Sunday, July 26, 2015

Senate votes to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank...

Senate votes to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank...  It's almost like these bozos don't care at all about doing the right thing for the country!  It's like all they care about is getting money from lobbyists to finance their boondoggles, mistresses, and campaigns!

Wait.  That is what they care about.


The HillReason.

Next up: the House.

I ate at Long John Silver's just once...

I ate at Long John Silver's just once ... about a million years ago.  Never again.  So I got an extra good laugh at this story.  Love this quote:
“Each bite of the Golden Fried Abomination From The Deep contains within it the futile screams of the great beast’s countless victims, their last vision on this earth its monstrous, unblinking, blood-red eyes. And every last forkful has a light, crispy crunch, with just a hint of garlic.”

A shortage of sand...

A shortage of sand...  My pistol-packing mama (whom I'm visiting in just 10 days!) sent along this poster, thinking I might want to put it up.  Milton Friedman is one of my heroes, not least because reading one of his books was my first exposure to economics that I could make sense of.  That was back in the '80s, and I was absolutely delighted when Estonia decided to use his teachings as the basis for much of their economic structure – including their flat tax.

Friedman (who died in 2006) had a talent for producing pithy, memorable quotes.  Perhaps his most famous is “There’s no such thing as a free lunch.”, but there are many more.  One of my personal favorites, and one that I recall rather frequently these days, is this:
“Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself.”
That notion, if you think about it, explains much of what I lament in today's America...

Progress in Paradise...

Progress in Paradise...  Got the first topcoat on the bottom of the trailer bed – just over three hours of brushwork.  I'm not going to be losing this trailer in the weeds :)

A reader emailed me to ask why I was going to the trouble of brushing this paint.  Why not simply spray?  I'd be done in a few minutes!

Well, there's actually a good reason.  On rough, unfinished surfaces, properly brushed paint will adhere far better than sprayed paint.  By “properly” I mean brushed from multiple directions with the brush held nearly perpendicular to the surface, and a light pressure applied.  When brushed in this way (assuming a decent, fine-bristled brush) the brush's bristles will force paint into every nook and cranny on that rough surface, wetting it all.  When the paint dries, the brushed paint has a large number of nearly microscopic wedges and braces against the texture in the underlying surface.  Sprayed paint simply doesn't do this.  Instead, it forms a thin film just above the pits in the rough surface, without ever wetting the inside of those pits.  Sprayed paint's adhesion is entirely from the chemical adhesion to those surfaces it did wet.  Properly brushed paint has (a) a larger wetted surface area, and (b) all those mechanical interlocks with the rough surface.  The properly brushed paint is much more resistant to abrasion, more waterproof, and will last longer.

The “self-leveling” (making a smooth surface) of modern paints is extraordinarily good.  With a quality modern paint, brush marks are almost never a problem.  This certainly wasn't true when I was a kid; getting the brush marks out of brushed paint was a bit of an art back then. Paint chemistry has come a long way!

It's worth noting that the argument for brushing over spraying really only applies for rough, textured surfaces – and even then, only if durability is the objective.  Anytime you're painting with appearance as the main objective, spraying is going to be better.  That's especially true if you've got access to a high volume, low pressure (HVLP) sprayer – they make it quite easy to produce paint finishes that look absolutely perfect.

Morning in Paradise...

Morning in Paradise...  We (Miki, Race, and I) took our usual morning walk, finishing just before the sun hit the valley floor.  The Wellsville Mountains to our west were lit up brightly, though.  It was a beautiful walk through the crisp morning air.  Nothing exciting happened, though I did have one little surprise.  I was walking back down toward home, dogs straining at their leashes in front of me as usual.  I heard a little rustle behind me, but didn't think anything of it.  The dogs took no notice, so I figured it couldn't be anything animal; it must be the breeze rustling the barley.  Then I heard it again, and yet again – so I turned my head around to look, and there was a great big old house cat, padding along unconcernedly behind me!  When I stopped, he marched right up to me, twined around my legs, and treated the dogs like long-lost buddies – and they returned the treatment.  I'm pretty sure the dogs have never seen this cat before (and vice versa), so why the friendly greeting?  I've no idea.

Shortly after I got back, our neighbor Tim D. came walking over to move his hand lines.  I gave him a hand with that, and with setting up three more hand lines on our field (where he's running alfalfa).  He, his two dogs (Lexy and Louie), and I had a nice time together while we got that all going.

Now it's time for me to do my shoulder exercises.  Here comes the burn!

My kind of crazy people...

My kind of crazy people...  Meet rwasa: a full-on HTTP and HTTPS (web) server written entirely in x86_64 assembly language!  No libraries, no dependencies – just pure, unadulterated, studly assembly code.

Performance, of course, was the objective.

The server was written by some folks from Australia operating as “2 Ton Digital”.  I've no idea who they are, but I'd love to meet them some fine day :)