucial to the 2008 presidential campaign to be glossed over. PolitiFact blew it.

The wonderful thing about the internet is that nothing goes away. If a website chooses to deep-six some inconvenient posting, there are archive sites, people take screen shots, etc etc etc...

Read Don's post for Angie's posts from 2008 (if you've got a health care plan that you like, you can keep it) and from 2013 (PolitiFact has named "If you like your health care plan, you can keep it," the Lie of the Year for 2013). Don's sugestion is this:

Of more importance, had PolitiFact told the truth about Obama's lie in 2008, it may have been worthy of its Pulitzer.

It is not. It failed to call Obama out on the most important piece of legislation in his two terms as president.

The newspaper should return the prize -- along with an apology.

Will they?

.

.

.

. . . crickets . . .

Pray that the wind doesn't shift

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People are evacuating from a wildfire in Eastern WA. Only issue is that it is near The Gorge amphitheater which is packed with people for the Memorial Day Sasquatch Festival.

From Seattle's KING5:

Wildfire prompts evacuations near Gorge Amphitheater
A growing large wildfire near the Gorge is now threatening at least 10 homes and has prompted Level 2 and 3 evacuation alerts in Grant County.

The Grant County Sheriff's Office says the 600-acre Sunland Fire is burning along the Columbia River, just three miles south of the concert venue known as the Gorge Amphitheater. Officials say the fire is burning away from the Gorge, and the amphitheater is not at risk.

Officials advises everyone in the area of Old Vantage Highway and Frenchman Coulee, which is under Level 3 alert, to leave. The Level 2 homes threatened are under Level 2 evacuation.

The Gorge Amphitheater in George, Washington, is hosting its annual Memorial Day weekend event, the Sasquatch Music Festival. The region is also home to many camping and recreational spots. Deputies were working to alert and evacuate people safely.

Like I said - pray that the wind doesn't shift. Right now, people at the festival can not smell any smoke - this is a good thing and it needs to stay that way.

Back home - a fun day

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A good turnout today - around 300 teams and only a couple accidents and one mechanical breakdown (not counting blown tires). Ran into some friends.

The people running the PA system set up a much better system than the other times I had been there - the canoes line up along the river bank and wait for the incoming bicycles - they used to have speakers in the main field which meant that people could not hear the announcements over the sound of the river. Today, they had the usual speakers in the field but they also had a bunch down by the river. They also played music which livened things up a lot.

A good time was had by all. The sun came out about halfway through and it is really nice now.

Eating lunch and then unpacking...

The Bellingham Herald has some great coverage  (photo gallery here) and congratulations to the winners: Bellingham's own Beavers Tree Service

Off to the races

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Finished breakfast and packing a lunch and some snacks

Loading up the truck - one last walk-through of the equipment. Make sure I have everything plus spares and spares for the spares in some cases. Weather has the rain letting up a bit - the forecast is still saying 50% chance of showers but it was raining pretty hard this morning. Temps right around 50°F so bringing a couple of layers.

Back sometime around 6:00PM - long but fun day...

All programmed and ready to go

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Have all the key frequencies as just a couple of buttons to push. Each radio has two sections - the main can transmit and receive while the background section can only listen. Have these set up to scan the po-po, SAR, fire, etc... so I can be apprised of anything developing and radio it up the stream to Net Control.

Tired so heading off to bed after a quick look around the internet. 7:00AM alarm...

That is it for the night

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Early night tonight - need to reprogram my two radios to the frequencies for tomorrow event - we just started using some of the FEMA materials and one of them is the ICS205 chart which allows everyone to be at the same table when it comes to various channels, frequencies, who is in which position, who is Net Control, etc... Big changeover from everyone going to the final prep meeting and scribbling this information onto a scrap of paper. Now was that 145.680 or 146.580.

Spaghetti was good and watched another episode of Bones. Good show!

Heading out for the meeting

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Last prep meeting before tomorrow's race. I was at my store earlier today and one of my customers mentioned that she had just dropped her team's canoe at the park. I told her that she will be listening to the dulcet tones of my voice as I announce the incoming bicycles (I can be a bit loud). It is fun to run into people away from the store - out of context...

Got a pot of spaghetti sauce sitting on the stove so all we need to do is boil some water and heat up the garlic bread and dinner will be ready.

Early bedtime.

From the Everett Herald:

Police, agents haul in 9 pounds of heroin potentially worth millions
At first it probably just looked like a couple of friends dropping by for a visit.

Two men pulled up in a silver Mercedes outside a Snohomish apartment Wednesday afternoon, and two others, who'd come out of the building on Fourth Street, walked up to the car and started chatting.

Moments later an army of police and federal agents converged on the Mercedes. All four men took off running but didn't get far.

Inside that Mercedes were four kilograms, or nearly nine pounds, of Mexican brown heroin, potentially worth millions of dollars on the street, according to court records released this week. The high-quality heroin likely came straight from Mexico, more specifically from the violent Sinaloa drug cartel.

“That variety, the Mexican brown heroin, showing up means there is a direct pipeline to the cartel out of Mexico right to Snohomish County,” Snohomish Police Chief John Flood said.

This is a prime example of what unsecured immigration can lead to - the border is so porous that anyone can come across either looking for a new life or looking to transport weapons or narcotics. Whatcom and Snohomish Counties are among the 16 sanctuary counties (and two sanctuary jails) in Washington State - something I really disagree with. They need to enforce the H-2A Temporary Agricultural Workers visa - that is the system in place to deal with the need for farm workers.

Perception

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A fun illusion:

More here

Disturbing news from NBC/Associated Press:

Feds Spending Tech Money on Floppy Disks and COBOL, Report Says
The government is spending about three-fourths of its technology budget maintaining aging computer systems, including platforms more than 50 years old in vital areas from nuclear weapons to Social Security. One still uses floppy disks.

In a report to be released Wednesday, nonpartisan congressional investigators say the increasing cost of maintaining museum-ready equipment devours money better spent on modernization.

On the one hand, if it ain't broke. On the other hand, the lack of efficiency and interoperability is seriously hurting us. The article lists a couple of the more egregious examples. Here are two of them:

    • Treasury's individual and business master files, the authoritative data sources for taxpayer information. The systems are about 56 years old, and use an outdated computer language that is difficult to write and maintain. Treasury plans to replace the systems, but has no firm dates.
    • Social Security systems that are used to determine eligibility and estimate benefits, about 31 years old. Some use a programming language called COBOL, dating to the late 1950s and early 1960s. "Most of the employees who developed these systems are ready to retire and the agency will lose their collective knowledge," the report said. "Training new employees to maintain the older systems takes a lot of time."

Another reason to eliminate the IRS and go with a simple flat tax - eliminate all of the tax loopholes too. Everyone pays their fair share. As more boomers retire, the loads on the Social Security computers will only increase. I seriously doubt if additional hardware could be purchased that would run COBOL. I remember back with the Year 2000 scare, a lot of legacy companies were scrambling to find COBOL programmers to patch their systems against the date rollover. That was 16 years ago - COBOL programmers have only gotten more scarce.

In zero gravity:

From this account at Huffington Post, he single-handedly dismantled the Paris Climate Accord:

Trump’s Climate Change Denial Is Already Complicating the Paris Climate Deal
Donald Trump first shared his analysis of the climate crisis in a now infamous 2012 tweet-rant: “The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive,” he claimed.

The Republican presidential hopeful has since dialed back the rhetoric, calling that earlier claim a joke. But — as in other areas of critical domestic and international concern — he’s fallen short when pressed for specifics on what a Trump presidency would mean for energy and the climate. It seemed his oft-repeated phrase “trust me, I’ll get the best people“ was as close as the American public was going to get to details.

And he has. And, predictably, the Huffington Post does not like this one bit:

The best Trump could find turns out to be climate denier and staunch fossil fuel backer Kevin Cramer, a two-term Republican congressman from oil- and coal-rich North Dakota. As a newly tapped energy adviser, Cramer recently handed the Trump campaign a four-page policy paper urging the candidate to scrap the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan, among other regulations introduced by the EPA to curb pollution from the energy sector.

According to an interview with Cramer, his plan also calls for ramping up energy production using an “all of the above, America-first” approach. The plan recognizes the growing commercial importance of wind and solar, but keeps oil, coal, and gas squarely in the mix.

There is more at the post but it is just the usual Luddite yammering. My only beef with Cramer is that he is not pushing nuclear as much as he should. There are several well-established companies working on new designs for small modular reactors and the safety factor with these is far superior to the current crop of power reactors. Much more efficient too and the waste is a lot less dangerous.

The Paris accord is just a cover for a massive redistribution of money into the hands of kleptocrats under the guise of science.

Packing up

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Back from coffee - talked to a couple of people. Found out that a local veterinarian is retiring. Picking up some of their supplies for general first-aid prep.

Race tomorrow early morning so doing a final check on the equipment and packing things to go.

Thawing out a pound of Isernio’s Hot Italian chicken sausage meat for spaghetti sauce for dinner tonight - the seasonings in the sausage meat compliment the spaghetti sauce really well.

Who ordered this?

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Woke up this morning to rain and cold - temp was 45°F. Forecast is for 90% showers today and 50% showers tomorrow.

Great weather for racing but lousy for sitting at a table running a radio - going to layer-up tomorrow...

Despite the rain, we have had a very dry spring - the water flow on the Nooksack is running well below one half of the statistical average:

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Making a bowl of popcorn - UPDATE

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Back in October 2nd, I posted:

Making a big bowl of popcorn
On September First, a group of twenty scientists published a letter saying that Climate Deniers should be prosecuted under the RICO statutes. The letter has subsequently been taken down but an archived copy of it can be found here (PDF). People started looking into the scientists who signed this document and it seems that they were engaged in a wee bit of financial fraud.

For the story leading up to today visit herehereherehere and here.

The Competitive Enterprise Institute filed a Freedom of Information act requesting all of the emails leading up to that letter. The people at George Mason University lawyered up and filed for reprieve. The Judge ruled in favor of CEI (a lot of the already released emails can be read at that link - this is not science, this is pure political maneuvering).

Now, a few days ago, some interesting news comes to light - from Watts Up With That:

CEI fires back at Ed Maibach over ’emergency stay’ of #RICO20 FOIA documents – looks like he’s toast
People send me stuff. Earlier today, we saw that Ed Maibach himself hired an attorney to file an emergency stay of release of FOIA documents that George Mason University had planned to release, along with the retroactive removal of the previous tranche of GMU documents from last week that were quite damning in their illustration that Maibach and Shukla not only used their position at GMU to pursue and ask for punishment of climate skeptics and corporations, they were trying to cover it up late in the game by asking to switch to private emails once they started getting some serious public blowback.

There actions are so transparent as to their motive, that many WUWT commenters, including Steve McIntyre were able to see that the legal argument presented by Maibach was full of holes. Most importantly, it seems that GMU is not defending Maibach either with legal counsel or by issuing any statement, suggesting to observers that they have cut him loose from their compliance arguments and he is on his own. For that reason, I think he’s going to be toast.

Some of the very same arguments showing why Maibach’s position is untenable seen in comments from our previous story today, are in the legal response from CEI, which I have a few excerpts of below:

A lot more at this link too. The wheels are coming off the bus of Anthropogenic Global Warming and it is fun to see the sparks flying...

A big coincidence?

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An interesting observation from Eric Owens at The Daily Caller:

Obama’s Fancy New Mansion Is Located 1,000 Feet From The Islamic Center Of Washington DC
The mammoth, multi-million-dollar mansion where President Barack Obama and his family will reportedly live after the first family exits the White House is located 1,096 feet from the Islamic Center of Washington — one of the largest mosques in the Western Hemisphere.

Nothing to see here folks - just keep moving along, nothing to see...

Judicial Watch has been digging into Hillary's private server and her emails and they just scored a big coup.

From Judicial Watch: First Deposition Testimony from Clinton Email Discovery Released - this is just an abstract that links to a 124 page PDF file with some jaw-dropping goodies.

They also have this to say:

Lukens is the first of seven depositions of former Clinton top aides and State Department officials that Judicial Watch has scheduled over the next four weeks.  Also to be deposed are Cheryl Mills and Huma Abedin, as well as top State Department official Patrick Kennedy, and former State IT employee Bryan Pagliano.

If Pagliano's name rings a bell - he was granted immunity a few months ago if he testifies. He was the guy that actually set up Hillary's server.  Here and here

Fortunately, Eric Zuesse read through the 124 pages of deposition and posted them at Zero Hedge - here are a few excerpts:

First "Shocking" Deposition In Clinton Email Case Reveals She Did Not Use A Password
U.S. Ambassador Lewis Lukens’s sworn testimony in the case of Hillary Clinton’s privatization of the U.S. Secretary of State’s email is the first evidence to be released in the Clinton email cases, and it was published on May 26th at the website of Judicial Watch, the organization that originally brought the suit.

Some more:

He was asked about the inconvenience of the State Department’s passwords system, and he said that he eliminated her need for any passwords:

A: She wouldn’t have had a password.
Q: So the computer would have just been open and be able to use without going through any security features?
A: Correct.

Though he was paid by U.S. taxpayers, apparently his only concern was to please his superiors, whom he trusted unquestioningly despite their evident unconcern about “security” etc.

Yikes - an open system in the Department of State. I wonder just how many people hacked into it. Surprised someone didn't notice a slowdown on the computer what with it processing so many file transfers out through the network.

There is much more at the Zero Hedge website - the level of stupidity is downright criminal.

Two flights with two dinner services. Donald pays for his own stuff while Bernie is courted by his big donors:

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Tip of the hat to Don Surber for the link.

From the UK Guardian:

How a mysterious ghost ship brought cosmic disco to Cape Verde
In a calm morning in March 1968, a shipment carrying the latest Korgs, Moogs and Hammond organs set off from Baltimore harbour, heading for an exhibition in Rio de Janeiro. The sea was steady, the containers safely attached. And yet later that same day, the ship would inexplicably vanish.

A few months later, it finally reappeared. Somehow, the ship had been marooned on the São Nicolau island of Cabo Verde (now Cape Verde, but then a Portuguese territory 350 miles off the west coast of Africa). The crew were nowhere to be seen and the cargo was commandeered by local police. But when it was found to contain hundreds upon hundreds of keyboards and synths, an anti-colonial leader called Amílcar Cabral declared the instruments should be distributed equally among the archipelago’s schools.

Overnight, a whole generation of young Cabo Verdeans gained free access to cutting-edge music gear. According to Frankfurt-based rarities label Analog Africa, this bizarre turn of fate can be directly credited with inspiring the island’s explosion of newly electrified sounds following independence in 1975, and has now been documented on its on its latest compilation, Space Echo – The Mystery Behind The Cosmic Sound Of Cabo Verde.

The schools were the only places with reliable electricity. Here is a video:

Great story - never heard it before. Always loved the music from there. Morna and Fado really tugs at the heart. Check out Cesária Évora if you want to hear some really good music. Here is one - many more on YouTube:

Back from town - successful trip

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Got everything accomplished that I needed so a good trip into town. The power supply on my office (bill-paying) computer died sometime in the last couple of days. Went to turn it on this afternoon and boink! nothing. Got its replacement today too. Decided against a Costco hot dog and brought home a rotisserie chicken - much better. Have it with a salad from the garden and the last of the mac salad.

Off to town today

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Got to pay some bills before I head to Oregon - bank and maybe a Costco hot-dog for dinner. Livin' the high life...

In 1974, Doctor Henry Heimlich developed a technique for freeing material from someone's airway. It was sucessful and is now the defacto standard.

From Cincinnati.com:

At 96, Dr. Heimlich finally uses his life-saving technique
When he heard that a resident was choking, Perry Gaines, maître d’ for the Deupree House dining room, ran toward the table.

Gaines has been trained in the Heimlich maneuver and has performed it at least twice in the two years he has worked at the Hyde Park senior living facility.

When Gaines arrived at the table, Dr. Henry Heimlich, a 96-year-old resident of the Deupree House who invented the famous technique for clearing a blocked airway, was standing behind the woman, ready to perform it.

Typically, a staff member would do it. “But,” Gaines said, pausing, “it is Dr. Heimlich.”

Heimlich, who swims and exercises regularly, was able to dislodge a piece of hamburger that had become stuck in 87-year-old Patty Ris’s airway.

Gaines said the entire room, filled with 125 diners, focused on the table, which was near the center of the room. Ris recovered quickly, and everyone returned to their meals.

Monday’s incident at the Deupree House was the first time Heimlich, who has demonstrated the maneuver countless times since inventing it in the 1970s, used it to stop someone from choking, he said.

Very cool!

Critters, coffee and pastries

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It is Friday morning so doing the usual run for pastries for the store.

Working at home today to get ready for Sunday's the Ski-to-Sea race. I will be running a radio announcing the incoming road bicycle riders to their respective canoe teams at the beautiful Everson riverside park. Forecast is for 50% chance of showers so nice and cool for the racers - I'll be bringing a pop-up tent and some sweaters.

An interesting story - a duel

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In 1892.

Between two women.

Who dueled topless.

Go here and read: Famous Topless Female Duel of 1892

Photos and illustrations of course...

Crap - literally

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Escherichia coli in the news and not in a good way - from Reuters:

U.S. sees first case of bacteria resistant to all antibiotics
U.S. health officials on Thursday reported the first case in the country of a patient with an infection resistant to all known antibiotics, and expressed grave concern that the superbug could pose serious danger for routine infections if it spreads.

"We risk being in a post-antibiotic world," said Thomas Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, referring to the urinary tract infection of a 49-year-old Pennsylvania woman who had not travelled within the prior five months.

Frieden, speaking at a National Press Club luncheon in Washington, D.C., said the infection was not controlled even by colistin, an antibiotic that is reserved for use against "nightmare bacteria."

Not good news at all - we use antibiotics regularly in our domestic food livestock and over-prescribe them for ourselves. This heightens the chances for the bugs to develop resistance. The same E. coli has been found in China but not here and the patient had not traveled recently.

Senator Tom Cotton talks about outgoing minority leader Harry Reid:

Come on Tom - tell us what you really feel.

Tip of the hat to William A. Jacobson writing at Legal Insurrection. William has some classic videos of Reid speaking just as Senator Cotton said, vulgar and incoherent ramblings.

The state of California was auctioning off some 'carbon credits' - essentially Papal Indulgences for the enviros. I'll let this article at the Sacremento Bee tell the story:

California carbon emission auction proceeds fall short
Gov. Jerry Brown and the Legislature got some bad news Wednesday about plans to spend more than $3 billion in proceeds from the state’s “cap-and-trade” auction of carbon dioxide emission allowances.

The results of last week’s quarterly auction were posted and revealed that instead of the $500-plus million expected from the sale of state-owned allowances, the state will get only about $10 million, less than 2 percent.

The poor results confirmed reports circulating in financial circles that the cap-and-trade program has begun to stumble. February’s auction resulted in some allowances being left unsold – the first time that had happened. Afterward, there was a brisk trade in the secondary market as speculators began dumping their holdings due to uncertainty about the future of the program, which may expire in 2020.

So sad, too bad. Running out of other people's money yet again.

Back from town

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Had dinner there - just got back so settling in for a few hours of surfing...

From the Washington Free Beacon:

Approving Food Stamps Costs the Economy $1 Billion
Meeting the federal government’s regulatory requirements for approving food stamps will now cost the economy $1 billion annually, according to a new report.

More:

“Every week, the White House approves dozens of paperwork and reporting requirements,” wrote Sam Batkins, the director of regulatory policy at the American Action Forum, in a report released Wednesday. “Many of them go unnoticed by the public and the vast majority are routine.”

“However, the burdens in the latest food stamp approval are profound: 14.6 million Americans will provide 658 million responses to the Department of Agriculture (Ag) annually, and it will cost households, states, and local governments $958 million to comply,” the report said. “The burden specific to the federal government is $356 million.”

And a few numbers:

“To put this into perspective, it would take 59,110 employees working full-time (2,000 hours annually) to comply with the required paperwork,” the American Action Forum said. “In addition, this SNAP program is now 53 percent of Ag’s aggregate paperwork burden. One program alone is now the majority of the agency’s regulatory burden.”

The United States has approximately 323 Million people and 45 Million people receive food stamps - this is almost 14% - a huge number. I do not advocate taking this away - there are people in hard times who need this lifeline. What I do not like is those people who game the system - selling their SNAP cards to buy alcohol and drugs and those who are able-bodied but choose not to work. We have made it too easy for too many.

Must have been business as usual...

Heading out for coffee and a quick run into town.

Got a coyote hanging out in the yard yipping its head off.

Our area has two petroleum refineries, one near Anacortes and one North of Ferndale.

Reports on the radio of odd things (sounds and lights) happening at the Ferndale plant. Nothing on the emergency email lists - heading upstairs to bed and will post more tomorrow.

I present for your edification, a preserved mount of one of our local fish species:

20160525-sockeye.jpg

His own words give him away - take this speech given when visiting Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam. An excerpt:

You think about the United States of America. We have a really good story called the Declaration of Independence. “We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal; that we're endowed with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” That's a wonderful story. There’s no -- when the Declaration was made, there really was not United States. It was just a good story that they were telling about what could be. And then people were attracted to that story. And it led to independence, and it led to immigrants from around the world who wanted that vision for themselves -- it led Ho Chi Minh to adapt it when Vietnam was trying to declare independence. It inspired movements around the world.

Emphasis mine - the Declaration of Independence is not a "story". It is the cultural DNA of the United States of America. It is what we stand for.

Barry also misquotes the Declaration - the correct text reads:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Missed that pesky Creator part - were you absent from school when they were teaching that?

The Japanese

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Planning for the future:

Inflation in Venezuela

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When you try to print yourself out of a financial crisis, inflation will happen - always.

Venezuela is running around 700% at the present time. This image is a stack of 100 Bolivar notes and is the maximum you can withdraw from an ATM each day.

20160525-bolivar.jpg

Hat tip to Tyler Durdin from Zero Hedge.

Oh yeah - you are looking at about $25 worth of money...

From FOX News/Business:

Fmr. McDonald's USA CEO: $35K Robots Cheaper Than Hiring at $15 Per Hour
“I was at the National Restaurant Show yesterday and if you look at the robotic devices that are coming into the restaurant industry -- it’s cheaper to buy a $35,000 robotic arm than it is to hire an employee who’s inefficient making $15 an hour bagging French fries -- it’s nonsense and it’s very destructive and it’s inflationary and it’s going to cause a job loss across this country like you’re not going to believe,” said former McDonald’s USA CEO Ed Rensi during an interview on the FOX Business Network’s Mornings with Maria.

I do not doubt it - they never call in sick or late and work for peanuts - the one-time investment and minimal operating costs make them pay for themselves within the year.

Factoring in all the hidden costs of hiring someone (FICAFUTA, etc...) it costs the employer about $45K to hire someone for 2,000 hours at $15/hr. (2,000 hours = 50 weeks employment at 40 hours/week - two week vacation).

Heh - quite the foe

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I love Bernie but he is pitifully innumerate - this cartoon sums it up very well:

20160525-bernie.jpg

Swiped from Irons in the Fire.

Damning little chart

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Great idea for presenting the numbers from Lord Christopher Monckton of Brenchley - at Anthony's:

Introducing the global warming speedometer
The new global warming speedometer shows in a single telling graph just how badly the model-based predictions made by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change have over-predicted global warming.

20160525-speedo.jpg

And yes, we are warming - that has never been in doubt - we are between glacial periods. What is very much a matter of political maneuvering is that this warming is #1 caused entirely by humans and #2 is approaching some kind of tipping point at which time the warming will enter an irreversible runaway phase.

Both of these have been proven to be false multiple times. Anthropogenic Global Warming is a matter of political expediency and not science - the politicians want their power and money.

Nothing much today

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Lulu's nephew Jimmy came out yesterday afternoon and is working on some projects around the house.

Heading out for coffee and propane in a few minutes - busy day today.

Getting the equipment ready for Sunday's Ski to Sea race

Lulu and I have gotten hooked on the Bones television series. Really funny and great writing. I love the guest actors too. They have taken pains to have the science be correct - my knowledge is pretty scattered but every time they referenced something I know about, they are usually more than 90% correct and that 10% is more for plot development and keeping within the one hour format than anything else.

There is a wiki for the series: Bones_wiki

Been watching two or three episodes with dinner - hence the lack of posting....

Good news is that Grace's ear problems are easily fixed with a topical ointment.

The bad news is that the Doctor noticed the early stages of Pannus in her eyes. This is treatable in that application of drops can halt the progress but whatever damage is there is irreversible. Her eyesight is really good - she can spot a coyote from 500 feet away in the grass at dusk. The object is to keep it that way.

Other good news is that there is now a canine ophthalmologist practicing in Bellingham. Back when Finnegan was starting to develop his cataracts, the only options were in Spokane or Seattle. Now Bellingham has a eye veterinarian.

Barrels of fun

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Check out the AA-12:

Off to the vet

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See what is bothering Grace's ears...

Katie has edited an interview and one of the interviewees has proof of it - from Ammoland Shooting Sports News:

Katie Couric Twists Pro Gun Groups Comments For Phony “Documentary” “Under The Gun”
“Creative” editing by Katie Couric, who must have graduated from the Joseph Goebbels School of Journalism, has intentionally and significantly changed the response of Virginia Citizens Defense League (VCDL) members in a new video called “Under the Gun” – and I have PROOF.

And the story:

Watching the video, you hear Katie ask, “If there are no background checks for gun purchasers, how do you prevent felons or terrorist from walking into, say, a licensed gun dealer and purchasing a gun?” The camera then shows the group members TOTALLY SILENT FOR EIGHT SECONDS. The camera zooms in on one member, who looks down.

The clear implication is that none of the group had an answer for that question and was being evasive and avoiding eye contact.

The truth is, and as you will hear in the audio, below, that the group responded to Katie immediately, with answers to her question! Yet the video shows no one responding. Clearly, when Katie didn’t get the answer(s) she wanted, she changed the group’s answers by replacing them with other video of the group sitting around quietly between questions.

Not cool at all. Makes you wonder just how much of our news has been selectivly edited like this.

Tip of the hat to Irons in the Fire for the link.

Big surprise - voter fraud

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From the Los Angeles CBS affiliate KNX:

CBS2 Investigation Uncovers Votes Being Cast From Grave Year After Year
A comparison of records by David Goldstein, investigative reporter for CBS2/KCAL9, has revealed hundreds of so-called dead voters in Southern California, a vast majority of them in Los Angeles County.

“He took a lot of time choosing his candidates,” said Annette Givans of her father, John Cenkner.

Cenkner died in Palmdale in 2003. Despite this, records show that he somehow voted from the grave in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008 and 2010.

But he’s not the only one.

Of course, the County Registrar has this to say:

The Los Angeles County Registrar told CBS2: “We remove 1200 to 2000 deceased records from the database per month.”

How many dead people are voting?  If they are removing 1,200 to 2,000 per month and some of these people had been voting for ten or more years, that is a significant chunk of the population.

Pay for play in New York City

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Mayor Bill de Blasio is in a little hot water over some trash-bags. From the New York Post:

Only fitting de Blasio could be taken down by trash bags
As metaphors go, it would be hard to top this one: Garbage bags could help bring down the de Blasio administration.

Yes, garbage bags. How perfectly fitting.

Of the many revelations about City Hall’s pay-to-play culture, the case of how New York came to buy a certain brand of trash bags for parks caught the attention of prosecutors.

A bit more:

As The Post first reported, the seller, Joseph Dussich, tried for nearly a decade to get the city to buy his Mint-X bags, which he says deter rats and squirrels.

But he got the brush-off — until he contributed $100,000 to the Campaign for One New York, a slush fund Mayor Bill de Blasio created. Presto, Dussich got a meeting with the mayor, a trial contract for $15,000, and then, through a middleman, a deal worth nearly $6 million.

And two items from the You lay down with dogs and wake up with fleas department:

Even then, de Blasio’s reprehensible behavior would still stand out. He beats his chest to declare himself an enemy of income inequality and claims to be in favor of getting big money out of politics.

And:

Even the names of his slush funds — the Campaign for One New York, The Progressive Agenda Committee and United for Affordable Housing — reflect a profound cynicism. Their names suggest the exact opposite of what they actually do.

This is Democrat big politics writ large.

Off for coffee and veterinarian

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Grace has something going on with her left ear so a trip to the vet is in order. Scheduled for 3:30 this afternoon - doing a regular check-up and some vaccinations as well.

Old Time Radio

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I will have to check this out - from their website:

RADIO1610.US AM & ONLINE
Radio1610 is a micropowered AM and streaming web radio station.
It is what is known as hobby radio, and is a legal unlicensed station under FCC Part 15 and not pirate radio. I transmit on 1610 KHZ AM and the signal has a usable reception area of about 400 feet in diameter (a very small coverage footprint in our neighborhood).

The station format is Old-Time Radio. We play old dramas, comedies, mysteries, adventure programs that have long since expired their copyrights and are now generally accepted to be in the public domain. Most of these programs are from the 1930's and 1940's, but perhaps you might recognize some of them.

The micropower broadcast location is in Everett, WA near the corner of Colby Ave. and 37th St.

We also have an internet stream of the broadcast running simultaneously with the AM broadcast. If you are not close enough to receive the AM broadcast, you can get a stream of the station from anywhere in the world on the internet.

Link to the stream is here: Listen Now

When I was going to college, I majored in Marine Biology and Physical Oceanography at Boston University. I dropped out after three years because this was the time that all the kids who grew up watching the Jacques Cousteau movies were in college studying to be the next Jacques Cousteau themselves. There was no work available and what work there was was horribly paid. Also, at that time (1975), Popular Electronics published an article on building your own personal computer with the 8080 chip - other computer articles had been published the year previous but this was the first real system. I started working for a public aquarium in Boston - spent five years there - and built up my computer skills on the side.

I am still very interested in matters maritime and ran into this tonight - a company down in Everett, WA is building submarines and doing a very good job of it.

One project they have planned sounds really fascinating - from the OceanGate website:

Andrea Doria Survey Expedition
OceanGate has been contracted by Argus Expeditions to provide a manned submersible and marine operations team on an expediton to survey the iconic wreck of the Andrea Doria, an Italian flagged passenger liner that sank near Nantucket after colliding with the Stockholm, a Swedish passenger vessel outbound from New York.

The primary objective of the Andrea Doria Survey Expedition is to capture high-definition video footage and 3D sonar images of the shipwreck to document its current condition. The expedition goal is to establish accurate and reliable baseline data so explorers and scientists can better assess the decay of the wreck over time.

This iconic shipwreck has been explored by scuba divers and mixed-gas divers for decades – with the first dive occurring within hours of the sinking. These dives have resulted in limited views of the wreck due to the short bottom time available to divers (approx 20 minutes per dive) and limited visibility.

The sub they are going to use is the Cyclops 1 and one very cool feature is that it is built using COTS - Commercial Off The Shelf technologies. The piloting is done through a game controller, air circulation is done using computer fans, navigation and sonar data are displayed on consumer flat-screens, that sort of thing. This greatly lowers the cost of the building and operation.

Going to have to arrange for a tour through their place one of these days...

If you are curious about obsolete forms of data storage, check out the Museum Of Obsolete Media

From the About page:

About the Collection
I began collecting examples of media formats in early 2006, and now have at least one example of over 380 different types covering audio, video and data, with lots more identified that I have yet to collect.

In 2014, I also began to collect film formats.

A very deep site - I used to have machines for some of these formats. Standards are great - that is why we have so many of them...

Curious development in time

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Readers will know that I am a bit of a time-nut and interested in the technology of accurate time measurement.

Things just got interesting - from Nature:

Direct detection of the 229Th nuclear clock transition
Today’s most precise time and frequency measurements are performed with optical atomic clocks. However, it has been proposed that they could potentially be outperformed by a nuclear clock, which employs a nuclear transition instead of an atomic shell transition. There is only one known nuclear state that could serve as a nuclear clock using currently available technology, namely, the isomeric first excited state of 229Th (denoted 229mTh). Here we report the direct detection of this nuclear state, which is further confirmation of the existence of the isomer and lays the foundation for precise studies of its decay parameters. On the basis of this direct detection, the isomeric energy is constrained to between 6.3 and 18.3 electronvolts, and the half-life is found to be longer than 60 seconds for 229mTh2+. More precise determinations appear to be within reach, and would pave the way to the development of a nuclear frequency standard.

Very cool. Is there anything that Thorium can't do...

Department of the obvious - guns

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From Breitbart:

Sheriff David Clarke: ‘The Only Person Safe in a Gun-Free Zone Is the Criminal’
During his May 20 speech to the NRA Leadership Conference in Louisville, Kentucky, Sheriff David Clarke Jr. said, “The only person safe in a gun free zone … is the criminal.”

As the data shows, more guns, less crime.

As Robert Anson Heinlein said: An armed society is a polite society.

From the New York Post:

How corporate America bought Hillary Clinton for $21M
“Follow the money.” That telling phrase, which has come to summarize the Watergate scandal, has been a part of the lexicon since 1976. It’s shorthand for political corruption: At what point do “contributions” become bribes, “constituent services” turn into quid pro quos and “charities” become slush funds?

Ronald Reagan was severely criticized in 1989 when, after he left office, he was paid $2 million for a couple of speeches in Japan. “The founding fathers would have been stunned that an occupant of the highest office in this land turned it into bucks,” sniffed a Columbia professor.

So what would Washington and Jefferson make of Hillary Rodham Clinton? Mandatory financial disclosures released this month show that, in just the two years from April 2013 to March 2015, the former first lady, senator and secretary of state collected $21,667,000 in “speaking fees,” not to mention the cool $5 mil she corralled as an advance for her 2014 flop book, “Hard Choices.”

Throw in the additional $26,630,000 her ex-president husband hoovered up in personal-appearance “honoraria,” and the nation can breathe a collective sigh of relief that the former first couple — who, according to Hillary, were “dead broke” when they left the White House in 2001 with some of the furniture in tow — can finally make ends meet.

No wonder Donald Trump calls her “crooked Hillary.”

There is a lot more at the article including a list of speeches and money paid - this is corruption writ large.

Good news - food safety

Justice has been served - from the London Daily Mail:

'You threw it all away in pursuit of profit': Curry house boss who killed allergic customer by switching almonds for cheap nut powder is jailed for six years
A penny-pinching restaurant boss was today jailed for six years after being found guilty of killing a customer by serving him a meal containing ground peanuts and triggering a fatal allergic reaction.

Mohammed Zaman, 53, used cheaper ground peanuts at his restaurants, rather than almond powder, resulting in the manslaughter of nut allergy sufferer Paul Wilson, 38, in North Yorkshire.

Mr Wilson never recovered after eating a takeaway curry from the Indian Garden in Easingwold, despite telling staff he could not eat nuts – and a judge has now blasted Zaman as ‘reckless’.

Recorder of Middlesbrough Judge Simon Bourne-Arton said Zaman had built up his businesses since arriving in Britain 40 years and gathered a property portfolio worth more than £2million.

He added: ‘You threw all that away. You have done so in pursuit of profit. You have done so in such a manner as to bring about the death of another individual. Paul Wilson was in the prime of his life. He, like you, worked in the catering trade. He, unlike you, was a careful man.’

The restaurant owner was a real piece of work:

During a trial that led to his conviction it emerged that Zaman ran up £294,000 debts in his restaurants so was substituting ingredients for cheaper alternatives.

Yet he was still paying for his son to go to the prestigious private St Peter's School in York from his business account.

And it is not like he didn't have any warning:

Mr Wilson died three weeks after a teenage customer at another of Zaman's six restaurants suffered an allergic reaction which required hospital treatment.

The Galileo Movement

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Great australian science and sanity site for Anthropogenic Global Warming. Check out The Galileo Movement

A couple of line items from their Scientific Facts page:

    • Carbon dioxide (CO2) levels in the air are less than 0.04%;
    • Annually, all human activity produces 3% of Earth's CO2, Nature 97%, 32 times more;
    • Driven by temperature, oceans release and absorb CO2. Oceans contain in dissolved form, fifty times the CO2 contained in Earth's entire atmosphere;
    • Nature alone controls the air's CO2 levels. Total human production is one quarter of just the variation in Nature's production. Despite continuous human CO2 production, every year during the southern hemisphere winter Nature reduces Earth's global CO2 levels;

A couple of line items from their Scientific Untruths page:

    • 4,000 scientists did not claim human production of CO2 caused global warming. Only 5 IPCC reviewers endorsed its core claim - and there's doubt they were even scientists;
    • For its 1995 report, UN IPCC scientists advised five times there was no evidence of humans causing warming. Yet IPCC politicians' reported to national governments and media: "The balance of evidence suggests a discernible human influence on global climate";
    • UN IPCC data on the air's carbon dioxide (CO2) levels show carbon dioxide is a consequence of temperature, not a cause. This is true for every period in Earth's history and over every duration;
    • The 2007 report's sole chapter claiming warming and attributing it to humans contains no specific scientifically measured real-world evidence (AR4, chapter 9) for its claim. It relies on computer models programmed to predict warming. Yet cooling has occurred;

The site has not been updated in a while but the facts are accurate and damning to the global warming crowd. Lots of pesky data here...

Out for coffee and pastry run

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Working at home most of today.

Well that is it

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I reached the last page of the internet - nothing more tonight.

I will leave you with this little earworm:

Nothing on the net catches my eye. About halfway through reading the entire net so maybe I'll catch something later. Sure is quiet out there...

Good meeting, dinner, etc...

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Water board meeting went well - any meeting under 30 minutes is a good one. Played hooky from the radio network. Dinner was marinated (rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, lemon juice and sugar) chicken breast grilled and some rice and bok choy sauteed with sesame oil and dressed with some oyster sauce.

Thinking of doing a batch of mac salad next day or two - I do a decent one and a little taste of Hawaii is always a good thing. Maybe smoke some brisket next day or so - got a couple in the freezer...

A shift at home - Trump

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From the Washington Examiner:

Begrudging WaPo poll: Trump 46%, Clinton 44%
It's not the headline, and it takes 219 words to get there, but a new Washington Post poll on the presidential race reveals that Republican Donald Trump leads Democrat Hillary Clinton among registered voters 46 percent to 44 percent.

Inside the Post's story about the poll is this paragraph:

"At this point, the two candidates are in a statistical dead heat among registered voters, with Trump favored by 46 percent and Clinton favored by 44 percent. That represents an 11-point shift toward the presumptive Republican nominee since March. Among all adults, Clinton holds a six-point lead (48 percent to 42 percent), down from 18 points in March."

Heh - first time that Trump has lead over Hillary.He was not my choice for President but I really hope he hands Hillary a resounding defeat - something that makes the rubble bounce. The political class needs to be reminded that they are where they are so that they can serve us and represent us. Not the other way around.

As the pendulum swings

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Swings to the left more and more - here comes the corresponding swing to the far right. From Yahoo News/Agence France Presse:

Austria on knife-edge as presidential race too close to call
Austrian far-right hopes of winning a presidential runoff remained on hold Sunday as the candidates were neck-and-neck in a battle closely watched by the EU, which is struggling to contain a surge of anti-immigrant parties.

A win would see Norbert Hofer of the Freedom Party (FPOe) become the European Union's first far-right head of state.

On Sunday evening, the vote was evenly split between Hofer of the Freedom Party (FPOe) and Green-backed economics professor Alexander van der Bellen, with both on 50.0 according to projections based on almost all the votes cast at polling stations Sunday.

And what could be the reason?

A huge influx of asylum-seekers, rising unemployment and frozen reforms has driven voters away from the two centrist parties that have dominated Austrian politics since 1945.

Expanded social services for outsiders who are not assimilating into the Austrian culture. Where have we seen this before? Hmmm...

Lazy day

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Sitting here sipping my coffee and planning the day. Overcast with chance of showers - picked up a couple plants yesterday (hydrangeas) and will get them in the ground this afternoon.

Water board meeting at 6:00PM and ham network at 7:00PM

From HeatStreet:

Facebook Censors Conservative Lauren Southern for Mentioning Censorship
We wish this wasn’t true – but it looks like Mark Zuckerberg’s message hasn’t got through to Facebook’s employees. Conservative activist and Donald Trump supporter Lauren Southern was just kicked off the site for a totally inoffensive post noting its censorship of another conservative.

The good news is that she had a screen-capture running all the while this happened - Facebook tried to deep-six the censorship but she has the video. The story unfolds through a sequence of tweets - visit the site and bask in the glory that is Zuckerberg’s hypocrisy.

Is Motorola coming out with a re-launch of the Razr?

It was a great phone but the form factor would really limit the screen real estate.

A letter from Hell

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One family's story of evacuating from the Fort McMurray wildfire - from The Scientific Parent:

We Are Not Fine. We Are Not Prepared: Escaping Fort McMurray
I don’t know if you’re religious or not, but if you believe in some version of hell my family just drove through it. A few hours ago my family and I escaped the city of Fort McMurray, Alberta which as you may have seen on the news is burning.

We drove through the fire, avoiding dangling electrical wires. We are alive, we have found shelter for tonight in a motel. But like so many others we were unprepared to evacuate when we were told we needed to.

I am going to ask you to do what my family did not do, but wish we did: have an emergency kit ready.

Forest fires are not uncommon in Northern Alberta. Each year many fires occur in the vast Boreal forest that covers the Northern Region of the province, but most of them stay contained, or burn a safe distance from inhabited communities.

Living in Fort McMurray for the past three years (past two years for my wife Amanda and son Odin) we have been witness to these yearly events. Each time, my wife and I will say to each other “We should really think about having an Emergency Preparedness Kit”. We talk about it. We say what a good and practical idea it is. Then, like so many others, it gets put to the wayside and forgotten. We’ll get to it, we say, just like how we’ll get to all the other things in life we say we’ll get to eventually.

Today that forgetfulness put us in danger.

Much more at the site. Author Mathew Clements was able to get his family together and get out but it was a harrowing experience for them and it would have been a lot better if they had a grab-n-go kit already put together. Denial is a very strong human emotion and a lot of people practice it when thinking about disaster preparedness.

The purest definition of a disaster is an event which outstrips your ability to cope. How prepared are you?

The news from Venezuela

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Just keeps getting better and better - not only is their biggest brewery unable to produce beer (they have no money to buy grains), now the Coca-Cola bottler is shutting down because they cannot afford to buy the sugar.

From CBS News:

Coca-Cola halts production in Venezuela
Coca-Cola is halting production in Venezuela of its namesake beverage due to a sugar shortage brought on by the country's grinding economic crisis.

The Atlanta-based company said in an emailed statement Friday said that its production of sugar-sweetened beverages will be suspended in the coming days after local suppliers reported they had run out of the raw material. Sugar-free beverages are not affected and the company said its offices and distribution centers remain open in Venezuela.

The move comes as Venezuela's economy is teetering on the edge of collapse with widespread food shortages and inflation forecast to surpass 700 percent. Last month, Empresas Polar, Venezuela's largest food and beverage company, stopped production of beer because of a lack of imported barley.

The best thing for the Venezuelan people is for Maduro to step down and let a capitalist run things for a while.

Another day in town

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Worked on the condo for a couple of hours and then had dinner. Back home - unpacked the truck (picked up some groceries)

Another morning, more coffee

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Got the critters fed and watered so heading out for coffee.

Nothing planned for today - may run into town later.

How to move a city - Kiruna, Sweden

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Sweden's most Northern city - it was founded because of a large deposit of high grade iron ore. Mining has caused the surface to settle, the ore is such a high grade that it would be stupid to close the mine so they are moving the entire city a couple miles.

I would love to visit there and hang out for a few weeks. I have always been attracted to polar regions.

Do not return to where you spent them... From the Detroit Free Press:

Police: Michigan man made fake money, used for lap dances
A Michigan man is facing charges after a stripper was paid with a counterfeit $100 bill following a lap dance.

Stephen Gidcumb is charged with intentionally passing counterfeit notes. Police tell the Detroit News that fake bills were mixed in with real $100 bills.

MLive.com reports the 32-year-old was arrested May 13 after returning to the strip club in Kochville Township, near Saginaw, later that day. Chief Assistant Saginaw County prosecutor Christopher Boyd says club workers were "on the lookout" for Gidcumb.

Wonder if the ink ran from the sweat... Talk about stupid.

First it was the deception in scheduling, vets dying while waiting long times for treatment. Now the infrastructure is crumbling - from the New York Times:

Decaying Long Island V.A. Hospital Closes Operating Rooms
Usually, there are 10 operations a week scheduled at the Northport Veterans Affairs Medical Center on Long Island. But since mid-February, the hospital’s five operating rooms have stood empty and unused, shut down after sand-size black particles began falling from air ducts.

The ducts are part of the hospital’s HVAC system. Providing heating, ventilation and air-conditioning, the system is integral to improving the hospital’s air quality and mitigating the airborne transmission of germs that could lead to infections.

Someone had an idea that I really like - fire all of the career bureaucrats and staff these positions with veterans. The place would turn around on a dime.

From The Washington Times:

Donald Trump endorsed by NRA: ‘Fantastic honor’
In a surprise move, the National Rifle Association on Friday endorsed likely GOP nominee Donald J. Trump for president — a development Mr. Trump called a “fantastic honor” even as he appeared somewhat shocked by the announcement.

Chris Cox, who heads up the NRA’s legislative-lobbying arm, made the announcement in his introduction of Mr. Trump at the NRA-ILA’s “Leadership Forum,” which is part of the gun-rights group’s annual meetings in Louisville.

“We have to unite, and we have to unite right now,” Mr. Cox said. “So on behalf of the thousands of patriots in this room and the 5 million NRA members across this country and the tens of millions who support us, I’m officially announcing the NRA’s endorsement of Donald Trump for president.”

Mr. Cox then introduced Mr. Trump as “the next president of the United States,” which was greeted with resounding applause and cheering from the crowd at the Kentucky Exposition Center.

Mr. Trump appeared somewhat surprised himself at the development.

“Thank you very much, this is amazing,” he said. “I did not know that. I knew I was doing well, but I did not know that.”

“I’ve been a member for a long time, and my boys are members and they’re much better shooters than I am,” he said.

“To get the endorsement, believe me, is a fantastic honor,” he said.

That is something - there are five million of us out there and we have a very high voter turnout.

Climate change - teaching in Oregon

There must be no disent - no alternative view. From the Portland Tribune:

Portland school board bans climate change-denying materials
In a move spearheaded by environmentalists, the Portland Public Schools board unanimously approved a resolution aimed at eliminating doubt of climate change and its causes in schools.

“It is unacceptable that we have textbooks in our schools that spread doubt about the human causes and urgency of the crisis,” said Lincoln High School student Gaby Lemieux in board testimony. “Climate education is not a niche or a specialization, it is the minimum requirement for my generation to be successful in our changing world.”

The resolution passed Tuesday evening calls for the school district to get rid of textbooks or other materials that cast doubt on whether climate change is occurring and that the activity of human beings is responsible. The resolution also directs the superintendent and staff to develop an implementation plan for “curriculum and educational opportunities that address climate change and climate justice in all Portland Public Schools.”

Good Lord - the stupidity is so bright it is incandescent. What will they do when the evidence becomes irrefutable? Just claim that the cooling period is caused by global warming and to stop the advancing ice sheets, we must limit petroleum use. Yet another example of why Homeschooling is the best way to educate your kids.

Barry on the job again

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From Breitbart:

Shooting Reported at the White House While Obama Out Golfing
U.S. Park police have revealed that there was a shooting outside the White House complex, near West Executive Drive on 17th and Pennsylvania.

According to CNN, a suspect brandished a firearm outside the White House complex before being shot by Secret Service agents and taken into custody. Further reports indicate the shooting took place at 3:15 pm and the shooter was a man.

Good that the President was not involved in the shooting but golfing again? No word yet on the nationality/religion of the shooter.

On April 19th, Target announced that their bathrooms are open to anyone. As of April 29th, there were twenty documented cases of assault in Target bathrooms. Target's stock price tanks.

And now this - shows that there is rot at the top. From Breitbart:

Target CEO Blames Climate Change, Not Bathroom Policy, for Hurting Sales
As retailer Target sees its stock plummeting and sales dropping in the midst of a boycott over its recently announced pro-transgender bathroom policy, the company’s CEO is insisting the weather is the cause of falling sales, not the company’s bathroom policy.

In a recent Wall Street Journal interview, Target CEO Brian Cornell pegged the downturn in the company’s fortunes to the cold weather as opposed to anything the company itself is doing or not doing.

“It’s been a very wet and cold start to the year and it’s reflected in our sales,” Cornell told the paper. “We haven’t seen anything from a structural standpoint that gives us pause.”

In other words, the weather is responsible for the downturn, not Target’s “structural” transgender bathroom policy.

The board needs to get rid of Cornell and get someone who has a connection with reality.

UPDATE: Remembered this incident and found a link:

This Man Saved A Girl From Being Stabbed To Death, And Now Target Is Suing Him For It
In 2013, Michael Turner saved the life of a 16-year-old girl who had been viciously attacked and stabbed in a Target store in Pennsylvania. And instead of thanking him for protecting its customers and preventing them from being murdered, Target is now suing him for his heroism and alleging he acted irresponsibly.

The attacker, Leon Walls, was convicted of attempted homicide for stabbing then-16-year-old Allison Meadows in 2013.

Much more at the site including store video.

About those new immigrants - Europe

The new European immigrants  are working out really well for Germany. From the London Daily Mail:

Germany sees huge rise in number of burglaries carried out by migrants as police admit eastern bloc crime gangs are exploiting the migrant crisis to send thieves into Europe
New figures have revealed a huge rise in the number of burglaries carried out by migrants in Germany after police admitted crime gangs are exploiting the refugee crisis by sending thieves to Europe.

The head of Germany's federal criminal police has revealed that while foreign suspects in burglaries has risen sharply, the number of German suspects has declined.

He added that many of the suspects are part of gangs that are mainly from Eastern European countries such as Romanian, Albanian and Georgia.

Just wonderful - we have fake passports floating around, nobody knows who these people are but they just keep the doors open. If I was wearing my Aluminium-foil deflector beanie, I would say that they are trying to precipitate a crisis so they can declare martial law and take over the government.

Two weeks away - SeaPac

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June is going to be a really busy month starting with Ski to Sea on May 29th (running the radio and announcing for one of the links).

SeaPac is two weeks away - SeaPac? The Northwest's Largest Ham Convention

Some of the workshops look really interesting - Software Defined Radio is an awesome emerging technology, the silicon has finally gotten fast enough and cheap enough to implement.

It's Friday

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So a pastry run is in order (Monday's too).

Working at the house most of today.

playdough

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An Icelandic band: Cryptochrome

I like!

More here: The Reykjavik Grapevine And Facebook.

Also, Cryptochromes - the geek-fu is very high with these people. Here too...

Those TSA slowdowns

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You have probably heard that the time to get through a TSA screening at a large airport has ballooned from an hour to several hours. The reason for this is clear - from Michelle Malkin:

MALKIN: TSA’S UNION POWER GRAB: THOUSANDS SLOWING DOWN AIRPORTS
When it comes to public employee unions, there's no such thing as a coincidence.

All you travelers stuck in mile-long TSA security lines are pawns. Convenient political pawns. Big Labor bosses want more power and more money. Stranded travelers are just the latest victims in this age-old game of D.C. extortion.

Union leaders want you to think the fault lies with a stingy Congress unwilling to fork over enough money to fill screener shortages. White House spokesman Josh Earnest poured more partisan fuel on the fire last week by blaming the nationwide slowdowns on "the inability of Republicans in Congress to govern the country."

What a load of flying horse hockey.

The 15-year-old Transportation Security Administration now has a massive annual budget of nearly $7.6 billion and a workforce of nearly 60,000. They had enough tax dollars to waste on an idiotic $1.4 million iPad app that randomly points left or right; $3 million on more than 200 useless explosive detection "puffer" machines that didn't detect explosives reliably; and unknown gobs in awards and automatic bonuses to senior TSA managers at a time when the agency was repeatedly failing internal tests of its ability to stop weapons, bombs and terror threats.

Yet, last week, with airlines, airports and customers all raising holy hell, Congress scraped together $34 million more to pay TSA screeners overtime and fund nearly 800 more screeners to address the summer travel crush.

It's still not enough of course. It's never enough. Since last fall, the TSA workforce (unionized under the Obama administration) has staged protests at major airports (including Dallas-Fort Worth, JFK, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis?St. Paul and Atlanta) organized by the American Federation of Government Employees, which is demanding full collective bargaining rights under federal labor law, along with hefty pay increases.

No reason for them to be unionized - fire them all and privatize it. It will run more efficiently and be significantly cheaper. And start letting them profile for cryin' out loud!

As I have said before, Unions did have their day back when people did not move from city to city and the large factories knew they had a ready base of workers to exploit. Now people move to where the work is and it is a sellers market. The unions have not changed with the times - time for them to toddle off into the sunset like a good dinosaur.

Great idea for beverage packaging

From Discover Magazine:

Edible Six-Pack Rings Feed, Rather Than Strangle, Wildlife
Plastic six-pack rings are the bane of conservationists — images of sea birds and turtles entangled in them serve as constant reminders that consumer culture and the environment don’t get along. But thanks to an innovation from a Florida-based brewery, we can feel a little better about enjoying a six-pack.

Saltwater Brewery has partnered with the ad agency We Believers to create what they say is the first fully edible beer can packaging. Made from byproducts of the brewing process such as wheat and barley, their six-pack holders are fully biodegradable and completely digestible. Rather than ensnaring curious animals in a corset of litter, the company’s six-pack rings could serve as a satisfying snack. And if nothing is biting, the rings quickly decompose.

Plus, the drink holders are just as strong as the plastic variety, which should keep those Screamin’ Reels safe, as well.

Very clever idea - all that is left in the spent grains are starch and some complex carbohydrates. Perfect materials for a pseudo-plastic.

We have been having a lot of minor earthquakes happening with our local volcanoes - here is the last thirty days with Mt. Saint Helens coming in with over 100:

20160519-quake.jpg

Data is from the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network - a daily read for me. After all, it is not IF it is WHEN

Liquefaction - earthquakes

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Last night's class mentioned Liquefaction - soil and moisture can act like a liquid if perturbed. Here are two excellent videos on the subject:

The first is in the lab - a container of sand and water. From Youtube:

This video, courtesy the Illinois Geological Survey, shows how earthquake liquefaction can affect buildings and buried structures. The concept presented is elementary but will provide you a basic understanding of what happens when saturated soils are shaken by earthquakes. The brass weight represents a building or structure and the ping pong ball represents a buried storage tank. Video Credit: Robert A. Bauer; Illinois Geological Survey

This next one is from the 9.0 quake in Japan. Youtube:

This video was taken just moments after the 9.0 earthquake on March 11, 2011 in Central Park of Makuhari, Chiba City, Japan. It shows fissures moving and water from liquefaction coming to the surface. (There were no broken water pipes, as I initially wondered.)

There are parts of Bellingham that were built on fill and were once bodies of water. There is a lot more to deal with than just the shaking...

Looking at models

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An interesting look at models in science from Patrick J. Michaels and David E. Wojick writing at Anthony's:

Climate science appears to be obsessively focused on modeling – Billions of research dollars are being spent in this single minded process
What we did
We found two pairs of surprising statistics. To do this we first searched the entire literature of science for the last ten years, using Google Scholar, looking for modeling. There are roughly 900,000 peer reviewed journal articles that use at least one of the words model, modeled or modeling. This shows that there is indeed a widespread use of models in science. No surprise in this.

However, when we filter these results to only include items that also use the term climate change, something strange happens. The number of articles is only reduced to roughly 55% of the total.

In other words it looks like climate change science accounts for fully 55% of the modeling done in all of science. This is a tremendous concentration, because climate change science is just a tiny fraction of the whole of science. In the U.S. Federal research budget climate science is just 4% of the whole and not all climate science is about climate change.

In short it looks like less than 4% of the science, the climate change part, is doing about 55% of the modeling done in the whole of science. Again, this is a tremendous concentration, unlike anything else in science.

We next find that when we search just on the term climate change, there are very few more articles than we found before. In fact the number of climate change articles that include one of the three modeling terms is 97% of those that just include climate change. This is further evidence that modeling completely dominates climate change research.

To summarize, it looks like something like 55% of the modeling done in all of science is done in climate change science, even though it is a tiny fraction of the whole of science. Moreover, within climate change science almost all the research (97%) refers to modeling in some way.

This simple analysis could be greatly refined, but given the hugely lopsided magnitude of the results it is unlikely that they would change much.

Much more at the site - all of the major claims about CO2, tipping points, increases in temperature, the disappearance of snow, the melting ice caps - all of these are just the output of some computer model. These models have zero bearing with real world observations and they cannot hindcast - give them 200 years of historical data, they have us living in a heat wave now - obviously not the case. The models used on Michael Mann's famous 'Hockey Stick' paper will give hockey sticks even when fed statistically random numbers.

A great writeup and more at the site. Here is an excellent 13 minute video on the subject:

Amateur Radio in the news

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From the ARRL website:

Maritime Mobile Service Network Responds to Mayday Call from Stranded Vessel
The crew of a sailing vessel that foundered on a reef in the South Pacific in early May was safely rescued, thanks in part to the alert ear of Maritime Mobile Service Network (MMSN) member Russell Taylor, AI6GV, of San Marcos, California. On May 3, Taylor monitored a “Mayday” call on 14.300 MHz from the Alaska-based Morning Dove, at the time some 200 miles northeast of French Polynesia. The vessel’s captain, Bruce Moroney, KL3RK, reported that the 46-foot ketch, which had been en route from Apataki Atoll to Rangiroa — a passage of about 80 miles, had become stuck on a reef and was unable to move. The crew transmitted the Mayday distress call after the vessel began taking on water.

“We could see reef from the cockpit, we were lodged on a reef,” Moroney explained afterward to Latitude 38. “I tried to reverse with no effect. Within 10 minutes conditions became extreme.” Moroney said the ketch’s hull and diesel fuel tank breached. An emergency position-indicating radio beacon (EPIRB) was activated, and a Mayday put out. “Within 15 minutes the radios were underwater,” Moroney said.

Taylor apprised the US Coast Guard of the situation and of the vessel’s position. The French Navy subsequently dispatched a helicopter to the area within about 6 hours of the incident, airlifting the four unharmed crew members to safety. Efforts were reported under way to retrieve the grounded vessel. The Coast Guard later called Taylor, telling him that if he had not monitored the Mayday, the consequences could have been devastating for the crew.

Assisting in the event were long-time net member William Sturridge, KI4MMZ, in Florida and his friend Peter Mott, ZL1PWM, in New Zealand who relayed information.

The Maritime Mobile Service Network monitors 14.300 MHz with operators on scheduled shifts from 1700 to 0300 UTC.

Great story and incredible luck for the sailors - another case of geeks volunteering their time to help save lives.

Coffee and work

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Slept in again - out for coffee and working at home on a couple of projects.

YES - thank you CBS!

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Still a year off - due in 2017 but still...

Japenese Emperor Akihito is also a scientist just like his Father. Here is his latest - from the National Institute of Health (USA):

Speciation of two gobioid species, Pterogobius elapoides and Pterogobius zonoleucus revealed by multi-locus nuclear and mitochondrial DNA analyses.
Abstract
To understand how geographical differentiation of gobioid fish species led to speciation, two populations of the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Japan for each of the two gobioid species, Pterogobius elapoides and Pterogobius zonoleucus, were studied in both morphological and molecular features. Analyzing mitochondrial genes, Akihito et al. (2008) suggested that P. zonoleucus does not form a monophyletic clade relative to P. elapoides, indicating that "Sea of Japan P. zonoleucus" and P. elapoides form a clade excluding "Pacific P. zonoleucus" as an outgroup.

Much more at the site - you get the drift. Beats playing a poor game of Golf every couple of days...

And yeah, the Emperor was listed as the first author. This means that he was the lead scientist on the project.

Nice guy - hope he rots in jail

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From South of here - the Skagit Breaking News:

Sedro Woolley Man Arrested for Attempting To Arrange Murder Of His Child
A Sedro Woolley Man, who is being held in the Skagit County Jail on charges of Child Molestation involving his juvenile daughter has been arrested for attempting to have her and his mother-in-law murdered by another inmate.

According to a press release from Lieutenant Chris Cammock with the Mount Vernon Police Department, the Skagit County Prosecutor’s Office contacted the Mount Vernon Police Department on Monday, May 11th, 2016 regarding an inmate at the Skagit County Jail who was soliciting another inmate to commit a murder.

Detectives learned the suspect, a 50-year old Sedro Woolley Man, was being held on charges of Child Molestation involving his juvenile daughter by the Sedro Woolley Police Department. The man believed that if the child victim was no longer around his Child Molestation charges in the case would be dropped and he would be freed from jail.

Over the next several days, Mount Vernon Investigators obtained recorded conversations, written documents and conducted several interviews with witnesses and the suspect. Investigators learned the suspect had offered to sign over three vehicles he valued at approximately $10,000 in exchange for the cellmate to kill his daughter and mother-in-law once the inmate was released from jail.

Additionally, the suspect developed code words to use if the plans changed after the cellmate was released and they needed to talk by phone. The suspect had several opportunities over these days to cancel the plans, warn the intended victims, advise authorities, or notify the cellmate it was not a serious request, however this never occurred.

I think about six or seven consecutive life sentences without parole would not be out of line here. Or let him escape and have him shot during the process - save the state a couple hundred K.

A new strain of Norovirus

Noro is one bug that I hope never to ever come in contact. Only lasts 48 hours but you are one sick puppy throughout the time - contageous as hell too. And now this from Barfblog:

Michigan Carrabba’s outbreak confirmed as norovirus
Last week I was part of a panel with Aron Hall and Chip Manuel at the Food Safety Summit. For an hour and a half we talked burden, outbreaks, sanitizers, vomit and social media. The conclusion was there’s a bunch a noro in the U.S.; it sticks around for a long time in the environment; and, restaurants are a popular place for outbreaks.

Emphasis mine - usually Noro dies after a day or two in the air - to have something this virulent also stay active for a long time is not a good development. No Bueno...

Back from class

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It was a lot of fun - our local CERT guy for Whatcom County asked one of the fire stations what CERT could do for them in event of an emergency. They responded and tonight's class was the result.

We (California, Oregon, Washington and some parts of British Columbia) are scheduled to do a big drill - Cascadia Rising - on June 7 through 10. Our County will only be active on the 7th and the 8th. The drill is to simulate a Mag 9 quake off the Oregon coastline.

After an emergency, the fire department needs to get a factual evaluation of where their resources are needed. The CERT teams will be deploying either in cars, on foot or on bicycles to scan a set of streets and report on emergencies using personal radios to a local Incident Commander who uses Ham Radio to report to one of the participating fire halls. This way, they get an assessment of the area within an hour or two - they could send one of their vehicles out but a shiny bright red fire truck will get mobbed by persons each with the utmost of emergencies. The CERT team will be identified by vest and hard hat but they have a lot lower profile.

If this operation works out well (it is being planned for four Bellingham neighborhoods), it will be fine-tuned and made a part of the national curriculum.

Very cool to have been a guinea pig for this great idea - our local CERT guy has some awesome ideas for expanding the scope of what CERT does.

Nothing much today

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Did coffee this morning and working at home today.

CERT upgrade class later this evening so heading into town for an early dinner and class at 6:00PM

Maybe some posting after I get back around 9-ish.

How to dance to EDM

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Electronic Dance Music - these birds do it a lot better than me:

Part deux here: How to dance to...

A new Trump advertisement

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I don't know who he has doing these but they are really good:

What has me encouraged is that he has a history of recognizing talent and hiring the best people - I wonder who his Cabinet will be? Sec. State? Aty. General? Fun times ahead!

Yeah really. Want to buy some oceanfront property in Montana?

From Denny at Grouchy Old Cripple comes a nice shopping list that seems to have been swept under the rug. The media want's to see Donald Trump's tax returns - how about resuming the request for these documents:

Things I Would Like To See More Than Trump’s Tax Return
The libs are jumping up and down like little kids screaming, “Show us your tax returns!” Fer sure there has to be some sort of gotchas on them. I’ve come up with a list of things that I’d like the libs to show me.

Flipper’s Navy records. Remember back during the 2004 election he promised to release them? He never did. Do these records refute his claim of being a war hero? What is he hiding?

Horrible Harry Reid’s tax returns. He claimed that Mittens Romneycare didn’t pay any taxes. OK. Let’s see your returns, Harry. Let’s see all of your financial records you crook. What are you hiding?

Obungler’s real birth certificate, not that phony one that the White House released that has been debunked as a fake. Let’s see the real one. On one of Jug Hussein Ears Downgrade’s autobiographies, the publisher’s notes claim that he is the first US senator who was born in Kenya. Until we see the real birth certificate we’ll never know. What is he hiding?

Many more at the site. And the title of this post? This laughable moment from Barry in 2013:

Obama says his is ‘most transparent administration' ever
President Obama on Thursday hailed his administration for its transparency.

“This is the most transparent administration in history,” Obama said during a Google Plus “Fireside” Hangout.

“I can document that this is the case,” he continued. “Every visitor that comes into the White House is now part of the public record. Every law we pass and every rule we implement we put online for everyone to see.”

The president said this holds true even on the issue of the attack on a U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, a controversy which he said was “driven by campaign” politics and one that Congressional Republicans were clinging to even though they’ve “run out of questions.”

The guy is living inside his own brain - he is clueless and out of touch with reality.

A bit of oddness at the farm

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Odd thing happening here. I have three mouse traps. These are the high-end Rat Zappers which work really great. There is no noise associated with their triggering so the other field mice only assume that Charlie just keeled over from a heart attack - he was getting up in years poor chap. The others mice do not learn to avoid the trap.

Spring is when the population starts to really increase so I have been catching one or two of them every day - especially at night when everyone is tucked into their respective beds and it is quiet.

Couple of days ago, I could only find two of the traps.

Tonight, I could only find one of the traps.

A couple days from now, will I come downstairs in the morning to find some sheets of metal on the floor and a nice piece of chocolate cake sitting on the kitchen counter?

Back from town

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Did a bunch of work at the farm and then headed in for a few hours. Had dinner and then stopped for two pints of cider at my local.

Home, surf for a bit and then to bed.

A curious phenomenon - I went to the Donald Trump rally in Lynden, WA a few weeks ago. Over 6,000 people waiting in line for a couple hours to clear security and get into the venue. Litter on the streets? None. Trash cans had been provided and these were full of scraps of junk, water bottles, etc.

Now this - from The Bellingham Herald:

About a ton of debris left after climate protest near Anacortes
Authorities say about a ton of debris was left on the ground after weekend environmental protest in northwest Washington.

The anti-oil protesters told KING-TV they were forced to leave the area and didn’t have time to grab all their belongings before being arrested. Local authorities say the debris they took to the dump included camping equipment left by people who slept on railroad tracks near Anacortes.

Protesters staged multiple demonstrations against fossil fuels over the weekend. But some in the local community say the trash they left along the BNSF railroad tracks presents a mixed message.

On Sunday morning, May 16, police gave about 150 activists a warning to leave or face arrest. Some grabbed their belongings and left but others continued with their civil disobedience and more than 50 were arrested.

The Skagit County Public Works department hauled away 2,300 pounds of debris.

Here is a drone shot from MyNorthwest.com showing the stuff strewn around the activists:

20160517-trash.jpg

And for more stories about both liberal and conservative demonstrations and the quantity of trash left behind, check out these posts:

Litterbug Climate Marchers Leave Behind Piles of Trash
Compare Garbage After Tea Party Vs. Obama Inauguration
Critics Slam Climate Change Protesters for Leaving Trash at NYC March
A Tale Of Two Rallies, Conservative VS Liberal Who Trashed The Mall And The Country
People's Climate March Leaves Trail Of Trash
Far Left Climate Activists Leave Mounds of Trash For Cities to Deal With
Climate Change Protesters Trash Memorial To ISIS Paris Massacre

I got these links from a simple Google search - the Anacortes dump site is not a unique incident - crap like this happens at all liberal/progressive demonstrations. It does not happen at conservative demonstrations. And who do you want running your nation?

Fun with chemistry - sugar

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I will have to try this soon - from Stella Parks writing at Alton Brown's website Serious Eats:

How to Make Rich, Flavorful Caramel Without Melting Sugar
Want to know something crazy? Sugar doesn't melt; it undergoes thermal decomposition. That may sound like a pedantic distinction, considering we've all watched sugar effectively melt into a pool of caramel atop crème brûlée, but the implications are huge—worthy of far more explanation than a mere tl;dr.

Man, who am I kidding; you're here for the tl;dr, aren't you? Okay, fine. Here goes: Caramelization occurs independent of melting. Consider the above photo exhibit A—neither brown sugar nor turbinado, but granulated white sugar that I caramelized without melting. It's dry to the touch, and performs exactly like granulated white sugar.

Except, you know, the part where it tastes like caramel.

That opens up a world of possibility, as it works flawlessly in recipes for buttercream, mousse, or cheesecake, which can accommodate only a small amount of caramel sauce before turning soupy or soft. It's also ideal for desserts that would be ruined by caramel syrup, which is by nature too hot for fragile angel food cake, and too viscous for soft candies like marshmallows or nougat. And, compared to caramel powder (made from liquid caramel, cooled and ground), it won't compact into a solid lump over time.

Really easy to make too - baking sheet and an oven and sometimes a food processor. Instructions in the article.

Landslide in the Himalayas

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Good God! Hat tip to the American Geophysical Union's excellent Landslide Blog:

Something to remember - there is very little water in motion here. This is all loose rock and gravel that has been fluidized by its movement down the ravine. It captures air and this provides enough lubrication that the slide acts like a liquid and can travel great distances at great speeds. Notice the carrying capacity - huge boulders are being carried along without any seeming effort.

This is very similar to a volcanic lahar - one of the dangers of living on the slopes of an active volcano... (video of three Japanese lahars)

This explains a lot - Hillary

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She has an unusual laugh and has been known to bark like a dog on stage. From The People's Cube:

DNA test traces origins of Hillary cackle to hyena ancestors

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Animal behaviorist Dr. Kale Crumlin didn't know how close he was to the truth when a few months ago he first shared his observations with a small circle of colleagues in a paper titled, "The Behavior and Habits of Hillary Clinton," in which he compared the former First Lady to the dominant female in a clan of spotted hyenas, also known as laughing hyenas.

"The cackle, the facial expressions, and the predisposition to dominate males were the first behavioral clues," wrote Dr. Crumlin, referring to a known scientific fact that spotted hyena society is matriarchal; females are larger than males and dominate them in a pack, with even the lowest ranking females being dominant over the highest ranking males. ''The males are so nervous around females that it's very easy to tell them apart," he observed, "even if everyone in the room is wearing pants."

And of course:

When asked for comment, Hillary for America campaign responded that all information relating to Mrs. Clinton's family tree was lost along with her emails during the unfortunate private server incident. At the same time, being a strong believer in identity politics, Mrs. Clinton is hopeful that these findings will help her to secure the support of minority animal voters in the coming presidential elections.

Off for coffee and pastries

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Slept a nice nine hours with some good dreams (Iceland!)

Heading out for coffee and to pick up the pastry order for Crossroads. Looking like a warm-ish sunny day today so working on some projects outside.

Sounds like the processing plant has some serious issues - from Seattle station KIRO's reporter Jesse Jones:

Pasco frozen food plant linked to listeria may be impossible to clean
A new report from the FDA says that a Pasco frozen foods plant linked to a massive listeria outbreak may be impossible to clean.

The agency inspected the facility in March, but the report was just released recently.

The FDA found several unfavorable conditions that “do not allow proper cleaning and maintenance,” which could be why the listeria outbreak occurred.

This was not just a matter of some contaminated matter being brought in - this is a systemic failure of the corporate culture that allowed conditions to degrade to this point. Whistle-blowers were probably threatened with dismissal. Do not rock the boat.

The Clinton machine is 1,000 times bigger than the Sanders machine. Bernie has better people campaigning for him but when it comes down to the wire, it is the machine in back that determines who gets nominated.

From Sean Illing writing at Salon (who is acting like this is the first time anything like this ever happened):

What the hell just happened in Nevada? Sanders supporters are fed up — and rightfully so
Chaos erupted at the Nevada Democratic convention on Saturday as supporters of Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders clashed over the awarding of the state’s 35 pledged delegates. Clinton edged Sanders in the Nevada caucus on Feb. 20th (52.6 percent to 47.3 percent). On April 2, however, the state party held its Clark County convention and Sanders mobilized more delegates than the Clinton campaign (1,613 to 1,298), which swung the delegate count in his favor.

At the state convention this weekend, the final step in the process, Sanders supporters hoped to secure the lion’s share of the remaining 12 delegates. Instead, the delegate allocation rules were abruptly changed and Clinton was awarded 7 of the 12 delegates. State party chair, Roberta Lange, told caucus-goers that the “ruling by the Chair is not debatable; we cannot be challenged and I move that…and I announce that the rules have been passed by the body.” Predictably, a chorus of boos followed and the convention was forced to end on a frenzied note.

What happened in Nevada is likely to happen elsewhere. The perception that the DNC has thrown its institutional support behind Clinton has only deepened the internal divide within the party. The Sanders wing is pissed off, and rightfully so.

A word of caution - do you want someone with this much political power in the White House? Consider voting for Trump instead. If Hillary gets elected, she will only grow the corruption and centralised power and this will make it even harder for someone like Bernie to get close to running.

The system is rotten on both sides of the fence and you are only perpetuating this if you vote for Hillary or do not vote at all as some kind of protest. Face it - they will not allow Sanders and they are trying like hell to knock Trump out of the ring. Trump is the only one of the two with the resources to stay in the fight. Get him in for a couple years and let him clean house. We will all be much better off for it.

These are the 1% - this is the naked face of the 1%'s operatives in Washington. They need to be brought down so that good honest people can be elected again.

It used to be about We The People - make it so again. We have that within our reach.

From the New York Times:

For Obama, an Unexpected Legacy of Two Full Terms at War
President Obama came into office seven years ago pledging to end the wars of his predecessor, George W. Bush. On May 6, with eight months left before he vacates the White House, Mr. Obama passed a somber, little-noticed milestone: He has now been at war longer than Mr. Bush, or any other American president.

If the United States remains in combat in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria until the end of Mr. Obama’s term — a near-certainty given the president’s recent announcement that he will send 250 additional Special Operations forces to Syria — he will leave behind an improbable legacy as the only president in American history to serve two complete terms with the nation at war.

Mr. Obama, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009 and spent his years in the White House trying to fulfill the promises he made as an antiwar candidate, would have a longer tour of duty as a wartime president than Franklin D. Roosevelt, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard M. Nixon or his hero Abraham Lincoln.

And let us not forget this - from The Washington Times:

Obama brag, in new book: I’m ‘really good at killing people’ with drones
President Obama was overheard bragging to administration aides about his ability to kill people with drones, a new book about the 2012 campaign season that’s due for release on Tuesday claimed.

The president’s specific words: I’m “really good at killing people,” authors Mark Halperin and John Heilemann write in “Double Down: Game Change 2012,” The Daily Mail reported. They get their claim from a Washington Post report that buries the statement as a brief anecdote in an article, in which the president is described as speaking to aides about the drone program and then making the claim.

The White House hasn’t responded to the book — but a spokesman did indicated on Sunday talk shows that the president hates information leaks.

Hates information leaks - indeed. What is disturbing is not that he likes killing people, it is that the drones are so horribly inaccurate. They are tracking cell phones and many times, the cell phone will be left in a house, the house gets destroyed and people killed and the bad guy is nowhere around. This needs to be changed.

Obama's version of civil rights (ie: bathroom useage) is imbecilic compared to what the leaders of the original civil rights movement dealt with and some of them are not afraid to bring this dichotomy to a public forum.

From Breitbart:

Black Pastors Slam Obama Admin’s Equivalence of Gender Identity Ideology with Black Civil Rights
The president of the Coalition of African-American Pastors (CAAP) says that the Obama administration’s assertion that single-sex bathrooms are discriminating against gender-confused individuals in much the same way that blacks experienced discrimination in the United States is a “gross insult” to all who fought for equality for African-Americans.

“There is simply no relation between the struggles that Black Americans have faced and the desire of a tiny minority group to violate the dignity and privacy of women and girls,” said Rev. Bill Owens in a statement sent to Breitbart News. “To suggest some sort of equivalence is a gross insult to all of those who marched with Dr. King and faced fire hoses and hatred in the name of equality.”

Owens reacted Friday to the Obama administration’s imposition of gender ideology on the United States. In the wake of a new North Carolina law that protects the privacy and safety of women and children in public rest rooms, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced a lawsuit against North Carolina alleging the law violates the civil rights of gay and transgender individuals to use the bathrooms of their choice.

Barry is plugging this "issue" hoping that it will distract people's attention from the real issues - the Trump ascendancy, Kerry and Clinton's incompetent foreign policies, the failing economy and the loss of jobs. Look - a trannie!

There are over 1,500 comments so this is really resonating with people.

From the Austin, TX television station KTBC7:

Hate-cake lawsuits dropped; Preacher admits Whole Foods "did nothing wrong"
The Austin pastor, who claimed he bought a cake with a homophobic slur written on it, is now dropping his lawsuit against Whole Foods.

The meat of the story:

Security video, released by Whole Foods, apparently forced the back track by Brown. It showed him picking up the cake, and while checking out, neither he nor the clerk see anything offensive through the clear top. It was also noted that the UPC label that sealed the box, at the time, was on top. But during Brown's news conference it had been moved although he claimed the box was never opened. Shortly after the video was released, support for Brown started to erode.

In a statement issued Monday, Whole Foods spokesperson Rachel Malish said:

We're very pleased that the truth has come to light. Given Mr. Brown's apology and public admission that his story was a complete fabrication, we see no reason to move forward with our counter suit to defend the integrity of our brand and team members.

Just an out-and-out lie to gain some attention from the media. Reverend Brown, you have now had your fifteen minutes of fame. How your congregation will continue to be guided by an admitted liar is beyond my comprehension.

We have the power!

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Came on about an hour ago.

Spent a few hours in town - checked out the new Whole Foods store. Some good stuff, some of their prices are unreal but some of them are competative. Nice section of prepared meals, pizza, a beer bar as well as coffee and juice - they know their market well.

Fixing some dinner and an early bedtime.

That is it for the night

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See how long I sleep tonight - nothing of real interest in the intarwebs.

Going to be interesting waking up to a silent community - planned power outage from 7:00AM through 7:00PM tomorrow. Shutting down computer in a few minutes. Will have to drive 15 miles for my morning cup of coffee...

Good gun news from Florida

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From the Tampa Bay Times:

Deputies: Man killed while trying to rob Riverview convenience store
A man who tried to rob three other men at a convenience store on Tuesday was killed when one of his intended victims fatally shot him, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.

The attempted robbery took place around noon at Ace Beverage Castle at 9401 U.S. 301 S. Joel Alberto Torres, 24, wearing a bandana and carrying a 9 mm handgun, walked up to a man who was standing behind the business and tried to rob him, deputies said. When the man told him he had nothing to give, Torres forced him through a back door into the building.

Inside, Torres tried to rob the business owners, a father and son, while they sat in an office, deputies said. But one of them pulled out a gun and shot Torres several times. Paramedics took Torres to Tampa General Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. The man who shot Torres was not identified by the Sheriff's Office, but he does have a concealed carry permit.

And of course, Torres was an alter boy and loved his mommy:

Torres has a criminal record that includes convictions for grand theft and burglary, according to state records. In 2009, he was arrested on a charge of conspiracy to commit murder, but the outcome of that case was not known.

Good - another thug off the streets and our tax dollars are not being spent maintaining him in prison. No information about his immigration status - would be interesting to know.

From Breitbart:

Bill Kristol: Republican Spoiler, Renegade Jew
While millions of Republican primary voters have chosen Donald Trump as the party’s nominee, Bill Kristol and a small but well-heeled group of Washington insiders are preparing a third party effort to block Trump’s path to the White House.

Their plan is to run a candidate who could win three states and enough votes in the electoral college to deny both parties the needed majority. This would throw the election into the House of Representatives, which would then elect a candidate the Kristol group found acceptable. The fact that this would nullify the largest vote ever registered for a Republican primary candidate, the fact that it would jeopardize the Republican majorities in both the House and Senate, and more than likely make Hillary Clinton president, apparently doesn’t faze Kristol and company at all. This is to give elitism a bad name.

Some more:

Yet in seeking a candidate to carry their standard, the Kristol group has approached billionaire investor Mark Cuban, a figure uncannily similar to Trump. During the presidential election year 2012, the Hollywood Reporter noted that, “in February, billionaire sports and media mogul Mark Cuban was seen hugging Barack Obama at a $30,000-a-plate fundraiser for the president’s re-election bid.” Cuban was also a visible campaigner for Obama four years earlier. A fan of Obamacare, Cuban wrote a column for Huffington Post just before the 2012 election titled, “I would vote for Gov. Romney if he were a Democrat.”

I would post more but do not feel like throwing up my wonderful turkey dinner... Whatever happened to We The People - when did these assholes gather so much power - on both sides.

Sabotage - dot.com businesses

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Funny and spot on post from author Charlie Stross:

Updating a classic
In 1944, the Office of Strategic Services—the predecessor of the post-war CIA—was concerned with sabotage directed against enemies of the US military. Among their ephemera, declassified and published today by the CIA, is a fascinating document called the Simple Sabotage Field Manual (PDF). It's not just about blowing things up; a lot of its tips are concerned with how sympathizers with the allied cause can impair enemy material production and morale:

    1. Managers and Supervisors: To lower morale and production, be pleasant to inefficient workers; give them undeserved promotions. Discriminate against efficient workers; complain unjustly about their work.
    2. Employees: Work slowly. Think of ways to increase the number of movements needed to do your job: use a light hammer instead of a heavy one; try to make a small wrench do instead of a big one.

Charlie brings it into the present:

So it occured to me a week or two ago to ask (on twitter) the question, "what would a modern-day version of this manual look like if it was intended to sabotage a rival dot-com or high tech startup company"? And the obvious answer is "send your best bad managers over to join in admin roles and run their hapless enemy into the ground". But what actual policies should they impose for best effect?

    1. Obviously, engineers and software developers (who require deep focus time) need to be kept in touch with the beating heart of the enterprise. So open-plan offices are mandatory for all.
    2. Teams are better than individuals and everyone has to be aware of the valuable contributions of employees in other roles. So let's team every programmer with a sales person—preferably working the phones at the same desk—and stack-rank them on the basis of each pair's combined quarterly contribution to the corporate bottom line.
    3. It is the job of Human Resources to ensure that nobody rocks the boat. Anyone attempting to blow whistles or complain of harrassment is a boat-rocker. You know what needs to be done.
    4. Senior managers should all be "A" Players (per Jack Welch's vitality model—see "stack ranking" above) so we should promote managers who are energetic, inspirational, and charismatic risk-takers.

Six more at the site plus 70+ comments offering aditional ideas. The only problem is that some manager out there may think these are actually a good idea. I know, I have worked for a few of them.

The secret is out

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How to edit a video in Seven Easy Steps!!

A little too close to home - from DIY Photography.

Glad I do not live in a big city

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Obama's racial division is coming home to roost. From Breitbart:

Fraternal Order of Police Prediction: Chicago Violence Ready to Explode This Summer
Disrespect for the Chicago police is at an all time high and as the weather turns warmer this summer, the city’s already high level of violence is ready to explode, especially if new proposed policies are adopted. So warns an official with Chicago’s Fraternal Order of Police (FOP).

In a new interview, Dean Angelo, Sr., President of Chicago Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 7, expressed foreboding about the summer months as gang violence in the city ramps up to a fever pitch as it usually does in the warmer weather. But the climate of violence isn’t just because of the temperature.

Angelo criticized as “ridiculous” Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s pubic pronouncements that the Chicago PD is fraught with systemic racism and warned that the disrespect Emanuel’s words fostered toward police, and possible changes being proposed in the state legislature, will cause the city to “light up” this summer.

During the interview conducted by local AM radio host Dan Proft, Angelo said claims of racism is “a complete disconnect.” The FOP leader also noted that his organization has repeatedly suggested that lawmakers and policy wonks ride along with police to see what the officers face every day.

Of course the policy wonks do not want to ride with the officers - why pollute their cozy little narrative with messy facts.

A serious WTF moment - from Boulder's Daily Camera:

Dispute over feeding squirrels sparked Boulder County shooting, sheriff says
The altercation in Gunbarrel that left one man shot in the buttocks Thursday and another man facing attempted-murder charges grew out of an argument about the shooting suspect's habit of feeding peanuts to area squirrels, according to Boulder County sheriff's investigators.

Yes, you read that correctly - a bit more:

Neighbors told investigators that Barbour and his wife like to feed shelled peanuts to the local squirrels. But neighbors have objected to this, saying they're worried about children with nut allergies and diseases the squirrels might be carrying.

Barbour said he and his wife put fliers on mailboxes in the area explaining why he fed the squirrels, but Browning took them down.

Barbour and Browning got into an argument over the fliers Thursday while Browning was walking his dog, with each man accusing the other of being "white trash," according to the affidavit.

Barbour told deputies that Browning then hit him in the head, and that he shot Browning while the two were on the ground struggling.

But Browning told investigators that he was walking away from Barbour, and was about 10 feet away, when he was shot.

Browning suffered a single gunshot wound to his buttocks, and was taken to Boulder Community Health for treatment. Barbour also was taken to the hospital to be treated for what deputies described as a "bump" on his head.

Got to love the name of the community - yes there really is a Gunbarrel Colorado.

Back home - shopping run

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Was low on some comestibles so did a quick run into town - just got back.

Power is going to be out all day tomorrow so planning for that. I will be the one staring at the dead monitor going through withdrawal.

Radio net in a few minutes - fixing some turkey breast with mashed potatoes and a whole can of cranberry sauce for dinner.

Another long sleep

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Slept eight hours Friday night but back to 12+ last night - feel great and rested, just sleeping a lot longer than usual...

Off for coffee and working at home today.

Knocks it out of the ballpark:

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Let's do the time warp again

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Yeah, that one. But with daleks and weeping angelsGreat 4:05 video with :40 seconds of introductions and another 2:30 of blatant self-promotion at the end:

Rodrigo Duterte - an analysis

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Great writeup from two sites:

Here is the second article from Strategy Page:

Philippines: This Changes Everything
Rodrigo Duterte won the presidential election. Duarte is different, in more ways than one. He was not expected to win because he did not have the support of one of the wealthy parties or wealthy political donors. He was an outsider who promised change, had a convincing track record in local politics and ran a highly effective and inexpensive campaign. Duarte is not from one of the old, rich and corrupt families that have dominated Filipino politics for centuries. He is a lawyer, served as a prosecutor and then mayor and considered quite competent, but very unorthodox and not bothered with breaking laws to do what his constituents want. This was made clear during the 22 years he was mayor of Davao City (population 1.5 million) in the southeast. This part of the south is largely Christian, most of the Moslems are in the southwest. Until Duarte got elected in the 1990s Davao City was an economic mess and had one of the highest crime rates in the country. The local government was corrupt and Duarte said he would fix it. He did, but not by using methods anyone expected. His most alarming tactic was to approve the use of death squads to murder criminals caught in the act. In the past bribes and a well-connected lawyer could get the worst criminals set free. No more. The use of death squads by powerful men was not unusual in the Philippines, especially in the south. So Duarte was able to get away with it. Soon people realized that he maintained control of the death squads and the crime rate plunged after about a thousand accused criminals were murdered. Duarte also cracked down on corruption in general and hired competent economic and business advisors to create an economic boom. Duarte describes himself as a socialist but not anti-business.

Davao City is now the safest city in the country and one of the ten safest in the world. The economy continues to prosper and the rest of the country was envious. One thing led to another and Duarte ran for president and won big. This is expected to shake up the Philippines more than any new president has for decades. Most Filipinos want less crime and more prosperity, which, if Duarte is true to form, he will concentrate on first. He has promised major movement in these areas by the end of the year. Meanwhile the Moslems of the southwest are waiting to see what he will do with their stalled peace deal and autonomy agreement. Duarte kept Islamic terrorists out of Davao City and southerners are hoping he will put an end to Abu Sayyaf and other Islamic terrorists.

Here is the first article from al fin next level:

Murdering the Criminal Class: A Case Study

The obvious way to eradicate crime is to eradicate criminals, but neither the lawgivers nor the constabulary seem inclined to do this.
-- Jeff Cooper

Case Study: Phillipines
Eradicating criminals may seem a radical approach to eradicating crime, but there is some logic to the idea. We have a real-life example of someone (Rodrigo Duarte, the new president of The Philippine Islands) who set about to do exactly that in Davao City, Philippines.

al fin then quotes from the above Strategy Page article (much more at both sites - excellent reads) and then launches into some exploration of vigilantism.

Hamburger was good

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Spiked it up with a bit of hot red pepper flakes, dried onion flakes, garlic powder, breadcrumbs, salt & pepper and an egg. Eight ounces for me, eight ounces for Grace. Yummy!

Temp outside is low 60°'s and I got the heat on low.

'Nuff said:

Tip of the hat to Billlls Idle Mind

Perfect solution

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Great news from the Philippines

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They had themselves an election and someone very good got voted in. From the Philippine Star:

Duterte lead unassailable at 15.7 million
Results from a semi-official count gave Davao City Rodrigo Duterte an unassailable lead, thrusting him into national politics for the first time after 22 years as mayor of Davao and a government prosecutor before that.

Some more:

Duterte has parlayed decades at Davao City Hall into a successful, if controversial, run for Malacañang with millions seemingly endorsing his tough stance on crime and his self-described "gutter" language.

The long-time mayor, who has been accused of but not charged for using extrajudicial killings to curb crime, was a consistent front-runner in pre-election surveys leading up to election day. Initially only leading in Mindanao, Duterte was eventually the top choice among respondents in the National Capital Region and across all social classes.

Looks like he knows how to play hardball and the citizens have decided that this is what is needed. 22 years as Mayor of a large city would be quite the education. He got 15.6 million votes, his closest competitor got 9.5m. That would qualify as a landslide.

It just keeps sinking - from someone writing in Venezuela and publishing at The Atlantic:

Venezuela Is Falling Apart
When a Venezuelan entrepreneur we know launched a manufacturing company in western Venezuela two decades ago, he never imagined he’d one day find himself facing jail time over the toilet paper in the factory’s restrooms. But Venezuela has a way of turning yesterday’s unimaginable into today’s normal.

The entrepreneur’s ordeal started about a year ago, when the factory union began to insist on enforcing an obscure clause in its collective-bargaining agreement requiring the factory’s restrooms to be stocked with toilet paper at all times. The problem was that, amid deepening shortages of virtually all basic products (from rice and milk to deodorant and condoms) finding even one roll of toilet paper was nearly impossible in Venezuela—let alone finding enough for hundreds of workers. When the entrepreneur did manage to find some TP, his workers, understandably, took it home: It was just as hard for them to find it as it was for him.

Toilet-paper theft may sound like a farce, but it’s a serious matter for the entrepreneur: Failing to stock the restrooms puts him in violation of his agreement with the union, and that puts his factory at risk of a prolonged strike, which in turn could lead to its being seized by the socialist government under the increasingly unpopular President Nicolas Maduro. So the entrepreneur turned to the black market, where he found an apparent solution: a supplier able to deliver, all at once, enough TP to last a few months. (We’re not naming the entrepreneur lest the government retaliate against him.) The price was steep but he had no other option—his company was at risk.

But the problem wasn’t solved.

No sooner had the TP delivery reached the factory than the secret police swept in. Seizing the toilet paper, they claimed they had busted a major hoarding operation, part of a U.S.-backed “economic war” the Maduro government holds responsible for creating Venezuela’s shortages in the first place. The entrepreneur and three of his top managers faced criminal prosecution and possible jail time.

All of this over toilet paper.

It is a long article but one worth reading. This is what socialism and the attendant corruption does to a nation. Back when oil was $100/bbl, Venezuela was struggling as Chavez and Maduro misspent the income (Venezuela has the world's largest known reserves of petroleum).

Now that the price of oil has reached its real level, the nation has taken a punch to the gut from which it will not recover - their only option is to go capitalist and clear out the government.

This can be done - see the recent election in the Philippines for an example.

Hamburger for dinner

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Clawing back the last vestiges of the recent warm weather. Got two burgers on the grill for dinner. One for me and a dog burger for Grace.

Looking at a week of partly cloudy and cooler temps. At least the garden will like it...

Great presentation this afternoon

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It was a two-hour presentation - first hour was two presentations by visiting scientists. First, Professor Brian Atwater from University of Washington. His specialty is paleo-seismology and his team were the ones to find the 1700 Orphan Tsunami in Japan (they had a large tsunami but there were zero records of any accompanying earthquake). This tsunami was caused by the fault in the Cascadian Subduction zone.

The second presentation was from Dr. Rebekah Paci-Green from Western Washington University. She is one of the people behind the upcoming Cascadia Rising drill and is authoring may of the "injects" that we will be having to deal with over the course of the drill. An inject is an envelope with a date and time written on it and when we open it (at the right time) the paper inside will say something like: The west wall of the building you are looking at has just collapsed. We will communicate this to the Emergency Operations Center and receive their response.

The remaining hour was three presentations from the High School students (today was the result of a student project at the Mt. Baker High School) covering Before, During and After a major disaster. They did a very good job both with the research and with the presentation. There were about 150 people in the audience.

An afternoon well spent.

Dumb criminals in Sweden

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Were robbing a closed watch shop in an enclosed mall during normal business hours. The stupidity - it burns:

Back to whatever passes for normal

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Woke up a bit before nine this morning - no more twelve hour sleeps.

Coffee and class later today.

Mouth meet money...

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You can talk all you want but when it is time, you had better stand up.

Here is one guy who will help you out and there are probably some great realtors in Canada to locate your new home:

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From Investor's Business Daily:

Wendy’s Serves Up Big Kiosk Expansion As Wage Hikes Hit Fast Food
Wendy’s said that self-service ordering kiosks will be made available across its 6,000-plus restaurants in the second half of the year as minimum wage hikes and a tight labor market push up wages.

All actions have consequences - think before you leap...

Good Riddance - Flash

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Flash from Adobe was very popular for a long time as a media player. It was also a gaping hole for malware infection - if you have flash installed on your system, you will see the offers to upgrade it every week or two - these upgrades are not to add features, they are to patch gaping security holes.

HTML5 has media as an innate function. Most of YouTube runs HTML5 for their videos and I have not had flash running on any of my systems for over a year and it is only the rare time when I do not get to see a video.

Google Chrome browser is making it official - from their forum:

Intent to implement: HTML5 by Default

Motivation
While Flash historically has been critical for rich media on the web, today in many cases HTML5 provides a more integrated media experience with faster load times and lower power consumption. This change reflects the maturity of HTML5 and its ability to deliver an excellent user experience. We will continue to work closely with Adobe and other browser vendors to keep moving the web platform forward, in particular paying close attention to web gaming.

Details
Later this year we plan to change how Chromium hints to websites about the presence of Flash Player, by changing the default response of Navigator.plugins and Navigator.mimeTypes. If a site offers an HTML5 experience, this change will make that the primary experience. We will continue to ship Flash Player with Chrome, and if a site truly requires Flash, a prompt will appear at the top of the page when the user first visits that site, giving them the option of allowing it to run for that site (see the proposal for the mock-ups).

Good fscking riddance.

Great news from Breitbart:

Trump Campaign Goes Smash-mouth: Blacklists ‘Never Trump’ Consultants, Vendors
Ken Vogel and Ben Schreckinger write in Politico of reports that the Trump campaign’s aides and allies want the consultants and vendors behind the “Never Trump” movement barred from lucrative general-election contracts.

Donald Trump’s campaign is considering hitting his Republican enemies where it hurts: Their wallets.

As Trump moves to work in closer concert with the Republican National Committee apparatus, some campaign aides and allies are pushing him to block lucrative party contracts from consultants who worked to keep him from winning the nomination, according to four sources familiar with the discussions.

“The Never Trump vendors and supporters shouldn’t be in striking distance of the RNC, any of its committees or anyone working on behalf of Donald Trump,” said a Trump campaign official.

I love it - they are trying to kick Trump in the shin and he is punching back twice as hard. You want to sit at the grown-ups table, you have to act like a grown-up. Very simple really. Almost - dare I say it -  Presidential...

About that recent sea level rise?

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From the International Business Times:

14,550-year-old prehistoric underwater site reveals traces of humans in the Americas
Archaeological research conducted at a prehistorical site in Florida has revealed that hunter-gatherers lived in the region more than 14,000 years ago, long before the Clovis culture arrived in the Americas.

The Clovis culture is a Paleo-Indian culture, which scientists believe to be one of the first human civilizations to have come to the Americas, and to have spread to the south-east between 12,900 and 13,200 years ago.

However, the latest research, based on radio-carbon dating and published in the journal Scientific Advances, suggests other human populations may have been there before.

So, the new findings are under 30 feet of seawater. If sea level rise is a recent thing, care to explain how the artifacts were found there?

Just like Bob Ballard's discovery of Noah's flood in the Black Sea - 7,000 year old archaeological ruins 300 feet under the water.

We just got back from seeing it - definitely one for the big screen. It was oriented towards family-friendly but they did not shy away from any of the darker aspects. Really well done and be sure to stay for the first five minutes of the closing titles - they had a lot of fun animating them.

Also took in the Welding Rodeo - some great teams today - I will post a couple of photos later this evening.

Heating up some left-over spaghetti sauce for dinner...

Heading out for coffee

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And pick up Friday's load of pastries for the store. Someone from our local power utility will be at the bakery to explain the details about Monday's planned power outage - two large projects coming online. We will be closing the store all day Monday since there will be no reliable indication of when the power will be restored.

Welding rodeo and then movie and dinner. Posting much later this evening.

I love their products and use several of them. The plant is located just North of Bellingham. The owner got tired of dealing with tours all the time so they made this video:

Their website: FastCap

Great move moneybags - from BoingBoing:

Chelsea Clinton's husband shuts down vulture fund after losing 90% of his investors' money
Chelsea Clinton's husband Marc Mezvinsky is a Goldman Sachs alumnus; in 2014, he founded Hellenic Opportunity, a hedge fund that raised $25M to bet on distressed assets from Greece's collapsed economy, wagering that the country's investors would force it to make deeper cuts to finance payments on the debts.

The fund lost 40% of its value in its first year. It shut down last month, having lost 90% of its investors' cash (Mezvinsky will have earned $250,000/year to manage the fund, assuming he had the standard 2% hedge fund deal).

Another braying nincompoop completely out of touch with the real world. He figured Greece would come roaring back to life - when has that ever happened with a socialist government in power such as Greece. Their economy is more moribund than ours and that is saying something.

Fun with Sodium metal

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Short video of a guy skipping a one pound chunk of Sodium metal into a river:

When I was in high school, we used to take a gram or two, wrap it tightly in newspaper and flush it down the toilet. It would take a minute or two for enough water to penetrate but the sound of the explosion could be heard through the floor. The shower from the drains was epic too.

Cool and damp

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Looks like we are heading for an extended period of cool and wet weather - this will be great for the garden.

From Cliff Mass:

Major Cooling Ahead
We have all gotten used to the warm, sunny weather, which followed the warmest April on record for many Northwest cities.

But it is all going to end this weekend, with cool, showery weather settling in for an extended period.

Real meteorologists prefer to look at the output of ensemble forecast systems that present the results of many predictions. Here is the graphic from the North American Ensemble Forecasting System. Warming through Friday...and then bang... an extended cool off, with increased chances of precipitation and clouds (the yellow boxes show the range of the middle 50% of the ensembles, the "whiskers" indicating the range of the predictions.

A thorough analysis of what we have to look forward to. The off-shore high pressure ridge that has given us all of our nice warm weather is going to (as Cliff said) Ridge Heaven.

Now this looks like fun

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I saw his first two documentaries and they were both really good and true to the historical record. People need to learn their history otherwise, they are going to repeat it.

Good meeting tonight

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Covered a lot of stuff from the Cascadia Rising to the Field Day and the Ski to Sea race which WECG is participating in. Going to be a very busy couple of months - starting from May 29th through June especially. A lot of fun and doing something useful for the community.

Tomorrow is the Welding Rodeo and then Lulu and I are going to see Jungle Book - we both read the books as kids and heard that they did a really great job of bringing it to the screen. One to see in the theater. Class on Saturday.

Schadenfreude - Hillary's emails

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From The Political Insider:

BREAKING: Hillary Just Received The Worst Possible – Putin Is Smiling!
Hillary Clinton broke the law and put America’s national security at risk by using a private home email server to transmit top secret information.

Now, we’re just about to find out how serious Hillary Clinton’s crimes were!

Russia’s Kremlin now has in their possession at least private 20,000 emails from Hillary Clinton’s poorly protected server, and they are debating if they should be released.

They stumbled onto these messages while monitoring Romanian computer hacker Lazăr Lehel, who is better known as “Guccifer.” They were watching him closely after he failed to hack into the internet network for Russia’s RT television network.

Heh - this puts a wonderful spin on things. The Clinton Foundation will not be able to do a thing...

First - from CBC News - burned ground never stays sterile for long:

'Pyro' bugs will help restore burned Fort McMurray forest
The blackened landscape around Fort McMurray is far from a dead zone, despite a wildfire that has reduced more than 229,000 of hectares of boreal forest to cinders and ashes.

Amid the charred skeletons of spruce and still smouldering muskeg, Alberta's fire-loving insects are on the move.

"Its really spooky if you ever go to a burn after it's gone out," said Peter Heule, an insect expert with Edmonton's Royal Alberta Museum.

"Every step you take, there is just ash and soot, and you see these little beetles shimmering like little jewels on these black-burned trees, laying their eggs and doing their thing."

And a little bit of the ewwww factor here:

Better known as the tar-sand beetle, they are a common sight in Fort McMurray and are much maligned for their tendency to crawl into the warmth of mine-workers pant legs, and latch on.

Second - from the Amateur Radio Relay League:

Canadian Radio Amateurs Went on Alert to Assist in Alberta Wildfire Emergency, Evacuations
A wildfire in Alberta, Canada, that began unremarkably on May 1 as “MWF-009” soon ballooned into a major, fast-moving conflagration, owing to hot, dry weather, high winds, and low humidity, creating a disaster of historic proportions. The flames caused extensive property damage and led to the evacuation of the entire population of Fort McMurray, in the heart of Canada’s oil sands country. While the wildfire emergency never became a “communications event,” prompting an ARES activation, Radio Amateurs of Canada said, radio amateurs on the ground helped other organizations such as the Red Cross.

Alberta Section Manager Garry Jacobs, VE6CIA/VE6OW, reported on May 5 that Alberta ARES went on standby “to provide VHF/UHF linking,” although there was no HF activity due to the fact that Fort McMurray had been evacuated.

ARES is a national service - Amateur Radio Emergency Service. The group I am involved with - Whatcom Emergency Communications Group is a member of ARES. A bit more:

According to the Amateur Radio Coalition, PERCS (Provincial Emergency Radio Communications Service) was put on standby to staff the radio room and to establish communication into Fort McMurray, and the club in Fort McMurray was staffing its local emergency communications center in case communications fail. PERCS Alberta Assistant Coordinator Curtis Bidulock, VE6AEW, said the organization directly supports the Alberta Emergency Management Agency and assists all Alberta Amateur Radio clubs with provincial coordination of resources and communication links, as requested. PERCS operates in partnership with Radio Amateurs of Canada.

So no immediate need but they mobilized to standby level and were ready. At standby level, we are monitoring our rigs and ready to roll if needed.

There is also a group called RACES which is under the wing of FEMA. RACES stands for Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service. We use their study materials and are part of it as well. If that isn't enough, I have also taken training in SkyWarn and am a member of that - from time to time, our area can get localized intense weather bursts and SkyWarn provides a place to notify and correlate these events - something that just a station at our local airport might not be aware of.

Another long sleep

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Slept over ten hours last night - feel great and woke up refreshed. Just slept a couple hours more than the mean.

Off for coffee in a bit...

And that's it for today

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Researching digital voice communications and a couple other things including some antenna designs - part of Cascadia Rising will be communications with areas outside of my local. This can be via radio or internet or any of the above. Looking at options....

Feeling tired even after yesterdays 12 hour sleep...

Solar power - tanking

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The only reason for installing a residential solar power system is the juicy government rebates. These are starting to dry up. From Desmog Blog:

"We Were Booming and Now We're Dead" — How Nevada's Solar Industry Bright Spot Turned Dark
Louise Helton, owner of One Sun Solar Electric in Las Vegas, says that since January her company is doing more work removing solar panels from rooftops than installing them.

But at least she’s still in business, unlike many solar entrepreneurs in Nevada. She’s had to diversify into LED lighting installation and other sources of income.

“During the recession, rooftop solar was the bright spot in the Nevada economy,” Helton tells DeSmog. “We were booming. And now we’re dead.”

It was a decision by the Public Utility Commission of Nevada (PUCN) in December that delivered a fatal blow to rooftop solar in the sunniest state in the U.S.

By removing a key incentive for rooftop solar customers — net metering — the PUC made it prohibitively expensive for existing and future solar customers to use solar panels to generate part or all or their electricity needs.

The article goes into some detail about the economic and business situation including the fact that Warren Buffet is the owner of Nevada Energy (2013 - spent $5.6B) - the only power utility in the state. There are a lot of variables and Nevada is an ideal place to do solar energy but it is not affordable until subsidized by the government and that means our Tax Dollars - each and every one of us is paying for this boondoggle...

Great article from Breitbart:

Great Lakes Go from ‘Climate Change-Induced’ Low Water Levels to Record Highs in 3 Years
Between 2010 and 2013 residents of the states surrounding the Great Lakes were told that climate change was permanently altering their environment and the record low water levels being recorded in the lakes may be the new normal. But now, only three years later, news reports are worried about beach erosion because the lakes have rebounded to record high levels of water.

This week, throughout the Chicago media landscape, as well as in reports in Michigan and Wisconsin, stories about a loss of swimming areas on public beaches are filling airwaves and newspaper pages. Residents and city officials are warning citizens that water levels in Lake Michigan and the other lakes are so high that the shallow swimming areas have been reduced as the water rises. Reports are also express worry over beach erosion and fears that the rising water is a danger to other infrastructure like roads.

In Chicago, DNAInfro.com, for instance, notes that water levels have risen a whopping four feet since 2013 and the new water is “swallowing up beaches.”

According to the Army Corps of Engineers, the water has risen 15 inches higher than this time last year and may rise another six inches before the summer heat starts its cycle of evaporation.

Lot's more at the site. They had record ice extents the past couple of winters - more than 90% of the lakes covered with ice.

That old saying about the weather applies to overall climate too - don't like it, wait a while.

Heading out for hardware store, grab a bite to eat and then class.

Back home around 10:30 or so...

- - - - @ - - - -

The class is on the 18th - next Wednesday not today. Sitting here all Derpy McDerpface...

At least I was able to have a sumptuous dining experience prior - the effulgent glory that is a Costco hot-dog.

Taking the trash out to the street and surfing for a bit.

From Paul Caron writing at the TaxProf Blog:

The IRS Scandal, Day 1098
IT’S TUESDAY, and we’re marking the third anniversary of the IRS’s tea party controversy — or more specifically, the day that Lois Lerner answered a planted question at an American Bar Association conference. (That’s LLAPQABA, for short.). ...

THREE YEARS LATER: We don’t have the space to give a full recap of the full sordid tale since Lerner acknowledged the IRS improperly scrutinized conservative organizations seeking tax-exempt status. (The short version: People on the right believe it was intentional targeting, while those on the left see bureaucratic mistakes.) But Morning Tax did ask Rep. Peter Roskam (R-Ill.), the chairman of the House Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee, where he thinks matters stand with the IRS three years later.

The takeaways: Roskam said Republicans believe the IRS is still dragging its feet on making key reforms, but made the case that the renewed focus on the agency led to a taxpayer bill of rights and even changes to civil forfeiture rules. “We’ve made significant progress, but nobody’s breathing a sigh of relief.”

More at the site including the links to the other 1097 Scandal posts - there has been enough happening that Professor Caron has had enough material for daily posts through these past three years.

Busy week - busy weekend!

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CERT refresher class tonight, WECG meeting tomorrow night, Welding Rodeo Friday afternoon and then this:

Public Geologic Hazards Workshop offered
Disaster Strikes: What Next?
The Mount Baker High School Advanced Geology class is presenting a workshop on how natural hazards could and will affect the Pacific Northwest. From Mount Baker to the Cascadia Subduction Zone, there are many hazards that our community should be aware of. The MBHS geology class is trying to bring awareness to the community in order to keep people safe and to enhance understanding of the amazing geology in our backyards.

Looks good - time and location:

The workshop will take place on Saturday, May 14th, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., at the Mount Baker High School Auditorium located at 4396 Deming Rd, Deming, WA.

There is a big drill called Cascadia Rising scheduled for early June - I will be participating in that. It is a matter of personal responsibility to be able to stay prepared through an emergency. So many people are in denial especially given the number of things that can go wrong where we live.

A bear two-fer

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I love bears. Had the great pleasure of meeting (and hugging) Smokey Bear twice when I was a kid - that made a big impression. Would love to get one for a pet but you have to get them when they are just born (eyes still closed) to get a good imprint - they can turn wild as an adult if you do not. Here are two fun bear stories.

First from the Denver, CO FOX News:

Dine and dash: Bear breaks into shop near Estes Park, enjoys pies
The Colorado Cherry Company has been a fixture along U.S. 36 near Estes Park for decades.

The family business has seen its fair share of visitors through the years. But one visitor ate the goods and made a gigantic mess at the same time overnight Monday into Tuesday.

It turns out bears like pies. A lot.

More:

"Cherry and apple was his favorite. He passed over the strawberry rhubarb," Kristi said. "Maybe he wasn't feeling like a tart pie, I guess," Lehnert said.

Second, from USA Today:

Bear drinks 36 cans of favorite beer
Rain-eeeeer .... Bear? When state Fish and Wildlife agents recently found a black bear passed out on the lawn of Baker Lake Resort, there were some clues scattered nearby — dozens of empty cans of Rainier Beer.
The bear apparently got into campers' coolers and used his claws and teeth to puncture the cans. And not just any cans.

"He drank the Rainier and wouldn't drink the Busch beer," said Lisa Broxson, bookkeeper at the campground and cabins resort east of Mount Baker.

And a bit more:

A wildlife agent tried to chase the bear from the campground but the animal just climbed a tree to sleep it off for another four hours. Agents finally herded the bear away, but it returned the next morning.

Agents then used a large, humane trap to capture it for relocation, baiting the trap with the usual: doughnuts, honey and, in this case, two open cans of Rainier. That did the trick.

These are both a year or more old but great stories and the first I heard of them.

Be a trooper

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Our Washington State Patrol is recruiting. Here is the photo they are using for their campaign:

20160511-wsp.jpg

Slept in way past normal

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Usually wake up sometime around 9:00. Today? Slept in until 11:45AM

Must have needed it... Still heading out for coffee and checking the mail and the store. Big class tonight - a CERT refresher in town.

Did not get to the hardware store yesterday so leaving this afternoon to go there and get a bite to eat in town.

West Virginia primary election

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From NBC News

Bernie - 51%
Hillary - 36% (shouldn't have pissed off those coal miners)

and

Donald - 77%
and two other guys at 9% and 7% respectivly.

Back from the meeting

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The speaker was one of the principals for this company: NW Digital Radio and they are bringing technology from the commercial side of two-way communications over to the amateur radio side. With radio, there is only so much bandwidth available and each simultaneous conversation takes up a specific chunk of it. Too many people trying to communicate and the last people going on the air wind up being unable to talk - no more bandwidth.

Commercial radios (Police, Fire, Business, Civil Service, &c) have started to use digital techniques to compress speech and allow it to be transmitted using much less bandwidth. An added benefit is that the quality of speech is very good without the background hissing and signal fading common in the analog world. Commercial radio users tend to have money to spend so their needs drive the development of the technology.

This also allows for the flawless transmission of data - error correction is inserted into the transmission so when someone reports a attack from a Marmota marmota, they will know it is one of these that needs to be dealt with:

20160510-marmota.jpg

The upshot is that they have this $90 board (PDF file) that plugs into a $40 Raspberry-Pi computer and does end-to-end digital conversion over normal ham radio channels.

They also offer this $120 vocoder (PDF file) for doing voice transmissions over a digital connection (the vocoding technology is patented and licensed by another company hence the higher price).

Very fun time to be alive and doing radio!

Heading out in a short while

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The MBARC meeting is in Ferndale, WA - about ten miles North of Bellingham. Going to go to Costco, WalMart and the hardware store first.

Got a CERT refresher course tomorrow and the WECG meeting Thursday. The second week in the month is busy with meetings...

Faster please

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The group Judicial Watch know what they are doing and are currently investigating Hillary's email problem. From Tom Fitton writing at Breitbart:

Federal Court Allows Discovery to Begin in Clinton Email Case
Our effort to uncover the secrets of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s illicit email system took a major step forward last week.

U.S. District Court Judge Emmet G. Sullivan granted us “discovery” into Clinton’s email system. The order allows us to take testimony from former top Clinton State Department aides Cheryl Mills, Huma Abedin and Bryan Pagliano. The court also notes that “based on information learned during discovery, the deposition of Mrs. Clinton may be necessary.” The discovery will take place over the next eight weeks.

This arises out of our Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit seeking records of the controversial employment status of Huma Abedin, former deputy chief of staff to Clinton. The lawsuit was reopened because of revelations about the clintonemail.com system. (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:13-cv-01363)).

Discovery can be a bitch if you have something to hide - this will be very interesting to follow.

Tolerance - a liberal failure

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Do not know who this guy is but he nails it completely - 1:12 of perfectly framed argument:

From Gerard.

Windmills are horrible at killing birds and bats and our government is not batting an eye because alt.energy 'ya know. Here are just a few links to the data:

This image caught my eye - so true:

20160510-bird.jpg

Ted Nugent on Donald Trump

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This is back from March 29th:

At this time I do not endorse Donald Trump anymore than I endorse Ted Cruz as I admire both gentlemen. But these points are SO damn special!

    • Obama is against Trump
    • The Media is against Trump
    • The establishment Democrats are against Trump
    • The establishment Republicans are against Trump
    • The Pope is against Trump
    • The UN is against Trump
    • The EU is against Trump
    • China is against Trump
    • Mexico is against Trump
    • Soros is against Trump
    • Black Lives Matter is against Trump
    • MoveOn.Org is against Trump
    • Koch Bro's are against Trump
    • Hateful, racist, violent Liberals are against Trump

Bonus points:

    • Cher says she will leave the country
    • Mylie Cyrus says she will leave the country
    • Whoopi says she will leave the country
    • Rosie says she will leave the country
    • Al Sharpton says he will leave the country
    • Gov. Brown says California will build a wall

Sounds like the kinda president the US needs!

Makes a lot of sense...

Another day in paradise

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Got the HVAC people coming over for an annual checkup of our heat pump.

MBARC meeting tonight - they are doing a demonstration of digital techniques. This is of great interest for disaster prep as although it may be very slow, it is 100% error correcting so there can be zero ambiguity.

Out for coffee and then working at home on some stuff...

Definition - Meltdown

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Was reading from a nuclear power email list and this definition popped up:

Meltdown in this context does not mean reactor core overheating to the point of melting.

It is a colloquial term meaning something went wrong with the reactor such that 50 million undereducated twitter users go off their medication and start construction of giant paper mache puppets.

Heh - so true...

Nothing of interest in the internet tonight so heading upstairs to bed.

Brilliant idea from a beaurocrat

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NOT! Glad they are scraping it - from The Baltimore Sun:

Maryland scraps gun "fingerprint" database after 15 failed years
Millions of dollars later, Maryland has officially decided that its 15-year effort to store and catalog the "fingerprints" of thousands of handguns was a failure.

Since 2000, the state required that gun manufacturers fire every handgun to be sold here and send the spent bullet casing to authorities. The idea was to build a database of "ballistic fingerprints" to help solve future crimes.

But the system — plagued by technological problems — never solved a single case. Now the hundreds of thousands of accumulated casings could be sold for scrap.

And this is not a new idea:

New York followed Maryland's lead and created a similar database, but that state pulled funding for the project in 2012 when it, too, had no success.

By then, it had been clear for years that the efforts weren't working. In 2008, the Department of Justice asked the National Research Council to study the value in creating a national ballistics database with fingerprints from every gun. Researchers, after reviewing the Maryland and New York programs, concluded that such an endeavor would be impractical and a waste of money.

Money coming out of the taxpayers wallets. Useless.

That broken jaw the other night

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Our local paper did a writeup on the story - the photo is not for the squeamish.

They ID'd one of the mokes.

Internet trolls - gotta love 'em. Hillary has to buy her own - from the Los Angeles Times:

Be nice to Hillary Clinton online — or risk a confrontation with her super PAC
When the Internet’s legions of Hillary hecklers steal away to chat rooms and Facebook pages to vent grievances about Clinton, express revulsion toward Clinton and launch attacks on Clinton, they now may find themselves in a surprising place – confronted by a multimillion dollar super PAC working with Clinton.

Hillary Clinton's well-heeled backers have opened a new frontier in digital campaigning, one that seems to have been inspired by some of the Internet's worst instincts. Correct the Record, a super PAC coordinating with Clinton's campaign, is spending some $1 million to find and confront social media users who post unflattering messages about the Democratic front-runner.

In effect, the effort aims to spend a large sum of money to increase the amount of trolling that already exists online.

The plan comes as Clinton operatives grapple with the reality that her supporters just aren’t as engaged and aggressive online as are her detractors inside and outside the Democratic Party. 

Is it my imagination or is her campaign poorly thought out and managed? This is just pure astroturf and not grassroots.

Zombie is from the Bay Area and offers photos and commentary from Donald's recent visit there:

Inside the Anti-Trump Circus: Here Comes the Summer of Hate
Wherever Donald Trump goes, protests follow.

The media is only interested in these protests when violence or riots erupt -- "If it bleeds, it leads" remains the guiding principle of the national press.

But if a protest passes more or less peacefully, as most do, the media tends to ignore it — which is a tragedy, because this dismissiveness hides the sobering reality that 2016's anti-Trump protests, even when nonviolent, have already escalated into kaleidoscopic circuses of unhinged hysteria.

This report reveals what a typical anti-Trump protest is really like, in all its bizarre end-times glory, for once setting aside who punched whom or which window got smashed.

Go and read the whole thing - some of these people are unreal in their derangement.

From Computerworld:

Newspaper chain sending IT jobs overseas
The McClatchy Company, which operates a major chain of newspapers in the U.S., is moving IT work overseas.

The number of affected jobs, based on employee estimates, range from 120 to 150.

The chain owns about 30 newspapers, including The Sacramento Bee, where McClatchy is based; The Fresno Bee, The News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C., The State in Columbia, S.C. and the Miami Herald.

In March, McClatchy IT employees were told that the company had signed a contract with Wipro, an India-based IT services provider.

In a letter sent to the chain’s IT employees in late March, McClatchy CEO Patrick Talamantes detailed all the improvements the Wipro contract would bring, but buries, well down in the letter obtained by Computerworld, what should have been in its lead paragraph: There will be cutbacks of U.S. staff.

One employee said representatives from the IT vendor are at some of the newspaper's sites and "knowledge transfer" is underway, meaning employees are training replacements to take over their jobs. This is expected to continue through August.

Just wonderful. Our own fishwrap, the Bellingham Herald, is owned by McClatchy. More at the site. This is going on all over America and is one of the reasons I am supporting Trump. Not as a vote for the man but as a vote against Hillary - this is classical corporatism and needs to be stopped.

Getting a lot done

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Got a big pot of spaghetti sauce on the stove and taking care of a bunch of small projects around the farm.

Meetings on Tuesday and Thursday evenings - Wednesday's BERT meeting is cancelled due to a family issue but I have CERT refresher class that evening so heading into Bellingham for that.

From Gizmodo:

Former Facebook Workers: We Routinely Suppressed Conservative News
Facebook workers routinely suppressed news stories of interest to conservative readers from the social network’s influential “trending” news section, according to a former journalist who worked on the project. This individual says that workers prevented stories about the right-wing CPAC gathering, Mitt Romney, Rand Paul, and other conservative topics from appearing in the highly-influential section, even though they were organically trending among the site’s users.

Several former Facebook “news curators,” as they were known internally, also told Gizmodo that they were instructed to artificially “inject” selected stories into the trending news module, even if they weren’t popular enough to warrant inclusion—or in some cases weren’t trending at all. The former curators, all of whom worked as contractors, also said they were directed not to include news about Facebook itself in the trending module.

We must not stray from the narrative - the proles might start to think on their own and that would not bode well... Good to see the thinkpol on the job...

Got the critters taken care of so heading out for coffee and bringing the pastries back to the store.

Working at home today - turned out nice and sunny.

From his blog: Chaos Manor

Trump’s still the designated nominee, and I see no valid argument for preferring either Hillary of Sanders. I know many don’t like him, or trust him to do what he says he will do. Irrelevant, in my judgment. I don’t want what Hillary says she will do, I don’t want what Sanders says he will do, and even if Trump doesn’t build his wall and cut taxes and the size of government, he is unlikely appoint Justices who think the Constitution is a scrap of paper, or to get us into a foreign war on principle and passion, and if wants a war he’s got to deal with ISIS; they’ve already declared war on us.

I could name people whom I’d prefer, but they weren’t in that crowd of seventeen we started with – you remember, back when Trump was the clown who couldn’t possibly win the nomination?

Give us the House and we’ll cut taxes and government spending. We gave them the House. Spending went up. Government grew. We need the Senate, we can’t do anything with no more than the power of the purse strings. We gave them the Senate. Taxes went up, the debt got bigger, government grew. We ran Romney for President. Taxes went up. The debt got bigger. Government grew. The foreign situation worsened.

But Trump can’t do it, some say. Obama and his successors don’t want to do it.

What he said! The 2016 election is more a vote for who we do not want rather than for who we think is best. Abstaining because the only option is Trump is a direct vote for Hillary and four more years of Federal bloat and excess. Writing in a different candidate is almost worse as it shows them that there are people stupid enough to throw their vote away and this only serves to encourage them. Ditto running a third party.

Happy Mother's Day

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20160508-gender.jpg

A tip of the hat to Bayou Renaissance Man who swiped it from It Ain't Holy Water

Northern Lights

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We had quite the display last night - I didn't see anything because my valley looks directly at the town of Abbotsford and their sky-glow but some other people enjoyed a nice display. We may have more in store for tonight - the Planetary K Index is running very high:

20160508-k-index.gif

Anything six or higher is a good chance for Aurora Borealis up at our latitude. Setting up a camera just in case.

English as a second language

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This warning from the eBay store of a Chinese business that sells kits to make music effects pedals. The pedals are sold as component-level kits - the buyer needs to know how to identify the components and solder them to the circuit board.

Note: If you do not use electric iron buyers, conventional capacitors and resistors, diodes do not know the buyer, please do not buy, we do not have time to do science, thank you. pls fist make it, then if you can not make it, pls call me, we will deal, thank you.

Their English is a lot better than my Mandarin but funny still...

From an email (Whatcom Crime list):

Last night, my friend and roommate was jumped by 2 kids around midnight near the downtown Bob's. They told him he "looked like a Trump supporter" and hauled off on his face, resulting in a broken jaw. He's currently on his way to Seattle for surgery.

One of them was a lighter-skinned black guy, a little on the chubby side with long curly hair and a hat on.

The other guy was white, bald and had Beats headphones around his neck.

If anyone saw these two and can identify them, please message me.

20160508-jaw.jpgYikes!

Seattle or Tacoma I would not be surprised. Bellingham? One person thought that they might have been flown in for the Trump rally but didn't do anything there because of the Yuuge! police presence.

Virtual Reality has always seemed like a cute toy to me - great to play with but nothing really useful.

Meet Google TiltBrush:

The only headset it works with is $800 so I will not be getting it anytime soon but still...

A fun project

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High geekdom indeed - from Canadian design company Limbic Media:

The World’s Largest Musical Instrument
Over the last year we had the pleasure of starting work on a very interesting and totally ridiculous project. We were tasked with building “The Worlds Largest Musical Instrument”. Sounds cool right?

So basically it is a wirelessly controlled system where a piano keyboard sends its note data to a set of, very loud, distributed air horns. Each air horn is connected to a compressed air scuba tank and is totally standalone, meaning it has its own battery, and wireless receiver and can be placed up 10 km from the location of the keyboard. So far we have built 12 of these horns, tuned specifically to the notes on a piano keyboard such that Oh Canada and God Save The Queen can be played with the system.

The system was installed and performed during the Music By The Sea music festival this summer out on 12 boats in the Bamfield Inlet, near the Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre. Big thanks to the local community of Bamfield for donating their time and boats to make this crazy experiment happen!

However, this is only phase 1. Over the next 2 years we plan to take this project international. On Canada Day 2017 (Canada’s 150th celebration) Oh Canada will be performed from Bamfield, Canada. The notes from the performance will be transmitted in real-time over the internet, not only to sets of boat horns all over Canada, but around the world! At which point it will be “The Worlds Largest Instrument”

A fun idea.

Done for the day

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Arrived at a good stopping point for the brush cutter. Pulled the battery and trickle charging it overnight - should get it running tomorrow or Tuesday.

Getting cooler out there - high 50's - feels good to have the heat on in the house.

Paul Ryan go home

Seriously - the guy was brought in as Speaker of the House and he flip-flopped to display his true colors as a RINO (Republican In Name Only). He has a serious contender for his seat.

From Breitbart:

Paul Ryan Challenger Paul Nehlen: ‘He Has Betrayed Us All’
House Speaker Paul Ryan’s Wisconsin primary opponent Paul Nehlen said of Ryan on Saturday, “He has betrayed us all, hasn’t he? He says he’s for a secure border. Then what’s he do? He funds every dangerous immigration policy through this $1.8 trillion omnibus. What he funded was all his special interest buddies.”

Nehlen’s comments came during an exclusive interview Saturday with Breitbart News Saturday SiriusXM host Stephen K. Bannon. Nehlen pointed out again that 83 percent of Ryan’s camapign donations come from D.C., not his home district: “The vast majority comes in the form of large campaign donations from inside the D.C. Beltway. … He sold his vote. He sold his vote. The same people that are donating to his campaign want these open border initiatives. This isn’t a Free Trade deal.”

Good riddance - a couple of people are campaigning to get rid of him. He changed his colors and it is time for him to be shown the door. This is what happens when you do not uphold your convictions.

A little incident with a car

Some trouble in Eastern Washington - from the Yakima Herald-Republic:

Mishap sends classic vehicle rolling into Roza Canal
A man planning to work on his 1970 Chevrolet El Camino broke his leg when it rolled over him and then down a hill and into the Roza Canal Saturday morning, according to the Yakima County Sheriff’s Office.

The 73-year-old man was pushing the fully restored vehicle out of his garage in the 300 block of High Point Landing when it started rolling backwards away from him, according to a sheriff’s office news release, which did not identify the man.

When he attempted to get into the vehicle to stop it, he was knocked away and it rolled over him, the release said.

The vehicle then continued rolling downhill through an open field before dropping into the Roza Canal, the release said.

And now he gets to restore it all over again...

From England's The Sunday Times:

Eco-vehicles fill air with deadly toxins
Scientists have found electric, hybrid and other supposedly eco-friendly cars produce as much toxic particulate pollution as the “deadly diesels” they are meant to be replacing.

And the article does not mention the pollution from electricity generation. Nuclear power please - faster!

Working outside today

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The weather turned cool but it is still nice to work outside - low 60's. Fixing a brush cutter that threw a drive-chain.

Came in for a sammich and a couple Mountain Dew's (Throwback of course - big difference!)

Ham radio net tonight at 7:00PM - I'll be using my new rig.

What a way to go - fish bait

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Great story from Field & Stream:

Fishermen Use Dead Friend's Ashes As Carp Bait
Here's one of those stories that I couldn't make up if I tried. As reported by Foxnews.com, British anglers Paul Fairbrass and Cliff Dale mixed some of their late fishing buddy Ron Hopper's ashes into a carp bait mix, took it to Thailand, and used old Ronnie to best a 180-pound Siamese carp (which, by the way, is technically a world record, though IGFA no longer tracks the species). As the story goes, Hopper was supposed to join the fellas on this fishing trip, but sadly passed before departure day. Dale and Fairbrass thought it would be a fitting homage to mix some of Ronnie into the boilies and take him along anyway. Be completely honest, while there's definitely a creepy element to this, I kinda dig it. I wouldn't be sad if some of my ashes ended up in a mako chum slick, or stuffed into a smallmouth tube and used to rip some lips on a buddy's boat. 

And the fish was caught and released.

Crap - RIP Isao Tomita

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From The Japan Times:

Isao Tomita, Japanese pioneer of synthesizer music, dies at 84
Isao Tomita, the synthesizer pioneer who composed the score for Tezuka Osamu’s anime “Kimba the White Lion” and NHK drama “Hana no Shogai,” died of heart failure Thursday at Tokyo Metropolitan Hiroo Hospital. He was 84.

On Sunday, a message on Tomita’s official Facebook page said he was working on a new musical titled “Dr. Coppelius” and that he knew he might not see it finished.

One of the true pioneers of electronic music - he will be sorely missed.

A little bit of news from Skagit County - both from SkagitBreaking website

First - Friday Harbor Man Arrested in Money Laundering Scheme

Skagit County, Washington- On January 24th, 2016, Swinomish Gaming Commission Agents contacted the Swinomish Police Department and advised Officers of a money Laundering Investigation they had been conducting on a man identified as Christopher Faylor and several other individuals.

And:

A search warrant was granted for the phone by Skagit County District Court.  Results of the search warrant determined that the  illegal activity related to the Casino money laundering was likely from the sale of illegal drugs.    Text messages utilized terms commonly known to be used in communications involving methamphetamine, heroin, cocaine and prescription pill sales and trades.

Good - another one off the streets for a while.

Second - Naked Man Waving American Flag Leads To Large Identity Theft Bust

On April 13th, 2016, around 1:50 pm, Sedro Woolley Officers responded to a welfare check in the area of West Nelson and Curtis Street in Sedro Woolley.

According to a probable cause affidavit, obtained by SkagitBreaking.com, a SKAT bus driver had reported seeing an Asian male walking into traffic. The driver told dispatchers that the man was carrying an American Flag and was nude from the waist down. Officers checked the area but were unable to find the male.

And:

The affidavit says Mr. Wang was grinding his teeth and acting very strangely. When Officers approached Mr. Wang they noted that he was walking on broken glass with his bare feet and he got down onto his knees.

Mr. Wang then advised Officers that he was the last Fukushima Nuclear Disaster Survivor and he admitted to exposing his genitals in front of his residence because he wanted to urinate outside. Mr. Wang also told Officers that he was part of the “Men in Black” and that he was President Obama’s brother.

Whatever this guy is on? I do not want any of it. And the story gets interesting:

Officers applied for and received a search warrant for the residence. While serving that warrant, Officers located stacks of unopened mail addressed to subjects other than Mr. Wang. Officers then located stacks of opened letters from Paypal, which included Paypal checks written payable to names other than Mr. Wang with “New Attractions” also listed as Payable.

Officers also found thousands of opened letters with the checks removed and missing. Many of the checks were organized by the subject listed along with “New Attractions.”

Officers continued the search and located several sophisticated industrial servers that were plugged in and appeared to be functional as well as ten computer towers that were not hooked up. The room for the servers was climate controlled and found to be well organized, while the rest of the house was found in disarray with rotting and moldy food throughout. Officers noted a phone in the residence rang continually while Officers were on scene.

As Officers continued their search, they located dozens of prepaid Master Card, Visa Cards and Bank Cards with no printed names on them. These type of cards are commonly used to move money anonymously so that it is unknown who owns the money loaded on the card or where the money originally came from. Many of the cards had notes attached to them with a dollar amount and a person’s name other than Mr. Wang’s. Officers also located a magnetic card strip reader in the residence, boxes of checks from different banks and documents on how to hack computers.

Officers located a 2′ bong on the kitchen floor and multiple packages of synthetic drugs, comm

Another criminal operation shut down for the time being. Good riddance!

That is it for the night

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Surfed a bit but nothing really caught my eye.

Long day tomorrow - working on some stuff at home and meetings all next week (Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday)

I will leave you with a few minutes of Walter (and Jeff Dunham):

Yuuge!

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Back from The Trumpening - the venue seats 5,000 people and they had standing-room only. A lot more than 5,000 - guessing more like 7,000 with more turned away. The first speaker did a very brief warmup but mentioned that this gathering exceeded all previous records for number of people at this venue. Here are some photos:

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Nice truck (despite being a Dodge).

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Here is the back of the line. As I was walking to the line, I saw that the grandstand was about half full. The event was scheduled for 3:00PM and I was there two hours early.

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Here I am about ninety minutes later looking back at the line and it is just as long.

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There were maybe about 150 protesters. The delightful thing was that they were mostly in favor of Bernie Sanders - only one or two of them visibly supported Hillary. 

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Like I said, standing room only. Nice peaceful crowd. The Secret Service ran the security checkpoints and these guys were smooth - zero bullshit, zero hassles. I called out to the guy on the other side of the scanner that I had an artificial hip and he motioned me aside and wanded me and fifteen seconds later, I was on my way. What was really curious was the number of folding seats, camera tripods, water bottles, etc. left by the security gate - the ticket specifically said that these items would not be allowed in the venue.

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Security was really good. These are professionals at work. And I do photoshop from time to time - a composite image...

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Oh Yeah. This guy gave a hell of a speech - very articulate and he read from some prepared notes, nary a TelePrompTer in sight. It was nice in that he had been briefed on the issues of Whatcom County. A bit of extra effort but much appreciated. He spoke earlier today in Spokane, WA so a different set of talking points/speech for there.

I left after about an hour - figured I would watch the last bit of the speech on YouTube and beat the traffic (fast forward to 8:30) heading home.

All in all, a fun outing and I feel a lot better about voting for this man to be our next President. Bernie is not going to get the nomination no matter how much people want and I would not mind a Sanders presidency - his heart is in the right place. The problem is that the fix is in with the Clintons. They are dirty beyond belief.

On to the trumpening!

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Heading out to the Trump rally in a bit - coffee first.

Going more to see the protesters than the man - should be fun.

Bringing a camera of course...

If anyone wants to see an excellent analysis of the progressive left, they need to check out this 2009 post from Doctor Sanity:

THE POLITICAL LEFT: UNITED IN HATE WITH AMERICA'S FOES
Cliff May reminds us that there is a reason why the political left in this country has made common cause with Militant Islamists:

Ask those on the Left what values they champion, and they will say equality, tolerance, women’s rights, gay rights, workers’ rights, and human rights. Militant Islamists oppose all that, not infrequently through the application of lethal force. So how does one explain the burgeoning Left-Islamist alliance?
[...]
In a new book, United in Hate: The Left’s Romance with Tyranny and Terror, Jamie Glazov takes a hard look at this unholy alliance. A historian by training, Glazov is the son of dissidents who fled the Soviet Union only to find that, on American campuses, they were not welcomed by the liberal/Left lumpen professoriate.

Glazov’s book indicts artists and intellectuals of the Left — e.g. George Bernard Shaw, Bertolt Brecht, and Susan Sontag — for having “venerated mass murderers such as Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Castro, and Ho Chi Minh, habitually excusing their atrocities while blaming Americans and even the victims for their crimes.”

And this wonderful graphic:

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Read the whole thing - she nails it and it is not pretty. The idea that these willfully stupid people continue to operate in 'polite society' is unreal. They need to be mocked, laughed at, tarred and feathered and driven into the river for even entertaining these ideas.

CNN is blaming it on climate change - as if...

The fire in Canada looks a lot like climate change -- and that should scare you
The fire raging in Fort McMurray, Canada sounds like something from the apocalypse.

"It was like driving through hell," Michel Chamberland told CNN of his escape from the area. "Those flames, they were bright, they were big ... It's unreal. It's almost like a dream or something."

And do they issue a definitive statement backed up by hard data? Thought not:

"This is an example of what we expect -- and consistent with what we expect for climate change," said Mike Flannigan, a professor of wildland fire at the University of Alberta who's been studying climate change and wildfire for decades. "This fire is unprecedented," he said, referring to its local impact.

Yet another opinion piece masquerading as journalism.

Read my earlier post on the subject, go to this link and also check out the Yellowstone fire of 1988 for more information. It ain't rocket science. Neither is it climate change (whatever that is).

Not much when you think about it - from The Cooper Review:

20160506-toddler.gif

Of course, there is the obligatory jam session:

Must be too much pollen in the air here - my allergies are kicking up and my eyes are watering...

From The Counterfeit Report:

Duracell: Coppertop AA / AAA Batteries
Duracell AA and AAA batteries are often counterfeited and sold all over the world.

Duracell carefully guards the reputation of their products and consistent quality of the millions of batteries they supply annually. Richard K. Willard, Senior Vice President & General Counsel for Gillette advised of the seizure of more than one million counterfeit Duracell batteries; "Consider for a moment the consequences should the counterfeit batteries wind up in firefighters' flashlights and fail during a major rescue operation? The counterfeiter, a criminal, is the only one who stands to gain."

Authentic Duracell Coppertop batteries are available in several visually different versions and models -- with and without the "DURaLOCK" silver band. Don't be fooled by a fake, buy authentic Duracell batteries from authorized Duracell retailers.

Tips to identify authentic Duracell Batteries:

Something to check, especially if you use these batteries in your emergency radio, flashlight or smoke detector.

From the UK Sun:

Sadiq Khan 'beats' Zac Goldsmith to become London's first Muslim mayor but ‘serious counting error’ delays result
Labour's Sadiq Khan has reportedly won the race to become London's new Mayor, but a ‘serious counting error’ has delayed the official result by hours.

This afternoon it became mathematically impossible for his Tory rival Zac Goldsmith to catch him in the race for City Hall.

However Mr Khan, who will become the first Muslim Mayor in the capital when he replaces Boris Johnson, will not be formally declared victorious until at least midnight.

It comes after an official told the BBC there had been a "serious counting error” in processing the votes from across the capital.

And this interesting (and tragic) note from the UK Guardian:

The station’s interviewee replied that in a city in which almost 40% of residents were born outside the UK, and whose Muslim population makes up 12% of the total (and more than 30% in some boroughs), the popular image of Pakistan was more usually to do with corner shops and academic excellence.

Emphasis mine - holy crap.

I have said this before but I really think that we should get an international team together and go over to Europe and gather all the artwork for safekeeping. Keep it over here (and Canada) until they come to their senses...

People are trying to attach climate change to the massive Fort McMurray wildfire - from the New Yorker:

Fort McMurray and the Fires of Climate Change

In reality, this is just another classic application of Hanlon's razor:

Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity

From Eric Worrall writing at Watts Up With That:

Fort McMurray Wildfire – Climate or Incompetence?
The climate vultures are gathering – already attempts are being made to link the out of control Fort McMurray wildfire in Alberta, Canada with “climate change”. But there is something about this disaster which caught my eye – a comment which may hint to a very different reason, why the Fort McMurray wildfire is so out of control.

Eric then quotes from this article at Canada's GlobalNews.ca:

Here:

“The boreal forest is a fire-dependant ecosystem. The spruce trees, pine trees, they like to burn,” Bernie Schmitte, forestry manager in Fort McMurray, explained.

“They have to burn to regenerate themselves, and those species have adapted themselves to fire. Their cones have adapted so they open up after the fire has left, and the trees have adapted in that once they’re old and need to be replaced, they’re available to fire so they burn.”

And here:

Officials said that as long as it remains safe to do so, firefighters would be working with bulldozers through the night to construct a fire break between the tip of the fire and Highway 63.

Eric then comments:

Australians like myself also sometimes face serious risk from wildfires, our forests are also “fire-dependent ecosystems”. It is normal to attempt to cut new emergency firebreaks during a severe fire, to try to prevent further spread. But an emergency firebreak is no substitute for properly maintained firebreaks which were created before the wildfire strikes.

He then quotes from this article at the Edmonton Journal:

Alberta’s aging forests increase risk of ‘catastrophic fires’: 2012 report
“Wildfire suppression has significantly reduced the area burned in Alberta’s boreal forest. However, due to reduced wildfire activity, forests of Alberta are aging, which ultimately changes ecosystems and is beginning to increase the risk of large and potentially costly catastrophic wildfires.”

Eric closes with these two paragraphs:

Understaffed, under-resourced forestry workers struggling to contain a growing risk of wildfire, a risk which has been exacerbated by excessive fire suppression causing a buildup of flammables, is a recipe for disaster.

Did Alberta authorities act, and act effectively, on the recommendations of committee? I don’t know the answer to that question. It is possible weather conditions are so severe, even completely reasonable forest safety measures have been overwhelmed by the ferocity of the fire. But if my property and life was directly affected by the current ongoing conflagration, my first question to Alberta authorities would not be “why didn’t you build more wind turbines?”.

Much more at the site and the two linked articles. This is a very similar situation to the catastrophic Yellowstone fire of 1988. The policy there had been to surpress any and all forest fires and this led to an aging forest with a huge fire loading. One spark and we had the largest forest fire in recorded history.

Back home - waiting for farrier

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Rocky is getting his mani-pedi this afternoon. Working on some stuff at home.

Got tickets to tomorrow's Donald Trump rally in Lynden (about 20 miles West from here). Better the devil you know...

Could not ask for a nicer spring day - temps are in the mid-70's with clear skies.

Off for coffee and pastries.

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Working at home today - gorgeous weather with more in the pipeline.

Finally:

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There are some hellacious forest fires in Canada right now - whole communities being destroyed.

One company is standing up - Labatt Brewery. From the Canadian Broadcasting Company:

Labatt Breweries produces water for forest fire evacuees
Labatt has switched from producing its best known product to help out Saskatchewan communities.

The brewing company is sending 48,000 cans of emergency drinking water to CFB Cold Lake. The water will be distributed to evacuation centres and fire lines in Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia.

"When we learn of a need like this one, we're ready to deliver emergency drinking water instead of beer," said Labatt Vice-President Charlie Angelakos in a news release. "Labatt and its employees are pleased to be able to help out during this very challenging time for everyone affected by the wild fires."

Since 2012, the company closes down its brewery in London, Ontario for one day each year to produce emergency drinking water to be placed in storage. In past years, the company has sent water to flooding victims in southern Alberta and Manitoba.

The company will be producing more emergency water tomorrow to replace its stores. The company will ship out more water if it's needed.

There are some other news reports putting the number of cans at a higher value - these are the cans that had already been stockpiled for use in other parts of Canada

An odd little request

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Got an email about an hour ago from someone who objected to the fact that I linked to their website. The two links were in 2005 and 2007.

The URL pointed to a very nice online loan amortization calculator so it surprises me that they would want to disassociate themselves from this reference. Someone might be going through the 11 year old archives, find the link and maybe like the calculator enough to want to do business with the company - after all, they have been at the same URL for eleven years. That is major stability in the current financial world.

Needless to say #1): I deleted the links and returned their email saying this and that the change was irreversible. Do not have enough spare time to go flipping back and forth. If they crossed my palm with silver, that would be a different matter.

Needless to say #2): I archived the changes and the email (IP address and all) and my reply. I like having an audit trail - comes in handy from time to time...

New World Order - a two-fer

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Both from Tyler Durdin at Zero Hedge:

First - Trump Picks Former Goldman Partner And Soros Employee As Finance Chairman

In an oddly ironic twist, today Donald Trump announced that he has picked as chairman of his newly launched fundraising operation none other than a former employee of the bank he has repeatedly criticized in the past, and which he used as a foil to criticize Ted Cruz: Goldman Sachs.

Trump announced that heading up his own personal fundraising operation as national finance chairman will be Steven Mnuchin, a long-time business associate, chairman and CEO of the hedge fund Dune Capital. More importantly, however, he spent 17 years at Goldman Sachs where he was most recently a Partner, having built a fortune of $46 million before launching his own hedge fund.

A bit more:

In addition to Goldman, Mnuchin also worked at Soros Fund Management, whose founder, George Soros, has funded many left-leaning causes. Where it gets even more bizarre is that Mnuchin has donated frequently to Democrats, including to Clinton and Barack Obama.

As a hedge fund manager, Mnuchin is part of a group of businesspeople Trump has excoriated. In August, Trump said hedge fund managers were "getting away with murder" as he touted his proposal to end the so-called carried interest loophole, which gives private equity and hedge fund managers preferential tax treatment.

And Second: Caught On Tape: 100s Of M1 Abrams Tanks Roll Through Houston, TX

Just days after we exposed Texas police planning for riots and conducting mass arrest drills, the sight of hundreds of M1 Abrams battle-tanks rolling on a train through Houston raised more than a few eyebrows...

Several locals reported seeing a train Tuesday, loaded full of tanks, painted in a desert tan color - the second time in a week.

Interesting times indeed...

From South Korea - a few years old but genius. I would imagine that the trays are started in a greenhouse a month or two prior:

Sure beats spending days hunched over planting...

Talk about a bad choice for an investment - from The Daily Caller:

EXCLUSIVE: Kerry And Wife Invested In Chinese Company That Exploits, Represses Tibet
Secretary of State John Kerry and his wife Teresa Heinz are investors in 12 companies in the People’s Republic of China, including a firm that operates in the most repressed part of Tibet, according to a Daily Caller News Foundation investigation.

A bit more:

By far, the most controversial Kerry-Heinz investment is in Tibet 5100 Water Resources, Ltd, a Chinese-owned and operated company that sells a “luxury” brand of bottled drinking water in Europe as a rival to Evian and Perrier.

Word of the Kerry-Heinz investment prompted calls for the couple to immediately end their investment in Tibet 5100 Water, which was rebranded by company officials last December as “Tibet Water.”

The profits go to the Chinese government 'investors' - not the Tibetan people. Time to do another run of the Free Tibet bumper-stickers. Of course, if we sent in a couple divisions and actually liberated the Tibetan people, all the liberals would rise up against the United States oppression.

I played with it for a bit (digitizing my old CDs and maintaining an early iPod player) but it seemed to be a lot more trouble than it was worth.

Glad I stopped using it - this dystopian tale from James Pinkstone writing at Vellum:

Apple Stole My Music. No, Seriously.
“The software is functioning as intended,” said Amber.
“Wait,” I asked, “so it’s supposed to delete my personal files from my internal hard drive without asking my permission?”
“Yes,” she replied.

I had just explained to Amber that 122 GB of music files were missing from my laptop. I’d already visited the online forum, I said, and they were no help. Although several people had described problems similar to mine, they were all dismissed by condescending “gurus” who simply said that we had mislocated our files (I had the free drive space to prove that wasn’t the case) or that we must have accidentally deleted the files ourselves (we hadn’t). Amber explained that I should blow off these dismissive “solutions” offered online because Apple employees don’t officially use the forums—evidently, that honor is reserved for lost, frustrated people like me, and (at least in this case) know-it-alls who would rather believe we were incompetent, or lying, than face the ugly truth that Apple has vastly overstepped its boundaries.

What Amber explained was exactly what I’d feared: through the Apple Music subscription, which I had, Apple now deletes files from its users’ computers. When I signed up for Apple Music, iTunes evaluated my massive collection of Mp3s and WAV files, scanned Apple’s database for what it considered matches, then removed the original files from my internal hard drive. REMOVED them. Deleted. If Apple Music saw a file it didn’t recognize—which came up often, since I’m a freelance composer and have many music files that I created myself—it would then download it to Apple’s database, delete it from my hard drive, and serve it back to me when I wanted to listen, just like it would with my other music files it had deleted.

This is FUBAR - Apple's stock is not doing well, the company is having troubles retaining its customers and they still pull crap like this. The Terms of Use indemnify Apple from any claims of lost music or damage. This is especially egregious as people would sign up for the three-month free trial and find that all of their personal music had been deleted at the end of the trial period.

Much more at the site - this is unreal. James closes with this:

Audacious. Egregious. Crazy. These are just some of the adjectives I used in my conversation with Amber.  She actually asked me how I wanted to move forward, putting the onus of a solution back on me. I understand why, too: she’s just as powerless as I am. I would love for Apple to face public backlash and financial ramifications for having taken advantage of its customers in such a brazen and unethical way, but Apple seems beyond reproach at this point. It took three representatives before I could even speak to someone who comprehended what I was saying, and even when she admitted to Apple’s shady practice, she was able to offer no solution besides “don’t use the product.” When our data is finally a full-blown utility, however, “just don’t use the product” will cease to be an option. Apple will be in control, bringing their 1984 commercial full circle into a tragic, oppressive irony.

From our own University of Washington:

UW undergraduate team wins $10,000 Lemelson-MIT Student Prize for gloves that translate sign language
Two University of Washington undergraduates have won a $10,000 Lemelson-MIT Student Prize for gloves that can translate sign language into text or speech.

The Lemelson-MIT Student Prize is a nationwide search for the most inventive undergraduate and graduate students. This year, UW sophomores Navid Azodi and Thomas Pryor — who are studying business administration and aeronautics and astronautics engineering, respectively — won the “Use It” undergraduate category that recognizes technology-based inventions to improve consumer devices.

Their invention, “SignAloud,” is a pair of gloves that can recognize hand gestures that correspond to words and phrases in American Sign Language. Each glove contains sensors that record hand position and movement and send data wirelessly via Bluetooth to a central computer. The computer looks at the gesture data through various sequential statistical regressions, similar to a neural network. If the data match a gesture, then the associated word or phrase is spoken through a speaker.

Brilliant idea - we could only have built this in the last five years or so - the cheap MEMS accelerometers and gyroscopes that are crucial to its operation are fairly recent developments. These two will go far...

Wound up heading into town today. The farrier is coming out tomorrow so need to be here for that. Rocky loves his mani-pedis.

Fixing some leftovers for dinner and maybe head out for a pint or two of cider...

Today's holiday

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Celebrating victory over France:

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Lulu has been playing with toner transfers so we are heading in to use a color printer.

Coffee first.

Working on some stuff at the house later today.

Didn't sleep very well - had a bizarre set of dreams. Woke up several times and the story-line and location continued through. Something in the air last night...

Great story about Guccifer from Pando:

EXCLUSIVE: Jailed hacker Guccifer boasts, "I used to read [Clinton's] memos... and then do the gardening"
December 2013 in the village of Sâmbăteni, Romania. The air is dull and frosty as Marcel Lazăr Lehel walks out of his mud-brick house, carrying a cheap brand laptop and a mobile phone, and goes to the back garden. Exhaling steam, he places the devices on the ground, picks up his axe and begins to chop with hard, steady blows. Thunk-crunch, thunk-crunch, thunk-crunch.

Lehel gathers the shards of plastic and metal together and dumps them into a metal cauldron, before lighting the whole thing on fire. He looks with apparent unease at the charred remains of his hacking utensils and, putting out the flames, he returns to the house. The foul-smelling pile is still smoking behind him.

A great read - here is a bit more:

He quickly rose to global infamy in early 2013 when he hacked into the emails of George W. Bush and his family members, leaking family pictures, details of holidays, hospital appointments, and photos of the former president’s amateurish paintings.

Hillary?

Back in the Arad penitentiary, I ask Lehel about his heyday. Was it worth it? “I had memos Hillary Clinton got as a State Secretary, with CIA briefings. These were being read by her, two other people from the US Government, and Guccifer. I used to read her memos for six-seven hours and then I’d get up and do the gardening in the yard,” he says.

And he was not the only one. Hillary was required by law to set up her email server following prescribed standards from the CIA - she willfully did not. She had an upstate New York private company set up her server and the security on it was abysmal. For this alone, she should be behind bars now.

Nothing much tonight

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Tired - worked all day on a couple of projects. Dinner was leftovers - beef barley soup and fresh (par-baked and finished in my oven) bread.

Heading out to the radio room to install some software updates.

alt.energy - planning ahead

With the push for alternative energy sources, the price of commercial electricity is skyrocketing (here and here), especially in Europe. From the UK Telegraph:

Sainsbury's builds its own power plants amid energy shortage fears
Sainsbury’s has cast doubt on the UK’s ability to keep the lights on, revealing it has built a string of new power plants for its supermarkets in part due to fears of a looming energy crunch.

Paul Crewe, a senior executive at the supermarket giant, said he had sleepless nights over energy security and feared UK electricity demand could soon outstrip supply.

The new gas-fired power generators – already supplying electricity for 10 supermarkets, and due to be built at a further six this year - would enable the stores to keep trading even in the event of a blackout, he said.

“It gives us energy security,” Mr Crewe said. “Energy security is extremely important, it keeps me awake at night if I’m honest thinking about it - especially as we use just under one per cent of power in the UK. We know UK grid infrastructure is at an extremely stretching period of time.”

All in the name of climate change - talk about stupidity and hubris. We could not change the climate if we wanted to - the natural variations swamp any minute effect we have.

For a good look at EU electric costs check this out:

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All the emphasis on stupid unreliable energy sources and nothing for clean reliable nuclear power. No wonder Sainsbury's is rolling their own. Makes a lot of sense...

Rebuilding burned bridges

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Now that President Trump may well be a reality, Mexican President Vincente Fox is attempting some damage control. From Breitbart:

Exclusive: President Fox Apologizes, Invites Trump to Mexico
During an exclusive interview with Breitbart News, former Mexican President Vicente Fox apologized Wednesday for the vulgar language he has used regarding GOP frontrunner Donald Trump’s proposal to build a wall along the southern border and invited the likely Republican nominee to Mexico to see the border from the other side.

Earlier this year, Fox said that he would not pay for Trump’s “f*cking wall,” and called Trump ““Ignorant … crazy … egocentric … nasty … [a] false prophet.” Trump then called on Fox to apologize

On Wednesday, he did so — in an exclusive interview with Breitbart News — and added that he wanted Trump to come to Mexico to see the border from the other side.

“I apologize. Forgiveness is one of the greatest qualities that human beings have, is the quality of a compassionate leader. You have to be humble. You have to be compassionate. You have to love thy neighbor,” Fox explained to Breitbart News while sitting in the hotel of the J.W. Marriott in Santa Monica, California on Wednesday afternoon.

“Love your nation. Love the world,” he added. “Yes, I’m humble enough as leadership be, [a] compassionate leader. If I offended you, I’m sorry. But what about the other way around?”

Heh - win or loose, this is going to be an interesting election...

Happy Star Wars day

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Today is May the Fourth - Star Wars Day

Be careful who you offend - Target

Target yielded to the Social Justice Warriors and made their bathrooms open to all. They forgot that gays of all stripes account for less than 3% of the US population. The other 97% are ticked and voting with their wallets.

From The Washington Times:

Target stock tumbles as transgender bathroom boycott reaches 1 million
Target’s stock has taken a tumble in recent weeks, as more than 1 million people have pledged to boycott the retail giant in response to its transgender bathroom policy.

Heh - We the People. Do not forget that.

Faster please - Hillary

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From The Hill:

Federal judge opens the door to Clinton deposition in email case
A federal judge on Wednesday opened the door to interviewing Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton as part of a review into her use of a private email server while secretary of State.

Judge Emmet Sullivan of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia laid out the ground rules for interviewing multiple State Department officials about the emails, with an eye toward finishing the depositions in the weeks before the party nominating conventions.

Clinton herself may be forced to answer questions under oath, Sullivan said, though she is not yet being forced to take that step.

“Based on information learned during discovery, the deposition of Mrs. Clinton may be necessary,” Sullivan said in an order on Wednesday. Discovery is the formal name for the evidence-gathering process, which includes depositions.

“If plaintiff believes Mrs. Clinton’s testimony is required, it will request permission from the Court at the appropriate time.”

That would be wonderful - Discovery is always a bitch and now that the emails have been recovered, they will be used. The security for her server was lax and it is known that at least the Chinese if not the Russians too were able to read her emails.

From Michelle Obama's Mirror:

So time to man-up and pull our line together. I know there are many #NeverTrump-sters out there. I know he’s not really a conservative butt he’s also not a communist, a socialist or a felon. I know he shoots his mouth off and attacks any comers who dare criticize him. I know that his manner can be quite off-putting. It’s called fighting dirty. It’s what Democrats do. Principles are lovely things, butt when your country is literally being overrun with illegals and crushed by socialist programs with their attendant debt, it’s time to put your principles in storage for a bit and fight dirty.

Because the two things we know for sure is 1) Democrat “campaigns” are always run by Alinsky’s Rules and 2) Republicans won’t use them so they lose. The Donald is one of the few on our side who is quite willing to fight dirty, and the only one who really knows how to do it. When he gets down in the mud he leaves more muck on his opponent than himself. He’s combined The Art of the Deal with Alinsky’s Rules. We would be foolish not to support the first Republican in a very long time who’s willing to push back rather than simply slow the rate of the enemy’s advancement.

I know none of us knows for sure what he’ll do if elected. Butt we do know what Clinton et al will and frankly I find that much more alarming. At least with Trump we get a wall. And perhaps we won’t have to pawn the country.

What they said. Spot on.

The Lords of Synth

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Great ten minute parody of Vangelis, Georgio Moroder and Wendy Carlos:

More here:

Adult Swim Parodies Vangelis, Giorgio Moroder, & Wendy Carlos In Lords Of Synth Short
In the tradition of Too Many Cooks and Unedited Footage Of A Bear, Adult Swim released a new “infomercial”/mockumentary/etc short titled Live At The Necropolis: Lords Of Synth. It’s a satirical video that features “Xangelix,” “Morgio Zoroder,” and “Carla Wendos” (in place of Vangelis, Giorgio Moroder, and Wendy Carlos presumably) synth-battling at the Necropolis. It aired on Adult Swim at 4AM and is now online.

They did a great job of parodying their music styles. Nice Moog too...

Got a plumber and the HVAC people coming over to do some work - a meeting at 3:00PM

Busy day - gotta get caffinated first...

But this is their culture - we must be sensitive to it and respect it. The cry of the Social Justice Warrior - multi-culti is their gris-gris, their fetish.

I can see the origin of some practices - the Jewish and Muslim injunction against eating tasty pork when there was no refrigeration available makes perfect sense. An infection of Trichinella spiralis does not sound pleasant by any stretch of the imagination especially given the medical state of art at that time.

Likewise toiletry practices - using one hand for one thing and the other for eating, specific water vessels for cleansing, three stones and all that. Now, we have clean bathrooms, toilet paper and these things called sinks with running hot water and soap.

I respect people's religions but the cultural fetishes need to be re-evaluated and reformed. Case in point - from the London Daily Mail:

Curry house chef prepared food after wiping his bottom with his bare hands because he doesn't use toilet paper for 'cultural reasons' 
A takeaway chef wiped his bottom using his hands before preparing food because he does not use toilet paper for 'cultural reasons', a court heard.

Mahbub Chowdhury, 46, from Swindon, was found to have a filthy bottle in the kitchen of Yeahya Flavour of Asia, which inspectors concluded was covered in faecal matter.

When questioned, he said he filled the empty milk bottle with water from the kitchen taps before using it to clean his backside after going to the toilet.

Chowdhury prepared meat and fish curries at the takeaway, which was run out of a rented kitchen at the Nine Elms pub.

The chef, who no longer works at the takeaway, pleaded guilty to ten counts of breaching food hygiene regulations at Swindon Magistrates Court.

He was fined more than £5,000 last year for ten similar offences relating to food hygiene.

A bit more:

She said: 'In the kitchen under the double sinks [they] found an empty plastic milk bottle which was extremely dirty and was covered with brown fingerprints.

'When asked, Mr Chowdhury explained he filled the bottle with water from the kitchen taps and used it to clean his bottom after visiting the toilet.

'He did not use toilet paper for cultural reasons. Inspectors concluded the brown finger prints was faecal matter.'

This is beyond belief. Is this person willfully stupid or do they just have zero respect for our culture and our people.

I thought he was better than Trump. I might be voting for Bernie if he gets the nod but I doubt it with the clinton machine in full power.

From Reuters (don't feel like giving fox faux news any more clicks these days)

Trump on his way to Republican nomination after Cruz drops out
Republican front-runner Donald Trump all but sealed the party's presidential nomination on Tuesday with a commanding victory in Indiana that forced rival Ted Cruz to finally end his campaign.

The New York billionaire, who has never held public office and who repeatedly defied pundits' predictions that his campaign would implode, now can prepare for a matchup in the Nov. 8 election with Hillary Clinton expected to be his Democratic opponent.

Clinton's march to the Democratic nomination, however, was slowed by rival Bernie Sanders' victory over her in Indiana.

Trump, at a victory rally at Trump Tower in New York, walked on stage with wife Melania and other family members as the Rolling Stones' "Start Me Up" blared over loudspeakers.

He is likely to formally wrap up the nomination on June 7 when California votes, although Ohio Governor John Kasich vowed to stay in the race as Trump's last challenger.

John who? The idea that people are still funding this person's run (his father was a milkman 'ya know) is unreal...

This is no longer a representative government (here and here) - it is now an oligarchy. We need to clean house.

From The Washington Post:

Researchers: Medical errors now third leading cause of death in United States
Nightmare stories of nurses giving potent drugs meant for one patient to another and surgeons removing the wrong body parts have dominated recent headlines about medical care. Lest you assume those cases are the exceptions, a new study by patient safety researchers provides some context.

Their analysis, published in the BMJ on Tuesday, shows that "medical errors" in hospitals and other health care facilities are incredibly common and may now be the third leading cause of death in the United States -- claiming 251,000 lives every year, more than respiratory disease, accidents, stroke and Alzheimer's.

Martin Makary, a professor of surgery at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine who led the research, said in an interview that the category includes everything from bad doctors to more systemic issues such as communication breakdowns when patients are handed off from one department to another.

"It boils down to people dying from the care that they receive rather than the disease for which they are seeing care," Makary said.

The paper is here: Medical error—the third leading cause of death in the US

Go back to this post from yesterday and you will see the reason in the graph: A sobering graph - Health Care Industry

These folks were the soundtrack to my 20's and 30's - amazing music. Some people are running a kickstarter to film a full documentary:

Tangerine Dream Documentary
They used synthesizers in a time when it was just a small side issue. They incorporated sounds from outer space and heartbeats in their revolutionary and unconventional sound and enriched countless classic movies with their unique soundtrack: They are TANGERINE DREAM!

We want to explore the world of Tangerine Dream for the first time in a feature-length documentary. This band became famous as one of the pioneers of electronic and experimental music worldwide. They had the desire to achieve the ultimate sound.

Our goal is to uncover the band's musical evolution, their style and their philosophy behind their art. For this reason we will depict the musical heritage of this revolutionary band and its visionary founder Edgar Froese. Furthermore we will show previously unpublished footage from Edgar's private archive.

Looks like a wonderful project and they have a good team of people driving it.

From the Washington Examiner:

Obama budgets $17,613 for every new illegal minor, more than Social Security retirees get
President Obama has budgeted $17,613 for each of the estimated 75,000 Central American teens expected to illegally cross into the United States this year, $2,841 more than the average annual Social Security retirement benefit, according to a new report.

The total bill to taxpayers: $1.3 billion in benefits to "unaccompanied children," more than double what the federal government spent in 2010, according to an analysis of the administration's programs for illegal minors from the Center for Immigration Studies. The average Social Security retirement benefit is $14,772.

The mind doth boggle. So much we could be doing here at home with this money and this administration is actively colonizing great swaths of our Nation with people with no English, no skills...

And another one bites the dust

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If the economy is doing so well, why are all the large brick and morter stores going bankrupt? From Breitbart:

Sports Authority Files for Bankruptcy: 450-Store Closure Could Leave 14,500 People Jobless
Outdoor apparel giant Sports Authority has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and the retail chain could close all or most of its 450 stores nationwide as it struggles to pay off a reported $1 billion debt.

Sports Authority is “pursuing a sale of some or all of the business,” a company statement said. “We have received initial expressions of interest from a number of potential buyers, and we are optimistic about the results of the sale process.”

Founded in 1928, the athletic apparel retailer was once the largest sporting goods chain in America.

In the years after its 2006 leveraged buyout by Leonard Green & Partners, Sports Authority saw a slump in sales due to competition from mega retailer Dick’s and online merchants.

Eighty eight years of operation is a long long time for a business. They were one of the places I would go to buy ammo as well as the occasional bit of camping gear. There is a big store in Bellingham in the mall.

I am wondering if this was not planned though - they are $1 Billion in debt. Was the buyout planned so the new owners could take a loss on their profits from other ventures? Leonard Green & Partners specializes in buying out retail stores - they own or have interests in Rite Aid, Big 5 Sporting Goods, Petco, and Whole Foods Market among others.

Our politicians keep saying that our economy has enjoyed a great recovery but the numbers simply are not there - less than 3% when we should be doing 7% or more. The people in authority are clueless and out of touch.

Busy day today

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Lulu's nephew Jimmy is out for the day so we are working on a couple of projects.

Minimal posting until later...

These are a lot of fun - here is their latest one:

They did one with Edison and Tesla that is awesome.

Talk about an articulate and well reasoned discussion:

The joke is on Trigglypuff - after spending her time (and money) at Hampshire College, the only thing she will be good for is a job in academia and there is no way in hell that even the most backwater school would hire someone so wrapped up in herself as that. She is laying the foundation for a lifetime of student debt and despair.

Oh - and by the way, it can be hard to fix fat. It is even harder to fix stupid.

A great article on our Air Force tactics and equipment from Vietnam, through Desert Storm to present. It excoriates the Air Forces decision to put all of their eggs into one - as yet delivered - basket. From War on the Rocks.

Here are two paragraphs:

What really happened was that the Air Force dismantled a wildly successful “Electronic Combat triad,” consisting of the EF-111A, the F-4G, and the EC-130. The EF-111A Raven was an unarmed conversion of the F-111 fighter-bomber capable of jamming air defense radars. The F-4G Wild Weasel was the last of the Air Force Phantom conversions, intended to hunt down and kill radar-directed missile batteries and guns. And the EC-130 Compass Call was a powerful communications jammer. Not a single aircraft was lost to a radar threat in the Gulf War while an armed F-4G Wild Weasel or an EF-111 Raven was on station. F-4Gs alone fired a thousand anti-radiation missiles and took down over 250 radars, a hit rate unequaled before or since.

None of that mattered. Lured by the false promise of stealth aircraft, the F-4G and EF-111A were retired with no replacements. The EC-130 Compass Call fleet was downsized. The Wild Weasel school was closed and the decades of hard-won combat experience stored in the Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses (SEAD) community scattered to the wind. The Air Force placed all its chips on the Joint Strike Fighter and held tight to a vanishing mirage, even as the F-35’s costs spiraled and its initial operating capability date stretched further into the future. Worse yet, the Russian and Chinese systems designed to beat the F-35 have been fielded already, before the F-35 fully enters service. The Air Force has not only lost the capability to penetrate well-defended airspace with strike aircraft — with the loss of its electronic warfare expertise, it has lost the capability to know that it has lost the capability to penetrate well-defended airspace. If the United States is to continue to rely on airpower as a credible contributor to national defense, we will have to re-learn how to open a path for strike aircraft using tried and true methods.

Lockheed is making an obscene amount of money and nobody in Congress has the stones to hold their feet to the fire. (here, here and here)

Quote of the year

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From Willie Nelson:

“You know why divorces are so expensive? They’re worth it.”

The great 1964 Alaska earthquake

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Great 11 minute video released a few days ago - explains the science behind the 1964 quake and goes into some detail about the current ideas regarding subduction-zone earthquakes. Produced by the US Geological Service:

They do not say on the website but I am suspecting that this is part of the educational material for the Cascadia Rising drill coming in about five weeks.

One of those days

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From Isaac Morehouse:

Every Industry Gets Worse When Government Gets Involved
This is easily provable with Public Choice Theory, and consistently proven in practice.

Contrary to the absurdly naive belief that monopolizing an industry will produce “efficiencies”, it has the opposite effect. All the wrong things are incentivized and no one has any clear signal of what creates value. (See “Socialist Calculation Problem“)

Antony Davies shared this depressing graph with me last week. If you’ve been to a health care provider in the last few years, you’ve felt the pain this causes in the realm of customer experience.

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Heh - got one in Florida

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The son of a pig and a monkey - from Miami station WSVN:

Sources: FBI foils terror attack at Aventura synagogue; 1 arrested
Federal agents arrested a man who, sources said, was planning to throw an explosive device into a South Florida synagogue.

According to law enforcement sources, the FBI set up a sting to thwart what they described as a terror attack at the Aventura Turnberry Jewish Center, Friday evening.

Sources said agents posing as terrorists were able to stop James Medina, the man, who, they said, may have converted to Islam.

Sources told 7News they are concerned about this case because Medina wanted to take some type of explosive device and chuck it over the wall. Friday was the next-to-last day of Passover, and the center was crowded with people observing the holiday.

Concerned residents said they were disturbed by the arrest. "I think about, before we had a baby, that we used to go there for services, and God forbid, it could have been us," said Stephanie Levine. "Thank God they stopped him, but had they not, it would have been such a horrible thing to happen to this neighborhood."

Emphasis mine - may have converted to Islam. Of course, the religion of peace. The last name - Medina - is one of the more common ones in the Middle East. It is the name of the city where mohammad started converting people to islam.

For more on islam - check out The Religion of Peace. For the latest body count stats, go here: List of Islamic Terror: Last 30 Days

Blame it on Global Warming - populations of British moths and butterflies - from the wonderful Retraction Watch:

Ecologists pull paper on how climate change affects moths after model mixup
Ecologists have retracted a paper published only months ago in Science Advances, after realizing that they had misinterpreted a climate model.

The October paper examined the effects of climate change on populations of 155 species of British moths and butterflies. According to a press release from the authors’ institution, the University of York:

Using data collected by thousands of volunteers through ‘citizen science’ schemes, responses to recent climate change were seen to vary greatly from species to species.

But the authors quickly realized that the variation they had measured was not due to climate change alone, according to the retraction notice they issued for the paper last week:

In our recent Research Article “Individualistic sensitivities and exposure to climate change explain variation in species’ distribution and abundance changes” (1), we presented an analysis relating species-specific measures of sensitivity and exposure to climate, to species’ recent population changes. While our measure and interpretation of species’ climate sensitivity remain correct, we now recognize our interpretation of the exposure measure was inaccurate: Our climate models included an intercept, representing a nonzero average population growth rate; thus, the exposure measure incorporated not only climate effects but other nonclimatic—and potentially unmeasured climatic—effects as well. While our results still demonstrate that a significant proportion of variation in population trends can be explained by exposure and sensitivity, the correct interpretation of the exposure measure means that the explained variation is not solely due to climate. As such, our conclusion that a large proportion of variation in population changes can be explained by individualistic responses to climate is misleading. Given this, and to avoid confusion, we are wholly retracting the Research Article, and we apologize that this was not picked up sooner.

It has been proven time and again that most of the climate models do not work. The one used by Michael Mann for his famous 'Hockey Stick' graph would generate hockey sticks when fed statistically random numbers.

It is very telling that none of the major climate scientists use actual boots on the ground data but rely entirely on computer models and 'adjusted' data.

"Democracy and socialism have nothing in common but one word: equality. But notice the difference: while democracy seeks equality in liberty, socialism seeks equality in restraint and servitude."
--Alexis de Tocqueville

An interesting look at how we deal with older food in this country. The dates error very much on the side of caution and are set where they are to compensate for poor storage (temperature, etc...)

The film's website is here: Expired

From the About page:

In the spring of 2015, our team traveled to Missoula, Montana to understand the impact of their highly restrictive date-labeling law. This law has been in effect since 1980. It requires all milk to bear a “sell by” date of 12 days from the date of pasteurization and mandates that such milk be removed from shelves once the date arrives. Milk cannot be sold or donated after that date. As a result, countless gallons of milk on grocery shelves gets needlessly discarded, and consumers suffer because milk in Montana typically costs more than neighboring states.

But while this is the most restrictive state law in the country for milk, it is far from the only state law imposing senseless sell-by requirements on manufacturers, distributors, and retailers. Research published by the Harvard Food Law and Policy Clinic in partnership with the Natural Resources Defense Council has shown that 41 states require date labels on at least certain food products, and 20 of those states restrict or ban the sale or donation of foods after that date.

This patchwork of state laws and regulations is part of a national problem – one that creates customer confusion, limits retailers’ ability to sell or donate wholesome food, and causes unnecessary food waste. In response to this challenge, we are calling for a national solution – a uniform, federal standard for date label language that is easily comprehended by consumers, and differentiates between food quality and food safety.

An interesting look at something we do not think very much about...

From The Wall Street Journal:

This Tech Bubble Is Bursting
Despite record amount of money flowing into venture capital, funding for startups is drying up
When the dot-com bubble burst in early 2000, the fallout for publicly traded stocks was quick and severe. The Nasdaq Composite Index fell 37% in the 10 weeks following its peak on March 10, 2000.

For startups, the immediate impact was less dramatic. In the second quarter of 2000, venture capitalists invested $25 billion in startups, down only 5% from the first-quarter peak.

“There was a lot of suspended disbelief between March and June,” says Keith Rabois, then a vice president at PayPal Inc. and now a partner at Khosla Ventures.

Mr. Rabois and others think we’re now in a similar period of suspension of disbelief. Startup investment has cooled. Valuations are falling. But Mr. Rabois says many investors and entrepreneurs haven’t yet grasped the new reality. “If that suspended disbelief ends, all hell breaks loose,” he says.

We are overdue - bubbles like this happen every 10-20 years and we are right in the middle of that range. Running on a wing and a prayer. It will be interesting to see the corporate cathedrals in a few years - all of these modern office buildings are being built on the idea that the businesses will continue to grow at the same rate.

A day for YouTube videos

Spiderman gets pranked by Thor - Mjölnir the hammer

The genius of TSA

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Brilliant:

Tip of the hat to Gerard

Murder in the skies

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This is the season for crows to build nests. Lulu was telling me about the murder she saw near her house on Lake Whatcom - lots of wooded areas their so it is ideal for crows to build their nests.

Same thing is happening South of here near the University of Washington Bothell Campus - from the Everett, WA Daily Herald:

Thousands of crows darken Bothell's sky, attracting scholars
It's turned into more than a must-see murder.

At dusk the sky darkens over the University of Washington Bothell as up to 15,000 pitch-black crows descend on the campus. Swooping and cawing, they come from all directions to roost for the night.

The mammoth mob might seem ominous to a casual onlooker. But it's roused the curiosity of Bothell educators and students. They're working to better understand crows and their connection to humans.

And this great story from the Bothell Campus link:

Marzluff relates the story of a couple in Sweden who also experienced the birds’ facial recognition capabilities. The woman in the couple had fed some magpies, which are closely related birds, in her backyard. “Then she started to notice weird things were happening around her house,” he says. “The doorbell would ring and nobody was there.” She would come out, look around, see the birds, and throw them some food.

“She kept doing that and the birds kept ringing the doorbell and finally one day she saw them,” he says. Her husband did not like the birds hanging around the house so he went outside and pretended to throw something at them to scare them away. “From that day on they started crapping on his car,” says Marzluff. “He had to wash the window of his car every day, only on the driver’s side and only his car, never his wife’s.”

We are planning to leave some shiny treats out for them - they seem to like them. Up here we also get ravens - much larger and distinctly different voices.

A gorgeous day in paradise

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Got back from Coffee and Pastry delivery - temp is already at 75.6°F with clear skies. Planning to work on a couple of projects outside. Got some shrimp thawing so cocktail for dinner tonight.

The kitchen fridge is starting to make noise so defrosting it for a couple of hours.

Most loudspeakers are really hard-pressed to deliver low frequencies down to 40 cycles per second (or Hertz - named after Physicist Heinrich Hertz who studied electrical oscillations) or so. Some can go down to 20Hz but below that is inaccessible. Until now.

Meet Bruce Thigpen and his Rotary Woofer:

Want to hear what 5Hz sounds like? A new woofer technology unlike any other and a new product category for home audio. This is the first home audio woofer delivering true response to DC. The Thigpen Rotary Woofer is the worlds first true infrasonic home audio or home theater woofer. Conventional subwoofers roll off rapidly below 20Hz. With no cone the rotary woofer achieves high efficiency at very low frequencies. Most subwoofers have a difficult time producing acoustic output below 20Hz at audible levels. They generally require large amounts of equalization, distortion rises rapidly, and even the most expensive available cannot produce significant output below 10Hz. Subwoofer electronics usually contain a cutoff filter which sharply rolls off content to the subwoofer below 20Hz to protect the speaker. On the other hand, the rotary woofer has enough acoustic output to move an open door back and forth 0.5" between 1 and 5Hz! It has enough output to find resonance frequencies of walls and ceilings in a room. It requires no equalization to achieve flat response to below 1Hz. Microphones have low frequency capability that far exceeds the low frequency output of current subwoofers. In many cases infrasonic information is in a recording, it is not being reproduced by the sound system.

A missing link in sound reproduction. Experience special effects like never before. If you want to hear and feel the 11hz hertz fundamental frequency from a helicopter rotor, the low frequency rumble of wind, the space of a concert hall or infrasonic information contained in an explosion, this is the only woofer technology available. Over the years the generally accepted low frequency limit of hearing has been 20Hz, some suggesting 16Hz. However nothing existed to produce significant enough output to change this belief. This development will spawn new special effects and we will begin to understand the true low frequency limit of human hearing. The TRW-17 rotary woofer is now being used in theme park attractions, concert venues, professional audio applications and research projects.

PFM - all it is is a ducted rotary fan. The pitch of the blades is varied by the incoming audio so this provides high fidelity bass response from 20Hz down to Direct Current.

Their market is theme parks, museums, music and scientific research.

I understand that the market is a small one and they are a corporation that spends a lot on research and development. I would still love to have one here at the farm - price of entry is a bit too steep for my blood. $13K for the transducer itself and another $3K for ancillary bits and bobs. Very clever idea.

Voting in Virginia

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An interesting observation by John Lott regarding the recent edict by Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe (Democrat) - his awarding the right to vote to all convicted felons who had served their time.

Why Virginia Gov Terry McAuliffe can't give felons right to vote without restoring their right to own guns
Governor Terry McAuliffe has given felons in Virginia the right to vote without allowing them the right to own a gun.  His executive order will let murderers and rapists will be able to serve on juries.  Say someone has committed multiple violent crimes.  Is there an argument to be made that we have learned something about that individual's preferences?  Presumably this is the argument for why McAuliffe doesn't want to restore their rights to own guns.  But why then Virginians would want to let violent criminals help make public policy and serve on juries?

Shot (from the Richmond Times-Dispatch):

Gov. Terry McAuliffe signed an executive order Friday restoring the voting rights of 206,000 ex-felons, a sweeping action the governor said was aimed largely at rectifying Virginia’s “long and sad history” of suppressing African-American voting power. . . .

Chaser (from Article II, Section 1 of the Virginia Constitution):

No person who has been convicted of a felony shall be qualified to vote unless his civil rights have been restored by the Governor or other appropriate authority. 

You can not have it both ways Mr. Governor - much as you would like...

It has been one full year since details came out and where are we on prosecution? Here are the salient points excerpted from an article at Breitbart:

  • Bill and Hillary Clinton had helped a Canadian financier named Frank Giustra and a small Canadian company obtain a lucrative uranium mining concession from the dictator in Kazakhstan;
  • The same Canadian company, renamed Uranium One, bought uranium concessions in the United States;
  • The Russian government came calling and sought to buy that Canadian company for a price that would mean big profits for the Canadian investors;
  • For the Russians to buy that Canadian company, it would require the approval of the Obama administration, including Hillary’s State Department, because uranium is a strategically important commodity;
  • Nine shareholders in Uranium One just happened to provide more than $145 million in donations to the Clinton Foundation in the run-up to State Department approval;
  • Some of the donations, including those from the Chairman of Uranium One, Ian Teler, were kept secret, even though the Clintons promised to disclose all donations;
  • Hillary’s State Department approved the deal;
  • The Russian government now owns 20 percent of U.S. uranium assets.

You or me? We would be looking at 20 years to life in a Federal Penitentiary. Hillary? The Press?

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- - - crickets - - -

(more from this article at the New York Times)

Done with dinner and a movie

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I had forgotten how good Alice in Wonderland was - a lot of fun to see it again and Lulu was raised on the books and loved this version. The Cheshire Cat was spot-on perfect.

Surf for a bit and then to bed.

Back home and decompressing

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The memorial service was well attended - about 300-400 people coming from all corners. Lots of food.

The testimonies were really touching - lots of faces with tears on them, even the rough tough loggers. Bob was well loved.

Taking some time off from the web to fix dinner and watch the 2010 Alice in Wonderland - Alice Through the Looking Glass is coming out in a few weeks and Lulu had not seen the first one.

There is the ham radio network tonight but I am planning to play hooky - tired. Just want to have a beer or two and kick back...

Off to the Memorial Service

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Truck packed and heading out - going to stop for coffee at a different place on the way to the Log Show.

Bob was good people - still cannot believe that he is gone.

From The Daily Caller:

Cuban-American Filmmaker Warns America Is Morphing Into Communist Country
Filmmaker and American citizen Agustin Blazquez never thought his native Cuba would become a communist country, but now he sees the same radical shift happening in America.

In this exclusive video interview for The Daily Caller News Foundation, he says the left has been clever by using “very non-threatening words,” like liberal, progressive and concerned citizens, for advancing government control of American lives. The truth about Cuban politics is hard to find because of media spin and propaganda dominating American discourse.

For Blazquez, watching American youth embrace avowed socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders for president, strikes him as “absurd.” It is the end result, he says, of the cultural marxist education and media propaganda that has anesthetized too many Americans who do not defend the values that made America exceptional.

Watching President Barack Obama travel to Cuba, he says, made him “want to throw up.” This was a “betrayal to victims of communism,” the filmmaker of “Covering Cuba” says. Blazquez adds there are “so many [Nelson] Mandelas” in Cuban prisons, who are tortured, denied medical attention and abused. Yet, prominent black elites from America, including most incredibly to him, the Congressional Black Caucus, are wined and dined by the political elites but are blind to their “betrayal of blacks in Cuba.”

So true.

You may have read that the city of Flint Michigan badly managed their water system and it is now not potable - unfit to drink.

Needless to say, lawyers are getting involved. Shit just got serious - a two-fer:

First - from Saginaw, MI station WNEM:

Flint water employee found dead at Lapeer County home
A Flint Water Department employee was found dead on April 16.

Matthew McFarland, 43, of Otter Lake, was found dead at a residence in Otter Lake by a friend. His friend called 911.

Second - from Russia Today:

Flint woman suing over poisoned water crisis found shot to death in home
A woman involved in a lawsuit over the lead-contaminated water crisis in Flint, Michigan was reportedly found shot to death in her home along with another individual.

No evidence that these deaths were connected to the water problems but still...

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