January 18th, 2015

#4539: I wouldn't change a thing.

I know how she feels.

Being there for your parents, helping them in their declining years when they need it is looked down on by our modern society. Especially when it means personal sacrifice.

Even knowing what I know now about how things have shaken out for me after Mom's death, I wouldn't change my decision to be there for her and help her through her last few years on Earth. People look down on you, they think you're lazy, they belittle your decision; when the parent dies and it's hard to make your way back into the workforce people blame you for it, tell you that it's your own damned fault and if you hadn't been so lazy you wouldn't be in this situation. They have no sympathy, neither for the parent nor the caretaker. They may tell you, while you are caring for the parent, that it's good you're there; but after the parent passes on your sacrifice holds no water and makes no difference.

But it matters, and I would not change what I did, because it was the right thing to do.

Elizabeth Scalia reminds us of the importance of human life, though.

Recognizing that it's good that someone exists, though, does not mean that you must allow toxic people in your life; it only means you must acknowledge the good in their existence and pray that they will find surcease from the burdens that make them so toxic in the first place.

It's a hard thing to do, and further it's hard to remember to do it. I've made a habit out of never wishing for anyone's death, no matter how evil they are, but that's about as far as I can go with the worst of us. I don't celebrate the deaths of bad people (Yassir Arafat, for example, or Kim Jong-il) but I usually am satisfied when they're gone--and even that's pretty bad of me.

Ultimately this kind of story makes me realize that I am so very, very far from being good that I--like Ms. Scalia--can only hope for Purgatory, because what I deserve is so much worse.

#4540: No, not really.

Arse Technica, the Global Warming Resource, had this link: " Scientific Method / Science & Exploration
2014 was the hottest year on record globally"
. I saw the headline, chuckled, and didn't even bother, because there's no way in hell 2014 was the hottest year in recorded history let alone hot.

The winter set about a jillion new records for cold. The summer was unusually cool. Spring was late--around here the fields weren't planted until April.

So I knew the article was bunk; it's nothing but climatology, which--here at the Fungus--is synonymous with "bullshit".

And guess what?

Lord Monckton of Brenchley: "2014 NOT warmest year. The graph he presents shows that 2010 was much warmer than 2014 was, and 1998 was even warmer than that...but the trend is flat.

NASA has a 38% confidence figure in their assessment which means they think there's about a 62% chance that they're wrong. I think that's optimistic; I think it's more like 100%....
[NASA's] report said: ‘Numerically, our best estimate for the global temperature of 2014 puts it slightly above (by 0.01C) that of the next warmest year (2010) but by much less than the margin of uncertainty.
In other words, with the margin for error running 0.09°, their "warmest ever" figure is lost in the noise.

The satellite data says 2014 was the third-warmest year out of the 36 years that we have had them. "third-warmest in 36 years" is not "hottest on record", and since it's tied with 2005 and 2010, that would seem to indicate that the "no warming for eighteen years and counting" thing is probably accurate.

And the capper is Watts Up With That's analysis of the report which details the omissions in the report which further highlight why climatology isn't science.

* * *

Warm outside today again. Well, comparatively--40°--and sunny. Snow predicted for Wednesday, and I'll believe it when I see it.

* * *

Apparently Estes has begun to make 29mm engines. They come in packs of two--E16 is the impulse designation--and cost $11 each at regular retail price.

I recall they had some trouble with their 24mm E engines, which they introduced about the time I stopped having anything to do with model rocketry. I don't remember what it was. I do remember that I had a rocket which was designed to be flown with E engines--an Estes rocket--but I don't remember what rocket it was and can't even remember ever building it, though I must have. (I have two LOC Precision rockets with 29mm mounts.)

Let's face it: I got out of model rocketry some twenty years ago. I have not had an itch to take it up again, because the basic parameters haven't changed since then but the BATFE has gotten more powerful and twitchier than ever about private citizens mucking about with rockets. Model rockets still have a very basic flight profile--boost, coast, recover--and any attempt to do anything interesting (such as working with guidance or other control systems) will get you into deep trouble if the feds notice you doing it.

Mind you--it's not illegal to build a rocket with a guidance system so long as you don't use that guidance system to hit a target, but the feds will still make a hell of a lot of trouble for you if you end up being noticed.

Everything else in rocketry is simply too expensive. Big rocket motors cost like the dickens, and the BATFE will come down on you like a load of bricks if you have too many of them and fail to store them to government specification. If you try making your own--forget it, because not only is making a good composite fuel slug difficult, it's expensive and will get you put on all the watch lists because of the chemicals and equipment you have to buy.

There are all kinds of new regulations because of 9/11, and the BATFE is capricious in how it enforces its regulations.

...which is why I have no plans to get back into that: too expensive and too likely to get me in trouble with the feds even if I don't do anything bigger than a D engine--and I've done that already.

* * *

It's that time of year when 2:30 PM is "early evening" and the sun's fixing to set. The day is getting longer, but the daylight hours are also moving around the clock, so sunset comes about 4:30.

We're just past perihelion, so it makes sense--it's when the Earth is moving fastest in its orbit--but it's still kind of depressing. You wake up at 1 PM (after being up until 4 or 5 AM) and daylight is almost over already.

Every season has something to recommend it, though. I have never hated winter the way some people do; though it is the least pleasant season it still has its beauty.

In six months it's going to be bloody hot and humid again and we're all going to be complaining about it, with the same vehemence that we curse the cold. Whee!