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Atomic Fungus
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Below are 20 journal entries, after skipping by the 20 most recent ones recorded in atomic_fungus' LiveJournal:

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Sunday, July 19th, 2015
2:00 pm
#4816: Sleeping as late as I like
Of course I have things to do today, but the most important of them will take about an hour, all told, and then the rest of the day is mine.

It's hot again, though not as hot as yesterday. Yesterday, with its all-day state-wide tornado watch--Mrs. Fungus sent me a text asking me to put the lawn chairs away, and of course right when I was doing that was the moment it chose to rain. The rain was warm, about the temperature of a comfortably-heated swimming pool, and that is a rather rare phenomenon in these parts.

...and of course by the time I was ready to leave for work, about five minutes later, it had stopped. People wonder why I'm paranoid, when it rains just long enough to ensure my work clothes get wet. Yeah.

But here's something: my days at work, Friday and Saturday, were reasonably pleasant for a change. It's been weeks since I had a nice day at work, and even longer since I had two in a row. Saturday's shift was made even nicer by the fact that I had absolutely nothing to do for the last hour and a half. The PC repair business seems to be cyclical, and I think we're at the tail end of a surge (post summer school, pre-beginning of school year?) right now. I helped a couple people with little issues, and rang one guy out, but otherwise I simply waited for closing time. Everything was done long before the end of my shift.

...which is a nice change from Monday, when I was running at full speed until half an hour after closing, and didn't get out of there until 40 minutes past the end of my shift.

Tomorrow I'm working the mid-shift, which is nice. I'm hoping it'll be like yesterday, with a minimum of stupidity and drudgery. That would be even nicer.

But! I have to go to the store for things, and then at least get the maintnenance on Mrs. Fungus' car attended to. I don't have that much to do today, but it won't get done if I don't do it. Whee!
Saturday, July 18th, 2015
7:45 am
#4815: That was a nice ride home.
Rode the bike to work yesterday. The thing about riding on a hot day? At speed, the jacket and gloves and helmet don't really make you any warmer than you'd be without them. You don't sit at stoplights for long, either.

Had a nice ride in.

At quitting time, there were thunderstorms around (mostly south of) the Fungal Vale. As I rode homeward, I saw lots of lightning, from just about every direction. I thought I might have to ride through a serious rain storm, which would have been a new experience for me.

But nope! The worst I got was mist thrown up from wet pavement; as I go closer to home I rode through an area which had already seen rain.

The best part was the road that passes through a wooded section. There were fireflies all over the place, and the lightning flickered through the trees, and it was beautiful. I wish I had a movie of it.

* * *

Tomorrow I have the day off from work, but it's going to be car maintenance day. I've got two oil changes to do, plus Mrs. Fungus' car's tires need to be rotated. None of it's particularly difficult work, though, so WTF.
Friday, July 17th, 2015
2:07 pm
#4814: Well, how much fun can a man have?
Don't get me started.

* * *

82? Seriously?

It develops that the entirety of Chicago's property taxes go toward paying the pensions of its union employees, with nothing left over for anything else. This is one of a myriad of reasons Illinois is a festering socialist shithole.

...and apparently Chicago gained 82 residents in 2014. Out of all the births and deaths and people moving in and moving out of a city with a population totaling millions, the net result is an increase of 82 people. That's a pretty interesting indicator, isn't it?

But of course Democrats think they can always just raise taxes, because what are the people going to do about it?

* * *

How many declarations of war does this make from ISIS?

Islam is at war with America. Even George Bush refused to acknowledge that fact--his administration gave us that "religion of peace" horseshit--and has been for a long, long time. It's time for us to stop pretending everything will be fine if we just act nice enough, because they want us dead or enslaved and no amount of negotiation with the pricks will change that.

* * *

The dew point is 78°. What the fuck.

...you'd almost think it was summer or something.

* * *

I have to be at work in 2.5 hours. I really hope today is better than yesterday was. There's an article on Arse Technica, the global warming resource about what it's like to work in tech support. Phone support is the worst, of course.

Except for the miggim, actually, yesterday was a nice day. It only takes one miggim to ruin a day, though, and sadly there are a bunch of them around. For once, there were plenty of people scheduled. I didn't have to run around at top speed all f-ing day.

Today will be different. Today I'll have no help after about 5 PM, except for the guy that comes in and sits in back watching videos on his phone and making the occasional call to a client. (Assuming, of course, that he even shows up; I am always surprised to see him, particularly on a Friday evening, and he generally comes in well after his scheduled start time. No one cares, of course.) Since it's already been well established that I am not allowed to ask for help, I'll end up handling the counter by myself all night, again. In theory we're a big happy team and everyone is supposed to help out, but it does not work that way in practice, and when I ask for help I get a lot of nonverbal pushback. Even if two people are scheduled in back and two are scheduled to be on the counter, there are three people in back and I'm on the counter all day, getting dirty looks when I ask the other counter person to help out.

Well, it is what it is, I guess.

* * *

Even though it's hot outside, it might be fun to ride the bike to work today. Or not. I don't f-ing know.
6:49 am
#4813: /silly
In WoW, you can make your character tell a random joke by typing "/silly" in the chat bar. Each race/sex combination has its own set of jokes, usually about a half-dozen or so.

Last week Mrs. Fungus was having trouble with her sound in the game--she couldn't hear any emotes--so to test it I had Ormus standing near one of her toons, and I kept hitting /silly.

Ormus: "A guy walked up to me and said, 'I'm a teepee! I'm a wigwam! I'm a teepee! I'm a wigwam!' I said, 'Relax, man! You're two tents!"


Me: "...really?"

If you play the audio clip here, it's the third one.

Later, Mrs. Fungus sent to me, via in-game chat, "I'm a camper! I'm a teepee! I'm a camper! I'm a teepee! Man, you need to relax!"

Me: ...

Anyway, she wanted me to tell the tale, so here it is.

* * *

About 7 PM last night I gave up, shut the house, and turned on the AC. The day had started with a dew point below 60, but at 7 PM it was well over 60 and heading for 70, and the humidity finally got high enough that I decided this is insane. The temperatures did not decline much as the evening progressed--certainly not enough to make up for the rising humidity.

I'm glad I did, because this morning it's already sticky outside, and apparently today will be a steam bath.

* * *

It's not even 7 AM yet. I woke up when Mrs. Fungus did, even though I don't have to be at work until 4 PM. I think we all know what that means.
Thursday, July 16th, 2015
5:44 pm
#4812: What has to happen now
Okay, we don't know much of anything yet except islamist shithead killed four marines before going on to his 72 virgins but there are a few things I can safely say even in the absence of any real information about today's islamic atrocity.

NSA can stop spying on Americans. The program was emplaced on the assertion that they were trying to prevent terror attacks on US soil. The now-dead gomer wasn't on anyone's watch list. As with the Tsarnev bombing of the Boston Marathon, none of the domestic spies caught wind of this before it happened. The program does more harm than good. End it now.

Gun free zones don't work. The entrance of the recruiting station is festooned with "gun free zone" stickers, which protected the folks inside about as well as they always do. But, hey! There are no bullet holes in the stickers themselves, so maybe what they need to is to cover the glass with them.

We need to do something about ISIS--and islamic terrorism in general--which is more effective than sending "advisers" to Iraq. I'm thinking that just maybe--considering that ISIS is holding territory in the middle east--we could perhaps declare war on ISIS and do something positive about that.

Rescind the stupid fucking nuke deal with Iran. Tell Iran that if they want nuclear weapons they'd better do something about the mess in their back yard first.

Stop mollycoddling islam. How many terror attacks on US soil do we have to suffer before we realize what this stupid "religion of peace" horseshit actually is?

Ace says that ISIS tweeted "#Chattanooga" before news of the attacks hit the airwaves. Perhaps this was the first salvo in the threatened terror attacks they talked about prior to Independence day.

I'm going to withhold more comment on this until more about the story is known, but I very rapidly expect to say a few things about border security, immigration control, and weapons laws. (Re: the latter, $5 says he didn't come buy his weapon(s) legally. Yet the commie-libs will insist that we must have tougher weapons laws to prevent future tragedies.)

* * *

...this on top of already having a craptacular day. I absolutely love the assholes who, because you're a retail grunt, act like complete cocksuckers. It must make them feel so important and powerful to heap abuse on someone who can't fight back.

I have a name for this kind of shitstain: Miggim, named after one particularly egregious example of the type.

* * *

Intel's not doing the greatest. Here's the problem: Intel's sales rely on robust PC sales, and guess what? We're in a depression! People aren't buying computers!

Meanwhile Ford's having to offer up to $10k discounts on their most popular model because they're simply not selling as well as Ford needs them to.

Here's a thought: maybe the "all new F-150" costs too fucking much to begin with, and maybe that's why they're not selling all that fucking well.

And--not to put too fine a point on it--we're in a depression.

Then again, perhaps the people who are most likely to buy pickup trucks are more interested in durability than fuel savings. Sure, an all-aluminum body makes for a lighter truck, but how much punishment can it take before falling apart? It's not going to rust the way steel will, but so what?

* * *

The American medical industry has steadfastly resisted anything that might foster competition. After all, if you have to post your prices and let people know what they're going to pay before you provide any service for them, the way every other industry must, why, how would anyone afford a Porsche and a speedboat? Huh? Who'd pay for the quarterly vacations and the big houses and the conferences in luxury hotels if doctors had to compete on price? How would doctors live if they couldn't charge whatever the market would bear plus a premium for filing their own billing paperwork?

* * *

I really am in a rotten, rotten mood. Shit.
Wednesday, July 15th, 2015
6:13 pm
#4811: Progress!!
So, I got the fuel rail into the Fiero today, as I'd planned and hoped to do.

Besides that, I got the distributor in it, chopped down more foliage in the front yard, vacuumed out the Jeep, and cleaned up my workbench.

I now need to get some gaskets and/or gasket material; the biggest issue is the EGR-to-manifold gasket, which has perished. (It was perished when I took the EGR pipe off, which was itself broken...and in retrospect I'd wager that was the cause of my not-at-all good idle.)

Since I'm going to O'Reilly's on Sunday, for oil change supplies, I'll get the gasket then. Once I've got that I can start assembling the intake manifold.

In October of 2012, when I ordered shock absorbers for the Jeep from Rockauto.com, I also ordered two Fiero distributor o-rings. I was about to put the distributor back in and realized, Wait! I have new o-rings for this! I was able to find them without much looking, which scares me a bit, but at least I don't have to worry about an oil leak there. Every time you take the distributor out of a Fiero you should replace that o-ring, at least if it's been more than a year since you last did it, because that o-ring is all that stands between the upper lifter oil gallery and the outside world, and it will leak if it's not in tiptop shape. Over time an o-ring will shink and harden but it will also "meld" with the distributor boss, so the seal will be maintained; but if you disturb that communion, you'd better replace the o-ring.

That's why the car--with about 48,000 on it, in June of 2002--developed an oil leak after I'd taken the distributor out to replace the pickup coil. The original o-ring's seal, having been disturbed, was insufficient to the task, and a few days after I pulled that distributor to replace the coil I pulled it again to replace the o-ring. Lesson learned.

...I just hope that the mark I made on the distributor base was meant to show where the rotor was pointing with the distributor in place, because if it's not, I'm going to be re-installing that thing before I get the Fiero on the road. Moral: always write down what you did and why. But if I'm wrong, then all I should have to do is to rotate the engine until the rotor is pointing at that mark, and then re-install the distributor the other way. (The rotor pointing at the mark just as its drive gear engages the gear on the cam.) Inconvenient, but not too horrible. I hope.

Plus side: I had been smart enough to tag the injector plugs, so they're all on correctly. Finding the parts was not too hard, and once the paisajistas were gone I was able to check the injectors for clicky noises when powered. They clicked, so in they went.

Momentum carried me past the fuel rail, as I'd expected, and I'd probably still be working on the car now if I wasn't up against a lack of gaskets. It's a good stopping point for today; Sunday I've got oil changes to do and I expect momentum will carry me farther. Here's hoping.

Right now, I want a shower. I don't want to be all oily when my wife gets home. Even though the oily bird gets the worm.
4:03 pm
#4810: Of course, THAT'S what happens.
Five minutes after I talk about how peaceful it is here, three mexicans landscapers show up next door with about 400 small 2-cycle implements and start them ALL and use them CONTINUOUSLY for NINETY FUCKIN' MINUTES. My neighbor has three small bushes in front of his house, but it takes two hours of CONSTANT attention from three men with power tools to get them trimmed and neatened up.

Meanwhile, I got one of my bushes de-thatched--morning glories, mostly--and cut down the trees growing out of them and from the lily of the valley patch; I'm going to have to go after the rest of the raspberry canes that overgrew the lily of the valley plants and formed a protective thorny barrier over them, but I'm not doing that today when my arms are already well-tenderized from yesterday's efforts. I'll get them next week. I might also hack back the lily plants and throw down some grass seed, because it's too much work to keep the damned raspberries hacked back with the lily plants taking over half the immediate front yard. I'm sick of this shit.

I also got the intake valley of the Fiero vacuumed out, so next step is to put the injectors and fuel rail in, as intended. But because of the MexiCali 500 taking place next door, it's too loud for me to hear the delicate click of fuel injectors, which I want to test for basic function again before I install the fuel rail. So that's on hold until the paisajistas leave.

* * *

Meanwhile, The 3/5ths of a Lightworker in Chief is angry that a reporter asked him a tough question. Doesn't Major Garrett know that it's raciss to ask a tough question of a black President?

I mean, yeah, definitely Major Garrett was only missing a noose and only regards Obama as 3/5ths of a President! That raciss cocksucker, how dare he ask a tough question of a Democrat?

* * *

...I think HBO paid the writers of Deadwood a dollar for every one of George Carlin's "Seven words you can't say on television" they could stuff into the script. "Shit, piss, fuck, cunt, cocksucker, motherfucker, and tits!" They're all in there, every last one, multiple times per episode. It's fine since it's cable and decidedly not for children, but still. Al Swearingen is aptly named, for fuck's sake.
2:26 pm
#4809: NOW what's going to happen?
Made a PBJ this morning, and ran out of peanut butter and jelly at the same time. Not only did I run out of both at the same time but there was enough in each jar to make the sandwich.

I am deeply afraid.

* * *

This kind of shit infuriates me. The GOP is thinking about helping the Democrats approve the Iran nuke deal, so they have the issue next year to run on.

Some of us on the right (self included, occasionally) refer to the GOP as the "stupid party", but this isn't merely stupid. It used to be that the GOP, at least, was the party of adults who understood that sometimes you have to put your foot down and say, "Regardless of how we can run on this, it's not good for the country and we need to stop it."

Let me understand their strategy, here. They have a majority in the Senate and the House, and they think that they can make hay on "We can't be fucked to stop Obama?" Do they think we're going to forget that they have the power to stop this shit cold and merely refuse to use it for reasons undefined? (Except, "Hey, maybe we can win an election next year"?)

I'm already not voting for Mark Kirk when he's up for re-election. He blew that when he voted for Obama's amnesty crap; this was a guy who campaigned on being a conservative, but has comported himself like "Democrat Lite" ever since he got to D.C.

Meanwhile, all these machinations by the GOP leadership seem to forget, somehow, that the press is hostile to them and will report, at every chance, just what was the GOP's role in ratifying the deal...if the GOP's role was, "Hey, we're not going to stand in your way, Barry."

The GOP has long since ceased to have any principles. When they make a stand, it's a token effort--a pretense to keep the votors from rioting--but with this strategem, however, they are no longer even pretending.

* * *

Planned Parenthood's latest outrage: selling organs harvested from murdered babies.

Ace's previous post on this where he correctly asserts that it's ugly and illegal.

Look: in the US, it's illegal to sell human organs for a profit, regardless of source, because the last thing you want is there to be a profit motive in that arena. The organs must be donated; the donor, or his estate, cannot receive any kind of payment for the organs. (That latter--"the estate"--is to avoid situations where the unscupulous say, "If we bump off our brother Ted, and forge his signature on this document, we can sell his organs and clean up! He just needs to have an unfortunate head injury. Be careful of the eyes, though; we can get a lot for his corneas!")

That abortionist's cheerful discussion of where to crush the baby, in order to spare organs for harvesting, is no less cold-blooded or pecuniary than Ted's siblings are. Deciding how to kill someone in order to preserve the economic value of his organs is nothing more than simple butchery. There's nothing noble or good or decent about it.

...so of course, as Ace comments, the press will utterly ignore the story, because it shows abortion in all its ugliness and horror.

"Oh, you say that, but you eat meat!"

Go away, little kid. Adults are talking.

Karl Denninger talks about this issue, too, pointing out something important: for all the talk about how organ donation is supposed not to have any profit attached to it, the people who convey the organs and do the transplants sure make a hell of a lot of money on it.

...and all this had brought Steve Jobs to mind, too, even before I read what Denninger said; so let me digress a bit.

Steve Jobs had pancreatic cancer. A person who is diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and who immediately begins treatment for it has a very poor life expectancy, five years or less. Jobs beat the odds, lasting six, but it might have been more if he'd sought actual treatment earlier, instead of relying on magical thinking and bullshit. It helped that he had the less-aggressive form.

Nonetheless, as a cancer patient, Jobs was not on the short list for any organ transplantation. It's the cold numbers; healthy organs are hard to come by and there's a waiting list for them, and of course the transplant issue is complicated by blood types and other factors. You therefore want to give organs to people who are likely to live longest, and a 55-year-old cancer patient is not a preferred risk. Further, Jobs was a rare blood type, meaning that if there was anyone else in the country in better condition (or younger than he) who needed a liver and had that blood type, that person would get preferential treatment.

Jobs, however, somehow managed to get a liver just when he needed it.

Somehow. I'm certain that his billions of dollars of personal wealth were not a factor. Right? Right?? It just so happened that they had this liver with exactly the right blood type, and no one else in the country needed it. Right???

...garnering him two and a half more years of life. Would another recipient have lived longer? Someone not as well-heeled but who had more lifespan ahead of him if only he had a good liver?

Back to abortions for organs: Elizabeth Scalia says it best, I think:
Sometimes, it’s just easier to hook the mother up to a sonogram, take a good look at the baby flipping around in there, and just target-crush those arms and legs, and pull them out of the mother, so you can get a clear grab of that organ-rich thorax.

There’s a lot of nice vacations, and maybe a beach house, in them thar kills.

It takes a peculiar kind of savagery to perform these horrific abortions; it takes a certain kind of hatred to exploit poor women and subject them to it. It takes a deleterious political mind to hold oneself up as a champion of the poor and the downtrodden, and then to pronounce such barbaric infanticide as an unqualified, and positive, "right" that must be protected.

It takes politicians of particular duplicity who will "fight" for that "right" even as they quote scripture to prove their Christian bona fides.

If this all makes you want to puke, it should; it means you’re sane. There are people out there, right now, making excuses for this inhumane revenue-stream, and repeating tired old tropes about shredded infants being mere "tissue." Others are trying to persuade through pragmatism, "the babies are dead anyway, so we might as well assign some value..."
That last is pretty fucking hideous. WHAT ABOUT THEIR VALUE AS LIVING HUMAN BEINGS BEFORE THEY ARE MURDERED IN THEIR MOTHERS' WOMBS? Huh? Before their arms and legs are torn off by the forceps of the abortionist?

The world groans under the weight of human iniquity. I keep wondering why God doesn't wipe us right the hell out and replace us with something that makes sense; then I remind myself that despair is a sin. *sigh*

* * *

I cannot continue in that vein. It's too depressing to contemplate for very long.

I worked hard enough yesterday that I am pleased as punch that today is so pleasant. It's quiet here, and I can only hear birds and the hum of a distant lawn mower. A modern idyll, however temporary.

It's all too easy for me to rationalize sitting here and doing nothing but listening to the quiet.
8:18 am
#4808: If I can just get the f-ing fuel rail and injectors in--
That's my goal for today: put the fuel system into the Fiero. If I can get that much done on the car today I'll be satisfied with my progress, such as it is.

My extended weed whacking session yesterday left my arms feeling well-tenderized and weak, which is not terribly surprising. I need a yoke or something to support the weight of the thing; it's not terribly heavy but after I've toted it around the yard for twenty minutes my arms feel like overcooked pasta. Worse, the throttle requires a deft touch, and it's balanced such that my right hand must support most of the weight of the thing even as I'm running the throttle with that index finger, so I can't even use my entire hand to hold it up.

But that's an issue for another day. Today's issue is the fuel rail in the Fiero.

As predicted, over the course of yesterday afternoon the wind switched to the north and things started to cool off. By the time Mrs. Fungus got home, we were able to open the bunker up, and it was nice and cool last night. Today looks to be more of the same, so hopefully I'll be able to work on the car in some modicum of comfort.

* * *

Karl Denninger talks about the prediction that we're facing another little ice age, and he makes mention of a point which is often ignored by warmistas: global warming is much better for us than global cooling is.

The runaway warming predicted by the warmistas is impossible. Carbon emissions cannot force the Earth's climate into a state--let's call it the "waterworld" scenario--where positive feedback results in all the ice melting. It can't, I should say, without the atmosphere becoming too poisonous for us to breathe, but in order for it to get to that point we'd have to deforest the entire world first.

Even if the anthropogenic warming theory were correct--which has not even been demonstrated, much less proven--in all liklihood the effects would be a net benefit for humanity. Rather than devastation, it would mean increased crop yields and a host of other good things.

Cooling, however--well, we have historical data which shows what happens when temperatures decline. Things get bad, and the lower the temperatures go the worse they get.

I have often seen it written--though certainly not since "zomg global warming" became pravda--that Earth is an ice world that sometimes has warm periods. Warmistas don't consider the climate on geological time scales; they can't--their thesis is wrecked by the long-term data. And most of their focus is on what the climate has done since the seventeenth century irrespective of what it did before that. When they think about any data prior to the last four hundred years, it is either to dismiss it, or attempt to obfuscate what it says, lest--again--their thesis be jeopardized.

* * *

We finished the first season of Deadwood last night. Pretty good stuff. Seems like when we watch one ep, we end up watching another right afterwards.

Brad Dourif is in it, and he plays a doctor. Mrs. Fungus asked me what else he'd been in, and was shocked when I told her he'd been in an ep of Babylon 5 ("Passing Through Gesthemane").

* * *

Looks like AoSHQ is being DDoSed again. I have three web sites in my blogroll which are on Pixy Misa's mee.nu or mu.nu servers, and none of them is accessible right now. Either Pixy Misa had a major crash, or DDoS. Yeah.

Either way, there's approximately bugger all I can do about it.
Tuesday, July 14th, 2015
11:31 pm
#4807: I think my digital electronics instructor, back in college, said it best.
He said, in his thick Polish accent, "So eef it dozz not work, you are soopposed to feex it."

He was talking about our trainer boxes, though. The trainer incorporated a power supply (+5v, +/-12v, 1-15v variable, plus 6.3 VAC I think), a signal generator (sine, square, and triangle), breadboard, and eight debounced toggle switches and LED indicators. It was a nice little kit for the electronics student, and as a bonus, of course we had to put them together ourselves. If it didn't work, we were supposed to figure out why and fix it, as he pointed out.

Today was a very busy day. I had to do some shopping, then took care of some business; once that was done I bought string for the trimmer (since I could not find the string I have). I used up several feet of string getting the damned weeds whacked around the bunker, including knocking back the raspberry canes that were encroaching on the front porch. When that was done, I got out the tractor and cut the grass. Then I hauled out the pusher to finish the job, only the pusher refused to run right. First it refused to stay running--ordinarily I press the primer three times, pull the cord, and it starts right up, so that was weird. Once I managed to get it to run continuously it would surge and choke, running very unevenly. Clearly it was some kind of fuel problem, or maybe the air filter was clogged.

Mrs. Fungus got home from work as I was coming in to get tools to figure out WTF was wrong with the damned lawn mower.

The air filter looked okay, though I knocked a lot of grass dust out of it; I could still see light through it. The fuel supply was fine. Spark plug was good. There was a thin twig stuck in the throttle linkage, but that wasn't the source of the trouble, either; I restarted the thing after checking each of those and got exactly the same performance.

Finally I decided I'd have to try pulling the carb and cleaning it. That was a bit of an adventure, of course, but all told it took about fifteen minutes for me to get it off the mower. Dug out the carb cleaner I bought way back in June of 2011 to clean the dirt bike's carb; I dipped everything I could in that stuff and then blew out all the passages with compressed air. Reassembled it, got the mower back together, gassed it up...it ran like a dream, and I was able to finish cutting the grass without incident. Which is good, because the carb is entirely non-adjustable, and if that hadn't fixed the problem I would not have known how to proceed. In fact, the only moving parts in the carb are the float valve, the float itself, and the throttle butterfly; otherwise it's just a bunch of precision holes and metering tubes.

Once that was done, Mrs. Fungus said she wanted Popeye's chicken, so I hied myself off for that. Having had only a PBJ all day, I was starving, and ate too much, but it was so good I couldn't help myself.

Now it's nearly time for bed, and because it's so nice and cool outside I do believe I'm going to sleep pretty well tonight.
7:58 am
#4806: Ceiling fan
This past weekend I finally got around to installing the ceiling fan in the computer room.

Some years Mom asked me to install an exhaust fan in her room, which I did; I ran some flex conduit and added a switch to the box by the door so the fan and the overhead light could be controlled separately.

The wiring is probably the most competent part of the installation. The rest was pretty bad. But it did what she wanted, which was to vent smoke from her bedroom when it got too thick.

Anyway, Mrs. Fungus and I don't use the exhaust fan, and it's (sooner or later) going to be deleted from the room's configuration. Meanwhile, we wanted a ceiling fan, and they cost about $25 at Menards, so we picked one up.

Saturday night I installed it.

Now, it took me a few minutes with the DMM to figure out which hot wire was controlled by which switch, but once I had that sorted out it was relatively easy for me to seperately wire the light and the fan on the thing. There was a bit of concern when the light didn't go on (after I'd done the wiring but before I bolted it into place) but fortunately I thought to try pulling on the lamp chain to turn the lamp on before digging into the wiring again, and it turned out just to be off.

Once the wiring was verified, I put it the rest of the way together, and mirabile visu we can turn on the fan, or the lamp, or both, without having to fiddle with the pull chains. That almost makes me feel as if I know what I'm doing.

I'm not sure how old the paint in this room is. I seem to recall it being painted this color sometime in the 1970s, but I'm not sure when. Originally it was off-white, but after my oldest sister graduated from high school and my other sister decided to fix up part of the basement and have her bedroom there, things got shaken up a bit. Somewhere along the line this room got painted yellow, and I have no idea if it was ever repainted. I'm thinking "no", but while trying to noodle out the timeline I realized that I don't remember when that other bedroom got painted, nor what color it first changed to after it was finished being green. (I thought it went from green to blue, but I have pictures of it being yellow, first, so I don't know what the hell to think.)

What I do know is, the paint in this room is damned old. It's not newer than 1982-ish, that's for certain; and even if it was painted in 1982--on which I would not bet--that's still thirty-five years ago.

35 years of periodic baking by incandescent light bulbs in the ceiling fixture--the paint around it has peeled off, right down to the drywall. While I was putting in the ceiling fan Mrs. Fungus and I discussed what we could do about it. I'd have to prime in that area, but I'd also have to prime the patch over the exhaust fan hole, so that's no big deal; figure a quart of primer would be enough. If we picked a yellow color (even a few shades more pale) it would probably not take an entire can of paint to do the room. Maybe half a gallon of Ultra White for the ceiling, because that's what I did in the kitchen and it really lifts the ceiling. (Appears to lift it. Makes it feel more expansive, and brighter.)

The hard part would be finding the time. I can't afford to take any time off work, and it would be a 3-day process at least; once we got the computers torn down and the furniture moved away from the walls, I'd have to wash the walls and spackle (and fix the hole in the ceiling) and let that dry for 24 hours. Then I'd have to sand the spackling, and prime, and let that dry for 24 hours. After that I could paint, and that would have to dry for another 24 hours before we could move the stuff back in.

...and this one would be the easy room to paint. *whimper*

* * *

"Today is forecast to be MUCH COOLER than yesterday." Yeah. The dewpoint is 68, which is sticky, and even if the temperature fails to exceed the predicted 80 degrees, it's still going to be a sweltering day outside. Argh etc.

That may change as the day wears on; it looks as if the wind's going to switch to a more northerly direction, which (hopefully) will mean dry and cool. We'll see, of course.

* * *

Deadwood continues to entertain. Now that we're past most of the "look at how bad these bad men are, also WE'RE ON HBO!" stuff, the story is getting better. Having looked a bit into the historical people on whom some of the characters are based, it helps me locate the time and place, and understand what's going on a little better. I guess you're supposed to know, going in, that Deadwood is in territory that is going to be (someday) South Dakota; certainly it would have helped to know that as the series started. It didn't take much for me to get up to speed, though, so that's all right.

Of course half the characters cannot utter a single sentence without swearing, because "rough men ALSO HBO!!!", so it's not something you'd want the kids to watch. But I am enjoying it, and lots more than I thought I would going in.

* * *

Is Bloom County back? I never cared for Outland. I never really understood why Breathed made the change, to be honest. I suppose that after a while a cartoonist feels as if he's done with a strip--but if you're done with it, be done with it. Outland felt like a bad crossover, with Opus and Ronald-Ann, and the fact that it only ran on Sundays made it harder to follow than it was worth. Certainly Breathed could not do the kind of stories he'd done with BC, which ran daily.

If the new BC is just half as funny as the original, it'll be a keeper.

* * *

Before work yesterday I managed to get the Jeep's serpentine belt tightened, the right front tire aired up (still need to replace the valve stem), and then took a little time to clean out the back seat.

I have a utility box in which I keep things like jumper cables, tire inflator, service manual, tie-down straps, and other miscellany; I don't remember when I took it out of the truck but I put it back in yesterday, and put several loose articles back into it in the process, so now I don't have a bunch of stuff rattling around behind the front seats any more.

Today I want to get some work done on the Fiero, and part of that is vacuuming crud from the engine bay. Once that's done I'll vacuum out the truck, because it hasn't been vacuumed in literal years.

...but first I'm going back to bed. I woke up this morning at 6 AM, to the kind of "wide awake" state where I can either toss and turn for two hours while trying to sleep or get up and fiddle at the computer a bit. Today I chose the latter, since I don't need to hew to any specific schedule.

6:45 am
#4805: Solar activity models are wrong, but the global warming models aren't.
Today on Spaceweather they say this:
ICE AGE NEWS REPORTS ARE EXAGGERATED: Stop the presses. The mainstream media is reporting a sensational new study about the sun's inner magnetic dynamo. According to a double-dynamo model advanced by researchers at Northumbria University, solar activity could drop by 60% in the 2030s, mimicking conditions during the Little Ice Age of the 17th century. A widely copied quote-fragment from lead researcher Valentina Zharkova notes that "...we found that our predictions showed an accuracy of 97%." In fact, the model has never successfully predicted any future solar activity. So far it has only been used to "predict" solar cycles from 1976 to 2008. Almost any model can be fine-tuned to match the past. As forecasting tools, previous dynamo models have failed spectacularly. The double-dynamo model of Zharkova et al may yet prove to be correct, but until it passes the test of correctly predicting future solar activity, there is no reason to worry about an historic decline in sunspots, much less an Ice Age. Indeed, it is more likely that the reverse is true.
The last three words, "reverse is true", link to a screed which insists that "The Earth is headed toward an imminent speed-up in global warming."

...based on computer models which, I am told, are unproven because they've never successfully predicted anything, and in fact, "As forecasting tools, previous [warming] models have failed spectacularly."

Their own words apply perfectly to the climate models, which did not predict the "pause" (which was been ongoing for nearly eighteen years now) and which have been demonstrated time and again to be wrong. The only models which have been even close to correct about how much warming we'd see have still overestimated total warming by a fair margin, and none of the models can account for the discrepancies. The best argument the warmistas have is "well, we know it's happening, and we just need to figure out where the heat is going if it's not going into the atmosphere."

There is absolutely no evidence to support their claim that warming is going to "speed up" suddenly.

Meanwhile, we have centuries of sunspot data, and weather data, and harvest data, and a host of other actual real information which suggest rather strongly that if the sun isn't making sunspots, the Earth is cooler than otherwise. And the recent data all track rather nicely, in ways the CO2 versus temperature plots fail to.

But the science is settled! Err, kind of...well, yeah, we had to cut our estimate of warming by 50% to match what reality is doing, but the science is still settled!
It is obvious to any disinterested observer (i.e., anyone not funded by a government) that the alarmists are in disarray. Their models–the sole basis for their predictions of catastrophic warming–have been shown to have no ability to forecast the future. And, in fact, they don’t even hindcast very well.
The wheels are, however, coming off the global warming bandwagon, because you can only support a fraud for so long before what you're doing becomes apparent to all and sundry. The best argument they have about present warming requires that the Little Ice Age and Medevial Warm Period never happened, and so they purposely adjust the data to remove those events. (Michael Mann's hockey stick, anyone?)

If you change data because the records don't suit your theories, you're not doing science.
Monday, July 13th, 2015
1:48 pm
#4804: The can got kicked again.
Everyone can chill out, because Greece is fixed. (Again.)

...for how long this time? A year? Two? All it's going to take is new elections and a new government, one that's more nationalist than Tspiras and his cohort, and then they'll be right back where they were.

Greece is in debt to the tune of some three hundred billion euros, with an annual GDP around $230 billion. This most recent deal is more loans, and Karl Denninger points out that this deal isn't going to fix anything because it merely increases Greece's debt.
Greece has about half of their GDP coming from government spending. This means close to 9% of every euro in GDP goes to those creditors and about 17% of the government's spending goes there too!
Basically it means that in order to pay down their debt in thirty years' time, Greece must shovel 26% of its annual GDP to its creditors.

In order for Greece to pay down its debt, though, it cannot spend in deficit.

That's the point that Denninger implies: not only must Greece pay about twenty billion euros per year to its creditors, but it must also not take on any new credit. That is what makes all this impossible; the greek people did not like the previous austerity measures and they are not going to like this, either.

The predictions I'm seeing say they've gotten themselves a couple of months' time out of this deal, after which things go to hell again. I guess we'll see.

* * *

Well, I've got 15 minutes before I have to start getting ready for work. I suppose if I'm going to tighten the Jeep's belt now'd be a good time to do it. I really hope I can get into the garage this "weekend" and get some stuff done. Cripes.
Sunday, July 12th, 2015
8:38 pm
#4803: I can't use the words I want to use here.
If I hadn't decided long ago that profanity in the post titles was verboten, today's post title would read "#4803: What a motherfucking ball-buster of a day."

It was.

I have no f-ing clue how I managed to clock in on time this morning. I didn't get out of bed on time, I got into the shower even later, and I didn't get out of the driveway until some ten minutes after the proper departure time. I did not hurry to work, either, driving slower than usual. Yet I got there and punched in at 11:00 on the dot, somehow.

That used up my good luck for the day.

After that I worked continuously from 11 AM until 3, with one quick bathroom break. At 3:03 there were no clients, and none scheduled, so I put out the "sorry we're closed" sign, adding "until 3:40 PM", and then I clocked out and went to lunch, leaving the precinct empty and unmanned.

Two people called off today. It's not my fault, and it's not my problem. I took my lunch, the one I'm supposed to get by law when I'm scheduled to work more than 7.5 hours.

Came back from a leisurely lunch and dove right back in, assholes-and-elbows, for another 3.5 hours with only the occasional bathroom break. What's-his-face came back around 5, and proceeded to spend most of the next two hours in back.

...meaning I worked my entire shift with no help. I had no time to do anything other than help clients, though I managed to squeeze in taking care of the shipping while what's-his-face was helping one of the few clients he helped today.

So, yeah--I'm fuckin' exhausted.

You know, I suppose it must be really nice to be such good friends with the boss that you can just call off whenever the fuck you feel like it. It's not my job to track the comings and goings of my coworkers but it seems like that particular person (who's full time, by the way) calls off an awful lot. Must be nice to be able to afford to live that kind of life. While occupying a full-time slot and not actually working full-time.

If anyone wants to take me to task for taking my lunch today, and leaving the precinct unmanned, they can kiss my ass. If you want me to be responsible for making sure the place is staffed, pay me more fucking money.

* * *

California's big idea for dealing with coyotes is throw rocks at them. Gee, if only humans had some kind of method of propelling small projectiles at high velocity, they could use that against coyotes. Sadly, in California at least, it seems rocks are the best people can do.

Next thing you know California will be recommending that people live in caves rather than sleeping in trees. This is progress!

* * *

I need to tighten the Jeep's serpentine belt. It's just loose enough that if there is any moisture on the pulleys, it squeals with the AC on. And only if the AC is on. Yeah.

I'm hoping to have time to do that before work tomorrow, but I'm not counting on it. *sigh*
Saturday, July 11th, 2015
10:11 am
#4802: How to keep your wife happy.
Thursday night, around 11:30 PM, Mrs. Fungus said, "I want chili-cheese fries."

Me: "No place is open that has that, dear. Sorry."

But then I thought about it, and realized something: we had curly fries in the freezer; we also had a couple cans of chili and a nearly-full bag of shredded cheese, and it's not exactly rocket science to put them together.

...so I made a big old plate of chili-cheese fries: made the fries according to the directions on the bag, and heated a can of chili (Hormel) in a saucepan while they baked. Fries into a pasta plate, dump chili on them, add a liberal dose of shredded cheese over the top, a couple of minutes in the microwave, serve...and they were delicious. We ate it all while watching an episode of Deadwood.

So delicious, in fact--and so easy to make--that the next time I hit the store I'm getting more cheese and another bag of curly fries. And some kind of canned chili without beans, because we figure that will spread better over the fries. Got to keep the ingredients for that on hand.

Not exactly health food, of course, but only because of the carbs in the fries. It's certainly no worse for you than a good dish of spaghetti would be, all told.

* * *

Microsoft fires 7,000 workers even as it lobbies heavily to expand the H1-B visa program. Because why should an American corporation have to employ American workers, when they're so much more expensive than Indians and Chinese?

* * *

By the way, slavery is still practiced in many parts of the world. You know, but Confederate flag bad, unlimited international trade good, right?

* * *

Today was training day at work, which (as usual) devolved into a P&M session in the old precinct. Also as usual, it was 7:30-9:30 in the bleeding morning.

I still feel fain to embalmed, and the pain in arms and legs kept me from getting to sleep last night until well after 2 AM. Because it was just two hours today, I was able to gut it up enough to go to work, especially since I knew I'd mostly be sitting down and being lectured about stuff. The hardest part was getting out of bed; after that, habit and momentum were enough to get me the rest of the way.

One of the nicest parts about the drive in was the near-total lack of idiots on the road. That early on a Saturday, generally the egregiously stupid are not out and about. I made it to work in about fifteen minutes, which is faster than usual; having arrived about ten minutes early I mulled sitting in the truck until 7:30--but then I decided, To hell with that. If I have to be here this damend early, they're paying me for the whole time I'm here, and went inside and punched in right away. Works out to about two hours since everything was finished about ten minutes before 9:30, which is fine.

A couple of spazz-tastic drivers made up for it on the way home, including the phimotic douchebag in the beat-up Blazer who shot ahead of me in the on-ramp merge, keeping me from being able to move over--only to have to slam on his brakes because the guy in front of me was going slow. (Which was, it must be said, why I was going slow in the first place.) For his trouble and wasted gasoline he got a whole car length ahead of where he'd been, going the same speed he was.

As for me, everything still hurts, and I'm going to go lay down in a few minutes. Looks like it might rain this afternoon, which would put the kibosh on me getting the grass cut. Well, if it does, I can't help that.
Friday, July 10th, 2015
2:25 pm
#4801: Alwats bet on technology improving.
Even as oil prices drop, rig count increases. That tells me that some folks figured out how to make fracking pay at $60 a barrel.

Here's the interesting thing about capitalism: it encourages innovation. If someone is selling all the widgets he can make at $10 a pop, and some guy comes along and figures out how to make money selling widgets at $8 a pop, the result is a net benefit to the people buying the widgets--especially if the first guy then finds a way to improve his widget so that it's still worthy of the $2 premium.

The negative price pressure of oversupply doesn't necessarily mean that all fracking wells will be driven out of production. Some folks will find ways to make fracking pay at lower prices--and that will always benefit the consumer even as it benefits the producers themselves.

Fracking doesn't have to require that oil cost $100 a barrel for it to be profitable...much the same way a computer doesn't have to cost a million dollars and have its own air-conditioned room.


* * *

It would be interesting to see how this affects China's aspirations in southeast asia. In particular it'd be interesting if China were to start cranking up their war machine, only to have a revolution break out that, shall we say, diverted their attentions.

China's economic troubles are proving yet again that command economies simply don't work--not for long, anyway.

* * *

I was originally scheduled to be at work for four hours today, but I called off. When I woke up this morning it was to PAIN in all my limbs. I'd wager it has something to do with the cold-like symptoms I've been suffering the past ten days or so. I lay in bed, knowing I had to get up, but lacking the will or the ability. It hurt to move. It hurt not to move.

When I finally stopped playing snooze button tag and got up, it was just to get a telephone, because there was just no way in hell.

The pain kept me from going back to sleep for a while, but eventually I did fall asleep again. When I woke up it was after noon, and everything hurt slightly less than it had, but "better" is not "good" and I still feel ripe for embalming.

...no other symptoms, no sniffles, runs, coughs, cramps, not even a slight headache. Just arms and legs which feel as if they've been subjected to the Vietnamese lead-shot-filled hose treatment all night--a deep-seated ache from shoulders to fingers, and hips to toes--and a general feeling of fatigue.

Just now a PBJ, and three ibuprofen. We'll see how that does.

But I'd wager that today's activities are going to be sorely (heh) limited in scope, because damn do I feel like the proverbial dog's breakfast.

On the plus side, at least I still have my sense of humor.
Thursday, July 9th, 2015
6:48 pm
#4800: Um, not just no, but HELL F--KING NO
Some anus wants the US to bail out Greece. He ought to f-ing return his f-ing Nobel Prize for Economics, the idiot.

The problems that Greece is having are of its own doing. It had help from Germany and France and Belgium, because those countries lent them the money in the first place even as everyone involved knew Greece was unable to pay that money back--not now, not ever--and yet they all pretended there was nothing wrong.

Unlike the complete smashing of Germany's industrial base in WW2, the United States had NOTHING to do with this mess.

We helped Germany and Japan rebuild because we're nice people, not because we were somehow obligated to. We're further not obligated to bail Greece out; in fact it would be better for all concerned if Greece defaulted on it's bad debt.

In case Mr. Fucking Sky Pilot isn't paying attention, the US is already spending a crapton more money than it has: a trillion plus per year over and above its income, with no end in sight. The national debt has exploded in the past six years thanks to Obamanomics, and like Greece we cannot deficit spend ad infinitum because--sooner or later--the debt expansion series will reach its practical limits. I have no desire to hurry that event by spending even more money the US does not have on bailing out Greece.

Of course, if Greece defaults, then Spain and Italy and Ireland will also default, because if Greece can do it, why can't they? It'll mean the end of the euro, and the end of the big common European banks, and it'd be a complete refutation of all things Keynesian! Of course no Nobel Prize-winning economist wants that.

* * *

So, did you hear about the 22-year-old in Maine who decided it would be funny to put a mortar on his head and light the fuse, and died?

His mother wants to outlaw fireworks.

I know this sounds insensitive, considering that the guy died, but it's his own damned fault.

Look: I've used 2" mortar fireworks here at the bunker. Those things make a scary loud "BANG" when the lifting charge goes off. I put the shell into the mortar, light the fuse, and run away from it, because if the thing decides to blow up on the ground rather than in the air, I want to be well away from it.

I would assume that the dead idiot would not have been stupid enough to put the butt of a shotgun to his forehead and pull the trigger, but that's exactly the sort of kick you'd get from a mortar.

As is typical for the Fungal Vale on the 4th of July, it was a freakin' war zone around here after dark--even though anything more potent than sparklers are illegal in Illinois without licenses and permits. I was hearing large explosions--probably quarter- and half-sticks--in the week before the holiday. Laws won't stop this kind of crap.

The safety instructions are ubiquitous, so much so that we joke about them: light fuse and get away. Do not hold in hand. Do not hold in mouth. Etcerera. It's sad that the guy died, but it's his own damned fault for doing something egregiously stupid.

* * *

First working 7nm integrated circuit. ICs with 7nm feature size are still at least two years from the market, but this is a huge step forward.

7nm is 10,000 times smaller than 70um, which was the barrier the semiconductor industry hit in about 1992 and were all worried about surpassing. So, yeah--in 2017 they'll be able to pack 10,000 transistors into the area one transistor occupied in 1992.

(Actually there will be a practical upper limit for the number of transistors in that space which won't be as large as 10,000 transistors. It's still incredible, when you think about it.)

* * *

Linked because of the recipe for tetziki sauce:
Coarsely grate one medium cucumber, and squeeze out or allow the moisture from the cucumber to drain. Mash one or two garlic cloves to a paste with a little salt, and mix in a tablespoon of olive oil. Add the olive oil/garlic paste to one cup of rich yogurt, or a blend of 2/3rds yogurt to 1/3 sour cream, and stir in the grated, drained cucumber. Allow to stand for the flavors to blend, and serve with slices of bread.
...or with gyros. Yum.

* * *

The amazing stupidity--look, if you come to me telling me that you can't access your e-mail, at least have the decency to know what your f-ing e-mail address is. Holy crap.
Wednesday, July 8th, 2015
3:59 pm
#4799: Well, that certainly explains it.
For the past week or so, I've been suffering from a scratchy throat. Right about the time we got that first hit of 55 degree weather I had some soreness in the tonsils, and I was worried that I was getting another bout of the death tonsillitis. But that went away after a day or two, or rather it moved downstream a bit and turned into scratchiness in the throat. Not bad, certainly not enough to comment on, but constant. Some gunk coming from the sinuses made my voice crack here and there even as the scratchy throat was receding. About like a moderate to severe allergy attack, nothing more than that.

Yesterday I could not stay awake. Woke up in the morning, had a snack, read a bit, went back to sleep until after 2; was up for a couple hours, then went to sleep again until it was almost dark out. I don't know what time I went to bed for good last night, but I basically repeated the cycle again thus far today.

...realized tardily that I haven't even mentioned these symptoms to anyone, not even my wife. They were that minor. But yesterday it dawned on me: tonsils plus scratchy throat plus sinus drainage plus fatigue equals cold, however minor. Sure I'm not in the kind of condition I was around Christmas, when the back of my throat felt like I'd been gargling red hot brillo pads, but I'm still ill.

Most likely I got hit with something that's not very virulent, or it's kind of like something I'd been hit by before, which is why my immune response isn't the full-on nuclear war I experienced last December. I don't mind having a mild cold, even in summer--but needless to say, I have not gotten anything done around here. I scrubbed the bathtub yesterday, then had to go lie down because I felt lightheaded; my wife was worried that something was wrong, and when I mentioned the previous symptoms--which I had, until then, forgotten about--she was a bit upset with me that I hadn't told her.

Anyway, I guess it's true that only idiots catch summer colds, because it sure took long enough for it to register that I had one. "No brain, no pain," as Mom always said.

It also explains why I've been in such a fog for the past week.

* * *

Greece is a mess. It's a big mess, and it's getting bigger by the day. China--the commissars have ordered people not to sell stocks--made it illegal to sell--which does not seem to have helped their stock market crash.

Not much good news around. Our own stock market has been flailing around for the past few days in response to all this, mostly downward. It's hard for me to feel like that's entirely a bad thing, considering how overvalued it is; we do not have the economy to support a Dow index that high, and we haven't have that kind of economy for a long time.

Still, a drop in the stock market is universally regarded as a bad thing (even when the market is correcting to a more realistic valuation) and I suppose I must agree that's so. Some computers make money, some lose money, and the entire High Frequency Trading system goes on.

We're a long way from a complete correction, even so--one that would clear the bad debt in the system and allow the economy to return to a real growth phase (as opposed to one based entirely on debt expansion). That one's going to hurt when it comes; just look at Greece's long lines at the ATMs and the empty supermarket shelves.

* * *

It felt like I had more to say when I started writing, but apparently I don't. Could be worse, I suppose.

Today is like yesterday, only cloudy. I sat on the patio yesterday afternoon, enjoying the quiet and the blue sky; today the temperatures are about the same but there's a lot less wind, almost none.

The nicest thing about all this is how quiet it is. No fans, no AC, no nothin'. It's blissfully quiet. It won't last, but I can enjoy it while it does.
Tuesday, July 7th, 2015
4:29 pm
When I left work last night it was muggy, probably in upper 70s with a dewpoint north of 68. I didn't pay any attention to the outside weather after I got home.

Got up this morning at 9:30 needing the can; poked my nose outside and then promptly shut off the fans and AC and opened a few windows. It was fifty-five degrees outside.

That was thirty, maybe thirty-five, degrees cooler than it had been around two PM Monday. With a dewpoint to match.

If this is global warming, bring it. Holy crap.

* * *

So, this sort of thing is why illegal immigration is a problem. Short form: illegal alien who had been deported some five times previously and had multiple felony convictions was somehow still in the US, and he shot and killed a woman.

...no, that's impossible. How did he shoot her? Doesn't he know that California requires permits and registration for firearm ownership? As an illegal alien and convicted felon, he can't have had a gun; that would have been illegal.

Oh, wait.

So, big surprise: guy who broke the law some six times to be in the US and has been convicted of other felonies isn't scared of the big bad gun laws, and furthermore apparently isn't all that worried about a murder rap, either. Besides all that, he's living in a city which purposely refuses to cooperate with federal immigration authorities.

But of course this kind of thing never has any effect on Democrats' commitment to open borders. After all, folks like this pendejo are just killing the people that Americans won't. Right?

* * *

News flash, which I'm sure comes as a complete shock to anyone who doesn't understand basic economics: your electric car is worse for the environment than one that runs on gas or diesel.

Wouldn't be nearly as bad if we were allowed to build nuclear power plants, but of course that notion's a non-starter. Your electricity is produced by burning coal or oil or natural gas, and the Laws of Thermodynamics mean you don't get a discount for buying in bulk.

* * *

Bernie Sanders is an avowed socialist, and he's the current Democrat frontrunner. Democrats have historically avoided the "socialist" label; hell, I remember there being a huge foo-raw over some Dem candidate being called "liberal" by his opponent. "How dare you" etc etc, because of course "liberal" is a huge turn-off for about half the country. It worked, hence the foo-raw.

Sanders' admission is a rare breath of honesty from a party which normally cloaks everything it does in a veneer of centrism. Clinton was perennially referred to as "moderate" but the only reason he governed that way came from his self-interest; he cared more about feathering his own nest than principle. Bill Clinton first, liberalism second--oh, he wanted liberalism to triumph, just not as much as he wanted himself to. Clinton was a true believer in liberalism, but it wasn't a hill he wanted to die on. You can't get jiggy with interns if you're not in power.

That's the limiting factor for a lot of Democrats in particular, and politicians in general; as members of the aristocracy they have their own ideas about how things should be run, but they must be careful about getting votes.

The GOP, for example, would much rather have issues to run on than political victories.

* * *

This is important. Most people don't understand how important astronomy really is, and plenty will never know--or care--that this is money well spent.

Heck, I can't even explain it. All I can do is shake my head and say that if you don't already understand why it's important, you probably never will.

A 12-meter mirror is 468 inches, more or less, which would make it the largest telescope ever. (By four inches. But a win is a win.) It's limited to that size by the diameter of the launch vehicle, worse luck, or it might be even bigger. Still, at 12 meters, it should be able to see exoplanets.

In any case, the money needed to build, launch, and operate this thing will pale in comparison to what the US spends on welfare payments every week.

I remember when the 200 inch telescope at Mount Palomar--the Hale instrument--was the biggest telescope in the world. That seems like centuries ago.

* * *

Went to Og's place last week, for a quick visit, while he was working on the "short bus", as he calls it. (The lemon yellow Escape.) Among other things, he gave me a handful of heim joints and some aluminum rod--steering parts for the go-kart.

I really need to get in motion, damn it.
Monday, July 6th, 2015
2:39 pm
#4797: Well, made it to my Friday, I think.
Yesterday I left home a few minutes late for what I thought was going to be a six-hour day. When I got to work and logged into the timekeeping system to punch in, I saw that no, I was there for eight hours.

It's fine; I need the money. But it would have been nice to be prepared for an eight-hour day (and yeah, I know whose fault it was that I wasn't). Instead of packing a lunch, I packed a snack, and only two bottles of Pepsi. Takes three to get me through eight hours.

...actually, I ran out of ham making yesterday's breakfast. I usually make a ham-and-cheese sandwich and eat it on my way to work, and there were exactly four slices left; I couldn't have made a second sandwich anyway. For "snack" I usually make a three-slice PBJ, PB on two slices and J on the third. Cheap, nutrituous, portable, and doesn't require refrigeration.

Ended up taking a trip to Culver's at lunch time. $8 for a deluxe double basket, but by the time I get enough food at any fast food place I'm looking at least at $5, and at that point $3 more isn't going to break the bank.

I ordered what I almost always order: deluxe double, no tomato, but with ketchup and mustard. As you can see from that description, the sandwich normally does not have ketchup and mustard on it. It's everything I want in a hamburger if they don't put the tomato on it, and add ketchup and mustard. Every time I go to the one in the Fungal Vale I order it the same way I ordered it over there: "deluxe double, no tomato, but with ketchup and mustard."

What did I get? I got a deluxe double with ketchup and mustard only.

Now--why would I say what I say if I just wanted K&M? Why wouldn't I just say "K&M only"? I want the lettuce, onion, pickle, and mayo on there; I also want K&M and I don't want the tomato. Nobody else has trouble understanding this. WTF.

And I didn't have time for them to make me another one the right way, so I ate it as it was.

* * *

I had to stop at the store on the way home lest our cats starve. Picked up a couple sundries besides cat food, and I'd thought to buy ham too but didn't--too much line at the deli, too few good prices on ham--so today I'm having leftovers for breakfast. That's fine. "Leftovers" include a slice of key lime pie for dessert.

* * *

The parade of ship names continues. Erogami's got Voljin's Testicle and The Sinkable and Zen'kiki Real Sorry, but I added Insipid and now have a submarine called Davy Jones' Locker. I have a total of eight ships in my fleet now, including a battleship named Angry John. (In order to understand that name in its proper context, recall please that Erogami's backstory includes having been a prostitute in an orc brothel. That's why this ugly green she-hulk is named "sex goddess" in Japanese.) That's six of the eight, but I can't remember the last two and I'm going to feel kind of stupid when I log on next. ("Ohh, of course, how could I forget...?")

* * *

Today is my Friday, of course, as usual. Tomorrow is going to be another garage day. It's got to be done, and I'm the only person who can do it! Yeaahhh!!!

...hoping to get the Jeep vacuumed out, too, and maybe cleaned up a bit inside besides that. It's a pigsty in there, damn it.
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