* * *
Speaking of which, the BATFE is overreaching again. This is what government agencies do: attempt to expand their bailiwick.
So be warned: if you have SOS pads and shoelaces in your house, the BATFE can no-knock you any damn time it pleases and send you to jail for a very, very long time unless you've paid them the $200 and jumped through all the hoops for you to legally own those items.
The only thing keeping them from doing it is their own forebearance.
You think I'm exaggerating?
The letter from Sterling Nixon, then-chief of the branch, said any part designed and intended for use in converting a weapon into a machinegun is a machinegun.If you don't have a federal firearms license that allows you to own a machine gun, you'd better not have shoestrings!
"The FTB examined and classified a 14-inch long shoestring with a loop at each end. The string was attached to the cocking handle of a semiautomatic rifle and was looped around the trigger and attached to the shooter's finger. The device caused the weapon to fire repeatedly until finger pressure was released from the string. Because this item was designed and intended to convert a semiautomatic rifle into a machingun, FTB determined that it was a machinegun as defined in 26 U.S.C. 5845(b)."
* * *
Okay, now. In 2003 and thereafter we were told that because Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11 or Al Qaeda, we shouldn't be in Iraq at all.
Does that mean that we should be attacking Iran? Because Iran is training and equipping Al Qaeda....
* * *
The airplane wasn't going to explode and fall from the sky or anything, so relax.
30 screws missing from a wing root fairing--even if it had come loose, the structural integrity of the wing and fuselage would not have been compromised; the wing spar is one of the strongest structures on an airplane because it carries the entire load of the thing. This is just a piece of sheetmetal that blends two surfaces together.
...and 30 screws is "a third" of the total, BTW, for this one piece. Should all 30 have been put in? Definitely; and if the maintenance crew cut corners on reinstalling the screws, what else did they cut corners on? But I don't think anyone was actually in any danger.
* * *
Good! I'm really tired of political correctness forcing the Christ out of Christmas, damn it. We wouldn't even be celebrating the damn season if the Roman Catholic church had set the holiday on Jesus' actual birthday (which, best guess, is on or about June 17).
He's the reason for the season! Get used to it!
* * *
Carol is naked but you can't see anything. Damn it--but it's still awesome.
* * *
It does not sound good for Europe. Vox Day talks about the bond yields of various European countries:
...[B]ond yields have skyrocketed in the last two weeks. The Italian five-year bond is at 7.827 percent, more than twice as high as one year ago and over the seven percent figure assumed to trigger the death spiral. The Spanish five-year is creeping every closer to it, having hit 6.156 percent, Portugal's five-year is at a lethal 16.214 percent, higher than Greece was one year ago. While Greek yields are no longer available at the Wall Street Journal's Market Data Center, they exceeded 100 percent last week.Yeah, it doesn't sound too good.
* * *
Karl Denninger does not expect the market to do badly today, though. The media is reporting that we had another record-breaking Thanksgiving weekend.
Denninger's discussion of his weekend observations jibe well with Og's experience. I don't work at Target any more so I couldn't say what happened to them; but Saturday night I ordered Chinese and was told "five, ten minute" on the ETA of it. I ordered my food, put myself together, and then went to get my food, and it was waiting for me. This is highly unusual for any night, but moreso for a Saturday evening. Attack of the Revenge of the Thanksgiving Leftovers, or people just not spending money?
* * *
None of the usuals have new posts up yet; I'm on awful early and the long weekend is just ending.
...last night I went down into the basement and dug around in the mess for 2 hours. At the end of that time I'd cleared a significant area of floor (mostly by making the stacks more efficient) and discovered fireworks from--I'm not even sure when. 2008? 2010? I can't remember!
It must be from 2010, because I'm pretty sure I was working on 7/4/08 and had no reason to have fireworks. But how the hell do you like that? A cache of fireworks I completely forgot about?
Anyway, so I did that. I've still got a lot of work left to do but I made a very nice and sizable dent in the problem.
I'm still trying to figure out what the hell I should do with a lot of my old papers; I guess I'll be going through them and feeding a lot of them to the shredder. Gas bill stubs from 1999 and the like, I don't really need to keep, do I? I'm probably safe getting rid of just about everything from before 2002, and that'll reduce the stack of boxes by a decent bit.
Once I can make a better, more efficient stack of stuff down there, I'll have access to one of the shelving units that can store a bunch of crap I don't want to throw away but don't need immediate access to, like my back issues of Trains and Model Railroader.
I can also dig through the boxes of old computer hardware and dispose of stuff I'll never actually use, too. I'm thinking, for example, that those old Western Digital 1.2 GB hard drives could be safely disposed of, once I'm sure there's nothing on them. Just take a big old box of electronic junk to the recycling bin at Monee Reservoir (that's the nearest dropoff point I know of) and get it the hell out of my life forever. Where do I sign up?
...the garbage company that services Crete no longer accepts electronics, so that's probably the best way to go.
I keep thinking about knocking down one of the shelving units in Mom's room and putting up my art table in there. That would be nice--make it into a studio!
* * *
After finishing my work in the basement I almost went into the attic and swapped the 75 ohm lead that goes to my room to the antenna; but then I realized that if my nephew visits me this weekend I can enlist his help in running the Cat-5e through the attic. I don't need the antenna right now and can safely put off doing the swap until I'm in the attic anyway to run a network cable, so F it.
* * *
Among other things I found the shitton of sandalwood incense.
See: when I lived in Iowa I told my then-friend, future GF Darla that I liked sandalwood incense.
So she bought me about half a case of the stuff.
Now, at the time I used one stick every once in a long while. If I used a stick per week I was on a real incense tear.
...she got me a 15-year supply of the stuff. I never counted how many packs she bought; I simply thought of it as "a fuckton" and left it at that. And since my rate of consumption of the stuff did not significantly change, I've still got about half a fuckton of the stuff left.
In fact I haven't used any since 7/4/10 (having reviewed past Fungus posts I've just about assured myself the fireworks are from last year) and discovered that normal incense is not as good at lighting fireworks as are the "punks" they sell with the fireworks for $1 per bundle. And before that? None, for years, because my incense burners were buried. Having found them last year about this time (when I got the blab slab in early December) and then--this year--finding the incense led me to burn a couple sticks while I watched anime.
It kind of gave me a headache. Two sticks was too many.
I'm still trying to find a good pine-scented incense. When I first bought my first burner, in like 1995, I bought with it a pack of pine-scented incense sticks which drove railroad spikes into my olfactory bulb whenever I opened the pack. It smelled like pine, all right, but the smell wasn't quite right, so I didn't burn one very often. The sandalwood smelled better.
But sandalwood always seemed a bit "hippy-ish" for my tastes.
Since it's the Christmas season maybe I can find some that'll smell good and not hurt my smeller. Doing a search led me to a bunch of possibilities; and one was an Amazon combo link: pine, sandalwood, and cedarwood. I love the smell of cedar!
Lily of the Valley would be good, too....
The pine-scented candle I got around Christmastime last year--I've been burning it over the past week or so, and the thing is about half gone now. It's one of those jar candles, and the wick is off-center, so it's not burning evenly.
I keep thinking: I have candlemaking supplies, somewhere. Back when I still carved a jack-o-lantern every Halloween, I'd use real candles; and the votive-style candles tend to run a lot, if they're not in holders, so I'd collect the solidified wax and make a candle out of it. (You use a lot of votives when you're keeping a pumpkin lit from dusk until after midnight. Got to keep the evil spirits away!)
Because of this, the same woman who supplied me with enough sandalwood incense to last me until 2020 also bought me a bunch of candlemaking supplies when the Michael's in Cedar Rapids went out of business.
So: I could take a drill bit and drill a hole in the exact center of this candle, and insert some wick, and use that one (instead of the off-center one).
...I've been contemplating going to Harbor Freight and buying a heat gun ($14) on general principles. Having used Og's to shrink some heat shrink tubing, I've come to understand YET AGAIN the wisdom of having the right f-ing tool for the job. And I do need to get an axe...if Sailor V and I ever actually get around to taking down that tree, I'll want to split firewood. *sigh*
But it's not happening today, I'll tell you that. Not when I didn't go to bed last night.
Well? I've gotten to the inevitable downside of my weekend spent in, sleeping and avoiding the holiday shoppers: I woke up at around 11 PM last night, hungry; and even after working on the basement the idea of bed did not appeal to me. I ended up watching anime instead.
I'm a moron. But the basement looks fantastic compared to how it was.