Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Decisions, Decisions...

I've decided that my next firearm purchase will be a .22, and I like the idea of a lever action.
At first I thought I wanted the Marlin Golden 39A.
The incomparable Marlin Golden 39A represents the oldest shoulder firearm design still being made anywhere in the world. In fact, the 39's great grandfather, the Model 1891, was the first repeating rifle to be chambered for the 22 Long Rifle cartridge.
Then I glommed the Browning BL-22 Octagon.
Three-quarters of an inch longer, a full pound lighter, 15 round magazine vs. 19. Both of them beauties; neither of them cheap.

Number Three on Amazon!

Going Rogue: An American Life by Sarah Palin. I've ordered mine. Go get yours.

Update: Number One!
A publishing industry source told POLITICO that they "cannot remember a non-fiction book taking off like this in the pre-order market. It became number one only a couple of hours after nothing more than a date announcement. It is truly unprecedented."

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Class Act

Class D airspace, that is. North Bend now has a control tower.
This Letter to Airmen announces the opening of North Bend Oregon Air Traffic Control Tower on September 24, 2009.

Hours of operation:
0700 to 2100 (local time) 1500 to 0600Z+

Tower 118.45 (VHF) 229.4 (UHF)
Ground Control 127.1
AWOS 135.075
Common Traffic Advisory Frequency (CTAF) 118.45 (effective August 27, 2009)

If you have any questions please contact Jim Pieser of the Portland, Oregon Tower/TRACON at (503) 493-7514.
I meant to land there a number of times, but never got around to it. Now if I go I'll have to introduce myself first and then keep my mouth shut and speak when spoken to. Oh, well.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Don't Read A Lot Into This...

I just thought it was funny. The idea of fuzzy little comic strip animals — who have no visible means of support because they don't need any — facing economic hardship has always made me laugh.

Actually things are going well here. I have a new project that will probably add another three months to the current contract, and feeling fairly certain about my prospects clear into next year is about as good as it gets for me.

Lizzy moved to Portland and found work in less than a week. It's temporary, and working in a costume shop (so you can guess how long it will last), but still. To find work in less than a week.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Resist By All Means

TJICistan suggests a code of conduct for young prisoners.
I am an American child.

I will never surrender to government education of my own free will.

If I am captured I will continue to resist by all means available. I will make every effort to escape and aid others to escape. I will accept neither parole nor special favors from the enemy.

If I become a prisoner of The State "Educational" System, I will keep faith with my fellow prisoners. I will give no information or take part in any action which might be harmful to my comrades.

When questioned, should I become a prisoner of The State "Educational" System, I am required to give name, rank, service number, and date of birth. I will evade answering further questions to the utmost of my ability.

New Leader of the Free World

The Washington Times.
Israel is looking like the new leader of the Free World. The previous leader, the United States, resigned this role last week at the United Nations to take the position of global community organizer.
The new leader of the Free World gave a speech at the UN a few days ago. Greg and others urged me to watch it. I finally did, last night, and it was worth the time.
Inscribed on the walls outside this building is the great Biblical vision of peace: "Nation shall not lift up sword against nation. They shall learn war no more." These words were spoken by the Jewish prophet Isaiah 2,800 years ago as he walked in my country, in my city — in the hills of Judea and in the streets of Jerusalem. We are not strangers to this land. It is our homeland.

As deeply connected as we are to this land, we recognize that the Palestinians also live there and want a home of their own. We want to live side by side with them, two free peoples living in peace, prosperity and dignity.

But we must have security. The Palestinians should have all the powers to govern themselves except those handful of powers that could endanger Israel.

That is why a Palestinian state must be effectively demilitarized. We don't want another Gaza, another Iranian backed terror base abutting Jerusalem and perched on the hills a few kilometers from Tel Aviv.

We want peace.

I believe such a peace can be achieved. But only if we roll back the forces of terror, led by Iran, that seek to destroy peace, eliminate Israel and overthrow the world order.
Greg found the video here.

SnarkyBytes also posted it here.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Inflation Hedge

Tam was wondering what to stuff in her mattress. Les Jones suggested some of these. Good advice, and thanks to Tam for asking.

Tough Job

Translating Khadafy.
After struggling to turn Khadafy's insane ramblings at the UN into English for 75 minutes, the Libyan dictator's personal interpreter got lost in translation.

"I just can't take it any more," Khadafy's interpreter shouted into the live microphone — in Arabic.

At that point, the U.N.'s Arabic section chief, Rasha Ajalyaqeen, took over and translated the final 20 minutes of the speech....

It's not just the zany conspiracy theories about the Kennedy assassination and swine flu that are a challenge, but the loony Libyan's strange mannerisms.

"He's not exactly the most lucid speaker," another Arabic interpreter said. "It's not just that what he's saying is illogical, but the way he's saying it is bizarre. However, I think I could have made him sound a lot better."

Khadafy has a habit of repeating the same phrase over and over again, "which is good because if you don't understand what he says the first time you can get it right the second or third time," the interpreter said.

The Colonel extemporaneous ramblings are a particular challenge, another interpreter said.

"Sometimes he mumbles, sometimes he talks to himself."

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Cat Haiku

Way Up North.

The food in my bowl
Is old, and more to the point
Contains no tuna.

My brain: walnut-sized.
Yours: largest among primates.
Yet, who leaves for work?


In Other Blogging News

Chas is back from visiting his parents, and apologizes for not posting in a while.

Oy. First of all,
  1. Blog when the spirit moves you. Here in Oregon, we've learned to be patient.
  2. Pat's been blogging enough for three people. I can't keep up with him.
  3. You should post more pictures of the old homestead. What beauty!
And personally, if I had to choose between dying in a place like that and living in a nursing home, it would be a tough call.

Acne, Insomnia, and Fainting?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Democrats Dream of Dictatorship

John F. Gaski in IBD editorials.
When American business, American jobs and the American people become totally dependent on Obama and the Democrats for money and credit, including student loans for good measure, how much power will that give the Obama Democrats over our country?

The portrait coming into focus is one of either totalitarian socialism or an unholy socialist hybrid with fascism. And when you are dependent on the decision of a Democrat bureaucrat for crucial medical treatment, how much power does that give the Democrats over you?
Sounds like the loony ravings of another right-wing crank, doesn't it? Something I might have written myself, almost?

Not so. Here's his bio:
Gaski, an associate professor at the Mendoza College of Business at the University of Notre Dame, has been a registered Democrat for more than 20 years. He is also author of the recently published "Frugal Cool: How to Get Rich — Without Making Very Much Money" (Corby Books, 2009).
It's not on Amazon, but available directly from Corby Books.

I've ordered mine, just because it sounds cool.

Monday, September 21, 2009

I'm Not Buying It

William Tucker says affordable insurance isn't so hard to imagine.
Right here in New York I picked up a flyer in the supermarket the other day that offered the following health insurance policy:
  • $5,000 per accident.
  • $60,000 lifetime coverage for any of the following illness: cancer, cardiovascular, respiratory, blood and lymphoid, digestive, endocrine, musculoskelatal, nervous, skin, eyes, ears and nose diseases, etc,.
  • 70 percent coverage, $100 deductible.
Not bad, eh? The cost -- $37.95 a month or $455 a year. The only catch is you have to buy it for your dog.
Read it all. This is my complaint in a nutshell, Phil.

I'll buy insurance when I find a reasonably good deal. Not before.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Everybody Say “Arrr”

On Saturday I went up to Cathedral Park in Portland under the St. Johns bridge where Phil had docked his boat for the Pirate's Festival. There were booths selling pirate gear and fish and chips and a stage with pirate bands and a whole lot of other silliness. On Sunday they were going to try to beat the Guinness world's record for the most people in pirate costume. No word yet on whether they did.

Update: New world record! 1651 people dressed as pirates!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Rundown Lae

As part of my study of the Southwest Pacific during World War Two, I googled about for information on Salamaua and ran across the excellent blog of Malum Nalu from Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea.

He recently posted two series of photographs, one from Lae in the early 1970s, before PNG became an independent state, and one from rainy and rundown Lae in 2009, after 34 years of independence.

The contrast between the two sets of photos raises a number of questions, none of which have easy answers.

Why has PNG, a country rich in mineral resources, failed to prosper? Is their culture at fault? Is it a faulty economic system? Has their government failed them? Can anything other than a grass hut survive 300 inches of rainfall a year?

Friday, September 18, 2009

The Greatest Iowa Farmer Who Ever Lived

Norman Borlaug. Iowahawk has the obituary.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Stickin' It To The G-Man!

Bill Harbaugh, Professor of Economics, University of Oregon
As the email below explains, I am posting this despite the fact that the AG's office has explicitly warned me not to redistribute this manual. So, you can go here and pay the DOJ $25 for the dead-tree version, or download my pdf free. Here are the links.
A little rebellion now and then is a damn good thing.
Kroger is not going to take any action against me. His spokesperson Tony Green is soon going to stop answering calls about this. Kroger is never going to do anything to improve access to Oregon's public records, and he is going to blame this on the legislature, claiming he is powerless to act.
Hat tip to Bore Patch — thanks!

Thick Thighs and Brainy Babies

Thinking Meat explains the connection.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

While I Was Gone

Something seemed to have occurred over the weekend, possibly on Saturday. But from reading the newspaper and watching TV it seems that this event
  1. Did not actually happen, not really.
  2. Nine out of ten people weren't actually there.
  3. Anyway it was just a small group of angry white racists.
I sincerely hope that all members of the loyal left go on believing just that.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Abusing the Commerce Clause

The same Congress that wants to tell family farmers what to grow in their backyards has declined "to keep regular" the commercial sale of insurance policies. It has permitted all 50 states to erect the type of barriers that the Commerce Clause was written precisely to tear down. Insurers are barred from selling policies to people in another state.

That's right: Congress refuses to keep commerce regular when the commercial activity is the sale of insurance, but claims it can regulate the removal of a person's appendix because that constitutes interstate commerce.

What we have here is raw abuse of power by the federal government for political purposes. The president and his colleagues want to reward their supporters with "free" health care that the rest of us will end up paying for. Their only restraint on their exercise of Commerce Clause power is whatever they can get away with. They aren't upholding the Constitution—they are evading it.
Andrew P. Napolitano in The Wall Street Journal.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Cranberry Festival Parade

We spent the weekend in Bandon enjoying the 63rd annual Cranberry Festival. For a little home-town parade it had everything you could wish for...

Marching lumberjacks,

Cranberry princesses,

Visiting royalty,

Rodeo queens,

And high school cheerleaders.

What would a parade be without Shriners?

Not to mention antique tractors,

Classic cars,

Antique military equipment,

And, of course, kid floats.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Not Out Of Africa

The Independent.
Experts believe fossilised bones unearthed at the medieval village of Dmanisi in the foothills of the Caucuses, and dated to about 1.8 million years ago, are the oldest indisputable remains of humans discovered outside of Africa.
I recently bought my own copy of The Last Human, and the introduction points out that "throughout the history of the hominid family... the world was typically home to several different kinds of pre-human or human." Several different kinds. Simultaneously. Pre-human and human. Several different kinds. Probably locked in a brutal genocidal struggle the like of which we can barely imagine today.

Thank goodness that's all behind us now!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Taking Refuge

Back out on the street it was light again and a policeman was telling everyone to "make for the water," perhaps not realizing Manhattan is an island. So I continued east, passing a Burger King, where I thought I could get some water. It was still very difficult to breathe. A crowd of about 50 people were inside, including a woman who was holding a newborn and was hysterical. There's a hospital nearby, but she didn't want to go there. She was afraid to go outside.

I was in the Burger King for about 2 minutes when I heard a loud rumble. Several moments later it was completely dark outside again. Someone had a radio and said the second tower had collapsed. I waited for it to lighten up again (about 15 minutes), and then I started for the Brooklyn Bridge. People were streaming over it. We must have looked like refugees. I walked home to Park Slope.
— Jason Riley of The Wall Street Journal,
Wednesday, September 12, 2001.

Every year I take the three yellowing copies of The Wall Street Journal — September 11, 12, and 13 — down off my bookshelf and read them again.

I will never forget.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Launched today. I've added a link in the side bar, and we'll be watching it.

A Response to the President

On her facebook page.
After all the rhetoric is put aside, one principle ran through President Obama's speech tonight: that increased government involvement in health care can solve its problems.

Many Americans fundamentally disagree with this idea. We know from long experience that the creation of a massive new bureaucracy will not provide us with "more stability and security," but just the opposite. It's hard to believe the President when he says that this time he and his team of bureaucrats have finally figured out how to do things right if only we'll take them at their word.

Our objections to the Democrats' health care proposals are not mere "bickering" or "games." They are not an attempt to "score short term political points." And it's hard to listen to the President lecture us not to use "scare tactics" when in the next breath he says that "more will die" if his proposals do not pass....
Don't read it if you're a liberal. Don't even look at her. She's just trying to drive you nuts.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Let'sTalk About Real Reform

Sarah Palin in The Wall Street Journal.
Instead of poll-driven "solutions," let's talk about real health-care reform: market-oriented, patient-centered, and result-driven. As the Cato Institute's Michael Cannon and others have argued, such policies include giving all individuals the same tax benefits received by those who get coverage through their employers; providing Medicare recipients with vouchers that allow them to purchase their own coverage; reforming tort laws to potentially save billions each year in wasteful spending; and changing costly state regulations to allow people to buy insurance across state lines. Rather than another top-down government plan, let's give Americans control over their own health care.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

But... But... But...

Stimulating the Left

The Wall Street Journal:
Our guess is that Mr. Jones landed in the White House precisely because his job didn't require Senate confirmation, which would have subjected him to more scrutiny. This is also no doubt a reason that Mr. Obama has consolidated so much of his Administration's governing authority inside the White House under various "czars." Mr. Jones was poised to play a prominent role in disbursing tens of billions of dollars of stimulus money. It was the ideal perch from which he could keep funding the left-wing networks from which he sprang, this time with taxpayer money.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

New Theme Song For DNC

Thanks to Cogito Ergo Geek, who sent me to The LawDog Files.

(Sample my side bar links sometime. They're all good.)

End-of-Summer Wrap-Up

Not me. I don't recognize the concept. Joe Queenan.
At midnight on Monday, when Labor Day ends, the summer of 2009 will officially pass into the annals of history. Good riddance. If there is a less scintillating summer on record, it's hard to remember it. By any standards — cultural, horticultural, political, cinematic, jurisprudential, meteorological — this is the least eventful summer since 1491.
Was it really that awful? Actually, it was worse.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

The Mind at Work

In the Weekend Journal's Five Best this week Matthew B. Crawford surveys books about working. One I thought looked particularly interesting was The Mind at Work: Valuing the Intelligence of the American Worker by Mike Rose.
You might consider getting a job waiting tables after reading Mike Rose's "The Mind at Work." Rose emphatically does not romanticize the workers he describes, who include electricians, welders and waitresses. Rather, he shows how mentally absorbing work can be for those who cultivate a particular skill, however narrow that skill might seem. A restaurant is both structured and chaotic. The busier it gets, the more "on" an experienced waitress tends to become, at once calmed and energized by an awareness of her own skillful performance. She moves in a circuit of heightened efficiency that gets smoother with each added demand. She does this while keeping the cook happy and the cranky customer docile, and playing you like a fiddle to get a bigger tip. She is a sort of entrepreneur. In this deeply humane book, Rose helps us see the human excellence on display all around us, in jobs that often go unnoticed.
In my cart. Maybe I'll read it if I get some time off.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Joblessness Likely Will Prolong Recession

That's the headline from the land of Duh.
Most economists think the recession is over, but they say the jobless rate will keep rising until at least next summer as the economy struggles to mount a sustained recovery....

"Firms are still not hiring, and that reflects deep pessimism about the sustainability of the economic recovery once government stimulus programs wear off," said Sal Guatieri, senior economist at BMO Capital Markets. "The lack of job creation remains a big headwind for cash-starved and credit-constrained consumers."
Gosh, why aren't they hiring? Why would anyone in their right mind hire anyone?

Turn it around: why would you want to hire someone? Not out of the goodness of your heart. Not to "contribute" to the economy. Not to "give something back" to the "community."

No, I'll bet, if you're like me, that the only reason you'd hire someone is if you had a little business and you were making a little money and you thought that if you hired some help you could make a lot more money. You'd hire someone, in other words, if you thought it would help you to get rich.

But will it help you to get rich? Now we're being told that being rich is bad. Obama has made it very plain that he intends to punish the rich. Cap their pay. Tax them out of existence. Regulate them to death. Being rich will not be fun, not if Obama has anything to do with it.

Who in their right mind would want to hire anyone in this climate?

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Retirement Plan

When I turned 50 we refinanced and got a 15-year mortgage. So the house will be paid off by the time I'm ready to retire. Ten years later, when Leslie's ready to retire, I figure we'll throw the mortgage into full reverse, and ride it on into the sunset.
What the reverse mortgage "reverses" is who pays whom when. The reverse mortgage places a lien on the property, as any mortgage does, that begins with no balance (beyond closing costs and fees, which are substantial, and possibly an initial disbursement), like a HELOC does. The borrower receives disbursements of funds on an annuity-like schedule or on request like a line of credit, and interest accrues on the cumulative balance. There the similarity to a HELOC ends, because the reverse mortgage is "due and payable" only on the borrower's death...
Tanta explains the whole thing here.