Thursday, February 28, 2013

Motorcycle goodness

Crazy uncle is too kind for Joe Biden.

Via Ace of Spades
After being disrespected by the Russian Foreign Minister, the Treasonous John Kerry gets a slap of the same right across his ugly hatchet face by Egyptian secular political leaders.

Well deserved, I might say.

Imagine another four years of this, Mr. Kerry.  If the rest of us have to suffer your America hating mug for that long, at least we can enjoy your serial humiliations.  It's too bad your entire life has been spent damaging your own country.

The credo of the low information voter

Meanwhile, in Russia.....

Freckles, they are good.

Via Weasel Zippers, Maxine Waters, apparently showing the effects of being dropped on her head as a baby, claims the sequester will cost 170 million jobs, when there are only 134 million people working in the country today.

Watch it if you can stomach the stench of stupidity (and I know she likely is aware she's wrong [arguably] but even so she's still stupid to make the argument if it is so obviously incorrect).

134 million is the government's number, which Maxine apparently can't be bothered to check.
Major league quality catch in the outfield.  Looks like North Carolina State.  I'm amazed at the fact that the kid just popped back up at the end, no problem.  Youth, isn't it great?

This is a bit creepy, maybe creepier than the UFO in a tunnel.  

   "π also appears as the average ratio of the actual length and the direct distance between source and mouth in a meandering river. Hans-Henrik Stolum, a geologist at Cambridge University, calculated the ratio between the total length of a river to the direct distance between its source and end point.[6] He found the average ratio to be a bit larger than 3. It is actually around 3.14, which we recognize as an approximation of π. Coincidence?
Rivers have a tendency toward a loopy path. A slight bend will lead to faster currents on the outside shores, and the river will begin to erode and create a curved path. The sharper the bend, the more strongly the water flows to the outside, and in the consequence the erosion is in turn the faster.
The meanders get increasingly more circular, and the river turns around and around in semi-circles. It then runs straight ahead again, and the meander becomes a bleak branch. Between the two reverse effects a balance adapts. The process is demonstrated in Figure 4-3.
We have created a model where a fictitious river is superimposed by semicircles to represent the eventual curve of the river flow. Now by labeling the source point of the river A, end point B, the midpoints of every semicircle Mi (i=1,2,3,4), and the radius of each semicircle ri, we can check if the ratio of the length of the path of the river (C) to that of line segment AB (l) is actually π."
Iran and the US unite in opposition to the Olympic Committee's decision to eliminate wrestling. 

  "At the start of the Wrestling World Cup, hosted in Tehran from February 21-22, American and Iranian athletes held hands and smiled to the crowd while standing behind a long banned that read: “Olympics without wrestling! never never” in both English and Farsi. “We need the backing of Iran and Russia… to preserve wrestling, and this goes beyond politics… Iran is one of the powers in wrestling and can defend the game’s credibility,” said Rich Bender, executive director of USA Wrestling, according to the ISNA state news agency."

It's a start.
UFO follows cars through tunnel in Germany.  ??????

From Itaintholywater

Wednesday, February 27, 2013


Via Bits and Pieces
Car hops at work - 1953

Bob Woodward finds out what happens when the thuggish Obama administration finds out he is reporting something that they don't like.

A very senior administration official told Woodward he would regret what he was doing.

"Oh, Luigi, how exactly am I going to regret it?" should have been Woodward's response.  And he should not be hiding the name of this Stalinist wanna-be, but should be shouting it on every show that will let him. Then we would see who would be regretting things.

Honestly, how long is it going to take the press to learn that the Obama's are nothing but smooth talking  Communists, and that they have no respect whatsoever for the press in spite of all the help the so called reporters and news networks gave him in his campaigns?  In fact, it wouldn't be too much to say that if these administration goons had their way, the press useful fools would be the first ones to the gallows.


The Feral Irishman hits another home run with this post, and he's right, the comments are both a laugh and a testament to the times we allow ourselves to live in.

Best comment:

I was a little disappointed when I first bought this item, because the functionality is limited. My 5 year old son pointed out that the passenger's shoes cannot be removed. Then, we placed a deadly fingernail file underneath the passenger's scarf, and neither the detector doorway nor the security wand picked it up. My son said "that's the worst security ever!". But it turned out to be okay, because when the passenger got on the Playmobil B757 and tried to hijack it, she was mobbed by a couple of other heroic passengers, who only sustained minor injuries in the scuffle, which were treated at the Playmobil Hospital.

The best thing about this product is that it teaches kids about the realities of living in a high-surveillence society. My son said he wants the Playmobil Neighborhood Surveillence System set for Christmas. I've heard that the CC TV cameras on that thing are pretty worthless in terms of quality and motion detection, so I think I'll get him the Playmobil Abu-Gharib Interogation Set instead (it comes with a cute little memo from George Bush).

Mike Basich, a 40-year-old pro snowboarder, has spent the past several years building his dream home near Lake Tahoe. About 10 miles outside Truckee, Calif., the house sits 3 miles beyond a quiet road that has a few mailboxes but not much else. In the winter, it can only be accessed by a snowmobile, snowcat or other kind of tracked vehicle.

Sounds like my kind of cabin.

Entertaining, even in French.

Via Antzinpantz

Just about the time I think that there can be no more fiscally stupid state than California/Greece, I find out about something like this.

Illinois is apparently having trouble paying it's lottery winners.

But I suppose it wouldn’t be entirely true to say that the Illinois lottery doesn’t have problems. After all, Jones has been spending quite a lot of the entity’s money jetting off to far off locations to complain about his job, and even state-run entities in economically illiterate states like Illinois have finite budgets. There’s only so much cash to go around. So after the little globe-trotting spree, it’s no wonder the Illinois lottery is having a little trouble cashing checks to winners.
The Illinois Lottery bounced dozens of checks written to winners, many for scratch-off tickets worth $1,000.
Lottery spokesman Mike Lang said Friday that the mistake happened when a computer file wasn’t sent on time to the lottery’s bank. He says lottery officials didn’t key in the required security verification for the checks.
The lottery wrote 311 checks on Dec. 28. Of those checks about 85 bounced. Lang says the lottery offices were short-staffed because of the holidays. The affected checks totaled about $159,000.
Lang says the lottery will pay for any bank fees that occurred because of the checks. The lottery also is apologizing by sending free scratch-off tickets to those affected.
The lottery insists the problem was not a result of poor money management, but rather, poor management generally. If it had been the result of poor money management, they could merely have cut the travel budget for their director. But perhaps it’s time Illinois citizens start questioning why they are avoiding cutting their director.

Like they did on the Titanic, let's everyone in California and Illinois hold hands together as we slowly sink into the icy depths of the sea.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Finally, a decent embeddable video of this sun flare with coronal rain.


Does it rain on the Sun? Yes, although what falls is not water but extremely hot plasma. An example occurred in mid-July 2012 after an eruption on the Sun that produced both aCoronal Mass Ejection and a moderate solar flare. What was more unusual, however, was what happened next. Plasma in the nearby solar corona was imaged cooling and falling back, a phenomenon known as coronal rain. Because they are electrically charged, electronsprotons, and ions in the rain were gracefully channeled along existing magnetic loops near the Sun's surface, making the scene appear as a surreal three-dimensional sourceless waterfall. The resulting surprisingly-serene spectacle is shown in ultraviolet light and highlights matter glowing at a temperature of about 50,000 Kelvin. Each second in the above time lapse video takes about 6 minutes in real time, so that the entire coronal rain sequence lasted about 10 hours.

Don't know what's going on here, but wheew!  Disaster barely averted.

The circle of life

A relic from a different era.

Monday, February 25, 2013

This guy has balls of steel.  My immediate inclination to this would be instant cooperation, but that's what they are counting on.  I wonder what would happen if he didn't have a camera?  I imagine he wouldn't be getting treated so leniently.

Via Market Ticker.

Here where I live, spring is starting. I'm going to have to get the lawn mowers ready to work, and more importantly, it will be time to think about a garden.  

Seed catalogues are one of the funnest things to stroll through right about now.  What will be this year's experiment, which old favorites will come back?

Should be a great summer, and hopefully a full harvest.  

The Fifteen year old at work/play

Via Maggie's Farm, a bit of wisdom for a Monday evening.

"Men are qualified for liberty in exact proportion to their disposition to put moral chains upon their own appetites,—in proportion as their love of justice is above their rapacity — in proportion as their soundness and sobriety and understanding is above their vanity and presumption — in proportion as they are more disposed to listen to the counsels of the wise and good, in preference to the flattery of knaves. Society cannot exist, unless a controlling power upon will and appetite be placed somewhere; and the less of it there is within, the more there must be without. It is ordained in the eternal constitution of things, that men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters." 

Edmund Burke
Found this over at Bayou Renaissance Man.  Laugh out loud funny.

The treasonous John Kerry makes his first embarrassing flub as Secretary of State.  

It's called preparation, John, that's why you have a staff.   In addition, recognize that the tongue twisting name of an American ally might be difficult to say, so at least have the common sense to have someone knowledgeable pronounce it for you, and make sure you can say it right too, before you go out in public and make yourself look stupid.

But given your arrogance level, your toxic narcissism, and your laziness, I guess we can't expect any better.

Thanks, Obama, for nominating this asshole, and thanks Congress, for confirming him.  We will now get to be ashamed for the next four years by what will no doubt be a continuing series of public stupidities by this twit.
Dewey from Detriot has a great post up that draws our attention not just to the awful state of the formerly great city of Detroit, but also why the current condition of that city, and the lessons that it teaches, are ones that we need to keep closely in mind as our entire country lurches down the same path.

I see the same thing happening in, of all places, California, which like Detroit used to be considered a leader in business and dynamism.

The very same dynamic, however, is quickly eating away at the foundations of that success, thanks to the same toxic combination of union power coupled with Democratic dominance in the legislature.  Sounds pretty familiar to Detroiters, I'm sure.

Think it can't happen here?  So did the denizens of Detroit fifty years ago.

Michigan Central Station, Detroit, now.  An abandoned hulk.

But before, a shining example of Detroit's former success, built to be an example of all that is good in public governance.

The people of my own state of California vote over and over again for the same people and the same policies that led to this.  I don't have an answer for this seemingly purposeful decision to jump into destruction.  Perhaps the founders of our country were right that a democracy (or in our case, a republic) cannot last if the people aren't both moral and engaged in the business of government. 

Perhaps it really is the fate of democracies to shoot skyward, like a rocket, bright and beautiful for an instant, before exploding into smoke and ash, as the natural tendencies of human nature bring things to ruin.

The only thing I can think of that might cure this is a severe restriction in the right to vote, a solution that seems like anathema to most today, but which isn't really so far from the rule when our nation was first so successfully founded.  Allowing the franchise to extend broadly to the immature, the disengaged and to those who do not contribute anything significant to society brings us certainly onto the shoals of disaster.  Maybe after the collapse is over, and if a tyrant doesn't seize power first, we can recognize and make the needed changes, and return to the roots of our founding, which have given us so many years of success, both politically and economically.  Let's prepare and hope, because at this juncture, Detroit, in one form or another, will be the fate of us all.

Mondays, they're like that.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Military awesomeness
High tech and high morale.  The beard action is pretty good too.

Golf silliness.

Red hair, freckles and apparently an attitude.  A dangerous combination indeed.  

Better keep the knives locked up for a couple of days.

Cabin porn.

One after the other

The Sixteen Year Old badgered me into getting into the car and driving around to do some photography yesterday, on account of how nice the day was.  I'm glad he did, because we ended up at my favorite local pioneer cemetery, where the old section, from the 1800's, always somehow provides good stuff for the lens.  

It was a clear, cool and somewhat blustery day, and this little cemetery sits out in the flats, and the trees there are the only thing sticking up from the plain until you reach the line of the Cosumnes River about two or three miles to the north.   It's quite a dramatic resting spot for all the original pioneers, and the names on the headstones correspond to the names of all the checkerboard roads that criss cross the land hereabouts.  Some of the head stones are quite ornate, and represent fine examples of the stone carver's art.  Others are as simple as a plain rectangle sitting on the ground, with only a name and date.

One of these evenings, on a moonless night, we need to roll on over and see what can be done with long exposures and stars.  We'd have to go together, though, because it is a graveyard after all.  Being there in the dark might just peg the spookiness meter.

Knife porn, this time from Randy Lee out in St. Johns, Arizona.

I like the balance, simplicity and straightforwardness of this hunter.  Really nice.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Why California, and the City of San Bernardino in particular, are boned.

  "The bankrupt city of San Bernardino has hired a new city manager who, according to court filings, has twice declared personal bankruptcy and was recently ousted from the board of a small community's water company after being sued by shareholders.

The city council voted unanimously on Tuesday night to hire Allen J. Parker, 71, as its city manager on an annual salary of almost $222,000. He replaces an interim city manager who resigned last month because, according to friends, she was exasperated by the city's internal divisions.

Pat Morris, the mayor of the city in California, praised Parker's "wealth of city management experience" and expressed "great confidence" in his ability to oversee the city's affairs.

The California newspaper The Press-Enterprise reported on Thursday that Parker filed in 2011 for personal bankruptcy. In comments to the paper, Parker said that his bankruptcy and his ability to handle the city's fiscal problems were "apples and oranges."

What a pathetic excuse for city governance.  

Via Mish's place.
Can anyone say, " black Swan?"

Chinese admiral expects quick win in war with Japan.

Idiot.  Starting a war would be condemned internationally, and would be disastrous for China, even if the Chinese won the initial confrontation.

Let's hope there are more adult people in charge over there.
To keep all the chicken little, "the sky is falling," hullaballoo in perspective, the sequester is not - not - a cut in spending.

It is only a cut in the rate of growth.  Nobody is getting less money.

The chickens ( I got three hens) have started laying again, so we have some brown and green eggs to use up.  That means Saturday morning breakfast is the classic "man" breakfast, with three farm eggs, some bacon I picked up in Lockeford on the way back from Visalia yesterday, and a wild yeast sourdough waffle.   Add several drops of Yucateco sauce on those eggs, a steaming mug of hot coffee, and you have breakfast Nirvana.

Engraving - on a Glock - the world's ugliest gun?

I gotta admit, this doesn't look bad at all.

Friday, February 22, 2013

You'll like this.

Via Maggie's Farm.

Comets Lemmon and PanSTARRS sweeping through the Southern Skies from Alex Cherney on Vimeo.
Friday open road

In desperation, will the Feds come after your 401k?

This article sets out the case.

Get ready to take the hit, unless you can pull the money out before they spring this on the people. If stealing your retirement savings doesn't set off a civil war, I don't know what will.
Off we go into Friday.  I gotta drive down to Visalia today for work, about three and a half hours one way.   Good thing I have Pandora radio, cause I'll need it.


Freckles, they are good.

The ultimate cabin location.  A retreat in a forest of aspen has to be true nirvana.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

   "Eben Alexander’s Proof of Heaven is a personal account of a medical doctor who came within an ace of a documented brain death yet made a full recovery. That person was Alexander himself. While in the coma Dr. Alexander had a near death experience of startling reality and duration in which he had no awareness of his previous identity; not his name, his profession nor his memory. He instead voyaged without any apparent self-consciousness through three distinct “worlds”: “the rough, ugly Realm of the Earthworm’s-Eye View, the idyllic Gateway, and the awesome heavenly Core”.
Upon regaining consciousness, Dr. Alexander on the advice of his son set down his recollections while they were still fresh in his mind and attempted to reconcile what he subjectively experienced with his training and career as a neurosurgeon, which included a stint as a faculty member at Harvard Medical School and the publication of numerous scientific papers.

From reviewing his own medical records and interviewing the physicians attending him, Dr. Alexander came to the conclusion that his experiences could not adequately be explained by the standard models of brain function. Although convinced of the reality of what he experienced while in the coma, Dr. Alexander could only indicate the lines of inquiry that might be pursued to explain his experience in the physical sense, since it could not be adequately modeled by the mechanisms currently known.
The main problem he had to deal with was the inverse relationship between the depth of his disease and the richness of his experience. The ‘deader’ you were, it seemed, the more complex and information rich the near death experience became. It was the reverse of what you would expect if the experiences were conjured up by a dying brain.
That led him to posit that the human brain might be a filter, and not the exclusive source of available knowledge. It’s ability to exclude information or at least to process it in a form compatible to common experience may be at least as important as any processing functions it may perform. We experience “the world” as much by exclusion as admittance.
The deader the brain the more it would let through. And in his hopeless state Alexander was bombarded by information of some kind which his brain was unable to bar.
The question is whether it is “real” information — a representation of objective reality. Alexander argued that we are only now beginning to understand how “entangled” individual objects in the universe are; how they are literally part of a larger system. To understand the information content of a particle of any size you had to understand the influences acting upon it. Everything we examine is impinged upon by “real information”."

And the creepiest part ( cue eerie music ):

  "The one question that bothered Alexander — which he left unanswered till the last — was whether admittance to the network necessarily meant the obliteratation of the meager little things that make us individuals. Whether the price of the upgrade was the elimination of local memory. He was especially bothered by the absence in his near death experience of any human presence he could recognize in retrospect, from “life”. His sole human companion through the realms was a women he did not recognize.
That recognition came only later when Alexander received the photo of a deceased biological sister that he had long been seeking. Alexander was adopted and had never seen his biological sister, who had died some years before. In the process of reconnecting with his biological relatives he received the photo. It was of the woman in his near death experience."

Read the rant here.

Warning: immediate violation of Godwin's law.

   "At the time, as I read Hitler’s shameless speeches where he would blame Churchill for Germany attacking Denmark. Where he would accuse Poland of being warmongers while he was secretly planning his surprise attack on Poland. I remember thinking, how could anyone fall for these lies?! How on earth did Adolph Hitler get away with the lies that he told?!

I had yet to experience the serial lying of Barack Obama.

I still don’t get how Hitler got away with it. But now, what frosts my cake, is we the American People are being told catastrophic, nuclear-sized lies just like the Germans were told in the 1930s and 40s.

Now, we have a sociopath leading our country.

How do you get a Barack Obama if those who vote in the country know of an Adolph Hitler?

”Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. [George Santayana]"

How would you change the course of an Earth-threatening asteroid?

One possibility - a massive spacecraft that uses gravity as a towline - is illustrated in this artist's vision of a gravitational tractor in action. In the hypothetical scenario worked out in 2005 by Edward Lu and Stanley Love at NASA's Johnson Space Center, a 20 ton nuclear-electric spacecraft tows a 200 meter diameter asteroid by simply hovering near the asteroid. The spacecraft's ion drive thrusters are canted away from the surface. Their slight but steady thrust would gradually and predictably alter the course of the tug and asteroid, coupled by their mutual gravitational attraction. While it sounds like the stuff of science fiction, ion drives do power existing spacecraft. One advantage of using a gravitational tractor is that it would work regardless of the asteroid's structureGiven sufficient warning and time, a gravitational tractor could deflect the path of an asteroid known to be on a collision course enough to miss planet Earth.


About the best use of a tattoo I've seen.

His and hers

And I thought it was only the Americans that engaged it strange sports. Now perhaps we have a hint of where our craziness comes from.

Chinese activist asks internet users, "What does your hometown river look like?"

Rand Paul does something that I at least have never heard of before.

He is returning 600k in his congressional operating budget that he didn't spend.  Last year it was 500k.

I am impressed.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Sultan Knish serves up some wisdom today on the difficult status of the family in today's western societies.

He says, "who needs it anymore?"

Go read it all, but here is an excellent excerpt that explains a lot about why our society is in the state it is in.

The basic practical functions of the family have been replaced by the nanny state. It is the nanny that takes over the care and teaching of the child as soon as possible. And when their parents grow old, it is that same nanny that oversees their care and death.

Governments have come to serve as undying guardians of human society, ushering new life into the world and ushering old life out of it. New parents are as likely to turn to the government for help as they are to their extended family. When their child is old enough to look around for a career, it is the government that they expect to provide the education and the jobs. And when they grow old, the child can keep on working at his government job and paying off his student loans knowing that the government will be there to make all the difficult and expensive decisions about their care.

With all that taken care of, who needs parents or children anyway?

  "People once had children to pass on wealth, genes and beliefs. But wealth is now thought to be the collective property of society, which is taxed to death or often just given away on some quixotic quest to stamp out disease in Africa or illiteracy in Antarctica. The thought of passing on genes carries with it a tinge of racism for the European and European-descended populations whose birth rates are dropping, but raises no such concerns for minority groups with high birth rates. That only leaves beliefs, which are also thought to be the collective property of the society and the state. Public education, mandatory in some countries, means that the best way to reproduce your beliefs is not to have children, but to get a job as a teacher.

The family has been displaced and replaced. In some places it is even repressed. Like an old station wagon, it idles by the side of the road, while its former ownersdrive away in their new sleek electric government compact car built for two or a micro-car built for one into a wonderful childless future of unfunded pensions, social collapse and death panels."
People who live by the sea could find just about anything on their doorstep.

I say name the little guy Seal-O Green.

Then take him out on the town for a night of clubbing.

Yuk yuk yuk