Monday, June 30, 2014

The Constitution, that product of old dead white men, has had an excellent couple of weeks.

Legal Insurrection summarized everything better than anyone, but it's enough perhaps to point out that individual rights and liberties prevailed over the demands of the massive socialist state.  That's a very good thing.

   "Last week the Supremes shot down Obama’s “recess” appointments because under that old document, they were not really recess appointments.

   And also free speech buffer zones, because even people protesting to protect the unborn areentitled to speak their minds.

   And hey, government, leave our cellphones alone.

   Today, in Hobby Lobby, the principles of religious freedom in the First Amendment, as codified additionally in legislation, were upheld.

   Also today, the Supremes upheld freedom of speech principles in holding that home care workers could not be forced to subsidize public sector union political activities.

Really, this couldn't be a better way to start the week.

The putter - and we aren't talking golf here. A complete pleasure to watch in every way.

Via the always good American Digest

Mondays, they're like that.

It's predicted to be a balmy 105 today, I'll have to work late, and later this week I have to go to Bakersfield to hand-hold someone who is acting like a baby through a business deal.  At least the air conditioning in my Dodge works.  Then there is the 4th.  I'll be standing outside with a hose running just in case one of my fireworks crazy neighbors sets the field on fire.

I'm ready for impact.

Oh please!

I saw this over at a tumblr whose owner likes the "chicks with guns" theme, and truth to tell, there is nothing at all wrong with that.

However, the second I saw this, something jumped out at me.  What gun enthusiast in their right mind would even think of putting a handgun so close to someone's ear like the dark haired chick is doing?  Neither has hearing protection on, as that would ruin the image of hot, wet babes wielding dangerous tactical firearms, but there is no one who has any experience at all who would do that.

Torch off a round from the pistol in that position, and the girl in front would be instantly deaf and stunned by the shock, and might just turn around and pump a few rounds into girl #2, for revenge.

Silly and stupid on it's face.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Dream vista

To see a vista like this takes patience, hiking, and a camera. Patience was needed in searching out just the right place and waiting for just the right time. A short hike was needed to reach this rugged perch above a secluded cove in Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park in CaliforniaUSA. And a camera was needed for the long exposure required to bring out the faint light from stars and nebulae in the background Milky Way galaxy. Moonlight illuminated the hidden beach and inlet behind nearby trees in the above composite image taken last month. Usually obscured McWay Falls is visible just below the image center, while the Pacific Ocean is in view to its right.


Brooks Falls, Alaska, bear cam

Salmon, it's what's for dinner.



Leave me alone, human.

Darwin award, future gold medal winner

Edward S. Curtis: Soyaksin of the Blood Tribe. 1926.

Too pretty to fish with

It's predicted to be 105 on Monday

Makes one yearn for some of this.

Norther Plains Youth, Blackfeet, by Roland W. Reed

Saturday, June 28, 2014

A bit of sanity

Just down the road from me is a farmer's market where, as part of their advertising, they post large signs boasting that they don't carry genetically modified food.

Is this a real concern?  Can anyone name any person harmed or killed by genetically modified food?

Penn and Teller have an opinion worth watching:

Is the oldest tree on earth an aspen grove in Utah?

Via Wikipedia:

Pando is thought to have grown for much of its lifetime under ideal circumstances: frequent forest fires have prevented its main competitor, conifers, from colonizing the area, and a climate shift from wet and humid to semi-arid has obstructed seedling establishment and the accompanying rivalry from younger aspens.[citation needed]
During intense fires, the organism survived underground, with its root system sending up new stems in the aftermath of each wildfire. If its postulated age is correct, the climate into which Pando was born was markedly different from that of today, and it may be as many as 10,000 years since Pando's last successful flowering. According to an Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) report:
Clonal groups of P. tremuloides in eastern North America are very common, but generally less than 0.1 ha in size, while in areas of Utah, groups as large as 80 ha have been observed (Kemperman and Barnes 1976). In the semi-aridwestern United States, some argue that widespread seedling establishment has not occurred since the last glaciation, some 10,000 years ago (Einspahr and Winton 1976, McDonough 1985). Indeed, some biologists feel that western clones could be as old as 1 million years (Barnes 1966, 1975).
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and DevelopmentConsensus Document on the Biology of Populus L. (Poplars)[4]

The actual Panda grove

Stupid French cat runs into a glass door right in the middle of a bakery commercial.

How about some knife porn?

Both from Rick Menefee

Ivory Three Finger

Fillet, .500 tall blade .140 thick. No hump from the burr to the top. Distal taper from both ends. Bring me a catfish! 

This guy on the internet likes to throw Q-tips at his cat

Just another everyday emergency landing

Our military pilots rock.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Mars is cool.

June 24th marked the first full Martian year of the Curiosity Rover's exploration of the surface of the Red Planet. That's 687 Earth days or 669 sols since its landing on August 5, 2012. To celebrate, consider this self-portrait of the car-sized robot posing next to a rocky outcrop dubbed Windjana, its recent drilling and sampling site. The mosaicked selfie was constructed with frames taken this April and May using the rover's Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI), intended for close-up work and mounted at the end of the rover's robotic arm. The MAHLI frames used exclude sections that show the arm itself and so MAHLI and the robotic arm are not seen. Famous for panoramic views, the rover's Mastcam is visible though, on top of the tall mast staring toward the left and down at the drill hole.


Interesting fact: at the current time, Mars is populated entirely by robots!

Sound familiar?

  Sort of like Obama and his five Taliban generals.   I wonder if jail tamed them as well as it did Hitler?

Wait, what the…..

This and the following via Ka-ching

Holy Shiite!!

The guy on the left they arrested last week in Libya for the Benghazi attacks.   The guy on the right is still busy terrorizing Americans.

They could be twin brothers, and maybe in fact they are!   An amazing similarity.

Hawaii, the Big Island

Back in the day, the park service actually allowed people to wander out across the lava flow, over the top of the lava tube carrying this lava to the sea, to this point, where it could be observed very well hissing and popping into the cold ocean.  About a year after I did that hike, a two and a half acre chunk of coast right where I had been broke off and plunged into the sea.  There were a couple of tourists that they never found, and who are likely forever entombed in fresh lava, a la Pompeii.

I still think for me, it was worth the risk.

Yearning for Richard

                                                            Cultures, they can change.

Lemonade from a lemon

                                      Victory garden made in a bomb crater, London, WWII.

Explain this!

The “Beast of Dartmoor” in England, a legendary animal that has been sighted many times, though here it is supposedly caught on film. Most oral sightings report a “puma-like” big cat, and there is apparently more than one, as both black and the beige cougar color have been described. Some have also reported seeing a leopard, a “bear-like” black beast, and a lion. The animal in the video is hard to make out, but many people believe it to be a black leopard/jaguar, a black lion (most likely not, as there is no proof of a melanistic lion ever existing beyond some photoshopped photos), and a boar/suidae. 
The legend, however, claims that the giant black animals in Dartmoor are “yeth hounds,” demon-eyed black dogs that are actually the lost and demonic souls of dead and lost children, and they emit an inhuman scream when hunting. If they catch you, it is said they drag you to a faraway place never to be found again. 

Nothing that a couple of rounds of 270 wouldn't cure.

And my God!  At Tai Wiki Widbee, the remains of an unnaturally giant dog are suddenly and unexpectedly uncovered in an archeological dig in England.  The Hell Hound is real!  

Soccer or Futball?

It's a question that needs answering now that the world cup is on.

A rude person solved the dilemma by calling it "Fag ball." I wonder why that mean man felt that way?

CW, the early years

It took a while to see life as the humorous journey it really is.

The Leap Frogs at the Padres home opener in San Diego.

Amazing stuff over at the Flyby

Major Charles J. Loring, Jr.

Late in the morning of November 22, 1952, Loring led a flight of four F-80s on patrol over Kunwha. Upon radioing a forward air controller, he was told a T-6 Texan flying over Sniper Ridge had spotted a concentration of artillery near the ridge which was pinning down UN ground troops on the ridge. He was also told the artillery concentration was surrounded by a heavy presence of anti-aircraft guns. Loring ordered the flight to the location, spotting the artillery concentration.

Immediately after Loring began his dive bombing run, he was spotted by the anti-aircraft batteries. The Chinese crews operating them were highly skilled, and even at a distance, the batteries fired an extremely accurate barrage which struck Loring's aircraft several times on the nose and fuselage. The fire disabled the aircraft. His wingmen, noting the damage, suggested he abort the bombing mission, as the flight was not far behind the lines and Loring's aircraft could have attempted the return trip. Instead, Loring ceased radio contact, and resumed what appeared to be the standard bombing mission. At 4,000 feet (1,200 m), however, Loring accelerated his aircraft at a 40-degree angle in what appeared to be a controlled maneuver, lining up the Chinese batteries. The other pilots reported they watched, stunned, as Loring dove his damaged aircraft into the battery position. Loring was killed instantly in the impact, but his action resulted in the complete destruction of the battery position. - Wikipedia
He was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor. The citation reads:
Rank and organization: Major, U.S. Air Force, 80th Fighter-Bomber Squadron, 8th Fighter-Bomber Wing
Place and date: Near Sniper Ridge, North Korea, November 22, 1952 
Entered service at: Portland, Maine. Born: October 2, 1918, Portland, Maine
Maj. Loring distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. While leading a flight of 4 F-80 type aircraft on a close support mission, Maj. Loring was briefed by a controller to dive-bomb enemy gun positions which were harassing friendly ground troops. After verifying the location of the target, Maj. Loring rolled into his dive bomb run. Throughout the run, extremely accurate ground fire was directed on his aircraft. Disregarding the accuracy and intensity of the ground fire, Maj. Loring aggressively continued to press the attack until his aircraft was hit. At approximately 4,000 feet, he deliberately altered his course and aimed his diving aircraft at active gun emplacements concentrated on a ridge northwest of the briefed target, turned his aircraft 45 degrees to the left, pulled up in a deliberate, controlled maneuver, and elected to sacrifice his life by diving his aircraft directly into the midst of the enemy emplacements. His selfless and heroic action completely destroyed the enemy gun emplacement and eliminated a dangerous threat to United Nations ground forces. Maj. Loring’s noble spirit, superlative courage, and conspicuous self-sacrifice in inflicting maximum damage on the enemy exemplified valor of the highest degree and his actions were in keeping with the finest traditions of the U.S. Air Force. Source
What a true American!  What a superlative example of the American spirit, and I must say we have seen a whole lot of similar spirit from our countrymen and women deployed in our latest conflicts.  Too bad the nation's current leadership falls so far below this standard. 

Lockheed F-80C Shooting Stars of the 80th Fighter Bomber Squadron, 8th Fighter Bomber Wing


 "On balance the Republican “establishment” has done fairly well this primary season. Its favored candidate in the Nebraska Senate race lost, and of course Eric Cantor went down to defeat, but Thad Cochran, Lindsey Graham, and Mitch McConnell all hung on. So, all is right in the world, right?
US Capitol Building at night Jan 2006
Not really.
It is important to differentiate the candidates challenging the establishment from the voters backing those challengers. The candidates are either amateurs with no political background or upstarts who refuse to wait their place in line. They often have fewer funds, employ less experienced consultants, and lack the personal assets necessary to campaign effectively. Occasionally, a virtuoso rock star like Marco Rubio emerges, but the typical insurgent is lucky just to know how to hold the guitar.  
And yet they have been giving the establishment fits and starts. Cantor lost. Cochran almost lost. McConnell hung on, but had to hustle. And Graham finished with less than 60 percent of the vote despite having worked every angle he could for years.
Establishment politicos often act superciliously toward these challengers, but in so doing they are missing a profound point: The Republican electorate is exceedingly angry and frustrated with their leadership. The fact that these second- or third-raters can give established leaders such a scare is proof positive. The party’s leadership can snicker at these challengers all it wants, but it had better understand that its own voters are so fed up with them that they are using these deeply flawed candidates to send them a message.

Friday Open Road

Or, the art of the escape.