Monday, January 31, 2011

Long March to Nowhere

And nowhere has that been more needed than in education, where I am happy to confess I’d like us to implement a cultural revolution just like the one they’ve had in China.

Oh, no he didn't.

Like Chairman Mao, we’ve embarked on a Long March to reform our education system. Sometimes we will have to manoeuvre less than elegantly to get around obstacles. But the alternative, simply accepting the inevitability of our decline, is not an option.

Oh, yes he did

We can soon expect the Ms. Spelman to wistfully pine for agriculture in England to follow the Zimbabwe Plan.

Via Inside-Out China.

I have never ridden a donkey

My wife's sense of humor, on display.

NSFW.  If 'work' is uptight about blocky-looking chicks wearing a dress with a hem that goes up to you-should-blush.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Kill Bill

It's back ...
Legislation granting the president internet-killing powers is to be re-introduced soon to a Senate committee, the proposal’s chief sponsor told on Friday.
And it's as stupid and lame as it was the last time.
An example, the aide said, would require infrastructure connected to “the system that controls the floodgates to the Hoover dam” to cut its connection to the net if the government detected an imminent cyber attack.
The Hoover Dam is on the internet

We don't need a kill switch to prevent a DOS on the Hoover Dam.  We need take the Hoover Dam off the internet.

Unearthly Blue Glow

Pod Baby

"Baby exposed to cherenkov radiation in hospital bassinet. Stay tuned to Nifty News Fifty for the story."

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Talent? Who Needs Talent

Tab Clearing

Miss the bad old days of green terminal screens, with flicker, running over dialup? Me neither. But I do like glterminal.

GLTerminal emulates a 1970′s terminal monitor, complete with flaws in brightness,
warped display curvature, and flicker. It even simulates baud rate lag. And! for extra verisimilitude, the character colors can be green or amber.

How Can IQ Be Heritable for Rich Kids and Not for Poor Kids?
It's hard to raise a child's IQ. It's easy to lower it.

Abstruse Goose: Neural Implant. I still want a Brain Pal.

Columbus by Joaquin Miller. Hit the link for the rest.

Behind him lay the gray Azores,
Behind, the Gates of Hercules;
Before him not the ghost of shores;
Before him only shoreless seas.
The good mate said: “Now must we pray,
For lo! the very stars are gone.
Brave Adm’r’l, speak: what shall I say?”
“Why say: ‘Sail on! sail on! and on!’”

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Connor Knoke

Sarah and Connor Knoke

Born January 21, 2011. Six pounds, ten ounces, 20 inches long.  Does a great impression of Yoda.

 Connor Knoke doing his impression of Yoda

"Taking pictures you must stop.  Wrap me up you will!"

Welcome to Earth, Connor.

And I'm a grandpa.  I'm supposed to feel old or something, but I don't.  Mostly I just feel like me.  The kid is pretty cool, even if he isn't doing much yet.  Plenty of time yet to read to him, rock him, teach him how to play Munchkin and so on.

Uniforms change, route marching does not

Equipment C

From 'I Was There - With the Yanks on the Western Front 1917 - 1919'

By C. Leroy Baldridge, PVT. A.E.F. together with verses by Himar R. Baukhage PVT. A.E.F.


The Loot is getting wabbly,
With his dinky little pack,—
He can hear the sergeant cussing
But he doesn't dare look back.

But we ain't saying nothing
Since we got the order "route,"
Too dog-dead for even wond'ring
If we'll ever hear "fall out."

My damn rifle and my helmet
Keep on getting in the way,
And my brains are numb and dopey
Try'n' to cuss and try'n' to pray.

My throat's as dry as sawdust
And my right arm's gone to sleep,
And the pack-strap on my shoulder
Cuts a slit two inches deep.

I just lift one foot and shove it
And it hits most any place,
Then I lift and shove the other
T'keep from falling on my face.

If the guide should change the cadence
I'll be damned if I could stop;
If you pushed me with a feather—
Well, I'd just curl up and drop.

And I know damn well there's stragglers
That'll ride up on a truck—
Guess if you ain't born a quitter,
You're just simply outa luck.

I suppose we'll keep on going—
Huh? The Skipper's faced about?
Halt!...I'm the daisies...
You don't say..."fall out!"

“I WAS THERE”<br/>WITH THE YANKS<br/>ON THE WESTERN FRONT<br/>1917-1919<br/>BY<br/>C. LEROY BALDRIDGE<br/>PVT. A. E. F. <br/><br/>

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Neenah Parking Garage

I go to work. I park in a parking garage. I've got a phone with a camera. A few days ago I thought 'picture'. Hmm.

Make a deal with y'all.  I will

Take at least one picture a day at the parking garage.
Post the pictures here.
Do this for one year.

Because I can, because I want to pick one thing and do it consistently, rain or shine for a set period of time.

Now, I am not going to be a complete nut about this: vacation days, sick days, I'm not going to trot down there. I might be weird but I am not obsessed.

Things I did not know this morning


Around 1952 Norman MacLeod at his company the Explosive Research Corporation began working on the concept of a small directional mine for use by infantry.

Explosive. Research. Corporation. That is an awesome name for a company.


The same decision further states that government may impose ‘reasonable’ regulation of weapons. No serious person can maintain that allowing a man with mental health problems ready access to a concealed semiautomatic weapon with a combat clip is ‘reasonable.’”
Absolutely! Instead, let’s allow him access to cars that he can drive into crowds!

Indeed. YT happened to be hanging around when a chick who lived just down the road from where I was stationed stopped taking her meds and drove her car into the front gate.

The only person she manged to hurt was herself: the front gate had been beefed up after 1983 to stop truck bombs.

At any rate her Fiero crumpled like a tin can, the motor came loose, trapped her inside. And with the car spang across the gate the Navy could not get it's rescue vehicle out to extract her, so we had to call the local VFD and oh GOD about eleventy-dozen volunteers turned up to see the show.

Fun times. Where was I?

Oh yeah: spent eight years in the Marines. Two 'experiences' with folks trying to hurt me: once with a gun, once with a car. Ain't the tool, it's the nut wielding the tool.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Too Dumb To Fight, To Ignorant To Work

Sez here that a fourth of people who tried to join the military failed the written exam.

While the army can do something about the overweight applicants (by giving out diet plans and holding physical training exercises for the willing), there is not much they can do cheaply, and quickly, for those who learned little in high school. Moreover, the fact that a quarter of your "educated labor force" really isn't ready to handle technology (and more learning) means two things. One, employers are either going to be short of the people they need, and, two, some employers will be forced to spend more on educating new hires. This isn't easy, because many of those uneducated high school grads are not keen on more "education," having experienced so much failure with it already.

Make that three things: we're going to see some kick-ass automation running restaurants and factories and everything else because too many of the guys coming 'round to apply will be too damned ignorant to earn a wage.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Letter to Tom Petri (R-WI)

Well, poo:
The bill, unveiled by Rep. Peter King (R-NY) on Tuesday, would have banned people from carrying guns within 1,000 feet of elected officials in Congress. It had the support of New York City mayor and outspoken gun-control advocate Michael Bloomberg.

King, who is chairman of the homeland security committee, presented his bill as a means to improve public safety for elected leaders.


I read on the news today that Representative Peter King (R-NY) announced he was going to submit a bill to outlaw firearms within 1,000 feet of elected members of congress.

May I humbly suggest you have a sit-down with your colleague and others of a like mind and tell them that if they insists on acting like a member of the aristocracy that the Republican Party is going to be one with the Whigs i.e. history.

We elect you folks to conduct the People's Business, not to interfere with ours.

Be damned if I'll support a party whose representatives are going to act like pusillanimous gentry.


Brian Dunbar
Neenah, Wisconsin

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Me and the Exchange Student

Me: Hey, Evan!

Evan: What?

Me: What is brown and sounds like a bell?

Evan: Let me think about it. Hmm.

Me: Dung!

Evan: What is 'dung'?

Me: Manure. Poop.

Evan: Oh. But why does poop sound like a bell?

Me: It's a joke.

Evan: Are you sure?

Monday, January 10, 2011

tab clearing What the Hell is it?  Tell us, Zed. is a service I'm working on that will let websites setup authentication quickly and securely, but still own their users, unlike with OpenID or OAuth. In fact, when you use your users will probably never know it's being used. You can read more about it. You can read getting started to see how to use it.

Books you should download against a rainy day.  Oh and you should also print them out because when the stuff does hit the fan you might not have a working computer.  I'm not sure why the MOUT handbook is there: is anyone going to find themselves leading a brigade in urban combat without actually being in the Army and studying this stuff? 

Little girl got a ticket for jay-walking.  No, wait: her mother got the ticket because the girl was in the hospital because she got hit by a truck while she was jay-walking.  Good one, officer: can't let the scoff law get away with shenanigans just because she's like, dying.

Restoring the Social Order:
Twenty momentous years of conservative policy success in cities.

Getting Darnell Off the Corners: An America On the Rise Will Ride the Anti-Drug-War Wave

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Snow - hunh - what is it good for?

Between baby stuff and a wrestling tournament and work, Herself and I spent the day apart.  So .. a love note.

Snow: good medium for love notes

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

You boys wanna see the inside of my tank?!

Oh, this was . . .


Via my Ohiopian Daughter

Sunday, January 02, 2011

I'd call that big talk for a one-eyed fat man!

True Grit. It's by the Coen brothers.  It's about revenge, justice, trust, relationships: good stuff for the movies.

Ned Pepper: “What is your intention?”

Rooster Cogburn: “I aim to kill you in one minute, or see you hanged at Fort Smith. Which will it be?”

Pepper: “I’d call that big talk for a one-eyed fat man!”

Cogburn: “Fill your hand, you son of a bitch!”

It's good. It's real good.  Joe Bob sez check it out.

Rooster - Mattie
This ain't your daddy's Rooster Cogburn, nor Mattie Ross, that is for sure.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Despair is a Sin

Tam writes

Dealing with a bout of insomnia the other night, I lay awake in bed reading a Pournelle-edited anthology of short stories and essays entitled The Survival of Freedom. Included in the collection is a story written in the late ’70s by F. Paul Wilson entitled “Lipidleggin’”, in which a dystopian future America has national health care and has banned cholesterol from food; the the story’s protagonist is an antique dealer who is now running a profitable sideline in bootleg butter and eggs.

Now I’m living in a future America with national health care, where cities have banned trans-fats, it’s against the law for me to throw electronics in the garbage, and people are discussing hoarding and smuggling 100-watt light bulbs.

What a gyp. I wanted the future with the flying cars, not the one with telescreens and Room 101.

Travis replies


We have a space station, spacecraft flying all over the solar system.

On the gripping hand, you have to be a government employee to visit the space station. The spacecraft are robots.

I specifically ordered the Heinlein future, not the Clarke/Asimov hybrid.