Tuesday, 1 July 2014

07:51 – Barbara is delighted with her new garage doors. I almost dated this entry “Tuesday, 31 June 2014” because that’s what the installer dated the installation sticker on the doors.

I’m still designing and writing up lab sessions for the Earth & Space Science kit. Until yesterday, I had a gaping hole for the group on Plate Tectonics, Earthquakes, and Volcanoes”, none of which are exactly easy to model/simulate at home. Fortunately, I’ve come up with a few ideas to test.

38 thoughts on “Tuesday, 1 July 2014”

  1. If it follows that track, we’ll probably get heavy rain at worst. The ones that cause real trouble are the ones that come straight north instead of veering off to the NE. I’ll never forget Hugo 25 years ago. The eye came right through Winston-Salem, and it was still a hurricane when it did.

  2. We had Tropical Storm Irene rip us a new one here in Vermont several years ago but it warn’t nuthin’ compared to the monsters that hit New England in 1938 and 1954. In the former, my mom and dad were little kids, mom at six years old and dad at eleven, and living in Fairhaven and New Bedford, MA. My mom’s neighborhood, a few hundred yards from Fairhaven/New Bedford Harbor, became an island and they had to be evacuated by rowboats. That storm also knocked out bridges and dams as far northwest as Worcester County and you can still see the “1938” date engraved in the granite or cement on their replacements that year. On the coast, whole neighborhoods disappeared, as did one Sunday church group having a picnic out there, gone without a trace. Back then they didn’t have much warning; now we get media hysteria over an afternoon shower or an inch of snow.

  3. now we get media hysteria over an afternoon shower or an inch of snow.

    Around here they want that tornado declaration. That way the counties and cities can get money from the fed to help pay for the cleanup and to buy new equipment that will sit largely unused. Prime example are siren systems that cost tens of thousands, installed by a relative of the mayor, that have not been used in 20 years except to test every third Wednesday of the month.

    Any idiot with a television or a radio now gets better warning than a siren provides.

  4. Yeah, once again a fine illustration of all the great stuff that the Leviathan state does for us, for our own good, of course. Spending our money to do it.

    So far I haven’t seen any blatant abuses like that here in Vermont, going on eighteen years now; the citizens threw a fit after a couple of police taser incidents and that is all getting reviewed and examined six ways from Sunday. No gigantic armored cars, or sirens, or tanks and crap like that, that I know of. Peeps here will go haywire over stuff like that. Being a small state and still largely rural, cops and pols and bureaucrats have to live among us and we can bump into them on any given day; I’ve run into Leahy several times (tall bugger); Sanders (another tall bugger); and Mrs. OFD has known the governors personally. I can walk across the street to the town hall and yell at the selectmen and board members anytime. (I’m saving up for something that really matters.)

    Wife off to retrieve Princess from Montreal with her friends (added on this morning, SOP here, always extra, last-minute chit to do that inconveniences us), etc., etc. and I don’t expect to see her back until dark. Should be a three-hour gig but never is; always two or three times longer, with all kinds of b.s. and hassles, so she finally gets home exhausted and steaming. “Just say no?” Yeah.

  5. OFD, you’d be surprised just how easy it is to “Just Say No.”

    Just try it sometime.

  6. I tried that a number of times over the years and got overruled by others, who at that time had the upper hand financially and the kids are not biologically related to me. And was additionally tagged as the mean asshole stepdad to boot. That and my more or less constant state of anger and frustration and drinking made saying “No” pretty near meaningless.

    And of course now that I’m not in a rage all the time or drinking and we’re all eighteen years older, I don’t have many occasions to say “No.” It’s the Mrs. who needs, as before, to say that, and she needs to say it to the other parties involved. It’s slowly getting that way but man, what a long haul.

    Family dynamics: I brought my own to the table. And hers were growing up without a dad and then her daughter growing up the first five years without one until she got me. Now we have her 86-year-old mom to deal with, plus the daughter in college now, and still harboring a bit more than vestigial behaviors from when she was ten and fifteen. And once again I’m outta work and of zero financial use, except for getting us this house eighteen months ago.

    It’s all just a bunch of stuff that we all deal with over the course of a lifetime, in whole, or in part, and ours has been on the unusual side. I’m thankful that all my siblings are alive and well, two of them cancer survivors and one an epileptic, and that our son and his kids are doing great down in MA.

    Plus I’m still, unaccountably, above the grass. For what purpose, a mystery.

  7. RBT, re earthquakes and such, would it be practical to put a really fat person and a few slabs of concrete in the kits? If so, I volunteer the cashier the next lane over in the grocery store this afternoon. She didn’t fit in the stall (?) where the cashier stands and blooped over into the next lane, which was barely wide enough for the shopping cart to begin with. I’m pretty sure she’d cause all sorts of tectonic events if she ever walked anywhere, which the gross evidence suggests she never does.

  8. Note to self: sign up SteveF for a sensitivity course as soon as possible.

  9. It’s the Mrs. who needs, as before, to say that, and she needs to say it to the other parties involved.

    I’ve said it before, women are weird! And you get their nurturing emotion involved and look out, you’ve got a grizzly bear by the ear.

  10. My last sensitivity instructor spontaneously combusted when I asked about HIV: It was first found in green monkeys, right? Right. And it’s sexually transmitted, right? Right. So how did it get from monkeys to people?

    That’s not an entirely made-up anecdote. Shortly before I left Army active duty, 1987, I was sitting through the mandatory annual AIDS training, along with a major and three or four low-rank enlisted men and women. I asked the “instructor” the questions above. The EMs about died because they wanted to laugh but were afraid to. The major showed no such restraint. The “instructor” just stammered out something about how a monkey probably bit someone, while I sat there with the most annoying smirk I could manage. Normally I didn’t do that, but this particular “instructor” was particularly boring, tendentious, and generally vile.

  11. Grotesquely morbid obesity: From my observations here in northern Vermont and the occasional trips to MA, I’d put the percentages at about 80-20 females to males. Once in while I see a really fat guy, but I see these humongous beasts daily. WTF is wrong with them??? All ages, too.

    Sensitivity: Much overrated.

    HIV and monkeys: Good question and I bet there is a scientific answer somewhere but we’ll never hear it in public; they’d rather blow it off as a monkey bit somebody. Well monkeys have been biting people for a very long time and this thing never came up until, what, the 80s? When coincidentally we had an epidemic in the West of male homosexual promiscuity? When the activists kept trotting out the one or two stories of nuns getting it from hospital blood transfusions or a teenage boy likewise?

    Same mindset blows off all the hadji terror atrocities around the world (and ongoing) by chanting over and over: “Timothy McVeigh…Timothy McVeigh…”

    And blows off, ignores actually, the pandemic of violent black-on-white crimes in the country with the chant: “Zimmerman…Zimmerman…” alternately with “Trayvon…Trayvon…”

    But to bring any of this up is of course not only insensitive but rayciss, “homophobic,” and “Islamophobic.”

    Sign me up for that course, too.

  12. Note to self: sign up SteveF for a sensitivity course as soon as possible.

    If SteveF teaches the course I want to attend.

  13. Coming soon to an immigrant detention center near you: “Outbreak: The Reality Series”:

    Will it star Dustin Hoffman as the serious and intense overworked Doctor?

  14. Hoffman will have to take that role; Sir Larry Olivier is unavailable. “You feel pain?”

    It’s pretty funny and I’m having lots of boffo laffs here; now the gummint is telling its employees and contractors to STFU about potentially lethal stuff or face jail time.

    But golly, wasn’t that fat-ass snapping turtle telling us “If you see something, say something…”

    Hypocrite sons-of-bitches.

    When I take over, my firing squads will be working overtime every day for years.

  15. Lackland was my main work place while in my Joint job. Security Hill (sooper sekrit stuff). The Lackland hospital was our primary care facility, also. Glad I’m not there now with all the cooties going around from the illegals. WHITE RACISSTTTT!

    Viva La Raza!

    Don’t let my wife read this.

  16. Oh, man, if I were teaching a sensitivity course, I’d want to attend!

    “Now, the first thing y’all need to know is, there’s a lot of pissy little whiny bitches out there. Oh, don’t worry, that’s not sexism. A lot of those little bitches are men, or at least they think they are. Now, it’s OK to think that those little bitches are little bitches, but you can’t say they’re little bitches, at least not to their faces. You remember, when you were a kid, all those stupid little shits who’d go running to mama as soon as they didn’t get their way? Well, guess what those little shits grow up into. That’s right, they grow up into pissy little whiny bitches, and I’ll bet there’s three of them working near you. What you want to do is, carefully feel out some of your coworkers — feel out, I said, not feel up, because that’s sexual harrassment and I’m not being paid to teach you sexual harrassment techniques — so you feel out your coworkers and get an idea of who’s not a little bitch. Then you and your new friend get together at breaks and talk shit about the pissy little whiny bitches and mock the shit out of them. But here’s the important part: don’t get caught, because if you do, you’ll get sent to sensitivity training again, and you probably won’t be lucky enough to get a teacher like me who’ll teach you the straight shit.”

  17. Re: Green Monkeys & HIV. There was a report some years ago, speculating that the WHO’s effort to eradicate smallpox in Africa was the transmission vector. IIRC the smallpox was cultured in monkey kidneys, and if one or two of the monkeys were infected with some new mutant virus, it could have introduced it to humans. It’s been a while, and I don’t know that it has or hasn’t been substantiated, but that was the theory.

  18. No no no. I don’t care what lies you tell, I’m sure the virus made the jump because someone got funky with a monkey. You need to respect my beliefs, or you’re no better than a denialist.

  19. “Lackland was my main work place while in my Joint job.”

    I remember Lackland and San Antonio very well; boot camp; air police/security police skool; combat training, etc. I got there the first time in September of 1971 and they were playing Rod Stewart’s “Maggie May” over the tinny loudspeakers outside the PX daily along with Tull’s “Aqualung.” And here I am 43 years later and the local album rock station still plays that stuff.

    I also remember our assistant DI was a mean little fucker, half-Mexican and half-Apache. SSgt. Ramirez. “Team Lead” was one TSgt Thomas Pike, a Georgia cracker and Korean War vet, also mean as a snake. With the squadron NCOIC being one MSgt Alfonso Rocamontes.

    Yeah, Viva la Raza!

    Viva Aztlan, hermanos y hermanas!

    I also hereby nominate MrSteveF as our primary Sensitivity Instructor. And any pissy, whiny little bitches and pogie-bait capons who don’t like it can go piss up a rope, that is, if they can even piss standing up.

  20. Grotesquely morbid obesity: From my observations here in northern Vermont and the occasional trips to MA, I’d put the percentages at about 80-20 females to males. Once in while I see a really fat guy, but I see these humongous beasts daily. WTF is wrong with them??? All ages, too.

    It depends on who you hang out with. I work in a large tech company, which is overwhelmingly male. I am not tiny (5’11” and about 195 lbs). I work with a lot of guys who make me feel downright skinny. I have a technician who works for me who is about 30 years old and weighs well over 300 lbs. I know several other guys who are over 400 lbs. I don’t see nearly as many grossly obese women. I see few fat Indians or other Asians. One of my 400 lb colleagues claims I don’t feed my 18 year old slender daughter. I tell him he’s just jealous.

    It was hot here today (98 degrees). We’re off to Guadalajara on Thursday. Daughter just got back from a year in Ecuador and will be our interpreter. I’m debating whether to rent a car or use public transportation. It’s been cooler in Guadalajara than here.

    Rick in hot Portland

  21. Illegal immigration is always a hot topic here, as well. Italy, and to a lesser extent Greece and Spain, are the target of boat stuffed to bursting with refugees. By the time they arrive, the people are out of food and water, and pretty damned desperate. So they land. Then they break out of the refugee centers and flood across Europe.

    Usually, these people had enough money to pay a smuggler to stuff them on a boat, and they are now totally broke. But they’ve seen pictures! Europe has magical machines in walls that hand out free money!

    What I don’t understand is why Europe doesn’t take a much more proactive approach. Monitor the Mediterranean, spot these boats when they depart the African coast, catch them at the 12 mile limit and turn them around. Still, at least there is no direct land border (some do come around from the East, but that’s a long, hard journey).

    The US has both an easier and a more difficult job. Easier, in that the immigrants all speak the same language, and come from 2nd world countries. Harder, with a direct and very long border on land. And impossible, in that the federal government actively encourages illegal immigration.

  22. Ah Brad, it looks like you’re as racist and inhumane as I am. We have asylum seekers taking boats from Indonesia to Australia (actually, usually to Christmas Island, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christmas_Island, which is conveniently close to Java.) They get in to trouble (boat out of fuel, no food, no water, leaks, etc) 300 km west of CI and use satellite phones to alert the bleeding hearts in Australia to get the navy to come and get them.

    The latest batch are Sri Lankans who are coming from India. Why can’t they seek asylum in Indonesia? Because they want to live on Aussie welfare. I wouldn’t like to try living on welfare but I’m sure they can do quite nicely on it. And they typically use the legal system to stay here, even if they’re not genuine refugees.

  23. Miles, indeed. Seems to be that it ought to be possible to help them on their boat – heck, provide a new, one-time-use raft if needed, toss them food and water, and tow them back to where they came from.

    It’s a sad situation – the people want out of a crappy situation, but they generally lack any useful education or skills; usually they don’t speak any local language – what the heck are we supposed to do with them. Sometimes they wind up living in shelters here for years, while the government dithers about, and in the end they’ve been here so long that the courts figure they had just as well stay…

    Of all people, the Dutch seem to have this right. They have a very fast process that identifies people who are genuine asylum seekers; everybody else is sent back home in just a couple of weeks.

    What’s really fun is when it is repatriation time, and some of the refugees have to be physically forced onto the airplane – strapped into chairs and carried on, then carried off on the other end. Then there are the countries that refuse to take their own refugees back. It’s just a great situation all around…

  24. The illegal immigration problems could be solved easily. In the case of boat loads of “refugees”, start shooting the boats out of the water. Film it. Broadcast it.

    In the US, with its long land border, the Prez can announce that he’ll issue pardons for the killing of illegal immigrants. (Not for any crimes related to killing or injuring citizens or legal immigrants; the killer had better make certain of his target.) The illegals will probably self-deport.

  25. Well, yes, that would do it. I suppose I’m not quite that cold-blooded. The people trying to immigrate are generally just poor sots, often suckered by the smugglers who have promised them “the good life”. Being a sucker doesn’t necessarily deserve the death sentence.

    The smugglers, on the other hand, who take these people for all they are worth, stuff them on a leaky boat, and send them off – knowing full well that most of them will be sent back home. The smugglers deserve anything they get. Of course, they usually aren’t anywhere to be found – they’re off organizing the next round of suckers and buying the next leaky boat.

  26. Most of the poor, the “undeserving sods” or whatever, come from countries with corrupt governments and/or a rich oligarchy who own everything.

    I’d be in favor of dropping “care” packages all over countries with social problems like that: some food, maybe a pair of blue jeans or a Barbie doll or something, maybe a radio locked to the Voice of America channel, and a Liberator pistol. Drop a few hundred thousand of these on Albania, say, and the kleptocracy will disappear. Of course, the ensuing chaos might well cause even more “refugees” to try to go to Italy, but their boats can be shot out of the water if it comes to that.

    In fact, dropping care packages was my recommendation for Iraq and Afghanistan, more than a decade ago. I was in favor of killing everyone even tangentially involved with 9/11 and anyone who posed the remotest threat to the US, but I was against invading. There was no doubt that the US military could romp right through, but US doesn’t want to conquer and hold anyplace in the Middle East, which meant that eventually the US would leave, which meant that we’d be turning the countries back to the same kind of people that caused the problems in the first place. And damn if it didn’t happen that way. It wasn’t worth a single American life.

    Dropping a few million care packages on Taliban-controlled Afghanistan would have cost hundreds of millions of dollars. Orders of magnitude cheaper than what we did.

  27. Immigration in Europe and here is yet another genie outta the bottle, thanks to our overlords and masters, and deliberately so. They’re not gonna shoot boats out of the water or drop millions of care packages anywhere; they’re going to continue what they’re doing; i.e. let the concept of “national sovereignty” and “borders” lapse; inundate the country with tens of millions of 2nd- and 3rd-world peoples who can’t or won’t assimilate in what’s left of Murkan “culture;” and continue to foment and instigate racial and ethnic tensions and hostility. They’re doing a great job.


    “The book returned to the bestseller list in 2011.[1]”

  28. The US has both an easier and a more difficult job. Easier, in that the immigrants all speak the same language, and come from 2nd world countries.

    I wish. The illegal kids coming across the border are from all countries in South America (Spanish and Portuguese). In addition, we are now getting Chinese kids. We are getting overrun by the little monsters from worldwide.

  29. They do it out of love.

    Keep repeating that to yourself.

    They do it out of love.

    Straight from the RINO’s mouth, a possible next Prez contenduh.

    With friends like him, who needs enemies?

    But maybe a savior will ride in on a white horse, a Ted Cruz, a Bobby Jindal, a Marco Rubio or somebody like that and fix it all.

    Just gotta get out and vote and all will be well.

    They do it out of love…they do it out of love…

  30. You are right in the first instance: that these factors of life are not going to change. There are no saviors in this process.

    Dropping borders for trade let a genie out of the bottle. Now it is a scramble for numbers, and only those who recognize no borders survive to thrive. No country can go it alone any longer, and those who try are the armpits of the world.

    Moreover, we are governed by the wants and whims of the corporation rulers, who — using their wealth which has become massive, — are now powerful dictators who buy the legislation that enables them to send the rest of us on a road to hell. They are immune, because wealth obviates toil for them and shifts it to others.

    In order to keep their wealth growing, they *must* see socialism forced on the masses. This has the double-edged purpose of keeping their wealth from being used for socialist purposes (how much did Romney and Buffet pay in taxes on their extraordinary income?) and allows them to exempt themselves from using the services which we — the detritus of society — use, as their wealth allows them to get what they need privately from the best available on the planet. There is no avoiding socialism unless a systemic change to Western governments occurs, which has just about a zero chance of happening without a revolution that would not be like the one which started this country, but a civil war, pitting ordinary citizens against politicians and the super-wealthy 1%.

    It is a no-win situation for the masses. No borders is a must. All the talking, complaining, and underlining in the world will not secure our borders against illegal immigration, because those governing must only pretend it is a priority — it actually can never be. Any effort on ordinary citizens’ part to stop immigration is a waste of time, because it will never result in any change at all. Look to the east from whence cometh socialism for the future of our nation, because it is absolutely inevitable.

  31. We need to go back to a 10% tariff on all items moved across the border for anything here in the USA.

  32. The nation-states of the U.S. and Canada may survive as such for another couple of decades but beyond that is doubtful; I see financial collapse/Default coming up long before then; skyrocketing fuel and food costs; and increasingly violent mass civil unrest along with rising ethnic/racial/religious tensions and animosity, which will be met by increasingly violent State responses until they no longer have the dollars to pay their troops and cops.

    At that point we may well see another civil war here “…pitting ordinary citizens against politicians and the super-wealthy 1%…” and each other.

    I would not care to be in any of the major city areas and as we approach 2025-2035 I’d expect to see the collapse of the North Murkan nation-states and mass die-offs. If I make it that far, which is very doubtful, I’ll be in my late 70s and early 80s and probably of not much use to anyone, but I take inspiration from that old French and Indian War vet who defended his home and community when the British marched back from Lexington and Concord through Arlington, Maffachufetts:


  33. but I take inspiration from that old French and Indian War vet who defended his home and community

    I thought that you were talking about George Washington for a minute there.

    BTW, wasn’t George Washington the wealthiest man in the colonies at the time?

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