Thursday, December 31, 2015

I'd Whine

        Alas, whining* doesn't help.  This is an oucheriffic morning for me  Loud sounds -- like normal conversation or my fingers hammering the keyboard -- are unpleasant and the pressure/pain in my left ear is overwhelming, unavoidable and just, dammit, there.  But that does mean I hardly notice the tinnitus.

     See, there's always a bright side.
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 * Brits apparently "whinge," while here in the U.S., we "whine."  Not sure what they do in Canada -- complain very quietly to themselves in two languages and get back on-task, I suspect.  In Australia? "Something, something, beer," innit?  But maybe not.  Maybe we all gripe.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Tam Smithed Me

     Yes, now I have two S&W revolvers -- the lovely pre-18 .22, and this:

     "Right in your wheelhouse," she said, and she was right: a 1920s, nickle-plated .38 M&P, Model of 1905, 4th change (it says right here).  The very thing for discouraging ruffians!  And a little less quirky than the .380/200 Enfield revolver for that purpose. 

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Monday, December 28, 2015

And Now, The Weather...!

     Christmas Day was mild and lovely, a little hint of Spring.  Every day since, it has rained, varying from drizzle to downpour; when it isn't raining, it's about to and looks it.  The weather is growing increasingly unhinged, with floods overnight, freezing rain just to the north and a band of heavy rain sweeping into Indy as I type, with high wind warnings in its wake.

     The rest of the country is having their own versions of crazy weather, none of it pleasant.  It's not a typical winter but it's winter nonetheless: hostile and unforgiving.

      It is a reminder that lacking technology, a lot of the planet is unfit for human habitation.  Oh, it doesn't take power plants and gas pipelines; various peoples got by (and some still do) with little more than edged tools, fire, carpentry and leather-making...and working from sunrise to sunset, each and every day.  Thinking that, I'm all the more grateful for the roof over my head.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Family Christmas

    ...I went, I dropped off presents, I departed.  A dozen people in a very small house!  Wish 'em all well.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Forehand Model 1901

     Pocket revolver in .32 S&W* made by the Hopkins & Allen Arms Co.
     Five shots and a design that holds the firing pin well away from the primer at rest.  Christmas present from Tam, and a darned good one!
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* Or .32 Merwin & Hulbert.  ("Sittin' in a tree, r-e-b-r-a-n-d-i-n-g," which is what they did with this and .38 S&W.)

Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas!

     Here's the best wishes of the season, from all of us at Roseholme Cottage (yes, even Rannie Wu) to all you out there in blogland!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Happy Christmas! --A Seasonal Guide

     There's been a bit less grumbling over holiday greetings this year, but for those of you who need a reminder, when someone says "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Holidays" to you, or bids you a joyous Solstice, Happy Hanukkah, or the best Kwanzaa ever, they're wishing you well.  They're feeling the seasonal spirit and they're hoping you'll feel some touch of it, too.  They're not trying to colonize your mind.  They're not dissing your particular observance that just happens to fall on or about the day when days start getting longer again, they're feeling happy and attempting to share the joy.

     And what you do is, you wish the same right back to 'em.  No matter how dark your mood is or how unlikely you are to be burning the same kind of Yule log as your well-wisher, you pick whatever version of seasonally-appropriate good wish you like and you send 'em out to those who have expressed them to you -- and you don't whine about it, either.  People out there want you to be happy.  Go along with it, willya?

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Stop, Thief!

     Dan Zimmerman, widely held to be a longtime intellectual property thief and, I am given to understand, founder of Dead Hooker Magazine, has stolen Tam's "Fun Show Song" and posted the lovely video made as a Christmas present for Tam by Ambulance Driver and Squeaky and posted it over at TTAG, the other sink of iniquity and inequity with which he is associated, utterly without attribution to anyone but himself.

     Other than polite reminders (already issued) and the distant possibility of lawyering up -- Tam's a writer and her stock in trade is the unique groupings of words she creates -- there's not a whole lot that can be done.

     But there is one thing.  Cato famously ended every speech he made in the Roman Senate with "Carthage must be destroyed," even if all he was talking about was proclaiming Junior Vestal Day.  The phrase I'd like you to remember and to post all over the Internet is "Dan Zimmerman. Intellectual property thief. Dead Hooker Magazine."  And good morning, search engines! 

     Retraction: Readers, I may have been mistaken; I can find no link between TTAG's Dan Zimmerman and Dead Hooker Magazine other than they show up in the same search results.  There are credible allegations connecting TTAG's Dan Zimmerman with intellectual property theft, though they do not appear to have been pursued past posting of links and screencaps. Certainly that blog has a long and well-documented history of "scraping" content from other blogs and presenting it as their own, without backlinks or attribution.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Science Fiction

     So, home after an early-shift day yesterday, I watched some more of The Expanse.  It remains visually nice but muddled of story and a bit weak on that "science" stuff -- "SF" as produced by people who picture the fan base as a seething mass of Star Wars and Star Trek fans, but fail to understand the specific collections of tricks that keep those two series afloat.   The setting and much of the "feel," the political tension between Earth and The Belt, is deeply derivative of C. J. Cherryh's Alliance-Union universe, possibly with a side order of Larry Niven's Known Worlds -- and they both do it far better than this TV series has managed.  Of course, their casts and crews are orders of magnitude less expensive....

     An antidote to bad art is good art; I picked up a paperback of Kim Stanley Robinson's The Martians, which appears to be a collection of short stories set in the same universe as the Red Mars novels.  He and I would probably have terrible arguments about political systems, but he is one of the very best writers working in SF, ever.  His settings are lived-in and he gets the science either right or well-handwaved without being obtrusive about it.  In terms of clarity and precision, his work cannot be beaten and is only rarely equalled.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Homemade Corned Beef Hash

     Turned out pretty fair.  I gave it the full treatment: potatoes, corned beef, onion and two different (mild) peppers, an Anaheim and a yellow bell pepper.  Fried up an egg for on top.

     Cooking it all, I was reminded that I miss high-walled iron skillets.  But you can't just rinse one of those out and put it in the dishwasher.

     ...Readers will note that I sat out the Democrat debate.  Y'know what's even less interesting to me than Trump and the Seven Dwarves spatting and playing fast and loose with the Bill of Rights?  Hillary and Bernie and what's-his-name trying to look as if they are making nice while playing fast and loose with the Bill of Rights.  H'mm, seems to be a common thread here.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

The Expanse: Disappointing

     I watched the pilot of The Expanse and gave it benefit of the doubt on an implausibility or two.  Making decent film or video SF is tricky and the line between handwavium and hokum can be pretty thin.

     In the first twenty minutes of episode two, a crucial complication depends on the inner door of the airlock a small spacecraft being routinely left open.  I have trouble with that: it creates an avoidable single point of failure.  It's stupid engineering.  Then we find out the acceleration chairs don't support the astronaut's head and neck, despite the ship being capable of considerable thrust, possibly even as much  as the previous episode showed requiring special medication to endure.  Yet this is not a problem.   And then--

     Then, in a scenario similar to the one at the heart of Robert A. Heinlein's 1948 short story Ordeal In Space, a character goes out on the hull to repair Something Important.  The spacecraft is apparently under some acceleration -- and the character doesn't have a safety line.* While attempting the repair, a wrench slips from his hand and goes flying away.  No safety line on people working on the hull I might grant, especially in an emergency, especially with some of the alternative hardware already shown.  But no lanyard on tools?  No.  Ballistic junk is already enough of a problem in 2015 that when ISS crew is working out on the hull. their tools are on short cables, connected to the worker or the space station.   It's routine when working on the outside of tall structures; it's not uncommon for divers.  An advanced spacefaring civilization would be very cautious about this.

     When your story counts on bad engineering that none of the characters find remarkable, you've lost me.  You don't care enough about suspending the viewer's disbelief to even try to fast-talk your way through it -- because you either didn't notice, or figured no one watching would -- and that ruins it for me.  It's either ignorant or condescending.

     I may watch more of the series; the visuals are pretty good.  But the science -- no, the technology -- isn't.
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* Heinlein's did, if I remember correctly. Then, for a logical reason, he has to go farther than it will allow.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

I Got What She Had

     ...Maybe.  Appears I have a mild case of the fatigue, joint ache, mild sinusitis stuff Tam had awhile ago.  I am not liking it.  The feeling is, I think, mutual.

     Gah.  Of course, this was supposed to be a busy weekend -- and of course it won't be.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Windows X?

     It's the the hot newness, or whatever the kids say these days, and they say it mostly via Apple and Android operating systems, so maybe they wouldn't say it about stodgy old Windows.  My computer keeps popping up happy little invitations to do my Free Upgrade To Windows Ten.  So, hey, I clicked on learn more and--  Ooops!  My video adapter isn't compatible!

     Or so the not-so-happy popup told me.

     "That's that, then," I thought to myself.  No more flippin' intrusive invites to Ten myself.

      Yeah, no.  They're still happening.

     Up yours, Microsoft.  With a ho, ho, ho and a long string of Christmas lights, the old hot glass ones.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

"Speak Truth To Power?"

     Yes, you can do that very thing -- but when the "power" includes your boss and your particular "truth" is a matter of opinion, you may find your words have consequences.

     The editor of a small newspaper in Bowling Green, Ohio found this out when she wrote a blame-the-guns, blame-the-NRA editorial similar to the recent New York Times front page hit-piece, sent it to her publisher for vetting and the publisher asked her to drop it.

     Instead, she enlisted her staff and tried to bring the publisher around to her point of view.  It didn't work; pressing her cause, she was fired.  --As any of us might expect to happen if we proposed something, our boss told us "don't do that," and we rallied the other workers and argued past a certain point.  The "certain point" varies, but when you're operating in the realm of opinion rather than testable fact, it's not very far.

     For the fired editor, internet fame has followed -- and there's the ol' First Amendment at work, protecting the airing of even even scurrilous commentary; it just doesn't guarantee a platform to air it from.  (Also, now you know what happens when there's an argument between people who buy ink by the barrel.)

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Mom Is In The Hospital

     Again.  Slipped and fell in the bath.  X-rays showed no major damage but they were keeping her overnight.

     She appreciates your thoughts and prayers.  So do I.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

TV is OFF

     Not watching the debate.  It's not going to tell me anything I don't already know.

     I think we'd better better served by lining up all the Presidential candidates from both major parties, sawing them in half and counting the rings.  The one with most probably would have been adequate -- if he or she hadn't been sawn in half.

The Underfoot Wu

     Tam's cat, Random Numbers, established quite some time ago that her family name was "Wu."  Thus, in Americanized form, her name is Random Numbers (Rannie) Wu.

     But her larger family, her clan or sept?  I have established to my satisfaction that she is an Underfoot.  Cooking with Rannie arouund is a constant adventure, with the cat variously between my feet and the stove, smoothing on an ankle, sniffing at my calves and occasionally, after what appears to be careful study, nipping my legs.  Socks do not get as much consideration; a crumpled-down sock is liable to get a quick, double-action chomp or a rapid paw-slap if I move in a direction Rannie doesn't approve.

     Yes, Random Numbers Wu, of the Underfoot Wu sept.  They talk only to top-of-refrigerator cat, of course, and the fridge cats talk only to Ceiling Cat.  Small wonder she finds our young Mr. Huck a bit déclassé; he's simply Not Her Sort Of Cat, you see.

     And this is why she's an underfoot Underfoot: she's quite sure that as a member of the elite class, she's got first claim on anything that might fall to the floor during cooking -- or even any overlooked dust bunnies under the stove.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Can It Be...

     That there's a chance the Presidential primaries will result in a general elections with an  "Eat the rich" populist on one side and a rich guy out to eat the world on the other?

     No, that's not the joke -- the joke is on us: no matter who runs or which side eventually wins, the IRS will be at your door with their hand out on April 15th, and by hook or by crook, they'll come get it eventually if you don't pay up.  And that's not going to change.  We could vote flat-taxers into the White House for the next four Olympiads and it wouldn't change.  That's not one of the President's powers!  And neither is most of the crap the current crop of Presidential candidates are promising.

     I can't decide if I should ask Santa Claus for better candidates or better Civics education.  Both seem equally unlikely to happen.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Coleslaw

     With only one exception (Locally Grown Gardens makes an Asian-inspired slaw, easily the best in the entire county), restaurants around here offer bland, mayonnaise-heavy shredded cabbage concoctions; there's even a TV ad from a mayo company in which a defiant loner in a diner slams his slaw onto a hamburger sandwich and proceeds to enjoy it with gusto while a voice-over announcer suggests he did so solely for the white condiment--*

     But mayonnaise isn't even required.  Most of the homemade slaw of my youth -- and good many of the lunch-counter versions back then -- based the slaw dressing on vinegar, sugar and water plus spices.  I picked up a bag of shag-cut cabbage at the store a couple of days ago (all their instant salads were a day shy of expiring and looked it) and proceeded to make my own.  Cider vinegar is better for this but I had only white vinegar.  Mixing by taste, I ended up using the basics listed above plus black pepper, celery seed, a tiny pinch of salt and -- just to see how it would work out -- nutmeg.

     It worked out fine, albeit needing the amount of vinegar reduced after it had sat a day, and tastes just as good as I remember.

     Hey, who was Cole?  He or she wasn't; it's an English-language pronunciation of the Dutch word for cabbage, kool.  Cool!
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* As if!  The northern Indiana fast-food chain Penguin Point has offered a cabbage leaf on their burgers for years and it's way better than lettuce.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Foot, Mouth? Mea Culpa, More Or Less

     Mom X was back in the hospital briefly this week, with one of those issues that are minor when you're 50* but worrisome at her age.  I stopped in to visit.  She had a question for me: "So where have you been going to Thanksgiving?"

     Yes, in re my blog post.  Busted!  I had compiled a "worst of" and tried to play it for laughs -- fairly dark laughs, at that.  It was unfair of me; before I moved out at 19, Mom ran the holiday feast like a general and other than the constant conflicts of my youth ("Bobbi, put that book down and come out where everyone else is," and sibling arguments while doing the dishes), they were not the kind of mess I wrote of.  What I can remember of them is pleasant.

     Later, when all us kids were as adult as we were going to get (not very), my sister and her (then) family started hosting Family Thanksgiving and I found the gathering awkward and uncomfortable.  She and I do not get along. I drew most of my Worst Of from those years.  The feasts eventually fragmented and had recoalesced at Mom's house for the last several years she lived there; those were about 50/50 for me, which is not a reflection on Mom's efforts but my own limitations.

     Having grown up shy and extremely introverted in a family where everyone else was far less so -- my siblings were relatively extroverted -- my experience was not the same as theirs.  One person's delightful, family-filled fun day is another's six hours to try to get through without too much stress and I do not think that's something to apologize for. On this, opinions vary.
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* A milestone her youngest child passed this last year.

Friday, December 11, 2015

The Complex Breakfast

     A/k/a the "I didn't buy eggs Special:" Diced and spiced potato, fried up with shiitake mushrooms, a leek and a bit of dry salami added as the cooking progressed.  It turned out pretty good.

     Would've thrown in an egg, but I hit the supermarket at 5:05 p.m. yesterday, walked in the door and there were huge lines at every register and a milling confusion of humanity the likes of which I have never seen there.  Great for them but way too much for me; I put my baskart back and left.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

The Simple Breakfast

     Crusty pull-apart bread with herbed olive oil to dip it in. Coffee and juice.  It doesn't always have to be something big and fancy!

Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Chair Repair

     Not as extensive as the last major repairs, but the center point for the legs of my wooden office chair had cracked very badly, making the whole thing sag on that side and tilting the seat.  Took it apart yesterday evening, glued and clamped overnight, and reassembled this morning.  So far, so good -- but I have ordered a new truck and base assembly.

     The chair is at least twenty years old, built from a flat-pack kit bought at a home-improvement store.  They don't appear to sell them any more.  It's overdue to be sanded down and refinished.

     Update, 24 hours later: glue bond broke.  Not surprised.  Maybe a little dowel action while I wait for the replacement to arrive.

And This Morning

     This morning, The Tamera is on her futon half-awake having a conversation with whichever member of the Greco-Roman pantheon is responsible for the legs, probably Mercury/Hermes:  "No! No, no.  Nooo!"

     This is not her favorite time of the year.  We're in the middle of an unseasonably-warm stretch, with a twenty or more degree temperature swing between noon and midnight (or three and three, probably) and she feels it in her bones.  Offers of breakfast have not tempted her from her lair.  I've turned up the TV and that should, eventually, lure her out.  Oh, Tamara....it's neeewws!  Freshly-slanted news!

     (Later: Yep, worked.)

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

The Roseholme Ailment

     I dunno what it is, some kind of sinus infection, perhaps, but whatever it is, Tam's got a bad case and I have a mild case of it.

     Not at all fun or nice -- doing the inner-ear thing to me, with dizzies and so on.

Monday, December 07, 2015

Dave Brubeck: Unsquare Dance

     He left us some amazing music.

     There's lots more on YouTube.  Go listen.

Civilization Trusts You

     You know what? I trust people. I have to -- and so do you.

      I have heard a lot of elitist nonsense from the anti-gun side, and a little from the pro gun side. And I get that the world is stuffed to the gills with yahoos; I've seen "People of Wal-Mart." I qualified for Mensa; I'm supposedly smarter than most of the folks I meet and I'm pretty sure that's so.

      But many of those "yahoos" have skills I lack. Some of them are just better people than I am. And the truth is, most people are all right. I've had cars conk out in bad neighborhoods and had three guys show up to push the thing to a gas station; I had a muffler fall almost off in a wealthy neighborhood, had to pull into the nearest driveway and wire it up out of the way, and the homeowner came out to see if everything was okay. The rich guy didn't run me off. The poor guys didn't rob me.

      You trust these people. You have to. You trust your next-door neighbor with natural gas and a charcoal grill. You trust his seventeen-year-old kid at the wheel of their car. You trust the utility workers to not zap you or poison your city water. You trust the Mormon down the block, with a couple of year's worth of food and who knows what else socked away in his crawl space. You trust the drivers of enormous tractor-trailer rigs on the highway, and the garbage man in his huge truck. You do so every day and you don't think about it much.

      And your neighbor with a gun or two, or twenty? You're trusting him, too, like it or not. The odds are hugely that he's not out to get you -- the firearms death rate (other than suicide) in the U.S. is one third of the automobile death rate. (Add firearm suicides in and the rates are within a tenth or two of being equal, a little over 10 per 100,000.)

      If you want a safer world, get to know the people around you. If you want less violence, make more friends. The world is full of people. Most of them are pretty much like you: they want to get along. We mostly hear about the crazy and the wicked -- but they are a tiny minority.

Sunday, December 06, 2015

Why Old Women Shuffle

     Rannie tha cat -- who has been being quite a pill this morning, including trying to bite my bare leg twice -- was finally good enough for long enough that I could give her a little dish of olive oil without rewarding bad behavior.  Shortly after, I stepped over her on my way out of the kitchen, and she dodged -- right under my descending foot!

     I stepped elsewhere, Rannie called me A Very Bad Name (RrrrrraitMmmmeanie!), and disaster was averted.  But it's a darned good reason to not pick up one's feet.

Saturday, December 05, 2015

Food, Instead

     Went to Twenty Tap for a late lunch yesterday: their Pork Bahn Mi sandwich (a personal favorite) and a soup du jour: "Silken Turnip with Potato."  Oh, my, was that soup ever good!  I guess you've got to like turnips (which I do), which are a member of the madly versatile brassica family -- it had a lovely, complex flavor and was just as smooth as the name promised, enlivened by small chunks of potato.  I recommend it,

     Then for dinner last night, I made oxtail stew, and gave it a good long simmer.  I went a bit light (see above) but Tam had two bowls -- and there was plenty left, now frozen and waiting to simmer again this evening, this time with crushed tomato and some more veggies.  If you're passing up the sections of oxtail at the meat counter, and you like soups and stews, you're missing out.

Friday, December 04, 2015

What Executive Order?

     I could swear NBC this morning promised to tell me all about The President's Exeutive Order that would, ahem, "Close the gun show loophole." Hasn't happened yet.  Maybe he's saving up spit?

     By this hoary construction, "gun show loophole," they appear to mean a ban of private sales, since FFLs -- who comprise the majority of sellers at gun shows around here -- have no "loophole" exempting them from Federal background checks and record-keeping when they sell at gun shows.  The rules for private sales vary from state-to-state but aren't any different at gun show than they are in a living room or garage sale -- and there's no private cross-state-border selling, at least of handguns; that'd be a Federal crime already.

     I'd love, looooove to hear how a ban on private sales would have stopped the tragic (yet pissant*) outrage in California, which was committed, last I heard, with a couple of legally in-state purchased handguns, in a state with very strict procedures (the antigun Brady organization gives CA their very highest marks for limits on purchase), and a couple of AR-15 rifles that were either bought legally if they had all the California-compliant features (fixed, small-capacity magazines being the salient one) or transferred illegally if they were privately sold (a no-no in CA) and/or had features that made them non-compliant or otherwise violations of the arcane "assault weapons" laws of that state. Possibly making that purchase even illegaller would not have been a deterrent.

     Neither of the killers were on the secret government "terror watch list" a/k/a the "no-fly list."  So the other measure being pushed, of banning anyone on that secret list from legally buying a gun, would not have stopped the crime, either.
     Will someone please tell me why it is okay to have a secret list of people that bars them from certain activities, with no way of challenging one's inclusion, no way of knowing if you are on it or not?  That's before we get to denying a person's civil rights on the basis of their being on such a list.
     On the other hand, if there are people known to the Feds to be so dangerous they must be kept off airplanes, why are they out there walking around, driving cars, buying LP gas and fireworks, going to the mall, etc. etc.?  If they're so much a threat, why aren't they in the basement of an FBI building right now, learning to breathe water?  (Ooops, that's right, "we don't waterboard here," they'd have to be taken to some country where that's okay; and they'd have to be flown there, which they can't 'cos they are on the list, so hey, Catch-22, amirite?)  Look, if they're up to no good, arrest 'em, charge 'em, try 'em and if found guilty, lock 'em up.  "Secret lists" are bullshit -- especially once the cat is out of the bag.

     I'm still waiting to hear that executive order.  Still waiting for the knock on the door.  "Parlous times."  And not a time to go gentle into the miserable night.
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* Yes, pissant.  Small-time.  Out of some 38.8 million people in California, more than the entire population of Canada, the junior jihadis killed 14, wounded 17.  Mostly workers in a city Health Department.  Yeah, that'll bring the Great Satan of the U.S. right to its knees....  As a military action, it wasn't even a pinprick.  It is a huge human tragedy, make no mistake; the attack was an outrage, a crime.  But in any military sense it was utterly valueless, even compared to, say, an IRA bombing.  They achieved nothing.

Thursday, December 03, 2015

Mass Shootage: I Don't Care What The Media Thinks, I Don't Care What The Perps Think

     I'm not even very interested in "how."  And I am certainly not interested in the various pundits emoting over how "guns kill more people than terrorism," which is patent nonsense; it's like saying "Cars kill more people than running:" one is a thing, the other an activity, and guess what?  $ACTIVITY often involves use of or interaction with $THING.  You cannot extract meaningful numbers from that.

     Nor do raw numbers tell the story.  We have a very large population as countries go, and if you use raw numbers to compare anything that is an activity done by people, you're going to find the United States, India and China near the top of the list. Per capita, the United States does not have the most mass shootings; this country is number six.  Still nothing to be proud of -- but we also have way more guns per person than Norway, Finland, Slovakia, Israel and Switzerland. (Perhaps we're better, saner people than they are?)

     And will someone please explain to me why it is a half-dozen people -- who just happen to have skin darker than a paper bag -- can be killed in Chicago (etc.) by person(s) who are also dark-skinned, and it's treated by the media as pretty much routine -- but when victims are pale and/or when killers are pale or cops, suddenly it's a much bigger deal and rates national attention?  (The murdered TV reporter and photographer in Virginia apparently count as a "mass shooting" now, but if it's four dead African-American punk kids on the South Side?  Nope.)

     In the present mess in California -- California, with the highest Brady antigun rating of any state! -- the ijit news media still wavers between "workplace violence," $GENERIC_MASS_SHOOTING and -- flinchingly -- Not-So-Sudden Jihadi Syndrome.  Gosh, remind me, would you, just what organization it was that promised large-scale violence here in the U.S. in the wake of the attacks in Paris?  ...Not Black Lives Matter protesters, not the NRA, no, it was...  C'mon, one of you has the answer, NBC?  CBS?  CNN?  New York Times? Do any of you know who....?  --Thought not.

     Nope, it's All Gun Control, All The Time in the national news media.  President Obama promised to do all he could to push for more gun control and look, what a co-incidence, he's got himself mass shooting after mass shooting (no matter how much each one must be tortured to fit the mold) and he wants Strict New Laws to restrict the law-abiding.   'Cos you know, fiftyish midwestern spinsters who own guns are exactly the problem, and must be stopped.  Or, realistically, more likely to comply.

     Yeah, that?  Don't count on it.

Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Great Parodices Of Science

     First, this: BETTER - Π = BEER.  Why?  No one knows.  It Is A Mystery.  Personally, I'd just as soon have pie and coffee.  Maybe warm apple pie, with vanilla ice cream.

     Then, the Ehrenfest paradox actually breaks pi.  Which is terrible; a good crust will just crumble.  You need to use a sharp knife, but oh, no, he goes right at it. 

     And a funny thing happens if you have two spaceships and a spool of thread.

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

It's A Joke, See?

     No, it's just divisive--

     If the punchline of your "joke" boils down to HURR HURR HURR LOOKIT THOSE IDIOTS REACT, please don't tell it to me and give serious thought to not telling it at all.  This includes donating to a cause not universally supported in the name of someone who opposes it.  It's not funny, merely tribal and, if the conflict is over deeply-held feelings, needlessly cruel.

     This applies even if "they'd do it to you."  There are people in this world who'd skin you alive for a pack of smokes and even so, you don't get to make lampshades out of them.  If you think you ought to, you are no better than they are.

     Be the grown-up you'd like to see in the room world.