Thursday, August 31, 2023
Wednesday, August 30, 2023
I got my electric bill for August. It's not the highest I've seen, but it is up there. We are coming out of the hottest August I can remember, and I thought it would be worse. I get two electric bills, one for the house and one for the shop. I slit them both with my pocketknife, then folded the knife and put it back in my pocket before I looked at the bills. I didn't want to accidentally jab the knife into my throat.
It's bad, but it ain't as bad as I expected. We had over 20 consecutive days of 100+ heat in August. Temps like that strain the A/C system, strain human tempers, and strain the pocketbook. August sucked, and I'm glad to see it go.
Speaking of heat, it seems that 1600 climate scientists recently signed on to a paper that should humiliate the Green Nude Eel proponents as well as the climate alarmists. One paragraph in particular.
Natural as well as anthropogenic factors cause warming. The geological archive reveals that Earth’s climate has varied as long as the planet has existed, with natural cold and warm phases. The Little Ice Age ended as recently as 1850. Therefore, it is no surprise that we now are experiencing a period of warming.
Precisely. Climate change ain't nothing new, and we are simply living through one phase. There is nothing we can do about it, and anything we try is probably doomed to fail.
So, school is back in session and maybe we should talk about this. It is our duty to educate our kids. In a lot of places, this takes the form of sending them off to the public schools that we all fund, and hope for the best. The problem with that approach is that in lots of places, public education is still in the toilet. Yet, we spend a lot of money on it.
My solution is simple. Each student gets a voucher at the end of the school year. That student can take that voucher and spend it on whichever school he or she wants to attend. Public, private, charter, it doesn't matter. Let schools compete for the tax dollar, rather than just doling it out.
If a public school principal looks up in mid-June and doesn't have any vouchers, then that school will close. It has no money. If the school across town has a whole bunch of vouchers, then that principal can hire a bunch of teachers.
It makes no sense to subsidize a failing school. Subsidize measurable success.
Tuesday, August 29, 2023
Monday, August 28, 2023
Monday began on an auspicious note. I awoke at 4:30 like a tree full of hoot owls. Got up and made coffee. Had a doctors appointment for labs at 8:00. I'll go back at 2:00 for his judgmental state. This is all routine.
The whole thrust of that Maui fire post last week that it wasn't glowball warming. They will figure out the problem, but figuring it out cost a lot of lives.
When I built my shop five years ago, I had it built for 150 mph winds. We get the occasional hurricane up here and I didn't want to chase my shop down the street. If you are building infrastructure, it pays to spend the money p front to withstand weather events that you are likely to see. I'm just saying.
Speaking of weather events, it looks like we have a new storm, Idalia heading into the Gulf. It doesn't look like she is coming here, but the folks in Florida need to be aware.
Sunday, August 27, 2023
Like many of you, I watched in horror as the fires on Maui broke out, killing hundreds. Then I watched in disgust as the developers came in, trying to buy the rubble and the land beneath it for pennies on the dollar. Then I listened with abject disbelief as the usual suspects tried to blame climate change for the disaster.
As it turns out, it was probably the fault of the power company, who didn't shut down equipment fast enough to mitigate the damage.
Hawaiian officials attributed the cause of catastrophic wildfires to alleged failures from the state's main power utility company and downed power lines this week after Democrats blamed the disaster on global warming.
The knee-jerk of the left to blame everything on either climate change, racism, or transphobia is starting to get a bit tedious.
Saturday, August 26, 2023
I don't know if y'all noticed, but President Trump was arrested last week. It was a pro forma booking, just a matter of perfecting the record.
During the first 22 years of my law enforcement career, I took fingerprints as part of the job. As a parole officer, I took prints of newly released inmates. After I retired from that and went to work for the Sheriff, I took fingerprints in the jail as the Identification officer. The AFIS (Automated Fingerprint Identification System) was just coming out, and I made myself an expert on the new technology.
Part of the ID job was taking the mug shot, also known as the booking photo. It was done first with a standard film camera, then later as part of the AFIS protocol. I have taken thousands of ID photos, and I have to tell you that President Trumps is epic.
They indicted him for purely political reasons, then arrested and booked him because that is what the law requires. It's a protocol and is supposed to be an exercise in humility. But, there is nothing humble about that mug shot.
We shall see what we shall see, but Donald J Trump is running for president. If elected, he may come looking for payback. Make no mistake, it's not vengeance he's after. It's a reckoning.
Friday, August 25, 2023
In the spring of '05 we fenced the back yard as phase 1 of a long project to make the place more comfortable. We live on a corner lot, and out back patio was readily visible from the street. Which meant I couldn't go out early in my boxers to drink coffee. A fence was required. And a patio gate, which required a latch.
Of course, I bought a nice, decorative latch, with springs and buttons, and all manner of niceties. And, it worked fine, right up until the time it didn't. The little leaf spring broke and went away, the fasteners had rusted into place, and it served as a general aggravation until Belle asked me to fix, repair, or replace it.
Back in the '80s when I was building barns, I used a simple little gate latch I found a the Co-op. You could buy one for a $5 bill. I owned several. They were easy to install, simple as a shovel, and virtually indestructible. So, I went to my local Ace hardware and found one on the shelf. Didn't even look at the price.
When I dropped it on the counter, I told the counter guy "When I bought these at the Co-op, they were $5."
He punched buttons on the register. "Well, here it is $6.
I paid his toll. I see that Wal-Mart has then for $4, but it's worth $2 for me not to have to go to Wal-Mart.
The latch is fixed, hopefully for another 20 years.
Thursday, August 24, 2023
It seems that an Embraer 135 aircraft fell out of the sky over Russia yesterday. It belonged to the Wagner group and all crew and passengers died in the crash.
Wagner Group leader Yevgeny Prigozhin was on the passenger list of a plane that crashed in Russia's Tver region on Wednesday, according to the press service of Russia's Federal Air Transport Agency. He is presumed dead.
There is some wonky crap going on in Russia right now.
Wednesday, August 23, 2023
I was watching the news this morning, and I heard someone in the bar business complaining about the Gen Z crowd. It seems that they close their bar tab after every round. I admit I was baffled. They close the tab after every round? Quelle horreur!
When I was a young man, and started hanging out in bars, honky-tonks, and juke joints, it was a cash business. If you asked for a beer, the bartender would give you one, then ask for $2. Every time. I don't go to bars like I used to, but even today if I walk into a bar, I use cash, and pay for each drink as it comes.
It sounds to me like the complaint is more that the bartender doesn't like running the credit card machine after every round. That is the nature of modern business. Lots of things have changed over the years, but it's nothing that a return to cash wouldn't solve. Now that I think about it, there is lots of things that a return to cash would solve.
Tuesday, August 22, 2023
This morning, I moved tuff away from the wall in the shop so that I could get to the three A/C units hanging in the wall. Early in the season I cleaned the filters and coils, and it was time for another run at them. With 25.000 cubic feet in the shop and these days of 100+ temps, they need every break they can get.
I tell y'all this not so much to highlight my maintenance chops, but because I forget things. This blog is, among other things, a maintenance diary. I can search it. It beats writing dates on the wall, which Belle objects to.
I own a piece of furniture that once belonged to my grandfather. Inside is a list of dates that he wrote. I never knew the man, he died long before I was born, but I have his handwriting in those dates. They meant something to him, and I have speculated about it. They are in pencil, because ball point pens had not been invented and I'm sure that a fountain pen would not have written well on wood.
Monday, August 21, 2023
I met this morning with the head of the Pineville, LA Parks Dept. regarding my public records request. He started the meeting by apologizing, saying "It never should have gotten to this."
I agree. The meeting was quite cordial. He assures me that his employees understand the scope and meaning of the Louisiana Public Records law and that he has "addressed it internally." He addressed my questions and concerns, and Belle and I are satisfied with his response.
I am convinced that he is a good man, trying to do the right thig. He admitted that his employees over-stepped, but assured me that he "addressed it internally". I bet that was an interesting meeting.
Sunday, August 20, 2023
Our local meteorologist, Nick Mikulas says that yesterday we may have set a heat record locally. The temp gage at the airport recorded 109F
We know it's hot, and the weather outside right now is exhibiting the same tendencies. Yet, this is August in Louisiana and we expect it to be hot. I'm cooking outside today so that I don't have to waste any A/C in the house or shop. Burgers and hot dogs with a bag of chips will be the menu today.
Saturday, August 19, 2023
In the post below, about Hurricane Hillary, George commented that NOAA keeps maps of hurricane tracks and that it is searchable. I didn't know that. Thanks, George
Here's the link. https://coast.noaa.gov/hurricanes/#map=4/32/-80 I tried it, and put in Louisiana.
I'll have to learn to use the filters, but this seems to be a very nice tool. Thanks again, George
It seems that Hurricane Hillary is set to make landfall in Mexico as a hurricane, then slip into California as a tropical storm. According to Ryan Hall, this hasn't happened since 1937,
I have friends in Nevada who are firmly in the wind cone. When it gets to them, it won't me much, but they've never seen anything like this. They have never prepped for a tropical storm.
Friday, August 18, 2023
It seems that Ford's CEO was "challenged" recently when he took a new F-150 Lightning on a cross country trip. He said that charging was a problem. Go figure.
Lucy Lethal, a nurse in a neo-natal unit was found guilty of killing seven infants. There is a special place in hell for people like her.
The 2023 hurricane season is spinning up. Hurricane Hillary is threatening the left coast and the tropics are starting to get wild.
All of this bears watching.
Thursday, August 17, 2023
Recently, I have made a public records request to my local government. Theye didn't want to talk about. They hoped they could ignore it and I'd go away. What they didn't realize is that I am a trained investigator who has a command of the English language and knows how to research statures.
After making a few phone calls and some discreet inquiries, a person who has tried to blow me off called today, telling me that he would love to meet with me to fulfill my public records request. We have an appointment for Monday at 10:00 am. He thinks I can be mollified, and he's right, as long as his explanations are clear, concise, and without misdirection. And. as long as nis minions' record-keeping is accurate and reflects reality. We shall see.
What he doesn't realize is that I am a retired investigator who loves noting more than making bureaucrats squirm. When I was a young investigator, it was one steadfast rule that you never asked a question for which you did not already know the answer. There comes a time in every investigation where the culprit decides that it's time to come clean. We will see Monday if we get to that point.
Wednesday, August 16, 2023
I see that Winchester has come out with a new cartridge, the 400 Legend, a straight-wall cartridge designed fot those places that require such things. Still, it might be useful. It will run through an AR platform, or a light handy bolt rifle.
Winchester claims that the new cartridge has no parent case, but digging though SAAMI drawings tells us that it may be related to the 6.8 SPC. This makes sense. The military is playing with the 6.8 SPC, and I'm sure that Winchester has a contract for ammo.
If I were looking for a parent case for this new whiz0bang, I might settle on a cut down 6.5 Carcano. It's pretty close. But, if I were reloading for the 400 Legend, I'd probably buy new brass. I don't have any 6.5 Carcano laying around, and I'd have to buy brass anyway. Starline doesn't show it in stock yet, but if this thing takes off, they will make brass for it.
It looks like it would be a good cartridge for deer and hogs under 200 yards, which is where most of us do our hunting, anyway.
Tuesday, August 15, 2023
Several years ago, Belle and I bought a 6.5kw generator. It will pull the load in the shop, except for the electric stove. If a natural disaster hits, we'll fall back to the shop, where we can run our A/C units and keep food cool. If necessary, I can cook on propane.
This morning, I dragged that generator out in the yard and performed the maintenance checks. I made sure that it had good oil and fuel, and cranked it. It started on the second pull. I let it run for a few minutes and closed the gas valve, to let the gasoline run from the carburetor. We're good now if we need it.
This season has been fairly quiet, but the peak of hurricane season doesn't arrive until mid September. If you live in a hurricane zone, it might be a good idea to drag your generator out and make sure it is ready. I'm just sayin'.
I see that the Fulton County GA District Attorney has indicted former President Donald Trump on a 10-count indictment.
On Monday night, Fulton County, Ga., District Attorney Fani Willis handed down ten new indictments of former president Donald Trump over his alleged interference in the 2020 presidential election.
This is getting ridiculous, and only adding to the general feeling that the Democrat Party is out to destroy the leading Republican party candidate. You know, like they routinely do in third world countries.
Five or six months ago, I wasn't a big fan of Donald Trump. I felt as if it was time for him to go into retirement and enjoy his golden years. After seeing what the Deep State has done to destroy him, I'll vote for him even if he is in prison. As we used to say in the Army, "Payback is a motherf***er."
Monday, August 14, 2023
This morning's news reveals that the Democrat J6 Committee that turned a joyous celebration of freedom into an insurrection., may have destroyed key intelligence documents that might tell a totally different story from the preferred narrative.
It looks like the background intelligence documents about the Capitol Hill riot have gone the way of certain Secret Service call records, the Capitol Hill pipe bomber’s identity, the ID of the White House cocaine addict, and Hillary Clinton’s bleach bit emails. Key evidence is missing. It’s gone. Vanished. If you’re in any way confused, let’s be clear: this is how a corrupt, banana republic, tinpot dictatorship acts.
When the Republicans took the House last year, the Democrats certainly did not want the new majority to be able to see their malfeasance. It makes good sense to destroy these documents, even though such destruction may be a felony. The problem for the Dems is that the lesser mortals in their cult have been indicting Donald Trump based on that flawed narrative, and under the American system of justice, whenever a person is indicted, they get to see ALL the evidence.
In effect, they gave Trump full subpoena power. He is a defendant in multiple federal indictments relating to his conduct during that time period. He gets to see it all.
In other, more local news, my quest to fully train the employees of the City of Pineville on the Louisiana Public Records act continues apace. I feel as if I'm being stonewalled but a few cracks are starting to appear in the wall. I feel certain that I will prevail, but the employees of the city need some intense in-service training in this statute. It is my sincere hope that I will not have to begin exploring the mysteries of the Louisiana malfeasance law.
Sunday, August 13, 2023
Saturday, August 12, 2023
By my count, this is the 18th consecutive day where the temps were at 100F or higher. No relief in sight over the next 10 days. The grass in the yard has gone dormant, brown and crunchy.
The electric bill for July was like taking an arrow between my ribs. I can't wait to see what August does to my checkbook. I'm sure that it will be amazing. We had a club shoot this morning, and the weather dominated the conversation. We've never seen anything like this.
Friday, August 11, 2023
Thursday, August 10, 2023
If today goes as the weather-weenies predict, it will be the 16th consecutive day of temps over 100 degrees. Regular reader and beer drinking buddy Termite led me to an article on the Tonga event, a 2022 volcano eruption in the south Pacific that blew several metric butt-tons of water into the stratosphere. Scientists say that this event alone could raise average temperatures several degrees over the next couple of years.
Odd that we don't hear the climate alarmists talking about this natural event. It doesn't fit their narrative, which is that glowball warmening is purely man made.
The grass in my front yard has quit growing. It has become a dry, crunchy brown. I'll be dammed if I an going to water it. This is Gods plan, and I will not mess with it. We do have a thunderstorm predicted for next week, so we'll wait and see about that.
Wednesday, August 09, 2023
In the midst of this heat wave, it is good to put it in perspective. In 1936, during the midst of the great depression, the US experienced a heat wave that is recorded as one of the worst. NOAA will tell you all about it.
But, a little further Googling led me to the highest temperature recorded in Louisiana. It occurred in Plain Dealing, LA on August 10, 1936. The temp was recorded at 114F. Pretty darned hot. And, if I know Plain Dealing, it was not a dry heat.
Just south of us, Lafayette, LA has set a new record of more than nine days over 100F. THe previous record was set in early September, 2000.
This too shall pass. It's hot in the summer in Louisiana. We are currently recording 101 in the pine woods of central Louisiana.
Tuesday, August 08, 2023
Yeah, it's hot in Louisiana in August. Every year the same thing. However, this is the most persistent heat wave I can remember. For the past eight or nine days, the temps have been at 100F in the afternoon, cooling to just under 80F by daylight. This weekend, it is really supposed to get warm,
Conversations with first responders tell me that that citizens without A/C are dropping like flies. It's hard for me to imagine, in this age of low-cost housing and rental assistance, taht some folks might not have air conditioning, but I suppose it's possible.
We hever had A/C when I was growing up. It was hot in August, but we knew how to moderate the effects. And, we were used to it. Lots of time under shade trees, Run a cold bath and sit in it, or simply let the water hose run over your head. We figured it out and kept ourselves safe. Get some ice, put it in a tube sock, and drape it around your neck. There are ways to beat the heat.
Lavrentiy Beria was the ruthless chief of Stalin's secret police. He famously said, "Show me the man, I'll show you the crime."
That is not the way that prosecutions are supposed to work in the United States. Generally, we have an idea that a crime has been committed. We find a body laying somewhere, or someone calls in a burglary, or someone complains about a fraud. We respond to the complaint and let the evidence lead us to the suspect.
Not Jack Smith, the special counsel in the Trump case. He starts with a target and finds a crime to fit whatever circumstances are in the record.
I was watching Laura Ingraham on the internet this morning, and saw this graphic come up.
So, lawyers who know Smith think that he uses the Beria model of crime suppression. Decide who the traget will be, then find a crime to fit. That seems truly unethical, and it makes me wonder why, if Smith has this mindset, he is allowed to continue to practice law. It seems that the Beria method of prosecution should be considered anti ethical to the practice of law.
But, that is what we are left with in the United States today. Beria would be proud.
Monday, August 07, 2023
Nothing new to report, nothing even that piques my curiosity. Laundry, waiting for an internet repairman, (the phone is out. We bundled). A little sweeping, paid some bills. It's really been a nothing day. I thought I"d post this just to let everyone know I'm still kicking.
Saturday, August 05, 2023
It seems that two French engineers have come up with new technology to move cargo ships across the ocean. Wait for it. Kites.
Two engineers at the French aerospace company Airbus came up with the idea in 2016, launching Airseas to further develop the technology. After years of research, they are currently testing the kite on a cargo ship traveling between France and the US.
That's what CNN calls news. Sails can move ships. Who knew? Most naval experts agree that sails came into use around 4000 BCE and remained the most common way to move ships until steam came into play in the early 1800s. And now, wind power is new technology?
Gimme a break.
David Brooks wrote an article in the New York Times trying to explain the continuing popularity of Donald Trump on the political stage. David is an intellectual, and he doesn't get it.
Less than one percent of Americans graduate from élite universities. Well less than one percent teach at those universities. They are the ivory tower, insulated from the hoi-polloi, looking down on the rest of us, who get up every morning and go to work at some job.
I knew an intellectual once. This guy had studied at some prestigious universities and had obtained a PhD in English Lit. He wrote his dissertation on Chaucer, and he was a flaming liberal. His wife, who had also studied at prestigious universities, also had a PhD and taught at the local high school. We thought that she was the cat's meow. Charming, witty, down to earth, she exuded friendliness and hospitality. Did I mention that she worked at the local high school.
But this guy was an asshole. He couldn't find work, because he wanted to teach a the university level, and the local university wouldn't hire him. Probably because he was an elitist asshole. But, because my wife taught at the same high school, and we ran in the same social circles, we tolerated him because we loved her.
Occasionally, at a back yard dinner party, or a pool-side gathering, eh would make some bizarre proclamation about how things should be, and I'd start asking simple questions about his ideas. I'd lead him down a blind hole until he could see that he was trapped in a cavern of his own making. He'd generally get pissed off and leave, to the delight and mirth of the assembled audience.
The intellectuals don't understand the common American, who is simply trying to put beans on the table and gas in the car. They also don't understand the odd coincidence of something bad coming out about Biden, and Trump being indicted. The intellectuals want Trump in jail. Hell, they would hang him if they could. Their greatest fear is that Trump will get elected, then start playing a little Get Even.
Trump is not my favorite candidate. I think he made some mistakes during his first go-around, but he's probably the guy I'll vote for. I'd like to see him appoint staunch patriots to his cabinet and secure the border, fix inflation, reduce gas prices, kill the Green New Deal and put America back to work. While he's doing that, he could have his Justice Dept. start exercising the RICO statutes against the Bidens and their cronies.
Now, if you will excuse me, I have things to do.
Friday, August 04, 2023
As we sit sweltering in the August heat (which is nothing new, by the way, it's always hot in August), we keep a weather eye on the tropics. We are in the midst of hurricane season, and this year the tropics have not really ginned up a storm to threaten our lives or property. It is quiet out there.
Thursday, August 03, 2023
Yesterday, the home internet crapped out, taking don the shop with it. Called Tech Support, they did the diagnostics and told me I need a new modem. My service provider is Optimum Communications. I went by their store this morning and got a new modem. My homemade tech support is setting it up right now, but I'm having to operate on a mobile hotspot until it is ready and blasting Wi-Fi across the house.
Wednesday, August 02, 2023
I tend to indulge my grandkids. As a grandfather it is my right. Grandson Lucas is involved in 4H shooting sports, and his old gun case was getting a bit ragged. So, we went to Harbor Freight and picked out a new Apache case. They are Pelican knock-offs, but they are good, sturdy cases.
But, the foam in an Apache case is for crap. But, I have a friend who makes cases for equipment and he has all the Apache case dimensions already in his computer. I sat him down with Lucas ad they designed a case to fit his rifle, ammo, and accouterments.
Luke's rifle started life as a Wal-Mart Ruger 10/22. At this stage, the only thing that is still Ruger is the receiver and bolt. Pretty much everything else has been changed.
There is room there for the rifle, magazines, ammo, sling, timer, and other little bits. He will still have to carry his shooting mat, but I'll let him figure that out.
Tuesday, August 01, 2023
Every state has a public records law of some sort. Louisiana's public records law can be found at R.S. 44.32. It lays out the duty of a custodian of public records to make them available for examination. The law says that the custodian can make no inquiries of the person except for their name and age. Why one wants the records are not important. What is important is that public records be made available for examination.
I went to the City of Pineville this morning, one of the smaller offices, and made an inquiry. First, I was asked why I needed to know that information and when I demurred, they told me that those records are confidential. The law says in past:
The custodian shall make no inquiry of any person who applies for a public record, except an inquiry as to the age and identification of the person and may require the person to sign a register and shall not review, examine, or scrutinize any copy, photograph, or memoranda in the possession of any such person;
I left without making a scene. Evidently those functionaries have not been trained in the Louisiana Public Records law. I will see what I can do about correcting that deficiency.
On social media, there is this class of content producers known as "influencers" who gain their ten minutes of fame on an internet platform. It seems like a pretty good gig, but many of these people seem to have more problems than they care to admit.
There was this one influencer, a woman who promoted a diet of raw fruit. She died of starvation.
Vegan influencer Zhanna Samsonova has reportedly “died of starvation” after subsisting exclusively off a diet of exotic fruit in Malaysia, according to her friends and family.
I'm trying to watch my carbs. Like most southern men, I love my rice and potatoes. A, more balanced diet is healthier. I actually ate raw fruits and veggies yesterday. Thy call it a salad. It was good, but you can't live on that. Next time you swing through Windy's, instead of a Dave's Double, get the Apple/Pecan/Chicken salad. It's pretty good. Of course, that big honking piece of chicken on top of it tends to eject it from the vegan menu, but you won't starve to death.
I'm just sayin'.