I decided to move El-Hazard up onto the desktop, because the new case is so much more compact than the original one. It's 6x10x12 and fits next to the monitor quite nicely. The only real problem here is the power LED, and that's a feature of the motherboard: it blinks when the computer is operating normally, which is annoying.
The only problem with this case is that it really needs active cooling; there's a spot on top which gets almost-but-not-quite burning hot. There's a mounting spot for a couple of 2" fans in back that I'll populate as soon as I can hie myself over to CompUSA.
Otherwise, though, everything is hunky dory with the new configuration.
* * *
Obamacare begins to cause unemployment and underemployment. Formerly full-time restaurant workers are seeing their schedules cut to 28 hours per week because Obamacare defines "full-time" as 30 hours per week.
The corporation which owns those restaurants is, for the moment, merely testing this at "selected" restaurants to see how it works. Still, most of Obamacare goes "live" on January 1, 2013, so they've got plenty of time to see whether this will control their labor costs or not--and to roll it out to their other restaurants if it does.
So--once again--a big socialist Democrat wet dream causes unemployment and inflation. Who could possibly have predicted that?
* * *
North Korea says it can hit the US with nuclear-tipped missiles. Well--assuming they can keep the rockets from blowing up first, yeah, they can do it.
I don't mean to downplay this, or make light of the situation, because it's a serious threat to our security. But it's also true that North Korea has not exactly been knocking the world's socks off in the "technological prowess" department. North Korea is run by a bunch of lunatics, but pound for pound they're not as crazy as the lunatics running Iran, and the Iranian lunatics are more interested in bringing about the End of the World and the 12th Imam than they are in simply seizing control of the country to the south of them. (Iran also has the money to buy technical expertise; North Korea does not.)
So even if NK can hit the US with nuclear bombs, I don't really expect them to try. It would be suicide, and everyone involved knows it. God knows what Iran will do with nuclear bombs--but their president has told us what he wants to do with them.
* * *
Karl Denninger warns us that Greece is not fixed. The juggler is keeping the plates in the air...for now. But it can't go on forever, because he's not a robot and he's going to get tired or make a mistake or do something else wrong.
Denninger says that--as the private holders of Greek debt were already "restructured"--this time it must be the European Common Bank that gets the haircut...but in fact I'd wager no such thing will happen. They'll just go and "restructure" the private bond holders again, and they'll do that long before the ECB takes the reaming Denninger predicts for them.
* * *
Denninger also asks why we're still bailing out the banks here in the US. He links and blockquotes an article which provides the answer:
So the simple reason our rulers insist on bailing out the banks is that by doing so the wealthy and the powerful are simply bailing out themselves and guaranteeing the continuation of a system which suits them perfectly.That's the entire reason.
Problem is, it cannot continue ad infinitum. Denninger points out that the necessary credit expansion is flat out impossible.
I admit that I have trouble with his thesis that the economic expansion of the 1980s was fueled by debt expansion. I probably should not, as the graphs he presents make it pretty plain that he's not making shit up--but I do think that the reduced taxation and regulation due to Reagan's policies did kickstart the economy.
* * *
Climate change alarmism and the article includes this correction:
Correction: October 9, 2012...and we all know how reliable the climate models are. (Now, for only $39.95 plus shipping and handling, you too can own a Genuine Micheal Mann Edition Hockey Stick...!)
An article on Sunday about research conducted on remote Tatoosh Island, Wash., misstated what scientists’ findings were showing about the pH level of the surrounding ocean water. The research showed that the pH of the water was declining at a rate 10 times faster than what accepted climate change models were predicting, not that the water was 10 times as acidic as those models predicted.
He speaks of the calcareous sponges that live in the caves of Tatoosh and, like hard-shell species, use dissolved calcium carbonate, in this case to form their skeletons or spicules, thus making them vulnerable in more acidic waters.Why don't we try learning something about this species before we make pronouncements on how anthropogenic global climate disruption is going to destroy them all?
“Almost nothing is known about this species,” Dr. Paine said.
While we're at it, why don't we spend some time trying to figure out how much of the 100 PPM increase in atmospheric CO2 since 1700 is actually due to human carbon emissions, instead of just assuming it came from human sources?
And I note that if this island boasted a burgeoning population of the species these people say are in decline, they wouldn't be using it as a proxy for anything because it wouldn't fit the "global warming=man made=apocalypse" template they're trying to apply.
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Two from Borepatch, a smallie and a biggie.
Today, October 9, is the anniversary of Ernesto "Che" Guevara's death. It's not Fungus policy to celebrate anyone's death but I think we might just start making an exception for murdering communist thugs.
Bakken Oil Fields, for people who want to work and earn money.
I have to admit to being a lazy fucker who doesn't want to move his entire life to North Dakota. If I hadn't lost my shit last May because of a 2-hour commute I might have a different attitude about all this, but I'm too much of a homebody to find this an attractive proposition. And middle age has a way of making you think twice about walking away from everything you know and starting over elsewhere, even if it would pay well.
On the other hand, for a 22-year old fresh out of college--if an opportunity like this had presented itself in 1992 I might have jumped at it. 1992 was a bad year for me, and I probably would have been willing to head to North Dakota and get a job making 75 large if I'd known it was possible.
Then again, at the time the technological boom was still going on. 1992 was the slowest work year of the 1990s for me, and I think most of that was due to the fact that I worked for someone that didn't have much of a business plan. So I might have said, "Look, I'm still in school and I'm good at fixing computers, so why would I want to go work in an oil field?"
But on the gripping hand, if you'd waved 75 large in my face--who knows? $75k is seriously huge money for an unskilled position--even now--and if you're serious about making a change in your life and going and doing and making your own way, that would not be a bad start.
$1,400 per week--damn. And that's without overtime; with overtime you're looking at $2k per week, and they're glad to pay it.
But oh! I have a degree in "international relations"....
* * *
I think I know what my Dad would have said about such a job. Though he was big on education, he was also big on making money--but working in an oil field is dangerous and Dad was all about risk management.
Dad's aversion to hazards was one of his defining characteristics. He was instrumental in the development of water-based house paint because of it.
In the 1970s he developed a fire-retardant paint that could have been a game-changer. When exposed to high heat, the paint would expand into an insulating and heat-resistant foam. Used properly, it would keep a fire from spreading to the walls and could have revolutionized how we look at fire prevention in residential homes.
Montgomery Wards marketed it in two colors: cerenkov blue and pepto pink. They marketed it for people to paint their babies' rooms. You could not get it in white, and the colors were bad enough that painting over it with white would require two coats. *sigh*
I was nine and I could see the possibilities, but those colors were hideous, and no one's going to pay a premium for a can of pepto pink paint and then buy another couple of cans so the room can be a reasonable color, having to apply three coats of paint in the process. No.
This stuff would have been a great primer, you know, or base coat, if MW had marketed it in white or at least some neutral color.
* * *
I have chores to attend to, and I don't want to do anything.
On the plus side, I finally fixed the bed last night. How long has it been broken? My sister noticed the jack holding up one of the slats last September and it had been there for a couple of months by then. Earlier this year Lemonzen and I, er, broke the bed further; I had to go get the other trolley jack to hold up that part.
But last night I took the side rail off, knocked off the remainder of the broken part, then glued and screwed on a strip of 1x2. I let the Gorilla Glue cure for three hours, then reinstalled it, and it's as solid as the rock of Gibraltar again.
It probably took me as much as 20 minutes to gather the tools and do the job. A job I've been putting off for more than a year. Bad me.
* * *
This is why I will never volunteer for mine-clearing detail: