I will settle for this:

20150830-brains.jpg

 

Oh... Wait... Dammit!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Lost two giants this weekend

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Obituaries for Oliver Sacks and Wes Craven

Willis Eschenbach has a sobering post at Anthony's:

The Hood Robin Syndrome
There’s a new study out, under the imprimatur of the Energy Institute of the Haas School of Business in Berkeley, California, entitled The Distributional Effects of U.S. Clean Energy Tax Credits.  As the title implies, it looks at who actually profited from the various “green energy” tax credits across the United States. SPOILER ALERT! It wasn’t the poor folks.

How much money are we talking about? Well, the paper says that from 2006 to 2012, the taxpayers have been on the hook for $18 BILLION DOLLARS to fund these subsidies, money that would have otherwise gone into the General Fund.

And just how much money is eighteen billion dollars? Here’s one way to think about eighteen gigabucks, regarding safe, clean drinking water.

Water Wells for Africa reports from their ongoing projects that on average it has cost them about $3.50 per person ($7,000 per well serving 2,000 people) to provide people with clean safe well water. So eighteen billion dollars is enough money to drill drinking water wells for three-quarters of the world’s 7 billion inhabitants. (Yes, I know that’s a gross simplification, some folks don’t live over a subterranean water table, and so on, but it is still enough money to drill the two and a half million wells that would be needed.)

So what did we do with this huge amount of money, enough wealth to truly change the lives of the world’s poor?

Well, following the brilliant policies pushed by the Obama Administration and the climate alarmists, we took enough taxpayer money to truly change the lives of the world’s poor folks … and instead, we gave it to the American rich folks.

No kidding! This is not a joke. This is what passes for moral activism in the liberal American universe. Throwing money at the rich is seen as striking a noble blow for POSSIBLY saving the poor from a tenth of a degree of warming by 2100.

Sadly, it’s no joke at all—the whole war on carbon has been a tragedy for the poor. In this case, the result of these misguided tax subsidies, of the type which have been pushed by climate alarmists for years, has been to create a real climate “hockeystick”. Here is the data from their paper.

Much more at the site - this is our money being paid to subsidize electric cars, wasteful windmills, etc... all in the name of something that only shows up in computer models - global warming. 

I find it ironic that the liberals who support this green movement are also quite vocal in their dislike of the top 1% - the banksters. It must present quite a case of cognitive dissonance for them to realize that they are one in the same people. 

Much more at the site - of all of the guest authors, I always find Willis to be a great read.

The storm - some numbers

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This is the latest alert from Puget Sound Electric:

Service Alert
As of 7:00 p.m., Sunday Aug. 30

Crews made steady progress throughout the day, restoring power to customers in thousands of different locations from Whatcom to Thurston to Kitsap and King Counties. Approximately 50,000 customers remain without power as of 7:00 p.m.

We understand customer’s frustration at the time it takes to investigate damage and estimate when power will be restored. There’s a lot of work to do. This was a widespread and damaging storm that impacted nearly 238,000 customers at its peak.

We’re estimating power will be restored to all customers on or before the following times. We expect most customers to have power restored sooner. Customers in isolated areas or areas with heavy damage will have power restored closer to the estimated time listed below.

South King County: Monday, Aug. 31 at 6 a.m.
Pierce County: Monday, Aug. 31 at noon (due to extensive damage the estimated time of restoration has been pushed back from 6 a.m.)
Thurston County: Monday Aug. 31 at 6 a.m.
Whidbey Island: Monday, Aug. 31 at 6 p.m. (due to extensive damage the estimated time of respiration has been pushed back from 2 a.m.)
Whatcom and Skagit Counties: Tuesday, Sept. 1 at 6 p.m.
North King County: Tuesday, Sept. 1 at 6 p.m.
Kitsap County: Tuesday, Sept. 1 at 6 p.m.
There are delays with adding localized estimated times of restoration to our outage map and our call center. Our outage map and call center have the same information. We’re working to address the situation and provide better information as it becomes available.

Ho Li Crap - 238,000 people without power. A lot larger than I had initially heard. The two linemen who got our power back were running on three hours of sleep. Major kudos to them - they work some long hours at times.

Back online again

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We have been without electricity for two days starting Saturday at around 10:00AM. Massive windstorm with gusts up to 80MPH and tens of thousands of people affected in this county and the county to our South.

The hot dog stand was wildly successful as I had the only hot food for 20 miles around. We were able to raise $83 for the Foothills Food Bank.

Just got power restored. Had to throw out several thousands worth of food at the store as it had gotten up to unsafe temperatures.

More later...

Nothing today either

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Packing up the truck for the hot-dog stand

Raining heavily but the show must go on...

Now this will be fun if they pull it off. Amazon is developing a series based on the wonderful 1999 movie Galaxy Quest

From Entertainment Weekly:

Galaxy Quest TV series landing at Amazon
The Galaxy Quest crew has found a new home.

Amazon Studios is developing a series based on the beloved 1999 cult sci-fi hit, EW has learned exclusively.

The streaming outlet is partnering with producer Paramount Television on the project. Last April, media outlets reported that Paramount was shopping a Galaxy Quest title to prospective buyers.

Unlike many high-concept movies, the story behind Galaxy Quest seems as suitable for a TV series as it was for a theatrical film. The original premise: The cast of a cheesy-yet-endearing Star Trek-like series find themselves abducted and forced to run a real starship by a race of embattled aliens that mistook their show for a documentary.

No word on who will be cast for the show but the original writers, director and producer are involved.

A really fun movie if you have not seen it yet.

In The Void

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An immersive virtual reality space being developed in Utah - click the link to visit TECH Insider and see a video trailer.

Looks impressive and still under development.

From an email - the Islamic Bookstore

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I was walking through the mall and I saw that there was a “Islamic Book Store.”

I was wondering what exactly was in an Islamic bookstore so I went in. As I was wandering around taking a look, the clerk stopped me and asked if he could help me.

I imagine I didn’t look like his normal clientèle, so I asked, “Do you have a copy of Donald Trump’s book on his U.S. Immigration Policy regarding Muslims and illegal Mexicans?”

The clerk said, “F*** off, get out and stay out!”

I said, “Yes, that’s the one! Do you have it in paperback?”

Nothing much today

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Getting stuff together for this weekends events - I'm running a hot dog stand outside the store.

Heading out to a mexican restaurant for dinner in a few minutes.

Sure, a public sector union can negotiate great retirement deals but will the entity you worked for have those funds when you are ready for your pension.

Things are not so good  in Illinois - home of big government - from Bloomberg:

Illinois Towns Drowning in Pension Debt From Hundreds of Funds
The pension-funding crisis undermining the stability of Illinois and Chicago is rippling through hundreds of smaller governments, squeezing budgets as officials prop up teetering police and fire retirement funds.

The eastern Illinois border city of Danville has reduced its firefighter ranks by 27 percent in five years to lower retirement costs. The tiny Chicago suburb of Stone Park sold $2 million in bonds last year to bolster the police pension, which had just six cents for every dollar owed retirees.

“Most communities in this state are in no position to continuously meet the pension requirements,” said Tom Weisner, mayor of Aurora, the state’s second-largest city, with a population of almost 200,000.

The squeeze comes from about 650 police and fire pension funds and is largely overlooked in the deepening Illinois and Chicago pension crises. The state is saddled with $111 billion in unfunded liabilities. Chicago and its public school system, with a combined shortfall of almost $30 billion, face the prospect of bankruptcy.

The mayor of Aurora, the state’s second-largest city said the following:

“I firmly believe our police and firefighters should enjoy a good pension, certainly at a higher level than mine,” Weisner said, “but they are reaching well beyond the level of sustainability.”

I agree with him - these people are putting their lives on the line and they deserve to be compensated for it but it needs to be a rational measure. The unions negotiate for the highest they can and the city managers yield knowing full well that they will be out of office when it comes time to pay the piper.

The article goes on to mention that they are having to raise property taxes and cut back on services because of this overextension. Direct result is people moving to different states.

Unions had their place when nobody moved from one city to another and there were only a few employers in each city. The bosses had the workers over a barrel. Unions were great then. Things have changed and unfortunately, unions have not. They only represent less than 5% of the US workforce.

A plague on your houses

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Yikes - the fourth fatality this year for Bubonic Plague. From My Way/Associated Press:

Utah man dies from plague in 4th fatal case in US this year
A Utah man in his 70s has died after contracting the plague, bringing to four the number of deaths from the disease reported in the United States this year, health officials said Thursday.

Officials are still trying to determine how the Utah person contracted the disease, but believe it might have been spread by a flea or contact with a dead animal, according to the state Department of Health.

"That's the most common way to get it," said JoDee Baker, an epidemiologist with the agency. "That's probably what happened, but we're still doing an investigation into that."

Plague is a rare disease that is carried by rodents and spread by fleas. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says 11 other cases have been reported in six states since April 1. The other three people who died were ages 16, 52 and 79.

Fortunately, it is bacterial and can be treated with antibiotics and care.

Title of the post? A rewording of a line from Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet

Heh - ponies

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This came in from an email:

20150827-ponies.jpg

Actually, if Sam or Rocky could talk economics or politics, we would have some wonderful discussions long into the night over a couple flakes of hay.

Great quote

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It is hard to imagine a more stupid or more dangerous way of making decisions than by putting those decisions in the hands of people who pay no price for being wrong.
--Thomas Sowell

Just wonderful - this weekend's weather

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Some people are putting on a big event this Saturday and Sunday and it looks like the weather will be cooperating wonderfully (NOT!)

From the National Weather Service:

Today will be the last day of dry weather with above normal temperatures. Tonight a change in the weather pattern will begin. The dome of high pressure that has prevailed over the region will give way allowing wet and cooler conditions to become established over the area.

Friday through this weekend will be wet across western Washington. Rain will become locally heavy at times especially in the
mountains on Saturday. Rainfall amounts during the two day period ending at 5am PDT Sunday are forecast to be in the 1 to 2.5 inch range for most areas but the south facing slopes of the Olympics and Cascades could receive 3 to 5 inches of rain. This amount of rain will likely end or help reduce the size of the ongoing wildfires in the mountains.

Daytime temperatures will be below normal Friday through this weekend. It is likely that most lowland sites will fail to reach 70 degrees this weekend especially on Sunday.

It will also become locally windy on Saturday due to a strong front moving across the area. Some southerly wind prone places on the coast and in the northwest interior could have gusts in the 45 to 50 mph range.

Those planning outdoor activities in the mountains this weekend should pay close attention to the latest forecasts from the National Weather Service.

Happy happy joy joy...

An open letter to Congress

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From Charlie Daniels - reprinted in full:

I am a proud American who believes that America has held – and still holds – a very sensitive and special place in the affairs of mankind on Planet Earth. I believe that America has been divinely blessed and protected in our two centuries plus of existence.

I believe that America has been a counter balance that has canceled out a lot of tyranny, evil and conquest and, admittedly, we have made a lot of mistakes, but on balance we have exerted a certain Pax Americana in the international affairs of mankind.

It took a lot of old fashioned guts for the Continental Congress to stand up to the world’s mightiest military and tell them that we demanded our independence, even at the peril of going up against a far superior force on land and sea with a ragtag army of untrained citizens, many who had to supply their own firearms.

It took courage above and beyond for Abraham Lincoln to push the country into a Civil War that he knew beyond a shadow of a doubt would divide this nation for decades.

It took guts to give the order for American troops to storm the beaches of Normandy on D-Day, straight into the face of artillery and machine gunfire, wave after wave being cut to ribbons by German shore emplacements.

The history of this nation is written in the blood and courage of men who stood in the face of overwhelming odds, politicians, soldiers, statesmen and ordinary citizens who sought to do the right thing regardless of the cost or the consequences.

Well, ladies and gentlemen of the United States Congress, it seems that that particular pen has run out of ink. The courageous politicians that once championed this nation have been replaced, for the most part, by a breed of milksop, politically correct, scared of their own shadow, pushover, pathetic excuses for public servants who are supposed to be representing a constituency of citizens who have to live with the circumstances of their timid folly.

You don’t even have the courage to face down an out of control president, even when he makes a deal with the devil. Don’t you bunch of timid capons even care what kind of world you’re leaving to your children and grandchildren, not to even mention the rest of us? Are you really party partisans before you’re parents and grandparents or even human beings?

Be honest with yourselves a minute, go into the bathroom and look in the mirror and ask the person you see this question.

“Do I really believe that Iran will not use the money we’re releasing to them to finance terrorists to kill Americans, and, when, not if, but when, the Iranians develop their nuclear device, will they really use it against America and Israel?”

You can’t hide from the truthful answer to that question forever, an answer will be required of you one day.

You have allowed Obama to tilt the Supreme Court so far to the left that they’re little more than a shameful extension of the Executive Branch.

You have talked for decades about the porous southern border but have done absolutely nothing about it.

You have allowed cities in this nation to declare themselves sanctuary cities where they protect the worst of the worst criminal aliens, American citizens paying an awful price for your silence.

You watch an impossible National Debt balloon completely out of control knowing full well that a day of reckoning is coming that will seriously curtail the quality of life for coming generations.

You allow corrupt government agencies like the IRS to run over the very people you are sworn to protect and allow the entitlement society to expand exponentially while you actually entertain the idea of raising taxes on those who still work and shoulder the burden.

You compose a third of the constitutionally mandated ruling system and you shirk your duty
and allow this nation to move a little closer to the edge every day.

I wish you bunch of sold-out, jaded, burned-out hacks would just go home and let some people who still have some vision and whose consciences haven’t been seared past the point of reminding them when they’re wrong take over and start to claw this nation back on to the path of sanity,

Your ratings are in the single digits, your morals are in the gutter, your minds are on self-preservation and somewhere along the way you traded your honor for political expediency.

You’ve violated your oaths, you’ve betrayed your country you’ve feathered your nests and you’ve sat on your hands while an imperial president has rubbed your noses in the dirt time after time.

You’re no longer men, you’re puppets, you’re caricatures, jokes, a gaggle of fading prostitutes for sale to anybody who can do you a political favor.

“For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?”

What do you think?

Pray for our troops and the peace of Jerusalem.

God Bless America

Charlie Daniels

Amen Brother...

Back from town

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Turns out that everyone was wrong about the propane line. It goes from the tank to the house in a great swooping arc to the North right through where my ground field is located.

Going to rent the dingo next week and carve a new channel for its replacement. The detector also picks up 60Hz power lines and I am betting that the guy who built this place just had a big trench put in and ran everything out through it - there are two power lines that go between the house and the outbuildings and there is also a high-voltage line that comes into the primary transformer we have near the propane tank. I am picking up a lot of 60Hz signal close to the old propane line so I foresee a lot of hand spade work this next week...

Fixing some leftover ham and Hawaiian noodles Lulu (and the dogs) had that for lunch this afternoon - doing a couple New York steaks and some Costco frozen teriyaki chicken bowls (really good!) for dinner and then time to surf...

Dropping off the ground rod driver at our local hardware rental place and picking up a utility pipe locater for the propane pipe. Got the local back-hoe guy calling me Monday to set up a time to excavate.

Also shopping for the Taste of Kulshan event this weekend - I will be running a small hot dog stand from Noon to 6PM.

More posting later this afternoon.

Quote of the month

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Without magic, there is no art. Without art, there is no idealism. Without idealism, there is no integrity. Without integrity, there is nothing but production.
--Raymond Chandler

So true for so many pursuits...

Fun with Bentonite

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I knew that Bentonite clay absorbed water and would swell up but I did not know how much. Pictures were taken 24 hours apart:

20150825-bentonite01.jpg

20150825-bentonite02.jpg

A small handful of Bentonite chips in a water glass.

 

20150825-bentonite03.jpg

20150825-bentonite04.jpg

24 hours later - quite the change.

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