atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#3669: The Wednesday before I get my wisdom teeth yanked.

Went to bed last night around 3-ish and slept only until 7:30. I have a few errands to run today, but after that my time is my own.

This morning, when I woke up, I noticed that if I smiled my tooth would wind up to hurt like it did Monday night unless I stopped smiling immediately which--it must be said--is not hard to manage when your mouth begins hurting a lot.

So tomorrow I get the damned thing out, and then it's soft foods for a while. *sigh*

* * *

Wonderduck reports that Steven Den Beste has had a stroke. It's a small one. It's left his mentation intact but apparently his left side is "weak". He says:
My brother is loaning me a laptop which I can use on the hospital's wifi.

Looks like Thursday morning, I'll be transferring to a rehab place where I'm probably going to be staying for a week. I'm not looking forward to it but I'm also not thrilled about being profoundly crippled for the rest of my life, either.

I don't know if I'll have wifi access at the rehab.

In the meantime, my left hand is useless and I'm typing this with one finger.

I thank you all for your good wishes, and I'll update when i can and when there's something to say.
Get well soon, Steven!

* * *

Og has a story about a cement truck driver who needs to be not driving any more. Why is there never a cop around when you need one?

* * *

In another post, Og links to a Larry Correia rant. It's exceptional; and Og has decided to buy some books as a result.

Wonder if that'll ever happen to me....

* * *

Boortz cackles gleefully over the "Hostess permanently closes three plants because of union strikes" story. I have to agree with him; when a company is in Chapter 11, they can do this kind of thing.

* * *

More about that Reuters story about each Chevy Volt costing $90,000 to build.

GM paid a certain amount of money to develop the thing for production, and each car sold carries with it a chunk of that cost. Naturally as GM continues to sell Volts the cost-per-car continues to decline, and will eventually reach a break-even point.

It's the kind of thing you see elsewhere. The best example I can think of right now is the Commodore 64; when it came out it sold for $600, but it was selling for a third of that price a scant six months later because the cost of developing the thing had been paid. Commodore saved a lot of money by re-using the case and keyboard for the VIC-20 (just tinting the plastic a different color) and using integrated circuits they'd developed for other projects. As I recall the VIC-20 used the same processor as the C-64 did, too; the only real major hardware differences were the much bigger memory capacity, a better sound chip, and 40-column video. The computer sold like hotcakes, even at the $600 price, because at the time that was a hell of a lot of computer for the money. In 1983, $600 wasn't enough to buy you an Apple ][+ with 32K of RAM and a cassette drive for storing programs, nor was it enough to buy you any of the other serious home computers that were on the market at the time. If you wanted a computer with more than 16K of RAM, you paid over $1,000 and were glad to do it...until the C-64 came along. And suddenly you could buy a 64K computer with a floppy drive for under $1,000. And by July of 1983 you could do it for a smidge more than $400, because Jack Tramiel understood "economy of scale" and wasn't afraid to sell in volume.

Economy of scale is the only reason we can manufacture things like cars inexpensively enough for average people to buy them. When you make a million units of something, the development costs are amortized over the production run and ends up being a minor fraction of the cost of manufacturing. The problem GM is having comes from the fact that the company isn't selling nearly as many Volts as they originally expected to sell. They thought they'd sell 60,000 in 2011, and instead sold around 1/6th that many. That, on top of selling less than 5,000 in the thing's introductory year, which is contrary to how the sales of new models of cars generally work. (The first model year generally sells the best, and subsequently declines from that peak until the car is redesigned.)

The design of a particular model of car has a limited lifespan before it becomes dated. GM cannot continue to sell the present Volt as-is, without updating it; and unless they reach at least the break-even point they'll be throwing good money after bad when they refresh the thing.

And everyone knows it.

* * *

Idiotic helicopter mom wants her city to chop down oak trees, so her kids with nut allergies don't have allergic reactions to the acorns.


Oh, I get it. That's way simpler than telling her kids, "Don't touch the acorns, because they might trigger your allergies." Then again:
The mere sight of acorns could trigger anxiety in an allergic child, she said,...
See, I call her an "idiot" advisedly.

This reminds me of the time I was over at a friend's house. I think I was 10; he'd been called in for lunch and I remained in his back yard, playing with some toys, when I sneezed.

His mother yelled, "Go home, if you're sick!"

I said, "I'm not sick; I just have hay fever."

"Well, go home! I don't want [her son] catching it! He's got asthma!"

My brain stalled for a bit, and then I said, "It's an allergy. You can't catch allergies."

"I don't care!"

...35 years later it occurs to me to say, "Hot damn, you're right! I'm out of here, because I sure as hell don't want to catch asthma!"


* * *

This would be very, very nice if it were true. The US damned well ought to be energy-independent, damn it.

But I doubt it. I doubt it because we're stuck with the Obama administration until January of 2017. (Quite possibly longer.) We're stuck with Mr. Barack Hussein "energy prices will necessarily skyrocket" Obama for four of those ten years, and even if we manage to get rid of him in 2017 we're still going to have to rebuild the infrastructure required to exploit and process domestic energy sources.

How do I know? Take a look at the vast industrial complex we have that's devoted to reprocessing spent nuclear fuel. Take a look at the other vast industrial complex we have that's devoted to manufacturing heavy-lift rocket boosters for NASA.

If government makes a thing impossible to do, the industry required to support it disappears. Since Obama is going to continue to regulate domestic energy production right the fuck out of existence I don't see how the IEA can be even remotely correct in its prediction.

* * *

I imagine that Og's recipe for deer stroghanoff would work equally well with beef. Maybe I can try that recipe sometime next week, after my gums heal.

* * *

This would be good news for the Japanese because Japan has highly protectionist food tariffs. If Japan and the US were to enter into a free trade agreement, they could buy cheap US grains, which would make a lot of things a lot cheaper for them to buy.

* * *

So Elmo's voice is gay, and had sex with a 16-year-old boy who later accused him of statutory rape.

The 16-year-old--now an adult--has recanted that claim, instead saying that the sex was consensual.

...there's a kind of legal grey area around people aged 16-17. If an adult has sex with a minor in that age range, it's statutory rape unless the minor says it isn't. The minor still can't give consent at that age, but the case is seen as not prosecutable for a variety of reasons. The black-letter law actually codifies this exception in most states.

So if "Elmo" did his thing with a 16-year-old boy, and the boy says it wasn't consensual, "Elmo" is in heap big smoke for sexually abusing a minor. The whole nine yards, including being considered a sex offender and having to register.

If the 16-year-old then says, "Whoops, I retract that; it was consensual," then "Elmo" is off the hook. Not only does he not have to register as a sex offender; he hasn't even comitted a crime.

I would wager that--regardless of what actually happened--the owners of Sesame Street paid the former kid a lot of money to make this charge go away.

Yes, I'm getting cynical. It's hard not to.

* * *

The low temperatures for the week are below freezing until Friday, and the highs don't crack 50 until the same day. The Jeep still needs its oil changed. *sigh*

* * *

"91 gallons of WHISKEY!"

I've been rereading Fungus posts from December of past years, and was amused by the segment of that post where I talk about "The 12 Days of Christmas".

...and one week from today is "White Wednesday". Where are the weeks going?

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