March 8th, 2016

#5107: If the GOP nominates Romney this year, I vote Democrat.

Romney says, "I can't rule out accepting the nomination."
Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican presidential nominee, refused Sunday to rule out becoming the nominee again this year at a brokered convention, though he insisted he couldn’t imagine that happening.
There is a clear frontrunner right now--Trump--and a clear second, Cruz; there is no way in hell Romney should even be in consideration.

That said, though, if the GOP puts Romney up--Romney, who hasn't run, hasn't campaigned, and hasn't had anyone vote for him--if Romney is nominated, I am going to cast my vote for whoever the Democrats front. Period, full stop.

Karl Denninger writes about this, too:
The Republican Establishment's actions, should they choose to ignore the vote of the people and place upon the Republican Presidential Ticket anyone who did not receive a plurality of the vote in the caucus and primary system, will have declared that we the people can no longer settle our political differences at the ballot box when the soapbox fails to do so.
And he finishes, "I do not wish to see where that may well lead, but if that day comes then it is incumbent upon all of us as citizens to make damn sure that the GOP Establishment is held responsible for the consequences." Damn straight--and I'll make "damn sure" by voting Democrat.

* * *

It turns out that if you adjust the satellite data using a global warming model, global warming appears in the data! You see:
Mears and the Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) crew have been using a climate model to estimate the impact of this time-of-day drift on the satellite measurements.
So if you use a climate model to adjust the data, it shows that global warming is worse than ever!

While we're at it let's go on a SCIENCE ADVENTURE together, where we can explore "the feminist glaciology framework"! This is SCIENCE! at least as much as global warmenation is!

*rolleyes*

* * *

"They made him inevitable." Indeed, the GOP establishment, or GOPe, did exactly that:
Trumpism isn’t merely about unfocused anger – it would be super-convenient to write this off as a temper tantrum that will soon blow over and allow us to get back to the business as usual of ignoring the pleas (which are now demands) to stop the immigration disaster, to address the fallout of free trade, and to stop the useless sacrifice of our sons and daughters in wars we’re too damn gutless to win. But it isn’t. Again and again Republicans promised to solve these problems and yet every single time they’ve lied. Rubio got elected in Florida promising to oppose amnesty then not only fails to do so but stands up with the Democrats and did the exact opposite. And we’re surprised a candidate comes along and points that out?
And if it hadn't been Trump, it might have--would have--been someone else.

* * *

A view from the police state. Cops on drug raids will shoot the dogs solely to "create a psychological position of strength".

Vox Day opines:
The US police are increasingly made up of cowards and bullies who don't have the brains or the steel to succeed in the military. They love dressing up like soldiers and pretending they are soldiers, but they turn into the biggest cowards in the world the moment that a dog barks at them.
Which is why, in a peaceful suburb, you need three cops to deal with a guy who wants to watch a thunderstorm.

* * *

So today, when I got to work, the Jeep's oil pressure was worryingly low.

A couple of times over the past month--when it's been warm, then got very cold--I'd go somewhere in the Jeep and the oil gauge would be pegged at 80. The first time I was just going to the store, and when I left the store it was normal again; the second time I was on my way home from work. Finally giving in to my worry, I pulled off, shut the truck off, pulled the key out, put it in, restarted, and the pressure was normal.

I figured it's just a sensor issue, or something, until today. As I was driving in I noticed that the pressure was lower than normal, hovering on the 50 mark--55 or so is more typical--and when idling in the parking lot at work, it dropped to perhaps 30, the lowest I ever saw it. Not low enough to trigger any warnings, but lower than I've ever seen it.

Oil looked and smelled the same as it did right after I ran the engine, the last time I changed the oil. Normal pressure on the way home, until about the halfway mark, when it dropped to 50 again, and at idle it was down to 30 again. So, it's temperature-related.

So, tomorrow I'm going to give 'er the Rislone treatment and change the oil again, in the hopes that it's just a little thing. Otherwise the Jeep has given absolutely no sign whatsoever of any trouble.

...don't you just know it, I finally get the tire fixed and something else has to crop up. *sigh*

And then I also have to fix the washing machine. Tomorrow is repair day, and I'm going to have fun!

#5108: This is damned awesome.

So, friend of the Fungus STxRynn sent a package to the bunker, which arrived today. It consisted of two items he no longer has any use for: an Arduino Uno and a book explaining how to use it.

To my delight, the Arduino has analog inputs--six of 'em--already on the board; the microcontroller (uC) itself is an ATMEGA328, which actually has eight ADC channels and a temperature sensor. (The chip costs about $1.63 in quantity.) So if I use this to build a soldering station, I don't have to worry about ADC.

I can't stop looking at the Uno. I keep thinking about how much power this has compared to the 68HC11 prototype board I bought in 1994 at the vastly discounted student price of $95. (It might, come to think of it, have cost $68.11 for students, but I don't remember that clearly.) The 68HC11 board had an RS232 interface on it, required a bench power supply of one kind or another, and you had to program it in machine code. This thing runs about $30, connects to your computer via USB (and is also powered that way), and programs in C.

This is going to be so cool. Thanks, STxRynn!

* * *

Not today, though: I have to replace the lower bearing in the washing machine, because it threw the brand new belt on Sunday night, filling the house with the lovely odor of carbonized latex. And I have to get after giving the Jeep the Rislone treatment and changing the oil.

...and I have a cold.

Out of nowhere, yesterday, while talking to customers I noticed that I had begun to sound more adenoidal than usual, and thought, Great, I've caught a cold! On the way home from work things quieted down and drained, but by bedtime last night it was obviously a full-blown case of common rhinitis. Mrs. Fungus observed, "You sound like shit!" And I went to bed with my left nostril plugged, having to blow my nose occasionally to keep from dripping snot on the sheets.

This morning, though--a scant four hours after we retired--suddenly everything was unplugging and I got that fidgity feeling I always get when I'm getting over a cold and my head has begun to drain, but still has the sinus pressure and that "block of wood" feeling.

I have heard of 24-hour flu. I have never heard of a 24-hour cold.

Because of that, I'm skeptical of my sudden recovery, and am waiting for the other shoe to drop; but in the meantime I really have a lot of stuff to get done today, and fortuitously the weather is really warm. So I plan to have something to eat and then get my butt in gear.

* * *

Must we go through this every time? The GOP nominee always going to turn the US into Nazi Germany if he gets elected; we've heard this screed every four years since 1980, for crying out loud. (Probably longer, in fact, but that's how long I've been paying attention.)

* * *

Hypocrisy again. Whenever someone in big business says, "Hey, make me do something I'm not doing!" it's usually because he wants the rules set up so he'll exempted from whatever it is while his competitors have to toe the line. Point being that if this douchebag really thought the minimum wage should be $15 an hour he'd be working hard to make sure no position in the company he chairs paid less than that.

...of course they'd be driven right out of business by their competitors.

* * *

This has bothered me ever since gas stopped being $1.50 a gallon. That is to say, nothing has changed in the oil market; everyone is still pumping at the same rate and demand for oil has not risen. We're still running out of room to store it. So why is the price going up? Because a bunch of banksters bought oil futures instead of bonds.

A couple of years ago, oil was trading at $100 a barrel not because we were running out, but because of artificial scarcity: increased demand against carefully controlled supply led to much higher prices.

* * *

The Obama administration is butthurt because Netanyahu has declined to be snubbed and mistreated by Obama and his cronies.

The White House refused to accommodate Netanyahu's schedule, of course, because the Obama administration has treated him with disdain since 2009. I know this is so because White House National Security Council spokesman Ned Price said, "Reports that we were not able to accommodate the prime minister’s schedule are false."

Netanyahu is a busy man, just like Obama. The conference he was going to attend runs from 3/20 through 3/22, and Obama's boys said they'd be willing to meet with Netanyahu on 3/18. Now, if you're a head of state and you're going abroad to attend a conference, you can probably manage one extra day for meeting another head of state; but having to come two days early, and then do nothing for a day before the conference? No executive schedules his time that way.

* * *

Linked solely so I can quote.
I would just add that to my business cards.

Larry Correia
Screw you. I have a tank.
Hell, who wouldn't?

* * *

It would be nice if I'd written down what size that lower bearing is, for the washing machine. *sigh* Well, I'm pulling it out today, so I can write it down this time, so next year when I have to do this again (assuming I do) I'll just have to look it up.

Still, what a pain.

#5109: Holy crap already

Continuous motion since 2 PM--

Tore apart the washing machine, using lessons learned from the last time I did it. Forgot that I need snap ring pliers, so I'm going to be heading to Harbor Freight in a bit to buy a set; but I have the bearing number now: 6205RS. Asked about more durable options, though I was pretty sure what the answer would be, and I was right: stainless steel can be had at a premium price, and won't last any longer because while it won't rust the water contamination will wash the grease out of the bearing, and then the bearing will die a noisy death, exactly as happened with this one, and the one before it.

As expected.

This one cost me $25 ($25! What does the stainless cost??) because I didn't go to the same store--I went to one closer to home--and won't make that mistake again, either. At that price I won't buy a spare there, but with the part number I can go online and buy it anywhere. Not a problem.

Stopped at the parts store on the way home for oil change supplies. Dumped the Rislone in while still in the parking lot, then took a little drive; once home, I left the Jeep running while I elevated the front end and put it on jack stands, and attended to some other chores; then I drained the oil, and what came out of that engine was black as a pirate's heart, and twice as smelly.

I do not expect oil with two thousand EIGHT HUNDRED miles on it to look like that.

Anyway I drained it all (elevation FTW) and replaced it with good oil, and changed the filter; and when I checked the oil after running the engine, it was clean as a whistle.

And upon reviewing the service log, I find that I've never done this before with this thing. *whimper*

Anyway, stage two is complete; now I must execute stage three: tools.

#5110: WTF, Ace Hardware!

Notice in the last post that I corrected myself? I had the mileage figure wrong; the oil in the Jeep had been in there for a mere 800 miles; it looked like 8,000. Crimony.

Anyway, Mrs. Fungus and I went out to dinner, and on the way back the "check engine" light blinked on. So tomorrow I get to take 'er to a parts store and get the codes read. Argh etc. But all the gauges looked normal and it was "check engine" rather than "check gauges", which tends to indicate a more critical failure.

Probably it's something like the O2 sensor or something. WTF, I have no idea if the O2 sensors have ever been replaced. We'll see.

* * *

Anyway, Ace Hardware:

I discussed, a few days or so ago, the $5 off a $20 purchase card I got from Ace as part of their "Ace Rewards" program. Today, after a run to Harbor Freight and such, I stopped in there on my way home to finally pick up those LED bulbs for the bathroom.

Clerk: "This is only good towards normal priced items. These are on sale."

Me (thinking): Are you fucking kidding me?

What I actually said, "Well, then, never mind! Have a good night!" I grabbed the thing and walked out.

The card did indeed say that: $5 off a $20 purchase of normally-priced merchandise, with the latter part way down in the fine print. I took the card, wadded it up, and threw it into the trash.

Look: every month I get coupons from O'Reilly's auto parts, for $5 off some purchase amount or another. When the Jeep's headlight needed replacing, I ended up paying $7 for it rather than $12 because I had a coupon good for $5 off a $10 purchase. There was no fine print talking about non-sale merchandise or any of that happy horseshit; it says, and I quote:
Cashier Instructions: Go to the Cash Tendered Screen and use the "Scan a Coupon" function to process this coupon before accepting payment from customer. Discard coupon after transaction is complete.
Subject to the usual exclusions, things like clearance merchandise and the like. But I've used these coupons every time I've gotten one, and there has never been an issue about it. Not once.

I don't even mind having to spend $10-$20-$25 to get the $5 off. It doesn't bother me; I understand that the coupon is supposed to be an enticement to get me to spend money in their store and no one's going to give shit away for free. That's fine.

When I went to Harbor Freight to buy a $4 tool, I used a coupon to get a free digital multimeter (admittedly, cheap Chinese junk, but sale price $5) which was offered as a freebie with any purchase so long as you presented the right coupon.

But this horseshit from Ace--sadly they are the closest hardware store to the bunker, and the next nearest one is three times farther away both in space and time, so if I need something now I'll go there; but when they ask about my Ace Rewards card, I'm going to tell them I no longer use it because it's useless to me.

And instead of getting $15 of my money today, Ace got zero.

* * *

Speaking of horseshit: the message I sent to my wife as I was waiting at a stoplight in Indiana, on my way to Harbor Freight:

"How the duck is gas $1.58 in Indiana?" (autocorrect FTW!)

I paid $1.96 last night on my way home from work. It's $1.90 today but it's thirty-eight cents cheaper in Indiana today than it was for me last night, and somehow I doubt that gas just magically dropped almost forty cents a gallon in one day.

Shit does Illinois suck!

* * *

So, parts sit on the counter, with the tools; Mrs. Fungus and I went to Ruben's for some of the best damned Mexican food ever. I love that place, and we don't go often enough; tonight the food was heavenly and we practically rolled out of there. Unless I get some energy from somewhere I'm not reassembling the washer until tomorrow, and I've got to get the Jeep's "check engine" light figured out.

I wanted to sleep tomorrow. For crying out loud, I have a cold!

*sigh*

#5111: For the love of--

Finally managed to get the bearing replaced in the washing machine, threw some stuff in to test it...it got as far as the first spin cycle and then just...quit.

Pulled the front cover back off. Everything looked okay, and when I plugged it back in and pushed down on the latch switch, it started to spin up...but there was a "clicking relay" sound coming from the motor and it wasn't spinning up smoothly. Finally, after a few seconds of this, it stopped again.

Therefore I must've put something back together wrong, or something. It's taking too much power to spin up, which is causing an overheat or overload condition, and the motor switch is helpfully doing its job and keeping the motor from frying itself.

Anyway, tomorrow's another day, I guess. Anyone got a time machine, so I can take a couple days off after my weekend without getting in trouble at work?