Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Marry Christmas

Marry Christmas, Happy Yuletide.

I'm having a White but very quiet Christmas.  Hope you have a happy holiday.

(A Winter Junky).

Friday, December 14, 2012

More on Prohibition

It appears that Marko the Munchkin Wrangler also sees prohibition as an economic negative.  I'd like to thank Marko for bringing to light the direct link between prohibition and gun control.   It's pretty obvious once someone smacks you in the head with it  [WHACK!] thanks Marko I needed that.

Going public with what they've already been doing

Our Civil Masters finally made public what they've been doing for a while, even though they're still not admitting to having done it.  Privacy is dead, because a bunch of idiots have been brainwashed into thinking only the government can keep them safe.   Great, the wolves are in charge of the hen house, the sheep pen.

If you think the government is not out to make you a tool of the state, your not paying attention.

A little experiment

I honestly don't think it would be possible, but it would be interesting.

I was talking to a few young men about politics, political systems, and why our system is broken only slightly less than the other systems.  What I'd like to see is a little experiment.  Let's split up the US and give each major faction an area of control.  Each area needs to have sea ports or access - canals under joint treaty, rivers, some way to allow sea based transport.

Let's give Southern California to the Progressives (state socialists/communists) mostly because they already have it.

Then we'll take WA, OR, Northern CA (above 40ÂșN), ID, MT, WY and create a new country with a much tighter Libertarian version of the Constitution and Bill of rights.  It needs to spell out that the Government can ONLY do what is allowed by the Constitution, if it's not spelled out in black and white - they don't get to even think about it.

Give Utah to the Mormons - since they already own most of it, plus a right of way down to the Gulf

Give Arizona and  New Mexico, and probably Nevada plus a corridor between Mexico and the Peoples Republic of California out to San Diego to the Re-conquistadors.
Give the Fly-over States to the Religious Right.
Give the North East to the Democrats. 
Give Michigan, Iowa, and Illinois to the Unions.
Leave the South as it is. 

Not sure what to do with Alaska or Hawaii, let them pick one?  Might have to give the Union State a bit more territory. 

Now, sit back and watch for about 50 years and see what happens.

I predict:

Southern CA will be absorbed into the Re-Conquistador State, after they go completely bankrupt - 10 years tops,  all the beach front and high end property will be reserved for the Party Elite. 

The Re-Conquistador State will be Socialist/Communist, have a very low GDP, high crime and corruption, and be essentially broke.   This will end up being a good example of a corrupt Democratic Socialist country.

The Union States (Michigan et al) will be the new standard for corrupt government.  They will essentially become a National Socialist state were all production is owned by the state.

The North East will be Socialist and essentially under the control of the U.N.

Texas will be Texas

The South will be the South, quite a bit like it is today.

Utah will be, well... Utah

The Fly-over states will be a Theocracy with the largest exports of grains in the world.   They will have a Heavily monitored and censored populace.   

The New North West will be the new center for space exploration, technology, and health care, munitions, and banking.  Have the lowest crime rate of any place on the planet out side of Singapore. The highest GDP in the world.   Mostly self sufficient, a foreign policy of - Leave us Alone and we won't smack you. 

- Just a guess.

Thursday, December 13, 2012


The Survival Mom has some links to an old Twilight Zone about a man who builds a fallout shelter.  It's not a great design, but still a huge improvement over his neighbors who have done nothing.   When the emergency happens, the results are predictable.

This article by a Disaster Planner show's just how screwed up the bureaucracy is.   She seems to think I'm selfish for planning ahead.  Somehow, me not being a needy and demanding victim is selfish.     Does that seem backwards to anyone else?

Perhaps a better approach:
Step 1: Try telling the truth.  In the case of a national disaster or even regional one, the Government is going to look out for itself first, you last.   All your neighbors who don't do anything to prepare are going to come looking to share yours if they know about it.

Step 2: Get people to take care of themselves first.  Just provide the information on how and where, and then point out that our bankrupt Government can't afford to prepare for your disaster.   They might be able to help you clean up afterward, but forget about any help ahead of time.
Step 3: Give the people some really scary scenarios: You know like a 10.2 quake on the Cascadia fault that might trigger the San Andreas fault and pretty much decimate everything between Vancouver BC, and San Diego CA, or and EMP, or pick your favorite disaster.

Step 4:   See Step 2. 

Any way you approach it, there is no possible way the Government is gong to be able to help in a wide scale disaster.   The economy will tank, if it hasn't already.  The infrastructure will be gone, and they're too slow to save millions of people from their neighbors.  Hell they won't even be able to save most of the survivors of the riots from starvation.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

If you think you can...

One of my favorite sayings is:  If you think you can, your probably right, if you think you can't, you are right.

If you start anything believing you can't do it - odds are your going to prove yourself right.

I've been thinking about the possibility of creating an unbiased news site.  The more I think about it the more sure I become that it can't be done.  I think you can make a new site less biased by having a team of reporters who fill the basic archetypes of bias - right wing, left wing, centrist, libertarian, socialist, atheist, fundamentalist Christian & Muslim,  etc.  Require every team member to start the article by stating facts - all facts must be agreed on my each team member. The person with the idea writes the lead, then any team members who want to write a counter point do so.   The requirement is that everyone works from the same set of facts.

So far so good.  Right up till we try to decide what is a fact and what isn't. Accounting is easier than law, law is easier then art, art is easier then religion.  As you move farther away from the rational hard science, things become fuzzy. In a political scandal, it may be that you'll never agree on a basic set of facts  other than using direct quotes.

Then there is the bias of what you choose to report and what you choose to ignore.

Perhaps if reporters (journalists) simply started each article with a list of facts that could be verified and stuck to those, news would be noticeably less biased.  Mark opinion clearly as opinion.  The more I thought about this the more sure I became that only a very few people would actually want to read it.

In my opinion - the masses like being told what to think.  It's much less work, you can watch the news and feel like your informed, and then with out thinking about it too much, you can proceed to your favorite TV show, or sport and just relax.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Ripping good times

I've been ripping CD's again.   A few years back I ripped my entire library - some 1000+ CD's.   I'd ripped most of them on my MacBook Pro and for some reason, the sound quality when played back even though my stupidly expensive DAC (digital to analog converter) wasn't what I knew it should be.   So I got a copy of DB Poweramp for my PC and started the task of re-ripping the entire collection.  This time I decided to save everything as FLAC which also uses lossless compression, and then convert to MP3 for use on iPods, iPhone, iPad.   My Logitech squeeze box will stream from the PC and pump the digital signal directly to the DAC from the FLAC files.   I can, if I'm really paying attention tell the difference between a streamed FLAC and a Super Audio CD (SACD) played on my stupidly expensive CD player (which makes me feel somewhat disgusted with how much I spent on that thing - oh well).

The first time around - perhaps because it was on a laptop, perhaps because it was the first time - I got though the project pretty quickly.  This second time around it's taking longer.

I am (I'm sad to say) an audiophile.   The path to audiophiledom is not one I recommend.  It's incredibly expensive to get that last 5 to 10% of "almost live" sound.  In hindsight, I'd have talked myself out of walking that path.  One of the really odd things about audiophiles is the drive to get that "live performance" feel - considering the majority of live performances fall far short, in terms of audio quality, of studio recordings.

I have for example the same album on CD, SACD, and vinyl. When played on  my stupidly expensive turn table, the vinyl which costs 3-8 times what a CD costs, sounds a tiny bit better then the SACD.  The SACD which costs about double what a CD costs sounds a tiny bit better than the CD.  When you consider that the time I spend listening to music is divided between Car (75%), Earphones from an iPOD (5%) and on the Stereo (20%), I can safely say I wasted a lot of money on sound quality.   Regardless, I never buy nor will I ever buy MP3's online.   If I could get lossless files - maybe but not the medium to low quality MP3's that you get though iTunes or Amazon.  No thanks.  I can hear the differrence in those even in the car with the windows open, or the top down.

Quality matters - sure there's a point (and I'm WAY past that point) of diminishing returns; but, you have to draw the line somewhere or everything heads to just barely useable.


Thursday, December 6, 2012

The finest given on the floor of the Senate

Ron Paul gave what I believe is the finest political speech ever given.


Actually that's a bit overstated - the delivery was not great, the content was exceptional. 

Maybe if it was their house

More police stupidity - We're going to save a man possibly being hurt by shooting him with tasers - right makes perfect sense.  I mean we're the cops, we're standing around watching this house burn and the neighbor wants to keep it from spreading to his house.  So of course we're going to taser him - wouldn't want him to get a spark burn or anything.

To Protect and Self-Serve

Guys like this are members of the organizations  that some people think should be the ONLY ones allowed to carry guns - Really?  Why do so many people (especially those in NY, and CA) extend trust to authority figures - oh yeah, because they're children and want someone to protect them from the boogie man.  

Almost there

I've suspected for years that the NSA could monitor every electronic transaction in the world - perhaps a few exceptions like russain or chinese military.  I just didn't think they'd bother - too much data with no current value.   It turns out that was a bit short sighted on my part.   They're storing every electronic transaction you ever make, just in case at some point in the future, you become a "bad guy" to which ever group is running the government.  Doesn't matter if it's Democrats or Repulicans, they both have people they don't like and hence want to collect information on to use as a means of control.   If you think you have nothing to hide because you're not doing anything wrong - well that may be true today, but the next group in power might see it a bit differently. So yes, you should be worried.  There's no 

They've shot the 4th amendment though the head, it's dead.  The 1st is so abused and strangled it might as well be dead.  There is no journalism anymore, it's all PR now.  Public relations is a pretty phrase that really means Opinion Manipulation or Thought Manipulation.   That's what main stream media does now, they don't report facts except as a minor aside to the opinion piece.

People in power think the Constitution is An Inconvenient Document that needs to be suppressed least it interfere with their agenda.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Ups and Downs

The list of things I don't like is fairly long, fortunately the list of things I like is much longer - this may simply be a symptom of inexperience.

Basal Cell Carcinoma sucks, although for a cancer it's pretty much a light weight.   I had 6 removed today,  more in a few months - the pain from the cauterization is starting to kick in - no fun at all.   This is the result of getting treated for serious acne as a teen, by an IDIOT.  They used X-Ray treatment, which did no good what so ever - and 40+ years later resulted in a surprising amount of BCC.    They don't do that any more, probably because it didn't work for shit, and resulted in cancer - I'm pretty sure that doesn't fit the "Do no harm" clause. 

I'm not overly fond of plumbing.  My recent water heater failure prompted me to fix a few other plumbing related issues.  I'd say it's gone swimmingly but that would be an exaggeration in multiple directions - at no point in the project did I create a pool of water deep enough to wade in let alone swim in, nor did the project go very well.

Generally soldering copper pipe is a trivial task.  Until now, I've only had one joint fail on me and that was due to not having drained a feed line, and the joint cooled on me before I got full flow of the solder. Annoying to fix but not really difficult.   This time I had a joint - worse one part of a T joint fail on me 3 times, I finally pulled the offending section of pipe and soldered in a short stub and added a shark bite fitting to tie it back into the rest of the system.

I managed to cross thread a sediment Y-strainer with a back-flush on it, plastic body - copper connector, very sad.  Tried to fix the threads a few times, no luck, cranked it down and tried it - it looked to be working but the next day it had a very slow drip.   Ripped it out and put in a inline sediment filter with no back-flush.  It's a GE model, it now has a very very slow leak on both sides - I'll probably have to shut down the water and undo the fittings and wrap even more teflon tape on it that I did the first time - or perhaps some joint compound if I can find something that works with plastic (the filter housing) and brass (adapter for 3/4" copper).  Oh joy.

Completely redid the back-flush drain on the whole house filter - many hours of crawling around in a 40" crawlspace.   That really sucked.

The fittings on the whole house filter/softener are interesting.  The slip fit with O-rings and have these funny metal clips on each side to keep the parts from separating under pressure - if you don't tighten the screws holding the clips well enough - they separate and you get very very wet.  The second time went much better.

I should have hot water today (between back and shoulder injuries suffered between the start of the project and today - I've been with out hot water for over two weeks - that really sucked.

In hindsight I probably should have called a plumber but I hate paying someone else to do things I can and have done before.   I've done plumping, Iron pipe, copper pipe, PVC, CPVC, ABS, toilets, sinks, water heaters, gas plumbing - it's not that hard, but every once in a while, things don't go perfectly - then it gets messy.  I've done electrical (home, car, boat), electronics, carpentry, cabinet making, roofing, cement work (sucks big time).   Aside from help lifting, I have no doubt that I can build an entire house starting with a lot with a well (never drilled a well - don't want to buy the equipment to try either).    Out of all of that - Cement slabs are one thing I'll contract out with out a second thought.

I'm toying with rebuilding the engine in my Boxster - it really only needs a new main seal and a new IMS bearing so I probably won't.  I have too many other house projects to get done first.

On the UP side, I started playing Ghost Recon Advanced War Fighter a few days ago - I like it.   Better than Black Ops for me.

Got a few new CD's - that's always a good thing too.