Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Testing out my new computer & DSL modem... so far so good. Insanely non-problematic, in fact.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas, everybody! I'm up in suburban Boston, visiting with family. Newton Highlands reminds me a lot of the nicer parts of Bellefonte. Lots of Victorians, well-maintained like Bellefonte's Curtin Hill neighborhood. Everything's a lot more cramped, and there's no room for the carriage houses, which means that parking's at a premium.

Milos is cheerful but rambuctious and a little hard to keep up with. He reminds me a lot of little Miles Naismith Vorkosigan, and I'd go out & get my sister a copy of Barrayar if I thought she had enough time to read with an infant and a toddler in the house. Alex, on the other hand, is in the midst of his "eat, sleep, and yell" phase of his life, not that some folk ever grow out of that one. But give him time, he's not much more than two weeks old! ^_^

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Who knew there were any actual Dixiecrats left in the Democratic Party, let alone any who'd still be willing to turn GOP? I thought all the professional Dixiecrats bailed back in the first Clinton term.

Of course, if you believe what people will tell political cold-callers, there's still a lot of "Rockefeller Republicans" in Pennsylvania, albeit ones who haven't voted Republican since the Ford administration.


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

So we probably lost another building this morning, just down Allegheny from my place. I didn't notice the hub-bub until I tried to drive in to work & found a ton of road-blocks all over the place & water-hoses stretching out for two blocks in all directions. The Cadillac Building was half a block from the Undine Fire Company house, and yet it still was gutted.

Bellefonte, wattaya gonna do? Our state representative's office was in that building, btw. Benninghoff's had pretty bad luck the last few years.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Reading things like this, makes me think that for the people who think "global governance" is a legitimate goal, the UN/NGO political class are a sort of Heian aristocracy, performing obstentiously their stylized roles in the Emperor's court at Nara or Kyoto. Meanwhile, out in the real world, the grotty samurai class runs actual matters, keeping the peace, fighting the enemies of the realm, making the tax money flow to support the court in far-off, fairy-land Kyoto.

The Onin War is the inevitable result of this sort of division between actual governance and legitimacy, if you ask me.

Apparently Secretary Clinton's been trying to bribe the Chinese with their own borrowed money.

Yeah, that'll go well. Schmucks, we're governed by schmucks.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Yeah, I'm sorry. If you're preferring Pluto over 20th Century Boys in the 2009 Urasawa sweepstakes, you're something of a tool. Pluto is pompous, derivative, overwrought, joyless, and telegraphs like nobody's business. 20th Century Boys, on the other hand, is rooted, spritely, active, agile, and cleverly telegraphed a complete and utter lie so convincingly that I had been prepared to be disappointed in advance of the development - and then was blown away when Urasawa yanked it all out from under us with an old-fashioned narrative time-jump.

Oh, and that critic pulled the usual boner of confusing "dark and gritty" for "mature". Maturity is a mind-set, a willingness to recognize the childishness of the artifacts of childhood, and to set them aside as illusions. 20th Century Boys is about the illusions of childhood, and the complex interaction of nostalgia with illusions, but the villain of the story is a monster of nostalgia, and childish fantasies are the weapons with which he corrupts, subverts, and conquers.

Pluto, on the other hand, is a glossy re-write of the old Tezuka chestnut, with a lot of pious anti-war posturing and tedious, unoriginal rehashing of the hoary "Androids Dreaming of Electric Sheep" theme, with a heavy ladling of Three Laws of Robotics utopian cheese. There was a couple solid chapters at the beginning about a British robot with survivor's guilt, but everything since then has been running in place, with a very annoying detour through Fantastic Racism and an expy anti-robotic sort of Klu Klux Klan organization, complete with white hoods. Bah.
"Because that’s what socialized medicine does: it turns each of us into a little fascist." As the argument goes, once we all have to pay the bill, we have to leave our libertarian inclinations to not care what others do "if it only hurts themselves". Once some perfect little snowflake harms him or her self, we all have to pay for the repairs. Nothing can be private when the state picks up the tab for the damage.

Fair warning on that link, though - some of the accompanying photos are a little not-safe-for-family-viewing.

I finally got around to watching the end of Mahoromatic last night. I've been duped! It wasn't nearly as bad as rumor has it. Yeah, the last episode is out of left field, but I didn't find it as repulsive and off-tone as the "Gainax Ending" people insisted. Also, now that I've re-watched the first season & those parts of the second that I'd seen before, it's another one of these Gainax/Shaft co-productions which in retrospect feel a lot more Shaft than Gainax.

And boy howdy, there's a lot of nudity in that thar TV show. You don't see nearly that much skin in recent anime, anything made in the last ten years or so.

Monday, December 14, 2009

This is precious. A "Hooverville"-style homeless community with the monnicker "Obamaville". I told you last year, you PSU leftie dipwads.


Saturday, December 12, 2009

Oh, this is grand. Half or more of the concern-trolling, misery-pimping display at Senator Casey's "public health care forum" in Lock Haven last August was a dog-and-pony show about the evils of lifetime coverage limits & how the public-option crusaders were going to slay the evil insurance dragons who were tormenting long-term catastrophic-case victims of the system with this exact device. They had a wife of some poor sod and a nurse of some sort, both with sob stories about the people victimized by this evil practice.

Guess what Reid's Senate bill slipped back to the insurance companies, either as a "stuffing their mouths with gold" measure, or in an attempt to actually "bend the curve" in a significant way? That's right, lifetime coverage limits. Don't you leftist universal-health-care paladins feel stupid, now? Especially that one oleaginous butterball who sat up on Casey's stage, nodding piously over a microphone doing his best "I-feel-your-pain" Bill Clinton impersonation during the wife's sad recitation of the tale of her family's illness-driven demolition.

Now, I'm not saying this particular infidelity affects my opinion on the subject in the least - it doesn't make me happy, nor does it particularly infuriate me. The subject doesn't matter to me in the slightest, except insofar as those who do care like to irritate me in attempts to extract pity or sympathy by holding it over my head as some sort of passive-aggressive Weeping-Rag of Damocles. But here's hoping it breaks the Democratic shield-wall. We could use a weak spot right now, send 'em howling off the field in a fratricidal rout.

h/t, as it usually is, to the good professor.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Welcome to the world, Aleksandar. I've been waiting until your parents named you, and this morning your paternal grandparents sent out the announcement. I hope your brother Milos will take care of you, and please don't be too hard on him - it can sometimes be a little hard to live up to the expectations of a younger sibling. ^_^

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Megan McCardle can't abide talk of fraud and conspiracy, because, well, why would scientists commit their careers to fraud and conspiracy? Then she talks about the incremental corruption of the data, and looks at the Darwin example on Watts Up With That, and thinks *that* sort of fudging-to-stay-with-the-pack thing is going on.

Not fraud & conspiracy, but an accumulation of many little white lies.

Apparently she believes in the malevolent boardroom conspiracy of guys in masks calmly plotting bald-faced falsehood under indirect, dramatic lighting, with a guy at the head of the table resting his masked chin on his folded hands, going 'kukuku just as I planned'.


All big frauds originate in cluttered midnight offices with the customers screaming over the phone for results and missed deadlines, and corners cut *just this once* to meet quarterly figures, and we'll make it up next quarter, or the next, or the next, and each corner cut is cut a little deeper, a little farther into the meat of the work, until there's nothing legit left, just a floor littered with disorderly piles of papers and the discarded shavings of propriety and probity, driftpiles of rubbish which used to belong to someone's integrity.

Fraud is committed in a breathless distressed hurry. Conspiracies consist of harried fraudsters each covering up each others' complicity in each other's accumulated little cut corners. There's no dramatically lit boardroom of conspiracy, no masks, no secret society, no guy in the shadows. Just compromised closed circles of friends.
It's snowfalls like this week's which has reminded me why snow-country architects use gables. They're not ornamental up here in the north, they're vitally useful for keeping the heaps of snow which comes tumbling off the roof from piling up in front of doors and all over walkways and steps! I *should* have gone out & cleared it as it fell, but no, I had to put it off until the morning, when it had all re-frozen into an impenetrable icy mass. The back of a rake & a lot of salt seems to have taken care of the mess, though.

Meh. I guess next season's tax credit won't be enough to pay for a roof re-design, will it? Eh, I suppose messing with roof design is a good way to create potential roof-leaks, anyways.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

This is the best argument for Palin the politician I've seen since her July resignation. I guess I'm going to have to read the [expletive deleted] book, after all.
Since this used to be a bad poetry blog, I thought I ought to join the crowd pointing and laughing at Al Gore's rotten scansion. Especially since I once wrote my own global-warming poetical panic attack.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

A certain alumni friend of mine who went on to become a drone for one of the Commonwealth's environmental nudge organizations replied angrily this morning to another, more conservative alumin friend's round-robin "ha-ha!" about Professor Mann's CRUhack problems with an angry counter-rant. Said eco-alumni friend is also violently hostile to Scientology, having grown up in Clearwater, Florida, which the Scientologists treat as a sort of Provo, Utah, or Vatican City. That is, if the Mormons or Catholics were a conspiratorial mafia-like pseudo-religious Ponzi scam.

So you see why I find it hilarious to see that somebody has dubbed the Hockey Team crowd "Climate Scientology".

Thanks to the Gormogons commune for cross-linking me the other day, BTW. They're a little hyper, but entertaining in a fashion I don't have the energy for these days. Like a room full of the Allahpundit, before he got all stodgy and turned into the elder statesman of Hot Air.