Sarah Palin is allowed first dibs on Alaskan wolfpack kills.

calendar   Friday - August 23, 2019

The One, The Only



Oy vey, down the rabbit hole again, running down a difficult story and going off on tangents.

I started out to post on a very upsetting story I ran across this morning:

Slavery still exists in Hawaii???

And it’s true, but true in terms of our modern, softened, and often misunderstood concept of slavery.

These days we try so hard to not even use the word slavery, and instead use the softer term human trafficking. Softer, but wider in scope, because we have finally realized that unwilling sex workers are slaves of a kind, as are abducted children sold to pedophiles, and so on. And this is a step in the right direction.

But what we often overlook is that indentured servitude is also a form of slavery, and is also against the law. It doesn’t have to be generational, it doesn’t have to be for life, and it certainly isn’t limited to people of a particular ethnic type. It’s still slavery.

Yes, there is a big difference between contract labor and indentured servitude. Sure, hire some foreigners to come over for a few years to work the pineapple farm. But the contract stipulations have to be up front, and adhered to. And you don’t get to take their passports away from them, nor limit their freedom of movement, nor threaten them with deportation if you’ve kept them past the point their visas expired. And you certainly can’t not pay them, nor put them in a “company store” situation where their room and board adds up to more than you’re paying them. Any of that, and we’re talking slavery.

To my great surprise, I found out that Hawaii ran on indentured servitude until at least 1900. Look up the Organic Act. Tens of thousands of Japanese laborers brought in just before the “clock struck midnight”, who rather rioted when they found out about the new law somewhat later ... and that they really shouldn’t have been beaten with whips to make them work harder. That was in 1900. A very long time ago, and things have changed totally since then. Right? Right?

In 2010 criminal proceedings were enacted against a global conglomerate, charging them with keeping 600 Thai laborers ... as slaves. This was the largest case of human trafficking in American history. In 2010. When Obama was President. Do you remember how it was all over every news network 24-7? No, me neither. I’d never heard of it until this morning. Slaves in America? Horry Calp ... and it wasn’t even newsworthy.

Another case at nearly the same time involved 44 Thai workers. Same deceitful hiring practices, same fraudulent pay scheme, same deplorable living conditions, same kind of threats and coercion made against the workers and their families.

To make the story even grimmer, these workers were not just used in Hawaii. They were shipped around to Washington, New York, and several other states. Those charged plead guilty, and were given very small sentences.

When the issue of human trafficking is discussed by law enforcement or the media, prostitution and sexual slavery are often the primary focus.

It’s true that sex trafficking is a huge problem, but it often overshadows another horrendous consequence of human trafficking: forced labor.

There are thousands of immigrants working as forced laborers in the US, and many of them actually entered the country legally.

They come here believing that they have found a lucrative job and an opportunity to obtain a green card. In reality, they have been lied to and end up getting trapped and forced to work with no pay.

This is a form of modern-day slavery, and it’s occurring right under our noses.

About the only time we ever hear of anything like this is occasionally, when Carmelita escapes from some rich folk’s home and says how she was held against her will and abused. And most of the time, nobody believes her.

But when we’re talking about half a thousand or more foreigners who don’t speak a word of English, working in the agricultural sector? < crickets > < more crickets >

Hawaii is a state, but they’re off in their own little world. Not much of what goes on there gets over here, other than some pictures of hot lava.  Totally controlled by the Democrats for more than 65 years, Big Ag and Big Tourism run the whole show. And it’s a pretty dirty show, top to bottom.

How many more people are held in bondage there? Or elsewhere? And how will we ever know? One more aspect of immigration reform that’s sorely needed.


And then I got sidetracked into a big discussion about elections, which [ as always ] caused me to think more about my ideas for a verifiable voting machine process, with receipts, that would eliminate nearly all the problems that seem to crop up, and restore faith in the system.

To the overall process, which I’ve been describing here for years, I’ll add that no media outlet should be allowed to release any vote count information anywhere, or exit poll results, before the polls have closed everywhere. And there would be massive penalties for doing so. Oh CBS called Florida for Bore while the panhandle was still open for voting? “oops’ doesn’t cut it. You’ve just lost your broadcast license for the next 2 years. Bye bye. Click, off. ON THE SPOT, not 37 weeks later. There’s a government guy sitting there with the kill switch in hand, watching your feed.  Such things will not be done. Ever.

Sure, this would kill Election Night Drama. So? Report the news the next morning. That’s your job. Making the news is NOT your job.




Los Pollos Hermanos de Safeway?

Whole Lot Of Cocaine Found In Banana Boxes At Three Safeways

Officials in Washington state have opened an investigation after employees at three Safeway stores reported finding over $1 million worth of cocaine that was hidden in boxes of bananas.

The contraband was first reported at a Safeway in Woodinville, about 20 miles northeast of Seattle, on Sunday, the King County Sheriff’s Office said.

Employees were opening a box of bananas and found 22 kilos of cocaine – the equivalent of over $550,000, according to investigators.

Later that day, employees at a Safeway in Bellingham – in northwestern Washington, near the Canadian border – found about 23 kilos of cocaine while unloading banana shipments, Q13 Fox reported.

Additional cocaine turned up in banana shipments at a Federal Way Safeway, but the total amount was unclear.

The origins of the cocaine remained a mystery.

Um, South America maybe?


Not Even Officially On The Job Yet, New Coast Guard Ship Scores Two Major Drug Busts En Route To Christening

The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Midgett recently seized more than 4,600 pounds of cocaine, their second cocaine bust in five days.

The drugs were confiscated July 31 from a “low-profile go-fast” vessel in international waters of the Eastern Pacific Ocean, the Coast Guard announced Thursday.

The bust came just days after the July 26 seizure of more than 2,100 pounds of cocaine from a different boat, which was the pre-commissioned cutter’s first seizure since leaving its Mississippi shipyard in June, the branch noted.

The total of more than 6,700 pounds of cocaine seized in the two operations was worth more than $89 million, the Coast Guard said.

The Midgett is the Coast Guard’s eighth national security cutter. The vessel has been en route to its future homeport in Honolulu, the branch said. It’s set to be commissioned with its sister ship, the Coast Guard Cutter Kimball, on Aug. 24.

With any luck they’ll score a few more on the way, and have the ship paid off by the time they get home. Well, I mean having seized drugs equal to the investment price. You know what I meant. At a “mere” half billion to build this ship, that shouldn’t take all that long.

And in case you were wondering, there have been several Coast Guard ships named Midgett, and there have been loads of Midgetts in the Coast Guard.

NSC 8 is named to honor the hundreds of members of the Midgett family who have served in the U.S. Coast Guard and its predecessor services. At least 10 members of the Midgett family earned high honors from the U.S. Coast Guard for their heroic lifesaving deeds. Seven Midgett family members were awarded the Gold Lifesaving Medal, the U.S. Coast Guard’s highest award for saving a life, and three were awarded the Silver Lifesaving Medal.


Pretty damned amazing, given the government paychecks he was getting.

Obama Buying $15 Million Estate On Martha’s Vineyard
Goes So Well With Their $8.1 Million DC Home

Former President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle are reportedly set to purchase a mega-mansion in Martha’s Vineyard.

The Obamas will purchase the house from Boston Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck for a discount, according to a report published by TMZ Thursday. The property contains 29 beachfront acres, 7 bedrooms, and is listed at $14,850,000. (RELATED: Democrats Are Trashing President Obama’s Legacy)

The report stated that the former first family rented the house for the summer and enjoyed it so much that they decided to purchase it.

The house also includes a Jacuzzi, a pool, and an outdoor fireplace among other amenities. The Obama’s currently reside in an $8.1 million mansion in Washington, D.C.

I guess he hasn’t yet reached the point where he has enough. Also pretty amazing how he “earned” $20 million from 2005 - 2016. 3 years as a Senator at under $170K/yr, then that time spent in the White House. His whole time as an Illinois Senator barely made him half a million, before taxes.


Well, duh. What took them this long? I didn’t even need to look at the Constitution to figure that one out. The Electors submit secret votes. No law could ever force them to vote as demanded, or prove that they didn’t. Next case.

10th Circuit: States Can Not Bind Electors

Nutshell version:

The ballot was pre-filled with Hillary Clinton’s name, but Micheal Baca didn’t want to vote for Hillary Clinton.

The 24-year-old presidential elector in Colorado had a different plan. Weeks earlier, after Donald Trump’s victory in the general election, Baca and a fellow elector began a movement they called “Hamilton Electors,” a long-shot bid to stop Trump from winning the presidency. The idea was to persuade enough members of the electoral college — the body of 538 members who vote for president — to instead cast ballots for Republicans such as former Ohio governor John Kasich, depriving Trump of just enough electoral votes required to become president.

So Baca scribbled Clinton’s name off the ballot. He wrote in Kasich — prompting the state to nullify his vote. And leading Baca to sue.

Now, for apparently the first time, a federal appeals court has upheld the right of “faithless electors” to vote with their conscience — a ruling that throws into question states’ winner-take-all election systems that bind electors to vote for the state’s popular vote winner, attorneys on Baca’s case said. In a 125-page split opinion Tuesday, a three-judge panel on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit ruled that Colorado’s decision to nullify Baca’s vote and remove him as an elector was unconstitutional.

“The text of the Constitution makes clear that states do not have the constitutional authority to interfere with presidential electors who exercise their constitutional right to vote for the President and Vice President candidates of their choice,” U.S. Circuit Judge Carolyn B. McHugh, an Obama appointee, wrote in the majority opinion, joined by Jerome A. Holmes, a George W. Bush appointee. Mary Beck Briscoe, a Clinton appointee, dissented, arguing the case was moot because no damages could be awarded.

Baca’s attorney, Jason Wesoky, said the ruling essentially makes laws that require electors to vote for the state’s winner unenforceable in Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Wyoming, Utah and New Mexico. He said the legal team, with attorneys from the group Equal Citizens, is seeking review from the Supreme Court before the 2020 election.

“Certainly the entire point is to get the Supreme Court to address this issue, which has never been addressed on its face before,” Wesoky said.

OTOH, Baca was one of the earliest Stop Trump people. Was Baca influenced by the Russians?  tongue wink So he made his little pissy move, got canned for it, then wanted money for the indignity of getting fired from a volunteer position for breaking the state law. Got that?

But the law itself was wrong, but screw him, no money, no soup for you. Therefore this whole thing was moot, according to Clintonista judge #3. Um, wrong, and next time try to pay attention to the important bits.


Here’s the long-winded, well researched version, that I don’t expect anyone to read:

A panel of federal judges with the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of appeals handed down a 2-1 ruling saying the state of Colorado was wrong in 2016 to force a presidential elector to cast his vote for Hillary Clinton in the Electoral College.

State law in Colorado mandates that presidential electors cast their Electoral College vote for the candidate receiving the most votes statewide, which in that instance was Hillary Clinton.

In 2016, however, elector Micheal Baca tried to cast his vote for Ohio’s then-governor, Republican John Kasich, as part of a short-lived movement to circumvent Trump’s election in a kind of compromise.
When Baca cast his vote for Kasich, then-secreatary of state Wayne Williams (R.) removed and replaced Baca with an elector who voted for Clinton.

“Secretary Williams impermissibly interfered with Mr. Baca’s exercise of his right to vote as a presidential elector,” part of the court ruling read. “Specifically, Secretary Williams acted unconstitutionally by removing Mr. Baca and nullifying his vote for failing to comply with the vote binding provision.”

“Article II and the Twelfth Amendment provide presidential electors the right to cast a vote for President and Vice President with discretion,” the majority ruling added.

and here comes the disinformation, or bias, or stupid journalism, or whatever you want to call it ...

The decision effectively gives legal permission in any state to so-called “faithless electors,” those who vote for someone other than the leading vote getter in the state or otherwise does not vote in coordination with the statewide election results.

Really? Let’s take 3 minutes and read the old yellow founding document:

While Article II does lay out, in extreme detail, the process of the Electoral College, this detail does NOT specifically say that the electors can vote however they want to. But it doesn’t say they can’t, either.

The Electors shall meet in their respective States, and vote by Ballot for two Persons, of whom one at least shall not be an Inhabitant of the same State with themselves.

There is also a part that describes the horse-trading and deal making that would occur if the top two candidates had a tie in the number of votes they garnered, or if no candidate achieved a majority, forcing the electors to then choose someone from the Top 5. So in effect, in this situation at least, the electors could change their vote.

And that part of Article II was mostly overwritten by the 12th Amendment anyway. Which simplified things, one way by cutting the Top 5 list down to the Top 3. So let’s look there.

Ok, I’ll save you time: the most important thing that the 12th Amendment does, (possibly because political parties were already well established by 1804) is to stop the electors from voting for their top 2 candidates, period. Under the original system, the top candidate got to be President, and the First Runner Up got to be Vice President. You can see the problem there - imagine President Donald Trump with Vice President Hillary Clinton. YIKES !!!

So the 10th had to dig deeper, and looked at Ray, wherein they found precedent that, because Article II and the 12th talk about sealed votes, the elector was presumed to be able to vote how they wanted. Also, electors were supposed to be chosen from the wisest, worldliest, and honorable ... not as a little sop to some major campaign contributor. But Ray found that because of this secret balloting no legal requirement or party pledge to vote a certain way was enforceable, so now it’s back to the Supremacy Clause and the 10th Amendment.

Sorry, I’m not saving you time at all, am I?

As a result, because the Tenth Amendment could not reserve to the states the power to remove electors or cancel their votes, the states possess such power only if expressly delegated by the Constitution.

Finally, we turn to the historical context of the Twelfth Amendment and its impact on Article II, as originally drafted. Based on our review, we conclude the states may not interfere with a presidential elector who exercises discretion in casting votes for the President and Vice President of the United States.

It has long been my opinion that any legislator anywhere who introduces knowingly unconstitutional bills should be fired on the spot. Legislators who pass such bills should also lose there jobs. Not a single bill should ever make it onto the floor without a lead-in that proves that it is constitutional, with references and examples of precedent.

However, there are situations without specific precedent and there are situations not covered explicitly by the Constitution. So they are open to interpretation and judicial pondering. And I guess this was one of them.

And so the 10th Circuit wraps it all up in one simple, easy to understand paragraph:

VI.CONCLUSION For the foregoing reasons, we AFFIRM the district court’s dismissal of Ms. Baca’s and Mr. Nemanich’s claims under rule 12(b)(1) for lack of standing. But we REVERSE the district court’s dismissal of Mr. Baca’s claim under both rule 12(b)(1) and rule 12(b)(6). Therefore, we REMAND to the district court for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.

Easy to understand if you’re a constitutional lawyer perhaps. But for the rest of us? The 10th agreed that the claim should be dismissed, AND they reversed the dismissal, and then threw the whole thing back to the lower court to do over.

And this counts as a decision? What was wrong with saying “The State’s don’t have power over their electors, who can vote as they see fit, so sod off you berks?” which everyone could understand without having to consult a dictionary several times and read endless, wordy, and obtuse legal opinions.

Crivens. Why can’t these people ever make a plain, bold statement?

The dissenting opinion was because the elector had sought punishment money from the state, which was not granted. So he dragged out Arizonans for several pages, and finally came down to

Because we cannot grant relief to the Presidential Electors, I would dismiss the appeal as moot. 

The dissent seems to be grasping at ecologically unfriendly plastic straws.

But back to the press:
So the decision didn’t give “effective legal permission”; at best it recognized a situation that has always been there and is perfectly legitimate.


Meanwhile, one of the front page stories at CNN ( “CNN: This IS News” ) is another one of those Just How Dim Are People Really? things

CNN: Is It A Bird Or A Bunny?
Viral Vid Confusing The ‘Net

It’s a bird! It’s a rabbit! No, it’s definitely a bird. But hey, you be the judge.
A video of a black animal getting a nice scratch is spreading quickly around the internet as people take sides in yet another great debate.

Oy vey. I think breathing is confusing to some folks. Too much of a mental challenge for them.


TNB Sounds more like a negotiation agreement gone wrong to me. Or a family squabble over the last 3 McNuggets.

Sorry, but this kind of thing goes on so damn often it isn’t even news anymore. It’s just Thursday, that’s all. Or Tuesday. Whatever.

Detroilet: Rapper’s Manager Shot Dead On Street

DETROIT (FOX 2) - Hip Hop manager Jobina Brown was shot and killed on the city’s east side Tuesday night.

She was in an SUV with her nephew that she managed - rapper Tee Grizzley.
Tee Grizzley hired his Aunt Jobina to manage him two years ago and since then, his career has taken off. 
Sources tell FOX 2 Tee Grizzley was in the front seat of an SUV with Jobina in the back Tuesday. A driver took them to a home near Mack and Cadieux.

The rapper allegedly got out of the car, then someone walked up and started firing shots.

Detroit police say Tee Grizzley and the driver of that SUV were not hurt.
Detroit Police are working to figure out a motive here and if the rapper was actually the intended target. 


Granny’s Gang Bang Gets Busted
Having a lark in the park made the dogs bark?

FAIRFIELD, Conn. (AP) - Six people ranging in age from 62 to 85 face sex charges after being arrested in a conservation area in Connecticut.

Police say the six, five men and an 85-year-old woman, were involved in lewd and sexual activity in the Grace Richardson conservation area in Fairfield earlier this month.

Police say the area was being publicized on the internet as an area for people to meet and have sex.
Those arrested face charges ranging from breach of peace to public indecency.


Hedging your bets against a really dark future

Germany Sells 30 Year Bonds With “Negative Interest”

FRANKFURT, Germany — The German government sold 30-year bonds at a negative interest rate in a sign of the clouds over markets and future growth as well as increased expectations that more central bank stimulus is likely on the way.

The sale adds to the piles of negative-yielding bonds currently held by investors, indicating they expect growth and inflation to be subpar in coming years. Bond interest yields have also fallen as expectations grow that the European Central Bank and the U.S. Fed will launch more stimulus.

Negative rates mean that investors are in effect willing to pay Germany for a relatively safe place to park their money.

The state financing agency said Wednesday that it sold the bonds due in 2050 at an interest rate of 0.11 percent at an auction.

Unless that’s a typo, and they meant to write “ - 0.11 percent” ( 0.0011 ) then this isn’t exactly negative interest, but effectively zero interest.

What happened was, Germany sold &eur;824 million ($914 million) worth of 30 years, but since (my guess) most bonds are discounted, and probably resold, when these mature the DDR is only going to pay back &eur;795 million. So it actually negative interest yield.

And these are large sum, long term bonds. So whoever buys them is betting that the economy is going to tank, and tank hugely for a very very long time, yet the existing government will remain in place. That’s a pretty dark outlook.

However, this is really nothing new in Europe. They did the same thing back in the Summer of 2016 -

Germany on Wednesday became the first country in the eurozone to sell 10-year debt with a negative yield at an auction, effectively ensuring that investors lose money over the life of the bond.

And in G-7 terms, the Japanese had already done the same thing -

[ July 2016] Germany became on Wednesday the second G-7 nation after Japan to issue 10-year bonds with a negative yield, highlighting a willingness among investors to hold top-rated debt even as yields across the world collapse.

For a bit of an explanation, here’s an article from 2015, when bonds were already trading in the negative realm -

It is certainly possible for negative short term deposit rates in concert with central bank purchases of scarce fixed income assets to drive bond yields negative; policymakers, in fact, hope that this development will drive investors out of “safer” government bonds into other riskier assets.

The world of high finance is not one that I understand. I’m probably wrong, but I think the whole idea of bonds is that they are a debt marker. Somehow, somebody buys these things, then sells them ASAP to other organizations like towns, schools, etc, for less, yet somehow makes money on them. Which means the owner gives the buyer cash now, and the buyer pays it back with interest for many years. As inflation sets in, the new money paid back is worth less than the old money handed out, so it’s a “deal” for the second buyers. But what happens when this concept turns turtle and the bonds go negative? OR is it that the bonds are only negative, and only slightly negative at that, to the original purchaser (banks) who gets them from the government? And the secondary buyers are paying some interest? Beats me, but I think it’s the taxpayers who wind up footing the bill for the most part. Because that’s what us little people are for.

At any rate, the result so far of all this has been that the duration-weighted yield – i.e., the yield that would result from buying a country’s entire curve – of major developed countries is converging to rates in Japan, which has had persistently low yields for over two decades, and not the other way around.

Huh? What? This isn’t a language I speak.


Fine Tuning The Headlines To Find The Truth

Trump Signs EO To Forgive Vet Student Loans

No, what he did was sign an EO to streamline the already existing process
passed 11 years ago to forgive student loan debt only for 100% disabled veterans

President Trump signed an executive order on Wednesday that forgives all student loan debt for any permanently disabled U.S. military veterans.

The order, which Trump signed following a speech at the American Veterans National Convention in Louisville, Ky., also clears those eligible veterans from having to pay any federal income tax on the loans. Trump added that he is pressuring individual states to follow suit.

“The debt of these disabled veterans will be completely erased,” Trump said. “That’s hundreds of millions of dollars of student loans debt for our disabled veterans that will be completely erased.”

The memo Trump signed directs the government to develop an “expedited” process so veterans can have their federal student loan debt discharged “with minimal burdens.” Currently, just half of the roughly 50,000 disabled veterans who are qualified to have their federal student loan debt forgiven have received the benefit because of a burdensome application process.

Under the current process, disabled veterans can have their debt forgiven under a loan forgiveness program, called Total and Permanent Disability Discharge, or TPD, as long as they have a VA service-connected disability rating of 100 percent.

In addition to the EO, President Trump put a new guy in charge of the department. But did he put in a good guy, or a schlemiel?

This department was created under the Dodd-Frank Act in 2008. Previous legislature by those two essentially caused the housing market crash of the mid 2000s. President Trump put a new person in charge of this department, but I’m not so sure that he found the right guy for the job ...

Robert Cameron will serve as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s new student loan ombudsman, the bureau said Friday.
Cameron most recently worked at the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency, better known as FedLoan Servicing, as its head of compliance and risk mitigation.
PHEAA has been cited for poor industry practices, most notably for how it has handled the troubled Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, a program designed to allow student loan borrowers who work in public service jobs to get part of their loan balances forgiven.

So the guy he put in charge of straightening out this process is the guy responsible for doing a terrible job in the highly similar program in PA. So he gets promoted to run the whole federal aspect now? I thought Trump was all about draining the swamp.

Still, it makes good headlines, and sticks it to the Democrat candidates who have been calling for student loan forgiveness. Is this a drop in the bucket? Maybe. But here he is doing something, while all they do is flap their jaws.




How do you say “D’oh!!!” in Swedish??

Swedish Cops Blow Up Their Own Building By Accident

A Swedish police warehouse building in Linköping was destroyed after the bomb squad detonated a motorbike filled with explosives.

The moped containing what has been described as some form of plastic explosive covered with nails was discovered on Monday afternoon by officers in a stolen property room, and led to the evacuation of around 170 personnel from the area, Swedish broadcaster Sveriges Radio reports.

Following the evacuation, the Swedish bomb squad was called in to make a controlled detonation of the explosives but, according to Sveriges Radio, something went wrong with the operation and a much larger blast than expected took place.
The building was totally demolished and windows in nearby properties largely destroyed, but no injuries to officers or civilians have been reported.

Police held a press conference Tuesday explaining that the moped had been reported stolen in May of this year and that no explosives were discovered in it at the time it was found.

The explosives were not found until the owner of the moped came to collect it this week. Police say the owner is not suspected of having planted the explosives in the moped.
Sweden has seen a wave of explosions this year with many taking place in the multicultural city of Malmö, including three separate detonations in a mere 24-hour period in June.

“multicultural” = “overrun with muzzies”. Nothing new there, but it’s all officially denied


Another winner from the Babylon Bee


NEW YORK, NY—A new line of more patriarchal thermostats designed and developed by Patriarchy, Inc. includes a specific option to freeze all women to death.

Patriarchy, Inc. guarantees that when you press the button, every woman in your office building will start to get cold, then start to complain about how cold it is, then withdraw their arms into their shirt to form a makeshift jacket, and finally turn into a solid block of ice. The men in the office are then able to use the ice to cool their beers and spirits.

At publishing time, sources had confirmed that all the button does is set the thermostat to a “chilly” 70 degrees.

We’ve certainly had a similar situation at our house. And I’m pretty sure that a whole bunch of women are convinced this really is an evil male plot.

When I was a teen I used to love working in the frozen food aisle in the grocery store in the summer. Nice and cool, and such fun to watch the customers.


Related: Looks like the Energy Star people are all woke and feminist and stuff. Or maybe they’re just making excuses for our insufficient national power grid ... caused by overpopulation (by illegals??) ?

LOS ANGELES - To keep your home cool with central air conditioning while also optimizing energy efficiency (and therefore cost), keep the temperature at 78 degrees Fahrenheit or higher.

The suggestion comes from Energy Star, a federal program managed jointly by the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency that provides information to consumers about energy efficiency practices that not only save consumers money, but also improve air quality and protect the environment.
While you are away from the house during the day, you should keep the thermostat set to 85 degrees or higher.

While you sleep, Energy Star recommends keeping the temperature set at 82 degrees or higher.

If we let this place warm up to 85 or more in the daytime it would take most of the evening to cool the place off to 78. I guess I need to pull a magic 10 grand out of my butt and install an ultra potent A/C system to cool the place down quickly.

And if I tried to sleep at 82 or higher, I’d wake up drowned in my own sweat. Eww.



Well, duh, when you put it that way.

To assist those poor souls to understand that they are being taken for a ride by unscrupulous, lying politicians, and by gullible schoolkids egged on by immature adults from The Extinction Rebellion protest movement, here is some science in the simplest terms possible so that even they can understand it.

It includes pictures for the terminally brainwashed and those infected by groupthink.

The marvelously named blog, Cambrian Dissenters, does a post on the BS Climate Emergency. Gosh, the UK has coal deposits. The lands have also been shaped by glaciers. What does that tell you??


Half a dozen or so strange little stories in the news, from super minor to fairly major.

1) Why is a Florida shoplifting story in the New York Post? Because they could make snarky puns with it?

Big mis-steak: Man arrested after allegedly shoving steaks down his pants

Plenty of people complain about a meal going straight to their waistline, but one Florida man allegedly took things a bit too literally.

Michael Owens, 61, was arrested after police say he tried to steal two packs of steaks from a Publix store in St. Augustine by shoving the meat down his pants, WFOX-TV reported.
The 61-year-old told investigators he figured if he got caught, he would just be removed from the store, not arrested, officials said.

The steaks were recovered but weren’t allowed back on store shelves.

Gee, why not?? This IS Florida, after all.


2) Kentucky Woman Breaks Into Bar, Drinks Until Morning Staff Opens Up, Gets Arrested

A Kentucky woman was arrested for allegedly breaking into a closed bar and drinking there until employees showed up to open the watering hole in the morning, according to a report.

Donna Martin is accused of busting into the Slainte Public House in Georgetown, Ky., early Monday, Lex 18 reported.

Employees arriving shortly before 8 a.m. found Martin posted up at the bar, the outlet said.

The workers called police, who charged Martin with burglary and public intoxication.


3) Flori-duh again.  Man with sword chases jogger to protect his garbage. WTF?

An Oakland Park man attacked a jogger with a sword in an attempt to protect a plastic dump cart that had been thrown out in the trash, police said Monday.

The big stink started July 15 when the runner stumbled upon a pile of garbage in front of a house, and decided to grab the black heavy-duty wagon, according to the Broward County Sheriff’s Office.

That’s when the rabble-rouser got upset — because he wanted the cart.

The two “exchanged words” but the jogger took the item anyway. When he got home, he realized the litter-lover had followed him, cops said.

Video shows the junk-diver unsheathing a sword and swinging it at the jogger.
Police are asking for help finding the sword-swinger

To be fair, it’s a pretty decent lawn cart. A homeless ninja could get some great ally cred having a hauler like that.

Funny how this isn’t reported as a race attack; the jogger was a white guy, and the sword guy was black. Raycis!!! The cart was on someone else’s property.


4) Drawing a line in the water; 19 days later Italy still refusing to admit “rescue ship” full of illegal Africans

MILAN — The Spanish humanitarian rescue ship Open Arms says another man had to be rescued after jumping into the sea as the standoff with Italy, which won’t permit it access to a port, entered its 19th day.

Open Arms described the situation on board Tuesday as “desperate,” saying that a man threw himself into the water, trying to reach land that is in plain view, while at the same moment a woman suffered a panic attack.

The Open Arms’ captain previously informed Italian authorities that the crew of 17 could no longer control the situation on board, as frustrated migrants resort to fighting.

Italy’s hard-line interior minister has refused port access to the ship, docked just off the island of Lampedusa, even though six other European countries have agreed to take the passengers.

Hey, here’s a solution. Drive the boat to one of those other countries. Italy is full. Go somewhere else.


5) DeNiro Sues Former Employee For Binge Watching Sitcoms On The Job

Robert De Niro‘s company, Canal Productions, has filed a $6 million lawsuit against a former employee for allegedly embezzling money and watching Netflix during work hours.
According to Variety, the loan-out company has accused Chase Robinson, ex-vice president of production and finance, of spending “astronomical amounts of time” binge-watching Friends, dropping thousands of dollars at expensive hotels and restaurants, and using De Niro’s own frequent flyer miles to book personal travel.
Robinson was hired by Canal Productions in 2008. After spending time as De Niro’s assistant, she was promoted to “vice president of production and finance,” with a 2019 salary of $300,000. The lawsuit goes on to say that Robinson left the loan-out company in April, after top brass developed concerns about alleged “corporate sabotage.”
According to the lawsuit, Robinson rarely came into the New York office, and when she did, she spent “astronomical amounts of time” watching Netflix. Canal Productions claims that during a four-day span in January 2019, she watched 55 episodes of Friends (that’s 20+ hours of Friends).

Maybe if she’d actually had, you know, some actual work to do on her job? $6000 a week and nothing to do? Sweeeet.


6) NYC bias? Two Proud Boys Convicted Of Brawling With Antifa

Two members of the right-wing Proud Boys group were convicted Monday for brawling with leftist antifa members in Manhattan last year.

A jury found John Kinsman and Maxwell Hare guilty of attempted gang assault, attempted assault and riot stemming from the confrontation near the Metropolitan Republican Club following a speech by former Proud Boys leader Gavin McInnes in October 2018.

Both men face up to 15 years in prison and will remain free until their sentencing.
The victims in the case were never identified, and antifa refused to cooperate with the investigation.

Sure, their actions were recorded by CCTV. But the victims never came forward, never pressed charges, and the Official Group wouldn’t cooperate? And yet there is still a conviction??

Of course, if the beaten guys came forward, they wouldn’t be anonymous any more, now would they? OTOH, if Proud Boys wore masks like Antifa, they never would have been identified and arrested.

But how liberal ... press charges against the right wingers, ignore the left wingers.



I’ve exchanged a few emails with the fellow who runs an outdoors based web site. It’s a combination product review and advice column/guides page, offering tips on various kinds of hunting and fishing and hiking, and reviews of a whole bunch of related products.

Take a gander at Outdoor Life Reviews and let me know what you think. If your feeling is that this is another one of those sold out sycophants who think every product is just super duper, and that their guides are overly simplistic, then I’m not going to link him.

But give it a fair shot. Your feedback counts to me.



Redheads in the news

Rarest strawberry leopard spotted in South Africa


A couple captured stunning images of a rare “strawberry” leopard feasting on a dead giraffe at a South African game reserve.

Images of the leopard, named for its red-colored coat, were caught on a motion-sensitive camera set up by Alan Watson, 45, and his wife Lynsey, 41, at the Thaba Tholo Wilderness Reserve in late July. The pair pinned the camera to a tree located near a dead giraffe — which was killed following an “intense” thunderstorm, per the UK-based outlet SWNS — in the hopes of capturing images of scavengers coming for their next meal.

The pictures are reportedly the first of a “strawberry” leopard eating in the wild, according to the Daily Mail.

Yeah, the giraffe got killed by lightning. You’d think that after millions of years of evolution, they would have learned to get their heads down during thunderstorms.

It was kind of a set piece photograph. The guy lives and works near the wilderness preserve, and has been watching this cat since it was a kitten. Also the dead giraffe was moved to a more photogenic location. But still, pictures of a strawberry blonde leopard. Kewl!

In July, Alan found a dead giraffe killed in a thunderstorm and, seeing nothing could be done to save it, he cut it open to attract predators.

He then set up a camera suspecting they might get ‘a few hundred photos of grass moving.’


I am totally shocked

New German Immigration Policy Makes Perfect Sense

German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer has announced the government will be cracking down on Syrians with asylum status who go on holiday back to Syria.

Bavarian centre-right leader Horst Seehofer said that the government would be looking to strip Syrians who visit their home country on holiday of their asylum status, saying that those who regularly travel to the country cannot make a serious claim that they are being persecuted there, Kronen Zeitung reports.

“We have to deprive them of their refugee status,” Seehofer added and said that the Interior Ministry was monitoring any such activity from Syrians with refugee status living in Germany.

He also said that the government was watching the situation inside Syria closely and said, “If the situation permits, we will carry out repatriations.”

The revelations of asylum seekers and refugees making holidays in their home countries — where they allegedly fled persecution — are not a new development. As early as January of 2017 it was shown that asylum seekers in Switzerland were using welfare cash to go on vacations to Eritrea, despite claiming they risked death if they were ever sent back to the country.

Oh, I’m all in favor of letting them go back to Syria. They aren’t prisoners of Germany. But I don’t see any point to let them back in afterwards.

To fully close the holes, returning asylum peoples passport inspection will have to be intense. You leave Germany, go to France, then the UK, then Lebanon, then Syria? Asylum revoked. Heck, if your passport shows you went anywhere near the middle east, your asylum is revoked. I’m not sure how this can be implemented when anyone can travel by train or bus across the entire EU without any kind of border crossing passport stamping.

The easiest solution would be to just not allow anyone from any middle east country to come to Germany. Then cancel the asylum status of anyone who hasn’t checked in with their local immigration center in 90 days.


I am only somewhat shocked

India to build huge detention camps for illegal alien muzzies migrants

More than 4 million people in India, mostly Muslims, are at risk of being declared foreign migrants as the government pushes a hard-line Hindu nationalist agenda that has challenged the country’s pluralist traditions and aims to redefine what it means to be Indian.

Perhaps after being declared foreigners, they’ll be deported. While 4 million sounds like a lot, this is India we’re talking about, and that’s just a tiny drop in their gigantic population bucket.

I have not been keeping abreast of news from India. But I do know that muslims and hindus can’t ever seem to get along. Ever. After WWII colonial India was partitioned into India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan. They had one of the greatest population migrations of all time, with the vast majority of muslims moving to Pakistan in the west or to Bangladesh, the newly renamed Bengal province, in the east. Both new countries are nearly exclusively muslim. You’d think that would solve the problem, right? hahaha, not a chance.

I can guarantee that snowflakes, leftists, and other jihadi types will be screaming from the rooftops about this terrible “racist” decision. But OTOH, honestly, give it up already. The muzz got two entire countries created just for them, and that’s not enough? (well no, because it’s only India that has any kind of economy, so that’s the place to be)



Another major Hillary email crime story to ignore.

Why, my goodness. The dweeb who wiped her laptop, lied to the FBI and got immunity, just happened to copy every single one of her 30,000 emails to a totally unsecured gmail account. An account which uses the name of a Chinese company located in Hacker Province.

Comey says the Chinese didn’t hack her PC, so no worries. What, look at the gmail account? Why would he do a silly thing like that?

But nothing to see here, and it’s so 2016 anyway.


Hey Mother Nature, are we done yet?

{ No! You are due another big thunderstorm just after you go to bed. Be grateful you don’t live in the Panhandle! }

Such weather we had today. Four intense thunderstorms may have finally broken the humidity here, but don’t bet on it. I got to drive in one this afternoon, coming back from my Sunday work. Saw the tongues of fat lightning striking up the road ahead, and I drove right into it. Traffic went from a NJ standard 83mph down to about 11. Lightning had hit a medium tree on the medium, and it was well done. Blasted right out of the ground and lying across the passing lane. Looked like a small white SUV got bonked with some branches. We all drove around it, and then north out of the storm. Dry roads, and I zoomed most of the rest of the way home, only to get caught in another small but intense squall. Highway crawl. And I want to smack these fools who put their emergency flashers on. Stop this stupidity, you’re not helping. We know you’re going slow, because we’re right behind you, going slow too. Duh. You want to be visible? Next time don’t buy a pavement colored vehicle. Estupido.

Got home and none of those afternoon storms had hit here, only the first one this morning. So it was hazy hot and super swampy. And time to make dinner. So I got the Weber going and put on a bunch of seasoned chicken thighs. Then the sky grew dark. Darker. The outside lights came on. The wind picked up. And the clouds just sat there, low in the sky and hardly moving. No, they were just getting ready. Halfway through the grilling, the sky opened again. Rained so hard it was tough to see across the 12 foot patio. I swear each raindrop was about a 1/4 cup. Hey, one way to not overcook the chicken is to have it raining so hard that the grill is getting cooled off from above and from underneath, by the big drops bouncing up. I should have taken a video. How was I to know that a water resistant jacket, a boonie hat, an umbrella, and a flashlight were necessary afternoon barbecue accessories? I thought a pair of tongs and a margarita was all I needed. Wrong!

The chicken was great. I used Vulcan salt and hot Cajun seasoning.


Shopping List: Milk, Meat, Cheese, Dead Guy, Crackers, Bread, Paper Towels

A normal trip to the grocery store turned into a nightmare for one New Yorker after she returned to her vehicle to find a dead body in the bed of her truck.

Officers with Niagara County Sheriff’s Office were called to a Tops supermarket on Lockport Road Friday after an unidentified woman reported finding the body of a man in her truck bed.

According to police, she left a location in Wayne County and stopped in the Town of Newfane to go to the supermarket. When she finished shopping, she opened her tailgate to put her groceries away and “noticed the deceased male inside the bed.”

She was unable to identify the man, who police described as a Hispanic male in his 40s or 50s, WNBC reported.

The man was taken to the Erie County Medical Center for an autopsy. Police did not release a cause of death or any details surrounding the discovery of the body.

First responders determined the unidentified man had been dead for some time. The woman, who Niagara County Sheriff James Votour said was understandably upset, has no idea who the man is.

The Niagara County Sheriff’s Office says the woman, who is from Wayne County, had left home early Friday morning. She reportedly traveled through Wayne, Monroe and Niagara Counties, making a brief stop in Monroe County, and later stopping again in Lockport.

Deputies from all three counties are assisting with the investigation.

Anyone who owns a pickup truck can tell you that strangers always throw junk in the bed. I guess the world thinks you’re driving a public dumpster.

Newfane is just north of Lockport in western NY, over by the Ontario border on the isthmus between Lake Eire and Lake Ontario, a bit NE of Buffalo. Newfane and Lockport are two of the many towns that came into existence due to the Erie Canal.



[ massive snip snip of old posts, now pasted below the fold. Sorry, I had to delete a big bunch of them too ]


See More Below The Fold


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 08/23/2019 at 12:57 PM   
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calendar   Thursday - July 23, 2015

One of our local hidden gems

Our little piece of Hunterdon County NJ feels like a step back in time to many of our weekend visitors. Because it is. You go 2 blocks off the highway and it’s like going back 170 years. I love it.

This was a highly rural area until the 1840s, but farms and businesses began to blossom here in the 1850s, around the time the railroad came through. The great growth period was over by the 1920s, and the area went back to sleep for the next 50 years. But that growth left us with lots of mid 19th Century to early 20th Century homes, and plenty of locally constructed mail-order iron bridges, and we’ve been very fortunate that so many of them have survived. We have streets full of them, entire neighborhoods, all restored. Victorians, Colonials, Italianates, Greek Revivals, Gothics, Craftsmen, Dorics, you name it. Plus plenty of the truly American style “I built it” houses just too tough and ornery to fall down. Ever. Makes for great walking tours for the tourists, who then need to go shopping and get a meal or two, and perhaps visit one of our several museums. We do quaint here, but the real deal not the pretend kind, and we do it all the way to the bank.

Anyway, hardly a mile off the beaten downtown track is the well hidden McCloughan Mansion. Now owned by a restoration consortium, this 1850-1860 Italianate brick villa is slowly being brought back to its formerly grand condition. Not that it was ever really all that bad; it was just empty and lonely for a few decades. Nobody lives there now, but the place isn’t spooky at all.

But I mean it about the well hidden part. The road it fronts is heavily wooded and bushy, and you can only catch the smallest glimpse of this place as you drive the up hill curve past its frontage. From the back it can’t be seen, not even in winter, even though the property is hardly 100 yards from the busiest local highway in the county. So all the in-town houses get the adoration and awards, and this place ... I wonder if many of the residents even know it’s there? I only just discovered it myself a couple weeks ago, when I went looking for the ancient barn next door, with its distinctive copulas.


more info:


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 07/23/2015 at 12:27 PM   
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calendar   Thursday - April 24, 2014

Persian doorways

Iwan to hide my pendentive squinches behind your pishtaqs



Both pictures are Iwans on the Jameh Abbasi mosque in Isfahan Iran, built in 1629. An Iwan is a deep, open ended gateway, often with a vaulted ceiling. A portal. More properly, it’s a gateway area that projects from a building, usually a mosque, rather like an attached ramada or a porte-cochere. A pishtag is the flat front plate of the iwan; the ones visible here are decorated with blue tiles. Squinches and pendentives are architectural transitions used where a rectangular building needs to support a circular or semi-circular dome or open archway. In the real world, you probably would not see squinches used with pendentives ever, since they are different solutions to the same problem; if you use one, you don’t use the other one. So I’m just having fun with that.

For a bit more fun, free caulk to the first person besides McGoo who spots the science behind all these man-made stalactites. What do they actually do? Hint: they’re also called honeycombs. Tons of pictures online. Second hint: once you left the building through the iwan, you were usually in a large busy courtyard, probably the bustling bazaar in the middle of town. Out in the blazing sun, buying spices, trading camels, trying to get your flying carpet fixed.



Posted by Drew458   United States  on 04/24/2014 at 01:22 PM   
Filed Under: • ArchitectureMiscellaneous •  
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calendar   Tuesday - April 22, 2014

to think this could be ours but for being short of spare change.

In US currency .... at current rate of exchange, that makes this pile $5,046,211.68.

And worth every penny too.

OK so .... the sell price is only the beginning. There’s upkeep and grounds and all sorts of other neat stuff. But I could see living here.
Get a printing press and make my own money.

Wife on some sort of diet that’s making me crazy. Or is it just dizzy? Or both? 

Anyway ,,, here’s a nice change from the usual.

Gone With The Wind actress Vivien Leigh’s country retreat where her ashes were scattered goes on sale for £3.5 million

Country estate, which includes bluebell wood, walled garden and gardener’s cottage, bought by the actress in 1961
She used the estate to get away from London, spending hours in the garden and receiving many famous guests
On the market for around £3.5million, estate agents expect a surge in interest because of the famous former-resident

By Richard Spillett

The former country home of one of Hollywood’s most famous actresses has gone on the market for £3.5million.

Tickerage Mill, near Uckfield, East Sussex, was bought by Vivien Leigh for just £20,000 in 1961 and, after she died of tuberculosis in 1967, her ashes were scattered on the pond of the country estate.

Estate agents say interest in the property has soared since its current owners, Ken and Honer Hoggins, decided to sell up.


more photos here


Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 04/22/2014 at 01:42 PM   
Filed Under: • ArchitectureUK •  
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calendar   Thursday - December 12, 2013

just a side trip on my way to another article. got sidetracked again but worth the look

As usual I was headed somewhere else and came across this and fell in love again.

Why do I have to see beautiful places I can never afford when I’m not even looking for them?

So anyway I saw this. There are lots more photos. I really like the gardens here too.  Bet the landscaping would be as costly as the running of the house.
I think they may still refer to places like this as, a pile.  Whatever.  I’d also bet the panels date to the original.
But the bathroom tubs would have to be replaced by regular showers, cos when you’re a certain age, it isn’t certain you’ll be able to climb out of these.

Whoops ... I just noticed.  It isn’t the entire building. Is it?  Lyndon?  Nah. Not for that price and especially NOT in Cumbria which has to be one of the most beautiful places on the planet.  You live there and you have money.

10 bedroom detached house for sale Guide price £1,475,000 ( $ 2,417,806.70 )

Longtown, Carlisle, Cumbria CA6





Go here for all the other pix.


Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 12/12/2013 at 01:18 PM   
Filed Under: • ArchitectureEye-Candy •  
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calendar   Tuesday - November 12, 2013

Feels Less Than Honest

“It’s a SPIRE”: architectural verdict means new WTC is tallest building in USA


Shown here in two pieces, the extraordinary antenna “spire” is 40 stories tall all by itself.

[May 14, 2013] Last week, a 40-ton spire was hauled up to the tippy-top of the new World Trade Center, making it the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere (well, maybe). Aside from raising the WTC to the symbolic height of 1,776 feet, the spire will broadcast TV and radio signals.  [link which includes dizzying video looking down from that height.]

[today, November 12, 2013] New World Trade Center recognized as tallest building in US

An expert committee of architects has announced that New York’s new World Trade Center is the tallest building in the United States at 1,776 feet.

The Height Committee of the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat announced its decision Tuesday morning in Chicago.

The committee is recognized as the final arbiter of building heights around the world. It had been weighing whether a design change meant the needle atop 1 World Trade Center is part of the actual building or merely the equivalent of a broadcast antenna.

The committee announced Tuesday that the needle was a spire, and therefore, a part of the actual building. Twenty-five members of the group met in Chicago on Nov. 8 to debate the height of the building.

The tower built on the site of the 9/11 attacks is a symbolically important 1,776 feet tall with the 408-foot needle. It would be 1,368 feet tall without it, shorter than the 1,450-foot Willis Tower in Chicago.

Pretty neat I guess, and of course the committee decided things this way. And it does kind of look like there are several little platforms around it with railings, although I doubt anyone in the public would be allowed up there. Besides, the energy from all the radio and TV signals would probably fry you. But if you can stand in it, or on it, then it’s not just an aerial, right?

Without the spire though, the new tower is exactly as tall as the old 1 WTC. The old one had 110 floors, with the top floor at 1347 feet elevation. The new one has 104 floors, with the top floor at 1,268 feet elevation. So the people-usable part of the new one is a bit lower, though somehow the roofs are at the same height. The last 100 feet at the top hide the HVAC and water systems, and the top of the open screening around them counts as the official “roof” *. I would have liked to see a new WTC that was solid building to 1776 feet, and then just under 225 feet of antenna on top for a symbolic 2001 feet 9.11 inches total height.

… a beacon at the pinnacle of the spire, 1,776 feet high, will be switched on and the 288,000 lumens of light emitted from it will be visible from 50 miles away, serving as a new visual marker for millions looking east from New Jersey, officials say.

According to the map, I ought to be able to see that beacon from here by looking to the ENE. I’ll have to try that, or perhaps find some higher open ground somewhere in the county.

See More Below The Fold


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 11/12/2013 at 05:41 PM   
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calendar   Saturday - November 02, 2013

a cathedral of books

One of the comments asks, “What would God say?”

Clever line.

Anyway .... saw this yesterday, not one of my better days and haven’t posted. But share it now.
This really is quite spectacular.

It was a 15th century cathedral in the Netherlands.

Lots of churches here have been converted to private homes and put to other uses outside religion.
Scary when you think, churches are slim to empty and closing, but the mosques are not only full, but a few churches have been sold to the rop and have been converted into mosques.

Perfect for bibliophiles! 15th Century cathedral is transformed into a book shop

Architects convert stunning medieval Broerenkerk cathedral in Zwolle, Netherlands, into modern book shop

Work on the Gothic building was allowed on strict condition the church could be returned to previous condition

Original stained glass window, pipe organ and decor retained in the radical redesign

By Tom Gardner

For ardent bibliophiles, a shopping trip to this book shop must be close to a spiritual experience.

Broerenkerk, the famed 15th century Dominican church in Zwolle, Netherlands, has been transformed into a stunning modern book store.

Architects BK. Architecten were allowed to radically redesign the interior of the 547-year-old Gothic building on the strict condition they left the original features, such as the pipe organ, stained glass windows and decor intact.



Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 11/02/2013 at 02:41 PM   
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calendar   Tuesday - June 25, 2013

1,800 yr old walls as part of your house. could you ask for more?

ok, it isn’t a castle but it may be a lot cheaper to maintain. And it’s all yours for only £8million.
In dollars it’s only $12,338,439.81. Hey, a bargain. I remember when the dollar pound ratio was 2 to 1. Which means that house could go for 16 million.
who-ha. such a bargain!

I could see living in a house like this. You’d need staff of course, and have to hire Drew to do the windows.

This house happens to be located in a very pretty part of this country.

Country manor house with 1,800-year-old Roman walls which could be yours for £8million

Whitestaunton Manor has recently undergone a £5million renovation
The home was built in 15th century on grounds of third century Roman villa
Property, including 83 acres of land, is now up for sale for £8million

By James Rush

A unique country pile which features 1,800-year-old Roman-built walls has been put on the market for £8 million.

Whitestaunton Manor is a seven bedroom 15th century home situated near Chard, Somerset.

But it was constructed on the grounds of a third century Roman villa and includes structural masonry from that period in its walls.


The home, which could be the only one of its type to boast genuine Roman features, was today described as one of the nation’s finest country homes.

Grade I listed Whitestaunton Manor has been put up for sale with Savills Estate Agents for £8 million - making it the one of the most expensive residential properties for sale in Somerset.

It follows a decade-long, £5million renovation with the home now boasting a combination of classic architecture and modern technology spanning 1,800 years.

The home features seven bedrooms, three reception rooms, a grand hall which houses a hammerbeam roof, a three bedroom lodge house and an outdoor swimming pool.


Despite being made of hamstone, there is underfloor heating while lighting comes courtesy of LEDs.

It is also one of only a few private residences in the UK with a medieval hammerbeam roof - which was completed in 1438 but only discovered during its renovation.

A pond flows to the north of the property where the remains of the Roman baths can be found. These were uncovered and featured in an episode of Time Team in 2003.


The Deeds of The Manor include a family pew on the north side of the Parish Church of Whitestaunton, near Chard, Somerset.

The property also comes with 83 acres of land, stables, garaging and a three-bedroom lodge.

The gardens surround the house on three sides and are dominated by a variety of beech, ancient copper beech and willow trees.

‘The Romans had free rein when they came over here and they chose the spot because it was so beautiful. Its position and setting is stunning.

‘As for the house, a lot of people make the mistake of thinking a 15th century home would be dark and you would bang your head on the ceiling. This is different - it is well proportioned and bright.

‘The owner has spent £5 million doing it up, he is a real purist and his attention to detail is second to none.

‘It is very unusual to have Roman walls in the home and this is possibly the only one in the country.

hammerbeam roof see this and more here

I do believe I see a bridge across that pond. Drew will take note.
btw ... Ponds “flow?” I always thought they were still water.  Yes? No?


Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 06/25/2013 at 04:13 PM   
Filed Under: • Archeology / AnthropologyArchitectureHistoryUK •  
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calendar   Monday - June 24, 2013

a departure I need to make more often?  I think maybe so. Not sure. Have your say.

I got a bit carried away this morning looking at castles.  There was something in the paper that mentioned one and had a few other recommends and a small

photo. So naturally I went on line to look it up and WOW!  I ended up looking at a lot of them, and in one place because I read, most of the old castles are located in a place called Wales.

Whose spelling and language is totally incomprehensible to all but a few natives.  I’ve been there, once a long time ago.

Don’t think we saw one castle on that trip.  The article says that Wales “has some of the finest castles in Britain.”

I’ve been trolling castles almost all day.

Google Welsh Castles. Great stuff.

My next visit will be Scotland and then England and I’m sure there has to be one or two or more in Ireland too.

Caerphilly Castle (Welsh: Castell Caerffili) is a medieval fortification in Caerphilly in South Wales. The castle was constructed by Gilbert de Clare in the 13th century as part of his campaign to conquer Glamorgan, and saw extensive fighting between Gilbert and his descendants and the native Welsh rulers. Surrounded by extensive artificial lakes – considered by historian Allen Brown to be “the most elaborate water defences in all Britain” – it occupies around 30 acres (120,000 m2) and is the second largest castle in Britain.  It is famous for having introduced concentric castle defences to Britain and for its large gatehouses.
Gilbert began work on the castle in 1268 following his occupation of the north of Glamorgan, with the majority of the construction occurring over the next three years at a considerable cost. The project was opposed by Gilbert’s Welsh rival Llywelyn ap Gruffudd, leading to the site being burnt in 1270 and taken over by royal officials in 1271. Despite these interruptions, Gilbert successfully completed the castle and took control of the region. The core of Caerphilly Castle, including the castle’s luxurious accommodation, was built on what became a central island, surrounding by several artificial lakes, a design Gilbert probably derived from that at Kenilworth. The dams for these lakes were further fortified, and an island to the west provided additional protection. The concentric rings of walls inspired Edward I’s castles in North Wales, and proved what historian Norman Pounds has termed “a turning point in the history of the castle in Britain”.



Magnificent Conway Castle, has been described as ‘one of the great fortresses of medieval Europe’, and is without doubt one of the most impressive of Welsh castles.
The castle was was built on the site of an earlier Welsh monastery, founded by Welsh prince Llewelyn Fawr and was designed by the king’s master architect-mason, James of St. George, being built between 1283-1289.
The castle stands in a strategic position perched on a rock and dominates the Conwy estuary, on approach it conveys a deep sense of strength and impregnability. Conwy Castle was one of Edward I’s most expensive projects and originally had a coat of whitewash.
The castle provides the visitor with the opportunity of walking the top portions of the soaring curtain walls, from which the views over the town, its Medieval walls and the Conwy Estuary are stunning.


Cfon Castle


I even have a bridge for Drew



Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 06/24/2013 at 01:44 PM   
Filed Under: • ArchitectureHistoryUK •  
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calendar   Tuesday - May 07, 2013

China On The Rise

Not exactly a bridge post, except to remind readers that the various kinds of trusses used on bridges are also used on buildings. It’s just another example of how Our Friend The Triangle helps keeps things, um, stiff.

China To Move Quickly To Cover Up New Newspaper Building

covering material - latex, sheepskin? - not specified


Chinese authorities have rushed to censor the country’s microblogging site, Sina Weibo, after users started mocking a picture of the new Beijing headquarters of the People’s Daily newspaper, which resemble a giant penis.

A search on Sina Weibo for “People’s Daily” and “building” results in a message that says the keywords have been blocked “in accordance with relevant laws, regulations and policies, search results cannot be displayed”.

Some comments about the 150 metre tower, which is still under construction, were recorded despite the censorship.

“Of course the national mouthpiece should be imposing,” said one user.

“It seems the People’s Daily is going to rise up, there’s hope for the Chinese dream,” said another.

The newspaper itself has been called “Raping People Daily” by Chinese netizens for “chronically misleading the people with false reports”, according to blog Hug China.

“It was understood that the propagandists in Beijing do not like this nickname, but that they chose the bizarre design of the new headquarters reveals that it may not necessarily be so,” it said.

Unreal. But true!
Notice all the diagonals, all coming in and down. Ordinarily this would be called a Pratt Truss design, but I guess in this case we’ll have to call it a Prat Truss.

Such a building could never be constructed in America. Well, it could, but we’d build it at least 10 stories   longer  taller.

Let The Jokes Begin

and after this we’ll return to our proper mature blogging.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 05/07/2013 at 01:05 PM   
Filed Under: • ArchitectureCHINA in the newsFun-Stuff •  
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calendar   Wednesday - April 24, 2013

Saved By Climate Change

The Stonehenge Of Israel

Divers find huge stone circle under Sea of Gaililee.

A mysterious, circular structure, with a diameter greater than the length of a Boeing 747 jet, has been discovered submerged about 30 feet (9 meters) underneath the Sea of Galilee in Israel.

Scientists first made the discovery by accident in 2003 using sonar to survey the bottom of the lake but published their findings only recently.

“We just bumped into it,” recalls Shmuel Marco, a geophysicist from Tel Aviv University who worked on the project. “Usually the bottom of the lake is quite smooth. We were surprised to find a large mound. Initially we didn’t realize the importance of this but we consulted with a couple of archaeologists, and they said it looked like an unusually large Bronze Age statue.”

The structure is comprised of basalt rocks, arranged in the shape of a cone. It measures 230 feet (70 meters) at the base of the structure, is 32 feet (10 meters) tall, and weighs an estimated 60,000 tons. It is twice the size of the ancient stone circle at Stonehenge in England.

The exact age of the structure has been difficult to pinpoint, but calculations based on the six to ten feet (two to three meters) of sand that have accumulated over the bottom of the base—sand accumulates an average of one to four millimeters per year—as well as comparisons to other structures in the region, put the estimate anywhere between 2,000 and 12,000 years old.

The possible purpose of the structure is even more enigmatic.

What archeologists are certain of is that the monument was likely of great importance to the people who built it. Marco notes that the nearest basalt outcrop was a few hundred meters from the site, and that the stones, which were three to six feet (one to two meters) in width, would have weighed over 200 pounds (90 kilograms) at times.

“We see a society that was capable of organizing the construction of such a large structure. It’s unique to transport these stones and unique to arrange them. You need to plan and to mobilize people, because they’re too heavy to be carried by a single person.”

Neat. No useful pictures in the press yet though. Perhaps this was another observatory like the Rujim al-Hiri, better known as Gilgal Refaim, a mult-ring paleolithic construction in the Golan Heights that is far older than the pyramids.

One of the last great barely known wonders of the ancient world is a Stonehenge-like monument sitting atop Israel’s Golan Heights. Called Gilgal Refaim in Hebrew (The Circle Of The Refaim or “Wheel of the Refaim"). It is one of the most mysterious archaeological sites in the world.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 04/24/2013 at 11:58 AM   
Filed Under: • Archeology / AnthropologyArchitecture •  
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calendar   Thursday - March 21, 2013

Sir Francis Drake

Worth £500 at the time, it is now on the market for £1.25m, with a Lordship thrown in. Listed in the Domesday Book, the house in Sampford Sampfo Spiney, Devon, is thought to date back to 1028. In the 12th century it belonged to Gerard Ge de Spine to, Lord of Sampford, for whose family lived there for so long the parish was renamed Sampford Spiney, rather than just Sampford.
It was in 1581 – seven s years before the Spanish Armada A – that Drake became the owner. Included in the sale is the Lordship of Sampford for Spiney and 202 acres of land. The house has five bedrooms and three reception rooms.


In 1581 Sir Francis Drake won this gorgeous Dartmoor mansion in a £500 bet. Now, for £1.25m, it could be yours (and there’s even a Lordship thrown in)

· Sampford Manor on edge of Dartmoor thought to date back to 800s
· Was once historic seat of the Lord of Sampford, Gerard de Spineto
· His descendants had to give deeds to Drake after losing £500 wager
· Current owners bought the house as a derelict shell 25 years ago
· But have worked with English Heritage to rebuild and refurbish it

By Simon Tomlinson

‘Nobody can quite say exactly when the house was built. It was first recorded in 1028 but we think it could have been build as far back as the 800s.

‘It was certainly well-established by the time of the Doomsday Book in 1086 when people were bringing their tithes here.

‘It was rebuilt and extended in the early 17th century after it fell into his disrepair after Drake’s death.

‘Inside the house we have the biggest bread oven you’ll ever see, they would have baked bread here for the whole of the village.

‘When I arrived there were stories of judges robes being found under the staircase and the kitchen was called the courtroom. It would have been the civic centre of the parish.

Having some super serious and maddening problems with the browser I’m using, so good place to end anyway.
See link for more and some photos as well.

Trying Safari and think I’ll uninstall the damn thing.



Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 03/21/2013 at 11:03 AM   
Filed Under: • ArchitectureHistoryUK •  
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calendar   Thursday - December 06, 2012


Bungling builders bulldoze entire historic French chateau by mistake… after its millionaire owner told them to demolish a small outhouse on its estate

· Chateau de Bellevue, near Bordeaux, once boasted 140,000-square-feet of grand reception rooms, ornate fireplaces, winding marble staircases
· Then its new owner, a Russian millionaire businessman, employed a team of Polish builders to renovate the manor to its former glory
· But the workers apparently misunderstood the instructions and pulled down the castle, leaving the outhouse completely untouched

By Matt Blake




Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 12/06/2012 at 05:02 PM   
Filed Under: • ArchitectureFRANCEStoopid-Peoplework and the workplace •  
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calendar   Tuesday - August 14, 2012


Even minus the sea views, Dorset is one of the most beautiful bits of real estate to be found anywhere.  I’ve been there so I’m not speaking hearsay or travel brochures.  There are lots of spectacular places on this island, truly there are.  Many years ago while acting road manager for Country acts who toured the UK, I got to see places even my Brit born wife hasn’t seen.  I’ve visited places whose names I can’t recall and aren’t in any travel guides.  I’ve seen good and bad as you will anywhere. 

I happened to see this in the morning paper and thought it worth posting for another reason beside beauty and the fact that I am taken with it.

First of all it isn’t something usual for bmews.  Yeah from time to time I’ve posted houses but always because I thought something unique about them.

The owner of this “cottage” has to have money just for the upkeep of that roof.  Thatch is very expensive and then there’s that lawn and trees etc.
I love this sort of architecture I suppose because it isn’t normal to my growing up experience.  And it’s a sure bet we will never be in a position to afford a home like this.  Never mind the home. Anyone can buy I guess but the upkeep would eat us alive.  And Dorset isn’t I’d opine, an inexpensive place to live in.  A case of Champagne taste and beer pocket for me.

If you scroll down to the third photo at the link, you’ll see two houses under construction on either side of this house.  Larger and almost dwarf the cottage and nowhere as pretty. No class at all.  No character.
Pretty much the same thing here where we now live.  The two pretty outdated dormer bungalows on either side of us were sold and demolished and newer larger houses built.  One of them truly a characterless eyesore of no beauty whatever and costing about One Million 600 thousand if using American dollars as the example of cost. And they don’t even bother to trim their front hedge. Looks awful trust me. Every house on this street keeps the front neat and tidy but not overboard. The million dollar house ignores theirs and house and hedge look like crap.
Easy to understand then why I’m so damn over the moon when I look at places like this.

I don’t know if it’s actually the very prettiest in all the land ... but it’s in the running.

Is this the prettiest cottage in England? Dream home with remarkable sea views and all yours for £3million

The house is perched on top of a cliff in Dorset with views of the Solent and the Needles

Its owner says for years people have turned up at her door and tried to buy it from her

Sandy Hollowood is now off to Australia and is selling what estate agents say is Britain’s loveliest home


With its thatched roof, manicured lawn and floral gardens it is the epitome of the chocolate box cottage.

Only, the views outside are not that of an unspoilt countryside that goes on as far as the eye can see.

There are no winding country lanes nearby. Nor are there acres of undulating greenery.

Instead this sumptuous £3million property enjoys the most spectacular sea vistas imaginable.


Perched on a cliff-top in Christchurch, Dorset, potential buyers need only turn 180 degrees from the rural idyll of the cottage itself to take in the stunning views of the Solent.

The unique combination means the four-bedroom detached property on Avon Run Road boasts the best of both worlds.




Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 08/14/2012 at 08:40 AM   
Filed Under: • Architecture •  
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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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