July 2015 Archives

Last one for a few years - just passed through a cluster of them.

Second full moon in a calender month.

Meet Hurricane Guillermo

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Currently hanging out off the coast of Hawaii and heading their way. CAT1 for now.

Keeping fingers crossed...

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot???

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From Norway's English language website The Local:

Mohammed is most popular name in Oslo
For the first time in the capital city's history, Mohammed is the most common name for boys and men, said a study on Thursday.

Statistics Norway (Statistisk Sentralbyrå - SSB) has counted the population of Oslo and found that Mohammed is the most common male name in Oslo for the first time ever.

Jørgen Ouren of SSB said to NRK: “It is very exciting.”

Altogether 4,801 boys and men are named Mohammed or variations of Mohammed as their first name, and Mohammed has thereby passed both Jan (4,667) and Per (4,155).

The name has spent four years in a row at the top of the list of baby names in Oslo, but this is the first time that Mohammed tops the men's name list for Oslo.

This is how civilizations die.

But we are so intellegent, multi-cultural and understanding. No. You are just cuckolded mice.

Whatever happened to that Viking spirit - your ancestors are sobbing into their beer in Valhalla.

Blogs for everything

It seems that there are blogs for every subject.

In filmmaking, a technique known as Matte Shot is used to fill in the background of a scene whether this is a city or a landscape. Some amazing work goes into these matte paintings for only a few seconds of screentime.

Check out Matte Shot - a tribute to Golden Era special fx:

This blog is intended primarily as a tribute to the inventiveness and ingenuity of the craft of the matte painter during Hollywoods' Golden Era. Some of the shots will amaze in their grandeur and epic quality while others will surprise in their 'invisibility' to even the sophisticated viewer. I hope this collection will serve as an appreciation of the artform and both casual visitors and those with a specialist interest may benefit, enjoy and be amazed at skills largely unknown today.

Just keep scrolling down - some gorgeous work...

Delusional - the White House

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From The Daily Caller:

White House Says Planned Parenthood Videos Are Fake, Cites Planned Parenthood
The White House expressed its firm belief Thursday that recently-released videos attacking Planned Parenthood are “fraudulent.” Their source: Planned Parenthood.

Josh Earnest, the White House press secretary, was speaking with reporters when they raised the matter of the videos released by the Center for Medical Progress which appear to show Planned Parenthood officials discussing the sale of fetal organs for profit, a violation of federal law. He claimed the videos were released in a “fraudulent way” with “not a lot of evidence” behind them.

“There is ample reason to think that this is merely the tried and true tactic that we’ve seen from extremists on the right to edit this video and selectively release this edited version of the video that grossly distorts the position of the person that’s actually speaking,” Earnest said.

Of course the videos are edited. The Center for Medical Progress has several hours of video and they cherry-picked the scenes to produce a five minute video. The important thing to realize - something that Josh Earnest doesn't seem to grasp - is that they also released the entire video file - several hours worth. Nobody can make any claims of falsification - all of the source material has been released to the public.

The Timmy Brothers – Water Makers

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Wonderful parody of bullshit 'Artisanal' products...

Slinky machine

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His website: Woodgears.ca

Venezuela in the news

Things are getting a lot worse there - from Yahoo/Associated Press:

Venezuela occupies food warehouse of biggest private company
Venezuela's largest food distributor on Thursday denounced the government occupation of a Caracas warehouse amid accusations that the company is hoarding goods.

Soldiers took over the warehouse complex used by Empresas Polar late Wednesday just as Venezuela's federation of brewers announced that Polar's beer manufacturing subsidiary is shutting two of its six plants because of a lack of imported barley.

The South American oil-exporting nation is grappling with chronic shortages of all kinds of staples from sugar to toilet paper, which businesses blame on the socialist government's economic policies.

President Nicolas Maduro has accused Polar of sabotaging the economy by hoarding goods and intentionally creating shortages, a charge the company denies. As December congressional elections approach, Maduro has been levying frequent attacks on sectors that he claims are staging an economic war against Venezuelans.

A bit more:

It has been a rough couple of weeks for Polar.

In addition to the beer plant closures, which the brewers' federation said could affect a quarter of domestic beer production, Polar has also been embroiled in a dispute with union workers demanding pay raises.

Members of some of the dozens of unions representing Polar workers have limited distribution of the small bottles of light beer that are favored in Venezuela. While there are no signs of shortages on shelves so far, the company says it is struggling to get deliveries to the central part of the country.

Earlier this month, the head of Venezuela's liquor store federation warned that the nation was about to run out of beer because brewers had reached "zero hour" amid widespread shortages in raw materials. Days later, he was detained for reasons that remain unclear.  

Maduro is claiming sabotage because he will never be able to own up to the fact that it is his own progressive policies that are causing the problem.

Venezuela is rich with oil and the government of Chavez and now Maduro have been squandering this wealth on bread and circuses (social handouts and free stuff) instead of building schools, industries and infrastructure. The result is that. Everything is great for about fifteen years and then, the infrastructure starts crumbling. Chavez at that time nationalized the utilities (power, telephone, water, radio, etc...) and they crumbled even faster.

Now, we are watching the food infrastructure crumble. The farms are run collectively with predictable results. I pity the poor citizens.

Ten thousand minions

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I received ten thousand little helpers this morning.

The company doesn't say what the actual critter is but this is an insect that predates on housefly larvae. What with the horse and mule and llamas, the flies have been really bad this summer.

The critters do nothing to adult flies so there is still about 30 days of dealing with them but we should be enjoying a relatively fly-free autumn.

Got them from Spalding Laboratories in Reno, NV - I will update when I see results. The 10,000 minions cost me $34 plus shipping - reasonable for an experiment in bio-control.

A message from The Night Watchman

From an email list - a bit long but something to really think about:

Once upon a time the government had a vast scrap yard in the middle of a desert.

Congress said, "Someone may steal from it at night."

So they created a night watchman position and hired a person for the job.

Then Congress said, "How does the watchman do his job without instruction?"

So they created a planning department and hired two people, one person to write the instructions, and one person to do time studies.

Then Congress said, "How will we know the night watchman is doing the tasks correctly?"

So they created a Quality Control department and hired two people. One was to do the studies and one was to write the reports.

Then Congress said, "How are these people going to get paid?"

So they created two positions: a time keeper and a payroll officer then hired two people.

Then Congress said, "Who will be accountable for all of these people?"

So they created an administrative section and hired three people, an Administrative Officer, Assistant Administrative Officer, and a Legal Secretary.

Then Congress said, "We have had this command in operation for one year and we are $918,000 over budget, we must cut back."


NOW slowly, let it sink in.

Quietly, we go like sheep to slaughter. Does anybody remember the reason given for the establishment of the DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY during the Carter administration?




Didn't think so!

Bottom line is, we've spent several hundred billion dollars in support of an agency, the reason for which very few people who read this can remember!


It was very simple... and at the time, everybody thought it very appropriate.

The Department of Energy was instituted on 8/04/1977, TO LESSEN OUR DEPENDENCE ON FOREIGN OIL.

Hey, pretty efficient, huh???



38 years ago 30% of our oil consumption was foreign imports. Today 70% of our oil consumption is foreign imports.

Ah, yes -- good old Federal bureaucracy.


Hello!!   Anybody left in America with any common sense?

Signed....The Night Watchman

That is it for the night

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Doing the Friday shopping run tomorrow so want to get an early bedtime.

The forecast is for high temperatures so want to be on the road relatively early - get done and home before it gets too hot.

Spent today dismantling two large laser printers - these were large (120 pound) workgroup units that I could not give away. This way, I can sell the circuit boards and power supplies as spare parts on eBay, throw away the plastic and recycle the metal components. Plus, I salvaged a couple nice large motors, high voltage supplies and two frikken laser beams for future projects. Needed the space more than the printers and was unsuccessful giving them away on Craigslist (tried several times).

Ham radio reception was lousy last night - the lower frequencies are supposed to be better these days so will try down there and off to an early bedtime.

Did not take them long at all - the ink is still wet on our great and wonderful "treaty".

From Iran's English language News Agency - FARS News - dateline Tehran:

AEOI Official: Iran to Build 2 N. Power Plants on Persian Gulf Coasts
Deputy Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Mohammad Ahmadian announced the country's plans to build two nuclear power plants on Makran coastline, Southeastern Iran.

"Two 100MW nuclear reactors will be constructed on Makran coastline of the Sea of Oman to generate electricity," Ahmadian said on Thursday.

"At present, necessary studies to build the two power plants are being carried out through cooperation with 17 research institutes and consulting engineers companies," he added.

In relevant remarks on Sunday night, Head of the AEOI Ali Akbar Salehi announced that two new nuclear power plans are to be constructed in the Southern province of Bushehr.

“The new plants will cost around 300 trillion rials (more than $10 billion) and about 15,000 technicians will be hired to have the projects completed in the upcoming three or four years,” Salehi said in a televised interview.

Iran plans to produce at least 190,000 SWUs (Separative Work Units) of nuclear fuel at industrial scale, while it also thinks of producing about 1,000,000 SWUs later in future, which will be needed to fuel 5 power plants like Bushehr nuclear power plant.

And of course, our putative allies, the Russians and the Chinese:

The country has inked an agreement with the Russians to construct two nuclear power plants for the generation of electricity, and is also in talks with the Chinese for the construction of two more such power facilities.

Not surprised at all by any of these turns of events. Why were our "leaders" so throughly bamboozled by these 9th century theocrats? I thought they would have known better.

And the countdown clock starts ticking.

Obama and Kerry's legacy is going to be one of extreme ridicule in about ten years and this will last a long long time. Neville Chamberlain is still a laughingstock 77 years after signing the Munich Agreement of 1938.

Turns out there is a significant bug in a Windows driver that seriously impacts most attempts at digital communications using a computer.

From Reddit:

Huge Windows bug ruining your receive performance on all digital modes, fix discovered
Edited this for brevity and clarity (tried to, anyway). There's a bug with the USB audio chipset used in many ham radio sound interfaces that occurs in windows vista and later. The affected chipset is the TI PCM2900 series PCM2904 and below, pre-C revisions.

A non-exhaustive list of devices using this chip and therefore have the bug guaranteed:

    • All Icoms with built in USB Audio
    • All Kenwoods with built in USB Audio
    • All Yaesus with built in USB Audio, as well as the SCU-17 Interface
    • All Signalink USB's

If you have one of these devices, and are on windows vista or later, your performance is reduced due to this bug even if you think it's working fine. Wait until you see your performance afterwords :) This is confirmed by Texas Instruments, who never recommended this chipset for use on windows Vista and later in the first place, and also tested with more than 15 50 hams who gained massive receive performance after the fix.

The bug is very odd and has some quirks that bring it back very often even after the fix so I made a detailed video linked below demonstrating the bug, the fix, and showing real measurements of the affected audio on a scope and several meters, and also demonstrating how to properly level your audio in the analog domain and in windows for maximum dynamic range and minimal noise after you fix the bug.

Much more at the site including a 20 minute video demonstrating the problem and showing you the fix. Of course, the "old" part is considered obsolete so don't hold your breath waiting for a patched driver and it is not pin compatible with the new part so no manufacturer is going to offer a hardware fix. 

Just wonderful

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Brazil is in economic freefall. One consequence of this is as follows - from Associated Press:

AP Investigation: Olympic teams to swim, boat in Rio's filth
Athletes in next year's Summer Olympics here will be swimming and boating in waters so contaminated with human feces that they risk becoming violently ill and unable to compete in the games, an Associated Press investigation has found.

An AP analysis of water quality revealed dangerously high levels of viruses and bacteria from human sewage in Olympic and Paralympic venues — results that alarmed international experts and dismayed competitors training in Rio, some of whom have already fallen ill with fevers, vomiting and diarrhea.

It is the first independent comprehensive testing for both viruses and bacteria at the Olympic sites.

Brazilian officials have assured that the water will be safe for the Olympic athletes and the medical director of the International Olympic Committee said all was on track for providing safe competing venues. But neither the government nor the IOC tests for viruses, relying on bacteria testing only.

Some numbers:

The Rodrigo de Freitas Lake, which was largely cleaned up in recent years, was thought be safe for rowers and canoers. Yet AP tests found its waters to be among the most polluted for Olympic sites, with results ranging from 14 million adenoviruses per liter on the low end to 1.7 billion per liter at the high end.

By comparison, water quality experts who monitor beaches in Southern California become alarmed if they see viral counts reaching 1,000 per liter.


A bit of a jurisdictional issue

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Someone is overstepping their bounds - a lot. From Minneapolis, Minnesota station WCCO:

US Fish & Wildlife Service Investigating Killing Of Cecil The Lion
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced that the agency is investigating the killing of Cecil the Lion, saying it will “go where facts lead.”

The agency made the announcement via Twitter Thursday.

Also Thursday, the Eden Prairie Police Department said that, while they will be stepping up neighborhood monitoring, they will not be providing personal protection for the dentist who killed a protected lion in Zimbabwe.

“Because of the increased traffic in the neighborhood of Walter Palmer’s residence, the Eden Prairie Police Department is monitoring the neighborhood to ensure the safety and security of the residents and their property,” the department said.

Anything to distract people from the Planned Parenthood scandal, the SF murder of a woman by a convicted illegal, Hillary's classified email malfeasance and general Washington bumbling.

I love the line about how the popo will not be providing personal protection for Palmer. I thought that was their job...

From The Washington Times:

Planned Parenthood: Judge bars pro-life group from airing StemExpress footage
The pro-life group behind a series of undercover Planned Parenthood videos accused the bioservice firm StemExpress late Wednesday of trying to “cover up this illegal baby parts trade” after the company obtained a court order blocking the release of footage.

The Los Angeles Superior Court issued a temporary injunction Tuesday stopping the Center for Medical Progress from releasing any video showing three officials from StemExpress, a company that transfers fetal tissue from abortions performed at Planned Parenthood and other clinics to medical researchers.

A company spokesman told the Associated Press that StemExpress is “grateful its rights have been vindicated in a court of law,” but the center said in a statement that the court threw out most of the company’s request.

StemExpress is “attempting to use meritless litigation to cover-up this illegal baby parts trade, suppress free speech, and silence the citizen press reporting on issues of burning concern to the American public,” said the CMP statement.

“They are not succeeding — their initial petition was rejected by the court, and their second petition was eviscerated to a narrow and contingent order about an alleged recording pending CMP’s opportunity to respond,” the group said.

The court agreed to block the release of footage of StemExpress officials filmed secretly at a lunch in May until an Aug. 19 court hearing.

The Court decision is limited to just those videos featuring people from StemExpress. Since this was a three-year investigation, I am betting that they have a lot of non-StemExpress footage ready to release.

Planned Parenthood was founded by eugenicist Margaret Sanger. Here are two brief profiles:

In March 2009, Hillary Clinton received the "Planned Parenthood Margaret Sanger Award." Clinton said: "I admire Margaret Sanger enormously, her courage, her tenacity, her vision … And when I think about what she did all those years ago in Brooklyn, taking on archetypes, taking on attitudes and accusations flowing from all directions, I am really in awe of her."

Margaret Sanger said this:
"I accepted an invitation to talk to the women’s branch of the Ku Klux Klan…I saw through the door dim figures parading with banners and illuminated crosses…I was escorted to the platform, was introduced, and began to speak…In the end, through simple illustrations I believed I had accomplished my purpose. A dozen invitations to speak to similar groups were proffered.” -Margaret Sanger: An Autobiography, P.366

These people make the Nazis look almost human...

For more about Margaret Sanger (and it is eye-opening), read here, here, here and here.

The Tenth Victim

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Been thinking about the uproar regarding the killing of Cecil the Lion. Ran into this graphic:



Which reminded me of the wonderful 1965 movie The Tenth Victim. Original story written by SciFi master Robert Sheckley.

If you like high camp, 1960's Italy and gorgeous women, check it out - streaming on various sites.

Somehow I do not think so but interesting none the less. From the UK Telegraph:

MH370: wreckage found on Reunion 'matches Malaysia Airlines flight'
A French aviation expert believes he may have found the wreckage of MH370 – the Malaysia Airlines flight which disappeared off the coast of Malaysian March 2014.

Xavier Tytelman, a former military pilot who now specializes in aviation security, was contacted on Wednesday morning by a man living on the island of Reunion, in the Indian Ocean. The man sent Mr Tytelman a series of photos showing wreckage of a plane, which the Frenchman said could possibly be the missing jet.

"I've been studying hundreds of photos and speaking to colleagues," Mr Tytelman told The Telegraph. "And we all think it is likely that the wing is that of a Boeing 777 – the same plane as MH370.

My money on the MH370 is that it is in a hangar somewhere with a new paint job. There is also a trench grave near the airport. The pilot was islamist, he took the airplane up to 45K feet - three miles above normal cruising altitude. If he depressurized the cabin at that altitude, there would be no survivors.

The radical islamists now have a nice shiny airplane to load with a nuclear device and explode over a developed area. EMP.

I bet that this will be "officially" confirmed as part of the wreckage as our glorious leaders do not want to admit the alternative...

Heh - Trump in the polls

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I disagree with him on some things and he has been very supportive of Democrats at times but I think that he would be an interesting President. Definitely shake things up and get us onto a strong financial footing again.

Seems a lot of people agree - a recent Reuters poll put him at 24.9% with Jeb Bush, second, at 12.2%.

Considering that there are sixteen candidates running, nobody is going to get high numbers in any poll but for Trump to garner 24.9% speaks volumes about people's discontent with both parties.

Is it just me or is the story of Cecil the lion in Zimbabwe getting a lot more airplay than the horrors going on in Planned Parenthood with abortionists selling off fetal baby parts to the highest bidder?

Coincidence? Anything to distract the simple-minded, the low information voter from the real issues...

Damage Control - Planned Parenthood

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Planned Parenthood is fighting for its life - from Breitbart:

Planned Parenthood Hires Crisis Communication Firm Featuring Anita Dunn
Planned Parenthood has hired a high-profile crisis communication firm to help it deal with fallout from a series of undercover sting videos produced by the Center for Medical Progress.

Politico reports that PP has hired SKDKnickerbocker, a firm which features former Obama communications staffer Anita Dunn as a managing director. Dunn is perhaps best known for a speech she gave extolling the political philosophy of communist revolutionary Mao Zedong.

On its website, SKDKnickerbocker touts its expertise in crisis communications in Washington and on Wall Street. “By working with a company’s existing corporate communications resources or creating a separate ‘war room,’ we quickly help create the most effective messaging, lead media training, manage briefings to key stakeholders, deliver talking points, and provide overall strategic guidance,” the company promises.

 I had written about Anita Dunn twice back in 2009 (here and here) Obama had a real problem with his czars. From the first link (November 10, 2009):

Obama has a bit of a problem with his appointed advisers. They keep having their speeches brought to the general public and having to resign. Van Jones was Obama's Green Czar until his fundamental Marxist roots came to the forefront. His Science Czar is having a bit of an issue with his published views on eugenics. His Safe Schools Czar has a close relationship with the founder of NAMBLA His communications director Anita Dunn is resigning. From The Hill:

White House communications director Anita Dunn announces her resignation
White House communications director Anita Dunn will resign by the end of the month, the Obama administration confirmed on Tuesday morning.

Planned Parenthood is suffering the same fate as ACORN - their true motives are exposed through covert video. The public recoils from what is revealed and the cry is sufficient for the funding to get cut.

If something like this took place in the private sector, these people would be serving serious jail time. In this administration, they just lie low for six months and resurface at some other entity (at the same or higher position and salary).

There is a reason Queen Elizabeth is hanging on to the throne. Her son Charles - the heir - is a fscking moonbat of the highest order. An idiot. Elizabeth is waiting for Chuckles to bow out and let Prince William step up to the throne.

Here is a perfect example of what passes for thought in Charles' challenged little brain - from The Washington Times:

Prince Charles extends climate doomsday deadline by 33 years
Prince Charles is warning that there are only 35 years left to save the planet from climate disaster, which represents a 33-year extension of his previous deadline.

In March 2009, the heir to the British throne predicted that the world had 100 months “before we risk catastrophic climate change,” as pointed out by Climate Depot’s Marc Morano.

“Prince Charles gives world reprieve: Extends ‘100-Month’ climate ‘tipping point’ to 35 more years,” says the Tuesday headline on the Climate Depot website.

How about:

  • everything is fine and
  • there is no deadline and in fact,
  • we may be getting a lot colder in the next 50 years.

That is what the observed data have been telling us for the last 18+ years.

I love how trends get started and then reversed. There is a big fad for standing desks because sitting for a long time was thought to be bad for you.

Now? Not so much - from the Human Factors journal:

Long-Term Muscle Fatigue After Standing Work
Objective: The aims of this study were to determine long-term fatigue effects in the lower limbs associated with standing work and to estimate possible age and gender influences.

Background: The progressive accumulation of muscle fatigue effects is assumed to lead to musculoskeletal disorders, as fatigue generated by sustained low-level exertions exhibits long-lasting effects. However, these effects have received little attention in the lower limbs.

Method: Fourteen men and 12 women from two different age groups simulated standing work for 5 hr including 5-min seated rest breaks and a 30-min lunch. The younger group was also tested in a control day. Muscle fatigue was quantified by electrically induced muscle twitches (muscle twitch force [MTF]), postural stability, and subjective evaluation of discomfort.

Results: MTF showed a significant fatigue effect after standing work that persisted beyond 30 min after the end of the workday. MTF was not affected on the control day. The center of pressure displacement speed increased significantly over time after standing work but was also affected on the control day. Subjective evaluations of discomfort indicated a significant increase in perception of fatigue immediately after the end of standing work; however, this perception did not persist 30 min after. Age and gender did not influence fatigue.

They are just testing for muscle fatigue - there are a host of other problems that can manifest from to much sitting - deep vein thrombosis, etc... Still, interesting to see that for a full workday, a standing desk would be a very bad idea...

Carbon Dioxide - the Gas of Life

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Excellent 4:30 instructable on the real story of CO2 from Doctor Patrick Moore - the co-founder of Greenpeace.

We need more of this wonderful gas - not less.

Hillary - rules are for the little people

From the London Daily Mail:

Video shows Hillary Clinton boarding private jet just hours after launching global-warming push – and she's using a FRENCH aircraft that burns 347 gallons of fuel every hour!
Just hours after Hillary Clinton unveiled her presidential campaign's push to solve global warming through an aggressive carbon-cutting plan, she sauntered up the steps of a 19-seat private jet in Des Moines, Iowa.

The aircraft, a Dassault model Falcon 900B, burns 347 gallons of fuel per hour. And like all Dassault business jets, Hillary's ride was made in France.

The Trump-esque transportation costs $5,850 per hour to rent, according to the website of Executive Fliteways, the company that owns it.

And she has used the same plane before, including on at least one trip for speeches that brought her $500,000 in fees.

So out of touch it is pathetic. And she thinks that she is the anointed one to rule us all...

Today's video - Planned Parenthood

It is gruesome - I will just link to the source and quote from the accompanying article. From Breitbart:

Planned Parenthood Investigation Reportedly Shows Doctors Discussing How to Maximize Revenue from Sale of Fetal Tissue
In a new video just released by the Center for Medical Progress, a former clinical worker at StemExpress described her job of identifying pregnant women “who met criteria for fetal tissue orders and to harvest fetal body parts after their abortions.”

Holly O’Donnell, a licensed phlebotomist, said she “unsuspectingly took as job as a ‘procurement technician'” at the fetal tissue company StemExpress, which was allegedly the primary buyer of fetal body parts from Planned Parenthood.

She said she fainted on her first day on the job when she was asked to dissect a “freshly aborted” baby.

Concerning Planned Parenthood’s repeated denials that they make any money from the exchange of body parts for cash, something that would be illegal under federal law, O’Donnell said, “For whatever we could procure, they would get a certain percentage. The main nurse was always trying to make sure we got our specimens. No one else really cared, but the main nurse did because she knew that Planned Parenthood was getting compensated.”

The new video also shows undercover footage of Dr. Savita Ginde, vice president and medical director of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, who operates abortion clinics in Colorado, New Mexico, Wyoming, and Nevada.

She was secretly videotaped in the Planned Parenthood pathology lab, where babies are taken after being aborted. She also talks about making money for body parts: “I think a per-item thing works a little better, just because we can see how much we can get out of it.”

Dr. Katherine Sheehan, medical director emerita of Planned Parenthood in San Diego, talks about their relationship with Advanced Bioscience Resources, a company that allegedly buys and sells baby parts into the abortion aftermarket. “We’ve been using them for over 10 years, really a long time, you know, just kind of renegotiated the contract. They’re doing the big government-level collections and things like that.”

The video is the third in a series of what Daleiden says could be more than a dozen videos exposing the dark side of the abortion aftermarket.

Like I said yesterday, the work that Planned Parenthood does should be moved over to community health clinics. The Federal government has no business here - the tenth amendment makes this very plain. This is a function of the state and county government.

My new call sign

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When I was initially licensed two years ago, I was assigned the call sign of KF7VNY

Now that I upgraded my license to General Class, I had the option to choose a call of my own. It was approved today.

I am now K3DGH

The DGH will be obvious - those are my initials The K3 prefix is fun.

Radio call sign prefixes are assigned by nation - the United States can use the following letters for their call sign prefixes: K, N, W, AA-AL, KA- KZ, NA-NZ or WA-WZ

The numeral is assigned by area - my initial call used a 7 which indicates AZ, ID, MT, NV, OR, UT, WA and WY

I was born on November third in Pennsylvania. K is the eleventh letter of the alphabet - hence K3 = 11/03 and the number three is the area including Pennsylvania.

My new call sign is about as autobiographical as it can get and yes, I am a geek...

These scenarios just write themselves

Some people in Sweden have a delightful sense of humor. From Blazing Cat Fur:

Swedish “Far-Right” Plans Gay Pride Parade Through Muslim Areas; Leftists and Gay Rights Groups Decry the Parade as Racist
No, this is not satire.  On July 29, a gay pride parade is scheduled in Sweden.  But, you see, this is no ordinary gay pride parade.  This gay pride parade was created by Jan Sjunnesson, former editor-in-chief for the Samtiden newspaper in Sweden, which is owned by the nationalist Sweden Democrats party (for our Canadian readers, think of the Sweden Democrats as being kind of like the Conservatives which means that they’re considered “extreme far-right” in Sweden). The parade is scheduled to go through Tensta and Husby – two areas where Muslim immigrants are more than 75% of the population.

On the event’s Facebook page, the organizers state that there will be public “kissing” and “singing”.

The Facebook page is absolutely filled with angry comments from leftists, attacking the “xenophobic right-wing nationalists” for organizing a gay pride parade through Muslim areas. Since Islam holds that gays should be executed, something like this is obviously an attack on Muslims and should therefore be outlawed. At least, that’s what Swedish leftists – and, indeed, Swedish gays – are saying.

Leftists are organizing a counter-demonstration against this gay pride parade. Yes, really.

Heh, I love it! The expression that comes to mind is Hoist with one's own petard

Good enough that William Shakespeare used the line in Hamlet, Scene IV, line 207 (scroll down - line numbers are on the right)

The problem that the multiculturalists have (and why multi-culti is failing so spectacularly) is that there is this big cognitive dissonance. In order for Person A to have their little happy place, Person B might have to be discomfited and it is turtles all the way down...

Nice to see some people growing a pair and punching back twice as hard.

Planned Parenthood - a sign

Waiting to see what tomorrow will bring. If they stick to their schedule, the people at The Center for Medical Progress will be releasing another video tomorrow.

I had posted about their first and their second release - disgusting stuff and Planned Parenthood needs to be defunded. Let the states give funding to the various community health organizations and keep the federal government out of it. They have a long track record of being corrupt and inefficient. I know in Seattle and in Bellingham, these community organizations run a much leaner operation and the monies given to them are spent wisely.

Found this over at Mostly Cajun's website:


A really long day

Did the shopping run for the store. Also, looked at a second-hand copy machine for a decent price. We can use it at the store as our existing FAX machine is getting all tuckered out and crotchety and needs to be retired.

Went home and turned around and drove back into town again. The store van needs to have some work done so I dropped it off - Lulu followed me into town and we had dinner at a local Brewpub.

Very happy with the place - Aslan Brewing Company - excellent beer and food. They have a Blog.

We are both big C.S. Lewis fans so the name brought us in and we will be returning.

Back from the meeting

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Had a good meeting tonight - short and sweet. Signed some checks, we have money in the bank and plan to keep it there.

Water use is up a lot - about 80% of our capacity to pump so shutting down one of the tanks to clean it has been postponed until the real rains return.

I have been looking for three telephone poles for antennas - turns out that someone donated a bunch to the local park and they have no use for them. I will be going there Tuesday to measure them. Need to get at least 50 feet above ground and this means sinking them ten feet into the ground for stability.

Tired and long day tomorrow so heading out to the radio room for a bit and then to bed.

Costco Shelving

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Grrrrr...  I had posted earlier about how Costco slipstreamed a new shelving unit in place of the one they had carried forever. Same manufacturer but different size and much lighter duty.

Now I am dealing with their top-of-the-line industrial racking. It is nice and solid but it depends on stamped tabs for the shelf rails to fasten to the vertical end pieces.

So far, I have installed four rails and two of them had the tabs stamped out of place - they will just not line up properly.  A few hundredths of an inch and it makes all the difference in the world.

Heading into town tomorrow to do the store shopping run and I will be returning some of these shelves too.

Talk about piss-poor quality control...

Rain rain go away

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Finished lunch and it started pouring down.  Working on some other stuff in the garage now.

Water board meeting later tonight.

Sweet music

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Musical saw and coyote:


A tip of the hat to Knuckledraggin My Life Away

Donald Trump and Iowa's Des Moines Register

Great analogy from Don Surber:

Press Privilege
Imagine if you went to the fanciest French restaurant in town, told the maître d' he is a bloviating buffoon who should quit his job, that the food in the place is garbage, and then demanded the best table in the restaurant.

That is the best analogy of the situation in Iowa where the Des Moines Register on Tuesday demanded that Donald Trump drop out of the presidential race, and then on Friday demanded that Donald Trump give them special access to his campaign event

Trump told the newspaper to bite him.

Good for him.

The hypocrisy dripping from the newspaper gets worse. In its editorial, the newspaper said that Trump “has polluted the political waters to such an extent that serious candidates who actually have the credentials to serve as president can’t get their message across to voters. In fact, some of them can’t even win a spot in one of the upcoming debates, since those slots are reserved for candidates leading in the polls.”

Well, if the newspaper is so concerned about all the ink he is getting there is one thing it can do.

Stop covering him.

Instead, the newspaper demanded that the Trump campaign give the newspaper press credentials.

The newspaper protested, claiming that "The Register's editorial board operates independently from the editors and reporters who conduct political coverage."

Oh really?

But the publisher sits on the board, does she not?

The bias in today's media is incredible - does no one have the simple courage to speak the truth and hold these politicians feet to the fire - on both sides. 

Construction Fill

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I really do not like construction fill - rock rubble brought in to fill around the walls of the foundation.

I want to place the first three ground rods as close to the house as possible to get the lowest resistance connection to the radio equipment. I get them down about 18" and no further - construction fill.

Putting the post-hole auger on Buttercup the Tractor and will see what I can do with it - worked great when putting the new electrical service in the equipment barn.

Quick sandwich and back to work - the rain has let up a lot...

Getting grounded

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Off for coffee and then driving the ground rods for my antenna system.

Supposed to rain intermittently today - not like I don't have a bunch of indoor projects to do while waiting for it to clear up...

Drop dead gorgeous time-lapse

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From his About Me page:

About me, and "Negative Tilt Photography"
If you know me personally, you might know me by several different titles: Adventurer, computer geek, backyard fabricator, Police Officer, and of course photographer. If you don't know me, you can call me Jeff. When I'm not at my "real job", you might often find me on the road looking for something exciting to point a camera at.

My inspiration for photography has always been a desire to capture something spectacular, something unusual, and something unique. This drives me to stand in the path of a violent tornado or in the middle of intense lightning storms, to stay up all night under the stars exposing the hidden Milky Way, or to drive 800 miles in a day in search of something breathtaking.

You may find it crazy.. and maybe I'm a thrill seeker, but the themes I most enjoy display the power and beauty of nature, and involve severe weather, lightning, and beautiful landscapes from across the country. 

Great work!

The good Professor is a strong proponent of catastrophic anthropogenic global warming and has the vapors whenever anyone mentions "Big Oil"

From the UK Telegraph:

Three scientists investigating melting Arctic ice may have been assassinated, professor claims
A Cambridge Professor has made the astonishing claim that three scientists investigating the melting of Arctic ice may have been assassinated within the space of a few months.

Professor Peter Wadhams said he feared being labelled a “looney” over his suspicion that the deaths of the scientists were more than just an ‘extraordinary’ coincidence.

But he insisted the trio could have been murdered and hinted that the oil industry or else sinister government forces might be implicated.

The three scientists he identified - Seymour Laxon and Katherine Giles, both climate change scientists at University College London, and Tim Boyd of the Scottish Association for marine Science - all died within the space of a few months in early 2013.

Professor Laxon fell down a flight of stairs at a New year’s Eve party at a house in Essex while Dr Giles died when she was in collision with a lorry when cycling to work in London. Dr Boyd is thought to have been struck by lightning while walking in Scotland.

A tragic coincidence but just that - a coincedence. A bit more:

Asked if he thought hitmen might have been behind the deaths, Prof Wadhams, who is Professor of ocean physics at Cambridge University, told The Telegraph: “Yes. I do believe assassins possibly murdered them but I can see that I would be thought of as a looney for believing this.

A Professor of Ocean Physics and this has what to do with climate?

And who hired these hitmen?

Asked who might have wanted them out the way, he replied: “I can only think of the oil lobby but I don’t think the oil lobby goes around killing people.” 

Ssshhhhh - I think he is on to us.

As I light another Cohiba cigar from my bonfire of $100 dollar bills - thanks Big Oil! 

Back home again

After the farrier bailed, I went into town to rent a tool to help me install my antenna array. Just as you need to get a solid grip on the air, you also need to get a solid grip on the earth as a counterpoise.

Since I do not feel like standing on a ladder with a sledgehammer and driving a bunch of 3/4" by ten foot ground rods into the dirt, I rented a small construction hammer and a ground rod driving bit.

Here is a 39 second video of what I will be doing six times tomorrow:


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Got a phone call this morning - the farrier has the flu and is not coming out today.

No mani-pedi for Sam or Rocky.

Those of us old enough to remember dial-up and modems will 'get' the title of this post...

Bond... James Bond

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The trailer for the new one is out - looks wonderful:

November 6th...

My work here in this city is done

Detroit hits bottom. From their CBS affiliate:

Group To Unveil Satan Statue In Detroit During ‘Largest Public Satanic Ceremony In History’
A group is planning to unveil an 8-foot-tall bronze statue featuring a goat-headed Satan in Detroit during a gathering that’s being billed as the “largest public satanic ceremony in history.”

The Satanic Temple has said Saturday’s private event will be open only to people with tickets, $25 each. Invitations to “The Unveiling” summoned guests to prepare for “a night of chaos, noise, and debauchery… Come dance with the Devil and experience history in the making.” The event location is not being announced publicly and is known only to those with tickets.

Debauchery indeed - I think that this city is debauched enough. It needs care, tough love and rebuilding. Also, some Republicans in office - Detroit is a shining example of what 40 years of liberal rule will manifest.

Detroit used to be a powerhouse - Motor City. Now, it just sucks on the Federal titty and complains about the rampant poverty as though that just descended from the heavens. No personal responsibility whatsoever. I am surprised that Baphomet signed off on this - he may be the Satan but he also fully understands consequences and good and evil.

Got the farrier coming out tomorrow morning for Rocky and Sam's mani-pedi so surf the radio waves for a bit and then an early bedtime. Using a new antenna orientation so seeing which bands come in and what shortwave stations I can pick up.

Early morning - coffee and then back to the farm to meet the farrier. Spending the afternoon rearranging the garage and the radio room (a small room off the garage).

Photos in a week or two - got to build some shelving for the radio equipment and get the electronics bench moved in from the DaveCave(tm)

Quite the online trove of video

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From The History Blog:

1,000,000 minutes of historical news on YouTube
Remember when British Pathé uploaded their archives to YouTube last year and I was all “Smell ya later, guys. I’ma be watching newsreels for the next 48 hours straight.”? Well, those 85,000 historic films comprising 3,500 hours of footage were a modest little rabbit hole compared to this one. The Associated Press and its partner British Movietone are putting their entire archives on YouTube. That’s a grand total of more than 550,000 videos and 16,500 hours of footage filmed from 1895 until the present. The British Movietone channel will host the oldest pieces, footage from 1895 through 1986. The AP channel has plenty of historical news as well, but also focuses on current events with new film from its breaking news channel added daily.

Wonderful stuff!

The three best audio clips

From the Glen Beck show - top three from a list of fifty:

The fifty were presented over the course of their two-hour show available on SoundCloud

Number one is the wonderful Representative Hank Johnson's worries about the potential for the island of Guam to "tip over and capsize"

People unclear on the subject

From the UC Berkeley newspaper The Daily Californian:

Environmentalists drop clothes at UC Berkeley to protest tree cutting in East Bay hills
Environmentalists shed their clothing Saturday morning on campus to rally against what they see as plans to cut down an estimated 450,000 trees in the East Bay hills.

About 50 people participated in the rally, which took place in the Eucalyptus Grove on the west side of campus and was organized by Jack Gescheidt, founder of the TreeSpirit Project. The project aims to “raise awareness of the critical role trees play in our lives, both globally and personally” through photos of people, often naked, interacting intimately with trees, according to its website.

Little do they realize that the Eucalyptus is an invasive species - FEMA signed off on their removal (PDF file). Fire hazard and the wood is not good for building - more here

Rajendra Pachauri fired

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Rajendra Pachauri? You may remember him as the head of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

From The Washington Post:

Ex-UN climate panel head accused of stalking loses India job
The former chairman of the U.N. climate panel has been removed from his job as head of a top energy institute in India following allegations of sexual harassment.

The governing council of The Energy and Resources Institute announced late Thursday that Rajendra Pachauri would be replaced as director-general of the renowned environment think-tank by Arun Mathur, an energy efficiency expert.

Although no reasons were given for Pachauri’s replacement, the council said the decision was taken keeping in view the interests of the private institute and its 1,200 employees working in different parts of the world.

Pachauri, 75, resigned from the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in February, after a 29-year-old woman accused him of stalking and sexually harassing her while they worked together at the institute. He denies the allegations.

The woman filed a complaint with the police in early February alleging assault and criminal intimidation. She handed over as evidence dozens of text messages and emails that she alleged had been sent by Pachauri.

Separately, the institute’s internal complaints committee examined the evidence presented by the researcher, and questioned nearly 50 other employees at the institute, and concluded that the allegations of sexual harassment leveled by the researcher were valid.

His PhD is in Industrial Engineering and Economics - nothing to do with climate or science.

He is also the author of a soft-core pornographic novel: Return to Almora (which is currently ranking at #2,970,226 at Amazon)

Bowe Bergdahl in the news again

US Army Sargent Bowe Bergdahl walked off his post in Afghanistan and spent five years living with the Taliban. When he left, search parties were dispatched and six people were killed while looking for him.

President Obama negotiated an amazing Presidential great bargain - Chuck Norris is jealous (set sarcasm = off) with the Taliban and traded five Guantanamo detainees for Sgt. Bergdahl - he was returned to the United States in Spring of 2014.

He has subsequently been charged with desertion and misbehaving before the enemy.

I wrote about it in these posts.

He is in the news again - from FOX News:

Bowe Bergdahl found during California pot raid, released by officials
Bowe Bergdahl, the U.S. soldier who was released in a prisoner exchange in Afghanistan for five Taliban detainees, wound up in the middle of a pot raid earlier this week in northern California.

Capitan Greg Van Patten with the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office told Fox News Thursday that the county’s marijuana eradication team encountered Bergdahl on Tuesday while serving a search warrant on a home in Redwood City, Calif.

Van Patten said Bergdahl was detained, but ultimately was “determined not to be connected to the operation, at least there was no evidence to suggest he was involved.”

When Bergdahl encountered the law enforcement team, Van Patten said he identified himself while the sheriff’s office reached out to the Department of Defense. The agency confirmed Bergdahl was on leave, and asked for their assistance in getting him back.

Sheriff’s office personnel later drove Bergdahl “to a halfway point,” where he met up with army representatives.

I am amazed that the guy was able to walk around - he needs to spend some serious time behind bars. His direct willfull actions caused the deaths of six of our soldiers.

Great speech from the Senate Floor - from the Associated Press:

In stunning attack, Cruz accuses leader McConnell of lying
In a stunning, public attack on his own party leader, Republican Sen. Ted Cruz accused Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of lying, and said he was no better than his Democratic predecessor and couldn't be trusted.

Cruz, a Texan who is running for president but ranks low in early polling, delivered the broadside in a speech on the Senate floor Friday, an extraordinary departure from the norms of Senate behavior that demand courtesy and respect.

"Not only what he told every Republican senator, but what he told the press over and over and over again, was a simple lie," Cruz said.

At issue were assurances Cruz claimed McConnell, R-Ky., had given that there was no deal to allow a vote to renew the federal Export-Import Bank - a little-known federal agency that has become a rallying cry for conservatives. Cruz rose to deliver his remarks moments after McConnell had lined up a vote on the Export-Import Bank for coming days.

"It saddens me to say this. I sat in my office, I told my staff the majority leader looked me in the eye and looked 54 Republicans in the eye. I cannot believe he would tell a flat-out lie," Cruz said.

"We now know that when the majority leader looks us in the eyes and makes an explicit commitment that he is willing to say things that he knows are false."

McConnell is impotent - he needs to step out of the way and let someone else lead. Glad that Cruz didn't suffer from that malady - we need more people like Cruz in Washington.

Cool rain

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Finally, a break in the weather. The amount of rain is not significant - less than a tenth of an inch so far but it has cooled things down nicely and having the extra humidity in the air makes it less desperate for the garden. Still a major fire hazard - we will need a couple inches of precipitation to mitigate that.

Did a quick run into town to pick up a special order and fixing some lunch now (leftover hummus and a small salad). Rearranging the garage a bit after lunch.

Barack goes to Heaven

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From an email:

Having arrived at the Gates of Heaven, Barack Obama meets a man with a beard.

'Are you Mohammed?' he  asks.

'No, my son, I am St. Peter.  Mohammed is higher up.' Peter then points to a ladder that rises into the clouds.

Delighted that Mohammed should be higher than St. Peter, Obama climbs the ladder in great strides, climbs up through the clouds and comes into a room where he meets another bearded man.  He asks again, 'Are you Mohammed?'

'Why no,' he answers, 'I am Moses; Mohammed is higher still.' Exhausted, but with a heart full of joy, he climbs the ladder yet again.  He discovers a larger room where he meets an Angelic looking man with a beard.

Full of hope, he asks again, 'Are you Mohammed?'

'No, I am Jesus, the Christ; You will find Mohammed higher up.'

Mohammed higher than Jesus!   Man, oh man!   Obama can hardly contain his delight and climbs and climbs ever higher.

Once again, he reaches an even larger room where he meets this truly magnificent  looking man with a silver white beard and once again repeats his question:  'Are you Mohammed?' he gasps as he is by now totally out of breath from all his climbing.

'No, my son, I am Almighty God, the Alpha and the Omega, but you look exhausted.  Would you like a cup of coffee?'

Obama says, 'Yes, please!'

As God looks behind him, he claps his hands and yells out: "Yo, Mohammed, two coffees!"

From Fox News:

Seattle sees fallout from $15 minimum wage, as other cities follow suit
Seattle’s $15 minimum wage law is supposed to lift workers out of poverty and move them off public assistance. But there may be a hitch in the plan.

Evidence is surfacing that some workers are asking their bosses for fewer hours as their wages rise – in a bid to keep overall income down so they don’t lose public subsidies for things like food, child care and rent.

A bit more:

The notion that employees are intentionally working less to preserve their welfare has been a hot topic on talk radio. While the claims are difficult to track, state stats indeed suggest few are moving off welfare programs under the new wage.

Despite a booming economy throughout western Washington, the state’s welfare caseload has dropped very little since the higher wage phase began in Seattle in April. In March 130,851 people were enrolled in the Basic Food program. In April, the caseload dropped to 130,376.

At the same time, prices appear to be going up on just about everything.

These do-gooders never look at the big picture - every action has consequences and the entire chain of events needs to be considered when making a change like this. Besides, it was never about a minimum wage, it was about union pay and benefits which are pegged to the minimum wage. Increase the minimum wage, you give every union member a nice raise.

From the Lafayette, Lousiana newspaper The Advertiser:

Gov. Jindal en route to scene of theater shooting
City Marshal Brian Pope has confirmed for The Daily Advertiser that six people were injured in a shooting Thursday night at the Grand Theatre.

The shooter then turned the gun on himself, Pope said, and is dead.

No mention of this but I wonder if this was a gun free zone.

I think I'm in love - Tomi Lahren

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Our tax dollars at work - NIST

From Science:

Breaking bad at NIST
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) appears to have been the unwitting victim of a real-life Walter White, the meth-cooking chemistry teacher in the hit television show Breaking Bad. A weekend explosion at the federal laboratory’s Gaithersburg, Maryland, campus was linked yesterday to the production of methamphetamine, an illegal stimulant often “cooked” in home laboratories. Federal and local law enforcement agencies are now investigating how the explosion happened and whether a NIST security guard injured in the blast might have been involved.

“Just as in any investigation … we’re interviewing possible witnesses and letting the evidence take us just where it should,” said Montgomery County Police Department spokesman Captain Paul Starks, who added that no charges have been filed and no suspects publicly identified.

On Saturday, 18 July, an explosion rocked the NIST campus around 6:45 p.m., injuring the security guard and sending the institute’s fire and police forces flocking to the scene, Starks said. The explosion happened at “special projects” building 236, a smaller facility with laboratories reserved for particularly hazardous research. According to NIST spokeswoman Gail Porter, the lab in question was not in use at the time of the incident, but was transitioning from combustion research to a new project.

And the following investigation: 

The Associated Press has reported that Epsom salts and other materials associated with meth production were found in the lab, whereas one local television news station quoted federal law enforcement sources saying that pseudoephedrine, drain opener, and a recipe for meth were also found. Citing the ongoing investigation—which is being carried out jointly by Montgomery County and the Drug Enforcement Agency—Starks said only that “some evidence” indicates that drugs such as methamphetamine were being manufactured. He would not confirm whether materials used for the creation of controlled substances were being stored on the property or brought onto the property. 

Someone is going to get busted...

From Mashable:

After a 15-year hiatus, Don Henley's comeback begins with 2 new songs
The wait is over: This fall, Don Henley will release his first solo studio album in 15 years. Cass County, which is full of tribute songs to the Eagles co-founder's hometown in Texas, will drop Sept. 25.

The singer behind "Hotel California," "Boys of Summer" and "Desperado" recruited music heavyweights to sing and play on the country project, including Mick Jagger, Dolly Parton, Miranda Lambert, Merle Haggard, Vince Gill, Molly Felder, Jamey Johnson, Lee Ann Womack, Alison Krauss, Martina McBride, Trisha Yearwood, Ashley Monroe, Emily Robison, Martie Maguire and Lucinda Williams.

More at the site including a couple of videos - always liked his work both with the Eagles and solo.

Back from town - new windshield

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Got the windshield replaced. Insurance deductible is $300 so I am not even bothering to file a claim.

Munching on some fresh corn on the cob - delicious stuff. Heating up some left-over pot roast for the protein.

More posting later...

The Bletchley Circle

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Been watching this the last few days - excellent series and I really wish they had more episodes. It's on Netflix.

The protagonists are four women who worked as code breakers at Bletchley Park during WWII and nine years later, reunite to solve a murder mystery.

Really good writing - we have two more to watch tomorrow and then we will be royally bummed that there are no more...

Riding the airwaves

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Heading out to the Radio Room.

Doing an East/West orientation of the dipole antenna for the next couple of days - see what I can pick up.

Been playing around with the SignaLink modem and RMS Express.

Alan West - speaking truth to power

Seven minutes and not one wrong note...

DJ Vekked - outstanding

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Presented for your enjoyment - DJ Vekked - and his Facebook page

So true

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Do not notice it that much in our little hamlet as we spend a lot more time outdoors.

Traveling to Bellingham, a lot more and larger cities, even moreso:


Now this is good news - nuclear reactors

A bit ticked that they are still using the boiling water / Uranium cores instead of liquid fluoride / thorium but it is a start.

From World Nuclear News:

New material promises 120-year reactor lives
In a nuclear power plant the reactor pressure vessel contains the reactor core itself, demanding the highest resilience to temperature, pressure and radiation, while the component sits low in the reinforced centre of the concrete reactor building and is one of the only major components that cannot be replaced.

Russian state nuclear company Rosatom says it has developed a new 'extra strong' reactor pressure vessel for its forthcoming VVER-TOI pressurized water reactors. It could give that design a lifespan of 120 years, compared to the 100 years offered by Rosatom's current VVER-1200 as built at Novovoronezh and Leningrad Phase II.

Around the world a range of advanced reactor designs offer 60 year lives as standard, with this commonly expected to be extendable to 80 or 100 years. This represents a substantial improvement on the benchmark of 50-60 years for current reactors, which were usually licensed for an arbitrary 30 or 40 years when they were constructed in the second wave of nuclear build.

The article shows the vessel coming out of a heat treatment oven - stirs my little blacksmiths heart:


About 500 US Tons, 20ft tall and 15ft diameter.

Getting out of hand - immigration

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A supply of cheap labor and Democratic votes - from The Washington Free Beacon:

Obama Admin Plans More Executive Action on Immigration
The Obama administration is moving forward with plans to expand a waiver program that will allow additional illegal aliens to remain in the country rather than apply for legal status from abroad.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a proposed rule on Tuesday that would make changes to a waiver program created by President Barack Obama’s executive action on immigration in 2013. The action created a waiver that primarily allowed illegal immigrants with a U.S. citizen spouse or parent to stay in the country instead of having to leave the United States and be barred from returning for three or 10 years, if they proved their absence would create an “extreme hardship” for their spouse.

The new rule expands eligibility to a host of other categories of illegal immigrants beyond those with citizen spouses and parents.

I hope our next President has the political stones to roll all of this back. The House of Representatives needs to use their power of the purse to defund these programs starting with Obamacare. The Presidency is supposed to be one of three co-equal branches of government with a set of checks and balances to limit the power of any one branch.

This Presidency is a term-limited Monarchy - a Tyranny if you will...

Pope Francis started out really well - I thought that he would be a breath of fresh air. Turns out he is worse than people thought - a lot worse.

From Nick Gass writing at Politico:

Pope Francis' approval rating nosedives among conservatives
Pope Francis is not as popular a pontiff as he used to be in the United States — especially among conservatives — according to a new Gallup survey out Wednesday.

A larger share of American Catholics say they don’t have a favorable view of their church’s spiritual leader. A little more than seven in 10 (71 percent) have a favorable image of Francis, a drop of 18 percentage points from last year.

The drop is even more marked among conservatives, 72 percent of which viewed him in a favorable light in 2014. This year, just 45 percent have a positive opinion of him.

Many conservatives and Republicans balked at Francis’ environmental encyclical delivered last month, which called climate change “one of the principal challenges facing humanity in our day.”

“I don’t get economic policy from my bishops or my cardinal or my pope,” GOP presidential contender Jeb Bush told supporters at the time.

Liberals and moderates are also less satisfied with the pope than they were last year. Among liberals, Francis’ favorability rating dropped from 82 percent to 68 percent; among moderates, it dropped from 79 percent to 71 percent.

What gets me is his meddling in science and politics - he should know what happened to Galileo. He has just one job and needs to stick to it.

Very cool news

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I knew that Fox was bringing back the X-Files for six more shows but this is icing on the cake - from ComicBook:

The Lone Gunmen Returning To X-Files
When The X-Files returns to television next year, the series' main cast should feel anything but lonely.

That’s because The Lone Gunmen, the X-Files' trio of conspiracy theorists, are set to appear in Fox’s six-episode event. The three characters were played by Tom Braidwood, Dean Haglund, and Bruce Harwood. Haglund, who played the gunman “Ringo,” confirmed his and his compatriots’ return on Twitter today.

January 24, 2016 - 186 days to go...

Quote of the year

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In times of change learners inherit the earth; while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.
--Eric Hoffer

We are certainly seeing this manifest these days...

Minimal posting today

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The temperature has retreated from the high 80°s and it is now comfortable to work outside. 67°F as I type...

Cleaning up around the garage and working in the radio room organizing the space and getting ready to move the electronics bench in from the DaveCave(tm).

It will be nice to finally have all the music, photography, radio and electronics stuff under one roof. The blacksmithing/machining is still in the equipment barn - that is not going to change.

More on the Arctic Ice melting

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Not so much - from the Canadian Broadcasting Company:

CCGS Amundsen re-routed to Hudson Bay to help with heavy ice
A carefully planned, 115-day scientific expedition on board the floating research vessel, the CCGS Amundsen, has been derailed as the icebreaker was called to help resupply ships navigate heavy ice in Hudson Bay.

"Obviously it has a large impact on us," says Martin Fortier, executive director of ArcticNet, which coordinates research on the vessel. "It's a frustrating situation."

During the summer, the  Amundsen operates as a floating research centre with experiments running 24 hours a day. This year it was scheduled to reach North Baffin Bay.

A bit more:

Johnny Leclair, assistant commissioner for the Coast Guard, said Tuesday conditions in the area are the worst he's seen in 20 years.

With only two icebreakers available in the Arctic — the CCGS Pierre Radisson has been escorting resupply ships through ice-choked Frobisher Bay — he said the only option was to re-deploy the Amundsen

Let us remember these words of our imbecilic Secretary of State, John Forbes Kerry in this article from 2009.

From Florida's Tampa Bay Times:

Kerry claims the Arctic will be ice-free by summer 2013
Sen. John Kerry says climate change is happening faster than we think.

In an Aug. 31, 2009, op-ed in the Huffington Post, the Massachusetts Democrat wrote that the threat of climate change "is not an abstract concern for the future."

"It is already upon us and its effects are being felt worldwide, right now," he wrote. "Scientists project that the Arctic will be ice-free in the summer of 2013. Not in 2050, but four years from now. Make no mistake: catastrophic climate change represents a threat to human security, global stability, and — yes — even to American national security."

More here, here, and here.

Shades of Tiny Tim - the Arctic Ice Cap is melting. Or maybe not.

From Nature:

Increased Arctic sea ice volume after anomalously low melting in 2013
Changes in Arctic sea ice volume affect regional heat and freshwater budgets and patterns of atmospheric circulation at lower latitudes. Despite a well-documented decline in summer Arctic sea ice extent by about 40% since the late 1970s, it has been difficult to quantify trends in sea ice volume because detailed thickness observations have been lacking. Here we present an assessment of the changes in Northern Hemisphere sea ice thickness and volume using five years of CryoSat-2 measurements. Between autumn 2010 and 2012, there was a 14% reduction in Arctic sea ice volume, in keeping with the long-term decline in extent. However, we observe 33% and 25% more ice in autumn 2013 and 2014, respectively, relative to the 2010–2012 seasonal mean, which offset earlier losses.

Emphasis mine - it's all seasonal. We have warming and cooling trends. We show every indication of entering a long cooling cycle.

Tiny Tim?

Good news from Portland

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From The Oregonian:

U.S. goes after wages of PSU official to recoup restitution in eco-arsons of his radical youth
The U.S. government filed papers this week to garnish the wages of a Portland State University sustainability official to make him pay more in restitution for his youthful role in a pair of eco-anarchist firebombings.

Jacob D.B. Sherman, a 33-year-old husband and father of two, has distinguished himself as a scholar at PSU. He holds a master's degree and was student speaker at the school's 2012 commencement ceremony.

But long before that, Sherman went underground as an eco-saboteur for the Earth Liberation Front.

On Easter Sunday 2001, he and the famously barefoot environmental radical Tre Arrow, a one-time congressional candidate, set fire to three concrete trucks at Portland's Ross Island Sand & Gravel as a protest against what they viewed as the company's despoiling of the natural world. The arson caused $210,000 damage.


A federal judge ordered Sherman and his three coconspirators to pay a minimum monthly payment of $50 in restitution for the damages they caused at the two Oregon businesses. Sherman's end of the restitution was $55,100, and he still owes $43,804.

But earlier this week, Assistant U.S. Attorney Kathleen Bickers filed a writ of garnishment against Sherman and named PSU as the garnishee. Sherman was given 10 days to respond.

"I've been paying my restitution and am committed to paying my restitution," Sherman told The Oregonian/OregonLive on Friday. "It's unfortunate the government has taken this step. I've been told that two codefendants are delinquent."

He did these things. He was swept up in the hysteria of the deep ecology movement and went along with the ringleaders. These people have done way to much damage to the environment to be called environmentalists.

Time to pay the piper no matter how much he has turned his life around...


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Great information resource - from their About page:

InciWeb is an interagency all-risk incident information management system. The system was developed with two primary missions:

    1. Provide the public a single source of incident related information
    2. Provide a standardized reporting tool for the Public Affairs community

A number of supporting systems automate the delivery of incident information to remote sources. This ensures that the information regarding active incidents is consistent, and the delivery is timely.

Up to date information on wildfires.

Main website here: InciWeb - these days it's wildfires 24/7 but they also handle storms, flooding and other natural disasters.

For just the Pacific Northwest, check out The Northwest Interagency Coordination Center

Interesting little statistic from Warren Wilhelm's Bill DeBlasio's workers paradise - from The American Mirror:

SHOCK: More black babies aborted than born in New York City
Black lives matter? Apparently not in New York City.

A “Pregnancy Outcomes” report from the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene reveals in 2013, more black babies were aborted than born in the city.

A chart on page 7 shows 24,108 “non-Hispanic black” babies were born while 29,007 faced “induced terminations” — or abortions.

Margaret Sanger's work is proceeding as planned.

And black people continue to vote Democrat.

Planned Parenthood - round two

On July 14th, the people at The Center for Medical Progress released an undercover video showing Dr. Deborah Nucatola, Senior Director of Medical Services, Planned Parenthood Federation of America agreeing to sell body parts of aborted children. They said that they had a lot more video and would release them once/week.

The second undercover video was released today. From Breitbart:

New Video Shows Another Planned Parenthood Doctor Haggling Price of Baby Body Parts
In the second video released today by the Center for Medical Progress, yet another senior medical adviser to Planned Parenthood of America appears to negotiate the price of selling baby body parts to actors playing entrepreneurs from a start-up biotech firm.

Dr. Mary Gatter, President of Planned Parenthood’s Medical Director’s Council, is asked, “What would you expect for intact tissue?”

Gatter starts to haggle immediately, “Why don’t you start by telling me what you’re used to paying?”

When pushed for a number, Gatter says, “Well, you know in negotiations the person who throws out the figure first is at a loss, right? So…”

When pushed again for how much her Planned Parenthood affiliate is willing to sell baby body parts for, she responds, “Okay, $75.”

When the buyer tells her that number seems low Gatter responds, “I was going to say $50.”

Then the buy offers her $100 to which Gatter quickly responds, “Okay.”

After the first video was released last week in which Dr. Deborah Nucatola also appears to negotiate the price of fetal body parts, Planned Parenthood insisted that the price Nucatola mentioned was only related to the costs incurred by Planned Parenthood with no profit involved. In the Nucatola video, however, she is seen and heard explaining that the Planned Parenthood affiliates in the body parts business wanted to do more than “break even.”

In this second video, shot in February at a restaurant in Pasadena, Gatter seems willing to accept a higher and higher price.

A bit more:

At the end of the video, like Nucatola, Gatter talks about changing the abortion technique to get intact specimens, changing from a rather violent suction method that would destroy tissue to what she calls an IPAS, which is a reference to a nonprofit company that makes and distributes “manual vacuum aspirators” which would be a less harmful way to get at the internal organs. She said there would be protocol issues with the patient but that she saw no problem with it. She calls it a “less crunchy” way to get intact organs.

At the end of the tape provided by CMP, Gatter jokes about wanting “a Lamborghini” for body parts.

A heads up:

The sale or purchase of human fetal tissue is a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison or a fine of up to $500,000 (42 U.S.C. 289g-2).

Paging Doctor Josef Mengele. Doctor Mengele to the white courtesy phone please...

I wonder how these people can live with themselves - what happened to turn them into such unethical monsters.

Finding the Aether bunny

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Moving from the computer desk to the radio room. Surf the airwaves for a bit.

Planning to spend some time in the next few days exploring propagation during the daytime. The sunlight changes how the upper atmosphere reflects radio waves so the reception is different from day to night.

I will be finishing off the shelf unit for my radios so the radio room will be pretty nice when done - still need to move the electronics bench in from the DaveCave(tm) - this week or next. That is low priority.

Some great news from Oregon - from The Oregonian:

Judge denies gay activist Terry Bean's offer to settle child sex abuse case
A Lane County judge denied gay activist Terry Bean's request Thursday to settle child sex abuse charges by compensating the underage victim.

Bean, 66, and his former boyfriend, Kiah Loy Lawson, 25, are accused of having sex with a 15-year-old boy at a Eugene hotel in 2013.

They each are charged with two counts of third-degree sodomy, a felony, and third-degree sexual abuse, a misdemeanor.

From The Washington Free Beacon:

Judge Shuts Down Obama Donor’s Attempt to Pay-Off Teen Sex Victim
A proposed civil settlement by gay activist and Obama bundler Terry Bean that would have cleared Bean of criminal charges for an alleged sexual encounter with a 15-year-old boy was rejected by a Eugene, Ore., judge, according to Oregon Live.

Bean, who raised over $1 million for President Barack Obama’s two presidential campaigns, was arrested last November and charged with two counts of third-degree sodomy and one count of third-degree sex abuse. The charges stemmed from allegations that the 66-year-old Bean and his 25-year-old boyfriend had sex with the teenage boy in a Eugene hotel when he was 15.

Last week, Bean’s lawyer cleared the court and attempted to sell a settlement agreement that had been reached with the teenage boy, but the deal was rejected by the judge who learned that Bean had avoided similar charges through a civil agreement.

And this little tid-bit:

Bean’s prolific fundraising for Obama has gotten him significant access the the White House. He flew on Air Force One with Obama in 2010 and has also been a frequent guest of the Obama White House.

His name appears on the White House Visitor Log more than 30 times. On one of those visits, Bean brought along his then-boyfriend Kiah Lawson, who was also arrested and charged with identical counts as Bean for the hotel encounter.

Crap like this makes me seriously wonder if liberalism is not a form of mental illness.

We already know about the link between Toxoplasma gondii and Schizophrenia. T. gondii is common in urban cats and passes from cats to humans very easily. What if all this stupid activity could be traced to a simple case of parasitism and cured by a few pills. That would be one for the books - Red Pills or Blue?

The deafening silence

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There has been a very loud silence coming out of Washington D.C. these days.

Marc Thiessen has noticed and comments in The Washington Post:

Obama’s silence on Kathryn Steinle killing is deafening
After Trayvon Martin was killed, President Obama spoke emotionally about his death, declaring “this could have been my son.”

After Michael Brown was killed, Obama promised to ensure that “justice is done” and declared: “We lost a young man, Michael Brown, in heartbreaking and tragic circumstances. He was 18 years old. His family will never hold Michael in their arms again.” He even sent administration officials to attend Brown’s funeral.

After Freddie Gray was killed, Obama walked out to the Rose Garden and declared: “We have some soul-searching to do. This has been going on for a long time. This is not new, and we shouldn’t pretend that it’s new.”

But after Kathryn Steinle was killed July 1, allegedly by an illegal immigrant with seven felony convictions, Obama said . . . nothing.

No promises of “justice.” No calls for “soul-searching.”

His silence has been deafening.

Because it does not fit their narrative. This narrative is crafted from half-truths and utter lies and misdirection and the narrative must not be examined too closely or anyone would be able to see it for the falsehood that it is.

I wonder why the flags at the White House are not flying at half-mast for those Military men who were murdered by the Islamist terrorist a few days ago - again, does not fit the narrative.

Much more at the site...

I was working for a business in New England and my Mom and Dad were vacationing about 60 miles away. Drove my Jeep over to their rental and watched the landing with them.

WeaponsMan sums it up:

46 Years Ago Today
The US was still confident enough to do this:


The trustafarian Baby Boomer bums of ’68 were still in the universities, in jail, or on the run after blowing their townhouses up. Meanwhile, the grown-ups still were running things, and were able to pull this one off.

We thought of this because we’re reading a book that was a birthday gift from the Blogbrother, Moon Lander: How We Developed the Apollo Lunar Module by Thomas J. Kelly, who we’d bet has never worn his hair in an unwashed grey ponytail.

Kelly was the chief engineer of the Lander project, something he calls “an aerospace engineer’s dream job.” Bankrupted by the guns & butter 60s, which LBJ funded by kicking the can of payment down the road with inflation, and the bread and circuses 70s, which Nixon, Ford and Carter funded the exact same way, the US withdrew from space and from greatness.

And the ponytails and Birkenstocks and lawyer-leeches took great joy in that.

Apollo was possible in part because of the dreaded Military-Industrial Complex. Most of the engineering of the space capsules took place in the tight-knit Southern California aero engineering community. The Command Module was made by North American, and after the Apollo 1 fire, there were actually consequences: several managers were fired, including legendary test pilot turned manager Tex Johnston. North American Aviation is a casualty of mergers and downsizings, as is Grumman (maker of the LEM, whose name lives on in Northrop Grumman), as are Douglas, Republic, McDonnell, Fairchild and today, Sikorsky, bought today by Lockheed Martin for $9B, probably sentencing the remaining industry in Bridgeport, CT to an overdue death.

Lockheed Martin, formed from the merger of SoCal and Baltimore companies, now is located in the National Capital Area, as are all of them. Dependent on government handouts, skilled in little but manipulating the procurement system, they couldn’t build an LEM with the blueprints.

So damn sad because it is so fscking true.

I'm still waiting for my Jet Pack - they promised me a Jet Pack dammit!!!

From security expert Brian Krebs:

Online Cheating Site AshleyMadison Hacked
Large caches of data stolen from online cheating site AshleyMadison.com have been posted online by an individual or group that claims to have completely compromised the company’s user databases, financial records and other proprietary information. The still-unfolding leak could be quite damaging to some 37 million users of the hookup service, whose slogan is “Life is short. Have an affair.”

The data released by the hacker or hackers — which self-identify as The Impact Team — includes sensitive internal data stolen from Avid Life Media (ALM), the Toronto-based firm that owns AshleyMadison as well as related hookup sites Cougar Life and Established Men.

Reached by KrebsOnSecurity late Sunday evening, ALM Chief Executive Noel Biderman confirmed the hack, and said the company was “working diligently and feverishly” to take down ALM’s intellectual property. Indeed, in the short span of 30 minutes between that brief interview and the publication of this story, several of the Impact Team’s Web links were no longer responding.

The hackers uploaded a manifesto which included the following:

Avid Life Media has been instructed to take Ashley Madison and Established Men offline permanently in all forms, or we will release all customer records, including profiles with all the customers’ secret sexual fantasies and matching credit card transactions, real names and addresses, and employee documents and emails. The other websites may stay online.

Schadenfreude? German - the pleasure derived by someone from another person's misfortune.

I wonder how many people are preemptively calling their lawyers today...

The search just got real

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This is very cool - the hair on my arms is standing up as I type.


A Russian Tycoon is spending $100 Million to hunt for Aliens
Russian billionaire Yuri Milner made his name through savvy investments in social media companies like Facebook. But now the theoretical-physicist-turned-tech-tycoon is sinking $100 million into science’s most quixotic quest: the search for extraterrestrial intelligence. Announced today, the ten-year Breakthrough Listen initiative will conduct the most comprehensive sweep of space for signals from intelligent aliens ever.

Of course, that’s no guarantee it will succeed. “We should be asking the difficult questions,” says Milner, echoing President John F. Kennedy’s famous words about going to the moon. At a July 20 event—chosen, of course, to coincide with the anniversary of Apollo 11’s moon landing—Milner announced Breakthrough Listen, flanked by scientific luminaries such as Frank Drake, he of the Drake equation that estimates the number of detectable alien civilizations, and Geoff Marcy, an astronomer who has helped find hundreds of exoplanets. (Eminent physicist Stephen Hawking will be there, too, though he himself is not leading the project.)

The scientific braintrust will have the best technology $100 million can buy. “It’s a dream come true,” says Andrew Siemion, director of the Berkeley SETI Research Center and another leader on the initiative. The key purchase will be thousands of hours per year of observation time on two of the world’s most powerful radio telescopes, the Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia and the Parkes Telescope in New South Wales, Australia. (A specialized optical telescope at the Lick Observatory in California is also involved.) Together, the radio telescopes will cover 10 times more sky than previous searches and scan the entire 1-to-10 gHz range, the so-called “quiet zone” in the spectrum where radio waves are unobscured by cosmic sources or Earth’s atmosphere; presumably, intelligent aliens will know to broadcast in this zone if they want anyone to hear them.

The Parkes observatory was featured in the wonderful 2000 film The Dish.

I participated in the SETI@Home program both on personal equipment and on lab equipment at places I have worked. This is something of great interest to me and this is (finally) the way to go about a real search.

Back home from town

Shopping run today. Picked up a pre-cooked Morton's Pot Roast at Costco and have it in a dutch oven with some vegies and beef stock. Dinner in an hour.

Uneventful day but I need to go into town again sometime Wednesday or Thursday - ordered some parts and they are due in then. Also, had a rock hit my windshield a week ago and need to schedule getting the glass replaced.

Had a great evening last night listening to other ham operators - getting the feel for it. Have not transmitted yet but getting close - was listening to Australia, England, Virginia, California and possibly Japan (velly faint signal). Lots of fun.

Got my portable station dusted off and packed back up - the location was really dusty last Friday. I will be doing it again next year but on a different part of the field...

Carly Fiorina - some talking points

The Puppy Blender, Glenn Harlan Reynolds has a nice question and answer with Carly Fiorina on USA Today

I think that she would be one of our better presidents especially if Congress grew a backbone and started following the Constitution again.

Reynolds: Carly Fiorina, the other woman
Hillary Clinton is fond of saying that if she’s elected, she’ll be the first woman president.  But there’s someone else who can say that as well. Her name is Carly Fiorina, and she’s running for the Republican presidential nomination. With her history as a high-powered CEO (at Hewlett-Packard) and with cheeky videos (at BuzzFeed), Fiorina is in it to win it, just like Clinton. But because she’s not as well known as Clinton, I asked her a few questions:

1.  Hillary is talking about the middle class. What's the difference between your program and hers?

CF: "We help the middle class when we unburden them from the very policies that Hillary Clinton would double down on. She champions Big Government, which we know enables crony capitalism and exacerbates inequality. If you are wealthy, powerful and well-connected, you can handle Big Government. If you are small and powerless, you are getting crushed by things like our colossal, 70,000-page tax code. I have advocated for rolling back regulations, simplifying the tax code and moving to zero-based budgeting — policies that will support small businesses and raise up the middle class."

Four more at the site - she is good and would do right for this Nation.

Separated at birth?

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On the left - Donald John Trump, Sr.

On the right - Lafayette Ronald Hubbard

Both highly successful at what they do but seriously out of touch with the real world.

About that Global Warming

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First this clip from the 2013 stage spin-off of the Yes, Prime Minister television series:


Now, to Australia for this Malthusian prediction on snowfall - from the Australian Broadcasting Company:

Scientists warn of bad outlook for future ski seasons as climate change affects snowfall 
Skiers and other snow lovers have faced a torrid time in the Australian alpine region lately with hardly any natural snow to enjoy since the start of July.


Research conducted by Griffith University's Environmental Futures Research Institute has warned that snow regions in Australia must adapt to warmer conditions caused by climate change, that is increasingly turning the alpine landscape from white to green.

Study co-author Professor Catherine Pickering said the current trends did not look promising and good years like the recent snow dump had become less frequent.

"The snow cover in the Australian alps is declining and it has declined a lot since 1954 when there was the longest snow course on record," she said.

"We have found that it was originally a 30 per cent decline and now the latest data indicates we have got to a 40 per cent decline over that period.

Of course, boots on the ground measurement (as opposed to computer models) have this to say - from Australia's 9NEWS:

Wintry conditions bewitch and wreak havoc
It's the cold snap that put snowmen on the main street of a Queensland town.

Anyone remember this little nugget from March of 2000 - from the UK Independent:

Snowfalls are now just a thing of the past
Britain's winter ends tomorrow with further indications of a striking environmental change: snow is starting to disappear from our lives.

Sledges, snowmen, snowballs and the excitement of waking to find that the stuff has settled outside are all a rapidly diminishing part of Britain's culture, as warmer winters - which scientists are attributing to global climate change - produce not only fewer white Christmases, but fewer white Januaries and Februaries.


However, the warming is so far manifesting itself more in winters which are less cold than in much hotter summers. According to Dr David Viner, a senior research scientist at the climatic research unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia,within a few years winter snowfall will become "a very rare and exciting event".

"Children just aren't going to know what snow is," he said.

The good Doctor Viner is a political hack and a clown, not a scientist. A thing of the past indeed.

Finished the Internet, time to surf the Aether for a while.

Ordered some extra mounting brackets for my dual-band 2 meter rigs - they arrived last Friday. Spending tomorrow building a shelf for my operating desk.

Also received a SignaLink and will be integrating that into my setup over the next couple of weeks. I have an account set up for Winlink so this will be a lot of fun. The transmission rate is pretty slow - about 10 characters per second - but it is error correcting and flawless. This will be especially handy when trying to transmit names of stuff - people's names, medications, place names, etc...

A lot easier to type (RS)-Propan-2-yl methylphosphonofluoridate than to try to phonetically spell it out letter by letter and play an on-air version of the telephone game.

Most transparent administration ever

Quite the legacy - from Paul Sperry writing at the New York Post:

Obama collecting personal data for a secret race database
A key part of President Obama’s legacy will be the fed’s unprecedented collection of sensitive data on Americans by race. The government is prying into our most personal information at the most local levels, all for the purpose of “racial and economic justice.”

Unbeknown to most Americans, Obama’s racial bean counters are furiously mining data on their health, home loans, credit cards, places of work, neighborhoods, even how their kids are disciplined in school — all to document “inequalities” between minorities and whites.

This Orwellian-style stockpile of statistics includes a vast and permanent network of discrimination databases, which Obama already is using to make “disparate impact” cases against: banks that don’t make enough prime loans to minorities; schools that suspend too many blacks; cities that don’t offer enough Section 8 and other low-income housing for minorities; and employers who turn down African-Americans for jobs due to criminal backgrounds.

Big Brother Barack wants the databases operational before he leaves office, and much of the data in them will be posted online so civil-rights attorneys and urban activist groups will be able to exploit them to show patterns of “racial disparities” and “segregation,” even if no other evidence of discrimination exists.

The mind doth boggle... We were doing really well regarding race matters and in just six years (with two more to go) Obama's administration has stirred the pot agitating the urban black population. The irony is particularly strong in that the same administration has been royally screwing over the urban black population maneuvering the immigrants into the jobs that they would otherwise have available to them (not counting rural ag.). Unemployment with black youths to 25 is close to 50% - thanks Obama.

We need to punch back twice as hard - these people will not stop their balkanization and divisiveness until we do - until we mock them for the pathetic statists and totalitarians that they are.

Paul is quite the investigative writer - he has this book out: The Great American Bank Robbery: The Unauthorized Report About What Really Caused the Great Recession.

Our vanishing honeybee population

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Everyone is crying about Colony Collapse Disorder and how the honey bees are going the way of the Dodo Bird (eg. extinct)

Not so fast - some numbers from the United States Department of Agriculture; Economics, Statistics and Market Information System (link to PDF file - looking at data from 2014):

United States Honey Production Up 19 Percent
Honey production in 2014 from producers with five or more colonies totaled 178 million pounds, up 19 percent from 2013. There were 2.74 million colonies producing honey in 2014, up 4 percent from 2013. Yield per colony averaged 65.1 pounds, up 15 percent from the 56.6 pounds in 2013.

Colony Collapse Disorder started to be reported in 2006 - here is the report from 2010 (link to PDF file - looking at data from 2009):

United States Honey Production Down 12 Percent
Honey production in 2009 from producers with five or more colonies totaled 144 million pounds, down 12 percent from 2008. There were 2.46 million colonies producing honey in 2009, up 5 percent from 2008. Yield per colony averaged 58.5 pounds, down 16 percent from the 69.9 pounds in 2008, and is the lowest yield since 1989.

So yes, something did happen but it has been fixed and production is now greater than it ever was. End of story...

Driving a coal burning electric car

An interesting study - the original paper is behind a paywall but the folks at Ars Technica read it - here is their analysis:

How much do electric cars actually pollute?
Last week, we took a look at the role incentives can play in encouraging people to buy electric vehicles (EVs). Today, we bring you a paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research that attempts to calculate the environmental benefits of EVs versus conventional vehicles in light of those subsidies. Is it as desirable to encourage EV use in a state where the electricity comes from burning coal as it is in a state where that electricity comes from natural gas or nuclear power?

The authors, four economists from the University of North Carolina (UNC) Greensboro, Dartmouth College, Middlebury College, and UNC Chapel Hill have created what they describe as "a powerful and unprecedented modeling framework for analyzing electric vehicle policy." They do this with three different components. First, a model of consumer choice between EVs and gasoline-powered cars. Next, they incorporate the effect of EV charging on air pollution from individual power stations. Finally their model compares the emissions from these power stations with the emissions internal combustion vehicles would produce at the same location.

The analysis uses some quite complicated formulae to calculate the damages that result from emissions per mile from 11 different battery EVs on sale in 2014, compared to the closest internal combustion engine-powered equivalent, independent of price. Where possible they've compared like models, so the EV Ford Focus vs a regular Focus, a Fiat 500e vs a regular Fiat 500, and so on. For cars where there isn't a conventional model (Nissan Leaf, Mitsubishi i-MiEV, Tesla's Model Ss) the authors picked cars they believed were equivalent in features (Toyota Prius, Chevrolet Spark, BMW 7-series). Then they compared the EVs' kWh/mile rating with the gasoline cars' fuel economy, as well as pollution from nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, small particulates, and volatile organic compounds.

EPA city and highway mileage figures are used to calculate the effects of gasoline vehicles in urban and rural areas (their model goes down to the county level). For EVs, the authors start with EPA's MPGe figures and then adjust this for the temperature profile for each county. Then they factor in the amount of each of the pollutants listed above at each of 1,486 power stations across the country per kWh of electricity (the data is from 2010 to 2012). Those pollution estimates then get modified again by an assumed daily charging profile to calculate the emissions per mile of each power plant for any given county in the US.

And the upshot?

The result of all this complex mathematics is that, outside of a number of Californian and Texan cities, driving an EV may result in more damage from pollution than driving an equivalent conventional car. In Los Angeles, which has a lot of traffic and which benefits from relatively clean electricity, an EV is the right choice, they argue. Alternatively, the rural midwest is the opposite story, since the low population density means comparatively little air pollution from traffic, but electricity comes from lots of coal power stations. But even Chicago and New York fare badly under their model, despite both cities paying a hefty price from conventional traffic pollution.

The paper also suggests that EVs export pollution across a much larger geographical area than a gasoline vehicle. This is something that local governments don't take into account with subsidies in their view, and that the hefty EV subsidies in states like Georgia ($5,000 per EV) are based on an incomplete picture of the problem.

Another failure of the alt.energy scammers. Suck it up hippies - EV is not green. Personally, I would love to drive an EV but the range is not there and the battery replacement places a large burden on owning an older EV. There are massive subsidies for the batteries used in the initial build of the vehicle, there is no subsidy for the replacement batteries so a few years down the road, drivers will be hit with a $20K bill for replacement.

Fun times in the Pacific Northwest

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From the Skagit Valley Herald (about 40 miles due South as the crow flies):

Fatal shooting, multiple-vehicle accident create chaos on I-5 in Mount Vernon
State Patrol detectives are investigating a double-fatal shooting that occurred about 3 a.m. Saturday on northbound Interstate 5 just south of the College Way exit.

Meanwhile, an accident hours later involving a dual-trailer dump truck and nearly two dozen vehicles just south of Anderson Road has added to the chaos on I-5.

About 8:30 a.m., a dual-trailer dump truck hauling gravel and headed southbound rolled over, going through two cable fences in the freeway median and into northbound traffic, said Trooper Mark Francis. It struck vehicles that were stopped in the opposite direction due to the closure at the shooting investigation scene.

Francis said no one was killed in the accident, but one driver was critically injured and many others were hurt. At least 23 vehicles were involved, he said.

The drive-by shooting several hours earlier left two people in a black Mercedes dead. The suspect vehicle is at large.

Yikes - there was a survivor to the shooting so law enforcement knows what to look for. I-5 is the primary north/south link for this area.

Up and at 'em

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Heading out for coffee and then unpack the radio equipment from the truck.

I will be setting up in a different spot next year - we were close to the finish line and they had very loud music playing so it made the radio hard to hear. Also, it was right on the athletic dirt track so it was really really dusty - all of my equipment will need to be vacuumed and wiped down before being put back into the totes.

Had a lot of fun though and it was great for people watching. A couple of other ham operators came over and chatted for a while.

The Magnus Effect

Great three minute Youtube:

Long day today

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I figured that the race would take five or six hours but the runners were released at different times to cut congestion so we were there for ten hours.

A lot of fun, great people watching and gorgeous weather but next time, I will bring a book or two. My partner was a retired Navy Submariner with a lot of stories and we were pretty busy with the radio work. Had the usual share of bumps and bruises to call in as well as one incident that may develop further.

It was a lot of fun to listen and hear the earlier stations signing off and the later stations joining in - there was this great procession of human runners traveling through the arteries of three counties and we could feel its pulse through the Aether.

Stopped off for dinner on the way home and will surf for a bit but very tired and planning to sleep in tomorrow.

This race will be on my agenda next year and now that I know what it entails, I will be better prepared.

A day at the Races

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Packing up the truck for the Ragnar Relay Race today - the runners start at 5:00AM at Blaine just South of the Canadian border. They will be coming by my station around 11:30AM and I will be staying until the last stragglers pass by.

Needless to say, posting will be nonexistent today...


Dang it - missed it by two days

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On July 14th, 1995, Windows 95 shipped. This was the first major advancement in GUI from the Windows 3.x and Win NT days. 32 bit pre-emptive multi-tasking but it still needed to load over MS-DOS. Long file names but still no internet (no TCP/IP stack installed by default - you had to get the Plus! pack).

We have come a long way...

The London Daily Mail has a lot of information and photographs.

We had a similar shooting in 2009 Little Rock, Arkansas

And dodged a shooting in 2011 Seattle, WA

From the UK Guardian:

Tata Steel cuts 720 jobs blaming UK's 'cripplingly high electricity costs'
Tata Steel is blaming “cripplingly high electricity costs”, the strong pound and low-cost competition from abroad for the loss of 720 jobs, mainly in Rotherham, South Yorkshire.

The Indian-owned company, once known as British Steel, has told workplace representatives that it must slim down the business to survive but will try to avoid compulsory redundancies where possible.

Karl Koehler, the chief executive of Tata Steel Europe, said: “I realize how distressing this news will be for all those affected, but I am also extremely aware of our responsibility towards the ongoing survival of this business, which will continue to employ about 1,500 people in South Yorkshire.”

So that is about 25% of their workforce and probably not going to be re-hired unless energy costs come down to reasonable level. alt.energy fails unless it is propped up with government subsidies (our tax dollars).

Had the leaders in England explored other nuclear technologies (LFTR) ten years ago when they decided to move away from conventional nuclear power, these safe reactors would have been coming online right about now providing people with clean safe energy and the waste products would only need to be sequestered for about 300 years.

And who is being held accountable for such a policy failure? Thought not - fscking beaurocrats...

Ho Li Crap - card magic

Good enough to fool Penn and Teller - check out Shin Lim:

 His website: Shin Lim Magic

Shooting in Chattanooga, Tennessee

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Jim Hoft at Gateway Pundit has the news:

CHATTANOOGA SHOOTING: 4 MARINES KILLED in GUN FREE ZONE (Video) — Shooter: Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez
Four Marines were killed today in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
The Marines were shot in a gun free zone.
Four Marines killed inside a military office.

It was a Gun-Free Zone–


Hat Tip Dana Loesch

And of course, it was those radical Baptists behind the killings:


Don't mess with a damsel

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Great story from Colorado - from the Denver CBS affiliate:

Renaissance Festival Wench Takes Down Sword Thief, Puts Him ‘In A Headlock’
A man who crashed a jousting performance at the Colorado Renaissance Festival now faces theft and attempted assault charges.

The Colorado Springs man allegedly tried to steal a sword during the middle of the joust at the renaissance fair in Larkspur. He was tackled by a fair employee and it was all caught on camera.

The jousting tourney just ended when Connor Ward, 22, allegedly jumped over the fence, ran into the middle of the field and stole one of the knight’s swords.

A bit more:

She tackled the would-be thief.

“I caught him off guard so I jumped on his back and kind of put him in a headlock.”

A photographer at the scene took photos.

The wench was the wife of one of the knights jousting.

What did you do when you were a kid

Yes, it's a commercial for Nature Valley foods but it is a good one and worth promoting. Lulu's son is a perfect example of someone who prefers to keep his face in a glowing screen instead of being outdoors.



We are becoming a Nation of Eloi.

Bill Whittle on the F-35 debacle

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Bill explains what is so wrong with the new F-35 and why the F-15, F-16 and A-10 were so good.

Numbers - gun ownership

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Time and time again, the numbers come up the same - this report from The Washington Times:

Murder rates drop as concealed carry permits soar: report
The number of concealed carry handgun permits has skyrocketed since President Obama was first elected, while murder rates have fallen, according to a new report released Wednesday.

Since 2007, the number of concealed handgun permits has soared from 4.6 million to over 12.8 million, and murder rates have fallen from 5.6 killings per 100,000 people to just 4.2, about a 25 percent drop, according to the report from the Crime Prevention Research Center.

And the number of permits issued is increasing faster every year. Over 1.7 million new permits were issued last year — a 15.4 percent increase over 2013, the largest such single-year jump ever, according to the report from the center led by President John R. Lott and research director John E. Whitley.

The number of concealed carriers is likely even higher, since permits are not required in eight states.

As the great man once said:

An armed society is a polite society.
--Robert Anson Heinlein.

What is wrong with education

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Perfect example - from Breitbart:

Kansas Mayor Boasts at La Raza Conference: 62 Languages Spoken in Our School District
At this year’s annual National Council of La Raza Conference, Kansas City Mayor Mark Holland—a Democrat—boasted that 62 languages are spoken in one school district.

The National Council of La Raza is an ethnically-focused lobbying organization that has strongly supported proposals to increase annual immigration to the United States. Under current policy, the U.S. issues more than 1 million green cards each year to foreign nationals.

“Kansas City, Kansas, is a city with no ethnic majority. Kansas City, Kansas, is 40 percent white, 28 percent Latino, and 26 percent African-American,” Holland told the crowd. “Our school district speaks 62 different languages by the children every single day.”

How can they do any education when the entire city has been balkanized into 62 different entities. English is the language of the United States and if you plan on remaining here for any length of time, your job opportunities will be a lot better the sooner you start to learn it.

What we are teaching these kids in Kansas City is that we will coddle you - you do not have to actually work at learning anything. Just line up and get on the dole, sit back and receive your free government phone and cheese. 

Working at home today

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Getting my gear together for the big race tomorrow. Should be a lot easier than the Ski to Sea as I just have to radio the first runners and the last runners with the police escort. I will be taking care of any emergency communications so that will be a new thing.

There is a fixed set of communications frequencies that we will be using so getting the radios programmed to them as well as to the police and fire channels (listen only).

I have always used the Anderson PowerPole (I buy them from these wonderful people) for the electrical connections - now that I have a couple of radios, this makes things really plug and play - brilliant invention. The emergency services have also standardized on these connectors so if I need to set up my system in their trailer, I will be able to do so with a minimum of fuss. Standards are a good thing...

Just wonderful - there is a brand of router called TOTOLINK which accounts for over 80% of South Korean markets.

It just got seriously PWNED - serious geek alert - the details can be found here: Backdoor and RCE found in 8 TOTOLINK router models

Bubble bubble - who's got the bubble

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Looks like Vancouver, BC and real-estate and currency. From the Toronto, Ontario National Post:

Luxury home buyers in Vancouver flipping houses to other desperate buyers before ink even dries on sale contracts
Demand for luxury homes in Vancouver is so high that shoppers are willing to pay a premium for residences that already have buyers, spurring people with deals in place to flip the properties.

Rising demand has led to an increase in bidding wars, more sales over asking price and a greater number of “contract assignments,” where buyers sell their rights to a home before completing their purchases, Sotheby’s International Realty Canada said Thursday. In the first half of 2015, 2,465 Vancouver homes sold for $1 million (US$785,000) or more, up 48 per cent from a year earlier, the brokerage said in a midyear report on luxury real estate.

“The person who wins the bid says, ‘Listen, there are two other people here who desperately want that home and will pay $500,000 more,’” Ross McCredie, chief executive officer of Sotheby’s International Realty Canada, said in a telephone interview from Vancouver. Losing bidders often offer 20 per cent more than the list price, and the buyer flips it for even more, he said. “We’re seeing it more and more.”

High consumer confidence, increased foreign demand and low interest rates helped boost sales of single-family detached homes, attached homes and condominiums in all high-end price ranges in Vancouver. In the $4 million-plus category, 219 properties sold, up 71 per cent from a year earlier, Sotheby’s said.

That would be Asian nationals buying up the properties now that the bubble (real-estate and stock market) in China is collapsing. Looking at a "market correction" in Vancouver in 3... 2... 1...

Now this looks like fun - can cannon

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From the fine people over at xproducts:

AR-15 Soda Can Launcher - Accessories Launcher
The Can Cannon is a patent pending launching device for soda cans and other heavy, thin walled objects. A proprietary gas ported barrel and pressure tube reduce the exposure to high pressure gasses which could destroy relatively delicate projectiles. The Can Cannon is currently configured for launching full, un-opened 12oz soda cans. When used with standard mil spec blanks and fired at an optimum angle it can reach an average distance of 105 yards!

Why launch soda cans instead of drinking them?  Because you can!  Projectile options are only limited by your creativity and local laws.  Our BATFE approved design is not considered a Destructive Device or firearm.  Each unit is sold as an assembled upper with receiver, headspaced and mounted ported barrel, and pressure tube.  The system is compatible with any AR-15 mil standard bolt and most piston bolts.

And of course there is a video:

Time for a trip to our North

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The Canadian dollar is now at 77¢ to our $1 - time to visit our neighbor to the North and spend some money...

The people at The Center for Medical Progress secretly videotaped a series of interviews with abortion providers and the first video was released yesterday.

The first to be released is the following: Lunch meeting with Dr. Deborah Nucatola, Senior Director of Medical Services, Planned Parenthood Federation of America (link is to Youtube video)

They say that they have more and will be releasing them once each week over the next couple of months.

Michelle Malkin has this to say:

The wine-sipping butchers of Planned Parenthood
Hannibal Lecter ain’t got nothing on the profit-maximizing abortion ghoul caught on tape hawking aborted baby parts as she swilled wine and nibbled on a gourmet salad.

In newly released undercover footage from the pro-life Center for Medical Progress, seasoned abortionist Dr. Deborah Nucatola, who serves as national senior director of “medical services” at Planned Parenthood, chitter-chattered eagerly about fulfilling the bloodthirsty demand for “intact hearts,” “lower extremities” and lungs.

Price tag? “You know, I would throw a number out,” she babbled breezily as she twirled her fork. “I would say it’s probably anywhere from $30 to $100″ per specimen.

Hollywood couldn’t conjure monsters this chillingly, banally evil.

Nucatola exulted at how fetal livers have become tres chic: “A LOT of people” want them.

She then spoke of the new hot trends in body-parts trafficking as if she were raving about the latest craze for crop tops or artisanal cheese.

“I was like wow,” she gushed to her potential clients about the market for unborn baby hearts, “I didn’t even know!”

Like wow.

Like wow indeed... Michelle writes a bit more and closes with this:

Now you know if you didn’t already or if you were in abject denial. Planned Parenthood’s fetish for late-term abortion stems not from compassion for mothers, but from the cold-blooded drive to drum up cold, hard cash. The practice has continued for at least 15 years, when Planned Parenthood’s human harvesters in Kansas were first uncovered.

Can it get any more stomach-turning? Brace yourselves. This video is just the first in a series by the Center for Medical Progress, which has been investigating Planned Butcherhood’s illegal, immoral trafficking of aborted fetal parts for almost three years.

The expose comes after years of undercover journalistic work by Lila Grace Rose and Live Action, who have caught government-supported Planned Parenthood officials covering up for sexual predators, promoting gendercide, flouting health regulations and disclosure laws, soliciting money from racist eugenics zealots who want more black babies aborted, and perpetuating a homicidal racket in the name of “reproductive health.”

Nucatola is no rogue underling. She’s Planned Parenthood’s “senior director” of “medical services” with years of scalpel-wielding, hands-on abortion training. She bragged not only about her own expertise in procurement of baby body parts, but about the everyday trafficking that goes on “behind closed doors” at countless “affiliates.”

When you’ve recovered from your nausea, ask yourselves this: What kind of country do we live in where law-abiding businesses are fined, threatened and demonized for refusing to bake gay wedding cakes, but barbaric baby butchers are hailed by feminists, Hollywood and a president who asked God to “bless” them?

Disgusting - James O'Keefe was able to take down ACORN with his videos - maybe it is now Planned Parenthood's time. They started out doing good work but they lost their soul somewhere along the way and are now just in it for the money.

The Iran deal

We had them over a barrel - we drove such a hard bargain. John Forbes Kerry is a political mastermind.

Back to the real world - this reaction from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu - CBS News:

"Don't let them have their yellowcake and eat it too"
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stepped up his criticism Wednesday of the U.S.-led nuclear deal with Iran, telling CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley that the agreement is a "very dangerous deal for the world" and warning that Israel has a "great and mighty" strength to defend itself.

"Giving the preeminent terrorist state of our time access to nuclear technology that they will ultimately turn into an arsenal of nuclear weapons and hundreds of billions of dollars to finance their terror machine is bad for everyone," Netanyahu told Pelley.

The Israeli leader said Iran is "the enemy of peace" and the deal - despite the restrictions it places on Tehran's nuclear program - was "legitimizing their path to a future bomb" within a few years.

"Don't let them have their yellowcake and eat it too," Netanyahu said, referring to milled uranium oxide, which is the first step toward enriched uranium.

Netanyahu's war of words came as his political rival, Isaac Herzog, announced he would go to the U.S. to lobby for a compensation package to insure Israel's military advantage in the region.

Even Netanyahu's political opponents are agreeing with him - this is a bad deal for everyone. Hell - even CBS News doesn't like the deal.

Kerry and Obama just ignited World War Three - it will take a few years to catch fire but we are headed there unless our next president does something soon.

This is as bad a deal as Chamberlain's Munich Accord of 1938.

These little puppies are expensive but taste wonderful and you do not need that much to transform a salad. You do need to toast them first.

Be like Alton Brown and use the microwave:

How to Toast Pine Nuts in the Microwave
Summer means basil and basil means pesto and pesto means pine nuts … toasted pine nuts. And that’s where the trouble starts because pine nuts are stupid-easy to burn, especially in a pan on a cook top. The solution is elementary. But first, some background.

I will have to try that next time...

Off to town for a bit

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Been working at home on some projects and getting ready for Friday's race

Heading out for coffee and then off to town to return the @#$% Costco shelf unit. Normally, I do not mind change but when they change a really good unit for a severely inferior one, I get pissed.

Probably get a bite to eat in town - home early evening.

The poor children seeking refuge

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YES DAMMIT - I know that am cherry picking these images but your knee-jerk reaction would not be that strong if I did not happen to strike a politically-correct nerve.


The really big one - Cascadia Rising

Kathryn Schulz has an excellent in-depth article on the very much overdue large Earthquake in the Pacific Northwest.

From The New Yorker (she opens setting the scene with the Tohoku quake which added "Fukushima" to our vocabularies):

The Really Big One
When the 2011 earthquake and tsunami struck Tohoku, Japan, Chris Goldfinger was two hundred miles away, in the city of Kashiwa, at an international meeting on seismology. As the shaking started, everyone in the room began to laugh. Earthquakes are common in Japan—that one was the third of the week—and the participants were, after all, at a seismology conference. Then everyone in the room checked the time.

Seismologists know that how long an earthquake lasts is a decent proxy for its magnitude. The 1989 earthquake in Loma Prieta, California, which killed sixty-three people and caused six billion dollars’ worth of damage, lasted about fifteen seconds and had a magnitude of 6.9. A thirty-second earthquake generally has a magnitude in the mid-sevens. A minute-long quake is in the high sevens, a two-minute quake has entered the eights, and a three-minute quake is in the high eights. By four minutes, an earthquake has hit magnitude 9.0.

And the situation at home:

Just north of the San Andreas, however, lies another fault line. Known as the Cascadia subduction zone, it runs for seven hundred miles off the coast of the Pacific Northwest, beginning near Cape Mendocino, California, continuing along Oregon and Washington, and terminating around Vancouver Island, Canada. The “Cascadia” part of its name comes from the Cascade Range, a chain of volcanic mountains that follow the same course a hundred or so miles inland. The “subduction zone” part refers to a region of the planet where one tectonic plate is sliding underneath (subducting) another. Tectonic plates are those slabs of mantle and crust that, in their epochs-long drift, rearrange the earth’s continents and oceans. Most of the time, their movement is slow, harmless, and all but undetectable. Occasionally, at the borders where they meet, it is not.


If the entire zone gives way at once, an event that seismologists call a full-margin rupture, the magnitude will be somewhere between 8.7 and 9.2. That’s the very big one.

More at the site - it is a well-written but wordy article. She covers the basic issues though. She does not mention what the citizen can do to learn to protect themselves and their families. Neither does she mention the Cascadia Rising Exercise or the people working behind the scenes to provide caches of water and food and develop communications strategies. If anyone is interested - drop me a comment, even if you are not in the Northwest...

Warren Meyer nails it

Warren writes at Coyote Blog and he absolutely nails the progressives - their root narrative.

Impossible to excerpt - from his blog:

Me Then, Hillary Now: Progressives Are Too Conservative to Accept Capitalism

Coyote, in Forbes, December 2010 (excerpts):

My contention is that what drives most progressives, at a very fundamental level, is a deep conservatism.  Of course, most “progressives” would freak if they were called conservative, but what I mean by conservative in this context is not donate-to-Jesse-Helms capital-C Conservative but fearful of change and uncomfortable with uncertainty conservative.

Because capitalism is based so completely on individual decision-making, because its operation is inherently chaotic, and because its rewards can’t possibly be divided equally and still be “rewards”, progressives are hugely uncomfortable with it.  Ironically, though progressives want to posture at being “dynamic”, it turns out that capitalism is in fact too dynamic for them.  Industries rise and fall, jobs are won and lost, recessions give way to booms.  Progressives want comfort and certainty.  They want to lock things down the way they are. They want to know that such and such job will be there tomorrow and next decade, and will always pay at least X amount.  Which is why, in the end, progressives are all statists, because only a government with totalitarian powers can bring the order and certainty and control of individual decision-making that they crave..

Progressive elements in this country have always tried to freeze commerce, to lock this country’s economy down in its then-current patterns.  Progressives in the late 19th century were terrified the American economy was shifting from agriculture to industry.  They wanted to stop this, to cement in place patterns where 80-90% of Americans worked on farms.  I, for one, am glad they failed, since for all of the soft glow we have in this country around our notion of the family farmer, farming was and can still be a brutal, dawn to dusk endeavor that never really rewards the work people put into it....

I am sure, if asked, most  progressives would profess to desire iPod’s and cures for cancer.  But they want these without the incentives that drive men to invent them, and the disruption to current markets and competitors and employees that their introduction entails.  They want to end poverty without wealth creation, they want jobs without employers, they want cars without unemployment for buggy whip makers.

Hillary Clinton in July, 2015:  via Instapundit

In her first major economic policy address of the 2016 campaign, Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton raised questions about the effect that companies like Uber and Airbnb are having on American workers. . . .

Later in the speech, Clinton vowed to “crack down on bosses who exploit employees by misclassifying them as contractors” — a possible reference to something like the recent California Labor Commission decision that threatens to undermine Uber’s business model.

To be sure, Clinton does not want to destroy the sharing economy. She acknowledged that “these trends are real” and “none is going away.” But she may believe that, with the right application of political muscle, the new economy can be forced to conform with the antiquated blue social model — that is, the midcentury vision of steady, regulated, unionized employment with generous benefits.

As we have argued again and again, this notion is unrealistic. Like it or not, this 1950s model of economic organization is breaking down, and has been for several decades, thanks to globalization, demographic changes, technological innovation, and other trends that simply cannot be reversed. Measures like the California decision are futile and counterproductive. We should treat the emergence of a more entrepreneurial, dynamic landscape as an opportunity to be engaged with productively, not a danger to be henpecked by regulations better suited to the last century.

Our Country is in the best of hands - how can these people be so infantile.

New photographs from Pluto

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The New Horzons satellite has been sending back some wonderful images from Pluto. Since conspiracy theorists always see things that are unusual, Randal decided to help them out:


The Iran 'treaty'

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Michael Ramirez sees it for what it is:


Heh... From Don Surber:

Macy's dumps Trump, suffers backlash
In an effort to cozy up to illegal aliens and their supporters, Macy's dumped Donald Trump for telling it like it is on America's border.

Now the management of Macy's is learning the hard way that going against the conservative base to appease the liberal loony fringe is a loser; Macy's business suffers.

From TMZ:

Macy's is paying the price for sacking Donald Trump, because we've learned thousands of customers are cutting up their Macy's credit card in protest.

Sources connected to the department store tell TMZ, Macy's has received complaints from approximately 30,000 customers since ending its relationship with Trump nearly 2 weeks ago.

We're told the store has been "inundated with complaints" from customers who believe the department store is unfairly punishing Trump for his views on immigration.

And the beauty of this is that the Macy's CEO is not going to know who is just moving away or switching to a different store and who is stopping shopping in protest to their Trump foolishness. If the people were anti-Don, they would just stop buying their articles. No need to force it down from the top in some Social-Justice Warrior stupidity.

The murder of Kate Steinle by a piece of illegal five-times-deported and seven-felony conviction scum has been waking people up to the extent of the problem with Sanctuary Cities.

From Washington Examiner:

Revealed: 276 'sanctuary cities' let 8,145 illegal offenders free in just 8 months, 17,000 total
Some 276 "sanctuary cities," nearly 50 percent more than previously revealed, released over 8,000 illegal immigrants with criminal records or facing charges free despite federal requests that they be turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement for deportation, according to an explosive new report.

The Center for Immigration Studies, revealing new numbers it received under the Freedom of Information Act, said that those releases from cities that ignored federal demands came over just eight months and are just part of an even larger release of 17,000 illegals with criminal records.

Author Jessica M. Vaughan, director of policy Studies for the center, also reported that many of those illegals have been rearrested after their release and charged with nearly 7,500 new charges, including child sex abuse.

Here is an interactive map of the various sanctuary cities in the United States.

It is worth your time to go and look as something is very wrong with the Pacific Northwest.

Our town of Bellingham is not a Sanctuary City - all of Whatcom County is a Sanctuary County. So is Skagit County. So is Snohomish County. So is Island County. So is King County (home of Seattle).

Most of Washington State is a Sanctuary County. So is most of Oregon. So are the counties surrounding San Francisco and the counties surrounding Los Angeles.

A full-screen version of the map without the text explanation can be found here.

The VA Administration scandall just keeps getting better and better. From The Hill:

Report: One-third of vets on pending medical care list already dead
An internal Veterans Affairs Department report states that about one-third of the veterans waiting to receive medical care from the agency have already died.

A review of veteran death records provided to the  Huffington Post found that, as of April, 847,822 veterans were awaiting healthcare and that of those, 238,647 were already deceased.

The report was handed over by Scott Davis, a program specialist at the VA's Health Eligibility Center in Atlanta

He also sent copies to the House and Senate VA panels and to the White House.

A VA spokeswoman told Huffington Post that the department can’t subtract dead applicants from the list and that some may never have completed an application but remain on the back log.

Spokeswoman Walinda West also said that more than 80 percent veterans who come to the department "have either Medicare, Medicaid, Tricare or some other private insurance.”

“Consequently, some in pending status may have decided to use other options instead of completing their eligibility application."

Davis dismissed that argument.

"VA wants you to believe, by virtue of people being able to get health care elsewhere, it's not a big deal. But VA is turning away tens of thousands of veterans eligible for health care," he said. "VA is making it cumbersome, and then saying, 'See? They didn't want it anyway.'"

Our Nation is sliding into the toilet and our leaders are sitting in their playpens with ceral dribbling down their faces. Our men and women deserve much much better.

Not even worth 50¢

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From Variety:

50 Cent Files for Bankruptcy
Rapper 50 Cent, whose real name is Curtis James Jackson III, has filed for bankruptcy.

The musician listed assets and debts each in the range of $10 million to $50 million in court papers filed in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Hartford, Conn., on Monday.

“This filing for personal bankruptcy protection permits Mr. Jackson to continue his involvement with various business interests and continue his work as an entertainer, while he pursues an orderly reorganization of his financial affairs,” 50 Cent’s attorney, William A. Brewer III, partner at Brewer, Attorneys & Counselors, said in a statement to Variety.

I wish the guy no ill will but still - you would think that when you are making so much cash, you would hire some people to manage it for you. Or at the very least, your buddies would say something.

There comes a point where there will not always be another $10 million/year coming in and you need to prepare for that time.

A tri-fecta.

First - from Yahoo/Reuters:

With historic Iran deal, Obama gambles on foreign policy legacy
The sealing of a nuclear pact with Iran marks the biggest foreign policy gamble of Barack Obama’s presidency – a legacy-defining achievement that could yet backfire if Tehran exploits any loopholes or escalates tensions in the Middle East.

Emphasis mine - but they would never do anything like that - they are our new bestest friends. This is stupidity on the level of Neville Chamberlain.

Second - from Yahoo/Reuters:

Iran's nuclear deal puts Saudis on edge
Iran's nuclear deal with world powers on Tuesday will make the Middle East a "more dangerous part of the world" if it comes with too many concessions, a Saudi official told Reuters, signaling Gulf Arabs' deep unease at the agreement.

The irony is that of any of the Arab states, it is the Saudis who are the closest to us in political thought and are our best 'friends'

Third - from The Washington Post:

Israel blasts Iran deal as ‘one of the darkest days in history’
Israeli leaders across the political spectrum condemned in stark apocalyptic language the Iranian nuclear pact announced by the United States and world powers Tuesday, calling it a historic mistake that frees Iran to sponsor global terror while assembling the information and materials to build a nuclear weapon.

“Iran is going to receive a sure path to nuclear weapons,” said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Tuesday. “Many of the restrictions that were supposed to prevent it from getting there will be lifted.”

With the lifting of economic sanctions, Netanyahu warned, “Iran will get a jackpot, a cash bonanza of hundreds of billions of dollars, which will enable it to continue to pursue its aggression and terror.”

Netanyahu’s hardline coalition partner, education minister Naftali Bennett said, “Today a terrorist nuclear superpower is born, and it will go down as one of the darkest days in world history.”

The abject naivety of Obama and Kerry are stunning. They have played into the hands of some ninth-century theocrats and barbarians. These two a**holes have set the world back 200 years if not given it the root cause for World War Three.

For them to be standing there grinning like fools is a blot on our Great Nation.

From the Canadian Broadcasting Company:

In Iqaluit, icebreaker paves way for season's supply ships
After weeks of delay, ice and weather conditions in Frobisher Bay finally gave way this weekend, allowing a Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker to carve a path to Iqaluit's shore for this season's first supply ships.

"It's completely atypical. Usually by this date the first ships are already in Iqaluit for a few days," says Louis Robert, the marine communications and traffic services officer for the Coast Guard.

Robert says he has not seen delays like this in more than a decade.

The icebreaker Pierre Radisson had been waiting at the mouth of Frobisher Bay, with unseasonal ice conditions, fog and wind direction delaying its arrival.

"In the middle of Frobisher Bay right now is a large floe of multi-year and first-year ice which exceeds approximately 10 kilometers in width," says Mike Desormeaux, the Coast Guard's acting regional director of the Coast Guard.

But everything is warming and the ice caps are disappearing!!!

Quite the opposite - we seem to be heading into an extended cooling similar to the 100-year Maunder Minimum of the 1650's.

And good night to all...

Did not sleep that well last night and had a long day today. Heading out to the radio room to surf the Aether for a little bit and then to bed.

I am very pissed at Costco - I already have a bunch of their Whalen shelving units and really like them. They are rated for 1,000 pounds per shelf under static load and are nice and sturdy. The rating is published on the shipping carton.

They discontinued this model and have replaced it with a significantly cheaper unit - the shelf boards are about half the thickness and there is no published load rating at all.

What really grinds my gears is that they are a different size from the original units. This would be fine for someone starting out but I have about twelve of these in the garage and I want to add more and the new crap will not fit in with the earlier units. Taking them back to Costco - these are crap.

Desktop Publishing as it used to be

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Pre-Photoshop. I owned a copy and print store in Seattle for a number of years - started out selling computers but when the cheap clones started coming out, I moved over to the graphic arts and bought two printing presses. Had a lot of fun and made some decent money.

My Mom's side of the family owned a large paper warehouse so I grew up with commercial printing and was always fascinated by the process. I was too cheap to afford a digital plate-maker so I used a process camera for everything. Customers would bring in their camera-ready art or a photo and I would typeset their text. I would then go to my light-table and paste everything up. People raised an eyebrow but it was faster and just as accurate for me to use a razor blade to cut out the artwork and wax and paste it than to fudge with the programs available at the time. Photoshop was not available for the PC but Xerox acquired Venture Desktop Publisher and that was a great competitor - they got bought out by Corel which is an excellent piece of design software.

Anyway, here is a nice example of how printing was done - this video pre-dates any computer work and the graphic designer would make a dummy that was sent to the printer for the final separation and printing. I did my seps in house.

Hat tip to James Gurney for the link. Great trip down memory lane. One of his commenter's nails it with this:

Before you got your coffee in the morning you turned on the waxer to warm up.

The waxer was a motorized device that applied a coat of hot wax to the back of your artwork. It had just the right amount of tack to stick but still be positionable. Took about an hour to warm up so yes, open the door, turn on the lights, then the waxer and then the coffee machine.

Apollo Robbins

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Who is he you ask? A pickpocket - here is 6 minutes of amazing sleight of hand:

More at his website - Apollo Robbins

That is it for the evening

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Go surf the radio waves for a bit and head upstairs to bed - long day tomorrow with a store shopping run.

Lulu and I had a nice relaxing day puttering around - had left-over spaghetti sauce and a salad made entirely with stuff from our garden - carrots, lettuce, spring onions and a couple berries from our first-year berry canes.

Having way too much fun with the ham radio stuff - participating in an endurance relay race this coming Friday - broadcasting time of arrival, team numbers and final runners back to Net Control. Our leg will be set up at the Bellingham High parking lot in a pop-up tent running off car batteries. Several hundred teams are registered so it should be a fun (and interesting) time. I'll be bringing some binoculars - these really help for spotting the bib numbers.

Had a small temblor this morning in Darrington, WA, about 60 miles South of here as the crow flies.

Nice break in the weather

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Thought I would set up the radio outside:


Well crap - overdue airplane

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From the WA State Department of Transportation:

Crews searching for small plane overdue to Lynden
Crews are searching for a small, private plane that never reached its planned destination Saturday, July 11.

The plane, with three occupants including the owner/pilot, left western Montana about 4 p.m. Saturday and was due in Lynden at 7 p.m. Pacific Standard time. The plane did not arrive and family members notified authorities. All three occupants are family members. Their names are not being released at this time.

The last cell phone signal from one of the plane’s occupants was detected at about 11 p.m. in an area near Omak. The search is centering south of Mount Baker, along the intended flight plan. The plane is described as a white and red Beech 35 aircraft.

That would explain the helicopters overhead this morning... Sending them our prayers.

From the Sydney Morning Herald:

Tony Abbott has escalated his war on wind power
Tony Abbott has dramatically escalated his war on wind power, creating a new cabinet split and provoking a warning he is putting international investment at risk.

Fairfax Media can reveal the government has ordered the $10 billion Clean Energy Finance Corporation not to make any new investments in wind power projects.

Treasurer Joe Hockey and Finance Minister Mathias Cormann​ have issued the so-called green bank with a directive to change its investment mandate, prohibiting new wind funding. It’s understood the directive was issued without the approval or knowledge of Environment Minister Greg Hunt, angering the minister.

The decision is another blow for the multibillion-dollar wind industry, which has just started to recover from the uncertainty created by the government’s Renewable Energy Target review. Analysts say $8.7 billion is expected to be invested in wind power in the next five years, while the corporation has invested about $300 million in wind projects to date.


The government has previously said it wants the corporation to focus on investing in innovative clean energy proposals and technologies rather than mature technologies that can be financed by mainstream lenders.

Senator Cormann and Mr Hockey amended the mandate for the first time earlier this year, directing the corporation to lift its targeted returns without lifting its risk profile.

The government has twice tried to abolish the corporation but has been blocked by the Senate. The bill to abolish the corporation is a potential double dissolution election trigger.

All of the alt.energy scams require large government subsidies to survive - they are not able to make it on their own economically. Providing these subsidies does not "jump start" the technology at all.

The only viable non-polluting power source we have is nuclear - preferably molten salt/thorium reactors.

Nothing much today

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Spending a quiet day doing very little.

Watering the garden and working in the radio room.

Also, passed the test for FEMA ICS-100 - next up is 200, 300 and 700 as well as First Aid.


Got this email from the national ham radio guild (Amateur Radio Relay League - just celebrated their 100th birthday!):

North America SOTA Activity Weekend 2015 is a casual event involving tiny battery-powered radios on mountain summits.  It is not a contest but is intended to introduce "Summits on the Air" to newcomers with home stations who try to work summit operators during one or two days. There are no rules regarding power levels, modes or number of bands worked, but please be courteous when more than one station is trying to talk to a SOTA operator on a summit.  The SOTA operators have just climbed mountains as high as 14,000 feet; they use low power; and they don't receive on split frequencies.

Check SOTAWATCH.org to spot who is on which mountain.  Summits are numbered, and you can hover your cursor over the number to see the name and point value for each summit.  Expect the website to show activity near 7.032, 7.185, 10.110, 14.342, 18.095, 18.155, 21.350, 24.905, 24.955, 28.420, 146.52, 446.00, and 61 Khz up from the bottom of 20, 15 and 10 meters CW.  Participants are invited to collect points toward certificates and trophies offered by the thirteen-year-old international SOTA group (SOTA.org.UK).  As we learned in past years, this is a barrel of fun for both hill climbers and home operators.  See you then.

There are a couple nearby peaks that are registered in the SOTA database. There is even a Pacific Northwest SOTA group. I am more of a base-station/large battery/high power kinda guy right now but this would be a lot of fun down the road. There is some excellent engineering going into lightweight stations and antennas.

Just spent the last couple hours surfing through some of these websites and thinking about operating. I want to go up to Artist Point but it is not a mountaintop and therefore, not in the SOTA database. Fortunately, many mountaintops also feature cell-phone towers and getting permission/keys to visit them is pretty straightforward if you approach the right people.

From Nature:

Building an organic computing device with multiple interconnected brains
Recently, we proposed that Brainets, i.e. networks formed by multiple animal brains, cooperating and exchanging information in real time through direct brain-to-brain interfaces, could provide the core of a new type of computing device: an organic computer. Here, we describe the first experimental demonstration of such a Brainet, built by interconnecting four adult rat brains. Brainets worked by concurrently recording the extracellular electrical activity generated by populations of cortical neurons distributed across multiple rats chronically implanted with multi-electrode arrays. Cortical neuronal activity was recorded and analyzed in real time, and then delivered to the somatosensory cortices of other animals that participated in the Brainet using intracortical microstimulation (ICMS). Using this approach, different Brainet architectures solved a number of useful computational problems, such as discrete classification, image processing, storage and retrieval of tactile information, and even weather forecasting. Brainets consistently performed at the same or higher levels than single rats in these tasks. Based on these findings, we propose that Brainets could be used to investigate animal social behaviors as well as a test bed for exploring the properties and potential applications of organic computers.

Much more at the site - a fascinating project.

Hope that someone comes up with a recipe for Red Pills before this gets too widespread. Also, Locutus of Borg

Thought of the week:

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Swiped from MissK:

I wonder if clouds ever look down on us and say, "Hey, look!  That one is shaped like an idiot!"?

Why radio?

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Spending today studying the FEMA ICS-100 course.

With all the emergency communications training I am doing, it serves no purpose if I cannot fit into the larger organization. ICS stands for Incident Command System and is the structure used for responding to any event, be it a house fire or an earthquake or landslide.

Bunch of other training to do but this is one of the biggies...

Here is quite the list of Independent Study courses available through FEMA

For every action there is an equal and opposite re-action.

From the Houston Chronicle:

Texans organize 'Operation Counter Jade Helm' to keep an eye on the federal troops
When the troops land in Texas for Operation Jade Helm next week, someone will be waiting for them.

Hundreds of people have organized a "Counter Jade Helm" surveillance operation across the Southwestern states and in an effort to keep an eye on the contentious military drill that's sparked many suspicious of Uncle Sam's intentions.

Eric Johnston, a 51-year-old retired firefighter and sheriff's deputy who lives in Kerrville, is a surveillance team leader in Texas. He'll coordinate three groups of volunteers, about 20 folks in total, who hope to monitor the SEALs, Green Berets and Air Force Special Ops in Bastrop, Big Spring and Junction when Jade Helm kicks off on July 15. With media prohibited at the drills, the volunteers could be a main source of information for the highly-anticipate seven-state exercise.

But locations more precise than the towns around which troops will drill remain unknown. For the citizens' surveillance operation, therein lies the first challenge.

"If a team member sees two Humvees full of soldiers driving through town, they're going to follow them," Johnston said. "And they're going to radio back their ultimate location."

They aren't worried about martial law, he said, but feel like they can't trust the government, and want to make sure the Military isn't under orders to pull anything funny.

Here are the two websites: Facebook and Counter Jade Helm

Markets in everything - vagrants

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Provide a niche for something and that something will rise to the occasion and populate that niche. Including vagrancy. Economics 101.

From the New York Post:

20 years of cleaning up NYC pissed away
Here’s an up-close look at a quality-of-life offense the City Council wants to decriminalize.

This urinating vagrant turned a busy stretch of Broadway into his own private bathroom yesterday – an offense that would result in a mere summons if Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and her pals get their way.

Wrapped in rags and a Mets blanket the hobo wandered into traffic at around 10:30 a.m. and relieved himself as cabs, cars and buses whizzed by between West 83rd and 84th streets on the Upper West Side.

He finished his business at a nearby garbage bin, then strolled back to the front of a Victoria’s Secret store at Broadway and 85th Street, where he camped out for the rest of the day.

Mark-Viverito in April announced plans to decriminalize public urination along with five other low-level offenses: biking on the sidewalk, public consumption of alcohol, being in a park after dark, failure to obey a park sign and jumping subway turnstiles.

Police Commissioner Bill Bratton — who in the early ’90s implemented a “broken windows” approach to policing to dramatically cut crime — is against the new plan, saying such offenses lead to more serious crimes.

Welcome to the progressive workers paradise. You do get what you vote for.

A trip to the post office

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Swiped from Denny:

Today I had to go to the Post Office. As I approached the entrance, I noticed a driver looking for a parking space.

I flagged the driver and pointed out a handicap parking space that was open and available.

The driver looked puzzled, rolled down her window and said, “I’m not handicapped!”

Well, as you can imagine, my face was red! “Oh, I’m sorry,” I said. “I saw your Hillary bumper sticker, and I just assumed that you suffered from some sort of mental disorder.”

She gave me the finger and screamed some nasty names at me.

Boy! Some people don’t appreciate it when you’re just trying to help them out!

Bruce Campbell is back:

Planning a trip?

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Going through the TSA Screening process? Here are a couple of handy tips:

About that hack at OPM

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Last month, computers at the US Government's Office of Personnel Management were systematically reamed by the Communist Chinese and 4.2 million personel records were read. More here, here and here.

Now the number being quoted is 21.5 Million personal records. The breach was discovered when a third-party software vendor was demonstrating their wares and the hack was shown to be running.

Now the head is out of a job - from MyWay News:

Under fire for data breach, Obama personnel chief steps down
The embattled head of the government's personnel office abruptly stepped down Friday, bowing to mounting pressure following the unprecedented breach of private information her agency was entrusted to protect.

Katherine Archuleta had served as director of the federal Office of Personnel Management since November 2013. The former national political director for President Barack Obama's 2012 re-election campaign, Archuleta came under scathing criticism amid revelations this year that hackers — widely believed to be China's government — had infiltrated her agency's databases as well as background-check records for millions who applied for U.S. security clearances.

On Thursday, Archuleta had rebuffed demands that she resign, declaring she was "committed to the work that I am doing." But her continued tenure at the agency grew untenable as calls from lawmakers — including members of Obama's own party — mushroomed. On Friday morning, she came to the White House to personally submit her resignation to Obama.


Archuleta joins a small but notable group of top Obama administration officials who have resigned under pressure from Congress and the public. Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki stepped down last year amid a growing scandal over VA health care, and Secret Service Director Julia Pierson was pushed aside in 2014 following breaches to Obama's security. Obama forced acting Internal Revenue Service Commissioner Steven Miller to resign in 2013 after revelations came to light about an IRS office's treatment of tea party applications for tax-exempt status.

In the OPM case, the data stolen by hackers included criminal, financial, health, employment and residency histories, as well as information about families and acquaintances. The second, larger attack affected not only applicants for security clearances but also nearly 2 million of their spouses, housemates and others.

She will lay low for six months and, like a turd in a punchbowl, she will pop up in some other office making the same money (or better) and demonstrate the same level of competency.

At one time I thought about getting a job in WA State government - I knew some of the people in the IT department. My scruples kicked in and I decided not to...

This had been in my thoughts for a long time (5+ years) - the idea that the sun has a much greater cycle than the apparent 11 year sunspot cycle. It seems that there are two of them and when they line up, there is very high activity and when they are 180° out of phase, there is very low activity.

From Astronomy Now:

Royal Astronomical Society’s National Astronomy Meeting 2015 – report 4
Around 500 astronomers and space scientists gathered at Venue Cymru in Llandudno, Wales, from 5-9 July, for the Royal Astronomical Society National Astronomy Meeting 2015 (NAM2015, Cyfarfod Seryddiaeth Cenedlaethol 2015). The conference is the largest regular professional astronomy event in the UK and saw leading researchers from around the world presenting the latest work in a variety of fields. Science writer and editor Kulvinder Singh Chadha presents his fourth and final report from the last day of the event:

The two-hearted Sun beckons new ‘mini ice-age’
Like the enigmatic, eponymous character from Doctor Who our Sun may have two hearts. A new model of the Sun’s interior is producing predictions of its behaviour with unprecedented accuracy; predictions with interesting consequences for Earth. Professor Valentina Zharkova of Northumbria University presented results for a new model of the Sun’s interior dynamo in a talk at NAM2015.

Our Sun has an approximately 11-year activity cycle. During peak periods, it exhibits lots of solar flares and sunspots. Magnetic bubbles of charged particles (coronal mass ejections) may burst from the surface during this period, streaming material into space. These ejections can affect satellites and powerlines on Earth. During lull periods, such activity may almost stop altogether. But the 11-year cycle isn’t quite able to predict all of the Sun’s behaviour — which can seem erratic at times. Zharkova and her colleagues (Professor Simon Shepherd of Bradford University, Dr Helen Popova of Lomonosov Moscow State University, and Dr Sergei Zarkhov of Hull University) have found a way to account for the discrepancies: a ‘double dynamo’ system.

The Sun, like all stars, is a large nuclear fusion reactor that generates powerful magnetic fields, similar to a dynamo. The model developed by Zharkova’s team suggests there are two dynamos at work in the Sun; one close to the surface and one deep within the convection zone. They found this dual dynamo system could explain aspects of the solar cycle with much greater accuracy than before — possibly leading to enhanced predictions of future solar behaviour. “We found magnetic wave components appearing in pairs; originating in two different layers in the Sun’s interior. They both have a frequency of approximately 11 years, although this frequency is slightly different [for both] and they are offset in time,” says Zharkova. The two magnetic waves either reinforce one another to produce high activity or cancel out to create lull periods.

And the accuracy of their theory?

Combining both waves together and comparing to real data for the current solar cycle, we found that our predictions showed an accuracy of 97 percent,” says Zharkova.

That number is good enough for me. Very plausible.

Professor Valentina Zharkova's website can be found here

Just remember that more people die from the cold than from the heat - the next 60 years could be brutal. Also, it is ironic that I am getting into ham radio just now - the ham radio signal bounces off various levels in our atmosphere and these get agitated by solar radiation. Lots of sunspots means being able to work the world with very low power and a simple system. Now that the sunspot level is basically nil, my operating range is greatly reduced...

As silly season gets sillier and siller

The year before a presidential election is refered to as silly season for good reason.

I am liking the noise that Donald Trump is making - he is not my first pick for President but he would shake things up a bit and he does have business eperience.

From The New York Times:

Event for Donald Trump in Phoenix Will Draw Thousands
Donald J. Trump, the real estate mogul who has tied Republicans in knots in recent weeks with his comments on immigration, will roll into Phoenix on Saturday to address the issue again, just after the head of the Republican Party supposedly asked him to tone down his words on the issue.

The planned speech is already attracting a storm of attention. Even as city leaders have asked Mr. Trump “to stage his hate-filled circus” elsewhere, ticket requests have been so high the campaign has moved the speech from the swank Arizona Biltmore hotel to the convention center downtown.

“Mr. Trump certainly has a First Amendment right to bluster as much as he wants, and even to pander to our worst instincts in a sad attempt to win votes at the expense of hard-working, honorable, law-abiding Latinos,” Daniel Valenzuela, a Democratic councilman and the city’s vice mayor, said on Thursday. “However, we should draw the line at allowing him to use the Phoenix Convention Center — a public building funded by all of our taxpayers’ dollars.”

Mayor Greg Stanton, also a Democrat, issued a similar statement condemning Mr. Trump and his remarks, but assured that the city would not try to prevent the candidate from speaking.

Mr. Trump’s spokeswoman, Hope Hicks, said on Friday that 4,500 tickets had already been reserved for the speech, 3,500 more than initially expected.

Going to have to catch that on YouTube - I bet it is going to be a barn-burner. The border is a serious problem and nobody is paying it any attention.

Back home again

Had a meeting for the local ham radio communications group tonight. The training session tonight was on Winlink, its software and associated hardware. Fascinating stuff as this allows for error-free email to be sent over the radio waves. Got lots of notes of resources and other software to check out.

Dodged a bullet too - our local power utility is stringing some wires and had to shut down local power for 12 hours - driving home, the last three miles was a sea of darkness but our little hamlet was lit up and the power along the road I live on is just fine. People further down the road were out too.

Surf for a bit and then to bed - busy day tomorrow.

I didn't post about it when it happened because I thought that these were related. Now it seems that they were.

From The Hill:

Day of ‘technical’ glitches puts lawmakers on edge
Lawmakers are having a hard time swallowing the idea that a major stock exchange, a global airline and a prominent media outlet coincidentally suffered major outages on the same day.

The New York Stock Exchange halted trading for roughly four hours Wednesday, and United Airlines had to ground all of its flights in the morning, both citing technical problems as the culprit. And shortly after the stock exchange went down, the homepage for The Wall Street Journal crashed.

The Obama administration said there were no signs the outages were caused by nefarious outside actors, but lawmakers were having a tough time buying it could all be a coincidence and are vowing to look into the matter.
“I’d like to know some more information,” said Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.). “To have three outages in three important places on the same day raises a lot of questions. I haven’t gotten answers yet.”

We are soooo pwned - all of this money (our tax dollars) is being spent on administration and not actual work.

We need more people like Nigel:

Clear heads in Europe

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Great news from the UK Guardian:

Green energy sector attacks chancellor's changes to climate change levy
George Osborne has infuriated green energy producers and campaigners with a £910m-a-year raid on the renewable energy sector by changing a climate change levy (CCL) at the same time as providing more fiscal help for North Sea oilfields.

RenewableUK, the lobby group, said the changes would cost green energy producers around £450m in the current financial year, and up to £1bn by 2020-2021.

The move hammered the share price of power generator Drax which is in the process of converting stations from burning coal to burning wood pellets. The company lost more than a quarter of its stock market value as it said the move would cost it £30m this year and £60m in 2016.

Caroline Lucas, the Green party MP, described the budget as a “serious blow for the fight against climate change”, while Greenpeace said it showed the chancellor is out of step with the times.

More faster please. The alt.energy scams are not self-supporting - they are not financially feasible without huge taxpayer (that's us folks!) subsidies.

Oh Joy... Water heater blues

The joys of owning a small business.

Got a call this morning that the water heater was spewing di-hydrogen monoxide.

Found out two days ago that our go-to plumbers did a major screw-up five years ago for another local business and that they did really shoddy work earlier this year with a good friend.

Was not planning a run into town today but time to take care of the critters and head out to investigate...

Heh... Challenge accepted

This is going to be epic (and the start of a new industry) - still wish they would get Mark involved.

A re-post of the July 1, 2015 video:

And Japan accepts the challenge:

From Australia's Sydney Morning Herald:

Chinese steel is now cheaper than cabbage
Steel is now cheaper than cabbage in China, as weak demand and over-production continues to undermine the end market for Australian iron ore and coking coal.

Despite a water content of more than 90 per cent, respected commodity price index publisher Platts revealed that cabbages were pricier by the tonne than the most popular type of steel, known as hot rolled coil steel, which is used to make industrial pipes and some vehicles.

In a note on steel prices this week, Platts noted that when measured by the ton, the wholesale price of white round cabbage in Shanghai was about 6 per cent more expensive than a tonne of hot rolled coil.

Economic powerhouse or riding on a bubble? Your call...

Hat tip to Peter at Bayou Renaissance Man

Government warehouse

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Remember this scene from Raiders of the Lost Ark?


I think I found its origin:


From Shorpy (excellent site - a daily view for me):

Washington, D.C., circa 1937. "Tax office?" is all it says here, in what looks like a set from "1984." Harris & Ewing Collection glass negative.

Good BERT meeting

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We had a presentation from our local Fire Department covering ways to reduce potential fire damage to houses - some stuff I did not know. My house is pretty well set up - no large trees close to the dwelling, meadow surrounding what trees there are and a lot of the underbrush from the trees has been cleared away (thanks Jimmy!!!).

The rest of the meeting was uneventful with the exception of finding out that someone from Bellingham was very happy to find out about our group and was more than willing to come out and sponge off us in the event of a disaster. Excuuuuse me but that would be a big fat NO! unless you wrote us a check for $10,000 or so. We take care of ourselves and families first, neighbors second and local community third. Grow a pair and develop some personal responsibility...

Got an email from one of the WECG members - there is a big endurance foot-race coming up the weekend of the 17th and this will be my first year volunteering to work the radios. Fun stuff! We will be coordinating at tomorrows meeting.

Got two evenings of meetings - Baker Emergency Resource Team tonight and Whatcom Emergency Communications Group tomorrow.

It is not if. It is when. Be prepared.

From Laurie Niles writing at Violinist.com:

Violinist Kevin Yu Invents a High-Tech Tux Shirt
Why shouldn't symphony musicians have high-tech apparel, just like athletes do? After all, playing the violin or any other instrument certainly requires a degree of sweat and athleticism.

The need for such gear is more acute for men, who usually have to wear restrictive tux shirts and jackets when playing a classical concert.

This is the issue that led violinist and businessman Kevin Yu to found a company called Coregami, with the stated mission of designing the perfect concertwear for musicians. In June they introduced their first product to the world: a tux shirt. I talked with Kevin about what inspired his company and about what makes this tux shirt different from others.

A little bit more - Laurie is interviewing Kevin:

Kevin: Coregami’s first product (The Gershwin) is the first tuxedo shirt in the world that is designed for musicians, by musicians using the principles of high performance athletic wear. It is made from advanced fabric that is moisture-wicking, four-way stretch, and anti-odor. With an ergonomic open shoulder pattern, seamless stitching, and lighter fabric, our testers call this “the best tuxedo shirt ever designed."

Laurie:What, very specifically, makes these shirts different from the typical tux shirts?

Kevin: Formal wear was conceived in the last century and was never intended for active movement. With the desire to incorporate modern athletic concepts, we knew we had to take a different approach. Through rounds of testing with some of the most elite musicians in the United States, we failed our way to a solution.

Link to the shirt is here: The Gershwin

While everyone is watching Greece

From the UK Telegraph:

The really worrying financial crisis is happening in China, not Greece
While all Western eyes remain firmly focused on Greece, a potentially much more significant financial crisis is developing on the other side of world. In some quarters, it’s already being called China’s 1929 – the year of the most infamous stock market crash in history and the start of the economic catastrophe of the Great Depression.

In any normal summer, a 30pc fall in the Chinese stock market – a loss of value roughly equivalent to the UK’s entire economic output last year – after an ascent which had seen share prices more than double within the space of a year would have been front page news across the globe.

The dramatic series of government interventions to stem the panic – hitherto unsuccessful, it should be added – would similarly have been up there at the top of the news agenda. Yet the pantomime of the Greek debt talks, together with the tragi-comedy of will they, won’t they leave the euro, has relegated the story to little more than a footnote - even though 940 companies, more than a third, have now suspended trading on China’s two main indices.

The parallels with 1929 are, on the face of it, uncanny. After more than a decade of frantic growth, extraordinary wealth creation and excess, both economies – America in 1929 and China today – are at roughly similar stages of economic development. Both these booms, moreover, are in part explained by extremely rapid credit growth. Indeed, China’s credit boom dwarfs that of even the “roaring Twenties”. Borrowed money, or margin investing, played a major role in both these outbreaks of speculative excess.

Time to batten down the hatches.

From LiveScience:

Child's Mysterious Paralysis Tied to New Virus
Mysterious cases of paralysis in U.S. children over the last year have researchers searching for the cause of the illness. Now, a new study suggests that a new strain of a poliolike virus may be responsible for some of the cases.

So far, more than 100 children in 34 states have suddenly developed muscle weakness or paralysis in their arms or legs, a condition known as acute flaccid myelitis, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Previously, researchers linked a virus called enterovirus D68 (EV-D68), which can cause respiratory illness similar to the common cold, with some of these cases.

But only about 20 percent of children with paralysis tested positive for EV-D68, and even in these cases, it wasn't clear if EV-D68 was the cause of the child's condition.

In the new study, researchers say that one case of paralysis, in a 6-year-old girl, is linked with another strain of enterovirus, called enterovirus C105. This virus belongs to the same species (enterovirus C) as the polio virus.

Although the new study doesn't definitely prove that enterovirus C105 was the cause of the girl's paralysis, it suggests that there are other viruses besides EV-D68 that are contributing to the outbreak of acute flaccid myelitis.

I grew up in Pittsburgh, PA in the 1950's - this is where Dr. Saulk did his research on Polio. Every year or so, our classes were taken out to a room and we were given either a jab or a sugar cube. I hope they get on this soon - having Polio was not fun for the survivors. There were a lot of people living their lives in an iron lung. 



This looks like fun - Goosebumps

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Read one or two of them when they first came out in the 1990's - oriented to the juvenile reader but fun storytelling. Looks like some nice CGI effects.

Another busy day in paradise

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Making another trip into town - stuff for the store and some things for my radio grounding system.

It is not just a matter of putting a wire up in the sky, you have to grab ahold of the earth as well - the counterpoise.

Have a monthly BERT meeting tonight - we are trying to generate enough interest to host a CERT training session out here.

Illegal immigration in the news

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It is amazing how delicately the mainstream news media tiptoes around illegal criminals in our Nation. That asshole who murdered 31 year old Kate Steinle in San Francisco had been deported five times and had seven felony convictions but the city of San Francisco is a precious little Sanctuary City. Might hurt someone's feeling 'ya know...

This is happening locally too - from the Bellingham Herald:

Troopers: Driver admitted drinking before fatal Sumas crash
A suspected drunken driver was arrested almost three miles from the scene of a crash that left one man dead Monday, July 7, southwest of Sumas.


By the time sheriff’s deputies reached the wreck, the driver was gone. Bottles of beer were strewn “all over” in the car, troopers said, along with a case of Modelo Especial.

A witness told them a young, short Hispanic man — in jeans, and a white T-shirt over a black long-sleeved shirt — got out of the car and started running toward Van Buren Road.

More - buried in the tenth paragraph:

According to authorities, Vazquez-Tellez was a migrant farm worker and a Mexican citizen.

Donald Trump was right - the people coming across our borders are not the creme of the crop of Mexico - they are the bottom dregs and although not all of them are career criminals, many of them are.

Even for the law abiding, the cost of custodial care, special language programs, etc... is bankrupting our Nation. We are spending more money than we make. The government does not create money, the money it uses is money collected from We The People paying our taxes. This resource is finite and is better spent defending our borders and helping our natural-born citizens.

I am all for immigration but we have mechanisms and procedures set in place for that - these new people? Follow our laws for a start.

A day in town - antenna building

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Spent the day in town getting stuff for antenna building. I have a great one but am interested in a few other designs (here, here and here). Lots of improvising...

More posting in a bit - got to get the drip running in the garden and the critters are giving me the stink-eye - feed us Dave!!!

From Anthony Watts:

“Deniers” in their midst – All is not well in Nobel Prize Land
A couple of days ago we reported on the Mainau Nobel Conference, on Friday, 3 July, over 30 Nobel laureates assembled on Mainau Island on Lake Constance signed a declaration on climate change. Problem was, there were 65 attendees, and only 30 signed the declaration. As is typical of the suppression of the alternate views on climate, we never heard the opinion of the 35 who were in the majority. Today, one of the nobel laureates who was an attendee has spoken out.

From Climate Depot: Nobel Prize-Winning Scientist Who Endorsed Obama Now Says Prez. is ‘Ridiculous’ & ‘Dead Wrong’ on ‘Global Warming’

Nobel Prize Winning Physicist Dr. Ivar Giaever: ‘Global warming is a non-problem’ ‘I say this to Obama: Excuse me, Mr. President, but you’re wrong. Dead wrong.’

Dr. Ivar Giaever, a Nobel Prize-Winner for physics in 1973, declared his dissent on man-made global warming claims at a Nobel forum on July 1, 2015.

“I would say that basically global warming is a non-problem,” Dr. Giaever announced during his speech titled “Global Warming Revisited.

Much more at the site - I love the numbers: 65 Nobel prize winners, only 30 of them said that there was Global Warming - a minority position and yet, that was the only position reported.

This is a new religion and anyone who speaks against it is being persecuted just like Galileo was back in the 1600's. You don't contradict the established orthodoxy even if there is evidence against it.

Hello world!

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Was able to pick up another Australian operator, a Canadian amateur, a Hawaiian time broadcaster (WWVH) as well as the BBC World Service - was listening on both the amateur bands and the shortwave bands - 15MHz was open last night.

Fun stuff!

I have an antenna analyzer on back-order and when that comes in, I will be able to tune my antenna to transmit. Still need to get three ground rods pounded into the soil and the cable run from them to the radio room.

And her name is Radio. Heading off to surf the aether for an hour or so before heading up to bed. Picked up Australia last night - see what I can get tonight...

Do you have the time

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After last weeks Leap Second, time here at the farm has been a bit screwy:



Making a Celtic Stone Ax

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Looks like a fun project - there are a few tips at the end of the video that are worth looking at if you are thinking of doing this yourself.

Still no Finnegan

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The reality of his passing is sinking in more and more with each day.

I really miss the little bastard...

Thinking about getting another Brittany in a year or so - I love Shepherds but Finnegan was a joy.

Memory lane - the Maisy Battery

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I had initially posted about the Maisy Battery on January 7, 2008. It is the German gun emplacement overlooking Omaha Beach, the site of the D-Day invasion. Because it was built in secret, it had become forgotten for 60 years until someone found a reference to it on a crinkled map which fell out of an old pair of US serviceman's trousers at a military memorabilia fair in Stockport.

On my 2008 post, I noted that the website was just a stub - now it is fleshed out nicely and looks fascinating.

Check out the Maisy Battery - some fascinating history there...

Working the world

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My antenna is not tuned up yet for transmitting but I was doing some radio surfing last night and got a strong signal from Australia.

Encouraging to say the least!

Shopping run for the store today and then back home...

Bad move there folks - you will not get bailed out again and again for your stupid financial moves. From the BEEB:

Greece debt crisis: Greek voters reject bailout offer
Greek voters have decisively rejected the terms of an international bailout.

The final result in the referendum, published by the interior ministry, was 61.3% "No", against 38.7% who voted "Yes".

Greece's governing Syriza party had campaigned for a "No", saying the bailout terms were humiliating.

'Scuse me - what is humiliating is your inability to clean up your own financial house and make a real attempt to reach solvency. If this were a Grecian household spending like this, their neighbors would be mocking them. The Greek government and labor unions have promoted the idea that there is always extra money to be had for popular programs. Sorry - writing on the wall and all of that good stuff...

A bit more:

Their opponents warned that this could see Greece ejected from the eurozone, and a summit of eurozone heads of state has now been called for Tuesday.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said late on Sunday that Greeks had voted for a "Europe of solidarity and democracy".

No, they voted for staying irresponsible and to keep sucking on the socialist teat despite the fact that it has run out of milk.

They honestly deserve what they get in the next ten years.

A quiet Sunday

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No sign of Finnegan - the reality is starting to sink in hard. Going to miss that guy - a lot!

Got the new radio talking with my software. Looking at Ham Radio Deluxe. It is a commercial product but their licensing is really flexible and it covers everything I want to do. If I wanted to go nuts, I could log into my radio from a remote computer and have full control over it and receive and transmit my audio through the remote computer's soundcard. It downloads a list of registered amateurs and their call-signs so if I am running at Artist Point and talk with someone, I can get their name and mailing address right then - it even formats address labels when you go to send the QSL cards.

Dinner is left-over spaghetti - it was good last night. I made it with the hot Italian chicken sausage for the protein.

Shopping run tomorrow so an early evening for me.

Apologies to Robert A. Heinlein

Ran into this great rant over at Radio Artisan:

A radio amateur should be able to talk on the radio, provide emergency communications, cut a dipole and throw it up in a tree, send and receive Morse code, advance the radio art, change a vacuum tube, act as net control, build a power supply, build a fire, perform CPR, operate a kilobuck rig, operate a $10 rig, configure a soundcard on a computer to run PSK, bounce signals off a satellite, fire up an ad hoc repeater, use low power, fire up a linear amplifier, put out a fire, tune an antenna tuner, solder, go bowling with the family, fix an RFI problem, cook breakfast on a camp stove at Field Day, radio direction find, respond to a mayday call, describe what impedance is, send pictures using slow scan, use a straight key, use a search engine, appreciate simplicity, understand complexity, QRS, start up a generator, explain what a transistor does, disassemble a rotator, change a diaper, call CQ, call home, drill a hole in the wall, climb a tower (or direct someone how to do it safely), sit with a child on the radio, be prepared, make a Morse code paddle out of a ruler, speak well, read instructions, figure it out without instructions, write the instructions, instruct, use a spreadsheet, use a slide rule, use a tape measure, read a resistor color code, score a contest, use a cell phone, know what the rules are, use duct tape, install a connector, make balanced feedline, send an email over the air, set up a tent, install a stealth antenna, install a huge antenna, scrounge for parts from an old TV set, wire a microphone, lay ground radials, mow the lawn (and not tear up the radials), be secretary at a ham club, act alone, join, grow old and not grow bitter, look towards the future, read and understand, use the mode switch, donate time, be diplomatic, understand propagation, ask for help, research, balance a bank account, balance work and family and amateur radio, ask questions, question authority, install a filter, be an authority, take orders, do digital, go analog, use a voltmeter, be tolerant, be patient, ragchew, calculate, estimate, attenuate, modulate, resuscitate, pontificate, emulate, stand up, stand down, assist, theorize, prioritize, organize, design, dream, reminisce, direct, follow, think, do, talk, hear, listen.

Specialization is for insects.

Heinlein's original rant can be found here.

A whole lotta shakin goin' on

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We had a 3.3 Mag quake about 20 miles from here. I was awake but didn't feel anything - one of the workers at the store lives closer to the area and it was very noticeable for him. Relatively shallow too - 6.3 miles.

We have two fault lines in our area and this is not either of them.

Here is a map of the area from the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network - the red star at the top near the Canadian town of Arnold is last nights quake. The yellow dots below are the locations of historic quakes from the two known fault lines. (data back to 1969). I live about halfway between the two over a bit East.



Title of the post? Jerry Lee Lewis

Going to be another unusually hot day - got a slow drip running on the garden beds and heading out for coffee in a few minutes. Jimmy is out here to help Lulu look for Finnegan. I doubt they will find anything as my money is on a predator somewhere but it would be nice to have closure.

Working on the radio room - got some shelving up, powered up my new rig and moving the electronics bench from the DaveCave(tm) into the radio room.

From Gizmodo:

Why Mathematicians Are Hoarding This Special Type of Japanese Chalk
This spring, an 80-year-old Japanese chalk company went out of business. Nobody, perhaps, was as sad to see the company go as mathematicians who had become obsessed with Hagoromo Fulltouch Chalk, the so-called “Rolls Royce of chalk.”

With whiteboards and now computers taking over classrooms, the company’s demise seemed to mark the end of an era.

Being neither a mathematician nor a chalk artist, I heard about Hagoromo through my friend Dan, a mathematician finishing up his Ph.D. at Stanford. He recently appeared on a Japanese TV special about the demise of Hagoromo Bungu Co., where a TV crew came out to Stanford to interview mathematicians about the legendary chalk. One professor described hoarding enough of the stuff to keep him in chalk for the next 15 years. Dan is in the special too, calling the end of Hagoromo “a tragedy for mathematics.”

Okay, he was obviously joking. But it is true that mathematicians are fanatics for this obscure Japanese chalk. Here you can see a long discussion online where mathematicians are hunting for Hagoromo chalk suppliers in the U.S. Satyan Devadoss, a Williams College math professor, even wrote a blog post calling it “dream chalk.” He explained:

There have been rumors about a dream chalk, a chalk so powerful that mathematics practically writes itself; a chalk so amazing that no incorrect proof can be written using this chalk. I can finally say, after months of pursuit, that such a chalk indeed exists.

How could mere chalk inspire such hyperbole?

Kyung Lee is importing the last of the stock from Japan and it is available at Amazon (for $99/box of 72).

Fascinating story from the Everett Herald:

In 1915, as war raged in Europe, the Liberty Bell came to Everett
The Liberty Bell no longer rang and it wasn't on time, but 100 years ago this month the bronze symbol of American freedom rolled into Everett on a train.

It was 4 a.m. July 14, 1915, when the bell, mounted on an open-top train car, arrived here on its way to the Panama-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco. The Panama Canal had opened in 1914.

It wasn't the bell's first train trip — there had been six others, but none to the West. The 1915 journey that included Everett and Seattle would be its last absence from Philadelphia, where historians believe the bell was rung July 8, 1776, to mark the reading of the Declaration of Independence.

According to Everett Daily Herald archives, a 21-gun salute by local Spanish-American War veterans greeted the Liberty Bell train. It had been scheduled to arrive in Everett just before midnight July 13, 1915, but a delay tested the crowd's patience.

By sunup, people were pressing toward a platform to get a close look or even touch the bell. The train was stopped at a rail siding near a freight depot at the east end of Everett's Wall Street, which was festooned with banners. Before heading south to Seattle and Tacoma, it could also be seen at the Great Northern depot along Everett's Bayside waterfront.

Very cool - never knew that the bell traveled anywhere, let alone to Everett and Seattle.

Every year, a neighboring town takes up a collection at the local businesses and, on the Fourth, goes around to the various tribal fireworks stands and bargains for the remaining stock. They aren't going to be selling that many more packages and this way, they get 30¢ on the dollar and break even. This results in a huge pile of stuff which gets taken back to a field in the center of town and is then light off over a 45 minute period. It is pretty spectacular and given that we can sit as close as we want to, some of these displays (especially the defective ones that launch sideways) can be up close and personal.

I was there getting coffee this morning and saw a sign that the fireworks were going to be postponed until New Years Eve.

Fantastic call - the field is OK but the neighboring trees and grass is bone dry and there is serious potential for a large fire.

I was talking to our local Fire Chief a week ago and he was very worried about some of the neighboring communities.

Cooking up a pot of spaghetti sauce (using Spicy Italian chicken sausage for the protein) so we will have a quiet evening at home.

With Finnegan's disappearance, neither of us feels like celebrating very much - had that guy for close to ten years and he was fully mature when I got him. Old friend.

CO2 and our oceans

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A lot of the warmistas are saying that increased CO2 levels will harm the oceans - make them acidic. They do not know about buffering (here and here)

And now this - from The Register:

Will rising CO2 damage the world's oceans?
NOT SO MUCH – new boffinry
Those who fear that the oceans and their ability to support life on Earth may be doomed by rising CO2 – take heart!

A recent scientific study shows that one of the basic engines of the ocean, namely the life cycle of phytoplankton, will probably not be disrupted by the rising levels of carbon dioxide to be expected later this century.

This is important stuff, as the tiny life-forms are the basis of all ocean food chains and life cycles in turn, as well as being critical to the process of turning CO2 into life-giving oxygen while absorbing solar energy (and thus removing heat from the sea).

We are told:

The study grew phytoplankton at the high carbon dioxide levels predicted for the year 2100 and beyond.

The samples were allowed to evolve through 400 generations, with some exposed to varying levels of CO2 and some kept at constant CO2 levels.

Researchers found that samples exposed to fluctuating CO2 levels was better able to cope with further changes in conditions, compared with those grown in stable CO2 levels.

The finding suggests that populations ... will adapt more to the varied conditions expected in future than was previously thought based on experiments at stable conditions.

All this should mean that the oceans of the world will still be able to perform their traditional miracles of sequestering carbon away into the ocean depths, absorbing heat, generating oxygen for us to breathe and so on.

The new science is published here.

Swiped in full as it is impossible to excerpt - the original paper at Nature is behind a paywall.

CO2 is not our enemy - it is the gas of life. Without it, there would be no plant or animal life on this planet.

Just as a heads up - people who maintain salt-water aquariums and who grow coral will set up a calcium reactor to promote the growth of their coral polyps. The chief input to these is gaseous carbon dioxide.

We need to fire the incompetent teachers and cut the administrative overhead by 70% - from the Detroit ABC affiliate WXYZ:

School district charges mom $77,000 for Freedom of Information Act request about her son
Nineteen-year-old Mitchell Smith has special needs, but while mainstreamed at Goodrich High School he fit right in.

“Did you have a lot of friends at school?” I asked him.

“I have a lot of them,” he replied smiling.

While surrounded by classmates of different abilities, Mitchell made goals. He beat many in cross country, running a twenty-two minute 5k. He passed a test to qualify as a basketball referee.

“I think that would be a great job,” said Mitchell. 

As his classmates researched what to do after high school, he did too. He learned about Ready for Life, a program that teaches life skills while mainstreaming special needs students on a college campus.

But the school district and the state didn't let Mitchell enter that program, instead:

“I decided last year I wanted to go there,” said Mitchell. “We visited a couple times and I liked it a lot.”

Then Mitchell and his mom met with school leaders to talk about his continuing education after high school, something state funded because of his special needs.

The decision?

Mitchell should spend hours commuting everyday to a non-mainstreamed district  program in Flint. Mitchell’s mom says it offers vocational training in positions Mitchell isn’t interested in.

“I wanted to know how they reached that determination,” said Sherry Smith, Mitchell’s mom.

She filed a Freedom of Information Act Request for emails sent by school staff about her son. The  school said okay, but first you’ll have to pay.

The price?  $77,718.75.

To Sherry, it is suspicious.

“Why don’t you want us to have access to the emails?” she asks.

 The school superintendent said:

The current estimate is that it would require up to 4,687.5 hours at the current clerical hourly employee rate of $16.58 per hour.

The school is taxpayer funded so the information is in the public domain and should be available at zero cost. This will be an interesting lawsuit. Once again, this graph comes to mind:


A bit of a sad note at the farm

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My beloved old Brittany Spaniel Finnegan wandered off last Thursday afternoon and may not be with us any more.

I do not know how old he was - I got him full-grown from the shelter. He was an excellent dog - great in the field and loved to go riding in the truck with me - always curled up on the passenger seat.

In the last four years, he had gone completely blind and deaf - his eyes were milky from the cataracts. We started calling him pinball and he adapted very well - he already knew the layout of the farm and would go from building to building without problem. His nose still worked great and he would be a pest at dinner always snuffling up for treats - our other dogs would have the grace to wait patiently for their table scraps.

Lulu and I looked pretty thoroughly yesterday and Thursday and there was no sign of him at the farm, he was not lying in a ditch after being struck by a car and there is no word from our neighbors.

There is a cougar active in the area and some recent logging efforts have dislodged at least one bear.

My only hope is that if the lil' bastard is really gone that it was swift and painless.

A plumbing story

Major drink alert - go here and read: 15 Minute Lunch:

Grease me up, woman!
You know what's bad? When you're washing machine drains and all the water floods backward in the pipes and starts coming up in your kitchen sink drain.   You know what's worse? When this water contains black hunks of rancid food and grease that smells like a dead rhinoceros and quite probably dates back to the early 1990's.  I swear to god, one chunk of grease had a mullet and was wearing a Member's Only jacket.

So that's what I walked into when I agreed to take a look at my wife's grandfather's plumbing issue.  His major complaints were:  (1) His sink took ten minutes to drain.  (2) He couldn't do a load of wash on anything but the lowest water setting.   Anything else would cause the sink to overflow.  Even on low, it still came up to the point where the only thing keeping it in the sink was surface tension and stink.

Go and read the entire story - I am tearing up from chuckling.

Today's word is Schadenfreude.


And yes, that is Dr. Rice on Piano - our former Secretary of State. Back when we had real adults running things.

Cooking at Syracuse University

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Tomorrow is the Fourth of July - time for a barbecue - from the Lava Project:

Looks like a lot of fun. One thing in Blacksmithing that I want to do is to make my own steel - I have the iron ore, just need to build a furnace.

So true - evolution

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Meet Francisco Sanchez. Illegal immegrant from Mexico. He was captured and deported five times but still made it back into the United States. He has seven prior felony convictions, four involving narcoticcs.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement had him in custody last March but they turned him over to the San Francisco police for an outstanding drug warrant.

From FOX News:

Man arrested in connection with San Francisco killing had been deported several times, officials say
The man arrested in connection with the seemingly random killing of a woman who was out for a stroll with her father along the San Francisco waterfront is an illegal immigrant who previously had been deported five times, federal immigration officials say. 

Further, Immigration and Customs Enforcement says San Francisco had him in their custody earlier this year but failed to notify ICE when he was released. 

"DHS records indicate ICE lodged an immigration detainer on the subject at that time, requesting notification prior to his release so ICE officers could make arrangements to take custody. The detainer was not honored," ICE said in a statement Friday afternoon. 

A bit more:

ICE briefly had him in their custody in March after he had served his latest sentence for "felony re-entry," but turned him over to San Francisco police on an outstanding drug warrant. At this time, ICE issued the detainer -- effectively asking that he be turned back over to ICE when San Francisco was finished with him. 

But ICE was not notified. The incident is sure to renew criticism of San Francisco's sanctuary city policies. 

"Here's a jurisdiction that's not even honoring our detainer for someone who clearly is an egregious offender," an ICE official told FoxNews.com. 

I hope that her family sues the city for all it has. The idea of giving someone like this "sanctuary" is unreal.

From CNS News:

Seattle 6th Graders Can’t Get a Coke at School, But Can Get an IUD
Middle and high school students can’t get a Coca-Cola or a candy bar at 13 Seattle public schools, but they can get a taxpayer-funded intrauterine device (IUD) implanted without their parents’ consent.

School-based health clinics in at least 13 Seattle-area public high schools and middle schools offer long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs), including IUDs and hormonal implants, to students in sixth-grade and above at no cost, according to Washington State officials.

LARCs are associated with serious side effects, such as uterine perforation and infection. IUDs, specifically, can also act as abortifacients by preventing the implantation of a fertilized egg.

The state and federally funded contraceptive services are made possible by Take Charge, a Washington State Medicaid program which provides free birth control to adults who are uninsured, lack contraceptive coverage, have an income at or below 260 percent of the Federal Poverty Level -- or, in this case, to teens who don’t want their parents to know they’re on birth control.

In an email exchange with the Washington State Health Care Authority and CNSNews.com, a Take Charge spokesperson acknowledged that underage students are eligible for a “full array of covered family planning services” at school-based clinics if their parents meet the program’s requirements.

I am not shocked by 13 year old children being sexually active - go for it!

What gets me is that they will do the implant without the parent's knowledge. These children need education and counseling - there are some nasty diseases that can complicate future childbearing if left untreated.

One solution to two problems

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From Michael Ramirez:



Late last month, I blogged about a new study published by Malthusian Paul Ehrlich who cried out: Accelerated modern human–induced species losses: Entering the sixth mass extinction.

Now, ten days later, Matt Ridley offers this excellent examination of the data and counterblaste:

Invasive species are the greatest cause of extinction
Of 217 mammals and birds that have died out, nearly all were on islands
My Times column on the causes of extinction:

Human beings have been causing other species to go extinct at an unnatural rate over the past five centuries, a new study has confirmed. Whether this constitutes a “sixth mass extinction” comparable to that of the dinosaurs is more debatable, but bringing the surge in extinctions to an end is indeed an urgent priority in conservation.

So it is vital to understand how we cause extinctions. And here the study is dangerously wrong. It says that “habitat loss, overexploitation for economic gain, and climate change” are the main factors and that “all of these are related to human population size and growth, which increases consumption (especially among the rich)”.

Inexplicably, they have left out the main cause of extinctions over the past five centuries: invasive species. The introduction by people of predators, parasites and pests, especially to islands, has been and continues to be far and away the greatest cause of local and global extinction of native fauna. In his green encyclical, Pope Francis likewise never once refers to this problem. It is the Cinderella of the environmental movement.

Over the past 500 years, we know of 77 mammal species (out of about 5,000) and 140 bird species (out of about 10,000) that have gone totally extinct. There may be a handful more we do not know about, and there are plenty more on the brink. Nonetheless, these are the official total species extinctions for the two groups of animal we know best, as compiled by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

Of those 217 species of bird and mammal, almost all lived on islands — if you count Australia as an island — and just nine on continents: Bluebuck antelope, Algerian gazelle, Omilteme cottontail rabbit,Labrador duck, Carolina parakeet, slender-billed grackle, passenger pigeon, Colombian grebe and Atitlan grebe.

Were it not for the efforts of conservationists there would be more, of course. And this is not counting subspecies, or those in extinction’s waiting room — ones that have not been seen for years, but have yet to be officially declared extinct, like the slender-billed curlew. Nonetheless, the extinction rate of bird and mammal species on continents is a few hundredths of a per cent per century.

This is far short of the apocalyptic predictions being made in the 1970s. Paul Ehrlich, one of the authors of the new paper, himself forecast in 1975 that half of all the species in tropical rainforests would be gone by 2005. Yet not a single bird or mammal that we know of has gone extinct in a tropical rainforest.

My point is not to say extinction does not matter, but to try to get at the real cause of the extinction surge, and it is clearly not the growth of human population and consumption, which has mostly happened on continents. Europe has lost just one breeding bird in 500 years, for example — the island-breeding great auk in 1844.

More - the actual cause:

So what is? By far the greatest cause is invasive species, especially on islands. Hawaii has lost about 70 species of bird since contact with Captain Cook: ten times as many as all the world’s continents combined. The cause is man-made, all right, but it’s not because we killed them or destroyed their habitat.

It’s the rats, cats, goats, pigs, mosquitoes and avian malaria we brought with us that did the damage on Hawaii and throughout the Caribbean, the south Atlantic, the Indian ocean and the rest of the Pacific. The dodo disappeared from Mauritius not because sailors ate them (though they did) but because of predation by monkeys, pigs, rats and the like. The Tristan albatross is in trouble on Gough Island because its chicks are eaten alive by introduced mice.

Closer to home, it’s invasive species that are the main cause of conservation problems and local extinctions: grey squirrels, mink and signal crayfish have recently all but extinguished red squirrels, water voles and native crayfish respectively near where I live. Ash dieback, zebra mussels, harlequin ladybirds, Chinese mitten crabs, New Zealand flatworms and muntjac are all causing declines in native British animals.

Misdiagnosing the cause of extinction leads to mistaken policies. Here’s an example. Two decades ago, scientists began to notice alarming declines and disappearances among frogs and toads all over the world but especially in central America. At the time, the hole in the ozone layer was topical, so environmentalists blamed the amphibian declines on ultraviolet rays getting through the supposedly thinner ozone layer.

When sceptics pointed out that the ozone was not thinning over the tropics, many environmentalists fell back on blaming climate change, and for a while the extinction of the golden toad in Costa Rica’s cloud forest was confidently blamed on a changing climate: the first of many extinctions brought about by climate change.

This too proved wrong, and scientists are now agreed that the golden toad’s demise, and that of up to 30 other amphibians in central America, was caused by a chytrid fungus, originating in Africa, to which frogs on other continents are especially vulnerable. How did the fungus reach the Americas? Through the use by scientists of the African clawed toad as a popular laboratory animal. The clawed toad carries the fungus but does not die from it, and has escaped into the wild in many places. Conservation efforts had been misdirected.

Junk science like this is why there needs to be a wide gulf between science and politics - between theory and policy. Ehrlich should have become a universal laughingstock when his initial theories failed so spectacularly. He is useful to the political class so they keep him around - never let a serious crisis go to waste or just the vague potential for one...

I much prefer actual boots on the ground observation, measurement and analysis.

Now that didn't take long at all

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From the Phillidelphia, PA CBS affiliate:

Country’s First Gay Divorce Firm Opens In Philadelphia
A Philadelphia attorney has opened what he says is the first LGBTQ divorce firm.

Philadelphia lawyer Conor Corcoran, who bills himself as the nation’s first gay divorce attorney, says he is ready to serve gays and lesbians that will need divorces following the Supreme Court’s ruling last week legalizing same-sex marriage across the country.

Corcoran says he celebrated the Supreme Court decision to have marriage equality throughout the United States, but he quickly realized it was unlikely all of the new marriages would end in bliss.

He says that is why he launched a new division entirely devoted to LGBT divorce.

“The genesis of this idea began about a year ago when Judge Jones, out in Harrisburg, legalized marriage for all in Pennsylvania. I was out that night with a couple of friends and I came up with that idea. We were talking about the fact that, at some point down the line, there’s going to be a need for gays to get divorced, and I thought wouldn’t be funny if that website was called AdamVsSteve.com. Then the year went by and I thought more and more about it, I realized that there really is a certain kind of empowerment and benevolence in taking what was formerly a derogatory term or a denigration and turning it into some matter of empowerment. And it’s for a good service. These people are entitled to equal rights just like the rest of us.”

I am reminded of Gerard's excellent rant from 2006.

Fun times to the North

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Looks like there are financial issues all over - this time, it's Canada.

From The Vancouver Sun:

Canada is already in a recession, says Bank of America, and the loonie is set to get hammered
Bank of America Merrill Lynch has become the first bank to call for a Canadian recession this year.

Economist Emanuella Enenajor and her team now say that Canada’s economy will shrink by 0.6 per cent in the second quarter, following a 0.6 per cent contraction in the first. The definition of a recession is two consecutive quarters of contraction.

A recession sets up the Bank of Canada for another rate cut this year, said Enenajor, and she expects that the downturn will hammer the Canadian dollar — knocking it down to 70 cents U.S. by the end of the year, the lowest level in more than a decade.

That is going to be bad for us as a lot of our customers are Canadian tourists. Land prices are so high up there that they come down here to buy vacation property.

It's the beetle's fault

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Our neighbors to the north are having a bit of a CO2 problem.

From The Vancouver Sun:

Greenhouse gas emissions from B.C. forests on dramatic rise
B.C.’s forests experienced heavy carbon losses between 2003-2012, a dramatic change from the previous decade whey they were absorbing carbon, an analysis by the Sierra Club of B.C. shows.

The province’s forests emitted an estimated 256 million tonnes of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere between 2003 and 2012. In the previous 10-year period, they absorbed 441 million tonnes from the atmosphere, according to a report released this month by the environmental group.

The key factor was the loss of the forests to absorb carbon because of the mountain pine beetle epidemic. The beetle epidemic killed vast tracts of lodgepole pine trees in B.C.’s Interior, peaking in 2005.

Net emissions from B.C.’s forests are estimated by accounting for logging minus the amount of carbon stored in wood products, wild fires, slash-burning of logging waste and the reduced carbon sequestration capacity.

 And of course, the agenda comes out:

Sierra Club forest and climate campaigner Jens Wieting said the dramatic change in carbon dioxide emissions should be a wake-up call to the provincial government to make changes to forest management, focusing on preserving carbon sequestration rather than on logging.


Wieting said there’s an opportunity to preserve more carbon by reducing clearcut logging and preserving old-growth forests, saying B.C. forest management is making climate change worse.

The Sierra Club said the B.C. Liberal government should implement a five-year, $1-billion plan to restore the health of the province’s forests.

Fortunately, there are some adults in the room:

The Ministry of Forests did not dispute that the province’s forests had turned into a carbon source from a carbon sink.

But in an emailed response, forestry ministry spokesman Greig Bethel said that was a result mainly of the pine beetle epidemic and increased emissions from wildfires. The province’s forest management strategy was not responsible for increased carbon emissions, he said.

In response to the Sierra Club’s call for a $1-billion program, he said the province already has in place forestry health programs, including a program to restore forests hit by wildfire and the pine beetle. Since 2005, $348 million has been spent on the program.

Good news - CO2 is the environmental boogey-man. It is actually the gas of life as without it, we would have no plants anywhere. More CO2 in the atmosphere is better for the environment.

Some great stuff here:

Ho Li Crap! - hot and getting hotter

From the National Weather Service forecast for Sunday:

Sunday Sunny and hot, with a high near 98.


We are routinely five degrees hotter than their forecast so it is going to be brutal. We had a similar hot spell six years ago so this is nothing new but still, that doesn't mitigate the impact.

Already 88°F and climbing - not even 1:00PM

Serious fire danger



From Seattle station KING.


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No idea where or when this was filmed - talk about a perfect landing:


Supposed to be a Cobra 6 firecracker - hat tip to BoingBoing for the link.

Once in a Blue Moon

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This July will have a Blue Moon - the Moon is full tonight - July 1st. It will also be full on July 31st.

The second full moon in the same month is called a Blue Moon.


The websites for MegaBots and Suidobashi Heavy Industries. Now if they could get Mark and the wonderful people at Survival Research Laboratories to join in on the fun, that would be a kick-ass show...

Tip of the hat to Jalopnik

Quote of the day

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Never blame a legislative body for not doing something. When they do nothing, they don't hurt anybody.
When they do something is when they become dangerous.
--Will Rogers

Politically incorrect

Indeed but I love it - from Fred on Everything:

Are White Men Gods?: Getting the Facts Straight
I find Cornel West, a black professor, complaining of White Supremacy, which he believes our black President needs to remedy. Obama, he says, is “niggerized.”

“A niggerized black person is a black person who is afraid and scared and intimidated when it comes to putting a spotlight on white supremacy and fighting against white supremacy,” West said.

I would like to explain to Professor West a few things about this dread supremacy:

We have White Supremacy, Professor, because for 2500 years we, whites, have produced the best minds on the planet, the greatest flourishing of the arts and sciences ever seen, the most complex and organized societies. We have White Supremacy, whatever exactly it may be, because we have been the earth’s most successful race. No other has come close. Deal with it.

We put probes on Mars and invented the thousands of technologies needed to do it. We developed the symphony orchestra, the highest form of musical expression. We invented the airplane, the computer, the internet, and tennis shoes. Putting it compactly,  we invented the modern world. A degree of privilege, however you may conceive it, goes with the territory.

Blacks may not have the background to grasp the extent of our achievements. Still, permit me a brief and very incomplete list of things white people have done or invented:

Euclidean geometry. Parabolic geometry. Hyperbolic geometry. Projective geometry. Differential geometry. Calculus: Limits, continuity, differentiation, integration. Physical chemistry. Organic chemistry. Biochemistry. Classical mechanics. The indeterminacy principle. The wave equation. The Parthenon. The Anabasis. Air conditioning. Number theory. Romanesque architecture. Gothic architecture. Information theory. Entropy. Enthalpy. Every symphony ever written. Pierre Auguste Renoir. The twelve-tone scale. The mathematics behind it, twelfth root of two and all that. S-p hybrid bonding orbitals. The Bohr-Sommerfeld atom. The purine-pyrimidine structure of the DNA ladder. Single-sideband radio. All other radio. Dentistry. The internal-combustion engine. Turbojets. Turbofans. Doppler beam-sharpening. Penicillin. Airplanes. Surgery. The mammogram. The Pill. The condom. Polio vaccine. The integrated circuit. The computer. Football. Computational fluid dynamics. Tensors. The Constitution. Euripides, Sophocles, Aristophanes, Aeschylus, Homer, Hesiod. Glass. Rubber. Nylon. Roads. Buildings. Elvis. Acetylcholinesterase inhibitors. (OK, that’s nerve gas, and maybe we didn’t really need it.) Silicone. The automobile. Really weird stuff, like clathrates, Buckyballs, and rotaxanes. The Bible. Bug spray. Diffie-Hellman, public-key cryptography, and RSA. Et cetera.

A bit more:

Now,  Cornel, I have often heard blacks demanding reparations  for slavery. All right. I agree. It is only fair.  I will pay a half-million dollars to each of my slaves, and free them immediately.  I am not sure how many I have, but will try to give you an estimate in even dozens. Further, I believe that all blacks are entitled to a similar amount for every year in which they were slaves.

However,  I think you owe us royalties for the use of our civilization, which can be regarded as a sort of software. There should be a licensing fee. After all, every time you use a computer, or a door knob, you are using something invented by us. Every time you sharpen a pencil, or use one, or read or write, you infringe our copyright, so to speak. We have spent millennia coming up with things–literacy, soap, counting–and it is only fair that we receive recompense.

The accounting burden would be excessive if we tried to distribute royalties in too fine a granularity, such as three cents per use of a boom box or a Glock, so we should probably use a bundled approach–so much per year for use of the wheel, refrigerator, and television. The amount could be deducted first from reparations payments and then automatically from EBT cards.

Fred is not politically correct by any means but he does make a good point...

Progressivism in one sentence

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Copied in full - from Powerline:

The Decadence of the Liberal Mind in One Sentence
As the Greek economy continues its predictable slow motion collapse, one of the early WSJ account of the inevitable bank closures and capital controls imposed yesterday has one of the funniest sentences I’ve read in a long time, but which is also fully revealing of the decadence of the liberal mind:

“How can something like this happen without prior warning?” asked Angeliki Psarianou, a 67-year-old retired public servant, who stood in the drizzle after arriving too late at one empty ATM in the Greek capital.

No warning? Check.  Retired public servant?  Check.  But, but . . . how can we run out of other people’s money? We still have pension checks left. Hello, Detroit? I think we’ve found your next mayor.

100% spot on...

Last night

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Here is a screen-cap of last night's leap second from the program Lady Heather running on a Trimble Thunderbolt:



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