Maybe it’s a good thing we decided to bomb Libya so that the country’s attention could be diverted. Apparently Charlie Sheen’s meltdown wasn’t a big enough draw. – Japan’s population of 135 million is crammed into a space slightly smaller than the state of California and faces at least two reactors melting down mere yards from the sea… While Chernobyl was a single reactor meltdown that never reached groundwater and it’s plume affected an area several times larger. READ MORE HERE
On A Related Note…
If you feel like having a bit of equipment around to give yourself a little peace of mind… A little further information on equipment and radiation
James Lee (Jim) Siemers quietly slipped from this life into eternity on July, 9th 2010 after a valiant battle with cancer…
Jim was a shipfitter. Jim was one of the few people on planet earth that can make thousands and thousands of tons of steel float and then go 40mph. And nobody, but nobody, did it better.
In his professional life… Jim was sometimes known as “Master Yoda.” And like the Jedi Master… Jim was humble yet quietly confident about his skills. But let there be no doubt… Shipbuilders up and down the West Coast knew him and respected and admired his skills. Jim built and worked on every kind of ship imaginable - Tankers, Tugs and Tuna boats… Aircraft Carriers, Submarines and Coast Guard Cutters. It didn’t matter to him… He loved them all. If it floats and is made of steel… Jim Siemers has very probably got one out on the water with his initials welded into it.
When Jim wasn’t fashioning a ship of some kind… He was working on a car or a motorcycle. His Ranchero and his Trike were projects that he tinkered on for years and years. Jim also had a pretty good reputation as a carpenter… When I met Jim… I thought I was a pretty hotshot Shipfitter myself… I was a babe in the woods compared to this guy. In the almost 10 years that we built ships together… The man constantly amazed me. What’s more… He constantly taught me… And he kept on teaching me for another 20 years.
Bueche’s Shop-Rite had the most colorful Easter basket display. The display created much longing in my sugar-grubbing soul. My parents never took me to church so I’d never heard of Jesus and imagined God to be a nice man in a brown suit with a matching derby hat. The Easter Bunny, however, I knew intimately.
My mother used to say He would not set foot in an unkept house, so we helped her tidy up and clean things. We then went to bed looking forward to the egg hunt and lots of sugar. Organized religion is not the only way to control the masses.
After I expressed joy and longing while passing the Bueche’s (beekeez) Easter basket display, my father said (and this is one of his real life-changing gems), “Show me a kid who believes in the Easter Bunny and I’ll show you a dumb kid.”
This must have been in 1967 or 1968. I must have been five or six years old when I learned how dumb I am, which is cool, because most people never figure it out. Color me precocious.
My father expected us to push the creative limits of egg dying. This was in the day of Paas, the dye tablets you mixed with hot water and vinegar; none of the new-fangled glittery dying kits had been invented yet. If we wanted a swirly psychedelic egg, we had to go to some trouble, and I did, because I did not want to disappoint the Bunny with boring, monochramatic, pastel eggs.
As the years went by the Easter Bunny let it be known that we were expected to demonstrate our growing intelligence. If we looked for an egg in an easy spot we would find a note in perfect Easter Bunnyish printing (black ink, white paper): You’re going to have to try harder than that, or If your name isn’t Lydia, leave this egg alone. Beside the note would be a small pile of Bunny turds (raisins).
With a bit of humor, through the Easter Bunny, my dad’s message was: try harder because you can and because it’s fun. My dad was the best Easter Bunny. And he knew it.
In addition to sugar, most human beings seem to crave guidance, comfort, and relief from guilt. Maybe that’s where the whole god thing comes from and therefore the whole reason we celebrate Easter. Curiously, the kids in my family were somehow taught some of the ways of Jesus, without Jesus’s name ever coming up. Do unto others was the Big One. If you could grasp doing unto others, you were half way there. Wherever there was. Is. Will be.
We had to answer to our own consciences. The most dreaded form of discipline, second only to being called stupid, was a very terse, “Go to your room and think about that.” We were never taught that we would be punished for our sins or that anyone died to make up for our sinful ways, because there was no sin. There were just things that needed to be thought about. Learning from a mistake and moving on not to repeat it was the way to relieve guilt.
Two of our beliefs definitely came from Dad’s navy training, teamwork being the best example. If one sibling messed up, we all paid, so there was preventative teamwork (talking a sib out of something stupid) and damage-control teamwork (helping to hide the evidence to avoid being sent to our rooms to think about something). Another navy-founded teaching was you snooze you lose. It wasn’t until sometime during the last year that I ever felt comfortable showing up late for anything.
A lot of the stuff we were supposed to learn came from my grandfather:
when you point fingers in blame, there are three pointing back at you;
be proud of who you are and do not shame the family name;
stand up straight, shoulders back, head held high, make eye contact, and offer a firm handshake;
do not lie, ever;
do not throw like a girl (that one pissed me off, so I insist on throwing like a girl);
and some other stuff that will come to me at three in the morning.
Benjamin Franklin was probably influential as well: a borrower nor a lender be; waste not want not. I never borrow from family or friends, and if anyone borrows from me they pretty much can assume I’m prepared not to be paid back. I have a disgusting tendency to eat off of other people’s plates while I’m doing the dinner dishes.
Deleterious side effects like punctuality neurosis and dirty dinner plate pillaging aside, I have to say, it’s worked out okay having been raised by people who realized there’s just no knowing what happens after death and therefore concerned themselves with training us to learn how to get along right now rather than to indulge any worries about a heaven or hell that might come later. If they ever felt the anxiety of the incontrovertible, unavoidable end of life, they never spoke of it; they were much too busy.
Coyote writes, “Let’s face it: all evidence points to the extinction of consciousness upon our death. Rather, there is no evidence whatsoever to support its continuance, so how could we possibly believe (other than out of desperation) that we do live on in some way?”
My response: Our existence here at all seems so improbable to me, and our consciousness seems so altogether baffling and unexplainable, yet here we are and we seem to be conscious of our hereness. What would be so surprising, therefore, about a continuation of consciousness, in whatever form? It’s not a matter of desperation to allow for the possibility of neverending consciousness. However, to oppress and murder people based on one’s fervent belief in neverending consciousness within all of the dogma surrounding that belief is desperation in its most abominable form. We hate that; it bugs us.
For me, the world is pregnant with meaning — whatever meaning I bring to whatever event I notice in order to fill whatever need I have. When I hear the loon call, especially when the loon ought to be quiet, when I see a great blue heron in an unusual place, and especially when I see specialty rainbows — doubles, triples, horizon-to-horizon, circling the moon — it means to me that I need to pay attention to something, that I’m on the cusp of an opportunity to learn something big. I assign that meaning because birds and rainbows are things I associate with my dad, and what he seemed to need was for me to be smart.
Meaning, like belief, is the contrivance of human personality. Their being contrivances does not invalidate them. Either belief does something for you or it doesn’t. Either you find meaning useful or you don’t.
Belief for me shifts with the wind.
Don’t Know How Real This Is… But This Is From The NEW YORK TIMES
From The New York Times…
A new digital plague has hit the Internet, infecting millions of personal and business computers in what seems to be the first step of a multistage attack. The world’s leading computer security experts do not yet know who programmed the infection, or what the next stage will be.
In recent weeks a worm, a malicious software program, has swept through corporate, educational and public computer networks around the world. Known as Conficker or Downadup, it is spread by a recently discovered Microsoft Windows vulnerability, by guessing network passwords and by hand-carried consumer gadgets like USB keys.
Many computer users may not notice that their machines have been infected, and computer security researchers said they were waiting for the instructions to materialize, to determine what impact the botnet will have on PC users. It might operate in the background, using the infected computer to send spam or infect other computers, or it might steal the PC user’s personal information.
Unraveling the program has been particularly challenging because it comes with encryption mechanisms that hide its internal workings from those seeking to disable it.
Computer security researchers expect that within days or weeks the bot-herder who controls the programs will send out commands to force the botnet to perform some as yet unknown illegal activity.
The worm has reignited a debate inside the computer security community over the possibility of eradicating the program before it is used by sending out instructions to the botnet that provide users with an alert that their machines have been infected.
READ THE WHOLE STORY HERE
MICROSOFT Update link HERE
I’ve Seen It All Now… This Appears To Be Real.
Dear Number One Son,
We can’t believe how quickly time has flown and how incredible you are. It has been 240 months since you appeared on the scene. Although you refused to show up on New Years Day… You caused us to sit in the hospital for 18 hours starting on New Years Eve… (“Happy New Years Sweetheart… Have an ice chip!”)… But You were a beautiful baby, despite the horrible photo taken of you in the hospital – the photo we didn’t mail to family with your birth announcements because we didn’t want to worry them or prompt them to obtain unnecessary genetic testing.
It did concern us that your sole focus during most of your childhood seemed to be food. You demanded cereal in your bottles at only six weeks. (Or at least that’s when we caught on. You’ll have to forgive the delay, we were horribly sleep deprived what with not having slept AT ALL for, oh, about SIX WEEKS.)
When you were two and leaned against the space heater and branded yourself … Your mother thought you were retarded because you didn’t cry. I, on the other hand thought I’d given rise to a young superhero. Your uncles sure treated you like a superhero though. Thanks to your uncle the Limo driver… You showed up to day care and kindergarten in a stretch limousine more often than not.
Even though you got held back in kindergarten (“Whaaa!”)… You eventually tested out to the “gifted” level… (Whew!)… But not until we found out you needed coke bottle glasses.
We thought you’d have a weak stomach due to the fact that you threw up in almost every decent restaurant in town before you were seven. The fact that you came over and doctored up my pot of chili to 3 alarm status a couple of days ago disproves that theory.
You were such a great little kid. So goofy and silly, and so much fun to be with. You still have a wonderful sense of humor and I love how you can make us all laugh. You have always been a joy to be around, except for a few times, a lot of times between grades 8 and 12.
You weren’t so much fun during your last year of high school especially… But you proved me wrong and handed me the diploma with a sly grin on your face. (You still think we don’t know about the bet you had with you best bud about who could graduate dead last in your class!)
But… this last year has been a joy. It took us a little (long) while to figure out why you wouldn’t go to the State University that had accepted you without reservation on the strength of your SAT scores alone… But you played to your strengths and signed up for community college so you could work. After all… How many 18 year olds get to be full fledged IT managers right out of high school?
We argued when you turned 18 and you moved out. Your mom wanted to kill me and we waited up lots of nights to see if it would be police or ambulance that showed up with the bad news… (Well… I wanted to sleep)… but if mama’s not happy … No one is happy. But no cops… No coroners and you’ve never showed up on the doorstep with a sob story. So… What’s a few gray hairs between pals, right?
You have grown up to be a terrific young man and it has been a pleasure watching you transform from cute-as-a-button baby to sweet toddler to adorable little boy to surly teen to surly slacker and now, to a mature and impressive guy. We have loved you SO FREAKING MUCH at every age and stage. You’re the best.
Happy Birthday, Bub!
We love you more than you will ever know.
Mom & Dad
Igor Panarin… A Russian professor who used to work for the KGB and who is being compared to the man who correctly predicted the breakup of the Soviet Union 15 years before it happened… Has been talking about the break up of the USA through bankruptcy and possible civil war by the spring of 2010.
He’s been saying the same thing for 10 years now.
And people are listening. Lots of people. And it looks like the professor has some hard figures to back up his assertions… Namely the $11 trillion in foreign debt that’s beating the USA’s economy into submission.
Professor Panarin says that the accelerating collapse of the U.S. job, credit and housing sectors will combine with the years long loss of the USA’s ability to manufacture its own needs will result in the richer states refusing to pay into the federal government in order to save their own economy’s. This will result in de facto secessions from the union. [Read more →]
Standing in New York City, you are five hours away from being able to negotiate the sale, in broad daylight, of a healthy boy or girl. He or she can be used for anything, though sex and domestic labor are most common. Before you go, let’s be clear on what you are buying. A slave is a human being forced to work through fraud or threat of violence for no pay beyond subsistence. Agreed? Good.
Most people imagine that slavery died in the 19th century. Since 1817, more than a dozen international conventions have been signed banning the slave trade. Yet, today there are more slaves than at any time in human history.
And if you’re going to buy one in five hours, you’d better get a move on. First, hail a taxi to JFK International Airport, and hop on a direct flight to Port-au-Prince, Haiti. The flight takes three hours. After landing at Toussaint L’Ouverture International Airport, you will need 50 cents for the most common form of transport in Port-au-Prince, the tap-tap, a flatbed pickup retrofitted with benches and a canopy. Three quarters of the way up Route de Delmas, the capital’s main street, tap the roof and hop out. There, on a side street, you will find a group of men standing in front of Le Réseau (The Network) barbershop. As you approach, a man steps forward: “Are you looking to get a person?”
Click to Enlarge-
Are We In For A Second Civil War?… I’ve Seen Hundreds Of Videos Like This… There’s Real Anger And Hatred Out There… Some Of These People Are Gonna Go Ballistic If Obama Wins… And I Suspect Some Of Them Will Want To Do Something About It.
It Only Takes One Lucky Nut To Start A Conflagration… At The very Least… How Difficult Will It Be For Any Kind Of Reconciliation After The Election?… This Is Why I’m So Disappointed When I Don’t Hear The Candidates Telling People To Cool It…
BUT THE REALLY SCARY THING IS THAT I’M SURE A LOT OF THESE PEOPLE ARE MUCH BETTER ARMED THAN I AM.
The King Is Dead… Bart… the de facto owner and editor-in-chief of the up and coming weblog, Los Cuatro Ojos… passed away peacefully on the morning of September 30th, 2008 after a short illness. He was surrounded by his friends and family. He was 13-1/2.
Bart worked hard to train the people who so foolishly considered themselves to be in charge of things at the home affectionately dubbed “The Rat’s Nest”… After taking over management from his mother, Lisa… Bart ran the operation efficiently and firmly. Although he brooked no opposition to his rule… He ruled his subjects with love and more than a little discipline.
Bart always spoke with authority… and people and Mastiffs alike learned to obey quickly and without question. He was affectionately called “The Old Buzzard” by family and friends… But never to his face.
One of the most outstanding memories we hold is of the two years that Bart chose to live as a dog… Despite the objections of his feline associates… Bart took on the role of the canine with an enthusiasm that alarmed his fellow felines and confused many canines… He learned to come when called (to the horror of his fellow cats)… Roll over… Beg… And he gave up purring for the duration. When he had completed the experiment to his satisfaction… He went back into the feline frame of mind like there had been no break at all.
Bart spent his last days in comfort and luxury… He spent his last night saying goodbye to his loved ones and left with the dignity and grace that marked his reign. His passing was marked by a Three Mastiff Howl and he was interred in the flower bed under the bedroom window.
The newsies all wring their hands and tsk..tsk..tsk about how ridiculous this lipstick on a pig brouhaha is… But they play it up over and over again.
CNN…MSNBC…FOX…ABC…CBS…The friggin BBC for cryin’ out loud!
“Did he?…or Did he not?!?”… More after these messages!
And the call-ins!.. OMG!! People have worked themselves into a tizzy on both sides of the issue.
Are the people of the United States Of America so dense that they’d buy into the same simplistic, jingoistic… “let’s find somebody to hate ” … drivel that allowed a bunch of juvenile, sociopathic, yet psychologically astute nutjobs to hijack the country’s common sense and wreck the economy … Instigate a war on the wrong country and target the constitution for malicious overhaul?
I’m pretty much convinced that the stress of worrying over all of the economic stresses (and trying to figure out how much liquid you can carry onto your flight.) has turned the average American brain to mush.
We’ve heard more about Palin and Pigs in the past two weeks than we’ve heard about the 12 or so banks that have failed…Or the Fannie and Freddy debacle. We’re talking Trillions of dollars that the taxpayers are going to be taking responsibility for… And the number one story is about whether or not someone insinuated whether someone else is a pig… For crying out loud!… I’ve heard Ms. Palin called a hell of a lot worse by a whole bunch of people. And I still don’t care. The woman self described as a Pit Bull witth lipstick for Pete’s sake!
Could it be that someone really…and I mean REALLY doesn’t want us thinking about the economy? Does someone think that we’re really so infantile in our thinking that we’ll forget our mortgage companies and fuel tanks?!? Apparently … The answer is yes.
And if we are.. Do we deserve to be shafted, screwed, skunked, skewered and shylocked? Do we deserve to have the movie Idiocracy become prophetic?
I am officially paranoid.
The day after I posted my Rant on Earthlink… My main hard drive goes belly up… We’re talking corrupted. Badly. None of my utilities worked… Disk Utility… DiskWarrior… Nothing. I couldn’t even restore with Time Machine. We’re talking panic here… Meltdown, Pee-your-pants, Have-a-drink, Scream-at-the-kids, Woe-is-me Meltdown.
And of course my modem was still dropping the connection every 10 minutes.
And in the middle of all this… The AirCon on my house takes a vacation. And it’s 104º outside.
In my heat-stroked panic… I began to believe that “They” were out to get me… Wasn’t sure exactly who “They” were… But “They” got me…. I just knew it had something to do with those all-seeing, all-controlling folks sitting at their consoles at Earthlink Central. Yeah… That’s it… They fried my hard drive and caused my AC to quit… Horrors!.. See what happens when you try to stick it to “The Man”?!?
OK.. OK… Nevermind.
After a couple of cold ones and a shot of Okinawan Sake… It was easier to focus on the “real deal”…
Well… it’s like this… In my attempts to find out whether or not I could track down the ISP problem I’ve been dealing with for a few days… I decided to scan my entire system with Norton AV… The whole 1.4 terabytes. But I forgot to pay attention to a couple of small details… And I paid dearly.
Mac OS X Leopard has this cool back-up dealie called Time Machine that auto backs up every hour… Sucks up tons of processor and RAM power when it’s doing it’s thing though…. Usually no big fuss… Unless you’re running something else that sucks up tons of processor power and RAM.
Like Norton AntiVirus.
Simple operation… Run manual full system scan… Turn off Time Machine.
So I owe a sort of backhanded apology to Earthlink…
Even though you guys can’t get your stuff together and fix an access issue… I was wrong to think (and cuss) all those dire curses your way about my hard drive. And the facts that the hit count for LCO went up by 4000 visitors the day of my Rant and that I had to use the Rant plus family connections to get a simple response from someone who could replace my modem doesn’t excuse the curses upon your children, grandchildren and mothers that I so sincerely called down upon your houses.
Please accept my sincere apologies… I have burnt an incense in your collective name.
As to the Air Conditioning…
In my wild-eyed panic over not being able to get any work done and having to shut down more than half of the electronic heat producers cluttering up the old Rat’s Nest…. I kind of mentally glossed over the fact that I had actually called in the AC company myself because I wasn’t happy with the output of the unit. Never mind that the house was at a comfortable 74º even though it was 102º outside… Plus there was a little water dripping down the side of the furnace housing.
So the AC guys sent over Coleman… One of their top techs who I’ve known for years. And Coleman finds that the cooling coil assembly needs cleaning… Hey!… I’ve got 4 cats and 5 dogs… There’s bound to be some fur that gets past the filter! No big whoop.
But the cracked drain pan? That’s a problem. Can’t put the coil back in with a cracked pan. And do the AC coil makers stock spare plastic drain pans?… Noooo! A $40 piece of plastic bolted to the bottom of an $1100 copper and aluminum cooling unit can cause you to have to buy a whole new unit?!?!
“Order a new pan.” growls I… “Not gonna get here til Monday.” sez Coleman… ” Gonna be a hot weekend.” And away he goes… Leaving me to shut off computers and printers and breaking out fans… “Mama and Auntie and the kids are gonna freak.” Thinks I.
You know those stages of grief people talk about?.. Anger, Bargaining, Denial, Acceptance, blah, blah… Well, somehow… during the anger stage… I managed to rationalize that Earthlink just had to have engineered this too. (See what excessive heat and stress can do to an otherwise rational mind?)
Soooo… Now, I’ve had a nap and wrestled my hard drive back to normal (my connection still sucks though!) and I’m sitting at the only computer that’s on in this house that normally has at least 5 running… at 3:50am and it’s 90º with 80% humidity and the fan isn’t helping at all… The weather report calls for high humidity and at least 104º until next week and my new modem won’t get here til the AC is back up on Tuesday.
But I’ve got my hard drive back and once again Einstein is proved correct… All things are relative.
My DSL modem sits there with all lights lit and refuses to let me onto the net… I reboot the thing and it drops the connect 10 minutes later.
So I deal with this for 4 days and finally I get on the horn and I get some overly polite dude in India who sympathizes with me… but basically, he’s a drone who’s reading his lines and can’t deviate from the book by one iota. “Did you reboot sir?”… Yup.
“Let’s try a reset”… says my 1st line hive unit. “Been there…Done That… 40 times already.”… Says I. “Sorry sir”… “We must follow procedure.”
“Self”… I sez to myself… ” Lets humor this guy and we’ll get to the level 2 guy sooner than it’ll take to convince him that you’ve exhausted all avenues before calling.”… But he throws me a curve ball. After the factory reset…He says… “Can you hook up a Windows machine directly to the modem and run it for a couple of hours so we can monitor the line?”… “And use IE by the way.”
This was my silent response.
This was my verbal response… “Dude… This is an all Mac and Firefox operation”… “I told you that from the beginning” … “I need to work… And I need to work with a Mac”… “Specifically… My Mac”… “It’ll take me 20 minutes to go dig out and dust off a Windows box and then I can’t get to my files “… Not to mention the whoop-dee-do the silly thing is gonna to put me through while it downloads 3 months of updates and installs them.”
From that… He deduces that it’s my line that’s screwed up… And that I’ve agreed to hook up the Windows box… ” OK Sir.”… “We’ll monitor the line until tomorrow”…
Sooo… For the next 20 minutes (while I’m digging out the Dell) I’m explaining to this guy all of the troubleshooting I’ve done and the fact that I’m pretty much savvy to any problems that come up, and that I’m pretty sure the modem was in the process of dying….
So the following day… I get a call from a slightly higher up drone who tells me that my line had a high noise to signal ratio and that all was fixed and all is well… And would I mind going online for him?… “Oh sure!” sez I… And I jump on the Dell and punch up the url for (what else?)LCO. Then we wait…and we wait.. and we wait some more… And Firefox gives me the old “Try Again?” button.
My new drone’s tone now changes to accusatory… “Are you sure you are hooked up to only one computer?” … “Yes”… “Did you unhook the router?” “Yes”… “OK” sez he…. “Then Something must be wrong.”
But what I sez was…“Can you escalate this to someone with authority to make a decision on replacing the modem?”
“OK” sez he… “But first… could you reboot the modem and we try one more thing?”… “Go along with it” I think… Anything to get me to someone who can get this thing back to normal.
So now he suggests that maybe I could type in IP addresses instead of like… you know… words.
Along about now… The old BP is up around 195/105.
So I grit my teeth and gently but firmly insist that I absolutely must speak to someone who can authorize a modem swap.
“OK” sez he… Someone will call me back within a couple of hours… OK Fine.
I call with the ticket number and a machine tells me that the phone company is still checking my line and that I should call back later.
2 Hours Later…
Another overly polite fellow calls and informs me that he’s called all the way from India to inquire whether or not I’m satisfied with the tech support solution and that he’d like to now close the ticket.
And I’m Like…
“I Want A New Modem.”
And He’s Like… ” Let’s Test It First”
And He Says… “THE MODEM IS BAD”
And Then… He Says…
“That’ll Be $79.95 plus $23.59 shipping.”
$104 for a modem that Best Buy sells for $40?!?!
“Well” sez he… “If you buy it at Best Buy”… “We Won’t Support It.” … “No More Tech Support For You.”
So I sez.. You mean that you expect me to pay you 50 -something bucks a month… And I’ve got the exact same model of modem… And you won’t give me any tech support?… I’ve been a customer for 12 years!.. and you won’t give me tech support unless I let you milk me for a piece of equipment?!?
“Well”… sez he … “Maybe we could let you have the modem for just the shipping charge if you’ll sign up for a year of Deluxe service.”
“How About I Just Cancel And Sign Up With Qwest?”.. Sez I
“Well… You’ll Have To Call Customer Service To Cancel Sir”… Sez He.
And I Called Customer Service… Who promptly put me on hold for 40 minutes.
And… As Of This Morning… I’ve Still Got Earthlink As My ISP… But I’ve Already Made Arrangements For Their Replacement… And Guess What?… They Auto Deducted The New Months Payment On The 18th… So Maybe I’m Stuck For Another Month.
But If So… I Can Spend That Month Making Sure That None Of LCO’s 100,000+ Monthly Readers Get Shafted Like I Did.
Blogging Is Soooo Rewarding!
Seems That I’m Not The Only One Feeling Shafted By Earthlink’s Know Nothing, Dronified, Incompetent, Arrogant And Downright Dishonest Ways… Somebody Cares Enough To Set Up A Dedicated Site And Forum At EarthlinkSucks.org … This Guy Even Came Up With A Wicked Little Logo…
This Google Search For “Earthlink Problems”… Turns Up 2.5 million results.
Sundialsvc4 See Profile I’m a fan of this user
As far as America is concerned, much depends on “what do you want, and how badly do you want it?”
Right now, America seems to be content with paper-wealth in the hands of the few. As Russia and other countries well know, “this is no substitute for oil in the ground.” You can literally-print a million of your “Dollars” every minute around the clock (as America does do!), but this is no substitute for oil in the ground. It is also no substitute for a functioning, well-equipped factory on your own soil, producing your own goods from your own natural resources. Welfare, by any form or device, is no substitute for employment. Credit is no substitute for production and surplus.
Breakup of the Soviet Union was inevitable, because it wasn’t a “Union” to begin with. But the re-separation of that alliance back into its component parts should not be confused with the concurrent decision to abandon America’s cold-war. Wisely, one by one, other nations have realized that this only amounts to throwing good money down the toilet. Gen. Dwight Eisenhower told us the same thing but we haven’t listened to him or his ghost yet.
Maybe we should. Are we “happy?” Are we “strong?” Are we “secure?” Did the path we have taken in the last 60-odd years go in the “right” way? If the answer to all these is “no,” then what exactly are we waiting for?
Read More HERE
It’s 4am and I’m actually sleeping … that’s big for me. Anyway, two nights ago I’m kind of in a light sleep and then I hear pounding! I’m startled and bolt up and outta bed faster than I thought I could move!
As I reach the livingroom (it’s actually a very short hallway) I realize that the pounding is … COMING FROM INSIDE THE APARTMENT! Anyone remember that movie When a Stranger Calls?
Read More HERE
To My Dearest Linda…
Just last night my wife and I were having a laugh that it was about time for a call from Linda… This was a conversation filled with giggles because we both knew what fun it was whenever you called… You’d share some laughs with Ket and she’d fill you in on her version of whatever I was up to and then she’d clue you in to whatever I needed to be disciplined about and then we’d have a couple of hours(at least!) to catch up and reminisce.
You and I became friends the day we met back in 1980 and we never stopped to question the closeness that governed our relationship… You made me Michelle’s Godfather the day you found out you were carrying her.
Through marriages and miles we shared thoughts, feelings, friendship and fun. No matter where I was on this planet… You could always find me… And I’d never be surprised. You were the only person on planet Earth who called me by my middle name. We shared Ships and the Sea… Camping trips and cookouts… Craziness and Coolness… Laughter, Tears and Life…
And of course, we shared our love for Michelle…
Rest In Peace O Soul-mate of Mine… We always figured I’d go first and that you’d be the one to write and speak pretty words for me… Tonight I’ll pull out the old photo album and we’ll sail the Klickitat and walk 2nd Beach… Again…. And Again… And Again.
My Favorite Pic Of You And Michelle…
You Threw My Going Away Party The First Time I Went Overseas…
2nd Beach Was Our Favorite Place…
We’d Explore Tidal Pools All Day Long…
We’d Climb Sea Stacks Like They Had Staging…
We Crawled Through A Lot Of Wreckage…
We Documented Some Really Fine Oopsies!…
You Had A Thing For Tugboats… Even When They Had A Flat Tire…
I was in the market for a cheap chainsaw the other day and a friend of mine suggested that with the economy in shambles… I might be able to find something nicer than I could get for what I was willing to spend if I looked in a pawn shop.
OK, says I… There’s been quite a few commercials for the big “Super-Pawn Shops” that seem to have sprung up over the past couple of years… Maybe I can find a deal.
So off we go… The first one we hit had no chain saws… But it had one heck of a line of folks paying on their loan tickets… And most of those folks weren’t redeeming tickets for goods either…
But what was really disturbing was that this particular shop was in a pretty new shopping development that is surrounded by lots of new housing developments that contained some fairly high end housing.
Anyway … we browsed for at least a half hour and I saw lots and lots of high end cameras and power tools at prices that blew Home Depot and Best Buy out of the water… My buddy browsed the jewelery section and said that there was lots of really nice bling to be had for a pittance.
And in that half hour… We were the only ones browsing… But the line at the payments counter just got longer.
So we headed for a shop over in mid town and there I struck pay dirt… A nice Homelite saw for $79 and a nice Sanyo DVD/VCR combo machine for $35… But wait! said the nice lady named Ursula… “Our other branch has a big sale going on because they’re overstocked and sales are slow”… “Besides… I’ll hold this stuff for you if you like.”
Cool! says we… And we headed east.
No chainsaws at Pawn Shop #3… But there was lots of other stuff… And they were real busy taking in even more… A motorcycle and a bunch of high end radio controlled cars… Some camping gear… A kayak.
This place even had 3 count ‘em!.. 3 motorized wheelchairs… Nice ones.
And this guy had computers… a whole bunch of late model… high end… fully loaded… RAM stuffed beasts.
Well… Me being a system addict… couldn’t resist. I walked out of there with a very nice current model, loaded, black Macbook that retails for $1800 and a totally tricked out emac that I picked up for a friend’s kid… Total ticket?… $900.
I sold the macbook to #1 son on a 3 month payment plan. He’d been waffling over whether or not to finance a Macbook with Apple, but was balking at the terms… Anyway… He’s been using girlfriend’s Macbook in the meantime and I suspect that that was gonna lead to trouble in paradise eventually.
I didn’t make a profit on the 0% interest deal… But #1 son did pop by on Saturday to cut down a dead tree in the back yard and rotate the tires on the old van.
Oh… and Ursula knocked $25 off of the chainsaw and combo video machine.
This is actually a pretty good angle…
In one of my painkiller clouded reveries… I fell into thinking about all the movies where people are shooting at dinosaurs with rifles with no apparent effect… Movies like Jurassic Park and The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms…
So naturally… The question arose… If you had to hunt down a Tyrannosaurus rex and you only could have a common type gun… What would you use?
For me… I’d grab my Marlin model 1894 chambered for .44 magnum with 300 grain solid flat point bullets… Then I’d bang away at the hip joint to get him on the ground… Maybe try for a few lung shots if the angle was right.
Lots of folks think that the big Weatherby’s and elephant rated rounds would work fine… Some folks comment on the fact that African poachers regularly take down elephants with 7.62 ammo from AK-47′s… Admittedly with at least a couple of clips… and from moving jeeps… There’s even a round called the T-rex in .577 caliber… That’s a BIG round! I’m sure it would do the trick.
But what I couldn’t believe was the number of folks who are convinced that you’d need at least an RPG or a minigun… People think that these creatures were indestructable… See what the media does?
Well… After reading up on the subject… I came to the conclusion that since these beasts were made of meat and bone… That any round that could take down a bear would be sufficient.
The only questions that remain are… How big of a rotisserie will we need? And will it taste like chicken?
What’s your opinion?
For the first time ever… LCO has had over 100,000 unique visitors within one month. We went from 17 visitors less than a year ago to 101K for June. I’ll admit that I never expected that anyone would be interested in the rantings of a cockeyed lunatic…. I started this thing to lower my blood pressure… It seems that there are lots of folks that are also cockeyed lunatics with blood pressure issues…
And… It would seem that the world has no shortage of people and governments that insist on doing ridiculous stuff for us to point and laugh at.
This Malian journey retraced segments of Mungo Park’s (more about him in a moment) African journeys. The travelers started in the capital, Bamako. From there, they went to Segou, Mopti, Sangha near the Bandiagara Escarpment, Dogon country, Djenne, villages along the Niger River, Kabara (the Port of Tombouctou), and Tombouctou. During this journey to one of the world’s Mysterious Places, the travelers met members of tribes whose names conjured up images in the mind’s eye of long ago adventures — Bambara, Dogon, and Tuareg. In early November, a hot, dry wind begins to blow from the Sahara. It is the Harmattan. The skies of Mali become gray and will, except for brief respites, stay that way until late February. The photographs in this presentation were taken from November 3, 1996, through November 17, 1996.
What appears to be some type of decoration is really a simple solution to a fundamental problem. The wooden staves (left) allow workers to easily climb the tower after each rainy season so they can apply a fresh layer of mud.
See and Read More HERE
When you cover the vehicle with marks of identity, you become more sensitive to “invasions of territory,” which apparently include being cut off by another car:
That’s the surprising conclusion of a recent study by Colorado State University social psychologist William Szlemko. Drivers of cars with bumper stickers, window decals, personalized license plates and other “territorial markers” not only get mad when someone cuts in their lane or is slow to respond to a changed traffic light, but they are far more likely than those who do not personalize their cars to use their vehicles to express rage — by honking, tailgating and other aggressive behavior.
It does not seem to matter whether the messages on the stickers are about peace and love — “Visualize World Peace,” “My Kid Is an Honor Student” — or angry and in your face — “Don’t Mess With Texas,” “My Kid Beat Up Your Honor Student.”
Drivers who do not personalize their cars get angry, too, Szlemko and his colleagues concluded in a paper they recently published in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology, but they don’t act out their anger. They fume, mentally call the other driver a jerk, and move on.
“The more markers a car has, the more aggressively the person tends to drive when provoked,” Szlemko said. “Just the presence of territory markers predicts the tendency to be an aggressive driver.”
Read more HERE
Our Last Real Reporter Is Gone…
Politicians Everywhere Are Secretly Rejoicing…
I always felt that “Meet The Press” was one of the very few places that you actually could watch the Crooks, Liars, Zealots, Leaders and Loonies of the World actually do just that.
Tim was real practitioner of the art of the fourth estate. He was one of the few reporters… Maybe the only one of the current generation of what passes for journalists these days … They came… We saw … and he conquered them.
He was the only reporter I’d find little or no reason to scream at the TV… “Ask him about something that matters!”
If I saw a politician on the same set as Russert… I knew at least one really… Really… REALLY good question was gonna get asked… And heaven help the poor soul who was fool enough to sit across from “The Press” and try to skate…
I don’t see a replacement on ANY channel or outlet at this point… So I expect that the slicksters will get away with a bit of chicanery for the foreseeable future… But Mr Russert certainly inspired enough wannabes to guarantee that another true reporter will fill the void.
I also hope against hope that a whole crop of L’il Russerts takes root