#7860: Making banana pudding

Recipe from the Nilla Wafers box. Step one: make vanilla custard. You need a double boiler for that and I don't have one, so I used the pot I normally make pasta in, and then put a stainless steel mixing bowl over it. Worked fine; I made custard from scratch for the first time in my life, using an improvised double-boiler. Yet another indication that I rule.

Step two: layer vanilla wafers, banana slices, and custard over and over again until you've done 3 layers. Top with--

Step three: I made meringue for the first time in my life. That didn't need any improvisation; the hypernifty and ultrakeen Kitchen-Aid stand mixer took care of that. Top the dessert with meringue, then bake for about 20 minutes at 350 until the meringue has a nice tan to it.

With the pudding in the oven, I started work on the enchiladas. The chicken came out spicy this time (two jalapenos, an onion, and cilantro). I chopped up green onions and shredded the chicken. Made 8 enchiladas, then used an entire 8 oz package of shredded queso on top. The pudding was done so I took it out; once I had assembled the enchiladas, put them in to bake at 350 for about half an hour.

All of this was after I went over to Og's place to help him remove some siding from his garage, and then to get Tyvek house wrap up in place of them. "I could not have gotten this done by myself," he said. I was glad to be able to help him for once, though, and said so.

Boy are my arms tired.

Anyway, I think I've hit the recipe for chicken enchiladas, at last. I cut the chicken breasts into strips (about 1" square, maybe a bit bigger) before putting them into the crock pot, and I put them onto a bed of half a sliced onion, a chopped jalapeno, and about 1/3 of a bunch of cilantro, with about 1/4 of a big can of the green enchilada sauce. Topped with a similar batch of chopped aromatics and the rest of the green sauce, then just let it go on "low" for six hours.

When I got home from Og's place, the house smelled heavenly. I fished out a small chunk of chicken and tasted it, and it went zing! in my mouth, so that's fantastic.

Cannot complain, not even a little.

* * *

Tomorrow I must must MUST get the dang grass cut. That'll be about an hour or so on the tractor, not too big a deal, but then we have to clear the patio and put away the stuff. I'm hoping my wife can help with that part. We'll see.

Meanwhile, Og suggested that the patio could be fixed with, I believe, "topping cement", and then brick could be laid atop it. WTF, just covering the patio with a skin coat of cement would fix the poor appearance and such. Anyway, it bears thinking about....

* * *

So, coal is coming back, in a big way. Go figure.

Meanwhile, I'm hearing that there's going to be a rather stiff increase in the price of natural gas fairly soon, which nicely dovetails with the dire predictions I've been hearing elsewhere. Perhaps I ought to lay in a supply of firewood. The fireplace is one of those "refractory" types which has a firebox made of a heat-resistant material, and it's surrounded on all sides by an air gap. Cold air is drawn in through vents at the bottom and exits from vents on top; there's also an electric blower which can force air to flow through. It has a cold air intake outside the house, so you can close the glass doors on the fire without smothering it; and the result is that if need be, the fireplace can work as an auxiliary heat source for the house.

The problem is that it's at the far north end of the house, in the living room, which is the farthest point from the bedrooms and bathroom and family room--so if we were to use it for heat, it would mean that end of the house would be toasty warm, while the rest of the house would be cold. Argh etc.

* * *

Anyway, enchiladas are done, and it's time for dinner.

#7859: If it's gouda for you....

I don't know if I just didn't notice until recently, but I saw that they have sliced gouda in the "sliced cheese" section at the local supermarket, so I bought some. (This was a couple weeks ago.) When the teller said, "Oh, gouda!" I replied, "Well, if it's gouda for you...."

I am the king of dad jokes, and I'm not even a dad. What a faux pa.


* * *

I have not been paying a lot of attention, lately, to Vox Day. He's a very smart man, but his "the vaccine is going to kill everyone it touches" schtick seems a touch hyperbolic to me; and lately he's speaking highly of how the chinese communists are operating, at least in terms of how they are trying to eliminate the dyscivic trends that have caused other societies (*cough* ours *cough) so much trouble. I end up just skimming those posts.

The best example is the one about how traffic fatalities are up, post Coof. "WELL YOU SEE THAT'S THE VACCINE IT'S KILLING PEOPLE AT THE WHEEL"--no. What is happening is that the roads are clearer, and police aren't pulling as many people over for moving violations, so people are driving like idiots.

A personal example.

The speed limit, for most of my current commute, alternates between 35 and 40. (There is one short stretch where it's 55.) And if I am not going at least 45 in a 35 zone, I get tailgated. If I have the unmitigated gall to go a mere 40 in a 35, some of these shitheads will decide that the left turn lane is actually a passing lane, and pass me through an intersection, usually accelerating to at least 50 or 60 MPH in that self-same 35 zone.

Since the end of the first (major) lockdown this seems to have eased off a bit, as traffic has ramped back up. But I'd wager there are morons for whom such driving has become a habit, and they get pissed off when people stubbornly refuse to go as fast as they want to go.

So, no--I don't think the vaccine is a factor, here. It's more an issue of selective enforcement and ordinary lack of common sense.

--but this particular post is about the pedocracy--that's a great term for it!--and Vox Day makes the point that it seems as if you can't get a position in government without being a pervert of one stripe or another. Usually pedo.

I don't know how "high-ranking" you can call "an assistant to the House of Representatives' Sergeant at Arms" but it does sound like some kind of low-impact, high-paying sinecure to me.

* * *

Delta evidently doesn't want to experience a "Southwest airlines weekend".

* * *

Anyway, got to head over to Og's place to help him with some siding. Then to the store for banana pudding supplies. It's a party!

#7858: It must be true.

Fatzbuub is "fact-checking" the hell out of the "green truck" story, so it's probably the truth: California's dumb econazi laws are causing a real problem for the entire rest of the country.

* * *

It's hard to be upset about this. I have two reasons.

First, Adam Kinzinger is a shithead. He's such a RINO, he might as well be a democrat; this putz's position on guns alone is enough to have earned my eternal enmity.

Second, he's a RINO in a state that's entirely run by democrats, in an area which is turning increasingly blue, because the right-wing people are leaving the state. Him being redistricted out of a job is eminently predictable.

Ohh, boo hoo hoo! Cry me a river, shitstick. The asshat is reportedly unhappy that democrat gerrymandering is going to cost him his job. Well, the democrats that you've been sucking up to for more than a decade have no more use for your traitorous ass, so you can suck it, bitch.

Incidentally, that last link has a poll attached, with the question: "Do you personally believe the way that Rep. Adam Kinzinger's (R-IL) House seat was redistricted will or will not be the end of his political career?"

The answer I'd want to select is not there: "I for damned sure hope it will be!" I mean, they have "Other/no opinion" as a choice, but that's not as satisfying.

* * *

I guess I'll go back to bed.

#7857: Useless, worthless.

So, the transportation secretary, Pete Buttplug, is on "paternity leave" with his husband, because they adopted two highly unfortunate babies, and he's too busy with that (learning to breastfeed, maybe) to do his fucking job as transportation secretary.

Any guesses on whether rank and file employees at the department of transportation get two plus months of paternity leave when their wives have babies?

...not that it really matters, since it's pretty obvious that government is the cause of the ills facing our supply chain. The whole "two weeks to stop the spread" (now on week 84 if I'm not mistaken) didn't prevent the spread of the thing, but it sure dumped a bunch of glass and iron filings into the gearbox that keeps our economy going.

Aesop explains with words of less than three syllables why "green trucks" are not the cause of the problem.

There seems to be some confusion about what the demarcation line is for older trucks without the "low emissions" technology. Some people are saying that it's within the ports themselves; others are saying it's anywhere in California. The latter, of course, vastly reduces the available fleet of large trucks for hauling merchandise throughout the state.

Aesop's firmly in the former category, but his point is that the railroad lines go right past the docks themselves, and containers can be taken right off the ship and loaded onto railcars by a forklift or a yard mule, without a long-haul truck ever being involved.

I really don't know.

I do know, however, that the "green truck" horseshit cannot be helping matters one whit. What I do know is that the logistics nightmare we're facing is going to get worse before it gets better, and stuff is going to get a lot more expensive at the same time.

* * *

Well, theoretically, it's not supposed to rain tomorrow, for the first time THIS MONTH. WTF.

...that's a slight exaggeration. Only a slight one. After all, last weekend it didn't rain on Saturday or Sunday. Otherwise it's rained every dang day this month.

Gotta get that grass cut this weekend, that's for sure.

* * *

So, there's this manga series, Boy's Abyss, and it's one of those "grim and gritty" stories.

Every once in a while, I'll give one a try, and get pulled into it. This one's about a kid living in a small town, and then he meets an idol singer who has run away from her career in Tokyo--and then his entire life goes pear-shaped. There are no good guys in the story (except maybe for his childhood friend, a chunky girl nicknamed "Chako") and every chapter seems to be trying to top the previous one for fucked-up-ness.

Kind of reminds me of that other series I never got to read all of, Aku no Hana. I don't even know how far I read into it. Maybe I should look it up and try rereading it.

* * *

When was the last time I played a video game? Geeze.

* * *

I'm sleepy today. Glad tomorrow is Saturday, that's for sure.

#7856: Ah, so now they have produced a scapegoat.

Boeing, I mean: Former chief technical pilot for Boeing 737 MAX project has been indicted. Boeing is throwing him under the bus so that none of their executives will have to be arrested or put on trial.
As Boeing's 737 MAX Chief Technical Pilot, Forkner led the 737 MAX Flight Technical Team and was responsible for providing the FAA AEG with true, accurate, and complete information about differences between the 737 MAX and the 737 NG for the FAA AEG's evaluation, preparation, and publication of the 737 MAX FSB Report.
Doubtless the suits at Boeing will insist that this guy was acting alone and thought up the scheme entirely on his own.


* * *

Sarah Hoyt does it again and produces a blog post explaining just how the left is screwing up their push for totalitarianism in the US.
...[M]ost people who aren't political animals (Party like it's 1776, yo) are still waiting for the elections to fix everything. Hell, I've seen people who are political animals waiting for it. And the left is lying to itself very hard and half believes their wins are legitimate. (AH!)

And: IF there is a rebellion and the news doesn't report it, would you know about it?

Hell, the world has been in more or less open rebellion for 5 years, and our news sits on it, like it's their favorite thumb. And most people don't see it, except for things like Brexit, or Trump's election. Ask them about German farmers driving their tractors to city hall and they'll look at you like you’re nuts. ...

This week, between stomach flu and paint fumes, I got a text from Bill Reader: "Is 'labor shortage' 'let's go Brandon' for 'Going Galt'"?

Eh. Sort of. It's.... complicated. Part of it is demographic. Part of it is the cash influx of running blue state refugees. ...

Second, a lot of women discovered through the covidiocy that they like staying home. They like their kids. A lot of men discovered the gig economy. There will be fewer payrolls, we'll just say that. And contrary to statist dreams, no we're not at the singularity where robots do all the work.

They need everyone working and paying taxes. EVERYONE. Even then their system doesn't work, but it fails SLOWER.

Third, yeah, we can see it coming. They want all our money. Why should we work for them?

This is something the left doesn't get.
The emphasis is mine. Bear in mind that the mainstream media is claiming that the Southwest fiasco was due to weather. (Huh--that last sentence was going to be a link to an Arse Technica article about "weather" being the cause, but oddly enough I can't seem to find it. Now, why would that be?)

And in that same vein, we have this: Entire crew walked out when they were told to get the jab or be fired. Watch the video. Guy swears like a sailor but I think it's justified.

Saw an ad on TV tonight, while visiting a sick relative, imploring people to get the jab. "We're your doctors! Trust us!" ...and then a whole bunch of claims that the vax won't hurt you and it'll protect you from getting the Coof. They say, "Trust us!" so many times it triggers my anti-scam defenses.

The media is lying to us. Did you see that story about Katie Couric editing out Ruth Bader Ginsburg's stated opinion on asshole athletes who kneel for the national anthem? Ginsburg's opinion of that is pretty close to mine: you're a total ingrate if you refuse to stand for the national anthem of the country that made it possible for you to get rich playing a fucking kids' game.

* * *

Speaking of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, I had a honey of a nightmare last night: I dreamed that I woke up and went to the kitchen for a snack. I was wandering around the house wondering if I was actually awake, but when I tried to turn the lights on, they only came on at half brightness. No matter what light I tried--so it was very dimly lit in the house. That was scary enough, so I decided to go back to bed before I started screaming and woke up my wife. I got halfway down the hall, then turned back for some reason. The family room was cluttered with a bunch of stuff, and in the dim light it was hard to see, but it looked like someone was standing in the middle of it.

Got closer and looked, still couldn't really tell if it was a person or just some of the junk, so I got even closer and saw that it was--yeah. Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Zombie Ruth Bader Ginsburg, that is, standing there in a hospital gown, with greyish-green skin and dead-fish eyes. She didn't really move much but zombie in the family room freaked me right the hell out and I woke up.


Also, I have an intense dislike for the fact that I am having those dreams again, where I'm wandering around the house at night and every light I turn on either doesn't work or burns out.

...dream further confused by the fact that I did get up in the middle of the night, to have a sandwich. Not sure if it was before or after this dream, though.

* * *

So, the propaganda in entertainment has become ham-fisted.

Couple of months ago the wife had an episode of The Simpsons on, and the segment I saw was very thinly-disguised socialized medicine propaganda. Something happened to Lisa in Canada and of course all her medical care was free, FREE, FREE!

While at my sick relative's house the other night, an ep of Blackish came on, and it was 100% bullshit about how racist police kill black people. I mean, they literally claimed that "thousands" of black people were murdered by police. One of the younger characters kept oozing admiration for Ta Nahisi Coates (or however you spell the jerk's name) and of course any time someone tried to speak up in the name of moderation and reason he was shouted down with more bullshit. I'm not kidding; the crap they spouted in the first five minutes was so far divorced from reality, I can't even refer to it as "statistics" because usually statistics at least resemble the real world.

My blood pressure probably went up a good ten, fifteen points just sitting there and listening to it.

The TV was showing a fictional riot over the police shooting an "unarmed black man" who was of course "totally innocent", and they just shot him because he was black. Strangely, no one mentioned that the real-world riots happened because a multiple felon was shot while resisting arrest, or a different multiple felon died of a self-administered fentanyl overdose.

There was something about the dead goblin driving excessively fast with a gun in the car's trunk, and Laurence Fishburne's character said something about how he drove at 80 MPH with a gun in his trunk all the time. Show is set in California; remind me about the gun laws there? So the fact that you drive like a shithead with an illegally-possessed firearm in your car exonerates the dead goblin? Sounds to me as if you should be in jail, too.

Gee, and then you wonder why shit happens?

I have to remember, though, that the show was written by rich west coast leftists whose only contact with police comes when they get pulled over for driving like complete shitheads.

* * *

Another funny bit: relative was watching M*A*S*H* and I literally watched the first fifteen seconds and knew which episode it was. (The one where the gas heater in the nurses' tent blows up in Hawkeye's face and leaves him blind for a few days.)

...tonight it came on and I didn't recognize it, but it was "written by Alan Alda" and "directed by Alan Alda" and it was a stinkeroo, all right.

The same channel that shows that runs Happy Days right before, and they're running the post-shark episodes. And yeah, they're awful.

* * *

Anyway, got the news yesterday that when the time comes, I'll be moving office to the far offsite, rather than the near one. It means a longer commute at higher speeds, and no more coming home for lunch; and it's going to happen before the end of this year. *sigh*

Well, that's how things go, sometimes.

* * *

There will be, apparently, a second season of Squid Game. The main character did not get any smarter, which is not a spoiler given that there's going to be a second season.

Plus side, it'll be a while before I have to put up with his stupidity.

* * *

By the way, just guess why there's such a container backlog in CA.

If you guessed "government overregulation", you're right!

...any truck made before 2010 is verboten because they don't have the "clean idle" technology mandated by the state government. So, fewer trucks, fewer loads moving, bottleneck. THANKS ASSHOLES.

* * *

Even taking the deflation into account, it's $233 billion per year added to the world economy. At last, someone figuring the riches of outer space and realizing that, gee, exploiting a four billion ton mass of nearly-pure iron would cause the price of iron to decline just a bit....

* * *

Hard to believe it, but tomorrow is the 15th...the dreaded "ides of October".

The low-lights are 22 years ago, in 1999: appendectomy, and 20 years ago, in 2001: lost tech writing job.


* * *

Anyway, it's Thursday night. Tomorrow is Friday. Saturday is Sweetest Day, and this year's request is "no flowers" (because Smudge will just eat them and make a mess) but chicken enchiladas and banana pudding, so I've got my work cut out for me.

#7855: "Horror in Loudon County" is about right

School board covered up two rapes, because they were committed by a member of a "protected class."

You see, a 14-year old boy who identified as a girl went into the girls' bathroom, and raped a girl. The school officials covered it up.

The rapist was sent to another school after that incident where he--guess what he did. Just guess. C'mon, have a go!

That's right--he raped another girl at his new school. Still wearing a dress.

Ace discusses the situation and it's "red curtain of blood" territory, because the school district and the district attorney tried to railroad the girl's father and tried to cover up the rape, because the kid is allegedly a transsexual.

Quoth Ace: "In order to defeat the Domestic Terrorists complaining about the vicious rape and forcible sodomy of their daughters, the school district is denying any knowledge of the crimes."

You know why? Because this is EXACTLY the scenario that people have been warning about: a pervert declaring he's a woman so he can go into womens' bathrooms. It's the last thing that the left wants to get around: the truth.

* * *

Extremely weird snack department: my wife went to an asian foods market and bought stuff that appealed to her. Among them, these spicy peanuts. The peanuts are processed so that they're crunchier than peanuts normally are. Then they mixed them with minced dried chili pepper and "spices" which are not named and seem to consist mainly of these little round pods which apparently once contained seeds, but which are open and hollow. They're mostly green (a few are red) and have a bumpy appearance. If I eat one, it tastes kind of like ginger and/or lemongrass, but my tongue goes numb and tingles for a good while after I eat it.

"Huang Fei Hong Spicy Peanuts", the label says, and there's a web site: Looks like the spicy peanuts are front and center. Not much information there, though, not even in chinese.

Hopefully there aren't any warnings like, "DO NOT EAT THE INSANITY PODS THEY ARE ONLY FOR FLAVOR".

"I didn't have the heart to tell him this was bat country!"

* * *

I'm sorry but I have no sympathy for communists. Commie creeps stole buses to go to a protest march, but the buses they stole had been recently loaded with heroin belonging to this or that drug cartel.

Here's the thing: those drug cartels, they really don't have much of a sense of humor about these kinds of things, and they honestly don't give a fuck about your political views, so it's probably a better idea not to steal their stuff.

* * *

Must-read on China's chances of taking Taiwan. That's just taking Taiwan, in any way possible, by the way, not "taking Taiwan intact" which looks like it's a hell of a lot harder.
Summary: China will have to go balls out in a withering hellstorm of missiles, bullets, and artillery shells to get on Taiwan, and their only operational thesis will be: destruction. If they do it, they must win or it's curtains for China. From a maneuver standpoint, they have a simple task but it is fraught with danger, and their only hope is subterfuge, surprise, and security (political and technological ass-covering).
It's some really insightful and interesting analysis.

* * *

I got the front wheel put back on the bike. Of course, rain is predicted for the next three days, but after that it's cool and dry weather for the following week. So I just have to wait a few more days.

I do not expect to get the grass cut before this weekend, though. I guess I should have cut it this past weekend after all. *sigh*

* * *

We've been watching Squid Game on Nutzfuuz. I can't stand the main character. Legendary fuck-up.

The story is pretty interesting, though.

* * *

I absolutely love this:

* * *

Anyway, that's it for Tuesday. Tomorrow I have PT after work, and we'll see if they want to do more, or if that's enough. What I do know is that I was able to work on the Jeep on Sunday, and then the bike tonight, without my back hurting so much that I yelped when I'd get up.

Mild stiffness, maybe a little achiness. I'll take it.

#7854: Ominous creaking noises

Let's start with Southwest Airlines having to cancel a screaming fuckton of flights because they can't get pilots to fly planes.

It was rumor this morning but they've confirmed that the flights are being canceled because a "worker shortage". Employees are using up their sick time and such ahead of the cutoff date in November, when people who haven't taken the vaccine will be laid off, and so the airline can't conduct business.

The thing is, a lot of businesses out there seem to think that they can get along just fine without, you know, the people who actually do the work, which is why they're all gung ho about this "vaccine mandate" crap.

In the movie version of The Right Stuff, there's a scene where John Glenn tells his wife that she doesn't have to talk to the press. The NASA PR guy tries to threaten him: "We might just reconsider the order of flight assignments!"

And the other astronauts surround him and Alan Shepard says dangerously, "Yeah? Who are you gonna get?"

You can't go to the local temp agency for pilots. I'm not even sure you can get flight attendants that way, but I know you can't get pilots that way. Air transport pilots are people with a highly specific skill set, one that can be earned only through literal thousands of hours of flying, and you can't just replace one like you can the guy that runs the fry machine at McDonald's. I mean, I suppose you could, but the FAA would very likely take a dim view of that kind of thing, if the replacement didn't have all his certifications and ratings up to par. (And if he did, why is he unemployed?)

The fact is, it's just not possible. Not just with pilots; but nurses, too, and doctors. And a lot of other kinds of workers. Okay, you're not going to replace the journeyman pipefitter who does all your chemical plant's plumbing work with a guy from Mexico, who you only need to pay minimum wage--I mean, again, you can do that, certainly, but you won't get the kind of quality work you got from the guy he replaced.

If the people with the skills don't show up for work, the work doesn't get done, and you're a fool if you think you can pay someone fifty bucks a day to take up the slack.

Reportedly, Amtrak employees are doing the same.

Same vein: Left wing moron thinks that Mountain Dew is made by democrats. If the shit hits the fan, if the Boogaloo starts up--pick your metaphor--it is not going to be red areas that suffer the most. Take another look at the electoral map and try to figure out how much food, energy, and other supplies pass through the vast red areas, between the tiny islands of blue that are the major cities.

Meanwhile, Seattle looks to lose about forty percent of its cops. Forty percent of a thousand-man force is four hundred. How are the streets of Seattle going to look when they lose more than a third of their police?

Bayou Renaissance Man has a great post about this, too. And he says this:
Another friend who's a long-haul trucker (an owner/operator) told me over the weekend that "thousands" of drivers are now refusing to schedule loads to states that are imposing, or will soon impose, COVID vaccination mandates on transport workers (including some of the biggest states in the country, like New York and California). He says he's personally been "begged" by several customers who are "desperate" for drivers. He claims they've even offered him significant sums of money to get the jab so he can drive their cargoes; but he's having none of it, thanks to the widely-reported incidence of problems with the vaccines (well over 500,000 so far in the USA alone). He says it helps that the backlog of freight is so great that he can pick and choose which loads he carries, and which he rejects.

He also told me that many drivers for the big trucking companies are getting more and more adamant with their bosses that if they insist on vaccination, they're going to walk out, and go to work for companies in states that have greater respect for their right to choose. Given the current shortage of drivers (about a 60,000 shortfall since 2019 and rapidly getting worse, particularly in the light of current supply chain problems), he doesn't think they'll have much trouble finding work. Meanwhile, states that have imposed mandates for truck drivers to be vaccinated are said to be already finding incoming truck traffic dropping off significantly - to the distress of businesses there, which can't get their orders in on time or in sufficient quantity.
Trains carry a lot of freight, but trucks carry that freight to and from the train tracks. If you don't have people driving the trucks, NOTHING MOVES. Okay? NOTHING.

Over at Bustednuckles we are asked, "Can You Sense The Panic Yet?" Oh yeah. I sure can. He says what I just said:
Make no mistake, this Airline stuff is Very. Serious. Business.

The Airlines themselves will go bankrupt toot sweet if they can't keep their planes in the air and you don't just run down to the local Home Depot parking lot and hire a crew of illegals for a day job to replace a bunch of fucking Airline Pilots.
A lot more pithy, but it's the same sentiment.

The military is apparently not on board, either.

* * *

Mitch McConnell is hauling out the "Well, even if we did undo the election, it would be a disaster for the country" bullshit. Oh, it'll destabilize the nation, so it's imperative that we just let the democrats get away with stealing elections. What fatuous nonsense! The only thing McConnell is afraid of is that he might end up in jail.

* * *

The Chinese bond market is coming apart at the seams. It's starting in real estate but it's not going to be limited to real estate, no matter how hard the leftists wish it will.

The chinese government can't emit "stimulus" to fix anything because the price of energy in China is already driving immense inflation; you dump "helicopter money" on top of that and the yuan will hyperinflate faster than you can say "Mao's Little Book of Toilet Paper".

The housing market coming apart, on top of their energy crisis and the global trade slowdown--I don't know if anyone is thinking about this, but if the stuff doesn't get shipped from China, it doesn't get them any money, and there is a lot of merchandise sitting in containers in chinese ports waiting for a ship to carry them overseas.

...and the Chinese are making noises like they're going to try to take Taiwan. It's fine if they piss off America, but if they piss off Japan and Australia and Korea and-and-and...?

* * *

Yes, this is the ultimate way to remove rust and I'd sure like one, myself.

* * *

The "Bond. Woke Bond" movie is a flop. As expected.

In similar news, Superman is now bisexual and is going to have a gay fling with a male reporter. What's his name, Louis Lane?

* * *

HAHAHAHAHA "Louis Lane" that's HILARIOUS--

#7853: Oh man, I hate drum brakes

But I got it done.

I hied meself out to the driveway and tore apart the passenger side, and saw why they were sticking and going "clunk". Which is to say, there was no one obvious reason except for the fact that the retaining hardware was shot.

Disassembly went very easily. From watching a YotsuTub video, by a guy who finds abandoned cars and brings them to life and tries to drive them home, I learned that the easiest damned way to get drum springs off is to lock onto them with vise grips and then you just muscle 'em off. And it works for getting them on, too, and that was the easiest damned time I ever had with the main return springs for drum brakes on any car, ever, in my life.

Went to the cabinet for the new shoes--oh, these are old shoes for the Toyota; I guess I need to go get shoes after all. No problem.

Got to the store, told the lady what I needed: "I need a set of rear brake shoes for a 2000 Cherokee, with 9-inch brakes." She tapped away at the computer and then asked, "Is it the 2.5 inch or the 2.51 inch?"

Me: "I have owned this truck for fourteen years and this has never been an issue before! It's a hundredth of an inch--give me the smaller ones."

"Well, they might be different--the mounting holes, or...."

So I, now pissed off, went home and got the freaking brake shoes that I'd taken off the truck, and drove back to the parts store. I made her take both sets out of their boxes so I could compare them to the shoes I had, and guess what the difference was between them?

NOT A FUCKING THING. Other, I suppose, than 0.01", but I'm skeptical about that, too. I should have brought my calipers with me and checked.

Anyway, got home and dove back in. Getting the new retaining springs and retainers in place was a ROYAL PAIN IN THE ASS and I had to do the passenger side a couple of times to get everything put back together right. But once it was done, and everything was right, I was able to put the drum back on, and that side was done.

The driver's side took a fraction of the time, because now I wasn't learning how to do these brakes. I mean, FFS, when was the last time I even looked at these brakes? February of 2017, that's the last time I had the brake drums off. So when I did the right side, I was re-learning how to do Jeep rear brakes.

I had the same problems with the retainers, of course, but after that the driver's side went together zip zip zip and I was able to button everything up.

Torqued wheels to spec, took a quick trip down the block and back--can't feel any difference, but the clunk is gone. Probably give her a few days to bed in and they'll feel fine.

I figure that if these rear shoes last only half as long as the previous set did, I am never doing rear brakes on this Jeep ever again. Half of a hundred and seventeen is fifty-eight thousand, and I've been averaging about 10k per year, and in six years if I don't do anything this Jeep will be a pile of rust that will still start and drive reliably, but there won't be anywhere for the driver to sit....

The next job I need to do is to flush the heater core. I will probably replace the heater hoses at the same time. That can wait a week or two.

* * *

The nice thing is, my back hurts a little bit. Not nearly as much as it would have before the physical therapy. Mainly I feel stiff, though, which is a lot better than hurting like crazy and leaving me unable to stand up straight.

I am, of course, covered in grime. Drum brakes in particular make you really dirty when you try to service them. So I'm going to have to get a shower before bed.


* * *

What I did not get done was to put the motorcycle back together. Having had a drink and relaxed a little, though, I actually feel as if I could go back out to the garage and do that...but I don't think I will. Why push my luck? I'll try to get the grass cut tomorrow, if it's not raining, and if I'm feeling plucky I can reassemble the bike after that. And if it is raining, then put the bike together. What the hey.

* * *

Weird thing: the weather report on Friday had a "special weather bulletin" tag, so I looked at it, and it said that there was the potential for "skinny funnel clouds".

That is something I have never heard of, ever. I've lived in the midwest my entire life, and when I was in grade school I briefly got into studying meteorology, and I have never, never ever heard of "skinny funnel clouds".

Apparently these are funnel clouds which form and almost never get closer than 200 feet to the ground, except for extremely rare occasions. They're not really dangerous. But this is the first time I've ever heard of them (not to put too fine a point on it).

* * *

Anyway, I need to go see about a pizza for dinner, and before I can go pick up a pizza I need to get that shower. Off I go.

#7852: Sure, it's just horse medicine, right?

Then why is congress, and staffers, and their families exempted from having to get the vaccine, and are getting Ivermectin?

I am not surprised. The elites' insistence that 100% vaccination of the non-exempt population is the only way to stop the not-plague is a clue. The total media blackout on the effectiveness of Ivermectin in places like India, the "horse paste" stories, and all the ascientific stories about how dangerous it is to use a drug off-label, all that's another. The revelation that the elites themselves are using Ivermectin to keep themselves from succumbing to the disease, though--it's not surprising, but it's damning.

In Indonesia, the new infection rate had gone asymptotic, so they authorized the use of Ivermectin. Just guess what happened next.

That's right! Millions of people died of Ivermectin poisoning Once the people were given Ivermectin, the new case rate began to drop as steeply as it had risen.

India and Indonesia, faced with a staggering number of new cases, threw a hail mary and tried Ivermectin--and it worked. The progress of the spread of the disease through the population was halted by handing each person about $5 worth of drugs.

I honestly don't know what the hell to think about any of this any longer. The profit motive is still enough, by itself--three hundred million people each getting at least one shot each, billed at $50 per head, that is an enormous amount of money--so I think those folks who ascribe more monstrous motives to all this are probably overly paranoid. (But only "probably".)

By "monstrous" I mean population reduction, or destruction of peoples' immune systems so that they must get a booster shot every year, or anything that involves the permanent alteration of a large number of people's medical conditions. I do not mean "vaccine passports" or other control methods, because I do believe that the left wants something very much like that in order to force the people to do what they want. ("You must be vaccinated to work. If you want to be vaccinated, you must give up your firearms.")

The pharma companies want the profits that come from vaccines for which they bear no legal responsibility if they either don't work, or are worse than the disease. The government wants the control that comes from mandating vaccinations and telling people what they may or may not do, based on whether or not they've been vaccinated; and further, "vaccine passports", because they provide a handy way to track everyone's movements, and may even allow the government to "shut off" people they find inconvenient.

There is nothing else needed. Just money and power.

Absent any other issues, this wouldn't really be all that much of a problem. I mean, if the vaccine didn't really do anything, but also didn't hurt anyone, that wouldn't be such a big deal--at least, not compared to what is actually happening. Sure, the government is lying to us, but what's new about that? That's not new, and it's not confined solely to the Potempkin Plague.

But the problem is that the vaccine is killing people, or ruining their health--a minority, true, but having vaccinated some hundreds of millions of people, the adverse reactions have affected a significant number of people--tens, if not hundreds, of thousands. And these cases are swept under the rug, unlike the Swine Flu epidemic of the 1970s, when the vaccinations were stopped after a literal handful of adverse reactions.

The vaccine doesn't vaccinate. It does not prevent transmission of the thing. It does not keep the vaccinated from contracting the thing. It's further been discovered that when you get the thing after being vaccinated, your viral load is the same as for an unvaccinated person, meaning that the antibodies that the body generates in response to the vaccine don't do anything about the infection. That means that "the vaccine reduces your chances of a severe infection" is bullshit. Quite literally, the vaccine does not do anything that an injection of saline solution would not do...except for one thing: Antibody Dependent Enhancement seems to make sure that anyone who's had the shot is more susceptible to the Coof. The new case rate in highly vaccinated areas dwarfs the new case rate in unvaccinated areas.

So, as I say, the left wants money and power, and that's enough motivation for all ths shit. It may or may not be the whole reason, but that's enough.

* * *

And by the way? Over in Africa, where everyone is routinely given hydroxychloroquine because of the prevalence of malaria, the infection rate is vanishingly low. You haven't heard about how it's ravaging the poor black people in Africa because it is not ravaging the poor black people in Africa.

* * *

Big Country Expat talks about air traffic controllers in Jacksonville, Florida, walking out because of the vaccine mandate. 650 flights cancelled.
I had a commenter FROM the Air Traffic Controllers union who pretty much said that 60% of ATCs said BFYTW about the NottaVaxx. So, Background checking and sure as shit

A metric fuckton of cancelled flights on the board.

That right there is going to HURT a lot of the 'recovery' that the Glorious and Harmonious P&PBUH Orifice of The (p)Resident, The Dementor-in-Chief, Emperor Poopypants the First, Chief Executive of the Kidsmeller Pursuivant, Good Ole Slo Xi-Den has been touting.
It won't hurt that much--not one night's worth of flights--but the the simple fact is that people are quitting their jobs--or being fired--rather than take the shot.

One thing that I've noticed is that the media is trying to sell the story that although people are saying they'd quit before taking the shot, they're not quitting.

Well, of course they're not quitting. THEY ARE BEING FIRED.

...but there are places where people are quitting, and those stories are being very, very carefully ignored by the media. Nothing must get in the way of everyone being vaccinated. Because reasons.

* * *

Which is not to say that I would utterly reject the "monstrous" uses of the vaccine; but there's no proof that that is the case. The more extreme the claim, the more I need to see evidence that it's probable, before I can accept it. In that, I'm no different than anyone elese is. And as I said "money and power" are more than enough reason by themselves.

* * *

...the second half of that BCE post, though, discusses what happened when computer researchers let loose an AI program and it turned into Jim Crow. "The black race," the AI said, among other things, "is a plague upon the world."


I don't think that's "programmer bias"; I think that's something else, though I for damned sure don't know what. The system in question was not connected to the Internet and its training input was carefully curated, yet it came to this conclusion, for some reason. The problem, I think, is that AI is based on machine learning.

Let me give another example why that's a problem.

There was some experimentation done with field-programmable gate arrays and machine learning. They set up a genetic algorithm to allow the circuit to evolve to solve a certain problem. After running through a bunch of iterations they finally got a circuit which did what they wanted it to do, reliably.

The "logic" of the programming of the FPGA was virtually nonsensical to the people who were running the experiment, but when they fed inputs into the circuit, it reliably produced the desired output, every time. The most peculiar part was that there was a little node of gates off to the side, not connected to anything, but programmed; if they shut those gates off, the circuit stopped working, even though they weren't doing anything. Turn them back on, it worked fine.

When they tried to apply the generated program for the FPGA to a different chip of the same model number, it also didn't work. But if they ran the same genetic programming algorithm, eventually the other FPGA produced the desired outputs, though with a different program than the first one. The programs had evolved such that they would work only on the particular FPGA on which they'd been generated, due to manufacturing variations and such.

This is the problem with machine learning: you can't control what the machine learns, and what it does with what it learns. Trying to develop a universal program for an FPGA to perform a specific function, using machine learning, programs that specific FPGA to do it, but it's not portable. Giving an AI access to all the statistics and data available, it concludes that one race is a scourge on the Earth and must be eliminated.

The point is that when you start running learning and genetic algorithms, you take human hands off the process and it runs automatically. "There aren't enough man-hours in the world," etc. It's just a stupid machine, and it doesn't know things like "all men are created equal" or "God loves everyone" or anything of the sort. (Also, people working at universities tend to be people who reject notions like those, anyway, and disregard them as unimportant.) How do you program a machine with humanity?

So, let a computer tiptoe through the statistics, and it'll come up with surefire ways to horrify just about everyone.

* * *

Speaking of racism, leftism, and black people--

Brickmuppet lays out just how modern society has failed black people.

No, really. It's another example of "the soft racism of diminished expectations" except that it's not "soft" racism. It's just as pernicious and evil as any other sort, the idea that blacks simply cannot help themselves...but it serves a purpose.

Calm down! I did not say it serves a good purpose.

The thing is, if you wanted to crush a people--without actually going out and shooting them dead in job lots--you could hardly do a better job of it than by simply lowering your expectations for their performance, giving them a pass on basic responsibility, and letting them get away with bad behavior.

I want to call attention, specifically, to this paragraph:
One of the advantages to being a southern history buff is that Sons of Confederate Veterans of all people is made up of history enthusiasts who look at the history of our misguided ancestors 'warts and all'. We've had this conversation with the racists who try to enter our spaces. You see, in the 1950's and early '60s African American students were, (despite the poorer physical condition of their schools) on a par with and not infrequently outscored white students on the standardized tests that were then required in the south to matriculate from primary school to junior high school and into high school. This was partly a product of the fact that African American families pushed their kids to learn in much the same way as Jewish and Asian families are thought to do today. Additionally, the segregation of the age, while certainly abominable, did mean that the Black teachers, were teaching black students and pushing them hard. One result of this can be seen by reading Letter From a Birmingham Jail by the late Dr. Martin Luther King. This historic document used to be required reading in the freshman year of high school. It was favored as a teaching tool not just because of its eloquence in expressing Dr. King's message of racial tolerance and human dignity, but because it teaches modern readers a lesson in cross referencing. King references, amongst other things, the Bhagavad Gita in reference to Gandhi's then recent struggles in India, and the whole thing is written at such a level that the text is, today considered too advanced for freshmen...in college. However, King wrote this for and got it published as a letter to the editor in an African American paper. It was written at, what was at the time, a SIXTH GRADE READING LEVEL..among black students in 1963.
Remember the "Corn Pop" fiasco during the election? People were talking about how fake that story was because why would a black gang call themselves "The Romans"? But this is what I was talking about when I defended the possibility. Gangs in the early 1960s were not like the gangs of today. Their members dropped out of schools that actually educated people, for one thing, and so they absorbed at least some basic knowledge before they dropped out.

Here's what I said in that post:
Biden's tale about facing down "Corn Pop" in 1962 may actually be more true than not. To be honest, the skepticism leveled at the story seemed too present-centric.

No, really: the past is a foreign country, 1962 was fifty-seven years ago, and gangs have changed rather significantly in that time. It felt, to me, as if it were plausible--the guy could have been called "CornPop"--it sounded reasonable to me. The gang could have been called "The Romans", especially considering that anyone who was of adult age in 1962 probably got more education before dropping out of high school than kids today who graduate from high school as class valedictorian.

Ultimately, no one cares, but I wasn't skeptical of his story because the antagonist in it did not resemble a gang leader from 2019, or because the name of the gang was something literate.
I've emphasized the salient bit.

Brickmuppet says:
The "Woke" in particular cannot abide the truth of prior African American academic excellence because the problems with present day African American academics are the result of catastrophic cultural changes that happened very rapidly and mostly after 1968, including, but not limited to, the devastation of black families through divorce and out of wedlock births leading to the sudden ubiquity of single motherhood in that community.

So the idea that asking for academic achievement is racist is deeply flawed, and if ones goal is greater African American participation at the higher levels of society, one should look at the root causes, which are cultural in nature and better handled through black churches and institutions and not through holding back others "so the poor blacks can catch up" which only serves to power up resentment, and reinforce the most evil and racist of stereotypes.
All of this is true. The problem is, the educational establishment is no longer about making sure people can read, write, cipher, and think.

What the democrat party has done to blacks since the 1960s is nothing more or less than making sure they stay on the plantation. The party of slavery and the KKK and Jim Crow has consistently worked to make sure blacks have no choice but to vote for them, and only them, in order to keep themselves fed and sheltered. If you doubt this, then look at what happens any time a prominent black person dares to speak out against the status quo. Larry Elder--a black man running against Gavin Newsom in the California recall election--was pilloried as being a white supremecist for his views. A black man.

If you look at the history of the so-called "black power" movement, you find that the movement is just another communist front. Their goals have never been about black people becoming self-sufficient individuals; they've always been about making the black race into a power bloc that is subservient to the left. "Self-determination" is not about blacks being able to decide for themselves what they want to do, but about the black race being able to demand concessions from the political parties in order for them to vote a certain way. It's collectivism, not individualism.

But you can't control people who stubbornly insist on thinking for themselves. And what better way to control someone than to make him utterly dependent on government handouts? To promulgate the notion that getting an education is "acting white", that the expectation that people get an education and make something useful of themselves is "racism", is the surest way to ensure that they cannot do for themsleves, that they are dependent on what the government can do for them.

I'm going to let Brickmuppet have the last word on this.
The "Woke" in particular cannot abide the truth of prior African American academic excellence because the problems with present day African American academics are the result of catastrophic cultural changes that happened very rapidly and mostly after 1968, including, but not limited to, the devastation of black families through divorce and out of wedlock births leading to the sudden ubiquity of single motherhood in that community.

So the idea that asking for academic achievement is racist is deeply flawed, and if ones goal is greater African American participation at the higher levels of society, one should look at the root causes, which are cultural in nature and better handled through black churches and institutions and not through holding back others "so the poor blacks can catch up" which only serves to power up resentment, and reinforce the most evil and racist of stereotypes.
* * *

As for me, I've been sitting here for a couple of hours, now, working on this post, and not in the driveway where the Jeep waits patiently for a rear brake job.

I'd better get moving.

#7851: One of the epic quotes

I don't even remember when I said it, but it was about those idiots who soak tampons with vodka and then insert them into their rectums, with the intent of getting drunk:


I could do a search for the post, but that's all effort-y and shit.

* * *

I came across a reference to that post in a post from February or March 2012, and I was reading those posts because I wanted to refresh my memory about why I replaced both brake cylinders. Turned out both of them were leaking, one (much) worse than the other.