Thursday, October 6, 2011

A fitting tribute to Steve

I hope you met Jesus before you left, Steve. Thanks for the MacBook Air.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Enough awesomeness to consume the whole universe

It's Bruce Campbell of course, apparently at Edinburgh Castle. I'm staying on his good side....

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Solitary Man

I'm not quite a solitary man, since Milady, Number One Son, and Little Miss (and all 4 animals!) are all fine. I have just been changing jobs, and the new employer has me too busy to blog or comment a lot.

I got insomnia again a couple of nights ago, and was watching Stargate: Atlantis. Of course it's the same episode I've seen 3 or 4 times (and one of only 4 or so I've seen): "Vegas". They used this song.

(I was going to link to a "music video" with scenes from "Vegas", but the audio quality is so low I couldn't finish it.)

Once again, Johnny took another person's song and kept it.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Comments Elsewhere: Freakonomics and the Market Meltdown

One of the posters at Freakonomics told us why he thinks the market meltdown is crazy. I just had to disagree. They moderate comments, so in case it doesn't appear, here it is:

A. There are millions of houses in default or being intentionally left pre-default (90+ days in arrears), so that their lien holders don't have to mark them down as foreclosed. Until these are dealt with, the entire housing market is one big sham.
B and C. You are double-dealing here. If Mark to Market was in effect, then the banks would still be failing because their assets are crap, not making a profit. If the banks are making a profit by lying about the value of their assets, then they're zombies, not healthy entities.
D. Driving the shorts out of the market makes a warm fuzzy feeling, until there's a large downturn and you don't have anyone with incentive to buy. The shorts stop downslides by needing to close out the short by locking in gains.
E. We've had 8 months of record government borrowing to make that GDP growth. It's not sustainable without private GDP growth, which hasn't happened yet.
G. The debt ceiling debacle masks a more sinister problem: the US Government has no intention to ever pay off its debt, and probably isn't able to do so. It's the world's largest ponzi scheme ever, and it will eventually collapse. If Moodys and S&P were honest, the 10 and 30 year T notes would be junk.
H. Companies are sitting on their largest cash piles in history, even adjusting for inflation. Why do they all think they need that much cash, versus spending it ahead of a jump?
I. Tell that to the person paying 3.50 at the pump and the equivalent jump at the grocery store. Gas prices hurt the poor and middle class most directly.
K. We destroyed an entire year's worth of used cars with cash for clunkers, and now it's nearly as cheap to buy new as used. Imagine that!
The big winners in the new car game: Kia and Hyundai. IMHO, that's because they're cheap but good. US car makers need people buying SUVs and luxury cars, not Focuses and Accords.

Of your items, A, B, and C still aren't fixed. D isn't a real problem. We're only out of the E recession because the government borrowed our way out, and that's why it's facing a credit crunch itself.

Sorry, I don't see the improvement.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Sorry, guys

To the cops doing theft patrol in JC Penney: I made you. Next time, don't spend a lot of your time hanging around the bras. Two dudes in lingerie stand out. You both look either creepy or like closet cross-dressers.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Anyone got a spare furnace?

Last week, we pumped $800 into the heat pump, and it was working, mostly. Then it let out the magic smoke. This time was the fan motor, and we were looking at another $700, minimum. That was it.

Fortunately, we got some mercy from our store: they gave us almost half-credit for the repairs (which means they made WAY too much money off the repairs), and we got a good efficiency for the money. I'm still hoping that we might get the tax credit for it, but I sure wasn't bumping 1 SEER for a $300 credit.

Now we're hot until Monday, and broke after that.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Hania Videos

I've posted about Hania Lee before, but there's two videos (one older, one newer) that take her songs to a new level.

First, Alice is Dead. The video's by xmillsa.

(Safari and YouTube5 get rid of the Flash)

Now, the newer video, for Two's a Party, by Chupydo. Not quite as artistic, but still striking:

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Quote of the day, from Jastrow

"For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountain of ignorance; he is about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries." - Robert Jastrow

Friday, June 3, 2011

John Edwards is not guilty -- of campaign law violations

Now I'm depressed. I have to defend John Edwards.

John Edwards couldn't keep his pants zipped. It's a common problem, but not excusable. His buddies had no business aiding and abetting the lying.

However, they most certainly did NOT commit election finance fraud. The Justice Department has no business stretching finance laws that far.

Edwards may be guilty, but he's not guilty of that.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

I'm starting to sign on to the "more disasters" camp

We've had 2 major metropolitan tornados in a week, and three in a month. What kind of idiot does it take to quit supporting the Palestinians and reject our stealing of our kid's future?

Mr. Obama, quit backing the terrorists. Period.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

For a certain someone

I was reminded of this again...

(Normally, I don't do the passive-aggressive, whine-on-a-blog thing about people. Especially since my family doesn't read here. However, I had to vent this feeling just a bit.)

Taking the good drugs of the day

I'm not sure who exactly thought that this was a good idea, but it sure wasn't me:

Not only is this product not shipping, the design isn't even finalized. ASUS is advertising a pre-alpha prototype!

This is so sappy and over-the-top, it has to be self-satire. Or insanity.

(Remember, Safari and YouTube5 will save you from Flash.)

Music Post - Sarah Jarosz

I've talked about Sarah before, but another dose does a person good:

Monday, May 23, 2011

My screed against our 8 year kings

I posted this at Vox Day, but it was too good to not post here too:
WLindsayWheeler: 5/23/11 8:24 AM:

Royalist, Loyalist here. Rolling around laughing heartedly at the you people. Losers. The total failure of your system is coming home to roost. A Kenyan Marxist rules over you who hates you. Total incompetency in Repubicrat leadership. Look at the field--anybody """inspire""" leadership like a Monarch does?

Or maybe something like this:

Samuel told all the words of the LORD to the people who were asking him for a king. He said, “This is what the king who will reign over you will claim as his rights: He will take your sons and make them serve with his chariots and horses, and they will run in front of his chariots. Some he will assign to be commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and others to plow his ground and reap his harvest, and still others to make weapons of war and equipment for his chariots. He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive groves and give them to his attendants. He will take a tenth of your grain and of your vintage and give it to his officials and attendants. Your male and female servants and the best of your cattle and donkeys he will take for his own use. He will take a tenth of your flocks, and you yourselves will become his slaves. When that day comes, you will cry out for relief from the king you have chosen, but the LORD will not answer you in that day.” (1 Samuel 8:10-18 NIV).

Moreover, the Lord said "Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king." (1 Samuel 8:7a).
God gave us a constitutional republic, but that wasn't good enough for America. We had to keep our slaves in violation of our own moral positions and God's law. As punishment, He gave us Lincoln. Then we had to be jealous of Europe's kings and empires, so God gave us Teddy Rex, Wilson, and FDR.

We have our kings, and they don't take 10 percent, they take 40 and want more. We don't cry out to God for relief, we cry out to our next 8 year king, and we get what we deserve. Cain will just be yet another link in the chain. Paul will be the best choice, but even he can only resist the efforts of the rest of government. He can't be our savior.

The US needs to repent of the conceit that government can protect us. Only God can do that. So long as we worship our 8 year king, his 9 black-robed priests, and the 535 little princes on a hill, God will continue to allow us to get the government we deserve.

Friday, May 13, 2011

For shame, part 2.

Yet another kid getting molested by federal government agents:

Talk about a bomb threat!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Let me sleep on it

Among others, the Daily Mail is reporting that Mr. Obama took 16 hours to decide to take out bin Laden by SEAL team strike.

Some might question the wait, but I respect it completely. Not only is Obama putting a SEAL team in harm's way, but there's a good chance that we could spark a war with Pakistan if Osama isn't in the house or if the choppers get shot down (especially on the way in). OTOH, if we bomb we probably never get proof that Osama was in the house (since the Pakistanis would have covered it up post-haste). Unlike Clinton's failures to act against Osama and during anti-Saddam coups in Iraq, there was no evidence that a little delay would hurt.

It would have been better to not have had to ditch the helicopter, but no plan survives meeting with the enemy. We didn't lose any people, got the guy, and even apparently walked out with a lot of intelligence. I don't see a problem with giving the matter a little thought.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

The tunnel rat is dead

Too many people to count are confirming that Osama bin Laden is dead, and that the US has possession of his body.

As Milady just said, had Dub focused on Afghanistan and not gotten distracted in Iraq, we might have had him years ago.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

For shame that we allow this in our country

If Americans are willing to tolerate the sexual abuse of ourselves and our children in order to beg the indulgence of our all-powerful masters to travel, then we don't deserve to be called free men. We deserve our chains, and the "right" to kiss the boots of our almighty masters in Washington.

I pray for soul sleep, because I hope that Washington, Patrick Henry, and the Revolutionary Army aren't aware of how far our nation has fallen.

I am done with the "it's only a momentary inconvenience, get over it" crowd. I don't think the USA can be saved; I only pray that the upcoming storm isn't too hard on the few people left who respect God and liberty.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Hardly original, but I did say it

At lunch today: "I gave up dieting for Lent."

I hope it's not too sacrilegious. Of course, as a good Protestant, I don't believe in observing Lent anyway.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Picture trouble

Google is starting to integrate Google Apps domain accounts into its regular world of Google applications. I have the domain as a Google Apps domain, and used to have this blog under a different Google account. When the opportunity arose to merge them, I started to do so (one less account to track).

Somehow, I'd managed to pop up a Google Voice account under the old Google domain. Google Voice doesn't like merging, so I had to delete the old Kentucky Packrat account. You can't tell the difference, or so I thought.

One thing it did do: it deleted the pictures associated with the account. I fixed the Dicecapades picture, and most were links to other sites.

If you see a bad link, feel free to Email me about it.

Monday, April 4, 2011

I can't resist passing this game on.

Milady was disgusted with me in Target Friday, since I was geeking out on the game eisle. But could I help it? Look at this:

I couldn't buy it, because I'm saving up for other toys, but it tweeked that "I need the dice, the bright shiny dice" habit I picked up playing Dungeons and Dragons.

The manufacturer's link isn't much better than Amazon's. Sorry.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

I love this UK team, loss or no

Note to Calipari: you cannot take a team all the way with 6 people, and you can't take it all the way with no experience. You need to recruit one or two people who will stay 3 years.

Nonetheless, this team, and especially Josh Harrellson, overachieved. This loss hurts as much as the 92 loss, even if this team is nothing like that one.

Monday, March 21, 2011

NCAA insanity

Bruce Pearl has been fired. I played an extremely minor roll in the PR front here: Wikipedia's Bruce Pearl site got vandalized, and I rolled back the changes. No matter my opinion of Mr. Pearl, he didn't need to have that problem.

As for my opinion of him: he's a good coach with a mediocre personality. He needs to be punished for making such a blatant lie, but after a couple of years he needs to left alone. Somewhere far away from Kentucky.

As for real idiots, Texas Tech is hiring Billy Gillespie. They really are insane. Billy G. combines all of Bobby Knight's bad points (and there are a lot of them) with none of Bobby's coaching skills. They will regret it.

What about VCU? They are ruining my brackets. Good for them.

Three ACC in the 16, and Big East with 2. Very disturbing. Wish the SEC had not bombed so badly.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Fixing the barn doors after the cows are dead

The UN and Illustrious Leader have finally declared a No Fly Zone over Libya. Of course, the rebels are completely defeated and about to have to return home. Quack-A-Duck can declare a cease fire easily, since the rebels don't have the supplies to stay in the field much longer.

Yet another defeat snatched from the jaws of victory.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

New favorite song -- Who sung it?

I need to figure out who really sang this, but for the moment, I don't care. (EDIT: it's Christian Mckibbin.)

This is the song of my life with Milady (except maybe the boats, but maybe eventually...), both what we have been and where we want to be...

Monday, March 14, 2011

The NCAA selection committee is on crack

I've been trying to calm down to comment on the NCAA selection committee's "work". I just couldn't. Now Ciprian Zisu has said most of my own opinions on it over at Larry Vaught's blog.

I think the committee made their choices three or four weeks ago. It's the only way to explain most of these rankings. UK wasn't the only victim: Texas and Alabama got it too.

Dare I say it: should there be a replacement for the NCAA?

Sunday, March 13, 2011

I love the current UK team

This UK team is a joy to watch when they play well. They're unselfish, they want to win, and they know they need each other. More importantly, it's finally fun. They enjoyed playing Tennessee and winning on the road. They enjoyed the Mississippi State game. They absolutely obliterated an Alabama team that deserves more love than I think the NCAA will give them. Finally, they left poor Billy Donovan of Florida wondering where the fouls were. Sorry, Billy, they just weren't there.

Beware, bracketologists. I don't know where this team will end, but I do know 67 other teams that sure don't want UK in their bracket.

Bonus Round: who here would have picked Josh Harrellson as all-SEC tourney center, and meant it? Really?

Thursday, March 3, 2011

An amazing story

(The link comes from Confederate Yankee.)

Ted Gundy was a World War 2 sniper who was honored by the Army Marksmanship Unit recently. If Mr. Gundy didn't practice with his new Springfield, then 3 shots on target cold is almost inconceivable. Three head shots at 1000' just shows how much skill the man has.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

I actually like it

VW has released a concept van, the VW Bulli. It is supposedly the descendant of the original VW Microbus.

No, it's not. As Click and Clack said, the VW Microbus was a bed with wheels. Until they make a three-bench version, it's not a Microbus.

Even so, I like it. It tempts me like few cars have. I even dislike hybrids, but I could live with it for this one.

Monday, February 21, 2011

I support public collective bargaining, and the consequences

Much has been made of the fight in Wisconsin about collective bargaining, and the teacher's union. I don't agree with Wisconsin's laws that essentially require 100% membership, since they're not a right to work state.

I completely support their union's right to join together and collectively bargain. Let them get together and decide as a group whether they want to accept a pay offer. I personally consider unions the pinnacle of libertarian action; it's the people working together.

However, there is always the "or else". Unions say "pay us X or we all quit". Employers say "I'll pay you Y or you're locked out". The whole system works for most employers because the jobs are just skilled enough to be very expensive to replace, while not so skilled that you can never replace them.

My advise to Walker: make the Y offer, then fire them. There's a lot of replacement teachers floating around out there.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Rick Stansbury needs to chill

The coach of Mississippi State didn't do well in the game today. At the end of the first half, Brandon Knight knew that he was getting fouled, so he threw up a prayer. Unlike football, a shot is a shot even if there's no chance in you-know-where that it will hit. The foul was obvious, so Brandon gets 3 shots.

However, Mr. Stansbury couldn't calm down about it, and had to mouth the ref too much. Instant technical. That's 5 total shots. Knight makes 4 of 5 and Miss. State goes into the locker room only up 1.

Mr. Stansbury needs to learn to calm down a bit. And make his center run.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

In case Spacebunny zaps me

Over at Vox Day, I posted this:

Good Will: 2/9/11 4:35 PM:
Therefore asking (good) questions (as you have) cannot be answered by any appeal to the Bible -- because those answers are not in the Bible!

I've noticed something important: people who tell me that the answer isn't in the Bible haven't bothered to read it. Of course they are. Christianity is a self-complete system. While Christians have built up a near-Talmudic system of theological interpretation over 2000 years, we have also viciously used the Bible as a sword to prune it regularly. The most debated subject is the Trinity, and that debate is internal to the Bible: God is one, yet there are at least 4 entities (God the Father, the Angel of the Lord, the Spirit, and Jesus) in it who are identified as referred to as God. The answer is that there are 3 (the Angel of the Lord IS Jesus), and yet still one.

LDS teaching cannot complete our knowledge of the Lord God of Israel because it conflicts with the knowledge of God given in the Hebrew Scriptures and the Greek text. Smith and the LDS leadership were woefully ignorant of the Bible of their time, much less of the advances in textual analysis in the last 150+ years.

Yahweh, the Lord God of Israel, is not a created being. He was the Beginning and the End, the uncaused cause. The god of the LDS is a created being with a wife. Jesus is the Alpha and the Omega, the only begotten Son, not simply one child out of billions (i.e. Mormonism scoops out the arian/socinian heresies, and then turns the blender all the way to 11). The dragon, the devil of old, HaSatan, is a created being, an angel who was cast out of his place from his rebellion, not Jesus' brother. God most certainly did not have intercourse with Mary, no matter what Brigham Young tought.

The serpent tempted Eve, telling her, "You shall be like God". The LDS tempts us likewise, telling us that we shall be our own Gods in our own creation. We won't be like God, we will be God!

If Moroni even existed, he followed in the fine tradition of Jibril: He was a false angel, a demon sent out to misinform anyone vulnerable. Arabia of the seventh century was an intellectual wasteland, filled with rampant paganism and ignorant, heretical pseudo Christians and Jews. When Mohammed finally came across Jews and Christians of strong, orthodox faith, they rejected him as the heretic he was.

Smith was equally placed. The 1830s were full of disbelief and wild near-heresies (the Seventh Day Adventists, Shakers, etc.). Smith, a "converted" fraud and huckster, collected people out of groups with poor Christian doctrine, but generally failed to turn the Scripturally strong.

Read the Apostle's Creed. Every line in it can be directly traced back as a paraphrase of Bible versus. LDS teaching directly conflicts with at least 3 of the traditional articles, and redefines at least 3 more to something entirely different than what the Bible says they will be.

Islam and Mormonism both fail because they claim to fix a broken system. At least Islam has the honesty to attempt to claim that Hebrew and Christian scriptures have been corrupted (a laughable claim in light of scriptural preservation, but at least it's a claim). Mormonism is stuck claiming that the Christian leaders were falsely interpreting the Bible we have, but then filled the LDS with claims that violate the black letter text of the Bible.

Now, back to the Mormon politician issue. If Mormonism is not Godly, then the Mormon has (knowingly or not) committed to fighting against God. God can still use that person, just as He used Cyrus or the Caesars, but that doesn't mean we should choose that person over a Christian. Will I take an "honest" Mormon over a dishonest Christian? No. Sorry.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Ding Dong, The Witch is Dead

Keith Olbermann has parted ways with MSNBC. We still don't have cable, so I couldn't care less, but knowing that the sports geek has nights off is a definite comfort.

The Best Video Ever?

I've watched some good videos, and liked a lot of songs, but this is just about the best video ever.

Christopher Walken is an amazing dancer (and did most of the choreography), and is clearly relishing the roll of traveler wanting to fly but instead stuck in yet another hotel. (Wikipedia says he loved doing the video so much, Walken wanted to refuse his salary.) Since I absolutely hate traveling, this video really resonates with me.

Sorry for Google Video, but YouTube has embedding turned off.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

There Ain't No Grave

The song isn't "Traditional", it's by Brother Claude Ely, a singer and preacher I had never heard about until this version of the song.

The video comes from The Johnny Cash Project. They have some really neat stuff going on over there.

(Remember Safari and YouTube5 let you bypass Flash everywhere.)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Obama Lectures Hu?

In HU'S NEXT, John of PowerLine says:
It is not just that Obama is the President of a debtor nation; he is a President whose plan is to borrow many trillions more--money that, in large part, can come only from China. There are a great many things that the Chinese could do with their money, but only one place where Obama can go to borrow the trillions he is determined to spend. So I suspect that any lectures delivered tomorrow will flow in the opposite direction.

My own take on what Hu's opinion will be (the video is TV-14, so you might want to read this transcript instead):

(sorry about the Flash.)

Monday, January 17, 2011

Justice in the Mortgage Market?

I like seeing Mish's analyses of the current market environment, but he is definitely pro-bank on the mortgage fraud. In the latest post, he is negative on a Utah procedure that lets the mortgagee legally disconnect the lien from the note.

He said, at the end,
Certain people will be cheering these developments. Unfortunately, there is nothing to cheer about here. No justice was served by these rulings.

Here is my comment, in whole, on the matter:
Why should we require that a company obey the law?

Why should we require that a company actually own a mortgage before forclosing?

I am not even being facetious. Wells Fargo has been caught forclosing on people who didn't even have a mortgage with them, and at least one that didn't even have a mortgage. Bank of America made a mistake, and sent a house securing team to the wrong address, breaking in on a woman a month or two ago.

MERS was established to commit tax fraud. States want a fee to record mortgage transfers, so that homeowners don't get ripped off (and to get their cut). MERS was designed solely to bypass state law. Now, the banks are getting caught, and paying for it. Boo hoo.

Moreover, the mortgage security trusts were a complete fraud. The banks were endorsing the notes in blank (which BTW, was more tax evasion, since that creates a bearer bond, which are taxable at punitive rates), and then never bothering to pass the physical document from entity to entity. In most states, this was a violation of the law. Often, the MBS hasn't even been given legal possession of the mortgage, as has been documented in Massachusetts and elsewhere.

Sometimes the original is just languishing in a vault somewhere, and the lenders could try to fix the problem. Other times, the document was intentionally destroyed (again, a violation of the law).

At the end of the day, the borrower doesn't get off scot-free either. Even if he can prove that the banks violated the law with intent to defraud everyone in their path, all he does is break the lien. The promissory note, i.e. the debt, is still there. In some states, it'd even be converted from a no-recourse loan to a recourse loan in the process. Sure, this can be discharged in bankruptcy, but bankruptcy isn't a zero-cost action either.

Show me a party with clean hands, and I'll cry for justice. Now, I see banks crying because they got robbed of the money they stole fair and square.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Favorite Songs -- Stay Around A Little Bit Longer

This song is in nearly constant rotation on my iPod and iTunes.

(Remember, use Safari and YouTube5 to avoid Flash.)