Monday, May 31, 2010

a memorial to forget

to spite the black dog that keeps following me, i will write my recent random bits o' news in the most optimistic light i can think of, and leave it to you to read between the lines:
  • recent complaints about my work product were largely baseless, and therefore did not result in any formal reprimands.
  • ambulance service response is very quick in a small town.
  • my niece's arterial wound is healing nicely, and she should not remain anemic for more than a couple of weeks.
  • dad's nursing home noticed the changes in his symptoms, and quickly notified both the emergency services and the family.
  • there is a medication for dad's symptoms, and his doctor will return him to the proper dosage shortly.
  • my new (to me) van transported me safely all the way to the aforementioned small town, and more than 90% of the way back.
  • only the outer tread of one tire departed the vehicle, and it did not hit anyone.
  • the inner tire was sufficient for me to safely pull over.
  • the inner median on west loop 820 is quite spacious.
  • the temperature was only in the low 90s, below today's record high, and a nice breeze was generated by the passing cars.
  • a convenience store was less than a mile away, and the personnel there were quite helpful.
  • the cab of the tow truck was air-conditioned.
  • though the ntb nearest to my house was closed for the holiday, there was ample parking for us to leave the van.
  • my budget allows the purchase of towing and repair services.
  • i live in a country awesome enough that these minor events are the biggest of my worries.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

worried yet?

some particular quotes stood out to me from this article about the largest plunge in the m3 money supply since the great depression:

The US has just tried the biggest fiscal experiment in history and it has failed.

...the dominant voices in US policy-making (Paul Krugman, Joe Stiglitz, Mr Summers, Fed chair Ben Bernanke) are all Keynesians of different stripes who "despise traditional monetary theory and have a religious aversion to any mention of the quantity of money"

Mr Bernanke no longer pays attention to the M3 data... The sudden slowdown in M3 in early to mid-2008 - just as the Fed talked of raising rates - gave a second warning that the economy was about to go into a nosedive.

Mr Bernanke built his academic reputation on the study of the credit mechanism. This model offers a radically different theory for how the financial system works. While so-called "creditism" has become the new orthodoxy in US central banking, it has not yet been tested over time and may yet prove to be a misadventure.

disaster averted

the hole has been plugged!

:D

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

black markets

the lesser of two evils

the ottoman empire...

...should not be here.

where the streets have odd names

the author of dustbury said that he's not worthy of a street that shares his name:

house link

i wonder if he's as worthy as feliks gwozdz:

map link

having driven past that street countless times, i always wondered who feliks gwozdz was and why he had a street named after him. after many years, i found out (via the newfangled inter-tubes) that he was the tarrant county medical examiner from 1969 to 1979 (the tarrant county medical examiner's office is on that street). the only other info i could find about him online was that (just months before his death) he refused to order the exhumation of lee harvey oswald. it's also *remotely* possible that he was a classmate of karol josef wojtyla, who later became pope john paul the 2nd.

do any other fort worth/tarrant county residents know anything else about mr. gwozdz?

Monday, May 24, 2010

roasting richard dawkins

both too late and prematurely:
"this whole "New Atheism" movement is only a passing fad-not the cultural watershed its purveyors imagine it to be, but simply one of those occasional and inexplicable marketing vogues that inevitably go the way of pet rocks, disco, prime-time soaps, and The Bridges of Madison County. This is not because I necessarily think the current "marketplace of ideas" particularly good at sorting out wise arguments from foolish. But the latest trend in à la mode godlessness, it seems to me, has by now proved itself to be so intellectually and morally trivial that it has to be classified as just a form of light entertainment, and popular culture always tires of its diversions sooner or later and moves on to other, equally ephemeral toys."...

To be fair, the shallowness is not evenly distributed. Some of the writers exhibit a measure of wholesome tentativeness in making their cases, and as a rule the quality of the essays is inversely proportionate to the air of authority their authors affect... The whole project probably reaches its reductio ad absurdum when the science-fiction writer Sean Williams explains that he learned to reject supernaturalism in large part from having grown up watching Doctor Who.
read the rest (via viewpoint, again)

...and a somehow-related quote:
“Every murderous totalitarian government of the 20th century began with some insulated group of faux-intellectuals congratulating each other on how smart they are, and fantasizing about how, if they could just install a dictatorship-for-a-day, they could right all the wrongs in the world. It is the ultimate fantasy of the narcissist. And we’ve got whole generations of them, in control of our media and our government, all intent on ‘remaking America.’”

creating "life" in the laboratory

guess what? it was intelligently designed! ;)

sarah ferguson "controversy"

this sounds about right...

Friday, May 21, 2010

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

red blackberrys

Roger L Simon:
"Chicago is not as brutal as China, obviously, but in some ways it’s worse. Someone named Daley has been the city’s mayor since somewhere in the Early Paleolithic Age. Chairman Mao didn’t last as long. Being a Daley in Chicago is equivalent to being a Medici in Florence – with less danger of a violent death. The patronage system seems to extend from somewhere a few miles south of Canada to the northern reaches of Kentucky. Everyone here appears to accept this as part of the game... In Chicago and Beijing, Shanghai, etc., it’s not what you know, but who you know. And it’s been like that for a long time."
...and to paraphrase some of the comments:
Of course Chicago is not China. China is FAR more business-friendly than Chicago, and has a cheaper cost of living. There’s prosperity in China. The schools work in China. China lacks a useless, welfare dependent political class. The police forces are not as corrupt and ineffectual, and the food is better.

http://drawfortruth.wordpress.com/category/compalinsons/

http://drawfortruth.wordpress.com/2010/03/18/one-nation/

hay there's an idea!

to clean up the oil spill, use supertankers instead of hay (or any other ineffective method that's already been tried...)

waiting for rather

takes mere blindness

waiting for darwin

takes blind faith

Monday, May 17, 2010

OBD, OBDah, OBD-II

funny how the check engine light goes on...

----

in a related story, i recently bought a beater pre-obdii van, and had to replace its computer. the cost of this van and its repairs are still less than half the cost next cheapest van i found in similar condition:

van: $1350
ttl: $200
cleanup, carpet & accessories: ~$400
computer, diags & labor: $450

total: $2400

a half-century ago

lileks:
Better Homes & Gardens (ads in the 1950's) are the American Testament of Happiness, and there was nothing like them before or since. The quantity of glee that could be purchased by fiberglas drapes... or formaldehyde-infused faux-pine paneling was quite remarkable, and stands as a merry, amused rebuke to the modern ads that have disaffected aging hipsters standing adrift in aloof antiseptic rooms with one carefully-selected brand-in-a-vase under a halogen light, setting off the abstract painting just so. The ads always have a little boy in a cowboy suit running around with a gun, being a boy.
i, for one, do not welcome our disaffected aging hipsters...

p.s. a deeper thought from his previous bleat:
"You may think you’re all that, but the ocean closes seamlessly over any ship once it’s sunk, big or small."

Friday, May 14, 2010

Monday, May 10, 2010

moog tapes restoration

contrary to urban legend, bob moog did not technically "invent" the synthesizer (see also...), but his many other improvements and inventions brought it into music's mainstream. there is now an effort to preserve his original recordings.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

bumper stickers 0

If the red bumper sticker here is more suitable to your opinions, you may want to read all of this...

I'll wait...

Back yet?...

Though I disagree generally with both the review and the book itself, some things stood out to me - the most obvious being:
"Sagan believes that scientists reject sprites, fairies, and the influence of Sagittarius because we follow a set of procedures, the Scientific Method, which has consistently produced explanations that put us in contact with reality and in which mystic forces play no part."
Notice the first two words - "Sagan believes". If his materialist worldview is true, there is no reason I should believe him.

(edit: i started to expand on another few points in the article, but later decided to write "upwards" instead of "sideways"... )

I have considered many possible explanations to explain the body of evidence before me. I have considered the possibility and consequences of a large number of -isms, and concluded (like Ferris Bueller) that they are not good. I have not accepted anyone else's "grand unification theory" either blindly or wholeheartedly.

The worldview that best explains the reality I have seen is that the God Jehovah of both Old and New Testament is the only true God, the Creator of every thing, the Author of life, omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, and spoke our universe into being just as His Word says. He is love, full of grace and mercy, and still loves us despite how horribly we have all treated Him. He is slow to anger, and is saddened more than we could possibly understand when He grants sinners their desire that He have nothing to do with them.

Despite some slightly more difficult bits, I have read, seen, or heard nothing that could be better explained under another -ism.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

small thoughts

two things recently occured to me:

1) was obama's homebuyer tax credit a tacit admission that reagan's trickle-down economics works?

2) i don't understand what the big deal is about having your name on a terrorist watch list. apparently if your name is on it, you can still pack explosives and get on the plane while the tsa is busy scanning granny's shampoo bottle.

Friday, May 07, 2010

bumper stickers 1

good ideas all

new translation

i just found out that "piñata" is spanish for "taxpayer".

what bias?

have you ever driven behind someone who had their right turn signal blinking for no reason?

failed computer models

this disaster brought to you by the same people who programmed the global warming scam

events!

IGST
Yulia Latynina on the European unraveling:
It is not just Greece or the euro that is coming apart at the seams. We are witnessing the unraveling of the whole philosophy of European bureaucratic socialism, which by some unfortunate misunderstanding considers itself a democracy.
Takuan Seiyo on unsustainability:
...Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece, Spain, Japan, United Kingdom, Baltics, Belgium, France, United States... All are pigs that have been trifling with basic rules of common sense reality, bequeathing a crumbling global Babel to their subjects jointly and severally... Wherever one looks in the global economy, one sees nothing but a trail of erroneous premises and fraudulent promises – 45 years of rule by (criminals, utopians, and crooks)... careening toward the immutable majesty of Reality.
According to Mr. Seiyo, the model is this:
  • coddling of workers unions,
  • shafting employers,
  • tolerating a slack work ethic,
  • granting generous unemployment and retirement benefits,
  • providing public health care,
  • embracing high taxation,
  • enlisting a crushing burden of bureaucracy, and
  • at all times ignoring the disincentives to entrepreneurship inherent in all of the above.
And this model is essentially a cancerous growth.
read the rest

Thursday, May 06, 2010

think about it

the only thing we have to fear is stupidity:
Many liberals know how inadequate they are, whether at hunting their own meat or throwing a baseball. It's generally the conservative they'll call on to build a fence or rewire their house or protect their families. Without conservatives, they are rendered absolutely helpless.

This may be a hidden reason for liberals' contempt for conservatives: They know that you can do stuff they can't, that you can survive when they'd croak, and that you don't need the government -- and they do.

Many conservative women -- like the intrepid Sarah Palin -- are more capable, more powerful, and yes, more a "man" than some of the liberal XY specimens. And the utter shame of this makes them despise you -- and want to render you helpless, too.
read it all

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

sloganeering

imao's truth in advertising for democrats:
  • We don’t need to read a bill, we just need to know whether it makes the government bigger.
  • Iran can have nukes, but you can’t have salt.
  • Shape up voters, or we’ll get a cheap replacement for you from Mexico.
  • You work so hard for your money; you really should try and enjoy watching us spend it.
  • Aggressively useless.
  • The Founding Fathers shot British people for less than what we’re doing.
  • We’re really smart; the New York Times told us so.
and there's more!

NJ Senate confirmation hearings

"The state's top Democrat said he will not allow anyone to fill Wallace's seat on the New Jersey Supreme Court (until) the mandatory retirement age for justices."
Sweeney's move protests Gov. Chris Christie's unprecedented decision to not renominate Wallace, the only black member of the state's highest court...

Although Christie has the power to nominate top government officials like Supreme Court justices, as Senate president Sweeney controls which nominations and bills move through the Legislature's upper house. Top Democrats have previously said the Senate will not hold any confirmation hearings on Anne Patterson, a lawyer in a private Morristown law firm and Christie's choice to replace Wallace.

"Regardless of her qualifications, she's not going to get a hearing," said Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Nicholas Scutari (D-Union), whose committee is responsible for vetting the governor's nominees.
Pop quiz: Is this instance of blatant obstructionism by NJ democrats based on:
  1. sexism
  2. racism
  3. corruption
  4. all of the above
?

Saturday, May 01, 2010

seagate!

algore's epic fail = iowahawk's epic win

fiddler in the house

you can't spell "nero" without "o"