Sunday, February 28, 2021

Living In Luxury

 ... is fine as long as you can afford your luxury. If not, it's probably a bad idea.

I did a tiny bit of research after engaging in an online discussion with a student in Mumbai wherein I learned that India's high earning middle class is larger than the entire US population. I looked into their debt ratio.

If you check out the growth rate of their debt, it's minimal. Ours, not so much. Why worry? We're wealthy and can afford to live on our credit cards.

Their per capita income is about $7K and growing at a decent clip. They value family, work and education, which is why Indian-Americans have the highest earnings in the US with a median household income of more than $100,000. Apparently, white supremacists like me haven't realized that Indian-Americans have darker skin and need to be oppressed.

Meanwhile, we act like we're the undisputed champs of the world and have no competitors. We do things like this.

A selective program for high-performing fourth, fifth and sixth graders in Boston has suspended enrollment due to the pandemic and concerns about equity in the program, GBH News has learned...

"There's been a lot of inequities that have been brought to the light in the pandemic that we have to address," Cassellius told GBH News. "There's a lot of work we have to do in the district to be antiracist and have policies where all of our students have a fair shot at an equitable and excellent education."...

A district analysis of the program found that more than 70 percent of students enrolled in the program were white and Asian, even though nearly 80 percent of all Boston public school students are Hispanic and Black...

The program was open to all students in the Boston Public Schools who took a test known as Terra Nova in the third grade and received a high score. Those students were placed in a lottery conducted by the central administration office, and lottery winners received letters inviting them to apply to the program...

Students in the program have the opportunity to study subjects in greater depth and are offered more schoolwork than the traditional curriculum requires.

We ignore things like this.


So while other countries are scrambling to improve, we're canceling classes for kids who work hard. Instead, we're sitting around trying to figure out why students who don't study do poorly on standardized tests. 

It must be those witches.

Saturday, February 27, 2021

Pondering Effectiveness In A Day

Just a short post about engineering your days to make the most out of the productive part of them. For me, that's the pouring of the first cup of coffee up until about 1030. After that, things get dicey and by 1500, I'm looking forward to the first beer. If there are too many of those, then the next day's coffee-1030 segment is much less productive.

When I give in to the beer, it's because I'm maximizing the now instead of maximizing the day.

What if your whole day was designed to make your most productive time maximally efficient? That is, you recognize that 1500-1700 is practically worthless and you allow yourself some laziness. All you want from the end of the workday is to set up the next morning. All you want from the evening is to not ruin the productive time the following day.

Thinking about this topic, I went back and was reading all of my blog posts about goals. There's enough there that's new to me, even though I wrote it, that I'm going to stop here and absorb it. I did find one tidbit from this post which might explain why I go on and on about the destructiveness of our racial obsession.

As a parent, my progress this summer with my daughter has been fitful. She's improved in some things, but still simply will not take ownership of her life. In her mind, things just happen to her; her failures are not a product of her own actions. Meanwhile, I continue to dig her out of all the messes she creates, expecting practically nothing from her. She's just a few short years away from living on her own, either with a job or at college. If she leaves the nest with her current mindset, she's doomed to a life of failure and sadness.

I've parented alone and I've done it with a wife. When I was single, I had whole years where all of my considerable annual leave was used on my children. No false modesty - I was several standard deviations above the mean in terms of parental effort.

I can promise you that it isn't possible to do as well as a single parent as it is when you have a loving, married partner. It cannot be done.

Anyway, I need to spend time reading some of my own ravings, so I'll leave you with a flower photo. If any of the nonsense above made you think, I'd love to hear your own wisdom in the comments. I hope you and yours have a great day.

Friday, February 26, 2021

What's The Proper Chaser For A Glass Of Coke?

By now, most of you will have heard about Coca Cola's anti-racism training which featured a slide that simply said, "Try to be less white." It also included this gem which described what "being less white" meant.

We haven't gotten to this point where I work, but we aren't far behind. I've read that same content on our internal websites, just not from leadership. It wouldn't surprise me if management began spouting it.

Where do you go after this? You can't stop because the problems you've identified - violence, illiteracy, poverty - aren't getting any better. None of this has an effect because the problems stem from family breakdown so nothing you do in this vein is going to work. I suggested that we might want to try Tarantism before, but that was a joke.

Seriously, how does this all burn out? Like witch mania, it has to come to an end because none of the desired effects are being observed.

One would hope that we would realize this was a fraud run by grifters and the perpetrators would face justice, but given the collaboration of the news media and corporate giants, I can't see that happening. Are NBC and Nabisco going to cop to being stooges for Modern Nazi Race Theory? I'd suspect that it's more likely it will gradually morph into a different grift and their culpability in the destruction of yet another generation of urban blacks and rural whites will be swept under the rug.

Maybe Not

The thing that keeps me from giving in to my cynical side and thinking that no one will be punished is the Elites' even stronger desire to continue expanding the Epstein Library Empire.

One of the reasons the Romans liked a big empire was that it pushed the borders, where lived dangerous barbarians, far, far away from them. The larger the Empire, the safer you were, no matter where you were. I'd like to suggest that Jeffrey Epstein, children in drag and trannies in the library are all part of the modern-day American cultural Empire. That is, acceptance of their behavior expands the empire by normalizing ever more degeneracy.

Remember, your behavior might be degenerate under some definition, but the farther out the borders go, the less degenerate you look.

You can't solve our social problems without a restoration of the traditional family and you can't restore the traditional family while celebrating every conceivable sex act. The progs are in a real bind.

Maybe it all ends with a religious revival. Who knows? 

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Timing Is Everything

Background: My TomatoCam project uses an Raspberry Pi 4 to control a USB camera. The goal is to create a time-lapse video of our tomato plants as they grow. 

The Story So Far: I can't seem to get the settings right. I thought I had it worked out and started taking photos once a day, but they were terrible as the camera's automatic image control was whacked.

A Discovery?

The USB camera is a cheap one designed to connect to a cameraless computer for video conferencing. It's not designed to take photos even though it has the internal software interface for it. I believe I've discovered the problem and it kind of makes sense.

The camera's sequence seems to be this.

  1. Take photo.
  2. Use that photo to adjust brightness and saturation levels.
  3. Take another photo.

That means that the initial photo will use the settings from the previous photo. If that photo was taken at night, it will be blown out. If it was taken in the brightness of day, it will be dark. I can adjust the settings manually through a programming interface, but even these seem to take effect after a photo has been shot. Dig this.

Auto exposure turned off.

Auto exposure turned on before this shot.

Auto exposure takes effect.

Auto exposure on, 10 AM shot. This one works for me.

I think I'll go back to my 1100 daily schedule, but take a preliminary photo and throw it away. That should force the camera to make its adjustments before taking the one I want.

The sad part is that each experiment takes a day to run. Waiting around is the worst!

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Why Carjackings?

If you haven't heard it yet, carjacking is jacking up in many cities. Meanwhile, if memory serves, other crimes like domestic violence, haven't seen anything like the same kind of increase. Why?

Well, like murders, carjacking is an evidence crime. That is, it's kind of hard to dispose of a dead body lying in the street without anyone noticing. With car jackings, the owner will typically have insurance and will want to make a claim. If they get jacked, why wouldn't they say that to the insurance agent? That gets reported.

Carjacking stats for Chicago. 2021 is on pace to hit 1700. Dig the arrest stats. No one is getting caught.

Domestic violence doesn't get tallied unless the victim calls the cops. If it's a guy getting whupped, he's unlikely to call because he'll probably be the one carted off to jail. If it's a black woman getting thrashed, is she going to call the cops and send a brother to prison? Well, what we learned from Jacob Blake's brave stand against the racist cops was that when a brother beats a sister, he is the hero of the piece. We've also learned from BLM that cops are trying to murder black people. The end result is that you can't be sure of the data.

As for domestic violence, analysts were only able to examine data from 12 cities. They found that there was “a significant increase” in these types of offenses during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, but the rate then leveled out to be roughly the same as it was in 2019.

I'm posting this because I saw a wacky news article where a Chicago politician wanted to ban the Grand Theft Auto video game because of all the carjackings. I'd ban it on general principal, but it was the leap in the stats that caught my eye. I might be wrong, but if murders and carjackings are up so dramatically, I'd sure bet that domestic violence is way up, too. 

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

This Whole Work Thing Is Getting Annoying

 ... because it's keeping me away from the things I want to do.

I made a base for my USB TomatoCam on Sunday. I didn't have time to do it right, so I did it quick and dirty. It will be functional, but it's clumsy and ugly.

Just say it! You think it's hideous, don't you?

It's a camera tripod bolt (1/4, 20) drilled through a piece of wood with a piece of wood on the bottom that has a much bigger hole in it to fit the head of the bolt. That way, the whole thing lays flat. Two screws hold the abomination together. Horrible. Simply horrible.

More Camera News

My 1400 TomatoCam shot today came out terribly. I changed the cron job to shoot at 1100 instead.

It turns out that my Nikon D3500 Artillery Piece can be triggered through a USB connection. This morning, I bought a Raspberry Pi 3 A+, which is a lower-cost, lower-power, smaller Pi than what I'm using for the TomatoCam. All I will need the second one to do is get on the WiFi and tell the D3500 to take photos at the right time. 

I figure the D3500 could be used to shoot cloud animations, the birdbath to see if I can catch something interesting and even do Milky Way time-lapse shots out in the desert. It's an absolute beast of a camera and I'm not making much use of it these days. 

When I do my cloud animations, I use a point-and-shoot in video mode. It can only record for 30 minutes. When I do the time-lapse stuff in Premiere, I'm effectively throwing out 29/30 of the information. Why not just take a still once a second and put them together? I need to calculate how many photos I can store on the memory card on the camera and also do some tests shipping photos in real time from the Artillery Piece to the Pi to my server. If I can send one per second and still have reaction time to shoot the next one, then I can effectively run my time-lapse captures infinitely.

Figgerin'

If I use a 64 GB memory card and shoot in normal quality and medium size, I can fit 14,000 images on the card. At 30 frames per second, that would give me a 7-minute video which would cover nearly 4 hours of sky. Yeah, that ought to do it. My bet is that Premiere would gag on that many files, so I'd have to use something like ffmpeg on the server to make the movie. Hmm.

Monday, February 22, 2021

Tomatoes On Film - The Screentest

I'm a bit under the weather, so I'll just share a time-lapse video I made yesterday of our tomato bed.  I used my new Raspberry Pi to control an inexpensive USB camera. The images were stored on the Pi and later transferred to my desktop where I used Adobe Premiere to stitch them into this video.

My first photos revealed a flaw in my plan. Time of day matters. I had planned to take shots early in the morning for my eventual tomato growth video, but the sun was low on the horizon and visible to the lens so the photos were completely blown out. 

I made this video to find the optimal time to film the bed each day. Once I settle on a time, I'll have to correct it for time of year so that the sun's angle on the bed remains relatively constant as the weeks go by. That's not a difficult problem, but it's more than I can blargh today.

The video covers a 3-hour period with images captured every 2 minutes. In Premiere, I used the video transition effect to provide a small amount of blending between frames. Enjoy.

Sunday, February 21, 2021

What Happens When Trust In Institutions Collapses?

Long ago, when the long-form, TV news program 60 Minutes was red hot, I watched some episodes of it. During that time, I saw them do 3 stories about topics I knew. Each time, their story was full of bias and lies. They weren't political stories, either. They were ordinary life stories where they had cherry-picked the facts they showed in such a skewed manner that their end product no longer resembled reality. I stopped watching.

Recently, AP writer Ted Anthony retweeted a story about the coup in Myanmar. I dutifully clicked on the link and read it. I realized halfway through that I had no idea whether any of the things described there had really happened or if there wasn't a much larger part of the story they had suppressed. The media / Big Tech collusion to hide the Hunter Biden story was like the 3 false 60 Minutes stories - it had wrecked the last bits of my trust in the press. The AP story also quoted machine politicians and referred to them as "diplomats." Right.

In a comment on my recent series of blog posts exploring how you might extend transgender classification to the general case, Tim left this link to a Functional Neurology article. Here's the abstract.

During the intrauterine period the fetal brain develops in the male direction through a direct action of testosterone on the developing nerve cells, or in the female direction through the absence of this hormone surge. In this way, our gender identity (the conviction of belonging to the male or female gender) and sexual orientation are programmed into our brain structures when we are still in the womb. However, since sexual differentiation of the genitals takes place in the first two months of pregnancy and sexual differentiation of the brain starts in the second half of pregnancy, these two processes can be influenced independently, which may result in transsexuality. This also means that in the event of ambiguous sex at birth, the degree of masculinization of the genitals may not reflect the degree of masculinization of the brain. There is no proof that social environment after birth has an effect on gender identity or sexual orientation.

Emphasis mine.

Caveat: "Ambiguous sex at birth" is a huge out for the authors. I have no idea what that means outside of hermaphroditism. Still, the final sentence is total bullocks.

I know the last sentence to be a lie. I have intimate knowledge of an F2M transition and her sex was never ambiguous until she got in deep with the LGBT crowd. As my friend was going through the waiting period to start her testosterone treatment, I had a chance to ask my GP about it. He told me that it would destroy your career to question any of the transgender propaganda. I've known him for years and he's about as steady a man as you can find. He said he doesn't trust any of the research coming out of the journals on this topic.

While trying to save my first marriage, I began seeing a family therapist for marriage counseling. She was life-changing for me and I've continued to see her off and on for almost 30 years. She's a thorough leftist and a Buddhist to boot. We talked about the transgender thing and she told me that it made her nauseous to see the way her industry had surrendered in the face of the transgender craze. Lives were being ruined and none of her colleagues were standing up to the lies.

I recently read most of Abigail Shrier's book, Irreversible Damage, The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters. Her research directly contradicts the italicized statement in the abstract quoted above. Abigail goes through the tranny craze's social mechanisms in detail and they perfectly match what I've seen in my friend and her trans friends as well.

That abstract is partially nonsense. There are mountains of proof that social environment after birth has a dramatic and probably dominant effect on gender identity.

Exactly as my doctor predicted, the editorial staff at Functional Neurology caved. It's not hard to guess their motives because they're no different than my own at work. Every week, I see several examples of Modern Nazi Race Theory published on my social networking apps and I keep quiet. I like the money. I've got plans for my future and I'm not about to risk them on some Quixotic quest to fight against the current race madness.

Bonus Anecdote: A while back, my F2M friend was living with her lesbian lover. She hadn't started her testosterone treatment yet, so I suppose she was still female. Her lover then came out as transgender, too. That meant that my friend had gone through this series of transitions: 

heterosexual woman -> lesbian -> heterosexual man -> gay man

Maybe I don't have sufficient imagination, but it's hard to see how this was a product of things that happened in the womb instead of peer-pressure mania.

Super Special Bonus Analysis: There's another fundamental problem with the Functional Neurology article. For any given F2M, do you have the experimental data from when they were in the womb to make the case that the suggested mechanism occurred? No. And yet they feel confident in saying that there is no evidence otherwise. Actually, there's no evidence for their case. A candidate mechanism with no empirical evidence to support it isn't science, it's wish fulfillment.

I'll stop with the examples here and just ask this question. What happens when you can't trust your institutions any more? 

A post-apocalyptic world doesn't have to be a bad thing. If you pull back from trying to change society at large, you can still grow tobacco and cotton, make watermelon wine, which will be my 2021 Dixie project, play with Raspberry Pis and write a lunatic blog. As an added bonus, there ought to be a glut of derelict cars to rebuild.

Saturday, February 20, 2021

I Met Mario Andretti's Test Driver

Back in the 1970s, a friend and I were sitting at a bus stop in Long Beach. A late-stage alcoholic, we'll call him Al, staggered up to us and sat down. He began to regale us with stories of his life as a test driver for Mario Andretti*. They were about as coherent and believable as you'd expect. We did not take him at his word and had a laugh or two about it later.

Looking back on this, I realize now that I was full of Hate™. Let us review how this works.

  • If a person identifies as something, we must accept their self-identification, provided they meet some basic set of criteria. In previous blog posts, we have posited that these include vague biochemical and neurological correlations with their claimed identity.

Taking Al as an example, let's run him through the Le Mans-style racetrack of identity confirmation.

  • He certainly passes the biochemistry test. He's a man and Mario's test driver in the benighted 1970s would have been a man.
  • Dittos for his brain structure.
  • Could he perform the basic functions of his claimed identity? I don't see why not. So long as he wasn't half in the bag at the time, I have no doubt that he could have driven a car.

Note that last bullet point because it's crucial. An F2M (female-to-male) tranny might be able to slither through the first two, if we gave her a wide enough tolerance window, but she could never meet the last criteria, not ever. She can't get a woman pregnant.

Therefore, I can say that I met Mario Andretti's test driver. To do anything else would be to give in to the Forces of Hate™.

Taking this further, note that, just like trannies the world round, I have no idea whether he truly believed he had been Mario's test driver. All I know is that he said he was. I have to be super-dee-duper credulous because, well, who wants to be a bigot? For all I know, this was the warm-up pitch to a plea for money. It doesn't matter. I have to take him at his word.

Welcome to hell.

The English language, that headwater of intolerance, has now been utterly defeated. I no longer have any idea what anything means. Going back to the F2M trannies, of which there are so many these days, let's take the example of my cis-normal friend, Jane and my F2M friend, Larry. They are both young, single and unattached. Jane would really like to find a husband and make with the babies**.

"Hi, KT! What's up with you?"

"I was just talking with my friend, Larry."

"Ooh, is he single?"

"Yes, he is."

"What's he like?"

"Well, he's slender, active and full of, err, creative ideas."

"Maybe you should set us up!"

What happened in that conversation? Well, thanks to my new-found tolerance for diversity, it carried with it almost no actionable content. The words "Larry" and "he" meant about as much as if I had said "uh," "so" or "like" as in this sentence:

"Uh, so, like, dude."

From an information theory point of view, the real bits-per-second data transfer rate dropped precipitously. Yay! Diversity, inclusion and equity is bearing fruit! Love is winning!

As an added benefit, no one can be sure what any given sentence means.

Yay.

We are on teh informashun sooper haiway!

* - For those of you too young to remember, Mario Andretti was a famous race car driver which made him, as you might have guessed, a racist.

* - To help you get the picture, assume that she's wearing one of those super-hot Handmaid's Tale outfits as we talk. Rrrrrrrowwwrrrr!

Friday, February 19, 2021

The General Case And The Death Of Categorization

Women can be men. This we know from Science!

There are those who claim this isn't true, but we similarly know that they are motivated by Hate™. I, definitely filled to bursting with hate, suggested that endocrinology and brain architecture differentiated men and women. Tim, using Science!, pointed out that some women have brains with a more masculine structure and others have varying levels of testosterone.

Fair enough. Let us set aside the basic concepts of reproductive biology, which is hardly necessary as we also know that reproduction is a tool of the patriarchy and only orgasm matters, and assert that anyone can claim to be a different sex, provided that their mean square difference from some set of medula oblongataoid and testosteronish parameters is below a certain value*.

Let us consider the general case. What am I?

Am I a black man? Yes, I am. I certainly share more biochemical and brain structure markers with a black man than a woman does with a man. I am black if I want to be.

Am I Napoleon? Yes, I am. See above. Science!

Am I 20 years younger? Yes. No one shares more endocrinistic goodness with me than me!

Am I a male chimpanzee? This depends on the parameters and their weighting. I would say yes since we share 99% of our DNA which is more than I can say for women and men, given their different chromosomal makeup.

Am I an end table? Woodn't you like to know?

Sorry about that. Ahem.

This is not freedom or love or acceptance this is simply the annihilation of categories. If I can be a woman or different race or any male character out of history or a different age or even a chimpanzee, then none of those words have any meaning.

This isn't science, it's the Tower of Babel.

All the talk we ever have heard
Uttered by bat or beast or bird --
Hide or fin or scale or feather --
Jabber it quickly and all together!
Excellent! Wonderful! Once again!
Now we are talking just like men.

Let 's pretend we are... never mind,
Brother, thy tail hangs down behind!
This is the way of the Monkey-kind.

- Rudyard Kipling, racist.

* - This certain value is infinity since to suggest that there are those who are just barely outside the region of trannyhood is transphobic.

Thursday, February 18, 2021

The Value Of Pi, The Value Of X

Pi

Yesterday, I received my Raspberry Pi and associated camera. I didn't have time to play with it then, but I was able to set it up this morning. From out of the box to on the network took 10 minutes. Downloading the OS updates and putting it in its case took an hour, but that was because the WiFi is very slow in my office and my eyes are old. Curse those tiny screws!

In any case, I now have it on the network and it's sitting on the kitchen counter. Working remotely through an SSH connection, I gave it a static IP address, installed Apache, installed PHP and connected it to Dreamweaver. In Dreamweaver, I defined a site and tested it with a new web page. It worked like a champ.

I now have a tiny web server with a camera in the kitchen. About 10' away is its eventual home, attached to the eaves overlooking our tomato plants. Later today, I'll see if I can find the time to take some test photos with the camera. 

  • Pi > Arduino.

X

In a previous post, I uttered this banality.

Our culture has reduced the issues of race and trannies to single-variable polynomials. The variable is bigotry or, in it's most universal form, Hate™. Hate is the independent variable upon which every term in the equation depends. That means we can reduce many equations in life to a single-variable polynomial where x is the amount of Hate present.

The real value of x is that it makes you important. You can fight hate! You can be part of the team. You can be an "ally." 

If the problem isn't Hate™, but a failure to study, well, that makes things a bit stickier, what? If it's a lack of effort, then you aren't part of the picture. It's a Marvel movie and you're a DC superhero. You're not in the script at all.


This is a dog whistle! It's a micro-aggression! It's white fragility!
Lean in! Try harder! Do better!

  • X = Your heroism.

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Inflation As A Transfer Of Wealth

Just a short one today as it's only a very small thought.

I've been tracking a couple of econo-bloggers and financial websites and I'm seeing more and more chatter about inflation. As I'm nearing the end of my career run, I'm trying to learn how inflation affects investments and retirement. Something occurred to me today that I thought I'd share.

Inflation is a transfer of wealth from people who hold cash and cash-equivalents, such as long-term bonds with fixed interest rates, to people who hold real goods such as property and ownership of performing assets.

If you think about it, nothing real has changed when inflation jumps or even when a currency crashes. There are still houses and parcels of land, large businesses typically don't fold and the stuff around you doesn't vaporize. The money you have may dissolve, but most other things do not.

If the amount of real wealth in the country stays relatively fixed, it must be the distribution of the wealth that changes, like a pie chart keeping the number of slices constant, but changing the relative sizes.

That's not Earth-shattering, I know, but it seemed like an odd and somehow useful way to think of things.

As a partial tangent, I perused the histories of stock indices as their native currencies went through fiscal spasms and what dawned on me was that the big companies almost never folded. If you held stock in Mirgor, an Argentinian company that makes auto parts, in 1985, you could still own that stock today. 

As long as you've got sufficient cash flow to survive and your city doesn't go full BLM / ANTIFA like Portland, you could weather a pretty substantial fiscal storm.

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Hypothesis Testing And Tijuana Whores

Have you ever gotten bubble gum stuck in your hair? It's so hard to remove the stuff!

Decades ago, before I was old enough to drink legally, friends and I went down to TJ to go bar hopping. One of us thought he was very worldly and told us that if a prostitute approached us, you were to say, "Tengo no dinero" and they would leave you alone.

That night, we were at a bar and a thoroughly scrofulous whore slithered up to him, chewing a large wad of gum. She asked if he wanted to have some fun and in a panicked, squeaky voice he cried out, "¡Tengo no dinero! ¡Tengo no dinero!" She then growled some curse at him, took the gum out of her mouth and slammed it into his hair as she shoved him. We all laughed heartily. When we got back, he tried all kinds of things to get the gum out, but ended up having to cut some of his hair.

What Time Is It, Boys And Girls? It's Analogy Time!

For years now, I've used this blog to work out flaws in arguments. I've spent a huge amount of time on racism and a decent amount on the tranny thing. Dissecting recent discussions after getting past the snarling stage, I've come to the conclusion that it's a problem of hypothesis testing, or, rather, the lack of it.

Our culture has reduced the issues of race and trannies to single-variable polynomials. The variable is bigotry or, in it's most universal form, Hate™. Hate is the independent variable upon which every term in the equation depends. That means we can reduce many equations in life to a single-variable polynomial where x is the amount of Hate present.

It's nearly impossible to get this idea out of our heads. Marinating in a culture that desperately tries to fit the world into this model, any attempt to suggest complexity is met with swift condemnation. Trying to make sense of things when all around you are howling about Hate is like getting gum out of your hair.

In a previous post, I suggested the following players who act as guardians of the single-variable faith.

  1. Race grifters. Robin D'Angelo is out of a job if we suddenly declare that racial hate is no longer a big deal. Dittos for the bug-eyed practitioners of Modern Nazi Race Theory currently haranguing San Diego School District employees.
  2. Democrat politicians. For decades now, the Democratic Party has lived off of massive support from minority groups. If the prevailing view of the country was that income and education were markers of behavior and not racial spoils, they'd be toast.
  3. Social Justice Warriors. There's excitement in putting on your Power Ranger jammies and running outside to cosplay a battle wherein you defend a poor, beleaguered minority from the Forces of Hate™. If we came to the conclusion that the absence of fathers was orders of magnitude more important than hate, these people would have to face real German Shepherds and fire hoses as they strove to drag the culture back towards traditional morality. 

The first two probably know the equation is wrong. The third probably don't, but are certain that to question it is to show you are filled with Hate. To publicly test hypotheses is to directly threaten all three groups. 

As they're the majority with control of education, the arts, the news media and Big Tech, you'd be a total fool to question their equations. You have almost nothing to gain and everything to lose. It's best to keep quiet, even if the whole thing bothers you at a subconscious level.

Being a total fool, I got into science to understand how things work. It was the source of the tobacco and cotton experiments. I've picked and pulled at this particular wad of gum in my hair for years because it's illogical and I hate faulty logic with an OCD passion.

Since it doesn't pay to directly threaten the source of social justice porn, a different approach has to be used. In public discussions, as much fun as it is to yell at people, it's probably a better idea to pose doubt-inducing questions, such as:

  • If racism is such a huge problem, why do blacks do so much better in Cheyenne, WY than they do in Chicago, IL?
  • How do you know you identify as a man if you lack a man's endocrinology and brain structure?

It's non-threatening, but still makes the points.

Consider it the Socratic Method for getting gum out of your hair.

Monday, February 15, 2021

Flying Sea Lions

 They must be. How else could they get up to the top of that rock?

Sunday, February 14, 2021

We've Reached The Frenzy Stage

 ... in our search for witches.

Dig this.

This lunatic is an associate professor of history at Iowa. The search for the witches, warlocks and necromancers that bedevil the countryside is driving her to dismantle and burn classical literature. Surely, that will drive out the evil spirits! 

It's telling that our fight against the Forces of Hate™ requires ever more focus and energy while the results of the battles are, shall we say, less than we'd hoped.

ST. LOUIS — On the last day of 2020, St. Louis leaders read 262 names aloud from a church podium — each name representing a person killed in the city over the previous 12 months. Their deaths brought the city’s homicide rate to a level 30% higher than any of the past 50 years, records show.

Oh well. You and your comrades must soon begin to dance with all your might, Sarah. It's our only hope.

Bonus Thought: You know, there's a possibility that dismantling and burning the classics won't be enough because there weren't enough classics to burn. We might have to contemplate what we had thought impossible. We might have to write more classics and then burn them!

If we know that dismantling Western culture is the path to success and we fail to succeed, then that must mean that we didn't have enough Western culture to dismantle.

Science!

Saturday, February 13, 2021

Taking A Stand For Civilization

Well, this is it. I can no longer sit by idly and watch all that our forefathers have built be brought to ruin. When our invertebrate ancestors crawled out from the slime and worked themselves to the bone, evolving into primates, they did not do so that we might turn and crawl back into the slime.

I will not, nay, I cannot use an Arduino board to capture time-lapse photography.

There, I said it. I may be fired from my job on Tuesday when this comes out, but it's a small price to pay when others have paid so much for me. The bold nematodes, the courageous flatworms, even the noble nautili, their sacrifices must not have been made in vain.

Ahem.

I figured out how to take individual shots using my ArduCAM attached to my Arduino Uno board. I had struggled mentally with the project until I realized that the code I wrote and uploaded to the Uno was ... running on the Uno.

That's why it was uploaded to the Uno. To run there. On the Uno.

I had puzzled over the portion of the code reading the serial port and waiting for something to appear there. How was it that the camera would put something on that port to be read? Then it dawned on me that the code was reading the serial port waiting for my computer to send a command to the board. The board was reading its port. It wasn't the computer reading its.

Once I figured this out, I found a computer-side app to send commands to the waiting Uno/ArduCAM hybrid. The Uno dutifully took pictures and sent them back to the computer. Slowly. Very, very slowly.

The Arduino talks to you via a serial port. When it takes a photo, it is reading the pixel array off the camera as fast as it can and sending the results to you. That's not very fast. Consequently, if there is motion in the frame, you'll get blurring. You can reduce the blurring by reducing the resolution, but shooting in 320x200 isn't going to satisfy my needs. I want to capture clouds and sunsets as well as stationary plants with this thing.

Finally, the code itself is made for savages. You are setting individual pins high and low. Ugh. I might as well be using a chamber pot and digging for tubers with a stick. digitalWrite(CS, HIGH) is no way for a gentleman to behave.

So I'm off to find out if a RaspberryPi or perhaps some kind of Chrome computer would do the trick. I'm a decent Javascript and PHP programmer and I'd much rather be working in those languages than barking things like 'ACK CMD ArduCAM Start' at myself through a serial port.

My worthy friends, I will not dishonor your contributions to my life by wallowing in the filth of Arduino programming.

Update: The RaspberryPi looks perfect. It's no more expensive than an Arduino and you can program in Python. I don't know Python, but it's going to be a darn sight easier than carving Arduino totems with a stone knife.

Friday, February 12, 2021

Skipping Safety Classes

Apparently, some modern actress was fired from her role as a Strong Female Warrior on a show about space wizards. She seems to have said some things on social media that goes against the modern social justice zeitgeist. She's not the first.

It occurred to me this morning that the witch trials of the 21st Century are nothing more than people being caught in the social media trap. They have boundless opportunities to speak their minds even if there is very little in their heads to share. The nation is full of zealous witch-hunters, desperate to find and burn a witch. It's a combustible combination.

Back in the old days, there were a handful of Hollywood gossip tabloids. The only time we discovered what a Clairol-brained actress thought was when they were deliberately interviewed by a slavering fame-addict of a reportress. The reportress had a vested interest in protecting the actress from stupidity because she needed to maintain her access to the stars. Nowadays, we know what almost all of them think, much to everyone's detriment. They're not Thomas Sowell, after all.

Right after I retired and before I went back to work, I looked into taking culinary lessons at the local JC. The initial, mandatory classes were all about food and kitchen safety. They had titles like, "How not to be tried for manslaughter for accidentally stabbing your sous chef" and "Why biological poisoning of the guests isn't good for business." Or something like that. It made sense. Safety first!

With the introduction of social media sans instructions for celebrities on how to use it without torching their careers, we've opened up a whole new avenue of stabbings and poisonings in our analogical entertainment restaurant.

Carrying that tortured analogy a bit farther, you'd have to think you'd eventually run out of chefs, maƮtre d's and wait staff. As much as we like to bash our entertainers, many of them really are uniquely gifted. I'd hate to have seen Clark Gable replaced by Gary Cooper in Gone With The Wind because Clark tweeted out that he really liked bimetalism and was subsequently tried as a witch.

As I watch the witches burn, I keep wondering how this will all end. Will we run out of star players? Will we question the witch trials because they don't yield the social justice results we seek? Or will we continue purging because no matter how many witches we burn, there's always another community theater actress to take their place?

I'm beyond grateful that Olivia de Havilland didn't have access to social media.

Thursday, February 11, 2021

15 Years Of Blogging - The Origin Story

Hurrah! It are my blogiversary! Number 15, to be precise. Over 9300 posts, 20,000 comments and 2,500,000 hits, although that last number is probably significantly higher as my metrics management tool has changed over the years, each time starting at zero.

So, yeah, hurrah.

Like any good superhero, I need an origin story and this is it. For reasons that will become obvious, I've only hinted at it in the past, but this morning, we'll open the kimono, as my father used to say.

Preliminary Data Point

When the cops come to your home on a domestic violence call, it's an "arrest-positive" visit. That means someone is going to jail. They assess the sitch and make the choice.

The Story

Wendy* was my previous wife, wife number 2. I had two children when we met, a son and an adopted daughter. My daughter desperately needed a mom and I needed a wife. While we were dating, Wendy was a fabulous mom for my girl. Loving and kind, she began teaching her how to be a girl and then a woman.

Wendy had grown up in an emotionally abusive home. I had never seen anything like it. Everything looked fine on the outside, but the relationships came straight out of an Edgar Allen Poe story. If the walls of her parents' house could have wept blood, they'd have done it.

Dad was a doctor. Brother was a doctor. Sister was a doctor. There was a caste system in the world and doctors were at the top with everyone else in a pile somewhere in a septic tank. Wendy wasn't a doctor. She only had a magna-cum-laude masters from a prestigious university in a bio-technology field. That made her subhuman in their eyes. When she graduated with that degree, they didn't even bother to come to her graduation.

Wendy could never win her father's love, no matter what she did. Her brother knocked up his girlfriend and married in Vegas. That was fine. He was a doctor! Her sister had a child from a sperm bank. That was fine. She was a doctor! Wendy and I didn't move in together until after we married and she was subhuman. She was not a doctor.

I was Wendy's rock. I adored her and supported her no matter what she did. She was very pretty, very lively, very smart and good with my kids. We got married. Then the testing began and she went mad. I don't mean we argued, I mean she went insane.

In retrospect, what happened was that she feared a repeat of her childhood. Her father had betrayed her trust over and over again and she needed to make sure I wouldn't do the same so she tested me. With the passing of each test, she was reassured until the demons in her head convinced her it wasn't real and I was bound to betray her. Another test would be devised. They became incrementally harder to pass.

After a while, Wendy decided she couldn't live in our old house and needed one she and I created together. We bought a ratty, little house in a good part of town with a gorgeous view of the ocean and began construction of a custom home. I helped design it. In all immodesty, it was a work of art, built around a 16' glass dome.

The first time she hit me, I thought it was a joke. She was a small woman and I'm a bigger man. I'd practiced kung fu for 8 years and was used to being hit. She became enraged over something and punched me as hard as she could. Ping! I didn't think much of it after she calmed down. She'd had a rough life and could be emotional.

Once the old house was scraped off the lot and our foundation was laid, the trap was sprung. You can't sell a partially-built house. Once you start down that road and put all your money into a new home, you had better have a solid marriage because you ain't gettin' out until it's done.

And then the madness came in force.

We had sold my old house and were living in a small rental near the new construction. It had thin walls, no escape room and no way to get the non-combatants out of the line of fire. She turned into a full-blown borderline psychotic. About three times a week, she would wake up around 1 AM and begin screaming at me. If I tried to quiet her with kind talk and love, the screaming lasted two hours. If I kept quiet and just let her scream, it lasted 90 minutes. 

The issues were never rational, it was just the demons in her head, howling.

One day, after more violence, I called the cops and asked, hypothetically, what happens when someone makes a domestic violence call. They told me what I noted above.

And that, as they say, was that. I was a big man, she was a small woman, so I was going to go to jail if I called. I didn't call. I just took it, day after day, and protected the kids as best I could. 

Men Are Bigger

One thing you realize when your woman becomes violent is that you can crush her any time you want. Her hardest punches didn't do anything. My hardest would have sent her to the hospital. One time, just out of reflex, I did a sweeping block when she tried to punch me. I nearly broke her forearm against a door frame.

Throughout it all, I loved her and tried to save her from the demons. I burned everything in my life, trying, futilely, to rescue her. All my money, all my relationships, everything was fed into that furnace.

Why Women Didn't Have The Vote

In a brutal and physical world, say, the world before 1900, women were subordinate to men. They had to rely on a man for protection. If their man decided to physically dominate them, there was nothing they could do. Those girls beating up men in the movies? Please. Back in the day, a woman was part of a man's household because he took responsibility for her body. They're not strong enough to plow fields all day, either, so he was responsible for her food. Dittos for the kids. He was in control because there wasn't anyone else who could do it.

Get into a violent relationship and that becomes crystal clear.

The House, The Blog

The house was finally finished. I had contacted my favorite divorce lawyer** and prepped the situation. As soon as the last bill was paid, I filed and she was kicked out of the house. I had the kids, so the court said I got to keep the place.

I didn't want this, but her madness had gotten to the point where I would sometimes take the kids to a hotel overnight because she was screaming. 

Sometimes you try your hardest and still lose.

I was left with a mortgage made for two incomes with only one income to cover it. I had a full-time job plus dadly duties. I had free time at unpredictable intervals and desperately needed cash. It took me weeks to save enough money to pay the fees to take construction debris out of the yard to the dump.

Blogs were just starting to become a big deal. Instapundit, IMAO, Lawrence Simon's blog, they all inspired me. I figured I could start a blog and see where it went. If I sold ads on the site and could bring in a decent audience, I might make a little money.

In total, I made $100.

I eventually sold the house, married wife kitteh and discovered love, strength and sanity. I keep blogging because it's what I do now. I don't think I can stop. It's my own madness.

In the meantime, wherever Wendy might be, I hope she finds peace. When I see lunatics on the street, I think of her and wonder what demons are in their heads. I pray for them because that's all I can do.

There you have it. The origin story of The Scratching Post. To anyone who made it this far, thanks for reading. I needed to write it.

Love you all. I'm looking forward to having you correct my idiosyncratic idiocies in the coming year with your comments.

Our original Maximum Leader in the atrium. The big tree was a potted fiddle leaf fig which grew in the center of the house, up towards the glass dome. The atrium was sunken into the floor with a drain in the middle. It was filled with blue-green river stones. When you watered the tree, the water flowed through the stones and out.

The stairs going to the second floor went around the outside of the atrium, so you climbed past the tree. There was no hallway on the second floor, only a balcony that wrapped around the atrium.

* - Not her real name. Naturally, there's a story about my starter wife, but it's for another day. Current wife kitteh, aka final wife kitteh, has been through two divorces as well. This is why we teach the remarriage class for the diocese. No one knows more about how to drop atomic bombs on your own lives than we do.

** - I hope you never have cause to use the phrase, "my favorite divorce lawyer."

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Why Shakespeare Is Banned

 ... is not because he's a dead, white male. It's because the SJWs don't want to be confronted with a different viewpoint.

This just dawned on me while doing something that I have forgotten which means this sentence is simply useless filler, like sawdust in sausages. You're welcome. 

I had a Twitter exchange with a young androgyne yesterday, discussing systemic racism. I tried to keep it simple and suggested that he was too nice of a person to be racist. My logical statement was this:

Since large, black populations are governed by people like you - see: Chicago, Baltimore, Detroit and Oakland - and since systems have no life without people running them, in order for me to believe that the citizens of those cities suffer under systemic racism, I'd have to believe that you are racist. I don't believe you are racist. I believe you're a nice person.

Now that may or may not be true, but at least it's a logical chain and its merits can be discussed. After a 10-round discussion, the best he could do was 8 ad hominems and the claim that current leaders aren't to blame for it because it had been going on for 400 years. 

I didn't bother to point out that if current leaders couldn't redirect the system, then this whole movement was a waste of time. I had learned what I wanted to learn from the exchange, which was: He had never encountered this argument.

His replies were marked by horror and shock. He was embarrassed for me. I wasn't scholarly. I was inexperienced. I didn't understand this or that. At no point did he suggest a flaw in my logical chain. He was intensely irritated throughout the exchange. I kept it light and pleasant. In fact, my argument relied heavily on my warmth for him.

Could it be that it's difficult to debate Shakespeare and Kipling? Is that why they're being banned?

On the first Feminian Sandstones we were promised the Fuller Life
(Which started by loving our neighbour and ended by loving his wife)
Till our women had no more children and the men lost reason and faith,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "The Wages of Sin is Death."

In the Carboniferous Epoch we were promised abundance for all,
By robbing selected Peter to pay for collective Paul;
But, though we had plenty of money, there was nothing our money could buy,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "If you don't work you die."

Cancel him all you want, the dude's work abides

Bonus Question: In places where dead white dudes are banned, is Thomas Sowell being added to the reading list?

Tuesday, February 09, 2021

Some Things Just Take Time

I've managed to connect my ArduCam shield to my Arduino board and wrote the code to set up and test the thing. The test code only confirms the setup, it doesn't actually take any pictures. It's sufficiently foreign to me that I'll need a relaxed, 8-hour day dedicated to the project to take it to completion. It's not the sort of thing I can do in small bites. Other people probably could, but I can't.

My MGB center console was fabricated quite some time ago and it sits on my BB-60 workbench in the garage, looking at me every time I go out there. Making a modular wiring harness for it will be sufficiently complicated that I'll need a relaxed, 8-hour day dedicated to the project to take it to completion. It's not the sort of thing I can do in small bites. Other people probably could, but I can't.

I just don't have that time even though I'm "retired." It's insanely frustrating. I've got commitments at work and don't want to let down the young men there.

Yesterday, on our internal social media site at work, a woman linked to yet another article wherein a career woman lamented that she was going mad trying to balance having children with working. The feminists, of which there are many, chimed in with #leanin hashtaggery and discussions of how the employer needs to be more supportive of career women who are also moms.

The truth of the matter is that being a mom isn't a trivial job. It's not one you can subordinate to your career, not if you want to do it well. Heck, stay-at-home moms stress about being good enough, what would expect from women who are trying to do two full-time jobs? You can carry that load for a short while, but only someone of heroic temperament can do it for an extended period of time.

Speaking of that, check out Larry Elder's discussion of figuring out what his dad had done for him. Even someone that heroic couldn't handle the stress of that kind of work load.

Things being what they are these days, I didn't join in the conversation. My input would have been filled with bigoted hate no matter how I couched it. Still, the truth of the matter is that you can't have it all. I can't finish the ArduCam and MGB projects unless I stop working for a while. You can't be a devoted parent and devoted employee at the same time.

Some things just take time and there's only so much time in the day.



Days don't last forever.

This is a sunset video I made from the back balcony of my old house in 2008. My blogiversary is coming up in a few days and I think I'll tell you the story of that house and why I started this blog way back when.

Monday, February 08, 2021

Super Old

When the Super Bowl started, I told people I had a Henry Kissinger, Iran-Iraq War attitude towards the game. "It's a pity both sides can't lose." That turned out to be false and I found myself cheering for the Bucs because old. Tom Brady is an old fogey. Patrick Mahomes, who I think is a really good guy, is a young whippersnapper. Respect your elders and lose the game, Patrick! Come back when you've got some gray hair.

Also, Gronkowski reminds me of the Packers' Max McGee. Google that if you must. Old, man. Really old.

The ads were depressing and terrible. Almost none of them were clever because they were trying to be moral in a trapped-in-the-woke-box kind of way. Some of them, like that horrid Springsteen Jeep commercial, were totally unrelated to the product. Also, given Springsteen's nasty comments in the past about people like me, his call for unity sounded a lot like someone letting me know that the Stasi were on their way to my house if I didn't conform. Bite me, Bruce.

There was at least one terrific ad, however. It did everything a good ad should. It was clever and captivating while focusing on the best features of the product. I'm talking about the Pringles ad. It was a work of art. Absolutely stellar. Enjoy.



Sunday, February 07, 2021

A Better Hamilton

Last year, wife kitteh and I watched Hamilton. I wrote a review of it here, which included this tidbit.

Last night, we watched Hamilton on Disney+. It is wonderfully done and the cast is very talented. It is also the most thorough petting of the Elite I've ever seen. If a single, non-conformist idea wandered onto that stage, it would die of loneliness. The show is about two hours of nonstop reinforcement of progressive dogmas. The audience laps it up, no doubt believing that they are brave and righteous and, above all, way above all, morally superior. It's nauseating. You want George Carlin or Lenny Bruce or someone, anyone to add a song or two to the thing to tweak the endless, insufferable stream of self-congratulation.

I've thought about it a lot in the intervening time. There was something about it that deeply bothered me. At first, I thought it was the cultural sneering. The premise is a giant, "Neener, neener, neener! Your culture isn't so great. We could have done this, too." That's both obnoxious and false. The founding of America was built upon the English legal system and Judeo-Christian morality. If you lacked either, you would have ended up with something different. A massive, Aztec abattoir, perhaps.

It finally dawned on me what a tremendous missed opportunity it was. For me, it never worked because I knew that given Africa in the 1770s, the thing's basis was childish. I kept thinking how cool it would have been to have written and filmed a musical about those people.

What was it like to have been a leader in 17th and 18th century Africa? What were the moral struggles of the people in charge? If you did research, could you find an emancipation movement there, even a larval one? What conversations do you think happened after another conquest of a neighboring tribe wherein you enslaved thousands?

Deeper still, what would have been the moral basis for any objections to the practice? Good Lord, they enslaved and sold millions of their fellow Africans. I could see some, like Caesar, being ruthless and practical while others had their hearts broken seeing families separated.

Most importantly, such a production would have been exquisitely healing. It would have made the point that we are all fallen, sinful creatures. It would have illustrated in stark detail how all of our leaders from the past have fallen short, sometimes desperately short, of our ideals.

We'd have acknowledged that we are all human. We are all tempted to sin when given power over others. It has nothing to do with race at all.

Think how healing and uniting that would have been. What an opportunity missed! Oh well, there's still time to make a new one.

Totally off-topic, the other night, I made sea bass with a garlic, lemon and herb sauce from this recipe. It was spectacular. Both wife kitteh and I practically licked our plates clean.

Saturday, February 06, 2021

Following My Own Advice

Many years ago, when people rode pterodactyls instead of the other way around*, I managed various projects at work. It didn't take long to realize that my biggest expense was labor. Tools and equipment were at most 1/40 of my labor costs. 

What that meant was that it made sense to buy my employees the gear they wanted. If that was a computer with a huge hard drive and a big processor, I would just smile and buy it. In the end, the cost was in the noise of my budget and my people felt appreciated. Which they were.

I've been an Adobe Creative Cloud honk for about a decade now. I'm pretty handy with Photoshop and Premiere and I know enough to be dangerous with Illustrator and InDesign. I'm no artist, but I enjoy playing with those apps.

It turns out that the best platform for Adobe CC is a Microsoft Surface Book 3. However, those suckers are expensive. $2,000 buys you a really nice one.

Wife kitteh has been bugging me to buy one because I keep borrowing her tablet and her laptop. When she goes up to see Oldest Son kitteh in Washington, I have to ask her to leave the laptop behind so I can take it to work meetings. She's still moonlighting for a realtor, so she needs it, too.

I didn't want to buy the Surface Book because I hate to spend money on myself.

My rule with my employees was: If it's used for something productive, spend, spend, spend.

I just bought the Surface Book. After a month of dithering, I finally remembered my own axiom.

My father became an artist when he retired after a career in the Air Force. I'd like to explore that as well and this will help me learn.

This is the sort of thing I'd like to create.

On a side note, I did some more work with the Arduino board. I'm hoping to have my time-lapse camera working in a few weeks.

* - I have no idea what I meant by this, it just seemed like a surreal thing to say.

Friday, February 05, 2021

Millipedes Are Not Photogenic

They're also kind of shy. Dig this character.

I found him on our side yard, so I put him on a sheet of white paper and got out the Nikon Artillery Piece. They move slowly, so I had time to take lots of shots, but he kept his head down and shuffled about. That was it.

The fluid, rippling motion of his legs was beautiful, but I didn't have time to take a video, so there he is in all his static glory.

I made the mistake of throwing him back into the garden instead of one of our raised beds. They eat decomposing plant material, so he's effectively a mulcher. He would have loved the cayenne bed. So moist and yummy!

If you want much better content and photography, here are Tim's entries on millipedes.

Books

I'm on the hunt for personal stories of people that lived through fiscal crises. I'm not as interested in the economics of the situation, but the descriptions of life as a paper money collapses. I ended up with This Time Is Different. It's a macroeconomic history of financial failures. It's very accessible and I'm going through it rapidly, but it doesn't quite fit the bill. Still, it's been helpful.

Note: I read the reviews and bought the Kindle version instead of the audiobook. It was generally agreed that without looking at the charts and tables, the book was not very useful.

When it comes to national defaults, the lead-up is characterized by huge deficits, a mounting debt and short-term borrowing by the government. It makes for an unstable situation. As soon as creditors decide you are no longer trustworthy, they bail out and you're left with a mountain of short term loans to refinance in an environment where no one wants to lend you any money.

Hmm. Instability. I keep coming across that lately.

Thursday, February 04, 2021

Travelling With Dogs In An RV

 ... must be a lot like travelling with toddlers and staying at low-end motels.

Wife kitteh really wants to get an RV and take month-long road trips. She also loves the Catican Guards and wants to bring them along. I'm not so sure on either count. We rented an RV when we went on our Great Confederate Livermush Adventure to Tennessee and North Carolina. Here are two key drawbacks I noted in that post that are bugging me about buying an RV.

  • It's not a VRBO house, it's an RV. It's nice enough, but it's not someone's house. Think one-and-a-half star motel, minus the vermin underfoot and the drug addicts staying in room next door.
  • You camp where there are RV campsites. That means you may need to drive 30 minutes out of your way to get to your stop for the night.

RVs are expensive. $100,000 is entry level. Upkeep, fuel and insurance are very high. I think of them as hoglike vehicles with a tiny, poor-quality house glued on top. Ugh. Instead, for $100K, I can buy a late-model Chevy Tahoe and have $60,000 left over for VRBO rentals. 

The Tahoe gets two to three times the mileage and the maintenance expenses are far lower, which means that $60,000 is a very low estimate. Let's call it $90,000 over the life of our wanderlust. That works out to 300 nights at $300/night VRBO houses. For $300/night, you can rent a high-end house.

We currently own a 2005 SUV that has become our utility vehicle, hauling dogs and construction materials. If we replace that with the Tahoe, we've got a larger utility vehicle. If we replace it with an RV, we have a toad permanently parked on the street.

Then we get to the question of the dogs. It didn't occur to me until I started gaming out test vacations. The idea was to take a week-long trip in each vehicle, renting them instead of buying them. Paso Robles might be one candidate trip and Utah might be another.

What do you do once you get there? Do you take the dogs wine tasting? Do they go on every hike with you? Bodie is effectively 75-80 years old. He's got severe arthritis. He still loves to go for walks, but he can't go more than a mile. Even after he passes away, the girls can't do 5-milers.

Dogs are like toddlers. We've travelled with tots and concerns for them dictate your choices. That's fine because part of a family vacation is exposing your children to things you love. The dogs couldn't care less. They'd love it if every day was exactly the same. Travelling to new places is stress for them.

Finally, there's the problem of living in San Diego. This place is an island. It's a good 7-hour drive to get anywhere interesting and that's only if you go north. If you go east, it's 22 hours to get to Dixie and that's to Shreveport, LA. Fairhope AL is 28 and Elizabeth City, NC is 40. If we went to Wife Kitteh's homeland - Chicago - that's 30 hours.

Ugh indeed.

Blogging Birds

I took this shot yesterday and rather liked it. If you click on the image, you can clearly see the bird with an open mouth and the looks of annoyance on the other two. Enjoy!

"So in my latest blog post, I explored how the Romanovs are just like ..."

(Oh no. Here he goes again. This guy is completely nuts!)

Wednesday, February 03, 2021

I Saw A UFO

 ... in fact, I saw about nine of them. Here's what they looked like.







I was sitting in my backyard yesterday morning with my new Nikon Artillery Piece on a tripod, hoping to shoot some bathers when these little lovelies flew in and swarmed all over our lemon tree. The tree has whiteflies and from the looks of things, they were dining well upon those pestilential pests.

Identifying them is harder than photographing them. They have no distinctive markings and it's the wrong time of year to have juveniles. I went to the Birds of San Diego page, but couldn't find them. To me, the beaks tell me they're sparrows or finches among the perching birds, but the lack of markings is throwing me.

Phoebes, perhaps? The coloring would be right, but the beaks seem wrong. Hmm.

Whatever they were, I'm grateful they stopped by to see us. They can dine off of our plants any time they want.

Tuesday, February 02, 2021

Self-Esteem Pornography

Buckle up, kids, this one's going to be all over the map, a free write of semi-connected thoughts as I'm working through a concept that hit me as I listened to The Romanovs while out on maneuvers with the Catican Guards. It's going to sting a little bit, too.

What happens when we become the playthings of powerful? What happens when their excesses and debaucheries are no longer orgies, drunken parties and displays of opulence, but us? By that, I mean that our tiny lives become their onanistic toys.

We'll start with Tom Knighton's substack essay, linked by Foxie. It's called, "Intersectionality Has Hit The Stop Sign."

Intersectionality is a favorite term among various forms of leftist activists. The overly simplified version of this is that all forms of “oppression” intersect in such a way that they’re all highly related...

However, intersectionality is running smack dab into a wall right about now.

There’s absolutely no doubt that by now you’ve heard of the controversy about transwomen in women’s sports. If you haven’t, buckle up.

I love you, Tom, but intersectionality hasn't hit a darn thing. The intersectionality crowd, we'll use SJWs for short, has never cared about people being hurt. 

A few or even a few hundred chicks getting jobbed out of sports championships means nothing. Dude, trans people have a 40% suicide rate, both before and after treatment. The SJWs have known this for years. If they didn't care about a pyramid of skulls from the self-offed, they're not going to care about a couple of dudes in wigs mopping the floor with some high school girls at a track meet.

Many in the news media maintain that racism is a big deal. Confronted with the evidence from high school standardized test scores and yesterday's info about a 14-fold increase in undoubtedly black-on-black murders in Oakland, they go silent. They don't care about individual blacks at all. They can kill each other all day long for all it matters to them. And they do.

The Debt Clock says we owe nearly $28T. Not a single SJW is ignorant of this and yet they still prance along behind pipe-playing madmen like Bernie and AOC with grins on their faces. They don't have a care in the world as they talk about free college, free health care and free-God-knows-what-else.

The diversity crowd feels a frisson of pleasure when someone like Lori Lightfoot, a black lesbian, wins an election. They're silent when Macy's leaves a 170,000 square foot hole in the Magnificent Mile and when Chicago murders skyrocket, almost all of which are black-on-black.

It's not that they don't know, it's that they are solving a totally different equation than what they claim.

They are not fighting inequality, they're morally masturbating. Diversity, trans, racial justice, all of it is just pornography. It feels so good, but nothing gets done. Further, they risk nothing, since it's the mania du jour. No one will be canceled if they encourage a young girl to take lethal doses of testosterone. Instead, they might be elected President.

This is nothing more than the Romanovs having a drunken party followed by an orgy where innocent lives are the menu, whether that's black kids growing up without fathers or middle-class white girls binding their chests. The SJWs are going along with it because they get to feel the same orgasms of self-esteem as the powerful.

BLM is porn. The trans movement is porn. The Green New Deal and associated trillion-dollar programs are porn. It all makes us feel so, so, so gooooood, but in nine months we'll have ... nothing.

So stop thinking you've got them cornered with your pointless logical traps. It's not about logic, it's about the SJWs pleasuring themselves.

Here, Gavin Newsom enters his refractory period after, err, "inspecting" part of his green, green, oh-so-green, high-speed choo choo route in the economically crucial town of Remnoy, California.

Monday, February 01, 2021

Far-right, Racist, Extremist Ninjas

 ... are the only things that can explain this.

Oakland has had 14 homicides since the start of the year — that compares with a single homicide during the same time period last year.

If the homicides continue at the current rate, Oakland is looking at 168 homicides by the end of the year. In 2020 there were 102, and in 2019 there were 75.

The numbers are shocking, but they pale when compared with the number of people wounded.

According to statistics from Oakland’s Highland Hospital trauma unit, which handles most of the gunshot cases in Alameda County and some from Contra Costa County, 50 gunshot cases have been treated there so far this this year — at least one shooting a day.

Highland treated 415 gunshot cases last year and 283 in 2019.

As we all know, ninjas are stealthy, white-adjacent extremists who are trained in death squad camps by the Koch Brothers. They are spiritually nourished by daily, aural ingestations of that Jewish Nazi, Ben Shapiro, and the Blinding Whiteness guru, Tucker Carlson. Ninjas are capable of moving silently, disappearing into the background and spreading Hate™.

That's the only explanation I can muster as to why Systemic Racism appears worst where the far-right is almost completely absent. I mean, what else could it be? Oakland followed the BLM playbook and cut their police budget so that people of color could flourish through criminal justice reform, just like the super smart people in our professional sports leagues tell us to do. 

It looks like just as things were getting better, the Far Right Extremist Ninjas swang into action.

Swang? Swung? Swoonged? Whatever. They're spreading Hate™ and that's all you need to know.

This spells out the logic of the situation perfectly. The woman represents justice, carrying the cross of cruise missiledom, being pushed along by a cis-normative, whiteness-filled cowboy while a fat banker plays the bass drum of Hate™ and a fish flies over his head. The fish represents white supremacy because some fish have white bellies.

Or maybe it's the hat of Hate™ flying over his head and the woman represents Strong Black Women who were arrested by the Cowboy of Intolerance while twerking and pole dancing for Justice while the banker plays a bass drum and the cruise missile is the weight of extremist militarism and she's being forced to attack the Capitol Building.

Anyway, it makes a lot of sense when you think about it. Just like the increased Oakland murders are not evidence that the whole systemic racism thing is exploitative lying and the real problem is cultural. Because it's not that. Not at all.