August 2016 Archives

A simple question

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Quite a valid one when you think about it:

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Road Trip

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I visited (and spent way too much money) at the famed Tokyo Akihabara electronics retail district about 20 years ago. The place was legendary but its focus has shifted to more games and cosplay.

This place in Mumbai seems to be what Akihabara was like when I visited - time for a road trip:

Rain sweet rain

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Had quite the shower earlier and it is still coming down - almost 0.4" now. Supposed to intensify tomorrow but lighten up for Friday and Saturday. This is a good thing because of the Car Show.

Coming to the end of a wonderful summer for the store too - July sales were up 12% over 2015. Sales have been increasing year after year for the last five years or so.

It is fun because our distributors are now giving us allocations of cool products - case in point the Raspberry Lager made as a joint venture between Kulshan Brewery and Wander Brewery. We are the only people in a 25 mile radius to carry this.

Business is going to enter our Fall Slowdown soon - this is the third-worst quarter for sales. School gets back into session this Monday and until Mt. Baker opens up for skiing, we get precious few tourist dollars. When Baker closes until the trails melt out and School goes on vacation is our worst season but we know this and plan for it. I dearly love this community and so glad I moved out of Seattle when I did.

The background of Huma Abedin

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Impossible to excerpt - just go here and read: Interesting Intel About Hillary, Huma and Musloid Racism

Impossible to excerpt - just go here, read the text and watch the eight minute video: That Lyft Driver Showed Us How Every Businesses Should Respond To SJW Bullies

The good news is that the driver got fired but then got re-instated and Annaliese Nielsen is now an internet laughing-stock. She deleted her Twitter account and posted some grand rebuttal on FB but really Annaliese, put down the crack pipe and get a real life - you are a pathetic joke.

But I do have to say this - thank you Annaliese Nielsen for a couple of minutes of comedy gold!

Trump visits Mexico

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He may not be elected yet but he sure is acting Presidential. This trip took guts but he is used to walking into hostile territory from his business dealings. From Yahoo/Time:

Enrique Peña Nieto Calls Conversation With Donald Trump ‘Open and Constructive’
Standing alongside the president of Mexico, a measured Donald Trump on Wednesday defended the right of the United States to build a massive border wall along its southern flank, but he declined to repeat his frequent promise to force Mexico to pay for it.

Trump, the U.S. presidential candidate who is widely despised across Mexico, also sidestepped his repeated criticism of Mexican immigrants following a closed-door meeting at the official residence of the country’s president, Enrique Pena Nieto. Trump and Pena Nieto, who has compared the New York billionaire to Adolf Hitler, addressed reporters from adjacent podiums flanked by a Mexican flag.

A bit more:

In his announcement of his presidential candidacy last year, Trump derided Mexico as a source of rapists and criminals coming to the U.S., and his presence on Wednesday sparked anger and protests across the capital city. A former Mexican president bluntly told the celebrity businessman that, despite Pena Nieto’s hospitality, he was not welcome.

“We don’t like him. We don’t want him. We reject his visit,” former President Vicente Fox told CNN, calling the trip a “political stunt.”

Pena Nieto was less combative as he addressed reporters alongside Trump. He acknowledged the two men had differences, but he described their conversation as “open and constructive.” They shook hands as the session ended.

Fox is out of the loop - he did not win the last election so he can say whatever he wants to. Trump is going to be working with Nieto and Nieto was cordial and polite. The next couple of months are going to be really interesting to say the least...

Passages - Carl Steiner

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A local legend - I had the great pleasure of taking a road trip with him, another local legend (Gary Richardson) and a friend of Gary's in the middle of winter to Yellowstone National Park to take a class about the early Army presence at Yellowstone. Gary's great grandfather was an Officer there at the time of the initial posting and building of the fort. A delightful ten days with three fun raconteurs.

His obituary is here: Carl Roger Steiner

Talk about a full life well lived.

I am really looking forward to getting some adults in the room this November. From Town Hall:

John Kerry: You Media People Should Stop Reporting on Terrorism So People Don't Know What's Going On
Speaking from Bangladesh Tuesday morning, Secretary of State John Kerry suggested members of the media stop covering (Islamic) terrorism so people won't "know what's going on." Kerry attempted to preempt his statement by implying media coverage creates copy cats and promotes more terrorism. 

This is bullshit. What Kerry is really concerned with is that people will actually ask that he do his job and protect American interests in the world. Not see how much he can kowtow to foreign leaders. We may have copycat murders with lone gunman public shootings but this is mental illness and not Muzzie terror and the two have never been conflated.

The author - Katie Pavlich - continues:

While the copy cat, attention seeker argument may be true in a handful of cases, the media ignoring terrorism as the Obama administration has arguably chosen to do for nearly a decade, isn't going to make terrorism go away.

For example, the administration downplayed the ISIS threat by claiming they were "jayvee" and demanded intelligence reports be altered to paint a better picture of the increasingly dangerous situation around the world and in the United States. And who could forget the Justice Department changing Allah to "God" and censoring pledges to ISIS with "[omitted]" in the transcripts of the Orlando terrorist's 911 call?

This new push by Kerry shouldn't be surprising, after all it was just a few weeks ago when Kerry essentially argued the use of air conditioners and other appliances are bigger threats to the world than ISIS.

Here's the reality: Kerry doesn't want the press giving attention to the issue of terrorism because it further exposes the failure of the Obama administration's foreign policy over the past eight years. Terrorism doesn't go away if you simply ignore it but instead, expands.

The guy is impotent in the purest definition of the word:

adjective

    1. not potent; lacking power or ability.
    2. utterly unable (to do something).
    3. without force or effectiveness.

Like I said, impotent - a moron appointed to a position of power by another moron who did not want to be outshone.

So true

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And the funny thing is that they are such good spin-doctors; they could have orchestrated a couple of high-profile good clean ethical donations and all the contreversy would have dried up and blown away. I gues this never occoured to them because the ideas of "good" "clean" and "ethical" are not found in their corporate culture.

Lazy day today

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Slept in this morning. The sound of rain on a tin roof is wonderful this time of year. Not so much in February but now? Delicious. Meter shows about half a tenth of an inch of total precip so still a lot less than we need but anything helps and the garden smells so wonderful now.

Heading out for coffee and working around the house today.

Meme - Comedian Chris Rock

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A simple question with something he said:

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Is it time to call time-out? From the New York Post:

Going to Burning Man is a middle-age cry for help
Next time you spy drug-blasted people bicycling through Nevada’s Black Rock Desert, wearing tutus and little else, don’t be envious. They’re invariably at Burning Man, the annual pop-up festival which runs from Aug. 28 through Sept. 5 — and are probably miserable with themselves.

Sure, it looks fun to spend a few days enjoying a gift economy, listening to techno, cooling off in refrigeration trucks and gawking at surreal sculptures or taking in offbeat performance art. But, according to Daniel Yudkin, a social psychology Ph.D. candidate at New York University, as reported by Quartz, the eight days of decadent hedonism provide once-a-year opportunities for attendees to experience bona fide connections with others. All the other non-Burning days of their lives? Not so much.

Rather than reflecting how much fun Burning Man is, the reality of people spending thousands of dollars — on travel, accommodations, tickets and drugs — serves as proof that their non-Burner days are pathetically empty. “I think the fact that people invest so much of their own resources and time and energy to going to Burning Man suggests that there’s something missing, that there’s something Burning Man fulfills for them that they don’t get in day-to-day life,” Yudkin says.

The Millennials, they are ruining it for everyone... Sigh... Of course, our generation could have raised them better but we were to busy following our bliss.

Our friend the Carbon atom

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His brother, the CO2 molecule is pretty awesome too. CO2 is pure plant food for all the vegitation on Earth. There is also an interesting side-effect.

From Anthony:

Study: plants do better during drought thanks to increased CO2 levels
As a multiyear drought grinds on in the Southwestern United States, many wonder about the impact of global climate change on more frequent and longer dry spells. As humans emit more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, how will water supply for people, farms, and forests be affected?

A new study from the University of California, Irvine and the University of Washington shows that water conserved by plants under high CO2 conditions compensates for much of the effect of warmer temperatures, retaining more water on land than predicted in commonly used drought assessments.

According to the study published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the implications of plants needing less water with more CO2 in the environment changes assumptions of climate change impacts on agriculture, water resources, wildfire risk, and plant growth.

Drought is a common occurrence in the South West - it was pure rotten luck that the first settlers arrived during an abnormally wet several decades. The fact that an increased level of CO2 will help plants to retain moisture is pure gravy.

As for CO2 being plant food - it is a key component of photosynthesis. Without CO2, sunlight and water, there would be no plants. Period.

From the UK Guardian:

The tribes paying the brutal price of conservation
The Botswana police helicopter spotted Tshodanyestso Sesana and his friends in the afternoon. The nine young Bushmen, or San, had been hunting antelope to feed their families, when the chopper flew towards them.

There was a burst of gunfire from the air and the young men dropped their meat and skins and fled. Largely through luck, no one was hit, but within minutes armed troops arrived in a jeep and the nine were arrested, stripped naked, beaten and then detained for several days for poaching in a nature reserve.

Welcome to 21st-century life in the vast Central Kalahari game park, an ancient hunting ground for the San, but now off-limits to the people who forged their history there. The brutal incident took place last week, just days after Botswana’s wildlife minister Tshekedi Khama, the brother of President Ian Khama, announced a shoot-on-sight policy on poachers.

Khama claims the policy, which is supported by conservation groups, will deter poaching and the illegal wildlife trade, which is widely seen by Europe and the US as disastrous for biodiversity. But there are no rare or endangered species such as elephants or rhinos in the areas where the bushmen hunt. Sending a helicopter gunship and armed guards to arraign the hunters looks rather like an escalation of the low-grade war that Botswana has waged for years on one of the most vulnerable indigenous groups in the world.

More:

What has happened in Botswana is happening all over the world, according to an increasingly vocal group of campaigners, academics and environmentalists. They claim that indigenous peoples are being appallingly treated and abused, all in the name of a conservation philosophy that carries a heavy human cost. In order to make room for wildlife, tourism and industry, governments are using conservation as a pretext to drive the world’s most endangered peoples away from the lands and animals they have lived with for generations.

And follow the money:

What’s more, human rights groups claim, governments are accessing wealthy conservation groups based in the US and Europe to take advantage of the billions of pounds of conservation money being offered by global banks, northern governments and foundations for climate change and biodiversity protection. The international money duly flows in, but recipient governments are not abiding by international laws to protect communities.

“Governments like conservation because there is a lot of money in it. It brings money from the Global Environment Facility and elsewhere. But when your economic priority is to generate money from conservation, you want to get rid of people from these protected areas. That is what is now happening,” Tauli-Corpuz told the Observer.

Much more at the article - it is a long and well written one. These kleptocrats need to be slathered in honey and staked out over a termite nest until there is nothing left but bones. This is pure avarice and greed and is about as far away from compassion and healing the planet as can be.

Breakfast for dinner

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Lulu and I are both trying to cut down on our carbohydrate intake (aiming for 60 grams/day) so we are having breakfast for dinner.

Picked up a tray of New York steaks at Costco so doing those with a couple scrambled eggs and a small portion of hashbrown potatoes (about 13 grams).

Car show fun - music

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I am running the PA system for this Saturday's Mount Baker Car Show (the seventh annual!) Been doing them since they started and each year is better and better. Last year had about 190 cars.

Up until two years ago, we had a band come to play music for the show and it was a lot of fun. Last year, they bailed at the last moment and we went with someone's walkman. It turned out to work really well as people didn't really miss the live music and for me, it was a lot easier to do announcing (which I do a lot throughout the show). No more hand signals and running across to where the band was. Wait until the song is done, fade out, hit pause and I was ready to roll. We decided to not use the band this year.

Been collecting songs about cars and I already have a bunch of basic rock and roll digitised from my own collection but it was all 1970's and later - nothing from the 50's and 60's.

I was looking around and found the Crusin Chrome Series of ten disks of classic Rock and Roll from the same era as most of the cars on display. These were new disks without the display packaging so over all about $40 including shipping for ten disks and we are ready to go.

Feet are feeling better after the first day of treatment - get some drugs on them and they will feel even better.

Back around 3:00PM or so.

That is it for the night

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Feeling a bit tired and have to run into town tomorrow to get the rest of the prescriptions from Costco.

The usual stuff on the internet but nothing that jumps out at me.

Back from the skin doctor

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Turns out that I was doing everything wrong.

It looked like a fungal infection to me - athlete's foot on steroids so I bent over backwards keeping the infected area as dry as possible.

Since Tea Tree oil has known and good anti-fungal properties, I cooked up a bunch of salve with Coconut Oil (another good skin oil), a bit of wax for stability and a bunch of Tea Tree Essential Oil. Slathered it on one evening before going to bed and woke up the next morning to blistered skin - still looks like hell and hurts like the dickens.

For the fungus, I needed to bathe the area three times/day and soak it. Not with epsom salts as I had been doing but with Burow's Solution invented by  Karl August Burow sometime in the late 1800's.

I go back in a week - the doctor is really good and spent about 90 minutes with me this afternoon getting the worst of the crud flaked off. Whip this puppy back in shape in no time.

The store internet problem was a bad phone cable from the wall to the modem. My manager figured it out. I have a really great crew of people working there.

Oh hell no - the Internet

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From Breitbart:

UN Could Take Over ICANN, and the Internet, Oct. 1
The United Nations could take over control of the Internet on October 1, when the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) passes from U.S. administration to the control of a multilateral body, most likely the United Nations International Telecommunications Union (ITU).

While the administration and its defenders have denied that the UN will have authority over ICANN, the Wall Street Journal‘s L. Gordon Crovitz points out that ICANN will need to be run by a state agency in order to retain its antitrust exemption, which makes it almost certainly that the UN will step in to take control.

That corrupt bunch of kleptocrats would ruin one of the best things that has happened to this world. Time for them to disband, move out of New York City (their headquarters is sitting on some prime real estate in downtown Manhattan). Move them to someplace like Zimbabwe and start making them pay their own way - right now, the USA contributes one fifth of the UN's operating budget and what do we get? Zilch.

Time to watch Young Frankenstein again

From Variety:

Gene Wilder, ‘Willy Wonka’ Star and Comedic Icon, Dies at 83
Gene Wilder, who regularly stole the show in such comedic gems as “The Producers,” “Blazing Saddles,” “Young Frankenstein,” “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” and “Stir Crazy,” died Monday at his home in Stamford, Conn. His nephew Jordan Walker-Pearlman said he died of complications from Alzheimer’s disease. He was 83.

His nephew said in a statement, “We understand for all the emotional and physical challenges this situation presented we have been among the lucky ones — this illness-pirate, unlike in so many cases, never stole his ability to recognize those that were closest to him, nor took command of his central-gentle-life affirming core personality. The decision to wait until this time to disclose his condition wasn’t vanity, but more so that the countless young children that would smile or call out to him “there’s Willy Wonka,” would not have to be then exposed to an adult referencing illness or trouble and causing delight to travel to worry, disappointment or confusion. He simply couldn’t bear the idea of one less smile in the world.

He was an amazing actor - one of a kind and he will be missed. 2016 is being a real jerk taking all these people away from us.

I’m a big wheel in this town

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Not any more bub - from the New York Post:

Anthony Weiner sexted busty brunette while his son was in bed with him
This is baby-sitting — Anthony Weiner-style.

While his wife, Huma Abedin, travels the country campaigning for Hillary Clinton, the disgraced ex-congressman has been sexting with a busty brunette out West — and even sent her a lurid crotch shot with his toddler son in the picture, The Post has learned.

The stay-at-home cad shot the revealing photo while discussing massage parlors “near my old apartment” shortly after 3 a.m. on July 31, 2015, a screenshot of the exchange shows.

Weiner was clearly aroused by his conversation with the 40-something divorcee when he abruptly changed the subject.

“Someone just climbed into my bed,” Weiner wrote.

“Really?” she responded.

Weiner then hit “Send” on the cringe-inducing image, which shows a bulge in his white, Jockey-brand boxer briefs and his son cuddled up to his left, wrapped in a light-green blanket.

The woman lives on the West coast somewhere but Wiener offered to take her out to dinner in NYC:

At one point in their conversation, Weiner offered to take the object of his lust to one of the restaurants co-owned by his younger brother, Jason.

“Lets get together. I’m a big wheel in this town,” Weiner wrote.

And from the London Daily Mail:

Humiliated Huma FINALLY dumps sexting Weiner: Hillary aide separates from husband just hours after it is revealed he sent photo of his crotch while their four-year-old son slept beside him
Huma Abedin is separating from her husband Anthony Weiner in the wake of his latest sexting scandal.

The Clinton campaign manager released a statement on Monday morning just hours after the New York Post reported that Weiner had been sending lewd texts to another woman behind her back, marking the third time he had been caught in the act in the past five years.

Making matters worse, one of the pictures was of Weiner showcasing his manhood in a pair of boxer briefs while the couple's four-year-old son Jordan lay asleep next to him in bed.

'After long and painful consideration and work on my marriage, I have made the decision to separate from my husband,' said Abedin in a statement.

'Anthony and I remain devoted to doing what is best for our son, who is the light of our life. During this difficult time, I ask for respect for our privacy. '

What a maroon. He brought this on himself.

Woke up to some good news

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Got a phone call that the internet is down at the store.  Heading out in a few minutes to check on that and then into town for the doctor's appointment.

Back in the afternoon...

Just ran into this today - great blog. The DNR administers 5.6 million acres of Washington forest, range, agricultural, aquatic, and commercial lands. Money made from these lands (logging, grazing and fishing) goes to support public schools, state institutions, and county services. Good stuff!

Check out: Ear to the Ground

I am not surprised - from Breitbart:

Exclusive — Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn: Obama, Hillary Ignored Intelligence They Did Not Like About Middle East, Only Wanted ‘Happy Talk’
Retired Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn, who served for more than two years as the director of President Barack Obama’s Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), leveled explosive charges against the President and his former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in an exclusive hour-long interview with Breitbart News Daily on Friday.

Specifically, during an exclusive interview about his book The Field of Fight, Flynn said that Obama and Clinton were not interested in hearing intelligence that did not fit their “happy talk” narrative about the Middle East. In fact, he alleged the administration actively scrubbed training manuals and purged from the military ranks any thinking about the concept of radical Islamism. Flynn argued that this effort by Obama, Clinton and others to reduce the intelligence community to gathering only facts that the senior administration officials wanted to hear—rather than what they needed to hear—helped the enemy fester and grow, while weakening the United States on the world stage.

As the echo chamber self-perpetuates. Can't have anything that disturbs the narrative. Flynn had this to say about Donald Trump:

Flynn noted that the impacts of the choices voters make in this upcoming presidential election will affect the United States for generations—perhaps centuries—to come.

“And Donald Trump is not doing this for Donald Trump,” Flynn said. “Donald Trump is not doing this for the next four years. Donald Trump is doing this for the next 40, or the next 400, years. I have children, I have grandchildren, I have a son who has served overseas in the combat zones three times. I have a couple of grandchildren. My God, I want those grandchildren to grow up in a country that is recognizable to those of us that are in this country today. Right now, it’s starting to become unrecognizable and if we continue down the path that this administration has set over the past eight years—and that includes the path that Hillary Clinton was part of setting—we are going to find ourselves waking up one day in America saying ‘this is not America anymore. This is not what we were founded upon.’ Frankly, in order to keep that belief system that we have, we have to sort of fight for it and we’re going to have to fight for it overseas, and we’re going to have to fight for it here in the homeland and the way we do it here in our country is we do it at the voting booth. People have got to get out and vote.”

An excellent choice for Secretary of State or Defense. John Bolton would be another excellent choice for Sec. State (if I were the King for a few years).

Brexit - repercussions

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Everyone was wringing their hands and saying that Britain's exit from the European Union would be a disaster. It was. For the EU.

All of the numbers coming in from England are very good - today from This is Money:

400,000 new jobs: the Brexit bonanza goes on against the tide of 'Project Fear' 
One of Britain’s largest recruitment firms said the employment market has boomed since the EU referendum with an extra 30,000 new jobs on its books since the Brexit vote.

In the eight weeks following June 23, there were 400,000 new jobs posted on Reed’s website – 30,000 higher than the same period in 2015 and an increase of 8 per cent.

8% is not a bad number at all - the USA just released its numbers for the second quarter and it put us at 1.1% growth which is actually not at all good considering that we have about 6% real inflation so our real growth is still a negative number - thank's stimulus, cash for clunkers, shovel-ready jobs, etc...

Rope Trick

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Performed by Mac King

So much for the forecast - rain

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Got a nice gentle rainfall going on outside. Forecast didn't have it until Tuesday - this is a real treat.

Wonderful news from India

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Both articles are from The Hindu:

First - ISRO successfully test-fires scramjet engine

The Advanced Technology Vehicle (ATV), a sounding rocket (research rocket) with a solid booster carrying advanced scramjet engines, was successfully flight-tested from the launch pad of the Sathish Dhawan Space Centre, also known as Sriharikota Range (SHAR), at Sriharikota on Sunday.

This first experimental mission of Indian Space Research Organisation is aimed at the realisation of an Air Breathing Propulsion System which uses hydrogen as fuel and oxygen from the atmosphere air as the oxidiser.

And a bit more:

With this, India became the fourth country to demonstrate the flight testing of a scramjet engines. This mission is a milestone for ISRO’s future space transportation system.

This greatly reduces the launch weight of the rocket as conventional rockets carry liquid oxygen with them - the scramjet uses atmospheric oxygen once the rocket reaches proper speed (couple hundred miles/hour).

Second - Young grads aim to land a robot on the moon

When young college graduates John K. John and Karan Vaish decided to look out for work, they did not choose conventional jobs like working in an IT services company. Instead, the graduates, who are in their early twenties, decided to pursue their passion and use their skills for an audacious project of building a privately-funded spacecraft capable of soft landing on the moon by December 2017.

The duo is now part of Team Indus run by Bengaluru-based aerospace start-up Axiom Research Labs. It is the only Indian team competing for the $30 million Google Lunar XPrize (GLXP).

To win the prize, Team Indus has to place on the moon’s surface a robot that explores at least 500 metres and transmits high-definition video and images back to Earth.

And this is really cool:

“Eighty per cent of our team is less than five years out of college,” said Rahul Narayan, Team Indus fleet commander in an interview. The young team is helping build the lunar lander and a rover. These would be carried by Indian Space Research Organisation's (ISRO) launch system that would blast into space on a 15-day voyage to the moon. By the time the spacecraft reaches the lunar surface it would have covered about 238,900 miles.

That would be wonderful to start on such a big project so soon out of school. Much more at both links.

Great new work from DJ Shadow

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Always liked his stuff - here he is with Run The Jewels - Nobody Speak

Hat tip to BoingBoing for the link.

Says DJ Shadow: "We wanted to make a positive, life-affirming video that captures politicians at their election-year best. We got this instead.”

Moron of the year - Raymond Mazzarella

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Meet Raymond Mazzarella - from Moosic, Pennsylvania station WNEP:

Angered over Sap, Man Cuts Down Tree, Sending It onto His Own Apartment House
A man in Luzerne County cut down his neighbor's tree over the weekend because he thought it was ruining his car. The tree ended up hitting his own apartment house.

Police said Raymond Mazzarella grabbed a chainsaw and cut down the tree in his neighbor's yard Saturday afternoon. The tree sat in his neighbor's yard, but it had branches above his parking space. Those branches would drip sap onto his car. When he cut through the 36-inch wide trunk, the tree fell onto part of his own apartment building.

“He decided it was the best thing to do, to get rid of the tree, where he thought it was going to go, I don't know,” said Terry Best, a Pittston Township code enforcement officer.

Authorities condemned the building on Oak Street in Pittston Township, and five people have to find new places to stay.

And the story is not over yet:

Police said Mazzarella was being checked out at a hospital. Upon his release Monday afternoon, a neighbor saw Mazzarella trespassing near the apartment house and called police. When the neighbor confronted him, Mazzarella punched him. The neighbor pulled out a stun gun to protect himself. Mazzarella then started hitting him with a baseball bat.

Mazzarella is charged with assault and harassment and is locked up in the Luzerne County jail on $10,000 bail.

The tree was growing there before this idiot was even born - he shouldn't have parked his car there if there was a sap problem.

Wildfires

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It has been a very dry summer and there are several large wildfires burning (InciWeb) (Washington Smoke Information) - one is prompting evacuation from the towns of Levenworth and Peshastin. From Seattle station KIRO

Firefighters working to contain wildfire near Leavenworth
A wildfire raging in central Washington threatened several homes and prompted officials to order evacuations Saturday.

Sunday morning, firefighters were still working to contain the wildfire. Officials with the Chelan County Fire District 3 say the fire is at an estimated 25 percent contained.

The State Fire Marshal's Office said in a statement late Saturday that the Chelan County blaze had burned about 400 acres and is growing. At least 170 homes were under evacuation Saturday night

Here are the facebook pages for Chelan County Fire District 3 and Chelan County Emergency Management

Around February everyone here hates the rain and wishes it would go away forever but now, we sure could use a couple inches. Forecast is for chance showers Tuesday evening but nothing like what we need.

A bunch of twits

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From Seattle station KIRO:

Protesters block coal train in Bellingham
A fossil fuel resistance group blocked a coal train in Bellingham, Washington, Saturday as part of an ongoing campaign against fossil fuels.

Protestors raised a tripod structure in the middle of a rail bridge crossing Mud Bay south of Bellingham. Trains have been stopped since early in the afternoon.

Organizers of the blockade said they believe fossil fuels should be stopped in order to avoid global warming.

For decades, Bellingham has been in the sights of the fossil fuel industry. Activists expressed ongoing efforts to keep fossil fuel transportation out of the city.

And I bet these morons all have iPhones and wear polyester. Carbon is our friend and CO2 is plant food. Silly hippies...

Another late morning

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Slept ten hours last night - feels really good. Dealing with a foot infection but seeing the Doc tomorrow.

Heading out for coffee and stop at the store for a while.

Quiet night on the intarwebs

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Nothing much happening - playing in the radio room with one of the Raspberry Pi computers, trying a few different versions of Linux and playing around with the Python scripting language. I had been using Lua which I really like and it serves as the backbone to a couple programs I already use. Python is really popular with the RPi group so learning that. Nice that the Pi's can reboot so fast - been doing that a lot...

Aurora Borealis

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Photographed in Iceland - gorgeous stuff:

Photographer's website is here: OZZO Photography - browse through his portfolio, he has a nice eye and does a lot of different kinds of photography..

Nothing happening today

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All is quiet out in the interwebs - spent the day working on a couple projects. Dinner in a half hour or so - the last of the white bean/chicken chilli. Cooking a flank steak too so that will be ready for shredded beef BBQ tomorrow.

A new movie - Hugo Chávez

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Yawn... From the Miami Herald:

Hugo Chávez vs. Hugo Chávez: Venezuela in race to put leader's life on film
It’s socialism v. capitalism, north v. south, Hugo Chávez v. Hugo Chávez — at least on the small screen.

Cash-strapped Venezuela announced this week that it’s making a movie and a television series based on the life of late President Chávez to compete against commercial projects already in the works.

In May, California-based Sony Pictures Television said it was making “El Comandante,” a series based on the controversial leader who succumbed to cancer in 2013.

“No trans-national is going to come here and disfigure our Commander Hugo Chávez,” President Nicolás Maduro said Wednesday. “We’re going to put together a team of filmmakers, writers, script-writers, historians — a good team.”

Speaking at the launch of a Chávez biography, Maduro said he wanted the twin biopics done as soon as possible.

“We want this now,” he said, “by tomorrow.”

This will be fodder for all kinds of overdubs - much like the Hitler in the bunker scene from Downfall which has been wonderfully re-subtitled

I wonder if the administration even has the money to finance this film. In other news - from ABC News:

Venezuelan Police Jail Top Activist in Pre-Dawn Transfer
A prominent Venezuelan opposition leader has been jailed again after intelligence agents picked him up at his home before dawn, a brazen move that the government said was necessary to prevent acts of violence but which has alarmed the opposition and human rights groups.

Very curious

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It is not nice to screw with very rich people. They can hire people to turn around and screw with you.

Case in point - George Soros - the website DC Leaks posted a bunch of internal papers leaked from his organizations. Now that website is offline.

Good thing we have the Wayback Machine: 63 URLs have been captured for this domain

Nothing today

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Slept in quite late - been dealing with an persistent infection in my left foot so my body needed the rest. Have an appointment with the doctor on Monday.

Coffee and then working at home.

The heat wave has broken which is wonderful - take care of some things around the farm.

Our government will fix it

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From Red Panels:

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Anyone remember when the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) was relavent in the real world? Me neither. Just a bunch of trust-fund babies hanging out in the Colombian jungles trying to "organize" rural farmers who just wanted to be left the fsck alone.

They are throwing in the towel after fifty years of irrelevance - from China's Xinhua News Service:

Colombia, FARC announce final peace agreement, ending over 50 years of conflict
HAVANA, Aug. 24 (Xinhua) -- After four years of peace talks, the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) finalized their peace agreement on Wednesday.

Of course, it is dateline Havana, Cuba - they met there in another stellar example of how Communism fails.

This marks an end to the five-decade long conflict in Colombia which left hundreds of thousands of people dead and millions displaced.

Very few world leaders ever get a chance to declare the end to a long and painful conflict. That opportunity fell to Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos who addressed the nation after the deal was signed.

"Today, I speak to you with a deep emotion and great happiness. Today marks the end of suffering and pain, the end of the tragedy of war. On Aug. 24, 2016...this national hope has become reality," said a jubilant Santos.

"We have reached a final, complete and definite agreement to put an end to the war of the FARC," he added.

According to the president, "the FARC will cease to exist and will become a political movement without guns."

Hundreds of thousands of people dead - why does Communism always have such a high death toll - this is supposed to be an enlightened form of government. Looking at the grand picture, Communism is directly responsible for one hundred million deaths. Either out and out murders or murder by starvation and/or stupid policies.

Its little cousin Socialism does not have that good a track record either...

The poor people at the State Department must be horribly overworked. From the Associated Press:

US: CLINTON CALENDARS WON'T BE RELEASED UNTIL AFTER ELECTION
Seven months after a federal judge ordered the State Department to begin releasing monthly batches of the detailed daily schedules showing meetings by Hillary Clinton during her time as secretary of state, the government told The Associated Press it won't finish the job before Election Day.

And:

 Its lawyers said in a phone conference with the AP's lawyers that the department now expects to release the last of the detailed schedules around Dec. 30, weeks before the next president is inaugurated.

Well yeah - they must be overworked - that is why it is taking them so long to do the work of a few keystrokes on a computer. What else could it be?

The schedules drew new attention this week after the AP analyzed the ones released so far. The news agency found that more than half the people outside the government who met or spoke by telephone with Clinton while she was secretary of state had given money - either personally or through companies or groups - to the Clinton Foundation.

If this was a Bush family member, the media would be having a field day. Why the silence? What is in the rest of those calendars?

Thank you Mostly Cajun

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The link is appreciated!

I have been in the same boat including one computer lab where the HVAC was built by a certain German company. When the air conditioning failed (which it did almost every month), the temps would spike into the high 90's in ten minutes. This was a largish room with three thousand small computers networked together. These machines simulated client load against large transaction servers. Had some fun large servers move through the lab.

Interesting direction - James Dyson

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From Forbes:

Inside Billionaire James Dyson's Reinvention Factory: From Vacuums To Hair Dryers And Now Batteries
DRESSED IN A BLUE POLKA-DOT OXFORD AND STRIPED REEBOK SNEAKERS, James Dyson abruptly veers off a paved path that cuts through his company’s 56-acre compound. The beanpole-thin 69-year-old billionaire pushes his way into some shrubbery and presses his nose right up to the reflective glass that encases his new, top-secret laboratory, a sleek two-story cube that looks like it was beamed directly from Santa Clara to the Cotswolds. To his delight, he can’t make out what his engineers are doing inside. “I hope they are working,” he says, chuckling.

In reality, it’s move-in day at this brand-new $200-million-plus research facility, and on the other side of the glass dozens of young engineers are unpacking their gear and settling into their quarters. Their job at D9, as the building is cryptically known, is to experiment fearlessly, fail constantly and document those failures in company-issued black-and-yellow notebooks, which form the basis for still more experiments, still more failures–and also a corporate sideline in patent litigation. Very rarely this unending cycle of failure results in a revolutionary new product: the bagless vacuum cleaner (5 years, 5,127 prototypes), the 360 Eye robot (17 years, 1,000-plus prototypes) and the Supersonic hair dryer (4 years, 600 prototypes). But those successes add up: Dyson’s 58 products generated $2.4 billion in sales last year and an estimated $340 million in net profits, even after Dyson reinvested 46% of the company’s Ebitda in R&D, more than rivals such as Electrolux and Techtronic. Dyson owns 100% of the company, which is worth some $4.8 billion.

I bought a small Dyson hand-held and was blown away by the quality and performance. When our big vaccuum died, I bit the bullet at Costco and spent the $600 for the top Dyson unit with the idea that I could always return it if performance wasn't acceptable. Performance was amazing - I like a clean house but the new Dyson was picking tons of crap out of my supposedly clean carpet.

What is James looking into with this new R&D building?

But Dyson’s biggest bet is on batteries. In his view the current rechargeable lithium-ion (li-ion) batteries that power most of the world’s gadgets (including his own) don’t hold a charge long enough and need to be safer (they occasionally catch fire). True to his nature, rather than incrementally improve existing li-ion technology Dyson is forging a new path: experimenting with solid-state li-ion batteries that use ceramics. To this end Dyson made the first acquisition in the company’s history in October 2015, spending $90 million for Sakti3, a battery startup in Ann Arbor, Mich. And that’s just the beginning. Dyson vows to spend $1.4 billion building a battery factory and investing in R&D over the next five years, a huge gamble for a company its size. But Dyson is undeterred, claiming that soon it will be making the world’s longest-lasting, most reliable batteries, taking dead aim at the global li-ion battery market, which research firm Lux estimates at $40 billion. “Batteries are quite exciting and sexy things,” Dyson says.

A fun three-page read. Great insight into how Dyson thinks.

Suck it up hippie - the truth hurts. From Phys-Org:

Biofuels increase, rather than decrease, heat-trapping carbon dioxide emissions: study
A new study from University of Michigan researchers challenges the widely held assumption that biofuels such as ethanol and biodiesel are inherently carbon neutral.

Contrary to popular belief, the heat-trapping carbon dioxide gas emitted when biofuels are burned is not fully balanced by the CO2 uptake that occurs as the plants grow, according to a study by research professor John DeCicco and co-authors at the U-M Energy Institute.

The study, based on U.S. Department of Agriculture crop-production data, shows that during the period when U.S. biofuel production rapidly ramped up, the increased carbon dioxide uptake by the crops was only enough to offset 37 percent of the CO2 emissions due to biofuel combustion.

The researchers conclude that rising biofuel use has been associated with a net increase—rather than a net decrease, as many have claimed—in the carbon dioxide emissions that cause global warming. The findings are scheduled to be published online Aug. 25 in the journal Climatic Change.

Besides, it takes more energy to distill the Ethanol than the Ethanol will yield as fuel. The whole thing is a Federally funded give-away to ag business Archer Daniels Midland and to corn growers everywhere.

Quote of the day

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Diplomacy is the art of telling people to go to hell in such a way that they ask for directions.
--Winston Churchill

Raspberry Shake

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Very cool idea. I ordered a couple Raspberry Pi single-board computers two months ago and have been playing with them - a lot of fun! The reason was for an amateur radio project but I am interested in several branches of science and geology is a major one.

Just ran into Raspberry Shake - a full fledged seismograph using a Raspberry Pi for the data processing and user interface. They had run a Kickstarter campaign and blew past their wished-for funding and are now in full production. From their website:

Raspberry Shake Shop is live now!
Raspberry Shake is a professional grade personal seismograph. It uses a geophysical sensor coupled to a modern digitizer and ARM processor that stacks onto any of the Raspberry Pi boards.

About Raspberry Shake
Raspberry Shake is novel seismograpgh that can:

    • Record earthquakes magnitude 2 and up within a radius of 50 miles.
    • Record earthquakes magnitude 4 and up in a radius of 250 miles.
    • Record earthquakes of larger magnitudes farther away but it will miss some of the subtleties and some of the lower frequencies.
    • Share data with seismic observatories world wide in standard format.
    • Show all activity for the last week.
    • Send alarms and warnings to your cell phone.
    • See and plot the data from any other Raspberry shake.

It outputs the standard file format for seismographs and the data can plug into the world-wide network of stations.

Needless to say, one of these is coming out here to live with me. I'll need to sink a concrete pier but since the house is built on a stone outcropping, this will not be a difficult task - some cinder blocks and I already own a cement mixer - an afternoon of shovelwork and a couple bags of RediMix will do it. The hardware will live out in the radio room. The cost was reasonable - the sensor plus the signal conditioning circuit board (this is what plugs into the Rasp Pi) and a memory card with the required software and a copy of the guy's book was right around $200.

Worst case scenario it will become Rocky's favorite scratching post and my unit will be constantly sending out data about Mag 9 quakes happening in our area...

Back from town - bill paying, etc.

Needed to do a quick trip to the bank as I had a couple of large bills this month (homeowners insurance and credit card) Did some grocery shopping as well.

Fixing the last of the white bean/chicken chili for dinner tonight with the last of the guacamole and some chips. Got into the 90's in town - 87.1°F at the farm and down to 48.2° last night. Forecast is for clouds to move in and showers Sunday night - the precip will be a relief for everyone.

Coffee and paying some bills

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Heading out for coffee and to the office to pay some bills. More later. Supposed to be warm again today but some showers moving in over the weekend.

Dangerous place

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I love music as a hobby - play keyboards and synth but I also record and microphones are always a weak link in the chain. Someone just turned me on to this place:

micparts, aka Microphone-Parts.com, is based in Sonoma County, California, with additional technical staff in Los Angeles. 

The company's mission is to provide high-quality components and kits for DIY audio enthusiasts. We've analysed the best microphones in the world, and found ways to provide circuits and capsules that deliver the same tone and superior performance specifications -- at a fraction of the price of vintage gear.

They are reproducing the sought-after "vintage mics" with what seems to be great success. A Neumann U-87 sells for around $4,000 in decent condition. Their S-87 microphone sells for $569. Not buying anything today - already have a couple of nice mics but something to keep in mind...

Nigel Farage's Speech from yesterday

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Just found a video of it - excellent:

It is so wonderful to see people waking up around the world - time for us to do this.

About those Epi-Pens

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Another interesting bit from U.S. Uncut:

Big Pharma’s dirty secret: EpiPen was developed entirely with taxpayer money
While Mylan Pharmaceuticals is cashing in on the EpiPen price hikes, the inventor of the life-saving device, who made it for the public, died in obscurity.

Sheldon Kaplan, who was an engineer for NASA before inventing the EpiPen, lived a humble, middle-class lifestyle. His surviving family members say he was never paid royalties for the device he invented, and never became famous for designing a product now used by millions.

“He was not famous; he was not wealthy,” Kaplan’s 42-year-old son Michael told the Tampa Bay Times. “And I don’t think he would’ve liked to be. I don’t think he expected that.”

After working at NASA, Kaplan started working for Survival Technology, Incorporated in Bethesda, Maryland. Kaplan sought to create a device intended to quickly inject a user suffering from anaphylaxis — a potentially fatal allergic reaction — with an emergency dose of epinephrine. EpiPens are a lifesaver for anyone allergic to common foods, like peanuts, shellfish, and eggs. Before the EpiPen was invented, anaphylactic shock had to be treated by drawing epinephrine from a bottle with a syringe, which was too time-consuming.

In 1973, when Kaplan was finalizing the design concept for the EpiPen, he was approached by the U.S. Department of Defense, which was looking for a device that could quickly inject an easily deliverable antidote for nerve gas. Kaplan’s design was for a device that a person could easily stick into one’s thigh, prompting a spring-loaded mechanism to push a needle containing life-saving medicine into the user’s bloodstream.

And it gets better - a lot better:

However, for Mylan Pharmaceuticals, which cornered the patent on the EpiPen in 2007, the life-saving device has made billions for the company. According to Bloomberg, a package of two EpiPens costs $415 in the US after insurance discounts. Comparatively, in France, two EpiPens cost just $85 USD. Mylan CEO Heather Bresch’s salary increased by 671 percent after hiking the price of the EpiPen by 461 percent over the past nine years.

Before her hire as CEO, Bresch — daughter of U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va) — was Mylan’s chief lobbyist. In November of 2013, a bill requiring all public schools to carry EpiPens for students with food allergies was signed into law by President Barack Obama. Over the following three years, as schools nationwide bought EpiPens by the truckload, Mylan implemented double-digit price hikes for the EpiPen every other quarter.

Despite the price hikes, Mylan moved to further maximize its profit margins by engaging in a shady corporate accounting trick known as a tax inversion. In 2014, Mylan reincorporated in the Netherlands to lower its effective tax rate, despite its operational headquarters remaining in Pennsylvania. Despite even her own father saying Mylan’s inversion should be illegal, Bresch defended the inversion in an interview with the New York Times.

All that is wrong with this nation and crony capitalism is summed up here in a few paragraphs. Epinephrine is shelf stable for about three years and dirt cheap to buy - about two dollars for a dose. I fully understand that the company has to make money and there is the cost of product insurance to be covered in case some yahoo pokes their eye out and sues. Still, there is no reason why this should not cost well under $100.

A little bit too close for my liking

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From The Bellingham Herald:

Brush fire burns about 10 acres near Sumas
A brush fire east of Sumas burned about 10 acres on the side of Vedder Mountain Thursday afternoon, Aug. 25.

The fire began near the intersection of Reese Hill and Frost roads in north Whatcom County, said John Gargett, deputy director of emergency management with the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office. Gargett said he believed the fire started at about 1:30 p.m.

“It’s still too early to tell, although it appears that a tree fell across a power line” near the intersection and started the fire, Gargett said at about 4:30 p.m.

About ten miles from me and in a direct path. The grass is slightly crunchy so I turned off the electric fence a week ago. It can cause a small arc when it hits grass and the grass is dry enough now to where it could catch fire. Got to think of everything...

I get it - a dark single-malt is not for everyone. If you do not like it, drink something else - do not demand that the dark single-malt be re-blended for your own insipid tastes.

From Bloomberg:

Whiskey's Next Wave Is Lighter, Mellower, Made for Millennials
On a warm evening in June, the thirsty crowd milling about a Brooklyn event space might have gladly sipped glasses of white wine, or crisp gin & tonics. Instead, all held drams of golden whisky in their hand.

The event was to celebrate the introduction of Toki, a new offering from Japanese whisky maker Suntory, with gentle almond and grapefruit accents and no age statement. It’s just one of a growing number of what we're dubbing “whisper whiskies”—pale-hued, refreshing spirits with a deliberately light, mellow flavor profile, offering an antidote to bold bourbons and brooding, smoky Scotches.

These whiskies span fresh, grassy bottlings from Ireland (Kinahan’s, Tullamore D.E.W.) to heathered Scotches without peat (Compass Box Enlightenment) to Japanese (Toki, Kikori) and American whiskies made with a lighter hand on the oak. All are ideal for drinking during the warm-weather months and into the crisper days of autumn.

They interview a New York City owner of two whiskey bars - Flavien Desoulin:

“They’re kids, and kids like candies. It’s got to be sweet, super-fruity, and light in the body. They don’t want to think about it too much—that’s their attention span. It’s got to seduce them quick, they’re not looking for depth.”

Looks like he knows his market. I wish the kids would take the time to develop the appreciation for the deeper stuff - there are some amazing flavor profiles to be enjoyed in a decent single-malt. Still - all the more for the rest of us...

Facts versus feelings

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I have always been a numbers guy. This comment at Gerard's nails the difference:

For the age 60 and above, the early Boomers and their parents, facts remain very important and feelings, while important, are thought not very reliable. Emotions are to be controlled and overcome, they are not to be a guide.

For post-Boomers, especially those born after 1980 or so, feelings are predominant, and the younger of that group the more important feelings are. This is also the cohort that was raised in the thick of the self-esteem movement, being told they are special (you know, just like everyone else). They received praise and rewards just for showing up (participation trophies, anyone?).

They are very, very heavily into social signaling by where they live and where they vacation and by what their children do. They absolutely dominate their kids, who typically have little choice in what activities they will do and when.

The younger sets of this group, born after the early 90s, have also learned (having been actually taught) that the cult of victimhood is the most important status of all. They are on high alert for reasons to be offended and when they are, it is for slights, real or imagined, that mystify the 60 cohort.

Victimhood demands recompense so there is no hope of forgiveness unless the offender crawls on his belly like a cold reptile to beg for it. But forgiveness is never unconditional. The hatchet may be buried, but the handle protrudes skyward so it can be easy to recover.

It is very much an honor-shame dynamic where all interactions are zero-sum. Where they are on the totem pole if always of concern and they are acutely aware of who is above or below. And woe betide those whom they think are below.

I think of it as the 'Veruca Salt' generation. They are demand oriented. Their magical thinking is that merely because they want something, it should be granted. They react strongly negatively to being asked for facts and logic to support their contention because in their minds, 'I feel very strongly about this so why are you asking for facts?' "

Veruca Salt? Here.

Inquiring minds want to know

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Just the gift for the naturalist in your family:

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From Amazon:

Nasco SB49923 Life form Replica, Bucket of Scat
A collection of various Life form, Scat Replicas contained in one bucket! Ideal for nature studies and animal identification projects. Use independently or with animal tracks to better identify wildlife signs in nature. Each replica is a scat of a common North American animal.

A little over a pound of plastic poop. Hat tip to the Terrierman

The destruction that is Communism

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Great sample for an experiment - East and West Germany. From Germany's news in English - The Local:

Former East to lag behind West for years to come: study
Twenty-six years after reunification, eastern Germany remains economically anaemic with little prospect of catching up with the rest of the country by 2030, a study published on Wednesday said.

Of the eastern states, only "Saxony and Brandenburg will reach the level of overall average German growth" between 2015 and 2030, wrote Joachim Ragnitz of the Ifo economic think-tank.

The remaining federal states formed from the former territory of the German Democratic Republic (GDR) - Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Thuringia, and Saxony-Anhalt - will by contrast reckon with "in parts  extremely low growth rates".

Their infrastructure is not as good, factories are behind the times and the educational system is poor. Communism treats all citizens the same so individuality and entrepreneurship are stamped out. 26 years later, they are still a basket case.

Great song:

Offended? Suck it up buttercup.

Tip of the hat to Firehand for the link.

Back home again - hot!

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Low 90's in town, glad I am back. Chugging down an ice-cold beer and unpacking the car.

Needed to get a couple of things from the hardware store (a new pin for my trailor hitch - old one is on the road somewhere) and the Makita salesperson was having a tent sale. There is a particular kind of angle-grinder that I use a lot when welding and blacksmithing and I usually wait until Harbor Freight has them on sale for $15 and I buy a couple of them. They will last for a while and I toss them out. The Makita guy was selling the same kind of angle grinders for about 60% off their list price and he gave me a coupon for $10 off because I bought two of them. Sweet score - these are actually repairable when I do wear out the bearings.

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The farrier came today so Rocky got his mani-pedi and is looking stylin'.

Fixing some white chili for dinner tonight - did a bunch of shredded chicken breast in the pressure cooker (use a tub of salsa for the cooking liquid - very nice taste) for tacos and re-purposing the remaining meet for the chili.

Got nothing this morning

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Heading out for coffee and then to the store for a while - pay some bills. Quick run into town after that.

Hey Tyler!

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An oldie but a goodie:

Downright bizarre - $99,999,999.99

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From reporter Claudia Rosett at the The New York Sun:

Riddle of $1.3 Billion for Iran Might Relate to 13 Outlays Of Exactly $99,999,999.99
Congressional investigators trying to uncover the trail of $1.3 billion in payments to Iran might want to focus on 13 large, identical sums that Treasury paid to the State Department under the generic heading of settling “Foreign Claims.”

The 13 payments when added to the $400 million that the administration now concedes it shipped to the Iranian regime in foreign cash would bring the payout to the $1.7 billion that President Obama and Secretary Kerry announced on January 17. That total was to settle a dispute pending for decades before the Iran-U.S. Claims Tribunal in at The Hague.

The $400 million that was not ransom?

Last week, the State Department finally confirmed that the January 17 cash shipment was used as “leverage” to ensure Iran’s release that same day of four American prisoners — fueling questions about whether the Obama administration, despite its denials, had paid ransom.

And the other payments to Iran - not directly to Iran but made through the State Department with the blessings of Loretta Lynch - our Attorney General

The 13 payments that may explain what happened are found in an online database maintained by the Judgment Fund. A search for “Iran” since the beginning of this year turns up nothing. But a search for claims in which the defendant is the State Department turns up 13 payments for $99,999,999.99.

They were all made on the same day, all sharing the same file and control reference numbers, all certified by the U.S. Attorney General, but each assigned a different identification number. They add up to $1,299,999,999.87, or 13 cents less than the $1.3 billion Messrs. Obama and Kerry announced in January.

Together with a 14th payment of just over $10 million, the grand total paid out by Treasury from the Judgment Fund on that single day, January 19, for claims pertaining to the State Department, comes to roughly $1.31 billion.

I am betting that there was some reporting trigger set at $100 million and they wanted to avoid setting it off. Maybe automatic reporting to Congress.

Has been - Cher

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Her fifteen minutes were up a long time ago. Invoking Godwin's Law is not a good way to win hearts and minds.From Breitbart:

Cher Compares ‘F*cking Idiot’ Donald Trump to Hitler at Clinton Fundraiser
Pop icon Cher lit into Donald Trump on Sunday, comparing the Republican presidential nominee to Nazi leader Adolf Hitler and calling him a slew of vulgar names during a fundraiser for Democrat presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

Always classy:

“I just think he’s a f*cking idiot,” Cher said, to wildly enthusiastic applause. “I was thinking despots — Stalin, Hitler — even though they said the same things, we’re going to make Germany great again, and it was at a time when the Deutsch mark I think was at 25 cents,” she continued. “And also look at Brexit, these people just screwed themselves so badly because they were angry and they didn’t think things could get worse.”

Who is the idiot - post Brexit England is doing just fine judging from several metrics. From the UK Guardian:

UK economic indicators defy Brexit fears
Britain appears to be bouncing back from the post-Brexit panic in better shape than expected, after a string of indicators showed growth across the manufacturing sector, the building industry and in consumer spending.

A survey of manufacturers reported a rise in exports to their highest level in two years. Persimmon, Britain’s biggest housebuilder, said customers were flocking back to view new build homes. And grocers enjoyed a 0.3% rise in sales in the 12 weeks to 14 August, the best performance since March.

Cher lives in a mansion in Hollywood surrounded by her people - she probably has never read a conservative website (I real liberal ones all the time - I want all the news). She obviously thinks that Hillary is the right thing for America and her blatant corruption doesn't rate the blink of an eye. She is clueless - a braying ninny.

Oops - the British Olympic Team

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From Sports Book Nation:

The entire British Olympic team arrived back in England with the same red suitcase
Great Britain had an amazingly successful Olympics. A record medal haul, a nation of adoring fans welcoming Olympians home as heroes. There was just one problem — baggage claim.

Great Britain’s athletes weren’t just given official Olympic attire, they got special Olympic baggage too. Baggage that matched. Heading to one of the world’s busiest airports. With everyone arriving at the same time.

Athletes arrived just after 5 a.m. local time. Their bodies were telling them it was 1 a.m. because of the time difference to Rio. Bleary eyed, the athletes needed to try and work together in an effort to find which red bag in a sea of red bags was theirs.

Judging from three athletes’ timelines, it took roughly two hours for the problem to get sorted out. Many of them finally emerged from baggage claim to meet the public around 7 a.m.

20160824-bags.jpg

Oopsie...

This does not bode well - Iran

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From the US Naval Institute:

Video: Destroyer USS Nitze Harassed by Iranian Patrol Boats
The following is Aug. 23, 2016 video of guided missile destroyer USS Nitze (DDG-94) harassed by four Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy (IRGCN) patrol boats.

The destroyer was in the vicinity of the Strait of Hormuz when four Iranian Revolutionary Guard Navy high-speed patrol boats came at the ship without responding to hails or warning flares fired from Nitze, according to a video of the incident provided to USNI News.

The Nitze was operating in international waters. Time for another round of golf.

One more from the article I just quoted:

Think I'm being alarmist? Well, think about this—off Queensland, more than nine-tenths of the Great Barrier Reef has just been bleached. Perhaps a quarter of it has died and likely won't come back.

And from the North Queensland Cairns News:

Great Barrier Reef in near pristine condition: dive boat operators
The healthy Great Barrier Reef deniers have been caught out lying about coral bleaching and the near-pristine condition of the world’s best coral icon.

Dive boat operators who visit the reef almost on a daily basis taking thousands of tourists on diving expeditions have been telling authorities for several years there is nothing wrong with the reef.

They have warned lying so-called conservation bodies such as the WWF, Wilderness Society, CAFNEC, the National Coral Bleaching Taskforce and the Australian Conservation Foundation their misleading campaigns would harm the Far North tourism trade.

Tourist operators have advised the State Government that coral bleaching is a natural and annual event that can affect small sections of the reef.

Spirit of Freedom dive boat owner Chris Eade told the Cairns Post that reports of coral bleaching along 93 per cent of the 2300 klm reef had damaged the reputation of the $5 billion tourism industry.

“Scientists had written off the entire northern section as a complete white-out,” Mr Eade said.

“We expected the worst, but it is in tremendous condition, most of it pristine, the rest in full recovery.”

“It shows the resilience of the reef.”

The reef has been around a lot longer than any of us. It will continue to abide just fine.

This really shows the difference between those who participate in the echo chamber and who parrot the company line and those who are actually out in the field making observations.

Climate Change - a cry from down under

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From Bob Beale writing at the Australian Broadcasting Company:

What will it take for us to pay attention to climate change?
Australia's coastline has seen massive changes in the past six months, 2015 was recorded as the hottest year on record, and 2016 is shaping up to be even hotter. Former Sydney Morning Herald journalist Bob Beale laments that nobody seems to be taking any notice.

A couple paragraphs to set things up and then this:

No, really, what the heckedy-heck does it take to make us truly sit up and notice the massive changes going on in the natural world around us? It's a travesty that so many people are fixated by staring at their so-called smart phones in a search for imaginary Pokémon creatures, while the real plants and animals of the world are turning up their toes in their billions.

To quote Eric Worrall's wonderful observation:

Perhaps if “massive changes” were actually happening, people would listen. Fantasising that the climate apocalypse is already upon us, when it is completely obvious to normal people that nothing bad is happening, simply undermines the already tattered credibility of climate advocates, and opens a widening gulf between deep greens and the people they hope to influence.

Eric is speaking truth to power. The actual data simply do not support the output of any of the computer models. This fallacy of Anthropogenic Global Warming is a cruel hoax foisted on us by marxists and one-world-government types who want to limit our productivity in the name of Gaia. Communism failed spectacularly so they have re-trenched and are using the environmental movement as a shield for their actions.

Hillary lies - emails prove it

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Another tranche of Hillary emails is out and this one is interesting - from Wikileaks:

Diane Reynolds is an alias for Chelsea Clinton. Here is Hillary to Chelsea the day of the Benghazi attacks:

20160824-benghazi.jpg

And of course, that next day Hillary was all about the YouTube video (here and here)

Pants on fire...

And another one bites the dust

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From Canada's CBC:

Wind turbine collapse investigated in Nova Scotia
An 80-metre wind turbine has collapsed in Nova Scotia, prompting an investigation by Enercon, the device's manufacturer.

According to company officials, no one was injured when the turbine fell Aug. 17 at the Point Tupper Wind Farm. Nova Scotia's Department of Energy confirms they are aware of the collapse.

Must have made quite the noise coming down - when these fail, they fail spectacularly:

20160824-turbine.jpg

Obama's Potemkin Village

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An interesting letter from a Breitbart reader who is black and lives in Baton Rouge - where Obama visited after umpteen rounds of golf.

Letter from a Black American: Barack Obama’s Lousiana Photo-Op Hides the Real Devastation
Breitbart News is in contact with a self-described “lifelong resident of Zachary, a Baton Rouge suburb, and a black man” who’s laid out the truth about economic conditions that Louisiana residents are facing.

The author writes about the various regions hit by the flooding and that some of them are very conservative and would not welcome an Obama visit. Obama's handlers chose a relatively affluent 45% black neighborhood which had not been hit that hard. Here is where it gets interesting - Barry's "photo op"

Pres. Obama chose Zachary; a black middle class subdivision. He visited the Castle Place subdivision. It took a big hit, but it is one part of the city of Zachary. Overall, Zachary as a city was at the bottom of the list in terms of damage but as I wrote in my first letter, this is a peaceful middle-class town. It’s the place least likely to produce anything to disrupta photo-op.

Now it’s getting strange….

Obama went and visited a shelter here in Zachary that wasn’t operational until somewhere between yesterday and today. That shelter in Zachary that he visited wasn’t in the same neighborhood as he walked and visited. The shelter was in Zachary, but across town.

And:

Why would the city of Zachary open a shelter the day before opening schools were back up, marshaling a ton of resources away from a supposed shelter? Why would Obama visit a shelter that has hastily been put together in a neighborhood, though flooded, was the only neighborhood flooded in a city that was fully functional, aside from the school, through this entire process?

This author is resonating with a lot of people - there are over 1,500 comments to his post. His previous letter is a great read as well.

From Sky News:

Nigel Farage To Tell 'Brexit Story' At Trump Rally In Mississippi
The Republican presidential nominee is due to campaign on Wednesday evening in Jackson, Mississippi, as Mr Farage visits the southern US state.

Mr Farage is expected to talk about how the "anti-establishment beat the establishment" to bring about Brexit.

Brexit is turning out quite well for the UK - unemployment is down and the economy is up. We will see the long-term results. I wish that Daniel Hannan would also speak at a Trump rally. These two are leading voices in England's conservative movement.

Fun with time

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I am a time-nut and have a couple highly accurate clocks - no atomic ones as yet but mine are still accurate to a second or two every year or two. Here is an interesting development in Europe, from Physics World:

Optical link connects atomic clocks over 1400 km of fibre
The time kept by atomic clocks in France and Germany has been compared for the first time using a new 1400 km optical-fibre link between labs in Paris and Braunschweig. Hailed as the first comparison of its kind made across an international border, the link has already shown that two of the most precise optical atomic clocks in Europe agree to within 5 × 10–17.

The clock I have at home is accurate to 6.8 x 10-13 so this is four orders of magnitude better - quite the jump. When you get this accurate, other things begin to rear their heads:

If they were side by side, the clocks would tick at exactly the same frequency. However, there is a 25 m difference in the elevation between the two locations, which means that the Earth's gravitational field is not the same for both clocks – causing them to tick at slightly different frequencies. This gravitational redshift was confirmed by the link, which can detect differences in elevation as small as 5 m.

And this net is being expanded:

The optical clock at PTB Braunschweig is already linked to the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics (MPQ) in Garching near Munich. This is done via a 920 km pair of optical fibres, and researchers at the MPQ plan to use the clock signal to make extremely precise spectroscopy measurements. A further expansion of this network would provide researchers in other labs in Europe with access to high-precision clock signals.

Very cool - not only useful for in-lab applications where high precision timing is needed, it can also be used to synchronize interferometers for astronomical and terrestrial observation.

As for timing at different elevation, one of the core things Einstein came up with. Local scientist Tom VanBaak did a wonderful demonstration of this effect in 2005 driving up to Paradise Lodge at Mt. Ranier - the website is here: Project GREAT: General Relativity Einstein/Essen Anniversary Test. The television producers for GENIUS with Stephen Hawking asked him to repeat this experiment in 2016 - here is the website from that expedition to the 9100 foot summit of Mt Lemmon, near Tucson, Arizona: GENIUS by Stephen Hawking, Relativity by Einstein, Time dilation by cesium clocks.

A parable

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The cultural elites versus the rest of us.
Something they need to have brought to their attention.
Repeatedly.
With tar and feathers if needed.

Curious goings on in Germany

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First, the German people were told to stockpile food and water.

Now? From The Local - Germany's news in English:

Govt advice to stockpile food criticized as 'scaremongering'
“By bringing out new plans all the time, the government could completely worry people and even lead them to panic buy,” Dietmar Bartsch, co-leader of Die Linke (The Left Party) told the Rheinische Post on Monday.

The government shouldn’t be adding to the sense of fear on a daily basis, Bartsch added.

Bartsch was responding to Interior Ministry plans published in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) on Sunday, advising people to stockpile food for ten days and water for five days - an estimated two litres per person per day.

The plan, which makes civilian backing of troops a priority while boosting the resilience of buildings and increasing capacity in the healthcare system, is due to be adopted by the government on Wednesday.

The proposal is Germany’s first civil defense strategy since the end of the Cold War.

Gee - the co-leader of The Left Party is advising against self-reliance? Worried that the German citizens will not need to rely on a central government to take care of them at all times.

What makes me wonder is what are people thinking with publishing this call - is Putin up to something? Is there a mass terrorist attack being planned.

The word for today - recidivism

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Recidivism:

Recidivism is one of the most fundamental concepts in criminal justice. It refers to a person's relapse into criminal behavior, often after the person receives sanctions or undergoes intervention for a previous crime.

From House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas) writing at The Hill:

We can’t afford to give terrorists a one-way ticket back to the battlefield
Last week the Obama Administration approved its largest-ever release of detainees from Guantanamo Bay, sending 15 extremists back into the world.

By now, the pattern has become familiar: the President lets hardened terrorists go free, Congress and the American people express outrage, and the White House ignores the uproar.

But the grave risks of this policy cannot be ignored. The President is giving terrorists a one-way ticket back to the battlefield.

And the numbers:

Nearly 700 inmates have been released from Gitmo, and more than 200 have returned to the fight or are suspected of doing so, according to the Director of National Intelligence.  And that’s just who we know about.

Who we know about is the key phrase here - many of them just drop off the face of this Earth and we will see them again when they commit their next act of terror. We are in a war that was declared on us back in the 1890's and we still refuse to recognize it as such.

Crooked Hillary - pay for play

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While she was Secretary of State, the Clinton Foundation racked up some sweet mordita - from The Associated Press:

MANY DONORS TO CLINTON FOUNDATION MET WITH HER AT STATE
More than half the people outside the government who met with Hillary Clinton while she was secretary of state gave money - either personally or through companies or groups - to the Clinton Foundation. It's an extraordinary proportion indicating her possible ethics challenges if elected president.

At least 85 of 154 people from private interests who met or had phone conversations scheduled with Clinton while she led the State Department donated to her family charity or pledged commitments to its international programs, according to a review of State Department calendars released so far to The Associated Press. Combined, the 85 donors contributed as much as $156 million. At least 40 donated more than $100,000 each, and 20 gave more than $1 million.

Hillary for prison.

From the Washington Examiner:

Debt to reach highest level since 1950 this year
The national debt this year will jump to the highest level since 1950 relative to the size of the economy, the Congressional Budget Office reported Tuesday.

The agency projected that the debt held by the public will rise 3 percentage points to 77 percent of U.S. gross domestic product by the end of fiscal year 2016 in September.

Debt has not hit that ratio since 1950, when the government was still in the middle of paying down the debt it incurred paying for World War II.

The National Dept is approaching $20 Trillion Dollars and showing zero signs of slowing down. It was $10.6 Trillion when Obama took office.

Just to get a sense of scale for how large one trillion is, if you had one trillion dollars and spent $1,000 (One Thousand Dollars) each and every second, the money would last for a little over 31 years (31.709)

A Clinton suicide - Vince Foster

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A curious update to the story - from the London Daily Mail:

EXCLUSIVE: Missing:  FBI files linking Hillary Clinton to the 'suicide' of White House counsel Vince Foster have vanished from the National Archives
FBI agents' reports of interviews documenting that Hillary Clinton's stinging humiliation of her friend and mentor Vince Foster in front of White House aides triggered his suicide a week later are missing from where they should be filed at the National Archives, Daily Mail Online has learned exclusively.

On two separate occasions, this author visited the National Archives and Records Service in College Park, Md., to review the reports generated by FBI agents assigned to investigate the 1993 death of Bill Clinton's deputy White House counsel.

And some people think that she would be just fine leading this nation.

No Such Agency - a two-fer

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The NSA has been in the news recently - here are two stories.

First - Softpedia:

Computer Science Professor Gives Failing Grade to Newly Leaked NSA Hacking Tool
Over the past weekend, a person or group named The Shadow Brokers published a set of hacking tools they claim to have stolen from the Equation Group, a name given by security vendors to a cyber-espionage group believed to be linked to the US National Security Agency (NSA).

And:

The most recent person who has taken a look at the code is Stephen Checkoway, who teaches Software Vulnerability Analysis and Advanced Computer Security at the University of Illinois, Chicago.

Prof. Checkoway put some hours aside to look at the source code of the BANANAGLEE exploit, which targets Juniper firewalls. The reason he analyzed this exploit is that he's familiar with Juniper devices, being the lead researcher for "A Systematic Analysis of the Juniper Dual EC Incident," a research paper set to be presented in October 2016, at the ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security.

The good Prof's thoughts:

"This is ridiculous," Checkoway writes regarding the random key generation system.

And:

Prof. Checkoway was a little bit more impressed with the process of hiding the attack source through multiple IP redirections, which he called "kinda neat." But the praises stopped there. "[B]oth the code and the crypto are bad. Very bad," he says.

The article goes into a lot more detail.

Second - from TechDirt:

Did The NSA Continue To Stay Silent On Zero-Day Vulnerabilities Even After Discovering It Had Been Hacked?
The NSA's exploit stash is allegedly for sale. As mentioned earlier this week, an individual or a group calling themselves Shadow Brokers claims to be auctioning off parts of the NSA's Tailored Access Operations (TAO) toolkit, containing several zero days -- including one in Cisco's (a favorite NSA TAO target) Adaptive Security Appliance which allows for remote code execution.

The thing about these vulnerabilities is that they aren't new. The exploits being hawked by Shadow Brokers date back to 2013, suggesting the agency has been sitting on these exploits for awhile. The fact that companies affected by them don't know about these flaws means the NSA hasn't been passing on this information.

That is not good - if they can find the holes, other people can as well. Who is hacking whom here?

Heh - Pikachu

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What with all the renewed pokemon craze - from The Oatmeal:

20160822-pikachu.jpg

Say hello to Seacharger

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From Make Magazine:

Did a Solar-Powered Autonomous Boat Just Cross the Pacific Ocean?
I struggle to descend the stairs leading to the sandy beach at Half Moon Bay, California, awkwardly hefting the 60-pound solar-powered boat SeaCharger atop my shoulder. Amid the numerous “what-the-heck-is-that?!” stares of the beachgoers, I perform some last-minute checks of the boat’s propeller and rudder and then wade out into the knee-high surf and push SeaCharger as hard as I can towards the oncoming waves. Moving at walking speed, the boat makes it through the first several waves without being flipped. Relieved, I make my way back up onto the beach, then turn around and watch my two-and-a-half-year project slowly plodding westward, gradually disappearing in the whitecaps.

An older man who has been watching the entire time approaches me and tells me that he’s sorry that I lost control of my boat and that he’s sure it’ll wash up on the beach somewhere. I assure him that the boat is on autopilot, going exactly where it’s supposed to be going. “And where is that?” he asks. “Hawaii.” The look on his face is priceless.

Indeed, the idea of this tiny, homemade boat surviving 2,400 miles of open ocean to reach Hawaii seems foolishly unrealistic, and I know that more than anybody else. With help from friends, I built the eight-foot-long, autonomous, foam-and-fiberglass, solar-powered SeaCharger in my garage – not to make money or to win a contest, but simply as a challenge. And a challenge it was. What started out as a year-long project turned into 30 months of mistakes, compromises, and start-overs. So for the next couple of hours, I spend my time worrying and fretting, glued to the screen of my phone, waiting for each telemetry report sent by SeaCharger’s satellite modem. When it becomes obvious that the boat is still on track and doing well, I get in my truck and drive home.

41 days and 2,413 miles later, Seacharger pulls in to Mahukona Harbor, Hawaii on July 22nd.

There is a dedicated website for Seacharger here: Seacharger - lots of info and tracking on her way to New Zealand.

Just wonderful - Germany

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Commie Merkel is doing a fantastic job bringing Germany to her knees - from Reuters:

Germany to tell people to stockpile food and water in case of attacks: FAS
For the first time since the end of the Cold War, the German government plans to tell citizens to stockpile food and water in case of an attack or catastrophe, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung newspaper reported on Sunday.

Germany is currently on high alert after two Islamist attacks and a shooting rampage by a mentally unstable teenager last month. Berlin announced measures earlier this month to spend considerably more on its police and security forces and to create a special unit to counter cyber crime and terrorism.

"The population will be obliged to hold an individual supply of food for ten days," the newspaper quoted the government's "Concept for Civil Defence" - which has been prepared by the Interior Ministry - as saying.

Maintaining a couple weeks supply of food and water is a good idea all around - you never know what can happen. For the government to come out and say this is necessary shows that something serious is up and the shit is about to hit the fan.

Living up to one's own name

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From The Smoking Gun:

Ohioan, 18, Nabbed On Gun Charges Does Not Appear To Be Wise Or Intelligent
Meet Wise Intelligent Supreme God Allah.

Belying his name, the 18-year-old Ohioan made the imprudent choice Thursday night to be carrying a loaded handgun while a passenger in a car traveling in Akron.

During a police traffic stop, Allah was found with a Hi-Point .380 caliber handgun in the waistband of his pants. The Canton resident was arrested on felony weapons charges, according to Akron Municipal Court records.

Making his momma proud. What is it with black people adopting muslim names? Don't they know their history - that it was arab slave traders who rounded up African Christian towns, murdered all the old and young and took the rest to sell into slavery. There were far more slaves in South America and Caribbean than were ever in the United States.

A bit of good news - Obamacare

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Voicing a little bit of sarcasm here - from Business Insider:

Obamacare has gone from the president's greatest achievement to a 'slow-motion death spiral'
It has not been a good week for the Affordable Care Act (ACA), better known as Obamacare.

A slew of news, from insurers dropping out to possible fraud among healthcare providers, has all accumulated in a deluge of negative headlines for one of President Obama's signature laws.

In fact, it's gotten so bad that it appears that the whole program itself may be in doubt.

While there are issues, and this past week highlighted many of them, it does appear that there is a long road ahead before we have a definitive understanding of Obamacare's survival, and there's a good chance that it makes it.

It was never a good idea - the supposed 14 million uninsured people was a manufactured number. Many of those were young adults who chose to not pay for insurance. The whole legislation was rammed through after hours (have to pass it so you can see what's in it) and it is basic a totalitarian one-size fits all price fixing scam. If they wanted to make health care affordable, allow for meduical savings plan. Roll out Tricare to everyone. Allow for competition in the marketplace.

Back home safe and sound - it will be good to have my two managers back at the store. Bought a Costco chicken and doing a big pot of rice - eating Hawaiian tonight.

It's Miller time!

Off to town - shopping for the store

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Heading into town in a few minutes - the heat wave has finally broken so things are comfortable again.

More spew around 4:00PM or so...

Island Songs

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Just beautiful - from Icelandic composer Ólafur Arnalds:

More here: Island Songs

Ólafur's Facebook page is here. Exquisite work.

Alright - one more:

From Portland, OR station KOIN:

Officials: Stouts Creek Fire caused by lawn mower
Officials on Thursday released the cause of Oregon’s biggest wildfire, the Stouts Creek fire.

Officials determined that the fire was human caused. They say a person was moving their lawn on July 30 at a time when mowing was not allowed due to fire danger.

They say the person may be liable for fire suppression costs and damages, which have reached $22.4 million. The fire has burned 23,841 acres as of Thursday.

Ouch. One hell of a bill to have to pay. Still, they caused it and they were mowing when mowing was not allowed.

Serious levels of yum

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The tri-tip came out perfectly - this is now my standard way to prepare it.

  • Salt heavily and let it rest on paper towels for at least four hours in the fridge - this causes it to lose a lot of water and makes the flavor that much more intense.
  • One hour before plating, rinse off and pat dry - sprinkle a bit of salt and sugar - about 30/70. Let it rest at room temp for 20 minutes or so to let the salt and sugar dissolve.
  • Broil under high heat for about four minutes each side. This will vary depending on your oven and the broiler element will cycle on and off so I am talking four minutes of active glowing red, fires of Hell, hot. You want to develop a nice browning on the meat with little bits of char. The sugar will caramelize and help this process a lot.
  • Measure internal temperature - mine is usually around 90-100°F or so. Put into a slow smoker for about 20 minutes until internal temp is where you want it (130°F for me).
  • Rest for ten minutes and cut 1/4" slices against the grain.

An observation - economic depression

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I was following some links down a chain of unrelated topics and ran into this Wikipedia article: Great Depression in Australia - it happened in 1929 and was in part triggered by worldwide downturn that triggered the USA depression of 1929.

So I am reading along  and come on the following:

... Australia, unlike the United States, did not embark on a significant Keynesian program of spending to recover from the Depression. Nevertheless, the Australian recovery began around 1932.

From depression to economic recovery in three years?

For giggles, I looked up the following: Great Depression in the United States

Here it is:

The market crash marked the beginning of a decade of high unemployment, poverty, low profits, deflation, plunging farm incomes, and lost opportunities for economic growth and personal advancement.

Emphasis mine - and the money quote:

The economy reached bottom in the winter of 1932–33; then came four years of very rapid growth until 1937, when the Recession of 1937 brought back 1934 levels of unemployment.

Australia, not implementing any Keynesian programs, was on the road to recovery by 1932. The stimulus that the USA implemented prolonged our downfall and created an economic bubble which ran from 1933 through 1937. The bubble burst (as bubbles must always) and we were back to square one in 1937. The depression did not fully end until 1941.

And people still think that John Maynard Keynes is a genius? It is old-school Austrian economics for me - that works. During a depression (or recession for that matter), the last thing we need is for the Government to spend money.

Water board meeting tonight

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Been working on organizing the garage - the new totes are helping out a lot.

Lulu is at the farm now - arrived around 4:00PM - water board meeting tonight at 6:00 so bagging the amateur radio net tonight - cooking dinner after the meeting. Doing another tri-tip the same way I did the last time - really delicious.

In the doghouse

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I am so deep in the doghouse that the front door looks like a little glint of light. Lulu's and my fifth anniversary was one week ago on the 14th and I spaced out completely.

My only justification is that our relationship is so good, so loving and so strong that it is like we were never apart. It feels like we have always been together since the begining of time.

Here is a repost of how we met:

Readers will know that I have been through a divorce. Jen (my ex) filed for divorce in July 2011. We had been married for eight years - the first couple of years were really good. Had some fun times. Our personalities were not that good of a match and after the 'honeymoon' it got to where we were awkward roommates more than man and wife. I moved some computer stuff into the DaveCave and would spend my evenings out there waiting for her to go to bed.

I had some chances for affairs - a couple local ones, a few in Bellingham and on the road but, even though I considered the marriage to be broken, I held true to the vows I gave Jen.

Jen filed the legal paperwork for divorce in August and I knew that a process server would be coming out to my farm on Monday, August 15th 2011 to deliver the first set of paperwork. I ran into town Sunday, August 14th to shop at Costco for some groceries.

I consider myself to have a very stable mind. Not prone to hearing voices in my head or behaving compulsively.

I was sitting in my truck waiting to make the cross-traffic left turn into the Costco parking lot - lots of oncoming traffic. I felt an urge to head North up to the next traffic light and take the turn there. That road leads past a Micheal's art store. I felt an urge to stop in there. Not that I needed anything, just to stop in there.

There is a type of spiral-bound 3X5 file card that I like and I keep them around me for note taking but I don't usually walk around with one. I had this urge to carry one (with a pen) into Micheal's.

So I am walking into the store and there is this drop-dead gorgeous woman walking down the aisle. We look at each other but nothing else happens. I am thinking: "Damn, that is a good looking woman!"

I pick out a couple of glass tea-light candle holders (I like making sconces for lamps) and am at the checkout line when the same woman comes in behind me. Something in me prompts me to ask how her day is going and we start chatting about art and life.

I check out and am walking out the door and have another urge to write down my phone number on one of the 3X5 cards I have in my pocket. I do that and turn around to find that Lulu is writing down her phone number to give to me.

This happened (five) years ago today. I cannot imagine a more perfect match - we are both children of the 60's so have a lot of cultural cognates, both devout but not Church-going Christians. Both politically engaged and conservative. Both serious foodies. It is a delight being with her.

Lulu is my joy. Lulu - I love you with all of my heart - here's to the next 30 years!

Meeting her is the best thing that has happened with my life. Lulu, I love you to bits!

Hamburgers for dinner

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Grace was very patient and waited at my feet until I finished mine. I put her burger on my plate and gave it to her and she cleaned it up. No need to wash the plate now - just put it back in the cabinet.

Done and cleaned up - surf for a bit and then to bed. Lulu is coming out tomorrow some time. Ham radio net tomorrow too. Shopping run Monday.

Emma?

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Cute commercial:

Hillary - one of us

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And I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you - small bills please. From The American Mirror:

RICH: Hillary flies 20 miles in private jet from Martha’s Vineyard to Nantucket
Hillary Clinton is very important, and she can’t be bogged down by pesky things such as boats or waiting.

The presidential candidate, who is endlessly trying to tell factory workers in Ohio and Pennsylvania that she’s one of them, jetted approximately 20 miles from Martha’s Vineyard — where she was last night partying with President Obama — to Nantucket for a fundraiser on Saturday.

Fox News aired footage of her stepping off her plane in the latter.

This is not super egregious because the jet probably delivered her to Martha's Vineyard in the first place and was standing by 24/7 until she needed to leave but still, the optics would have been a lot better if she took the ferry or hired a boat of her own. Would have been a much nicer ride and given the time to prep for take-off, a lot faster.

She is one of us. She and Bill left the White House with nothing (except for the stolen china, silverware and artwork) but has a jet at her beck and call.

We really need to get some adults in the room.

Got a good chunk of stuff done today

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Did some really deep watering of the trees and shrubbery around the house, cleaned out the two water troughs and got a bunch of stuff organised in the garage.

Used about ten of the totes so this turned out to be a good purchase. They fit well on my existing shelves and really organize stuff. Have a separate one for painting (rollers, masking and brushes), one for wood finishing (glue, putty, sand paper), one for pest control (rodent and insect traps, insecticides), batteries (chargers and inverters), first aid (bulk bandages, pads, Kerlix, vet wrap), battery powered tools, etc...

Brought a bunch of old boxes out to be recycled Monday as well as several bags of crap for the dumpster. Making a dent.

I never got around to the hamburger last night - had the last of the tri-tip thinly sliced with my salad and two ears of fresh corn and a peach for desert. Firing up the grill in a few minutes - do it tonight.

Also, doing a beef-bone stock in my slow cooker - oven roasted a couple pounds of nice shank bones with good marrow (375° for an hour) and into the slow cooker with some herbs, an onion, a half-cup of vinegar (helps to break down the marrow), cover with water and cook on low heat (low simmer) for 48 hours. Tastes wonderful and I am only half-way through the cooking process.

Great commercial - FiberFix

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People had way too much fun making this:

Product website here: FiberFix. Also available on Amazon.

Tip of the hat to Gerard for the link.

Another reason to love Thorium

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Great for energy production: here, here and a five minute video here

Now also, it may be great for timekeeping - 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 electron volts, and the half-life is found to be longer than 60 seconds for 229m Th2+. More precise determinations appear to be within reach, and would pave the way to the development of a nuclear frequency standard.

So the upshot is that clocks are going to get a lot more precise. Using the outer shell for timekeeping means that you are using the electrons in the outer orbits of the atom. These are disturbed by external magnetic and electrical fields so shielding is required for any level of accuracy. Using the nucleus means that shielding requirements are greatly reduced. Should be interesting to see what shakes out over the next ten years...

$15 minimum wage - more fallout

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From the San Francisco Chronicle:

Black Oak Books in Berkeley to close its doors
Black Oak Books, the large independent store — once a fixture in North Berkeley’s Gourmet Ghetto and now in West Berkeley — will close its doors at the end of the month. It has been in business for 33 years.

“It’s sad,” said owner Gary Cornell by phone, “but at some point you have to realize that it’s just not going to work.”

The 6,000-square-foot store at 2618 San Pablo Ave. has been in West Berkeley since 2009, when a rent increase forced it out of its old neighborhood. Books Inc. moved into the vacant North Berkeley space last June.

And the numbers:

Cornell added that turning a profit would be even tougher with Berkeley’s recent minimum wage increase, to $11 an hour. Black Oak Books has four full-time-equivalent employees.

“It means my expenses would go up 50 percent over the next five years, and to be honest, that just wasn’t in the cards,” he said.

Payroll should only account for about 30% of a businesses expenditure - this changes slightly depending on business type but it is a pretty good rule. Anything more than that, the business doesn't make any long-term capital and is unable to weather a downturn.

Barry being Barry

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The poor guy can't help himself - from The Washington Times:

Obama irks La. flood victims with memo warning them not to discriminate
President Obama has refused so far to survey the Louisiana flood disaster, but he did let state and local officials know that he’s watching to make sure they don’t engage in racial discrimination.

In a 16-page guidance issued Tuesday, the Obama administration, led by the Justice Department, warned Louisiana recipients of federal disaster assistance against engaging in “unlawful discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin (including limited English proficiency).”

For him, everything boils down to racism. He has, through gestures and comments, done more to create a racial divide than any one else in that position. Everything from the Professor Gates arrest to the Trayvon Martin shooting (all the while ignoring the many murders of white people by black criminals) on through the recent riots in Milwaukee when a career criminal was shot by a black arresting officer when the little choirboy aimed his gun. With a few words, he could have shut down Black Lives Matter before they gained traction (and George Soros' money). Ditto the New Black Panther Party which is lurking just a bit beyond the periphery of media reporting.

A bit more:

Needless to say, some Louisiana residents were offended, including the American Conservative’s Rod Dreher, who took umbrage at receiving an anti-discrimination lecture from Washington, D.C., as locals struggle to rescue, house and feed their neighbors.

“[E]verywhere you look you can find black folks and white folks loving on each other, helping each other through this crisis,” Mr. Dreher said in a Thursday post.

While Obama was golfing, Trump brought in an 18-wheeler filled with supplies and was there with his boots on the ground handing out relief to the people who needed it. That is a leader.

Back home - busy day today

The store grossed just under $2K this morning and it was still early. With temperatures like this, the afternoon beer sales will be epic.

Looking at the books for July 2015, we grossed 12% more this July - must be doing something right.

Since we are not set up to do any kind of deli service, we are looking at getting a food trailer to park outside. Lots of options for this - initially looking at soups, sandwiches and espresso. There is a commercial kitchen five miles away that we can lease for $10/hour. There is a convenience store across the street that does deli but they are owned by a really nice Korean family who has zero concept of how to run an American business. They are buying the cheapest breads and lunch-meats possible and it shows in their product.

Fixing a sandwich for lunch and then to work on the garage.

Spending today at home

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Just got done watering the plants - heading out for coffee and check in at the store.

Spending today home working on some stuff - finding a place for my 250 new totes and cleaning up the garage a bit.

Some interesting weather in our state

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From Seattle station KOMO:

Gentle wind wreaks havoc with Olympic Peninsula temperatures
The Olympic Peninsula's incredible rugged beauty is a siren song to nature lovers across the globe.

But if you visit in the summer…be sure to dress in layers.

A gentle, seemingly harmless wind caused some crazy temperature swings even as the sun shone unabated across the entire peninsula.

Let's start in Forks, where Thursday was a toasty warm day anyway. A light southwesterly breeze wasn't enough to really cool them off, but it was enough to hold temperatures in the upper 70s.

Then at 2:55 p.m., the thermal trough arrived, bringing an east/northeast wind and with it, a virtual blowtorch. Forks is in a somewhat unique location with the Olympic Mountains to their east that when an east wind blows, it sinks down the western slopes of the mountains, where the compressing air warms further. In this case, the temperature shot up all the way to 95 degrees -- in just 35 minutes!

The eventual high temperature was 96 degrees in Forks -- the second hottest August reading on record there behind a 98 degree reading on Aug. 9, 1981.

Quite the shift - I love living out here except for thunderstorms. I really miss them.

When customers get tax breaks, reduced rates, cash incentives or other subsidies to install solar power on their house, the real money is coming from other rate and tax payers.

Case in point - from PV Tech:

Nevada rooftop solar shifts US$36 million annually onto non-solar users, study says
Rooftop solar customers cost non-solar ratepayers in Nevada US$36 million a year, according to the results of a cost-benefit study on solar by Energy + Environmental Economics (E3).

The US$67,000 study was commissioned by the Nevada Board of Examiners as an update to the 2014 study by the same independent contractors that then found a US$36 million benefit to non-solar ratepayers from rooftop systems rather than a cost. Identical methodology was employed in both studies, whilst using current data from NV Energy. The new report also found an additional US$15 million cost to grandfather existing net metering customers under the previous rate structure.

From benefit to bust in two years - plus, that addtional $15 million brings it to a total burdon of $51 million to the Nevada npon-solar ratepayers. And of course, from the peanut gallery:

The results of the study come at a time of intense political back-and-forth between the utility and rooftop solar advocates, such as SolarCity who recently brought out their own study in collaboration with the NRDC, that found rooftop solar benefited all Nevadans, and outweighed all costs to ratepayers.

So who are you going to believe - an independent engineering company who is licensed, bonded and insured or some astroturf advocacy group funded by God knows who?

Nuclear is the only way to go - carbon free, cheap and the new designs are walk-away safe.

Down to a balmy 75°F outside

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Heading out to water the garden for a while...

I would seriously consider this listing: 7388 Gemini, Blaine, WA 98230

One of a kind was the Radar tower during the cold war. Six stories tall and one underground. Built like you know what. Has an elevator top floor has 30ft ceilings. Views to Vancouver & the San Juan islands. Owner will consider partial trades of real estate, vehicles , planes. Property sits right in the middle of Bay Horizon Park. Zoned for several units. Let your imagination run wild you could convert to a doomsday shelter & high end home.

Two photos of the property:

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The outside of the building

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Current owner is a hoarder - top level has 30' ceilings.

And the views?

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I would never get any work done...

A good company is growing

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I really love Hempler's products - their bacon, hams, hot dogs and sausages. Local company, been around since 1934 and still family owned and run.

It seems that they have been buying other companies - they bought Iserno's last year. I use their hot Italian chicken sausage one-pound chubbs for making my spaghetti sauce. Great stuff.

Today, I read in our local paper that Hempler's just bought Fletcher's - a local maker of sausages and meats.

From The Bellingham Herald:

Ferndale-based Hempler’s acquires Washington firm
Ferndale-based Hempler’s has acquired another Washington company, continuing its recent trend of growth in the Pacific Northwest.

Hempler Foods Group bought the business and certain assets of Fletcher’s Fine Foods of Algona, according to a news release from Hempler’s parent company, Premium Brands Holdings Corp. The purchase price for Fletcher’s was $5 million and does not include the Algona plant. The deal is expected to close in September.

These moves make a lot of sense - each brand has a slightly different market share so this will only serve to grow Hempler's into the next century. Very good products and very well run business.

Words to live by

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Tip of the hat to Knuckledraggin My Life Away

Data breach at Eddie Bauer Stores

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Beein running since January 2016 - does not affect online purchases. From Krebs on Security:

Malware Infected All Eddie Bauer Stores in U.S., Canada
Clothing store chain Eddie Bauer said today it has detected and removed malicious software from point-of-sale systems at all of its 350+ stores in North America, and that credit and debit cards used at those stores during the first six months of 2016 may have been compromised in the breach. The acknowledgement comes nearly six weeks after KrebsOnSecurity first notified the clothier about a possible intrusion at stores nationwide.

On July 5, 2016, KrebsOnSecurity reached out to Bellevue, Wash., based Eddie Bauer after hearing from several sources who work in fighting fraud at U.S. financial institutions. All of those sources said they’d identified a pattern of fraud on customer cards that had just one thing in common: They were all recently used at some of Eddie Bauer’s 350+ locations in the U.S. The sources said the fraud appeared to stretch back to at least January 2016.

A spokesperson for Eddie Bauer at the time said the company was grateful for the outreach but that it hadn’t heard any fraud complaints from banks or from the credit card associations.

Earlier today, however, an outside public relations firm circled back on behalf of Eddie Bauer. That person told me Eddie Bauer — working with the FBI and an outside computer forensics firm — had detected and removed card-stealing malware from cash registers at all of its locations in the United States and Canada.

Oopsie - very surprised that they did not do due diligence and check Brian's claim. If you have shopped there since January, you might want to contact your bank and have them check for bogus activity.

Barry the golfing fool

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Smuggled out by a scientist who managed to escape. Or, a hoax video along the lines of the Blair Witch Project. You decide. Better put on one of these if you are going with the first explanation: Aluminum Foil Deflector Beanie

Staying classy - Billie Joe Armstrong

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Who he? Frontman for punk band Green Day. Heard of them but don't know any of their music.

From Yahoo/Variety:

Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong Calls Donald Trump ‘F—ing Hitler’
The hits just keep on coming for Green Day. Frontman Billie Joe Armstrong — a vocal critic of the George W. Bush administration and not one to hide his political views — is taking aim at another Republican heavyweight.

In an interview with Kerrang, Armstrong slammed presidential candidate Donald Trump, saying the billionaire reminds him of Hitler, a comparison he isn’t alone in making.

“He just said, ‘You have no options and I’m the only one, and I’m going to take care of it myself.’ I mean, that’s f—ing Hitler, man!” Armstrong proclaimed, likely referring to Trump’s convention speech.

“I don’t even know how else to explain it,” he continued. “I wish I were over-exaggerating. And sometimes maybe I do over-exaggerate with Bush. But with Trump, I just can’t wait ’til he’s gone.”

Armstrong would not recognize a real Hitler if they jumped up and tossed his ungrateful ass into a gas chamber. Of course, in eight years, will he thank President Trump for Americas' renewed prosperity? I bet not. Some people never change - they choose to remain willfully ignorant.

Back from town - hot hot hot

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Went up to 89 at home but the truck showed 96°F in town. The asphalt will do that.

Got the air conditioning on and came home to find Grace sleeping on the tile floor.

Picked up some 80/20 ground beef and we are both going to so burgers when it cools down a little bit. Waiting until it cools of to water the garden - got that done this morning but everything is dry again. Low humidity will do that. The word you are looking for is evapotranspiration.

The latest forecast shows some relief Sunday and Monday but back to sunny after that. Thank God they cancelled the Red Flag warning for wildfires.

Heat wave

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Leaving Grace at home with the air conditioning.

Supposed to get into the 90's this afternoon.

Lead or get out of the way - Trump

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From the New Orleans Times-Picayune:

Donald Trump arrives in Baton Rouge, tours flood damage
Donald Trump has arrived Baton Rouge for a hastily planned tour of the flood-damaged city.

The Republican presidential candidate's plane landed Friday morning at a private facility at the Baton Rouge airport. He was joined by his running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, who was seen chatting on the tarmac with Louisiana Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser and Attorney General Jeff Landry.

The officials are the highest-ranking Republicans in the state. Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards, a Democrat, says he won't be involved in Trump's visit.

The governor spokesman says Trump was welcome but not for a "photo-op."

Photo-op??? If Obama or Hillary had visited, the press would write that: "they are showing great compassion for the suffering people of Louisiana". Obama is not visiting - he is too wrapped up in his golf game. Hillary is "resting". Trump does the right thing and visits and this gets labeled a photo-op.

Pardon me but your liberal bias is showing...

Out for the day - buying run

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Doing the buying run for the store today (and Monday too - both of my managers are taking some much needed vacation time). Heading out in a few minutes.

So true

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I know a bunch of people from both population groups and this is 100% spot on:

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From the New York Post:

State Dept.: $400M to Iran was contingent on US prisoners’ release
The State Department admitted Thursday that the United States handed over $400 million in cash to Iran only after Tehran released four American hostages — two weeks after President Obama insisted the payment was not a “ransom.”

Pants on fire Barry. Sheesh...

The things you don't learn until now

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I was all excited to shoot the full moon as it was rising over Black Mountain. Moonrise was 8:31PM so I figured it would be another 20 minutes until it cleared the ridgeline. There would still have been a good bit of daylight and it would have been a nice shot with Mt Baker off to the side.

DOH! More like 70 minutes later - been living here for 12 years and only now just learned this.

The resultant photos are nothing to write home about - lots of smoke in the air (I can smell it) so no detail, just a bright fuzzy disk shining through some sharp tree silhouettes (it was accurately focused, just a lot of smoke).

Here is how you do it - being a leader

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From The Hill:

Trump, Pence to tour flood damage in Louisiana
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and his running mate Mike Pence are reportedly traveling to disaster-stricken Louisiana on Friday.

Trump and Pence will head to the flood-ravaged area of Baton Rouge, La., according to ABC News and CNN.

Trump opened his speech at a rally in Charlotte, N.C., on Thursday night by remarking on the "heartbreak and devastation in Louisiana," and offered his condolences.

"We are one nation. When one state hurts, we all hurt – and we must all work together to lift each other up. Working, building, restoring together," he said.

That is how a leader works. And this from Baton Rouge, LA's The Advocate:

Our Views: Vacation or not, a hurting Louisiana needs you now, President Obama
Now that the flood waters ravaging Louisiana are receding, it's time for President Barack Obama to visit the most anguished state in the union.

Last week, as torrential rains brought death, destruction and misery to Louisiana, the president continued his vacation at Martha’s Vineyard, a playground for the posh and well-connected.

We’ve seen this story before in Louisiana, and we don’t deserve a sequel. In 2005, a fly-over by a vacationing President George W. Bush became a symbol of official neglect for the victims of Hurricane Katrina. The current president was among those making political hay out of Bush’s aloofness.

Sometimes, presidential visits can get in the way of emergency response, doing more harm than good. But we don’t see that as a factor now that flood waters are subsiding, even if at an agonizing pace. It’s past time for the president to pay a personal visit, showing his solidarity with suffering Americans.

And these floods have caused much more property damage than Hurricane Katrina. The impact is a lot greater.

Sweet - crate prices

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Just checked and the totes that I bought are $15.59 each including shipping charges. To get these over the counter would have cost me almost $3900 (not accounting for the bulk discount)

These are the same as used by dairies and it seems that tote loss is an $80 Million/Year hit to them. Great set of three articles at Modern Farmer (great website) one, two, and three. The third article has an interesting twist in that the 'official' place to purchase new crates was busted for accepting stolen old ones.

Sturgeon Moon tonight

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Rises at 8:31PM tonight although I will see it a bit later as there is a ridgeline between me and where it will show. Got the camera set up for a photo-op as we should have some nice alpenglow - the sun sets at 8:18PM.

The Native name for tonight's moon is The Sturgeon Moon - The Old Farmer's Almanac (founded in 1792) has a nice listing of moon names and their meanings. A list of alternate names can be found at EarthSky (just scroll down the page for the listings).

Went out today and got some more - 250 in total. A bit more than I need right now but I will use them in due course and the price, as they say, was right. Only problem was that some wasps had built a nest in the coupler of my trailer and came boiling out when I went to connect it to the truck. Got stung on the leg - went inside to use a knife to yank the stinger and returned with some wonderful chemicals in a spray can. I do not mind wasps but not nesting near my doors or in things that I use.

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Cleaning up after dinner (left-over spaghetti and a salad) and will unpack the truck tonight when it is cooler - doing the shopping run tomorrow so need the back of the truck empty.

The wind is definitely up - about 10-15 MPH and bone dry - I hope nobody does anything stupid with fire. Danger is really high today and tomorrow.

Toad King? Thai and Lao mythology.

From Breitbart:

Vacation Obama Silent About Milwaukee Riots and Louisiana Flooding
President Barack Obama emerged from his Martha’s Vineyard vacation for a fundraiser, but he didn’t mention any of the devastating events currently affecting the United States.

In Milwaukee, six businesses were set on fire, four officers were injured, shots were fired, and police cars were damaged after a black police officer shot a convicted black criminal who refused to drop a stolen handgun.

In Louisiana, flooding has damaged thousands of homes forcing more than 20,000 rescues after some parts of the state have suffered from over 30 inches of rain. The death toll from the floods is currently at seven.

Back when Bush was president, the progressives pilloried him over the supposed failure of FEMA's response to Katrina. It was actually Governor Kathleen Blanco's fault. The State has to request aid from the Federal Government - FEMA cannot move until they get this request and the request sat on Governor Blanco's desk for three days. Oh yeah - she has a 'D' for party affiliation.

The current flooding is worse than Katrina - much more property damage. Where is Obama? And no, it is not a result of Global Warming - the 1927 flood was much worse. These things happen from time to time.

Texting while driving

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Not a good thing - these photos prove it:

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More here: Arkancide. Tip of the hat to Denny at Grouchy Old Cripple for the link.

Five bucks for a functional Linux box:

Been having a lot of fun with the Raspberry Pi's that I got a month ago. Very hackable and lots of support from the community. Not interested in jumping into another platform now but the Omega2 looks like fun. I like their approach to design.

More at their Kickstarter page.

Fighting terrorism in England

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Great article about someone who infiltrated one of the more radical mosques in England - from the Beeb:

Going undercover against extremism
Kamal switches on the recorder and speaks into the microphone, stating the date, the time and where he's about to go. And then he leaves the house, leaves his true self behind, and walks towards danger.

The undercover officer has followed this same routine for 20 months - although sometimes it was too risky to be wired up.

With a fake name, fake wife, fake home and fake business in Luton, he was on a high-risk mission to record hundreds of encounters with supporters of a banned jihadist network that can be linked to dozens of counter-terrorism cases over more than a decade.

Over the course of two major trials, Kamal's evidence from Luton has contributed to the conviction of a man who planned to kidnap and kill a US serviceman outside his air force base in Suffolk.
In the follow-up trial, three men were convicted at the Old Bailey this week for inviting support for the self-styled Islamic State group.

Thank God there are people willing to go undercover like this - risking their lives. The evil that is being brought into Europe needs to be snuffed out. The ruling elites have zero clue what is happening right under their noses.

Whatever passes for normal around here

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Out for coffee and then hitch up the trailer to pick up the rest of those storage totes.

One of our cheese suppliers has an order ready for us so I will be picking that up today as well - get to hang with some very mellow cows while they get the paperwork ready for me.

Expected to be a long day - more spew later this evening.

Tyrants want gun control for everyone. Real leaders do not care either way except for the criminals and the mentally ill. From Reuters:

Venezuela crushes 2,000 guns in public, plans registry of bullets
Venezuelan police crushed and chopped up nearly 2,000 shotguns and pistols in a Caracas city square on Wednesday, as the new interior minister relaunched a long-stalled gun control campaign in one of the world's most crime-ridden countries.

Interior Minister Nestor Reverol said the event marked the renewal of efforts to disarm Venezuelans, through a combination of seizures and a voluntary program to swap guns for electrical goods.

Venezuela has the world's second highest murder rate and the street gangs that plague its poor neighborhoods have become increasingly heavily armed in recent years, at a time when a deep recession has reduced resources available to police.

Gangs often get weapons from the police, either by stealing them or buying them from corrupt officers, experts say.

And the government's response is to disarm the civilians making them sitting ducks for the criminals.

I am reminded of this quote:

Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look back upon the Act depriving the whole nation of arms as the blackest.
--Mohandas K. Gandhi

Dry weather

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It has been unseasonably dry these last few months. We had weeks of overcast but very little measurable precipitation. First, we had a burn ban, yesterday we had a Fire Weather Watch and today, the National Weather Service issued a Red Flag Warning. Looking at hotter than normal, very low humidity and steady breezes of 10 to 18 miles/hour. Just the ticket for a conflagration.

I am heading into town to pick up more of the storage totes but that will be it - at home for the next couple of days with garden hoses deployed. Larry - the guy I bought the house from - told me that this valley had four large fires in known history. A lot fewer trees out here now but still...

Al Gore in the news

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A two-fer both from The Daily Caller.

FirstAl Gore Blames Deadly Louisiana Floods On Global Warming — Just As New Studies Debunk His Claim

Former Vice President Al Gore told a group of environmentalists the recent heavy downpours and flooding in places like Houston and Louisiana are made worse by man-made global warming.

“Texas has really been hit hard by the climate crisis and, for the last 35 years, has had more billion-dollar-plus climate disasters than any other state,” Gore said said at an event held Tuesday by his activist group, The Climate Reality Project. “Houston in particular has been hard hit.”

And this:

Michaels and Knappenberger pointed to two new studies “suggesting that attributing heavy precipitation events in the United States to human-caused climate change is a fool’s errand.”

I am really surprised that no one has brought up the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927

The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 was the most destructive river flood in the history of the United States, with 27,000 square miles inundated up to a depth of 30 feet. To try to prevent future floods, the federal government built the world's longest system of levees and floodways.

Ninety-four percent of the more than 630,000 people affected by the flood lived in the states of Arkansas, Mississippi and Louisiana, most in the Mississippi Delta. More than 200,000 African Americans were displaced from their homes along the Lower Mississippi River and had to live for lengthy periods in relief camps. As a result of this disruption, many joined the Great Migration from the South to northern and midwestern industrial cities rather than return to rural agricultural labor. This massive population movement increased from World War II until 1970.

SecondSoros Paid Al Gore MILLIONS To Push ‘Aggressive US Action’ On Global Warming

Liberal billionaire George Soros gave former Vice President Al Gore’s environmental group millions of dollars over three years to create a “political space for aggressive U.S. action” on global warming, according to leaked documents.

A document published by DC Leaks shows Soros, a Hungarian-born liberal financier, wanted his nonprofit Open Society Institute (OSI) to do more to support global warming policies in the U.S. That included budgeting $10 million in annual support to Gore’s climate group over three years.

That little turd can be found floating in a lot of people's punchbowls. He is the purest definition of a sociopath.

Some common climate sense

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Great news from The London Daily Mail:

Met Office weather presenters face unsettled outlook as BBC sacks the forecaster to 'save millions' (and that prediction of a barbecue summer can't have helped)
A private company is to replace the Met Office as the BBC's forecaster, leaving many big-name weather presenters facing an unsettled outlook.

MeteoGroup will replace the Met Office in the spring of 2017, ending the 94-year partnership since the broadcaster's first weather bulletin on the radio in 1922.

The deal, which the BBC says will save 'millions', comes after alleged rows over the dumbing down of broadcasts and the Met Office's inability to produce a good weather app.

A bit more:

The Met Office has also presided over a number of gaffes, predicting a barbecue summer in 2009, which was a washout, and a dry winter in 2014, one of the wettest on record.

A perfect example of what happens when you rely on computer models and do not stick your head out the window to see what actually is going on. Good riddance. And the company that is replacing them:

MeteoGroup, the UK's largest private sector weather business, with offices in 17 countries around the world, was announced as the Met Office's successor today.

They do not stay in business - let along grow to be the UK's largest by getting their forecasts wrong. The marketplace will see to that in short order. The Met Office is the government run weather bureau and it has fallen under the thrall of global warming. Sorry people but when you fail to produce actual results, you deserve what you get.

Their website is here: MeteoGroup and their MeteoEarth site is a lot of fun - check it out.

Hillary's history

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I knew about the case and her defense but this really brings it home what she did to this poor girl:

Janet Airlines? From here: WikiPediaFrom the UK Sun:

Area 51 mystery as huge unmarked passenger planes are spotted flying from Las Vegas airport to the top secret military base sparking conspiracy theories
The unmarked white and red Boeing 737s appear like any other at first sight.

Lined up at Las Vegas‘ McCarran International Airport, several of the giant jets use their own private terminal.

But they are not used by the public and only serve one destination – Area 51.

A bit more:

"The UFO and conspiracy theory community think it's the place where crashed UFOs are kept and where the US military are trying to back-engineer this alien technology.

"And even Hillary Clinton has said that if she's elected President she'll look into the claims.

"Sadly, despite the rumours, I've seen no evidence that we've recovered any extraterrestrial technology.

Naaa - nothing to see here folks. Besides, the research on the recovered saucer is done at Area 52 in Idaho. This is where they replicated the alien's food - Cheese-Whiz and Tang as well as their flight navigation computer running what we now know as Windows 3.1 among other things.

Unreal - Germany's Angela Merkel

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She claims to be a conservative but her upbringing was staunch communist. Showing her true colors - from Reuters:

Merkel says refugees didn't bring Islamist terrorism to Germany
Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Wednesday refugees had not brought terrorism to Germany, adding that Islam belonged in the country as long as it was practiced in a way that respected the constitution.

More than a million people fleeing war and poverty in the Middle East, Africa and elsewhere arrived in Germany last year. The mood towards them has soured after a spate of attacks on civilians last month, including three carried out by migrants.

Two of those attacks were claimed by the Islamic State militant group.

She is completely delusional. The people coming into Europe are not families fleeing persecution. The two main groups actually being persecuted - the Christians and the Yazidis - are just a small fraction of the influx. The main group of people are men ranging in age from 18 to 35 - in other words, prime suspects for terrorists. They are not emigrating to start a new life, they are crossing over to get on welfare and to live the life of Reilly without having to work or assimilate into the European culture. They are laughing at us all the while cashing our checks and berating us for not giving them more. They have studied our culture very carefully and know us all too well.

Great story from Reuters:

Clinton Foundation hired cyber firm after suspected hacking: sources
Bill and Hillary Clinton's charitable foundation hired the security firm FireEye to examine its data systems after seeing indications they might have been hacked, according to two sources familiar with the matter.

So far, no message or document hacked from the New York-based Clinton Foundation has surfaced in public, the sources said.

One of the sources and two U.S. security officials said that like hackers who targeted the Democratic National Committee, Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and the Democrats' congressional fundraising committee, the hackers appear to have used “spear phishing” techniques to gain access to the foundation's network.

If they got in there, it is all over for Hillary. November 8th is not that far away and the implications could be delightful to see. If our own FBI and Justice Department will not prosecute her, take it to the people. Leak the proof of her venality and crookedness. FireEye has some good people working for them.

Governor Jerry Brown is a major hypocrite. From Consumer Watchdog:

Brown's dirty hands
Consumer Watchdog found that twenty-six energy companies including the state’s three major investor-owned utilities, Occidental, Chevron, and NRG—all with business before the state—donated $9.8 million to Jerry Brown’s campaigns, causes, and initiatives, and to the California Democratic Party since he ran for Governor. Donations were often made within days or weeks of winning favors. The three major investor-owned utilities alone contributed nearly $6 million.

An exhaustive review of campaign records, publicly-released emails and other documents at PUCPapers.org, court filings, and media reports, shows that Brown personally intervened in regulatory decisions favoring the energy industry, and points to Brown and his operatives having used the Democratic Party as a political slush fund to receive contributions from unpopular energy companies in amounts greater than permitted to his candidate committee. Between 2011 and 2014, the energy companies tracked by Brown’s Dirty Hands donated $4.4 million to the Democratic Party, and the Democratic Party gave $4.7 million to Brown’s re-election.

Isn't he trying to spin himself as the pro-environment governer? Global warming? Evil energy companies and all that?

The Gods are smiling - after two ridiculous Craigslist deals, I struck gold twice now. The wood lathe from last Sunday and now the storage totes.

I was worried that they might be WalMart quality (low and they break if you look at them cross-eyed) but these were solid - very similar to the totes that dairies use for milk shipment. At $1 each, this was a no-brainer. The dairy totes cost about $14 each in small quantities. I have pallet racking shelves in the equipment barn - great for storing large boxes and pallets but they can get really cluttered when used for small boxes.

Having these totes will help me organize things - all 3/4" PVC fittings in one, all 1" PVC fittings in another, all single-gang electrical boxes in a third, etc... Needless to say, I am taking my box trailer back there tomorrow and getting a hundred or more - as many as I can fit. I may not use them right away but I will in the future and a deal like this should not be passed up.

Another day in paradise

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Our water engineer came by earlier today to borrow Buttercup the Tractor. He is doing the annual tank cleaning and needs to use the tractor to bring the pressure washer up to where the tanks are located.

Heading out for coffee and then make some phone calls and maybe do a run into town - another Craigslist deal. Large plastic storage totes for $1 each.

CNN - media bias

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The riots in Milwaukee have not been reported very accurately. Everyone from BLM to major media outlets have filtered the actual events through their agenda.

The narrative is that a police officer shot and killed an innocent black youth. Example - from the Huffington Post:

23-Year-Old Black Man Killed By Milwaukee Police Officer Is Identified
Milwaukee police on Sunday identified 23-year-old Sylville K. Smith as the man fatally shot by a Milwaukee officer Saturday afternoon following a traffic stop.

Smith’s shooting death sparked hours of violent unrest in the Sherman Park neighborhood on the north side of the city, including vandalism, eyewitness reports of shots fired toward police vehicles, six businesses being set on fire and 17 arrests.

Not being mentioned is the fact that Smith had a long record and was pointing a gun at the black Police Officer who shot him in self defense. From Blue Lives Matter:

Bodycam Shows Black Milwaukee Officer Shot Suspect, Sylville Smith, Who Was Raising Gun
An officer-involved shooting on Saturday afternoon prompted a massive riot in Milwaukee. Word about the shooting quickly spread on social media about a white officer who shot a black man in the back while running away. It is no surprise that the information that was spread by agitators on social media was entirely false.

The officer involved in the shooting was a black police officer, and he had his body camera on at the time of the shooting. The suspect, Sylville Smith, 23, was indeed black, but he wasn’t shot while just running away.

After reviewing the shooting footage, Milwaukee Chief Edward Flynn said, “The individual did turn toward the officer with a firearm in his hand.” Chief Flynn added that Smith was “raising up with” the gun at the time that he was shot by the officer.

The initial stop occurred at around 3:30 PM on Saturday when Milwaukee police officers conducted a traffic stop on a suspicious vehicle. After the car stopped, at least two of the vehicle’s occupants, including Smith, fled on foot.

An unidentified 24-year-old black male officer chased after Smith. During the chase, Smith pulled out a stolen pistol that was fully loaded with stolen ammunition, and Smith raised the pistol to the officer. The officer ordered Smith to drop the gun and shot when he did not comply.

This image shows CNN's level of bias:

20160816-riots.jpg

That is some really serious journalism there. I'm going to take everything you say at face value. (SET SARC=OFF) These people are so far in the tank for the progressive hive-mind that they can not see it. Clueless and out of touch.

Ship of fools

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Sure, I would love to be a passenger on this voyage but it is not what they say it is. The organizers are shilling for Anthropogenic Global Warming. From some lucky sod at the UK Telegraph:

The world's most dangerous cruise? 1,070-capacity ship takes on the Northwest Passage
Anchorage, Alaska, and I’m about to embark on arguably the world’s greatest sea voyage. There’s an obvious buzz of excitement among the 1,070 cruise passengers but also – and I don’t think I’m imagining this – a faint air of trepidation.

Trepidation, because Crystal Serenity is about to become the largest ship ever to attempt the Northwest Passage. At 9pm this evening the ship will set sail from Seward, Alaska, on a 32-day, near 1,000-mile journey via Canada and Greenland to New York.

A bit more:

There have been around 240 transits in the 110 years since Roald Amundsen made the first successful crossing in 1906. Amundsen’s trip took three years. Serenity's voyage is scheduled to take eight days, part of a 32-day cruise that will see it arrive in New York on September 16.

Most of those 240 transits, including 17 last year, have occurred since 2007, the first time in recorded history the Passage was considered “ice free” in summer, a result of ocean warming.

Bingo - "ice free" in summer. Nasty old global warming. People = bad

No mention of the St. Roch. From the WikiPedia article:

RCMPV St. Roch is a Royal Canadian Mounted Police schooner, the first ship to completely circumnavigate North America, and the second sailing vessel to complete a voyage through the Northwest Passage. She was the first ship to complete the Northwest Passage in the direction west to east (Pacific to the Atlantic Ocean), going the same route that Amundsen on the sailing vessel Gjøa went east to west, 38 years earlier.

She is a National Historic Site of Canada and you can walk her decks in Vancouver, B.C. Her chronology (including several traverses of the Northwest Passage) can be found at the website for the Vancouver Maritime Museum. More information about this wonderful ship can be found here, here and here.

A lot of other ships have made this passage - none of them mentioned in The Telegraph news piece above. Here is a good place to start: Arctic Northwest Passage

Finally, temperature is just one factor controlling the behavior of the ice pack. Wind and currents play a huge role as well. There was that 2013 Russian exploration ship that got stuck in the ice at Commonwealth Bay and had to be rescued (this happened in Antarctica). Here is a film of the same bay in 1912 shot by the Douglas Mawson expedition:

Choked with ice.

Tri-tip was delicious

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I have always just grilled it (with or without marinade) but tonight I fired up the broiler red hot and seared each side until the Maillard reaction took over. I then put it in a cool smoker for about 15 minutes until internal temps hit 140°F. Delicious - a little bit more complicated but the taste was well worth it. Did bow-tie pasta with garlic and broccoli - boil the pasta until stiff, toss in the broccoli to soften and finish with a stir-fry in lots of olive oil and cracked pepper. A bit of Parmesan would be nice if I wasn't allergic.

Feeling a very nice food coma coming on enhanced by a glass or two of wine...

From Tech Crunch:

Intel unveils a ready-to-fly drone, the Aero, to win over developers
At the Intel Developer Forum on Tuesday, Intel unveiled a new, hardware product — a ready-to-fly drone; specifically, a quadcopter, aimed at software developers rather than casual hobbyists or commercial drone operators.

Intel’s drone is a fully assembled unit that runs on Intel’s Aero Compute Board with a Linux operating system, RealSense for vision and comes with Santa Monica startup AirMap’s software development kit pre-loaded. AirMap, generally, helps drone users fly only where it’s safe and legal to do so.

No word as to ship-date or price but it should be pretty cheap. Development kits are usually sold at near cost to encourage people to use the chips in finished products.

More from Intel here.

Imagine that - George Soros giving money to illegal immegrants. From The Washington Free Beacon:

Illegal Immigrant Tapped for Clinton ‘Dreamer’ Campaign Tied to Soros-Funded Voter Effort
An illegal immigrant who was tapped by the Hillary Clinton campaign for a new effort to register Latino voters is tied to a multi-million dollar voter registration effort funded by George Soros.

The Clinton campaign announced the “Mi Sueño, Tu Voto”—or “My Dream, Your Vote”—program on Sunday. The program uses stories about illegal immigrant children who are prohibited from voting to inspire Latino voters to register and vote against Donald Trump and Republicans, the Associated Press reported.

Astrid Silva, the 28-year-old illegal immigrant who railed against Donald Trump during a prime-time speaking slot at the Democratic National Convention, was featured in the Clinton campaign’s press release announcing the new “Dreamer” effort.

But wait - there's more:

Silva is the organizing director of the Progressives Leadership Alliance of Nevada, a social and environmental justice group that is already involved in a massive campaign to register 400,000 Hispanic voters for the November election. That effort, known as the “Families Fight Back” campaign, is almost entirely funded by liberal billionaire George Soros

Knock me over with a feather. Soros is doing nothing illegal but he sure is doing major damage to this nation and to civilization in general. A real sociopath.

Kahn job - an update

From an email - talking about the sharia-loving lawyer who spoke at the Democratic National Convention

So the Dems had to pay actors to fill up seats at their convention & now we learn they paid Khan?

Khan was paid $25,000 by the Clinton campaign to speak at the DNC, the speech was not written by Mr. Khan, but by two campaign staffers, the copy of the US Constitution that Mr. Khan held up was bought only two HOURS before his speech by a female staffer, to be used solely as a prop and Khan returned the book after speaking.

5 Gold Star families turned down the opportunity to speak before Khan was contacted by the Clinton campaign. All five families were paid $5,000 and signed a non disclosure. Khan's immigration law firm is in debt $1.7M and owes back taxes of upward $850,000 plus penalties.

CNN paid Khan over $100,000 to tell his “story” and repeated interviews across networks. Khan was given a bonus of $175k by the DNC for his effort in the media. The IRS has since put Khan's tax file on a “hold” status.

No backup proof as yet but it will be forthcoming. Not surprising.

People who criticize the Clintons wind up dead.

For more background, here is the canonical list: Arkancide

Arkancide is the unfortunate habit of potential witnesses to the Clintons' dirty dealings in Arkansas suddenly deciding to shoot themselves twice in the back of the head. Police and Coroners in Arkansas, notably Fahmy Malak who answered to Governor Bill Clinton, automatically described these shootings as "suicides."

After Bill Clinton became President the phenomenon spilled over to Washington D.C. when Hillary Clinton's ex-lover Vincent Foster was "Arkancided."

Well, time to chalk up another one - from The Gateway Pundit:

BREAKING=> ANOTHER Mysterious Death: Anti-Clinton Author Found Dead at 54
Anti Clinton author Scott Robert Makufka, better known as his penname Victor Thorn, was found dead this past week.

Thorn was the author of several anti-Clinton books over the years.

Victor Thorn spoke with Texe Marrs about ‘The Clinton Body-Count’ a few months before being found dead on his birthday, 1st August, apparently from a self inflicted gunshot wound.

And Scott's death is not the only recent one - more here: ANOTHER MYSTERIOUS DEATH=> Activist and Sanders Supporter Who Served Papers to DNC on Fraud Case Found Dead

Shelving today

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Have a spare shelving unit and donating it to BERT - heading over to the fire hall to set it up in our container.

Back in an hour or two. Fixing a tri-tip for dinner - grilled with bow-tie pasta stir-fried with broccoli and lots of ground pepper.

From  Al-Masdar Al-‘Arabi:

Chinese Military Advisers Expected to Join the Russians in Syria
Last month, the Syrian civilians living in the government-controlled parts of Syria had little be optimistic about: the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) was spread too thin and on the defensive at most fronts, while the humanitarian crisis inside the country spread to the provinces that were once relatively unaffected by the violence (i.e. Al-Sweida).

Well, “hope springs eternal” when hundreds of Russian Marines and dozens of Russian jets enter your country; this was the case in the overcrowded provinces of Latakia and Tartous, as large crowds gathered near the coast to welcome these Russian naval infantrymen and their advanced military hardware.

Those previously depressed civilians in the government-controlled part of Syria are now oozing with optimism, thanks in large part to the recent news of China’s military partnership with their Russian allies.

Earlier this week, a Chinese naval vessel crossed through Egypt’s Suez Canal and entered the Mediterranean Sea; its destination was unknown, but that did not make a difference to the Syrian people because the news circulating around the country indicated that China’s participation in this brutal conflict was imminent.

Who is the world leader here - where is NATO? What are we doing with our military. Do we want to be subservient to the Russians or Chinese?

Denying the question - three times

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Heh:

From the Washington Examiner:

Dem Senate candidate can't say Clinton is 'honest and trustworthy'
Democratic New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan declined three separate times to answer whether she believes Hillary Clinton is "honest" during an interview Monday on CNN.

Hassan, a longtime Clinton ally and Democratic Senate candidate, repeatedly deflected when CNN's Manu Raju pressed her on the former secretary of state's trustworthiness.

"Do you think that she is honest and trustworthy?" he asked at first.

"I support Hillary Clinton for the presidency because her experience and her record demonstrate that she is qualified to hold the job," Hassan responded.

Can't say what you really think on the air. Wouldn't be a good narrative. Got to think of the voters after all...

Who is driving the agenda - a two-fer

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Watching the news, it is good to remember that people are paying money for you to see what is being reported as fact.

From The Daily Caller:

Leaked Soros Memo: Refugee Crisis ‘New Normal,’ Gives ‘New Opportunities’ For Global Influence
A leaked memo from left-wing financier George Soros’s Open Society Foundations argues that Europe’s refugee crisis should be accepted as a “new normal,” and that the refugee crisis means “new opportunities” for Soros’ organization to influence immigration policies on a global scale.

From the Associated Press:

COMMUNIST GROUP MEMBERS GO TO MILWAUKEE TO HELP 'REVOLUTION'
A Chicago-based communist revolutionary group blamed by Milwaukee's police chief for stoking a second day of violence said that some of its members did go there to "support a revolution" but didn't set out to cause trouble.

Ed Flynn is the Milwaukee Chief of Police:

"The (communist group) showed up, and actually they're the ones who started to cause problems," Flynn said at a news conference Monday.

This looks really good - Hidden Figures

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We both read Rise of the Rocket Girls a few months ago. Great story about the women hired to calculate rocket and satellite trajectories for Jet Propulsion Labs back in the 1950's. This movie is about some women who worked for NASA.

From McGill University in Montreal, Quebec:

Legions of nanorobots target cancerous tumours with precision
Researchers from Polytechnique Montréal, Université de Montréal and McGill University have just achieved a spectacular breakthrough in cancer research. They have developed new nanorobotic agents capable of navigating through the bloodstream to administer a drug with precision by specifically targeting the active cancerous cells of tumours. This way of injecting medication ensures the optimal targeting of a tumour and avoids jeopardizing the integrity of organs and surrounding healthy tissues. As a result, the drug dosage that is highly toxic for the human organism could be significantly reduced.

This scientific breakthrough has just been published in the prestigious journal Nature Nanotechnology in an article titled “Magneto-aerotactic bacteria deliver drug-containing nanoliposomes to tumour hypoxic regions.” The article notes the results of the research done on mice, which were successfully administered nanorobotic agents into colorectal tumours.

“These legions of nanorobotic agents were actually composed of more than 100 million flagellated bacteria – and therefore self-propelled – and loaded with drugs that moved by taking the most direct path between the drug’s injection point and the area of the body to cure,” explains Professor Sylvain Martel, holder of the Canada Research Chair in Medical Nanorobotics and Director of the Polytechnique Montréal Nanorobotics Laboratory, who heads the research team’s work. “The drug’s propelling force was enough to travel efficiently and enter deep inside the tumours.”

Ho. Li. Crap. They are engineering motile bacteria, giving it a chemical payload and then using an external magnetic field to steer them through blood vessels and capillaries into the heart of the tumor. More at the site. This is not only amazing, it opens doors for other therapies. Nobel Prize anyone?

Great godfather

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I want to find out where to get a set - this is downright cute!

20160815-knucks.jpg

Enough kids being born out here - a set of these knucks would be a treasured gift to the right partents.

Little bandits

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Cute as can be but I would never do this - go away for a week or two and they will chew right through your walls looking for more food:

Back from the shopping run - it was hot in town but the traffic wasn't bad. Made good time.

Did a couple pounds of shredded flank steak so Lulu and I have been having taco night every couple of days. Good stuff. I am learning some mexican recipies - love the food but never got familiar with cooking it so picked up a nice cookbook and practicing on a few things.

Surf for a bit and then dinner. Maybe meeting up with some people tomorrow to put together some shelving units at BERT's  intermodal container. Back into town on Wednesday.

Once more into the breech

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Heading out to pick up pastries, get coffee and do the shopping run for the store.

Back around 4:00PM

Being led by our cultural elite

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Recipe for a disaster and we are now finally getting some push-back. From The National Interest:

Why Are Elites Out of Touch? They Think Anyone Who Disagrees with Them Is Crazy
The experts told us that Brexit will not happen. It cannot happen. The consequences will be too severe. The economic fallout too great to even imagine. Yet, the unthinkable became a reality: The people of Britain voted "Leave,” against the experts' advice. How could this be? Did they not hear the experts' warnings? What went wrong?

Baffled, the experts searched for an answer. And they found one: the people went mad. They became mad from their anger at globalization. Globalization promised them riches, instead it made some of them unemployed. Or they became mad because of fear—fear from immigration and foreign people. Whatever the reason they went mad, the experts are sure of one thing: the fault is not with them. They gave sound advice. Their arguments were relevant. The fault is with the populace, not the leaders.

Could not have said it better myself. Z Man amplifies this:

Doers Versus Talkers
The other day in the comments, there was a brief exchange about the difference between people that do things and people that say things. Nixon used to divide the political world into those in the arena and those who talked about those in the arena. He even wrote a book about it. This is the same formulation you see in sports. Athletes complain all the time about the press, pointing out that few of them ever played the game at any level, so they can only imagine what it is like to be a player.

Like I have said before - these people in the other Washington are trying to manage our lives but they have never run a business, never cut paychecks, never really did anything productive with their lives. They went to private school, a prep school, Harvard, Yale or Columbia law, clerked for some judge or did some community organizing, ran for office and got elected. They are utterly clueless.

Term limits on Congress would be a wonderful idea. Get rid of the "professional politicians" and get back to the original intent - people would serve for a few years and go back to their regular lives. This would go a long way to restoring our nation. People like Chuck Schumer, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi are a pox on our government.

A big tip of the hat to Maggie's Farm for bringing those two links to my attention.

Not a good article at Tacoma, WA's The News Tribune:

Unlicensed Pierce County caterer exposes dozens to salmonella, officials say
Rick Stevenson told health inspectors he used the kitchen in a buddy’s rental house in Snohomish County to cook chicken, along with other fixings, for an event nearby in early July.

But officials say Stevenson, who runs the unlicensed Mr. Rick’s Catering out of a Tacoma home, failed to cook the chicken through and sickened several people with salmonella.

The Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department had contacted Stevenson multiple times since 2012 telling him to shut down his business. After the Snohomish County incident, the department fined him $710 for continuing to operate without a permit.

A bit more:

Stevenson has a foodhandler’s permit but doesn’t have a caterer’s license that requires approved kitchen facilities. He did not respond to a phone message seeking comment.

Sherman said the county Health Department gets three or four cases a year of caterers operating without a permit. Jeffers says it’s “fairly unusual” for fines to be issued. Offenders are first given a written warning, allowing the department to work with people to get them to follow safe foodhandling procedures.

Christ on a Corn Dog. It is not difficult to find a place to use as a commissary. Public clubs, a restaurant during off-hours, churches, etc... Our local community center has a huge gorgeous kitchen that rents for $10/hour. I am surprised that the Pierce County Health Department is as easy-going as they are - we are talking about public health here and people did get sick from the guy's cooking.

If I looking for a caterer, I would certainly check the businesses license - same thing with building contractors and such. Licensed. Bonded. Insured. Those are my three magic words...

Surf's up - done for the day

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Got the truck unpacked and the boxes of lathe parts stashed in the equipment barn. There was an amazing amount of tooling and jigs - I will be busy for a long long time. Ready for tomorrow's shopping run - both of my managers are leaving town for a week and a half so I wiill be doing more at the store. We have been having record sales these last few months - busting all previous records by 10% to 15%.

Lulu roasted a chicken for dinner and made a salad and mashed potatoes. Really tasty - we both like to cook a lot.

Been watching Psych on TV - fun police comedy but the main character is highly observant but claims psychic powers. A lot of fun - one of the episodes we watched tonight was a complete riff on Twin Peaks. They do a lot of theme shows - a few nights ago they did a UFO episode.

More spew but much later this evening. Waiting for it to get a bit cooler before I unload the truck - have a shopping run tomorrow morning.

Lulu roast a chicken for dinner - sitting down to that in a few minutes.

And the Craigslist Curse has been broken

Ho. Li. Crap. Talk about a score. The article in question was an older wood lathe - I own a small Jet lathe and enjoy working with it. This is a complete upgrade.

The lathe is a Nova DVR 3000 which was made (in New Zealand) by Teknatool. Unfortunately, the parent company seems to have gone out of business as I cannot locate a website but there is a branch in Florida so there is still some measure of support.

What clenched the sale was the boxes and boxes of tooling:

20160814-lathe.jpg

The lathe had been owned by a local man, Fred Holder, and there seems to have been quite a parallel life going on here. Fred passed away this July but during his life, he had been a blacksmith, a wood turner, he ran a print shop (I ran one for twelve years). He also published magazines for both interests as well as demonstrating his craft. His lathe has found a good home - I will be selling my old Jet lathe and building a stand for this new one.

Heading south for another Craigslist deal. Hope it does not tun out as disastrously as the previous two.

Grabbing coffee/lunch on the way and back home around 4:00PM

Very cool - Go Baby Go!

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Awesome program:

More here: Go Baby Go! Popular Mechanics has a good writeup on the program:

Why Power Wheels Are the Perfect Physical Therapy Tool for Kids
It's 3 p.m. in the basement of the engineering building at Central Connecticut State University. Desks and chairs have been pushed against the walls to make space for the main event. Within this ring is a second circle of adults in T-shirts and jeans, turning away to cover their expectant smiles. And in the center of this circle is four-year-old Patrick, who has just climbed behind the wheel of a brand new red convertible.

He is silent, uncertain, shifting in his seat. A cloud of concern passes through his brown eyes. Then, suddenly, it's gone. Without warning, he's off, his hesitation ousted by contagious glee.

"You better watch where you're going, buddy," his mother, Kate, calls after him. "Keep your eyes on the road!" Patrick zooms past, grinning. A volunteer jumps in front him, grabs the hood with both hands, and swings it around in another direction just before Patrick crashes into a table.

"I got a car!"

And the money quote:

Where the average power chair starts at around 25 grand, a little red convertible like Patrick's costs about 100 bucks. It's part of Galloway's GoBabyGo! program, in which each car is customized to suit and support its recipient. Take outgoing and energetic Xander, one of the program's earliest beta testers. For all his energy, Xander's weak leg muscles were making it hard for him to keep up on the playground. Galloway's solution? A kid-sized ATV that only worked when Xander stood up in the driver's seat. Now he's building strength in his legs, and his (slightly jealous) friends have to race to keep up with him.

Like they said in the video - $100 for the car and another $100 for the various kibbles and bits to customize. The really nice thing is that their development is open source - they give the plans away for free to anyone who wants them. Spread the idea around.

Heading south tomorrow

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Another Craigslist deal - hoping for a bit of luck here as the last two "deals" were pretty horrible.

Oh well - third time's the charm as they say...

Another leak - George Soros

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Wonderful - from DC Leaks:

George Soros is a Hungarian-American business magnate, investor, philanthropist, political activist and author who is of Hungarian-Jewish ancestry and holds dual citizenship. He drives more than 50 global and regional programs and foundations. Soros is named as the architect and sponsor of almost every revolution and coup around the world for the last 25 years. Thanks to him and his puppets USA is thought to be a vampire, not a lighthouse of freedom and democracy. His slaves spill blood of millions and millions people just to make him even more rich. Soros is an oligarch sponsoring Democratic party, Hillary Clinton, hundreds of politicians all over the world. This website is designed to let everyone take a look at restricted documents of George Soros’ Open Society Foundation and related organisations. It represents workplans, strategies, priorities and other activities of Soros. These documents shed light on one of the most influential network operating worldwide.

Soros is a truly evil person - he is the primary source of funding for Black Lives Matter, the New Black Panthers, Move On and most of the other progressive anarchy groups. To have these documents out in the open is a very good thing.

The main page for DC Links is here: DC Links - lots of stuff there besides the big Soros dump.

Wesley Pruden on the Mainstream Media

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Pruden is the editor in chief emeritus of the Washington Times - his editorial is wonderful:

When a presidential race rages out of control
It’s the conceit of every generation that horses have never been faster, whisky has never been older, beautiful women have never been younger — and politics have never been rowdier. But maybe our generation has a legitimate claim.

The clown vs. the crook, the vulgarian vs. the witch, both stained worthies that neither party wants. One is a big talker who can’t keep his mouth shut and his tongue at ease, the other driven by greed, lies and avarice, ever on the scout for loose valuables. Has the republic ever had such a choice?

And he is just warming up - this caught my eye:

But no one has let passions get out of control like the mainstream press, but only so called, because in the digital era there is no mainstream, only angry tributaries of toxic venom and lethal bile struggling to be the mainstream. All standards of neutrality and intellectual discipline have been abandoned in the race to see who can be the loudest, the shrillest and the most irresponsible in decrying Donald Trump as a traitor, a mass murderer and a Republican (take your pick).

Pure gold - read the whole thing. Hat tip to Don Surber for the link.

I had written yesterday about how the new mayor of Albuquerque has been offering jobs to homeless people cleaning up city streets. They are paid $9/hour and given meals while working. They are also connected with service organizations who can help them find housing, get identification and conect them with employers.

Here is a similar program for returning veterans - from Wyoming Public Radio:

University Of Wyoming Creates Veterans Trail Crew
A University of Wyoming trail building program has created a summer work crew specifically for veterans in need of a job. The Wyoming Veterans Trail Crew will be a part of the Wyoming Conservation Corps beginning next May.

Veterans working on the crew will spend the summer doing outdoor labor, like building fences and trails, and habitat and historical restoration. Wyoming Conservation Corps Assistant Director Patrick Harrington says, veterans will be provided with food and a tent while they are out in the field, as well as a living stipend and an educational award to use towards tuition or student debt.

Harrington says veterans face a lot of challenges upon their return, and one of the major goals of the program is to ease veterans back into the job market and civilian life.

“We hope to be able to do that with somewhat of a regimented summer, reporting duties that kind of go up a chain, teamwork and comradery,” Harrington says. “And in providing these hard skills trainings, hopefully that will kind of fill it all in and help to create this change.”

During their time on the crew, veterans will receive Leave No trace Training, wilderness first aid training, upper division UW credits, and Wildland Fire Chainsaw certification. Harrington says these skills could help the veterans move into firefighting or other land management work.

Perfect solution - a hand up not a hand out.

Great website: Undark

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Main website: Undark

From their About Us page:

BACKGROUND
Undark is an editorially independent, foundation-supported digital publication of the Knight Science Journalism Program, which is headquartered at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge. Administratively, KSJ resides under the institute’s Program in Science, Technology & Society, a division of the School of Humanities, Arts & Social Sciences.

EDITORIAL MISSION
The name Undark arises from a murky, century-old mingling of science and commerce — one that resulted in an industrial and consumer product that was both awe-inspiring and, as scientists would later prove, toxic and deadly. We appropriate the name as a signal to readers that our magazine will explore science not just as a “gee-whiz” phenomenon, but as a frequently wondrous, sometimes contentious, and occasionally troubling byproduct of human culture.

As such, the intersection of science and society — the place where science is articulated in our politics and our economics; or where it is made potent and real in our everyday lives — is a fundamental part of our mission at Undark. As journalists, we recognize that science can often be politically, economically and ethically fraught, even as it captures the imagination and showcases the astonishing scope of human endeavor. Undark will therefore aim to explore science in both light and shadow, and to bring that exploration to a broad, international audience.

Undark is not interested in “science communication” or related euphemisms, but in true journalistic coverage of the sciences.

Some interesting articles - to be added to my list of frequent reads.

At least he is being honest about it

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From Bizpac Review:

CNN’s Cuomo comes right out and admits it: ‘We couldn’t help Hillary any more than we have’
It’s no secret that CNN and pretty much the entire American media, save Fox News, is sold out for Hillary Clinton.

Witness CNN’s Chris Cuomo, the man who called Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort a liar and debated Rudy Giuliani for 32 break-less minutes on the ridiculous liberal interpretation of Trump’s Second Amendment statement, wax eloquent during a 2014 segment during which he and another host were discussing Clinton’s potential entry into the race.

This video is from 2014 - here is a transcript of the crucial paragraph:

“It’s a problem because she’s doing what they call in politics “freezing pockets,” because the donors are giving her money thinking she’s going to run, that means they’re not going to have available money for other candidates if she doesn’t.” Cuomo said. “And I don’t think she’s going to give it to them. We couldn’t help her any more than we have, she’s got just a free ride so far from the media, we’re the biggest ones promoting her campaign, so it had better happen.

Like I said, the fix for Hillary was in well before Bernie started campaigning. After all, it is her turn.

Coffee and back home

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Heading out - working on stuff here today. Doing the store shopping run Monday and meeting with some BERT people Tuesday.

March 6, 2013 - Salon:

Hugo Chavez’s economic miracle
For the last decade in American politics, Hugo Chavez became a potent political weapon – within a few years of his ascent, he was transformed from just a leader of a neighboring nation into a boogeyman synonymous with extremism. Regularly invoked in over-the-top political rhetoric, Chavez’s name became a decontextualized epithet to try to attach to a political opponent so as to make that opponent look like a radical. Because of this, America barely flinched upon hearing the news that the Bush administration tried to orchestrate a coup against the democratically elected Venezuelan leader.

Democratically elected? Channeling my inner Nelson Muntz. More:

No, Chavez became the bugaboo of American politics because his full-throated advocacy of socialism and redistributionism at once represented a fundamental critique of neoliberal economics, and also delivered some indisputably positive results. Indeed, as shown by some of the most significant indicators, Chavez racked up an economic record that a legacy-obsessed American president could only dream of achieving.

For instance, according to data compiled by the UK Guardian, Chavez’s first decade in office saw Venezuelan GDP more than double and both infant mortality and unemployment almost halved. Then there is a remarkable graph from the World Bank that shows that under Chavez’s brand of socialism, poverty in Venezuela plummeted (the Guardian reports that its “extreme poverty” rate fell from 23.4 percent in 1999 to 8.5 percent just a decade later). In all, that left the country with the third lowest poverty rate in Latin America. Additionally, as Weisbrot points out, “college enrollment has more than doubled, millions of people have access to health care for the first time and the number of people eligible for public pensions has quadrupled.”

When a country goes socialist and it craters, it is laughed off as a harmless and forgettable cautionary tale about the perils of command economics. When, by contrast, a country goes socialist and its economy does what Venezuela’s did, it is not perceived to be a laughing matter – and it is not so easy to write off or to ignore. It suddenly looks like a threat to the corporate capitalism, especially when said country has valuable oil resources that global powerhouses like the United States rely on.

The author of this piece of irrelevancy is David Sirota - wonder what he thinks about Venezuela now. What Sirota failed to realize is that Chavez wasn't using the income of the nation to fund the socialism, he was using the resources of the nation and he ran out of these two years ago. Now that petroleum prices have sunk to their real value, there is no "other people's money left to spend.

Sirota saw what he wanted to see and wrote accordingly - just another example of media bias. This is Salon after all.

I have seen great photos from near Mt. Hood in Oregon but up here it was zilch. Stayed up last night too but it was slightly overcast. Didn't see anything.

I shot about 80 photos last night - 30 second exposures one right after the next and it takes the camera (Nikon D810) another 30 seconds to 'process' the image before I can shoot again. Only two of the shots had a meteor trail on them. The forecast was for up to 200 per hour which is 3.33 per minute so their forecast was off by a large amount. Here they are:

20160811-persid01.jpg

I believe that is Andromeda galaxy at the lower part of the image. Close to where it should be and it is actually very large in the sky, just faint. The Milky Way is to the left.

20160811-persid02.jpg

Pleiades to the right of the meteor trail.

Got the camera set up and will be trying again tonight but not holding my breath...

The High-Frequency Active Auroral Research Program has been a darling of conspiracy theorists claiming that it does everything from mind control to climate modification and weather wars. It was mothballed in 2013 after 23 years of operation by the Air Force. The University of Alaska just took over the facility and will be operating it for the foreseeable future (or until our reptilian overlords decide to shut it down).

The website is at the Geophysical Institute of the University of Alaska

Making an Aluminum Foil Deflector Beanie might not be a bad thing right now. I know the voices in my brain are a lot quieter when I am wearing mine.

Another tranche - Guccifer 2.0

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Guccifer 2.0 has released a bunch more Democratic documents - some of these are coming from other computers, these are not just the Hillary emails any more.

GUCCIFER 2.0 HACKED DCCC
Hi all!
It’s time for new revelations now. All of you may have heard about the DCCC hack. As you see I wasn’t wasting my time! It was even easier than in the case of the DNC breach.

As you see the U.S. presidential elections are becoming a farce, a big political performance where the voters are far from playing the leading role. Everything is being settled behind the scenes as it was with Bernie Sanders.

I wonder what happened to the true democracy, to the equal opportunities, the things we love the United States for. The big money bags are fighting for power today. They are lying constantly and don’t keep their word. The MSM are producing tons of propaganda hiding the real stuff behind it. But I do believe that people have right to know what’s going on inside the election process in fact.

To make a long story short, here are some DCCC docs from their server. Make use of them.

Heh - the level of security shown here is downright stupid. We have little children running this nation.

Welcome to the future - Delta Airlines

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From the "If it ain't broke" department - Reuters:

More airline outages seen as carriers grapple with aging technology
Airlines will likely suffer more disruptions like the one that grounded about 2,000 Delta flights this week because major carriers have not invested enough to overhaul reservations systems based on technology dating to the 1960s, airline industry and technology experts told Reuters.

Airlines have spent heavily to introduce new features such as automated check-in kiosks, real-time luggage tracking and slick mobile apps. But they have avoided the steep cost of rebuilding their reservations systems from the ground up, former airline executives said.

Whatever colorful clown suit the customer interacts with, they are still talking to an older mainframe.

The reservations systems of the biggest carriers mostly run on a specialized IBM operating system known as Transaction Processing Facility, or TPF. It was designed in the 1960s to process large numbers of transactions quickly and is still updated by IBM, which did a major rewrite of the operating system about a decade ago.

Nothing wrong with mainframes but when the power goes out, the link between the 'user friendly' interface and the mainframe breaks and there is no longer any way to directly interface with the TPF.

Quote of the month - Reynold's Law

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"The government decides to try to increase the middle class by subsidizing things that middle class people have: If middle-class people go to college and own homes, then surely if more people go to college and own homes, we’ll have more middle-class people. But homeownership and college aren’t causes of middle-class status, they’re markers for possessing the kinds of traits — self-discipline, the ability to defer gratification, etc. —  that let you enter, and stay, in the middle class. Subsidizing the markers doesn’t produce the traits; if anything, it undermines them."
— Glenn Reynolds

Here's how you do it - homelesness

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The mayor of Albuquerque had a brilliant idea - from The Washington Post:

This Republican mayor has an incredibly simple idea to help the homeless. And it seems to be working.
Republican Mayor Richard Berry was driving around Albuquerque last year when he saw a man on a street corner holding a sign that read: “Want a Job. Anything Helps.”

Throughout his administration, as part of a push to connect the homeless population to services, Berry had taken to driving through the city to talk to panhandlers about their lives. His city’s poorest residents told him they didn’t want to be on the streets begging for money, but they didn’t know where else to go.

Seeing that sign gave Berry an idea. Instead of asking them, many of whom feel dispirited, to go out looking for work, the city could bring the work to them.

Next month will be the first anniversary of Albuquerque’s There’s a Better Way program, which hires panhandlers for day jobs beautifying the city. In partnership with a local nonprofit that serves the homeless population, a van is dispatched around the city to pick up panhandlers who are interested in working. The job pays $9 an hour, which is above minimum wage, and provides a lunch. At the end of the shift, the participants are offered overnight shelter as needed.

In less than a year since its start, the program has given out 932 jobs clearing 69,601 pounds of litter and weeds from 196 city blocks. And more than 100 people have been connected to permanent employment.

“You can just see the spiral they’ve been on to end up on the corner. Sometimes it takes a little catalyst in their lives to stop the downward spiral, to let them catch their breath, and it’s remarkable,” Berry said in an interview. ”They’ve had the dignity of work for a day; someone believed in them today.”

The program fills up every day with people begging to be given a spot next time. The non-profit has spun off another program that hooks these people up with employers in the area. A lot of times, the homeless do not have the proper ID required to get formal jobs - the program also matches these people up with agencies that can help.

I found it a bit odd The Washington Post had to mention that Mayor Berry was a Republican so many times. We have good ideas that work. Some of us even have milk and cookies. We are not the evil puppy-blenders that our "progressive" counterparts say we are.

Just wonderful - municipal bonds

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I have my savings in municipal bonds through a mutual fund (they buy many bonds and spread the risk). Stocks are too volatile for my liking and local governments will always be issuing bonds for various projects. The earnings from these investments are exempt from Federal Income Tax. Now, Obama is seeking to change this.

From Forbes:

Ending Tax Breaks On Municipal Bonds Shifts Burden To The Rest Of Us
Better check that portfolio: the Obama administration is continuing to push for limits on the tax exemption of municipal bonds. The plan was tucked away in the President’s budget introduced in April but hasn’t attracted much public attention – until now, when it appears that the cap may actually happen.

Traditionally, municipal bonds have attracted investors because the interest income is tax exempt for federal income tax purposes. Depending on the investment, the interest income may also be exempt for state and local income tax purposes. There’s a reason for the exemption: municipal bonds are generally private investments in state and local government projects like schools, hospitals, water projects and roads and the federal government has an interest in encouraging those kinds of investments.

Here’s how it works. Suppose a local government needs money. Typically, it can: (1) cut spending; (2) raise taxes; or (3) borrow money. Since the first two options are often impossible or not palatable, borrowing money is generally the most appealing. But even in the pre-”too big to fail” bank era, banks don’t generally hand over giant checks to cities and towns that might already be struggling to pay bills. Instead, the city or town borrows money from the public with the promise to pay the loan back over time with interest. That loan is called a municipal bond.

Tax exempt:

The interest has traditionally been exempt from taxation – a tax break that dates more than 100 years. In Pollock v Farmers’ Loan & Trust Company, 157 US 429 (1895), the Supreme Court held that the federal government had no power under the Constitution to tax interest on municipal bonds.

They are talking about capping the rate at 28% - that is a lot of money! Here is the problem:

And I know what you’re thinking: who cares if the rich have to pay a little more? You should care. And here’s why.

Think back to what I said before about why we have municipal bonds in the first place: it’s to encourage private investment in public projects. Those funds are used to build our roads, improve our schools and fund our emergency responders; schools alone accounted for nearly one-third of state and local infrastructure expenditures financed by private investment over the last ten years. We should want to encourage that investment. If we don’t, go back to beginning of the piece: what are the options now? Cut spending (meaning, realistically, those projects don’t happen) or raise taxes (yes, on the rest of us).

A higher tax bill on municipal bonds means that affected investors – those than can afford to shop around – will necessarily seek out other options. They’ll look to find investments that pay out at a higher rate to make up for the higher bite. The result? Instead of money going to public projects – repairing bridges, fixing dams, funding schools – it will go to Apple. Or Netflix. Or Coca-Cola. Or Citi. Is that what we want? There are already plenty of incentives to invest in the private sector; we shouldn’t erase incentives to encourage private investment in the public sector.

The author closes with:

I know that the tax cap on municipal bond interest feels like an easy bump in revenue. But it’s far from painless. Scaling back an exemption available to taxpayers for more than 100 years won’t just result in collecting more dollars. It will alter incentives for private investors to have a stake in public projects and it will make borrowing for those projects more expensive for state and local government. That isn’t bumping revenue: it’s merely shifting it around. And it affects all of us.

My investment is just a couple hundred thousand but it is the money I live on and plan to live on for the next forty years. Taxing this - potentially at 28% - would cripple my finances. I would be forced to move to the stock market and spend a lot more time managing these funds as the market shifted.

Slept in this morning - was up until 3:00AM last night and will be doing that again tonight to watch for Persids. There wasn't much of a display last night.

Heading out for coffee and taking care of some projects at home today. Nice and clear hot weather forecast for the next week so planning on doing some spraying along the fenceline this evening when it cools off.

More spew in a couple hours...

It has been 30 years - Aliens

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James Cameron's film Aliens was in the theaters 30 years ago. Stan Winston's company did the special effects and puppets. They are hosting a very nice retrospective:

ALIENS 30TH ANNIVERSARY! REVISIT ALIENS BEHIND THE SCENES AT STAN WINSTON STUDIO
This year marks the 30th anniversary of James Cameron’s landmark sci-fi movie, ALIENS; a film that is widely considered not just one of the best films of the sci-fi genre, but often mentioned as one of the best films of the 1980's, and is also the film that brought Stan Winston's first Academy Award win for Best Visual Effects in 1986. Let's celebrate by revisiting ALIENS behind the scenes at Stan Winston Studio.

Lots of photos and video clips - fun to reminisce. That was an amazing film - such a sense of impending doom as the story evolved.

Khizr Khan in the news

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The Democratic spokesman for everything Constitutional. Not so much - Paul Sperry has this to say:

Khizr Khan No Constitutional ‘Expert’; Passed Bar at Age 60
Khizr Khan, the Gold Star father who lectured Donald Trump about the Constitution at the Democratic National Convention last month, has been touted by the media as a constitutional expert, on par with a Supreme Court Justice. However, far from being a constitutional expert or even a seasoned attorney, the 66-year-old Pakistani immigrant only recently obtained a license to practice law.

I honor the loss of his son in combat - nobody should have to go through that but, this does not give Kahn the license to misrepresent himself to the general public. More:

A spokeswoman for the New York State Office of Court Administration in Albany, N.Y., said that Khan was admitted to the New York bar on June 22, 2010, which means he became eligible to practice law just six years ago — at the age of 60. He is not listed as a member of any other state bar.

And:

Nor does Khan appear to have published academic papers or law journal articles about constitutional law. In contrast, Khan’s academic papers touting Sharia law have been cited in dozens of Islamic law articles and have been used in college syllabi for Islamic law courses as recently as 2013.

Sharia law, the barbaric legal code enforced by Saudi Arabia, Iran, and the former Taliban government of Afghanistan, is at odds with most of the individual freedoms and rights protected by the U.S. Constitution.

But he is a Harvard graduate:

While Khan did graduate from Harvard in 1986, he did not obtain a typical law degree, but instead earned an LL. M. — a one-year international program tailored to foreign students. 

And Paul closes with this:

Democrats are now actively recruiting Khan to run for political office and appear in Clinton campaign ads attacking Trump and his policies. They hope to exploit the media-manufactured narrative that it took a Muslim immigrant-turned-“Harvard-trained lawyer” to school Donald Trump on the U.S. Constitution and put him in his place.

Kahn is a tool. He is an odious little man whom the Democrats are using to push their agenda. Forget about him and keep looking at the big picture.

Sigh - nothing to see here folks...

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The shower was a bust. Saw maybe 20 meteors over an hour of observing. Had decent seeing - slight smoke haze but good deep skies, minimal glow from Abbotsford.

Ran time-lapse for the hour - see what I find tomorrow on the computer. It is late and time for bed.

Try again tomorrow...

The radio group I work with has worked with the Blaine, WA ACS many times and I sometimes participate in their Sunday radio networks (held 30 minutes after my group's net).

Blaine's The Northern Light has a nice write-up:

Ham radio buffs in Blaine dedicate themselves to community service
When the deadliest landslide in American history swept Oso two years ago, amateur ham radio operators from Blaine volunteered their skills to save lives.

Members of Blaine’s Auxiliary Communications Service (ACS) spent 172 hours on duty at the Snohomish County Emergency Operations Center and Darrington Command Vehicle. They reported safety issues, injuries and work stoppages on the scene and created a backup communications network where the landslide had cut Internet and phone service, said Scott Honaker, the Snohomish County communications coordinator.

One of the reasons for ham radio:

The Oso tragedy revealed a sobering truth: ordinary communication networks can fail in crises – and when they do, ham radio operators are an invaluable asset. But for most, ham radio is a hobby – testing the limits of the technology, communicating with other amateur radio operators around the globe or even racking up their number of contacts to score titles in contests.

Then there are the “hams,” as they call themselves, who utilize the technology for community service.

“Every ham isn’t an emergency services guy, but many emergency services communicators are ham operators,” ACS member Bill Bullock said.

Even if they have backup power, cell towers will become overwhelmed. Land lines are out as is internet. I can run for several days on a couple of car batteries and have solar panels to keep them charged so I can operate indefinitely. Lots more at the article.

Alpenglow

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Just took this a few minutes ago - nice alpenglow on Mt. Baker:

20160811-baker.jpg

Chemistry lab temperature

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Great story from Derek Lowe at In the Pipeline:

Laboratory Weather Conditions
It’s hot out there in Boston today – hot the way it gets in Arkansas or Georgia, but not too often up here. I, of course, will be hanging out in air-conditioned labs and offices, with no need to stick my head outside, but even so, this would not be a good day to run a small water-sensitive reaction. And I’ve done lab work under conditions that were a lot more coupled to the weather than this. My post-doc lab in Germany was under the “open the windows if you’re hot” system, like many German buildings, and the breeze would redistribute photocopies of JACS papers off my desk and send them towards the hall. Darmstadt never got to the high 90s Fahrenheit while I was there, fortunately (I heard plenty of complaints about the heat at much lower levels, but then I used to complain about how chilly it could get in July). You did have the humidity to worry about, though, both for sensitive reagents and for things like water dripping down the sides of condensers, etc. (The traditional remedy for that is to tie a paper-towel bandana around the bottom of the thing like a sweatband).

I did, though, experience real heat in the lab a few times in Arkansas. The old chemistry building had had its windows bricked up years before, which meant that if the AC faltered or failed, it got pretty toasty pretty fast on the upper floors. The first summer that I did undergrad research, it failed a couple of times and we (enthusiastic scientists all) kept trying to do lab work as the plastic caps popped off the old Mallinckrodt ether cans. (Slicing the metal alloy off of those to open them for the first time is a bygone experience, for sure). We eventually had to flee to the relatively balmy Arkansas summer outside – at least there was the chance of a breeze out there. I’ve spoken over the years with colleagues from India, though, about their experiences in university labs where if you needed to use diethyl ether, you pretty much had to do it in the middle of the night or wait until the rainy season. So I’m glad to have only worked under those conditions briefly!

The usual way that people measure those conditions is by what solvents are liquids or solids (or trying to become gases!) t-Butanol is a marker for a warm lab; it freezes at about 25.5 C (78 F). Diethyl ether boils at 34.6 C just over 94 F, so if that’s actually starting to go, you’re in a mighty hot room. You don’t hear as much about cold labs, but DMSO freezes at 19C (66F), and I’ve certainly worked in labs where it had solidified. (Sometimes you see labs where the AC is cranked so hard in the summer that the DMSO freezes up, which is impressive). Acetic acid is the next common thing that would go on you; that one freezes at 16.6 C, about 62 F, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen it as a solid on an open shelf, which is good.

Be sure to read through the comments - some great stories.

Changes at Google

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The parent company of web search giant Google is Alphabet. One of their other projects is a venture-capital business called Google Ventures. They have invested in some shaky technologies - the Ivanpah Solar plant and their self-driving automobiles.

Seems like some heads are rolling - from the Wall Street Journal:

Alphabet Unit Google’s VC Chief Bill Maris to Exit
The founder of Google’s venture-capital arm, Bill Maris, is leaving the company, the latest in a series of high-level departures from parent Alphabet Inc.

Mr. Maris, chief executive of GV, which was formerly known as Google Ventures, is being replaced by Google veteran and GV Managing Partner David Krane, effective Friday, according to a person familiar with the matter.

No explanation was immediately given for Mr. Maris’s departure.

It follows word last week that Chris Urmson, chief technology officer and former director of Google’s self-driving car effort, had left the project at a crucial juncture as the company tries to transition its driverless-car technology into a commercial product. He gave no clear reason for his departure nor hint of his destination.

In June, Tony Fadell stepped down as CEO of Alphabet Inc.’s home-automation unit Nest.

Nest is tanking, I do not see a large market for driverless automobiles (delivery trucks maybe) and the Ivanpah plant has been killing birds and running under capacity since day one. Time to step back from some of these technologies and take a good look at what the market actually needs.

Playing hookey tonight

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Decided to skip tonights radio meeting - no events planned and don't feel like driving into town just now.

Tacos for dinner - the shredded beef came out delicious in the slow cooker.

What goes around, comes around

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From Florida station WFTS:

Road rage likely sparked fatal shooting, victim had served time for prior road rage case
The victim of an early morning road rage incident in Plant City was also the suspect in a road rage case in Tampa in 2001.

Gary Lynn Durham, 40, of Brandon, was shot and killed in the middle of the road near the intersection of East Dr. Martin Luther King Junior Boulevard and Forbes Road in Plant City early Wednesday during what deputies are calling a "possible road rage incident" between him and another man.

Deputies with the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office responded to the scene just after 6:30 a.m. on Wednesday and found Durham in the roadway and the shooter, identified as Robert Padgett, performing CPR on the man he had just shot.

During the incident, one of the men reportedly stopped his car in front of the other, both men got out of their cars and an argument ensued. The argument ended with Padgett firing at least one round from a handgun that struck and killed Durham.

Previous records show that Durham was arrested and found guilty for his involvement in another road rage incident that happened on October 24, 2001 in Tampa. He was sentenced to 11 and a half years and was on probation at the time of Wednesday's road rage incident in Plant City.

And of course:

No charges have been filed and Padgett has been released pending a review of the case by the State's Attorney's office.

Stands to reason. Good riddance.

From Investor's Business Daily:

The Bitter Lesson From Seattle's Minimum Wage Hike
Raising the minimum wage is one of those wonderful-sounding ideas that, whenever tried, unfortunately never quite works the way it was promised. To its credit, the Washington Post has noticed.

The Post recently highlighted a new study from a group of economists who were commissioned by the city of Seattle to look at that city's minimum wage hike from $9.96 an hour to $11.14 an hour. What they found was enlightening.

To begin with, the economists said, some of the workers weren't helped at all, since their pay would have likely gone up anyway with experience and tenure on the job.

But the city didn't bargain for what happened to other workers it had sought to help: "Although workers were earning more, fewer of them had a job than would have without an increase," the Post said. "Those who did work had fewer hours than they would have without the wage hike."

Indeed, depending how it's calculated, the economists found that the minimum wage hike that sounded so generous when passed resulted in somewhere between a $5.54 a week raise and a $5.22 a week reduction in pay.

The numbers do not lie - anyone who claims that the $15/hour will have no impact is innumerate and needs to be pitied.

One note about political polls

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From Stephen Kruiser writing at PJ Media:

FYI: Gallup Had Dukakis Up by 17 at This Point in 1988

And Stephen has this to say:

Admittedly, it has been a brutal couple of weeks for Trump in the national polls. Those polls, however, are extremely volatile at this point in a presidential election. There are a lot of national polls, which Nate Silver repeatedly warns people against reading too much into (he prefers state polls). The 2012 August and September polls look like a tour of Elvis's uppers and downers collection.

Anything can still happen. A lone MSM voice may decide to start talking about the fact that Hillary Clinton was using the State Dept. to run a slush fund. People could start paying attention to her erratic behavior. More people may begin to remember how the entire country felt like it needed to be tick-dipped when Bubba and the Missus left the White House.

Interesting times...

Supposed to be quite the meteor shower tonight. Doing a time-lapse series to see what I can catch. Forecast to be nice and clear for a change.

Best time to watch is between Midnight and 3:00AM

More here. Planning to photograph the shower? Here.

From Yahoo/Agence France Presse:

Newspapers rethink paywalls as digital efforts sputter
Paywalls were supposed to help rescue newspapers from the crisis of sinking print circulation as readers shifted to getting their news online.

But with a few exceptions, they have failed to deliver much relief, prompting some news organizations to rethink their digital strategies.

Newspapers in the English-speaking world ended paywalls some 69 times through May 2015, including 41 temporary and 28 permanent drops, according to a study by University of Southern California researchers.

Paywalls "generate only a small fraction of industry revenue," with estimates ranging from one percent in the United States to 10 percent internationally, the study in July's International Journal of Communication said.

Old school media meets the 20th century. Adapt or die. Advertise but make it unobtrusive. We will read advertising but not too much. Do not get greedy.

Besides, if your paywall is to obtrusive, we will either hack around it or we will ignore you.

Outside of that, how was your day?

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Russian septic tank pump truck blows a gasket:

Tip of the hat to Peter at Bayou Renaissance Man.

Another brick in the wall

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One of the items on Barry's agenda (and Hillary's as well) is the Federal takeover of local police functions. This is why a lot of ex-military stuff has found its way into the hands of local police departments and why more and more commands are being issued by the Federal government on how matters should be handled.

And today, things just got ratcheted up a notch - from The Washington Post:

Baltimore officials, Justice Department promise sweeping overhaul of city police
Baltimore’s top law enforcement and political leaders on Wednesday vowed a sweeping overhaul of the city Police Department after a searing rebuke of the agency’s practices, which the Justice Department said regularly discriminated against black residents in poor communities.

Officials promised improved community relations, a purge of race-based policing and a modernized department that better trains officers and holds them accountable. But they warned that reforming an agency entrenched in a culture of unconstitutional policing would be a slow process and could cost millions of dollars.

A bit more:

The Justice Department explicitly condemned many long-standing discriminatory enforcement practices by Baltimore police that allowed for illegal searches, arrests and stops of African Americans for minor offenses. But the highly critical report is also an indictment of “zero tolerance” and “broken windows” policing, which seek to quell crime by targeting minor offenses. Once heralded as groundbreaking crime-fighting strategies, they are now the subject of intense scrutiny amid the national debate over racially biased law enforcement.

The problem here is that the majority of the criminals, both major and minor, in Baltimore are black. The numbers do not lie. The Democrat's continuing policy of breaking up the black families, zero quality-control of the school system and of egregious handouts for doing nothing has created a feral class of youth who have no moral compass, no father figure, no education and no job prospects. We can go back to Lyndon Johnson's Great Society as the start of this policy where Lyndon was quoted as saying that "This will have those niggers voting Democrat for the next 200 years."

20160810-poverty.jpg

From here. After the initial outset of the program, we have had zero progress on the "problem" despite a substantial increase in spending. All we are doing is creating and feeding larger and larger bureaucracies and agencies whose mission is to keep in place the poverty business.

Socialist Climber - Hillary

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Great cartoon from Stilton Jarlsberg:

20160810-gallows.jpg

Curious happenings to our North

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The city of Churchill, Manitoba is famous for its Polar Bear tourism. I would love to visit there and may do so in the next ten years - aurora borealis viewing too. It is also the largest port city in the Canadian Arctic and that port just closed down.

From Canada's Bell News Network:

Port of Churchill’s closure stirs calls for government intervention
For the first time since the Great Depression, Canada will soon have no deepwater link to the Arctic.

As of Aug. 8, the Port of Churchill will cease operations. While the owner – Denver-based OmniTrax – has not responded to multiple requests from BNN to confirm the shutdown, the mayor of the northern Manitoba town told Commodity News Service Canada all shipments will be suspended by the start of next week.

“There was no communication from OmniTrax at all on this decision,” said Mike Spence, mayor of the community of about 750 people, where roughly one in ten residents has historically been employed at the port. Churchill resident and port employee Joe Stover posted a photo of the layoff notice he received on Twitter earlier this week.

“The Port of Churchill just laid everyone (myself included) off,” Stover wrote in an earlier post. “[They] told us there will be no grain season this year.”

And the grain season is critical:

According to the Western Grain Elevators Association, the Canadian grain harvest this year could be as high as 74 million tonnes, which would approach the 76.8-million-tonne record set in 2014. Bumper crop expectations has only served to heighten concerns over the Port of Churchill shutting down.

Thank you increased carbon dioxide gas - it is plant food after all. Of course, all that we need to do is follow the money:

Last week, Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister revealed a secret agreement between OmniTrax and the previous NDP provincial government whereby the company received more than $800,000 from the province to help cover operating costs associated with the 2015 shipping season.

Pallister said OmniTrax shut down the port in hopes of convincing the new government to renew the deal, but the premier refused, telling reporters “I don’t respond ever to threats.”

And this:

Niki Ashton, NDP Member of Parliament for Churchill-Keewatinook Aski, launched a formal petition earlier this week calling on the federal government to re-nationalize the port. Despite a three-year-old federal-provincial task force report calling for the need to “explore new directions” for the Port of Churchill “with a greater sense of urgency,” the political appetite for action has waned.

Ottawa has been subsidizing the port since 2012 when the Canadian Wheat Board’s grain marketing monopoly was shut down. The annual payment – equivalent to $9.20 per tonne of grain shipped through the port – was scheduled to expire next year.

Business as usual - glad that there has been a change of government and that the new premier (Brian Pallister) is standing firm. A business should not be able to hold a national property for ransom.

Global warming - another perspective

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Finally, someone who realizes that we are coming out of a time of glaciation and that the warming is a natural thing - from New Scientist:

World’s longest lake is being depleted of life as waters warm
Loss of biodiversity in Lake Tanganyika, Africa’s oldest and deepest lake, has been driven by 500 years of sustained climate warming, a study of core sediments has found.

This has led to a decline in the abundance of the lake’s fish that pre-dates commercial fisheries.

We have known that the warming climate is transforming lakes worldwide, but a lack of consistent climate and fishery data from the tropics has meant that little was known about how lakes in the region were affected.

So Andy Cohen at the University of Arizona in Tucson and colleagues analysed sediment cores from Lake Tanganyika in East Africa to study proxies of temperature, algal production and abundance of fish fossils over the past 1500 years.

Emphasis mine - finally, the truth comes out. We have periods of 30 to 100 years where there may be perturbations to the climate (Maunder and Dalton minima, the thirty-year spike in warming in the 1970's) but overall, we have been warming at a constant rate for a long long time - predates our industrial revolution.

Posting will be light today - got a couple projects to bust out.

Fixing spaghetti for dinner tonight and prepping for some slow-cooker BBQ shredded beef flank steak for tomorrow.

Today's moment of cognitive dissonance

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Now this is odd - corpse flower

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From Atlas Obscura:

Why Are So Many Corpse Flowers Blooming at Once?
If Friday’s announcement that the New York Botanical Garden’s corpse flower was in bloom—the first occurrence in the city since 1939—inspired a sense of dejá vu, it may not be all in your head. The Wall Street Journal has pointed out that over half a dozen of the gigantic plants have bloomed this year in the United States, unusually, at the same time.

What's going on?

Titan arums (scientifically known as Amorphophallus titanum), commonly known as the “corpse flower” is a truly unique plant. According to the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, which hosted the first titan arums to bloom in cultivation in 1889, the plant boasts “one of the largest flowering structures and one of the foulest odours in the plant kingdom.” The smell produced by the flower is so gross—and so multi-faceted in its composition, with descriptions ranging from “Limburger cheese” to “rotting flesh” to “one thousand pukes”—that scientists have made efforts to isolate and identify the chemical compounds that inspire the plant’s popular nickname. The odor is believed to be intended to attract insects that feed and/or breed in carrion and dung, tricking them into serving as pollinators for the plant. Thankfully, according to The Washington Post, producing the odor requires a tremendous amount of energy, “so the odor is fleeting and comes in waves or, more likely, tsunamis.” Meaning that while the odor is one of the most recognizable features of the plant, most visitors to the New York Botanical Garden won’t have to cope with the smell.

If the idea of seeing a ten-foot-tall flower without being overwhelmed by a horrific stench disappoints you, there’s good news! The Guardian notes that corpse flowers are expected to bloom soon (or have just started blooming) in Washington, D.C., Bloomington, Indiana, and Sarasota, Florida. That’s on top of blooms earlier this year in Chicago, Charleston, Illinois, and Winter Park, Florida. Considering that the University of Wisconsin tracked only 157 recorded corpse flower blooms between 1889 and 2008, that’s a lot of corpse flowers blooming in just one country over just one year.

A lot of these plants are "cousins" coming from the same mother plant as cuttings so that may explain the synchronicity - also, there are a lot more corpse flowers out there. They are a spectacular blossom and can draw quite a crowd.

From Portland Oregon station KOIN:

Research: The Big One could rattle Oregon sooner
A new analysis by researchers in Oregon, Spain and British Columbia suggests that massive earthquakes on northern sections of the Cascadia Subduction Zone, affecting areas of the Pacific Northwest that are more heavily populated, are somewhat more frequent than has been believed in the past.

The chance of one occurring within the next 50 years is also slightly higher than previously estimated.

The findings, published this week in the journal Marine Geology, are based on data that is far more detailed and comprehensive than anything prior to this. It used measurements from 195 core samples containing submarine landslide deposits caused by subduction zone earthquakes, instead of only about a dozen such samples in past research.

The work was done by researchers from Oregon State University, Camosun College in British Columbia and Instituto Andaluz de Ciencias de la Tierra in Spain. The research was supported by the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Geological Survey.

Got my batteries charged up, a couple weeks of food in the pantry and water from a stream nearby. About all we can do out here. A magnitude 9 quake will make life a mess out here. When they were researching for the Cascadia Rising drill, it was found that none of the I-5 bridges would withstand the movement. Figure that most grocery stores have at best about ten days of food on the shelves and in backstock, many times it's only a few days - we get weekly deliveries.

IBM's 100th Birthday

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Celebrated back in 2011 but just ran into this film by Errol Morris with soundtrack by Phillip Glass:

For auction:

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From the listing:

TRINITY LUTHERAN COLLEGE
Preview 8am-4pm, Tuesday, September 13 
2802 Wetmore Ave, Everett, WA 98201 

No other details about the sale. Lots of tools, kitchen ware, library book shelves, 96 bunk beds, 117 wood dressers, 240+ chairs, lots of office furniture. I guess the property is being sold separately. I might bid on a few things - some projectors and electrical stuff.

Link to Preview

Our efficient government - FirstNet

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I remember hearing about this back when it was being planned but nobody I know talks about it now. The First Responders out here have built their own network with both public and amateur radio links. Talk about a waste of our money - as much as $47 Billion.

From The Atlantic:

The $47 Billion Network That’s Already Obsolete
The prize for the most wasteful post-9/11 initiative arguably should go to FirstNet—a whole new agency set up to provide a telecommunications system exclusively for firefighters, police, and other first responders. They would communicate on bandwidth worth billions of dollars in the commercial market but now reserved by the Federal Communications Commission for FirstNet.

FirstNet is in such disarray that 15 years after the problem it is supposed to solve was identified, it is years from completion—and it may never get completed at all. According to the GAO, estimates of its cost range from $12 billion to $47 billion, even as advances in digital technology seem to have eliminated the need to spend any of it.

And four years later - earlier this year:

The FirstNet RFP, which finally emerged in January, seeks one company to operate the nationwide system. (Verizon, AT&T, and one or more firms that would gather dozens of regional partners into a consortium are the likely players.) The bidders have to offer to pay FirstNet at least $5.6 billion spread over 25 years in return for the bandwidth that FirstNet would make available to them.

The winner (presumably, whichever company bids the most above $5.6 billion, while also demonstrating it can do the job) can then sell the FirstNet network to police and fire departments, hospitals, and other first responders, one by one.

Great - another monopoly and the individual departments have to pay out of their budget to join the network. And, of course, the people overseeing this fustercluck are on top of things as usual:

Certainly, FirstNet is not on Jeh Johnson’s priority list. Asked about FirstNet, the homeland-security secretary said he was “not familiar with what they’re supposed to be doing.”

Just as a reminder, if you had $47 Billion dollars and spent $10,000 every minute, your money would last for well over eight years.

Our cooling sun

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Great video on current research - stock up on firewood!

Published by the The Global Warming Policy Forum which also reports this:

RECORD COLD REPORTED IN GREENLAND
Last month’s weather observations in Greenland established not just one but two new records according to senior climatologist John Cappelen.

“The total precipitation received in Tasiilaq was only 0.1 mm in July. This has never happened since we have taken measurements up there – and we have made them there since 1898,” said the climatologist.

“And although it has been generally warm in Greenland in the summer – particularly on the East Coast – the second record was actually a cold record.”

On August 1, the Danish Meteorological Institute’s measuring station registered an appalling -30.7 ° C at the ice cap’s summit.

“This is the lowest temperature for July we have from this station,” said John Cappelen.

The previous record was -27.7 ° C on 30 July 1992.

What global warming? It will be a lot of fun when the shit really hits the fan - when the great rivers of Europe freeze over and crop production is down 30%. What will the politicians say then?

Is stumping for Hillary - have these people no shame? From West Palm Beach, Fla station WPTV:

Orlando shooter's father attends Hillary Clinton rally in Kissimmee
Hillary Clinton spoke to a crowd in Kissimmee, just south of Orlando. She was supposed to be talking jobs, but started the speech off paying tribute to those affected by the Pulse Nightclub shooting.

"I know how many people, families, loved ones, and friends are still grieving, and we will be with you as you rebuild your lives."

WPTV happened to notice the man, who has a mustache and was wearing a red hat, behind Clinton. It was Seddique Mateen, the father of Orlando mass shooter Omar Mateen.

A Clinton official had this to say:

An official with the Clinton campaign said, "The rally was a 3,000-person, open-door event for the public. This individual wasn't invited as a guest and the campaign was unaware of his attendance until after the event."

cough - BULLSHIT - cough

The guy was sitting directly in back of Hillary - look at the photo:

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Smiling a**hole with striped shirt, dark hair and mustache. You do not get that close to a candidate without their knowing who you are. It is not just his son that committed the act of terrorism, Seddique has his own baggage - quite a lot in fact. He has posted many YouTube videos - he rambles and claims to be the revolutionary president of Afghanistan. The link to that story is above where his name is mentioned.

This is just disconnected from reality. What were people thinking?

Another day in paradise

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Had breakfast, took care of the critters and now out for coffee.

Working at home today on a couple of projects.

Hillary - another seizure today

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She is getting them more frequently. She is OK speaking but whenever there is an outburst from the crowd, she freezes for a few seconds and gets lost. This time, she resumed with a different subject matter.

This twitter account seems interesting - no proof of anything though: @HillsMedRecords. One screencap - click to embiggen:

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What with all the delays in helping our Veterans and the keeping of secret lists to make it seem that wait times are minimal, we see this egregious mismanagement. From The Washington Free Beacon:

VA Drops Millions on Delayed Solar Power Projects
The Department of Veterans Affairs has spent more than $408 million to install solar panels on its medical facilities in recent years, despite many of the projects experiencing significant delays and some of the systems not becoming operational at all.

The VA has failed to effectively plan and manage these solar panel projects, resulting in significant delays and additional costs, according to a report released by the agency’s inspector general last week.

The watchdog conducted an audit of 11 of the 15 solar projects awarded between fiscal years 2010 and 2013 that were still in progress as of May last year. The investigation, which was completed in March, found that only two of the 11 solar panel projects were fully completed.

“This occurred because of planning errors, design changes, a lengthy interconnection process, and contractor delays,” the inspector general concluded. “As a result, VA did not increase renewable energy for those solar projects in the time frame planned and incurred additional costs through needed contract modifications.”

Good Lord - it takes maybe six months to install and complete a solar installation. Maybe another six months for the initial planning and to secure funding. These are installations that are still offline five years after the initial planning and funding - when the go-ahead was given to the contractor.

That inspector general needs to take the people responsible up to the roof to view the installation and then give them a hearty shove. Do this enough times and the surviving administrators might take a renewed interest in doing their job.

I hope that Trump wins in November - this is precisely the kind of thing he will get to the bottom of and fix. The issue here is not individual slackers, it is the corporate DNA - the corporate culture. Nobody cares and nobody is willing to take the effort to change anything.

Al Gore - call your office

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From Ars Technica:

No major US hurricanes in 11 years. Odds of that? 1-in-2,300.
On Thursday some meteorologists (who are by nature a cheesy lot) had an opportunity to channel their inner Dixie Chick and sing "Goodbye Earl" as yet another hurricane went into the Yucatan Peninsula to die. Most of the rest of the United States yawned—another hurricane in the Atlantic, and no harm done.

But the hurricane was remarkable precisely because of this. Earl, which attained a maximum wind speed of 80 mph before striking Belize, marked another in a long line of hurricanes that have formed in the Atlantic basin—the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, and Gulf of Mexico—but have not affected the United States.

Consider some of the following statistics: the last hurricane to reach the Gulf of Mexico was Ingrid in September, 2013. The current, nearly three-year-long drought for the Gulf has not been equaled since at least 1851. The drought in hurricanes that make Florida landfalls is even more pronounced. The Sunshine State, which juts into the Atlantic Ocean like a lightning rod for tropical weather, has not been hit by a hurricane since Wilma (2005). Earl was in fact the 67th Atlantic hurricane in a row to not make landfall in Florida, according to hurricane scientist Phil Klotzbach. The previous record was a mere 33 hurricanes, a streak between Hurricanes David (1979) and Elena (1985).

What were they predicting? An increase of hurricanes! Pity those models didn't work. National Geographic failed. Weather.com failed. Time Magazine failed. Mother Nature Network failed. I could go on but you get the picture.

This looks fantastic - Graphic Means

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Documentary about typesetting and page layout from precomputers through Desktop Publishing. I was very much involved with it having one of the first laser printers connected to an IBM PC in Seattle's University District. Did a lot of people's papers, publications, charts, etc... A fun time.

Here is the website for the movie: graphic means

It’s been roughly 30 years since the desktop computer revolutionized the way the graphic design industry works. For decades before that, it was the hands of industrious workers, and various ingenious machines and tools that brought type and image together on meticulously prepared paste-up boards, before they were sent to the printer.

The documentary, Graphic Means, which is now in production, will explore graphic design production of the 1950s through the 1990s—from linecaster to photocomposition, and from paste-up to PDF.

One of my go-to websites for cooking is Serious Eats - love the place. I have never had a bad recipe from them.

I was thinking about fall cooking and bringing out the slow cooker and browsed around for some things to try. Two years ago, they did a review of some Campbell's Soup products. These are sauces in a pouch that you pour over your protein in the slow cooker and a couple hours later, dinner. They rated two of them very highly and all the others were an unenthusiastic MEH...

I spent a chunk of time today trying to run down the top-rated product (Mexican Red Chile Taco) at three stores. Zip Zilch Nada. Come home to check Amazon. Nope. Visit the Campbell's website and the top two rated sauces in the review have been discontinued!

From the review:

THE BEST!
These sauces produced results that were not just passably good, but downright tasty.

The two discontinued items of course. And then:

PASSABLY GOOD
Some folks found these tasty, others took a bite and left the table. With some doctoring and great sides, they can make for a decent meal.

The Sweet Korean BBQ looks interesting - I may try that. They also list an Apple Bourbon BBQ pulled pork.

All the rest of the Campbell's offerings fell under this next heading:

SKIP IT
These were pretty universally panned as not worth eating. We'd recommend avoiding them.

Looks like I will be cooking the old fashioned way - assembling the recipes from scratch. The joys of trying to get something good out of Corporate America.

Yup - just when you thought it could not get any better - from c|net Road Show:

Oh, not again: US reportedly finds new secret software in VW diesels
It looks like Volkswagen's diesel scandal could keep rolling as reports claim that the automaker has three hidden software programs in its 3.0-liter engines.

Concerns about the German car manufacturers' 2.0-liter engines could soon reach a conclusion, but the discovery of the hidden software has thrown the future of 3.0-liter diesels into uncertainty.

That secret software in Volkswagen's 3.0-liter diesels can turn off the vehicles' emissions controls, Reuters reports, citing the German newspaper Bild am Sonntag. The emissions control system allegedly shuts off after 22 minutes, when most emissions tests take about 20.

If this software does exist, it likely resides in all 3.0-liter diesels that Volkswagen sells in the US. This includes the Audi Q7, Volkswagen Touareg and Porsche Cayenne SUVs. Approximately 85,000 of these cars are roaming around the US, and they're already under scrutiny for some software that VW "forgot" to tell regulators about.

"We continue to work closely with the EPA and CARB to try to secure approval of a technical resolution for affected vehicles with 3.0L V6 TDI engines as quickly as possible," Audi said in an emailed statement. "As stated in today's Court hearing, an updated proposal is undergoing thorough testing and analysis and we intend to submit this to the regulators in August. The Court has instructed the parties to report on the status of these discussions on August 25."

A damn shame as I really like the design of the TDI diesel. They should have gone with a Diesel Exhaust Fluid / Selective Catalytic Reduction system like larger trucks have (mine included). A wee bit more hassle but a much better performing engine and much cleaner emissions. Instead, they chose to use software trickery and they got caught.

The Diesel Exhaust Fluid system is quite clever - from Wikipedia (and more here too):

Diesel engines can be run with a lean burn air-to-fuel ratio (overstoichiometric ratio), to ensure the full combustion of soot and to prevent the exhaust of unburnt fuel. The excess of air necessarily leads to generation of mono-nitrogen oxides (NOx), which are harmful pollutants, from the nitrogen in the air. Selective catalytic reduction is used to reduce the amount of NOx released into the atmosphere. Diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) from a separate tank is injected into the exhaust pipeline, where the aqueous urea vaporizes and decomposes to form ammonia and carbon dioxide. Within the SCR catalyst, the NOx are catalytically reduced by the ammonia (NH3) into water ( H2O) and nitrogen (N2), which are both harmless; and these are then released through the exhaust.

In a word: more optimized combustion, better fuel efficiency, increased power, reduced maintenance, fewer regenerations, less wear on the engine, plus it yields harmless nitrogen and water into the atmosphere, and it's highly reliable.

Hillary's handler

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An interesting collection of images from  Mike Cernovich at Danger & Play:

Who is Hillary’s Handler?
Michael Jackson, Prince, and Elvis would travel with a personal doctor who could administer needed life-saving drugs and attention during a crisis. Remember when you thought famous people like Michael Jackson and Elvis had good medical care? What’s Clinton on?

Hillary appears to travel with her own Michael Jackson/Elvis style doctor. Who is he?
We saw this first “doctor” or handler during Hillary’s recent freeze-up. You can see Hillary’s handler, who at first glance would not be considered the alpha male of the group, reassure Hillary, speak to her using hypnotic language, and then move the Secret Service Agents out of the way. This handler is not an ordinary SS agent.

Reactions to the first video were similar. This is a weird situation, and clearly the handler is not ordinary Secret Service.

Just go and visit Mike's site - this raises a lot of questions over the woman who would be queen. She repeatedly has small focal seizures - not to wish anyone harm but, I would love to see a big one during the debates.

From the above link:

Signs and symptoms of frontal lobe seizures may include:

    • Moving your head or eyes to one side
    • Not being aware of your surroundings, or having difficulty speaking
    • Screaming, swearing or laughing
    • Having unusual body movements, such as stretching one arm, while bending the other, as if you were posing like a fencer
    • Having repeated movements, such as rocking, pedalling or pelvic thrusting

Looks like a diagnosis to me.

Point of Sale woes

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About nine months ago, we had a large point of sale system installed at the store. Bit of a learning curve but it is proving to be a great investment on the back end - we can now get a really good idea of what is selling and what is not. Plus, being able to scan items in instead of having to price everything as we stock it saves a lot of time - that plus we had people move price tags around on bottles of wine - save a few bucks and rip us off.

One of the systems I seriously considered was Micros - the cost per lane was a lot higher and it didn't do as much so I passed on it. Plus, not a big fan of their owner Oracle. I have dealt with Oracle databases both at Microsoft and at the Ocean Engineering company I used to work for. The performance is superb but the administrator interface is unnecessarily byzantine and convoluted. Poor design.

Very glad I did not choose them - just saw this in the news - from Krebs on Security:

Data Breach At Oracle’s MICROS Point-of-Sale Division
A Russian organized cybercrime group known for hacking into banks and retailers appears to have breached hundreds of computer systems at software giant Oracle Corp., KrebsOnSecurity has learned. More alarmingly, the attackers have compromised a customer support portal for companies using Oracle’s MICROS point-of-sale credit card payment systems.

Asked this weekend for comment on rumors of a large data breach potentially affecting customers of its retail division, Oracle acknowledged that it had “detected and addressed malicious code in certain legacy MICROS systems.” It also said that it is asking all MICROS customers to reset their passwords for the MICROS online support portal.

MICROS is among the top three point-of-sale vendors globally. Oracle’s MICROS division sells point-of-sale systems used at more than 330,000 cash registers worldwide. When Oracle bought MICROS in 2014, the company said MICROS’s systems were deployed at some 200,000+ food and beverage outlets, 100,000+ retail sites, and more than 30,000 hotels.

The size and scope of the break-in is still being investigated, and it remains unclear when the attackers first gained access to Oracle’s systems. Sources close to the investigation say Oracle first considered the breach to be limited to a small number of computers and servers at the company’s retail division. That source said that soon after Oracle pushed new security tools to systems in the affected network investigators realized the intrusion impacted more than 700 infected systems.

Ouch - that is going to put a big dent into their sales. They deal mostly with large corporations - over 330,000 sites deployed over 180 countries. Clients include Starbucks, Ben and Jerry's, Burger King, Sonic, star.wood hotels, Hilton and Marriott, IKEA, adidas, Tractor Supply (yikes - I shop there regularly) and Sony.

Just got home - busy day in town, lots of traffic and long lines at the stores. Got everything done for the next couple of days through.

Have BERT and WECG meetings Wednesday and Thursday so busy week but that is it for the rest of the month. Fixing dinner (last of the left-over turkey) and surf.

Off to town today

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Running a few errands - coffee first. Back around 4:00PM or so.

Frank and Ernest

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Today's comic was spot on:

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Hillary's history as New York Senator

An interesting look back to 2000 at The Washington Post:

As senator, Clinton promised 200,000 jobs in Upstate New York. Her efforts fell flat.
In her presidential bid, Hillary Clinton has made job creation a centerpiece of her platform, casting herself as a pragmatist who would inspire “the biggest investment in new, good-paying jobs since World War II.’’

Her argument that she would put more Americans to work has focused on her time in the Senate, when she took on the mission of creating jobs in chronically depressed Upstate New York. As her husband, former president Bill Clinton, put it recently, she became the region’s “de facto economic development officer.”

But nearly eight years after Clinton’s Senate exit, there is little evidence that her economic development programs had a substantial impact on upstate employment. Despite Clinton’s efforts, upstate job growth stagnated overall during her tenure, with manufacturing jobs plunging nearly 25 percent, according to jobs data.

Rhetoric is one thing but it does not put food on the table. Job creation, serious economic stimulation does. Cut taxes, reduce the legal burden of business ownership and watch the economy flourish. It does not need micromanagement.

Crooked Hillary - unfit for office?

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Great post from Kyle Olson at The American Mirror:

SHOCK PHOTO: Multiple staffers help unstable Hillary up stairs
The questionable health condition of Hillary Clinton should be a major issue of the 2016 campaign.

The latest evidence comes in the form of Clinton being helped up a set of stairs by multiple individuals outside what appears to be a home.

Kyle also offers this little infographic:

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Peter at  Bayou Renaissance Man dug up this clip with the comment:In case you were wondering what this election is all about. . .

From Peter:

It seems that less than half the country believes this woman should grow up, accept responsibility for her own life and her own mistakes, and work to correct them. The remainder - sadly, seemingly more than half - seem to believe that it's Big Brother's job to take care of them (at taxpayer expense, of course).

Makes the choices rather clearer, doesn't it?

I know who I am voting for. I am holding my nose but I am still voting.

From The Dallas Morning News:

Watchdog: Dallas woman discovers new Secret Service sex scandals through public information requests
"A lot of people think I'm nuts to pursue this."

The speaker is a self-described Dallas stay-at-home mom who spent $100,000 in legal fees to expose a culture of corruption in the U.S. Secret Service.

She filed 89 Freedom of Information Acts (89!) and discovered enough Secret Service scandals and cover-ups that even Bob Woodward would be impressed.

For this, she got very little public attention. Until now.

A bit more:

When the first Secret Service sex scandals broke a few years ago, she grew curious. A former senior partner at Thompson & Knight law firm in Dallas, she knew that federal law allows us to see government documents.

She began filing requests with the U.S. Department Homeland Security to learn of any incidents of agent misbehavior in the Secret Service, any investigations and disciplinary action.

I'll skip ahead to the end of her multi-year legal battle that ensued. She won. In the end, she received 3,914 pages, some of them so hot they almost burn the fingers.

A short list:

  • A culture of "wheels up; rings off" meant even married agents could party on foreign trips.
  • Secret Service K-9 units brought their dogs into their hotel room, which the dogs trashed. The agents made payoffs so the incident wouldn't be reported.
  • A agent who missed his flight later showed up drunk with two prostitutes. He was not disciplined.
  • Agents "engaged" with prostitutes in Amsterdam's red-light district during an advance team trip.
  • A supervisor choked a female subordinate because she rejected his sexual advances.
  • A supervisor offered a subordinate a larger office in return for sex.
  • A supervisor took a subordinate to a sex show while on duty.
  • A male agent's gun was stolen by a male prostitute he solicited online. The gun was never recovered.
  • A manager in the National Threat Assessment Center forced employees to drink alcohol in his office "so that he could trust them." The same manager was accused of multiple incidents of sexual harassment.

And she is suing to recover her costs and the judge says:

Senior U.S. District Judge Sam R. Cummings ruled that Litman "has not shown she is entitled to an award because she has not shown that her pursuit of records involves a legitimate public benefit."

The judge cites as precedent another case that found "that generally increasing public knowledge about the government is not a legitimate public benefit."

Time to clean house all the way down from the top to the bottom.

The Olympics - Global Warming

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Not a good way to get people to listen to you. From Sporting News:

Global warming message had no place at Rio Olympics' opening ceremony
The organizers of the Opening Ceremony of Rio Olympics 2016 should give themselves a medal for hypocrisy.

Their preachy warnings about global warming brought a feel-good evening to a screeching halt Friday night. It was an unforced error that unfortunately marred NBC's otherwise solid coverage from Brazil.

Things were going pretty well. NBC's excellent opening video had glibly chalked up to the problem of polluted waters, zika and street crime to the struggles of "modernization." 

And then:

Then it happened just like that. Boom. The joyous ceremony took a hard turn with a bleak message about global warming and climate change.

Talk about a buzzkill. The dancing stopped.

There was little of Costas' "revelry" as organizers delivered their real "message" to the world: Stop global warming or rising seas will drown coastline cities/regions such as Florida, Amsterdam, Dubai, Lagos and, yes, Rio de Janeiro.

What a crock of horse poop. No place in the opening ceremony and the science is not at all certain. Indications are pointing to a cooling period instead of warming. To drag this political football into a public forum is beyond all rational thought.

PDF Quads

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Something to get excited about. From National Geographic:

FREE!! Printable USGS PDF Quads
National Geographic has built an easy to use web interface that allows anyone to quickly find any quad in the country for downloading and printing. Each quad has been pre-processed to print on a standard home, letter size printer. These are the same quads that were printed by USGS for decades on giant bus-sized pressed but are now available in multi-page PDFs that can be printed just about anywhere. They are pre-packaged using the standard 7.5 minute, 1:24,000 base but with some twists:

    • Page 1 is an overview map showing the Quad in context
    • Pages 2 through 5 are the standard USGS Quads cut in quarters to fit on standard printers
    • Hillshading has been added to each page of the PDF to help visualize the topography

Quads are maps made by the United States Geological Survey (USGS) and are the go-to resource for hiking and backpacking. What the National Geographic is doing is wonderful!

About that alt.energy

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Slight problem with wind turbines - they require a lot of preventive maintenence and when this is not done:

This one is in India at Coimbatore, India - note that there are two turbines on fire.

For a nice list of windpower's dirty little secrets, check this out: Energy consumption in wind facilities 
This page too: A Problem With Wind Power

The next big thing

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Heh - figured it was something like this. Click to embiggen:

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From Übertool

I really think that there needs to be a button on Craigslist that a seller fills out which says:

[ ] No, I am not a crackhead or tweeker

What was supposed to be an older Nikon 300mm f/4 telephoto lens (used value around $400 for good condition) was an older Vivitar T-Mount lens worth maybe $70 at best. The guy tried to weasel out of it by saying that it fits a Nikon mount. In the advertisement it was labeled as a Nikon Lens. They were asking $250.

I have some zoom lenses that work great but my 70-300mm doesn't work well with my 2X telextender - I really need a 300mm Prime for that.

The store was totally out of 2% milk so I did pick up twelve gallons of that in town plus a couple other items - got a raised eyebrow going through the checkout line. Got my radio net in 30 minutes - and then fix dinner; probably soup and a sandwich, don't feel like cooking much.

Off for coffee and to town

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Potential Craigslist deal today - telephoto camera lens. Keeping fingers crossed.

Back late this afternoon

Hanging up my hat for the evening

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Haring off on some tangents on the internet (food and ham radio) but not running across anything to post.

Planning to head into town tomorrow for a potential Craigslist purchase and then Monday as well.

From the London Sunday Times:

Rio Olympics hit by new doping scandal
Insight investigation: top team boss demands £10,000 bribe to protect cheating athletes from tests
The Rio Olympics have been plunged into a new doping scandal after the Kenyan team’s track and field manager was secretly filmed offering to protect cheating athletes from the drugs testing authorities.

Major Michael Rotich offered to provide advance warning of drugs tests to athletes in return for a £10,000 bribe during a Sunday Times undercover investigation. He had been expected to lead his team at the opening ceremony in Rio on Friday but failed to turn up on the track after being confronted over the allegations.

More at the site including undercover video and details of the sting. Seems the Russians are known to use doping as well.

Time to call the whole thing off - maybe set up a permanent arena in Greece and maybe one in Switzerland and just have the games there every four years. This would be a lot cheaper and would bring standardization to the events.

Economist Thomas Piketty rocked the socialist world in 2013 with a very detailed tome (Capital in the Twenty-First Century) on why capitalism is not a good or humane  way to run things. Unfortunately for Mr. Piketty, the numbers have not been adding up: here, here, here, here and here and lots more if you want to Google them.

Now this paper from the International Monetary Fund

Testing Piketty’s Hypothesis on the Drivers of Income Inequality : Evidence from Panel VARs with Heterogeneous Dynamics
Thomas Piketty's Capital in the Twenty-First Century puts forth a logically consistent explanation for changes in income and wealth inequality patterns. However, while rich in data, the book provides no formal empirical testing for its theoretical causal chain. In this paper, I build a set of Panel SVAR models to check if inequality and capital share in the national income move up as the r-g gap grows. Using a sample of 19 advanced economies spanning over 30 years, I find no empirical evidence that dynamics move in the way Piketty suggests. Results are robust to several alternative estimates of r-g.

Somehow, I do not think that you get published through the International Monetary Fund if you are a slouch as an economist. Piketty was a great rallying point for socialists and money-redistributionists but - like I said earlier - the numbers simply do not add up. Capitalism rocks, everything else fails repeatedly (see: Venezuela, Zimbabwe, U.S.S.R. and Mao's China to start).

Diamonds are forever

Talk about an entrenched old-boy's network - the story of someone who tried to break its hold on the diamond market. From Vanity Fair:

WHY BUYERS SHUNNED THE WORLD’S LARGEST DIAMOND
The assassination of William Lamb began at 6:45 P.M. on a soft June night. Spectators packed the killing ground, a sales room on the second floor of Sotheby’s, in London. The victim wore the raiment of his caste, a crisp tuxedo. A few yards in front of where he sat, blazing in its spotlight on a plinth beside the auctioneer, was a 1,109-carat top-color white diamond called Lesedi La Rona, the vessel of Lamb’s hopes for a bold new way to sell rough diamonds. His wife had bought him new shoes for the occasion, the toe caps spattered with faux gems. He wore socks patterned with jaunty slashes of color.

The Lesedi diamond opened at $50 million and struggled from the start. Fifty-one million dollars, someone offered, and too long after that, $52 million. This was not the scenario that Lamb had imagined in his dreams. In that version, a forest of bidding paddles would have shot up in the room as eager buyers drove the price north of $100 million. Just the month before, Lucara Diamond Corp., the company Lamb runs and the owner of the diamond, had sold an 813-carat stone for $63.1 million—the highest price ever paid for a rough diamond. Now here was this even greater jewel, the second-biggest diamond ever found, and where were the clamoring suitors? Just that morning at breakfast, Lamb’s boss, Lukas Lundin, a Swedish oil and mining tycoon whose family is Lucara’s largest shareholder, had explained to me that the company’s commission arrangement with Sotheby’s meant the stone would have to reach $150 million for the auctioneer to make decent money. “Up to $100 million,” he said, “they make almost nothing.”

And the outcome:

Nine hours later he sure found out, sitting in front of Lamb while the auctioneer tried to drag up the price in increments of $500,000. At $61 million, still short of the reserve, the price would not budge. The gavel came down and brought the failed auction to a close.

Ashen-faced, Lamb got to his feet. A pack of diamond dealers closed around him. I thought of Julius Caesar at the Senate on the Ides of March. Those surrounding Lamb represented the old diamond order, whose grip Lamb had just tried to loosen. By selling the great diamond at auction, Lamb had attempted to replace the story some of these men tell the world with another story, and the daggers bristling from his back had been planted there by those who did not like the switch.

A fascinating long read - looking into a very private and arcane industry. And no, diamonds are not really worth that much. Zero resale on mounted jewelry stones and there are other stones (silicon carbide) with a higher index of refraction so they glitter even more.

Back home from Bake Sale

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Did well - we cleared $280 all from baked goods. A lot of people were really interested in our preparedness group too - hope to see some new faces at the next meeting. Some people were into preparedness but had not heard of us so they were glad to make the connection. We live in a very small community and it is essential to make these connections.

Coffee and hanging out with BERT

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Heading out for coffee and then spending an hour or two at the BERT bake sale today.

Got a helicopter flying overhead for the last ten minutes or so - probably watching for drug runners. A lot of that in this valley being so close to the border. I would just use a large trebuchet - eliminate the question of crossing the border completely. Just make sure each load had a consistent weight so it would land reliably into your back yard.

Happy 25th birthday

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25th Birthday? The World Wide Web - web sites, the internet, that whole thing. Remember about fifteen years ago when people actually thought that it might catch on? Fools!

More at the UK Telegraph:

The world's first website went online 25 years ago today
On this day 25 years ago the world's first website went live to the public. The site, created by Sir Tim Berners-Lee, was a basic text page with hyperlinked words that connected to other pages.

Berners-Lee used the public launch to outline his plan for the service, which would come to dominate life in the twenty-first century.

"The WWW project merges the techniques of information retrieval and hypertext to make an easy but powerful global information system," said Berners-Lee on the world's first public website. "The project started with the philosophy that much academic information should be freely available to anyone."

The address of the first website is here http://info.cern.ch/ and people are reviving it - nice to see such a critical piece of history being taken care of.

OK - how about Ben?

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Simon's Cat - Fish Tank

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Big Brother move over

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Submitted without comment:

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The cartoonist is French - have not been able to find a home page.

Downloading music

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Specifically, music about cars. The seventh annual Mt. Baker Car Show is in a month. I have always done PA and announcing for the event. Last year, our regular band flaked at the last moment and we did just fine with someone's iPod. More than fine - it was very easy for me to run and to fade down when I needed to make an announcement - no more hand signals from across a large lot.

We are officially doing recorded music for this year's event - torrenting as much music with cars as a theme as I can find. A lot of tunes out there!

Looking forward to the event - it has always been a lot of fun.

From Gateway Pundit:

ANOTHER MYSTERIOUS DEATH=> Activist and Sanders Supporter Who Served Papers to DNC on Fraud Case Found Dead
On July 3, 2016, Shawn Lucas and filmmaker Ricardo Villaba served the DNC Services Corp. and Chairperson Debbie Wasserman Schultz at DNC’s headquarters in Washington, D.C., in the fraud class action suit against the Democrat Party on behalf of Bernie Sanders supporters.

Shawn Lucas was thrilled about serving the papers to the DNC before Independence Day.

This was before Wikileaks released documents proving the DNC was working against the Sanders campaign during the 2016 primary.

Shawn Lucas was found dead this week.

This follows the death of 27 year-old Democratic staffer Seth Conrad Rich who was murdered in Washington DC on July 8. The killer or killers appear to have taken nothing from their victim, leaving behind his wallet, watch and phone.

Shortly after the killing, Redditors and social media users were pursuing a “lead” saying that Rich was en route to the FBI the morning of his murder, apparently intending to speak to special agents about an “ongoing court case” possibly involving the Clinton family.

And on June 22, 2016, former UN official John Ashe “accidentally” crushed his own throat and died a week before he was scheduled to testify against the Clintons and Democrat Party.

The Clinton bodycount gets higher and higher.

Kahn artist

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I really respect the guy's son and am sad that he gave his life as a member of the US Armed Forces but his dad is beclowning himself shilling for Hillary. He is on record as publishing a legal paper saying the following:

All other juridical works which have been written during more than thirteen centuries are very rich and indispensable, but they must always be subordinated to the Shari’ah...

Now this  - from Gateway Pundit:

Khizr Khan: Allah Is Causing Trump to Make Stupid Mistakes
Sharia supporting attorney Khizr Khan is still making the media rounds.

Khizr Khan who waved a US Constitution at Donald Trump at the DNC Convention was interviewed by Dunya Pakistani News this week.

Khan believes Sharia trumps the Constitution – so the entire premise of his DNC speech was a big lie.

Now he opens his mouth and removes all doubt (here and here):

The father of martyred United States (US) soldier Captain Humayun Khan, Khizr Khan, has on Thursday said that the Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is unacceptable to the US. He said that Allah makes people like Trump to make mistakes to discredit them in public eyes forever, reported Dunya News.

Talk about someone whose fifteen minutes are over. Jumped the shark.

Got some leftover turkey steaming on the stove with two ears of local sweet corn. I love this time of year!

Droping a pop-up canopy to the store - our local BERT group is holding a bake sale tomorrow. Dinner should be ready by the time I get home.

Time for coffee and a trip into town

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Need to get some hardware for the last of the storage drawers and pick up a couple of things for working outside.

Heading out - back in a couple of hours.

The Iranian money plane - not ransom

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The $400 million in bills loaded into an airplane and flown to Iran was not ransom money to release the hostages said Obama. Oh. Wait. From Breitbart:

Freed Iranian Hostage: Iranians Told Me They Were Waiting For Another Plane To Arrive Before Letting Us Go
On Thursday’s broadcast of the Fox Business Network’s “The Intelligence Report with Trish Regan,” Saeed Abedini, one of the four hostages released from Iran back in January, stated that on the night he was freed, his captors told him they were waiting on another plane to arrive before letting him go.

Abedini said, “I just remember the night that we’d been in a[n] airport, just take hours and hours there. And I asked one of the…police that was with us, that, why are you not letting us to go to the…plane? And he told me we are waiting for another plane, and if that plane take off, then we’re going to let you go.”

Still believe this was not a ransom payment? I have a bridge in New York City that you might be interested in buying.

'Tis winter in the antipodes and New Zealand is getting some exceptional weather - from the New Zealand Herald:

Let it snow: Temperatures to plunge to record low
The bitter cold snap is set to smash a weather record that has stood for more than a century as an icy chill takes hold of the South Island.

Temperatures are set to plunge to a frigid minus 15C across the South Island tonight - but it's expected to be even colder overnight Saturday.

Niwa forecaster Ben Noll said forecasters were keeping a close eye on Queenstown where it could reach one of the coldest temperatures since record keeping began 145 years ago.

And it is going to get colder still from all indications. Time to inject some common sense into energy policies and get fuel for heat delivered to everyone. They are going to need it in the next ten years if not sooner. Our sun is very very quiet.

Busy evening - radio room

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Spent a few hours busting out a couple of things in the radio room. Lulu and I had a large BBQ lunch at the tractor show so we did not want any dinner.

I am moving my electronics bench out of the DaveCave(tm) into the radio room (a small room built off the garage). Installing a bunch of storage drawers - these guys: Akro-Mils 10164 64 Drawer Plastic Parts Storage Hardware and Craft Cabinet, 20-Inch by 16-Inch by 6-1/2-Inch, Black They are a bit expensive but really nice and sturdy. Amazon was running a killer sale on them (and their larger drawer brethren) a couple weeks ago so I got four of each.

These are going on the wall to hold electronics components, small hardware, connectors, etc... I will never not be cluttered - that is deep in my DNA despite several people trying to "cure" me but this way, I can be cluttered with intent. I do know where everything is - somewhere in that pile over there.

A political poll of our Armed Forces

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Not unexpected - from the Duffel Blog:

‘Military coup’ wins poll of troops in a landslide
A poll of active duty and recently retired members of the armed services suggests that an overwhelming majority would prefer an armed overthrow of the government rather than see the election of either major party candidate. The poll was conducted by Quinnipiac University in the days following the Democratic convention.

When asked whom they would vote for during the 2016 campaign, 78% of servicemembers picked “other.” Nearly all then chose “military coup” from a list of options that also included Joe Biden, Ted Cruz, Jill Stein and “a massive earthquake that wipes out life in North America.”

When retired Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis was included on the list, he was the most popular write in. However most of those who selected him also called for him to lead the armed rebellion against the United States government.

Needless to say, the Duffel Blog is a satire site - the article is a piece of written humor and not real. Still...

Back from the Tractor Show

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A lot of fun - saw a lot of very cool equipment. If I had more disposable income, I would be getting into steam engines big time. Love them.

This will be fun - Trump

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Donald Trump will be visiting Washington State again in the next couple of weeks. I attended his Lynden rally and came away very impressed. Also nice that the crowds were very neat - picked up after themselves - something we do not see after democratic rallys.

From The Seattle Times:

Trump planning another visit to Washington state
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is scheduling another campaign foray to Washington state in the coming weeks.

While details and locations have not yet been finalized, Trump plans to visit the state at the end of August or early September, said state Sen. Doug Ericksen, R-Ferndale, deputy state director for the Trump campaign.

“We are putting together stuff. It will be multiple events,” Ericksen said Thursday.

The visit will include public rallies as well as private fundraisers. “It won’t be just a classic Obama ‘fly in, take money, fly out.’ He will definitely be doing events,” Ericksen said.

He was a good speaker the last time - I will try to see him again if he is nearby. He is not my ideal but he is better than Crooked Hillary by a long shot.

Just great - make things even harder for the core backbone of America:

Pandering to the wealthy 1% while trying to fund their socialist fever dreams with the sweat of those people who make America productive. The crowd cheering when she says this makes the hair rise up on my arms. We have seen this prelude play out before in history and the end-game has always been the same - tyranny.

These morons have never heard of the Laffer Curve

The Rio Olympics - a three-fer

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First two are from Gizmodo:

Reasons to Cancel the Olympics, Ranked
Just before every Olympics, looming doubt starts to surface. Are the cities ready? Has the host country accepted its geopolitical consequences? Will people come?

And 25 reasons - here are two:

26. Poop suits aren’t enough
The special antimicrobial racing suits being designed for rowers to compete in shit-filled water? Probably won’t work.

25. Human body parts on the beach
Yep, right next to where athletes will play volleyball.

Next, the reason - also from Gizmodo:

This Might Be the Reason Why Rio Can't Clean Its Shitty Water for the Olympics
It sounded too good to be true. Thanks to the Olympics, Rio’s trash-ringed, sewage-contaminated Guanabara Bay would transform into a pristine watershed as the premiere venue for rowing and sailing. But the cleanup effort never materialized in earnest, and earlier this year, the city said it would actually take 20 more years. A new investigation offers a very simple hypothesis for why the water stayed dirty: Someone stole the money.

Finally, this mobid event from BlueRock Public Radio:

Canadian Sailing Team Dissolves in Rio Waters After Boat Tips Over
Reports out of Rio de Janeiro indicate that the Canadian sailing team has dissolved after falling into the heavily polluted waters of Guanabara Bay.

At around 2:30pm local time on Thursday, the Canadian athletes lost control during a practice run after encountering unusually turbulent waters. Witnesses say the boat capsized and the sailing duo was thrown overboard, where pieces of their bodies immediately began to disintegrate upon contact with the putrid lagoon.

“We deeply regret the pair of Canadian sailors getting liquified,” said Brazil’s sports minister Ricardo Leyser, noting that on the plus side, neither came back to life as a radioactive monster. “We had no way of knowing that would happen, aside from all the indications that it would.”

A bit more:

The Brazilian Olympic committee also reported positive news, noting that there are now two fewer confirmed victims of the Zika virus.

Needless to say, BlueRock Public Radio is a satire site. Gizmodo is factual.

Nothing much tonight

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Reading the internet but it is just more of the same. Nothing that catches my eye.

Heading in tomorrow to visit the annual Puget Sound Antique Tractor & Machinery Association show - a lot of fun. Lulu just got a new camera so this will be a perfect chance for her to try it out.

The sooner this odious idea is put to rest, the better. Of all the elements, Carbon is one of our best friends. From FOX News:

In twist, environmentalists fight proposed carbon tax – because it doesn't grow gov't
On paper, it looks like a big win for environmentalists: a ballot initiative in Washington state to make it the first in the nation to impose a tax on all carbon emissions.

Yet green groups are united almost in lockstep against the proposal – all because it includes tax cuts, to offset the tax hike.

It was never about saving the whales environment. It was about sneaking in a large centralized world government. The watermellons (green on the outside, red on the inside) know that we would never actually vote for such a thing so they are following the lead of Fabius Maximus and changing society very very gradually. Incremental steps, not overthrow. These people are known as Fabian Socalists and they are a pox on the world.

The joke is that a very similar tax has been in place to our North for eight years and has been very sucessful:

The tax would start out at $25 per ton and rise each year until hitting a cap of $100 a ton. Initially, it is projected to add 25 cents to the cost of every gallon of gasoline, increase air fares and raise utility bills -- costing $2 billion a year. But this would be offset by cutting the state’s sales tax by 1 percent, lowering taxes for 400,000 working-class families and eliminating a tax on businesses that manufacture in Washington.

A similar system has been in place in British Columbia for eight years. Independent studies report a 16 percent drop in carbon emissions and no major hit to the economy.

Bauman, defending the proposal in its current form, said his goal was not to grow the size of government, so he made the measure revenue-neutral.

Speaking truth to power:

“They’re more afraid of tax cuts,” said Todd Myers, an analyst with Washington Policy Center. “They only want a government solution, and so they’re willing to destroy an effort that would actually reduce carbon emissions, make us more energy efficient, because they care more about government than climate change.”

So true...

Arcadia, Iowa

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Must be a wonderful place to live - from the Arcadia Daily Times Herald:

Hillary hit hard
It was a typical summer celebration in small-town Iowa. The sun was shining on children carrying bags full of candy as the Arcadia Fire Department was celebrating its 100th anniversary on Saturday with a parade, a party in the park and a big water fight that would serve as the grand finale.

A young blond boy, no more than 8 years old, ran out into the street near the intersection of West Center and South Gault streets because one float was handing out water balloons. The child grabbed his balloon, took aim and did his best Nolan Ryan impression as he fired the balloon at a man dressed in an orange jumpsuit and Hillary Clinton mask while standing on a platform inside bars, fencing and barbed wire above a “Hillary For Prison” sign tacked onto the side.

Bull’s eye.

And the obligatory photo:

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Road Trip - Diggerland

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Brilliant idea - check out Diggerland:

They are in New Jersey - if they opened a branch on the left coast I would so be there for a couple of days. Fun stuff. Driving Buttercup the tractor is always a lot of fun - I cannot imagine what a really large piece of machinery would be like.

Great thoughtful essay by Roland C. Warren at The Washington Times:

Black Lives Matter’s real agenda
Unless you have been “off the grid” for a while, you have heard a lot in the news about Black Lives Matter. This “movement” has gotten a lot of press and some notable praise from celebrities and politicians, including positive mentions from President Obama. But I suspect that most people, including many who have tweeted #blacklivesmatter, have not visited its website.

I have, and I was a shocked, especially as a black man. You see, Black Lives Matter boasts that it was launched as a response to the deaths of black males, most notably Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown. You would expect that when you review its website, it would be chock-full of references to helping black men and boys. But you would be wrong. Dead wrong.

Let me explain.

Prominent on Black Lives Matter’s website is a list of its 12 “Guiding Principles.” These principles serve as a vision statement for what the group hopes to accomplish. So, if Black Lives Matter had the ability to wave a proverbial “magic wand” to create its reality in the black community, these principles would be it. However, if you objectively read these principles, you will quickly notice that most of them have nothing to do with the issues facing the black community and, certainly, not the black men and boys that the group has used as “martyrs” to gain a national voice. Moreover, as you read the principles, you will not find a single reference to black men and boys, except for “trans brothers,” which are men who want to be considered women.

And one example:

This principle starts with the goal of “disrupting the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure.” The irony is that this has already happened to a great degree in the black community. Today, only 34 percent of black children — down from 67 percent in 1960 — are raised in homes with married fathers and mothers. Moreover, nearly 50 percent of black children live in single mother homes. In 1960, only 20 percent of black children did. From Black Lives Matter’s perspective, we are making great progress. Using this logic, we should actively work to increase the number of black kids living in single mother homes, absent their fathers, right?

But how is that working out for the black community? Not so great. Father absence is linked to nearly all the most intractable social ills affecting children, such as low academic performance, behavior problems and risks for incarceration. Moreover, the negative outcomes correlated to father absence disproportionately affect the black boys and men who Black Lives Matter says it wants to protect. In fact, the 2013 FBI Uniform Crime Report shows that black offenders killed 90 percent of black victims. The vast majority of victims and offenders are black men. Indeed, it’s the fatherless killing the fatherless.

Much more at the site - Roland concludes with the following:

The bottom line is that the Black Lives Matter movement sees no role for black men other than media-hyped props to promote an agenda that excludes and undermines them. As a black man, I find being used this way destructive, offensive and familiar.

You see, for centuries the blood of black men has been used to advance the agenda and fortunes of others. And sadly, the founders of the Black Lives Matter movement are the latest to adopt this pernicious strategy. They seek to deny black men the right and honor that so many have died for — to be good husbands to their wives and good fathers to their children.

For a movement that is known for aggressively shouting down anyone who dares utter, “All Lives Matter,” it is guilty of the very thing that it protests when in comes to including black men in its vision of families and communities. Anyone who really cares about all black lives ought to think twice before they get on this movement’s bus. It’s heading in the wrong direction. And that matters a lot.

For people that hate "The Man" as much as progressives claim to, they sure cozy up to "The Man" when there is free stuff being handed out.

She is sporting quite the smiley-face:

Busy day today

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Working on the store computer (downloading SystemRescue), get a coffee and then head into town for the day.

Taking in a load of cardboard for recycling as well as a cooler to restock our freezers - getting low on food.

Should be back around 4:00PM or so...

An old white guy

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So true:

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John Forbes Kerry - liar and scoundrel

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Remember the nuanced negotiating he did to get our captured servicemen back from Iran? From Jay Solomon and Carol E. Lee writing at the Wall Street Journal:

U.S. Sent Cash to Iran as Americans Were Freed
The Obama administration secretly organized an airlift of $400 million worth of cash to Iran that coincided with the January release of four Americans detained in Tehran, according to U.S. and European officials and congressional staff briefed on the operation afterward.

Wooden pallets stacked with euros, Swiss francs and other currencies were flown into Iran on an unmarked cargo plane, according to these officials. The U.S. procured the money from the central banks of the Netherlands and Switzerland, they said.

Kerry was brilliant I tell you - he held their feet to the fire until they gave in to his wishes:

“With the nuclear deal done, prisoners released, the time was right to resolve this dispute as well,” President Barack Obama said at the White House on Jan. 17—without disclosing the $400 million cash payment.

Riiiighhht... Take credit and do not mention that you and your administration caved to the enemy. One more:

“As we’ve made clear, the negotiations over the settlement of an outstanding claim…were completely separate from the discussions about returning our American citizens home,” State Department spokesman John Kirby said. “Not only were the two negotiations separate, they were conducted by different teams on each side, including, in the case of The Hague claims, by technical experts involved in these negotiations for many years.”

Pants on fire - I think I just threw up in my mouth a little bit... What self-centered idiots.

From Priceonomics:

The Campaign to Make You Eat Kimchi
Korean food is having a moment.

Baum + Whiteman food consultancy recently chose Kimchi, Korea’s traditional fermented vegetable dish, as one of the top food trends for 2016. According to Google, Bibimbap was one of 2015’s top five ‘rising’ foods by search query volume. And T.G.I. Friday’s—the north star of mainstream Americana—has even experimented with adding Korean tacos to its menus.

So why is Korean food taking off in the U.S. now, decades after the largest waves of Korean immigration?

It is the parent governments - a very clever idea:

And it’s not alone: countries including Thailand, Taiwan, and Peru have developed official ‘gastro-diplomacy’ programs through which they invest aggressively in marketing their cuisines abroad, training chefs, easing trade restrictions, and using a variety of other tactics in the hopes of becoming the next big food trend.

As it turns out, so-called ‘gastro-diplomacy’ is gaining traction as a valuable form of international relationship building and stimulus for tourism.

It started with Thailand:

In 2002, there were about 5,500 Thai restaurants globally, with very few outside of Thailand or the United States. Not only was general awareness of Thai cuisine low, it was extremely difficult to import Thai ingredients, let alone find chefs trained to cook with them. Seeing an opportunity to improve the perception of Thai food, and more importantly, the perception of Thailand as a tourist destination, the government launched the ‘Global Thai’ program.

Through Global Thai, the government set up culinary programs in Bangkok to train chefs, gave loans to would-be restaurateurs to help them start restaurants abroad, and helped chefs move abroad. New Zealand, for example, has a separate Thai Chef’s Work Visa, which allows qualified Thai citizens to live in New Zealand for four years and promises prospective chefs that they “can enjoy New Zealand’s scenery, culture, and friendly people.”

In addition to helping chefs find work abroad, the program makes it easier for Thai companies like S&P and CP to package and export Thai ingredients. One restaurateur told us that when she started her first Thai restaurant in 1995, most curries in the U.S. were made with evaporated milk rather than traditional coconut milk. Today, thanks to government support for manufacturers and producers, a host of traditional Thai ingredients including coconut milk and green curry have become grocery store staples.

Makes a lot of sense and the fallout is wonderful for us foodies as Thai ingredients are now available through our local wholesalers - we sell a lot of Thai staples at the store.

Much more at the site - a fun read and shows how much our culture is influenced by the actions of large groups with an agenda. Fortunately for us, this agenda is tasty eating so no harm, no fowl foul...

From the United States Geological Service:

30 Years Saving Lives from Volcanoes
On June 15, 1991, Mt. Pinatubo in the Philippines erupted in a massive explosion. Science and international cooperation enabled officials to evacuate more than 75,000 people through advance notification.

In the fall of 2010, Indonesia’s Mt. Merapi had its largest eruption in over 100 years. More than 70,000 people were able to get to safety before flows of hot rocks, ash and volcanic gas rushed down the mountain toward their villages.

There are approximately 1,550 potentially active volcanoes around the world, but only one international volcano crisis response team that can rapidly deploy experts, donate and install monitoring equipment and work with counterparts to prevent eruptions from becoming disasters: the Volcano Disaster Assistance Program (VDAP).

This is a joint program between the USGS and U.S. Agency for International Development’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA).

August 6th marks the 30-year anniversary for VDAP. To recognize this milestone, we are highlighting some of the major responses, showing how the program has helped save countless lives.

And quite the track record in those thirty years:

The USGS provides scientific and technical expertise for volcano monitoring, eruption forecasting and response. USAID/OFDA is responsible for leading the U.S. government’s response to disasters overseas and has provided more than $33 million in support for VDAP since it was established.

VDAP works to support in-country scientists and agencies at the invitation of a host country. Since the program began, teams have deployed in response to 30 major crises, assisted counterparts with hundreds of additional volcanic events and strengthened monitoring and response capacity in 12 countries.

Very cool use of technology and manpower - saving lives around the world.

Terminator 1.0

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Japanese robot - not under outside control. The lil' guy is run by a neural network.

From Engadget:

Japan's latest humanoid robot makes its own moves
Japan's National Science Museum is no stranger to eerily human androids: It employs two in its exhibition hall already. But for a week, they're getting a new colleague. Called "Alter," it has a very human face like Professor Ishiguro's Geminoids, but goes one step further with an embedded neural network that allows it to move itself. The technology powering this involves 42 pneumatic actuators and, most importantly, a "central pattern generator."

That CPG has a neutral network that replicates neurons, allowing the robot to create movement patterns of its own, influenced by sensors that detect proximity, temperature and, for some reason, humidity. The setup doesn't make for human-like movement, but it gives the viewer the very strange sensation that this particular robot is somehow alive. And that's precisely the point.

Talk about the uncanny valley...

Zika - close to home

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From the Everett, WA Herald:

Teen is 3rd in Snohomish County to test positive for Zika
A Snohomish County teenager who recently traveled to Nicaragua has tested positive for Zika virus, the Snohomish Health District said Tuesday.

This is the third confirmed case involving somebody who lives here. The other patients also had visited areas known to have mosquitoes infected with Zika virus.

No other details were released about the current case beyond the description that the patient is a “female in her teens” who is not pregnant.

And then a mosquito bites her, then someone else and it starts up here. Snohomish county is just south of Whatcom.

Off to a meeting

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Heading out to a water board meeting - we just replaced all our water meters with electronic remote reading units so I am installing the software and we will be trying them out. This way, our engineer just has to drive around the neighborhoods and doesn't have to open each box and peer in. The new meters will be a lot more accurate as well.

Should only last an hour or two - having leftovers for dinner and then more spew later this evening.

Khizr Khan - a Gold Star father (his son was a US Soldier and died in combat) appeared at the Democratic National Convention criticizing Donald Trump. Everyone focused on Kahn's criticisms but now people are starting to look at Kahn himself and there is a lot to see.

Last evening, I posted about how in the tank for Hillary he was having "deep ties to the government of Saudi Arabia—and to international Islamist investors through his own law firm. In addition to those ties to the wealthy Islamist nation, Khan also has ties to controversial immigration programs that wealthy foreigners can use to essentially buy their way into the United States—and has deep ties to the “Clinton Cash” narrative through the Clinton Foundation."

And now he has deleted his law practice website - fortunately, there is the Internet Archive

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From Breitbart:

Panic Mode: Khizr Khan Deletes Law Firm Website that Specialized in Muslim Immigration
Khizr Khan, the Muslim Gold Star father that Democrats and their allies media wide have been using to hammer GOP presidential nominee Donald J. Trump, has deleted his law firm’s website from the Internet.

This development is significant, as his website proved—as Breitbart News and others have reported—that he financially benefits from unfettered pay-to-play Muslim migration into America.

A snapshot of his now deleted website, as captured by the Wayback Machine which takes snapshots archiving various websites on the Internet, shows that as a lawyer he engages in procurement of EB5 immigration visas and other “Related Immigration Services.”

The website is completely removed from the Internet, and instead directs visitors to the URL at which it once was to a page parking the URL run by GoDaddy.

And from The Daily Caller:

Khizr Khan Has Written Extensively On Sharia Law
Khizr Khan, the Muslim father of a slain American soldier, is an attorney who has previously written in a law journal about Islamic law. He specifically wrote about the purity of the Quran and the Sunnah over all other texts and interpretations.

Khan rose to fame after speaking at the Democratic National Convention Thursday and pulling out a pocket U.S. Constitution imploring if Donald Trump had even read it.

Khan wrote “Juristic Classification Of Islamic Law” in the Houston Journal of International Law in 1983. In it he breaks down different levels of Islamic law. Khan writes that the Quran and the Sunnah which were both directly created by the Muslim prophet Muhammad were the only sources in Muhammad’s lifetime that “were recognized as binding.”

Recognized as binding... How binding?

All other juridical works which have been written during more than thirteen centuries are very rich and indispensable, but they must always be subordinated to the Shari’ah and open to reconsideration by all Muslims.

Sounds like we have a rat in our grain. Kahn is no friend of the United States, no follower of religious freedom. He considers something written by the false prophet to be binding and not open to interpretation. What does he think of our Constitution? The Bill of Rights? And he is licensed to practice law?

To think that he had the unmitigated gall to hold a pocket copy of the US Constitution to make a point during his speech...

NYT Best Selling books - nonfiction

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This has got to have them spitting tacks - from the New York Times best seller list for this week in the catagory of Hardcover Nonfiction:

20160802-hillary.jpg

Three anti-Hillary books in the first four slots. I love it!

Hillary and Benghazi

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Scathing comment from one of the fathers - from Townhall:

Father of Benghazi Victim: Either Hillary Is a Liar or Has a Bad Memory From Head Injury
Charles Woods, the father of Tyrone Woods, one of the Benghazi soldiers who was killed defending his fellow Americans on the night of September 11, 2012, had something to say to Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton on Tuesday regarding her interview on Fox News Sunday. During her conversation with Chris Wallace, Clinton suggested she had not lied to the Benghazi victims’ families and told them the terror attack was actually the spontaneous reaction to an offensive internet video. She held no “ill feeling” toward the family members because their memories must just be fuzzy, she insisted.

When Fox News anchor Bill Hemmer played the relevant exchange for Woods, who was hearing the audio for the first time, he responded indignantly.

“There are two options,” Mr. Woods said. “One, either she is lying, or she has a bad memory because of her age or head injury she’s suffered.”

Woods continued to explain that according to his recollection Clinton told him his son’s death was the result of a YouTube video. It’s the same thing she told the other family members, he added.

She is dishonest - the whole YouTube idea was shot down as false in the first few days after the attack. This was a pre-meditated attack planed well in advance and not some spontaneous protest.

There have been complaints about shoddy construction at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro - seems like they have basis in fact. From the UK Guardian:

Olympic sailing ramp in Rio de Janeiro collapses
The main ramp of Marina da Gloria, the sailing venue of the Rio de Janeiro Olympics, has partially collapsed, raising further questions about the quality of construction in the Olympic host city.

Philip Wilkinson, a spokesman for the Rio 2016 organising committee, said high tides and stormy seas on Saturday were to blame for the damage. The collapsed structure, which is temporary, is the main access point for boats to reach the water. No one was injured in the incident.

Wilkinson said the construction company responsible for the project has been contacted and was expected to make the repairs within four days. Sailing competitions begin on 8 August.

Photo:

20160801-boat.jpg

The article mentions another accident that cost two lives:

Rio’s construction standards have been under heavy criticism since April, when a new elevated bike path that was heralded as a top legacy project of the Rio Olympics collapsed, killing two people.

Like I said in the title, I would worry about being in the grandstands especially during an emotional play when people are jumping and moving around.

Tip of the hat to the excellent dog blog: Terrierman's Daily Dose

The racists at Black Lives Matter put up a website demanding reperations.

How about they pay us royalties? I am reminded of this excellent post from Fred Reed - June 25, 2015:

Are White Men Gods? (II): Getting the Facts Straight
I find Cornel West, a black professor, complaining of White Supremacy, which he believes our black President needs to remedy. Obama, he says, is “niggerized.”

“A niggerized black person is a black person who is afraid and scared and intimidated when it comes to putting a spotlight on white supremacy and fighting against white supremacy,” West said.

I would like to explain to Professor West a few things about this dread supremacy:

We have White Supremacy, Professor, because for 2500 years we, whites, have produced the best minds on the planet, the greatest flourishing of the arts and sciences ever seen, the most complex and organized societies. We have White Supremacy, whatever exactly it may be, because we have been the earth’s most successful race. No other has come close. Deal with it.

We put probes on Mars and invented the thousands of technologies needed to do it. We developed the symphony orchestra, the highest form of musical expression. We invented the airplane, the computer, the internet, and tennis shoes. Putting it compactly, we invented the modern world. A degree of privilege, however you may conceive it, goes with the territory.

Blacks may not have the background to grasp the extent of our achievements. Still, permit me a brief and very incomplete list of things white people have done or invented:

Euclidean geometry. Parabolic geometry. Hyperbolic geometry. Projective geometry. Differential geometry. Calculus: Limits, continuity, differentiation, integration. Physical chemistry. Organic chemistry. Biochemistry. Classical mechanics. The indeterminacy principle. The wave equation. The Parthenon. The Anabasis. Air conditioning. Number theory. Romanesque architecture. Gothic architecture. Information theory. Entropy. Enthalpy. Every symphony ever written. Pierre Auguste Renoir. The twelve-tone scale. The mathematics behind it, twelfth root of two and all that. S-p hybrid bonding orbitals. The Bohr-Sommerfeld atom. The purine-pyrimidine structure of the DNA ladder. Single-sideband radio. All other radio. Dentistry. The internal-combustion engine. Turbojets. Turbofans. Doppler beam-sharpening. Penicillin. Airplanes. Surgery. The mammogram. The Pill. The condom. Polio vaccine. The integrated circuit. The computer. Football. Computational fluid dynamics. Tensors. The Constitution. Euripides, Sophocles, Aristophanes, Aeschylus, Homer, Hesiod. Glass. Rubber. Nylon. Roads. Buildings. Elvis. Acetylcholinesterase inhibitors. (OK, that’s nerve gas, and maybe we didn’t really need it.) Silicone. The automobile. Really weird stuff, like clathrates, Buckyballs, and rotaxanes. The Bible. Bug spray. Diffie-Hellman, public-key cryptography, and RSA. Et cetera.

As a race, Cornel, we are happy for you, for anyone, to enjoy the benefits of our civilization, but that is exactly what it is—our civilization. It has become a global civilization because others among the competent—again, Chinese, Japanese, Indians, Koreans—have found it to be in technical matters superior. It came from us. They, I note, do not complain of White Supremacy or White Privilege. They are too busy making computers and money.

Now, Cornel, I have often heard blacks demanding reparations for slavery. All right. I agree. It is only fair. I will pay a half-million dollars to each of my slaves, and free them immediately. I am not sure how many I have, but will try to give you an estimate in even dozens. Further, I believe that all blacks are entitled to a similar amount for every year in which they were slaves.

However, I think you owe us royalties for the use of our civilization, which can be regarded as a sort of software. There should be a licensing fee. After all, every time you use a computer, or a door knob, you are using something invented by us. Every time you sharpen a pencil, or use one, or read or write, you infringe our copyright, so to speak. We have spent millennia coming up with things–literacy, soap, counting–and it is only fair that we receive recompense.

The accounting burden would be excessive if we tried to distribute royalties in too fine a granularity, such as three cents per use of a boom box or a Glock, so we should probably use a bundled approach–so much per year for use of the wheel, refrigerator, and television. The amount could be deducted first from reparations payments and then automatically from EFT cards.

Now, Cornel, it isn’t that we whites want to be supreme. It is just that we haven’t been able to help it. It isn’t our fault that we produced Newton, Archimedes, Einstein, and all those mutants. They are just birth effects, things that happen to even the best families. You have to play the hand you are dealt. A little sympathy would be appropriate.

What I think, Cornel, is that if you want the advantages of success, you have to succeed. We have. It is chic to say  that whites are now headed for the dust bin of history. Maybe. If so, historians of the future will say, “Damn! That was some really fine dust, wasn’t it?”

Posted in full as it was impossible to excerpt and preserve the full impact. Fred's writings are curmudgeonly but always 100% spot on.

Great bit of reporting from Matthew Boyle writing at Breitbart:

Clinton Cash: Khizr Khan’s Deep Legal, Financial Connections to Saudi Arabia, Hillary’s Clinton Foundation Tie Terror, Immigration, Email Scandals Together
Khizr Khan, the Muslim Gold Star father that the mainstream media and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have been using to criticize Donald J. Trump, has deep ties to the government of Saudi Arabia—and to international Islamist investors through his own law firm. In addition to those ties to the wealthy Islamist nation, Khan also has ties to controversial immigration programs that wealthy foreigners can use to essentially buy their way into the United States—and has deep ties to the “Clinton Cash” narrative through the Clinton Foundation.

Khan and his wife Ghazala Khan both appeared on stage at the Democratic National Convention to attack, on Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s behalf, Donald Trump—the Republican nominee for president. Their son, U.S. Army Captain Humayun Khan, was killed in Iraq in 2004. Khizr Khan, in his speech to the DNC, lambasted Donald Trump for wanting to temporarily halt Islamic migration to America from countries with a proven history of exporting terrorists.

A bit more:

But until now, it looked like the Khans were just Gold Star parents who the big bad Donald Trump attacked. It turns out, however, in addition to being Gold Star parents, the Khans are financially and legally tied deeply to the industry of Muslim migration–and to the government of Saudi Arabia and to the Clintons themselves.

Khan, according to Intelius as also reported by Walid Shoebat, used to work at the law firm Hogan Lovells, LLP, a major D.C. law firm that has been on retainer as the law firm representing the government of Saudi Arabia in the United States for years.

Lots more at the site - this is not just someone off the street. Kahn and his wife are deeply connected with the Clintons and with Islamic state sponsors of terrorism.

Back home again - Canadian Holiday

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Bellingham was jam packed with people today as it was Civic Holiday in Canada and people came down to the States for the day. Civic Holiday is not celebrated in all the provinces  but it is in British Columbia where it is known as British Columbia Day. The cashiers lines at Costco were as long as I had ever seen.

Only got about half of what I planned to do done so heading back in Wednesday. Working around the house tomorrow.

Back sometime later this afternoon

Gorgeous weather but there is forecast a chance of showers for this evening.

Great news - Comcast lawsuit

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Washington State is suing Comcast - from The Seattle Times:

Washington state to sue Comcast over ‘pattern of deceptive practices’
Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson is expected to announce this morning a $100 million consumer-protection lawsuit against Comcast.

“The lawsuit accuses Comcast of engaging in a pattern of deceptive practices constituting more than 1.8 million individual violations of the Washington Consumer Protection Act,” a news release about the lawsuit said. “The company’s conduct impacted approximately 500,000 Washington state consumers.”

Good - they are in a monopoly situation over most of the state and have been taking advantage of it. Time for them to get taken down a notch.

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