Bill Whittle on Sarah Palin: Go. Read.

One excerpt then you’d better click through to read the whole thing or I’ll disown you.

πŸ™‚

Sarah Palin is the anti-Obama: not a victim, not a poser, not riding a wave but rather swimming upstream β€” and most of all, not having run for president her entire life. She is the first politician I have ever seen β€” and I include Ronnie in this, God bless him β€” who strikes everyone who sees her as an actual, real, ordinary person. Immediately came T-shirts saying I AM SARAH PALIN. HER STORY IS MY STORY. There is a lot of Obama swag out there, too, but none of it says HIS STORY IS MY STORY. Hold that thought till November 5.

She is so absolutely, remarkably, spectacularly ordinary. I think the magic of Sarah Palin speaks to a belief that so many of us share: the sense that we personally know five people in our immediate circle who would make a better president than the menagerie of candidates the major parties routinely offer. Sarah Palin has erupted from this collective American Dream β€” the idea that, given nothing but classic American values like hard work, integrity, and tough-minded optimism you can actually do what happens in the movies: become Leader of the Free World, the President of the United States of America. (Or, well, you know, vice president.)

(Yes, I am serious about reading the whole thing; that’s why I made the whole of the blockquoted material clickable. Go!)

h.t. BeldarBlog


Trackposted to Rosemary’s Thoughts, Democrat=Socialist, The World According to Carl, and Shadowscope, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

Belly Laugh of the Day

Reading (back) weekly installments of Doug Wilson’s novel-in-progress, Evangellyfish, I ran across this lil gem:

“We really need to do our part to reduce this epidemic of illicit banging in the evangelical world. Before this week I had no idea. Back in Arkansas, we were all good Christians until we got our drivers’ licenses. After that we were good pagans. It is this mixing of categories that I find so troublesome.”

*[email protected]*

Now, that’s some funny stuff.

(The book’s posted in blog format, so just page down to the bottom to begin. Actually, the best format for reading the book would probably be via newsreader. Just hit the RSS feed button in a mature browser–or even in Internet Exploder Infinite Security Holes version (which is any version at all), now–and have all the chapters in your default newsreader.)


Trackposted to Blog @ MoreWhat.com, Rosemary’s Thoughts, , The World According to Carl, DragonLady’s World, Shadowscope, The Pink Flamingo, , , Dumb Ox Daily News, Democrat=Socialist, and Right Voices, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

The Ten Commandments

Via email:

T H E 1 0 C O M M A N D M E N T S
The real reason that we can’t have the Ten Commandments posted in a courthouse is this:

You cannot post ‘Thou Shalt Not Steal,’ ‘Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery,’ and ‘Thou Shall Not Bear False Witness’ in a building full of lawyers, judges and politicians, because it creates a hostile work environment.

Yeh, poor babies. Wouldn’t want lawyers, judges and politicians *spit* to feel assaulted by *shudder* moral standards of behavior.

(With apologies to the few honest, decent lawyers, both judges and the politician who do observe decent moral standards. OK, so I’m assuming there’s a politician somewhere who is still a decent person fifteen minutes after becoming a politician. And, actually, there may be more than that, since there are so damned many of the critters–and no, I am not using profanity when I refer to politicians–as a class–as “damned”. Think about it. )


Trackposted to Outside the Beltway, The Pink Flamingo, Leaning Straight Up, , Adam’s Blog, Conservative Cat, and Right Voices, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

When Will I Learn?

*sigh*

I shoulda taken Rosemary’s advice in comment Monday and had a long hot shower and a nap. Summer cold. Laryngitis. Can’t even speak in “head voice” (as my aeon’s-ago fav voice prof was wont to say, “If you can’t speak/sing in your head voice, just shut up,” or something like that. *heh*)

So, losing another day. Monday to my stupidity in leaving a car window open so rain could short out my horn switch; Tuesday (and at least some of today; we’ll see) to a lack of ability to communicate apart from computer keyboard.

Oh. Well.

Random observations:

To all you ignorant (or stupid; I’m betting many are both) drivers out there trying to save money at the pump: driving slowly does not always equal better gas mileage. Driving slowly in low gears is a real gas waster. Get through the lower gears quickly w/o “jackrabbiting” and up to speed, then drive more conservatively if you wish. Taking 1/2 mile to get from zero to 30mph is just stupid. Especially when you’ve turned on in front of me to drive slowly. Just quit it!

Oh, and unecessarily braking to way, way under the speed limit going DOWN a hill is stupid on more than three accounts. If you can’t figure that one out, return your driver’s license to the Wackers1 where you bought it.

Dumbasses.

(BTW, I average 40mpg combined local-highway driving–in an eleven-year-old car, no less–even when I get behind too many dumbasses forcing me to drive to their stupid criteria. Just think what I’d get if the 80%+ folks who don’t know how to drive at all were taken off the roads. *heh*)

1 Wacker’s Five and Dime was a step down from the old, OLD TG&Y or Woolworth’s dime stores. Think “Dollar Store” only cheap. *heh* I swear they must still be in business given the numbers of drivers who MUST have gotten their driver’s licenses there…

Is it just me or do most politicians (including but not limited to presidential candidates) show a complete and utter disconnect from the real world of their constituents? Is it time for a Constitutional amendment providing that NO congresscritter, president or their bureaucratic alter egos have income during their tenure and for 10 years following that in any way (in any combination of incomes, benefits, tetirement, etc.) exceeds the average income of their constituents? (As determined at each official U.S. Census–with no penalties to citizens for low-balling their incomes. *heh*)

I think it’s time for such an amendment.

62 degrees fahrenheit in my lil twc central office this a.m. No A/C, just an open window. (Yes, it rained in, but the mini-blinds I had strategically positioned kept in draining OUT, not in or even onto the sill :-)) According to an outside thermometer reading, it’s about 58 degrees fahrenheit outside this a.m. at 8:30 a.m. on a June day in America’s Third World County in the Missouri Ozarks.

Must be that d#$%&* “global warming” eh? As to that…

NOAA reports on our cooler than normal spring

I thought all the “excessive” CO2 humans were emitting/causing to be released had “caused” a disasterous 0.6 degree celsius rise in temperature over the last century, no? Isn’t that one of the tenets of The CHurch of Anthropogenic Global Warming?

Oops.

(Just CLICK on the image to see the full size graphic)

That’s right folks, from January 07 to May 08, the much touted if even true) 0.6C increase over a century was not only wiped out over a 15-month period, the it’s even .175C cooler than the cherry-picked starting point of the global warmists.

Of course, that coincides with low sunspot activity, something The Church of Anthropogenic Global Warming refuses to believe has any significant effect on Earth’s climate.

Dumbasses.

Coffee or a nap? Hmmm… that’s a tough one. How about both? Yeh, that’s the ticket!

I still haven’t made a good coffee beer. Need to get to work on that one Real Soon Now.

Having fun building a “hardened” XP machine for my dad. No, he doesn’t want a Linux machine. Wants one that’ll run some software he’s found that requires XP. Hmmm… must call him (when I get my voice back). Maybe I can get hold of the software he wants to run and test it out under WINE or in a virtual machine running XP under Linux. Or find a Linux-based substitute that’ll do the same. Of course, that’d take me all the way back to the drawing board. Oh! My! Please don’t throw me into that briar patch! *LOL*

Data point: I usually see a large number of terrapins crossing the road (or remains of terrapins who were–as all their kind–too slow to avoid drivers of cars who were too “slow” to avoid a turtle on the road) in April and early May. This year, they didn’t start their activity–such as it is, “activity” being their slow migrations across the highways *heh*–until June. Cooler than normal temps?

Hmmm, another data point. I have some daffodils that have in the past bloomed in time for St David’s Day (March 1) but which didn’t even emerge from slumber until the middle of March or bloom until April this year.

Well, just about used all my words up. Oh, I have more, but I think this is my “finger quota” for today. Must have another nap, soon.

πŸ˜‰

T-13; 2.X+Y Beguiling Eyes

I haven’t done one of these for a while, but this is a Thursday Thirteen post:

13 Things I Love about My Wonder Woman (not “whys” but “whats”)

1. Stephen Fearing has a beautiful song, “Beguiling Eyes.” Now, I’m not so sure Fearing knows exactly what “beguiling” means (most meanings are fraught with the idea of deceit–not exactly an endearing trait), because he presents “beguiling eyes” as enchanting, endearing, bewitching (in the best sense, Samantha *heh*). In the sense of the Fearing song, my Wonder Woman’s eyes are “beguiling eyes”–a place to get gladly lost.

2. Her infectious laugh never–never–fails to bring a smile to this curmudgeon’s heart, and often even his face. *heh*

3. That smile. It reflects her heart, totally transparent.

4. The first thing I ever noticed about her is still one of her most enchanting traits: her beautiful voice. My own voice is trained far, far beyond any native talent I posess, but hers has a naturally musical quality that surpasses that of all but the greatest voices you may have heard… and in my ear equals them, at least (yes, I recognize and discount my own bias :-)). Some of the best musical moments of my life have been when she’s just sat down at the piano and sung. I sit in another room and just bask in the music.

5. Her steadfastness. I’m not an easy person to live with. (“No! Really?” the masses cry, tongues-in-cheeks. *heh*) I don’t really wonder why she continues to love me, but I do wonder how, sometimes. πŸ˜‰

6. She knows me. Seems like she always has, somehow. This morning, as we were in my car together, when a squirrel wisely sat out a confrontation with me, I noted that the other day, one tried to bluff me off the road and lost. Her only comment? “I’m surprised you didn’t stop and save the skin.” *LOL* Yeh, she knows me, all right. Tightwad that I am, I did consider it… After all, a squirrel skin cap would be just the thing to send to congresscritters or our current crop of presidential candidates.

7. She’s the kindest person I have ever known.

8. She’s strong where it really counts. Physically, she’s a reed in the wind. Morally, ethically, emotionally, spiritually, she’s bedrock.

9. SHe’s smart. But where she’s not smart, she’s usually wise. And it’s in those circumstances that she’s far better than smart.

10. I’ve alluded to this before (#5), but this is slightly different: patience. She’s learned to wait for “it”–whatever “it” may be–when forcing things may be counterproductive. I’m watching and learning, too. From her.

11. She’s interesting. Always learning something new, always challenging herself to be better at her work, better at relating to people, better, period. It’s not some driven-to-suceed wild-eyed and desperate need to be more than she can be, just an ever-present curiosity combined with an inherent sense of responsibility and… niceness. What’s not to like?

12. She warms and lights a room just by being there.

13. Thirty years ago yesterday she took me off two-days’ cliffhanging when she called me up and said, “Yes.” (Well, she coulda come back from Colorado to KCMO to tell me in person, but that was slightly impractical. *heh*)

Thanks, WW.


Trackposted to The Pink Flamingo, A Newt One, Democrat=Socialist, and The World According to Carl, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe, and Linked to the Thursday Thirteen Hub.

Monday, Monday… Every other day…..

…every other day,
Every other day of the week is fine, yeah…

*heh*

Meanwhile, gratefully taking a break from Monday (and a break from Dhimmicraps, Repugnican’ts and other evils) to jot a post.

A cardinal principle to remember when purchasing anything: price is not cost. Sometimes (often, in fact), a lower price will mean a higher cost down the road. Sometimes, not all that far down the road.

Example: I haven’t mentioned before how much I despise a certain vintage* of eMachine “computers” have I?

Just a mild warning: if you happen to have allowed yourself to be sucked into buying one of the eMachine cheapo pieces of crap

1. Never trust ANY important data to one
2. Replace the power supply FIRST THING, as soon as you get it out of the box, before turning the *&%^#* thing on. Just sayin’
3. Get some real surge suppression between the thing and any electricity, cos the MOBOS aren’t much better than the power supplies.

Today, I had to tell another person who brought their eMachine to me that it’d cost about what it originally cost him simply to repair the thing… cos the cheapo power supply failed and tooik the motherboard out with it.

If you already have one of the things (shame on you for buying strictly on price!), back up your data and start putting money back to buy a new computer. Or build one from parts.**

*“certain vintage” to mean… darned near ALL of the *&%^#* things. *heh* Of course, this is only one guy’s opinion, but… based on at least some experience over the years.

**June micro-mini-project for America’s Third World County Central: build my first completely new computer in several years from parts. I’ve tended in recent years to take discards and upgrade them to make them useful for my personal use. Nice computers, but I need to do some consolidating, streamlining of my office: just too many boxes and monitors jamming things up. So, my next computer is just awaiting assembly time.

AM2 motherboard (choice is now down to one of two).
Athlon 64X2 (dual core) 5600+ (nice sweet spot)
4GB Crucial memory (my preferred brand)
500GB Seagate HDD
Plextor DVDRW
512MB PCIex vidcard
Nice steel case and good (but not best, which would be PC Power and Cooling) 500W power supply

And a few other goodies, including an external Seagate to match my onboard storage.

To run the thing: testing out several flavors of Linux this month to see which I prefer. So far, even with stiff competition from Linux Mint and PCLOS, Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron is still looking pretty good to me. Run the 64-bit version on the 64-bit Athlon based comp; VirtualBox (or VMWare–still testing these) to allow running Win98 (for my music transcription software), WinXP and maybe even PCBSD 1.5 in virtual machines inside the Linux OS.

That’d give me most of the computers I really need to run right there in one box, without the need to use the clumsy KVM switch I now use for several boxes.

Heck, maybe I’ll even switch out my 61-key MIDI keyboard for a smaller controller so I can save even more desktop space to spread my other mess out on. *heh* I like this one (even though I have this one sitting in a box somewhere *heh*)

Well, back to the salt mines.

Riiiiiight… (Cue Moody Blues: “Lazy day… “)


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Internet Withdrawal

*whew!* Glad that’s over!

The last 30 hours or so have been… notsomuch interesting. But did have time to get a few more chores done around the house and such like.

A tornado and high winds thee counties north of America’s Third World County took a pretty big bite out of our cable provider’s infra. No TV (no big loss there), but also no internet service and no VOIP (until yesterday, our ONLY long distance service).

Oh, we still had local phone service, but… our backup dialup internet service bit the dust about three months ago, so no help there.

And Mothers Day. Had to call my mom. *heh* Had picked up a “throwaway” $20 cell phone (pay-as-you-go: came with two months/300 minutes, far, far more than I’ll use it in that time) juuuuust before our service outage, so Mother got her call from me. Was short. Just, “Hi Mom. My LD phone is out of service so all I have to say is, “I love you, bye-bye.” *VBG* (Couldn’t reach her until after 1:00, cos my dad had her out celebrating, I suppose.

Oh, well. I’ll call again in a minute or so and get the whole scoop.

Anywho, good ISP/cable company. Despite extensive damage, it’s back in service. Been very, very pleased with these folks.

L8R…

/Blogging: Off (for the weekend at least)

Well, mostly. Last few days have been taken up by RW projects, chores and a to-do list that just needs to be finished.

Sunday? The Big Event is my Wonder Woman’s induction into a national honor society partly in recognition of her stellar performance in completing her grad degree. So, off to her (new) alma mater Sunday afternoon (just four counties and one state away–*heh*) for the induction ceremony and following events.

Oh, and a stop somewhere afterwards to look for a really nice frame to put her latest award up on her “I love me” wall, along with diplomas, other awards and recognitions. πŸ™‚

It does me good to see her do so well.

Congrats, WW. You well deserve all the recognition you recieve.

Taxes

Why do I do it to myself? Every year I buy TurboTax again, so I can import my previous years’ data. No longer. Next year, I swear to break the chains of this bondage.

What’s that? I’ve grown to hate TurboTax. Once, in the deep dark ages of tax software, I used Parson’s Taxedge and the the software was a dream to use. Easy, accurate, simple.

Then Bob Parsons sold out to Intuit. I bought TurboTax because it swore it could import my previous yea’s data seamlessly.

Almost did.

First gripe.

The next few years were slightly better, but every year for the past five years or so, TurboTax has gotten progressively worse.

Last year, it stumbled on importing data from its own format from the previous year.

This year?

How do I hate thee? Let me count the ways…

First thing out of the chute, it refused to install un;ess I installed Microsoft’s abortion of a browser, Internet Exploder, the World’s Crappiest Browser.

Strike one.

Then, TurboTax wanted to update itself. Fine. Except… unlike ALL other internet-aware applications I have installed on the computer I installed TT on, it alone could not find an internet connection.

Quit TT. Opened it again. NOW it finds a connection! Stupid Intuit piece of crapware.

So, started importing/inputting data. Came to my Wonder Woman’s W-2. “Import!’ said I. Nope. TT can’t find an internet connection. WTF?!?!? It found it for updates, so what’s the deal? Called Intuit. Oh, had to

1. register to obtain an incident number.
2. get an email with a link to my incident number/telephone support number.

Kinda lame, but OK.

Called. 35 minutes on hold, switched to a support person and… CLICK… dropped!

Meanwhile, I’d finished my return. Hmmm… something funny. Several hundred $$$ more than I expected in a refund (I aim for having just the right amounts witheld, if possible).

Save return.

Exit.

Reopen TT. Wants to update again. Let it. Can’t find a connection.

Close TT.

Open TT (By now I’ve learned). Wants to update. Let it. It updates.

Open return. WTF?!?!? MANY hundreds of $$$ OWED, now (OK, within $7 of $1,000. You do the subtraction.)

From more tha expected in REFUND to nearly $1,000 OWED after a second update of the software.

Saved return. Closed TT.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

Started a NEW return. Input same data. Now owe $115. Not bad. In fact, more in line with what I was expecting to begin with (a little, wee, tiny boost in income from non-witholding sources over and above what I’d allowed for leading into 2007).

OK, move on to State.

WTF?!?!? $1,100+ OWED? This can NOT be right!

Downloaded the interactive pdf from the state. Figured taxes in 10 minutes using data from my federal return. Nice REFUND (hadn’t figured some changes in state law into witholding plan in 2007, so we get some non-interest-paying money back from the brigands at the state capitol *heh*).

Never really figured what was going on w/TT, but after closing/reopening/(no internet connection for updates)/closing/reopening/updating/back in state return, finally TT agreed with the interactive state return.

Crazy.

If you’re doing your taxes with TurboTax 2008 and have more than one or two sources of income, you had better recheck your results with several different tools, several different ways, IMO.

Just saying.

Yet another reason to get behind The Fair Tax. Imagine: no more TurboTax! *heh* Almost as wonderful a phrase as “No more IRS!”

πŸ™‚

(Update & Aside: my state has done something right. If income taxes must be levied, at least make compliance easy. Just so: well-designed, fill-in-the-blank, auto-calculating pdf files that can be saved with the data one inputs, printed, mailed. Sure, I could have used one of the IRS-approved (or so it seems to imply) “free” tax sites to do my state taxes (my fed is too complex for any I looked into), but why, when I can get the material straight from the horse’s mouth? Good stuff. Well, about as good as income taxes *spit* get.)


Trackposted to A Blog For All, Faultline USA, Woman Honor Thyself, Right Truth, The World According to Carl, Miss Beth’s Victory Dance, Stuck On Stupid, The Pink Flamingo, Big Dog’s Weblog, The Amboy Times, Phastidio.net, Wolf Pangloss, and ARISTO_GATTA, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

A Serious Recommendation

I’ve said this befoire, but: Go to Jerry Pournelle’s site. Read. Read some more. Think about what you’ve read. Respond (via email only: Dr. Pournelle reads all his own email and moderates the dialog according to what he feels is interesting or worth commenting on). After a bit, consider becoming a subscriber (there are benefits to you beyond simply supporting his work).

Here’s a sample of the kinds of provocative thoughts you may encounter there:

As time goes by, the purpose of government changes; and indeed it is due to the Iron Law of Bureaucracy that this happens. We have reached that stage here: the purpose of government is now to collect taxes and pay government workers, and hire more government workers who can be depended upon to continue to support expanded government and expanded taxation. Once that goal is accomplished, then government may do something else; but that is the first charge and the major purpose of most of our government, Federal, State, and local.

And indeed the subjects — formerly citizens — are in fact the property of the bureaucracies. Note that it is pretty well out in the open now. There is almost never an admission that government spends too much money; it is always that it has not enough to spend, and must have more. We have schools indistinguishable from an act of war, but there is zero chance that the education bureaucracy will release any students. Indeed they seek to take more control; and always to expand the school budgets. It is the same with every other department.

Now, I do not usually quote anyone at such length, and I have stretched the boundaries of fair use in quoting Dr. Pournelle’s response to an email in its entirety, but I simply wanted to give you enough of a taste of the site to whet your appetite. Go.

Note: while laying a somewhat legitimate claim to being “The Original Blog” (as much as he dislikes the aesthetics of the word, “blog” :-)), Chaos Manor Musings is not laid out in typical blog format. For one thing, it’s all aranged chronologically, not “nlogologivally”. And then there is the Mail section, which is often the most lively discussion area and the Current View area, where Dr. Pournelle simply jots down, daybook style, things happening at Chaos Manor, glimpses into his thoughts, etc.

But there is also a wealth of archived work (including Strategy of Technology, an Army War College text for the past thirty years or more) that spans the range from snippets of his science fiction work, essays on a wide range of topics, to essays by other contributors to his site and much, much more.

You could easily spend your days “lost” in the thickets of worthwhile reading there… and not regret the time spent, at all.

Dr. Pournelle is also, in View, sharing his daily health challenges–from the radiation treatments to the long walks with Sasha (beautiful Husky friend and companion to the Pournelles) and the struggles to maintain mental acuity and emotional health that accompany serious health challenges. He’s thereby helped me help my elderly parents with some of their challenges, and that alone is well worth stopping by.

So drop in. Wish him well with his treatments. Learn from him and from his wide array of correspondents. It’ll be more than simply worth your time.


Trackposted to The Virtuous Republic, Rosemary’s Thoughts, Nuke Gingrich, Right Truth, Adam’s Blog, Miss Beth’s Victory Dance, The Pink Flamingo, CORSARI D’ITALIA, Dumb Ox Daily News, , Adeline and Hazel, and The Yankee Sailor, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.