Sarah Palin is the reason compasses point North.

calendar   Monday - March 19, 2018

The one, the only



Oh Noes, Not Snows Again


I am really, REALLY getting tired of this. So we get the storm of the season, on the cusp of Spring? GO AWAY.


Bring Out Your Dead! Bring Out Your Dead!  Say What??

So I’m in the kitchen mixing up today’s loaf of bread. This one is a 70% hydration hybrid, a mix of sourdough starter for flavor and regular yeast because I’m impatient. I’ve got things going together in my big mixing bowl, at that shaggy mess stage, and I see this large black movement out of the corner of my eye on the porch. Oh nuts, not those pesky giant raccoons again, and in the middle of the morning? So I turn around, and there are two Turkey Vultures on the patio. WTH? They see me and take wing. Our patio isn’t huge, what with the gas grill and the table and the hose reel and the recycling can. I had no idea birds that large could land in such a small space. And then I realized they were after the cat food that Ginger didn’t finish this morning. Crivens, every critter out there eats cat food. The cat, duh, and the raccoons and the opossums, and the little birdies eat the dry kibble, as do the squirrels and the chipmunks. And apparently vultures too. Golly, if St. Francis had 9-Lives instead of bread crumbs, he would have had much broader appeal.

But vultures on the porch? I had to go out and check. No little dead critters lying around anywhere. Good.

Right. It’s just about time to give the dough a few kneads, then get it somewhere warm to rise. And I was a good boy and fed the sourdough starter too. Twice a week, whether you use it or not.


I will be very glad when Spring gets here. I’m rather tired of the ice cold early mornings. I admit, 28 is a lot warmer than 9, but even 47 would be much nicer.


Austin: Bomb #4 In A Month

Austin was on edge early Monday as an explosion injured two people and left police wondering whether the blast was related to three others that have already gripped the Texas capital in fear.

The latest blast occurred Sunday night in a suburban neighborhood known as Travis Country in southwest Austin at around 8:30 p.m. Investigators didn’t immediately confirm what caused it.

Austin police Chief Brian Manley said the explosion may have been detonated by a trip wire, adding the blast was “activated by someone either handling, kicking or coming into contact with a trip wire that activated the device.”

Manley said that police were “working under the belief” that the explosion was related to the three others, but investigators still had yet to process the entire scene. He urged people within a half-a-mile radius to stay in their homes until at least daybreak.

“We want to put out the message that we’ve been putting out and that is, not only do not touch any packages or anything that looks like a package, do not even go near it at this time,” Manley said at an earlier news conference. Because “we have not had an opportunity to look at this blast site to really determine what has happened.”

A witness speaking to Fox 7 described hearing a “loud bang,” adding that it was “not a car crash, not gunshots but something terrible.”

Two men in their 20s suffered non-life threatening injuries in the blast. South Austin Medical Center officials said the men were in good condition.

They’ve got some kind of a sicko running around down there. Be alert: anything you mail order to be delivered will have a tracking number you can access online, and the delivery guys update it within seconds of delivery. Remember what you’ve ordered; make a list if you have to. Verify things before you pick up the box, and make certain that the shipping labels look legit. Be safe.


Happy Birthday To Wardmama


A day late and a dollar short; typical me. Her B-day was yesterday. But I remembered. Finally.

And I haven’t peeked in the comments yet in case somebody else mentioned it. So HB2Y, best wishes, and all that good stuff and I hope your day was extra great.


Happy St. Patrick’s Day to everyone Irish, or who wants to do a little cultural appropriation for the day. Wait, what? Identifying as Irish today is still Ok, and even encouraged? I’m so confused.



Oh no, not again!!!

The car shopping saga continues, with a nightmare I’ve had before


Look away; this car does not actually exist

We went down to the local VW dealership today and tried out a couple cars. We test drove a new Jetta with the 1.4 engine and an automatic, in the base S trim. Dud. Oh it’s a solid little car, but it’s dull. Not enough power, and between the microscopic engine’s turbo lag and the transmission’s squish, it takes an eternity - at least a quarter second, maybe a half second or more - for the car to deliver what little oomph it has after you stab the gas pedal. It’s probably fine for most people, and the little mill does get great gas mileage. But not the car we want.

We test drove the Golf SE with a stick. This one gives you a more powerful 1.8 turbo engine, which generates something like 170hp or a touch more. It’s enough to be fun, but not at all imposing. The Golf is a really nicely built car, and the SE takes the interior up to an acceptable level. Not swank, or posh, or fancy, but not hard rough plastic Turd World raw either. She loved it. I loved it. And it has regular seats. Ok, I thought the seats really needed to be about 2” wider, but I could live with them. And as a passenger, I found my left knee up against the center console stack, and an odd bulge in the floor under my right foot. But that’s minor. The car is very quiet. No exhaust noise, very little wind noise, and the suspension rides smooth and still provides really nice handling. She can see out, and get in and out without problems. So, let’s buy one. Seriously.

Right, to the sales desk Carman! Let’s see ... a fun car in a fun color, stick, and a non-black interior. Yes, they actually make one!! It’s called Tornado Red, although I’d call it B Positive, because the paint is the exact shade as human blood in the IV bag. Awesome. What, you don’t have one in stock? Hey, we understand. Can you find one around here and send it over? [ plays the Jeopardy theme in his head while the comatose salesman hems, haws, and doodles about online ... ] um, no? Golly, what if you widen the search? [ more Jeopardy music ] There’s one in Maine. And there’s one in Michigan. I think. And there might be one in California. Let me go talk to my manager ... and we never saw him again. He left us rotting at the desk for half an hour. And finally I got sick of it, and we walked out. After telling the salesguy at the next desk that they’ve lost the sale. Seriously, this guy was a garden slug. He didn’t know anything about the car, the trim lines, the engines, the colors, the financing or leasing rates. And he had zero energy or enthusiasm. “When he comes off his Xanax” I told the other lump, “maybe you can teach him how to treat customers and get him to learn his products”. And we left.

But oh shit, here we go again. We found a car that was right for her, but it simply is not around in the color and transmission combination we want. Because, hey, the VW Golf only has a 30 year reputation as being a manual shift vehicle, so the dealer had exactly one in stock. And it comes in a gigantic huge 6 colors; red, blue, white and 3 shades of bland.  And you get a broad choice of a whole 2 interior colors, but only with certain exterior ones. There is no choice of seat style or materials within any of the 2 trim levels. Two. Crivens. As usual, you can get it in black/black, or in anything/black, and in anything/black/automatic. But the fun to drive car can’t be found in a fun exterior color with a non-depressing interior color with a fun transmission. Go figure.

I went through exactly the same BS with my Mazda3 GT. Even though every single car magazine and webpage review showed a red 3GT with the white interior and a stick, and both of the TWO option packages, that car simply did not exist. AT ALL. In the entire United States. Several months after the model was introduced. So I bit the bullet and ordered one. From Japan. 4 months later they started to trickle in, and I got one. Even though the car I had actually ordered didn’t arrive at my dealer for another 3 weeks. They did a trade and got me another, just to get me behind the wheel faster. One salesman at the VW dealer we talked to Thursday said it could take 16 to 20 weeks if you had to order one their cars.

This kind of thing makes me feel like a weirdo. That the things I like, that we want, are so atypical and unusual that we must be some kind of freaks, running against the universal grain. It’s like being a centrist conservative with only mild Christian feelings. The Left isn’t for me, the Far Left even less, and the only thing else is the snake handling zealots on the extreme Right. And that’s not me either. Middle the road, leaning a bit right. Traditional values but accepting that some people are naturally a bit different. Tea Party Lite. Running a blog but not bothering with social media. Supporting social beneficence, but not believing in total handouts for generations. 2A, but understanding the NICS is needed in this day and age, but realizing that a mental health check is fundamentally wrong. It gets lonely in my ideological world pretty often. 



Messed up morning: the world must be 10 minutes slow today

Beats me what’s going on here today. Up at the shack, the early bus for the high school kids was late. Not that hardly any of them even showed up. 3 out of 8. Maybe there was some secret communication that went out about the bus breaking down. Right, so after the bus was about 15 minutes late, they all got rides from their folks. Bus comes by finally, driver tells me that the other bus broke down. Hey, better luck Monday. So an hour later it’s time for the little kid’s bus. 8:37 pickup. There are usually some of them out there by 25 after, either sitting in the shelter, or playing on the lawn, or waiting in the SUVs with their moms. Not today. 8:32 and I’m wondering if the grade school is back to running on a 2 hour delay like they did for most of this week due to the power still being out from the last rounds of storms. Not one kid, not one car. I’m pretty sure I didn’t black out or fall asleep, since I was outside pacing around. But that bus came right on time, and suddenly a whole pile of kids were there, and 3 mommy mobiles showed up to drop off their little sprogs. And then they were all gone. Just in time, at the very last second. Except for the two moms who always always run late, and the one dad who usually drops his daughters off in time. Late today, missed the bus by a minute, had to drive them in. And that was the most excitement I had up at the shack all week. Dull dull dull and boring.


The never ending car shopping saga

She only worked the morning yesterday, so we took the afternoon to get my Mazda 3 over for an oil change at the dealership, and she could get some hands on time with some new Mazdas and Volkswagens. She looked at everything, tried a few on, and we test drove two.

We both like cars with a bit of performance, but don’t want the really zoomy ones, especially when the zoom comes along with a distinct lack of comfort and quiet.

Back when I was younger, I owned a 1984 Mercury Capri RS. This was the same as a Mustang GT, but with a big bubble window hatchback. I think Mercury built about 9 of these cars, and I had 1. Whatevs. The thing had a 302 V8 - a 5.0 - that made a mere 175hp at 4200rpm and had 240lbs/ft of torque at about idle. It tipped the scales at a hair under 3200lbs. It was a blast to drive. Really fast for it’s day ( dead slow by today’s standards ) it had the low end locomotive grunt that would chug right up even the steepest hills without downshifting. Sure, it got 17mpg around town, even less when you had fun with it. I didn’t care; i was 24.  My point is, with a car in the 3000-3250 pound bracket, it takes a bit over 215lb/ft of low end torque to make it fun. 250lb/ft and it starts being downright zippy. Anything over 275 and it’s a race car. These days a 1.8 turbo can deliver 200hp/210lb-ft without trying too hard. A 2.0 or 2.5 turbo can make that power with ease, and get the torque up above 220 at 1800rpm or less. And a decent small car weighs nearly the same as my 84 Capri. So what was a gas sucking hotrod then, is an economy car today. All that power plus >35mpg on the highway. And it handles and stops way better too.

VW makes a zippy version of the Golf called a GTI, which gets a peppy version of their fabulous 2.0L turbo engine, 220hp/258lb-ft, and a stick shift. It. Is. Fast. Very nicely made car too, though a bit austere inside, and as usual, too damn much black. Lighten up already car makers. There are other colors you can make seats and dashboards out of. She’s only 5 feet tall, and not overweight, and the car fit her. Kind of. Even with the power seats and that model’s low ride, she found it almost impossible to get in or out of the car. Because, once again, let’s all play follow the leader, and they’ve put Ricky Racer seats in the front that have idiotically huge side bolsters. Worse, the bucket seat is really deep, and there is no provision for a “waterfall” front edge of the seat. It juts up way high, non-adjustable, and you’re cupped into the seat and cannot move. Probably just what you want for going around corners at 120mph, but for daily driving they’re a joke. And don’t even get me started on how they abuse bigger people. Worse than parent teacher night for your 1st grade kid, when you have to sit at the desks design for people who are 3 feet tall with bottoms 7 inches across. Fargin Stoopit Design. For heaven’s sake, I can get a $125 office chair that can adjust all of these seat aspects. There is no excuse. So, scratch the GTI from the list. Too bad, because it’s a great car, and if you order the performance package you get much bigger brakes and the car stops on a dime. Half a dime.

So we took a look at the VW GLI. 210hp/207lb-ft. Which is a leftover Jetta from 2017, a small sedan. It’s a sleeper.  A plain looking car that has plenty of zip. Same 2.0 engine from the GTI but slightly de-tuned to run on regular gas, same stickshift, in a more normal car. Less extreme seats, but still too much bolster. Put regular seats in your cars already. You want a nearly perfect bucket seat? Go sit in a later 70s Camaro, or a Vega. Bucket enough, but wide enough and flat enough for normal size people to access and to sit in. Or - here’s a crazy idea, since VW is now the largest car company in the world, and owns Audi who makes seats with power adjustable bolsters and waterfalls - put in an adjustable seat. Good grief. So we took a GLI for a ride. And it’s very peppy, handles sharply, and has great breaks. Big grin on her when she stopped the car. Even caused her to swear in admiration in front of the salesman. Well done. And the Jetta is rock solid, fairly smooth, with little in the way of road noise.  But it’s narrow like every other car from Germany. Hey Berliners: a decent American car is 75” wide. Few of them exist. Go build one. And then make the seats another 2” wider. But the car body feels strong, and it drives strong. Hyundai and Honda are tin foil bits of crap in comparison, and the 1.5T Honda engine is downright boring. Very very smooth, but boring. The GLI is even a bit more solid than my Mazda. No torque steer at all, but when I drove the car I was quite aware of how narrow the car was. It felt like it got taller and narrower when I got on the gas, but it went zipping down the road with a dose of zoom-zoom depressingly absent from my Mazda 3. And mine has the big engine. But we’ll pass on the GLI too. The less Ricky Racer seats still bit into my thighs. Lay off this giant bolster bullshit already. Make seats that fit normal sized people, and even larger people. I’m tired of the size-ism in every single car that has some even moderate amount of performance. The salesman really wanted us to buy this car, giving us an opening offer $6000 off sticker. Nice, but no thanks.

Oh, and the brand new “2018.5” Jetta, completely redesigned, longer, stronger, smoother, better, (4” wider please please please) and actually stylish, should be coming out in a matter of weeks. Sadly, the first year or two will have no performance version, being equipped with a bitsy 1.4L engine - 85 cubic inches ( our 1964 VW Beetle had a bigger engine ) - that delivers a reasonable 180-ish hp. But it gets 45mpg on the highway, so be happy, and who cares if you can’t get one in diesel for another couple mpg. Maybe a GLI version or something with show up in a couple years. But for now VW will be happy squashing Honda’s dreams of Civic Domination. Read more about it online.

Finally, we took a Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring for a spin. This is the top trim version of their mid-size SUV. It has Mazda’s AWD, which is really FWD until the car senses wheel slip. Audi Quattro it ain’t. Standard, universal, boring as dry paint black on black on black interior. WTH. I am really getting tired of every damn vehicle feeling like sitting in a cave deep underground. Anyway, the CX-5 has the same 2.5L engine that my 3 has, and in this SUV it really shines. Loads of torque. You can really feel it. Sadly, you can also really hear it, and the thing rides like a truck. I’m not an SUV person, so I couldn’t say if the stiff ride was good or bad for the class. Please Mazda, find a muffler that works, and put some more sound insulation in this thing. After all, it’s your best selling vehicle in America. I sat in the back, on the heated black leather seats. Headroom and legroom were plentiful, the seat was sufficiently wide, and I had more than enough shoulder room. Sweet right? WRONG. The back seats were anti-buckets. I swear to God, the seat has a hump in the middle, so it’s like you’re sitting on a beach ball. Except it’s a beach ball made of iron. Look, I’m a big fat pig. I hate to say it, and I don’t want to admit it, and I carry most of the 100 pounds I need to lose above the waist. But I’m barely 5’10” and I break the scales at a bit over 285. So I’m double the weight of an average woman. You’d think I’d squash down any seat out there. Nope, not this one. I spent half the test ride hanging on to the handle above the door, and finally put down the folding center arm rest to hold myself in place a bit. Rock hard and curved the wrong way. No thanks. Aside from that, and the overall loudness, it’s a great vehicle. From the ground the seats are exactly the right height for me to just back my bottom up to, turn a bit, and slide in. I don’t have to duck my head to avoid breaking my skull like I do in so many cars, even mid-size ones. I can see the appeal. Frankly, I have no desire to have to worm my way in to the back seat, or bend double, or have to lever myself in by finding the over door handle and playing monkey on the Jungle Gym. And I don’t want to have to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro like you often need to do to get in one of these high rise pickups. In the CX-5 it was just right. But the ride is harsh, the engine is loud, and the back seat is less comfortable than a plywood plank. Pass. I keep hearing that Mazda is going to give this one a whole lot of sonic insulation for next year’s model. Still waiting.

So once again, it seems that the best move for her is to keep her old SpecV running, and wait another year. I was kinda hoping she’d go for a sweet BMW 528i, but they’re off the list. Turns out that it costs a damn fortune to maintain them, and at about 4 years old you get hit with some massive bills from the dealership mechanics. Screw that.



Crivens, I spent 3 hours snaking out the kitchen sink drain this afternoon. What a pain in the ass. But I got it done. Sadly, the drill mounted snake from BrassCraft has a kink halfway down the snake, so it’s only good for about 12 feet instead of the original 25. Still, that was enough, though I had to go in and do it 3 times to get it right. Each time having to remove the garbage grinder, P-trap, etc. Plumbing sucks. No, actually, I like it, and it would be a great career for me IF all the pipes and things were laid out on a workbench I could sit at comfortably with good lighting. But that isn’t plumbing. Real plumbing is crawling around upside down and backwards under sinks and things in the most uncomfortable positions possible. Forget water boarding at Gitmo. Achmed, go fix the sink. No no no offendi, I confess!!  Yeah, it’s about that bad.


Deadly Irony

Just 2 days before “national walkout day” - where students will march to demand gun control -
Florida student wakes up and kills and wounds friends with a knife. Because Allah told him to.

And of course ... the FBI and the cops knew the kid was whacko, but did almost nothing

A generation shaped by gun violence will make itself heard today
(CNN) Even before the nationwide walkout officially started, Maryland high school students stepped out Wednesday morning to demand stricter gun laws.  Escorted by slow-moving police cars, students from Montgomery Blair High School marched to a metro station,

where they plan to take a train to the White House. In just a few hours, students from Maine to California will join them in the National School Walkout—a protest sparked by last month’s Parkland school massacre and fueled by years of anger about what many say are inadequate gun laws.

Those participating have three main demands for Congress:

-- Ban assault weapons
-- Require universal background checks before gun sales
-- Pass a gun violence restraining order law that would allow courts to disarm people who display warning signs of violent behavior

The official walkout starts at 10 a.m. in each time zone. Students will stay outside for 17 minutes—one minute for each of the 17 people killed in the Parkland massacre exactly one month ago.

Muslim teen watched jihadi videos, read Koran for ‘courage’ before Florida sleepover stabbings, cops say
A Florida teenager—who had previously been investigated for “alleged violent tendencies”—watched jihadist videos and read the Koran “to give him courage” before stabbing a 13-year-old boy to death and seriously injuring two others at a birthday sleepover Monday, cops said.

Corey Johnson, 17, was charged with first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder after police said he confessed to the assault at the 13th birthday sleepover party at a BallenIsles Country Club home, the Palm Beach Post reported.

Jupiter Police, Palm Beach County School District police and the FBI previously received “intelligence gathering” on Johnson that prompted an investigation into his “alleged violent tendencies,” the Palm Beach Post reported.

Johnson reportedly told police he woke up at 4 a.m. Monday at Kyle Bancroft’s home and had an urge to kill Kyle’s mother, Elaine Simon; Kyle’s brother, 13-year-old Dane Bancroft; and Dane’s friend, 13-year-old Jovanni Sierra. The three victims were each asleep at the time, the Post reported.

“In his statement, Johnson advised he stabbed the victims because of his Muslim faith,” the affidavit stated.

Johnson and Kyle Bancroft allegedly watched violent jihadist videos the night before the 17-year-old carried out the deadly stabbing. Using a knife he brought to the home, Johnson stabbed Sierra multiple times before slitting his throat.

Simon, apparently hearing Sierra moaning in pain, began walking upstairs around 6 a.m. when Johnson allegedly lunged at her. Police say he stabbed her at least a dozen times before she fell down the stairs. Dane was stabbed 32 times while attempting to help his mother, according to the Palm Beach Post.

“He’s a hero,” the boy’s father said during a phone interview with the Post. “He saved his mom.”

Sierra was pronounced dead at the scene. Simon and Dane were taken to the hospital, where Simon remains in good condition as of Tuesday. Kyle Bancroft and Johnson were not harmed in the incident.

Should we have the indoctrinated robotic useful idiot students do another walkout for knife control now? What’s next, rock control? Stick control? Hey, cars can be weapons too. No driving until you’re 21! Ban assault vehicles! No automatic transmissions! No high capacity transmissions!! Nothing more than 6 gears! There should be Universal Car Care paid for by the government!!!

Gee, what do you know? Crazy people are going to kill. Feeding kids mind meds, Islam, and other forms of poison creates psychotic killers. Even if they don’t have access to firearms, legal or otherwise.

PS - knife boy is white, and possibly from England?


Looks like today, “Pi Day”, might become an unofficial International Physics Day. Good. Schools should celebrate with major exams in the science and math classes.

Steven Hawking, 76

Stephen Hawking, the famed theoretical physicist who defied a diagnosis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis to live virtually his entire adult life with the disease – in a wheelchair and paralyzed but making constant contributions to a world few could understand – has died at age 76, a family spokesman said.

Although Hawking may have been incapacitated physically, he managed to write books, including the best seller “A Brief History of Time,” teach physics and mathematics, deliver speeches and even float in zero gravity, all while working in the fields of cosmology and quantum gravity.

He was not modest about what he wanted to do. “My goal is simple,” he once said. “It is a complete understanding of the universe, why it is as it is and why it exists at all.”

In what may be regarded as an astounding coincidence, famed theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking died on Pi Day, March 14, the day each year when scientists and mathematicians celebrate the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter.

March 14 also marks the birthday of Albert Einstein, who would have turned 139 this year.
Hawking’s birthday, Jan. 8, is the same day that famed scientist Galileo died at age 77 in 1642.


Oh, look, we got a package!!

3rd Package Bomb In Autin TX Prompts Police To Offer $15,000 Reward

Police and federal investigators continued searching Tuesday for answers about a string of packages that have exploded at homes in Austin this month, killing two people, seriously injuring two others and unnerving the city at a time when it is flooded with visitors for the South by Southwest Festival.

While police have not provided specific details about the explosive devices, they have said the three packages that detonated at three homes several miles apart over an 11-day span appear to be related — and the work of a person or people who know what they are doing.

Austin Police Chief Brian Manley said Tuesday that “the suspect or suspects that are building these devices” have been able to construct and deliver deadly bombs without setting them off at any point.

Cops have received more than 150 panicked calls about boxes on people’s front steps, but none have been bombs. So far.

The Texas governor’s office is offering a reward of up to $15,000 for information leading to the arrest of those involved in the deadly package blasts in Austin over the past 10 days.

In a statement, Gov. Greg Abbott said he’s been briefed by the Texas Department of Public Safety on the three blasts that have killed two people and injured two others. He also says he’s offered the Austin Police Department whatever assistance it needs in its investigation.

Abbott says he wants to assure Texans, especially those in the Austin area, “that local, state and federal law enforcement officials are working diligently to find those responsible for these heinous crimes.”

Organizers of the South By Southwest festival are urging those visiting Austin, “if you see something, say something,” after three package bombings killed two people and injured two others in less than two weeks.

Not having anything else to go on, the Austin PD is trying to figure out if these are racist hate crimes, since several of the victims are not white people.

Meanwhile, maybe a lead?? Coincidence, or just life in a big little city?

The stepfather of man who died in a package explosion in Austin earlier this month knew the grandfather of one of the victims in Monday’s first bombing, according to the Washington Post.

Fredie Dixon’s stepson, Anthony Stephan House, 39, died after a package exploded at his house on March 2. Dixon told the Post he is good friends with Norman Mason, the grandfather of the teenager who was killed in a package explosion around 6:45 a.m. Monday in the 4800 block of Oldfort Hill Drive.

“This is a real mystery, and how all of this mystery comes together, I have no idea,” Dixon told the Post.

I scanned through half a dozen news articles on this story, and not one of them is using the “T word”. Amazing. Seemingly random box bombs using reasonably sophisticated devices? Smells like terrorism could be in the wind ... even if it’s cartel related, or racist, or whatever.

Because ... hello ?? ...

Terror Plot Foiled at Utah High School Due to Bomb Failure

Last week, a teenage student in southern Utah brought an explosive device to school. Thankfully, it failed to explode and the student was arrested. The student was then tied to a recent Islamic State-inspired act of vandalism at a nearby school.

This plot was the 102nd Islamist plot or attack against the U.S. homeland since 9/11. It serves as an important reminder that though ISIS is largely defeated in Syria and Iraq, it still inspires people in other countries to engage in terrorism.

Authorities have yet to identify the would-be bomber, but the details surrounding the plot are clear enough to label this as an Islamist terror plot.

The terrorist left an explosive device within a backpack in a common area of the school. A student then noticed smoke coming from the backpack and informed teachers, prompting an evacuation. Police confirmed that while the device failed to explode, it “had the potential to cause significant injury or death.”

Police arrested the terrorist in class later that day and searched his home, where they uncovered bomb-making materials and ISIS propaganda. Police then tied him to a vandalism case at another nearby school, where he had painted ISIS graffiti, put up an ISIS flag on the school flag pole, and cut up the U.S. flag.


Here Kitty Kitty Kitty. Yeah, No.

WA Biologists Tag 197 Pound Cougar


Wildlife biologists caught and tagged a massive 197-pound cougar on Monday. [ This giant cougar was found in Pend Oreille County on Monday. ]

“This guy was unreal,” said Brian Kertson, a Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife carnivore research scientist. “I wish more people could have seen him firsthand because the pictures don’t do him any justice.”

Kertson is a big guy – 6-foot-2 and roughly 260. But he said the tom cat’s forearms made his arms look puny. The cat was so muscular the first tranquilizer dart that Kertson shot at him popped out as the cat flexed its muscles.

The cougar is the largest captured in Washington as far as Kertson knows.

“He was a monster,” he said. “A cougar that pushes 200 pounds I don’t care where you are in the world that’s pretty extraordinary.”

The cougar’s head measured 56 centimeters in circumference. The animal was 9 years old. According to Bart George, a wildlife biologist for the Kalispel Tribe, the cougar was eating mostly elk.

On average, tom cougars weigh between 150 and 155 pounds.

“You could tell he was a big cougar. A couple of the guys had got to the tree before I did. But then when I got up there, I did look at it and think, ‘Wow that’s a pretty big cat,’” Kertson told KREM. “A hundred to 150 pounds is normal, he was 197.2 pounds according to the digital scale. I estimate him to be about 9 years old.”

Kertson also said there is a scar on the cougar’s nose – likely a sign the big cat defended its territory from another male cougar and won.


Tillerson Out, CIA Boss Pompeo In: Trump Appoints New Secretary Of State
CIA will now be run by a WOMAN, first one ever. Expect the MSM to ignore that milestone

WASHINGTON — President Trump removed Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Tuesday and replace him with CIA Director Mike Pompeo.

“I am confident (Pompeo) is the right person for the job at this critical juncture,” Trump said in a statement. “He will continue our program of restoring America’s standing in the world, strengthening our alliances, confronting our adversaries, and seeking the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.”

Trump’s statement did not mention Tillerson, with whom he has been at odds throughout the first 14 months of his administration.

Speaking to reporters Tuesday before leaving for California, Trump said he and Pompeo have a “similar thought process,” while acknowledging he and Tillerson have had disagreements.

“We got along actually quite well but we disagreed on things,” Trump said of Tillerson. “When you look at the Iran deal, I think it’s terrible… So we were not really thinking the same.”

Speaking of Pompeo, Trump said: “Tremendous energy. Tremendous intellect. We’re always on the same wave length. The relationship has always been very good. That’s what I need as secretary of state.

There had been longstanding rumors throughout most of Tillerson’s tenure of friction between Trump and him.
A senior White House official told Fox News the president decided to make the change ahead of his upcoming meeting with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.

“The president wanted to make sure to have his new team in place in advance of the upcoming talks with North Korea and various ongoing trade negotiations,” the adviser said.

Gina Haspel to run CIA

Haspel was the CIA’s deputy director, a career officer who was a longtime clandestine officer.
[ President Trump ] called Haspel’s move to the CIA’s reins ‘a historic milestone.’
The Washington Post reported that Tillerson was ousted on Friday, meaning that the White House known best for leaking information kept it a secret all weekend.

Goodness, have the leaks been plugged? Or the swampy White House basement dried out?


Huh, this month’s Friday the 13th falls on a Tuesday. Go figure.



Murder At My Alma Mater

Nursing student killed, ex flees to Nicaragua

A Binghamton University nursing student from Long Island was found murdered in an off-campus home — and police are eyeing the victim’s ex-boyfriend who left the country, authorities said.

Haley Anderson, 22, of Westbury, LI, was found dead about 12:53 p.m. Friday at the residence near the university, cops said. Anderson’s death was deemed suspicious and an autopsy showed that her death was a homicide. The cause of death was not immediately known.

Police are looking for Anderson’s ex-beau, identified by authorities Monday as 23-year-old Orlando Tercero, also a nursing student at Binghamton, whom they described as a person of interest.

The ex-boyfriend, who cops say is a US citizen, fled the country on an international flight to Nicaragua before Anderson’s body was discovered, authorities said.

The suspect, Orlando E. Tercero, flew to Nicaragua sometime prior to the discovery of 22-year-old Anderson’s body Friday at an Oak Street residence on Binghamton’s West Side, police announced Monday. Tercero is a U.S. citizen who was also enrolled in BU’s nursing program.

Broome County District Attorney Steve Cornwell announced Monday his office plans to seek an indictment from a grand jury in connection with Anderson’s homicide.

The guy took an 8:40am to Managua. While Binghamton does have a decent airport, it’s not that level of international; the flights have several connections and layovers and can take 30 hours. Which means he likely flew out of Buffalo or Newark/NYC/Philly, where you can go direct and one way. All are about the same 3 hours drive from Binghamton, and the NYC area flights cost half as much. Boarding time, security ... he probably had to leave the area in the early hours of Friday, shortly after midnight. So my guess is she was killed Thursday evening, which is the standard “pre-weekend” party night up there. Looks like her housemates called the cops in for a “security check” when they couldn’t get a response from banging on her room door. That’s my guess.

Poor girl. It is not yet clear if Tercero has dual citizenship.



Dammit, we’re going to have another snow storm. Ok, out here in our corner of the state a good distance inland, it isn’t going to be Boston with their forecast of a foot or more, flooding, blizzards, and 60mph winds. But still ... I’m getting sick of it. The ground was just starting to peek out again from the last dump, which took a few days to evaporate down. It feels warm out ... it’s 35. Between Al Gore and that darn groundhog out in PA, I don’t know who to blame the most.


Yes, several stories to blog about today, but I couldn’t drag myself to the keyboard. I’m just zero energy for the past couple days. Not sick, but in need of a long rest ... or a 15 day tropical recharge grin !!


Sorry for the big blog trim. I put all the older newer posts below the fold, and had to trim off a bunch of the older old ones under there. It was just getting too darn unwieldy for editing and previewing.



Another weekend spent car shopping for her. 

Interesting conundrum: a nicely equipped new small car with some pep costs the same as a moderately equipped mid-size car, which costs the same as a 3 to 4 year old German sport/luxury car. The brands don’t really matter; a new Honda Civic costs nearly the same as a new Hyundai Elantra, which costs the same as a Chevy Malibu in the lower trims, and you have to build them up to mid-level Accord prices to make them reasonably nice. But still not as nice as my Mazda3 Grand Touring, although several grand more. VWs cost more, period, but are rock solid vehicles.

But you can get a 3 year old BMW 328i XDrive for the same or less than my Mazda, or an Audi A4 or even an A6 if you get the plainer version. And that’s for a CPO car at a dealership with average miles on it, and several packages and options added in. All for the same low-mid 20s price range.

We drove one of the Elantra sedans, which was acceptably zippy with the 200hp little turbo 4 cylinder. Neither of us liked the brakes, and I thought the car was pretty cheap, though it is maybe just a bit quieter than the Civic. So, we’ll pass. Their GT hatch has wider tires which might have stopped a bit better but it costs a wad, so we didn’t even try it. We took a look at the new Camry and decided it’s hideous. And overpriced. Next.

We’ve got 2 identical 328i Xdrives to look into tomorrow; both under 40K miles, at dealerships an hour away. The CPO ones costs $2K more, but both are built pretty darn swank and nicely optioned out, and appear showroom perfect. $56K sticker when new 3 years ago, low $20s now. Wow, much depreciation. Heavy cars, but they manage the same average mpg as my 3 GT or her old rattle trap Spec V.  And no doubts, these are “Mazda +” quality and then some. Seriously, while I do like the extra zip these mini turbos give, and the better highway mpg, every Japanese, Korean, or American small car we’ve looked into seems rough and raw in comparison to my 3, until you spend about $5K more than mine cost. And you still don’t get the heated steering wheel or the heads up display. The VW Golf is great, and much bigger than it was once upon a time. But to make it fun and nice you have to get the Golf GTI in the SE trim, and that stickers out at $32,000. Waaaay to much for a sporty econobox, even if it is very well made. And it still isn’t as nice inside as my Mazda inside. But it is a bit more fun.



Ok, it’s time to change the time. “Spring forward” tonight; set the clocks ahead an hour.  Such a Spring we’re not yet having. Temps at the freezing point, still a solid layer of snow out there. Come on already.


Yeah, that’ll work: Dem platform for 2020: Get rid of ICE But wouldn’t that accelerate global warming? No, not that kind. They want to defund or abolish la Migra. the immigration & customs enforcement branch of the federal government. Because #resist, or some other suicidal destructive commie worldview. #NoBorders.  If this isn’t Fake News, then they’ve probably just killed their own party. But ICE is soooo unfair!!!. Idiots.

Left-wing pundits and activists are increasing pressure on Democratic politicians to embrace the fringe position of abolishing ICE.

Once an idea limited to the far-left fringes, abolishing the nation’s immigration enforcement agency now looks likely to become a campaign issue in the Democrats’ 2020 presidential primary.

Former Hillary Clinton campaign spokesman Brian Fallon came out for abolishing the agency in January. “ICE operates as an unaccountable deportation force,” Fallon argued. “Dems running in 2020 should campaign on ending the agency in its current form.”

Yeah, unaccountable. Because they enforce the existing laws passed by a majority of elected representatives. So it has to be #EvilTrump’s fault.


Not sure if this one is real or not, but it’s a helluva story if it is true:

Woman gets fired from Virginia social services job because she has a CCW, a concealed carry pistol permit.

Not that she was packing heat at work. Just because she could have been. And they couldn’t accept her word that she hadn’t in the past. She could have, so she could have put them in danger, if she could have been a loonie. So the uppities at SS canned her.

Smells like a gazillion dollar wrongful termination lawsuit and perhaps a court case that could float all the way up to the Supremes?

A woman identifying as a Virginia social worker took to social media Friday evening to vent about being fired from her job for being a concealed carry permit holder.

Storm Durham, a former Department of Virginia Social Services employee who describes herself as a “22 year old blonde who is 5’2 and about 140 pounds who loves everything Disney, pink, and basic,” asserts that she was escorted out of her office by three Roanoke, Va., police officers after she was canned. She was, according to a post on Facebook, not even allowed to use the bathroom due to “serious safety concerns to the building.”

“I was fired today due to having a concealed carry permit,” Durham wrote on Facebook. “Was my gun on me? No. Has it ever been on me during my job, or visits, or anything related to work? No. When I told them that it has never been on me during work, what did they say? ‘How do we know that.’”

“I got my concealed carry because I am woman, and y’all have seen the news, it’s kind of crazy,” she said on a Facebook Live video. In her post, she described herself as a “survivor or (sic) sexual assault.”


Meanwhile, Colorado takes the first step towards becoming another Constitutional Carry state. That’s legal carry, open or otherwise, with no permit required. As in “shall not be infringed”.

DENVER - A proposal in the Colorado legislature that would allow people to carry a concealed handgun without a permit has passed the Colorado Senate and will next go for a vote in the House of Representatives.

SB18-097, sponsored by State Rep. Kevin Van Winkle and State Sen. Tim Neville, would only apply to those who can legally own a handgun. It would give gun owners the same carrying rights as those who have a concealed carry permit.

The law wouldn’t allow concealed carry on any public school property. Eighteen Republicans voted in favor of the bill in the Colorado State Senate; 16 Democrats and one independent voted against the bill.

The bill will next go to the House; no date has been set for a vote yet.

•   Surprise, not a single Democrat supported the measure.

•   Wonder how they’re going to do permitless carry that would only apply to people who can legally own one? Issue purchase permits first, with extreme vetting?

•  Good luck enforcing that Gun Free School Zone crap. And pretty stupid maybe to not be trying to eliminate the “Biden loophole” that’s been one reason for nearly every mass shooting since he introduced it back in 1990.

But whatever, I’d still call it a step in the right direction. Even if this is just some kind of GOP legislative virtue signalling.


California Dreaming: Little Tax Revenue From Pot Farmers; Most Ignore Laws To Make Higher Profits

California’s trademark high taxes and overwhelming, onerous, costly and confusing regulations are preventing the state from reaping the revenue benefits of legalizing the $7 billion marijuana market, a new study by the California Growers Association concludes.

As of Thursday, California’s Bureau of Cannabis Control has sent about 980 warning letters to unlicensed pot sellers and ordered a marketing company to stop advertising vendors who don’t have permits, Bureau Chief of Communications Alex Traverso told

Less than one percent (0.78%) of the state’s 68,150 marijuana growers have obtained licenses, and as little as 25 percent of the cannabis consumed in California is currently being purchased from licensed retailers, “An Emerging Crisis: Barriers to Entry in California Cannabis – California Growers Association,” finds.

The reason: government greed and over-regulation have made it easier and more practical to remain illegal – the same reasons companies typically cite for relocating to another state.

California’s “disregard or lack of concern for the cost (especially one-time costs) of regulatory compliance,” is keeping pot sellers underground, the study concludes.

Exceeding 60 percent, California’s effective tax rate is the highest of any state where cannabis is legal. Water, testing, and historic land use impact regulations are too costly and burdensome, the study finds. And, requiring licensed businesses to buy new generators, instead of retrofitting their current equipment to meet government standards, is both unnecessary and cost-prohibitive. Annual tax-revenue had, initially, been projected to be about one billion dollars.

Maybe if they approached this as just another farm crop, instead of a potential Golden Goose tax source? You know, freedom and stuff like that?


We got beat at bowling last night, 2-5. My knee started going out in the second game which made things difficult. But we had a decent time, and that’s enough.


See More Below The Fold


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 03/19/2018 at 09:29 AM   
Filed Under: • Miscellaneous •  
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calendar   Friday - August 26, 2016

fair use

Once in a while having a clearer understanding of the Fair Use Doctrine can come in handy.

What it is: LINK 1

Here’s a checklist: LINK 2

Here’s a nice graphical flowchart: LINK 3

( source )

Remember, at BMEWS it is always our intent to educate our readers in a non-profit manner.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 08/26/2016 at 04:35 AM   
Filed Under: • Miscellaneous •  
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calendar   Thursday - August 25, 2016

Finishing Strong

We mopped the floor with our opponents last night, taking all 3 games and a total margin of over 100 pins. They were 2 points ahead of us in the standings, but 6 down from the team ahead of them, so our 7-0 win gave us their slot in the standings but wasn’t enough to bridge the points gap into the top 4. So we finished in 5th, and were rewarded a kingly $40 per person. Sweet. Yup, another 3 weeks and we would have been knocking on 1st place. Still, considering we were dead last by 4 points just 7 weeks ago, I think we came back real strong.

I’ve got a couple of new balls on order; the alley’s summer time discount of 40% off created a better price including drilling than any of the online shops would sell me the same balls for without drilling. Sweet.

Winter league starts in 2 weeks. I’m just going to put those balls aside for a little while, not even have them drilled, until I get my release a bit more squared away. I’ve got to my axis tilt and rotation more where they ought to be. Seems like I can either rev the ball up and throw it straight, or rip threw it on the release and get a totally horizontal axis - ie a spinner. Both can make strikes, but neither will hook much at all, so I’m never going to get the kind of entry angle that a big hook shot gives. And that means consistent strikes with a big safety margin. That’s not me. Not yet.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 08/25/2016 at 12:50 PM   
Filed Under: • Bowling Blogging •  
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back to school

First day of school today in our county.

Two new kids on the high school bus early in the morning. Neither was on the grade school bus last year, so they either moved here over the summer or else they escaped from parochial schools and are now experiencing public education for the first time. Woo hoo.

An entire zoo full of little squeakers on the grade school bus. I counted 20 but I don’t think all the kids made it in this morning. And it was helicopter parent time. Oh boy, both mommy and daddy showed up to put junior on the bus, and they got there early with babies in tow to give themselves lots of time to record this momentous event. Even the grandparents were there for a couple of the kids. So in a matter of minutes, I went from total isolation to being ring master for a crowd of almost 70 people. And then, once the individual pictures were taken, the group pictures were taken, the parents only pictures for Facebook were taken, the littlest army filled up half a school bus ("Oh look, how cute! She’s reaching up to take that big first step onto the bus. Get her picture, get her picture!!"), and away they went. An exodus of SUVs and minivans ensued, of size and speed that would make Peiper’s UK Travelers proud. And then it was lonely silence again.

Looks like it’s going to be a good day to paint garages. Now until frost actually.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 08/25/2016 at 12:29 PM   
Filed Under: • Education •  
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calendar   Wednesday - August 24, 2016

And now for something completely different..

At Haymarket Park: Trump by a Bobblehead

It was the battle of the bobbleheads.

Five hundred plastic, blue-pantsuit-wearing Hillary Clintons stood on tables across from 500 “Make America Great Again” red hat-wearing Donald Trumps—a stare down, but with plastered smiles on their bobblehead faces. Tuesday night marked the third Bobble Election at Haymarket Park, held in honor of the upcoming presidential election.

Saltdogs’ fans cast their votes by choosing a free bobblehead before settling down for a game. Whichever of the 500 bobbleheads ran out first was the winner.

Charlie Meyer, president and general manager of the Lincoln Saltdogs, said the poll wasn’t about politically dividing baseball fans but having fun and satisfying curiosity: Will Trump or Clinton be the last man or woman standing?

“It’s been a heated race, and I think it will get much more heated once we get closer to November,” Meyer said. “But this is a fun deal.”

Besides entertainment, Meyer said they hoped to raise awareness by reminding people who haven’t registered to vote to go do so.

It’s 6am, home after a long day (night? Gotta love 3rd shift) at work, and I miiiiiight have made that bourbon & Coke a little stronger than anticipated (Wild Turkey 101, was finishing off the bottle)
This story made me smile. 


Posted by Severa   United States  on 08/24/2016 at 09:58 AM   
Filed Under: • Miscellaneous •  
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calendar   Saturday - August 20, 2016

Rule 34 Is For Real

Rule 34 is the internet rule that says that some kind of porn exists for everything. Shoes, puppies, blueprints, Swiss cheese, rare books, anything. And if porn doesn’t exist for it, the mere mention that such is the case will cause porn to be created for it.

After making my previous bridge post, I stared at my work and eventually realized there was a girl in the picture. Hiding half the truss, thanks. Fine. If that’s how the game is played, let’s go. I knew of one picture right off the top of my head. I even knew the model’s name. So to the search engines, and I plug in “Ariel bridge”

and what comes back is ...


Not what I expected, but both awesome and abhorrent in its own right.

Awesome, because what you’re looking at is a bowstring truss bridge, made from both wrought and cast iron (like I just wrote about) and utilizing our old friend the Phoenix Column. This means the bridge is older than I beams, but younger than the Civil War (because after the war the Phoenix Iron Company turned swords into plowshares almost literally and used their cannon building technology to make rigid braced hollow tubing that could be easily assembled on site; ie the Phoenix Column). And this particular bridge is given superb coverage by my fellow bridge hunter Nathan Holth. Awesomer, because it’s a “WIBCO”; a bridge made by the prolific Wrought Iron Bridge Company of Canton, Ohio. The bridge now lives in a park in Mt. Vernon Ohio, so maybe our friend Turtler can go and visit. Google found it for me because the bridge is funded by the Ariel Foundation. Figures, right?

Abhorrent because the bowstring truss is very strong, so it was a total diss to just nail the thing to the side of a walkway - not even a bridge, just a wooden path with railings on pilings!!! - to make it look like a bridge. This little arch could support a steam locomotive, even though it’s 140 years old. Also abhorr - ok, not really abhorrent, just a bit embarrassing, because the pictures I was looking for all came back in the search too; every one of them already stored in the back room here at this blog. Oh the photos are out there galore; I’m just the only one who renamed them to name the subjects.

Here’s what I was looking for ... mildly NSFW, plus a few others similar, because this is a Rule 34 post after all.

See More Below The Fold


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 08/20/2016 at 05:40 PM   
Filed Under: • BridgesEye-Candy •  
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full countered Pratt pony

Yes, it’s finally time for another bridge post.



Counters are the diagonal members running in the opposite direction. They help manage shear stress. By using the full set of counters you get a bridge made of “X"s, which is very good at supporting transitional loads ... like when a locomotive drives up one end of the span, across it, and off the other end. This is also the very best reason to use forged steel components, because steel can handle switching from tension to compression, which wood and iron can’t. Wood is always weak in tension, cast iron is weak in tension, and forged iron is weak in compression.

Too cute ... the model’s name is Bailey. Like the Bailey bridge? Maybe she has a sister named Bridge-ette.

Woo hoo!


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 08/20/2016 at 04:49 PM   
Filed Under: • Bridges •  
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borderline blues

Buddy Guy blurs the line between rock and the blues. Who cares what you call it? This is dance music, even if you can’t dance. Happy happy happy. Get up and move your big ass ‘round, even if you don’t have one of those either.

I’ve got the CD, which is exceptionally well recorded. Crank up the volume just a bit and it’s like you’re right there.

Just in case you don’t like the blues - there’s got to be one of you, somewhere, right? - check below the fold for a bit of bouncy funk that will also get you up, get you happy, and get you moving. Brought to you by the Lovetone Meatball, or so I’ve been told.

See More Below The Fold


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 08/20/2016 at 04:32 PM   
Filed Under: • Music •  
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under the knife

That does it. The cat is going to get fixed. I can not take it any more.

Dizzy the cat, the mostly blind one, is in heat. Again. Every 4 god damn weeks, I swear. And she’s a very talkative cat to begin with. Which means now I’ve got Opera Cat, doing her full-throated arias all over the house. All day, all night. For days.

Would. You. Please. Shut. The. Flying. Fuck. Up!!!

It doesn’t matter how much she gets petted, or rubbed, or brushed, or played with, or snuggled, or fed. Or anything. A minute later and she’s at it again. 3 in the morning and she jumps up on the bed and starts howling.

Lucky for her she really isn’t trying to get out of the house. Because I might just be too tempted to let her. But more kittens is the last thing we need around here.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 08/20/2016 at 10:09 AM   
Filed Under: • AnimalsCatg Blogging •  
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calendar   Friday - August 19, 2016

thanko yu for not sweating



Only in Japan!! Or by mail order!!! $42 at Japan Trend Shop

h/t to Stoaty the Weasel


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 08/19/2016 at 01:04 PM   
Filed Under: • High TechHumor •  
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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 08/19/2016 at 12:54 PM   
Filed Under: • Hildabeast •  
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calendar   Thursday - August 18, 2016

Almost Made It

We took 5 last night, going 5-2 against the first place team. Not quite enough to knock them off their throne, but enough to give it a big wobble and leave them vulnerable in the finals next week.

I got to play hero twice, putting myself totally in the zone the last few frames of each game to try and pull out a win. That worked in the first game, where I just fixated on the 2nd arrow and threw 9/ X XXX to finish and put 80 on the board for a fat margin win. Tried as hard as I could in Game 2, rolling X X XX9 to add 89 to our score; not enough for a win, but enough so that we lost small, by only 12 pins or so. It wasn’t really necessary in Game 3 because we were well ahead anyway, but I still did X XX9 just for gits and shiggles. I ended the night with a 557 series, which is about where my bowling ought to be.

Next week ... position round, and the parsing of the money. Money honey, woo hoo. Yeah, like $5 each. Ain’t no money in summer league honey.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 08/18/2016 at 09:23 AM   
Filed Under: • Bowling Blogging •  
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calendar   Wednesday - August 17, 2016

Leaving Home

Well, I know it’s been a while since you’ve heard from me, but now I have an announcement to make. And while I have been drafting posts about both the Iran Ransom and the Olympics (and how politics and cheating go hand in hand), but the big news I have to give is closer to home.

I am still committed to this blog and the Great Cause of our time, but tomorrow- possibly today for you- on August 17th I will be moving halfway across the country. I don’t make it a secret that while I am a man of the right, I have also been a Californian born and raised. And what’s more, someone that has lived on the dread, died-in-the-wool-left Coast itself. My parents came from the Middle of the country decades ago to live here, and I have lived here in this house my entire life.

Now I am doubling back on the path tread by them, the “Okies”, and the Miner 49ers and moving to Ohio. I have my misgivings about My Grandmother is getting on in years and could use our help, and above all the costs of uprooting from the home of 20~ years and moving halfway across the country to a place I scarcely know are less than the costs of staying. Taxes are high, a criminally insane water policy has all but insured drought will strike again, the “law” tried to abolish concealed carry, and I still remember the times when Bernie’s Brownshirts attacked a Trump Rally down the street while two married Jihadists slaughtered a Christmas Party.

This would be the chance where the jokes about the Far Left Coast would come up. But in all due honesty… I feel they’re mostly out of place for me personally. I am NOT blind to California’s innumerable flaws, chief among them the dual facts that it seems committed to being re-annexed by Mexican drug cartels and the fact that it has helped elect every Leftist president we have been cursed with. But the California I knew was generally good to me on the whole. Even with a hideously corrupt school system and government. The neighborhoods were good, The food’s delicious (especially if you know where to look), the climate’s generally above par (though anybody who thinks it shines all the time has never shivered in 30 degree F weather in the middle of Fall of in Santa Clara). And perhaps most surprisingly… almost everybody I have met- and I mean almost everybody- from school on was friendly or neutral. And hard as it may seem, many people know about my political and philosophical beliefs- including in school- and were accepting of it, sans a few individuals (two or three of whom I am proud to say I helped fire).

So on some level I think a part of me will always belong to here, even long after I leave. It is the land of my childhood and nothing I can do will change that. And I suppose I can see why many people might be drawn in by the warm, fuzzy glow of a Leftist, progressive utopia. After all, my life has largely been a demonstration of its’ better sides (to the extent that oxymoron exists).

But even then the underlying rot crept up from the cracks. That was all too obvious from when one of my (married) math Co-Teachers was arrested and dragged off for shagging a student, probably with the knowledge of the Principal.  Even though his wife also worked on the very campus. But more damning was the bitter, encrusted corruption that lies at the top of the school districts and how my parents had to use their legal skill and positions in the PTA to fight a years long, savage battle with a system run by people who will screw over their students- including the disabled- in order to serve themselves. The fact that I was framed for defusing a situation with a history professor blocking the door and physically threatening me was probably the nadir of it. And I think it mirrors the dozens of ways=- from water infrastructure to sanctuary cities to drugs to forest ires- that this dream fails. How it crumbles when even a handful of people with black hearts, greedy natures, avarice, or simple incompetence get high enough on the food chain, and how no amount of resources, Godly mercy, or well intentioned people are around.

I was just one of the ones lucky or blessed enough to not suffer the full consequences. The brilliant VDH has made a long, long series of posts that show a fuller story. It’s well worth reading, just in case you thought you knew everything about Leftist Lunacy.

So, what next for me? I don’t know. But regardless of what happens I do know I can look forward to one thing. Ohio’s a swing state, and we’re moving in time for voter re-registration for the General Election. Which means for whatever I’ve given up, I will have the chance to do something I really never have done before. Cast a vote in the General Election that might make a non-trivial difference. And ultimately, why else was America founded?

In any event, I look forward to getting back in the swing of things.

Posted by Turtler   United States  on 08/17/2016 at 06:14 AM   
Filed Under: • EconomicsFamilyNOSTALGIAPersonalPoliticswork and the workplace •  
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calendar   Tuesday - August 16, 2016

Bigger Red Is Extra Green

Such an act: Keeping up with the Jones


Hey, this one’s only red on top and on the bottom. Wait, um, never mind.  red face

Crowley Maritime Corp. took delivery Friday of MT West Virginia, the fourth new Jones Act product tanker built for the company by Philly Shipyard, Inc. (PSI). Crowley will christen the West Virginia on Tuesday at a ceremony at Philly Shipyard.

The LNG-ready West Virginia can be converted for propulsion by liquefied natural gas (LNG), joining sister ships Louisiana, Ohio and Texas, which were received by Crowley in 2015 and 2016 as the first-ever tankers to receive the American Bureau of Shipping’s (ABS) LNG-Ready Level 1 approval.

Like its sister ships, West Virginia is 50,000 dead-weight-tons (dwt) and capable of carrying 330,000 barrels of product. The new tankers are based on a Hyundai Mipo Dockyards (HMD) design that incorporates numerous fuel efficiency features, flexible cargo capability and the latest regulatory requirements. The

vessel is 600 feet long and is capable of carrying crude oil or refined petroleum products, as well as various chemical cargoes. Marathon Petroleum Corporation is the charterer.

If converted to run on LNG, then this ship would have practically no carbon footprint. Well, “no footprint” relative to 600’ cargo ships of 50Kdwt. But aside from a sailboat, that’s as clean and green as it gets.

The Jones Act is a 1920 bit of protectionist legislation properly called The Merchant Marine Act of 1920 that says “keep American shipping American”, from the beginning to the end. It’s all about “cabotage”, a most excellent and rare word, that means the exact opposite of “NIMBY”. It’s total “IMBY”: it wouldn’t surprise me to learn that there’s a paragraph in there requiring the steel used has to be mined and refined here, and any wood grown and worked within our borders. Jones Act, Fuck Yeah!

cabotage:  a requirement that all goods transported by water between U.S. ports be carried on U.S.-flag ships, constructed in the United States, owned by U.S. citizens, and crewed by U.S. citizens and U.S. permanent residents.

Super Patriot John McCain tried to nullify the Jones Act in 2015.



Posted by Drew458   United States  on 08/16/2016 at 05:13 PM   
Filed Under: • planes, trains, tanks, ships, machines, automobiles •  
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Find here top quality how to prepare yerba mate without a gourd that's available in addition at the best price. Get it now!
On: 07/09/17 07:07

The Real Stuff
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Tracked at Candy Blog
On: 06/11/17 10:40

when rape isn't rape but only sexual assault
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Tracked at Trouser Blog
[...] took another century of Inquisition and repression to completely eradicate the [...]
On: 06/07/17 03:37

french bodyguards forget their guns ... oh dear, oh dear
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Tracked at Corps Blog
On: 06/06/17 10:57



Not that very many people ever read this far down, but this blog was the creation of Allan Kelly and his friend Vilmar. Vilmar moved on to his own blog some time ago, and Allan ran this place alone until his sudden and unexpected death partway through 2006. We all miss him. A lot. Even though he is gone this site will always still be more than a little bit his. We who are left to carry on the BMEWS tradition owe him a great debt of gratitude, and we hope to be able to pay that back by following his last advice to us all:
  1. Keep a firm grasp of Right and Wrong
  2. Stay involved with government on every level and don't let those bastards get away with a thing
  3. Use every legal means to defend yourself in the event of real internal trouble, and, most importantly:
  4. Keep talking to each other, whether here or elsewhere
It's been a long strange trip without you Skipper, but thanks for pointing us in the right direction and giving us a swift kick in the behind to get us going. Keep lookin' down on us, will ya? Thanks.


Copyright © 2004-2015 Domain Owner

GNU Terry Pratchett

Oh, and here's some kind of visitor flag counter thingy. Hey, all the cool blogs have one, so I should too. The Visitors Online thingy up at the top doesn't count anything, but it looks neat. It had better, since I paid actual money for it.
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