May 2018 Archives

In Seattle for a few days

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Down here for a few days.

On the road again - Seattle

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Done here, heading out for a late coffee and then on the road to the island and then Seattle

More posting later...

Major - from Infodocket / Library Journal:

The Library of Congress Receives Largest Donation of Comic Books in Library History, Includes the Original Storyboards that Document Creation of Mickey Mouse
The Library of Congress announced today that collector and entrepreneur Stephen A. Geppi has donated to the nation’s library more than 3,000 items from his phenomenal and vast personal collection of comic books and popular art, including the original storyboards that document the creation of Mickey Mouse.

This multimillion-dollar gift includes comic books, original art, photos, posters, newspapers, buttons, pins, badges and related materials, and select items will be on display beginning this summer.

The Stephen A. Geppi Collection of Comics and Graphic Arts has been on public display in Baltimore, Maryland, for the past decade and is a remarkable and comprehensive assemblage of popular art. It includes a wide range of rare comics and represents the best of the Golden (1938-1956), Silver (1956-1970) and Bronze (1970-1985) ages of comic books. The mint-condition collection is also noted for its racially and socially diverse content as well as the distinctive creative styles of each era.

And some items of particular interest:

One signature item in the collection represents the birth of one of animation’s most iconic characters. Six rare storyboards detail the story layout and action for Walt Disney’s 1928 animated film, “Plane Crazy.” It was the first Mickey Mouse cartoon produced, but the third to be released, after sound was added, in 1929. “Steamboat Willie” was the first Mickey Mouse cartoon to be theatrically released, on Nov. 18, 1928, which marks its 90th anniversary this year.

Wonder if they are planning to digitize these and make them available online - that would be an amazing resource.

Barry's Netflix deal

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Of course there was a deal - from FOX News:

Obamas' Netflix deal inked with help from bundler buddy
Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos celebrated Barack and Michelle Obama as “among the world’s most respected and highly-recognized public figures” in announcing a deal last week for the Obama family to produce films and series for the streaming service.

“We are incredibly proud they have chosen to make Netflix the home for their formidable storytelling abilities,” Sarandos said in a news release.

What Sarandos didn’t mention: He and his wife have long been donors and friends to the Obamas, having raised more than a half-million dollars as bundlers for the president’s campaign in 2012. His wife, Nicole Avant, also was appointed by Obama as ambassador to the Bahamas, serving from 2009 to 2011.

Of course. Nobody does anything in D.C. without a substantial kickback. Pay to play. I wonder what tax breaks Netflix got in the eight years of Barry's administration.

An epic rant on The Resistance

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Two excerpts from The DiploMad - read the whole thing:

If Donald Trump is literally Adolf Hitler, why would a member of the "resistance" identify himself/herself/zheself as a member? Strikes me that is a clear violation of the rules of resistance to a repressive regime. Did Max Manus put such a sign in front of his house to shout out his defiance of the Nazis and Vidkun Quisling? Did Anne Frank? Seems an odd thing to do if the Gestapo is out and about.

What does this "resistance" do? I know what the resistance did in Norway and Yugoslavia, but this one? What does it do? I mean, of course, aside from going to notoriously right-wing Starbucks to demand free bathroom usage. What exactly are they resisting? OK, I understand that just like Hitler, Trump is strongly pro-Israel, has a Jewish daughter and son-in-law, and, just like Hitler, used the power of the state to bring back three non-white hostages from North Korea. Yes, I see the similarities, but . . . well, now that I think about it, I guess Trump is actually worse than Hitler because Trump, unlike Hitler, is not a vegetarian!

And this:

So to sum it up for the resistance: The anti-semite Trump is the best friend Israel has ever had. The racist Trump has instituted policies that have produced the lowest unemployment figures in decades for black and hispanic Americans. The woman-hating Trump had a woman running his campaign (no, not Mrs. Putin), has a woman as Ambassador at the UN, another as the head of DHS, another as head of Education, yet another as White House spokesman, and now has made a woman the head of the CIA. The oligarch Trump has instituted tax and other policies that are putting more money into more ordinary people's pockets than has happened in many years.

All just like Hitler did . . .

Tip of the hat to Kim DuToit for the link.

I'll believe this when I read the reviews (zero desire to watch personally) - from Variety:

Netflix Exec: Productions From the Obamas Will Not Have a ‘Political Slant’
Netflix has inked a multiyear deal with the Obamas for original programming — but the content from the former First Couple will not have any political bias, according to chief content officer Ted Sarandos.

“This is not The Obama Network,” said Sarandos, speaking Tuesday at the Paley Center for Media in New York. “There’s no political slant to the programming.”

Sarandos was interviewed journalist Ken Auletta at the event. Noting that the Netflix exec is a Democrat, Auletta asked what he would say to Republicans about Netflix’s seeming push to the political left — including the appointment of former Obama adviser Susan Rice to its board.

It is not as though Obama has not lied to us before. It will be interesting to see the ratings on their show.

Five days ago, I had written about a new banking bill that was replacing the Dodd-Frank bill. Barney is no longer in public office - where he is should be of some interest. From The Washington Post

A lot of people heard what Barney Frank said about the new banking law. Few knew he works for a bank.
As Senate Democrats successfully pushed into law a plan that rolls back post-financial-crisis banking rules, Barney Frank was a go-to figure.

Frank, a former House Democrat from Massachusetts and author the 2010 “Dodd-Frank” banking rules that the new law scales back, said the plan left his rules largely in place. And though he said he would vote against the measure, Frank said it would not help the biggest Wall Street banks and denied it would increase the risks of another financial crisis.

Some more - Barney is no longer a Senator, what is he doing now:

But the proponents of the law rarely, if ever, mentioned that Frank is not just the author of the 2010 law, but also sits on the board of New York-based Signature Bank, a financial firm in position to benefit from the new legislation.

“When citing Barney Frank as the historic creator of Dodd-Frank, it’s important to flag he may have different motivations now as the public gauges whether these rollbacks are good for them or good for Wall Street,” said Lisa Gilbert, vice president of legislative affairs at Public Citizen, a government ethics watchdog.

And when asked:

In an interview, Frank acknowledged that Signature stood to benefit, but he said his role on the bank's board did not influence his thinking.

It is people like this who need to be weeded out from our Government - he put in his years of public service and is now being rewarded by the very industry he was supposed to be "regulating". Remember that the Dodd-Frank bill was 2,300 pages of pork and give-aways to special financial interests. The bill it replaced - The Glass-Steagall Act of 1933 - was 37 pages long. Had Glass-Steagal been enforced (preventing public banks from providing brokerage services to their customers), much of the 2007 melt-down would not have happened.

Heh - egg on face, Russian style

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Russia is meddling in the affairs of Ukraine and just got hoist on their own petard. From the Beeb:

Arkady Babchenko: Ukraine staged fake murder of journalist
Ukraine staged the murder of a Russian dissident journalist in Kiev on Tuesday in what it said was a sting operation to foil a Russian assassination plot.

Arkady Babchenko sent shockwaves around the world when he arrived at a press conference on Wednesday, less than 24 hours after he was reported dead.

The head of Ukraine's security services, Vasyl Hrytsak, said the elaborate sting was set up to catch hitmen paid by Russian forces.

Police said they had made one arrest.

Of course, the United States would never stoop to such heinous tactics.

Progress in this little hamlet

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One problem out here is lack of cell phone coverage. There is very intermittent service to some areas but nothing reliable. Several months ago, two towers were erected but there has been zero communication between the tower companies and the cellular providers and the community.

I was driving out for coffee this morning and recieved a text message. Looked at the car dash display and saw five bars signal strength where normally there would be nothing!  For fun, I drove past the other tower and nothing so this is still a work in progress but...

Back at the farm - working here for the day.

Nothing this morning

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Out for coffee and then back home to meet with the farrier and with a landscaping person - do a bit of work on the house's curb appeal.

Now I know:

20180529-airplane.jpg failure in Germany

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Now this is going to leave a mark (ha ha ha) From World Nuclear News:

Germany to compensate utilities for nuclear phaseout losses
The German cabinet has agreed to grant compensation of up to EUR1 billion (USD1.17 billion) to the utilities forced to shut down their nuclear power plants by the Energiewende, or energy transition, that the government of Chancellor Angela Merkel introduced in response to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident in Japan in March 2011. At that time, Germany was obtaining around a quarter of its electricity from 17 nuclear reactors operated by EnBW, EOn, RWE and Vattenfall.

Some of those plants were scheduled to operate for a number of years more - that is a lot of revenue that the utility companies will be missing out on. Nuclear reactors cost a lot of money to build but are dirt cheap to run. Time to switch to Thorium - dirt cheap to build and dirt cheap to run.

Unreal - Bernie Sanders

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Sometimes these people are so surreally out of touch that the mind boggles. From Yahoo News:

Bernie Sanders 'is considering another run for the presidency,' former campaign manager says
Sen. Bernie Sanders’s former campaign manager says the Vermont independent is taking a good look at whether he should attempt a second presidential campaign.

“He is considering another run for the presidency,” Jeff Weaver said in an interview with C-SPAN’s “Washington Journal” on Tuesday when asked whether Sanders’s supporters would get to vote for him in 2020. “And when the time comes, I think we’ll have an answer to that, but right now, he’s still considering it.”

Sanders, who suffered a bitter defeat to Hillary Clinton in the 2016 Democratic primary, has repeatedly refused to discuss his plans for the next presidential cycle. But the liberal firebrand has kept himself in the national spotlight, campaigning for progressive 2018 candidates, traveling to battleground states such as Michigan, Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia, and hosting live-streamed town halls that have drawn millions of viewers online.

In what universe does he think that he would be good for America?

Another day at the farm - UPDATE

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Out the door for coffee and then a quick trip to the bank.

UPDATE - got blindsided by a time sink and spent way too much time in Bellingham. Six hours later, I am home and ready to work on packing up the living room. The good news is that I got a lot of stuff done this afternoon.

Surf for a little bit first

Quote of the week

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From Woodpile Report (new editions every Monday night/Tuesday morning - a weekly read for me):

My daughter is looking for a summer job. She’s a millennial so she’s hoping to find part-time work as a CEO.
— brian kiley

Big drinker of Diet Coke. This from The Wall Street Journal:

Cheers! Coca-Cola Launches Its First Alcoholic Drink
A fizzy lemon-flavored alcoholic drink that went on sale in Japan on Monday marked Coca-Cola Co.’s first fling at selling alcohol in its 132-year history.

At a sampling event in Fukuoka on Saturday, hundreds of people lined up for a taste, including some who didn’t expect to find the U.S. company experimenting with Japanese-style booze.

A bit more - about the product:

Canned drinks known as chuhai have long been popular in Japan. They are often made with a distilled grain-based alcohol called shochu and carbonated water flavored with fruit juice or other flavorings.

Coca-Cola, a big competitor in nonalcoholic drinks in Japan, is entering the fray with a lemon-flavored version of chuhai called Lemon-Do. It will be available with 3%, 5% and 7% alcohol, including a salty-lemon version and another that is flavored with honey and lemon. The drink doesn’t include any Coke.

I like the three different alcohol contents - they are basically selling booze for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner :)

T and I have been talking about some traveling in the future. Iceland and Scotland are being discussed. I think I found one of our destinations:

First put into operation in 1906 - here is the website: Sumburgh Head Foghorn  They also have a Stevenson lighthouse (yes, that Stevenson and this Grandson) as well as one of the first RADAR installations - beginning operation December 27th, 1939.

Looks like quite a place to visit.

Tacos for dinner tonight

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Thawed out some guacamole and some smoked pulled pork and making some tacos. I love my food saver (I own an earlier version - same basic idea) - smoke a pork butt and then portion it out for evenings like this. Running out to the store to get an onion and some tortillas...

Nothing out on the web tonight

From Bloomberg:

Our so-called "drug war" is useless and has always been useless. Portugal decriminalized drug possession and spent the monies directed to law enforcement to medical care and counseling. Excellent result. It is interesting to look at the situation here - only the criminal drug traffickers stand to profit by keeping the drugs illegal. Why have we not decriminalized drugs here in the USA - how much are the drug-traffickers paying our members of House and the Senate?

We have President Richard Nixon to thank for the opening salvos of this war in 1971. In 2009, ex-Seattle Police Chief Gil Kerlikowske was the Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy and rather than say the War on Drugs failed and try something else, he just renamed it - said the old term was counter productive. We still spend $51 Billion per year on this program that essentially does nothing.

A great resource for recipies

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T turned me on to a great collection of online recipies. The Puget Consumers Co-op - a Seattle staple for healthy eating. Lots of recipies with an excellent web interface. Check it out!

I turned her on to my favorites - J. Kenji López-Alt's The Food Lab and another website he edits Serious Eats.

Both excellent sites that give details on what is actually happening to the food as you cook it - what to do and why. 

Working at the farm today

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But first? Coffee!

Simon's Cat

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I love the series but today's one is a lot of fun - I love Crows too and he really captures their playfullness.

Quite the volte-face

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Screwy Louis Farrakhan says some "interesting" things from time to time (here, here and here) but this is very unexpected. From American Thinker:

Louis Farrakhan: 'Mr. Trump is destroying every enemy that was an enemy of our rise'
Louis Farrakhan, leader of the Nation of Islam movement, appears to have changed his opinion of Donald Trump since two years ago, when he warned black Americans: "If Donald Trump becomes president, he will take America into the abyss of hell."  Appearing on Chicago radio station WGCI, on a program titled "The Morning Takeover," he stated that it may not have been the intent of this administration to help, but that Trump is destroying the enemies of the Nation of Islam. Included in this group are the Department of Justice and the FBI.

The enemy of my enemy is my friend...

Volte-face? Here.

And done for the day

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Unpacked the car, took care of the critters, went out for dinner and back home vegetating.

Time to surf!

And back home again

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We finished a bit early - only 361 teams this year. It is usually about 100 more and one year we had about 700 teams - we were busy on the radio!

Puttering around the DaveCave and shop today and tomorrow and then back to packing up the house. Making a serious dent! Surf for a bit first...

Out the door

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Heading off to the races!

Homeopathy in the news

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One word for it - BUNK!  From Ars Technica:

Doctor slammed by med board for selling $5 homeopathic sound waves for Ebola
The California medical board is threatening to revoke the license of Dr. William Edwin Gray III for selling homeopathic sound files over the Internet that he claims—without evidence or reason—can cure a variety of ailments, including life-threatening infections such as Ebola, SARS, swine flu, malaria, typhoid, and cholera.

In an accusation filed with the state (PDF), the medical board writes that Gray is guilty of gross negligence and requested a hearing in which the board would decide whether to possibly revoke or suspend his license.

In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Gray said he had decided not to contest the board’s allegations, saying it would cost too much money to fight. He added: “Frankly, I think we'd lose anyway.”

Classic case of why this form of treatment should be regulated a lot more tightly - regulated into oblivion. These fools are paying this "doctor" for sounds to cure an infection instead of seeking qualified medical help. Their infections will only get worse until they finally go into sepsis and have to spend expensive time in the hospital. Could have been cured with a simple Doctor's visit and a prescription.

Packed up and ready to roll

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Car is all packed up. Radios have been checked and double-checked. Brought along a couple toys for people to play with. As this is my last year for this event, I am training two people to take over for next year so I want their training session to be enjoyable.

Got the alarms set for 6:30AM - surf for a bit and then bedtime.

Back home

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Packing up the car for tomorrow's event - starting out very early.

Surf in an hour or so...

Off for the day

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Moving some stuff into Bellingham and then getting ready for the Ski to Sea race tomorrow - meeting at 17:30 tonight.

Minimal posting until tomorrow evening.

Too cute - bears

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I have always loved bears - if it were legal, I would get one as a pet but only if I could get the cub before its eyes opened. Then, they can bond with a human.

Here is the quintessential Canadian way to get a mamma and two cubs out of your back yard:

Back home for the evening

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Two trips into Bellingham - errands, moving cartons and some dinner (Carne Asada) - will be spending the evening shuffling two pieces of furniture for moving tomorrow and playing with a ham radio antenna. I had been using a big one for Sunday's race but trying out a smaller (and more portable) unit.

Say goodbye to Dodd-Frank

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One of the most pork-laden poor excuses for legislation to ever get voted into law. The Dodd-Frank bill was 2,300 pages long and was brought into being after the financial melt-down of 2007. It replaced the Glass-Steagall act of 1933 which prevented public banks from offering investment (risky) services to their customers and vice versa - brokerages were not allowed to act as banks. It was 37 pages long! The passing of the 1999 Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act (GLBA) pulled the teeth of Glass-Steagall and was the root cause of the 2007 financial meltdown.

Today, no more - excerpted from President Trump's statements yesterday:

Remarks by President Trump at Signing of S. 2155, Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act

. . . 

Since its passage in 2010, Dodd-Frank has dealt a huge blow to community banking. As a candidate, I pledged that we would rescue these community banks from Dodd-Frank — the disaster of Dodd-Frank — and now we are keeping that commitment, and all of the people with me are keeping that commitment. Incredible group of people.

Dodd-Frank’s complex and costly regulations gave large banks an unfair competitive advantage at the expense of neighborhood banks all over the country. Since Dodd-Frank’s passage just eight years ago, 20 percent of small banks have been put out of business — they’ve disappeared — while banks that were considered “too big to fail” — we’ve heard that many time, “too big to fail” — had the resources to comply with Dodd-Frank’s brutal maze of costly regulations. And maybe we’re going to have to start looking at that also for the larger institutions because they also are put at a disadvantage in terms of loaning money to people wanting to open up businesses. So perhaps we’ll be taking a look at that. Many small banks were forced to shut down.

He also touched on the overall economy and unemployment in general:

Today’s legislation is the next step in America’s unprecedented economic comeback. There’s never been a comeback like we’ve made. And one day, the fake news is going to report it. (Laughter.) But that’s okay — you’ve been very nice, actually today. You’ve been extremely nice.

Republicans in Congress passed the biggest tax cut and reform in the history of our country. We passed and signed a record number of bills terminating job-killing regulations. In the history of our country, no President — whether it’s four years, eight years, or sixteen years, in one case — has ever passed more regulation cuts. And these were necessary cuts, because we’re leaving necessary regulations. Regulation is fine, but it’s got to be reasonable. And that’s what we’ve done.

Unemployment has reached its lowest level in nearly two decades. African American unemployment has reached its lowest level in history. And the same thing for Hispanic unemployment — lowest level in history. Women — lowest level of unemployment in 19 years. Small business optimism has never, ever been higher, according to polls and charts.

As a small business owner, I am seeing the results of this Presidency and am really liking what I see. MAGA

Lunch break

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Back from town and loading up for another run - time out for a sandwich first.

I still have my Mom and Dad's old condo in Bellingham so using that as a staging area for both the move and for having a professional estate sale person come in and sell off all my household surplus plus my parent's estate. - they both passed away almost ten years ago so it is time to lighten my load and go minimalist for this stage of my life.

New to minimalism? Here is a good place to start: The Minimalists

In to town today

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Out for coffee and then another run into town with a carload of boxes. Packing up the farm.

Also doing some banking and other errands - more spew later this evening.

President Trump is a master negotiator. His letter to North Korea this morning was totally spot on.

And, it had the desired effect (the headline is the link to the source article):

North Korea Comes Crawling Back: Stresses "Desperate Need" For Summit "Whenever, However"

This is how you do diplomacy - not with effite clueless jerks like J.F. Kerry or crooked jackasses like Hillary.

The word you are searching for is " Leadership "

Back at the farm tonight

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Drove about 300 miles today as well as loading and unloading a bunch of boxes and ham radio equipment.

Participating in a big relay race this Sunday - the Ski to Sea - and operate my radio for one of the legs. I work with a team of spotters about two miles out from where the road bicycles hand off to the canoe paddlers. They radio in the incoming bib numbers to me and I announce them on the public address system. This gives the canoe teams about ten minutes heads up to great their team-mate and get the timing bracelet from them. I also connect with the overall event network as well as monitor the Search and Rescue, Police and Fire frequencies for any events that might need to be brought to the race officials attention.

Been doing this for over five years but since I am moving away from the area, I am now handing it over to a new face - training them on what to do.

Fun and games - plumbing

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Down at the island home for a few hours.

Last time I was there (last Saturday) I had noticed a damp spot on the garage floor. It had been raining and I know that rainwater comes under the door if the wind is right so I chalked it up to that.

Came down this afternoon and that spot was still wet. Was hit by a drop of water, looked up and saw some very soggy drywall. Ruh Ro!!!

I have been removing the old hydronic heating system and installing mini-split heat pumps. Drained the pipes but there must have been a bubble that eventually let go. Nothing bad - probably only a gallon or two of water but it went right into the drywall. I had been planning to re-do the garage anyway - put in insulation and re-wire the electrical service but wanted to do this on my schedule. Tore out the affected areas so it can dry out.

Fun and games...

Busy day

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Got the dumpster full of stuff I had been hanging onto for no reason. They are emptying it tomorrow so the cycle starts all over again.

Packing stuff in boxes for the move - a good feeling!

President Trump's tax cuts have stimulated the economy. Workers are seeing about 4% more in their paycheck and unemployment is at the lowest it has been for more than 17 years. Of course, the Democrat party can't let this happen - from Business Insider:

A Democratic congressman is taking the first shot at a repeal of Trump's tax law
As the new tax cuts ushered in solely by Republicans begin to take effect, one Democratic congressman is unveiling a repeal plan, signaling that President Donald Trump's primary opposition is serious about reversing his signature legislative achievement.

Rep. Jared Polis of Colorado plans to introduce the Students Over Special Interests Act on Wednesday. The legislation, according to a summary viewed by Business Insider ahead of its introduction, would repeal the new tax law and redirect the taxpayer dollars toward erasing the $1.4 trillion in student-loan debt and investing in Pell grants. It will be the first piece of legislation aimed at unraveling the new tax law.

Why do the Democrats hate the common man so much - we get something good handed to us and they immediately want to take it away. This is someone who does not understand the Laffer Curve and it's effects on the economy.

Business as usual - from the Los Angeles Times:

Stalls, stops and breakdowns: Problems plague push for electric buses
When Chinese battery maker BYD Ltd. approached Southern California officials in 2008 touting ambitious plans to build electric cars, local politicians jumped at the promise of thousands of jobs and cleaner air.

In the nine years since, agencies have awarded BYD grants, subsidies and public contracts worth more than $330 million for its battery-powered buses, forklifts and trucks. The company is positioned to be a prime supplier of electric buses to the nation's second-largest system, as Los Angeles' Metro sets a 12-year deadline to abandon fossil fuels.

But largely unbeknownst to the public, BYD's electric buses are contending with a record of poor performance and mechanical problems.

A Times investigation found its buses stalled on hills, required service calls much more frequently than older buses and had unpredictable driving ranges below advertised distances, which were impaired by the heat, the cold or the way drivers braked.

And of course:

Thousands of pages of public records and interviews with those dealing directly with the company show BYD to be a skilled political operator. The company's business model involves hiring lobbyists and grant writers to secure no-bid purchases by public agencies, and it has invited public officials on foreign junkets and employed their close associates. Those officials then repeatedly came to the company's defense as concerns about the buses heightened.

Where it started:

The deep bond between Los Angeles and BYD, built on the promise of jobs, began at a cocktail reception in Tianjin, China, in September 2008.

Christine Antonovich, wife of then-Los Angeles County Supervisor Mike Antonovich, accompanied a Los Angeles delegation to a business forum where her husband was a guest speaker. It was there that regional business promoter Bill Allen said Christine Antonovich pulled him aside to meet an executive from a Chinese company looking to invest in the U.S.

And, guess what, Christine Antonovich is a Chinese national:

Christine Antonovich, a former Chinese actress who sidelined as a business consultant, shepherded Lancaster officials through private dinners and trips to China to meet with BYD executives.

A lot more at the site - the entire process was riddled with corruption. A few people are getting very rich and the taxpayers are getting screwed.

Ho Li Crap - quite the shipwreck

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From Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution:

New Details on Discovery of San Jose Shipwreck
The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) recently obtained authorization by Maritime Archaeology Consultants (MAC), Switzerland AG, and the Colombian government to release new details from the successful search for the three-century old San José —a 62-gun, three-masted Spanish galleon ship that sank with a cargo believed to be worth billions of dollars. The ship, which is often called the “holy grail of shipwrecks,” went down with a treasure of gold, silver, and emeralds in 1708 during a battle with British ships in the War of Spanish Succession.

The legendary wreck was discovered off the coast of Cartagena, Colombia, on Nov. 27, 2015, by a team of international scientists and engineers during an expedition aboard the Colombian Navy research ship ARC Malpelo led by MAC’s Chief Project Archaeologist Roger Dooley. It was found more than 600 meters below the surface during a search initiated by MAC and approved by The Colombian Ministry of Culture. The search was supervised by Instituto Colombiano de Antropología e Historia (ICANH) and Dirección General Marítima (DIMAR).

WHOI used an autonomous underwater vehicle called REMUS 6000 to survey an area off Colombia’s Barú Peninsula:

“The REMUS 6000 was the ideal tool for the job, since it’s capable of conducting long-duration missions over wide areas,” said WHOI engineer and expedition leader Mike Purcell.

Finding high-profile wrecks is nothing new for REMUS, which played an instrumental role in finding the wreckage of Air France 447 in 2011. The airplane had crashed in 2009 several hundred miles off the northeastern coast of Brazil and landed deep in the ocean on some of the most rugged seafloor terrain on Earth. REMUS was also used to map and photograph the Titanic wreck site during a 2010 expedition.

The homepage for the REMUS 6000 is here. Some very nice specs... Amazing photographs:


Happy 45th birthday - Ethernet

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The backbone of the internet - from Infogalactic:

Ethernet was developed at Xerox PARC between 1973 and 1974. It was inspired by ALOHAnet, which Robert Metcalfe had studied as part of his PhD dissertation. The idea was first documented in a memo that Metcalfe wrote on May 22, 1973, where he named it after the disproven luminiferous ether as an "omnipresent, completely-passive medium for the propagation of electromagneticwaves". In 1975, Xerox filed a patent application listing Metcalfe, David Boggs, Chuck Thacker, and Butler Lampson as inventors. In 1976, after the system was deployed at PARC, Metcalfe and Boggs published a seminal paper.

More at The Register:

Ethernet — a networking protocol name for the ages
In the beginning, Ethernet was optional. When Bob Metcalfe and David Boggs cooked up their network protocol at Xerox PARC in the early 1970s, it was meant to connect the research haven’s now famous Alto machines — but only if researchers felt the need. “Each scientist would get a kind of Alto order form,” Metcalfe remembers, “and you had to check a box if you wanted Ethernet.”

Then, one afternoon, with maybe ten Altos on the desks of ten PARC researchers, someone accidentally disconnected a networking cable. When ten people stood up to ask “What happened?,” Metcalfe realized his fledgling network protocol might be a keeper. “From then on,” he says, “Ethernet was not an option.”

More than thirty years later, Metcalfe went looking for a new Ethernet cable, strolling into an everyday American electronics retailer. “The woman at the cash register took me to a twenty-foot-wide wall filled with cables and said ’What color do you want?’”

Pervasive and foolproof. The backbone of modern computing.

A moving experience

Got a good chunk of the kitchen and dining area packed up in boxes and ready to take out. Trying to get the farm listed with a realtor as soon as possible.

Moving is never fun but the place on the island is really sweet!

Earthquake prediction

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Some advancement in Earthquake Prediction - from Nature:

In Japan, small shakes presage big quakes
Clusters of tiny earthquakes that happen every three years could help to signal when the next big one will hit Japan, researchers report in Science.

Small, subtle quakes happen in many places where a slab of sea floor dives beneath a continent, such as in the US Pacific Northwest or off the coast of Chile. But the study of seismic activity in Japan is the first to show that they happen in regular episodes, and that those events can precede larger earthquakes.

If the same patterns hold in other earthquake-prone regions, they could improve seismic risk estimates there, too.

A bit more:

Stress monitoring
Because the 2011 Tohoku earthquake relieved geological stress, Uchida says, that particular section of the fault is not likely to move in a large earthquake any time soon. But by monitoring slow slip to the north and south of Tohoku, seismologists may get a better idea of how much stress is building there and when a large earthquake is likely to strike again. “It means earthquake probabilities should be raised during times of accelerated [slow] slip,” says Gavin Hayes, a seismologist with the US Geological Survey in Golden, Colorado.

Slow slip has happened before other large earthquakes, such as the magnitude-8.1 Iquique earthquake in Chile in 2014. In 2014, off the coast of Guerrero, Mexico, a magnitude-7.2 earthquake occurred about two months after slow slip began, says Mathilde Radiguet, a seismologist at ISTerre Institute of Earth Sciences in Grenoble, France.

And slow slip is common along the Pacific Northwest coast, a spot thought to be ripe for a large earthquake in the zone known as Cascadia. For the past five weeks, in a fairly common occurrence, tiny quakes have been marching south from Vancouver Island and into Washington state. “It is key for us to know as much as possible about unsteady slow slip in Cascadia,” says Heidi Houston, a seismologist at the University of Washington in Seattle.

More on the Cascadian Episodic Tremor and Slip Events at the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network - new entries are at the bottom of the page.

More on the Texas School Shooting

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This tragedy could have been averted - from the London Daily Mail:

EXCLUSIVE: 'If he kills me I'll haunt him forever': Murdered teen who spurned besotted Texas school shooter's advances predicted he would try to hurt her
The murdered teen crush who spurned the advances of 'besotted' school gunman Dimitrios Pagourtzis was so scared of him she warned her family: 'If he kills me I'll haunt him forever.'

Shana Fisher, 16, made the chilling premonition just two weeks before she was shot dead along with seven other students and two teachers at Santa Fe High School.

Her family have revealed how 17-year-old Pagourtzis pestered Shana for dates for four months before she finally stood up to him a week before Friday's murderous rampage and said: ‘cut it out.’

The problem is not guns, it is how we deal with mental health issues. I own several spoons and I would like to loose 20 pounds of weight. I am not blaming the spoons for making me fat.

Yikes - Nipah Virus

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Hope it doesn't spread - an excerpt from this article at the Associated Press:

...At least 10 people have died of Nipah since an outbreak began earlier this month in Kerala, health officials say, and two more people are in critical condition. There is no vaccine for the virus, which can cause raging fevers, convulsions and vomiting, and kills up to 75 percent of people who come down with it. The only treatment is supportive care to keep patients comfortable...

A fairly recent development:

Nipah was first identified during a late 1990s outbreak in Malaysia. Later outbreaks have occurred in Bangladesh and India.

Stormy weather

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Looks like lawyer Michael Avenatti has a bit of a money management problem - from the Los Angeles Times:

Law firm of Stormy Daniels' attorney hit with $10-million judgment
The law firm of adult film star Stormy Daniels' attorney, Michael Avenatti, was hit with a $10-million judgment Tuesday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court after he broke his promise to pay $2 million to a former colleague.

And it's not just the $2M

At the hearing, the U.S. Justice Department revealed that Avenatti has also defaulted on just over $440,000 in back taxes, penalties and interest that he had personally promised to pay the Internal Revenue Service under another bankruptcy settlement for his law firm.

This is the same attention-grabbing moke who gutted Seattle's Tully's Coffee - Seattle Times:

Before Stormy Daniels, her attorney faced allegations of dubious business dealings at Tully’s Coffee
He’s become famous as the brash lawyer for the porn star who purportedly bedded the future president, but before Michael Avenatti accused Donald Trump and his attorney of a payoff scheme to muzzle Stormy Daniels, he faced allegations of dubious business dealings as owner of a flailing coffee chain.

Since his investment firm bought bankrupt Tully’s Coffee for $9.15 million at auction five years ago, Avenatti’s company has been named in more than 50 state and federal legal complaints, including commercial lawsuits, breach of lease actions and warrants for unpaid taxes, court records show.

The moke tends to have a bit of a track record:

Nold’s complaint contends that while Avenatti ran the company, he fleeced nearly $6 million in federal and state tax withholdings — money meant to be held in trust for payment of quarterly taxes — from the paychecks of Tully’s employees.

The complaint also claims Avenatti fraudulently transferred $100,000 from the Tully’s operation last year to retain lawyers for his California law firm’s unrelated bankruptcy.

Well Michael - enjoy your fifteen minutes of fame. Jail is beckoning...

Found on the web

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Presented for your enjoyment:


Back from coffee

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Packing stuff up into cartons - big yard sale shortly...

Got nothing this evening

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Went in to Bellingham to run a few errands this afternoon. Had dinner in town and been back for two hours.

Still clearing crap out of the house and boxing up belongings - I am doing a major downsizing and have way too much stuff. It creeps up on you.

Feeling a bit sleepy so probably no posting tonight - early bedtime.

Working at home today

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Out for coffee and then back home to pack up my belongings.

From Russia Today:

Multiple explosions reported at Syrian military base near Hama
Syrian state television has reported a series of explosions at a military base near Hama in the west of the country.

Local sources are reporting hearing four explosions at the site. No casualties or injuries have been reported.

Syrian journalist Mousa Alomar tweeted a video showing a large plume of smoke in the aftermath of the explosions.

A short time later another explosion was heard inside the airport, according to Syrian state media.

My only questions are who and how - infiltration? Drone?  USA, Israel, Saudi Arabia?
Regardless, this could not be happening to a nicer group of people.

Handy Chrome tips and tricks

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Been using Google's Chrome browser for quite a few years now. Here are some handy tips you might not know.
From Fast Company:

27 Incredibly Useful Things You Didn’t Know Chrome Could Do
These days, a browser is more than just a basic navigator for the web. It’s effectively a second desktop—a gateway to countless apps, sites, and services. And optimizing that environment can go a long way in increasing your efficiency.

Google’s Chrome in particular is full of hidden shortcuts, features, and power-user possibilities. Take the time to learn these tips, and watch your productivity soar.

Going to incorporate these in my daily browsing...

A bit of local news

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Scary - from the Tacoma, WA News Tribune:

Cougar kills man, injures another near North Bend
One man was killed and another injured in a mountain lion attack near North Bend on Saturday, the King County Sheriff's Office reported.

The injured victim, 31, was transported to Harborview Medical Center's emergency department in Seattle.

"He is currently awake and alert and in serious condition," the hospital tweeted at 2:26 p.m. The man was upgraded to satisfactory condition just before 5 p.m. Saturday.

The two men were mountain biking when they were attacked before noon, according to the Sheriff's Office.

A rural area but still a public driveable road. Fortunately, these are very rare:

According to several sources, the last fatal cougar attack in the United States occurred in 2008 in New Mexico.

Was looking to see if there was any additional information about the Texas School shooter. Turns out the Los Angeles Times had a good write-up on the event:

Texas school shooter killed girl who turned down his advances and embarrassed him in class, her mother says
As he heard the gunshots approaching down the hall Friday morning, Santa Fe High School student Abel San Miguel, 15, hid with a few classmates in the art class storage closet.

He wasn't sure if he was going to survive. Through the door, he could see the barrel of a shotgun. Then the shooter began shooting through the door, killing at least one student inside, and grazing Abel's back.

When the shooter left the room briefly, Abel and others left the closet and tried to barricade the door. But the shooter pushed it open, spotted a student he knew, and with anger said, "Surprise!" before shooting the student in the chest.

Unreal. And of course, the parents:

"We are gratified by the public comments made by other Santa Fe High School students that show Dimitri as we know him: a smart, quiet, sweet boy," the family statement said.

Unrequited love:

One of Pagourtzis' classmates who died in the attack, Shana Fisher, "had 4 months of problems from this boy," her mother, Sadie Rodriguez, wrote in a private message to the Los Angeles Times on Facebook. "He kept making advances on her and she repeatedly told him no."

Pagourtzis continued to get more aggressive, and she finally stood up to him and embarrassed him in class, Rodriguez said. "A week later he opens fire on everyone he didn't like," she wrote. "Shana being the first one."

The goblin had also brought several IED but they malfunctioned. He was seen weeks earlier:

Pagourtzis, a football player who had allegedly posted images of guns and a T-shirt with the words "Born to kill" on social media in the weeks before the shooting.

The problem is not guns, it is mental health - recognizing and dealing with the signs.

Offline for a bit

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Been busy with life - getting the house cleared out so we can put the farm on the market.

Some wonderful changes!

Got nothing this morning

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School shooting with fatalities but we know nothing about the goblin - more later.

T is coming up to help me pack another couple of loads from the farm. Heading out for coffee and then doing a run to the dump.

Good meeting tonight

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Went to our local ham radio group meeting on the island. Very vibrant club - well organised and the group is well managed financially too. They just expanded their repeater and are doing a lot of outreach to non-hams in the area.

Been waking up early because of the window people working at the house so watching a couple of YouTube videos and heading to sleep. Busy day tomorrow - T and I are heading to the farm to pack more of my stuff and get things ready for the estate sale. Down to Seattle for a few days and then back to the farm to do more packing.

People tout alternative energy as being good for the environment. Here is one story with a different outcome - from PV Tech:

‘Countless piles of dead batteries’ are testament to lead acid’s toxic legacy in Africa
Providers of solar-plus-storage into the continent of Africa have said that it is a misconception that lead acid batteries used in off-grid systems are recycled efficiently back into the supply chain.

PV Tech's sister title, Energy-Storage.News spoke with Powerhive and Offgrid Electric, two US-headquartered providers of solar which have both focused on the off-grid sector in Africa to date. Powerhive provides community microgrids and in essence acts as a utility, selling 240V AC power by the kilowatt-hour, while Offgrid Electric leases or sells solar home kits to individual households. The former is active in Kenya, with Rwanda and Nigeria expected to be its next ports of call, while Off Grid Electric is focused on Tanzania, Rwanda, Ghana and the Ivory Coast at the moment.

The article links to a report that goes into much more detail. There is no infrastructure to recycle the lead acid batteries so they end up as waste.

South of Seattle in the State capitol of Olympia is Evergreen State College - quite the hotbed of liberal and progressive thinking. It has long been my thought that any curriculum with the word "studies" in it is worthless and should be shut down. Evergreen offers courses in Community Studies, African American Studies, Gender and Women's Studies, International Studies, Maritime (WTF?) Studies, Queer Studies, Environmental Studies, Language Studies, Sustainability Studies, Media Studies, etc. etc. etc.

Well, these chickens are coming home to roost - from The Olympian:

Evergreen looks to cut $6 million from its budget, raise fees due to enrollment drop
The Evergreen State College will look to cut more than 10 percent from its operating budget for 2018-19 and raise student fees because of declining enrollment.

In a memo to the college’s board of trustees, Evergreen President George Bridges wrote that cuts totaling $5.9 million are needed because of lower-than-expected tuition revenue. This will require “some” layoffs and eliminating “many positions that are currently vacant,” according to Bridges.

And not just budget cuts:

Officials have recommended a combined increase of $236 per year in student fees for 2018-19.

A bit more backstory on Evergreen here, here and here - fscking hippies. Spoil it for everyone. Used to be a nice small college until the social justice warriors took it over.

Windows - day three

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Got the window people out again - coming in a few minutes. They found some rot in one of the frames so bringing some stuff to fix it. Above and beyond. Renewal by Andersen - very happy with the company and with the product.

Heading out for coffee and post office - back home to resume taking out drywall and removing the electric hydronic heating system. A wonderful source of heating but horribly expensive to run in this day of "cheap" renewable energy. Switching over to mini-split heat pumps.

Got a ham radio meeting tonight.

Heading over to YouTube for a bit and then to sleep - window people are coming at 8:00AM again tomorrow and need to get my coffee and post office fix first.

Daniel Greenfield explains a bit about what is actually happening there - Hamas is a terrorist organization funded by Iran which has been funded by President Obama.

Attacking Israel for $100, Defending it for $13
Hamas supporters in Gaza held the world’s first peaceful protest with hand grenades, pipe bombs, cleavers and guns. And Israeli soldiers peacefully defended their country leaving multiple Hamas attackers at peace. The Great Hamas March of Return came with instructions to, "bring a knife, dagger, or handgun, if you have one, and to leave them under your clothes and not use them or show them, except if you identify one of the soldiers or settlers."

"We will tear down the border," Hamas Prime Minister Yahya Sinwar had peacefully vowed. "And we will tear out their hearts from their bodies."

Why do these people put themselves into harms way? Follow the benjamins:

Hamas had offered $100 to every rioter. During previous violent assaults back in April, the Muslim Brotherhood terrorist group had been offering $200 to anyone shot by Israelis, $500 for severe injuries and $3,000 to the dead.

$100 a day may not seem like a lot, but the Israeli teen soldiers they’re trying to kill, earn $13 a day.

The Hamas supporting thugs are depicted as helpless, starving victims who can barely lift the firebombs they’re throwing at Israelis, but they make ten times as much as the Israeli soldiers they are there to kill.

Hamas can write all those checks to its aspiring killers because the cash is coming from Iran.

And Barry?

With as many as 50,000 Hamas supporters in Gaza participating in the day’s attacks at $100 a head, over 1,000 allegedly injured at least $200 each, and another 52 allegedly killed at $3,000 each (there is no reason to treat Hamas casualty figures coming out of Gaza as anything other than propaganda), the whole thing cost Hamas and Iran $5.3 million. The unmarked cargo plane filled with foreign currency that Obama dispatched to Iran carried $400 million. That was part of a known $1.7 billion cash payment.

But the total Obama terror payments to Tehran may go as high as $33.6 billion.

Like they say, if you are not outraged, you are not paying attention.

Crossfire Hurricane

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Interesting - the never Trumpers at the FBI knew that this information was going to surface so they leaked it to the New York Times trying to put the best possible spin on it.

Code Name Crossfire Hurricane: The Secret Origins of the Trump Investigation
Within hours of opening an investigation into the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia in the summer of 2016, the F.B.I. dispatched a pair of agents to London on a mission so secretive that all but a handful of officials were kept in the dark.

Their assignment, which has not been previously reported, was to meet the Australian ambassador, who had evidence that one of Donald J. Trump’s advisers knew in advance about Russian election meddling. After tense deliberations between Washington and Canberra, top Australian officials broke with diplomatic protocol and allowed the ambassador, Alexander Downer, to sit for an F.B.I. interview to describe his meeting with the campaign adviser, George Papadopoulos.

The agents summarized their highly unusual interview and sent word to Washington on Aug. 2, 2016, two days after the investigation was opened. Their report helped provide the foundation for a case that, a year ago Thursday, became the special counsel investigation. But at the time, a small group of F.B.I. officials knew it by its code name: Crossfire Hurricane.

The spin is so thick that they must have used a trowel to lay it on. The upshot is that the FBI had nothing of consequence to go on. Australian ambassador Alexander Downer's meeting with the campaign adviser, George Papadopoulos is described as follows:

Lastly, there was Mr. Papadopoulos, the young and inexperienced campaign aide whose wine-fueled conversation with the Australian ambassador set off the investigation.

So George was inexperienced, somewhat drunk and said something inapropriate and the FBI built this whole secret investigation on it? This is big, very very big.

Liberals protecting their own

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Figures as much - from the Miami Herald:

BSO deputy who froze during Parkland shooting is getting $8k monthly pension
Despite resigning in disgrace after the Parkland school shooting, former Broward Sheriff's Office deputy Scot Peterson is receiving a generous state pension that will pay him more than he made in his last year on the force.

Peterson's monthly pension, which began in April, clocks in at $8,702.35, according to a report from the South Florida Sun Sentinel published Tuesday evening. That's $104,428.20 per year in pension payments, compared to the $101,879.03 he was paid last year, the Sun Sentinel reports.

"The thing he was supposed to do — protect these children — he didn’t do," Broward County Commissioner Michael Udine told the Miami Herald Tuesday. "Now he’s going to be paid by taxpayers for the rest of his life? It seems disgraceful."

Disgusting - once you get on the public teat, the fellow bureaucrats will move heaven and earth to make sure you are "treated right". These things happen again and again and again with no oversight. Remember the Veterans Health Administration scandal of 2014? Jerry Pournelle summed the problem up perfectly with his Iron Law:

The Iron Law of Bureaucracy
Pournelle's Iron Law of Bureaucracy states that in any bureaucratic organization there will be two kinds of people":

First, there will be those who are devoted to the goals of the organization. Examples are dedicated classroom teachers in an educational bureaucracy, many of the engineers and launch technicians and scientists at NASA, even some agricultural scientists and advisors in the former Soviet Union collective farming administration.

Secondly, there will be those dedicated to the organization itself. Examples are many of the administrators in the education system, many professors of education, many teachers union officials, much of the NASA headquarters staff, etc.

The Iron Law states that in every case the second group will gain and keep control of the organization. It will write the rules, and control promotions within the organization.

So sadly true...

Problems with the media

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Look at any demonstration anywhere in the world and most of the signs are in English. Why? Because they are playing to the American media which gobbles up anything that makes America or her allies look bad. Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz had this to say:

Hamas is a terrorist group - their charter is virulently anti-semetic. This quote from Abraham Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League pretty much sums it up:

"The Hamas credo is not just anti-Israel, but profoundly anti-Semitic with racism at its core. The Hamas Charter reads like a modern-day 'Mein Kampf.'" According to the charter, Jewish people "have only negative traits and are presented as planning to take over the world." The charter claims that the Jews deserve God’s/Allah’s enmity and wrath because they received the Scriptures but violated its sacred texts, disbelieved the signs of Allah, and slew their own prophets. It quotes a saying of Muhammad from a hadith: "The Day of Judgment will not come until Muslims fight the Jews, when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say, 'O Muslim, O servant of God, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.' Only the Gharkad tree would not do that, because it is one of the trees of the Jews."

Nice people - they want a state? Let's give them one - PLASMA

An interesting change - PowerPoint

I hate PowerPoint with a passion. It allows users to creat a nice looking presentation with zero content. It seems that Jeff Bezos at Amazon feels the same way. From Barfblog (they usually food safety related issues):

Storytelling is more effective than PowerPoint
Food safety training and effective communication involves a myriad of techniques and behavior-based solutions in order to be compelling. The power of narration or story-telling is underrated and should be used more often as a way to inform the public on food safety than simply using PowerPoint. The CEO of Amazon has eliminated the use of PowerPoint in their executive meetings as a means to be more productive.

In his 2018 annual letter, Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos repeated his rule that PowerPoint is banned in executive meetings. What Bezos replaced it with provides even more valuable insight for entrepreneurs and leaders.

In his letter, and in a recent discussion at the Forum on Leadership at the Bush Center, Bezos revealed that “narrative structure” is more effective than PowerPoint. According to Bezos, new executives are in for a culture shock in their first Amazon meetings. Instead of reading bullet points on a PowerPoint slide, everyone sits silently for about 30 minutes to read a “six-page memo that’s narratively structured with real sentences, topic sentences, verbs, and nouns.”

After everyone’s done reading, they discuss the topic. “It’s so much better than the typical PowerPoint presentation for so many reasons,” Bezos added.

The author (Robert Mancini) then goes on to give three reasons why narrative is much better than bullet points. Excellent analysis and great call by Amazon leadership.

And that is it for me

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The window people are coming back tomorrow at 8:00AM to finish this stage of the installation. The work they have done so far is stellar - very happy with them.

I will be spending tomorrow scraping and caulking the siding prior to primer and then a good coat of house paint.

It will be interesting to see the repercussions of the head tax:


The city council is pissing off a lot of Seattleites who will be hurt if Amazon or Starbucks either relocates their corporate headquarters (like Boeing) or lays off workers. It will be interesting to see the results of the next election. People are pissed.

An explanation of his plan from David Catron writing at The American Spectator:

Trump’s Excellent Plan to Reduce Drug Prices
Last Friday, President Trump caused consternation among Democrats and their media allies by introducing an eminently sensible blueprint for reducing drug prices. The 50-point “American Patients First” plan addresses four broad challenges: High list prices for drugs, government programs overpaying for drugs, rising out-of-pocket costs for consumers, and foreign governments free-riding off American innovation. The blueprint relies on free market competition and private-sector negotiation rather than regulatory coercion and price controls. And, assuming his plan works as designed, President Trump will have succeeded where his predecessor proved utterly impotent. Consequently, the plan drew immediate criticism from the left.

The most common liberal complaint about the President’s blueprint involves his decision, as the New York Times laments, “not to have the federal government directly negotiate lower drug prices for Medicare.” Trump alarmed conservatives during his presidential campaign by flirting with that exceptionally bad policy idea, but sensibly abandoned it when working with his advisors to formulate a concrete plan. The term “negotiate” has no real meaning in the context of federal dealings with the drug industry. It is nothing more than a pseudonym for price controls. Allowing the government to “negotiate” with drug companies for lower Medicare drug prices would inevitably create shortages of badly needed pharmaceuticals.

Much more at the site - President Trump's plan seems to be effective and well thought out.

Back to work

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Took a break for lunch and back to caulking the siding on the house.  Overall, it is in very good shape except for the South wall. Planning to remove a window there (for the kitchen remodel) so will replace a bunch of it anyway.

The window people are here doing excellent work on their install. The difference in clarity is night and day. Let's hear it for modern technology!

A memorable voice - HAL 9000

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Great article on the voice behind HAL 9000 in Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey. From The New York Times:

The Story of a Voice: HAL in ‘2001’ Wasn’t Always So Eerily Calm
“I’m sorry, Dave, I’m afraid I can’t do that.”

Even if you’ve never seen the movie, you know the voice.

HAL 9000, the seemingly omniscient computer in “2001: A Space Odyssey,” was the film’s most expressive and emotional figure, and made a lasting impression on our collective imagination.

Stanley Kubrick’s epic, a journey from pre-human history to a possible infinity that doesn’t need humans at all, is probably the most respected, if not the most beloved, science-fiction film of all time.

The story of the creation of HAL’s performance — the result of a last-minute collaboration between the idiosyncratic director Stanley Kubrick and the veteran Canadian actor Douglas Rain — has been somewhat lost in the 50 years since the film’s release in April 1968. As has its impact: Artificial intelligence has borrowed from the HAL persona, and now, unwittingly, a slight hint of Canadianness resides in our phones and interactive devices.

Great story and a fun bit of cinema history.

Island life

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Waiting for the window people - heading out for coffee first.

The weather is overcast with low clouds - forecast has zero precip today but 20% chance for tomorrow so holding off on painting the outside of the house. The siding on the South side of the house really needs to be replaced so picking that up today and will do that first.

And that is it for me for tonight

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Busy times.  Very early day tomorrow so it is lights out.

Busy day week couple of months

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Was sleeping at the farm and got an early morning phone call from the window people that they were on their way to install the new windows at the island home - 60 miles away.

They rescheduled for tomorrow morning and I am down here now - we have a stretch of good weather in the forecast so I am starting to prep the outside of the house for painting. Did a couple hours of caulking today. Just doing the primer for now - T and I need to decide on a color.

What a surprise - not

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Sad to see what the Democrat party has become. From Joel B. Pollak:

Democrats Are a No-Show for Jerusalem Embassy Move
Four U.S. Senators addressed members of the press at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem on Monday morning, hours before the official relocation of the U.S. embassy — and all four were Republicans.

Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX), Dean Heller (R-NV), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), and Mike Lee (R-UT) made the trip, along with ten Republican U.S. Representatives — but not one Democrat joined the U.S. delegation for the embassy event.

Only former Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) — who was the Democratic nominee for vice president in 2000 before being rejected by his party in 2006 for his support of the Iraq War — came to Jerusalem to join in the festivities.

Two journalists asked the Republican Senators why no Democrats had come.

Sen. Cruz said: “That is a sad, sad manifestation — I wish we had every member of Congress here … every member of Congress had the option before them to come.”

Sen. Graham said that no one, Republican or Democrat, had been specifically invited to the ceremony — they simply chose to come or they did not. And he noted that only Republicans had come of their own volition.

“It’s not for me to tell you what that says,” Graham said. “It hurts me.”

He noted that the absence of Democrats sent a dangerous message that Americans were not united in their support for Israel.

So petty and vindictive. The good news is that acts like this show them for what they are and We The People are starting to take note.

Turns out that my new windows were ready to be installed today.  Kind of hard to do when I am not there so they will come back tomorrow.

Out for coffee and then points South. Looks like a gorgeous day so maybe start painting the outside.

Pocket calculators - a history

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Fascinating article about the origins of the HP-35 pocket calculator. This was manufactured by Hewlett Packard and was the first calculator that could perform trig functions. Here are some excerpts of this from Codex 99:

The article starts by talking about HP and how it had grown from two people in a garage to 9,000 employees:

Tom Osborne, a Berkeley-trained electrical engineer, wasn’t one of those 9000 employees. In his Bay-area apartment, he had built a floating-point electronic calculator he called the Green Machine (after the color of the automotive touch-up paint he used on the balsa wood case). He tried shopping it around but no one was interested until he showed it to HP in June, 1965. Bill Hewlett asked “can it do transcendentals [sine, cosine, tangent, etc]?” Osborne’s Frankenmachine couldn’t, but he replied “Sure, why not?” Hewlett was sufficiently impressed and convinced Osborne to stay on for six weeks as a consultant to see if he could turn his device into a proper calculator.

And, a few years later, they came out with 1.0

“I was barely able to stay ahead of the alligators on my tail,” Osborne recalled. His six weeks became six months, then a year, and then another, but, finally, in early 1968, they had finished the 40-pound, typewriter-sized 9100A Computing Calculator.

The 9100 was introduced at the New York IEEE show on March 11th, 1968. It filled a gap in the market between simple adding machines and complicated mainframes and was, in many ways, the first personal computer. Steve Jobs (yeah, that Steve Jobs) remembered the 9100 as the first desktop computer he ever saw.

The HP-35 was released in January 4th, 1972 and they were stunned by the demand. Everyone wanted one. I had serious lust in my heart but could not afford the $395 price tag. I did get an HP-45 when they came out though - also a great machine. The first year of sales accounted for half of HP's profits. Not bad.

A fun and well-written article - worth reading if you are interested in the history of electronics.

From Jim Hoft at The Gateway Pundit:

OH BOY! Iranian Regime Threatens to Release Names of Western Officials Who Took Bribes to Pass Nuke Deal
Earlier this week President Trump withdrew from the sham Iranian nuclear deal. President Trump knew the deal with the Iranian mullahs was not working.

This was despite former Secretary of State John Kerry working against the Trump administration to salvage the weak deal with the Iranian regime.

Now this…
Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hossein Jaberi Ansari warned Western officials this week that if they do not put pressure on the Trump administration the Iranian regime will leak the names of all Western officials who were bribed to pass the weak deal.

More on Kerry's recent meetings with Iranians can be found here. I hope that the Iranians do publish the list - it would do us all a great favor to know who the members of the deep state are. And their toadies.

One-term president Carter was a disaster in office. It seems that he still does not like America or her allies - from the American Center for Law and Justice:

ACLJ Files New Lawsuit Against Anti-Israel Deep State Over Carter Center Funding and Potential “Material Support or Resources” to Hamas and Other Jihadists
Recently, in furtherance of our efforts to stop funding terrorists at war with Israel, we filed suit under the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) against the U.S. Department of State to obtain documents relating to the Carter Center’s taxpayer funding and the possibility that it may have provided “material support or resources” to designated terrorist organizations including Hamas and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).

The ACLJ issued a FOIA request on March 1, 2018, to State Department, and – as is customary for the agency – it failed to comply with federal law and issue a determination on the ACLJ’s FOIA request.

A bit more:

Not so subtly, the Carter Center also openly describes its regular contact with Hamas – designated by the State Department as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) since 1997 – stating that “The Carter Center works both with grassroots activists and with high-level decision makers in its efforts to further conflict resolution, human rights and democratic development in Palestine,” and that the Center maintains “regular contact with leaders of the two largest Palestinian political parties, Fatah and Hamas.” For context, other organizations carrying this same designation – FTO – include ISIS, al Q’aeda, Boko Haram, and al-Shabaab.

Carter is just another stooge of the deep state. Time to clean them out.

Another busy day

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Coffee, store and then bak to the farm to load the trailer. Planning to do two trips today - get the farm on the market ASAP

Anyone out there want to buy a nice farm? Great solid house and 30 acres with a couple of outbuildings. I'll even throw in a tractor - it is impossible to have a bad day when you are driving a tractor.

The people pushing the Anthropogenic Climate Change bull-crap use the numbers from their computer models for evidence. They do not use real data gathered from the real world for some strange reason. Might be because the Modern Warm Period has come to an end and we have not had any appreciable warming for about 20 years.

This data is from messurements taken in the field by various arrays of sensors - both atmospheric, satellite (radar) and oceanic. Add Bird Migration to the mix - from Phys Org:

Migratory birds arriving late to breeding grounds
New research shows climate change is altering the delicate seasonal clock that North American migratory songbirds rely on to successfully mate and raise healthy offspring, setting in motion a domino effect that could threaten the survival of many familiar backyard bird species.

A growing shift in the onset of spring has left nine of 48 species of songbirds studied unable to reach their northern breeding grounds at the calendar marks critical for producing the next generation of fledglings, according to a paper published today in Nature Scientific Reports.

And the mechanism:

Birds leave their winter homes in Central and South America for the north based on the seasonal shift in hours of daylight, a cue unaltered by climate change. To produce healthy young, they must arrive at their breeding grounds to take advantage of the early-season boom in insects that emerge with springtime plant growth.

But as climate change shifts the timing of when plants put out new leaves – a temperature-driven process known as green-up – migrating birds become more likely to reach breeding grounds when temperatures are still frigid and food is scarce or after insect numbers have begun to dwindle.

Interesting. Another nail in the coffin.

Eliminating guns will stop terrorism in its tracks. Right? Not so much - from The London Daily Mail:

ISIS knifeman 'shouting Allahu Akbar' kills one and leaves four injured in stabbing rampage in Paris before being shot dead by police as Macron says 'France has once again paid the price of blood'
A terrorist shouted 'Allah Akbar' as he 'slashed at the the throats of innocent bystanders' in Paris last night - killing one and injuring four others.

Armed police swooped on the French capital's historic Opera Garnier opera house shortly after 9pm and used a taser on the attacker before shooting him dead when he refused to surrender.

ISIS later claimed the unnamed killer, in his 20s, was one of their 'soldiers' as President Emmanuel Macron said 'France has once again paid the price of blood'.

The price of placing a low barrier to immigration. Christianity had its reformation. Time for these folks to get with the big picture.

At the farm tonight

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Getting ready to do at least two trailer-loads of stuff into the Condo tomorrow. These will either be item to sell at the estate sale or items to move down to Camano Island. Fun times ahead - a new beginning.

Virtue signalling - an example

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What is liberal virtue signalling? Here is a perfect example and from the quote in the article, they are not even aware of how stupid they seem. It's all about the feeeeeelings and the narrative. From My Central Jersey (part of the USA Today network):

EDITORIAL: Piscataway gun sales ban worth a shot
Piscataway’s Township Council has introduced an ordinance that would ban retail sales of guns and ammunition within 1,000 feet of so-called “sensitive areas.”

Piscataway at the moment has no gun shops, but Councilman Steven Cahn said officials want to be proactive, and that a community can at least be prudent about where guns are sold.

So the place has no gun stores but they are regulating where those non-existant stores can be located. How about driving to another town and spending your tax dollars over there. How about addressing the real issue of mental illness and poor law enforcement. I own a spoon and that spoon is making me fat. It's not the instrument, it is the person behind the instrument.

Getting ready for points North

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Heading North in about an hour - amateur radio swap meet and then working at the farm for a few days.

Party time

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Several celebrations - promotion, birthday, new things, old things, fun people.

Meeting at a brewery but picking up a load of sushi on the way. The brewery has no food service so they welcome outside edibles.

Heading up North tomorrow to an amateur radio event.

Check out The Psycho's - coming soon to a theater near you:


Heh - bad news for anti-Frackers

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From Jazz Shaw at Hot Air:

The Study You Won’t Be Hearing About: No Impact On Groundwater From Fracking
Protests by environmentalists against hydraulic fracturing (or fracking) have been going on for years now, along with the Hollywood efforts of serial fabulists such as Josh Fox. One of the biggest concerns surrounding the process is the possibility of contamination of groundwater. While a previous study in Pennsylvania by the state Department of Environmental Protection revealed zero instances of this happening (except for surface spills during transport of hydraulic fluids), critics discounted the study and the protests continued.

The study was published at Springer - from the abstract:

We found no relationship between CH4 concentration or source in groundwater and proximity to active gas well sites. No significant changes in CH4 concentration, CH4 isotopic composition, pH, or conductivity in water wells were observed during the study period. These data indicate that high levels of biogenic CH4 can be present in groundwater wells independent of hydraulic fracturing activity and affirm the need for isotopic or other fingerprinting techniques for CH4 source identification.

And Jazz brings up one serious point:

Another attack frequently launched by the “keep it in the ground” crowd consists of questioning the bias of the study participants or the source of funding. This testing was done on a completely independent basis and the funding came from two sources. One was the David & Sara Weston Foundation, a group whose mission is to, “enrich and strengthen underserved communities in… the arts, environmental conservation and social services.” Additional funding was provided by a grant from the Deer Creek Foundation, which seeks to “enrich the cultural and artistic quality of life in the St. Louis metropolitan area.”

In other words, we’re not talking about flunkies for ExxonMobil here.

Of course, the mainstream media is all like:






One of the major luminaries in the world of Physics - from Physics World:

Richard Feynman’s centenary celebrations
Richard Feynman – one of the most iconic physicists of the 20th century – was born exactly 100 years ago today on 11 May 1918. Like the late Stephen Hawking, he was one of the few physicists to have entered the wider public consciousness, gaining celebrity status through his pioneering lectures, his best-selling books, his much talked-about private life and, of course, his unique way of doing physics. Unlike Hawking, though, Feynman went on to win a Nobel Prize for Physics, sharing the 1965 award with Julian Schwinger and Shin’ichirō Tomonaga. He also helped to build the atomic bomb.

Feynman’s enduring fame is one reason why various events are being held around the world today to celebrate the centenary of his birth. Much of the focus will be at the California Institute of Technology, where Feynman worked for almost four decades until his death in 1988. It is hosting a two-day meeting featuring a star-studded line up of guests who include Feynman’s sister Joan and his adopted daughter Michelle. Also present at the “Feynman 100” celebration and symposium will be other top scientists like Freeman Dyson, David Gross, Lisa Randall, Sara Seager, Leonard Susskind and Kip Thorne who will “survey the current frontiers of knowledge and share their vision of where science is heading”.

Over on the other side of the world, meanwhile, Feynman’s long-time friend, biographer and sidekick Ralph Leighton is hosting an event in the remote Russian region of Tuva, which lies near the border with China. Feynman had a long fascination with this region, which emerged from Tuva having issued its own postage stamps in the 1920s. Feynman spent many years with Leighton trying to visit Tuva – his attempts blocked first by Soviet red tape and later by Feynman’s involvement in the Challenger space-shuttle disaster. Feynman died of cancer before his dream was fulfilled, though the pair’s attempts to visit are documented in Leighton’s 1991 book Tuva or Bust!: Richard Feynman’s Last Journey. Leighton is today planning to host a party at the “Centre of Asia” monument in Kyzyl, before carving a Feynman diagram into a Tuvan rockface.

Some more at the site - looking forward to watching the videos of the event. Don Surber had this observation:

Today marks the 100th birthday of Richard Feynman, Nobel physics laureate, rascal, and teacher of physics teachers.

Because he was a white, Jewish, straight, American male, Google did not commemorate him. Instead Google will go tomorrow or the next day with some Tasmanian transexual pop star's 107th birthday.

We use their site and their services but never forget that they are a Goolag of bias and progressive narrative.

Got back a few minutes ago - excellent show!

Decompressing now - more tomorrow. Big party tomorrow.

Our neighbor to the North - British Columbia has gone a bit off the deep end regarding Glowball Warmening. They drew a line in the sand saying that they would implement a 40% reduction in Greenhouse Gasses (what are those?) by 2020. This was set in place in 2007. From the Canadian Broadcasting Company:

B.C. government drops greenhouse gas target for new 2030 goal
The B.C. government has dropped its greenhouse gas reduction target, blaming the previous Liberal government for failing to do enough to meet the goal set in 2007.

On Monday, the NDP announced the 2020 target was being replaced with a 40 per cent reduction of 2007 levels by 2030, as part of a new Climate Change Accountability Act.

"The previous government, after stalling on sustained climate action for several years, admitted they could not meet their 2020 target, and those targets are repealed in this act," said a statement released by Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy George Heyman.

So shift the blame and move the goalposts. Carbon Dioxide is essential for photosynthesis - the driver of plant growth. No CO2, no plants.

Two fun stories from Zero Hedge

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They do really good research and provide links to sources. Here are the headlines:

Avenatti is the moke who pumped and dumped Seattle's Tully's Coffee - stripping the company of its assets, not paying Federal taxes and closing down all of its storefronts.

A fun day

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Went out for coffee at my favorite haunt - The Cafe Allegro - and it turns out that it was its 43rd Birthday today:


They claim to be the oldest espresso bar in Seattle, there was one older but they closed down when they lost their lease.

My first business was located less than one block from the Allegro. I specifically rented that office because of its proximity - I could duck out for a coffee when things were slow and my office person could call the Allegro if someone came by to look at a computer.

Out for coffee

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In Seattle for a few days - show last night, show tonight and then a Birthday party Friday. Heading up to a ham radio event near the island Saturday morning and then up to the farm to continue packing.

Incredible show last night

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I know this person from a social group I spend time with. Never knew that she had such a great voice. A very fun evening.

A night on the town

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A friend of ours is singing tonight - heading out to hear her in a few minutes.

From The Washington Times:

April was best month in history for U.S. budget, according to CBO figures
The federal government took in a record tax haul in April en route to its biggest-ever monthly budget surplus, the Congressional Budget Office said, as a surging economy left Americans with more money in their paychecks — and this more to pay to Uncle Sam.

All told the government collected $515 billion and spent $297 billion, for a total monthly surplus of $218 billion. That swamped the previous monthly record of $190 billion, set in 2001.

CBO analysts were surprised by the surplus, which was some $40 billion more than they’d guessed at less than a month ago.

Analysts said they’ll have a better idea of what’s behind the surge as more information rolls in, but for now said it looks like individual taxpayers are paying more because they have higher incomes.

Overall tax income is higher despite the tax cuts - Arthur Laffer first wrote about this when he developed his famous Laffer Curve

Just wonderful - Israel

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Looks like Iran is striking out because of the withdrawl of Obama and Kerry's disasterous Arms Deal - three headlines:

Looks like the Iranians are seeking a war.


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Have a computer that I use up at the farm but use my laptop when I am on the island.

Was on the island yesterday but forgot my laptop and left it in Seattle. Time to shuffle a machine or two around...

On the road again - busy day

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Yet another busy day - out for coffee and then packing up the trailer with another load of books and household crap.

And that is it for the evening

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Going to do an hour of YouTube and head to bed - long day today and long day tomorrow. Loading and unloading a trailer plus a meeting at 4:30

Great two-part article by Ed Driscol - Part One, Part Two

A lot of good information with links to softwarre - some free, some not but all good.

Off to Bellingham

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Unload a trailer full of books

Planning a very large estate sale there. I have too many books.

Quote of the day

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"The farther backward you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see."
--Winston Churchill

Do as I say, not as I do

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Hypocrites - every last one of them. From Pacific Standard:

Do our behaviors really reflect our beliefs? New research suggests that, when it comes to climate change, the answer is no. And that goes for both skeptics and believers.

Participants in a year-long study who doubted the scientific consensus on the issue "opposed policy solutions," but at the same time, they "were most likely to report engaging in individual-level, pro-environmental behaviors," writes a research team led by University of Michigan psychologist Michael Hall.

Conversely, those who expressed the greatest belief in, and concern about, the warming environment "were most supportive of government climate policies, but least likely to report individual-level actions."

Sorry, I didn't have time to recycle—I was busy watching a documentary about the crumbling Antarctic ice shelf.

The study, published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology, followed more than 400 Americans for a full year. On seven occasions—roughly once every eight weeks—participants revealed their climate change beliefs, and their level of support for policies such as gasoline taxes and fuel economy standards.

They also noted how frequently they engaged in four environmentally friendly behaviors: recycling, using public transportation, buying "green" products, and using reusable shopping bags.

Paging Mr. Al Gore - Mr. Al Gore to the white courtesy phone please...

What is Bob up to these days

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It seems that Bob Dylan is doing some interesting things these days - I knew that he was into metalwork and welding - and now this.

Check out Heaven's Door

Give them enough rope...

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A great observation regarding the Mueller "investigation" and people who are so wrapped up in their bubble that they fail to see the outcome of their actions. From Roger L. Simon:

Is Robert Mueller Destroying the Democratic Party?
It would probably give Robert Mueller a nervous breakdown, not to mention James Comey, Andrew McCabe and the rest of the FBI cabal, past and present, but at this point the special counsel seems to be actually causing the reelection of Donald Trump. Most of the country, other than the greed heads in the media and extreme Democratic Party operatives, no longer gives a hoot in Hades about the "Russia Probe." They're frustrated and sick of it.

There's a dawning national consensus of "enough already" reflected by Judge Ellis when he demanded to know exactly what Paul Manafort's possible money laundering schemes of years ago had to do with Trump colluding with Russia in the 2016 election. The same might be said of Stormy Daniels, whose Russia connection is even more remote.

But let's skip past the subplots of the moment to the greatest of all unintended consequences of this endless investigation -- the decline and fall of the Democratic Party.

Yes, you read that correctly.  Like a crackhead addicted to the next puff, Democrats and their media allies have spent most of the last sixteen months fixated on whether Trump somehow, some way, colluded with Putin.  Meanwhile, a zillion issues slipped by, some important, others less so, but the Democrats barely weighed in on anything, other than to whine about Trump.

Heh - more at the site. Today's word is Schadenfreude.

Got nothing this morning

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Heading out for the usual morning routine - coffee, post office and store and then back to the farm to meet with someone this afternoon.

More later...

And that is it for the day

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Got a couple of very full days so switching over to YouTube and then an early bedtime.

From FOX News:

Boy, 13, regains consciousness after parents sign papers to donate his organs
A 13-year-old boy who was said to be suffering severe brain injury defied odds when he regained consciousness after his parents had signed papers to donate his organs.

Trenton McKinley, of Mobile, Ala., was hospitalized two months ago after a small utility trailer he was in flipped over.

“I hit the concrete and the trailer landed on top of my head. After that, I don't remember anything," Trenton told Fox 10.

Not out of the woods yet:

Trenton still has a long road to recovery and suffers nerve pain and daily seizures. He has had three brain surgeries and will have another procedure to reconnect the missing piece of his skull.

And on an interesting side note:

Trenton said he believes he went to heaven before he came back to life.

"I was in an open field walking straight,” Trenton recalled. "There's no other explanation but God. There's no other way. Even doctors said it."

Glad he is back in the land of the living.

From Reuters:

Swedish Academy to reform after controversy postpones Nobel prize
The Swedish Academy which decides the Nobel Prize for Literature said it would not make an award in 2018 and instead focus on internal reforms to restore its reputation in the wake of allegations of sexual harassment and information leaks.

The scandals have threatened to undermine the credibility of the award and attracted unprecedented scrutiny of the Academy, a highly secretive body whose choices of prize winner fascinate and often baffle literature lovers the world over.

A bit more:

At heart of the row are allegations of sexual assault and harassment made by several women against Jean-Claude Arnault, a photographer and well-known cultural figure in Sweden who is married to poet and Academy member Katarina Frostenson.

He is also accused of leaking prize-winners’ names ahead of their official announcement, a major cultural event which is covered each year by the world’s media.

And the reformation:

Appointments to the Academy have been for life and there has been no formal provision under the arcane rules for members to resign. That has meant those who withdrew could not be replaced.

This week, King Carl XVI Gustaf revised the Swedish Academy’s rules to allow members resign. The change also means that members who have not participated in the Academy’s work for two years will be considered to have resigned.

Reformation can be good if done right - congratulations! Now if they could just do something about the Norwegian Peace Prize committee - it's last couple of laureates have been jokes.

Got a meeting tomorrow and Tueday - busy times but a lot of fun and looking forward to the changes.

Heading North

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Still no posting - be in Maple Falls later tonight so maybe then.


A really really busy day today

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T and I got up and headed up to MF from Seattle, spent about six hours packing up books and appliances and taking them to my Mom and Dad's condo in Bellingham for an estate sale. Went out for a nice bit of halibut after to celebrate our good work and just got back to Seattle.

We feel it now - tomorrow should be a day of rest, water and aspirin.  I am heading back to MF tomorrow afternoon to meet with the auction people on Monday and with the Estate Sale people on Tuesday. Back down for a fun get-together Wednesday, a great show Thursday, another fun get-together (same people) Friday and up to the island Sunday.

Jumping the shark - John Kerry

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The fool doesn't realize that they were lying to him. He is trying to salvage his legacy. From The Boston Globe:

Kerry quietly seeking to salvage Iran deal he helped craft
John Kerry’s bid to save one of his most significant accomplishments as secretary of state took him to New York on a Sunday afternoon two weeks ago, where, more than a year after he left office, he engaged in some unusual shadow diplomacy with a top-ranking Iranian official.

He sat down at the United Nations with Foreign Minister Javad Zarif to discuss ways of preserving the pact limiting Iran’s nuclear weapons program. It was the second time in about two months that the two had met to strategize over salvaging a deal they spent years negotiating during the Obama administration, according to a person briefed on the meetings.

He should just go back to his ketchup heiress and retire from public life. Kerry has zero jurisdiction now - he needs to STFU and go home.

End of an era - Ronco

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From the Austin, Texas Business Journal:

Ronco, the infomercial powerhouse behind Veg-O-Matic, files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy
Ronco Holdings Inc., which popularized the infomercial tagline "But wait, there’s more" and sold household gadgets such as the Pocket Fisherman and Veg-O-Matic, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

Rondo Brands, which was incorporated February 2017 in Austin to become the holding company of Ronco Holdings, announced plans more than a year ago to raise $30 million through a "mini-IPO" of 5 million shares at $6 per share.

That funding effort failed, according to the New York Post, which first reported on the late April bankruptcy filing last week.

Product inventor Ron Popeil founded Ronco in 1964. Over the decades, it rolled out devices such as the Chiptastic Microwave Potato Chip Maker and Turbo Food Dehydrator.

End of an era - if you watched television 30 years ago, their advertising was in constant rotation.

Busy day today

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Worked on a couple of projects at the house while waiting for a delivery. Delivery came at 3:30PM and I then left to run a few errands. Went to my post office box and bought a small but nice charcoal grill - I have tried other technologies but keep coming back to charcoal.

Fixing some hot dogs (Hemplers all-beef with fresh-made sauerkraut) for dinner tonight - got to let the grill burn nice and hot for a while first to get all the petroleum distillates off.

More posting in an hour or two if anything catches my eye...

From deadspin:

Writer Picks Up Poker For Book Stunt, Wins So Much Money That The Book Is On Hold
A little more than a year ago, New Yorker writer Maria Konnikova announced that she was diving into the world of professional poker as a new player, all for the purpose of writing a book about her experiences. Yesterday, PokerNews reported that the actual writing of the book is on hold because Konnikova, under the guidance of pro Erik Seidel, got too good at poker.

In January, Konnikova won $86,400 by beating a 240-person field at the PCA National; in her first tournament after deciding to drop blogs for cards, she won $57,000, according to PokerNews:

“PCA was the moment where everything kind of came together,” she said. “I’m learning and it’s sticking and I’m playing well. It’s a really wonderful feeling when you’re studying and working to have that validated.”

Her huge success forced Konnikova to re-evaluate her plans. With an incredible opportunity in what could be a historic poker event on the horizon, Konnikova decided she had to push the book schedule back and go all in on poker for the time being. She built a revised poker schedule, ramped up in terms of both buy-in sizes and quantity of events.

It paid off immediately, as she finished second in an Asia Pacific Poker Tour Macau event for $57,519.

This kind of stunt has a rich tradition among writers and amateur athletes. George Plimpton kicked it off with NFLMLB, and NHL tryouts in the 1960s for a series of books. More recently, Sports Illustrated’s Michael McKnight spent huge amounts of time trying to learn how to dunk and hit a homer; Slate’s Stefan Fatsis wrote books about his attempts to become a kicker for the Denver Broncos and an elite Scrabble player; and Dan McLaughlin, who had never played a full round of golf before, decided to test out the Malcolm Gladwell-popularized 10,000 hour theory and become a professional golfer from the ground up. It didn’t work, exactly, though McLaughlin got very good.

Heh - sometimes life takes you in unexpected directions...

From FOX News:

Amazon halts planning for Seattle office tower as city mulls new tax
Amazon has halted planning on a new 17-story office tower in downtown Seattle as the city council mulls the implementation of a new tax that would raise funds to address local homelessness, the company confirmed on Wednesday.

Backed by at least four members of the nine-member Seattle City Council, the proposed tax would charge 26 cents per employee hour for Seattle-based companies with $20 million or more in annual sales, the Seattle Times reported. Proponents say the “head tax” would raise $75 million in 2019 that would be used to build low-income housing and outreach efforts for the city’s homeless.

“I can confirm that pending the outcome of the head tax vote by City Council, Amazon has paused all construction planning on our Block 18 project in downtown Seattle and is evaluating options to sub-lease all space in our recently leased Rainer Square building,” said Drew Herdener, an Amazon vice president and spokesman.

I have been spending a lot of time in Seattle recently and the homeless problem is massive. Tents everywhere. Seattle wanted to help these people and the outcome of this is that they have become a beacon for all of the mentally ill and indegent people in the entire nation.

The City Council's attempts at curing this problem are band-aids and sound bites and virtue signalling. They are not addressing the root causes - we need to bring back the institutionalization of mentally ill people. We used to do this until President Kennedy signed the 1963 Community Mental Health Act and it forced the inmates out of the institutions - because of their civil liberties. More on this herehereherehere and here.

From the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT):

Meteorologist allegedly assaulted by NWS Director Uccellini
A veteran Ph.D. meteorologist with the National Weather Service (NWS) was physically assaulted by NWS Director Louis Uccellini for mentioning “cooling” during a talk about the Earth’s climate in 2014 according to an account provided to CFACT.

“Don’t ever mention the word cooling again,” the agency’s Director warned.

The Director allegedly put his hand on the meteorologist’s chest as a warning, and pushed the employee against the wall. The whistleblower, who spoke to CFACT on the condition of anonymity, described a culture of fear and ostracism at NWS and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) against those who dissent from the “global warming” narrative.

The meteorologist has peer-reviewed dozens of articles, has authored several peer-reviewed articles, and has over 40 years of meteorology experience.

“I was giving a talk to fellow NWS staff about the jet stream flow in the upper atmosphere. What it showed was large amplitude waves in both the northern and southern hemispheres. I explained that the only way the jet stream could get to be high amplitude is if the atmosphere was actually cooling.”

Director Uccellini told CFACT through his spokesperson, Susan Buchanan, that “this alleged incident never happened” and that he “has never had a physical altercation with anyone in his 40-year career.

Yet another house that needs to be cleaned - a bit more:

“One coworker who is a fellow ‘skeptic’ and I have to be careful about what we talk about at our desks or the break room,” the NWS employee explained. “We can’t let the word get out that we aren’t buying into the whole ‘the climate is warming’ narrative.”

“It is an almost Orwellian, nasty-type society.”

The meteorologist further stated that climate data is altered at NWS and NOAA for political purposes: “It is an incredibly well-oiled propaganda machine. I read the reports that come out, and they either have no science in it, or its completely false.”

Much more at the site - the rot is deep. They are a political arm of the progressive party, they are no longer scientists. Brings to mind Jerry Pournelle's Iron Law of Bureaucracy:

Pournelle's Iron Law of Bureaucracy states that in any bureaucratic organization there will be two kinds of people":

First, there will be those who are devoted to the goals of the organization. Examples are dedicated classroom teachers in an educational bureaucracy, many of the engineers and launch technicians and scientists at NASA, even some agricultural scientists and advisors in the former Soviet Union collective farming administration.

Secondly, there will be those dedicated to the organization itself. Examples are many of the administrators in the education system, many professors of education, many teachers union officials, much of the NASA headquarters staff, etc.

The Iron Law states that in every case the second group will gain and keep control of the organization. It will write the rules, and control promotions within the organization.

So true... Imagine how much more advanced our civilization would be if it were not for the action of petty bureaucrats.

So sadly true

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He could have been awesome but he was just a petty narcissist willfully ensconced in a bubble of his own making.


President Trump's economy

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There's hope yet...

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Interesting report on the age of entrepreneurs - from the National Bureau of Economic Research:

Age and High-Growth Entrepreneurship
Many observers, and many investors, believe that young people are especially likely to produce the most successful new firms. We use administrative data at the U.S. Census Bureau to study the ages of founders of growth-oriented start-ups in the past decade. Our primary finding is that successful entrepreneurs are middle-aged, not young. The mean founder age for the 1 in 1,000 fastest growing new ventures is 45.0. The findings are broadly similar when considering high-technology sectors, entrepreneurial hubs, and successful firm exits. Prior experience in the specific industry predicts much greater rates of entrepreneurial success. These findings strongly reject common hypotheses that emphasize youth as a key trait of successful entrepreneurs.

Good news for us old farts...

An interesting observation from Popular Mechanics:

The Longest Route You Can Sail in a Straight Line Without Hitting Land
The Earth is about 71 percent ocean. If you start at a port and head into the sea, you’ll likely travel hundreds or thousands of miles before seeing land again. But what course would allow you to travel the farthest distance in a straight line without ever hitting land?

Back in 2012, a Reddit user by the name of kepleronlyknows posted an interesting map of the world, showing a line from Pakistan to Russia across the Indian, Atlantic, and Pacific oceans. The poster claimed that this was the longest straight-line path anyone could take without touching land. The problem was that such a claim was extremely difficult to prove mathematically.

Now, two computer scientists, Rohan Chabukswar at the United Technologies Research Center in Ireland and Kushal Mukherjee at IBM Research in India, developed an algorithm to find a solution. The problem is that manually checking every straight-line path would take ages, so instead the researchers employed a much faster technique called the branch and bound method.

Much more at the site - the route is 19,939.6 miles, just about 5,000 miles short of the planet's circumference. I bet someone somewhere is thinking about getting a boat and outfitting it for this journey...

Got nothing tonight

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A lot of stuff happening in this wonderful world of ours but nothing really sparks an interest. Heading over to YouTube for a while.

Back at the island

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Had dinner out - working on stuff at the house.

Surf later...

On the road again - Island life

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Done packing up here, heading out for coffee and post office and then down to the Island. Expecting a delivery tomorrow.

More posting later today.

Bad management - from Bloomberg:

Gibson Files for Bankruptcy in Deal to Renew Guitar Business
Gibson Brands Inc. filed for bankruptcy protection, with lenders taking control of the iconic American business that’s supplied guitars to B.B. King, Elvis Presley and Pete Townshend.

The Chapter 11 filing on Tuesday in Delaware keeps Gibson in business but gives ownership to noteholders, replacing stockholders that include Chief Executive Officer Henry Juszkiewicz, the company’s leader for more than three decades. According to court filings, current noteholders include Silver Point Capital, Melody Capital Partners and funds affiliated with KKR Credit Advisors.

The restructuring will allow the instrument business to "unburden" itself of a consumer-electronics unit that Gibson blamed for its financial woes. Gibson owes as much as $500 million, and lenders will provide a new loan of up to $135 million to keep the company in business, according to court papers.

They lost sight of their core competencies and tried to expand to far into areas where they had no knowledge. Their CEO is an idiot:

Juszkiewicz bought the audio and home entertainment business from Koninklijke Philips NV in June 2014 for $135 million as part of a bid to relaunch Gibson Guitars as Gibson Brands Inc., a “music lifestyle” company. He also bought a line of consumer electronics from Japanese company Onkyo Corp. in his bid for diversification. But the purchases drained cash, and earnings plunged. The company ran out of time for a turnaround as a bond maturity and springing term loan loomed in July.

They need to dump these "brands" and dump Juszkiewicz. The guy trashed an american legend (founded in 1894)

Done for the day

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I had been looking at working wtih two other people to help me but they were a no-show. Wound up doing all the moving myself. Had the biggest dump load ever - $71 bucks. Should have done this years ago but there were still too many attachments to the stuff.

Surf for a bit, take some asprin and a glass or three of red wine.

A moving story

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My Mom and Dad passed away in 2007 and 2010 respectivly and I am just now getting around to clearing out their accumulation of stuff. Renting a large truck with a lift-gate this morning and cleaning out a 10X14 storage locker that I have been renting for the last 11 years. About half of it goes to the dump and about half of it gets sold by an estate sale company. About one box and a couple pieces of furniture are being kept. I can understand not wanting to deal with it for the first couple years after they passed but this has been going on for just too long.

Time to lighten my load!

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