31 July 2023

I Remember This

How the United Auto Workers damn near killed Caterpillar and fucked their members too.

The link is very clinical and does its level best to use a neutral tone; but the fact of the matter was Caterpillar was losing market share to Japanese heavy equipment and there flat wasn't money to meet the demands of the UAW.

The thing I remember clearly was Caterpillar didn't come to the table saying, "no raises," or "we need to reduce the workforce."

They were offering a raise, about half what the union wanted, but refused to increase the pension benefits.

They were clear about why, there wasn't enough money to do so.

The long period of time they weren't making anything left orders unfilled and companies bought Japanese for the first time and never came back.

Slow clap.

It's A Race!

While we will certainly die in the dark if the private jet using climate warriors win:

It is a toss up whether we will starve or freeze first.

John "Three Purple Hearts" Kerry, private jet aficionado and long-time not-really-but-really luxury yacht owner, says we need to eliminate agriculture to achieve Gaea-Nirvana.

I am starting to think the best way to save the planet is to for these people to disappear.

The current press for electric vehicles sure feels like a precursor to taking away the food because the people will be pre-trapped where they are when the charging stations are cut off a couple of weeks before the food.

Can't take the pitchforks and torches to them if you can't get near them.

30 July 2023

Well I'm Convinced

I wish I had copy-pasta'd before I got reasoned discoursed on it.

We have competing analogies.

A plumber asked:

"So what you're saying is that after I install the toilet as agreed, and the owner pays me for it; then still owes me every time they flush?"

The actor replied:

"No.  It's you installed the toilet and got paid; then the owner sells tickets for other people to use the toilet.  The owner owes you part of what he's selling tickets to use your work!"

I wonder if the actor realizes that they just showed how stupid their little spat is.

Most people are in the, "do the work, get paid, done," camp.

Dragging the analogy further.  Actors think that they should be paid for the toilet install, a portion of the use of the toilet if the owner gets any money for that use, a part of the proceeds if you sell the toilet to someone else and a portion of any money the new owner makes off of it.


At a time when people are not paying for toilet installs.

PM in the comments gives a good link explaining how the actors and writers picked about the worst time to demand more money.  There isn't more money, there's less.

Some Facebook Car Group Observations

If you want someone to reply, "oh that sucks, you must really be bummed," instead of people trying to help you figure out how to fix it:

Get a girlfriend and unsubscribe from a hot-rodder technical group.

Don't be a dick.

If you're selling something, put your price where you mention you're selling it.  Don't make the customer guess.  If you failed to name a price in the post, when they ask, "how much?" just answer.  Don't be coy.

Don't be a dick.

It doesn't matter that you paid $11k for the car and dropped another $8k on mods.  If the make/model is worth $9k now, then the $19k you spent is a $10k loss; UNLESS YOU FIND THAT ONE PERSON WHO WAS PLANNING ON BUYING A STOCK EXAMPLE FOR $11K AND DOING THE EXACT SAME $8K OF MODS YOU DID!  That person is almost never found outside your own mirror.

Don't be a dick.

Related to the above, none of your mods have warranties.  That means they're not positive selling points.  Mods are, almost by their very definition, more prone to breaking than the OEM part.  Even if you used OEM parts from a different model in the same manner as the other model.

Don't be a dick.

Unless you got lucky and your car is the '57 Chevy of its day and it's become a highly sought collectable, you're going to lose money just owning it.  Even more modding it.

And, most importantly, don't be a dick!

29 July 2023

Fuck Off Oliver

Oliver Stone regrets getting the president he's fomented for decades to get.

What changed that caused you to regret it, Mr Stone?

What's affecting you now that wasn't three years ago?

You sure didn't break stride when you were sucking Obama's dick or calling Trump names.

You know the internet has a long memory, right?

The Power Of The Purse

The longer the writer's and actor's strike goes, the less money Hollywood will get from the consumer.

The less money Hollywood and its herd of dancing monkeys have, the less they will have to spend interfering in our lives by paying politicians.

Without that revenue stream, the politicians will stop listening to what a small cadre of dancing monkeys wants.

Power returns to the people!

Keep the strike going!

For Democracy!

Cue The "What About China?" Dancers

Absolutely nothing the US or Europe does to eliminate carbon emissions will have any effect unless China does the same thing.

They show no signs of abandoning reliable forms of energy or reducing consumption, so even if the US were to completely return to pre-historic energy sources...

There'd still be carbon emissions from China.

It sure doesn't seem like China believes this shit is true.

But I think what's really going on is we're offshoring our emissions like we offshored the industries and jobs.

It makes us appear virtuous and good while not giving up the products and lifestyles afforded by the pollution we sent elsewhere.

I don't even believe that we needed to send those industries elsewhere, because the means of reducing the pollution were all, essentially, one-time costs rather than ongoing costs.

It was a virtue signal.

Like all virtue signals it does nothing about the thing it claims to solve.

This Climate Is Just Right

Software Janitor, in the comments, asks what is it about the climate just this second that makes it preferable to one that's a degree hotter or colder?

Well, nothing.

A slightly warmer climate, which we had in Florida until the 1970's, allowed for pineapples and citrus to be grown as far North as Gainesville.

The frost line moving south drove citrus ever further south and took out pineapple farming here almost altogether.

While it was a disaster for the farmers of those fruits, life went on.  Other crops replaced them.

The catestrophic anthropogenic global climate change people act as if the small change they predict will eliminate all life on the planet.

It won't.

It has been, historically, both hotter and colder than the direst predictions of the climate change alarmists.  Life, including human life, went on.

It has been far warmer and far colder pre-historically and human life kept going.

I'm not worried about the weather or the climate.

Climate change must be expected when you live next to a main sequence variable star.

Considering the "record" temperatures of the 1990's coincide with the most active cycle of the sun we ever measured...  Do you think it might be the sun?  The "ice ages are returning" winters of the 1970's coincide with a very inactive cycle of the sun too.

There's a land-locked shipyard in England from the middle ages.  Sea levels are lower from when that place was in business, but it proves that we were perfectly capable of living through higher sea levels and temperatures.

But we also have to remember that there's several places where the sea levels are getting lower and higher but the amount of liquid water isn't changing.

It changed, but that was thousands of years ago.  The ice is long melted, but the sea levels are still changing...

Because the land itself is rising and falling!  The glaciers that were pushing down on Canada also caused the land around Greenland to rise.

Now that the glaciers are gone, the crust is slowly rebounding and northern Canada is rising and Greenland is sinking.

Mean sea level is the same...

PS: If the assholes who're pushing climate change so hard really believed it; they wouldn't own anything below 75' MSL or outside two narrow bands of latitude.

They would also drastically reduce THEIR carbon emissions and stop living in gigantic houses and flittering around in private jets.

They would advocate for nuclear power.

I'll take it serious when they do.

Unalloyed Joy

The Boy, like many boys of his mental age, loves dinosaurs.

Jurassic Quest is in town, so I suggested to Harvey that we go.

We even shanghaied Marv into it.

$112 for the four of us.

If it were not for the happy-awed look on The Boy's face seeing those life-size recreations of dinosaurs, I'd have said it was a massive rip off.

Fun, but overpriced.

I liked seeing these critters in person full sized.

The Brontosaur Apatosaur seemed smaller than my mind said it should and a couple of the ceratopsians were a lot smaller than I'd thought.

Triceratops set the size for a ceratops in my head.  There are several species that are smaller, even much smaller, like the brachyceratops.  Brachyceratops probably isn't even its own critter, they're likely juvenile styracosaurs.

We had fun, making the gigantic rip-off worth it.

28 July 2023

You Know

It's hard to take global warming seriously when it was 40° 20° warmer 90 years ago.

27 July 2023

How Much

Seller: PM me if there's something you want.

Me: How much for those two things?

Seller: How much do you want to pay?

Me: I want you to fucking tell me how much you want to sell them for so I can decide if I want to spend that much.  You're selling, set a price or go away.

Look For The Union Label

Looks like the Teamsters have killed off Yellow Trucking Company in order to make UPS knuckle under.

Yellow is taking $700 million of your tax dollars with them to the grave.

Slow clap.

This story is going to repeat until something manages to break the union's paradigm that the economy is expanding at 15% with 3% or less inflation.  It's not and they need to Grok that in its fullness.

The Teamsters really wanna make their demands possible?  They should lean on their bought-and-paid-for politicritters to allow drill-baby-drill and get us back to energy independence and fuck the greenies.

That will reduce costs, increase profits and let the shippers actually have enough revenue and profits to pass the largesse to their union workers.

26 July 2023

Stab Stab Stab

The Lovely Harvey's hair has finally grown out enough to use a gift Willard dropped by last Christmas!

Non-metallic for those scoring at home.

Apology To (Some) Bicyclists

If you are riding your bike and not blocking traffic, I have no problem with you being on the road.

I am sorry if my rant offended you.

There's actually plenty of room for you on the margin and space for me to hug the centerline so everyone avoids being damaged.

In most places there's even laws about how a bicycle should be using a public roadway.

Here's a bit of context to my rant.

Shitheads like Critical Mass, however, don't obey those laws and count on their numbers to chill objections to their blocking entire roads for miles while they travel at well under the speed limit.  Well under the minimum speed limit, as a matter of fact.

Then there's the cyclist who wants to use the rules for being a pedestrian as well as a vehicle; but only those rules which benefit their present behavior.  You've seen what I'm talking about.  They're a vehicle when they occupy the entire lane.  But they're a pedestrian when they have to obey traffic signs.

But on top of it, they're assholes.

Big enough assholes that it's getting dangerous for polite cyclists to be out and about.

Was That Even Legal?

Marv shot me a link that makes me wonder if the judge had jurisdiction to vacate Bergdahl's sentence.

Judge Walton doesn't appear to be in the military, nor on the Supreme Court, so...

How is he ruling on this?

He's not a military judge and this is a UCMJ matter.

That's Not How It Works

Dear bicyclists;

The taxes you paid at the gas pump to maintain the roads are for the car you were filling up, not your bike.

You can tell by the license plate on your car that's not on your bicycle.

You may also notice that you are not required to carry insurance on your bicycle.

Which basically adds up to you not paying your fair share while you're obstructing traffic.

So, when you have to pay a road maintenance tax, carry insurance, have a license to operate it and register your bicycle, you can just fuck off.

This Is My Shocked Face

 Bergdahl's conviction vacated.

That asswipe should be hanged, not let off.

There's still hope for justice, but it will be informal and unofficial.

He deserves it.

25 July 2023

Above My Pay Grade

Are prime numbers still prime in bases other than 10?

CNN And Layers Of Fact Checking


Link to the page I screen shot.  Notice the "Yesterday at 2:21 PM" for when they posted that graphic?

Hurricane Dorian link from Wikipedia. 

If you watch CNN, Dorian has been stalled over the Bahamas for four years.

24 July 2023


I have been obsessing over the lack of an oil-pressure gauge in The Beast.

If I'd known the car was making pressure the lack of the pressure sensor might have worried me less.

At first, I'd wished for a way to read the data stream for the oil pressure, but realized that the failed sensor was the source of that reading.

If I'd had a factory oil pressure gauge in the dash, it would have been pegged to the high side.

Thus, useless as a diagnostic tool to tell if there was oil pressure in the event of a sender failure.

I'm really starting to hate how everything is run through the body control module.

Even the tach is suspect.

I am astonished at how expensive 2-1/16" oil pressure gauges have become.

A good one is closing in on $200.

The cheaper good ones give a feeling of false economy because they don't include the sender, bringing the total back to $200 quite quickly. 

Appearance is also a factor.  I want it to look good, be easily readable and be lit at night.

Oh No! Anyway

Fucker deserves a medal.

Trucker in Germany drags and injures climate protestor.


One Two Punch

There's increasing evidence that the population of The Americas was heading for a massive reduction even if Columbus had lost all three ships mid-Atlantic.

Probably not the 90-95% reduction they got from exposure to the endemic diseases from Europe, but...

In about 1200 something wiped out Cahokia so hard they didn't recover.  Poor sanitation doesn't account for the sudden, and complete, disappearance.  It doesn't appear to be from war either.

The place was abandoned, and deserted like it was cursed.

Fear of disease by people who don't know what diseases are does that.

There's no clear consensus on what wiped out Cahokia, we're just getting to agreement about when.

But the populations in South America were going gangbusters compared the plains Indians.


The diseases imported from Europe really hit hard, but some are thinking too hard.

What if another plague was working its wonders on the indigenous population and making them more vulnerable to outside diseases.

It's an interesting theory.

It also speculates that the population loss would be more like 50% without a native plague, so it's not like they would have been hunky dory with European diseases.

However, it also looks like about 35% were going to be dying even if Europe never met them.  That's nothing to sneeze at...

Fits The Facts


The more history I read about the Indians, the less believable the "noble savage" narrative becomes.

Stopping The Beast

You might notice a bright red Brembo 4-piston brake caliper in a previous post.

The previous owner did what's known to the PPV crowd as the "Big Brake" mod.

It's a bit Frankenstein's Monster, but it's not too hard.

Front calipers are from a 2017-2024 Camaro SS 1LE package.

Front rotors are the factory 345mm size, replaced here with aftermarket Raybestos.

Front pads are from a 2004-2007 Cadillac CTS-V or 2008-2008 Pontiac G8 GXP.

Rear calipers are from a 2007-2009 Cadillac CTS-V.

Rear rotors are 360mm off a 2015-2017 Chevrolet SS.  Factory size is 324mm.

Rear pads are from a 2004-2007 Cadillac CTS-V.

We Almost Died!

Well, we weren't even hurt.

We were sitting in the drive-thru of a local coffee shop.

I'd just paid for our order when there was a loud thunk and the car shook.

At first I thought some idiot had rear ended us.

But there was no one behind me.

Something HAD hit the car.

A wheel and tire.

A witness to the tire's ejection pulled up and told us where to find the owner.

He grabbed the wheel and we followed him to the 3-wheeled Toyota SUV.

I noticed that the tire looked brand new...

I'll let Ron White explain what happened.  Just insert "Toyota Dealer" where he says "Sears."

 The owner of the SUV is obviously not happy, and quite shaken by her left rear departing the vehicle.

She called the Toyota dealer and they sent the service manager to talk to her.

She delivered an ass chewing to that guy that would have put a sergeant major in tears.

He promised her he'd make it right by her.

Then he looked at my tiny little dent.

I have an appointment first thing Monday to get that fixed.

It is not the biggest dent on the car.  It's an ex-police vehicle.  It's covered in little scars.

I'm a little embarrassed to have them fix this blemish, but he volunteered.  If the body guy will address some of the other small dents while they're working on it, I will let them, but I will not make the suggestion more than a joke.

The scary part of this is that tire crossed six lanes of traffic and two medians to get to my car.  It traveled about 600 feet and didn't hit anything or anyone until it stopped by hitting my car.

It's a miracle, Vincent, and I want you to acknowledge it.

The Toyota Dealer is eager to handle this quietly and in-house.  I can see why.  His guy who skipped lug-nut day almost had them set up for a wrongful death lawsuit.  Fixing on my car is a small price to pay.





23 July 2023

Test Fit


JT loaned me a wheel off his CTS to see if they cleared my Brembos.

No clearance issues that I can see!

Not a bad looking rim either.  Bonus: there are a lot of take-off rims available around here as well.

I want to stay on 18's if I can because going too low profile on the tires is uncomfortable and more susceptible to damage from potholes.

Not Every Hero Wears A Cape

Buy one of these

Attach it to your car somehow.

Park your normal, internal combustion, car in a charging station spot.

"Plug" the charger into the fake port.

Go enjoy the rest of your day.

Free parking because you aren't using any electricity!

Because I Am A Disgusting Lard Body

Replaced the toilet seat in my shitter today.

The old one had lasted for...

I don't remember but I it's been a long time.

While the seat was in good shape, the little pads that go between the seat bottom and the rim of the bowl had collapsed.

An easy, but icky, job.

Well, except for the 100° temperatures in the garage.

I got one of those fancy slow-fall lids this time.

I marveled that there were at least fifteen choices in toilet seats and absolutely nothing to distinguish one from another except price and if the lids were free-falling.

22 July 2023

Is It?

A nipple I like to twist, from time to time, is the idea that an MMORPG is NOT a role playing game at all.

MMORPG are video games.

Despite the RPG being part of the name, there is no role-playing going on.

The problem I have is quantifying WHY a table top game with IS and the video game ISN'T!

For me it's the lack of boundaries and the ability to attempt anything on the tabletop versus the narrow restrictions of the video game.

The video game is just a playing piece with move/attack/defense scores and a different special effect based on your piece's class.

The table-top has those scores as well, but you can try anything you can articulate, including tricking the bad-guy verbally into defeat, rather than killing them.

It's ephemeral.


OMG this show did not age well.

I wonder if the shine of "it's the only Sci Fi on" has faded when it's not the only sci-fi available to me.

The practical effects are still top notch.  Hensen would be proud.

The story and the plot in the first season...

I liked this?

I looked forward to this?

I was upset when we had to chose between cable and food and I lost access to this?

Clearly I was retarded.

I worry, now, that I am still retarded.

How would I know?

Don't answer.

I don't wanna know.

20 July 2023

Speaking Of Poop

When I went to take the cartridges out of Willard's DP-51 to take pics, the rounds didn't wanna come up to the mouth.

At first I thought it was a bad spring.

But then I saw the specks.

At first I thought it was loose powder from a round that had come apart somehow.

So I dropped the floor plate...

The specks were roach droppings.

It was jammed full of little roach corpses.  So many that this mag would not have fed if needed.

No runners, all dead.

Allow me to use my vast college educated vocabulary and say, "Ick!"

If you have, or have ever had, a roach problem, you should check your magazines for this kind of thing.


Willard and I recalled that S&W 59 magazines worked in the Daewoo DP-51.

We cannot check that because the DP-51 has hidden itself from human sight.

Willard could lay hands on a DP-51 magazine, so he wondered if it would work in a S&W 59.

It does not.

The floorplate hits the front strap before the magazine latch can grab the hole.  The holes look identical and appear to be spaced identically from the mouth of the magazine.

So I checked it on a Marlin Camp Carbine.

Also no-go.  The latch never latches.

Oh well.

DP-51 on left:

The S&W magazine's hole is just a bit closer to the mouth of the mag.  That's why the DP-51 won't lock into the Marlin.

Concealed Means Concealed

The bowling alley The Boy practices at for Special Olympics has put "No guns or weapons allowed, even concealed weapons." signs on the entrances.

Well, it's got no force of law in Florida and all they can do is to trespass me if I refuse to leave once they decide I'm packing.

But if I never give away I've got a weapon, then they have no reason to bother me.

I do worry those signs will cause the worst sort to think they can shoot it up with impunity.

Gun free zones are dangerous.

19 July 2023

Electronic Raining And Pouring

The Mother In Law's phone and Fire tablet both decided to take a dump at nearly the same time!


We'd been expecting this.  The Fire was 7 years old, the phone 5 years.

The phone is cheap, just a small add to the phone bill.

The Fire is a bit more.

The only real irritation is the lengthy set-up process that involves, basically, ignoring it while it does its thing and occasionally stabbing, "OK," when prompted.

No Warranty Expressed Or Implied

Buying someone else's project car is fraught with peril.

I'm watching a drama unfold on Facebook where someone sold a car to another which, promptly, grenaded once the new owner took possession.

He is, understandably, pissed at the seller.

The seller is maintaining that the car was running fine when the buyer bought it.

It's probably true.

The thing about lots of hot-rods is the mods are ticking time bombs.

It's fine, until it's not.

You have to pray that the person doing the mods both did a good job and picked a combination with some longevity.

You see the route to and from the Hot Rod Power Tour littered with the failures.

18 July 2023

Not Today Mr ATF Man

Facebook, helpfully, keeps offering links to Temu to buy "fuel filters" which are obviously sound suppressors.

I know it's a suppressor.  You know it's a suppressor.  The ATF will sure as shit know it's a suppressor.

But I have an absolutely unreasonable desire to find a way to put it to innocent use on my car.

Just like the ad says it's for!

The best I've been able to come up with is a catch can to capture vapor from the PCV system.  The baffles would help to condense the vapors...

But I wont.  There's many better catch can designs out there which don't get you into potential trouble with the government.

I am also curious if that thing comes with instructions explaining how you install it as a fuel filter.  UNC threads are not the best solution for holding pressure...  NPT is far better.

The Warmth Of Hate

Because I'm the kind of person who reads lyrics, Bruce Springsteen never appealed.

But lots of people think the chorus is the song...

However, I have a friend who utterly despises Mr Springsteen, and it's because of him that I end up reading articles about The Boss.


There's a few music critics who are on to the contrived persona that Bruce has worn with less and less success, and they sure can hate.

But, I guess they'd better be good at it; they're professionals.

Real Swords

I'm green with envy for Mr Savage's access here.

I love how close GURPS gets the weights.

I would have loved to see the historian spend more time on blade shape.

This Is Snark Not Serious

Why shouldn't I get you to pay for my student loans?

I've been paying your fucking union dues for decades.

16 July 2023


This very moment, 78 years ago, the first atomic bomb of any kind was detonated.

25 kilotons of canned sunshine.

Just 6dx14,848 cr ex linked 6dx9,651 burn ex rad sur.

The Gadget was also the first implosion type device, proving the concept for Fat Man.

15 July 2023

Down To One Aisle

My father in law needed a rain-coat.

The selection at Wal Mart was not to his liking, so we wandered down to Bass Pro Shops.

He was successful at finding one there.

I went to the gun corner to look at ammo and I'm struck at how small the ammo section is now.

One half of one aisle.

It used to be three entire aisles.

They have common calibers for OK prices, so I snagged me some 9mm to feed Harvey's practice sessions.

Dear Hollywood Studios

I stand with you!

You can outlast these writers and actors.

Be strong.

Like you, I can hold out until they all have to get honest work.

I will get by on my DVD collection while we wait them out.

14 July 2023

Say What You Will

Even if you think that The British Museum carting off all those ancient artifacts was wrong:  You have to admit those artifacts still exist.

The Bamiyan Buddha could not be reached for comment.

One Thing I Can Say

I have an 18 year archive of my thoughts.

If I've been saying something for years, there's years of me saying it here.

Even if I only said it once, it's here.

I strongly suspect that some of the pricks in the comments are coming to these topics very recently, because they're all using the same phrases.

It makes me believe that these are not their thoughts, but others who pique their emotions.

You cannot reason someone out of an emotional position, and they can't be reasoned with.

Plus, they're pricks about it.  I'm not making an archive of people being pricks, so they don't get their comment published here.

Many of my thoughts here are of the "thinking out loud" type.  The ideas are still plastic and malleable.

I am wondering if the whole student loan kerfuffle has an analogy.

"This is the way it's always been done, and it's always worked out," is strong.

People taking on too much debt is not new.  Overborrowing on student loans is not new.

But it's a problem all of a sudden.

What changed?  Who changed it?

I look back 100 years ago and wonder if its comparable to The Great Depression.

The surprise with The Great Depression was that the economy didn't right itself as it always did.  Boom and bust was a cycle, and whatever set off The Great Depression's bust, kept the recovery boom from happening.

Go back and read the confused news articles!

So, what's changed and who changed it?

I will say there's another thing these two situations have in common.

Both are solved with there being a large supply of good jobs.  The Great Depression didn't really end until after VJ Day for the US.  Longer for Europe and Asia.

How can we get those jobs here in the US so that even someone like me can get a job and pay shit back.

Maslow was prescient about this.  To pay back a loan you need to have a surplus of money beyond the basic needs.  You are going to find out that few people can live on just their basic needs for long, so the surplus funds must also exceed the lower level of psychological needs.

There needs to be more and better jobs.

I think we're going to find that the reason there aren't is because of a group we like to call "The Government".

I think this because I can recall when belly lint weaving degrees led to well paying jobs.

Why did those jobs go away?

Who changed the circumstances?

Hint, "You don't know."

I Am Wondering

There's many times that I find that I don't fit.

Many times I don't fit because I'm seeing "the problem" in a way that neither side sees and they both want me to shut up or go away.

I'm running about 60% correct on my unique perspectives.  Not quite good enough to rely on it, yet...

I've learned a lot about people from them trying to shake me off my strange viewpoint.

Online, even more.

It's why I keep the comments open.

Being closed minded is something shared by both sides.

An assumption that their experience is universal is shared by both sides.

An assumption that their circumstances are universal and can be applied to everyone, everywhere is shared by both sides.

It's why nothing gets settled.

You cannot book a Zeppelin to Siam, so explaining, in detail, about how you bought your tickets, enjoyed the flight and marveled at the sights...

There are no more passenger dirigibles and Siam is Thailand now.

That world no longer exists.  The past is another country.  You don't live there anymore.

So many people are expats in their home town because they can't accept their experience is unique to themselves and their circumstances were exceptionally beneficial to them.

They don't understand that doing exactly what they did, even a year later; or two states over, does not find the success they enjoyed.

But I will keep trying to explain it.

You will not understand it.

13 July 2023

To Underscore It

I signed, I owe, I'm paying.

I am content with the interest freeze that makes my payment actually reduce the amount owed.

Here are the people whom should have to pay my loan.

  • David Moore
  • Paul St. Pierre
  • Frank McCord
  • Dennis Devereux
  • Lloyd Holland

But they will never be held to account.  It would be unfair for the taxpayer to have to eat what they've sown.

My little histories are trying to point out how we got here, because if we don't eliminate that part from the equation, it will happen again and again.

Simply condemning fools who signed doesn't fix the problem.

Letting those fools completely off the hook doesn't fix the problem.

Calling people names never fixes the problem, to be honest.

This Would Help A Lot Of Situations Actually

The lawyers in Congress should love this idea...  Should pass like shit through a goose.

If a contract is so complicated that a high-school graduate cannot hope to understand it and they signed without legal representation, the contract is void.

Look at the single page document that's a car loan then compare it to the pages and pages of credit card and student loan contracts...

Contract law has gotten out of hand all across the board.

It's lawyer's fault for taking cases where the simple language says their client owes, but they try to get out of it anyways.  So more complex language is added to prevent that from happening again.

Lather, rinse, repeat, until most every contract is an indecipherable mess of legalese.

Like insurance contracts.


My free form ranting often leads to realizations that I wouldn't find on my own.

The people who resolutely remain polite and on topic in the comments often reveal something.

Terrapod mentions students who over borrowed to get some play money they didn't expect to have to pay back because...  Well the Democrats have been promising it for 15+ years.

I kinda suspect that this is ALL people who're up to their eyebrows in student loan debt in his mind.

They are not innocent waifs caught unawares.  They are working the system to their benefit and others detriment.

They are not whom I'm talking about when I'm raging.  We're talking about different populations of debtors.

I specifically mentioned Corinthian Colleges.

I'm a victim!

I've been plugging away at the loans for years, but interest is more than the payment, so I'm not making headway.  The interest being frozen since COVID has seen the balance come down for the first time in a long while.  That interest freeze is well within the constitutional bounds the president can do too!  Go me!

I'm not asking that a taxpayer cover my debt, but the people that screwed me walked.  I want them punished for what they did.

When I started my third college adventure it was with Florida Metropolitan University.  It was an independent and respected business school that had been around since the 1940s.

By the time I graduated it was owned by CCI.  With different accreditation.  The Department of Education signed off on that.

Thanks to an unfavorable job market and the reality of The Boy I was unable to put my degree to work.  Notice above where we're paying on the loan?

Today, though, that degree is devoid of value.  CCI was found to be making illegal loans to thousands of students.  When the folded, all the degrees EXCEPT Wyotech became bum-wipe.  If you'd managed to get some job experience before the reputation fall, you managed to escape the trap.  Harvey did this.

These student who were screwed by CCI are the people I am advocating need some relief from the process.  They don't have an actual degree, the degrees they earned weren't for belly lint weaving.  A bachelor's in business admin isn't a fluff degree.

If I were to do it over, I would not have returned to college.  But when I started, business admin grads were in demand, not so much when I was ready to reenter the job market.

What pisses me off the most about much of this were the state-run universities doing the exact same thing that weren't shut down or even meaningfully fined.  Their degrees have the same value as before the DoE cracked down on the predatory lending.  Private schools, invariably, went out of business and the degrees became abrasive toilet paper.

Side Note: The Lovely Harvey worked in student finance for Everest University while this was all going on.  She was terminated for trying to explain to her boss that what they were doing was illegal.  She was even interviewed by the DoE about it, but was never called to testify.

Her former employment with a CCI school has hampered her career.

So, when I talk about many of these students being victims of the schools, I have inside information, I'm married to someone who was nearly a whistleblower.  If she'd gone to the press or law enforcement, instead of her boss, we'd be rich from the wrongful termination suit.

Second Side Note: Harvey works at a non-profit independent college listening to the sales calls from admissions and financial aid to get the scumbags who lie and cheat fired and/or (occasionally) arrested.  She can't do anything about the over-borrowing practice, but her college is not allowed the same latitude that land-grant schools are in over-lending.

Trying To Explain It's Not Binary

A common refrain about the student loan is "they signed a contract, they owe the money."

That is true.

What I want to know is, "did the undersigned know that?"

I am willing to bet they did not.  They almost certainly have no previous experience with contracts.  The student loan agreement (the very language hides that it's a contract!) is likely the first contract they've ever signed.

It's also the most binding contract in American law.

There's no recourse for getting a bad education.  There's no escape if you suffer a financial catastrophe.  You signed, you owe.

Even if you fit into one of the narrow groups for forgiveness, you still owe.  The IRS.  They will send you to jail if you don't pay.

All other forms of debt have an escape clause: Bankruptcy.

Why don't student loans?

Because, in the 1970's a prominent scandal where kids of rich parents took out loans, got their doctorates, declared bankruptcy, started their medical/legal practice debt free.  They did not, personally, own anything so there were no assets to auction off.  Their parents weren't on the contract (remember earlier when I blamed the boomers) so they weren't responsible for the debt.  But the kids lived with (more likely: on) their parents until the bankruptcy was discharged.

This was a huge scandal, at the time.  It led to a far too common situation in American politics, "We must do something!  THIS is something!  We must do THIS!"  So you were no longer able to discharge a student loan in bankruptcy.

That led to banks being unwilling to loan student money when they were none too willing in the first place.

So the idea of student loans being backed by the feds became law.

What a safe loan!  Can't lose!  Even if the debtor defaults, the feds will cover it!

Everyone wins!

Well...  No.

Let's get back to that contract.  It's language is really only binding on the debtor.  The terms can be adjusted, nearly at will, by the lender.  They've been resold, repackaged and bundled in a way that makes the housing market bond crisis seem straight forward and up-front.

It's a massive shit-ball of too big to fail that's failing before our very eyes.

But again, the contract!

I've been quietly polling friends and family about that.  The ones who did best with their loan are the ones whose parents have degrees.  Parents who taught their kids about what were good fields for future employment and the hazards of signing contracts they didn't understand.

The ones who are struggling are the ones with parents with high-school or less education.  Most especially parents who were not employed in the trades.

The school system certainly didn't explain contracts.  They don't even explain why you're out of money when you still have checks.

It's good if you happened to be interested in a field that led to a good job and didn't over-borrow to get it.  It's good if your parents took you aside and taught you to be suspicious of the lenders.  It's good that you got your education at the magic moment where the economy was hiring fresh grads and stayed steady long enough for you to get enough experience to be retained when it receded.

But you have to realize how lucky you are.  Literally exceptional.

Now we're faced with what to do with the shitball.

As I keep repeating: There is no recourse for the debtor if they discover they've been defrauded by the school.  Every graduate of Corinthian Colleges is intensely aware of this.

Places like Corinthians got shut down for defrauding students, yet the students are still on the hook for the loans with degrees with no value because the school is shut down for cause.

There needs to be a way to dismantle the shitball.  "Fuck 'em, they signed!" is not going to work, or happen.

Let them all completely off the hook really isn't either.

The people who cannot pay, aren't going to pay.  Regardless of if they want to or not.  No amount of punishment is going to get blood from that turnip.  They signed, they owe... now what?

There's a lot of people who're really only guilty of trusting people they'd been institutionally informed to trust.  They don't deserve to be fucked by a system that actively prevents them from learning enough to perceive the trap they're about to step into. 

When there is no fair solution, you have to look at and accept the least unfair solution.

Gutting It Out

I am pecking away at "Flashman and the Redskins."

The style has something I've noticed before.

It's hard to read, and I struggle then something clicks and I suddenly can parse the flow.

Then I put it down and can't read it again.

It's like I can only speak the dialect easily if I use it often, except with reading.

This is definitely a book from another time.

Racial, ethnic and gender slurs abound in Harry Flashman's language.

I'm a little surprised the cancel culture warriors haven't come for him.

I Swears

The comments have rules.

The comments are actively moderated.

When you break the rules, your comment gets nuked by moderation.

If you don't like the rules, you're free to read someone else's blog.

The rules are the block of text between "POST A COMMENT" and the line where you get to type your comment.

Read 'em.

Follow 'em.

The most common way to get nuked is to not sign an anon comment.

Growing in frequency is people mistaking my soapbox for theirs, going off topic and being a prick.

Once you're a prick I just delete you for a while no matter what you have to say.

I could mark the prick comments as spam, that will affect your ability to have a google account to comment with.  Wanna go there?

Could It Have Been The Union

It's been mentioned in a couple of articles that, now defunct, Anchor Steam Brewing unionized in 2019.

They just closed the doors, putting 61 people out of work.

A lot of articles are blaming a rebranding in 2021, but I wonder.

There's a pattern with small shops owned by larger corporations, Sapporo in this case, going out of business shortly after unionizing.

The press, being pro-union, does not investigate this pattern.

Founded 1896

Sold to Sapporo 2017

Unionized 2019

Rebrand 2021

DEAD 2023

I posit that Sapporo would not have bought a failing brand.

I also posit that nobody does a rebrand on a healthy brand.

Satire That Hits A Bit Too Close To Home?


Kinda makes you wish that both sides could lose, don't it?


I Have Forgotten How To Do The Math

There was something that former friend Anglave hated about GURPS 4e over 3eR.

4e has a single roll for the entire turn's worth of shooting, 3eR broke it down to shots/bursts.

He contended that you had a better chance of getting hits if you rolled the rounds individually.

With a Glock at 7 yards.  Skill 12.  RoF is 3 in both editions.

In 3e, Accuracy is 3, Rcl is -1.  Snap shot is 10.  -3 for range.

You get three separate rolls for the three rounds in 3e.

If you aimed that's a roll of 12, 11, and 10.

If you didn't aim that's 5, 4 and 3 because the snap-shot penalty is teh suxxor.

Aiming gets you, individually, 74.07%, 62.5% and 50% for each round.

Skipping the aim, losing the Acc and gaining the SS penalty gets you 4.62%, 1.85% and 0.46%.

The math I can't remember is the chance to land all three rounds.

IIRC it's multiplying the chances by each other and that's the final chance.

If I remember right that means a 23.146875% chance of getting three hits if you aimed.

But if you didn't!  Forget it.  You're statistically unlikely to get all three.

4e's stats are Acc 2, Rcl 2.  Same -3 for range; but no snap-shot penalty.

Without aiming your chance to hit is a roll of 9.  But if you roll well, a 7 gets two hits and a 5 gets three.

Your chances of doing that are 37.5%, 16.2% and 4.62%, respectively.

Aiming adds two to your chances for and 11, 9, 7 for 1, 2 and three hits.  62.5%, 37.5% and 16.2%.

If I did the math right, you are more likely to hit with three rounds after aiming in 3e than you are with 4e.

I don't think I did the math right.

But, without aiming, your are FAR more likely to land all three in 4e than 3e.

12 July 2023

I Don't Want My Taxes To...

For everyone complaining they don't want their taxes to pay for...____________.

You do know you're still paying taxes regardless, right?

It's not like if you manage to get a program you don't like cut from the budget that you will get a break on your taxes next year because that program is no longer funded.

You're still on the hook.

So, relax, and let the hook do its work.

The Siren's Call

Juxtaposed with the student loan balloon is the reason that people signed on to get an education that didn't appear to have a useful degree.

For a very long time a degree at all was your ticket in the door to a decent job that led to little difficulty in getting the American dream going.

The economy was doing well enough that all that was needed was a filter to show that the candidate wasn't a quitter who could see something to conclusion and a degree in navel lint weaving met that.

And as long as the economy did well, these graduates could get jobs.

And they did.

And they are in the comments, right now, saying, "I paid my loans back!" and "They signed a contract, they owe the money!"

But what kept people signing up for a degree in navel lint weaving when such degrees without any experience to back them were, obviously, no longer leading to jobs that would pay back the loans which were now three to five times larger than the person in the comments took out.

Constantly hearing that people with a college degree, over their lifetime, made up to five times what someone who did not.

While blithely ignoring the 5,000 sq ft house the local plumber and construction contractor owned outright...

That constant push to go to college starts in middle school.  High school is entirely college prep without any regard to getting someone into the trades.

Ask Mike Rowe.

We're running short of people in lots of places.  Welders.  Mechanics.  Plumbers.

Those skills aren't complicated, but they are hard.

How's this for size?  We give an apprenticeship to anyone in default on their student loans for welding, mechanic, plumbing... etc... any trade with a shortage; and forgive their loan if they can stay employed for five years doing that trade.

Give companies who hire them a tax incentive too.

Remember a tax-paying worker who can buy goods is better than financially crippling someone for life; and this results in a net-positive for society rather than a negative.

It Is Too Late For The Pebbles To Vote

Looking back at the history of Federal Student Loans and Grants it occurs to me that there was no a whole lot of outrage about the potential end game for loans to people getting degrees in things which only resulted in jobs for a tiny number of people who became professors.

You have a better chance at becoming a professional sportsball player than landing a tenured position at a university.

I am curious, where were your objections 30 years ago?  20 years ago?  10 years ago?

Because the whole "the taxpayers are on the hook for defaults" thing is right there in the law.

Hey, you voted, you agreed to this.

Let's blame the people really responsible for this disaster.

The boomers.

Because, once upon a time, you had to prove you couldn't afford college and that your parents couldn't afford it either to be eligible for student loans.  And those loans were let at reasonable interest rates with sane repayment schedules with tuitons that weren't unpayable with a part-time job at an entry level salary.

That meant the loans could be repaid by someone working as a fry-cook should their degree prove to have no value getting a better job.

Edit to add: The Boomer parents are the ones who insisted that their kids be college educated to a percentage never before seen, but Gods forbid THEY have to pay for it!  So they got the means based test removed so their kids could get degrees without their wealth being scrutinized.

Once the means based tests were removed, and the colleges realized that Congress would make ever more money available, at no risk to the college...

Tuition went up and new degree programs were created to get more butts in the seats.

Expanding enrollment was the goal, and it was actually better if a student never graduated.  Ten years of tuition and no degree is better for the university than four years and a graduate.

But to get someone to sign up for all that meant they had to become very unscrupulous in signing up candidates.

A couple of lawsuits later and the colleges cannot even warn you there are no jobs in the field.  Ironically this falls out of "promising" employment during admissions and the suit ended up eliminating mention of employment prospects either way.

Well, the avalanche is here, Pebble.  If you're going to complain now, I need to see your dated proof you were trying to stop it for these past 20 years rather than a petulant, "I don't like this now!" realization that this is the end-game while you were asleep at the wheel.

The Automotive Press

I was reading one of those click-bait time-waster lists of worst cars.

They listed the Caprice.

Then acted like it was the same car from 1966 to 2017.

I especially loved how the car was made "bulkier" in 1996.  First, the redesign was in 1991.  Second the car was smaller and lighter than the "boxy" fith generation cars.  Never mind the 4th+ generation cars were significantly smaller than the first three generations.

Something I can say about the 1991-1996 Caprice is they had excellent mechanical reliability.  The Biscayne was pushing 250k miles when I sold her.  Sold, not junked.

So...  with these objections in mind and with Murray-Gellman clenched in my teeth...

The author must not know anything about any of the cars in question.

Awwwww The Bots Got Bored

For a couple of months my little blog has had a large number of readers from Singapore using Mobile Safari on Android OS...

I guess they're done getting what they were after because I'm down to my normal thousand readers a day again.

Not that it matters, I'd still be ranting here with zero readers.

Oddly, I would not be ranting where nobody could read it.

I find that rather strange.

11 July 2023

Mission Accomplished

Oil pressure sensor/switch and associated basket filter have been replaced.

No leak from the sensor, no codes.

Well...  One code.  This DTC sets a "permanent" code that you can't clear with a scanner that clears itself after 40 cycles of the problem being fixed.

Being able to figure out what's wrong and fix it is a wonderful thing.

Even if there's an hours long struggle to get a plug unplugged because they can't be arsed to figure out clearances for repairs.

I hesitate to think what this would have cost if I didn't have tools.

I am also thankful that this wasn't a failure in The Precious.  You're taking that intake off on a C5 or C6 unless you're willing to cut the cowl overhanging the back of the engine.

It's so inaccessible that a couple companies make a braided steel line that screws into the boss on the valley-plate and lets you put the sensor/switch/sender someplace you can more readily get at it.  They charge $125 for it and it's worth it!





Turns out that Ye Olde 1-1/16" socket is the correct size.

I'll be thanking GM for going to this size in '87 and sticking to it.  Odd to be thanking them...

That screen filter is VERY important for the DOD system to keep the solenoids from eating chunks and then breaking lifters.

No debris in mine, but it's cheap insurance to replace it.

Until parts arrive, the old sender is back in the hole to keep bugs out.

Creature Of The Wheel

And, oh, brothers and sisters, I ask you to look at him.

Does he have the marks? Do you see them?


And, oh, brothers and sisters, I ask you to look at him.

Does he have the marks? Do you see them?


With the engine cooled down and no longer burning me, I managed to get a lighted mirror-on-a-stick back behind the intake manifold and a hook on the locking bar.

YANK!  Locking bar removed.

With that out of the way, I could use the hook to depress the latch and get the sender unplugged.

Using the directions on page 8-36 to 8-37: With the key off, I tested the resistance of terminal 1 to ground.  Less than 1 ohm: Good.  With the key on, I tested voltage of terminal 2 to ground.  5.1v DC which is within the desired range of 4.8 to 5.2 v DC: Good.

That means bad sensor.

Getting that plug disconnected also means that I don't need to pull the fucking intake manifold!

I do, however need a 26mm socket.  I will wait for Amazon to deliver the new sensor, then take it to the parts store to get the correct size socket.


Check engine light on The Beast.

Code scanner says P0523.

That's "Engine Oil Pressure Sensor / Switch High"

99.99% of the time that means a bad oil pressure sensor/switch.

Every once and a while it's a bad wire.

What's frustrating about this is:

Forgot to pair my scanner dongle with my new phone, so it wasn't working initially.

Once I figured out what the problem was, I went to the service manual...

After, literally, two hours of searching page by page; DTC P0523 is in the instruments and gauges section.  I found that by finally finding page 6-102 that has an alphabetical listing of ALL the trouble codes.  Interestingly there's no entry in the index for this list.

I have now written that page on the cover of my service manual.

With the correct page in the manual located, I went to check the values at the plug.

I cannot get the plug unplugged because the motherfucking latch is up against the cocksucking intake manifold.

I can disengage the locking clip, but I can't depress the latch.

I will try again with more light and a cold engine bay.

"Happily" the pressure switch is on the valley plate and you can remove the intake manifold for full access to the switch.


Parts ordered, hope to have her back on her feet later today...

10 July 2023

Generous Vacation Package

When I first dropped off my application to renew my handicapped parking permit, my doctor was on vacation.

It took them a month to respond because she was gone for a month.

They declined my app twice, the second time putting the refusal in the mail before I could even have gotten home from the clinic.

So I scheduled an evaluation for today to be evaluated AGAIN to prove that I can't walk well.

She cancelled the appointment because she's sick.

The next appointment available is in August because she's going on vacation AGAIN for a month.

Must be nice.

Maybe I will have changed doctors by the time she gets back.

Phenominally Bad At This

A study suggests that Russia has lost about 50,000 men killed since the beginning of their special military operation just 500 days ago (100 per day).

The US estimates are putting Ukrainian losses at about a 2:5 ratio for the Russians, meaning they've got 20,000 corpses and a loss rate of about 40 per day.

Ten years of Vietnam only got The US 58,000 and change killed (16 per day). 

Twenty years of Afghanistan didn't break 2,500 dead (1 every three days).

They're losing men in Ukraine almost the same rate we did in WW1 (80 per day)!

Holy fuck!

To be fair, they're doing a lot better than the 4,021 per day the USSR did in WW2.  We lost 185 per day in the same war...


Except they lost less than 5 per day when they went to Afghanistan...

Less than 23 per day in 1st Chechnya.

About 4 per day in 2nd Chechnya.

I seem to recall the losses in Afghanistan and Chechnya were huge political problems in Russia.

Those were tiny compared to Ukraine.

Prescription Med Shortage

I was reading an article about how many common medications are currently in short supply and how it's because China and India still have not bounced back from the Wu Ping Cough.

Well, by jingo!

I think it's high time we acknowledge that off-shoring all of these industries is a shitty long term plan and become industrious again.

Some judicious tinkering of minimum wage and union eligibility laws might even make such moves profitable.  We can even establish some needs based tests on welfare assistance and get some able bodied folks to working who aren't right now.

Or they can starve, I'm fine with that.

Hell, we can even incentivize these new workers with student loan carrots.  Getting these jobs and industries back home will probably more than offset the costs from forgiving the loans by getting these debtors to work and paying some taxes; and having money to spend on something besides their loan and (just perhaps) spending that money on products made by the company your boomer ass works for.

Oh, and geld the EPA bullshit for this national defense necessary industry.

It would work, that's why it will never be done.

Tank ≠ Tank

It's clear from reading lots of armchair analysis about the M10 Booker that the decades of main battle tank being the only tank has corroded the thinking of lots of people.

No, the M10 is not going to stand toe to toe with an MBT and win.

Light tanks are not, and never have been, able to do that.

But we got out of the light/medium/heavy mix back in the sixties.

The main battle tank is, essentially, a medium tank with a heavy tank's gun.

Improvements in materials and drivetrain even allowed an MBT to start sporting heavy tank armor too.

The light tank role got taken over by APCs and MICV's (read M113 and Bradley).

So the question that should be asked of the Booker is if it does the job better than an M3A4 Bradley, not if it can do the job of an M1A2 Abrams.

Feeling Pretty Clever

Watching some of the sturm und drang around Twitter and now Threads...

Reading about people rage quitting Twitter for a long while...

Bracing for the rage quits from Threads...

I feel so damn clever for never making a Twitter account in the first place.

Always Blaming The Wrong

What distinguishes between a REAL™ Conservative and TRUE™ Liberal is what they blame.

Liberals go for the deodand.  They like to blame objects.

Conservatives prefer to blame people.  They go right for the victim every time.

Both have self fulfilling epicyclic logic to justify why they assign blame as they do, and be prepared to be shouted down if you try to confront their reality.

I Know That Guy

Joey Dee, of the Starliters was reported to be dead today.

That was crushing because I know him and his family.

We spent many weekends hanging with his wife Lois and her kids.

Lois dying was a blow.

We know the day is coming before too long, but...


It turns out that Joey isn't dead at all.

Internet hoax.


09 July 2023

Look Ma No Skeeters

Once we figured out that our roller was only good for 0.175" spline or smaller, and got the correct sized roller tool...

It went smooth as butter!

Though my original goal was to just to two more panels, Harvey cajoled Marv and I to keep going and we finished the entire porch!

Even with frequent breaks and hydration it only took us three hours to do six panels.

We're skipping the lattice on all but one side and the improvement in airflow is impressive.

It almost took as much time to run to 5-Guys and eat as it did to do the screens.

Private Screening

Got the first two panels of screen replaced on the back porch!

Like ten more to go, but we've the process started.

Ran out of daylight because, of course, had the wrong size splines for our frames.

0.190" was too small, despite being the size the online guide said to use for our slots.  0.220" turned out to be correct.  Lost half an hour of valuable work time going to get 200' of the larger size.

Should be able to seriously dent the remaining panels on Sunday.

This job was delayed by Harvey getting hurt and then piling excuse after excuse to not get started.

Well, we're started now!

07 July 2023

I Think He Did Good Job


Donald Glover was one of the few things I really liked about the film "Solo: A Star Wars Story."

I think he correctly channeled Billy Dee Williams characterization of Lando.

What the film suffered from is trying to get everything about Han out in one movie instead of rationing it out in three films, like it should have.

Pull The Other One It Has Bells

You can convince me that 2023 is the hottest summer on record when you can explain how in 1931 the high in Monticello, FL was 109° on 29 June 1931 and 91° 92 years later.

18° cooler is not "hottest" ever.

Keokuk, Iowa was a mere 94° last year when it topped 118° in 1934.

24° cooler!

Global warming is a fucking scam.

Hey There LGBTQ People!

I have no religious objections to do anything for you that I will do for anyone else.

I am the person you should be seeking out for your needs to have the stuff I do done.

NOT the person who has religious objections.

Forcing that person instead of seeking me proves that your goals had nothing to do with getting the services provided.

You wanna learn how to shoot or to do some of your own maintenance on your car, drop me a line.

Don't try to force someone to go against their religious beliefs.

It makes you the asshole and you don't end up with the services you claimed you were seeking.

Requesting A New Doc

I have submitted the request to change primary doctors with the VA.

My current doctor is simply not responsive to my needs and I have lost continuity of care from my previous primary.

In addition to the fiasco from getting my handicapped permit renewed, she didn't respond promptly to following up on my injuries from wrecking The Precious.

I am still dealing with crap from that, and I speculate about if I'd be better off if care had been more forthcoming.

06 July 2023

Legal Theft

It behooves you to move any fund you've inherited from a relative from where they put it to someplace that works for you directly.

It keeps you from losing $30,000 at the end of the day.

More than $30k because you will also have to pay the lawyer about $8k to inform you that the obscure rules of the fund meant they could charge you fees without clearly explaining them because it's not really YOUR fund.


My inlaws didn't really understand what was going on and the information we had at the time didn't clearly specify the evaporation from fees the fund manager was charging.

Sad that it took a lawyer to get us to this level of understanding.

Dammit again.


Can you call it a boycott when you're not buying the product already?

Ben and Jerry's calls for someone else to give up their land to assuage their signaled virtues.

Technically, I am boycotting Ben and Jerry's.

I have not purchased their wares for, literally, decades because of some political stance they took way back when.  It's been long enough I don't even remember the triggering event.

But they keep reminding me that I don't want to give them any money in other ways.

For a very long time they've been a liberal virtue signal PR company that happens to make ice cream.

I Think We've Tried That Already

"The United States shares the commitment felt throughout the region to help the Haitian people shape their future to restore the country's democratic order through free and fair elections," Blinken told regional leaders at the summit.

It seems like we've intervened and helped numerous times, and every time we hand the place back to the Haitian people, we have to intervene again soon after. 

I keep saying that if you want us to fix it, it's our territory once we've done so.

Otherwise we gain nothing but grief from it.

I also add that if you don't want us owning when we're done, then don't expect us to fix it.

Just think of how the same the middle east would be if we'd never spent any blood or treasure there.

Wrong Tack

What is needed for a decent sized chunk of student loan debtors isn't a loan discharge, but a more flexible way to get it paid back.

When the company that holds the loan insists on a 10-year repayment plan, and the loan has been in default for several, there's just no way most people can afford it.  If the lender won't take a smaller payment, what is the debtor supposed to do?

There also needs to be a system in place for when the government takes action that destroys a graduate's ability to earn an income with their degree.

The government killed several reputable schools during the Obama administration and with the exception of one tech school all of the degrees from those shut-down schools are worthless.

Imagine the government burning your house down to stop the spread of some insect and still being expected to pay the mortgage.

That's where students from these schools sit.

Why shouldn't they hold the government accountable for the waste of their time and money?

It wasn't their poor decisions that led to the schools being closed.

In fact, they were likely attending those schools because the tuition was lower than the neighboring land-grant university.  But their thrift should be punished.

It's especially unfair that these schools were shut down for the reasons they were shut down because those land-grant universities were guilty of the same crimes: but only the people directly responsible for the crimes were punished; not everyone who'd ever graduated.

And until that moment: There wasn't much difference in the degree from these schools.  After that moment, the tax supported school's degree still has value and the privately owned won doesn't.

But it's the student who took out the loan's fault?

Fuck them, you've got yours.  Lump them in with the deadbeats.

Insist they pay for that scorched patch of dirt on an empty lot and forbid them from living any where else until they do.

05 July 2023

Lowest Denominator

I'd like to renew my objection to adaptive cruise control.

I further object to any car maker who can't make it an optional mode.

You are, in effect, selecting to follow (at a safe distance) anyone going slower than you are at their speed and not at the speed you've selected.

Smooth, silent and seamless are the watch-words so it will match speeds with the slower car ahead of you and you have to be really paying attention to notice.

So you end up with miles long lines of people going the same speed with, almost (but not quite), enough space between them to get in line with them. 

Worse is when two of the benighted savages going four and five under, respectively, end up in both lanes with their computer controlled entourages trailing behind them.

Everyone on cruise, rolling road block.

Do you know how long it takes for a mile long line of cars to clear a vehicle in the other lane going 1 mph slower?

It's right in the name "mph".

That's right, Troubleshooter!

An hour!

Almost as fun is the person in mid pack who suddenly realizes they aren't going the selected five-over any more and decides to jump lanes right in front of you!


One Last Thing

This is for the people who went to a good school, got a good degree and paid off their loan.

When you say "they signed a contract!" then got a degree that proved worthless you're actually saying, "Fuck them!  I got mine!"

Because refusing to sign that contract means forgoing the education that can lead to a better job.

You prefer they remain as unskilled labor, never venturing far from minimum wage?

I will keep repeating until it sticks, nobody responsible for the situation is being asked to pay for it.

But some compassion needs to be put forth, or at least some empathy.

You people, saying "fuck you, I have mine!" are also the people who've been repeating, for decades, that you MUST go to college.

Well, the kids did.  For all the good it did them.

All because you didn't understand that college and its financing aren't what they were when you went to college any better than my father-in-law grasps a smart-phone.  And for the same reason.

There's no just way out of this situation.  The people doing the fucking aren't going to be paying for what they did.

But the most vocal people condemning the people who are fucked are the people who did the most to convince the fucked to get fucked.

Own up to it.

You pressured two generations into behaving as if the economy and population was expanding like Eisenhower was president.

I won't even start in on the fallacy that you can actually get into many trades unless you're related to someone already successful or there's a vacuum left by that someone dying.

Here's One For You

Somewhere there's a pie chart showing the percentage of taxes paid and the income of the people paying.

Ah, here it is:

Essentially if you're making less than $150k a year, you're paying for a lot less.  That's just 19.9% of the population paying 2/3 of the taxes.

Considering how many of the rat-fuck pricks at the top end of this scale are flaming fucking liberals, you should feel good that your meager tax contribution is going to pay for student loans when they're footing almost the entire bill.

Rest easy, Citizen!

The Whining But Not The Reading

I titled my post appropriately.

The economy was going to be ruined if we forgave $400 billion in student loans, but would be (miraculously) unaffected with a different $400 billion disappearing from the economy?

It's especially obtuse of some readers on their high-horses about student loans in that they're missing that nearly all of that $400 billion isn't going to be paid.  Ever.

The debtors are simply going to default and make their way the best they can.

It's an impossible situation for many of them.

"I got a good degree!"  Great for you.  Now quit so I can take your job to pay my loan.  Oh, you're not going to quit until you retire?  That makes your degree useless for everyone else.

"I paid my loans back!"  Yes, but college was $10k then, not $75k and wages did not get 7.5 times bigger since then.

Something else you can't seem to absorb, you got your degree at the perfect time and place.  Booming economy when college was as cheap as it ever got and it stayed boomed for you to get just enough experience to keep your job and not so much seniority that you were clipped to save the company money when the boom ended.

Those high-experience people went out and took jobs below their experience and education to fill the time until they could access their retirement funds, shutting the entry level people out until then.  Then they retired and there's nobody working their way up anymore!

Cue second economic hit.

Everything is compounded by politicians "doing something" every time.

And you voted for them.  So don't shirk your responsibilities now.

It's your fault as much as anyone.

04 July 2023

Holy Snot It's Hot

We did a little fish-fry about 2pm.  It was getting pretty toasty when we wrapped up.

But it was nothing compared to how hot it was in Tampa where Marv and I visited a 65 year old ice-cream stand.

It was simply unbearable to sit there and drink my shake.

Happily, there was relief in the car.

03 July 2023

I Have A Question

Why does General Washington have a bullfighter's sword?

Update: The hilt does appear to be based on his cuttoe, but the blade is all wrong (as are details of the hilt).

Update 2, George is holding his upside-down:

What Does 5d+2x2 pi+ Look Like

Slow Mo Guys and Kentucky Windage answer!

Wee ha!

For the effects on a T-Rex in GURPS see this finely crafted link.

02 July 2023

Totally Metal

In the way back...

I wanted a sword.

So I got a sword I found in an umbrella basket at Ames Surplus.

It had a swept rapier style guard, but the blade was at least decent steel... but the tang was all-thread rod.

That part bent a lot.

I sold it on to a friend who got a better tang attached to it and a different cross-guard.

I went on to WAY overpay for a piece of mild-steel bar stock ground into a sword shape.

That cured me on swords for a while.

What's interesting is my mild-steel sword would have been an acceptable blade at one point in history.

It was definitely better than an iron sword would have been.

GURPS cheap quality to be sure, but mostly functional.

My standards have risen, slightly, since then.


The Boy got me a Cold Steel Scottish basket hilt.

A generous reader sent me a Cold Steel 1860 Cavalry Saber.

And a Cold Steel machete that's patterned off a Kopis.

The question of quality for GURPS is bound to come up.

Good is the default state for melee weapons.

At TL7+ you get a one-step improvement in quality for the same price.

Cold Steel's bragging and quality demonstrations make me think that Fine is what you gets for your money...  Except that Kopis.  It's priced as a cheap short-sword, which makes it good in GURPS terms.

I'd love to say I've compared them to historical blades, but hardly a one survives in original condition.  Most of the ones in museums are either much later period or are cherished examples of fine or very-fine heirlooms.

There's a lot of rust we can learn about the metallurgy, but cannot use to compare without making a replica...  To compare with a replica?

But I Was Told It Would Destroy The Economy

The fraud on PPP and the amounts spent on Ukraine are getting close to exceeding the bottom estimate of the costs of student loan forgiveness.

Which is interesting, because I was assured that such forgiveness would devastate the economy.

But, hey, you LIKED these lies.

Beer Run

One of the benefits of living near Tampa is the abundance of breweries.

Many of them put their stuff in cans for taking home.

Tonight was a run to Cigar City.

A pleasant trip with the roads nearly devoid of traffic, so I set the cruise, cranked the tunes and relaxed!

Happy day!


30 shot in Baltimore during a block party.

Baltimore has extra gun control on top of relatively restricted Maryland.

The way the press is tip-toeing around some details almost screams:


Not just gang-related, but gangs of a certain vibrancy.

But the giant problem, still, is the utter lack Republican representation at the city level since... 1967.

Why is it places that stop having enough Republicans to take over the mayor's office every once and a while become crime ridden shit-holes?

No Fucking Way


01 July 2023

Blood In The Streets

Once again, the permitting of carry has been loosened and nothing much happened.

Harvey even brought galoshes to protect her shoes...


I am starting to think the anti-gun people might be wrong.

But let's get real constitutional carry in place to be sure!