General Update

August 25th, 2016

It’s been an eventful three weeks since my last posting, so let me catch y’all up on things.

As you’re probably sick of hearing, I have two cats. Well, actually I have just Deathwalker. Allegedly FloCat is my uncle’s. However, nobody cleared this with The Fur and FloCat adopted me such that she spends every possible minute camped out on my lap. Sigh, cats. On Sunday (7 Aug) I finally pried her offa my lap so I could go to bed. My right leg was a bit stiff with a pain up near my groin. I figured that this was because I had propped the leg up to provide a Superior Lap Experience for FloCat and that would be the end of it.


I wake up the next morning (8 Aug), and I can barely walk. I managed to get downstairs to prosecute Cat Breakfast and that was it; I didn’t bother with coffee. That should’ve been the wake-up for me, since I never ever skip the Holy And Sacred Elixir Of Life thing. Anyway, I get back upstairs and it was then that I noticed that my right leg was really swollen and red. Time to call the ambulance. It was apparently a slow day here in town because both the EMTs and the fire department got here before I could grab some stuff. Getting downstairs the final time that day was a study in agony. They toss my sorry behind onto the gurney and cart me off to the ER. Turns out that I had somehow developed a “DVT”, a Deep Vein Thrombosis, which is MedSpeak for a blood clot.

Spent a week in the hospital getting pumped full of blood thinners (2.5 liters of Heparyn and enough Coumadin for an observer to think they were M&Ms) This is a personal record for me: normally my interaction with a hospital is measured in hours (to address the latest generally self-inflicted insult to my body, although there have been a few times where I had some help), but a friggin week!

So my leg is still swollen, and I’m told that this will take awhile to go away, since all those blood thinners simply reduced the clot to the point that blood can flow around it and it will take some unspecified number of weeks for the clot to completely dissolve. Bugger all. Then there are the doctors and the office visits. Blecch. A little background: the college I attended was actually a university and it had a Med School. I knew this because the PreMeds were the guys you visited to score some really nice home-made recreational pharmaceuticals. Hey, it was the Seventies. The major upshot of this is that I refuse to worship at the Altar Of Medicine. Yeah, doctors, nurses, etc., provide a vitally needed service but I refuse to swallow the whole Recently Descended From Olympus crap that many of them give off. Must be something about going to a dorm room and seeing dried out pizzas and piles of dirty laundry lying on the floor.

An unusual and eventful time, right? But wait! There’s more!

The house here is a Craftsman. No, I’m not talking about the style of furniture/architecture from the very end of the 19th Century. I’m talking Craftsman as in Sears: a hundred years or so ago, you could open up your Sears catalogue (remember those? No? What did I tell you about getting off my lawn?) and order a house. Yep, an entire house. There were several styles and sizes to choose from. You sent in your payment, and a few weeks later you went down to the train depot and collected a bunch of large wooden crates and some detailed assembly instructions. Everything was identified, cut and measured, and you just followed the directions and at the end of it you had a house. (Aside: unsurprisingly, almost every one of these kit houses are to be found within a mile of the local train station. Seriously large crates, my friend)

Again, this is Florida and the local flora and fauna don’t need to hibernate. Plus, everything grows to a large size since there isn’t any of that pesky frozen weather that kills everything off towards the end of the year. So yes, we gots us some termites. Gourmet ones who really enjoy munching on some antique lumber. In order to deal with the little(?) b@st@rds, the house needed to be tented and pumped full of bug killer, which meant that we needed to be Elsewhere for this project. One of the neighbors moved so that house was empty, which was a blessing since it removed the trouble we’d have faced trying to find a hotel that would accept cats.

Which is the next part.

The guys showed up and started to drape the house with these gigantic tarps. Time to scoop up the Fur and GTFO, except that there weren’t any cats to be found. Typical. We tried calling them, but they weren’t having any part of that, so we had to go and look for them and dig them out. For those of you who don’t live with cats, one of their abilities is to shrink down in size so that they can jam themselves into impossibly small spaces. Apparently, cats don’t study physics and can ignore all that stuff about matter needing to occupy a given volume of space. Recall that I’m now sporting a swollen (and painful!) leg, and I’m crawling all over the place trying to find a couple of individuals who do not wish to be found. Grrr. Another talent that your Standard Issue pussycat has is the ability to completely ignore the rules that govern movement, so as you’re closing in on the little furry guy, he/she will simply vanish from in front of you and reappear someplace else. A place even more inaccessible than where they just were, of course. Cats.

Eventually everyone got corralled and unceremoniously tossed in the cat carrier. For their part, they were enthusiastically expressing their opinions about this dastardly attack on their persons and dignities. For our part, we were enthusiastically bleeding for our trouble. We get across the street and poof! Not a cat to be seen anywhere. Took them about six hours to realize that although this was a strange place, we weren’t going to be dining on catburgers. Three days later we got to repeat the ordeal all over again so we could go home. The only saving grace this time was that there was no hurry, so I was able to grab them one at a time to bring them back home. Now, people who study such things tell us that cats don’t have as many muscles in their faces as do dogs, so a lot of the time that you get the Inscrutable Look from the cat is due to the fact that they simply don’t possess the ability to do otherwise. Don’t buy into that; not even for a microsecond. I had exactly zero doubt as to what both of them thought about size and opposable thumbs. Fortunately, they went back to familiar territory, so the readjustment was much shorter. Mostly. FLoCat is still downstairs sulking, which is another of the Feline Talents. The young Lord, on the other hand, got over the trauma quickly and is sprawled in the window napping as I type this.

So that’s been my August. And there’s still another week to go. Sheesh.

Burn Them All To The Ground

August 4th, 2016

First off, I found this:

(WARNING: Autoplay video torture!!!!!)

For the first time ever, a private company has permission to land on the moon.

The U.S. government has officially approved the planned 2017 robotic lunar landing of Florida-based Moon Express, which aims to fly commercial missions to Earth’s nearest neighbor and help exploit its resources, company representatives announced today (Aug. 3).

“This is not only a milestone, but really a threshold for the entire commercial space industry,” Moon Express co-founder and CEO Bob Richards told

Sounds pretty good, right? Well, read this:

Moon Express submitted an application to the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on April 8. The document then made its way through the U.S. State Department, the U.S. Department of Defense, NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the Federal Communications Commission, Richards said.

What the bloody hell?!

OK, I might be too much of a libertarian/curmudgeon (not an unfair judgment), or I might have read The Moon is a Harsh Mistress a few too many times, but Come On! Even if you think that the terrestrial concept of the Exclusive Economic Zone might apply, that’s only 200 miles. And let’s face it, boys and girls, you only own that which you can defend, and as a practical matter, all of those dead boosters and satellites are fair game for anyone who wants them. (Seriously, the total mass of all those things isn’t very great, but all that aluminum, etc., isn’t exactly nothing) And the reality is that any sort of moon colony is de facto independent. (Again, 240,000 miles away isn’t a trivial distance, despite how short it is in galactic/cosmological terms) Think about it: a place where things that are illegal planet-side are legal. It’s like printing money! Actually, it would be exactly like printing money, and that’s just one advantage of an independent Luna Colony.

Speaking of practicality, any sort of “Luna Colony” will be subservient to terrestrial authority only as much as it benefits that Colony. Please bear in mind Australia (which the Brits were able to regain control of) and America (which they were not). In the case of Australia, the indigenes wanted Crown control. In the American case, We did not. It’s the matter of distance and logistics. It’s one thing to send Enforcers; it’s entirely another to keep them supplied.

Whew! I just pried FloCat offa my lap, which means I can use both hands to type!

As I have written here before, considering the cost of launching a rocket/capsule (IIRC, that’s something like $75,000/lb.) necessity dictates that the capsule be as lightly built as possible. Which means that any defenders can deploy slingshots (or any other low-tech projectile weapon) to shoot holes in any armed response long before the Enforcers make moonfall.

In any event, that’s a discussion for another day. What I’m focusing on is the unmitigated arrogance of the Federal agencies. This, boys and girls, is what happens when you don’t rein in the first attempt of an Agency when it tries to expand its’ so-called authority. OK, I can sorta understand the FAA: after all, the launch site would be in Florida (not that I want any less to burn the FAA to the ground). But the State Department, DoD, NA$A, NOAA, and the FCC?!?! Jeez, Louise, that hardly justifies the rope required to hang every single one of them, to say nothing of the cost of the bullets.

You all might wonder why I have such a hard-on when it comes to the Feds: this is a small reason as to why. Just to land a freakin’ robot. Hang them all, and burn the buildings to the ground. Harsh, you say? I disagree: as a species, we’re explorers. Outer Space is what’s next. Anything/anyone that interferes with that is anti-human, and anyone that tries to get in our way deserves death. Not only death, but our unending contempt as well.


July 30th, 2016

It’s 30July and I STILL HAVE WINDOWS 7!!!!

Despite everything that M$ tried to do to get me to use Windows 10, IT FAILED.

F*** You, Bill Gates

And the Lion Shall Lie Down With the Lamb

July 29th, 2016

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — A San Francisco police officer was arrested Tuesday for allegedly manufacturing and possessing an AR-15 style assault rifle and prohibited parts, following a year-long investigation by the department’s Internal Affairs Division.

The officer, identified as 50-year-old Berkeley resident Thomas Abrahamsen, surrendered himself and was booked into San Francisco County Jail on one felony count of manufacturing an assault weapon and one felony count of possession of an assault weapon, according to a statement released Tuesday night by San Francisco police spokesman Sgt. Michael Andraychak.

We’re the Only Ones who get treated just like everyone else, eh? {snerk} I amuse myself sometimes.

Abrahamsen, an 18-year veteran of the police department, has been placed on unpaid administrative leave, according to Andraychak.

Wow, that sucks, d00d. If you had shot somebody, you’d’ve scored paid administrative leave.

This does make me a bit curious, though. Aren’t the coppers immune from such things? Sounds like he pissed off either his colleagues or his chain of command. Or, they also found a gigantic stack of kiddie porn lying around and they cooked up the spurious weapons thingy in order to get rid of him.

Assuming that the linked story is the whole thing, you don’t really need to worry about this guy, because:

1) The DA will “decline” to prosecute

2) The Grand Jury will no-bill this obvious Hero of the People

3) The Jury will vote Not Guilty

4) If by some miracle he’s convicted, the Judge will bend over backwards to impose the smallest penalty possible.

5) The Union will get involved and this will all quietly Go Away.

Still, it warms the cockles of my curmudgeonly heart to read about something like this.

Video Evidence

July 29th, 2016

Please note that this is a prop plane (and therefore not going very fast). Also note that at the very last minute, you can see the Hawkeye still flying and ready to try again.

It’s stuff like this that prevents me from taking anyone besides the Brits (and possibly the French) seriously when it comes to operating a carrier.

Remember the pearl-clutching when the Ivans started messing around with aircraft carriers? Pretty much what you’re hearing now about the Chinese. And for those of you who don’t follow such things, the Russians have sold one carrier to China and the other to India (PS: the Indians are withholding payment because the Russians are trying to dick them around over the aircraft and some other stuff).

There simply isn’t any substitute for 90 years of carrier ops. You can’t read a book, nor can you watch what someone else is doing, imitate it, and expect to have anything other than a very expensive and highly explosive target sailing the briny deep.

Danger Will Robinson!

July 26th, 2016

AS you all know, M$ is desperately trying to get everyone to install Windows 10. First they were asking, and now they’re trying to force the “upgrade”. The latest stealth move they’ve been trying is through Windows Update, where they have, under a bland name, put the update thingy.

KB3035583 is the thing you need to look for.

M$ first tried this on or around 26May (YMMV), and the latest is 20July, although Update just tried to fool me into downloading it just as I was typing this up on this here machine.

What To Do:

Hie thee to Installed Updates. In the upper right-hand corner is a search bar that goes through the installed updates and search for KB3035583. Right-click to get the Uninstall option and go for it. That will take a minute or two, and then watch the Update function. Most of you should have the Updates set on manual (otherwise you’re likely reading the wrong blog. Just saying.) M$ will try again, and when you see KB3035583 listed for download and installation, right click and hit “Hide Update”. That will take care of things.

Oh, yeah: Bill Gates Sucks.

Various and Sundry Cat News

July 25th, 2016

About five days ago, I noticed a distinctive shape on the garage roof. Sure enough, it was a kitten (black with butterscotch splotches). Being the sucker that I am, I went back inside and grabbed some food for the little tyke. And being a cat, as soon as I got fairly close, it galloped off and I haven’t seen it since. Still, I continued to leave food out on the roof for it. I had thought that the kitten was eating it after dark because the dish was spotless when I returned the next afternoon. It might be a raccoon, but they don’t climb so well, or perhaps a possum (which I have seen on the garage roof). But then we return to the spotless dish thing, which suggests Cat Activity.

We have some cats wandering around outside. They’re not feral because they’re in good shape and have clean fur, so either they have careless humans who let them out, or they have established a network of suckers who look after them. There’s a longish haired black cat and a trio of orange cats (the Greater Orange Cat, the Lesser Orange Cat, and Agent Orange, which are my names for them) who I see regularly. So yesterday I see the Lesser Orange Cat saunter through the back yard, through the fence and around the other side of the garage. Less than a minute later, he’s on the roof and getting ready to chow down. That explains how the at food has been disappearing and why the dish is so clean when I return. Oh well. My plan for a third cat (and world domination!) has taken a setback. We’ll see if the kitten shows back up, but I’m not hopeful at this point.


FloCat has decided that the only place for her is on my lap. This is a change from when she would hang out for awhile and then leave.

Deathwalker has taken to hanging out on the chair that’s both next to my desk and right next to the doorway. This way he can demand skritches and attention any time I walk by. So he’s growing up. He hadn’t been chewing on me to the extent that both forearms had completely healed up (it’s been a month!!). Until last night: after the usual cuddles and stuff which has become traditional when I first lie down, he started to wander off towards the foot of the bed, then whirled around and pounced. Once again I have scratches and bite marks. Deathwalker is gonna death. Sigh.

Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell

July 22nd, 2016

DADT carry is unsaid by Mr. Bracken, but the ordeal of being tried and likely convicted for permitless carry and/or ignoring a “Gun-Free Zone” restriction is far preferable to the alternative. Choose wisely, boys and girls: only the living get hauled into court.


July 22nd, 2016


July 21st, 2016

I’ve made no secret of my opinion of Black Lives Matter (BLM). Racists, bigots, Marxists, cynical exploiters of the race situation hardly begins to describe them. And then they do this:

Black Lives Matter activists occupied police union offices in Washington, D.C. and New York City on Wednesday morning for what protesters say is the unions’ role in defending police violence against minorities and opposing police reform legislation.

In D.C., activists with the local chapters of the Black Youth Project 100 and Black Lives Matter blocked the entrances to the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) legislative headquarters and the nearby intersection.

Meanwhile, the New York City chapters of the BYP100 and Million Hoodies occupied the lobby of the Patrolman’s Benevolent Association, which represents New York City Police Department officers.

“When police officers kill us, they call their police union rep first, so the unions, especially the Fraternal Order of Police, are one of the main hindrances to keeping police accountable.”

With all the smart and dedicated people on our side, WHY THE HELL DIDN’T WE THINK OF THIS FIRST?

Jesus wept. Outmaneuvered and outthought by these guys.