Friday, May 31, 2013

On The Minimum Wage

I'm blogging from an Irish pub in downtown San Diego on my phone. Been working the Catholic Charities food resource center today.

So Juan came in this morning. Salt of the Earth fellow. Hadn't worked in 6 months. That depressed him severely. He was about 45 years old.

He spoke halting English, had an IQ of about 90. No appreciable skills. Was looking for unskilled work. The kind of guy you'd love to sit and watch the game with. I loved him immediately.

It's doubtful that his labor could create enough value to cover minimum wage plus benefits plus labor regulations.

Was he better off unemployed and coming to us for food than he would have been earning, say, $6 an hour?

Read The Whole Thing

What does it mean when half the country—literally half the country—understands that the revenue-gathering arm of its federal government is politically corrupt, sees them as targets, and will shoot at them if they try to raise their heads? That is the kind of thing that can kill a country, letting half its citizens believe that they no longer have full political rights.

How To Look Like A Hipster

... and regret it for the rest of your life.

HuffingtonPost TV dude Jacob Soboroff came on the set dressed in a hoodie and sport coat with retro glasses the other day. Good Lord. If this wiener ever has kids they'll crawl under their desks every time a classmate whips out a picture of dear old dad looking like this.

What. A. Dork.
A sport coat over a hoodie? That's not a fashion statement, that's a cry for help.

Bonus question: Are there actually corrective lenses in those glasses or are they just a fashion accessory?

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Shouldn't Alpha Males Produce Offspring?

I mean, that's what they do in nature, right? Doesn't the alpha lion sire lots and lots of kittens?

I'm a fan of JD Johannes and his Outside the Wire blog. He's done lots of great first-hand reporting from war zones. Recently, he turned his attention to Helen Smith's book, Men on Strike. He does a good job reviewing the book and has read and lived the topic enough to add some original thoughts. In his piece, however, is this bit of illogical reasoning.
What I personally found most interesting about Men on Strike is that among all the men quoted I found only one rough approximate representative of myself.  The only other time I saw myself was a demographic group in a non-scientific survey conducted by the blogger and theorist of The Game, Vox Day.  Demographically I fit the profile of the High Alpha player who Vox says, “should probably be assumed to be a ruthless player intrinsically unfit for a long-term relationship.”
To my way of thinking, neither JD nor Vox are Alphas. In a strictly secular, Darwinist sense, the whole point of being an Alpha is continuing your genetic lineage by siring children and making sure they make it to prominence in adulthood* so they can, in turn, become Alphas or mate with Alphas. 100 years from now, a true Alpha will have left his mark on the world in the form of whole platoons of successful progeny. JD and Vox will leave behind ... what? A bunch of blog posts?

As the Alpha male of the pride, this lion not only gets to eat first at every kill, but he also gets Instapundit links on his blog posts!
* - For humans, this is best done via, gulp, marriage.

Thank God For The Geordies

In response to Mark Steyn's blistering analysis of English passivity in the face of Jihadists butchering a British soldier, comes the English Defence League protest in, where else, Newcastle.

Howay the lads.

The WaPo calls the EDL an "an extremist right-wing group." Here's the EDL website. That doesn't look too racist to me. This doesn't either. That last story didn't make it into the WaPo. What a shock.

Now maybe they are an extremist right-wing group and maybe they are what their critics claim, right-wing, racist Nazis. (How that last is even possible is beyond me. The Nazis were leftists, through and through.) Whatever else they are, the members of the EDL are not too keen on having Tommies hacked to death by lunatics.

Howay the lads indeed.

Update: So here's a video from the Guardian where they went undercover with the EDL and found plenty of racism. I didn't look to see if they had gone undercover at any of the mosques to look for racism. Nor is there any indication how many interviews they did before they got the one with the skinhead complaining about the "Pakis." To me, it looks like a bunch of Newcastle United soccer hooligans mixed with racial resentment, marinated in a secular culture of subjective morality. Violent tendencies plus racism with no concrete, moral foundation to slow them down.

The EDL illustrates a serious problem with the whole multiculti thing. It works great in the faculty lounges at Harvard and Oxford, but what happens when it hits the bars where the common folk hang out? If you don't demand immigrants assimilate to your nation's culture, isn't this a predictable end result? Either you're all one nation or your not. If you're a collection of disparate, divided cultures, what's to keep the bar thugs, radicalized "youth" and soccer hooligans from turning on each other? After all, you've actually encouraged them to form opposing teams.

The whole point behind demanding cultural assimilation is to create a common purpose and common point of view. Without it, you've got beheadings in one place and racist demonstrations in another.

Irony alert: Many of the same folks who attack the EDL also support the Palestinians against Israel. After all, the Palestinians were there first, right? Hmmm.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Maybe I Should Read My Own Blog Sometimes

This one is for my dear friends in the SLOBs who have been beyond supportive of me. God bless you all. Now that the storm seems to have passed, I can get back to work on the blog.

Here at the 'Post, we write a great deal about how Christianity is true because it works and works because it's true. God didn't design a world that would screw over people living the way He commands. I've just run a real gauntlet that was, in part, caused by my own failures to live the Word.

I've always had a problem with wrath. I've blogged about it a lot. In fact, when I searched "anger" on this site, I was surprised how many vows of charity and patience I'd taken. In any case, wrath and pride are real trouble spots for me with wrath ahead by a nose while sloth is 4 lengths back, making a move through the pack, passing gluttony and lust. Envy and greed are far behind, out of the running.

If you've got a $20 exacta box bet on wrath and pride, you're going to clean up when I die.

Where was I? Oh yes, reading my own blog.

Looking back at the events that led to a recent crisis, I saw that it all could have been averted by living the Gospel. Not only that, during earlier stages of this crisis, I'd discovered that such a life was the most important thing to me. In a post that I unpublished to defuse things, I wrote,
I had an epiphany recently and came to understand Psalm 146. The things I've done for the Church have never let me down. Yes, there are political struggles and scandals in the Church, but that's not what I'm talking about. When I've surrendered myself to God's will and worked at the food bank or supported my wife as she volunteers at Hospice or when I've gone to Adoration, it's never like this.
"This" refers to being on the receiving end of mounds of irrational abuse. Abuse or not, my responses were mine and I chose wrath and pride willingly. That pair of impostors failed me as they always have, leading to all kinds of problems.

Christianity is true because it works and works because it's true. Had I responded as Fra Chris would surely have advised, I'd have been able to spend this last weekend relaxed and comfortable instead of stressed out to the max. In the end, everything seems to have worked out, despite my best efforts. My submission to sin didn't contribute anything at all to the resolution of the crisis. All I did was throw gasoline on the fire. Well, gasoline and some sticks of dynamite. And a thermite grenade or two. OK, a whole box, but I wasn't going to do anything else with them and it seemed like a good idea at the time.

There's an analysis of where my stress came from and how unnecessary that was, but I'll leave that to another time. Perhaps never. Going down that road is guaranteed to tempt me with my two favorite sins. Making a long post even longer, it's evolutions like these that help me understand Mark 9:47.
And if your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out. It's better to enter the Kingdom of God with only one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell
It's not about self-mutilation, it's about avoiding things that tempt you to sin, what my kung fu teachers called "positioning." Yes, you can protect yourself, but you'd be far better off not to put yourself into a situation where you're called to do it.

So there you have it. A vague, cautionary tale so devoid of details as to make you wonder why you read it in the first place. Since you've gotten this far, I might as well reward you with the traditional blog post photo.

A tiny wildflower seen on Mt. Laguna this weekend.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Pine Cone Flower

What does a pine cone look like before it becomes a pine cone? This!

Click on the image and you'll see that it looks like tiny ears of corn.

Monday, May 27, 2013

And God So Loved The World

... that He gave us bacon.
Unlike proper bacon, the original image, taken from my phone, didn't come out crisp. I grabbed it and shrank it in Photoshop to get rid of the blurry edges. I like this version a lot better.

I Have My Reasons

... for posting another photo of our Maximum Leader.

I love the motion in this photo. Her tail and her eyes tell the story of a happy cat.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

No Word On How Much Power They're Getting From The Unicorns

This is a fantastic site showing real-time information about the power grid in the UK. Here are the main dials as of this post.

They're using 30GW of which less than 1 comes from renewables.
Good luck stopping Global Warming Climate Change. That is, unless you want the Brits to go back to living in peat huts around a fire pit. It seems particularly fortunate the Climate Change looks to have been overblown.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

20 Life Lessons From Kareem

I thought this was a great article - 20 Things I Wish I'd Known When I Was 30 by Kareem Abdul Jabbar. Here's my favorite.
6. Get handy. I always wanted to be one of those guys who, whenever something doesn’t work, straps on a tool belt and says, “I’ll fix it.” I like the Walden-esque idea of complete self-reliance. Build my own house, clean out the carburetors, find out what carburetors are. Recently my washing machine broke and flooded my entire downstairs. I was forced to stand idly by waiting for a plumber to arrive while water rose around my ankles because I didn’t know how to shut off the water. That’s the kind of experience that makes you have your testosterone levels checked.
I loved it. You ought to read the whole thing.

A Question About The Woolwich Killings

A crowd of Brits sat passively by while two machete-wielding Muslim loons hacked up a young man's body and then paraded around in front of them. Mark Steyn has a typically awesome take on it and Ann Althouse asks, "Where were the men?"

Now I dig that these were two, healthy young men and they had machetes, but having thought in the past about solving such a problem, there's a simple solution, whether you're male or female. It's this:

Why didn't anyone start throwing rocks? If you outnumber the enemy 40-2 or something like that, why didn't they start screaming for reinforcements from the local buildings and heaving whatever came to hand at these swine? Like Glenn Reynolds likes to say, "A pack, not a herd." Well, this was a herd and a particularly docile one at that.

Crazy. Just crazy.

Friday, May 24, 2013

When You Print Gobs Of Money, Everything Will Be OK

... until it isn't.

Two days ago, Japan's Nikkei Index dropped more than 7%. Japan takes first place in the world's borrowing and debt monetization contest. They're stimulizing, printing, borrowing, everything they can think of to get their moribund economy going. Every Keynesian trick in the book has been tried in Godzilla-sized ways.

None of it has worked and that stock drop has shown just how unstable their system has become. Dig this 3 month chart of the Nikkei.

Much of the money they printed has gone into the stock market. That long rise doesn't correspond to real economic growth, it's just the best place to store the printed money. It's the only thing that earns a return, so they buy stocks. When they buy stocks, the prices go up. When the prices go up, people see a greater return and buy more stocks.

Nothing real has happened. It's just printed money chasing printed money.

And then comes some tiny bit of news that spooks people and WHAM! investors flee and the market drops 7%. Since the big investors all know what's happening - it's a sugar rush from the debt monetization binge, they're all on a hair trigger to get out at the first sign of a crash. This isn't buy-and-hold investing, it's gambling.

Fortunately, that can't happen here. Right?

Thursday, May 23, 2013

MSFT Takes A Swipe At The iPad

... and the punchline is about MSFT PowerPoint.

Urgh. PowerPoint? Why not VHS cassettes? Nice try, but no luck with me. The world is moving to the web. Files are OK, but they're not the future.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Who Has Right Of Way?

Why, it's our Maximum Leader, of course! She has right-of-way under all conditions.

You may use the stair when she is done with it and not before.
In our house, we have a very simple set of traffic laws. Everyone must make way for our Maximum Leader. She can sit anywhere, walk anywhere and lay anywhere. You must go around her. She's not pushy or demanding, she's just relaxed and happy. She knows we all love her and would never hurt her, so when she plops down on the floor or a chair or the stairs, she's there for the duration. She's almost always around, too. She's not a lap cat, but she really likes our company. She just likes to hang out wherever we are.

That makes us happy, too.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The Best Synopsis Yet Of The IRS / Reporter Tracking Scandals

... comes from James Taranto of the WSJ.
As we wrote Friday, this will be a scandal like Watergate if it turns out that the IRS was acting under orders from Barack Obama or Valerie Jarrett. If the White House's conduct turns out to be unimpeachable, then it is something far worse: a sign that the government itself has become a threat to the Constitution.
That's a succinct and wiser summation of my own, chaotic thoughts on this stuff. If it ties back to Jarrett or Obama, they can be tried, convicted and sentenced. Sufficiently punished, it could deter future fascist strategies like these. If it doesn't go back to the top, then what do you do? How do you root it out from within a Byzantine bureaucracy like the IRS, DOJ, wherever? Are you really going to hold Congressional hearings that drag people in all the way down to the lowest line unit level of these agencies?

Do we realize what it means when a government agency of 88,000+ people goes rogue?

In her excellent column the other day, Peggy Noonan was shocked at the bold responses of the IRS witnesses in front of Congress. They simply stonewalled and lied right to the faces of the representatives questioning them. Their attitude was, "You can't punish me. You can't even find out what we did. You'll never lay a hand on me."

What happens when an entire branch of the government realizes that they are so large and the regulations governing them are so complex that no practical restraints on their behavior exist?

Monday, May 20, 2013

We're Still Doomed Unless You Give Us Total Control Of Your Lives

Global Warming Climate Change has slowed down.
Scientists say the recent downturn in the rate of global warming will lead to lower temperature rises in the short-term.

Since 1998, there has been an unexplained "standstill" in the heating of the Earth's atmosphere.

Writing in Nature Geoscience, the researchers say this will reduce predicted warming in the coming decades.
However, we're still doomed.
But long-term, the expected temperature rises will not alter significantly...

Is there any succour in these findings for climate sceptics who say the slowdown over the past 14 years means the global warming is not real?

"None. No comfort whatsoever," he said.
The only solution is to allow science-based government to govern every aspect of your existence.

We know just the man for the job.

Hanging Out With The Bar Crowd

Over the weekend, we went out to a local Irish pub for drinks and live music with some friends. The songs were bawdy, the audience young and attractive and a great deal of fun was had by all. One particularly cute little blonde right in front of us was hanging all over her date. She was fashionably dressed with a peasant look including a knit hat.

She looked something like this, only prettier.
Everyone was having a good time.

Well, sort of.

Her date was a sullen fellow and looked like he didn't really want to be there. She was getting into the music, making explicit, lurid gestures with her hands during parts of the songs and shouting along with the dirtiest lyrics. It was pretty clear where her night was headed and it made me think of a few things.

SWUGs, for one. "Senior Washed Up Girls." That's the term for Yale coeds who have stopped partying and started looking for commitment. Unfortunately for them, Yale guys being guys, they're looking to get laid and the younger coeds are more than willing to oblige. Traditional morality is flaunted and the eternal man-woman transactions go on. Men give love to get sex and women give sex to get love. Only they don't get love because they've been acculturated to live like men. Hence the SWUGs.

Second was this bit about young British men not being up to the standards of previous generations. Diane Abbot suggests that Britain is suffering a crisis of masculinity where the young men have all of the aggression and none of the purpose associated with being male. Well, duh. Everything you want is available cheaply, so why go through the painful process of adopting civilized behaviors? What should they do, live like it's the 50s?

Which led me to my favorite widget.
Learn more about us debt.

Borrowing leads to slovenly, unsustainable behavior. So long as those numbers keep going up and the borrowed cash gets handed out, why teach responsibility?  And even if you teach it, how is it going to stick when it's shown over and over again that there's no real point to it?

The kids in the bar were cute, young and energetic. They were also raised in a world where normal financial and sexual transactions had been stripped of their traditional meaning leading to perfectly predictable results.

Unsustainable results, too, I might add.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

The Six Pack Of Budweiser Gave It Away

If you don't visit Tim's blog regularly, you should. It's one of the reasons the Internet was invented.

A male fishing spider. Found fishing with a six pack of Bud and a transistor radio tuned to the Tigers game, you knew he was a male. Click the link above to read more and see some outstanding photography.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

A Brownian Motion Theory Of Household Chores

Today, I've got a bunch of small, unrelated chores to do. Can they all be accomplished without a list, by simply doing one and then doing the next one that pops into your head, triggered by wherever you happen to be at the moment?

Here, we see three possible paths around our house and yard for accomplishing the day's tasks.
Image source.

The IRS Scandal Is Different

It's not like anything we've ever seen. Watergate was a small-time, localized job in comparison. This was a national campaign of intimidation and information gathering from one of the most powerful arms of the US Government.

In Connecticut  a Catholic professor who wrote articles about ObamaCare and tracked down Soros funding of progressive fake-Catholic organizations got audited. In North Carolina, a couple of organizations run by Billy Graham's family that publicly opposed gay marriage got audited for the first time ever. Big campaign donors for Mitt Romney got called out publicly by the president and then audited not once, but three times, never having been audited before.

The more you look into it, the worse it gets. It is so broad and so deep that it's hard to overstate just how horrific it is.

Remember, the winner of the election gets to spend $3.5T and controls the drones. More powerful still is the ability to staff the bureaucracy that actually makes many laws, modern legislation being filled with general directives for government departments to flesh out as they see fit. Politics is becoming all-consuming and the seductive power of victory can dissolve all moral restrictions. That's what we're seeing here.

Finally, we have this op-ed from Peggy Noonan, no one's idea of a right-wing ideologue. It ends with this and so will I.
(I)f what happened at the IRS is not stopped now, it will never stop. The next White House will come in and they’ll know they can do it too. And if they’re unlucky enough to be caught, they’ll have a have a few uncomfortable moments in Congress, and a few people who were going to retire in the summer will retire in the spring. And it will all go on.

We are at a point now where you can make a list of things that, all combined and allowed to continue, can kill America. This is one of them. Widespread belief that the revenue-collecting arm of the US government is hopelessly corrupt is one of them.

Friday, May 17, 2013

The Next Step In Smartphones

... will be to recruit us as secondary notification tools.

A friend of mine posted this to his Facebook page:
My phone is getting too smart. Apparently it knows that I may need to give someone a ride to the airport tomorrow, so it's already telling me what the traffic is like on the way to Chipotle.

So amazingly helpful and incredibly creepy at the same time. I think my phone is stalking me.
It must be Google Now or something of that sort. My Galaxy S3 does the same kind of thing. The next step will be to have our phones communicate when his detects that he's not doing what it wants him to do. I'll get a notification something like this:

"Call Jim. He's supposed to be taking his friend to the airport and he's still in bed. And tell him to get his phone a new case. The one he has isn't sturdy enough."

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Yellow Flower With Paprika

... well, that's what it looks like. I shot this (and a whole bunch not worth sharing) as I was on my way out to the car this morning to go to work. I had the camera macro mode, but it struggled focusing on the flower. In the end, the thing ended up blurry enough that I wonder just what it was focusing on. Part of the flower next to it?

It still came out kind of nice. Enjoy.

Swarthmore College For The Win!

This reminds me of my time at college where packs of washed-up, balding 70s campus radicals would lead protests against The Man. Dig the tearful whining of the dude around 1:30. Hilarious!

Context here. Short version: Swarthmore is getting big bucks donations from icky, profit-minded corporations. A pack of students wants to turn that money down. This was hearing to discuss the matter that was hijacked by that mob of students.

Gosnell Was An Isolated Incident

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

A Scratching Post Contest

Quick, don't think! Just click here and leave the strangest spam comment you can think of.

The most ridiculous one wins High Praise!

I Don't Want To Be No Pickled Pepper

... and that's how I'm going to end up if all I do is focus on what's wrong.

Pope Francis says we need to proclaim the joy of salvation through our lives:
(I)f we keep this joy to ourselves it will make us sick in the end, our hearts will grow old and wrinkled and our faces will no longer transmit that great joy only nostalgia, melancholy which is not healthy. Sometimes these melancholy Christians faces have more in common with pickled peppers than the joy of having a beautiful life. Joy cannot be held at heel: it must be let go. Joy is a pilgrim virtue. It is a gift that walks, walks on the path of life, that walks with Jesus: preaching, proclaiming Jesus, proclaiming joy, lengthens and widens that path.
It's hard to show joy when under attack or suffering setbacks, but if it was easy, it wouldn't be interesting.

Not only are they wrinkled, they also seem to make their water murky. Eww! Image source.
Speaking of things that aren't wrong, we've got this beautiful bush in the backyard with glorious purple flowers that open in the sun and close at night. I tried to film them opening, but it looks like they need direct sun to open. It was light outside, but they didn't have sunshine before I had to leave to go to work. I'll try to catch them opening this weekend. Turned into a time-lapse movie, it ought to be pretty cool.

It's A Good Thing That's Over

Gosnell got life in prison. Whew! If the trial had dragged on any longer, someone might have had to cover it in detail.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The Pink Police State's Only Limit Is Math

What happens when the people running the government realize that no one cares what they do so long as their bread and circuses are undisturbed? You get things like the drone strikes, the IRS being used as the Gestapo to attack political opponents, a central bank completely in the pockets of the government and stuff like this.
Terrific: on one hand we have a high-ranking administration official threatening the livelihood of private businesses for speaking frankly and on the other we have that same person looking for financial support from said private businesses.
The government gets in bed with the health insurance companies up to the point the companies don't like parts of the deal and then the government uses threats to extort campaign contributions from them. Yes, it's always gone on and yes, both sides have done it, but it's never been done on this scale.

I would suggest that it's grown because the people in charge have realized that under the Pink Police State, there are no practical limits to their power. Well, until math intervenes and the whole thing crashes. But that's happened more than once in Argentina and there the people didn't vote the fascists out of power for any significant length of time. So why not go for it? Who's going to stop you?

Pathetic private business, your offering does not please us! The masses have spoken. You shall be punished!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Of Course They Used The IRS To Attack Their Political Opponents

Because the winner of the election gets $3.5T and control of the drones.
Dig this (possibly behind the WSJ paywall).
The Internal Revenue Service's scrutiny of conservative groups went beyond those with "tea party" or "patriot" in their names—as the agency admitted Friday—to also include ones worried about government spending, debt or taxes, and even ones that lobbied to "make America a better place to live," according to new details of a government probe. 
The investigation also revealed that a high-ranking IRS official knew as early as mid-2011 that conservative groups were being inappropriately targeted—nearly a year before then-IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman told a congressional committee the agency wasn't targeting conservative groups.
 As the government grows, the risks associated with losing elections grow apace.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Kermit Gosnell And Mother Teresa

Charles Darwin had many Christian friends and allies in his study of natural selection. They saw an easy reconciliation of evolution and faith. Darwin, who was both a fine fellow and a committed atheist, was regularly tied in knots trying to answer questions like this:

Isn't Kermit Gosnell superior to Mother Teresa in an evolutionary sense? He contributed to racial hygiene by weeding out the unfit and unwanted. She nurtured the unfit and unwanted. In the end, a species with 100 Kermit Gosnells will be stronger than one with 100 Mother Teresas.

This was Margaret Sanger's logical extension of Darwinism when she created Planned Parenthood. It wasn't a distortion of his theory, but an application of it.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Darwin And Morality

I just finished listening to the excellent book, The Darwin Myth. It's an unvarnished biography of the man which revealed some interesting bits.

Darwin was a devout atheist and a committed abolitionist. Darwin was also a kind and loving family man - the sort of fellow you'd be happy to invite over for dinner. In his personal life, he was an all-around good guy.

One of his biggest struggles was to reconcile godless evolution with a moral code consistent with the way he lived his life. He attempted to show that evolution leads to sympathy because sympathy is a competitively superior trait. As sympathy was prevalent around him and his (English) society was the top of the heap at the moment, sympathy must have been a contributing factor. Unfortunately for Darwin, his theory fights his own analysis.

Under godless Darwinism, if morality is part of evolution and evolutionary outcomes are the proof of the superior trait, then whatever the top society is doing right now must be considered to be superior to other alternatives. Looking back at history, there's no indication that evolution leads to sympathy or any other desirable moral quality.

The Roman Empire wasn't particularly sympathetic and they were top dogs for quite some time.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Mmmm. Frozen Eggs!

Sounds delish! Perhaps it's some kind of new dessert!

Err, maybe not. Instead, it's the story of some poor woman, finding herself in a man-impoverished world, happy that she had frozen her eggs so she could have some hope of having children. She'd given of herself to two men over a 15-year period only to find out that one was a loser and the other didn't want children. At 42, she had found a real man. Good for her. Here's B-Daddy's take.
I have to ask what inability to assimilate socially useful information (search that phrase) results in a decade and a half of relationship futility with known losers? Decade 1: you know that you don't want to have children with Dolt #1, despite your claim that having children is your lifelong dream, but hey what's a decade? Decade 2: Dude can't even decide? Sorry, a real man will either say "I want to have children and marriage for life; honey you're the one I want to make babies with" or "I don't want kids, I am focused on my own career, or whatever, but I still want the lifelong marriage." Mister milquetoast does neither and Ms. Egg Freezer can't bring herself to leave this loser.
Welcome to the reality version of Aldous Huxley's Brave New World. In Huxley's novel, women have managed to overcome their need for men. In our world, such a divorce from biology is proving to be a bit more problematic.

Presumably, the lady did what she'd been programmed by our culture to do: pursue her career, postpone children and give her life to the men she was with without expecting them, as B-Daddy so astutely notes, to be traditional men. That didn't work out so well.

It's almost like women have these strange, secret needs that we haven't been able to decipher. Maybe after a few more decades of feminist studies, we'll have the whole situation dialed in.

False alarm. It wasn't a story about delicious egg treats after all.

Thursday, May 09, 2013

Mistakes Are Easy To Spot

... when they are this obvious.

A while back, we planted our raised bed gardens. Included in the mix were basil (small circle) and tomatoes (large circle). At the time of planting, the tomato was only about twice the size of the basil. Last year, our basil got huge. For a basil. This year, I thought it would be interesting to do a time-lapse photography project and regularly take pictures of it as it grew. I could then use Adobe Premier to create a cool video of the little guy growing.

Only he didn't grow. A month later, Mr. Basil is sitting there, staring at me. Meanwhile, Mr. Tomato is the size of a Mack truck. D'oh!

I should have done the time-lapse with the tomato! It would have been a lot more colorful, too as the fruit came out and ripened. Oh well. I'll do the tomato time-lapse next year.

Hindsight is 20/20.

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Image Of The Day

Someone at work turned me on to the da Vinci quote, "The smallest feline is a masterpiece." Googling that led me to the image below.


Source: via Rosie on Pinterest

More Win8 Devices! Oh Goody!

In today's WSJ, there's an article about MSFT grudgingly admitting that Win8 is a flop. However, buried inside it is this quote.
Without offering many details yet, (Windows co-head Tami) Reller outlined how Microsoft is working on changing software features, helping people overcome obstacles to learning the revamped software, altering the shopping experience for consumers, getting more of people’s favorite apps available for Windows 8 and making sure a wider array of Windows 8 computing devices will be on sale.
Emphasis mine.

Sounds like a great idea, Tami! Sales data is showing that jamming Win8 down everyone's throats by making it the only OS available on retail PCs is a huge drag? No problem. You just have to do it more and a lot harder! When the steamroller approach doesn't work, your best bet is to get more and larger steamrollers.

I was being unfair. This isn't a steamroller at all. It's an entirely different technology.

Monday, May 06, 2013

Being An Alpha Guy Seems Like A Lot Of Work

... when you could be listening to Ratt in the garage while rewiring your MGB right before you come inside to eat the delicious Mustard And Herb Crusted Rack Of Lamb that your wonderful, devoutly Catholic and sexy wife has prepared for you.

Secondary intro: I promise I will never talk about quitting blogging again. This guy is a gold mine. If I did nothing but react to his stuff, I could string this out for the rest of my life with a smile on my face and a song in my heart.

The meat of the matter: Alpha Game Plan (AGP), the blog linked above, is an unending paean to a man's groin. All the beauty and complexity of life is reduced to the pursuit of getting laid. I'm not sure what the Alpha in the title refers to, although the author seems to think it has something to do with being a man.

He's confused.

His latest post is about a woman who complains in an online forum that her boyfriend of three years makes $650K, but won't share it with her although he has taken her on a vacation in France. Vox, the blogger at AGP, treats the poor girl like a gold digger and takes up the guy's case as if he was some kind of victim. My response to him would be somewhat different.

Geeze, dude, you've been dallying with the chick for three years. A man should strive to be decisive. Three months in, you ought to be using your dates as an indirect interview for marriage or setting her free.
If you can't figure out which end is up after 3 years, you're not an alpha, you're a toad.
As for the "lots of work" part of this post's title, dig AGP's Sixteen Commandments. I got tired just reading them. Here are a few.
  1. Make her jealous, 
  2. Keep her guessing, 
  3. Only give her 2/3 of what she gives you, 
  4. Always keep two girls on the side and
  5. Be irrationally self-confident.
Umm, can I just go back out into the garage? I want to grab a Newcastle and work on my MGB. Keep her guessing? Who has time for that? And just what am I gaining here? Keep two chicks on the side? Do I have to? How much time do I have to devote to my conquests? I really want to watch the Sunderland-Stoke game today and I'd rather not be taking Suzy out to lunch so I can string her along as a backup to Cindy.

Vox, it's just sex. Seriously. I mean it's important and all and it's a prime motivator for men, but really, it's just sex. If you want to be an Alpha Man instead of whatever it is you're an alpha of, then pursue a single woman and strive to be worthy of her love as a man. Don't worry about your groin. Wherever you go, it will come along, too.

Trust me on this.

Sunday, May 05, 2013

A Link For Legal Insurrection

Professor Jacobsen, who has very kindly linked to us several times from Legal Insurrection, posted this bit about the alleged decline of the right-blogospere. There's a lot of meat to it and it's difficult to excerpt coherently, but here's a decent summary.
There has been a corporatization and consolidation of the conservative blogosphere, and the kindness to strangers seems to be waning.
I would agree with that. To me, it looks like cliques have formed and celebrities made. The big boys link to the hip bloggers, mostly each other, and the small fry remain unseen. As a small fry who has blogged longer than most, I take a benevolent view of it.

First off, the Internet is big. There, I said it. I know that seems like a crazy concept, but work with me here, people.

Who has the time or the inclination to surf all over God's creation looking for new talent? If you're a big blogger, there are other things to do with your day. If you can get your content published quickly and easily with yet one more link to Via Meadia, all the better. The dry cleaning has to be picked up and the dogs walked and it's not like Joe Blogger from Podunk is going to be all that original.

Therein lies the problem.

How many ways can you write about what a jug-eared loser Barack Hussein Obama is? How many angles are there when ranting about the end of the world through debt monetization? Many other subjects are practically boundless, but politics is an intellectually limited subject. That's why Tim's blog is always fresh and the political bloggers are repetitive. We're not building upon each other's work as scientists do, we're re-shouting that same things as everyone else.


So Instapundit links to Hot Air who regurgitates something they saw on Breitbart who posts a video shot by LiveAction. Nowhere in the loop do we get to see the awesome writing talents of Joe Blogger from Podunk. Oh well. I'm not sure we missed much. My stuff certainly isn't all that original, even when I think it is. Distilled down, it all says the same thing over and over again.

I gave up on garnering the big traffic long ago. I can't stay on subject and I'm not willing to rant and rave every day. It's exhausting. I'm always pleased and honored when one of the big boys links to me and I get a brief spike in traffic, but it's OK to be Joe Blogger from Podunk. I can do whatever I want with the 'Post* and I don't have a huge following that will be disappointed when I wander away from the EuroDebt Crisis and take up Newcastle United's effort to avoid relegation.

Wigan beat West Brom? Really? Were the West Brom players drunk or something? Sickening.

So anyway, I'll leave you with this. How many newspapers does a city need? How many TV channels do you watch? How many big-time right wing bloggers can the blogosphere support?

I'm happy being a small fry. I'll leave the heavy-traffic politics to the cool kids.

A bee on a positively ginormous flower in our front yard. The thing must be 30' tall at least. The flower, not the bee. If the bee was 30' tall, I wouldn't be taking photos of it, I'd be running into the house and calling Miramar Marine Corps Air Station. Considering I'd be killed as collateral damage in the ensuing airstrike, that would be a bad decision, but there you have it.
* - Except, apparently, quit. I've been pondering that lately as my hit count keeps dropping, but I still get up and write every day.

Saturday, May 04, 2013

Put Not Your Trust In Princes, Episode 2

Yesterday morning, I went downtown and worked at Catholic Charities again. I did customer intake where you interview people coming in for supplemental food assistance and then help them select their noms. I had a thoroughly good time. It doesn't pay, the conditions are dirty, some of the clients are filthy and homeless, some of them can't speak or read a word of English and it was full of teh awesome.

Friday, May 03, 2013

Obamacare In Rough Seas

... looks like this.

That's the supertanker Panamax, a behemoth longer than three football fields, taking on heavy seas and plowing right on through.

It's also an allegory for a 2,200-page piece of legislation. Once Obamacare is in place and semi-operating, the bureaucracy and legal structures created by it will gain ginormous momentum.

When the economy falters, you might think that a crushing regulatory burden could be stopped by wave after wave of fiscal losses, but take a look at Europe. They're running from one printed money rescue to the next and they still won't let go of their monstrous, economy-deadening regulations.

The only way to stop the Panamax is to sink it. And that's no easy task, either.

What's 1/3 Of A Train Wreck?

As the Monks of Miscellaneous Musings are pointing out here, Obamacare is turning, predictably, into a mammoth money pit.
Later in the linked article, Reid claims to have actually read the law though we cannot know for sure whether it was before or after it became the law of the land. Whenever it was he read the law, what appears to be missing is the section titled: "How the Hell We Are Going to Implement a 2,200 Page Monstrosity That Will Essentially Remake the Entire Health Care Industry".
The good news is that the immigration bill won't be all that bad. It's only 844 pages.

What could go wrong?

Thursday, May 02, 2013

Put Not Your Trust In Princes

From Psalm 146:
I will praise the Lord all my life;
I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.
Do not put your trust in princes,
in human beings, who cannot save.
When their spirit departs, they return to the ground;
on that very day their plans come to nothing.
Blessed are those whose help is the God of Jacob,
whose hope is in the Lord their God.

Yesterday was an odd day, one fraught with theological implications. I started the day by going to morning Mass. I wasn't particularly reverent, my mind wandered all over the place, but at least I was there, participating.

At work, looking at the statistics from our intranet, in April we hit all-time traffic records in three of our four platforms and missed the fourth because April was a 30-day month, not a 31-day month. The records we broke were from March. Our intranet has been around for well over 3 years and the stats have gone like that. It's always growing because, for the most part, the workforce finds it very like the Internet and easy to use.

Later in the day, I attended the weekly SharePoint ambush meeting. It's a stacked group put together by our leadership (local, not top-level corporate) to justify their lust for SharePoint. No one in the room save maybe two or three of us has any technical skills or web literacy at all. I sat there for 90 minutes on the receiving end of great, big dollops of hate. As I'm no longer allowed to fire back, I smiled and nodded at the idiocy.

The day after our products hit all-time highs in popularity.

I had an epiphany recently and came to understand Psalm 146. The things I've done for the Church have never let me down. Yes, there are political struggles and scandals in the Church, but that's not what I'm talking about. When I've surrendered myself to God's will and worked at the food bank or supported my wife as she volunteers at Hospice or when I've gone to Adoration, it's never like this.

God doesn't assemble Integrated Product Teams specifically designed to beat the tar out of me to provide political cover to get what He wants.

It will all work out in the end, but it's been an important learning experience. Put not your trust in princes, to be sure.

I never really trusted him anyway.