June 13th, 2017

#5664: Voyage of the SS Trofim Lysenko postponed due to climate change

That dang global warming made too much arctic ice last winter. Research vessel S.S. Begging The Question was being escorted by icebreaker CCGS Amundsen, but Amundsen was needed to assist some ships pass through ice in the Strait of Belle Isle.

There's too much ice in the Arctic for it to be navigable, even as we're approaching the boreal summer solstice, and global warming researchers blame it on global warming. Of course.

* * *

"Battle of the bulge is global, and experts blame junk food and kid-aimed food ads." That's because the "experts" are passing the buck and not accepting responsibility for telling us, over the past four decades, to:
1) substitute vegetable oils for saturated fats
2) Use margarine instead of butter
3) Eat the leanest possible cuts of meat
4) Reduce fat intake to bare minimum and eat carbohydrates
1) wasn't so bad, although vegetable oils turn out not to be as good for you as saturated fats are. 2) was bad because the process of hydrogenating vegetable oil produces trans-fats, which are the worst fats for you. 3) leads you to eat more because it takes more food to sate your appetite; and 4) raises the glycemic index, which leads to obesity and diabetes.

Prior to all this nonsense, the "experts" told us to limit our carbohydrate intake if we didn't want to get fat, and that turns out to be the best course. Regardless, the food industry continues to push "low fat" foods, and the only way to make low fat food taste good is to liberally dose it with fast carbohydrates, which in turn make you fat and diabetic.

It's not junk food; it's junk science which is to blame.

* * *

A proper Christian response to an injustice.
It is not me they hate, or, at least, not me for my own sake. It is Christ. I am not their judge. I have no authority over them. I cannot shed the unwelcome light to make them see their own corruption. He is. He has. He can.
* * *

Vox Day blockquotes the Guardian, which apparently can get it right once in a while, like a stopped clock. The article in question is how the financial sector stuffed their handling of the 2008 financial crisis, choosing to believe their models rather than face reality.

* * *

Last night's ep of American Gods was highly annoying. An entire episode wasted on explaining how Sweeney the Leprechaun got to America from Ireland. That wouldn't be so bad, but the music selected for the episode was a melange of 1950s rock'n'roll, played much louder than the dialogue and overlaying events taking place in the 17th century. They literally spent an hour on it, telling the tale at a glacial pace.

That wouldn't be a problem if there were a decent number of episodes in the season. You know, maybe a full cour of 13 episodes? Or maybe a double cour of 26? But there are eight eps in the first season--eight!--and the producers chose to waste 12% of their screen time this season on--on what?

Telling the tale of an irish girl who is transported to America, lives a reasonably long time, and dies. But she's why Sweeney the Leprechaun is in America! Sweeney himself appears for a total of five minutes in the entire forty-minute sequence, and there is nothing in that time frame which furthers the plot or even lends any character development whatsoever.

It was a truly boring and annoying episode, which is really unusual for this series. Hope it doesn't become a habit.

#5665: AH! That's why.

Today it is murderously hot outside. Hotter than yesterday, which was hotter than Sunday. Hot as in "WTF I thought I lived in a temperate zone, not the tropics!"

Just now looked at the weather site, saw the temperature at 93°, and said, "No f-ing way," until I saw the dew point: 72°.

"Ah!" I said. "That's why!"

As they say, it's not the heat; it's the humidity.

They're saying that next week it'll be ten degrees cooler. This, by the way, is why Americans need electricity to be as cheap as possible; you can live without AC in summertime but it sure gets unpleasant fast.

* * *

Last night we ordered pizza from Chicago Dough Company. It's the best pizza in the area, bar none, and their deep dish is amazing, lots of cheese and a really great sauce. I hied myself out to pick it up.

Got there, pizza was just out of the oven; brought it home, opened it up...pepperoni, jalapeno, and spinach...?

"This is not what I ordered," Mrs. Fungus said.

Who the fuck orders pepperoni, jalapeno, and spinach pizza? What is wrong with you people??

She called them, they said "Keep that one and we'll get you one the right way," so I ate a couple bites of that weird-ass pizza to stave off impending hypoglycemia and then went out again for pizza. Although I'd picked off the jalapenos from the three bites I ate, my mouth burned almost all the way to the parlor.

The correct pizza was extra-tasty by comparison, made with sensible toppings: sausage, green pepper, and bacon. I could have eaten the incorrect pizza had it not been for the jalapenos, but thanks to having to avoid spicy foods during my twenties I lost most of my conditioning for spicy foods. I used to eat pepperoncini out of the jar, but even those are too hot for me now. Jalapenos are right out.

And if I eat too many jalapenos, twelve hours later I want to repurpose fudgsicles as suppositories...and that's the pleasant part of the resulting explosion.

They do not agree with me. That pizza went into the trash.

So today--having run my errands--I'm eating leftover pizza and trying to cool off, because by habit I set the thermostat at 77° during the day. The computer room runs a bit warmer, but a fan helps me stay comfortable. We crank it down to 74° at bedtime so we can sleep comfortably.

* * *

Picked up the bearings for the bike's rear wheel. After the heat of the day has broken I'll probably try installing them and see how I do. Also, I still have to swap out the Jeep's serpentine belt. But that's later, after things cool off a bit. It's too hot outside to do anything: the heat index has hit 100°.

* * *

AND the power just failed. Perfect timing!

#5666: Power restored--no, it's off--no, it's on

Let's start with a discussion of the true cost of "renewable" energy.
The cost of renewables is assessed without regard for the fact that renewables are intermittent and unpredictable. Sometimes the sun shines, some times it does not, sometimes the wind blows, sometimes it does not, sometimes it blows too hard and the windmills must shut down. This creates a burden on the grid, and the need for backup power, and this backup power and grid load is not costed or funded.
...which is why two things are true: 1) wind power actually provides about 20% of its rated capacity, such that a 500 megawatt wind farm actually produces 100 megawatts. 2) Backup power typically takes the form of natural gas-fired plants, which actually emit more carbon dioxide when idle than when they're not--with the result that windmill power actually results in higher carbon emissions than simply using natural gas!

And higher energy prices.

* * *

You're an asshole, you bald-headed bitch. Stupid antifa "girl" with a shaved head hit a police horse in the neck "using a wooden pole with a nail sticking out of it."

What a contemptible piece of shit this person is, and by extension the movement "she" supports.

* * *

Ah, weather radio just scared the crap out of me: severe thunderstorm warning. Wonder if that's why the power got wonky?

* * *

An epic, foul-mouthed rant on electronics coming with cheap Chinese batteries.
...[Y]ou cheap bean-counting shitstains on a good company, try shipping Duracell, Energizer, or even Panasonic or Maxell/Hitachi name-brand batteries (perhaps you fuckwits have heard of them?), and tell the Who Flung Poo Asstastic Battery Company to pound their cheap worthless trash right back up the ass of the yak that shat it out before you bought them by the metric fuckton, and shipped them out in your products.
I've never had the kind of experience he's talking about, but I know what he means.

* * *

Illinois is so utterly boned.
There's a budget impasse between the Republican Governor and Democrat legislators that prompted Moody's and S&P to downgrade them to essentially junk bond status. It's important to keep in mind this infighting is not to restore fiscal sobriety. It's to pass a budget that enables the state to continue servicing its debt so that it can borrow more money.
Good little Democrats blame Rauner for the entire problem rather than an eon of Democrat rule, of course.

* * *

I know exactly what this guy is talking about.
It never occurred to them that they were both the beneficiaries of and the caretakers for a fragile legacy, and that an economy where anyone with a pulse who was willing to bust their ass could enjoy a solid middle-class life was a historic anomaly that had to be carefully safeguarded. No, it was all just a well-deserved reward...because of their own industriousness and moral goodness.
* * *

Looking at the weather radar, I see that storms are brewing up all around the bunker but not over the bunker. Just to the south and west. Well, it's not as if it'll really cool things off all that much anyway, not when they're predicting more of the same for tomorrow.

At the end of the Kansas album Somewhere to Elsewhere there's a bonus track, "Geodesic Dome":
I wanna live in a geodesic dome
I wanna live in a geodesic dome
I wanna live in a geodesic dome
I wanna make it my home

It's cold outside, but I don't care
I'll stand outside with my frozen hair
And so on. It's about two repetitions of the chorus and that little bridge piece, not much to it at all; it was something they recorded off-the-cuff without editing or anything. Kerry Livgren sang it.

Today's version:
It's hot outside, but I don't care
I'll sit inside in my underwear
And someone comments at the end of the song, "This instrument is ruined."

Oh well.

#5667: Bearings replaced

Thunderstorms went through, cooling it off, and after the rain I went to the garage to put in the new bearings. It did not take me very long to get the old ones out and the new ones installed.

Before that, I cleared off the top of the old ice box. An assortment of very old bottles filled with mystery liquids--several of them turned out to be either alcoholic beverages, or soft drinks which had fermented. I poured them out on the grass and tossed the bottles.

Two big glass gallon jugs--started to pour one out until I realized it wasn't liquor but some kind of oil. Stopped pouring, got a cat litter bucket, and emptied it in there instead before tossing the jug. Did the same for the other one.

That stuff stinks, but it's clearly very old used motor oil. Thirty years in this garage, on top of an indeterminate time stored elsewhere--it'll get recycled tomorrow or the next day.

All that useless crap dealt with, I turned my attention to the motorcycle's rear wheel, but by the time I'd finished that task I was feeling hypoglycemic, so I went inside and ate leftover pizza. It's not like I can ride the bike, anyway; I can put the rear wheel on tomorrow without causing any trouble for myself.

The bearings that came out of the wheel are...okay. The worst one spun very easily--and made a little noise--and has detectable play in it. I tried cleaning some of the grease out of it and now it's not spinning as easily, but the play is still there; and in a bearing like this one there shouldn't be any play, at least not detectable by feel. The center race will move in and out by at least 1/64", possibly as much as 1/32", which is way too much for a wheel bearing.

The noise it made was closer to "dry bearing" noise than "there are all kinds of metal flakes in the races" noise. Now that the grease has been moved around a little bit it's dead quiet, but as I said it's still feeling a touch loose and it still spins pretty easily. It's not a bad bearing; it's just not a good bearing. And these things are cheap enough that if you feel like it needs to be replaced, you should replace it. I mean, I don't have $50 in the set (excluding the superfluous set of bearings which will only fit the front wheel) and now I know I don't have to worry about my wheel bearings for quite a while.

Before I reassemble the bike, though, I want to get some 80-grit sandpaper and hit the brake drum with it. The inner surface of the brake drum feels like glass; it's glazed, probably because at some point the rear brake was dragging. I don't think that happened after I took ownership of the thing; the brake shoes look just fine and show no sign of overheating. Strange that I didn't notice the glazing the last time I had it apart, when I replaced the brake shoes--but then again I was preoccupied with other things at the time.

So I'll get some 80-grit and we'll give that the old college try. Worst case, I take it to a shop and have them turn the glaze off.

Then reassemble, get the chain tensioned properly and get the rear brake adjusted. Once that's done, it's just a matter of getting a new stator. Replace the stator, check for charging. Assuming that fixes it, the final step is to go through a complete maintenance cycle: adjust the clutch and front brake, and change the oil, and-and-and.

Looking forward to that.