Friday, December 1, 2023

Santos is out

Loose cannon, George Santos was expelled from Congress with 100 Republicans voting to send him on his way.

Some Republicans are aghast because it erodes the razor-thin majority they have over the Democrats.

I, for my part, think that doing the right-thing might be expensive in the short term but is least expensive option in the long-term.

Consider the Boy Scouts of America. Better they should have dealt with the leaders who were predators in spite of the fall-out.

Ditto for the Catholic Church and the never-ending revelations of pedophile clergy who took advantage of their positions of authority.

I don't have any special information. I am willing to let the "experts" do their job.

As we enter the Christmas Party season...


I may have offended my bosses when I told them I did not want the traditional retirement party. I had been to too many of them where attendees got very drunk and then somehow drove themselves home.

Five minute run-time. A compilation of adds from Australia's anti drinking-and-driving campaign. 

With ride-calling services like Uber and Lyft, there is no excuse to drive yourself home when smashed OR to give your keys to a fellow drinker who is equally trashed. You might avoid a ticket but you cannot avoid physics.

Thursday, November 30, 2023

Presented without comment


Shaun the Sheep Episodes recommended in comments

Government Inspector shows up

Snoring Sheep

Grandpappy's Official Website, a blast from the past


Back-in-the-day, I got a lot of information and enjoyment from Grandpappy.

I stumbled across it again this morning when I was wondering how much investment Peter and Andrew abandoned when they left their cast-nets to follow Jesus. How many man-hours and how much material had been sunk into each net? It was undoubtedly a non-trivial amount* in those days before automatic looms and net-making machines.

The first leg of my "research" indicated that many fish caught in a cast-net are entangled in the mesh similar to how a gill-net works. The mesh size is directly related to the cost of the net since a smaller mesh means more line, more finely woven line and many more knots.

Figuring that medium-sized suckers would be about the largest fish that might be loafing near the shore, I went on-line to see what size gill-net one might use to catch suckers....and BOOM! There was Grandpappy's page.

For the record, 1-1/2" mesh is a good starting point if you were going to make a cast-net to catch suckers. In my mind's eye, I could see that a net with a 12' diameter and 1-1/2' mesh size would be possible in a pre-industrial world. Possible but not cheap.

It is great to see that Grandpappy is still producing content even if he is not churning it out like he did ten years ago. His material aged well and is still applicable.

If you are interested in throwing a few dollars in his direction, he sells books on Amazon including a cookbook on Campfire Survival Cooking.

* A cast net with a 12' diameter and mesh 1-1/2" on a side requires about 7200 knots.

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Here we go again...

There appears to be another virus in China that produces catastrophic damage to lungs. Second link.

Some folks are reading a lot into the possibility of this being Covid: Act II and I want to discuss a very tiny sliver of that possibility.

Some of the more inflammatory folks are already discussing the possibility of Martial Law being declared in the United States. Personally, I think that for that to happen several low to moderately-low probability events would have to align. That said, it is still a possibility.

The range of the details of how Martial Law might be implemented is astronomical but there are a few thoughts I want to toss out there.

Each person's situation will be unique. Each person, each family will have to find their own sweet-spot in how they adapt.

One translation of the Bible reads "Avoid even the appearance of impropriety". That is very, very good advice. Dogs chase people who run. They bark at people who walk funny. Don't run. Don't walk funny.

One major fork in the implementation involves the possible delegation of powers to non-military. If it remains purely military, then there are only enough resources to batten down (maybe) the D.C. Beltway, NYC and one west-coast metropolitan area. Very few soldiers are "peace-keepers" and their skill-sets don't bend in that direction.

If they delegate it gets a whole lot uglier. Some of the people who volunteer to enforce Martial Law will not be motivated by their pure hearts. If I can offer one piece of advice, avoid showy displays of wealth as envy is already at toxic levels.

The predators pick their victims from the fringes of the flock. They pick the weakest because they are the easiest to pull down. They pick the rams because they are proud and fat and the slowest runners.

The second piece of advice I offer is to start considering everything you commit to electronic communication. Every email. Every post on social media. Every blog essay. Words that you consider hyperbole or rhetorical invective or were written after a couple of glasses of wine will come back to haunt you.

The third piece of advice is a painful one. We are rarely betrayed by strangers. We are betrayed by the people we trust: By family members, by friends, by trusted co-workers.

You will even be handed over by parents,
brothers, relatives, and friends,
and they will put some of you to death.
You will be hated by all because of my name,
but not a hair on your head will be destroyed.
By your perseverance you will secure your lives.
   Luke Chapter 21

You don't have to make it easy for them.

As a believer I will not deny Him. But I do not need to casually share exact details of activities that MIGHT be considered suspicious.

Some will say that there is no point in exercising "trade-craft". They might say "The Feds can collect every credit card record you ever made. There is no way you can hide that you purchased 100 1X fired .380 ACP brass in 2014."

I do not dispute that point.

The point that I am attempting to make is that if Martial Law is declared and if authority is widely delegated, ordinary citizens will be living in an environment in which threats loom from multiple axis. Action from any one of those axis can get you dead.

The Feds are unlikely to give a flying Freddie about 100 .380 ACP cases but a local with a grudge against you might see that as sufficient basis to settle a grudge against you.

To repeat the wisdom of W.E.B. Griffen, "If you cannot be perfect then the next-best option is to be invisible."

Sad dogs, concrete work, glasses for night driving

Our dog is not very mobile today.

One of the issues might be that it was icy yesterday and he could have done the "splits" and now he is sore.

The other is that he is old. A third possibility is that he might be afflicted with the mystery respiratory disease that seems to be spread by dogs. This last option is the least likely. We don't have much contact with other dogs. But the fact that this ailment is out there makes us reluctant to take him to the vet.

Having anybody in the house feel under-the-weather takes joy out of my life. And that includes the dog.

Concrete work

I poured a small concrete slab today to secure an appliance. Not my best work but not my worst, either. Now I need to ignore my work for three days so I don't mess it up.

Concrete work is a bit like acne. There comes a point where picking at your zits only makes things worse. It is similar with concrete. If you get within a 1/2" it is good enough for many projects and a 1/4" is golden for most work.

Yellow, polarized glasses for night driving

Neither Mrs ERJ or I relish driving after dark. That becomes more limiting when we only have eight hours of daylight.

Mrs ERJ was at her book club and one of the other ladies was singing the praises of her yellow-tinted, polarized "sun glasses" for night driving. So much so that Mrs ERJ gently suggested that I purchase a pair for her.

I reckon that means I am done with my Christmas shopping.

Any readers out there who can speak to the effectiveness of yellow-tinted, polarized glasses for night driving? Is there something better?