July 2nd, 2019

#6736: Yep, that's a while, all right

I decided to try to find out when it was that the mower needed a new battery. May 11, 2016 was when I decided that it really needed to be replaced, although, "But as you may recall, last year it was getting iffy, and this year I think it's done for. Not a really big problem; I'll get a new one."

Sure. In three years. *sigh* But that's okay.

This morning I got up about an hour earlier than usual, and I took the tractor out and cut the front grass, the north side, and the east 40. I actually cut the front first, then went in and checked the time. It had taken me 15 minutes (about) to cut the front, so I had 45 minutes left before I had to start getting ready for work. Cranked the mower back up and did the east 40 in half an hour. Not bad.

The immediate back yard is still swampy, but it's gotten a lot better.

Meanwhile, the pool is up and full and I checked the chemistry today. It needs more chlorine, so I'm going to toss another couple ounces of shock into it tomorrow before work. And flocculent to draw out the rust.

But it's up and it's ready enough to swim in, though it's still a bit cold. We're supposed to have nice hot weather all week, so that's good.

* * *

The Mustang has some kind of leak; smells like transmission fluid. The Fiero had a problem where the transmission pan bolts would loosen, so every once in a while I'd put her up on jack stands and then torque them down. Something like 8 foot-pounds of torque--not a lot--but the gasket is cork as I recall and those don't take well to super-tight fasteners.

I'll do that with Buttercup, and then top up the transmission with Type F and call it good. Worst case I end up having to replace the gasket, which will be messy and a pain in the ass. The transmission is basically new, according to both the previous owner and the guy who built the car.

I think I need a service manual for this thing. But the engine is a 289 engine with 302 heads and roller rockers; as I recall it's a C3 transmission (the typical Ford RWD 3-speed automatic).

The other thought I had? Finding a shop around here with someone who can tune carbs, and getting it tuned by a pro so that it starts and runs right, and doesn't bang into gear because the idle is too high. That'd be a big plus.

* * *

Watched the last few eps of Man in the High Castle last night so Mrs. Fungus can cancel Prime. There's nothing else we're going to watch on that, at least not until A) they release Ringworld, and B) more eps of Man in the High Castle come out. The way season 3 ended I'm confident there will be more.

...though I have not heard anything about Ringworld since the initial blurbs hit the news, lo these many years ago. However long ago it was. Regardless, not going to waste money waiting for it. When--if--it comes out, I'll get Prime then.

We're still trying to decide if we'll keep Hulu. I've only been watching Fruits Basket on it, sporadically, because my tastes have changed since I first saw it in the early 2000s and I'm no longer impressed by it. Or maybe it's just because the stories have turned into one-trick ponies. "What way can we contrive to have the guys transform into their animal forms this week?" And to make things worse a really annoying character now makes regular appearances. Nothing else there appeals.

Anime on Prime is all well and good but when you're browsing and saying, "I'll put that one on my watch list" it doesn't tell you if you have to buy the eps. No, that doesn't happen until you actually go to watch the thing, and then: "Epsiode 1: $2.99" or some such. Next series! Oh, only $1.99 per ep! PASS. Next--ah, "free with Prime". There we go.

Simplifying our cable TV because we don't use it--and that's fine with me. I told Mrs. Fungus that as far as I was concerned we could drop the whole damned thing and just keep the Internet service; SyFy (or someone) is supposedly doing more eps of The Expanse but that show is "take it or leave it" with me at this point. It's good SF but it develops too slowly and there's too much time between seasons; besides, I still don't know the characters' names. Seriously, the male lead is "Jon Snow in space", the black engineer chick--that's what I call her. The Martian pilot and Hard Guy round out the crew of the Rocinante. I haven't had a reason to learn their names. I lost interest in it.

Bah.

* * *

I've been playing Diablo II here and there over the past week. Made a new character--a druid named Stupid--and bumped his stats a bit so survival wasn't a chore, then started from the very beginning. I've played through the game about a million times, so it's not like it costs me anything to run a cheat toon. Anyway, he's finally made it to the fifth chapter (the mountains) and it's been fun rediscovering the game.

I mean, I used to play D2 a lot before I got into WoW. Basically the time I now spend playing WoW was time I used to spend playing D2. But it's been years since I tried to play D2 through from the beginning.

And I'm doing a total speed run. Ignoring quests that are not essential to winning the game, and not bothering to fully explore the maps, either. Just hit each objective as quickly as I find it and move on. It's fun.

* * *

I have not seen anyone across the street since Saturday. The house is dark and no one has come to it, although it looks like there was a guy out there from the electric company today. I really hope they have not just decided to abandon the place.

The basement could have been pumped out with a trash pump; you can rent one of those for not a lot of money. The problem is then drying things out so you don't get mold; the furnace is likely ruined and you couldn't just fire up the blower. And HVAC systems don't grow on trees; neither do washers and dryers and hot water heaters.

And the flooring would have to be replaced in most of the house. The drywall on the first floor would need patching at least, and then painting, and the entire sunken level would have to be redone. That's a family room, a bedroom, and a bathroom.

If their insurance doesn't cover flooding-- Well, what would they do? What could they do? If their insurance didn't cover what happened to their house and they had a mortgage on it? Probably bail and take the hit to the old credit rating--let the bank foreclose on it and get out from under the disaster. Of course the bank will sell it to recoup as much of their loss as they can, but as a flood-damaged home...well, I don't see it. Someone will buy it, fix it, and flip it, of course. That's already happened at least twice with that house since I moved back here from Cedar Rapids.

I hope this isn't the case, for several reasons. One, because I don't like there being a vacant house in the neighborhood. Two, because although Joe and his family are obviously non-native hispanics, they fly an American flag from their house--and that's a big thing to me, that says they're here to be Americans and not "Mexicans who live in America". That's the kind of immigration I want to see. Three, because they seem like really nice people and in the time they've been here, they've been good neighbors. They don't make trouble, they don't have loud parties, they don't drive up and down the street with the stereo on "earthquake". The kids come outside and play in the front yard, a harmless, pleasant noise. They have people over and do things. The yard is neat--neater than mine--and the house looks great. Three, if someone flips that place? Who knows what kind of people will move in there?

I know that at least one owner tried renting the place out. Whoever had it after the original owners did--and then they got the bad tenants who utterly fucked the place before leaving; it sat for a while. Then I remember Paige--I only met her once--coming by and introducing herself. She had the place renovated; I thought she'd said she was going to move into it. But then it was on the market for a while, eventually selling to Joe and his family; and they've been there for a few years.

I recall seeing the "unfit for habitation" sticker on the front door before Paige bought it. (I did not get her last name then, so "Paige" is all I have.) I also recall them putting in a new furnace and a whole bunch of new flooring, and-and-and.

Well. The PT Cruiser that was also flooded is still sitting in the driveway. I suppose it's possible they mean to come back and do more on the place but have not been able to, because life happens. There's no way for me to know.

Regardless, I do hope to see more of them.

* * *

I had not intended for this to be a big post. Oh well. Time to chill a bit before bed.

#6737: I think it's safer just to stay on the surface

Karl Denninger does SCUBA diving, so he knows what he's talking about. And whenever I read anything about SCUBA diving which actually talks about the hazards of the sport, it basically comes down to a list of things that will kill you dead if it goes wrong. And there are a lot of things which can go wrong.

...all of which serves to convince me that I am not the adventurous type, and am just as happy to do most (if not all) of my swimming in swimming pools.

And I agree that the statement from the Coast Guard is irredeemably fatuous in light of the incident that prompted it.

* * *

Your child will be abnormal! Kill it now! ...and the kid is born healthy as a horse, if a bit premature.

And this:
A sad story from Ireland underlines the point. Following legalization of abortion in Ireland, a couple opted for an abortion after getting a diagnosis of a fetal abnormality. A later test, however, would show that no abnormality was present, meaning that the couple had aborted a healthy child for no reason.
Always get two or three tests to make sure before making a decision like that.

Oh--wait, this is NHS. Doubtless the death panel said, "You don't need another test. One is fine."

* * *

So, here is my problem: I recently added the blog Gun Free Zone to the old blogroll. It's chock-full of right-wing goodness, and it's well worth perusing.

The problem is that there's so much of it. Today I've got five links to read and (possibly) discuss. From one blog. And that's typical for them! Every day there's a whole bunch of stuff there! And since today is Woodpile Report day there'll be an approximate fuckton of links from there to deal with as well.

Onward.

* * *

I'm going with "disinformation", myself. I think this is a psychological operation meant to get our enemies to expend resources on A) trying to duplicate it, and B) trying to steal it from us.

I would love to believe we have this technology. Once it's out in the open it makes everything better, including space travel. But I don't see it, and I don't see it because there is no "prior art" backing it up.

Okay, when the industrial revolution happened, we didn't go right to building turbocharged diesel engines to power things. First up was the Newcomen atmospheric steam engine; then Watt got involved and built the expansion steam engine, and after about fifty years or so Otto and Diesel started tinkering with internal combustion. And perhaps forty or fifty years after that we had turbocharged diesel engines and were starting to work on turbines.

So--absent an example coming from outside, like "alien technology", I don't see how we can make a leap from jet and rocket engines to whatever-the-hell this stuff is about. There should be--would be--intermediate stages.

I mean, we didn't just start building 747s when we wanted to fly; we started with airplanes that looked like box kites and were made from wood and cloth and wire.

...so to say, "We have UFO-type aircraft!" is premature at best.

UNLESS, of course, there's something to the Roswell story.

* * *

Get woke, go broke, Nike edition:

Because their spokesdouche doesn't like them. Reportedly these shoes were on their way to stores when Nike decided to pull them.

And because of this stupidity, the state of Arizona has terminated the tax incentives they were giving Nike to locate there.
What shareholders need to do is start hitting the executives who make these hasty decisions with Breach of Fiduciary Duty suits. If I were a Nike shareholder, I'd be demanding that the Nike executive management team pay for the loss of those tax incentives straight out of their salaries so it doesn't impact the company's profits. Management can go woke on their own dime.
The problem with that? The people who depend on dividends for income are a rare breed and most of them are rich enough that they don't care that politics cost them some money. And they're "fellow travelers" to boot, anyway.

And indeed: "Already sent to retailers" goes the quote. Which means not only does Nike lose the tax incentives; they made a job lot of shoes they've now decided not to sell. Who pays for that?

However this is a sick burn, bro.

* * *

A pertinent question: "How much more can whites be expected to do?"

Blacks are not stupid and can learn if they try to learn. Getting an education is "acting white" and generally discouraged in low-income black communities.

By and large, the problem is one of ignorance and culture, specifically a culture which glorifies ignorance as some kind of virtue. And violence.

* * *

If you do not lovingly accept it, you are a bigot and a hater. Oh well.

* * *

YOTSUBA SAYS "NO", BITCHES.

"NO."

Vehicle pursuits in Chicago:



To the question of Illinois taking over Chicago's pension debt, the governor said "no".

Illinois bailing out Chicago:



* * *

So, about the communist terror group known as antifa--

I call them that because A) the group was organized in the 1930s and fought against the National Socialists in Germany--not to keep the nazis out of power but to take power themselves. They just lost that one. B) their entire modus operandi is mob violence against people who don't agree with them.

Trying to silence the journalists who report on their activities is a leftist tactic. The fact that the Portland city government is letting antifa do this is horrifyingly bad.
Our nation is breaking down. Indeed, there's a strong case that the breakdown has already gone to completion and what we've been witnessing are merely the inevitable consequences: the opening skirmishes in a non-territorial civil war.
It's hard to stomach the idea, but our country was founded on the rule of law, and once the law stops applying to some people, eventually it will apply to no one.

And maybe she just said that because that way she could get away with assaulting someone. If people get a free pass for committing violent acts if they say, "You're a Trump supporter!" first, there are going to be more attacks on people for being Trump supporters even if that's not the real reason for the attack.

The lefties have guns too. But:
Attacking people just trying to drive home from work in the middle of Portland during an anti-Cop protest is not protecting marginalized communities.
The shit in Portland has to stop. It's not civil protest; it's armed thugs terrorizing a community with the tacit approval of the local government.

Not to put too fine a point on it--and at the risk of Godwinning myself--that model is exactly how the Nazi Party rose to power in Germany. But noticing the parallels between communist rioters and nazi tactics does not invalidate the comparison nor the argument.

* * *

So, let's talk about the "crisis" at the border, which was not a crisis until a Republican was in the White House. And, actually, not even then, not until more than two years after his inauguration.

I do not believe a thing Representative Horseteeth says without independent verification. Besides, she's a fucking lunatic:
Let me see if I get this straight.

The most famous current Member of the House on social media, and perhaps the second most famous politician on social media (after President Trump), is afraid that US Federal law enforcement officers under the Department of Homeland Security are going to hurt her, sexually assault her, and perhaps even rape and kill her, while she is on an official Congressional tour?

Is she nuts?
Yes! Yes, she is!

The horseshit she is shoveling is fertilizer for this nonsense. But you know what? Fine. Let's close those camps and reunify the "families" in them.

ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE MEXICAN BORDER, WHERE THEY CAME FROM.

That's right; get 'em all together and ship them right the fuck back to Mexico. Close the camps permanently.

But because we will then have nowhere to put illegal aliens crossing into the US, we'll have to line up troops along the fucking border with orders to shoot anyone trying to cross back into America. And the ones that somehow manage to make it anyway get dumped in sanctuary cities.

Incidentally, that drowned man and his daughter? Get a load of this. Right below the Aljazeera video:
As usual, however, there's more to this story than the Democrats and the media want you to know. It turns out that Oscar Alberto Martinez Ramirez, the father, and his wife Tania were not asylum seekers. They weren't even unemployed. Oscar had a job in a Papa Johns pizza shop, and Tania actually quit her job in a Chinese restaurant to take care of their daughter Valeria.

Now this young couple wasn't rich, to be sure; in fact they were living on $10 per day and residing with Tania's mother. But on the other hand, their government wasn't persecuting them on account of their "race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion," as the US Refugee Act defines asylum. In fact, Tania's mother said they weren't experiencing any violence.
And the entire reason this guy tried to cross the Rio Grande by swimming? Are you ready for what happened that he did that?
The Ramirez family had left El Salvador on April 3, and upon arriving in Mexico they received a humanitarian visa, which meant they could work in Mexico for a year while waiting for news of their asylum request. However, after waiting two months in Mexico, they decided to make their way to the US border.

They took a bus to Matamoros and immediately went to the International Bridge to plead their case. But, they arrived on a Sunday, and the office was closed.

Plus, they also found out that they would have to wait weeks or months for their appointment.

So they decided to cross the Rio Grande themselves. After all, someone told Oscar that it was easy.
Because they didn't want to wait to enter the US. That's why. It was a Sunday and they didn't want to wait their turn.

I feel sorry for the little girl. It's not her fault that her father was a DUMB FUCK, and she had to pay the ultimate price for his stupidity.

Meanwhile, I guess the going rate is about $400 for kids in Mexico. According to the Mexican government, people trying to cross the border are buying kids in order to get in.

If you come here with a kid, and yell "asylum please!", you're much more likely to get to stay here than if you just come here by yourself and say nothing. That kid is your ticket in!

This is why THE WALL MUST BE BUILT and THE LAWS MUST BE ENFORCED. This isn't Trump doing this; Trump is trying to stop it. This is the result of forty years of government malfeasance.

And they won't be stopped until we BUILD THE WALL and ENFORCE THE IMMIGRATION LAWS.

They know that if they can get to a sanctuary city, they won't be deported. They know it and that is why they are coming.

* * *

Broward County Sheriff's Office loses a largely meaningless credential that won't have any effect on their operations, but makes them look bad. "The panel voted 13-0 for the decertification," the article says. Wow.

Meanwhile, the Sheriff is running for election again
By the way, I made a bet with Lee Williams from The Gun Writer. I m betting Scott Israel is elected Broward Sheriff again and he says it won't happen.
Be interesting to find out how that goes.

* * *

Believe it or not, there are still communities out there which do not want drag queens reading stories to their children. The library is incredulous. "Wha...? We're just trying to be inclusive and tolerant! We're just trying to serve an underrepresented portion of our community!"
"I feel like we didn't serve a portion of our community that deserves it, especially during pride month," said Sandy Roberts, who works in the county library system.
What horseshit that is. What portion of the community is being served by having an adult entertainer read something aloud, that is not already being served or cannot be served in other ways?

There's no service here. But there is an attempt to cram "queer" lifestyle down peoples' throats.

* * *

Chicago has a bit less than 1/3 the population of Los Angeles and New York City combined. And Chicago has had 27 more murders this year than those other two major cities combined.

And most of those murders are committed by just two percent of the population.

* * *

Why solar cells lose efficiency almost as soon as they're put into service. The most common solar cells are boron-doped silicon, and they're not even 20% efficient (so each kilowatt of solar insolation produces under 200 watts of electricity) but that efficiency degrades by a couple of percent after the things have been in service for a few hours.

But sure, solar power is the future. Right? *rolleyes*

* * *

The Hi Point Yeet Cannon. Heh.

* * *

A bunch of Flash Gordon serials on TCM tonight but they'll be the hacked-together ones, not the individual episodes.

That's kind of a crime, IMHO. Movie serials are fun precisely because you can rely on there being a major fistfight, an action scene, and a cliffhanger every thirty minutes. I wouldn't mind watching the actual serials but when the eps are cut up and made into movies I think the quality suffers a bit.

First movie serial turned into a movie I ever saw was Doctor Mephisto and the Transformation Machine and it was amazing fun to watch. But when I later saw movie serials in their original format, I saw how much better they were.

Oh well.

* * *

Record heat wave in Europe is proof of global warming but record cold is "just weather" of course.
A team of climate scientists [Translation: WITCH DOCTORS] with an established method of rapidly analyzing extreme weather events like this has already taken a look at this heat wave. (The study has yet to be peer-reviewed but follows a protocol which has.) [TRANSLATION: THIS STUDY IS BULLSHIT] The team's results give a good idea of the role of climate change in this heat wave.
The heat wave isn't even over yet, but they can already pinpoint how much human carbon emissions contributed to the record high temperatures. (Spoiler: ALL OF IT.)

And check out this one-two punch:
In this case, the model simulations produced fewer and weaker heat waves than have actually occurred, so the models have to be taken with a grain of salt.

Nevertheless, they do all simulate increases in heat waves in France due to human-caused warming (that relationship is relatively straightforward).
The models don't work, but they still prove that the heat wave is the result of man-made global warming.

This is so full of bullshit, you could smell it from Mars.

Speaking of which, the science is settled.
Most of the world's nations have agreed to limit warming to 2°C, with a stretch goal of keeping things below 1.5°C. Since we have a good sense of how carbon dioxide drives that warming, it's possible to estimate how much more CO2 we can add to the atmosphere before those goals are exceeded.
So: what is the CORRECT level of CO2 in the atmosphere? In other words, what level of CO2 is the right one?

I ask that question because there is no right answer. You can say "315 ppm" or whatever the level was prior to the start of the industrial revolution--but I can pick five thousand other years before that time where the CO2 concentration was higher than that. And of those five thousand samples I'd bet I could find at least two thousand years where the CO2 levels were higher but temperatures were lower than they are now.

Which means we don't have anything like "a good sense of how carbon dioxide drives warming", especially considering that CO2 concentrations lag temperature rises in the historical data.

* * *

This sounds great! Monomethyl hydrazine is nasty stuff. This stuff sounds better.

* * *

"I wanna live in a geodesic dome!"



* * *

So, today there is activity over at Joe's house. Not sure what they're doing but the garage is open and there are people in the house and something is going on. Here's hoping.

* * *

...did not get anything done this morning. It turns out that the pool has been leaking, because when I set it up I did not make sure the drain plug was seated. I corrected that after dumping more shock in, and adding flocculant to get the rust out. Then I checked the whole perimeter to make sure there wasn't another drain plug.

That's why the ground in the back yard is still soggy. Not a fast leak but bad enough.

* * *

Well, soon it'll be 7:30 and lunch time.