Tuesday, June 30, 2009

I am depressed.

Walt Whitman, "Song of the Road":
From this hour, freedom!
From this hour I ordain myself loos’d of limits and imaginary lines,
Going where I list, my own master, total and absolute,
Listening to others, and considering well what they say,
Pausing, searching, receiving, contemplating,
Gently, but with undeniable will, divesting myself of the holds that would hold me.

I inhale great draughts of space;
The east and the west are mine, and the north and the south are mine.

...until this time next year, when gas is $10/gal and everything made or grown or sold in America has sky-rocketed in price, including little tin cans with golf-cart engines. And I'm in a camp somewhere for treason or terrorism or just being too fat.

Everything comes down to I just can't believe how fucking stupid people are.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Pvt. Joel Taylor

I got an e-mail this afternoon from my brother, during a layover in Leipzig en route to Kuwait. So the 1st Battalion, 186th Infantry Regiment, 41st Infantry Brigade Combat Team, Oregon Army National Guard is on their way.

At the family reunion last week, someone finally got around to getting me a picture (never underestimate the bandwidth of a station wagon full of tape drives minivan full of CDs). I believe it's from when my folks went out for the mobilization ceremony in May.

We're dorks, but we're patriotic dorks, dammit.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Got some spare cash?

Move America Forward will take it to send care packages to soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. I've already donated myself--wouldn't it be a riot if my brother or one of his squad* got my box? :)

I couldn't care less about the (unconfirmed as of this writing, but burning up Twitter) death of Michael Jackson, but the Gold Star Mothers and other essays at Big Hollywood today have me bawling like a baby. Totally the opposite of 95% of American society. I need to stop thinking about that or I'll never settle down enough to sleep tonight.

* They're in Ft. Stewart, GA, and will be shipping out to Iraq "any day now." I'll let y'all know when I find out.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


The head football coach at Aplington-Parkersburg, Ed Thomas, has been shot and killed by a former player in a weight room at the high school, in front of a couple dozen current players. Very shocking, very sad...

I'm more of an avenger than an empathizer. To me it looks like another data point for allowing licensed and permit-ed teachers to carry to work--I don't know if Coach Thomas would have chosen to do so, but why should the state make his decision for him*?--and to commenters at the Des Moines Marxist-Register the perp is simultaneously an evil right-wing nut (because he had a gun) and an obvious victim of abuse (because high school football is the same as child abuse, duh!). Don't ever read the comments.

The part that intrigues me is the perp was arrested for a minor crime spree over the weekend and instead of being jailed until bail was posted, he was turned over to a local hospital for a mental health eval--apparently they concluded he wasn't dangerous to anyone, because they released him after 72 hours and didn't bother to notify the arresting agency. Nice work.

* I thought had a post from last summer asking the same question with regard to women in Wisconsin whose ex-husbands promised to kill them, then followed through, but I can't find it. Sigh.

Monday, June 22, 2009

P.S. to the Obamas

This is how you eat ice cream.

My thanks to nephew "Dewey" (of Huey, Dewey, and Louie) for the demonstration. :)

Compare, contrast.

From last week: Michelle Obama lies with impunity to gin up fear about the "obesity crisis" among children, so we all feel warm and fuzzy about her husband and Congress taking over every aspect of our lives, right down to what we're allowed to feed our own children.

From the weekend: Michelle's husband and children eat ice cream.

Other than their father being crowned a god-king by the American media, how are Sasha and Malia any different from any other child in America?

I suppose this isn't any different than sending the children to private schools while insisting other parents should not be allowed that choice...I'm no longer fazed by self-appointed aristocracy living lives they would forbid everyone else--restrictions on food and fuel, sumptuary laws for the 21st century--but I'm getting more and more fed up with the people who clamor to be ruled by these tyrannical hypocrites. The hell is wrong with you people?!?! Can you honestly not see what they're doing here?!?

Saturday, June 20, 2009

I'll be damned.

Turns out Iowa really *is* flat. All those years, I never noticed...and then today I about fell asleep on U.S. 30 between Cedar Rapids and Tama.


View from my great-grandparents' farm.

Mildly crappy weekend due to travel re-arrangements beyond my control; missed the Rose Festival, but popped into Watson's Grocery and bought a pictorial history with a picture of my grandmother in elementary school (and had a nice chat with some octogenarian friends of the family and the guy who bids up all the State Center postcards on eBay...). And my niece and nephews are all here for the weekend in one sticky herd, which is fun.

All the buildings on Main Street that were empty when I was a child have stuff in them now; I'll have to come back sometime when there's nothing going on and just hang out.

(I would have taken an extra day off if I'd known about this.)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

President Rimmer

So this afternoon I read Jim Geraghty's posts about Obama promising to sit down and have tea with Achmadinejad despite the regime's wholesale election fraud and slaughter of protesters (that second linked post is particularly disturbing). Then I was looking up some quotes from Red Dwarf, and found the following:
Rimmer: Look, just because it's an armor-plated alien killing machine that salivates unspeakable slobber, doesn't mean it's a bad person. What we've got to do is get it round a table, and put together a solution package, perhaps over tea and biscuits.

So I looked up the scene, and holy crap, O really is Rimmer (the guy with the metal H on his head, for those of you unfamiliar with the awesomeness that is Red Dwarf):

Scary shit.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Funny because it's true...

Despite the list of policies/actions I disagreed with, I miss him.

Happy Flag Day


Yet Another Porkulus Fail

The waste, the fraud, the whole un-thought-through-ness of signing a bill no one even read...it's been obvious for months now that the stated purpose of the "stimulus" bill as creating jobs was at best a joke and more likely a lie, but another data point to hammer it home...
New York state expects to spend 84 percent of its $26 billion in federal money on Medicaid, unemployment benefits, school aid, nutrition, public health programs, one-time Social Security payments, Head Start, college grants, and other social and school support.

I'm not sure whether to call it a "wealth transfer" or "welfare bloat"--it's waste AND fraud!--but it looks like the only jobs created will be in the bureaucracy and social-work industries.

I mention this because it's borrowed federal dollars--aka, the money they'll be taking from me for the rest of my working life, no matter where I live. And you, too, if you're stupid enough to be working and/or have retirement investments instead of collecting government checks...

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Well, I'm useless in a Revolution...

Went to Fort Ontario today. When greeted at the entrance by an English sentry with a bayonet and informed the fort was under the control and protection of the King and all who enter it declare their loyalty to His Majesty by doing so, first thing out of my mouth was, "Uh...sure..." Hey, I'd just paid four New York-issued dollars to the guy at the ticket table...I did not, at least, sign a paper pledging my loyalty to the crown, despite being offered a photocopy of a schilling for doing so.

The laugh of the day came right before the "demonstration of battle" (not a re-enactment of a specific battle). When a member of the British 24th Regiment was exhorting the crowd gathered on the ramparts to cheer for the "good guys" shouted--"We're here to protect you! We're trying to save you from that Congress!" a older guy in a red-white-and-blue tie-dyed shirt with five-pointed stars yelled back "You're too late!" Cheering all around.

I will upload pictures later, but this is too good not to share immediately:



Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Gather ye Timbits while ye may

I've been too depressed to blog lately, because everything I do has an undercurrent of "this will be the last summer I get to do this." Eat donuts, drive in a car on a Sunday while listening to podcasts of radio shows, eat at small local diners, have a beer when I get home...

Everything I do is about to be outlawed, fined, or taxed until it no longer exists.

But according to the people making these changes, if I wanted to have unprotected sex with a different stranger every night, that would be my right as an American, and the government should provide me with all the antibiotics, anti-depressants, HIV cocktails, I might need (and free housing, food, education, and medical care for any spawn). WTF!?

It's like a badly-written dystopian sci-fi, except it's all real.

Off to Wegmans for more Harpoon.

Biggest Hide Ever Tanned in Milwaukee

There was some good stuff at the postcard show.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

This one's for the ladies...

ThePeoplesCube features some feminist protection. I assume these will be free to all womyn under Obamacare.

By free I mean "women with jobs and/or husbands with jobs are going to be taxed to the point they have to ask for 'em because they can't even afford store-brand", but you knew that.

Saturday, June 6, 2009


Got a slow start this morning due to migraine, so opted for Oz-stravaganza (closer, later in day). Now I remember why I don't go to small-town festivals--I always come home feeling like Sayyid Qutb (that I actually thought of Qutb while waiting for the parade frightens me). I haven't seen so many 350-lb people since the last family reunion I attended, but we have the good sense not to leave the house wearing only camisoles and short-shorts (especially the men). And then the pregnant teenagers/teenage mothers smoking on the sidewalk and covered with tattoos (easily visible when you're half-naked)--how can they afford cigarettes and tattoos!?!? Also spent some time wondering how 300-lb women with mullets and no teeth have babies and I don't...maybe I was just too picky with my dating requirements back in the day ("basic hygiene" and "literacy"--shameful snobbishness).

Cranky old maid ranting aside, the festival was disappointing--the parade was short, the "history tent" mostly empty--but I had a nice lunch, and there were a lot of cute kids in costume.

So I'm really bummed I couldn't get up earlier and gone to see Sarah Palin. Although better than a short speech in a crowd would have been to be at the Women's Rights National Park* yesterday when she was there. I'm impressed at the ignorance of the people insisting she's some sort of hypocrite for being interested in the first-wave feminists--Elizabeth Cady Stanton had seven kids, including a change-of-life baby, and Susan B. Anthony opposed abortion and once voted (illegally) for Republicans. I bet Gov. Palin had all sorts of interesting things to say there!

* I visited in 2005, and may again; it's open year-round so I'm not in a hurry. In addition to abolition and women's rights, the first-wave feminists were also anti-alcohol, and that's where we part ideological ways, but other than that I find them quite inspiring.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Meanwhile, in East Syracuse...

What to do this Saturday? I was originally planning to hit the Oz-stravaganza in L. Frank Baum's hometown of Chittenango--hit the craft show, eat some fried festival crap, see some original movie Munchkins (I preferred the books as a child, but hey, Oz). OTOH, Sarah Palin will be speaking in Auburn, at a festival honoring the 50th anniversary of Alaska statehood (the Seward of "Seward's Folly" was born there). The towns are far enough apart I won't be able to see both parades, and the special tickets to have your photo taken with Gov. Palin are sold out...

(I had considered driving up to Ontario, where Red Green is having book signings, but he's doing it again next weekend.)

I will probably flip a coin tomorrow night after Taste of Syracuse (I would probably rather sit home alone sewing while listening to the Brewers, but I was invited and I can feel all this time alone without even a cat to talk to making me weirder than usual).

Sunday there's a postcard show in Oswego; don't know if the vendors out here will have the stuff I collect (places I've lived in the Midwest) but there's always something to see at a postcard show.

And I still haven't uploaded my photos from last weekend's excursion to the Sodus Bay Lighthouse Museum.

The other guy on my project at work who was laid off in MKE with me (they laid off 30 more yesterday...) hasn't left the metro area since he got here. He watches TV and plays video games on weekends, and doesn't seem interested in anything else. I don't know how people live like that.

Cyberthreats to Air Traffic Control

Came across this, dated last month, while looking up something else at work today:
Federal investigators were able to hack into an air traffic control tower, weather systems and traffic flow management computers as part of a wide-ranging cyber security audit of the US FAA's air traffic control infrastructure.
Yeah. GREAT.

I had no idea critical safety systems were linked to the Internet at large; and I feel like I incorrectly intimated that there were no electronic terrorists threats in my post last week. My apologies; I've been doing more reading than posting lately, and it looks like I need to do even more reading.

There's scary stuff out there, but Obama's proposal to give an appointed bureaucrat access to every privately-owned network in America (and to tell private enterprises what software they can and can't have installed by only bureaucrat-approved geeks) is still fascistically bad and wrong. And I stand by my assessment that Obama's not interested in protecting critical infrastructure that can be accessed via meatspace (even more so after this morning's "America sucks" speech to the "Muslim world"), and even less interested in improving "technology education" by insisting progenitors* actually care for their own damn children instead of leaving it to the state.

The ATC security audit was requested by Republicans John Mica and Tom Petri (WI-6). I find that interesting.

* I'm trying to distinguish between actual parents, and the people who fuck a baby into being but don't let it cramp their sex-and/or-drugs party lifestyle, then all of a sudden when they can't read in eighth grade or get arrested shortly thereafter get pissed at "the schools" or "the system" for "not teaching them right." Because I'm like that.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

News you can use

It's not just Accordian Awareness Month, it's the twentieth anniversary of Accordian Awareness Month.