Sunday, November 30, 2014

Need Firearms Training? Call Terry

I am currently having back massaged in my office chair by one of the many useful gadgets from Terry's astonishing collection of physical therapy tools.  Do you need to take one of the trainuing classes for concealed carry.  Consider throwing your business Terry's way.

Recently Read

Rod Howard The Fabulist : The Incredible Story of Louis de Rougemont (2006).  In 1898, Louis de Rougemont showed up in London to tell an incredible story of spending 30 years as a castaway on the northwest coast of Australia after a shipwreck, where he was taken in by cannibalistic aborigines who made  him their king instead of dinner.  While there were some skeptics, in short order he won over enough od the scientific establishment that the Royal Geographic Society and other prestige organizations had him speak about his discoveries.  Further inquiries subsequently blew huge holes in his claims, and he was eventually exposed as a fraud, although some of his more bizarre claims eventually turned out to be true: he had spent considerable time among northwest Australian aborigines.  Howard's book details the story of his dramatic, largely fictional claims, and the journalistic efforts exposing him as a Swiss-Australian con man named Henri Grien.

 Bruce Feiler Walking the Bible: A Journey by Land Through the Five Books of Moses (2005).  You may recognize this as the book version of Feiler's PBS series.  Feiler starts as a very secular American Jew (he works for NPR) traveling the Middle East tracing the path of the Pentateuch in a search for literary meaning, but ends up profoundly moved by the experience into a sort of New Agey ecumenical sort of Judaism.  Part of what makes this book so  enjoyable even if you are not religious is his  sardonic observations about the current state of this part of the world,  He describes an Egyptian breakfast, and it helps to know that broiled tomatoes are part of a traditional English breakfast.
The Egyptian breakfast is not quite as plentiful as the Israeli, but it has a similar feel.  Plates of white and yellow cheeses, bowls of steamed plums, and lots o creamy things with spices that look like crawly insects sprawled on top.  Arabs like their spices still on the stem--oregano, coriander, fennel, cumin.  I practically had to chew through a crown of thorns to find my way to a broiled tomato: Take that, English imperialism.(p. 125)
Most of this was typed with both hands..  If you see any double letters from the right side of the keyboard it is  because pressing is easier than retracting.

The Little Signs of Progress

I used my right thumb and forefinger to pull up my pants zipper this morning.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Terrorists in Charge

Darren Wilson has resigned from Ferguson PD:

Wilson told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch he was stepping down out of his "own free will" after the police department told him it had received threats of violence if he remained an employee.

"I'm not willing to let someone else get hurt because of me," said Wilson, who had been with the department for six years.
Giving in to terrorists is never a good idea.  Imagine if the Yankees Dodgers had refused to let Jackie Robinson play because of threats. I am beginning to fear that Jefferson's famous quote about racial hatred has turned out to be true.

From Notes on the State of Virginia on why emancipation of the slaves would not work:
Deep rooted prejudices entertained by the whites; ten thousand recollections, by the blacks, of the injuries they have sustained; new provocations; the real distinctions which nature has made; and many other circumstances, will divide us into parties, and produce convulsions, which will probably never end but in the extermination of the one or the other race

And now Obama is meeting with Sharpton!

Gee, Why Didn't This Get More Coverage?

Black Residents Armed With Assault Rifles Stand Guard Outside White-Owned Business During Ferguson Riots
A group of black Ferguson residents armed with high-powered rifles stood outside a white-owned business in the city during recent riots, protecting it from rioters that looted and burned other businesses.
After a grand jury returned no indictment against Darren Wilson, the Ferguson police officer who shot and killed unarmed black teen Michael Brown, protesters took to the streets and the demonstrations quickly turned into rioting. Several buildings were set ablaze, but a group of heavily armed black men stood outside a Conoco gas station.

One of the residents, a 6-foot-8 man named Derrick Johnson, held an AR-15 assault rifle as he stood in a pickup truck near that store’s entrance. Three other black Ferguson residents joined Johnson in front of the store, each of them armed with pistols.


An Unperson: James Watson

From 11/28/14 Telegraph:
James Watson, the world-famous biologist who was shunned by the scientific community after linking intelligence to race, said he is selling his Nobel Prize because he is short of money after being made a pariah.
Mr Watson said he is auctioning the Nobel Prize medal he won in 1962 for discovering the structure of DNA, because "no-one really wants to admit I exist".
Auctioneer Christie’s said the gold medal, the first Nobel Prize to be sold by a living recipient, could fetch as much as $3.5m (£2.23m) when it is auctioned in New York on Thursday. The reserve price is $2.5m.
Mr Watson told the Financial Times he had become an “unperson” after he “was outed as believing in IQ” in 2007 and said he would like to use money from the sale to buy a David Hockney painting.
Mr Watson, who shared the 1962 Nobel Prize for uncovering the double helix structure of DNA, sparked an outcry in 2007 when he suggested that people of African descent were inherently less intelligent than white people....

Mr Watson said his income had plummeted following his controversial remarks in 2007, which forced him to retire from the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory on Long Island, New York. He still holds the position of chancellor emeritus there.

“Because I was an ‘unperson’ I was fired from the boards of companies, so I have no income, apart from my academic income,” he said.

As one of the comments points out:
Liberals have no problem believing that being gay is caused by genetics, but intelligence is not.

More Of Why Tech Firms Prefer Open Borders

From the 10/24/14 UK Register:
A successful Silicon Valley firm has admitted paying staff $1.21 an hour and working them for more than 120 hours a week.

State officials got involved when an anonymous tipster alerted them to the activities of Electronics For Imaging, an international business based in the Bay Area that specializes in printing technology.
The biz had flown in eight employees from a sub-office in India for a rush job to install new computer systems in the company's Fremont headquarters last September – and their bosses forgot about US and California labor laws.

"It is unacceptable to have employees working around-the-clock, over 100 hours per week, for such substandard wages," said Susana Blanco, district director for the Wage and Hour Division in San Francisco.
"Business owners need to understand that when they bring employees here to the United States to work, they must pay them in accordance with US labor laws."

Electronics For Imaging (EFI) said that due to an "administrative error" the Indian workers were only paid their standard Indian wage, albeit with a bonus once the job was done. The minimum wage in California is $9 an hour.

Any guesses why American media didn't jump all over this news story?

Suspiciously Like An Anti-French Joke

Driving a Corvette in winter Quebec,

The Evolution of Black Friday

A video showing Black Friday 1983:

Such progress we've made.

Attempting To Touch Type

I am attempting to touch type with both hands; the results are not pretty yet.  Let me try again.  
I stilll don't have the coordination in my right hand to do  this very accurately.

Exercise, Waist Reduction

My wife and I walked two miles yesterday.  Then I went and bought smaller pants: 34" waist, for the first time in perhaps 20 years.

Obamacare Failure

Gallup Poll reports that more Americans are delaying medical care because of the cost after Obamacare:
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- One in three Americans say they have put off getting medical treatment that they or their family members need because of cost. Although this percentage is in line with the roughly 30% figures seen in recent years, it is among the highest readings in the 14-year history of Gallup asking the question.
I suspect the enormous deductibles on the Obamacare plans is the reason. As usual, the progressives have mostly hurt the middle class, who they have nothing in common with.

Advice For Those Just Starting Your Careers

My son is finally eligible to participate in a 401(k) plan through his employer, and of course he came to me at Thanksgiving dinner for advice.  First important message: a 2% withholding from your paychech may sound like a lot of money out of the paycheck, but it really isn't.  The withholding for a 401(k) is taken out before taxes. so for most people a 2% reduction in gross pay will only be about a 1.3% reduction in net pay.  On a $500 paycheck, that's only $6.50 less pay.  You will see the change, but just barely.  One fewer meal out will cover it.  This also means if you have the choice to have 3% or 5% going to your 401(k), think very hard about doing so.  A 5% reduction in pretax pay is about $17.50 less in  the paycheck. 

When you get to be retirement age, that 2% withholding will be worth about $99,000, assuming a 7% growth of your 401(k), or $346,000 at a 12% growth rate.  A little little less spending now [roduces enormous returns in the future.

Friday, November 28, 2014

ScopeRoller Is Again Shiping Orders

I have finished packing ScopeRoller's first order since the stroke.  Now I just need to get all the customers that placed orders while I was in the hospital to replace those orders!

Buying Christmas Gifts Online?

Remember that if you buy through my Amazon search page, it puts money in my pocket.

Black Friday Strains Background Check System

The 11/28/14 Idaho Statesman reports that Black Friday gun sales are straining the background check system:
Black Friday opens the busiest season for gun purchases in the U.S., and there are concerns about an overload on the national system for background checks.

Requests for gun checks speed up to nearly two a second during the holiday shopping season, testing the limits of the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, or NICS.

Read more here:

NICS did about 58,000 checks on a typical day last year. That surged to 145,000 on Black Friday 2013. They're bringing in 100 more workers than usual for the post-Thanksgiving rush this year.
The call centers have no access to privileged information about buyers' backgrounds, and make no decisions. They just type in their name, address, birthdate, Social Security Number and other information into the system. On Black Fridays, the work can be grueling: One woman took a call that lasted four hours when a dealer phoned in the maximum 99 checks.

"Rules had to be stretched," recalled Sam Demarco, her supervisor. "We can't transfer calls. Someone had to sit in her seat for her while she went to the bathroom."

Read more here:

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Why America Has No Future

Heather McDonald's article about the microaggression farce, in which a professor corecting grammar and capitalization errors in a student paper is engaged in racist behavior.  Our best universities are headed down as this crap takes over.  And 11/25/14  Inside Higher Education  reports on a college president who suggested that heavy drinking is a factor in many rape accusations, to the horror of feminists.

Congress Can De-fund Amnesty

The November 26, 2014 Daily Mail reports:
Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, the Republican' top budget hawk, has unveiled a Nov. 21 memo from the Congressional Research Service (CRS) explaining that Congress can legally strip funding from America's immigration enforcement agency – including funds the agency raises on its own through fees it charges Americans and foreigners.

That news will put fuel in the tank of right-wingers who want to paint Obama into a corner when the GOP controls both houses of Congress in January.
Citing 'Congress's constitutional power over the purse,' the CRS – Capitol Hill's official nonpartisan research arm – instructed Sessions that lawmakers can pick and choose what executive branch agencies can spend money on. 
Good to hear.  republicans can defund INS and amnesty.  Even a large fraction of Democrats and Hispanics think this is a bad idea.

Today's Warped Idea

Wouldn't it be cool if people started showing up for Thanksgiving dinner deressed like Pilgrims?

Benefits of Flaxseed Oil

Someone at church told me of an acquaintance recovering from stroke who swore by flaxseed oil.  While I could not find any papers about flaxseed oil and stroke, there are a lot of papers demonstrating positive effects on cardiovascular health from flaxseed oil supplements.

UPDATE: Good warning from a reader: should not be used with blood thinners.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

One Of Our Neighbors Is Building His Dream House

Nice Nap This Afternoon: You Can Tell Who's In Charge

Folding Socks One-Handed

Among today's adventures are figuring out how to fold socks, with only functional use of one hand.  It isn't pretty, but put one sock of the pair on the right hand fingers, then put the other sock on the left hand, then bend the right sock onto the left sock, and slowly twirl them together with the left hand.  It doesn't produce perfectly rolled socks, but it is better than using your teeth as the right hand substitute.  Less nylon in the teeth.

New York Times Encouraging Lynching?

The New York Times published enough information to find Officer Darren Wilson's home:
The house number was not printed in the Times, but the street in the St. Louis suburb of Crestwood where it sits is only about two blocks long, and the house number can be easily located via online sources using only the street name and Wilson’s name.
This at a time when black racists are offeroing to pay $5000 for his address.  Effectively, the New York Times is assisting those interested in lynching Wilson.  In response, the home address and phone numbers of the reporters who wrote that story are now available here.   I hope that they learn something from this.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Some Things Never Change


And this has been true in most race riots in America.  The black entrepreneurs are who gets burned out by the savages.  I notice from the news coverage that many of the demonstrators are white college age kids, victims of the left's domination of higher education.

Buying Smaller Clothes

My wife and I went to Assistance League of Boise thrift store today to buy smaller dress shirts.  Many of my dress shirts look like I went to Abdul the Tentmaker for them.

I Do Not Deserve A Wife This Wonderful

Everyone thinks they have a great wife, until she becomes the ex-wife, but I feel especially fortunate to have my wife.  She has been with me through this trial, caring for me, feeding me, paying bills and managing the finances, massaging my right arm in the hop[es of bringing it back to life, dealing with car and housae repairs, and doing it all with tremendously good spirits.  She says it's payback for taking such good care of her and the kids, so that she was able to stay home and raise them while completing her degrees.  A very fair trade, I thunk.

Catching Up

It has been a busy couple of days.  Boise LCD Repair turned out not to be at the address on their website, so I took the monitor to Northwind Computer repair, who charged me nothing to replace a bad power cord feeding into the power brick.  Great guys at Northwind.

Then I wen t to physical therapy where I put on the Edward Scissorhands device and moved 150 foam balls.  By the I was done, I was exhausted, but I can now move my right arm above shoulder height, and a long ways behind my body.

I had a followup visit with my urologist, a year and a half after kidney stone removal, and explained the strrage sensation of a full bladder that I could not empty is really the braihn not sensing the full bladder nerve correctly.  The nurse had a gadget for inspecting the fullness of my bladder ultrasonically.  I had 61 ml inside.  Of course, there were two abdominal XC-rays.  I have enormous confidence with all the imaging that has been done the last two years that there can't be any growing cancers, or someone would have seen them!

Monday, November 24, 2014


I was able to open the door to the garage with my right hand.  I can now button my pants with my left and right hands.

Another Mass Shooting Caused By Mental Health System Failure

From 11/21/14 Tampa Bay Times:
By this point, on Oct. 8 — six weeks before May would walk into the Strozier Library on the FSU campus, level a handgun and start shooting, wounding three — May's friends had tried at least three times to get him the care he desperately needed. Every time, they were told, he didn't qualify for that care.

In interviews with the Tampa Bay Times on Friday, May's friends described their frustrations over the past three months with the area's mental health care system, one that couldn't save May despite desperate pleas from loved ones who watched him dissolve into paranoia before their eyes.

"You have to commit a crime to get the help you need. Why isn't it the reverse?" said Kimberly Snagg, a Houston lawyer who described May as one of her best friends. "This could have been avoided. The entire thing."

By late summer, May had begun acting strangely, his friends said. He was worried his neighbors were watching him. He heard them talking about him through the walls of his apartment.

It was alarming to his friends, but it was nothing, they said, compared to what was still to come.
May told his friends that the officers at the Las Cruces Police Department laughed at him when he showed up on the morning of Sept. 7 to make a bizarre report: Someone was watching him through a camera hidden in his apartment. And he was hearing voices coming in through the walls as he bathed.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Studded Snow Tires: I Love Them!

We came back from dinner last night after freezing rain started.  It was very reassuring to climb our driveway/glacier in the making with studded snow tires on.

Friday, November 21, 2014

The 23" Monitor That Failed

I found a place in Boise that does a flat $40 repair.  Well see how that goes on Monday.  Shockingly enough 27" monitors are  now about the cost I paid for the 23" monitor two years ago.

Slow Progess

I am reading through Statues at Large of South Carolina, vol. 3 at the moment.  Very slow.  I love some of these regional names.  "A bill for building a bridge over Ashepoo River."  Amazing, I keep finding gunsmiths, this case at 3:511.  And at 4:69. 4:200, 203, 225, 280.

Unexpected Progress

This morning I successfully held the underarm deodorant in my right hand for application to the left underarm.  For several months I have been doing this with the left hand.  I am fairly double jointed, which makes it possible to do the left underarm from the left hand.

More High-Tech Immigrants

I see that it was expected that the executive orders from King Barack were expected to include more opprtunities for tech workers.  After all why would employers hire Americans to do those jobs?

The Myth of Hispanic Support for Open Borders

November 20, 2014 Washington Examiner reports on Latino public opinion concerning Obama's executive order:

The Wall Street Journal-NBC News poll, released Wednesday, asked respondents, "Do you approve or disapprove of the president taking executive action on immigration, or do you not know enough to have an opinion at this time?" Overall, 48 percent of those surveyed said they disapprove of Obama's action, versus 38 percent who said they approve and 13 percent who said they didn't have an opinion or weren't sure.

Among Latinos, more approve than disapprove, but not by a terribly large margin. According to a breakdown provided by the pollsters, 43 percent of Latino respondents said they approved of the president's actions, versus 37 percent who disapproved and 20 percent who said they didn't have an opinion or weren't sure.

A six-percentage-point margin of approval is far short of overwhelming. A higher number of Latinos, 56 percent, told pollsters they would support congressional action on the issue, and 69 percent supported the idea of a pathway to citizenship for those now here illegally. But a core of Latinos opposed those measures too: 32 percent opposed congressional action, and 30 percent opposed a pathway.
Remember that Latinos already here will be competing for jobs with illegals, sending their kids to the same overcrowded schools, and many Latinos actually immigrated legally, and resent the line-cuuters.  Progressives support this crap because they need a Democratic majority, and they aborted most of a generation of blacks who were their natural constituency.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

A Testimonial To Prozac

Along with helping me overcome depression, the anxiety attacks that were plaguing me in the middle of the night shortly after leaving  the hospital are gone.    You have no idea how gratifying that is.

Big Democratic Fundraiser Arrested On Pedophile Charges

From 11/20/14 USA Today:
On Wednesday, Portland, Ore. police arrested Terrence Patrick Bean, who has been charged with two felony counts of having sex with a minor last year. This man is not just any old guy accused of having sex with a 15-year-old – he's a big-money Democratic donor and liberal political activist with connections inside the Obama White House. Bean raised more than a half-million dollars for Obama's 2012 re-election campaign.
"Bean has been one of the state's biggest Democratic donors and an influential figure in gay rights circles in the state," reports "He helped found two major national political groups, the Human Rights Campaign and the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund and has been a major contributor for several Democratic presidential candidates, including Barack Obama."

The scandal is escalating. Thursday, according to local media, Kiah Loy Lawson, allegedly 66-year-old Bean's 25-year-old former boyfriend, was arrested by the Portland Sex Crimes Unit for sexually abusing the same boy. After the relationship between the two men ended, Lawson went public with claims that Bean had a practice of secretly videotaping himself having sex with others.

​This story was first reported by the local press, and there have been vague references to sexual trouble for Bean and Lawson since June, but the national media has not picked it up. That oversight is politically convenient for President Obama as he tries to pull off one of his riskiest political moves ever with his amnesty executive order.
Remember, suggesting a connection between gay rights and pedophilia is jusat homophobia.

Stupid Electrical Fault

When trying to recharge the Jaguar's battery over the weekend, something went wrong with the charger, and it shorted from one of the cables to the body.  The resulting short melted through the insulation melting the wires into one of the front headlight covers.  Until I can get this into the dealer for replacement, I have sealed the hole with some silicone sealant.


Waiting for Big O to snow tire the Jaguar meant killning abou 3 1/2 hours.  My wife and I must have walked 2-3 miles through the snow in downtown Boise.  Especially on a sub-freezing day , that burned lots of calories.


By Maria Doria Russell.  This is a historical novel, in every sense of the word.  While it feels inpeccably researched, and many aspects of its portrayal of postbellum America appeal to me as an historian, there many aspects that are clearly novel.  It is an attempt to explain the world of "Doc" Holliday, gambler and dentist, in the years before Tombstone and the shootout at the O.K. Corral.  It has a sobering portrait of Doc as a young man dying slowly of tuberculosis of the lungs, at a time when the best medicine could do was tell the patient to move to the Southwest, eat better, and rest.  I really enjoyed it.

Jaguar Claws

Another lost to having Big O downtown putting studded snow tires on a vehicle, today the Jaguar X-type.  I asked Rhonda as we were driving home if they were working better than the all-season radials on it before, and she just extended her right hand nails as if to say, the Jaguuar now has claws with which to get traction.  By the time we put the all-season radials back on both cars, I should be driving again, and we can do both cars on the same day.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Okay, I Won't Complain About Our Snow

When I see pictures like these from upstate New York:

Studded Snow Tires Are My Friends

Big O Tires in downtown Boise  installed the Firestone studded snow tires today, and what a difference.  My wife is still the only driver in the house, but she reports much greater confidence when driving on icy surfaces (which is all there around here now).  Even as a passenger I feel much more confident on the icy patches, like our driveway, and the studded tires certainly break up ice in the driveway.  Tomorrow, the Jaguar gets studded snow tires.  I am not crazy enough to try this on the Corvette.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Is It a Bad Sign When You Need A 10 Port USB Hub?

This is what I had before:

And I needed to plug in another USB device, a headset because the microphone input jack is not working.
So I bought this.

UPDATE: An unexpected benefit.  The 1TB external drive has never allowed the PC to boot while it is connected.  Because this is a USB 3.0 hub, it now boots just fine with the drive connected.

IP Address Conflict

The PC I normally blog from is having problems. never responds from Firefox, and trying to ping gives unreliable results.  I flushed the DNS cache, on that PC, and other PCs sharing this router are not having any problems.  One of the other PCs complains about IP Address Conflict.  But for some reason, I can't access the router to see where the conflict is.  Suggestions?  I noticed that Windows 7 had installed some updates just before this started.  I am doing a restore to yesterday.'s version.  Suggestions?

System Restore helped, but ping  still is losing packets intermittently.  I can't even reliably ping the router.  Try new cable? Yet some IP addresses on the other side of the router respond fine.  Yet I can ping the router just fine from the Linux box through the wireless side.

This gets stranger and stranger.  Now that I have disconnected from my wired Ethernet connection, it seems to work.  Bad cable?  Bad socket on the router?  I'm not sure.

It also appears that my 23" external monitor has givenh.

Great Moments in Irony

From 11/18/14 Daily Caller:
Environmentalists argue that Keystone will harm the environment and contribute to global warming. So they bundled up to withstand the frigid blast of Arctic weather and protest against Democrats who have pledged to vote in favor of legislation approving the $8 billion Keystone XL pipeline.

Writing a Novel Is So Much Easier Than Scholarly History

Once you have the essential idea for a novel sketched out, it writes itself.  You just need a certain level of internal consistency and versimilitude to make it work

Where's My Global Warming?

From November 16, 2014 Idaho Statesman:

We're only midway through November, and winter weather records in Boise are falling left and right.
Temperatures at the Boise Airport bottomed out at 6 degrees Monday morning, breaking a 134-year-old record of 7 degrees set on Nov. 17, 1880.

Sunday was a record-breaker, too. The 4-degree low broke the previous record for that date of 5 degrees, set in 1955.

Tuesday morning also could set another record by breaking the 7-degree low set in 1985. As of 8 p.m. Monday, however, the forecast called for an overnight low of 8 degrees.
And it isn't just Idaho.  From 11/17/14 Washington Post:
A strong cold front is pushing through the contiguous U.S. early this week, bringing a blast of snow for many, and an Arctic chill for most. Over 50 percent of the Lower 48 is covered in snow on Monday morning, the most this early in the year in at least a decade.

After a series of powerful early-November winter storms, snow extends as far south as West Texas on Monday morning, according to NOAA’s National Snow Analysis. The Texas Panhandle is covered by up to four inches of snow, and a trace to two inches coats areas further south, including Dallas and Ft. Worth, as well as Lubbock, Abilene, and Odessa.

Read more here:

Monday, November 17, 2014

Terrorism Runs Both Ways

One of those organizing the protestors in Ferguson explains:
And I also think we’re not going to get change in this society unless white people are just a little bit afraid.

This is a really effective method to strengthen the Klan.  It also explains why progressives are so big on disarming the masses: scared people will  go along with whatever lame program is supposed to stop race riots if they can't defend themselves.

Social Security Disability

I talked to my case worker today.  He has been out with pneumonia for two weeks, and not much has happened.  I pressed him to check with my neurologist and get a decision made.  If I considered disabled, my employer will want to start looking for a replacement.  If not, I am going to have to figure out how to get my work done with only working left hand.  Perhaps I can borrow one from my Social Security case worker.  In the meantime, I am training a neighbor as a machinist for ScopeRoller, and writing a science fiction novel, one that will be to science fiction what Quo Vadis? was to historical fiction.

A Miserably Wet & Cold Day Out There

The Jaguar has required two jump starts this year, and looking at the battery I realized that this the original factory battery in a 2007 car, so we ran down to Big O Tires in Eagle tobe taken advantage of on price.  The advantage on snow tires was so outrageous that I just ordered a set for the Jaguar from  The Sun has melted most of the snow on our driveway, but freezing rain expected on Friday, so I need a studded solution to make the Jaguar able to climb and descend the driveway.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Radio Free Albemuth

This is the film version of Philip K. Dick's last  novel.  My wife wasn't thrilled with it. I found it interesting, even if it seems like much of it is Dick's attempt to put a positive spin on paranoia, and drug abuse.   You could easily see see the first 2/3 of the film as the story of a young man spinning into a paranoid schizophrenic breakdown, until you find out the aliens really are transmitting signals to his brain.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Who Is Driving Immigration Amnesty

The November 14, 2014 New York Times reports on the big money funding immigration amnesty.  No surprise, progressivism is a rich person's game.

Another Great Success For Obama

The November 15, 2014 New Yoyk Times reports on another great success of Obama and progressive politics:
Philip Rushton has been selling private jets to the global rich for more than three decades. In just about every economic cycle, sales of small jets and big jets tended to move together — rising and falling with financial markets and fortunes of the wealthy.

Now, however, the jet market is splitting in two. Sales of the largest, most expensive private jets — including private jumbo jets — are soaring, with higher prices and long waiting lists. Smaller, cheaper jets, however, are piling up on the nation’s private-jet tarmacs with big discounts and few buyers....

According a jet market report from Citi Private Bank, deliveries of new so-called light jets — the smaller, cheaper models — were down 17 percent last year from 2012 and 67 percent from their 2008 peak. But deliveries of the biggest new private jets jumped 18 percent last year.
Demand for billionaires’ most coveted jet, the $65 million G650 from Gulfstream, is so strong that some G650 owners are now flipping their planes for millions of dollars in profit just months after buying them. Bernie Ecclestone, the Formula One auto-racing promoter and billionaire, flipped his for about $72 million last fall — just weeks after he received it.
Of course this is what progressivism has always been about, making the super-rich even richer.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Salem (2014)

Netflix had this series and I started watching it.  At first glance, it almost looked like it was going down the PTSD explanation of Mary Beth Norton's In the Devil's Snare.  But then it went down its own ahistorical path.   If you want to take an existing poorly documented event and make up your own history, or make minor revisions to fit your theme, like Henry Miller's The Crucible, reimagining the witch trials as McCarthyism.

Thirty Hours of Continuous Snowfall

Absolutely Awful

In The Garden of Beasts

Just finished reading this book.  It is about history professor William Dodd, appointed as ambassador to Nazi Germany in 1933, and the strange diplomatic and personal tanglings of Dodd and his family while they were there.  His daughter Martha dated the head of the Gestapo at the start of Hitler's reign, an NKVD agent assigned to the Soviet Embassy, and all sorts of other interesting and often dangerous characters.  What is quite interesting in how easily progressives like Dodd and especially Martha at first managed to find something very positive about the National Socialist revolution.  All this change, and rejection of bourgeois values!  Martha eventually became a minor Soviet agent, and she and her husband fled the U.S. after being subpoenaed by HUAC, eventually dying in Prague.

Erik Larson calls this "novelistic history", but I would not agree.  It is powerfully sourced, and awash in details from primary sources.  The title comes from the fact that much of it takes places in the Tiergarten section of Berlin, and also a commentary on who took over Germany.

How Bad Is It Snowing?

My wife's attempts to plow the road have her 4WD stuck part-way up the driveway.  She is attempting to put chains on it now.

UPDATE: Trying to put chains on in deep snow.  That was silly.  Maybe it's time for studded snow tires.  I just ordered some studded ice/snow tires from

Westminster's Tobacco Ban

It appears that the crowd who showed up to speak became "unruly":
A public Board of Health meeting Wednesday night was cut short after the standing room only crowd began to chant in protest of the ban. The meeting was held in a school cafeteria rather than the usual cramped conference room at Town Hall.

Only a handful of the dozens who wanted to speak did.

“I find smoking to be one of the most disgusting habits anybody could possibly do. On top of that, I find this proposal to be even more of a disgusting thing,” resident Kevin West said at the meeting.

Obamacare Destroying Rural Hospitals?

November 12, 2014 USA Today reports that rural hospitals are being driven under by Obamacare:
Since the beginning of 2010, 43 rural hospitals — with a total of more than 1,500 beds — have closed, according to data from the North Carolina Rural Health Research Program. The pace of closures has quickened: from 3 in 2010 to 13 in 2013, and 12 already this year. Georgia alone has lost five rural hospitals since 2012, and at least six more are teetering on the brink of collapse. Each of the state's closed hospitals served about 10,000 people — a lot for remaining area hospitals to absorb.

The Affordable Care Act was designed to improve access to health care for all Americans and will give them another chance at getting health insurance during open enrollment starting this Saturday. But critics say the ACA is also accelerating the demise of rural outposts that cater to many of society's most vulnerable. These hospitals treat some of the sickest and poorest patients — those least aware of how to stay healthy. Hospital officials contend that the law's penalties for having to re-admit patients soon after they're released are impossible to avoid and create a crushing burden.

We Have A Couple Feet of Snow This Morning

My wife is out plowing the snow.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Admiiting Your Neighbors Lack Self-Control

Gateway Pundit gives examples of the warnings being sent out by local governments around Ferguson, Missouri out of fear of the grand jury decision:
The City of Berkeley, near Ferguson, released this statement warning residents to stock up on water, food and medicine before the verdict is announced.
*Make sure you have plenty of bottled water (a gallon per person per day), and non-perishable, easy-to-access food in case you cannot get to a local store for a few days.

Essentially, a statement that they think the black community is going to riot, and civilization will briefly end.

Global Warming. Where Art Thou?

These are the times that I am glad this house is so well-insulated.

Nothing To Worry About

At my doctor's office yesterday, there was a sign on the front door that said, "If you have travelled to West Africa in the last 30 days and are sick, do not enter.  Stay in the parking lot and call [office number]"

Major Victory in 9th Circuit

Peruta v. County of San Diego (0th Cir, 2014) was decided a while back in favor of shall-issue on conceqled carry permits, the California A-G and the Brady Campaign both file an appeal asking permission of the 9th Circuit to file an appeal defending the current law.  The 9th Circuit said too late.  the existing decision holds.  This also means there is a circuit split about whether the Second Amendment requires shall-issue, meaning the Supreme Court might well hear an appeal.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Good News

I have been a little concerned about gaining weight, now that I am feeling so much better since my neurologist increased my Prozac to 40 mg per day.  But I went back to my GP today, and I weighed exactly what I did three weeks ago.  That's encouraging!

Long-Term Effects of Marijuana on the Brain

I posted a while back about how legalizing marijuana may be self-limiting politically as a generation that sees pot smoking as really important are more likely to sit out future elections, unless states move the polling places to pot stores (I should not even suggest that).  This November 10, 2004 Washington Post article about a new study of pot's effects on the brain is doing its best to put a positive spin on it:
Researchers at the Center for Brain Health at the University of Texas in Dallas sought to clear up some of the confusion with a study that looked at a relatively large group of marijuana users and evaluated their brains for a slew of different indicators....

What they found was complex, but the pattern was clear: The brains of marijuana users were different than those of non-marijuana users. The area of the brain responsible for establishing the reward system that helps us survive and also keeps us motivated was smaller in users than in non-marijuana users. But there was also evidence that the brain compensated for this loss of
Relative to other studies, this one had a fairly large sample size; it also excluded participants who had symptoms of psychosis, brain injury or neurological disorders in order to reduce the likelihood that the tests would pick up on other confounding factors. And it looked at three brain characteristics: the volume of the orbitofrontal cortex, how connected that part of the brain was to other areas, and the structural integrity of the white matter.

"We found that while the orbitofrontal cortex was smaller, there was greater functional and structural connectivity," said Filbey. "The white matter seemed to have greater integrity than the [non-marijuana using group]. And the connection between the orbitofrontal cortex and other areas were stronger."

 This November 11, 2014 CNN report points out:
Filbey said the people who regularly used marijuana had IQ's that were five points lower, on average, than the nonusers in the study, although there is no definitive proof that marijuana alone was to blame for the lower IQ.
Just think, a whole nation like Jamaica!  No wonder Democrats like the idea of legalizing pot.

This November 10, 2014 Los Angeles Times article about the study points out:
Researchers noted that the IQ of the marijuana-using group was significantly lower than that of the non-using group--not a finding of the study, but an incidental factor that might be indirectly linked to marijuana use.

and that the brain structure differences, inability to make good decisions, might cause the heavy pot smoking.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

A Neighbor's Stroke Story

I had a chance totalk to one of my neighnors today.  He was inquiring about my recovery,during he explained that he had a stroke two years ago, and now considers himself fully recovered except for a tendency towards vertigo.  This is encouraging.

Cold Weather

Th polar vortex is coning to most of North America, or maybe not, but it will get very cold:

CHICAGO (CBS) – Keep your hat and scarf handy. You might not need them this morning, but you’ll be thankful you have them this afternoon and tonight, as temperatures are expected to drop as much as 25 degrees by Wednesday morning.

Tuesday morning started off mild, with normal mid-autumn temperatures of around 50 degrees at sunrise. Even that was a few degrees cooler than overnight, when it was as warm as 58 degrees at midnight.
Though most of the morning should stay mild, there’s a chance of rain for a few hours before noon. Then, as winds pick up in the afternoon, they’ll bring a blast of cold air, sending temperatures plunging below freezing, though the rain should be gone before it can turn to snow.

By sunrise Wednesday, temperatures will have fallen to about 25 degrees.

It is 28 outside right now here.

Doomsday Bunkers

One of the programs I watched while in the hospital was Doomsday Preppers, which followed the survival preparations of a diverse group of survivalists.  There was another show following a company that builds high end survival shelters.  What struck me about both shows is what these shows tell us about the loss of confidence in the future that they reveal, and especially the loss of confidence in civil government.  One of the guys featured had bought a nuclear missile silo and was converting it into survival condos for rich people.  He seems to have been a success.  From November 9, 2014 Wall Street Journal:
Mr. Hall, who lives in a Denver suburb, bought his first missile-silo site in Kansas in 2008 and completed construction in December 2012. A year later, he says, the development had sold out. Work on the second security compound—the one where Mr. Allen bought a unit—is under way, and Mr. Hall says he is considering additional sites in Texas and elsewhere.

As former nuclear missile sites built under the supervision of the Army Corps of Engineers, the structures were originally designed to withstand a direct hit by a nuclear bomb. At ground level, they can be sealed up by two armored doors weighing 16,000 pounds each. Mr. Hall added sophisticated water and air-treatment facilities, state-of-the-art computer network technology and several alternate power generation capabilities.
This seems to be a pretty serious indictment of the left's promise to fundamentally transform America. There is even a website devoted to sale of such hardened sites.

Some Changes Can't Be Undone

I have posted here before about the large number of people who have had sex change operations and later regretted it, many trying to reverse the procedure with yet another sex-change, which often does not work well.  From the Federalist:

But the difference between Love and the guy with phantom penis syndrome is that the guy isn’t allowed to talk about his regret. Not openly. The transgender lobby actively polices and suppresses discussion of sex-change regret, and claims it’s rare (no more than “5 percent.”) However, if you do decide to “de-transition” to once again identify with the sex in your DNA, talking about it will get you targeted by trans activists. So it’s a challenge to understand the scope of regret for sex change surgery. It’s out there, but…
‘It’s Genital Mutilation’Let’s start with Alan Finch, a resident of Australia who decided when he was 19 to transition from male to female, and in his 20s had genital surgery. But then, at age 36, Finch told the Guardian newspaper in 2004:
. . . transsexualism was invented by psychiatrists. . . .You fundamentally can’t change sex … the surgery doesn’t alter you genetically. It’s genital mutilation. My ‘vagina’ was just the bag of my scrotum. It’s like a pouch, like a kangaroo. What’s scary is you still feel like you have a penis when you’re sexually aroused. It’s like phantom limb syndrome. It’s all been a terrible misadventure. I’ve never been a woman, just Alan . . . the analogy I use about giving surgery to someone desperate to change sex is it’s a bit like offering liposuction to an anorexic.
Finch went on to sue the Australian gender identity clinic at Melbourne’s Monash Medical Center for misdiagnosis. He also was involved in starting an outreach to others called “Gender Menders.” The reaction from the transgender community was fast, furious, and abusive, particularly in the discussion forum as described in Sheila Jeffrey’s book, “Gender Hurts.”
One of the accounts reminds me of a tragedy from long ago:

Another heart-wrenching story, of a female-to-male transgender, is that of Nancy Verhelst in Belgium. She was aghast after her surgery, saying she felt more like a “monster” than a man. She also spoke of her sad childhood, in which her mother rejected her in favor of her brothers, and isolated little Nancy in a room over the garage. Nancy was so distraught that she asked doctors to put her to death under Belgium’s lax euthanasia laws. They coldly complied.

I have written in the past of a  woman my wife and I talked to in the 1980s whose husband had grown up being dressed as a little girl by a mother who desparately wanted a daughter, with a hypermacho Marine father.  As you might expect he grew up with gender identity problems, and was now intent on a sex-change, encouraged by his pastor to do so.

Unfortunately, the mass media are promoting transgender as part of their campaign to promote the idea that all forms of sex are specially favored, and any disapproval is narrow-minded.

Monday, November 10, 2014


My depression is somewhat clearing.  I have started reading In the Garden of the Beasts about the U.S. Ambassador to Germany at the start of the Nazi Era.  Here is today's right hand motion:

Liberals Showing How Classy They Are

From Campus Reform:
A student at Dartmouth College asked Texas Governor Rick Perry Sunday if he would accept anal sex in exchange for $102 million in campaign contributions.

Senior Emily Sellers, a member of The Dartmouth, the official campus newspaper, posed the question to confront Perry’s stance on homosexuality. Another student, Timothy Messen, accused Perry of comparing homosexuality to alcoholism.

Suicide Bombing in Nigeria

From November 10, 2014 Fox News:
A suicide bomber has killed at least 48 students at a high school assembly in northeastern Nigeria, witnesses say.

Survivors told the Associated Press that the explosives detonated Monday morning during the weekly assembly at the Government Technical Science College in Potiskum, capital of the Yobe state. They also said that the bomber was disguised in a school uniform and carried the explosives in a rucksack commonly used by students.

An estimated 2,000 students had gathered in the school's hall at the time of the blast.

Hospital workers say dozens are being treated and amputations are likely, while a morgue worker told the AP that at least 48 people had died.

Soldiers rushed to the grisly scene, but were chased away by people throwing stones, angry at the military's inability to halt a 5-year-old Islamic insurgency that has killed thousands and driven hundreds of thousands from their homes.

The region has been in the grip of fighting between government forces and Boko Haram, whose name, roughly translated, means "Western education is forbidden." A suicide bomber last week killed 30 people in the same city, Potiskum, the Yobe state capital.
There is no compromise with Islamic terrorists.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Ubuntu 14

Any reason not to upgrade from Ubuntu 12 to 14.  I am blogging from the dining room on my Ubuntu box.

Liberals At Work: Massachusetts Town Discussing Ban On Tobacco Sales

November 9, 2014 AP reports on Westminister, Mass.:
WESTMINSTER, Mass. (AP) -- The cartons of Marlboros, cans of Skoal and packs of Swisher Sweets are hard to miss stacked near the entrance of Vincent's Country Store, but maybe not for much longer: All tobacco products could become contraband if local health officials get their way.
This sleepy central Massachusetts town of 7,700 has become an improbable battleground in America's tobacco wars. On Wednesday, the Board of Health will hear public comment on a proposed regulation that could make Westminster the first municipality in the United States to ban sales of all tobacco products within town lines. 
"To my knowledge, it would be the first in the nation to enact a total ban," said Thomas Carr, director of national policy at the American Lung Association. "We commend the town for doing it.
The own's health director is justifying it "for the kids".  The fact is that any argument for banning tobacco applies to marijuana as well, but liberals will never use the same reasoning to ban the drug thatis now the common cultural glue for three generations of Americans.

Planet of the Apes

I was surprised to find that the novel was written by Pierre Boulle, who also wrote The Bridge Over the River Kwai.  The movie does not follow the book, which has a framing story of two honeymooners, travelling through space, who find the story as a message in a bottle.  Once into the interior story, it seems to match pretty well.

The 40mg of Prozac has really made a difference.  I am most of the way through  Planet of the Apes, able to read and enjoy a book for the first time in months.

Done!  Not at all the ending of the movie.  There is a very hairy surprise ending.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Progress: Most Americans Think Guns Make Homes Safer

An October Gallup Poll finds that 63% of Americans believe a gun makes a home safer.  That is an astonishing change in perceptions.  I am guessing that growing in such homes plays a big part.  To be fair, much of the old view I think reflected some very dysfunctional homes, like a secretary with whom I worked at HP.  Her father was an alcoholic hunter, and the practices in her home were dreadful.

Testing Video

This is how much right arm and hand motion I have!

Education Levels By State

Some Idahoans are quite upset that Idahoans elected a Republican as Superintendent of Public Instruction as some sign that Idahoans only care about whether there is an R or D after their name.  No question about that.  To my suprise, Idahoans are pretty well educated.  On average they are more likely high school grads than the country as a  whole, and 23.9% have a bachelor's degree or better, better than Oregon or Washington, both Democrat strongholds..

Downside of Losing Weight

I have lost my natural seat cushion.  Sitting on car seats is less comfortable than before.  I managed to get into the bathtub last night, and I could feel my hip bones against the tub.