31 October 2013

Not Bad

Found on Arcom of all places.


Little Black Book (LBB or OG) Traveller had two ship design systems.  Close but incompatible systems.

The descendant game, Megatraveller had it's own design system that could approximate OG Book 5 designs, but wasn't fully compatible but was a lot more detailed and comprehensive.

GURPS: Traveller is for GURPS 3rd edition.  It's design system is a modularized version of the system in GURPS: Vehicles.  It comes very close to OG Book 2 in its results, but like Megatraveller it's just an approximation.

I've been playing with these rules lately and really enjoying tweaking TL9 ships.

GURPS: Traveller: Interstellar Wars is set at the end of the Viru Sirka (1st Imperium) and the beginning of the Rule of Man (2nd Imperium) and is also TL9.

And now I have yet another design system!  GT: Interstellar Wars is for GURPS 4th edition.

Mutter mutter mumble...

Oh, both GURPS systems can make ships which are impossible to make with OG Traveller because the views on technology have changed a lot since 1977.  That's the problem with future history, the present often advances in unpredictable ways.

30 October 2013


A 100 dTon Jump 6 ship is kind of a Traveller unicorn.

With the OG Book 2 and Book 5 rules you can't make a J6 ship that small because of the fuel minimums.

GURPS: Traveller Starships rules don't resemble the original Traveller stuff at all.

Erin's Duchess Cup got me to playing with the rules.

With TL12 components, you can make a 100t ship that can jump six and still pull 5.62g loaded with 8.5 dTons of mail.  It's unstreamlined and has a mere 100 DR hull like a cargo ship but there are three staterooms.

This thing is a Hot Rod!

All for a mere 55.98MCr.

For the Duchesses' Fevrchiench I took a standard TL9 Iiken 100t Scout Courier, stripped out a stateroom and changed the engineering core and jump drive to I.Y. -2210 Terran jump-3 designs.  It fits the Retro class rules in that such modifications were made during the Rule of Man for fast courier duty.

The issue is that Viru Sirka and Terran electrical standards aren't the same so the power plant doesn't play smoothly with the maneuver drives and gravitics.

All in all.  4 dTon cargo, 3 staterooms, 6 crew (double occupancy), 1.65g loaded and jump-3 when most of the competition is running higher acceleration and jump-2 should be a winner because you can make the run in 12 jumps instead of 22, saving 20 weeks of travel time!

Evil Companion

An elephant in the room about just letting people go out and buy drugs is their behavior while under the influence.

The potential for great harm exists, no doubt about it.

Drunk driving is exactly the same thing.  People who are unsafe because their skills and perceptions are compromised by the influence of a chemical substance.

We've developed a system that's been relatively effective at reducing the number of people driving drunk by making getting caught prohibitively expensive to a rational person.

The problem is there are plenty of people who are irrational before they take that first drink.  The drunk driving laws at present don't affect their behavior in the slightest.

I have a potential solution!

"JUST" driving impaired is a massive fine and loss of license (just like now).  Add in a "parole" effect that if you get caught again in, say, five years; we go to criminal proceedings.  By the way, the car has to be moving or at least in the roadway.  Someone who realizes they're too messed up to drive and decides to sleep it off in the parking lot or on the shoulder and leaves the car running to keep the climate control (like the heat in Minnesota) isn't dangerous.

The above is for when you're spotted bobbing and weaving on the road and get pulled over because you appear to be impaired.  Fail the field sobriety reaction test and you get the fine and lose your license.  This test will be different than that imposed today, it will test for impairment, not drunkenness.  AARP is going to have kittens.

You smash into something, stab someone, shoot someone...  Commit any crime and we take a vial of blood on the spot.  The blood is tested for drugs in the system at the time.  If you're above the legal limit you are charged with the first degree premeditated version of the crime.

Get drunk and kill someone with your car?  First degree murder, not manslaughter.  Yes, you could get the chair for two drinks; IF YOU KILL SOMEONE ON THE WAY HOME FROM THE BAR.

I think my idea will create incentives for safe drug and alcohol use.

Wallet Voting

Christopher Titus has a new special out.

Mr Titus broke the Dancing Monkey politics rule so this will be the second of his specials I have not purchased.

I used to be a fan, and he is funny, but he supports things that I don't; so I'll be damned if he'll get a single cent from me.

Clearly, my support doesn't affect him in the slightest, more's the pity.

Too many people keep buying from the Dancing Monkeys who insult and oppose them.  They keep buying the albums, going to the theater and purchasing the Blu-Rays.

It sometimes seems like people are condemned prisoners buying stock in the drug company because they make the lethal injection drugs.  Because PROFIT!


29 October 2013

Traveller Tuesday: The Duchesses Fevrchiench

The Duchesses Fevrchiench is a regatta that occurs once a year on Mora (Spinward Marches 3124). In true Imperial tradition, it is nearly old; it was started in I.Y. 1005, after the Third Frontier War and Solomani Rim War and runs concurrently with The Duchess Cup.

Spacers, being a cynical lot, began to complain that the regatta that purports to commemorate the famous call for help to Mora had become commercialized and dominated by corporate entries.

In true spacer fashion, if the memories of our comrades are going to be besmirched, then in the Emperor's name; they will be BESMIRCHED, properly and hard! With a corporately sponsored booze run named after a Zhondani brassiere! (Fevrchiench means "cup" in Zhodant, but specifically the cup of a bra rather than a cup trophy.)

Since The Duchess Cup runs both directions instead of just the one-way call for help the Fevrchiench's tradition is to carry a message from Jewell to Mora, "Sobriety threatens, send beer!"  The run from Mora to Jewell consists of bringing 2 dtons of alcoholic beverages to "defeat sobriety".  The call for beer is merely symbolic with brewers and distillers across the Imperium vying to be the official alcohol of the event.  The actual "beer" being provided by this year's sponsor.

Regardless of the winners.  The event concludes with a somber toast to all those lost in space combat.

The Regatta
The rules of the Fevrchiench are simple and insanely difficult at the same time and ships are divided into three classes: Vintage, Retro Stock and Retro Modified.

The Vintage class consists of ships laid down not later than the beginning of the First Frontier War (I.Y. 589).  Ships must be in original configuration and cannot use technology, processes or materials that weren't available in I.Y. 589.  It goes without saying that most of these ships are long in the tooth and many are nearly derelict in condition.  There are two winners in the Vintage Class:  The actual first ship across the line and a "holy shit they made it alive" winner.  While there have been disputes concerning photo finishes for the first ship across the line, there has never been a dispute about the winner of the second vintage winner; it's obvious!  Twice the actual winner and the disbelief winner have been the same ship due to a fortuitous misjump!

The Retro classes are outwardly similar but is newly built ships made to I.Y. 589 or early design plans.  Again, no modern processes or materials may be employed.  Retro Stock ships are simply built to a vintage design and run that way.  Retro Modified ships start as stock 30 days before the event and the crews can make any change they want, but they must use tools and materials on board exclusively and may not employ any methods or theories not available in I.Y. 589.  In both sub classes, first across the line wins.

One method to prevent cheating is every Retro Modified ship is for sale to any other contestant for its stated cost.  The detailed rules break this down to a micro credit, so if more modern equipment is snuck in the "seller" could be losing a substantial sum.

All ships are inspected very thoroughly for period correctness, but not at all for safety.

The Duchesses' Fevrchiench takes, on average twice as long as the Duchess Cup to run because there's just a single J2 route (22 jumps) from Jewell to Mora.  Quirky, unreliable recreations of prototype J3 and J4 drives have been used, with much loss of life.

The main reward is bragging rights.

Often there is pay for the crew for appearing in liquor advertising, but no actual purse.  There is an active sideline in gambling; crews may bet on themselves to win and often do at impressively bleak odds.

The Duchesses Fevrchiench is every bit the test of skill and character that the more technologically advanced Duchess Cup is.  Aging systems are pushed to their breaking point and many items pressed past their design limits.  Loss of life is nearly guaranteed and seldom does a race pass without at least one ship lost forever.

One risk that is not shared with the Cup race is that of piracy.  In keeping with the "wartime" setting of the event, most ships are armed to the teeth and are mostly crewed by seasoned veterans of the Navy; the very same pool of personnel pirates draw from.  Or it is pure pity that keeps the pirates at bay.

The Duchesses Fevrchiench.  If you live, you're alive. If you win, you will be famous until we sober up. And if you lose... we will remember you just as long!

Traveller Tuesday officially belongs to Erin, I'm just dangling from her coat tails on the idea.

Like A Cheshire Cat

Occasionally I entertain unplugging everything and fading into the background.

The reason the idea is compelling and recurring is I've reconnected with lost friends more than once to find that the person I was friends with had somehow been replaced with someone alien.

Which is to say, we'd developed independently from one another in each other's absence.

But what that reconnection did, mainly, was destroy all of the happy memories of that person ever being my friend.

That brings me to the allure of disconnecting.

It's essentially going out on top with everyone who likes you still liking you, but a bit perplexed you'd disappeared.  They get the warm glow of nostalgia over the friendship without encountering what an asshole you really are (or if they've realized what a dick you are, they get the relief of no longer dealing with it).

When you are a stay at home parent of a special needs child, your world ends at your front door and it's easy to implode.


Another part of the pattern is that with very few exceptions, I am the one who initiates all contact with the few friends I have.  If I don't call/message/email/write; no contact occurs.  I get the feeling, sometimes, that I am missing a hint and they're just being polite when I call/message/email/write.

Porn And Guns

It is extremely important when you're looking for information about the Degtyaryov light machine gun that you don't just search for "DP".

That is, unless you don't care what else DP can mean.

Just sayin'...



BEHIND fucking Iowa?

Are you shitting me?

Behind Texas?  Someone is doesn't understand how byzantine the process is; my buddy, Skeezer, described it in detail.  Florida is more expensive in cash, but not in effort.

I guess the best part of dropping to 17 is our laws didn't get worse, it's just lots of other states got a lot better in the mean time.

28 October 2013

Doubletalk God

I've dabbled at making up techy sounding names and processes for Traveller before.

I knell before my Master...

Erin found a transcript for us!

Do Good Win Stuff

Hey, even though there's a bit less of Squeaky to love than before because she had the surgery that doesn't mean all of the bills got paid!

The good news is she's very close.

The bad news is you NEED to donate just a little bit more to close that gap.

The good news is that you earn a shot a some nifty goodies.

Click This Cunningly Crafted Link!


Can you tell when Tam linked to a post of mine?

It Wasn't "Give Me Democracy Or Give Me Death"

My chains are not lighter that a vote was taken that I wear them.

I've come around to the idea that I don't fucking care what form of government I have, if at all, if I have liberty and freedom.

We should have been staunch exporters of liberty not democracy.

Exporting democracy didn't do us any good in Latin America and it hasn't worked in the middle east yet.

I hereby declare that I don't give two fucks if a nation is run by a two-bit, tin-horn Satan worshipping supreme doctor reverend colonel general totalitarian dictator as long as the people have liberty.

Ben Franklin is proving to be the wisest of the founding fathers.  He never even tried for that president job and he seemed to know more than was let on when he said, "a republic, if you can keep it!"

When you trot out "democracy" you have lost the republic.

Never Shoot A Gun You Want

I've had an on-off want a Browning HP for a long time.

The amusing thing is that I'd never, ever, shot one.

Today I remedied that situation.

I am doomed.

My buddy has a nice parkerized Mk II.  Went through a box of ammo and I like it.  A lot.


I see there's a guy on Gunbroker selling about three hundred of them for about $480 a pop...

Those are Glock prices!

Anyone got $400 they can loan spot toss out a window never to be seen again GIVE me?

Secure Data

The Government is capable of securing data so that it's extremely difficult to steal.

The military has done so for decades.

On paper...

27 October 2013

Quote of the Day

"If you can’t do math you don’t really understand reality."

I don't think you're going to find an engineering type who disagrees.

Lessons Learned

I am flying the 1979 Europe campaign in an F-15A from the 22nd Tactical Fighter Squadron (Stingers) out of Bitburg, West Germany.

I've said it before, dogfights with the Eagle are like beating baby harp seals.

Strike Fighters is nominally realistic so the lessons observed are comparable to the real world.

The F-15A is clearly the culmination of the lessons learned over Vietnam.  As are the improvements made to the Sidewinder and Sparrow.

Huge radar, nimble, massive thrust to weight ratio, excellent all around visibility, internal gun.

The slightly earlier F-14A displays similar properties.  Same lessons from the same war, though the Navy retained two crew members and the TF-30 engines aren't near as powerful as the F100.  But, AIM-54...

The baby harp seals in question are the MiG-23.  It would appear that the Soviets did not absorb the same lessons from Vietnam as we did.  It's a truism that the loser looks much harder at what went wrong than the winner...  The Flogger is much more akin to the Phantom than the Eagle.  I've spoken to a couple of pilots and what I am seeing in the game is what they'd expect to happen.  The MiG-23 is FAST, but it's visibility is poor and it bleeds energy like a stuck pig and it has a hard time getting it back once lost.  The missiles are on par with what we hung from an F-4 during Rolling Thunder and really no match for the much improved ordnance that even the Phantom carries in 1979.

26 October 2013


Erin's clearing house for the donations to Squeaky made mention of Echo Sling.

They donated product to the encouragement raffle.

So I bought a sling from them, and mentioned why.


The Tabitha Sparkle carbine has gained yet another purple part.

It's a very nice sling, BUT...  It's 1" wide.  Standard slings are 1-1/4", I don't think I would want to carry a gun much heavier than Tabitha's svelte 7.3 lbs.  Wider webbing would really help with the bite.


Two words that do not go together.

Cerakote and Restore.

The words you looking for are "polished" "parkerized" or "blued".

24 October 2013


I just got done reading "Walls, Wire, Bars and Souls".

It's pretty decent.

He's got some suggestions for fixing the prison system.  They might work.

But it all got me thinking about drugs.

Boy howdy do we have a lot of people in prison over drugs.

It occurs that most of the evil associated with drugs is because drugs are illegal and not something inherent with the chemicals themselves.

It's the point of irrational departure for Miguel.  His response to legalization was to post pics of what the cartels do with regards to brutality.

My response is that we've been here before and it went mostly away when Prohibition was repealed.

Unless there's a vast backlog of cases where drivers from Budweiser have been hijacked and murdered by Smirnoff distributors, I think we can dial the rhetoric down a tad.

Budweiser and Smirnoff use LEGAL means to settle disputes.  Because they can.  Illegal enterprise devolves to brutality because it cannot take the matter to court.

The vast sums of wealth garnered by drugs would evaporate in a heartbeat if they were legalized too.  I've seen how simple meth is to make if the precursor chemicals are readily available.  Those chemicals are cheap too.  Nearly everything horrid you read about meth is because the cooks are having to reduce other chemicals to obtain the precursors; and since this is organic chemistry; impurities are introduced and retained by the very process that's been developed because there are legal restrictions on the base chemicals themselves.

Is taking pure, unadulterated, meth good for you?  Fuck no!  That's true of any substance you can metabolize and drugs are way worse than most things.

If drugs are legalize, people will still die.  But people will likely not be murdered over it any more.

23 October 2013


Last day of Linebacker II.  December 28, 1972.  Blow up a fuel tank at Dien Bien Phu airfield up north.

Let loose a burst of 20mm, kill the tank and every 14.5mm and 23mm around the air field opens up on me!

Pranged my kite they did.

"Holy crap!" says I.  Master Caution and Master Warning are lit and lots of systems aren't working!  A moment later I realize... it's still flying!  I emergency jett and it even pretends to be controllable.

It's not easy to control, but it's flying.  Any amount of roll input causes a pretty impressive wallow, but if you leave it alone, it settles out.  A little back pressure on the stick is needed to keep it level, but it's flying.

I grab a bunch of altitude and get a vector back to home plate.

Amazingly, it gets more controllable at lower speeds.  With the gear and flaps down, it's down right placid.

I managed to land!  Of course I greased it in at about 218 knots instead of the more normal 162 and came in almost flat.

Yes, I am that good.

22 October 2013

The Juice

And pollution!

First off, let's kick the pollution thing in the fucking balls.

Go check the EPA's indices for air quality from 1977 through today.  Actually, we can't use today for two reasons.  First, the shutdown has the website off. (Can you tell when I wrote this?) Second [T]hey added carbon dioxide to the list of things that were pollution.  I remember it being 2010 but most sources say 2012.

Until we got our panties in a bunch about CO2, air quality was steadily improving, and this is despite steadily increasing use of all forms of fossil fuel.  Gas, Diesel, Natural Gas and Coal!

So burning more gasoline didn't increase air pollution with regards to oxides of nitrogen, sulfur compounds, and particulates.  All of those things went down.  We can thank computer controlled fuel injection for most of it.  Precision fuel metering that comes with fuel injection is just one small part of the massive improvement too!  The largest improvement from an emissions point of view is there's no gas washing the walls of the cylinder of lubrication (called wash-down).  This lets the rings seal the piston better so there's much less gas escaping into the crankcase and nearly no oil getting up into the combustion chamber where it doesn't do any good for anyone.  Catalytic convertors that don't choke the engine and are thereby left in place keep those oxides of nitrogen and nasty sulfur compounds in check.

What we've managed to do, in my lifetime, is get engine exhaust to very nearly be JUST water vapor and carbon monoxide.  The really nasty things have been reduced to traces instead of significant parts.

What's that got to do with energy storage?

Petroleum is an energy source.  Gasoline has excellent energy density and is relatively easy to store and handle.

Batteries and hydrogen are not sources of energy.

Hydrogen has lots of handling and storage issues and has a much smaller energy density than gas, so you can't go as far on a given fuel volume.  It's main disadvantage is that you have to expend energy to make it.  More than you get back in a perfect reaction let alone adding in the inefficiencies of a motor vehicle.

Batteries are even worse about density and the losses from generation and storage.

Where does the power we're storing in batteries or hydrogen come from?  Power plants.  Power plants which at present are mainly coal fired.  Burning no gas and replacing that use with burning coal doesn't really change pollution.

The greenies are working hard on eliminating coal fired power plants by declaring pollution standards with no basis in engineering let alone science.

The same greenies have already all but killed fission power plants.

So where are we going to get this energy?  Wind and solar are proving to be the shitty pipe dreams that only a greenie or politician could keep saying are truly alternatives to fossil fuels.

Science and engineering don't care how you feel.

The source of all this stupid whining about burning things for fuel comes from the effects of carbon dioxide on the climate.  Since the temperatures are tracking with the output from the sun not the energy consumption rates of man; don't even try blaming man.

But while we're talking about pollution, let's talk about batteries.  Nickel and lithium are dirty to mine and refine.  And nobody talks about how making plastic consumes both energy and petroleum and we're not even getting to use the left over aromatic portion of the crude if we can't use it for powering our cars.

Welcome Back

Old NFO Says...

Not in Phantoms, of course, but still...

Times Like This

There are times when the existence of a malicious deity seems so incredibly likely it's not funny.

I scraped the money together to meet up with friends in South Carolina to see the annular solar eclipse.

The left rear tire pressure monitor sensor (TPMS) has decided that being five years old is long enough and is erroneously reporting a flat tire at random.

Yay.  Oh and just replacing one might seem like a good idea until you ask around and find out that the other three are likely very close to end of life too.

Double yay.

Then you start asking around about how much these things cost.  OEM is, of course, the most expensive at $109 a pop.  Those can still be had for $52.  The cheapest option is $41 a hit.

$164 in parts, minimum.  Plus a dismount, install, remount from a tire place (if I can find one that will install "customer parts").  Then they need to be programmed to the car.  If I am lucky, that is included with the install at the tire place.  If I am not lucky... another $80 for the tool.

Why is this such an issue?  Because the TPMS is intertwined with the traction control and active handling system.  When the sensor reports "no air" you're in limp mode.  A great situation to be in hundreds of miles from home.

This is why I am an atheist.  If I had faith I would have to wonder why God had selected me for such treatment.  I would wonder what purpose was served by problems surfacing that are cured by the exact same expenditure as I had squirreled away for the vacation.  Time after time this happens and it's why I never go anywhere or do anything.

How Odd

Strike Fighters fits in a niche market.

The time frame of the official campaigns ranges from the 1956 Suez Crisis to the 1982 Invasion of Lebanon.

SF2 is the original game and is set in a fictional Middle East where the US is lending support to one side in a conflict over oil.  Five campaigns are set here, '59, '66, '68, '72 and '75.  You can play USAF, USN and USMC forces or a mercenary.  Despite there being a sea right there, everything is land based.

SF2 Vietnam is, surprise! Vietnam with the 1965-1968 Rolling Thunder and both 1972 Linebacker campaigns.  There's USAF, USMC and USN units and has carriers where appropriate.

SF2 Israel covers the 1956 Suez Crisis, 1967 Six Day War, 1973 Yom Kippur War and the 1982 invasion of Lebanon.  You can play Israel, or Israel.

SF2 Europe is fictitious but grounded in reality.  The four campaigns are set in Germany and the conflicts are precipitated by the 1956 Soviet invasion of Hungary, the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, the 1968 Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia and the 1979 perception that after Vietnam and Watergate the US would not be able to resist a Soviet invasion of West Germany.

SF2 North Atlantic is a 1979 battle for Iceland in the same post Watergate scenario as Europe but with USS Nimitz and one lonely USAF Phantom squadron.

It's Europe where things are a little strange about the flyables.

You have The USAF, RAF, Armee de l'Air (France), Luftwaffe (West Germany), Belgian Air Component, and Koninklijke Luchtmacht (Royal Netherlands Air Force) to chose from.

The frustrating part is there are planes from those nations depicted for NPC use that aren't for the player.  The F-84G and F-104 are notably absent from the flyable list.  The F-104G and CF-104 are particularly hard felt because the F-104G was used by the Belgians, Germans and Dutch!  It's a pretty major type to skip, especially since we have Hunter, Mirage, Phantom and Skyhawk variants which cannot be used in ANY campaign.

Back when the world was young, though, the F-104G was included with the original SF!  Then one day it disappeared as a flyable plane.  There was once a C-130 too...

Clever people figured out how to revive the plane and you can do some simple mods to a couple of text files to make them usable.  Thanks to some DLC, you can revive the F-104A, three versions of the F-104C, three versions of the CF-104 and the F-104G.

It's a hot ship!

With the campaign editor you can even fly them in a campaign!  The Royal Jordanian Air Force had F-104A's during the Six Day War they left in Turkey.  It makes an interesting "what if" when you use the editor to play the bad guys.

It just seems strange that a backbone aircraft of four nations is excluded from player use even though it's in the game and once was a player plane.

20 October 2013

Fire Starter

We don't use no lighter fluid 'round the McThag ranch.

Fire rocks!

Hey I Could Do That!

My visceral response to JayG's new gig.

The rational response is, no I could not.

I simply cannot write well enough to be paid for it and am patently uninterested in putting in the hard work to learn how.

Still, I'm seething green with envy.

I know why I'm not successful and it's me.  I'm clearly vested in the fail so there's no changing me now.

Come to think of it, I should be a Republican national candidate!

Childhood Nostalgia

In general it's a bad plan to buy the DVD of a television show you loved as a child.

When you were five it was great because you didn't know much.  When you're 40+, it's crap and your memories had filled in things to maintain the illusion that it was better than it is.

Land of the Lost and Dungeons and Dragons are two such for me.

Both have moments of greatness, but overall they're kids shows with nothing really for an adult.

They really put how much better children's programming has gotten fairly recently.

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is an example that gets trotted out often in this vein, there's enough content that an adult can latch onto that the parents aren't driven insane by high-rotation play.  This is probably a great example because there's an earlier My Little Pony that I think my have broken marriages and cause orphans.

I suspect that DVD's are the reason that the content has improved.  When I was a kid the adults only had to endure Saturday morning every week of kid's programming.

What brought all this to mind was I noticed that iTunes has Space: 1999.  I loved that show when I was nine!  I even had the three foot long Eagle toy.

Dare I skewer childhood nostalgia again?

19 October 2013

Settled Law

We must fund The Affordable Care Act because Congress passed it and that makes it settled law.  Because it is settled law we must never attempt to repeal it.

Do I have that right?

Because if I do...

The expiration of the so called "assault weapon ban" is also settled law and no attempt may ever be made to reinstate it.

Lemme predict your answer... "But that's different!"

Flyable Planes

How many planes are flyable for Strike Fighters?

The grand total is 136 planes, including all variants.

It's a bit.

Here's a list!

A4D-1 Skyhawk (aka A-4A).
A4D-2 Skyhawk (aka A-4B).
A-4B Skyhawk with project Shoehorn modifications.
A4D-2N Skyhawk (aka A-4C).
A-4C Skyhawk with project Shoehorn modifications.
A-4E Skyhawk (aka A4D-5)
A-4E Skyhawk with project Shoehorn modifications.
A-4E Skyhawk with 1967 RWR and ECM upgrade.
A-4E Ahit (Israeli version)
A-4E Ahit with 1973 upgrades.
A-4F Skyhawk.
A-4F Skyhawk with 1974 ECM upgrade.
A-4F Ahit.
A-4G Skyhawk (Royal Australian Navy version).
A-4H Ahit.
A-4H Ahit with 30mm ADEN cannon.
A-4H Ahit with 1972 engine and weapon upgrade.
A-4H Ahit with 1973 ECM upgrade.
A-4K Skyhawk (Royal New Zealand Air Force version).
A-4L Skyhawk

A-7A Corsair II.
A-7B Corsair II.
A-7B Corsair II with 1971 engine upgrade.
A-7C Corsair II.
A-7C Corsair II with 1971 engine upgrade.
A-7D Corsair II (USAF version).
A-7D Corsair II with 1975 dispenser and weapon upgrade.
A-7D Corsair II with 1978 RWR and weapons upgrade.
A-7E Corsair II
A-7E Corsair II with 1974 ECM upgrade.
A-7H Corsair II (Greek version).
A-7P Corsair II (Portugese version).

A-10A Thunderbolt II (aka Warthog).
A-10A Thunderbolt II with RWR and weapons upgrade.

F-100A Super Sabre.
F-100A Super Sabre with 1958 upgrade to use Sidewinders.
F-100C Super Sabre.
F-100C Super Sabre with project High Wire modifications.
F-100D Super Sabre.
F-100D Super Sabre with project High Wire modifications.
F-100D Super Sabre with 1968 RWR addition.

F-105D Thunderchief.
F-105D Thunderchief with 1966 up-armoring and RWR.

F-4B Phantom II (aka F4H-1).
F-4B Phantom II with project Shoehorn modification.
F-4B Phantom II with upgraded ECM and RWR.
F-4C Phantom II (USAF version).
F-4C Phantom II with 1967 RWR addition.
F-4D Phantom II (USAF version).
F-4D Phantom II with 1967 RWR addition.
F-4D Phantom II with 1975 dispenser addition.
F-4D Phantom II with 1978 RWR upgrade.
F-4E Phantom II (USAF version with a gun).
F-4E Phantom II with project Agile Eagle modifications.
F-4E Phantom II with 1975 dispenser addition.
F-4E Phantom II with 1978 RWR upgrade.
F-4E Kurnass (Israeli version).
F-4E Kurnass Agile Eagle Phantom brought in under operation Peace Echo IV.
F-4E Kurnass with 1975 addition of dispensers and locally made avionics.
F-4E Kurnass with 1978 upgrade to RWR, ECM and changing to a refueling probe from the flying boom.
F-4EJ Phantom II (Japanese version of the F-4E with no ground attack capability).
F-4F Phantom II (German version of the F-4E without radar guided missiles).
F-4F Phantom II with operation Peace Rhine changes.
F-4J Phantom II.
Phantom FG.1 (Royal Navy version aka F-4K).
Phantom FG.1 with RWR added in 1975.
Phantom FG.1 with dispensers added in 1980.
Phantom FGR.2 (Royal Air Force version aka F-4M)
Phantom FGR.2 with 1975 addition of RWR.
Phantom FGR.2 with 1980 addition of dispensers.
F-4N Phantom II project Bee Line upgrade of surviving F-4B's.

F8U-2 Crusader (aka F-8C).
F-8C Crusader with project Shoehorn modifications.
F8U-2N Crusader (aka F-8D).
F-8D Crusader with project Shoehorn modifications.
F8U-2NE Crusader (aka F-8E)
F-8E(FN) (French version).
F-8E Crusader with project Shoehorn modifications.
F-8H Crusader (F-8D rebuild).
F-8H Crusader with 1969 ECM upgrade.
F-8J Crusader (F-8E rebuild with F-8E(FN) wing).
F-8J Crusader with 1969 ECM upgrade.
F-8K Crusader (F-8C rebuild).

F-14A Tomcat.
F-14A Tomcat (Iranian version).
F-14A Tomcat with 1977 ECM upgrade.

F-15A Eagle.
F-15A Baz (Israeli version)

F-16A Netz (Israeli version of the Fighting Falcon).

Harrier GR.1
Harrier GR.1A
Harrier GR.3

Hunter F.1
Hunter F.2
Hunter F.4
J34 Hunter (Swedish version of the F.4, aka Hunter F.50)
J34 Hunter with1960 addition of Sidewinders.
Hunter F.51 (Danish version of the F.4)
Hunter F.5
Hunter F.6
Hunter F.58 (Swiss version of the F.6)
Hunter F.58 with 1963 addition of Sidewinders.
Hunter F.58A (F.58 upgraded to FGA.9 standards)
Hunter FGA.9
Hunter FGA.59 (Iraqi version of FGA.9)
Hunter FGA.70 (Lebanese version of FGA.9)
Hunter FGA.73 (Omani version of FGA.9)
Hunter FGA.73 with additional weapons stations and dispensers.

Kfir C1
Kfir C1 with 1977 upgrade.
F-21A Lion (US Navy and Marine aggressor squadron version of C1)
Kfir C2.

Lightning F.1
Lightning F.1A
Lightning F.2
Lightning F.2A
Lightning F.3
Lightning F.6
Lightning F.53 (Saudi and Kuwaiti version of F.6 with underwing stations.

Meteor F.8

Mirage IIIC
Mirage IIICJ Shahak (Israeli version)
Mirage IIICJ Shahak with 1971 engine upgrade.
Mirage IIICZ (South African version).
Mirage IIIEL (Lebanese version)
Mirage IIIO(A) (Australian attack version).
Mirage IIIO(F) (Australian fighter version).
Mirage IIIO(F/A) (Australian fighter and attack version).

Mirage 5BA (Belgian version)
Mirage 5BA with 1980 upgrades to ECM and avionics.

Mystère IVA.

Nesher (Israeli made version of Mirage 5J).

P-51D Mustang.


Plus it's dirt simple to add seven versions of the F-104 Starfighter!

I Have Committed Carpentry

There is but one aircraft in the entire list of planes that come with the full merged with DLC of Strike Fighters 2 that has a side stick.

The F-16A Netz.  It's only in SF2 Israel and none of the other four base games.

But the way I had my desk set-up meant the joystick sat on a stool to my right with the throttle on the desk to my left.


HOTAS and rudder pedals!

The base is a sheet of 3/4" mdf.  The posts are 3" schedule 40 PVC pipe, I used 3x4" toilet flanges both to attach the posts to the base and to give a spot for the controls to sit.  Much velcro is involved!

I find that my situational awareness is improved and I have more fine control.  Win all around.

Best of all, it's CHEAP!  About $45 worth of stuff total.

18 October 2013

Wait, What

If we hadn't saved your asses (the French) in two world wars, you'd be speaking German right now!

Oh yeah?  Well if we hadn't saved your butts (you Americans) in 1776 you'd be speaking English now!



17 October 2013


I love The Boy to death, but...

He's gotten it into his head that if Mom's still home when he gets out of the shower then Mom will be staying around until his bus gets here.  That would make mom about an hour and a half late for work.

He's also gotten it into his head that slinging abuse at me will somehow make Mom stay.

It doesn't work that way; but I've yet to find a way to convince him.

Until about a month ago, it wasn't a real problem because Mom was long gone before he needed to be up.  Gods forbid the school leave a system that was working in place!  They moved his bus up an hour officially (in practice it has been 30 minutes earlier).

To be ready to go at 0700, he really doesn't need to be out of bed until 0640.  His bus is never here before 0715 and is normally closer to 0730.

He does not need to be up a 0600 when The Lovely Harvey starts to get ready.  In fact, his being up at 0600 means she's going to take longer to get ready because he's pretty damn selfish and needy.  For some reason I'm not allowed to direct him during this time.

Ideally if he wakes up at six he can take his meds, go potty then goof off in his room until Mom's ready and out the door.  Her, "I love you; bye!" should be his go signal and he's got plenty of time to get ready from that point on.

I just need help enforcing that edict.

My feelings can't take a whole lot more of the verbal abuse and being spit at by The Boy.

A Thought

Second to the rich communist dancing monkey bastards pushing alternative energy is the manufacturers of the equipment.

I notice that none of them are running their plants off the power generation equipment that'll save the world.

If nothing else convinces you that wind and solar can't replace burning fossils or atoms; that should.

16 October 2013

The Bills! The Bills!

One of the never ending joys of being a responsible citizen is the twice a year change over from which bi-weekly check pays which bills without them being late.

Because the bills are monthly and there's an accumulated drift that makes you a month late or a month early depending on the fall of payday.

Old news to most everyone, but I still hate the swap-over pay period because it FEELS like you're late when you're not.

Two Things

First, that didn't take long.  Way to cave Boener; we knew you would (technically he hasn't yet, but we all know it's coming.)

Second.  The Senate originating budget bills is unconstitutional!

Article 1, Section 7.  "All bills for raising revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with amendments as on other Bills."

We are talking about taxes here not just spending, so the senate is supposed to wait and vote on what the house puts out.

Since the supreme court has ruled that the affordable care act is a tax, and it originated in the senate, that makes it unconstitutional.

Not that we can get our worthless courts or useless mouth breathing voters to notice.

15 October 2013

Wind Me Up Watch Me Go

Yes, I am predictable.

Sadly there are a couple of people who have decided that they only want to interact with me in a manner that seems, from my perspective, just to elicit the predicted response.

I guess I'm fun to watch or something.

Except I don't really like being wound up to be laughed at.

Do you like being made fun of?

I guess we could talk about your disasters of personal relationships?

Your failure to find meaningful employment?

Your inability to lose weight?

You know why I don't bring those things up?  Because I think of you as a friend and I know that belaboring the point hurts your feelings on the topic.

Please think, "Am I asking because Thag knows what he's talking about?  Am I asking because Thag's opinion matters to me?  Am I asking because he's fun to get riled up and so I can show my friends what an idiot he is?"

After covering the same topic for the third time, I seriously doubt that it's either of the former two.

Vote Or Shut Up

Once again I was given a choice between equally unpalatable candidates.

Once again I've voted for the least objectionable choice.

I was going to skip it out of a feeling of malaise, but decided that would be much like accepting a random ticket at the airport and complaining about the pilot.

I vote so that I can complain!

It's just about the only thing I have about the political process that makes me feel any better about it.

14 October 2013

Shit Just Got Serious

And I don't think a lot of people will register HOW serious.

Seen in DC (h/t Robert):

Just in case it goes memory hole:

"I was just following orders." 
-not a defense at Nuremberg.
You have a legal obligation to evaluate the morality and legality of all the orders you receive.
YOU will held responsible some day before God, humanity and (hopefully) courts of law for all orders that you carried out.

This should scare some people.  They've no idea how serious this part of what soldiers learn is.  No joking around.  The lead in film didn't have any cheerful mnemonics or catchy tune.  It was taught us with solemn gravity.  It stood in stark contrast to so many other topics taught.

For someone to remember and post this means that patience is nearly exhausted.



We're banned from Argo, everyone.

Bad Business Idea

Yet it still amuses me.

Open a laundromat or dry cleaner.

"Ma Knee's Laundry"

I'm here all night.  Try the veal.

13 October 2013


Although they're going to cave...

They do seem to be learning.

I can recall when the promise to revisit the things that were bugging the GOP was enough to get the Dems what they wanted.

Seems the GOP has finally gotten an inkling that if they don't get it up front it will never happen.

Like a tax increase now with a promise of reduced spending later?

Maybe some day they will hold firm until they win.

Making It Interesting

My reading on Rhodesia is kind of in conflict with what I want to do.

I want to make a gaming scenario.

I want the players to be vested in their characters and the situation.

Unfortunately that basically requires that they read up on Rhodesia and know something about the situation.  This is something players are loath to do.

I've experienced it before.

My military based rpg scenarios are popular with the players, and they ask for more.  But they cannot be troubled to do anything away from the table, wasting everyone's time.

"WW2 is cool!  Run that Thag!"  What do you know about World War Two?  "We've all seen "Saving Private Ryan!"

"Enemy At The Gates was neat, do something in Stalingrad!"  OK.  "This sucks, why can't we have any of the cool stuff?"  Didn't read the handout, did you?

I will admit to forcing the players into SEALs in Vietnam.  Those same players did better with a 1969 re-imagining of "Tears of the Sun".  Especially since the scenario from Tears of the Sun fits better during the Biafra/Nigerian Civil War.

Twilight 2000 often ran better because there wasn't much history to learn when I ran it heavily in the 90's.  If I were to run it today I'd have to explain to the younger players what that whole Cold War thing was and how this ancient future history has become an alt.

If the players don't do their homework, too much time is spent overriding their actions where they go off and do things someone FROM the world wouldn't do.

The no research player is not quite as bad as the too much research player.  Almost by definition an RPG scenario has to be an idealized hollywoodesque version to make it playable.  Additionally, most of the time I am running alternate histories or even weird histories where things like magic exist.  Demons pouring through the rift near a concentration camp will definitely change the course of history and make some of the cultural norms shift a standard deviation or two.

Occasionally the too much research leads to accurate but inappropriate actions on the character's part.  And sometimes this even works out!  One memorable event along these lines was a player whose 2nd lieutenant joined the established group and gave everyone a stern lecture on weapons maintenance, including generous use of oily lubricants; in North Africa.  Wrong lecture, since we'd already played the problem of steadily worsening malf numbers and learned that you used a dry lube like graphite.  The players did well here.  Every third word was "sir" and they gave an excellent explanation why they weren't going to do what Lootenant Butterbar demanded.  Eric, if I didn't give you ten eeps for your accidental portrayal of a green LT, I should have.

So what I need is for the players to know enough about Rhodesia that I don't have to hand hold them through their character creation and actions.  Whites will have a culturally ingrained attitude about blacks, or a damn good explanation about how they didn't acquire it.  Nobody born in Rhodesia will feel that what they are doing to defend it from ZANLA or ZIRPA is wrong; even the blacks!  Learning the cultural norms requires the players learn on their own or they'll get MY prejudices applied to them.

Readers who may play in the this scenario, take heed.

Bro Update

A picture is worth a thousand words.

Here's a happy k of them!

Still has a lazy eye, but he's out and about and that smile on his face is not pharmaceutically derived.

Not sure if he's still working his right arm like Big Bird or the Bear in the Big Blue House or not. ;)

12 October 2013

System Down

There I was with two carts of groceries.

The EBT system was down.

I was so upset I could barely tweet about it on my Obamaphone.

The Bush War

I had an idea for Technomancer/Merlin.

It's the world that Robert Jenkins is from.

I had wondered to myself what differences would occur in this world than ours in Rhodesia.

When making an alt-history it's a good idea to learn about the real history so you're consciously making changes instead of blundering along.  This helps a lot with internal consistency.

My goodness is a lot of writing about this particular period of history colored with the rose colored glasses of political correctness.

There's an equally large body of work filtered through pure jingosim too.

One boggle I have to decipher is what the truth is, and more importantly, regardless of the real truth; what will the truth be in the game world?

So far it's turned out to be complicated and shaded in tones of gray without the stark contrasts many narratives would have.

The flavor of racism the whites of Rhodesia have is unfamiliar to an American.

There are some things that stand out and the hypocrisy of some is stunning.  The black population had been systematically disenfranchised by British colonial policies and practices.  The white population was keen on not losing what had, from their perspective, always been their property.  The British insisting that those policies be abandoned literally overnight as a prerequisite for independence was unwise.

Some authors assert that the long range plan was to bring the black population up to speed on the whole representative democracy thing and eventually they'd be equal members of the greater society.  There's some justification for thinking that such education and acclimatization was needed since they were certainly second class subjects under British Colonial rule.

The racism thing factors in here.  The attitude of whites was that the blacks were kind of mildly retarded; like overgrown children.  Racism absent of hatred is not the American norm so it sometimes seems odd.  Many whites in Rhodesia felt that the blacks couldn't govern themselves because they were incapable.

It seems that the long term education portion was a concession to the people who felt the blacks could learn and the benchmarks were defined rather nebulously so that they never actually would gain their equality.

It's very soft and subtle.  Under the law, a black had all the same rights as a white.  But to vote there were wealth and property requirements that most whites and very few blacks met.  And since the rich tend to get richer and the poor get poorer... the chance of a significant portion of the majority of the population ever getting to vote seems remote.


At the time all of this was going on, the white population was very aware of what decolonization meant in other countries.  In particular the Mau Mau uprising.  In hindsight, Zimbabwe under Mugabe has proven that there might have been a core of truth to the minority white position.  On the whole, Africa has not prospered after independence.

It's fascinating reading and I am learning a lot.

Much More

I had a huge whopping post...

It's gone.

This is what's wrong with getting up, showering and having a satisfying breakfast.  It dulls the rage that good posts are born in.

11 October 2013

Saving Energy

I have a 1991 Caprice Classic.

I bought it in 1996.

In that 17 years I have bought one additional car (six years ago).

Even though I gravitate to cars that get crummy mileage, I cannot help but wonder if I am ahead of the people who are getting great mileage but replace their car every two years on energy consumption.

How much energy does it take to make a car, and if we're talking about being all greenie here, buying a new car that gets better mileage doesn't save any gas since your old car will still be in service with someone else!  You made the problem WORSE!

I found a web page claiming it took the equivalent to 715 gallons of gas to build a 2009 Civic.

On average I use 10 gallons a week in my Corvette.  So I use 520 gallons a year.

Our Civic owner gets about 50% more miles per gallon.  So figure, 7.5 gallons per week or 390 per year.  Buying a new Civic every other year adds 357.5 gallons per year for a total of 747.5 per year if they drive as much as I do (and most people drive a lot more).

The Lovely Harvey is a more typical commuter than I am and she puts on 676 gallons a year in her Civic.  For her to replace that car every other year like I see so many people do, 1,033.5 gallons!  More than double what my gas guzzling Vette uses.

The Caprice uses even less gas since it's not driven near as much.  I filled the 23 gallon tank in July and I am only just now getting to needing to fill up again.

I can see that I am not the energy problem here.


America has kinda sorta seen some of this before.

The American Indian was once widespread.  They also weren't assimilated into the western culture.

This led to the reservation system.

Is an enclave really all that different from a reservation?

A refusal or inability to assimilate leads to isolation and marginalization.

Reversing assimilation by creating divisions within a culture also leads to enclave, isolation, marginalization then either eradication or reservations.

Blacks should be paying attention.

Conservative/Libertarians should be paying attention.

While I think there's still hope for the electoral process to reverse the flow, you cannot move far enough away to escape.  The people you are fleeing are free to follow you.

10 October 2013

FuzzyGeff Brings Teh Snark

Check it out! 

Fascist Retread

Lyle mentioned an email he got.  I was reminded of an old post at my LiveJournal.

A modest proposal to end welfare.

A camp, in a remote place. Nice air-conditioned trailers. Well stocked Wal-Mart style store across the street. You can stay until the kids leave high school. They graduate, you get to stay six more years. 

They graduate college in that time, you get four more. Not too bad, huh, 28 years with no bills? All you have to do is keep your kids healthy and in school for K-12. Is that asking too much?

However, no cable. No satellite dishes. No cell service. No cars.

You can leave whenever you want. Daily bus service to a transportation hub to take you back to your home town. If you leave, you never come back. Even if you starve. Kids starve, you go to jail for premediatated murder, you CHOSE to leave a zero demand environment.

Now, the kids. They NEVER get to come here with their kids, neither do their grandchildren. We invested enough in them, far more than we invest in the people who never apply for welfare and work crappy jobs to take care of their kids (Thanks Mom!). They should have at least a high school education and hopefully many will have college.

Welfare gone in a generation. I think that it is worth it.


It is important to remember that I don't ACT like an idiot.

When you ARE something it's not an act.

I spewed effusively about something I was woefully uninformed about concerning the Firearms Owners Protection Act.

There are about two things that are negatives in the long term about that act; it was overall a good thing.

I'd focused exclusively on the Hughes amendment and the states flat ignoring the safe passage rules and completely missed the good done by eliminating the record keeping requirements for ammo.


You know it's going to be a long day when the safety briefer asks you to stand up, points at you and says, "just don't do anything he does and you'll be fine."


The negotiating "tactics" being used in DC should be familiar to us gun owners.

And the response to our side saying, "no more" is pretty much the same.

The Democrat Totalitarian wing of our elected government has played a "we get everything we want and you lose something you want without actually getting anything" game for a long time and gotten away with it.

The pie analogy for gun rights is similar.

With Obamacare, they took the whole pie all at once and seem baffled that we're upset.  At least with guns they'd been lulling us with taking small slices.

The original bill was passed in both chambers of Congress without a single Republican vote.  Not one.

Why is there shock that the Republican party, gaining in strength in the House since that vote, refuse to acquiesce to demands they begin supporting a law they unanimously opposed at the bill stage and can look to fresh faces who are seated congresscritters BECAUSE someone who voted for that law was replaced.

The most common complaint I hear from conservative types about Republicans is that they never put up a fight.  Especially since what we of the more conservative bent would like to see is an actually smaller government; not merely a government that grows more slowly.

We can thank the media and the mouth breathing low information voter for the state of affairs.

Let's test.
Your budget last year was $100.  Party A wishes to increase your budget to $115.  Party B objects to the increase and will only agree to an increase of $5.
Was your budget cut?

In a nutshell, that's the state of our government.  The above situation where a 5% increase is a "draconian cut" because a 15% increase was advocated.  It's only a cut if the percent increase is not keeping up with inflation.

Maths be hard and shit.  How long before an annual 3% increase results in a doubling of cost?  Do you even know how to begin calculating that?  The most cumbersome method is to start with 1 and multiply it by 1.03 and keep multiplying the result by 1.03 until you get past 2 in your result.  The answer is a mere 24 years of 3% growth to double the cost.  15 years at 5%.  Less than 8 years at 10%.  Adds up fast, doesn't it?

Since the real inflation rate seems to be about 5% if you include everything and not just what the government stats include, it will costs twice as much to buy everything you bought today in fifteen years.  How big was your raise last year?  Did you get that every year?  Was it 5%?  Because if it's not, you're taking an effective pay CUT every year.  See how that works?

The thing is, inflation is affected greatly by the policies of the people in DC.  They pass laws which artificially alter supply and demand by making some things cheaper and others more expensive.

Increase the cost of something, demand goes down.  Decrease the supply of something, prices go up.  Decrease the price, demand goes up.  Etc...

It Will Be Said

"And then one day, he was gone."

09 October 2013


The shutdown began Oct. 1 after a group of House Republican lawmakers blocked a budget deal in a last-ditch effort to stop funding for President Barack Obama's health care law.

That is not accurate.

The shutdown began Oct 1 after the Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid, and President Barack Obama refused to consider any one of several bills passed by the House of Representatives which altered the so called "Affordable Care Act" in any manner.

Since the shut down several more alternative resolutions have been passed, but all contain language that modifies the ACA so the Democrat controlled Senate refuses to consider them or even talk to the House of Representative leadership about moving past this impasse.

It should be noted that The House is doing exactly what their constituients are asking and are, in fact, doing their Constitutionally mandated job.

From The Federalist Paper #58:

The House of Representatives cannot only refuse, but they alone can propose, the supplies requisite for the support of government. They, in a word, hold the purse -- that powerful instrument by which we behold, in the history of the British Constitution, an infant and humble representation of the people gradually enlarging the sphere of its activity and importance, and finally reducing, as far as it seems to have wished, all the overgrown prerogatives of the other branches of the government. This power over the purse may, in fact, be regarded as the most complete and effectual weapon with which any constitution can arm the immediate representatives of the people, for obtaining a redress of every grievance, and for carrying into effect every just and salutary measure.

08 October 2013


There should be a word for:  The epiphany where you suddenly realize that while it matters a great deal to you; it doesn't matter at all to anyone else.

Along the same lines is that most of your friends will politely sit and "listen" to you, they're not really paying any attention and letting you run down so that conversation can get back to something you're mutually into.

It's very sad to realize that I don't have much to say that's mutual with many.

07 October 2013

Open Letter To Miss Hayek

Dear Ms. Hayek.

It is not that I would see you go.  I would not mind if you stayed.

The thing is, if you're going to be here and if you're going to stay I ask that you join the family.

Become part of us.

The United States doesn't need an enclave of Mexican nationals bent on remaining Mexican regardless.

The United States needs Americans who've found themselves unlucky enough to have been born in a foreign land.

That has always been the case.  A person who moves to another country and remains a foreigner is not an immigrant, they are an expatriate.  If they form communities of fellow expatriates, it is called an enclave.

You should be familiar with this.  There are a lot of American expatriates living in enclaves in Mexico, aren't there?

Did you think that we gringo would not hear what you Mexicans say about them?  I'd say your typical migrant farm worker is one hell of a lot more welcome here in Los Estados Unidos de América del Norte.  And I get it!  I live in a state chock full of people who don't assimilate to local conditions.

We have Cubans who are just waiting for Batista to rise again.  We have Puerto Ricans.  We have all manner of Yankee who can't wait to tell us how much everything down here sucks and how great it is "back home" yet stay here anyway.  So I get it about expatriates.

Why don't you, Ms Hayek?  Multi-millionaire, Ms Hayek.  Multi-Millionaire, Mexican-expatriate, Ms Hayek...

Become an American or head back to the Old Country.  I won't even demand you become a citizen, but you should become one of us if you're going to stay.

You may notice I am not in Mexico telling Mexicans how they need to accept me.

I would also like to point out how fucked Mexico is if WE all went home.  How many American companies are rocking the NAFTA and running factories down there?  They move back north, we have to pay more for those products.  What happens to the Mexicans who lose those jobs?

You might want to crack a history book, Ms Hayek.  Since we started exporting jobs Mexico has enjoyed a remarkable period of political stability.  Even the cartels aren't rocking that boat too hard.

New Kilts!

The tactical kilts I ordered from 5.11's second issue have arrived.

Fair warning to those considering ordering the next time they might offer them.

5.11 is about a size off.

My ample waist is a 40 if I buy from Wal Mart or Target.  The 40 kilt I got last year is much tighter.

The 42s I ordered this year are just a little looser than Wrangler 40 jeans from Wal Mart.

I suspect that someone with a size 38 waist will be perfectly happy with the 40.

So, order a size bigger than you normally wear for the same fit.

06 October 2013

Old Reviews

John Carter is in the rotation on Starz.

I checked out some reviews and am struck by one.

They called the story "derivative".

Yeah, like Gandalf is a rip-off of Dumbledore.


05 October 2013

Score For The Boy

The Boy entered a fishing tournament for disabled kids.  Make a Difference does this every year for the kids and they hand out all manner of free goodies.

Stuff like toys and food.

And electronics!

We'd never really paid attention to the stuff that'd been donated because we'd always snagged a stuffed animal or a gift certificate for a family dinner.

This year The Boy won at 29" LCD television.

We are overwhelmed by the generosity of the sponsors for this event, because we're told they do this year in, year out.


If you're looking for a place to throw some charitable contributions you can't go too far wrong supporting them HERE.

PS: There are a whole lot of people who sign up to take advantage of the free swag whose children are not disabled in any way.  Shame on them!  The nice people at Make A Difference don't even try to determine who is and isn't disabled, because generous!

PPS: Donate to Squeaky first!

04 October 2013

Robert Jenkins

95% done.

When things get all dry there's some white from the plastic base to hide and some straightening of the "grass".

A Hard Look

Look hard at what...

Walter Mondale was doing in 1976-1980.
George Bush was doing in 1980-1988.
Dan Quayle from 1988-1992.
Al Gore from 1992-2000.
Dick Cheny from 2000-2008.
Joe Bidel from 2008-present...

Being VP means you don't do much, don't it.

It makes me wonder why all the focused venom on Sarah Palin.

McCain would have been actually DOING things, not her.

I just don't get it.

What To Do

They say, decide what you are going to do NOW rather than wait for the decision point, because at that moment there isn't time to make up your mind.

Fair enough.

I am not going to drop my weapon even if the bad guy has a knife to my loved one's throat.  "Drop it or I'll kill (loved one)!" doesn't shift the responsibility for their death at the hands of a scumbag.

What a scumbag needs to consider is that it is only my concern about accidentally shooting my loved one that's keeping them alive.  Dead or severely injured loved one and there's no barrier at all to me opening fire.

And in the case of injured, the fastest way to safely help my loved one is to utterly eliminate the demonstrably dangerous scumbag.

Philosophically and morally (if not strictly legally) creating the situation where a loved one's life is threatened so eminently means the scumbag's life is now forfeit.  Strangely in a "less civilized" time such could be slain by any who found them, and any who granted them succor likewise.

Sometimes barbarity is better.

03 October 2013

All 1/35 Scale All The Time

Progressing right along!

Yes, Robert is the kind of snake-chimera who'll paint a smiley face on his rattle in the field.

Paint Part 1 And 2 And 3

Base of tan for the tail went on last night.  Still tacky this afternoon, so I suspect that the enamels are too chemically hot for the Sculpey putty.

Black went on moments ago.  Gonna give it a good long time to dry.

Update:  Paint Part 3!

And Part 4...  And done for the night.


Expanding on this point.

The Constitution is what is known as a limiting document.

What that means: if a power is not granted to the government by the text, the power is forbidden to it.

The tenth amendment was added to mollify fears that those limits would be exceeded.  Prescient those founders who insisted on the Bill of Rights...  If only the 10th was ever used to strike down a law.

Go read the Declaration of Independence some time.

You will be astonished at how small the encroachments into the liberties of the colonists are to provoke such a strong reaction as to secede from The United Kingdom England Great Britian.

You pay a much higher percentage on gasoline than the colonists were asked to pay on stamps or tea.

Mike Rowe Says

First there was his TED speech.

Then there was his explanation of his TED speech.


Hearing Harry Reid petulantly stating that "it's the law!" reminded me of something.

Slavery was the law.

Prohibition was the law.

Chattel wives was the law.

The ban on "assault weapons" was the law.

If making something "the law" makes it eternal and inviolable, why are so many things "was"?

The truth is, passing a law is not the guaranteed end of the struggle.  Any and all laws are subject to not only Congress revisiting them and repealing but to the Supreme Court nullification.

Repealing a law is the exact same process as enacting one.  And there's nothing about any law that makes it sacrosanct from this treatment.  Any congressperson can draft a bill repealing any law, and it goes through the process of committees and votes like any other bill.

Well, Mr Reid, The House passed a bill.  The Senate is not allowed to ignore it.  I looked it up.

Someone doesn't understand how this bicameral legislature is supposed to work; and it's not the House of Representatives, their speaker or the party presently in the majority.

Deserves A Linking

Hie thee hence.

Can you answer the simple questions?

Record Setting

As in setting the record straight.

There's a lot of misconception about what the government is and what it was intended to be.

I've tried to explain it and while I think I fail more often than succeed; I've never been refuted.

The biggest misconception about our Constitutional Republic past thinking it's a democracy is that government has rights.

The people who wrote the constitution would probably be OK with you slapping the snot out of the person who planted that idea in the minds of the populace.  Perhaps even erecting a gallows.

The really sad thing about it is the Constitution is written in plain language and the plain meaning of the text is the intended meaning.  How do I know this?  The authors left notes!  Their thought process is documented and detailed!  The Federalist and Anti-Federalist papers are like the Cliff's Notes version of those notes, but they suffice.

The whole point of the federal government as defined and limited (note that) in the Constitution was to secure the rights of the people and harbor liberty.

Remember who these people were!  They'd just fought a (literally) bloody war over the very issues addressed by the Constitution.  The Bill of Rights is a rather specific addressing of some of the more egregious issues of the days of The Crown.

Emanations and penumbras which contradict the plain meaning of the text would have horrified the authors.  They would have said that there are no hidden meanings.


We debate endlessly about the meaning of militia when the plain operative part of the sentence is clear.

We have so debased the commerce clause that it's become a catch all of literally anything, and some things specifically mentioned in the Declaration of Independence.  The plain meaning was direct commerce that passed interstate.  Not indirect, not local, not intrastate and not international (which is covered by a different clause).

The original design was for the Federal Government to have a lot of power in some very small places.  The individual state governments were supposed to be nearly independent entities one step removed from being sovereign nations themselves.  In many ways this is still true, but subverted.  Interstate Highway funding is the classic example.  The federal government cannot ORDER a state to conform to its demands, but the state can "voluntarily" submit to them if it wishes to receive the funds for several items.  Since the taxes are taken regardless, submission is the only way to see some of the money returned.  It's extortion; but it has allowed the Federal government to slip outside its narrow confines.

I say, over and over, show me where the government is granted the power to x.  Only rarely has someone attempted to, let alone actually shown me.  I've gotten a couple of "well it doesn't really matters".

OK, it doesn't matter and is void.  But that makes the whole thing void.  A void constitution also voids the powers granted and makes those taking the power to themselves criminals.  "Under color of authority," seems particularly apt.

02 October 2013

Snake Of Base

I've cut a piece of flat plastic to serve as a base, and added a twig to serve as the trunk of a tree.  The next step is painting, then adding fake grass and some gravel to round things out.  I think I even have some fluff to glue to the trunk to look like leaves.