June 9th, 2010

#2108: KyoAni promotional vehicles

It looks like most of the vehicles pictured here are plastered with anime-related images in order to promote KyoAni series. Then again, this is hardly a complete gallery of the event.

Still: they show pics of vehicles festooned with characters from Haruhi, Lucky Star, and K-on!, all of which are KyoAni vehicles (heh, pun intended).

The Gawker morons are all coastal liberals (rather than fanbois of any political stripe) so they don't get how cool this actually is.

Anyway, there's a pic of Fate Testarossa (but it's not on a Ferarri Testarossa) and one of a Pikachu-mobile. Photo #6 has Haruhi in the foreground and a Hayate no Gotoku-mobile in the background.

...this makes me want to get a big vinyl wrap of Yuki Nagato put on the Jeep or something. No, wait, I've got it: I'll have Yuki grace the hood of the Fiero.

* * *

(Sure, I will. When I have enough disposable income that I own my own home and don't have to worry about paying my bills. At the rate both I and the economy are progressing, this should be sometime around the year 2079. Maybe I can have a vinyl wrap of Yuki on my coffin.)

* * *

So! It's June 9th now. That means my ebook reader should be delivered in...um...a bit more than four weeks!

Not that I'm eagerly anticipating it or anything. I've only wanted one of these things since I first had a chance to see how they look in person. *sigh*

* * *

Blizzard is updating their server hardware in anticipation of the big upgrade to Cataclysm this autumn, so some of their machines were down for an entire day. (24 hours, I mean.) Some were only down for the regular Tuesday morning maintenance.

So I took the opportunity this morning to create a version of Ormus on Cenarion Circle, a role-playing realm, and I learned that it is exactly the same as being on a PVP or PVE realm. The name rules are not enforced. ("So, your parents knew you would grow up to be a paladin and named you 'Pallyofdoom'? A fine name. Ancient Common, is it?") ("Greetings, Dethfrumabove. Your parents must have hated you.") Chat is straight internet chat with no attempt at role-playing.

Oh well. Seven levels in an hour and a half--I must be learning.

This upgrade means that Aggramar (my regular realm) will be off-line for an entire day sometime in the next few weeks. I'll just have to live with it. The RP Ormus will probably get a few more levels then.

* * *

Serious stuff Posted on the Fiero forum about the economy.

Laffer says 2011 is going to be a baaaad year. (The Laffer, Mr. "VooDoo economics" Laffer. That Laffer, whose economics ended giving us the longest and biggest peacetime expansion of the US economy of all the post-WW2 years.)

Laffer predicts another recession in 2011 because of tax hikes.

* * *

The European economy is facing stagnation and it's not going to help matters one whit. Like I said: circle of dominoes.

* * *

Mom had an appointment with the cardiologist on Tuesday. It seems like I spent my entire afternoon in the car; and I did, just about...and today's going to be more of the same as we've got a crapton of errands to run. And then tomorrow (Thu) starts off bright and early with me taking Mom to the clinic again for more lab tests.

Next week: more appointments. And (probably) the week after.

If I were working full-time how the living hell would I find the time to do all this?

And when will I get my ebook reader? July--and the testing stuff will probably be done by then. *sigh*

#2109: Seen the price of gold lately?

It's usually a bad thing when the price of gold rises and just now it's hit a record.

If gold and the stock market (and other commodity prices besides gold) are going up, that means "inflation" and it's bad. The prices are increasing because the currency used to purchase them isn't holding onto its purchasing power. We've seen this happen in the past year.

If gold goes up when the stock market goes down, it means people are dumping stocks and buying gold, and it's bad. People have lost confidence in the stock market and are trying to protect their net worth, and gold is one of the few things which is nearly always valuable. (There are a few situations where gold would not be valuable; most of those are "end of the world" scenarios and don't bear thinking about.)

If gold goes down in price it's usually a good thing, for anyone but those who invested in gold just before the price began to drop. (And in fact some smart investors will make money on the drop in price as they sell it short, but that's a whole 'nother discussion.)

The price of gold has been high and stayed high for quite a while, and if it's setting records that cannot be a good thing for anyone but those who bought it at $800 per ounce.

* * *

One of Niven's laws is never throw shit at people with guns.

A lawbreaker further compounded his lawbreaking by assaulting a Border Patrol agent, and got shot, and died.

"Mexican President Felipe Calderon said Tuesday that his government 'will use all resources available to protect the rights of Mexican migrants." Mr. Calderon, they may be "migrants" while they're still in Mexico, but once they illegally cross the US border they are CRIMINALS.

"'They killed my little boy and the only thing I ask is for the law' to be applied, said the boy's father, Jesus Hernandez." You're worried about the law, Mr. Hernandez? Let's look at the facts: your son was breaking the law when he was shot, and one of the laws he broke was a pretty major law against assaulting police officers.

Dick's sentiments are NSFW but I agree with them 100%. Fuck a bunch of Mexico.

* * *

Teachers' unions are about power and influence, not about education. I don't need to say that again, do I? (Oh...too late. NVM.)

The ROTC instructor is not represented by the union and his salary comes from the US government--why should he pay union dues? This is horseshit.

* * *

Okay, those of you who are surprised by last night's homework, raise your hands. What? You didn't read the assignment? *sigh* Very well; let's read the first paragraph together.
Part of the health care overhaul due to kick in this September could strip more than 1 million people of their insurance coverage, violating a key goal of President Barack Obama’s reforms.
Now, is anyone surprised that ObamaCare is costing people their private insurance? Raise your hands.

* * *

Thanks to Dennis the Peasant there is yet another new rule: "When Democrats sell out, it's pragmatism. When Republicans are pragmatic, it's a sell out."

* * *

Sarah Palin knocks one out of the park.
...[T]his revelation is further proof that it bodes well to have some sort of executive experience before occupying the Oval Office (as if the painfully slow response to the oil spill, confusion of duties, finger-pointing, lack of preparedness, and inability to grant local government simple requests weren’t proof enough). The current administration may be unaware that it’s the President’s duty, meeting on a CEO-to-CEO level with Hayward, to verify what BP reports. In an interview a few weeks ago with Greta Van Susteren, I noted that based on my experience working with oil execs as an oil regulator and then as a Governor, you must verify what the oil companies claim – because their perception of circumstances and situations dealing with public resources and public trust is not necessarily shared by those who own America’s public resources and trust. I was about run out of town in Alaska for what critics decried at the time as my “playing hardball with Big Oil,” and those same adversaries (both shortsighted Repubs and Dems) continue to this day to try to discredit my administration’s efforts in holding Big Oil accountable to operate ethically and responsibly.

Mr. President: with all due respect, you have to get involved, sir. The priorities and timeline of an oil company are not the same as the public’s. You cannot outsource the cleanup and the responsibility and the trust to BP and expect that the legitimate interests of Americans adversely affected by this spill will somehow be met.
"Some sort of executive experience" was lacking by every major candidate and running mate in the Presidential race of 2008 except for the lovely and talented Ms. Palin.

...I do wish she'd increase the font size of her posts. That's awful fine print there.

* * *

Taco Bell has seriously improved the quality of its taco salad. They added spanish rice to it and made the salsa less sweet. A couple weeks ago I had a hankering for one and Mom was agreeable. On reflex I got a couple cheesy double beef burritos as backup since the salad was never (previously) enough food for me.

...got home, picked off the raw tomato, ate the thing, and needed nothing else.

The taco salad used to be a layer of refried beans, some meat, some lettuce, and then topped with sour cream, green onion, chopped tomato and olives. The salsa was too sweet and the tortilla "bowl" didn't taste good.

They no longer put olives on, and they added (as I said) the spanish rice...and with the improved flavor of the salsa and bowl it's quite literally all good.

As for the burritos...

There are two kinds of cheese that Taco Bell uses. One is regular solid cheese (or cheese-like substance) which is shredded, tastes fine, and has a pleasant cheese texture.

The other is liquid yellow cheese-flavored plastic, and it's nasty. This is what they use on the cheesy double beef burritos.

This wouldn't be a problem if the cheese weren't usually concentrated at one end of the burrito. If it were spread out among the entire burrito fillings, it would be okay. But when you bite into the thing and get a mouthful of tortilla and plastic cheese-flavored goo it's pretty freakin' nauseating. (Oh, did I say "cheese-flavored"? I meant "allegedly cheese-flavored." Sorry about that.)

The cheesy double beef burrito has excellent flavor except for that damn cheese. The beef and spanish rice are good. But do I say "no cheese" and lose all cheese? Or do I say "don't put that plastic goo cheese-shit on there"?

I don't know. Maybe just order something else.

It turns out, though, that you can go to Taco Bell and order just about anything that they have the components to make. It will cost more, but you can do it. So if you want a Taco Salad with beans, rice, meat, lettuce, cheese, and that plastic goo, they'll do it.

* * *

I've been reading the Spice and Wolf light novel and the first anime series--for the most part--seems to follow the book exactly. They made a couple of changes here and there for the anime, but nothing really major.

* * *

So last Friday I get a communication from "The Sisters of St. Francis" or something like that. Apparently they handle the billing and such for the local health care network.

WellGroup Partners grew out of a small general practice office on Lincoln Highway in Chicago Heights. One of the doctors who started it was my doctor, 'way back when, and the thing grew and grew and grew. It used to be "Suburban Heights Medical Center" and they can do just about goddamned everything there except major surgery and advanced diagnostic imaging (MRI etc). Of late the entire medical apparatus of this area seems to be falling under the auspices of the nearest hospital, and so everything we get from the local medical establishment, these days, mentions St. Francis one way or another.

About this time last year I saw the doctor for something. I just checked the blog posts for that time period and found no reference to a doctor's visit, so I have no freakin' clue what it was for. Anyway, the Sisters etc. sent me a refund check for $55 for a doc visit on 6/3/09.

Eh? Who? What?

I remember having to pay my copay twice in one visit, so it might be from that, but--again--I've got no idea why. All I know is, I got this refund check from someone to whom I had never written a check, and had to think far too much about it before realizing WTF was going on.

*sigh*

At least it was a refund, not a bill.