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Og left some interesting comments in my last post, and it got me to thinking that I really need to find some free FTP space and put Singularity and Methuselah up for download again. I re-read Singularity last night on the Libre and realized that--with a bit of tweaking--it'd be a damned good story.
It was posted here as a rough draft, solely for the enjoyment of my readers, starting around December of 2006 or so. For a while I had the PDF available, but when GeoCities dropped off the face of the planet it took my FTP space with it.
Of course I don't pay AT&T enough each month for them to spare a gigabyte or two of FTP space; oh no. If I want FTP space I have to pay extra for it.
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How many vacations has Obama taken since he started as President? Ms. Scalia comments on how the Obamas could help the US economy by taking their vacations in various spots around the US.
Ms. Scalia is intelligent enough to know that no one in the "ruling class" would consider the kind of vacation she advocates. She's engaging in some finely-crafted irony when she suggests that the Obama's take a "road trip".
Our elite masters would never lower themselves to vacation in "flyover country". We're all a bunch of rubes and hayseeds out here; most of us never went to Yale or Harvard, and we have "quaint" ideas about things like honesty and faith and justice and the value of hard work. We're perfectly fine eating regular lettuce rather than arugula, and we tend to like redneck things like demolition derbies and apple pie.
Why, some of us are so backward we think that sex isn't a sociological construct, but a fact of nature. (Yes! There are still people who believe that kind of old-fashioned nonsense!)
The press' reaction to George W. Bush vacationing at his Crawford, TX ranch is all the proof you need; there was never much said about it, but the little bits and pieces which did get out were instructive. The press hated having to be in Crawford because it was so unlike their preferred environment.
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When I heard that GM's sales were going great guns, I had to wonder: "What's the catch?" Because I knew--with the economy sucking canal water--it couldn't be selling all that many cars, could it? Perhaps, I reasoned, it was that sort of deal as happens with home sales; some people are in a good spot to buy a house, and they're looking to buy a house.
The demographic consisting of people on my end of the income spectrum is in the shit, but not everyone is in this mud puddle; there are plenty of people who can afford to buy new cars.
Aha. The sales figures include sales to rental car companies, which is a detail I forgot; and there is the "catch":
Reports of robust post-bankruptcy sales at General Motors Co. and Chrysler Group need an asterisk.Oh yeah: "...more than two-thirds of Chrysler and GM fleet volume goes to daily rental fleets."
Internal documents obtained by Automotive News show that much of the recovery at the two companies comes from sales to daily rental fleets.
There's your "recovery".
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If you're a fan of the 1966-style Ford Bronco, you now have reason to rejoice, because you'll be able to get brand new bodies for the things.
No longer do you have to think about whether or not you can get all the rusty metal off that old basket case. Buy it, transfer everything over (including the VIN plate, which is apparently legal) to a new body, and you've got yourself an essentially new truck!
You can already do this with a bunch of cars. MGB bodies were the first I saw; but you can get Camaro and Mustang bodies, too. There are probably some I don't know about.
Giving people the option to replace a body which is beyond saving means that parts vehicles will become more valuable, too. If you've got, say, a Mustang with a valid VIN but no floor *cough*SailorV*cough* you should be able to sell it for fair money to someone who has the garage space and the will to do such a job on a car.
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Four hundred thousand pounds per square inch?? That's 200 tons!
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I have never thought that leasing a car was a good idea. Not for most people, it's not. Sure, you get a better car for the money; but at the end of the lease you give the car back and have nothing to show for it.
There are a few applications where I think an auto lease makes sense. Let's say, for example, you're in a business which relies on you projecting a certain image. Like, say, being a real estate broker. You need to drive a nice car, because your customers will see your car, and the nice car projects an image of success and competence.
A person in this kind of job will want to replace his car every couple of years, and will want to drive more car than he can really afford; the lease makes sense for this guy. (His non-work vehicle can be WTF-ever he wants.)
Leases do not make sense for someone whose job doesn't include worries about appearances. The guy who works at a store, or a factory, or something--he should buy a car, not lease, and it should be something he can reasonably afford. It doesn't have to be a beater, unless that's what he wants; it can be a new car. Otherwise he's just wasting money.
But, WTF, it's not my problem.
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The Second Revolution, it's a-comin'. When someone like Peggy Noonan realizes it, you'd better believe it. And start stockpiling ammunition.
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Here's a good quote:
The obsequious media have been left scrambling to explain this new Orwellian barn wall: Bush’s aristocratic golf is now Obama’s needed relaxation; Bush’s bumbling press conferences might explain why Obama wisely doesn’t hold many at all; Republican congressional corruption simply led to a “They all do it, even Democrats” narrative; Bush’s failure to articulate how and why we would win in Iraq suddenly morphs into Afghanistan as a baffling experience that confuses all of us. Obviously, even the most adept public-relations-minded journalist could not pull all that off, and so we are left with media now as discredited as they are loathed.Read all of it for context; it's quite good.
The odd thing is that the entire country senses how Obama could restore his ratings to over 50 percent in the same way Clinton did in 1995. He would simply call in Republicans to work out a deal to balance the budget, quit his two-year “Bush did it” whine, stop suing the states, reassure business that there will be no more tax hikes, praise the private sector for its ingenuity and competence, stop trying to appeal to his base through race and ethnicity, and get engaged on Afghanistan.All of those things would fix the problems faced by the Obama administration.
Because there is no chance that Obama will or can do that, we are witnessing another Greek tragedy as our chief executive slowly implodes.
Problem: all of those things are anathema to him. Obama doesn't want a balanced budget; or if he does, it is not his desire to balance the budget by limiting government spending, which a compromise would have to include. Bush is too useful as a whipping boy; there's no way Obama will stop campaigning against him. Suing the states is the only way Obama can make them do what he wants. Obama wants the tax hikes, and no one believes him when he says they're not coming. He's already made it obvious that he hates the private sector, and has for his entire career. "Race and ethnicity" is all he's got for appeal to his base. And he couldn't care less about Afghanistan; he can't even fake caring.
Besides all that, however, is that Obama thinks he's above all that. He thinks, "My way is the right way, and everyone who disagrees with me is too stupid to know what's good for him; so I'll make him do it my way." And despite the fact that his methods are ineffective and heavy-handed, he persists, because he's so convinced that he's smarter and better than everyone else that he cannot conceive of his ideas failing to work.
That's why he's so unpopular.
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"The economy is moving in the wrong direction." Tell me something I don't know.
"Panic over this stalled economy may be setting in." In other words, the general populace is finally beginning to realize that the Ruling Class has been lying to them about the "economic recovery".
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Borrowing to go to college is a bad investment. Ask me how I know. Jesus.
"Many people with college educations are already jumping the tracks to become skilled manual laborers." Yeah, like me, ending up a CNA and then a stockboy...and then unemployed. Bad trend.
If your plans for your career are inchoate, don't go to college. If you don't have a clear-cut idea of what you want to do for a living, college is a bad investment. Whatever you do, do not go to college for a liberal arts degree, unless you plan to teach or work as a waiter in a douchebag hipster restaurant, because you will have wasted your money.
Decide what you want to do first, then create and follow a plan for getting there. There are plenty of lucrative careers which don't require a college diploma.
If you go to college, make it count. Get a degree in something useful--science, engineering, medicine--and go do useful things with it. Don't get the degree and then work at McDonald's unless you absolutely have no other choice, because you'll never pay back your student loans that way. But if you selected your career with care, you won't be working at McDonald's, because someone will need your brain and hands.
Notice I didn't say "law"? We have more than enough lawyers already. That's not an opinion; it's a fact: graduates from average law schools are not in demand. People from the elite schools typically have their choices of job offers, but there are only a set number of seats available at Harvard Law School per year. (If you can get into Harvard Law School, you're not the kind of person this advice is aimed at. Besides, you're probably from a family that's rich enough to pay your tuition up front.)
The worst thing anyone can do is go to college "because you're supposed to", fart around for four years, and graduate with a degree in "East African History" or something similarly useless. (English. Whatev.) Why? Because you have no training nor any skills in anything more complex than basket weaving. Sure, you can deconstruct Nietsche and reveal the semiotic Freudianism of Kant, but no one is going to pay you to do that. No one outside of the ivory tower, anyway.
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Last night I dubbed the first five episodes of Kimi ni Todoke to DVD. I'll be doing more later.
Over the past several days I've been playing Ormus a lot in WoW but haven't been garnering much experience, because I've been trying to level herbalism. First I was working on getting his explorer cred; now this.
At level 69, your professions should really be higher than 201. Ormus did a great job in skinning everything he killed that was skinnable, which is why his skinning skill is over 400; but for some reason I missed looting herb nodes along the way, which meant I had to go back and do it.
I spent time in Stranglethorn Vale; then I consulted a power leveling guide and took its advice, so that I rapidly got Ormus' herbalism skill to 375. Now that he's a grand master herbalist, he can harvest some of the herbs in Northrend, which means I can finally start questing there instead of in Outland. (I may finish the quests he has in Nagrand, though, first, as he's a bit squishy for Northrend just yet. I have to stop and recoup after each encounter.)
But it also means that Ormus is not yet 70th level. It's going to take some time.
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And that's all I've got.
My oldest sister is coming up via train at the end of the week, so my weekend promises to be full. I don't know what I'll be doing, but I'd wager my weekend is booked. Friday morning I've got to be at the train station to pick her up, even though I am confident that her Amtrack train will be late, because Amtrack's on-time performance is pretty crappy.
For exactly this kind of thing, I've got the Libre. Heh.