08JUL2023 – This ‘N’ That

The Raven is a Wicked Bird

Yesterday marks a minor milestone.  Last night I posted the last of the 2022 Yellowstone Expedition photographs.  Now, this is a relative statement.  That was a first pass.  Also I have some flower photos that I’m holding off until I can identify them (hopefully).  But interstingly it marks about a year since the actual trip took place.  From now on the photo of the day will be a bit more prosaic and local.

Today is a smaller milestone.  For the last eight days I’ve been working on a very cramped schedule.  Parties, grandchildren and minor missions have prevented me from keeping up with the website.  Today is the capstone of this run.  I’ll be out of pocket and out of state for the whole day and even a part of the night.  Which means this site will be destitute.  I don’t even have the photo of the day in queue.

Horrible things could happen today.  Nuclear Armageddon, fluoridation of the water supply, even adoption of the metric system could happen behind my back and no one would ever know because I would not have recorded it.  Ah, well.

But rejoice!  Tomorrow is another day.  And I vow to do better.

Honestly it is the Silly Season and there is no real news.  Or at least the news agencies aren’t reporting anything worth reading.  Sure, there’s some war news and stupid celebrity hijinks.  And there’s always the government taking something away from us but we can wait a week before hearing that.  Even I can’t summon the usual outrage at the moment.

But the good news for us that live on the Arctic Tundra is that right now the days are long and nights are short and the air is hot and our blood is warm.  Even old codgers feel the irritability that tells us we’re still somewhat alive.  We can smell the roses, toss around a baseball with a youngster and appreciate God’s Green Earth for at least one more day.

So with your permission, I’ll exit stage left, pursued by a bear and see you a little later.

30JUN2023 – OCF Update – This’N’That

Now things are getting into the summertime social season.  We have two family parties this weekend and then Fourth of July and on and on.  This afternoon Camera Girl spotted a big painted turtle on the grass.  Turns out it was laying eggs so being the natural historian that she is she collected them and is incubating them in a sphagnum moss set up.  Apparently, they’ll be a science experiment for Princess Sack of Potatoes and then they be released back into the swamp to maintain the delicate balance between the mold and the mildew that we all depend on here in Dunwich.

I spent some more time struggling with the great GA4 project.  Half of the websites and YouTube videos are people cussing about how much worse it is than its predecessor.  Well, what can you do?

I read a bunch of critiques of the SCOTUS decision on affirmative action.  Even the Z-Man’s Friday podcast was about it.  I think they mostly reflect the feeling that this will be like pulling teeth to get the colleges to obey the law on this.  But my way of looking at it is it’s a starting point for the red state governments to force the colleges in their jurisdictions to obey.  None of the Ivy League schools will.  Their state governments will work with them to ignore the Supreme Court using obfuscation.  Well, let them.  I went to a state college and they could teach science and engineering the same as Harvard and Yale.  Maybe better.  No dirt people are going to get in the Ivy League schools so who cares anyway.

The other interesting case was the Supreme Court once again overruling Colorado in its insistence that people working in the wedding industry must celebrate same sex marriages.  That poor wedding cake baker had the Supreme Court find in his favor and then Colorado brought another case against him, this time over some trans-nonsense.  I predict Colorado will continue to harass this other woman who builds websites and doesn’t want to build a gay themed one.  They’ll find some other trumped-up case, slightly different, and go after her again.  But as I said these rulings reinforce the standing in the red states and if we can hold the Supreme Court for a while, they will provide the basis for restoring the social fabric in the red states.  After we lose the Court, it’ll take brains and guts to tell the feds to pound sand.  Let’s hope we find men who have those attributes when we need them.

It was kind of amusing reading and watching the various lefties running around in circles screaming about the affirmative action case.  There was one video with Joy Reid castigating Justice Thomas.  Now I consider Joy Reid to be one of the stupidest people on God’s green Earth.  The fact that she also graduated from Harvard is conclusive proof that this rejection of affirmative action for college admissions is absolutely necessary.  If she was admitted, a virtual cretin, to the premiere university of the United States then obviously there is no objective criterion for their admissions.  In the video she goes on and on speculating on how Clarence Thomas must have some kind of deep-seated self-hatred that forces him to wreak vengeance upon black people.  If there were any objective standards in this country, instead of Harvard she should have been sent to a group home where she could have performed chores she might be suited for, like filling sacks with sand or scrubbing toilets.  Now the unlucky viewers of MSNBC have to watch her on the screen making absurd claims about talented and serious people.  Maybe someday when MSNBC closes down, she’ll find her rightful place in society as a dunk tank clown.

So, all in all, it was an interesting day.  I will be spending considerable time at these various family gatherings on Saturday and Sunday but I’ll do my best to provide some content for the faithful.  Enjoy your weekend.

05JUN2023 – OCF Update – This’N’That

Probably the most significant news is that yesterday the long-discussed Ukraine offensive began.  There were several troop and tank movements in the Donetsk

“Russia’s defence ministry released video of what it said showed several Ukrainian armoured vehicles in a field blowing up after being hit.

Russian forces killed 250 Ukrainian troops as well as destroying 16 tanks, three infantry fighting vehicles and 21 armoured combat vehicles, the ministry said.”

Currently the Ukrainians have not released any statements with their take on the fighting.  From what I read the Ukrainian forces involved included about sixty tanks, 3,000 men, artillery and other armored vehicles.

This is still just a small fraction of the forces available for this offensive but it seems clear this wasn’t a feint.  It’s act one.  It will be evolving over the next days and weeks and it will be gut-wrenching for all involved.

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The Z-Man had an interesting post today about the evolving perspective on the dissident right about what the struggle with the Left actually entails.  Instead of the resistance of the Right to slow down the Left’s never-ending push to produce a heaven on earth he posits that the dissidents are aiming to eliminate ideology as the engine of human social advancement.  What’s being rejected is basically the Enlightenment project that gave birth to liberal democracy in the West.  In its place would be a pragmatic program based on the limitations of human society.  No more heaven on earth.  Just earth.

Pretty thought provoking stuff.

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I’ve been hearing a lot of buzz about a horror movie (if that’s the genre) called Nefarious.  Apparently it’s a death row prisoner being interviewed by a psychiatrist to see if he’s sane enough to be executed.  The twist is that the prisoner claims to be possessed by a demon who wants the execution to proceed so he can escape to a new body from which he can continue his mayhem.  It’s still in the theater so they want twenty bucks to stream it at home.  Well!  I must be getting old.  I remember when twenty bucks was actual money.  I remember as a kid I once found a twenty dollar bill and I thought I was rich.  So anyway I’m stalling until it comes down in price.  It looks pretty good in the trailer.  The producers aren’t mainstream Hollywood types.  They’re on the religious side of things.  So that makes it even more interesting to me.  Maybe I’ll spring for the twenty bucks.  I’ll probably still be able to eat that week.  And supporting alternatives to woke corporations like the Hollywood studios is almost a religious obligation.  So I guess I’ll fork over the quatloos.

End of the Weekend

Memorial Day and a small-town parade and remembering those who sacrificed all they had.  And spending time with the kids and grandkids and working on some projects and doing the maintenance for the summer.  And this and that.  Camera Girl’s honey-do list and some foul-ups opening up the pool and work on the vegetable garden.

And before you know it the weekend is over.  But we did get a chance to go to an ice cream store that makes ice cream from their own cows’ milk and it’s so rich that it’s hard to stand up after you’re done eating it.  And I snuck up on some of the turkeys that wander through my fields.  Those things are prehistoric.  I really can see how they’re related to dinosaurs.

And we hosted our grandson’s sports team’s end of season party and they had a good time playing pool and volleyball and eating mass quantities of Italian food.  Wow, I remember when I could pack away food like that.  Now I think it might kill me outright.  Youth is a remarkable gift but only the old appreciate it.  The young just take it for granted.  And that’s as it should be.

I’m getting together with the Coffee Walk Committee next Friday.  It should be interesting.  One of the guys I haven’t spoken to in a couple of years.  It will be interesting to get his take on the old firm and what finally drove him out.  The stories I hear from the old gang aren’t encouraging.  It’s all the classic signs of the social justice convergence.  Supposedly the constant drumbeat of diversity, inclusion and equity (DIE) is driving out the straight white men but also making everyone else who just wants to do their jobs crazy.  And even with the economy beginning to slip pretty badly, good people are leaving.  People just get tired of making believe they agree with the talking points.  My favorite was how this engineering manager explained how diversity being a strength had been proven empirically.  He was claiming that there was scientific proof that hiring people by the color of their skin was measurably superior business wise.  It’s remarkable what Big Brother can get an otherwise intelligent man to say.  Well, he has a wife and kids and a job he wants to keep.  I guess he can do without his integrity.

One of the regulars here sent me a link to a study done by the World Health Organization (WHO) that admitted that there was evidence that the COVID vaccine causes multiple sclerosis.  So, let’s see.  Blood clots, stroke, myocarditis and now multiple sclerosis.  That’s impressive.  Even cigarettes haven’t been linked to all of those.  Only the first two.  Should be interesting to see if the scientific community finally admits that the “vaccine” was an atrocity and all involved criminals.  But maybe I assume there is any honesty left in “science.”

Well, the week begins and we’ll be busy with our own things.  But of course, we’ll make time to read about the Keystone Kops in Washington stealing everything in sight and the boycotts of the various woke corporations.  Stay tuned.

16APR2023 – OCF Update – This’N’That

So I enjoyed writing that review last night of the “groundbreaking” 1960s movie Blow-up.  Mocking something so utterly dumb was life-affirming.  It’s like watching that video of Musk brow-beating that dopey BBC reporter, just wonderfully satisfying.

Today we have a party to go to in the mid-afternoon so it’ll be a limited writing day because I also was handed a honey-do list by Camera Girl and there was a seriousness in her demeanor that leads me to believe that stalling will be seriously frowned upon.  Well, uninstalled new windshield wiper blades and blocked driveway drains are the stuff of wifely discontent so I guess I best bestir myself.

On the plus side I knocked off another 2,000 words on the story.  That’s another 2%.  Pretty good, pretty good.  And on the topicality front I did add an AI character to the story.  And that was before the current mania.  It was probably more an homage to “The Moon is a Harsh Mistress.”  Interestingly I’ve made mine a girl and she’s possibly the most enjoyable character in the book.  I’m trying to decide whether to kill her off or her creator.  One of them will have to go.

We had a ninety degree day on Friday.  That’s pretty damn hot for mid-April.  But we’re back in the fifties today.  But the heat really activated the dreaded mayflies.  Yesterday a cloud of them enveloped me while I was pumping gas.  Four of them followed me into the car and I was swatting at them like a lunatic while trying to drive on a busy road.  And the pollen is so thick you can taste it on your tongue.  People are walking around coughing up a lung.  Ah the joys of spring.

But life is good.  We turned the heat off a few days ago and there was still a balance in the heating oil account.  So Dementia Joe hasn’t quite bankrupted me yet.  Camera Girl will put aside her soup recipes and all sorts of warm weather provender will appear on the menu.

I was reading through the daily news and opinion rags with distaste.  The left is made up of dishonest people and idiots.  But the Right is hardly a paragon of virtue and intelligence.  Even when they get something right often it’s like the whining of the village idiot.  It’s just too painful to listen to.

I was watching a vlogger post about how camera photography was dying and how phone photography would kill it off any day now.  Maybe he’s right but that just tells me people are just too lazy to use the best tool for the job.  But he has a certain point.  The convenience of the smart phone has taken a heavy toll on the use of conventional cameras.  But despair seems a little melodramatic.

Well I better get on with my chores or I won’t get fed today.  Camera Girl is a Harsh Mistress. So enjoy the day and I’ll see what I can think of to comment on later.

11APR2023 – OCF Update – This’N’That

Sunday was a great Easter family get together so this week is about catching up on stuff I neglected.

Today is going to be a mixed bag.  I have some photos and quotes to do and I am behind on everything; writing, chores, you name it.  But I want to have some fun too.

I grabbed this old Minolta zoom lens (35-105, f\3.5-4.5, macro) that has been hiding on a shelf in a closet for years and I want to play around with it as a walk-around lens for a while.  It’s a goofy lens and of course it’s on the LA-EA5 adapter so most of the autofocus stuff doesn’t work with it.  And the “macro” capability is this ridiculous switch that only allows for manual focus.  And the lens is very old so the coatings are very old technology so there’s all kinds of chromatic aberration.  But it has already been fun to walk around and use the  zoom to frame shots and to have wide angle and telephoto perspectives available.

Who knows whether the results will be terrible or even just meh but I’m having a little fun so far and maybe change is good for once.  I enjoyed my little foray into riffing on those Alice in Wonderland quotes.  It’s funny how closely the experience of finding oneself in a nightmare dreamscape resembles the actual world we find ourselves in.  Makes you wonder if the powers that be read the Wonderland books and liked what they saw.

 

Those damn bluebirds are back again and making believe they will take up residence in that same damn bluebird house.  I don’t believe it for a second but just as a diversion I’ve been taking some photos waiting for them to get kicked out by the swallows.  I daily harp on their shortcomings to Camera Girl.  I mock them constantly and call them pathetic losers and compare them to the various Republican losers that adorn our political make-believe world.  I think she’s getting tired of my obsession with them.

Cthulhu

Dunwich’s descent into political madness continues apace.  Confusion and anger are on full display and the path forward has been so muddied by the conflicting suggestions that the whole town government is paralyzed.  But we have to hope for the best.  I’m caught up in all this up to my chin so there’s nothing to do but move forward.  Onward and upward.  Or inward and downward.  Whichever works.

Well, it’s a warm, sunny day and we should all get some air today if we can.  But stay tuned and I’m sure to have something to say later.  I am an excitable kinda guy.

13JAN2023 – This’N’That

It’s been a busy week and that plays havoc with my various schedules.  I’ve of late drawn up a list of things I try to get done at various times of the day and week.  C’est la guerre.  But all in all, things are still moving along.  And my morale is reasonable.  So onward and upward.

I see that Dopey Joe has stepped in it with both feet with this document thing.  Of course, he’ll get the Democrat treatment so there won’t be any consequences but it does make the hypocrisy of what they’re trying to do to Trump even more egregious.  Good.  Hammering home all the corrupt aspects of the banana republic we now live in is probably the only useful function that the GOP and the small independent media can perform.

I spent some time at a Selectman’s Meeting and saw what an actual government is supposed to be working on; trying to find the money to pay for a new piece of fire fighting equipment to replace one that was end-of-life twenty-five years ago or finding money to pay for Emergency Medical Services that we lost through the incompetence of the state we live in.  The people at this meeting weren’t wearing three-piece suits or sipping lattes.  They were in work boots and jeans.  And they looked tired.  They have real jobs but they work in the evenings keeping the town government going even though they’d like to quit.  But then it would be done by really terrible people.  It’s not fun being a red town in a blue state.  Well, I got some inspiration at least.  And I met some good people.  They don’t resemble the mythical First Selectman Cthulhu or the other hapless denizens of Dunwich but I can still use them as inspiration.

I’ll have to think about the Biden humor pieces I started doing yesterday.  It was brought up that’s it’s devilishly difficult to parody a president as awful as Dementia Joe.  His lying is so epic that it’s hard to see how I can outdo it.  And he’s so creepy in real life that even documenting it raises concerns over matters of good taste on a general audience website.  So, I’ll try to ensure that I create a product that is both entertaining and true to the spirit of our “Dear Leader.”  I will admit that I had a bit of fun writing it.  Biden is such a hapless loser when he tries to justify himself that I can’t help but laugh when I mock him.  And there’s so much fodder to work with.  Anywhere you stick a shovel you hit paydirt.  I could probably do a whole post just on his use of the term, malarkey.  So, we’ll see how it goes.

Seeing how annoyed all the lefties were about the outcome in the House of Representatives I have to conclude that the whole thing was a net positive.  Maybe Kevin McCarthy even learned something about dealing with free people.  Now we’ll have to see if any of the changes being instituted make a difference or whether the Republicans just roll over and obey Biden, Schumer and the vested interests who donate to their war chests.  Still, I did think there was value in seeing a little real insurrection in the House.

Well anyway, here’s to the beginning of a good weekend.  And hopefully I’ll have more to show real soon.

20NOV2022 – OCF Update – This’N’That – Of Mice and Math

Sunday, the day of rest.  A good day to regroup and sets things in order for the upcoming week.  Especially this week.  Had a blast with the old grandsons yesterday.  Fun outing, good food.  Got home and skipped dinner.  Skipped all food and drink and maybe that was a mistake.  I was still recovering from that virus that was in the house the last couple of weeks.  But I figured I could skip the cold meds.  Big mistake!  Woke up at 4:30 am with a splitting sinus headache.  So, I beat a hasty retreat to the cold medicine and then sat up for a half hour to let it knock down my sinus inflammation.

But today I’m definitely on the mend.  So, I spent time working on minutia.  I’ve been using the Logitech M570 Wireless Trackball Mouse as my pointing device for the last six or so years.  It’s a great device in most ways.  But unfortunately, the switches for the left and right click buttons give out after a couple of years.  So now I have three of these things that double click when they shouldn’t.  I finally looked into the problem and found a YouTube video that shows how to replace the microswitches and eliminate the problem.  Now I’ll have to buy a soldering iron and some other bits of gear and become a technician.  Well, that’s kind of fun.  Plus, I’ll fix the other two mice and become mouse anti-fragile for the foreseeable future.  Yeah me.

The other thing today was about was to delve into vector analysis.  I never had the time back in the day to play around with the more advanced theorems to get a solid handle on the tensor notation.  In the past I’ve been exposed (as if to a disease) to Del Notation, Dyadics, the Laplacian and equally complex concepts.  The Kronecker delta and how to expand the determinant was something I had to memorize in order to solve some problems in physics.  But if I’m being honest there was very little comprehension on my part at the time as to how these manipulations made sense.  Now I’ve got some time I think I’ll take another whack at it.  The question as to whether I still have sufficient brain cells to thread my way around it and whether those brain cells can retain it remains to be seen.  But it might be fun.

So, amid my other occupations I’ve added electronic technician and math student.  That should make Thanksgiving week an interesting time.  Maybe I’ll buy the microswitches and soldering iron on Black Friday and get some huge discount.  I’ll probably also have to buy some kind of giant magnifying glass on a flexible arm just to see the attachment points for the switches.  It’s a pity I can’t purchase new eyes too.  But once again, the future we were promised all those years ago before Blade Runner hasn’t quite materialized yet.  Well, no need to get all whiny about it.  Magnifying glass works too.

So here we go into Thanksgiving Week.  Turkey, gravy, stuffing, pumpkin pie, old movies and family.  What’s better than that?

Happy Halloween 2022 – This’N’That

The last day of October is cool, bright and breezy.  Camera Girl is out and about returning a DVD player that I bought that didn’t work and as it turned out we didn’t need.  I’m supposed to be filling out an asset statement for a business I’m starting but it’s so boring I can’t keep my concentration on it for more than thirty seconds at a time.

We’ve got a bunch of Hersey’s chocolate bars and M&M candy bags ready in case the grandkids show up in their costumes.  Living out in the boondocks where there are no sidewalks means no actual trick or treaters ever show up at our Halloween bedecked door (ah well).

Camera Girl has been feasting me of late on a number of soup recipes that she’s been playing around with.  She made a minestrone with escarole added in.  She has a split pea and sausage soup and later on this week there should be a chicken and butternut squash soup on the stovetop.  These soups are splendiferous and are partially responsible for me not falling into despair over the pathetic condition of our fallen republic.  It’s almost as if these soups are an antidote to Joe Biden.

Tomorrow I have to report for duty on the election and I will be assigned the most important tasks; probably sharpening pencils and placing tape on the floor.  If nothing else it should be interesting to see just how fouled up elections are in Dunwich.

The hubbub over Musk taking over Twitter is interesting.  If nothing else it will make news blackouts less effective.  For instance, when Pelosi’s husband was “attacked” there were a lot of sources on Twitter commenting that the whole thing didn’t add up.  Even Musk hinted that maybe Pelosi’s attacker might not have broken into the house but been let in by someone there.  Before the sale Twitter might have made it a policy to delete any tweets that suggested this or even closed the accounts of those who tweeted it.  But now it’s out there for everyone to read and laugh about.  So when Joe Biden tries to tell us that somehow this is January 6th all over again the mockery overflows.

I was on my weekly zoom with the coffee walk guys and the idea of the San Francisco Militant Nudist as MAGA extremist was just too much.  They were laughing so hard they were practically crying.  The jokes about the exact nature of the hammer went on way too long.  The consensus was that Old Paul was in a dispute over Terms of Service.  He may have exceeded his milage limit or something and didn’t want to incur any extra charges.  Customer service is a dying art.

Then the conversation turned to the elections and I complained that the way things are looking I might not have an excuse to give up on the Republicans yet.  One of the guys pointed to a few pretty good candidates and told me to suck it up and hope for the best.  I have to admit there are some tiny rays of light out there.  Lake is a good example.  So I kind of grudgingly agreed.

This is going to be a busy next week and more.  But it could also be filled with interesting occurrences.  Who knows, Joe might even start a war.  But I think we’re all hardened to whatever outrages the Biden machine will commit.  So Joe, “send in the clowns.”

03OCT2022 – OCF Update – This’N’That

I find the increasingly surreal reality around me both dizzying and slightly depressing.  So, I’m trying to distract myself from it with more pleasant subjects.  Last week I started listening to some of Wagner’s “Der Ring des Nibelungen.”  Unfortunately, the library I’m borrowing it from didn’t have the entire four opera set (Sir George Solti’s version) available.  In fact, all they’ve sent me so far is the third opera, Siegfried.

As promised, there are a lot of people singing at each other in German with extremely powerful voices and what seem like lots of emotional problems.  I confess that my lack of German is hampering my appreciation of the dialog but I found many of the melodic parts of the soundtrack very stirring.  I was disappointed that the library didn’t send me Die Walker (“The Valkyrie”).  I’ve always admired the Bugs Bunny version where Elmer Fudd sings along to the “Flight of the Valkyrie” with the magnificent refrain “kill the wabbit, kill the wabbit, kill the wabbit.”  It seemed the height of musical sophistication at the time.  So far, the experiment has been amusing.  We shall see how it develops.

After watching “The Northman” I’ve decided to review some of the other versions of the play, Hamlet.  I’ve been a fan of Olivier’s version but I think I want to watch Gibson’s and Branagh’s versions again.  One of the only advantages that Branagh’s version had is that it’s comprehensive.  Olivier left out the characters of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern and although I see why he did it (time constraints) I do miss those sections.  Next summer I’ll try to attend a live performance of Hamlet somewhere.  There used to be a Shakespeare company in the Berkshires of Massachusetts that I sometimes attended.  They were pretty good.  I’ll have to see if they still exist and find out if they’re covering Hamlet next year.  If not I’m sure some place in New England there is a production.  After all it’s supposed to be the best play by the best playwright in the English language.  Surely someone is still doing it.  My only fear is that it will be exuberantly woke and all the characters will be wheelchair-bound transgender vegans.  That’s bound to take away from the dueling scene.

My scorecard for the November elections is kind of encouraging at the moment.  It seems like the Democrats are trying to psych themselves up.  There’s lots of talk about all these women who registered to vote and all the passion about abortion.  But there is a definite sense that even people like Chuck Todd sense a shellacking in the making.  Losing the House is already a foregone conclusion.  And it’s starting to look like the Senate will also go to the Republicans although whether it will be one seat or a handful is hard to say.  What with Mitch McConnell actively working against some of the Republican candidates it’s hard to figure exactly how the numbers will pan out.  Mitch really is an awful man to have as an ally.  But even he may not be enough to throw the Senate to the Dems while Creepy Uncle Joe is undermining what’s left of Western civilization.

As for the Ukraine war, well that rolling disaster is just another example of the dysfunctional Deep State tampering with the world as if it were their personal Frankenstein’s laboratory.  There seems to be no end to their appetite for destruction.  But this one may be the payoff.  I get the feeling even the Germans have had enough winning.  They’re going to go on a low temperature, low power diet this winter and maybe even these true believers may finally say enough.  Who knows, even their died in the wool Greens may beg for some nuclear power this winter when their toes freeze off.

Well anyway, that’s what’s going on today.  I hope your week has begun well.