January 4th, 2014

#4084: I could be a Marine now?

WTF, I can do three pull-ups, and I'm a middle aged fat fuck who doesn't exercise!

Karl Denninger comments on the inability of female Marines to do three consecutive pull-ups.

Three is the minimum--if you can't do three, you fail the test. Half of the incoming women can't even do three.

We have an all-volunteer military. There is no draft and hasn't been since the 1970s. The women who are trying to be Marines want to do it, and one would presume that they had been planning to join for at least a month or so before actually signing up. (One can imagine there are a few cases where a women might sign up on a whim, but how frequently does that happen?)

You'd think they'd try to be in some semblance of shape beforehand, you know?

I've kind of lost track of where we are vis-a-vis the whole "women in combat" thing, but the simple fact is that--generally speaking--women are less physically capable than men. Women don't have the upper body strength that men have.

(This will get me labeled as a misogynist and a sexist. Facts generally don't care about peoples' feelings.)

Last night, Mrs. Fungus and I were watching Insidious 2 and there's a scene where a woman desperately tries to fend off a man who is attacking her. She even hits him with a pipe wrench--on the shoulder and side, missing his head--and while the blows stagger him they don't disable him. This is a realistic portrayal of how such a fight would go; the woman lacks the strength to swing the pipe wrench hard enough to disable the man, and he has enough mass in his upper body that her swings can't inflict enough damage to disable him.

At the end of that fight, the guy would have had some serious bruises and perhaps a cracked rib or two, but nothing serious. Now, another man swinging that pipe wrench would have put some serious hurt on him. If the woman had hit him in the head, that would have been the end of it. If the woman had had some kind of martial arts training that would have helped her defeat him, but not guarantee a victory unless the skill differential was severe.

GI Jane is a fine story, but it's almost certainly impossible without the SEALs making some serious alterations to their physical standards. (Sure, it's theoretically possible that a woman could get through SEAL training without a reduction in standards. But it's not bloody likely.)

And lowering the physical standards for soldiers in the name of political correctness is the surest way to reduce the operating effectiveness of the military.

* * *

I'm still gobsmacked over the insanity of the weather forecast for the next couple of days. Snow, tonight and tomorrow, lots of it...and then bitter cold.

I suppose I shouldn't be surprised by it. Back in early November when we had that inch of snow that stuck around overnight, I kind of figured it would be a cold, wet winter--but then I'm the guy who's always skeptical when we have an unusually warm spring week and people say, "Oh, it's going to be a hot summer!" Those people are usually wrong, and I did not make my similar prediction here because I expected that I was wrong.

Well, it's just January. We'll see how the rest of the season goes.

My main aim for the day today is to go get a quart of oil and an oil filter for the Jeep; I have everything else I need to do an oil change, which I really want to do ASAMFP so that it's done and I don't have to do it when it's -11 outside.

* * *

So today I strained the turkey broth and separated out the usable meat from the bones.

Because Mrs. Fungus and I were not as aggressive about eating leftover turkey as we should have been, there was a sizable amount of meat left on the carcass. I went through it and ended up with half a mixing bowl full of turkey shreds, which is going to end up being turkey salad. The cats got two big baits of shreds, fat, and skin, and I threw away about 1.5 lbs of bones that have been depleted of their turkey goodness.

So far, the cats have largely ignored the bounty. On Christmas I put down a bowl of turkey giblets that I'd sauteed in butter, and they ignored that, too. Damn it, if Luna and Ittybit were alive they'd eat this stuff until they couldn't contain any more, then disappear for nine hours while they slept it off.

We have defective cats.

#4085: Well, on the plus side, it was about 3,000 miles since the last one.

Yeah, the last oil change on the Jeep was 12/1/12, which is a bit more than a year since I last did it. But as the title of this post suggests it's been about 3,000 miles, which is supposed to be the service life for petroleum-based oil.

...and of course I am not entirely serious. I should have changed the oil before now, and would have if I'd had the money to do it; but until I got my job in October I simply wasn't driving the Jeep all that much. I was riding the motorcycle almost everywhere, or staying home, and it's hard to justify spending $25 on oil and a filter when you're not using the vehicle very much and you have to scrounge for gas money.

That's changed; and I had occasion to be at Walmart the other day and picked up a 5-quart jug of oil for $15, which is really hard to beat. Today I needed just one more quart (Jeep has a 6-qt sump) and an oil filter to do the job, all of which cost me about $9 from Advance Auto. The second-biggest pain in the ass was getting the oil filter off--after all, it's been on there for thirteen damned months--but I didn't need tools for it because I put my oil filters on the right damned way. I just had to squeeze both hands in there to break it loose, and once I'd turned it through about a revolution and a half I could unscrew it the rest of the way with one hand. (Yes, the gasket came off intact--because I always lube them before installation.)

First biggest: I had to take a leak, so I started the oil draining and went inside the house. When I came back out, there was a puddle next to the oil drain pan where the stream of oil had deflected, either because of wind or the flow properties of the drain in the oil pan. I don't know; it wasn't a lot but it was a mess I had to clean off the garage floor. Argh etc.

Evaluating the noise I hear when in 4WD was beyond the scope of today's project; I would have had to put the thing up on jack stands. But I can slide under the truck without jacking it up, so I was able to try wiggling the front driveshaft and checking how much play it has with the front wheels both engaged and disengaged. It didn't seem excessive either way, which doesn't really tell me anything useful.

Certainly I am not in Og's predicament. Chatting with him last night he told me that he and Partner had tore the front diff out of the Exploder again, because it was making an ungodly noise. I figured it must've been to make him do that job again.

The noise my truck's making might just be me being a big vagina, too. I hardly used 4WD at all last year (just that one March day when it snowed) and I'm using it a hell of a lot more this year. It may be a matter of my having forgotten what it sounds like when 4WD is engaged.

So once I was done with the maintenance, I got out my snow shovel and got rid of the stuff I couldn't blow yesterday because our vehicles were in the way. And as I finished that?

Snowflakes. *sigh*

How's the weather looking?
Tonight
Snow. Snow may be heavy at times. Snow accumulation of 3 to 5 inches. Lows around 20. West winds around 10 mph in the evening shifting to the north after midnight. Chance of precipitation 100 percent.

Sunday
Windy...snow. Areas of blowing snow in the afternoon. Snow accumulation of 2 to 4 inches. Total snow accumulation 5 to 9 inches. Highs around 20. Then temperatures falling into the lower teens by evening. Wind chills as low as 5 below to 15 below zero. North winds 10 to 20 mph increasing to 20 to 30 mph. Gusts up to 35 mph. Chance of precipitation 100 percent.

Sunday Night
Windy...cloudy. Areas of blowing snow. Bitterly cold. Lows 14 to 18 below. Lowest wind chill readings 30 below to 40 below zero after midnight. Northwest winds 20 to 30 mph early in the evening decreasing to 15 to 25 mph in the late evening and overnight. Gusts up to 35 mph.

Monday
Partly cloudy. Areas of blowing snow. Blustery. Very cold with record breaking temperatures likely. Highs 9 to 13 below. Wind chills as low as 35 below to 45 below zero. West winds 15 to 25 mph with gusts up to 30 mph.

Monday Night
Partly cloudy in the evening then clearing. Bitterly cold. Lows 13 to 17 below. Wind chills as low as 30 below to 40 below zero. West winds 10 to 20 mph. Gusts up to 30 mph in the evening.
*heavy sigh*

Well, it's winter. WTF do I expect?