Heading out the door to finish off emptying the Condo in Bellingham. It is going to look gorgeous but this process is still a pain. Also having to deal with my parent's effects on such an in-your-face level. It was a lot easier to compartmentalize everything and ignore that they are no longer here.

Had to be done at some point...

Today and tomorrow look like a dry two days for posting - spent some time surfing but it has been a quiet weekend news-wise.

Lulu toddled off to bed a few minutes ago and I am heading up soon after.

Water board meeting tomorrow as well.

Back home again - stiff and sore

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We moved a lot of stuff into the storage locker. Heading back there tomorrow for the last of it.

I am sore now and I will certainly be feeling it tomorrow but it needs to be done.  Two of Curtis' friends showed up to help so things went a lot better.

We all got a bite at FiveGuys so not much in the mood for dinner.  Lulu and I are having a nice big glass of wine and kicking back for a bit...

Hi Ho Hi Ho

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It's off to work we go. Spending today emptying the last of the stuff from my Mom and Dad's condo in Bellingham so the contractors can start to work.

Renting a truck with a lift-gate and we are only moving the stuff a few miles to a nearby storage locker so it will not be that bad.

More posting later today.

The SCP Foundation

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I have been authorized to divulge the existence of this organization as I have worked closely with them on several of their case files.

More at their website: The SCP Foundation

From their Mission Statement:

Mission Statement
Operating clandestine and worldwide, the Foundation operates beyond jurisdiction, empowered and entrusted by every major national government with the task of containing anomalous objects, entities, and phenomena. These anomalies pose a significant threat to global security by threatening either physical or psychological harm.

The Foundation operates to maintain normalcy, so that the worldwide civilian population can live and go on with their daily lives without fear, mistrust, or doubt in their personal beliefs, and to maintain human independence from extraterrestrial, extradimensional, and other extranormal influence.

Our mission is three-fold:

The Foundation secures anomalies with the goal of preventing them from falling into the hands of civilian or rival agencies, through extensive observation and surveillance and by acting to intercept such anomalies at the earliest opportunity.

The Foundation contains anomalies with the goal of preventing their influence or effects from spreading, by either relocating, concealing, or dismantling such anomalies or by suppressing or preventing public dissemination of knowledge thereof.

The Foundation protects humanity from the effects of such anomalies as well as the anomalies themselves until such time that they are either fully understood or new theories of science can be devised based on their properties and behavior. The Foundation may also neutralize or destroy anomalies as an option of last resort, if they are determined to be too dangerous to be contained.

Snake Eyes

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Chris Muir at Day By Day nails it with this cartoon:


The AP fact-checks Obama

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It is raining cats and dogs, the sun has turned blue and the earth's rotation has reversed. In other news The Associated Press is fact-checking Obama:

FACT CHECK: Obama's claims on illegal immigration
President Barack Obama made some notable omissions Thursday night in his remarks about the unilateral actions he's taking on immigration.

A look at his statements and how they compare with the facts:

OBAMA: "It does not grant citizenship, or the right to stay here permanently, or offer the same benefits that citizens receive - only Congress can do that. All we're saying is we're not going to deport you."

THE FACTS: He's saying, and doing, more than that. The changes also will make those covered eligible for work permits, allowing them to be employed in the country legally and compete with citizens and legal residents for better-paying jobs.


OBAMA: "Although this summer, there was a brief spike in unaccompanied children being apprehended at our border, the number of such children is now actually lower than it's been in nearly two years."

THE FACTS: The numbers certainly surged this year, but it was more than a "brief spike." The number of unaccompanied children apprehended at the border has been on the rise since the 2011 budget year. That year about 16,000 children were found crossing the border alone. In 2012, the Border Patrol reported more than 24,000 children, followed by more than 38,800 in 2013. In the last budget year, more than 68,361 children were apprehended.


OBAMA: "Overall, the number of people trying to cross our border illegally is at its lowest level since the 1970s. Those are the facts."

THE FACTS: Indeed, in the 2014 budget year the Border Patrol made 486,651 arrests of border crossers, among the fewest since the early 1970s. But border arrests have been on the rise since 2011.

The decline in crossings is not purely, or perhaps even primarily, due to the Obama administration. The deep economic recession early in his presidency and the shaky aftermath made the U.S. a less attractive place to come for work. The increase in arrests since 2011 also can be traced in part to the economy — as the recovery improved, more people came in search of opportunity.

More at the site - for a member of the mainstream media to be checking on the truth gives me hope.

News you can use - raking leaves

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In a word - don't. From Seattle station KING-5:

Don't rake your leaves, scientists say
Here's an excuse to use the next time someone asks you to rake the leaves: science.

The National Wildlife Federation is encouraging people to leave the leaves.

On its website, the NWF says dry, dead leaves are important habitats for all kinds of critters.

Butterflies, salamanders, chipmunks, box turtles, toads, shrews, earthworms, and other creatures live, lay eggs in or eat from leaves, according to NWF's plea with the public to let the leaves stay where gravity left them.

"I care about the life cycle of all the insects that live in my yard," said Sarah Moore of the Pacific Science Center's indoor butterfly garden. "I want to be a habitat."

Butterflies begin in leaves as larvae. Moore says she never rakes her leaves at home.

Another scientist at the University of Washington Arboretum says he rarely rakes.

"It changes the habitat," said Randall Hitchin, who showed us all the insects that live in a pile of leaves. "It makes it unfriendly for them."

The only issue is that some tree diseases also flourish in the leaf litter. Anthracnose is a real biggie up here with our wet springs. We have a couple of cherry trees that have it bad - planning to treat this spring with Bordeaux mixture. Turns the trees smurf blue-green.


Boys and their toys - a backhoe

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Guinness World's Record for speed at 72.58 miles per hour:

Stupid students not seeing the big picture

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Used to live in Boston/Cambridge and glad I moved away. From the New York Times:

Harvard Students Move Fossil Fuel Stock Fight to Court
A group of Harvard students, frustrated by the university’s refusal to shed fossil fuel stocks from its investment portfolios, is looking beyond protests and resolutions to a new form of pressure: the courts.

The seven law students and undergraduates filed a lawsuit on Wednesday in Suffolk County Superior Court in Massachusetts against the president and fellows of Harvard College, among others, for what they call “mismanagement of charitable funds.” The 11-page complaint, with 167 pages of supporting exhibits, asks the court to compel divestment on behalf of the students and “future generations.”

Hey snowflake - the US needs the energy from coal - always have and always will. alt.energy will never fill the gap. If you have such a paranoid irrational fear of coal (actually a very clean fuel and we have over 500 years in known resources), why not lobby for a cleaner alternative - nuclear, specifically Thorium for which we have several thousand years of known resources.

Fscking morons.

The students are revolting - damn straight skippy...

Ho Li Crap - this is a big engine

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The Chinese just launched the biggest cargo ship and it has the biggest engine. From the excellent gCaptain:
NOTE - a TEU is a Twenty-foot equivalent unit or a seabox 20' in length.

World’s Largest Containership Also Sets Record for Largest Engine Ever
With a capacity to carry 19,000 TEUs, the recently named MV CSCL Globe is the world’s largest containership by cargo capacity. But that’s not all it’s known for. The newbuild for China Shipping Container Lines is also noteworthy for being powered by what is physically the largest engine ever constructed.

CSCL Globe on Thursday completed three days of sea trials, putting the ship’s massive MAN B&W 12S90ME-C Mark 9.2 type low-speed main engine through its paces. The two-stroke engine is rated at 69,720 kW @ 84 rpm, although has been de-rated to 56,800 kW, and stands a whopping 17.2 meters tall (that’s over 56 feet!).

Just check out the size of this thing compared to a typical person:


I wonder how long it will be before someone sneaks a GoPro into the crankcase and posts a video. This puppy is huge!

A very clever use of resources - Heineken

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An interesting bit of history - from The Smithsonian:

When Heineken Bottles Were Square
There are plenty of examples of structures built from recycled materials—even Buddhist temples have been made from them. In Sima Valley, California, an entire village known as Grandma Prisbey’s Bottle Village was constructed from reused glass. But this is no new concept—back in 1960, executives at the Heineken brewery drew up a plan for a “brick that holds beer,” a rectangular beer bottle that could also be used to build homes.

Gerard Adriaan Heineken acquired the “Haystack” brewery in 1864 in Amsterdam, marking the formal beginning of the eponymous brand that is now one of the most successful international breweries. Since the first beer consignment was delivered to the United States upon the repeal of Prohibition in 1933, it has been a top seller in the United States. The distinctive, bright green of a Heineken beer bottle can be found in more than 70 countries today. The founder’s grandson, Alfred Heineken, began his career with the company in 1942 and was later elected Chairman of the Executive Board at Heineken International. Alfred, better known as “Freddy,”oversaw the design of the classic red-starred label released in 1964. He had a good eye for marketing and design.”Had I not been a beer brewer I would have become an advertising man,” he once said. When Freddy’s beer took off in the international market, he made it a point to visit the plants the company had opened as a part of its globalization strategy.

In 1960, Freddy took a trip to the island of Curacao in the Caribbean Sea and discovered that he could barely walk 15 feet on the beach without stepping on a littered Heineken bottle. He was alarmed by two things: First, the incredible amount of waste that his product was creating due to the region’s lack of infrastructure to collect the bottles for reuse. (Back then, bottles were commonly returned for refilling, lasting about 30 trips back and forth to the breweries). Second, the dearth of proper building materials available to those living in the impoverished communities he visited. So he thought up an idea that might solve both of these problems: A brick that holds beer.

The rectangular, Heineken World Bottle or WOBO, designed with the help of architect John Habraken, would serve as a drinking vessel as well as a brick once the contents were consumed. The long side of the bottle would have interlocking grooved surfaces so that the glass bricks, once laid on their side, could be stacked easily with mortar or cement. A 10-foot-by-10-foot shack would take approximately 1,000 bottles (and a lot of beer consumption) to build.


 Very clever - once the mold is made, this sort of bottle would be just as cheap as any other. These could pack better in a case too - lower shipping costs. Wonder why they stopped selling them?

I listened to his speech on the car radio tonight and it was just more yadda, yadda, yadda... The guy is lying through his teeth.

Even the mainstream media is getting tired of the monor - from Politico:

White House hits TV networks for skipping immigration address
The White House is exasperated with the major broadcast networks — ABC, CBS and NBC — for skipping out on President Barack Obama’s Thursday prime-time address on his executive actions on immigration.

“In 2006, [President George W.] Bush gave a 17-minute speech that was televised by all three networks that was about deploying 6,000 National Guard troops to the border. Obama is making a 10-minute speech that will have a vastly greater impact on the issue. And none of the networks are doing it. We can’t believe they were aggrieved that we announced this on Facebook,” a senior administration official told POLITICO.

When the president wants to make a prime-time address, White House officials will reach out to the big networks, like ABC, NBC and CBS, to gauge whether they would consider running the speech live before putting in a formal request for airtime.

(Video: President Obama's full immigration address)

But on Wednesday morning, with plans underway for a Thursday night address on Obama’s plans to issue executive actions on some of the most sweeping immigration reform in decades, those feelers came back with a negative report. None of the major networks wanted to take time away from their prime-time programming for Obama’s 8 p.m. speech. So the administration did not send out a formal request to the networks and took to Facebook to publicize the speech with a special video message from Obama along with a link to the livestream.

Heh - as the great Don Rickles - that would be the late great Rodney Dangerfield - said: Just can't get no respect!
Hey Barry - you have to earn it...

Met the people I needed to see and ran some errands in town - had a burger at Five Guys for dinner and headed back.

Working on the cabinets tonight. Lulu is coming back out to the farm tomorrow with her son - we are clearing out my Mom and Dad's condo Saturday so the contractor can start working. It will be nice to get it buffed back up again. Renting a truck with a liftgate and hiring four guys to help with the loading - should go relatively quickly and then it's over and done with.

Off to town this afternoon

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Meeting with some people. Probably get a bite to eat out there and then home again. Posting will be light for the next couple hours.

Hand-held Lasers - a development

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Holy crap - was at the Wicked Lasers website and this popped up:



Makes sense on their part - these can cause immediate and irreparable damage to the eye if the beam even touches for an instant.

Ironic in that I held off getting one for a long time because they weren't powerful enough. Now they are too powerful.

UPDATE: Just checked their competitor - Survival Lasers and they are selling laser kits - bundles of pre-assembled modules which can be snapped together to yield a comlpete laser. They note on their website:

ATTENTION U.S. CUSTOMERS! Please visit our U.S.-specific web store at http://www.survivallaserusa.comThere are products on the international store that cannot be shipped to US addresses due to FDA regulations.

The U.S. Store has everything that the international store does except for the laser diodes themselves - the active part. Curious...

From the Milwaukee, Wisconsin Journal Sentinel:

Chief Flynn after Fire and Police Commission meeting
Police Chief Edward Flynn speaks to reporters after a Fire and Police Commission meeting Thursday night concerning the shooting of Dontre Hamilton. During the meeting, Flynn learned that a 5-year-old girl was shot and killed. Video by Ashley Luthern.

We need more people like him - someone who sees the truth for what it is and is not afraid to be politically incorrect.

We can but dream...

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From vanderleun

Nothing but our best and brightest - gag me with a spoon...

An Earth-shattering Ka-Boom - Russia

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More here and here - looks like it was not a meteor or bolide. Something on the ground blew up.

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