Saturday, March 23, 2019

Weather Man

We've linked to the work of Mike Olbinski before.
His day job was as a Phoenix-area news videographer, AFAIK.

His new hobby is chasing and filming storms and weather. In 4K.

He should be getting short-subject Oscar nominations for what he does.

If you didn't see his 2017 magnum opus, watch Pursuit.
On the biggest screen you've got, in High Def, with the sound cranked up.

If I ever hit the Powerball, I'm sponsoring this guy to sit down with the NASA archives and the KUSC music library for a year or two, to see what he can come up with.

Friday, March 22, 2019

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Always Testing

h/t Daily Timewaster

Of course, the hardest part is loading the frozen moose into the launching cannon for the tests.

DNC 2020 Platform

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Sunday Music: Baker Street

You couldn't get away from this song in 1978, and over forty years later it still wails.

Saturday, March 16, 2019

The State Of Stupidia

Warning: Smarter than actual sales help.
Hole in head optional.

Myself, at the local chocolatier's establishment yesternight:
"I'd like half a dozen thingamajigs, please."

Retarded Minion of Stupidity employed by said chocolatier:
"How many thingamajigs would you like?"

"Half a dozen, please."

Retarded Minion, now looking thoroughly bumflustercated:
" many would that be?"

Myself, thankful that Retarded Minion is juuuuuust barely beyond range of a polite roundhouse slap to the side of the head sufficient to loosen fillings:
"That would be six thingamajigs, please."

Retarded Minion, flooded with obvious relief at being freed from further mathemagical distress and consternation:
"Ah!...Yes, six, got it."

Gobsmacked: Not only an actual thing, but frequently also the solution to the problem.

The bill for the thingamajigs was then announced as $6.96, whereupon I handed her a $5 bill and two singles, and I swear for a moment it looked as if she was going to have to take off her shoes to count, and failing that ploy, be forced to use her lifeline to call the engineers at NASA to correctly calculate that she owed me 4¢ in change thereof.

Which is by way of noting that she was old enough to vote, and English-fluent, but that clearly second grade mathematics had completely kicked her ass, and she should be beaten with a stout rod until she could master the fundamentals of basic math.

That the common phrase "half a dozen" baffled the blistering fuck out of her suggests that the manager there is similarly a lackwit in urgent need of a new job in either the custodial maintenance or street-level recycling industries.

Retarded Minion's (undoubtedly Common Core public education) teachers, to the last one, should be horsewhipped until their flesh is ripped off and the bones show, and then put up against a wall and shot.
Slowly, starting at the toes, and working up to more important parts.
Put in charge of the firing party, I should make them each count the rounds as they were fired.

I swear to Buddha, I'm going back there tomorrow, and if she's still employed there, I'm going to pay her with $2 bills and $1 coins, just to watch her head explode against the walls.

And these sorts of fucktards are going to get $15/hr in a couple of years?
The economy will collapse. Civilization is doomed. You read it here first.

Ron White was wrong: I can fix this kind of stupid, but you've got to allow me to use a big enough hammer.

At any rate, a couple of more of these incidents, and I'm going to abandon all civility, and start going full-on As Good As It Gets on these morons, to reduce them to tears as a policy, and sport.

Related: Peter runs into similar distress at the local hospital.

Friday, March 15, 2019

Whether Report

"The fog creeps in on little cat feet..." - Carl Sandburg

From Linda Fox, via Cold Fury, the following:
It's here. Now.
They hate us. They have contempt for us, and no hesitation about displaying it openly. They viciously attack us in public, in our homes, and use thug tactics to threaten our livelihoods, our safety, and our ability to function in a modern society.
When it's all over, there will be a putative victor (because a fight so infused with hatred must end in complete surrender for one side), but there will not be peace. It will end in bitterness, lasting distrust, and unwillingness to associate with the other side in any way. It will be the end of the United States, as we have known it.
Logic has not stopped their lies. Resort to the courts is a lost cause. They have taken over the legislative bodies, maligning and intimidating any opposition, threatening the established leadership, and using underhanded means in their climb to power.
I don't see an end that doesn't culminate in death - many of them.

While we agree with the observations, we must dispute the theme.

No, it's not "here now".

Because they aren't killing you on the streets, neither singly nor in batches, nor are you doing that to them.


And that, plainly, is the only way you'll know when we are "there now".

But we aren't far from it, though as yet it hides somewhere out amidst the fog.
Which is clearly the Fog Of War.

It's visible, but it hasn't yet rolled in, save in small wisps.
Know what it and its arrival portends, and make the most of the time left you, however much or little that may yet be.

Neither will the aftermath be the long twilight distrust you imagine.
When the civil conflict you imagine arises, it will be a war of survival, and extinction, and there will be but one victor left standing afterwards. There will be no Marshall Plan, no Appomattox kindness and conciliatory welcome of separated brothers.

This will be Rome vs. Carthage, for all time.

One side only shall leave the field triumphant, the other side shall cease to exist for all time.
So it must be, and so it shall.

One doesn't make peace with a cancer.

It will indeed be war to the knife, and knife to the hilt.
But afterwards will be cleansing the locus of the disease with fire, and salting the field that brought forth the error, lest anything ever live or grow there again.

It may prove to be a chainsaw amputation, but it will be equally permanent as any done with the finest medical laser.

Communism delenda est.

2063 Years Ago Today

"Tragedy is me stubbing my toe. Comedy is you falling off a cliff." - Mel Brooks

Or, getting stabbed to death by your entire Senate.
(President Trump, call your office. Turnabout being fair play, perhaps in commemoration, today the president could stab a few senators. I have a few suggestions if he's interested.)

Go read today's essay. Have fun.

No, John, not Joan.

BTW John, apropos of the day, I found you a pencil holder.

Get Your Mind Right

You're leaving a million-dollar resource untapped if you're skipping the sort of things the folks in Meatspace Training Opportunities are putting out.

The in-person classes from one and all are probably a bargain at twice the price, and all full of needful things, no matter who you are nor where you are.

Mosby (aka MountainGuerrilla) has been putting out five-star advice, as usual, when he takes the time. Lately on fieldcraft, but pretty much if he says it, you can take it to the bank, and count on your thumbs the number of times you'll be disappointed or steered wrong.

Jason Hanson (at Spy Escape & Evasion) chisels away every day at stupidity and ignorance, and provides simple, everyday suggestions about how and why you can improve your own situational awareness and situational preparedness for things that could and do happen every day. You don't live in Mayberry, and it's not 1950 anymore.

And the latest public podcast from "Sam Culper" at Forward Observer is worth every minute of your time, like the other education he gives gratis, and as the courses he charges for are.
Set aside half an hour, and pay attention to the pearls he's dropping on the ground for any that notice. He says, in so many paraphrased words:

Imagine what you'd do if you woke up tomorrow and the power was out, cell service was inoperative, the internet was down, and it didn't look like any of it was coming back any time soon. An Area Study gives you intelligence about the things that will affect you most, immediately and locally. Intelligence analysis isn't to predict the future; its purpose is to reduce uncertainty about what's likely and what's unlikely. You should prepare for the follow-on, second- and third-order effects that are going to occur locally.
Stop worrying about the colossal monster catastrophes, like SMOD or the eruption of the Yellowstone Caldera. A relay tripping in New England blacked out a dozen states, and that was quite catastrophic enough.

And pay attention to the concept of second- and third-order effects.

First order effect
The power is out.
Second order effects
The food in the freezer will defrost, and what's in the refrigerator too, and they'll spoil.
ATMs don't work.
Power-driven communications like the internet are gone.
Gasoline stations cannot pump fuel.
A/C and stoves that require electricity won't work.
Traffic lights are out.
TV and radio stations, hospitals, and emergency response dispatch are running on back-up generators, for a few days.
Pumps don't work, so water supply and sewage will fail.
Third order effects
Fresh food will dwindle, become scarce, and run out.
Traffic will be horrific.
Emergency services will be crippled.
Cash on hand will be all there is, because EBT card and debit card balances cannot be processed, even at your local bank.
Medieval disease outbreaks from lack of cleanliness and sanitation we now take for granted will become far more likely.
And that's just from a power failure.
You can keep stacking up the dominoes, but even someone as thick as a bag of hammers will begin to realize in short order this is a bad day, an even worse week, and if it lasts as long as a month, things will be well past the stage best described as "sporty" anywhere such a situation is a rare occurence.
Look ahead, and plan based upon what you can see, and foresee.
The time will come when these preparedness resources you have access to now will be unavailable, and it will be too late then to redeem the time you've wasted. So don't. You don't have to live and breathe beating drums of war, but set aside an hour, an afternoon, or a weekend or two, to learn some things you don't know, and start you thinking along paths through an unknown future from a fresh perspective foreign to your experience and ways of thinking. It could save your life, or the lives of your family, whether in a small local disaster, or in much more ominous and widespread circumstances.

That's part of what we mean when we commend to you to "get your mind right".

Do it.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Kleptocracy Dies In Gunfire

Mike at Cold Fury has noted again the spreading dumpster fire that is Venezuela.

I sympathize with the plight of Venezuelans starving and dying, and getting exactly what they voted for, good and hard.
Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.

We shouldn't send them one single troop, or even $1 in US treasury funds.

But we should have submarines and clandestine flights dropping off those cases of captured AK-47s and ammo from our 1983 Grenada vacation adventure, and passing them out with bandoleers of ammo to any Julio in-country willing to start shooting at Maduro and his minions.

It's sort of a local tradition to inaugurate new presidentes via gunfire thereabouts, so why screw around with what works for South America, going back nearly 200 years?