Thursday, 31 December 2015

By on December 31st, 2015 in personal

09:58 – I suppose that 2015 was a good year for some people, but for most it’s been a year best forgotten. I’d like to think that 2016 will be a better year, but I’m afraid it will end up being more of the same, if not worse. I’ve often said that I expect a slow slide into dystopia, and that appears to be what’s happening now.

For us, 2015 has been an okay year. Business has been noticeably slower than 2014 and even 2013 before it, but we’ve purchased a new house in a rural area and relocated there. We’ll spend 2016 getting settled in, making new friends, getting the old house ready to go on the market, and working on building the business. I don’t really expect any catastrophic trigger event to occur in 2016, but if things do get bad quickly, we’ll be as ready for it as we can be.

Over the last few days, we’ve been hearing gunshots nearby. Hundreds of them, and they seem to be coming from within a few hundred yards of our house. The reports sound like shotgun or heavy-caliber pistol fire rather than rifle fire. I wondered if there was a sporting clays range somewhere out behind our house, so yesterday Barbara and I drove around the back roads to see if we could figure out what was going on. We didn’t spot a range among all the fields and pastures, so we decided it might just be someone on the farm behind us shooting clays. Colin is taking it surprisingly well. Ordinarily, anything that sounds like thunder or gunshots sends him fleeing in terror, but he’s pretty much ignoring these sounds.

Jen and her group are doing another trial run starting today and running through Sunday evening to follow up on the one they did over the Thanksgiving weekend. They had warm weather for the first one, but for this one they’ll have highs not much above freezing and lows well down in the 20’s. They’ll be using their wood stove exclusively to keep warm and for cooking, which should make for an interesting weekend.

Back to work on the unfinished area of the basement.

55 Comments and discussion on "Thursday, 31 December 2015"

  1. JimL says:

    While my side business is growing (I have a pretty good shot at my local market), I have a friend who is usually busy every weekend but one through the winter. This winter he has several weekends free, and he’s much bigger than I am.

    The government can talk all they want about how the economy is improving. I simply don’t believe them at all anymore.

  2. dkreck says:

    The government can talk all they want about how the economy is improving. I simply don’t believe them at all anymore.

    Well it’s improving for them. It always does until it’s too much…

  3. OFD says:

    One look at Mordor and its surrounding suburbs confirms what dkreck says; it’s the richest area of the country for SOME of its peeps and they intend to get even richer and more powerful at our expense.

    2015 wasn’t a particularly bad year for us; it was just another year of treading water, juggling bills and taxes, and working on this house, bit by bit for stuff that previous owners didn’t care to deal with, for whatever reasons. This, and me being unemployed for yet another year, puts a crimp in any prepping we can do, which is slow going thus far. Then there’s the expense of a daughter in yet another year of college and travel; all this on one random and spotty income. Case in point: her employers have owed Mrs. OFD for two weeks of work and that’s now overdue again, and the drone they had doing that piece down in Mordor has either quit or been fired; other peeps are on holiday or vacation; and so their revenue-producing consultants don’t get paid, evidently. This is the third or fourth time in as many months that we’re living on one credit card and a couple of gas cards.

    So for this next year, I intend, by hook or by crook, to get another regular source of income here and one step taken has been applying for the SS at age 62, and the first crummy check, minus taxes, natch, should be here in around three weeks. Also have the paperwork in hand for VA disability but that will take much longer, of course. Don’t forget; fuck the vet.

    I realize, of course, this is yet another useless eater slurping at the gummint trough, but I look at it as a temporary boost to get us cooking again here until I can gin up something else. The holidays and other crap put a big dent in me sitting down every day and writing a SHTF novel or novella, so I hope to get cracking on that again, too.

    Mrs. OFD is facing several potentially unpleasant situations with her employers and also with upcoming medical examinations and probably surgery. My next younger brother has back surgery scheduled this month; my sister is undergoing daily chemo and radiation treatments and that will be followed by reconstructive surgery. And my 86-year-old MIL is still going, like the Energizer bunny, but slowing down, and has some difficulty walking and getting up and down stairs, even after hip surgeries.

    I intend to continue what prepping I can do here meanwhile, and also keep up with the learning for ham radio licenses and firearms, and getting more involved locally with neighbors.

    Dunno what the new year will bring us in terms of political, economic and cultural stuff but anticipate more of the same and worse. This is not going to end well for most of us out here and I see, at best, RBT’s slow slide into dystopia and us being a raggedy Second World country, while the rest are either Third World or Stone Age states of nature as described by the very late Thomas Hobbes. What sucks is it’s all happening as most of us on this board are getting older and more frail so we’ll be facing some interesting challenges ahead.

    Reading detailed accounts and primary sources of our War of Independence is on one hand cause for cautious optimism some days, and on other days, despair, at the fact that it’s unclear whether or not we still have a solid core of American citizens who will fight back against blatant and outrageous tyranny at home.

  4. nick says:

    Not sure if I have time for a retrospective, but in general, for us, this wasn’t a bad year.

    The construction industry has a lot of inertia, especially with the type of project my wife gets involved in. Her company had a banner year, again, and that makes all sorts of things possible for us. They are seeing slow downs though, as the oil and gas market continues to implode. Next year’s goals are higher than this year of course, but it might be the first year they miss them in ten years. Houston’s economy is generally strong, and has a lot more going on than just oil and gas. We’ll see what happens.

    I have done much more work of late in the security part of my business. It’s something I took on as a favor for a customer, and as a percentage of my consulting income this year, it’s at 100%, with NO oil and gas. That’s a complete inversion over a couple years ago.

    Next year already has some more security, and possibly some healthcare, but not any oil and gas segments giving me money.

    This year FELT worse. My salvage and resale sideline business had to carry more weight, and it didn’t. On the one hand, for industrial goods, a lot more people seem to be willing to use the secondary or even third hand market for parts and equipment (indicating price pressure) on the other, all my prices are under extreme pressure (nothing is bringing what it should) and sales are slow for anything over a couple of hundred bucks. My sales of stuff to individuals (end user stuff) are all under $50 per transaction.

    We had a bunch of stuff around the houses and cars break in the last half of this year. It feels like I’ve been fixing stuff non-stop for the last couple of months, with a pile of minor stuff waiting to be done. Repairs are much cheaper than calling someone, and WAY cheaper than replacing, but it can feel like a burden to keep doing it.

    The world has gone mad on a macro and micro level. Natural and manmade disasters have abounded, politics and economics are barreling along out of control, and social and cultural elements are undergoing massive upheaval. God forbid if these are the ‘good old days’ but I feel that more and more.

    I look to Argentina, England, Venezuela, Brazil, South Africa, and Mexico for clues to our future, and I’m not pleased. I see deteriorating personal and cultural security, increased economic dislocation, and failing institutions. We are definitely headed for a period of contraction, rather than expansion.

    Gotta get the kids to an appointment,

    back later


  5. OFD says:

    “I look to Argentina, England, Venezuela, Brazil, South Africa, and Mexico for clues to our future…”

    I can see that, but I look more to our own Murkan history, geography and culture for clues; this seems quite a lot like the 1850s in some respects, for obvious reasons. And being ex-military and ex-cop, my perspective tends to be cluttered a bit by those experiences. We’ve had several major “cousins’ wars” since the English Civil War, including our War of Independence and the War Between the States, and I can see another fracturing/polarization occurring here for the past several decades and worsening.

    I may be way off-base, and the other vets don’t like to hear this, but I feel more and more that our enemies do not generally lie in foreign lands and waters but right here, mainly in Mordor, NYC, and among the coastal metropole elites. They not only do not have our best interests at heart and don’t care a fig for us, but they operate with criminally lethal stupidity and negligence, and too often lately, malice aforethought. But they currently control the levers of massive state power and they increase that daily, if not hourly. It’s anybody’s guess how long they can hang onto it all in the face of terrifyingly gigantic deficits and debts and the whole financial house of cards.

    In short, will they run out of money before they can finalize totalitarian control over the rest of us?

  6. MrAtoz says:

    2015 was a good year for MrsAtoz’s biz. About double of the last 5 years, but not as much as before that. All due to Obola and his Obola Bucks ™ going to schools. The more schools fail, the more we make, so we’ll always have biz. It’s for the kids, you see.

  7. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    I have a cunning plan …

    All we need is a few million LMI’s. We form two lines from the northern border to the southern, about 50 miles in from the east and west coastlines. Everyone has a shovel, which they push into the soil as far as possible. At the stroke of midnight tonight, everyone pries the coastward side farther toward the coasts. The respective coastlines fall into the ocean, taking about 90% of the prog population with them.

    I told you it was a cunning plan …

  8. nick says:

    That is a plan so cunning you could put a tail on it and call it a weasel.


  9. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    That must be why Barbara sometimes calls me Baldric.

  10. dkreck says:

    We’ve been waiting for the San Andreas to do that for us. I’ll be enjoying my new ocean view.

  11. nick says:

    And because of your fascination with turnips?


    “That’s funny, ’cause I’ve got a thingy shaped exactly like a turnip!”

  12. OFD says:

    But hold! Wait! The warmists have been crying to us for years now about the rising ocean levels and melting polar ice caps; why get all hot and sweaty messing with shovels? Simply wait it out and the seas will roll in and do that job for us.

    “The more schools fail, the more we make, so we’ll always have biz.”

    Yup, same kinda deal with Mrs. OFD; the more mass shootings, peeps in crisis mode, peeps with PTSD, etc., etc., business is booming, literally. Now if her ass-hat employers would only pay her on time; latest rumor is that not only are they continuing to make independent consultants pay for and book their own accommodations, meals and car rentals in advance, they’re now gonna force them to pay for their air fares, too. Which is insane. If they do that, they’ve basically gone to a rich volunteer basis; the only consultants who will be able to do the work will be wealthy people who can afford the travel expenses up front, and air fares and hotels alone are sky-high often enough these days, for crappy service, too. This, with record revenues that Mrs. OFD and three or four fellow senior colleagues got them to over the past seven years. That’s just one of several latest kickers that she’s heard about and if it comes about like so, we’re gonna be looking at drastic measures in this year ahead.

    She and my middle brother and youngest brother have always somehow managed to land on their feet through all these job hurdles and obstructions and major hassles over the decades. Next-youngest brother and me not so much; and we’re two out of three who went into IT after some years in manufacturing drone work and the cop stuff. We thought we were pretty slick but today is looking kinda bleak, joke’s on us.

    Overcast again today with extensive snow fog, some occasional light drizzle and snow melting, and temps in the thirties. Working on post-holiday cleanup tasks, organizing laundry, radio and gun go-bags, and listening to more streaming classical music from Montreal and Quebec Ville. They continue a lot of the classical Xmas stuff because of the Twelve Days of Christmas, until Epiphany Sunday, being almost exclusively Roman Catholic there, and observantly so, unlike down here for many.

  13. nick says:

    My first year with the international manufacturer I ran $90K thru my personal AMEX. I booked all my own travel. I tried to stay on top of reimbursements so I wouldn’t have any fees or actually carry the company. I used the 1% back to by gift cards for christmas. It was a VERY gift card christmas.

    Yes, it did mean that at a minimum you had to have good credit and good financial management and discipline to do the job. I pointed out that this was unfair, and meant the company was getting $500k to $1M in off the books short term financing from employees. Policy didn’t change substantially for several years, and then only airfare was pre-paid by the company. The downside was now we didn’t get the flights or carriers we wanted, and we didn’t get the points. At least we were getting direct reimbursement instead of getting the .gov per diem rate for each city. That rate is notoriously low.


  14. H. Combs says:

    Looking back, 2015 was transitional. My ATM business started off with a BANG, growing like crazy then flat-lined in the summer and has dropped way down. My business model said it had 5 years before collapse and seems right on target. Looking to downsize it nxt year. Real estate stayed constant, with the housing prices still high, no new additions to the rental or management portfolios. But we bought a small storage business last Feb. we thought it was a bargain till we got the actual books, er spreadsheet, er, notebooks. What a mess. They advertised as 75% occupied but were less than 40% once you took out the delinquents. My son led the management team to get it sorted and now have it 98% occupied 2% delinquent and a waiting list even though we charge 15% more than nearby units. We recently put it on the market for 225% of what we paid for it and have had some serious nibbles. Hope our challenge in the new year is finding a suitable property to do a 1031 exchange. I am trying to last the 2 yrs till I can take my full SSI payments and no deductions for other income but I have seriously lost interest in my IT work and want to devote my time to building up more businesses. One goal for 2016 is to find and prep a “safe” location we can move to when I retire. Building a off-the-grid home is an exciting challenge that would keep me happy for a while. I am VERY concerned at several bills that have lately given the IRS and other departments the ability to rescind Americans passports with little or no due-process. One example is H.R. 515 under the title: “International Megan’s Law to Prevent Child Exploitation and Other Sexual Crimes Through Advanced Notification of Traveling Sex Offenders”. This forces the government to pull all passports for anyone of the “sex offenders list” and replace with a one-year version bearing SEX OFFENDER in bold type. Since there is no due process for getting on the list, many are there for SEXTING photos to friends or even urinating in public, this is as bad as using the “No Fly” list. Placing this restriction on Americans who, if even charged, have served their time, is unbelievable. Will we be flagging passports of drunk drivers next? I traveled the world during the cold war and was proud that the US was one of the few countries that didn’t place heavy restrictions on letting citizens travel. We are rapidly loosing that freedom.

  15. Lynn says:

    You can see the coastal flooding due to sea level rise at:

    My home and commercial property both flood at around 25 meters. Most of the east and west coasts do not flood until you get well over that, except NYC. And Delaware. And New Jersey. And …

  16. Ray Thompson says:

    This forces the government to pull all passports for anyone of the “sex offenders list” and replace with a one-year version bearing SEX OFFENDER in bold type

    And of course the government charges you for the replacement passports that they have forced you to replace before their expiration date.

    A lost passport requires a complete new application even though I have a passport card. Nothing has changed but you have to apply again as if you were starting over. The picture I used for the original passport apparently no longer meets their requirements so the application gets rejected. I submit again, same picture, and this time the application is approved.

    Sort of like United HealthCare, my primary health insurance provider, sending a demand note to my doctor demanding that I go see an eye doctor. Of course I would have to pay full price as I have not met my deductible. I told United HealthCare to pound sand because if they are going to demand treatment they will pay for the treatment 100%. Of course UHC backed down and said it was only a suggestion.

  17. OFD says:

    “… Most of the east and west coasts do not flood until you get well over that, except NYC. And Delaware. And New Jersey. And …”

    No further questions, your Honor…

    Then there’s the whole Mordor area, on the Potomac/Chesapeake watershed floodplain, built originally on a swamp; the coastal Carolinas; Floriduh and the biggest hot tub in the world, etc. Further north, coastal CT, Rhode Island and Maffachufetts, in particular, Boston, an island in colonial times, with its Back Bay entirely on wagon-drawn fill.

    “…this was unfair, and meant the company was getting $500k to $1M in off the books short term financing from employees.”

    Pretty much the situation Mrs. OFD and her colleagues were in during the early years of that organization’s struggle to get going; now that they have, Mrs. OFD, et. al., are still carrying the weight and not only getting zero back from it but being penalized. They never gave back the thousand for a week’s work that they cut from her six years ago. She and her colleagues have tentatively and gingerly brought some of this stuff up and been utterly ignored.

    A lot of days it certainly seems like everybody is out to game you, from the local stores and contractors on up through employers and the government. It gets really tiresome.

  18. MrAtoz says:

    I ran $90K thru my personal AMEX.

    We couldn’t make it without our AMEX Plum Card (you can carry a certain balance). Employees in three States really runs the travel up. Most of our clients are “30 days net”, plus schools usual pay whenever they get around to it. Not much you can do when it’s a $250K contract if you want repeat biz. It’s not unusual for us to charge $30K on the AMEX for travel and supplies A MONTH! Luckily, AMEX downloads into Quickbooks without a problem. Better than any other card. Recons are usually two clicks for AMEX.

  19. MrAtoz says:

    I wonder if I could use this excuse if I’m late on my taxes:

    The State Department broke a judge’s order on the number of former Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton’s emails it was supposed to release Thursday, blaming the holiday season for throwing it off track.

    Yeah, right.

  20. OFD says:

    Yikes, y’all are outta our league. Wife has to pony up maybe a grand, on average, for a week’s work/stay and so far her employers have been paying for the airfare. Her accommodations, rental cars, cabs, meals, etc. are paid by her up front and then she waits weeks to be reimbursed in the same check as her pay. They’ll quibble and question $1.95 at a parking meter but if she lets them pick the hotels and airline routes, they’d cost two to three times as much, so she’s been saving them many tens of thousands of dollars each year for seven or eight years now. This is also ignored or unknown.

    She has to scan her invoices into the pooter here and then construct a minor Excel or Calc spreadsheet and sends them the whole thing, whereupon they can’t even be bothered to acknowledge its receipt or any progress made while they’re allegedly processing it. If they have a question, she’s evidently supposed to read their minds and contact them first. Otherwise she’d wait more weeks or indefinitely to get paid. I would have been fired long ago if I worked for those people, clearly.

    It’s probably a good thing her consulting biz ain’t any bigger than it is; she doesn’t open any of her mail and pays zero attention to taxes; I’m the point man on that stuff.

    The new year needs to be significantly better on several fronts up here.

    “I wonder if I could use this excuse if I’m late on my taxes…”

    No. They can screw up but you can’t. Simple as that. We found that out this past year and took a good beating for it that was not redressed. Our tough chit, basically.

  21. MrAtoz says:

    When all possible, we try to wicker travel costs into a contract instead of sending receipts for reimbursements. Sometime we lose a small amount, but the time and headache saved compiling travel is worth it.

  22. ayjblog says:

    We survived a lot of things, maybe the new governement has some type of logic, not assured.
    No money in the banks, always real state, multiple scattered to lease if possible, house, commercial and holidays rental, cows if you have enough land.
    And i do not follow my recommedations, except banks, lack of money course. i hope the US banks are a bit safer than here


    Happy 2016!!

  23. dkreck says:

    US banks 100% safe. Guaranteed by the US government.

  24. OFD says:

    “US banks 100% safe. Guaranteed by the US government.”

    Thanks for that; my biggest laugh of the day so far.

    In other nooz, we have this:


    Two shootings recently in crowded broad-of-day Burlap, both gangsta scum from NYC. More heroin out in the sticks.

    Ramping up firearms activity here esp. WRT to Mrs. OFD; and subtly beefing up the property security accordingly. I avoid crowds and cities as much as humanly possible and my weekly travels to Burlap do not extend to downtown. When they do, I’ll be in Condition Yellow shading to Orange.

  25. Lynn says:

    @MrAtoz, have you ridden your drone yet?

  26. medium wave says:

    Most of you following this blog have probably heard this joke before, but I just ran across it in a comment on another blog (s/Obama/Clinton/g) :

    Old man–Is President Clinton in? Marine: President Clinton isn’t president anymore. The next day the man asked the guard again, “Is President Clinton in?” Again the reply, “President Clinton isn’t president anymore.” A third day, the man walks up to the guard and asks if President Clinton is home. The guard replies, with some concern, “You know that’s three days in a row you’ve asked me, and no, President Clinton isn’t president anymore.” The old vet replied, “I know. I just like hearing you say that.” The Marine snapped to attention and saluted, “See you tomorrow, sir.”

  27. OFD says:

    I should go down there after Barry Soetero is finally out and bug the jarhead guards with the updated question. If he or she is honest, they’ll tell me, no, he ain’t Prez anymore but it’s a lot worse now, if I can believe that. And he or she better not call me “sir.”

    I’m a fucking human being.

  28. MrK says:

    Wishing everyone a safe and healthy 2016..
    Currently in the land of sand (Western Australia), a warmish 32C (90F)

  29. OFD says:


    Same to y’all down there in Oz and hats off to my fellow SEA vets who served with me and before me from Oz and NZ.

  30. nick says:

    And a safe and prosperous new year to all.

    local derps are celebrating the starting of the year by making loud noises to scare off the bad luck.

    A great many of them must have more money than I do, as a stunning amount of ammo is being expended in the process. Most of the sound appears to be coming from the shithole mega apartment complexes on the corners of our little subdivision.

    Glad to be under cover at the moment.


    (not as bad as Chicago, within a block or two of the worst public housing projects in the country. THAT was a New Year to remember.)

  31. OFD says:

    I heard gunshots and firecrackers within a couple of blocks in the village here and saw actual fireworks on Xmas Eve from this office window a couple of blocks away. Early mornings we were hearing shotguns due to waterfowl hunting seasons.

    Back in the early 80s I lived and worked as a LEO down in Woostah, MA, and the July 4th holiday was a night or two to remember; the tough ‘hoods had four-way intersections with giant bonfires of mattresses, tires and furniture blazing away, with howling mobs of booze- and dope-crazed revenants hopping and dancing around it, like out of some dystopian sci-fi horror flick. Other blocks had ethnic/racial gangs going at it with car antennas, knives and bottles. All with a manic hip-hop soundtrack blasting away. Only half a dozen city patrol cars on duty, thanks to most of the scheduled officers taking vay-cay and sick and personal days. Some of them were up at their own mob on the hill at Green Hill Park, drunk and doped up themselves and firing off their service firearms and shotguns into the air. I drove past the intersection mobs and laughed, and ditto with the gang fights, who stopped briefly to check me out and then went back at it. Fuck ’em all, I said, and laughed some more.

    You, Mr. nick, are within a Condition Yellow/Orange ‘hood, evidently, and y’all be real careful this year and stay alert.

  32. nick says:

    Yes, the surrounding area is in transition. Too many big apartments built when the original homeowners in this area stopped caring, because their kids were out of school.

    A whole lot of section 8 and the criminal illegal aliens sucking up my tax money while adding their views on child sex and drunk driving to the wonderful and vibrant cultural stew that diversity has brought us.

    Money is sweeping thru the area, and if the economy holds together for another year or two, naked greed will cause the developers to tear down the “affordable housing” and put up a bunch of nice UNaffordable housing. NO ZONING in Houston, and developers run the ruling class.

    LOTS of development in our area.

    Fortunately, they don’t look like us, so they’re easier to spot, and avoid.

    As a side note, I was struck (hah) by the huge number of traffic signs and traffic light poles down at intersections around here. This week has killed more poles than the previous year put together. This is a good time to NOT be out on the roads after dark.

    Your recollections spurred me to remember the time I took the wrong offramp in south LA. I got off at Compton, and there was a burning roadblock set up a little way off the freeway. At 5pm. I U turned and found my way back onto the freeway post haste. I joke about the mutants sitting around gasoline fires, roasting dogs on a spit, but we’re not too far from that on any given day already in some places. I once shared a drink with some folks sitting around a railroad tie campfire, roasting hot dogs…


    Off to bed now, shooting has died down to distant and random…

  33. MrK says:

    Well after 2 posts I guess a brief intro is required.
    I’m 60, live on the west coast of Australia, semi-retired. Been viewing the Daynotes Journal for many years after purchasing 2 of RBT’s computer books.
    The amount and breadth of information here is outstanding. Thanks to all and of course to our host.
    I try to keep a low profile on the Internet, but honestly here is where I feel most comfortable.
    Most lunchtimes will find me perusing this site and enjoying the various posts by everyone.
    I will endeavour to maintain the level of excellence..
    Prepping however, is something I am seriously looking into. So I am following this subject closely.

  34. Lynn says:

    The amount of AA and mortars around here once again reminded me of Baghdad on a moonless night in 1991. I am just glad that the roofs were still wet from Wednesdays rainfall.

  35. Lynn says:

    @nick, too bad you cannot move out to the grand parkway (99). We do not have many apartments out here and the ones that we do have are high rent (start over a thousand dollars per month).

  36. SteveF says:

    The amount and breadth of information here is outstanding.

    He didn’t mention the tasteless jokes. -sniffle- I’ve been totally blown off!

    I’d planned to go to First Night with my wife and daughter but I’m kind of injured. Again. Stupid accident resulted in a metal rod jammed lengthwise between two metatarsils. (The nurse and the doctor both asked “How the hell did you manage to do that?” More politely, of course.) Between the pain of walking and the malaise caused by the antibiotics I’m not up for any unnecessary walking.

  37. Miles_Teg says:


    Eagles or Dockers?

  38. Robert Bruce Thompson says:



  39. OFD says:

    “…a metal rod jammed lengthwise between two metatarsils.”

    That must have been rather painful. Damn. Hands and feet injuries hurt a lot worse than we’d necessarily think. First Night in the Capital District? Most likely noisy crowds to be avoided, anyway.


    “…Over men and horses hoops and garters
    Lastly through a hogshead of real fire
    In this way Mr. K will challenge the world”

    Wow, what’s it like on the west coast of Australia? Near Perth? I must be near the exact opposite of the earth from you down there.

  40. Miles_Teg says:

    Perth is in the SW corner of Western Australia, a long way from anything else worthwhile in Australia. I can be cheaper to fly Perth-Singapore-Sydney than Perth-Sydney direct…

  41. lynn says:

    Stupid accident resulted in a metal rod jammed lengthwise between two metatarsils.

    Sounds … painful. That is why I wear shoes inside and outside the house nowadays. I caught the two outside toes on the kitchen island about ten years ago. Broke them both. Saw a bone doc who said wow, I bet those hurt. When I inquired about straightening them, he just laughed. He did say when they hurt, just tape them to the other toes. It has been ten years and they still hurt.

  42. lynn says:

    I know a guy who drove from Victoria to Perth on a lark with a friend. He won’t do that again. Something about 3,000+ miles and trucks pulling six trailers whipping all over the place. I’m not sure that he drove back or if he just abandoned the car.

  43. nick says:

    My cousin road a bike across Australia. Don’t remember the route. He had previously ridden across the US, coast to coast, there and back again.

    Not something I would think is fun.


  44. nick says:

    So at least the primatives in my neighborhood didn’t get this far:

    New Year’s Eve turns to carnage in the Philippines as locals use firecrackers to ward off evil spirits leaving hundreds with horrific injuries and 1,000 homes burnt to ground

  45. SteveF says:

    Stupid is as stupid does. Or, you made your bed, now lie in it. I just don’t want to be stuck with the bill for “humanitarian assistance” for insulating someone from the consequences of his actions.

  46. Miles_Teg says:

    Someone stuck a firecracker in his arse and lit it. Can’t remember where it was, might have been in Darwin, Australia, or the Phillipines.

    Reminded me of the movie Eye of the Tiger…

  47. Miles_Teg says:

    Between Kalgoorlie and Port Augusta is some of the most uninteresting landscape in the world. I think coaches with relays of drivers can do Perth to east coast in two days. I’d go nuts being on a bus for that long. The way I drive now (110 km/h tops) would take me 3-4 days. I may take the Indian-Pacific rail one of these days and just look out the window, but if I was going to Perth to see the Hawks belt the Eagles or Dockers it’d be plane or nothing.

    There’s a 478 km stretch of dead straight railway on that line, the driver has to push the “I’m awake” button about once a minute or the emergency brakes are activated.

  48. MrAtoz says:

    Mr. Lynn, I haven’t ridden my drone yet. lol that thing must be powerful.

  49. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Someone stuck a firecracker in his arse … in Darwin

    How appropriate…

  50. OFD says:

    Link to vids? Pics? Did he (I’m assuming a male, for some odd reason) get any kind of actual award? What was the firecracker nomenclature? Cherry bomb? M80? If the latter, I bet he’s walking around with a c-bag on his waist now. If he’s even alive.

    “I haven’t ridden my drone yet.”

    You’ll undoubtedly be a stone natural on them things; hovering over Lost Wages, and setting up the rockets for a strafing run on The Strip.

  51. lynn says:

    For us, 2015 has been an okay year. Business has been noticeably slower than 2014 and even 2013 before it,

    It is not just you. My business was down too. None of my people got a raise in 2015 and 2016 looks like more of the same. Salaries are my biggest expense and are the last place I want to cut. 2016 is going to be a tough year.

    There is an article in the Houston Chronicle that the number of drilling rigs has dropped under 700. Not good, not good at all. Lots of good, high paying middle class jobs have been lost.

  52. OFD says:

    “Lots of good, high paying middle class jobs have been lost.”

    Not just in Texas, kemosabe; all over the country. And not just recently; for decades. As was the intent, on the part of corporate fascist oligarchy interests and their government whores.

    Try and find a decent high-paying middle-class gig up here in New England; good with that? Now try it if you’re over forty. We’re heading down the semi-feudal banana republic road faster and faster.

  53. nick says:

    Yup, and canadia seems to have lost 100k jobs in oil and gas. Out of a total population of 30M, that’s a HUGE impact.

    Some numbers for Houston suggest up to 250k jobs lost in O & G since our friends the Saudis started their price war.


  54. OFD says:

    “…since our friends the Saudis started their price war.”

    Ah yes, our bosom buddies. From whence the radical hadji madrassahs, the financing of terror worldwide, etc., etc, the beheadings, stonings, etc. While the top pigs cavort with booze, dope and whores. Taki has their number. So who do we attack and where do we bomb? Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, etc. Anyplace but the Soddies. Why is that, one wonders?

    “OFD, ask and ye shall receive…”

    Yeah, we have dumbo orcs like that here, too. Say, what kinda snake is that? This dude is a real friggin’ psycho loser drunk; I don’t give much for his life expectancy.

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