February 26th, 2013

#3774: Ahh, goulash is worth the wait.

When I went shopping on Friday I saw that peppers were on sale, so I picked up three medium-sized ones and made goulash for dinner yesterday. I tried not sauteeing the peppers before putting them into the crock pot. Apparently you need to add more salt when you do that, but otherwise it came out just fine. I used a hunk of chuck roast I bought about a year ago (yeesh) but which was just fine since I'd wrapped it correctly before freezing it; and my oh my did that goulash come out tasty.

* * *

Microsoft might end up losing their dominance in office software if they keep up shit like this.

I still use the copy of Word I got with my P3 in 2001, because I like how it works and it does everything I need a word processor to do. I transferred the license from the P3 to my current desktop, and everything is fine. Why would I upgrade? Especially when Microsoft is going to start charging me to transfer licenses?

There are all kinds of word processors out there; you don't have to use Word if you don't want to because everyone knows how to make a Word-compatible .DOC file--so even if people want you to submit something in .DOC format, you don't have to use Word to generate that file.

* * *

A tale of two cows. The last panel of the graphic is particularly telling.

The "fascism" panel is not quite right. In fascism, the state tells you how you must care for the cows, how much milk you must produce per cow, and takes a large percentage of the milk.

* * *

So, Travon Martin:

Turns out if you mix Arizona Watermelon Cocktail with Skittles and dextromethorphan, you get something that tastes sweet and makes you high. It's called "purple drank" and apparently Trayvon Martin was a huge fan of the stuff.

A more in-depth discussion of the issue including the toxicology report that demonstrates Martin was a habitual marajuana user.

* * *

Man is a federal felon for environmental crime. What did he do? Dump radioactive waste in a city reservoir? Release untreated industrial pollutants into a river?

No, he released a dozen mylar balloons filled with helium. As a Valentine's Day tribute to his significant other.

Ace says, emphasis his,
Do you know what you are currently permitted to do? Do you know what you will face a criminal penalty for doing?

You don't. None of us are aware of the myriad laws we're breaking every day, simply by doing things that seem obviously legal but some vicious Marxist bureaucrat somewhere decided to put you in jail for.

And this state of affairs works out perfectly for the Marxists.
Because "ignorance of the law is no excuse" and that way they can put anyone in jail whenever they please.

And your masters have professional police men to keep you in line. And JayG concludes, "Then again, it's not like the rules apply to the Feds anyways, right?"

Right. And the government can now confiscate your property at any time for any reason as long as it can somehow connect it to some sort of criminal activity. "A person with a gun and a government badge asked me to swear in writing that a lie was true today. And when I didn't do what she wanted she simply took my boat and asked me to leave." ...except that she didn't ask him to leave, but ordered him to leave...and if he hadn't left, if he'd insisted on staying, he would have ended up in the hoosegow for "obstruction of justice".

As if "justice" had anything whatsoever to do with that incident. Yeah.

* * *

Vox Day reminds us that Marco Rubio is not eligible to be President of the United States. If the GOP fronts him in 2016, I walk.

...assuming we actually have elections in 2016.

* * *

I love the title of this post: "Vice President Shithead Doesn't Understand the Constitution".

I think "shithead" may be too polite a term.

Look: here is the entirety of the Second Amendment, which guarantees American citizens the right to self-defense:
A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.
That's it, in its entirety. Notice that there is nothing in that egregiously simple sentence which says, "The Constitution does allow the government to conclude that there are certain types of weapons that no one can legally own."

There is plenty in American Constitutional jurisprudence which allows the government to make such conclusions, but none of that is enumerated in the Constitution. That's why the Supreme Court has struck down Washington, D.C.'s ban on firearms ownership, and why it did the same for Chicago's ban. It's why Illinois now faces having to implement some kind of carry law rather than ban it outright. Jurisprudence is malleable. The actual wording of the Constitution is not, absent a long and deliberately difficult amendment process.

* * *

But we are supposed to give up our civil rights to prevent tragedies like this one. JayG points out the salient points of the tragedy:
* Stolen gun
* Drug dealer
* Currently engaged in dealing drugs out of the same apartment where his son lives.
* Napping while in charge of a pre-schooler
* Left a loaded gun unattended where said pre-schooler could find it.
Absolutely it's a horrible tragedy that a 4-year-old has died, but he's dead because his father was a criminal, irresponsible, and negligent. Of the five points JayG makes there, the first two of them are felonies and the last one is illegal in many jurisdictions.

The problem here is not the gun, but the moron in possession of it. It's a crying shame his kid had to pay the price for his father's idiocy.

But it does not justify the elimination of the civil right to self defense.

* * *

Borepatch says that environmentalists objectively hate the poor.

The environmentalists who make policy are rich enough that egregiously high energy prices don't really have any effect on their lifestyles. It doesn't hurt Al Gore when gasoline costs $5 a gallon and jet fuel reaches historic highs, because he's got $300 million in the bank; he's richer than Croesus and can afford it.

But those people down on the other end of the income scale, the ones making minimum wage? They can't afford it when the price of a gallon of gas doubles over the course of four years. Al Gore considers this a good thing: "If gas costs more, people will drive less and the environment will be saved." But he thinks that without considering how that will effect those people, how it changes what they can spend on things other than necessities like housing and food and transportation.

The same situation applies in Europe, where unelected bureaucrats simply making the generation of inexpensive energy impossible. They're placing arbitrary limits on the generation of CO2, based on the prognostications of junk science, and the result is people quite literally freezing to death in their own homes because they cannot afford to heat them.

But the environmentalists don't care about that, not one whit:
environmentalists hate the poor. They hate the elderly. They are pleased to see their fat cat business friends make tons of money on subsidized pie-in-the-sky wind power projects that quadruples the energy bill of senior citizens. They are please to see their ridiculous and evil philosophy close down cheap generation plants, further increasing senior's heating bills. They are please to watch the elderly poor die without so much as a whimper of protest.
"Fat cat business friends" such as Al Gore, I might add.

* * *

Turns out you can put brain cells into "power saver" mode. This will be useful when we need to put people in suspended animation for interstellar travel.

* * *

We got one step closer to making supercapacitors in industrial quantities. This is a good thing, though it's not an energy source; it makes batteries smaller and more energy-dense, which will in turn make all kinds of neat things possible.

Problem: if you have a lot of charge tucked into a small space, and you damage the device holding that charge, KABOOM. Lithium ion batteries are a foretaste of what that can be like.

* * *

Captain...Worf. *sigh*

All the conflicts in Star Trek: The Next Generation that revolved around Worf's ethnicity as a Klingon were overplayed. Part of the problem is how the Federation is always so egalitarian about everything other cultures do...until a particular episode's plot requires that it not be. So when Worf's lover got killed, and he went off and killed the guy who killed her, that was a horrible crime that Captain Picard reluctantly overlooked because it didn't happen where anyone could see and though everyone knew Worf had killed the guy they couldn't prove it, so Captian Picard gave Worf a really stern warning about it and the whole thing was forgotten by the next episode.

In fact the Federation is based on the liberal movement of the 20th century, so naturally no one who writes that nonsense pauses to think about how hypocritical it is. Liberalism can't function without hypocrisy (see the last segment about environmentalism and the poor) and so no one sees anything wrong with the way the definition of "tolerance" changes depending on which culture is driving the conflict in this week's episode--and how politically correct it is. The ep where David Ogden Stiers' character reaches age 60 and has to commit suicide, his actions are laudable because he's old and getting out of the way of the young, and keeping his environmental footprint to a minimum. The ep where the Ferengi try to buy access to a wormhole, they're the scum of the universe because they're interested in profit and it's played for laughs when two of them get stranded on the other side of the galaxy. (Odd how the entirety of Voyager wasn't played for laughs but Was Srs Drama even though much the same thing happened.)

It's why I can't take Star Trek seriously, not in any of its latter day iterations. In the original series, all that stuff was background and existed mainly to provide the setting for an adventure show, Klingons were the bad guys, but they were typical "black hats" and cultural differences weren't explored or even mentioned, at least not most of the time. Once ST:TNG got started it was philosophy, and oh how dramatic it is that Worf must choose between the Klingon way and the Starfleet way....

For Christ's sake, people; it's a TV show.

Enterprise proved that Trekkers/Trekkies/WTF-ever don't want the kind of stories we got from the original series, but the highfalutin' PC liberal horseshit of TNG and Voyager; I don't have a lot of optimism that Captain Worf would be anything but that, wrapped in a veneer of Star Trek whizzbangerly a la Voyager.

* * *

Today, I gave birth to my daughter in a hospital corridor. The nurse who took me to my room afterward tried to comfort me by saying there've been worse incidents; she said that two years ago, a lady gave birth in the parking lot. That was me too. FML Says at the link this post comes to us from France.

France has socialized medicine. You do the math.

* * *

Tomorrow is the last day of February, and I'm not sad to see it end. February and November are the worst months of the year.

I want it to get warm outside so I can ride my motorcycle. I haven't ridden the thing since the first weekend of December; I hope I still remember how.