Thursday, September 29, 2022

Goodbye NATO?

This is something that's been shuffling around in my head for a while now.

What happens when winter comes to Europe? I've read lots of articles about how European energy prices are exploding, but that's just an indicator of the real problem. Print and hand out all the Euros and Pounds you want, you can't make energy out of thin air. When it's all used up, it's gone, not available at any price.

Oof.

People are going to get angry. Voting people in particular. Frightened politicians will need a scapegoat and who makes a better scapegoat than President Dementia? They can point to lots and lots of videos of him flexing his sagging, wrinkly biceps at Putin, but who is really paying the price for sending bombs instead of diplomats? How long will the German and Polish pols sit there and take the hits for his obsession with Vlad, particularly now that everyone can see that Russia isn't a threat to anyone?

I know this is a really crazy idea, but could this end NATO? If we get a hard winter, if the new holes in the Nordstream pipeline get bigger or cannot be repaired before cold weather and rough seas hit, if people start freezing in their homes, it will be really hard to keep following the lead of a guy who is clearly out of it.

Finally, who really cares about Ukraine anyway? Once the krauts take to the streets and demand heat, jettisoning Zelensky will make a lot more sense than stiffing die Männer und Frauen of Düsseldorf and waiting for them to respond with real rage.

PS - The greens have got to be toast by now. Global Warming Climate Change is a hard sell when you're freezing your schnitzel off

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Plantar Fasciitis

I had to share this with you. I've been fighting some very painful plantar fasciitis over the past two weeks. It has made it painful to walk and I've had to cut my workouts short when I've gone at all.

My Achilles tendons have always been very tight. I had to quit Kung Fu because of them, short of my black sash. I stretched and did yoga, but in the end, I simply could not do the necessary, exotic kicks to make the final grade. Plantar fasciitis exploits that tightness to cause tremendous pain in your heel.

Today, this arrived from Amazon.

Great googly moogly, that thing works wonders. Just for grins, I wore it for a half an hour when I got home and already my pain is almost gone. You're supposed to wear it overnight, but many people complain about how bulky it is. Who cares? I figure I'll wear it as long as I can and then put it back on when I get up in the morning and I ought to be able to work out as normal tomorrow.

I can't recommend it highly enough if you're suffering with the big PF.

Monday, September 26, 2022

Hang 'Em High

 ... the tobacco stalks, that is.

I harvested my tobacco yesterday. Well, all I had room for in my garage as things stood, which amounted to 8 of my 20 plants. This time, I took the easy way out and cut down the whole plants and hung them upside-down, as-is.

The crop right before harvesting. The Virginians were tall and stately. The biggest of them was 5' 6". The Tennesseans were short and swarthy, but with broader leaves. I only harvested Virginians and ran out of hanging space in the garage before I got them all.

The stalks in the garage. Fittingly, you can just barely see the pictures of Lee and Jackson looking on approvingly in the background.

This time, I'm not going to let the cure to the point of crispiness. Once they turn brown, I'll take them down and go about the fermentation process while the leaves are still pliable. I might even smoke some of it before I ferment it, just so I can get a few puffs of it in case I ruin it again.

I ended up with a lot more tobacco than last time because I planted them well-spaced in the ground instead of crowded together in a planter box. They responded by stretching out and getting really big.

This might just end up well.

Sunday, September 25, 2022

What's The MBTF For Cops?

That is, if you are a cop, what is the mean time between howls for racial justice from the politicians that run your city?

I've read quite a few essays like this one discussing candidate solutions for the loss of police in blue cities. New Orleans, for example, now has fewer than 500 officers on the beat. They need something on the order of 2,000. The city is disintegrating into lawlessness.

Dig this bit from Philly.

It's chaos with no cops in sight.

The Democrats must keep blacks voting for them in the 85-90% range in order to have any chance of winning national elections. Their primary tool for this is racial paranoia. The message is simple: Whites are out to get them and their only protection is to vote blue.

In most blue cities, being a cop gives you a shot at a handsome pension after about 25 years of service. The trick is to survive to get your pension. Under optimal conditions, the job is sufficiently risky to make that less than a sure thing. Under modern conditions in blue cities, a dispassionate calculation of the odds makes it a risk not worth taking.

In short, someone entering the police force in a blue city needs to assess whether or not he can trust the Democrats running the place to not scream for his blood one or more times during a 25-year career. In 2020, the Democrats did just that, all over the country. With that in very recent memory, solutions like this, pulled from the essay linked above, won't work.

The obvious solution is to recruit and train new police officers to reduce overtime costs and stress on the thin blue line. But over the past two years, there has been a dramatic drop in police department applicants. Many young people who may have had an interest in taking the exam and going through the rigorous preemployment background investigation have witnessed the inaction of cities across the country to support their officers. Without a significant change in leadership and tone, these possible recruits may move on and never look back.

At issue isn't whether or not progressive politicians will say nice things about the cops this year, it's whether or not they're going to go full Ta-Nehisi Coates in the next ten to twenty years. A brief perusal of lefty media such as NPR, CNN and MSNBC says they almost certainly will. The recent release of the deranged, racial-vengeance movie, The Woman King, says that Hollywood isn't going to help, either.

Finally, there's the matter of scale. Watching the video above, what would one or two cops have been able to do against that mob? Given the level of hate whipped up by the progressives since George Floyd OD'd his way to immortality, you'd have to be suicidal to take that on without a platoon or more at your back.

Offer all the pay incentives you want, I don't see how you can even get to replacement level recruiting so long as your chances of surviving to reach retirement are doubtful at best.

Saturday, September 24, 2022

Angry Watermelons

 ... make angry watermelon wine.

That's the only thing I can think given the results of my wine making. I finally bottled my Georgia melons last night after having given up that they would ever finish fermenting or take the edge off their hostility. You're supposed to allow them to ferment until the hydrometer reads below 1.0, which indicates that all of the available sugars have been used, but mine stalled out at 1.024 and no amount of waiting around would get it to finish.

A quick tutorial is in order. Water has a specific gravity of 1.0. Alcohol is less than 1 and sugar water is more than 1. As the yeast eats the sugar and converts is to alcohol, your specific gravity falls. You're supposed to take a specific gravity reading before fermentation starts so you get an idea of the percent of alcohol in your wine at the end, but as I'm full on Johnny Reb these days, I rebelled against doing it the right way and skipped that step.

Read: As usual, I was trying to do too much and was in a hurry when I began fermentation.

My bet is that the wine started out with a ton of sugar and a very high specific gravity. The yeast did its job until the alcohol content rose to the point that the yeast died of alcohol poisoning.

Mostly Nothing will tell you that I used to brew beer the same way. These days, my old Schweinbrau would have been considered a double or triple as I would let it ferment until the yeast was killed by the alcohol. No hydrometering for me, no sir!

In any case, Uncle Tubby's Old Vine Pink, as we are now calling it, is a pretty angry wine. Wife kitteh thinks it has a bouquet reminiscent of low quality cough medicine and can't get past that to acknowledge the fact that for a cheesy fruit wine, it's not very sweet. To be honest, as she didn't try it two weeks ago, she has no idea how far it has come. Two weeks ago, I was about to throw it all down the drain. When I tried some sips last night, I actually liked it.

In order to boost the sweetness, I added about 3/4 tsp of sugar to each bottle I left one undoctored and we'll see how that goes. It's got to age for at least two months in the bottle and I'm hoping that further tames the brutes.

I looked up solutions to hostile homemade wine last night on the web and discovered that watermelon wine is difficult to make for just this reason. I guess the unpleasant flavor of the melon rind comes through unless you do everything just right. Oh well. 

Now it's on to label design.

Thursday, September 22, 2022

Fat, Fat, The Water Rat

In August, I celebrated my 60th birthday. I had been lifting weights for the previous year and was quite serious about it. I tried to work out 6 days a week, but typically, it was 5. I had set goals for myself to hit by my birthday.

  • 60# dumbbell curls
  • 90# tricep extensions
  • 500# incline leg presses
  • 6-pack abs

I hit the first three, but not the abs. There's an old saying that I learned last year - abs are made in the kitchen. There's another - you can't outwork a bad diet. I worked my abs hard, but they remained concealed by congeal.

At the Instapundit's suggestion, I recently bought Bigger, Leaner, Stronger. In it, I discovered that my diet had indeed been poor and not just because of the brewskis. If you're lifting, the author recommends a 2-2-1 diet. That's the ratio of grams of carbs to grams of protein to grams of fat. Mine had been more like 4-2-1. I was getting way too many carbs and only about half the protein I needed.

I've adjusted my diet since reading that, but I'm not counting my macros - those grams by type, listed above. I'm just doing better. I've been tracking my beer intake now for months and over the last couple of weeks, I've cut it back in a way that's sustainable.

By the way, beer has carbs, but bourbon doesn't. No, I'm not hitting the sauce, but facts are facts.

In any case, being a sciencey type, I decided that things need to be measured. I looked up local body fat assessment places and finally made an appointment with an establishment that does full-body scans. Those are supposed to be the most accurate.

I bought a 4-pack of testings and went for my first one today, figuring I'll go every 3 months to see if I'm making progress. Today's results were disappointing.

I'm 34.4% lard. Ouch! I doubted the results, but then I looked at photos of men by body fat and sure enough, I'm in the 30-34 range.

I'm stronger now than I've ever been in my life but there's the blobby gut just sitting there, mocking me. My new goal is 20% body fat.

At first, I'm just going to see what happens when I'm aware of my macros. I'm not going to count calories, but I will continue to track the brews and see if I can keep them under control.

Lifting

The other thing the book taught me is that my sets have been wrong all this time. In order to make weightlifting gains, you need to push your muscles for more sets than I'd been doing. My previous routine was 15-12-10-5 reps with the weight increasing commensurate with the decrease in reps. Only the last set really pushed my limits. I should have been doing double that. These days, I'm doing 15-10-7-5. The last two sets are stressors. The first set is a lightweight warmup to get my joints used to the motion.

In any case, wife kitteh has been able to tell the difference and I feel a whole lot better after a year of working out seriously. My cardio has improved, too. I'm now doing 25 minutes of incline fast walking on the treadmill at the end of every workout. I've seen my heart rate drop over time, which shows me at least that part is doing it's job.

Now if I can just get rid of this gut...

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Admiral Scheer Was A Pedophile

Let me see if I can connect these dots.

The Admiral Scheer was a German pocket battleship in WW II. It was a commerce raider, designed to prey upon transatlantic convoys. It had one particularly successful encounter, described in detail here.

The Admiral Scheer.

(Convoy) HX84 departs on 28th October with two Canadian destroyers as escorts and one auxiliary cruiser, the HMS Jervis Bay. The weather is typically unpleasant for that time of year, but nevertheless the convoy presses on across the rains and big waves of the North Atlantic.

After one day, both the destroyers make their way back to Halifax, leaving the ships of HX84 under the protection of Jervis Bay. But she isn’t a warship: an auxiliary cruiser was an ocean liner with guns bolted to her decks...

After a week at sea, in amongst November’s darkening nights and cold seas, the convoy is spotted by the German heavy cruiser, Admiral Scheer. This ship is well armoured, has a basic radar for finding range, and six 11” guns. Her class has been designed as commerce raiders and she’s exactly what the British fear: convoys are strong against submarines, but are effectively lambs to the slaughter where surface raiders are involved...

After tense minutes, the captain of the Jervis Bay orders them to fire. They are hopelessly outclassed; some shots land near the Admiral Scheer but after a handful of salvos, the bridge of the Jervis Bay is hit. She is ablaze from stem to stern, mauled by those 11” guns, and sinking fast...

The Admiral Scheer sank the SS Maidan, then set the tanker San Demetrio ablaze. She turned, sank SS Trewllard in short order, and started firing at SS Kenbane Head. For convoys this was the nightmare scenario : they might avoid the lone U-boats of the period, but once a commerce raiders was amongst them, they were doomed.

Beaverford’s captain was Hugh Pettigrew, a 60 year old Scot who had been a merchant seaman for most of his life, although seeing service in the Great War. Seeing the Kenbane Head come under fire, he realised the game was up. He ordered his crew to come about, and fire her 3” bow pea shooter at the Admiral Scheer, as the late Autumnal darkness fell about them.

The first shot landed surprisingly close to the German panzerschiff. By this time, Kenbane Head was sinking, and the Admiral Scheer turned its sights onto Beaverford. She fired star shells to light up the target, and Captain Pettigrew ordered a turn, to bring the stern 4” gun into play. He signalled the rest of the convoy:

“It is our turn now. So long. The captain and crew of SS Beaverford”.

The Pedophile

Earlier this week, video surfaced of a teacher in an Ontario, Canada public school who is clearly a massive pervert. He used to dress as a normal man, but now he wears a wig, short shorts and grotesque,  massive, fake breasts. He is not a woman nor is he pretending to be. He is a degenerate fetishist.

From Matt Walsh's show:

Tucker did a better summary of it, but there it is.

If you see the children as the convoy and the pervert as the Admiral Scheer, you quickly come to discover that there are indeed, no escorts.

The school system and the school board have sided with the pervert.

There's a future blog post here wherein we ponder why no fathers have come in to rough up this creep. He is engaging in a sexual fetish with the kids as passive participants.

What happens when you try to suppress masculinity? One consequence seems to be the absence of fathers protecting their children from perverts. All this time, I've been waiting for one of these predators to get thrashed by a dad or a group of dads, but it never happens.

The escorts aren't coming to save the convoy because there aren't any around.

I suspect that had this happened in a predominantly Muslim community, things would be different.