Saturday, September 25, 2010

Almost Full Moon

I took a shot of the moon this morning. ISO 200, shutter speed 1/250 second, f11, 55-200 zoom lens, tripod. Two weeks ago I couldn't have told you what those things mean, but after reading the "Dummies" book, now I do. I took 7 shots, all in "manual-settings" mode. My lens has a switch for either manual or auto-focus, and I used both. This shot was auto-focus, but the manual-focus shots were just as sharp.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


First order of business is identification. Know your target! This one is a no-"brainer".

Somehow, "clueless" just doesn't adequately describe people who seem not to notice the zombies around them.

OK, quiz time. Could you pop a zombie that was breaking down your door? What if your neighbors were zombies, as in they wanted to "redistribute" your brains to the less-fortunate? Could you pop your neighbors? Me neither. That's why I'm leaning toward a "Galt's Gulch" solution. Discuss.

Monday, September 20, 2010

What Would You Do?

"So the challenge, I think, for the Tea Party movement is to identify, specifically, what would you do?" he added. "It's not enough just to say get control of spending. I think it's important for you to say, I'm willing to cut veterans' benefits or I'm willing to cut Medicare or Social Security benefits or I'm willing to see these taxes go up." Link.


Two words: Go Home! That applies to the military, NASA, IRS, the ABC agencies; and all the Federal, state, and local government potentates, from Presidente to DMV window clerk. But that's just my take, a simple carpenter's dream of shattering the foundation upon which society rests.


Sunday, September 19, 2010

Economic Collapse

Americans have loved rushing out to Wal-Mart to get super low prices on all kinds of stuff, but in the process we have slowly but surely been shipping our manufacturing base and our standard of living over to China....

Last month, the monthly trade deficit with China was approximately 26 billion dollars.  For the year, the trade deficit with China will be somewhere in the neighborhood of 300 billion dollars or so.  The transfer of wealth to China that represents is absolutely mind blowing....

Virtually all major exporting nations want the value of the U.S. dollar to remain high so that they can keep flooding us with lots of cheap goods.  The sad reality is that our current system of globalized trade rewards exporting nations that have weak currencies....

All of the above is accepted as true by most Americans. Common knowledge, a real yawner of an article. But I have a couple of questions.

If a person decides that a Wal-Mart purchase is more valuable than the Federal Reserve Notes he parted with, then obviously that person is "richer". So how can we be "shipping our standard of living" to China? Discuss.

What is this thing called a "trade deficit"? If America gets real goods in exchange for some scrip, I'd say that's a prudent swap. If you say that the majority of Americans can't be trusted to make wise decisions in purchases, then what does that say about the wisdom of democratic elections? Discuss immediately!

Common knowledge says that the lower the value of a country's currency, the higher their exports, i.e., their goods look like a bargain to other countries. Since the dollar is in the shitter, why aren't we exporting like crazy? If other countries are "flooding us" with goods, that means that Americans have lots of spending cash. An obvious contradiction. Discuss.



I'm constantly getting e-mails that begin thusly: "If you were able to pray at church today, thank a soldier."  I don't supplicate, to either a deity or a government, for protection against hobgoblins. I'll take my chances with any real threat; after all, I'm not helpless.

I'm not worried about the Moose-lum peril, the Red peril, the Yellow peril, the Brown peril, or any other "threat to our way-of-life". What I do worry about is using the aforementioned as an excuse to weld heavier links on the chains around my ankles.

So I don't "support our soldiers", except for the taxes stolen from me. The entire US military can just pack it up and go home, where they should be. Close the hundreds of military bases, garrisons, golf courses, and torture chambers. Padlock the Pentagon, shut down the silos, and put the military aircraft and ships up on eBay.

And I feel the same about local poe-leece, too.

What I Believe

I believe that all government is evil, in that all government must necessarily make war upon liberty and the democratic form is as bad as any of the other forms.

I believe that the finest qualities of man can flourish only in free air – that progress made under the shadow of the policeman’s club is false progress, and of no permanent value. I believe that any man who takes the liberty of another into his keeping is bound to become a tyrant, and that any man who yields up his liberty, in however slight the measure, is bound to become a slave.”

H. L. Mencken

Yeah, what he said! I may be an American slave, but I yearn for freedom. If I see an opportunity to escape this huge penal colony, I'll take it. For the record, I prefer the Galt's Gulch method over the Watering-The-Tree-Of_Liberty course of action.

I used to consider myself a tolerant man. I'm not homophobic, and a person's sexual preferences are not only none of my business, they do not color my opinion of the person. Although I retch and gag at the smell of tobacco smoke, I do not holler for laws against smoking in public. I've never tried any drug except caffeine, but I think the war on drugs should end. I don't drink, but I think DUI laws should be repealed. I think belief in an invisible cloud being is without merit, but as long as I'm not forced to accept such beliefs, you should be free to believe anything you want. On and on.....

But there is a point at which I become intolerant. People who can't handle freedom are not humans; they are sheep and deserve only contempt.

Don't Try This On Your Street

H/T to Tam.

The Oatmeal Rocks The Grammar!

Thanks to Roberta X, I lost a couple hours of my life to The Oatmeal.

The Oatmeal explains the semicolon Here.

The Oatmeal explains when to use i.e. and e.g. Here.

The Oatmeal goes over some misused and misspelled words Here.

The Oatmeal explains irony Here.

Go there now and learn.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

What Have You Done For Me Lately?

....what could give the Democrats even a slender reed of hope? If there’s any plausible answer, it can be drawn from the single poll finding that is most devastating for Obama, the question (as worded by The Washington Post/ABC News) of whether “he understands the problems of people like you.” There his numbers really have imploded. When he arrived in office, 72 percent answered Yes and 24 percent No. As of last week, Yes had fallen to 50 and No had doubled to 48.   Link.

Frank Rich

Here's a telling question. Do you think that the proper role of government is to "help people"?

"That to secure these privileges, entitlements, and bailouts, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the coffers of the lobbyists."

Not what you had in mind? I hate to break it to you, Sunshine, but government can do nothing positive. All its actions are negative, as in tax and penalize. In order to "help" some group or business, they must first steal from someone who doesn't need help. Feel free to correct me if I'm deluded, but the best thing a government can do to "help" the citizenry is to get the fuck outa our way.

"since I'm the president and Democrats have controlled the House and the Senate, it's understandable that people are saying, you know, 'What have you done?'"  Link.


"Bin Laden has gone deep underground. Even Zawahiri, who is more often out there, has been much more cautious. But we have the best minds, the best intelligence officers, the best special forces, who are thinking about this day and night. And they will continue to think about it day and night as long as I'm president," Obama said.  Link.

Obammy, waving a boogie man at us to keep us wetting our pants in fear.

Help us, Obi Wan Obammy! You are our only Hopey-Changey!


Thursday, September 9, 2010

Burn, Baby, Burn!

Standing outside his 50-member Pentecostal church, the Dove Outreach Center, alongside Imam Muhammad Musri, the president of the Islamic Society of Central Florida, Jones said he relented when Musri assured him that the New York mosque will be moved.

Hours later, after Musri and the leader of the New York mosque denied such an agreement, Jones said Musri "clearly, clearly lied to us."
"Given what we are now hearing, we are forced to rethink our decision," Jones said. "So as of right now, we are not canceling the event, but we are suspending it."

ANTONIO GONZALEZ, Associated Press Writer


I like the burn plan. Jones just needs to ramp it up a bit. Take it to a whole new level. Here's how Carpenter would handle the show:

Burn everything to the ground. Don't stop with Korans. Burn all bibles! Christians have their Holy Bible, Mormons have the Book of Mormon, Jews have the Hebrew Bible, and I'm sure that other religions have their own sacred screed.

But wait! After the commercial break, we'll be burning the words-on-paper that other believers hold dear. We'll start with the Constitution, which all Americans clutch to their breasts and then completely ignore. Next, the American Flag. Yes! Now we're getting somewhere.

Let's finish burning this bitch to the ground, so that we can get back up, dust ourselves off, and carry on with the business of living next to 5 billion other human beings.


Monday, September 6, 2010

Moon Shot

This whole weekend I've been immersed in books steeped in the mysteries of the Nikon D3000. I struggle to unlock its secrets. My fondest goal is to shoot a pic of the moon, and I've been out at 2 a.m. the last three mornings trying. This morning, while I was bargle-farging the hell outa my camera, Mrs. UC calmly took this picture with her camera.

Friday, September 3, 2010

The New Las Vegas City Hall Goes Vertical


This is the last bit of building slab left to pour. After this is poured on Tuesday, we'll have precious little to do until the steel decks are ready to pour concrete on. Almost everyone got layed off yesterday. Urata & Sons only kept me and two foremen. We'll probably work 3-day weeks until we can start pouring floors and doing offsites like the service and electrical yards.

Structural steel going up. Including the mechanical deck there are 8 floors.

The Law Giver

I was nosing around the Innertubes last weekend and read a post on SurvivalBlog on the subject of SHTF and TEOTWAWKI.  Carpenter immediately knew he had a barrel of fish, ready for shooting. I was going to wade into the swamp and wrestle me some gators, but lack the energy to do that today. So instead, I'll just pick some low-hanging road apples.

Somebody has to take charge quickly:

Lemme guess--you'd "step up."

Anarchy is the dirtiest word in the English language and should be avoided at all costs. Whenever I see some teenager wearing a T-shirt espousing anarchy, I get a strong urge to show him a little anarchy by beating him up and ripping it off his back..and then ask him if he still thinks Anarchy is "cool".

The breadth of your reasoning powers and sublime form of expression! What a convincing argument--NOT! Socrates, you ain't. First of all, anarchy means freedom, so I'm in favor of it. Government brings out the worst in humans, and it squashes originality, invention and the energy of enterprise.

Without law and order of some kind, the strong will take from the weak. The cruel will torture and kill wantonly. Rule of law is essential to any progress or recovery.
Any progress in this world always happened before government could figure out a way to tax or suppress it. Government is organized brutality.

I am writing this in the firm belief that when our society crashes, some communities will maintain order and some vestige of humanity. That's going to require a delicate balancing act because the two concepts are not mutually reinforcing and can be at odds with each other.

No shit, Einstein! Except for the impossibility of a "balancing act", you finally said something I agree with.

If corporate interests collide with public welfare needs, the government has the right and the responsibility to negate corporate or individual rights for the common good.

Sounds familiar. I've heard this somewhere before....

Fuel stocks are a public resource owned by private citizens. Once they are gone, your community may never get any more. This is a case where you are going to have to exercise some emergency powers and appropriate property from private citizens. You may also be forced to confiscate privately owned vehicles if yours are damaged or you need specialty vehicles (like fuel tankers, for instance). You need to work out a method of doing this without stealing.

Well, good luck with that.


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Solution To The Illegal Immigrant "Problem"

While I'm rolling down the road, sometimes I turn on the radio and sample the stations. I listen to everything, music from classical to country, and I sometimes light on a news or commentary station. This afternoon my seek button found NPR, and they were interviewing some Israeli person. According to this person, on the wall that separates the Palestinians from the Israelis, the Israelis have mounted remote cameras to continuously monitor this border. Also mounted on the wall are remote-controlled machine guns, which the Israelis(mostly women, by the way) use EVERY DAY. Do you think that might have something to do with Palestinian "discontent?"

This sounds like a very effective solution to the problem of Palestinians entering Israel without "permission," and the Israelis feel much safer knowing about the wall and its "security devices." We could hire the Israelis to build just such a wall on the southern US border, and one day a week a meat truck could pick up the bodies of Mexicans who attempted to enter the US without permission. Of course, there's just one teensy problem. Would you really want to live in a country like that?