May 18th, 2012

#3372: It took them four days to get around to that. Nice.

Got an e-mail this morning; the place I ordered the tire from got around to telling me that it's "no longer available".

They gave me a phone number to call and mentioned "an alternative" but no details about it and no information about whether or not my card was charged.

The bit about the tire being up on their site when it's no longer available--that's fine, that's an honest mistake. Waiting four days to get around to telling me it's not available, and this "call me for more information" thing stinks of "upsell" and I'm not interested in it.

I replied via e-mail to ask if my card had been charged and to request the details of this "alternative".

Anyway, so the delivery truck that I thought I might have missed yesterday (I was ass-deep in D3 and then heard a truck start and drive away) was not delivering anything here, because nothing's been shipped...and my motorcycle ain't getting a new tire before next week.

Thanks, asshats!

* * *

Because of all the "Elizabeth Warren is 1/32 Cherokee" nonsense that's been going on around the Massachusetts Senatorial race, I had a thought:

I own a Jeep Cherokee; by the standards she's applied to claim Cherokee heritage, I can too.

* * *

Incidentally: "Pow Wow Chow"? That title even strikes me as racist, and I still think indian mascots for colleges are fine. It's not her book, but a book she submitted five recipes to under the rubric, "Elizabeth Warren, Cherokee". ("By the standards she's applied to her heritage....")

Worse? There's an allegation that she plagiarized the recipes! Just when I think this woman can't get any more fake she goes and surprises me.

* * *

Wonderduck likes to post rocket test videos on his birthday. I'm gonna do him one better.

Tomorrow--my birthday--SpaceX is launching the first commercial space flight to the ISS Boondoggle. It's my birthday but SpaceX and the crew of the Boondoggle get the present!

...if everything goes correctly.

* * *

Gay groups don't like ban on gay men donating blood because it's "unduly stigmatizing".

Yeah, you know what else is "unduly stigmatizing"? When you get an HIV infection because you needed a blood transfusion, that's what, because THE A-NUMBER ONE RISK GROUP FOR HIV INFECTION is insisting on being allowed to donate blood.

"But we have tests for HIV now!" Those tests are not infallible. They return both false positives and false negatives.
The Gay Men’s Health Crisis does not support such abstinence-based policies because they exclude gay men who are faithful to their partners, Mr. Schaefer said. A better policy could be like that of Spain or Italy, in which all potential donors are asked how many sex partners they have had in the past six months.

Anyone, gay or straight, who says they have had only one partner can donate blood, while others are deferred for a period of time. That would ensure that “high-risk heterosexuals” are deferred too, Mr. Schaefer said.
Oh, so their idea is to limit donations only to people who CLAIM to have had only one sex partner in the past six months. Because of course NOBODY EVER LIES ABOUT SEX!

(Except Bill Clinton. But he had an excuse!)

The "high-risk heterosexuals" they mention here are still at a much lower risk for HIV infection than a so-called "low-risk man who has sex with men". I'm sorry you don't like it, but the statistics are pretty clear on the matter.

As long as gay men (or a man who has sex with men, "MSM") continue to be the dominant risk group for HIV infection they should not be allowed to donate blood. It's just that simple; there's no cure for HIV and it's a fatal disease, so we must do what we can to contain it and the feelings of the primary carrier group BE DAMNED.

I'm not saying "leper outcast unclean", but it used to be that we were able to take sensible precautions to avoid the spread of fatal or disabling diseases; now, because one group has its panties in a wad over hurt feelings, now we have to stop taking an eiminently sensible precaution?

We live in a country where a bureaucrat can shut down a man's business (and fine him thousands of dollars, all without any kind of judicial oversight) because a single cockroach was seen scuttling across his sandwich counter--yet we're not allowed to take measures to limit the risk of infection with a deadly disease? Because gays' feelings are hurt?

I don't care which group it is and I don't care why: if you can stop the spread of disease without shitting on the Constitution, you stop it--and there is no Constitutional right to donate blood.

* * *

What on Earth does the federal government have against raw milk, anyway? I keep hearing these stories about the feds shutting down and arresting people for buying or selling raw milk, and I don't understand what the big deal is.

I mean, in rural areas (heck, maybe even in the Fungal Vale) you can stop at a roadside stand and buy farm-fresh eggs. They haven't been government-inspected, but they're just as edible as the ones you get from the grocery store. I fail to see how raw milk can be worse than eggs.

Of course, if too many people start buying raw milk, there's a whole bunch of federal bureaucrats who will be out of a job. I'll bet that's it.

* * *

Okay, more evidence in the Martin/Zimmerman shooting case.

Trayvon Martin had THC in his bloodstream. Not TCH metabolites but the actual chemical THC which--for those of you who have been in a bomb shelter since the Cuban Missile Crisis--is the active ingredient in marijuana.

Marijuana, which is still illegal in several states and which the feds think is illegal in California.

The distinction between THC and its metabolites is important, because it means Martin was high at the time he attacked Zimmerman. That is to say, he had smoked a joint very recently before the altercation occurred.

Weer'd says the levels were low, which indicates Martin was "sober" at the time. I'm not so sure; the kid weighed 158 lbs and Weer'd doesn't give a concentration. Like alcohol, THC affects different people differently.

Then at AoSHQ, there are two different posts on how Zimmerman's account of the incident have been corroborated by witnesses.

Also Weer'd: here he deals with allegations that Zimmerman shouldn't have gotten out of his car.

He links this page which explains why Martin was not justified in attacking Zimmerman.

* * *

Apparently the banksters in Europe want to force countries like Greece to pay them back. At gunpoint, if need be.

Denninger says this guy's inviting a shooting war--can you argue the point? I sure can't.

* * *

I won't get any sympathy from Pixy Misa for my D3 server woes. On the plus side, I got my copy of D3 for telling Blizzard that I planned to play WoW for at least another year--which I'd intended on anyway--so I'm not out the $60 for the game.

And can buy Torchlight II when it comes out, even though I haven't finished the first one yet.

* * *

WORM takes down John Scalzi.

...I suppose I should look up Scalzi's "reboot" of Little Fuzzy to see if it's as bad as I expect it to be, but I have other things to do which are--y'know--important.

I clicked on WORM's link to Scalzi's post out of curiosity. Most of the comments there verge on fellatio. Big surprise.

* * *

Railroad gauge set by Roman wainwrights. ...this story is apocryphal but it sounds right.

One problem with it comes from the fact that the railroad gauge in the US wasn't standardized before the Civil War at least, and to this day there are still a bunch of weird gauges all over the world. There's two-foot gauge (24") and two-meter gauge and a bunch of weirdies in between, all of which have been used by real working railroads.

(Narrow gauge is useful for tight spaces but damn if the rolling stock doesn't look like a bunch of toys....)

* * *

As for me, I'm going to try to get something done in the garage today, because I feel like it.

I can't do the motorcycle's rear tire, damn it, so I'll have to see if I can get the Fiero fixed.

*sigh*

...but before blogging I took out the chuck roast I defrosted over the past few days, cut it up, and tossed it into the crock pot with a packet of onion soup mix and water. In a few hours I'll add the rest of the ingredients to form tasty beef stroganoff.

The cats, as usual, got the meat scraps I could pare from the fat and bone. First time I ever got a chuck roast with a bone in it, and as I set it aside I thought, "Damn, if I had a dog, he'd be really happy right now!"

Luna bolted hers and looked around for more, but it took her some time to accomplish it. IttyBit ate more slowly but managed to get around it, too, and even though it's now past feeding time I haven't heard a peep out of them for almost three hours. They got bellied up and are sacking it in!

This chunk of chuck roast was extremely well-marbled, and it was tender enough that I could cut it without much effort. In fact I put a 3/4" chunk on the cutting board and pressed down with the knife and it cut it. I've had steaks that weren't that tender. Dang.

...so I'm looking forward to dinner. Oh yeah. But I've got to go buy sour cream before then, and a couple of other errands to run too, so I guess I'd better get moving.

#3373: Son of a bitch: there's a TUBE in there!

I looked--really looked--at the diagram in the factory service manual for the road bike, and the picture in there shows--on a cast aluminum rim!--a tire with an inner tube.

Now, the diagram is of the rear suspension, including the brake drum and such, so there are no callouts for rim, tire, tube, or balancing weights--just the brake shoes, return spring, cam, etc.

So I went out to the garage, loosened the stem nut, took the cap off, pressed down--and showered myself with Fix-a-Flat.

After cleaning up the mess, I tried again, and I'll be switched if that f-ing thing didn't move and spring back--a tell-tale sign that there's an inner tube in the thing.

No wonder I've got a rim leak: the inner tube was punctured by the nail, and the Fix-a-Flat couldn't seal the hole in the tube, and the rim was never intended to have a tubeless tire installed in the first place so of course it's not gas-tight.

So now I've got an unholy mess to clean up, because I'm going to yank the wheel off the bike and patch the inner tube, and I'm going to have to clean the Fix-a-Flat out of the inside of the tire.

*sigh*

On the plus side it means I don't need to buy a new tire. This revelation saved me $95!

I may have to buy a new inner tube, though. We'll see how screwed up the old one is--but it's probably just a matter of patching it, and Fix-a-Flat won't hurt an inner tube any. (Same way it won't hurt a tire. It's just messy and sticky.)

I feel a little better. If I can get Og's tire irons relatively soon maybe I can get this fixed! Maybe make it into a nice little birthday project for myself....