Quiet Riot - Bang Your Head (Metal Health) [Official Video]
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US politics is sometimes referred to as a clown show. Ask little kids what they want to be when they grow up and you will get answers like: fireman, policeman, clown, President. Who knew that the last two are synonymous? I certainly didn't, at least not before I became a grumpy old man. This explains the quality of the presidential candidates we've been seeing. H. L. Mencken had a few words to say on the subject:
|H. L. Mencken on the President, July 1920|
Things are getting worse for a substantial portion of the population. Things are getting better for some people. Nobody seems to have any idea of how to reverse our slide. The government certainly doesn't. I doubt big business is going to save us. All the people who are complaining about how the 'system' is unfair are just trying to carve off a piece of the cake for themselves, they aren't making any more cake and in fact have no idea how to make much of anything, much less more cake.
On my way home from lunch on Tuesday I decided to swing by the house re-siding project in St. John's which, I quickly realized, meant I needed to reverse course. I'm on Highway 99 in front of Buster's Barbeque. I pull into a side street to turn around. There's a no outlet sign, I've never been down this road, I wonder where it goes? So I follow it around a couple of corners, past a couple warehouses, and down a hill through what I can only describe as a shanty town. There are small houses along one side, the other is an embankment that supports an on-ramp onto I-5 South. Dead cars, piles of trash, dilapidated houses. A very sad looking place.
|SW 64th Avenue Streetview|
When I got home I took a look at this same street using Google Streetview and got a completely different view: nice, well kept houses. Not a prosperous neighborhood, but not a friggin' disaster either. How long ago was that Streetview recorded? August 2019, not quite two years ago.
It's a short street, I pass a half dozen houses before I get to the bottom of the hill where the road goes around the corner and dumps into a giant electrical substation.
Then I took them to see the storied “NO LEFT TURN 7 AM - 9 AM 4PM - 7 PM” sign at Beverly and Normandie. That’s a classic I never get tired of seeing and love to take out-of-towners to gaze at it. It’s such a sweet thought back to memory lane. Those wonderous days when the morning rush ended at 9 a.m. and the afternoon rush didn’t start until 4 p.m.. Imagine that. Back then, from 9 am to 4 pm - seven hours! – drivers hummed along in Los Angeles streets like they were Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton zooming around the Nürburgring racetrack in Germany.
My uncle and aunt stared at the sign it wistfully. “Wow, what a, well, I guess, in a way, a melancholy sign,” said aunt Sheila, who was born in Manchester, England and grew up fairytales about Los Angeles allowing left turns from non-“left turn only” designated lanes. “So back in the day, the evening rush hour didn’t start until four? And only lasted three hours? That’s crazy. What a delight that must have been to drive in those days.” - Krikorian Writes
Driving into downtown Portland these days I often get stuck in creepy-crawly traffic for several minutes while we descend from the top of Sylvan to the Vista Ridge tunnel. Once through the tunnel, things open up, but of course, now I am downtown where parking lot driving rules apply (10 MPH max, watch out for homeless people in the middle of the road, hipster pedestrians crossing against the light, bicycles, electric scooters, people opening car doors into travel lanes, etc.). But it usually only takes another five minutes to get where I am going. Not like those poor bastards who are taking I-5 North to Washington. They are going to be stuck in that crap for another week or two.
I am pretty sure neither more freeways or mass transit are going to help. More cities might help. That way cities wouldn't need to be so big. But we used to have more towns, but small towns are shriveling up and dying. Everyone moved to the big city. Maybe we need more tariffs on stuff coming from China, and maybe a tax on automation, and maybe some public works projects. I really don't know, but I expect things are going to just continue to get worse. On the other hand, maybe most people don't mind putting up with traffic congestion.
|Trader Joe's Vitamin D Homogenized Milk|
Went to pour some milk into my coffee, had to open a new carton. Didn't go well, so I told Trader Joe's what I thought:
Paper carton was too well sealed. You are supposed to pull apart the flaps and then fold down the spout. The flaps came apart well enough, but the spout was sealed as well and so I almost destroyed it while prying it open. I don't think this was user error, I grew up with these milk cartons and never had any problem with them until the bean counters started squeezing everyone and everything. Could it be that proper maintenance of the sealing machine costs more than it costs to install those stupid plastic spouts and install them? Those plastic spouts with the pull rings are stupid. Whenever you open one, when the seal finally breaks free of the spout, it flings drops of milk onto the counter, drops that have to be wiped up.
Yesterday at lunch Jack was complaining about some kind of electronic gizmo. He gave up trying to get it sorted and went and bought a new one. We berated him for not dunning the manufacturer. This is why the world is going to hell. Companies are building and selling all these new gizmos that fail in short order and no one complains, it's easier to go buy a new one.
Meanwhile the nozzle on dutiful Dennis' garden sprayer had broken, so he checked into buying a new one. Ask the internet and the internet delivers. New nozzles are available for the low, low price of only $12. Meanwhile, you can buy a complete new sprayer at Home Depot for $10. Of course, if he buys a new sprayer, he is now stuck with getting rid of the old one. Since it's been used for weed killer, it is hazardous waste and Waste Management probably wants $50 fee to dispose of it, which would be a bargain if it allowed you to bypass the long lines at the public collection events, events staffed by the worst sort of annoying busybodies.
Bah, bah, bah and humbug.
|Darth Vader proclaiming the death Obi-Wan Kenobi|
As I was rebuilding a pond wall today, I thought of another element behind why many people hate Trump so much—so much more than we should expect in reaction to his actual governing. We know that many folks find him distasteful and lacking in class. Sure, but why would that trigger such hatred—why not simply some eye rolling and dismissive remarks? It then struck me that these people find Trump guilty of sacrilege; he has committed abomination in his presidential duties. Leftists in general and some patriotic Americans on the right understand democratic politics in a religious, sacrosanct way. So, when Trump scandalizes them by boorish behavior mixed with politics, he commits acts that merit a good burning at the stake. Many (most?) American right-wingers (correctly) see democratic politics as a circus, and we delight when the clowns drop the pretense and act the part. For the people who see the Popular Will as the closest thing to a divine instrument that they can imagine, however, Trump is a blasphemer and a heretic. Let him be anathema! - Arimathea, August 2019
P. S. Should it be "a RSS Feed Reader" or "an RSS Feed Reader"? I can usually tell, but this time I can't decide.
Lake Oroville Drought|
1st photo - 2018
2nd - april 27, 2021
3rd -last week
|St. Mary Catholic Church, High Hill, Texas|
|1966 Carroll Shelby presented the keys to a Ford GT 40 Mark I Factory Road Coupe to David Heerensperger of Spokane, WA. It was one of only 31 cars built to road specifications.|
Harper Lee's Pulitzer prize-winning book was first published in 1960. Now, the historical novel is banned in many high schools because it has been deemed Racist, because it "creates a white savior narrative" - an arbitrary verdict I don't agree with. I read it when the paperback edition came out in '61 or '62 and enjoyed the book very much. The first film version of 'To Kill A Mockingbird' was very good, too, but I thought 'TKAM III: Revenge of the Sith' really sucked. - Car Blog - The View Through The Windshield
|60 Piece Small Drill Bit Set|
Went to drill a small hole the other day, but when I opened my drill index I found that all the little bits, i.e. those one-eighth of inch in diameter and smaller were either broken or missing. If I had ALL my drill bits I probably could have found the one I need, but my tools are scattered across three houses and this was the only index I had on hand. I've been thinking for some time that your standard drill index should have multiple copies of the smaller drill bits. The smaller they are, the more you should have. Sixteen drill bits one-sixteenth of an inch in diameter would not be too many. Anyway, I decided to rectify this situation and went to Amazon where I found this. I think it was delivered the same day I ordered it. I don't really need this many tiny bits, so I'm thinking I will break the package up into two or three sets and give the extras to my friends. As soon as I find a way to adequately package them.
|99 Pieces Titanium Twist Drill Bit Set|
The world of business grinds on relentlessly, regardless of what the twitter-sphere is outraged about.
I should embellish this thought, but I'm old and tired and my wife has been running me ragged for the last couple of days, so that's all you get. You're going to have to embellish it yourself.
'Confusion' seemed an apt title for this post, which triggered my memory of this tune by Genesis. I totally remember the song, but I just vaguely remembered the video. That's not too surprising since it seems to be a confused jumble without much of a story line. Land of Confusion came out in 1986. Ronald Reagan (and Nancy, the old people puppets in the video) was President from 1981 to 1989.
|Y Axis Charlatans|
Stole this graph from Joseph Moore over on Yard Sale of the Mind. A distorted Y-Axis is one thing that is guaran-damn-teed to set me off, so I am very pleased to find someone who agrees with me.
Joseph has a few things to say about the statistics of death. Coincidentally, I had something to say about it yesterday. Realized later that perhaps I should have included gun deaths in my comparison. They are in the same range. Oh well, maybe later.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I have got my puzzle solving program completed. I mention it here because I am using the X & Y coordinates to locate the puzzle pieces in the playing field. Well, the program is 'complete', but there is a bug in there somewhere, so it is not actually able to solve the puzzle. All the little bits and pieces seem to work just fine, but there is still something very wrong, I just can't see it.
Meanwhile, also at the ranch, our internet connection died yesterday morning. It's back now, but it still seems to be a bit crippled. Earlier this morning I couldn't reach most websites including gmail and this one. When feedly came back, I found a post on Schneier on Security that claimed the big ransomware evil doers were down and out. Heck of a coincidence that they go down and MY internet goes down at the same time. What if the ransomware dudes decided to skip the small fry and just fuck the entire internet? I suspect it wasn't malicious, it was just typical sloppy, commercial business operations. The one guy who was keeping the stack of server farms from turning into a cluster fuck took the day off and all the other nitwits were in meeting about some kind of panty-waist chickshit. i.e. nobody was watching the fucking store. Or it might have been a guy with a backhoe.
|Annual Number of Automobile Accident Deaths|
|Annual Number of Drug Overdose Deaths|
I was surprised to find that that number of deaths from drug overdoses was so high. In the last few years it has exceeded the number of deaths from automobile accidents.
Every year about three million people die in the United States, about one percent of the population. Most of those deaths are old people.
The combined total of the automobile accident deaths and drug overdose deaths is less than 150,000, which is about five percent of the annual total for all causes.
"During 2020, COVID-19 was listed as the underlying or contributing cause of 377,883 deaths (91.5 per 100,000 population)." - Provisional Mortality Data — United States, 2020
That means COVID related deaths were about 10% of the total.
|Infection 2019 movie poster|
"The zombie apocalypse is obviously pure fiction, but it has an allure to a few tongue-in-cheek preppers because of its functional completeness. If you are prepared for zombies, you are literally prepared for anything." - BJ Campbell in his story The Surprisingly Solid Mathematical Case of the Tin Foil Hat Gun Prepper
It contains a clear explanation of how to calculate the odds of a disaster. Well worth reading.
|Legoized Glock Handgun by Block19|
Top view of Ural Motorcycle and Sidecar
Link goes to Ural company website
|Wallace & Gromit Sidecar Model
Link goes vintage model website
|Do-It-Yourself Bicycle Sidecar
Link goes to article
|Fancy Pants Bicycle Sidecar
Link goes to article
1955 Peugeot 175 fitted with a Simard sidecar
Link goes to brief history of sidecars.
Wikicommons has more pictures of this machine
Ural Motorcycle & Sidecar
Link goes to Ural company website
|Hackley & Hume Historic Site|
We took a guided tour through the Hackley and Hume Houses the other day, big old woodworked like crazy, painted Victorians. Hackley really liked ornate wood and stained glass, Hume had a bunch of kids, so had more running room.Turns out those houses were built at the same time mine was. Mine has a new furnace.
|Gijs Schalkx on his slootmotor|
Seems to me Richard Branson's flight aboard SpaceShipTwo was a whole lot like an X-15 flight. Carrier plane carries rocket plane to high altitude, drops rocket plane, rocket plane shoots up to outer space, falls back down and glides to a landing. I wanted to do a more complete comparison, but I've run out of time, so I'm just dropping this little note here.
The X-15 only carried one person, the pilot, wearing a spacesuit, while Branson's spaceplane carried several people wearing street clothes.
I sometimes forget about The View Through The Windshield, but when I remember to check in, I find some good stuff, like this:
The Truth About Microchips: It's a well-known fact that automakers treat suppliers like crap. They are very demanding, slow-pay and prone to cancel contracts when business slumps.
The semiconductor market is big and broad and many chipmakers have decided they don't need the hassle of dealing with car companies. "The car sector has been used to the fact that the whole supply chain is centered around cars," said McKinsey partner Ondrej Burkacky. "What has been overlooked is that semiconductor makers actually do have an alternative."
Smartphones, video games and other consumer electronics applications require more sophisticated chips than automotive semiconductor applications and that means higher prices and more profit for chipmakers. "The auto industry spends around $40 billion a year on chips - about a tenth of the global market. By comparison, Apple spends more on chips just to make its iPhones, Mirabaud tech analyst Neil Campling reckons."
In summary, the semiconductor crunch that has battered the auto sector in recent times leaves carmakers with stark choices: pay up (higher prices, faster payment of invoices), stock up (increase finished chip inventory at the automaker's facility) or risk getting stuck on the sidelines as chipmakers focus on more lucrative (higher-margin) business elsewhere. (posted 3/1/21) - The View Through The Windshield
This is what passes for excitement a mi casa:
|stack smashing detected|
I'm not sure this will work, but I'm confident enough to write some code to try it out. So I did. Wrote it, ran it through the compiler, fixed about a dozen minor errors, and ran it. This is just a test program to see if I know how to hold my keyboard. All it does it print the digit to the terminal window, rotate it, and print it again. First got the result you see above. You can see the upside down 9 along the left side of image. It looks like the rotation did not go as planned, which is why you have all that other nonsense on the screen. But it got all the way through 9, so not bad for a first run.
Upside down and backwards.
I've noticed in some political stories that the writer will say that whoever they are denigrating has 'falsely claimed' so and so. I'm not a grammar Nazi, though I will pretend to be one when it suits me, but this phrase just strikes me as off. You can make a statement claiming most anything. What you are claiming may be true or false and so the claim may be true or false, but 'falsely' is an adverb modifying the verb 'claim', it is not modifying the contents of the claim. 'Falsely claiming' must mean you are not really claiming anything at all. It's like not saying anything. The phrase 'falsely claiming' is a wrong and stupid. Don't use it.
|Completed Jigsaw Puzzle|
|Brisbane to St. Lucia|
All I know about the game of cricket can be summed up in the phrase 'sticky wicket'. That and cricket fans seem to be more fanatical about the game than other fans, but that might just be my perception. Anyway, this week the Australian men's national cricket team is playing a series of games on the Caribbean island nation of St. Lucia. They flew non-stop 10,000 miles aboard a Quantas jet airliner.
Curiously, if we change from Map View to Satellite View in Google Maps, the route shifts. If you are flying halfway around the world, it doesn't much matter which direction you go, you are still traveling halfway around the world. 10,000 miles isn't quite halfway, but evidently it's close enough to confuse Google's route plotting algorithm.
Airliners travel about 500 miles per hour, which means a 10,000 mile flight would take about 20 hours. Traveling east in the jet stream means you pick up a tailwind which can cut your flight time to 16 hours. Does that mean the return flight should continue in the same direction? Possibly. 10,000 miles at 400 MPH would take 25 hours while 14,000 miles at 600 MPH would only take 23 hours. In addition, there would be more places you could stop and refuel. On the minus side, most of those places would be in central Africa.
I'm a funny kind of guy. Sometimes I am mentally energized can delve into fascinating subjects, other times I am reduced to listening to classic rock and playing solitaire.
Skimming the blog postings that show up on Feedly, I came across a couple that on a more energized day I might pursue, but today we're lucky to have some links.
RobertaX writes about the growing political divide in science-fiction fandom and mentions that Heinlein (Robert A.) worked on EPIC (End Poverty in California), Upton Sinclair's plan to socialize California during the great depression. Some people think his program served as a template for FDR's New Deal programs.
|The Relative Size Of Particles|
Click to Embiggenate
Bayou Renaissance Man Peter tells us about problems with African dust in BMW cars and M-16 rifles. Wikipedia has an article about dust. The stuff can get get really small. Sand particles are larger than dust. Watching Matt's Off Road Recovery videos, I learned that a little ground moisture can be the difference between getting your car's wheels buried and driving right over it. Also, it doesn't take much rain to turn some clay surfaces into skating rinks. Clay particles are smaller than sand particles. Clay particles may even be considered dust.
The Silicon Greybeard considers the unemployment conundrum. The signs are very clear that we are headed for some kind of economic catastrophe. Why can't I see what's going to happen? We have a growing homeless population, employers are having a hard time finding workers, the rent moratoriums might end. Some simple things are obvious. Prices are going up. Employers can solve their worker shortage by raising wages, but that means prices will go up even more. They will have to be careful though, raising prices will necessarily cut sales. Cut sales too much and you go out of business. Might be better to limp along with the workers you have and demand for your product exceeding your ability to produce. If the rent moratoriums end, lots of people are going to be out on the street, but that will mean lots of empty apartments and commercial buildings, which will mean lower rents. Not ending the rent moratoriums means those landlords who are carrying mortgages are going to lose their properties, but who will buy them if they can't collect any rent? You can bet that there is some serious pushing and shoving going on.
But these sanctions are based on no general agreement among even sensitive, sociologically concerned people. Couched as compassionate counsel, this list is mostly a series of prim concoctions by people who, one suspects, simply need more to do. In the end, working to change conditions is much more important than obsessively curating the words and expressions we use to describe them.
Right on, dude!
|Crane lifting steel beams to 4th floor window of Target|
SW 9th & Alder
|Tall crane working on high rise|
Around the corner on SW ALder & 9th
|New construction on NE Sandy Boulevard & 33rd Avenue|
Next door to Jiffy Lube
"Very impressive operation, running like clockwork, ready for any make model fluid or brake change....though they were having problems with a [bleeping] Jeep."
|Aero L-39 Albatros|
The Russian Ministry of Defense shared footage of Syria’s new pilots flying on L-39 Albatros high-performance fighter jet trainers. The Syrian Arab Air Force (SyAAF) has been using this type of warplane in close air support and in ground attack missions since 2012. - South Front
|Victory Dance - Frederic Remington|
What does the term "stolen land" mean if all land, everywhere, has been taken through aggression at some point in history?
“You must have experienced in your travels, Madame, a peculiar sensation on arriving in the morning in a foreign town, where all is new and strange to you—people, language, and customs. You are in a crowd and yet you are more overpowered by the sense of solitude than if you were in the middle of a forest. This is what often happens to me in the midst of my countrymen and contemporaries . . . . I have preserved many strong feelings which they have lost; I still love passionately the things to which they have become indifferent; and I have an antipathy which grows stronger and stronger for the things which seem to please them more and more.” - Alexis de Tocqueville
Right now, I'm devouring Empire of the Summer Moon, an account of the conflicts between the Comanche and, well, everyone else in the world. It would have been about the Apache or the Navajo fighting with everyone else, but the Comanches got to the horses first and drove the Apache and Navajo off their ancestral lands.
Politically motivated cases like these impose costs that are rarely paid by those who bring them. The more a prosecutor feels it necessary to repeat that “It’s not about politics,” the more likely a case is entirely political.
|Long Waves of Innovation|