Saturday, December 3, 2016

Sloppy Editors and Writers: A Rant

Driving a 500 miles route three days a week, I find audio books make the day go by faster and help keep me alert.

Recently I started one by a major author and by the second disc boxed it up and took it back to the library. A minor character was a former Army Corpsman. Damnit, the Army has Medics and the Navy Corpsman. Sloppy, and I found myself listening for more mistakes rather than becoming immersed in the narrative.

Some readers of this blog have read books by Jim Curtis and Peter Grant. With great narratives their books also have meticulously researched details. Next on my order list is Larry Lambert’s books. My guess is attention to all details will be found.

If one wants to pick a hugely popular author, consider Patricia Cornwell. If she is writing about something involving SCUBA, she gets or renews her certification. Rifles? She goes and trains until she understands what skills are required. 

I have no aspirations to becoming a writer beyond this blog. Why? I’m too damn lazy and undisciplined even assuming I have the necessary vision. My ex-wife, who is talented, once met and talked to J.J. Jance seeking some insight. Her feelings  were hurt by Jance’s use of a four letter word.


Am I being too harsh and judgmental? Probably.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Happy Day

Focusing on all the current events and the many challenges of life, we sometimes overlook some of life's happy events. Saw this today and it lifted my spirits. A woman with a new dog.

United Airlines Airfreight in Denver goes out of their way for dog owners with this facility. The only public restroom for the entire airfreight terminals is at United and I always need to pee. Afterwards I pull over by this facility to prepare the medical specimens for shipment, about a fifteen minute process.

This lady had just received her new pup. Scared and nervous, the beast was carried in her arms to the pet area. In the fifteen minutes I was there the dog went from scared to  playful. Warmed my old cynical heart to see the simple pleasure of the woman and her dog as they became acquainted. 

If someone wants to accuse me of being a closeted romantic I have no defense. Pets and small children? Yes, I am a sucker. 

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Adventures in Auto Repair

Son's Contour came home on a tow truck. Snapped serpentine belt. Choke each year when I drop $170 or so for AAA+ but we seem to always use it.

The culprit.
Needs to be stretched before you try to install it.

Where it goes.

It is cold, the wind is blowing, I'm old and decrepit, and I'm not broke. Solution?!1s0x876ea3d062cc6d9f:0x85906ad55a9b576d!2m16!2m2!1i80!2i80!3m1!2i20!16m10!1b1!2m2!1m1!1e1!2m2!1m1!1e3!2m2!1m1!1e4!3m1!7e115!4s

Yep, I wimped out. Remember a few years ago putting a water pump in that car. Not fun! Replaced the serpentine belt at the same time. Tight quarters putting a breaker bar on the tensioner pulley. Easiest from underneath.  

Monday, November 28, 2016

Pacific 12 Conference

Another post where WSF lets his sarcasm flow. You have been warned.

Another defeat for SJWs (social justice warriors). High on the hate list of SJWs is college football. Why, all that public attention should be focused on them and their causes.

Despite their best efforts, two college football program crippled for years by SJWs are now playing for the Pac-12 Championship.

What happened? Money. College football generates enormous revenues for the institutions. The indentured servants who perform may end up with a mediocre degree, if they don’t suffer permanent physical damage, but cost the institutions a fraction of the revenues generated.  Problem is, the alumni dollars don’t flow if the programs don’t  produce championships, or at least winning seasons.

Hence, the SJWs have reluctantly backed off while still keeping their image intact. No matter how far out in left field a professor might be, they don’t want their paycheck to bounce.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Lies, Liars, and Damned Lies

From every Blade of Grass

 comes a link to CBS New’s Will Rahn and his confession of news bias. Remarkable.

Jumping on the way back machine I remember a newspaper reporter neighbor. We lived on a four block long street with no intersections that paralleled a main corridor two blocks away. The corridor had numerous school crossings and low speed limits. Impatient drivers would duck over to our street and drive past houses full of kids dangerously fast.  The wife and I drew up a complaint/petition letter to the city asking for something to be done.

Going door to door for signatures the newspaper reporter refused to sign. His explanation was, as a reporter, he must stay neutral as a matter of ethics. His wife said, “I have no such restraints. Give it to me and I will sign it”. I must say I respected his position.

Yeah, yeah, WSF, is there a point to this tale?

Why yes, there is.

Many jobs bring with it some loss of liberties. Government employees can’t run for public office. Medical personnel are obliged to treat people they otherwise despise. Military members give up a lot.

Ideally media people should be like my old neighbor. That ethic has long since eroded. It is refreshing to see at least one member of the 4th estate “gets it”.

Once again I am so thankful for the Internet. Let the (P)regressives bemoan “False News” as we great unwashed rejoice in having some chance of learning the truth.


Friday, November 25, 2016


Thanksgiving dinner was an occasion for learning. My sister always gathers an “eclectic”  group.

My grandniece is attending an Iowa Junior College on a soccer scholarship. She brought two teammates with her. One is from Australia and one from Arizona. Poised and articulate, all three are impressive but the culture barrier with me was immense. None of the music I mentioned, movies, movie directors, or movie actors I mentioned were known to them. Such a fossil I am.

My niece is a long term public health worker in Nevada. She isn’t in a cozy office but out on the gritty streets dealing with the VD and HIV  population. Gutsy woman. I often disagree with her but respect her opinions. She is someone who has walked the walk her entire adult life.

My sister keeps a defacto halfway house. Usually has two or three people staying there that have fallen through the cracks of society and are trying to make it back. She is no pushover, it is a clean and sober house and all pull their weight. For me it brings into focus how hard it can be at the bottom of the barrel and how few people are around like my sister who willing to give a hand up.

Other than a brief conversation with my niece, I avoided politics.  What didn’t escape my notice is the young people gathered have always had Obama in their life. Trump represents a yawning unknown for them, and they have grown up in a Progressive dominated environment. They remind me of Army draftees, circa 1963, thrust in a world they didn’t choose to join, resentful and full of fear.

The ones at dinner are not special snowflakes. In fact, sports are their way up the ladder and it is damn hard work. They have my total respect. What is disheartening is their shared culture and my culture is nearly alien. 

For that, I have no immediate answer.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Why Shillary Lost

Once again WSF goes off his meds and explains why Shillary lost the election in a simplistic way. You have been warned.

Many people, me included, were offended by Shillary’s “Basket of Deplorables” speech. What we tend to overlook is the other “basket” she described. From her speech.

"But the other basket -- and I know this because I see friends from all over America here -- I see friends from Florida and Georgia and South Carolina and Texas -- as well as, you know, New York and California -- but that other basket of people are people who feel that the government has let them down, the economy has let them down, nobody cares about them, nobody worries about what happens to their lives and their futures, and they're just desperate for change. It doesn't really even matter where it comes from. They don't buy everything he says, but he seems to hold out some hope that their lives will be different. They won't wake up and see their jobs disappear, lose a kid to heroin, feel like they're in a dead-end. Those are people we have to understand and empathize with as well."

What I took from that was, oh your poor people. We, the smart people, need to take care of you. There, there, it will all be alright. Smug, patronizing and demeaning remarks lapped up by an audience many ordinary people feel uncomfortable to be around.

For people still sitting on the fence, their silent reaction was probably, “Fuck you bitch. Just get the hell out of my way and I will take care of myself and my family”.

What people label as “privilege” should be labeled “tribalism”. We tend to identify with, and protect, family, clan, and groups that are similar to us. It has been the survival mechanism of humanoids throughout history. You see the same behavior in all species.

 In this country we have moved beyond that in many respects because we use our intellect.  What we have on the (P)regressive side is a demand to have the “privilege” without having to do the work to earn it. I believe few people favor barriers to individual success and a safe environment to grow and prosper. 

What Shillary and her fellow travelers demand is various groups must prosper to the determent of other, in their view, less deserving groups. That, more than any other reason, cost her the election IMO. As always, YMMV.