Sarah Palin knows how old the Chinese gymnasts are.

calendar   Saturday - September 12, 2009

Like camping, only bigger

We’re sort of half unpacked here. Half, and we decided that was okay, since we’re still out there house hunting. Why unpack it all, only to repack it in a month or two? At this point most of the boxes are “stored”. Which means we have a full wall of them stacked up in the den, and another wall of them in my bedroom closet, and a moderate stack right outside the kitchen doorway.

This morning we decided to make a full weekend breakfast; bacon, eggs, and pancakes. The syrup was in a box in my closet. The pancake mix was in a box in the den. The mixing bowl was in one of the boxes outside the kitchen (hey, I am a little organized, and I put labels on all the boxes and then located them strategically), and the griddle was ... somewhere. Somewhere that made me open about a dozen boxes and search for over half an hour.

When I was a kid, we used to go camping. Real camping in a tent, deep in the forest. None of this RV stuff for us. Nor any of that pop up camping trailer nonsense, or even a camper unit in the back of a pickup. And we did it in a little car. We had a 1967 VW fastback, because a) it got great gas mileage, and b) we couldn’t afford anything bigger. I think reason B is why we went camping. It was a cheap vacation, which in theory is better than no vacation at all.


The amazingly cool thing about this little car - it was the “big” VW of it’s day too - was that it had 2 trunks. One in the front, over the gas tank. One in the back, over the engine. It also had seatbelts, and the flexible glass (!!!) rear windows opened with a lever by bending out in the back. Awesome. Inside we fit all 4 of us, our fussy Welsh Terrier dog, a Coleman cooler, and a raffia picnic basket. Food and cooking equipment went in the front trunk. Clothing went in the back trunk, along with fishing gear, all in specially fit boxes. On top was a gigantic car top carrier to hold everything else, a varnished plywood box 5 feet on a side with 10” high walls. We made it ourselves. That was mounted to those heavy duty steel rack mounts that clipped onto the rain gutters on the roof. That box was packed to the gills, and on top, holding everything down, was the enormous Coleman tent we had. Maybe today tents are bigger, but this one, at 9x16 with an 8 foot high ridge line, was gigantic in it’s day. It weighed over 100lbs. It’s bag of aluminum poles was nearly a foot in diameter, and was lashed to the rack mounts alongside the car top box. And in case that wasn’t enough, on top of all of this, we had an 18 foot Grumman aluminum canoe. Don’t ask me how my dad ever managed to get this overload up to 65mph from that potent 1.6 liter, 65hp engine. Or how he managed to stop it either. Or how we managed not to kill each other, driving for days at a time, usually with an overflowing bladder, while the cranky dog got under your feet or stepped on your balls.

Needless to say, crowds gathered when the Pearces went camping. Small boys stared in wonder, because the circus had come to town. “Where’s the engine?” nobody could figure it out. And we had it down to a science too. Arrive at a campground, slather yourself with bug repellent, get out of the car, get to work. First off comes the canoe, then the pole bag, then the tent. Dad lays out the ground cloth after my brother and I have swept the larger rocks and pine cones away. It took 2 people to move the tent, which had to be laid out and unfolded just so, and only lightly staked to the ground. Then it was time to raise the Big Top; first the big center section, then the front, then the back. It was huge! Now tighten the stakes, rig the front fly and it’s poles, work the rain tarp over the top and tie it down. Now tie open the windows, and set the rear window poles. Done. Now we could unload and unload and unload and unload the car. Waterproof tablecloth over the campground table. Aluminum foil on the seats. Coleman stove at one end of the table, gallon of fuel underneath. Fireblackened galvinized bucket goes there. Now go find some water. Lots. Amazing how much stuff we fit into that powder blue sardine can of a car.  “Where’s the engine?” And we did the whole job in about an hour, even when it was pouring rain. Which it often was.

And that’s rather what my life is like right now, living out of boxes. Most of the furniture is still out in the garage too, other then the beds, dressers, and dining table. But this situation is better than camping by far, because we are not constantly being eaten alive by mosquitoes, black flies, deer flies, ticks, chiggers, bees, wasps or ants. And we haven’t had a family of marauding bears in our kitchen here, not ever. Nor any wolves. And we don’t have to walk half a mile in the pitch dark to use an outhouse, or lug buckets of water hundreds of yards from the one and only faucet.

But I do miss that canoe. I sold it to a friend years ago, and it lives in a shed in his back yard. I hope he uses it once in a while. That canoe was tougher than nails. It was the heavy duty white water model, and it went through hell with never a complaint, crack, or leak. Too bad Grumman stopped making them, they were the best. Oh, sorry, they still do! But not the model we had. Ours had the heavy weight skin, the extra ribs, and the bulb keel, in the 18’ size. Toughest SOB little boat ever made.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 09/12/2009 at 10:57 AM   
Filed Under: • Daily Life •  
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Labor Union to Prime Minister …. Turn more to the left or quit!

No. I didn’t make it up.

We didn’t get our mail today so perhaps the strike has finally hit where we are.  Yesterday, our postman (is he now a postperson?) said that some mail here was a bit backed up and deliveries were running late. Then when the morning paper came, came this was a headline I saw first thing.


I guess that says a lot about what’s happening here at the moment.  Gee, and I thought Maggie had destroyed the unions. Guess not.

There is something here called Spanish Practices, which is an expressions that refer to irregular or restrictive practices in workers’ interests. ...
Here’s what the union is insisting on and this comes up every time they strike or even talk about striking.
There are actually 92 SPs but here are top 12.

* Two or three hour minimum daily overtime - so if 30 minutes of actual work is required and completed, then between two and three hours’ payment is demanded;

* An additional allowance claimed for using particular vehicles - regardless of whether the individual has actually driven the vehicle;

* Automatic overtime if mail volumes reach a certain level - regardless of how many ordinary working hours remain that day;

* If a delivery round is finished before the end of the paid shift, the employee expects to be able to go straight home. But if it takes 10 minutes longer two to three hours’ over time is claimed;

* Set overtime level is claimed at Christmas, even if there is no need for any additional hours and no extra hours are worked;

* An additional two hour payment on Easter Saturday - regardless of whether any work required;

* No flexibility between different parts of the same sorting office - if an employee sorts letters for a particular postcode, they will not sort for the adjacent postcode, even though both activities are often in the same room;

* Signing in and out for a shift on arrival - so that no record of actual hours worked exists;

* Collection drivers expect overtime pay for doing collections outside usual route - even if it is done within usual working hours;

* Overtime to cover for an absent colleague - a full day is claimed, even if only half day needed and worked;

* Ban on any cross functional working, even of similar tasks under the same roof;

* Additional meal and grace breaks as custom and practice

Union barons have warned Gordon Brown that they will undermine his leadership unless he brings Labour to the Left.
Derek Simpson, the boss of the biggest union Unite, yesterday said the Prime Minister must stand aside unless he is prepared to steer the party back down the ‘Old Labour’ path.


Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 09/12/2009 at 09:50 AM   
Filed Under: • UKUnions-Labor •  
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calendar   Friday - September 11, 2009

Crowder Does Olby

Ok, it’s a little funny. I don’t watch Olbermann, so I can’t say how accurate this is. But I do watch Glen Beck. My idol!

Hey, I heard John Stossel is moving to Fox News too. About time. My hope is that Fox trades Geraldo to get him. But you know what this really means? It means an even smaller Conservative voice on the major MSM networks. That’s a shame. All the Right is moving to Fox. Now, if we could just get them to start reporting the news, instead of their endless blabfests, then that would be awesomest!


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 09/11/2009 at 11:01 AM   
Filed Under: • HumorTelevision •  
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The article was written by Mr. Cornel Nistorescu and published under the title ‘C’ntarea Americii, meaning ‘Ode To America ‘) in the Romanian newspaper Evenimentulzilei ‘The Daily Event’ or ‘News of the Day’.

~ An Ode to America ~

Why are Americans so united? They would not resemble one another even if you painted them all one color! They speak all the languages of the world and form an astonishing mixture of civilizations and religious beliefs.

On 9/11, the American tragedy turned three hundred million people into a hand put on the heart. Nobody rushed to accuse the White House, the Army, or the Secret Service that they are only a bunch of losers. Nobody rushed to empty their bank accounts. Nobody rushed out onto the streets nearby to gape about.

Instead the Americans volunteered to donate blood and to give a helping hand.

After the first moments of panic , they raised their flag over the smoking ruins, putting on T-shirts, caps and ties in the colors of the national flag. They placed flags on buildings and cars as if in every place and on every car a government official or the president was passing. On every occasion, they started singing: ‘God Bless America !’

I watched the live broadcast and rerun after rerun for hours listening to the story of the guy who went down one hundred floors with a woman in a wheelchair without knowing who she was, or of the Californian hockey player, who gave his life fighting with the terrorists and prevented the plane from hitting a target that could have killed other hundreds or thousands of people.

How on earth were they able to respond united as one human being? Imperceptibly, with every word and musical note, the memory of some turned into a modern myth of tragic heroes. And with every phone call, millions and millions of dollars were put into collection aimed at rewarding not a man or a family, but a spirit, which no money can buy. What on earth can unites the Americans in such way? Their land? Their history? Their economic Power? Money? I tried for hours to find an answer, humming songs and murmuring phrases with the risk of sounding commonplace, I thought things over, I reached but only one conclusion… Only freedom can work such miracles.

Cornel Nistorescu

(This deserves to be passed around the Internet forever.) It took a person on the outside - looking in - to see what we take for granted!


Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 09/11/2009 at 10:52 AM   
Filed Under: • Blog StuffEditorialsFREEDOMWar On Terror •  
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The monster who wants to be a martyr: 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed .

Given the time difference I should have been finished earlier. But better late then never is very true here.
I guess I became aware of this muslim rat bastard about the same time you folks did.  I was disappointed to be honest, because I saw no serious marks on his face. Yeah, you could see he’d roughed up a bit.  But that’s never enough to satisfy me were these sub humans are concerned.

I’m especially PO’d knowing “Human Rights” lawyers will be involved with this. I don’t understand that since nothing human is visible to me.
No point in me ranting about what should be done with yuman rights lawyers.

I tend to have a violent and vindictive nature where these folks are concerned. And never, ever am I forgiving. I lump the lawyers in with guys like this rat’s ass.  And btw, aren’t we carrying this idea of “trials” a bit too far?  Trial for what?  To see if he’s guilty?  He’s proud of it. He says so.

If found guilty, Mohammed will achieve his aim of execution - which is why, in a bid for martyrdom, the Guantanamo Five wrote to the presiding judge saying that they wished to ‘announce our confessions and plea in full’.
There was no sense of regret, nor any hint of apology. Instead, the letter stated: ‘Our success is the greatest praise of the Lord’.

By success, they were referring, of course, to the 9/11 massacre for which Mohammed has admitted complete responsibility - ‘from A to Z’ as he put it.

I also have a beef with the writer of this column, referring to our CIA operatives as, CIA ‘ knuckledraggers.’ I can only hope that one day he becomes a victim himself.  How easy it is without being there, to be critical of our guys in the field.


In fairness however, the focus of his column today is on this miserable turd.
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed pictured after his capture in Pakistan on March 1, 2003

The monster who wants to be a martyr: 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is now aiming for execution

By Michael Burleigh
11th September 2009

Self-glorifying: Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, pictured in Guantanamo dressed like Osama Bin Laden


He has changed quite a bit since March 1, 2003, when at dead of night he was dragged, puffy-eyed and dressed in a dirty T-shirt, from a rat hole in Rawalpindi, the headquarters of Pakistan’s military.

Despite the CIA’s billion-dollar electronic surveillance networks, which netted other suspects, it was an informer slipping into a bathroom to text ‘I am with KSM’ that did for Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the self-styled operational mastermind of 9/11 whose anniversary falls today.

The informer, described as ‘a little guy who looked like a farmer’ became $25 million (£15 million) richer after pocketing the bounty the U.S. government had placed on the terrorist’s head. He now lives in the U.S.

For Mohammed, capture meant a three-year odyssey through all manner of ‘dark places’ - unaccountable secret prisons and interrogation centres in countries ranging from Poland to Thailand - before his final transfer to Guantanamo Bay in September 2006.

He has grown bulkier during his incarceration there, and appears to have recovered some of his dignity. He wears white robes, with a huge beard and a turban adding to the imposing effect of his presence, as this picture taken by the Red Cross shows.

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed wants to be executed and become a martyr to his grotesquely perverted cause. He and four other defendants pleaded guilty to murder and war crime charges at the military tribunal in Guantanamo back in December last year.

If found guilty, Mohammed will achieve his aim of execution - which is why, in a bid for martyrdom, the Guantanamo Five wrote to the presiding judge saying that they wished to ‘announce our confessions and plea in full’.

There was no sense of regret, nor any hint of apology. Instead, the letter stated: ‘Our success is the greatest praise of the Lord’.

By success, they were referring, of course, to the 9/11 massacre for which Mohammed has admitted complete responsibility - ‘from A to Z’ as he put it. Indeed, from his Karachi hidey-hole he set up banks of VCRs to capture his evil handiwork as the Twin Towers fell.

As for the 3,000 people killed, he dismissed them during one interrogation, saying ‘the language of war is victims’.

And the truth is that Mohammed, by attempting to gain martyrdom status, is still indulging in acts of war from within Guantanamo Bay.
Obama wants the prison closed by January next year

He wants to be a suicide defendant if you like, as opposed to a suicide bomber. He dismissed the military lawyer assigned last year to advise him in the conduct of his own defence, saying: ‘I understand we are in a big drama. We don’t want to waste our time with motions and motions.’

That is a clue to his strategy. Mohammed wants to be sentenced to death as quickly as possible, to take full advantage of the fact that much of the world abhors Guantanamo Bay and questions the legality of the military tribunals.

He hopes his death at the hands of wicked ‘Crusader-Zionists’ will appall a credulous Muslim world from which Al Qaeda will garner further recruits.

Yet he has been frustrated in his aims by President Obama. Although around 225 prisoners are still held in Guantanamo, the President has said he wants the prison closed by January next year.

In the meantime, as Obama decides how to proceed with the war crimes prosecutions begun under President Bush, Mohammed’s trial has been suspended.

So the master terrorist and his associates have clearly come up with a new strategy to fan the flames of extremism: encouraging the release of photographs of himself, dressed almost exactly as if he were Osama Bin Laden.

It was in February that the U.S. military started allowing the Red Cross, which monitors conditions in Guantanamo, to photograph detainees, and the charity has taken pictures of 107 inmates. Detainees are allowed to select two shots, and the Red Cross sends five prints to their families, along with personal messages.

The Red Cross insists the photos are not intended for general release, but after Mohammed was photographed in July, his pictures appeared on internet sites used by Al Qaeda and its sympathisers.

Jarret Brachman, former research director at the Combating Terrorism Center of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, fears they are being used to elicit sympathy and support for Mohammed.

Australian counter-terrorism expert Leah Farrall first noticed one of the photographs last week on an internet forum that Al Qaeda has used for messaging.

She said it has since ‘gone viral’, with users posting online statements of support for Mohammed. The former terrorism analyst with the Australian Federal Police said she saw a message that read: ‘We’ll come and get you.’

AN EARLY DECISION on Mohammed’s fate is highly unlikely given the difficulties that human rights lawyers will cause any prosecution case, amid concerns that his confessions were extracted by CIA ‘ knuckledraggers’ using morally dubious techniques. He is alleged to have been subjected to waterboarding (simulated drowning) 183 times.

But whatever the outcome, no one should be in any doubt that he is an evil man, diabolically fertile in inventing ways of causing mass carnage. He contributed money to the 1993 New York World Trade Centre bombing, whose mastermind was his nephew, Ramzi Yousef.

There’s quite a bit more and you’ll find it HERE


Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 09/11/2009 at 10:11 AM   
Filed Under: • Judges-Courts-LawyersRoPMATerroristsWar On Terror •  
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9/11 8 years later


Remembrance is worthless without resolve.

Resolve is useless without action.

There is no forget. There is no forgive. Today we honor the memory of the thousands of innocents who died, and the hundreds of heroes who died while trying to save them. And we remember that we are still a nation at war, not a nation at the mall. We are renewed in our awareness of who the enemy is, regardless of what politicians want you to believe.  As the years go by it pains me to see how few of us actually understand this. It hurts me more to see how many of us have chosen the easy path of cowardice and submission to our enemies.


Lan astaslem!  I will NOT submit!

Today is not for for Going Green. Today is not for Union Pride. Today is not for embracing ever expanding big government, holding hands in a circle singing Kumbayah and praising our Maximum Leader. Today is not for Give Peace A Chance, because we gave peace a chance for 30 years before that Tuesday morning, and all we got for it was our own blood spilled, time after time after time after time after time.

So reflect and remember today, then renew your resolve. Man up, saddle up, let’s roll. It ain’t even close to over yet.

As usual, many others have expressed the dialectic better than I. Michelle Malkin has her piece, as does Mischa. There is a superb presentation over at tripod that is well worth watching. It runs for about 10 minutes.



Posted by Drew458   United States  on 09/11/2009 at 08:36 AM   
Filed Under: • War On Terror •  
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Well, it looks like the nanny state has finally come to this. Maybe it’s needed in this world. ??

I really don’t know anymore. Based on the kind of God awful news we get these days about child abuse, my knee jerk reaction is of course, good. Something needs to be in place to avoid the kind of things people are doing in the world we now live in.
But then upon reflection I think wait a minute.  This isn’t too comfortable at all. It almost says that ALL of us are potential child predators.
Will kids be safer if we’re all thought guilty before hand?

What a world.  And one sad and frustrating feature of it is, and I’m referring to what has been reported here in the UK, is that an awful lot of that abuse has been overlooked by the very people who are supposed to report on it and if need be, stop it.  I think this is scary frankly.
You may not agree, but it seems over the top.  Why not make severe examples out of those authorities KNOW are guilty?

You’ll recall the update posted here last week about the two brothers, aged 10 and 11 who assaulted two boys, forced sexual activity and tried to burn a girls hair.  Their home life if you can call it that, wasn’t much. The mother on drugs and booze and an abusive dad etc., etc. They learned that behavior from their parents.  She was giving them pot to keep em “calm.” Lets face it. That’s child abuse. And it was known for more then a year by the powers that be. (but I still think the little shits should be hung)
Anyway ...  take a look at this headline.

Doncaster boys’ mother on 5-month holiday
The mum of the two young boys, convicted of torturing another two youngsters in Edlington near Doncaster, is staying in a seaside caravan being paid for by Doncaster Council because of fears for her safety if she stayed in her council house.

Uh huh ... on the taxpayer as usual but apparently mommy dearest was sober enough to understand SAFETY.  Hers.  And if she wasn’t fearful over the past year or two while ppl were complaining, why suddenly now?

Which all brings me to the story below.  Here’s where we are, the former Gt. Britain, year 2009.  The issue is Child Abuse.

Parents who ferry children must have anti-paedophile checks

Parents who give lifts to other children from sports and social clubs face prosecution if they fail to register with the Government’s new anti-paedophile database.

By Tom Whitehead, Home Affairs Editor
Published: 7:00AM BST 11 Sep 2009

Any formal agreement to ferry youngsters to and from the likes of Scouts, dance classes or local football matches, even if only once a month, will fall under the Government’s new Vetting and Barring Scheme.

It means anyone who fails to register and have their backgrounds checked faces a fine of up to £5,000 and a criminal record.

Parents who help children read in class or those who host foreign pupils as part of school exchange trips will also have to be vetted by the new Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) and undergo criminal record checks.

School governors, dentists, pharmacists, prison officers and even dinner ladies are among the huge list of people who will now fall under the scheme, which starts to be rolled out next month and will eventually cover 11.3 million people.

Anyone who is paid for their efforts will also be charged a £64 fee to register, although unpaid volunteers are exempt from paying.

Critics warned the system, the largest database of its kind in the world, is disproportionate and will put people off volunteering or carrying out public duties.

It has been set up in the wake of the Soham murders and is aimed at stopping paedophiles getting access to children or inappropriate people working with vulnerable adults.

It is the first time the true scope has been revealed and will cover even those with the briefest of contact with children.

The Information Commissioner’s Office, the data watchdog, fears such a large database will present a security risk to people’s personal details.

Chris Huhne, the Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman, said: “Children’s safety is paramount but we are in danger of creating a world in which we think every adult who approaches children means to do them harm.

“The creation of the world’s biggest checking system is a disproportionate response to the problem it is trying to solve.”

Chris Grayling, the shadow Home Secretary, added: “We all understand the need for proper protection of our children but this new regime has the potential to be a real disaster for activities involving young people in the UK.

“We are going to drive away volunteers, we’ll see clubs and activities close down and we’ll end up with more bored young people on our streets.”

Under the scheme anyone in regular contact with children or vulnerable adults in England, Wales and Northern Ireland will have to register with the ISA, a Home Office sponsored body, and have a criminal records check.


BTW .... The headline in another newspaper leads off with,



Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 09/11/2009 at 08:18 AM   
Filed Under: • Nanny StateUK •  
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Not a bad way to start a Friday:  Classic cars from beer cans.

This caught my attention while looking for a moombat story from yesterday. No big deal as there are always moonbat stories available.
Anyway ... this is pretty clever and artful too.

Engineer makes classic cars from beer cansAn engineer dedicated to recycling has produced a series of detailed classic car models from empty beer cans.

Published: 9:34AM BST 11 Sep 2009

Engineer Sandy Sanderson’s classic car model made from Guinness beer cans Photo: CATERS
Sandy Sanderson, 55, creates the models from mangled containers of well-known brands.


The cars come complete with tiny gearsticks, peddles, dashboard dials and even glove boxes.

So far his mini car plant has produced nearly ten of the vehicles including buggies, vans, roadsters and sports cars.

Mr Sanderson decided to pursue the project after he was badly injured in a motorbike accident.

While he was recovering the father-of-two said that he was looking at the bottom of a beer can when the novel idea occured to him.

Mr Sanderson, who is from Sunderland but now lives in New Zealand, said: “While I was off work, after the accident, I had the time to try making a racing car from drinks cans.

“I have always looked at the bottoms of cans and thought ‘That would make a really neat half wheel’.

“The plans for each car take around three or four weeks to complete and then around 80 hours to build each one depending on how detailed they are.

“I actually don’t drink much because I spill most of it.

“I drink Coca-Cola, and I like rum, but I have to persuade other people to drink the beer for me, fortunately I get plenty of offers for help there.

“For what may appear to be just one can moving across a bonnet and down around a mudguard there could actually be five or six cans used to create that effect.

“Some of the cars have required over 30 cans for their construction.”

Sandy works as an engineering laser cutter in Hamilton, New Zealand, where he lives with his wife Jo.



Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 09/11/2009 at 07:47 AM   
Filed Under: • Art-Photography •  
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calendar   Thursday - September 10, 2009

I love my ISP

think you have slow internet? Think again. And count your blessings YET AGAIN that you don’t live in Africa

Carrier Pigeon faster than internet

A South African carrier pigeon has transported data faster than sending it via the country’s internet network.

Internet speed and connectivity in Africa’s largest economy are poor because of a bandwidth shortage. It is also expensive.

Local news agency SAPA reported the 11-month-old pigeon, Winston, took one hour and eight minutes to fly the 80km from IT company Unlimited IT’s offices near Pietermaritzburg to the coastal city of Durban with a data card was strapped to his leg.

Including downloading, the transfer took two hours, six minutes and 57 seconds—the time it took for only 4 per cent of the data to be transferred using a Telkom line.

SAPA said Unlimited IT performed the stunt after becoming frustrated with slow internet transmission times.


The plucky 11-month-old homing pigeon took on state-owned Telkom’s ADSL line on Wednesday to see which could deliver four gigabytes of data fastest to an address around 85 kilometres away.

Winston was racing on behalf of The Unlimited, a telemarketing company based in the port city of Durban, which wanted to transfer the data from its call centre in Howick, north of Durban, to its offices in Hillcrest, on the city’s norther outskirts.

Announcing the race on its website Unlimited complained about the “great challenges in getting data from its locations across KZN (KwaZulu-Natal province) back to its central location for storage.”

Unlimited had decided to test the contention of a member of staff remarked it would be faster to send the data by pigeon than through Telkom, the fixed-line operator which has a monopoly on ADSL.

Visibility was poor on race day but Winston completed the flight in one hour and eight minutes

Sucks to be Telkom SA.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 09/10/2009 at 09:40 PM   
Filed Under: • High Tech •  
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Northeast Passage Open, Transited

Uh oh. Looks like that naughty Global Warming is to blame.

First through Northeast Passage

Simultaneously as climate scientists can see a near record low sea ice in the Arctic, two German merchant vessels are the first ever to make it through the formerly impenetrable Northeast Passage.

The German shipping company’s two vessels have reached their destination of Novy Port in the outlet of the Ob River after they sailed from Ulsan in South Korea in August. End of August and beginning of September is the time of the year with minimum ice along the northern coast of Siberia.

The last updated data from the National Snow and Ice Data Centre shows that the averaged sea ice extent in the Arctic over August 2009 was 6,26 million square kilometres. That is 1,41 million square kilometres below the 1979 to 2000 average.

The two German commercial vessels to be the first to sail the route all the way through the Arctic from east to west are now delivering their cargo, 44 modules with single weight of 200 tons or more, onto barges in the Ob River reports HeavyLift. Then the two ships will sail around the Yamal Peninsula, cross the Barents Sea to Murmansk and head on to Rotterdam with its remaining 3,500 freight tons, writes HeavyLift.

The vessels, belonging to the Beluga Group, are of ice class and this year’s voyage comes after long time planning and a delayed permission to sail the route from Russian authorities. The voyages were first intended to take place last year as reported by BarentsObserver.

Following the climate changes and rapidly decreasing sea ice in the Arctic, there is a growing interest in Arctic Shipping.


The MV Beluga Foresight

Ok, so two ships got through. Was it clear sailing all the way? Heck no - they had ice breakers clearing a path for them. Isn’t that sort of cheating?

>Mission accomplished – world premiere successful: Both multipurpose heavy lift project carriers MV “Beluga Fraternity” and MV “Beluga Foresight” have reached their destination in Siberia safely. On Monday, 7th of September 2009, within a few hours time the vessels which are loaded with heavy plant modules each dropped their anchors at Novyy Port / Yamburg in the delta of river Ob. Hence, Bremen-based project and heavy lift carrier Beluga Shipping GmbH has succeeded in sending two merchant vessels through the formerly impenetrable Northeast-Passage from Asia to Europe for the first time. MV “Beluga Fraternity” had cast off on 23rd of July, sister vessel MV “Beluga Foresight” five days later from Ulsan, South Korea, to enter the so called Northern Sea Route via the inspection point at Vladivostok in order to deliver their project cargo as far into the destination area as no other merchant vessel had previously been able to. Now, the in total 44 cargo modules with single weights of 200 tons and above are discharged offshore onto barges by the on-board crane gear and then will be transported further to Surgut. Subsequent to this operation both vessels via Murmansk are going to sail to Central Europe to safely deliver the remaining 3,500 freight tons of construction parts packed in wooden boxes each to Rotterdam.

“We are all very proud and delighted to be the first western shipping company which has successfully transited the legendary Northeast-Passage and delivered the sensitive cargo safely through this extraordinarily demanding sea area”, Niels Stolberg said, President and CEO of Beluga Shipping GmbH, after the masters Captain Aleksander Antonov and Captain Valeriy Durov had stated the droppings of the anchor at the port of destination. “To transit the Northeast-Passage so well and professionally without incidents on the premiere is the result of our extremely accurate preparation as well as the outstanding team work between our attentive captains, our reliable meteorologists and our engaged crew”, said Stolberg.

During the passed days which led through the East Siberian Sea, the Sannikov Strait and the Vilkizki Strait as northernmost part the Beluga vessels followed in a little convoy behind Russian Atomflot-ice breakers “50 let Pobedy” and “Rossia”. Small ice bergs, ice fields and ice blocks were safely passed nautically. After the successful premiere, Beluga Shipping announced further project journeys through the Northeast-Passage for 2010 – then probably with the new Super Heavy Lift vessels of the Beluga P-class already, which will be launched as from autumn this year onwards.


The MV Beluga Felicity

Both these ships are relatively small, 138 meters long by 21 meters wide. Details on both ships here. The two Russian nuclear powered icebreakers are each 160 meters long and 30 meters wide, much larger than the cargo ships. The first ship in this class, the Arktika broke ice all the way to the North Pole, back in 1977, when we all still believed in Global Cooling. So far it is the only surface ship to ever sail (crunch?) it’s way to the Pole.

Novy Port on the Ob River is about halfway across Russia on the north coast. A bit south and east of that giant peninsula thingy called Novaya Zemlya, about 2/3 the way into the big bay.

So while it is impressive that this has been done, it isn’t that stupendous a deal, nor is it indicative that all the polar bears are gonna die now. It’s a stunt. All it really proves is that Russia’s giant icebreaker ships are still running just fine. But by next week the ice up there will be too thick and growing too fast for another cargo ship to get through.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 09/10/2009 at 09:00 PM   
Filed Under: • AdventureClimate-Weather •  
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Nearly Wordless Post


Washroom gender signs. Awesome. 


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 09/10/2009 at 06:29 PM   
Filed Under: • Fun-Stuff •  
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It’s a problem

being a dog, trying to play fetch, when you live in Vermont.

Dog Philosophy:

1. Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joy ride.
2. Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure ecstasy.
3. When loved ones come home, always run and greet them.
4. When it’s in your best interest, always practice obedience.
5. Let others know when they’ve invaded your territory.
6.Take naps and always stretch before rising.
7. Run, romp and play daily.
8. Eat with gusto and enthusiasm.
9. Be loyal.
10. Never pretend to be something you’re not.
11. If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.
12. When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by and nuzzle them gently.
13. Delight in the simple joys of a long walk.
14. Thrive on attention and let people touch you.
15. Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.
16. On hot days, drink lots of water and lie under a shady tree.
17. When you’re happy, dance around and wag your entire body.
18. No matter how often you are criticized, don’t buy into the guilt thing and pout. Run right back and make friends.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 09/10/2009 at 04:22 PM   
Filed Under: • Fun-Stuff •  
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Withdrawl Pangs

No wonder I feel out of it. I’ve been without TV for nearly 3 weeks now.

The first week I was packing stuff up, so I had no time or energy for watching anything.

The second week I was unpacking all that stuff, so again, no time or energy.

When we finally moved enough boxes to actually get at the set, and had a chair or two to sit on and watch, we had the TV on for about 5 minutes and it went PLLTrph. Fried. Smell of toasted electronics. That set has worked perfectly for 11 years. It’s a 32” CRT, and it weighs about 125 pounds. I DO NOT want to carry it downstairs and then over to the TV repair shop, but I guess I’ll have to. There is no money in the budget for a new flat screen TV; we’d need a 42” model to equal the viewing size of this one. Sure, with HDTV the picture would be so much better, but a set that size of 1080p quality is still quite expensive ($1700 for the LCD TV LG 47LH90, $1500 for their 42” version, both are top rated sets).

So pretty much no TV. And I haven’t even been given a Time Out or sent to my room!

We do have one ancient scratchy old 19” POS in the bedroom, so I’ve caught a bit of the news from time to time. But in this “moving” shuffle here, the digital adapter got misplaced, so that set only has perhaps a third of it’s possible channels running.

And between work, and trying to find some place to purchase before this tax credit thing expires, I still have no time to watch.

But hey, our place is much cleaner, and we’ve managed to throw away a bunch of crap. So good for us.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 09/10/2009 at 02:20 PM   
Filed Under: • Daily LifeTelevision •  
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These don’t look much like real soldiers or even military helmets.


Defence show

Model Carly Baker adds some glamour to the proceedings, which included the presentation of high-tech clothing for soldiers in combat

David Bebber/The Times

There’s some bullets and guns and ammo and stuff here but only 8 pix.


I think this caption next to a small show of weapons is soooo funny.

Defence show

A Chinese delegation is attending the event, at the invitation of Britain’s trade body, UK Trade and Investment. China is subject to a Europe-wide arms embargo and will be concentrating on humanitarian and disaster relief equipment

I’m curious. Really. If you were attending a weapons show, would you be paying much attention to the young lady? 


Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 09/10/2009 at 01:01 PM   
Filed Under: • Fun-StuffGuns and Gun ControlUK •  
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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.


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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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