Friday, December 25, 2009
This is Charlie, potentially the best dog in the whole world. Several times a day we tell him that he's a good boy, and he does, in fact, earn the praise. Charlie is almost 5 months old, and weighs about 8 lbs.
He has a lackadaisical attitude about walking and eating. He drags his feet when we start a walk, but hauls ass on the return home. While most dogs wolf down their chow instantly as it is placed in front of them, Charlie has never finished a meal in one sitting. It generally takes him several sitdowns over 3-6 hours to finish a plate of food. We have tried different foods and even "toppings" like Nutrical, yogurt and salmon oil.
Friday, December 18, 2009
The following is from a Craigslist Ad for employment:
Uh, this is a human being we're talking about here, right?
Monday, December 14, 2009
I have a hard time understanding why anyone could think government is a good thing. I think government is just a different kind of belief, a religion.
Religionists come in all stripes. Some are lukewarm on the concept. Some are Fire-and-Brimstone, Old Testament(or Koran), Wrath-of-God Believers. Even Atheists are a variant of Religionism. How can you be against something you don't believe in? If this is possible, then why don't we have Anti-Bigfooters and Anti-Nessies? Agnostic is a term that offends me. I prefer Non-believer. I try not to have any beliefs, but I'll listen to anyone, time permitting. I keep a frame-of-mind that says, "Well, maybe."
I've called myself an Anarchist, but I've never felt comfortable with the term. I'm more a Non-Archist. I'm not against Government. I think everyone should be able to hold any belief they want, as long as they hold it to themselves. If you use threat of force to "convince" others to accept or obey your beliefs, you cross a line between thought and action. And have you ever noticed that when two people argue, the louder one is usually wrong?
Get to the point, UC. OK, OK, OK.
Most people, when asked, will tell you they believe in government. It's just that, well, it's not working out. So the first thing most believers of government will advocate is More Laws. Or stick to the Constitution(Old Testament). Or tax the rich. Problem #1 is that all laws have unintended consequences that are usually worse than the problem they intended to solve. Problem #2 is that most laws are "positive"--they force you to do something you'd rather not. That pisses people off a lot more than a "negative" law that just expects you to refrain from doing something.
The Constitution was a clever attempt to reconcile people's belief in government with the glaring problem of its atrocities. The big problem with the Constitution is that all the "thou shalt nots" are directed, not to people, but to a concept--the concept of government. Since only a person can be punished, government can do pretty much whatever it wants. Pay no attention to that government behind the curtain.
Saturday, December 12, 2009
- Guns are necessary to self-defense
- Our right to pack heat is acknowledged in the Constitution
- Hunting rifles are a sacred tradition
- Shooting guns is a popular sport
- Guns are used to commit crime
- Negligent discharges cause loss of life
- Guns have only one purpose--destruction
- Only police and military need guns
- Sensible gun laws
- Gun registration
- Do anything as long as you harm no one
- Go anywhere, buy anything
- Population is controlled, and secure
- Homogenous society. Deviants not allowed
- IRS, DMV, CIA, Police, FBI, NSA, Assessor, Legislature, etc...
- Sensible Laws
The horrible truth is that most people are more comfortable with slavery. People don't like their neighbors ingesting wierd substances, performing atypical sexual acts, possessing scary things, and thinking different thoughts.
How much freedom do you want?
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Monday, November 30, 2009
In 1964, after 10 years spent spreading corporate asphalt on America in the name of architecture, I woke up one day to the fact that the earth's surface was made for living plants, not industrial plants. I've been an underground architect ever since.
The above photos are from Wendy Mathias's website devoted to Malcolm Wells.
Wendy Mathias has just posted a pdf file of Malcolm's self-written obituary. Click Here.
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Monday, November 23, 2009
Monday, November 16, 2009
Jefferson realized that Freedom wasn't free. Tom would stand outside, breathe in the fresh air, and think to himself, "Yep, smells like freedom to me".
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Saturday, November 7, 2009
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Saturday, October 10, 2009
- do not trust leaders
- do not trust government
- wish to be left alone
- value their privacy
- think of themselves as independent from society
- do not believe that there is a systemic solution to their problems
- believe that others should be free to do what they choose, provided they do so in private and do not harm others
The above is from a post on The Daily Paul. Click here to read more.
Taxes are not only a monkey wrench in the machinery of civilization--rent we're forced to pay on our own lives--but the very fuel of war itself.
All taxes are evil. When you take somebody else's property and they don't want to give it to you, there's only one word for it, no matter how many others voted to do it or what kind of funny hat or silly uniform you wear. That word is theft.
If a politician isn't perfectly comfortable with the idea of his average constituent, any man, woman, or responsible child, walking into a hardware store and paying cash--for any rifle, shotgun, handgun, machinegun, anything--without producing ID or signing one scrap of paper, he isn't your friend no matter what he tells you.
When our national leaders begin hiding behind guided missiles, body armor, "pedestrian malls", bullet-proof glass, and tripod control, it's probably for a reason. If you make a career of stealing people's money and screwing with their lives, you're an idiot if you don't expect some of the more frangible among them....to begin screwing back.
The above quotes are from Lever Action, Essays on Liberty by L. Neil Smith.
Friday, October 9, 2009
Right. Hope and Change. Any day now.
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Thursday, October 1, 2009
Frederic was fond of pointing out "what is seen and what is not seen". He would have gently mentioned that you might have bought a new car with the income taxes you were forced to pay. Instead, a wedding party was bombed in Afghanistan.
Sunday, September 27, 2009
My recollection of history is not sharp, but (correct me if I'm wrong) weren't the founders mostly looking for freedom from governmental intrusion? I don't remember any writings about health care or bailing out banks or social security. What is it about freedom from "government services" that got their waistcoats in a twist? They only briefly mentioned the "general welfare" of the citizenry, and I don't recall their pounding the table about the "will of the people" as being the standard of wise government. Maybe the founders were wrong and we need to downplay the "Land of the Free" thing. On a sliding scale of Freedom to Slavery, what mix of liberty and bondage will make for the highest general welfare?
Monday, September 21, 2009
Monday, September 21, 2009 4:45 AM CDT
"Resources will not win this war, but under-resourcing could lose it," McChrystal wrote in a five-page Commander's Summary.
Let me see if I got this right. We can't win, but we might lose. What, exactly, is the definition of "win"? If winning means financial and political collapse for the U.S., then we might as well bring the troops home and close shop on our worldwide garrisons and occupations. And how did this AP reporter get her hands on a "confidential report"?
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Tom's essay doesn't start off interesting, but by the fourth or fifth paragraph he catches fire and keeps his coals glowing throughout the rest.
Monday, September 14, 2009
Thursday, September 10, 2009
debating proof of the success of America's experiment in democracy. It was Rome, when Rome was in its heyday.
These days it's more like Rome right before the fall of the empire -- brimming with arrogance, stupidity, influence-peddling
and near-constant partisan hackery, and overrun by self-serving clowns drunk on their own grandiose sense of importance
and always on the lookout for the next illicit sexual encounter."
I don't think I could improve on that. I like this Chez Pazienza. I lifted this quote off Bartcop, but his link didn't take me to the source of the quote. I think I need to search the Innertubes.
Obama: ‘Time for bickering is over'
WASHINGTON - Shaking off a summer of setbacks, President Barack Obama summoned Congress to enact sweeping health care legislation Wednesday night, declaring the ‘‘time for bickering is over'' and the moment has arrived to protect millions who have unreliable insurance or no coverage at all.
Obama said the changes he wants would cost about $900 billion over decade, ‘‘less than we have spent on the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, and less than the tax cuts for the wealthiest few Americans'' passed during the Bush administration.
Praise be. Home boy finally noticed the elephant in the room. Now if he can only focus, he might make the connection of taxes to taxpayers. Before the government can spend money on wars it has to take it away from the citizenry. But don't stop there. A standing army just begs to be used, and its use right now is to bomb wedding parties. Do you think there might be a connection between U.S. military atrocities and worldwide outrage against the U.S.? Nah, but lets save a couple of bucks anyway and shut down all the U.S. military bases in 130 or so different countries. Since Obama is the Commander-in-Chief, couldn't he close all the foreign bases and bring the troops home? Leave the world alone. Stop the killing and bullying.
Saturday, September 5, 2009
"It certainly is a horrendous market right now," said Arvind Menon, chief executive officer of Meadows Bank. "It certainly is getting harder and harder to find good borrowers to lend money to, primarily because of all the financial devastation that's going on in the market. It's very difficult to be able to make loans that we think will be able to weather the storm."
Menon is looking for borrowers who have strong liquidity, low debts in relation to assets and few contingent liabilities in the form of personal guarantees for outstanding loans.
But why would a person with lots of cash and low bills want to borrow money? The only time a shrewd person would want to borrow is if he was dead certain that prices were going up faster than the cost of the loan. In that case, why would banks want to loan?
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Friday, August 28, 2009
2. If there were no medical insurance available, would medical care cost as much as it does? Would fat people lose weight if they couldn't afford their cholesterol meds and angioplasty?
3. Without financing, would cars and houses cost as much as they do? If we knew the exact amount that it increased the cost of these two essential American possessions, would we tolerate government regulations and building codes?
4. Fire departments cost a lot of money. Wouldn't it be easier to build homes that don't burn? Mark Twain asked this question over a century ago.
5. Which is cheaper for the U.S. government to subsidize, oil wars or wind generators and solar panels?
Friday, August 7, 2009
There are some questions I haven't found answers to yet. Solar PV panels put out direct current, so you need an inverter to change direct to alternating current. To match your power company's 60 Hz current, your inverter has to be a synchronous inverter. Does your system's voltage have to match the power company's exactly? Any solar or wind system is constantly changing, so does the inverter also constrain the voltage? If so, does the constraint "chop off" any usable power above what the inverter needs to make exactly 240 volts? And are there any compatibility problems with the wind generator and solar panels, like say the sun is shining brightly but the wind is calm, or the wind is howling at midnight?
Saturday, August 1, 2009
from Timber, or, Discoveries made upon Men and Matters, by Ben Jonson (1573?-1637)
About this, what else can we say? Read this archived issue of The Underground Grammarian, by the late Richard Mitchell, who was a professor of English. In addition to his irregularly-published Underground Grammarian, Mitchell also wrote 4 books, all gems.
Thursday, July 30, 2009
I talked to one fellow in my Yellow Pages search. He couldn't help me business-wise, but he did steer me to a place where I could learn all about solar and wind power. Home Power Magazine is a wonderful source of information and advertising. There are nuts-and-bolts articles, apples-to-apples comparisons, and even make-it-from-scratch-with-old-car-parts articles. You can buy a paper subscription or an online subscription. If you get the online sub(about $10), you can download all past issues in their archive. I recommend it. Go there now.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
In order to take advantage of the sun's heat and to mitigate the effect of cold winter winds, all the glass should be on the south face of the building. The window overhangs should be designed so that the inside is shaded in summer and gets full sun in winter. The problem here is that the best scenery and view might not be to the south. Also, building on the north side of hilly land might not give you enough sunlight. And the constraints of efficient passive solar design definitely restricts the architectural design. The WOW factor can become BOW WOW.
Most people have programmable thermostats to control temperatures in their homes. Above-ground homes are subject to wide swings in temperature, but underground homes keep a constant temperature because of the thermal mass of the structure. That flywheel effect makes it very difficult to change the inside temperature of an underground house. So it's best to pick one temperature and stick with it summer and winter.
The biggest disadvantage of earth-sheltered construction is cost. It is THE reason why above-ground homes are still built. As a rough estimate, I'd say that underground homes cost 50% more than above-ground homes. The beefy structure is one reason, but the biggest wallet-shocking surprise comes from excavation. Moving dirt is hugely expensive.
Oh yeah, and cell phones don't work underground. I have to walk outside to use mine.
Monday, May 25, 2009
If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude greater than the animating contest for freedom, go home and leave us in peace. We seek not your council, nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.
They that would give up essential liberty for a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
P. J. O'Rourke
America wasn't founded so that we could all be better. America was founded so we could all be anything we damned well pleased.
Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.
The Clinton administration launched an attack on people in Texas because those people were religious nuts with guns. Hell, this country was founded by religious nuts with guns. Who does Bill Clinton think stepped ashore on Plymouth Rock?
Whatever it is that the government does, sensible Americans would prefer that the government do it to somebody else. This is the idea behind foreign policy.
"...the government is out of control. Everything is illegal and watched. It's getting so you can't shoot cats from a car window with a twelve-gauge any more. Who wants to live in that kind of world?"
H. L. Mencken
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.
The government I live under has been my enemy all of 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 upon my security.
Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under.
Land of the Free and Home of the Brave. Is it possible to have freedom without bravery? Which is more terrifying, the risk of violence or the certainty of a loss of freedom? Who should decide how much risk is acceptable, an individual or his government? And who should decide how much loss of freedom is tolerable? At what point does Liberty turn into Tyranny?
Sunday, May 10, 2009
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Sunday, April 5, 2009
This is the support for the cover. It's tube steel (hollow and square) and it's unpainted so it's rusting beautifully.
This is one of the tube steel trellis's. Kinda' looks like a gun turret, doesn't it? I'm thinking front entry trellis for the Underground Carpenter Mega-Complex.
Here's another tube steel trellis. This one is painted. I like the look of the rusting steel, myself.
This trellis is made of I-beams, C-channel and Angle steel. I like the look of the tube steel better.
Another tube steel trellis. Carpenter reveres this look.
Sunday, March 22, 2009
Here's a small cry in the wilderness, questions from a carpenter. Didn't all the yes-voting congresspeople and the president read the bill before signing it? And if they actually glanced at it, did they read slowly, with understanding? Did Dodd write the "inserted language", or was it written for him by those "staffers". Who are these staffers, and how much do they pull down a year?
Monday, February 16, 2009
The very first question a homebuyer should ask is, "How much will this house cost to maintain?" Building codes have made homes homogeneous and homogeneously inefficient. In the Southwest, most homes use slab and stick-frame construction. The slab and hot water tubing are uninsulated. Floors are warm in the summer and painfully cold in winter. Hot water systems use a recirculating pump because heat flies out of the pipes before it can reach your shower. And nobody seems to notice or care.