Renewable Energy Comes to Dunwich

The Town of Dunwich was recently ordered by the Colony of Massachusetts Bay to show progress in eliminating the production of greenhouse gases by switching over to renewable energy sources.  As the only engineer in town, or for that matter, the only person familiar with the decimal point among the denizens of this benighted hellhole I was ordered by First Selectman Cthulhu to, “make that happen.”  And since, as in all things ordered by Cthulhu, the penalty for failure is being eaten alive by a 100-foot-high squid-headed flying dragon, I got to work right smartly.

What I discovered was that currently 100% of our electrical energy supply is generated by burning sperm whale oil.  It’s a little known fact that Dunwich, along with certain Inuit tribes is  allowed under treaty to hunt sperm whales and since the market for whale products long ago dried up we utilized the carcasses as a source of fuel.  The carcasses are hauled up on the shore and trucked to the power plant where the oil is drained off.  Then the meat is turned into Dunwich’s world-famous blubber chowder.  And the bones are packaged for resale to Dunwich’s werewolf (or for the politically correct term, lycanthrope) population.

I contacted the DEP to see if this treaty allowed for our whale oil to be grandfathered in as a green energy equivalent but, alas, there was a whale-lover on the staff there so, no soap.  I began to get panicky so I called in a consultant to see what other towns were doing.  The consultant described the latest scams that currently passed for “green” energy.  The favorite was “converting” natural gas to hydrogen to use in a fuel cell.  After looking at the material balance I could see that this process produces almost the same amount of carbon dioxide as combustion does.  When I questioned him about this inconsistency, he waved his hands around for a few minutes while claiming that the science was settled.  Anyway, the price tag for the installation was so high I realized there was no way we could switch over to this particular scam.

I asked him if he had a cheaper scam that we could invest in.  He looked disappointed.  I guess most of his clients aren’t as primitive and poor as Dunwich.  Finally after dejectedly checking through his inventory he noted that he had several generators that were reclaimed from some wind turbines that had fallen down and been carted away as scrap.  He could let us have those for a pittance.  Out of desperation and to buy time I ordered the parts and sent him on his way.

Then I had an inspiration.  We had some old caterpillar treads left over from some heavy machinery that had broken down and some other odds and ends.  I had the maintenance crew rig these up into a gigantic treadmill and hook it up to the generators.  I had the highway crew dig a pit out near the bicycle path that runs through the scenic area of the ghoul haunted forest.  And I had them catch and imprison the biggest shoggoth they could find in town.  It was a big, ugly, smelly, hungry one.  I think we might have lost a couple of the crew that caught it.  Oh well.

The next part of the plan was the good part.  Along the side of the bicycle path, I put a sign leading over to the pit that said “Contribute to Green Energy.”  Over the pit I had built a sound-proofed shed with a revolving door that led into a dark room with a pit trap.  When someone falls into the pit it raises a panel that separated the shoggoth from its dinner.  Once the shoggoth starts moving toward the victim it turns the caterpillar track and begins powering the generator.  As long as the green power enthusiast is able to run on this treadmill and stay ahead, the shoggoth continues to pursue.  But when the friend of Gaia tires, the shoggoth will get its lunch and the treadmill will stop and the power will go out in town.

Of course, this is a problem.  I’ve come up with some improvements.  To improve the reliability, we now run a bicycle race daily in town.  And I’ve hooked up a battery system as a form of uninterruptible power supply (UPS) for the town between shoggoth meals.  But uninterruptible is probably an overenthusiastic claim.

But the important thing is the First Selectman is pleased.  He’s grown fond of the project and has named the shoggoth Tesla.  He’s tasked me with setting up a similar treadmill for his personal use.  He says he needs the exercise and donating some energy to the town is patriotic.  Also, the town is making a nice profit reselling abandoned bicycles found along the road.

Who knew going green would be this much fun.

Dunwich in the Depths of a Non-Winter

Swamp in Fall 2

Here we are at the brink of February and Dunwich looks like early December.  There’s no snow cover and the ground is soggy with all the rainfall.  There are serious consequences from this warm weather.  Mange has broken out among various species.  Werewolves, zombies and the Mi-Go (those winged fungoid crustacean creatures) have all been observed uncontrollably scratching themselves against tree trunks to relieve the itching.  And the smell from these festering wounds has made the forested areas around the swamps almost unendurable for residents there.  First Selectman Cthulhu complains that tourism is way off and he blames it on this blight.  I don’t know.  I think it could be a result of the new advertising slogan they came up with.  I mean, “Dunwich, smell the history” might need some work.

Luckily for me I took the precaution of planting the perimeter of my property with wolfsbane a year or two back and the only local inhabitant that hasn’t fled is a shoggoth that lives under the rock overhang at the edge of the swamp.  He’s a really old and decrepit example of the species and he probably would have already succumbed to the infection if Camera Girl hadn’t started putting out scraps for it to subsist on.

As is her habit, she has sort of adopted it and calls it by a pet name, shoggy, which I find annoying.  I’ve explained many times that it is a loathsome man-eating nightmare, the very sight of which can shatter the sanity of any human being.  She claims it just needs scratching under the chin (wherever that is), some warm blankets and leftover fried chicken to make it a “boopa.”  Women are mostly insane.  I’ve resorted to poisoning the chicken but all that accomplished was to make it thirsty.  It drank down the pond and swelled up to a hundred times its original size.  It’s about the size of a city block and about three hundred feet tall.  It seems to have either the hiccups or some kind of rhythmic flatulence.

Next Friday is supposed to be a quick freeze.  Forecasts call for nighttime temperatures dipping down to minus fifteen Fahrenheit.  I believe that after absorbing that much water the shoggoth will freeze solid overnight.  My plan is to rent one of those construction vehicles with the industrial strength jack hammer attached to a robotic arm and use it to chop up the shoggoth into bite size chunks.  I figure I can probably transport them to a fishing port and sell it as chum to the commercial fishermen.  Anyway, that’s the plan.

With the cold weather coming I expect the more traditional winter activities to resume.  Once Lake Bishop freezes the annual ice fishing derby will be announced and all experienced fishermen will partake in the night before drinking binge to shore up their nerve for the event.  And whoever draws the short straw that morning will need every bit of that alcohol to get the nerve to make the run across the ice.  After all, running across a half mile of open ice dressed as a giant “kivver” with the First Selectman coming after you from under the ice with only a ten second head start is pretty heady stuff.

Last year Tanner Featherstone came within twenty feet of the shore and maybe three seconds of winning the contest and the $100 Amazon gift card.  Not to mention keeping his life.  It’s this kind of town-spirit and bone-headed stupidity that keeps this amazing tradition going despite the unbroken history of failure and the terrifying sight of a man being eaten alive by a one-hundred-foot-tall squid-headed flying dragon.  The screams and the sound of the crunching bones really makes you think.

Well anyway.  I’ve got to do some research on that whole jack hammer rental thing.  Busy, busy, busy.  I hope your winter is going well and I’ll be back soon to describe what looks like an early spring and the return of the “colour out of space” to the local foliage.  Ah those unearthly colors.  They make Dunwich the garden spot it is.

Michael Anton Quotes From OCF – That’s Pretty Cool

 

Back in the before time when 2016 was shaping up to be a contest between Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush I first read Michael Anton’s essay “The Flight 93 Election”.  And the fact that someone with an academic background and a connection to Washington understood just how bleak the Uniparty options were for this country impressed me greatly.

And afterwards as I perceived that he was pursuing those at at the far outer edges of conservative thought to provide fresh ideas for a political movement that was hollowed out at the top I was encouraged   Because we really do need much more coordination and honest dialog if we’re even going to survive the onslaught of the monolithic Left.

Now I’m not a great thinker.  I’m just a schmoe who got tired of being thrown off of photography and science fiction websites because I didn’t kowtow to the Left’s shibboleths and put together my own site where I can say whatever damn thing I want to.  But I practiced in my own humble way what Anton was doing.  I read far and wide on the on the internet.  Back in 2015 and 2016 there were all kinds of crazy people involved in the pro-Trump movement.  And beyond the pro-Trump movement there were the dissidents for whom Trump was just a symptom.  And I learned quite a bit about the various factions and ideologies and to be honest, the various hates that exist on the Right.

And I can see that there are strengths and weaknesses in each of them.  But what is also true is that the Left’s use of surrogates on the Right to disqualify anyone dangerous to the Left has been one of their most successful strategies.  William F. Buckley was famous for this.

And the neocons tried to do it to Donald Trump to stop him from being elected.  So I made a point to keep an open mind about fringe thinkers.  And so I read people like the Z-Man.  And I’ve found him to be spot on about a whole raft of things that affect our lives.  He’s a very smart guy.

But he’s just one guy.  We need about thirty million guys working together just to stop this train from going off the cliff.  So on balance I have to give the prize to people like Anton and even Gottfried who may disagree on a multitude of intellectual points but at least are willing to hold a discussion about their differences.  To my mind honest disagreement can be enlightening for both sides.  You don’t have to convince the other guy but you do have to make an effort to clarify your position for the readers.  And I believe that’s how we’ll end up with some kind of a coalition.

So I woke up this morning and I saw I had some traffic coming over from American Greatness.  Now I wrote a couple of posts for them a few years back but nothing recently so i was interested.  and there I saw this post by Michael Anton.  He quoted a blog post I wrote a week or two ago going over my thoughts on the Anton / Z-Man war.

I won’t deny I was pretty happy thinking that somehow Michael Anton had visited my site.  After all I had read his article about seven years ago and it had been one of the inspirations for my blogging and many other activities I had engaged in over the years.  He had crystallized many of the thoughts that had been growing in my mind ever since the George Bush presidency had destroyed my belief in the Republican establishment.

But beyond my own private satisfaction in being noticed, it gives me hope that there are people trying to build something bigger than just Donald Trump or Ron DeSantis or Twitter.  We need an actual identity and a mission to save this country.  We at least have to agree on what we’re trying to save.  I think Anton believes that.

It’s a start.

21JAN2023 – A Little Country Music for This Afternoon

I’m a fan of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s music.  I really don’t know anything about the musicians; their politics, ethics or personal stories.  I discovered them quite late in life.  But I like some of their music.

 

 

Trans-Planckian Problems with Hawking Radiation in Evaporating Black Holes

https://orionscoldfire.com/index.php/2020/02/14/behold-arrokoth-the-jeb-bush-of-the-solar-system/

 

Good golly Miss Molly!  I was reading an article about the highest possible energies that a particle accelerator could accelerate a proton to and the author started throwing around terms like the Planck energy and the Planck distance and pretty soon it was Planck this and Planck that and Planck the other thing.  Now I dimly remembered that expressing a physical measurement in terms of its Planck equivalent was a way of normalizing the units so that the fundamental constants like the speed of light; c and the gravitational constant; G were rendered as unity in these measurements and thus the Planck units were the fundamental expressions for these concepts.  But I never remembered what sizes these Planck versions came out to.

So, I looked them up in Wikipedia (of course):

 

Table 1: Modern values for Planck’s original choice of quantities
Name Dimension   Value (SI units)
Planck length length (L) 1.616255(18)×10−35 m
Planck mass mass (M) 2.176434(24)×10−8 kg
Planck time time (T) 5.391247(60)×10−44 s
Planck temperature temperature (Θ) 1.416784(16)×1032 K

Now the Planck mass is a perfectly ordinary number.  10−8 kg is quite a large number compared to the mass of a proton or a neutron.  But look at the Planck time; 10−44 s or Planck temperature; 1032 K.  What exactly does 100,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 degrees K even mean?  What would the velocity of the atoms at that temperature be?  Would they be traveling at 0.99999999999999999999999999999999 of the speed of light?

So, I shake off this feeling that I’ve entered the silly season and read on.  Apparently at these Planck conditions the gravitational force becomes equivalent to the stronger forces like electromagnetism and the nuclear strong force and that allows for “interesting” effects.  Reading on into this miasma of confusing ideas I gathered that these Planck units were considered the limits of these measurements.  In other words, trying to define a time period less than 10−44 seconds was meaningless in our quantum system.  And possibly temperatures above the Planck temperature would just create micro-black holes.

Pretty soon they were talking about how evaporating black holes run into problems with these “trans-Planckian” conditions and pretty soon I was experiencing full blown transphobia.  After all, when I had first read about evaporating black holes back before fake news it had sounded kind of bogus to me.  Stephen Hawking was one of those characters from the world of science that seems to approach the edges of science fiction.  A man with a super genius intellect trapped in an almost completely disabled body who can only move a couple of his fingers and can only communicate with the world via the most painfully slow interface imaginable.  If it turns out Hawking is mistaken about evaporating blackholes I’m sure the world will cut him some slack.  Other than a few physics PhD’s that might get yanked, I’m pretty sure that the practical damages from evaporating black holes getting blown out of the water will be pretty close to 10−44 dollars.

And speaking of which have we finally found the limits of US federal spending?  If Dopey Joe Biden tries to print more than 1 Planck dollars will Washington DC be ripped right out of space time and returned to Cthulhu’s dimension where the Democrats came from?  Boy I hope so.

We Need a New Sideshow

Having successfully overhauled a few things on the site, I can now concentrate my energies, such as they are, to providing something worth your time reading.  I looked at the news today and there are numerous news and opinion pieces about “Classified Documents.”

There are articles about more documents showing up in various Biden ratholes.  There are accounts by talking heads on both sides about why there is or isn’t a smoking gun in all of this.  There are articles comparing the two special counsel investigations of Joe Biden and Donald Trump.  They even manage to drag Hillary Clinton’s server back into the discussion.  It’s fascinating!

Well, no it isn’t.  The intel agencies and the Justice Department can find a judge to decide any of these “cases” any way they want to.  How they are spinning these two fantasies is completely out of our control and honestly of no interest to me.  We’ll deal with the fallout.  That might have interesting consequences.  But nervously waiting to see what they’ll charge Trump with is a waste of time.  They’ll use the primary elections as a basis of when or if to indict him.  So, what are we supposed to do about it?  Nothing.

And so, the news just doesn’t seem to be full of interesting things right now.  Of course, it is fun to watch Dopey Joe get slapped around by CNN and MSNBC for a change.  It’s hard for me to tell if they’ve gotten their marching orders on this or whether they’re also confused as to what they should do.  Who knows, maybe Biden isn’t following orders and is being threatened behind the scenes if he doesn’t agree not to run again.  With these people anything is possible.  But interest palls quite quickly.

I guess the only value in this charade is to instruct the general public that our federal masters have long ago stopped pretending that they care what we think.  In one case holding onto classified documents is just a misunderstanding; no harm, no foul.  In the next case it’s a capital crime and then in the third, back to a misunderstanding again.  The lesson is that reality is whatever they say it is.  But for most of us we’ve already seen this show before.

I guess we need a new diversion to keep me from getting bored with the whole thing.  Maybe we can watch to see how the disaster in the Ukraine plays out.  That’s a real-life train wreck in slow-motion and probably a major embarrassment for the globalist project.  They attempted to force Putin into a fait accompli and he turned the tables on them.  He actually believes in his people and their right not to be globalized out of existence.  Unfortunately, it will cost the Ukrainian (and Russian) soldiers dearly.  Hundreds of thousands will die and the Ukraine will be shattered into at least two parts.  But getting into bed with Barack Obama and Joe Biden was a pretty stupid decision on their part and the Ukrainians will learn a very painful lesson about how the world works.  It will also cost us several hundreds of billions of dollars or more.  And if the State Department and the Pentagon are really crazy it might just get us all nuked too.

Another sideshow will be the Republicans in the House.  We’ll get to see how they stack up against the previous generations of Congress Critters.  And this is good news for them.  They’ll have to fail pretty abysmally to be judged in the same league with John Boehner’s or Paul Ryan’s gangs of stooges.  I’ll confess that I have some traces of hope that they might show themselves to be better than expected.  So, there is something to keep us amused there too.

But I find that there’s plenty to keep me busy in the real world.  Family, friends and the doings of my surroundings keep me busy and allow me to positively impact my little world.  Saints be praised, I’m even helping the local Republicans to get things done.  Who knows, with a lot of hard work we might even make our corner of New England just a little less cobalt blue!

But now that I’m done with my site work I’ll have some amusing stuff coming up soon.  Maybe even a few laughs.

You Should Learn to Code!

So, as I mentioned a week or two ago, there’s a retroactive change I want to make to the site involving something called search engine optimization (SEO).  It’s obscure and boring and possibly make believe but I figured I should make the change to about 5, 500 older posts.  But it requires an enormous amount of manual copying and pasting so I wanted to automate it.  But the database manipulations I want to make are not routine and I thought required one of two things.  Either I have to learn how to program in the PHP and MySQL languages or I had to use two plugins (think of them as small stand-alone programs that can be added to my site’s software).  But one of the plugins costs a bunch of money so I was too outraged to pay for it.  By a stroke of good fortune, I found a different plug-in that was almost as good but much cheaper.  Yeeha!

But with all things too good to be true comes the payoff.  I also needed to upgrade my backup system and that’s going to require upgrading my cloud storage.  Gack!  Well, I’ve spent the bulk of the day setting up a link to my new storage site from the website with all sorts of problems with various layers of security programming standing in the way.  Finally, it’s uploading the backup but it’s been a humbling experience.  And I’m also getting a lesson in why working with redundantly encrypted data is a royal pain.  It uploads at the slowest rate imaginable.  But later on, tonight I’ll try to make those SEO modifications to those thousands of old posts.  If the site disappears hopefully, it’ll just be a (short) refresh to get it back to its old self.  But fingers crossed.

It’s still early in the voting but it looks like maybe some folks would like me to increase the font size on the site from 12 pt to 14 pt.  The reason I asked about this was recently I was on a website and noticed how nice the type looked.  After checking on the text I realized it was 14 pt and wondered if maybe I was making life difficult for people to read the smaller font size.  Luckily that is a very easy fix to make.  Even I can make the CSS modification.

Well back to the website salt mines for me.  Pray that my sentence is reduced down from life at hard labor.

Signed,

photog the website drudge (not to be confused with Matt Drudge).

Of Femme Fatales and Food

Brigid O’Shaughnessy is the love interest and principal suspect in Dashiell Hammett’s, “The Maltese Falcon.”  Whenever Sam Spade attempts to extract any sliver of truth from Brigid she fills the air with pheromones, lies and histrionics.  But perhaps the only slice of normal human interaction between them occurs the night of and the morning after O’Shaughnessy ends up in Spade’s bed.  Before and after this offstage sexual encounter we see the two of them sharing meals.

“Post Street was empty when Spade issued into it. He walked east a block, crossed the street, walked west two blocks on the other side, recrossed it, and returned to his building without having seen anyone except two mechanics working on a car in a garage.

When he opened his apartment-door Brigid O’Shaughnessy was standing at the bend in the passageway, holding Cairo’s pistol straight down at her side.

“He’s still there,” Spade said.

She bit the inside of her lip and turned slowly, going back into the living-room. Spade followed her in, put his hat and overcoat on a chair, said, “So we’ll have time to talk,” and went into the kitchen.

He had put the coffee-pot on the stove when she came to the door, and was slicing a slender loaf of French bread. She stood in the doorway and watched him with preoccupied eyes. The fingers of her left hand idly caressed the body and barrel of the pistol her right hand still held.

“The table-cloth’s in there,” he said, pointing the bread-knife at a cupboard that was one breakfast-nook partition.

She set the table while he spread liverwurst on, or put cold corned beef between, the small ovals of bread he had sliced. Then he poured the coffee, added brandy to it from a squat bottle, and they sat at the table. They sat side by side on one of the benches. She put the pistol down on the end of the bench nearer her.

“You can start now, between bites,” he said.

She made a face at him, complained, “You’re the most insistent person,” and bit a sandwich.

“Yes, and wild and unpredictable. What’s this bird, this falcon, that everybody’s all steamed up about?”

She chewed the beef and bread in her mouth, swallowed it, looked attentively at the small crescent its removal had made in the sandwich’s rim, and asked: “Suppose I wouldn’t tell you? Suppose I wouldn’t tell you anything at all about it? What would you do?””

I notice the gun that Brigid is still carrying.  Spade notices it too.  I think she’s trying to make up her mind whether to hook Spade or kill him.  But I also notice the meal.  Rich meaty tastes and rich stimulating drink.  This is comfort food for the damned.  Sensual pleasure for killers.  It’s late at night and Spade is still trying to figure out whether O’Shaughnessy killed his partner Miles and whether he wants the Falcon for himself.  And he’s most certainly trying to figure out whether Brigid will be in his bed that night.  He’s playing a very dangerous game with the most dangerous of the players in it.  He can deal with Gutman, Cairo and even Wilmer’s trigger-happy temper.  But Brigid is very dangerous because she distracts Spade while she plays her various parts.

He did not find the black bird. He found nothing that seemed to have any connection with a black bird. The only piece of writing he found was a week-old receipt for the month’s apartment-rent Brigid O’Shaughnessy had paid. The only thing he found that interested him enough to delay his search while he looked at it was a double-handful of rather fine jewelry in a polychrome box in a locked dressing-table-drawer.

When he had finished he made and drank a cup of coffee. Then he unlocked the kitchen-window, scarred the edge of its lock a little with his pocket-knife, opened the window–over a fire-escape–got his hat and overcoat from the settee in the living-room, and left the apartment as he had come.

On his way home he stopped at a store that was being opened by a puffy-eyed shivering plump grocer and bought oranges, eggs, rolls, butter, and cream.

Spade went quietly into his apartment, but before he had shut the corridor-door behind him Brigid O’Shaughnessy cried: “Who is that?”

“Young Spade bearing breakfast.”

“Oh, you frightened me!”

The bedroom-door he had shut was open. The girl sat on the side of the bed, trembling, with her right hand out of sight under a pillow.

Spade put his packages on the kitchen-table and went into the bedroom. He sat on the bed beside the girl, kissed her smooth shoulder, and said: “I wanted to see if that kid was still on the job, and to get stuff for breakfast.”

“Is he?”

“No.”

She sighed and leaned against him. “I awakened and you weren’t here and then I heard someone coming in. I was terrified.”

Spade combed her red hair back from her face with his fingers and said: “I’m sorry, angel. I thought you’d sleep through it. Did you have that gun under your pillow all night?”

“No. You know I didn’t. I jumped up and got it when I was frightened.”

He cooked breakfast–and slipped the flat brass key into her coat-pocket again–while she bathed and dressed.

She came out of the bathroom whistling En Cuba. “Shall I make the bed?” she asked.

“That’d be swell. The eggs need a couple of minutes more.”

Their breakfast was on the table when she returned to the kitchen. They sat where they had sat the night before and ate heartily.

“Now about the bird?” Spade suggested presently as they ate.

She put her fork down and looked at him. She drew her eyebrows together and made her mouth small and tight. “You can’t ask me to talk about that this morning of all mornings,” she protested. “I don’t want to and I won’t.”

“It’s a stubborn damned hussy,” he said sadly and put a piece of roll into his mouth.”

So, after climbing out of bed with Brigid he leaves and breaks into her apartment searching for the Falcon and any clues he can find.  Then he heads back to his apartment and cooks breakfast for his lady love.  Oranges, eggs, rolls, butter, and cream.  It’s domestic bliss.  A man and woman in love waking up to a bright morning with a hearty breakfast.  But there’s that gun again.  Always right at the edge of their love affair is Brigid clutching a pistol and seeming to endlessly oscillate between reflexes for homicide and passion.  And as he once said to her out loud, “Now you are dangerous.”

And Spade is a creature of passion and his appetites are for food, drink, smoke, action and women.  And Hammett does an admirable job portraying these things within the constraints of his time.  But to me I think he succeeded best with food.  There’s a zest in the type of food his character likes and I respond to the food and it seems to chime in with the moods he draws in those scenes.  I think they add to the story admirably.  A nice master class for any writer to consider when his characters have to eat.

 

 

09JAN2023 – I’m a Man Who Likes Talking to a Man Who Likes to Talk

07APR2020 – Quote of the Day

… Well, sir, here’s to plain speaking and clear understanding. … You’re a close-mouthed man?”

Spade shook his head. “I like to talk.”

“Better and better!” the fat man exclaimed. “I distrust a close-mouthed man. He generally picks the wrong time to talk and says the wrong things. Talking’s something you can’t do judiciously unless you keep in practice.”  …

Now, sir, we’ll talk if you like. I’ll tell you right out – I’m a man who likes talking to a man who likes to talk.

(Dashiell Hammett (The Maltese Falcon))

One of the reasons I started this website was because I couldn’t find an on-line community that thought like I did.  That went for my particular personal interests like photography and science fiction.  But also, the general interest, news and political sites that I could find.  So, in addition to the sense that freedom of speech had been curtailed by the powers that be that ran the internet I also felt isolated from people like me.

From time to time, I’d run into someone who talked the way I did.  And that was fun.  But what I noticed was that these people tended to be either run off the sites that I frequented, or forced to watch what they said or outright banned.  And I got that same treatment too.

Now that I ‘ve become an old hand at this right-wing existence I begin to see what will and won’t happen anytime soon.  What won’t happen for the foreseeable future is the end of leftist domination of the media and most of the on-line infrastructure.  Elon Musk may have opened up the door a crack to our side on Twitter but Google, Microsoft, Apple, Meta, PayPal, etc. have the rest of the doors slammed shut and they can crush anyone they want as ruthlessly as can be imagined.  I’ve gotten all of that through my thick skull pretty thoroughly.  So, I’m not conquering the internet anytime soon.

But I do get exposure when maddmedic or whatfinger or duckduckgo decides to link to one of my articles.  And that’s fun because new people show up and some of them stick around.  And why that’s fun is because talking to people on the site has become my favorite part of the whole thing.  Talking to folks I’ve known for years and folks who just showed up is fascinating.  People sometimes talk about the anonymity of the internet being a bad thing.  And I guess if a hopeless troll shows up and tortures you, I could see how being anonymous could give license to him to say some pretty awful things.  But anonymity also allows people to be honest about what they say too.  And that’s something that we can’t say in real life much anymore.  And I think sometimes it’s healthy to say what you really think.  Even if it’s an unhappy truth being expressed.

So, for instance, I’ve lately been of the opinion that the Dissident Right is correct when they say we can’t vote our way out of the mess we’re in.  And that’s a discouraging fact.  And it removes a lot of what I typically write about.  After all, what exactly is there to say about 2024 if it’s highly unlikely that the Republicans will win the White House or the Senate.  Just repeating over and over again that all hope is lost is pretty obnoxious and boring.

But what I find is that there’s still plenty to talk about with people on our side of the fence.  Our local lives are real and much less constrained than what the Left has done to national politics.  There are still Red States that are trying to help their people and leaders that may begin to make a difference in our lives.

And there’s contact with people who think and talk the way I do.  And I think that’s the most important benefit of a site like this.  It sponsors camaraderie and provides enjoyment for me and possibly others who otherwise wouldn’t have a place to listen and talk about things they think are important.

And so, I’ll take this occasion to once again encourage anyone out there who has something to say to comment or even provide a post for the site.  People like to read opinions and they also like to state their opinions and I want to encourage that.  So, by all means jump in.  The more the merrier.  I’d love to hear from regulars and lurkers and new readers too.  And not just on politics there’s plenty of latitude for things to talk about out there.  In the immortal words of Caspar Gutman “I’m a man who likes talking to a man who likes to talk.”

Men and Dogs and Women

A7 III with Sigma 150 – 600mm MC-11 adapter

Dog is man’s best friend.  But woman is dog’s best friend.  Or should that be mommy.  I went with Camera Girl to the vet’s office with Kaylee, our older dog.  She’s a 13-year-old German Shorthaired Pointer and she’s starting to wear down.  Camera Girl loves her dearly and has been very worried that she won’t make it through the winter.  Now this seems like an unnecessary concern.  Other than progressive arthritis and a certain amount of mental confusion she seems relatively healthy.  She still enjoys her food enthusiastically and can keep up her normal activities, only at a slower pace.

But because of her concerns I went along in case any bad news was forthcoming.  When we got there, we entered the office and the receptionist began engaging in the typical female baby talk that is reserved for pets.  Then we got to the examination room and the vet tech came in and she too commenced with the mewing and cooing that passes for woman to dog communication.  And finally, the vet showed up and she also began the embarrassing babbling.  Now I will admit that both the tech and the vet were pretty adept at their medical tasks.  They vaccinated Kaylee and cut her nails quite skillfully.  And the vet convinced Camera Girl that Kaylee will make it through the year at least.  But as a man it was pretty comical listening as three grown women coaxed and comforted a large dog as if it were a three-month-old infant.

Now, full disclosure.  I have a very soft spot in my heart for all our dogs past and present.  And since I’ve had to be the one holding them when the vet puts them to sleep for the last time, I know exactly how close is the bond between a man and his dog.  Of course, they’re not human and certainly not our children.  But they think they are.  And that obligates us to treat them as family.  Since they lack the wherewithal to be responsible for themselves in human society, we become their guardians and keepers.  So that’s the logical underpinning for our position.  But the emotional relationship is much, much closer to a parent-child relationship than anything else.

So, fine.  We treat them in many ways like children.  But why do these women pretend they’re talking to newborns?  Dogs have the intelligence of a young child in many ways.  And they have the ability to respond to verbal commands and prompts of all kinds.  Why do these women chirp at them in this embarrassing manner.  As a mother and grandmother Camera Girl has always been quite good at teaching and disciplining little children and once they’re beyond a year or so she speaks to children in English with a minimum of singsong and baby words.  Why does she insist on using it for dogs.  In fact, why can’t she discipline her dogs as well as she did her children?

For the majority of our married life, I’ve been at the office during the week and she was home with the kids and dogs.  And without exception she has spoiled every one of our dogs rotten.  All of her cooing and babytalk is useless in getting the dogs to obey her.  Finally in desperation she asks me to take over and I have to growl at the dog to get obedience.  And this is a very bad situation.  For larger sporting breeds bad training can be dangerous.  But my protests have always been in vain.  She just can’t treat a dog as anything but a baby.

But at last, there will be a changing of the guard.  When in the fullness of time we need to get a new puppy in the house I will be home much more of the time than formerly and I intend to train this dog.  And it will be a revelation to Camera Girl.  This dog will obey my commands immediately and unerringly.  This dog will be a manly chap who will eschew all baby talk and respond to the curt guttural syllables reserved for a dog in the field.  Sit!  Heel!  Down!  He’ll be used to good solid pats to the ribs when he succeeds in his chores and maybe a scratch behind the ear while we’re watching tv together.  I’ll allow this dog a modicum of self-respect as a carnivore in good standing.  No goo-goo gah-gah.  Sure, I won’t stop Camera Girl from chirping at the dog and lavishing affection on him but I will not allow her to undermine the training.

A man and his dog.  A woman and her dog.  So different.