Friday, May 25, 2012

Tab Clearing

Our new Drug Czar, Gil Kerlikowske: "Regardless of how you try to explain to people it's a 'war on drugs' or a 'war on a product,' people see a war as a war on them."  Well golly however did we get that idea into our silly heads.

The US Code on GitHub.  320 mb of text.  Maybe we've got a few too many laws.

pv - Pipe Viewer - is a terminal-based tool for monitoring the progress of data through a pipeline.

Predictably, Catholics were not amused, and Muslims threatened to kill lots of people.

Hardware Startup Movement

Tally-ho on Dragon

Audio from Mission Control;

"We copy. Tally-ho on Dragon!"

Tally-friggin-ho.  Welcome to the actual space age.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

No Coke - Pepsi

Mihm's Charcaol Grill - pretty good food.  They've got this on their menu board


Because, the nice lady behind the counter said, when the original owner opened, he choose RC.  The Coke rep told him if he didn't choose Coke he'd go out of business.  That would have been 1958.

A half-century of institutional grudge.  I respect that.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Right-tighty lefty-loosey

When one is lefty-loosing a lug nut one ought to really be darn sure he's lefty-loosing and not righty-tighting.

Because after you sweat those things down with a lot of muscle and some foot action in the bargain it's a bear to lefty-loosey 'em again.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

The regulatory grip that is squeezing the life out of civilization itself

It started in California.  Then it just growed.

An ominous regulatory announcement from the EPA came in 2007: “Starting with containers manufactured in 2009… it is expected that the new cans will be built with a simple and inexpensive permeation barrier and new spouts that close automatically.”

The government never said “no vents.” It abolished them de facto with new standards that every state had to adopt by 2009. So for the last three years, you have not been able to buy gas cans that work properly. They are not permitted to have a separate vent. The top has to close automatically. There are other silly things now, too, but the biggest problem is that they do not do well what cans are supposed to do.

The can on the left was bought last year.  Had the other one for a few years.  The new can has a complicated capspout with controls - a switch to lock back when you want to pour, a button to mash make the gas come out.  Release the button and the (for lack of a better word) safety resets.  It is annoying.  It does not feel cheaply made, exactly, but I wonder how long it will last.

Some boating forums have suggested drilling a hole and putting a tire stem in there and using the screw top as the way to close the hole.  Great idea. Just what I wanted to do with my Saturday afternoon, hacking the gas can to make it work exactly as well as it did three years ago, before government wrecked it.

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Taco Seasoning

Taco Seasoning. 

You know what that is - it's a packet of stuff you buy at the store, toss in the ground beef, and you've got taco meat.

Still buying it at the store?  Cut it out.  Just stop - it takes so little time to make, it's so easy, that I am now embarrassed that I ever bought it from the store.


1 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp paprika
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp black pepper

Mix.  Dump into your ground beef.  Store if needed.   Do I need to tell you 'in an air-tight container'?  Didn't think so.

Taco-friggin-seasoning.   Have a nice day and happy Cinco de Mayo.

Saturday, May 05, 2012

Bulk Food - Peter Watts and Laurie Channer

It's a few years after we learn to understand Orcan . . .

Well, no one expected the whales to be such assholes.

Awesome short story.

Bulk Food - Peter Watts and Laurie Channer

To protect and serve

Cops arrive to help a guy in distress, won't take 'I'm fine, go away' for an answer, shoot his ass dead.  That'll learn him some manners: open the damned door next time, like a good subject.

Later a Grand Jury says 'no problem, dude, free to go'.

"If I knew that there was a man coming to my house with the fixed intention of doing me good, I would run for my life."  ~Thoreau

Friday, May 04, 2012

America's just the hardest-to-ignore instantiation of a cultural and philosophical system that can be seen in a few other places

Here Randy's got another hangup, something that's been slowly dawning on him as he stands on the beach beneath Tom Howard's concrete house: the perfect freedom that Tom's found in Kinakuta is a cut flower in a crystal vase. It's lovely, but it's dead, and the reason it's dead is that it has been alienated from its germinal soil. And what is that soil exactly? To a first approximation you could just say "America," but it's a little more complicated than that; America's just the hardest-to-ignore instantiation of a cultural and philosophical system that can be seen in a few other places. Not many. Certainly not in Kinakuta. The closest outpost is really not that far away: the Filipinos, for all of their shortcomings in the human rights department, have imbibed the whole Western freedom thing deeply, in a way that has arguably made them economic laggards compared to Asian countries where no one gives a shit about human rights.

Neal Stephenson 'Cryptonomicon'

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Shocked, shocked I am . . .

The Administration's top man for Terrorism: We're thought about the drone strike thing and the shit-can-the-due-process-thing.  Much to our surprise, everything we've been doing is cool.

Paul Krugman: Shoveling money onto the fire hasn't worked yet.  We need to shovel more in.  Also, I have a new book out.

Elizabeth Warren furiously paints herself as a prole, is actually the 1%.  Also she's indian Native American.  Oh wait, she's a prole in her heart, where it counts.  She feels your pain.