Sunday, October 31, 2010

Jerry Brown for Governor, Part II

Today's San Diego Union-Tribune features interviews with both Jerry Brown and Meg Whitman. These interviews tell you why we should elect Jerry Brown. There's not a single thing in the interview with Brown that makes even the slightest mathematical sense. Dig this one.
Q: If you are elected governor, how would you create jobs?

A: There’s nothing more important than jobs...My plan is very precise: 20,000 megawatts of new renewable energy, and to do that by 2020. That will create 500,000 jobs. I’m not talking just about a few jobs in the desert; I’m talking about retrofitting all the buildings in California, putting young people to work.
This is lunacy on so many levels. Renewable energy is more expensive than coal, gas or oil. Building more of it will cost more with the difference made up by ... unicorns and fairies and sprites and pixies and ...

There's nothing Meg can accomplish given the childlike legislature we have, one that believes in the aforementioned unicorns, et al. Here's an example.
Q: How do you fix the budget?

A: ...Number two is reform public employee pension benefits. We have gone from spending $300 million a year on public employee pensions in 2000 to $3.9 billion. We cannot have civil servants retire at 55 with much of their salary and health care benefits to the day they die. The third is welfare reform. We have 12 percent of the population of the United States and 32 percent of the welfare cases. We have the longest benefits and welfare practically in the country.
You can just see it now. Resistance in the legislature, the media, the entertainment industry and the hipsters in Silicon Valley will center around Meg's heartless, racist attempts to roll back the clock and stop progress. The hipsters and opinion makers won't have to examine any of their core beliefs. She'll get nothing done and be the perfect punching bag.

Our choice is clear: California must remain the liberal petri dish so we can see and compare its festering mess with other states.

Jerry Brown for governor. Science dictates we must elect him.

Stewart And Colbert Reveal Their Racism

Just look at the predominantly white crowd at their rally. If that doesn't make them racist, nothing does.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Why I'm Voting for Jerry Brown

... because he will give us the fastest path to societal change in California. Here's why.
  1. There is a limit to the damage he can do. The state is already near the bottom in most categories - education, cost of education, debt ratings, unemployment, etc. The only thing left to lose is the entertainment industry and Silicon Valley. More on them later.

  2. There is a limit to the new idiocies he can enact. With a $20B deficit, no mechanism to declare bankruptcy and a Republican Congress who isn't going to bail him out, we won't be seeing Sacramento subsidies for windmills on all of our rooftops any time soon.

  3. The next governor will preside over a bloodbath. We've used up all of our one-time budget gimmicks and borrowing schemes. The chickens, as a racist lunatic mentor of our president once said, are coming home to roost.

  4. California needs a cultural wake-up call. As long as there's a Republican governor, the opinion makers in Hollywood and Silicon Valley can delude themselves that our problems are political, not cultural. The monolithic, secular, debased view of the world held by our entertainment industry and the hipster-geeks in San Jose needs to collapse under its own leaders so a real debate about our society can begin.

  5. The governor in California has very little power. The legislature has most of the power and that will remain in the hands of the progressives. Meanwhile, whatever party holds the governor's seat gets the blame.

  6. Our desperately needed soul-searching can't begin under Meg Whitman. California conservatives need to acknowledge that we are a small and impotent minority. We're not going to lead a change. Just as only Nixon could go to China, only the liberal opinion makers in Hollywood and Silicon Valley can change the state. There needs to be an intellectual civil war on the left in California in order for things to change. The fastest way to that is to elect one of their own to preside over California's Götterdämmerung.

Jerry Brown for governor. He deserves it.

Elsewhere: B-Daddy disagrees with me.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Cheezburger of the Day


Blame the Teacher's Unions? I Think Not

I'm going to disagree with most of my conservative friends on this one, but I'm not blaming the teacher's unions for the expensive mess our schools have become. Secular Apostate posted the video expose shown below about the New Jersey teacher's union. They key part for me starts at 3:30 and describes a padded classroom built expressly for K-2 students who are completely out of control.

What is the bargain we are making with our teachers? To me, it sounds like this:

Us: We are not responsible for teaching our children the basics of civilized behavior. We are not responsible for giving them stable homes where they aren't exposed to violence and drug abuse. We are not responsible for giving them fathers. We will send our kids to your classroom in any condition we choose.

Teachers: You must educate them. You cannot get rid of them, no matter what they do.

After a few decades of this, what is it that you expect the teachers to do? In a sense, there is a Parents Union that has banded together to remove all responsibility from themselves. Why is it so unjust that the teachers have done the same?

What They Know In Arizona That They Don't In DC

From the Borderland Beat:
In the third mass homicide to jolt Mexico in less than one week at least 15 people were killed in an attack by a group of assassins Wednesday morning in the west coast city of Tepic, Nayarit.

According to witnesses the heavily armed and masked gunmen arrived in 3 SUV’s and shot everyone inside the establishment. A fruit vendor at a kiosk outside of the establishment and a rider on a motorcycle were also shot and killed.

According to the Tepic chief of police, Secretario de Seguridad Publica Fernando Carvajal Cazola, there were three survivors of the attack that are currently hospitalized. The survivors were not identified. It is not uncommon for organized crime assassins to invade hospitals and finish off survivors of execution attempts.
Here's video from the scene:

If you can't control the border, this stuff will cross it.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Cheezburger of the Day

i am cleopatra  bow be4 me

Flash as a Game Platform

At Adobe MAX, Kevin Lynch, Adobe's CTO, demonstrated this game during his day one keynote.

It's written in Flash and, as I understand it, is making use of low-level graphics acceleration. Kevin claimed it was capable of rendering millions of polygons per second.

The bash on Flash as a game engine has been it's slow speed and the resultant poor quality of graphics due to insufficient polygon rendering. If they've really got a solution to this, then programming games in Flash becomes much more attractive as Flash-enabled TV sets and TV interface boxes like Google TV become more commonplace. It won't replace the high-end gaming consoles or the monstrous PCs built for high-fidelity gaming, but it could significantly erode the low- to mid-range game market from these systems and that's a big deal.

Game success isn't about physics or polygons nearly as much as it is about fun. There are lots and lots of games out there for the i-platforms, but the big hit these days is a graphically trivial one called Angry Birds.

If you're trying to develop the next Angry Birds and you want to be able to market it to the widest customer base possible, you could do a lot worse than program it in Flash. Everyone but Apple is enabling Flash on their systems. And which mobile OS is growing the fastest? Flash-enabled Android.
Google's (GOOG) Android was the most popular operating system in the U.S. among customers who purchased smartphones within the past six months, according to the Nielsen Company's August survey.
More smartphones were sold using the Android OS in the last 6 months than any other OS.

Rumors of Flash's death seem to have been greatly exaggerated.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Adobe MAX Report Out

I'm at Adobe MAX yesterday and today to see what's new in the world of professional content creation. In a word: Wow.

Yesterday I went to a session on the new workflows in DreamWeaver CS5 that allow you to simultaneously create websites for a wide variety of platforms - phone, tablet, PC. The audience loudly oohed and aahed as the new features were shown doing what they were meant to do. A roomful of designers sat there and repeatedly mumbled, "Dude. That's going to make my life soooo much easier." Adobe really has their act together.

The theme of the show, just as it is with Google's vision of the future, is how mobile devices are changing the way we consume the web and information in general. Charts and graphs were shown displaying how tablets and phones are overtaking laptop and desktop machines as the primary tool to view the web. Adobe has recognized this and CS5 is designed to let you create sites and graphics for consumption on all devices simultaneously. One of the coolest things yesterday in the DreamWeaver session was CSS code that recognized the user's screen resolution and adaptively used the right layout.

On a side note, I got a chance to play with the Samsung Galaxy. I liked it a lot. iPad users have sneered at its small screen, but the universal reaction to it was, "I can fit it in my pocket or purse. I can't do that with an iPad." I didn't think that would be a big deal, but it was. The screen resolution was great, too.

Gotta run. It's more about tablets this morning and then InDesign this afternoon.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Caterpillar of Unknown Type

Maybe Tim can help us with this little guy. We found him in our garden as we were closing it down for the Fall. He's definitely worth clicking on the top image.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

If We Nationalized Exxon

... we could see scenes like this in our future:

Ignore the "Those crazy Frenchies are striking again" meme and consider this: every time they nationalize an industry, its problems become political, not economic. That is, there is an upper limit on what unions working for a private firm can demand because they don't want to bankrupt the company. When you work for a government that can print money, that limit is practically unimaginable.

The reason the French are striking against the plan to raise the retirement age from 60 to 62 is not because they're crazy, it's because they're supported by the entire nation of France and they can legitimately claim that their pensions amount to only a few Euros a week for each citizen. Surely you can afford that, can't you?

Friday, October 22, 2010

Momma Daisy Update

She's clean! No scale at all as far as I can see. The reconstruction of the Catican PC has cut way back on my photography as that's where I usually process my photos, so I don't have any good shots of Momma Daisy's stems, but other than a snail infestation which is easily fought, she's back in the green of health!

On Twitter

Twitter just informed me that Warren Whitlock is following me. Warren seems like a great guy, but he's following over 62,000 people. What does that even mean? What's the point? Do you think he's got relationships with 62,000 people? Does he read their tweets? I follow less than 100 people and I can't keep up.

What if you follow just a few people, but you have hordes following you. What do you do when they tweet at you? Ignore them? What kind of relationship is that?

Changing Minds

... happens gradually. Here's what former Fed Vice Chairman Alan Blinder said recently:
Oct. 22 (Bloomberg) -- Federal Reserve policy makers are improvising as they debate embarking on a second round of unconventional monetary stimulus, said Alan Blinder, former vice chairman of the U.S. central bank.

“They are making it up as they go along,” Blinder, a Princeton University economist, said in an interview with Bloomberg television’s “Surveillance Midday” with Tom Keene.

After lowering interest rates almost to zero and buying $1.7 trillion of securities, the Fed is considering expanding its balance sheet further by purchasing more Treasury securities, as well as strategies to boost inflation expectations, according to the minutes of its Sept. 21 Federal Open Market Committee meeting.

Blinder said he doesn’t project the central bank will undertake a “shock and awe” approach after its Nov. 2-3 meeting, or one designed to quickly influence the market through big asset purchases. Instead, the Fed will “dribble it out” by buying in smaller increments, he said.
I suspect that they're recalibrating their mental models. What conventional wisdom said would work to arrest and reverse the recession - Keynesian stimuloids - didn't work at all. Dribbling out their purchases of government debt with printed money I think indicates uncertainty in their minds. I'm sure they're watching Japan continue to flounder despite monstrous debt and stimuloids and Japanese Central Bank purchases of debt. Maybe a new economic consensus, one built around savings rather than debt, will come out of all of this.

Video of the Day


Why Juan Was Fired

In short, Juan Williams humanized Fox News. Here's part of what he had to say about the firing.
They (NPR management) loathe the fact that I appear on Fox News. They don’t notice that I am challenging Bill O’Reilly and trading ideas with Sean Hannity. In their hubris they think by talking with O’Reilly or Hannity I am lending them legitimacy. Believe me, Bill O’Reilly (and Sean, too) is a major force in American culture and politics whether or not I appear on his show.
Juan treated his ideological opponents as if they were rational people with valid arguments. He went on Fox News to convert intelligent people, not to slay infidels. For that apostasy, he was fired. After all, only crazy people would do what he did.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Debt and Pot

California's deficit is $20B. In addition to budget cuts, we need some serious economic growth to increase tax revenues to close that gap. Here's what we need in simple terms:
Carl Schramm, who heads America’s top entrepreneurial think tank, the Kauffman Foundation, has a stunningly good insight into what causes an economy to grow. Growth, he says, is directly correlated to startups that get big. I interviewed Schramm onstage last week at a Churchill Club event at Microsoft’s Silicon campus in Mountain View.

Schramm said:
“The single most important contributor to a nation’s economic growth is the number of startups that grow to a billion dollars in revenue within 20 years.”
Schramm says the U.S. economy, given its large size, needs to spawn something like 75 to 125 billion-dollar babies per year to feed the country’s post World War II rate of growth. Faster growth requires even more successful startups.
Emphasis in the original.

Facing economic Armageddon and desperate for new startups run by hyper-ambitious people to pay for our social services, we're on the verge of legalizing a drug that strips you of your ambition and drive.

A Little More on Juan Williams and the Koran

... from Shane Atwell's Blog where he reviews A Simple Koran.
This is the tolerance of the Koran, repeated in many early and some late passages. Basically, the Kafirs (unbelievers) are going to hell, don't bother with them, god will take care of them. When people speak of tolerance, I don't think this is what they have in mind. Its akin to the tolerance of the christian fundamentalist who screams that AIDS is God's punishment for homosexuality. Its not an outright call for murder, but neither is it a positive affirmation of another persons right to make decisions for themselves. The 'tolerance' of the Koran is 'bide your time until they're punished.' In the later Medinan chapters, when Mohammed has significant military power, he takes matters into his own hands. The assasinations, raids, beheadings, and wars of aggression against non-believers are numerous (an incident about once every other month according to statistics in one of the appendices).
It's a good thing Shane doesn't work for NPR. He'd have been fired along with Juan.

H/T: Our Monastery of Miscellaneous Musings.

Cheezburger of the Day

Juan Williams, Bigot?

NPR has fired Juan Williams over these remarks:

It would be interesting to hear the NPR analysis of the speech by the fellow Juan mentions who said "America's war with Islam is just beginning." Also, I disagree with O'Reilly's take that there is no theological reason for the conlict. There most certainly is and that's the whole problem.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Cheezburger of the Day


Doing One Less Thing

I'm not a huge Seth Godin fan, but he sometimes comes up with good posts. This one suggests that you find ways to do one less thing in your day instead of one more. It's not a new idea, but it's a good way to describe simplifying your life.

What do you have on your list of things to do that you can delete?

Inside the Catican

I took this photo on a whim, but I like the Catican / Oval Office feel to it. Note the American flag in the background.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

We Deserve Jerry Brown

He's the perfect candidate to go with the spend-spend-spend legislature we continue to elect and the fact that we'll probably legalize pot.

The perfect guy for a state where many people go through life baked.

I want to see him win just to see what the progressives do when the money finally runs out for good. As he talks, can't you just see the scene in Atlas Shrugged where the lights all go out approaching?

Reality Bites 3

Inflation is the answer, so sayeth Ben Bernanke. That's why he's planning a new round of mammoth bond purchases with printed money. For Ben, inflation will create demand which will stimulate the economy. Unless it doesn't.
In the case of tires, wholesale prices have risen swiftly mainly because of higher costs for rubber, steel and carbon black, said Saul Ludwig, a managing director of Northcoast Research in Cleveland.[1]...

Goodyear imposed price increases of as much as 6% on Oct. 1. Meanwhile, Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. has announced an increase of as much as 6.5% starting Nov. 1.[2]

Consumers are pushing back. "I'm getting people screaming at me," because a set of tires now often costs $400 to $1,000, depending on the vehicle, said Daniel Schreck, president of Main Street Tire in Bismarck, N.D. More customers are choosing less expensive store brands rather than Goodyear or Cooper, tire dealers say...[3]

Robert Kellogg, owner of Warren Tire Service Center Inc., with 14 stores in upstate New York, has lowered repair and building maintenance by 10% by having employees do work once outsourced, such as mowing lawns, cleaning stores and repairing equipment.[4]
[1] - Inflation in commodities is raising producer prices. That didn't help demand at all, did it?

[2] - Retailers are seeing higher prices that they can't pass on to customers. They make less profit. Jobs come from profit, so no hiring this year.

[3] - If you make something more expensive, people will buy less of it. That includes labor, Mr. Obama. Increasing mandated benefits and wages is a price increase.

[4] - They fired people.

Reality Bites 2

The French want money. They don't care where it comes from, just give them more money. Then go away.
Tuesday is the sixth day of coordinated nationwide protests in the last two months and rolling strikes brought the oil refining industry to a halt last week as a result of a walkout in the country's 12 refineries and a three-week strike at the country's main oil port of Fos-Lavera. Striking truckers also made fuel transportation more difficult.

Even though the country has fuel reserves for several weeks and fuel distributors have the possibility to import fuel from neighboring countries, the fear of a shortage has led to panic buying and empty gas stations in some areas
I guess the plan here is to get Trichet and European Central Bank to print more Euros and hand them out.

Reality Bites 1

Katherine Sebellius is probably on her way to Seattle with a goon squad after this news broke.
Aerospace giant Boeing is joining the list of companies that say the new health care law could have a potential downside for their workers.

In a letter mailed to employees late last week, the company cited the overhaul as part of the reason it is asking some 90,000 nonunion workers to pay significantly more for their health plan next year.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Cheezburger of the Day

Favre Looks Like He's Finished

Having watched most of the last two Vikings games, I'm coming to the conclusion that Brett Favre should not have come back this year and not just because he seems to be a lowlife.

Near the end of the Jets game last week, Favre was holding his elbow after every throw. It was clear his tendinitis was just killing him. Yesterday, he was sacked several times in very un-Favre like fashion, holding onto the ball and waiting way too long to throw it. Every time he delayed a decision on a pass play, the only thing I could think was that the pain in his elbow prevented him from throwing the ball - each throw required his brain to overcome his body's natural inclination to avoid pain.

While the Vikings managed to beat the hapless Cowgirls, they aren't going anywhere this year so long as Favre is the QB. Bringing him back was a big mistake.

If You Don't Use Mozy, You Should

The hard drive in the Catican PC has been slowing down and finally got to the point that it couldn't be relied on to open programs in anything less than 30 seconds where it used to take 5. Knowing it was on the way out, I bought a new hard drive, installed Windows 7 on the new one (I used to use XP) and then told Mozy to swap my new hard drive for my old one. I then restored my old hard drive from Mozy.

No data was lost.

Mozy is an inexpensive ($50 a year?), online backup service. You buy the service, download a tiny app and then set what files you want to back up and how often. I back up almost everything and have it set to review my backups every day at 2AM. It checks for anything new since the last backup and promptly backs the new files up to Mozy's servers. No muss, no fuss.

I've had three hard drive crashes since I started using Mozy and have never lost even a single byte of data. If you don't use it yet, you should.

I don't have any affiliate program with Mozy, I just love the product.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

How the Media Sees the Catholic Chuch

vs. how we really are.

There's pomp and majesty in Rome, make no mistake, but even the Pope would tell you that the link given above was the kind of thing that the Church is really all about.

Link of the Day

Check this out.


... on a fountain on The Strip in Vegas. Click on the image for a larger version.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Internet Beer

In Las Vegas, you can get anything. I mean anything.

I think it involves a tube with a USB connector on one end and a spout on the other.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Why the DNC Went After the Chamber of Commerce

... they're pandering to their base. If you've got a meme involving Karl Rove, stealing democracy, foreign money and conspiacy, there can only be one source - the Nutroots. The ad shown below was not aimed at the general public, it was aimed at Obama's dispirited baae. "See, guys, we're with you! We're bring attention to that shadowy conspiracy we all know is happening!"

Either that or the Democrats' campaign is being managed by the Nutroots. That's very possible, too.

It's Because of all the Cabbage They Eat

... at least I think that's what this Vegas show is all about. I'm not completely sure.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Where Secular Humanism Moral Relativism Falls Apart

... because it places no objective expectations on you.

If you don't believe these people are the face of secular humanism open-minded acceptance of all lifestyles, then what do they represent? Modern nihilism? Isn't that the natural evolutionary end state of secular humanism moral relativism?

Correction: Tim points out that Secular Humanists do indeed pass judgement on people all the time and therefore my assertion is incorrect. Mea culpa!

Greetings from Vegas!

I'm here in Vegas for Blogworld 2010. I have to admit, I'm not a big fan of Vegas. Last night as my friend and I entered the hotel/casino where we're staying, we saw a couple having an argument outside the casino and then lots and lots of grim-faced people playing slot machines. No one looked happy.

Las Vegas. It's like Disneyland for adults, only with a lot more anger and regret.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Visitors from Another World

... another, much smaller world.

Societal Hysteresis Effects

Hysteresis is the tendency of an object or group to retard or minimize the changes caused by an external event. In a society, it can be the group resistance to facts that contradict widely-held notions.

In Europe, America and Japan, the bills for decades of profligate spending are adding up. In the US, servicing our $13T debt would cost us $520B a year at a very modest 4% interest rate. Putting a stop to the borrowing that is causing these costs to rise would force us to make large-scale changes in the role of government in our lives. The current deficit is about $1.3T. Cutting even half that much from the budget would wipe out whole departments and slash services. There's no way to carve $520B from the budget with efficiencies and earmark spending pledges. The government will have to do less. A lot less.

Instead of coming to this conclusion, we and the Japanese and the Europeans are starting to print unbacked money on a massive scale. It's not because this makes sense or because it's part of a long-term strategy for sustainable economic growth, it's just societal resistance to fact.

Can we continue to live with cradle-to-grave security? Yes we can!

The question is this: What will lead us to accept the fact that you can't spend more than you earn? What will the change look like? Lots of people have predicted a day of reckoning for a long time now, but we keep coming up with ways to dodge our problems. Is printing trillions of dollars the last step?

You Be The Judge!

Innocent or guilty?

The defendants. They had access to the outdoors.

The evidence as it was found at the crime scene, within the walls of the Catican Compound.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Comment of the Week

From the WSJ article on the new Windows Mobile phones and their integration with MS Office:
Robert Walker: I work on documents on both my Moto Q9c and my Blackberry using at third party application. Just because I carry a laptop doesn't mean I have internet connectivity all the time like I do on my phones.
David Owens: If you use a Blackberry, you are a very sad man.

Japan Isn't Making a Long-Term Investment

... when they buy our Treasuries. Dig this:
Japan is poised to pass China as the largest U.S. creditor for the first time since August 2008 as growing demand for U.S. government debt reduces borrowing costs for President Barack Obama as the deficit swells.

Japan added $55.3 billion of Treasuries this year, swelling its holdings 7.2 percent to $821 billion, Treasury data show. China, which overtook Japan in September 2008, cut its stake by $48.1 billion, or 5.4 percent, to $846.7 billion. Japan made its biggest purchase in 10 months in July, just after China cut its position by the most on record.
Japan has an absolutely monstrous debt problem of their own, with more than 200% of GDP in debt. For 20 years, they've been following the Paul Krugman / Barack Obama school of economics with one giant borrowed stimulus program after another. They've got nothing to show for it except for debt that's going to have to be serviced somehow. When they buy US bonds, they aren't doing it for the long haul. Right now, they're doing it because their own interest rates are so horrible.
For investors in Japan coping with record low yields, U.S. debt is relatively cheap. Ten-year Treasuries yield 1.50 percentage points more than similar-maturity Japanese government bonds, up from 0.82 percentage point in December 2008. Satoshi Okumoto, a general manager in Tokyo at Fukoku Mutual Life Insurance Co., said he bought Treasuries last quarter.

“Treasuries are quite attractive, especially from the view of Japanese investors, because there still is a yield,” said Okumoto, whose firm has the equivalent of $66.4 billion in assets. “Money is flowing into U.S. bonds from Japan.”
That flow is going to reverse at some time in the future as the Japanese will have to sell foreign bonds to service their own debts.

Unless they just print Yen.

Microsoft Unveils a New Punching Bag

... and it's called the Windows Phone 7*.
At the New York event, Microsoft unveiled nine handsets planned for the holiday season, including the Focus by Samsung Electronics Co., the Quantum by LG Electronics Inc. and the Surround from HTC Corp. All three will cost $199.99 with two-year service contracts with AT&T Inc. when they go on sale in early November.
If I was on AT&T, I wouldn't be buying a Microsoft phone, I'd be buying an iPhone. Competing head-on with the iPhone is like leaning into a left hook. It's as if the people at Microsoft have no idea at all what's going on outside of Redmond, Washington.

* - Windows Phone 7?!? Could they have picked a more awkward name?

Monday, October 11, 2010


I loved this one ...

Cheezburger of the Day


And we will see a terrible price that we will pay years down the road for letting our children down when they need us the absolute most. I’m not going to be part of that, so every minute that I have here is going to be spent debunking the myth that this country’s in debt and we just can’t spend.
So what's the plan here? Is it that if we just spend a little more, the resulting growth will pay for itself and more or is it that borrowing is not a bad thing? Spending or not spending is not a philosophy. Spending and saving are tools in the implementation of a philosophy.

While the Republicans have only the slightest amount of coherence, the Democrats have absolutely none. I can find no evidence that there is any underlying model at work here.

Is the Democrats' philosophy the simple looting of the country?

Why the Market's Been Rising

I don't know if you've been keeping up with this on Bloomberg, but everyone is anticipating that the Fed will very soon print another $500B to $1T of totally unbacked money and use it to buy Treasuries. Bonds and stocks, which usually move in opposite directions, are both rising in anticipation of another massive influx of printed money which will finance unsustainable government spending.

I have no idea at all what economic theory is at work here. My only guess is that they're doing this in the hopes that they can delay austerity measures long enough that the economy will start growing again, enough to pay for all of this. It's the same logic you use when you take out home equity loans to pay your mortgage.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

NFL Survival Pick of the Week

Jacksonville over Buffalo. I've had great luck picking mediocre teams over Detroit and Buffalo. I've still got all the really good teams left - Pittsburgh, New Orleans, San Diego, Green Bay, etc.

Heading Back to Catican Country

... and not a moment too soon.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

What the World Needs

... is a halfway decent teleportation system. Then we could visit friends in distant cities and never have to interact with a broken iBahn. We'd just teleport home and use our own, comfortable, WORKING Interweb Tubes.

This iBahn Thing Is Ridiculous

Day 2, still no Interweb Tubes in my hotel room here at the O'Hare Courtyard. I've got awesome wireless connectivity, but I can't get to the website that authorizes your connection. iBahn tech support is an automated phone service that tells you how to turn on your wireless connection.  There's no way to communicate with a human to let them know the site is down. The hotel front desk just tells you to call iBahn tech support.


Friday, October 08, 2010

iBahn No Worky

I can't connect my schleptop to the hotel network and upload trip photos to share with you.


Thursday, October 07, 2010

Boston's #1 Industry

These things are everywhere. At one spot we saw two of them across the street from each other.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

A Trip to the Ends of the Earth

... or maybe just a bit of craziness. We're flying across country today, going 2600 miles from San Diego to Boston, right into the teeth of an East Coast rainstorm to go to the Topsfield Fair to see Peter Tork and Shoe Suede Blues. Yes, that Peter Tork, the one who used to be in the Monkees. Here's some Shoe Suede Blues for you to enjoy while we fasten our safety belts for a bumpy landing in Boston.

We've been planning this trip for a while - my wife gave it to me as a birthday present. I've been watching the weather forecasts over the past week for this date in Topsfield and the forecast has gone from partly cloudy to showers to partly cloudy again to now, a 100% chance of rain. No matter how it turns out, we're going to have fun. After all, in Massachussetts, good seafood can be found rain or shine.

All the best travel stories have some amount of danger or catastrophe in them. This should be great.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Diving Bell, Part II

I got a Mason Jar that fits my Kodak Zi8 recently as part of my diving bell idea. I tested it out to see if the glass distorted the video images too much and it really wasn't bad at all. I think we're good to go.

Cheezburger of the Day

Sunday, October 03, 2010

The Mexico Tourism Board Greets You!

... in the comments of this news story on a mass kidnapping in Acapulco. Scan the article and then go down to the comments.

In all seriousness, it's such an enormous tragedy that all of the good, hard-working people in the Mexican tourism industry are getting hurt by the drug war. The soccer game before my daughter's yesterday featured at least one team from a San Diego border community. You can't listen to Hispanic parents urging their soccer-playing kids on in Spanish and not smile. It's a beautiful thing.

It's a good bet that parents in parts of Mexico are spending more time worrying about personal safety and less on kids' soccer. What a waste.

If You Can't Win

... sue.
Microsoft Corp. launched a legal attack aimed at fighting the explosive growth of cellphones powered by Google Inc.'s Android software, as the technology giant struggles to find its own answer to the shift away from traditional computers in favor of mobile gadgets.

The software company sued Motorola Inc., one of the biggest backers of Google's software, claiming the cellphone maker is infringing nine patents in handsets powered by Android.

While Microsoft has struggled to win adoption of its Windows software for phones, Android, which Google gives away free, has been widely adopted by handset makers and software programmers.
Is anyone out there looking forward to the release of the new version of Windows Mobile?

Saturday, October 02, 2010

"Unfortunately, I don’t See Another Reagan on the Horizon"

Secular Apostate said that and I'm coming to the conclusion he's right. As I watch the political ads on TV from the Republicans, the only theme I see is that the government is spending too much. That could mean anything. There is no coherent message coming out of them except, "Give us back the power and we won't spend quite as much." That's only a small fraction of what I support and completely leaves out the theme I want to hear - that we're going to have to personally solve these problems in the end anyway and that government solutions have a nearly unbroken record of failure.

There was one man who said it well.

I'll vote in November, but I fear that I'm voting for people who don't have a governing philosophy outside of "give us the power."

"We Would Ask Why Their Gods Took No Steps To Improve The Morals Of Their Worshippers"

In Chicago, the violence rages unabated despite the best efforts of the State.
(Following the videotaped beating death of a black boy by his peers) U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and Education Secretary Arne Duncan hurriedly flew to the Windy City promising more federal aid, while the Chicago school system launched a $40-million social-services and security program to connect “at-risk” male students with social workers.

Not surprisingly, the federal and local efforts have borne little fruit. Since Albert’s death, 78 more youth under the age of 19 have been killed in Chicago, overwhelmingly in black-on-black shootings.
The State, worshipped as a god by our Ivy League masters in DC, our smirking entertainers and our educational establishment, is striving to stem the tide of violence with its own religion.
Chicago’s South Side marked the anniversary of Albert’s death with a Parent Resource Exposition, organized by the Black Star Project, a black empowerment group. The purpose of the exposition was to link up parents—i.e., single mothers—with social-services and health programs that allegedly would keep their children away from gang life.
They have failed and failed and failed.
Such vacuous sentiments, while well-intentioned, are utterly beside the point. “The enemy” attacking Chicago’s young people is not a nameless force but something quite specific: the disappearance of paternal responsibility. All five of Albert’s suspected killers, as well as Albert himself, came from fatherless families. The overwhelming majority of perpetrators and victims in Chicago’s four-decades-long juvenile murder spree have come from single-parent homes.
And where are our condescending, ivory tower, insulated, secular masters crusading now? What moral precept are they striving to the limits of their strengths to teach us while fatherless black boys are gunning each other down and siring yet another generation of fatherless children? What justice do they cry out for while the bodies of dead or emotionally scarred boys and girls litter the streets?

They want us all to support men marrying other men.

"We Would Ask Why Their Gods Took No Steps To Improve The Morals Of Their Worshippers."

A Diving Bell for my Video Camera

I recently picked up some more wave videos which I made into this short movie (the last wave is the best - it got the camera wet):

While I sat and watched the waves, I started thinking about Tim's suggestion that I should find a way to immerse my camera in the water to get still more dramatic shots. Being the frugal Dave Ramsey type, I started thinking about how I might make a crude diving bell for my camera.

A diving bell.

While this would work, I'm not willing to leave the bottom of the camera's underwater housing open. The camera doesn't need air to breath and I don't want it ruined accidentally. Instead, I think I'll use an old mayonnaise jar for the container, some pillow foam with a slit in it for the camera holder, and a 10# or 20# weightlifting weight as the base. I ought to be able to get the camera started filming, seal it in the jar and then place that anywhere I want. As long as it's near the surface, I should be able to get both wave videos and some sea life movies as well.

The best part is that it will cost me virtually nothing. Experimentation and movies to follow.

Friday, October 01, 2010

Beauty in Advertising

We saw a Sherwin Williams ad last night that was much like the one below - gorgeous scenery created from color swatch cards. I thought it was brilliantly done and incredibly beautiful. Just wanted to share. Definitely watch it in the highest resolution available.