Saturday, January 01, 2005

Ok, this is getting rediculous

After freezing everything with lows in the single digits and highs in the low 20's, the last few days have been 50's, 60's and I think it was 70 today. Supposedly with a chance of rain today, but all we had was a sprinkle.
It's supposed to be in the 60's for highs till Wednesday, when it turns cold again for the next while.

Oklahoma weather can be weird.

Bright side is I've been able to ride the bike to work the last few days, and got some yard work taken care of today. Also got some work done on an axe. It's the second Viking-style axe I've made, and I finally got most of the shaping work done on the haft. Once it's fitted properly, I can do some test cutting to make sure it holds up as it should. Can't decide whether to put this one up for sale at Med-Fair, or keep it.

A friend showed me a sword he'd bought a couple of years ago, a double-edged broadsword blade with a simple, clean basket hilt. Lovely piece, apparently called an 'Irish sword' even though most examples were found in Scotland. In either case, I wanted one. A couple of days ago, finally having some money clear, I checked where he'd found it, and the no longer have it. So I checked around and found a place called The Pirate's Treasure which has some very nice stuff. Including, yay, the Irish sword! So I sent and asked if they had the scabbard for it also, and was informed that they haven't had that model in a year, it's not being made anymore. Dammit. If I want one like that, looks like I'll have to make it.

Tomorrow depends on the weather, we'll see if it rains any tonight.

Ref the tsunami, I'd thought that 150,000 might be the high end of the dead; it looks like it may actually go higher.
Here's the American Jewish World Services site, good place to contribute to relief.

Oh, and to anyone in the U.N., Instapundit linked to several folks who've tracked the amount of money that the U.S. has given- so far. Not the U.S. Government, WE THE PEOPLE have given. Check out the numbers, and tell the U.N. to kiss your American ass. We don't have to have the government tax us to death to do something about a problem; we do it ourselves. Oh, and those numbers? They don't include the ships and aircraft and personnel and so forth that are there or going there to help out. Let's see, Marine landing ships with surgical facilities and hospital beds and dentists? Ships that can produce hundreds of thousands of gallons of clean water a day? Planes and people flying in everything from water to food to doctors to medicine? How much do you think that adds up to?

Mr. Egeland and Ms. Short? FOAD, weenies.

Friday, December 31, 2004

Baaad timing

A few years ago my then-girlfriend and I decided to make dinner for the next evening; I was going to put a roast in the crockpot when I went to work the next morning, and bring it over that evening while she made the veggies. I had cable at the time, and there was a show I had taped that we both wanted to see, so we'd watch it after dinner.

The roast came out fine, one of those 'open the front door, inhale, salivate' marvelous things. Load it up, grab the tape and head to her house. Where she had a green bean casserole waiting.

Dinner was great, and when done we sat down in the living room and put on the tape. About fifteen minutes later I felt a little queasy and excused myself, and reached the bathroom just in time to get rid of dinner, though not in the usual way. After I finished throwing up, I cleaned up a bit and went back to the living room.

For about five minutes.

The third time I hit the bathroom, after trying to throw up the inseam of my jeans I was so dizzy I couldn't even sit up straight. By this time the lady was in the doorway asking if I needed an ambulance. "No, just give me a minute", the usual. I hate going to the doctor for a checkup, getting hauled away in an ambulance was just not something I wanted to do. She gave the the minute, and I still couldn't stand up, says she "I'm calling the ambulance!".

"No, I don't need that!"
"Then I'm taking you to the emergency room!"
Pause. "That might be a good idea".

So we drive there, after managing to maneuver me into the car. Having her on one side and the wall on the other helped there. Have you ever gone to an er? Unless you're hemorrhaging as they drag you in, you are directed to a seat while they decide who has to do the paperwork on you. Then they do the paperwork- often grudgingly- and finally someone decides they have to look you over("Go on, John, it's your turn. You know how bad it looks on our stats when they die before we've taken their temperature") So they take you into an examining room and check you out. In my case this started with the discovery that if I laid down at an angle greater than about 45 degrees, the room began to travel around me. Then they stuck three contacts on me and hooked up the ekg.

Now, by this time I was feeling slightly better. Not good enough to get up, but no cold sweats anymore. Then the nurse doctor studied my ekg for a minute, looked at my girlfriend and asked, "Has he ever had heart trouble before?"

She said the ekg bounced the pen of both sides like a pinball; I couldn't see that, but my first thought was "Not until you said that!" Not helpful, I promise you. Especially after he said that my rhythm looked perfectly normal (until you said that, you bastard!) and he just wondered if I might have had an 'episode'. I wished I'd been less washed out, so that I could have described and 'episode' to him. Involving his ancestry.

By the time all the er stuff was done, I was really washed out, but better. As a precaution they kept me over night, second time I'd ever had to sleep at a hospital. By morning, I was tired, hungry and more thirsty than I could ever remember being. All I could have was water or apple juice until the doctor came by, and I drank all the juice they'd give me. About noon my ex and kids came by, and when I mentioned that I was starving("no food until the doctor sees you again") she dug some money out of my pants and went down to the cafeteria, coming back with stew and ice cream. Which, of course, I was finishing as the doctor finally came in. He wasn't overly pleased, but not too put out since I had 'stabilized' nicely and they couldn't find anything wrong. His final thought was that that there was a stomach virus going around, and I just happened to be one of the rare people who, instead of feeling ratty for three days, got whacked hard. And I started laughing.

He asked what was so funny about that? and I explained about the entertainment the evening before. The show I'd taped? It was a documentary.

About ebola.

Oooh, bike!

Partly to wash the bad taste of U.N. out of my mouth, and partly because his mention of The Diplomad made me go there this morning, I went over to the Dog and Pony Show, where he has a pic of his Betty. His mention of paint reminded me of a job I saw at a bike swap meet here a while back. This artist did the tank in layers of flames so that as it or you moved, it looked like the flames were rippling over the surface of the tank. One of the most beautiful things I've ever seen on a bike.

One of these days I'm going to take the tank & fenders off mine and take them to this man to have him work his magic on them. To quote Kiki, "Oooh, shiny!".

Further 'Why to tell the U.N. to kiss our backside'

From the Diplomad, who turns out to be in one of the countries hit by the tsunamis, we get a first-hand look at what the U.N. is accomplishing: dick. In need of Viagra, yet.

They're "hosting a 'coordination' meeting of donors to announce that UNDP has another large "assessment and coordination team" arriving". In less fancy words, they're holding meetings to announce that they're going to decide what needs to be done. Oh, and "To address the psycho-social needs of children throughout nearly a dozen countries devastated by the tsunami, selective in-service teacher training will be supported to equip teachers with specific methods and activities, UNICEF said".

These kids are starving, without clothes or clean water, and UNICEF is holding meetings and planning teacher training for their 'psycho-social needs'. God, can there be ANYTHING more illustrative of why these bastards should not have peoples lives in their hands?!?!

There are people from a number of countries working their butts off DOING SOMETHING, and what is the comment from the U.N. supporters? "Only really the U.N. can do that job,", and "It is the only body that has the moral authority". Oh, yes, we're really impressed by the moral authority of a body that's trying to cover up one of the biggest corruption scandals in history, and has 'peacekeepers' screwing children in exchange for food. And trying to cover that up, too.

My hands are shaking a bit right now, and I will close with a reponse to Clare Short: Kiss My Redneck Ass, madam.

Thursday, December 30, 2004

This is about all I can take

There've been a lot of video and stills from the wave zones. Some of videos give a certain feeling of detachment- "Oh, look at the water flowing by". Some are considerably worse. And some of the stills...

Note: Steve has a link to American Jewish World Services; they seem like a good group to donate to. And the pictures came from Free Republic; one of his commenters left the link. These are the only two I'll post, and part of me screams to look at them. I think the words are, "Jesus wept".

Terror Posted by Hello

The hand Posted by Hello

Stirring up a fuss about AIDS

is Dean Esmay. Interesting site I like to visit.

A couple of days ago he had a post about AIDS that apparently got him yelled at by a lot of people, to the point of being accused of being a threat to the public. So today he has a followup that addresses some points. And they're serious points about some serious problems in how AIDS has been addressed.

It's got too much in it to throw a couple of quotes in, so I'm just providing links. I think he raises serious points here that need to be dealt with.

Being somewhat lazy at times, I've mostly gone with what I've heard or read in news articles on the subject, but I think I'll try to find the books he refers to and read them. The idea that the medical profession has chased down a wrong track and out of stupidity/stubbornness/greed/etc. won't come back up to the fork in the road to look around doesn't surprise me; there's been far too many cases of this in the past. For that matter, it was pillars of the medical profession that tried to ruin Louis Pasteur over the germ-theory of disease, and after Jenner began vaccinating for smallpox the same thing happened to him. I guess it's part of the same 'how dare you question our wisdom?' attitude that causes so many doctors to treat their patients with contempt when they ask questions.

I've not known anyone with AIDS; I have known people with friends/relatives who had it. And I have read of problems with some of the drugs tried for treating it. It's a subject that apparently needs someone to start whacking 'accepted' knowledge down like weeds and looking at it afresh, and they'll have a nasty fight on their hands to do it, but God only knows how many lives are involved.

One example of problem fighting it: the idea that just because a lot of people in some regions of Africa are HIV+, what's killing them is assumed to be AIDS. But what if some questioners are right and a lot of is is malaria? Among other things that would cause more people to push for the use of DDT to kill mosquitos, and that would be attacked by both the medical/political people who have decided that it's AIDS, and by the enviro-weenies who get the vapors at the mere mention of DDT. And if a lot of locals die while they're defending their stand? Well, that's just the price they're willing to pay to keep their diagnosis/enviromental stand in place, now isn't it?

Yeah, I'm cynical about a lot of this. There are far too many people who are willing to see a lot of people die(preferably somewhere else) if it will allow them to keep their position going.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

General commentary

The Washington Post says the president is 'insensitive' because he's on his ranch in Crawford instead of in D.C. shedding tears for the cameras. Screw the Post. He's got the communications gear to do the job from there. So if they want tears, maybe they can find Bill Clinton to emote for them.

From a commentor at Hog on Ice found this site, which has some nice information on earthquakes and tsunamis.

It seems the perennial coddler of dictators and mass murderers Ramsey Clark is joining the legal team of Saddam Hussein. I'm not surprised considering his past words and performances. If we're lucky Saddam will bite him and give him distemper.

Corrosion-X seems to be a very good cleaner. I'm going to help my daughter take down her pistol and clean/lube it with this stuff; it really cleaned mine up well.

Speaking of cleaning, I tried using nylon brushes for some bore cleaning. Seems if you have mainly some stubborn powder fouling they'll do the job, but for anything else I still get the best results from bronze bristles.

Speaking of Clinton, he was mentioned on the news earlier today, lecturing about how someone needs to be in control of the aid efforts. He's either lobbying for a job as head of the U.N., or wanting a position created for him so he can run aid efforts whenever/wherever. I don't think he's as corrupt as Kofi Annan and company, but he's bad enough. And I'd rather have the work going on as it is; there may be some duplication, but there's probably somewhat less corruption this way.

Last week this time, the high was about 30 degrees, today it was 60. December in Oklahoma, oh my.

I was over at Silent Running and found his piece about having helped out in Papua New Guinea after a tsunami hit the north coast in 1998. One of the nastier things mentioned was this:
"For example, there were actually many survivors in the jungle who were too badly injured to move or defend themselves against the wild pigs, dogs and crocodiles. Quite a few were eaten by animals, and they weren't always completely dead first."
Think about that. There are tigers and leopards and the omnipresent crocodiles in the hard-hit areas. He's right in one of his comments, some things don't need to be talked about right now.

A short version of how things fell apart in Britain

on the subject of self-defense. This article by Joyce Lee Malcolm covers it.

Check this out:
"The practical removal of the right to self defence began with Britain's 1920 Firearms Act, the first serious limitation on privately-owned firearms. It was motivated by fear of a Bolshevik-type revolution rather than concerns about householders defending themselves against robbers. Anyone wanting to keep a firearm had to get a certificate from his local police chief certifying that he was a suitable person to own a weapon and had a good reason to have it. The definition of "good reason", left to the police, was gradually narrowed until, in 1969, the Home Office decided "it should never be necessary for anyone to possess a firearm for the protection of his house or person". Since these guidelines were classified until 1989, there was no opportunity for public debate."

The guidelines were "classified", so the public couldn't know them, and since the police could change them at any time...
Note: this is one of the reasons that making law should NEVER be left to the bureaucrats; they're unaccountable and will screw you over in a hearbeat.

100,000 dead, and rising

Think about that number; one hundred thousand, and try to image that pile of bodies.

O.U. Medieval Fair will have more than that over a three-day weekend, so it's like every single human that goes through the fair over three days, dead in the space of a few minutes. And the number keeps rising.

Drudge linked to a report on the current situation. There are areas they still have no communications with, so no idea of numbers of dead and missing there(and let's be serious, 'missing' in this situation means 'dead but we don't have a body). I'm thinking that by the time this is done, there'll be about 150,000 dead as the accepted number. Then we get to add in the people sick/dead of disease from bad water, bad food, and parasites & mosquitos breeding in the stagnant water.

I mentioned in an earlier post video a tourist shot from a clubhouse at a resort when the wave hit there; this was a low wave, and people in the partial shelter of the clubhouse were washed away, along with the railing they were holding on to. Every year, we see people die because their car or truck was washed away when they tried to drive through running water 12-18" deep. Think of a wave ten, or twenty, or thirty feet high moving at floodwater speeds or above coming through; the mind boggles.

That's about it for now, I'm still trying to wrap my mind around the numbers.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Range time!

Took my daughter to the range this evening. Handguns only tonight, didn't want to mess with taking any rifles. We went to H&H, a nice indoor range here in town, and a good time was had by all.

I really ought to get a digital camera, if for no other reason than posting pictures of her targets. She doesn't get to shoot often, but she seems to hold on to her skill level quite well. Aside from an odd dislike of revolvers(no accounting for taste), she does just fine. Only real problem is that when she moves out to her own place, what she'd really like to take is my Kimber. Well, she can't have mine, and I can't afford to buy one for her, so she'll have to settle for something else for a while.

One thing we tried out tonight was a Makarov. If you're not familiar with it, it's a Russian modification of the Walther PPK design. It fires it's own cartridge, the 9x18mm. Standard 9mm is 9x19, the .380 is 9x17, so the Makarov cartridge is between the two. Overall, I'm impressed with the thing. Quite accurate, and I've now put several hundred rounds of ball and a box of Hornady hollow points through it without any jam, fail to feed, nothing. Not the stopping power of a .45, but solidly reliable and practice ammo is relatively cheap.

Now, soon as I can get the cat off the table, I can start cleaning...

Animation of the waves

Belmont Club has this link to an animation of how the tsunamis propagated from the quake site across the Bay of Bengal. Watch this, and watch the time count, it gives a feel for the speed of these things.

A while back Discovery Channel, I believe, had a show on these waves, and noted that in the open ocean they can travel as much as 500 mph. Think about that. A jet airliner doesn't make that speed, and fighters & attack planes don't unless they're actually on a strike run. An energy pulse moving through the water at 500 mph, then reaching shallower water and slowing/building in height until it's moving across the shore and is tens of feet high.

The power involved is amazing. I remember as a kid hearing about the big quake in Alaska in 1964. That was from a 9.2 quake, as I recall, and they've now settled on 9.0 for this one.

Tim Blair has a list of charities/agencies you can donate to for aid to the people in the region. Personally, as Steve puts it, after what came out after 9/11 I wouldn't give a wooden nickel to the Red Cross if their headquarters was on fire. But there are others who can help out.

Note: Confirmed death toll is now 55,000. Which means it'll be much higher.

Once more, why we should tell the U.N. to go to hell

I just read two things. One, they now think the death toll from the quake and waves may be more than 40 thousand. Two, some pissy little jackass from the U.N. says that the U.S. is being 'stingy' with our aid, and we need to raise our taxes so we will 'have' more money to give.

I have overall tried to be fairly civil in my language on this blog, but this calls for an exception. Mr. Egeland? FUCK YOU! You sorry, pissy little jerk! The U.N. would fall apart if we didn't keep funding it(and I don't know why we do). WE put more money into relief for many things than the rest of the world combined. And a lot of that does not come from the government taking money out of our pockets, it comes from citazens giving money and time to charities who help people in trouble. And you call us stingy?!?

WE, for the most part, don't want to give more money to the U.N. because a: it's a hugely corrupt organization, as the Oil-for-Food scandal has pushed into focus and b: we don't want to fund a bunch of thugs who will tell children that if they want to eat, they have to spread their legs.

As far as our taxes? Screw you, weenie. You, last I heard, have a stagnant economy largely because of your taxes and socialist government. We are overtaxed now, and still have managed to keep a growing economy going. Let me point something out to you: the less the government takes out of our pockets in taxes, the more people have to give to charities they trust to spend the money wisely. Unlike most government agencies, which when honest just waste a lot, and when corrupt(U.N.) steal most of it.

By the time this is done, probably the U.S. will have- again- given more money and food and material to relief efforts than anyone else. And assholes like you will still bitch and whine that we aren't doing enough.

Again, Screw You, Mr. Egeland, and the high horse you rode in on. This is one more reason we should tell the U.N. to move, and get along without our support, and we should start an organization of free nations to actually do something, instead of taking bribes and abusing children and adults and insulting the people who keep it going.

Update: Mr. Chickenshit has crawfished publicly on his comments.

Monday, December 27, 2004

21,000 and counting up

It's a hard number of bodies to comprehend. All in the space of a few minutes, caused by something that happened about 6 miles underground a long ways off.

The quake move the friggin' ISLAND of Sumatra about 100 feet, and shifted the rotation of the earth a touch. The energy involved has too many zeros for me to think about without getting a headache.

Waves moving in at more than 100mph, and building to many feet high as they move up the slope to the beach.

I was looking at the U.S. Geological Survey site at the info, and they're now saying it was a 9.0. There are five tectonic plates that interact in the region and produced this thing, and it says that about 600 miles of plate boundary moved in this quake.

A Small Victory has a lot of information for people who want to contribute to relief efforts.

That's about all I can say about this right now.

Sunday, December 26, 2004

My response to people who don't like being wished "Merry Christmas"

Picture stolen from Denny Posted by Hello

Christmas is done

and it was nice. It's always nice to visit family, especially this time of year. And I got stuffed, so there's two good things together.

Of course, the stuffing means I need to put in some extra time in the gym over the next week or so, but I needed to do that anyway, so...

I've decided that where I really, really want to be when word arrives that Fidel Castro died is Miami. Why? Check out what Steve and friends did for Christmas. I get the feeling Fidel-in-a-box will trigger the biggest damn party the world has seen in God knows when.

Anyway, hope your Christmas was good. If you do Hannukah or Mid-Winter or whatever, hope it was good. And if being wished Merry Christmas pisses you off, see above.