Thursday, January 31, 2008

Missing you already, John


Democrat John Edwards announces his withdrawal from the presidential race in the Hurricane Katrina stricken Ninth Ward of New Orleans, La., Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2008. Edwards' wife Elizabeth and son Jack applaud. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

We're sorry to see you go, John. A true southern gentleman, he stood head and shoulders above the Clinton-Obama knife fight.

Monday, January 28, 2008

How Green is my Desert

We've gotten quite a bit of rain in the last month. The Mohave Desert is coming alive. If we get a bit more rain in the coming months, the desert flowers will be spectacular.
The entire desert has a green stubble. It's a green wonderland.

Lifted 'Toons







Sunday, January 27, 2008

Save yourself

When criminals in this world appear,
And break the laws that they should fear,
And frighten all who see or hear,
The cry goes up both far and near
for
Underdog! Underdog! Underdog!

***********************************
I know that you've been damaged
Your soul has suffered such abuse
But I am not your savior
I am just as fucked as you
I can not save you
I can't even save myself
So just save yourself

Save Yourself by Stabbing Westward

************************************

In the movies, the source of the victim's fear is his lack of defensive weaponry. Sure, fearless Bruce Willis can improvise and take out a helicopter with a Buick(the Buick's stunt double was a Toyota), but mostly the weaponless victim runs or cowers in a wet puddle. And that's OK. It's a normal reaction. But shrinks have a word for people who are afraid for no reason: Paranoid.

"The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary."

H. L. Mencken

So what scares you the most? Terrorists? Puh-leeeeze.
Being without health insurance? OK, that one concerns me.
IRS audit? Excuse me while I pee my pants.
So, what kind of weapon will give us the confidence to face a predatory government? Voting booths? Ha Ha!




Friday, January 25, 2008

Simplistic solutions



From the Republican debate:

Huckabee offered qualified support for the stimulus package, saying he was concerned the tax rebates would be financed by borrowing from foreign lenders such as China, and that consumers would then turn around and spend the money on Chinese products.

``I have to wonder whose economy is going to be stimulated the most by the package,'' said the former Arkansas governor.

Bush lied the U.S. into war. The war emptied the treasury and trashed the economy. So instead of borrowing money to finance the dimwitted "economic stimulus", how about ending the war? Or is that too easy?

Thursday, January 24, 2008

When the walls come tumblin' down

Mr. Sharon, tear down this wall!

Damn! American taxpayers financed this gorgeous wall and these ungrateful Palestinians just trashed it. The nerve! They should all be arrested for illegally searching for food. And the Egyptians are no help at all. When the U.S.-financed Israeli military asked Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to stop the illegal quest for food, he shrugged his shoulders and said, "What do you want me to do, shoot them?"
This is a major setback for
pResident Bush. The Israeli blockade and starvation of the Gazans was a cornerstone of his Israeli-Palestinian peace plan. There goes his Nobel Peace Prize.
Carpenter thinks that Americans are selfish bastards. Instead of worrying about our
imminent economic collapse, we should focus on oppressing and murdering people around the world who hate us for our freedom.

Hamas-backed militants driving bulldozers knocked down more Egyptian border fortifications on Friday in a brazen challenge to Egyptian forces who are trying, with little success, to gradually reseal the breached border using human chains, dogs and water cannons. (AP Photo/Hatem Moussa)

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Nothin' but the dawg in me

Ralph

Why must I be like that
Why must I chase the cat
Nothin' but the dog in me.

Snoop Doggy Dogg (a man who thoroughly understands canine thought)

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Economic Stimulus

Our Decider has decided that America needs economic stimulus. Apparently someone finally told him that our economy is in crash mode. The puppet press reports the condescending announcement-from-dear-leader that we need to be stimulated to produce more for the government. Does he really care if we have enough for ourselves? And wouldn't it be easier to stop a treasury-draining war than to borrow enough to send the peasants a tax rebate check?
It's hard to pinpoint the exact moment when America became unfree. I think it happened when the president, the leader of a government, became the leader of America and the "free world". Thanks, Ayn Rand, for the quaint notion that words have an exact meaning. I don't need a leader and I'm insulted whenever anyone mentions "our president". He's not my president and he's not your president either.
Every four years, insane Americans vote for different politicians. They, the voters, don't seem to notice that the results never change.

A quote from H. L. Mencken comes to mind:

The government I live under has been my enemy all my active life. When it has not been engaged in silencing me it has been engaged in robbing me. So far as I can recall I have never had any contact with it that was not an outrage on my dignity and an attack on my security.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Party Time


To hell with hope and change. I want a party president, someone who knows how to roll a fattie. I suspect this picture was photo-shopped. Call it a hunch.
The above picture was shamelessly lifted from The Huffington Post.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Testing, one, two, three


No-name font smallest.
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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Civilization


Paul: Nothing to do but cut and run, huh? What else?
What about the old American social custom of self-defense?

If the police don't defend us, maybe we ought to do it ourselves.

Jack:
We're not pioneers anymore, Dad.
Paul:
What are we, Jack?
Jack:
What do you mean?
Paul:
I mean, if we're not pioneers, what have we become?
What do you call people who, when they're faced with

a condition of fear, do nothing about it, they just run and hide?

Jack:
Civilized?
--Death Wish
(1974)

script shamelessly lifted from RangerAgainstWar's site.

Death wish is a good story ruined by bad movie making. The soundtrack was mad piano-tinkling, most of the criminals were dark-skinned, and women were expected to be at home or out shopping.
Paul Kersey's question is a good one. What have we become? We don't defend ourselves anymore. We call the police. We don't grow our own food anymore. We go to the grocery store. We don't build our own houses anymore. We buy a tract home or rent an apartment. We don't make our own clothes anymore. We shop at Walmart.
Is this a good thing? Pioneers may not have the most fashionable clothes, but their food in season is probably tastier than the stuff in grocery stores. They may not have mansions, but they don't have an oppressive mortgage either. And pioneers may not have a police department, but I suspect that freedom feels a lot better than stifling Law and Order.



Monday, January 14, 2008

Big Brother

Britney Spears

I feel sorry for Britney. She's one waste of makeup, a train-wreck of a human that a gleeful press enjoys kicking.
But she's also a mom, and she's lost her "visitation rights". Taking away her children and "granting" her "visitation" in the first place was an outrage to her dignity and probably exacerbated her strange behavior. To additionally outrage her, she's forced to pay for FedEx's attorney and must pay FedEx an enormous sum of money each month. Who among us thinks that we should keep our children only by permission of "Family Court", permission
revocable at any time? What "hearing master" is qualified to delve into our hearts to determine "suitability" to keep "custody"? I weep for America, land of the free.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Earthe Dogge


Ralph

Ralph is a Lhasa Apso. He'd be a flying dustmop if we let his hair grow. We have to give him a haircut every month. The upside is that he doesn't shed hair like most dogs. Lhasas are a breed of terrier. Terrier is an old english word meaning, "earthe dogge". An earth dog likes digging for things, although Ralph has outgrown that. Ralph has keen eyesight and superior hearing, but his ability to discover things with his nose is awesome. Bloodhounds get all the press, but I'd bet Ralph would have made a great tracking dog. Whenever we take Ralph for a ride in the truck, we have to take towels. He gets carsick. And that's how he got his name. Ralph, our earth-dog, will soon be living in a underground (earth-sheltered) home.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Air Conditioning


This week our AC units are being installed. Not that we'll need them this winter. With the visqueen off our windows, letting the sunshine in, the temperature inside is now staying at 70 degrees. I'm guessing that in the summer these AC units will get a small workout in the 125 degree days of the Mojave Desert. But I'm hoping not too much of a workout.
The AC units are 17 SEER Amana machines. If they are as efficient as their hype, we'll have low electricity bills. One disturbing thing about our units is the complete lack of a way to use air filters. Amana made no attempt to even consider that the homeowner might want to use air filters. Fortunately our savvy AC technicians have given it some thought, and they made me a nice tray to slide the filters in and out. I like the electrostatic filters, the washable kind you can use over and over.

Monday, January 7, 2008

The Underground Grammarian


Richard Mitchell
?- Dec. 27, 2002

From whence came The Underground Carpenter blog? Two urges. My long-held dream of building an underground(earth-sheltered) home and my even longer search for understanding. Our home will soon be finished, but my search for understanding(and better building concepts) is ongoing and elusive, sometimes even futile. The Underground Carpenter is an effort to further the search. This blog is dedicated to, and the name inspired by, two people. One is an underground architect in Cape Cod, Malcolm Wells. The other is a New Jersey English professor, Richard Mitchell, who wrote an unscheduled newsletter called The Underground Grammarian.
Here is a snippet of Mitchell:

The important question is the one that no one can answer, as we can answer questions about the principal exports of Brazil and the capitals of the states. The important question calls not for that sort of answer, but for thoughtful consideration.




Friday, January 4, 2008

Change and Hope

Hope springs eternal here at the Underground Carpenter with our latest change. The front of our house is now stuccoed, so we're getting closer to finishing.
Every day I check the thermometer inside. With no heat, the inside stays a rock-steady 68 degrees, in spite of the near-freezing outside temperatures each morning.

Border Patrol


Here's a shot of Ralph handling perimeter security. In the two years we've been here, we haven't had a single security breech. Visitors are allowed to stay only with Ralph's approval. Since Ralph loves almost everybody, I've concluded that most humans are decent enough, and that bad guys are rare.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

"These Political Leaders"

SIOUX CITY, Iowa — John Edwards said the funniest thing on the campaign trail yesterday.

“I absolutely believe this to my soul: we are there propping up their bad behavior,” he said. “I mean really, how many American lives and how much American taxpayer money are we going to continue to expend waiting for these political leaders to do something? Because that is precisely what we are doing.”

Was he speaking of Iraqi or American "political leaders"?