Thursday, 11 June 2015

08:36 – In a sign of the times, North Carolina education authorities are considering what to do about thousands of children who’ve flunked out of third grade. State law requires 3rd grade students to pass a reading test. Those who don’t are held back and undergo a summer reading course, after which they’re retested. But only about 100 of the 500 or so students in the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County schools who went through that course were then able to pass the test, leaving things up in the air for the 80% or so who failed the test twice. State law makes no provision for what happens next.

They can’t very well dumb-down the test any further. It already defines a third-grade reading level at what most reasonable people would consider to be a Pre-K level, “See Jack run” and so on. Of course, most of the problem pupils are ESL kids, who are illiterate not only in English but usually also in their native language, which is mostly Spanish. The obvious answer would be to export them and their families back to Mexico, but there’s not much chance of that happening.

As I sit here at my desk preparing to write huge checks for state and federal estimated taxes, I wonder how the hell it became my responsibility to pay for futile attempts to educate the ineducable children of Mexican peasants. I really have had enough, and I’m by no means alone. It’s long past time to roll things back to where they used to and should still be.


09:41 – Ooops. I just realized that my last post is what progressives would probably call a “microagression”. Or maybe a “macroagression”. I’d like to macroaggress those sons of bitches with a 12-gauge. Buckshot rounds aren’t cheap, but I wouldn’t begrudge the cost of 1,000 rounds or so. Hell, tar, feathers, and rails are cheaper still. (Note to censors: this isn’t true threat speech. I’m not saying I’ll do it, nor am I encouraging others to act. I’m merely saying that I’d like to. I wouldn’t actually do it unless I could get away with it, so this is merely free polemic speech protected by the shreds of the First Amendment.)

If you’ve ever tried to transfer bulk food like rice, flour, sugar, beans, etc. into clean 2-liter bottles, you probably already know how difficult it is to find a wide-stem funnel that fits inside the mouth of 2-liter bottles. There’s actually a company that makes such funnels specifically for filling 2-liter bottles, but their prices are outrageous. A few years ago, Barbara found the solution. It’s called The Pampered Chef Flexible Funnels. They come in a set of two nesting funnels. The small one is just a typical funnel. The larger is a wide-stem funnel that is a slip fit for the inside of the mouth of a 2-liter bottle.

Speaking of outrageous prices, though, you’ll have to check around to avoid being ripped off. Amazon has them, but for $22.19/set. I’ve seen them new on eBay for as little as $5/set. Barbara just bought two more sets as a gift for me, and thinks she paid about $8/set. They’re silicone, so they’re very flexible and nearly indestructible. This or a similar funnel is essential for filling 2-liter bottles without wasting effort or spilling food all over the place.

44 thoughts on “Thursday, 11 June 2015”

  1. As I sit here at my desk preparing to write huge checks for state and federal estimated taxes, I wonder how the hell it became my responsibility to pay for futile attempts to educate the ineducable children of Mexican peasants. I really have had enough, and I’m by no means alone. It’s long past time to roll things back to where they used to and should still be.

    The problem is clearly illustrated by my wife’s teaching career. In her career, I’d estimate that 99.75% of her students have gone on to the next grade. Yes, in all the time she has been teaching, only one student has “failed.” He only failed because his parents were willing to argue with the principal that their son should be retained.

  2. Cheer up. Paying lots of $tax means you at least have income. A long time ago, I had a goal to pay $100k in annual federal income tax. That was based on reading that Standard Oil of New Jersey paid that amount in the 1960s. Imagine what their income was. ‘Course, I also wanted to have their income and take advantage of the rules that applied to them.

    Never met that goal… not yet.

    “Paying taxes is for the little people.” Anon

  3. This is not a new thing for me. I remember when my dad first read me the Adventures of Robin Hood, when I was about 3. I was cheering for the Sheriff of Nottingham to catch Hood and hang him. I couldn’t figure out how anyone could consider this thief the good guy. My dad explained that Hood was stealing from the rich and giving to the poor. I didn’t have the vocabulary at the time, but I was basically thinking, “Fuck the poor. I want to be rich.” Nowadays, I wish the SoN would catch progressives and hang them.

  4. Don’t worry too much about meeting your goal. If the government keeps inflating the currency the day when you owe $100,000 in federal income taxes may come a whole lot sooner than you think.

  5. We will keep paying until we just can’t anymore, and the Fed and state leviathans will continue robbing us until they can’t anymore, either. At which point we will have a whole new ball game here.

    You can imagine the thoughts of macroaggression that have occurred with us during our continuing travails with the IRS and knowing where our taxes go. Those thoughts have gone WAY beyond just a few shotguns and buckshot and suchlike.

  6. Thoughtcrime is old-school Orwell.

    We have new terminology now:

    Microaggression

    Macroaggression

    And some fine descriptions of evil male behavior:

    Manspreading (what we do on buses, trains, airplanes to air out our junk; apparently this really ticks some people off)

    Mansplaining (here it is used in a sentence:)

    “Here little lady, let me tell you how banking works: Jamie Dimon mansplains to Elizabeth Warren”

  7. If I think about crime is that a thoughtcrime?

    Off to San Bernadino, CA “The City of Bankruptcy” with MrsAtoz. She’s got a gig with the school district where we will collect a lot of ObamaBucks. I’m sure SB will want their $60/yr biz license for anybody doing any kind of biz in the city limits. We haven’t worked within the city limits in over two years, but we still get about six letters a year insisting we pay $60. No wonder the city went bankrupt.

  8. 1. Of course you do.
    2. Of course they do.
    3. Of course they do.

    The proper response to the PC/progs is “eat shit and die, asshole.”

    Oh, wait. Was that a micro-agression? I’m trying to up my game.

  9. If you’ve ever tried to transfer bulk food like rice, flour, sugar, beans, etc. into clean 2-liter bottles

    Couldn’t you get a cheap motor oil funnel at Walmart and cut the spout down? Or a taped rolled piece of paper? Maybe I’m over thinking it.

  10. Sure you could, and you’d end up wasting time and spilling a lot of food. I suspect you’ve never done this, or you’d know what a PITA it is to get stuff into 2-liter bottles. I greatly regret the fact that 3-liter bottles are nearly extinct, at least around here, and those that are available are invariably filled with something I don’t want to drink. The mouth of 3-liter bottles is enough larger that it’s much easier to fill them, particularly with coarse-grained stuff like beans. With 2-liter bottles, you have to master tapping the bottle constantly to keep even a wide-stem funnel from plugging up.

    One-gallon foil-laminate Mylar bags are *much* easier to deal with, but the ones we use and recommend from LDS cost almost $0.50 each counting the oxygen absorber, and that’ll be pretty costly for preppers on a budget. In real life, I’d use only the bags for self-packing foods, and the 2-liter bottles only for storing water, but I have to do this crap if I’m going to write about it.

  11. Incidentally, using the bags actually costs about $1.50 each after you factor in the cost of steel garbage cans. A $25 35-gallon one holds roughly 25 bags. Don’t even think about using the bags without the garbage can unless you want to make a bunch of rats very happy.

  12. Oh, and I see that the IMF and Greek negotiating teams have left the table. The IMF folks flew back to the US and the Greeks to Greece. It doesn’t look like there’s much hope of an agreement.

  13. “It doesn’t look like there’s much hope of an agreement.”

    Could be political theater for the nooz media and the masses; but probably not. The Greeks are being very stubborn and want their cake back with the frosting and the candles lit. And they don’t wanna lift a finger or back off on this. The Germans are getting pretty fed up, not only with the Greeks, but also with the bonzes in Brussels. The U.K. rank-and-file also hate Brussels but their own lords temporal keep selling them out.

  14. So I think I’ve brought this up before but why not other bottles? Juices tends to come in bottles with much larger caps. Is it not the right kind of bottle or just that you consume much more soda and have those?

  15. The bottles have to be PET, which all soft drink bottles are because PET holds carbonation well. Many/most juice bottles are PE, which isn’t suitable because it’s about 10 times more permeable to oxygen and water vapor than PET.

    About the only juice consumed here is orange juice. Barbara used to buy Tropicana at the supermarket in gallon jugs, which I recycled for storing chemicals. Then all the supermarkets she’ll use switched to 3L bottles, which have snap caps that make them useless for long-term storage. Now we buy the Tropicana in the original gallon jugs at Sam’s Club, two at a time. That usually lasts her long enough that she doesn’t need to buy it at the supermarket.

  16. Innumeracy rules. FTA:

    “B.C.’s tax, implemented in 2008, covers most types of fuel use and carbon emissions. It started out low ($10 per tonne of carbon dioxide), then rose gradually to the current $30 per tonne, which works out to about 7 cents per litre of gas.”

    Let’s see. A tonne (metric ton in the US) is 1000 kilograms or 1,000,000 grams. The molecular mass of carbon dioxide is 44, so 1 megagram equals 22,727+ moles. One mole of gas at STP occupies 22.4 liters, so one megagram occupies 509,090+ liters.
    I assume that $30 equals 3,000 cents, in which case the cost per liter is not $0.07 but 3,000 / 509,090, which just eyeballing tells me isn’t $0.07/liter.

  17. They mean per liter of gasoline burned, not per liter of (carbon dioxide) gas.

  18. 2 – HDPE
    3 – PVC
    4 – LDPE
    5 – PP
    6 – PS
    7 – miscellaneous or mixed

  19. Canada, like Scandinavia, should be doing everything possible to increase GHG emissions. In fact, I think we should all be doing our part to encourage release of methane. I don’t fear global warming, which is benign and indeed probably beneficial overall. I do fear global cooling, which unlike warming is liable to trigger like flipping a switch. One day, it’ll be sunny and 90 in Miami. The next day, it’ll be snowing.

  20. “One day, it’ll be sunny and 90 in Miami. The next day, it’ll be snowing.”

    Sounds like Vermont.

    Well, maybe not that extreme. But we have had a couple of chilly July 4th weekends where the fireplace was going (mainly for out-of-town visitors). And it’s been routine to see it go from 85 down to 35 in the course of a day or night. And not even Vermont; I remember one October down in Worcester, MA when we got eleven inches of heavy wet snow and the next day it was 80 and all melted. Plus snowfalls in May and snow squalls up in the hills in June. Leaves turning red in late July and August.

    But sure, what if cooling was permanent? Snow in Florida and Texas, and up here would be like Siberia. While Siberia would be like the dark side of the Moon.

  21. But sure, what if cooling was permanent? Snow in Florida and Texas, and up here would be like Siberia. While Siberia would be like the dark side of the Moon.

    That is how glaciers form. When the snow never melts in the summer time.

  22. We can just all migrate to Mexico, the new temperate zone. Will they have a welcome immigration policy or will we be illegals?

  23. Mexico and most semi-rational countries have much stricter immigration roolz than we do. I wouldn’t count on being allowed to immigrate there.

    The U.S. of Amnesia, of course, is ‘come one, come all, etc.’ ’cause y’all do it outta love. Jebster said so. And he could save us, ya know. Or maybe Marco Rubio. Or Ted Cruz. Or Rick Perry. Or Ben Carson. Or…but this grows tiresome…can’t keep track of all the clowns exiting the circus car…

    Meanwhile Bernie wows the lefty/prog media and pretends to be an actual contender against the Hillzilla Machine. Which is utter hoss shit, of course. She’s in for eight years. R U ready? ’cause it gon be a wild ride.

    Habla Espanol, Senor?

  24. Rules? Millions of us will just pour across the border and demand to be taken care of, fail to assimilate and impose our culture on them. Chill out bro.

  25. In the movie “The Day After Tomorrow”, Mexican soldiers were shooting US Citizens coming across the border if I remember correctly.
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0319262/
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Day_After_Tomorrow

    BTW, the movie was cool. But I had to suspend all disbelief at the severe violation of the thermodynamic laws. If you have a ambient temperature drop due to an exposure to outer space, then you will have a corresponding ambient pressure drop also. The buildings would have been blowing apart due to internal overpressure.

  26. We are finally moving forward on our game room (18 ft by 13.5 ft) and laundry (15 ft by 6 ft) addition to our home. We should be pouring concrete in two weeks. Whoop!

    The contractor wants to know what kind of windows that we want to use. We are putting in nine 3 ft wide by 5 ft wide windows. He likes plain old vinyl double pane high tint windows that are made locally for $100 each. Or, we can get the Home Depot best windows for $300 each. Or, we can get Pella windows for $500 each. Any advice here, I am leaning towards the $100 windows as we are over budget already?

  27. OFD wrote:

    “And some fine descriptions of evil male behavior…”

    Many years ago I picked up a feminist bumper sticker, put out by the Australian Union of Students Wimminz Department. It read

    “RAPE. The end of every wolf whistle.”

    I put it on my car to take the piss out of the feminists. Some of them took it seriously.

  28. There’s a little “toy” that is nothing but a threaded coupler to connect two 2-liter soda bottles together. It’s a few bucks at most educational toy stores. Fill one mostly with water, bolt two bottles together, and turn it upside down; the way the water spins from one bottle to another is pretty, and can teach something about flow.

    Cut a 2-liter bottle in half; now you’ve got a “funnel” the precise size for a 2-liter soda bottle. (There’s a flow restricter in there that you’d probably want to drill out, but that should be pretty easy.) And the funnel can’t come off if it is jiggled…

  29. Excellent idea. Thanks.

    For that matter, one could simply epoxy two caps together face to face and then drill/punch out the excess.

  30. @Lynn: We’ve replaced all of the windows in our house. I can only tell you that our priorities were (a) don’t skimp, because you’ll regret and (b) while you’re at it, get security windows, i.e., ones that can’t be bashed in with a rock. We still need to replace two doors (they’re solid wood, but don’t have really good locking systems), otherwise, we now have a very secure house.

  31. Brad wrote:

    “…we now have a very secure house.”

    Just curious, how do you get in if you lose your keys?

    In my previous house in Canberra the previous owner said that in such situations he’d get up on the roof, lift a few tiles, climb into the roof cavity and down into the house through the trapdoor.

    I refuse to leave a spare key hidden somewhere nearby, so I may just give a spare key to my sister, who lives 1 km away.

  32. I don’t worry about it. George and Martha are always here, and most people have an irrational fear of large rattlesnakes.

  33. I don’t worry about it. George and Martha are always here, and most people have an irrational fear of large rattlesnakes.

    Bob, I think you made a typo. Here is the corrected sentence:

    I don’t worry about it. George and Martha are always here, and most people have a rational fear of large rattlesnakes.

  34. I looked at ballistic film, but all those videos you find on the Internet use it on thick plate glass like that used in store doors. A half-inch or three-quarters inch thickness of glass is a pretty good barrier in itself, so I’m not surprised that an 8- to 14-mil layer of plastic can add to its bullet resistance. But not many homes have 1/2+ inches of glass in the windows.

    I remember an incident that occurred when I was in high-school. I was coming out of Strouss’ department store in New Castle, PA and I straight-armed the door, expecting it to open. It was latched, and I ended up accidentally knocking it off its hinges. It fell flat on the sidewalk outside and didn’t even crack. Store staff came running up to me. I thought they were going to demand that I pay to have the door fixed, but they were actually worried that I’d been hurt.

  35. “How do you get in if you lose your keys”

    We have an outdoor key-safe with a combination. I suppose someone could cut it open, but when people start showing up with power tools, it gets kind of obvious…

  36. Well, gee, someone showed up with power toolz at the cell where the two Dannemora prison escapees used to live before they hightailed it to the manhole cover and left a nice smiley note for us all. And no suspicions raised, apparently, despite the person leaving those toolz having had serial romantic relationships with BOTH inmates. A very portly 50-something grandma with glasses.

  37. @Lynn, you should look at hurricane rated windows. They are certified impact resistant to 120mph. Give good security and you won’t need to cover them. Some one does then locally, south coast I think.

    One of the great things about Costco is the packaging is much stronger than product for other stores. I love the Kirkland juice bottles for water storage. Very heavy duty. I have a whole storage system of large bins made from Costco apple boxes taped together. They are rigid, and have interlocking tabs for stacking. I use the small boxes from some snacks as drawer dividers. I use the plastic jars from the nuts to re- pack noodles, m and ms, screws, bolts, etc. Great for organizing, and they stack on the shelf.

    Nick

  38. @Lynn, you should look at hurricane rated windows. They are certified impact resistant to 120mph. Give good security and you won’t need to cover them. Some one does then locally, south coast I think.

    I would never cover the windows this far inland. However, I will ask about hurricane strength. However, any one could get into our home using the other twenty double pane windows that Perry installed from the low bidder back in 2003.

    I have been trying to read “The Secure Home” book but the author puts so many comments on personal lifestyle that he makes it difficult to read.
    http://www.amazon.com/Secure-Home-Joel-Skousen/dp/1568610556/

    I am half tempted to move 13 miles out further to this home in the sticks. But just half tempted as that would change my commute from 4 miles to 13 miles.
    http://www.har.com/3212-Kueck-Rd/sale_43400497

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