mytopleft

Friday, July 31, 2015

What the fuck is wrong with the EU anyway?

Actually, we really shouldn't start that conversation, because the answer is, "Damn near everything," and if we start to itemize we'll be here for weeks and everyone will be bored to death. However, for my visitors from the European Union -- and they are legion -- I have to tell you, I did not put up this notice, which you apparently are seeing:
This site uses cookies from Google to deliver its services, to personalize ads and to analyze traffic. Information about your use of this site is shared with Google. By using this site, you agree to its use of cookies.
Apparently, this is some kind of new law in the EU. If you visit through the U.S. portal, you don't see the warning -- just through the .fr, .uk, those domains. So really, if you don't want your intelligence insulted, just go to Eff You the right way. Unlike the EU, I do not think you are too stupid to realize that every fucking website you visit tries to put cookies on your computer. You know this. I know this. Consider yourselves warned. I am thinking of hiding the warning and telling the EU to suck my dick. Hell, extradite me if they don't like it. I'll go full Joshua on their asses and bring down The Hague like the walls of Jericho. Now tell me, how many blogs drop eff-bombs and Biblical references in the same post? Seriously? And the EU is worried about cookies? Well, to the EU, I have to say -- Eff You!

Sometimes traffic makes no sense

Maybe even all the time. July clocked in as the 5th-best month ever on Eff You, despite the fact that the posts were all over the place, topic-wise, and I was unemployed for most of the month and so had no real insight to offer about Temp Town's current goings-on (except the fact that it sucks, at least for me at the moment). So anyway, thanks for coming by. Keep it up, bring your friends, and when anybody asks what you've been up to, tell them, "Eff You!"


Thursday, July 30, 2015

This is the finest tradition in sports, bar none

I don't care who you are, if you disagree, you're just wrong. Every year, Green Bay Packers players ride from the locker room at Lambeau Field to the team practice fields where training camp is held. Ride how? On the bicycles of children who line up, almost all wearing the jerseys of their favorite players, hoping a Packer will take their bike for the ride. Fortunately, it isn't far, because the bikes are kid-sized and the players, well, aren't:


Usually, the kids get to carry the helmets of the players who took their bikes, because the players have all they can handle piloting these undersized (for them) bicycles. The origins of the tradition are hazy but date at least to the Lombardi years, and possibly earlier, into the late 1950s. There is no question, though, that for every one of these kids, it is a story they will tell their grandchildren:


Don't doubt it.

This gig is a bizarre mix of shitty and not bad

Under normal circumstances, in a world where most jobs in the industry right now are only offering 40 hours a week, I would be happy to take one that pays more than 20 percent more per hour. Of course, I'd be happier if the job were going to last more than two or three days.

Picked up a gig yesterday that started today (not until nearly 2 pm, alas) and probably will be done Monday, certainly no later than Tuesday. That's the bad news. The good news is it is direct hire at a law firm I like, with no agency involvement, so much of the usual bullshit is not present, and it pays much better. Which brings us back to the whole shitty/not bad mix. We are capped at 40 hours a week. Which is bad. But we are paid at a much higher rate, which is good. But we'll be done well before we reach 40 hours. Can't win, right?

At least she's not cutting it herself anymore

I think for a number of years, Hillary Clinton was cutting her own hair. Page Six reported today that she shut down some pricey New York clip shop or another so she could get a $600 haircut. My response to that is: GOOD! At least she won't look like this anymore:


If the Wicked Witch of the West is going to insist upon running for president, the least she can do is look presentable. And believe me, I didn't even bother to look for the nastiest photos from her secretary of state days. I hate this woman for a million substantive reasons, including that she has no actual substance of her own. But if she's going to make herself front and center, she should also make herself presentable. So by all means, spend the bucks on a good haircut.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark. demonstrates why John Kerry is an incompetent buffoon and the Iran deal is a steaming heap of poo

My personal favorite? When talking about the secret side deals between Iran and the IAEA, Sen. Cotton says, “The Ayatollahs will know what they agreed to, but not the American people.” Secretary of State John Kerry says, "Um."



Hat tip to Hot Air.

OK, so I went to The Farm again yesterday

I've been spending a bit of my idle time at The Farm and thinking about The Farm and what to do with upcoming bed availability. Still not sure what I will plant in the two beds that the first bean crop will free up once I pull it out -- probably Saturday -- but I'll figure something out.

Anyway, I did a little harvesting. Not a lot, but some. Got some maters, beans, zucchini, some cherry tomatoes and some peppers:


Not bad, considering I was just there a couple days ago. More zukes on the way, and squash, too. Need to thin the carrots again, and the maters are about to bust. The volunteer melons seem to be doing well:


So, I pretty much am on my own, Farm-wise, starting today. Farmer Tom goes to the beach tomorrow, and as soon as he gets back he hits the Appalachian Trail for two months. He'll get home just in time to eat my fall crops, the rat bastard.


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

I don't want to hear about what a great economy Obama is presiding over

I have a couple cousins on Facebook who are very nice, but basically fucking crazy. One of them keeps posting talking points from Occupy Democrats -- which, by the way, should tell you how far left they are -- letting us know how fucking wonderful everything is, economically. And so I get this post on my Facebook page:

Occupy Democrats's photo.

You know what I don't get from this graphic? Companies don't have to lay off because they already fucking laid off everybody they could.. You know  what else I don't get from this graphic?  The fact that home ownership rates are the lowest since 1967.  Or that labor force participation rates are at the lowest rate in 40 years. Or that the unemployment rate, using the labor force participation rate when Emperor Barry came into office, would be 11 percent. Those people just quit looking for jobs, which is why so-called unemployment rate is so low.

I also don't get from this graphic that the stock market is at record high levels because of quantitative easing, where the Federal Reserve buys back bonds from banks and corporations -- at no cost to banks and corporations, because the Fed is essentially printing money and handing it to them -- who get to invest that money elsewhere and get actual returns.  I also don't get that that the recovery from the last recession is the worst, slowest, whatever term for bad you want to call it since World War II.

Other than that, everything is fucking ducky. Don't piss down my back and tell me it's raining.










When they start acting like they believe it's a crisis, I'll consider changing my mind

Seems as if the biggest panicmongers in the global warming cabal -- I'm looking at you, Al Gore -- never seem to live their lives with anything even approaching the carbon-creating restraint they constantly urge upon us. Well, add serial liar Hillary Clinton to that list:
Just hours after Hillary Clinton unveiled her presidential campaign's push to solve global warming through an aggressive carbon-cutting plan, she sauntered up the steps of a 19-seat private jet in Des Moines, Iowa.
The aircraft, a Dassault model Falcon 900B, burns 347 gallons of fuel per hour. And like all Dassault business jets, Hillary's ride was made in France.
The Trump-esque transportation costs $5,850 per hour to rent, according to the website of Executive Fliteways, the company that owns it.
The Clinton campaign's traveling press secretary, Nick Merrill, did not respond to a request for comment.
I'm not sure how this square's with Mrs. Clinton's newfound belief in global warming, but it is typical of the alarmists. More than 1,700 private jets flew a bunch of pretentious warming alarmists -- of the moneyed variety, of course, including Al Gore to Davos, Switzerland this past January to discuss, among other things -- you guessed it -- global warming:
The influx of private jets is so great, the Swiss Armed Forces has been forced to open up a military air base for the first time ever to absorb all the super rich flying their private jets into the event, reports Newsweek.
“Decision-makers meeting in Davos must focus on ways to reduce climate risk while building more efficient, cleaner, and lower-carbon economies,” former Mexican president Felipe Calderon told USA Today.
Gore famously routinely flies in  a private jets as he bops around the world trying to convince the little people to cut back on their energy use. Mrs. Clinton apparently learned everything she knows about global warming from Al (which means, of course, not much), and it shows:
But Mrs. Clinton said Monday in Des Moines that 'the reality of climate change is unforgiving – no matter what the deniers say. Sea levels are rising. Ice caps are melting. Storms, wildfires, and extreme weather are wreaking havoc.'
'This is one of the most urgent threats of our time, and we have no choice but to rise and meet it,' she added.
If she thinks it's so damn urgent, maybe she should act like it. The fact that she doesn't tells me she doesn't even believe her own horseshit. Why should I?

Monday, July 27, 2015

These guys are totes our new BFFs

I feel certain we can trust them not to violate our brand new, total-piece-of-shit nuclear deal with them. Why wait 10 years when you can have a nuke now. After all, they obviously think we are a bunch of putzes who can be shoved around -- and with Emperor Barry at the helm, they're right! Which gives us statements like this:
Iran's supreme leader tweeted a graphic Saturday that appears to depict President Obama holding a gun to his head as Britain relaxed its travel advice to the nation, citing decreased hostility under the Iranian government.
"US president has said he could knock out Iran’s military. We welcome no war, nor do we initiate any war, but.." reads the caption above the tweet sent by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on @khamenei_ir, his English language account.
Look, I'm sure he's just blowing smoke, right? I mean, it's not like he's the supreme leader of Iran, right? He's just a glorified bishop or something, isn't he? What? Oh, well,  fine. But they couldn't possibly plan to just ignore any restrictions on them, could they? Well, maybe:
Iran hit out Friday against US Secretary of State John Kerry, accusing him of threatening military action against Tehran if it fails to respect a historic nuclear deal sealed on July 14.
"Unfortunately the US Secretary of State once again talked about the rotten rope of 'the ability of the US for using military force'," said Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in a statement.
Zarif decried what he called the "uselessness of such empty threats against the nation of Iran and the resistance of the nation of Iran", and said such remarks should be consigned "to the last century".
Hey guys, what's not to love? I can't imagine how anyone could believe we can't trust these guys. They love us:


What could go wrong?

Do we have food porn? Indeed we do

I mean, what else do I have to do besides, look for a new project, drink and cook? Oh yeah, chores. OK, but other than that?

Anyway, I fixed a new recipe that I like the other day. It's a pork chop recipe from Mrs. Wolves' 4-ingredient cookbook (if you care, it's called 4 ingredient Recipes for 30 Minute Meals, and can be found here at Amazon; it's full of good stuff). Anyway, I wasn't really planning a food porn post from this, so the documentation (photographically speaking) is a little sparse. However, I can tell you that when fixing orange-honey pork chops (page 180 in the above-referenced book), you will need:
6 butterfly-cut pork chops (as you can see, I used 2 thick-cut bone-in chops), 1-2 cups of orange juice, 1/2 cup honey and 2 teaspoons of prepared mustard.

First, put a little oil in a skillet and brown the pork chops on both sides:


Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine the OJ, honey and mustard:


Once the chops are browned nicely, pour the OJ-honey mixture over them:


Heat the boiling, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes:


You want to let that thicken. In the meantime, fix some rice. The chops should be ready when the rice is. Bon appetit.

Yeah, I went farming again this weekend

I mean, seriously, what else to I have to do? I opted to skip the photo montage because, let's face it, vegetables growing look pretty much the same one week to the next. Also, almost all I did was harvest, so, naturally, I just took a picture of the harvest:


As you might or might not be able to tell, underneath all that other stuff is another batch of beans, which we are processing for freezing as I write. Probably the last harvest from the first crop, although I did not pull the plants and there might be one more small harvest from that planting. The second crop is not far behind, in any event, maybe a couple weeks. The maters are starting to come in, the zukes are in the midst of making me never want to see another zuke, the carrots continue to provide better carrots from the thinning than we got last year from the harvest, and the onions are looking good.

With Farmer Tom gone for the next two months, I get to make a lot of executive decisions coming up. I'll keep you posted.

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Sunday, July 26, 2015

Agencies offer temps crappy terms because they can

In good times in Temp Town, rates go up as the labor market becomes tighter. We haven't seen much in the way of good times since about mid-2008, and rates have fallen to what they were when I started doing this work 11 years ago. Lately, we've been seeing a fair number of projects with rates about another 12% below that. And the market is so shitty at the moment, I've applied for two of them. Hell, I can't even get a shitty job right now. Sounds like a lot of temps are chasing not enough jobs. Shitty jobs, at that, with low rates and no overtime. Agencies do this, of course, because they can. Those shitty projects are getting staffed. Not as quickly, maybe, as the marginally less-shitty projects that offer the current shitty market rate and no OT, but they are getting staffed. Pride goeth before the fall, bitches, and even temps gotta eat. So the crappy offers keep coming, and we keep taking them. Alas.

Hot diggity damn! Group seeks to have prostitution bans declared unconstitutional!

This is much better than the lawsuit seeking a constitutional right to polygamy that was filed in the wake of the Supreme Court ruling that there is a constitutional right to same-sex marriage -- something same-sex marriage advocates argued would never happen, by the way. No, I think the same-sex guys, in seeking a "right" to marry, opened a door that no one imagined -- unless, of course, you thought about it for a second or two first. But hey, sounds good to me:
"Our hope in the lawsuit is to have the anti-prostitution law overturned as unconstitutional and invalidated in the state of California," says Maxine Doogan, a working prostitute and president of the Erotic Service Provider Legal, Education, and Research Project (ESPLER), a group that has filed a lawsuit against California's attorney general and several mayors. "We don't have equal protection under the law."
Reason has a video at the link that goes into the legal argument. Pretty interesting stuff in a legal, esoteric way. Let's face it, this kind of fallout could be easily predicted. Without judging their likelihood of success, I predict the North American Man-Boy Love Association or some such similar group will be filing its suit soon, as will animal lovers, and I do mean animal lovers, the so-called polyamorous folks (not polygamists, who have one spouse of one gender with multiple spouses of the other gender -- they already filed a suit; polyamorous types involve multiple spouses of each gender), and whatever other group you can think of. Join the party, kids. Gitcher right to marry, right here.

Of course you're allowed to cook out in your back yard -- until you aren't

Think the nanny state would never go this far? Think again:
Pinellas County, Fl — Who knew that the all-American tradition of backyard barbecue could result in a visit from the State, in the Land of the “Free,” giving you a warning for firing up the pit? Well, it happened in Pinellas County, Florida to Scotty Jordan earlier this week.
In a video uploaded to Facebook on July 22, Joe Graham from Air Compliance is writing a complaint form for “objectionable odor” from Jordan’s property where he was barbecuing. A neighbor living across the street called to complain, as she has apparently done many times before.
This time she found a willing co-conspirator.
“I can smell it again right now, but I’m on your property,” Graham tells the group. “You’re allowed to have it smell on your property, so that doesn’t count, but when I’m on the street, that’s when it counts.”
“So we’re supposed to control the smoke and the wind and where it’s blowing it?” he asks.
The Environmental Specialist says, “What you’re doing looks like it may be counter to the rule as far as the objectionable odor,” as he looks at his clipboard for reassurance.
This isn't the first time we've heard of this sort of thing. The Environmental Protection Agency announced several months ago:
that it is funding a University of California project to limit emissions resulting in grease drippings with a special tray to catch them and a "catalytic" filtration system.
The $15,000 project has the "potential for global application," said the school.
The school said that the technology they will study with the EPA grant is intended to reduce air pollution and cut the health hazards to BBQ "pit masters" from propane-fueled cookers.
What does that mean, exactly? Pretty much just what it sounds like:
While intended to reduce "air pollution as well as health hazards in Southern California," the EPA said it expects "to limit the overall air pollution PM (particulate matter) emissions from barbecuing and to alleviate some of the acute health hazards that a barbecue pit master can experience from inhalation."
The EPA is not invited over the next time I smoke a pork shoulder, grill some chicken or hamburgers, or any other time I cook outside. Is there one damn thing the federal government can keep its nose out of?

Wonderful. The guy trying to kill our industry seems to be winning in court

I discussed this ignorant fuck here, but a federal appeals court just reversed a dismissal of this dumbass temp's lawsuit trying to get overtime from a law firm I have worked for and a temp agency I have not worked for. This putz's suit is based on the theory that document review is not the practice of law and could be done by chimps and, therefore, he is not exempt from overtime. What this stupid fuck apparently does not realize is that, if he wins, document review will be done by chimps, and they won't be asking for overtime. If this isn't the practice of law, then there is no reason to require that anyone doing it be a lawyer. Wages will plummet toward minimum wage and the requirement for a J.D. will disappear, forget about bar admission. Yeah, if this guy wins, we're all fucked.

Alas, he's not the only dumbass temp trying to kill our industry. This might be a shitty way to make a living, but it's the one we have in Temp Town. And this guy apparently wants to hand the job to folks formerly restricted to jobs that only require a high school diploma (like my plumber, so don't take that the wrong way. My plumber makes far more money that I do and would never be stupid enough to do this kind of work. But the stupid shits down at Starbucks with a bachelor's in gender studies or something equally useless would be happy to cut my wage in half and take my job if this fuck wins.)

Unfortunately, he appears to be winning. The federal 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals recently reversed a decision by a district court judge in the federal Southern District of New York (the suit was filed there because the law firm is based in New York and, while the work was done in North Carolina, the plaintiff figured he could get a better ruling in the more liberal New York federal courts). The district court ruled that the plaintiff, David Motherfucking Lola, failed to state a claim, granting the defendants' motion to dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)6, which requires that a complaint at a bare minimum state a cognizable claim under which the court is empowered to grant some form of relief. That's a pretty low standard.

The 2nd Circuit didn't say David Motherfucking Lola -- and, to be fair, I have no idea what plaintiff David Motherfucking Lola's middle name is, nor do I have any idea whether he has ever engaged in sexual congress with anyone's mother, and I am inclined to doubt that he has done so with his own mother -- has a winning claim here. They simply said that, if he's right about what he claims, he might have a claim. The standard on a 12(b)6 motion  to dismiss is whether the plaintiff -- David Motherfucking Lola, who might not be having sexual congress with any actual mothers but certainly is fucking the mother who supports all of us in Temp Town, which is to say, temporary legal employment -- has stated in his complaint, assuming everything he says in his complaint, no matter how stupid it sounds, is true, enough to support a claim that is entitled to legal relief. If you can't write a complaint that withstands a 12(b)6 motion, you should either find another line of work or at least find a client with a better claim It's a low standard.

That doesn't mean that David Motherfucking Lola, who, the more I think about it, might still be a virgin and so is not a motherfucker in any sense of the term except that he is fucking our Mother Industry, Temp Town, has a claim. As someone who has been doing this for a while, I can tell you it requires legal judgment. It doesn't require you to be any damn good at it, as anyone who has read this blog for a while knows, but the work requires legal judgment. No matter what David Motherfucking Lola says. And if Motherfucking is not David Motherfucking Lola's middle name, I apologize.

Friday, July 24, 2015

This is getting ridiculous

Another unemployment haiku:

I keep applying
They keep denying me work
How bad does this suck?

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Columnist, editors in stiff competition for who is stupider

Hat tip to Ace for this, which strikes me as just fucking retarded, yet typical of Social Justice Warriors:

View image on Twitter

Unemployment haikus, because I can

Sitting home, I weep.
Wonder when I'll work again,
And who'll pay my bills.

Keep on applying
For a bunch of shitty jobs
I don't want but need.

Liquor stores beckon.
High risk, low reward, but then
Is jail all that bad?

A post for absolutely no reason except that something caught my attention

So, I was over at Ace a little earlier, and he had this video posted as a little joke after a totally unrelated post -- something Ace does a lot:



Anyway, it got me to thinking. As early '80s New Wavish pop goes, this wasn't a terrible song. In fact, it got me to thinking that Boy George probably could have been an early '80s New Wavish pop star even without being a freak show. I don't know if he became a freak show to draw attention or if he just always was one and became musically successful for a time for reasons unrelated to his freak-showiness, but I think his body of work, brief as it was, merited pop music success anyway.

Consider "I'll Tumble 4 Ya," the video Ace posted for reasons not known to me. From the first album, "Kissing to Be Clever," this was, I think, the third single. It was a big hit.  First, of course, was "Do You Really Want to Hurt Me?" By about the third chorus, the answer at the college New Wave station I was working at at the time was a resounding "Yes!" Still, it is the song that got Culture Club started (and is the basis of a very funny joke in "The Wedding Singer"):


The other major hit off the first album was "Time (Clock of the Heart)" which was never one of my favorites but charted pretty high (I am doing all of this from memory from my DJ days, so bear with me for not having cites and links). It was a little mid-tempo, taking it out of the ballad range, and showed a little promise of what was to come:


The second album, "Colour by Numbers," busted it and in my opinion justified Boy George's existence. Three big songs off that album, all better than the hits from the first record, starting with this one:


I purposely chose a live version just to show that these guys weren't a studio creation. Boy George had a legitimately great band, and as good as their first album was, the second album was great. "Miss Me Blid" was the weakest of the big hits off that album, and it was pretty good:


Once again, the female backup singer is Helen Terry, who sounds like she could have done the famous backing vocal on The Rolling Stones' "Gimme Shelter." Anyway, I feel like I've saved the best for last. The final hit single off "Colour By Numbers," this is, I think, Culture Club's best song. I know they had more albums, but no one remembers them, I don't think. This, however, is tough to forget:


I guess Boy George got too deep into heroin after that to be much of a musical presence, although that never really stopped Keith Richards. Anyway, no real reason for this post except a trip down musical memory lane.

A contribution from our Eff You European correspondent

With a couple edits to conform to the 5-7-5 haiku format and our European correspondent's use of English as a second language:
Endless summertime
holidays, broke, happy at
Uncle’s country house.
Apologies for any damage to the artistic integrity of our European Correspondent's original poetry.







Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Emperor Barry is about a half-step short of having no shame

On Thursday last week, four Marine recruiters, a Navy recruiter, a police officer and another person were shot by an an Islamist fundamentalist. The Marines died on the scene -- two different recruiting offices were attacked and the Navy enlisted man died later from his wounds. The police officer and the civilian apparently will survive.

A number of facilities with the authority to do so themselves lowered the flag to half-staff, including the Capitol building and many state capitol buildings and facilities. The White House did not, nor did the federal facilities under the authority of the White House to order such an act, which is most of them.

As Gateway Pundit noted, it is commonplace under such circumstances for the White House, under any administration, to order the flag to half-staff the same day, or no later than the next day:
Also, Obama issued same-day orders lowering the flag following the the July 20, 2012 Aurora, Colorado mass shooting, December 14, 2012 Sandy Hook, Connecticut mass shooting and the September 16, 2013Washington Navy Yard mass shooting.
Obama ordered the flag flown at half-staff the day after the November 5, 2009 Fort Hood, Texas massacre.
President George W. Bush ordered the flag lowered for the April 16, 2007 Virginia Tech massacre the day after that attack.
Obama apparently did not order flags lowered following the Charleston mass shooting last month, however he went to Charleston and delivered the eulogy at the funeral for the Reverend Clementa Pinckney. Several state governors did issue orders to lower flags in their respective states to honor the Charleston victims.
Obama’s selectivity on whether to honor victims of terror attacks or mass shootings was in evidence in May when Obama made no public or written statement on the Islamist terror attack in Garland, Texas.
In a telling illustration of Emperor Barry's agenda, Gateway Pundit noted this:
In contrast it was only a matter of hours after the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage last month before Obama bathed the White House in the rainbow hues of the LGBTQ movement.
Yeah.


 You go girl. Or whatever.

Finally, Gateway Pundit cites Marcus Lutrell's Facebook page in which Lutrell (look him up; he is a hero and the subject of the movie and book "Lone Survivor") quoting Lutrell:
Retired Navy SEAL , Marcus Luttrell, just unleashed on Obama and Muslims – and you’re gonna love it. Here is a Facebook post from him where he addresses Marines being asked to not wear their uniforms in public anymore after the Chattanooga shooting:
Just heard something about Telling Marines not to wear their uniforms at the recruiting centers for their own safety…?! I have to tell y’all I laughed out loud, if anyone thinks for one second a Marine is gonna take his uniform off because he cares about his safety or is scared of some shitbag walking in off the street and trying this again ( WRONG) that’s not gonna happen, that’s not how we respond in the military when we get hit, we don’t take off our uniforms, drop our weps and run. Also you can outfit every recruiting station w/ firearms, grenades or a F.,?!ing tank, this goes down again and there is a good chance you’ll find the person beaten to death by the water cooler or stapler … The bullets will be the last of you problems. Think on it. RIP brothers, your families will miss you, the country will mourn you, and those still wearing the uniform will never forget you.
He also says one more thing to really hit the nail on the head:
Oh one more thing, lower the FLAG!!!!!!!! Sir.
So, finally, after criticism from all sides, five days after the shooting, today Emperor Barry finally deigned to order flags on federal property lowered to half-staff::
President Obama has ordered flags at the White House and other public buildings to fly at half-staff after mounting criticism over the delay in honoring five armed forces members killed last week by a gunman.
Obama's proclamation calls for the flags to remain at half-mast through Saturday “as a mark of respect for the victims of the senseless acts of violence perpetrated on July 16.”
Yeah, five days. Took him fewer hours to celebrate the gay marriage ruling at the Supreme Court, which arguably violates the establishment clause of the Constitution (read it). Go figure.









Charlie caves, terrorists win. Not here.

Charlie Hebdo editor Laurent Sourisseau, in an interview with Germany's Stern magazine, said that the French satirical weekly will no longer be publishing images of Mohammed, Islam's primary prophet. Charlie, as you may recall, was attacked by Islamist terrorists in January. Twelve of Charlie's staffers were killed, including the editor and cartoonist primarily responsible for drawing and publishing the cartoons of Mohammed. Well, the Islamists won't have to make a return visit:
During an interview with the Hamburg-based news magazine "Stern," editor of the French weekly "Charlie Hebdo" said he would no longer draw comics of the Muslim prophet Muhammad.
"We have drawn Muhammad to defend the principle that one can draw whatever they want. It is a bit strange though: we are expected to exercise a freedom of expression that no one dares to," Sourisseau told "Stern."
I get it. They see no point in inviting another attack. Sourisseau argues that Charlie made its point. Well, the terrorists made theirs, too. Charlie quit publishing images of Mohammed, and you can bet after that January attack no other media outlet will have the nuts to publish them. Charlies made its statement -- "We can publish images of Mohammed" -- and the Islamists made their statement -- "No, you can't." And the rest of the media made their statement -- "OK, we won't." Now, Charlie agrees.

Well, fuck the media:

Fuck the Islamists:


Sorry, Charlie, fuck you too:


Fuck the Obama monarchy for refusing to acknowledge that Islamist terrorists really are our enemies:


And fuck everybody who said they stand with Charlie, but did nothing to show that support. At least I published the damn cartoons:


Great. Well, don't kick in the door, jihadis. I rarely lock it. Just come on in and meet your virgins. By the way, if images of their prophet are blasphemous and forbidden, I wonder how they feel about this:


Actually, I don't care how they feel about it. I saw Warren Zevon on the same tour in 1980 when this was recorded. It remains the best concert I ever saw.

Well, I guess I should acknowledge the Danish newspaper that published Mohammed cartoons back in 2006. The cartoonist is still in hiding. Well, fuck you, jihadis:


Not my prophet, bitches. Live with it.

Double the farming, double the fun

I went to The Farm both days this weekend. On Day 1, I did little besides a quick survey and some harvesting. First, the survey. The cucumbers are climbing the vine (my goal is to can some sweet gherkins, not harvest cukes):


Farmer Tom put in a third bean crop in the old spinach bed, and they are popping up:


The second bean crop in the next bed continues to do well:


Yeah, it looks like dirt, but these two beds will, we hope, be giving us celery and broccoli in the fall:


Next to the tomatoes, we have a massive volunteer plant of a type we have never planted. At first, it looked like a zuke plant, but then it exploded, creeping everywhere:


It must like acidic soil, because Jeb the Wonder Dog and his buddy Willie both pee there all the time. As it turns out, it is some kind of melon plant, maybe watermelon, and probably is a result of seed-spitting by Farmer Tom's daughter while eating melons:


Having checked to ensure that all is well on The Farm, we did some harvesting. Farmer Tom harvested these squash and zukes before I got there:


Our first non-cherry tomatoes are ripening on the deck railing:


We returned to the squash bed, got a few more squash and a zuke there, went out and thinned the carrots some more (the carrot crop is going to be excellent -- we're getting cooking-size carrots from thinning) and harvested a butt-load of beans and some more banana peppers:


On Sunday, I returned to tackle the task I had shied away from the day before -- the onion bed:


It was seriously overrun with weeds. The onions were hanging in there, but weeding was called for. Did I mention it was about 400 degrees? Yeah, I was soaked when it was over, but the onion bed was well-weeded:


Probably lost 5 pounds. Fortunately, I replaced it with roughly 5 pounds of beer. And we got a few onions out of it:


Over the next few weeks, there is going to be major harvesting going on. The tomatoes are going to bust, the first bean crop has one more good harvest left in it, and the peppers are really digging on the hot, dry weather we've had recently (following weeks of frequent thunderstorms). All of this means a lot of baking, canning and various other food preservation methods. Gonna get busy.

Monday, July 20, 2015

I am about to become Master of The Farm

Not permanently, alas, but Farmer Tom is going to the beach the first week of August and then is going to spend two months hiking the Appalachian Trail, so I will be in sole control of The Farm while he is gone. With such power comes great responsibility, so I am trying to come up with some radical changes to The Farm that Farmer Tom will be unable  to reverse. Or maybe not. Anyway, I will be very Farm-busy over the next couple months. Meanwhile, Farmer Tom will be sleeping in this:


He calls it his "hotel room." Given how bears have become use to hikers and campers hanging their food in a tree in an attempt to avoid attracting bears, I call it "ursine buffet."

A little Farm-related food porn might be in order here

As those of you who follow the Farm posts have noted, zucchinis have been busting recently. Seriously, there ain't but so much zucchini you can eat as zucchini unless you're some kind of slowly-dying-of-starvation vegan. So I turn it into bread. This is not like turning water into wine. Much easier, but more mixing and stirring.

So, you start with 3 cups of flour, 1 cup of vegetable oil, 2-1/4 cups of sugar, 1 tsp of salt, 1 tsp of baking soda, 1 tsp of baking powder, 3 tsp of vanilla extract, 3 tsp of ground cinnamon, 3 eggs, 2 cups of grated zucchini and 1 cup of chopped walnuts. You can toss in raisins if you like:


The grated zucchini used to look like this:


OK, so put the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a big bowl and, you guessed it, mix it up right, people:


In another big bowl, combine the oil, vanilla, sugar and the eggs (beaten, of course) and, damn you guys are good, mix it up right, people:


In stages, add the four mix to the sugar mix:


Yeah, you know what to do:


Toss in the grated zucchini. Do I have to say it again? I told you this involved a lot of mixing:


Damn. Now add the walnuts. You have to, once again, mix it up right, people:


Having preheated the oven to 325, as I know you did, you can now put the mix into two bread pans, 8 x 4 or so (smaller is ok, larger can be a problem) and bake for 40 to 60 minutes. I have had success with closer to 60 minutes, but you can do the knife test starting at about 40 minutes if you are a nervous nellie. Once done, they are pretty:


Over the last couple days, I have bake about a dozen loaves of zucchini bread, and blanched and frozen God knows how many green beans. Done with the beans, probably 4 or 6 loaves of bread to go. Also, of course, another bean harvest in a few days and apparently some big-ass zukes on the way. I might be unemployed, but I am working my ass off.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

I'm not sure what the fuss is about

I've been sitting on this post for a while, hoping for some kind of update, but March appears to be when discussion of this shut down in relevant fora (that's the plural of forum for you Democrats out there -- I kid because I love). The Marines are getting a new amphibious assault vehicle to replace the AAV-7, a magnificent machine, but more than 40 years old:


So, back in March, the Marines went to hearings on Capitol Hill to discuss replacing the AAV-7 with members of Congress. Congressmen being experts on military affairs, that went about as well as you might expect. The Marines got pushback:
Lawmakers on Capitol Hill today voiced concerns about the U.S. Marine Corps' new amphibious vehicle, questioning the service's selection of wheels over the venerable tracked design.
Marine Corps leaders testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee's Subcomittee on Seapower to discuss modernization efforts in the proposed Fiscal 2016 budget request.
The Corps has identified its new Amphibious Combat Vehicle as its top modernization priority. The effort is set to replace most of Marine Amphibious Assault Vehicles that are well over 40 years old.
"Those vehicles are old, and they need to be replaced," Marine Lt. Gen. Kenneth J. Glueck, Jr., deputy commandant for Combat Development and Integration and commanding general of Marine Corps Combat Development Command.
"We will do what we can to bring some of those vehicles up to an acceptable standard, but to be the Marine Corps that you want for the future it is time to do some modernization."
I strongly suspect that the new amphibious combat vehicle will be built in different states than those represented by the senators who favor a tracked design. It is difficult to fathom how you argue against a 40+ year old tracked design over a new vehicle simply because the new one has wheels -- unless, of course, you're worried that the new vehicle won't be built in your state. I'm sure nothing like that would play a role in a senator's decision, though. The senators claim to be worried about a wheeled design, though:
Senators were more concerned, however, with the service's decision to choose wheeled technology over the more time-tested tracked design.
Marine leaders said the service has identified ground mobility as a high priority for the new AAV.
Wheeled-vehicle capability has advanced significantly over the past decade with technologies such as independent suspension, armor and variable inflatable tires, according to Thomas P. Dee, deputy assistant secretary of the Navy for Expeditionary Programs and Logistics Management.
Tests involving an eight-wheeled demonstrator vehicle at the Nevada Automotive Test Center have been very encouraging, Dee said.
"Performance was very good and for a medium-weight vehicle; it was equivalent to what we would get out of a tracked vehicle," Dee said. "It may not be as maneuverable or as mobile in off-road conditions in certain cases as an M1 tank, but is it certainly as maneuverable as we are going to get in that class of vehicle."
Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, said she was worried that first version of the wheeled ACV will be less capable since it is designed to carry 10 infantrymen instead of 14 like the current AAV.
The Army's Stryker vehicle has performed well and Congress has had no problems with its wheeled design. No one seems to think the Marines' light armored vehicle -- its primary recon unit vehicle -- is a problem:


The Soviets, and after the Russians, the British and any number of other nations have used wheeled troop carriers with great success. The capacity issue, with more vehicles carrying fewer troops each, is a good thing -- basic battlefield doctrine says "spread out." More people in one vehicle is simply an easier, richer target. And if the ACV is not as maneuverable in certain off-road conditions than an M-1 main battle tank? Surprise! It isn't a main battle tank, and neither is the AAV. The ACV is a vehicle to get Marines from ship to shore, alive, and then serve as their landborne transportation once they are there, and keep them alive in that environment, as well. Modern wheeled armored vehicles perform as well as tracked armored vehicles under most off-road circumstances, and better in urban environments. I don't think anyone would prefer the M-113 tracked armored personnel carrier over today's wheeled Stryker, for instance. The M-113, which it's aluminum armored, intended to keep it light, was not-affectionately known as the Bic, because it lit into flames at the flick of a thumb. (Aluminum burns really well, kids.)

Hawaii's senator, Mazie Hirono should know better. The 25th Infantry Division, based at Schoffield Barracks on Oahu, is the parent unit to a Stryker brigade or two, so she would be familiar with the capabilities of wheeled combat vehicles. I haven't heard her bitch about the Stryker. On the other hand, Hawaii manufactures pretty much nothing, so I know she isn't worried about losing manufacturing jobs. And the Marines a Kaneohe on Oahu would be using the AVC, replacing the AAV-7s they have now. Not sure what her problem is. Readers?


Just remember, you can support the blog

All you have to do is use the Amazon links on the right and the Wolves family receives a pittance from Amazon at no cost to you. So hit those links! Or I'll write another haiku:
Use Amazon links
Unemployment bearing down
Could use me some jack.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Yeah, another country that has been by before but got shafted on first-country treatment

Georgia -- no, not the one next to South Carolina -- has been by once before, but they really got stiffed on first-time visitor treatment. Time to remedy that.

Georgia is, of course:
a country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, it is bounded to the west by the Black Sea, to the north by Russia, to the south by Turkey and Armenia, and to the southeast by Azerbaijan. The capital and largest city is Tbilisi. Georgia covers a territory of 69,700 square kilometres (26,911 sq mi), and its population is almost 5 million. Georgia is a unitary, semi-presidential republic, with the government elected through a representative democracy.
Georgia is the birthplace of Josef Stalin and has a longstanding, difficult relationship with Russia. While independent early in the 1800s, its proximity to the Russian empire was problematic, and it eventually was absorbed by Russia:
In 1783, Russia and the eastern Georgian Kingdom of Kartli-Kakheti signed the Treaty of Georgievsk, which recognized the bond of Eastern Orthodoxy between the Russian and Georgian people and promised eastern Georgia protection against further Iranian attempts to regain Georgia, or by other aggressors.[36]
However, despite this commitment to defend Georgia, Russia rendered no assistance when the Iranians invaded in 1795, capturing and sacking Tbilisi while massacring its inhabitants, as the new heir to the throne sought to reassert Iranian hegemony over Georgia.[37] Despite a punitive campaign subsequently launched against Qajar Iran in 1796, and for the Russian governments own clear reasons as to why they couldn't send proper aid in time,[34] this period culminated in the 1801 Russian violation of the Treaty of Georgievsk and annexation of eastern Georgia, followed by the abolishment of the royal Bagrationi dynasty, as well as the autocephaly of the Georgian Orthodox Church. Pyotr Bagration, one of the descendants of the abolished house of Bagrationi, would later join the Russian army and rise to be a general by the Napoleonic wars.
On 22 December 1800, Tsar Paul I of Russia, at the alleged request of the Georgian King George XII, signed the proclamation on the incorporation of Georgia (Kartli-Kakheti) within the Russian Empire, which was finalized by a decree on 8 January 1801,[38][39] and confirmed by Tsar Alexander I on 12 September 1801.[40][41] The Georgian envoy inSaint Petersburg reacted with a note of protest that was presented to the Russian vice-chancellor Prince Kurakin.[42] In May 1801, under the oversight of General Carl Heinrich von Knorring (ru), Imperial Russia transferred power in eastern Georgia to the government headed by General Ivan Petrovich Lazarev.[43] The Georgian nobility did not accept the decree until April 1802 when General Knorring compassed the nobility in Tbilisi's Sioni Cathedral and forced them to take an oath on the Imperial Crown of Russia. Those who disagreed were temporarily arrested.[44]
In the summer of 1805, Russian troops on the Askerani River near Zagam defeated the Iranian army during the Russo-Persian War (1804-1813) and saved Tbilisi from reconquest now that it was officially part of the Imperial territories. Russian suzerainty over eastern Georgia was officially finalized with Iran in 1813 following the Treaty of Gulistan.[45]
Following the annexation of eastern Georgia, the western Georgian kingdom of Imereti was annexed by Tsar Alexander I. The last Imeretian king and the last Georgian Bagrationi ruler, Solomon II, died in exile in 1815. From 1803 to 1878, as a result of numerous Russian wars now against Ottoman Turkey, several of Georgia's previously lost territories – such as Adjara – were recovered, and also incorporated into the empire. The principality of Guria was abolished and incorporated into the Empire in 1828, and that of Mingrelia in 1857. The region of Svaneti was gradually annexed in 1857–1859.
The nation became independent again in 1991 after the fall of the Soviet Union. However, with Russia ruled by Vladimir Putin, who seems bent on restoring the Soviet Empire, Georgia is a little shaky in its independence. In 2008, a scuffle over South Ossetia and Abkhazia with Russia ended with Georgia basically getting its ass kicked. Things have been quiet since, as Georgia apparently hopes Russia won't notice it is there.

Geographically, Georgia has it all, from low-lying swamps to mountains:
The landscape within the nation's boundaries is quite varied. Western Georgia's landscape ranges from low-land marsh-forests, swamps, and temperate rainforests to eternal snows and glaciers, while the eastern part of the country even contains a small segment of semi-arid plains. Forests cover around 40% of Georgia's territory while thealpine/subalpine zone accounts for roughly around 10 percent of the land.
Much of the natural habitat in the low-lying areas of western Georgia has disappeared during the past 100 years because of the agricultural development of the land and urbanization. The large majority of the forests that covered the Colchis plain are now virtually non-existent with the exception of the regions that are included in the national parks and reserves (e.g. Lake Paliastomi area). At present, the forest cover generally remains outside of the low-lying areas and is mainly located along the foothills and the mountains. Western Georgia's forests consist mainly of deciduous trees below 600 meters (1,969 ft) above sea level and contain species such as oak, hornbeam, beech, elm,ash, and chestnut. Evergreen species such as box may also be found in many areas. Ca. 1000 of all 4000 higher plants of Georgia are endemic in this country.[136]
Economic reforms since the fall of communism have led to significant economic growth, but recovery from the Soviet command economy has been difficult. Tourism is an increasingly important part of the economy.

Mountains, rivers, old fortresses, Georgia has them:


Sounds like a nice country, so why don't we all extend a big Eff You welcome to Georgia! Come back soon, and bring your friends.

Kinda-sorta roadwork

I don't know if this is making up for Martin O'Malley ignoring the roads for 8 years or what, but we seem to be getting some lick-and-a-promise work on Boyers Mill Road the last few days. They are patching only the worst parts, apparently. Like so:


And so:


Note how the patches are on both sides of the road. The entire length of the road needs resurfacing, and has for years, but just now, as Marty is running for president, we get some stopgap repairs. Mostly the transportation fund got pissed away on other stuff, but hey, home slice wants to be president, so we better get some repairs done, right?

Austria gets a first-time Eff You welcome!

Way back in April 2012, Austria came by for what appeared to be the first time. Today, Austria came by again. Because the initial first visit got almost no notice here, I will today give Austria full first-time visitor treatment.

Officially, the nation is the Republic of Austria. It is:
a landlocked country of over 8.5 million people[8] in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Hungary and Slovakia to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the west. The territory of Austria covers 83,879 square kilometres (32,386 sq mi) and has analpine climate. Austria's terrain is highly mountainous, lying within the Alps; only 32% of the country is below 500 metres (1,640 ft), and its highest point is 3,798 metres (12,461 ft).[9] The majority of the population speak local Bavarian dialects of German as their native language,[10] and Austrian German in its standard form is the country'sofficial language.[11] Other local official languages are Hungarian, Burgenland Croatian, and Slovene.[9]
Yeah, most Americans only know Austria because of "The Sound Of Music," but it used to be a big deal in Europe:
Austria later became engaged in a war with Revolutionary France, at the beginning highly unsuccessfully, with successive defeats at the hands of Napoleon meaning the end of the old Holy Roman Empire in 1806. Two years earlier,[34] in 1804, the Empire of Austria was founded. In 1814 Austria was part of the Allied forces that invaded France and brought to an end the Napoleonic Wars.
It emerged from the Congress of Vienna in 1815 as one of the continent's four dominant powers and a recognised great power. The same year, the German Confederation(Deutscher Bund) was founded under the presidency of Austria. Because of unsolved social, political and national conflicts the German lands were shaken by the 1848 revolution aiming to create a unified Germany.[35]
A unified Germany would have been possible either as a Greater Germany, or a Greater Austria or just the German Confederation without Austria at all. As Austria was not willing to relinquish its German-speaking territories to what would become the German Empire of 1848, the crown of the newly formed empire was offered to the Prussian KingFriedrich Wilhelm IV. In 1864, Austria and Prussia fought together against Denmark and secured the independence from Denmark of the duchies of Schleswig and Holstein. But as they could not agree on how the two duchies should be administered, they fought the Austro-Prussian War in 1866. Defeated by Prussia in the Battle of Königgrätz,[35]Austria had to leave the German Confederation and subsequently no longer took part in German politics.[36][37]
The Austro-Hungarian Compromise of 1867, the Ausgleich, provided for a dual sovereignty, the Austrian Empire and the Kingdom of Hungary, under Franz Joseph I.[38]The Austrian-Hungarian rule of this diverse empire included various Slavic groups, including Croats, Czechs, Poles, Rusyns, Serbs, Slovaks, Slovenes and Ukrainians, as well as large Italian and Romanian communities.
As a result, ruling Austria–Hungary became increasingly difficult in an age of emerging nationalist movements, requiring considerable reliance on an expanded secret police. Yet the government of Austria tried its best to be accommodating in some respects: The Reichsgesetzblatt, publishing the laws and ordinances of Cisleithania, was issued in eight languages; and all national groups were entitled to schools in their own language and to the use of their mother tongue at state offices, for example.
20th century[edit]
In 1908 Austria-Hungary found an excuse in the promulgation of the Second Constitutional Era in the Ottoman Empire to annex Bosnia and Herzegovina.[39] Theassassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo in 1914 by Bosnian Serb Gavrilo Princip[40] was used by leading Austrian politicians and generals to persuade the emperor to declare war on Serbia, thereby risking and prompting the outbreak of World War I, which eventually led to the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Over one million Austro-Hungarian soldiers died in World War I.[41]
So Austria was a big deal in Europe for a long time. World War I pretty much put a damper on that, and World War II killed it. Now, it's just a purdy place:


Also, "The Sound of Music:"


Can't beat that shit. Everybody give a big Eff You welcome to Austria! Come back soon, and bring your friends.