Wednesday, December 31, 2014


At physical therapy yesterday, one of the therapists wrapped my hand as though I was applying for a hand model job for The Mummy.  The goal was to reduce swelling by forcing fluid back to the lymphatic system.  It seems to have worked!

I May have to Rethink My Concern about H1Bs

A December 20, 2014 Fortune interview with Jesse Jackson:
We need to get rid of H1B workers. There are Americans who can do that work, and H1B workers are cheaper and undercut wages. We need more computer science scholarships. When I was a kid, I remember being mortified by Sputnik, but in a few months everything was STEM [science, technology engineering and math]. You took STEM classes and you got a scholarship. We trained people, we gave them jobs, we became the best in the world.
We need to put pressure on the system to open up.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Today's Obscure USB Question

I have mentioned in the past that my antique would not boot reliably if the 1 TB external drive was plugged into the USB port.  I am having similar problems with a USB mouse and keyboard now with the ThinkPad.  I now suspect the real issue is that all the USB devices are sharing a 10-port USB hub, and the real issue is how long it takes for these devices to respond to both Windows and BIOS autodiscovery.  My guess is that sharing the USB cable from PC to hub, means that the PC sends a broadcast message to all downstream USB devices, and waits for a response, and while it takes many seconds for Windows, that is probably too long for the BIOS.

UPDATE: Direct connection of drives to USB port solves the problem.  I have a 5-port hub as well that I will use for the external drives.

Moving Art

Louie Schwartzberg has a number of nature films on Netflix under the title Moving Art, which are just achingly beautiful.  Remember the end of Soylent Green where Edward G. Robinson's character goes to be euthanized, and he is asked if he wants a religious or classical send-off?  They show him films of the beauty of an Earth that no longer exists?  That's what these are like: time lapse photography of various parts of nature set to classical music.  Think of it as nature porn.

USB 3,0 on ThinkPad

It turns out that there is a USB 3.0 device driver for the ThinkPad that you have to download from Lenovo's web site to hook up my USB 3.0 hub.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

My 4GB RAM Upgrade Arrived

Managed to get installed on the second try.  Suddenly my antique HP DV5126 feels slow!

Ask Questions and Endanger Your Career

From Watts Up With That?:
Mike Wallace is a hydrologist with nearly 30 years’ experience, who is now working on his Ph.D. in nanogeosciences at the University of New Mexico. In the course of his studies, he uncovered a startling data omission that he told me: “eclipses even the so-called climategate event.” Feely’s work is based on computer models that don’t line up with real-world data—which Feely acknowledged in email communications with Wallace (which I have read). And, as Wallace determined, there is real world data. Feely, and his coauthor Dr. Christopher L. Sabine, PMEL Director, omitted 80 years of data, which incorporate more than 2 million records of ocean pH levels.

Feely’s chart, first mentioned, begins in 1988—which is surprising as instrumental ocean pH data has been measured for more than 100 years since the invention of the glass electrode pH (GEPH) meter. As a hydrologist, Wallace was aware of GEPH’s history and found it odd that the Feely/Sabine work omitted it. He went to the source. The NOAA paper with the chart beginning in 1850 lists Dave Bard, with Pew Charitable Trust, as the contact.

Wallace sent Bard an email: “I’m looking in fact for the source references for the red curve in their plot which was labeled ‘Historical & Projected pH & Dissolved Co2.’ This plot is at the top of the second page. It covers the period of my interest.” Bard responded and suggested that Wallace communicate with Feely and Sabine—which he did over a period of several months. Wallace asked again for the “time series data (NOT MODELING) of ocean pH for 20th century.” Sabine responded by saying that it was inappropriate for Wallace to question their “motives or quality of our science,” adding that if he continued in this manner, “you will not last long in your career.” He then included a few links to websites that Wallace, after spending hours reviewing them, called “blind alleys.”  Sabine concludes the email with: “I hope you will refrain from contacting me again.” But communications did continue for several more exchanges.


The most visually stunning film I have seen since 2001: A Space Odyssey.  It has a lot of similarities to that film: state-of-the-art special effects; a compelling story with interesting ideas and subplots that did not know how to end, and degenerated into feel good sappiness that did not make much sense.

Some ideas could have been better explained.  The planet with thousand foot tides is orbiting just outside the event horizon of a black hole, a place where tidal forces would make the Bay of Fundy's tidal extremes seem minor.  A bit more explanation of how gravity slows down time might have helped those audience members who haven't taken college physics.

 The opening sequences in what is clearly the modern equivalent of the Dust Bowl are stunning, and give a good feel for the hopeless situation that started the Okies headed to California in the 1930s.  A bit more exploration of the anti-scientific, environmental ideology that turns NASA into a black budget operation could have been interesting.  Think of Niven, Pournelle, and Flynn's Fallen Angels novel, but with dust and plant blight instead of snow.

And loud!  My wife had her fingers in her ears for the last 1/3 of the film.  So much organ music!

Friday, December 26, 2014

Back Massager

I borrowed a massage pad that goes on a chair from a friend, and found it so helpful that I went to Brookstone in the mall and looked at similar devices, then I went to Amazon to find the equivalent at a bettter price.  The Zyllion ZMA-14 seemed to be equivalent. (These are all cranked out by the same factories under slightly different names.)  And yes, it works beautifully!  There are more modes than the one I borrowed from Terry; both a shiatsu mode, simulating having a Japanese woman going through all your back muscls with incredibly powerful fingers, and a roller mode which I think is more akin  to Swedish massage.  It also has a neck kneader that massages yoor neck muscles, with adjustments for how high up your neck it goes. 

This is no substitute for having a human being who knows what he or she is doing massage your back, but it is a bargain at about $180 shipped, and I leave it on my office chair, to keep everything relaxed.

For reasons I don't understand, even though this gal was on the outside of the box, I didn't find her on the inside:

Does a Standard Keyboard Help?

My wife wondered if the ergonomic keyboard might be contributing to my typing difficulties,,, so I plugged in a standard 101b key keyboard through the USB port, but the improvement is pretty minor.

Solar Power Again

I am looking to install a couple of 225W 240VAC panels on the house, not grid-tied and not charging a battery, just to provide excess power for summer A/C and another source of power in the event of the end of civilization as we know it.  I am waiting for some technical details on cable lengths and mounting brackets.  I do want to order them to get the tax credit for this year, when I will have some shot-term disability income that wasn't taxed.

Attempting To Type With Both Hands

It is still very clumsy with the right hand, but getting better.

Thursday, December 25, 2014


I thought my tiredness was low blood pressure, but it was actually flu.  Projectile diarrhea and projectile vomiting (fortunately, not at the same time).

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Cholesterol Numbers

I went to my GP yesterday to review my blood test results.  The combination of weight loss and exercisear are paying off.  Total cholesterol: 144  mg/dL, compared to 157 last year.  My triglycerides are still too high 169 mg/dL, but better than last year's 194.  Overall, I am below the average risk for heart disease for men.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The Monster Flat Screen TV Has an SVGA Port

And the Thinkpad does a nice job of using it in 1920x1080 mode.

Moving Thunderbird Profile To A New PC

I used Mozbackup to backup my email profiles.  I am trying to move it tto C:\Users\clayton\AppData\Local\Thunderbird\profiles, without luck.  It complains the file is a;lready open in Windows Explorer, which it isn't.  Any ideas.

Correct answer: mozbackup also does the restore.

Gun Control Groups Encouraging Kids To Steal Guns and Take Them To School

Professor Volokh examines the legal implications of this public service announcement the gun control movement has created in which a kid streals his mother's handgun, takes it school, hands it to a terrified teacher, and says he doesn't feel safe with a gun in his home.  As he points out, a very Staalinist approach, persuade the kids to view their parents as the enemy of the state.  The Left is working very hard to give the impression that they could set up Gulags at any time.  As a number of people have noticed, the kid and teacher are white; everyone else is a minority.  More liberal racism.

Weird Dreams: Terabit Ethernet

I had a dream a couple of nights ago, that I was installing terabit Ethernet cables in the house, which I am not even sure exists.  The Thinkpad has the n wireless mode, as does my wireless router, so wireless on this is already faster than my 100Mbit Ethernet cables.


Social Security sent a letter saying disability would start in March for February, and the amount was actually a bit more than I expected.  They will re-evulate my disability every 5-7 years, which seems reasonable.

Monday, December 22, 2014

I Am Blogging From the Lenovo

I am in Barnes & Noble in Boise, blogging from the Lenovo.  It is so small and light that bringing it along did not seem a bad idea.  I really like the touchpad.

The Thinkpad Arrived Today

A day early!  Elegantly small, and Windows 7 started right up, connected to my home network, connected to my homegroup, and everything is working.  And yes, I am going to upgrade to 8GB RAM at once.  Just ordered it from  Usually I  use, but they only had a 2GB upgrade available.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Is Race War Coming To America?

And perhaps not black vs. white.  One of Obama and Holder's thugs murdered two police officers in New York City in revenge for the deaths of Eriic Garner and Michael Brown.
The alleged gunman, Ismaaiyl Brinsley, was chased by other officers to the platform of a nearby subway station, where he committed suicide, police said. Officials have determined that Mr. Brinsley, 28 years old, started his day in the Baltimore area, where he allegedly shot a woman believed to be his former girlfriend before 6 a.m.

Mr. Bratton said police are investigating social-media postings in which Mr. Brinsley foreshadowed the killings and referenced Eric Garner and Michael Brown, two unarmed black men who recently died during encounters with white police officers. Authorities have said both men were resisting arrest.
Black lives matter, but not apparently if it is Ismaaiyl's girlfriend. The murdered police officers were Hispanic and Asian.  If progressives insist on a race war, they are going to be disappointed with the results.  Daily Caller is  collecting Tweets from those who see these murders as okay.  Ad if the weirdly spelled first name didn't tell you, Ismaaiyl was a Muslim "religion of peace" adherent.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

The More I Use The Rght Hand To Type

The better it gets.

Just Ordered This

Windows 8 was such a disaster that I have been sulking about buying a new computer.  And then this deal showedup on Amazon.

Lenovo Thinkpad X140e 20BL000BUS 11.6" AMD A4-5000 Quad Core 4GB 500GB Win7 Pro Best Student & Business Ultrabook Laptop

 Windows 7 Pro, quad core, 500 GB hard drive, 4GB RAM and I should be able to run VM and Mint Linux on it.  It is about the dimensions of my wife's Toshiba Portege (which I love), and weighs one pound.  Okay, there's no CD/DVD drive, but I don't use one often, but a USB DVD drive is only $31.75.
To see why I hate Windows 8: see here, and here, and here.

Lightning Storm With The Canon A1400 Camera

Obviously at night.

Humor: 20 Things White People From The Caribbean Are Tired Of Hearing

From Buzzfeed, and pretty uproarious.
Being white and from the West Indies is unique. Here are a few things people ask and tell us, once we travel outside the Caribbean.

My favorite: Why are you white?  I don’t know how to answer that.

Humor: 20 People Who Are Having A Way Worse Christmas Than You

This Buzzzfeed  column has a number of funny items, but item 3, about the toy committing suicide is a riot.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Disabling Repeat Keys

There are a couple of ays to disable keystroke repeat in Windows 7.  One is under Ease of Access in Control Panel, under Filter Keys, but this is actually a pretty complex scheme, and I can't seem to set it identically twice in a row.  Often, I end up filtering out all keystrokes.  Under Control Panel, Keyboard, Speed tab you can slow down repeating dramatically, which works well for me.  I am preparing my Western Civ 2 class right now.

An Amazing Decision From The 6th Court Of Appeals

Tyler v.HILLSDALE COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT, et al. (6th Cir. 2014) is a complicated case to explain.  Tyler was involuntarily committed some years ago after a very messy divorce:
In 1985, when Tyler was forty-five years old, Tyler’s wife of twenty-three years served him divorce papers. Prior to filing for divorce, Tyler’s ex-wife allegedly ranaway with another man and depleted Tyler’s finances. Tyler felt “overwhelmed” and “sat in the middle of the floor at home pounding his head.” According to a mental-health evaluation submitted by Tyler, Tyler was crying non-stop, not sleeping, depressed, and suicidal at this time.Tyler’s daughters became scared and contacted the police.
Of course involuntary commitment to a mental hospital is one of the things it prevents you from possession of a firearm under Federal law..  However, Federal law provides a process for relief from firearms disabilities for convicted felons and people have been involuntarily committed.  Since 1992, Congress has from processing regularly prohibited the ATF from processing firearms relief requests under pressure from the gun control movement. Doctors treating Tyler have concluded that what happened in 1985 “appeared to be a brief reactive depressive episode in response to his wife divorcing him.” The psychologist determined that there was no evidence of mental illness.  Tyler sued, and the court of appeals agreed that making it impossible for him to obtain firearms disability relief and violated his Second Amendment rights.   More importantly, the court decided that strict scrutiny is the correct standard of review to use for Second Amendment questions. The court admitted that there are a variety of different standards being used by the various Federal courts of appeals for what standard of review should be used, so this is effectively telling the U.S. Supreme Court to go ahead and make a decision about standard of review.

Australian Mass Murder: No Gun

From 12/18/14 Washington Post
Eight children have been found stabbed to death near the town of Cairns in for northeastern Australia, according to Australian Broadcasting and other news outlets. A 34-year-old woman suffering from chest and neck wounds was also taken to a hospital from the home and is cooperating with police.


Larry Niven wrote a number of disturbing stories in the 1970s where organs for transplant are in such high demand that governments start to make traffic infractions capital to get access to organs.  China has been doing this for a couple of decades, and now the Left's favorite group of religious fanatics is joining in:
It’s widely reported that the ISIS is funding their terror state by oil sales. But, there are now reports that ISIS is also profiting from human organ sales.

The caliphate is trafficking human organs from kidnapped captives.

Even while the reports concede firm figures are practically impossible to corroborate, the Al-Alam news source said the chief of forensic pathology at Damascus University told the Syrian al-Watan that there have been more than 18,000 organ trafficking cases in the northern part of Syrian in recent years.

“Syrian people … are now dealing with organ traffickers who are slicing off their own share from the unfortunate Syrian families,” the report said.

And according to BioEdge, which monitors bioethics developments around the world, a physician from Mosul told the publication Al-Monitor that large-scale organ-harvesting is taking place in local hospitals and that ISIS “was reaping significant profits from the scheme.”

The BioEdge report said the doctor, Siruwan Al-Mosuli, reported physicians were being hired to perform rapid organ removal operations from “recently deceased jihadis or captives.”

I Guess I Am Retiring

I can't imagine any reason, why Social Security Disability won't happen, and my IRAs and 401(k) accounts have enough money for me to live comfortably and leave money to my kids, so I expect to spend the rest of my life traveling, writing, teaching, and running ScopeRoller.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Trigger Warnings in Law School

More proof idiots are running the academy.  From 12/17/14  Inside Higher Ed:
Trigger warning policies in college classrooms have been controversial since their inception, with advocates saying they protect students who have had traumatic experiences – primarily sexual assault – from having to relive them as part of their education. Opponents, meanwhile, have argued that trigger warning policies infringe on instructors’ academic freedom and deny students one of the hallmarks of a college education: being made to feel intellectually uncomfortable at times.

That conversation has now reached law schools, based on an essay by Jeannie Suk, a professor of law at Harvard University, that was recently published by The New Yorker.

In her piece, called “The Trouble with Teaching Rape Law,” Suk argues that increased anxiety among her students and colleagues about discussing complicated sexual assault cases is impeding criminal law professors’ ability to do their jobs well – ultimately at the expense of students and the rape victims whom some of them will eventually represent.

“Student organizations representing women’s interests now routinely advise students that they should not feel pressured to attend or participate in class sessions that focus on the law of sexual violence, and which might therefore be traumatic,” Suk says. “These organizations also ask criminal-law teachers to warn their classes that the rape-law unit might ‘trigger’ traumatic memories. Individual students often ask teachers not to include the law of rape on exams for fear that the material would cause them to perform less well.”
Some of the comments tell me that the idiocy may be too deeply embedded now for college to survive.

Ammunition Again Available

A place I bought ammo from a while back reports ammo is available.  and the prices aren't ridiculous.  900 rounds of 9mm for $200.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Unaninous Comm. Supreme Court Decision

striking down a ban on dirks, citing my knives as Second Amendment arms law review article.

Islamists At Work Again

From 12/16/14 Fox News:
An assault led by the Taliban on a Pakistan military-run school Tuesday left 141 people dead, 132 of which were children, officials say, in the worst attack to hit the country in years.

The horrific attack in Peshawar, carried out by a relatively small number of militants from the Tehreek-e-Taliban group, a Pakistani militant group trying to overthrow the government, also sent dozens of wounded flooding into local hospitals as terrified parents searched for their children.

Monday, December 15, 2014

And I Always Thought This Was A Parody

P.J. O'Rourke on Girls

I've never seen Lena Dunham's HBO series Girls, the one that made her the voice of her generation for the Left.  O'Rourke's desciption persuades me not to:
The young people in Girls are miserable, peevish, depressed, hate their bodies, themselves, their life, and each other. They occupy apartments with the size and charm of the janitor’s closet, shared by The Abominable Roommate. They dress in clothing from the flophouse lost-and-found and are groomed with a hacksaw and gravel rake. They are tattooed all over with things that don’t even look like things the way a anchor or a mermaid or a heart inscribed “Mom” does, and they’re only a few years older than my daughters.

The characters in Girls take drugs. They “hook up” in a manner that makes the casual sex of the 1960s seem like an arranged marriage in Oman. And they drink and they vomit and they drink and they vomit and they drink and they vomit.

It’s every parent’s nightmare. I had to have a lot to drink before I could get to sleep after watching this show about young people who are only a few years older than my daughters.

I Think This Is A Wake-Up Call

From 12/15/15 Australian Broadcasting Co.:
Five people have been seen running from a cafe at the centre of a siege involving an unknown number of hostages in the heart of Sydney's CBD.

An armed man entered the Lindt cafe in Martin Place before 10:00am (AEDT) and has held staff and customers hostage all day.

New South Wales Deputy Police Commissioner Catherine Burn said police were negotiating with the man.

Hostages were seen pressing a black flag displaying Arabic text against the cafe window soon after police were called to the busy pedestrian thoroughfare.

The text on the flag said: "There is no God but Allah and Muhammad is the messenger of God."
For those who think ISIS is a problem far, far away, it isn't.

Where Does 1 In 5 Come From?

12/15/14 Inside Higher Education reports on the origins of the claim that 1 in 5 college women have been raped:
That’s because the statistic comes from a 2007 study that is based on a survey of just two colleges. Funded by the National Institute of Justice, the "Campus Sexual Assault Study" summarizes the online survey results of male and female students at two large public institutions. Nineteen percent, or about one in five, of the female respondents said they had experienced an attempted or completed sexual assault since starting college.

Defining Sexual Assault
Other critics have focused not so much on the limited scope of the survey, but rather its broad definition of sexual assault, which includes kissing and groping. The study's definition of sexual assault includes both rape -- described as oral, anal, and vaginal penetration -- and sexual battery, which was described as "sexual contact only, such as forced kissing and fondling." Some argue that an unwanted kiss should not be conflated with other kinds of more severe sexual assault or rape.

Laura Dunn, executive director of sexual assault prevention group SurvJustice, said the fact that some people still balk at the idea of unwanted kissing being considered sexual assault is a result of the criminal justice system frequently focusing on only the worst kinds of sexual violence. It’s caused a particular image of sexual assault to form in people’s heads, she said, and it's an image denies a much broader expanse of offenses.
“People who deny this issue don’t believe something like an unwanted kiss is harmful, but it is,” Dunn said. “I think there’s an idea in our society that says if a man’s not using a gun or beating a woman, then it’s O.K. to be pushy and aggressive, or to wait until she’s drunk. We really think of some sexual aggression as really not that bad, and that mentality extends to the survivors as well. In these surveys, if you use broader legal terms, you actually get less reporting.”...

Despite the Campus Sexual Assault Study’s shortcomings as a national barometer of the issue, other research has yielded similar findings – though with some caveats. A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention survey found that the rate of women who experience sexual assault is one in five, though that rate is for all women in instead of just those going to college. That survey, too, has been questioned for its classification of having sex while intoxicated in any way as a sexual assault.

Then there’s the statistic that gives John Foubert’s organization its name: one in four. That comes from a Justice Department survey of 4,000 college women in 2006 that found that nearly one-quarter of college women have survived rape or attempted rape in their lifetime, a figure that doesn't account for sexual assaults that are not rape. While the study is of college women, the rape could have occurred at any point in their lives.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Throwing Out Newton With Nagasaki

You may not be familiar with this expression.  It refers to the tendency of leftists to discard Western science and its many virtues because of the misuses of science.  We have another example from 12/12/14 Yahoo News:
SAN DIEGO (AP) — California officials are battling the worst whooping cough epidemic to hit the state in seven decades as a recent rebound in cases raises questions about the effectiveness of the pertussis vaccine.
Doctors emphasize that the inoculation has led to fewer deaths than in the past and in instances where people do get sick, their illnesses aren't as severe. But California officials say the limited protection of the vaccine introduced in the 1990s has led to the rise in cases. Research has shown it doesn't last as long as the one it replaced, and a new study suggests the vaccine may not prevent the spread of the disease.
Whooping cough peaks every three to five years, and California's last epidemic was in 2010. But despite an aggressive public health campaign in response, the current outbreak is worse.
A total of 9,935 cases were reported to the California Department of Public Health from Jan. 1 to Nov. 26 — the highest number in 70 years. The cases included one infant who died. Elementary, middle and high school outbreaks have occurred across the state.

That vaccine was replaced in the 1990s because of side effects, which included pain and swelling from the shot and fever. The newer vaccine is part of routine childhood vaccinations as well as adult booster shots.
No mention of the part that autism is caused by vacinnation alarmists played in this.

As some of the commenters point the problem is most severe in a Mexican border county.  We know that Third World vacinnation rates must be at First World levels.


I got a letter from Social Securiity today that says I am medically disabled, and the next step is figuring out if I meet the non-medical requirements, which I presume means that I have paid into Social Security enough years, and I am a citiizenl

Friday, December 12, 2014

More Evidence Gun Control Is a Losing Idea

From 12/10/14 Pew Research:

For the first time in more than two decades of Pew Research Center surveys,there is more support for gun rights than gun control. Currently, 52% say it is more important to protect the right of Americans to own guns, while 46% say it is more important to control gun owner ship

Trying To Touch Type

I am again trying to touch type with both hands.  I am still getting some repeating characters from failure to pull up on           fingers,, but I am getting better.  It is exhausting akin to learning to touch type in 6th grade.

Clueless Liberals

The 12/11/14 New York Times has an article about "The Vanishing Male Worker":
Working, in America, is in decline. The share of prime-age men — those 25 to 54 years old — who are not working has more than tripled since the late 1960s, to 16 percent. More recently, since the turn of the century, the share of women without paying jobs has been rising, too. The United States, which had one of the highest employment rates among developed nations as recently as 2000, has fallen toward the bottom of the list.
This is no surprise.  This has been a problem since the current recession started in 2008 after, the Democrats took over Congress.  What is entertaining is reading the comments on the article.  A few ask if amnesty for illegals isn't going to make this problem worse.  More typical are those blaming Reagan and Bush I, even thouugh this problem is clearly much more recent.

Thursday, December 11, 2014


I drove down the driveway to our neighbors today--the first time I have driven since early August.  It was very nice.

Embarrassing moments in materials delivery

Yesterday as we were headed out to see the disability neurologist, there was a traffic jam on the road leading out to the highway.  There were two huge trucks hauling roof trusses of the sort used for building houses, trying to figure out where to deliver these.  Later in the day, we saw one of the trucks stuck pretty deep in mud.
This was near the end of the day, so I suspect a couple of truck drivers did not have a good day .  Even more curious is no one is building a house in our neighborhood so I have no idea who these trusses were supposed to be delivered to.

Perhaps an interesting epidemiological study could be made out of this

The neurologist that I saw yesterday mentioned that he as of late seen a very interesting convergence of symptoms and characteristics in patients and a bit he was doing disability evaluations for: fibromyalgia, obesity, sleep apnea (which is not surprising that the obesity), and almost without exception childhood sexual abuse. It would be fascinating to see if anyone has looked for connections there.

It turns out there's already a number of papers showing a relationship between childhood sexual abuse and fibromyalgia such as this oneThis paper indicates that there was no connection to fibromyalgia But those hadbeen sexually abused had worse symptoms.

Obamacare Supporter Admits It Has Made Her Worse Off

And amazingly enough, "I'm an Obama supporter.  But Obamacare has hurt my family." appeared in the 12/10/14 Washington Post.
The transition to Obamacare – at least for a 59-year-old man and a 56-year-old woman in south Orange County – wouldn’t be quite that bad. But it would be, in three big ways, far rougher and more frustrating than I’d ever dreamed.

Paranoid Survivalists At Treasury Dept.

The Free Beacon links to this solicitation from the Treasury Department for emergency survival kits for their employees that go out to audit banks.  And I thought survivalism was a fringe movement of people who don't trust the federal government and banks.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Disability Evaluation

I went to the neurologist, that Social Security wanted to evaluate me for disability.  He seemed to think I would qualify.  Lots of question, reflex tests, etc.

The neurologist also indicated that he thought the stroke was more likely a plaque from the artery hat was cleared than from a calcium deposit, because calcium deposits don't go away, but thtombolytic material eventually dissolves, explaining my fairly rapid improvement.

Proof That Democrats Are Slow Learners

12/9/14 The Hill reports Democrats in Congress are going to make another attempt at passing a gun control bill they couldn't pass when they controlled the Senate:
Gun control advocates in Congress are looking to revive failed legislation strengthening background check regulations.

A handful of Democratic lawmakers said Tuesday they plan to push once again for universal background checks on all gun sales in the new Congress, even though they recognize it will be an uphill battle with Republicans taking majority control.

Background check legislation failed to gain traction in the outgoing Congress despite a string of high-profile school shootings that gun control advocates had hoped would turn the political tide in their favor. They say it’s only a matter of time.
"When you don’t pass background checks, it’s just much more likely that someone will get their hands on an illegal gun and use it to kill their neighbors or their classmates,” said Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.).
Of course, the evidence is that mandatory background checks in the states that have them do not reduce murders.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Operation Choke Point

You may be aware that the FDIC has been using its regulatory authority over banks to "encourage" them to not provide banking services to what it considers high-risk businesses.  In some cases, businesses have suddenly had their checking accounts closed by their bank.  What are the high-risk businesses?  Some won't surprise you: pornographers, cable-TV box descramblers, online gambling, and businesses that promise to clean up your credit history for a fee (Yes, that means Rachel at Cardholder Services).  Many of these are actually in violation of federal and state laws.  But it also includes gun sales, ammunition sales, dealers in gold, and payday advance loan operations, all of which are lawful.  This report from the U.S. House Commitee on Oversight and Governmental Reform includes a very large stack of really embarrassing emails from the bureaucrats involved in creating Operation Choke Point, justifying why to include legal and heavily regulated  industries in a list of businesses that banks were supposed to stop doing business with.

What amazes me is the venom being expressed about these businesses.  In particular Thomas J. Dujenski, regional director, Atlanta, FDIC writes about pay day lenders: "They are  abusive.  They are fundamentally wrong, hurt people, and do not deserve in any way to  be associated with banking."  Now, I  find the whole pay day lending industry disturbing.  It is a sign that someone is probably living beyond their means, and needs to bring their spending under control, much like carrying a large credit card balance from month to month.  But no one forces customers into pay day lenders.  I can see why progressives would be offended by such businesses; they are a reminder of the lack of self-discipline the progressive voting block has: unable to stop partying long enough to join the middle class.  Dujenski's tone immediately makes me think Jesuit.

Monday, December 8, 2014

And the ScopeRoller Orders Keep Coming

It is fast apporoaching an order a day, enough that it may interfere with disability.  Such a problem to have!

Driving Again Soon?

Today, I was given a series of cognitive function tests by a neurologist to determine if I am ready to drive or not.  These tests included ability to remember and recite strings of numbers forward and backward, replicate drawings from memory and some puzzles involving correctly when of drawing lines between various numbers and letters. He decided that I was doing better than the average person my age who has not had a stroke and ordered up an actual driving test next.  I suppose I will be nasty, and say that I am doing better than many drivers who were too busy text Ing to actually look at the windshield.

I Couldn't Make This Up

From December 2, 2014 Telegraph:
Christianity is being banished from school nativity plays as the annual performance of the Christmas story is replaced with bland “winter celebrations”, research among parents suggests.
Even in schools which retain religious themes, most now opt for a modernised version of the nativity story, often featuring elaborate twists and children dressed as unlikely additions such as punk fairies, aliens, Elvis, lobsters, spacemen and even recycling bins.
Examples cited in the survey conducted by Netmums, the parenting website, even included a retelling of the story modelled on The Apprentice. Others told of children dressed as ingredients in a Christmas lunch including carrots, sprouts and – confusingly – pumpkins.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Someone does not have enough to do

This news story about an intentional chlorine leak in a hotel is truly strange because of who it interrupted.
Nineteen people were hospitalized in Rosemont, Illinois after an intentional chlorine leak at a hotel, according to public safety officials. The hotel was hosting the Midwest FurFest, where attendees dress up like furry animals and many were forced outside in their costumes when the hotel was evacuated overnight.
Is this some sort of kinky sex thing that I don't know about: FurFest. From FurFest's web page:
Midwest Furfest is an annual convention that takes place in the suburbs of Chicago, Illinois. We come together to celebrate furry fandom, that is, art, literature, and performance based around anthropomorphic animals.

Naziism As Socialism

Most people who have studied the Nazi era know that Nazi was an abbreviation for the National Socialist German Workers' Party.    But if you war the strong association that the Nazis had with left wing groups in the Weimar Republic era, progressives are leftists get very very very upset. This column in the February 25, 2014 Telegraph by Daniel Hannan discusses this was some embarrassing examples from both NAZI propaganda posters showing their fierce and hostility to capitalism and quotes from NAZI leaders.   Maybe teaching Western Civilization two in the spring will be such a bad thing after all.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Teaching Next Semester

I just assumed that I would be teaching next semester because I had requested a couple of online classes. it turns out that the College of Western Idaho is running short on students for the spring, and so far I only have a tentative online Western Civilization 2 class to teach.  I am glad that ScopeRoller has orders coming in almost every day now.

Nice to See More Solar Power Innovation

The end of tax year 2014  is coming soon so if im going to install solar panels I better get it done before the end of month. I was looking on Amazon and I was pleased to see that someone has simplified the installation process a bit more. This package is a 235 Watt solar panel that plugs directly into 120 V AC outlet. It should just be something that you can on the roof and plug in. And the price is $795.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Just a life style choice I guess

From July 1, 2013 Mail:
Bestiality brothels are spreading through Germany faster than ever thanks to a law that makes animal porn illegal but sex with animals legal, a livestock protection officer has warned.

Madeleine Martin told the Frankfurter Rundschau that current laws were not protecting animals from predatory zoophiles who are increasingly able to turn to bestiality as a 'lifestyle choice'.

She highlighted one case where a farmer in the Gross-Gerau region of southwest Germany, noticed his once friendly flock of sheep were beginning to shy away from human contact....

'There are now animal brothels in Germany,' Martin told the paper, adding that people were playing down the issue by by describing it as a 'lifestyle choice'.

Armed with a host of similar case studies, Ms Martin is now calling for the government to categorically ban bestiality across the country.

Last November German authorities said they were planning to reinstate an old law forbidding sex with animals after a sharp rise in incidents of bestiality along with websites promoting it.

Parliament began debating changes to the national Animal Protection Code with the agricultural committee of the Bundestag pledging fines of up to £20,000 for a first offence.

Bestiality dropped off the statute books as a crime in 1969 but in recent years the number of people believed to be participating in such acts has increased significantly.
Please explain why someone can rationalize why this is  not OK but slaughtering the animal to eat it is OK.

This is your hand. This is your hand on occupational therapy.

I have mentioned the Edward Scissorhands device that occupational therapy uses to improve my ability to extend my fingers.  And here's a picture of it.

Another gadget that outpatient therapy uses is a device for measuring how rapidly I can recognize lights at the edges of my field of vision and respond to them. I think that it looks like a computer from the original Star Trek television series.
At the end of this session, I did my best to sound like Scottie  and say to the therapist  I've  reset the dilithium crystals, captain." 

With my occupational therapist, Heather:

Glad to see someone prepared to fight Obama's amnesty

From December 3, 2014 AP:

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas is leading a 17-state coalition in suing over the Obama administration's recently announced executive actions on immigration.

Many top Republicans have denounced President Barack Obama's unilateral move designed to spare as many as 5 million people living illegally in the United States from deportation.

But Texas Gov.-elect Greg Abbott took it a step further Wednesday, filing a lawsuit in federal court in the Southern District of Texas. Texas is joined by 16 other, mostly southern and Midwestern states, including Alabama, Georgia, Idaho and Indiana.

Social Security disability wants a second opinion

Social security disability may be an appointment with a neurologist for next Wednesday.  I guess they decided that they report they receive from my existing neurologist was insufficient to answer the question of whether I was disabled or not.  While I'm making some progress on my right hand I would still say and not yet ready to return to work.

Not even smart enough to forge the reply to address

The from line on the email says Costco < order@ >

More Signs of How Democrats Are The Party of the Little Guys

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The midterm elections may be over, but for President Barack Obama, the fundraising hasn't stopped.
Obama is headlining a fundraiser at a ritzy hotel near the White House to benefit the Democratic National Committee. The DNC says roughly 30 donors paid up to $32,400 each to attend.

All The Leftist Screeching About College Rape & War on Women

Most of which is alcohol-induced miscommunication, and yet here is a real rapist, and no surprise, he's a Democrat and a person with power.  From 12/2/14 Washington Post:
A former Democratic congressional aide pleaded guilty Tuesday to sexually assaulting two women in 2010.

Donny Ray Williams Jr., 37, who served as a staff director for the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs subcommittee, pleaded guilty to third-degree sexual abuse, two misdemeanor counts of sexual abuse and one count of misdemeanor threats.

Prosecutors say that on July 22, 2010, Williams invited a female congressional colleague to his Capitol Hill apartment and promised to introduce her to Senate employees. At the house, prosecutors said, Williams spiked a drink with Ambien. The woman, according to court documents, fell into a “deep sleep,” at which point Williams raped her.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

ScopeRoller Moving Forward

Orders for ScopeRoller keep rolling in, and my replacement for my right arm is doing a great job manufacturing all the parts required to fill those orders.  It is very gratifying.

Low Blood Pressure

I have been having trouble staying awake after tajung my morning blood pressure pills.  129/59 and pulse 60, so I am not surprised.  My cardiologist had me drop the morning Losartan.  I already feel much better.

Amazing What DIY Can Do These Days

Of course DIY means Do-It-Yourself, not Disaster-Is-Yours.  
Your DSLR can do much more than just take a few nice portraits or the occasional vacation photos – with some DIY magic you can actually turn it into a device which can detect planets outside our solar system – something that 20 years ago was impossible even with the most sophisticated telescopes.

So how can you achieve this? David Schneider who you can see in the video above was able to use his Canon EOS Rebel XS (a.k.a Canon 1000D) camera. With old manual-focus 300mm Nikon telephoto lens he got from eBay for under a $100 with a $17 adapter

Monday, December 1, 2014

The Irony

I mentioned a few days ago that the New York Times had published information making it possible to find officer Darren Wilson's home address, and that some journalists had decided that the address of the reporters for the paper should be published as well. The irony of what has since happened is apparently lost on the reporter. 

The New York Times journalist who published Darren Wilson’s home address wants police protection and has been calling the police nonstop, has learned.

Julie Bosman “keeps calling the 020th District station complaining about people harassing and threatening her,” our source told us. She’s also “complaining about numerous food deliveries being sent to her residence.”

USB Headset

A few weeks back, I ordered the USB head set because the stereo input jack on my laptop seem to have given up the ghost.  This made it impossible for me to use the window 7 speech recognition software.  Now I am using the USB headset to to blog.  I will be curious to see if I can correct student papers this way.

Weirdly enough , that USB headset was packaged with paperwork indicating that it was only be sold in the People's Republic of China.

Gee , How Classy

From 11/30/14 The Smoking Gun:
NOVEMBER 30--After partying together at a gay bar, a trio of men returned early this morning to a South Carolina home where they got into a hot tub and began “kissing and touching each other,” a threesome that was derailed when two of the men began fighting over which one of them was the highest paid escort, according to cops.
As detailed in a sheriff’s report, Austin Adams, 18, and Michael Gordon, 33, went together to a Spartanburg nightclub, where they met Douglas Tench, 21. Tench, seen at right, told a deputy that he had “come down from Charlotte to go to a gay club in Spartanburg.”
After drinking alcoholic beverages at the bar, Tench agreed to leave with Adams and Gordon. The trio proceeded to a residence in Boiling Springs where Gordon is dog sitting for the home's owner. While at the property, a deputy reported, the men “enjoyed each others company” in a hot tub on the back deck.
Gordon told an investigator that he and Adams “decided together to bring Tench back from the bar.” He added that the men subsequently “were in the hot tub together kissing and touching each other.” Gordon (left) and Adams are pictured below.
The group’s bubbly 1:30 AM frolicking, however, ended when Adams and Tench began to bicker.
Adams told a deputy that he “lost control” when Tench “stated he got paid more for his escort services than Adams.”