Saturday, 7 May 2011
|0958 - Someone should print this poster|
In case you can't read it, it says:
VINDICATION: When the loudest critic of your policies achieves his greatest success because of them.
(hat tip to Jim Geraghty at National Review Online, via Power Line)
Wednesday, 27 April 2011
|0919 - Took him long enough...|
So, President Obama finally released his birth certificate. Now we can put the matter to rest.
Personally, I've always thought that whether he was born in Hawaii or not - and I had no real opinion on the subject - it would never be allowed to interfere with his holding the office. Too much chaos would result if he were proven to be ineligible. Worse, the Vice Plagiarist would then be the Plagiarist-in-Chief.
Still...why did he wait two and a half years to do something he could have easily done when he was running for President? By stonewalling, all he did was fan the flames. It's far too late for him to complain that it's soaked up too much of our national energy now, since it's his own fault for not releasing it sooner.
current mood: satisfied
current music: So Into You - Atlanta Rhythm Section
Thursday, 21 April 2011
|1422 - Fun fact for the day|
1337% of pi is 42.
current mood: geeky
Saturday, 12 February 2011
|1100 - Quote of the day|
"I'm not one who questions the existence of the president's birth certificate, but when you listen to his policies, don't you at least wonder what planet he's from?" -- Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty
current mood: giggly
Tuesday, 8 February 2011
Sunday, 26 December 2010
|1414 - The Left isn't always wrong|
I read the Power Line blog regularly. They generally have their head screwed on straight, unlike the Left. They do occasionally get it wrong, though, as in their posting on the FCC's push to adopt net neutrality regulations.
They don't allow comments on their site, but they do occasionally read and respond to email. I sent them this reply, in the hope that they'd do that, but so far, nothing...
Sorry, guys. I have to disagree with Scott's posting slamming the FCC on net neutrality. I'm normally a free-market conservative, but in this case I see a problem with no other solution.
Put simply, the problem is that the backbone carriers (AT&T, Comcast, Level 3, Verizon - in short, those who make money from carrying others' traffic) want the ability to pick and choose who gets good net service and those who do not, based on fees paid directly to them by those who provide content on the net. They claim this is only to help compensate them for the load placed on them by such providers as Google and YouTube. There's absolutely nothing, however, that would prevent them from simply dropping performance on any content provider they wished, for any reason they wished.
Let me bring this home to you: Let's say that Comcast is heavily influenced by the liberals that manage NBC after they succeed in buying them out. Never mind about discriminating against other sources of broadcast entertainment on the net. What would stop them from discriminating against Power Line? From deciding that you are a force for evil and should be silenced? That people should not have the right to read your words just as they do those of, say, The Daily Kos?
Nothing, that's what.
Normally, I would agree with those who say that market pressure would keep them in line. The problem is that there's no lever for a market to push on. Consumers don't get to choose which backbone carrier their net traffic goes over. The routing is all done automatically, at levels we never even see, let along get to inspect and influence. If I don't like Comcast's network management policies, there's nothing I can do about them because I'm not the one they're getting money from, even though they are affecting me.
This is a personal issue for me. My fame as the Tron Guy came entirely from my pictures, and later my videos, being spread across the net. In the kind of world that AT&T and Comcast want to create, that would not be possible, because I would have had no reason to know that, by paying their Danegeld, I would have gotten fame in return.
I firmly believe that governments have the Midas Muffler touch: Everything they touch turns into a muffler. Nevertheless, I simply see no alternative. Either we have mandated net neutrality, where everyone's content is equally treated as it travels across the net in a content-neutral manner, or else we will have an Internet controlled by the same kinds of people who give us the leftist MSM. I find the latter unacceptable, even at the cost of the alternative.
I'm still mildly nervous about being in bed with the Left on this issue, but console myself by noting that nobody's perfect, not even perfectly wrong.
current mood: awake
Tuesday, 7 December 2010
|0825 - Minnesotans for Global Warming strikes again!|
As I stare out my window at the ground covered in global warming...
current mood: giggly
Wednesday, 3 November 2010
|1544 - Elections have consequences...|
...and so does ignoring, or misunderstanding, the reasons you won the last one.
current mood: refreshed
Sunday, 31 October 2010
|0555 - Roadtrippus contiunus|
Got the ignition switch replaced yesterday morning, finally. I'd disassembled the under-dash panels and the steering column covers, only to discover that the switch itself is held in by two E4 Torx screws. Not T4, E4.
The normal Torx screw has a recess that accepts the tip of a Torx driver. An E-series Torx screw has the gender reversed: the screw has the male part, and you need a socket to fit it. They're damned rare; I'd never heard of such a thing, let alone seen one, until I started on this job.
I thought I was going to have to spend $51 for a set of them, but I got lucky. The local NAPA auto parts store had just the E4 socket I needed for $5.
I got the switch done and the truck back together too late to get where I was going yesterday, so I stayed here one more night, and am about to hit the road.
current mood: accomplished
Friday, 29 October 2010
|0647 - Roadtrippus interruptus|
I got antsy, so I went on the road.
A week ago, I left to visit my friends Eric and Cathy Raymond. First, I spent a couple of days with Mad Mike Williamson in Indianapolis, making things that go BLAM and learning a lot while helping him set up at a gun show. I left there last Friday and drove down to Chattanooga to help a Second Life friend move to Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Got that done Saturday, continued on the short distance to Eric and Cathy's place, and have spent the time since gaming, hacking, and enjoying their fine company.
I was going to go back to Chattanooga today to spend a day or two with another friend. Unfortunately, my truck had other ideas. Last night, on the way back from seeing the preview of TRON: Legacy (about which I'll write in a bit), I stopped for gas - and the truck refused to start again.
Twisting the key with the transmission in either Park or Neutral produced no reaction at all. The lights didn't dim, the engine didn't crank, the starter solenoid didn't go "clunk". This points to a common problem on Blazers of that vintage: the ignition switch. I called a tow truck. When he arrived, he went through the diagnosis with me, and right as I said "Nope, tried it in Neutral, too, see?" and twisted the key, it cranked and started.
I'll take that. It got us back to Malvern. Now, all I need to do is get another ignition switch and replace it. It's a 2-hour job or so. I'll have to buy some tools, too, since mine are in Fairmont and Eric isn't the car mechanic type.
Dunno what that means in terms of money yet. Prices for the part are all over the place; AutoZone has it for $75, Pep Boys at $152, and NAPA at $240. Guess who I'm calling first? While I'm there, I'll replace the ignition lock cylinder too, since it's worn enough that I can remove the key in any position.
current mood: annoyed
Friday, 15 October 2010
|1613 - "They ignored us."|
"And folks, on November 2, they will ignore us no more."
current mood: determined
Tuesday, 5 October 2010
|1805 - Someone beat me to the punch|
People are always asking me if I'm going to make a costume for the new movie, TRON: Legacy.
Someone's beaten me to it. Universal Designs, Ltd. is making a 1000-unit run of an officially licensed Sam Flynn TRON suit.
Damn, I wish I had a spare kilobuck.
current mood: envious
Friday, 1 October 2010
|2054 - Productive afternoon|
I changed the oil in the Blazer this afternoon. Yay.
While i was waiting for it to drain, I stopped to think about the last time I did an oil change in a road vehicle. The best I could come up with was something around 25 years. Ever since the rise of Jiffy Lube and the like, it was worth it to me to have someone else do it. Well, not this time.
The other thing I accomplished was to replace the rear speakers in the doors. I'd pulled one panel off to see if I could find a noise, and while I was there, I got curious and pulled out the meter. Sure enough, there was no sound coming out of that speaker because it was open. So I took a quick trip to the local car sound store and spent $100 on a pair of Alpine speakers, yay. Got those installed, too. Might get industrious in a few days to see why the front driver's side speakers are dead too.
current mood: accomplished
Monday, 20 September 2010
|0827 - Writer's Block: I'm just a bill, yeah I'm only a bill|
I can't claim credit for this one. It comes from H. Beam Piper's novella Lone Star Planet.
I'd make it legal to kill practicing politicians if a jury of one's peers agrees that it was deserved.
No, don't run away screaming or giggling.
The biggest problem in the US today is that politicians are only loosely accountable to the populace, if at all. Once they're elected, they have to screw up royally in order to get thrown out of office. Huey Long's "he'd have to be caught in bed with a dead girl or a live boy" is not that far from the truth. The result is that they pass bills while saying with a perfectly straight face "we'll have to pass it to know what's in it", and Mark Twain's "No man's life, liberty, or property are safe while the Legislature is in session" is far too true.
Piper's answer is to make it legal to kill politicians. Not all of them, just practicing politicians. The book doesn't define it, but I'd say that anyone holding elected office or influencing the selection process for those who do would qualify. The justification has to be sufficient. You can't torture or maim, either; you have to kill. This isn't about cruelty. It's about saving society from a politician run amok. The job has to be done neatly and quickly.
The objections are twofold. First, there's the obvious one about the taking of a human life. I agree, in large part, but I also support the death penalty. There are some crimes for which no lesser penalty is appropriate. Shouldn't the same be true for crimes against society committed by politicians? The second is that this will deter people from doing things that the people may oppose but are good for them. Well, you know, that kind of thing is supposedly what a democracy is supposed to prevent.
Only true, dedicated statesmen who care for all of the people, not just one constituency, will sign up for jobs under this system. Not only that, but they'll be loath to do things that aren't widely seen as necessary throughout the populace. Personally, I'll happily take both results.
Another possible problem is that good politicians would die for doing things that a small minority would see as bad, even though the rest would say it was necessary. There are two answers for this: first, that's why there's a jury involved, and second, if a change isn't worth dying for, is it worth making?
Will this ever happen? No. It would require politicians to pass it, and the ones in office today are exactly the ones this kind of thing would target. Still, it's pleasant to think about.
current mood: contemplative
Thursday, 19 August 2010
|0617 - Comments are screened for a reason|
Comments on this journal from those not on my friends list are screened. They're that way for a reason, and have been since before I became the Tron Guy. There are a few people who seem to feel it's their mission to put me in my place, and can't seem to argue my points, so instead they stoop to personal insult.
I got one such comment from an account named tacobuen0 last night. It was the usual crap, insulting me, my interpersonal skills, my abilities in my chosen profession, and my current situation. He did say one thing that folks who know me will find funny: he claimed that my political views and activities are a response to my situation.
This is my journal. I welcome real discussion, whether or not you agree with me. If all you're here to do, though, is gratuitously insult me behind the anonymity of a new LJ account, then I invite you to ponder water and ducks' backs while I wield this:
current mood: indifferent
Wednesday, 18 August 2010
|0733 - Build the mosque somewhere else|
wendyzski begins her latest LJ entry with "I've had it up to here with everyone going on and on about the "Ground Zero Mosque". I'm not going to mince words here- It's simple bigotry wrapped up in the American flag."
Sigh. I really hate legitimate disagreement being continually cast as bigotry.
The proposed site of the mosque is two blocks from Ground Zero. The building on the site now was damaged by landing gear falling off of one of the aircraft that struck the World Trade Center. To complain that it's not part of Ground Zero is simply wrong.
2776 people died at Ground Zero on September 11, 2001. They were killed in the name of Islam. To build a mosque at the site of their deaths is just like building a Nazi recruitment center across the street from the gates of Auschwitz. The same people who are complaining about the reaction to the mosque would be complaining if they did that.
The Left (not necessarily Wendy, who I think very highly of as a person) has this tendency to talk about sensitivity to the feelings of others. That sensitivity evaporates like dry ice under a heat lamp when it's the feelings of average, white, non-immigrant Americans being discussed. The overwhelming majority of Americans (over 70% in the polls I remember seeing) feels that the mosque is profoundly disrespectful of those who died that day. Sensitivity has to cut both ways.
Heightening this is the fact that the group planning the mosque, the Cordoba Initiative, refuses to disclose the sources of their funding. How do we know that they're not funded by the Muslim Brotherhood or the government of Iran? Their pledge of not accepting terrorist funding is very hollow when you consider that there is a long string of Muslim "charities" that have been proven to exist just to funnel money to terrorist organizations.
I don't believe that "Muslim" is equal to "terrorist". Just because Islamofascism is based in Islam does not mean that all Muslims are Islamofascists. However, the population of Muslims in the world does not do anywhere near enough to repudiate the terrorists, or to root out the terrorists in their ranks. We hear and see far more about Islamic terrorism than we do about the moderates in Islam who are decrying it, and when powerful Islamic governments support and foment terrorism as long as it doesn't attack them directly, it's hard not to be suspicious.
Yes, the Cordoba Initiative has the right to build their mosque anywhere they like. If they truly care about building bridges of peace and understanding, they'll build it somewhere else. If they want to rub American noses in 9/11, they'll continue with their present plans.
current mood: disappointed
Tuesday, 17 August 2010
|0918 - "Those voices don't speak for the rest of us"|
Via Power Line:
current mood: awake
Wednesday, 21 July 2010
|1502 - Royalties, big and small|
mzmadmike posted about a big fat royalty check he got.
I can't do that. I'll post, instead, about a tiny little one.
71 cents after taxes. $1.17 before.
Residuals for Tosh.0 using my Web Redemption online.
Whee. Can't even buy a Coke for that any more...
current mood: busy
Monday, 12 July 2010
|0820 - Controversial Survey meme|
Imported from FurAffinity...
 Do you have the guts to answer these questions and re-post as The Controversial Survey?
Yes. I'm doing it, aren't I?
 Would you do meth if it was legalized?
Not only no, but hell no. I'd yawn and hope that people would quit ruining their lives with it.
 Abortion: for or against it?
Against it, but not to the point of banning it or even discouraging women from having them. I'd much rather see them made unnecessary by avoiding the pregnancy in the first place...and no, that does not mean abstinence.
 Do you think a country would fail with a female president?
No more than I think it would fail with a black president. The person's race or gender aren't important. Their policies are. Obama would be just as much a failure if he were white and rich.
 Do you believe in the death penalty?
Yes. There are some crimes for which no lesser penalty is acceptable or appropriate.
 Do you wish marijuana would be legalized already?
*yawn* Same as with meth: I just wish people would quit ruining their lives with it.
 Are you for or against premarital sex?
For. Marriage is a commitment that means much more than sex. The two issues should be separated.
 Do you believe in God?
No. I believe that deities are no more than adult fairy tales, invented to ease the pain of loneliness and death and enforce morality. However, that's my belief. Anyone else is free to believe anything they wish without interference from me, as long as they recognize I have the same right. It's when they try to force me to believe as they do that I have problems.
 Do you think same sex marriage should be legalized?
Yes. The situation as it stands now is nothing more than legalized gender discrimination. To those who say "but the people should have the right to decide what marriage is defined as", I would ask a simple question: Which of your fundamental rights would you want to be subject to a popular vote? Your right to keep and bear arms, perhaps?
 Do you think it's wrong that so many Hispanics are illegally moving to the USA?
Yes. Key word: illegally. I have no problem with immigration, from wherever, as long as the immigrants truly want to become Americans. Those who are here illegally should be deported and forced to go to the back of the line - after paying for their crime.
 A twelve year old girl has a baby, should she keep it?
That's up to her and her parents. If the baby can be well raised in a loving family, then why not?
 Should the alcohol age be lowered to eighteen?
I'm of two minds about this one. On the one hand, I do sympathize with the argument that if they're old enough to fight and vote, they should be old enough to drink. On the other hand, the results of having the drinking age be 18 are well known and obvious: teenagers die in DWI crashes even more than they do now.
The real answer is for American society to quit being so neurotic about alcohol. This is one thing the Europeans get right: kids drink wine and beer there all the time, and learn the effects and how to deal with it, under their parents' supervision. It's not a mystery to them.
 Should the war in Iraq be called off?
Only when we've finished winning it.
 Assisted suicide is illegal: do you agree?
No. I do believe there should be adequate safeguards to prevent murder from hiding under that label, but if someone wishes to end their life - after deciding to calmly and deliberately - they should be able to, and to obtain any assistance they may need.
 Do you believe in spanking your children?
Yes. The rise in crime rates since spanking became unfashionable speaks for itself, and louder than anything I can say. Not that I'm ever going to have children...
 Would you burn an American flag for a million dollars?
No. I'd lament the loss of the money, of course, but there are some things that are wrong when done for any reason. It's not just burning a piece of fabric. It's an expression of contempt for everything that the US is and stands for. That's something I'd expect Obama to do, not do myself.
 Who do you think would have made a better president? McCain or Obama?
Obama is doing about what I expected, so McCain. He's not my first choice either, or my second or third, but he'd still have done much better than the Community Organizer-in-Chief.
 Are you afraid others will judge you from reading some of your answers?
Anyone who would judge me based on these answers doesn't know how I think about things. There's nothing here that should surprise anyone.
current mood: determined
Monday, 5 July 2010
|1021 - Snark of the day|
"What do the iPad and iPhone 4 have in common?
You can't make calls on the iPad, either!"
There's an iPhone 4 in my future, at some point, but this is just too good...
current mood: giggly