I do not like this Uncle Sam,Go green - recycle Congress in 2010!
I do not like his health care scam.
I do not like these dirty crooks,
or how they lie and cook the books.
I do not like when Congress steals,
I do not like their secret deals.
I do not like this speaker Nan ,
I do not like this 'YES, WE CAN'.
I do not like this spending spree---
I'm smart, I know that nothing's free.
I do not like your smug replies,
when I complain about your lies.
I do not like this kind of hope.
I do not like it. nope, nope, nope!
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Speaking of which, Chris and the boys are back from their vacation, and they went right to work yesterday. When I got home from work they'd already left, but the roof is now more than half completed.
The three field spaniels were happily snuffling in the moonlight this morning. No signs of alarm; they were just enjoying their enthusiastic inhalations of the morning's aromas. Even I could smell the spicy chaparral aromas this morning – sage, especially, but also many other components. The crickets were almost silent for some reason (possibly it was too cool for their liking). Race, the border collie, was completely absorbed by the pine cone he'd found – he has a game he plays repetitively and compulsively. First he drops the pine cone just in front of him. Then he slowly backs a foot or so away, all the while staring at it intently. Then as soon as one of the field spaniels or I makes an inadvertent move toward the pine cone (since none of us care a whit about it), he darts in and grabs it, delighting in his victory over us. Then he does it all again...
Q. Why do computer geeks get Halloween confused with Christmas?If you don't get it, just take comfort in the fact that you're demonstrably and provably not a geek. It would be hard to explain to the ungeekly...
A. Because oct 31 == dec 25!
Monday, August 30, 2010
Sunday, August 29, 2010
We love to have her out here visiting, but it's a long flight (from Cincinnati, Ohio) for someone her age. She's in her 90s, frail, and each year we fear it may be the last time she's able to make the journey. But she did it again, without any trouble, and now we've got her with us for three whole weeks.
On almost every visit she makes to see us, something goes wrong. Typical of these problems happened on a visit perhaps 15 years ago. After arriving at the San Diego airport, she visited the restroom there on the way down to get her baggage. When she entered one of the stalls and shut the door, it fell off its hinges and landed on her foot! The door was a heavy metal door, and it broke several bones in her foot. For that entire visit, she was on crutches with her foot immobilized. Now when we look back on it, we all laugh at it, but it wasn't so funny at the time.
This time the now-expected thing-that-goes-wrong happened just before she left her home to go to the airport. As she was getting ready, she poured her eye medicine into an eye-cup (as she does every morning) and upended the cup over her eye. But she had accidentally filled the cup with mouthwash instead of her eye medicine! Her eye was burning, very painful. Fortunately she had her wits about her, and quickly did exactly the right thing: flushed it thoroughly with plain water. Her vision wasn't hurt, but her eye was tearing badly for that entire day, including on the flight out here. Furthermore, the mouthwash had irritated the skin under her eye, so she had a big, angry red patch under her right eye. Today the tearing is all over, and the red patch is fading, so as best we can tell there was no permanent harm done.
Hopefully that's the only thing that goes wrong on this visit!
Saturday, August 28, 2010
It's very nice to have this cool weather. But it sure is weird! And the forecast is calling for even cooler weather tomorrow...
Wal-Mart vs. The MoronsI'd bet every time on Wal-Mart management over government management to get it right, wouldn't you?
1. Americans spend $36,000,000 at Wal-Mart Every hour of every day.
2. This works out to $20,928 profit every minute!
3. Wal-Mart will sell more from January 1 to St. Patrick's Day (March 17th) than Target sells all year.
4. Wal-Mart is bigger than Home Depot + Kroger + Target +Sears + Costco + K-Mart combined.
5. Wal-Mart employs 1.6 million people, is the world's largest private employer, and most speak English.
6. Wal-Mart is the largest company in the history of the world.
7. Wal-Mart now sells more food than Kroger and Safeway combined, and keep in mind they did this in only fifteen years.
8. During this same period, 31 big supermarket chains sought bankruptcy.
9. Wal-Mart now sells more food than any other store in the world.
10. Wal-Mart has approx 3,900 stores in the USA of which 1,906 are Super Centers; this is 1,000 more than it had five years ago.
11. This year 7.2 billion different purchasing experiences will occur at Wal-Mart stores. (Earth's population is approximately 6.5 Billion.)
12. 90% of all Americans live within fifteen miles of a Wal-Mart.
You may think that I am complaining, but I am really laying the ground work for suggesting that MAYBE we should hire the guys who run Wal-Mart to fix the economy.
This should be read and understood by all Americans Democrats, Republicans, EVERYONE!!
To President Obama and all 535 voting members of the Legislature,
It is now official you are ALL corrupt morons:
A. The U.S. Postal Service was established in 1775. You have had 234 years to get it right and it is broke.
B. Social Security was established in 1935. You have had 74 years to get it right and it is broke.
C. Fannie Mae was established in 1938. You have had 71 years to get it right and it is broke.
D. War on Poverty started in 1964. You have had 45 years to get it right; $1 trillion of our money is confiscated each year and transferred to "the poor" and they only want more.
E. Medicare and Medicaid were established in 1965. You have had 44 years to get it right and they are broke.
F. Freddie Mac was established in 1970. You have had 39 years to get it right and it is broke.
G. The Department of Energy was created in 1977 to lessen our dependence on foreign oil. It has ballooned to 16,000 employees with a budget of $24 billion a year and we import more oil than ever before. You had 32 years to get it right and it is an abysmal failure.
You have FAILED in every "government service" you have shoved down our throats while overspending our tax dollars.
AND YOU WANT AMERICANS TO BELIEVE YOU CAN BE TRUSTED WITH A GOVERNMENT-RUN HEALTH CARE SYSTEM???
Thursday, August 26, 2010
The photo at right shows the rain squall coming through our valley (taken from Lyons Peak, looking north toward Lawson Valley). You can see that this was quite an isolated cell; everything was sunny around it.
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Congressional Reform Act of 2010:
1. Term Limits: 12 years only, one of the possible options below.
A. Two Six year Senate terms
B. Six Two year House terms
C. One Six year Senate term and three Two Year House terms
2. No Tenure / No Pension: A congressman collects a salary while in office and receives no pay when they are out of office.
3. Congress (past, present & future) participates in Social Security: All funds in the Congressional retirement fund moves to the Social Security system immediately. All future funds flow into the Social Security system, Congress participates with the American people.
4. Congress can purchase their own retirement plan just as all Americans.
5. Congress will no longer vote themselves a pay raise. Congressional pay will rise by the lower of CPI or 3%.
6. Congress loses their current health care system and participates in the same health care system as the American people.
7. Congress must equally abide in all laws they impose on the American people.
8. All contracts with past and present congressmen are void effective 1/1/11. The American people did not make this contract with congressmen congressmen made all these contracts for themselves.
Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, serve your term(s), then go home and back to work.
Oops. Not so much. Looks like those danged Homo sapiens were at it again – they wanted the caves (and maybe those herbivorious bears were tasty, too!).
It's also interesting how the mainstream science media (which Science Daily, the linked-to site above, is an example of) treads very gently and carefully on this topic. The study they're reporting on demolishes one of the examples the AGW folks held up and trumpeted as an obvious negative consequence of global warming – but you'll have to read that article very carefully to see even a hint of that...
One effect of the warm temperature this morning was that the crickets sound different – they “chirp” at a noticeably higher frequency as the temperature rises, and this morning the temperature was different enough for that to be easily observable.
The full moon was high in the southern sky this morning, not far separated from Jupiter. I'm expecting them to be quite close together tomorrow morning. The dogs didn't care about the moon, Jupiter, or the temperature – after relieving themselves we were back in our most common pattern. Race was bouncing around at the end of a leash as he sought a pine cone. The three field spaniels were snuffling up the aromas of the morning, with the kind of self-importance often seen with a useless bureaucrat. A rabbit slowly hopped away from the four dogs that suddenly appeared; none of the dogs noticed. I could almost hear that rabbit breathing a huge sigh of relief, and it's easy to imagine the stories that it is now telling its buddies...
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
In the summertime, our local soils are extremely hard – on the order of low-grade concrete. Digging a burial hole in this stuff is no trivial matter; with hand tools it would have been a very large job. Even for my little Kubota tractor with a backhoe it was a bit of a challenge. But we finally got it done, and a very sad Paula was comforted a bit to know that her beloved dog would be resting nearby...
Monday, August 23, 2010
Last week I purchased a burger at Burger King for $1.58. The counter girl took my $ 2 and I was digging for my change when I pulled 8 cents from my pocket and gave it to her. She stood there, holding the nickel and 3 pennies, while looking at the screen on her register. I sensed her discomfort and tried to tell her to just give me two quarters , but she hailed the manager for help. While he tried to explain the transaction to her, she stood there and cried. Why do I tell you this? Because of the evolution in teaching math since the 1950s:
1. Teaching Math In 1950s
A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is 4/5 of the price. What is his profit ?
2. Teaching Math In 1960s
A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is 4/5 of the price, or $80. What is his profit?
3. Teaching Math In 1970s
A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is $80. Did he make a profit?
4. Teaching Math In 1980s
A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is $80 and his profit is $20. Your assignment: Underline the number 20.
5. Teaching Math In 1990s
A logger cuts down a beautiful forest because he is selfish and inconsiderate and cares nothing for the habitat of animals or the preservation of our woodlands. He does this so he can make a profit of $20. What do you think of this way of making a living? Topic for class participation after answering the question: How did the birds and squirrels feel as the logger cut down their homes? (There are no wrong answers, and if you feel like crying, it's ok. )
6. Teaching Math In 2009
Un hachero vende una carretada de maderapara $100. El costo de la producciones es $80. Cuanto dinero ha hecho?
7. Teaching Math In 2010
Who cares, just steal the lumber from your rich neighbor's property. He won't have a gun to stop you, and the President says it's OK anyway cuz its redistributing the wealth.
It's easy to understand this tension in the abstract. The history is clear. The Estonians have good reason to be angry and resentful about their treatment at Soviet (mainly Russian) hands. It's much harder to analyze in the concrete sense of people that you know.
Many ethnic Russians whom I know bear no ill will toward Estonians. They think of the historical treatment of Estonians as history, and not something they bear any personal responsibility for. At the same time, many of them would like to continue using their language and to be free to become citizens.
Many ethnic Estonians whom I know bear no ill will toward Russians. They think of the historical treatment of Estonians as history, and not something they've been personally subjected to. At the same time, most of them support their government's efforts to enforce Estonian as the country's language – and in particular to require fluency as a prerequisite for citizenship.
I don't see any easy answers out of this. I can easily place myself in the position of any of the people I know, and think about it from their perspective. History has dealt the people of Estonia a tough hand in current times, and I suspect the only “solution” is to let a lot of time go by. Decades, probably, before these tensions fully subside...
The dogs this morning didn't seem to smell anything in particular. Race was bouncing around at the end of his leash, looking for pine cones to catch. The three field spaniels were all tugging strongly, each trying to pull me in a different direction. The vector sum of the force on the least this morning was less than a half-dog (where one dog is the force that an average field spaniel can exert); it was easy to hold them all still. But when I tried to walk anywhere, the dogs opposing my motion seemed to redouble their efforts, and the vector sum rose to over a dog, maybe close to two dogs. It made walking challenging!
The morning after what, you ask? Why, the morning after a (for me) vast expenditure of physical effort. My mother-in-law (Kate) is coming to visit with us on Friday, as she does on most years. We have a spare bedroom that she stays in while she's visiting – these days, she's the only one who uses it. The rest of the time that room is stuffed to the gills with stored things – everything from Christmas decorations to slide rules. So to get ready for her visit, I have to move all that stuff into our living room, where I pile it all the way to the ceiling in one corner. Then I set up her bed and generally make the room livable. So yesterday I did all this moving – I'm guessing about 3,000 pounds of stuff. And this morning I'm feeling it...
Sunday, August 22, 2010
It's actually starting to look like a roof!
The ridge caps are the very last part to go on. They can only do those after all the panels are up.
If it rains now, we're gonna have lots of little leaks. Fortunately the chances of rain are approximately zero...
Joe: I love my Macbook! All the noise I got with my old Thinkpad is gone!You just never know what you're going to run into in El Cajon. My iced tea was very good. I spent the remaining half hour drive home contemplating white cables, silly corporate lawyers, and credulous combustion engineers. And wondering if I should start the cult of centrifugans...might be some money to be made there. Leastways, out toward El Cajon...
Larry: You mean your old one had noisy fans or something?
Joe: No, the sound was noisy. The Apple guys said it was because the audio cables were black?
Larry: Black cables? Why would that make a difference to the sound?
Joe: The Apple guys said their white cables reflected noise, while the black cables absorbed it. All I know is that now when I play my iPod, the sound is great! They must have been right. White cables rule!
Larry: I'd never have thought the color would make any difference...
(at this point, I couldn't resist jumping in)
Me: You're right - cable color doesn't make any difference to their performance. It could be the Apple cables have better shielding internally, or it could just be that the Macbook's speakers are better.
Joe: (very defensive, and immediately angry) How do you know? What are you, a digital engineer or something (in a sneering tone)?
Me: (sarcastically) No, but I'm a 17th level centrifugan.
Larry: Whoa! (and looking very impressed)
Joe: (suddenly interested) You guys study these things?
Me: (after a pause in which I despair for mankind's future) What do you guys do?
Joe: I'm a lawyer - corporate law; I work for [a local biotech firm].
Larry: Combustion engineering, over at [local gas turbine manufacturer].
Me: One large iced tea, please. (and I make my escape)
If your local building code doesn't already require a radiant barrier—a type of insulator for the roof—then look into it. I'm told that should be on the top of your list, at least for warm climates. This would be a good time to point out that nothing you learn about green building materials will be supported by relevant data that is in the proper context for your particular home. But the rest of your life is probably a mess too, so you'll get used to it fast.But go read the whole thing.
I just ran into a little blurb on Factor, a much more modern concatenative language. I haven't used it, just read about it a bit. It's stack-oriented, much like Forth is (yes, Forth is still around!). But it's got all sorts of interesting features that Forth doesn't...
Saturday afternoon, driving home from the fire scouting trip I blogged about below, I noted that our bright red roof is very visible from a mile or so away as you drive toward our house. It looks quite nice, constrasting with the green trees around it. When I fly out of San Diego (as I am in mid-September, on a trip to England), it should be very easy to pick out our house – there are no other red roofs for miles around...
As I drove up Skyline Truck Trail, just before topping the hill that leads down to the town of Jamul, I got a view of Cajon Mountain in the distance. It was clearly burning, with smoke trails originating at various points on its south face (the side toward me). This was a bit of a relief to me, as Cajon Mountain is much further away from us than Crest and Harbison Canyon. Also comforting were the first news reports, which started coming in right around the same time. They placed the fire in the area of El Monte Road, just south of Cajon Mountain.
also online) is my rough eyeball estimate of the fire's location. I could be off by the proverbial country mile, so don't take it as anything other than an estimate, please.
By this morning's early light we can see no smoke coming from Cajon Mountain. There are no updates to the news reports from yesterday, which variously claim that between 2,000 and 3,000 acres burned. Some people (including two climbers) were rescued by helicopter, but so far as I can tell nobody was hurt and no structures were damaged.
One thing that's a little disconcerting for us chaparralies: Cajon Mountain completely burned over in 2007. Here we are, just under three years later, and there's already enough fuel there to sustain another wildfire. Sheesh!
Friday, August 20, 2010
It's been interesting for me to see exactly how this work is done. A surprising amount of hand-crafting on the spot is required. The roofers frequently cut and form small pieces of heavy-gauge sheet metal to create custom fasteners, connectors, and adapters for all sorts of things they run into. In this respect it reminds me of what typically happens when carpenters and framers go to work on a house – they start with standard raw materials (2 x 4s, 2 x 6s, etc.) and cut and form them to make a house. The roofers start with formed panels and unformed sheets of the Kynar-coated steel roofing, and cut and form them to make a roof. It's most definitely not like putting Legos together...
Thursday, August 19, 2010
About a million years ago, when I first started learning about computers, I played with some electronic analog computers in the lab. These were implemented with (primitive) operational amplifiers and simple electronic circuitry. Later, when I was stationed on a ship, I was called in a few times to help troubleshoot an actual, production analog computer: the guidance computer for the Terrier anti-air missile system. This beast of a computer was electro-mechanical: it used synchros, gears, cams, etc. to do some very complex computations in real time.
These old analog computers were cantankerous and prone to unobvious calculation errors. We thought of digital computers as better in every respect.
So it feels kind of weird to see them being proclaimed as the next great thing!
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Then the roofers went right to work. By the time they knocked off work tonight, they had finished more than half of one end of our house, including one of the dormer vents and our gas furnace vent. It looks great!
Today was one of the hottest days we've had this summer – it hit 96°F, with the humidity as high as 28% (it got drier as the day progressed). Chris and his two boys were just covered in sweat, from working on a hot roof in direct sunlight all day. I know I wouldn't survive something like that – yikes!
Here are a few more snaps of the work they did during the day today...
Makes me wonder how hard it would be to do something like this automatically on the web. For instance, one could imagine a plugin for Firefox that looked on the web to see if there were blog posts related to a news story you were reading, and warn you if the content were disputed. Or something that tried to find Snopes articles related to what you were reading about. Hmmm...
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
The Pope and Nancy Pelosi are on the same stage in Yankee Stadium in front of a huge crowd.Tell me the truth: wouldn't you pay good money to see this? And wouldn't you forever speak of that day and rejoice?
The Pope leans towards Mrs. Pelosi and said, "Do you know that with one little wave of my hand I can make every person in this crowd go wild with joy? This joy will not be a momentary display, but will go deep into their hearts and they'll forever speak of this day and rejoice!"
Pelosi replied, "I seriously doubt that with one little wave of your hand? Show me!"
So the Pope backhanded the bitch...
...and the crowd went wild!
While the tea party is not a formal political party, local networks across the nation have moved beyond protests and turned to more practical matters of political accountability. Already, particularly in Republican primaries, fed-up Americans are turning out at the polls to vote out the big spenders. They are supporting candidates who have signed the Contract From America, a statement of policy principles generated online by hundreds of thousands of grass-roots activists.I'm not the first to observe this: the Tea Party, taken as a whole, seems to be animated by a mixture of libertarian and conservative philosophy, perhaps leaning toward the latter. Some things about it remind me strongly of Heinlein's libertarian manifesto The Moon is a Harsh Mistress. It's going to be quite interesting to see how much the Tea Party does (or doesn't) influence November's results...
Published in April, the Contract amounts to a tea party "seal of approval." It demands fiscal policies that limit government, restrain spending, promote market reforms in health care—and oppose ObamaCare, tax hikes and cap-and-trade restrictions that will kill job creation and stunt economic growth. Candidates who have signed the Contract—including Marco Rubio in Florida, Mike Lee in Utah and Tim Scott in South Carolina—have defeated Republican big spenders in primary elections all across the nation.
The annual cost of the Cassini mission (which has done real science in orbit around Saturn for nearly six years) is less than the cost of the ammonia pumps on the ISS (which does absolutely nothing for science except suck money into a black hole).
Monday, August 16, 2010
- The developer (Feisal Abdul Rauf) has every legal right to develop the property that he owns, so long as he obeys all the relevant regulation. From everything that I've read, Cordoba House would obey all existing regulations.
- Developing that mosque right next to 9/11 Ground Zero would be a very insensitive and obnoxious thing to do. We're still free to do that in America, though in the name of political correctness those rights are eroding every day. As others have often pointed out, freedom of speech (which placing the mosque at Ground Zero is a form of) implies that you're going to offend someone – otherwise it wouldn't need to be protected at all.
And I think Gret Gutfield has the right idea. Now that's an American idea for dealing with the issue!
Now if we could only get governments to stop behaving as though the science were settled...
Orion is the first constellation I learned to recognize, and it's still the one I can spot most easily (probably because the belt is so easy to spot). For the next 4 or 5 months, he will be prominent in our early morning sky...
Sunday, August 15, 2010
Humans originally existed as members of small bands of nomadic hunters/gatherers. They lived on deer in the mountains during the summer and would go to the coast and live on fish and lobster in the winter.
The two most important events in all of history were the invention of beer and the invention of the wheel. The wheel was invented to get man to the beer. These were the foundation of modern civilization and together were the catalyst for the splitting of humanity into two distinct subgroups:
1 . Liberals
Once beer was discovered, it required grain and that was the beginning of agriculture. Neither the glass bottle nor aluminum can were invented yet, so while our early humans were sitting around waiting for them to be invented, they just stayed close to the brewery. That's how villages were formed.
Some men spent their days tracking and killing animals to BBQ at night while they were drinking beer. This was the beginning of what is known as the Conservative movement...
Other men who were weaker and less skilled at hunting learned to live off the conservatives by showing up for the nightly BBQ's and doing the sewing, fetching, and hair dressing. This was the beginning of the Liberal movement.
Some of these liberal men eventually evolved into women. They became known as girlie-men. Some noteworthy liberal achievements include the domestication of cats, the invention of group therapy, group hugs, and the concept of Democratic voting to decide how to divide the meat and beer that conservatives provided.
Over the years conservatives came to be symbolized by the largest, most powerful land animal on earth, the elephant. Liberals are symbolized by the jackass for obvious reasons.
Modern liberals like imported beer (with lime added), but most prefer white wine or imported bottled water. They eat raw fish but like their beef well done. Sushi, tofu, and French food are standard liberal fare.. Another interesting evolutionary side note: most of their women have higher testosterone levels than their men. Most social workers, personal injury attorneys, journalists, dreamers in Hollywood and group therapists are liberals. Liberals invented the designated hitter rule because it wasn't fair to make the pitcher also bat.
Conservatives drink domestic beer, mostly Bud or Miller. They eat red meat and still provide for their women. Conservatives are big game hunters, rodeo cowboys, lumberjacks, construction workers, firemen, medical doctors, police officers, engineers, corporate executives, athletes, members of the military, airline pilots and generally anyone who works productively. Conservatives who own companies hire other conservatives who want to work for a living.
Liberals produce little or nothing. They like to govern the producers and decide what to do with the production. Liberals believe Europeans are more enlightened than Americans. That is why most of the liberals remained in Europe when conservatives were coming to America . They crept in after the Wild West was tamed and created a business of trying to get more for nothing.
Here ends today's lesson in world history:
It should be noted that a Liberal may have a momentary urge to angrily respond to the above before forwarding it.
A Conservative will simply laugh and be so convinced of the absolute truth of this history that it will be forwarded immediately to other true believers and to more liberals just to piss them off.
Saturday, August 14, 2010
Trillions of dollars stolen from the tax payers of future generations (to pay back the loans), and absolutely nothing to show for it. That's your government at work, folks. Somebody is getting rich on our backs, and it ain't me.
Are you pissed off yet? Remember this in November. I'm gonna vote for anyone who supports radical reforms, especially radical reductions in government spending...
Last night, one of our dogs (Mo'i) slept in the living room so he'd be close to the door that Debbie would return through. Another (Lea) is getting old, so she slept in her own little bed at the foot of ours. The other two (Miki and Race) hopped up on the bed with me, and we all snored together.
The alarm clock was off for this morning – after a long, tiring week I was looking forward to sleeping at least a little later than usual. My first memory of this morning is of my hand somehow being immersed in water, and someone was washing it with a washcloth. I opened my eyes. Race was watching me with a mischievous twinkle in his eye as he slowly licked my hand. As soon as he figured out I was awake, he instantly went into “play mode” – gently nipping my nose or my hand, and waiting eagerly for my retaliation. We horsed around for a few minutes, he and I, joined shortly by Miki. The two dogs were playing with each other just as much as they were playing with me. To share their morning joy – the simplest joy, of just being alive – felt like a privilege and an honor, and certainly a great pleasure.
Then I got out of bed. If you've ever had a dog, you know what that means: that's the signal to your dogs that it's time for the morning walk. With four dogs, that means pandemonium erupts. Barking, tails wagging, running back and forth between me and the door until I'm directly in front of it, jostling for position as I attach the leashes, the tension building until the great moment arrives: I open the door! Four dogs rush simultaneously through the opening as soon as it's 6 inches wide – and somehow they all make it. Lea is playfully nipping at Mo'i, who is grumbling at Miki, who is straining to be the first out into the yard, in the process running right over the top of Race. Barking, straining at the leashes in four different directions, tangling them and tying them into knots, running around madly until they find the spot.
Then...ah, the joy of the morning piss. The looks on their faces as they relieve themselves says it all: this is as good as life gets. Lea and Mo'i are very businesslike, serious, and fast – in just a few seconds they're done and ready to go. Miki takes his time, enjoying every moment of the experience. Race would like to be done quickly, so he could go about his greatest joy (searching for pine cones), but his bladder is large compared to the size of his squirter, so he's the slowest of all – the torment of waiting mixed with pissing pleasure.
Finally they're all done, and we're off for our walk. This morning there were no interesting smells, so all the dogs did random things all the way down and back our driveway. The sun was just rising through a notch in the hills to our northeast; no stars (not even bright Jupiter) were visible. Haze near the ground made everything fuzzy, like one of those romantic countryside photos. On the way back, I looked at the work that's been done on our roof. The soffits are now installed nearly all the way around the house, except for a final trim strip. It's really quite amazing how different the house looks with this new red roof – it's even a little disconcerting, as this place I've called home for over ten years now has disappeared, replaced but a new, alien home. But I'm sure I'll get used to it, too.
Back at the front door, now the dogs are all jostling to get back in the house. Leashes off, and four dogs are waiting, facing the door...waiting for the big moment when the door opens. Again, once it gets to about 6 inches wide they all somehow get through the opening. Lea heads immediately for a dog bed, to lie down and rest. Mo'i and Miki head for the watering dish – a dog needs a drink after such exciting morning activity! And Race...well, he's racing around the house, looking for an appropriate toy to bring back to me so that I'll throw it for him to chase. He'd do that all day long if I'd oblige...
Friday, August 13, 2010
The latest word is that the actual roofing panels will be complete next Wednesday. Because Chris has a vacation coming up, that means the project won't be completed until early September – later than originally planned, but so far as I can tell only due to factors completely outside Chris' control...
One thing we didn't expect from Dave was that he'd enter the modern world of the Internet and web. But we've just learned (via Doug S.) that Dave now has a web site. What's next? Free wi-fi while we're waiting for our cars (just kidding, Dave)?
Our company has a culture of “can do”; it's one of the things I love about working there. These guys are demonstrating that attitude way outside their professional specialties!
Without further ado, the Millar Ranch Road Citizen's Revolution:
The only solution that comes to mind through my anger is high-velocity lead...
Thursday, August 12, 2010
I can see at least one huge advantage he's got over most sculptors, though: his entire sculpture collection would fit in a shoebox, with room left over...
Rahm Emanuel suggested that the administration is trying to thread a needle: providing “unshakeable” support for Israel; protecting it from the consequences of an Iranian nuclear bomb; but pushing it toward compromise with the Palestinians. Emanuel, in our meeting, disputed that Israel is incapable of moving forward on the peace process so long as Iran looms as an existential threat. And he drafted the past six Israeli prime ministers—including Netanyahu, who during his first term in the late 1990s, to his father’s chagrin, compromised with the Palestinians—to buttress his case. “Rabin, Peres, Netanyahu, Barak, Sharon, Olmert—every one of them pursued some form of a negotiated settlement, which would have been in Israel’s own strategic interest,” he said. “There have been plenty of other threats while successive Israeli governments have pursued a peace process. There is no doubt that Iran is a major threat, but they didn’t just flip the switch on [the nuclear program] a year ago.”
Emanuel had one more message to deliver: for the most practical of reasons, Israel should consider carefully whether a military strike would be worth the trouble it would unleash. “I’m not sure that given the time line, whatever the time line is, that whatever they did, they wouldn’t stop” the nuclear program, he said. “They would be postponing.”
It was then that I realized that, on some subjects, the Israelis and Americans are still talking past each other. The Americans consider a temporary postponement of Iran’s nuclear program to be of dubious value. The Israelis don’t. “When Menachem Begin bombed Osirak [in Iraq], he had been told that his actions would set back the Iraqis one year,” one cabinet minister told me. “He did it anyway.”
When the dogs and I got nearly to the end of our driveway, Race (our border collie) suddenly went on full alert: hackles raised, aggressive stance aimed back toward the house, and subterranean rumbles. Then it was on to the full alarm bark – awesomely loud at 4 am. I thought at first that some large animal was out and about, and that somehow Race (and not the field spaniels) was the first to notice. But it turned out to be Debbie, out in the yard with a flashlight. The field spaniels all seemed to know that it was her and it was ok, but Race was quite alarmed. Then Debbie, laughing, made some friendly noises so he could recognize her, and then Race practically yanked me off my feet trying to go see her...
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Tiger Oil CompanyAwesome. I'm filled with envy for those earlier, more candid, less politically-correct times...
Date: January 11, 1978
To: All Employees
From: Edward Mike Davis (Owner)
Subject: Idle Conversation
Idle conversation and gossip in this office among employees will result in immediate termination.
Don't talk about other people and other things in this office.
DO YOUR JOBS AND KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT!
It's also a hoax, dang it. But it's still funny as hell.
What I'd really like to see happen, though, is that government workers' total compensation (pension included) is capped at parity to non-government worker levels – and average less – say 80% or 85%. For the good of our economy, government jobs should be unattractive. The only high-paying government jobs should be in the military.
Of course there's no way that any Democrat – or the vast majority of Republicans – would ever go for my proposal. The thoroughly-entrenched bureaucratic special interests will see to that...
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
In the murky realm of things that make you go Hmmm… 2010 may rank way, way up there. From the curious per curiam decision of 531U.S98 to WTC7, to the Superdome, to the Fall of the House of Lehman, to the Novel President’s Afghan Expedition escalation, to the oxymoronic Jobless Recovery of 2010, we have been confused. So, we did the only thing we could- we made beer-and lots of it. 6,420 cases of it to be exact. As far as we know, you drank all of it. Thank you for that, because if you had not we would have been looking for a bailout of our own, and we haven’t heard of any breweries either needing or receiving any of those Yuan-flavored TARP dollars… although we have read that the Las Vegas adult video industry did. Nobody knows why. So, in a world that is once again the proverbial ‘Ball of Confusion’, craft beer alone seems to carry its own weight. It’s nice to be on the winning team and thank you for your friendship and imbiliciousness. Call us! 707-769-4495 CHEERS!Read all about it...
I don't drink beer, but if I saw this for sale locally, I'd buy some!
Monday, August 9, 2010
The Obama family has been working hard to show their indifference to the plight of middle America.I confess to being completely unsurprised by this. In fact, I'd have been surprised if they had done something that didn't cost an obscene amount of the dollars they've stolen from my pocket.
Throw the bums out. Starting this November, continuing to November 2012. Throw the damned bums out.
For those of you of a slighly less geekly bent, here's the scoop in very general terms: that statement (P != NP) encapsulates something that much of modern computer science is based on, but until now nobody has never been able to prove (in the formal mathematical sense). In that sense (and in that sense only), it's sort of like Einstein's famous E = MC2...
Sunday, August 8, 2010
Here's an analogy for those of you not familiar with how science is actually done. It's as if a scientist came across a pile of playing cards randomly lying about on the floor. After surveying all the cards, the scientist then picks a “sample” of 8 cards, all of which “happen” to be hearts – and then declares “All the playing cards are hearts!”
Saturday, August 7, 2010
Amid the growing crisis, New York mayor Michael Bloomberg ordered a SWAT team of negotiators from the city's Multicultural Affairs Office parachuted to the scene. A brief truce was reached when negotiators pointed out to the Imam Markowicz's status as a pre-op transexual, obviating his religious objections to performing a same-sex marriage. But tensions erupted again after Markowicz - who is legally blind - tried to enter the mosque with a seeing-eye guide dog.But please do read the whole thing. After you put your beverage down, though...
Popular, ain't he?
For some stupid reason, I dropped Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD) from my morning reading list some time ago. That unacceptable situation has now been rectified!
The rest of the country is sweltering, and we're having a cold spell. Go figure! But we're enjoying it while we've got it...