mytopleft

Saturday, July 30, 2016

John Lee Dillingham, RIP

I never knew John Lee Dillingham, but I knew somebody a lot like him. Dillingham was a Navy veteran, a survivor of the attack on Pearl Harbor at the outset of World War II, and just a guy. Actually, I've known a lot of guys like Dillingham, but I knew one who was almost his twin. Why do I mention this? John Lee Dillingham of Dallas, Texas, died Wednesday at 93.

I mention Mr. Dillingham not because he died, but because he lived, and because of the way he lived. I don't guess he was really special, except maybe to the people who loved him. But on the other hand, he was very special in the same way that a lot of guys from his generation were:
Born near Gatesville, Dillingham was 3 years old when his family moved to Dallas, where he graduated from Dal-Tech High School. Knowing that the world might soon be at war, he made plans to enlist in the Navy, hoping to become an electrician. He worked in Dallas while waiting for his high school friends to graduate in January 1941.
Dillingham was assigned to the USS Hull, a destroyer stationed at Pearl Harbor. He was on board the morning of the attack:
The evening before the attack, the Hull's crew was granted shore leave to celebrate the ship's birthday. The sailors were treated to dinner, ample drinks and a sight-seeing tour of the island.
The next morning, America was at war.
"I remember waking up and going on topside, and everybody was yelling something: 'We're being attacked! We're being attacked!,'" he said for the oral history.
Dillingham ran to his battle station, dressed only in his under shorts. The Japanese planes had struck battleship row and proceeded to rake the vessels at Ford Island, where the Hull was stationed for repairs. He and the sailors at his gun station returned fire.
The Hull took no direct hits, but a nearby bomb blast ruptured the ship's hydraulic rudder controls. After the attack, the crew operated the rudder manually, guiding it to sea in search of enemy submarines.
Dillingham served throughout the war aboard the Hull. Near the end of the conflict, he was transferred out to go to electrician's school. I guess that saved his life, because the Hull sank in the storm that became known as "Halsey's Typhoon," which inspired the book and movie, "The Caine Mutiny." In any event, Dillingham survived the war, went to work for the company that became AT&T, and married a woman he met there. They were married until her death in 2013, after nearly 60 years of wedlock.

Nothing special, really. But very special. These guys signed up because they thought their country was going to need them, they went out and did what they had to do because their country did, in fact, need them, and then they went back home, started families, kept those families together, and did the jobs that made America work. Probably most people my age knew people like John Lee Dillingham.

I knew somebody who could have been him, I think. When I was 6 and 7 years old, and my father was off in Vietnam, we lived in Virginia Beach and our next-door neighbor was a man named Elmer Schoenfelter. When I was 6, I was pretty sure it was spelled "Shornfelter," but years later, I realized it was a German name and I probably was spelling it wrong. But I digress.

Even at 6, I was a huge history buff. I read a lot of history books even then, and to me, Elmer Schoenfelter was the mother lode: he was aboard the USS Pennsylvania, a battleship that was in drydock at Pearl Harbor during the attack. I was sure he could tell me all about the day.

Mr. Schoenfelter was happy to tell me generalities about the ship, how long he served aboard, where they went, and things like that, but, like many veterans -- probably most, based on my experience -- he was loathe to get into details. He would say what a terrible day it was, and then move on to how nice Hawaii was, how he liked his shipmates, and things like that. Years later, I visited him at his home in the Washington, D.C., area after he had retired, and he had some official Navy photos of the attack, but demurred when it came to discussing details.

I think Elmer Schoenfelter was probably a lot like John Lee Dillingham. Sounds like they both did what they saw as their duty, then just went on and lived their lives, being the best kind of man they could be, as best they could. Nothing special.

But very special. The country is poorer for their passing. Rest in peace, John Lee Dillingham. Your tour of duty is over.

I'm starting to wonder

Traffic on the blog is approaching historic levels for the month, yet San Marino refuses to come by? Why is that? Mauritius, which had a visitor count in the low single digits until a few weeks ago, has been by a couple dozen times this month. San Marino too good for that? Might need to start shaming San Marino on Twitter. I hear that's how the Social Justice Warriors go about things.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Gosh, it seems like the Religion of Peace is launching attacks in Europe almost every day.

Of course, it seems that way for a reason, as the Religion of Peace is launching attacks in Europe almost every day. From Heatstreet, via Ace, we have this helpful graphic:


Naturally, Heatstreet has some commentary on this trend:
In the previous week in Germany alone there has been a fatal machete attack, an axe attack on a train, a suicide bombing and a shooting rampage in a shopping mall.
It is twelve days since crazed trucker Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel mowed down 84
people – ten of them children – in Nice.
It was only late March when three suicide bombers killed more than 30 people in Brussels, which in turn came months after the larger-still rampage in Paris – about which horrors are still emerging.
Most are linked to the Islamic State, some are not, some could yet be.
German police yesterday made clear the scale of the problem when they said they had 410 separate leads on potential terrorists.
Most of the attackers have been "refugees" from Muslim countries. But I'm sure this kind of stuff could n ever happen here, right?

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Climate "science" corruption jumps the shark

This came about earlier this month, but I am finally getting to it. As you may recall, a bunch of Democrat attorneys general recently decided it would be a good idea to actually prosecute people for suggesting that the theory of man-made climate change -- "theory" means no one can prove or disprove it at the moment -- is not correct. I mentioned that previously here

Well, some of those attorneys general decided they would pursue subpoenas. Oops:
Free-speech advocates have reason to cheer as two state attorneys general have walked back their subpoenas against Exxon Mobil Corp., tacitly admitting that their climate-change harassment lacks a legal basis.
Virgin Islands AG Claude Walker recently withdrew his subpoena of Exxon Mobil. He was a leader among the 17 AGs charging that the oil giant defrauded shareholders by hiding the truth about global warming. That’s hard to prove when the company’s climate-change research was published in peer-reviewed journals.
...
Meantime, Massachusetts AG Maura Healey filed court documents declaring she won’t enforce her subpoena against Exxon until the oil giant’s countersuits against the AGs are settled. Exxon has sued Ms. Healey in Texas federal court to quash her subpoena as a violation of its First and Fourth Amendment rights. Mrs. Healey clearly sensed the political dangers of dragging her office on a long, anti-free-speech march and is putting the investigation to the side.
The "legal" approach to suppress opposition to anthropogenic global warming -- the theory that man-made effects are causing global warming, a ludicrous theory considering the warming/cooling history of the planet and the fact that they data simply do not support the theory -- apparently has gone tits up. The AGs of New  York and California have not given up on their subpoenas against ExxonMobil yet,  but The California AG is just trying to burnish her lefty credentials for her bid to replace Barbara Boxer, the retiring stupidest member of the U.S. Senate (don't bother Googling it -- it won't show up anymore, even though it used to and she has been given that honor many times). The New York AG has a favorable state law to use, because he lives in a state governed by Communists, but he won't be pursuing it for long.

Nobody except greenie lunatics think this approach is legitimate. Maryland's AG is on board with this movement. Under their theory, I am subject to subpoena for speaking out against the AGW theory. The problem is, I can actually explain the theory, and Maryland's AG cannot. These subpoenas were dropped because the AGs didn't want to lose the court fights that would result, and they knew they would lose.

Doubt me? Name the First Law of Global Warming. Or the First Law of Climate Change. Or whatever they are calling it these days. For those of you climatistas in the audience, the First Law of Thermodynamics is:
The 1st Law of Thermodyamics simply states that energy can be neither created nor destroyed (conservation of energy). Thus power generation processes and energy sources actually involve conversion of energy from one form to another, rather than creation of energy from nothing.
Physics involves laws when things are known. It does not when things are not known. Please tell me the First Law of Global Warming. Or Climate Change. Or whatever. Otherwise, stop boring me with your bullshit.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

The emperor has no brains. Who fucking cares about his clothes?

Earlier this month, Emperor Barry spoke in Poland about two police shootings of black suspects, one in Louisiana and one in Minnesota. As usual, he spoke with little or no knowledge of the facts, but with pure conviction of the motivations:
But what I can say is that all of us as Americans should be troubled by the news. These are not isolated incidents. They are symptomatic of a broader set of racial disparities that exist in our criminal justice system.
. . .
There are biases, some conscious and unconscious, that have to be rooted out. That’s not an attack on law enforcement. That is reflective of the values that the vast majority of law enforcement bring to the job.
Having established, by presidential fiat, that the police are a bunch of racist killers, Barry was forced to suck it up when five police officers were killed in Dallas and another three in Baton Rouge, La., shortly after he called all police officers racist. And then this:
A police officer in Kansas City, Kansas, who was shot Tuesday while chasing suspects allegedly involved in a drive-by shooting, has died, police Chief Terry Zeigler said.
The officer was identified as Capt. Robert Melton. He was 46 years old and had been with the department for 17 years.
Zeigler told reporters the officer was looking for four people in a car some time before 2 p.m. when the vehicle was spotted and a chase began. The chase ended about 2 miles from where the suspects were initially reported to a 911 dispatcher.
"As Capt. Melton was arriving, the suspects bailed from the vehicle and opened fire," the chief said. "I don't have any more details than that."
So, just a bunch of racist police officers doing their jobs. Fuck you, Emperor.

OK, I don't get this

Mauritius, a place that previously visited a couple times, suddenly is in the top five for the month? Seriously, fucking everybody who lives on Mauritius is coming by. So where the fuck is San Marino? Inquiring minds want to know.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Sanity returning?

Well, maybe to Europe, at least. No sign of the Obama regime giving up on its watermelon fantasies (green on the outside . . . ). First, we have this:
Britain’s new government abolished its Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) Thursday morning, ridding the country of its global warming bureaucracy.
Officials stated that the DECC has been abolished and U.K.’s environmental policy is will be transferred to a new ministry called the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. Some former DECC’s functions will be outright abolished, while others will be handed back to the new ministry.
And then we have Germany realizing that its green energy plan is getting too expensive:
Germany plans to cap the expansion of offshore wind power at the start of the next decade to ensure the future growth of renewables keeps step with the construction of new power lines, according to a revision to a new energy law seen by Reuters.
Between 2021 and 2025 the government plans to limit offshore wind installations to 3.1 gigawatts (GW) of capacity since high-voltage power lines needed to carry green energy from the windy north to the industrial south will not be ready.
The reforms to the energy law are aimed at bringing down the costs of Germany's shift towards renewables sources of energy and away from nuclear power and fossil fuels known as the Energiewende.
OK, so what is driving this? Well, maybe it's because subsidies and forced use of "green" energy are driving consumer costs so high that they can't afford to heat or cool their homes:

Polling indicates that energy prices were so high that 38 percent of British households have cut back essential purchases, like food, to pay their energy bills. Another 59 percent of homes were worried about how they are going to pay energy bills.
Good plan, right? Maybe at least some nations are starting to realize that forcing expensive, inefficient energy technologies on people is not a good idea, especially when the "benefits" are unproven, to say the least.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Still no San Marino? Hmmm

Hell, Mauritius has been coming by like sailors at a whorehouse on payday, but still no San Marino. Maybe I should try to taunt Monaco, Lichtenstein, Vatican City, Montenegro or Kosovo into coming by. After all, they haven't been here, either. Come on, Monaco, what's your hang up?

I think Dante miscounted

He only got to nine, after all. Sure, I've bitched about projects before -- and they all sucked -- but I think I have finally reached the circle that Dante missed: Project 10th Circle.

The punishments range from the petty to the severe. Sure, we have no internet. But we've faced that before. On the other hand, this is the first no-internet project I've ever even heard of that provided no internet terminals away from your desk. Cell phone coverage in the review room is close to non-existent, so even people with smart phones (everybody but me) are having trouble checking their email.

Sure, we've been cramped before, but not like this. In a 20 by 40 foot room -- and that might be generous -- we have 100 people. Maybe more. Two long rows of tables, with a row at each end crossing the T. The tables have four work stations each, two on each side, even though they are neither long enough nor wide enough. There is no room for your document review binders in front of you -- all that fits is your keyboard and mouse pad. I guess they don't want us to refer to our review guidelines, because there sure as hell is nowhere to put them. Hell, there isn't room for anything besides the keyboard and mouse.

We live in fear of power outages. We were told in no uncertain terms to plug nothing into any of the available outlets in the room, or USB cables into the computers. No additional electrical load of any kind, as we are likely to blow a circuit breaker.

We have 100 people or more in a single room. We have no trashcans.

Then, of course, there is the casual disregard for common human dignity. Crammed in like sardines with the kind of respect usually reserved for galley slaves, we also are treated like 5-year-olds. The project supervisor, when preparing to make her first announcement of the project, apparently felt the need to say, "Faces. Faces." Apparently, anyone not looking at her could not hear her. I made a point of looking at the floor.

They weren't ready for us, in a technical sense. Documents aren't loaded, and the computers aren't set up properly, which is why we had to leave early today, the first day of the project. After training was over, we couldn't do anything because the technical difficulties prevented them from even teaching us how to log in. God knows what will happen tomorrow.

The law firm for whom we are working is well know for overstaffing, lying about overtime and then sending everybody home for the day or two because the documents aren't ready. When I say well-known, I mean it has happened on both the projects where I worked for this firm before. Can't wait to hit the trifecta.




Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Religion of Peace strikes again, fashion critic edition

Is this getting old yet? Good damn thing ISIS is on the run, or these madmen Episcopalians would be running amok:
A French woman and her three young daughters were seriously wounded in a frenzied knife attack at an Alpine resort on Tues by a man who reportedly complained that they were scantily dressed.
The man was arrested after the attack at the Alpine resort of Garde-Colombe, near Laragne, in southern France.
Emperor Barry immediately announced that the attacker's motives could never truly be known, as the Morroccan-born man obviously was not actually a true Muslim:

The attacker, named as Mohamed B, 37, "may have acted out of religious motives", French television channel TF1 reported.
I'm sure he was just cranky over the outcome of a soccer match.


Monday, July 18, 2016

The Religion of Peace strikes again, log-splitting edition

OK, he wasn't splitting logs:
An axe-man who stormed a passenger train and hacked at terrified passengers while shouting "Allahu Akbar" has been identified as a 17-year-old Afghan who entered Germany as a lone refugee.
The attacker was identified by stunned government officials after a huge investigation was launched just hours after the bloody attack exploded.
"Allahu Akbar," as everyone knows, means "I'm a lumberjack and I'm OK," which explains the ax, I guess.


Yeah, so an Episcopalian refugee from Afghanistan boards a German train and begins hacking at citizens of the country that foolishly welcomed him.
Early reports claim he has left at least three people fighting for their lives, and a fourth with minor injuries.
At least 14 other passengers were being treated for shock.
At least they killed the little sack of shit. Thank God he was an Episcopalian and not a Muslim, else we'd be seeing headlines like this: [German] Muslims Fear Repercussions Over Tomorrow's Train Bombing.

Oh, wait.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

I'm cutting San Marino no slack

It has been suggested in the comments that maybe San Marino hasn't come by because there are only 34,000 residents and they all speak Italian. Sure, I could have Googled that, but it still doesn't move me. Andorra came by despite fewer residents and a language barrier. Hell, these guys came by despite way fewer residents and a language barrier. Nope, San Marino has no excuses. Mongolia bowed to the pressure from Eff You Nation. Maybe some people think they're too good for Eff You. I'm looking at you, San Marino. You're on the clock.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

No San Marino. Suppifdat?

Sure, since my call for San Marino to visit Eff You, I've had visits from a number of countries that don't come by much -- Mauritius, Croatia, Saudi Arabia -- but still no San Marino. What's wrong with those people. No computers? Frankly, I'm getting a little irked. If they don't come by soon, I'm going to go and find out where the hell San Marino is. You know that's the first step to finding San Marino and opening up a can of whoop-ass, right? Of course, San Marino is only a micro-state, so maybe I only need a half-can of whoop-ass. (For those of you not from the American South, "whoop" is pronounced "whup" in this instance.) Anyway, I will apply all the whoop-ass necessary if San Marino doesn't get its ass over here. Did I say San Marino enough to hit somebody's search engine in San Marino? Should I say porn, or fuck, or something like that?

Friday, July 15, 2016

I just got a Clean Energy Option selection form from my power company. Guess what?

No surprises here. Of course I am not going to tell Potomac Edison to get my electricity from "Clean Energy Option, a supplier of 100% wind and solar power." Unlike most of the idiots in Maryland -- we call them "Democrats" -- I realize that the sun shines only about half the day, and less than half of that time provides useful energy generation, which means you can't rely on it. And the wind doesn't blow all the time, which means you can't rely on it. And that the power from those two sources gets massive federal subsidies, which means you can't rely on it. The feds giveth and the feds taketh away. So I have no intention of going down that path, no matter how much the state and feds want me to.

Besides, the mailer made two things pretty clear. First, not much would change with respect to energy generation in the state, and choosing the "green" option was stupid. Even with the subsidies, the "Clean Energy Option" mailer was forced to admit in the "Frequently Asked Questions" section what I already knew. Out of six Q&A's in this section, four of them assured me that Potomac Edison would be providing my electricity no matter what. How will it do that? By maintaining fossil fuel sources of electricity to supply most of the state's power, including enough such sources to replace the so-called "green" sources of power for when those "green sources" aren't actually providing any power, which is most of the time.

And one of the Q&A's assured me that I "can switch back at any time at no cost and with no interruption of service." Why did they feel the need to inform me of that? Because of what the sixth Q&A revealed:
Q. What will happen to my electricity bills?
A. In short, supporting new renewable energy development costs a little more than delivering polluting energy. That's because the energy you are choosing is better for you and the planet. When you add more renewable energy to the electric grid, you are reducing toxic waste and air pollution, making the world a healthier place with cleaner air. 
What's that? My power bill will be higher? Electricity is already expensive in Maryland. I'm sure it has nothing to do with our nanny state government always trying to control market forces. Of course, the mailer didn't mention how much "a little more" is, which is wise considering that we already pay about 20 percent more than the national average. Perhaps First Energy was worried that truth-telling might lead them to acknowledging that the road they are urging people to take could lead here:
The South Australian Government been forced to beg fossil fuel operators to bring mothballed plants back online, to contain wild swings in electricity spot price caused by unstable renewable production, prices which last month peaked at $14,000 / MWh – up from more normal prices of $100 / MWh which prevailed before political favouritism towards renewables messed up the market.
But hey, who doesn't want "sustainable" energy?

The mailer also declined to acknowledge several other salient facts that kind of undermine the myth of "clean renewable energy." First, in Maryland, there are no wide open deserts of the sort ideally suited for solar power farms. Perhaps this is why First Energy, the parent company of Potomac Edison, which provides my electricity, according to a Q&A section on its website, owns no solar power generation capacity and has no plans to develop any:
Q. I have the very best property for a wind or solar farm. Who can I talk to about leasing my property or partnering with the Company?
A. The FE operating companies do not own generation and are not looking for locations to site any generation.
So they buy it from elsewhere. Except they don't, because availability is limited. But they pretend to, and they charge you more for your power even though it probably comes from coal or natural gas. It's not like you can direct energy to the user based on its source.

They also don't mention that solar power farms fry birds by the thousands ever year. Might dampen your green-energy enthusiasm.

As for wind power, the turbines kill birds prodigiously. Also, the best wind power sites are hard to get to, making maintenance a problem. And, or course, wind turbine failures tend to be kind of spectacular, as anyone who has had a ceiling fan get out of balance can attest:


No, really:


So, yeah, I opted to stop the madness. Now if only Maryland would allow First Energy to build another nuclear power plant.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

In a show of solidarity with the French, the Religion of Peace celebrates Bastille Day

Naturally, by killing 80-plus Frenchmen in Nice. I'm sure Barry will say that we can only wonder at his motives, since he never believes what mass killers say, be they in Dallas or Orlando or Nice:
The local newspaper, Nice-Matin, reports that the man driving the truck was a 31-year-old Nice resident of Tunisian origin.
The truck driver was said to have shouted 'Allahu Akbar' — God is greatest — before being shot dead by police.
A "French-Tunisian," a nice way of saying a North African Muslim, drives a box truck into a crowded public square full of people celebrating Bastille Day. After mowing down who knows how many with his high-speed race into the crowded square, he apparently got out of the truck and opened fire on the crowd. More than 50 are injured, and at least 80 dead. But speak no evil, damn it.


It was totes a technical difficulty

Or, as Ace points out, at CNN, thou shalt not criticize The Felon Who Would Be President:



Because you just don't. Hat tip Ace of Spades.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Is there some reason San Marino has not come by yet?

Seriously, when I ask for a country to pay a first-time visit, I expect that visit to happen. I have asked San Marino to come by. No one from that European micro-state has done so. I want answers. What are you doing, San Marino, hmmmmm?

Has Saab produced an effective competitor to the F-35?

Sweden just unveiled its new "Smart Fighter," the Grippen E, which is intended to be a low-cost competitor to the F-35. The latest variant of the Grippen class, which Saab has been producing for Sweden for many years, is apparently a significant upgrade from the previous Grippen model, although there is no indication it is a fifth-generation fighter. But it sounds attractive to budget shoppers:
With its fly-by-wire avionics and distinctive delta wing design, the Gripen E is similar to its predecessors. The difference is in its increased fuel capacity, 20% more thrust, extra pylons for carrying more weapons, and advanced electronics that feed tactical information to the pilot and coop forces at all times.
The Grippen E costs only $85 million each, which is a bargain for modern fighter aircraft, Here's the official sales-pitch video from Saab's unveiling:


Pretty glossy, high-tech presentation. Read more about it at Business Insider, where I got it, We Are The Mighty, where they got it, or at The Daily Mail, which apparently reports on it extensively. I plan to do a little research and see how much of a competitor with the F-35 this plane is except on price. Stay tuned.

Things in Baltimore going about as you might expect

Or at least as you might expect if you are a sentient being. The mayor and the prosecutor largely responsible for the situation clearly didn't see this coming, and the city's residents are paying the price:
Murders surged a staggering 63 percent in 2015, with 344 people killed. This year hasn’t been quite as bad so far, but the murder rate remains abnormally high.
Meanwhile, Baltimore’s police force is shrinking dramatically. According to Blake Neff of the Daily Caller, at the beginning of 2015, Baltimore had 2,805 police officers. By the end of the year, the force was down to 2,634 officers, a drop of 6.1 percent. In June of this year, there were only 2,445 officers in the force, a decline of 6.8 percent since January.
The shrinkage in the size of the police force seems clearly to be related to the events that followed Freddy Gray’s death — the riots during which Baltimore’s mayor, having talked about making space for “those who wish to destroy”, had the police stand down; the prosecution of six officers on charges that appear to be without merit; the wave of anti-police sentiment that politicians like prosecutor Marilyn Mosby have fueled and legitimized.
Baltimore Mayor Stephanie "Let them Riot" Rawlings-Blake won't be seeking re-election. Mosby can't get a conviction to save her life and is probably looking a future career options not involving the legal profession. Meanwhile, a shrinking police force is wary of engaging in active policing because they don't trust city leadership. The result? Baltimore residents, many of the victims poor and black, and going through hell -- and many of them aren't coming out alive.

Oddly enough, Black Lives Matter apparently doesn't care about these particular black lives.

Sweet, decadent dessert food porn

The other night, I fixed something downright sinful for dessert. Figured I would share with you the making of pecan caramel cheesecake bars. Start with a cup of pecan pieces, 50 vanilla wafers, 4 8-oz. packages of cream cheese (yes, four), 1/4 cup of butter, melted, 1 cup of sour cream, 1 cup of sugar, 1 tbsp of vanilla, 3 tbsps of flour, 24 caramels, 4 eggs, 3 oz. of semi-sweet chocolate and 1 tbsp of water:


Soften the cream cheese in a large bowl:


Crush the vanilla wafters in a blender or food processor, unless you get some kinky charge out of crushing them into fine little bits by hand, in which case, hey, knock yourself out. I'm not judging, except to say that you are really fucking weird if you go that route. You should wind up with about 1-1/2 cups of fine crumbs, whatever sick twisted way you used to create them:


Take a 13-by-9 pan -- I obviously am using an aluminum pan, but you might actually own a 13-by-9 baking pan, and more power to you if you do. Mine are all either bigger or smaller, so I bought the aluminum ones. Anyway, line the damn thing with foil:


At some point before this, you should have finely chopped a half-cup of the pecans, mixed them with the wafer crumbs and stirred in the melted butter. Pour that stuff in the pan:


Smooth it out, pat it down into a crust covering the bottom of the pan, and refrigerate that bad boy:


Add the sugar to the cream cheese and beat that stuff like a rented mule until it is well-blended. Add the sour cream, flour and vanilla and mix well. Then add the eggs, one at a time while beating like a red-headed step child, except on low speed Pour the mixture over the crust:


Bake your pan of stuff at 325 degrees for about 45 minutes or until the center is almost set. Allow it to cool completely.

While that is cooling, take your caramels, add some water, put them in a bowl and microwave for about a minute until the caramels are melted:


They'll look something like this:


Melt the chocolate, too:


Pour the melted caramels over the cheesecake, then the melted chocolate. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours. If you refrigerate it for 24 hours, the caramel gets kind of liquid again and is easy to cut through. And the result is really, really good:


Bon appetit.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Great deals on Fire tablets on Prime Day

Go here to find some really great deals at Amazon on Fire tablets while also supporting the blog. Just sayin'.

Everyone has a role to play in this world

Face it, we can't all be a baller, those athletes whose skill and dedication are so great that their fellow athletes acknowledge their prowess by referring to them as ballers

But we can all own a melon baller. Go ahead, feel one in your hand:


You know you want to:


Once you have a melon baller, you can do all kinds of things. With melons, anyway. And people will mention you and say, "Dude, that's a baller." So you'll have that going for you.

Dear God, farming again?

Yeah, I went on Saturday for a couple of hours, mostly to put water on things as it has not rained much lately -- thunderstorms have mostly missed The Farm. The latest bean crop is doing well:


As are the green onions right next to the beans, although they desperately need weeding:


The first bean crop is nearing harvest time:


The broccoli is on its last legs before final harvest:


We harvested a bunch, but some remains and will come out this weekend, I suspect:


The brussels sprouts are coming along:


Likewise the carrots:


It is getting pretty hot for peas, so I harvested a bunch of those, as well. Maybe one more week before those get the hook:


The good garlic bed is doing well, but needed weeding:


So I weeded it:


I also planted some more cucumber seeds around the squash bed, partly to make up for germination failures:


Also to make up for the not-so-tender attention of deer:


While the squash and zucchini are fenced in, the cucumber plants are not:


Getting some good-sized onions:


Ready to go:


So I harvested three of those, as well:


This is the haul I took home. A bunch of broccoli, an onion, a big freaking carrot, a bunch of peas, both still in the pod and already shelled (in the plastic bag:


Jarred some of the peas Sunday night; the rest we will eat fresh. Things are going well on The Farm.

Shop Amazon, support the blog

Not too late to do your Amazon shopping through Eff You, save lots of money and throw a little jack my way at no cost to you. Today is Prime Day, with lots of special deals. Click on the display ad at the right or on the link above and knock yourself out.

Trying to round up the usual suspects

By that, of course, I mean the countries in Europe that have not yet visited Eff You. I have large holes in my Africa and Asia collections, and a few holes in my South America collection -- and I don't even want to talk about Pacific island nations -- but I have a dirty half-dozen that have been recalcitrant about visiting Eff You: Monaco, San Marino, Lichtenstein, Vatican City, Montenegro and Kosovo. The first four are among the six European microstates -- Andorra and Malta have already come by -- while the last two are Balkan countries. All six have steadfastly refused to visit Eff You, and I want to know why. Come on, people, represent!

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Very interesting clip here

Never heard of this host, but wow, does he put these people on the spot:


Just wow. Neither one explains why their employers' objections to their hairstyles as "unprofessional" is racist -- Lord knows, I've heard the same thing -- but that seems to be all they have. Very interesting.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

They like lying in the window, what can I say?

The sisters, Murder and Mayhem, really like lying in the front window. After knocking out the screen a couple times, I finally had to nail the sucker in place, because they really like to roll right up against that sucker:


The screen hasn't fallen out since I put nails in, and they don't seem traumatized by the times the screen fell out and dumped them onto the ground, so I guess all is well. For them, anyway. Leaving the window open so they can get some screen time makes it hard to cool the house. But I already lost that argument.

Corn is looking good

Not my corn, of course, because Farmer Tom vetoed growing corn, but throughout the area, corn is looking good. Here's a sample:


Lots and lots of fields in the area, most of them head-high or taller.

The other new bridge is open, sort of

I realize that genuinely local news like this appeals to absolutely no one who does not live near me, but I think you really need to refer to the name of the blog if this bothers you. In any event, the new bridge on Boyer's Mill Road is open -- but one lane only:


Those trucks in the left lane are construction-related and are parked. Only one lane of traffic is going through. Apparently, the bridge will be completely closed on Wednesday. I assume traffic will be two-lane after that.

Friday, July 8, 2016

If it's on the internet, it's true, right?

Yahoo News is one of the worst for this, as they still have this story up:
Even though hunting is outlawed within the national parks of Zimbabwe, ten men were illegally hunting for elephants last month within the park’s boundaries when they stumbled upon twenty adult Southwest African lions. The pride of lions were not exactly, you know, expecting human visitors, so they immediately attacked the intruders. The attack was so instantaneous that five of the ten men were killed, three severely injured, and two lightly injured. The animals were mostly unhurt. The men who survived the attack ran to a nearby village for medical help where they were promptly arrested. Ah, karma!
The only problem? Utter horseshit:
The story posted above was originally published in March 2016, but it didn't gain much traction until a few months later. While it's not clear exactly why the article received a boost in popularity, it may be because Cecil the Lion was killed a year before, in July 2015. The article may have also received a bump after an anti-poaching group posted a hoax video that purported to show a lion attacking two poachers.
Regardless of the reason for the article's popularity, this is a piece of fake news from a well-known entertainment web site:
WNDR assumes however all responsibility for the satirical nature of its articles and for the fictional nature of their content. All characters appearing in the articles in this website – even those based on real people – are entirely fictional and any resemblance between them and any persons, living, dead, or undead is purely a miracle.
Amazingly, people put this shit up all the time as if it were true. Could you please be a little more skeptical?

Paul Hornung is pissed, and I'm not sure I blame him: UPDATE!

The National Football League puts out a very entertaining, very violent product that the American public really, really enjoys. Football games are the highest rated sporting events, and the NFL championship, the Super Bowl, is routinely the highest-rated TV event of the year. Until very recently, the NFL kind of side-stepped how violent the game is and how that might adversely affect players. Hell, they used to celebrate the violence with features like this:


When the long-term dangers of concussions became more well-known, the NFL stopped glorifying the hard hits that people really did want to see. Now, an iconic player from my favorite team, the Green Bay Packers, is suing helmet-maker Ridell for failing to provide him with adequate protection:
Pro Football Hall of Famer Paul Hornung, who spent his entire career with the Green Bay Packers, is suing helmet maker Riddell Inc., according to Associated Press, alleging that the helmets he wore his his career did not protect him from brain injury.
Hornung was an amazing player. He was the Packers' kicker for several of the years he played, and until Ladanian Tomlinson of the San Diego Chargers came along, he held the single-season record for points scored -- and did it in fewer games than Tomlinson, who needed 16 games versus Hornung's 12. I am much less impressed by Tomlinson than by Hornung. Tomlinson likely couldn't kick an extra point, much less a field goal.

In any event, I am sorry to hear that Paul Hornung is not doing well. I am not sure about the prospects for his suit, but I hope things turn out well for him. On the other hand, I'm not sure how Ridell can be held responsible -- and more important, legal liable -- for the violence of the game Hornung chose to play, given the limited information available at the time.

Update: Just to be clear, Hornung was the Packers' halfback when he played for them. He was kicker only as an incidental thing for a couple of years, including the year he set the scoring record.






Why am I not surprised?

If this had happened at a Tea Party rally, do you think most people wouldn't already know about this guy:
Jeff Hood, the organizer of the July 7th Dallas Black Lives Matter rally is a homosexual Islamist who calls himself a Christian pastor. To provide proper context– in 2015, after Americans protested the CAIR organized “Respect the Prophet” event in Dallas, Jeff Hood said: “I think that Texas Muslims are the real Christians.”
Alas, not a one-source story:
The lead organizer of the Dallas protest where snipers opened fire on police officers has made several disturbing comments on his social media. A Breitbart News review of Jeff Hood’s internet footprint revealed regular posts about the apocalypse, violent retribution to police, and Hood even recently posted about the 2013 death of a self proclaimed “social justice warrior” who committed suicide by lighting himself on fire in front of a shopping mall in Texas.
 And there was this Tweet about how Hood wanted to "create a space for anger and rage:
Brandon Darby @brandondarbyDallas protest organizer @revjeffhood told Dallas Morning News he wanted to "create a space for anger and rage" against police.
Guess it worked.

She is what we like to refer to as a lying piece of shit

FBI Director James Comey, who is a worthless sack himself, laid it out that Hillary! is a lying piece of shit who seriously mishandled classified information but won't be prosecuted because laws are for little people:



Are we done here?




Thursday, July 7, 2016

I have a theory

Donald F. Trump is trying to lose. He isn't stupid, he isn't insane, he's trying to lose. Trump, a lifelong Democrat, only ran for the Republican nomination because Bill Clinton, philanderer extraordinaire and the world's best liar, told him it would be a great idea. The result? Hillary! gets to run against the only Republican on the planet she could beat. Of course, Trump gets to run against the only Democrat on the planet he could beat, but that's a different post.

I think Trump is trying to lose for a number of reasons. He cannot possibly have actually expected to get this far, and at least one former Trump insider has said so. He would be genetically incapable of giving up control of his real estate empire, even if his daughter were running it for him. He would be on the phone to her daily and would wind up in legal hot water. Doubt me? He praised Britain's vote to exit the European Union while he was in Scotland. Why was he there? To visit his golf resort properties under development there. He scheduled no meetings with any British leaders. It was a purely business trip, probably unprecedented for a modern candidate for president.

He thinks he can win with big rallies and no data analysis. He has no ground game or fundraising apparatus to speak of. He went for weeks without a campaign appearance of any kind. He continually blasts members of his own party who don't offer to blow him on command. He says lots of crazy shit. He won't even commit to serving as president if elected.

Trump is very good at garnering headlines. All evidence is that he knows nothing of policy, has no principles, will say whatever comes into his head, has no problem issuing contradictory statements within hours of one another and all around is totally unserious when it comes to his approach to being a world leader. This jackhole has no intention of being president.

In fact, I will make a prediction: Donald F. Trump (yes, I know his middle name does not start with F, but Ace used that and I like it) will not accept the Republican nomination. He will make the delegates nominate him and then, on the final night in Cleveland, Trump will decline to accept. His ego won't let him lose, so he will refuse to accept the nomination, having won it, because he knows he cannot win in November.

How does he know that? He's making sure of it, every damn day. He will quit on his terms, and the country will pay the price under corrupticrat Hillary! The Republican Party will suffer, as well, but they brought that on themselves and get no sympathy from me. Perhaps a Conservative Party will arise from the ashes. But for now, I believe Trump will quit, and not give a damn about the turmoil he leaves in his wake.

What makes me think that? His ego won't let him lose, which he will do in November. He doesn't really want to be president, or he would act like it. Instead, he just keeps throwing crap against the wall and doesn't give a damn if it sticks. He didn't get where he is by being stupid or insane, he got there by being calculated. He built a brand, win or lose, and has made it pay off. Probably not as well as being actually good at business might have, but well enough. He is one of the world's great self-promoters.

And let's face it, this will make his next reality TV show an enormous hit.

When pop song ideologies become governing principles, the results are predictable

Let's face it. John Lennon was an idiot, or at least temporarily insane when he wrote "Imagine." A talented musician -- probably a pop music genius, a term I reserve for his bandmate, Paul McCartney, Prince and, um, maybe nobody else in my lifetime -- Lennon knew fuck-all about economics. Venezuela, apparently following the John Lennon School of Economics, is proving that:
Venezuela has some of the world’s largest supplies of oil, with more proven oil reserves than Saudi Arabia. But about 15 years ago, the late president Hugo Chavez set out to impose a socialist revolution, making a particular point about his great munificence in providing free health care for everyone. In pursuit of this revolution, Chavez crushed every industry outside the oil sector and brought the state-owned oil company under his control. The result has been a long spiral into poverty and oppression. Now we can see the results: socialism literally kills babies.
It began by imagining no possessions. Private property and private businesses and private profit were supposedly the source of everyone’s problems, so the Venezuelan government set out to get rid of them, with Chavez issuing a notorious set of 49 decrees in 2001 that gave him vast power over the economy. He used this power to seize private factories and expropriate foreign owners of Venezuelan firms—ensuring that no foreign investors would want to put a single dollar into the country for the foreseeable future.
Lennon, of course, famously sang:
Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Well, Venezuela is living it now, and I don't think the people of Venezuela are enjoying it, Sean Penn's idiotic cheerleading for socialism notwithstanding. The scary part is, we now have a felon who is likely to be president who is advocating socialism. No, not Bernie Sanders, whose only crime that I know of is stupidity. It's Hillary Clinton, who met all the elements of violating 18 USC 793 (e) and (f) but will not be prosecuted because FBI Director Jim Comey likes his job. Comey himself stated all the elements of the crime that Hillary! committed, then inexplicably said he was recommending no criminal charges. Brian Nishimura and Kristian Saucier, not to mention David Petraeus, are not amused. All three of them were convicted of mishandling classified information. Saucier is awaiting sentencing that could put him in jail for more than five years. Hillary!, who did something much worse, faces no charges.

Laws are for little people, after all. Imagine his surprise when Petraeus found out he was one of the people not big enough to escape being one of the little people who are subject to the laws of the land. Now, someone who is clearly not one of the little people but is clearly a felon is likely going to be president of the United States despite being famously and completely corrupt. And she is making the late Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez sound like a capitalist.

Great. Can't wait to join Venezuela as one of the world's trash can economies.

OK, here's a strange one

I get lots of odd search terms that lead people to this blog. The majority of search terms involve some form of the name of the blog, but I get a lot of porn and "naked babe" related searches, which explains why I use those terms as often as possible. Today, I got something completely different.

Someone found the blog searching for "anouk hoogendijk." I plugged that into Google Translate, and the translation was "Anouk Hoogendijk," although Google confirmed my suspicion that the language was Dutch. So I plugged "Anouk Hoogendijk" into regular old Google and got this:



Chick is a Dutch soccer player. I'm really not sure how that search led them here, as I have never heard of her before, much less mentioned her, and I don't think I have ever mention Dutch soccer, much less women's Dutch soccer. Perhaps her name translates as "hot babe," which would be appropriate under the circumstances.


Just sayin'.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Another blast from the past

I think I used to call this guy Hunter S. Thompson. I first mentioned him here, and described him like this:
The dude is probably 100 years old, and so has nothing left to be ashamed of, I guess. He's about 5'10'', 45 or 50 pounds. OK, he's really probably about 140, and not a day over 60, but he is a skinny, old motherfucker who cannot seem to get the top of his pants and the bottom of his tee-shirt to meet. No shit, there was a four-inch strip of flesh between his shirt and pants, and it wasn't because his shirt was too short. His pants were at a level that did not border on vulgar -- they had reached the level of oh-fuck-I'm-going-to-puke-I-can't-fucking-believe-this-shit. The woman sitting next to me used the phrase "pubic hair" five times in describing this guy to me after she saw him in the kitchen. She was so appalled, I figured she was exaggerating.
A while later, I saw the dude in the hallway. She wasn't. Thank God I only saw him from behind, from a distance. Even that view was bad enough.
I hadn't given him the nickname yet. I guess maybe I was too much in shock. He got the nickname here, And earned it:
At least he's trying, though, which is more than can be said of the guy I like to call Hunter S. Thompson, who always looks like he is coming off a bender, starting a bender or maybe is in the middle of a bender. Anyway, he is tall, gangly, gray curly hair and likes to wear shorts, the dress code notwithstanding. Unlike Santa Claus, Hunter is not even trying to dress well. You look at him and think "Venice Beach homeless dude." You can easily see him sleeping in a lifeguard stand by night and by day charging people to look after their car when they park in "his" parking space. Not happening in DC, I guess, but that's the look he's cultivating. Or maybe he just moved here from Venice Beach.
Why do I mention this? Yesterday, I saw the dude working at the agency where, until this afternoon, I was working. His pants and shirt now meet, but he still looks like he just came off a five-day drunk in West Hollywood (and that's not good).  I am certain that he can be found in Adams Morgan, charging people five bucks to stop standing in the parking space they would like to use so that they can go to a froo-fro restaurant, and then charging them another five bucks so "no one else" will vandalize theiir car. Probably makes more doing that than temping.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Farming is hard work

Not this past weekend, but the weekend before, I went to The Farm. (I also went over the holiday weekend, but that is a different post. I am behind.) I cleared out the small spinach bed and the weeds, planted beans, and watered it:


 I also gazed with marvel at how well the first bean crop is doing:


I also discovered that cauliflower, once harvested, does not put out secondary shoots:


I also discovered a few cauliflower heads awaiting harvest:


There was broccoli, too:


Garlic looking good:


Carrots finally coming in right:


The peas are going like gangbusters, and have provided several meals already:


The peppers are starting to flower:


Down by the squash bed, the outer ring where I planted cucumber seeds was seriously weeded up:


I took care of that, and probably sweated out 3 pounds:


The onions continue to look fantastic:


As do the squash and zucchini:


All in all, The Farm is proceeding as I would hope, early germination setbacks notwithstanding.  We'll see how the season progresses.