Sunday, December 31, 2017

Lake Effect Snow, Buffalo, NY

Real or Robot?

Good Advice

Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better man. 

Benjamin Franklin

The Iranian regime may be disintegrating before our eyes.

I report this stuff because the MSM won't.  Once the regime gives orders to shoot, and the security forces say no, it's over.  I hope the mullahs get the Ceausescu treatment, as they richly deserve it.

And Obama?  Muh legacy!  Chew soap, you *^#@#!

The bowl that comes with the soap puck makes this worth it. You can reuse it for any brand of soap if you want.

Wool Fat makes a great lather quickly.  Good stuff.

Treating Myself Right

Sunday shave

Razor: DGE special
Blade: Voskhod
Soap: Mitchell's Wool Fat
Brush: Excelsior Cerda Pura
Splash: Ogallala Bay Rum
Post Shave Coffee: Portland's Stumptown, espresso grind

Physics. Let it work for you, not against you.

The Art of Speed

I guess it really is super cold up in New England. So cold sharks are freezing to death in the Atlantic.

The sharks were “likely stranded due to cold shock” along Cape Cod, and washed up on the beach where conservation teams were dispatched Wednesday to investigate, the AWSC wrote in a Facebook post. The group says it collected tissue samples to test once it thaws.
Both male thresher sharks were 14 feet long with 6 foot tails, conservancy spokeswoman Michelle Wcisel said. The Wellfleet and Skaket beaches 60 miles south of Boston are “the same beach cold shock turtles wash up on,” the conservancy said.
The frigid temperatures around Massachusetts and the rest of the eastern seaboard are expected to drop even further and bring cold and snowfall through the new year, leading President Donald Trump to point out on Twitter that “perhaps we could use a little bit of that good old Global Warming.”

Bow of the gondola of German naval airship PL19

I bet it was an impressive sight to see those big props turn.

Hey kids! It's finger licking good!

Pure Beauty

Going Deep

Planking fail? I mean, why do that?

Crazyface will live forever on the net

Unclear on the concept

Bad Vibrations

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Flying in all weathers


Ray Park (Darth Maul) proves he still has the Force with him.

Compact 100 lumens Cree LED flashlight with rail mount, for use with pistols, rifles, or shotguns

Meet Up

Whiskers takes the pot

Trouble Brewing

One of the best coins ever

In the process of investigating that prior time traveling coin post, I came across this coin, which simply has to be the most dynamic, coolest coinage ever.

It's another Bactrian/Greek king, Eucratides I, eyeing an enemy and getting ready to chuck a spear at him. 


On that day I become king, I'm having the coins of my realm stamped with something similar.

Eucratides I (GreekΕὐκρατίδης Α΄; reigned c. 171–145 BC), sometimes called Eucratides the Great, was one of the most important Greco-Bactrian kings, descendants of dignitaries of Alexander the Great. He uprooted the Euthydemid dynasty of Greco-Bactrian kings and replaced it with his own lineage. He fought against the Indo-Greek kings, the easternmost Hellenistic rulers in northwestern India, temporarily holding territory as far as the Indus, until he was finally defeated and pushed back to Bactria. Eucratides had a vast and prestigious coinage, suggesting a rule of considerable importance.

Why are all the bravest advocates for women's rights female chess players?


I was the second-highest-ranked player for girls under 18 in the world in 2016. I am the second-highest-ranked female chess player in Iranian history. And yet my passion for the game has taken me thousands of miles away from my home in Tehran to seek citizenship here in the United States.

I had won the Asian championship three times in a row when I arrived at the tournament in India in 2014. I was favored to win, given my record. Yet federation officials weren’t focused on my game, but on my clothing. On the very first day of the tournament, they told me my jeans were too tight. I told them I would not participate in the round unless they stopped scolding me.
In the end, I played and won that tournament in India. But time and time again, those in charge of the Iranian national team showed that they cared more about the scarf covering my hair than the brain under it.
Since choosing to leave the team and play chess with no strings attached, I’ve never taken a penny from the Iranian government. My parents pay for all of my expenses, including travel to tournaments. One benefit of flying solo is that I dress the way I want to. I like my outfits to reflect my mood for that day and I don’t like to dress to please others. I no longer cover my hair, including at tournaments.
Unlike on the Iranian team, I am now surrounded by people who respect me as a player and don’t care or notice what I look like. Unlike on the Iranian team, where the officials could ignore a player’s earned right to play a tournament and replace that player with someone they preferred, here the rules are consistent and fair.
In this sense, America at its best reflects the best values of chess. Chess doesn’t care how old you are or what you wear. It doesn’t care about what gender you are, or how much money you have. It is blind to all of that. It cares only about merit.
That’s why I’m applying for United States citizenship and why I hope to someday represent this country in the Olympics. And it’s why barring people from the game based on their ethnicity, religion or clothing is so wrong.

Man, that looked so good, until it didn't

Time traveler confirmed

Cabin Porn: Fireplace Edition

Friday, December 29, 2017

That could have been really ugly.

Well, well. Ruger does it again.

Plus, with a black plastic stock like that, I could camouflage it up with some rattle cans, and make it unique.  Fun coming and going.

In 1938, a massive flood wiped the road to this bridge out, leaving it all alone in a canyon above LA.

It's known as the Bridge to Nowhere and is a popular hiking and bungee jumping spot. The road is East Fork Roadwhich currently ends at the trailhead, it was supposed to connect Azusa with the mountain town of Wrightwood. The flood which caused the damage was the Great Los Angeles Flood of March 1-2, 1938

Cool video about the hike to the Bridge to Nowhere.

Keep in mind that Jerry Brown CAUSED this problem of out of control public pensions and benefits by allowing public employees to unionize.

Unionized against the people, is what it was, as it allowed corrupt politicians to buy the votes of the public employees using tax money to gold plate their pay and/or benefits. The taxpayers, the folk who earned that money through hard work and risk, are left holding the bag.  That is the real crime committed here, by Jerry Brown during his first term, and his political party.  Even FDR was against unionization of public employees for this very reason.
Example: a guy I work with knows two retired sheriffs, married to each other and both of whom are relatively young.  Their retirement pays them over 200k, between them, with lifetime medical.  They have trouble finding a way to spend the tsunami of money coming to them, and are a bit embarrassed by their shocking wealth. 
Another example: a working LA county sheriff is assigned to harbor patrol, and he spends his days riding a boat around and giving pleasure boaters tickets.  He works part time, and on his off weeks, flies back to the Carolinas (!!!) where he owns a house on the water, with dock and boat.  Sweet, but 100% paid for by the California taxpayers, who aren't living on the water with a dock and boat.
For decades now public pensions have been guided by one universal rule which stipulates that current public employees can not be 'financially injured' by having their future benefits reduced.  On the other hand, that 'universal rule' also necessarily stipulates that taxpayers can be absolutely steamrolled by whatever tax hikes are necessary to fulfill the bloated pension benefits that unions promise themselves.
Alas, that one 'universal rule' may finally be at risk as the California Supreme Court is currently considering a case which could determine whether taxpayers have an unlimited obligation to simply fork over whatever pension benefits are demanded of them or whether there is some "reasonableness" test that must be applied.  Here's more from VC Star:
At issue is the "California Rule," which dates to court rulings beginning in 1947. It says workers enter a contract with their employer on their first day of work, entitling them to retirement benefits that can never be diminished unless replaced with similar benefits.
It's widely accepted that retirement benefits linked to work already performed cannot be touched. But the California Rule is controversial because it prohibits even prospective changes for work the employee has not yet done.
The ballooning expenses are an issue that Gov. Jerry Brown will face in his final year in office despite his earlier efforts to reform the state's pension systems and pay down massive unfunded liabilities.
His office has taken the unusual step of arguing one case itself, pushing aside Attorney General Xavier Becerra and making a forceful pitch for the Legislature's right to limit benefits.
"Lots of people in the pension community are paying attention to these cases and are really interested in what the California Supreme Court is going to do here," said Amy Monahan, a University of Minnesota professor who studies pension law.
"For years, self-interested parties, overly generous promises whose true costs were often shrouded by flawed actuarial analyses, and failures of public leadership had caused unsustainable public pension liabilities," his office wrote. A ruling is expected before Brown leaves office in January 2019.

Bogsidebunny sent me this picture with the following description.

Here's my father (pilot) and a friend at Sussex, NJ airport with his puddle-jumper. Circa 1940.

Neither he nor I know what kind of airplane this is.  Anybody know?

Freckles, they are good

Friday Open Road