September 2016 Archives

Grace is happy

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I hand fed her a couple of pieces of the meat and put the rest at the bottom of her bowl and filled it with kibble - she tucked in to it like it was pure ambrosia, came over and licked me after. Do not know if she is still hungry and testing to see what I taste like or if it is a very big thank you. I'll go with the thank you.

Surf for a bit, read through some of the Tesla papers and then an early bedtime.

There is an international drill for Earthquakes happening on the 20th of October - the Great Shakeout. Our county is participating as part of the Washington State Shakeout and I signed up to participate. I will be in Bellingham for the drill - nobody in East County is doing anything that I know of. Maybe I can bring it out here next year. Anyway, we have intensive training on this coming Monday and Tuesday. I have already been through some of the classes but the people doing the training are awesome instructors and a refresher is always a great help - this is supposed to simulate stress so the better we are prepared, the better we can cope. Got a major First Aid class coming up on October 16th too. Busy month!

Was working on a couple projects and realised that I needed to get some funds into my checking account for the bills I paid two days ago (thanks GnuCash!). Picked up some aluminum stock for a project and had dinner at the new Roadhouse - they do Prime Rib every Friday and Saturday and it was pretty good.

Huge cut - much larger than the 14oz. listed on the menu and it was a real honest-to-God prime rib. I know what each cut of meat looks like and too many places try to substitute a hanger or sirloin roast for the prime - big difference.

Back home now - Grace knows there are some great treats waiting for her so I am delaying her dinner a wee bit just to mess with her. She is being so good and so attentive. Time to feed her now...

The FBI just scanned and released all the papers of Nikola Tesla that they had been holding onto since his death.

This was put online on the 21st of this month.

Nikola Tesla Part 01 of 03 (249 pages)

Nikola Tesla Part 02 of 03 (41 pages)

Nikola Tesla Part 03 of 03 (64 pages)

Tesla is one of my major heroes - he invented a few things that you might have heard of. Radio, the fluorescent light, the system of power generation, transmission and distribution that we use today, the alternating current motor. A few things...

The usual morning around here

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Got the critters taken care of, going to clean out the truck a bit and head out for coffee.

Come back to touch base on a couple of food trailer-related items, work on some stuff here and then dinner.

Gorgeous weather but we have significant moisture moving in...

Now this looks absolutely wonderful

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Not low carb but still... Washington State University has a large agricultural extension program South of here in the Skagit valley. I have taken multiple hard cider and brewing classes there - some great people. They are now doing bread in a big way.

Check out The Bread Lab - from their About page:

The Bread Lab is an integral part of the Washington State University Plant Breeding Program in Mount Vernon, Washington. The lab works with thousands of types of wheat, barley, buckwheat and other small grains to identify lines that perform well in the field for farmers, and that are most suitable for craft baking, cooking, malting, brewing, and distilling. Selecting for flavor, nutrition, and distinctive characteristics such as color, the most promising varieties are analyzed and tested to determine the best end uses.

During the fall of 2016, the Bread Lab will transition from its original 600-square foot room at the WSU-Mount Vernon Research Center to a 12,000 square foot building at the Port of Skagit. In addition to the expanded Bread Lab, the new quarters will house a rheological lab, the King Arthur Flour Baking School at the Bread Lab, and a milling lab. Future plans include a professional kitchen overseen by James Beard Best Chef Northwest Blaine Wetzel, and a malting, brewing and distilling micro-lab led by Matt Hofmann, CEO and master distiller of Westland Distillery, and Will Kemper, co-owner of Chuckanut Brewery and Kitchen.

And as mentioned in the second paragraph, The Bread Lab also hosts the second branch of the King Arthur Flour Baking School - first one is at their home site in Vermont. I could see taking a couple classes here...

Spotted today - from Zero Hedge:

Just Spotted In Front Of The New York Fed
Three months later, the shredders are back...


... and this time they are joined by a friend: a van belonging to a professional demolition and dismantling service, which incidentally is parked right in front of the NY Fed's master cargo door which among other places, leads to NY Fed's gold vault.


Things must be getting serious if just using BleachBit won't fix it.

I love the BleachBit comment - some wine flew out my nose. They are probably shredding the IOUs from all the gold they stole after 2008. Adults in the room NOW!

Follow the money - Al Gore and George Soros

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New email dumps from DCLeaks reveal this - from The Daily Caller:

Soros Paid Al Gore MILLIONS To Push ‘Aggressive US Action’ On Global Warming
Liberal billionaire George Soros gave former Vice President Al Gore’s environmental group millions of dollars over three years to create a “political space for aggressive U.S. action” on global warming, according to leaked documents.

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

“U.S. Programs Global Warming Grants U.S. Programs became engaged on the global warming issue about four years ago, at George Soros’s suggestion,” reads a leaked OSI memo.

“There has been a budget of $11 million for global warming grants in the U.S. Programs budget for the last several years,” the memo reads. “This budget item captures George Soros’s commitment of $10 million per year for three years to Al Gore’s Alliance for Climate Protection, which conducts public education on the climate issue in pursuit of creating political space for aggressive U.S. action in line with what scientists say is necessary to put our nation on a path to reducing its outsize carbon dioxide emissions.”

Busted - Gore was just a patsy - they all are. If the science was so settled, why are they scrambling so much to stuff it down our throats. They want to disrupt our economic engine and they stand to make a lot of money doing this.

Big tip of the hat to Musings from the Chiefio for the initial links.

A bit of a workplace accident

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Let's hope for many many more - from Iraqi News:

16 ISIS terrorists killed due to explosive belt malfunction near Kirkuk
Iraqi media outlets reported on Wednesday that a malfunction caused an explosive belt to explode and kill 16 members of the Islamic State (ISIS), including senior leaders, during their meeting in Hawija, southwest of Kirkuk.

Alsumaria stated, “Today, an explosion took place amid a meeting of ISIS members in al-Mahawes village in Hawija district (55 km southwest of Kirkuk),” adding that, “The explosion resulted in the killing of 16 members of the Islamic State group, including senior leaders, as well as wounding of 16 others.”

“A number of the ISIS members were wearing explosive belts during the meeting, and the explosion took place due to a defect in one of them,” Sumaria explained. “The meeting was held to prepare for an attack on the positions of the security forces in Hamrin Mountains, al-Zawiya area and Ajil area in Salahuddin Province,” Sumaria added.

If these people were not so loathsome, they would be laughable - so stupid. I guess when marrying your cousin is a mark of honor, you can expect some genetic drift.

Well this explains a lot...

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From The Seattle Times:

Caffeine connected to dementia prevention, study suggests
A new study suggests a significant relationship between caffeine and dementia prevention, though it stops short of establishing cause and effect.

The study, published in The Journals of Gerontology, Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences, found higher caffeine intake in women age 65 and older was associated with reduced odds of developing dementia or cognitive impairment.

Among the 6,467 women in the study, self-reported caffeine consumption of more than 261 milligrams of caffeine was associated with a 36 percent reduction in the risk of dementia over 10 years of follow-up. That level is equivalent to two to three 8-ounce cups of coffee a day, five to six 8-ounce cups of black tea, or seven to eight 12-ounce cans of cola.

And you seriously thought I was drinking this crap for the taste? (big grin) I love my coffee!

Feeling tired but not surprising

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Given the ease with which I fell asleep last evening. Doing a quick and late dinner, surf for a bit and off to bed.

The Planetary K-Index is fluttering around just below the levels for good aurora today. Grrrr... I really need a solid six for a couple of hours.

Great meeting tonight

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Had about 70 people show up and to get that kind of crowd out here is amazing. There is a website being developed and I will post a link when that goes live but basically, because of unfair redistricting, our County Council has six very progressive members and one conservative one. The progressives are trying to pass as much regulatory bu**shit as possible so they can deny businesses and development they don't like and ignore the rules for businesses that they do like.

Time to rise up.

Knocking out a few things at the store and then in to the bank.

Our very progressive County Council recently redistricted, consolidating voting in urban Bellingham and giving very little representation to the East County. They are now saying that we are in danger of volcanic lahar mudflows if Mt. Baker erupts and they want to severely limit future development on property out here. Needless to say, that will crash whatever property values we have as anyone who buys a piece of land will not be able to develop it beyond a very strict minimum.

Considering that the magma is cooling down and becoming more and more gassy, the danger is shifting from lahars to pyroclastic explosions similar to Mt. St. Helens in 1980.

There is a meeting at our local elementary school tonight - time to let them know that they represent us. We The People and all that good stuff...

A bit of a morale problem for ISIS

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Not that I care - this is actually a good thing. Their belief system is so rooted in the 9th century that they are a mass of cognitive dissonance. Their culture is one of fear and hate. This will tip them over the edge I hope - from England's The Express:

ISIS prepares for FINAL BATTLE: US troops 3 MILES from site of ancient APOCALYPSE prophecy
According to the extremists' twisted ideology, Dabiq - a tiny town in northern Syria - will see a "major apocalyptic showdown with the armies of the infidel" that will result in the collapse of civilization.

And Turkish troops backed by American commandos are understood to be just three miles from the town.

ISIS claim the battle will erupt in a field outside the small town, which in 2004 recorded a population of just 3,000 people.

ISIS even named its terrorist propaganda and recruitment magazine after the settlement, which lies around six miles from the Turkish border.

Jihadists believe the Prophet Mohammed remarked that "the last hour will not come" until an army vanquishes the Romans at "Dabiq or Al-A'maq".

One of the founders of ISIS, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, is quoted in the vile group's propaganda magazine as saying: "The spark has been lit here in Iraq, and its heat will continue to intensify - by Allah's permission - until it burns the crusader armies in Dābiq."

A bit more - the prophesy:

The Prophet Mohammed is said to have declared 1,400 years ago: "The last hour will not come until the Romans arrived in al-A'maq or Dabiq, and an army consisting of the best people on earth in those days will hasten them from Medina."

According to the prophecy, one third of the Islamist fighters will flee the town while another third will be killed.

But the group believes the remaining third will survive the battle and triumph against the Western forces.

Well, this is what you get when you follow a false prophet. Sucks to be you. I feel sorry for the 3,000 inhabitents but they should have known the prophecy as well and shunned the area. It needs to be turned into a smoking hole - glass instead of dirt. Drive the point home to these idiot children of pigs and apes.

Something in the air last night

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I didn't see any aurora but the K-Index is still high:


What did happen is that I could not get to sleep last night. I am usually snoring by midnight and didn't fall asleep until around 5:00AM or so. Lulu had a cluster of several bad dreams - had to wake her up. A disturbance in the Force?

Aurora Norora tonight

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Spent some time outside just now and nothing - took a couple photos (3600ISO for 20 seconds) and just got the Abbotsford light pollution reflecting off some low mist. Pretty but not an aurora.

K Index is stiill high so there may be something later tonight but I will not be awake to see it.

Tonight's meme - Venezuela

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The people's paradise:


Not far from the tree - Chelsea Clinton

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From Breitbart:

Chelsea Clinton Takes Private Jet to ‘Clean Energy Roundtable’
Chelsea Clinton traveled by private jet while campaigning for mother Hillary in the swing state of North Carolina Wednesday, flying from town to town rather than hitting the road in a car or a bus.

Chelsea was caught boarding a gas-guzzling private jet after the Clinton event in Greenville, North Carolina. Her next event, in Asheville, was called the “Clean Energy Roundtable.”

Video of her boarding at the site. That is a distance of 330 miles - five+ hours on a bus. What a hypocrite - shades of DiCaprio.

Person of Interest

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We usually watch an episode of TV (love my ROKU box) while eating dinner. Just started Person of Interest staring local boy Jim Caviezel - fun show.

Screw the carbs

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Lulu and I have been on a carbohydrate restricted diet for the last couple of weeks. I want to lose fifteen pounds and she needs to manage her blood sugar. Keeping the intake at or under 60 grams/day.

Tonight? Screw it - I fixed a big batch of spaghetti. It was delicious. We ate a ton.

Look up tonight

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The sun is active and the Planetary K Index is high - there is a good chance of visible aurorae tonight - the moon is at only 3.7% illumination and doesn't rise until 4:36AM.


Anything at 6 or over is a guarantee of visible aurora at latitudes of 48 or higher. This is a big deal in Iceland - from the Reykjavík Grapevine:

City Will Shut Off Streetlights For The Northern Lights
Due to a predicted high amount of aurora activity tonight, the City of Reykjavík will shut off all the streetlights between 22:00 and 23:00 tonight.

Many of our readers have been awed by the recent spate of aurora activity in Iceland. The Northern Lights have been especially active lately, and Vísir reports that the aurora forecast for this evening predicts a very intense display.

As such, the City of Reykjavík has announced that, in an effort to make this spectacular display more visible to those living in the capital, all streetlights will be switched off from 22:00 to 23:00. This will apply to every neighbourhood in the city.

Just beautiful. Doesn't hurt that Reykjavík is up at 64.12° Latitude - much better observing conditions that far North.

The stupid - it burns

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Talk about a dumb move - from Milwaukee, Wi Journal Sentinel:

Man arrested after berating Sheriff Clarke on flight
A Milwaukee man was arrested and charged with intoxication and disruptive behavior on Saturday after berating Milwaukee County Sheriff David A. Clarke Jr. throughout a two-hour flight from Milwaukee to Charlotte, N.C.

Keith Trietley, a spokesman for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, confirmed that Preston Bluntson, 36, was arrested and booked by police at around 7:10 p.m. Eastern time. He was being held late Saturday in the Mecklenburg County Jail. Trietley said a police report on the incident was not yet available.

A bit more - from an unnamed passenger:

“The guy was very abusive,” the passenger said. "Probably the last 20 minutes it really escalated and focused on Clarke."

According to the passenger, Bluntson, who is African-American, repeatedly used a racial epithet, accused Clarke of “closing our parks” and said the sheriff is “not one of us.”

A number of people tried unsuccessfully to engage Bluntson — who appeared to be drinking throughout the flight — and to get him to calm down but without success, the passenger said. He added that Clarke responded only once, telling the man to “shut up.”

“In all my years flying, I’ve never seen anything like it,” the passenger said.

Oh yeah - Sheriff David A. Clarke Jr. is an ardent Donald Trump supporter. Shows how classy and polite the liberals are. in South Australia

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From The Sydney Morning Herald:

State in the dark: South Australia's major power outage
The entire state of South Australia was without power for several hours on Wednesday afternoon, with the region gripped by what could be one of the most extreme weather systems to hit in 50 years.

A mass blackout began about 3.30pm on Wednesday, plunging the Adelaide into darkness, grounding flights and causing havoc on the state's roads.

A bit more:

Premier Jay Weatherill said the storm took down three transmission lines and nine towers in the Port Augusta region, forcing the electricity connection between South Australia and Victoria - known as an "interconnector" - to be shut down.

Wind turbines, which make up an estimated 40 per cent of the state's power generation, were unable to operate as winds were too high, South Australian senator Nick Xenophon said.

And the storm?

By Wednesday evening, the highest gust had been recorded at Snowtown, which experienced 104km/h winds in the mid-afternoon and 26 millimetres of rain in an hour.

Only 104km/h? That is just 64.6m/h and we get gusts up to that routinely during winter storms. 26mm/h of precip? That is just under one inch of rain - again, routine. During some Pineapple Express patterns, we will get up to six inches in one day - now that is some rain!

So, South Australia's energy policy is to shut down the cheap clean coal burning plants and instead rely on the variable wind for baseload generation. Take away that capacity with either too little wind or too much and you go dark. Plus, your energy costs skyrocket - now where have we heard that before...

Great news re: 9/11

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From the New York Times:

Congress Votes to Override Obama Veto on 9/11 Victims Bill
An overwhelming majority in Congress on Wednesday overturned President Obama’s veto of legislation that would allow families of those killed in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks to sue Saudi Arabia for any role in the plot, the first successful override vote of his presidency.

The 9/11 override is a remarkable yet complicated bipartisan rebuttal, even as some its supporters conceded that they did not fully support the legislation they had just voted for. Mr. Obama and his allies vowed to find a way to tweak the legislation later.

In recent days, Mr. Obama, Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter and General Joseph F. Dunford Jr., the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, all wrote letters to Congress warning of the dangers of overriding the veto.

The law “could be devastating to the Department of Defense and its service members,” Mr. Obama wrote, “and there is no doubt that the consequences could be equally significant for our foreign affairs and intelligence communities.” The White House and some lawmakers were already plotting how they could weaken the law in the near future.

Hey, I do not care what problems this can cause, it is the will of the people that those that perpetrated this heinous attack on American Citizens be brought to justice. The Saudi's have been very active in the background funding radical mosques and spreading terrorism. Time for them to be brought to task for their actions. When the NYT says overwhelming, they are not kidding - 97 for in the Senate with only poor senile Harry Reid voting against and 348 to 77 in the House. The People have spoken.

Congratulations to Anthony Watts

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Anthony hosts the excellent climate realist blog Watts Up With That and just recieved this notification:

WUWT Awarded Top Science Blog Status, beats RealClimate, NYT, Guardian, HuffPo
Some days life hands you unexpected gifts. Today is one of those days. I got this surprise today in a comment left at WUWT Tips & Notes:

My name is Anuj Agarwal. I’m Founder of Feedspot.

I would like to personally congratulate you as your blog Watts Up With That? has been selected by our panelist as one of the Top 100 Science Blogs on the web.


Anthony goes on:

WUWT comes in at #41 out of 100, handily beating The Guardian Science at #46, The New York Times Science at #47, Huffington Post Science at #48, Smithsonian Science at #51, and RealClimate at #62.

Notably absent are the attack sites, such as John Cook’s “Skeptical Science”, Tamino’s “Open Mind”, and Sou’s aka Miriam O’Brien’s “HotWhopper” dungeon of anonymous haters.

Great recognition. Watts Up With That is a daily read for me - excellent site, solid science and great writers.

The Yahoo data breech

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I have not posted about this as many others are covering it - Yahoo suffered a major data breech and anyone who uses their email accounts should change their passwords. The New York Times has a great post-mortem on the breech and the corporate culture that led to it:

Defending Against Hackers Took a Back Seat at Yahoo, Insiders Say
Six years ago, Yahoo’s computer systems and customer email accounts were penetrated by Chinese military hackers. Google and a number of other technology companies were also hit.

The Google co-founder Sergey Brin regarded the attack on his company’s systems as a personal affront and responded by making security a top corporate priority. Google hired hundreds of security engineers with six-figure signing bonuses, invested hundreds of millions of dollars in security infrastructure and adopted a new internal motto, “Never again,” to signal that it would never again allow anyone — be they spies or criminals — to hack into Google customers’ accounts.

Yahoo, on the other hand, was slower to invest in the kinds of defenses necessary to thwart sophisticated hackers that are now considered standard in Silicon Valley, according to half a dozen current and former company employees who participated in security discussions but agreed to describe them only on the condition of anonymity.

When Marissa Mayer took over as chief executive of the flailing company in mid-2012, security was one of many problems she inherited. With so many competing priorities, she emphasized creating a cleaner look for services like Yahoo Mail and developing new products over making security improvements, the Yahoo employees said.

The “Paranoids,” the internal name for Yahoo’s security team, often clashed with other parts of the business over security costs. And their requests were often overridden because of concerns that the inconvenience of added protection would make people stop using the company’s products.

But Yahoo’s choices had consequences, resulting in a series of embarrassing security failures over the last four years. Last week, the company disclosed that hackers backed by what it believed was an unnamed foreign government stole the credentials of 500 million users in a breach that went undetected for two years. It was the biggest known intrusion into one company’s network, and the episode is now under investigation by both Yahoo and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

A long and well written article - computer security is key these days and Yahoo made the decision that any attempt at decent security (forcing users to reset passwords and to use strong ones) would drive their customers away. Fools and now they are paying the price.

A word on Hillary

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A great comment from The News Junkie over at Maggie's Farm:

Politics and likeability
I think the Likeability Factor is overrated in American national politics. It matters more in more local politics. However, I would rather have a beer with Donald than with Hillary.

Part of it is that I think Donald is educable (and has a long way to go), but she is not. She is a snotty know-it-all, and mostly wrong.

Also, he strikes me as being warm and interested in people, while I imagine Hillary would have half of her attention on the door to see if anybody more important than my deplorable self might come in. Somebody with more money or with higher social status. I think she is that sort of deplorable person.

What he says...

Because SCIENCE!!!!!

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Cody Reeder posts videos about once / week - some of my favorite stuff on the internet. This one is a classic.
His YouTube channel.

The United Nations on reparations

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Blathering ninnys - from The Washington Post:

U.S. owes black people reparations for a history of ‘racial terrorism,’ says U.N. panel
The history of slavery in the United States justifies reparations for African Americans, argues a recent report by a U.N.-affiliated group based in Geneva.

This conclusion was part of a study by the United Nations' Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent, a body that reports to the international organization's High Commissioner on Human Rights. The group of experts, which includes leading human rights lawyers from around the world, presented its findings to the United Nations Human Rights Council on Monday, pointing to the continuing link between present injustices and the dark chapters of American history.

"In particular, the legacy of colonial history, enslavement, racial subordination and segregation, racial terrorism and racial inequality in the United States remains a serious challenge, as there has been no real commitment to reparations and to truth and reconciliation for people of African descent," the report stated. "Contemporary police killings and the trauma that they create are reminiscent of the past racial terror of lynching."

Nice narrative there - how about a few facts. They ignore the slavery of the Irish and Chinese immigrants, the fact that South American nations bought far more slaves than the colonies, the fact that it was Muslims who rounded up the slaves in the first place (I can never understand why radical blacks side with Islam - downright ignorant of their own history).

I like Fred Reed's idea - sure, pay out reparations but we want royalties. Television and Cell Phones - both invented by white dudes. Want to use one of these? Pay us a royalty. Fly on an airplane? Same thing. Use electricity? Same thing - invented by white dudes - give us our money. Go and read Fred's column - great stuff.

Drones getting better - DJI's Mavic

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GoPro announced their Karma drone a couple of weeks ago. Now DJI is getting into the business - I love competition!

From Digital Photography Review:

DJI goes portable with the Mavic Pro
DJI just announced the release of their ultra portable consumer drone: the Mavic Pro. The Mavic offers a number of interesting features including the ability to track and follow its user, which is something that the GoPro Karma that was just released last week cannot do. It also has the same obstacle avoidance and tracking modes that can be found on the DJI Phantom 4 – features the Karma lacks.

The Mavic can fly at speeds up to 40MPH in 'sport' mode and can remain stable flying in winds up to 24MPH. The Mavic films in 4K/30p or 1080p at 96fps, and has a battery life of around 27 minutes of continuous flight time. On board the drone is a 12MP camera on a three-axis gimbal that can focus as close as 48cm/19in. The Mavic Pro offers DNG Raw shooting, and DJI claims that thanks to its gimbal design, it's possible to shoot 2-second-long exposures from the air. A Tripod Mode is included that enables finer camera angle and position adjustments so you can frame your selfie just right.

Nice numbers! I  really like the 96fps - that will give a lush slow-motion to the video, great for action videos.

The flip side of immigration

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Europe is having major economic problems - a lot of it is their flirtation with socialism and the E.U. A lot of it is the money they are spending keeping the unvetted and unskilled immigrants on the dole. As a response, one of their sources of hard revenue is drying up. From the New York Times:

Terrorism Scares Away the Tourists Europe Was Counting On
The shocks have come one after another: Islamic State killings of civilians in Brussels and Nice. A deadly outburst of terrorism in Germany. A fresh terror-linked atrocity in a small French town. Warnings abound that more may be on the way.

The surge of attacks in Europe has raised questions over whether a potentially durable new threat to stability is settling in. The political challenges for Europe’s leaders are stark, and the impact on the region’s economy may be just as profound.

“We are experiencing a structural change, a phenomenon of war on our doorstep that didn’t exist before,” said Georges Panayotis, the president of the MKG Group, a tourism consulting company based in Paris. “If it’s not resolved, the problem will continue.”

One example:

At the Mont-Saint-Michel, a spectacular medieval abbey that is one of France’s top tourist destinations, business at the Sodetour Group, a chain of local hotels and restaurants, slumped by up to 70 percent for months after the Nov. 13 terrorist attacks in Paris. It has never fully recovered.

And one more:

At Paris Plage, a makeshift beach erected along the Seine, a dozen armed police officers guarded an entry checkpoint on a recent day. Army troops marched past families playing in the sand and half-empty activity points along the river. The patrols, which cost taxpayers about 1 million euros, or $1.1 million, a day, will add to an already mounting bill after France pledged to spend €816 million this year to reinforce security.

The article offers more examples - this is happening in Brussels, Germany - all over Europe. Europe brought this on themselves - England is doing just fine post-Brexit.

A blast from the past - a two-fer

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A sample of Clinton politics from Bill's tenure in the W.H.

First - from the New York Times, August 22nd, 1997:

The White House Turnstile
How is the Clinton White House like a subway? According to Johnny Chung, fund-raiser extraordinaire for the Democrats last year, you put in coins to open the gates. That cynical comment was part of a revealing interview this week with Tom Brokaw of NBC News, in which Mr. Chung seemed to live up to his reputation as a ''hustler,'' the term that National Security Council officials used to describe him when they were trying to keep him out. Mr. Chung nonetheless visited the White House nearly 50 times because he arranged for almost $400,000 in party donations, and he told Mr. Brokaw he paid the money because that is how the system worked.

No less startling was Mr. Chung's allegation that the Democratic Party was not the only player with a ravenous appetite for money. He also described how he was, in effect, shaken down for a $25,000 donation to Africare, a charitable organization supported by the Energy Secretary at the time, Hazel O'Leary. Mr. Chung said he gave the check directly to a man who said he was an Energy Department official, in order to set up a meeting with Mrs. O'Leary and a Chinese petrochemical official. On another occasion, Mr. Chung said he gave $50,000 to a White House aide to help pay for a Christmas reception in the executive mansion, and then landed a meeting with the First Lady.

Hillary Rodham Clinton said she had no recollection of such a meeting, and the White House denies that it solicited the money from Mr. Chung. But the NBC News report was filled with pictures of Mr. Chung lounging around the executive mansion like a guest at a resort hotel. There he was in the White House mess hall, or at the President's movie theater, or at the White House bowling alley.

We hear about Chung because he was prosecuted - you can only be so flagrant before someone notices. From CNN, March 5th, 1998:

Democratic Fund-Raiser Johnny Chung Agrees to Plead Guilty
Democratic fund-raiser Johnny Chung has agreed to plead guilty to election law violations and cooperate in the ongoing Justice Department investigation into illegal campaign fund-raising in the 1996 elections.

Chung's attorney Brian Sun said in a statement released to CNN, "Mr. Chung has reached an agreement with the government. Mr. Chung wants to put this matter behind him as quickly as possible. He and his family are looking forward to getting on with their lives."

Chung became a major figure in the Democratic fund-raising scandal when it was learned he made almost 50 visits to the White House. During one visit, Chung gave first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton's then-chief of staff, Maggie Williams, a $50,000 check for the Democratic National Committee (DNC). The check was delivered inside the White House.

Two days later Chung was able to bring a group of Chinese businessmen to watch President Bill Clinton deliver a radio address in the Oval Office. They then had their picture taken with the president.

The DNC returned more than $300,000 that Chung raised because of questions about the source of the money.

According to his Wikipedia entry, he got off with a slap on the wrist:

Chung was eventually convicted of bank fraud, tax evasion, and two misdemeanor counts of conspiring to violate election law. On December 14, 1998, Johnny Chung was sentenced to probation and 3,000 hours (community service).

Compare this to Dinesh D'Souza who mistakenly contributed too much money to a friend's political campaign (he had two friends contribute and he then reimbursed them) and was fined $30,000 and spent eight months in a correctional facility.

Back home from the office

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Paid a bunch of bills and started working with my new (to me) cash register. I had picked it up at auction a few years ago sealed in the box - brand new. Think I paid about $40 for it and they sell for $250 new. I love auctions!

I do not know what it is about cash registers. They work great on a day-to-day basis and are very reliable but programming them is a black art. They put their best engineers on the product and get some wino off the streets to write the programming software. A perfect example of this is that when I open a list of departments to program, the boundaries of the window are fixed. The actual table is wider and longer than the window so I have to scroll through. The window occupies only about a quarter of my monitor real-estate so if I could maximize it, I would not have to scroll all over the place. Arrrgghh.

Brought the software home and pre-loaded an SD card so I can start programming the departments and taxes at my leisure.

A gorgeous day in paradise

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Heading out for coffee and then paying bills. Still using the old system - there are a few check formatting issues I need to clear up with GnuCash but should get those fixed in a week or so. The online forum is really good and responsive.

Working on some stuff at home today - doing turkey for dinner tonight so will be trying to make a low-carb cranberry sauce - see how that turns out.

Lulu found evidense of mice in our pantry - they are trying to move indoors for the winter. Time to break out the rat zappers.

Jeff says it best:

Because Arkancide.

Something to keep in mind

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The data for 2015 is out and what with all the clamor about assault-rifle ownership, the numbers show a completely different story.

From the 2015 Federal Bureau of Investigation's Crime in the United States - Table 20: Murder:

    • Total number of murders in 2015: 13,455
    • Murders committed by Rifle or Shotgun: 521
    • Murders committed by Knives or other weapons: 3,215
    • Murders committed by hands, fists, feet, etc: 624

Can not argue with actual numbers. Does not fit the narrative but can not argue with the numbers...

Oh, yes, handguns are responsible for 6,477 Murders.

The debate tonight

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Didn't bother - a media circus and nothing substantive will come out of it. I'll catch the analyses on a couple of online sites tomorrow.

Lulu and I have been watching Blacklist - excellent series and James Spader is perfectly cast.

Have not tried it and will not be doing so for several weeks but I ran into Scribus earlier today when looking for something else.

From their About page:

Libre Desktop Publishing
Welcome to Scribus, a page layout program for Linux, FreeBSD, PC-BSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, Solaris, OpenIndiana, Debian GNU/Hurd, Mac OS X, OS/2 Warp 4, eComStation, Haiku and Windows. Since its humble beginning in the spring of 2001, Scribus has evolved into one of the premier Open Source desktop applications. Encouraged by professionals and beginners alike, the Scribus Team, with support from a large and growing number of enthusiastic contributors from all over the world, is dedicated to develop and improve “one of the most powerful and useful open-source projects out there” (TechRepublic). Underneath a user-friendly interface, Scribus supports professional publishing features, such as CMYK colors, spot colors, ICC color management and versatile PDF creation. Scribus has many unexpected touches, such as powerful vector drawing tools, support for a huge number of file types via import/export filters, emulation of color blindness or the rendering of markup languages like LaTeX or Lilypond inside Scribus. The Scribus file format is XML-based and open. Unlike proprietary binary file formats, even damaged documents can be recovered with a simple text editor – sometimes a challenging …

I will be giving this a shot - page layout software is something I use from time to time. I use Corel Draw which is excellent but very bloated and slow. Trying to go too many directions at once.

Just like QuickBooks has gotten to feature-rich (and correspondingly slow) for my liking (hence my switch to GnuCash), I would love to find a nimble alternative to Corel Draw.

Time to burst their little bubble

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The tech industry has made some wonderful toys but they have also gotten more than a decent share of government giveaways - something that never happened in the beginning and has made the larger companies sluggish and non-competitive. They need to get back to their roots and maybe President Trump will do this - from Tech Crunch:

Tech really wants to fix this election
With just 42 days left until the election, it’s crunch time for anyone who hasn’t registered to vote. The deadlines to register in most states fall throughout October, with only a few states allowing in-person registration on the day of the election.

The process can be confusing, and it’s one that tech companies from Google all the way down to small startups like Sam Altman’s VotePlz, which launched a million dollar registration sweepstakes today, are trying to tackle.

New tech-backed voting initiatives seem to be popping up every day, and, although most claim to be nonpartisan, it’s clear that Donald Trump’s unusual campaign has ignited investors and pushed them to act.

Google has gotten in on the act - their homepage links to a voter registration site. Time to seperate politics from public service sites. Not cool.

Whoops - fun and games online

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A nice little sting just South of here - from the Everett Herald:

Police: Teacher, bus driver among 8 caught in child sex sting
Detectives say eight men, including a teacher and a school bus driver for special-education students, answered the online post.

Instead of sex with a minor, they got a trip to the Snohomish County Jail.

There really was no 15-year-old girl who’d posted messages such as: “Bored and yng Want to have fun.”

There were, however, Snohomish County deputy sheriffs and U.S. Marshals waiting to see who might show up at agreed-upon destinations.

The sting was called Operation Anvil.

There are some truly sick people out there.

Back home again

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The bank wouldn't let me open a separate account until I had filed a DBA with the state - this was not an issue two years ago so they must have changed something.

There is a Greek playwright who specializes in long tedious business endeavors - Bureaucrates

Unpacking the truck and fixing some chicken for dinner - also playing with some Falafel mix - want to offer that as a vegetarian option so trying out a packaged mix. I also bought some dried beans so will try making them fresh too.

And Costco? Seriously? WTF? I was in there for some groceries today and they had Christmas trees on display. Come on now...

More when the dust settles in about an hour.

Very cool news - the EPA

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President Trump has picked an awesome person to lead the EPA Transition team. From EENews (Environmental and Energy):

Trump picks top skeptic to lead EPA transition
Donald Trump has selected one of the best-known climate skeptics to lead his U.S. EPA transition team, according to two sources close to the campaign.

Myron Ebell, director of the Center for Energy and Environment at the conservative Competitive Enterprise Institute, is spearheading Trump's transition plans for EPA, the sources said.

As they say in New England, the guy is 'wicked smaaht' - has a sense of humor too:

In a biography submitted when he testified before Congress, he listed among his recognitions that he had been featured in a Greenpeace "Field Guide to Climate Criminals," dubbed a "misleader" on global warming by Rolling Stone and was the subject of a motion to censure in the British House of Commons after Ebell criticized the United Kingdom's chief scientific adviser for his views on global warming.

Sitting here, eating breakfast and watching hippies heads exploding. A great morning!

Off for coffee

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Quick run into town for some paperwork and then back home - Lulu is coming out this afternooon for a couple of days - she has a car appointment on Thursday.

The triumvirate at tomorrows debate

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I do not know if they will actually show up but it would be wonderful to see the expression on Crooked Hillary's face to see them at tomorrows debate. Three different stories at three different website:

Gennifer Flowers ‘agrees’ to sit front row at first debate

PAULA JONES Wants to Join GENNIFER FLOWERS in Front Row at Presidential Debate

Juanita Broaddrick would confront Hillary if Trump invited her to debate

I would love to see Crooked Hillary's face explode

I am liking President Trump more and more

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From Israel's English news service Haaretz:

Trump Tells Netanyahu: If Elected, U.S. Would Recognize Undivided Jerusalem as Israel's Capital
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump for an hour and 20 minutes on Sunday at Trump Tower in Manhattan. He will meet with Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton later Sunday, at 6:30 P.M. EST (1:30 A.M Israel time).

According to a Trump campaign press release, Trump told Netanyahu that if elected, "a Trump administration would finally accept the long-standing Congressional mandate to recognize Jerusalem as the undivided capital of the State of Israel."

The Trump campaign statement said during the meeting, "Trump agreed that the military assistance provided to Israel and missile defense cooperation with Israel are an excellent investment for America," amid the backdrop of speculation that Trump would support cutting U.S. military aid to Israel.

Trump told Netanyahu that if elected, "there will be extraordinary strategic, technological, military and intelligence cooperation between the two countries." Trump added that Israel is a "vital partner of the United States in the global war against radical Islamic terrorism." The two also discussed the nuclear deal with Iran and the fight against ISIS.

The two also "discussed at length Israel's successful experience with a security fence that helped secure its borders." The Republican candidate declared several times throughout the campaign that he will build a fence on the U.S.-Mexico border and force Mexico to pay for it.

Great news. Israel is one of our best friends and strongest allies in the war against Islamist terror.

Looks like a fun read

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Check out: The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama

From the blurb:

As Barack Obama's presidential failures keep adding up, remembering them all can be a challenge. Matt Margolis and Mark Noonan have compiled everything you need to know about the presidency of Barack Obama (so far) into one book. Now you can easily find all the information that was ignored by the media and that Barack Obama would like you to forget.

Did Barack Obama really save this country from another Great Depression? Did he really improve our country's image around the world, or unite America? What about the new era of post-partisanship and government transparency? Did he really expand health coverage while lowering costs and cutting taxes?

The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama compiles 200 inconvenient truths about Obama's presidency--the facts that will shape his legacy: His real record on the economy; the disaster that is Obamacare; his shocking abuses of taxpayer dollars; his bitterly divisive style of governing; his shameless usurping of the Constitution; his scandals and cover ups; his policy failures at home and abroad; the unprecedented expansion of government power... and more.

All of these facts are now at your fingertips in a single source. The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama is your ultimate guide to Obama's real record - the record he'd like history to forget.

Customer reviews are uniformly pretty good - from what they say, the book is well researched and has lots of links to corroborating data. I like links to corroborating data! Added to my library queue...

RIP - Arnold Palmer

From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

Golf legend, Latrobe native Arnold Palmer dies at 87
Jack Nicklaus will never forget the first time he saw Arnold Palmer.

He was on the golf course at Sylvania (Ohio) Country Club, practicing and getting ready for the 1954 Ohio Amateur. Nicklaus was only 14 at the time, one of the youngest players in the field.

When it started to rain, Nicklaus decided to go to the clubhouse. Nobody else was on the course. But, as he passed the practice range, one player was there, hitting balls in the downpour.

“I had no idea who it was and I watched this guy, he looked like Popeye hitting these drilling 9‑irons that were going about 12 feet high,” Nicklaus said. “I said, you know, look at this guy, man, this guy’s strong. Boy, can he hit. He’d really drill it.

“So I watched him for about 20 minutes or so and then I walked in the clubhouse and said, ‘Who in the world is that out on the practice tee? I said, that guy looks some kind of strong.’ He says, ‘Oh, that’s our defending champion, Arnold Palmer.’”

That was the first time Nicklaus had ever seen the man who would become his chief rival and long-time friend.

I grew up in Pittsburgh - Palmer was a class act - a real Gentleman's gentleman.

New nukes in China

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China is doing some wonderful work with nuclear power - from Neutron Bytes:

China comes calling for CANDU
The Montreal, Canada, based engineering and construction giant SNC-Lavalin, which five years ago, bought AECL’s reactor division from the government, has a new joint venture with China National Nuclear Corp. (CNNC) and Shanghai Electric Co.

The immediate results of the agreement will be the creation of two nuclear reactor design centers, one in China and the other in Canada. The design centers will collaborate to complete the Advanced Fuel CANDU Reactor (AFCR). It is expected that the first two units will be then built in China and then the reactor will offered via export to global markets.

It is not LFTR but CANDU is an excellent design from many standpoints:

What is CANDU?
CANDU stands for CANada Deuterium Uranium, because it was invented in Canada, uses deuterium oxide (also known as heavy water) as a moderator, and uranium as a fuel.

CANDU reactors are unique in that they use natural, unenriched uranium as a fuel; with some modification, they can also use enriched uranium, mixed fuels, and even thorium. Thus, CANDU reactors are ideally suited for using spent fuel from light water nuclear reactors, or downblended uranium from decommissioned nuclear weapons, as fuel, helping to reduce global arsenals.

They still use high-pressure water to cool the core which leads to potential steam explosion if there is a breach in the pressure vessel. Running on unenriched Uranium is a big plus - the energy densities are not as high so recovery from an incident is not as immediate a concern. The fact that it can run with Thorium or other reactor waste is a bonus.

Off to meeting

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I tend to run them pretty fast so it should only be about 20 minutes for the actual business and another ten for town gossip. Back home in time for the Sunday radio network.

Back in a few...

One down and one to go

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Staff meeting was good - fine tuning operations for the food trailer. Bank accounts, etc... It will run as a part of my grocery store but I want to keep things seperate so we can see what our cash flow is like. A bit more work for everyone but I like to see the numbers.

Grabing a late lunch / early dinner and then water board meeting at 6:00PM and emergency communications radio network at 7:00PM

Turned into a gorgeous day - temps in the mid 60's and sunny with more forecast. Planetary K Index is pretty high so there may be some aurora. See if it is clear tonight.

Got a couple largish (4.5 and 5.0) quakes off the Cali/Oregon coast - shallow too:


Harbinger or just the earth adjusting its undies...

A fun use of technology

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Someone wrote a program to take a Texas Instruments calculator and use it to make music - check out HoustonTracker:

About HoustonTracker 2
HoustonTracker 2 is a music editor/sequencer for the Texas Instruments TI-82, TI-83/82STATS, and TI-83+/84+/SE. It allows you to compose and play multi-channel 1-bit music directly on your TI graphic calculator.

The Staten Island Ferry Disaster

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Just ran into a nice memorial website for this terrible marine disaster: Staten Island Ferry Disaster Memorial Museum

From their about page:

It was close to 4am on the quiet morning of November 22, 1963 when the Steam Ferry Cornelius G. Kolff vanished without a trace. On its way with nearly 400 hundred people, mostly on their way to work, the disappearance of the Cornelius G. Kolff remains both one of New York’s most horrific maritime tragedies and perhaps its most intriguing mystery. Eye witness accounts describe “large tentacles” which “pulled” the ferry beneath the surface only a short distance from its destination at Whitehall Terminal in Lower Manhattan.

Nobody on board survived and only small pieces of wreckage have been found…strangely with large “suction cup-shaped” marks on them. The only logical conclusion scientists and officials could point to was that the boat had been attacked by a massive octopus, roughly half the size of the ship. Adding to the tragedy, is that this disaster went almost completely unnoticed by the public as later that day another, more “newsworthy” tragedy would befall the nation when beloved President John Fitzgerald Kennedy was assassinated.  The Staten Island Ferry Disaster Museum hopes to correct this oversight by preserving the memory of those lost in this tragedy and educating the public about the truth behind the only known giant octopus-ferry attack in the tri-state area.

They erected a nice monument near the site of the sinking:


And yes, this is a work of satire.

Retirement is such bucolic bliss - nothing to do at all... Staff meeting after I get my coffee and then a water board meeting tonight - ham radio network after that.

The new iPhone 7 headphone jack

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I can not believe that some people are actually falling for this. From TechRax

He is having way too much fun - check out his other videos.

Die Antwoord

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I love their music - this is a funny video where a bunch of older citizens view (and comment) on their music videos:

Some get it, some do not.

Designed to lift boats - the elevator cab weighs 15,500 tons and rises 370 feet:

Coming soon to a neighborhood near you

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Hope not - from Popular Mechanics:

China Confirms Its Space Station Is Falling Back to Earth
In a press conference on Wednesday, Chinese officials appear to have confirmed what many observers have long suspected: that China is no longer in control of its space station.

China's Tiangong-1 space station has been orbiting the planet for about 5 years now, but recently it was decommissioned and the Chinese astronauts returned to the surface. In a press conference last week, China announced that the space station would be falling back to earth at some point in late 2017.

Normally, a decommissioned satellite or space station would be retired by forcing it to burn up in the atmosphere. This type of burn is controlled, and most satellite re-entries are scheduled to burn up over the ocean to avoid endangering people. However, it seems that China's space agency is not sure exactly when Tiangong-1 will re-enter the atmosphere, which implies that the station has been damaged somehow and China is no longer able to control it.

This is important because it means Tiangong-1 won't be able to burn up in a controlled manner. All we know is it will burn up at some point in late 2017, but it is impossible to predict exactly when or where. This means that there is a chance debris from the falling spacecraft could strike a populated area.

The odds of it hitting any population centers is very minimal (our impact on the globe is miniscule despite what the enviros would have you believe) but you never know. Where's Sandra Bullock when you need her?

Democrats voting in Colorado

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Good that this is being done but we need to do a complete clean sweep - this is downright fraud. From the Denver, CO CBS affiliate:

CBS4 Investigation Finds Dead Voters Casting Ballots In Colorado
A CBS4 investigation has found multiple cases of dead men and women voting in Colorado months and in some cases years after their deaths, a revelation that calls into question safeguards designed to prevent such occurrences.

“We do believe there were several instances of potential vote fraud that occurred,” said Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams after reviewing the CBS4 findings. “It shows there is the potential for fraud.”

Potential vote fraud - hell, a deceased person's ballot was filed. That is vote fraud plain and simple. Obama used a lot of fraud to get re-elected in 2012 - there is even a website that catalogs the instances.

Time to clean house and get some adults in the room...

Trump trumps the press

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Great reaction - from Don Surber:

Trump just rolled the press
So Camp Clinton thought it was clever, and invited Mark Cuban to sit in the front row of Monday's debate. Trump smiled and invited Gennifer Flowers.

Not Monica Lewinsky. Not Paula Jones. Gennifer Flowers. The first two names are familiar to today's twenty-somethings. Not Miss Flowers. So the Hill was forced to explain:

Bill Clinton testified under oath in 1998 that he had a sexual affair with Flowers.

Check and mate.

Never try to out-Trump the man.

Heh - this is turning into a fun election. Absolute worst case scenario, we have four years of chaos. I am thinking that President Trump will go down as one of our best ones.

Good news - they just got the bastard UPDATE

From Seattle station KIRO:

Suspect in custody after Burlington, Wash. mall shooting that left 5 dead
A suspected gunman was found and taken into custody Saturday night at about 6:30 p.m. after a deadly shooting in a Washington state mall. Authorities say the motive for the slaying is unknown.

Good - still no word on motive or background. The 48 hour rule still holds true.

UPDATE: They released his name: Arcan Cetin He is Turkish. Tyler Durdin at Zero Hedge went a screen-capped a bunch of photos of him playing around with guns - the social media accounts will probably go away really soon but the images are archived here: Washington Mall Shooter Caught: Suspect Is 20 Year Old Turk

Busy day today

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Thought I had a meeting about Mt. Baker being an active volcano but that is next Thursday. Our local Chamber of Commerce had its annual general meeting tonight so I showed up to that instead.

Picked up some Chinese food in town (needed to get a part to fix the store van) and sitting down to a very late dinner...

Crap - another public shooting

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This time in my back yard - from the Everett, WA Daily Herald:

Police say 4 shot dead at Skagit County mall; shooter at large
Authorities say four people have been fatally shot at a mall in Skagit County and that the shooter has not been apprehended.

The Washington State Patrol said on Twitter that four people were killed Friday evening in a Macy’s store at the Cascade Mall in Burlington, about 65 miles north of Seattle.

Sgt. Mark Francis says authorities are searching for a Hispanic male wearing a black shirt who was last seen walking toward I-5 from the mall.

Another example of the 48-hour rule - we will not get any real information for another day or so. Mall website is here: Cascade Mall

The damn thing is that this feeds right into the hands of the people who want to take our guns away. It is not legal firearm owners that are the problem, it is the criminals and the mentally ill who commit these acts and taking guns away will not hinder either. The lawmaker's intent is not a valid reason. The road to Hell is paved with these.

Found this graphic at Maggie's Farm:


Nothing like a dose of the truth to put matters into perspective. As Denny so succinctly puts it:

Black Lives Matter. A hate group solely designed to rile up black people into rioting and the destruction of property. One black dude was shot in Charlotte by a black cop and the black community goes on a rampage. What’s really funny is that 70% of the rioters arrested have out of state IDs. These riots have obviously been organized by Black Lives Matter. Meanwhile 545 people have been murdered in Chicago so far this year, most of them black. Where is Black Lives Matter? For that matter, where is the NAACP? Where is Prez Hussein? Where is the Congressional Black Caucus? Where are Jesse Hymietown Jackson and Al Tawana Brawley Crown Heights Riots Freddie’s Fashion Mart Arson Greek homos Sharpton? Black Lives Matter is a professional hate group. They are assholes.

Black Lives Matter and George Soros

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The whole Black Lives Matter movement is founded on so many lies it is pathetic. Recent events in Charlotte, North Caroline show this to be evident.

Their narrative? Keith Scott was shot by cops during a traffic stop. Keith was holding a book in his hand and was unarmed.

The truth: Keith had a police record. The cops were looking for someone who committed a robbery. Keith got out of his car holding a gun in his hand and would not drop it when the Police Officer  asked him to. The Police Officer then fired in self-defense. The Police Officer was black.

Now, the city of Charlotte has been besieged by riots for the last couple of evenings. A bit more truth from Zero Hedge:

Who Is Behind The Riots? Charlotte Police Says 70% Of Arrested Protesters Had Out Of State IDs
Confirming what many had suspected when viewing the sudden and intense collapse into anrchy that occurred in Charlotte this week, Todd Walther, spokesman for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Fraternal Order of Police told CNN's Erin Burnett:

"This is not Charlotte that's out here. These are outside entities that are coming in and causing these problems. These are not protesters, these are criminals."

"We've got the instigators that are coming in from the outside. They were coming in on buses from out of state. If you go back and look at some of the arrests that were made last night. I can about say probably 70% of those had out-of-state IDs. They're not coming from Charlotte."

As shocking as this statement is, it should not be a total surprise. 18 months ago, as the riots flared in Ferguson, there was one man pulling the strings of this 'domestic false flag'... George Soros. In an apparent effort to  "keep the media’s attention on the city and to widen the scope of the incident to focus on interrelated causes — not just the overpolicing and racial discrimination narratives that were highlighted by the news media in August," liberal billionaire George Soros donated $33million to social justice organizations which helped turn events in Ferguson from a local protest into a national flashpoint.

More on Soros' philanthropy at The Gateway Pundit:

Leaked George Soros Memo: $650,000 to Black Lives Matter – Here’s a Partial List
On Saturday the mysterious DC Leaks website posted hacked documents from George Soros’s Open Society.

The documents included information on operations in Latin America, Eurasia, Asia, the US, Europe and the World Bank.

One document revealed Soros paid $650,000 to the Black Lives Matter domestic terrorist movement.

His sociopathy was evident even in childhood - here is a transcript of an interview he did with Steve Croft at 60 minutes on December 20, 1998:

  • KROFT: You're a Hungarian Jew…
  • Mr. SOROS: Mm-hmm.
  • KROFT: …who escaped the Holocaust…
  • Mr. SOROS: Mm-hmm.
  • KROFT: …by–by posing as a Christian.
  • Mr. SOROS: Right.
  • KROFT: And you watched lots of people get shipped off to the death camps.
  • Mr. SOROS: Right. I was 14 years old. And I would say that that's when my character was made.
  • KROFT: In what way?
  • Mr. SOROS: That one should think ahead. One should understand and–and anticipate events and when–when one is threatened. It was a tremendous threat of evil. I mean, it was a–a very personal experience of evil.
  • KROFT: My understanding is that you went out with this protector of yours who swore that you were his adopted godson.
  • Mr. SOROS: Yes. Yes.
  • KROFT: Went out, in fact, and helped in the confiscation of property from the Jews.
  • Mr. SOROS: Yes. That's right. Yes.
  • KROFT: I mean, that's–that sounds like an experience that would send lots of people to the psychiatric couch for many, many years. Was it difficult?
  • Mr. SOROS: Not–not at all. Not at all. Maybe as a child you don't–you don't see the connection. But it was–it created no–no problem at all.
  • KROFT: No feeling of guilt?
  • Mr. SOROS: No.
  • KROFT: For example that, 'I'm Jewish and here I am, watching these people go. I could just as easily be there. I should be there.' None of that?
  • Mr. SOROS: Well, of course I c–I could be on the other side or I could be the one from whom the thing is being taken away. But there was no sense that I shouldn't be there, because that was–well, actually, in a funny way, it's just like in markets–that if I weren't there–of course, I wasn't doing it, but somebody else would–would–would be taking it away anyhow. And it was the–whether I was there or not, I was only a spectator, the property was being taken away. So the–I had no role in taking away that property. So I had no sense of guilt.

And this is the man who is funding all Progressives, funding Hillary and funding all of the Social Justice Warriors, all of Black Lives Matter. This is not justice - these poor deluded fools rioting in the streets have been bought and paid for by the sickest of the 0.01% that anyone can imagine.

Back from town - trailer stuff

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Transferred the title today - new plates. Had dinner at the roadhouse and it was really good - Beef Burgundy over nice large noodles - perfect for this weather.

Meeting tomorrow - our County Council is getting a bit too "nanny-statist" for my liking. Because we live on the slope of an active volcano, they are trying to limit the number of people that can live, work, play up here. As if Mt. Baker is just going to suddenly pop-off and blow up.

Mt. St. Helens did that back in 1980 but the eruption was preceded by over two months of earthquakes, magma and gas venting, harmonic tremors.

The issue is not anything that we will be affected with but if I want to sell the store or the farm, the new buyer will have a lot more restrictions on what they can do so this will directly impact the property values all the while our property taxes are going up. Time to remind the council that we elected them and they are in their position to represent us. We are not their minions. Spending some time tomorrow surfing for data to back up a couple of talking points...

Off to a meeting

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Been working at home this morning - meeting with the credit card people to get a terminal for the food trailer today.

Back home after that. Nice fall day - low 50's and overcast. Hard to believe that Summer is gone - Spring took so long to finish.

From Bloomberg:

How New Nuclear Could Lift Renewables at a Third of Hinkley Cost
A former chief scientist for one of the world’s biggest consumer-goods companies says he can make nuclear power cheaper and safer and wants $30 million so that he can prove it.

After working 25 years at Unilever Plc, Ian Scott came out of retirement in 2013 to found Moltex Energy LLP. Three years later, the biochemist says he’s come up with an atomic-reactor design that produces more power for less money than standard pressured-water unit like the ones planned at Hinkley Point in Somerset, England.

“The Stable Salt Reactor is a U.K.-developed technology that can produce electricity at a third of the Hinkley-C strike price,” Scott said in an interview at Bloomberg’s office in London. “It can store energy at grid scale -- catalyzing the further rollout of renewables -- and can be powered by the country’s existing nuclear waste.”

A bit more:

Scott figures $30 million will buy his design the time it needs to win first-stage regulatory approval. The Moltex reactor builds off molten-salt technologies developed at the U.S. Oak Ridge National Laboratory that were abandoned because they couldn’t be used militarily.

Thorium does not go Ka-Boom so the military was not interested. The industry did not want to support two different fuel refining processes so they went with Uranium.

The website is here: Moltex Energy. I do not like that they are using zirconium metal in the fuel rods - this adds risk to the design. The traditional LFTR reactor is walk-away safe. This design is a lot safer than the current pressurized units but not as good as it could get.

Two good videos:

An expensive load of pipe

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From somewhere in Russia:

Happy Fall Equinox

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The seasons are definitely rolling along - been getting quite cold at night. Starting to see Autumn colors on the trees. Not quite as ready for Winter as I would like but doing OK

Dinner is good

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Costco sells 'Mediterranean Style' chicken breast meat on skewers seasoned with olive oil and lemon juice. Pulled a couple of these out of the freezer and popped then into the toaster oven for 20 minutes and a slice of pita bread for the last five minutes. Meanwhile, I took a can of garbanzo beans, drained them and mashed them up with some salt, olive oil and the juice of one lemon - portioned these out on some lettuce leaves. Yummy!

Made sure to pull an extra skewer for Grace to have a treat after I am done.

Back home - had a big lunch in town so not super hungry. Time to raid the fridge and see what is there for dinner.

Needing to switch to more of a morning schedule so not staying up quite as late last few days.

Got the personal checks back from the printer so I'll start paying bills with them tomorrow - using GnuCash for a few weeks now and really liking it. Much faster and lighter than QuickBooks but it still does everything I need and it is built around double-entry which I want - keeps me honest :-)

Another day

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Another stack of paperwork... Heading out for coffee and back to the store office to sign the bills of sale for the trailer and food business this morning. Then, start to fill out the Health Department application. Got a nice email from the head person there that they like my ideas and that I am ready to fill out the application so hoping that it should go well.

Will be calling our electrical utility to get power installed. Fun fun fun...

Utterly clueless - the Good Food Institute

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But a good strong sense of entitlement - from The Orange County Register:

Petition chides In-N-Out for not offering a meatless meal
Irvine-based In-N-Out Burger is the target of a petition that demands the fast-food burger institution add a meat-free meal to its menu.

Launched last week on, the petition by Washington D.C.-based Good Food Institute said the burger chain has been “letting its fans down by failing to serve anything that would satisfy a burger-loving customer who wants a healthy, humane, and sustainable option.”

Good Food Institute is a fledgling nonprofit that supports the use of healthier and sustainable food supplies. It specifically supports a food supply that shifts away from animal agriculture.

Though the group faults In-N-Out for not offering a vegetarian option, most In-N-Out fans know that anyone can custom order a meat-free burger with cheese, essentially a grilled cheese sandwich.

A spokeswoman for Good Food said a “cheese slathered bun” is not a healthy solution for vegan eaters.

“I don’t think that satisfies people’s desire for a full entree,” Emily Byrd, a spokeswoman for Good Food Institute, said Monday in a phone interview.

Where to start... There is a good reason why the Good Food Institute (Institute?) is a "fledgling" organization. They pick very stupid battles.

So I am going to turn around and petition some of the Bellingham vegetarian restaurants to serve animal protein. I do not know if there are any halal restaurants in Bellingham but there are lots in Vancouver, BC and Seattle and I will petition them to carry non-halal animal protein in their dishes? (And honestly, looking at the process of halal slaughtering, I would never ever wish that on any critter anywhere - it is barbarian and painful.)

This is just a perfect example of childish virtue signaling. Something I would expect from a normal six year old but not from someone running an Institute. Institutes are supposed to be about advanced education, enlightenment and learning. These spoiled prats are just whiny attention-seekers - look how politically correct I am.

Puerto Rico is a gorgeous Caribbean island and an unincorporated U.S. territory. Been there a couple of times and always had a great time - nice people and gorgeous scenery. Unfortunately, their economy is in the terlit because of some bad decisions from their government. Maintenance on utilities has been deferred for way longer than it should have been. Case in point - from Miami, Florida station WSVN:

Puerto Rico hit with island-wide blackout after fire erupts
A big fire erupted at an electricity plant that powers most of Puerto Rico on Wednesday, causing a blackout that swept across the U.S. territory of 3.5 million people.

The Electric Power Authority said two transmission lines of 230,000 volts each failed. Executive Director Javier Quintana told reporters that he expected most power to be restored by Thursday morning.

Puerto Rico’s fire department said it had extinguished the blaze at the southern power plant, which serves a majority of customers on the island.

A bit more - Garcia is Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla:

“I assume complete responsibility,” Garcia said of the outage. “Everyone knows that the company’s maintenance problems began decades ago.”

The power company is struggling with a $9 billion debt that it hopes to restructure as it faces numerous corruption allegations. Company officials have said they are seeking more revenue to update what they say is outdated equipment.

Garcia, however, said that no amount of money or maintenance would have prevented the fire.

Nice for him to fall on his sword but I call bullshit - stuff like this does not happen out of the blue. There are always smaller incidents - oil leaks, failures during periodic tests, smaller outages and since none of these cause a catastrophe, it is easy to sweep them under the rug and say everything is fine. The problem is that these are an escalating chain of problems that will end up as what just happened today.

Don't forget that it is electricity that runs the water treatment plants, the traffic lights, the radio stations and a host of other needed services. Time to look into getting a ham radio license and getting on the air... $100 in hardware and another $300 for a couple of solar panels, deep cycle batteries and a good inverter.

Hillary's favorite pizza

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Swiped from Denny

Great call - shows that he has people who understand the real nature of the internet. From Reuters:

Trump opposes plan for U.S. to cede internet oversight
U.S. Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump opposes a long-planned transition of oversight of the internet's technical management from the U.S. government to a global community of stakeholders, his campaign said in a statement on Wednesday.

Congress should block the handover, scheduled to occur on Oct. 1, "or internet freedom will be lost for good, since there will be no way to make it great again once it is lost," Stephen Miller, national policy director for the Trump campaign, said in a statement.

Good - one of the things that makes the internet so robust is that, at its heart, it was designed to route around damage. Initially, hardware was pretty fragile so if a router somewhere went down, the other routers in the network would see this and route packets of data through a longer chain to get the packets from Point A to Point B. It would not be as efficient and would take longer but the packets would get through unharmed. This has extended into a much larger scope thanks to the hacker ethic. If some entity attempts censorship, traffic will route around the censors and get to its intended destination. The internet today is basically the wild wild west where anything goes and we are far better off for it.

To allow an independent non-governmental body of bureaucrats to control the internet would throttle it - drain it of its life force, steal its mojo. Of course, the one-world-government people are frothing at the mouth over the opportunity for control:

Technical experts have said those claims are baseless, and that a delay will backfire by undermining U.S. credibility in future international negotiations over internet standards and security.

Bull. Fscking. Shit. I know of no higher-level network admin who thinks this is a good idea. The only people coming up with this nanny-state claptrap are the bureaucrats.

On this decision alone, Trump gets my vote.

Speaking truth to power:

The article talks about the end of arctic ice as we know it. A perfect setup as the article is from November 2nd, 1922.

More at The Daily Caller.

A short message about preparedness

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When the big one hits:


Studying for the Technician exam takes about 10-15 hours and an online exam can be found here: QRZ

When you register (it is free and they do not give out your email to anyone), it keeps track of what questions you get and which ones you do not. Your sample tests are adjusted accordingly. Hardware costs about $100 for a good entry-level setup.

We got a trailer

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Needs some work but she has great bones and has all the necessary equipment and permitting - just have to get everything transferred. Here I am outside of the store:


Off to pick up the food trailer

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Got down to 35.8°F last night - woke up to a light frost on the grass still in shadow. Winter is coming.

Getting coffee and picking up the food trailer and then heading into town. This will be an interesting adventure - run it for one year and see how it goes. Worst case scenario, I sell it and recoup my money. Best case scenario, I sell it and buy a larger one.

Pick up the food trailer tomorrow morning and then head into town for my last foot doctor appointment. This had been a recurring condition and my primary physician always prescribed 'safe' stuff to knock it down but I always felt a bit of 'heat' under the surface of my skin and sure enough, in a month or two it would break out again. The treatment I got from these people killed it in two weeks.

Picked up a cashiers check today for the trailer - things look good, hoping to open in about a month for weekend lunch service and then grow on that. Now that school is back in session, business will be slow until Mt. Baker opens for skiing and then things take off. It will be good to have a slow start - time to ramp up and get the bugs worked out. Developing a good menu and have restored a bunch of recipes for the soups I made while managing the bakery off the old bakery computer (now controlling a bunch of radios in my radio room).

Back home for the night

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It was a very fun meeting - one of the people from this group made a presentation at my Emergency Communications group two weeks ago and it was a lot of fun. Came here tonight for the first time and struck the mother lode of radio geekness. They are working with APRS and proceeded to demo a couple of the modes of operation - you can send short emails, link it to a weather station for on-air weather conditions, tie in a GPS to do position tracking. Lots of stuff and the newer adapters are built around the Raspberry Pi so I already have a lot of familiarity with the platform.

There was a guy from the local SAR (Search and Rescue) who had some equipment of his own and who is building an amazing setup in his truck.

Here are a couple of links to the various bits of hardware and software demonstrated tonight: APRSDroidWeather Monkey APRSMobilinkd TNC2, UDRC-II and Dire Wolf The thing that really gets me is that because all of the signal processing is now being done in software, the complex filter circuits are not needed and these units have much better performance but cost a fraction of what the old-school ones used to cost - $70 instead of $450.

Looks like there are now four meetings per month that I will be attending regularly.

Barry on those pesky populists

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From Breitbart:

At United Nations, Globalist Obama Condemns ‘Crude Populism’ Sweeping the Planet
In his speech to the United Nations, President Barack Obama defended the increased globalization of the world’s nations, condemning the wave of populist nationalism that was growing in the world in response.

Obama says globalization will continue growing rapidly, signaling the unstoppable march of progress. But he warned that nations who allow the wealthy to enjoy the benefits of globalism face challenges from their populace. Those people, he noted, were falling prey to an “alternative” narrative, propagated to fuel opposition.

“Alternative visions of the world have pressed forward, both in the wealthiest countries and in the poorest,” he said. “Religious fundamentalism. The politics of ethnicity or tribe or sect. Aggressive nationalism. A crude populism. Sometimes from the far left but more often from the far right.”

Quite the fancy words from a community organizer. Hey Barry - STFU and please leave the public stage. Your fifteen minutes are long gone. Sheesh - talk about being clueless. There are 4,000+ comments at Breitbart - makes for a fun read.

Now this should be an interesting lawsuit

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From the Seattle Times - I used to live near this area and know it well:

Greenwood blast caused by PSE’s abandoned, unsealed pipeline, regulators say
Puget Sound Energy failed to properly disconnect and seal the gas pipeline that caused the natural-gas explosion that rocked Seattle’s Greenwood neighborhood in March, according to a state Utilities and Transportation Commission investigation.

A pipeline between two buildings, which housed Mr. Gyros restaurant and cafe Neptune, which were both leveled in the blast, was left active despite being abandoned in 2004, according to the investigation report.

Once broken, gas began to escape the pipeline and accumulate inside or under the Mr. Gyro’s building before it ignited.

Nine firefighters were injured in the explosion. Two buildings and three businesses were destroyed.

As a result of the investigation, the department has filed a complaint against the utility alleging 17 violations of pipeline-safety regulations. If affirmed by the commission, the utility could face up to $3.2 million in penalties.

So the commission gets their money and then the private lawsuits start queuing up in the docket. This is going to be expensive for PSE. Good.

Small town politics

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Gotta love it. Had a great meeting with the coordinator for the County Resource Center. Part of the building is leased by the federal Head Start program and it seems that they have a monopoly on the kitchen. I can only use a fraction of the refrigerator and freezer space. I looked at both spaces and there are little bits of food scattered through the shelves - not an efficient use of space at all. It will be interesting when I start making heavy use of the kitchen. A bit of a turf war brewing I suspect...

The county requires that I use a commercial kitchen for all food prep so this is not an option. Time will tell.

Fixing some lunch and then heading into town in a couple of hours to do some banking and for a meeting. Picking up the trailer tomorrow morning.

Off to a meeting

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Meeting with the manager of the commercial kitchen I plan to use for the food trailer. We will see if this works out...

In to town later today for a meeting with the local radio club's Digital Group - met some of the people involved and they seem to be doing fun projects.

That is it for the night

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Got a meeting at 10:00AM to finalize my use of the commercial kitchen and another one at 7:00PM for the Mt. Baker Amateur Radio Digital group. This is turning into a very fun hobby - some very creative people out there pushing the envelope.

Clever engineering

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With fall coming around, it is time to start thinking about next year's garden. This year was a bit of a bust as the spring weather really promoted weed growth.

Just ran into this device for harvesting baby salad greens - very clever:

Sold by these folks: Farmer's Friend - a bit pricey but if you are doing this commercially, worth every penny.

Go here and start reading: US News and World Report

Computer Specialist Who Deleted Clinton Emails May Have Asked Reddit for Tips
An army of reddit users believes it has found evidence that former Hillary Clinton computer specialist Paul Combetta solicited free advice regarding Clinton's private email server from users of the popular web forum.

A collaborative investigation showed a reddit user with the username stonetear requested help in relation to retaining and purging email messages after 60 days, and requested advice on how to remove a "VERY VIP" individual's email address from archived content.

The requests match neatly with publicly known dates related to Clinton's use of a private email server while secretary of state.

Stonetear has deleted the posts, but before doing so, the pages were archived by other individuals.

"ARCHIVE EVERYTHING YOU CAN!!!!" a person wrote on a popular thread on the Donald Trump-supporting subreddit r/The_Donald, as the entries disappeared.

Visit the site - lots of screen caps and links. A fun little meltdown. More here.

Great idea - Google Trips

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Makes perfect sense with all their competencies - mapping, reviews, etc...

Google Trips: for Android, for iOS

Doing business in Seattle

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More hassle for the employers - from The Seattle Times:

Seattle council unanimously approves ‘secure scheduling’ law for workers
The Seattle City Council unanimously passed a “secure scheduling” law that would make Seattle the second major city in the country to regulate how large retailers and food-service employers schedule their workers.

Just great - more regulatory burden for the small business owner. Just what we need. More:

The move again places Seattle at the forefront of a national movement on workers’ issues after the city passed, in 2014, a bill to gradually increase minimum wage in the city to $15 an hour.

And business started closing - they could not compete in the marketplace with the additional cost of labor. A lot of restaurants were affected buy this. More:

The law is expected to take effect in July and will apply to large retailers and quick-serve food and drink establishments with 500 or more workers, and to full-service restaurants with both 500 or more employees and 40 or more locations.

OK - so it is just hitting the big chains for now. What specifically does this law do?

Employers would be required to post work schedules two weeks in advance, give good-faith estimates of hours an employee can expect to work, schedule at least 10 hours rest between opening and closing shifts, give available hours to existing part-time employees before hiring new workers, and pay additional “predictability pay” when employers make changes to the posted schedule.

The proposed law also requires employers to keep records for three years, documenting everything from employers’ responses to employee requests for schedule changes, to good-faith estimates of the number of hours an employee could expect to work.

Just wonderful - a lot of extra record keeping. As for the part-time employees getting extra time - what if they are being given fewer hours because they are about to be fired or they do not work as well if they are on full time. This is just a big can of worms and nothing here benefits the business owner. This is being driven by the labor unions - there is a photo of the "protesters" at the Times and they were all carrying professionally designed and printed signs - this is astroturf, not grass roots.

Getting closer

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I am very interested in getting a drone but the technology is just not as advanced as I would like - this is getting a lot closer, maybe Karma 2.0 is where I bring out the credit card:

Really like the integrated stabilizer/gimbal mount.

Arrrr matey

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Two tenths of an inch last night

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Building on the last couple of days, we have now had a bit over 0.8" of rain. This is very welcome as the ground is still bone dry.

Supposed to slack off a bit with more coming in Friday.

Some more leaks pending

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Need to verify but these will be interesting if they prove to be real.

Lots of hats out there, just need to be sure of the cattle before I post...

Just delete it

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Cute parody:

Wisdom popping up all over

Just like daisies - spend 20-30 years under progressive liberal administration and people yearn for freedom. From Toronto, Canida's The Globe and Mail:

Libertarian Herman Mashaba elected mayor of Johannesburg
Herman Mashaba is a millionaire tycoon, an ideological libertarian and self-proclaimed “capitalist crusader” who lectures his listeners about the evils of big government and minimum wage.

He is also, shockingly, the newly elected mayor of South Africa’s biggest city. That’s a revolutionary phenomenon in a nation dominated for 22 years by a left-wing ruling party, whose cabinet ministers tend to be communists and union leaders.

Less than a month after winning office as Johannesburg’s mayor, Mr. Mashaba is already energetically putting his free-market ideas into action. He is distributing thousands of title deeds to impoverished residents, trying to create a new class of landowners. He is plotting with private developers to turn the city into a vast construction site, and he is pledging to use small businesses to slash the unemployment rate.

“My job is on the line,” he says, inviting voters to defeat him in the next election if he fails to reduce the city’s jobless rate from its current 31 per cent to below 20 per cent.

Great values:

His highest value, he says, is “individual freedom.” He rails against the “culture of dependency” and excessive regulation in South Africa. “I’m just asking the government to leave us alone,” he says.

Two ideas that I really like:

Despite his wealth, the 56-year-old mayor describes himself as “pro-poor.” He has even cancelled the ANC’s plan to create new bicycle lanes, seeing it as a middle-class luxury and preferring to spend the $5-million (U.S.) on housing for poor people.

Bellingham just spent a bunch of money on some new bicycle lanes - these occupy some of the busier thoroughfares and restrict traffic from two lanes down to one. They could have moved the bicycle traffic off to a more residential street and not impacted the flow of traffic and quieted the flow of automobiles through the residential streets; just one block north or south.

But he believes he can best help the poor by unleashing the private sector. This week, he called a meeting of private-property developers, expecting 40 to attend. Instead, more than 100 developers flocked to the meeting, eager to hear his ideas. A day later, he sent an e-mail to his senior officials, ordering them to boost their help to the developers by easing regulations, improving street cleaning, increasing visible policing and fixing infrastructure.

Private Sector is BOSS! Make things conducive to small business and watch the economy bloom.

Tip of the hat to John Lott for the link.

From The Dallas (TX) Morning News:

Dallas police sergeant files federal suit accusing Black Lives Matter leaders of inciting anti-cop violence
A Dallas police sergeant has filed a federal lawsuit against Black Lives Matter leaders and others, blaming the movement for race riots and violence against police officers.

Sgt. Demetrick Pennie, president of the Dallas Fallen Officer Foundation and a 17-year law enforcement veteran, filed the amended complaint in federal court Friday. Conservative news site Breitbart published the lawsuit in an article that evening.

The listed defendants include not only those associated with the Black Lives Matter movement but public figures such as the Rev. Al Sharpton, Louis Farrahkan, George Soros, the New Black Panthers Party and even President Barack Obama and presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

According to the suit, the defendants "have repeatedly incited their supporters and others to engage in threats of and attacks to cause serious bodily injury or death upon police officers and other law enforcement persons of all races and ethnicities."

Great - when they deliver bullshit, punch back twice as hard. Swamp them. Drive them into the river. A bit more - a comment from his lawyer:

"Sergeant Pennie and I feel duty-bound to put ourselves forward to seek an end to the incitement of violence against law enforcement which has already resulted in the death of five police officers in Dallas and the wounding of seven more, just in Texas alone," Breitbart quoted Klayman as saying in a release.

The 66-page complaint seeks damages of more than $500 million.

$500 million is sofa change to Soros but it will make everyone else sit up and take notice. Not mentioned in the article is that Sgt. Demetrick Pennie is a black man.

From The Conservative Treehouse:

Utah – Hispanic Activist Who Criticized Trump’s Mexican Rapist Comments Arrested for Raping Illegal Immigrant…
Well, this story is so brutally ironic it will not fit in the Irony folder. You just cannot make this stuff up folks…

You might remember a Hispanic political activist named Tony Yapias, who was extremely critical of Donald Trump’s assertion that some illegal Mexican aliens were rapists.

Tony Yapias is the director of ‘Proyecto Latino de Utah’. Mr. Yapias also coordinated numerous protest events against Donald Trump including a rather violent display in Salt Lake City, Utah. – SEE HERE

This week Tony Yapias has been arrested for rape.   However, not only was Yapias arrested for rape – his victim was, …wait for it…, yep, an illegal alien.

A bit more:

However, as Fox13 in Salt Lake City reports:

[…] Despite the woman’s fears concerning immigration issues, court documents state, she reported the assault the day after it happened. She was also examined by a forensic nurse who found she had multiple physical injuries consistent with her explanation of what happened.

Rope, tree, some assembly required. Hypocrites like this should be ignored by the media. Shunned. Talk about a loser.

Our new ROBOT overlords

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Interesting news from the Los Angeles Times:

Man vs. machine: L.A. sheriff's deputies use robot to snatch rifle from barricaded suspect, end standoff
An hours-long standoff in the darkness of the high desert came to a novel end when Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies used a robot to stealthily snatch a rifle from an attempted murder suspect, authorities said Thursday.

Officials said the use of the robot to disarm a violent suspect was unprecedented for the Sheriff’s Department, and comes as law enforcement agencies increasingly rely on military-grade technology to reduce the risk of injury during confrontations with civilians.

"The robot was a game changer here,” said Capt. Jack Ewell, a tactical expert with the Sheriff’s Department — the largest sheriff’s department in the nation. “We didn't have to risk a deputy's life to disarm a very violent man."

More at the site - a great use of technology.

Democrat Congressman from Georga. From The Federalist:

Democrat Who Compared Jews To ‘Termites’ Says Trump Is Too Polarizing
A congressional Democrat who previously referred to Israeli Jews as “termites” declared on Friday that Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump was too polarizing to be president. At a Congressional Black Caucus press conference on Friday afternoon, Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.) attacked Trump over his previous demands to see President Barack Obama’s birth certificate and said that Trump “continues to stoke the fires of polarization.”

Don't get him started on Guam...

Yesterday's events

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Quite the day for muslim terrorists - a three-fer:

Pipe bomb explodes in trash can near Jersey Shore charity race

Dumpster bomb rocks Chelsea, injuring 29; second device found nearby

Nine Hurt in Minnesota Mall Knife Attack, Suspect Killed

In the last one, the moke was yelling Allah while getting all stabby. Shot dead by an off-duty cop.

And it is not just the United States - the muzzies are active all over the globe, even murdering their own. Check out The Religion of Peace for more.

And that is it for tonight

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Looking over some recipe software - I had an app when I was managing the bakery but there has been a lot of new apps written so downloading and checking them out.

Gorgeous sunset tonight

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Got some wonderful colors in the sky tonight - here are four:





I'll believe it when I see it

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From Cornell University's The Cornell Daily Sun:

Cornell Researchers Use CO2 to Make Electricity
Carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases have been long characterized as one of the leading causes of global warming. And with the seemingly limitless sources of emission — from general breathing of countless living species to vehicular and industrial emissions — the amount of carbon dioxide seems to be ever increasing. It is then, a huge waste of a resource when you consider how comparatively limited the human use of this abundant gas is.

The paper “The O2-assisted Al/CO2 electrochemical cell: A system for CO2 capture/conversion and electric power generation”, published in Science Advances, aims to change that.

Prof. Lynden Archer, chemical and biomolecular engineering, the James A. Friend Family Distinguished Professor of Engineering, and Wajdi Al Sadat, grad — who are the authors of this paper — have created a cell which can use carbon dioxide to produce electricity via electrochemical reactions.

Like I said, I'll believe it when I see it - I call these kinds of announcements an Aisle 14 announcement. I will believe it when these units are for sale at Walmart on Aisle 14 for $49.97. CO2 is an ash - it is the end result of combustion and has no more energy to release. What are they having to pump into their cell to drive this reaction?

Corporate bullshit - Ben and Jerry's

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From their website:

Flavors We Could Lose to Climate Change
Climate change is really taking its toll on Mother Earth. Average global temperatures have risen sharply in the past few decades. Warming oceans are melting away the polar ice caps at unprecedented rates. And natural disasters are becoming more frequent and intense.

Just the first paragraph alone - climate change is not taking a toll on Mother Earth. Earth's climate always changes. Temperatures have not risen at all in the last nineteen years (measuring the air temp here). Same thing with ocean temps. Polar ice caps are just fine (within statistical variation) - their coming and going is more a result of winds and ocean currents than temperature anyway. Natural disasters are not more frequent - the big flooding in the South last August?  Pales in comparison to the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927. Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy? Pales in comparison to the Galveston disaster of 1900.

It is hard to take these people seriously when they have so many egregious howlers in their opening paragraph.

Fun with Hot Wheels

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Great little video - the tunnels are teleporatation devices. Filmed in California and Colorado:

More at the Laughing Squid

Rain update

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Up to 0.6 inches so far today. Still coming down. I love the sound on the metal roof.

Since we didn't go to the picnic, we are doing the chuck roast as a pot roast with mashed potatoes and I am cooking some carrots and parsnips in the gravy. Good cold weather meal and carbs be damned.

Cool news on the Amateur Radio front

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From the ARRL:

Amateur Radio Parity Act Passes in the US House of Representatives!
The bill is passed without objection.” With those words, Amateur Radio history was made on September 12, when the US House of Representatives approved the Amateur Radio Parity Act, H.R. 1301 on a voice vote under a suspension of the rules. The focus of the campaign to enact the legislation into law now shifts to the US Senate. The House victory culminated many years of effort on ARRL’s part to gain legislation that would enable radio amateurs living in deed-restricted communities to erect antennas that support Amateur Radio communication. The measure calls on the FCC to amend its Part 97 rules “to prohibit the application to amateur stations of certain private land-use restrictions, and for other purposes.” While similar bills in past years gained some traction on Capitol Hill, it was not until the overwhelming grassroots support from the Amateur Radio community for H.R. 1301 shepherded by ARRL that a bill made it this far. The legislation faces significant obstacles to passage in the US Senate, however.

The ARRL has set up a website so you can email your Senator - we are still not out of the woods yet. A bit more:

As the amended bill (PDF) provides, “Community associations should fairly administer private land-use regulations in the interest of their communities, while nevertheless permitting the installation and maintenance of effective outdoor Amateur Radio antennas. There exist antenna designs and installations that can be consistent with the aesthetics and physical characteristics of land and structures in community associations while accommodating communications in the Amateur Radio services.”

This is very good - too many housing developments and condominiums prohibit radio antennas. When a disaster hits, Amateur Radio is usually the only form of long distance communication left.

The Clinton Foundation and Hati

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This deserves to be spread around as widely as possible - the Clinton's are dirty. Crooked Hillary is not just a cutesy phrase.

Tip of the hat to Peter at Bayou Renaissance Man

Barry's legacy does not look that good - from Breitbart:

Despite Obama Promises, Health Care Costs Have Risen the Most in 32 Years
Despite years of Obama’s promises that America’s health care costs would go down if Obamacare was passed into law, new statistics show that care and insurance premiums have risen more this year than in the last 32 years.

A report by Kaiser/HRET Employer Health Benefits released on September 14 found that the average American family’s health care plan costs over $18,000 a year. That is up 3.5 percent over 2015, a hike exceeding the growth in wages.

While it is bad on individuals, in the chronically poor Obama economy, it is worse on employers.

“Employees are paying a whole lot more for health insurance than they did a decade ago. The average family plan cost $11,480 in 2006, of which workers had to pay $2,973,” CNN Money reported.

Deductables and co-pays have gone up a lot too.

Donald Trump and the media

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Milo has a great video on Trump's contempt for the media - spot on:

From that bastion of all things progressive - the New York Times:

Sales of Hillary Clinton’s New Book Are Off to a Slow Start
Hillary Clinton’s newest book, “Stronger Together,” which provides a policy blueprint for where she hopes to take the country if she is elected president, sold just 2,912 copies in its first week on sale, according to Nielsen BookScan.

Both Mrs. Clinton and her running mate, Senator Tim Kaine, have promoted the book on the campaign trail, but the sales figure, which tallies about 80 percent of booksellers nationwide and does not include e-books, firmly makes the book what the publishing industry would consider a flop.

Slow start? 2,912 is flat dead in the water. The reviews at Amazon are a lot of fun - here are three:

    • I bought this thinking it would be a how-to book. I wanted "How to set up your own Foundation for fun and profit." Also, would like to have seen a chapter on "Ten easy steps to setting up your own secure server in a bathroom." I do hear there's going to be a sequel, tentatively called "The Art of the Shakedown." Should be interesting.
    • Pre-ordered an autographed copy but had to return it after this week's announcement as I was worried it was contaminated with pneumonia bacteria. I didn't want to end up exposed to the illness like her grandkids in Chelsea's apartment she was playing with on 9/11 after she collapsed, or the little girl she was hugging in the street afterwards. Thought about ordering the Kindle version but I thought it might open my device up to being hacked by communist countries. I wasn't too surprised to see Tim Kaine on the front cover giving the traditional National Socialist salute, I felt it fitting. Strongly recommended for those who believe the USA isn't anything special and should be more like the peaceful utopias of North Korea, Iran, or Cuba.
    • I was going to read this book.....I really was. But just as I got started, I found myself under sniper fire, passed out, and fell and hit my head. After that I got double vision and had to wear glasses that were so damn thick I couldn't even see to read. As if that wasn't enough, I then had an allergic reaction to something and started coughing so hard I spit out what looked like a couple of lizard's eyeballs, my limbs locked up, and I passed out and fell down again, waking up only to find out I had been diagnosed with pneumonia 2 days earlier. Somehow I managed to power through it all, but it's a good thing I was able to make a small fortune on this random small trade in the commodities market (cattle futures or some such thing) and then, miracle of all miracles, a few banks offered me a few million to just talk to their employees for a few minutes - and all that really helped out because I swear I was dead broke and couldn't figure out how I was gonna come up with the 6 bucks to pay for this book, let alone pay the $1,500 for my health insurance this month. I still want to read it, but, honestly, what difference at this point does it make? I hear it sucks anyway.

Good news on the union front

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Labor Unions very much had their place in the 1900's - they did a lot to bring us the modern work week. Unfortunately, they have not advanced with the times and are now a dinosaur twitching in its death throes. It doesn't help them that they tend to have a lot of lawlessness and corruption at their core. Case in point this story from The Wall Street Journal:

Texas Janitors Mop the Floor With a Bullying Union
Big unions play hardball, and most of the time it works. Not this week in Texas, however, where a jury awarded $5.3 million in damages to a local cleaning firm targeted by the Service Employees International Union. Although disparagement claims are difficult to prove, the owners of Professional Janitorial Services of Houston showed that SEIU Local 5 had tried to destroy them with a campaign of misinformation about how they treated workers. The firm’s attorney, John Zavitsanos, says that this is the first time a jury has held the SEIU responsible for defaming a business.

In 2005, the SEIU decided to try to break into Houston by pushing “justice for janitors.” It began persuading the biggest janitorial companies in town to accept Local 5 as the representative for their workers. Five firms agreed. The sixth was Professional Janitorial Services.

The union wanted to organize workers through “card check,” which allows it to pressure workers one by one to sign an “authorization for representation.” But PJS insisted on a vote by secret ballot, as is its right.

The union responded with a campaign whose goals (more here and here), according to internal emails entered into evidence, were to “cost PJS money” and “cost PJS accounts.” It accused the company of withholding workers’ pay, forcing them to work off the clock, and firing those involved with the union—none of which was substantiated.

A bit more:

The union sent letters to the building-management companies that contracted with PJS, spreading accusations. It circulated vicious fliers at disruptive demonstrations. One building manager said in a deposition that she fired PJS after protesters stormed her conference rooms while tenants were using them. PJS lost a dozen contracts. 

Just shows how desperate the union is to retain its power - it serves zero function at all except to collect union dues from the workers.

Rain rain go away

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Pouring down buckets here so not planning to go to the picnic - Lulu is out here so just hanging out at home for the next day or two.

Heading to the store to drop off the rice cooker and soup warmers, &c. at my office - the house is cluttered enough already. Got everything cleaned and ready to roll.

That is it for the night - busy day tomorrow

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Lulu is coming out tomorrow morning and then we are headed to a fundraising yard sale and then a picnic at Silver Lake Park. I am doing pulled beef sliders - chuck roast seared in the broiler and then sous-vide for 36 hours. Fork tender and yummy.

The internet fairies are not being fruitful - nothing much happening out there so heading upstairs to bed.

Well crap - RIP Don Buchla

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When electronic music synthesizers were first being developed, there were two schools of design - the East Coast machines made by Bob Moog and others were controlled by voltages*** and the step of one volt would result in the change of one octave of frequency. This made performances of written music fairly easy and the programability meant that an artist could go on stage night after night and play the same music.

The West Coast designs were intended for spontaneous sound generation as well as some musical performance. They did not enjoy the one volt per octave control that Moog's designs offered but they were a lot cheaper and more oriented to improvisation. Don Buchla at Berkeley, CA was one of these makers ( Serge Tcherepnin in Hollywood, CA was another ).

Don passed away today - from the UK Guardian:

Don Buchla, modular synthesizer pioneer, dies aged 79
Don Buchla, the groundbreaking synthesizer inventor, has died age 79.

He was considered a true iconoclast with an uncompromising vision of what synthesizers could be. His impact on electronic music was vast; Buchla independently invented the first modern synthesizer, at the same time as Robert Moog, in 1963.

Although Moog is often credited with having invented the first modular synthesizer, Moog even admitted during his lifetime that Buchla was the first to have a full concept of how to put all the modules together to add up to an instrument.

“He invented a whole new paradigm for how you interface with electronics – much more human, and a whole new thing,” says Buchla’s close friend Morton Subotnick.

His company is still going strong: Buchla Electronic Music Instruments - some fascinating designs.

I am very much in the East coast camp - I like using a keyboard and prefer linear music instead of an Aleatoric mash of bleeps and bloops.

*** As a side note, designing a circuit to do one volt per octave control is actually a very complex bit of engineering. Consider a "Concert A" at 440 vibrations per second (noted as Hz after physicist Heinrich Hertz). Play an "A" one octave below and that is 220Hz, play one octave above and you have 880Hz. Up another octave and you are at 1,760Hz. The scale is not a linear one, it is exponential and converting a linear value to an exponential one is tricky and the simplest circuit (that everyone uses) is horribly temperature sensitive so you have to compensate for that. Earlier Moog synthesizers that I played in college (40 years ago) would require you to re-tune if the HVAC came on. I was running a tape recorder and layering audio so needed to keep everything in tune.

Much better

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Got the truck mostly unpacked - got the two inserts for the soup warmers in the dishwasher. Next will be to calibrate them - fill them up with water and see which dial setting delivers a 190°F temperature.

Grace has been fed - she got treats from my steak dinner tonight so she polished off her bowl in short order. She is resting down by my feet. First glass of wine is in my belly and warming it nicely. Time to see what the interweb brings in today.

Back home again - long day

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Went down to Everett (about an hour South of here) to a kitchen supply place and spent some money for the food trailer. Two soup warmers, a 10-cup rice cooker, an insulated carrying case that holds full-sized hotel pans, some compostable serving plates and to-go boxes, stuff like that.

Had dinner at the new Road House - their food is really good.

Unpack the truck, feed Grace, change clothing and open a bottle of wine and I am home for the evening. More posting in a little bit.

One of those weeks

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'Nuf said:

Heh - coming out

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From France's news in English - The Local:

Sarkozy comes out of the closet as a climate skeptic
Presidential hopeful Nicolas Sarkozy reckons that climate change is not caused by man and that the world has far bigger problems on its hands than global warming.

Nicolas Sarkozy, who is fighting to regain the presidency that he lost to François Hollande in 2012, has finally come out of the closet as a climate skeptic.

Speaking in front of business leaders Sarkozy, a candidate for Les Republicains party primary in November, told them that man alone was not to blame for climate change.

“Climate has been changing for four billion years,” the former president said according to AFP. “Sahara has become a desert, it isn’t because of industry. You need to be as arrogant as men are to believe we changed the climate.”

Someone left a comment that nails it:

Leftists love and promote climate change because for them it is the perfect excuse to enact all the anti-business policies they favor, and restrict people's freedoms. They couldn't care less whether its true or not. Thats not the point. Its a JUSTIFICATION TO DO WHAT THEY WANT while scaring aned bullying opponents into silence.

Nuclear power - just not here

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Sad to believe that this source of unlimited carbon-free power is being ignored. From the MIT Technology Review:

Fail-Safe Nuclear Power
Cheaper and cleaner nuclear plants could finally become reality—but not in the United States, where the technology was invented more than 50 years ago.
In February I flew through the interior of a machine that could represent the future of nuclear power. I was on a virtual-reality tour at the Shanghai Institute of Applied Physics in China, which plans in the next few years to build an experimental reactor whose design makes a meltdown far less likely. Inside the core—a superhot, intensely radioactive place where no human will ever go—the layers of the power plant peeled back before me: the outer vessel of stainless steel, the inner layer of a high-tech alloy, and finally the nuclear fuel itself, tens of thousands of billiard-ball-size spheres containing particles of radioactive material.

Given unprecedented access to the inner workings of China’s advanced nuclear R&D program, I was witnessing a new nuclear technology being born. Through the virtual reactor snaked an intricate system of pipes carrying the fluid that makes this system special: a molten salt that cools the reactor and carries heat to drive a turbine and make electricity. At least in theory, this type of reactor can’t suffer the kind of catastrophic failure that happened at Chernobyl and Fukushima, making unnecessary the expensive and redundant safety systems that have driven up the cost of conventional reactors. What’s more, the new plants should produce little waste and might even eat up existing nuclear waste. They could run on uranium, which powers 99 percent of the nuclear power plants in the world, or they could eventually run on thorium, which is cleaner and more abundant. The ultimate goal of the Shanghai Institute: to build a molten-salt reactor that could replace the 1970s-era technology in today’s nuclear power plants and help wean China off the coal that fouls the air of Shanghai and Beijing, ushering in an era of cheap, abundant, zero-carbon energy.

Over the next two decades China hopes to build the world’s largest nuclear power industry. Plans include as many as 30 new conventional nuclear plants (in addition to the 34 reactors operating today) as well as a variety of next-generation reactors, including thorium molten-salt reactors, high-temperature gas-cooled reactors (which, like molten-salt reactors, are both highly efficient and inherently safe), and sodium-cooled fast reactors (which can consume spent fuel from conventional reactors to make electricity). Chinese planners want not only to dramatically expand the country’s domestic nuclear capacity but also to become the world’s leading supplier of nuclear reactors and components, a prospect that many Western observers find alarming.

Much more at the site - the author: Richard Martin, is a senior editor at MIT Technology Review. He knows what he is talking about. The guy driving the efforts in China: Jiang Mianheng - learned his craft at our own Drexel University. We invented the technology 50 years ago, we are teaching the Chinese (and India and Norway) how to build it and we are not lifting a finger to do it here. Cheap energy is the salvation of any culture.

Immigrants - a three-fer

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First - a bit of irony from the London Daily Mail:

Now Mexico wants to build a border wall with Central America to keep out illegal immigrants from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala
It seems Mexico agrees with Donald Trump's plans to build a wall to keep out illegal immigrants - but only on its southern border with Central America.

Mexicans are calling for the border wall to keep out Guatemalans, Salvadorans and Hondurans fleeing violence in their own countries.

They complain 'hordes' of immigrants pass through on their way to the United States -who are then simply deported back to Mexico rather than their home countries by the US.

Second - a quarter million more from the UK Telegraph:

Some 235,000 migrants ready to cross Mediterranean to Italy before winter, warns UN envoy
At least 235,000 migrants and refugees are on the coast of Libya waiting to cross the Mediterranean to Italy, a United Nations official has warned.

"We have on our lists 235,000 migrants who are just waiting for a good opportunity to depart for Italy, and they will do it," said Martin Kobler, the head of a UN mission that is seeking to bring peace and stability to the North African country, which is divided by rival governments, militias and Islamic State.

Third - and the ones already in EU - from the Wall Street Journal:

Germany’s Efforts to Integrate Migrants Into Its Workforce Falter
As the flow of asylum seekers entering Germany started to break historic records last fall, Continental AG rushed to tap some of the newcomers for its workforce.

But one year after the tire maker began advertising an internship program designed for 50 migrant workers, only 30 of the positions have been filled as it struggles to find suitable candidates or vet their qualifications.

Big mistake - the Saudi's should be stepping up to the plate and rescuing their bretheren. Oh. Wait. Muslims are divided into 50-gazillion different tribes and sects and they all hate each other. How about advancing the course of civilization over there - the Saudi's could certainly spend some of their oil money for that.

Back from town - food trailer

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I had mentioned that I was looking at a food trailer but there was one other couple in front of me.

Found out this morning that they bailed and the trailer is now mine - shook hands on it this morning and will pick it up sometime first part of next week. Fun times - everyone I talk to seems to really like the idea and I will be doing something that nobody else in the community is doing. There are a couple of restaurants in the area but outside of one expensive Italian place, everyone else does burgers and/or pizza. I will be doing basic deli sandwiches and soups and Hawai'ian Plate Lunches on weekends (which is the antitheses of low carb but what are you going to do...).

Fun times ahead - I plan to run it for one year to see how it goes and either buy a bigger trailer or sell this one and get out of the business.

Out for coffee and in to town

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Picking up some stuff for this Saturday - there is a neighborhood picnic so doing pulled BBQ beef sliders. Taking care of some other stuff in town as well.

Back around 4:00PM


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The New York Times has an excellent post on Carbohydrates and why they are actually pretty bad for you if you eat too much:

Before You Spend $26,000 on Weight-Loss Surgery, Do This
Earlier this year, the Food and Drug Administration approved a new weight-loss procedure in which a thin tube, implanted in the stomach, ejects food from the body before all the calories can be absorbed.

Some have called it “medically sanctioned bulimia,” and it is the latest in a desperate search for new ways to stem the rising tides of obesity and Type 2 diabetes. Roughly one-third of adult Americans are now obese; two-thirds are overweight; and diabetes afflicts some 29 million. Another 86 million Americans have a condition called pre-diabetes. None of the proposed solutions have made a dent in these epidemics.

The solution?

It is nonsensical that we’re expected to prescribe these techniques to our patients while the medical guidelines don’t include another better, safer and far cheaper method: a diet low in carbohydrates.

Once a fad diet, the safety and efficacy of the low-carb diet have now been verified in more than 40 clinical trials on thousands of subjects. Given that the government projects that one in three Americans (and one in two of those of Hispanic origin) will be given a diagnosis of diabetes by 2050, it’s time to give this diet a closer look.

But this is just the newest fad idea to come around? No.

A low-carbohydrate diet was in fact standard treatment for diabetes throughout most of the 20th century, when the condition was recognized as one in which “the normal utilization of carbohydrate is impaired,” according to a 1923 medical text. When pharmaceutical insulin became available in 1922, the advice changed, allowing moderate amounts of carbohydrates in the diet.

Low carb is all good - not only if you are diabetic or need to lose weight. Unless you are a marathon runner or extreme athlete, you do not need that many carbs in your diet. Also, if you are using protein supplements, your gut can only digest about ten grams of protein at a sitting - any more goes out in your poop and pee and can cause stomach and gut discomfort.

You do not have to go cold turkey - like I said, Lulu and I are seeing great results with a 60 gram cap on our daily intake. I still backslide and have the occasional Mountain Dew Throwback made with the original formula and real cane sugar (and 44 grams of carbs) or a ham sandwich with butter (both fine) on a rustic french baguette (Noooooo!!!) but I have lost over ten pounds in the last three months without any other changes to my lifestyle. I want to lose another ten.

Short, brutal and true

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From Vox:


Hat tip BoingBoing:

Things never said by a head Chef

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Australian comic Troy Kinne:

Meeting went well - any time a full-page agenda can be cranked through in a bit less than one hour represents a well-run meeting.

Had an idea for dinner tonight so went ahead and made it - Lulu and I are both on a low-carb diet and having a lot of fun with it. With the possible advent of the Crossroads food trailer, I have been thinking about some of the classical sandwiches and the BLT is one of the top ones in my pantheon. Only problem is that this is not the part of the nation to count on really good tomatoes for more than a few weeks in August and September.

The acid of the tomato balances the fat of the bacon so I was thinking what else would be good. Since I am incorporating smoked turkey as the protein, how about cranberry sauce. Commercial cranberry sauce has a ton of sugar in it - two ounces has 25 grams of carbohydrates. Considering that one ounce of pure sugar has 28 grams of carbs, the sauce is almost half sugar. I used commercial sauce for tonight's meal but have some of last fall's berries in the freezer and will try a version with stevia glycerite (the best formulation to use for cooking) tomorrow. The stuff is expensive but incredibly concentrated and I want the cranberry sauce to be really tart to counteract the fat of the bacon so I will not be using very much - a tablespoon or so.

For the fun of it, I picked up a pack of spring-roll wraps - they show a high carb level but they use a very large sample size (85 grams) and the individual wraps are only about eight grams of carbs. Our target is no more than 60 grams per day, hopefully less, so this is right on target to do a BLC spring roll - had three of them tonight for dinner and they were delicious! 2oz smoked turkey, a leaf or two of lettuce, a full slice of bacon cut in half and a good dollop of cranberry sauce (love the stuff!) and wrap it up. Simple and classic. A light yellow mustard-rice vinegar dipping sauce or some thousand island dressing would be a nice compliment.

Going to a hospital

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I try to avoid that wherever possible - too many communicable diseases floating around. Case in point from The Seattle Times:

Bacteria that causes Legionnaires’ disease found in water at UW Medical Center
The bacteria that cause Legionnaires’ disease is in some of the water supply at the University of Washington Medical Center, where a second person infected with Legionella bacteria has died, officials said Wednesday.

Signs are posted in the hospital telling patients, families and guests not to use hallway fountains or other sources of hospital drinking water, officials said.

The announcement follows reports of two cases of Legionella in patients treated in the UWMC cardiac-care units: a 30-year-old woman reported on Aug. 26 and a 50-year-old man reported Sept. 6, health officials have said. The man died Sept. 8, King County health officials said.

The bacteria that cause Legionnaires’ disease is in some of the water supply at the University of Washington Medical Center, where a second person infected with Legionella bacteria has died, officials said Wednesday.

Signs are posted in the hospital telling patients, families and guests not to use hallway fountains or other sources of hospital drinking water, officials said.

The UWMC is a huge hospital - keeping on top of sanitation requires diligence. The good news is that this will be one of the cleanest medical facilities for the next couple of years.

Off for coffee

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Waiting on some emails about the food trailer. BERT meeting tonight.

More later...

The American poor

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Looking at some numbers - from The Heritage Foundation:

Understanding Poverty in the United States: Surprising Facts About America's Poor
Today, the Census Bureau released its annual poverty report, which declared that a record 46.2 million persons, or roughly one in seven Americans, were poor in 2010. The numbers were up sharply from the previous year’s total of 43.6 million. Although the current recession has increased the numbers of the poor, high levels of poverty predate the recession. In most years for the past two decades, the Census Bureau has declared that at least 35 million Americans lived in poverty.

However, understanding poverty in America requires looking behind these numbers at the actual living conditions of the individuals the government deems to be poor. For most Americans, the word “poverty” suggests near destitution: an inability to provide nutritious food, clothing, and reasonable shelter for one’s family. However, only a small number of the 46 million persons classified as “poor” by the Census Bureau fit that description. While real material hardship certainly does occur, it is limited in scope and severity.

The following are facts about persons defined as “poor” by the Census Bureau as taken from various government reports:

    • 80 percent of poor households have air conditioning. In 1970, only 36 percent of the entire U.S. population enjoyed air conditioning.
    • 92 percent of poor households have a microwave.
    • Nearly three-fourths have a car or truck, and 31 percent have two or more cars or trucks.
    • Nearly two-thirds have cable or satellite TV.
    • Two-thirds have at least one DVD player, and 70 percent have a VCR.
    • Half have a personal computer, and one in seven have two or more computers.
    • More than half of poor families with children have a video game system, such as an Xbox or PlayStation.
    • 43 percent have Internet access.
    • One-third have a wide-screen plasma or LCD TV.
    • One-fourth have a digital video recorder system, such as a TiVo.

A long article with links to core data from the US Census Bureau as well as the Department of Agriculture and the Dept of Housing and Urban Development. These are the government's own numbers. The war on poverty has been won - spectacularly I might add. Time to disband the bureaucracies that perpetuate this and get on with the next big issue.

A word to all the millennials out there

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From Old NFO:


Why does not work

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Great article from The Wall Street Journal:

Why Venture Capitalists Abandoned Clean Energy
A decade ago, clean-energy companies were the hot trend that venture capitalists were chasing. Oil and natural-gas prices were on the rise and Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth” had just made its premiere.

But high hopes that the clean-energy sector would replicate the big returns of biomedical and software startups quickly faded. Instead, monumental losses piled up: Venture-capital investors lost more than half of the $25 billion they pumped into clean-energy technology startups from 2006 to 2011.

It is not economically viable unless there are large government subsidies (ie: our tax dollars). There follows an interview - here is just one exchange:

WSJ: Why didn’t it work for VCs to continue betting on clean-tech startups?
DR. SIVARAM: First, we found these investments were illiquid. They would tie up capital for much longer than the three- to five-year time horizon that VCs preferred.

It also takes a lot of money to get fundamental science right and to scale it up. Building extensive factories and building demonstration projects to scale, those were not activities that VCs ended up being willing to fund at the hundreds of millions of dollars level.

Third, energy companies or clean-tech companies were going into markets that are legacy industries, for which a product already exists that does a pretty good job. So when you’re a solar-panel company competing with cheap electricity from natural gas, you don’t have the benefits of high margins. You instead have to compete at the razor-thin margins of the commodity markets.

And finally, the fourth reason we found was that the valuation premium that companies might receive upon exit, even if they were successful, simply was not high enough to justify the investment put into them.

I would love to use alternative energy but it is not economically viable and nothing is peeking over the horizon. What is viable is nuclear reactors - LFTR and nothing else.

About 40 years ago, Icelandic Airlines was running a program of very cheap flights from New York to Amsterdam with a stop in Reykjavik, Iceland (actually, the airport was at Keflavík, about 30 miles away). Now it looks like Norwegian Air may be taking up this torch and running with it - from Reuters:

Norwegian Air CEO says $69 flights from U.S. to Europe around the corner
Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA hopes to sell one-way tickets to Europe for $69 as early as 2017 by flying from U.S. airports that have low fees, Chief Executive Officer Bjørn Kjos said in an interview Tuesday.

Europe's third-largest budget airline is considering flights to Edinburgh and Bergen, Norway from U.S. airports that have little to no international service today, such as New York's Westchester County Airport and Connecticut's Bradley International Airport, just north of Hartford, Kjos said.

Average prices on such routes are likely to be closer to $300 round trip, Kjos said, compared with many of Norwegian's fares that run more than $500 today because of higher fees levied by busier airports.

The potential plans are part of Norwegian's broader move to cut prices and take share from traditional flag carriers that dominate trans-Atlantic flying.

While airlines such as Deutsche Lufthansa AG offer travelers hundreds of destinations via connections in airport hubs, Norwegian is aiming to make nonstop service to small cities that straddle the Atlantic more common, which keeps costs low.

Hmmm. I do not care where I fly out of - in fact, the smaller the better - less hassle. Landing in Edinburgh does not suck either. I bet Bergen is gorgeous as well.

Life in Germany - immigrants

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Just great - from Jim Hoft over at the Gateway Pundit:

German Officials Encourage Women to Wear Sneakers to Outrun Migrant Rapists
Germany, a country of 80 million, received over one million migrants and unvetted “refugees” in 2015. Chancellor Angela Merkel is expecting another million migrants this year.

Another 91,671 migrants entered Germany in January of this year despite ice snow and freezing temperatures.

In five to seven years the migrants will be able to bring in their family members.

Germany is now experiencing a migrant rape epidemic.

German officials are now encouraging women to wear sneakers to outrun migrant rapists.

How about a Glock, some hollow-points and thirty hours of training at the range. A bit more expensive than a pair of Chucks but the outcome is a lot better and more permanent.

Punching back twice as hard

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Liberals love to defame people they do not like. They have no intellectual ammunition against most conservative arguments so they go with their feelings and continue to propegate the progressive narrative despite there being no basis in reality. Primates flinging poo. Classic case in point from Bearing Arms and a delightful outcome:

BREAKING: Katie Couric Sued for $12 Million For Defamation In Anti-Gun Documentary
Film producer Katie Couric and her director Stephanie Soechtig edited their anti-gun documentary Under the Gun in order to make a gun rights group in Virginia look as if they couldn’t answer a simple question.

They’re now facing a $12 million defamation lawsuit, according to documents provided to Bearing Arms.

Second Amendment rights advocacy organization the Virginia Citizens Defense League (VCDL), along with two of its members, today filed a $12 million defamation lawsuit against Katie Couric, director Stephanie Soechtig, Atlas Films, and Studio 3 Partners LLC d/b/a Epix for false and defamatory footage featured in the 2016 documentary film Under the Gun. The film portrays a fictional exchange in which members of the VCDL appear silent, stumped, and avoiding eye contact for nearly nine seconds after Katie Couric asks a question about background checks. An unedited audio recording of the interview reveals that—contrary to the portrayal in the film—the VCDL members had immediately begun responding to Couric’s question.

In the filing, the VCDL, Daniel L. Hawes, Esq., and Patricia Webb allege that the filmmakers knowingly and maliciously manufactured the fictional exchange by splicing in footage that the filmmakers took surreptitiously after telling the interviewees to be silent for ten seconds so that recording equipment could be calibrated. The filing also contains side-by-side screenshots of the film’s footage of the VCDL members and anti-gun advocates, alleging that the filmmakers manipulated lighting to cast shadows on the VCDL members and to make them appear sinister and untrustworthy. “We were horrified to see how Couric and her team manipulated us and the video footage to make us look like fools who didn’t stand up for the Second Amendment,” said Mr. Philip Van Cleave, President of the VCDL. “We want to set the record straight and hold them accountable for what they’ve done. You shouldn’t intentionally misrepresent someone’s views just because you disagree with them.”

Much more at the site including links to video and audio clips as well as citations of relevant laws. When someone does crap like this, we need to (as the sorely missed Andrew Breitbart once said) punch back twice as hard. Make it hurt when they pull such a dishonest piece of editing as this. Too many conservatives are willing to turn the other cheek and go on with life - this is a battle of ideas and we need to win it for the safety of our children's generation otherwise this nation will regress down to a 3rd world hell-hole.

Out here in the boonies, we are far from any supply-chains and in the case of a disaster***, we need to remain self-sufficient for at least three weeks. It makes sense for the Emergency Responders to deal with the dense population centers in the cities first.

I just found this blog: More Than Just Surviving and they had a list that looks really good:

The 13-Step Path to Becoming a Better Survivalist
Working toward any goal can be a difficult process, but if you’re not sure where to start or what to do to make your goal happen, accomplishing that goal becomes infinitely harder.

The first two:

1. Lay the groundwork: learn the basics first.
Don’t get too ahead of yourself. Yes, it would be amazing to have mastered the art of fire-making by using only sticks, but do you know how to start a fire with matches yet? What about starting a fire with a simple firesteel? Once you’ve got these simpler methods down, then move on to the more difficult stuff. You’ll have covered more groundwork and laid the foundation for much more complex skills.

2. Don’t stop teaching yourself: continue to learn as much as you can.
Ever tried to start a workout routine, made it work for a month or two and then stopped for some time to “take a break.” You’ll likely have found that it’s incredibly hard to start back up again.

It’s much easier to continue to grow if you never stop. Even if you have to lessen your load for some time – don’t stop learning and teaching yourself new things. Push through whenever you feel worn out, lessening how much you’re learning if you have to.

Eleven more at the site - some good stuff there... ***The best definition of a disaster that I heard is "An event that outstrips our ability to cope."

Two politicians

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Two people who are actively shaping this nation for the worse - Hillary's VP cantidate Tim Kane and NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio.

From the Sept 22, 2013 New York Times:

A Mayoral Hopeful Now, de Blasio Was Once a Young Leftist
The scruffy young man who arrived in Nicaragua in 1988 stood out.

He was tall and sometimes goofy, known for his ability to mimic a goose’s honk. He spoke in long, meandering paragraphs, musing on Franklin D. Roosevelt, Karl Marx and Bob Marley. He took painstaking notes on encounters with farmers, doctors and revolutionary fighters.

Bill de Blasio, then 26, went to Nicaragua to help distribute food and medicine in the middle of a war between left and right. But he returned with something else entirely: a vision of the possibilities of an unfettered leftist government.

A bit more:

But a review of hundreds of pages of records and more than two dozen interviews suggest his time as a young activist was more influential in shaping his ideology than previously known, and far more political than typical humanitarian work.

Mr. de Blasio, who studied Latin American politics at Columbia and was conversational in Spanish, grew to be an admirer of Nicaragua’s ruling Sandinista party, thrusting himself into one of the most polarizing issues in American politics at the time.

Much more at the site.

And this - Senator Tim Kane from The Hill:

Tim Kaine's radical roots
According to the media, Tim Kaine took a life transforming "mission" trip to Latin America in 1980. Conveniently left out of these stories, are the radical reality of the Cold War in Latin America and Tim Kaine's Soviet sympathizing mentors. In fact, whatever Kaine's intentions, he more likely met Karl Marx than Jesus Christ while there.

Connect the dots with a little history, and an alarming picture emerges of Kaine's adventures with radicals and revolutionaries in 1980s Latin America.

Reports indicate that in Honduras, “Mr. Kaine embraced an interpretation of the gospel, known as liberation theology...”

This wasn't mainstream “Catholic thought” at the time. It was a radical, Marxist-based ideology at odds with the Church, the pope, and the United States, but supportive of (and supported by) the Soviet Union.

To counter Vatican opposition to this theology, now published documents from the Soviet and East German archives show “active measures” were undertaken to undermine the Vatican and the pope — key barriers to a Soviet influence in Latin America.

The documents are detailed in books by former Associated Press Berlin bureau chief, John Koehler and the Mitrokhin Archive data published by Cambridge University Professor Christopher Andrew.

Tim Kaine's political formation wasn't pro-American or pro-Catholic, it was pro-Soviet.

And this is the guy who would step in as Commander In Chief if Hillary suffered another stroke or another concussion.

Just say no to either of them.

The Mitrokhin Archive is turning up a lot of interesting information - through this it was already revealed that Mahmoud Abbas - Yasser Arafat's chosen successor - was a Soviet Spy.

Back home again

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Actually got back home a while ago - been ordering pre-printed checks to use with GnuCash. Really liking the app - a lot faster than QuickBooks, free and has everything I need for both personal and some business finances. I have focal dystonia in my hands (my Dad did too) and they cramp a lot when writing - trying to automate as much as possible.

Lulu found a nest of wasps in a piece of garden sculpture - a face - and they were coming in and out of the mouth and nose. I sprayed them and will spray some more tonight when they go dormant. I saw some other Vespidae activity near my small portable propane grill and opened it up to find three nests being built. I really like wasps - they feed on the annoying bugs and help to keep them down. I just do not like them around my living area and there is no easy way to move their nests. C'mon guys, there is 30 acres out there - literally, could you please bug off!

Stopped off at the store to pick up some beer for Jimmy.

And the day begins

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Doing a bunch of stuff around the house this morning. Lulu's nephew Jimmy is coming over later. Just got a call from one of the BERT people - they need help setting up something at the firehall. I need to go near there anyway so combine two chores into one trip.

Off for coffee and paying bills today. Back around 3:00PM or so...

Our Secretary of State

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From The Daily Caller:

EXCLUSIVE: John Kerry’s State Department Funneled MILLIONS To His Daughter’s Nonprofit
More than $9 million of Department of State money has been funneled through the Peace Corps to a nonprofit foundation started and run by Secretary of State John Kerry’s daughter, documents obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation show.

The Department of State funded a Peace Corps program created by Dr. Vanessa Kerry and officials from both agencies, records show. The Peace Corps then awarded the money without competition to a nonprofit Kerry created for the program.

Initially, the Peace Corps awarded Kerry’s group — now called Seed Global Health — with a three-year contract worth $2 million of State Department money on Sept. 10, 2012, documents show. Her father was then the chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, which oversees both the Department of State and the Peace Corps.

Seed secured a four-year extension in September 2015, again without competition. This time, the Peace Corps gave the nonprofit $6.4 million provided by the Department of State while John Kerry was secretary of state.

But... Everyone does this kind of thing. It is not like we are corrupt or something, just a little family business.

Time to clean up and get some adults in the room. The Peace Corps used to do good work but they are now victim of Jerry Pournelle's Iron Law:

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

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

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

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

The Barrett .50

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When you care to send the very best - great story from the London Daily Mail:

SAS sniper hero killed an ISIS terror leader who was about to incinerate hostages with a flame thrower by shooting its fuel tank from 1,500m
A British sniper took out a feared ISIS executioner as he prepared to murder several hostages by shooting a fuel tank on his back and incinerating him.

The SAS marksman fired a single round from his Barrett .50 calibre sniper rifle at the terrorist, who was about to use a flame thrower to kill 12, from 1,500m.

The bullet hit the flame thrower's fuel tank and caused a huge fireball, also killing three other ISIS members who were ready to film the execution.

That guy will not have to pay for his own beers for a long long time - 1,500 meters is 0.93 miles. An amazing shot. Put the fear of God into the ISIS a**holes.

There are confirmed sniper kills out to 2,400 meters so this is not a record but it is damn good shooting!

Hillary's pneumonia virus

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From that bastion of reputable reporting The Onion:

Pneumonia Virus Terrified After Remembering What Clintons Capable Of
Expressing regret over its reckless decision to infect the Democratic presidential nominee, the virus causing Hillary Clinton’s pneumonia was reportedly terrified Monday after remembering what the Clintons were capable of. “Oh shit, what the hell was I thinking—you don’t get on the wrong side of these people,” said the infectious agent, which became increasingly worried while recalling just how far the Clintons were willing to go to get what they wanted, as well as what often happened to those who dared to cross the powerful politicians. “Everybody knows you never mess with the Clintons. These people won’t hesitate to absolutely crush you, and they have the money and connections to do it. I knew I should’ve just stayed clear. I’m so fucked.” At press time, the horrified virus was reportedly planning to avoid the Clintons’ wrath by taking its own life.

Well, they do have quite the track record: Arkancide

A great find - HMS Terror

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The last of the two ships from the ill-fated Sir John Franklin expedition has been found. From the Toronto Star:

HMS Terror, second ship from doomed Franklin Expedition, found in Terror Bay
Thanks to an Inuk Ranger’s sharp memory and a little luck, researchers are a major step closer to knowing the fates of two ships that vanished nearly 170 years ago in Canada’s wide and savage Arctic.

The second of the two Franklin Expedition shipwrecks was found earlier this month, Arctic Research Foundation expedition lead Adrian Schimnowski confirmed Monday.

“We found (HMS) Terror,” Schimnowski told the Star via via satellite phone from Gjoa Haven, Nunavut.

“We found Terror in Terror Bay.”

HMS Terror was one of two Royal Navy ships that set out in 1845 on the ill-fated quest led by Sir John Franklin to find the Northwest Passage to Asia. The ships became trapped in thick Arctic ice and all 129 crew members died. The other ship — HMS Erebus — was located in September 2014 in the Queen Maud Gulf, along the central Arctic coastline.

Readers will know that I have always been fascinated by the extreme places of this planet of ours - the polar regions, the ocean, the mountains. This discovery brings closure to one of the epic stories of polar exploration.

The great Stan Rogers wrote this song - even today it gives me chills:

Ill-ary's health

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Hillary in the news again - from CNN:

Hillary Clinton faints during speech
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton fainted during a luncheon speech Monday in upstate New York, citing a 24-hour virus, but she recovered and resumed her public schedule.

A bit more:

"She said she was not feeling well, looked pale," he said. "She told the crowd she was queasy."

"She said she was going to sit and talk," Lenihan said. At that, she took the microphone but then said she felt warm and left the room to remove the jacket of her black jumpsuit, he said.

Upon her return, at about 12:15 p.m., the senator fainted as her staff placed the microphone in front of her, Lenihan said.

Her Secret Service agents quickly surrounded the former first lady, and four people broke her fall, he said.

"They took her down gracefully; let's put it that way," said Lenihan.

And the kicker? This is from over eleven years ago - Tuesday, February 1, 2005 to be exact. She has always been in poor health.

Back home again - food trailer

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My little store carries a lot of things but we have neither the space nor the facilities to do a deli. Lots of times people come in wanting an espresso or a sandwich or something for lunch.

Some friends of mine have a food trailer but are moving out of state and are looking to sell it - there is one couple with dibs on it and they are coming over Wednesday to decide if they want it. If they do not, I am up next. Spent the day in town talking to some people from the County Health Department as well as the state Labor and Industries department so if I do get it, there will be zero problem operating it parked next to the store. There is a convenience store across the street that has a large deli but this store was purchased about a year ago by a Korean couple. Very nice but they have zero clue how to run an American business and they are nickle and diming everything to death. Their lunch meats have a peculiar glisten to them and the bread has a horrible mouth-feel - it turns to paste after a few chews - they are buying the cheapest products they can and charging full market price for crap. Time to blow them out of the water.

My friends are asking a bit more than the trailer is worth but it is turnkey so I would be able to operate it straight out of the box. I'll run it for one year and then either sell it or buy a bigger trailer and keep on with the business. Just what I need - another project...

Off to town today

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Checking on some regulations with L&I regarding a food trailer and doing a bit of shopping.

Back later today.

Well that didn't take long - deplorable

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Hillary made her "basket of deplorables" comment last Friday. Today, the Trump campaign comes out with this:

The USA job market

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The way business is done in the USA these days - from Wolf Street:

Dell-EMC to Lay Off 2,000 – 3,000 US Workers after Requesting 5,000 H-1B Visas & Green Cards to Import Foreign Workers
The ink was barely dry on Dell’s acquisition of EMC, the largest technology deal ever, valued at $67 billion when it was announced in October last year – and already the layoff rumors are oozing from the woodwork.

“People familiar with the company’s plans” told Bloomberg that Dell will cut 2,000 to 3,000 jobs.

EMC used to make decent stuff - I used a lot of their arrays at MSFT 18 years ago. They got sideswiped by the cloud. And the foreign workers coming over?

Between 2014 and 2016, Dell applied for 2,039 H-1B visas and 256 Green Cards. EMC applied for 2,347 H-1B visas and 453 Green Cards, for a total of 5,095 applications.

These are just applications. Not all of them will be certified, and of those that are certified, not all beneficiaries will be hired. But the data for 2016 isn’t complete yet either.

It’s the hot thing to do for tech companies: laying off existing workers in the US, and bringing it foreign workers on H-1B visas. The Senate has been looking into some of the abuses. In February, Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) sent US Attorney General Loretta Lynch a letter requesting a Justice Department investigation. But the tech lobby will likely get the Senate back on track soon.

But Dell needs to save some money, one way or the other. Dell’s corporate credit rating is at the upper end of junk. It’s loaded to the gills with debt, stemming from when it was taken private. Now the EMC deal has piled new debt on the company, including $20 billion of bonds it sold in May, followed by a $5-billion leveraged loan

Does not look good for Dell - they used to make good stuff too. Managers are focusing on the bottom line without realizing that these people coming in have only a fraction of the skills needed to perform their jobs and whose English language skills are, at best, minimal. This is a fad and when it runs its course, all the good solid IT people will be gone. Some big shakeups in the not so distant future.

If the 9/11 attack happened today

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How would it be reported by the BBC - so true:


Tip of the hat to The People's Cube

Now this looks good - Hidden Figures

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Based on the book Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly - due out this month. Lulu and I read and really enjoyed Rocket Girls by Nathalia Holt. A fascinating time in our history - the computers (the hardware, not the people) involved were a mere shade of what a common cell phone has yet they brought people to the moon and back again.

From The Daily Signal:

The Astonishing Amount of Taxpayer-Financed Loans That Have Gone to Failed Businesses
Small businesses are America’s backbone. They employ more than half of America’s workforce, and for every large business (more than 500 employees), there are 1,500 small ones.

Most small business owners—those who risked their own money to start their business—would be shocked to hear that the government’s Small Business Administration has written off $17.5 billion dollars of taxpayer-financed loans and loan guarantees to 160,000 failed businesses since 2000.

Some examples:

That’s why many of the loans the Small Business Administration has made seem completely irrational. According to Adam Andrzejewski, CEO of Open the Books:

    • “SBA bankers didn’t even have the foresight to see the coming digital electronic revolution” and lent $412 million to paper and printing businesses.
    • “The SBA put $25 million into travel agencies and reservation firms while the whole world moved online to Orbitz and Priceline.”
    • From 2002 to 2008, the SBA lent $60 million to video cassette tape businesses and $3.8 million to three Blockbuster Video stores.

Moreover, many of the Small Business Administration’s loans don’t represent the small-scale, mom-and-pop loans the administration claims to support. According to the Open the Books report:

    • Significant loans went to upscale operations, including: Beverly Hills diamond suppliers, Lamborghini dealerships, private country clubs, luxury limousine companies, and ritzy destination resorts.
    • Many large corporations also got in on taxpayer dollars through their franchises. Some of the SBA’s significant loan defaults include: Choice Hotels, Holiday Inn, Comfort Inn, Days Inn, Quiznos, and Cold Stone Creamery.

While there’s nothing wrong with upscale businesses or well-known franchises, it’s hard to believe these businesses couldn’t obtain loans from the private sector, without taxpayer subsidies.

The people at the SBA who write these loans have zero accountability - they just have to follow the guidelines and if the business fails, it is no skin off their noses. They just keep drawing the government paycheck and benefits. If they really screw up to the point where it hits the newspapers, they will be publicly castigated and quietly moved to some other department often with a raise for their troubles.

The new Heroin epidemic

From Breitbart:

Post 9/11 Afghanistan: Opium Cultivation, Production Increases Nearly 20-Fold
Since the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, the area under opium cultivation in the country has increased 23 fold to an area nearly ten times the size of Washington, D.C., while production of the illicit drug has skyrocketed 18-fold, from 185 metric tons to 3,300.

Opium cultivation and production has thrived over the course of the Afghanistan war despite a dramatic drop after the U.S. and NATO ended their combat mission in Afghanistan and withdrew most of their troops at the end of 2014.

Obama's fingerprints are all over this along with John Kerry (sworn in as Sec. State in 2013). We had won Afghanistan - they were our friends and allies. We turned around and deserted them without making sure they had a strong government in place. We announced that we were leaving and we left them and the terrorists waited until we were gone and moved right in.

Obama wanted to be able to declare victory in Afghanistan and Iraq so he said we won and pulled our military out. Nothing was further from the truth. And then you have that little putz Bradley Manning who released the documents naming Afghan natives who were our friends - he has many hundreds if not thousands of horrible deaths on his hands. Edward Snowden did something very similar but he had the fscking grace to go through and redact people's names and identities first.

Amid the ongoing heroin epidemic in the United States that is killing thousands, the White House and other government agencies have sounded the alarm on Afghanistan heroin possibly flowing into the U.S. through Canada, where most of the heroin available is from Afghanistan.

“There is also an increase in transshipments of Afghanistan heroin going to Canada, a development of concern that is being addressed by Canada with support from the United States,” noted the White House last year.

The profits from this is going to fund terrorism and the expansion of groups like ISIS - we could have cut this down to a trickle but for Obama and Kerry's stupidity.

Pneumonia - diagnosed last Friday

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A statement today from Hillary's physician:


Scott Adams (Dilbert creator) had this observation:

If humans were rational creatures, the time and place of Clinton’s “overheating” wouldn’t matter at all. But when it comes to American psychology, there is no more powerful symbol of terrorism and fear than 9-11 . When a would-be Commander-in-Chief withers – literally – in front of our most emotional reminder of an attack on the homeland, we feel unsafe. And safety is our first priority.

Hillary Clinton just became unelectable.

Fifteen years ago

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And we are still at war with this 9th century ideology. 

Never forgive, never forget.

This person is to ill to be President:

A bit of a game-changer - Oil

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Great news from CNN:

Oil! Massive shale discovery in Texas
Apache revealed the huge find this week after more than two years of stealthily buying up land, extensive geological research and rigorous testing.

The Houston company estimates the discovery, dubbed "Alpine High," could be worth at least $8 billion.

Apache believes the new shale play spans at least five formations, contains over three billion barrels of oil and 75 trillion cubic feet of rich natural gas.

Now that is one big milkshake... 

Just wonderful - from the San Jose's The Mercury News:

California climate change law: Ambitious target set as Jerry Brown takes action
California will become a petri dish for international efforts to slow global warming under legislation signed by Gov. Jerry Brown on Thursday, forcing one of the world’s largest economies to squeeze into a dramatically smaller carbon footprint.

And this little bon mot stood out for me:

That means Californians can expect to feel more of what Brown has called the “coercive power of government.” Businesses will likely face more restrictive rules, and taxpayer and ratepayer money will be needed to subsidize cleaner technologies.

And how many more taxpayers will flee? These are technologies that are not economically viable so they must be subsidized with California taxpayer dollars.

One great metric of people movement is how much it costs to rent a U Haul truck from one city to another. Places where people are leaving tend to be higher as there is a higher demand for trucks. Here are the prices between Dallas, Texas and San Francisco, California - click the pic to embiggen:



Twice as much - looks like lots of people are making the move.

I am liking this new Prime Minister

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Engfland's new PM has a real spirit - this is an excerpt of a speech she gave a few days ago. From New Statesman:

Theresa May's speech on grammar schools
When I stood in Downing Street as Prime Minister for the first time this Summer, I set out my mission to build a country that works for everyone. Today I want to talk a little more about what that means and lay out my vision for a truly meritocratic Britain that puts the interests of ordinary, working class people first.

Yadda yadda yadda - basic speech stuff and then this:

They want to take back control of the things that matter in their lives. They want a government that listens, understands and is on their side.

They want change. And this Government is going to deliver it.

Everything we do will be driven, not by the interests of the privileged few. Not by those with the loudest voices, the special interests, the greatest wealth or the access to influence. This Government’s priorities are those of ordinary, working class people. People for whom life can sometimes be a struggle, but who get on with things without complaint.

Great stuff - there's more:

I want Britain to be the world’s great meritocracy - a country where everyone has a fair chance to go as far as their talent and their hard work will allow.

I want us to be a country where everyone plays by the same rules; where ordinary, working class people have more control over their lives and the chance to share fairly in the prosperity of the nation.

And I want Britain to be a place where advantage is based on merit not privilege; where it is your talent and hard work that matter not where you were born, who your parents are or what your accent sounds like.

She talks a lot about the school system and how it is slanted towards people with money and how to reverse this - some really good ideas. Very Thatcher-esque.

And decided to stop at my local for a couple pints of cider - had not done that in a while (several months). Ran into some friends so spent some time catching up on stuff. Picked up a couple of things at the yard sale so that was a success.

Was going through my emails - I subscribe to a couple of local political fora and one of the emails was from Donald Trump's campaign asking that no campaign activities take place tomorrow. 9/11 is a solemn day in America and we need to honor that. Now this is a total class act. Trump could have capitalized on the attack fifteen years ago and used it as an example of why his immigration platform was so important but he did not.

Off for the day

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Checking out a couple of yard sales and then working at home.

More in a few hours.

Hillary at the NBC town hall forum

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At this event, Hillary was spotted wearing what appears to be an in-ear headphone. An earbud. Stilton Jarlsberg has more:


I sure love playing around with mine. The Arduino was a little too sqeee for my liking - the Pi is just right. From the Raspberry Pi Foundation:

When we started Raspberry Pi, we had a simple goal: to increase the number of people applying to study Computer Science at Cambridge. By putting cheap, programmable computers in the hands of the right young people, we hoped that we might revive some of the sense of excitement about computing that we had back in the 1980s with our Sinclair Spectrums, BBC Micros and Commodore 64s.

At the time, we thought our lifetime volumes might amount to ten thousand units – if we were lucky. There was was no expectation that adults would use Raspberry Pi, no expectation of commercial success, and certainly no expectation that four years later we would be manufacturing tens of thousands of units a day in the UK, and exporting Raspberry Pi all over the world.

With this in mind, you can imagine how strange it feels to be able to announce that over the last four and a half years we’ve sold a grand total of ten million Raspberry Pis. Thanks to you, we’ve beaten our wildest dreams by three orders of magnitude, and we’re only just getting started. Every time you buy a Raspberry Pi, you help fund both our ongoing engineering work, and our educational outreach programs, including Code Club and Picademy.

Here's to the next ten million - talk about right place at the right time.

Bacterial evolution

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Sobering experiment:

This is why you should always complete any course of antibiotics - you may feel allright after a few days but you have only knocked the population down to the point where it no longer bothers your body.

The easy to kill bugs were destroyed in the first day or two of treatment but the harder to kill drugs can take up to two weeks or more. If you stop after the first couple of days, the strong bacteria are lurking in your body ready to come back like gangbusters and they will require more potent antibiotics and a longer course of treatment.

More at this article from National Public Radio: WATCH: Bacteria Invade Antibiotics And Transform Into Superbugs

Apple screws us over again

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The new iPhones do not have a headphone jack any more. You are supposed to use a Bluetooth wireless headphone instead of a corded unit.

Guess what - from The Verge:

The biggest winner from removing the headphone jack is Apple
If you take Apple’s word for it, removing the headphone jack from the iPhone 7 was a pure expression of its desire for technological progress. "Some people have asked why we would remove the analog headphone jack from the iPhone," Phil Schiller, Apple’s marketing chief, said yesterday. "It really comes down to one word: courage. The courage to move on to do something new that betters all of us."

Already Apple’s defenders have been echoing that sentiment. The headphone jack is century-old technology — why not get rid of it the same way Apple killed the CD drive and Ethernet port on laptops? After all, this is just another connector that can be replaced by something wireless.

But there were clear and tangible benefits to those changes (namely, much thinner and lighter laptops), whereas this change comes littered with downsides. Most headphones in existence are incompatible. You can’t charge the phone and listen to wired headphones at the same time. And if you do want to use old headphones, you need to keep a small adapter handy. And that’s just to name a few of the many drawbacks.

Waaaiiiiit for it:

More likely is that the lack of a headphone jack on the iPhone — and increasingly, on Android phones as well — will lead to an uptick in sales of Bluetooth headphones. And it just so happens that Apple owns the number one Bluetooth headphone company, Beats.

Beats brings in more revenue from Bluetooth headphones than LG, Bose, or Jaybird, according to NPD figures released in July. In terms of unit sales, it controls over a quarter of the Bluetooth headphone market.

What better way to use one product to flog another. I am firmly in the Android camp and whenever we get cell service out in our little vale, I will be going with an Android phone. Already own an Android tablet for photography apps - turns out there is quite the active development community for amateur radio apps too. Lots of apps on Android but not on iOS.

A trip through the store

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Posted that yesterday - here is a repost of a short video Lulu made while following me through the store and then walking through Maple Falls to a book sale:

Originally from here: A look at an average day

Back home again - dinner in town

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Got a bite to eat at the new Roadhouse Bar and Grill. Again, excellent.

Back home and unpacking the truck - Lulu is out tomorrow for a while.

Something very cool happened this afternoon. I have a vacant lot across from the store and there is a large community garden there. Part of it is also a gravel lot in poor condition - large large potholes. Whenever construction happens in this area, the crews always use the lot to park their rigs at the end of the day. They always ask and they are always told to go ahead. I have no other use for the lot at this time.

They are installing a large concrete fish culvert (salmon habitat restoration) under the main highway and had to redirect traffic for a few weeks - they built a temporary road around their construction site. Now that they are done, they pulled up the asphalt and then asked me if I wanted the gravel substrate - they were willing to truck it over to my lot and spread it out. This afternoon, a couple people brought about 15 yards of nice gravel and spread it around - the lot looks fantastic now.

It turns out that since they paved over it, the gravel company would require them to pay money to drop it off with them. The used gravel would have to be sorted and cleaned as it had bits of paving mixed in. This way, they get rid of it for free, I get a much nicer lot and we all win. Our tax dollars at work!

Nothing much today - working at home

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Knocking off a couple projects at home. Heading into town in a little while to pick up a prescription refill - feet are doing a lot better today, actually able to wear real shoes...

More later

A trip through my store

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Brought my video camera in today and shot a few minutes of footage while wandering around:

Damn - that was some good acid... Actually, this was neural network image processing - tip of the hat to James Gurney for the link. More at his site.

A very good question - Black Lives Matter

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From Denny at Grouchy Old Cripple:


Just a little truth to power here...

From Huffington Post:

Behind Closed Doors, Donald Trump’s Adviser Explains His Real Economic Plan
At a private meeting of conservatives in Cleveland this summer, Donald Trump’s senior economic adviser, Stephen Moore, said the candidate planned to pay for his costly proposals by eliminating the departments of Commerce, Energy and Education; lifting all restrictions on mining, drilling and fracking; ending Temporary Assistance for Needy Families programs, and offering rust-belt factory workers new jobs on oil rigs and steel mills.

Now this is what has been needed all along. Commerce is this throbbing meatball that has grown way beyond it's original intentions. Energy has done nothing and Education is seriously overstepping its bounds with wastes of time like Common Core. Education is something that under the 10th Amendment needs to be left entirely to the States.

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people

President Trump could also defund the EPA by 80% - that would make me very happy. Get them back to their core values. They did great work once.

The first person to organize the Hashamite Jordanians (whom the rest of Jordan did not want and were more than happy to be rid of) was Yasser Arafat. He was the son of an Egyptian merchant, became a radical, spent some time in jail and was ultimately recruited by the Russian KGB. They feared that Israel would take over the oil producing regions so they wanted someone to prevent their expansion. Arafat spent about nine years in Moscow and his initial efforts at recruiting the Hashamite Jordanians Palestinians were funded by Moscow. More reading here, here and here.

Now it seems that Arafat's sucessor - Mahmoud Abbas - was also a Communist spy - from The Washington Post:

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas was once a KGB spy code-named ‘Mole,’ report claims
A report Wednesday night by Israel’s Channel 1 News seems to indicate that he was a KGB agent for a period of time, although the Palestinian Authority very quickly denied the claims, calling them another Israeli slur against the struggling president.

The news report, which was based on research carried out by two Israeli professors, revealed that the cryptic information was hidden in documents from the Mitrokhin archive, a collection of handwritten notes by KGB archivist Vasili Mitrokhin. Mitrokhin smuggled his notes out of Russia in the 1990s when he defected to Britain. Cambridge University's Churchill College made the papers public in 2014.

In the documents, the report says, just few lines refer to the now octogenarian Palestinian leader: His code name was “Krotov” or Mole and he worked with the Soviet secret police and security agency in Damascus circa 1983.

Gideon Remez and Isabella Ginor, the two researchers from the Truman Research Institute at Hebrew University of Jerusalem, said that Abbas worked for the KGB under Mikhail Bogdanov, who was then based in Damascus and is now Russia’s special envoy to the Middle East.

On Monday, Bogdanov held meetings in Jerusalem with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in an attempt to broker a summit between the Israeli and Palestinian leaders. Wednesday’s news report also pointed out that Russian President Vladimir Putin was a KGB lieutenant colonel during the 1980s.

This is rich - the top two people in Palestinian governement work for the Russians. As for brokering peace? There will never be peace for the Palestinians. Their opposition to Israel is the core of their identity and without that, they would be lost. They have no culture, no arts, no civilization, no education, no science. They only have their Russian-manufactured hate of Israel. They are not a nation. They are not a people. They are the dregs of a long-defunct KGB operation.

Back home - a fun day

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Got the usual taken care of in town, grabbed a dinner to go at the Lucky Panda and headed out to the Search and Rescue building north of Bellingham for the WECG meeting. There were some SAR people there already so I sat inside and had my dinner. Eating in the car is nice - especially since it turned into a gorgeous day but sitting at a table is even better.

The next topic of study with our group is APRS communications. This is a digital mode that allows you to report your position (using GPS) and send short emails to another APRS equipped radio, to someone on the internet and sending and receiving text messages to a cell phone. Very cool and used a lot for Search and Rescue. Since I already have the digital modem for WinLink, it is a simple matter of adding about $60 worth of glue-logic and a GPS receiver and I can implement this on my own radios. Yes, they make a version for the Raspberry Pi so I already have $40 of the $60 buy-in cost.

This is something that I have been interested in - to get some hands-on experience tonight makes me want to get it set up even more. A couple of the 4X4 rescue people and the SAR people brought in their own rigs - amazing what you can do with a cheap chinese walky-talkie and the extra circuitry - very compact but powerful.

The usual routine

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Got the critters taken care of - heading out for coffee and then into town. Never made it to the bank yesterday so hitting that and a couple of other places, grab a bite to eat and then WECG meeting at 7:00PM. Back home around 10:00PM or so.

I had posted about one of the largest intermodal ocean carriers declaring bankruptcy and how their ships are just stranded in-between ports. Nobody will allow them to dock because there is no indication that they will be paid for their efforts. Now this - from the Canada's Vancouver SUN:

ART SEEN: Stranded at sea, British artist sees her surroundings with new eyes
Rebecca Moss is the British artist stranded on the Hanjin Geneva owned by the Hanjin shipping line that filed for receivership Wednesday. She was on board as part of the 23 Days at Sea Residency organized by Access Gallery in Vancouver.

The Hanjin Geneva is now somewhere off the coast of Japan near Tokyo. It cannot dock because ports around the world have barred Hanjin ships over concerns that include the payment of port and service fees.

I composed several questions and sent them to Moss via Kimberly Phillips, the curator/director at Access Gallery. Phillips is in touch with Moss by email. Moss’s answers have been edited for context and style.

The first story on Moss’s situation appeared Thursday in The Vancouver Sun.

Q: When did you hear that the Hanjin Shipping Line filed for receivership?
A: I heard (Wednesday) morning (Sept 1st).

How were you told?
I went down in the morning for my breakfast and the Captain was waiting for me. I poured myself a coffee and he told me to brace myself for a change of plan. He was very matter-of-fact and said he is going to do everything to ensure the passengers and crew arrive safely at a port at the earliest opportunity.

Travelling on freighters is supposed to be a really nice way to get away from civilization for a while and it is a lot cheaper than commercial cruise ships ($80 - $120/day). There are not the amenities but - you were wanting to get away from civilization for a while anyway, remember? There is also a long-standing tradition of having artists spending a residency at scientific outposts - the National Science Foundation's Antarctic  Artists and Writers Program  (AAW) has hosted some amazing people and the work produced has been gorgeous.

GnuCash - I like!

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Been playing around with it and glad I took a look. This is a very solid application.

You can easily run a business with it. NOTE: there is none of the hand-holding and downloading of State and Federal data that QB has so when setting up Sales Tax, Income Tax and Payroll you need to know what numbers apply to you and what they are otherwise you could start a very nasty ball rolling down that hill of despair and late nights (do not ask how I know of this hill).

The machine I am using here is from 2009. The machine I was using for QB at the old store was from 2012 and much faster. GnuCash is downright peppy on this machine - much faster to go from one process to another than QB on the newer machine. Again, not as many bells and whistles - QuickBooks tries to be everything for everyone - but GnuCash has what is needed and is blisteringly fast.

Some comments in the forums say that designing forms - specifically custom invoices - is hard. We will see... Also, something nice is that all data is saved in an XML file but you also have the option to use a SQL database (this would be for multiple workstations and large volumes of data). It can export data to a QB compatible format so you can use TurboTax for online filing.

Check out GnuCash

Parkinson’s and Hillary

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There have been many rumors about Hillary's health - this Doctor builds a good case for Parkinson's

Been reading a little bit on it - I would not wish that disease on anyone. Her presidency would be as a figurehead puppet. Who will be pulling the strings and what do we know about them. Tip of the hat to Knuckledraggin' for the link

History of the internet - the @CAFE

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Nice nine minute documentary about one of the first Internet Cafes - 1995 in NYC

GnuCash instead of QuickBooks

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I have been doing my household bill-paying over at my old office (the business that I closed almost two years ago). I have a computer set up with QuickBooks and the filing cabinets were already there but I would like to bring this home and free up the space for something else.

My copy of QuickBooks is too old (they support it for three years) and I didn't feel like buying another copy for just expense tracking and check printing - it does a lot more than what I need. I am looking at a free alternative called GnuCash. The Gnu part of the name is a bit of fun computer history from one of the more colorful characters (two links: Gnu and rms). Try this here for a month or two and see how it goes - looks pretty nice at first glance.

UPDATE: Was nosing around while eating a salad and it looks really nice and clean. I had a copy of Quicken from about five years ago installed and it found the data and imported it as slick as can be. I had since closed out these accounts (pre-divorce) so I can play around and delete transactions and write checks for large sums with impunity. It will print on the standard QuickBooks check format - this is a good thing as I can order these from Costco Business (through a third-party vendor)  for very cheap (under $40 for 500 checks). Looks good so far...

The feet are doing a lot better - have a final appointment in two weeks.

The BERT group meets on the second Wednesday of every month - Sept 1st fell on Thursday so I was off by one. It's a computer binary thing. Next week, not tonight...

Heating up the last of the beef barley soup for dinner tonight - I have been trying to cut my carbs but screw it. It is cold and rainy and dank - a big bowl of nice soup sounds really wonderful right now. More posting in a little bit - Grace is telling me that it is time for her dinner too.

Long day today

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In to town for a Doctor's followup for my feet - doing a lot better but not out of the woods yet. 

Also picking up an order for the store, doing some banking, shopping and a BERT meeting this evening. Back home around 8:30.

Speaking of BERT - we had a Mag 3.2 earthquake out here last night. What if it was a lot bigger? Are you ready?

Readers will know that I follow the Baltic Dry Index as a good measure of our economic health. This is the cost to ship an intermodal container from Point A to Point B. It has been very low over the last eight years or so. If there is no demand for goods, there will be less goods shipped and the cost to ship goods will drop (lower demand for a resource means lower cost to consumer).

Peter Grant writes at Bayou Renaissance Man and also follows the economy including measurements like the Baltic Dry. He posted a great one today - long, lots of links and well worth reading. One of his commenters posted a link to railroad car traffic - this is just as bad. From Captain Capitalism:

What the Railroad Tells Us About the Economy
The economy ever since 2006 has been "Meh."
When historians and academics look back at Obama's economic performance, they'll say "meh."
We never left the recession as far as I'm concerned and with economic growth BARELY outpacing population growth our increases in standards of living has been "meh."

And since "meh" isn't exciting, I moved onto other things.

But then I hear whispers and rumors, sayings and speakings, and an increasing amount of them are about the economy. And the economy is no longer "meh" like it has been since 2008, but things are not looking too good. Oil prices are down (not just on supply concerns, but demand concerns). The Baltic index is down, showing a global slow down. And then a little birdy in the railroad biz I know said to look at rail car traffic. And 2016 it is very much down.


Please note that they are jerking our chain a little bit - look at the Y Axis. It starts at 480 and not zero. Comparing December 2015 (estimated 480) with December 2014 (estimated 530) we see a drop of about 10% - significant but not earth shattering. Still, railroad traffic is taking a big hit and it is also a good proxy for our poxy economy.

Hillary's witnesses

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They have a habit of committing suicide with multiple gunshots to the back of the head. More here: Arkancide

This caught my eye (hat tip Gerard):


Obama's legacy...

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In no special order:

Latinos - from the Washington Examiner:

Latino activists: Obama 'completely failed us'
When President Obama leaves office in January, among the angriest of core constituencies who wished the president accomplished more in his eight years will most likely be Latinos for his failure to deliver comprehensive immigration reform.

"He completely failed us in 2008, and he failed us in 2012," the Center for Community Change Action's Kica Matos said about Obama's campaign promises to overhaul the immigration laws and offer a path to citizenship for the nation's 11 million illegal immigrants.

Blacks - from Politico:

Did Obama Fail Black America?
On January 20, 2009, when Barack Obama assumed the presidency, the overwhelming majority of African-Americans cheered and prayed for him. His inauguration was a signal moment in black history, reminiscent of the celebrations that accompanied the Emancipation Proclamation, Joe Louis’ victory over Max Schmeling and the March on Washington. Irma Brown-Williams traveled to the inauguration from Tuskegee, Alabama, wearing a coat on which she had pinned photos of her mother, father and siblings, all of whom were deceased. Asked to explain, she said, “I’m here for them. … They could not be here, so I brought them with me.” Against the backdrop of such exhilaration and triumphalism, an emotional downturn was inescapable. It has come to pass. For many, the passion has cooled. For some, the thrill is gone.

Healthcare - from Time:

Aetna Has Revealed Obamacare’s Many Broken Promises
They’re dropping like flies.

The health-insurance giant Aetna has announced it will exit 11 of the 15 health-insurance exchanges where it sells Obamacare plans. Aetna’s announcement comes on the heels of news that UnitedHealthcare, Humana, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, and Texas’ Scott and White Health Plan, and 70% of Obamacare’s failed Co-Ops, and other insurers will exit many or all of the exchanges for which they had previously shown such enthusiasm.

The ongoing and nationwide exodus of insurers is just the latest piece of evidence that Obamacare is a failed law built on false promises.

The Economy - from Yahoo Finance:

The Fed may be preparing for the unthinkable — negative interest rates in America
Negative interest rates are spreading like a virus. Central banks in the Eurozone, Switzerland, Sweden, and Japan all have below-zero policy rates. “NIRP,” as economists call a negative interest rate policy, is a desperation move—but the only move those central banks have.

The Federal Reserve hasn’t followed—yet. When the next recession strikes, I believe Janet Yellen will choose to break the zero lower bound. The rationale was laid out in Jackson Hole. Look behind the headlines and you’ll see the Fed already preparing for NIRP.

Our Foreign Policy - come on now. Hillary and John F. Kerry?

I could keep going. Jimmy Carter is looking pretty Presidential right about now.

Burning Man - a friend returns

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A friend of mine just returned from Burning Man. He is a chef and was part of one of the commissary teams on the playa. His truck looks like it went through the Sahara Desert which in fact, it basically did. He mentioned that there was a large blacksmith shop set up - Piazza di Ferro. The theme was Da Vinci’s Workshop - that would have been fun to see. Looking forward to the inevitable collection of YouTubes in a couple weeks.

John R. Schindler writing at Observer noticed something very odd in the FBI's dump last week:

EmailGate and the Mystery of the Missing GAMMA
Last week’s Federal Bureau of Investigation release of materials relating to their investigation of Hillary Clinton has reignited the political firestorm surrounding EmailGate. How the Democratic nominee mishandled her emails while she was secretary of state is again front-page news, which is bad news for Hillary. Particularly because the FBI’s data dump demonstrates clearly that Clinton is either dumb or dishonest—and perhaps both.

John fills in some of the background and then discusses the classified information in some of the emails:

Of those 81 classified email chains, the FBI assessed that 37 of them included Secret information while eight included Top Secret information. Worse, seven email chains included Special Access Program or SAP information, which is tightly protected by the Intelligence Community and shared on a restricted, need-to-know basis only.

Three more email chains contained Sensitive Compartmented Information or SCI, which was almost certainly SIGINT from NSA. SCI always requires special protection and handling. In fact, you’re only allowed to access it inside a specially-built Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility, a SCIF (pronounced “skiff”) in spy-speak. Any exposure of SCI brings severe penalties—at least if you’re not named Clinton.

Earlier communications show that Hillary did not want to have to use these SCIF sites - this is why she was using unsecured blackberries and phones and personal email servers in the first place.


Which leads to a troubling matter: What the FBI did not mention in its big data dump on EmailGate.

As I told you in this column back in January, Hillary emails included very highly classified intelligence from NSA. In early June 2011, the secretary of state received a long email from her longtime friend and factotum Sid Blumenthal regarding Sudan. This was an astonishingly detailed assessment of high-level political and military machinations in that country, specifically inside information about coup plotting.

This explosive information was timely and deep in the weeds on Sudanese happenings. It’s difficult to see how Blumenthal—a lawyer and Washington fixer, no sort of Africa hand or James Bond—got his hands on such juicy intelligence. As I’ve noted, “Blumenthal’s information came from a top-ranking source with direct access to Sudan’s top military and intelligence officials, and recounted a high-level meeting that had taken place only 24 hours before.” How did Sid obtain this amazing scoop for Hillary?


NSA had no doubt that Blumenthal somehow got his hands on some of their “crown jewels” information. “It’s word-for-word, verbatim copying,” an agency official of them explained. “In one case, an entire paragraph was lifted from an NSA report” that was classified Top Secret/SCI. To add to the mystery, Sid emailed Hillary his “personal” assessment on Sudan only hours after some of those classified NSA reports were issued.

Somehow Sid Blumenthal—who in 2011 was not working for the U.S. Government in any capacity and had not held security clearances in a decade—was reading above-top-secret NSA reports just hours after they appeared in tightly restricted GAMMA channels.

Much more at the site - if low-level functionaires are able to read this stuff, we are probably open for anyone else who wants a peek at our inner crown jewels.

The author's credentials:

John Schindler is a security expert and former National Security Agency analyst and counterintelligence officer. A specialist in espionage and terrorism, he’s also been a Navy officer and a War College professor.

In other words, #1) - he is not stupid and #2) - he knows what he is talking about.

The religion of Peace

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Nicest people in the world - from Breitbart:

NY Deli Owner Ahmed Alshami Charged with Food Stamps Fraud, Wife Yells F*ck America
Ahmed Alshami, owner of a Buffalo, New York deli, is being held on $2 million bail after being arraigned last week on food stamp fraud and burglary charges.

Alshami, who owns the IGA Community Express Mart along with his wife, Nadia Alhaj, was arrested on August 19 and arraigned on August 23 on charges of misuse of food stamps, third-degree burglary, and second-degree criminal possession of public benefit cards.

After his court hearing, Alshami’s daughter flipped off local reporters while his wife was caught on camera yelling, “Are you happy now? F*ck you. F*ck America.”

More at the site - if they hate America so much, why don't we return the favor and let them resettle in their original country after they finish serving the time for the criminal charges. Did they not know they were breaking the law and at some point they would be caught?

Life after Bernie

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Redneck murders

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Found on the intartubes:


Big government at work

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We always read about these and shake our heads and go on with our lives but these keep happening and it is our money that is being wasted. From the Seattle Times:

Seattle’s new, overbudget computer system let utility customers see others’ bills
Seattle’s new billing system for utilities, already afflicted by delays and cost overruns, launched Monday morning with a data flaw that sent 3,041 customers a link to other customers’ bills, including their names, addresses and energy or water use.

Along with the privacy breakdown, the city sent six to 12 redundant email notices to those same customers, marking new trouble for a computer update, nearly a year late, $34 million over budget, and expected to reach $100 million.

The problems showed up in about one-tenth of the initial batch of 30,000 utility bills compiled during the changeover Sunday night and sent Monday morning, City Light spokesman Scott Thomsen said Monday night.

How about the cost overruns with the Big Bertha dig ($223 million), the Seawall, North Precinct Police station and the Denny substation ($160 million for all). How about the light rail program (86% cost overruns). This is what happens when you have a large bureaucracy and its individuals have no accountability, no impetus to hold the line on costs. If someone really blows it, they will be publicly excoriated for a few days and then they get quietly shuffled over to some other department, often with a pay increase.

Brazil has had quite the collection of presidents recently. Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva was popular (in office for two terms (eight years)) but is under investigation for corruption.  Dilma Rousseff served as the next president but was impeached and removed from office (corruption). Then vice-president Michel Temer was pronounced president on August 31st of this year - five days ago.

Here are the Brazilian people protesting his presidency - yeah. That is 40 people to my eyes:


They need a Donald Trump of their own.

Something to remember - Hillary

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Something to remember - she has not given a Press Conference in over 260 days - she can not stand the light of public scrutiny.

From Springer's Blog:


Goes a long way to explain the echo chamber that our ruling elites seem to be stuck in - they believe that they know best how to manage us, they think that they are in fact the best suited. But. They are clueless about the real world and seem to exist in some kind of echo chamber where never is heard a discouraging word. Their ideas show zero sense of history or observation of real data.

From Physicis site Phys.Org:

These shoes weren't made for working—how brown shoes can stop you stepping into a career in investment banking
New research from Royal Holloway's Dr Louise Ashley, Lecturer in Management Studies has shown that investment banks are failing to hire talented young people from non-privileged backgrounds because they recruit from a small group of universities and hire those who already fit in with established banking culture.

A step in the wrong direction for diversity
One finding showed that applicants who wear brown shoes with a suit will be at a significant disadvantage. This is because it is generally considered an unacceptable deviation from the standard 'dress code' as understood by the British banking establishment.

One industry source told the researchers that 'from my experience, [non-privileged students] …don't have a haircut … their suit's always too big … they don't know which tie to wear'.

This is just a single look from a narrow perspective but I bet this is true across the board.

A classic example of the logical falacy of Confirmation Bias writ large.

Say hello to asteroid Freddiemercury

From Brian May - Queen lead guitarist:

In commemoration of Freddie's 70th birthday. More at Motherboard:

An Asteroid Has Been Named After Freddie Mercury
Freddie Mercury, frontman of Queen and transcendent being of pure performative joy and vitality, would have been 70 years old this Monday, September 5.

To celebrate the occasion and honor Mercury’s enormous impact on pop culture, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) has officially changed the name of Asteroid 17473, located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, to “Freddiemercury.”

It’s a fitting tribute to the man who exuberantly sang that he was “a shooting star leaping through the sky” in the heart-thumping rock rager “Don’t Stop Me Now.”

Queen’s lead guitarist Brian May, who also happens to be an astrophysicist with a namesake asteroid of his own, announced the news to the band’s fans via YouTube on Sunday.

About those job numbers

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When machines become cheaper than people to employ, watch out. This is not a case of the $15 minimum wage but it is sobering. From Yahoo:

Walmart is cutting 7,000 jobs due to automation, and it’s not alone
At the beginning of the year, we reported that robots were expected to replace some five million jobs by 2020. It’s not even the end of the year yet, and this prediction already seems well on its way to coming true. The clairvoyant folks over at the World Economic Forum warned of a “Fourth Industrial Revolution” involving the rise of the machine in the workforce, and the latest company to lend credence to that claim is none other than Walmart, which is planning on cutting 7,000 jobs on account of automation.

The retail giant joins other companies like Foxconn and Wendy’s, which both made headlines earlier in 2016 for making similar workforce decisions. Foxconn’s casualties were the most pronounced, as the electronics maker cut some 60,000 factory jobs and replaced them with machines. And Wendy’s cited the rising cost of labor and competition among fast food chains as motivation for its own decision to replace some cashiers with kiosks. After all, how much friendly service are you really expecting with your burger and fries?

But the Walmart decision may be a bit more alarming for those in the workforce. As the Wall Street Journal reports, the most concerning aspect of America’s largest private employer might be that the eliminated positions are largely in the accounting and invoicing sectors of the company. These jobs are typically held by some of the longest tenured employees, who also happen to take home higher hourly wages.

These  people are being replaced by high-end cash counting machines and different accounting procedures already tried at 500 locations since the beginning of this year.

Tell me again why we need so many illegals in our nation - don't we have enough unemployment among our naturalized citizens already?

For thos who compare Donald Trump to Adolph Hitler, this guy would make their poor pointy heads explode - I love the guy. From Zero Hedge:

"Who Is He To Confront Me?" - Philippines President Unloads On "Son Of A Bitch" Barack Obama
What was an embarrassing weekend for president Barack Obama, whose arrival at the G-20 summit in China was a case study in diplomatic humiliation, just turned even worse when on Monday, Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte warned the US president not to question him about extrajudicial killings, or "son of a bitch I will swear at you" when the two presidents meet at a summit in Laos in the coming days.

The topic of Duterte's killing spree, supposedly involving mostly criminals and drug-traffickers, without due process has raised eyebrows most recently by the United Nations, which urged the Philippines to stop executing and killing people linked to drug business and threatened that “state actors” could be punished. As a result, two weeks ago Duterte lashed out at the UN and threatened that the country could leave the UN. "Maybe we'll just have to decide to separate from the United Nations. If you're that rude, son of a bitch, we'll just leave you," Duterte told reporters in Davao, quoted by Bloomberg. “I don't give a shit about them,” he added. “They are the ones interfering. You do not just go out and give a shitting statement against a country.”

Fast forward to today when the outspoken president lobbed a preemptive warning at Obama, and before flying to Laos where the two heads of state are set to meet, said that he is a leader of a sovereign country and is answerable only to the Filipino people. He was answering a reporter's question about how he intends to explain the extrajudicial killings to Obama. More than 2,000 suspected drug pushers and users have been killed since Duterte launched a war on drugs after taking office on June 30.

In his typical foul-mouthed style, Duterte was quoted by AP as responding: "Who does he think he is? I am no American puppet. I am the president of a sovereign country and I am not answerable to anyone except the Filipino people, nobody but nobody. You must be respectful. Do not just throw questions. Son of a bitch I will swear at you in that forum," he said.

I love it - his constituents gave him a job to do and he is doing it. The world is much better off if a strong message is sent to people who willingly manufacture and transport drugs for human consumption. I have zero problems with drugs for personal use or the formation of a buyers club but this wholesale trafficking in narcotics is evil personified. Most of the drug money is used to fund terrorism from Afghanistan through the far East and South America.

Being politically incorrect and telling the United Nations where to stuff it is a good thing in my book.

Back from town - quiet day

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WalMart and the grocery store were a bit busy (there are some things that my store doesn't carry). but traffic was really light. Chicken breasts are thawed out and in the marinade - stir-frying a bunch of bok-choy with sesame oil and will add some oyster sauce at the end for the side dish.

Our program of carbohydrate reduction is working - I have lost three pounds and Lulu's sugar levels are a lot better.

Celebrating Labor Day

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Doing a quick run into town - out of one of the meds for my feet. Picking up a Costco chicken (labor day - closed) Thawing out some chicken breasts for dinner tonight. More posting in a couple of hours.

No surprises there:

His numbers come from this article by Heather Mac Donald at the Wall Street Journal

The original little 8-bit guy mashes up with some stupid human fail videos. Two parts:

Tip of the hat to BoingBoing for the link - more there.

In Deming, WA - the service was a little bit rough but they have only been open for a couple of days.

When we sat down, there was a gaggle of waitstaff standing around the end of the bar chatting while we were waiting for menus and drink orders We got these after about five minutes but service was really prompt after that. There was a little bit of confusion over some of the portions - I do not like the taste of raw red cabbage and asked if it was in the coleslaw and was told yes - but there wasn't. I then asked what was in the house salad and was told lettuce and tomatoes. I specifically asked about croutons and was told no croutons. It came with crutons as well as the very red cabbage I was asking about just before for the coleslaw.

We split an order of fish and chips - cooked perfectly. Three large pieces, very tasty and the texture was spot on.

They had an excellent beer service (6 on tap and about 30 in bottle) as well as a couple different kinds of cider. Large outside seating area and they do a full breakfast as well. Looking forward to trying that out.

Here is their Facebook page - highly recomended.

What the world thinks of him - Obama

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Great snub in China. Barry is over there for the G20 economic summit. From the UK Guardian:

Barack Obama 'deliberately snubbed' by Chinese in chaotic arrival at G20
China’s leaders have been accused of delivering a calculated diplomatic snub to Barack Obama after the US president was not provided with a staircase to leave his plane during his chaotic arrival in Hangzhou before the start of the G20.

Chinese authorities have rolled out the red carpet for leaders including India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, the South Korean president, Park Geun-hye, Brazil’s president, Michel Temer, and the British prime minister, Theresa May, who touched down on Sunday morning.

But the leader of the world’s largest economy, who is on his final tour of Asia, was forced to disembark from Air Force One through a little-used exit in the plane’s belly after no rolling staircase was provided when he landed in the eastern Chinese city on Saturday afternoon.

When Obama did find his way on to a red carpet on the tarmac below there were heated altercations between US and Chinese officials, with one Chinese official caught on video shouting: “This is our country! This is our airport!”

“The reception that President Obama and his staff got when they arrived here Saturday afternoon was bruising, even by Chinese standards,” the New York Times reported.

Follow the links and you will see the leaders of these nations on a red-carpeted wide movable stairway and there is a carpet on the pavement as well. Obama is exiting through a crew door on Air Force One - this is from the lower deck of the plane - the crew and cargo spaces and not the Presidential Cabin. A definite snub and I bet he is fuming about it - he is known for having an inflated self-image as well as quite the temper when he does not get his own way..

The end game of socialism - Venezuela

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It is starting to fall apart - the citizens staged a huge protest on September 1st. Maduro tried to mingle with a crowd of people on the 2nd and was chased by people banging on pots and pans. Here is another report on the Thursday demonstration with some more information and links:


From Breitbart:

Venezuela: Police, Chavista Gangs Attack Million-Strong Crowd Protesting Socialism
Faced with what the opposition is calling, “the largest mobilization of people in the political history of Venezuela,” the nation’s socialist government is using violent police tactics, roving Chavista gangs, and “secret police” arrests of prominent dissidents to attempt to silence dissent.

On Thursday, the opposition organized a protest in the nation’s capital dubbed, “the Caracas Takeover,” attracting between 950,000 and 1.1 million people, according to organizers. The Venezuelan government claims a paltry 30,000, a claim images of the protest make difficult to believe. The Caracas Takeover was a collection of largely peaceful protesters, seen in videos chanting slogans like “Venezuela is hungry” and singing the national anthem on social media.

“We either come out to march or we will die of hunger. We are no longer afraid of the government,” Ana Gonzalez, a protester, told AFP. Due to socialist mismanagement and strict import controls, Venezuela is on the verge of a famine, with most supermarkets severely understocked and up to 90 percent of families unable to secure food for their children on a regular basis.

And the Venezuelan government?

The government began to use police force to crack down on the protest at least a day in advance. The Bolivarian National Guard rounded up international journalists it could not trust to be favorable to President Nicolás Maduro — including reporters from Al Jazeera, Le Monde, The Miami Herald, and the Committee to Protect Journalists — and accused them of violating immigration laws, deporting them immediately.


Reports and video from the outskirts of Caracas show colectivos, armed Chavista gangs the government uses to threaten the opposition, hurling stones at the buses and attacking protesters before they could get to Caracas.

And to think that Venezuela was once the most advanced economy in the whole South American continent. My only prayer is that they get someone decent in office and not another Maduro clone.

That's it for now

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Slept in - delicious! Still have to unpack the PA system from the truck. We are going to try out a new restaurant - The Road House Bar & Grille in Deming. It has gotten some decent online reviews. Tomorrow is a holiday so heading into town Wednesday for a follow-up appointment on my feet and some banking and bill paying.

More spew in a bit.

An interesting analysis of global warming

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A look at the models from someone who understands heavy-duty signal processing. It is difficult to tease out all that goes into a complex system - so many variables contribute to the outcome and many of these variables will interact with each other either amplifying or cancelling the outcome.

In most Engineering, the gold-standard for this is Fourier Analysis - from the Wikipedia article:

Fourier analysis has many scientific applications – in physics, partial differential equations, number theory, combinatorics, signal processing, imaging, probability theory, statistics, forensics, option pricing, cryptography, numerical analysis, acoustics, oceanography, sonar, optics, diffraction, geometry, protein structure analysis, and other areas.

Fourier Analysis is also very useful for picking out threads of interaction. What input goes where in a complex system and how does it interact with other inputs while engaged in the system. From the Wikipedia article again:

When processing signals, such as audio, radio waves, light waves, seismic waves, and even images, Fourier analysis can isolate narrowband components of a compound waveform, concentrating them for easier detection or removal.

This sounds like a perfect tool for analyzing climate models but unfortunately, there seems to be no record of anyone having done so. From the Perth, Australia Sunday Times (note, the article is from one year ago):

Miranda Devine: Perth electrical engineer’s discovery will change climate change debate
A MATHEMATICAL discovery by Perth-based electrical engineer Dr David Evans may change everything about the climate debate, on the eve of the UN climate change conference in Paris next month.

A former climate modeller for the Government’s Australian Greenhouse Office, with six degrees in applied mathematics, Dr Evans has unpacked the architecture of the basic climate model which underpins all climate science.

He has found that, while the underlying physics of the model is correct, it had been applied incorrectly.

He has fixed two errors and the new corrected model finds the climate’s sensitivity to carbon dioxide (CO2) is much lower than was thought.

It turns out the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has over-estimated future global warming by as much as 10 times, he says.

And Dr. Evan's theory?

Dr Evans has a theory: solar activity. What he calls “albedo modulation”, the waxing and waning of reflected radiation from the Sun, is the likely cause of global warming.

He predicts global temperatures, which have plateaued, will begin to cool significantly, beginning between 2017 and 2021. The cooling will be about 0.3C in the 2020s. Some scientists have even forecast a mini ice age in the 2030s.

And his education?

Dr Evans is an expert in Fourier analysis and digital signal processing, with a PhD, and two Masters degrees from Stanford University in electrical engineering, a Bachelor of Engineering (for which he won the University medal), Bachelor of Science, and Masters in Applied Maths from the University of Sydney.

OK now - let us fast forward to today.Christopher Monckton of Brenchley has been working with Dr. Evans and has come up with the following two-part post - Feet of clay: The official errors that exaggerated global warming:

First: Part I: How the central estimate of global warming was exaggerated
In this new series, I propose to explore the sequence of errors, large and small, through which the climatological establishment has – until now – gotten away with greatly exaggerating climate sensitivity.

The errors have an unholy, cumulative effect, conspiring to bring about an exaggeration that is grievous.

The focus in this series will be on describing each error clearly, so that the commenters who have so vigorously had their say on my earlier descriptions of the current method of determining climate sensitivity can examine them and say whether they think the climatological establishment has come to the right conclusion.

I shall do my best to make it clear when I am describing the official position and when I am describing a proposed alternative view.

By all means criticize me if you think I am wrong about the errors I have identified, or if you think my description of the official position is wrong. But do not hold my feet to the fire for the official position itself: address your criticisms of it to the IPCC secretariat. I am here not to argue for the official position, but rather to raise certain very specific questions about it.

SecondPart II: How the central estimate of pre-feedback warming was exaggerated
Part II, which will necessarily be lengthy and full of equations, will examine another apparently small but actually significant error that leads to an exaggeration of reference or pre-feedback climate sensitivity ΔT0 and hence of final sensitivity ΔT.

This two-part article is very math heavy but he takes Dr. Evans' work and absolutely shows how the mainstream climate theory (and its practitioners) are wrong.

About Hanjin shipping - close to home

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I posted yesterday about South Korean's Hanjin Shipping declared bankruptcy and is in a state of shutdown until the lawyers figure things out. There is one of their ships in limbo up north of here.

From Canada's CBC:

Giant container vessel stuck in Prince Rupert, company in receivership
One of the world's biggest shipping companies has filed for receivership — leaving one of its vessels stuck in Prince Rupert.

South Korea's Hanjin Shipping Co. Ltd. filed for bankruptcy protection today, causing chaos for thousands of customers around the world.

And north of here?

One of its ships, the 255-metre long Scarlet, entered the Port of Prince Rupert at 10 p.m. PT on August 30, and is now in an assigned anchorage.

Port spokesperson Michael Gurney said under normal circumstances, the ship would go directly to the terminal for unloading, but it has not been handled because of the uncertain situation.

And the cargo:

"Nothing's happening with any of the cargo, and this is all back to school merchandise, Christmas merchandise, beginning to come in now and unless the terminal is paid to unload the ship — and it needs to be paid by a carrier that's now entering bankruptcy — then the cargo's not going to get moved," he said.

There is about a six month lead time between the initial order, manufacture, shipping, distribution and retail for any given item. This is why Halloween stuff started appearing on shelves two months  ago and Christmas stuff will be showing up right after Halloween is over. Not knowing how long this impasse will last could drive up scarcity and therefore prices of anything coming in from Asia. If you are looking at purchasing a durable good (laptop, hard drive, television, clothing, appliance, vehicle, etc...) this fall, consider shopping for it now.

Dumping on Hillary

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Everyone is doing it - this is from The Observer:

It’s Been a Very Bad Week for Hillary
When I wrote my article on Monday about six Clinton Foundation scandals you should know about, I didn’t think it would become obsolete just a few days later.

Several more Clinton Foundation scandals were reported this past week—and not just from right-leaning or conspiracy websites. These were three separate articles from mainstream media outlets.

The first came from Politico’s Kenneth Vogel, who wrote about Bill Clinton aides using tax dollars to subsidize the foundation and the setting up of the private email server Hillary Clinton would eventually use to send classified emails. Vogel was careful to note that nothing Bill’s aides did was illegal, but this was just another sketchy deal from the Clinton’s that seems unseemly.

And it just gets better - and people seriously want to have this person running the country for the next four years? What are they smoking and keep that shit the hell away from me.

A tale of two politicians

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Take a good look at the two examples presented in this link - watch the video and read the post.

Trump speaks in a black church in Detroit and Lady Lynn Forester de Rothschild makes a "nice night" for Hillary Clinton on the lawn of her Martha’s Vineyard estate.

Donald is speaking from his heart. Hillary is being managed and is running because it is her turn dammit.
Lady Lynn is quite the climber but that's a Jersey girl for you.

From the National Institutes of Health:

The effects of grounding (earthing) on inflammation, the immune response, wound healing, and prevention and treatment of chronic inflammatory and autoimmune diseases
Multi-disciplinary research has revealed that electrically conductive contact of the human body with the surface of the Earth (grounding or earthing) produces intriguing effects on physiology and health. Such effects relate to inflammation, immune responses, wound healing, and prevention and treatment of chronic inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. The purpose of this report is two-fold: to 1) inform researchers about what appears to be a new perspective to the study of inflammation, and 2) alert researchers that the length of time and degree (resistance to ground) of grounding of experimental animals is an important but usually overlooked factor that can influence outcomes of studies of inflammation, wound healing, and tumorigenesis. Specifically, grounding an organism produces measurable differences in the concentrations of white blood cells, cytokines, and other molecules involved in the inflammatory response. We present several hypotheses to explain observed effects, based on current research results and our understanding of the electronic aspects of cell and tissue physiology, cell biology, biophysics, and biochemistry. An experimental injury to muscles, known as delayed onset muscle soreness, has been used to monitor the immune response under grounded versus ungrounded conditions. Grounding reduces pain and alters the numbers of circulating neutrophils and lymphocytes, and also affects various circulating chemical factors related to inflammation.

This is plausible as there is a very large and very strong electrical potential in the atmosphere (more here). Very low current but very high voltage and this could have biological implications. I have an excellent ground in the radio room and although my feet are healing fine, there is still a lot of edema and swelling. I even have some copper sheet to make a nice large low-impedence plate. Give this a try tomorrow.

Sometimes the headlines write themselves

Unreal - from National Review:

Fake Black Lady Rachel Dolezal Invited to Feature at a Rally for Natural Black Hair
Rachel Dolezal, the white lady who got busted pretending to be a black lady, has somehow managed to get herself invited to be a feature at a rally for natural black hair.

The rally, called the “Naturally Isis Braid-On, Economic Liberty March and Rally,” will take place in Dallas on Saturday.

Naturally Isis is a black hair salon founded by Isis Brantley, a “natural hair stylist” who, according to the description on her salon’s website, “has been a vibrant spokeswoman for black ancestral culture for over thirty years” who has been “actively involved in the fight for preserving cultural identity for African Americans.”

So, why the hell did she invite Rachel Dolezal to headline her rally? Is the best way to celebrate your “cultural identity” really to invite a woman whose claim to fame is stealing it? I mean, it’s not even like Dolezal stopped at posting a picture of herself in a rasta cap on Instagram. No, she literally (not figuratively) stole a black identity — as in, pretending to be a black person, telling people she was a black person, and telling people that a particular black man was her father even though that black man was denying it — to launch her own academic and activist career.

Rachel's comment reveals a lot:

Dolezal, by the way, told The Daily Beast that she just doesn’t understand why there’s all this hubbub about her appearance.

“It’s a justice issue and I’ve been a social justice activist for years,” she said. “It’s really that simple.”

Bingo - Rachel is a Social Justice Warrior and Social Justice Warriors always lie.
I posted about Rachel last year: Rachel Dolezal in the news The post includes a great before/after photo.

Stuff from overseas is going to get more expensive and harder to find - from Zero Hedge:

Global Supply Chains Paralyzed After World's 7th Largest Container Shipper Files Bankruptcy, Assets Frozen
After years of relentless decline in the Baltic Dry index, today the largest casualty finally emerged on Wednesday when South Korea's Hanjin Shipping, the country's largest shipping firm and the world's seventh-biggest container carrier, filed for court receivership after losing the support of its banks, leaving its assets frozen as ports from China to Spain denied access to its vessels. 

The Baltic Dry index is a measure of the cost to ship a container across the ocean from point A to point B. It hit bottom last February. Shipping companies were losing money on each trip and now, the largest of them has fallen. A bit more (KDB is Korea Development Bank):

The question now is whether as a result of the bankruptcy process there will be an unexpected failure in the global supply-chain: South Korea's oceans ministry estimates a two- to three-month delay in the shipping of some Korean goods that were to be transported by Hanjin Shipping, and plans to announce in September cargo-handling measures which could include Hyundai Merchant Marine taking over some routes, a ministry spokesman said on Wednesday.

Making matters worse, Reuters adds that KDB's move to pull the plug was already having an impact on Hanjin's operations, with the company's various shipping assets already frozen. Ports including those in Shanghai and Xiamen in China, Valencia, Spain, and Savannah in the U.S. state of Georgia had blocked access to Hanjin ships on concerns they would not be able to pay fees, a company spokeswoman told Reuters.

Another vessel, the Hanjin Rome, was seized in Singapore late on Monday by a creditor, according to court information. "Now Hanjin must do everything it can to protect its clients' cargoes and make sure they are not delayed to their destination, by filing injunctions to block seizures in all the countries where its ships are located," said Bongiee Joh, managing director of the Korea Shipowners' Association.

If you are planning to get a new toy this Christmas, I would suggest buying it now while availability and prices are still good. It is going to be a rough eight months or so until the market adjusts.

Got to be California

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America's test lab for wacky ideas - from the San Francisco's CBS affiliate KCBS:

Cow Fart Regulations Approved By California’s Legislature
California’s Legislature has approved regulations on cow flatulence and manure – both blamed for releasing greenhouse gases.

A bit more:

The legislation seeks to reduce methane emissions associated with manure to 40 percent below their 2013 levels by 2030. Methane is one of several gases known as short-lived climate pollutants that don’t persist for long in the atmosphere but have a huge influence on the climate.

The bill also calls for efforts to significantly increase composting to eliminate the amount of food waste in landfills, which releases methane when it breaks down.

This is going to impact dairy and meat operations so say hello to higher prices for those two staple foods. Also, composting releases methane just as much as landfills. In landfills, the methane can be captured and used for fuel. As for greenhouse gas - if they are really serious, they need to go after water vapor. That accounts for a lot more greenhouse gas activity than either CO2 or CH4 (Methane).

What have they done to Science?

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This is horrible but I am glad that someone with courage spoke up. From the  American Association for the Advancement of Science (known as triple-A S) Science Magazine:

Whistleblower sues Duke, claims doctored data helped win $200 million in grants
On a Friday in March 2013, a researcher working in the lab of a prominent pulmonary scientist at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, was arrested on charges of embezzlement. The researcher, biologist Erin Potts-Kant, later pled guilty to siphoning more than $25,000 from the Duke University Health System, buying merchandise from Amazon, Walmart, and Target—even faking receipts to legitimize her purchases. A state judge ultimately levied a fine, and sentenced her to probation and community service.

Then Potts-Kant's troubles got worse. Duke officials took a closer look at her work and didn't like what they saw. Fifteen of her papers, mostly dealing with pulmonary biology, have now been retracted, with many notices citing "unreliable" data. Several others have been modified with either partial retractions, expressions of concern, or corrections. And last month, a U.S. district court unsealed a whistleblower lawsuit filed by a former colleague of Potts-Kant. It accuses the researcher, her former supervisor, and the university of including fraudulent data in applications and reports involving more than 60 grants worth some $200 million. If successful, the suit—brought under the federal False Claims Act (FCA)—could force Duke to return to the government up to three times the amount of any ill-gotten funds, and produce a multimillion-dollar payout to the whistleblower.

The Duke case "should scare all [academic] institutions around the country," says attorney Joel Androphy of Berg & Androphy in Houston, Texas, who specializes in false claims litigation. It appears to be one of the largest FCA suits ever to focus on research misconduct in academia, he says, and, if successful, could "open the floodgates" to other whistleblowing cases.

Good - false claims would also cover the cherry-picking and poor modeling used in the study of anthropogenic global warming. Time to put the fear of God into these people and blow the wheels off the AGW bus.

Also of interest - from PLOS One:

How Many Scientists Fabricate and Falsify Research? A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Survey Data
The frequency with which scientists fabricate and falsify data, or commit other forms of scientific misconduct is a matter of controversy. Many surveys have asked scientists directly whether they have committed or know of a colleague who committed research misconduct, but their results appeared difficult to compare and synthesize. This is the first meta-analysis of these surveys.

A bit more:

A pooled weighted average of 1.97% of scientists admitted to have fabricated, falsified or modified data or results at least once –a serious form of misconduct by any standard– and up to 33.7% admitted other questionable research practices. In surveys asking about the behaviour of colleagues, admission rates were 14.12% for falsification, and up to 72% for other questionable research practices.

Disgusting. Most of this "research" is funded with public money (our tax dollars at work) - we need to be able to hold them accountable and to be able to see their research. It took years for Michael Mann to publish the math behind his hockey stick temperature curve and people were able to find the flaws almost immediately - he cherry picked his data. His model is so bad that when you feed it statistically random data, it still churns out a hockey stick.

Back from the car show

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It was wonderful. With the poor weather forecast, we only had 92 cars but everyone had a lot of fun and the rain held off until the show was over and everything was torn down. It is now showering pretty hard.

Dinner, surf for a bit and then to an early bedtime.

Car Show

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Up early (for me) - getting a bite to eat at home and then off to the car show. Truck is packed and everything else is ready to roll.

The weather seems to be cooperating - the 50% chance of shower forecast has been downgraded to 40% chance. Bringing the pop-up tent just in case...


The red line is the number of Government employees, the blue line is the number of private-sector manufacturing employees. X runs from 1939 through 2016.

From CNS News:

Government Workers Now Outnumber Manufacturing Workers by 9,932,000
Government employees in the United States outnumber manufacturing employees by 9,932,000, according to data released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Federal, state and local government employed 22,213,000 people in August, while the manufacturing sector employed 12,281,000.

The BLS has published seasonally-adjusted month-by-month employment data for both government and manufacturing going back to 1939. For half a century—from January 1939 through July 1989—manufacturing employment always exceeded government employment in the United States, according to these numbers.

This shows our growing bureaucracy, our shift of manufacturing jobs overseas and our economic downturn. So much wrong contained in two little lines.

A bit blatant show of bias - from The College Fix:

Professors tell students: Drop class if you dispute man-made climate change
Three professors co-teaching an online course called “Medical Humanities in the Digital Age” at the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs recently told their students via email that man-made climate change is not open for debate, and those who think otherwise have no place in their course.

“The point of departure for this course is based on the scientific premise that human induced climate change is valid and occurring. We will not, at any time, debate the science of climate change, nor will the ‘other side’ of the climate change debate be taught or discussed in this course,” states the email, a copy of which was provided to The College Fix by a student in the course.

Signed by the course’s professors Rebecca Laroche, Wendy Haggren and Eileen Skahill, it was sent after several students expressed concern for their success in the course after watching the first online lecture about the impacts of climate change.

Those three 'professors' are the ones that need to get an education, not the poor students. What willfully blind idiots.

Amazing photography learning resource

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Eighteen hour-long lectures on photography from one of the pioneers of digital photography, Mark Levoy.

Course description
An introduction to the scientific, artistic, and computing aspects of digital photography. Topics include lenses and optics, light and sensors, optical effects in nature, perspective and depth of field, sampling and noise, the camera as a computing platform, image processing and editing, and computational photography. We will also survey the history of photography, look at the work of famous photographers, and talk about composing strong photographs.

The videos are free.

Packing up the truck

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Getting ready for tomorrow. Never made it into town - got too much stuff to do here. Got a pot of beef barley soup on the stove - should be ready in a few more minutes.

Mount Baker snowfall

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Great compilation from Unofficial Networks:

Top 35 US Ski Resorts With The Highest Average Snowfall
It is difficult to nail down official ski resort snowfall averages. Not all ski resorts release official snowfall averages and more than one that due are known to fluff the numbers. In addition, other ski blogs and website have tried to create their own lists only to cherry-pick resorts and report bogus numbers. So, inorder to compile this list we stuck to the snowfall averages reported on We know that this is not the most accurate list but it should give you a good idea of ski resorts and regions that receive massive dumps.

– Mt. Baker, WA = 701”


The Paris Treaty - failure

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From The Daily Caller:

Inhofe To Obama: Your Climate Agenda Will Fail
Oklahoma Republican Sen. Jim Inhofe criticized President Barack Obama Thursday for joining an international global warming treaty without Senate approval.

The Senate committee chair also warned Obama his global warming ambitions were bound to fail since he needs legislative approval to make the emissions cuts he’s promised the United Nations.

“History already shows that this Paris Agreement will fail,” Inhofe said in an emailed statement.

“This latest announcement is the president attempting to once again give the international community the appearance that he can go around Congress in order to achieve his unpopular and widely rejected climate agenda for his legacy,” he said.

Inhofe nails it.

Slept in again today

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But have a very early morning tomorrow with the Car Show.

Quick trip into town for some stuff - more posting later today. Fixing some lunch and then out the door.

From The Silicon Graybeard:

Assassination Attempt on Julian Assange
I haven't seen this reported in my usual reads, but there apparently was an attempt to get at Julian Assange in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where he's being guarded.  It occurred at almost 3:00 AM on the morning of August 21.

Assassination attempt? It's a safe bet that someone climbing walls at 2:47 AM, dressed completely in black and on the dark side of the building, isn't the welcome wagon bringing cookies; whether or not they had tools of some sort and were intending to kill Assange or not must remain speculative since the wall climber got away. And "fled after being caught by security" sounds like either a professional or a pretty good amateur. If it was your family, would you assume that was an attempt to murder them? Yeah, me too.

In April, Assange's lawyer, John Jones, was killed by being hit by a train. Although police originally said, "nothing suspicious here" and ruled it a suicide, eye-witnesses indicated that they saw two men talking that night by the train tracks and then after the accident, the second man went missing. An investigation followed and it was ruled to not be a suicide. He was "suicided": murdered.

I think everybody knows that Assange has said several times that he has a document dump that will destroy Hillary and is waiting for October to release it, right?  Let's hope he has backups in places that will automatically dump those documents should someone get to him.

Another perfect example of Arkancide:

Arkancide is the unfortunate habit of potential witnesses to the Clintons' dirty dealings in Arkansas suddenly deciding to shoot themselves twice in the back of the head.

I really like what Assange did with the released data. It seems that in real life he can be a bit of an a**hole but what he did was needed and fscking epic. He had the common grace to sift through the documents and redact the identities of sources we had. Saved a lot of lives. That self-indulgent and very confused child Bradley Manning did not do this and has multiple brutal tortures and murders on his soul. No wonder he tried to commit suicide a couple months ago.

Hillary's fingers are on this act. October will be fun to see.

Great news from Venezuela

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The people are taking things into their own hands - what they will wind up doing is another story entirely but it seems that there are a lot of people who want a return to more stable capitalism and a stronger economy. From the Los Angeles Times:

Crowds surge into the streets to demand recall of Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro


There are easily over 100,000 people in that photo and there were three streets that were crowded. More:

Nthing was going to stop Nelson Rivas from joining the Taking Caracas demonstration on Thursday — not his wheelchair, not the six-mile distance over uneven pavement, not the whiffs of tear gas, not the ominous threats of arrests from President Nicolas Maduro.

“I came to demand that the recall election take place according to the constitution,” said Rivas, 35. “Whatever your point of view, the condition of the country is the worst.”

Rivas took his place in the ranks that filled Francisco de Miranda Avenue, one of three main streets in the capital brimming with thousands and thousands of protesters, mostly dressed in white. Surrounding him were people carrying posters reading “No more socialism,” “Maduro Out,” and “Venezuela wants a recall.”

The pendulum is swinging back - socialism does not work. Eventually, you run out of other people's money. Some more:

At its peak in 2008, the left held the presidencies of eight of the 10 most populous countries in South and Central America. But those regimes have lost popularity as steep drops in commodity prices badly damaged their economies and left less money to spend on the poor.

Candidates from the right recently won the presidencies of Argentina and Peru, and just this week, Dilma Rousseff was permanently ousted from the presidency in Brazil in an impeachment trial engineered by opponents from the right who now control the government.

But nowhere in Latin America has the rise and fall of the left been as dramatic as in Venezuela, a country that has been on the brink of collapse for the last several months.

Estimates put the crowds at 500,000.

Now that is the people speaking loud and clear. Venezuela has just under 30 million people. This means that one out of sixty of the total population showed up for this march - that is an astounding number for a nation that is 1.3 times the size of our own State of Texas (which has a population of 26.96 million - a few million less than Ve. at 29.275 million).

Feet doing a lot better these days

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Swelling has gone down a lot and been making serious inroads to getting the crusty dead skin removed from my feet. The Burow's Solution is working wonders.

It is a lot less painful - no longer feels like walking over a bed of loose LEGO pieces in bare feet.

The doctors gave me a handful of surgical booties to protect my feet when I am at home. Great idea as these are cheap and impermeable - picked up 150 pairs from Amazon for under ten bucks with free shipping so now I can wear a clean set with each bandage change (2X/day).

Talk about a close shave - 2016 QA2

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A Newfound Asteroid Just Buzzed Harmlessly By Earth
An asteroid gave Earth a close shave Sunday (Aug. 28), just a day after astronomers first spotted the object.

The newfound asteroid 2016 QA2 zoomed within 50,000 miles (80,000 kilometers) or so of the planet Sunday. For perspective, the moon orbits Earth at an average distance of 239,000 miles (384,600 km).

Astronomers think 2016 QA2 is between 80 and 180 feet (25 to 55 meters) wide. That means the space rock is slightly bigger than the object that exploded over the Russian city of Chelyabinsk in February 2013, injuring more than 1,200 people.

The Chelyabinsk asteroid was probably 65 feet (20 m) or so in diameter when it hit Earth's atmosphere, scientists have said. (The Chelyabinsk object exploded high above the ground, generating a powerful shock wave that shattered thousands of windows. The injuries — none of which were fatal — were cuts caused by flying glass.)

That would give me a case of the willies - to discover a new asteroid and realize that it was coming very close to Earth in a day or two. Double-check my math on those calculations...

This is the sort of thing that we really need to be worrying about - not the possible effect of some small measure of CO2 gas.

Another prediction for a cold winter

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Look at the futures markets - from Bloomberg:

Gas Traders Haven’t Been So Bullish on Winter Since Polar Vortex
Natural gas traders are betting on the frostiest U.S. winter since the “polar vortex” pummeled the U.S. in 2014 and sent prices for the heating fuel to a five-year high.

Gas for delivery next March is trading at the highest seasonal premium to April futures since record cold swept across the U.S. nearly three years ago. The spread, known as “the widow maker” for its extreme volatility, signals that traders anticipate plunging temperatures will boost gas consumption, leaving stockpiles well below normal levels, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

I don't know if this will be for the entire North American continent but for our neck of the world, I am looking at a repeat of the 1999 record snowfalls.

Good news on finally seeing the light

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Editorial by Carol Browner - former Environmental Protection Agency administrator and former director of the White House Office on Energy and Climate Change Policy. From Huffington Post:

The Game Changer: New York’s Clean Energy Standard and Nuclear Energy
For years, I’ve said that when it comes to the challenge of fighting climate change, we will need every tool available to reduce carbon pollution and create opportunities for new clean energy technology.

Yet, despite a world that demands more carbon-free energy — not less — public policies have left some of the tools in the toolbox. Until now.

Last month, with the help of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s leadership, the New York State PSC took unprecedented action in passing a Clean Energy Standard that, in addition to ensuring ample opportunity for more wind, solar, and energy efficiency, recognizes the important role of existing carbon-free nuclear power. This is a game-changer: never before has nuclear received economic credit for its environmental benefits.

New York State is now the first government to include nuclear in its clean energy policy, providing a mechanism that will help keep New York’s nuclear energy plants open. In the wake of an energy market that did not previously adequately value this power, the state faced the very real prospect of having these plants shut down.

Well, she still seems to be stuck on stupid when it comes to carbon's benefits to Earth and plants in particular but her promoting nukes is a wonderful change from the bad old days. Now if they would just start developing some of the newer technologies and get us going a bit faster. Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor is an awesome design.

We built them back in the 1960's - the fast breeder reactors but Thorium does not go Ka-Boom and our military needed stuff that went Ka-Boom under the right conditions so the nuclear industry decided to just implement one chain of materials for both weapons and nuclear power. Just scratching the surface, we have about 5,000 years worth of easily mined Thorium to meet our every energy need - it is a very common element.

Lucky Panda was delicious

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Had Beef Szechuan style and Pork Fried Rice. Both were tasty, fresh ingredients and a nice level of heat. I will definitely be going back again to the Lucky Panda. Grace liked it too.

Now this is a bit much - Microsoft

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From PC World:

Microsoft made 'em do it: The latest Kaby Lake, Zen chips will support only Windows 10
Microsoft is slamming the door on PC builders and upgraders who might have hoped to use the new Intel Kaby Lake or AMD Zen chips for Windows 7 or Windows 8 PCs. Sorry: Both chips are officially supported only by Microsoft’s Windows 10.

Microsoft's mandate is discreet rather than secret. In January, the company tried to shorten its support lifecycle for Intel Skylake PCs running Windows 7 and 8, a policy the company subsequently abandoned after much outcry. But Microsoft’s statements have also consistently included a critical caveat: The latest generations of silicon—specifically Intel’s Kaby Lake chip, Qualcomm’s 8996, and AMD’s Bristol Ridge silicon—will all require Windows 10.

“As new silicon generations are introduced, they will require the latest Windows platform at that time for support,” a Microsoft spokeswoman replied, when asked to confirm that that position was still in place. The goal appears to be to move forward with new features, even if it means leaving some users behind. “This enables us to focus on deep integration between Windows and the silicon, while maintaining maximum reliability and compatibility with previous generations of platform and silicon.”

I get it - Microsoft makes its money by offering a new version of Windows every other year or so. But to actively lock out a customer? This will interest a lot more people in Linux. The software available for Linux is quite sophisticated and robust - all kinds of office productivity, graphics, audio, video applications out there. Industrial Light and Magic uses Linux for their high-end stuff.

About that $15 minimum wage

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Hit restaurants in Seattle and it is hitting them in Washington D.C. - from The Daily Caller:

DC Minimum Wage Hike Linked To Largest Loss Of Restaurant Jobs In 15 Years
The minimum wage hike in Washington, D.C, is already devastating employment in the region and is linked to the largest loss of restaurant jobs in the last 15 years.

Officials raised the minimum wage in July of 2015 to $10.50 per hour, up from $8.25 since 2014. The Employment Policies Institute revealed in a May report that 48 percent of District businesses had already reduced staff or cut hours to deal with the increases since 2014. In the first six months of 2016, the restaurant industry in D.C. lost roughly 1,400 jobs, a historic drop for a six-month period, according to the American Enterprise Institute (AEI).

But outside of the D.C. area where the minimum wages are still the same:

The restaurant industry in the suburbs outside D.C. grew by 2,900 jobs over the same period.

A clear testemony to the unintended consequences of an artificial economic stimulus. If the economy was growing naturally, we would see a rise in everything but with what we have today, rotsa ruck.

They have another dump of files. This time it is from Nancy Pelosi's office:

Here is an image of the first part of a two page memorandum on Black Lives Matter (link to the MS Word file itself: BLM-MEMO-DOCX)


This is just a thumbnail - click on the thumbnail to embiggen. Looks like they are willing to listen to these people but not actually do anything productive. Their appearance of careful management is really a careful management of appearances.

I expect nothing less from someone as venal and corrupt as Ms. Pelosi. Her father was well documented as a rotten politician as well - here, here, here, here and here.

Figured that being Thursday, it would be smooth sailing. Wrong. It was a perfect confluence of first of the month and the beginning of a labor day weekend long holiday.

Managed to get through Costco unscathed and also picked up some Chinese takeout for dinner tonight and tomorrow - trying a new restaurant. The front never looked like much so always passed it by but got a good recomendation. Trying Lucky Panda tonight - across James Street from the Kulshan Brewery and just next to Avenue Bread. Smells good and the place is very clean.

More posting in a bit...

Shakespeare translated into Australian

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Alex Williamson translates some of William Shakespeare's phrases into Bogan Aussie. A very sophisticunted performance. Wear headphones if at work - most definitely NSFW.

0.3" last night

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It poured down rain last evening - wonderful stuff! A bit over an inch total for the last three days.

Heading into town for some shopping and then last minute prep of the laptop for the car show Saturday - 7th annual. Pack the truck Friday.

January 2021

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Environment and Climate
Cliff Mass Weather Blog
Climate Depot
Ice Age Now
Jennifer Marohasy
Solar Cycle 24
Space Weather
Watts Up With That?

Science and Medicine
Junk Science
Life in the Fast Lane
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Medium Large
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Gone but not Forgotten...
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democrats give conservatives indigestion
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Ramblings' Journal
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shining full plate and a good broadsword
A Physicist's Perspective
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Wayne's Online Newsletter

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