November 2015 Archives

News you can use - padlocks

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Fun with spammers

Over the last two weeks, I have seen an uptick in comment spam. None of it gets posted but I have about five to fifteen attempts every day which my script catches and places into quarantine.

My script also logs the originating IP address and I have been letting this individual continue unaware for a while, all the time I am logging their activities. All of their spams are related to a form of sporting apparel.

Time to pull the plug and notify their ISPs that they have a spammer and to post the IP addresses to the Spamhaus blacklist.

Buh Bye little script kiddie - I hope you like living in your mommies house because you are going to be there a long long time...

Quote of the month

Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil, and you're a thousand miles from the corn field.
--Dwight Eisenhower

Off to town today

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Running a few errands, some banking, etc... Getting some chinese takeout for dinner tonight.

More posting later this evening.

And good riddance - Maurice Strong

May he be tormented for all eternity with God's wisdom -- finally understanding all the Hell he has wrought on Earth with his Marxist meddling.

From ABC News:

UN: Maurice Strong, Climate and Development Pioneer, Dies
Maurice Strong, whose work helped lead to the landmark climate summit that begins in Paris on Monday, has died at age 86, the head of the U.N.'s environmental agency said Saturday.

The Canadian-born Strong, the first U.N. Environment Program chief, organized the Rio Earth Summit in 1992, which led to the launch of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change.

For a very well written and researched explanation of the Global Warming Scam, read this article written by John Coleman at San Diego station KUSI:

The Amazing Story Behind the Global Warming Scam
The key players are now all in place in Washington and in state governments across America to officially label carbon dioxide as a pollutant and enact laws that tax us citizens for our carbon footprints. Only two details stand in the way: the faltering economic times and a dramatic turn toward a colder climate. The last two bitter winters have led to a rise in public awareness that there is no runaway global warming. A majority of American citizens are now becoming skeptical of the claim that our carbon footprints, resulting from our use of fossil fuels, are going to lead to climatic calamities. But governments are not yet listening to the citizens.

How did we ever get to this point where bad science is driving big government to punish the citizens for living the good life that fossil fuels provide for us?

The story begins with an Oceanographer named Roger Revelle. He served with the Navy in World War II. After the war he became the Director of the Scripps Oceanographic Institute in La Jolla in San Diego, California. Revelle obtained major funding from the Navy to do measurements and research on the ocean around the Pacific Atolls where the US military was conducting post war atomic bomb tests. He greatly expanded the Institute's areas of interest and among others hired Hans Suess, a noted Chemist from the University of Chicago. Suess was very interested in the traces of carbon in the environment from the burning of fossil fuels. Revelle co-authored a scientific paper with Suess in 1957—a paper that raised the possibility that the atmospheric carbon dioxide might be creating a greenhouse effect and causing atmospheric warming. The thrust of the paper was a plea for funding for more studies. Funding, frankly, is where Revelle's mind was most of the time.

And the heart of the article - where A.G.W. got its start:

Several hypotheses emerged in the 70s and 80s about how this tiny atmospheric component of CO2 might cause a significant warming. But they remained unproven. As years have passed, the scientists have kept reaching out for evidence of the warming and proof of their theories. And, the money and environmental claims kept on building up.

Back in the 1960s, this global warming research came to the attention of a Canadian born United Nation's bureaucrat named Maurice Strong. He was looking for issues he could use to fulfill his dream of one-world government. Strong organized a World Earth Day event in Stockholm, Sweden in 1970. From this he developed a committee of scientists, environmentalists and political operatives from the UN to continue a series of meetings.

Strong developed the concept that the UN could demand payments from the advanced nations for the climatic damage from their burning of fossil fuels to benefit the underdeveloped nations—a sort of CO2 tax that would be the funding for his one-world government. But he needed more scientific evidence to support his primary thesis. So Strong championed the establishment of the United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (UN IPCC). This was not a pure, "climate study" scientific organization, as we have been led to believe. It was an organization of one-world government UN bureaucrats, environmental activists and environmentalist scientists who craved UN funding so they could produce the science they needed to stop the burning of fossil fuels.

Much more at the site and well worth reading for anyone who has any questions. Anthropogenic Global Warming is a political movement not a scientific one. This is a narrative being put forth by the 1% to control the other 99% and to make the 1% a lot of money all the while they come off as the potential saviors of the planet. Bullshit.

In case you were wondering about the credentials of the author, John Coleman has been a professional meteorologist and weatherman for 61 years (since retired) and is also the founder of The Weather Channel.

A bad way to go

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Someone tried playing reverse Santa Claus in California and paid for his stupidity. From the Fresno Bee:

Suspected 19-year-old burglar stuck in Huron home’s chimney dies after residents light fire
Authorities Sunday night identified the man who became stuck in the chimney of a Huron home during a botched burglary attempt and died after the homeowner lit a fire in the fireplace.

Tony Botti, spokesman for the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office, said the man identified by the county coroner was 19-year-old Cody Caldwell. The cause of death was smoke inhalation and burns, Botti said.

Sheriff’s Lt. Brandon Pursell said deputies received a 911 call to the 16000 block of West Gale Avenue just before 3 p.m. Saturday. After lighting a fire, the male homeowner heard screams coming from somewhere inside the house. When the resident realized a person was in the chimney, he extinguished the fire.

That would be a horrible way to go but the guy was trying to break into the house. I would have started screaming my head off as soon as I heard any movement in the house. Being stuck inside a chimney is only the very beginning of a very bad day...

Wonder how long it will be before that house is in the market - that would be an odd thing to live with.

Water Boarded

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Just got back from our local Water Board meeting. I have been President for a few years now - a lot of fun. Meet once/month and keep things running smoothly.

Big fan of efficient meetings so they usually last 30 minutes or less...

This is really not good for the USA

The other shoe dropped - from the BEEB:

China's yuan set for IMF reserve status
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is expected to announce on Monday that China's currency, the yuan, will join the fund's group of international reserve currencies.

Just the US dollar, the euro, Japan's yen and the British pound are currently part of this select band.

Earlier this month, IMF head Christine Lagarde backed the yuan's inclusion.

If the decision is made, the yuan is likely to join the basket next year, experts said.

The article does make passing mention of why this would be a bad idea:

Concerns about Beijing keeping the yuan artificially low to help exporters is one reason why the currency has previously failed to meet the criteria for reserve currencies set out by the IMF.

Actually, the "value" of the yuan is completely controlled by Beijing and has no connection with China's real economic status. They are in the middle of a couple of bubbles right now (Google ghost cities for one) and when these pop, their economy will be in dire straits. The fact that they are holding most of our national debt will make this bad for us if the Yuan is allowed to devalue (inflate) as it will increase the amount that we owe them.

This is not good for the USA

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From Russia Today:

Russia adds yuan as currency reserve
The Central Bank of Russia has included the Chinese yuan in its reserve currency basket, TASS reports. The move is expected to boost the yuan’s presence in the Russian financial market.

As of December 31, 2014, the latest data available, the US dollar was still dominating Russia’s forex basket at 44 percent. The second most-used foreign currency was the euro with 42 percent. The British pound made up 9.5 percent.

Although it is partly our fault:

Russian investors began looking east, after the US-led group of Western counties imposed sanctions against Russia over Ukraine. Sanctions have deprived Russia access to Western capital markets. In particular, they affected state-owned banks like Sberbank, VTB, Vnesheconombank, Gazprombank and Rosselkhozbank (Russian Agriculture Bank).The lenders were cut off from long-term (over 30 days) international financing.

As World War Three starts rumbling over the horizion...

An oldie but a goodie

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Those peaceful European refugees

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Yeah riiight... From Russia Today:

847 shotguns seized in Italy en route from Turkey to Belgium
A large cargo of shotguns without transportation permits has been seized by the Italian police at the Port of Trieste. The 847 Turkish-made Winchester shotguns worth about €500,000 were on their way to Belgium.

The weapons were declared along with other cargoes destined for Germany and the Netherlands on a Dutch-registered truck driven by a Turkish citizen. Gun shipments from Turkey are nothing new in Trieste, but this time the shipment was missing a key document: authorization for transportation in the EU.

And this is not Turkey's first rodeo:

This is not the first time European law enforcement has seized a shipment of Turkish-made weapons.

In September, the Hellenic Coast Guard of Greece intercepted two sea containers loaded with some 5,000 pump-action combat shotguns and nearly 500,000 rounds of US-made 9mm ammo, on the Haddad I cargo ship off the port of Heraklion in Crete.

Religion of Peace my big fat hairy ass... What is happening now is a Hudna - as soon as the little piggies in Europe have enough warriers and ordnance in place, it will be a bloodbath. We are next and we need to come to grips with this. Now!

Anthropogenic Global Warming

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If the sea level was really in danger of a significant rise, you would think that all of the major port cities would be floating (Ha Ha) bond issues to rebuild their harbors. Are they? No.

Even Barry sees the realpolitik and does the right thing - from

Obama Sees Need for More US Icebreakers: Former Coast Guard Commandant
President Obama went to Alaska to talk climate change and the need to do more to combat its destructive consequences.

But what he saw there also showed him the need for new icebreakers that the U.S. Coast Guard has been calling for years, retired Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Robert Papp told Congress last week.

A bit more:

Vice Adm. Charles D. Michel, vice commandant of the Coast Guard, told the joint congressional panel last week that when he entered the service "we had five heavy icebreakers. When my commandant [Zukunft] came in we had seven heavy icebreakers."

"We've allowed that to atrophy down to one heavy icebreaker that is over 40 years old that been refurbed for another five to eight years of use, and one medium icebreaker," he said. "It's a long history as to why we find ourselves where we are, but I can tell you right now I cannot guaranty the United States of America global, year-round access to all the ice-covered areas where we have sovereign interests."

Time to cut the crap with the CO2 bullshit and understand that we have a real danger of a quiet sun and a little ice age happening in the next 20 years.

Kudos to Dr. Piper. From Oklahoma Wesleyan University:

This is Not a Day Care. It’s a University!
This past week, I actually had a student come forward after a university chapel service and complain because he felt “victimized” by a sermon on the topic of 1 Corinthians 13. It appears that this young scholar felt offended because a homily on love made him feel bad for not showing love! In his mind, the speaker was wrong for making him, and his peers, feel uncomfortable.

I’m not making this up. Our culture has actually taught our kids to be this self-absorbed and narcissistic! Any time their feelings are hurt, they are the victims! Anyone who dares challenge them and, thus, makes them “feel bad” about themselves, is a “hater,” a “bigot,” an “oppressor,” and a “victimizer.”

I have a message for this young man and all others who care to listen. That feeling of discomfort you have after listening to a sermon is called a conscience! An altar call is supposed to make you feel bad! It is supposed to make you feel guilty! The goal of many a good sermon is to get you to confess your sins—not coddle you in your selfishness. The primary objective of the Church and the Christian faith is your confession, not your self-actualization!

Dr. Piper continues:

If you want the chaplain to tell you you’re a victim rather than tell you that you need virtue, this may not be the university you’re looking for. If you want to complain about a sermon that makes you feel less than loving for not showing love, this might be the wrong place.

If you’re more interested in playing the “hater” card than you are in confessing your own hate; if you want to arrogantly lecture, rather than humbly learn; if you don’t want to feel guilt in your soul when you are guilty of sin; if you want to be enabled rather than confronted, there are many universities across the land (in Missouri and elsewhere) that will give you exactly what you want, but Oklahoma Wesleyan isn’t one of them.

At OKWU, we teach you to be selfless rather than self-centered. We are more interested in you practicing personal forgiveness than political revenge. We want you to model interpersonal reconciliation rather than foment personal conflict. We believe the content of your character is more important than the color of your skin. We don’t believe that you have been victimized every time you feel guilty and we don’t issue “trigger warnings” before altar calls.

Right On! The students are there to work and to study - not to enjoy a guilt-free kindergarten where they can enjoy their half-baked emotions and precious feelings. This is the time when they transition from children to adults and the idea is to do this as rapidly as possible - not to regress deeper into childhood.

The title of this post is from Corinthians 1. Verse 11 nails the problem:

When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.


We have been watching this at dinner - excellent series and I hope they have many many more seasons. High production values and excellent acting.

Quite simple really - only 32 words:

"No soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law."

From Mike Gatto writing at the Los Angeles Times:

Op-Ed: A redcoat solution to government surveillance
Efforts to halt the government's mass surveillance of ordinary citizens have taken two forms: urging Congress to do the right thing (something it rarely does anymore) or suing spy agencies under the 4th Amendment (which prohibits most warrantless searches and seizures). Neither strategy has been particularly effective.

Perhaps another route is available, using an amendment so rarely cited that the American Bar Assn. called it the "runt piglet" of our Constitution. It's the 3rd Amendment, which prohibits the federal government from lodging military personnel in your home.

Many Americans know that the 1st Amendment protects free speech and religious freedom, that the 2nd protects the right to bear arms and that others establish the right to a jury trial and freedom from cruel and unusual punishment. Very few know what the 3rd Amendment does, and understandably so. Since colonial times and the early days of the republic, no one has been routinely forced to feed and house soldiers. There has never been a Supreme Court case primarily based on the 3rd Amendment.

But let's examine whether a case may be made. The National Security Agency is part of the Department of Defense and therefore of our nation's military. By law, the NSA director must be a commissioned military officer, and per its mission statement, the NSA gathers information for military purposes. That's strong evidence that NSA personnel would qualify as soldiers under the 3rd Amendment.

And why did the framers prohibit the government lodging soldiers in private homes? Besides a general distaste for standing armies, quartering was costly for homeowners; it was also an annoyance that completely extinguished a family's sense of privacy and made them feel violated. Sound familiar?

The British could spy on American colonists by keeping soldiers among them. Today, the government can simply read your email. Centuries ago, patriots wrote angry letters about soldiers observing the ladies of the house at various stages of undress. Now, as John Oliver joked, the NSA can just view your intimate selfies.

Very clever idea - if it was ruled in favor, this could set a delightful prescident for all government intrusion.

And Mike would know about this - from his biography at the end of this editorial:

Mike Gatto is a lawyer and the assemblyman from California's 43rd District in Los Angeles County. He is the chairman of the Assembly's Consumer Protection and Privacy Committee.


I wantses my precccioussss

New chip from Intel making its way into the Workstation market - from PC World:

Intel's 72-core processor jumps from supercomputers to workstations
Intel wants to change the game in desktop computing with a workstation that packs its upcoming, 72-core supercomputing chip.

Intel's workstation will be based on an upcoming Xeon Phi chip code-named Knights Landing, which is being touted as the company's most powerful chip to date.

A limited number of workstations will ship in the first half of next year from Intel, which will also control initial distribution. As usage expands, hopefully PC makers and other partners will sign on to sell Xeon Phi desktops, said Charles Wuischpard, general manager of the HPC Platform Group at Intel.

Performance specs? They don't mention much:

The Knights Landing chip can deliver over 3 teraflops of peak performance, which is roughly in the range of some high-performance graphics chips used in the world's fastest supercomputers.

Much like graphics chips, Knights Landing is designed for highly parallel computing and varies in design from conventional x86 chips. It mixes conventional x86 CPUs with specialized processing units that help the chip take on heavy workloads.

Knights Landing could also bring many innovations to desktops. It includes 16GB of on-package MCDRAM memory, in which modules are stacked and connected through a wire. The memory offers five times more bandwidth than the emerging DDR4 memory. Intel also claims the stacked memory is five times more power efficient and three times denser than GDDR5, which is used on graphics cards.

In addition to the OS, programming tools and other software programs will be preloaded on the workstation. The chip itself will be tightly integrated into the system, making it tough to add more memory and components.

No mention of price but this will be a big seller to engineering companies (computational fluid dynamics), weather forecasting, motion picture render farms. The mind doth boggle!

Drove up to Lynden - about 20 miles due West of here. There is a feed store up there and also picked up some archery parts for a new antenna I am building.

I had heard about a computer store called Second Time Around computers selling used and rebuilt Windows boxes. Noticed that it was in the same mall as the archery store so I stopped in. SCORE! I had been looking for a small LCD screen for the radio desk.

I only use about 12 applications on the radio computer so do not need a large screen and with the ergonomics of the desk, the current large screen is dominating the physical desktop. They had a nice small 12" DELL LCD screen for $35. Quite the deal. I listened to them talking to some other customers and the sales person seemed to be #1) - zero bullshit and #2) - knew what the fsck he was talking about.

I will be referring other people here - good place and their decent systems (good CPU, 4GB RAM and Win7Pro) were around $230 with a 90 day warranty.

More faster please - nuclear power

Excellent article from Peter Thiel writing at the New York Times:

The New Atomic Age We Need
This past summer, the Group of 7 nations promised “urgent and concrete action” to limit climate change. What actions exactly? Activists hope for answers from the coming United Nations climate conference in Paris, which begins Monday. They should look instead to Washington today.

The single most important action we can take is thawing a nuclear energy policy that keeps our technology frozen in time. If we are serious about replacing fossil fuels, we are going to need nuclear power, so the choice is stark: We can keep on merely talking about a carbon-free world, or we can go ahead and create one.

We already know that today’s energy sources cannot sustain a future we want to live in. This is most obvious in poor countries, where billions dream of living like Americans. The easiest way to satisfy this demand for a better life has been to burn more coal: In the past decade alone, China added more coal-burning capacity than America has ever had. But even though average Indians and Chinese use less than 30 percent as much electricity as Americans, the air they breathe is far worse. They deserve a third option besides dire poverty or dirty skies.

A bit more - the heart of the problem:

The need for energy alternatives was already clear to investors a decade ago, which is why they poured funding into clean technology during the early 2000s. But while the money was there, the technology wasn’t: The result was a series of bankruptcies and the scandal of Solyndra, the solar panel manufacturer in California that went bankrupt in 2011 after receiving a federal guarantee of hundreds of millions of dollars. Wind and solar together provide less than 2 percent of the world’s energy, and they aren’t growing anywhere near fast enough to replace fossil fuels.

What’s especially strange about the failed push for renewables is that we already had a practical plan back in the 1960s to become fully carbon-free without any need of wind or solar: nuclear power. But after years of cost overruns, technical challenges and the bizarre coincidence of an accident at Three Mile Island and the 1979 release of the Hollywood horror movie “The China Syndrome,” about a hundred proposed reactors were canceled. If we had kept building, our power grid could have been carbon-free years ago.

Thiel also goes in and dismantles the major nuclear disasters and talks about the opposition being based on a fear rather than an understanding of the actual numbers. Chernobyl was a disaster but it was an inherently flawed design and the melt-down was caused by an incompetent military officer trying to prove the reactors safety. That officer was one of the 50 fatalities from the melt-down.

The old-school reactors are based on a design more than 60 years old. The new technologies are more efficient and inherently safe.

I think I am in love

Sorry Lulu:

Look - I get it. There is a world conference on Anthropogenic Global Warming being held in Paris now and all the players are showing up with their grubby little hands out for money.

This is ludicrous - from Agence France Presse:

What's the carbon footprint of an email?
A long list of seemingly harmless everyday actions contribute to emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other climate-altering greenhouse gases.

Driving a car and flipping a light switch have a clear "carbon footprint" -- much less obvious is the harm caused by sending a simple text message or opening a bottle of water.

Here is the environmental impact of some common activities:

Digital footprint
Sending even a short email is estimated to add about four grammes (0.14 ounces) of CO2 equivalent (gCO2e) to the atmosphere.

To put this into perspective, the carbon output of hitting "send" on 65 mails is on par with driving an average-sized car a kilometre (0.6 of a mile).

The culprits are greenhouse gases produced in running the computer, server and routers but also those emitted when the equipment was manufactured.

Much more at the site. Two things come to mind:

#1) - AFP is going to see the error of their ways and voluntarily close up shop. We only need a few mouthpieces for the liberal party anyway so all media will shut down except for the New York Times (America's Newspaper of Record - remember when that was actually true?  Been a while....) and the Daily KOS (or Huffington Post or whatever).

#2) - If they want to continue operation, why not follow the lead of the Russians and use nuclear power to run their datacenters. France already gets 70% of its electricity from nuke and they have an excellent safety record. Why not go all-in and go 100% nuke. No appreciable CO2 from these...

What will it take to get these navel-gazing morons to realize that we are a) - entering a cold period and that b) - CO2 is literally the Gas of Life. Talk about stunningly bad science.

An idea regarding cultural appropriation

A modest proposal from Warren Meyer at Coyote Blog:

If Westerners can't do yoga and Cinco de Mayo parties, can we have our polio vaccines back?
With news that even yoga classes are being canceled due to fears of Westerners appropriating from other cultures, I am led to wonder -- why don't these prohibitions go both ways? If as a white western male, I can't do yoga or host a Cinco de Mayo party or play the blues on the guitar, why does everyone else get to feed greedily from the trough of western culture? If I can't wear a sombrero, why do other cultures get to wear Lakers jerseys, use calculus, or even have polio vaccines? Heck, all this angst tends to occur at Universities, which are a quintessentially western cultural invention. Isn't the very act of attending Harvard a cultural appropriation for non-Westerners?

I say this all tongue in cheek just to demonstrate how stupid this whole thing is. Some of the greatest advances, both of science and culture, have occurred when cultures cross-pollinate. I have read several auto-biographies of musicians and artists and they all boil down to "I was exposed to this art/music from a different culture and it sent me off in a new direction." The British rock and roll invasion resulted from American black blues music being dropped into England, mutating for a few years, and coming back as the Beatles and the Rolling Stones.

Or here is an even better example: the movie" A fistful of Dollars". That was an American western with what has become a quintessentially American actor, Clint Eastwood. However, it was originally an Italian movie by Italian director Sergio Leone (it was not released in the US until 3 years after its Italian release). But Sergio Leone borrowed wholesale for this movie from famed Japanese director Akiro Kurosawa's Yojimbo. But Kurosawa himself often borrowed from American sources, fusing it with Japanese culture and history to produce many of his famous movies. While there is some debate on this, Yojimbo appears to be based on Dashiell Hammett's Red Harvest, a classic of American noir fiction.

Makes perfect sense. The arguments of the Social Justice Warriors are paper thin and destroy themselves when subjected to thinking and logic. This is why they chant and yell and show signs so much -  if someone gets a word in edgewise, their argument is nullified.

Fred Reed nailed it back in June of this year - Are White Men Gods? (II): Getting the Facts Straight - go and read the whole thing. Not politically correct but a good spin on a subject that has been avoided 'in polite conversation'.

A brilliant idea - 90,000 lumens brilliant

Quite the portable light:

Tip of the hat to Popular Mechanics

These LEDs are pretty cheap too - under $10 each on eBay and another $10 for the driver module.

Off for coffee

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Today is a sloth day but still heading out for coffee, post office and delivering the pasteries to the store.

More later this afternoon...

Curious news - E.T. phoning home?

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From the UK Daily Express:

Did scientists just pick up the first intelligent radio waves from a distant ALIEN planet?
The "fast radio bursts" included one "double signal" never heard before and have left astronomers buzzing with excitement over the possibility of it being a message with alien origins.

Only 11 of the unidentified transient radio pulses have been recorded before around the world.

And it is the curious new double blast - which was accompanied by four "singles" - which has baffled astronomers analysing data from the Parkes radio telescope in New South Wales, Australia.

Emily Petroff from Swinburne University, in Melbourne, one of the team who discovered the signals, believes the origin could be more remarkable than anything recorded before.

She tweeted: "We have no idea what's going on, but we know it's definitely something cool.”

The abstract of her report can be found at the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

We cannot be the only ones out there...

An interesting (if disconcerting) metric

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The phrase 'World War 3' has been used on Twitter 21,000 times this last week.

Shades of the Ottoman Empire - especially its decline near World War 1

Stuffed - food coma

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The boys have left for town and Lulu is heading upstairs to bed.

I'm going to load the dishwasher, surf for a bit and follow her upstairs. Been sleeping really well (finally) last few days.

Dinner came out perfectly - the Wellington was spot on.


Calm before the storm

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Lulu's son and nephew Jimmy are due in an hour.

Everything is prepped and ready. Beef Wellington, oven roasted brussels sprouts and mashed potatoes. The actual cooking time should be about 30 minutes.

Now that is how to build a datacenter

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Datacenter's are notorious consumers of electric power - a company in Russia has the right idea.

From Data Center Dynamics:

Russia’s largest data center will be powered by nuclear energy
Russian nuclear power specialist Rosenergoatom has started construction of a massive data center that will serve an existing nuclear power station in the north of the country.

Once complete, the facility in the town of Udomlya could become Russia’s largest data center, consuming up to 80MW to power up to 10,000 racks.

According to the Russian news agency Telecom Daily, around 10 percent of the data center capacity has been reserved for the state-owned company, while the rest will be available to commercial customers.

Rosenergoatom has previously approached Facebook and Google to offer space on the upcoming campus, in order to help the American companies comply with new data residency laws that require all foreign firms to store Russian citizens’ data on Russian soil.

Makes perfect sense - the power is certainly cheap and safe enough.

Greenpeace - a speech from one of the founders

Excellent stuff - from Patrick Moore at Technocracy:

Former President Of Greenpeace Scientifically Rips Climate Change To Shreds
NOTE: The following is a lecture delivered by Patrick Moore, formerly President of Greenpeace Int’l, to the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in London. He is a vocal critic of faulty science that supports climate-change caused by humans. Since he was a legend in the eco-movement, his current assessment is credible and authoritative.

Should We Celebrate Carbon Dioxide?
My Lords and Ladies, Ladies and Gentlemen.

Thank you for the opportunity to set out my views on climate change. As I have stated publicly on many occasions, there is no definitive scientific proof, through real-world observation, that carbon dioxide is responsible for any of the slight warming of the global climate that has occurred during the past 300 years, since the peak of the Little Ice Age. If there were such a proof through testing and replication it would have been written down for all to see.

The contention that human emissions are now the dominant influence on climate is simply a hypothesis, rather than a universally accepted scientific theory. It is therefore correct, indeed verging on compulsory in the scientific tradition, to be skeptical of those who express certainty that “the science is settled” and “the debate is over”.

But there is certainty beyond any doubt that CO2 is the building block for all life on Earth and that without its presence in the global atmosphere at a sufficient concentration this would be a dead planet. Yet today our children and our publics are taught that CO2 is a toxic pollutant that will destroy life and bring civilization to its knees. Tonight I hope to turn this dangerous human-caused propaganda on its head. Tonight I will demonstrate that human emissions of CO2 have already saved life on our planet from a very untimely end. That in the absence of our emitting some of the carbon back into the atmosphere from whence it came in the first place, most or perhaps all life on Earth would begin to die less than two million years from today.

And a bit of Patrick's history:

Why then did I leave Greenpeace after 15 years in the leadership? When Greenpeace began we had a strong humanitarian orientation, to save civilization from destruction by all-out nuclear war. Over the years the “peace” in Greenpeace was gradually lost and my organization, along with much of the environmental movement, drifted into a belief that humans are the enemies of the earth. I believe in a humanitarian environmentalism because we are part of nature, not separate from it. The first principle of ecology is that we are all part of the same ecosystem, as Barbara Ward put it, “One human family on spaceship Earth”, and to preach otherwise teaches that the world would be better off without us. As we shall see later in the presentation there is very good reason to see humans as essential to the survival of life on this planet.

In the mid 1980s I found myself the only director of Greenpeace International with a formal education in science. My fellow directors proposed a campaign to “ban chlorine worldwide”, naming it “The Devil’s Element”. I pointed out that chlorine is one of the elements in the Periodic Table, one of the building blocks of the Universe and the 11th most common element in the Earth’s crust. I argued the fact that chlorine is the most important element for public health and medicine. Adding chlorine to drinking water was the biggest advance in the history of public health and the majority of our synthetic medicines are based on chlorine chemistry. This fell on deaf ears, and for me this was the final straw. I had to leave.

Much more at the site - worth reading and spreading around. Carbon Dioxide is a vital gas for this planet - the gas of life.

Canada's new leadership

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Prime Minister Trudeau is bringing Canadian science back to the stone ages. From the Financial Post:

So much for the science, Trudeau government sticks to pre-determined climate agenda
Apparently the Canadian government is willing to listen to climate scientists again. It seems like just yesterday when government officials feared losing their jobs for talking about science and data that didn’t match the official party line. I can remember not long ago a senior Environment Canada official telling me he was trying to bring some rationality and balance back to the place but feared the Minister would have him fired if he spoke up. And then there was the other government scientist who sent me a binder full of material showing their environmental planning process had been hijacked for ideological reasons because the government was determined to put its hardline climate politics ahead of real-world data.

But enough about the Chretien era. The Tories who followed seemed to take a hands-off process to the climate science scene, letting a thousand flowers bloom, which made sense since most policy decisions have never had much to do with the science anyway. But to some of the old climate warhorses it apparently felt like betrayal.

Now we have a government that insists it is open to science again. So it organized a special climate briefing on November 23 and even put the presentation —by Gregory Flato of Environment Canada and Alain Bourque of Ouranos — on the internet. But, surprise surprise, before the briefing even begins, the PR people have dictated what the conclusions will be: “The scientific evidence is clear: climate change is one of the greatest threats of our time. The Government of Canada recognizes that global temperature increases must be limited to at most two degrees Celsius.”

Stop right there. The “science” does not tell us whether climate change is a greater challenge than, say, terrorism or the national debt, that’s something that citizens and elected officials have to sort out. As for the “two degrees” slogan, this has always been a political construct, it doesn’t emerge from thermodynamics or meteorology.

So it’s starting to look like the old days again, when the science gets heavily torqued to promote a pre-determined policy agenda. The preface goes on: “The Government of Canada takes great pride in the work of all of Canada’s scientists and will continue to feature science work to Canadians.” Huh? I can think of lots of Canadian scientific work on climate that the Government will never listen to, because it doesn’t support the policy agenda.

Sad really - there is so much that could be done with this effort but people simply do not have the ability to see the truth. Classical cultural marxism write large.

The politicians are seen as "doing something about a big scary issue" all the while they will be safely out of office when the butchers bill comes due.

Busy day today

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Cooking up a storm... More posting later this afternoon.

And now a word from our sponsor

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From the New Yorker:

The Cranberry Sauce Has Something to Say
No, trust me, I get it. I’m the cute one. I’m sweet, I’m red, and I plop out of a can. It’s fun. It’s endearing. It’s hilarious.

But enough is enough. My therapist told me to be direct about my feelings—to really engage with them—so before you all dig in and give your thanks, I would like to say a few things that have been on my mind for a while now. Because damn it, I’m a legitimate part of the meal, and it’s about time I was treated as such.


Plainly put, I’m very, very sad. O.K.? Hurt, humiliated, a little fed up maybe. Whatever you want to call it, something clearly isn’t right here, and we—well, I was about to say we all know it, but judging from the looks on all of your faces, I seem to be the only one who thought there was a problem. Am I correct? Wow. All right. Unbelievable.

There goes a whole year spent planning this moment to a T, but you know what—hey, no problemo. Happy to accommodate. I guess it’s my fault for assuming I was anything more than a glorified dipping sauce to you people.

Look, do you think I don’t see what you see? I’m repulsive. I stick out like a sore thumb. A red, wobbly sore thumb. Plopped down on this table with the ridges from my can still branded into my side, othering me, shaming me—your store-bought freak, your high-caloric Hester Prynne. You could at least slice me and give me an ounce of dignity. But no, that’s life, baby. That’s me: Thanksgiving’s Elephant Man. Just the cold, wet afterthought to a piping-hot feast cooked with patience and love. Here to jiggle for you, to be cut with a spoon, and to silently weep.

God, and to think that I spent years in factories and in boxes and on trucks and on shelves all to be paraded out behind your basted, seasoned, and—let’s be honest—pretty overcooked “delicacies.” For what? For this. You know, I deserve some credit for even being a part of this tradition. To say the odds were against me would be putting it mildly. But I earned this. Because guess what? Deep down, I’m good.

And you know what? You’re not. You’re disgusting. The way you people talk, belch, indulge in your orgies of savory fats. What a feast! What a spread! Oh, the turkey looks divine! Did you make this stuffing yourself? These yams, good heavens! Try the sprouts! Who brought the sweet-potato casserole? Well I am not leaving here without that recipe!

And oh, what is that … cranberry sauce?

Heh - spot on!  I love the stuff. I do a decent home-made version but always serve both kind as the canned stuff is very much its own perfection...

Very curious - from Scientific American:

The Case of the Disappearing Quasars
Astronomers peering across the universe think they’ve caught a dozen quasars—extremely bright and distant objects powered by ravenous supermassive black holes at the centers of ancient galaxies—in a disappearing act. Or at least transitioning into their quiescent and dimmer counterparts: galaxies with starving black holes at their cores. The surprising find has astronomers asking whether these objects are shutting down permanently or simply flickering out for the time being.

Last year Stephanie LaMassa from NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (then at Yale University) discovered the greatest change in luminosity ever detected in a quasar. She was digging through data from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey when she found that a quasar had dimmed in brightness by a factor of six in just 10 years. Its spectrum changed, too, from that of a classic quasar to a regular galaxy.

The article continues to cite a bunch of theories but nothing concrete. Curious indeed!

I am reminded of the great Arthur C. Clarke short story: The Nine Billion Names of God

Overhead, without any fuss, the stars were going out.

So... Who do we know is running a modified Mark V Automatic Sequence Computer?

Finally, I do not know if there has been a shift in the Scientific American management but it is nice to see them doing a 'hard science' article instead of the fscking puff-pieces they have been doing for the last fifteen years or so. I used to subscribe but dropped it when they shifted from real science to politically correct talking points. I could go on quite the tirade here but will not.

Cooking up a storm

Got the Wellington prepped and into the fridge for its rest. I should have done it yesterday (power outage) to get the meat fully chilled but I will pop it in the freezer for an hour before the final assembly - should come out just fine.

I did the duxelle layer a bit differently - used roasted hazelnuts instead of chestnuts and added some shallots to the mushrooms. It was a bit wet but I cooked it in the same pan I used to sear the meat so that should pick up some nice flavors.

Tomorrow, wrap with prosciutto, filo dough and then puff pastry. Oven roasting some brussels sprouts and yukon potatoes for a side and a big salad with the last of the garden carrots.

Trimmed enough off the tenderloin that there will be a couple of very nice small steaks - wrap them in bacon and grill lightly.

Finishing off a bowl of left-over beef-barley soup and then out for a beer or two...

Clock Boy

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Just wonderful:


How to ski

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From our friends to the North - Mountain Equipment Co-op

Good morning!

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Actually woke up rested and rarin' to go - that cold took a lot out of me!

Heading out for coffee and then home to start on the Beef Wellington for tomorrow's dinner...

More faster please

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I would sooo sign up for a trip if it was under $20K - rocket footage is real, launched and landed yesterday (Nov. 23rd). Capsule with people is animated - not doing that quite yet.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is in back of this company.


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Fun parody of a well known action camera video:

Fun and games this morning

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Forecast was for high winds and this usually means power outages. Boy howdy! Power went out around 9:00AM, back on at 10:00AM, back off at 11:00AM and stayed off for the rest of the day.

Hung out here until around 4:00PM and then headed into town to get some more fixings for Thanksgiving dinner and dinner in town.

Just got back and the power has been on for about two hours - house is chilly but not bad considering it is below freezing outside.

Surf for a bit and then an early bedtime...

A differentiation - Social Justice Warriers

From Bob Gorrell - not familiar with his work but will be following him from now on - he knows his history:


History? This photograph by Elliot Erwitt taken in 1950 in North Carolina:


We came so far and some fools decided to drag us right back to the 1960's again so that they could get a little more power and a little more 'ME!!!' time in the news. Fscking pathetic.

Thank you Bob - you speak Truth to Power

Hey Ahmed Mohamed - I do hope that you enjoy the rest of your life as a narcissistic pariah unemployable in any civilized nation.

The 15 year-old 'clock boy' just cratered his potential for any kind of engineering career in a very spectacular fashion.

From the UK Independent:

Ahmed Mohamed demands $15m compensation and written apology for homemade clock arrest
The family of Ahmed Mohamed, the Texan schoolboy who was arrested after taking a homemade clock to school, has demanded $15m in compensation and written apologies from the local mayor and police chief.

In letters sent on Monday, the lawyers said if the City of Irving and Irving School District did not agree to the apologies and compensation, they would file a civil action.

“Ahmed never threatened anyone, never caused harm to anyone, and never intended to. The only one who was hurt that day was Ahmed, and the damages he suffered were not because of oversight or incompetence,” said the letter to the city authorities.

'Scuuuuuse me - he took the clock from class to class and plugged it in in each classroom. He was asked by one teacher to unplug it and put it away. He refused. The alarm went off startling the teacher. And, there are priors:

From Breitbart:  Ahmed’s Sister Admits School Suspension for Alleged Bomb Threat 3 Years Earlier

From ArtVoice: Reverse Engineering Ahmed Mohamed’s Clock… and Ourselves

From National Review: Ahmed Mohamed Didn’t Build a Clock — and Other Niggling Problems in the Story of Dallas’s Whizkid-of-the-Week

From The Blaze: Before Clock Incident Made Him a Celebrity, Ahmed Mohamed ‘Racked Up Weeks of Suspensions’ and Clashed With Authority

The little punk is basically unemployable from now on - nobody in their right mind would hire an attention-seeking asshat like this regardless of what their GPA is (and in Mo's case, I suspect it is just not that high).

Welcome to Western civilization - we have something called personal responsibility that makes us what we are - great. To bad your culture does not measure up.

#hashtag diplomacy

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Something Barry Frank Junior seems to excel at:


From Michael Ramirez

And while we are on the subject of Fatherhood - who is Chelsea Clinton's real father? Despite all of Bill's philandering, he has no offspring. Webb Hubbell is an interesting possibility - certainly in the right place at the right time (here, here and here).

Back from town and stuffed

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Back from town - shopping for thanksgiving dinner. Ate at the local new restaurant and the food was excellent as always.

Doing a Beef Wellington for dinner on Thursday - starting the prep tomorrow - salt crust, rinse, dry, sear, hot mustard/horseradish coating, duxelles layer, prosciutto layer and finally a filo dough layer.

Wrap in poly and refrigerate for 24 hours minimum. Unwrap, rewrap with a sheet of puff pastry and into a 425°F oven for 25 minutes or so. The beef will be chilled from the fridge holding it back to medium rare while the puff pastry browns nicely.

Salivating as I type...

Off for coffee and then into town

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Paying some bills and doing a bit of banking.

Also picking up some parts to make a 2-meter ham radio antenna. Want to work without depending on a repeater so building a directional antenna (cubical quad).

Heh - in more ways than one

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From Breitbart:

The Democratic National Committee Is Broke
The Democratic National Committee (DNC) is financially insolvent heading into the 2016 election year, Breitbart News has learned.

Federal Election Commission records reveal that the DNC is millions of dollars underwater and running up a deficit each month, lagging far behind its financially savvy counterpart, the Republican National Committee.

Just last month, the DNC turned a nearly million-dollar debt, marking the fourth month in a row that the DNC spent more money than it took in. In fact, the committee chaired by Debbie Wasserman Schulz took a loss in seven of the last ten months.

The DNC raised $4,456,789 in the month of October, according to its most recent filing. But the committee spent $5,254,928, for a net loss of $798,139.

And they think that they can do a better job of managing our money? What is the National Debit these days - eighteen trillion and climbing?

Time to get some adults in the room for a few years - clean the whole place out top to bottom - both parties.

Bleach - lots and lots of bleach...

Police wearing body cams - a good thing

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Keeps everyone honest - from Knoxville, TN station WBIR:

Body camera helps discredit accusation against Knox deputy
A Knox County deputy's body camera helped prove his innocence after he was accused of fondling a woman during a traffic stop.

On Nov. 8, a KCSO deputy pulled over Margaret Ellen McElhinny under suspicion of driving under the influence.

Three other deputies came to the scene. During the stop, they began to question her.

McElhinny later accused one deputy of fondling her once she left her car for a sobriety check. Three of the four deputies wore body cameras, including the one she accused.

Investigators reviewed the recordings from the body cameras and found the deputy in question did nothing wrong.

A bit more about the perp:

McElhinny was arrested and faces multiple charges, including DUI, criminal impersonation and false reports. During the traffic stop, she also lied about her name. Reports show she used the name Catherine McElhinny.


She has a criminal history that stretches to 2007 in Knox County, records show. It includes multiple public intoxication convictions. McElhinny also has multiple DUI offenses in the state of Texas.

Even with her record, without the body cameras, she could have destroyed that officers life and family. Good use of technology.

A bit of a bust to our South

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Outside of Eugene, Oregon - from Portland's The Oregonian:

Washington woman arrested after 24 pounds of hidden meth discovered in car
A traffic stop Friday night turned into an arrest after an Oregon State Police trooper and a drug detection dog discovered almost 25 pounds of crystal meth in a hidden compartment.

At 10 p.m. on Nov. 20, Teri Baker, 55, of Kent, WA was stopped in her 2003 Honda Pilot for speeding on Interstate 5 near milepost 195 in Eugene.

According to a press release from the Oregon State Police, the trooper "observed signs of criminal activity," and with the help of a Springfield Police Department drug detection dog, discovered a hidden compartment inside the vehicle holding approximately 24.4 pounds of crystal meth.

Good news - meth is a nasty drug and the more taken off the streets the better. We have a problem with it up here too - no opportunities for work and people get bored.

From Russia Today:

Gangs of New York: Sicilian mafia offers Big Apple protection from 'psychopathic' ISIS
The son of a New York mob boss has given Islamic State a stark warning, saying if they are planning any attacks in New York, they will have to contend with the Sicilian mafia. The notorious crime syndicate say they want to do their bit to protect locals.

Giovanni Gambino, the son of a key figure in the Gambino mob organization, says the mafia is in a much better position than security bodies, such as the FBI or Homeland Security, to give New Yorkers the protection they need.

They often act too late, or fail to see a complete picture of what's happening due to a lack of ‘human intelligence,’” he said in an interview with NBC News, as cited by Reuters, adding that the mafia’s knowledge of individual movements and interaction with locals gives it the upper hand, even compared to the latest surveillance technologies.

A bit more

"The world is dangerous today, but people living in New York neighborhoods with Sicilian connections should feel safe," he said. "We make sure our friends and families are protected from extremists and terrorists, especially the brutal, psychopathic organization that calls itself the Islamic State,”

Gambino Jr, who was brought up in Torretta, a mountainous area overlooking Palermo, the capital of Sicily, says that Islamic State (formerly ISIS/ISIL) fear the Sicilian mafia, and this has been one of the main reasons why they have not tried to set up any underground cells in Sicily.

If those were my two options, I would sign up with the Mafia in a heartbeat. They have a sense of honor and you always know where you stand with them. Daesh are just complete nutjobs hiding behind a ninth-century false prophet...

Tone Lizard

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Excellent website for vacuum tube guitar amplifiers, tube testers, design and construction and general music and electronics fun.

If any of the above are of interest, this place will keep you occupied for hours.

Tip of the hat to The Silicon Graybeard for the link.

Busy day today

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Taking care of the last pre-winter chores at the farm. Transitioning the horse, mule and llamas over to hay for the winter - the grass has lost all nutrient value after a couple hard frosts.

I had Buttercup the tractor down at the store and community garden to load some mulch for people - just brought her back a few minutes ago. It is cold outside!!!

Fixing some beef short-rib/barley soup for tonight.

Surf for a bit...

Danger, Will Robinson!

Fun news from Entertainment Weekly:

Netflix is developing a Lost in Space remake
Space’s first family is flying back. Netflix is remaking the cult ’60s series Lost in Space, executive producer Kevin Burns confirmed to EW. Legendary TV’s remake, which has yet to garner a straight-to-series order, is being written by Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless (Dracula Untold) and produced by Game of Thrones vet Neil Marshall, who’s in line to direct.

“Am I thrilled? Yes,” Burns tells EW. “We’ve obviously been developing Lost in Space for a long time, and we’ve had a couple of false starts. Just speaking for myself, we really felt that we had learned a lot from not only what we did, but what other people did and did wrong.”

The original series, which lasted three seasons and 83 episodes, is set in a futuristic 1997 and follows the Robinson family’s space exploration. After the villainous Dr. Smith (Jonathan Harris) sabotages the navigation system, they become helpless and, yes, lost. (The robot tasked with protecting the youngest child, the precocious Will, utters “Danger, Will Robinson!” — a phrase that still tortures this reporter.)

I am hoping that the remake will elevate the show the same way that the Battlestar Galactica remake elevated its progenitor. The first shows were schlock entertainment - fun but nothing much. BSG-II was amazing. Hoping the same for LIS-II.

From one of my daily reads - James Gurney:

Computers are learning to caption photos
For decades, one of the apparently insurmountable challenges in artificial intelligence was getting a machine to see.

In order to approach the human capabilities of vision, a computer must be able to distinguish objects from their surroundings in a wide range of environments, even if those objects are partially obscured or shadowed, or turned in weird angles.

On top of that, a computer must be able to sort out the salient features of that object and identify what it is—what category it belongs to. Even more difficult is the ability to explain the relationship between objects—what's going on. Finally, in order to create a caption for an image, the computer also needs to be able to translate its understanding into natural sounding language.

An example:


Caption: “A person riding a motorcycle on a dirt road.” Source: Io9

Much more at the site - very thoughtful post...

Glad to be living in such interesting times! Be sure to watch the video at the end - 16 minutes but worth it! Wonder when Cyberdyne is going to do a stock offering.

A useful infographic

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Snow in the forecast

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Great news from Cliff Mass:

Modified Arctic Air and Low Elevation Snow Later on Monday and Tuesday
There is a saying about waiting until you see the whites of their eyes before firing.... and a similar thing is true about forecasting cold and snow over the Northwest lowlands. The situation is so rare, the atmospheric configuration needed is so difficult to achieve, and the uncertainties in getting the ingredients together so uncertain, that a wise forecaster waits until the event is within 3-4 days before alarming the public.

Well, our meteorological foe is now cresting the hill and running towards us, so I need to make a call. Here it is.

During the weekend we will have a weak ridge of high pressure over us, bringing cool, sunny conditions: perfect for outdoor activities or catching up in your yard. Or hit the slopes at Mt. Baker, Crystal, or Mount Hood Meadows.

But by Monday morning at 4 AM, a sharp upper level trough will approach us, a trough that will bring upward motion, clouds, and precipitation. A trough that will drive cool air southward out of Canada.

Substantial snowfall in the next couple of days - today and Sunday will be nice and clear.

Oh to be a fly on the wall of this meeting

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From Yahoo/Agence France Presse:

Putin to meet Ayatollah Khamenei during Iran visit: Kremlin
Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei during a visit to Tehran Monday, the Kremlin said, as Moscow goes on a diplomatic push over the Syria conflict.

Talks with Iran's leadership will focus on "issues in bilateral relations, including atomic energy, oil and gas and military-technical cooperation", Putin's top foreign policy aide Yury Ushakov said Friday, with the Russian president also set to meet his counterpart Hassan Rouhani.

After the visit to Tehran -- Putin's first there since 2007 -- the Russian leader will host Jordanian King Abdullah II on Tuesday and French leader Francois Hollande on Thursday in Russia.

This is how you do diplomacy - you don't send some buffoon in a suit. A bit more:

"Ahead of the visit to Moscow the French president will visit Washington. We see this as a continuation of attempts to form the widest possible anti-terror coalition," Ushakov told journalists.

The Kremlin also confirmed that Putin will take part in a key climate conference in Paris on November 30 and will meet Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu for talks on the sidelines of the event.

Hollande's visit is Putin's idea - not Obama's. Putin being at the climate conference will allow him to drag the West down a notch or two - you are burning to much fossil fuels. Plus, some deals with Bibi (after Barry is gone, I'll have some more flexibility).

Feeling much better

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This cold is taking a long time to completely go away - feeling a lot better today and had a good normal sleep last night.

Heading out for coffee and some photography in a short while.

Nothing much today

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Slept in and don't feel like spending that much time on the computer - minimal posting today...

I love it!

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Only downside I could think is that someone would find an app that would randomly dial the numbers of the other phones in the stack. I would certainly pick up after the fourth or fifth dialing attempt.

Talk about a stupid criminal

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Two days ago on November 17th, I wrote about a theft at a U.S. Army Reserve armory in Worcester, Massachusetts.

My thought was that this was related to islamic terrorist activity. Nothing so dire. From Reuters:

Man arrested for stealing guns from Massachusetts Army center: officials
A 34-year-old man was arrested in the weekend theft of 16 rifles and handguns from a U.S. Army Reserve Center in Massachusetts, federal law enforcement officials said on Thursday.

James Morales is believed to have stolen six M4 rifles and 10 Sig Sauer 9mm pistols from the facility in Worcester, about 45 miles (72 km) west of Boston, on Saturday night, after breaking in though a kitchen window, federal prosecutors said in a court filing released on Thursday.

Morales was linked to the crime by surveillance video, an electronic monitoring bracelet he had been ordered to wear by a court and blood at the scene. He was arrested by the Nassau County Police Department in New York City's eastern suburbs on Wednesday night, an FBI spokeswoman said. He was due in court in New York on Thursday.

Emphasis mine - never attribute to terror what can be explained by plain old stupidity...

Tip of the hat to Bayou Renaissance Man

Happy 30th Birthday - Windows

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From The Verge:

Windows Turns 30: A Visual History
The PC revolution started off life 30 years ago this week. Microsoft launched its first version of Windows on November 20th, 1985, to succeed MS-DOS. It was a huge milestone that paved the way for the modern versions of Windows we use today. While Windows 10 doesn’t look anything like Windows 1.0, it still has many of its original fundamentals like scroll bars, drop-down menus, icons, dialog boxes, and apps like Notepad and MS paint.

Windows 1.0 also set the stage for the mouse. If you used MS-DOS then you could only type in commands, but with Windows 1.0 you picked up a mouse and moved windows around by pointing and clicking. Alongside the original Macintosh, the mouse completely changed the way consumers interacted with computers. At the time, many complained that Windows 1.0 focused far too much on mouse interaction instead of keyboard commands. Microsoft's first version of Windows might not have been well received, but it kick-started a battle between Apple, IBM, and Microsoft to provide computing to the masses.

Back in 1985, Windows 1.0 required two floppy disks, 256 kilobytes of memory, and a graphics card. If you wanted to run multiple programs, then you needed a PC with a hard disk and 512 kilobytes of memory. You wouldn't be able to run anything with just 256 kilobytes of memory with modern machines, but those basic specifications were just the beginning. While Apple had been ahead in producing mouse-driven GUIs at the time, it remained focused on the combination of hardware and software. Microsoft had already created its low-cost PC DOS operating system for IBM PCs, and was firmly positioned as a software company.

Ahhh - the memories. Back then, Digital Research offered their GEM (Graphical Environment Manager) enhancement to MS/DOS. GEM was used by a number of graphics programs and was a superior product (supported higher resolutions, was very lean and fast, didn't have all the bloat-ware) but Microsoft pushed Windows and Windows is what we got.

I still have the original disks and also an original empty 'shelf-talker' box. They sold empty shrink-wrapped boxes to dealers so we could stuff our shelves with these and make it look like we had a huge inventory - worked well.

Fun times! I was the only computer store on University Avenue selling IBM PC Clones.

Finally, here is Steve Balmer doing what he does best:

Those peaceful refugees

A couple of links:

From Gateway Pundit: SIXTH SYRIAN with Fake Passport Captured in Honduras on Way to US

From Breitbart: EXCLUSIVE — CONFIRMED: 8 Syrians Caught at Texas Border in Laredo

From Yahoo/Reuters: Costa Rica detains Syrian woman traveling on Greek passport

I had mentioned that the Vatican could be a target for conversion to a mosque - now this:

From Breitbart: Terrorist Alert: U.S. State Dept Warns Americans Abroad to Steer Clear of Vatican

Breitbart again: EXCLUSIVE—6 Men from Pakistan, Afghanistan Busted Illegally Entering Arizona from Mexico

From Al Arabiya News: Kuwait busts cell working to back, finance ISIS

The refugees were originally supposed to be the Christians that are being horribly persecuted in Syria. Somewhere along the line, the Social Justice Warriors (here, here, here, and here) decided that the muslims should be included as well and now the stream is about 90%/10%.

We are setting ourselves up for attack after attack. How about we take care of our own homeless people, our Veterans in trouble, our Poor, our Elderly, our Mentally Ill. How about spending our resources on these pressing needs first and only then, consider spending our money elsewhere.

Earth movement everywhere

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Route 20 is closed for the usual winter spell. Now Route 2 is temporarily closed between Skykomish and the summit at Stevens Pass until further notice.

Here is why - this is the footing for a bridge (not identified but located at milepost 54):


This leaves Route 90 as the Northernmost passage to Eastern WA until the bridge is repaired.

Busy day today

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Gorgeous weather today - crisp and sunny.

Taking care of some projects around the house - spaghetti for dinner.

Taking a break and surfing for an hour...

Look up - today and tomorrow

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Our Sun had a major CME a few days ago (link opens to a GIF animation) and the particles are now hitting our atmosphere. A potential for Northern Lights tonight and tomorrow.

Aurora forecast available here.

Bill Nye jumps the shark

Mr. Nye used to live in Seattle and I met him a few times. He was always a bit of an asshole then. My Dad (a Physicist) used to judge on a quiz show in Pittsburgh called School Science Countdown. I ran into Mr. Nye at a local watering hole and approached him mentioning this and he was a really arrogant prick. One meeting like this, I would put down as him having a bad day. Three or more fall in the confirmed asshole category.

Here is a Bill Nye three-fer:

First - from Business Insider:

Bill Nye: NASCAR is the 'anti-NASA'
For famed science educator, comedian, and author Bill Nye (the science guy) watching a NASCAR race with his family is bittersweet.

The super-fast cars zipping around the track is “exciting,” Nye explains in his latest book, “Unstoppable: Harnessing Science to Change the World.“

But the technology is “depressing,” Nye writes because:

“Here I am trying to envision the smart, efficient transportation technology of tomorrow, and there is NASCAR celebrating a very old transportation technology of yesterday. You might call NASCAR the anti-NASA.”

Second - from The Examiner:

How Bill Nye insulted NASCAR fans about the sport being the 'anti-NASA'
Bill Nye, the former science guy and current head of the Planetary Society, is very depressed about NASA and NASCAR, according to a Tuesday story in Business Insider. He believes that the red-state yokels pay too much attention to NASCAR, which employs gas guzzling cars in races, and not enough to NASA, which employs cutting edge and environmentally correct technology, to explore the universe. However, it is a meme that the space agency itself once disagreed with. Indeed, NASA has suggested that the exploration of space is like NASCAR only with rocket ships instead of souped up, high powered cars.

The author of this article is Mark Whittington - the Examiner's Houston Space News Reporter who concludes with this 'graph:

The idea that fans of big, fast cars would also like big, fast rockets is a no-brainer if one thinks about it for half a second. Nye was not only wrong on the facts but was very maladroit politically. If one wants people to support NASA and, presumably, more funding for the space agency, the last thing one should do is to insult them. That fact is especially true if, like Nye, one projects a kind of Sheldon Cooper style prissiness, looking down his nose at the hoi polloi and lecturing them about what they should and should not like. One wonders why Nye is allowed to be the face of science and space exploration if he behaves like that.

At least Sheldon is entertaining...

Finally - from NASA:

What Do NASA and NASCAR Have in Common?
Fans visited Richmond International Raceway in Richmond, Va., expecting to only see their favorite NASCAR drivers, but NASA revved up its science engines and brought the race to a whole new level.

Fans learned about the successful landing of the Mars Science Lab (MSL) Curiosity rover and the differences between a space shuttle tire and a race car tire. They were also able to see how NASA plays a key role in automobile and racing industries whether it be automobile brakes or engine cooling systems.

NASA's Learning Environments & Research Networks (LE&RN) education program, Rockets to Racecars (R2R), collaborated with Virginia 529 and the Science Museum of Virginia to bring NASA exhibits and hands-on activities that were open to the public to help educate visitors about science and NASA missions.

"We love having NASA out here," said Katie Gantt, site coordinator for the Virginia529 Kids Zone. "It really draws people in. People love seeing everything that [NASA has] to offer. It's really a great partnership between us."

Mr. Nye is a public entertainer - if he is going to emphasize Science and especially the history of science, he needs to get his facts straight. He does have some mental abilities and discipline - he is a mechanical engineer. He needs to use this and not just parrot the 'party line'.

Nothin' much today

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Busting out a couple projects at home - still feeling the effects of this flu - had a lot of dry congestion this morning.

My favorite coffeehouse was closed today as a large maple tree fell last night in the wind storm - they seriously lucked out as there was no damage to the building or signage but it took out electrical and phone..

A couple more instances of earth movement in the state - lots of moisture in the ground and this has not happened in a long time.

Fixing dinner (grilled marinated chicken breast with rice) and then surf for a bit...

Thin skinned - Hillary

She should know that this kind of stuff comes with the territory - from Judicial Watch:

Clinton Goes after Laugh Factory Comedians for Making Fun of Her
In what appears to be a first for a serious presidential contender, Hillary Clinton’s campaign is going after five comedians who made fun of the former Secretary of State in standup skits at a popular Hollywood comedy club.

A video of the short performance, which is less than three minutes, is posted on the website of the renowned club, Laugh Factory, and the Clinton campaign has tried to censor it. Besides demanding that the video be taken down, the Clinton campaign has demanded the personal contact information of the performers that appear in the recording. This is no laughing matter for club owner Jamie Masada, a comedy guru who opened Laugh Factory more than three decades ago and has been instrumental in launching the careers of many famous comics. “They threatened me,” Masada told Judicial Watch. “I have received complains before but never a call like this, threatening to put me out of business if I don’t cut the video.”

She needs to lighten up a bit. Maybe some of the observations were hitting a little to close to home.

Just amazing - X-Ray imaging

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of ancient scrolls from Pompeii (neighboring Herculaneum to be exact). From The New Yorker:

The Invisible Library
It was a warm day in Paris, and the library of the Institut de France was stuffy and hot. Daniel Delattre, a distinguished French papyrologist, did not remove his suit jacket. The institute, which includes the Académie Française, is a jacket-and-tie sort of place.

Delattre, who is sixty-eight years old and has a dreamy, lost-in-the-vale-of-academe manner, was contemplating a small wooden box on the table in front of him which was labeled “Objet Un.” There are thousands of rare objects in the institute’s library; the fact that whatever was inside the box was Object One suggested that it was of some importance. An ornately hand-lettered card was taped to the outside. It said, in French, “Box containing the remains of papyrus from Herculaneum”—the Roman town destroyed, along with its larger neighbor, Pompeii, in the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in A.D. 79.

What they could represent:

Given the splendor of the villa, and the masterly bronze sculptures found in its ruins, the learned world assumed that the library would contain vanished classics. One could dare hope for one or two of the lost histories of Livy, of whose hundred and forty-two books on the history of Rome only thirty-five survive. Or perhaps one of the nine volumes of verse written by Sappho, the Greek poet; only one complete poem remains. By some estimates, ninety-nine per cent of ancient Greek literature has been lost, and Latin has not fared much better. Among those works we know are missing are Aristotle’s second volume of the Poetics, which was on comedy; Gorgias’ philosophical work “On Non-Existence”; the four missing books of the Roman historian Tacitus’ Annals, covering Caligula’s reign and the beginning of Claudius’; Ovid’s version of “Medea”; and Suetonius on the Greek athletic games. (His “Lives of Famous Whores” also, sadly, has not survived.) Greek tragedy has been decimated. According to the Suda, the tenth-century Byzantine encyclopedia of classical culture, Euripides wrote as many as ninety-two plays; eighteen survive. We have seven each from Aeschylus and Sophocles, who wrote about ninety and a hundred and twenty, respectively. “And that’s just the big three of tragedy,” the writer and classics professor Daniel Mendelsohn told me. “Of the thousand that were likely written and performed during the hundred-year heyday of tragedy, we have only thirty-three extant plays—that’s about a three-per-cent survival rate.”

Unfortunately, the very thing that preserved them - driving all the moisture out with the heat of the eruption - made them so fragile as to fall into hundreds of pieces when any attempt was made to open and read them. X-Ray imaging to the rescue:

Much more at the New Yorker article - the original paper can be found here at Nature: Revealing letters in rolled Herculaneum papyri by X-ray phase-contrast imaging

Very cool use of technology and I can see this technique advancing at a rapid pace in the next ten years. What else is out there to be discovered?

Well at least someone is doing the right thing

This (more here and here - very effective):

And this - from Russia's English language Sputnik News:

Russian Warplanes Destroy 140 Terrorist Targets in Syria
Russia used 34 air launched cruise missiles during the strike on the terrorist targets in Syria, Russian General Staff chief Gen. Valery Gerasimov said Tuesday. The members of the US-led coalition were informed about the operation in advance, he added.

“During a massive airstrike today, 14 important ISIL targets were destroyed by 34 air-launched cruise missiles. The targets destroyed include command posts that were used to coordinate ISIL activities in the provinces of Idlib and Aleppo, munition and supply depots in the northwestern part of Syria,” Gerasimov said.

Russian Air Forces will be strengthened with advanced 37 aircraft, including eight Su-34 bomber jets and four Su-27 fighter jets, Gerasimov noted.

"The Russian General Staff has developed a new plan of the air campaign [in Syria] which envisions deployment of 25 strategic bombers, eight Su-34 Fullback attack aircraft, and four Su-27 Flanker fighter jets," Army General Valery Gerasimov said.

More at the site including this little tidbit:

Ten imagery and signals intelligence spacecraft were deployed in order to improve the space intelligence capabilities in Syria, Russian General Staff chief Gen. Gerasimov said.

Nothing but the best infrared and night-vision I bet. Radar as well. They can run but they cannot hide.

Barry (Not Interested In ‘American Leadership, Or America Winning’) is conspicuously absent but it's nice to see some adults in the room...

Today's weather - landslides

More earth movement with the heavy rains.

State Route 542 has been reduced to one lane at a place due East of Glacier heading towards the Mt. Baker ski area. From the Department of Transportation:

SR 542 - Emergency Repairs East of Glacier
Why is State Route 542 reduced to a single lane near the Mount Baker Ski area? Washington State Department of Transportation maintenance crews have reduced a stretch of State Route 542 just east of Glacier to one lane due to erosion caused by the Nooksack River.

Runoff in the Nooksack River from heavy rainfall eroded approximately 90 feet of a bluff along the eastbound shoulder of the highway. If the erosion continues, it could undermine the eastbound lane. To keep drivers safe, WSDOT maintenance crews have closed the eastbound lane and are alternating traffic in the westbound lane.

More here: SR 542 reduced to one lane east of Glacier

This makes the second spot that the river has eroded the highway and there are a couple more spots of interest. Wet winter.

Good news - from the US Department of Justice:

Justice Department and Federal Partners Announce Enforcement Actions of Dietary Supplement Cases
As part of a nationwide sweep, the Department of Justice and its federal partners have pursued civil and criminal cases against more than 100 makers and marketers of dietary supplements. The actions discussed today resulted from a year-long effort, beginning in November 2014, to focus enforcement resources in an area of the dietary supplement market that is causing increasing concern among health officials nationwide. In each case, the department or one of its federal partners allege the sale of supplements that contain ingredients other than those listed on the product label or the sale of products that make health or disease treatment claims that are unsupported by adequate scientific evidence.

Among the cases announced today is a criminal case charging USPlabs LLC and several of its corporate officers. USPlabs was known for its widely popular workout and weight loss supplements, which it sold under names such as Jack3d and OxyElite Pro.

The sweep includes federal court cases in 18 states and was announced today by Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Benjamin C. Mizer, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Division; Deputy Commissioner for Global Regulatory Operations and Policy Howard Sklamberg J.D. of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA); Acting Deputy Director J. Reilly Dolan of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)’s Bureau of Consumer Protection; Acting Deputy Chief Inspector Gary Barksdale of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS); and Chief Richard Weber of the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) Criminal Investigation (CI) Division. The Department of Defense (DoD) and the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) are also participating in the sweep to unveil new tools to increase awareness of the risks unlawful dietary supplements pose to consumers and, in particular, to assist service members targeted by illegitimate athletic performance supplements.

Talk about calling out the cavalry - they got everybody involved. A bit more:

The indictment alleges that USPlabs engaged in a conspiracy to import ingredients from China using false certificates of analysis and false labeling and then lied about the source and nature of those ingredients after it put them in its products. According to the indictment, USPlabs told some of its retailers and wholesalers that it used natural plant extracts in products called Jack3d and OxyElite Pro, when in fact it was using a synthetic stimulant manufactured in a Chinese chemical factory.

The indictment also alleges that the defendants sold some of their products without determining whether they would be safe to use. In fact, as the indictment notes, the defendants knew of studies that linked the products to liver toxicity.

The indictment also alleges that in October 2013, USPlabs and its principals told the FDA that it would stop distribution of OxyElite Pro after the product had been implicated in an outbreak of liver injuries. The indictment alleges that, despite this promise, USPlabs engaged in a surreptitious, all-hands-on-deck effort to sell as much OxyElite Pro as it could as quickly as possible. It was sold at dietary supplement stores across the nation.

The press release also says that there are charges pending against 14 other companies.

It is one thing to offer specific vitamins and other supplements - Chinese medicine also falls into this category. The witches brews cited in this press release are another thing entirely - these are being compounded without any accountability and are marketed using false information.

It makes me cringe when I go into Costco and listen to the demonstrators cite specific health advantages to the CoQ-10 or Fish Oil they are hawking. You are not allowed by law to claim specific health benefits to something that is not regulated by the FDA.

Obama in his own words

From The Federalist:

Obama On His ISIS Strategy: I’m Not Interested In ‘American Leadership, Or America Winning’
During a press conference detailing his administration’s strategy to destroy ISIS following several devastating terrorist attacks in Paris, President Barack Obama said he’s not interested in “pursuing some notion of American leadership or America winning[.]”

Obama’s remarks came several days after ISIS attacks in Paris that killed over 120 people and injured scores of others. Friday night’s attacks on France are believed to be the deadliest terrorist attacks in the country’s history.

Throughout Monday’s press conference, Obama insisted that his strategy for defeating ISIS was working and did not need to change. On Friday, just hours before the deadly Paris attacks, the president insisted in a television interview with ABC News that his administration had “contained” ISIS.

This is not Leadership or Strategy, it is a confession of Treason

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

A simple question and follow the money

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Nothing to see here folks - keep moving...

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An interesting news item from

Source confirms: 6 rifles, 10 handguns stolen from U.S. Army Reserve armory in Worcester
The search for more than a dozen weapons stolen from the Lincoln W. Stoddard U.S. Army Reserve Center in Worcester continued Monday, but authorities have not released any more details about the investigation. has confirmed through a source with knowledge of the investigation that six M4 rifles and 10 M11 handguns were stolen from the building's North Lake Avenue armory.

How many more incidents like this have to happen before we wake up to the fact that islamists have been waging war on us since 1800.

Ted Cruz

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My choice so far. Carly is not bad but Ted has more political experience.

Dumb as a box of rocks

From Steven Simon and Daniel Benjamin writing at the New York Times Opinion Page:

Could Paris Happen Here?

Excuuuuse me - it has happened here.

Anyone remember 9/11?

For the canonical list of all Islamic terrorist attacks in the United States (starting April 14th, 1972) visit this link: Islamic Terror Attacks on American Soil. The butchers bill is 75 attacks by muslims against US citizens, a total of 3,106 murdered and 1,685 wounded.

Religion of Peace my ass...

Fun times in our state

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Logging is still a big business in Washington State. Sometime, the companies overstep their bounds - from Seattle, WA station KOMO:

Mill owner admits to trafficking in illegally cut maples
The owner of a lumber mill in southwest Washington has pleaded guilty to trafficking in big leaf maple trees that were illegally harvested from national forest lands.

The U.S. Attorney's office says Harold Clause Kupers and his Winlock company, J&L Tonewoods, admitted to buying the highly prized wood without requiring sellers to show they had a special permit.

The office says the 48-year-old admits he suspected the wood he bought had been illegally logged from Gifford Pinchot National Forest.

Kupers faces up to five years in prison when he is sentenced in federal court in Tacoma in February.

According to the plea agreement, Kupers sold the patterned maple to buys for nearly $500,000 in total revenues.

The website for the business is not operational. Tonewoods are wood specifically for musical instruments - guitars, pianos, etc... How can people think that they can sustain behavior like this - it is not if, it is when...

In the best of hands - President Hillary

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From Judicial Watch:

Judicial Watch: Email Reveals Top Aide Huma Abedin Warning State Department Staffer That Hillary Clinton Is “Often Confused”
Judicial Watch today released more than 35 pages of emails former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s top aide Huma Abedin revealing that Abedin advised Clinton aide and frequent companion Monica Hanley that it was “very important” to go over phone calls with Clinton because the former Secretary of State was “often confused.” The emails, from Abedin’s “” address, also reveal repeated security breaches, with the Secretary’s schedule and movements being sent and received through Abedin’s non-governmental and unsecured Clinton server account. The emails document requests for special State Department treatment for a Clinton Foundation associate and Abedin’s mother, a controversial Islamist leader.

The Abedin email material contains a January 26, 2013, email exchange with Clinton aide Monica Hanley regarding Clinton’s schedule in which Abedin says Clinton is “often confused:”

    • Abedin: Have you been going over her calls with her? So she knows singh is at 8? [India Prime Minister Manmohan Singh]
    • Hanley: She was in bed for a nap by the time I heard that she had an 8am call. Will go over with her.
    • Abedin: Very imp to do that. She’s often confused.

The newly released Abedin emails included a lengthy exchange giving precise details of the Clinton schedule on the Secretary’s final full day in office, Wednesday, January 31, 2013. The email from Lona J. Valmoro, former Special Assistant to Secretary of State Clinton, to Abedin, other top State Department staff, and Clinton associates, reveals exact times (including driving times) and locations of all appointments throughout the day.

She is known to have fallen hard enough to suffer a concussion. She had been wearing special eyeglasses for people with balance problems and sometimes, her eyes do not track - one will drift off and go wonky.

More at the site including over 1,200+ comments. 

A nation of Eloi

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A two-fer from from Neel Kolhatkar:

So true

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We need another one like him these days - get some adults in the room...


Wet and Windy

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Got some stiff weather moving in tomorrow - expecting some power interruption as there are gusts forecast up to 75 MPH.

And then there is this (from the same report):

In general...three to six inches of rain...with local amounts of 9 to 11 inches in the mountains...has fallen in the past three days. This has increased soil moisture to high levels across western Washington. More heavy rainfall is anticipated Monday and Tuesday. Most places at the lower elevations could receive 2 to 5 inches during this time frame. The mountains could receive 7 to 10 inches of rain. This amount of rain will put extra pressure on soil instability. This will raise the threat of landslides to moderate levels.

Landslides have already been reported in western Washington. Two landslides occurred on the main railroad track between Tacoma and Nisqually on Saturday. The second slide was 40 feet wide and 15 feet deep. More landslides are possible.

There is already substantial movement near the town of Glacier on Canyon Creek Road. A previous slide on Mt. Baker Highway which necessitated re-routing the highway has expanded and there is some additional movement near Marshall Hill and Mosquito Lake roads.

Started in 2014, the voyage of the Hōkūle‘a is an around the word journey using traditional Polynesian navigation techniques. They have a sister-ship sailing with them that has all the latest bells and whistles should en emergency arise but they have not needed to use them for navigation. They just landed in South Africa and celebrated the half-way point of their journey.

From their website:

Hōkūleʻa in Cape Town: A Celebration of Friendship
A Ceremony of Friendship was held today at 2 p.m. South Africa Time (2 a.m. Hawaii Standard Time) at the V&A Marina to officially welcome and celebrate the historic arrival of Hōkūleʻa to Cape Town, South Africa. Themed Crossing Oceans & Connecting People, Hawaii To Cape Town, the Ceremony of Friendship featured greeting chants and a prayer of blessing followed by traditional South African performances and hula by members of the Hawaii delegation. Words of welcome and unity were made Mpho Tutu, executive director of the Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation, US Ambassador Patrick H. Gaspard of the US Embassy in South Africa, pwo navigators Nainoa Thompson and Kālepa Baybayan, a representative of the Executive Mayor of the City of Cape Town, and Hōkūleʻa supporter Pam Omidyar. Global peace leader Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who sailed on Hōkūleʻa during his 2012 visit to Hawaii, also attended the ceremony to greet and engage with crewmembers and the Hawaii delegation.

Following the Ceremony of Friendship, Hōkūle‘a crew and the Hawai‘i delegation invited families and members of the Cape Town community to come aboard the canoe, meet the voyagers from Hawai‘i, hear about traditional navigation and Hawaiian culture, and learn about ways to care for the ocean.

About the ship:

Waʻa Kaulua – Our Canoes
On March 8, 1975, Hōkūle‘a, a performance-accurate deep sea voyaging canoe built in the tradition of ancient Hawaiian wa‘a kaulua (double-hulled voyaging canoe), was launched from the sacred shores of Hakipu‘u-Kualoa, in Kāne‘ohe Bay on the island of O‘ahu. She was designed by artist and historian Herb Kawainui Kāne, one of the founders of the Polynesian Voyaging Society. The canoe was named Hōkūle‘a (“Star of Gladness”), a zenith star of Hawai‘i, which appeared to him growing ever brighter in a dream. This launching was one of many events that marked a generation of renewal for Hawai‘i’s indigenous people. Along with the renewal of voyaging and navigation traditions came a renewal of Hawaiian language, dance, chant, and many other expressions of Hawaiian culture. The renewal represented a new-found respect and appreciation for Hawaiian culture, by all of Hawai’i’s people.For the Hawaiian people, it has meant that they once again have begun to feel proud of who they are, and where they come from.

During that generation of voyaging (1975-2000), Hōkūle‘a sailed on six major voyages from Hawai‘i, at the apex of the Polynesian triangle, to Aotearoa (New Zealand) at the southwestern corner, and finally to Rapa Nui, at the southeastern corner. Her voyages inspired a revival of canoe building and voyaging throughout Polynesia.

Quite the story - we wish them well!

The other big highway closure - SR-20

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The road to Artist Point closed on November first - Artist Point is a major tourist attraction and really brings people up here. Gorgeous panoramic views and is the trailhead for a lot of fun day-hikes.

The other main closure is State Route 20 - the North Cascades Highway. It was closed temporarily last Thursday. They officially closed it for the season today. Winter is here for good.

Off to town

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Heading into town in a few minutes for some banking and a few errands.

More posting later this evening...

Aaaand that's a wrap

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Good radio net tonight - spent almost an hour afterwords surfing and chatting a bit.

Heading up to bed with a full day tomorrow.

Moving into the radio room for an hour

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I have the Emergency Communications radio net at 1900 - we don't do much conversation, this is more operating as though there was a real emergency and trying to get a signal out and pass traffic (messages) under adverse conditions.
Practice. Practice. Practice.

Good stuff!

Presented for your interest

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The world's largest Ice Fishing tournament - Gull Lake, Minnesota

Published on Jan 29, 2015 - Here is drone video footage of the largest ice fishing tournament in the world from Gull Lake, Minnesota. There are over 20,000 holes in the ice and just as many anglers.

I would not want to be a fish in that lake...

From Breitbart:

Resentful black activists and their comrades started a backlash against the huge public sympathy for the Parisian victims of the Islamist terror war. On Sunday, they used Twitter’s hashtag #FuckParis to reveal their emotional reaction to their loss of attention.

Breitbart News’ Milo Yiannopoulos reported, the social media backlash began almost immediately by Black Lives Matters activists upset about how the historic terror attack by ISIS that left over 120 dead had stolen the media spotlight overnight on Friday.

A small sampling of the tweets show no sympathy towards the killed and wounded in Paris. Instead, the left-wing activists described the slaughter in France as retribution for the Western colonialist, imperialist, racist, and white culture. The tweets cited included France’s long history with Haiti and Africa, as well as France’s popular ban on Muslim’s Afghan-style face-covering ‘niqab’ cloaks.

The #FuckParis hashtag also was retweeted by radicals in both America and Europe who supported the Islamist attack and open borders for refugees.

The article has a lot of screen-caps of the tweets - there are some very sick people running around unsupervised out there. I thought Obama was this great racial healer - he has brought us back to the 1960's and this is not a good thing.

If I was the head of Mizzou, I would have suspended the football team for six months instead of acquiescing to their demands. Not like they were winning any games or anything...

Fun and games in our little hamlet

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There has been a string of break and entries recently and they just nailed one of the ringleaders.

From the Bellingham Herald:

Man suspected of 60 burglaries near Maple Falls, Glacier
A man suspected of more than 60 burglaries could be the reason behind a dramatic spike in break-ins and thefts around Glacier, Maple Falls and Peaceful Valley this year, according to the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office.

Since January deputy sheriffs have taken at least 109 burglary reports — double last year’s number, and more than quadruple the annual figures from 2011, ’12, and ’13 — in the rural communities along Mount Baker Highway, according to the sheriff’s office.

At an Oct. 10 special briefing in front of Whatcom County Council members, Sheriff Bill Elfo said the main suspect, Oxxx Fxxx, 33, is in jail in lieu of $100,000 bail.

He’s been charged with residential burglary, trafficking in stolen property and possession of stolen property. More charges could be coming, Elfo said.

A model citizen:

Court records show Fxxx was first convicted of home burglary at the age of 16. He spent the next eight or so years in and out of Whatcom County Jail, for crimes like unlawful possession of a firearm, possession of stolen property in the first degree and residential burglary.

Then Fxxx moved away, to live in the Midwest for a few years. He returned to Whatcom County in 2014. Since last November the number of burglaries has skyrocketed in the Maple Falls area, according to the sheriff’s office.

Crime doesn't pay:

On Nov. 3 a burglary victim turned on a tracking device of a stolen Macintosh computer, and traced it to a home in the 3500 block of Cedarville Road, near the Deming Logging Show grounds. Remotely the app took photos of a woman and a man: Fxxx’s ex, who is the mother of two of his children, and her new boyfriend, according to charging papers.

Sheriff’s deputies found Fxxx outside the house. He tried to escape but deputies tackled him and found he had a “scan tool” valued at $1,000, stolen from Walmart earlier the same day, according to charging papers. The Mac was found inside in the house. Fxxx's ex told deputies he’d given it to her as a gift.

No word as to what the court system here will do - they are pathetically lenient with crap like this. Slap on the wrist. What would happen if someone came home during a burglary and they were injured or murdered. The fact that Fxxx was busted with guns should make the case for at least 30 years in the graybar hotel...

Must be feeling better

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Actually leaving the house today to go get a coffee - have not done that in five days or so.

Last night's Debate

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This should have been asked:


Winter Weather

Yeah - we got it

Snow level is down to around 1,200 feet and it is coming down.

When water flows uphill

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Very cool demonstration of the Leidenfrost Effect:

About those refugees

From Yahoo/Agence France Presse:

At least one man linked to Paris attacks registered as refugee in Greece: police
Greek police on Saturday said at least one man with a possible connection to the Paris attacks had registered as a refugee with Greek authorities earlier this year.

A bit more:

"We confirm that the (Syrian) passport holder came through the Greek island of Leros on October 3 where he was registered under EU rules," he said a statement.

French police said the passport was found "near the body of one of the attackers" during the investigation into the main site of Friday's carnage, at the Bataclan concert hall where 89 people were killed.

And this from Captain Obvious:

European security officials have long feared that jihadists could take advantage of the mass migration influx, mainly from war-torn Syria, that Europe has been experiencing since the beginning of the year.

"It is clear now that together with the victims of Islamo-fascism in the Middle East that come as refugees, extreme elements are crossing to Europe," Defence Minister Panos Kammenos said after an emergency meeting with Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.

Makes a lot of sense especially when so many of the photos of the refugees look like this one:


Come on now - Phone? Selfie stick? These are not a persecuted people - these are the frontrunners of a major invasion.

More on this story here: Migrant crisis: Are these happy young men really timid souls fleeing war and persecution?

From Breitbart:

German police are scrambling to discover whether they inadvertently prevented another Islamist from joining the Paris massacre, after they arrested a man driving with a significant cache of weapons heading to Paris.

The arrest took place on Thursday the 5th, when during a routine inspection police investigated a car driven by a 51-year-old Montenegrin man as he drove west on the major Autobahn-8 road, shortly after crossing the border from Austria. When officers found two handguns and a grenade under the bonnet of the car, the search intensified, and they soon discovered a significant hidden arsenal.

Also secreted about the car behind panels were eight Kalashnikov assault rifles with ammunition, several handguns, two hand grenades, and 200 grams of TNT, reports Bayerischer Rundfunk.

The car wasn’t only being driven west. Bavarian interior minister Joachim Herrmann has confirmed that based on “the data of the man’s [GPS] navigation system, and his cell phone there is strong evidence that the man wanted to go to France”. German media have reported he specifically had Paris programmed into his sat-nav.

And of course, these scum were aided in the fact that France has draconian gun control laws - again, from Breitbart:

France’s strict gun controls–including all-out gun bans on certain categories of firearms–proved impotent on November 13 as terrorists opened fire, killing more than 150 people and injuring 200 more.

AFP reported that “the attacks took place at a concert hall and several bars and restaurants in eastern Paris, as well as the Stade de France national stadium north of the centre.”

The Telegraph reported that the gunmen had “Syrian and Egyptian passports on them, and that at least one of the attackers was a Frenchman known to authorities on what is called a ‘Fiche S’, a watchlist of the security services.” Yet they had no problems acquiring the weapons necessary to carry out this heinous attack.

There were over 1,000 souls at the concert venue. If 10 or 20 of them had been armed, there would have been a completely different outcome. If the Jihadists had known they were going into a place where people could shoot back, they probably would have never launched their attack.

Music to my ears

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From Cliff Mass:

Large Snowfall will Hit the Cascades and Olympics
One of the best snow situations in a long time will hit the our regional mountains during the next few days, with some snow even reaching the lower terrain slopes.

Enough snow that will assure pre-Thanksgiving openings of a number of our local ski areas.

Looking at over two feet snowfall in the next 72 hours.

Baker has a base of 14" so this will get them open!

France and World War Three


Drive them into the sea. Charles Martel - Battle of Tours

Clocking in another four hours

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So ten hours sleep for one day is much better than the nineteen yesterday. Feeling a bit better too - hawking up less and less crap.

Whatever this thing is, I do not want to go through it again...

To sleep, perchance to dream

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Went to bed at 4:00AM - finally feeling a bit tired. Woke up at 10:00AM and six hours is not quite enough. Fed the dog and heading back up for another couple hours...

Looks like this will work out just fine

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From Yahoo/Canada:

Canada to implement oil tanker ban on northern B.C. coast
Canada will implement a moratorium on oil tanker traffic along the northern coast of British Columbia, effectively slamming the door on a controversial pipeline project that was already facing massive development hurdles.

In a letter released on Friday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau instructed Transport Minister Marc Garneau to work with numerous other ministries to "formalize" the ban on oil tanker traffic, a Liberal campaign promise ahead of the federal elections last month.

A bit more:

The main casualty of the ban will be Enbridge Inc's Northern Gateway pipeline, which would carry oil sands crude from near Edmonton, Alberta, to a deepwater port at Kitimat, British Columbia for export to Asian markets.

This is just a war on productivity. Classic watermelon environmentalism - green on the outside, bright red on the inside. Meanwhile, all the lost jobs and poor economy for what?

RIP - Gene Amdahl

One of the computing hardware greats - from the New York Times:

Gene Amdahl, Pioneer of Mainframe Computing, Dies at 92
Gene Amdahl, a trailblazer in the design of IBM’s mainframe computers, which became the central nervous system for businesses large and small throughout the world, died on Tuesday at a nursing home in Palo Alto, Calif. He was 92.

The System 360

As a young computer scientist at International Business Machines Corporation in the early 1960s, he played a crucial role in the development of the System/360 series, the most successful line of mainframe computers in IBM’s history. Its architecture influenced computer design for years to come.

The 360 series was not one computer but a family of compatible machines. Computers in the series used processors of different speeds and power, yet all understood a common language.

This allowed customers to purchase a smaller system knowing they could migrate to a larger, more powerful machine if their needs grew, without reprogramming the application software. IBM’s current mainframes can still run some System/360 applications.

Pure genius. My first experience with computers was programming FORTRAN on a 360 - a bit of a stiff learning curve to start out with but I got pretty good at it. Still prefer hardware to software though...

The weather

Two days ago, there was a huge atmospheric river headed our way - it hit and dropped just under three inches here at the farm. Roads are flooded. Here is the stream guage for our Nooksack River:


We have another slug of rain headed our way so that was just the warm-up.

Forecast is for Mt. Baker to open for skiing next Wednesday or Thursday - early opening!

My prayers go out to Paris

Just checked the web and saw that there was a huge islamist terrorist attack at multiple venues in Paris, France - the refugees.

From CNN

Paris attacks: At least 153 killed in gunfire and blasts, French officials say
On a night when thousands of Paris residents and tourists were reveling and fans were enjoying a soccer match between France and world champion Germany, horror struck in an unprecedented manner. Terrorists -- some with AK-47s, some reportedly with bombs strapped to them -- attacked sites throughout the French capital and at the stadium where the soccer match was underway.

Some excerpts:

  • A witness tells Radio France that attackers inside the Bataclan concert hall entered firing rifles and shouting "Allah akbar."
  • The worst carnage occurred at the Bataclan concert hall, with at least 112 left dead. A journalist who was at a rock concert there escaped and told CNN: "We lied down on the floor not to get hurt. It was a huge panic. The terrorists shot at us for 10 to 15 minutes. It was a bloodbath." Julien Pearce didn't hear the attackers speak, but he said one friend who escaped heard them talk about Iraq and Syria. Later, he said the men were speaking French. Two men dressed in black started shooting and after wounded people fell to the floor, the gunmen shot them again, execution-style, he said.
  • Hollande called the events "unprecedented terrorist attacks" and added, "This is a horror." In a tweet, he said, "Faced with terror, this is a nation that knows how to defend itself, how to mobilize its forces and once again, knows how to overcome the terrorists."
  • Hollande, in an address to the nation, said he had declared a state of emergency, meaning borders will be closed. "We have to show compassion and solidarity and we also have to show unity and keep our cool. France must be strong and great," he said.

And of course, compare and contrast these two statements:

  • Russian leader Vladimir Putin sent his condolences to Hollande and the people of France. "Russia strongly condemns this inhumane killing and is ready to provide any and all assistance to investigate these terrorist crimes," he said.
  • "This is an attack not just on Paris, not just on the people on France, but an attack on all humanity and the universal values we share," U.S. President Barack Obama said at the White House. He called the attacks an "outrageous attempt to terrorize innocent civilians."

And for those that think it will never happen here - from Judicial Watch

FBI Has Nearly 1,000 Active ISIS Probes Inside U.S.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has nearly 1,000 active probes involving the terrorist group Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) inside the United States, dozens of law enforcement officials disclose in a letter to President Obama.

The officials are elected sheriffs in Colorado making a case against the administration’s plan to transfer terrorists held at the U.S. military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba to facilities in the state. Forty-one of Colorado’s elected sheriffs fired off the letter after two federal prisons in Florence (Supermax and the U.S. Penitentiary) along with a state complex near Canon City were reviewed by the Pentagon for the potential transfer. The plan is part of the president’s longtime promise to close the top-security compound at the U.S. Naval base in southeast Cuba.

The big question is what will the government do with the remaining captives, indisputably the world’s most dangerous terrorists? Just a few weeks ago Obama’s Defense Secretary said that around half of the remaining 112 prisoners at Gitmo must be locked up “indefinitely.” They include 9/11 masterminds Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM), Ramzi Binalshibh, Ali Abdul Aziz Ali and Mustafa Ahmed Adam al Hawsawi as well as Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, the Al-Qaeda terrorist charged with orchestrating the 2000 attack on the Navy destroyer USS Cole.

Until we address the fact that the muslims have been at war with us since the 1800's, we will never be rid of this pox. They need to be met with an overwhelming force and have their dreams of a caliphate crushed.

The sleep of the dead

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One aspect of this cold is that I have been sleeping a lot. I am feeling better but last night, I got to bed around midnight and I just woke up at 7:00PM - nineteen hours later!

It was not a continuous sleep - I would wake up for 30 minutes or so and drift back to sleep for a couple of hours. I also fielded some telephone calls.

Hoping that this aspect goes away soon - I have stuff to do!

Smooth Criminal

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Very cool:

The guy's website is here Patrick Mathis

Google translate from the French here.

A heads up

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Back from meeting

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And feeling a lot better - still horking up odd bits of technicolor body parts but not as bad as before.

Meeting was good - the focus of the group is emergency communications when it hits the fan and we do frequent on-air practice sessions. Our county beat out a couple much larger counties (cough-King-cough) in the last drill. Constant practice is the key - also random changes thrown into the mix help to keep us flexible!

The Craigslist deal was a good one - an old electrical Megger. Ideal for testing some of the radio circuitry - specifically leakage current and the insulation.

Feeling a bit better today

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Slept in again this morning - starting to feel better.

Heading into town to get some stuff for the radio room, do a possible Craigslist deal and have a meeting with the emergency communications group.

No posting until much later...

Maybe Dr. Carson was right after all

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Presidential hopeful Dr. Ben Carson once said that he thought that the Egyptian Pyramids were built for grain storage and not mausoleums.

This from the New York Post:

Something is heating up inside Egypt’s ancient pyramids
Two weeks of new thermal scanning in Egypt’s Giza pyramids have identified anomalies in the 4,500-year-old burial structures, including a major one in the largest pyramid, the Antiquities Ministry announced Monday.

Antiquities Minister Mamdouh el-Damaty and technical experts working on the project showed the higher temperature being detected in three specific adjacent stones at the bottom of the pyramid in a live thermal camera presentation to journalists.

The scanning showed “a particularly impressive one (anomaly) located on the Eastern side of the Khufu pyramid at ground level,” the ministry said in a statement. The largest of the three Giza pyramids is known locally as Khufu and internationally as Cheops.

What we know so far of the construction of these pyramids is still minimal - the chambers and passageways we have discovered only account for a few percent of the entire volume. What else is in there? Louis Alvarez (one of my major heroes) did a delightful experiment in 1968 using background cosmic muon radiation to probe for unknown chambers. Didn't find anything though. This would be an interesting experiment to revisit as the detection technology has gotten a lot better.

And I would not be so hard on Dr. Carson for his belief in the grain storage aspect of the pyramids - this is just a 'talking point' of his Seventh Day Adventist spiritual practice. There are a lot of spiritual practices out there and Lord knows, they all have their 'talking points'. Global Warming for one. Islam for another. Progressivism. Christianity. Pastafarianism. I could go on...

Sleep interrupted

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Yesterday, I woke up at 6:00AM - today it is 3:00AM

Fixed a nice stiff toddy and waiting for that to kick in - back upstairs for another couple hours of sleep.

Recorded in 1970 by Westdeutscher Rundfunk Köln (WDR)

Starts off with about eight minutes of drone music - the video was recorded in monaural which kills the effect of two tightly phased sounds coming from right and left channels. That sound will seriously alter your perceptions.

Quite the change from their current stuff. Audience video is fun - some great faces there.

Some good news - the A-10 Warthog

Gets an extension. An old airplane but one of the best for what it does. From Ars Technica:

License renewed? Air Force says it needs A-10 a bit longer, thanks
Last week, the joint commander in charge of operations against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria reported that Syrian Arab Coalition fighters had beaten back the group, taking the town of Al-Hawl and 250 square kilometers of territory around it in an offensive supported from the air by US Air Force A-10s and AC-130s flying from a Turkish air base. Now, the Air Force is apparently reconsidering the timeline it has set for retiring the A-10, as the demand for the venerable assault plane's close air support capabilities rises yet again.

According to a Defense One report, US Air Combat Command chief General Herbert "Hawk" Carlisle said at a Defense Writer's Group breakfast this morning that the Air Force "would probably move the retirement slightly to the right" because of the greater demands being placed on the Air Force's operational capacity in Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan. "Eventually we will have to get there, we will have to retire airplanes," Carlisle added, "but I think moving it to the right and starting it a bit later and maybe keeping the airplane around a little bit longer is something that’s being considered based on things as they are today and that we see them in the future."

The Air Force has pushed Congress to retire the A-10 over the past two years as budget sequestration strained the service's ability to continue to pay for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program. Air Force leaders said they need to free maintenance crews to train on servicing and supporting the F-35 as well.

The F-35 is a piece of flying junk. Classic case of an airplane built by committee. The Warthog does one thing very very well - close air support. Why they shut down production in 1984 is beyond me.

As wonderful as it sounds - happening in Europe. From Refugee Resettlement Watch:

Lucky Europe! Louseborne Relapsing Fever among East African Refugees, Italy, 2015
That is the title of an article at the Centers for Disease Control which reminds us that it isn’t just the Islamic terrorists that Europe has to worry about, but diseases that had long been eradicated in advanced western countries. Lucky taxpayers too!

More ‘Invasion of Europe’ news……
From the CDC:

During June 9–September 30, 2015, five cases of louseborne relapsing fever were identified in Turin, Italy. All 5 cases were in young refugees from Somalia, 2 of whom had lived in Italy since 2011. Our report seems to confirm the possibility of local transmission of louse-borne relapsing fever.

Louseborne relapsing fever (LRF) was once widely distributed in all geographic areas, including Europe and North America, occurring in association with poverty and overcrowding. In Europe, it virtually disappeared after World War I in parallel with improved living conditions that led to substantially decreased body lice infestations in humans (1). Currently, LRF is reported mostly from Ethiopia and surrounding countries, where it is endemic (2): in this region, it is an extremely common infection with substantial mortality. The causative agent is the spirochete bacterium Borrelia recurrentis. In nature, the only relevant vector is the body louse, which feeds only on humans; no other reservoir for this infection is known (1,3). The incubation period is 3–12 days. We report 5 cases of LRF in refugees to Italy from East Africa that occurred during 2015.

These people do not even have the basic concept of sanitation and the intellectual pinheads in Europe are treating them as better than equals - giving them free housing and food without requiring them to learn the language and assimilate into the culture.

My thought still stands - the Western nations should form a coalition to go into Europe and remove all the artwork to preserve it. How long before the Vatican is overrun and converted to a mosque...

Playing hooky tonight

Got a meeting in 30 minutes but do not feel like leaving the house. Feeling better but still very much under the weather - lots of muscle ache and still hacking up gunk..

Got a Costco pot roast heating up in the oven - the package has just the meat so I add some stock, onion, carrot and spud and bake at 350 for 45 minutes - house is smelling wonderful.

Barry's phone

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Heh - from A. F. Branco:


UPDATE: Pause in the weather

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Cliff Mass has it covered:

Potent Atmospheric River Will Reach the Northwest Tomorrow
If this blog had music, you would hear the JAWS theme in the background (click here if you want the audio).

A very potent Westerly Atmospheric River (WAR) event is coming, with heavy rain and flooding. Another drought-buster event that will fill our reservoirs. And there is more: plenty of wind and high surf on our ocean beaches.

A bit more:

And the latest UW WRF forecast for Thursday night at 7 PM shows the high moisture value (red colors) aimed right for us. It looks like a fist. This is an example of an atmospheric river, a plume of large moisture values, but it is not a pineapple express--those events bring moisture from the southwest near Hawaii. In this case moisture is streaming northward over the western Pacific and then heading nearly due west towards us, Westerly Atmospheric River.


But there is good news for skiers:

Now I know my snow loving friends are getting nervous about this atmospheric river event.
Atmospheric rivers usually bring warm rain through elevation, which is not exactly good for snow. That is true...but this case is not a pineapple express so temps will be a bit cooler and the period of warmth will be relatively short (about 36h). The snowpack will be knocked back a bit at lower elevations, but some of the rain will freeze in the snow. And higher elevations will have a net snow gain. Let me show you.

The UW WRF model suggests that next 72 still bring some snow to the higher elevations.

But the exciting thing is that after the atmospheric river passes through on Monday, we moved into colder air with lots of shower activity....and large amounts of snow (see below for snowfall for 72 hr ending 4 PM Wednesday). Feet of snow over the entire Cascade Range. Ski season begins.

Great news!

A pause in the weather

We were scheduled to have quite the storm yesterday but it fizzled out. Heather Meadows got another 8 inches .

More from our National Weather Service:

Heavy rain is forecast at times Thursday afternoon through Saturday morning. The Cascades and Olympics are forecast to receive six to eight inches generally... with some eight to ten inch bullseyes around Mount Rainier... the Olympics...and the Central Cascades. The lowlands are forecast to get one to two inches.

Rainfall this heavy would cause flooding on many area rivers. This includes any rivers flowing off the Cascades from the Nooksack in the north to the Cowlitz in the south. Also any Olympic Peninsula rivers could flood if this rain occurs. Even the rivers of Southwest Washington such as the Chehalis and its tributaries could flood.

Winter is in the air - you can smell the snow...

A pittance of time

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In rembrence of those who served.

From Terry's website:

On November 11, 1999 Terry Kelly was in a drug store in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. At 10:55 AM an announcement came over the store’s PA asking customers who would still be on the premises at 11:00 AM to give two minutes of silence in respect to the veterans who have sacrificed so much for us.

Terry was impressed with the store’s leadership role in adopting the Legion’s “two minutes of silence” initiative. He felt that the store’s contribution of educating the public to the importance of remembering was commendable.

When eleven o’clock arrived on that day, an announcement was again made asking for the “two minutes of silence” to commence. All customers, with the exception of a man who was accompanied by his young child, showed their respect.

Terry’s anger towards the father for trying to engage the store’s clerk in conversation and for setting a bad example for his child was channeled into a beautiful piece of work called, “A Pittance of Time”. Terry later recorded “A Pittance of Time” and included it on his full-length music CD, “The Power of the Dream”.

Way to go France

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Great news from Breitbart:

France is reportedly refusing to host a working lunch for visiting Iranian president Hassan Rouhani because the hardline Muslim leader demanded halal meat and a wine-free table. The two were scheduled to meet next week during an Iranian state visit to Paris.

The meal has now been cancelled because the Iranians would not eat at a table that was “offensive to their Muslim values”. For its part, France is said to has refused to bow to their religious demands.

Officials at the presidential Elysee Palace said making the food and drink “Iran-friendly” was contrary to France’s secular republican values and was non-negotiable, it has been reported.

The Elysee instead suggested a breakfast meeting as a counter-offer, but this was then reportedly rebuffed by the Iranians as being “too cheap”.

If Rouhani was serious, he would simply not eat the meat and not drink the wine - problem solved. He did this as a power-play and France stood firm and did not back down.

I wish that we had a leader like this...

Up for the day

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Woke up an hour ago - heading out for coffee and checking in at the store for a bit.

This cold is kicking ass and taking names.

Spending today cleaning up the radio room and the truck.

Sleeping like a baby

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Waking up every couple hours in a cranky mood. 

Waiting for a dose of AlkaSeltzer Plus (Night) to kick in so I can go back to sleep for a couple more hours.

Six days to go - Clinton tax issues?

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Now this will be interesting - from the Washington Examiner:

Will Clinton Foundation accounting fraud implicate a major accounting firm?
Longtime Wall Street analyst and investor Charles Ortel is excited about Nov. 16. That is the day when the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation must file its IRS Form 990 for tax year 2014.

In anticipation Ortel's website, packed with numerous lengthy reports detailing what he believes is extensive Clinton Foundation fraud, includes a countdown clock heralding November 16 as the Final Charity Fraud Confession Deadline.

Last week Ortel's clock received a surge after news that a Clinton Foundation spin-off, the Clinton Health Access Initiative, had agreed to refile two years of self-admitted error-ridden tax returns after first announcing otherwise on October 30.

The Foundation's change of heart undoubtedly stemmed from media pressure and Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus publicly asking the IRS to audit CHAI.

Much more at the site - lots of links to corroborating data.

Ready for Hillary? That's her jail cell talking....

A life of it's own - Betamax

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There was a war between Betamax and VHS video recording tape and VHS won. Unfortunately, Beta had a better image but it also had Sony's large licensing fee whereas JVC essentially open-sourced the VHS format to anyone who wanted to manufacture it.

Unknown to a lot of people, Betamax was still in heavy use by television stations because of the better image quality. From the UK Guardian:

Betamax is dead, long live VHS
Sony has announced that in March next year it will stop producing Betamax video cassette tapes, forty years after its introduction and 28 years after losing the war to VHS.

Assumed already dead by many, the final Betamax cassette will roll off the production line in March 2016 as its maker concedes defeat to the march of time, 20 ,maybe 30, years late.

The video cassette format was pioneered by Sony in the early 1970s and first released into homes embedded in a 19in TV in 1975. It was embroiled in a format war with rival video cassette VHS, produced by Japanese firm JVC.

Betamax came first and initially offered superior video quality, but when offered a license to use Betamax by Sony, rival JVC decided to develop its own open format to avoid Sony’s domination of the market with a format it would control.

As television stations upgrade their equipment, there is a vigorous market for the used stuff - particularly for small stations in developing nations. I bet there are a lot of Betamax recorders being lovingly maintained by these engineers.

Back from town

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Still feeling under the weather but I got a bunch of needed stuff done. Stopped in my favorite Chinese place and got a big bowl of hot and sour soup - hit the spot.

Got the furnace cranked up and planning a relatively early bedtime - surf for a bit first...

Forgot to mention this morning, it got down to 25°F last night - clear skies and cold weather. A bit overcast now so temp is only 41°F - got a major front moving in sometime so rain and snow in the offing.

RIP - Allen Toussaint

From the New Orleans Times-Picayune:

Allen Toussaint, the legendary songwriter and pianist, has died

Allen Toussaint, the ever-elegant New Orleans performer, producer and composer of such R&B classics as "Working in the Coal Mine," "Mother-in-Law," "It's Raining" and "Southern Nights," died Tuesday (Nov. 10), while on tour in Madrid. He was 77 years old.

Fans have reason to be shocked by the news because tickets went on sale just days ago for a concert featuring Mr. Toussaint and fellow composer and performer Paul Simon at Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carre in New Orleans on Dec. 8. The event was to benefit the New Orleans Artists Against Hunger and Homelessness charity organization, which Mr. Toussaint co-founded in 1985.

Considered by many to be the dean of the New Orleans music scene, having influenced the careers of countless musicians and performers, Mr. Toussaint gave his last performance on Monday at Madrid's Teatro Lara. Madrid emergency services spokesman Javier Ayuso said rescue workers were called to Mr. Toussaint's hotel early Tuesday morning and managed to revive him after he suffered a heart attack. But Ayuso said Mr. Toussaint stopped breathing during the ambulance ride to a hospital and efforts to revive him again were unsuccessful.

That is going to be a funeral to see...

Typical liberal planning - looks great on paper (in their eyes) but total fail in reality.

From Breitbart:

With a bill, retroactive to show an ending date of October 1, the state of Maryland is ending its program to take ballistic fingerprints of firearms through shell casings after 15 years, $5 million spent, and no crimes solved.

When passed by Maryland lawmakers and signed into law by Governor Parris N. Glendening (D) in 2000, ballistic fingerprinting was sold to Maryland residents as a way for police to literally use discarded crime scene shell casings to find the gun that had fired them and, thereby, the person who possessed the gun at the time of crime. To accomplish this, Maryland began a process of requiring one spent casing from every new handgun sold in the state to be sent to the Maryland State Police. The theory was that markings on that round would be used to identify the gun should a spent casing with similar markings be found at a crime scene.

It is estimated that Maryland has approximately 300,000 such casings in an underground bunker waiting to be matched with a shell casing from a crime scene.

According to The Baltimore Sun, the pursuit of ballistic fingerprinting had already cost Maryland taxpayers $2.4 million by 2004 and a total of $5 million by 2015. Yet, no crimes were ever solved via the ballistic fingerprint requirements. Moreover, “the computerized system designed to sort and match the images never worked as envisioned… [and] in 2007, the state stopped bothering to take the photographs [of casings], though hundreds of thousands more… kept piling up in the fallout shelter.”

New York state tried this too but not as long:

It should be noted that New York also took part in this folly “just a few days after Maryland.” On August 9, 2000, the New York Times reported that Governor George Pataki (R) signed a law requiring “all new handguns… to be test-fired before they are sold, so that the telltale markings they leave on bullets and shell casings can be entered into a state computer database.” Yet, New York did not wait as long as Maryland before ending ballistic fingerprinting. NY lawmakers defunded it in 2012.

All the while this technology has been proven to be a failure in the real world - from this report:

In a California Department of Justice study, 50 fired cases from the Federal Cartridge Corp. were compared. The cartridges had all been fired in the same gun. In microscopic examination by “experts,” 38 percent were missed! When different cartridge makes were added to the mix, still all from the same gun, 62 percent were missed. Obviously, this presents a serious problem with only one fired case or bullet from each gun.

Another case of liberal 'experts' having zero grounding in reality and going off spending other people's money on pie-in-the-sky pipedreams with no accountability when they fail.

My new morning prayer

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From an email:



True dat!

Good news from University of Virginia - from The Hollywood Reporter:

Rolling Stone Sued For $25M By Fraternity Implicated in Rape Story
Rolling Stone was hit Monday with a defamation lawsuit for over $25 million from the University of Virginia fraternity where the magazine reported a young woman was raped in a story later discredited.

In the lawsuit complaint, as obtained by The Washington Post, the Virginia Alpha Chapter of Phi Kappa Psi alleges reputational damage (and death threats and harassment against members) due to the Nov. 2014 Rolling Stone story "A Rape on Campus" by Sabrina Rubin Erdely, who is named a defendant with Rolling Stone and publishers Wenner Media and Straight Arrow.

The story told of a University of Virginia freshman named "Jackie" who purportedly went to a "date function" at Phi Kappa Psi, where seven men brutally raped her in a bedroom.

Details quickly emerged challenging the accuracy of the story, leading the publication to commission a review from the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism that found the publication had failed to conduct "basic, even routine journalistic practice" in reporting, editing, editorial supervision and fact-checking” to confirm Jackie’s story. Rolling Stone officially retracted the story in April, and managing editor Will Dana later left the publication.

A classic example of where the story fit their mental narrative so they went with it. Unfortunately, as is so often the case with liberal minds, the narrative had nothing to do with reality.

Can liberalism be a mental disease? It sure seems to be at times. Seriously out of touch...

I am sorry but liberals no longer have the right to define the agenda - they have tried and failed to many times.

Fsck you BestBuy

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I have a TracPhone cell phone and love it. There is no real cell service out here in our rural neck of the woods so I only use my phone for when I am in town. Makes sense to have just the cheapest burner phone I can find. Thank you Carlos Slim - your product works for me.

I needed to buy some more days and was at the local Costco so went to the BestBuy in the same mall. I usually get my phone renewed at Walmart but didn't feel like dealing with the crowds. I take my 90-day card to the cashier and the cashier asks me for my cell number. I give it to them and it comes up blank. They proceed to ask for my name - I give it to them. I then ask if this is required for TracPhone. They say yes. I then say that I already have a TracPhone account and did not want to create a new parallel one. The cashier says, Oh no Sir - this is for our use.

I ask them again if this is for TracPhone and they fessed up and said that this was for BestBuy. I left the card at the cashiers station and walked out.

If BestBuy wants my demographics, they will have to pay me a lot more for them.

Hard frost tonight

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It is 8:00PM and it is already at 34°F - drop-dead gorgeous clear skies so we are getting our first hard frost.

Got back from town - did a bunch of stuff but still need another trip - the sign for the store needs some new light bulbs. Standards are wonderful - this is why we have so many of them. There are at least four different kinds of end connectors for fluorescent lamps. I can see some of the reasoning behind two of them but the other two are probably just avoiding royalty fees and not unique engineering requirements.

Throat is still sore - sipping a hot Alka Seltzer Plus Nighttime while I surf. Ambrosia in a mug.

Surf for a bit and then an early bedtime...

Off to town

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Taking care of some bills and picking up some stuff for a couple projects.

Still under the weather but sufficiently juiced up with some DayQuill so feeling minimal pain.

Coffee first...

Storm Watch

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From the National Weather Service:

Snow level starting at 4,000 feet lowering to 3,000 feet by Wednesday and accumulations of 12 to 18 inches possible.

This will be the first significant snow of the season!

Getting stoked for an early opening...

Could not happen to a nicer bunch of people - from The New York Times:

General Counsel for Al Jazeera America Appears to Be Unlicensed
David W. Harleston, an executive who serves as general counsel for the media company Al Jazeera America, has had a busy year.

He has helped oversee lawsuits against DirecTV and Al Gore, who sold his Current TV network to the company. There are wrongful-termination cases brought by former employees who accuse the news channel of fostering a sexist and anti-Semitic environment. Earlier this year, he dealt with the departure of the company’s chief executive, who stepped down after employees complained about what they described as a culture of fear.

But according to court officials, there are no records that indicate Mr. Harleston is licensed to practice law in New York State, where Al Jazeera America has its headquarters. He has also not been admitted in any other jurisdiction, according to research by The New York Times.

After an inquiry from The Times, Al Jazeera America said on Sunday that it had suspended Mr. Harleston and hired the law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom to conduct an investigation.

And of course the obvious:

Mr. Harleston did not respond to several requests for comment.

And after a few minutes of digging:

Though there are no records that he ever gained admission to the bar, Mr. Harleston passed the New York State bar exam in February 1986, according to legal records. That means one of two things, according to court officials: Either he did not complete his application to the court for admission, or he failed the “character and fitness” review.

This used to be the party of John F. Kennedy. Now, it's just a party of 14 year old children who have raided their daddy's wine cellar. Pathetic...

What is past is prologue

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From William Shakespeare's The Tempest and also engraved on the Northeast corner of the National Archives Building in Washington, D.C.

What has happened before is what will come again unless we remember our history and take action.

And now, from Stanford University Libraries comes the French Revolution Digital Archive - from their home page:

About the collections
The French Revolution Digital Archive (FRDA) is a multi-year collaboration of the Stanford University Libraries and the Bibliothèque nationale de France (BnF) to produce a digital version of the key research sources of the French Revolution and make them available to the international scholarly community. The archive is based around two main resources, the Archives parlementaires and a vast corpus of images first brought together in 1989 and known as the Images de la Revolution française.

This one image sticks in my mind as being just as germane today as it was back then:


Alphonse - Hey - the entrenched bureaucracy isn't listening to us!
Gaston - I know - what should we do?
Alphonse - Hey, let's revolt!

Like this has ever worked for the peoples' good. Fscking idiots. Don't read your history? You are doomed to repeat the same stupidity that your ancestors had to muddle through. I have stories that would make your skin crawl. The true origins of the slave trade? The true origins of the palestinian people? Just scratching the surface...

Ooopsie - Russia

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Russia is meddling in Syria (air strikes, etc...) but they have no actual boots-on-the-ground there. Should have checked the iPhones first:

From Yahoo/Reuters:

Russian soldiers geolocated by photos in multiple Syria locations, bloggers say
Three serving or former Russian soldiers have been geolocated by photographs in Syria, including locations near Hama, Aleppo and Homs, Russian bloggers said on Sunday, suggesting the Kremlin's operation stretches well beyond its air campaign.

Russia first launched air strikes to support President Bashar al-Assad in Syria's four-year civil war on Sept. 30 but has repeatedly said it has no intention of mounting a ground operation.

It has instead said it will limit its help to military trainers, advisers and deliveries of military equipment.

A bit more:

Sunday's report by Conflict Intelligence Team (CIT), a group of Russian investigative bloggers, said that photos on social media had been used to geolocate three Russian serving or former soldiers in Syria.

"Although we still don't have indisputable evidence of Russian servicemen taking a direct part in the fighting on the ground in Syria, we believe the situation observed contradicts the claims of Russian officials that Russian troops are not taking part and are not planning to take part in ground operations,” CIT said.

Sooo busted. People have no clue just how much information is embedded into even the simplest of digital photographic images. All the camera and exposure settings, date and time and if the camera has a built-in GPS, all the location info as well. Handy for sorting files after the fact but has the potential to be embarrassing to nations - case in point...

Feeling a lot better today

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Slept 17 hours yesterday off and on. Slept 12 hours today and my temp is now 98.2°F - still a bit of a sore throat but feeling a lot better.

Heading out for coffee and checking in at the store for a while - got  abunch of stuff to do tomorrow (Monday).

And off to bed

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Lulu makes a killer chicken soup (thyme, margoram and saffron) and it has settled nicely into our stomachs. My temp is now an even 100.0°F so we will plan accordingly tomorrow.

We watched two episodes of Doc Martin and then I surfed for a bit. See what happens...

The five elements of journalism

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An oldie but a goodie - to properly tell a story, you need the five W's: Who, What, Where, When and Why - this actually dates back to late Roman times - 400 AD and such.

Movie Director Quentin Tarantino made the headlines when he delivered an anti-cop tirade at a rally in New York City:

Director Quentin Tarantino fired up the crowd by complaining that cops are too often “murderers.”

“When I see murders, I do not stand by . . . I have to call a murder a murder and I have to call the murderers the murderers,” the “Pulp Fiction” auteur blathered to a cheering rally-goers.

OK - we have the Who, the What, the When and the Where - now, for the Why.

From Breitbart:

Lost in the media’s reportage of Quentin Tarantino’s using rhetoric scripted by Black Lives Matter is the fact that the Rise Up October event at which Tarantino spoke was organized by revolutionary communists who advocate the armed overthrow of the United States of America.

In an article Thursday titled Quentin Tarantino Boycott Is a ‘Mafia-Style Protection Racket,’ Protest Organizer Says, TheWrap writes:

“It really is a Mafia-style protection racket thing, only the payoff is toeing the political line, not cash,” Carl Dix told TheWrap Thursday as he lashed out against the police groups threatening to boycott Tarantino’s upcoming western “The Hateful Eight.”

Who is Carl Dix, the protest organizer defending Tarantino and equating the police with the mafia?

Mr. Dix is one of the founding members of the Revolutionary Communist Party, a group that has held anti-police events in October for nearly two decades and that openly advocates for an armed overthrow of the United States of America.

In other words, Quentin Tarantino was not merely speaking at an event that was anti-police; he was an active, invited participant in a rally that is anti-military, anti-capitalist, and anti-American.

The article then goes on to do a profile of Mr. Dix - a pathetic piece of re-animated 1950's trash. A useful idiot in Lenin's terms.

Carl Dix’s official biography on the Revolutionary Communist Party site says Dix “believes that only all-the-way communist revolution can end the oppression suffered by billions of people across this planet.”

Dix and his comrades are very clear what “all-the-way communist revolution” means: an armed overthrow of the U.S. government.

A lot more at the article regarding Mr. Dix and his fellow travelers - video and links to corroborating evidence. The article closes with this:

Since it is proven that the Black Lives Matter movement was founded and is being led by revolutionary communists, the only question is whether the media will ever call its defenders like Tarantino, Clinton, or Rubio out and ask them one simple question: How can you possibly support a group that is calling for the armed overthrow of America?

If the Revolutionary Communist Party and revolutionaries behind Black Lives Matter got their way, it would not just be patriotic Americans, the devout and registered Republicans killed en masse. No, progressive multi-millionaires like the smiling reporters of the mainstream media, Hillary Clinton, Quentin Tarantino, his film producer ally Harvey Weinstein, and every megastar who has ever been featured in a Tarantino flick would be stripped of their riches, frogmarched into the nearest public square, and then shot or hung in front of a cheering proletariat mob.

Hey Quentin - I did really like your movies. You have a unique vision but your personal politics and political activism are so far divorced from the reality of the street that I can no longer support your work. You are dead to me - say hello to your good buddy Sean Penn who is in the same category. Fscking poseurs...


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See how much I can eat. Low grade fever (99.2°F) and sore throat. Headache.

Raining cats and dogs - currently 45°F outside and just under an inch and a half precip for today. You can see the water as it is flowing downstream. This particular sensor is about 30 miles west of us at the main river before it hits Puget Sound. By the end of tonight, it will be back up where it was at the beginning of the week.


Timing on the Keystone Pipeline

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From Chip Bok:


So now Barry's BFF - Warren Buffet - gets to make over $1 Billion dollars per year transporting the oil. Buffet owns the railroads.

Crony Capitalism at work loud and proud.

And also, the unemployment numbers are the U3 - the official numbers. They do not quote the U6 which is Total unemployed, plus all persons marginally attached to the labor force, plus total employed part time for economic reasons, as a percent of the civilian labor force plus all persons marginally attached to the labor force and is currently sitting at 9.8%. If you want to look at blacks from 16 to 19, it's over 25%.

From Breitbart:

Senator Sen. Ted Cruz and Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart are introducing legislation calling for the U.S. government to label the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization.

The Texas Senator and Republican Presidential candidate said he is introducing the bill to protect against the “violent jihad” carried out by the Muslim Brotherhood affiliates both in the United States and the rest of the world.

“As this bill details, the Brotherhood’s stated goal is to wage violent jihad against its enemies, and our legislation is a reality check that the United States is on that list as well,” Cruz said in a statement released on Wednesday.

The Brotherhood is already considered a terrorist organization in Bahrain, Egypt, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.

And I love this little bit of parliamentary maneuvering:

If the Senate passes the bill, the State Department would have 60 days to issue a statement whether or not it agrees with the terrorist designation, The Hill reports, and State would also need to decide if it would move forward with listing the jihadi group. If the State Department rejects the bill, it has to give a “detailed justification as to which criteria have not been met,” the bill reads.

Emailing my Senators - not that I expect them to vote for this but still, the more voices, the better chance they have of knowing just how unpopular their actions are out here in rural Washington.

From the London Daily Mail:

Rocket 'attack' on UK tour jet: Pilot with 189 passengers dodged missile above Sharm El Sheikh in August with just 'seconds to spare from disaster'
A British plane carrying 189 passengers came 'within 1,000ft' of a rocket as it approached Sharm El Sheikh, it emerged last night.

The Thomson flight from London Stansted only took evasive action after the pilot spotted the missile speeding through the air.

The jet landed safely, and holidaymakers were not told they had been seconds from disaster.

The revelation comes amid claims British jihadists had spoken about an Islamic State 'mole' at Sharm el-Sheikh airport minutes after a Metrojet plane crashed in Sinai, killing all 224 on board.

The muslims are at war with the west - they have been for the last thousand years. They tell us this to our faces and we do not recognize the truth for what it is.

Here is their Indiegogo page. List price after it becomes commercially available is $399 still very reasonable for what it does. Optical resolution is 4608X3456 - more than enough to do pages.

Down for the count

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Slept in until just a few minutes ago. No fever, just a really raw throat and headache.

There was a ham radio event in Bellingham that I wanted to participate in but had to bail out on them. Bummer!

Chicken noodle soup for dinner tonight - the remains of the rotisserie chicken from two nights ago and a couple extra breasts for protein. Good for what ails 'ya.

Well crap

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Been having this tickle in my throat for the last couple of days. Since I had already had the 24 hour bug, I ignored it until yesterday when I started taking some elderberry tincture.

Developed into a full-blown sore throat and cold. Spending today under covers hibernating.

A look at Ham Radio

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Great six minute video from The Radio Society of Great Britain

The licensing process is dead easy. In the United States, the FCC publishes the questions and answers used on the exams. The exams are multiple choice so rote memorization is all that you need. There are practice websites - my favorite is The practice exams are found here: Practice Amateur Radio Exams. When you register (free and they do not divulge your email addresses to anyone) they keep track of how you are doing and if you are having problems with one or more subjects, they will increase the number of those questions on your next practice exam. Local ham radio clubs will frequently offer free training sessions. The license testing costs $30 or so but that is the fee to the government. You do not need to learn electronics if you do not want to.

You start as a Technician License and are only permitted a few bands to work on but this is more than enough to get reliable communications over a 100+ mile radius assuming that you can access nearby repeaters or have a good location. I got my General License and now I can use different bands and can work the world with modest equipment.

A lot of fun and a useful skill to have if everything goes pear-shaped - our own area is susceptible to forest fires, flooding, landsides, extensive power outages and we live on the shoulder of an active volcano. Buy-in cost for new equipment (hand-held rig, extra battery, mobile antenna, fixed station antenna (more range but not portable) and power supply) is around $200. $500 if you want to splurge for a high-end fixed base station in addition to the other equipment. The equipment can all run off 12 volts - a car battery is good for at least 8 hours of continuous operation.

Having a blast and learning a lot!!!

A new look at Hamsters

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Had them as a pet as a kid - fun critter! Here is a new look at them:

Bill Whittle on Media Bias

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Excellent as always:

A good question...

From Breitbart:

“We got Obama into office, the give back, the deal, where are the things in our community that have gotten drastically better?” Combs said Wednesday in an interview on Hot 97. “Let’s stop overcomplicating it. The hugest group of people that get you into office, you have to change their lives for the better. Pick a side, because they got you into office. And if that side just happens to be black people, and you’re black, you still have to do what’s fair.”

Combs’s consternation comes from feeling that the voter turnout campaign “Vote or Die!“—a political machine that the music mogul promoted and later called “a scam“—did the hard work of getting Obama elected president with black people reaping limited political gain.

Combs is advocating the spending billions of dollars - what is needed is a re-building of the infrastructure and not amplifying the dysfunctional infrastructure now in place. Still, a good question. All the emphasis on illegal immigrants doing the work that no Americans will do is cutting out the chances for black Americans - black youth unemployment is over 50%.

From science and conservation news website Mongabay:

Indian government cancels Greenpeace India’s registration
On November 4, the Indian government canceled Greenpeace India Society’s registration. The Society was registered in the southern state of Tamil Nadu in India.

“This is an extension of the deep intolerance for differing viewpoints that sections of this government seem to harbor,” Vinuta Gopal, Interim Executive Director of Greenpeace India, said in a statement.

According to the notice issued by the Tamil Nadu Registrar of Societies, Greenpeace India society’s registration was canceled for “fraudulently” conducting their business by falsifying balance sheets, and other violations of the Tamil Nadu Societies Registration Act of 1975.

A bit more:

For over a year, the government of India and Greenpeace India have been at loggerheads. In September, for example, India’s Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) issued an order canceling Greenpeace India’s FCRA (Foreign Contribution Regulation Act) registration, which allows the NGO to receive foreign donations.

The Indian government also blocked several Greenpeace India bank accounts and froze their funding earlier this year, and barred Priya Pillai, a Greenpeace India activist, from boarding a flight to the UK.

That's how you do it - hit them in the bank account.

I was active in the Seattle office of Greenpeace for five years and quit because they were veering away from their original scientific base and were becoming a political advocacy group. Patrick Moore - their co-founder - has the same sentiments: here, here, here and here.

Superconductivity at -70°C

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This was first mentioned in December 2014 but the review has just been published.

From the MIT Technology Review:

The Superconductor That Works at Earth Temperature
The world of superconductivity is in uproar. Last year, Mikhail Eremets and a couple of pals from the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry in Mainz, Germany, made the extraordinary claim that they had seen hydrogen sulphide superconducting at -70 °C. That’s some 20 degrees hotter than any other material—a huge increase over the current record.

Followers of this blog will have read about this work last December, when it was first posted to the arXiv. At the time, physicists were cautious about the work. The history of superconductivity is littered with dubious claims of high-temperature activity that later turn out to be impossible to reproduce.

But in the months since then, Eremets and co have worked hard to conjure up the final pieces of conclusive evidence. A few weeks ago, their paper was finally published in the peer reviewed journal Nature, giving it the rubber stamp of respectability that mainstream physics requires. Suddenly, superconductivity is back in the headlines.

Today, Antonio Bianconi and Thomas Jarlborg at the Rome International Center for Materials Science Superstripes in Italy provide a review of this exciting field. These guys give an overview of Eremet and co’s discovery and a treatment of the theoretical work that attempts to explain it.

The review can be found here: Superconductivity above the lowest Earth temperature in pressurized sulfur hydride

Very cool - there are some limits to these materials. If they carry a large current, there are physical magnetic forces that the material needs to withstand. This is why MRI machines still use liquid helium instead of nitrogen (2,000X cheaper) - the copper ceramic materials that are superconducting at LN2 temperatures are very brittle and would shatter.

More faster please - treating cancer

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From England's Great Ormond Street Hospital:

World first use of gene-edited immune cells to treat ‘incurable’ leukaemia
A new treatment that uses ‘molecular scissors’ to edit genes and create designer immune cells programmed to hunt out and kill drug resistant leukaemia has been used at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH).

The treatment, previously only tested in the laboratory, was used in one-year-old, Layla, who had relapsed acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL). She is now cancer free and doing well.

This breakthrough comes from GOSH and UCL Institute of Child Health’s (ICH) pioneering research teams, who together are developing treatments and cures for some of the rarest childhood diseases.

Chemotherapy successfully treats many patients with leukaemia but it can be ineffective in patients with particularly aggressive forms of the disease where cancer cells can remain hidden or resistant to drug therapy. Recent developments have led to treatments where immune cells, known as T-cells, are gathered from patients and programmed using gene therapy to recognise and kill cancerous cells. Multiple clinical trials are underway, but individuals with leukaemia, or those who have had several rounds of chemotherapy, often don’t have enough healthy T-cells to collect and modify meaning this type of treatment is not appropriate.

A bit more about the nuts and bolts of the treatment:

The treatment works by adding new genes to healthy donor T-cells, which arm them against leukaemia. Using molecular tools (TALEN®) that act like very accurate scissors, specific genes are then cut in order to make the T-cells behave in two specific ways. Firstly, the cells became invisible to a powerful leukaemia drug that would usually kill them and secondly they are reprogrammed to only target and fight against leukaemia cells.

The team at GOSH and the UCL ICH, along with investigators at University College London and biotech company Cellectis, had been developing ‘off-the-shelf’ banks of these donor T-cells and the first of which was due to be used for final stage testing ahead of clinical trials. But, after hearing about this infant, the team received special permission to try the new treatment early.

Very clever two-pronged attack - the off-the-shelf banks of cells is wonderful too. They can culture them as needed.

The false Prophet Mohammad - was he insane?

That would explain a lot about islam - even just a casual read of the Koran makes it very plain that it is not consistent with itself.

From It’s All About Muhammad

Was Muhammad Insane?
THE FUNDAMENTAL PROBLEM OF ISLAM is the belief that God talked to Muhammad and dictated the contents of the Koran to him. Muslims are indoctrinated into believing this is so, and they act on the numerous incitements to violence that they find in it.

For insight into Muhammad’s mental condition, consider Chapter 33 of his Koran, entitled “The Confederates.” This is one of the chapters Muhammad composed in Yathrib (later called Medina) where he fled after his Meccan compatriots determined they needed to kill him to preserve their way of life.

The chapter is like a wild theme park ride that races in and out of numerous topics. In the 73 verses that make up the chapter, Muhammad covers the following in the God-voice he used for the Koran: He recaps a recent battle with the Meccans and excoriates people who were afraid to fight and die for him; he gloats about his extermination of the men and boys of one of the Jewish tribes of Yathrib, the confiscation of their property, and the enslavement of their women and children; he authorizes himself to take as many wives as he likes, permits himself to marry the wife of his adopted son, forbids himself from taking any more wives after he has taken as many as he likes, but allows himself sex slaves.

As the verses of this “revelation” continue, Muhammad imposes full body and face cover for women when outside the home, threatens people with humiliating punishment in the afterlife for annoying him, threatens to murder his critics, prohibits the practice of adoption, and dishes up images of sadistic torture in Hell awaiting people who don’t believe in him. He also praises himself as a “lamp spreading light,” and holds his behavior as a “beautiful pattern” for people to follow if they want to score well with Allah.

Overdue for a reformation. Christians did this a thousand years ago - time for the muslims to step up to the plate...

Exxon Mobil being 'investigated'

Funny how a simple story can have two sides to it...

From The New York Times:

Exxon Mobil Investigated for Possible Climate Change Lies by New York Attorney General
The New York attorney general has begun an investigation of Exxon Mobil to determine whether the company lied to the public about the risks of climate change or to investors about how such risks might hurt the oil business.

According to people with knowledge of the investigation, Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman issued a subpoena Wednesday evening to Exxon Mobil, demanding extensive financial records, emails and other documents.

The investigation focuses on whether statements the company made to investors about climate risks as recently as this year were consistent with the company’s own long-running scientific research.

And this from the International Business Times:

Hillary Clinton Demands Probe of Exxon After Oil Giant Stops Funding Clinton Foundation
Hillary Clinton is now supporting a federal investigation of ExxonMobil following the latest . disclosures that the giant oil company worked to hide the effects of climate change. Her call for an investigation comes only months after the company decided to stop sponsoring her family’s foundation.

The Clinton Foundation has accepted at least $1 million from ExxonMobil, despite the company’s history of financing challenges to climate science. And Clinton's State Department touted ExxonMobil as an example of how America should look at Iraq as “a business opportunity.”

The word you are looking for is Shakedown

I got nothing much so far today

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Had coffee, paid some bills, checked in at the store and surfed for a bit. Nothing catching my eye on the internet.

Getting stuff ready for tomorrow's work.

Another day in paradise

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Heading out for coffee and then working at home on some projects.

Spending most of tomorrow at the County Search and Rescue building going through a bunch of old radio gear with some members of our emergency communications group.

More later...

Remember, remember! The fifth of November

410 years ago today, a man entered Parliament with honest intentions.

I am pissed that the Anonymous crowd has picked up on wearing the Guy Fawkes masks - classic case of the sociopaths moving in on the Geeks

Fscking poseurs...

RIP - George Barris

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George Barris? From Comic Book Resources:

Celebrated custom car designer George Barris, who created the iconic Batmobile for the 1966 "Batman" TV series, passed away early this morning at his home. He was 89 years old.

"He was surrounded by his family in the comfort of his home," his son Brett Barris wrote on Facebook. "He lived his life the way he wanted til the end. He would want everyone celebrate the passion he had for life and for what he created for all to enjoy."

And you have definitely seen his work:

Although George Barris built and supplied cars for feature films and television series ranging from "North by Northwest" and "The Time Machine" to "The Munsters" and "The Beverly Hillbillies," he's best known for creating the Batmobile for the 1966 Batman television series.

An American Classic - he will be missed...

His website is here: - caution: loud auto-loading music

Back from town and dinner

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Had another run into town this afternoon. Every year at the grocery store we run a raffle. When a customer buys more than $50, they get an entry and when the Mt. Baker Ski area closes for the season, we draw a ticket. The winner gets a ski pass for next season.

Picked up the winners pass today - will be calling him tomorrow to arrange delivery.

Did a Costco roti-chicken for dinner with a pot of rice and salad.

Been getting into the Doc Martin television series - some great characters.

This was in reference to her wonderful Freudian slip yesterday.

From the New York Post (via Don Surber)

Hillary’s new spin doctor was arrested for drugs 2 years ago
The new head of Hillary Rodham Clinton’s “rapid response” team has a skeleton in his own closet: a 2013 arrest for drug possession.

Zac Petkanas, who was hired just days ago for the senior post on the Clinton camp’s communications team, was arrested at an Atlanta hospital at 4:55 a.m. Aug. 17, 2013, and charged with possessing methamphetamines, according to a police report.


No further court documents are available, and it wasn’t clear how the case was resolved.

He was working for the Nevada Democratic Party at the time of the bust.

Everything she does is contaminated in some way. Time for her to go to jail and get out of political life.

From The Washington Free Beacon:

Gun Sales Set Record for Sixth Month in a Row
The Federal Bureau of Investigation processed a record number of background checks in the month of October, indicating that gun sales were at an all time high for the sixth month in a row.

The FBI’s National Instant Background Check System processed 1,976,759 firearms related checks in October. That is a 373,290 increase in checks over last year and a new record for the month. It also makes October the sixth consecutive month to see a record number of checks.

Since every purchase of a new gun in the United States requires a background check the metric is considered a reliable proxy for how many overall gun sales there have been, even though the number does not represent a one to one calculation for gun sales. The federal government and most states do not require background checks on gun sales made between private parties. Additionally, some states request FBI background checks on their citizens who apply for gun carry permits.

People are getting pissed off at being ignored and belittled - we are no longer represented in Washington, we are instead "managed" by our elites - our betters.

From The New York Times:

Mexico’s Supreme Court Opens Door to Legalizing Marijuana Use
The Mexican Supreme Court opened the door to legalizing marijuana on Wednesday, delivering a pointed challenge to the nation’s strict substance abuse laws and adding its weight to the growing debate in Latin America over the costs and consequences of the war against drugs.

The vote by the court’s criminal chamber declared that individuals should have the right to grow and distribute marijuana for their personal use. The ruling is a first step — applying only to a single cannabis club that brought the suit — and does not strike down Mexico’s current drug laws. But it lays the groundwork for a wave of legal actions that could ultimately legalize marijuana.

It will be interesting to see how deep the cartel tentacles reach into the Mexican court system. The legalization would cost them a lot of money.

The slowing economy - it is worldwide

This is something that is not covered in the major media but there is one interesting metric that shows that the world economy is slowing down... A lot...


The less stuff people buy, the less call there is for shipping a container from point A to point B. One measure of shipping activity is the Baltic Dry Index formed, like most maritime endeavors, in a London Coffeehouse - the Virginia and Baltick (Maritime insurance company Lloyds of London was formed at Edward Lloyds' Coffeehouse). Here is a chart of the Baltic Dry Index from Bloomberg:


Next, we have these cheery words from Tyler Durdin at Zero Hedge:

Global Trade In Freefall: China Container Freight At Record Low; Rail Traffic Tumbles, Trucking Slows Down
Over the past year we have regularly contended that a far greater threat to the global economy than either corporate earnings, currency devaluations, rate cuts (or hikes), reserve outflow, or even the stock market, is the sudden, global trade crunch which has been deteriorating rapidly since late 2014 and has seen an even more dramatic drop off as 2015 is winding down. Actually, that is incorrect: global trade is merely a manifestation of the true state of the above listed items.

First, there was ships
Back in March, we reported that "Global Trade Volume Tumbles Most Since 2011; Biggest Value Plunge Since Lehman."

Then in August when we first pointed out a dramatic slowdown in the Baltic Dry index which had peaked just a few weeks earlier and we said that "should the dead cat bounce in shipping rates indeed be over, and if the accelerate slide continues at the current pace, not only will shippers mothball key transit lanes, but the biggest concern for global economy, the unprecedented slowdown in world trade volumes, which we flagged a week ago, will be not only confirmed but is likely to unleash yet another global recession."

Three weeks later, we got confirmation that the BDIY has indeed become a lagging indicator to actual demand, when Reuters reported in its latest weekly update using data from the Shanghai Containerized Freight Index, that key shipping freight rates for transporting containers from ports in Asia to Northern Europe fell by 26.7 percent to $469 per 20-foot container (TEU) in the week ended on Friday.The collapse in rates is nothing short of a bloodbath: "it was the third consecutive week of falling freight rates on the world’s busiest route and rates are now nearly 60 percent lower than three weeks ago.

Fast forward to the latest update from the China Containerized Freight Index which as of October 30 has fallen about as far as it ever has in history: at 744.44 it was the lowest on record which suggests that beyond the headline propaganda of some nascent recovery, global trade has literally fallen of a cliff.

Much more at the site with link to the data. Finally, this news item from gCaptain:

Maersk Decision to Lay-Up a Triple-E is ‘A Wake-Up Call’, Says Drewry
Maersk Line’s decision last week to lay-up one of its 18,000 teu flagships is “good news for the industry”, Drewry Maritime Advisors said earlier this week.

TEU is a TLA for twenty-foot equivalent unit - a standard 20 foot long by 8 foot square shipping container

Other ocean carriers are likely to follow the market leader and mothball more surplus ships.

The move to idle the Triple-E vessel followed a profit warning from the Maersk group which lowered its full-year profit forecast for the container division by $600m to “around $1.6bn. It blamed freight rates which “significantly deteriorated”, especially on its main Asia-Europe route in the latter part of September and into October.

The dramatic turnaround from the Danish carrier was confirmation that, despite its ability in recent years to outperform it peers in terms of operating margins, it is not immune to the toxic mix of too much capacity chasing dwindling cargo demand.

Maersk is also laying off 4,000 employees as noted at The Loadstar

Fun times ahead - time to invest locally and develop marketable 'real' skills - brewing, carpentry, plumbing, farming, machining, etc... Brushing up on STEAM (not STEM) skills will not hurt either.

Best Freudian slip ever!

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Hillary is giving a speech at an NAACP banquet in Charleston, South Carolina last Friday. She is talking about her proposal to remove the requirement for convicted and released prisoners to state that they have been in jail at the initial stage of a job application.

Her slip is that she used the words "former presidents" and not "former prisoners".


Former presidents won’t have to declare their criminal history at the very start of the hiring process. - I love it!!!

Tip of the hat to Legal Insurrection.

As Europe sinks

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From Jim Hoft writing at Gateway Pundit:

WEAPONS CACHE Found Hidden at Swedish Migrant Center
Security officials in Krokum Sweden found a large weapons cache concealed in the heating room at the migrant center.
Avpixlat reported:
(rough translation)

Gun Crine A weapon cache was found last week at an asylum accommodation in Krokom in Jämtland inside the property’s heating chamber. According to reliable sources, Avpixlat has been in contact with both the police and the Security Service. The weapons were seized.

The weapons were detected when staff from a local energy company entered and read the meters of the boiler. They could not get in because the door was locked. After finding the master key, the staff could get in and then got to see what had been hidden in there, probably by the asylum seekers.

It was not a question of a small hunting guns, but several real firearms according to respondents. They then called the local police who in turn contacted the security police. At the County Police Department in Östersund was not known to the task of arms cache when Avpixlat called and could not refer to someone.

Krokom located between Östersund and Åre became known in 2013, when a local ICA retailer in the resort Kaxås wanted to show their support for the asylum seekers.

Politically Correct will be their demise.

The new administration in Canada

And it begins - muslim invasion of Europe

All the new refugees in Europe?

From The Express:

Islamic extremists 'break into church and spray Allah on walls before destroying crucifix'
The attackers smashed wooden statues of the Virgin Mary and Jesus on the cross during the shocking attack earlier this week.

They stormed the Church of our Lady of Carmen in the Spanish town of Rincon de la Victoria, Andalucia on Monday morning.

Spain's Civil Guard has now launched a probe into the vandalism.

Ooooo - they launched a probe. That is going to go straight to the root of the problem. Andalucia was once a Muslim territory and they want to regain it. It's Crusades time all over again. Time to gather your strength and drive the heathen bastards into the river. There is no negotiation.

Like I said yesterday, I really think that we should form a coalition of Nations to go into Europe and remove all the artwork for safekeeping. Look at how the muslims are destroying ancient archaeological sites and looting museums in the middle-east. How long will it take for the Vatican to be turned into a mosque at this rate.

Post birthday - day one

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Drank a little bit too much wine last night so breakfast was left-over cake and a couple asprin. Heading out for coffee and then having a very lazy day.

From Ian M. Smith writing at The Hill:

Leaked DHS memo shows Obama might circumvent DAPA injunction
A newly leaked internal DHS memorandum produced for an off-the-record agency conclave reveals that the Obama administration is actively planning to circumvent a federal court injunction that suspended part of last November’s deferral-based amnesty initiative. The document, apparently prepared as follow-up from a DHS “Regulations Retreat” last summer, appears sure to re-ignite concerns in Congress as well as federal judges in the Fifth Circuit. The Administration has already been criticized from the bench for handing out work permits to hundreds of thousands of deferred action beneficiaries, in direct violation of a district court’s order. With the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals deciding any day now whether to deny the Administration’s request to reverse that injunction, this public leak has come at a critical juncture for U.S. enforcement policy.

Last June, four months after Texas federal judge Andrew Hanen’s order to freeze President’s DAPA and Expanded DACA programs—disclosure: the Immigration Reform Law Institute has filed briefs in these cases—DHS’s immigration policy makers apparently held a “Regulations Retreat” to discuss “different options” for “open market Employment Authorization Document (EAD) regulatory changes.” EAD is the statutory term for work permits. From a memo recording these discussions, we now know that the Obama DHS has, rather than pausing to allow the courts to assess the constitutionality of its enforcement nullification initiatives, been gearing up to roll out one or more of four plans drawn up at the meeting, each one designed to provide EADs to millions of nonimmigrants, including those lawfully present and visa overstayers, crippling the actual employment-based visa system on the federal statute-book.

The internal memo reveals four options of varying expansiveness, with option 1 providing EADs to “all individuals living in the United States”, including illegal aliens, visa-overstayers, and H-1B guest-workers, while option 4 provides EADs only to those on certain unexpired non-immigrant visas. Giving EADs to any of the covered individuals, however, is in direct violation of Congress’s Immigration & Nationality Act and works to dramatically subvert our carefully wrought visa system.

The Immigration Reform Law Institute has more information here: FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS The Obama Administration’s DAPA and Expanded DACA Programs

This is just wrong - so many citizens out of work and they try to shoehorn unskilled illegals into the labor force. This is the camel's nose under the tent for voting rights. Glad that someone had the stones to leak the memo.

Cake coma

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Just finished a wonderful evening - had seven guests for the potluck dinner. The beef came out pretty good and the humus was a big hit. Other people brought some amazing food as well - a Thai curry with jasmine rice and some planked salmon. Have about 1/4 of the cake left to eat over the next day or two - sugar high and coma. There seems to be a lot of illness going around - I had the 24 hour bug last week and a couple people from the store were out sick today - unusually bad for this time of year...

Took some photos and will post tomorrow - tired - surf for a bit and up to bed.

Hurricane Patricia - the biggest ever

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Not so much - from British Columbia, CA newspaper The Province:

Tom Harris and Tim Ball: Patricia was nowhere near the worst tropical storm
We were told that Hurricane Patricia was the strongest event of its kind in history. A quick look at the record books reveals that this isn’t true.

Hurricanes, cyclones, and typhoons are just different tomharris150 Tom Harris and Tim Ball: Patricia was nowhere near the worst tropical stormnames for the same weather phenomenon — intense tropical cyclones, or TCs. The only difference between them is their locations. In the Atlantic and Northeast Pacific, we refer to them as hurricanes. In the Northwest Pacific they are called typhoons. In the South Pacific and Indian Ocean, people call them cyclones.

So how did Patricia compare with other severe TCs on record?

The most intense TC, as defined by how low the central pressure became, was Typhoon Tip in 1979 in the Northwest Pacific Ocean. Tip reached a low of 870 millibars while Patricia never dropped below 879 millibars.

The most intense TC, as defined by maximum sustained surface wind speed, was Typhoon Nancy in the Northwest Pacific Ocean in 1961. Nancy attained 344 km/h. Six TCs between 1959 and 1997 exceeded 304 km/h. According to The Weather Channel, Patricia’s maximum sustained wind speed at landfall timball150 Tom Harris and Tim Ball: Patricia was nowhere near the worst tropical stormwas estimated at 264 km/h and an automated weather observation site in Cuixmala on the west coast of Mexico reported 296 km/h.

Patricia’s supposed 320 km/h wind speed over the ocean was not actually measured. It was merely predicted by computer models based on the measured speeds thousands of feet above the surface. The evidence that it was exaggerated is the rapidity with which the winds supposedly diminished after the storm reached land, where it could be measured.

Patricia did not even set a record for gusts. Cyclone Olivia gusted to 405 km/h at Barrow Island, Australia in 1996. Patricia gusted to 338 km/h.

Those pesky numbers again - worst ever? No. More at the link including damage reports (minimal), fatalities (at most six depending on the report you read)

Unintended consequences - the IPCC

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The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is the leading body pursuing the idea that #1) - our planet is warming to fast, #2) - it is entirely our fault and #3) - we must do something about it before it is too late. A lead IPCC author, Dr. Richard Tol takes a look at 25 years of "science".

From Michael Bastasch writing at The Daily Caller

IPCC Lead Author: 25 Years Of Failed Global Warming Policies Have Made Us Poorer
Environmental economist Richard Tol wants the world to deal with global warming, but his data shows the past 25 years of climate policies in rich countries have done nothing to fundamentally tackle the issue.

If anything, Tol argues, current and past climate policies have only served to make most people a little poorer while benefiting those in politically favored industries or with connections to powerful politicians.

“Twenty-five years of climate policy has made most of us a little poorer,” Tol told an audience gathered at the libertarian Cato Institute Friday, adding that such policies also made “some of us a little richer” — referring to those getting green energy subsidies and government grants.

In Tol’s view, climate policies have been more about “rewarding allies with rents and subsidies rather than emissions reduction.”

And Dr. Tol is not one of those ungodly "deniers"

Tol is probably the world’s leading environmental economist and a lead author of a United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change working group, but that hasn’t stopped him from being criticized for his unorthodox opinions.

Tol lashed out against the IPCC last year for exaggerating claims about global warming, by comparing it to an “apocalypse.” The economist also authored articles debunking the “97 percent” consensus claim often touted by environmentalists and politicians.

On the other hand, Tol is no skeptic of man-made global warming. He favors taxing carbon dioxide emissions, but has admitted that global warming could initially result in economic benefits from enhanced plant growth, lower heating costs and fewer deaths from the cold.

The unintended consequences of meddling in other people's affairs where their welfare does not impact your own. You can try anything you want and it will not affect your lifestyle.

Fscking Limousine liberals

Says it all

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What with Europe's "refugee" problem skyrocketing out of control - this defines the reason:



I really think that we should form a coalition of Nations to go into Europe and remove all the artwork for safekeeping. Look at how the muslims are destroying ancient archaeological sites and looting museums in the middle-east. How long will it take for the Vatican to be turned into a mosque at this rate.

Laying low for the day - it's my Birthday

Celebrating my 65th birthday today - got the crew from the store coming over later today (closing the store early) for a potluck. The beef strip has been in the smoker since 7:00AM - went back to bed and slept for a few more hours.

Heading out for coffee and then back home to cook!

Been a long fun run and looking forward to at least another 30 years. My Dad passed away at 94 and I am in better health than he ever was.

Just got this prayer in an email:

Dear Lord: The last fifteen or twenty years have been very tough. You have taken my favorite actor - Paul Newman; my favorite actress - Elizabeth  Taylor; my favorite singer - Andy Williams; my favorite author -Tom Clancy; and now, my favorite comedians – Robin Williams and Joan Rivers.
I just wanted you to know that my favorite politicians are Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, and I have a special place in my heart for Jessie Jackson and Al Sharpton.

Spent a lot of time on the water - one of my Father's brothers was a sea captain (oil tankers and break-bulk - this was before containerized cargo - he died at sea in the 1960's) so I follow the industry.

From gCaptain:

El Faro Found – Wreckage Confirmed to Be Missing American Cargo Ship
The National Transportation Safety Board has confirmed that the wreckage found Saturday off the coast of the Bahamas at a depth of about 15,000 feet is that of the missing American cargo ship El Faro.

The NTSB said over the weekend that a salvage team onboard the U.S. Navy tug USNS Apache found wreckage consistent with the missing cargo ship on the seafloor near the last known position of vessel – approximately 36 miles northeast of Crooked Island in the Bahamas. The wreckage was found using side-scan sonar.

The images showed that the ship appeared to be upright and in one piece.

The salvage team was expected to send an ROV to confirm and survey that the wreckage as early as Sunday.

Now that the wreckage is confirmed, the salvage team will look to recover the vessel’s voyage data recorder and begin documenting the wreckage.

God rest their souls and I hope that whomever made them go into the teeth of a hurricane pays for their decision. At least now, the families and friends have some measure of closure.

O, God Thy Sea Is So Great And My Boat Is So Small

Some amazing flying

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This is just amazing flying. One small misjudgment and the two guys in the tower would be strawberry jam.

Hat tip to The Silicon Graybeard who fills in the details:

Making Tough Work Look Easy
In Lyon, France, a new high rise office building called Incity Tower is being completed. Like most tall buildings, it's capped with a large tower which, again like most, appears to be topped by cellular service antennas. The tower is 50 meters (164 feet) tall on top of a 150 meter (492') tall building and the resulting 200 meter (656') tall building has the highest tower in Lyon and the third highest in France. The tower weighs 25.9 tonnes, which raises the question of how one puts 25.9 tonnes of metal on roof that's 492' tall?

This is amazing. Note the two guys sticking out of the base section of tower that's being worked on. A mistake with the alignment of that upper section being put in place while exposed would cut them in half. Consider that the enormous weight is a pendulum, but since the helicopter isn't fixed to anything, both the helicopter and the tower section are swinging around a common center of rotation.

It's a job that would make most people wet themselves. Most people wouldn't have the nerve to climb the ladder inside the lower sections. (Don't look at me. I'm a desk jockey; I include myself.)

But this is what it takes to bring the constant connectivity everyone has grown to expect.

So true - hats off to these incredible people who work behind the scenes making our lives that much easier.

Talking about the weather

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One of the things I really love here is how the weather changes from moment to moment. Lulu was giving the horses their evening treats and told me to check out the sky:


Sunset on Black Mountain and in a couple minutes, it was all overcast and dull.

Back from town

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Picked up the stuff for tomorrow's party - got shrimp. The brisket didn't look too good so got a strip instead - nice little upgrade with a lot more flavor and just as much fat (but not too much).

Salting it down and heating up some spaghetti leftovers for tonight - dry rub and throw it in the smoker tomorrow early morning - develop a nice bark.

Party at 5:00PM

Off to town today

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Having a staff party at the house tomorrow so picking up some food things.

Smoking a brisket and doing a bunch of tasty appetizers.

Barry - getting it right

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Zombies - a few questions

Eaton Rapids Joe has a few questions about Zombies:

Belladonna gave me a quick tutorial on Zombies as I drove her back to school.

I still have many questions:

    • With no active immune system, why don’t they bloat like a road-killed deer or raccoon?
    • Without an active immune system, how is it that they don’t rot like a freezer full of beef during a power outage?  They should be disintegrating after three days.
    • Since they are cold blooded, they should freeze solid in the winter. Why can’t the survivors find them and delimb them as easily as breaking icicles off the eves of a house?

And this one - my favorite:

    • If they are drawn to light, then how come all of the zombies on the east coast did not walk into the Atlantic ocean at dawn.  Same question for the west coast and the Pacific ocean at sunset.

Yeah - explain those if you will. More at the site...

Hmmm - Jar Jar Binks is a Jedi master?

Lumpawarroo makes a convincing case complete with videos - from the Reddit Star Wars forum:

[Theory] Jar Jar Binks was a trained Force user, knowing Sith collaborator, and will play a central role in The Force Awakens
Here I will seek to establish that Jar Jar Binks, far from being simply the bumbling idiot he portrays himself as, is in fact a highly skilled force user in terms of martial ability and mind control.

Furthermore, I assert that he was not, as many people assume, just an unwitting political tool manipulated by Palpatine-- rather, he and Palpatine were likely in collaboration from the very beginning, and it's entirely possible that Palpatine was a subordinate underling to Binks throughout both trilogies.

And finally, given the above, I will conclude with an argument as to why I believe it is not only possible, but plausible that Jar Jar will make a profound impact on the upcoming movies, and what his role may be.

Be sure to read the entire thing (not that long) and watch the videos - there are also some examples of Drunken Fist wushu (Zui Quan) by Jar Jar with examples of the same moves from a Zui Quan training video.

Crap - RIP Fred Thompson

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One of the great ones - excellent Senator and would have made an outstanding President.

From The Tennessean:

Fred Thompson, with larger-than-life persona, dies at 73
Fred Thompson, a former U.S. senator from Tennessee, GOP presidential candidate, Watergate attorney and actor who starred on the television drama "Law and Order," died on Sunday in Nashville. He was 73.

Mr. Thompson died after a recurrence of lymphoma, according to a prepared statement issued by the Thompson family. Mr. Thompson, who had recently purchased a house in Nashville to return to Tennessee, was first diagnosed with cancer in 2004.

"It is with a heavy heart and a deep sense of grief that we share the passing of our brother, husband, father, and grandfather who died peacefully in Nashville surrounded by his family," the Thompson family's statement reads.

He left us too early. One of the great ones...

6:00PM it is - we are talking about removing our existing water meters (20+ years old and gradually failing) and replacing them with electronic ones. Lots of benefits but we are a small co-op and $16K is a substantial chunk of change.

Put this to our customers at our next Annual General Meeting this coming spring.

Surf for a bit and then to bed. Long day tomorrow...

Yet another meeting tonight

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Only two people showed up for our monthly water board meeting last week so we rescheduled it for tonight. Fixing dinner - sous vide beef and Irish colcanon - a good hearty meal for a cold winter's night and several day's worth of yummy leftovers. Baking a loaf of par-baked baguette - get these at Costco and they are delicious!

I plan make a motion to move the meeting time to 6:00PM from 7:00PM - I have a ham radio net at 7:00 that I do not want to miss. See if it works for everyone else. Now that Daylight Savings is done, it's getting really dark really soon.

It was a record breaking run with an early opening and late closing but the gate was shut this morning.

From the WA State DOT:

Road to Artist Point is closed for winter
Date: Sunday, November 01, 2015
Snowfall ends the longest season on record at popular destination
After a recording-setting year and the longest season ever, State Route 542 between the Mount Baker Ski Area and Artist Point is now closed.

Today, Nov. 1, Washington State Department of Transportation crews closed the winter gate to block the final 2.7 miles of the highway to vehicle traffic until next summer. The first significant snowfall of the year left six inches on the ground, with more expected. This the latest recorded closing of the road; the previous mark was Oct. 26, 2011.

The road to the Artist Point lookout area and trailhead was open 172 days, shattering the mark of 115 days, set in 2014. Because of last winter’s low snowfall total and the early closure of the Mount Baker Ski Area, WSDOT crews began clearing the highway on April 20, and opened it May 14, about seven weeks earlier than usual.

“We close the highway every year when snow starts to accumulate on the road because conditions can become dangerous,” said WSDOT Maintenance Superintendent Tony Hernandez. “We opened the road much earlier than ever before, so people got to enjoy a long season at Artist Point this year.”

The last 2.7 miles of SR 542 are narrow with steep grades and sharp corners, reaching an altitude of 5,000 feet. Typically the highway receives 30 to 50 feet of snow each winter. It usually takes six to eight weeks to reopen the last section of the highway once clearing work begins in the spring.

The earliest was Sept. 27, 2007. In 1999 the highway never opened after a world-record snowfall total.

1999 was one year after the largest recorded El Niño on record. I am hoping that 2017 will bring the same. The economy of this mountain hamlet is very tourist driven. The extended opening of Artist Point this summer was a great benefit to business in the area. An exceptional snow year will be a real boon as the last couple of years have been downright crappy...

Second pulse past with third inbound

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From our local river - rain is just starting again with a lot more forecast:


Time to head out for coffee, pay a few bills (running into town tomorrow) and get ready for a water board meeting tonight.

First snow of the season!

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There is visible snow on Black Mountain (about 4,700 foot elevation) and Mt. Baker's Heather Meadows has 9 inches on the ground. This photo from the Mt. Baker Ski Area website:


The National Weather Service is predicting snow down to 4,000 feet and from 7 to 13 additional inches for Mt. Baker

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