Monday, June 30, 2008

Polish Eye Test

A Polish immigrant went to the DMV to apply for a driver's license. First, of course, he had to take an eye sight test.

The optician showed him a card with the letters
'C Z W I X N O S T A C Z.'

'Can you read this?' the optician asked.

'Read it?' the Polish guy replied, 'I know the guy.'

Sunday, June 29, 2008

The big picture

A wee bit of "big picture" on this Lord's Day. Need to remind myself of these things what with all the SCOTUS and election year excitement and concerns.

Psalm 146: 3
Put not your trust in princes,
in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation...

v. 5
Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob,
whose hope is in the LORD his God.

Lest we forget the role of Divine Providence in our nation's history and current affairs...
God is still sovereign.
He's still on His throne.
He still rules in the affairs of men.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

A crack of light

That title is a reference to my earlier post "A New Dark Age."

Louisiana's conservative led legislature and Hizzoner Gov' Bobby Jindal struck another blow for sanity and freedom of academic inquiry this week.


If you're not acquainted with Bobby J -- have a look/listen to him on the Tonight show with Leno).

back on topic...
From a WorldNetDaily article (link)
This week Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal signed into law the Louisiana Science Education Act, which allows school districts to permit teachers to present evidence, analysis and critique of evolution and other prevalent scientific theories in public school classrooms...

First Heller was affirmed. Now this.

Predictably the arch enemy of sanity and religious liberty, the ACLU, chimed in with thinly veiled threats of litigation,
Marjorie Esman, state director of Lousiana's ACLU told the New Orleans Times-Picayune, "To the extent that this might invite religion in the public school classroom, we will do everything we can do to keep religion out."

Correctly stating the real issue:
John West, a senior fellow of the Discovery Institute, however, said opponents of the bill are misunderstanding it. Rather than being about infusing intelligent design or creationism into the classroom, he contends, the bill is about giving teachers the freedom to talk about the debates that already exist in science, even among evolutionists themselves.

Still and all, liberty in America hasn't had this good a week in quite some time.

... and with the 4th of July just around the corner.

Now if we could only get Congress to allow us to "Drill Here. Drill Now. Pay Less."

Friday, June 27, 2008

Surprise, Surprise

Look what showed up unexpectedly today. I wasn't paying attention.

This Epi (related earlier post) has never bloomed this late. Usually it's done by late April or early May.

While we're on the subject...

...of tractors:

Moral of the story: never tick off a redneck who own's a backhoe.

On the SCOTUS ruling yesterday: it seems like everyone in the blogosphere is talking about the Heller 2nd Amendment decision. I have nothing intelligent to add to it. Better minds and more eloquent voices have said much already.

I will say this to 2nd Amendment supportors; this wasn't Yorktown in the struggle to preserve the 2nd Amendment. This was more like Saratoga. It proved we can win a strategic battle but we have not yet won the war or vanquished the enemies of freedom.

This is no time for "We the People" to pack up camp and go home. The appeal of just going back home to live a peaceful and godly life is strong, but, there is still a long slog, difficult odds and some tough winters ahead.

The price of freedom is indeed eternal vigilance. The 2nd is worth fighting for.

Chief Justice Story wrote that the 2nd Amendment is the Palladium (armed guardian) of the Second Amendment.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Demolition Man -- Day 3

That'll do pig. That'll do.

In the end I'm not sure if I saved anything vs having the more expensive contractor with bigger equipment do it later. At worst it's a wash. I'll settle for that. Nice to see some progress.

Now to wait for the heavy equipment and the serious cutting & packing to get going in a couple weeks.

Ever seen a grown man cry?

Tears of joy at 0713, Jun 26 2008.

SCOTUS affirms Heller that the 2nd Amendment IS an individual, not a collective, right.

There will be plenty of dialogue and analysis from smarter people than me in the blogosphere. Just posting here to announce the beginning of the celebration.

The 2nd has been affirmed again. As Chief Justice Story put it in 1837, it is "The palladium of the Bill of Rights."

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Day 2: Demo Man

Morning of day 2. Cinderblock wall and last bit of old cistern are no more.

Both sections of wall are gone, along with the concrete apron transition from the road (what was left of the old drive).

The last of it before the serious cutting and packing starts in a couple weeks (D.V.) is to clear all the organic matter from the lot. I made a good pile last night with the 1941 9N. Too much slope for the old tractor to get up in places -- just don't have adequate traction with the 2WD. Maybe if I had water in the tires I could have done some more, but, not much. In any case, the Bobcat skidsteer and excavator is making pretty short work of the remainder of grass/weeds/brush.

The contractor hauled off two loads in his 20yd truck today. First load was 11 tons -- get a lot of soil in with the scraped grass and such. It should be wrapped up by lunch tomorrow.

Rebar, rebar and more rebar. Everywhere. Overbuilt. The old boy who built this was a man after my own heart.

Final Solution needed

Gophers by the dozen. Gophers by the hundred. A gross of Gophers. That's what we've got in our lower lot. We've known this of course and have fought them around the perimeter for years. I spent some time scraping the field last night with the old Ford in prep for grading. Now that bare earth is exposed it's clear we have a serious bit of killing to do. The hole slope is swiss-cheesed with gopher holes. I doubt you could find any 5 ft square without a gopher hole.

The "one hole at a time" Gopher Getter bait isn't going to cut it. Time for some serious medicine. Time to light the fuse and walk away while sleepy time gas gets to Mr Gopher.

One package isn't going to be enough. I'm not sure a whole case will be enough.

Maybe time to invest in a little pyrotechnic capability with the Rodenator.
Here's the corporate video...

link Arr, Arrh, ARRRRHHH!!!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Demolition Man

A real "Home Improvement, Binford type moment" going on at our place today. There's about 80' of concrete filled cinderblock and footing to demo along the old drive/shop retaining wall.

Brought in a hired gun with Bobcat and Bobcat Excavator. He gets that breaker attachment working and it's a thing of beauty. Arrr, arrr, arrrrrrrr

Check out the 1 1/2" steel in that one length of wall!!! Holy rebar Batman! The old boy who built the place for himself back in the day was a mason and was owner/operator of a granity quarry in his later years. By the looks of things there must have been some Caltrans steel "falling off" trucks at the quarry.

Last year when this same operator tore out the old 16K gallon cistern and drive/shop slab we took out an insane amount of steel. Completely filled up his 20yd dump truck -- most of if with 1" or 1 1/2" rebar. The concrete cistern bottom was nominally 18" thick"! It was built like a Nazi Normandy bunker.

We're taking about 30' of that granite quarry stone wall along the road. It grieves my soul to demo any of this old granite wall but it's a necessary evil to get the turning radius I need to access the lot with a trailer.

No worries. Still have ~400' of these walls on the property. As much as 10' tall at it's highest and still solid/crack free after nearly 50 years. The old boy really knew how to build 'em.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Get Smart and a Brownie Recipe

Heat wave kept us inside much of the weekend. It was 112 at our place Saturday. Not much cooler Fri or Sun. That sent us in search of free A/C. Ended up watching a couple films, including the new "Get Smart." I loved that TV show growing up and really looked forward to seeing this bit of farce. The Son & Heir has been working at a local Megaplex -- that means we can see flix as his guest and get the free A/C for a couple hours.

Get Smart was plenty of fun but I can't recommend it wholeheartedly. Seemed like too much unnecessary innuendo & coarse language to recommend broadly to friends and family. On the other hand, it was pretty mild even by today's TV standards. To my thinking, the characters, actors and strength of the farce are strong enough to stand on it's own. Ah well, I guess moviemakers feel obligated to "spice it up." Some folks would say, "Eat the chicken. Leave the bones." It's up to you. I'm just saying in case you're particularly sensitive.

(git yer booger hook off the bang switch Ann! Remember Rule 3!)

Steve Carell and Anne Hathaway are two of my favorites in the current crop of comedic actors. They could hold their own with the great ones back in the day. Too bad, some of the gags and lines they were given to exchange (while probably standard TV primetime type fare nowadays) just seemed beneath their level of acting. As I said, unneccessary.

Get Smart? Nice try but "Missed it by THAT much!"

The story below came to mind after being exposed to the best popular culture has to offer this weekend...

A father of some teenage children had the family rule that they could not attend PG-13, R or X rated movies. His three teens wanted to see a particular popular movie that was playing at local theaters. It was rated PG-13. The teens interviewed friends and even some members of their family's church to find out what was offensive in the movie. The teens made a list of pros and cons about the movie to use to convince their dad that they should be allowed to see it.

The cons were:

*It contained ONLY 3 swear words!

*The ONLY violence was a building exploding (and you see that on TV all the time they said),
*You actually did not 'see' the couple in the movie having sex; it was just implied sex, off camera.

The pros were:

*It was a popular movie, (a blockbuster).

*Everyone was seeing it.

*If the teens saw the movie then they would not feel left out when their friends discussed it.

*The movie contained a good story and plot.

*It had some great adventure and suspense in it.

*There were some fantastic special effects in this movie.

*The movie's stars were some of the most talented actors in Hollywood.

*It probably would be nominated for several awards.

*Many members of their Christian church, including the pastor, had seen the movie and said it wasn't really 'that bad'.

Therefore, since there were more pros than cons the teens asked their father to reconsider his position on just this ONE movie and let them have permission to go see it.

The father looked at the list and thought for a few minutes. He said he could tell his children had spent some time and thought on this request.
He asked if he could have a day to think about it before making his decision.

The teens were thrilled, thinking; 'Now we've got him! Our argument is too good! Dad can't turn us down!' So, they happily agreed to let him have a day to think about their request.

The next evening the Father called his three teenagers, who were smiling smugly, into the living room. There on the coffee table he had a plate of brownies. The teens were puzzled. The father told his children he had thought about their request and had decided that if they would eat the brownies, then he would let them go to the movie. But, he explained, just like the movie, the brownies had pros and cons.

The pros were:

*They were made with the finest chocolate and other good ingredients.

*They had the added special effect of yummy walnuts in them.

*The brownies were moist and fresh with wonderful chocolate frosting on top.

*He had made these fantastic brownies using an award-winning recipe.

*And best of all, the brownies had been made lovingly by the hand of their own father.

The brownies only had one con:

*He had included a little bit of a special ingredient: The brownies contained just a small amount of dog poop. But he had mixed the dough well and they probably would not even be able to taste the dog poop and he had baked it at 350 degrees so hopefully any bacteria or germs from the dog poop had probably been destroyed.

Therefore, if any of his children could stand to eat the brownies which included just a 'little bit of poop' and not be affected by it, then he knew they would also be able to see the movie with 'just a little bit of smut' and not be affected.

Of course, none of the teens would eat the brownies and the smug smiles had left their faces. Now when his teenagers ask permission to do something he KNOWS THEY SHOULDN'T BE DOING the father just asks, 'Would you like me to whip up a batch of my special brownies?'

Problem Solved.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Family Values. Valuing Family

KDT has a fine post "End Of A (Very Bad) Chapter" up on his blog "The Other Side of Kim". Link
He writes about the financial choices they've made in raising their children while living through some very difficult years for them financially.

Leading by example they are. I'm encouraged by their personal story to stay the course my wife and I have chosen. Thanks for that Kim.

Some people (esp on the Left) say "Family Values" is just a trite phrase, a cliche' used to divide us politically; a phrase with no real meaning except to call for a return to a time of repressed sexuality and unrealistic expectations for a Ward and June Cleaver type life.

Well folks, that right there, what Kim described in his blog: that right thar' is some family values.

I like to think my wife and I are kindred spirits with the Du Toit's in this regard. We "spend ourselves" for our family. People ask why I haven't retired early like some of my colleagues who did well on company stock before 2001. Well, partly it's because I didn't have the same good sense and adult supervision they had in the stockmarket. To some large extent it is also because we chose family over financial freedom.

I've got kids. Ergo, I'll be able to retire the day they throw dirt on my face.

Happy to do it. Wouldn't have it any other way.

Add that to your list of "Family Values."

Friday, June 20, 2008

Ok Honey, I give in...

...go ahead turn on the A/C.

It was 108F when I got home from work today.

Later this evening returning home after shuttling kids to Friday friends/activities...

(me) "What do you mean turn the A/C back on? It's nice outside now -- low 90's! Only 83 in the house now!"

Yep. I lost that one, in case you're wondering. Grieves my thrifty Scot heart.

You know how the Grand Canyon came into being doncha?

A Scotsman dropped a ha' penny down a gopher hole. The rest is history.

Change for change's sake

He's for "change." What type of change? Had to listen long and hard to find out any specifics. Now it's becoming clear. The list is long -- starting with taxes. That is to say he's for increasing taxes, all manner of taxes, for reimposing taxes that when done away with resulted in increased revenue for the Gov. Even (when he was questioned) if it means increasing tax rates on things like capital gains which will result in a decrease in actual tax collections.

Yep, even if it means less actual tax revenue for the Government he'd increase the tax rate -- in the name of "fairness" I suppose. Nevermind what works.

Sounds like a blindly "redistributionist" ideologue to me.
That's a polite word for a "collectivist."
Which is a polite word for "socialist."
Which, based on his personal associations with likes of unrepentant, murderous Weather Underground members, like William Ayers, is a polite word for "Marxist."
Which is a polite word for "Communist."

Yep, says he. Don't confuse me with the facts (or what actually works). I've got my mind made up.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Pain Free

Well, mostly. It's Thursday, 3 days after my Monday adventure with a field mower and by the grace of God my back is holding up. Years of daily postural therapy are paying off. Yee-hah! This is some serious progress at last.

Pete Egoscue is "da Man!" His method has done for me what years of chiropractic and physical therapy failed to accomplish. I started out in response to backpain and sciatica. Along the way it cleared up 25 yrs of knee pain, and more recent onset of tennis elbow and carpal tunnel.

If you're aching anywhere in your body, give Pete's book "Painfree: A Revolutionary Method for Stopping Chronic Pain" a look. If you do the work faithfully, you WILL feel better.

Seriously, the change in my posture and gait over the past few years is hard to believe without seeing the pictures taken to document the progress. There has been a direct correlation in how I feel with how my posture has changed.

Egoscue® is simple and the results are remarkable. It is a unique and very effective program designed to treat musculoskeletal pain without drugs, surgery, or manipulation. Egoscue is a process which involves a series of stretches and gentle egoscuecises ("e-cises") designed specifically for each client. This process strengthens specific muscles and brings the body back to its proper alignment and functioning the way it was designed—pain free.

"Pete Egoscue has totally changed my life. Never have I experienced such complete pain relief as I have by following the Egoscue Method."

- Jack Nicklaus
Legendary Golfer

Sounds like Tiger needs to get over to Pete after that ACL surgery to get that knee position/motion fixed and prevent reinjury. Here's wishing Tiger the best. Worked for The Golden Bear.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Chuck Norris drills Congress

Two tough guys in a row.
If only we could tap into Chuck Norris's core energy. It's a little known fact that scientists have estimated that the energy given off during the Big Bang is roughly equal to 1CNRhK (Chuck Norris Roundhouse Kick)

Speaker Pelosi said last week about oil prices "We can't drill our way out of this."

Uh, San Fran Nan? Hello? Anyone home? WRONG!!!

Drilling is EXACTLY how we get out of this.

Don't turn the heat down.
Turn the heat up -- on Congress.

I've lost a few pounds in the past weeks but I'd still look stupid in Jimmy Carter's sweater.

Drill Here. Drill Now. Pay Less.

Go sign the petition to Congress. Click on the button top right of this page.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Words to live by

"A man's got to know his limitations." Harry Callahan

I'll know in the morning if I exceeded mine.

Was feeling good today. Today was probably as good as I've felt since back surgery 3 years ago. Somehow later in the day I got tangled up with a new (ancient) big wheel walk behind mower. Boys and their toys I suppose. Off I went down the hill into the weed patch in 90+ degree weather.

Round and round over gopher holes.
Round and round into gopher holes.
Ancient drive cogs slipping on the drive wheels. Testosterone surging, mindlessly muscling a steel beast through dead vetch and weeds, unsticking it as it alternately gagged on a load of dead grass or stopped moving when the drivetrain couldn't hack the grade.

Soaked. Sweat. Pouring. Air. More air. Suddenly. Sanity: inspite of testosterone induced insanity and the thrill of a revving old flathead 4-stroke.

Wonder how much progress all that back and postural therapy has really provided. I should know in the morning. ;-)

"A man's got to know his limitations." Indeed.

Words to live by.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

It's starting

The emptying of the nest. 4 kids. More and more often I find us home with an almost empty house. Like tonight for instance.

The oldest daughter and the Son&Heir are both out working evening shifts.

#3 Child, The Divine Miss M is out at a friend's till late. That leaves a pretty quiet house. Just one kid at home with us...

They've started spreading their wings, taking responsibility, going off to work. Leaving a quiet house. Moving on. Before we know it -- will have moved on.

One day you watch them walk away from the car as you drop them for Kindergarten -- and you blink...

Sort of a "Peggy Sue Got Married" moment.

Tight Skirts

The Zipper
As the bus stopped and it was her turn to get on, she became aware that her skirt was too tight to allow her leg to come up to the height of the first step of the bus.

Slightly embarrassed and with a quick smile to the bus driver, she reached behind her to unzip her skirt a little, thinking that this would give her enough slack to raise her leg She tried to take the step, only to discover that she couldn't.

So, a little more embarrassed, she once again reached behind her to unzip her skirt a little more, and for the second time attempted the step.

Once again, much to her chagrin, she could not raise her leg With a little smile to the driver, she again reached behind to unzip a little more and aga in was unable to take the step.

About this time, a large Texan who was standing behind her picked her up easily by the waist and placed her gently on the step of the bus.

She went ballistic and turned to the would-be Samaritan and yelled, "How dare you touch my body! I don't even know who you are!"

The Texan smiled and drawled, "Well, ma'am, normally I would agree with you, but after you unzipped my fly three times, I kinda figured we was friends."

Flag Day

Human Statue of Liberty
18,000 Officers and Men at Camp Dodge, Des Moines, IA
Col. Wm. Newman, Commanding
Col. Rush S. Wells, Directing

Reportedly taken in 1918

Friday, June 13, 2008

The "Solutions Factory"

Hye thee hence and vote/comment on the ideas put forward by Congressman Eric Cantor at his “Solutions Factory” link

Good stuff. I’m not 100% with him on the details but I’m 100% with him in the direction/methods he’s applying. This is the sort of leadership that will help to rebuild the conservative movement in America.

We need to rebuild momentum by coalescing around some strategic and winnable issues.

e.g. Social Security Reform, choice in education,…

They're coming to take me away. HA, HA!

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.Well actually, they're coming for your ammo. The gun grabbers have refocused their efforts on ammunition sales and transfer. They've realized they've lost for now on the gun control issue; that the outcome of Parker vs Heller pending at the SCOTUS is a fait accompli.

Handgun Control even admitted recently that 75% of the US population recognizes the right to keep and bear arms is an individual right -- not a collective right fulfilled by the National Guard.

California legislators are leading the way again.

Most notably with a ban on lead ammo in the Condor range to protect the Condor from poisoning (that inspite of wildlife biologists testimony to the contrary). Just a case of more junk science in support of a political agenda.

Most recently the Berkeley legislature meeting in Sacramento have decided that the transfer of ammunition needs to be restricted. This is excerpted from a report by the NRA-ILA,
Assembly Bill 2062, sponsored by State Assembly Member Kevin De Leon (D-45), is scheduled to be considered by the Senate Public Safety Committee on Tuesday, June 17.
AB2062 would make it a crime to privately transfer more than 50 rounds of ammunition per month, even between family and friends,

50 rounds? 50 rounds! That's one box of 22 ammo. 1 box of 38 special ammo. 2 boxes of shotgun birdshot shells. That's only good for about 15 minutes at the range for most people.

Read the complete report along with some comments/discussion at this thread on The Gunthing Forum.

The Berkeley legislators would have soiled their pants if they'd seen this delivery to my back door last week.

That delivery would be 960 rounds of 30-06 Greek mil surplus. It was purchased and shipped from a US government sponsored agency named the "Civilian Marksmanship Program." Not surprisingly the CMP (link) exists to promote civilian marksmanship. I would be breaking the law if this new bill passes. I did a combined buy with a colleague at work and delivered one case to him. We both belong to "qualifying" organizations that promote marksmanship.

That of course takes us back to the 2nd Amendment and the government's interest in promoting a well trained (or "regulated" in the 18th century use of the word) civilian populace (or "militia" the able bodied males not in the military).

More Dead Voters

The party of "Our cause is just therefore the end justifies our means" is at it again with the dead voter registration drive. Only small surprise is that this time

a) it has been confirmed outside of Chicago and LA.
Two cards received in Caddo Parish had George W. Bush as the voter applicant with a 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. address in Shreveport, Dardenne said. Other cards have been filed for prisoners who cannot vote and dead people. In Jefferson Parish, a voter registration card was filed for the registrar of voters.

b) they have teamed with a radical Islamist group to carry out their "justifiable" crimes.
The radical Muslim group signing up dead voters in Louisiana set up their office in the Wahhabi Corridor:

All I want for Christmas is a purple finger. I could sleep easier with something as simple as that. I bet it would be enough to turn California back into a red state.

Gateway Pundit has a great writeup on their latest crime against the order of law and against freedom here.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Write in Cap'n Kirk for President?

as for the NRA, "Bring 'em on."

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


(click on image to enlarge)
This must be the night for running across great posts. Hell in a Handbasket has put up an excellent post. He observes that this generation feels it is entitled (as in "has a right") to be free from vilification.

Immediately I remembered my old friend Opus. The panel above was from a Sunday paper in the early 80's. It won me over completely as a fan of "Bloom County." Opus had a way of shedding light on the inane and illogical that is unmatched today. Well, that is except for the likes of South Park, Simpsons, Family Guy and others who do the job but are gratuitously vulgar in the process.

Quote of the day

Politics is not poker. If we walk away from this game, our opponents will continue to play it, with our cards and with our money.

That from Kim's excellent blog today. Link

Read it along w/ comments/debate on his main page.
The Perils Of Inactivity
Kim du Toit
June 10, 2008
7:00 AM CDT

LA juana



Interestingly the "Great In-between" of Orange County and San Diego not similarly afflicted. Any ideas why? Other than OC and SD being "Red State" counties? Maybe something associated with the cultures and laws of those counties? Something like a higher incidence of firearm ownership and (in the case of OC)higher rate of Concealed Carry Weapon permit issuance?

Maybe Professor Lott can help you out with his scholarly, yet readable book, "More Guns less Crime".

The connection between this weekend's news and those links might be intuitively obvious to you. Especially if you believed the line that "we the people have been sold" for a generation since 1967. This could help bring some clarity to it for you. Nothing like the hard cold facts...
"Why Almost Everything You've Heard About Gun Control is Wrong."

Asleep, perchance to dream?

"I have a dream" Only this one sounds like a nightmare of stereotyping and (dare I say) racial profiling.

For your consideration: Obama in his own words. True -- not all in their complete context. However, in case you have only been listening to sound bites something to think about...

The first to plead his case seems right, Until another comes and examines him.
Proverbs 18:17

Let the debates begin. Let's see how this schtick holds up in the daylight.

Monday, June 9, 2008


... in Santa Clara

A wee bit of tech digression today and cheerleading for the hometown favorite with a stadium bearing it's name.

This from an article on the Fool front page today titled "Intel Still doesn't get it":
"In a recent interview with the Financial Times, Intel CEO Paul Otellini said, "If you accept that the value proposition of the high end of the mobile phone market is full Internet access that happens to have voice, my view is that it's easier to add voice to a small computer than vice-versa."

dang near ruined my keyboard. gotta be more careful with the morning coffee. Wish they'd put a disclaimer up before posting comedy bits like that.

"'s easier to add voice to a small computer than vice-versa."


Sorry, I struggle to add anything intelligent to that. Except to say, YEE-HAH!!! Intel is apparently aware of the Q-threat to their core (pun) business, but still fundamentally clueless about the nature of that Q-threat and what market/consumer behavior is driving it.

Prediction for the decade: Most of the world doesn't have a PC. For most of the world, their first PC will be a phone -- A CDMA based phone.

Deja vu? Starting to feel like DEC/Vax vs Gates/MS circa '91 all over again.

Q is probably unmatched in low power core technology thanks in some part to the talent they picked up in IBM RTP acquisition some years ago. Can you say "Snapdragon?" There, I knew you could.

Q Competitor Check? Clueless indeed.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

What happens on liberty stays on liberty

That is unless that girl you met in the bar goes crazy after one drink and gets a tattoo with your name on it.
Well then, Blame it on Rio.

Can't read Portuguese? No worries...

1) Just fill the first line with your first name.
2) Enter your last name in the second field.
3) Click on 'Visualizar' on the bottom left hand corner of the screen.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Share the Dream. Live the dream

Please. May we all have permission to start living the dream now?

"We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of Now."
If ever we needed it -- it's now. Judge men, women and martians by the content of their character, not the color of their skin. Candidates too?

Seeing as he's the man of the hour, having just clinched his party's Presidental nomination, how about we start with the junior Senator from Illinois?

Just the facts, ma'am. A list of things about Obama that are not rumor. Link

"We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of Now. " MLK (link to full dream speech text)

h/t USSNeverdock

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Diesel, schmeeschell

I'm thinking I'll skip the Tecate fuel runs for cheaper diesel and just go full on post-apocalyptic, a la Mad Max. A wood gas generator conversion looks like the way to go. Start with something a little less ambitious and expendable like this fine old piece o' Dee-Troit Iron.

Get a kit yourself (link) and get started this weekend.
How cool is that?!!! Now that's what I call a Junior High Science project! Yeah baby!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Haiku crimes against humor and humanity

So after a final gums/uvula related haiku exchanged with a colleague (all of which started as a result of a nice guy new engineering lead hire w/ astonishingly bad teeth and gums)...

Kamran and Burt sales.
Gumline and business recedes.
Sales gingivitis.

That's a hard joke to "get" without the context. Suffice to say Kamran and Burt were two ultimately inept fellows who'd commandeered the sales dept of a small company. They succeeded in running it out of business a couple years later -- along with about 75 good jobs. (aarrrgggh -- totally unnecessary).

Shortly after that "gum" haiku thread ended I got bent out of shape by a technical salesman trolling on a technical forum at work.

It's not a sales forum, it's an old school Usenet type tech forum with good old fashioned crunchy tech discussion. Trolling for sales is anathema. The forum involves a few of us around the country/world who've survived in our narrow little pathetic specialty that has otherwise moved to China.

Well, it's technical except for on Friday's when the geek gloves come off and the puns and NTC (non-technical content) gets really deep. That said, we're pretty jealous of our little corner and the spammer who contacted me directly at work via that forum was not appreciated.
I know, I know. Too much background, too much inside baseball.

ANYWAY... It developed (devolved?) into a conversation in haiku.
I was enjoying a moment of righteous indignation. That night I vented to my colleague (haiku partner in crimes against humor and humanity) about the fellow calling me at home and me messing with him thusly:

Call the busy tone.
Owner at home on the phone.
Wait in line on phone.

She (my colleague) responded in kind:

The phone Haiku sucks
Your true talent lies in gums
Yesterday was best

I explained to her:

What would Yoda say?
Gums easy are; phones not so?
I screen at dinner.

Simple things for simple minds. Sadly it doesn't take much to amuse me. Quite sad indeed. Sadly not up to this type of wit link

What's more fun than...

... going to the Dentist? Got the dentist's friendly appt reminder call today. Oh joy.

I have a followup tomorrow for a re-root canal I had done on tax day. Yes. A root canal on tax day. Poetic, no?

Doc want's to see how the gum/bone is doing. If I'm lucky the x-ray bone shadow will be gone and I won't have to follow up with a Periodontist.

So, in the spirit of out-of-warranty teeth and aging gums here is a Haiku for the day...

First gumline recedes.
Then tooth hangs loosely -- uvula.
Swaying in the breeze.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Mystery solved

The age of the eyesore has been determined thanks to this very helpful website. LINK
I tell ya, these antique tractor guys are even crazier than the aircooled VW crowd. I know. Hard to imagine! ...and yes I gotta say -- How COOL is that?

Looks like the guy I bought from was a bit off in his estimate.
What we've got is a 1941 Ford 9N.

Previous related post LINK

Now, to get that little 4ft brush hog into service. That unit could be the end of me. (ahem) It might result in an obituary posting here at some later date.

I can only dream of working a flat patch this 9N is...

Right off I need to get an overrunning clutch (ORC) to put on the PTO drive shaft. This old tractor doesn't have a "live PTO". That's NOT a good thing if you're in a hurry to stop. With a transmission driven PTO like the 9N has, the mower will keep the tractor moving even when you want to stop. YIKES!

So it's off to Northern Tool online and order an ORC.
Without an overrunning clutch the rotating mass of the Brushhog will continue to turn the PTO drive and keep turning the tractor axles when the clutch is disengaged.
The toughest part may be getting the u-joints and drive on that brushhog to take lube/grease. It's been sitting a while and also was in the middle of a patch that burned in last fall's wildfires. So there's a few odds and ends to tend to: I picked up a couple clevis pins on the way in to work today.
Also I wish this mower had safety chain shield hanging over the front edge. It would be nice to slow down the inevitable rock launches out the front toward (me) the driver. Maybe I should fabricate that safety chain shield too. I'd need to pick up some flat stock, scrounge for odd lengths of unused chain and bum some welding time from a buddy.