Intel's Ronler Acres Plant

Silicon Forest
If the type is too small, Ctrl+ is your friend

Monday, June 29, 2020

We No Speak Americano

We No Speak Americano ft. Cleary & Harding

I came across a tune this morning that reminded me of another tune. I couldn't find it right off, and it sort of reminded me of this tune, and I can't believe I hadn't posted it before. Actually, the tune has been here before, just not this video. This video leads to another one

Up & Over It - We No Speak Americano ft. Everyone

that is almost as impressive. Posting the pair of them here is almost easier than sending the links out via email.

Drag Racing on Dirt

2JZ swapped Pontiac Tempest goes dirt drag racing

Pig farmers having fun on Saturday night. Here's a little more about the car:

Corey's 2JZ Swapped 1966 Pontiac Tempest

The engine is a Toyota 2JZ, a 3 liter, DOHC striaght six introduced in 1991. The Toyota Supra made it well known in the USA. You don't see many American cars getting Japanese engines. The Pontiac Tempest is the base model the GTO was based on. The 2JZ is reputed to be a very strong engine. Some people are getting 800 HP out of them.


The True Story - Bizarro
Reminds me of a scenario I posited about Seveneves.

Sunday, June 28, 2020

The War On Hate

Post No Hate Photo by Jon Tyson
Seems some people have declared war on hate, because hating people is bad. (It might still be okay to hate things, I dunno.) On the other hand, can you imagine a war, a real shooting, killing the enemy kid of war, without hate? I am pretty sure whipping the population into a hating frenzy is a necessary precondition to waging a real shooting war.

So maybe our current war on hate isn't really a hateful war, maybe it's a war of love where we are all going to love our neighbors and nobody is going to hate anybody else every again. Except it sure sounds like someone is trying to whip the population into a hating frenzy, what with all the riots and vandalism.

So maybe the problem isn't that there isn't enough love to go around, maybe the problem is we haven't had a real kick ass war in a long time, a war that mobilized the entire country, a war that everyone, or at least a solid majority could get behind, a war where you could hate the enemy. You know, kind of like WW2.

Yes, I know, war is bad, lots of people get killed, lots of stuff gets destroyed, but by gum, it focuses your attention on important things, like killing the enemy, which might be our primary instinct. It's more important than food or sex or companionship. It's kind of like the 2nd amendment. If you can't defend yourself (which in the bad old days meant killing the enemy), none of your other rights mean anything.

War is a fundamental part of being human. We've been fighting wars for a zillion years, probably ten times longer than we have had a written history, which is basically a record of all the wars we've fought.

But now the first world has entered a kind of warless state and it's left a big hole in our hateful hearts. It would be nice if we could find something constructive to fill that hole. Some people have jobs and families and are motoring along just fine, but there are a bunch of people who don't have jobs, aren't happy with their lives or don't have anything else to do but raise a stink about whatever everyone else is raising a stink about.

Problem is that with the current economic situation, it's hard to give everyone something to do. Amazon is trying by hiring thousands of people, and while those jobs might be lifelines for the desperate, I don't think Amazon is going to save us.

A new religion might save us. The old established Christian religions just don't seem to have the mass appeal that they used to, possibly because we have beaten the natural world into a semblance of submission and so we aren't properly terrified anymore. Of course this is how we got environmental activists and our current epidemic of social justice warriors. Maybe this is trade-off. No more all consuming wars, instead we get just a constant stream of noise from obnoxious gadflies.

People come in several flavors of stupid. One form of stupidity causes people to latch onto to the last thing they heard. Someone told them something, might be true, might be a complete fabrication, but for some reason the person who hears it believes it, at least for a while, until it gets shoved aside by a new tidbit of information that catches their ear. This explains why we are lurching from one pseudo-crisis to another. Our modern communications systems ensure that these tidbits get widely disseminated, which is why a pandemic was getting all the attention last week and some twisted version of civil rights protests are now making headlines.

We need an economic recovery that will put large number of people to work doing something they can believe in. I don't see a new Sun God appearing anytime soon, but maybe we could start a public works project rebuilding roads and bridges the old fashioned way, the way the Roman's did it. Hand built with hand cut stones carried by hand.

Problem we've had lately is that the high tech solutions get all the money and all the attention, mostly because those are the ones that promise to deliver a profit of some kind (sometimes it's a profit because the federal government is paying for it). What we need is some kind of incentive that gives credit to companies putting large numbers of people to work.

We wouldn't need to do anything if people could find non-destructive ways to keep themselves amused, but not everyone is capable of that. Some people require social interaction, and if a riot is the only social interaction available, well then, that'll do. I suppose we should thank the video game makers for keeping zillions of people glued to their video screens, otherwise we might be having some really fabulous riots.

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Teruel Spain

Global weekly number of commercial airline flights before and after COVID-19

The number of commercial airlines flights has plummeted since the beginning of the year, which means airlines have been parking large numbers of aircraft in boneyards in out of the way locations like Victorville, CaliforniaRoswell, New Mexico and Marana, Arizona. But what about Europe? They aren't going to want to fly all their excess airplanes half way around the world just to park them.

Teruel Airport, Spain

No, they fly them to Teruel, Spain. I've always thought of Spain as being hot, dry and dusty like the American Southwest. Maybe not, but Teruel is. 

 Mudéjar Cathedral of Teruel

Via FlightAware, which links to CNN which I didn't link to because their page never stops loading.

P.S. Google Maps 3D function works on the hills around Teruel, but not on the buildings, unlike some more famous places.

Friday, June 26, 2020

Fun with Windows

Dell Optiplex 3010 Desktop PC - Intel Core i3-3220 3.1GHz 8GB 250GB DVD Windows 10 Professional (Renewed)

I bought a refurbished Dell PC to use at the new house. We don't absolutely need it, but it makes it handy for looking for materials, watching how-to videos on YouTube, and getting directions to our next Tuesday lunch location. Yes, I could use my smart phone for all this, but I like having a large screen and a full size keyboard.

I was hoping to use my cell phone to connect to the internet. Everyone says it's easy, just swipe and tap, but swipe and tap as I might I never found any indication that my cell phone had any idea what I was talking about. Even the Tracfone FAQ says it's easy. Finally called up the Tracfone chat-bot and it tells me that Tracfone does not support 'tethering', which is what this is called.

Verizon Global Modem USB730L

Fine, abandon the cheapskate method and look around for another phone that will support this and found Verizon's dedicated cell phone UBS modem. Kind of expensive at $250, but it looks like it should be plug and play. I'm tired of fooling with this, so I bite the bullet and buy one and get my wife to add the $20 a month line charge to her account. I plug in the UBS modem and bingo! I'm connected to the great and glorious internet. 

Command line program to retrieve Windows Product Key retrieved nothing.

Windows Product Key retrieved by Visual Basic program

Now maybe I can do something about this Activate Windows message that is constantly on the screen. Seems like I shouldn't need to do anything, but I don't want this thing to die on me (which it might do at any time. Seems like I read a warning message that it was going to stop working in 30 days if I didn't shape up.) So I go poking around looking for the product key. I found some instructions here, and they sort of worked, but the code they delivered wasn't acceptable to the great and benevolent Gates. 

Official (?) Windows Product Sticker

So I took a picture of the official Microsoft hologram and tried that product key. It didn't work either.

I supposed I should contact Microsoft support and track down this problem, but that seems like another exercise in fultility.

I just stepped away from the computer for a bit and when I came back it had lost it's connection to the internet. This happens whenever I am away for more than, uhm, I don't know how long. Restarting the computer solves this problem. There might be another way to fix it, but this works, and I don't have to crawl into another rathole to find the answer. And the Activate Windows watermark has disappeared, so maybe we're copasetic. Naw, that couldn't be.

Since I am a dedicated Linux user, you may wonder why I didn't install Linux on this machine. Well, I've already done that a couple of times and I don't relish doing it again. It takes time and has a bunch of pitfalls for the unwary. For what I am doing here, Windows should be adequate, and it's already installed.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Tribal Quote of the Day

Gaiseric Sacks Rome in 455 - Karl Bryullov ca. 1835
Basically, social media allows people to divide themselves into tribes based on opinions and shared values. Social capital in those tribes is then accumulated by espousing those values more extremely than one's peers and being the first and most vocal proponent to shun those who deviate.
It's like watching the history of the Christian church for the first five or six hundred years played at 1000X fast forward, and on an endless loop.
(With pagan Vandal & Sassanid infiltrators cheering on every divisive opinion.)
If you're in a virtual community defined by concern for social justice, then the person with the most concern for social justice will have the most social capital. If you're in a community defined by being edgy, then the edgiest edgelord is at the top of the heap. You think (Black/Blue) lives matter? Well someone thinks they matter even more than you, you quisling. - View From The Porch
 P.S. Because I had to look up some words, I thought I better provide some links:

  • Vandals - a Roman-era Germanic people
  • Sasanian Empire - the last Persian imperial dynasty before the arrival of Islam
  • Gaiseric - King of the Vandals

Sunday, June 21, 2020


Dalida - Bambino (1957)

I'm watching a Tim Traveler video about a hill in Paris and as he passes by a bust of Dalida he mentions that she was 'one of the most successful recording artists in history'. I've never heard of her, so a-Googling I go, and here we are.

She had some really bad luck with men close to her: four of them died by suicide. Dalida attempted suicide twice, the second time she was successful. Makes me wonder if there wasn't some kind of mental virus going around that led these people down a dark path.


Keep Portland Tiered
The bottom tier of society has been hit with a triple whammy since I graduated from high school fifty years ago. First Nixon opened China. Might have been good for the Chinese in mainland China, but it killed the heart of US manufacturing. Second was automation. The third is this pandemic. No wonder there are riots. There are a whole bunch of people with nothing to do and nothing to lose. The business about bad cops is just an excuse.

Ignoring the underclass is what enables the communists to get a toehold and start their revolutions. That's what happened in Russia a hundred years ago. Recently we've seen it throughout Latin America and in Southeast Asia. Capitalism has its faults, but Communism is much worse.

A negative income tax might help. Or maybe we should bring back the ancient Egyptian's sun god and go back to building pyramids.

P.S. As I was driving into Portland Friday I saw a wedding cake delivery van with the slogan 'Keep Portland Tiered' emblazoned across the back. It's obviously a play on the popular slogan of 'Keep Portland Weird'.

Rammstein - Sonne

Rammstein - Sonne (Official video HD)

Rammstein doesn't just make great music, they also make great theater.

Lyrics (translated by Google) (Sonne is German for Sun):
One two three four five six seven eight nine
        The sun shines out of my eyes
        It won't go down tonight
        And the world counts out loud to ten
        Here comes the Sun
(Two)   Here comes the Sun
(Three) it is the brightest star of all
(Four)  Here comes the Sun
        The sun shines out of my hands
        Can burn, can blind you
        When she breaks her fists
        Lays hot on the face
        It won't go down tonight
(And the world counts out loud to ten)
        Here comes the Sun
(Two)   Here comes the Sun
(Three) it is the brightest star of all
(Four)  Here comes the Sun
(Five)  Here comes the Sun
(Six)   Here comes the Sun
(Seven) it's the brightest star of them all
(Eight) Here comes the Sun
        Here comes the Sun
(Two)   Here comes the Sun
(Three) it is the brightest star of all
(Four)  and will never fall from the sky
Via Tam

Update July 2022 replaced missing video.

Pic of the Day

A School for Boys and Girls - Jan Steen, 1670
About this painting:
This is the largest of several schoolroom scenes by Steen. The composition is loosely based on Raphael’s fresco of ‘The School of Athens’ in the Vatican, depicting the greatest scholars of antiquity. Basing this unruly scene on the famous gathering of greats, Steen made a visual joke, which is also echoed in the incidental detail. The adults seem oblivious to the unruly behaviour of their pupils. At the right is an owl, traditional symbol of wisdom and attribute of the goddess Athena. Here a boy offers it a pair of spectacles alluding to the Dutch proverb ‘What use are glasses or light if the owl does not want to see?’ This could apply to both pupils and teachers.

Full F-22 Demo: Exclusive Look Inside the Raptor

Full F-22 Demo: Exclusive Look Inside the Raptor

Via daily timewaster

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Peasants' Rebellion

Trailer | Thawrat al falaheen | StarzPlay | برومو | ثورة الفلاحين

Here we go with another endless TV serial from the Mideast. The last one was Ertuğrul and we watched all nine zillion episodes. This one only has 61, but give 'em a chance, they might dump another 50 episodes on us at any time.

The intro has some very fancy CGI, all done in gold. The show is set in 19th Century Lebanon. We have the masters living in the fanciest palace imaginable while the peasants bow and scrape to avoid being beaten, tortured or killed. Yep, the place is ripe for revolution.

Eagle Films Offices

The series is produced by Eagle Films. It will be interesting to see what they produce.

Update November 2020 replaced missing video with something similar.

Sand Is Trying To Kill Me: Part 1.5

2020 Yamaha TW 200, aka 'Honey Badger'

Whenever I come across a great story, I never know whether to post a link to it or steal the whole thing and re-post it here. Today re-posting wins out. From Adaptive Curmudgeon.

My new motorcycle (Honey Badger) is more skittish than an alley cat on meth whenever the sand is deep. I turned to the internet to suss out this mystery. It went like this.

“My TW doesn’t do sand well. What’s up?” “Are you using the stock tire. A Bridgestone Trailwing?”
“Yes, brand new, lots of tread.”
“We call the Trailwing a ‘Deathwing’. It’s terrible off road. Replace it.”
“I can second that. I got a Shinko 241. Massive improvement.”
“My tire’s new. I should replace it anyway?”
“I replaced mine the day I bought my bike. It’s cheaper than a trip to the ER.”
“I got a Shinko 244. That’s even better.”
A thirty-seven-post discussion about the chemistry of rubber compounds ensues. Apparently, it is rocket science.
“So, all two dozen of us agree. The Shinko 241 and 244 are both much better than the ‘Deathwing’ and so is almost anything else that’s round. This stranger on the internet should heed our advice and replace his ‘Deathwing’ by noon tomorrow.”
This seems pretty reasonable to me. I’ve learned something. It seems clear. Then the internet effect kicks in.
“Shinko’s for sissies. I installed this.”
Someone posts a TW sporting a tire that would strike fear in the guys from Mad Max. It’s huge! There are massive meaty cleats. It has the skull of a crushed antelope stuck in one of the lugs. The front fork has been modified to fit this mechanical menace; the re-welded fork has metal spikes and a chaingun. The whole thing is wrapped in razor wire. The rest of the bike is equally rugged. The owner explains his bike has been used to invade Bulgaria, hunt Sasquatch, and cross the Amazon rainforest. He includes a second picture from a Yak hunting trip to Mongolia. There’s a half ton of Yak meat strapped to the 300-pound bike. In another photo he’s on his bike using it to pull start a stalled Russian freight train. There’s a photo of the bike in Greenland, on a glacier, chasing a polar bear; the rider is dressed in sealskins and carrying a harpoon. You need to sign a liability waiver just to look at that bike and every Prius in Seattle begins to weep when you upload the images. The huge rear tire is just as aggressive. It looks like it came from a tractor and the owner explains he had to modify the rear wheel to accept it. He needed a blow torch, a hydraulic press, and Thor’s hammer to mount it. He’s added a rifle scabbard, ammo can panniers, and shielding against Claymore Mines. Every inch of the bike is covered with camo, battle scars, spikes, and blood. Someone has turned a tiny little TW200 into a beast that would scare a tank. I’m impressed. Everyone loves it.
“Is that front tire a ‘Skullcrusher 2000’?”
“No, it’s the upgraded model; ‘Drive My Enemies Before Me X1192’.”
“I hit a moose with it. Rode right up and over. You can’t go wrong with this tire.”
“Is it DOT approved?”
“No. Fuck the DOT.”
“How is it on pavement?”
“It shakes my balls like castanets and made my teeth fillings pop out. Pavement is for wimps. I ride only on the skulls of my enemies.”
For every reaction there is a response.
“I ride exclusively on pavement. I installed a ‘Top Fuel Carbon Fiber’ racing tire.”
“On a bike that can barely go 60MPH?”
“I modded the engine. It has six turbos ramming air into a bored-out cylinder with titanium alloy race pistons.”
“The stock bike has 200cc. Have you considered a sportbike?”
“I made it into a sportbike. I changed the rear sprocket, upgraded to a chain that’s made of angel hair, and run only high-test plutonium fuel.”
“How is it on the trail?”
“What kind of idiot rides on a trail? I only ride on airport runways that have been licked clean by virgins.”
Then comes one more piece of ‘advice’.
“You’re all pussies. The ‘Deathwing’ is fine.”
“It barely holds a line in sand.”
“It’s fine! You just don’t know how to ride. Stand on the pegs, lean back, rip on the throttle, and steer with your mind.”
“It sounds like you’re underestimating the influence of front tire compounds.”
“No, I’m not. You all suck. I’ve ridden ten million miles on the stock tire, all of it on sand, while coated with grease, during a hailstorm. The ‘Deathwing’ is perfect if you know how to ride.”
Uh huh. That’s the internet for you.

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

The Stolen

The Stolen - Official Trailer

YouTube blurb:
In 1860, Charlotte Lockton has settled in the South Island of New Zealand with her wealthy husband, David. But her life’s dreams are shattered when he’s murdered on their farm and her baby son is kidnapped. A month after paying a ransom, frustrated with the apathy of the authorities and distrusting of her staff, she decides to track him down on her own. And so begins her journey through the wild untamed New Zealand, at the beginning of the Gold Rush.
She joins a convoy of whores, ex-cons and a Maori warrior heading for the rough mining community of Gold Town. There she meets Joshua McCullen, the owner of the town, a man who is key to uncovering the truth behind the disappearance of her son, forcing her to fight to the death for what she holds most dear.
Charlotte is unbelievably naive, or unbelievably sheltered. Here she is half around the world from home and seems to be totally lacking in any common sense. However, she can play the piano, not that it does her much good. Whatever. The man behind the crimes (robbery, murder, kidnapping) is fully engaged in building a town at the site of the latest gold rush, but he takes the time to travel two weeks overland to commit this outrage, and then travels two weeks back. He must have been plotting vengeance for a very long time, but we are given only a vague explanation.

Not too awful. We do have a plausibly authentic gold rush town, and at least one big gunfight, so it wasn't a complete loss.

Why do “good cops” cover for “bad cops”?

Chicago Police by Tom Bachtell
Badtux has a post about the police. I disagree with most of what he writes, but this time he has some good points.

Rescue From Shangri-La


I finished Lost in Shangri-La by Mitchell Zuckoff. In 1945, the survivors of the C-47 crash in the middle New Guinea were big news. Alexander Cann parachuted into this lost valley with a 35mm camera and made this film, though it doesn't appear in IMDB.

Being who I am, I wanted to know more about snatching a glider out of the jungle.

Training Film Glider Pickup by C 47

This training film shows us all the switches, widgets and do-dads involved in setting up the winch in the tow plane. It also includes some slow motion footage of the of the pickup (just after the 11 minute mark).

The winch's main job is not reeling in the tow rope, but rather paying it out in a controlled manner so the glider is subjected to a tolerable amount of acceleration over a few seconds of time. The nylon rope stretches, but not enough to absorb the entire shock. Without the braking action of the winch, the tow rope would snap or rip it's attachment points out of the tug or the glider.

Glider Snatching (1949)

This clip shows the winch brake in action (50 second mark), smoking to beat the band, which explains why they need the ventilators shown in the previous clip.

Here's another video that has a brief shot of what happens to a glider should the tow rope snap on pickup (1:50 mark).

This story and the cloud cover that impedes air operations reminds me of the film The Valley (Obscured by Clouds) that I saw about a zillion years ago. This valley could be the same one as the one in the book or it could be a completely different one. New Guinea is a big place, full of mountains and valleys.

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Oerlikon 20mm Antiaircraft Gun

Four Fun Facts about the Oerlikon 20mm Antiaircraft Cannon!

It's not often you hear any details about a big gun. Oh, they'll give you all the gross specifications like height and weight and caliber, but any more than that and you risk boring your audience. I mean really, if you are showing any kind of big military weapon to, say, well anyone, their reaction is going to be 'Oh wow. That's a big gun.' and that kind of fills the mind. You really don't want to intrude on that moment with bunch of numbers.

I've heard of this gun before, and I've run into that bit about how they sold guns to the Axis and the Allies. Okay, maybe not sold, but the same gun design was used on both sides.

The muzzle in the video makes it look like the barrel is paper thin. I think that maybe there is a flash suppressor on the end of the barrel.

The mechanism is a little curious. It sounds like the chamber is cylindrical. Usually they are tapered to make extraction of the spent cartridge easier. So the chamber is cylindrical and it is longer than the shell. The cartridge is inserted in the chamber and when it is fully inside the chamber and is on its way forward, the charge is ignited. It only takes a millisecond, so the shell better be all the way forward by that time. Now the explosion pushes back on the bolt (that is headed forward at a zillion millimeters per femtosecond) and the 400 pound recoil attached to it. At the same time the explosion pushes forward on the bullet, but the bullet may not be fully in the lands at this point. Remember, the extra-long cylindrical chamber? I suppose you could make the bullet the same diameter as the shell, and start the lands just past the farthest reach of the leading edge of the shell.

Richie Rich

Tyler Hoover’s Rolls-Royce Phantom
Tyler Hoover of Hoovie's Garage is auctioning off his Rolls-Royce with no reserve. Current bid is $62,500 which is a bargain considering a new one costs right near half a million dollars. If I heard him right on his video, his daddie (father?) is Doug DeMuro, who has his own YouTube channel (warning: autostart video) about cars. Whatever. I enjoy listening to Hoovie. Saves me from getting sucked into these automotive adventures / disasters.

Russia, handi-mans paradise

Posted on Quora by Julian Beirne on April 6:
I was working on a power station in Moscow and, for the weekend, went to a small town (Kaluga), two hundred kilometres south-west from the city with a work colleague. Alex.
He had bought some brake shoes for his Russian-made car and was fitting them with his father in their garage that every Russian family has. They are always in a long row of garages some distance from the apartments.

The brake shoes wouldn’t fit due to poor quality manufacturing so he got out an angle grinder and ground the groove in the brake shoe until it fitted. 
He said that this was normal in Russia.

He also said that when you bought a new Russian-made car you went to the showroom with a colleague and inspected the car. You would then tell the salesman what was wrong with the car (door does not close, brake pedal is missing rubber, etc.). He would fix it and, when you took it away, you accepted responsibility for all that was wrong. 
So if you are planning an expedition to the Arctic don’t get an American or European mechanic to fix stuff en route, get a Russian because they have spent their entire life bodging stuff up with a Swiss army knife and some 14 gauge wire. 
There is nothing that a Russian cannot fix.

Via Iaman.

The Future is Cloudy, I Cannot See

#1517; In which a Visitor proves a Nuisance, Part 2


The Spanish Inquisition

JMSmith put up a post a few days ago that has ignited a firestorm of comments. Okay, maybe not a firestorm, but my pithy little comment has been overwhelmed by the dozen or so wordier responses. Anyway, these guys (they sound like guys) are tossing around some weird words:
  • Converso - A converso was a Jew who converted to Catholicism in Spain or Portugal, particularly during the 14th and 15th centuries, or one of his or her descendants. The majority of Spain's Jews converted to Christianity as a result of the pogroms in 1391.
  • Samizdat - the clandestine copying and distribution of literature banned by the state, especially formerly in the communist countries of eastern Europe.
  • Optimismus ist feigheit (German) - Optimism is cowardice (English) - “The danger has become so great for everyone, every class, every people that it is pitiful to lie to yourself. Time cannot be stopped; there is no wise repentance, no wise renunciation. Only dreamers believe in ways out. Optimism is cowardice." - Oswald Spengler (1880 - 1936) was a German historian. . . . Spengler's model of history postulates that any culture is a superorganism with a limited and predictable lifespan  [and ours is due to collapse].
  • Bonald - Louis de Bonald (1754 - 1840) was a French counter-revolutionary philosopher and politician. Big supporter of the Catholic church and a virulent anti-Semite.

Monday, June 15, 2020

Where are we?

The Four Scenarios
I continue to suspect that the danger from the COVID-19 virus is overblown, that it's no worse than the seasonal flu that happens every year. But I might be wrong. It's kind of hard to tell. All kinds of numbers appear in various reports, but I suspect (I'm a suspicious kind of guy) that most of those numbers come from outfits with that are promoting a political agenda of some sort, so I don't trust any of those numbers.

The number of deaths is particularly fraught. Roughly one thousand people die every day in the USA in normal circumstances. That's roughly 400,000 people per year. How many of those deaths are caused by the flu in a normal year? Maybe as few as 10,000, perhaps as many as 80,000. Telling me that X number of people died from COVID-19 yesterday, or last week, doesn't really mean anything to me unless you can compare it to some baseline, and what's the baseline for a new disease? There isn't one.

We don't know how infectious this disease is and we don't know deadly it is and we won't really know until it has run it's course and some unbiased people have had a chance to review the statistics. (Unbiased people? Where are you going to find any of those?)

Meanwhile, where are we headed? Mark Weber has posted a power point presentation that looks at four possible scenarios of what the future might bring. The slide at the top of this post is number ten. The presentation is aimed at business leaders, but everyone could benefit by considering these possiblities.

Via Cool Tools

Saturday, June 13, 2020

Marcella Season 2

Marcella Season 2 Trailer

I dunno about this show. We're about half way through season 2 and the only decent person is the young woman who works at a care home for the disabled. Okay, her boss and his boss might be okay, but they are borderline too good and nice. They could easily turn out to be psychopaths. There is a pretty young woman new to Marcella's team of detectives, but she is just smart and capable, unlikely to turn out to be psycho, but with TV, who knows?

Here's hoping the former skinhead turns out to be a hero. He's already done a couple of mildly heroic things, but he is such a glowerer that you expect him to start stabbing people any minute.


Hillbilly Moon Explosion - Tornado

I set an old YouTube playlist to going and this tune came up. I don't remember it, but I must have heard it before because who else could have added it to my playlist? Anyway, the playlist is chugging along while I'm playing solitaire, so I'm not watching the video, but then this tune comes up and I like it so much I go take a look at the video, and whoa, what do we have here? That's exceptional. So I decided to share.

Hillbilly Moon Explosion has been here before.

Update July 2022 twice


I Bought the Cheapest Ford Raptor in the USA, Formerly Owned by the BORDER PATROL!!!

I'm reading Lost In Shangri-La by Mitchell Zuckoff. It's a true story about a WW2 rescue mission in New Guinea. It's late in the war and the Japanese have been mostly pushed out of the area. The allies have a base on the north coast at Hollandia. It's paradise except for being hot, humid and riddled with mosquitoes, plus there is not much happening until a pilot discovers a valley in middle of the island with people living there. It's not on any of their charts, so it may as well be unknown. They start taking groups of people on sight-seeing flights, and wouldn't you know it, one of these airplanes crashes. Now we have to mount a rescue mission to see if there are any survivors and to get them out. This is a bit of a problem because they can't even see any way to get there. They end up parachuting in.

Anyway, Mitchell devotes chapter 11 to talking about the natives. There are maybe 100,000 people living in this valley. The raise pigs and they grow sweet potatoes and seem to be getting by quite well. However, their main occupation seems to be waging war on their neighbors. It's like an fundamental obligation. It's like the Hatfields and the McCoys, except going on for centuries.

Which kind of explains the Ford versus Chevy rivalry. Whose your enemy? The guys who drive a different brand of truck than me. How do you know he's your enemy? 'Cause he drives a different brand of truck. Geez, it's perfectly obvious. Can't you understand nuthin'?

Peace is an artificial construct, combat is the natural order of things. Peace you have to work at. We've done a pretty good job here in the USA. If you believe what you hear about the rest of the world then this place is paradise. It doesn't take much to upset the apple cart. We've got protests and riots going on all over the place these days. Some say they're protesting the incident in Minneapolis. That may have been the match, but the shutdown of the economy caused by the COVID-19 panic provided the tanker truck full of gasoline.

P.S. I was shocked by the prices in this video. $7,000 for broken truck with 150,000 miles on the odometer, and $50,000 for it when it was new eight years ago. Yee gods. I never thought of pickup trucks as costing much more than a car, but now they seem to cost twice as much, new or used. Has something changed that makes trucks more expensive, or is my memory just faulty?

Pick up your trash folks

Osmany cutting a steel cable

 We're putting some steps into the hillside at the new house. I just wanted some steps, but Osmany is not satisfied with half way measures, so he's building a stairway. He's down to the last few steps and he finds a couple of old steel pipes in the way. What are they? Gas lines? Water lines? Buried electrical conduit? They are only buried under about six inches of dirt, but we are good 20-25 feet from the top of the hill. Somebody could have run some pipes through here for some tom fool reason. If doesn't seem likely that they are being used, but I call the gas company anyway. They sent a man out and he dutifully climbed around the house to get to our mystery. Took him less than a minute to tell us that they weren't gas lines. We'd had 30 minutes to chew on it and decided it probably wasn't water or electric either, so we elected to cut it.

Osmany started with an angle grinder with a four inch diameter cutting wheel, but it was kind of slow going. Seems the pipe was full of wires. So I drug out my 40 year old Black & Decker Saw Cat and a seven inch cut off disk. It made short work of the pipes. Just before Osmany finished the last cut I thought to record the event so that's what you see above: Osmany finishing the last cut.

Turns out they weren't pipes at all but rather big, fat steel cables. I can only surmise that they were used for some heavy construction project here many years ago and then abandoned. Could have been from when the pilings for the house were put in, which was 40 years ago, or it may have been from when they built the street and installed the sewer, which would have been even before that. And now we've dug them up.

Thursday, June 11, 2020

How to be a successful, clandestine propagandist

Superego: Fathom by Frank J. Fleming
It looks like Frank has written a guest post for According to Hoyt. In it he lays out techniques you can use in your writing to brainwash people into thinking the way you want them to think. Tongue in cheek. Maybe.

Bone Collector

Knee Implant / Prosthesis

Once upon a time, back when Osmany was living in Cuba, he became acquainted with a guy who collected bones. He got these bones from graves in cemeteries (no details on the circumstances available). Of particular interest were bones from people who had been subjected to surgery to repair injuries. One prime example was a femur where the knee end of the bone had been replaced with prostheses made of platinum. The prostheses must have weighed a pound and in the free world that much platinum would be worth $10K, but since he was in Cuba where there is no free market, it was worth nothing except as a curiosity to be added to his macabre collection.

Praise the Lord

The Sacrifice of 155 Battery, Sidi Nsir 1943

In North Africa during WW2, there was a significant battle fought between the British and the Germans at a wide spot in the road called Sidi Nsir. The small force of Brits was wiped out by the much larger and more powerful German force. However, the defense put up by the British gun battery at Sidi Nsir delayed the German advance long enough that the main British force was able to prepare for the German attack. So prepared, they were able to repulse the German attack which put an end to Operation Ox Head. This was the beginning of the end of the German campaign in North Africa.

This video is longer than what I usually post, but Lindybeige is pretty great and it was Sunday afternoon and I was feeling relaxed so I was able to watch the whole thing. Okay, I had to pause once or twice to check out some things, but I did watch it all the way to the end. He does an advertisement (about three minutes long at the 26:45 mark) and it is a hilarious interlude in an otherwise very serious story.

If you want to get a feel for the terrain, Google Maps 3D view of the area shows the hills in the area very well.

Praise The Lord & Pass The Ammunition - Kay Kyser

Lindybeige mentions that the guys manning the guns were singing this song (Praise The Lord & Pass The Ammunition). I've heard it mentioned before, but I never knew the origins. Seems it was an offhand remark made by a chaplain on board the USS New Orleans during the Japanese attack on Pearl HarborIt was a number one hit back in 1943.

I just recently figured out that one of the reasons people join the army is because they might get to kill some people. I, and I suspect most people, are brought up to believe that killing people is wrong, so the opportunity to kill other people shouldn't be any kind of attraction. However, people are basically animals and we got to be the top of the food chain by killing. In the beginning it was animals, either for food or to avoid being food. But after we killed off enough of the other predatory animals and our population got large enough, we started killing other people. That probably started 100,000 years ago, give or take a zillion years, and we've been doing it ever since. 

So killing is in our blood. It is something we can enjoy, especially if social circumstances justify it. It is only because of extensive training and social conditioning that the streets are not constantly running with blood. The only time killing people is permitted is when you are killing an enemy.

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I just want to reiterate what I've said before about the large number of people being shot every week in Chicago (the same situation probably exists in most other major cities, it's just that Chicago gets all the press). I suspect some areas of Chicago are essentially war zones where the combatants are competing drug distribution gangs. Members of other gangs are the enemy, so killing them is permitted and sometimes ordered. Some people are making a boat load of money off of the drugs being sold, they have armies of soldiers fighting over the best areas for sales. 

On the other hand, people are protesting about the police killing people, and other people are pointing out that the number of people killed by police pales in comparison to the number of people being killed by other people people who are not the police. But we are talking about two different worlds. It's like comparing the number of people killed in Los Angeles to the number of people killed in the Vietnam war.

So, some parts of Chicago are a war zone. How is that possible, here is this great country? Simply because some people are making a boat load of money, and that is made possible by our draconian drug laws.

Basically, this country has a bad case of schizophrenia. On one hand we are striving for truth, justice and the American way, and on the other we are engaged in animal-level jungle combat.

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Quote of the Day

South Sea Islanders with their 'airplane' 
Part of the problem with social policy here in America is that it is conducted like a South Pacific Cargo Cult. We looked around and saw that the majority of successful people owned their own homes and had college degrees, so we figured that if we grabbed any old slacker and subsidized them a home and a college degree, then they, too, would become successful. It's got cause and effect completely out of whack.
Via Tam

Sawdust Collection

Osmany's new saw with our cobbled together dust collector.
The blue hose is ribbed. Blogger's new editor is garbage. You can see the original picture here.

Roberta X has got herself a new saw: a compound sliding miter saw, which prompted me to post this. Osmany also bought one. It's a wonderful saw. big, powerful, accurate, easily turns any kind of board into sawdust. I would have bought one myself but I have too much stuff that I don't use. Osmany buying one saved me. Anyway, the saw comes with a sawdust collection bag, but it is ridiculously tiny, about the size of a sock you wear on your foot, so we looked around Lowe's for some kind of tubing to redirect the sawdust into a bucket and we found some pieces that work. The white elbow is part of a drain for a kitchen sink, the ribbed blue hose is for a swimming pool. It was a remnant so it was half price. Those two fit together well, but the elbow was a little large for the outlet on the saw so we wrapped the outlet with a couple of layers of heavy canvas strapping. It is not what you would call SECURE, but it works well enough.

P.S. This is the first post I have done with Blogger's new editor and I have to say it is a piece of crap. It's been lurking on the fringes for a while now, but so far I've been able to use the old editor. Not sure why. Maybe because I'm running Linux and I refuse to install any updates until shit quits working.

Crazy Ivan

BONNY: Russian Ural Motorcycle at the Bonneville Speed Week | ///S

Back in 2017, the Russians come to Bonneville to try and set a new land speed record using a 1936 flathead engine from a Russian M72 motorcycle. They are competing in the vintage category which means they are using the original crankcase and cylinders. The titanium frame is bolted together rather than welded. The engine is fueled by methanol and nitrous oxide.

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Inside Man

Inside Man Official Trailer #1 - Christopher Plummer Movie (2006) HD
Movieclips Classic Trailers

We saw this movie once before, probably when it came out and we just watched it again. It's pretty great: a bank robbery where nothing is taken and nobody gets caught, but Denzel eventually figures out what happened.

Directed by Spike Lee. I've know he's made a bunch of movies, but the only other movie of his that I've seen is OldboyI've seen the stars in a bunch of other movies. Links go to IMDB unless otherwise noted.

Denzel Washington:

Jody Foster
Update September 2021 replaced missing video.

Sunday, June 7, 2020

Ilyushin Il-2

Ilyushin Il-2
I'm watching a YouTube video about Russian and German WW2 aircraft. When it gets to the IL-2, the caption mentions that it was the most produced aircraft during the war. The Russians built some 36,000 of them. That was a surprise. America, Britain and Germany built large numbers of aircraft, but the closest anyone came to that number is the Germans who built about 34,000 of the Bf-109.

The Ilyushin IL-2 wasn't a fighter, it was a ground attack aircraft. It had some serious armor around the pilot and engine which made it a little heavy relative to the amount of power the engine produced. There are only two examples flying today. There are all kinds of stories about this airplane, but most of them come from Stalinist Russia, so their validity is suspect.

Matthew Acred has a extensive collection of photos of this aircraft.


Emordnilap is only a word if people start using it. Will they? Can they be stopped? We shall see.

Schrodinger's Dumpster

Schrodinger's Plates