BMEWS
 
Sarah Palin will pry your Klondike bar from your cold dead fingers.

calendar   Thursday - June 06, 2013

Small Victories

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This was never a task I’d planned, not my intention.
I got so brave, scotch in hand, lost my discretion
It’s not what I do, just tryin’ to save a buck.
The casing was split in half, the motor f**k.


I fixed the drill and it runs fine,
the smell of old burned grease.
I reversed the brushes to revive it,
I glued it up and regreased it.
It was so dead,
Now it runs right.
Cleaned thrust bearings and wires right.
I fixed the drill and it’s perfect (I fixed it).


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I haven’t repaired a motor in more than a decade. Good to know that I still know how. And while the big old rechargeable drills are great, and the high torque Makita can really do the job, and while the Milwaukee 3/4” impact drill will bore into concrete or railroad rails, a good old Black & Decker 3/8” Reversible can do just about everything around the house, weighs nothing, and is easy to get into tight places. Until they fall off a ladder from two stories up and smash to bits on the concrete. And a new one is “only” $24.95 or so, but that’s not the point.


I fixed the drill. And no apologies to Katy Perry whatsoever.



You have to celebrate your own little moments in this life, because very few others are going to celebrate them for you.
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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 06/06/2013 at 10:36 PM   
Filed Under: • Daily LifeEye-Candy •  
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double wireless. Or is it triple?

Cross your fingers and hold your breath. I’m about to upgrade the digital cable TV internet/voice modem. They sent me a new one that is “DOCSIS 3.0” whatever that is ... the old one was too ... but this one is supposed to give me d/l speeds of 105Mb/s. And it appears to have a wireless router built in, along with 4 network sockets. Egad. And one will go to the WiFi router I already have, which has 4 network sockets. And is a dual-band thingie. How many darn devices do I have to own to make use of this? And now I’ll have 3 bands of two different wirelessessess? Great googly-moogly.

And in theory, if I get their WiFi telephone app for the iPlate gizmo the wife has, she can then make free phone calls or text messages from it from anywhere WiFi-ish. Hooray. I think.  Only problem is, they don’t include a backup battery, which sets me back about $40, but keeps the phone running for half a day if the power goes out. Hmmph. The last modem thinger came with a battery. Whatever. 105Mb/s ... golly. I’ll have to find some truly massive documents or graphics to d/l. Or try one of these Xfinity streaming videos I’m always hearing about? Like I need a video of streaming. We’ve got a stream right here down in the gully, I can watch that stream streaming all day in real time any time I want, for free.

Technology. Sometimes it’s over my head.

At least I don’t have Verizon for my digital services. But if Obama’s midnight minions are going to trash the 4th Amendment, I’m sure they suck up all of the other phone companies’ data next. Bastiges.

http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865581236/The-Guardian-Verizon-has-been-giving-all-of-the-companys-US-phone-records-to-NSA.html

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/06/nsa-phone-records-verizon-court-order

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/verizon-providing-all-call-records-to-us-under-court-order/2013/06/05/98656606-ce47-11e2-8845-d970ccb04497_story.html

PS - the news says all this BS was done with a court order. Can we find the judge who figured out that the government had probable cause on the entire population ... and then run him out of town? What a buffoon.

PPS - Oh, it was because of the Patriot Act? So it’s Bush’s fault, eh? Well ... maybe so. But you do realize just how easy a task it is for a building-size super computer network to play Six Degrees Of Kevin Bacon with the whole country’s phone records, right? Yes, it’s a big task, and a recursive one, but this is what mongo computers are for. And in a matter of days, perhaps even hours, they can create a phase space neural net - a multi-dimensional digital edge map that looks like a fishnet - of everyone’s calls to everyone, with shade gradiation on the frequency and number of calls. And with that ... oh, say they arrest some muzzie for suspected Sudden Jihad Syndrome. Plug his phone number into the system, and instantly they know who the top 300 people he calls are. And who the top 500 people they call are. And any and every phone that has received only one call, ever (kaboom!). So sleep well, knowing you’re protected. Because the government knows every time you call Aunt Tilda. Or your bank. Or 1-900-spank-my-monkey. Until some .gov idiot “accidentally” takes home huge pieces of the network on his laptop, which “gets stolen”, as usual, and two weeks later MultiMegaBrands Inc has the most powerful direct marketing tool ever made.

Back in the day, we used to mock on MCI, a small phone company: Mafia Controlled Industries “we know where your friends and family live”. Now it’s a reality. From your government. The one with “limited powers”, like you learned in school. Yeah right. Snort!!

Hmm ... how to make money off of this? (which proves I am an American!) How about ... let’s see ... the only way to have any kind of phone privacy will be to have one-call cellphones. Instead of buying a phone, why not just have a SIM rewriting station? For $1 you get a new phone number and 20 minutes of talk time. For $50 you get 100 new phone numbers and 2000 minutes, and that SIM works in my new design $300 smart phone that automatically generates a new sending number. I have to work on this idea; you’d still need a stable receiving number to take calls. But if you crossed the concept with that clock based encryption concept, then you could have infinite numbers coming and going, and even if 500 million other people had phones just like it, half a billion phone numbers out of oodleplexes of oodleplexes of them means you’d almost never tap into another running conversation. It would also mean the end of the American 123-456-7890 phone number scheme. So what? It’s all computers now anyway. Who cares if your new number is 234509209435-9023452345-1234524580084576? All you do is talk to your phone and say “Call Spank My Monkey”. And all you’d do is stop off at any phone store and buy airtime. With cash of course.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 06/06/2013 at 05:34 PM   
Filed Under: • Miscellaneous •  
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The Mane Attraction

No, not another redhead post.

This one is about a Victoria Australia zoo who found a great way to show off their lions: they put big chunks of raw meat on the hood of their safari car. Yikes!



Face To Face With The King Of Beasts



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Here kitty kitty! George, toss out the Sunday roast. That will get his attention!


The four passengers in the jeep must feel a whisker away from death as a lion jumps up on to their bonnet for lunch.

But that’s all part of the attraction. The jeep is a new zoo exhibit which allows visitors to get incredibly close to the lions.
...
It makes for an exhilarating experience, according to Robyn and Davin Price, both 34, who visited the Werribee Open Range Zoo, in Melbourne, Australia, with their children Ariel, five, Eden, three, and baby Evie.
...
This incredible Lions on the Edge exhibit, which puts you just inches from a lion’s jaws, is one of the biggest attractions at the zoo.
...
Davin added: ‘The children were trying to reach out to touch the lions. It’s a brilliant idea.  I’ve never been so close to such incredible animals before.’

Heather Sargeant, who was also at the zoo on Friday, said: ‘You don’t realise just how big they are until they are staring you in the face like that.’

Gee, ya think? Nothing gets the heart pumping like a 450lb giant cat on the hood of your car having a quick snack of raw pot roast. And you’re sitting right there. And he’s still hungry. No worries mate, Australia always has more tourists!

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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 06/06/2013 at 12:14 PM   
Filed Under: • AnimalsFun-Stuff •  
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calendar   Wednesday - June 05, 2013

Ginger in the sand

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SPF 250 ought to be about right.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 06/05/2013 at 06:01 PM   
Filed Under: • Eye-Candy •  
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Don’t Worry, Nobody Ever Comes Here

Secret “Man Caves” Found In EPA Warehouse

Fine: lazy and corrupt contractors. But more importantly: WHY does the EPA have a CRATE of diplomatic passports???



A warehouse maintained by contractors for the Environmental Protection Agency contained secret rooms full of exercise equipment, televisions and couches, according to an internal audit.

EPA’s inspector general found contractors used partitions, screens and piled up boxes to hide the rooms from security cameras in the 70,000 square-foot building located in Landover, Md. The warehouse—used for inventory storage—is owned by the General Services Administration and leased to the EPA for about $750,000 per year.

The EPA has issued a stop work order to Apex Logistics LLC, the responsible contractor, ensuring the company’s workers no longer have access to the site—EPA security officials escorted contractor personnel off the premises on May 17—and ending all payments on the contract.

Since awarding the contract in May 2007, EPA has paid Apex Logistics about $5.3 million, most of which went to labor costs. Conditions at the facility “raise questions about time charges made by warehouse employees under the contract,” the report said.

“The warehouse contained multiple unauthorized and hidden personal spaces created by and for the workers that included televisions, refrigerators, radios, microwaves, chairs and couches,” the IG report said. “These spaces contained personal items, including photos, pin ups, calendars, clothing, books, magazines and videos.”

The agency has completed an inventory of the warehouse’s contents and segregated all surplus furniture. EPA has committed to conducting an agency-wide review of all warehouse and storage facility operations.

In addition to the secret rooms, the IG found an incomplete and inaccurate recordkeeping system; numerous potential security and safety hazards, including an open box of passports; and “deplorable conditions”—such as corrosion, vermin feces and “pervasive” mold.


A little By The Way: Apex Logistics LLC is owned by China. So why were they even hired by the EPA to run a warehouse in Maryland??


[From the EPA’s own report]:

Our initial research at the EPA’s Landover warehouse raised significant concerns with the lack of agency oversight of personal property and warehouse space at the facility. In particular:
 The warehouse recordkeeping system was incomplete and inaccurate.  The warehouse was filled with considerable valuable amounts of unusable, inoperable and obsolete furniture and other items.  The warehouse contained multiple unauthorized and hidden personal spaces that included such items as televisions and exercise equipment.
 Numerous potential security and safety hazards existed at the warehouse, including unsecured personally identifiable information (such as passports).
 Deplorable conditions existed at the warehouse; corrosion, vermin feces, mold and other problems were pervasive.
As a result of the conditions noted, EPA property at the warehouse was vulnerable to theft and abuse (including personally identifiable information), EPA property was not properly maintained, the EPA may not have received sufficient value for the funds it paid for the warehouse’s operation, and warehouse workers were subjected to unsafe conditions for which the EPA could be held liable.
Agency Corrective Actions
Subsequent to our briefing to the agency on the conditions noted at the warehouse, the agency issued a stop work order to the contractor, ensuring there will be no further access to the site by contractor personnel and that no further costs will be incurred under the contract. Further, the agency has taken the following additional actions:
 Completed an inventory of the warehouse and is seeking an appraisal of
inventoried items.
 Identified and segregated all surplus furniture.
 Reviewed background investigations on warehouse employees.
 Removed flammable materials from the warehouse.
 Performed a health and safety review.
 Reviewed security footage.
The agency also agreed to initiate action addressing personally identifiable information, completing standard operating procedures for the warehouse, developing security plans, and conducting an agencywide review of all warehouse and storage facility operations.

Not to worry, your government is on the ball (finally) and taking action:

In addition to the efforts to secure the facility on or before Friday May 17, 2013, the EPA took key actions within the agency to address information security issues identified by OIG. OIT A contacted the Department of State to determine an interim standard operating procedure for the decommissioning of expired or no longer needed government passports for agency personnel. Beginning immediately, the EPA will send expired or unneeded government passports to the Department of State for destruction, until such time as the agency can put in place a passport decommissioning process with the appropriate safeguards. OEI determined that the presence of documents containing personally identifiable information at the warehouse, when considered in light of the other conditions at the warehouse, warranted referring the matter to the EPA’s Breach Evaluation Team.

So the entire crate of passports that they shouldn’t have had in the first place - and which may have been expired (the pictured ones have punch holes in them, but still) - has been taken the the State Department shredder.

And all the propane tanks - propane tanks??? - that Apex brought in have been removed.

Actions Taken by the EPA on Saturday, May 18,2013, and Sunday, May 19,2013 EPA personnel worked at the warehouse with new contract employees during the weekend of May 1819, 2013 , to continue to evaluate and secure the site . The EPA initiated a health and safety review of the warehouse. The agency removed all propane tanks that had been brought onsite by Apex employees and secured those tanks outside of the building.

And what of Apex? What kind of punishment are they looking at for misusing government funds, fudging payrolls, breaching security, and leaving the place a grossed out mess? Oh, something SEVERE, that’s for sure! A short term Time Out. Maybe. Maybe not. That’s all.

The EPA also continued to take actions and evaluate possible actions with regard to Apex Logistics, the contractor at the facility. While the EPA’s stop-work order would prevent Apex from conducting additional work through the current end date of the contract of May 28, 2013, the agency began a legal analysis to determine whether the EPA could terminate the contract for cause before May 28, 2013. OARM ‘ s Office of Grant s and Debarment and Office of Acquisitions Management continued to work with OGC and OIG to determine whether suspension or debarment of Apex from future government
contracts can be supported by the facts available.

It’s not just that we can’t trust the government working for us. The government itself can’t trust the people working for them.

Where’s that Reset Button? I had it here the other day ...


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 06/05/2013 at 04:38 PM   
Filed Under: • GovernmentCorruption and Greed •  
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Put Another Log On The Fire

How many more of these will we need until the cold fact that the entire federal government takes it’s orders from the top can no longer be ignored?


EPA accused of singling out conservative groups

It’s not just the IRS.

A second federal agency is facing a probe and accusations of political bias over its alleged targeting of conservative groups.

The allegations concern the Environmental Protection Agency, which is being accused of trying to charge conservative groups fees while largely exempting liberal groups. The fees applied to Freedom of Information Act requests—allegedly, the EPA waived them for liberal groups far more often than it did for conservative ones.

The allegations are under investigation by the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which is also holding hearings on the Internal Revenue Service targeting of conservative groups.

“I don’t think it is fair at all. It is not fair to the American taxpayer—the American taxpayer should expect and demand that the EPA treats everyone equally in regard to these requests,” said Pennsylvania Republican Rep. Tim Murphy, a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee. “This cannot be tolerated. As we see more federal agencies with this kind of bias, it is and should be a concern for all of us.”

Research by the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), a conservative Washington, D.C., think tank, claims that the political bias is routine when it comes to deciding which groups are charged fees. Christopher Horner, senior fellow at CEI, said liberal groups have their fees for documents waived about 90 percent of the time, in contrast with conservative groups that it claims are denied fee waivers about 90 percent of the time.

...

The EPA has denied any favoritism.

“We’re gonna punish our enemies and we’re gonna reward our friends”

I guess there’s a new definition in DC for “going green”. 


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 06/05/2013 at 12:32 PM   
Filed Under: • GovernmentCorruption and GreedObama, The One •  
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Hmm Herr Spielmann… Are We Bothered… No.. We want out anyway.. Who elected You… We did not..

Woo-hoo. Brits get read the riot act by euro judge.  Apparently little things like sovereignty have no part or place in the thinking of these eurocrats.

Can’t wait to see what happens next.  Prolly nothing. But then, ya never do know for sure.  There are a lot of Brits who would be thrilled to leave the EU.  But the EU isn’t the only problem they have, and even if they eventually get to vote on the issue, by the time they do and if they leave, it will be too late to save the country.  They need to leave right now. OK, takes time I know.  So one hour. That should do it.
Then deport all foreign criminals that are allowed here with benefits back to their native countries.  Those that refuse to go can be shot.  Deport all the jihad preaching lice and rid the country of the lawyers who enable them.  Pass laws forcing foreigners with names like spaghetti or alphabet soup to anglicize them so the natives are not forced to learn the immigrant’s language.  There’s more but that’s a start.
Oh yeah, rid the country of the uman rights industry on pain of death. 

Yes I know. Unrealistic and never happen.  But it’s nice to be able to imagine a better place. And it could be again if ppl had the will. And more patriotic fervor.

Britain must obey Strasbourg judges or quit the EU, warns new chief of European Court of Human Rights

Judge Dean Spielmann also says ministers should grant vote to prisoners
Intervention puts unelected court on a collision course with Westminster
MPs including Tory backbencher Dominic Raab ‘won’t give in to threats’

By James Slack and Steve Doughty

Britain was yesterday threatened with having to quit the European Union if it refuses to ‘kowtow’ to Strasbourg’s human rights judges.

The warning was delivered by the new head of the European Court of Human Rights, amid an increasing determination among Tory Cabinet ministers to leave its jurisdiction.

Judge Dean Spielmann, from Luxemburg, also insisted that ministers had a duty to grant the vote to prisoners.

His intervention once again puts the unelected court on a collision course with Westminster.

Technically, the EU and the European Court of Human Rights are separate institutions, with the ECHR overseen by the 47-member Council of Europe.

But Mr Spielmann opted to combine two of the most explosive issues in British politics by saying that, if we want to leave the court, we may also have to exit the EU.

His logic was that quitting the court would mean also exiting the Council of Europe. He added no state had ever been a member of the EU without first joining the council.

Mr Spielmann said: ‘That would plainly be a political disaster.

‘Any member state who would leave the Council of Europe, who would denounce the convention, would lose its credibility when it comes to promoting human rights also in different parts of the world.’

Last night, MPs said they would not give in to threats - particularly where they involved Britain’s membership of the EU.

Tory backbencher Dominic Raab said: ‘Mr Spielmann had no previous judicial experience before ascending to the heights of this European ivory tower, and it shows.

‘The only thing undermining the credibility of the Strasbourg court are the Mickey Mouse judgments it spews out. He and the other judges should take a long hard look in the mirror before complaining about British democracy.’

‘If Mr Spielmann thinks threatening to kick us out of the EU is going to persuade anyone in Britain to kowtow to the perverse rulings of the Strasbourg court, he’s got another thing coming’

Home Secretary Theresa May has said the UK should consider its relationship with the European court after a string of adverse judgments.

These include blocking the deportation of Al Qaeda hate-preacher Abu Qatada and the long-running battle over whether convicts must be allowed to vote.

Chris Grayling, the Justice Secretary, has also discussed walking away from the court. This would allow the final say to rest with Britain’s better qualified Supreme Court.

Judge Spielmann told BBC Radio Four that all decisions reached by his court must be respected - including prisoner votes.

read more


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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 06/05/2013 at 11:47 AM   
Filed Under: • EUro-peonsJudges-Courts-LawyersUK •  
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sometimes some crimes just do not pay. except in the west.

If you’re gonna shop lift, best not to do so in China.

These folks haven’t heard about due process (it isn’t needed in every case and this is one) and they have not heard of and would not care anyway, about uman rights or aclus or any of the other bull s*** rights industry ppl.

Good for them.

No English spoken ... the shop owner caught her and administered justice. Bet that is one store she will never return to.


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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 06/05/2013 at 11:30 AM   
Filed Under: • CHINA in the newsCrime •  
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“RIGHTS” LAWYERS TO BRIT TROOPS. DROP DEAD. WHAT? US WORRY? HAHAHA

Just my opinion but, I think it’s criminal that lives of Brit troops are on the line and these ass-wipe human rights groups can meddle in things to this extent.  In fact I don’t even think they should be allowed a voice. Come to think of it, or life either.  I’d love to see the troops turn their weapons on the “rights” creeps.  Bang-bang delete.  I’m living in a dream world hoping for that. 

Taliban bomber ‘who killed three soldiers’ to be freed from the British Guantanamo

· Terrorist leader being held at a prison within Camp Bastion
· Directed attack that killed three British soldiers and injured six others
· Explosives expert likely to be released into corrupt Afghan judicial system
· Could be freed within weeks to launch fresh attacks

By Mark Nicol

A Taliban bomb-maker suspected of directing an attack that killed three British soldiers could be freed within weeks if lawyers win their battle to close the ‘British Guantanamo’, it’s been claimed.
Defence sources have said that the terrorist leader is being held at a controversial prison within Camp Bastion.
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Due to pressure from human rights lawyers, the Taliban explosives expert is likely to be released into the notoriously corrupt Afghan judicial system, with the danger that he will be freed to launch fresh attacks.
A Taliban bomb-maker suspected of directing an attack that killed three British soldiers could be freed within weeks if lawyers win their battle to close the ‘British Guantanamo’.
But after pressure from human rights lawyers, the Taliban explosives expert is likely to be released into the notoriously corrupt Afghan judicial system, with the danger that he will be freed to launch fresh attacks.
Three British troops died and six others were wounded five weeks ago when their Mastiff armoured vehicle hit an improvised explosive device (IED) .
Days after the attack, British Special Forces uncovered a cache of home-made bombs five miles from the blast site. Troops followed up this success by capturing the suspected bomb-maker and four accomplices.

Now, following the intervention of British human rights lawyers, the Camp Bastion prison is facing closure and the inmates are likely to be transferred to an Afghan jail.
Defence sources are adamant that the country’s legal system remains corrupt and that suspected terrorists could be released by the courts or freed in Taliban raids.
Last night, former Government Defence Minister Sir Gerald Howarth attacked the move, saying it will put British soldiers’ lives at risk.

Taliban IED technicians represent a very serious threat to British personnel. So we should not connive in any measure that results in them being able to continue operations against our troops,’ he said.
‘I am also sick and tired of human rights being evoked to defend or protect those who seek to destroy us and take the lives of members of Her Majesty’s Armed Forces. So absolutely no way should he or anyone else be transferred or released before the end of 2014 when British troops withdraw from Afghanistan.’
Public Interest Lawyers, which is acting for eight of the approximately 80 inmates at the Camp Bastion prison, say that its clients are being mistreated by UK guards.
It claims that torture techniques such as sleep and sensory deprivation, blindfolding and a process called ‘harshing’ – when guards stand just inches in front of the inmates and suddenly scream abuse – are being used to extract information and confessions.

READ AND SEE MORE


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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 06/05/2013 at 09:00 AM   
Filed Under: • Judges-Courts-LawyersWar-Stories •  
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calendar   Tuesday - June 04, 2013

The Second Of The Last Of The First

Yet another Phoenix Column bridge in my area, in the next county over. This one now serves as a gateway to a bicycle trail along Duke’s Island south of Raritan NJ, but it was originally built to carry a railroad.


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So there you have it. The second oldest example of the few remaining earliest iron bridges in the state.


I think I have now visited every Phoenix Column bridge in the whole state. Certainly every one in the tri-county area. Although the bridges differ in length, height, width, and design, all the Phoenix Columns seem to be the same diameter. I thought there might be thicker ones or slimmer ones, depending on the load each bridge was designed to carry, but they’re all the same. “Good enough for all” must have been their cost-efficiency watchword.

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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 06/04/2013 at 06:20 PM   
Filed Under: • Bridges •  
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Pretty As A Picture

A bit of a travel promotion video. Come visit Alberta Canada, which has scenery so breath taking that we’ll have to remind you to ...



Remember To Breathe



Fantastic high resolution photography. Definitely watch it in full screen 1080p mode. Nice tune too.


Apparently this is just one of many of their travel videos, and they all use that same theme. Remember To Breathe. But seeing how they’re all chock full of really pretty women having fun, and other great views, it’s understandable. YouTube has them all.




h/t to da bro


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 06/04/2013 at 01:16 PM   
Filed Under: • Eye-Candy •  
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One bizarre story I missed til now … life in the former Great Britain

We get several newspapers, there’s 2 or maybe 3 on Saturday and there are two papers every other day of the week.
Even so, I missed this story. I never saw it.  Not til I paid Vilmar’s site a visit minutes ago.
I can’t even say, unbelievable, because it is all too believable. 

H/T Vilmar

ANTZ-IN-PANTZ ……

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A NEWPORT shopkeeper has been forced by police to remove a T-shirt from his shop window because they felt it “could be seen to be inciting racial hatred.”
Matthew Taylor, 35, the owner of Taylor’s clothes store on Emlyn Walk in the city, printed up and displayed the T-shirt with the slogan: “Obey our laws, respect our beliefs or get out of our country” after Drummer Lee Rigby, 25, was killed in near Woolwich barracks in London last week.
But following a complaint from a member of the public, police came to his store and threatened to arrest him unless he removed the Tshirt from sight…
…A spokeswoman for Gwent police confirmed: “ We did have a call from a member of the public. We visited the shop and asked him to remove it (the T-shirt) as it could be seen to be inciting racial hatred.”


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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 06/04/2013 at 12:41 PM   
Filed Under: • CULTURE IN DECLINEDaily LifePolitically Correct B.S. •  
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These Ought To Be Included

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So it finally stopped raining long enough for me to get some more work done on the landscape lights outside here by the walkway. It’s a small project, but it’s turned into a slightly annoying one. When we bought this place there were two pagoda style lights out there under the bushes and a small transformer hanging on the side of the porch wall. Old school stuff, they’d been out there for more than a decade. The transformer was shot, so I replaced it with a more modern one. Oooh boinky, digital razzmatazz, 4 different kinds of timing circuit and a remote electric eye, plus enough power to run 8 or 10 lights if I wanted. Great. Low voltage landscape lights, available at all the big box home improvement stores, all the lighting shops, and many electric supply stores. Right? Wrong.

Then I repaired the two old lamps. Nothing really wrong with them, just dirty and neglected. The screw bases of the frosted glass lenses were broken but the bits were there so I epoxied them back together enough so that they now screw in to their bezels somewhat. The bulbs were shot, but these old lamps use plain old brake light bulbs which are cheap and easy to find.

Then it was an internet journey into darkness trying to find some more lights that matched what was out there. And hopefully find them for a reasonable price. I went to all the local stores but nothing matched, or even came close. Sure, everything is LED these days and uses next to no power, but almost all the lamps are cheap plastic crap from China. Our 2 old ones are hefty chunks of metal. You hammer their 10” forged ground stakes in with a mallet. None of this 4” plastic spike nonsense. So the search was on. That took me a couple days, but I finally found what I wanted, a 3 tiered pagoda light, made from cast aluminum, in dark green, for a good price. It even came with a bulb. Excellent. So I ordered 3 of them.

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The lights arrived in perfect condition in short order. Then I found out that the stems on them were only 6” long. No wonder they were so inexpensive. And they didn’t come with connectors. So I had to hunt down the manufacturer and order some extra stems and some “EZ connectors”. That set me back a week or so, but we were having monsoon season, so so what?

I installed the new lights yesterday, got them all in place at the proper heights - our walkway has two flights of stairs in it, the land slopes away from the side, and the edge of the walk has those 8x8 landscape timbers stepping down the slope, so some of the lights needed to be as much as 2 feet above the soil to put the lamps in the right position to illuminate the walkway - and went to do the “EZ connectors”. Which aren’t. Actually, they suck chunks. They’re the piercing kind, a chintzy screw together plastic block where you put the lamp’s wire next to the bigger main wire and tighten the thing, and hope that the 4 copper pins inside pierce all the conductors in the proper places. They don’t. The copper points bend, and when they do pierce the insulation they generally miss the actual wire inside. I fought with them for more than an hour, and managed to get exactly one to work. The other two fell apart.

There has got to be a better way. And there is: the “wire hat” pictured at the top of this page is a special kind made for outdoor ground contact use. They’re a bit bigger than regular screw splice connectors, and they’re filled with dielectric grease. Cut, strip, and twist your wires, screw them into the connectors, and the junction gets filled with thick grease, which waterproofs them forever. And the grease stays inside the cap. Very nice. Except I have to drive 26 miles down to Hillsborough to pick some up so I can finish the job today. And some bug spray while I’m there. But there is a nice old bridge I want to check out on the way back, so that will be fun.

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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 06/04/2013 at 12:09 PM   
Filed Under: • Daily Life •  
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the article calls it the world’s biggest ship graveyard.The ghost fleet of Truk Lagoon

Not a thing for me to add here. Just interesting war story and photos that speak for themselves.

The ghost fleet of Truk Lagoon: World’s biggest ship graveyard discovered at site of WW2 battle where US crushed Japanese fleet

Over three days in 1944, more than 60 Japanese warships and 200 aircraft sank after an attack by Allied forces
During the Second World War Chuuk Lagoon was Japan’s main base in the South Pacific
American bombardment of the base wiped out their supplies and reduced Japanese threat
The lagoon is now considered one of the top wreck diving destinations in the world

By Jill Reilly

In the Second World War Chuuk Lagoon was Japan’s main base in the South Pacific, but in 1944, American forces launched an attack and over a two day bombardment more than 60 warships ended up on the floor of the lagoon.

Years later the Japanese still pay their respects at the watery graves each year, but now the site, formally known as Truk Lagoon due to a mispronunciation, offers scuba divers a chance to explore a piece of living history.

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The codename for the assault on Chuuk Lagoon was ‘Operation Hailstone’ and the attack began on 17 February, lasting for two bitter and bloody days.

The American armada included five fleets carriers and four light carriers - they were also seven battleships, submarines, destroyers and over 500 aircraft.

Over 250 Japanese aircraft were destroyed - most of them had not had a chance to take off as they had only just arrived from Japan and were partly dissembled.

image

The few Japanese aircraft that did take off were claimed destroyed - the U.S. lost twenty-five aircraft during the attack, mainly due to the intense anti-aircraft fire from Truk’s defenses.

Very few of the troops aboard the sunken ships survived - the attacks ended Chuuk Lagoon as a major threat to Allied operations in the central Pacific.

Most of the wrecks were left untouched for nearly 25 years since people feared setting off the thousands of sunken bombs.

Many of the shipwrecks in the scuba diving paradise have full cargo holds full of fighter aircraft, tanks and bulldozers.

They also have spooky reminders of human life such as perfectly preserved porcelain cups positioned next to skulls.

ALL THE OTHER PHOTOS ARE HERE


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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 06/04/2013 at 12:00 PM   
Filed Under: • HistoryUSA War-Stories •  
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