Grace is happy

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I hand fed her a couple of pieces of the meat and put the rest at the bottom of her bowl and filled it with kibble - she tucked in to it like it was pure ambrosia, came over and licked me after. Do not know if she is still hungry and testing to see what I taste like or if it is a very big thank you. I'll go with the thank you.

Surf for a bit, read through some of the Tesla papers and then an early bedtime.

There is an international drill for Earthquakes happening on the 20th of October - the Great Shakeout. Our county is participating as part of the Washington State Shakeout and I signed up to participate. I will be in Bellingham for the drill - nobody in East County is doing anything that I know of. Maybe I can bring it out here next year. Anyway, we have intensive training on this coming Monday and Tuesday. I have already been through some of the classes but the people doing the training are awesome instructors and a refresher is always a great help - this is supposed to simulate stress so the better we are prepared, the better we can cope. Got a major First Aid class coming up on October 16th too. Busy month!

Was working on a couple projects and realised that I needed to get some funds into my checking account for the bills I paid two days ago (thanks GnuCash!). Picked up some aluminum stock for a project and had dinner at the new Roadhouse - they do Prime Rib every Friday and Saturday and it was pretty good.

Huge cut - much larger than the 14oz. listed on the menu and it was a real honest-to-God prime rib. I know what each cut of meat looks like and too many places try to substitute a hanger or sirloin roast for the prime - big difference.

Back home now - Grace knows there are some great treats waiting for her so I am delaying her dinner a wee bit just to mess with her. She is being so good and so attentive. Time to feed her now...

The FBI just scanned and released all the papers of Nikola Tesla that they had been holding onto since his death.

This was put online on the 21st of this month.

Nikola Tesla Part 01 of 03 (249 pages)

Nikola Tesla Part 02 of 03 (41 pages)

Nikola Tesla Part 03 of 03 (64 pages)

Tesla is one of my major heroes - he invented a few things that you might have heard of. Radio, the fluorescent light, the system of power generation, transmission and distribution that we use today, the alternating current motor. A few things...

The usual morning around here

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Got the critters taken care of, going to clean out the truck a bit and head out for coffee.

Come back to touch base on a couple of food trailer-related items, work on some stuff here and then dinner.

Gorgeous weather but we have significant moisture moving in...

Now this looks absolutely wonderful

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Not low carb but still... Washington State University has a large agricultural extension program South of here in the Skagit valley. I have taken multiple hard cider and brewing classes there - some great people. They are now doing bread in a big way.

Check out The Bread Lab - from their About page:

The Bread Lab is an integral part of the Washington State University Plant Breeding Program in Mount Vernon, Washington. The lab works with thousands of types of wheat, barley, buckwheat and other small grains to identify lines that perform well in the field for farmers, and that are most suitable for craft baking, cooking, malting, brewing, and distilling. Selecting for flavor, nutrition, and distinctive characteristics such as color, the most promising varieties are analyzed and tested to determine the best end uses.

During the fall of 2016, the Bread Lab will transition from its original 600-square foot room at the WSU-Mount Vernon Research Center to a 12,000 square foot building at the Port of Skagit. In addition to the expanded Bread Lab, the new quarters will house a rheological lab, the King Arthur Flour Baking School at the Bread Lab, and a milling lab. Future plans include a professional kitchen overseen by James Beard Best Chef Northwest Blaine Wetzel, and a malting, brewing and distilling micro-lab led by Matt Hofmann, CEO and master distiller of Westland Distillery, and Will Kemper, co-owner of Chuckanut Brewery and Kitchen.

And as mentioned in the second paragraph, The Bread Lab also hosts the second branch of the King Arthur Flour Baking School - first one is at their home site in Vermont. I could see taking a couple classes here...

Spotted today - from Zero Hedge:

Just Spotted In Front Of The New York Fed
Three months later, the shredders are back...


... and this time they are joined by a friend: a van belonging to a professional demolition and dismantling service, which incidentally is parked right in front of the NY Fed's master cargo door which among other places, leads to NY Fed's gold vault.


Things must be getting serious if just using BleachBit won't fix it.

I love the BleachBit comment - some wine flew out my nose. They are probably shredding the IOUs from all the gold they stole after 2008. Adults in the room NOW!

Follow the money - Al Gore and George Soros

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New email dumps from DCLeaks reveal this - from The Daily Caller:

Soros Paid Al Gore MILLIONS To Push ‘Aggressive US Action’ On Global Warming
Liberal billionaire George Soros gave former Vice President Al Gore’s environmental group millions of dollars over three years to create a “political space for aggressive U.S. action” on global warming, according to leaked documents.

A document published by DC Leaks shows Soros, a Hungarian-born liberal financier, wanted his nonprofit Open Society Institute (OSI) to do more to support global warming policies in the U.S. That included budgeting $10 million in annual support to Gore’s climate group over three years.

“U.S. Programs Global Warming Grants U.S. Programs became engaged on the global warming issue about four years ago, at George Soros’s suggestion,” reads a leaked OSI memo.

“There has been a budget of $11 million for global warming grants in the U.S. Programs budget for the last several years,” the memo reads. “This budget item captures George Soros’s commitment of $10 million per year for three years to Al Gore’s Alliance for Climate Protection, which conducts public education on the climate issue in pursuit of creating political space for aggressive U.S. action in line with what scientists say is necessary to put our nation on a path to reducing its outsize carbon dioxide emissions.”

Busted - Gore was just a patsy - they all are. If the science was so settled, why are they scrambling so much to stuff it down our throats. They want to disrupt our economic engine and they stand to make a lot of money doing this.

Big tip of the hat to Musings from the Chiefio for the initial links.

A bit of a workplace accident

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Let's hope for many many more - from Iraqi News:

16 ISIS terrorists killed due to explosive belt malfunction near Kirkuk
Iraqi media outlets reported on Wednesday that a malfunction caused an explosive belt to explode and kill 16 members of the Islamic State (ISIS), including senior leaders, during their meeting in Hawija, southwest of Kirkuk.

Alsumaria stated, “Today, an explosion took place amid a meeting of ISIS members in al-Mahawes village in Hawija district (55 km southwest of Kirkuk),” adding that, “The explosion resulted in the killing of 16 members of the Islamic State group, including senior leaders, as well as wounding of 16 others.”

“A number of the ISIS members were wearing explosive belts during the meeting, and the explosion took place due to a defect in one of them,” Sumaria explained. “The meeting was held to prepare for an attack on the positions of the security forces in Hamrin Mountains, al-Zawiya area and Ajil area in Salahuddin Province,” Sumaria added.

If these people were not so loathsome, they would be laughable - so stupid. I guess when marrying your cousin is a mark of honor, you can expect some genetic drift.

Well this explains a lot...

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From The Seattle Times:

Caffeine connected to dementia prevention, study suggests
A new study suggests a significant relationship between caffeine and dementia prevention, though it stops short of establishing cause and effect.

The study, published in The Journals of Gerontology, Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences, found higher caffeine intake in women age 65 and older was associated with reduced odds of developing dementia or cognitive impairment.

Among the 6,467 women in the study, self-reported caffeine consumption of more than 261 milligrams of caffeine was associated with a 36 percent reduction in the risk of dementia over 10 years of follow-up. That level is equivalent to two to three 8-ounce cups of coffee a day, five to six 8-ounce cups of black tea, or seven to eight 12-ounce cans of cola.

And you seriously thought I was drinking this crap for the taste? (big grin) I love my coffee!

Feeling tired but not surprising

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Given the ease with which I fell asleep last evening. Doing a quick and late dinner, surf for a bit and off to bed.

The Planetary K-Index is fluttering around just below the levels for good aurora today. Grrrr... I really need a solid six for a couple of hours.

Great meeting tonight

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Had about 70 people show up and to get that kind of crowd out here is amazing. There is a website being developed and I will post a link when that goes live but basically, because of unfair redistricting, our County Council has six very progressive members and one conservative one. The progressives are trying to pass as much regulatory bu**shit as possible so they can deny businesses and development they don't like and ignore the rules for businesses that they do like.

Time to rise up.

Knocking out a few things at the store and then in to the bank.

Our very progressive County Council recently redistricted, consolidating voting in urban Bellingham and giving very little representation to the East County. They are now saying that we are in danger of volcanic lahar mudflows if Mt. Baker erupts and they want to severely limit future development on property out here. Needless to say, that will crash whatever property values we have as anyone who buys a piece of land will not be able to develop it beyond a very strict minimum.

Considering that the magma is cooling down and becoming more and more gassy, the danger is shifting from lahars to pyroclastic explosions similar to Mt. St. Helens in 1980.

There is a meeting at our local elementary school tonight - time to let them know that they represent us. We The People and all that good stuff...

A bit of a morale problem for ISIS

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Not that I care - this is actually a good thing. Their belief system is so rooted in the 9th century that they are a mass of cognitive dissonance. Their culture is one of fear and hate. This will tip them over the edge I hope - from England's The Express:

ISIS prepares for FINAL BATTLE: US troops 3 MILES from site of ancient APOCALYPSE prophecy
According to the extremists' twisted ideology, Dabiq - a tiny town in northern Syria - will see a "major apocalyptic showdown with the armies of the infidel" that will result in the collapse of civilization.

And Turkish troops backed by American commandos are understood to be just three miles from the town.

ISIS claim the battle will erupt in a field outside the small town, which in 2004 recorded a population of just 3,000 people.

ISIS even named its terrorist propaganda and recruitment magazine after the settlement, which lies around six miles from the Turkish border.

Jihadists believe the Prophet Mohammed remarked that "the last hour will not come" until an army vanquishes the Romans at "Dabiq or Al-A'maq".

One of the founders of ISIS, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, is quoted in the vile group's propaganda magazine as saying: "The spark has been lit here in Iraq, and its heat will continue to intensify - by Allah's permission - until it burns the crusader armies in Dābiq."

A bit more - the prophesy:

The Prophet Mohammed is said to have declared 1,400 years ago: "The last hour will not come until the Romans arrived in al-A'maq or Dabiq, and an army consisting of the best people on earth in those days will hasten them from Medina."

According to the prophecy, one third of the Islamist fighters will flee the town while another third will be killed.

But the group believes the remaining third will survive the battle and triumph against the Western forces.

Well, this is what you get when you follow a false prophet. Sucks to be you. I feel sorry for the 3,000 inhabitents but they should have known the prophecy as well and shunned the area. It needs to be turned into a smoking hole - glass instead of dirt. Drive the point home to these idiot children of pigs and apes.

Something in the air last night

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I didn't see any aurora but the K-Index is still high:


What did happen is that I could not get to sleep last night. I am usually snoring by midnight and didn't fall asleep until around 5:00AM or so. Lulu had a cluster of several bad dreams - had to wake her up. A disturbance in the Force?

Aurora Norora tonight

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Spent some time outside just now and nothing - took a couple photos (3600ISO for 20 seconds) and just got the Abbotsford light pollution reflecting off some low mist. Pretty but not an aurora.

K Index is stiill high so there may be something later tonight but I will not be awake to see it.

Tonight's meme - Venezuela

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The people's paradise:


Not far from the tree - Chelsea Clinton

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From Breitbart:

Chelsea Clinton Takes Private Jet to ‘Clean Energy Roundtable’
Chelsea Clinton traveled by private jet while campaigning for mother Hillary in the swing state of North Carolina Wednesday, flying from town to town rather than hitting the road in a car or a bus.

Chelsea was caught boarding a gas-guzzling private jet after the Clinton event in Greenville, North Carolina. Her next event, in Asheville, was called the “Clean Energy Roundtable.”

Video of her boarding at the site. That is a distance of 330 miles - five+ hours on a bus. What a hypocrite - shades of DiCaprio.

Person of Interest

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We usually watch an episode of TV (love my ROKU box) while eating dinner. Just started Person of Interest staring local boy Jim Caviezel - fun show.

Screw the carbs

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Lulu and I have been on a carbohydrate restricted diet for the last couple of weeks. I want to lose fifteen pounds and she needs to manage her blood sugar. Keeping the intake at or under 60 grams/day.

Tonight? Screw it - I fixed a big batch of spaghetti. It was delicious. We ate a ton.

Look up tonight

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The sun is active and the Planetary K Index is high - there is a good chance of visible aurorae tonight - the moon is at only 3.7% illumination and doesn't rise until 4:36AM.


Anything at 6 or over is a guarantee of visible aurora at latitudes of 48 or higher. This is a big deal in Iceland - from the Reykjavík Grapevine:

City Will Shut Off Streetlights For The Northern Lights
Due to a predicted high amount of aurora activity tonight, the City of Reykjavík will shut off all the streetlights between 22:00 and 23:00 tonight.

Many of our readers have been awed by the recent spate of aurora activity in Iceland. The Northern Lights have been especially active lately, and Vísir reports that the aurora forecast for this evening predicts a very intense display.

As such, the City of Reykjavík has announced that, in an effort to make this spectacular display more visible to those living in the capital, all streetlights will be switched off from 22:00 to 23:00. This will apply to every neighbourhood in the city.

Just beautiful. Doesn't hurt that Reykjavík is up at 64.12° Latitude - much better observing conditions that far North.

The stupid - it burns

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Talk about a dumb move - from Milwaukee, Wi Journal Sentinel:

Man arrested after berating Sheriff Clarke on flight
A Milwaukee man was arrested and charged with intoxication and disruptive behavior on Saturday after berating Milwaukee County Sheriff David A. Clarke Jr. throughout a two-hour flight from Milwaukee to Charlotte, N.C.

Keith Trietley, a spokesman for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, confirmed that Preston Bluntson, 36, was arrested and booked by police at around 7:10 p.m. Eastern time. He was being held late Saturday in the Mecklenburg County Jail. Trietley said a police report on the incident was not yet available.

A bit more - from an unnamed passenger:

“The guy was very abusive,” the passenger said. "Probably the last 20 minutes it really escalated and focused on Clarke."

According to the passenger, Bluntson, who is African-American, repeatedly used a racial epithet, accused Clarke of “closing our parks” and said the sheriff is “not one of us.”

A number of people tried unsuccessfully to engage Bluntson — who appeared to be drinking throughout the flight — and to get him to calm down but without success, the passenger said. He added that Clarke responded only once, telling the man to “shut up.”

“In all my years flying, I’ve never seen anything like it,” the passenger said.

Oh yeah - Sheriff David A. Clarke Jr. is an ardent Donald Trump supporter. Shows how classy and polite the liberals are. in South Australia

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From The Sydney Morning Herald:

State in the dark: South Australia's major power outage
The entire state of South Australia was without power for several hours on Wednesday afternoon, with the region gripped by what could be one of the most extreme weather systems to hit in 50 years.

A mass blackout began about 3.30pm on Wednesday, plunging the Adelaide into darkness, grounding flights and causing havoc on the state's roads.

A bit more:

Premier Jay Weatherill said the storm took down three transmission lines and nine towers in the Port Augusta region, forcing the electricity connection between South Australia and Victoria - known as an "interconnector" - to be shut down.

Wind turbines, which make up an estimated 40 per cent of the state's power generation, were unable to operate as winds were too high, South Australian senator Nick Xenophon said.

And the storm?

By Wednesday evening, the highest gust had been recorded at Snowtown, which experienced 104km/h winds in the mid-afternoon and 26 millimetres of rain in an hour.

Only 104km/h? That is just 64.6m/h and we get gusts up to that routinely during winter storms. 26mm/h of precip? That is just under one inch of rain - again, routine. During some Pineapple Express patterns, we will get up to six inches in one day - now that is some rain!

So, South Australia's energy policy is to shut down the cheap clean coal burning plants and instead rely on the variable wind for baseload generation. Take away that capacity with either too little wind or too much and you go dark. Plus, your energy costs skyrocket - now where have we heard that before...

Great news re: 9/11

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From the New York Times:

Congress Votes to Override Obama Veto on 9/11 Victims Bill
An overwhelming majority in Congress on Wednesday overturned President Obama’s veto of legislation that would allow families of those killed in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks to sue Saudi Arabia for any role in the plot, the first successful override vote of his presidency.

The 9/11 override is a remarkable yet complicated bipartisan rebuttal, even as some its supporters conceded that they did not fully support the legislation they had just voted for. Mr. Obama and his allies vowed to find a way to tweak the legislation later.

In recent days, Mr. Obama, Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter and General Joseph F. Dunford Jr., the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, all wrote letters to Congress warning of the dangers of overriding the veto.

The law “could be devastating to the Department of Defense and its service members,” Mr. Obama wrote, “and there is no doubt that the consequences could be equally significant for our foreign affairs and intelligence communities.” The White House and some lawmakers were already plotting how they could weaken the law in the near future.

Hey, I do not care what problems this can cause, it is the will of the people that those that perpetrated this heinous attack on American Citizens be brought to justice. The Saudi's have been very active in the background funding radical mosques and spreading terrorism. Time for them to be brought to task for their actions. When the NYT says overwhelming, they are not kidding - 97 for in the Senate with only poor senile Harry Reid voting against and 348 to 77 in the House. The People have spoken.

Congratulations to Anthony Watts

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Anthony hosts the excellent climate realist blog Watts Up With That and just recieved this notification:

WUWT Awarded Top Science Blog Status, beats RealClimate, NYT, Guardian, HuffPo
Some days life hands you unexpected gifts. Today is one of those days. I got this surprise today in a comment left at WUWT Tips & Notes:

My name is Anuj Agarwal. I’m Founder of Feedspot.

I would like to personally congratulate you as your blog Watts Up With That? has been selected by our panelist as one of the Top 100 Science Blogs on the web.


Anthony goes on:

WUWT comes in at #41 out of 100, handily beating The Guardian Science at #46, The New York Times Science at #47, Huffington Post Science at #48, Smithsonian Science at #51, and RealClimate at #62.

Notably absent are the attack sites, such as John Cook’s “Skeptical Science”, Tamino’s “Open Mind”, and Sou’s aka Miriam O’Brien’s “HotWhopper” dungeon of anonymous haters.

Great recognition. Watts Up With That is a daily read for me - excellent site, solid science and great writers.

The Yahoo data breech

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I have not posted about this as many others are covering it - Yahoo suffered a major data breech and anyone who uses their email accounts should change their passwords. The New York Times has a great post-mortem on the breech and the corporate culture that led to it:

Defending Against Hackers Took a Back Seat at Yahoo, Insiders Say
Six years ago, Yahoo’s computer systems and customer email accounts were penetrated by Chinese military hackers. Google and a number of other technology companies were also hit.

The Google co-founder Sergey Brin regarded the attack on his company’s systems as a personal affront and responded by making security a top corporate priority. Google hired hundreds of security engineers with six-figure signing bonuses, invested hundreds of millions of dollars in security infrastructure and adopted a new internal motto, “Never again,” to signal that it would never again allow anyone — be they spies or criminals — to hack into Google customers’ accounts.

Yahoo, on the other hand, was slower to invest in the kinds of defenses necessary to thwart sophisticated hackers that are now considered standard in Silicon Valley, according to half a dozen current and former company employees who participated in security discussions but agreed to describe them only on the condition of anonymity.

When Marissa Mayer took over as chief executive of the flailing company in mid-2012, security was one of many problems she inherited. With so many competing priorities, she emphasized creating a cleaner look for services like Yahoo Mail and developing new products over making security improvements, the Yahoo employees said.

The “Paranoids,” the internal name for Yahoo’s security team, often clashed with other parts of the business over security costs. And their requests were often overridden because of concerns that the inconvenience of added protection would make people stop using the company’s products.

But Yahoo’s choices had consequences, resulting in a series of embarrassing security failures over the last four years. Last week, the company disclosed that hackers backed by what it believed was an unnamed foreign government stole the credentials of 500 million users in a breach that went undetected for two years. It was the biggest known intrusion into one company’s network, and the episode is now under investigation by both Yahoo and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

A long and well written article - computer security is key these days and Yahoo made the decision that any attempt at decent security (forcing users to reset passwords and to use strong ones) would drive their customers away. Fools and now they are paying the price.

A word on Hillary

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A great comment from The News Junkie over at Maggie's Farm:

Politics and likeability
I think the Likeability Factor is overrated in American national politics. It matters more in more local politics. However, I would rather have a beer with Donald than with Hillary.

Part of it is that I think Donald is educable (and has a long way to go), but she is not. She is a snotty know-it-all, and mostly wrong.

Also, he strikes me as being warm and interested in people, while I imagine Hillary would have half of her attention on the door to see if anybody more important than my deplorable self might come in. Somebody with more money or with higher social status. I think she is that sort of deplorable person.

What he says...

Because SCIENCE!!!!!

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Cody Reeder posts videos about once / week - some of my favorite stuff on the internet. This one is a classic.
His YouTube channel.

The United Nations on reparations

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Blathering ninnys - from The Washington Post:

U.S. owes black people reparations for a history of ‘racial terrorism,’ says U.N. panel
The history of slavery in the United States justifies reparations for African Americans, argues a recent report by a U.N.-affiliated group based in Geneva.

This conclusion was part of a study by the United Nations' Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent, a body that reports to the international organization's High Commissioner on Human Rights. The group of experts, which includes leading human rights lawyers from around the world, presented its findings to the United Nations Human Rights Council on Monday, pointing to the continuing link between present injustices and the dark chapters of American history.

"In particular, the legacy of colonial history, enslavement, racial subordination and segregation, racial terrorism and racial inequality in the United States remains a serious challenge, as there has been no real commitment to reparations and to truth and reconciliation for people of African descent," the report stated. "Contemporary police killings and the trauma that they create are reminiscent of the past racial terror of lynching."

Nice narrative there - how about a few facts. They ignore the slavery of the Irish and Chinese immigrants, the fact that South American nations bought far more slaves than the colonies, the fact that it was Muslims who rounded up the slaves in the first place (I can never understand why radical blacks side with Islam - downright ignorant of their own history).

I like Fred Reed's idea - sure, pay out reparations but we want royalties. Television and Cell Phones - both invented by white dudes. Want to use one of these? Pay us a royalty. Fly on an airplane? Same thing. Use electricity? Same thing - invented by white dudes - give us our money. Go and read Fred's column - great stuff.

Drones getting better - DJI's Mavic

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GoPro announced their Karma drone a couple of weeks ago. Now DJI is getting into the business - I love competition!

From Digital Photography Review:

DJI goes portable with the Mavic Pro
DJI just announced the release of their ultra portable consumer drone: the Mavic Pro. The Mavic offers a number of interesting features including the ability to track and follow its user, which is something that the GoPro Karma that was just released last week cannot do. It also has the same obstacle avoidance and tracking modes that can be found on the DJI Phantom 4 – features the Karma lacks.

The Mavic can fly at speeds up to 40MPH in 'sport' mode and can remain stable flying in winds up to 24MPH. The Mavic films in 4K/30p or 1080p at 96fps, and has a battery life of around 27 minutes of continuous flight time. On board the drone is a 12MP camera on a three-axis gimbal that can focus as close as 48cm/19in. The Mavic Pro offers DNG Raw shooting, and DJI claims that thanks to its gimbal design, it's possible to shoot 2-second-long exposures from the air. A Tripod Mode is included that enables finer camera angle and position adjustments so you can frame your selfie just right.

Nice numbers! I  really like the 96fps - that will give a lush slow-motion to the video, great for action videos.

The flip side of immigration

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Europe is having major economic problems - a lot of it is their flirtation with socialism and the E.U. A lot of it is the money they are spending keeping the unvetted and unskilled immigrants on the dole. As a response, one of their sources of hard revenue is drying up. From the New York Times:

Terrorism Scares Away the Tourists Europe Was Counting On
The shocks have come one after another: Islamic State killings of civilians in Brussels and Nice. A deadly outburst of terrorism in Germany. A fresh terror-linked atrocity in a small French town. Warnings abound that more may be on the way.

The surge of attacks in Europe has raised questions over whether a potentially durable new threat to stability is settling in. The political challenges for Europe’s leaders are stark, and the impact on the region’s economy may be just as profound.

“We are experiencing a structural change, a phenomenon of war on our doorstep that didn’t exist before,” said Georges Panayotis, the president of the MKG Group, a tourism consulting company based in Paris. “If it’s not resolved, the problem will continue.”

One example:

At the Mont-Saint-Michel, a spectacular medieval abbey that is one of France’s top tourist destinations, business at the Sodetour Group, a chain of local hotels and restaurants, slumped by up to 70 percent for months after the Nov. 13 terrorist attacks in Paris. It has never fully recovered.

And one more:

At Paris Plage, a makeshift beach erected along the Seine, a dozen armed police officers guarded an entry checkpoint on a recent day. Army troops marched past families playing in the sand and half-empty activity points along the river. The patrols, which cost taxpayers about 1 million euros, or $1.1 million, a day, will add to an already mounting bill after France pledged to spend €816 million this year to reinforce security.

The article offers more examples - this is happening in Brussels, Germany - all over Europe. Europe brought this on themselves - England is doing just fine post-Brexit.

A blast from the past - a two-fer

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A sample of Clinton politics from Bill's tenure in the W.H.

First - from the New York Times, August 22nd, 1997:

The White House Turnstile
How is the Clinton White House like a subway? According to Johnny Chung, fund-raiser extraordinaire for the Democrats last year, you put in coins to open the gates. That cynical comment was part of a revealing interview this week with Tom Brokaw of NBC News, in which Mr. Chung seemed to live up to his reputation as a ''hustler,'' the term that National Security Council officials used to describe him when they were trying to keep him out. Mr. Chung nonetheless visited the White House nearly 50 times because he arranged for almost $400,000 in party donations, and he told Mr. Brokaw he paid the money because that is how the system worked.

No less startling was Mr. Chung's allegation that the Democratic Party was not the only player with a ravenous appetite for money. He also described how he was, in effect, shaken down for a $25,000 donation to Africare, a charitable organization supported by the Energy Secretary at the time, Hazel O'Leary. Mr. Chung said he gave the check directly to a man who said he was an Energy Department official, in order to set up a meeting with Mrs. O'Leary and a Chinese petrochemical official. On another occasion, Mr. Chung said he gave $50,000 to a White House aide to help pay for a Christmas reception in the executive mansion, and then landed a meeting with the First Lady.

Hillary Rodham Clinton said she had no recollection of such a meeting, and the White House denies that it solicited the money from Mr. Chung. But the NBC News report was filled with pictures of Mr. Chung lounging around the executive mansion like a guest at a resort hotel. There he was in the White House mess hall, or at the President's movie theater, or at the White House bowling alley.

We hear about Chung because he was prosecuted - you can only be so flagrant before someone notices. From CNN, March 5th, 1998:

Democratic Fund-Raiser Johnny Chung Agrees to Plead Guilty
Democratic fund-raiser Johnny Chung has agreed to plead guilty to election law violations and cooperate in the ongoing Justice Department investigation into illegal campaign fund-raising in the 1996 elections.

Chung's attorney Brian Sun said in a statement released to CNN, "Mr. Chung has reached an agreement with the government. Mr. Chung wants to put this matter behind him as quickly as possible. He and his family are looking forward to getting on with their lives."

Chung became a major figure in the Democratic fund-raising scandal when it was learned he made almost 50 visits to the White House. During one visit, Chung gave first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton's then-chief of staff, Maggie Williams, a $50,000 check for the Democratic National Committee (DNC). The check was delivered inside the White House.

Two days later Chung was able to bring a group of Chinese businessmen to watch President Bill Clinton deliver a radio address in the Oval Office. They then had their picture taken with the president.

The DNC returned more than $300,000 that Chung raised because of questions about the source of the money.

According to his Wikipedia entry, he got off with a slap on the wrist:

Chung was eventually convicted of bank fraud, tax evasion, and two misdemeanor counts of conspiring to violate election law. On December 14, 1998, Johnny Chung was sentenced to probation and 3,000 hours (community service).

Compare this to Dinesh D'Souza who mistakenly contributed too much money to a friend's political campaign (he had two friends contribute and he then reimbursed them) and was fined $30,000 and spent eight months in a correctional facility.

Back home from the office

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Paid a bunch of bills and started working with my new (to me) cash register. I had picked it up at auction a few years ago sealed in the box - brand new. Think I paid about $40 for it and they sell for $250 new. I love auctions!

I do not know what it is about cash registers. They work great on a day-to-day basis and are very reliable but programming them is a black art. They put their best engineers on the product and get some wino off the streets to write the programming software. A perfect example of this is that when I open a list of departments to program, the boundaries of the window are fixed. The actual table is wider and longer than the window so I have to scroll through. The window occupies only about a quarter of my monitor real-estate so if I could maximize it, I would not have to scroll all over the place. Arrrgghh.

Brought the software home and pre-loaded an SD card so I can start programming the departments and taxes at my leisure.

A gorgeous day in paradise

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Heading out for coffee and then paying bills. Still using the old system - there are a few check formatting issues I need to clear up with GnuCash but should get those fixed in a week or so. The online forum is really good and responsive.

Working on some stuff at home today - doing turkey for dinner tonight so will be trying to make a low-carb cranberry sauce - see how that turns out.

Lulu found evidense of mice in our pantry - they are trying to move indoors for the winter. Time to break out the rat zappers.

Jeff says it best:

Because Arkancide.

Something to keep in mind

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The data for 2015 is out and what with all the clamor about assault-rifle ownership, the numbers show a completely different story.

From the 2015 Federal Bureau of Investigation's Crime in the United States - Table 20: Murder:

    • Total number of murders in 2015: 13,455
    • Murders committed by Rifle or Shotgun: 521
    • Murders committed by Knives or other weapons: 3,215
    • Murders committed by hands, fists, feet, etc: 624

Can not argue with actual numbers. Does not fit the narrative but can not argue with the numbers...

Oh, yes, handguns are responsible for 6,477 Murders.

The debate tonight

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Didn't bother - a media circus and nothing substantive will come out of it. I'll catch the analyses on a couple of online sites tomorrow.

Lulu and I have been watching Blacklist - excellent series and James Spader is perfectly cast.

Have not tried it and will not be doing so for several weeks but I ran into Scribus earlier today when looking for something else.

From their About page:

Libre Desktop Publishing
Welcome to Scribus, a page layout program for Linux, FreeBSD, PC-BSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, Solaris, OpenIndiana, Debian GNU/Hurd, Mac OS X, OS/2 Warp 4, eComStation, Haiku and Windows. Since its humble beginning in the spring of 2001, Scribus has evolved into one of the premier Open Source desktop applications. Encouraged by professionals and beginners alike, the Scribus Team, with support from a large and growing number of enthusiastic contributors from all over the world, is dedicated to develop and improve “one of the most powerful and useful open-source projects out there” (TechRepublic). Underneath a user-friendly interface, Scribus supports professional publishing features, such as CMYK colors, spot colors, ICC color management and versatile PDF creation. Scribus has many unexpected touches, such as powerful vector drawing tools, support for a huge number of file types via import/export filters, emulation of color blindness or the rendering of markup languages like LaTeX or Lilypond inside Scribus. The Scribus file format is XML-based and open. Unlike proprietary binary file formats, even damaged documents can be recovered with a simple text editor – sometimes a challenging …

I will be giving this a shot - page layout software is something I use from time to time. I use Corel Draw which is excellent but very bloated and slow. Trying to go too many directions at once.

Just like QuickBooks has gotten to feature-rich (and correspondingly slow) for my liking (hence my switch to GnuCash), I would love to find a nimble alternative to Corel Draw.

Time to burst their little bubble

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The tech industry has made some wonderful toys but they have also gotten more than a decent share of government giveaways - something that never happened in the beginning and has made the larger companies sluggish and non-competitive. They need to get back to their roots and maybe President Trump will do this - from Tech Crunch:

Tech really wants to fix this election
With just 42 days left until the election, it’s crunch time for anyone who hasn’t registered to vote. The deadlines to register in most states fall throughout October, with only a few states allowing in-person registration on the day of the election.

The process can be confusing, and it’s one that tech companies from Google all the way down to small startups like Sam Altman’s VotePlz, which launched a million dollar registration sweepstakes today, are trying to tackle.

New tech-backed voting initiatives seem to be popping up every day, and, although most claim to be nonpartisan, it’s clear that Donald Trump’s unusual campaign has ignited investors and pushed them to act.

Google has gotten in on the act - their homepage links to a voter registration site. Time to seperate politics from public service sites. Not cool.

Whoops - fun and games online

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A nice little sting just South of here - from the Everett Herald:

Police: Teacher, bus driver among 8 caught in child sex sting
Detectives say eight men, including a teacher and a school bus driver for special-education students, answered the online post.

Instead of sex with a minor, they got a trip to the Snohomish County Jail.

There really was no 15-year-old girl who’d posted messages such as: “Bored and yng Want to have fun.”

There were, however, Snohomish County deputy sheriffs and U.S. Marshals waiting to see who might show up at agreed-upon destinations.

The sting was called Operation Anvil.

There are some truly sick people out there.

Back home again

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The bank wouldn't let me open a separate account until I had filed a DBA with the state - this was not an issue two years ago so they must have changed something.

There is a Greek playwright who specializes in long tedious business endeavors - Bureaucrates

Unpacking the truck and fixing some chicken for dinner - also playing with some Falafel mix - want to offer that as a vegetarian option so trying out a packaged mix. I also bought some dried beans so will try making them fresh too.

And Costco? Seriously? WTF? I was in there for some groceries today and they had Christmas trees on display. Come on now...

More when the dust settles in about an hour.

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