Monday, December 31, 2012


I may not mak it to midnight, so I'll just say

Happy New Year To You!


Sunday, December 30, 2012

As mentioned over on FaceBook:

I just got done removing about 10" of global warming from my driveway. Thankfully the global-warming-blower I bought at a yard sale last summer works and works well! What we need to do is invent a kind of global warming that only lands on things that don't need to be shoveled...

BTW: My driveway is now about three feet longer than it was thanks to the big global-warming-mover not getting anywhere near the actual edge of the road. Thanks! I think...

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

More of this, please…

Group offers weapons training for Utah teachers 

And RacerX seems to have hit upon a telling point in the comments:
It seems that the vast majority of comments are slanted in favor of gun rights... yet the media reports that the majority are in favor of more controls. Makes you wonder what's going on here. 
With (as of this writing) 92 Likes and 4 Dislikes I'd say he's on to something. 

A couple of items written for elsewhere

This one was written as a comment on a friend’s wall timeline over on Facebook.  He was saying how he was waiting for the snow to start:
We're waiting on it here now. Since Galileo is 'under the weather,' this afternoon we put a set of studded snows on the flea van that I'm driving full time now. On the ride home Mum and I agreed that the old summer tires are NOT going back on the van come spring. What a difference! My Vanagon Westy had under-rated car tires on it when we first bought it. That set up was actually white-knuckle driving dangerous! This van just felt a bit "squishy." With the right tires it feels like a different van! Stay warm Al! And Happy Boxing Day!
I think I wrote about the Westy’s tires at length at the time.  But I’ll be dinged if I can find it now…  Aha!  Not a blog post but rather a in a thread over at The Samba!

This one was written as a comment for JayG in a post about a botched oil delivery:
I look for disconnected fill pipes when viewing a property. That's one thing on my list that the home owner needs to fix before we have a signed P&S.

I'm having problems with my propane supplier. (To the point that I keep wanting to spell it ProPain...)

About three weeks ago we scheduled a delivery of 50gal. to tide us over since both tanks were about out and at the same time we arranged for the replacement of one of our tanks that was at the end of it's service life. When I got home from work the day of the delivery I found that both tanks were full to the gills.

I called to cancel the tank swap, but they decided to proceed anyway even though the full tanks would make it much more of a hassle for the technician. That was done two weeks ago. I'm still waiting for the credit for the fuel that went away with the tank.

Monday I watched the delivery guy out my back window fill the tanks at my neighbors house. He was also supposed to fill mine. Apparently he decided that he didn't need to follow that order either since he'd just filled both of my tanks three weeks ago.

I'll be calling the office to complain tomorrow. I didn't today because I was busy cooling my heals at Sears for three and a half hours getting snow tires. But that's a story for another day...
And just a moment ago I wrote this for another friend I’m chatting with at FB who mentioned all the craziness in the media about wanting new gun laws:
I've been following it.  I even yelled at the radio this morning when the news pointed out that the nutbag that killed the firefighters "had the same Bushmaster rifle as" the Connecticut shooter.  When they mentioned that he was a convicted felon and "shouldn't have had the guns" I couldn't help pointing out (at some volume) that adding more laws won't stop guys like him so leave us the <expletive deleted> alone!

Monday, December 24, 2012

On the Newtown massacre

Originally written as a comment for this post over at Tam’s:

1. Because the problem isn’t going away (and the media has only been encouraging copycat behavior) the first thing we need to do is to treat the infection with an effective antibiotic (anti-psychotic?):

Institute the Israeli model of allowing the school staff to actually protect our kids instead of hiding under their desks!  That would be an effective deterrent for some and would stop those not deterred in their tracks.

2. To prevent re-infection I would prescribe the following:

As has been said by others, if more in the media would follow Paul Harvey's lead in not giving the killer the (in)fame they crave there might be fewer seeking their (in)fame this way.

Hmm…  Are they misunderstanding infamy as a contraction of instant fame?

As to the root cause:

I can only surmise that a lot of it has to do with lack of respect.

– For authority (parents, teachers, employers or any others /deserving/ of respect (IMHO: respect has to be earned.  I generally give a measure as a matter of course when first meeting someone.  Then it depends on the individual if that measure increases or decreases.  In some cases it can be extinguished entirely.  Even then that would not be an excuse for the kind of behavior we’re talking about here.  But that’s me.  YMMV…))

– For property (It seems that I can’t have reflectors at the end of my driveway without someone stealing and/or smashing them, and one of the homes down the street was ‘tagged’ with graffiti the other day)

– For self (have you seen the way these kids dress these days?!? [/curmudgeon voice]).  Seriously, though, it seems to me that so many people, not just kids, these days really do not respect themselves.  Many see their own lives as more of a PITA than they want to bother with and a select few choose the permanent solution to the temporary problem.  Thankfully only a very few of those chose to take others along on their way out. 

Clinical depression can be an overwhelming soul-crushing burden.  It can make it seem as if there is no other way out and that one’s own life has no value.  If one’s own live is without value how much less that of someone else?  Based on what the media presents it would seem that much of our society is based on fame as a source of value.  Some may believe the primary source of value.  With the media giving instant fame to deceased mass killers with 24/7 coverage in the first days after a ‘suicide-by-major-press-event’ some may believe they can (pardon the phrase) kill two birds with one stone.  They end their own lives as the culmination of the event or have it ended for them through suicide-by-cop if they can’t do the deed themselves and they posthumously get the fame they mistakenly believe will give their life meaning.  By taking away the fame it eliminates a large part of the incentive.  By actually defending our public places and especially our schools even if they still opt for suicide by cop or by armed citizen the number of innocents harmed will almost certainly be greatly reduced.

Or we, as a society, can go on doing what we’ve been doing for the past several decades and hope for different results…

Friday, December 21, 2012

Still here.

Not much more to say.  Of course there's over two and a half hours left to the day...

Thursday, December 20, 2012

T-30 minutes...

T minus thirty minutes to the end of the world.

Or not...

'Nite y'all.  I'll (probably) let you know at some point if i wake up in the morning.  And greet you to the new Epoch.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

I'm baa-aack...

Though I'm not so sure I want to be!

My intertubes have been down since Friday with modem/connectivity problems that I've only sorted out this fine evening.  While I was 'away' the whole damn world has gone stark raving mad!

Oleg suggests the rabid calls for gun control in the wake of the tragic shooting on Friday is the .gov's versin of "Oh look - a squirrel..." to get people's mind off the so-called fiscal cliff we're about to jump off head first.

Others are asking if this wasn't possibly a false flag operation in the manor of Fast & Furious.

Maybe the new age doom sayers aren't too far off with their twisted version of the Mayan long count calender supposedly 'running out' this Friday after all.  Things do seem to be falling apart all around us these past few days, don't they?

BTW: In the Gregorian calendar we don't get all worked up over the world coming to an end every December 31.  The Mayan long count just rolls over to the next 'age' on a longer time scale than ours.  Mayhaps that's why it's called the long count...  So knock it off with all the freaking out already!

Edited to add: I really hope Oleg is right.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


Well well.  Dave’s off Storage Wars and is suing.  He says the show is rigged, a lot of the good stuff is planted by A&E to spice up the show and they canned him for pointing out that their activities may be illegal.

If it seems too good to be true – it’s probably a “reality show.”

Monday, December 10, 2012

How it’s supposed to work!

It is refreshing to know that this insight is not totally lost from the world.  I had been getting a little down because so often it seems that those holding the reigns of power truly have no clue.  But to my great relief Weer’d links us to a video of the Mayor of Tulsa, who has me wondering if that might not be a good place to be – if you have any entrepreneurial spirit left given the state of the rest of the country

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Got a weird one in the comments

On a post from about a year ago in which I was sharing a photograph of my home built submersible ROV with someone on the phone (I now can’t remember who…) I received the strangest comment:

Прежде чем жениться обязательно посмотрите на поведение вашей избранницы вне себя это совсем другой человек

Bing translator translates that from Russian as follows:

Before you marry must see the behavior of your chosen one out yourself is a completely different person

The odd thing is that here were no links.

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot Question Mark!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

What next? Blipverts?

Are you watching Edison Carter and the rest of the Live & Direct news crew on Network 23?  Or are you watching the latest ZikZak ad over on Network 66?  Your cable company already knows.  And once this new technology is deployed they will also know if you’re making out with your boyfriend or having a fight with your wife.  And they’ll be running apropos ads on your TV based on what you are saying and doing.

Welcome to the dystopian world of Max Headroom.

New DVR will use camera and microphone to target advertisements based on recordings of users

I think it’s a bad-bad-bad idea.

Of course they’ll never share any of that with DHS…

Sunday, December 2, 2012

The last Donette in captivity

I went to the grocery store as soon as I got off work the night I read about the baker’s union supporting their members by putting their employer out of business.  I wanted one last cupcake before they were all gone.  But sadly it was too late.  I had to settle for the last bag of donettes on the shelf.

And here it is: the last donette in the last bag.  Mum ate it for breakfast this morning.

Well, truth be told, Mum and I split the last handful this morning for desert after finishing our actual breakfast.  Since Mum doesn’t eat as fast as me she had the one last donette left.  When I commented on that being the last of the last Mum asked if I wanted to take a picture of it.

How could I not?

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Hollandaise!

Just don’t get sauced…

And just because I can – I present a song that changed the course of a Nation:

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Wicked Useful Sh … stuff

I just added a new section to the right sidebar: Wicked Useful Sh … stuff.  That’s where I plan to post wicked useful links to wicked useful resources around the web.

The first one on the list is GasBuddy.  In particular; the GasBuddy Heat Map.  This is a zoomable map that shows by color what the average gas prices are running on a county by county basis all across the country.  By zooming in you can see what individual gas stations have been charging within the last 48 hours.  (Or at least what the price was the last time a GasBuddy ‘field operative’ went by the station.)  If you sign up you can contribute to the site by reporting the gas prices you see as you go about your daily travels.

If you have suggestions for other sites that are Wicked Useful let me know in the comments.  If they make the cut I’ll add it to the list.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Moving along...


Since my day job blocks Picassa I'm linking this via Facebook.  Hopefully you will be able to see what I see.  Just, wow...

(I'll update this post from home to put in a link that FB won't go and break on us.)

Mitt Romney Concedes

To all of you who voted for candidates that had no chance of winning: 

President Obama thanks you.

I, however, do not.  As I had originally written the talkback that Cam paraphrased on air:

Looking at Florida and Ohio, in particular at the votes for "other" it looks like enough voters are playing with their Johnson to screw the rest of the country.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

I remember.

And I’ve done something about it.

I had the button pinned to the draw-string of my hoodie and while I was in line waiting to check out after filling out my ballot.  An election worker asked me to remove it.  “I know it’s not endorsing any candidate – but it’s against the rules.”  I didn’t make a stink about it.  I think my point was made by then anyway.  Apparently he didn’t notice the ‘antique bronze’ NRA logo pin on my vest’s collar or my standard membership pin on my shirt’s either.

Now if enough of my fellow American’s have voted in a similar manor to me and mine we can finally both fire and evict the current resident of 1600 Pennsylvania and hopefully get the Ship of State off the rocks and headed in a better direction.

Polls close in a little under an hour here on the right coast.  I don’t know if we’ll have to wait for eight o’clock Pacific to get any returns other than the unprecedented tie in Dixville Notch.  Personally I’m sitting here with fingers and toes and everything else crossed (which is hopefully not too much of a sharing violation) waiting for the outcome.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Reading between the lines

Maybe I’m seeing something that isn’t really there.  Then again, maybe I am…

In this AP story reprinted on the website of the local cat box liner we read about a newly announced merger and/or acquisition.  It seems that the exclusive manufacturer of the paper used by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing to make US currency has agreed to purchase a Kennebunk Maine division of Hallmark that specializes in making stationary.  Crane & Co. CEO Stephen DeFalco is quoted as saying the acquisition of William Arthur gives his company “flexibility in the marketplace.”

Very interesting…

Do they foresee a time – possibly in the not too distant future – where the need for their primary product might go into decline?  I do.  Are they positioning themselves to be able to survive should that happen?  That would seem prudent.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


Internet Exploder here at my Just Over Broke showed another blank embedded video at the top of this post.  That wasn't visible at home using Firefox.  I am beginning to suspect there may be something in all of the formatting garbage MS Word includes when you copy/past directly from Word.  I like having a spell checker, but I may change my SOP to writing in Word then copy/past into Notepad then copy/paste into the Blogger window.  That seems to strip the text of all the ‘bonus material’ Word hides behind the scenes.


BTW: If you should notice one of these blank videos in one of my posts, I wouldn’t click on it.  I didn’t put it there.  Also, I would greatly appreciate it if you would let me know it’s there in the comments so I can remove the thing.  I can’t see them myself on my home computer.


Snore-easter-cane: Day 1 after action report.


It rained.  Not as bad as I've seen in some storms that didn't get the media red carpet this one did.

There was wind.  Bad enough by the evening commute that I was glad I decided to stay home.  But again, I've seen worse.

Listening to the scanner the city next door had their hands full with trees and wires down.  It sounded like a bunch of roads were closed.  My town and the several surrounding that I have programmed into the scanner were much quieter.

As of this writing I am unaware of any damage here at the HerrBGone Homestead V2.0.  But I haven't been outside yet...


Today there is a department meeting that, unfortunately, I can't get out of.  More snore.

Oh well.  Wish me luck.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Prepping for po folk

Er, rather, as Bayou Renaissance Man put it:

This is a must read post – whether cash is an issue or not.  I will eventually get ‘round to reading the rest of the series.  But I wanted to spread the word on this installment particularly in light of the impending Frankenstorm or snore-easter-cane depending on who you read.

In BRM’s post he goes into quite a bit of detail on the contents of a bare bones food kit to keep one person going for a week.  The anticipated cost is around US $30 and I was able to build a kit at my local Wal*Mart based on these recommendations for about that.  I did read one thing wrong and only got 5 5oz. cans of tuna instead of the 7 recommended.  I will correct that as well as add a can opener from the dollar store before I give the whole kit and caboodle to the friend I put it together for.

Rewind to last night on the phone with my friend:

Me: So you do have plenty of groceries in the house, I trust.

She: Um, I think I have a couple of boxes of Cheerio’s…

This is my friend who gets thirsty and instead of going to the fridge and getting something to drink goes out to the car and drives to the local fast food emporium for a drive through super jumbo humongous soda with a price tag to match.

* Ye gods and little fishies!*  (to blatantly swipe a phrase from LawDawg)

So here I am, having just read BRM’s great post on prepping on the cheap and knowing we may have this nor’easter-hurricane-thing bearing down on us depending on the storms actual track (that we will finally know for sure some time around Thursday in the here’s where it went after the fact report) and I have reason to believe a very good friend who I care about very much ain’t got no preps in place.

I sense an opportunity to put the test to the info.

So here’s the inventory for the little kit that we put together today:

·        1 2-pound bag of Iberia long grain brown rice
·        2 1-pound bags of Best Bet elbow macaroni
·        2 1-pound bags of La Cena pinto beans
·        2 26-ounce jars of Great Value pasta sauce in two flavors
·        1 2-pound package of Great Value whole grain oats
·        5* 5-ounce cans of StarKist Selects chunk light tuna in water
·        1 5-ounce can of Butter Field chunk ham in water
·        1 5-ounce can Bumble Bee premium white chicken in water
·        1 Morton/McCormick sat & pepper set
·        1 Ozark Trail pocket knife
·        1 85-piece Be Smart Get Prepared first aid kit
·        1 5-gallon pail with lid to put it all in**

* Two more cans of tuna and one can opener need to be added to match the inventory from BRM’s post.  The first aid kit was my own little addition since I have no idea what my friend may have on hand.

** At Mum’s recommendation we had originally grabbed two boxes of store brand minute rice – but they wouldn’t fit in the pail.  So I swapped them out for the bag of rice that does.  It may not be as convenient to cook, but it can be protected from the elements (and the cats) inside the bucket.

As mentioned elsewhere at BRM’s, having a bucket with a lid on hand has many uses.  It can be used to store water in case the water supply is interrupted and it can be used as a ‘sanitary facility’ if that stops working.  (Not at the same time obviously!)  In fact he has a whole post on just that subject!

The price tag for my little kit as put together so far at my local Wal*Mart on Route 38 in Tewksbury Marxistchusetts came to US $29.45 including tax.  The can opener will come from the dollar store and two more cans of tuna should be about US $2.50.  Since the first aid kit was about US $5.00 the cost of the basic kit does in fact come in at about the US $30 predicted.

As you can see, putting together this little bitty kit that’ll get you by for a few days of deconveniance is really no big deal.  Augmented by the pantry you should have on hand anyway, going a week or two without access to your local grocery store shouldn’t be much more than a tale to tell in later years.

Now I just have to get this to my friend before the storm hits.

Oh, BTW: I got five more of those knives for barter.  That was a great idea!  Thanks!

UPDATE: Here's another picture of the kit, all packed in the bucket.  That's the P-38 I mentioned in the the comments (good idea, Mr. B!).  I've taped a small rare Earth magnet from Harbor Freight to the inside of the lid to attach the can opener to.

Also in the bucket but not shown is a copy of  BRM's post that started this whole project.  Lots of good information there.  If you haven't read it already I highly recommend that you do.  There is a link at the top of this post.


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Sunday, October 21, 2012


This afternoon while Mum was doing some grocery shopping at our localest Super Waly I spent some time poking around in the camping and guns and ammo department.  Plenty of ammo, not much by way of guns and meh camping gear, as per usual. 

The one thing of note that I did find was a CKRT Guppie and Eat’N Tool combo kit.  It was on the wrong peg, also as per usual, so I took it over a couple of isles to the price scanner.  It worked, which is becoming more usual.  They were pretty bad for a while.  But this Wally seems to be improving in that regard lately.  Holding the bar-code in the cross-hairs and moving it back and forth to find the readers range it finally went boop and I went “I’ll take it!”  The CKRT web sight lists just the Guppie with a $39.99 MSRP.  I got mine in the kit with the Eat’N Tool for $10.

Can’t beat that with a stick!

The other toy in the picture is a NiteIze S-Biner Ahhh…  Yes, that is its proper name.  This S-Biner is even more useful than it’s less talented but almost identical to the untrained eye cousins in that both sides of this ‘biner double as bottle openers.  Having actually used it to open my Sam Adams Oktoberfest this very evening I can attest to the fact that as a bottle opener they work.  I just picked that up last weekend at a slightly less local Aubuchon Hardware Store. 

I hadn’t intended to start a bottle opener collection!  But, since the carabineer clip on the Guppie can also be used in that capacity, there are actually four in this one picture.  Then there’s the one in my MiniChamp SAK that I carry every day in my cell phone case.  And if I’ve got my Maxpedition Fatboy there are at least two more among the various gear in that.  So I guess I’ve got opening bottles pretty well covered. 

Now about all that storage food that comes in cans…

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Analyzing the News

At the HerrBGone Homestead V2.0 both Mum and I have the Boston classical station on our clock radios.  We’ve listened to Laura’s morning show for years.  Unfortunately the station was sold to our local PBS affiliate a couple of years ago, so now we are regaled with NPR News at the bottom of the hour.  Bias much?  The “report” about last night’s debate during the 6:30 “News” sounded like a campaign ad for the incumbent.

To the “News” (paraphrased because my photographic memory ain’t so much any more…):

Reporter: Last night The President was much more spirited than in the first debate.

Cut to a sound byte of the incumbent sounding very presidential.

Then the reporter tells us, in a somewhat dismissive tone of voice, something that the challenger said.

Then we go to a another reporter who claimed to have watched the debate at a “bi-partisan campaign event” I don’t recall exactly where.

Cut to ‘da mose iliterite sound’n conservative dey coul find in da whole frik’n croud.’

Cut to a hip young liberal who started out sounding almost complimentary: “I was very surprised by how smooth [the challenger] was.  He’s a very good debater.  Real slick.  Of course I didn’t believe half of what he said…’

Cut back to Laura: “And in local sports …”

Nope.  No bias there.  [eyeroll]

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Is the Mother Ship over DC?

I've never seen a radar signature quite like that.

It may just be ground clutter not properly filtered by the system.  I wouldn't blame it for being a bit off tonight after all that shaking.  Of course it does look like a cosmic bulls-eye...

Rock & Roll!

We just had a notable earthquake here in eastern north central Marxixtachusetts!  Don't know what it was on the Richter scale - yet - but the house shook pretty dern good.

Update: Just heard on the scanner it was a preliminary magnitude 4. did she say 2 or 8?  Still checking...

From Fox News 25 the USGS pegs it at 4.5 and centered near Arrowhead Lake in Maine.

More from the USGS.

This is why QC is so important…

However, the counterfeit currency was easily detected by the cash machines and customers (perhaps due to the fact that they were blank on one side). - emphasis added

What was he thinking?  Er, perhaps I should rephrase: Was he thinking?

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Prepping is going mainstream

And I think that is a good thing!

Seen in the wild at my local Wal*Mart:

As always, click on the image for a larger version.

Each of these buckets claim to keep four people fed for 72 hours.  They also claim to last for 25 years if properly stored.  I haven't done a cost breakdown (and I probably won't bother to be perfectly honest...) but it does seem a bit spendy.  But to be able to exchange a fist-full of worthless FRN's for a ready made kit seems to me to be a very good idea.

Other stores have similar items available on-line.  Costco, for examples has a whole section of their food page dedicated to storage food.  BJ’s has a smaller section.  Neither have any of their storage food available in-store.

However you get it (provided it’s through legal means) you should lay in a supply of food to keep you going in the event on “unforeseen circumstances.”  It doesn’t have to be a full scale SHTF catastrophe.  An extended power failure, as but one example, will shutter the grocery store.  If your cupboard’s bare it won’t refill itself particularly if the stores are closed or the normal supply lines are disrupted.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Getting a bit spendy out there…

Last night I popped by the local stop & rob for a splash of gogo juice.  I still find it hard to believe that I put two stink’n zincolns shy of a U.S.Grant in the gas tank of my Volkswagen Beetle!  AND it was the cheapest unleaded regular they had!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Circling the bowl indeed

Poking around in the blogosphere I came across a link over at The MIDDLE of the RIGHT to a story I had missed.  I’ve largely given up on CNN as a news source since so much of what they cover these days seems to my ear more in line with Entertainment Tonight.  I may have to start popping back in at CNN/Money a bit more often, though.

Things may be unraveling more and faster than even I realized.  I wish I could say I found this surprising.  I don’t.  I am a bit taken aback by the swiftness with wich it seems to be coming on.

Hold onto your hats, folks.  I expect this to be a bumpy ride…

Monday, September 24, 2012

And this passes for main-stream reporting?

 In a story updating a tragic accident we find this:

According to a release from the department, Gary A. Garafola, of 3 Ripple Road, was struck and killed while walking his dog just after 5 p.m.

Two “paragraphs” down (actually, after a run-on sentence pretending to be a paragraph) we find this:

Calls to a number listed for Garafola went unanswered Sunday afternoon.

NO SHIT!  He’s kind of busy being dead right at the moment!  You might want to try back after the resurrection.

I mean no disrespect to the deceased’s family and friends in their time of grief.  But I do find this reporter calling his house to be – I’m at a loss for words!  Feel free to insert your own adjective in the comments… <takes a deep breath> – to be beyond insensitive to the point of vulgarity.

EDIT: I have no idea where these empty videos are comming from.  They only seem to show up when I'm using Internet Exploder on other than my usual computer.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Here we go again…

Man allegedly steals $100K coin collection, then spends at face value on pizza and a movie

To quote Bugs: “What a maroon!”

We had a case a while back where some more local ‘maroon’ stole a relative’s collection and dumped it into a CoinStar machine.  That id10t didn’t even get face value because the machine skims 8% off the top as the fee for using the machine.  It blows my mind how dumb some crooks really are!

Not much of an article

But the comments are entertaining.

Dollar and precious metals at a glance

Poking around on YouTube again …

... I stumbled across this.

(Both videos are HD. I suggest you watch them full screen.)

 I was a huge fan of Babylon 5. G’kar came to be one of my favorite characters. His growth and transformation throughout the series was something to behold. Andreas brought G’kar to life far beyond a mere character in a SciFi TV series. This compilation is a worthy reminder.

Another worthy bit is Citizen G’kar’s first speech before the Counsel.

Andreas left us on the 13th of February, 2006. I just came across the tribute this evening and thought I’d share.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

I’m sooo confused!

I’ve had a couple of comments lately that just don’t sound right to my ear.  Blogger has shunted them into the spam folder.  But I’m not sure.  I don’t see any of the embedded links that are normally present in most of the spam I see.  They sound as if they were written by a non-native English speaker or maybe machine translated.  Most are complimentary in general terms – but seem to have nothing to do with the post on which they were made.

Have you, my loyal reader (note the singular), seen anything like this?  What’s your take on it?

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

And so it goes.

A while back Blogger came out with a new interface.  The suckage was intense.  I looked and looked and finally found where they had stashed the old interface.  I switched back immediately.  Well, it looks like Blogger has finally caught up with me and taken away the interface I was familiar with.  The one that worked - at least most of the time.  Let's hoe they have actually, you know, fixed this one.  It would be a royal PITA to have to move again...

Update’n the ol’ Blogroll

Not that I don’t already have too much to read…

Run over by a Karma Giha

From the link at SayUncle we find this nugget at Marooned:

Karma is a Bitch...


One thing leads to another

Every time I hear this song on the radio

I think of this
Thanks Weerd!
\\\\’ Hooray! ‘////

Sunday, September 9, 2012

The TRUTH will be heard.

Whether those listening want to hear it or not!

I received this via email from a friend:
Columbine father- 12 years later!!

Guess our national leaders didn't expect this. On Thursday, Darrell Scott, the father of Rachel Scott, a victim of the Columbine High School shootings in Littleton , Colorado , was invited to address the House Judiciary Committee's subcommittee. What he said to our     national leaders during this special session of Congress was painfully truthful.

They were not prepared for what he was to say, nor was it received well. It needs to be heard by every parent, every teacher, every politician, every sociologist, every psychologist, and every so-called expert! These courageous words spoken by Darrell Scott are powerful, penetrating, and deeply personal. There is no doubt that God sent this man as a voice crying in the wilderness. The following is a portion of the     transcript:

" Since the dawn of creation there has been both good &  evil in the hearts of men and women. We all contain the seeds of kindness or the seeds of violence. The death of my wonderful daughter, Rachel Joy Scott, and the deaths of that heroic teacher, and the other eleven children who died must not be in vain. Their blood cries out for answers.

"The first recorded act of violence was when Cain slew his brother Abel out in the field. The villain was not the club he used.   Neither was it the NCA, the National Club Association. The true killer was Cain, and the reason for the murder could only be found in Cain's heart.

"In the days that followed the Columbine tragedy, I was amazed at how quickly fingers began to be pointed at groups such as the NRA. I am not a member of the NRA. I am not a hunter.   I do not even own a gun. I am not here to represent or defend the NRA - because I don't believe that they are responsible for my daughter's death. Therefore I do not believe that they need to be defended. If I believed they had anything to do with Rachel's murder I would be their strongest opponent.

I am here today to declare that Columbine was not just a tragedy -- it was a spiritual event that should be forcing us to look at where the real blame lies! Much of the blame lies here in this room. Much of the blame lies behind the pointing fingers of the accusers themselves.    I wrote a poem just four nights ago that expresses my feelings best.

Your laws ignore our deepest needs,
Your words are empty air.
You've stripped away our heritage,
You've outlawed simple prayer.
Now gunshots fill our classrooms,
And precious children die.
You seek for answers everywhere,
And ask the question "Why?"
You regulate restrictive laws,
Through legislative creed.
And yet you fail to understand,
That God is what we need!

Men and women are three-part beings. We all consist of body, mind, and spirit. When we refuse to acknowledge a third part of our make-up, we create a void that allows evil, prejudice, and hatred to rush     in and wreak havoc. Spiritual presences were present within our educational systems for most of our nation's history. Many of our major colleges began as theological seminaries. This is a historical fact. What has happened to us as a nation? We have refused to honor God, and in so doing, we open the doors to hatred and violence. And when something as terrible as Columbine's tragedy occurs -- politicians immediately look for a scapegoat such as the NRA. They immediately seek to pass more restrictive laws that continue to     erode away our personal and private liberties. We do not need more restrictive laws. Eric and Dylan would not have been stopped by metal detectors. No amount of gun laws can stop someone who spends months planning this type of massacre. The real villain lies within our own hearts.

"As my son Craig lay under that table in the school library and saw his two friends murdered before his very eyes, he did not hesitate to pray in school. I defy any law or politician to deny him that right! I challenge every young person in America , and around the world, to realize that on April 20, 1999, at Columbine High School prayer was brought back to our schools.    Do not let the many prayers offered by those students be in vain. Dare to move into the new millennium with a sacred disregard for legislation that violates your God-given right to communicate with Him. To those of you who would point your finger at the NRA -- I give to you a sincere challenge. Dare to examine your own heart before casting the first stone!  My daughter's death will not be in vain! The young people of this country will not allow that to happen!"
Darrell Scott
Do what the media did not - - let the nation hear this man's speech. Please send this out to everyone you can.
God Bless
Here is my reply:

Very hard to read because it's so true.  In the gun bloging community there is a term for the reaction of groups like the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Ownership and Illegal Mayors Against Guns. 

We call it "blood dancing." 

It’s as if they were dancing in the blood of the victims.  Sometimes it seems as if they can hardly contain their glee.  It begins almost the moment the first news reports come out any time a significant event such as Columbine occurs.  The various groups are brought in by their friends in the media to offer "expert opinions" on how this "gun crime" can be stopped. 

But it's not "gun crime."  It's crime.  Murder is a crime whether you use a gun or as Darrell Scott pointed out, a club.  A tool is a tool.  It can be used for good or for evil.  How it is used is entirely dependent on the intentions of the person using it. 

So often events like Columbine or Virginia Tech or the Colorado movie massacre happen in places that MAIG and the Brady's insist should be safe.  They call them Gun Free Zones.  We call them Defenseless Victim Zones.  In military terms they are known as Soft Targets.  Places where large numbers of people gather who have been stripped of their ability to defend themselves by laws, rules set out by the owners of the venue or simply by local custom.  Those with evil intent are well aware that they will almost certainly meet no effective resistance.  In the vast majority of cases the killing didn't stop until the killer was ready to stop.

In what can only be called a gross perversion of justice, it's been taken so far in the Brady's paradise of (formerly) Great Britton that defending yourself against a criminal is a crime in and of itself!  One that will get you, the defender, in more trouble with the law than the criminal you were defending against!

Fortunately people are finally starting to wake up to the lies we have been fed buy these groups, by our elected leaders and by so many who have been misled by them.

Life IS worth defending!  It is both our right and our duty to do so.  We can no longer sit idly by and hope that if we give the criminals what they want maybe they won’t kill us.  What if what they want IS to kill us?  In the three mass murder tragedies I’ve mentioned robbery was not a motive.  In all three the killer’s intent was to “go out in a blaze of glory.”  You will note that I have not named any of the killers.  They will not receive their glory or fame (really infamy) from me.  All they will get from me is indifference to their lack of humanity and my outrage at their actions.

And I will heap that same outrage on anyone who would deny another human being the right to defend themselves.  Those who would deny that right are not seeking to make anyone but the criminals they are empowering safe.  In a very real sense they are acting as accessories before the fact.  We should be prosecuting them to the fullest extent of the law – not re-electing them!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Blog Fodder

(Originally written in my notebook yesterday afternoon while waiting for an appointment…)

Sitting in the waiting room at my eye doctor’s I was perusing a copy of Field & Stream.  On page – Iduno - they don’t have page numbers…  They had a section on Non-Tips of the Year.  One was as follows:

Sick People need good outdoor advice too
Don’t throw out your past issues of F&S.  Take them to your next visit to your doctor or dentist.  Some of their magazines can be quite old.”

I checked what issue I was reading:  December 2010/January 2011.


Monday, September 3, 2012

Happy Labor Day!

In honor of Labor Day I nuked a couple of hotdogs.  Sorry, I didn’t photograph them for you.  I chose to eat them while they were still warm instead.  You know how things cool down so fast when nuked.

Enjoy and be safe out there!

Thought for the day:

In 1920 thanks in large part to ever increasing manufacturing efficiencies the base price of a Ford Model T was $260 (according to Wikipedia).
The dollar was backed by Gold at an exchange rate of $22 per Ounce Troy (oz/T).
So the cost of the car was 11.81 ounces Troy if paid for in gold. 

The invoice price of a base 2013 Ford Fusion is $20,235  (according to Edmonds)  The dollar was taken off the Gold Standard in 1971 by Executive Order signed by Richard Nixon.  Today the spot price of one ounce Troy of Gold is $1693.70 (according to Kitco).  So the cost of the car is 11.94 oz/T if paid for in Gold.

And you get more car for your gold…  Of course we’re not really talking about Fords.  We’re talking about fiat…  You see, gold is not over priced - the dollar is circling the bowl.

What’s that whooshing sound I hear?

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Neil Armstrong 1930 - 2012

Engineer, Pilot, Teacher, Family Man, Astronaut and the first human to set foot on another world has passed from this world.  He was 82.

Details at CNN.

Monday, August 20, 2012

If only I could make some money off of it… ;-)

My other home on the web tends to be a good bit busier than here even though I may only post an update once or twice a year.  Anywho…  Some time around mid day tomorrow will go over the 106,000 visitor mark according to sitemeter.  I added the sitemeter link quite a few years after beetlemania went live.  As a result I have no idea just how many visitors may actually have visited.  All this for a little page about the rules of a game I started playing after being punched without warning by a cousin who doesn’t even remember the incident.  Who’d have thunk?

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Oh really?

Obama hosts Iftar diner in celebration of Ramadan at the White House.  But hes not a Muslim...

Sorry about the commercial ahead of the video.  Most of the legacy media sucks that way.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

On the Wisconsin shooting

LawDog puts it far more eloquently that I ever could.  And I thoroughly agree with his point about not granting Evil even the smallest bit of fame.  That is one reason I have chosen not to comment about this shooting or the one in Aurora until now.

As Weerd so often says “carry your damn gun!” and I’ll add “even if the sign says you can’t.”

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Flashlight Blogging

I thought I’d pick up some batteries today.  In bulk.  Just incase…

I go through AA batteries like I go through potato chips.  My radios use them.  My point & shoot Fuji A700 uses them.  My Mini-MagLights use them.  Even the ones I’ve converted to LED use them.  They seem pretty much ubiquitous. 

But my EDC tac light, a StreamLight LT-2 LED, uses Lithium CR123 batteries.  Not uncommon these days perhaps, but hardly ubiquitous.  In fact the shop I went to was out of them.  And as of this writing the effluent has yet to impact the circulation device for atmospheric gases.

But that got me to thinking…

Most of the blogs I read tend to feature a lot of prepper and fire arms information.  And politics – which often leads rather directly to the fire arms and SHTF prep information.  A frequent point of discussion is ‘which gun to include in your bug-out bag?’  That frequently leads in turn to ammo selection. 

Leaving discussion of ‘stopping power vs. weight vs. recoil vs. I shoot really tight patterns with my incredibly obscure Eastern Block revolver chambered in something I have to hand craft because nobody’s made it in over half a century’ aside … 

Well, actually focusing in on that last point, as a matter of fact, I made a decision.

Instead of shelling out @ $35- for a block of expensive and occasionally hard to get lithium batteries for my TL-2 LED I decided instead to replace it with something that uses cheap and easy to get AA batteries.

Enter my brandy spanking new StreamLight ProTac 2AA flashlight.

Also in this picture are my little Victorinox Mini-Champ SAK with the gutted paracord fob that I made for it and my Camilus Heat assisted opening knife.  The SAK rides in the ‘magazine pouch’ part of my cell phone holster pretty much every where I go and the Camilus spends its weekends on my belt in a horizontal carry sheath custom wet molded for this knife. 

You can see all of the leather cases and sheaths and stuff, oh my! in this post dating from January of last year.  A few things have changed from back then: I’m wearing a modern pair of glasses instead of the vintage 3-piece frames shown most of the time these days.  I’ve replaced the wallet shown with something that holds way more cards.  I’m two or three little note pads along from the one shown and I’ve switched to a modern stainless steel putton-click Parker Jotter fitted with a Fisher Space Pen insert.  I’ve stopped carrying the little tape measure and I found a really skinny Papermate pen that fits the pen holder in the flashlight case.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that even though my custom leather flashlight case was specifically made for the TL-2 LED in head up carry, the new ProTac 2AA fits quite nicely in a head down carry mode.  Because the two flashlights are shaped differently and the new light is notably longer that the old one I was expecting to have to make a new case for the new light.  I will eventually, but I don’t have to right away.  When I finally do I will be skipping the concho snap conversions.  They look really snazzy, but I’ve found them to be problematic in use. 

Anywho, what this all boils down to is that as of today the Streamlight TL-2 LED goes into semiretirement.  I’ll probably toss it into my bug-out bag.  Just because…

Friday, August 3, 2012

You can’t make this stuff up…

If you did, nobody would believe you!

A Vermont farmer, Roger Pion (yes, that is how it’s pronounced…), gave the Bigfoot treatment to fully half of the local sheriff’s department’s fleet of cruisers with his tractor.  It seems that he was upset about his recent arrest for, as the article puts it: resisting arrest and possession of marijuana.  I have no idea if he had a little for his own personal use or  if that was his primary crop.  One spectator, or rather, witness to the incident described the tractor as having tires at least fifteen feet high.

And a fun time was had by all…

No one was injured except for the taxpayers who will have to foot the bill for replacing the damaged cop cars.

UPDATE: I find it interesting that in the few minutes it took me to write my take on this story and post it and when I went back to read the original to Mum I find that the AP story at Yahoo News has been replaced with a completely rewritten story.  Some details have been added and others have been omitted.  It’s almost like looking something up in Wikipedia.  What you find depends on when you look and who wrote the most recent update.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Playing with the big camera this weekend...

Up in Franklin New Hamster: (Click on any picture to view much larger...)

Wild flowers beside the WinnipesaukeeRiver

An interesting shadow

Center span of the Franklin railroad trestle

Under the trestle


Trestle footings in the river

Obsolete Technology

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Three in a row!

Quite a while ago now I read a neat little book called The Curious Incident of the Dog in the NightTime.  It tells the tale of Christopher, a boy with Asperger’s Syndrome, following in the footsteps of his hero Sherlock Holms investigating the rather gruesome killing of a neighbor’s poodle that circumstantial evidence initially lead authorities to believe he had killed.  With a “garden fork.”  The story is told in the first person from Christopher’s point of view.

It’s a really good read especially if you know an Aspie, and it’s not a bad mystery novel either.  Keep in mind, though, that if you meet one Aspie – you’ve met ONE Aspie.  We are all different.

Anyway, one of Christopher’s obsessions centers around his favorite color: red.  He has this personal rule that if while he’s on the bus on his way to school he sees three red cars in a row that means it’s going to be a good day.  Five in a row means it’s going to be a “super good day.”

Like I said: if you meet one Aspie – you’ve met ONE Aspie. 

I’ll let you read the book for yourself.  I think you will enjoy it.

Anywho…  After I read Christopher’s story I made a point to look for Volkswagens, since that’s what I drive most of the time.  I’ve played Punch Buggy since the sixties so I always look for them.  I started looking in particular for Volkswagens on the road in groups of threes.

The really weird thing was that I almost never see ‘three-fers.’  Even more rarely am I actually part of a three-fer.  Since I’ve been driving Punch Buggies myself, whether Galileo or Fritz, I have never been part of a three-fer of punch buggies on the open road. 


There was one time in the little industrial park the company I work for used to be in where I was in the rocking chair of a three punch buggy convoy.  But the other two pealed off into the parking lot of the pub that you got to before you left the road that the industrial park was on.  We were three in a row for maybe two hundred yards within the industrial park.  That was the only time I was in a three punch buggy convoy.

Until today…

WOW!  And what’s more – I had my camera with me to document the event!   

WOW cubed to the eleventh power!

Hope you had as good a day as me!

Sunday, July 15, 2012


I wasn’t feeling well yesterday.  I had a fairly notable headache and my shoulder was killing me.  That combined with the van not being loaded for the flea convinced me to sit out this weekend too.

It might have been less work to set up!

Thankfully the headache was mostly gone this morning though the other aches and pains are still hanging around to a lesser degree.  So having a day where I don’t have to go out anywhere I took the opportunity to do some work in the yard.  When I showed up at the breakfast table wearing my “Uncle Jessie’s” Mum greeted me with “Well. Good morning farmer [Herr].”

Little did we yet realize how close to the mark that might actually be!

So the first order of business was to get the string trimmer working.  The strait shaft head that was on the electric motor from last time was out of string.   I don’t really like the bent shaft trimmer head – but it has some string.  So I swapped the magazine from one to the other and I was back in business.  Even the weeds that were as tall as me were no match for my mechanized deweeder machine.  Can’t really call it a law mower given the shape of the weed-beds…

Speaking of the formally designated weed-beds, they will be going away.  What were flower beds have been completely overrun with grass from what’s supposed to be lawn and weeds.  I now consider them to be a trip hazard more than ornamental gardens.  So the edging will be getting yanked and the whole area mowed.

It turns out that there are two kinds of vines growing in the yard.  One had taken over the tree that makes the side yard useless and had I not got out there to get rid of them today would eventually have killed it.

The other:

Wine on the vine!

I’m no connoisseur so if you can help me out with a positive identification of just what kind of grapes those are I’d me much obliged.  Mum is leaning toward Concord.  But I have no clue.  Here’s the sample I brought in to show Mum:

Oh, and that tree,,,

I have no idea if they are crabby or if they have a pleasant attitude.

Farmer Herr, indeed!  And to think that the park rules contain a no food crops ordinance.  As if I care!

EDIT: Just removed another [expletive deleted] blank video.