Mom wanted to lay in a supply of bird seed, and I needed to go to Harbor Freight to pick up a few things. I had been up all night playing WoW, and to top it off had a panic attack while bloggerating, so I took chill pill (generic Xanax, 0.5 mg) and a four-hour nap. After I woke up, off we went.
Note to self: make sure you are awake before driving. I wasn't fully awake until we were out by the high school; I should have waited another 15 minutes or so.
Anyway: so the trip to Menard's was uneventful, and the trip to Harbor Freight was similarly uneventful.
At HF I picked up the items I knew I wanted to buy: a box of nitrile gloves and a ring compressor. I also picked up a set of wire wheels ($4!) and a set of nice plastic gasket scrapers, which are just the thing to use when you're trying to clean up aluminum parts.
I also looked at their 6 gallon parts washer. After mulling it, I bought it.
...got home, thought about it, and decided I'm taking it back and buying the 20-gallon one. It's $35 more but it's made of steel and I should even be able to put the transmission into it to get the inside of the bellhousing clean, to say nothing of the engine parts, of course. (Cylinder head! I can clean the cylinder head, too!)
I've wanted a parts washer for...well, forever, just about. This business of sitting on the garage floor, putting the part in a bucket, and hosing it down with brake cleaner--it's stupid, especially since brake cleaner is not getting any cheaper (it's like $5 per can now) and I'm always worried about the overspray. Heck, when I first worked on de-carboning the #3 piston the wind backed at a bad moment and I got a lungful of brake cleaner mist. (Fortunately not a dense one. Ack.)
The same thing goes for carb cleaner. Actually, carb cleaner is worse; that stuff burns. I have been fortunate not to get any of it in my eyes, but when you're hosing out a carburator sometimes the stuff comes out weird places or at odd angles: I always set up the blast, close my eyes, and then press the trigger, just in case. This has saved me a trip to the emergency room at least once. (And that time I still had to drop everything and run into the house and wash, because it was on my eyelid.)
So I've got a gallon of concentrated degreaser; Just Add Water! ...10:1 for degreasing parts, it says on the label. And I expect I'll keep the nitrile gloves near the parts washer, because I expect that I do not want that stuff on my hands.
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Clearing tabs, in order:
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Trouble in paradise? One Obama official is considering criminal investigations into the actions of the CIA under Bush; another Obama official is apparently screaming mad about it, not that I blame him.
Turf wars? Already? The guy's been in the White House for seven months.
Oh, and by the way: "The New York Times reported Thursday that the CIA had planned to use the private security contractor Blackwater to carry out assassinations of al Qaeda leaders." Where is the liberal outrage at this?
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Young Obama voters are staying home. Remember what I was talking about a few days ago? Older people care about politics; younger people do not.
"Talk of death panels and 'pulling the plug on grandma,' although discredited,..." Um, no, no it has not been "discredited". What happened in fact is that the Democrats realized they had just about stepped on a castration mine and they backed away fast.
I never trust the word "discredited". It is commonly used as a synonym of "disproven" but that is not what it means. Okay, the notion that "shall issue" concealed carry laws reduce crime is discredited--at least among the liberal elite--but that doesn't change the fact that the notion is true.
Fred Barnes (I've linked to his editorial below) says, emphasis added:
Or consider Sarah Palin's controversial statement that Mr. Obama's health-care plan would establish "death panels" capable of denying care to seniors. Like Mr. Cheney, she was denounced as a know-nothing. But Mrs. Palin accomplished what no one else had. She put a national spotlight on the dubious end-of-life policies in the ObamaCare legislation. Columnists disputed her claim, then realized she had a point.Far from being "discredited", the talk of "death panels" was a kick in the Democrats' knee. Her statements were discredited but not disproven.
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Remember who's at the helm for the largest deficit in US history.
Last year's deficit set the previous record, it was $455 billion.
This year's deficit is 2.8 times higher: $1,700 billion.
Sorry, Democrats; you cannot blame this one on Bush. Well, no, actually you can, and the press will be right there with its nose pressed firmly against your oval orofice. But only your sycophants will buy it; and what about next year?
Right now we're looking at an annual deficit of around $900 billion for each of the next ten years. Which President is in office now, again?
I'd wager that--in 2012--we will be hearing the Democrats complain that the 2012 budget deficit is somehow George W. Bush's fault.
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I have to ask you, Fred Barnes, What the hell are the Republicans doing to put Obama on defense?
Well, I'll give him the "principled opposition" thing, I guess. It is true that congressional Republicans have shown an uncharacteristic level of solidarity and steadfastness. Normally the GOP strategy is, as Barnes notes, "Seeking compromise, being conciliatory, [and] pretending bipartisanship exists when it doesn't...."
Barnes also says, "Republicans fret about alienating voters who turned against them in the past two elections. They shouldn't." Damn right they shouldn't. (Recall this Fungus post in which I graphically demonstrate how Republicans can win elections.)
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This is a waste of resources. NASA makes up a new mission patch for each launch of the shuttle. Okay, it's a fine tradition, but really: does it make all that much sense any more? Back in the salad days of the Space Race, when a particular astronaut might get one or two flights in his career, it made sense to make an event of it.
But now? Hell, the only patch NASA really needs is this one:
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Brian Dunbar links to some interesting stuff here on the effects culture has on wealth. Worth reading all of it, including the links.
I've discussed the issue before myself, though in a much less cogent fashion.
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The Anchoress links to many things, including this comparison to how the New York Times covered Bush's vacations and how it covers Obama's.
(Preview: Bush was a skunk for taking a vacation. Obama is in need of one to stay sharp.)
"But you know that’s one of my pet peeves, right--how the press reports on presidents with differing letters after their names?" Asks Ms. Scalia. Believe me, I do; and it's one of mine, too, and has been for a long time.
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Dick's got a good one here. 10 Drugs not to take before (or while) driving. It's entirely in German, but I could tell what all the drugs were except for #10. (#5 was kind of gross, but funny.)