Friday, 6 May 2016

10:08 – Barbara is working out in the front yard, spreading mulch. Colin was standing at the front door watching her work, and just let out a ferocious bark. Barbara came in the door and said that a deer had just come around the far end of the house on a dead run and passed her, heading for the neighbors’ property. We don’t see deer very often during the day, and certainly not that close. But we have a significant deer population, and I’m sure they’re out in our yard every night.

The plumbers came yesterday to switch out our sediment filter and show me what needs to be done periodically. He said the filters I’d picked up at Blevin’s yesterday were extremely fine and may need to be swapped out more frequently than the package recommends. It says they last for 8,000 gallons or two months. That’s 133 gallons a day, and I doubt we use that much water. The price at Blevin’s was $8.99 for a two-pack, or $0.80 cheaper than Amazon Prime.

I told him that the electrician said we had a 120VAC well pump. He refused to believe it wasn’t 240VAC until he looked at the main breaker panel. Then he said he wanted to take a look at it, so he went out in the front yard and pulled the concrete cap off the well-casing shelter and pulled out all the fiberglass insulation. We expected there to be a plaque in there with the name of the drilling company and details about the depth and well head, but there wasn’t one to be found. We’re going to have to check county records to find out what company drilled the well and hope they have the details on record.

Not much prepping this week. I ordered some monthly PetArmor Plus flea/tick treatments from Walmart. That ran only about $25, so I needed another $25 to qualify for free shipping. So I ordered ten more jars of Bertolli Alfredo sauce, which has gone up from $2.14 the last time I ordered to $2.23, a pack of Walmart house-brand egg noodles just to try, and some 15.9-ounce jars of Knorr beef bouillon. Walmart had those on sale, at $2.99 for a 12-pack, or about $0.25/jar. I thought it must be a typo, but they confirmed the order and shipped it. If they really ship me 12 jars, I guess I’ll be giving free jars to family, friends, and neighbors. The stuff keeps for a long, long time, but not long enough for us to use 12 jars.

Oh, and I read Surviving Abe. This has to be the strangest prepping novel I’ve ever seen, and that’s saying something. The author is a leftie/prog climatista eco-greenie true-believer. His event is a continent-wide storm, which the Weather Channel dubs Abe. It kills millions, but that’s the least of it. A sub-thread running through the book is that organized eco-greenie terrorists have been waiting for just such an event so that they can pile on by destroying infrastructure like the electric grid, water purification plants and so on. Their goal, which the author apparently approves, is to cause a mass die-off of humanity, reducing the world’s population from 7 billion to 2 billion in order to make things “sustainable”. The author is real big on sustainable, and apparently approves of mass murder as the way to get there. Geez. Don’t bother reading it. To add insult to injury, the book ends in the middle of the story and there is no sequel, nor apparently will there be.


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65 Responses to Friday, 6 May 2016

  1. nick says:

    A quick observation about food prices.

    After a long run of inflation, I’m finally seeing some deflation in food prices.

    Spiral slice ham down from a high of $2.49 to under $2.00

    Eggs down to $1.40 for 18

    sliced lunch meat ham, <$3/#

    smoked almonds down from $17/jar to 15

    smoked salmon sliced, for less than $1/oz it was much higher for a long time.

    and lots of other things too.

    This helps the pocket book, but what does it signal about the broader economy?

    nick

    added – 87 octane gasoline, locally from $1.79 to $2.05/ gallon.

  2. nick says:

    Judging by the photos, gender confusion is the least of this guy’s mental health issues:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3576420/Sex-change-surgery-Indias-new-line-budget-medical-tourism.html

    n

  3. SteveF says:

    and apparently approves of mass murder as the way to get there

    What am I missing here? What could anyone possibly object to when it comes to mass murder?

  4. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Gas prices have skyrocketed here, from a low of $1.599 to the $2.159 to $2.239 range. I don’t expect that to last long, though. Crude prices have spiked with the recent OPEC meeting and the Fort Mac fire in the Alberta tar sands, but prices won’t stay at that level for long. I expect to see crude prices again at their lows of a couple months ago by August, if that long, and if not lower. Oil is a drug on the market. They’re running out of places to store it. I think even China has filled their strategic reserve storage and is no longer buying in excess of current needs.

  5. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    There’s a difference between saying that 50% of the US population is a waste of oxygen and going out killing them. Cutting off welfare and letting them starve, fine. Going out and shooting them, not good.

  6. Ray Thompson says:

    Going out and shooting them, not good.

    I hope you have an exception for politicians and lawyers.

  7. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Oh, yes. I long ago proposed an open season on politicians and lawyers, to run from January 1st each year through December 31st, with no bag limit.

  8. SteveF says:

    Gas prices near my house went from about 1.719 to 2.259 for basic unleaded with 10% ethanol. Note that they’d be 15 cents a gallon higher if a new convenience store/gas station hadn’t opened up and driven down prices two miles in each direction along that road.

    Cutting off welfare and letting them starve, fine. Going out and shooting them, not good.

    No, that’s exactly backward. The oxygen thieves won’t just starve to death quietly. They’ll riot and steal and kill and cause even more destruction before they die. It’s much better to just kill them quickly, before they reduce their net contribution to the species even further into the negative zone. More merciful, too, if you care about that, which I admit I don’t.

  9. JimL says:

    Even if it’s just politicians, what are you going to do with all the bad meat? You can’t eat it, and it smells bad.

    But seriously – thinning the herd of those that don’t produce is evolution in action. As a species, we need to be able to withstand hardship. Eliminating hardship makes us weaker.

  10. OFD says:

    “We expected there to be a plaque in there with the name of the drilling company and details about the depth and well head, but there wasn’t one to be found. We’re going to have to check county records to find out what company drilled the well and hope they have the details on record.”

    Ditto here. Good luck with that. I’m still trying to find that info.

    As regards wiping out most of the pop here because of their dangerous stupidity and negligence, I propose we experiment first, see who’s got the nads to actually pull the triggers. We’ll do some preliminary studies based on earlier research by professors Stanley Milgram and Philip Zimbardo, eh?

    Gorgeous day on the bay here so fah; not sure what we’re doing yet about driving up to Moh-ree-all and back; Mrs. OFD doesn’t seem as thrilled by the idea today and is having a problem with her contact lenses. I’d rather do it Sunday or Monday, if at all. Saturday she’s going down to clean up her mom’s house and Tuesday we have to get the Saab convertible to the shop. And my back/sciatica is no better.

  11. nick says:

    So my “good” school district has adopted a plan that will allow more local decision making, and more local spending authority. And thy’re going to, by gum. But they currently have no additional funding, no plans for what changes they want to make, and no metrics for judging success or even milestone goals. What little they did communicate to us was basically Montessori–individual focus on each kid. Somehow achieving that without Montessori training, or Montessori levels of staffing. Next thing you know, they’ll be using phonics to teach reading!

    My “good” school district, by their account, has roughly 2/3s of kids living in poverty. They have roughly 1/3 as non-English speakers. No word on the amount of overlap between those groups, but my guess would be nearly 100%.

    They say that the old methods of teaching won’t work on today’s kids, but they won’t say why. So I’ll say it. 2/3s living in poverty, with half of those ESL. Violence, lack of respect, lack of discipline, and lack of support from parents and the surrounding culture for the value of learning. A much larger percentage of the student body with, on average, lower IQs. Drug and alcohol use pre- and post- natal. That’s why traditional classroom methods that produced the generations that won WWII, put a man on the moon, invented the internet, cured infectious diseases, and generally provided the highest standard of living for the most people in the history of the world, won’t work in today’s public schools.

    But we’re gonna throw more money at the latest shiny thing. We’ll let grad students and DrEDs experiment some more with our kids’ lives. Rehash and recycle, build these theories into the physical structure of our schools, where future teachers will have to make do and work around… (they’re talking about ‘open plan’ classrooms again, while one of the schools in the district is building walls in their 70’s era ‘open plan’ classrooms.)

    But it will be “data driven.” They’re gonna develop new metrics to give a “real time” look into student performance. They’ve got “software programs.” No idea what that data will look like. Seriously. I asked. Several other parents asked. The answer was lots of armwavium and raised voices. ‘Cause they’ll have “data.” And it will all be developed with “input” from the community. That will slow anything they DO get around to doing to the point of immobility. But, there’ll be “data”. Every morning after checking Facebook, each student will be able to look at an app and see exactly what he needs to focus on and how he compares to the other students. ‘Cause they’ll be “analyzing the data.” The data they don’t know how they’ll collect, or what it looks like, or what is relevant for decision making. But they’re sure there will be “data”.

    Homeschooling is looking better and better.

    nick

  12. MrAtoz says:

    Even if it’s just politicians, what are you going to do with all the bad meat?

    I know what Ed Gein would do.

  13. OFD says:

    “Homeschooling is looking better and better.”

    Indeed. But it represents a large sacrifice on the part of the parents. In retrospect we should have done it that way, but we “needed” the two incomes just to stay afloat in a middle-class Murkan lifestyle and house, and as it turns out, both kids have done OK, though they’ve been inculcated with the prevailing neo-Marxist ideologies, of course, like everyone else. I hope life experience and time will “fix” some of that.

    If a family goes the home school route, one of the parents is gonna have to be able to devote almost full-time to the schooling and they’ll have to forego most if not all of a second income. Unless the working spouse makes enough to not have to worry about that. We were not in that position nor did we wish to live near the “official” poverty line. But considering how things have gone since, and are progressing now, I think we’d have to make that sacrifice; the situation like Mr. nick describes is simply awful and unacceptable.

  14. SteveF says:

    Nick, re bureaucratic bafflegab, I find that “can you be more specific?” sometimes works. Especially if you can get some others of the hoi polloi to join you — if it’s just you speaking up in a meeting you’ll be ignored as a troublemaker, but if you have more than just a couple then it’s difficult for the crats to ignore. (Not impossible, mind, but more difficult.)

  15. nick says:

    I’ve been to several ‘community meetings’ as I attempt to get some ‘meatspace’ exposure under my belt, and connect with folks in my AO… or …I’m meeting my neighbors and getting a feel for them….

    In each meeting there was someone, besides me, who called BS and asked for specifics. Whether it was a planning meeting, HOA, PTA, rec association, etc., people are starting to push back against the PC and vague language. I think they are getting tired of being lied to. They can’t change national level politics, but they can have some effect locally. Lots of motivated and successful people are finding that they better start engaging locally or they’ll get what’s comin’ to them. This is in contrast to what these meetings have historically been- a couple of single issue loonies that rant until their time is up, in the wrong forum, and off topic while the onstage clique goes about their business. Now they’re filled with serious people, who believe that they can participate in the process. And they’re not willing to be ignored or placated, and they will do the research for next time. A lot of 30 and 40 something type A moms who left work to raise kids are looking for a place to focus their drive and energy. I see them discovering local civic processes…..(fewer dads like me, but some…)

    nick

  16. OFD says:

    Both Mr. SteveF and Mr. nick have excellent points about this. Most of us are beyond raising skool-age kidz but we can still make an impact at some of these local meatspace events. Sure, if you’re the only nutbag ranting and raving, they’ll go to the trouble of having a local huckleberry physically remove your pesky ass. But whenever two or three are gathered together, loosely paraphrasing from the ancient prayer, they gotta start paying some attention.

    We ARE all getting tired of being lied to and condescended to by peeps who think they’re smarter and better than us and it is really starting to rankle. This reminds me to get the current month’s town hall meeting schedule and get cracking on that. I have to tone my own persona down some, due to size and intimidation factor and apparently still-extant cop aura. You may think I’m joking, but I walk into a room and their eyes get big and there is some nervousness at first. “No, I’m not gonna pitch you through the wall, little munchkins, calm the fuck down.” I thought the glasses would help but I guess not.

  17. SteveF says:

    Both Mr. SteveF and Mr. nick have excellent points about this.

    Well, sure. I’m all kinds of awesome, and nick can acquire some awesomeness by contagion. Er, I mean association.

  18. lynn says:

    “A Few Observations on Clinton-Trump Persuasion”
    http://blog.dilbert.com/post/143944074406/a-few-observations-on-clinton-trump-persuasion

    “Speaker of the House Paul Ryan said yesterday, “I’m just not ready to back Donald Trump.” That was an example of good negotiating. “Not ready” means he hopes to be able to back Trump someday, but only if Trump changes in some unspecified ways that Ryan wants. It gives Ryan leverage. It was a strong move.”

    “But Trump responded with “I am not ready to support Speaker Ryan’s agenda.””

    “Checkmate, in one move. On this chessboard, a future President beats a Speaker of the House. And Trump makes you think past the sale again, to his presidency.”

    Interesting. And Paul Ryan is a RINO.

  19. OFD says:

    Ryan is an uber-RINO.

    And let’s not forget, during this next six to eight months, that Trump was a buddy and pal of both Clintons at various hoity-toity social elite events in the past. We need to remember this chit when they’re faking “vicious attacks” on each other.

  20. Dave says:

    I think Gary Johnson would be a better fit with the Republican Party than Donald Trump is. Johnson is clearly supportive of the ideas of smaller government and the free market than Donald Trump is. I’ve always voted Republican, and this year, I’m still not convinced that Trump is much better than Clinton or Sanders. Trump has almost as much trouble making up his mind as Clinton does.

  21. lynn says:

    I told him that the electrician said we had a 120VAC well pump. He refused to believe it wasn’t 240VAC until he looked at the main breaker panel.

    Is it a 20 amp breaker? Man, you must have a small and shallow pump. Mine is 230 Volt and pulls 14 amps. I am not sure of the breaker size, at least 20 A, maybe 30 A.

    I am not going back into my well house without a full body isolation suit. I found a three foot wide, one foot tall fire ant bed in there two months ago. It was right behind the door and I had to overturn the entire bed to get the door open (took a lot of pushing to get the door open). I threw in a compete canister of the borax stuff and ran for it, the ants were everywhere and severely pissed off. My well controller and breaker box subpanel are four ft off the ground, I am hoping that they stay out of it.

  22. lynn says:

    Oh, and I read Surviving Abe. This has to be the strangest prepping novel I’ve ever seen, and that’s saying something. The author is a leftie/prog climatista eco-greenie true-believer. His event is a continent-wide storm, which the Weather Channel dubs Abe. It kills millions, but that’s the least of it.

    Sounds like the author watched “The Day After Tomorrow” and wanted to go a step further.

  23. lynn says:

    “Clinton’s New Haircut”
    http://blog.dilbert.com/post/143944074406/a-few-observations-on-clinton-trump-persuasion

    “Fashion-wise, I like Clinton’s new hairdo. I think it is her best look. The only problem is that It reminds me of Trump’s haircut.”

    “You think that is a coincidence. It isn’t. (See Megyn Kelly.)”

    I actually noticed that for once.

  24. lynn says:

    Oh, yes. I long ago proposed an open season on politicians and lawyers, to run from January 1st each year through December 31st, with no bag limit.

    Ralph Peters actually wrote a book proposing that, “The War After Armageddon”:
    https://www.amazon.com/War-After-Armageddon-Ralph-Peters-ebook/dp/B002OKZCTI

    I don’t think he was kidding.

  25. lynn says:

    added – 87 octane gasoline, locally from $1.79 to $2.05/ gallon.

    The crude oil feedstocks went from $32/barrel to $45. That is actually healthy. I am just wondering if that was the bottom of the curve or are we going to test it again.

    BTW, my energy summary emails have most of the refineries already turning down. Usually that does not happen until late summer when they retune for heating oil. That means that they are not going to overproduce gasoline and diesel again and have to compete to sell their products. Some people would call that collusion.

  26. DadCooks says:

    “They say that the old methods of teaching won’t work on today’s kids”

    IMHO, very wrong, in fact education needs to go way back. Maybe even to the one-room schoolhouse model. They also need to bring back the dunce cap, the wood shed, the water bucket, and the requirement that every student bring a lump of coal each day for the stove.

    Too much money is the bane of the “modern” public school system. There are way too many administrators sucking up that money. Our local private schools get by on less than half per student and produce functional individuals at graduation. Public schools are graduating below 50% whereas private schools graduate over 90%, higher quality students too.

    WRT Trump: most people cannot figure out Trump. He is the antithesis of a politician and that is exactly what we need to turn this mess around. He is a ruthless Capitalist Nationalist Populist. He finds the best person for a job and if they do not perform to his expectations he holds them accountable. Way too much is made of his failures/bankruptcies. Examine them carefully and see what happens to the people who have failed him.

  27. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    “Is it a 20 amp breaker? Man, you must have a small and shallow pump. Mine is 230 Volt and pulls 14 amps. I am not sure of the breaker size, at least 20 A, maybe 30 A. ”

    I had the electrician put a clamp ammeter on the 120VAC well pump/pressure tank circuit. It drew about 1,400 Watts running, which means the start-up surge current should be within the abilities of my 5,500W generator.

  28. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    “Ralph Peters actually wrote a book proposing that, “The War After Armageddon”:
    https://www.amazon.com/War-After-Armageddon-Ralph-Peters-ebook/dp/B002OKZCTI

    I don’t think he was kidding.”

    He stole the idea from me. I’m not kidding, either.

  29. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    “The crude oil feedstocks went from $32/barrel to $45. That is actually healthy. I am just wondering if that was the bottom of the curve or are we going to test it again.”

    I suspect $32 isn’t anywhere near the bottom. I expect to see $20 oil this summer, and it wouldn’t surprise me to see it headed towards $10. There are too many big producers desperate for as much income as they can get: Russia, Iran, Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, etc. etc. Combined, they can pump a whole lot more oil per day than the world consumes, and that isn’t going to change anytime soon. OPEC is now pretty much a joke. They’re all out for themselves.

  30. Chad says:

    I think even China has filled their strategic reserve storage and is no longer buying in excess of current needs.

    With oil prices so low (and going lower at some point) it would be wise for the US to consider doubling our storage capacity and thus doubling our strategic reserves. How ever much oil we have in strategic reserves I can just about guarantee it isn’t enough. We should be hoarding the stuff.

    There’s a difference between saying that 50% of the US population is a waste of oxygen and going out killing them. Cutting off welfare and letting them starve, fine. Going out and shooting them, not good.

    I always enjoyed the joke, “I’m not saying we should kill all of the stupid people, but why don’t we just remove the warning labels from everything and let the problem sort itself out.”

    and no metrics for judging success or even milestone goals.

    Don’t let the teachers union hear you saying that shit. They’ll lynch you. They don’t want their performance to be measured or assessed in any way.

    You pay them and they show up and then you’re supposed to worship them for their selfless role as a public school teacher. Actually, that may be verbatim from their contract.

    RE: Trump

    Well, now that the primary is just about put to bed he can focus on the general election. For a Republican candidate, that usually means a swing from the far right to the middle for those coveted moderate/undecided/independent votes. Trump has said a lot of crazy shit, but that doesn’t mean much in the long run. IIRC, Obama was going to stop the war, close gitmo detention center, and implement universal health care. That’s what won over the far left. Last time I checked we still have troops on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan, there are still prisoners in gitmo, and I got billed for my last trip to the doctor. Moderates were easy for Obama to woo in 2008 as they were all on the post-Bush “anyone but a Republican” kick.

  31. lynn says:

    “Microsoft to end Windows 10 nagware after July 29”
    https://www.petri.com/paul-thurrotts-short-takes-may-6

    Thank goodness, it is way past time.

  32. lynn says:

    “Is it a 20 amp breaker? Man, you must have a small and shallow pump. Mine is 230 Volt and pulls 14 amps. I am not sure of the breaker size, at least 20 A, maybe 30 A. ”

    I had the electrician put a clamp ammeter on the 120VAC well pump/pressure tank circuit. It drew about 1,400 Watts running, which means the start-up surge current should be within the abilities of my 5,500W generator.

    Mine pulls 14 amps at 230 volts which at a 0.9 power factor (swag) is around 2,900 watts. It is a 30 gpm pump at 60 ??? psig though. I’ve got that diagram stashed somewhere in all this mess.

  33. dkreck says:

    There are too many big producers desperate for as much income as they can get: Russia, Iran, Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, etc. etc.

    That’s right. When you can’t get the grain to make beer you’re in real trouble. (ie Venezuela)

  34. dkreck says:

    Just went to Lowe’s for a propane tank exchange. Surprised that it’s down to $14.99. That’s still high but it had been $19.99. I’m even more amazed that they lowered it at all. I think I saw WallyWorld at $17.49 the other day.
    (yes I could get it refilled for less but not near as easy, call me lazy)

  35. MrAtoz says:

    More VA shenanigans. It now takes a criminal record to get hired by the VA. I guess I know what Obola will do with all the dopers he is releasing from federal prison.

    Almost immediately after Federal Bureau of Prisons Inmate #11109-017 completed a 14-month sentence for using sensitive credit card data on his previous employer’s computer system to steal $70,000, he was hired by the Department of Veterans Affairs in a position that ultimately led to his present job — running an office racked with credit card fraud and bribery problems.

  36. medium wave says:

    Homeschooling is looking better and better.

    On Washing Behind the Ears

    (Please forgive the longish quote, included here because a Certain Someone apparently couldn’t be bothered to read my original link to Hoyt’s post before telling me to copulate with myself. Emphasis added. )

    What it will take is a lot like eating broccoli, but it’s the only thing we can do. The alternatives are death in one form or another. So, here it is a modest program to take back our country. Note I not only don’t expect to see the fruits of it, but my grandchildren might not see them. On the other hand, our great grandchildren might get to live in freedom and prosperity. It’s worth a try. What do you have to lose? (Other than the AK-47, and I’m keeping that safe till you cool down a little.):

    1- If you’re out politically, enjoin people not to give up. Provide encouragement and support for those who can’t be out, and who will often be discouraged. Be aware in either case your career is going to take a hit. It’s going to happen.

    2- If you’re not out, take a dramamine and infiltrate. Infiltrate the alt.right. Infiltrate the left. Seek positions of power and influence, and start subverting. Remember to take it slowly.

    3 – If you’re an artist, create. Particularly if you’re subtle enough to get under people’s shields. Remember Heinlein had thousands of children, some of them overseas, where we read him in translation and his words were so STRANGE. But we kept reading, because the stories were good, and little by little our minds change.

    4- If you’re a teacher, teach. Teach as much of the truth as you can. I realize you’re hemmed in, but there are ways.

    5- Anywhere else, gird your loins and educate others. Around the coffee machine at work, or in the park, watching the kids — cast doubt on the narrative, and be prepared with facts.

    6- Whatever you are and whoever you are, take care of yourself and those you can “carry.” Times are about to get very, very (very) rough. We’ll have to step in and keep things going as well as we can. Sure, monetary help, if you can, but also knowledge and emotional support and… all of it. Find out what you can do and do it. Immiseration from the top down only works if you let it. Find ways to get around destructive regulations and crazy enforcement, and build/create/make it work.

    7- If you’re a parent, homeschool if you can, but if you can’t, consider what I did “homeschooling and deprogramming” after school. It can save your child’s sanity, it can save your child’s life, but more importantly, it will assure the work keeps going another generation or three or ten. As long as it’s needed.

  37. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Our Costco refills tanks for $7.50 max.

  38. SteveF says:

    before telling me to copulate with myself

    Hmm. No offense intended. I’d just said that anyone saying “do this because I’m more mature than you” was just asking for a “go fuck yourself” and you immediately followed with a “how mature”. I thought you were jokingly asking for a “go fuck yourself”.

  39. DadCooks says:

    I’m still deprogramming my “children” every day. 😉

  40. medium wave says:

    I thought you were jokingly asking for a “go fuck yourself”.

    Let’s just say we misunderstood each other, and let it go at that.

  41. SteveF says:

    and let it go at that

    No no no, that will never do. The search for the guilty must commence. I suggest blaming either Anthropogenic Global Warming or the Vast Rightwing Conspiracy.

  42. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Play nice.

  43. MrAtoz says:

    This blog needs a “Go fuck yourself safe space.”

  44. SteveF says:

    I’m still deprogramming my “children” every day.

    I haven’t had much trouble with that. My sons are grown now (though one’s still in college) but both picked up a measure of my cynicism and hard-headed practicality before they got to high school. My daughter is not quite nine and is (duh) a girl, which is an entirely different kettle of fish, but she’ll listen and ask intelligent questions when I talk about ignoring the herd, trying to find evidence on all sides of a question before making up her mind, setting goals, and so on. I’m not too worried.

    It helps that both of the women I married tend to jump on trends and to “research” issues by looking for “evidence” that supports what they already believe. This gives a strong negative example in contrast with what I tried to teach the kids.

    (As for matching up “cynical and practical” with my marriage choices, what can I tell ya? I’m cynical and practical in getting things done, but I’m just plump stupid.)

  45. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    In 1971, the Post Office Department was re-organized into the United States Postal Service, an independent agency of the executive branch. IOW, it’s a federal government agency.

  46. medium wave says:

    I suggest blaming either Anthropogenic Global Warming or the Vast Rightwing Conspiracy.

    Why not both? 🙂

  47. SteveF says:

    -gasp-! It all makes sense now!

  48. nick says:

    Sarah told the story of using the public schools as daycare and teaching her kids at home some time ago. It’s A solution, and what I’m going for at the moment.

    An example of success… the Girl Scout Daisy troop went to the ASPCA to learn about shelters, and (I’m sure) to take some unwanted animals home. When asked which was her favorite animal that they met, my 6 yo said “the turkeys, they’re so fat and tasty!” (This is a low kill shelter.)

    I’ll take my small victories.

    nick

  49. nick says:

    Went out today and hit a couple of sales, and a couple of stores. Lots of camping stuff I didn’t need, some fishing (hobby) stuff, and a bunch of shotgunning stuff way over priced.

    The funny thing was, every where I went they had wild game cookbooks. I think I bought 5 or 6. They are a mix of semi-pro (the American Game Hunters annual book) and mimeo’d church group, type cookbooks. “Belgium Squirrel” caught my eye.

    I’ve got my Joy of Cooking, which has a wild game section, and the Orvis book, which is glossy and focused on European lodge type food. These books are much more down to earth, every-day-eating recipes. They’re going on the reference shelf.

    Bought a couple of really nice stitched flags for a few bucks each. USA, and one I don’t know. It’s alternating red and white horizontal stripes with the snake and “Don’t tread on me” in text. I’ve seen it before but can’t place it. [it’s The First Navy Jack says wiki]

    Hoping for better forage tomorrow.

    nick

  50. Rolf Grunsky says:

    Conrad Black has an interesting piece on Trump at the National Post website.

    For the most part, I don’t like Conrad Black. He feels that somehow, his sense of entitlement should allow him to disregard any law that he feels it would be beneath him to obey. He still complains that he was unjustly prosecuted in the US for something that he would not have been prosecuted in Canada. He’s right. Canada is extremely lax on prosecuting white collar crime.

    However, he remains one of our most intelligent and articulate commentators.

  51. DadCooks says:

    WRT the First Navy Jack: during all of 1976 all U.S. Naval Vessels flew the First Navy Jack. Our Storekeeper ordered enough so that everyone on the boat got one. I fly mine on July 4, November 13 (the day the USS Los Angeles SSN 688 was commissioned) and February 4 (the day she was decommissioned).

    IMHO, it is time we made the warning on the First Navy Jack (and Gadsden Flag) mean something again.

  52. OFD says:

    From the Things That Pissed Me Off Today Department:

    1.) No OTC meds even making a dent in back/sciatic notch pain.

    2.) Downtown Moh-ree-all traffic and motor vehicle operators

    3.) VA hiring convicted felons but not me or MANY other combat vets for peer support specialist positions so we can HELP other combat vets. We hear about the need but can’t access any relevant web site, can’t get any info on where to go and what to do about it, and don’t even get acknowledgements of our calls, emails, letters or applications. But they have no problem hiring felons or nutballs like that shooter at the Navy Yard a couple of years ago. Amazing.

    And the Things That Weren’t So Bad Department:

    1.) Observing, during my copious sitting-in-bumper-to-bumper traffic time in downtown Moh-ree-all, the grrls go by dressed in their summuh clothes. Amazing. It was about ten or fifteen degrees warmer up there than down here.

    2.) Border Patrol guy at the lonely one-person station at Rouse’s Point, NY was friendly and we had a nice chat with him.

    3.) No word from that 3-6-month IT drone job, so if nothing by Monday, I’ll call the recruiter and if it’s the usual bust, back to Plan B immediately. IDGAF.

  53. nick says:

    I guess I shouldn’t be surprised by nautical items turning up here on the south coast…

    I got a really nice stitched flag that turns out to be the “yacht club” flag, looks like the normal flag, but has a circle of stars, at a sale last year.

    I never knew there were so many other flags authorized for use by vessels in various circumstances. I used to think I had a pretty good handle on flag etiquette too, even though I carried the little booklet to be certain when I was doing public events. Learn something new every day.

    nick

    Oh, and I’ve got a US flag that was flown over Bagdad that I bring out on special occasions. But I bought that one and sent it to an acquaintance for the express purpose of flying it.

  54. nick says:

    @ofd,

    Certain shoes or boots aggravate my sciatica. Particularly some older boots that I don’t wear all the time. You should be mindful of what shoes you are wearing, and look for ill effects the next day. I used to blame it on the work that I did while wearing the boots, but eventually decided the boots would cause it even without the work.

    I’m probably not the only aging male on here that wears shoes from too long ago ’cause they’re still fine. But they wear out, become stiff instead of shock absorbing, and become worn in a way that no longer supports our bones correctly. The resulting misalignment causes all kinds of pain.

    and I noticed that if I spend too much time in this chair, I’ll get shoulder and back pain. Even though I have a good chair, and a reasonably good ergonomic setup.

    In other words, look for an environmental trigger……

    nick

  55. medium wave says:

    1.) No OTC meds even making a dent in back/sciatic notch pain.

    My neighbor slipped and fell on some black ice many years ago and injured her sciatic nerve thereby. Her PCP prescribed gabapentin and she claims it really does the trick; however, as the years have passed, she’s had to take increasingly larger doses to acheive the same effect.

    My neurologist tells me that gabapentin is a relatively innocuous drug. Too bad it doesn’t seem to do much for the numbness in my feet, a lament that I’ve heard from others with similar symptons. 🙁

  56. SteveF says:

    Nick, I can’t believe you wrote that without giving a trigger warning. I need a safe space!

  57. nick says:

    I count on my trigger to keep my space safe 🙂

    n

  58. As regards the side effects of gabapentin, there’s a reason people call it Morontin.

  59. OFD says:

    I’ve been trying regular Ibuprofen, Aleve and now Motrin. Not much change. I was told that if I’d gone in when it first hit, they might have tried a steroid shot, but too late now. Only anti-inflammatories and various little exercises. I’m not gonna live like this forever, I know that much. This has to be fixed ASAP.

  60. MrAtoz says:

    Don’t forget “Doan’s Little Pills”. Do they still make those?

    How about physical therapy? Deep tissue massage.*

    Best if done by two Vietnamese hookers who know their way around a cock.

  61. OFD says:

    I’ll take a look for Doan’s Wittle Pills just for the helluvit. And I’ll have Mrs. OFD try the massage thing, also just for the helluvit, since no VC hookers in the AO here that I know of, plus if you go for the in-and-out thang, you gotta be careful of razor blades in there.

  62. SteveF says:

    There no cure like the original patent medicine: gen-u-ine snake oil. It’ll cure what ails ya.

  63. nick says:

    Or you could use existing technologies like winmail over HF, or

    http://www.broadband-hamnet.org/ modified wi-fi gear at high power on the ham portions of the 2.4 Ghz spectrum…

    no need to reinvent the wheel.

    nick

    (lots of old satellite tv antennas available cheap that will get more range out of the link, but for 48USD per end, you can get a tiny ubiquiti Nanostation with 10km range)

  64. SteveF says:

    Winmail can solve OFD’s back pain? Wow, Microsoft really is the answer to every problem, isn’t it?

  65. nick says:

    Ah yes, it can. I’m sure someone in Nigeria could do it, and for a very reasonable sum….

    nick

    (winmail being a ham thing not a M$ thing, of course….)

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