Friday, May 31, 2013

The castle was built on the site of an earlier fort in the late 16th to early 17th century by George the 5th Earl of Caithness (1582-1643). It seems the castle was in existence in 1623 when James I commissioned Sir Robert Gordon to enter Caithness with an armed force. The 7th Earl died in the castle in 1698 but it is reported that the castle was ruinous by 1700. In 1726 it was reportedly in repair with ‘at the side of it a convenient house lately built’.
The castle is less than a mile north of Keiss, overlooking Sinclairs Bay in Caithness, Highland.

Eilean nam Faoileag (Seagull Island) is on a completely man-made island (crannog) in the middle of Loch Rannoch in Perth and Kinross. The tower, which still stands in fair condition, was built in the 19th century by Baron Granbley and is a folly-type reconstruction of a small island prison of the Robertsons of Struan.
There are references to the occupation of the island from as early as the mid 15th century but the exact construction date of the crannog is unknown.  But aye, it's a lonely spot, isn't it?
Dream swimming hole.

This is the greatest garage project ever.  Every red blooded male in the neighborhood would be over helping on this project.  Drinking beer.  Swapping lies.  Watching and giving advice.  Months - maybe years - of good times.  And that would be just for the construction phase.

Imagine fishing for bass/bluegills from this thing!


Your important, earth shattering news of the day:

Scientific research has shown that one in thirteen people have bendy, chimp like feet.

From the article:

"YOU may be walking on chimp-like feet without knowing it. At least 1 in 13 of us have feet that are specially adapted for climbing trees.
Textbooks will tell you that the human foot is rigid, which allows more efficient walking. Other apes, in contrast, have flexible feet better suited to grasping branches as they move through the trees. But the textbooks are wrong, say Jeremy DeSilva and Simone Gill at Boston University.
The pair asked 400 adults to walk barefoot around the Boston Museum of Science while they filmed their feet. This revealed that 8 per cent of people have some mid-foot flexibility, rather like that seen in tree-dwelling apes (American Journal of Physical In another, soon-to-be-published analysis, Robin Huw Crompton at the University of Liverpool, UK, found that a flexible mid-foot may be even more common than DeSilva and Gill suggest.
So what does a flexible foot look like? It bends at the ball of the foot, and also halfway between the heel and the ball. All human feet have a joint at this point – but in most of us, stiff ligaments span the joint and keep it rigid. In some people, however, the ligaments are softer, allowing the mid-foot to bend. Close-ups of flexible feet as they unroll during walking make the bend obvious, but DeSilva says their owners were not aware of anything unusual, nor was their gait any different. "I was, and continue to be, surprised by this," he says."
Scientists think it's likely a relic of when our ancestors lived in trees.  Further research needs to be done to see if those with bendy, chimp like feet also show a correlation with a love of bananas.

Friday open road

This, plus a brick of CCI .22 ammo, looks like a lot of fun. 

Thank God for Bill Ruger, he made some beautiful and reliable firearms.

Via Protein Wisdom, another dispatch from the sad land of California, where the progressive ruling elites plunder the working classes and attempt to hold back the march of progress.

Do you think that the goal of the progressives is anything other than the impoverishment of as many people as possible?  So that they can dole out the meager wealth that remains after they tax the land like locusts?  They say it themselves, in unguarded moments.

From the article:

"If fracking can take off in California as it has in North Dakota recently, the state could experience an oil surge that could make the Golden State the largest oil producer in the US, almost immediately.
“If nothing is done, large parts of our state could be transformed into industrialized oil and gas zones … as we’ve seen in other places like Pennsylvania and North Dakota,” says Kassie Siegel, a lawyer for the feisty Center for Biological Diversity (CBD). “Fracking the 15 billion barrels of oil in the Monterey shale is like lighting the fuse on a carbon bomb that would shatter California’s efforts to address the climate crisis. Given California’s leadership in addressing climate change, if we can’t stop a fracking boom in California, it’s difficult to see how we get our nation off of fossil fuels.”
There you have it. All the “ZOMG we must study this scientifically! Won’t you think of teh childrens!” is cover for halting all production of oil and natural gas.
Anemic CA Republicans are attempting to block these bills where they can, but the feudalist Dems, who look down the road we are now on — where the monied elites live in coastal splendor, serviced by an underclass confined to dense ghettos merely a bus-ride away inland — and refuse to let anything stand in the way."

Fracking is the new way to easily create prosperity and wealth, both through the extraction of valuable resources, and the lowering of the cost of virtually everything through the lowering of the cost of energy.  But that the progressives cannot have, as it would transfer wealth and thus power to the dirty and ignorant hands of the people.  Then the people themselves could make up their minds on what to do with it, and that would be entirely intolerable.  Only the elites, the best people, the progressives, should be allowed to make such decisions, and they, like all oppressors through history, will do whatever it takes to protect their power. 
It's been a hoof to the face kind of week.

One more day of solid work, and the weekend can justly be enjoyed.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Not really cabin porn, but a rude shelter in Fludir, Iceland.  I can only imagine holing up in this during a vicious north Atlantic blizzard.

I want one.

Via Bits and Pieces
Cats hate water - especially this one?

Is it dinner time yet?

Hot Dog & the City from uji films on Vimeo.

Via American Digest
One of my favorite "local" stories from here in California is the political elite's fascination with 18th century technology and their strange impulse to impose it on the people when the free market has already ruled decisively against it.

However seemingly mysterious their motivations, this little article lays bare the true reason the politicians here in the formerly golden state have decided to waste literally billions of the dollars of hard working Californians.  As always, it's all about the political payoff.

From the article:

   "California’s high-speed rail project would be a bad idea in the best of times, but the state is handling it so poorly it almost seems like it’s trying to fail. The LA Times reports that Tutor Perini Corp. beat out five companies to build the train’s first 29 miles. Tutor Perini submitted the lowest bid, but it ranked lowest on design, safety and engineering and has the least amount of bullet-train experience (none). It’s also already in a lawsuit over construction issues with the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Agency.
Buried deep into the LA Times report is a clue as to why this lowly contractor won the day over Spanish firms that have actually built bullet trains before:
Before Tutor Perini was selected some financial analysts predicted that it would win the competition only because of its chief executive’s close ties to organized labor, one of the project’s biggest supporters.
Rep. Jeff Denham (R-CA), the chairman of the U.S. House subcommittee on rail, reckons that the union-tied company’s low bid shouldn’t be trusted, and that it will push up costs with “wild change orders and wild price increases” to “make money on the back end” as the project rolls forward."

You see, it's not about trains, or bullets, or efficient transportation, or anything other than a tribe of corrupt political elites attempting as hard as they can to buy the assistance and votes of enough powerful people to be re elected.  They don't care a whit if there ever really is a bullet train, nor whether it ever makes any money.  There are millions of idiot taxpayers to fleece if money is needed.  It's all about the vote buying.  
If there was ever a more "in your face" plan to screw the taxpayer for raw political advantage, I don't know that I've ever seen it here. 
If there was ever a more compelling reason to tar and feather the entire political elite here in California, and then use the power of the state to confiscate all their personal wealth to make a least the smallest dent in the financial chaos they have created, I haven't yet seen it.
After all, they are the ones who are using the power of the state to confiscate all of our hard earned wealth, only to waste it, so turn about is fair play, correct?

Shulman has more recorded visits to the White House than HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius (48), DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano (34), Education Secretary Arne Duncan (31), former Energy Secretary Steven Chu (22) and former Defense Secretary Robert Gates (17) combined.

Looking further back, the same person in this position at the IRS during the Bush administration visited the White House all of one time.

Gee, I wonder what the IRS man Shulman was talking to the President about all those times?  Perhaps the weather.
Ha!  Now CNN and The Huffington Post have decided to refuse to meet with embattled Attorney General Eric Holder off the record.

Could it be that the press has finally recognized that the Obama administration is corrupt and dishonest, and not worthy of their support?  We can only hope that these MSM idiots have finally come to the same conclusion as the rest of us made from the very beginning.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

On the way to delivering the youngest daughter to work today, the wife and daughter followed this old Ford jalopy, which was in fact on it's way to where the daughter works.  They both got there at the same time, and the jalopy drivers were delivering their dogs to the groomer (which is what the youngest daughter does in the summer).  Pretty cool someone has kept it running and in such good shape.  I love the wood bed.

Oh now you see the problem, and decide to do the right thing, but only after the administration screws you over royally.

  "The Associated Press says it will not attend this week's off-the-record meeting with Attorney General Eric Holder unless the Justice Department decides to change its mind and conduct the meeting on the record.
"We believe the meeting should be on the record and we have said that to the Attorney General’s office. If it is on the record, AP Executive Editor Kathleen Carroll will attend. If it is not on the record, AP will not attend and instead will offer our views on how the regulations should be updated in an open letter," AP spokesperson Erin Madigan said in a statement sent to POLITICO. "We would expect AP attorneys to be included in any planned meetings between the Attorney General’s office and media lawyers on the legal specifics."
The AP's decision comes over an hour after The New York Times announced that it would not be attending the meeting, citing concerns about the DOJ's off-the-record provision."
This is just a pathetic statistic.

In Democratic run Illinois, 15.7% of the population is on food stamps.  15.7%!

When will people come to their senses?  It's clear that progressivism begins in the urban hell holes, and then corrupts eventually the entire polity with it's immorality, encouraging victimhood, dependency and lethargy, and leaving us with these kind of statistics to shame us all.

Illinois is a big,  industrial state, with vast manufacturing, agricultural and human resources.  There is absolutely no excuse for this kind of problem, for this entire chunk of the population to be reduced to becoming helpless wards of the state.

It would only require the release of the natural energy and resourcefulness of Americans to solve this problem, but that will never happen, as it is in the interest of the Progressives to create a dependent class whose votes they can buy with the wealth taken from other Americans.

One day this will stop.  I hope that day is soon.
It's been a tough week so far, and tomorrow will make it's demands.  It will be time for relaxation after that, and a good swimming hole like this one would be ideal.  

The world for a good swimming hole.

Don't mess with a lady's purse - especially a gun tot'en southern belle!

Enjoy the smile this will put on your face.

Via Roger, The Real King of France

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Satanta, Kiowa chief.

Another progressive icon of the Main Stream Media, the Village Voice of New York, is staring bankruptcy straight in the face.

The faster these purveyors of lies die, the better.
 There is a good article over at Zero Hedge on the suddenly increased intensity of the Syrian conflict.

The Russians feel the need to protect Assad, as he will prevent the Qataris from building a gas pipeline to the Mediterranean, which would threaten the Russian energy company Gazprom.  Thus, to the Russians, the stakes are high.

Further, they all know they are dealing with a complete idiot in the form of Barack Obama, at least as it comes to international relations.  They certainly do not respect him, and will challenge him boldly, to see what happens.   Sounds like Khruschev and Kennedy back during the Cuban missile crisis, except Obama is no Kennedy, as everyone now knows.

That, my friends, is a recipe for disaster.  From the article:

   "Those who were intently following the USDJPY pair formerly known as the stock market today missed the biggest news of the day: the proxy war in Syria just went hot, following a confluence of news, first that Russia insisted "it would deliver anti-aircraft missiles to Syria despite international criticism, as fears of spillover from the conflict grew" and in logical retaliation to yesterday's decision by Europe to lift an arms embargo to the Al Qaeda-supported, Qatari mercenaries operating in Syria, also known as "rebels.
This lead Israel's defense minister Moshe Yaalon to immediately signal that "its military is prepared to strike shipments of advanced Russian weapons to Syria."
Meanwhile back in the US "the White House has asked the Pentagon to draw up plans for a no-fly zone inside Syria that would be enforced by the U.S. and other countries such as France and Great Britain, two administration officials told The Daily Beast."
And just to make it very clear that Russia is not bluffing, it announced overnight that its four regiments of S-300 air defense systems have been deployed at the Ashuluk firing range in southern Russia as part of another snap combat readiness check of the Russian armed forces "The missions will be carried out in conditions of heavy electronic warfare to test the capabilities of the air defense units to the highest limit."
And to think: yet another threat of a global war over some natgas pipelines from Qatar to Europe, and a threat to Gazprom's monopoly."

So, to summarize, the Russians are providing the Syrian regime with an air defense system that will threaten the Israeli's ability to stop Hezbollah from receiving advanced weaponry from Iran through their Syrian allies.  That is an existential threat to the Jewish state, and could well require a quick military response.   The Russians, consistent with their nature, will not be backing down, especially when they sense weakness and indecision from our own president.  Meanwhile, that very president is proposing to up the ante by attempting to establish a no fly zone over Syria, to aid the Al Qaeda allied rebels, all the while distracted by his own growing scandals at home.  
No good come of all this, and much bad.

It probably seemed like a good idea.

Ever wonder why Obama, against all odds, won re election last year?  Maybe this has something to do with it, and who would be surprised if this pattern is not repeated in all the swing states.  When a Chicago thug is running, or heck, pretty much any Democrat, all bets are off.

  "Vote fraud is no big deal, right?  It hardly ever happens.  It’s so rare that it’s not even worth discussing.  Anyone who claims to take the integrity of our ballots seriously is cynically exploiting phantom fears for the purpose of suppressing the Democrat-loving minority vote.
To keep that silly narrative alive, it’s important not to read the Sunday edition of theColumbus Dispatchin which readers were informed that “more than one out of every five registered Ohio voters is probably ineligible to vote.”
Furthermore, “in two counties, the number of registered voters actually exceeds the voting age population: Northwestern Ohio’s Wood County shows 109 registered voters for every 100 eligible, while in Lawrence County along the Ohio River it’s a mere 104 registered per 100 eligible.”
31 more counties report over 90 percent voter registration, which is a good 20 percent higher than the national average.  The Buckeye State sure is civic-minded!  Well, except that 1.6 million of the 7.8 million registered voters in the state haven’t voted in at least four years.  So I guess they were civic minded, once upon a time.  Never fear – I’m sure plenty of those “inactive” voters will reactivate themselves just in time for Barack Obama’s re-election."

Monday, May 27, 2013

Marines fire an M777 A2 howitzer during a series of integrated exercises at the Combat Center’s Quakenbush Training Area in Twentynine Palms, Calif., April 26, 2013. The Marines are assigned to 5th Battalion, 14th Marine Regiment. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. William J. Jackson
Heavy equipment drop at Elmendorf AFB in Alaska.

Hmmm, an interesting question indeed.

   "The Washington Examiner reported on Monday that Mark Everson, Commissioner of Internal Revenue from 2003 to 2007, during the Bush administration, visited the White House exactly once while in office. Indeed he felt like he’d “moved to Siberia” so out of the ordinary political loop was he. But Douglas Shulman, Commissioner from 2008 to 2012, during the Obama administration, visited the White House 118 times just in 2010 and 2011. His successor, Steven Miller, also visited “numerous” times.
The Commissioner of Internal Revenue is a managerial position, not a policy-making one, although his input on the practical realities of tax collection and how the IRS is structured might well be very useful if the President was planning a big push on tax reform. But no such push has been forthcoming. Obama’s sole interest in the tax code has been to raise rates on high earners. So what was the commissioner doing going to the White House more than once a week on average?"
"Once each May, amid the quiet hills and rolling lanes and breeze-brushed trees of Arlington National Cemetery, far above the majestic Potomac and the monuments and memorials of our Nation's Capital just beyond, the graves of America's military dead are decorated with the beautiful flag that in life these brave souls followed and loved. This scene is repeated across our land and around the world, wherever our defenders rest. Let us hold it our sacred duty and our inestimable privilege on this day to decorate these graves ourselves -- with a fervent prayer and a pledge of true allegiance to the cause of liberty, peace, and country for which America's own have ever served and sacrificed. ... Our pledge and our prayer this day are those of free men and free women who know that all we hold dear must constantly be built up, fostered, revered and guarded vigilantly from those in every age who seek its destruction. We know, as have our Nation's defenders down through the years, that there can never be peace without its essential elements of liberty, justice and independence. Those true and only building blocks of peace were the lone and lasting cause and hope and prayer that lighted the way of those whom we honor and remember this Memorial Day. To keep faith with our hallowed dead, let us be sure, and very sure, today and every day of our lives, that we keep their cause, their hope, their prayer, forever our country's own."

Ronald Reagan

Sunday, May 26, 2013

The two younger kids and I gassed the truck and drove up to the Mokulumne River, downstream from Salt Springs Reservoir, and did a little photography and fishing.

Well, I did the fishing.  Two bites, lots of following trout, but nothing landed.   I figure it was because it was mid day.

The 17 year old got some reasonably good images while I thrashed that water.  He came out ahead, no doubt.  We all enjoyed the beautiful water and the brilliant day, needless to say.

A British soldier makes a friend in A-stan.

It's an embarrassment of riches.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Good point.  Some stuff people really do want now that they didn't have then, like Medicare and Social Security, but for sure a flat tax without deductions ought to be made to pay for all that.

This is a tight little jet.  It's like an arrowhead you could ride.  I'd love to fly it.  If I could fly jets, that is.

Russian freckles, they are dobro!

Above, Ilya Repin’s painting of the legendary diplomatic correspondence between the Zaporozhian Cossacks and the Ottoman Turks. 

Some thirty years after winning their independence from the Polish-Lithuanians, the Cossacks continued to act as troublesome raiders, both to the Polish and the Ottoman Empire. In 1676, Sultan Mahmud IV sent an army into Ukraine, but it was defeated by the Zaporozhian Host. Nonetheless, the Sultan offered them the chance to submit, writing this letter: 

Sultan Mahmud IV to the Zaporozhian Cossacks:
As the Sultan; son of Muhammad; brother of the sun and moon; grandson and viceroy of God; ruler of the kingdoms of Macedonia, Babylon, Jerusalem, Upper and Lower Egypt; emperor of emperors; sovereign of sovereigns; extraordinary knight, never defeated; steadfast guardian of the tomb of Jesus Christ; trustee chosen by God himself; the hope and comfort of Muslims; confounder and great defender of Christians — I command you, the Zaporogian Cossacks, to submit to me voluntarily and without any resistance, and to desist from troubling me with your attacks.

To which the Cossacks replied: 
Zaporozhian Cossacks to the Turkish Sultan!
O sultan, Turkish devil and damned devil’s kith and kin, secretary to Lucifer himself. What the devil kind of knight are you, that can’t slay a hedgehog with your naked arse? The devil shits, and your army eats. You will not, you son of a bitch, make subjects of Christian sons; we’ve no fear of your army, by land and by sea we will battle with thee, fuck thy mother.
You Babylonian scullion, Macedonian wheelwright, brewer of Jerusalem, goat-fucker of Alexandria, swineherd of Greater and Lesser Egypt, Armenian pig, Podolian thief, catamite of Tartary, hangman of Kamyanets, and fool of all the world and underworld, an idiot before God, grandson of the Serpent, and the crick in our dick. Pig’s snout, mare’s arse, slaughterhouse cur, unchristened brow, screw your own mother!
So the Zaporozhians declare, you lowlife. You won’t even be herding Christian pigs. Now we’ll conclude, for we don’t know the date and don’t own a calendar; the moon’s in the sky, the year with the Lord, the day’s the same over here as it is over there; for this kiss our ass!

Koshovyi Otoman Ivan Sirko, with the whole Zaporozhian Host

Which is an appropriate way to deal with uppity Muslims.

Below, a modern image of a family of Don Cossacks. 

Gotta get me one of these for the bumper.

Yoga chicks are cool.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Al Gore must have been hanging around.

"FAIRBANKS — A husband and wife from Kenai were the sole winners of the $318,500 Nenana Ice Classic jackpot on Monday in what was the latest breakup on record in the 97-year history of Alaska’s richest guessing game.

While nobody guessed the exact time — 2:41 p.m. Alaska Standard Time — that the Tanana River ice went out on Monday, Warren and Yvonne Snow of Kenai were the closest to it with a guess of 2:40 p.m.

It was the latest breakup in the 97-year history of the Ice Classic, a contest in which thousands of Alaskans pay $2.50 per chance to guess the exact time and date the Tanana River ice goes out at Nenana. The previous late breakup record was 11:41 a.m. AST on May 20, 1964.

Nice payday, for sure, and funny that their name happened to be "Snow."
Friday open road